There are many of us who are looking for a budget trip to Leh Ladakh but one of the major challenges in making a budget trip to Leh Ladakh is the cost at which taxis are available. So, in order to cut short the budget, we look forward to Leh Ladakh bus services or other means of transport shared transport like shared taxis to save more money.
Before I share the information about the bus services in Leh Ladakh, let us check out what other options you have to travel in Ladakh apart from the buses.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
If you are alone then private taxis are very costly in Ladakh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all, mostly. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh.
Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in the worst case, you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself.
Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meeting new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. Nowhere else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are 🙂
Leh Ladakh Bus Services
If the shared taxi is not your cup of tea, then, in that case, the bus services in Leh Ladakh are the only means of commute left for you. Lately, I was able to get hold of the timetable of bus services in Ladakh.
In a nutshell, today in this article I will be sharing the details of various bus services available in Leh Ladakh which you can opt for in case either you are looking to save budget and not interested in shared taxis OR if you are looking for an adventure of a different kind in a local way 🙂 🙂 …
Yeah, believe me, traveling in Leh – Ladakh by a bus or public transport is entirely a different experience. It gives you the local perspective of life.
I will share with you complete details about the rates and timetable of bus services in Leh Ladakh. Apart from the buses within Leh Ladakh, I will also cover buses running on Manali Leh route and Srinagar Leh bus services too. Recently, HRTC started a direct bus service on Delhi – Manali – Leh route.
I am sure the details in this article will help you plan your trip to Ladakh by public transport.
Local Bus Services in Leh Town
In a welcoming step from Leh administration in 2018, public transport in Leh (as daily public transport buses) has been launched within Leh town. Leh administration has launched buses to operate between Leh and various nearby villages around Leh.
What makes this move really special is that now Leh town will be connected with Leh airport by daily buses, which means that you no longer have to rely on just taxi service for a pickup and drop. This will save budget travelers close to Rs 1000 on their Ladakh trip 🙂 …
In other cases, tourists, in general, used to rent scooty or bikes to travel within Leh for visiting tourist attractions around Leh town. Some tourists also opt for private taxis for the commute but they are a bit costly.
If you have been to Ladakh, you might know that majority of transport within Ladakh is dependent upon private tourists taxis which are costly and for some travelers, it makes it difficult to have a trip to Ladakh on a budget.
Public Transport in Leh – Bus Timetable
The introduction of these bus services in Leh will help many tourists save cost, especially from the airport, moving around Leh, a visit to Phyang or Choglamsar or Spituk monasteries. Some of the buses routes also cover Shey monastery, Thicksey monastery, Hemis monastery, and Stakna monastery, which are quite popular among the tourist circuits.
All these buses will depart from the Leh main gate and end up on the same location except the ones running between Tourist Information Center and Airport. Well, as the bus will drop the tourists to the Tourist Information Center, it will be easy for the tourists to immediately get the online permit stamped and fees paid for their inner line permits.
You can find below the routes from Leh to nearby villages for which has been started this year.
- Bus from Leh to Sakti (via Shey – Thicksey) –
- 8.15 AM Departure, 9.45 AM Arrival
- 1.30 PM Departure, 2.30 PM Arrival
- 2.30 PM Departure, 3.30 PM Arrival
- 3.30 PM Departure, 4.30 PM Arrival
- 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Bus from Sakti to Leh (via Shey – Thicksey) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Karu to Leh (via Shey – Thicksey) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Cemday to Leh (via Shey – Thicksey) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Igoo to Leh (via Shey – Thicksey) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Stakna (via Chuchot) – 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Bus from Stakna to Leh (via Chuchot) – 8.45 AM Departure, 9.45 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Martselang (via Changa and Hemis) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Martselang (via Changa and Hemis) to Leh – 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Bus from Choglamsar to Leh (frequency every 10 minutes) – 8.30 AM Departure, 8.50 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Choglamsar (frequency every 10 minutes, last bus 8.00 PM) – 9.00 AM Departure, 9.20 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Shara (via Shey – Thicksey) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.45 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Spituk (frequency every one hour, last bus 6 PM) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.00 AM Arrival
- Bus from Spituk to Leh (frequency every one hour, last bus 6 PM) – 9.00 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Phyang –
- 9.00 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- 2.30 PM Departure, 3.00 PM Arrival
- 4.30 PM Departure, 5.00 PM Arrival
- Bus from Phyang to Leh –
- 8.00 AM Departure, 8.30 AM Arrival
- 4.15 PM Departure, 4.45 PM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Agling (frequency every one hour, last bus 6 PM) – 8.30 AM Departure, 9.00 AM Arrival
- Bus from Agling to Leh (frequency every one hour, last bus 6 PM) – 9.00 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Skalzangling (frequency every 15 minutes, last bus 8 PM) – 8.30 AM Departure, 8.45 AM Arrival
- Bus from Skalzangling to Leh (frequency every 15 minutes, last bus 8 PM) – 8.45 AM Departure, 9.00 AM Arrival
- Bus from Leh to Gompa and back –
- 8.45 AM Departure, 9.15 AM Arrival
- 4.30 PM Departure, 5.00 PM Arrival
- Bus from Tourist Information Center to Leh Airport and back –
- 6.00 AM Departure, 6.15 AM Arrival
- 6.30 AM Departure, 6.45 AM Arrival
Leh – Nubra Valley Bus Services
Nubra Valley is well connected to Leh by buses and other public transport. There are many buses that run from Leh to many villages of Nubra Valley including Diskit, Turtuk, Panamik, Skuroo, Charsa, etc..
Even within Nubra Valley, Diskit village is also well connected from both the ends of the valley that is Diskit to Panamik and Diskit to Turtuk.
Sightseeing in Nubra Valley is divided into two parts, one section has Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk on one side and other section has Sumur – Panamik villages.
Leh – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk Bus Services
Bus from Leh to Diskit, Nubra Valley leaves at 6.00 AM every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The bus from Diskit to Leh returns the next day and leaves from Diskit at 7.00 AM in the morning.
Then, a starts from Leh to Skuroo at 6 AM every Tuesday and Thursday, which is a bit ahead of Thoise. Hence, if you want to stay at Hunder, you can travel by this bus because it will fall on the way from Diskit to Skuroo.
Finally, on this side of Nubra Valley, one bus goes to Turtuk from Leh every Saturday at 6 AM from Leh bus stand.
Leh – Sumur – Panamik Bus Services
If I talk about the other side of the Nubra Valley, the bus from Leh to Panamik leaves every Tuesday from Leh bus stand. You can get down at Sumur if you are interested to visit Sumur else go all the way up to Panamik.
Finally, one bus runs between Leh and Charsa village which is a little ahead of Sumur on every Saturday. This bus leaves Leh bus stand at 6 AM.
Diskit – Turtuk & Diskit – Panamik
There is a daily bus that runs from Diskit to Turtuk at 2.30 PM and then same bus returns back to Diskit from Turtuk at 6.00 AM in the morning. The daily bus from Panamik to Diskit runs every day at 7.30 AM.
Bus Fares | Leh – Nubra Valley Buses
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Diskit bus service costs about Rs 197.
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Skuroo bus service costs about Rs 256.
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Turtuk bus service costs about Rs 316.
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Charsa bus service costs about Rs 280.
- The one-way bus fare for Leh to Panamik bus service costs about Rs 287.
- The one-way bus fare for Panamik – Diskit bus service is about Rs 75
- The one-way bus fare for Turtuk – Diskit bus service is about Rs 80
You can refer the detailed guide on Leh to Nubra Valley Bus Service – Timings, Rates & FAQs
Leh – Pangong Tso Bus Services
There are only a couple of buses that run between Leh and Pangong Tso. The buses from Leh to Pangong Tso starts every Saturday and Sunday at 6.30 AM from Leh bus stand. The one-way bus fare from Leh to Pangong Tso is Rs 256.
This means that only two buses are available in a week to travel from Leh to Pangong Tso by bus. So, plan your trip to Pangong Tso lake on these dates only in case you are interested to travel by bus from Leh to Pangong.
There are some buses that travel to nearby villages of Pangong Tso like Tangtse, about 34 KMs away from Lukung. Then there is another bus that travels to Phobrang and you can get down at Lukung on that bus. Lukung is the first village that comes on the Pangong Tso shore.
Finally, there are buses that make a trip to Chusul from Leh which can be boarded as well. You will have to get down at Tangtse and then cover rest of the journey to Pangong Tso by hitch hiking.
So, there is a limited connectivity of buses from Leh to Pangong Tso in a week and you have to match the schedule accordingly.
You can refer the detailed guide on Leh to Pangong Tso Bus Service – Timings, Rates & FAQs
Leh – Tso Moriri Bus Services
Bus from Leh to Tso Moriri leaves at 6.30 AM every 10th, 20th and 30th day of the month, return next day. The charges are about Rs 370.
When it comes to traveling to Tso Moriri from Leh, the options are very limited in a month. Only three buses in a month run from Leh to Tso Moriri every 10th, 20th and 30th day of the month. The Leh to Tso Moriri bus leaves at 6.30 AM on these dates from Leh bus stand.
So, you are pretty much tied down when it comes to traveling to Tso Moriri by public transport.
The bus fare of Leh to Tso Moriri bus service is Rs 370.
If you miss the bus to Tso Moriri from Leh or the bus dates are not matching your schedule, there are few buses that run from Leh to Chumathang, Koyul, Tsaga, Loma. You can travel to either Chumathang or get down at Mahe ridge on the buses going towards Loma, Nyoma or Hanle. Then hitchhike from Chumathang or Mahe to Tso Moriri.
You can refer the detailed guide on Leh to Tso Moriri Bus Service – Timings, Rates & FAQs
Leh – Hanle Bus Services
Bus from Leh to Hanle leaves at 6.30 AM every Saturday and return next day from Hanle to Leh. The charges are about Rs 492. There is also a bus that travels to Koyul, you can get down near Rhongo or Loma bend and then travel to Hanle by hitchhiking.
Srinagar Leh Bus Services
Srinagar Leh route is well connected by bus services and public transport in Ladakh. There are buses that are run by JKSRTC as well as many private tour operators. The shared local taxis are also an option to travel between Srinagar and Leh.
These buses are deluxe, semi-deluxe with cushioned seats and standard buses. So, you can see that quite a few options exist on this major route connecting Ladakh with Srinagar.
You can get the bus from Srinagar at Tourist reception center near Dal lake at 8 AM every day. The bus will halt ar Kargil and will reach Leh next evening. The Kargil stay is not included in the bus fare and has to be managed by yourself.
The super deluxe bus from Srinagar to Leh charges around Rs 1320 per person and semi deluxe bus fare is Rs 925 per person from Srinagar to Leh. If you prefer to travel by a standard bus from Srinagar to Leh, the bus fare is Rs 470. You can also split the journey at Kargil and then take Kargil to Leh bus service the next day.
Leh Srinagar Bus – Return Journey
The return journey of Leh to Srinagar bus service starts at 2.30 PM every day from Leh bus stand. It does the 434 KM long journey on Srinagar Leh Highway without night stop to arrive in Srinagar at 7.30 AM.
The private bus operators who run tempo travelers and other mini-buses between Leh and Srinagar charges between Rs 1000-1500. They start in the evening and run overnight to reach Srinagar next day. The mini-buses provides good comfort because of the cushioned seats.
In early season, the timings of the buses will be dependent on the timings of Zojila pass.
You can refer the detailed guide on Srinagar to Leh Bus Service – Timings, Rates & FAQs
Jammu Leh Bus Services
You should be aware that there does not exist any direct bus from Jammu to Leh. So, you have to reach Srinagar first and then travel from Srinagar to Leh. However, in this article, I can provide the details of Jammu to Srinagar by bus.
Jammu – Srinagar Bus Service
The public transport buses from Jammu to Srinagar leaves at 7 AM from JKSRTC stand which is located nearby Tourist Reception Center at Residency road. The bus running from Srinagar to Jammu also leaves at 7 AM in the morning.
The Jammu – Srinagar bus takes about 10-11 hrs to reach depending upon the traffic situation and any roadblocks on the way.
The bus fare of Jammu – Srinagar bus service is Rs 445, Rs 325 and Rs 220 for super deluxe, deluxe and standard buses respectively.
If you plan to stay overnight at Jammu, it is better to stay near Residency road only. The auto-rickshaws will take about Rs 70-80 to take you to the TRC or JKSRTC counter in the morning.
Bus Services from Manali to Leh to Manali
There are two types of buses that run on Manali Leh Highway by govt. department. One bus service is run by HRTC (transport department) and the other bus service from Leh to Manali is run by HPTDC (tourist department).
The HRTC bus service starts as soon as the Manali Leh Highway is opened for tourists. While HPTDC semi deluxe bus from Manali to Leh starts in July and runs up to 15th September.
As per the departments, the HPTDC being a tourist bus stops at all sightseeing places on Manali Leh Highway while the HRTC bus will stop only for tea or food stops.
Manali Leh HPTDC Bus Service
The semi deluxe HPTDC bus starts from Manali at 10.00 AM and reaches Keylong in the evening around 4-5 PM. The bus will then begin the journey from Keylong to Leh 4-5 AM in the morning and reaches Leh by late evening. Every year HPTDC publishes the schedule of Manali Leh bus service on its official website.
In the opposite direction, the bus starts from Leh at 5 AM, reaches Keylong at 7 PM. Then the bus leaves Keylong at 7 AM and reaches Manali by afternoon.
The total fare of HPTDC semi deluxe bus from Manali to Leh with an overnight stop at Keylong is Rs 2900 (as of 2018). The bus includes a night stay at HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga in tents. Dinner and breakfast are also provided within the fare of the bus.
You can book the bus tickets from the official website of HPTDC.
HRTC Bus Service from Manali to Leh
HRTC runs two buses between Manali and Leh. One is the direct bus that starts from Manali and reaches Leh by evening covering the journey in 17 hrs. You can take this direct bus from Manali to Leh from Manali bus stand.
This bus leaves at 4 AM from Manali and reaches Leh in the late evening. The one-way fare of this direct bus service from Manali to Leh is Rs 833.
You can also take the bus from Manali to Keylong which leaves at 8 AM from Manali and reaches Keylong at 2 PM. Next morning you can travel from Keylong to Leh by another HRTC bus that leaves at 5.00 AM from Keylong.
The Manali – Keylong bus fare is about Rs 174 and for Keylong – Leh bus service, you may have to pay Rs 550.
You can refer the detailed guide on Manali to Leh Bus Service – Timings, Rates & FAQs
Delhi – Leh Bus Service
HRTC runs a daily direct bus from Delhi to Leh that starts from Kashmere Gate every day around 2-4 PM (2.30 PM as of now). The total distance of 1050 KM from Delhi to Leh is covered by this direct bus in about 35 odd hrs over two days. The bus takes the night halt at Keylong.
The bus reaches Keylong in the late afternoon next day from its start in Delhi. Like other HRTC bus from Manali to Leh, this bus does not bear your stay and food prices at Keylong. You have to search your own hotel and find food for you for night and morning. Next morning, the bus leaves from Keylong at 5 AM and reaches Leh by sunset.
In the opposite direction, the HRTC bus starts from Leh at 5 AM and reaches Keylong by sunset for an overnight stay. Next morning, it starts from Keylong at 6.30 AM to reach Delhi by 3.30 AM in the night.
The total bus fare for Delhi to Leh direct bus service is Rs 1380. Hence, a return journey in this direct HRTC bus service from Delhi to Leh and Leh to Delhi will cost you Rs 2760.
You can book the tickets for this direct bus from Delhi to Leh at the HRTC ticket counter at Delhi, Kashmere Gate ISBT terminal. These tickets can only be purchased from the ticket counter at Delhi or Leh bus stand.
Private Taxis in Leh – Ladakh
You can check Leh Ladakh taxi union rate list 2018 – 19 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh. The rates of the taxis are pretty costly. However, you can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
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.
At times while traveling from Srinagar to Leh, you might need to work out few things if there have been some tensions in the taxi unions of Kargil and Leh. In order to settle it out, what they do is that they make a transit point just before Fotu La while going to Leh from Kargil.
All Leh taxis stop there and Kargil taxis too. They exchange passengers and move back in respective directions. Leh taxis take passengers to Leh coming from Srinagar/Kargil and Kargil guys take passengers to Srinagar/Kargil coming from Leh. But, that happens only when there is an issue.
I am sure this article will help you make a trip to Leh Ladakh by bus and plan your sightseeing in Ladakh by bus services or the public transport.
This will help you save money on the Ladakh trip and also help you get a different kind of adventure and experience, altogether. It is like living the life of a local in Ladakh.
If you like this article, please share it with your friends and family who are on a budget and planning to make a trip to Ladakh by public transport. Of course, if you have any questions or doubts, please feel free to ask me in the comments section of the article.
You can also follow me on Instagram and ask your questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram.