As of late I visited Leh-Ladakh; however I needed to visit this place from long time. However, because of time limitations, for example, in the event that you need to have full inclusion and on the off chance that you need to appreciate all of it then you should go by road. When I say travel by road, that is mean you require least 10 to 12 days to cover all the must seen places.
What’s more, this time at long last I took out the time and booked the visit by tour company as solo traveler. Travelling solo is an alternate fun all-together. You can be with yourself and do what makes you cheerful. I delighted in all of these 12 days travel with-in Leh-Ladakh. In sort I loved this place.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LEH – LADAKH
Off course, this is the first most question when to go to Ladakh. This place remain closed most of the month due to heavy snowfall. Roads are open from April to September. If you want to visit in month of October then you can fly directly to leh and Visit Leh-ladakh. Yes, leh has airport for small flights. But, flights cost are quite expensive for leh. The flight price goes up-to 16k to 18k INR.
PREPARATION FOR LADAKH TRIP
Once you decided to go to Ladakh, next in line how to prepare. Ladakh is a place where you need to pack seriously, simple bag packing will not help for this place. You need to understand what kind of cloths you need, what you need to carry essential items. Below is the link to article where you will find detailed information.
PLACES TO VISIT IN LEH – LADAKH
Ladakh gives you surprises in every turn of road. I was amazed to see those beautiful mountains and they were not same as people misjudged them. You will find new color and formation after every turn you will take on road.
As we all know that Leh-Ladakh is cold desert. Apart from mountains, you will also find plain areas, where you can see miles away due to less vegetation.
DAY 1: Delhi was my starting point. Volvo buses are available from Delhi to Manali. It was overnight journey and it takes more than 14 hours. As road construction is going on and it is single road and two way traffic.
DAY 2: We did Manali city tour on 2nd day. We had visited famous Hadimba temple and then local manali market. Hadimba temple is surrounded by forest and it was built in 1553. They have kept it in same way, no fancy changes. And, Manali market if full with wool cloths and jackets. If you did not bring any warm jackets, this market is good option to buy one.
DAY 3: It was around 7 hours road journey from Manali to Jispa. We started morning at 8 am and reached Jispa by 5 Pm. Our first stop was Rohtand La which is also known as Rohtag Pass. This Pass is on 13058 ft above sea level. Later we crossed Keylong before finally arriving at Jispa.
We stayed overnight in Jispa Camps. I found these camps nice and clean with good and accommodating staff. There is electricity issue, so electricity is available from 6 am to 10 Pm and so the hot water.
DAY 4: Day 4 was the toughest day of our journey. It was more than 12 hours road travel. We started at 6:30 am from Jispa and our final stop was Leh. En route we stopped at Baralancha la pass which is 16000 ft above sea level, Tanglangla Pass which is 17500 ft above sea level. At first you will feel low oxygen and we were instructed not to walk fast.
We had visited Moore Planes and Upshi. The route most loved by shutterbug community. If you are sleeping on this route means you are missing the most precious times of your life. Overnight stay in leh.
DAY 5: Day 5 was for city tour and leh market. Since we were exhausted by previous day travel, so we started late like 9 am. First visit was of Leh Palace built by Lion’ King in 1553. Second stop was Hall of Fame, you will get know about kargil wars here and learn about history wars. Last stop of the day was Shanti Stupa.
We choose to visit leh Market in evening as afternoon was hotter than we expected. It is quite big market and good for shopping. Small vendors are open for bargaining but big store have fixed rates for their stuff. Overnight in Leh.
DAY 6: After yummy breakfast in Leh, we started our journey to our next stop Nubra. It was around 5-6 hours road travel. We had passed the highest motorable road of the world, Khardungla pass is on 17580 ft above sea level. In last 5 days our body is acclimatized as per the low level of oxygen and heights. Thereafter, no one was feeling sickness on heights.
Enroute river rafting was arranged by our tour company. The stretch of river rafting was 8 km and it was fun in ice cold water. Many of my boat mates jumped in water but I decided not to jump due to my bad throat and stiff nose. Next in line activity was RTV ride and double hump camel. Both were fun. We reached cold desert camp Nubra and overnight in nubra.
DAY 7: This day was planned to travel back to Leh from Nubra with few sightseeing. But we decided to go to Tur Tuk Village, which was last village on India Border. It was 30 km from Nubra. Beautiful village and amazing people. Water falls, apricots and apple tree in every house and fresh air. LOC was from 7 km from tur tuk village and they allow civilians to visit and encourage Indian army and see the LOC. It was all different experience to visit LOC and get to know about mountains which belongs to which country.
We visited Diskit Monastery which was formed in 14th century Changzem Tserab Zangpo on our way back to Leh. Over night stay in Leh.
DAY 8: Today is the day everyone is waiting to visit/see the world famous Pangong lake. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic, salt water Pangong lake at Spangmik. One-Third of this lake is controlled by India & rest of the two-third lies under Chinese province. Enroute we passed Changla pass at 17350 ft from sea level. We encountered the snow fall at Changla Pass. And it was 15 August morning, and changla pass has one small army post and we celebrated independence day with them.
After moving from Changla, everyone was waiting for first look of Pangong lake and it came after 2 hours. The lake has splendid view which can not be described in words, it changes color every time with sky color. The tourist has increased so the number of camps at pangong lake. I just feel the beauty remains untouched, as authority needs to take steps towards cleanliness. Untouched the place is better. Overnight stay at Pangong lake camp.
DAY 9: Day 9 was planned to go back to leh, and enroute we visited Hemis Monastery and 3 Idiots movie school. Well, there is nothing to see in that school. They will ask you to buy products from their school in terms of helping them. And some donations. The tourist management department lady talked about uniqueness of the school but we didn’t get to see it.
We reached Leh by 3 pm and decided to visit leh local market again. We did lot of shopping, organic dry fruits, apricot oil and scrub and stalls/shawl which they claimed as yak wool.
DAY 10: Today we traveled from Leh to kargil. Enroute we stopped at Gurudwara sri pathar, Sangam and Magnetic Hills. Sangam is of two rivers- Hindus and Zanskar and it was clearly visible as per the water color. The water doesn’t mix but flows together. Magnetic hills are magic, you leave your vehicle in neutral and in off mode, it drove its own due to magnetic power on road and hills. After reaching kargil, we proceeded to Hunderman village which is boarder of Pakistan. It is last village near to LOC. The villagers have changed their citizenship trice due to war activities.
DAY 11: It was very tough travel to Srinagar. I think scariest road i have ever seen from kargil to srinagar. Or may be i would say, there was no road at all. Only sand and both way traffic, traffic like trucks and buss.
After reaching srinagar we were boarded to house boat and in evening we had shikara ride. The funny thing about it, sellers are selling there things on boats to tourist during shikara ride. This was the end of the tour as next morning we had flight from Srinagar to Delhi.
All together it was life time trip. Leh is untouched, many tourists still not comfortable to visit this place due to misconceptions about bad roads, bad weather and oxygen level. The impact is negative and positive both. Positive- less tourist, less commercialize will remain beautiful. Negative- less tourist, low tourism income, commercialize will be become over crowded and less beautiful.