Leh Ladakh also known as the roof of the world is the land of high passes. The place is famed by a famous saying that “Our Land is so barren and the passes so high, that only the best friends or the fiercest enemies come to visit us”. So, let’s be good friends and go to say hello to the locals of Leh Ladakh Valley and the army men guarding country India from China & Pakistan.
The whole valley is a cold barren dessert with an average altitude of 11,000 feet. The green patches and villages look like an oasis in between the infertile land. In spite of being at that high altitude, the whole Valley is mesmerizing in every sense. The changing colorful landscapes stretch up to several kilometers leaving one completely transfixed. While road tripping to Leh Ladakh, in every kilometer one can find the attractions ranging from Palaces to heritage huts to colorful monasteries and different tribes and communities.
Travel Guide for Leh Ladakh Road trip
Route: Leh Ladakh lies 1011 Kilometres from Delhi and can be reached via air or by car. But we advise you to take too and fro 3000 km epic road trip once in life for the unforgettable experiences.
Do check the complete itinerary for Leh Ladakh road trip.
No of Days Required for Leh Ladakh Road trip: 13 – 15 days
Best Season to Visit Valley: June – October
Expected Temperature in Leh Ladakh: Mornings & evenings even during the summer months are chilly, but the days are usually warm. Here the temperature changes unexpectedly and sunshine can be anytime taken over by clouds, rain and sometimes snow too.
Passes you cross on this route: 13 -15 at 11,000 feet to 18000 feet i.e. why Leh Ladakh is known as the Land of High Passes.
Road Conditions: Roads are perfectly graveled, thanks to BRO (Border Road Organization of the Indian Army) with continuous ascent and descent except for the few patches which have only dirt, gravel, and potholes.
Inner Line Permit: Inner line Permit is required both for national as well as international tourists for visiting certain areas of Leh Ladakh Valley. The same can be collected by visiting DC office in Leh market. Do remember to take Identity proof along. Check the details here.
Attractions of Leh Ladakh road trip
The whole Leh Ladakh journey is an attraction in itself and there are few attractions on the way which you shouldn’t even think of skipping.
Attractions on the way from Jammu till Kargil:
9 km long Chenani Nashri Tunnel, Jawahar Tunnel, Dal Lake and Shikara ride in Srinagar, huge golden meadows of Sonamarg, Zojila Pass, Zero point, Drass War Memorial, Elephant ridge, Tiger Hill, and Kargil Heritage hut.
Attractions on the way from Kargil till Leh:
Maitreya Buddha Statue at Mulbekh monastery in Mulbekh, Namika La, Fotu La, Lamayuru monastery and moon lands, Gurdwara Pathar Sahib at Nimu, Magnetic Hill & Confluence of two majestic rivers Zanskar & Indus.
Attractions within Leh
Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Hall of Fame, Leh Market and Hemis Monastery which lies 45 km from Leh
Attractions from Leh till Nubra Valley
Khardung La (claimed to be the world’s highest motorable road), Diskit & Diskit Monastery, tallest statue of Maitreya Buddha which faces towards Pakistan and is a peace indicator, Hunder Sand Dune, Village Turtuk.
Attractions from Nubra till Pangong Tso
Khardung La, Chang La, Shyok River, Pangong Tso, Thiksey Monastery, Hemis Monastery.
Attractions from Pangong Tso till Tso Moriri
Kaygar Tso, Tso Moriri, Chushul pass, Tsaka La, Namashang La and straight roads traversing among the barren mountains
Attractions from Tso Moriri till Tso Kar
Kaygar Tso, Puga hot springs, Polo KongKa La and Salt deposits around Tso Kar Lake.
Attractions from Tso Kar till Manali
Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal, Gata loops (21 loops within 6.5 km), Lachalung, Lakeela and Baralacha pass
Apart from this journey from Delhi to Jammu and Manali to Delhi is just a highway run.
Leh Ladakh Palaces
The Leh Ladakh palaces are centuries old architecture marvels, situated on the hilltop completely hidden from the rest of the world. From their construct and scale, they look majestic and now only their ruins and rubbles exist. This condition can be the result of extremely harsh weather, natural forces, vandalism, violent events and other heart-wrenching destructions.
Still, these 6 must be on your list while taking Leh Ladakh road trip:
- Chiktan Khar (lies 75 km from Kargil city)
- Leh Palace (2 km from Leh market)
- Castle Tsemo Namgyal (lies above Leh Palace)
- Shey Palace (13 km from Leh in Village Shey)
- Stok Palace (15 km from Leh on Stok road)
- Zamskhang Palace in Nubra Valley
Important Tips before taking Leh Ladakh Road Trip
- Get your vehicle properly inspected before leaving for this route.
- There is no race in the valley, so be slow and stop to take the views.
- Avoid driving at night as you will miss on the views and it is highly risky too. Moreover, if your vehicle breaks down there is nobody to help around for miles.
- Respect the rules in the valley and don’t litter around.
- Spend a day or two in Leh, to acclimatize before leaving for the higher altitudes.
- Weather conditions change unexpectedly in the valley, so inquire from locals before leaving.
- Get your vehicles fuelled up in Leh as the next fuel station is available at Tandi, which is 365 km ahead from Keylong. Also for covering Tso Moriri and Tso Kar on the way from Pangong Lake, do carry extra fuel; at least 20 liters or even more.
- Always have a day or two buffers in Leh Ladakh road trip, as one never knows neither can predict about the present and future situation of roads and landslides here.
Julley! Julley! It means Hi, Hello, Goodbye, & Thank you in Leh Ladakh. The word is really sweet as its people. We think you will love visiting the valley and this guide will answer all your queries about Leh Ladakh road trip. If you still have any more questions, do feel free to message us.