Ladakh in Winters – Most Common Itinerary

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When the winters set in Leh Ladakh, the most important question for lovers of Ladakh becomes “How to travel to Leh Ladakh in Winters??“. The roads to Ladakh are closed in winters. Traveling on Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway gets very risky as you enter the end of October owing to snowfall at passes, black ice on road which skids the vehicles making driving very risky and above all extremely harsh cold conditions with not much shelter and food at disposal, especially on the Manali – Leh Highway.

Hence, the only option to travel to Leh Ladakh in Winters after October is to directly fly to Leh from Delhi and then traveling within Ladakh.

Leh Ladakh in Winters - A Day by Day Plan for the Trip
Leh Ladakh in Winters – A Day by Day Plan for the Trip

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Leh Ladakh Winter Trip 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.

Winter Tourism & Responsible Travel

Winter tourism in Ladakh is always special but lately it is rising like anything. Many senior travelers and lovers of Ladakh including me, who use to love this once upon a time remote place named Ladakh, now see much filth, garbage, and litter in the season time. Hence, many are trying to avoid visiting Ladakh in summers.

Especially, owing to the rise of domestic tourists (forgive me on saying the bitter truth, but you know it is true, don’t you?? 😥 ) who litter like anything on the shores of pristine Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, at remotest passes, in remote corners and where not they throw those plastic bottles out of their moving cars or those wafer packets which such morons eat, open the window and throw out… disturbs the ecological balance, flora, and fauna just for the mere show off of the 4×4 capabilities their supercars posses, for few 100 likes, smileys, RTs in Social Virtual Media???…

Does traveling to Ladakh in winter helps?

Well to be very frank even winters are no longer that rosy and you will get such people in winters too nowadays. All thanks to the uncontrolled mass tourism and the age of Instagram. Confronting such idiots means getting into trouble, spoiling your mood, sometimes taking on punches and spoiling your own trip as locals have closed their eyes in the name of development and they don’t come forward to beat the shit out of such morons… Aah, my heart bleeds as I write all this and more but anyways lets come back to topic 🙂 🙂 …

Still, do not believe me?? Read yourself in the article how Ladakh is turning itself into an environmental disaster.

Ladakh in Winters
Ladakh in Winters…

Since, many Responsible travelers who respect the mother nature are ready to take on the hardships of Ladakh in winters to see this heavenly land not getting polluted in front of their eyes at every corner or not getting noise polluted by any drunkards playing loud music on the holy shores of such nature conservation land, I thought of completing the DoW Travel Guide of Leh Ladakh by adding the chapters on Leh Ladakh in winters. In the last article, I shared some important tips on making a winter trip to Leh Ladakh.

PS: You can help save this beautiful heaven from this filth & littering by learning, sharing, spreading and educating these key pointers about responsible travel in the Himalayas

Is Flying to Ladakh in Winters Safe?

Flying directly to a high altitude place like Leh (3500+ Mtr) can cause serious issues sometimes if proper care is not taken for Acute Mountain Sickness.

And when it is winters, there should be extra care that needs to be taken in order to help your body fight & cope with extreme cold plus high altitude together.

Hence, one must always be at least aware of the importance of Acclimatization and tips to better acclimatize to some extent before venturing to further high altitude.

7 – 8 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh in Winters

I would like to sketch below one of the most common itineraries or travel plan for Ladakh in winters that you can follow on your adventures of snow white Ladakh in winters.

This itinerary covers two of the three major tourist destinations of Ladakh including Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso Lake. The plan for Tso Moriri is provided as optional.

Ladakh in Winters
Ladakh in Winters

When you fly to such high altitude place like Leh you must give your body a chance to acclimatize a bit before actually getting started with the sightseeing on further high altitude places in Ladakh. That is the precise reason why a road journey to Ladakh from Srinagar Leh Highway is more fun because it allows your body to gradually adapt to the increase in altitude. Hence, you acclimatize to the raising altitude day by day.

But, in winters the highways to Ladakh are closed and hence, flying to Leh in harsh cold conditions is the only option one has on disposal. So, let’s take a look at how one can plan this, not so easy, adventure journey to Leh Ladakh in winters and also maximize the chances of enjoying the trip rather than just mere surviving on it.

Needless to say but you will need to carry proper heavy woolen clothing for the winter trip to Ladakh.

Day 1 | Delhi – Leh, Rest & acclimatization (By Flight)

  • Check-in at Hotel. Some hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
  • Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keeps your body warm and hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE.
  • Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
  • After 5-6 Hrs of rest, you can visit Leh Palace and see what is open in Local Leh market. Short slow walk help in acclimatization too.
  • If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion and getting hit by cold.
  • Go back to the hotel for overnight stay at Leh.

Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing

  • Arrange the inner line permits for Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley
  • Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you. You can call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the more comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.
  • Take the driver’s inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suit you best.
  • Ask him to be with you guys starting the first day itself if required else do it at your own.
  • Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
  • If feeling OK then do Local Sightseeing of Leh Town
  • Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 3 | Leh – Sham Valley Tour – Leh including Chilling

  • Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib.
  • Check my complete travel guide of Sham Valley
  • In winters, especially in the month of November & December when there is dry cold in the absence of snow, the acclimatization of the body is a bit hard process in comparison to when things are much favorable to the body in summers. Hence, it is important that you keep this extra day for Sham Valley tour so that you acclimatize much better before going to Nubra Valley.
  • Take the road opposite of Confluence towards Zanskar river and travel to Chilling too. In case you visiting in January or February, you can actually walk over Zanskar River on this route as some part of the famous Chadar Trek where people walk over Zanskar River as it freezes in winters from Padum in Zanskar Valley to travel to Leh.
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

  • Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
  • On the way enjoy a cup of soup, if available in winters, which I doubt, 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

Day 5 | 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

If you have an additional day at hand, you can visit Turtuk Village in Nubra Valley as well. 

Day 6 | Day trip to Pangong Tso

  • Make a Day trip to Pangong Tso as it will be very very cold up there and there will not be any place to stay as well around Pangong Tso except Tangste about 34 KMs away
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 7 | Fly back home / Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour and fly back home on Day 8

  • Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing a day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
  • Overnight at Leh

Or those who have 8 days in hand, can make a Day trip to Pangong Tso as below but that makes it a bit rushed / hectic.

Day 6 | Leh – Hemis – Karu – Chang La – Tangste, 34 KMs before Pangong Tso

  • Checkout Hemis Monastery on the way to Pangong Tso
  • Since at Pangong Tso it will be very very cold almost unsurvivable and there will not be any place to stay as well around Pangong Tso except homestay, it is better to stay at Tangste about 34 KMs before Pangong Tso.
  • If you have time in the day left, you can go towards Harong Wetlands from Tangste on Erath – Nama – Chusul route from Tangste to explore some nice landscapes around there.
  • If you are not interested in exploring Harong Wetlands then you can spend some time at Chemmery Monastery near Shakti and one more monastery near Tangste as Sasakul Monastery
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 7 | Tangste – Pangong Tso – Tangste – Thicksey – Shey – Leh

  • Cover Thicksey Monastery and Shey Palace while coming back from Pangong Tso
  • Overnight at Leh

Day 8 | Fly back home / Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping and fly back home on Day 9

  • Overnight at Leh
A view of Leh in winters
A view of Leh in winters

Can I visit Tso Moriri in winters, too??

If you have a couple of more days at hand or in case Chang La Pass is snowed, you got yourself a couple of days then you can visit Tso Moriri as well. Please remember the order of visit must be like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and then Tso Moriri in any case to best acclimatize yourself.

Since there is no high mountain pass on the way to Tso Moriri from Leh, this is far more approachable but being much remote and lacking basic facilities especially in winters nearby Tso Moriri, it is best avoided unless you are a serious hardcore traveler and enjoy such harsh cold conditions as an adventure 🙂 🙂 …

Day 1 | Leh – Karu – Upshi – Chumathang

  • Chumathang, about 83 KMs from Tso Moriri is the place where you will need to stay as Korzok village will only have home stays to stay but at 4500 Mtrs, the cold will be too much to survive easily with basic home stays, I believe. Though you may be lucky with bukhari enabled room, if you are acclimatized well.
  • Chumathang has hot water spring, low in altitude and provides better resistance to cold even though the stay here as well is quite basic. There is a Chumathang Hot Springs Resort for a stay in winters near Tso Moriri.
  • You can cover any of Hemis, Thicksey, Shey or Stakna on the way to Chumathang in case you missed in previous days
  • Overnight at Chumathang

Day 2 | Chumathang – Tso Moriri – Chumathang – Leh

  • It will be quite a long drive but once you reach Chumathang after visiting Tso Moriri, the road is well paved all the way to Leh. So, this day is doable enough.
  • In any case, the visit to Tso Moriri will be short and quick, owing to long day travel.
  • Overnight at Leh
Tso Moriri - The other colors
Tso Moriri – The other colors

LAST UPDATED: Sept 2018
This article has been updated with the latest information about making a winter trip to Ladakh. It is kept up to date every season to reflect the current status. Feel free to suggest any further updates you deem fit that I may have missed.

Conclusion

I hope this travel plan or itinerary for traveling to Ladakh in winters will be useful for you in planning your adventure trip. I will look forward to any questions or doubts in the comments section of this article.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

In case you have made a winter Ladakh trip and have any suggestions that can help other fellow travelers. Please feel free to share them with me and I will be happy to put in the article. Do not forget to share this article with your friends and family who are planning their upcoming trip to Ladakh in winters.

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Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

213 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Saket Panicker on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I must thank this site which is a beautiful creation of yours. It helped me deal during my journey. Sorry, coz you had advised not to go from Srinagar side owing to curfew and stone pelting situations, but you won’t believe we made it. Kashmir is such a beautiful place and i hope the rage ends soon so that bikers like me can enjoy 434 km ride again. Sad to say that only me Classic 350 MH-12 ME 6434 was the only bike on Srinagar-leh road.

    The journey was a memorable one and thanks to DOW again for guidance.

    • Saket, that is awesome to know and glad to know that you had a safe and memorable trip. Always feels awesome when someone of the fellow travellers suggests that the info. present on the dow helped them plan their memorable trip 🙂

  3. Saurabh Midha on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    At the onset, I would like to express by thanks for the most comprehensive and wonderful detailing of trips. Haven’t seen any site till date which can match up to DOW! Congrats!

    Based on your experiences and recommendations, I planned a trip to Leh in 2nd week of october..We are a group of 4 arriving manali on 10th and will be taking bullet on rent and start our journey on 11th…Will Take the first stop at pang…I hope there would be tented accomodation available at that period of time..The next day planning to drive off till leh…Rest some time and visit local market and other sight seeing spots…On 13th planning to go to Nubra Valley and take a Stay there itself…After that moving on the next day i.e. 14th to Pangong Lake and having a stay there…On 15th Will drive off to tso moriri and also planning if we can reach Pang the same day…On 16th Drive off Back to Manali…

    Need your help for suggestions and any Upgrades if needed..

    Also Need to Know…
    1) Is accomodation easily available in leh,nubra valley,pangong & pang or should i book it in advance to avoid any mishapp…

    2)How would be the road conditions there depending upon the weather ????
    Is it possible to drive on bike ???

    3)And Whether Manali Regd. Bikes can be used to Travel in Leh and other places i.e. Nubra Valley Pangong,Etc (V Imp)????

    4)Any extra Things Required Apart from the List of things Post

    It would be a great help to plan my road trip…Thanks In Advance

    • Hi Saurabh,

      Thank you for warm words of appreciation.

      1. Yes, stay options in off season should be available.
      2. Roads will be in best state as compared to whole season.
      3. No, you will need to hire Leh bikes for sightseeing

      The stay at Pang is highly not recommended at all and that too such late in season. Secondly, traveling back from Manali – Leh Highway again that late in season, I never recommend. Please read: 5 Reasons to Avoid Manali – Leh Highway in October

  4. Nhan Nguyen on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am really grateful for your super useful blog, which provides me tremendous information about Ladakh. I and my friend will fly to Leh from New Delhi on 10 Oct and fly back on 23 Oct in the morning. So we have 13 days in hand. This is the first time we’ve been India in general and Ladakh also :). Could you pls help to suggest us a suitable itinerary based on weather during that time in general? We’d love to visit all special places which can not missing once being Leh. We’re travellers with cheap budget, so very much appreciate if you can recommend the best economical guest house/homestay and mode of transportation.

    Thank you so much
    Nhan

    • Hello Nhan,

      You are choosing a period when it is off season, though you will get the stay options cheaper but there will be difficulty in finding the shared taxis and travel partners. The cost of private taxi is very high in Ladakh and with just two people it will dig deep holes in the pocket. Are you OK to spend about 40-45K on taxi split among both of you? If yes, I can provide you the itinerary and how to go about the trip in 13 days.

      • Nhan Nguyen on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your very quick feedback. We can’t afford for that cost on taxis. In case of being unable to find shared taxi and partners, we’re expecting to get a bike ride (maybe a Scooty will fit for us). Is it safe during this time. We very much need your advice and itinerary as well 🙂

        • Nhan Nguyen on

          Maybe we should consider to take some days on taxi trip. We’re rather flexible in time, so if luckily, we can find some traveler partners hihi.
          Ok pls help us to plan a 13 -day itinerary. Thanks in advance

        • Alright, then I will suggest you the flow and you can shuffle them as you like. Make sure you do not land in Pangong Tso or Tso moriri without going to Nubra Valley.

          Day 1 | Fly to Leh and rest for the whole day. Drink plenty of fluids. It will be cold, so drink plenty of warm water including black tea
          Day 2 | Rest, Local Sightseeing around Leh and get your protected area permits
          Day 3 | Leh – Nubra Valley (Hunder, Deskit)
          Day 4 | May be a day trip to Turtuk
          Day 5 | Back to Leh
          Day 6 | Leh to Lamayuru covering Alchi
          Day 7 | Lamayuru to Leh covering Likir, Magnetic hills, Confluence
          Day 8 | Leh – Shey – Thicksey – Chang La – Tangtse (34 KMs before Pangong tso where couple of guest houses will be open)
          Day 9 | Pangong Tso and come back to Tangtse by evening or else you can go back to Leh as well in case there is nothing much to do in the day due to cold
          Day 10 | Leh (Hemis and Stakna monasteries on the way back from Pangong Tso)
          Day 11 | Leh – Upshi – Chumathang
          Day 12 | Chumathang – Kiagar Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh
          Day 13 | Rest day at Leh

          Depending upon the vehicle availability and shared taxis or other transport you can move the days around.

  5. Nhan Nguyen on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am really grateful for your super useful blog, which provides me tremendous information about Ladakh. I and my friend will fly to Leh from New Delhi on 10 Oct and fly back on 23 Oct in the morning. So we have 13 days in hand. This is the first time we’ve been India in general and Ladakh also :). Could you pls help to suggest us a suitable itinerary based on weather during that time in general? We’d love to visit all special places which can not missing once being Leh. We’re travellers with cheap budget, so very much appreciate if you can recommend the best economical guest house/homestay and mode of transportation.

    Thank you so much
    Nhan

  6. Nirmal Kumar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a solo trip to Leh as I had always wanted. I started following your blog recently and needless to say you have been a great source of inspiration. I’ve booked flight tickets to Leh from Delhi on Sep 30 and from Srinagar to Delhi on Oct 10th(meaning I need to leave Leh on Oct 9th). I couldn’t make a proper itinerary yet and is kind of confused now on what all places I would be able to cover over these 10 days. I am hoping you could help me out here. I would definitely want to visit Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery, Lamayuru, Magnetic Hill, Stok Palace, Hemis Monastery, Tso Kar, Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso lakes. It would be great if you can suggest me a day to day plan so that I would be able to visit and spend enough time at all these places. You could also suggest me some other great places if I am missing out on any. Also since I would be travelling solo, are there any specific things that I need to take in to account? Expecting a reply from you. Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Nirmal,

      You can refer below plan of 10 days. Make sure that conditions in Kashmir are fine when you travel.

      Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 2 | Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 3 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — 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

      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

      Day 7 | Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh
      — Day trip to Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 8 | Leh – Kargil
      — Stay overnight at Kargil

      Day 9 | Kargil – Srinagar

      • Nirmal Kumar on

        Hi,

        Thanks for your reply. But I guess you misunderstood my flight schedule. I am actually flying in to Leh from Delhi on Sep 30. On my return journey I am travelling to Srinagar and boarding flight from there.

        • Aah, oki, sorry about that. in that case you can rest and acclimatize for first two days and then venture to Nubra Valley and include Turtuk in your plan.

  7. Sivam Pandit on

    So that means we cant travel from manali to ladakh via road trip in winters ?
    So, could you please tell me when can i have a road trip from manali to ladakh such that there would be snow and ice asides ? And can experience visiting that frozen lake in ladakh ?
    When ll be the best time for the mentioned experiences ?

    • Yes, you cannot as the road from Manali to Leh closes by October end. You cannot do both things at one time. Lake starts to melt in late April and Manali – Leh Highway only opens around late May or first week of June. Best time to see snow around Manali – Leh is to start the trip as soon as the road opens in late May or June.

      • Shivam Pandit on

        Your quick response is worth appreciating (y) !
        So, some more ques i ve regarding this trip –
        The best time to see snow will be late may or early june .. that means snow is not seen evn in the closing months like sep and late october ?
        Andto see that frozen lake i ll have to go there through flight ? So when will it be the best time to see that frozen lake ?

        • Yes, snow is not at all present in the closing months of September and October. Yes, to see the frozen lake you will have to make a trip in February / March, which will be best time to see it in frozen moment.

    • Amit Agarwal on

      Hey, I was planning a trip from 27th dec and have new year in the moutains! Do you think chaddar trek can be done and lakes will be frozen by then?

  8. Joydeep Lahiri on

    Time to say a big thanks for sharing everything related to Ladakh trip. Followed your blogs thoroughly to prepare my itinerary for Leh Ladakh trip during end of April 2016. And it was awesome. We were prepared for everything as everything is there in this blog. Chamba arranged our cab and we had a get time on road while Oriental guest house was more than a home at Leh. Got a great deal even without asking for it. Sure I’ll be a better person like you if get a chance to spend more time with people of Leh/Ladakh 🙂 Thank you once again.

    Joydeep

  9. Shubra Acharya on

    Hi Dheeraj

    I have a few questions with regards to the bike ride we are doing in the first week of July this year.

    1. Is the route from Hunder to Spangmik (over Wari La) doable in one day by motorcycles? If yes, how much time would it possible take? Are there basic food options on this route?
    2. If it seems difficult to do in a day, would Sakti be a good place to stop over night? Are are enough stay options here? We are about 10 friends.
    2. Does Wari La need any permits for Indians?
    3. Is the direct route from Pangong to Tso Moriri (over Chushul- Nyoma) a straight affair in terms of obtaining permits? Is there any way we can take the short cut instead of Kaksang La instead?
    4. Also, this direct route, can it be done on motorcycles in one day, or would you recommend we stay the night at Puga maybe?
    5. One last thing, does it still hold true that we cannot take bikes hired in Chandigarh to these areas mentioned above, and into Nubra? We have spoken to a rental agency in Chandigarh but he did not mention a thing about the same. So wondering.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hello Shubra,

      1,2. Yes, route is doable in one day over Wari La but will be hectic. No food or help which will be there on the route in case you are stuck
      3. No permits needed for Wari La.
      4. May be straight in getting permits but army still send back lot n lot of people from Chusul. No shortcut. Also, DO NOT attempt Kaksang La on bikes unless you have backup of repairing the bike in case of break down. No one travels that route, so even if army allows you to take that route, consider twice.
      5. Yes, you cannot use outside rented bikes in Ladakh for sightseeing. That guy in chandigarh is fooling you, dont fell in trap.

      all the details about the direct routes of Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri and Nubra to Pangong Tso along with tips and risks which they pose are detailed under the articles:

      Tips for Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Direct Route AND Tips for Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri Direct Route

      Please read these articles and based on the details/risks highlighted, take a go-no-go decision.

  10. Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks again. for describing details for a winter trip to Leh.
    (Again because, In July/2015, I was on solo visit to Leh. Most of my journey on public transport. And info on DoW was very useful).

    I visited Leh again (25th/Dec/2015 ~ 3rd/Jan/2016)
    This time again, I could visit Tsomoriri, Pangong tso. (on clear and sunny day).
    Also K-top. And spent few relaxing days in Leh. Got the chance to talk to many people(localites), as they really had enough time.

    I stayed in Raiwa guest house on upper changspa(contact: +91-1982253206). I was the only guest.
    I could have different types of local food in the guest house.
    In summer too, I was staying in this same home stay. There were mostly foreigners.

    It was little expensive trip(Not for the stay), but I had to take a taxi just for myself and couldn’t share.
    Thanks to the list of drivers you have provided.

    And I just wish, at least once, I will get a chance to visit Ladakh or some other places like Spiti, with you. So that, I can really listen to all your travel experiences 🙂 Thanks 🙂

    • Rohith, wonderful to read about it brother and yeah for sure,if god permits, we will travel together on one of the DoW Mega Meets we have annually for spreading the smiles in Himalayas 🙂 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the review, I will put it under the list of good guest houses.

  11. AMIT MUKHERJEE on

    we r 3 in no……booked our tkt to LEY on 3 rd Jan’15 Return on 13 th…Can u please help me by making an Itinerary covering Psomorari;Panggong;Nubra. adx approx budget ……we r having experience in high altitude trekking(but no chadar) this time.

    • Amit, the plan shared in the article above is best suited for winters in Ladakh. You can add rest days in between in above plan to make it more easy for you as I see you have few days more.

  12. Whatever someone can think of Leh Ladakh trip is already penned down here by you. Amazing! I am planning to visit Leh during mid April 2016 (hoping less crowd) for around 8 nights. Can I add Nubra valley to the itinerary presented by you. Would be really helpful if you can give some outline on the places that should be covered. Another thing, should I contact any driver and hotel now or can be done after reaching there.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
    Joydeep

    • Thanks Joydeep, the above plan does have included Nubra Valley Day 4,5 in it. It covers most of the places you will be able to cover in less Winter month of April in Ladakh. You can follow the above plan by adding rest days beteen.

      • Thanks much Dheeraj. One quick question, is it feasible to have a night stay at Pangong Tso during end of April?

        • No Joydeep, it will e extremely cold to stay at Pangong Tso in April during that time of the year as the lake will surely be partially frozen if not fully frozen. You can opt to stay at Tangste as I did in april which was much warmer and ok to survive 🙂

  13. Hi All!
    I have a project in Tsokar in December, I am plannning to take a flight to Leh on 8th Dec. But, can someone suggest what should be the best option or is there such option available with me?

  14. Pingback: 6 Special Tips for a Winter Trip to Ladakh

  15. Your Comment
    hi dheeraj. we r planing to visit laddakh next year.I want to visit rejang la…so can u guide us route to there..?? and also we r planing to visit siachin base camp after hunder…do we need any special permission to visit there and also have u been there…?

  16. Gunvinder singh on

    Hello,
    I am fan of Devil on Wheels as you guys have so much of information.
    Last year i had gone on a road trip from Udaipur (Rajasthan) to leh and back .
    I had got so much of information about roads , weather and place to stay .
    Really hats off to you guys.

    Now again i am planing to go to leh but with my parents ( senior citizens) and my extended family .

    We are planing as follows .
    2nd October 2015 -Reach Srinagar from delhi by air as flight reaches around 7 in morning . After breakfast leave srinagar for Kargil or Lamayuru.
    3rd October 2015- Leave Lamayuru reach Leh covering the places on route and stay in leh for night.
    4th October 2015 – Leave for Nubra and stay there for night.
    5th October 2015- Leave nubra and stay at leh.
    6th October 2015- Leave for Pangyong at stay there.
    7th october 2105- Leave Pangyong stay Leh .
    8th october 2015 – leave for Delhi by air in morning.

    My Quires
    1) Weather in first week of October at all the places we are visiting.
    2) Road conditions between Srinagar and Leh ( Any snow or anything at Zozila Pass , Traffic (like one way or any other rules before Zozila Pass)
    3) Changes in itinerary if any .

    Waiting for your reply.

    Thanks

    • Thank you Gunvinder !! 🙂 🙂

      Day 1 stay at Kargil at max. After reching Leh, stay in Leh for a day to acclimatize. Do not rush to Nubra. Then do two day trip to Nubra and two day trip to Pangong Tso. This means add one day to the overall plan. Road conditions are fine during that time but it will be cold especially very cold at Pangong Tso.

    • hanish bansal on

      Hi Dear… Your information is very useful. Am planning a trip with a friend on 9th Jan 2016. Do you guys make package plan .. ??

      • No Hanish, Devil On Wheels is a info. sharing travel platform dedicated to Himalayas, we do not sell any commercial or profit making tours or activities for travel on this platform.

  17. HI Dheeraj sir,

    My flight tickets are booked for Nov 8 to Nov 15th . Can you please suggest some stay options for Leh , Pangyong and Nubra , which are on budget and have heating facility?
    How cold will it be during that time , will road travel to Pangyong and Nubra be any hindrance , which driver do you recommend.
    I will be travelling with wife . Thanks in advance

    • Himadri, You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      Tso Moriri and Pangong tso stay will not be possible. Nubra as well some basic guest houses will be running. Pangong Tso, stay t Tangste about 34 KMs before the lake at Yakmik changla guest house or Dothuling guest house.

  18. Hey Dheeraj,
    firstly I must say thank you and really a nice blog.
    My query is my trip starts from Srinagar.
    Itenary is as follows:
    23 August : Delhi to Srinagar: Srinagar local sight seeing
    24 August : Srinagar to Pahalgam and back to Srinagar
    25 August : Srinagar to Gulmarg , gondola ride and back to Srinagar
    26 August : Srinagar to sonmarg night stay at sonmarg
    27 August : sonmarg to Kargil night stay at Kargil
    28 August : Kargil to Leh and Leh local sight seeing
    29 August : Leh to pangong lake and night at pangong
    30 August : pangong to leh and rest
    31 August : Leh to Nubia valley
    01 sept – Leh to sarchu
    02 sept sarchu to Manali via key long
    03 sept Manali to Delhi

    If I am hiring taxi from Srinagar for my whole journey would it be possible?? Or I have to change my taxi at Leh?? And Manali to Delhi by taxi would be preferable or Volvo would be a better option??
    And if I want to cover both pangong lake and tso Moriri will it be possible?? Is the road from pangong to Nubia valley open??
    And can I go directly from Nubia valley to sarchu without wasting a day at Leh?

    • Vaibhav, you have less number of days to do both Ladakh and Kashmir. I will suggest to dedicate the trip to either place rather focussing on both as you are more or less being just on road only and then as well not worth for me. Let me know which one would you like to focus?

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    Inspired by this post, planning a trip in the winters. Hope it is OK to travel in February. My itinerary is as below:

    Day 1 Land at Leh and Acclimatization
    Day 2 Acclimatization and local sightseeing
    Day 3 Leh – Dah – Lamayuru
    Day 4 Lamayuru – Chilling – Leh
    Day 5 Leh – Turtuk – Diskit – Panamik
    Day 6 Panamik – Leh – Thiksey – Hemis – Thukje (Tso Kar)
    Day 7 Thukje – Tso Moriri – Puga – Hanle
    Day 8 Hanle – Chumathang – Leh
    Day 9 Return Flight

    Pangong day trip seems too much effort and dependency on the weather.
    Is it possible to visit Dah village, Turtuk and Hanle in winters?

    Cheers!

    • Mohit, Panamik to Tso Kar will be long in fact sorry not possible as Taglang La is not opened. You can travel from the other side I believe but not from Taglang La. So come to Leh. Then from Leh to Hanle and then Hanle to Tso Moriri and back to Leh. It will be extremely cold, so be aware 😀

  20. AMIT MUKHERJEE on

    Dear DHEERAJEE,

    We are planing for LADAKH on 2-13 th Jan’15. Can you please suggest me whether i could cover PANGANG,NUBRA,SO MORARI at that time. kindly suggest me any driver name and phone no. for this trip.

    • Amit, your plan shall be based upon the plan mentioned in the article above. Yes, you can visit all the places in Ladakh in winters as roads remain open barring few days of heavy snowfall

  21. Hi Dheerej,
    First off, thanks a lot for your valuable posts, those are really helping us to prep for our trip for Leh.
    I would really appreciate if you could give your inputs on my query .
    We are working out dates on which all friends can get together and ride to Leh. As of now we have put together a plan to start our ride from Delhi on 30th Sep to Leh thru Srinagar (chose this route after reading your post on 5 reasons to chose Srinagar route) and return on 12th Oct thru Manali . I was wondering if both roads will be in riding condition during these dates; would you recommend this plan? If not what, should we reschedule our trip dates / chose alternative route ?
    We are slightly flexible in terms of dates; all of us will reach Delhi by 23rd Sep and riding on RE Electra 350 & RE Thunderbird 350.

    Thanks a lot for your feedback,

    Regards,
    John

  22. SUVOJIT ROY on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Your website DOW is simply awesome and it provides the perfect insight to any amateur planning a trip to Ladakh.

    I am planning for a bike trip for a Leh in October. I will be reaching Leh by flight from Delhi and from there on I am planning to take a bike for roughly 09 Nights/10 days from 15th of October.

    I would like to know how to should I plan my travel itinerary as I want to Cover till lamayuru on the west till TSo Morili on the South East and Nubra Valley and Panamik on the North of Ladakh. Also it would be great if you let me know what will be the weather conditions in Mid of October .

    I am a bit confused whether I will find tented accommodations in Hundar Sand Dunes , Pangong Lake and Tso Morili Lake and also let me know from which shop I will find bullets in very good conditions and if you have any personal contact over there please share .

    Plus if you could provide me some valuable tips for what are the things for a road trip in ladakh.

    I will be waiting for a prompt reply form your end .

    Regards Suvojit Roy.

    • Hi Suvojit,

      You will not find tented stay at these places especially Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso. They wind up by last week of September. You will face quite cold conditions during that time of the year especially at night and early morning. Regarding plan to follow, please refer: Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air

      You can add one day to the Sham Valley tour and go to Lamayuru to stay. While going and coming back from Lamayuru you can cover sham valley too. So, above itinerary in the link can be adjusted to suit you need in this way.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • SUVOJIT ROY on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thank you for your Valuable suggestions and your prompt reply.

        I am sharing below my travel plan, please advice whether this would be fine as I have 09 Nights/10 Days in hand from 15th Oct and I want to cover the whole trip on bike.Please suggest whether I have to take a detour from the trip that I have planned or any additions to this is possible on the given number of days:

        Day 1 : Delhi to Leh by Flight and day to acclimatize and take rest.

        Day 2 : Leh to Alchi and Likir and en-route sightseeing of Hall of Fame, Magnetic Hill , Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Sangam at Nimmu village.Back to Leh .

        # Please advice whether Sham valley can be covered on the same day and we can get back to Leh.

        Day 3 : Leh to Nubra Valley ( Hunder Sand Dunes ) via Khardungla and Diskit. Overnight stay at Nubra.

        #Please advice whether tented or home stays are available near Hunder Dunes or have to stay in Nubra only and will this route be open.

        Day 4 : Hunder Sand Dunes to Sakti Village via Diskit , Khalsar , Aagham and Wari La Top.

        # Please advice whether home stays are available in Sakti Village and will the road be open in October.

        Day 5 : Sakti To Pangong Lake – either to Spangmik or Man Village.
        # Suggest which please would be the best to enjoy the lake out of the two and whether home stays are available in these places since you said that tents wont be available.

        Day 6 : Pangong Lake to Sakti via Tangtse and en route sightseeing of Harong wet lands.

        Day 7 : Sakti to Tso Morili via Chumathang.
        # Suggest whether tents will be available or where can we get homestays near by Tso Morili.

        Day 8 : Tso Morili to Leh via Pagu , Debring. Lato and Hemis. Overnight at Leh.

        Day 9 : Local Sightseeing of Leh coverning Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace , Shey Palace and Thiksey Monastry.Overnight at Leh.
        #Please suggest anything more we can cover on this day or we can visit some other destination by skipping this place and start for a different place from Tso Morili on the previous day and come back to leh by evening on this day which would be a bit offbeat .

        Day 10 : Depart Leh
        I will be eagerly waiting for your valuable suggestions once more and one request if you could answer my queries on day wise that I have asked it be very helpful as it will clear a lot of doubts and apprehensions.

        Cheers,
        Suvojit Roy.

        • Suvojit, except your plan to take the Wari La route all seems to be fine. I will strongly advice you NOT to take that route that late in the season. Come back from Nubra Valley to Leh and then from Leh go to Pangong Tso. At Pangong Tso, if you fine with cold then stay at some homestay else come back to Tangste to stay there. Even at Tso Moriri, there will not be any stay option except homestays. Also, I will not advice you the route from Tso Kar lake that late in the season to come back to Leh from Tso Moriri. Better follow the chumathang route only.

          Finally, you will be riding mostly desolated due to off season and it can get bad in case of any exigency as traffic inflow will be low to these places. Consider the risk and then plan this trip especially when you plan to ride alone.

        • Dear Dheeraj,

          Thanks again for your valuable advice.

          I just have few more doubts so if you could solve my queries it would be great.

          I have seen your article of tips of getting a bike in Leh and it throws a lot of light into hiring a bike in Ladakh.

          I just wanted to know that the persons name whom you have mentioned for bike rental shops – Gurmat Namgial , Rinchen Olthang , Tsering Norboo….Specially Gurmat who knows you very well, so how much do they charge for security deposit and do they provide any biking gears as well( if we refer your name will he give some discounts of security deposit).

          In case we want to hire a self drive car in Leh, is it available and in case of availability please share the details of rates and from where to hire if its in your knowledge.

          And lastly I have listed down some stays in ladakh,please suggest whether we can go directly in October and book them on spot or we have to pre book them from:

          Atisha Guest House, Leh

          Yourdum Guest House, Hunder, Nubra Valley

          Himalayan Wooden Cottages, Spangmik, Pangong Lake

          Goose Homestay, Korzok, Tso Moriri.

          Please suggest if any good home stays are available in Sakti village and what are the rates on double occupancy is in your knowledge.

          I will be again waiting for your valuable suggestions and this is to inform you that I have joined DOW community.

          Cheers,
          Suvojit Roy

        • Hi Suvojit,

          Gurmat knows me through DoW only and same here. We do not have any special rates for the DoW Community member defined for it. You may give it a shot and seee as a courtesy if he can but there is no such protocol. I do not think there is any self drive car you can get in Leh. Best shot is to ask your driver allow you to drive and you guys tip him in the end. In October either hotels will be closed or will be available for you on the spot. No need of prebooking.

          Sakti does have homestays.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  23. Hi Dheeraj,

    At the onset, I would like to express by thanks for the most comprehensive and wonderful detailing of trips. Haven’t seen any site till date including tripadvisor, which can match up to DOW! Congrats!

    Having said that, based on your experiences and recommendations, I planned a family trip to Leh from 25th April’15 to 2nd May’15. It was perfect, though due to certain reasons we had to curtail it by 2 days. We went ahead and hired the services of Punchouk, one of the XUV drivers whose name is mentioned and he turned out to be a gem. Recommend him highly, for his behavior, courtesy, knowledge and of course his car and driving skills.

    Cannot comment much on hotels as we stayed in an Army mess in Leh, but did stay for the night at Hotel Pangong Inn, at Pangong Lake.

    We experienced some variances in weather. Will about single digit temperatures in Leh in the morning to negative in the night and if it was windy, best to stay indoors. Also, please do not ignore suggestions given on acclimatization! We ignored suggestion from Punchouk to not stay for more than 10 minutes at Changa Pass, and we almost passed out after 20 minutes!

    As they say, Leh is a cold barren desert. It is a major contrast from other hill stations one might have visited in the past. Rocky and will absolutely no vegetation except a smattering of some along the river, it is a sight to absorb.

    Ladhaki people are very friendly and courteous and will not overcharge you. The food items available throughout were very limited….potato, onion, rice, Maggie. Though we did find a good restaurant on the last day…”Summer Harvest”, located in a small bi-lane on the main market in Leh, about 20 meters from J&K Bank’s main branch.

    Dheeraj, once again, thanks for all the posts!

    Cheers,
    Ankit

    • Hi Ankit,

      Thank you so much, that is quite a blessed compliment to get 🙂 🙂

      Good to read about your experience and that you had a wonderful experience of Ladakh. Yeah, almost all Ladakhi people are gems and very true about the acclimatization part. A prime concern I always try to highlight every time in my posts or plans I suggest. It can get very ugly, very very ygly if ignored.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

      • Dheeraj,

        I must mention that though the taxi union rate may seem high, given the tough conditions and the erratic business, I found them to be reasonable.

        Having covered a fair bit of India, elsewhere the guys are there to get you. Though our guy, Punchouk offered us a 15% discount, I did not bother taking it. Rather gave him a little extra. He was an important element in making our holiday great!

        Also, would like to post some pics, if allowed. Please let me know how.

        Cheers!

        • Hey Ankit, that will be just amazing. And thank you for showing such courtesy. I also never ask for any discount and even if I get try my best not to take it but many of them know me so have to try more harder. But, I get them some gifts for sure. Once, you reach there connect with the environment and people then only you can understand and respect why the prices are so high and the experience you get out of it keeps you always calling back again and again !!

          Regarding contribution, it will be a great to have you in our DoW Community. Please JOIN DoW – Himalayan Travel Community and you can share your Himalayan knowledge and experiences with other like minded travellers too and help us materialize the vision to help a Himalayan life & help travelers travel with a difference in various parts of Himalayas. Do read about our DoW Causes and so far what we have done in the past couple of years to spread smiles in Himalayas…

          This article is a step by step guide to help you post your first travel tale or photo tale: How to Write a Travel Tale or Topic with Attached Images

          Looking forward to your pictures in the DoW Community 🙂

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  24. shubhangi gupta on

    Dheeraj your help and comments are very useful. I am going leh for the first time . I am from pune and leaving on 30th apr 2015.

  25. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to Leh with my husband end of April for 4N/5D. Its our first trip to Leh.
    Shall reach 24th April and fly back to Delhi on 28th Morning. Will be staying in Leh itself.

    Would below itinerary be fine :

    24th – Reach Leh around noon. Take rest
    25th – Day trip to Either Khurdungla OR Nubra .. Any suggestions?
    26th- Day trip to Pangong
    27th- Any local mkt or monasteries you would like to suggest ?
    28th- Fly back to Dellhi

    Also, to travel around what would you advise- hiring a bike or cab or a local sightseeing tour?

    Best Regards,
    -Nimisha

    • Nimisha, 4 days are too less for a trip to Ladakh where first two days are to be done as mandate as below:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
       
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing. To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      — Overnight at Leh

      You are left with just 2 more days, may be on Day 3 make a day trip to Khardung La and Day 4 make a day trip to Pangong Tso.

  26. Hi dheeraj ,
    i m leaving for leh on 2nd may and we are 3 friends we are goin for jst 3 days on 5th v have flight from leh itself
    We ll arrive at leh aiport in the 2nd may early morning i hv few question to ask
    We are planning to hire bikes there shud we go for 3 bikes 500cc/350cc solo or shud we take 2 bikes 500cc for pilion and 350/500cc for solo and ny relaible person from whom we can hire bike ?
    In three days as i hv planned to leave from the first day itself to explore leh and stay in leh on 4th of may to catch nxt morng flight where should i start from shud i go to pangong lake or somewhere else ?
    Is there permit required now as early it was but now i dont knw ?
    Apart from pangong lake where else shud i go khardlunga pass or nubra valley ?
    Shud i carry extra fuel wid me on bike as i ll not come back to leh on 2 / 3 nyts

    • Shashank, you need to do comeplete rest as mentioned in the article above for first two days unless you do not love your life and are fine with taking a life risk 🙂 … Must remember, AMS can be FATAL and every year people die of AMS, at least I am seeing i for the past few years now 🙁 🙁

  27. Abdul Khaliq on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Appreciate your efforts on detail information, even an amateur traveller can start with confindence; after reading your blogs.
    Thanks for sharing.

  28. bhavesh shah on

    fantastic forum and such a great work …. kudos to you.
    we are group of eight families… age 40 to 6 yr range.
    Is it possible for us to do a ladakh trip with families first time around ?( may-june))
    or
    Shall we ( all male) do the trip first (sept-oct) and then think of doing it with the family?

    plan is to do the trip by road in our own vehicles and the time period is about 15 days.
    we will be strating from kolhapur (pune) maharashtra

    • Bhavesh, it is completely possible to do it with families and lot of people do it in June – July. In case you want to do it by road then mid June – July or September is the good time else by flight, you can do it from mid may to September any time. 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.

  29. Hi dheeraj,
    In ur winter itinerary you havent mentioned lamayuru. Is it not recommended. Please let me know as i am planning next winter from now

    • Lamayuru isn’t something must do, in case you want to do it, then add a day as well. Day 2 and day 3 in that case will have a trip to Lamayuru and Sham Valley

  30. Anshu Bhatia on

    Dear Dheeraj, I’m planning to visit ladakh from 1st April to 11th April 2015. Wanted to know if all d restaurants and hotels would b functional. Specially food availability is more concern. Will all d tourist spots b open n accessible? Will road to pangong b open? Possible to have night stay near pangong during that time? This is my first trip to Leh and I have selected the dates due to flight scheme. Hope to hear from u soon. Thnx in advance.

  31. Hi Dheeraj, I am Ankita from Pune. Actually we are planning a trip between 18th to 26th Apr 2015. So can you please provide some information on weather. Even wanted to know if we can go and come back on same day from Leh to Khardung la pass?

    • Ankita, are you planning in Ladakh? If yes, you can plan during that period of time. Weather starts to get a bit warm in April, lakes starts to melt too though it may not be completely melted by the time. It can snow too if weather turns bad one a day in April. All the routes will be open and you can easily do a day trip to Khardung La in April. You can read my travel tale from April starting from the article: My Never Ending Journey | Ladakh 2012

  32. Karen Lahura on

    Hi Dheeraj!

    First of all I wanted to thank you for such a thoughtful written article! I am travelling to Leh for 4 days in early March and it will be my first stop in India. I hope it is not to cold, I read somewhere it has highs of 7 and low of -10 for that time.

    I was wondering if the monasteries would continue to function during winter. I am hoping to drop by for the morning prayers at Thiksey, would you have any other recommendations?

    And would I be able to see yaks anywhere in Leh during winter?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Karen,

      It will still be quite cold in March up there in Ladakh. Yeah, -10 shall be there but the real challenge is chilly winds. Monasteries will be functioning and you can visit Hemis, Thicksey, Shey, Stakna, Stok, Phyang all in the near vicinity of Leh. You can also visit Alchi too.

      Yaks, most likely yes, you will be able to see.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  33. Hey Hi, my name is purvi, (from Mumbai), wanted to know few things about Leh. I am planning to visit Leh in Mid-September. My budget is too tight, so thought would take your help as to things to cover with in 7-8 days. I checked all your articles featuring Leh, must say are of great help. I am planning this trip with my friend and a total of about 6-7 ppl max, so would like to know what will be the estimate cost for an individual including staying (a decent guest house for 800 per person/ night), decent places to eat (lunch/dinner), hiring bike for nearby sightseeing, hiring taxi for Nubra Valley, Diskit, Pangong, and other permits if required. So I have not included the flight charges which is coming around 11k per person. It would be great if you could assist me with this query. Thanks. 🙂

    • Purvi, 11K seems too less a budget. You have to keep about Rs 700-1000 for food and stay per day for decent food and decent stays. This means in case of a 10 dy trip, 7-10K will be gone for stay and food. Rest your commute which is the most costly part.

  34. Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my husband are planning to visit Leh Ladakh in the month of May first week by flights. Can you please let me if this would be the right time to visit. I wanted to cover places Leh, Pangong Lake (with overnight stay), Khardungla Pass and Nubra Valley. Are there any chances to get now anywhere.
    Also, will it be better to take package or arrange everthing on our own.

    Thanks.

    • Anubha, yeah, it shall be the right time to visit though lakes like PAngong Tso, Tso Moriri will be partially frozen. Also, Pangong Tso will not be having any options of sleeping at night and you may need to stay at Tangste, 34 KMs before Pangong Tso. There will be loads of snow at Khardung La or Changla.

  35. Hello Dheeraj,

    I’m visiting Leh (mainly Hemis) in mid Feb 2015, not sure how cold will it be at that time. Need your advice on what to carry in terms of winter cloths. We are a group from Mumbai and this would be my second trip to Leh but first in Feb. So we all are unsure of what kind of clothing would be recommended.

    Regards,
    Prashant

    • Hi Prashant,

      It will be quite cold up there in Ladakh. December to February are the coldest months and cold is quite harsh up there due to the presence of thin air or say lack of oxygen too. Your body needs to react to both cold as well as high altitude change, so go prepared and rest for at least 2 days in Leh itself.

      Regarding clothes to be taken, you can check: Tips for Carrying Clothes for Ladakh Trip

      Regards
      Dheeraj Sharma

  36. Dear Dhheraj,

    Nice to read the information. I am going to Leh for Chaddar trekking on 22nd and it will be finished by 30th jan. I have 4 days with me for ladakh visit .Can u suggest an itinerary for me in less budget. it is written that TAXI fare is same in winter , but can i find some fellow traveler at this time.?

    • Sarad, it will be quite difficult to get some companions in winter months and hence will be somewhat quite expensive in case it is for couple of person. May be you should get in touch with the group or the company through which you are going on Chadar trek if they can combine few fellow travelers for a visit to Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley.

  37. Pamila Sharma on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Planning to visit leh from 13th to 19th March, would you recommend booking a cab now onwards or should we book it upon reaching there…
    I have planned for a day trip to pangong Tso lake, however i am contemplating if i should go there if it will be frozen..Would Magnetic hill make us experience the magical phenomenon in March while it is under the thick blanket of snow?
    Awaiting your revert !!
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Pamila,

      March is a lean season with only handful of people around, so you can book the cab on the spot too. There is no comparison between Magnetic Hill and Pangong Tso. Any day frozen Pangong will be much much beautiful than Magnetic hill 😉

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  38. Hi!

    our travel dates are-25 to 29 December to leh .We have booked a hotel which provides Central heating.. however i was reading somewhere that a sleeping bag is a must for winter trip to ladakh.. is it necessary even if central heating is available?

    Also, can you advise as to how to keep the legs warm? will one pair of stockings – one pair of leg warmer and then jeans over it be enough?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Tanima, If a central heating room is available and they provide enough quilts then it should be fine to travel up there. Sleeping bags are necessary in cases when people plan to stay at guest houses or home stays. However, keep in mind that it will be super cold up there, last day it was around -20

  39. Hi Dheeraj great work…I really appreciate for your great work for guiding people in all possible ways and take lot of pain and time answering lots of peoples, thanks it find so useful guide traveling to leh…
    So Dheeraj me and my friends group are planing to visit leh from 14june to 20th June.is this the right time to visit?
    we have planned to come from Bangalore to Chandigarh via flight and then Chandigarh to manali by Volvo.And From manali to leh One way 2 Bikes and 2 Jeeps.Is it possible to get an open Jeep for rent from manali till leh?. And after that planning to take a tour package from leh, from 16th to 19th June.Kindly suggest a better tour package for 3 nights and 4 days.and from leh to Srinagar.one day tour to Srinagar and we will book a flight from Srinagar to Bangalore on for 21st June.
    Kindly help us out with your better suggestions.

    • Sholden, thank you so much for all the appreciation, good to know that always people like you appreciating the efforts put in here 🙂 🙂

      June is good time to visit Ladakh, however, the number of days you have in hand is a bit less. It takes 3 days to reach Leh from Chandigarh at minimum from Manali side and on stretch from Srinagar side provided you can make it to Srinagar on Day 1 itself which is difficult and long drive/ride. So, considering your plan you will reach Leh on 16th and then you need one day rest for acclimatization due to high altitude on 17th, you have just 18th to explore anything in Ladakh because on 19th you need to reach Kargil and 20th back to Srinagar to take flight on 21st from Srinagar.

      Are you sure, you OK with such a plan?

  40. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are group of 6 planning for Chadar Trek in mid Jan 2015. Can you please let me know what options we have in travel to reach Leh. By any chance, will it be possible to reach Leh by road from either from Manali or Srinagar? or only option we have is to travel it via air.

    Thanks in advance for your reply,
    Kumar

  41. Reg. the plastic waste, you spoke my mind Dheeraj bhai. Chips packets near all the passes and plastic bottles in Pangong. Now I know, how the tourists treat the popular places and probably why the yesteryear hill stations no longer have any charm.

    Modi ko leke jaana hain … Swach Bharath ke liye 😛

  42. Sorry forgot to mention the dates
    6th Nov to 12th Nov

    Thanks,
    Gaurav

    • gaurav….we shall b also there ..we are two brothers….whats the taxies cost you are paying….as mentioned in mine i shall be paying arround 18000 from 7th to 12 drop…

      • Thanks for the advice Dheeraj.

        Satish yes same around Rs. 18,000 for the 6th to 12th Nov

  43. Hi Dheeraj,
    Could you please help us , a group of youngsters 25 to 30 years whether below Itinerary is fine ?

    Day 1 – After landing at Leh rest for few hours then explore local leh
    Day 2: Sham Valley with Alchi and Likir
    Day 3 – Leh – Khurdungla – Nubra (Night stay at Hunder, Habib Guesthouse)
    Day 4 – Nubra to Leh
    Day 5 Leh – Pangong – Leh
    Day 6 Leh – Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries – Leh
    Day 7: Leh to Airport drop

    Its similar to yours just that 3 Days of your suggested Itinerary is clubbed in the first 2 Days, will it be fine ?
    Thanks,
    Gaurav

    • Gaurav, it is fine enough. Just that follow the instructions given for Day 1 and Day 2. Also, you may like to sway the Day 2 with Day 6 because Sham Valley tour will be more tiring & longer than Monastery tour and your body might not do well with it initially. Also, please do not take too much stairs or climb too much.

  44. dheeraj can you suggest the best type of sleeping bag to have in leh…besides hows the conditions in hotel driftwood thongsal..i have booked the hotel…

  45. deeraj great work….you take lot of pain and time answing lots of peoples, thanks find so useful guide traving to leh…it looks now i have someone to guide and this tour will be a good one..thanks dow…..

  46. Bhuvan Sharma on

    Hello Sir!

    Another useful & excellent article.
    Polluting The Himalayas is indeed a worrisome & non-human act. Nowadays, anyone who pollutes the earth seems like a poison to me. I will share one incident. I was in Ooty on bike, one sumo was coming from front with full pace & on my (wrong) lane. I was just getting to the extreme left to make her way But suddenly one bike in my lane in front of me stopped his vehicle. I salutes the man gut as the sumo was wrongly overtaking on speed & coming towards him but later stopped & got back in his lane & then the man moved forward. This man stood in b/w on busy morning to teach him a lesson & corrected his way But usually we all are in so hurry & we let these poisonous people pass. Everyone should stand still on that very instant & teach these people a lesson. We chase them, stop them but do not let them pollute or do any wrong doing.

    • Bhuvan, very true and I agree with your words. But, without local support any aggression or confrontation is of no use. Unless outsiders like these morons do not have fear of locals who will beat them up if they litter their home, nothing can be sorted out, IMHO and they will continue to litter the homes of others as much as they can because they just don’t care.

    • Best wishes for the trip, do let us know which hotels you found open in Winters and if they run all around year? It will help many others too.

  47. Excellent article, just one thing to add

    Accommodation will be expensive during winters. Checked with Salim of hotel panorama, he quoted Rs 2,500/- for the room we paid 800/- during September 2013

    • Gagan, thanks a lot for highlighting this point as I forgot. Added couple of more points into the tips. Hotels does charge more because there is demand as compared to functional hotels in Leh as well as they provide the heating facilities, some with central heating systems as well that comes at a price. Also, many a times hotel offers food/meals as well because it is not possible to walk in winters to nearby restaurants as most of the restaurants are closed. So, check with Salim if he is offering food in it or not? 3 times is outrageous if it is just room 😀

      • Don’t think meals are included and even if he does won’t be any good because you won’t be in the room all the time.
        He said in winters there’s snow leopard trekking happening so lot of foreign tourists are travelling. He can offer rooms for same old price but without hot water & heater and that’s a suicide!

        Taxi for pangong will be around 6-8k

        Flight ticket was very economical around 11k for two people in January & April on fixed dates so I thought of travelling will only finalise if I find a better deal for accommodation.

        • Hmmm that is fine in that case Gagan but in night you have to get the meal up there and in morning too as times. I faced a lot of issues in April for breakfast and dinner, it was super damn cold all the time in morning and evening, with no food in guest house, it was quite tough 😀 😀

          If you are fixing the deal in April towards end of it, then it should be fine and there is no need of heaters even. Just carry good sleeping bags and goo winter clothes. It should be fine in April without much issues. December to March is particularly tough up there and without heater, it wont be possible. Still, try to negotiate it better way. Talk to Shanti Guest House, the one just aside the Panorama Hotel else find on the spot up there with the help of drivers. I will suggest that you talk to Rigzin for taxi and ask him which hotels / guest houses will be operational. He will be able to help you a lot. His name is first in the drivers list link.

  48. hi Dheeraj , planning to visit in April ,

    1- any chance of snow fall that time ?
    2- I am thinking below itenary
    Day 1 – after landing at Leh rest for few hours then explore local leh
    Day 2 – Leh – Khurdungla – Nubra – Leh
    Day 3 – Leh – Pangong – Leh
    Day 4 Leh – Tso Morari – Leh
    Day 5 return flight

    Hope this is doable ?

    • Pawan ji, this is not at all recommended. If will be quite tough as you land up there by air body will crave for acclimatization. You must spend at least couple of days within Leh to get used to the high altitude else you might suffer with AMS badly, due to cold around too. Then, you can make a day trip to Khardung La or Nubra Valley which ever you are comfortable with, though I will suggest stick to just Khardung La and finally a day trip to Pangong Tso. Tso Moriri day trip is not feasible any day, it is about 240 KMs from Leh one side.

      You should be able to find plenty of snow right from South Pullu to Khardung La pass but for snowfall, all depends upon the luck. We did got snowfall towards the end of our trip in April and on passes too.

  49. Hi Dheeraj,

    Another excellent travel article with some very useful tips and bits of advice. I agree that with the ever-increasing number of tourists in Ladakh during the summer tourist season and the fact that some of them, unfortunately, seem hell-bent on leaving behind a right royal mess everywhere they go, a winter visit may soon become the only option to savour the tranquil serenity of the Ladakh we all so love.

    Thank you for this article and I’m sure it will serve as a very useful resource, as all your articles are, for those seriously considering a winter visit to Ladakh. Though of course, I suppose one needs to be a hardy soul to be able to deal with the harsh weather conditions there during winters but the rewards of such a journey would I believe be well worth it.

    Just one small thing in this article that you may want to quickly check – the link to the article “Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh” does not seem to be working. The page does exist but the URL has a double-quote (“) symbol at the end because of which when you click on it you get a 404 Page not Found error.

    Best regards,
    Hatim

    • Thank you so much for echoing the words and feelings and above all pointing to the incorrect working link, it is fixed now. I hope endeavors of DoW Community in promoting Responsible Travel in Himalayas may reap the fruits one day but to make it happen we need support for many more souls who can get educated of such practices and thereby spread them forward.

  50. Awesome Dheeraj.
    Taxi charges will be on higher side in winters I guess.?????
    Any idea abt the fare

    • Thank you Pankaj, added couple of additional tips too for hotels and stay. Regarding taxis, they are not really costly even in winters. In any case they cannot charge beyond Taxi Union Price which is fixed for the year no matter what conditions. You can always complaint in taxi union if driver charges more from you or ask more from you. You should be able to get 15-20% discount I believe in winters, if you directly talk to drivers mentioned in the list above, try and get in touch with Rigzin as he is most famous for all winter excursions 😀 😀


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