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Old 21st January 2019, 10:10   #1711
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi, I did the Leh trip in May 2018, the roads were opened by 15/16th May, I started from Gurgaon on 26th May.

Coming to your queries, I found that going at the start of season is much better, not much tourist flow, you can drive through the snow walls while crossing passes, less crowded markets & tourist spots. Also as it will be start of season, water crossings (from manali - leh stretch) will be much less as compared in June-july months.

I have done this trip with my family (me, wife & our 5 yr old daughter), by God's grace everything went fine & we didn't experience a single hitch. Before starting the trip consult your family physician and carry general medicines for cold, fever, bodyaches, motin sickness, AMS etc with you. Also it is advisable to carry oxygen cans with you, they are very much useful in areas like Khardungla, Pangong (if staying at night). These are available online & at medical stores very easily.
While going take the route from Jammu-srinagar as it will help in acclimatising better.

The route which I took is-
Gurgaon - Jammu - Srinagar - Kargil - Leh - Pangong - Jispa - Naggar (outskirt after crossing manali) - Chandigarh - Gurgaon
Total duration 14 days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
We are planning to drive to Ladhak in mid May. But our 2 major concerns are:

1) how risky it would be to do a road trip with family at the start of the season. The roads would just be opening and they would be in a pretty bad shape.

2) how advisable is it to do the trip with 2 kids age 6 and 10? Anybody who has done a family trip with kids please share your experience.
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Old 21st January 2019, 15:18   #1712
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by shivshanker View Post
Yes, a road trip, contemplating if I should start from BLR and go via HYD and NAG or via BOM, BOM will add atleast another 1000 kms. all depends on number of days that I can take off from Office.
I don think via Bombay will add 1000 km compared to HYD; it will be around 450 km more. But you get to drive 2 different routes. I am planning the Bombay route while going and the Hyd route for return.
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Old 21st January 2019, 16:35   #1713
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Originally Posted by dieselburner View Post
Hi, I did the Leh trip in May 2018, the roads were opened by 15/16th May, I started from Gurgaon on 26th May.

Also as it will be start of season, water crossings (from manali - leh stretch) will be much less as compared in June-july months.

I have done this trip with my family (me, wife & our 5 yr old daughter), by God's grace everything went fine & we didn't experience a single hitch.

While going take the route from Jammu-srinagar as it will help in acclimatising better.
Thanks for the details. I was under the impression that water crossings will be more with heavy currents at the start of the season due to the rapid ice melting. This is definitely a good news.

Happy to know that you had a great journey with your 5 yr old daughter. We are also planning to go via Srinagar route and return via Manali route unless it is closed.
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Old 22nd January 2019, 21:47   #1714
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Just me alone as we have a small kid so cant make it with family

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Hi I am planning in mid-May. Thats the only time that works for me considering school and office schedules.

@Coolrats, are you planning a family trip or with friends?

@shivshanker, are you planning a road trip?
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Old 23rd January 2019, 00:46   #1715
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
We are planning to drive to Ladhak in mid May. But our 2 major concerns are:

1) how risky it would be to do a road trip with family at the start of the season. The roads would just be opening and they would be in a pretty bad shape.

2) how advisable is it to do the trip with 2 kids age 6 and 10? Anybody who has done a family trip with kids please share your experience.
Hey sandy, my humble opinion on your first question is of course there will be patches where the road would be bad factoring the land slides or melting of snow due to increased temperature which may lead to deteriorated road conditions. Please go through the previous messages and you will notice that Leh's climate is absolutely uncertain each year and it changes like in any mountain region. So, if you are dates are not flexible then plan for any sudden road blocks and be prepared for staying in the car till the path is cleared and restored. These may be more on the Manali-Leh sector and with your children, please take sufficient care to stock food and water so that they are well hydrated.

To your second question, I'd like to mention that on my trip to Leh, I did see couple of kids between 8 to 10 years at Nubra where I was staying and they had flown from Delhi. With kids, it is better to route through Srinagar as the climb is gradual and adjusting to the weather and altitude would be easier for all. If you are taking the Manali route, please be prepared for the sudden ascent and I would suggest taking the pill Diamox which would help in AMS(acute mountain sickness) and please take it at-least 12-24 hrs before so that your body would be well prepared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolrats View Post
This trip is on my bucketlist for long. I intend to drive from Bangalore and targeting September 2019 time frames. I have already applied leaves like three full working weeks with weekends. Will that be a good bet? I have a WagonR do you guys think the small car can take the trip?



When are you planning to drive?
On my drive to Leh, I came across many a M-800s and in my opinion these cars are better suited for those terrains due to their light weight. In fact, there is local motto in the hilly regions with the M-800s that they can go anywhere a Mahindra would go. So, in general, it should be okay but be careful on the underbelly scrapping and try to cross any streams/rocky areas around the snow-melted sections very slowly. The engines aspirate better than the rest is what I reckon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivshanker View Post
Yes, a road trip, contemplating if I should start from BLR and go via HYD and NAG or via BOM, BOM will add atleast another 1000 kms. all depends on number of days that I can take off from Office.
Shivshanker, I drove from Blr to Leh but did not touch Mumbai. I went to Jaipur, Amritsar, and reached Manali via Shimla as we wanted to do the Shimla-Manali highway. To your apprehension of additional distance, it is not 1000 km but around 150-160 km more than the shortest route which is NH 7/NH 44 via Hyderabad. We did come back by this route and we visited Gwalior fort and Agra's famous Taj on the way. The roads between Nagpur to Hyderabad was terrible couple of years back when we did it and I don't know if the road works have been completed now. Add to this, most of BHPians have done the Blr-Leh-Blr in about 12-15 days but that is again taking the shorter route and with only night stops.

To me, it was a great chance of seeing diverse India so made the most of it while we drove up to Leh and down to Blr. Hope it helps. Cheers

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 26th January 2019 at 21:14. Reason: Fixing broken quote.
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Old 23rd January 2019, 15:28   #1716
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Originally Posted by sumzup View Post
Hey sandy, my humble opinion on your first question is of course there will be patches where the road would be bad factoring the land slides or melting of snow due to increased temperature which may lead to deteriorated road conditions. So, if you are dates are not flexible then plan for any sudden road blocks and be prepared for staying in the car till the path is cleared and restored.

With kids, it is better to route through Srinagar as the climb is gradual and adjusting to the weather and altitude would be easier for all. If you are taking the Manali route, please be prepared for the sudden ascent and I would suggest taking the pill Diamox which would help in AMS(acute mountain sickness) and please take it at-least 12-24 hrs before so that your body would be well prepared.

To me, it was a great chance of seeing diverse India so made the most of it while we drove up to Leh and down to Blr. Hope it helps. Cheers
Thanks Sumzup for that detailed response. Appreciate your inputs on unexpected road blocks due to sudden change in climate. Have read about that in many a posts. Thanks for those insights.

My plan is to take the Srinagar route while going and the Manali route for the return if it is open. This will give us time to acclamatise due to more gradual ascent. Also hopefully the Manali route would have opened up by the time we start our return journey.

I am also keeping the option open to return via the Srinagar route in case we are having an issue with the altitude.

As you rightly said, apart from enjoying the grandeur of the Himalayas, one another reason for planning this trip (and all my road trips) is to experience the diversity of the landscape, culture, diaspora of our great nation that only a road trip can do. I plan to visit Amritsar on our onward journey and the Taj and Agra fort on our way back.

Really keeping my fingers crossed on this trip as there are still many ifs-and-buts that needs to be addressed.
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Old 26th January 2019, 20:42   #1717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
We are planning to drive to Ladhak in mid May. But our 2 major concerns are:

1) how risky it would be to do a road trip with family at the start of the season. The roads would just be opening and they would be in a pretty bad shape.
Mid-may might be little uncertain; sometimes Rotang opens during end of May.

No prediction can be made on road condition. Always be prepared for the worst. It is advisable to start your day early morning to avoid heavy flow in the water streams. Water level increases during mid-day because of temperature increase.
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Old 26th January 2019, 21:00   #1718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivshanker View Post
Yes, a road trip, contemplating if I should start from BLR and go via HYD and NAG or via BOM, BOM will add atleast another 1000 kms. all depends on number of days that I can take off from Office.
The road via Hyderabad is quite good; except a small stretch between Jhansi and Gwalior. In our Kashmir trip, our first stop was Jhansi; second stop was Udhampur followed by Srinagar.

Not very sure about the route via Mumbai
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Old 27th January 2019, 19:22   #1719
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Thanks, I always believe its how you drive and be careful but a small car can also go shoulder with the rest. Thanks a ton for your tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumzup View Post
To me, it was a great chance of seeing diverse India so made the most of it while we drove up to Leh and down to Blr. Hope it helps. Cheers

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 27th January 2019 at 19:58. Reason: Trimming quoted post. A large quoted post inconveniences small screen users. Thanks.
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Old 29th January 2019, 13:23   #1720
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Finally the Plan is Shaping up for Leh which we kept on postponing for the past 5 year and the Plan is As per the below.

We are starting from Vijayawada(Andhra Pradesh)

Vehicle: XUV 500 FWD
Total No People: 4 + 1 (Tentative)
No of Drivers: 3 (2 M + 1 F) + 1 Tentative Driver
Date : May 14th 2019

Day 1: Vijayawada to Bhopal (1024 Kms, Via Nagpur) and overnight Stay in Bhopal.
Day 2: Bhopal to Chandigarh (1052 Kms, Visit Agra)
Day 3: Chandigarh to Jammu/Srinagar(650 Kms, Visit Amritsar Temple)
Day 4: Srinagar to Kargil(200 Kms)
Day 5: Kargil to Leh ( 218 Kms)
Day 6: Leh to Nubra Valley (160 Kms)
Day 7 : Nubra Valley to Sayok to Tangtse to Pangong to Tangtse(274 Kms)
Day 8: Tangtse to Chusul to Hanle (200 Kms)
Day 9: Hanle to TSO Moriri (150 Kms)
Day 10: TSO M to Keylong (327 Kms)
Day 11: Keylong to Manali
Day 12: Manali to Delhi
Day 13: Delhi to Bangalore

Now the questions are:

Is the Itinerary Feasible(as we would be driving)?
How are the road conditions?
Can we get decent stay's on Highway? as we would be doing these as backpack trips so no advanced bookings would be done other than in Leh & Other Spots.

Thanks in Advance.
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Old 29th January 2019, 13:55   #1721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEEDY_RACER View Post
Day 13: Delhi to Bangalore

Now the questions are:

Is the Itinerary Feasible(as we would be driving)?
How are the road conditions?
Can we get decent stay's on Highway? as we would be doing these as backpack trips so no advanced bookings would be done other than in Leh & Other Spots.

Thanks in Advance.
Under Sane driving conditions, you will need around 2 and half days to reach Bangalore from Delhi.
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Old 29th January 2019, 14:31   #1722
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Originally Posted by SPEEDY_RACER View Post
Is the Itinerary Feasible(as we would be driving)?
Quote:
Day 3: Chandigarh to Jammu/Srinagar(650 Kms, Visit Amritsar Temple)
Chandigarh to Srinagar can be hectic due to some bad-known traffic jam stretches(Ramban to Banihal). If you want to reach Srinagar before dusk, you should skip the Golden temple.

Quote:
Day 6: Leh to Nubra Valley (160 Kms)
You will require permits for Hanle, Tso Moriri and Chusul. Moreover, its advisable to spend one day in Leh for proper acclimatization. Day 6 should be spent in Leh for local sights, permits and acclimatization.

Quote:
Day 7: Nubra Valley to Sayok to Tangtse to Pangong to Tangtse(274 Kms)
Why Tangste? Stay for the night at Spangmik or Merak. It will be helpful for your next day's drive towards Hanle. Also, start your drive to Pangong from Nubra as early as possible in the morning.

As you are travelling in May and that too by an XUV500, you should refer my travelogue (Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500).

Last edited by SJM1214 : 29th January 2019 at 14:46. Reason: Minor Change.
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Old 29th January 2019, 15:14   #1723
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Under Sane driving conditions, you will need around 2 and half days to reach Bangalore from Delhi.
Yes when we say Day 13 Delhi to Bangalore then it would include 2 more days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJM1214 View Post
Chandigarh to Srinagar can be hectic due to some bad-known traffic jam stretches(Ramban to Banihal). If you want to reach Srinagar before dusk, you should skip the Golden temple.


You will require permits for Hanle, Tso Moriri and Chusul. Moreover, its advisable to spend one day in Leh for proper acclimatization. Day 6 should be spent in Leh for local sights, permits and acclimatization.


Why Tangste? Stay for the night at Spangmik or Merak. It will be helpful for your next day's drive towards Hanle. Also, start your drive to Pangong from Nubra as early as possible in the morning.

As you are travelling in May and that too by an XUV500, you should refer my travelogue (Ladakh: Four Idiots & One XUV500).
Points taken hence the post. We would need to visit golden temple, so we can extend our dates here and there. when we say Day wise Itinerary it might get extended and we would be taking care of all the paper works too. And your thread was the first one which i read before planning

Last edited by SPEEDY_RACER : 29th January 2019 at 15:18.
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Old 30th January 2019, 15:38   #1724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPEEDY_RACER View Post
Finally the Plan is Shaping up for Leh which we kept on postponing for the past 5 year and the Plan is As per the below.

We are starting from Vijayawada(Andhra Pradesh)

Vehicle: XUV 500 FWD
Total No People: 4 + 1 (Tentative)
No of Drivers: 3 (2 M + 1 F) + 1 Tentative Driver
Date : May 14th 2019
Hi Speedy Racer, good to know that you are also planning a road trip around the same time as we are planning (mid May). I had read somewhere that permits to Hanle is not being issued at present. Pl check on this.

Also why do you want to come back to Tangste after going to Pangong? You can stay at Merak and then proceed to Hanle via Chushul.

It is advisable to take a break at Leh for 1 day not just for acclimatization but also for taking care of the paper work and local site seeing.

Lastly, accommodation on the drive should not be a problem. On most of our long drives, we do not pre-book our stay when on the go. Instead we use Oyo or any of these portals to locate a hotel as we near a city and then do spot booking.
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Old 30th January 2019, 16:27   #1725
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Also why do you want to come back to Tangste after going to Pangong? You can stay at Merak and then proceed to Hanle via Chushul.

.

Hi Sandy,

yes we are just started with the plan and surely we would be looking at the options, we thought we would come back to Tangste as we know some one there hence the place is marked.

And the day wise Itinerary is still shaping up and the one which i shared is just tentative currently we have got the complete Itinerary for 17 days and its still in progress.

and if you are also planning on the same time we can set up a point where we can meet up.
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