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Old 12th May 2017, 12:34   #1366
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by ToyotaFan View Post
I wanted to inquire about the Agham shyok route from Nubra to Pangong. When I went in 2014 I heard the whole route is in shambles (as has been described by Tanveer in this thread) and it was not recommended to go even with an SUV. Now recently I have come across many travel agents with trips taking tourists via the same route in a single day from nubra to pangong. I did the same via leh in a single day and it took me 9-9:30 hours to cover. I think this route should be faster. Any idea how the route is at present? I read somewhere that a few new bridges have been made on the route? I might use this route in end June or July this year.
Hi, I used this road last year, though can't remember Agham but definitely the Shyok route with the river flowing alongside. The road is great for sights and also it is a mountain road with very little tarmac. Of course, you need to cross multiple streams with one of them being very big. The locals always suggest that you cross this stream before noon as the flow and current of water increases tremendously post noon. There was a landslide and the same was getting cleared when we reached the spot. This stretch was the most trickiest one and was a challenge for Innovas where as the xylos were simply zipping with all the occupants in them. Of course the other streams were closer to Pangong and were having less water in them and so it was not a issue. Closer to August won't be an issue but June could pose a challenge. My travel was in the second week of August and it was extremely warm. In fact that day the reading was 32 degrees so it was very hot.

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Originally Posted by carbookie View Post
I am planning to drive a zoom car to Leh next week from Srinagar route?

Is it safe to pass through Srinagar?
Is it safe to do some sightseeing in Srinagar?
Is it safe to drive to leh in Zoom car?
Is it safe to use zoom car locally in Leh?
Please avoid srinagar as the area is prone to sudden rioting and would be a danger and would also mean being stuck for unknown periods of time. My contacts there are pretty strong but they still did not advise me to come that route as the situation is/was very volatile and hence I drove via Manali and returned the same way.
No it is not safe to drive Zoom car within Ladakh district and you could get targeted by the local taxi-men. It is safe to drive in Zoom car up until Leh though

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Originally Posted by dinesha View Post
Hello All !

I am planning a road trip to Leh during first week of June with Kids (12 & 14) and wife via Srinagar and return via Manali. I was wondering if it was to safe to Drive through "Jammu-Srinagar-Sonamarg" sector?

Upon inquiry some tells me that it is absolute safe in highways. On the other hand some tells me that one has to Join the Army convoy between "Jammu-Srinagar"and Srinagar-Sonamarg" and apparently both these convoys start at midnight and goes non-stop. If this is true than upon arriving at Srinagar one has to wait until midnight to join next convoy to Sonamarg.

Please advise?
Please avoid Srinagar as the situation is volatile

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Originally Posted by The Adventurer View Post
Hey folks,
Got a few questions regarding driving to Leh in July (from Kochi)

Is July third week a safe time to drive to Leh and Himachal?
With the uncertainties in Srinagar, (And since I've already been there once before), my only option is to drive in and out through manali. I have about a month's time for this drive (to and fro Kochi) and I want to cover places properly. Will the monsoons spoil sport? Are there landslides etc in Himachal? Manali, Kasol, Dharamsala etc.

Is it worth driving all the way to Kargil and Zangskar?
When coming from manali, is Kargil and zangskar worth the 4 days I will take to and fro?

Will it be difficult to get accomodation without booking?
Since it's ladakh, I doubt if I can confirm bookings for sure. Do these tented camps get fully booked? I know its peak season.

Does it get crowded in july?
Pardon me for asking this, but I hate south Indian hill stations during their season. It's jam packed, rents high and gets dirty.


I am weighing 2 options.
1 Ladakh via manali, covering himachal hill stations, and possibly a bit of rajasthan and punjab on the way.
2 Bhutan and Sikkim including North Sikkim in detail.
I am also confused as to which would be a better drive that suits july end and the monsoon. I'd like to hear from these who have driven on both these routes

Thanks in advance!
Avoid Srinagar route which means you can't have Zangskar.
Yes Leh is crowded in July as it is the peak season. I travelled in August from Bangalore and right through the hotels were cheaper and the crowd in Leh was also limited.
Do bookings for tented accommodation as well as the regular ones as it is peak season and you will find getting a decent accommodation very tough not to forget the cost also increases exponentially on a short notice.
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Old 16th May 2017, 05:56   #1367
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Yes probably the safer choice. When we had gone to Sikkim in July first week a few years back, the rains were just starting and the roads were starting to get closed. We saw landslides happening in front of our eyes both on the road to Kalimpong and also on the road to Nathu La. Some of those landslides were really big and scary with boulders the size of cars falling down. We were lucky to get through safely but when I look back now I feel it was an undue risk.
After July 7th the road to Nathu la gets closed mostly and is opened only for emergency for Army. It reopens after the monsoons in Aug end.
I remember my sikkim trip from last July. The rainy season had begun and the first day, it took us 9 hours to reach Pelling. Pelling because I wanted to see the first rays of sunlight falling on the Kanchenjunga up close. It was surreal. We saw landslides happening right in front of our eyes, there were moments when we had to get down in the rain and clear the road for our bolero to pass through.

We did manage to go to Nathu La. The biggest advantage of going in the rainy season was that the entire landscape was really beautiful and the mad tourist rush was avoided. We were bachelors so we didn't mind the long road journeys and the weather but going with family isn't advisable.
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Old 16th May 2017, 12:52   #1368
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
I remember my sikkim trip from last July. The rainy season had begun and the first day, it took us 9 hours to reach Pelling. Pelling because I wanted to see the first rays of sunlight falling on the Kanchenjunga up close. It was surreal. We saw landslides happening right in front of our eyes, there were moments when we had to get down in the rain and clear the road for our bolero to pass through.

We did manage to go to Nathu La. The biggest advantage of going in the rainy season was that the entire landscape was really beautiful and the mad tourist rush was avoided. We were bachelors so we didn't mind the long road journeys and the weather but going with family isn't advisable.
Yup, Pelling is a really amazing place in North Sikkim and we had also gone there and stayed 2 nights at the Palace there. But I guess we are going off topic discussing Sikkim on the Leh thread!

Getting back to Leh now, most people are suggesting NOT to take the Srinagar route currently due to sudden spurts in Violence and unexpected curfew which can be imposed anytime.

The only other option for people who want to drive to Leh is the Manali route, which is still currently closed as per the Leh Gov official website.
http://leh.gov.in/

You can also check on http://devilonwheels.com/manali-leh-...y-status-2017/

All people planning to go to Leh please check the the route opening before leaving! I had a friend who drove all the way from Mumbai last year and he failed to check whether the Manali route was opened or not and he could not go beyond Rohtang as the road was still not opened!
Generally the Manali route gets opened after 20th May, but the road conditions in the first 15 days are extremely bad due to slush. After 15 days, the BRO repairs the road surface so people who go in June will find it better.

Also, there is a Yuru Festival happening on June 21st and June 22nd in Leh, which is a very picturesque time and travellers going in that period can enjoy it.

From 1st Apr 2017, Leh government has started collecting 400 Rupees as environmental fee per Domestic tourist, so plan accordingly in your budget!

Leh Weather in June is typically 12-13 Degree High and 2-3 Degrees Lows, with Rain bringing down temperatures lower.
Temperature in Pangong is around 5-6 Degree Highs and -3 Lows in June.
Please pack good clothing appropriately!

When we had gone to Pangong last year, we had stayed in Tents along the lake at night and it was scary windy and damn cold! The tent guys gave us 4-4 comforters each and still we felt cold as it was so windy.
The whole night the wind was pulling the tents and we could hardly sleep due to the Noise.
People going with family, please book solid/ wooden rooms (Not tents) as that is more comfortable.
Guys going without family, be adventurous and wear warm clothes and stay in Tents.

The Morning view of Pangong lake is simply amazing!

All the best to guys planning for Leh this year. I was hoping to go there this year too, but my plan is still iffy and dependent on too many variables!
Maybe I might plan for end-Aug or early September if all goes well!

Last edited by Behemoth : 16th May 2017 at 12:57.
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Old 16th May 2017, 13:50   #1369
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

I'm looking for 12-20th Aug window. Delhi to Leh via Manali and back. it's not as roomy as I'd prefer but this is the best I've got. Took some convincing to get everyone onboard.

So the itinerary looks like this:

Day 1: Delhi - Manali, get the permit for Rohtang made in advance through a hotel in Manali.*
Day 2: Manali - Tandi (last petrol pump for 375km, so tank up) - Keylong - Jispa
Day 3: Start at 5 in the morning, it is a long drive to Leh. Jispa - Baralacha La - Sarchu - Pang - Tanglang La - Leh
Day 4: Leh rest and sightseeing, also get*inner line permit*for Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso
Day 5: Visit Khardung La, if the road on both sides is good, then drive till around Khalsar or Diskit, come back to Leh by nightfall
Day 6: Day trip to Pangong Tso, will take around 12 hours, so start early.*
Day 7: Leh - Jispa
Day 8: Jispa - Manali/Kullu
Day 9: Manali/Kullu - Delhi

Now a few queries:
1. Any better way to do this?
2. Can I visit Tso Moriri while returning via Manali route?
3. Do I need to book accommodation in advance?
4. Can I stay overnight @pangong on day 6 and then get back to Leh on day 7 morning, pickup the car and proceed to jispa?
Or a stay at Tso Moriri? looking to stay at atleast one of the lakes overnight.

thanks
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Old 16th May 2017, 14:33   #1370
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Ladakh Veterans, is it a good idea to go to Ladakh during the 3rd week of October? Are the higher passes usually open till Oct?
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Old 16th May 2017, 15:20   #1371
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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
I'm looking for 12-20th Aug window. Delhi to Leh via Manali and back. it's not as roomy as I'd prefer but this is the best I've got. Took some convincing to get everyone onboard.
1. Any better way to do this?
2. Can I visit Tso Moriri while returning via Manali route?
3. Do I need to book accommodation in advance?
4. Can I stay overnight @pangong on day 6 and then get back to Leh on day 7 morning, pickup the car and proceed to jispa?
Or a stay at Tso Moriri? looking to stay at atleast one of the lakes overnight.

thanks
Honestly, your plan is too tight and you will not have any time to enjoy the place and will just be driving continuously. To me, it does not look doable and does not take in account any exigencies.
And trust me, driving on these roads is very tiring and needs 100% attention!
What I suggest is that you extend your trip by at least 3-4 days, as min of 11-12 days is what I would suggest for this itinerary.
Please also keep in mind that unlike plains, you need a lot of time to acclimatize to the High Altitude of Leh and the passes and if you rush it, you will fall really ill with AMS (Acute Mountain sickness) and the trip will be messed up for everyone even if one person falls ill. AMS can hit some people really bad, depending on their health.

1) What I would suggest (rough Guide)
Day 1 - Delhi - Manali - (start early so you can reach before nightfall)
Day 2 - Manali - Jispa
Day 3 - Jispa - Leh (This is a very long drive and road conditions are bad)
Day 4 - Stay at Leh
Day 5 - Visit Khardungla, Return to Leh
Day 6 - Head for Nubra, stay at Nubra
Day 7 - Return from Nubra, Stay at Leh
Day 8 - Head for Pangong , stay at Pangong
Day 9 - Return from Pangong, Stay at Leh
Day 10- Leh - Jispa
Day 11 - Jispa- Shimla
Day 12 - Shimla - Delhi

This way, you can cover both Nubra and Pangong properly and also get sufficient time there. In this plan the acclimatization will be better.
Keep in mind though that this plan is also tedious and on some days you will be driving upwards of 12 hours in the hills, so you should also have someone else also along with you who is an expert driver so you can share the driving load.

2) If you plan for Pangong, you can skip Tso Moriri

3) Yes, all bookings should be made in advance as June-July-Aug is a tourist season (though Aug is slightly less).

4) Nope, if you leave from Pangong at 7am, you will not reach Leh before 11am and by then it is too late to head to Jispa, which is easily a 10-12 hour drive. You will have to stay at Leh and head to Jispa early next day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Ladakh Veterans, is it a good idea to go to Ladakh during the 3rd week of October? Are the higher passes usually open till Oct?
3rd week October is off season and not recommended.
The raid-de-Himalaya Dates are Oct 6th - 14th 2017, and during this period a lot of the road are closed for the races.
So what I would suggest is that you start your trip latest by Mid-Sep and end by end-Sep. Even in this period there is a chance that the road to Pangong may be closed due to snow at that time (but varies as no one can predict when the first snows will fall in that region).
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Old 16th May 2017, 16:01   #1372
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From 1st Apr 2017, Leh government has started collecting 400 Rupees as environmental fee per Domestic tourist, so plan accordingly in your budget!
Planning on a drive to Leh in mid-August. Is the above amount per day?
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Old 16th May 2017, 16:20   #1373
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Planning on a drive to Leh in mid-August. Is the above amount per day?
This would be one time, probably on the outskirts of Leh city, before you enter or at the airport when you land.
It would be charged only once during your trip, so will need to retain the counterfoil with you.

Last edited by Behemoth : 16th May 2017 at 16:21.
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Old 16th May 2017, 16:50   #1374
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Honestly, your plan is too tight and you will not have any time to enjoy the place and will just be driving continuously
I understand. This is my 3rd trip to Ladakh. I flew the first time. The second was this Feb for Chadar Trek. Now this. The thing is 9 days are all we have. It's taken a lot to work this out. And it has to be a road trip. All the bookings have been made. I know it'll be a lot of driving but there's no other option.
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Old 16th May 2017, 18:12   #1375
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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post
I understand. This is my 3rd trip to Ladakh. I flew the first time. The second was this Feb for Chadar Trek. Now this. The thing is 9 days are all we have. It's taken a lot to work this out. And it has to be a road trip. All the bookings have been made. I know it'll be a lot of driving but there's no other option.
Cool then, you know the roads and should be prepared. What I would recommend then is maybe drop Nubra from your Itinerary and only visit Pangong and stay a night there.
Hope that someone apart from you can share the driving load.
All the best for your trip!
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Old 16th May 2017, 20:02   #1376
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Important for those going to Manali at present:

Manali Taxi Union has declared strike from tomorrow. How many days, no idea about it.
They are not allowing any private vehicles to go till Gulaba also.

Also, kindly do not forget that Taxis and Private Vehicles from other states are not permitted to go to Rohtang for a visit. And officially Rohtang has not opened for tourist.
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Old 17th May 2017, 21:45   #1377
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Against the advice of this forum I am going to Leh via Srinagar.

In fact, I am currently posting this from house boat on dal lake.

Plan to spend time next one day here before moving on to Sonamarg

Last edited by carbookie : 17th May 2017 at 21:46.
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Old 18th May 2017, 11:52   #1378
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@carbookie Please update the current situation on Srinagar- leh route, as I really want to do it with my cousin's in month of August. Wish you all the best


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Old 20th May 2017, 09:47   #1379
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What are the best places to stay in Hunder, Spankmik and Karzok??? Do they have Home Stay facilities there?

And how was the route from Hunder to Spangmik vis Shyok in 2016?? Is the road still treacherous or has there been any improvement en route?

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Old 21st May 2017, 06:45   #1380
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@carbookie Please update the current situation on Srinagar- leh route, as I really want to do it with my cousin's in month of August. Wish you all the best


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The Srinagar was peaceful. I stayed in a houseboat. I went to interiors of Srinagar as well. I went to Hazratbal etc. No issues, inspite of my DL registered car. I would recommend you check with army contacts about situation one day in advance and then take decision accordingly.

Sonmarg to Drass road was hell. Broken and with craters. Drass to Leh was smooth.

I am back on this month end. Please shoot any queries then. Will definitely answer everything in detail, as I am still in Leh.
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