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Old 12th August 2013, 14:42   #211
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
My trip to Ladakh is going to start in 3 weeks and looks like there is a lot of tension along Kashmir region, especially in Kishtwar , Poonch and to some extent in Sri Nagar. Everyone at home is worried and asking me to drop the plan. So considering this, is it OK to go ahead with the plan or should I drop the plan?

In case I go ahead with the plan, I hope that the permits to places around Ladakh are still given. In case I drop the plan, my plan for Ladakh will only be in next year September.

Thanks in advance for all the advice.
You can still take the Manali leh highway. Its more scenic any day. The tension in the valley or Jammu will have no impact on permits in Ladakh.
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Old 12th August 2013, 18:43   #212
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

One question:

Do retired ARMED FORCES personnel require Inner Line Permits?

Rgds
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Old 12th August 2013, 18:53   #213
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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One question:

Do retired ARMED FORCES personnel require Inner Line Permits?

Rgds
I never saw any notification exempting retired personnel. So its best to take permits. A few checkposts are manned by police and not by army. Permit procedure takes 20 minutes hardly, so better be safe than sorry.
That said, due to your service career, you will be able to visit hard to get places like Chushul etc., without any fuss.
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Old 12th August 2013, 19:02   #214
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I never saw any notification exempting retired personnel. So its best to take permits. A few checkposts are manned by police and not by army. Permit procedure takes 20 minutes hardly, so better be safe than sorry.
That said, due to your service career, you will be able to visit hard to get places like Chushul etc., without any fuss.
Thank you TSK Sir.

At the outset this information you have put here is worth it's weight in Gold. Regrets due to another bike ride in my old age (I am Sr Citizen) I am doing the same 2007 route. Next year will buy a Jeep and do Ladakh properly as recommend by you.
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Old 14th August 2013, 15:00   #215
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Thank you TSK Sir.

At the outset this information you have put here is worth it's weight in Gold. Regrets due to another bike ride in my old age (I am Sr Citizen) I am doing the same 2007 route. Next year will buy a Jeep and do Ladakh properly as recommend by you.
Thank you for your kind words. But please do not call me Sir. I am far younger and inexperienced as compared to you!
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Old 19th August 2013, 16:00   #216
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Thank you for the beautifully written guide. I have read this so many times that now I remember every word of it

I am planning to drive to Leh from Bangalore in September with my wife in our T-Fort. Planning to go via Srinagar-Kargil and return via Manali as it has been suggested as the better option.

Wanted to know if we can camp on our own during this travel. Since it is only two of us, safety is the primary concern. We have tents, sleeping bags and other camping equipment.
Also, which are the best places to camp? The major areas we plan to cover from Leh are Panamik, Marsimek La, Pangong Tso, Hanle and Tso Moriri.

I also read very different replies on booking accomodation. Some travelers have been lucky to get a good bargain while booking on spot whereas others planned it ahead. Considering disturbances in Kargil and flash floods, I am confused on which one would be the best option. (Note: September 20 to 26 is the Ledakh festival)

Thanks !!
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Old 20th August 2013, 11:28   #217
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Thank you for the beautifully written guide. I have read this so many times that now I remember every word of it

I am planning to drive to Leh from Bangalore in September with my wife in our T-Fort. Planning to go via Srinagar-Kargil and return via Manali as it has been suggested as the better option.

Wanted to know if we can camp on our own during this travel. Since it is only two of us, safety is the primary concern. We have tents, sleeping bags and other camping equipment.
Also, which are the best places to camp? The major areas we plan to cover from Leh are Panamik, Marsimek La, Pangong Tso, Hanle and Tso Moriri.

I also read very different replies on booking accomodation. Some travelers have been lucky to get a good bargain while booking on spot whereas others planned it ahead. Considering disturbances in Kargil and flash floods, I am confused on which one would be the best option. (Note: September 20 to 26 is the Ledakh festival)

Thanks !!
Thanks for the complement.
I also travel with my wife on my travels, and we are very careful where to camp.
Here is a guideline.
On Srinagar Leh route, and even on Zanskar route, I would avoid camping anywhere. I am sure people have camped on the route and enjoyed it... but for me its always better to be extra cautious.
However, on Manali Leh route, any place that has some dhabas or tented accomodation is safe to camp
Do not camp anywhere till Jispa.
After that, its safe to put up your camp near Sarchu camping locations, and also at Pang.
Tso Moriri is safe to camp too, ditto for Pangong Tso. Hanle is also nice to camp. .you can camp near the observatory guest house, or in the village of Punguk behind Hanle. In September they sometimes catch fish, and you can try a sample at the village. the villagers are very friendly too!

Coming to accomodation, no need to book. Ladakh festival attracts crowd, but it hardly saturates the hotels. I would recommend go via Manali route as later in sept it will be very very cold.
How many days trip you have planned. If you go Via Manali route you can make a one day diversion to Chandertaal also, and its great to camp there.

That said, do not camp just anywhere on Manali Leh highway. Some truckers and taxi drivers are real weirdos(you travel with your wife, so you would know what I mean). Infact I avoid even stopping at Khoksar truck dhabas.
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Old 20th August 2013, 13:54   #218
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Thanks for the complement.
I also travel with my wife on my travels, and we are very careful where to camp.
Here is a guideline.
On Srinagar Leh route, and even on Zanskar route, I would avoid camping anywhere. I am sure people have camped on the route and enjoyed it... but for me its always better to be extra cautious.
However, on Manali Leh route, any place that has some dhabas or tented accomodation is safe to camp
Do not camp anywhere till Jispa.
After that, its safe to put up your camp near Sarchu camping locations, and also at Pang.
Tso Moriri is safe to camp too, ditto for Pangong Tso. Hanle is also nice to camp. .you can camp near the observatory guest house, or in the village of Punguk behind Hanle. In September they sometimes catch fish, and you can try a sample at the village. the villagers are very friendly too!

Coming to accomodation, no need to book. Ladakh festival attracts crowd, but it hardly saturates the hotels. I would recommend go via Manali route as later in sept it will be very very cold.
How many days trip you have planned. If you go Via Manali route you can make a one day diversion to Chandertaal also, and its great to camp there.

That said, do not camp just anywhere on Manali Leh highway. Some truckers and taxi drivers are real weirdos(you travel with your wife, so you would know what I mean). Infact I avoid even stopping at Khoksar truck dhabas.
Thanks for the reply !

We were planning for a 3 week trip starting 2nd week of September. The route we planned for the onward journey was Bangalore - Pune - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Hanumangarh - Amritsar - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh. 2 reasons behind this - Firstly, fellow t-bhpians said that acclimatization to higher altitudes would be better via Srinagar route. Secondly, I wanted to visit the Wagah border.
From Leh, we were planning to visit Khardung-la, Panamik, Marsimek La, Pangong Tso, Hanle and Tso Moriri. And return to Manali via Jispa, Sarchu.
The return was planned as Manali-Delhi-Agra-Udaipur-Pune-Bangalore.

Can you also help me on where can we camp in Tso-Moriri and Pangong Tso? I read that many areas here are reserved and people are not allowed to camp.

Based on your experience, please let me now if you have other suggestions on the route/accomodation. Thanks again
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Old 20th August 2013, 22:50   #219
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
My trip to Ladakh is going to start in 3 weeks and looks like there is a lot of tension along Kashmir region, especially in Kishtwar , Poonch and to some extent in Sri Nagar. Everyone at home is worried and asking me to drop the plan. So considering this, is it OK to go ahead with the plan or should I drop the plan?

In case I go ahead with the plan, I hope that the permits to places around Ladakh are still given.
I returned from ladakh on 18 August. we were quite concerned after hearing about the problems in kashmir and for a while even considered going back via manali, but the desire to see kashmir made us stick to our plan. and we were happy that we did.
I can assure you that things are not as bad as media portrays them to be.
We went leh to kargil on Aug 16th. There was no problem at all. There were some loud noises at night and we were told that this is regular pak shelling around 20KMs away and nothng to worry about.

we went from kargil to srinagar on 17th and again no problems in the route. 17th was declared as a 'hartaal' in srinagar but except for the big shopping areas everything was open. restraunts were open, nishaat and mughal gardens were open. We took a shikara ride on dull lake and even a small hot air baloon ride was operational. we never felt concerned about anything even though there were females with us.
the people were very nice and courteous. the auto rickshaw drivers, shikara walas, small shopkeepers and taxi walas were all very welcoming. most of them were quite open and said that the problems are only because of a few people and there is no real hatred in the hearts of kashmiris, and i believe them. we took a flight from srinagar so dont know about the situation in jammu.

so i can say (from my limited experience) that kashmir is beautiful and kashmiris are very nice people and there should not be any hesitations about visiting them.


like tsk said "The tension in the valley or Jammu will have no impact on permits in Ladakh"
Ladakh is a very peaceful and quaint place. you loose yourself in the beauty and isolation of the place ( atleast i did). So much so that the great kashmir valley did not overwhelm me while returning from ladakh (which i am sure it would have if i had gone directly to kashmir)

Last edited by guptavis : 20th August 2013 at 22:54.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 08:13   #220
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Ok guys, this is it! I am finally taking the plunge . 15 people, 5 cars, different starting cities.

Starting to Ladakh this afternoon from Chennai. Route will be Chennai - Bangalore - Hubli - Pune - Mumbai - Ajmer - Pathankot - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh. Plan to reach Leh on 29th. The return will be the same route except Dalhousie and Amritsar adding up. Will update this thread about any special developments en-route.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:32   #221
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Based on your experience, please let me now if you have other suggestions on the route/accomodation. Thanks again
don't book anything. Whenever you reach a major town or village, just ask around. Best way to get the best accomodation.
As for us, these are the places we prefer
J&K - JKTDC
HP - HPTDC(this can get booked), + lodges and guest houses

In Leh area - Guest houses, go towards Shanti STupa road.
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Old 24th August 2013, 12:25   #222
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by narsi_6989 View Post
Ok guys, this is it! I am finally taking the plunge . 15 people, 5 cars, different starting cities.

Starting to Ladakh this afternoon from Chennai. Route will be Chennai - Bangalore - Hubli - Pune - Mumbai - Ajmer - Pathankot - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh. Plan to reach Leh on 29th. The return will be the same route except Dalhousie and Amritsar adding up. Will update this thread about any special developments en-route.
Best of luck Narsi. Hope you guys have no apprehensions now and your friend is all set to travel too.

Well, your plan seems to have already set. But just in case you want to and can make changes, as TSK has also advised on some route options in some earlier posts, I would have thought of Amritsar on onward journey and planned return via Leh-Manali, the beauty more than worth driving through. But all this thought only if you your plan is flexible still, otherwise leave it for drive later.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 19:02   #223
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi,

We are planning to leave to Leh on 5th September, Please provide me a basic itinerary. We want to go through srinagar and come back via manali route.
Would like these places to be included :

Padum, Hunder, Turtuk, Pangong Tso, Hanle, Tso Moriri + any other place if you think i missed out. Thanks in advance.

Duration about 15-20 days.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 05:44   #224
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Me with 3 friends are all set for the Ladakh trip. We plan to start from Srinagar on 6 Sep and cover Ladakh in 15 days. Plan to cover Zanskar, Nubra, Pangong, Chushul, Mahe via Kaksang La, Hanle, Kyun Tso, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, Sarchu and to New Delhi via Manali. We will be driving a 4X4 Scorpio Getaway and plan to tent / camp out whereever possible.

Many thanks to TSK for this wonderful guide. Got most or all information for planning this trip over hear !!!! Fantastic job !!!
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Old 3rd September 2013, 07:52   #225
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Hi,

We are planning to leave to Leh on 5th September, Please provide me a basic itinerary. We want to go through srinagar and come back via manali route.
Would like these places to be included :

Padum, Hunder, Turtuk, Pangong Tso, Hanle, Tso Moriri + any other place if you think i missed out. Thanks in advance.

Duration about 15-20 days.
Where do you start from? Bangalore? How many days Delhi-Ladakh-Delhi do you have, and what is your experience driving in the mountains. It all depends on this.
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