Ultimate Travel guide to Leh – Ladakh
Leh-Ladakh is a place like no other. An Exceptional demystifying beauty in the Himalayas in North India. Leh-Ladakh is a blend of Indian, Buddhism as well as Tibetan linings, a place which is worth paying a visit to. “A Heaven for Adventure Junkies. A Dream for Soul Finder and A Love for the rest of us.” Situated at the height of 2750 – 7672 meters above sea level, Ladakh is indeed extremely blessed with an incredible topography that comprises hilly terrains, lush green grasslands, and high altitude peaks. Adventure lovers from across the globe visit Leh-Ladakh as there is multiple numbers of trek trails and trekking options available here.To Visit such a place you need to prepare in advance. I bring to you an Ultimate guide for the Road trip to Leh Ladakh for 11 long days There are two ways by which one can en route the Road journey to Ladakh. Both ways are worth experiencing. However, the second one is more reliable as the roads are properly built.
- Manali – Leh Ladakh : Total Distance 472 KM
- Srinagar- Leh Ladakh : Total Distance 420 KM
Best time to visit LadakhThe perfect time is Mid August — Early October, with fewer tourists around. The temperature is around -6 to 20 degrees Celsius. Fall is the best season to visit Leh-Ladakh. Go there in September and experience the colors with the shades of gray of a cold desert under a shiny blue sky. You will enjoy the picturesque landscapes as well the Changing weather at every altitude.
Places To Visit during the road trip from Srinagar to Leh Ladakh
Srinagar – Kargil (204 km / 6 hours)Once you have commenced your Road Journey from Srinagar, the first stop will be Kargil. Ensure to fill your Bike Tanks and keep extra Fuel with you. There are halts in between at Sonmarg — an immaculate valley with lush views and snow-clad peak, Zojila Pass (a high altitude pass), Drass Village- the world’s 2nd coldest inhabitant place. You can either stay for overnight at Hotels in Kargil or continue with your Road Trip towards Leh Ladakh.
Kargil – Leh (217 km/ 5-6 hours)On the route to Leh, pay a visit to Lamayuru monastery a Buddhist Temple, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib a religious place of Sikhs, and Magnetic Hill. The worship places are beautifully built and the architecture is worth seeing. Magnetic Hill is one of the most famous optical illusions. Vehicles seem as if they’re moving uphill while going straight on the road.
Leh -Khardung La Pass ( 40 km / 1 hour 30 mins)Next on the way is the highest motorable road in the world, the Khardungla Pass. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Khardung La Pass from all parts of the world. During summer months, you can even book a horse safari.
Khardungla – Nubra ValleyStay overnight in Royal desert Camp or any other camps in Nubra Valley. You can indulge in several adventure activities, such as Camel ride, trekking, desert biking safari, and even a bath in hot springs. There are sand dunes, monasteries, a ruined palace and at Turtuk — a whole different culture to discover.
Stay near Pangong lake in TentVisit Sightseeing places like Shey, Thiksey Monastery, Sindhu Ghat and Hemis on the route to Pangong Lake. Visit the Exact Spots where the Famous Bollywood movie, “3 Idiots” was Shot. Overnight stay in Exotic Royal Camps overseeing the Lake. More Recently another Bollywood movie, “Jab Tak hai Jaan” was also shot.
Pangong to LehDuring your Stay in Leh, Visit the Local Market and Stay with the locals. The life in Leh is easy and slow when compared with the busy hustling life of Metro cities. However, the people of Leh and Ladakh work tirelessly and are extremely hardworking.
What to EAT?Ladakh food has influences from Nepalese, Tibetan, and Kashmiri food. Over time, these places have grown to produce foodstuffs of their kind and taste. The food focuses a lot on soup, bread, and brew. Spices, barley, dry fruit, and bread are part and parcel of Ladakhi cuisine. You must eat traditional local food. Below is the list of some lip-smacking Ladakhi-Kashmiri Foods.
- Butter Tea
- Ladakhi Pulao
Shopping in LehThe Leh main market is home to Tibetan antiques, jewelry, and soaps. You can buy handcrafted rugs, carpets, and pashmina shawls. Visit the Ladakh Apricot store in Zangsti for organic jams made from locally sourced apricots
Pack thisHere’s what you need to survive:
- Waterproof sports shoes
- Hats and sunglasses
- Backpack or duffel bag to carry everything you need for smaller trips around Leh
- Medicine kit
- (If you’re driving) Toolkit with a set of basic tools for the vehicle
- Comfortable clothes including Jackets, Warmers as well as Cotton T-shirts
- Extra Batteries for your Camera and Power Bank
- Go Pro Camera
- Carry government photo-identity proof like driving license, PAN card, Aadhaar card, which come handy at checkpoints, and in a case when permits are required.
- Carry biodegradable/paper bags as Plastic is banned in Ladakh.
- Prepaid SIM cards don’t work well in Leh, but postpaid do.
- Self-Driven Vehicle: you can rent self-driven vehicles from Myles, Zoomcar, and other such companies. Even if you’re traveling in your own vehicle, you need to consider the maintenance and repair cost
- Shared Taxi: You can easily contact a tour operator, and request to arrange a shared taxi for your journey. Everything is taken care of including the places to Visit and Repair and Maintenance of the Vehicle. Also, these drivers have years of experience driving in the mountainous terrains. So safety will not be the concern.