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Guidance for Delhi – Leh – Srinagar Backpacking trip

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Travel QuestionsCategory: Ladakh & Zanskar ValleyGuidance for Delhi – Leh – Srinagar Backpacking trip
Shambhavi asked 3 months ago

Hi,
 
My husband and I are planning to go to Ladakh on a backpacking trip which will be starting form 09 July to 01 August.
Okay, so we have worked out a long trip of 25 days where we wish to explore small towns of Ladakh to experience the culture, life of Army people, weather and of course beautiful backdrops.

 
We are about to buy Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 (on Sunday) and start riding as we do not have prior experience in that. We will be going on weekend road trips to ensure we practice enough for our Ladakh road trip.
 
Q1: How much do we need to practice actually? Do we need to practice on different terrains and do you know any good places for practice rides near Mumbai/Pune.
 
I am mentioning our day to day itinerary with our doubts. Sorry in advance for wasting too much of your time and also thanks in advance for helping us out 😊
 
9 July:  Mumbai – Delhi (12471 SWARAJ EXPRESS)
10 July:  Arrive in Delhi. Proceed to Chandigarh. Overnight in Chandigarh
11 July:  Chandigarh to Manali. Overnight in Manali
12 July:  Rest in Manali. Get acclimatized. (Do some sports)
13 July:  Manali to Jispa. Rohtang Pass, Chanderbhaga Sangam (chenab and Bhaga), Some monasteries on the way.
14 July:  Jispa – Pang. Deepak Tal, Suraj Tal, Baralach la(4891m), Biru’s Dhaba, Tsarap River, Nakee La, Biskynala, Lachalung La.

15 July:  Pang – Tsomoriri. Tsokar, Startsapuk Tso, Kyagar Tso. 
16 July:  Tsomoriri – Hanle. Observatory visit if possible.
17 July: Hanle – Umlingla Top – Chushul.
18 July: Chushul – Pangong.  Rezang La War Memorial, Chushul War Memorial Park, Merak.
19 July: Pangong – Leh. Local leh sightseeing.
20 July: Leh. Rafting
21 July: Leh. Free day to explore ladakhi cuisine and culture.
22 July: Leh – Turtuk. – Kharungla, just road trip
23 July: Turtuk – Hunder. Nubra Valley, Diskit monastery, Maitreya Buddha.
24 July: Hunder – Nimoo. Confluence of Zanskar and Indus, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill, Alchi-Likir monastery.
25 July: Nimoo – Kargil – Monasteries
26 July: Kargil Vijay Divas. Hundermaan.
27 July: Kargil – Sonmarg. Thajiwas Glacier
28 July: Sonmarg – Srinagar
29 July: Srinagar
30 July: Srinagar – Udhampur
31 July: Buffer day
01 August: Udhampur-Mumbai (12472 SWARAJ EXPRESS)
 

Q2: You opinion on the itinerary, some inputs according to safety, roads and feasibility. Additions of some more worthwhile destinations if any.
 
Q3: Do we need Inner line permit starting from Manali and for which circuits do we need permits and how to get them?
I checked this sit – http://www.lahdclehpermit.in/ and was confused since we are covering all the circuits. Please guide us.
 
Q4: We are planning on staying in tents. Is it safe enough according to your experience while visiting Ladakh? or should we just look for home-stays and local houses.
 
Q5: Is it advisable to visit Turtuk and Hundermaan or is it too risky?

 
Q6: What is the nearest and safest place to see India-China border.
 
Q7: Diamox tablet, is it advisable to start the course to avoid high altitude sickness. Also, measures to be taken while on trip for the same. 
 
Q8: Are there enough garage/bike shops/petrol pumps enroute?

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1 Answers
Dheeraj Sharma answered 3 months ago

Hi Shambhavi,

Lucky you guys, I am sure you are both going to have loads of fun. Please find my replies inline.

1. I will suggest you take some ghats roads so that you adjust to the balancing part and try to carry some luggage as well. Start with short rides and increase it with few weekends. You have enough number of days at hand and should be able to adjust the ride according to the comfort. You should be comfortable of riding 10-12 hrs on road to make it work.

2: I will come back to the itinerary in the last after other replies and propose a detailed itinerary for 20 days with 5 days as buffer or more rest days in between as it will be your first ride.

3: 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 need inner line permit in Ladakh.

4: Do a mix of both camps and home stays and read: Top 10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh & Spiti Valley

5: Turtuk is do visit place in Ladakh, covered in itinerary suggested below.

6: Itinerary has covered whatever possible to see in mostly safe and easy manner. It is adventure, so risks will always be there for one or other kind. Always keep in mind.

7: If you go easy and by Srinagar – Leh route, you do not need any tablet for AMS. Consult your doctor before taking it and do read tips mentioned in: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

8: You can refer: 5 Tips Ride with Pillion to Ladakh

Here is the itinerary of Ladakh for 20 – 21 days:

Day 1 | Delhi/Chandigarh – Jammu/Patnitop
— Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

Day 2 | Jammu/Patnitop – Srinagar
— Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
— If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
— Shankaracharya hill & temple, Hazratbal Shrine, Kheer Bhawani Temple, Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake, Pari Mahal, Shalimar Garden
— Overnight at Srinagar

Day 3 | Rest day in Srinagar

Day 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Alchi
— Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
— Overnight at Alchi

Day 7 | Alchi – Leh
— On the way you can also see Alchi, Likir, Basgo Fort, Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
— Overnight at Leh

Day 8 | 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 9 | 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 10 | Turtuk – Hunder
— Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
— Overnight at Hunder

Day 11 | Hunder – Deskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
— Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
— Enjoy drive upto Panamik, visit Yarab Tso Lake and back Leh
— Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
— Overnight at Leh

Day 12 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
— Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
— Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
 
Day 13 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
— Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
— Overnight at Leh

Day 14 | Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Nyoma – Loma – Hanle
— Overnight at Hanle

Day 15 | Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Korzok / Tso Moriri Lake OR Hanle – Salsal La – Tso Moriri Lake
— Overnight at Tso Moriri lake

Day 16 | Tso Moriri – Leh

Day 17 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR You can do tour to Sham Valley
— Overnight at Leh

Day 18 | Leh – Taglang La – 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
 
Day 19 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
— On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
— Overnight at Jispa

Day 20 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
— On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
— Overnight at Manali

Day 21 | Manali – Delhi/Chandigarh
— Return home

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