Leh Ladakh is Known as the “paradise” on earth, situated in the foothills on the Mighty Himalaya. A land of high passes, cold deserts, barren mountains, ancient monasteries, and stunning landscapes. It attracts travelers from all over the world. It is a Land of mystery and intrigue that never ceases to amaze travelers. The beauty of super-blue lakes and the views from the highest motorable road in the world, witnessing a culture that has kept its traditions alive for almost a millennium; this is something which you can’t miss.
If you plan to visit Leh Ladakh, the first thing that comes to mind is “budget.” So in this article, I will tell you how to plan a budget tour to Leh-Ladakh.
Road to Ladakh (Image courtesy: Source)
How to reach Leh Ladakh:
There are three possible ways to reach leh ladakh, First and second routes are by road and the third approach is by air.
Leh Ladakh by road via Jammu & Kashmir.
The overland approach to Ladakh from Kashmir Valley via Kargil is approx. 434 Km, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet 3,505 m high Zoji-La, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh. The J & K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC) operates regular Deluxe and Ordinary bus services between Srinagar and Leh on this route with an overnight halt at Kargil. Taxis (cars and jeeps) are also available at Srinagar for the journey. Groups can charter Deluxe and A-class buses for Leh, Kargil or Padum (Zangskar) from the J & K SRTC at Srinagar.
Manali to leh ladakh:
Since 1989, the 473 km. Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second overland approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from around mid-June to early October. This high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho, altitude ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. A number of high passes fall enroute among which the highest one known as Tanlang-La is world’s second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet/5,235m. Himachal Pradesh Tourism, HRTC and J & K SRTC operate daily Deluxe and Ordinary bus services between Manali and Leh. The bus journey between Leh and Manali takes about 19 hours or two days with an overnight halt in camps at Serchu or Pang. Maruti Gypsy and jeep taxis are also available, both at Manali and Leh at quite reasonable rates.
- Srinagar – Leh – 434 Km
- Manali – Leh – 473 Km
- Srinagar – Kargil – 204 Km
- Delhi – Leh – 1047 Kms
- Leh – Kargil – 234 Km
- Kargil – Padum (Zanskar) – 240 Km
- Leh – Deskit (Nubra Valley) – 118 Kms.
Air Travel to Leh Ladakh:
Indian Airlines operates 3 flights a week between Leh and Delhi, 2 flights a week from Jammu, and one a week from Srinagar. Jet Airways also operates six flights in a week between Leh – Delhi and Go Air operates daily flights Between Leh – Delhi.
Public Transport: The cheapest way to travel within the region is by public buses, which ply on fixed routes according to fixed schedules. The most comfortable and convenient, though expensive, mode of travel, however, is by taxi, which is available for hire on a fixed point-to-point tariff. For visits to the newly opened areas of Nubra, Dah-Hanu, Tsomoriri, Tsokar, and Pangong Lakes it is mandatory to engage the services of a registered/recognized travel agency for making all the requisite arrangements, including internal transport. Detailed information about bus schedules, taxi tariffs, and travel agencies can be obtained from the Tourist Office or the Local travel guide “Reach Ladakh”, available at Book Shops.
Itinerary: Starting from Srinagar (J&K) and keeping it to the point.
Day 1: Srinagar to leh
Leh (Image courtesy: Sailesh Barik)
Places to visit on the way between Srinagar to Leh.
- Viewpoint Phey village on the Leh-Srinagar highway
Sangam, Confluence Of Zanskar & Indus River Near Leh
- PatharSahib Gurudwara
- Magnetic Hill
- Lamayuru Monastery & village
Day 2 : Drove to Drass to see the Kargil War Memorial. Came back to Leh on the same day. Night stay in Leh
Places to visit on the way:
- Kargil war memorial
- Fotula top (highest point on the Srinagar-Leh road 13479ft)
- Alchi monastery
Day 3: Drove to Turtuk (Nubra Valley) with a stopover at Khardung La. Evening at Hunder sand dunes. Overnight at Nubra Valley.
(Image courtesy: Sailesh barik)
Places to visit on the way:
- Khardungla (Claimed to be the Highest motorable road in the world: 18380 ft)
- South Pullu
- Turtuk (the last village between the India-Pakistan border)
Day 4: We explored the Hunder sand dunes in the morning. You can have a Bactrian camel safari at under.
Drove back to Leh. Overnight at Leh.
Day 5: An adventurous Drive to Pangong Lake, with a visit to Thiksey Monastery on the way. Overnight at Pangong Lake.
(Image courtesy: source)
Places to visit on the way:
- Thiksey Monastery
- Chang la top (World’s third highest pass- 17586 ft)
- Himalayan marmot
- Star gazing at Pangong
- And of course, Pangong in the morning
Day 6 : Morning adventures at Pangong Lake. Drive from Pangong Lake to Tsomoriri. Overnight at Tsomoriri in the Homestays.
Day 7: Morning photography at Tso Moriri. After that, drive back to Leh in the morning, reaching there in the evening around 5 p.m.
Day 8: Visited Old streets of Leh, Leh Palace, and Shanti Stupa.
Where to stay:
Leh: – Shaney La guest House, near Hotel Rafica Tukcha road (nice, clean and newly constructed with apple trees, vegetable and flower garden)
Very much recommended
Price- Rs 400-500
Nubra Valley (Hunder):-
Snow Leopard Guest House
Very much Recommended. Nice, clean and spacious rooms with attached bathrooms. Nice little garden. Price Range: Rs 1500 – 2000 for a double bedroom
Also, there are economical rooms available for around 700 Rs for double sharing.
Pangong:- Camp Martsemik La.
Well, the price of the camps is above Rs 3000. But we went in September and there were not many tourists, so we bargained and managed to get the tents in 1000 Rs per person. 😛 😀
Tso moriri: – Homestay Rs.100 per person.
Total Stay for 8 days- Rs.2500 (In Leh, Kargil, Hunder, Pangong, TsoMoriri)
(This does not include the traveling cost to Srinagar and food, as for food it depends on the individual.) Be safe on these terrains.
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