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How To Reach Leh

How To Reach Leh :Roof of the World

Leh, the capital of Ladakh, beckons travelers with its stark beauty, rich culture, and dramatic Himalayan landscape. Nestled at a height of 3,500 meters, it’s a place unlike any other in India. But getting to this “roof of the world” requires some planning, especially considering its remote location. This guide will equip you with all the essential information to reach Leh seamlessly, covering routes, travel modes, travel tips, and even acclimatization advice.

Routes and Travel Modes

There are two main routes to Leh:

Manali – Leh Highway (474 km): 

This route, traversing through the scenic Rohtang Pass (3,978 meters) and high-altitude deserts, is a popular choice for adventure seekers. The journey takes approximately 20 hours by road, with breathtaking views along the way. However, it’s only open from May to September due to snowfall.

Srinagar – Leh Highway (434 km): 

This shorter route offers a different perspective of the Himalayas, passing through stunning valleys and glaciers. The journey takes around 14-16 hours and is accessible for a longer period compared to the Manali route, from May to October.

Travel Mode

By Air: 

This is the fastest and most convenient way to reach Leh. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) is well-connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Srinagar. The scenic flight offers stunning views of the Himalayas, making the journey itself an experience. Flight time from Delhi is around 1.5 hours.

Travel Tip: Book your flights well in advance, especially during peak season (June to September) due to high demand and limited air traffic. Consider flying into Leh directly to avoid altitude sickness.

By Road: 

For a more adventurous experience, consider a road trip. You can choose from:

Government Buses: Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) and Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) operate regular deluxe and ordinary buses on both routes. This is a budget-friendly option, but be prepared for long journeys.

Shared Taxis: These are readily available in Manali, Srinagar, and Leh, offering a more comfortable and faster option compared to buses. Costs are shared amongst passengers.

Private Taxis/Jeeps: Ideal for a group or family offering greater flexibility and a comfortable journey. Negotiate fares beforehand, especially during peak season.

Motorcycles: A dream ride for many, tackling these high mountain passes requires experience and proper preparation for high-altitude riding. Ensure your bike is in good condition and you have the necessary permits.

Travel Tip:  Road travel, especially on mountain passes, can be challenging. Factor in potential delays due to roadblocks or bad weather. Ensure you have proper winter clothing if traveling during shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October).

Important Considerations:

  • Permits: Inner Line Permits (ILPs) are mandatory for all non-domiciled Indians to enter Ladakh. You can apply online or at designated entry points.
  • Acclimatization: Leh’s high altitude can cause altitude sickness. Spend a few days acclimatizing in Leh before embarking on any strenuous activities. Drink plenty of fluids, avoid strenuous exercise, and listen to your body.

Packing Essentials:

  • Clothing: Pack layers as temperatures can vary drastically. Thermals, woolen clothes, a waterproof jacket, and sturdy shoes are essential. Don’t forget sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen for the harsh sun.
  • Medicines: Carry basic medicines for headaches, nausea (altitude sickness), and stomach ailments.
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial to combat altitude sickness. Carry a reusable water bottle and constantly sip on water.
  • Miscellaneous: Moisturizer for dry skin, lip balm, and a good camera to capture the stunning landscapes are recommended.

Planning Your Itinerary:

Season: The best time to visit Leh is from June to September when the weather is pleasant and most mountain passes are accessible. However, this coincides with peak tourist season. Shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October) offer fewer crowds but come with unpredictable weather conditions.

Duration: Ideally, plan a minimum of 5-7 days to explore Leh and its surrounding areas comfortably, including acclimatization

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Ask Questions For Ladakh

Q. How can we reach Ladakh?

There are three ways to reach Ladakh:

  • The best way to travel to Ladakh is by flight. Leh Airport is well-connected with major cities like Delhi, Jammu, Chandigarh, Srinagar, and many other places through direct and connecting flights.
  • If you are traveling by road then there are two different routes lead to Ladakh – one from Srinagar and another from Manali. If you are traveling from Manali then you will cover the distance of 474 kilometers to Leh via Keylong with a night stopover. On the other hand, Srinagar to Leh will take you through Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh, and Lamayuru. You will cover 434 km on this journey. All the roads remain open from May to October.

Q. Can we visit Pahalgam in one day ?

Distance Between Delhi to Ladakh 1023 kms.

Q. Which airport is close to Ladakh?

The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh.

Q. Are there any ATMs in Leh?

Leh has four ATMs owned by Axis Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India.

Q. Does credit card work in hotels and restaurants?

Yes, the credit card is accepted in a few hotels and restaurants but a service tax is charged.

Q. When is the best time to visit Ladakh?

The Best time to visit Ladakh is during the summer season from the month of April to July during this time Ladakh temperature is between 15 to 30 Degree Celsius.

Q. What is famous about Leh ?

Leh is known for its stunning scenic locales, Buddhist temples and pristine environment.

Q. What are the places to see in Leh and around?

Leh is the district headquarters of Ladakh and its main town. It is a quaint town and has a very cosmopolitan vibe to it. The markets are quite colourful and full of life.

Q. Is Ladakh safe to visit?

Is Ladakh safe to visit?Ladakh, in general, is considered relatively safe for travelers, including women.

Q. What is Ladakh famous for answer?

Ladakh is most famous for breathtaking landscapes, the crystal clear skies, the highest mountain passes, thrilling adventure activities, Buddhist Monasteries and festivals.

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