Ladakh trip best plan – Short version.

By | April 22, 2014

Read this article for the detailed version. You can take a print out of the short version to carry along with you on the ride. This, according to me, is the best plan for a standard Ladakh trip, that includes Manali-Leh section, Nubra Valley, Pangong lake and Srinagar-Jammu section. If you feel something needs to be added or modified, do let me know in the comments. Do go through BCMTouring’s extensive list of articles for a better understanding of what you should expect on this ride, and how to best prepare for it. 

Ladakh trip - Pangong Lake

Day and Route.Stay and Activities.Important Points.
Day 1. Delhi to Mohali. 270 Kms. 4-5 hours. Hot weather. Excellent road condition with a few diversions. Lodge Ganga, 3B2 Mohali (800 rupees per night per room). Visit Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Rose Garden and Sector 17 market. Have dinner at Khalsa Vaishno Dhaba in Phase 5 and dessert at Katani Sweets in 3B2. If you arrive at New Delhi railway station with your bike, keep 3 hours to complete all the formalities to get your bike out.
Day 2. Mohali to Manali. 315 Kms. 8-10 hours. Pleasant weather. Great road till Kiratpur Sahib, lots of bad patches after that. The Beas HPTDC Hotel (650 rupees per night per room). Visit the Mall Road and have dinner at Satyam Restaurant. 1. Take permit to cross Rohtang Pass.
2. Sleep early and start early.
Day 3. Manali to Jispa. 150 Kms. 6-8 hours. Very cold weather. Very bad road condition. Elevation change from 6,700 to 13,000 feet. 1 mountain pass - Rohtang. Stay at any tent at Jispa. Enjoy the natural beauty on the way, especially at Rohtang. 1. Take a pill of Diamox before beginning.
2. Start early to avoid traffic at Rohtang Pass.
3. Drink lots of water with Glucose.
Day 4. Jispa to Pang. 170 Kms. 6-8 hours. Very cold weather. Very bad road condition. Elevation change from 13,000 to 16,500 feet. 3 mountain passes - Baralacha la, Nakee la, Lachulung la and Gata loops. Stay at any tent in Pang. Enjoy the natural beauty on the way. 1. If you feel AMS setting in and can't continue to Pang, you can stay at Sarchu, 80 Kms before Pang.
2. Get your tank full at Tandi and take some extra too. There is no petrol pump for the next 350 Kms.
Day 5. Pang to Leh. 180 Kms. 5-7 hours. Very cold weather with rain and hail. Very bad road condition. Elevation change from 15,000 to 17,500 feet. 1 mountain pass - Tanglang la. City Heart Guest House, near Leh market (01942421292, 9622334485). Take a hot shower and enjoy good food. There are chances of rain and hail at Tanglang la pass.
Day 6. Rest in Leh. Get your permits made through your hotel manager. Enjoy the Leh city. Permits cost 350 per person. You need to give one photo copy of your ID proof for them.
Day 7. Leh to Pangong Tso lake. 220 Kms. 6-8 hours. Very cold weather with rain. Bad road weather with rain. Elevation change from 11,000 to 17,500 feet. 1 mountain pass - Chang la. Stay at any tent near Pangong lake. Enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the lake. You will need to submit one copy of the permit a few kilometers after Karo. They will give you a chit with a number, keep it safe.
Day 8. Pangong to Leh. 220 Kms. 6-8 hours. Very cold weather with rain. Elevation change from 11,000 to 17,500 feet. 1 mountain pass - Chang la. Come back to your hotel in Leh. Take a hot shower and rest. When you return, give that chit back at the security post.
Day 9. Leh to Nubra Valley. 140 Kms. 5-6 hours. Extremely cold weather with rain and snow. Very bad road condition. Elevation change from 11,000 to 18,400 feet. 1 mountain pass - Khardungla. Thachung Guest House at Diskit (01980220080, 9469176066). Go to Hunder for white sand and Bactrian double humped camels. 1. Fill you tank at Leh. Don't depend on the petrol pump at Diskit.
2. You will need to submit one permit and get a number on the way.
Day 10. Nubra Valley to Leh. 220 Kms. 6-8 hours. Extremely cold weather with rain and snow. Very bad road condition. Elevation change from 11,000 to 18,400 feet. 1 mountain pass - Khardungla. Come back to your hotel in Leh. Take a hot shower and rest. Give the security guys the number you got yesterday and move on.
Day 11. Leh to Kargil. 220 Kms. 6-8 hours. Cold weather. Good road condition with chance of landslides. Elevation change from 11,000 to 8,000 feet. Pick any hotel in Kargil. Visit Kargil War Memorial.Go slow on this road, even though it is a highway. There are chances of sudden landslides.
Day 12. Kargil to Srinagar. 220 Kms. 6-8 hours. Pleasant weather with chances of rain. Bad road conditions. Elevation change from 8,000 to 11,500 feet. 1 mountain pass - Zojila. Stay at Potomac boat house at Nigeen Lake (01942421292, 9906467332). You can shop for Kesar, kashmiri shawls etc. and enjoy the views.1. You need to make an entry at security check post at Zojila.
2. Bargain aggressively for the stuff you buy.
Day 13. Srinagar to Jammu. 300 Kms. 6-8 hours. Hot and dusty weather. Average road condition. Stay at any hotel near railway station. Prepare your bike for transport through train. If you bike isn't in your name, you can't send it by train at Jammu. You will need to go to Chandigarh and bribe some people there to get it done.

  • Drue

    Check the below ladakh Plan,

    Rider – 34,999/-
    Pillion – 33,333/-
    SUV – 37,999/-

    Including,
    Twin Sharing Stay (Class A Accommodation)
    Food
    Backup
    Mechanic
    Medical
    In Line Permits
    & Many More

    19th June, 2015 to 4th July, 2015 (15 Days)

    For More Details,
    Mail me on – “drue1400@gmail.com”

  • karan

    what’s the cost for staying in tents along the way?

    • Not much at all. Tents along the Manali-Leh highway cost between 150-500 bucks a night. We got the tent at Pangong for 600 bucks, others are available from 500 to 2000. Tents at Hunder are a bit costlier (3000-5000 a night), but then they are also quite luxurious, and you always have the choice to go back and stay at Diskit.

  • Snehal

    I need your advice on whether I should change my 390’s tyres to hard compounds with deeper treads for the ride from Manali to Leh. I am just a bit worried how the softer compounds will hold up against sharp rocks and wet mud.

    • Absolutely Snehal. Even deep treads start fishtailing there, Metzelers would simply go bonkers! Change them for sure.

      • Rahul

        What tyres you recommend for this trip? Also one more question regarding fueling ? As you mentioned that there are no petrol pumps during most of this trip, and given the fact that the Duke 390 goes a max of 220-230 on a full tank, what measures you took to carry fuel or fueling up? If you can explain in detail it will be great. Thanks.

        • Any high profile 120-140 section tires would be good Rahul. A friend of mine used Ralco 120 at rear and the 100 at front for his recent Spiti ride, and it worked well. My personal suggestion would be to go for Michelins, they are the best!

          If I was doing the ride solo, I would carry 2 10 liter jerry cans of fuel. Yes it would be very bulky, but a saddlebag + tailbag + tank bag combo can take it all. If I was traveling with others, things would be a little easier as the petrol can be distributed. In any case, carry a fuel pipe, which can be used to pull petrol out of someone’s tank as a last resort.

        • Snehal

          I finished my Ladakh ride a month or so back and I’d used the stock Metzelers. Needless to say, I struggled in the gravel sections. I *really* regret not putting on some treaded rubber especially since I am not a very good off-roader. The tyre shops in my town were not very helpful in helping me understand what tyres would fit on my bike so you should take the advice given by Akhil.

          Regarding fuel, I’d carried 10+5 L jerry-cans in my Rynox Nomad saddlebags. Between Tandi and Leh, I used only around 5L of extra fuel. Leh to Sarchu was done on a tank-full of fuel. Your mileage will vary so I’d suggest around 10 L as a safeguard.

          On a side-note. Make sure your jerry-cans are sealed absolutely air-tight. I had fuel leaking inside my saddle-bags because one of the can’s cap didn’t have the rubber sealing thingie. Trying to seal that will some polythene doesn’t work.

          ( Sorry for the rather long reply 🙂 )

          • Well Snehal, you’ll remember the trip due to those Metz tires! An easy trip is easily forgotten 🙂

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