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Old 30th January 2019, 20:27   #1726
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by SPEEDY_RACER View Post
Hi Sandy,

and if you are also planning on the same time we can set up a point where we can meet up.
Sure. Sounds good. I will share my planned itinerary later tonight. Let's see how it pans out and we can work it out.
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Old 30th January 2019, 22:46   #1727
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

After going thru multiple threads as well as multiple websites and talking to people, I have broadly planned my itinerary as below starting May 16.
  1. Bangalore to Mumbai; 1000 km; 16 hrs
  2. Mumbai to Rajsamand; 810 km; 14 hrs
  3. Rajsamand - Jaipur - Delhi - Ambala - Amritsar; 1045 km; 17 hrs 30 min
  4. stay at Amritsar
  5. Amritsar to Srinagar; 436 km; 12 hr
  6. stay at Srinagar
  7. Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, Drass; 415 km; 8 hr
  8. stay at Leh
  9. stay at Leh
  10. Leh - Diskit - Hunder - Turtuk; 127 km; 4 hr
  11. Turtuk - Pangong Tso; 240 km; 6 hrs 30 min
  12. Pangong Tso - Leh; 225 km; 6 hrs
  13. Leh to Manali; 475 km; 13 hrs
  14. Manali - Delhi; 550 km; 12 hrs
  15. Delhi - Agra; 215 km; 3 hrs
  16. Agra - Nagpur; 835 km; 15 hrs
  17. Nagpur - Bangalore; 1100 km; 18 hrs

Day 3: I am contemplating whether to take the Delhi route or take the Sikar-Hisar-Bhatinda route to Amritsar as suggested by Google. My worry about the Delhi route is the traffic around Jaipur and Delhi. But not familiar with the Sikar -Hisar route either. Any suggestions?

Day 9: Not sure if I need 2 days in Leh. Just keeping it as a buffer since I am travelling with family and kids. If all are fine, may proceed to Nubra/Turtuk

Day 15: This is optional. In case all goes well, we will cover Agra. Else, if we get stuck somewhere for any reason, we will drop Agra.

Overall, please advice if this itinerary is fine or does it need any replanning?
Also the hours mentioned in the above list is what Google indicated. Ofcourse there will be stops for food, photo ops and enjoying the landscape. But overall, is it reliable to consider this as a reference for drive time?
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Old 31st January 2019, 10:58   #1728
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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But overall, is it reliable to consider this as a reference for drive time?
Don't underestimate Srinagar-Leh & Leh-Manali highway. These highways are some of the most beautiful(& tough) highways of the world. You should rework your Day7 & Day 13.

Quote:
Day 7: Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, Drass; 415 km; 8 hrs
Break your drive at Kargil or Lamayuru and cover sights on Kargil-Leh highways during your drive to Leh. This way you wouldn't need to come back to the same road to cover these sights from Leh. By that, you will be able to save one precious day.

Quote:
Day 13: Leh to Manali; 475 km; 13 hrs
Leh to Manali is surely possible in 13hours but for that, you"ll need to keep driving most of the time. Moreover, Rohtang Pass traffic (Manali side)is always chaos. As per my past experience (of last 5years), Rohtang Pass to Manali takes more than 8 hours due to traffic jams. It is advisable to break the drive of Leh to Manali at Sarchu or Jispa or Keylong(best option).
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Old 31st January 2019, 12:40   #1729
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Day 5: Amritsar to Srinagar; 436 km; 12 hr
Day 5 could be a hit or miss.. Last year when I went towards the end of September, I encountered mammoth jams between Udhampur and Srinagar while going and returning. It took us 10+ hours to cover this stretch alone.
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Old 31st January 2019, 15:37   #1730
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Don't underestimate Srinagar-Leh & Leh-Manali highway. These highways are some of the most beautiful(& tough) highways of the world. You should rework your Day7 & Day 13.

As per my past experience (of last 5years), Rohtang Pass to Manali takes more than 8 hours due to traffic jams. It is advisable to break the drive of Leh to Manali at Sarchu or Jispa or Keylong(best option).
Day 7: I will keep the options open and see how it turns out. If I need to break, I will prefer to break at Lamayuru. In which case I drive to Leh on day 8 and use the day to get the permits and do the local sightseeing (Shanti Stupa, Shey, Thiksey Monasteries). If we feel ok and are able to cope up with the altitude, we could look at proceeding to Nubra on day 9.

Day 13: 8 hours from Rohtang to Manali!!! If I have to break at Keylong, then I will have to skip Agra on day 15 and proceed straight towards Nagpur.

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Originally Posted by onedotsix View Post
Day 5 could be a hit or miss.. Last year when I went towards the end of September, I encountered mammoth jams between Udhampur and Srinagar while going and returning. It took us 10+ hours to cover this stretch alone.
Oops I didn't know this stretch had such massive traffic blocks . I plan to start early from Amritsar. Hopefully I will be able to make it to Srinagar by late evening.

Last edited by Sandy28 : 31st January 2019 at 15:41. Reason: wrong quote
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Old 1st February 2019, 22:50   #1731
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

I am back with few more questions.

Once the Zojila/ Rohtang passes open, are there specific timing when onward and return traffic is allowed or is it free flow of traffic any time of the day?

Do I need to do prebooking of accommodation or will I get onspot accomodation in places like Leh, Turtuk, Pangong etc?
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Old 2nd February 2019, 11:12   #1732
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Once the Zojila/ Rohtang passes open, are there specific timing when onward and return traffic is allowed or is it free flow of traffic any time of the day?
There are no time restrictions for Rohtang Pass from Leh side neither Manali side. There used to be a time restriction for passing Zoji La from Sonmarg. Vehicles were only allowed to cross Sonmarg barrier after 0830. However, Police and Army CP are very liberal at Sonamarg CP, Last year we were allowed to go ahead at 0645.

Quote:
Do I need to do prebooking of accommodation or will I get onspot accomodation in places like Leh, Turtuk, Pangong etc?
Kargil & Leh are proper towns with plenty of stay options, no need to pre-book. Pangong used to have many stay options but last year Government of J&K removed many illegal setups. This year during tourist season there will be fewer stay options at Pangong. I think Pre-booking is advisable for Pangong. Villages like Korzak & Turtuk have some guest houses and many homestay options. If you are ok in spending an hour for hotel search and bargain after arriving at these destinations, there is no need to pre-book anywhere.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:38   #1733
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
[*]Bangalore to Mumbai; 1000 km; 16 hrs[*]Mumbai to Rajsamand; 810 km; 14 hrs[*]Rajsamand - Jaipur - Delhi - Ambala - Amritsar; 1045 km; 17 hrs 30 min[*]stay at Amritsar[*]Amritsar to Srinagar; 436 km; 12 hr
You may save a day, if you travel via Hyderabad, if Amritsar is not a mandatory stop for you. Also, no point draining out your energy before the upcoming difficult drive

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
[*]Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, Drass; 415 km; 8 hr
If road condition is good, you might make it in 8 hrs. For us it took 8 hours to reach Kargil from Srinagar. We had to wait 4 times on road
1. Army stopped our car for more than 1 hour due to heavy security of the Amarnath yatris
2. Had to wait near Sonamarg due to a road accident
3. Had two long waits due to landslide; one of them was on the mighty Zozi la pass

Also I hope you are planning to visit the Kargil War Memorial in Dras; which is 1 hour worth visit
Moreover, after crossing Kargil, the change of landform was very remarkable; which is worth stopping by. We all travel by car to enjoy this natural beauty; otherwise we could have traveled Leh by flight. Also, magnetic hill, Lamayuru monastery, confluence of Indus and Zanskar are worth spending time (even if you don't do river rafting in Zanskar)
My suggestion: Give a break in Kargil. It will help you to acclimatize better

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
[*]stay at Leh[*]stay at Leh
No point staying three nights in Leh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
[*]Leh - Diskit - Hunder - Turtuk; 127 km; 4 hr[*]Turtuk - Pangong Tso; 240 km; 6 hrs 30 min
Plan to visit up to Thang.
My suggestion: travel back to Hunder and stay there at night (if interested you may take a double-humped bactrian camel ride also). More importantly, it will help you to cross the difficult water-streams of Shyok river early hour next day, when the water is less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
[*]Pangong Tso - Leh; 225 km; 6 hrs[*]Leh to Manali; 475 km; 13 hrs
You may travel from Pangong to Tso Moriri instead of Leh. Next day you may start for Manali, if you can afford a night-hault in Sarchu or Keylong.

Or you may directly proceed for Manali from Pangong with a night-hault, somewhere on road.

Last edited by Krishroy : 4th February 2019 at 11:50.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:46   #1734
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

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Do I need to do prebooking of accommodation or will I get onspot accomodation in places like Leh, Turtuk, Pangong etc?
As per my previous suggestion, you may stay in Hunder, instead of Turtuk. You will have plenty stay option there
You won't find any hotel availability issue in Leh and Kargil also.
Pl pre-book your accommodation for Pangong. On-spot booking might be super expensive as you are travelling with family and kids.
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:07   #1735
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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

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.
We followed almost same route in your Ladakh trip last year from Hyderabad.
Few suggestions:
1. You might not be able to reach Srinagar on Day 3. Army might not allow to cross the Jawahar tunnel after certain time limit. You may stay at Patnitop and proceed forward next day
2. On day 7 you might not need to travel back to Tangtse. You my stay at Spangmik/Man to enjoy Pangong at night and next day proceed for Hanle via Man-Merak-Chusul
3. You have to add one day in Leh to get permits
4. Instead of Bhopal, you may explore Jhansi-Gwalior route and may give your first break at Sagar/Jhansi

Last edited by Krishroy : 4th February 2019 at 12:14.
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Old 5th February 2019, 12:59   #1736
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Thanks a ton Krishroy for all the inputs. Really helpful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
You may save a day, if you travel via Hyderabad, if Amritsar is not a mandatory stop for you. Also, no point draining out your energy before the upcoming difficult drive
Amritsar is not mandatory but preferable since it is enroute and we would like to visit the Golden temple and Wagah border. Also it will give us a break after 2 days of hard driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
If road condition is good, you might make it in 8 hrs. For us it took 8 hours to reach Kargil from Srinagar. We had to wait 4 times on road
Also I hope you are planning to visit the Kargil War Memorial in Dras; which is 1 hour worth visit
Moreover, after crossing Kargil, the change of landform was very remarkable; which is worth stopping by.
My suggestion: Give a break in Kargil. It will help you to acclimatize better
I am now considering breaking at Lamayuru. Does that make sense? I am assuming that we will have plenty of time to visit Kargil, confluence, magnetic hill, Lamayuru monastry and enjoy the landscape before breaking at Lamayuru. Next day, we can proceed from Lamayuru to Leh, get the permits, visit Shanti Stupa, monasteries etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
No point staying three nights in Leh.
If we break at Lamayuru, we will have 2 nights in Leh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
Plan to visit up to Thang.
My suggestion: travel back to Hunder and stay there at night (if interested you may take a double-humped bactrian camel ride also). More importantly, it will help you to cross the difficult water-streams of Shyok river early hour next day, when the water is less.
I believe the road upto Turtuk itself is quite challenging. How is the road further up to Thang considering that I will be in a low GC sedan? Also will there be enough time to go up to Thang from Leh and then come back to Hunder for the night stay?
I wasn’t initially aware of the difficult Shyok water crossings, but subsequent research does show them to be pretty challenging. How was your experience? I agree that night stay at Hunder will allow us to reach Shyok early and hopefully cross it without much hassles.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
You may travel from Pangong to Tso Moriri instead of Leh. Next day you may start for Manali, if you can afford a night-hault in Sarchu or Keylong.
Or you may directly proceed for Manali from Pangong with a night-hault, somewhere on road.
I did consider Tso Mori but have heard and read that the road from Pangong to Tso Mori is really bad. Roads practically dont exist on this stretch. So in double minds about this option.

Which is the direct route from Pangong to Manali? Are your referring to the Chusul-Chumthang route or going back via Tangste to Hemis and then connecting with the Leh-Manali highway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
We followed almost same route in your Ladakh trip last year from Hyderabad.
Few suggestions:
1. You might not be able to reach Srinagar on Day 3. Army might not allow to cross the Jawahar tunnel after certain time limit. You may stay at Patnitop and proceed forward next day
Any idea about the timings to cross the Jawahar tunnel? If we cant make it to Srinagar and need to break at Patnitop, then it might disturb my itinerary. Also will we touch Patnitop when going via the Chenani tunnel?
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Old 13th February 2019, 00:03   #1737
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I am now considering breaking at Lamayuru. Does that make sense? I am assuming that we will have plenty of time to visit Kargil, confluence, magnetic hill, Lamayuru monastry and enjoy the landscape before breaking at Lamayuru. Next day, we can proceed from Lamayuru to Leh, get the permits, visit Shanti Stupa, monasteries etc.
That will be a better option for you. But Magnetic Hill and confluence are between Lamayuru and Leh. You can cover it on next day.

Be careful while booking your hotel in Lamayuru. Try to find the hotel phone numbers and book it directly. Don't book it through MMT, goibibo etc. You may book it through these sites; but the information or money might not reach the hotel. In that case the hotel won't allow you to check in. These hotels are run by innocent people. They suffered a lot because of the local agents of these hotel booking companies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
I believe the road upto Turtuk itself is quite challenging. How is the road further up to Thang considering that I will be in a low GC sedan? Also will there be enough time to go up to Thang from Leh and then come back to Hunder for the night stay?
The last stretch of the road from Turtuk to Thang is difficult. Its a very steep, narrow and bad road. With a low GC sedan, it would be a difficult call.

I drove from Leh to Panamik, visited the hot spring (there is nothing interesting about it) and went to Hunder from Panamik on the same day. If you don't do Thang, it would be possible to drive from Leh to Turtuk and travel back to Hunder on the same day. Start very early from Leh.

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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
I wasn’t initially aware of the difficult Shyok water crossings, but subsequent research does show them to be pretty challenging. How was your experience? I agree that night stay at Hunder will allow us to reach Shyok early and hopefully cross it without much hassles.
Again, with a low GC sedan, my suggestion would be don't try Shyok. Usually on that road, whenever there is such nasty water crossing, all the cars stop. The drivers come out; gauge the road; sometimes they throw stones in the water to reduce the water level; then cross one-by-one. In spite of that there was a Tata Aria who hit the bottom badly and had a bad leakage in its fuel tank. When it crossed the Water body, the road was full of diesel. We had extra M-seal with us, which we shared with them. However, my XUV AWD didn't let me down. In my trip, I didn't see a single sedan on the Shyok road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
I did consider Tso Mori but have heard and read that the road from Pangong to Tso Mori is really bad. Roads practically dont exist on this stretch. So in double minds about this option.
Yes, Spangmik to Karzok has few bad stretches. And few stretches from Karzok to Leh-Manali highway is much worse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Which is the direct route from Pangong to Manali? Are your referring to the Chusul-Chumthang route or going back via Tangste to Hemis and then connecting with the Leh-Manali highway?
I believe, you should take Tangste - Upshi road. Though I didn't take this road, as I did Hanle & Tso Moriri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Any idea about the timings to cross the Jawahar tunnel? If we cant make it to Srinagar and need to break at Patnitop, then it might disturb my itinerary. Also will we touch Patnitop when going via the Chenani tunnel?
Sorry, I gave you a wrong info. We were stopped at the Chenani tunnel, as we reached there after 10 am in the morning and had to stay at Patnitop. But I am not sure if that restriction is due to heavy security of Amarnath Yatris or it is there all over the year.

Last edited by Krishroy : 13th February 2019 at 00:05.
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Old 18th February 2019, 12:06   #1738
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Default Re: Leh, Ladakh and Zanskar - The Ultimate Guide

Hi Sandy like to connect with you so I can probably join in this planned Trip as something been wanting to do on wish list for a long time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
After going thru multiple threads as well as multiple websites and talking to people, I have broadly planned my itinerary as below starting May 16.
  1. Bangalore to Mumbai; 1000 km; 16 hrs
  2. Mumbai to Rajsamand; 810 km; 14 hrs
  3. Rajsamand - Jaipur - Delhi - Ambala - Amritsar; 1045 km; 17 hrs 30 min
  4. stay at Amritsar
  5. Amritsar to Srinagar; 436 km; 12 hr
  6. stay at Srinagar
  7. Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, Drass; 415 km; 8 hr
  8. stay at Leh
  9. stay at Leh
  10. Leh - Diskit - Hunder - Turtuk; 127 km; 4 hr
  11. Turtuk - Pangong Tso; 240 km; 6 hrs 30 min
  12. Pangong Tso - Leh; 225 km; 6 hrs
  13. Leh to Manali; 475 km; 13 hrs
  14. Manali - Delhi; 550 km; 12 hrs
  15. Delhi - Agra; 215 km; 3 hrs
  16. Agra - Nagpur; 835 km; 15 hrs
  17. Nagpur - Bangalore; 1100 km; 18 hrs

Day 3: I am contemplating whether to take the Delhi route or take the Sikar-Hisar-Bhatinda route to Amritsar as suggested by Google. My worry about the Delhi route is the traffic around Jaipur and Delhi. But not familiar with the Sikar -Hisar route either. Any suggestions?

Day 9: Not sure if I need 2 days in Leh. Just keeping it as a buffer since I am travelling with family and kids. If all are fine, may proceed to Nubra/Turtuk

Day 15: This is optional. In case all goes well, we will cover Agra. Else, if we get stuck somewhere for any reason, we will drop Agra.

Overall, please advice if this itinerary is fine or does it need any replanning?
Also the hours mentioned in the above list is what Google indicated. Ofcourse there will be stops for food, photo ops and enjoying the landscape. But overall, is it reliable to consider this as a reference for drive time?
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Old 19th February 2019, 07:28   #1739
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Hi Sandy like to connect with you so I can probably join in this planned Trip as something been wanting to do on wish list for a long time
Sure Coolrats it will be wonderful to have company on the trip. I will ping you separately.
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Old 19th February 2019, 10:56   #1740
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Sure Coolrats it will be wonderful to have company on the trip. I will ping you separately.
Hi Sandy, I am also considering a trip around the same time (in low GC sedan). I will be travelling with family (me, wifey and 9yrs old kid). It will be good to see if we can team-up. Let me know if we can sync-up and see if we can do it together.
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