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Old 23rd March 2009, 11:31   #1
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Default Drive to Leh Or Fly to Leh

This is the basic scenario:-

My wife and I are planning to go to Leh in either May or June this year. But before going to Leh/Ladhak we need to stop at Jammu and drop our 15 months old daughter with her Grandmother and pick her up on our way back.

We have friends in Leh so accomodation and transportaion in and around Leh will not be a problem. They have promised us a car to take us around in leh, Nubra Valley and Pagong Tso.

But I am still confused about the mode of transport till Leh.

Why I want to Drive Till Leh:-

1. The most obvious reason is the route from Leh-Manali. I believe its beautifull with lots to see.

2. Can also cover Kargil/Dras and Srinagar if we drive. I.E. we can do Jammu-Srinagar-Dras-Kargil-Leh-Manali-Jammu.

3. Acclmatisation will be less of a problem as the ascend will be slow.

4. Time is not a problem.

5. The heart tells me to drive.

Why I want to fly till Leh:-

1. I dont think I will take my Aveo so I will have to ask my Dad for his 6 year old Santro. The Santro is in decent condition but not sure if it will be able to take the ardourous journey.

2. Expense between flying or driving will come out to be the same considering the car will require change of tyres before the journey and maintanance after the journey plus the fuel.

3. Not very Keen on doing Kargil/Dras as about 10 years back I spent 1 full month exploring Kargil/ Dras and the Zanskar region, so if it can be given a miss its OK. I would rather spend that time in exploring leh.

5. Since its just the 2 of us in one car, in an emergency we might not have any back up.

4. Not to keen on Srinagar also in summers, as IMO Srinagar will be at its best in winters and since my Mother-In-Law is in Jammu i would get opportunities later also.

5. The head says to fly.

Now Lets here it from you guys whay do you suggest, should I listen to my heart or go with my head and just fly Jammu-leh-Jammu?
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Old 23rd March 2009, 11:41   #2
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Must listen to the heart rather than to the head... DRIVE. Officially the road opens end of May.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 12:48   #3
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Drive, Drive and Drive.

You may want to do some experimentation with the route - drive from Jammu to Pathankot and see if the Sach Pass via Chamba to Udeypur is open so that you can avoid going via Manali and enjoy a spectacular drive to enter Lahaul Valley. You could return via Srinagar, stopping by if you find the need to enjoy some greenery and have some time left.

Santro can take the drive as well as any other, but yes, get your tyres changed.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 12:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
My wife and I are planning to go to Leh in either May or June this year.
Rain could be a spoil sport. hvkumar/gd1418 can tell us more.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:20   #5
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The Leh/Ladakh region is called the cold desert. The monsoon clouds hardly visit this area. A unique phenomena is that in summer months you can experience both - sunburn and frostbite simultaneously.

Acclimatisation for city dwellers is a major issue. Acute Mountain Sickness is something one needs to be careful from. Mid-June till September end are the best months to visit..

Last edited by gd1418 : 23rd March 2009 at 13:22.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
The Leh/Ladakh region is called the cold desert. The monsoon clouds hardly visit this area.
Boss, my comment is based on driving up from Manali route.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:31   #7
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The monsoons hit manali area in July and continue till august..

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Boss, my comment is based on driving up from Manali route.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:32   #8
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Yeah it seems September is indeed the best time, but dont think my wife will be able to get leave anytime except may/june, so I guess i will stick to those months.

Rain can be a problem in the HP region or the Kashmir side of J&K but dont think in Ladakh area. (this is based on of my stay in kargil for 1 month in June and it never rained)

So if it does rain in June wont travelling in a car around HP and Kashmir get even more trecherous? Or is still worth taking a risk.

Plus since its my Dad's car, I really dont know its limitations and how it would behave? I really want to drive myself but still very confused!!
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:35   #9
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Spruce up you Dad's Santro - change tyres if required (check for the TWI), check suspension, get serviced thouroughly sometime in 1st week of May (learn how to clean the air-filter), and you are all set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Yeah it seems September is indeed the best time, but dont think my wife will be able to get leave anytime except may/june, so I guess i will stick to those months.

Rain can be a problem in the HP region or the Kashmir side of J&K but dont think in Ladakh area. (this is based on of my stay in kargil for 1 month in June and it never rained)

So if it does rain in June wont travelling in a car around HP and Kashmir get even more trecherous? Or is still worth taking a risk.

Plus since its my Dad's car, I really dont know its limitations and how it would behave? I really want to drive myself but still very confused!!
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Old 23rd March 2009, 13:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Drive, Drive and Drive.

You may want to do some experimentation with the route - drive from Jammu to Pathankot and see if the Sach Pass via Chamba to Udeypur is open so that you can avoid going via Manali and enjoy a spectacular drive to enter Lahaul Valley. You could return via Srinagar, stopping by if you find the need to enjoy some greenery and have some time left.

Santro can take the drive as well as any other, but yes, get your tyres changed.
Sir, can you shed some more light on this route (pathankot-chamba-udeupur) how good is the route, as I cant find much on this in the Map I have got.

Thanks
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Old 23rd March 2009, 14:24   #11
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Quote:
Rain could be a spoil sport.
Rains start in July in HP area and can be terrible in the road to Manali, with occasional landslides and slippery slopes both sides of Rohtang Pass.

May-June can be bad too because the roads have just reopened and melting snow and reconstructed roads mean some rough riding, 4WD territory in some places. In places like Kanglajal, one has to plan drives early in the morning to avoid snow-melt overflowing across the road after sun rise melts the snow.

Quote:
can you shed some more light on this route (pathankot-chamba-udeupur)
I have never driven on that route, but the route to take is Pathankot-Chamba-Sach Pass-Tandi-Udeypur. Allow for a full day to travel from Chamba to Udeypur. But the Sach Pass climb is not easy, and you have to check out if it is open before you try.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 15:31   #12
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Have heard the last part to Sach pass is not a paved road, and a narrow one track (unsure, info from a year ago or more). My opinion : drive. Its the journey of a lifetime
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Old 23rd March 2009, 15:43   #13
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Avoid sach pass unless you have a high GC MUV or SUV. The road does not exist. Its just a collection of rocks over which Mahindra Pikups ply
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Old 23rd March 2009, 19:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Avoid sach pass unless you have a high GC MUV or SUV. The road does not exist. Its just a collection of rocks over which Mahindra Pikups ply
I guess that route is out, Id rather stick to pathankot-manali-keylong route.

Ok another route querry!! Is there an alternative route from Kargil to Jammu via Suru valley and Keylong or one has to go via Srinagar?
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Old 23rd March 2009, 21:18   #15
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The J&K route goes through Srinagar. Keylong is near manali, just about 118kms from there.
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