Nowadays a lot and a lot of travelers are preferring to travel to Ladakh from Manali side and most of them say that “it is more beautiful” 🙂 🙂 … Well, others also have the reasons like lack of leaves or some have security concerns while traveling from Srinagar – Kashmir side.
In this article today, I will like to suggest a very balanced and a common itinerary for the travelers looking forward to traveling to Ladakh from Manali side. In the latter part of the article, I will also suggest some alterations to this popular itinerary for Manali to Ladakh.
You will be able to understand the changes if you are in the second category of people who do not wish to travel back from Srinagar – Kashmir side at all, then what options you have to tweak this plan and make it work to come back from Ladakh from Manali side only.
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Let's quickly dive into the details:
Leh Ladakh from Manali in 15 Days – Itinerary & Other Details
We already have the most common itinerary of Leh Ladakh which covers the entire Ladakh circuit from Srinagar to Ladakh to Manali. And in this article, the below itinerary for Ladakh from Manali side covers all three major tourist destinations of Ladakh including Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, and Tso Moriri Lake.
The itinerary also covers Srinagar – Leh Highway as well as Manali – Leh Highway, so it is apt for those who are looking forward to covering the entire circuit from Manali to Ladakh to Srinagar.
A word of caution about Manali to Leh
Please note that since your body will not be acclimatized well enough to travel on Manali – Leh Highway, there are chances of getting hit with Acute Mountain Sickness (more info on AMS) and especially on the second day you may feel it.
Most of the terrain on Manali – Leh Highway runs over 4000 Mtrs of altitude and by the time you reach such altitude your body is not properly acclimatized. Hence, many people fall sick on Manali Leh Highway despite covering in 25:75 ratio (Manali – Jispa/Keylong, Jispa/Keylong – Leh) in terms of distance.
The other issue is Rohtang Pass permits fiasco !! When you travel from Manali to Rohtang Pass, you will need permits to travel beyond Rohtang Pass. But, you do not need permits if you are traveling from the other side of Rohtang Pass to Manali (that is from Leh, Lahaul or Spiti).
If you are OK with these limitations, you can follow this travel plan for Ladakh from Manali side mentioned below.
Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley
Better stay at Solang Valley and avoid Manali as sleeping at Solang Valley does help in acclimatization
If going by own car, get the permit made in advance to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road
Enjoy the views of lower Himachal as you drive to Manali
Overnight at Manali/Solang Valley
About 13-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 2 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS
Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there
I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
Overnight at Keylong/Jispa
About 6-7 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Day 3 | Keylong/Jispa – Baralacha La – Leh
Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types so that you reach Leh in the evening
You will witness the beauty of Manali – Leh Highway, with a couple of small lakes like Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal
You will cross over Baralacha La, Lachuchulung La, Nakee La, Taglang La passes
Overnight at Leh
About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
About 6-7 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
Alternatively, you can also make a day trip to Pangong Tso (if Shyok village and Wari La pass routes are closed) as below but that makes it a bit, in case.
Day 7 | Leh – Chang La – Pangong Tso – Chang La – Leh
Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso via Chang La Pass.
Overnight at Leh.
About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between.
Additional Points for Manali to Ladakh Trip
You can also make a three day trip to Nubra Valley so that you can spend one night a beautiful village Turtuk and remove rest day at 9 or add one day to the above plan to visit Tutruk. I bet, you will not regret it at all visiting Turtuk in Nubra Valley.
In Srinagar, you can also visit the Floating market > Shalimar Garden.
You can check this nice & preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well).
For many travelers, there are reasons to travel to Leh Ladakh from Manali side only. Previously, I have already shared the reasons to travel to Ladakh from Srinagar. However, many travelers also ask me about the reasons to travel from Manali to Leh Ladakh. Let us look at them one by one.
1. The shortest route to travel to Leh by road
The route from Delhi to Manali to Leh is considered to be the shortest route by road to reach Leh. Srinagar route is about 300+ km longer and takes an extra day to travel.
2. Saves one day in overall Ladakh plan
It takes four days to reach Leh from Srinagar side while you save one day when you travel to Leh from Manali side with overnight halts at Manali / Solang and Keylong / Jispa only. Thus, you save two days when you travel from Manali to Leh in both directions.
3. Offers more adventure than Srinagar route
For the likes of adventure seekers, the journey over Manali Leh road offers much more adventure than Srinagar Leh Highway where you will find habitation almost about every 60 km.
4. Experience beauty of Manali Leh road in entirety
If you travel to Leh and come back from Leh via Manali only, you get a chance to see the same views from either direction. Hence, you can experience its beauty in entirety.
5. Well connected by HRTC & HPTDC buses
Unlike Srinagar Leh, you will find plenty of bus services option from Manali to Leh. Both HPTDC and HRTC run buses over Manali Leh Highway. There is, in fact, a tourist bus from HPTDC that runs doing all the sightseeing from Manali to Leh. It is one of the most preferred commute options to travel to Leh Ladakh from Manali. Then, HRTC offers a direct bus service from Delhi to Leh which covers the 1050 km journey in 2 days.
6. Avoids hassles of bandhs/strikes in Kashmir
A lot of people are concerned about the security and safety issues when traveling to Leh Ladakh by Srinagar or Kashmir’s side. Bandhs, Protests, and strikes happen in Kashmir, which mostly is predeclared and does not affect the tourist areas. Still, some people avoid to travel Kashmir and make a trip from Manali to Ladakh only.
I hope this plan or itinerary for Leh Ladakh from Manali side will be useful for travelers planning their journey at least for the first time. I will look forward to any questions or doubts you may have in the comments section of this article below.
You can share your valuable suggestions and inputs you have or if would love to discuss your custom plan as well in the comments section as well.
If you want any customization or deviation from the above plan, feel free to ask any questions, and in case you know a friend who is interested in traveling Ladakh from Manali in such a plan, feel free to share the article with them.