As of late I visited Leh-Ladakh; however I needed to visit this place for a 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 means you require at least 10 to 12 days to cover all the must see places.
What’s more, this time at long last I took out the time and booked the visit by a tour company as a solo traveler. Travelling solo is an alternate fun all-together. You can be with yourself and do what makes you cheerful. I was delighted to travel with-in Leh-Ladakh. In short, I loved this place.
BEST TIME TO VISIT LEH – LADAKH
Of course, this is the first question when I go to Ladakh. This place remains closed most of the month due to heavy snowfall. Roads are open from April to September. If you want to visit in the month of October then you can fly directly to Leh and Visit Leh-ladakh. Yes, leh has an airport for small flights. But, flights are quite expensive for leh. The flight price goes up-to 16k to 18k INR.
PREPARATION FOR LADAKH TRIP
Once you decide to go to Ladakh, next in line is how to prepare. Ladakh is a place where you need to pack seriously, simple bag packing will not help this place. You need to understand what kind of clothes you need, what you need to carry essential items. Below is the link to the article where you will find detailed information.
PLACES TO VISIT IN LEH – LADAKH
Ladakh gives you surprises at every turn of road. I was amazed to see those beautiful mountains and they were not the same as people misjudging them. You will find a new color and formation after every turn you will take on the road.
As we all know that Leh-Ladakh is a 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 an overnight journey and it took more than 14 hours. As road construction is going on and it is single road and two way traffic.
DAY 2: We did a Manali city tour on the 2nd day. We visited the famous Hadimba temple and then the local manali market. Hadimba temple is surrounded by forest and it was built in 1553. They have kept it the same way, no fancy changes. And, Manali market is full with wool cloths and jackets. If you did not bring any warm jackets, this market is a good option to buy one.
DAY 3: It was a 7 hours road journey from Manali to Jispa. We started the 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 an 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 of road travel. We started at 6:30 am from Jispa and our final stop was Leh. En route we stopped at Baralacha la pass which is 16000 ft above sea level, Tanglangla Passwhich is 17500 ft above sea level. At first you will feel low oxygen and we were instructed not to walk fast.
We visited Moore Planes and Upshi. The route most loved by the 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: was for a city tour and leh market. Since we were exhausted from traveling the previous day, we started late, like 9 am. First visit was of Leh Palace built by Lion’ King in 1553. Second stop was the Hall of Fame, you will get to know about kargil wars here and learn about history wars. Last stop of the day was Shanti Stupa.
We chose to visit leh Market in the evening as the afternoon was hotter than we expected. It is quite a big market and good for shopping. Small vendors are open for bargaining but big stores have fixed rates for their stuff. Overnight in Leh.
DAY 6: After a yummy breakfast in Leh, we started our journey to our next stop Nubra. It was around 5-6 hours of road travel. We had passed the highest motorable road of the world, Khardungla pass at 17580 ft above sea level. In the 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 the water but I decided not to jump due to my bad throat and stuffy nose. Next in line activity was RTV ride and double hump camel. Both were fun. We reached cold desert camp Nubra and stayed overnight in nubra.
DAY 7: Today I planned to travel back to Leh from Nubra with a little sightseeing. But we decided to go to TurTuk Village, which was last village on the India Border. It was 30 km from Nubra. Beautiful village and amazing people. Water falls, apricots and apple trees in every house and fresh air. The LOC was 7 km from tur tuk village and they allowed civilians to visit and encourage the Indian army and see the LOC. It was a different experience to visit LOC and get to know about which mountains belong to which country.
We visited Diskit Monastery which was formed in 14th century Changzem Tserab Zangpo on our way back to Leh. Overnight 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 the first look of Pangong lake and it came after 2 hours. The lake has a 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 places are better. Overnight stay at Pangong lake camp.
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 the 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 a lot of shopping, organic dry fruits, apricot oil and scrub and stalls/shawl which they claimed was 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 drives on its own due to magnetic power on roads and hills. After reaching kargil, we proceeded to Hunderman village which is on the border of Pakistan. It is the last village near the LOC. The villagers have changed their citizenship trice due to war activities.
DAY 11: It was a very tough trip to Srinagar. I think the scariest road I have ever seen is from kargil to srinagar. Or maybe I would say, there was no road at all. Only sand and both way traffic, traffic like trucks and buses.
After reaching srinagar we boarded a house boat and in evening we had shikara ride. The funny thing about it, sellers are selling their things on boats to tourists during shikara rides. This was the end of the tour as the next morning we had a flight from Srinagar to Delhi.
All together it was a lifetime trip. Leh is untouched, many tourists are 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 commercialization will remain beautiful. Negative- less tourist, low tourism income, commercialization will become over crowded and less beautiful.