Ladakh

Ladakh from Manali – Most Common Itinerary

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 SrinagarKashmir 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.

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Leh Ladakh from Manali day by day plan infographic guide. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

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.

Suraj Tal, as seen while traveling to Ladakh from Manali

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

Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatisation

  • Complete day for local sightseeing in Ladakh
  • Get the required inner line permits for sightseeing in Ladakh. You can apply for Ladakh Inner Line permits online and pay the required fee too
  • However, the permits need to get stamped at Tourist Information Center in or Leh DC Office
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 5 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

  • Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
  • On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
  • Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and at Khardung La

Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

  • Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 7-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 7 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Chang La Pass – Pangong Tso Lake

  • Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey, and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
  • Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
The wilderness of Changthang

Day 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh

  • Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey, and Shey on return to Leh
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 9 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang

  • Cover Karzok Monastery
  • Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 10 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh

  • Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 10-11 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 11 | Rest day at Leh

  • Do some rest or shopping, enjoy the local culture at Leh
  • Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 4-5 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 12 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil

  • Cover Mulbekh Maitreya, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes
  • Overnight at Kargil
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 13 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar

  • Enjoy the vistas en route
  • Have late lunch meal at Sonamarg, Overnight at Srinagar
  • About 7-8 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 14 | Srinagar – Patnitop – Jammu

  • Enjoy the vistas en route
  • Overnight at Jammu
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 15 | Jammu – Pathankot – Ambala – Delhi

  • Back Home
  • About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 16 + 17 | Buffer days

  • Keep some buffer day in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.
Nakee La at Manali – Leh Highway

Ladakh from Manali side and coming back from Manali side only

The other option is that you do not travel over Srinagar Leh Highway and return back Manali from Tso Moriri itself, in which case you can split from Day 9 and follow the plan mentioned below:

Day 9 | Rest day at Leh

  • Do some rest or shopping, enjoy the local culture at Leh
  • Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 4-5 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 10 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang

  • Cover Karzok Monastery
  • Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 11 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu

  • Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
  • Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
  • About 10-11 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 12 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali

  • On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the roadsides only
  • Overnight at Manali
  • About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and of course the mess at Rohtang Pass.

Day 13 | Manali – Delhi

  • Return Home
  • About 13-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 14 + 15 | Buffer Days

  • Keep some buffer day in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more.
Wilderness Galore in Changthang

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Direct Route Option

You can save a day by making a direct trip to Pangong Tso from Nubra Valley as suggested below.

Related Post

Day 6 | Hunder / Diskit – Shyok village / Wari La route – Pangong Tso

  • Take the direct route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso either via Shyok village or Wari La pass whichever is open.
  • In the last couple of years (as of 2019), the direct route between Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso has been stabilized a lot. It is not that desolate in the season anymore as it used to be a few years back.
  • A lot of people do this route nowadays, so it should be fine for you to do that route as well. Just enquire at Agham village on the safer side or wait for a couple of cars to tag along on the route.
  • Overnight at Pangong Tso.
  • About 6-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and route you take between Shyok and Wari La.

Day 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thiksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh

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).
  • Do you have any doubts related to the budget of your Ladakh trip?? Don’t worry, read this article on How to calculate cost or budget for Leh Ladakh trip
Excellent Roads at Moore Plains – Manali Leh Highway

Why should you travel to Ladakh from Manali?

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.

The roads when you travel Ladakh from Manali and come from Srinagar side

Conclusion

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.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comments on my YouTube videos.

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.

This post was last modified on Mar 31, 2021 23:14

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