Guide For Road Trip To Ladakh

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Road Trip to Ladakh 

Ladakh is one of the most incredible regions in the land of Himalayas. The rugged mountains, exotic lakes and ethnic culture in this land of immense beauty will make your journey absolutely exciting and enriching. Travel to Ladakh by road is on top of the bucket list destination for travelers who want to experience the thrill and adventure with dreamy backdrops and unexplored locations. Your trip to Ladakh will include visiting enchanting monasteries, enjoying Tibetan Buddhist festivals and picture perfect scene with enthralling treks, challenging rocky roads and high passes and much more.

It is definitely going to be a road trip of a lifetime for all kinds of tourists. So whether you are planning a road trip to Ladakh on bike, renting a car or coming for a trek, Ladakh has something for everyone. So as you are set to embark on the journey of a lifetime, here’s our guide to help you further:

Delhi to Leh Ladakh – Routes to take

You can choose one among the two beautiful scenic routes while deciding on the road trip to Leh Ladakh. One of the two routes traces through the panoramic Manali while the other leads you to the astounding backdrops of Srinagar. Each route will offer you unique sights and unbelievable experiences. You can stop over at countless spots to capture the priceless pictures of the mind-blowing sceneries and landscapes. All in all a road trip to Ladakh promises to be fun and challenging in equal measures. Let’s check in detail about the routes:

Route 1 – Srinagar – Leh Highway 

This route is usually less taken while travelling to Leh by road. The route passes through Srinagar and covers a distance of almost 434 km to reach Leh. You will experience the boundless natural beauty and countless villages, monasteries, memorials, Gurudwaras and not to forget the endless beautiful blue skies and pristine valleys. You will almost always fall short of words to describe your trip with wonderful scenic delights.

Routes and accommodation:

Your route will be stopping over Amritsar, Sonmarg, Drass Valley, Kargil, Mulbekh, Lamayuru, Moonland, Alchi and Likir on your journey from Srinagar to Leh. You will find plenty of accommodation options while travelling by the Srinagar Leh highway. A houseboat in Srinagar or hotels in Sonmarg or Drass with reasonable rates are available to stay.

Total Distance: Approx. 480KM

Best time to travel on Srinagar-Leh highway :

It’s important for people travelling to Leh by road to know that the Srinagar – Leh highway is open only for a period of six months. The best time to go for this journey starts from mid-June to early October. The roads are in excellent condition by the end of June and chances of closing are minimal.

However, September is the best time to travel through the Srinagar-Leh highway. With no obstructions like landslides, roadblocks or water crossing, the natural beauty of the place is at its peak during this time. The weather and road both are the best to visit this month.

Petrol pumps between Srinagar and Leh

There are many petrol pumps in Srinagar. But once you step out of Srinagar, the next petrol pump is found at Mangan. The functioning of these petrol pumps depends on the time of your arrival. Therefore, it’s best to fill your tanks at the nearest gas stations. Other places where you will find petrol are Sonmarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Nagbal, Ganderbal and Khalsi.

Route 2 – Manali – Leh Highway 

Travelling to Leh from Manali will take you through many ups and downs. It also allows you the opportunity to witness amazing landscapes and varying blue skies along with dangerous mountain roads and quaint mountains. Most of the tourists prefer to travel to Leh by this route. The trail covers a distance of approx. 490kms and treats you with spell bounding ethereal scenery. You will cross the incredible Rohtang pass towards the town of Keylong in the rain shadow area. From here your adventure begins as you will reach the icy gully of Baralacha La.

Routes and Accommodation :

Starting from Manali, you will traverse your way through Karnal, Mandi, Jispa, Gramphu, Kokhsar, Jispa, Darcha, Baralacha La, Sarchu, Gata Loops, Nakee La, Lachulung La, Tanglang La and finally Leh.

Finding accommodation along the Manali – Leh highway is a bit of a concern as you may not find any hotels once you cross Jispa. You can do camping at regular intervals along the highway.

Total Distance: Approx 470km

Best time to travel on Manali-Leh highway :

The roads are open for five months in a year, but the best time to travel on the Manali – Leh highway is in the months of July, August and September. The roads are in good condition, and the hotels and campsites are fully operational during this period. Travelling on this route has its own challenges; however, the journey uphill will help you to acclimatize to the higher altitudes of leh and ladakh gradually. You will find loads of tourist rush at Rohtang Pass during these months. There may be occasional rains in August, but the tourists remain unaffected due to being in the rain shadow area. Usually, the roads are clear and smooth, filled with greenery and natural beauty.

September is considered as the perfect time to travel on the Manali highway. The roads are perfect for embarking the journey filled with adventure and challenges.

Petrol pumps between Manali to Leh:

Manali has a lot of petrol pumps. However, once you cross Manali, there are not many petrol pumps on the Manali – Leh Highway; hence, it is always advisable to carry extra fuel in cans. The next petrol pump you come across on the Manali – Leh highway is at Tandi which is approximately 110kms from Manali. Other places where you will find petrol are Pang or Sarchu and Karu.

Once you reach your destination, you can continue to explore the region and visit beautiful places. Your experience will be nothing less than unique cruising in the inclement trans Himalayan terrain rewarded with unappalled scenic wonders. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? It’s time you buckle up and hit the roads.

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