How To Plan An Ultimate Trip To Leh Ladakh- All FAQs answered!
Since everybody dreams of going on a bike trip to Leh Ladakh once in their lifetime, it is pretty evident that a trip to Ladakh needs a lot of planning.
A traveler’s mind is no less than a quiz book when it comes to planning a trip to Leh. With hundreds of questions like what to carry to Leh Ladakh, how to rent a bike from Manali to Leh or is it even safe to travel in Ladakh, much of the plans never meet reality because some question or the other remains unanswered. So that you finally live your dream of traveling through the mountains passes of Ladakh, we’ve answered all your frequently asked questions below.
When is the best time to Visit Ladakh?
Seasons do not affect the beauty of a place. The only concern is accessibility.
While Ladakh looks nothing short of a white wonderland in Winters, a road trip to Leh Ladakh remains impossible due to heavy snow. Ladakh’s temperature during the months of November to March drops as low as -14 degree Celsius. Major connecting roads are closed down at this time. However, you can make the most of subzero temperatures and go for the famous frozen river Chadar Trek.
Summers begin to bloom from April to May in Ladakh. This is the time when tourism resumes and a new life breathes in the valley. However, during these months, not all roads from Manali to Leh are operational and accessibility might still be an issue to reach Leh Ladakh by road.
So easily the best time to visit Leh Ladakh begins in June. It is now that the summer sun shines bright in the vivid landscapes and sheets of snow melt into beautiful pristine lakes.
The Peak season to visit Leh is from July-September. During this time, tourism in Ladakh is in its full glory. You can witness the best panoramas and also attend the local Ladakhi festivals.
Winter begins to seep in again in the regions of Leh Ladakh in October. There is a drop in the number of visitors and also tourism facilities. However, you might be able to find some cheap deals during this offseason!
Is it safe to travel to Leh Ladakh?
The straight forward answer to this is-YES.
Proximity to China border or continuous military supervision in the Ladakh region often instills fear regarding the safety in traveler’s mind. While we totally understand the reasons for such speculations, but here’s a reality check.
It’s true that many incursions have taken place in the past but the areas of unrest have been far away from tourist destinations. The fact is tourism is Ladakh’s bread earner. The Indian Army based in Ladakh is pretty helpful to all tourists and this, in fact, adds to the safety provisions in Ladakh.
Now unless you are planning to barge into the borders, Ladakh remains one of the safest places to visit in India. Ditch those inhibitions and go live your best days in the Land of High Passes!
What are the places to visit in Ladakh?
Every place will look worthy of a stop and gaze the moment you will set your eyes on the majestic mountains on your trip to Ladakh. We are sure that the Pangong Tso Lake of the 3 Idiots fame is surely on your Ladakh Itinerary, but there are many other exotic locations to explore in this region. Below is the list of must visit places in Ladakh which will help you navigate through your Leh Ladakh tour plan a bit easily.
Gata Loops(21 hairpin bends)
These extremely challenging and picturesque road bends are for sure an interesting encounter on your way to Leh. Apart from the treacherous curves, the Gata Loops have an interesting myth to them. The locals believe the presence of a ghost on the roads that allow the passengers to cross only if they shower offerings at his hut.
While we can’t say whether the story is true or not, but offerings in form of mineral water and cigarettes can definitely be seen in abundance at the mysterious hut.
This is the most interesting pit stop for all travelers and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Leh. The Magnetic Hill in Ladakh defies the law of gravity outright where vehicles appear to move uphill on the downhill road!
A beautiful white domed stupa that represents Lord Buddha’s message for peace draws a lot of tourists for its panoramic location. Located at a height of 11,841 feet above sea level, the Shanti Stupa shines brightly as diamond during the full moon night.
Hall of Fame
When you are out on the roads of Leh, you must not forget to pay your gratitude to those who ensure your safety throughout the valley and even beyond it. The Hall of Fame lies on the Leh-Kargil Road and is a museum built in the memory of martyrs of Indo-Pak wars and displays the artifacts and remains of war. We strongly think that it is one of the must-visit places in Ladakh and should not be missed.
The Leh Main Market is a colorful street where you can purchase the intricate Tibetan carvings, artifacts, and woolen clothes. It is a great place to spend your evening at Leh. With some bargaining skills on the sleeve, you can easily take home a few souvenirs for friends and family.
Pangong Tso Lake
This place needs no introduction, thanks to the movie 3 idiots. The Pangong Tso is reckoned a favorite place in Leh for all travelers alike. The beautiful lake changes its colors into multiple shades of blue and green many times a day. A picture on a yellow scooter with the panorama of Pangong Lake is certainly a hit amongst the tourists.
The rustic landscape of Nubra Valley nestled along the Shyok River is a perfect place to know about the local Ladakhi culture. You can experience the best Ladakhi food, butter tea and chit chat sessions with the locals here. Diskit Village is the headquarter of this valley and the Diskit Monastery is one of the major tourist attractions of Nubra. This place is also ideal for you to acclimate yourself to the high altitude of the entire Ladakh valley.
Tso Moriri Lake
The Tso Moriri Lake is the highest Lake in India and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in the World. A calming stretch of blue waters is a treat to your eyes and also to your camera. However, there the accommodation options around the lake are limited hence a trip to Tso Moriri needs some advance planning with your tour operator.
A ride across the KhardungLa Pass is for the ones who are out in Ladakh to savor the extreme thrill and adventure the valley has to offer. Although its status of being the highest motorable pass in the world is debatable, the ride to this pass is sufficiently challenging. The entire road is laced with splendid vistas that and can surely satisfy your greed for scenic beauty.
What are the essential things to carry on your Ladakh Trip?
The beauty of Ladakh lies in its remoteness from the contemporary world. While this is a boon, but the aloofness might leave you deprived of certain facilities you are used to availing in other tourist destinations.
Below you’ll find a list of essentials things to carry to Ladakh. It has been prepared on the account of numerous travellers who’ve visited the place. Make sure you keep all these things in mind while you are packing your bags for your dream trip to Ladakh.
ID Card And Other Documents
The first and foremost item to keep with you while packing to ride through the mountain passes is your government ID card. To get your inner line permit, you will also need multiple passport photos of yourself.
Make sure you carry sufficient photocopies of your procured permit and your id proof to enjoy a hassle-free journey through the roads of Leh Ladakh.
There is an acute shortage of ATMs in this region. You will encounter only a few ATMs on your entire journey from Manali to Leh and the availability of cash is again not guaranteed. Hence it is advisable to carry sufficient cash with you to last during the entire trip.
A SIM Card that works!
Only BSNL/MTNL postpaid connection works in Ladakh. You can purchase a temporary SIM or else be prepared to enter the network free zone for a major part of your trip.
Lots of UV protection
Harsh weather combined with direct sunlight won’t be pleasant to your skin and eyes. It is recommended that you carry a pair of UV protection sunglasses and sufficient sunscreen and lip balms.
Warm Clothes and Comfortable Footwear
Even if you hit Leh Ladakh in summers, you must carry warm and comfortable clothes to last you throughout the trip. Also, a good pair of hiking shoes is a must when you are on the journey to such challenging terrain.
Ladakh is a high altitude area and acclimatization to such a place takes time. You must carry medicines for headaches, diarrhoea, and altitude sickness along with other first aid essentials.
How to Rent a Bike for Ladakh?
A bike trip to Ladakh is definitely the best way to explore the beauty of a mountain desert. The journey is so much fun when you are out there riding a beast machine through the challenging yet equally picturesque roads.
While many people travel from Delhi to Leh on their own bikes, you can also rent one from your pit stops. Bike rentals are easily available at Srinagar, Manali and Leh City. All you need is your Driving License as a proof of identity to secure a bike for yourself. The average Leh Ladakh bike trip cost for 10 days comes out to be around 45k including the fuel. Also, few rentals shops do charge some amount of money as security which is either refundable or adjusted in your overall payment.
You also have the options of hiring a bike from Manali to Leh and dropping it at Leh instead of a round trip. However, you have to pay an extra amount to the mechanics to bring back the vehicle to the shop. Also, keep in mind that a bike from Manali can only be driven until Leh City. To drive through other parts of Ladakh, you need to hire a bike from Ladakh.
And now that all your queries are sorted, get your friends together or hop on solo to live. We are offering Leh Ladakh Tour Packages from pan India so that nothing stops you from taking this trip of a lifetime. If you still got any other queries, connect with us to help you out. #AbTohLehChalo!