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Old 18th April 2014, 14:40   #361
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by gypsyFreak View Post

If you think this too is over ambitious, please suggest an itenary for four days between Srinagar to Manali with must see places for first timers.

Thanks in advance...
Please open the map of this guide in full size. Distances and driving times are well marked. They include some time for photography breaks too.
Do check them out.
Plan accordingly. forget google maps. you don't need them
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Old 18th April 2014, 14:41   #362
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

That Padum - Leh road is not doable, by vehicle, atleast not for next few years, google is crazy

For the first timer, I would suggest skip Zanskar completely, and cover other places. I will also suggest to skip Amritsar

Day 4 - Delhi - Patnitop
Day 5 - Patnitop - Drass or Kargil. Patnitop to Srinagar is 5 hours, Drass has JKTDC and few other basic hotels
Day 6 - Drass - Leh
Day 7 - Permits and then upto Hunder, skip Turtuk else you will be driving all the time
Day 8 - Hunder - K La - Leh - Karu - C La - Pangong Tso - Spangmik - this is a very long day, start early
Day 9 - Spangmik - Keylong : Again a very long day, and you will have to come back to Karu for fuel.
Day 10 - Keylong - where you target
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Old 18th April 2014, 19:55   #363
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by gypsyFreak View Post
With the summer approaching i see there are lot of bhpians planning their annual pilgrimage (Drive to Ladakh)

So, here goes my plan. Experts your opinion please. Is it possible to do the below trip in 2 weeks? I am asking this question from a enjoyment point of view not just driving.

I will be driving from Mysore in my Scorpio LX 4WD with my wife and mother (61 yrs).
Planning to start in mid May.

Attachment 1231067
This is what I ideally call a Truck Drivers Vacation Plan (Sorry no offence meant).
I was the same when I wanted to make my first Ladakh Itinerary.

You cannot plan to visit whole of Ladakh in one vacation plan period.

Two weeks are very less for your start point (Mysore). You have not planned any contingency buffer days either.

I used to drive 12 hours a day (including breaks) and not able to cover more than 100-110 kms in a day on a motorbike in Ladakh region.

So you can take your figures to 150-175 kms/ 12-14 hours of driving.
Plan accordingly.

Skip other things such as Amritsar, Srinagar (out of the way) sight seeing etc.

Route wise I did prefer the Mysore- Pune - Jaipur- Delhi route.

I would suggest going through a lot of blogs before even you plan your itinerary.
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Old 19th April 2014, 09:54   #364
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
This is what I ideally call a Truck Drivers Vacation Plan (Sorry no offence meant).
I was the same when I wanted to make my first Ladakh Itinerary.

You cannot plan to visit whole of Ladakh in one vacation plan period.

Two weeks are very less for your start point (Mysore). You have not planned any contingency buffer days either.

I used to drive 12 hours a day (including breaks) and not able to cover more than 100-110 kms in a day on a motorbike in Ladakh region.

So you can take your figures to 150-175 kms/ 12-14 hours of driving.
Plan accordingly.

Skip other things such as Amritsar, Srinagar (out of the way) sight seeing etc.

Route wise I did prefer the Mysore- Pune - Jaipur- Delhi route.

I would suggest going through a lot of blogs before even you plan your itinerary.
No offence taken.
I am going through the blogs in various forums and it is appearing that Ladakh trip is not like a regular trip. We cannot cover KMs in hours, it's how many hours we need for KMs is what is required.
Anyways, this is the essence of TBHP, with such wealth of knowledge on Ladakh (not to mention other parts) and stalwarts like Tanveer, HVK, RKBharath and others we can be pretty sure that we can make the right plan.
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Old 19th April 2014, 10:59   #365
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by gypsyFreak View Post
No offence taken.
Thanks

Quote:
I am going through the blogs in various forums and it is appearing that Ladakh trip is not like a regular trip. We cannot cover KMs in hours, it's how many hours we need for KMs is what is required.
I totally agree. Do not measure your trip in kms but rather in hours. Do not plan to drive after 7 or 8 maximum in the hills.

Important points:
1) You need to increase the duration of your trip or either send your vehicle directly to Jammu or Delhi to save 2-3 days both sides. This is going to eat major of your time.
2) You need to plan for leisure days when you will not drive or drive bare minimum so that you can enjoy the trip and also these days will help as buffer during contingency.
3) Do not plan your route via Srinagar during Amarnath yatra as troubles are bound to happen and you are going to get stuck.
4) Do not plan your trip during the monsoon days as till you enter Ladakh you will be faced with torrential rains. So either start early in the Ladakh season or late.
5) You should know the fuel bunks and plan accordingly, even carry some of the fuel to safeguard yourself. Its not uncommon for remote fuel bunks to run out of fuel.
6) Tanveers blog is really very helpfull and plan according to his distances,time taken mentioned on the map. Plan extra hours because we are not Tanveer! He has been there many times and knows a lot and his driving skills will surely be better than us in the hills.
7) Plan for contingency/accidents/illness etc. Do not skip this.
8) Plan 1 day for inner line permits.
9) Practice driving in difficult hills and for at least 12-14 hours to judge your capabilities.
10) Last but not the least carry spares, rope and maintain your vehicle in tip-top condition.

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 19th April 2014 at 11:02.
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Old 20th April 2014, 12:21   #366
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Default Re: Kashmir & Ladakh - Itinerary | June 2014

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Originally Posted by nik.agr View Post
We start either on 1st June or 8th June from Delhi.
Might run into each other. I am planning to leave from Noida on June 7.
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Old 21st April 2014, 14:56   #367
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Wondering what would be the earliest opportunity to visit Leh, daughter's school vacation is from Mid May to Mid June and looks like on the Manali Leh route, Rohtang doesn't open until the second week of June.

I will be driving from Kolkata, so will probably be a 2/3 day drive to Delhi/Manali.

If not all the circuits, would like to atleast touch a few notable ones. My vehicle is a 4WD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Zanskar opens late in season, often around end may. So you may be able to go to Rangdum only, as Pensi La will open end May.

Randgum = 4000m
If you stay night at Rangdum you can easily go to Padum as its at similar Altitude.

For acclimitization, you may want to spend one night at Sonmarg, then one night at Panikhar(ahead of Kargil), This will prepare you for Padum

If Pensi ls is not open
You do a Panikhar - Rangdum - Kargil day trip or night at Rangdum depending upon schedule
If Pensi ls is open,
Then Panikhar - Padum is doable in one day

With all the inputs. This is a likely plan, keeping Padum option open, if Pensi La is not open, it will give me an additional day!

Let me know if this looks good. Travelling with a 8 yr old and a single (not marital status though) driver with average skills and lesser than average patience.

Name:  Ladakh.JPG
Views: 978
Size:  73.7 KB

Suggestions welcome. Also from folks like @SS-Traveller and @Blackpearl
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Old 21st April 2014, 15:20   #368
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by 1100D;3417790
[ATTACH
1232936[/ATTACH]

Suggestions welcome. Also from folks like @SS-Traveller and @Blackpearl
You don't need to spend 2 nights at Spangmik.
You can do this

Turtuk - Leh
Leh - Spangmik - Reach by noon by doing a 7 hour run.
Spangmik - Chumathang - Start around noon and reach by night
Chumathang to Hanle
Hanle to Korzok - Try kyun Tso route if open
Doable in your 4WD

From Sarchu, you can head to Manali, no issues.
You can also try the direct route from Spangmik to Hanle via Tsaga la. Get the permits ready, and there is a chance you will be let through.
If you are not, go back via Erath route, its a quick route to Tangste from Chushul
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Old 21st April 2014, 16:32   #369
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You don't need to spend 2 nights at Spangmik.
You can do this

Turtuk - Leh
Leh - Spangmik - Reach by noon by doing a 7 hour run.
I wanted to do the Marsimik La for no good reason hence included an additional night at Spangmik, to be able to spend some time as well near Pangyong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
From Sarchu, you can head to Manali, no issues.
Again wanted to break the Sarchu- Manali at Keylong, to avoid getting into a long jam (at Rohtang) after a long drive through beautiful sceneries on its last leg. So a stop at Keylong would have just kept us amongst the lovely surroundings a little long, not sure if this would also open up chances of seeing any lakes around Keylong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Spangmik - Chumathang - Start around noon and reach by night
Chumathang to Hanle
Hanle to Korzok - Try kyun Tso route if open
Doable in your 4WD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You can also try the direct route from Spangmik to Hanle via Tsaga la. Get the permits ready, and there is a chance you will be let through.
If you are not, go back via Erath route, its a quick route to Tangste from Chushul
Yes this was the route I was intending to take. However what is this Erath route? Is this the one that (from Chusul) goes thru Kakasang, HorLa, Mahe? Or if it isn't, is there a schematic to this?
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Old 21st April 2014, 16:52   #370
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I wanted to do the Marsimik La for no good reason hence included an additional night at Spangmik, to be able to spend some time as well near Pangyong.
Then do this
Stay two nights in Spangmik, and attempt Marsimik La.
On second day, head to chushul, driving along the lake.
If you are turned back from Chushul, you head towards Kakasang La route. If you are turned back there too at army check post, simply start going on the tarred road towards Tangste. Any local will tell you. You do not have to do the bumpy lake stretch again.
If you are allowed, you spend night in Hanle, otherwise you proceed to Leh with ample daylight to spare.





Quote:
Again wanted to break the Sarchu- Manali at Keylong, to avoid getting into a long jam (at Rohtang) after a long drive through beautiful sceneries on its last leg. So a stop at Keylong would have just kept us amongst the lovely surroundings a little long, not sure if this would also open up chances of seeing any lakes around Keylong.
Rohtang should be relatively clear in the evening. The road is a lot better now


Quote:
Yes this was the route I was intending to take. However what is this Erath route? Is this the one that (from Chusul) goes thru Kakasang, HorLa, Mahe? Or if it isn't, is there a schematic to this?
Chushul is like a tri junction.
One road comes from Tsaga La, One comes from Spangmik, and a third comes direct from Hanle. Any local will guide you.

Here is a map

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=3...3.6017/78.6325
The road towards west goes to Tangste(Erath route)
The road north is where you came from (Pangong Tso)
The Road south-East is the Tsaga La route.
The Marker is the T junction where when coming from pangong "Right" will take you to Tangste and Left is Kakasang LA.

Kakasang La checkpost can be lenient because you are heading "away" from the border. Try and speak to the CO, and ask him to proceed to Mahe.

Mirpal Tso is an amazing lake. Your 4WD will easily manage the track.

On second thoughts forget about the Tsaga La. Just head to Kakasang La. See two lovely lakes, see the highest pass of the region(barring marsimik and photi la),

Last edited by tsk1979 : 21st April 2014 at 16:53.
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Old 21st April 2014, 18:59   #371
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=3...3.6017/78.6325


The Road south-East is the Tsaga La route.

The Marker is the T junction where when coming from pangong Left is Kakasang LA.
I guess from the two statements above. Will taking left at the marker be the routes for both Tsaga La and Kakasang La?

Or the left turn for Tsaga La will be a bit ahead of the marker (coming from Pangong).
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Old 21st April 2014, 19:57   #372
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I guess from the two statements above. Will taking left at the marker be the routes for both Tsaga La and Kakasang La?

Or the left turn for Tsaga La will be a bit ahead of the marker (coming from Pangong).
Nope. To go to Tsaga la this is the fork
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=3...3.6177/78.6434

Take left here for Tsaga la and Right here for Kakasang LA. I recommend Kakasang La due to two lakes, and easier chance of passage.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 00:03   #373
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I recommend Kakasang La due to two lakes, and easier chance of passage.
Great. So, what would be the route to Hanle

Chusul-KakasangLa-Mahe-Nyoma-Loma-Hanle

or

Chusul-KakasangLa-Mahe-Nyoma-Nidar-Kyun Tso-Hanle?

Moreover, if there's no accomodation at Hanle (why is the accomodation uncertain at Hanle?), can Mahe be a night halt point, given the next day, want to go to Karzok (so going all the way back to Leh might be a little unnecessary).

Sorry for bothering you with these granular questions.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 04:55   #374
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Kargil to Padum takes minimum 11 hours, unless you are doing the stage in Raid-De-Himalaya and have a service team as a backup.
I am not sure about the current road conditions but in 2012 we started from Padum at 6:30 a.m. and reached Kargil at 4 p.m. Lost 1 hour due to the roof rack on my Bolero coming loose and a further 30 mins due to a tire puncture on the Pajero. So I calculated that if I could do it in 8 hours of driving in the bone jarring Bolero, a person with a better vehicle can do it in 7 hours


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Yes this was the route I was intending to take. However what is this Erath route? Is this the one that (from Chusul) goes thru Kakasang, HorLa, Mahe? Or if it isn't, is there a schematic to this?
We did the Chushul to Mahe route via Kaksang La and Horla in 2012. I have the GPX track saved, let me know if you need it. Kaksang La might not be open in May but depends on the amount of snowfall. The locals had mentioned that the army does not clear this route as often as it is not a main route. But as Tanveer has mentioned this route is worth doing due to the two lakes and more so because you have a 4wd.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 10:35   #375
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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I am not sure about the current road conditions but in 2012 we started from Padum at 6:30 a.m. and reached Kargil at 4 p.m. Lost 1 hour due to the roof rack on my Bolero coming loose and a further 30 mins due to a tire puncture on the Pajero. So I calculated that if I could do it in 8 hours of driving in the bone jarring Bolero, a person with a better vehicle can do it in 7 hours
so you did it in 10:30 -1:30 = 9 hours.
When we first attempted this route we were on target for 10 hours.
With slow careful driving making sure nothing breaks.
We took 11 hours when you count relaxed driving.
The segment timings in these drives are made with taking into account photography breaks etc., Therefore if you do not stop much for photography or relaxing, then you can do it in probably 9-10 hours, however then the point of doing this route is lost.




Quote:
We did the Chushul to Mahe route via Kaksang La and Horla in 2012. I have the GPX track saved, let me know if you need it. Kaksang La might not be open in May but depends on the amount of snowfall. The locals had mentioned that the army does not clear this route as often as it is not a main route. But as Tanveer has mentioned this route is worth doing due to the two lakes and more so because you have a 4wd.
Route fully mapped on openstreetmap. So no need of any GPX trails now. This route usually gets little snow and blockages are mostly due to landslides. Its under BRO so its cleared in a day or 2 usually. There may be a tarred road up there now since BRO work was in full swing in 2012.


@1100, Hanle does have home stay acco. Nothing special. Nyoma has some decent acco though. And its barely two hours.
I would suggest not doing Kyun Tso while going as it would go dark.

On the way back, do Kyun Tso on the way to Tso moriri.
you can come down to Nidar via Thit Zarbo la, or if you are into shortcuts, you can take this road. I am told its good now
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=3...2.8259/78.6278

So you see the lakes, then head towards Chumur. Do not go to Chumur, just turn towards Tso moriri. No permit issue also

Last edited by tsk1979 : 22nd April 2014 at 10:56.
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