Travelling to Ladakh is one of the most cherished dreams coming true for many travellers.  The thrill of travelling from one place to another by road through scenic mountains and valleys and many water crossings is one of the best experience you could ever get. The place is a pure untouched beauty of nature.

leh city
Leh City Img Via. (thrillophilia)

Deciding the best time to visit Ladakh can be a quite confusing task.

Most people consider the best time to visit Ladakh is during the summer season, from April to May. This marks the beginning of the tourist season to visit Ladakh, as the weather becomes very stimulating and tourist-friendly, when the snow is melted and the many things happening around. You can also see the Hemis Festival, which is very vibrant and full of colours happening in the month of July. It is the annual festival during which the cold barren desert comes to life. You can take a trip on your own bike or car as it has the accessibility almost everywhere and the temperature ranges from 15° C – 30° C during this season. Ladakh receives the maximum number of tourist during this period.

Hemis Festival
Dancing to the sounds of cymbals, trumpets and drums, the people of Ladakh commemorate Guru Padamsambhav each year on his birth anniversary.

Some people have different thoughts, they plan their visit during the winters as it has its own benefits. It has the most marvellous view as the place is fully covered with snow, also the number of tourists is very less. One of the most adventurous treks in the world, the Chadar Trek takes place during this season, over the frozen Zanskar river is underway. The temperature between this period from October to March ranges from 0° C – 15° C. Most of the Passes remain closed and the roads remain closed or inaccessible through roads.

Chadar Treak
The Chadar frozen river trek is an extremely glamorous trek.

How to reach Leh Ladak?

Ladakh is not accessible throughout the year, as during the winters from October to March, the roads heading for Ladakh are covered under the snow. Here are the ways through which you can reach Ladakh.

1) By Air

Plane To ladakh

You can reach Ladakh by taking a flight. It is one of the fastest and most comfortable way to reach Leh. The airport in Leh is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport which is also a military air terminal is very strict when it comes to security. So do not carry anything which you shouldn’t be carrying. In the month of May flight operate’s from the major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Srinagar, Etc. Through flight, you can reach Ladakh during the peak as well as offseason although there are chances that the flight schedule may change or get cancelled due to the unpredictable weather during winters.

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2) By Road

Route to ladakh
The route to Leh Ladakh

There are three ways by which you can travel to Ladakh using the roadways, by Bike, by Car or by Bus.

a) By Bike

Travelling via Bike.
Travelling via Bike

It is a dream of every biker to travel to Ladakh by bike, as it one of the most adventurous as well as the most thrilling ride you can ever go on.

b) By Car

Travelling via Car
Travelling via Car

If you are travelling with your family or a bunch of friends, and prefer the road overflight, a car is the best option for you as you can still enjoy the beauty of nature, as well as the fun adventure.

c) By Bus

Travelling via Bus
Travelling via Bus

Leh is connected to Srinagar and Manali by road. You can take a bus from either place to reach Leh Ladakh. The JKSRTC buses start from Manali to Leh as well as from Srinagar to Leh. You can take the bus from whichever route you prefer to come from.

Best Road Routes to Reach Leh Ladakh:

There are two major routes that lead to Ladakh.

1. Srinagar – Leh Highway

Route:

Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh

From Srinagar to Leh
From Srinagar to Leh

This route is most accessible for six months and covers a distance of almost 440 km. The best time to travel by this route is between mid-July to June and the whole month of September and October. You may find fewer obstacles like landslides and water crossings with some bad roads and a major dose of the beauty of nature.

Kargil War Memorial
Kargil War Memorial

It takes 2 days to reach Leh as at night it’s too risky to travel in the mountains due to less visibility, you can take a halt at Kargil and visit the Kargil War Memorial built by Indian Army after the Kargil war in 1999, and then proceed towards Leh.

2. Manali – Leh Highway
From Manali to Leh
From Manali to Leh

Route:

Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Gya –Upshi – Karu – Leh.

This route caters some staggering natural beauty and many sightseeing opportunities on this route which is a stretch of almost 490 km. This route convenient and the most preferred route by the tourists. The best time to travel on this route is in July, August and September and this route functions for 5 months.

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3) By Train

Coming to train. The nearest Railway station is Jammu Tawi railway station, which is almost 700 Kms away from Leh. Jammu Tawi Railway station is connected from all the major cities like Mumbai and Delhi. After Reaching Jammu Tawi you can take a tourist cab to reach Leh, which follows the Shrinagar Leh Route.

Things you’ll need in Leh Ladakh?

If you’re travelling to Ladakh, you will need to carry sufficient woollen clothes, a thick pair of socks and gloves to prevent you from the freezing cold. Also keep a few scarfs, woollen caps, and carry boots.  Also, carry a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the direct reflection of the snow.

man riding with travel essentials.
Always remember to carry important necessary items.

Consult your doctor before going to Ladakh, as it is situated at high altitude and has less oxygen. Altitude sickness and motion sickness are a common problem in Ladakh. You should carry medicines for a cough, cold, fever, etc., and stress, as you travel by flight your body might take a while to get acclimatized to the weather and you may end up with an upset stomach.

Places to Visit

Ladakh is a place which is one of its kind. The immense beauty of pure lakes, the ancient monasteries and the mountain valleys topped the adventure and thrill attracts a good amount of tourists from all around the globe. Here are a few famous interesting points to visit around Leh.

1. Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill
Hilltop & novelty historic site where cars & water appear to move uphill against gravity.

 

2. Sangam Point

Sangam Point
Here you can witness the beauty of two rivers Indus and Zanskar meeting together.

3. Shanti Stupa.

Shanti Stupa
Opened in 1991, this is a remote place of worship which has a large statue of Buddha.

4. Shey Palace

Shey Palace
This is one of the most popular monasteries in Ladakh.

5. Spituk Monastery

Spituk Monastery
Located 8kms away from Leh. This monastery was built in the 11th century and marks a home for about 100 monks.  It is a must visit for Buddha Devotees.

Other famous monastery includes Thiksey, Hemis, Lamayurya

5. Maitreya Buddha.

Maitreya Buddha.
Diskit Monastery has the biggest statue of Maitreya Buddha.

6. Leh Palace

Leh Palace
It is a former royal palace of the Leh Kingdom in Leh city. Build in the 19th century is the tallest building of its time.

7. Pangong Tso Lake

Pangong Tso Lake
Situated at the height of 4350m it’s the world’s highest saltwater lake which extends to almost 160km 1/3 part of the lake lies in India and the other 2/3 lies in China.

8. Nubra Valley.

Nubra Valley
Situated on 3048 above sea level, there are several monasteries around the valley. You can enjoy camel ride with scant vegetation while admiring the snow-clad mountain peaks.

9. Changla Pass

Changla Pass
It is situated at an unbelievable altitude of 5,360m above sea level, Chang La Pass is the third highest motorable mountain pass in the world and is a gateway to the Pangong lake

10. Khardungla Pass

Khardungla Pass
Khardungla Pass

Situated at an altitude of 18,379Ft. above the sea level, it is among the highest motorable passes in India which is the gateway to the remote valleys like Nubra and Shyok. Umling La Pass situated at 19,300Ft. has overtaken Khardungla Pass as the highest motorable road in the world.

Umling La Pass
Umling La Pass

These points of interests take around 6 to 7 hours of drive to reach, except the ones which are in or nearby Leh city, so while travelling from point A to Point B you will have to carry all your belonging and stay at Point B enjoy the attraction and again move towards point C. Avoid the risk of travelling in the night due to less visibility, you can always find tent camps which are available at regular intervals to stay in, which has attached toilets to it.

sky at night in ladakh
Don’t forget to watch the sky at night, if you are lucky enough you might see some awesome view in the sky.

We hope through this you get a clear understanding of how to travel and what to see in Ladakh.