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Old 15th July 2010, 00:57   #1
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Default Aug trip: Srinagar-Leh-Manali Need Advice

Hi,

Am planning a long overdue trip to Ladakh with 3 of my friends (a couple of others may join in en route). We are hiring a Scorpio from Jammu (with a driver and private JK registeration) that will drop us back in Chandigarh post the trip. Details of itinerary contained in attached excel needed advice on:

1. Plan Feasibility
2. Recos for Places to stay in Sonamarg/Baltal, Kargil, Leh, Nubra Valley, close to Pangong Tso & Tso Moriri & Jispa/Keylong
3. Whether its possible to drive from Panamik to Lukung (Pangong Tso) via Khalsar, Agam, Shyok, Durbuk & Tangtse (read somewhere that parts of the road may not be navigable on 4 wheelers)
4. if 3 doesn't work can go via Khalsar, Agam, Wari La, Sakti, Durbuk & Tangtse
5. From Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri can go via Spangmik, Chushul, Loma and Mahe? If not pls. indicate alternative route.
6. What Permits would we need from the DC in Leh to enable this route.
7. Do we need to book acco in advance or is it manageable?
8. Essential must haves other than medication (including AMS), basic food/snacks, 2 spare wheels, fuel, torch, warm clothes etc?
9. Any other advice in terms of places to visit/drop, more/less time required at some places etc?

Appreciate responses from who've done this journey including Hv Kumar and Ramkya.

Thanks.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Itinerary.xls (17.0 KB, 418 views)
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Old 15th July 2010, 10:06   #2
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JKTDC is there in Sonmarg. Plus 2-3 private hotels.
Kargil has got Greenland Zojila, Siachen, Caravan Serail and JKTDC.
Leh has many guesthouses - try Santhi Guest House or Sanayga Guest House.
Both Desikit and Hunder have many hotels - try Sand Dune Guest House in Desikit.
Panong has got tent cams at Lukung and homestays a Spangimik. Besides, there are 2-3 hotels in Tangtse.
Tso Moriri (at Karzok) has got 3-5 hotels, among them the Nomadic Life Tent Camp.
Jispa has hotel Ibex, Padma GH and a new tent camp.
Keylong has got many hotels, try HPTDC Chanderbhaga.

There is nothing of note in Panamik, better to stay at either Hunder or Desikit.
Yes, try the shorter route via Shayok, road is supposed to be better.
The normal route for Tso Moriri is via Chang la, Karu, Upsi and Mahe. Road via Chushul is bad and permits more difficult to obtain.
Permits for Desikit/Hunder, Wari la/Shayok, Pangong, Chushul (if going that way) and Tso Moriri/Karzok.

Acco depends on the month you travel. You should get rooms without any trouble by end Aug and in Sep. Leh is no problem any time. For places like Karzok, limited acco, but better to take a chance instead of booking in advance.

Take a look at the following link, lo of info on Ladakh, including CHECKLISTS:
LADAKH Sep 2009 - hvkumar | Google Groups

Nothing to do in Pangong the hole day.

Very difficult to drive from Lukung to Karzok the same day via Chushul, but possible (not easy) via Chang la and Karu.

nothing to do in Karzok the whole day unless you re planning some nearby treks.

I think 8 am departure is too late, you must revise to 6-7 am to make the most of the day and reach your destination before 6 pm.

Jispa to Chandigarh the same day is not going to be easy. Please note that you could get stuck in Rohtang Pass and get delayed.

If you want to save on the car ire charges, maybe you should take a bus to DElhi from Mandi, so that the taxi returns to Jammu via the shortest route.
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Old 15th July 2010, 11:02   #3
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At Leh, do not go into the "well reviewed" guest houses like Shanti and stuff.
Due to their popularity with lonely planet they charge exhorbiant rates.
800rs for 2 people. A little too much for a place which does not even have car parking!

As for Lukung To Karzok.
If you start at 8am from Lukung, you will be in Korzok by around 5pm if you do it via Chushul route.

Diskit to Pangong direct route is 5 hours and road is decent now.

For your permits, mark the following places on the permit form if you want to do it via chushul. There is no permit restriction for Indians

Pangong, Man, Merak,Chushul,Tsaga,Loma,Nyoma,Tso Moriri,Tso Kar

This will cover your entire circuit.
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Old 17th July 2010, 23:01   #4
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Thanks Both. This is very useful. HVK your log book rocks!
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Old 28th July 2010, 16:46   #5
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My friend Vinay is on his way to Leh via Srinagar. Left Amritsar today morning on what he thought will be a leisurely drive to Patnitop where he wants to spend the night.

First problem was that the road from Dyala Chak and Samba were closed to traffic for reasons not told, and they had no choice but to go via Jammu (and not the short cut via Challam to Udhampur).

Second problem was that they took the Jammu bypass and were stopped by cops/ army who demanded not only their identity, but also confirmations that they had hotel bookings made at Patnitop! Refused to let them proceed. So I managed to get them the hotel numbers and they made bookings at JKTDC Patnitop on the spot, upon which they were allowed to proceed. Vinay was with his wife travelling in his Fiat Adventure from Bangalore, says that the Amarnath yatris were being subjected to even more detailed interrogation!
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Old 2nd August 2010, 13:19   #6
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seriously avoid the valley if you can. I came back from Kargil- Sonmarg- Srinagar yesterday. We were subjected to 100's of checks and long waits as all traffic was stopped due to stone throwing . I know they dont attack tourists but still i dont think its a risk worth taking till the situation gets better.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 13:33   #7
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Why dont you change your itinerary, and do the trip via Manali. This should take care of that.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 13:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somu_john View Post
Why dont you change your itinerary, and do the trip via Manali. This should take care of that.
In which case there will be no time for acclimatisation.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 13:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somu_john View Post
Why dont you change your itinerary, and do the trip via Manali. This should take care of that.
In which case there will be no time for acclimatisation.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 16:00   #10
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Thanks everyone. Do you then recommend that we avoid the Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil route totally and do thr trip via Manali (both ways)?
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Old 2nd August 2010, 19:34   #11
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Alternatively, can we do Jammu-Pathankot-Chamba- Saach Pass-Killar-Udaipur-Keylong? Is this road do able in a 2WD Scorpio in August? If yes have the following questions?

1. How much time would it take from Jammu to Keylong? What's the distance?

2. What are the accommodation options post Chamba and before Saach Pass?

Thanks for your inputs.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 20:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitin Mathur View Post
Thanks everyone. Do you then recommend that we avoid the Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil route totally and do thr trip via Manali (both ways)?
The situation as of now is bad, wait and watch the situation may improve, so you might have to take a call on the last minute. There are a few things that I learnt during my 2 days stay in Srinagar, they might help you make a decision.

1. The separatists have a weekly calender of hartal's and band's advertised in local newspapers. So you might want to somehow check if there is a bund on the date you plan to visit.

2. If you are in Srinagar on a Friday you might want to re-schedule as the trend is that after the afternoon prayers the mob tends to get a bit violent.

3. Try to pass Srinagar - Hazratbal- Ganderbal really early in the morning. For that you might want to stay just on the outskirts of Srinagar.

4. Good Luck
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Old 2nd August 2010, 21:44   #13
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Thanks Deky. I was thinking along the same lines, i.e.take a call based on situation. We are booked (Air+ train) till Jammu and have also blocked the car in Jammu. Also, we'll be starting from Jammu on the Pakistani independence day (Aug 14) and doing Sonamarg-Kargil (per original plan) on the Indian Independence day (Aug 15).

Just want to have a plan B in case Srinagar-Soanamarg-Kargil is an issue.
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