Guide To Leh Ladakh Road Trip
The land of the highest motorable roads, great lakes and deserts, awe-inspiring landscapes, bright monasteries, and pristine blue sky is calling you. Beautifully nestled on the Himalayan Mountains snow-clad fringes, Leh lets you experience the magical charm of the Himalayas while exploring its rugged terrains. Ladakh offers you the chance to be mesmerised by its ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture and abundance of adventure. Tourists come here from around the world to indulge in adventure sports like mountain climbing , trekking, and rafting on the Indus that are some of the popular things to do in Leh Ladakh. In short, a Leh Ladakh road trip is an exhilarating experience that nobody should miss out on. However, due to unpredictable weather conditions and stride to rugged terrains, the road trip to Leh Ladakh can be challenging. Don’t worry, here we have listed everything you need to know about this Leh Ladakh road trip.
So, get ready to explore Leh Ladakh on wheels safe and sound by following our travel tips . Also, we have a super exciting Urban Drive offer for you that will surely make your road trip much more fun!
Routes to Take for Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Two different routes can be taken to reach Leh. One is from Srinagar and the other one from Manali.
Route 1: Srinagar to Leh
If you take this route, your Leh Ladakh road trip will be filled with green fields, happy villages on riverbanks, Himalayan valleys, monasteries and more. This road journey from Srinagar is one of the best ways to experience various facets of Ladakh.
Srinagar to Leh Distance: 434 Kms
Route 2: Manali to Leh
Those who take this route are blessed with the chance to understand the true majesty of mother nature’s creations. Traversing through high mountain passes, narrow passes, and scenic valleys, you can click magnificent panoramic shots. What’s more, witness the calm and elegant lifestyle of people living in different places.
Manali to Leh Distance: 476 Kms
Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh
The best time to visit Leh Ladakh through road trip is from Mid-May to October. Roads from Srinagar are open by then. But Rohtang pass in Manali – Leh route is available only after May as roads are slippery. In short, plan your road trip during the summer season when the temperature is bearable, and the region has clear, stunning views with warm and sunny weather.
List of critical things to pack for your Leh Ladakh bike trip:
For a seamless Leh Ladakh road trip, it’s crucial to pack right. Because, as soon as you cross Manali, you will experience a sudden transformation in weather conditions. It’s the same with the Srinagar-Leh route when you cross Zoji La. The weather will likely be warm and sunny during the day and cold at night. Also, it seldom rains in the Ladakh region. Now you can imagine the weather conditions here are slightly unpredictable. You have to be ready for everything. So, pack your bags accordingly. Pack smart and keep the luggage light for your Leh Ladakh bike trip.
Clothing and Footwear:
- Jackets and pullovers
- Woollen gloves and sufficient warm clothes
- 2 to 3 pairs of thermal inners
- Warm socks
- Raincoat, waterproof shoes and gloves to protect yourself if it starts raining
- Hat/cap and scarf
- A warm sleeping bag for camping
Gadgets and Accessories:
- A camera to capture the magnificent views on the way. Carry charged batteries, charger, and extra memory cards
- Mobile charger and power bank
- Multi-utility knife and plastic bags to keep important stuff dry in case it rains
Meds and Toiletry:
- Sunscreen lotion (SPF 40+)
- Moisturizer and lip balm
- Pain-relieving sprays and inhaler
- Headache tablets
- Re-hydration liquids
- Carry sufficient cash at any time (as ATMs can be out of order during peak season)
- Keep things like a spare tube, puncture kit, chain lock, gear and engine oils, and spark plugs handy
- If you take the Leh-Manali Highway, carry 10–20 litres of extra petrol as 360 km stretch from Tandi to Upshi in Manali doesn’t have any petrol pumps.
Precautions to be taken on a road trip to Leh Ladakh
- Vehicle servicing: Getting your vehicle serviced adequately before the trip is crucial. Also, it is good to have a few quick and easy fixes up your sleeve rather than being dependent on mechanic shops.
- Be equipped: Carry spare tyres and a mechanical tool kit as you will be travelling through rugged terrain.
- Drive safe: Be extra careful and don’t try to rush while passing through the roads’ risky sections.
- Start early: Hitting the road early in the morning will help you avoid traffic. Plus, you will be able to witness the fantastic views.
First-timers may face Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) due to reduced oxygen levels and unusual air pressure. It can spoil the whole trip. Below precautions can help avoid Acute Mountain Sickness during the Leh Ladakh road trip.
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat light. Also, keep having chocolates, biscuits, and dry fruits regularly in the journey to avoid tiredness
- Strictly avoid consumption of alcohol as it can cause dehydration
Look for accommodation at lower altitudes for better sleep