The ultimate road trip of the season is here. Leh Ladakh road trip is one of the highly rated road trips on the earth. Road trips to Leh Ladakh are filled with colourful monasteries, narrow roads with steep curves, the most scenic snow topped Himalayan range and Karakoram mountain ranges, and many other surreal spots. Apart from offering such stunning views of surroundings, these trips also challenge you physically and mentally through the rugged terrains and slightly unpredictable climatic conditions. Hence, here is our attempt to provide you a complete travel guide on the famous Leh Ladakh road trip

Leh Ladakh Road Trip – Overview

Leh Ladakh Road Trip Overview

 

Leh Ladakh Road Trip Route Maps

There are two different routes that reach us to Leh. One from Srinagar and the other one from Manali. Manali is the preferred route for a Bike trip to Leh Ladakh as it is just a day’s drive from city and is also provides a very thrilling ride over the gorgeous and dangerous roads, along the highest motorable passes in the world. However, if time is on your side, complete road trip to Leh Ladakh following the route Srinagar – Leh – Manali is a once in a life time experience. Manali to Leh road trip is around 476 kms and Srinagar to Leh road trip is around 434 kms

There can be many ways to experience the Leh Ladakh road trip depending on the start and ending destination and duration. Weekend Thrill provides you 8 different leh ladakh road trip packages for 2017 at the best price possible.

Leh Ladakh Road Trip Routes

 

Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh

Best Time for Road Trip to Leh Ladakh

 

Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh through road trip is from Mid-May to October. Roads from Srinagar are open from Mid-May. But, Rohtang pass in Manali – Leh route is open only after May as the roads would be slippery till then. Bike trips to Leh – Ladakh begin as soon as the roads are open. The roads remain open till November. Only during summer and autumn seasons, one can go via road to Leh – Ladakh. From November to April, one can reach Leh only through airway. Flights are available to Leh from Srinagar and Delhi. While traveling through Manali-Leh route, start early to reach Rohtang Pass to avoid getting stuck in traffic

The Leh Ladakh Road Trip packages provided by Weekend Thrill have fixed departures from May to September 2017

Camping Spots in Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

Camping Spots for Leh Ladakh Road Trip

Camping spots in Manali – Leh route are available at Tandi, Jispa, Keylong, Sarchu and Pang. Camping spots in Srinagar – Leh route are available at Drass, Kargil, Shargol, Tingmosgang and Sham Valley

 

Eateries Locations in Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

Eateries are available at Marhi, Sissu, Keylong, Sarchu, Jispa and Pang in Manali – Leh route. In Srinagar – Leh route eateries are available at Songamard, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh and Lamayuru

Checklist Infographic for Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

Camping Spots for Leh Ladakh Road Trip

 

Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Road Trip

Always use waterproof rucksacks to pack your things. Here are some essentials that you need to carry for the Leh Ladakh road trip

Clothing and Footwear

  • Wear heavy gumboot shoes which are useful for trekking and hiking. If possible, have an extra pair as well
  • 2 – 4 pairs of woollen socks, helpful for bike riders in those slightly unpredictable climatic conditions and rough terrains
  • Pack adequate number of woollen clothes like jackets, sweaters, shawls, comforters, gloves, etc. Wear the clothes in layers
  • Carry a rain jackets to survive the unexpected showers of rain/snow

Medical Supplies and Toiletry

  • Carry sunscreen lotions (SPF 40+), moisturisers and lip balm
  • Pain relieving sprays (volini) and inhaler. Headache tablets (prescribed by doctor)
  • Re-hydration liquids like Gatorade
  • Always carry ample amount of water and always be hydrated

Accessories

  • Hat and scarf
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Multi tool knife and large plastic bags to keep items dry in case of rain during treks

Electronic Devices and Accessories

  • A good quality camera is advised for Leh Ladakh road trip to capture the magnificent views of surroundings which are for sure memories of life time. Carry charged batteries and charger
  • Carry mobile charger and power bank. Batteries tend to loser their charge quickly at higher altitudes

Others (Important)

  • Beginners who never experienced high altitude locations are advised to carry the portable oxygen cylinders which last for few minutes which are available in chemist’s shops in your cities. Buy them at your residing locations itself, as there is possibility of them being out of stock in Manali due to demand-supply gap in season time
  • Carry adequate cash at any time, as the ATMs are mostly out of order during season time

Self-Driving Info for Leh-Ladakh Road Trip

Driving Tips for Leh Ladakh Road Trip

General Tips

  • In case of road trip to Leh – Ladakh through cars, only high ground clearance vehicles like SUV or MUV are preferred
  • Get your vehicle properly serviced before trip. It is good to know few quick and easy fixes, so that you are less dependent on mechanic shops which are very few
  • Carry spare tyres and mechanical tool kit as you will be travelling through rugged terrain
  • Drive safe. Don’t try to rush through risky sections of the roads like rough road, landslides, water crossing etc.
  • Always start your trips for the day early in the morning to avoid traffic and to not to miss the amazing views

Fuel Stations

  • Petrol Pumps are available at very few places in the entire 900 kms stretch (Manali – Leh – Srinagar) of Leh-Ladakh road trip. You can find them at Manali, Tandi, Upshi, Leh, Kargil and Srinagar
  • Carry at least 2 extra fuel cans which are fully filled. 360 kms stretch from Tandi to Upshi in Manali – Leh Road trip doesn’t have any petrol pumps

Mechanic Workshops

Manali – Leh Route: Manali and Keylong

Srinagar – Leh Route: Srinagar and Kargil

Vehicle Permits

  • 4 – wheeler Vehicles which aren’t registered from HP require permit to clear the Manali – Rohtang Pass route. This permit is issued at sub-divisional magistrate office, Manali
  • Office is open from Monday to Saturday between 10 AM to 5 PM

Health Precautions That Are to Be Taken During Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

One of the most common illness observed in the first-timers is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). As one ascends these mountain ranges, the reduced oxygen levels and air pressure which one might not be habituated to, will lead to AMS which has multiple symptoms that cause great inconvenience to entire journey. Symptoms of AMS are headache, vomiting, sleeping difficulty, dizziness, shortness of breath, fast heart rate and insufficient urine production. In serious cases, colour of skin turns blue, cough up blood, chest congestion and cannot walk in a straight line

Avoiding Acute Mountain Sickness in Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated
  • Eat regularly and eat light. Carry chocolate bars, chewing gums and have them regularly in the journey to avoid tiredness
  • Strictly avoid intake of alcohol
  • Have garlic to increase oxygen capacity. Take ginger water
  • Try to sleep at lower altitudes
  • Ascend the mountain gradually

Medical Aid Locations

Hospital are present at very few locations. They are available at Manali, Keylong, Leh, Tangste, Diskit, Kargil and Srinagar. Army medical camps are placed at Pang and Sarchu

Inner Line Permits for Travellers

Indian travellers don’t required any permits to visit places around Leh. One should carry a proper ID proof to avoid restrictions. However, foreign travellers need to obtain to permits to visit few of these inner line areas like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso etc. Permits can be obtained from registered travel agencies in Leh or from District Collectorate (DC) Office in Leh. Office timings are from 10 AM to 5 PM

Must See Places in Leh – Ladakh Road Trip

Places to see in Manali to Leh Route

Manali to Leh Route
source: flickr.com/photos/keedap

From snow-capped mountains to trees covering both sides of road, breath taking views of mountain ranges to beautiful monasteries, challenging roads to insane hair pin bends, Manali – Leh route offers an awe-struck experience to adventure travellers and photographers.

 

 

Photography Tour from Manali To Leh

Here are some of the famous points across the Manali – Leh route on your Leh – Ladakh road trip

  1. Manali (2050 mts): Tourist destination, view of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges
  2. Rohtang La (3980 mts) – 53 kms: Pass in Pir Panjal range. Connecting point for Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti Valleys
  3. Keylong (3348 mts) – 117 kms: Kardang Monastery
  4. Jispa (3142 mts) – 140 kms: Hotel, Bhaga river and amazing views
  5. Darcha (3400 mts) – 147 kms: Village, Photographer’s paradise
  6. Patsio (3820 mts) – 161 kms: Campsite
  7. Baralach La (4892 mts) – 192 kms: Pass. Connects Lahaul to Ladakh
  8. Sarchu (4253 mts) – 224 kms: Campsite. Halt point for tourists
  9. Lachang La (5065 mts) – 277 kms: Pass. Close to Pangong lake
  10. Pang (4630 mts) – 301 kms: Campsite
  11. Taglang La (5360 mts) – 365 kms: Pass. Highest point in the trip
  12. Rumtsey (4325 mts) – 397 kms: Monastery
  13. Gya (4100 mts) – 403 kms: Historical place
  14. Hemis (3518 mts) – 426 kms: Monastery
  15. Thiksey (3370 mts) – 455 kms: Monastery
  16. Shey (3365mts) – 460 kms: Palace/Monastery
  17. Leh (3348 mts) – 475 kms: Your final destination

Places to see in Srinagar to Leh Route

Srinagar to Leh Route

Srinagar to Leh route is filled with beautiful villages, war memorials, valleys, monasteries, the strange magnetic hill and more. This 434 kms stretch of mother earth is a true paradise

 

 

Photography Tour of Srinagar to Leh route

Starting from Srinagar, here is list of some important places along the route

  1. Sonamarg (2743 mts) – 84 kms: Tourist Resort
  2. Zojila Pass – 127 kms: Pass
  3. Drass (3033 mts) – 147 kms: Valley
  4. Kargil (2650 mts) – 204 kms: War Memorial
  5. Mulbek – 259 kms: Rock Engraves
  6. Fotu La (4108 mts) – 299 kms: Pass
  7. Lamayuru (3440 mts) – 309 kms: Hanging Monastery
  8. Ridzong (2985 mts) – 361 kms: Nunnery
  9. Uletokpo (2985 mts) – 362 kms: Village / Campsite
  10. Alchi (3345 mts) – 367 kms: Ancient Monastery
  11. Likir (3265 mts) – 374 kms: Ancient Monastery
  12. Basgo (3343 mts) – 394 kms: Palace/Monastery
  13. Phyang (3490 mts) – 417 kms: Monastery
  14. Spituk (3380 mts) – 422 kms: Ancient Monastery
  15. Leh (3348 mts) – 434 kms: Your final destination

Leh Ladakh – Land of Festivals

Leh Ladakh Trip Travel Guide - Festivals
source: flickr.com/photos/ami10/

Ladakh comes alive during festivals, every monastery in Ladakh has an annual festival it is famous for. The main features of these festivals are the dance-dramas enacted by Lamas donning colourful robes and fearsome masks representing various Buddhist deities

There are cultural festivals too. Summer archery festivals are held in many villages as per local traditions. The 15-day Ladakh festival (1-15 September) is a major event sponsored by J&K Government to showcase rich cultural heritage of Ladakh

All this truly makes Ladakh a land of celebrations. Below is the list of festivals lined up sourced by mountain trails

Festival Name Venue Date
Spituk Gustor Spituk Jan 25 – 26, 2017
Dosmochey Leh & Likir Monastery Feb 24 – 25, 2017
Yargon Tungshak Nubra (Yarma) Mar 2 – 3, 2017
Stok Guru Tsechu Stok Monastery Mar 6 – 7, 2017
Matho Nagrang Matho Monastery Mar 11 – 12, 2017
Saka Dawa All over Ladakh Jun 9, 2017
Yuru Kabgyat Lamayuru Monastery Jun 21 – 22, 2017
Hemis Tsechu Hemis Monastery Jul 3 – 4, 2017
Stongday Gustor Zanskar Jul 12 – 13, 2017
Karsha Gustor Zanskar Jul 31 – Aug 01, 2016
Phyang Tsesdup Phyang Monastery Jul 31 – Aug 01, 2016
Sachukul Gustor Sachukul Monastery Jul 21 – 22, 2016
Korzok Gustor Tsomoriri Aug 5 – 6, 2016
Dakthok Tsechu Dak thok Monastery Aug 13 – 14, 2016
Sani Nasjal Zanskar Aug 17 – 18, 2016
Deskit Gustor Nubra Oct 28 – 19, 2016
Thiksay Gustor Thiksay Nov 17 – 18, 2016
Chemray Wangchok / Padum Chemray Monastery Nov 27 – 28, 2016
Galden Namchot All over Ladakh Dec 23, 2016
Ladakhi Losar All over Ladakh Dec 30, 2016

Other Places to Visit from Leh – Ladakh

Apart from the two main routes which connect the outside world to Leh, to make the Leh – Ladakh road trip complete there are few destinations around Leh Ladakh that one must visit during their road trip to Leh Ladakh. If you don’t have enough time and yet you want to experience the beauty of Leh and awesomeness in a bike or road trip in Leh. A short duration road trip in Leh can fulfill your thirst

One should also experience the road trip to Spiti Valley, one of the best alternative to Leh Ladakh Road Trip

Leh to Pangong Lake: 156 kms

Places to Visit Near Leh
source: flickr.com/photos/praveenpn4u

Famous locations in the Leh to Pangong Lake route

  • Shey
  • Thiksey
  • Sakti
  • Chang La
  • Tangste
  • Spangmik (Pangong Lake)

Leh to Nubra Valley: 140 kms

Leh-Ladakh-Road-Trip-Travel-Guide

Famous locations in Leh to Nubra Valley route

  • Khardung La: Highest motorable road in the world
  • Diskit
  • Hunder: Sand dune and camel safari
  • Samstanling
  • Panamik

Leh – Tsomoriri Lake: 240 kms

Places to Visit Near Leh
source: flickr.com/photos/nhi_dg

Famous locations in Leh to Tsomoriri Lake route

  • Shey
  • Thiksey
  • Hemis
  • Gya
  • Rumtse
  • Taglang La
  • Tsokar Lake
  • Polokang La
  • Korzok (Tsomoriri lake)

Leh – Dah/Baima: 162 kms

Famous locations in Leh to Dah / Baima route

  • Spituk
  • Phyang
  • Basgo
  • Likir
  • Alchi
  • Uletokpo
  • Achinathang
  • Baima

Leh – Kargil – Rangdum (Suru Valley) – Padum (Zanskar Valley): 464 kms

Leh Ladakh Road Trip Zanskar
source: wenomads.com
Leh-Ladakh-Road-Trip-Zanskar-min
source: wenomads.com

Famous locations in Leh – Zanskar Valley route

  • Kargil
  • Panikar: View of NunKun Peak
  • Rangdum
  • Panzilla
  • Padum: Zanskar Valley, Zanskar river popular for white water rafting in summer and Chadar Trek in winter

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