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Old 21st July 2014, 13:57   #586
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Default Re: Need advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Google maps shows Udhampur to Sonmarg in 6 hours while you have estimated almost double. Is that the realistic timeframe we should be looking at?

I agree with the rush part, but a couple of guys in our group want to finish off the initial part of the Leh trip ASAP so as to do the remaining 2 weeks leisurely.
12 hours is needed. Do not go by google maps. They are overtly optimistic
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Old 21st July 2014, 14:21   #587
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Default Re: Need advise

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Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Google maps shows Udhampur to Sonmarg in 6 hours while you have estimated almost double. Is that the realistic timeframe we should be looking at?

I agree with the rush part, but a couple of guys in our group want to finish off the initial part of the Leh trip ASAP so as to do the remaining 2 weeks leisurely.
I don't know what aircraft Google are driving on those roads, but I highly suspect the chances of a 6 hour dash to even Srinagar, forget Sonmarg!

The road surface isn't great, there is usually a lot of truck and tourist traffic, some places prone to random jams, congestion at some villages/towns once you enter the valley and then some slow sections (through some villages) between Srinagar and Sonmarg.
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Old 21st July 2014, 20:05   #588
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How is weather in zanskar in august.
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Old 21st July 2014, 22:30   #589
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29th July - Meerut-Manali
30th July - Manali-Jispa
31st July - Jispa-Upshi
1st August - Upshi-Pangong (via chang la)
2nd August - Pangong-Nubra (via Wari La)
3rd August - Nubra-Leh
4th August - Leh- tso morari
5th August - Tso morari- Sarchu (via Debring)
6th August - Sarchu-Manali
7th August - Manali-Meerut

Will Wari La be ok at that time to go from pangong to nubra? Please go over the iternity and suggest any changes. Time is a bit short so only a day can be added. Car is a toyota fortuner 4*4 and 3 adults will be in the car. Thanks in advance.
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Old 21st July 2014, 23:03   #590
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi Tanveer,
My cousin with another friend did the Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi circuit last week. He rode pillion on a rented bullet with his friend from Delhi. It was just like - Chalo Ladakh Jayenge and they rented a bike and were off. I was suppose to join riding a second bike but owing to some unforeseen circumstances I dropped out.

They had some anxious moments en route as they did absolutely no preparation what so ever and complained of dizziness / nausea / body pain / close calls / a tire puncture at no man's place and all. Finally they were so exhausted and shaken that they dropped visiting many places such as Pangong lake or Hanle or Tso Moriri.
Now after returning from the ride, he says he is glad that I did not make it for the ride as that would have been an extremely dangerous proposition for me riding a bike because.

1. I am chronic asthmatic (from Birth) and the thin air at the hills could pose a real danger to me.
2. The whole 11/12 days ride was reportedly done in extreme dusty condition and I am extremely sensitive and allergic to dusts that any slight dust triggers my asthma.
3. I can't stand cold much ( but thermal wear and good riding gears should do help)

I gather from the thread that taking Srinagar route to Leh and ride down through Manali would help a bit in acclimatization rather than the other way (which my cousin did) and a couple of portable oxygen packs should help in case of breathing difficulty? I am enthused to join in as some of my other friends are planning a bike ride (from Bangalore) and that will be about 28 days from Mid Aug to second week of September. My friends (2 bikes - 2 riders ride are supported by HVK forum (ladakh 951) in this endeavor.

August - September months being less harsher to the visitors (compared to June-July)What would be your good advise to me?

Thanks, Ashok

Last edited by ashkamath : 21st July 2014 at 23:05.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 01:22   #591
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hello Lehxperts,

2-3 of us planning a Pune-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Pune starting Aug 1st in Safari 4x4. Our itinerary will be based on BHPians travel experience with some flexibility one we are in Leh.

I was reading about permits etc.. Looks like if you go Manali-Leh in out-of-state vehicle then you need an SDM permit. Is a permit required if you are coming to Manali from Leh? Where would that be issued? Looking at the map, Sarchu is first town if you coming down from Leh which is in HP. Also, is there a limit on number of permits they issue in a single day?

Thanks
-a
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Old 22nd July 2014, 10:47   #592
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
29th July - Meerut-Manali
30th July - Manali-Jispa
31st July - Jispa-Upshi
1st August - Upshi-Pangong (via chang la)
2nd August - Pangong-Nubra (via Wari La)
3rd August - Nubra-Leh
4th August - Leh- tso morari
5th August - Tso morari- Sarchu (via Debring)
6th August - Sarchu-Manali
7th August - Manali-Meerut

Will Wari La be ok at that time to go from pangong to nubra? Please go over the iternity and suggest any changes. Time is a bit short so only a day can be added. Car is a toyota fortuner 4*4 and 3 adults will be in the car. Thanks in advance.
Go to Nubra first as its lower altitude. Will help you acclimatize. Rest is okay
So
Jispa-leh
leh - nubra
nubra -pangong
pangong -chumathang
chumathang Tso moriri
Tso moriri - Tso Kar - Sarchu


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashkamath View Post
Hi Tanveer,
My cousin with another friend did the Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi circuit last week. He rode pillion on a rented bullet with his friend from Delhi. It was just like - Chalo Ladakh Jayenge and they rented a bike and were off. I was suppose to join riding a second bike but owing to some unforeseen circumstances I dropped out.

They had some anxious moments en route as they did absolutely no preparation what so ever and complained of dizziness / nausea / body pain / close calls / a tire puncture at no man's place and all. Finally they were so exhausted and shaken that they dropped visiting many places such as Pangong lake or Hanle or Tso Moriri.
Now after returning from the ride, he says he is glad that I did not make it for the ride as that would have been an extremely dangerous proposition for me riding a bike because.

1. I am chronic asthmatic (from Birth) and the thin air at the hills could pose a real danger to me.
2. The whole 11/12 days ride was reportedly done in extreme dusty condition and I am extremely sensitive and allergic to dusts that any slight dust triggers my asthma.
3. I can't stand cold much ( but thermal wear and good riding gears should do help)

I gather from the thread that taking Srinagar route to Leh and ride down through Manali would help a bit in acclimatization rather than the other way (which my cousin did) and a couple of portable oxygen packs should help in case of breathing difficulty? I am enthused to join in as some of my other friends are planning a bike ride (from Bangalore) and that will be about 28 days from Mid Aug to second week of September. My friends (2 bikes - 2 riders ride are supported by HVK forum (ladakh 951) in this endeavor.

August - September months being less harsher to the visitors (compared to June-July)What would be your good advise to me?

Thanks, Ashok
Yes, that is better for acclimitization. But dust is always there. I suggest you invest in a good mask. Will serve you better than an oxygen cylinder as asthamatics are more prone to attacks due to dust rather than thin air. Manali leh highway, and even Srinagar Leh highway can be extremely dusty
A hepa filter equipped good quality mask can fix the issue for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by akmits_bhp View Post
Hello Lehxperts,

2-3 of us planning a Pune-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Pune starting Aug 1st in Safari 4x4. Our itinerary will be based on BHPians travel experience with some flexibility one we are in Leh.

I was reading about permits etc.. Looks like if you go Manali-Leh in out-of-state vehicle then you need an SDM permit. Is a permit required if you are coming to Manali from Leh? Where would that be issued? Looking at the map, Sarchu is first town if you coming down from Leh which is in HP. Also, is there a limit on number of permits they issue in a single day?

Thanks
-a
You can take permit on the spot at Gulaba, just reach Gulaba by 8am. As for Leh-Manali, no permit needed. There are no limits
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Old 22nd July 2014, 12:00   #593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Go to Nubra first as its lower altitude. Will help you acclimatize. Rest is okay
So
Jispa-leh
leh - nubra
nubra -pangong
pangong -chumathang
chumathang Tso moriri
Tso moriri - Tso Kar - Sarchu
Thanks for the suggestion. Diskit is only around 10k feet so ya it would be better for acclimatization.
The road via Wari la looks to be very steep according to your guide? Is it advisable to do it considering the road is quire deserted.
Also I wanted to avoid leh (haven't been able to come across a place to live with parking and its too crowded) so are there any options to live in Upshi/Karu so that I can avoid leh?
And can't seem to find chumatang accommodation option. Tso morari, Pangong and Diskit seem to have numerous options but I like to keep my iternity flexible so would it be a problem getting accommodation without booking?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 12:17   #594
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. Diskit is only around 10k feet so ya it would be better for acclimatization.
The road via Wari la looks to be very steep according to your guide? Is it advisable to do it considering the road is quire deserted.
No issues for a fortuner

Quote:
Also I wanted to avoid leh (haven't been able to come across a place to live with parking and its too crowded) so are there any options to live in Upshi/Karu so that I can avoid leh?
Stay in the area which is on the road to Khardung La. Its quieter. Near Shanti Stupa. Thongsal Resort, Shakti guest house, Oriental etc., are quiet

Quote:
And can't seem to find chumatang accommodation option. Tso morari, Pangong and Diskit seem to have numerous options but I like to keep my iternity flexible so would it be a problem getting accommodation without booking?

Thanks in advance.
Nope, guest houses there in chumathang. Ask at Dhabas near hot springs.
Alternatively you can take chushul permit and drive straight to Tso moriri using Kakasang La.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 12:38   #595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Nope, guest houses there in chumathang. Ask at Dhabas near hot springs.
Alternatively you can take chushul permit and drive straight to Tso moriri using Kakasang La.
Thanks tanveer. I would myself love to do kakasang La but I will have to stay one extra day to get permits there. Is the route scenic? I mean worth the extra day and not too difficult? Am not a fan of taking undue adventure in the middle of nowhere (case in point like a trip to marsmik la). That will enable me to not retrace my route. Last time (july 2011) I was there I had to stand in a queue for 2 hours to get the normal tourist circuit permit. Is the procedure same as before? (although I believe rush would be much lesser)
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Old 22nd July 2014, 14:38   #596
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
Thanks tanveer. I would myself love to do kakasang La but I will have to stay one extra day to get permits there. Is the route scenic? I mean worth the extra day and not too difficult? Am not a fan of taking undue adventure in the middle of nowhere (case in point like a trip to marsmik la). That will enable me to not retrace my route. Last time (july 2011) I was there I had to stand in a queue for 2 hours to get the normal tourist circuit permit. Is the procedure same as before? (although I believe rush would be much lesser)
Yes, same procedure, go around 10am and there is little line.
The route is very scenic, please refer guide for pictures or my 2012 travelogue
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Old 22nd July 2014, 17:32   #597
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi Tanveer,

Thanks again for writing such a comprehensive guide on driving in Ladakh.
I have gleaned a lot of information from here to make my travel plan, which I would like to run by here.

Planning for a 17-day trip from Kolkata from 3-19 Oct. This is the plan I have come up with. Please let me know your comments on whether this is doable, if this is too aggressive, can the planned driving hours be accommodated (given the shorter October days) etc.

Thanks.



J&K and Ladakh trip - Plan A
=============================

Plan A is to make a loop from/to Chandigarh by entering through J&K, going up to Kargil, then Leh, then exploring Ladakh, Changthang and Nubra regions, and finally exiting through Himachal Pradesh (HP).

Plan B will be both entering and exiting thru HP, but Plan A is preferable, conditions permitting.



Plan A:
=======

Start from Kolkata: 3-Oct morning (Friday - Vijaya Dashami)
Return to Kolkata: 19-Oct night (Sunday)
Duration: 17 days. Weekdays: 10.


3-Oct:

Kolkata - Allahabad.

792 kms. 11 hrs.


4-Oct:

Allahabad - Chandigarh.

915 kms. 13 hrs.

(optionally, depending on time and road conditions, we may go past Allahabad on 3-Oct to reduce the next day's driving to Chandigarh.)


5-Oct:

Chandigarh - Srinagar.

600 kms. 10 hrs.

(depending on road conditions, may stop at Patnitop instead. Patnitop is 187 kms (3 hrs) short of Srinagar.)


6-Oct:

Srinagar - Zoji La - Drass - Kargil.

210 kms. 7:30 hrs.

(have to pre-check which way traffic via Zoji La to Kargil on this day: to Kargil or from Kargil).


7-Oct:

Kargil - Namika La - Fotu La - Lamayuru - Khalste - Leh.

Kargil-Khalste: 125 kms, 3:30 hrs
Khalste-Leh: 130 kms, 2:30 hrs

Total: 255 kms, 6 hrs.



8-Oct:

Leh. Get permits from DC office. Local sighseeing, acclimatizing.


9-Oct:

Leh - Khardung La - Khalsar - Diskit - Hunder - Turtuk - (backtrack) - Hunder - Diskit.

Leh-Khardung (40kms/1:30hrs), -Khalsar (53kms, 1:30hrs), -Diskit (23kms, 0:40hrs), -Hunder (10kms, 0:20hrs), -Turtuk (75kms, 2:00hrs)

Total: 286 kms, 8:30 hrs.



10-Oct:

Diskit - Khalsar - Agham - Shyok - Durbuk - Tangste - Lukung - Spangmik.

(Agham-Shyok is difficult route, so may take other option below.)

Diskit-Khalsar-Agham (50 kms, 1:30 hrs)

Agham-Shyok (45kms, 3:00hrs), -Durbuk (16kms, 0:30hrs), -Tangste (8kms, 0:15hrs), -Lukung (33kms, 1:30hrs), -Spangmik (16kms, 0:45hrs)

Total for Diskit-Agham-Shyok-Spangmik route: 168 kms, 7:30 hrs.

OR

Diskit - Khalsar - Agham - Wari La - Sarkti - Chang La - Tangste - Lukung - Spangmik.

Agham-Wali La (31kms, 2:00hrs), -Sarkti (30kms, 1:20hrs), -Chang La (32kms, 1:45hrs), -Tangste (31kms, 1:15hrs), -Lukung (33kms, 1:30hrs), -Spangmik (16kms, 0:45hrs)

Total for Diskit-Agham-Wari La-Spangmik rotute: 223 kms, 10 hrs.



11-Oct:

Spangmik, around Pangong Tso, Lukung. Marsimik La. Back to Spangmik.


12-Oct:

Spangmik - Merak - Chushul - Mahe - Loma - Nyoma - Hanle.

Spangmik-Chushul (41kms,2:30hrs), -Mahe (75kms, 3:30hrs), -Nyoma (20kms, 0:30hrs), -Loma (31kms, 0:30hrs), -Hanle (50kms, 1:30hrs)

Total: 217 kms, 8:30 hrs.


13-Oct:

Hanle - Kyun Tso - Kyun Tso II - (backtrack) - Chumur.


14-Oct:

Chumur - Tso Moriri - Karzok - Sumdo - Chumthang.

Chumur-Tso Moriri-Karzok (75kms), -Sumdo (43kms), -Chumthang (32kms).


15-Oct:

Chumthang - Upshi - Tanglang La - Debring - Moreh Plains - Pang.

Chumthang-Upshi (106kms, 2:30hrs), -Tanglang La (52kms, 1:30hrs), -Debring (25kms, 1:00hrs), -Pang(45kms, 1:00hrs).

Total: 228 kms, 6:00 hrs.


16-Oct:

Pang - Keylong.

185 kms, 7:30 hrs.


17-Oct:

Keylong - Chandigarh.

409 kms, 10 hrs.


18-Oct:

Chandigarh - Allahabad.

915 kms, 13 hrs.


19-Oct:

Allahabad - Kolkata.

792 kms. 11 hrs.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 18:03   #598
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Hi Tanveer,

Thanks again for writing such a comprehensive guide on driving in Ladakh.
I have gleaned a lot of information from here to make my travel plan, which I would like to run by here..
Do not worry about one way or stuff like that in October. The rush dies down, and roads are quite empty. But its going to be cold (-10 can be expected at Hanle and Tso moriri as well as Pangong)

Secondly, you may not be allowed Chumur. So from Kyun Tso you simply take Chumur Track to Tso moriri. As it is there is no stay option at Chumur
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Old 22nd July 2014, 20:26   #599
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hello,

Thanks Tanveer for the answer. Please confirm- the permit at Gulaba is also only required when you are going towards Leh from Manali, right?

One question:
My Safari is ~3.5 yrs old and has done ~35k KMs. I will be taking it to Concorde Motors for general checkup, filter replacement (it was done 7 months back with the 30k service). Anything else you suggest? I am also thinking of getting pair of Hella in case we need to drive during nights. Lets see if I can find a good accessories shop in Pune for Hella. Let me know if you guys know of any.

The tyres: It has stock Bridgestone Duller HT. Treads on them look good for another 20k. Only concern I have is that one of the rear tyres has 3 puncture repairs. Should I get new ones for this trip and save these for city drive after I come back?

TIA
-a
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Old 22nd July 2014, 20:43   #600
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes, same procedure, go around 10am and there is little line.
The route is very scenic, please refer guide for pictures or my 2012 travelogue
The route does look mouth watering. But the road conditions seeing your 2012 experience do look a bit scary. Are the water crossings on the road to chushul a problem? And the road to kakasang La can we expect better conditions than what you have posted?
Your map says around 8 hours from Pangong to Tso Morari. Is this time a reasonable assumption? Considering the deserted route would not want to drive past sunset. If the road conditions are favorable i would love to try the route.
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