If you are planning a Trip to Ladakh, and wondering HOW? This post is for you. Well, pack your bags lads, bid adieu to your hectic schedule, and get ready to escape into a world of high altitude passes, serene lakes and feel the crisp mountain air beckoning you to this enchanting land.
Ways to reach Ladakh
1) By Air :
You’ll find many flights scheduled from Delhi, landing straight in Leh, capital of Ladakh. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of travelling to Ladakh by air
- luxurious mode of transport
- takes less time, around 1 hour 30 mins
- you get a chance to fly over regions of the Himalayas, Ladakh and Karakoram experiencing unmatched natural beauty, a completely different experience.
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2) By road :
For the adventure fanatics and nature lovers. The more interesting, cheaper and thrilling mode of transport.
Best way to travel is by using Manali Leh highway. The entire journey can be broken into following fragments :
Delhi – Panipat
- via grand trunk road, 85.2 km
- make a brief halt at “city of weaver” to refresh yourselves, grab something handy for the way
- don’t forget to halt at Muruthal and grab a meal at the renowned “No.1 Ahuja Dhaba” or “Sukhdev Ka Dhaba“
Panipat – Ambala
- drive via SH7 and grand trunk road, 124 km
- places of interest : Halwai Bazar, Puran Singh Ka Dhabha
- budget hotels are available in the main market, for an overnight stay
Ambala – Kullu
- drive via NH21, 322 km
- a beautiful part of journey – enter into lap of Himalayas. Time to take out camera from your backpack.
- fruit bowl of country – lavish your taste buds with mouth-watering and fresh fruits, plucked straight from orchards, offered by local sellers at many places en route..
- give yourselves a visual treat– clear stream of water running alongside the road. Various deciduous and evergreen oaks, Chir pine, along with regional shrubs, Alders, birches, rhododendrons can be seen along hillside.
- take out camera from your backpack. You will definitely require it. Picturesque sights, worth capturing.
Kullu – Manali
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- drive via NH21, 40 km
- shortest yet exquisite part of journey
- it is advisable to stay one night in Manali before beginning the journey on the highway towards Leh and minimum one night at either Keylong, Jispa or Darcha to cope with the high passes and plains after Darcha. Give some time to your body to acclimate to lower oxygen levels.
Manali – Leh
- here comes the real part of journey : Manali – Leh highway, 474 km, remains open for only about four and a half months in a year in summer between May or June and is maintained by Border Roads Organisation of Indian army.
- two lanes wide (one lane in either direction), but has only one or one and a half lanes at some stretches.
- trees covering both sides of the road, snow capped mountains heaven for nature lover and photographers.
- watch out for the peppy signboards issued by the Borders Roads Organisation.
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- Altitude sickness : owing to less oxygen in air, many travellers experience altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness. Carry chocolates, glucose or other high energy food on the journey and spend only a little time at the high mountain passes.
- it is strongly advised not to sleep in Sarchu or Pang on the upward journey (towards Leh) as it can cause acute mountain sickness, resulting in – headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Safer option is to camp after reaching Leh.
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3) Reach Srinagar from Delhi by flight and then drive to Leh via Srinagar – Leh highway.
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4) Make your own possibilities :
Pack your bags, work out your own permutations and combination, including any mode of transport you feel like. There are regular Jeep taxi service from Srinagar and Manali when high passes are open during the summer months , from Srinagar the pass opens in end May till October, while Manali side road opens little late and closes early. Bon voyage!
Delhi is 1,023 km away from Ladakh. The best season to visit ‘land of high passes‘ is from June to October when the temperature is around 27°c and light woollens are required. Catch a glimpse of a thrilling road trip to Ladakh.
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THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND :
- make yourself comfortable : it is advised not to wear slim fit or body hugging clothes. Tight piece of clothing, along with increasing altitude and decreasing air pressure can result in uneasiness.
- drink plenty of water : keep yourself hydrated! remember to carry at least 2 bottles with you before hitting the road.
- fuel it up : do check the fuel needle once in a while, as finding a gas pumps can be a trick task. Carry spare fuel.
- medic kit : before planning any trip, make sure you have a medical kit. Altitude sickness is the major problem faced by tourists.
- pack all your woolens, and then some more. The night time gets chilly and if you are camping in the open, you’ll require plenty of warm clothes.
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Read more about Ladakh here. Share your experiences of Ladakh with us in the comments section below.