How to reach Leh Ladakh by road? Which route is best option to travel between Manali to Leh Highway or Srinagar to Leh Highway. You can find all details related to altitude, KM’s, accommodation and other facilities available on both of these Highways.
If you are planning to travel to Leh Ladakh by road, then it’s going to be the most thrilling road adventure you will find in India. This terrain either from Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh both of these roads are most adventurous in the world. To reach Leh Ladakh by Road, you have to cross top motorable high altitude passes in the world. While passing some long semi-arid planes and a quick look of perfect lifestyle of nomads living in small arrangments alongside. Leh Ladakh trip by road offers stunning sights of barren lands in Himalaya’s and range of Zanskar. Lots of Prayer Bells, Monasteries, Prayer Flags & Tibetan Buddhist populace, that can be seen on the way to Ladakh. There are two roads by which travellers, bikers, cyclist and road trippers take to reach Leh, Ladakh. One option is Manali to Leh and second is Srinagar to Leh.
Both of these have their own scenic views, terrain and difficulty levels. Generally, most of the road travellers do the complete circuit like Srinagar – Leh – Manali or Manali – Leh – Srinagar. By this way one can easily cover both of the terrains in one go. Our Travel Guide offer complete details about the terrains, distance, accommodation, eating places and and some most important information like fuel pumps, ATMs, mechanic, hospitals etc. This detailed information can help you to plan properly about your road trip to leh, ladakh by any route.
Out of the two options to reach Leh Ladakh by Road, Manali to Leh Highway, considered to be best road of adventure. This highway is 473 km long, and most of the part of this highway doesn’t have any civilization. Make note of it, from Tandi, the next petrol pump is like 365 km. So, riding on this route needs good planning and knowledge before hitting the roads for leh.
Experienced riders prefer coming from Srinagar to Leh and then going back Leh to Manali. The main reason behind this statement is you are very much comfortable with high altitudes, and coming downhill won’t be a problem when you are coming back from Leh to Manali route.
From Manali, you can halt at Jispa or by crossing Baralach La to Sarchu. Sarchu is almost the midpoint between both of these destinations. Sarchu is the place which is full of accommodation options. However, by the end of the day, its a traveler choice, depending upon when they start from Manali to stay at Jispa or Sarchu.
This highway totally depends on the opening of passes (Rohtang, Baralach La & Tanglang La). Normally, these are open by mid of May and close again by Oct Starting. So, the best time to visit leh ladakh by road via manali is like May to Sept. In starting you can see lots of ice but in August & September, the roads become in perfect position. Due to rainy season in July, there are more chances of landslides on this terrain.
To cross Rohtang pass and to visit Leh one has to pay congestion charges at Gulaba Check post. No vehicles are allowed to cross on Tuesday, as the day is marked for maintenance purpose of Manali to Rohtang road. One vehicle in a week is allowed to obtain two permits. In case if the information on permit and the documents does not match, vehicle is not allowed to cross Gulaba Barrier. For Bike (Two Wheeler), LMV (Cars), Passenger Vehicle, the congestion charges are Rs. 50/- and Rs. 100/- for Good Vehicle to cross Rohtang Pass. Every year they change the policies and/or charges. For latest information about the charges and days not allowed, visit http://admis.hp.nic.in/ngtkullu/BeyondRohtang/InformatoryScreen for complete information.
Many adventure enthusiast, numbers growing day by day to travel on this terrain, love to drive self or self ride. Because of terrain and scenic views, this is sort of once in a lifetime experience to travel on such terrains. Take either your car or a bike trip from manali to leh or even you can opt for a taxi to do this trip. Not to forget before attempting to drive a vehicle on this route, you should be experienced enough to manage the vehicle on such a tough rugged roads. Before hitting this road, you should be aware about the possibilities of Gas Station (Petrol Pump), Mechanics and Accommodation, just in case if anything goes wrong. Even you should clear all your doubts before planning to drive on this road. You can get in touch with our road captain for any query related to how to plan Manali to Leh Road Trip?
You should keep some sort of basic kit of toolkit. Just in case if any help is required, you don’t get stuck because of some stuff like puncture repair kit, electronic air pump, screw driver, M-seal, hammer, hydraulic jack, towing rope, plastic cable-tie, spare tube, some sort of adhesive, banjee ropes, fuel bottle for backup and much more basic stuff. This should not be reminded but before planning get your vehicle service done properly to start the journey.
You can hire a Taxi from Manali to Leh, however, after reaching Leh from Manali, you have to hire another local taxi to go further towards Pangong or Nubra Valley. As , any type of rented vehicle which is not from Ladakh is not allowed to visit in restricted area, where Inner line permit is required.Don’t even think hiring some private number vehicle from any state to visit restricted area. Because in Upshi and South Pulu, you have to prove the vehicle belongs to you and not a rented vehicle. So, specifically, if you are planning to hire a taxi from Manali to Leh, then hire a taxi for further journey from Leh only.
Good idea is to hire a taxi from Manali to Leh journey from Manali Taxi Stand only. They are very much familiar with the terrain and their daily job is to drive on such a difficult roads. Its better to avoid taking taxi from any other state like Haryana, Delhi or Punjab etc.
Local State Transport bus service from HPTDC also available from Manali to Leh road trip. It’s good to check the schedule and ticket availability online before planning your trip. Ticket can be booked online easily as per your selection and availability for the day. You can visit this link http://www.booking.hptdc.in/ for more information and booking for Manali to Leh by road.
Bus services from HRTC also available for Manali to Leh road trip but can be start from keylong . To reach keylong, you can take a shared taxi from Manali to reach Keylong, so you can catch a HRTC bus service from Keylong to Leh. Again, It’s good to check the schedule and ticket availability online before planning your trip. Tickets can be booked online easily as per your selection and availability for the day. You can visit this link http://online.hrtchp.com/oprs-web/ for more information and booking for Manali to Leh by road.
You can find a shared taxi for Leh from Manali stand. They normally cover the distance at night time. Shared taxi owner charge somewhere between Rs. 1200 to Rs. 1800 per person to travel.
After crossing Rohtang Pass, there is a single petrol pump at Tandi on entire Manali to Leh Highway. This is the only petrol pump after crossing Tandi till Karu which is 365KM from Tandi. So, make sure get your vehicle petrol tank filled full and If you are travelling on bike like Duke 390 with less fuel tank space, keep some cans of petrol. The next petrol pump is in Upshi/Karu which is near to Leh..
Manali to Leh, Only ATM available at Manali and then Keylong. After keylong, there is no ATM till Leh, so make sure to keep enough cash while travelling on this terrain.
Second option to reach Leh Ladakh by Road is Srinagar – Leh Highway, which is officially called as National Highway # 1D (NH-1D), which is 421KM from Srinagar to Leh. This is highway is considered to be the lifeline, if we talk about the connectivity of Leh-Ladakh to other parts of India. This route is better than Manali to Leh in terms of connectivity, accommodation, Fuel Pumps and other facilities. In this route you can find three Mountain passes- ZoziLa which is 11574 feet above sea level, Namika La which is 12,198 feet and Fotu La is 13479 ft above sea level.
Second option to reach Leh Ladakh by Road is Srinagar – Leh Highway, which is officially called as National From Srinagar to Leh, you can halt at Kargil. Kargil is almost a midpoint between both of these places. Kargil is full of accommodation options where one can stay comfortably.
This highway normally open from May and remain close for 6 months from November to April, because of heavy snowfall and the roads get s blocked for 6 months. Highway open by mid of May or by end of May. So, the best time to ride on this highway from Srinagar to Leh by road starts from July to November. In the month of July and August due to monsoon season and landslides create road block frequently and that is unavoidable.
On this highway you can see lots of Army movement all around the year carrying the material supply to the higher parts of Ladakh ranges. So, keeping everything on top, precisely the best time to visit Leh Ladakh via Srinagar to Leh Highway is July, when there will be no slush, no rains and clean road.
To travel on this highway you can opt for any of the option which is Public Transport, Srinagar to Leh Bus Service by J&K SRTC, Hire a Private Taxi, By Own Car or Srinagar to Leh Bike Road Trip
Most of the travellers visiting Leh Ladakh from Srinagar to Leh by road opt for either by their motorcycles (bikes) or by car to reach Leh. This is in actual, riding on this route is very exciting and once in a life time achievement for adventure lovers. You can also opt for srinagar to leh bike rent or on rented cars to reach ladakh. One should know about the vehicle drivability and should be familiar with the maintenance record of that vehicle. Generally, in four wheelers SUV/MUV or compact SUV’s are great option to select to ride on this terrain. Some of the experienced drivers also completed this circuit on hatchback as well. No doubt, the level of difficulty of this terrain is way much lesser than Manali to Leh highway. As, this trip to ladakh is a difficult one, you should remain calm and careful all the time. Sometime, even due to AMS riding becomes hectic and a traveller has to first deal with AMS instead of driving.
You should keep at least some basic tools while travelling and even some first aid with you. Screw driver set, small hammer, tool kit of vehicle, electric air pump, puncture repair kit, hydraulic jack and not to forget carry some extra bottle of fuel with you. Other important stuff you should keep while travelling are as spare tube, if possible spare rim set for bikes, towing rope, print out of route map, M-seal, Bungee ropes. Last which is most important, get your vehicle properly serviced before going for a trip to Ladakh.
As of now, the rule of taxi union of ladakh, only Ladakh number can go beyond Leh to restricted area where Inner line Permit is required. So, can hire a taxi from Srinagar to Leh, however, you have to hire local ladakh region taxi to visit Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri and other parts where Inner Line permit is required. Generally, taxi owners charge around Rs. 12000/- to 15,000/- inclusive of night halt. You can also book taxi from kargil also, so you can plan kargil tourist attraction.
Local State Transport bus services also available from Srinagar to Leh. You can board the bus from Lal Chowk, Srinagar to Leh and Polo Ground, Leh to Srinagar. Ticket price for Semi Delux is Rs. 737/-, for Delux bus service is Rs. 919/-, MCV is Rs. 1300/- per person. Buses starts early morning to reach either Leh or Srinagar, there are stoppages for refreshment in Sonmarg and Kargil. You can visit this link http://www.jksrtc.co.in/index.php for more information and booking for Manali to Leh by road.
You can opt for a shared taxi to travel on Srinagar to Leh Highway. They charge around Rs. 1500/- per person and start their journey in late hours and reach Leh next day in evening. Around 5-7 people travel in this taxi with the driver..
Most common route to visit leh from Srinagar is via kargil-mulbekh-lamayuru, this is the route which mostly take to travel Srinagar to Leh road trip. Other route which starts from Srinaga to Karil then it goes to Batalik-Dah-Skurbuchan and Leh. If you want to go from batalik road then you have to take inner line permit from DEC office of Leh or Kargil.
There are numerous tourist destinations are available on this highway, some of them are but not limited to as there are many other places those are with slight diversions.
Sonmarg, Zojila Pass, Drass War Memorial, Mulbekh Monastery, Lamayuru – Lunar Landscape, Spituk Monastry, Basgo Palace, Likir Monastry, Phyang Monastry, Alchi Monastry, Confluence at Nimmu, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Magnetic Hills.
In case you plan to visit all the sightseeing points, then you need at least three to four days to cover this complete highway.
Srinagar to Leh National High 1D have many petrol pumps on the way. Its not like Manali to leh where there is no petrol pump within 365 KM. You can easily find Fuel Pumps starting from Srinagar, Mangan, Sonmarg, Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha, Khaltsi, Leh. On this highway there is no problem at all to think over carrying fuel as a backup for vehicle.
To start your journey, you can find ATM’s in Srinagar then Ganderbal. ATM available in Drass, Kargil and Leh, however, while riding keep enough cash just in case required in emergency.
You can find Wine shops on Srinagar to Leh Highway in Srinagar, Sonamarg, Drass & Kargil