12 Days, 12 Lakes & 12 High Mountain Passes – DoW Ladakh 2013

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Yes buddy, you did read it Right & Loud –
“12 Days, 12 Lakes & 12 High Mountain Passes”…

The Prologue

I know your mind may think “so much to see in such less time, how come?” but your heart may echo “a 12 day adrenaline pumping adventure over roof of the world”… Your mind again thinks “is it possible at all?” and your heart again echoes “what if there is a slightest chance for it to be possible”…
Here, at DoW, I always follow my heart as a traveller and see what luck & mother nature has planned for the success of any of my tour including this Epic Adventure Tour to Ladakh!! So, coming fall or autumn in September 2013, are you ready:

  • to spin over the barren landscape,
  • to unwind through the lush green meadows,
  • to fly with the wind at some of the highest mountain passes,
  • to get lost in one of the remotest yet magical places in Himalayas,
  • to walk over the sand dunes of cold desert,
  • to witness the burning colours in their most beautiful form,
  • to witness the beauty of Moon Land and Moon Lake,
  • to witness some of the largest lakes change their blue hues several times a day,
  • to witness the chill on few of the most isolated stretches,
  • to experience a journey, beyond limits,
  • and to explore THE unexplored !!

Are You Ready for DoW Ladakh Adventure? If yes, then get going and read on… If not, then also get going and read on and who knows you are there right amongst the group 😀

One last thing before I dive into details, for Leh – Ladakh, I never believe in LifeMeinEkBaar RATHER I believe LifeMeinBaarBaar 😆 …

Are you ready for the drive??
12 Days, 12 Lakes and 12 High Mountain Passes

DoW Ladakh Adventure 2013 – Tour Plan

Well, after so many request from the readers/lovers of DoW blog, finally I am planning for an adventure trip to the place I love most, “Ladakh”, for all those who follow DoW blog and find the information present here useful enough for their trips to Himalayas. You can find all the details for this Ladakh tour below including the eligibility which seeing the nature, difficulty, season and distance to travel would mainly be HIGH ENDURANCE and POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Here is the complete tour plan for this WILD, ON THE ROAD LADAKH ADVENTURE which can be experienced LifeMeinBaarBaar 😉 …

Day 1 (21-09-2013) | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil

  • Fly early morning to Srinagar or reach on any previous day (Loose End)
  • Enjoy the vistas en-route especially the lush green Minamarg Meadows
  • Have late drunch meal at Drass if you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
  • Overnight at Kargil
  • About 8-9 Hrs drive, depending upon the traffic movement at Zozila and breaks in between

Day 2 (22-09-2013) | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

  • Hit the roads by 6.30 AM
  • Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes or Moonland and Fotu La Pass
  • On the way to Leh you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between

Day 3 (23-09-2013) | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits

Day 4 (24-09-2013) | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

  • Hit the roads by 8.30 AM
  • 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
  • Hunder has sand dunes and double humped bacterian camel safari
  • About 5-6 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between and at Khardung La

Day 5 (25-09-2013) | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh

  • Hit the roads by 7.30 AM
  • Check out Panamik hot water springs
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 7-8 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between

Day 6 (26-09-2013) | Leh – Chang La Pass – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh / Rumtse / Upshi

  • Hit the roads by 6.30 AM
  • Dash for a day trip to Pangong Tso to experience the blue hues
  • Overnight at Leh / Rumtse / Upshi
  • About 10-11 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between

Day 7 (27-09-2013) | Leh / Rumtse / Upshi – Tso Moriri via Chumathang

  • Hit the roads by 7.00 AM
  • Cover Korzok Monastery and Hot springs at Chumathang
  • Overnight at Korzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 7-8 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks

Day 8 (28-09-2013) | Tso Moriri Rest Day – Explore Something Unexplored

  • Hit the roads by 7.30 AM
  • Explore Something Unexplored or Rest before the next long day
  • Overnight at Korzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 4-5 Hrs drive

Day 9 (29-09-2013) | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa

  • Hit the roads by 6.00 AM
  • Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
  • On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal lakes and Nakee La, Lachulung La
  • Overnight at Jispa
  • About 12-13 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks

Day 10 (30-09-2013) | Jispa – Kunzum Pass – Losar

  • Hit the roads by 7.00 AM
  • Dash for the most roughest terrains that starts from Gramphu to Losar over Kunzum Pass
  • Overnight at Losar
  • About 10-11 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between

Day 11 (01-10-2013) | Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal Lake – Rohtang Pass – Manali

  • Hit the roads by 7.00 AM
  • Visit the Moon lake that is Chandratal Lake on the way back to Manali (Loose End)
  • Overnight at Manali
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks in between and of course the mess at Rohtang Pass

Day 12 (02-10-2013) | Manali – Delhi

  • Hit the roads by 10.00 AM
  • Cruise yourself towards Sweet Home
  • About 12-13 Hrs of easy drive on the foothills of Himalayas

Counting on the Numbers?

Let’s look at the numbers game now:

  • Lakes Covered: Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, Surajtal, Deepak Tal, Chandratal. These are just 6 in number, so what about other 6?
  • Passes Covered: Zoji La, Fotu La, Khardung La, Chang La, Lachulung La, Nakee La, Baralacha La, Kunzum La, Rohtang La. Again these are 9 in number, so what about other 3?

Well, let’s wait and keep something for the live adventure and let us Explore the Unexplored to know the missing lakes and passes on the trip itself. It may be a surprise for you and for veterans may be not. But, I almost guarantee that at least One Missing High Mountain Pass and Two Missing Lakes must be surprise for everyone, if not complete missing count 😉


You can easily see that the above Ladakh tour plan has about 95-105 Hrs of drive time in 12 days which makes an average of 8-9 Hrs of drive time per day that is the time you will be on the road itself almost every day. This tells that the difficulty level of the trip will be somewhere in between Moderate and Tough. Hence, for being apt traveller for this tour:

  • You must be adventurous enough to take up this heavy duty road trip
  • You must have high levels of endurance and low levels of fatigue
  • You must have a positive outlook towards adventure & should always respect the time to hit the roads
  • It’s Ladakh, a place where Mountain rules… So, you must always be ready for the surprises or change in plans
  • If required, you must be ready to stay at moderate Guest Houses or Homestays especially when away from big towns
  • I feel families should not pay attention to this tour as it might be little difficult to handle. We will plan something special for families or easy going travellers too in the time to come.

The Loose Ends

In order to have a varied flexibility, I have kept two Loose ends, head and the tail. So, in case you have more number of days at your end and would be driving/riding all the way from Delhi to Delhi then you might opt for either of the Loose ends mentioned below to explore more, especially the Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley ride.

Loose Head

Interested travellers can join the group at Srinagar on 21-09-2013 even if if they would like to drive/ride from Delhi or fly to Srinagar before as given below:

  • Day 19-09-2013 | Delhi – Jammu/Patnitop
  • Day 20-09-2013 | Jammu/Patnitop – Srinagar OR Fly to Srinagar from home town
Loose Tail

Interested travellers can also leave the group at Losar on 01-10-2013, if if they would like to drive/ride towards Spiti Valley and Kinnaur Valley and reach Delhi via Shimla route as given below:

  • Day 01-10-2013 | Losar – Kunzum Pass – Chandratal – Losar – Ki – Kibber – Kaza
  • Day 02-10-2013 | Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Comic – Kaza
  • Day 03-10-2013 | Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhankar – Tabo
  • Day 04-10-2013 | Tabo – Nako – Kalpa
  • Day 05-10-2013 | Kalpa Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla
  • Day 06-10-2013 | Sangla – Rampur – Narkanda  / Matiana
  • Day 07-10-2013 | Narkanda / Matiana – Shimla / Chail – Chandigarh – Delhi

If required, all necessary arrangements can be referenced for accommodation as well as commute in Spiti Valley as well as Kinnaur Valley via Hindustan – Tibet Highway.

Are you interested?

In case, you feel the RUSH in the blood, want to feel the ADVENTURE at its best, want to feel CLOSER to the nature, want to get OUT of the comfort zone,  want to be a part of a journey where there is no destination rather JOURNEY itself is the DESTINATION then… Then don’t wait to shoot me an email at “[email protected]” or leave a Comment OR check the Facebook Event to join this DoW Ladakh Adventure – LifeMeinBaarBaar

We can talk over phone and discuss if it really suits / meets the expectations from both ends and get going from there…


We will use Google Docs Spreadsheet to track the confirmed people (or almost confirmed with strong intent) going on this saga adventure and here is the link to it: Confirmed People – DoW Ladakh Tour 2013 . In case, you find your name is missing, feel free to get in touch with me over phone or email.


Guys, future is unpredictable and funny most of the time… So, in any WORST of the cases of any EXTREMELY CRITICAL personal exigency or official outage, I might not be able to join the trip. However, be assured that I will try my level best to explain the whole plan, places, all suitable arrangements and anything required to make this trip a successful one for all those who register for it. Also, please don’t kick me in case you do not find the hidden lakes and passes interesting as compared to big shots 😀

Future of DoW Tours?

As I said, future is funny!! But, based on the results as well as learning from this tour, definitely there will be more Open Tours planned for the readers of the DoW blog, some short ones considering families, easy going travelers and some adventurous ones too. Most likely, there will be one for Spiti Valley next year for sure after you see the glimpses of Spiti around Chandratal and Kunzum Pass on this trip.!!


Looking forward to hear from you all. Based on the inputs on the feedback and getting in touch with almost all of you interested in it, personally, we will finalize the group and make the necessary arrangements whatever requested or required.

Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


About Author

You can call me an avid traveler, a day-night dreamer and a passionate lover of the Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in the Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan travel experiences with the other fellow travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...


  1. Manmeet Kaur on

    Hello Dheeraj, thanks for the advice but we can’t go via srinagar as in that case we need to add another day to our itinerary. We are from chandigarh and our stating journey would be from chandigarh itself moreover we plan to leave early morning so as to avoid traffic in the plane areas as the traffic is quite less in the morning. By noon we will reach manali and after collecting our pass we’ll continue our journey and plan to stop at solang valley. its just that I am a bit concerned about my son coz it would be his first time at such high altitude although we have been to destinations such as hemkund sahib, rohtang pass, etc. our son had accompanied as on our trip to vaishno devi during winters, when he was nine months old; everything went fine there although vaishno devi isn’t at much height. Can you plz suggest me that after starting from solang at 6 in the morning where should we stop for our night stay as I want to reach leh on the third day that to by noon or so; so as to make further arrangements for our trip.
    Manmeet kaur

    • Manmeet, I suggested you the route keeping in mind high altitude only. Manali – Leh most pose high risk of AMS on people traveling up there plus terrain is very harsh. Secondly the journey is taxing on body and it increases chances of AMS more. The destinations you are outlining does not match the harshness and thin air of Manali – Leh Highway. If you really want to go for it, then do Solang to Jispa and then next morning leave at 5 AM from Jispa to reach Leh by evening. Try to AVOID sleeping at Sarchu.

  2. Manmeet Kaur on

    hello Dheeraj,

    Your blogs are really good and have solved half of my worries about the tour to leh ladakh as this would be our first trip. we are a group of just three people ; our son(3 yrs old), my husband and myself. we are planning our trip in the first week of July and would be travelling by ourselves in our suv. my main issue is regarding our itinerary as some of the places lie on the srinagar leh highway. ..Pathar sahib, magnetic hill, but the route we want to travel is the manali leh route. the rest of the places we want to visit is pangong lake, tso moriri lake, datun sahib, khardungla pass and nubra valley. so it is my request to you to please help me in organising our itinerary.

    Manmeet kaur

    • Manmeet,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

      If you still do not want to go from Srinagar side, then all these places you mentioned above can be covered as a day trip from Leh any given day.

  3. Ashish Asopa on

    We are planning to go srinagar in the month of aug.(Is this time is good to travel there?). how can we get a bike from srinagar?
    As i am a strict veg. so i have to carry some stuffs with me or i vl get there?
    Our route will be frm srinagar to manali..
    nd thanks for adding valauble details.. 🙂

    • It is monsoon time and at some parts of Manali – Leh Highway (like before Baralacha La) and Srinagar – Leh Highway (like before Kargil) you might need to face monsoon hassles but once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being rain shadow region is least affected by monsoon rains, though rains does reach Ladakh now but to minimum and mostly it might remains overcast conditions. There is no thumb rule of certainty about weather conditions but above is generally common pictures seen over last few years except ugly 2010 …

      There are no bike rentals AFAIK in Srinagar.

  4. Amrit Malhotra on

    Hello Dheeraj, can you provide me with your direct ph no as i’m very interested to go for a Manali – Leh road trip sometime in 3rd week of June’14. Pls inform me if you have any trips going around that time or any Iterenerary & also if possible the cost P.P. I’m from Delhi.Thanks Amrit

    • Sorry Amrit, DoW Mega Meet only happens once a year and this time we have in Spiti Valley. 3rd week of June should be good time to travel Manali to Leh Highway.

  5. Sonal R Patel on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am really thankful to you for putting up such an informative website and helping us.

    I have my plan as below and some questions to get clarified. Kindly help me.

    Day 1/2 – Pune – Mumbai – Delhi by Train
    Day 3 – Delhi to Srinagar by Flight and Sightseeing around Srinagar
    Day 4 – Srinagar to Kargil
    Day 5 – Kargil to Leh
    Day 6 – Obtaining ILP and Around Leh
    Day 7 – Leh – Hunder/Nubra Valley
    Day 8 – Hunder to Pangong Tso
    Day 9 – Pangong to Hanle
    Day 10 – Hanle to Tso Moriri
    Day 11 – Tso Moriri to Sarchu
    Day 12 – Sarchu to Manali and Overnight to Delhi by Bus
    Day 13 – Delhi to Pune

    Q1> Is it possible to go Alchi and Magnetic Hill on the way from Kargil to Leh?
    Q2> Where to get the passes for the route from Pangong to Tso Moriri?
    Q3> Is is possible to go for Panamik (to see Hot Spring) from Hunder with this schedule?
    Q4> Is it possible to go directly to Tso Moriri from Pangong without halting at Hanle? Or it is advisable to halt at Hanle.
    Q5> Where else can we experience the night sky same as Hanle?
    Q6> What is the alternative route from Pangong to Moriri in case the passes are not available? I think, we have to follow spangmik-lukung-sakti-karu-upsi-chumathang-mahe-Tso moriri. But, is it possible in one day or we should halt somewhere?

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sonal R Patel

    • Hello Sonal,

      Q1> Magnetic hills falls on the route to Leh from Kargil. Alchi is easily approachable with a short deviation.
      Q2> Same, DC Office. But they are uncertain and even if you get passes, no assurance that you will be allowed to pass through from army checkpost. All depends on luck.
      Q3> Best is to skip Panamik if you going directly to Pangong Tso from Nubra
      Q4> Yes, possible but like I said all depend upon your luck of first permits and then army allowing you to pass through.
      Q5> Pangong tso, Man, Merak are very much clear too.
      Q6> YEs, it has to be Chumathang – Mahe in that case.


  6. Hello Dhiraj,

    I am very much interested in your described itinerary. Also i like to do nubra valley & Spitti and Kinnaur in June first or second week 2014
    Can you please let me know how many total days i need. I am comfortable upto 3 weeks.
    We are 7 people can you please let me know approx cost for the Vehicle and the full trip.
    Thanks in Advance.

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