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Old 25th June 2015, 01:17   #916
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by figo_united View Post

Please suggest travel plans from Srinagar to Leh as well as plan to go around within leh in the free time as per the above itinerary.

Thank you.
I would suggest to spend atleast 2 nights in Leh before emarking on the Stok Kangri Trek
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Old 25th June 2015, 01:23   #917
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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I would suggest to spend atleast 2 nights in Leh before emarking on the Stok Kangri Trek
Thanks tsk1979. I shall drop the idea of reaching Leh on 12th then
If I start from Srinagar on 10th morning, I should be able to reach Leh by 11 evening right? and the trek starts on 13th morning. hopefully, that should be sufficient acclimatization?
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Old 25th June 2015, 09:39   #918
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Thanks tsk1979. I shall drop the idea of reaching Leh on 12th then
If I start from Srinagar on 10th morning, I should be able to reach Leh by 11 evening right? and the trek starts on 13th morning. hopefully, that should be sufficient acclimatization?
Yes, that is perfect. The trek is high altitude and acclimatization is very important.
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Old 25th June 2015, 18:47   #919
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

I just returned back from Ladakh. My ride was an Innova.
Originally the trip was planned for Delhi-Sonamarg-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Leh-Pangong-Leh-Tso Kar-Jispa-Manali-Delhi
However owing to local reports of bad roads on the Leh Manali stretch (Baralacha La and Zing zing bar), and already having lost a day in Leh, I had to postpone my plans for Leh-Manali, choosing instead to return via the Kashmir valley.
Thanks to Tanveer and all others on this thread for the answers to all my queries before my maiden trip to Ladakh. Tanveer special thanks to you for easing my mind, when you returned my call as I was en route Zoji la.
I owe all a detailed travelogue - and as soon as it's ready , I will publish it.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 25th June 2015 at 19:06.
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Old 27th June 2015, 08:04   #920
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Hi Guys, hectic schedule prevented an earlier update. I had an amazing trip and awesome wildlife spotting on my trip. I did Delhi - Srinagar first day by hiring a driver and relieving him for a couple of hours every now and then. He returned by bus from Srinagar and I took charge from Srinagar.

Also managed to have the world famous Rajma Chawal at Peeday before Patnitop. Second day also pushed it to Leh as my trip was largely planned to be beyond Leh.

I did Delhi - Srinagar (Stay 1 Night) - Leh (stay 2 nights and 1 day) - Changla - Pangong Tso (Spangmik Stay 1 night) - Shyok - Khardungla - Leh (Stay 1 night) - Drass (Stay 1 Night to get entry into Zojila Pass at 4am which was then one way movement only) - Drove through from Drass to Delhi, but via Jammu and Mughal Road instead of Patnitop as that road was closed for repairs (running one way on alternate days, this is also along the Jhelum I believe and is a very pretty route) with a few hours of breaks in the car to rest.

I did it on the Rexton AWD and was easy handling any road and the lack of it especially the Spangmik to Leh via Shyok and Khardungla where I had to do loads of offroading on the Shyok river bed due to a land slide.

I had a permit until Hanle via Chushul but had to turn back after Spangmik as one of my kids developed AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) at Pangong. Sleeping at 14,000 ft + is extremely tough and apparently the hit rate is > 60% for people who stay at Pangong.

The permits were not an issue at all and Mr. Tashi at the Leh DC office even gave me his friend's contact details at the observatory who is a scientist with ISRO. Unfortunately, that's for next time. For permits and extremely sound road condition advise, please Contact Mr. Tashi at DC office. No bribes etc, are required around the Ladakhi people.

There is however an issue with the local taxi unions as they stop out of station cars. If it is a private registration then they also ask for proof that it is your car or proof that it belongs to your friend and that you have not hired it. For yellow boards, you should try to hit these spots (specifically Karu) at night, I don't know if a fee for their revenue loss will let you through, but they don't allow yellow boards from other places due to loss of their own revenue (not even from Srinagar). So traveller beware and have your documents and stories ready if stopped. Don't burn bridges, if you have a breakdown, there will not be many people to help otherwise .

For my dear friend Figo, the Stok plan looks a little rushed for a fly-in schedule. Stok is a 20,000+ climb and the highest in the Ladakh range. Is the plan to do the base camp or the peak? For the peak, the better guides normally do a couple of mock climbs and then push for the peak itself. Above 18,000 ft is classified as "extremely high altitude" I think and needs acclimatisation even at base camp.

For others, please contact me for detailed info if required. But I'll blog this and post a link with tonnes of amazing pictures including Kiangs, Mormots, Ibex's, Griffon Vultures, Wild Horses, Himalayan Birds and of course amazing nature. Stay at Pangong if you want to see the disco lights in the night sky. There is not a square mm in the sky without a star.

I'm going back again and again. Maybe the Manali - Leh in a car (already done on a bicycle) in September.

Tanveer, thanks for the amazing article and the tips. Take a 4x4 to feel in control at all times and of course the better the road clearance more comfortable you are. The Thule car rack helped with 630 litres of storage space on top of the car.
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Old 27th June 2015, 23:49   #921
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

I'm planning to do a trip from Leh to Hanle and back. What should my plan be like? Is it doable in one day or is it advisable to complete the circuit in 2 days? Any suggestions for accommodation and food (on the way and at Hanle)?

Apart from the Permit to Hanle, what else should I carry/prepare for? Is this a high altitude spot as well? I will have already done Pangong and Nubra earlier in the week so would the altitude still be a problem?

I also heard taking camera beyond Nyoma is not allowed? Is this valid? I'm going there mainly for the photography so, banning cameras would be a party pooper!

Last edited by vsathyap : 27th June 2015 at 23:53. Reason: Added Camera info
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Old 28th June 2015, 08:12   #922
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Drove through from Drass to Delhi, but via Jammu and Mughal Road
I am planning to drive in my 2 WD XUV 500 from Jammu to Srinagar via Rajouri/Bafliaz/Shopian on the Mughal Road in this September. Kindly enlighten me of the road conditions.
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Old 28th June 2015, 10:03   #923
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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I am planning to drive in my 2 WD XUV 500 from Jammu to Srinagar via Rajouri/Bafliaz/Shopian on the Mughal Road in this September. Kindly enlighten me of the road conditions.
We did this exactly last September but while driving down from Leh.

From Srinagar to Peer Ki Galli to Bafaliaz is an excellent single carriageway road. Soon after Bafaliaz till Rajauri the section becomes narrow and more curvy and progress is slower due to narrow roads and oncoming traffic. The roads are also not in great shape only in this particular sector.

Once you hit Rajauri,its again good wide 2 lane roads all the way to Jammu.

Not at all a bad idea to take it as opposed to the usual Jammu Srinagar route.

Reason why we took this-

Post floods last year, there were incessant and unpredictable jams on main highway. We were at Sonamarg and gambling between Main highway or Mughal road. The hotel we halted at Sonamarg had few Politicians staying for that night.

We spoke to them and they initially told us the main highway is clear and we can take it. Then one of them sent their PA again to the dining area and informed us to take the Mughal road.

September would be apple season. We faced at least 1 Hour or snarls crossing Sophiyan near Apple Mandi due to thousands or trucks wanting to enter the Apple market in the morning.

Plan your drive accordingly as the whole stretch from Srinagar Bypass to Jammu should consume almost a day (we did 6am to 9pm for Sonamarg to Srinagar via Mughal road).

Of course, we faced one Jam at Sophiyan and one more after Bafaliaz due to landslide, both consuming 1 hour each.
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Old 28th June 2015, 10:32   #924
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I started 15th May night and did Delhi - Srinagar(1st Night) - Leh(2nd and 3rd Night) - Spangmik(4th Night) - Leh via Shyok and Khardungla(5th Night) - Drass(6th Night) - drove through Mughal Road as Patnitop was closed and drove straight to Delhi with breaks. One of my sons had AMS when we stayed at Spangmik as that is 14,000 + feet. We cancelled our trip to Hanle via Chushul and turned back following the Shyok river. There's hardly any road in most places and enjoyed loads of offroading. Due to write a blog and will then post a link soon. Spotted and shot tonnes of wildlife including Kiang's, Mormots, Ibex, Griffon Vultures, Wild Horses, Wild Yak's and exotic birds.
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Old 28th June 2015, 10:45   #925
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by shreyasmrao View Post

There is however an issue with the local taxi unions as they stop out of station cars. If it is a private registration then they also ask for proof that it is your car or proof that it belongs to your friend and that you have not hired it.
How can someone with no authority check one's paper? And how can one allow this?

My car is in my father's name & it is duly mentioned in my DL [of-course ]

Would request you to create a travelogue & one ownership report of your Rexton, please

Thanks

Last edited by Sheel : 28th June 2015 at 10:50.
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Old 28th June 2015, 10:47   #926
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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We did this exactly last September but while driving down from Leh.
Thank you so much for the prompt response, paragsachania.

I wanted to drive on this route on 8 Sep 2014, but couldn't do so due to unprecedented floods at Srinagar.

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I tried in vain to gate-crash into Srinagar and drove upto almost Udhampur only to be told by cops that all vehicular traffic to Srinagar is stopped at Ramban. So, we returned empty-handed to Pathankot.
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Old 28th June 2015, 12:15   #927
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Completed a quick last minute trip to Zanskar valley.

Started from Delhi to Patnitop. Then second day at Kargil. Proceeded to Rangdum on the third day.
Crossed penzi La to witness the 2 lakes and the drung drang glacier to come back to Kargil for the night. 5th day we were back in the valley at verinag (20km from anantnag).

6th day we were to reach Delhi but due to landslides at ramban and ramsu the road was closed. The road reopened after 18 hour and we wasted a day at verinag. Back to Delhi on the 7th day.

It was a wonderful trip and the Lang Tso and Stat Tso along with the drung drang and the parakchik glacier are sights to behold. Being June there was lots of snow and we even experienced snow fall in rangdum.

The road was in bad shape after panikhar with lots of tyre shredders. There has been no improvement in the road and everything is as tanveer has said in this thread as of October 2012. Am greatful to the maps and information provided by tanveer in this thread as there is very little literature about the place.

I would recommend a high ground clearance vehicle as there are many water crossings which become significant in the afternoons. We had a Toyota fortuner 4*4 for company and thoroughly enjoyed driving it through the inhospitable terrain. I have been to ladakh twice before and would recommend everyone to try and include this route in their journey. Its an under rated jewel waiting to be relished.
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Old 29th June 2015, 09:32   #928
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I wasn't able to view my posts until today and hence I posted duplicate information in my posts.

Sheel, when you're in the middle of nowhere and such kinds of conditions are laid down, there will not be much choice. And let's remember that most laws extend to the whole of India except J&K. That on a lighter note, but I think they now see the influx of tourism but with its own vehicles and no revenue to them hence the issue. But legally nobody is bound to show anything, but not sure how easy will that be to argue your way out.

Zoji La was one way when I went (May 15th to May 23rd) official timings were morning 4 to 7 Down Convoy, 9 to 11 Up Convoy, 1 to 4 Down Convoy and that's it. The timings in between are left open for the last vehicle to make it thru. They stop you at Sonamarg below and at Drass on top. I reached Sonamarg at 11:45 ambling thru the beautiful valleys and was told to go back. However with us was a J&K Police newly recruited constables who were also late. They were let thru by the SHO and therefore the police officer let us thru saying "how are you any different from them"! Be extremely careful, Ladakhi's are corruption averse and will take offence (I witnessed this first hand in couple of places). On the way down I stayed at Drass (Terrible place to stay and is only for truckers, don't do this unless there's no option) to take the first down convoy at 4am.

I did the road from Pangong to Leh via the Shyok river route. The route is extremely beautiful with hardly any traffic, but the roads are non-existent in most places and you'll have to take trails with huge boulders and sometimes the tracks of other cars are missing in fine sand due to the wind. I just saw the new Land Cruiser ad with the "Crawl Control" feature and felt that this is what you need to easily handle such roads with land slides. So if you have a 4x4 it is easily doable, if not please ensure that you've handled such roads before, else I only encountered one Innova during the whole 5 hour drive up to Khardungla and if you're stuck, help is not readily around. The local Taxi guys do it easily so it's definitely doable on a 2x4.

Another thanks to Tanveer for his tip on cleaning the air filter in Leh. Mine was clogged with dust and could've led to issues, thanks to him, I got this done and it really helped with the rest of the journey.
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Old 29th June 2015, 10:39   #929
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi guys. Help needed. I am travelling to Ladakh next month. I need a 5 ton (5000 kg/SUV rating) tow rope. Where can I buy one in Pune? Kindly reply if anyone knows.

Thank you.
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Old 29th June 2015, 13:10   #930
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Default Eating Places, interesting halts in Spiti, Lahaul and Ladakh

Hi friends,

I am planning to drive in Spiti, Lahaul and Ladakh this July in my own vehicle with my family from Mumbai. Here is the broad itinereary:

Date Night Halt ---- Drive
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
04-Jul Sat Chail ---- "Driver gets the car to from Mumbai to Chandigarh. Drive from Chandigarh to Chail. TXCJRO 9W489 BOM - IXC 09:40 "
05-Jul Sun Sangla ---- Chail to Sangla (Take Thanedar road?)
06-Jul Mon Kalpa ---- Sangla to Kalpa
07-Jul Tue Tabo ---- Kalpa to Tabo via Giyu
08-Jul Wed Kaza ---- Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar
09-Jul Thu Chandrataal ---- Kaza to Chandrataal
10-Jul Fri Jispa ---- Chandrataal to Jispa
11-Jul Sat Sarchu ---- Jispa to Sarchu
12-Jul Sun Leh ---- Sarcu to Leh via Tso Kar
13-Jul Mon Leh ---- Indus/Zanskar Confluence, Pathar Saheb, Magnetic Hill, Likir, Alchi, Lamayuru
14-Jul Tue Leh ---- Around Leh
15-Jul Wed Diskit ---- Leh to Diskit / Hundur
16-Jul Thu Diskit ---- Day trip to Turtuk
17-Jul Fri Pangong ---- Diskit to Pangong via Shyok/Wari La
18-Jul Sat Leh ---- Pangong to Leh
19-Jul Sun Tso Morriri ---- Leh to Tso Morriri via Chumathang
20-Jul Mon Leh ---- Tso Morriri to Leh via Tso Kar
21-Jul Tue Mumbai ---- Flight to Mumbai. Driver(s) gets car back

I am looking for suggestions for

1. places to have lunch on these routes
2. Any interesting / scenic detours
3. Best dining options in Leh

Thanks!
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