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Old 30th August 2016, 11:19   #1261
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
One last question, should i stick to the bullets or try one of those pulsars or yamaha's?
You should stick to bullets for these terrains, more than the power I would say they glide through the bad roads. Unless you are planning to do Leh-Kargil which has amazing roads, rest of the places you find lots of broken roads and work in progress. Yamaha & Pulsars may not be that comfortable with a pillion over these sections.
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Old 30th August 2016, 13:44   #1262
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by HariRE350 View Post
@dkaile, please update the routes and the conditions over there. We will be reaching Delhi by 2nd Sept.
Hi Hari,

I will be starting from Chandigarh to Manali on 3rd Sep.
What is your route plan?

Regards,
Anand Goudar
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Old 31st August 2016, 17:49   #1263
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi Guys,

(@Mods: This is only a short PictoLogue of our journey to Leh recently and I felt it would not need a separate thread, however if you feel that it needs a separate thread, please let me know!)
Just came back from a short trip to Ladakh from Aug 19th - Aug 24th. Though initially the plan was to go by road in our Yeti (if we got the luxury of 2 weeks off!) but reality hit our plans and we finally were able to get only one week off, so instead of cancelling the trip or heading to some other usual destination, we decided to head onto Leh by Flight!
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3585.jpg

Going to Leh by flight is actually quite a strain on the body due to the sudden altitude change from almost 700ft (at Delhi) to 11,500 ft at Leh. We started preparing for this almost 10 days before our trip and starting doing some breathing exercises and also 48 Hours before the trip, we started taking Diamox 125Mg Twice daily. Also, when we landed in Leh the first day, we spent the day entirely relaxing at the hotel and did not venture out anywhere. This helped in our acclimatization and out of all 4 of us, no one fell sick. On the lack of oxygen, it is a reality and we were constantly measuring it with a Pulse Oximeter at all stages.

In Delhi, before our flight, all of us had SpO2 readings of 95-97%
In Leh when we landed, it was around 88-90
If we did even the slightest bit of exertion (like even changing clothes!) out SpO2 would fall to 83-84 and it would take us some time to recover to 88 level. On the second day it stabilized to 90+.
When we stayed at Pangong lake in tents on the 23rd, we saw our lowest readings of 78-80 there and to walk even 5 steps would exhaust us badly. But we controlled the urge to exert ourself and thankfully none of us fell ill with AMS.
Normally in plains, anyone with a SpO2 reading of < 90 is immediately given Oxygen in hospitals. The importance of acclimatization when going to Leh cannot be underestimated and anyone going to Leh by Flight must be very careful on this aspect! People driving from Manali side should also take care correspondingly. Do carry a pulse Oximeter with you to monitor the blood oxygen level for all family members and immediately take care of anyone whose Blood oxygen level goes below 85. I am sure that there are many doctors here who can give the right advice on what to do in such a situation (I am not a doctor!). Please do take your doctor's advice before the trip and take any medication (Including Diamox) only on your doctor's advice. Diamox is a Sulpha Drug and can cause severe allergic reactions in Individuals with Sulpha drug allergy!

Anyway, now medical warnings aside, let me quickly now come down to the actual trip!

Our Itinerary was:
Day 1: Aug 19th - Land in Leh , Check in - New Royal Guest House (this is a small Guest House in Chubi, and rates are reasonable and service is good). We stayed here for 2 days (Aug 19th-Aug 21st). The place has nice double rooms with an attached balcony on the first floor with Nice views of the Leh Palace.


Day 2: Aug 20th - We were now better acclimatized and headed off to the Main Market in Leh. We hired 2 bikes from behind the German Bakery and went for local sightseeing - it was more an adventure drive with no fixed agenda so we went to Hall of Fame , then to Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and then to the confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers (a one way drive of around 40 kms) and then returned to Leh Market - then shopped around a bit.
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3604.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3608.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3610.jpg

Day 3: Aug 21st - Today the plan was to head off to various monastaries - Shey, Thikse and Hemis and also the Rancho School. We had hired an Innova from Yak travels in the main market and headed there. Plan was to stay the night at Tangtse at Pangong Residency hotel.
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3612.jpg

We visited all these places and reached Tangtse around 5 in the evening. Tangtse is a very small sleepy hamlet around 40 kms before Pangong (as the next day we were to head to Pangong). The Hotel Pangong residency is decently built but very poorly managed - there was hardly any staff to run the place. The same 3 guys would give room service, cook the food and any other errands. This hotel is totally avoidable, but as there very few options in Tangtse, we had to stay here. The electricity in the hotel comes only from 7 pm - 10:30 pm at night so be prepared (same with Pangong too)

Day 4: Aug 22nd - This was the most exciting day of our Journey and we headed off to Pangong from Tangtse. The Pangong lake is simple amazing and the pictures do all the talking!
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3647.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3648.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3676.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3683.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3714.jpg

We stayed the night at Pangong in tents in the Camp Royal, which is a decent tented accommodation, very close to the lake edge. The views were simply amazing. The winds at though were quite scary as there were clouds and the weather was a bit stormy. We missed seeing the Night sky at it was very cloudy at night.
The day views were simply amazing and Pangong is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3719.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3720.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3722.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3726.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3727.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3753.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3759.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3770.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3776.jpg
Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide-sam_3777.jpg

Day 5: Aug 23 - We headed back from Pangong to Leh and it was a very scenic drive. I captured around 10 minutes from that Drive on a car Dash recorder and have uploaded it on Youtube on the link as below. (please ignore the date and timestamp on the video as it was not set correctly in the dash recorder!)



On the way back we also did some QuadBiking at an offroad place enroute- That was really good fun and the Quadbikes were new Polaris Quadbikes.

We reached Leh around 3pm and headed to our Hotel - Hotel Shambhala near Zorawar fort. This is a nice hotel property with 22 rooms, but it is a bit far from the main city and market. We went to the main market in the evening from there and did some more shopping (to appease our better halves, as this was an all boys trip without them!)




Day 6: Flight back to Delhi and reality!

So this was just a quick and short pictologue of recent trip to Leh and thought it may be helpful to all!

Regards,
Behemoth

Last edited by Rehaan : 1st September 2016 at 14:10. Reason: Fixing visibility on android app - was caused by a less-than sign
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Old 3rd September 2016, 18:54   #1264
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

The descent from Rohtang to Khoksar was terrible today. There is no road but absolute slush, with trucks causing deep ridges on the slush and rocks splattered across. My Innova managed the whole Manali Leh route without any underbody hits but was badly mauled in this section. As of today the Rohtang -Khoksar stretch is the most difficult stretch on the Manali Leh route. Also lots of taxis, trucks and must I add touring motorcyclist make this phase even more tough.
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Old 12th September 2016, 13:26   #1265
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Any updates from recent travelers? Read about fresh violence in the valley, wondering if the route through Sonamarg Kargil is open.

How long does the route via Rohtang remain open? Mid October?
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Old 12th September 2016, 13:37   #1266
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Any updates from recent travelers? Read about fresh violence in the valley, wondering if the route through Sonamarg Kargil is open.
I returned on 8th from Sonmarg on my motorcycle trip to Ladakh. I started at 4am from Sonmarg, got stopped by some fellow bikers from Karnataka who had got a flat front tyre around 4.30am. Gave them the inflator needed and moved on around 5am and still reached Srinagar border around 5.45am where we were stopped by the army as there was curfew till 6am. Moved ahead non-stop 6am onwards and reached Jawahar Tunnel around 8am where we got stuck and got caught in traffic jam for 2 hours after which we were in 'India'. Things are bad in the valley and a fellow biker who started late a day before got hit by a big stone. Luckily he was wearing armored jacket which saved the day for him. There is flag march on each small town and trouble spot en-route and if you need to pass through, you should start very early like I did and cross the valley before 9am. After Udhampur, take the picturesque detour to Pathankot via the army road through Ranjit Sagar Lake/Dam. It's a hidden gem. More details to follow on my Himalayan Ownership thread.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 12th September 2016 at 13:44.
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Old 14th September 2016, 13:18   #1267
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

We completed our first Leh trip via Manali (both to and fro). 2 sections on this route are very bad. Ascend of Rohtang from Manali side and stretch between Zing-zing bar till Pang. Other stretches are quite ok. We had hired a Zoomcar Scorpio from Delhi to reach Leh & come back. For sightseeing from Leh onwards, we had hired an Innova. My respect for Innova has increased lips and bounds after this trip. This car is a world apart when compared to a Scorpio on bad stretches.
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Old 21st September 2016, 15:46   #1268
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi Guys, Do you think 2 weeks is sufficient time to do Chandigarh-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Manali-Chandigarh?

I am from Bangalore but planning to fly to Chandigarh and hire a zoom scorpio to do this 1800 km circuit. Could someone please provide updates on the route condition between chandigarh to srinagar and srinagar to kargil? I know by now that Kargil- Leh is a beautiful stretch of nice roads but what about the stretches till there?

What is the current condition of Zozila pass and how's Leh to Manali looking? Thanks a million. This would be life saving advice.
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Old 21st September 2016, 21:20   #1269
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by vasant.guru@gma View Post
Hi Guys, Do you think 2 weeks is sufficient time to do Chandigarh-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Manali-Chandigarh?

I am from Bangalore but planning to fly to Chandigarh and hire a zoom scorpio to do this 1800 km circuit. Could someone please provide updates on the route condition between chandigarh to srinagar and srinagar to kargil? I know by now that Kargil- Leh is a beautiful stretch of nice roads but what about the stretches till there?

What is the current condition of Zozila pass and how's Leh to Manali looking? Thanks a million. This would be life saving advice.
Zoji La and Rohtang pass have bad roads, but other than that its all fine. No issues anywhere.
For a Scorpio, even Rohtang and Zoji la is no problem.
2 weeks is fine. For local sightseeing you will have to hire a local taxi.
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Old 21st September 2016, 21:34   #1270
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Zoji La and Rohtang pass have bad roads, but other than that its all fine. No issues anywhere.
For a Scorpio, even Rohtang and Zoji la is no problem.
2 weeks is fine. For local sightseeing you will have to hire a local taxi.
Thanks a bunch. As long as they allow self driven cars in Srinagar kargil and leh, local sight seeing can be done on bike hires also. Thanks again.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 08:44   #1271
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Originally Posted by vasant.guru@gma View Post
Thanks a bunch. As long as they allow self driven cars in Srinagar kargil and leh, local sight seeing can be done on bike hires also. Thanks again.
Just be careful about Srinagar, leave early-drive slow-reach safely. Everything else can be managed. 2 weeks is perfect.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 10:20   #1272
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Any comments on the route to Leh via Manali Rohtang pass by somebody on a motorcycle? Is the route as bad as Kaza - Rohtang?

Feedback appreciated by somebody who has done this very recently, I know that Dkaile has but he had the road leveling Himalayan with him
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Old 22nd September 2016, 10:47   #1273
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Any comments on the route to Leh via Manali Rohtang pass by somebody on a motorcycle? Is the route as bad as Kaza - Rohtang?

Feedback appreciated by somebody who has done this very recently, I know that Dkaile has but he had the road leveling Himalayan with him
Lolz. Thanks for the complement on the Himalayan #whatabike. I had one fall on the entire trip, if I could call it that because it really was just resting the bike myself to the side. Just one. And that too was on a very irregular route from Tso Moriri to Pangong Tso (which requires a inner line permit and foreigners are not allowed on that route), one the hardest roads I have faced, though maybe not as tough as some parts of the Kaza route. And that also happened as a very very soft one with me resting the bike into sand quite near to Pangong as we had gotten quite late and I failed to spot the main track to take (there is no road there btw), as there were 6 or 7 working tracks going on, and I took the one with deep sand and got stuck and eventually just rested the bike myself on the side till I could get help to pick it up again. So in all practicality I had zero falls on the major routes. We had some Harleys too, which had a difficult time on these routes on which we just breezed over. We did the entire circuit entering from Rohtang side and exiting from Zoji La. I did all/most of the 13 passes (or maybe some more) solo, as I liked to do things at my own pace.

Only part bad on the route you mention is the one after Rohtang which had very heavy mud slush after the monsoons. More than 50% of the bikes had a fall there at some point of time, even Enfields. Maybe it's better now and dried out, as I did it nearly 20-25 days ago when it was raining and very slushy. The route is nowhere as bad as the Kaza one. And you should be able to pass the test easily if adventure is in your mind.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 22nd September 2016 at 10:56.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 10:48   #1274
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Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Any comments on the route to Leh via Manali Rohtang pass by somebody on a motorcycle? Is the route as bad as Kaza - Rohtang?

Feedback appreciated by somebody who has done this very recently, I know that Dkaile has but he had the road leveling Himalayan with him
We did this on cl350, tbts350 and a Himalayan two weeks ago. It's really not a challenge via Rohtang pass, you may find only one river crossing. It's pretty do-able all the way until you hit Baralacha and Lachangla which is just before Pang. Things get a little bit rough at Lachangla owing to loose gravel on the road and the never ending terrain. But in all its very easily do-able now as it is relatively dry and pleasant to drive. I would suggest you halt at Manali-Keylong/Jispa-Pang-Leh. We did this and dint have to break any sweat. Remember not to take any off-road shortcuts between the curves. They may look very easy and tempting but once you enter-there is no turning back and it is dangerous. Always drive on the tar road.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 11:52   #1275
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Thanks both, understand that if one is driving/riding up from Manali to Leh, an undertaking needs to be submitted at the SDM office in Manali along with vehicle papers. Does one also need to submit copies of hotel bookings at Leh? Asking since one may not book hotels in advance at the fag end of the season. Any other documents required?
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