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Leh Ladakh in 13 Days – How to Plan Your Itinerary?

Itinerary is by far the most important and biggest question that riders asked us while planning a visit to Ladakh. Sometime travellers ask us to check their itinerary or recommend us a new itinerary in different ways. Like we have lot many options for many type of Leh Ladakh Trip Packages, here are some of the different options to cover Ladakh in 13 Days. Continuing in the same series, in this post we will provide complete details how one can plan an itinerary according to their own taste of travel. In fact, here we are bifurcating the itineraries majorly into 3 types. Travellers coming by air to Leh Ladakh. Second, for people coming by road on their own vehicle. And third one are the one relying completely on public transport completely.

Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide

To start this complete discussion, we are hereby assume that you are starting from Delhi. Just in case if you are coming from some other city then the travel plan for Day 1 and 2 would be different. And rest of the complete plan will remain same as mentioned in the itinerary below.

The main reason why planning of itinerary is most difficult task for Leh Ladakh Trip is lack of knowledge. On the other hand you will be covering large area of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal during this trip. Ladakh happens to be the second largest district in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India. When we put Srinagar, Leh & Manali route together, you will see a big list of places to visit and things to see. So, this becomes a Tricky part for someone to visit all places by squeezing all places in a single itinerary.

 

13 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh
13 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh
Leh Ladakh in 13 Days

For complete list of places or point of attraction in Ladakh, please read Tourist Attractions in Ladakh – A Comprehensive ListHopefully, after reading this article, you should have most of the information required beforehand for finalizing your travel plan. If you have any questions, you may comment below in comment section or directly call us at 7290929090 or contact us by filling your query.

To kick start the article, we hereby suggest an itinerary which we recommend, followed by other versions of Ladakh Trip. We hereby assume that you would be travelling by road and by your own vehicle for 13 Days Leh Ladakh.

  • 1st Day – Delhi to Jammu
  • 2nd Day – Jammu to Srinagar
  • 3rd Day – Srinagar to Kargil
  • 4th Day – Kargil to Leh
  • 5th Day – Leh
  • 6th Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 7th Day – Nubra Valley to Pangong via Agam – Shyok
  • 8th Day – Pangong to Leh via Chang La Pass – Karu
  • 9th Day – Leh to Tso Moriri
  • 10th Day – Tso Moriri to Pang / Sarchu via Tso Kar – Moore Plains
  • 11th Day – Pang / Sarchu to Manali via Rohtang Pass
  • 12th Day – Manali to Delhi
  • 13th Day – Extra Day

Further we move ahead, would like to explain why we select the journey from Srinagar side instead of Manali. No doubt most of the riders prefer Manali route to visit Leh Ladakh. However, there are some of the major reasons by which we should start our journey from Srinagar to Leh side.

AMS – Acute Mountain Sickness in Leh Ladakh

If you are coming by Srinagar to Leh Ladakh road, this selection of route will make your journey easier. Easy in terms of altitude you gradually increase so the chances are less of AMS. If you are travelling to Leh via Manali, the altitude increases tremendously and too quick for a body to handle. That is the major reason for travellers to suffer from AMS either in Pang or Sarchu or by passing high altitude pass like Baralachla or Tanglangla. Now, if you are travelling from Srinagar to Leh, altitude increase is gradual in comparison to Manali – Leh Road. Such slow increase in altitude give us immense time to our body to acclimatize. If you are travelling with your family with kids and elders, then you should consider strongly Srinagar to Leh Route.

For some better understanding about AMS and the symptoms, please read How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh.

Rohtang Permits

For travelers travelling to Ladakh from Manali to Leh, Rohtang Pass use to be main point of attraction. However, from past few years visiting Rohtang La has turned into a big task because of rules and regulations to visit Rohtang Pass. Nowadays, a permit if required either to visit Rohtang or to cross Rohtang for Leh. Without this permit you won’t be able to cross Gulaba Check post to travel further towards Rohtang Pass. Now to get a permit to travel one can obtain this permit either online or by vesting DM office in person in Manali. Another thing is to keep in mind there is a set number of permits are allowed per day, so basically it all depends on first come first serve basis. There is a maximum cap per day to issue these permits, which is then depends on diesel and petrol vehicle.

It becomes nightmare for a common person and becomes a great challenge to obtain this permit in peak season. And this again becomes a task to worry about such condition for permit to obtain. This problem can really avoided, If you visit Leh Ladakh via Srinagar route, where no such permits are required as of now. As this permit if only required from Manali Side to Leh Ladakh to cross Rohtang Pass. Even, while coming back from Leh to Manali in that case no such permit is required to cross Rohtang to visit Manali.

Rohtang Traffic

Every year there is an increase of tourist visiting Rohtang Pass from Manali, which cause traffic jams for hours. Generally, the wait time at Gulaba Check Post is like 2 to 3 hours for submission of Rohtang Permit. For such long queue, local taxis lined up on this check post around 4 AM in the morning. Such traffic Jams and big lines can be easily avoided again If you are coming from Srinagar to Leh instead of Manali to Leh.

Fuel Availability in Ladakh

Petrol pump in Ladakh region is still remains available in the Leh city. Nowadays you can find another petrol pump near Diskit as well, but one should rely completely on that petrol pump. On the other hand fuel is easily available in entire Ladakh but in BLACK. In fact one can easily get petrol or diesel in road side small camps or small shops in villages. No doubt, price is quite high, it’s like Rs. 120 per liter. I myself have bought fuel in Tangtse, Diskit, Hanle and karzok, but you can easily find in entire ladakh. In contrast to this, the quality of fuel is always questionable. Further, to avoid such issues, it’s better to carry enough fuel with you when leaving Leh city. Or in any fuel emergency ask any shop or nearby small camps and most probably you will get fuel in black.

Buffer – Extra Day

You must have noticed we kept an additional day as an extra day. When you are travelling to Ladakh region and for 13 days, it is an important factor to keep an extra day over and above your complete itinerary. Whatever it is, even Ladakh is becoming popular and the frequency of travellers increasing day by day, not to forget Ladakh is a High altitude desert land. Where uncertainty factors are still quite high like Landslides or heavy Snowfall which block the way for a day or two sometime. In such scenario you are forced to stay at any place en route and one should be able to make out in such conditions.

Leh Ladakh in 13 Days

Well, coming back to the topic which is Itinerary for Leh Ladakh Trip in 13 Days. Firstly, let us elaborate day by day details how one can plan their journey to ladakh. The reason behind why we have recommended this particular ladakh itinerary is to make sure that you can visit most of the places without travelling much on any given day.

Day 1: Delhi to Jammu

Not much to write about this day except for this will be a bit of long and monotonous journey. You will cover about 600 kilometers in 11 to 12 hours. Good news is that the road is good for most part of the journey. There are a few bad patches in between but during the last stretch between Pathankot and Jammu. There will be a lot of tolls between Delhi and Pathankot though. Hotels in Jammu are available in plenty but stay at one closer to Jammu Srinagar highway.

Day 2: Jammu to Srinagar

Now there are two ways that you can do this journey. Either take the Jammu Srinagar highway which is about 270 kilometers in total. There is a lot of vehicle movement on this road though and traffic jams are common. Reaching Srinagar by this road will easily take you about 11 to 12 hours via Patnitop and Anantnag.

An alternate route is via Mughal road. This road is also the longer of the two and runs a total length of around 330 kilometers via Rojouri and Shopian. Traffic however on this road is very less and it also is more scenic of the two roads.

Day 3: Srinagar to Kargil

And this is when you start your journey on the beautiful Srinagar Leh highway. Condition of the road is mostly smooth for the entire 220 odd kilometers of the journey. You will be traveling via some stunning vistas and towns like Kangan and Sonamarg and Drass. Enjoy the scenic beauty all day and know why Kashmir is fondly called a paradise. Take a lunch break at either Sonamarg or Drass and have some delicious Kashmiri food. Kargil war memorial near Drass is definitely worth a visit. You will also be crossing the high altitude pass of Zoji La in between which is probably the worst patch of the road on this highway.

Day 4: Kargil to Leh

Starting as early as possible is of utmost importance on this day; because there is so much of sightseeing involved. The maximum number of tourists attractions that you will cover on Day 4 will probably be more than any other days of the journey. Namika La and Fotu La will be two high altitude passes that you will cross before reaching Leh. Lunar Landscape, Lamayuru, Confluence of Indus – Zanskar , Magnetic Hills, Gurudwara Patthar Sahib are some of the well known tourist places that will fall on the way.

Hotels in Leh are available in plenty these days and in all budget. However, if you were travelling in peak tourist season then I would recommend that you call and book in advance.

Day 5: Leh

The most important thing to do today is to arrange permits for your journey ahead. This permit is called Inner Line Permit, or ILP in short, and can be obtained either online or in person from DM office in Leh City. It is mandatory for civilian movement in Ladakh and without it, you can go no further than Leh City. For complete process and charges related to permit contact us today.

Good part is that you do not have to go through the hassle of procuring the permit yourself. These days the hotels can keep these arranged for you. The usual charge is Rs. 100 per person apart from the permit cost. So you can talk to someone at the hotel and ask them to get you the ILP while you go for sightseeing in Leh town. Leh Royal Palace, Gurudwara Datun Sahib, Shanti Stoopa, Zorawar Fort, Leh Market are some of the most common areas visited by tourists. For a complete list, please read Tourist Attractions in Leh City.

Day 6: Leh to Diskit

The first place you will head to for sightseeing in Ladakh is the beautiful Nubra Valley. Diskit is the headquarters of Nubra and that is where you will be staying for the night. From Leh, you will climb up 35 kilometers to Khardung La Pass first and then drive down to Diskit via Khardung Village and Khalsar. The journey is of 120 kilometers and can take you anywhere between 6 to 7 hours to complete, depending on your speed and breaks.

Bactrian Camel, Diskit Monastery, Hunder sand dunes are some of the places that you can visit on this day. Read Tourist Places in Nubra Valley for a complete list of must visit attractions in Nubra Valley.

Day 7: Diskit to Pangong via Shyok

Destination next is the beautiful lake of Pangong, which in recent times has become the very symbol of Ladakh. Before you head there however, you may also want to take a short diversion towards Panamik. The entire journey from Diskit to Pangong will take you about 6 hours so you will have some time for sightseeing in Nubra as well. From Diskit, head back to Khalsar and then take the turn towards Panamik. There is a hot water spring at Panamik that you can visit. After spending some time, reach back Khalsar again and this time, take Agham Shyok road to arrive at Pangong Tso.

Also Read: A Complete and Comprehensive Road Map of Ladakh

Day 8: Pangong Tso to Leh

You will now head back to Leh city but will take a different route to get there. From Pangong, drive back to Durbuk and then take the road towards Chang La to reach Leh City via Karu. Road is mostly good with a bad patch at Chang La. The entire journey will take you about 8 hours so please start from Pangong accordingly.

Day 9: Leh to Tso Moriri

Next place on our itinerary is Tso Moriri. This lake maybe smaller in size than Pangong but an equal in terms of beauty. As opposed to Pangong, it actually is a fresh water lake and there is also wildlife around it. Karzok is the small village on its banks where you will be staying for the night. To reach here, drive all the way to Upshi from Leh and then take the road towards Chumathang. The road condition is mostly good till Chumathang but then turns really bad for the last 50 kilometers between Sumdo and Karzok.

There are several hotels and guest houses at Karzok where you can stay for the night. From Karzok, you will head back home straight without coming back to Leh so please check out of the hotel and carry all your belongings with you. Do not leave anything behind.

Day 10: Tso Moriri to Sarchu / Pang

From Karzok, drive back 50 kilometers again to Sumdo. From Sumdo, take the road towards Tso Kar via Polo Kongka La. You will drive across More Plains, reach Tso Kar and exit on Manali Leh highway near Debring. Now depending on the time you took to reach here, you can either stay at Pang which is nearby; or go to Sarchu which is about another 70 kilometers from Pang. As a rule, if you reach Pang by 3 PM then go to Sarchu. If you arrive here at 4 or later, then stay at Pang itself. You may also want to take an early start from Karzok for this day.

Day 11: Sarchu / Pang to Manali

If you stayed at Pang then start as early as 7 AM because this is going to be a bit of a long journey. If you stayed at Sarchu then make sure you are on the way by 8 AM latest. You will cross 4 high altitude passes, drive on the entire Manali Leh stretch and reach Manali by evening at around 5 to 6 PM. The reason why I am so stressing on starting early is because the traffic at Rohtang will eat up at least 2 hours before you finally make it down to Manali.

Also Read: How to Plan a Journey on Manali Leh Highway?

Day 12: Manali to Delhi

Not much to write about this day except for that it will be a long journey back home. Manali is about 550 kilometers from Delhi and it can take as many as 14 to 15 hours to reach home.

Day 13: Buffer Day

You can use this day to stay at any places on the itinerary as per your liking but I will recommend waiting until the end; and exhausting this day in last couple of days of the trip. From Karzok, start by 10 AM after some sightseeing at the lake and arrive at Pang. Stay there for the night and come to Jispa the next day rather than driving non-stop all the way to Manali. From Jispa then, you can reach Manali the next day using your additional day here.

Or you can just come back home on Day 12 itself and use Day 13 to relax a day at home before getting back to work.

And this is it. That was your 13 days trip to Leh Ladakh. This of course is just one of the many ways that you can complete this trip. Having 13 days in hand definitely gives you several choices of changing and tweaking your itinerary. Let me also suggest a few other examples as well in case you did not like the first itinerary.

13 Days Itinerary for Leh Ladakh

The above mentioned plan was best for someone traveling by their own vehicle. For someone making this trip by public transport, I will recommend an itinerary like below.

  • 1st Day – Delhi to Manali
  • 2nd Day – Manali to Keylong/Jispa
  • 3rd Day – Keylong/Jispa to Leh
  • 4th Day – Leh
  • 5th Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 6th Day – Nubra Valley to Leh
  • 7th Day – Leh to Pangong Lake
  • 8th Day – Pangong Lake to Leh
  • 9th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 10th Day – Kargil to Srinagar
  • 11th Day – Srinagar to Jammu
  • 12th Day – Jammu to Delhi
  • 13th Day – Extra Day
Details

Public transport here will be in form both buses and shared taxis. You will however rely more on shared taxis rather than a Bus. Keeping an additional day as buffer will be even more important if traveling by public transport.

This itinerary is via Manali rather than Srinagar because in my opinion, reaching from Manali to Leh by Bus is easier than Srinagar to Leh. Board a Bus from Delhi to Manali first. Then board the Manali to Leh bus which completes the journey in 2 days with a night halt at Keylong.

For visiting Diskit and Pangong, go to Leh Bus stand early in the morning. If there is no bus available then board a shared cab going that way. Next day, you will return to Leh by shared cabs again. You have no choice but to come back to Leh from both these places because there is no public transport on internal routes like Shyok road.

Leh to Srinagar

The Leh Srinagar Bus starts at noon from Leh and travels non-stop to Srinagar for 18 – 20 hours. So either you can break the journey in 2 days by traveling from Leh to Kargil and Kargil to Srinagar. Or you can spend first half of Day 9 sightseeing in Leh City and board the Srinagar bound bus at noon. This bus will get you to Srinagar early in the morning which will give you the entire Day 10 for some sightseeing in Srinagar as well.

13 Days in Ladakh

If you were flying into Leh and had the entire 13 days to spend in Ladakh itself, then you can plan your itinerary like below.

  • 1st Day – Leh
  • 2nd Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 3rd Day – Nubra Valley to Turtuk
  • 4th Day – Turtuk to Panamik
  • 5th Day – Panamik to Pangong Lake via Agam – Shyok
  • 6th Day – Pangong to Hanle
  • 7th Day – Hanle to Karzok
  • 8th Day – Karzok to Leh via Tso Kar
  • 9th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 10th Day – Kargil to Leh
  • 11th Day – Extra Day
  • 12th Day – Extra Day
  • 13th Day – Fly Out

Although, you can use the buffer days to extend your stay at any of the places in the itinerary. I will recommend using at least one day to stay back in Leh on Day 2 as well. This will give your body more time to acclimatize to high altitude before you start traveling to other places. People who catch a flight to Ladakh are in fact more prone to AMS rather than people who drove there.

Leh Ladakh Itinerary 13 Days

In case, if you were eager on starting your trip from Manali only and return via Srinagar then the itinerary can be like below. The plan below is assuming that you were able to arrange your Rohtang Permit in advance online; or by either contacting a travel agent; or a hotel in Manali.

  • 1st Day – Delhi to Manali
  • 2nd Day – Manali to Keylong / Sarchu
  • 3rd Day – Keylong / Sarchu to Leh
  • 4th Day – Leh – Day
  • 5th Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 6th Day – Nubra Valley to Pangong
  • 7th Day – Pangong to Hanle
  • 8th Day – Hanle to Karzok
  • 9th Day – Karzok to Leh
  • 10th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 11th Day – Kargil to Srinagar
  • 12th Day – Srinagar to Jammu
  • 13th Day – Jammu to Delhi
Leh Ladakh Itinerary for 13 Days

If you have been to Ladakh before and wanted to cover Zanskar this time then plan like this.

  • 1st Day – Delhi to Jammu
  • 2nd Day – Jammu to Srinagar
  • 3rd Day – Srinagar to Kargil
  • 4th Day – Kargil to Padum
  • 5th Day – Padum
  • 6th Day – Padum to Kargil
  • 7th Day – Kargil to Leh
  • 8th Day – Reach Leh
  • 9th Day – Leh to Nubra Valley to Leh
  • 10th Day – Leh to Pangong
  • 11th Day – Pangong to Pang
  • 12th Day – Pang to Manali
  • 13th Day – Manali to Delhi
13 Days Leh Ladakh Itinerary

If you were flying into Leh and wanted to cover both Ladakh and a bit of Kashmir as well then you can plan your trip like below. You will land into Leh, rent a private taxi for Ladakh sightseeing and journeying to Srinagar; do some sightseeing in Kashmir and then fly out of Srinagar airport. Keep in mind that for visiting places in Kashmir, your Ladakh registered cab will not do and you will have to rent another cab in Srinagar.

  • 1st Day – Leh
  • 2nd Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 3rd Day – Nubra Valley to Pangong
  • 4th Day – Pangong to Hanle
  • 5th Day – Hanle to Karzok
  • 6th Day – Karzok to Leh
  • 7th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 8th Day – Kargil to Srinagar
  • 9th Day – Srinagar
  • 10th Day – Srinagar to Gulmarg
  • 11th Day – Gulmarg to Pahalgam
  • 12th Day – Pahalgam to Srinagar
  • 13th Day – Fly Out of Srinagar
Leh Ladakh Trip in 13 Days

Furthermore, you can plan the journey like this also. 

  • 1st Day – Leh
  • 2nd Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 3rd Day – Nubra Valley to Pangong
  • 4th Day – Pangong to Leh
  • 5th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 6th Day – Kargil to Sonamarg
  • 7th Day – Sonamarg to Srinagar
  • 8th Day – Srinagar
  • 9th Day – Srinagar to Gulmarg
  • 10th Day – Gulmarg
  • 11th Day – Gulmarg to Pahalgam
  • 12th Day – Pahalgam to Srinagar
  • 13th Day – Fly Out of Srinagar

Or Like below

Leh Ladakh Trip 13 Days
  • 1st Day – Leh
  • 2nd Day – Leh to Nubra Valley
  • 3rd Day – Nubra Valley to Pangong
  • 4th Day – Pangong to Leh
  • 5th Day – Leh to Kargil
  • 6th Day – Kargil to Sonamarg
  • 7th Day – Sonamarg to Srinagar
  • 8th Day – Srinagar to Gulmarg
  • 9th Day – Gulmarg
  • 10th Day – Gulmarg to Pahalgam
  • 11th Day – Pahalgam
  • 12th Day – Pahalgam to Srinagar
  • 13th Day – Fly Out of Srinagar

 Also Read : For more route and days options you can check more leh ladakh trip packages here. 

Conclusion

Above all, what we have suggested above are just a few of many ways that this trip can be planned. 13 Days is an ample amount of time and will give you plenty of choice to change your travel plan. I hope the information above on visiting Ladakh in 13 Days was of help. If you have any questions; or need any further help; please feel free to ask in the comments section below or call us at 7290929090.

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CURRENT Road Status 2018

  • Srinagar - Leh Road Status : Closed
  • Manali - Leh Road Status : Closed
  • Shimla - Kinnaur - Kaza Road Status : Closed
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  • Keylong - Kunzum Pass - Kaza Road Status : Closed
  • Kargil - Penzi La - Padum Road Status : Closed
  • Manali - Rohtang Pass Road Status : Closed

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