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Ladakh (“Land of High Passes”) is a region administered by India as a union territory since 2019, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947, that currently extends from the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram range to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. It is one of the most sparsely populated regions and its culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet. Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture.Historically, the region included the Baltistan (Baltiyul) valleys (now mostly in Pakistan), the entire upper Indus Valley, the remote Zanskar, Lahaul and Spiti to the south, much of Ngari including the Rudok region and Guge in the east, Aksai Chin in the northeast (extending to the Kun Lun Mountains), and the Nubra Valley to the north over Khardong La in the Ladakh Range. Contemporary Ladakh borders Tibet to the east, the Lahaul and Spiti regions to the south, the Valey of Kashmir, Jammu and Baltiyulregions to the west, and the southwest corner of Xinjiang across the Karakoram Pass in the far north.

Aksai Chin is one of the disputed border areas between China and India. It is administered by China as part of Hotan County but is also claimed by India as a part of the Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In 1962, China and India fought a brief war over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, but in 1993 and 1996 the two countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control.

In the past Ladakh gained importance from its strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes, but since the Chinese authorities closed the borders with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, international trade has dwindled except for tourism. Since 1974, the Government of India has successfully encouraged tourism in Ladakh. Leh Ladakh Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector. Himalayan Destination is one of the best Leh Ladakh tour and travel operator. Himalayan Destination is one of the best tour and travel operator, who organize Leh Ladakh Tour.

LEH CITY AND AROUND SIGHTSEEING

Leh, at an altitude of 11483 ft. Leh, the dream of reaching Ladakh is finally true, and if you love this place then the excitement to reach Leh will refresh each of your body parts even after these around 12 hours of an arduous journey on the Srinagar Leh / Manali Leh Highway in a single day.

It’s always better to spend a couple of nights at Leh for Leh local sightseeing and get a feel of the culture, people, traditions, Monasteries and magical aura of Leh-Ladakh. It will also help you acclimatize to further sightseeing places in Ladakh.

Main market and Changspa road are two happening places in Leh. So, if you like a lively environment, then try to get a hotel in Leh as close to them as possible. The next day, along with Leh local sightseeing, you can also arrange the Inner Line Permits for other Ladakh destinations you are planning to visit in Leh-Ladakh.

Thiksay Gompa / Thiksay monastery, is a gompa of Tibetan Buddhism religion. It is located on the top of the hill. It is very famous for its similarity with Potala Palace of Lhasa. This monastery is famous for pilgrim activities, architectural elements, sightseeing and exploration. The monastery has an interesting anecdote of how it was built in this exact location. It is said that when two Buddhist monks offered prayers and rituals at the Yellow Temple and were about to through a cake (offering to God) into the valley, a crow took away the cake and place it on a hilltop. They assumed this a divine order and built a monastery here. The morning prayer of Thiksey Monastery is one of the most attractive event and to know about the Buddhist culture.

How to Reach Thiksey Monastery

The Thiksey Monastery is located on top of hill of 3,600 m altitude in Thiksey village. This village is located on the Leh-Manali highway in Jammu and Kashmir. The village lies 18 km to the south of Leh. Leh has a domestic airport, which is the highest airport in the country. The frequency of flights to Leh from other parts of the country is very less. Tourists usually reach India via Delhi or Srinagar airport and choose any land transportation to reach Leh. You can either hire cab to reach Thikse monastery or choose bus. The bus to the monastery starts at 9 in the morning. The bus tour includes many attractions including the monastery and thus, the time limited for exploring the monastery will be less. If you are planning to enjoy the monastery completely, it is better to visit in a car.

Best Time to Visit Thiksey Monastery

The monastery is open to tourists from 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening throughout the week. October and November is the best months to visit the monastery. After November, the place will be closed due to snowfall and it opens by May. After November, the routes to the monastery will be blocked by snow and it becomes dangerous to visit. If you visit during early morning, you can enjoy many unique rituals. Numerous people visit the monastery by 6:00 in the morning to take part in the morning prayers with delicious hot local tea served by the monk.

Entry Fee of Thiksey Monastery

The entry cost is 20 INR for both locals and foreigners but it may vary. There is no fee for camera. It would take around 2 hours to scale the whole place.

Places to Visit inside Thiksey Monastery

The monastery holds ten temples, home for monks, assembly hall, nunnery and others. The monastery has 12 levels. It is one of the largest structures in Ladakh. As you enter the monastery, you can find the statue of the protector deity in the entrance. From the monastery, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the flood plains of Indus valley.

  • Maitreya Buddha, is one of the important attractions inside the monastery. It is a large statue, which is two storey tall. This is the largest statue in Ladakh.
  • The Assembly Hall, is entrance has a wall that has murals of Tibetan calendar. The prayer room next to this wall has many books and manuscripts. Beyond the prayer room, there is a small sanctum. Apart from these, the assembly hall has many pictures, statues and murals.
  • Tara Temple, is a small temple dedicated to the Goddess. There are 21 images of the deity in this shrine. You can find many murals here.
  • Lamokhang Temple, holds many scriptures including Stangyur and Kangyur. Women are not allowed inside this temple. There is a small school on top of the temple where young boys are taught to become Lamas. You can find a large pillar with Buddha’s teachings engraved on it. Beyond the temple, you can find numerous white huts, the residence of Lamas.
  • Nunnery, is one of the most popular school for nuns in the Ladakh region..

Festival of Thiksey Monastery

Festivals takes place either in November or in October. The festival spans for two days. During this festival, after the morning prayers, the celebrations begin. A sacrificial cake is distributed during this festival. Top attraction of this festival is the mask dance, which is performed by the monks. It is said that the masked dance wade off the evil. The Black Hat dance is performed to re-enact the assignation of Lang Dar Ma by a monk. The exact date of the festival changes every year with respect to the Tibetan calendar. During this festival, a fair takes place at the monastery’s base. This fair is the best place to buy souvenirs and socialize with people.

What to Eat in Thiksey

The monastery offers dinner at 6:30 pm. You can join the monks to enjoy the simple dinner. You have to pick a bowl and stand in a queue to receive Thukpa, a noodle soup with many vegetables. You can also get butter tea here. If you are dining in the monastery, you are requested to clean your dishes.

Hemis Monastery, situated at an altitude of 12000 feet, is the largest Tibetan monastery in the Ladakh region. It is one of the most visited monasteries by tourists on a trip to Leh Ladakh. It sits on a mountain on the west side of the Indus River, only 45 km away from the town of Leh and is one of the prime attractions of the Ladakh trip.

Hemis Monastery belongs to the Drukpa lineage or the red sect of Buddhism and is said to have been first established in the 11th century, and then re-established in the 17th century (approximately year 1670) by the King Sengge Namgyal. So manifestly, it is enriched with a great deal of history and legends.

The history of Hemis Monastery is contained as a transcript of a biography of the pupil of yogi Tilopa – Naropa. This biography was found in the Hemis Monastery and was translated later in various languages. It talks about how Naropa met Tilopa, a tantric master and the tasks that Tilopa assigned to Naropa to achieve enlightenment.

Naropa is considered as the “Abbott of Nalanda,” the famed Monastery / University in the present-day Bihar. This Nalanda University flourished in its full glory until it was sacked by the Afghan-Turkish invaders, which could be the cause of Naropa’s peregrination to the North and ultimately Hemis, where he consequently met Tilopa. It was then that Naropa and Tilopa both traveled back to another university in the kingdom of Magadha in Bihar, called Otantra (no longer in existence now). Naropa went on to become the founding father of the esoteric Buddhist lineage of Kagyu. Thus Hemis became the seat of this Kagyu lineage of Himalayan Buddhism.

Another controversial story proclaims Hemis to be the origin of an unknown gospel of Christianity, according to which, during his ‘lost years,’ Jesus is said to have traveled to India. Today historians find an abundance of incertitude in this particular story as the pieces of evidence are said to be fabricated, rendering the entire account a hoax.

Besides the iconic copper gilded statue of Lord Buddha, the monastery houses a wide collection of historical and religious paintings called Thangkas and various stupas and statues made of gold, silver, and other precious metals.

There is a museum within the monastery where numerous carriers, weapons and other Buddhist relics and artifacts are displayed. The Hemis Monastery is one of the world’s highest settlements at the height of 12000 feet and is the center of Drukpa ancestry where they train Lamas for all the royal monasteries.

About 3 km away from the monastery sits another sacred hermitage, which is said to have been founded by the great Gyalwa Kotsang whose footprint and you can see hand print on a rock inside the cave. The hermitage is adorned by fluttering Buddhist flags and is this visible from far away.

The intricate designs, ancient murals, the three-dimensional mandala and the unique architecture of the monastic complex are a sacred heritage of a rich culture that existed here.

Hemis Festival held every year in the month of June a high-spirited festival dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). His birth anniversary falls on the 10th day of the fifth month of the Monk year of the Tibetan calendar. What’s interesting to know here is that this day comes once every 12 years. Thus, it is celebrated as an extravaganza with great festivity and fervor.

People believe that the life mission of Guru Rinpoche was forever to improve the spiritual condition of all living beings, hence, at the festival, sacred rituals are observed to attain spiritual strength and good health.

The Hemis Gompa festival is celebrated in the princely courtyard of the monastery. The beating of drums as an early morning ritual and the clash of cymbals and a spiritual wail of pipes, and it is then when the portrait of Rinpoche is ceremoniously unveiled for all to worship and pay homage.

While you can see musicians performing traditional Ladakhi music in full swing, the main attraction of the festival is the mystic masked dance, called Cham Performance, which is one the most esoteric festivities of the Buddhist tradition. It is a part of a tantric ritual and is performed only at those Gompas that follow the Tantric Vajrayana teachings. You can also see any monks performing tantric worship at the festival.

Hemis Festival Dates 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020

Hemis festival is one of the most important festivals among all the festivals of Ladakh. Usually, the festival is celebrated in the summer months of June and July, depending upon the Tibetan calendar. Here are some of the dates for this festival in the upcoming season of Leh Ladakh tourism.

  • Hemis Festival 2015 Date: June 26th & 27th
  • Hemis Festival 2016 Date: July 14th & 15th
  • Hemis Festival 2017 Date: July 03rd & 04th
  • Hemis Festival 2018 Date: June 23rd & 24th
  • Hemis Festival 2019 Date: July 11th & 12th
  • Hemis Festival 2020 Date: June 30th & July 01st

Best time to visit Hemis

June & July specifically would be the best time to visit the Hemis Monastery when the Hemis Festival is celebrated. Otherwise, May to September is a good time to visit here.

The roads to reach Leh from Manali or Srinagar are closed from October to May respectively, because of heavy snow, therefore traveling via air is the only option to reach Leh and Hemis Monastery during this time.

Hence, the best time to visit Hemis Monastery near Leh (apart from festival time) is the same as the best time to visit Leh Ladakh, that is, from May to September / October when the roads to Leh Ladakh are open from Srinagar and Manali side.

The road to Hemis Monastery from Leh is also open in the winter months. So, you can surely plan a trip to Hemis Monastery from Leh in winter months as well. Please ensure that you are willing to endure the cold weather and want to witness the white beauty of Ladakh.

Druk Padma Karpa School / Rancho’s School / 3-Idiots School, become famous after a blockbuster hit Bollywood movie ‘3-Idiots‘. The school’s sprawling campus is designed like a Buddhist Mandala, and the main gate does not have the word Rancho. Only two big, polished wooden panels on either side of the gate show the name ‘Druk Padma Karpa School’ and the architect firm which built the institution.

After the blockbuster hit movie it become a famous and must visit place in Ladakh region. Sometimes it will very difficult to manage tourist for the school administration.

The 2009 blockbuster was partly shot in the campus of the school which began in 2001. The wall of a building on its campus was featured in the closing of the film in which one of the characters, Chatur, tries to urinate on it but gets an electric shock as two kids dangle a wire with a bulb from the first floor. While the original wall – the ‘iconic idiotic wall’ (Main attraction of the school for tourist),  part of a building which was damaged in the 2010 flash floods still remains on the campus, the first floor, earlier made of bricks has been replaced with wooden structures typically used in Ladakh. The wall shows a dangling glowing bulb, a flying Himalayan crane, a rainbow behind the clouds. Students of class 6 and above are generally aware of this famed wall.

Keeping in mind, the influx of tourists from all parts of India and few parts of the world, a duplicate wall has been created on the other side of the school in another area, with an iron mesh door separating the two sides, carrying a sign – ‘Private gate, no public thorough fare’, so that no tourist can wander in the academic campus. School administrator have created a visitor’s centre and Rancho’s Cafe, Photo Zone to allow tourist to enjoy without disturbing the school which has over 800 students.

Few teachers and students, while aware of the overwhelming fame and spotlight the film has lent to the school, also want people to refer to the school as Druk Padma Karpo School and not as ‘Rancho’s School.

Shey Palace, is about 15 Km from Leh and lies on the Leh-Manali road. The Palace locates on the top of a hillock overlooking the Shey village and a sandy trail connects the palace with the highway. There are numerous prayer wheels along the trail which suggest the existence of a monastery inside the erstwhile royal palace. Deldan Namgyal, the 6th King of Ladakh, in the memory of his father built the Shey Palace and the Shrine in 1655. It was used as a summer palace by the royal families. The protruding balconies of Shey Palace are magnificent to give you a feel like a King while standing there and posing for a camera shot. In the extreme right side of the palace there are white chortens which add beauty to the splendid view of Shey. The Palace has the largest Namgyal Chorten (victory stupa) in Ladakh, the top of which is made of pure gold. A post of sentry still stands tall around the ruined fortress. The king who built the Shey Palace also built a monastery adjacent to it, which is known as “Shey Monastery”.

Spituk Monastery / Spituk Goompa, is, yet another interesting monastery, on the hill top near Indus about 18 kms. from Leh on Srinagar road. The Spituk monastery offers a commanding view of Indus. It has a totally new Gompa within the monastery as well as the old Gompa has also been restored meanwhile. It is constructed in a series of tiers with courtyards and steps. Higher up in the hill is a chamber which houses the enormous statue of goddess. Its face is covered and uncovered only once in a year during the festival time.

The Spituk Gompa was founded in 11th century by Od-De, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub-od. The Gompa was named Spituk (exemplary) by Rinchen Zangpo, a translator came to that place and said that exemplary religious community would rise. Initially the Gompa was run according to the Kadampa school then during the reign of king Gragspa Bumide he converted it to Gayluk Pa order. Many icons of Buddha and 5 thangkas can be visited in this 15th century monastery. The Dukhang Hall is the largest building and has two rows of seats running the length of the walls to a throne at the far end. Sculptures and miniature chortens are displayed on the altar. There is also a collection of ancient masks, antique arms and fine thangkas. Higher up the hill is the Mahakal Temple, containing the shrine of Vajrabhairava. The terrifying face of Vajrabhairva is unveiled only at the annual festival in January.

Every year, on the 17th and 19th day of the 11th of the Bodhi month, the Gelukpa order of monks celebrate the Spituk festival known as Gustor. During the festival, the lamas wear the masks of religious deities and perform the dances, which is normally about good and evil and mythological stories related to the Buddhism.

Leh Palace, is a former royal palace overlooking the town of Leh, in the lap of Himalayan Range. The palace was constructed approximately 1600 by Sengge Namgyal. The palace was abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century and forced the royal family to move to Stok Palace.

It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. Much of the palace is in deteriorated condition and little survives of its interior decorations. The Palace Museum holds a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. Chinese Thangka or Paintings, which are more than 450 years old, with intricate designs still retain the bright colors derived from crushed and powdered gems and stones. Structures around the palace’s base include the prominent Namgyal Stupa, the colorfully muralled Chandazik Gompa and the 1430 Chamba Lhakhang, with medieval mural fragments located between the inner and outer walls. The palace is now being restored and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas.

Shanti Stupa, was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura as a part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The stupa is a symbol of the ties between the people of Japan and Ladakh. Within the stupa, there are relics of the Buddha, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa is spread over two levels. First level has Buddha idol, and second features relics depicting the “birth” of Buddha, the death of Buddha (mahanirvana) and Buddha “defeating the devils” while meditating.

Getting There

Located at an altitude of 3,609 metres (11,841 ft), Shanti Stupa can be reached by car or by climbing a series of 500 steep steps to the hilltop. Closest landmark to the Shantii Stupa is Leh Palace.

Timings:

05:00 AM to 09:00 PM, Open all days

Things to Do and See in and around

One can also visit the Leh Palace, which is quite close to the Shanti Stupa. Don’t forget to click some amazing pictures against the backdrop of the stupa. From here, the view of Leh is extremely beautiful. Tourists can also consider visiting the market nearby the Shanti Stupa to pick some local handicrafts.

Best time to visit

June to September will be the best times to plan a trip to the Shanti Stupa as the roads are clear. The day remains warm and sunny with a sudden dip in temperatures towards the evening.

Things to remember for travel to Leh-Ladakh

Phone Signals in Leh

BSNL Postpaid Connection does work like a charm in Leh town with some loss of signal at few places though.

Petrol Pumps in Leh

Many petrol pumps are available in Leh Town. But please keep in mind fill the fuel tank of your vehicle before leave the town.

ATMs at Leh

Many ATM are available in Leh Town. You can found the ATM from most of the major banks. But please keep in mind withdraw sufficient cash or fill your pocket before leave the town.

Medical Facilities at Leh

Leh has the only major hospital in entire Ladakh. Though the hospital is well equipped, they might not be able to handle a major medical emergency. They can support you only non emergency situation. If you have a medical condition, it is best advised that you consult your doctor before going to Ladakh. There are few small clinics and dispensaries as well in Leh.

Preferred Vehicles for Leh local sightseeing

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones generally not required. However, the road conditions in this region is mostly very good, and may use hatchback or a sedan. But, it depends upon your skills to drive.

Best Time to travel or explore Leh

You can explore Leh city through-out the year, but you have to decide which season is suitable for you or which beauty you are looking for.

  • January to March, Leh town have less tourist at this time and few roads may not accessible due to thick layer of snow. Only a few options are available to stay and open to welcome guests. Suggest for extremely adventurous tourist for this time who want to know how Himalaya look in this season. It is very difficult to survive in the chilled weather. Stay at centrally heated guest house / hotel at this time for your safety. Main problem in this season is chilled weather.
  • April, Leh, some guest houses / hotels start to open. You can see apricot flowers blooming around Leh town in few areas in April. This time is also considered for those who like chilled weather and heavy snow. Few roads may not accessible in time also. Stay at centrally heated guest house / hotel at this time for your safety. Main problem in this season is chilled weather.
  • May, June, July and August,  Leh, which is the peak tourist season in Ladakh. You can find all accommodation options open with full staff and support even in remote areas also during these months of the year.
  • September and October, Leh, the tourists start to reside as the cold starts to set in and accommodation starts to pack up too. In our opinion, this is by far the best time to visit Leh to see the full glory of the burning colors of Ladakh with clouds hovering like candies in the blue sky.
  • November to December, Leh going to partial shut down again. Temperature drop frequently. Few areas inaccessible due to snow falls started. Limited options are available to stay. Suggest for adventurous tourist for this time who want to survive and enjoy the chilled weather. Stay at centrally heated guest house / hotel at this time for your safety. Main problem in this season is chilled weather.

NUBRA VALLEY AND AROUND JOURNEY FROM LEH

Khardung La Pass / Khardung La, is situated at an altitude of 18,379 ft. above the sea level, Khardung La makes one feel on the top of the world. It was once believed to be the Highest Motorable Pass in the world, but facts prove it is among the highest motorable passes in India. This mountain pass in the Ladakh  union territory of  was prepared for motors in 1976 and opened in 1988 for the public.

Khardung Pass (as ‘La’ implies ‘pass’ in Tibetan Language) is the gateway to the remote Nubra Velley (Nubra and Shyok valleys). The mountain pass holds a special significance as it is the way to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. It offers astonishing views of the twisting roads up the mountain and the awesome valley.

Alternatively known as the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’, Khardung La Pass is the inspiration of motorbike, automobile and mountain biking expeditions. This makes it adventure aficionados’ paradise indeed. Visit to Khardung La is one of the must do things in Ladakh. The picturesque panoramas and pure air lures tourists from every nook and corner of the world.

  • Temperature at Khardung La keeps on varying rapidly. It is really obscure to predict the correct temperature here. However, the Average temperature in summer reaches up to 20 degree Celsius while in winter in can go as low as -40 degrees. The pass gets wrapped up by a 10 feet snow during snowfall.
  • Road Conditions to Reach Khardung La is one of a kind feeling. But, it isn’t a child’s play to be at such an altitude. It takes lots of efforts to get that victorious feel. The first 24 km of the road from Leh to Khardung Pass, i.e. till South Pullu Check are made up of concrete. Out of the 39 km route, the next 15 km of the road, i.e. till North Pullu is uneven consisting of dirt, loose rocks and some streams appearing due to snow melting. Going beyond this point is easy as the roads are very well maintained.

How to Reach Khardung La from Leh?

Khardung La lies at a distance of 39 km from the Leh. The breathtaking views en route make the journey worth experiencing at least once. Although, this pass is a gateway to Nubra Valley, people grab an opportunity to reach and spend quality time here only. Thus, with the passage of time, traffic is also increasing at this vehicle-accessible-road.

There are four stops from Leh to Khardung La. These are Leh – Phyang – South Pullu – Khardung La. Since, this pass is gaining popularity day by day, entry and exit timings are restricted. In order to run the traffic smoothly, vehicles coming from Leh are allowed from 9 am to 1 pm. Similarly, the exit timings from Khardung La to Leh are from 1 pm to 5 pm.

Things to carry while travelling to Khardung La

It is always better to be safe than sorry. One must carry some essential things while travelling to Khardung La.

  • Take Diamox for overcoming acute mountain sickness. But, do consult a doctor first.
  • Carry chewing gums, chocolate and energy bars with you.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Keep on eating light food at regular intervals.
  • Do keep some alternatives for oxygen like camphor or portable oxygen cylinders.
  • Take waterproof backpacks.
  • Keep some pain relievers with you.
  • Woolen clothes, extra socks and raincoats are a must.
  • A good quality camera to capture the superb moments.
  • Fully charged batteries and chargers.
  • Examine your vehicle thoroughly before the journey begins.
  • Large containers for fuel.
  • Sun glasses and sunscreen lotions.
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Medical Kit. 

Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Khardung La

A sojourn to Khardung La is full of adventure and awe-inspiring views. Get clicked with the signage of Khardung La is a matter of pride for many. However, it is always good to keep an eye on some of the important things for security and safety, which are mentioned below –

  • Climate may change very quickly
  • One can suffer acute mountain sickness. Thus, it is better to leave the place after a short duration.
  • If someone feel problem don’t out from car.
  • Keep notice continuing to your children and senior citizen and avoid over physical activities.
  • Do not travel the pass during snowfall.

The thrill of being at the very top of the world is sure to give you butterflies in your stomach. Khardung La Pass is not just a mountain pass in Ladakh, it is an adventure of a lifetime. Adventure lovers swear by the mountain pass as a journey that changes you forever.

Maitreya Buddha, the impressive 106 ft tall statue, most popular tourist attractions in Ladakh, is visible from a distance as soon as one enters the Diskit Region. Perched atop a hillock, facing the Shyok River towards Pakistan and complementing the surroundings, Maitreya Budhha was constructed in 2006 keeping in mind three objectives – protection of Diskit Village, prevention of further war with Pakistan, and to promote world peace. The statue was inaugurated by H.H Dalai Lama in 2010. The imposing and colourful image, also known as Jampa is mounted on a large hall that has a preserved a huge drum and a collection of statues and Buddhist literature. One can see statues of Shakyamuni Buddha and Guru Rimpoche inside the hall.

Getting There

In order to reach Diskit and the Maitreya Buddha, one has to book a cab from Leh City. Bikes can also be hired.

Things to Do and See in and around

On the opposite hill of the Maitreya Buddha is the oldest monastery in Nubra Region, Diskit Monastery. One can witness the beautiful thangkas and frescoes here. Another thing to do around Maitreya Buddha is to visit Hunder Village, where there is a cold desert. One can enjoy ride on the double-humped camels here.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Diskit is in the summer, between the months of June and September. In winters, roads are mostly blocked due to heavy snowfall.

Diskit Monastery, the oldest and the largest Buddhist Monastery in all of Nubra Valley, stands tall at an altitude of 10,300 ft in the cold desert of Ladakh. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, in the 14th century and belongs to the Gelugpa (yellow hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a sub-gompa of the Thiksey Monastery.

Diskit, mostly because of the 106 ft tall Maitreya Buddha statue, has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ladakh. The Diskit Gompa / Monastery, milky white, is nestled on a high hill at the edge of a road that links with Parthapur and Those. You need to hike up to the monastery alongside the stunning white Chortens.

A popular festival called ‘Dosmoche’ or the festival of the scapegoat is celebrated here at Diskit with a lot of festivities usually in January or February. So if you are willing to endure the harsh winter months and want to explore the white beauty of Ladakh, visiting Diskit during the Dosmoche festival would be a good time.

Inside the Monastery Complex has intricate frescoes and wall paintings, the Gompa is a delight to the eyes and the soul. Inside Dukhang, the prayer hall, there are huge drums and images of the Buddhist guardian deities. Diskit Monastery also has an elevated cupola (dome adorning a roof), with a wall fresco that depicts the Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet.

There are numerous shrines, and Mongolian and Tibetan religious texts preserved in the storehouse of the monastery. Diskit Monastery has some Mongolian influence as well, which goes like this: there once lived a demon near the monastery which was an evil anti-Buddhist being; he was killed at the monastery but is said to have been resurrected multiple times since his demise. Today, his wrinkled head and hand are said to be lying in one of the temples of the monastery.

Lachung Temple, is one of the oldest temples in the Nubra region is the Lachung Temple, which sits right above the monastery. Here, a large idol of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect, is worshiped. The monastery also runs a school in its premises, which teaches Tibetan children, with the help of an NGO called The Tibet Support Group.

Diskit village, is located in the Nubra Valley, which is best known for the Double-Humped Bactrian Camel, its night sky, the desert, and scenic landscapes. The Nubra River is a tributary of the Shyok River, which flows parallel to the Indus River on the northern side of the Ladakh Range. As the valley is at a lower altitude, it has a favorable climate for lush green vegetation in the valley, thus rightly called the “Orchard of Ladakh.”

While visiting Diskit, make sure you visit the river below for stunning sceneries. You should also visit the nearby Hunder village. The distance of Diskit to Hunder Village is just 8 km. Hunder is popular for its Silver Dunes, Double Humped Bacterian Camel Rides, beautiful settlements, and a clear night sky for stargazing.

Turtuk Village, a hidden treasure, an unknown little hamlet, flanked by Nubra on one side and Baltistan on the other, lies along the shores of Shyok River. An enigma in itself, population around 4000, is the last northern most village before Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).

While time has not touched the exquisiteness of this place, the friendly nature of its residents is hard to miss. Turtuk has a history as colorful as the apricot plantations one sees all around the region. therefore, it is an amalgamation of all the cultures that have lived here.

Turtuk known as village divided by a border, thanks to a petition by locals to connect with the world, Turtuk opened its doors to inquisitive souls in 2010. Turtuk was part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir up until 1971 when Major Chewang Rinchen got the village under India’s command. However, initially villagers were skeptical of India and their trust in Indian Army was non-existent. As many residents served in the Pakistan Army. Naturally, their allegiance to alter immediately was unrealistic.

Of course, for many born before 1947, they went from being Indians to Pakistanis to Indians again. For many, Pakistan was their only home. Thus, adjusting to a new life where the “enemy” now defined their identity was not an easy shift. Consequently, of 300 families that call Turtuk home, many have relatives on the other side. However, the Indian Army has kept its promise, keeping villagers safe & bringing about multiple reforms while encouraging growth and prosperity.

Mainly, Turtuk has been a secluded region, thanks to both geopolitical uncertainties of recent times and its exceptionally daunting geography. Cradled by The great Karakoram Range, it is one of only four villages in India that lies in the Baltistan Region.

Culture of Turtuk village and surrounding nearby areas follows mainly Baltistan. Baltistan was a separate kingdom far before the era of war glorification that have defined the region in recent times. The Yagbo dynasty, a Central Asian empire, with monarchs from Turkistan ruled the region from 800 to 1800 AD. Of course, as with Ladakh, Baltistan was a predominantly Buddhist region up till the 13th century. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, an Iranian poet and prominent Islam scholar, brought about cultural changes in the region. Thus, they began settlements and unions of cultures. So much so, that one spots beautiful Gompas in this predominantly Muslim region. Turtuk’s Mosque reflects a delicate coming together of Swastikas, Buddhist patterns, and Iranian designs.

Geography of Turtuk

Since Turtuk is at the height of 9845 ft, it is far friendlier than the surrounding ranges. And it is one of the gateways to Siachen Glacier, making it a strategically important location. Also, Turtuk lies on the bank of Shyok River, around 85 km from Hundur (Nubra Valley). The village of Turtuk is integrated by way of three sections:

  • Chutang– Chutang is the settlement by the river bank. This place is the educational and cultural center of Turtuk. Early mornings, one can enjoy watching the kids’ daily routine, and hear bellowing symphony of the National Anthem when school begins. During winter months, villagers that stay at difficult heights, move down to the river bed- vegetation and water’s primary source.
  • Yul– The oldest area of the village, Yul, is densely populated, a sanctuary of greenery, tradition and generosity. It is home to one of the two mosques.
  • Pharol– Across the river, you can reach Pharol by crossing an idyllic bridge. With open buckwheat fields spreading as far as the mountains would allow, one can view K-2 peak from here. Pharol houses most of the guesthouses in the region.

Weather of Turtuk

Being a high desert, Turtuk virtually experiences no rainfall. Of course, the peak summer month is July and experiences temperatures of around 22 degrees. And, the lowest temperature of around -10 degrees can be experienced in January.

Languages of Turtuk

Turtuk boasts of a predominantly Muslim population, and influence of its history you can be seen in the local dialect. Here, the primary languages include Ladakhi, Urdu and Balti. Balti is an amalgamation of Persian and old Tibetan. Of course, old Tibetan they hardly use in recent times and the language is melodic.

Best time to visit of Turtuk

The best time to visit Turtuk coincides with the tourist season of the Ladakh region, i.e. June till September.

Inner Line Permits to visit of Turtuk

While visiting any remote area in the Ladakh region, Inner Line Permit (for Indian Nationals) or Ladakh Protected Area Permit (for Foreign Nationals) is required. One can get permits online. Also, they are available at TIC Office, Main Market, Leh on all working days between 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Major Attractions / sightseeing in and around Turtuk

Even though it is a small, idyllic village, there is a lot to do here. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to embark on your next crazy adventure, or seeking out spirituality and humanity, or learning more about new cultures – Turtuk has you covered. The below list does not include the multitude of Apricot and Walnut farms which you see sprinkled across the highest producer in Ladakh.

  • Natural Cold Storage– In Turtuk, all villagers keep their perishables inside little hollows, which are naturally cold. This practice is due to an underground glacial watercourse keeping these quarters icy throughout the year.
  • Polo Ground– A 16th Century Polo Ground. The younger generation loves to play Polo. Of course, if you’re lucky, you will be asked to participate in a friendly match.
  • Brokpa Fort– The ruins of Brokpa Fort will take you back in time, into how the Yagbo royalty lived.
  • Water Mill– A simple Greek-style watermill is bound to take you to the nostalgic period.
  • Mosque, Balti Heritage House, Monastery– All are beautiful touristy locations to visit. These showcase unique combinations of the plethora of cultures that have left their mark on the region.
  • Waterfall– A very tricky climb, literally hugging the mountain at certain places. This trek will take one high up to the origin of the waterfall. Yes, it is challenging, and it will have your heart pumping. But the view from the top is indescribable. In the distance, one will catch a glimpse of the mighty K-2 (the second highest peak in the world). The miracle of nature and the mightiness of landscape is something that easily leaves you speechless. However, you will have to earn your views with approx. 3 hour climb.

Important Tips to visit of Turtuk

  • Electricity runs only a few hours a day. Hence, please remember to charge your devices (mainly the camera).
  • Also, BSNL post-paid connections can work intermittently. So, ensure you connect with the outside world, as needed.
  • The nearest petrol pump is in Diskit, Nubra, so, it is intermittently stocked. So, don’t try your luck and carry enough fuel for your complete journey.
  • There is a public health center in Chutang. Also, Bogdang has a hospital, if need some medical help then you can go there.
  • Of course, as can be expected, there is a massive army presence in the region. Naturally, due to the region’s sensitive nature, movement is frequent. Also, when in doubt, feel free to get in touch with the Army for any assistance.
  • Carry your own water bottle and fill it up when possible. Undeniably, it is essential to stay hydrated to combat the symptoms of AMS in the high altitude desert.
  • Likewise, as there are no commercial places en route Turtuk after Hunder, so carry your essentials.
  • Visiting during Ramazan might leave one with limited food options, as being a predominantly Muslim region, almost everyone would be fasting. Guesthouses and home-stays will provide one with lunch.
  • Turtuk is a conservative place and it hasn’t been long since the place was opened to tourism and in fact for most residents of the village this was their first contact with the outside world. It is requested to tourists to please respect local customs, sensitivities and culture. Suggest to wear dress modestly in full-length trousers and long sleeved shirts, this applies to both men and women. Please don’t smoke or consume alcohol.
  • Though the village is Muslim, there is a small Buddhist Gompa / Monastery perched on a hillock above the village. It’s a pleasant hike up to the Gompa / Monastery and there are fine views from the top, including the snow-clad peak of K-2.

Things to remember for travel to Nubra Valley

Phone Signals in and around Nubra Valley

BSNL Postpaid Connection does work like a charm in most parts of Nubra Valley with some loss of signal at few places though.

Petrol Pumps in and around Nubra Valley

Do not forget to refill petrol / diesel at Leh petrol pump. Now a day a petrol pump in Nubra has been constructed but it might be out of fuel most of the time. So better to full your tank at Leh and move further with few options of more fuel with your hand.

ATMs in and around Nubra Valley

You will not find any ATMs in Nubra Valley and hence, it is always better to carry cash from Leh (the only place where you find ATM in Ladakh) itself.

Medical Facilities in and around Nubra Valley

Diskit Village has a hospital where you will be able to get basic medical aid and treatment.

Preferred Vehicles in and around Nubra Valley

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones generally not required. However, quite a few people do it in hatchbacks and sedans as well. But, it depends upon your skills to drive and road conditions at the time of travel when you take a hatchback or a sedan. But Hatchback and Sedan is not suggested vehicle for visiting this lonely planet or Himalayan Destination.

Permit for Nubra Valley
There are certain areas in Ladakh which are considered inner line (areas close to the border with either China or Pakistan), and Nubra Valley is one them. Therefore, Indians will need to obtain an inner line permit for visiting this place. Foreign nationals visiting this place are required to obtain a protected area permit if they want to travel from Leh to Nubra Valley. Earlier, obtaining an Inner Line Permit (ILP) was a cumbersome task.

Best Time to travel to explore in and around Nubra Valley

  • Early December to March, Nubra Valley remains shut down for thick layer of snow. Only a few options are available to stay and open to welcome guests. Suggest for extremely adventurous tourist for this time who want to know how locales are survive in the cold desert. Stay at centrally heated guest house / hotel at this time for your safety. Main problem in this season is chilled weather as well as food and water.
  • April, Nubra Valley, some guest houses start to open, but the food does remain an issue in most places. You have to rely on home stays or guesthouses and home cooked food only mostly. You can see apricot flowers blooming all over Nubra Valley in April.
  • May, June, July and August, Nubra Valley, which is the peak tourist season in Ladakh. You can find all accommodation options open with full staff and support even in Nubra Valley during these months of the year.
  • September and early October, Nubra Valley, the tourists start to reside as the cold starts to set in and accommodation starts to pack up too. In our opinion, this is by far the best time to visit Nubra Valley to see the full glory of the burning colors of Ladakh with clouds hovering like candies in the blue sky.
  • Early October to early December, Nubra Valley, going to shut down again. Temperature drop frequently. Few areas inaccessible due to snow falls started. Limited options are available to stay. Suggest for adventurous tourist for this time who want to survive and enjoy the chilled weather. Stay at centrally heated guest house / hotel at this time for your safety. Main problem in this season is chilled weather as well as food and water.

PANGONG TSO / PANGONG LAKE AND AROUND SIGHTSEEING

Pangong Lake, situated at a height of almost 14270 ft, is the world’s highest saltwater lake. Its waters, which seem to be dyed in blue, stand in stark contrast to the arid mountains surrounding it. Extending to almost 160km, one-third of the Pangong Lake lies in India and the other two-thirds is situated in China.

Pangong Lake, one of the most famous lakes in Leh Ladakh, derives its name from the Tibetan word, “Pangong Tso”, which means “High Grassland Lake”. You could spend hours in contemplation here, and still not have enough of its beauty. Pangong Lake is also known to change colors, appearing blue, green and red at different times. If you have decided to go on a trip to Ladakh anytime soon, don’t forget to visit the Pangong Lake. The beauty which awaits you there cannot be described in words. It has to be seen, felt and absorbed within yourself.

At dawn, get out of your camp and watch the sunrise. Watch, as the rising sun gradually disperses the darkness and ushers in light. Carry a camera with you, and capture these splendid moments.

The route to Pangong Lake is as beautiful as the lake itself. To get a glimpse of this beauty, stop about 10km from Pangong Tso, if you are coming from Leh. You will be greeted by a few signboards saying, “Stop here to see rare endemic species Marmot”. Marmots are large squirrels which are found in mountainous areas and reside in burrows. Despite being quite dodgy, they do come out from their potholes during the day, so there is a good chance of spotting them.

An adventure is all about taking on challenges, and being brave enough to try anything unusual. One of the unusual things to do in Pangong Lake is to take a dip in its cold waters. Usually, tourists leave Pangong Lake after sunrise as they have to reach Leh before sunset. Before doing so, take a dip in the lake. Yes, it sounds crazy, and you would be crazy enough to try it. But craziness is what makes an adventure thrilling and memorable.

Suggested route to explore Pangong Lake / Pangong Tso

The routes to explore Pangong Pake have many options. The options depends on your nos of days in hand. But the most important thing to visit Ladakh is acclimatized yourself sufficiently for a smooth a memorable vacation. After spent at least two night in Leh and one night in Nubra Valley you can move further to explore the beautiful Pangong Lake. Few options are as follows –

Leh to Pangong Day trip and back to Leh

If you are short on time, then you should make a day trip to Pangong Tso via this route only because it is best in road conditions in comparison to other routes and hence fastest of all.

Leh to Pangong Lake distance by road using Karu – Chang La pass route is 170 km. This route to Pangong Tso is what most people take to visit this beautiful lake in Ladakh. You can reach in about 6 Hrs (depending upon the number of breaks you take in between the journey). The route along with the distance between the subsequent places are as follows:

Leh to Karu (36 km) to Sakti (10 km) to Chang La (34 km) to Durbuk (32 km) to Tangste (9 km) to Lukung (34 km) to Spangmik (16 km)

Please remember in this trip you have to sacrifice the beautiful Sunrise & Sunset at Pangong Lake.

Leh to Pangong and night stay at Pangong and back to Leh

Leh to Pangong Lake distance by road using Karu – Chang La pass route is 170 km. This route to Pangong Tso is what most people take to visit this beautiful lake in Ladakh. You can reach in about 6 Hrs (depending upon the number of breaks you take in between the journey). The route along with the distance between the subsequent places are as follows:

Leh to Karu (36 km) to Sakti (10 km) to Chang La (34 km) to Durbuk (32 km) to Tangste (9 km) to Lukung (34 km) to Spangmik (16 km)

You can cover Thiksey, Hemis & Shey Palace / Shey Monastery while going through this route. This route provides the best road conditions for all other routes. So, if you are one of those who prefer relaxing vacation and do not want to rush through places then, suggest making a two day trip to Pangong Tso lake via this route from Leh. Assuming your body has been acclimatized properly by staying for a couple of nights in Leh and spending a night or two in Nubra Valley before attempting to sleep near Pangong Tso. You can enjoy the beautiful Sunrise & Sunset at Pangong Lake. Hence, when they visit Nubra Valley (always recommended for better acclimatization) first then back to Leh and stay another night then next day to explore Pangong Lake.

Nubra Valley to Pangong and night stay at Pangong

Many traveler want to visit Pangong Lake directly from Nubra Valley without going back to Leh. For all such people, there exist two routes from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso.

Route – 1 (Nubra Valley – Wari La – Pangong Tso)

Nubra Valley to Pangong lake distance by road using via Agham  – Wari La Pass route is 243 km. This route goes via mighty Wari La Pass, one of the remotest passes of the Ladakh region and retakes about 11 hrs. (depending upon several interim breaks you take). The route is long and rough and hence requires you to leave very early from Nubra Valley so that you reach Pangong Tso (Lukung or Spangmik) before the sun goes down.

If you are planning via Wari La route, then do check the conditions at Agham village before ascending towards it. It is a remote region, and you will hardly find any tourist or vehicle going past by you. Hence, in case required, help will not be easy to find.

You do not need any special permit for Wari La Pass route and permits for Nubra Valley & Pangong Tso are sufficient for traveling on this route.

The route along with the distance between the subsequent places are as follows:

Diskit  to Khalsar (19 km) to Agham (31 km) to Tangyar (11 km) to Wari La (28 km) to Tathok (25 km) to Sakti (4 km) to Chang La (34 km) to Durbuk (32 km) to Tangste (9 km) to Lukung (34 km) to Spangmik (16 km)

Do not attempt this route in the early season because firstly, Wari La might not be open being low on priority for BRO, and secondly, the roads are not stable in the early season. So, being a remote place, any help might be hard to find.

You may carry spare fuel from Leh to cover about 425 – 475 km because the Deskit petrol pump in Nubra Valley may not have fuel. Well, now a day, the fuel availability is much better at the Deskit petrol pump. If you do not find it then you will be covering Leh – Nubra Valley – Wari La – Pangong Tso – Leh without any other petrol pump.

Route – 2 (Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso)

Nubra Valley to Pangong lake distance by road using via Agham  – Shyok Village route is 175 km. This route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Shyok Village and has become quite popular among tourists with fewer days in the past couple of years.

It is much shorter than the Wari La route, takes about 7 hrs from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso and hence will save more time and energy. But, again, there are some landslide prone stretches on this route and sometimes you may have a couple of nasty water crossings to tackle. You have to cross the main water stream Shyok River early before increase the water level. So, leave early in the day from Nubra and confirm about route conditions at Agham village. If you are alone, it is better to wait for a few vehicles at Agham village to tag along with them.

You do not need any special permit for the Shyok Village route and permits for Nubra Valley & Pangong Tso are sufficient for traveling on this route.

The route along with the distance between the subsequent places are as follows:

Diskit to Khalsar (19 km) to Agham (31 km) to Shyok Village (48 km) to Durbuk (18 km) to Tangste (9 km) to Lukung (34 km) to Spangmik (16 km)

You also need to carry spare fuel from Leh to cover 350 – 400 km because the Deskit petrol pump in Nubra Valley may not have fuel. Well, now a day, the fuel availability is much better at the Deskit petrol pump. If you do not find it then you will be covering Leh – Nubra Valley – Shyok Village – Pangong Tso – Leh without any other petrol pump.

Things to remember for explore Pangong Lake

Phone Signals around Pangong Lake

BSNL Postpaid Connection does work in many areas in and around Pangong Lake but most of the places are out of network signal.

Petrol Pumps around Pangong Lake

Do not forget to refill petrol / diesel at Leh petrol pump. Now a day a petrol pump in Nubra has been constructed but it might be out of fuel most of the time. So better to full your tank at Leh and move further with few options of more fuel with your hand.

ATMs around Pangong Lake

You will not find any ATMs in Pangong Lake and hence, it is always better to carry cash from Leh (the only place where you find ATM in Ladakh) itself.

Medical Facilities around Pangong Lake

There are no medical support available in this region. Only army can help you for initial assistance. Nearest support you can get at Leh town.

Preferred Vehicles for exploring Pangong Lake

The higher ground clearance vehicles are preferable and 4×4 ones generally not required. Road conditions at few areas are not good even few areas dont have any constructed road also. You have to cross few water stretches also. Based on this consideration high ground clearance vehicle are preferred for explore this areas. Hatchback and Sedan is not suggested vehicle for visiting this lonely planet or Himalayan Destination.

Permit for Pangong Lake

There are certain areas in Ladakh which are considered inner line (areas close to the border with either China or Pakistan), and Pangong Tso Lake is one them. Therefore, Indians will need to obtain an inner line permit for visiting this place. Foreign nationals visiting this place are required to obtain a protected area permit if they want to travel from Leh to Pangong Lake. Earlier, obtaining an Inner Line Permit (ILP) was a cumbersome task.

Night Stay around Pangong Lake

For a comprehensive list of accommodation options or hotels or camps around Pangong Tso lake, you can refer these good stay options nearby the lake. Please keep in mind that starting from 2018, Leh DC has issued a ruling to vacate all of the illegal Pangong lake hotels and camps. Make sure you double-check with your hotel or camp folks before making the deal.

You cannot do camping near the shores of Pangong Tso lake as it a Ramsar site wetland reserve, which means you cannot camp nearby the lake.

Tangtse has few guesthouses having much better facilities to fight the cold and provide comfort in winter months also. Stay at Tangtse is the only options for the guest who travel in between October to mid April. If the sun is shining and you do not mind the hard cold winters, then also you can make a day trip to Pangong Lake from Tangste to see magical shades of blue color at this lake. However, do not forget to check the weather conditions before leaving Leh at the time of winter. Weather can change any time and can make a trouble for you.

Best Time to travel to explore Pangong Lake

In general, the best time to travel to Pangong lake is in the summer months when the Ladakh has in full flow of tourist.

  • January to March, Pangong Lake remains mostly frozen, has extremely cold conditions with no options to stay around the lake except few basic home stays in Spangmik and Man – Merak villages.
  • April, Pangong lake starts to melt and starts transforming into the beautiful palette of multi shades of blue colors.
  • May to Mid September, Pangong Lake is the peak tourist season. Tourists flock to the shores of the Pangong Tso lake in these months. In this summer period, you can witness a large number of birds around the lake including the most common Bar-headed goose and Brahmini ducks. You can stay just bank of the lake, lots of camps are there to enjoy every moment of the lake.
  • Mid September and early October, Pangong Lake the tourists start to reside as the cold starts to set in and accommodation tents start to pack up. This is one of the best time to visit Pangong Tso, just because of to see the full glory of beautiful shades of blue color in this lake. The colors are purely magical at this time of the year, and with less number of tourists comparatively, you get better deals and enjoy more.
  • Mid October to December, Pangong Lake, all the accommodation packs up, and the only nearest place you can stay is either in some home stay with basic facilities to fight the harsh cold or in some guest house at Tangste, about 34 km away from the Pangong Lake.

Please visit and let us give the opportunity to serve you and make your vacation memorable one……..

Clean Ladakh & Plastic Free Ladakh

06 NIGHTS & 07 DAYS EXCELLENT LADAKH TRIP FROM LEH TO LEH ITINERARY

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival Leh Airport & Acclimatized

Arrival Leh Airport and meet our representative to assist you for the complete Leh Ladakh trip from Leh to Leh. Check-in to the Hotel. Welcome drink on arrival. We recommend you completely relax for the rest of the day to enable yourselves to acclimatized to the rarefied air at the high altitude. Overnight stay in Hotel at Leh

Day 2

Leh Local Sightseeing

After breakfast visit the Monasteries of Shey, Thiksey, and Stok Palace. Shey – it was the ancient capital of Ladakh and even after Singge Namgyal built the more imposing palace at Leh, the kings continued to regard Shey, as their real home. The importance which was attached to Shey - the seat of Ladakh's heartland - is attested by the enormous number of Chorten about the village, particularly around the palace complex and barren plain to the north of the road. Thiksey –is one of the largest and most impressive Gompas. There are several temples in this Gompa containing images, stupas and exquisite wall paintings. It also houses a two - storied statue of Buddha which has the main prayer hall around its shoulder. Hemis – Beautiful monastery located in Karu. Overnight stay in Hotel at Leh.

Day 3

Leh to Nubra Valley

After breakfast at hotel drive towards Nubra valley via Khardungla pass(18379 feet) by surface passing thru Horzey & Gangles Village. On arrival in Nubra Valley, drive to diskit, visit Deskit, the HQ town of Nubra Valley. Driving for 30 Kms takes to Khalsar Bridge. Visit desklit Monastery. Further drive from Deskit to Hunder, you may see a few Double Humped, Hairy and Bactrian Camels. Overnight stay in Camp / Hotel at Nubra Valley.

Day 4

Nubra Valley to Turtuk Village Excursion

Turtuk-village 80 kms from Hunder. Turtuk in Ladakh is a picturesque border village situated along the famous Silk Route that has quite a past. Most recently, Turktuk was one of the biggest stages of the Kargil war in 1999 when Pakistan troopers occupied a small area on the ridges overlooking Turtuk . Locals depend on farming and providing mules and porters to the Indian Army the five villages of Turtuk, Tyakshi, Thang, Pachathang and Chalunka were in POK till the 1971 war. Overnight stay in Camp / Hotel at Nubra Valley.

Day 5

Nubra Valley to Pangong Via Shayok Village

Pangong Lake 175 km from Leh is a beautiful lake. The name Pangong is derived from the Tibetan word Pangong Co-meaning long, narrow, enchanted lake. There is a narrow ramp-like formation of land that runs into the lake which is a favorite among tourists and photographers. Due to the saltiness in the water of the lake, there is very less micro-vegetation. There are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. However, numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface can be spotted in plenty. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake. Overnight stay in Camp at Pangong Lake.

Day 6

Pangong to Leh

Early monring enjoy the beautiful and memorable sunrise at Pangong Lake. After breakfast drive from Pangong to Leh back with another most beautiful route. En-route visit Changla Pass (another pass place its name in the list of World Highest Motorable Road). Evening self activity and explore Leh market. Overnight stay in Hotel at Leh.

Day 7

Leh Airport drop

After breakfast transfer from Leh to Airport to catch flight for your further journey while recalling all the memorable moments of your exotic trip…
  • Pick up & Drop location at Leh Airport by Individual Cab.

  • 06 Nights Accommodation in double or triple or quad shearing basis.

  • Transfers & sightseeing by 1 Non AC cab (Innova / Xylo / Scorpio / Tempo Traveler) as per the itinerary.

  • Taxes& Expenditures Included: Parking, Toll Tax, Luxury Tax, Green Tax Fuel Exp. and Driver Exp.

  • 06 Breakfast & 06 Dinner

  • Air Fare / Train Fare / Travelling or Accidental Insurance or Claim or settlement.

  • Monument Entrance Fee / Camera Fees.

  • Any Adventure Activity River Rafting, Yak ride, Boating, Paragliding Etc.

  • Any Personal Expenses – Laundry, Shopping, Tip, Extra Meals, Hard or Soft Drinks Etc.

  • Extra sightseeing other than specified or normal route.

  • Oxygen cylinder.

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This 434 KM long Srinagar Leh Highway usually closed on 15th November and usually opened up by the 15th April. It may vary due to snow, weather conditions. Snow clearing work will organized by BRO.

When making a road trip to Leh Ladakh over Srinagar Leh Highway, you must keep in mind that even when the road from Srinagar to Leh opens, it takes some time to get them stabilized. Due to snow sliding and loose gravel, the road blocks are very common in the initial days, especially around Zojila Pass.
Even there is one-way traffic with time restrictions of traffic flow in the initial days because the road is not wide enough due to snow walls and one-way traffic is only allowed at Zojila Pass.
Hence, it is recommended that you should wait for a couple of weeks before planning the trip on Srinagar Leh Highway after its official opening. You have to also considered on you Ladakh road trip from Srinagar, there are many lonely yet freezing stretches on this Highway in early April.

This 474 km long Leh-Manali Highway usually opens up in between the last week of May to the 15th of June and generally closed it by 15th of October. It has been a norm that BRO set up the targets to open the highway early only to realize that the weather has the last laugh. Eventually, it will all get down upon the weather and snow conditions in the month’s March / April when snow clearance operations are at peak in many parts of the Himalayas including this belt of Himachal Pradesh too.

When making a road trip to Leh Ladakh and you have to access Leh-Manali Highway, you must keep in mind that even when the road from Leh to Manali opens, it takes some time to get them stabilized. Due to snow sliding and loose gravel, the roadblocks are very common in the initial days.
Even there is one-way traffic with time restrictions of traffic flow in the initial days because the road is not wide enough due to snow walls and one-way traffic is only allowed at Rohtang Pass.
Hence, it is recommended that you wait for a couple of weeks before planning the trip on Manali Leh Highway after its official opening. The last thing you will want on your much awaited Leh Ladakh road trip is to get stranded on some lonely yet freezing stretches of Leh-Manali Highway in early June or late May.

If you want to explore Ladakh with sufficient time then it will always be recommended, you should always travel to Ladakh from Srinagar Leh Highway and come back from Manali Leh Highway. Though some of traveler suggest from Manali, as Manali to Leh is more adventurous. But if you give some consideration, you can enjoy the beauty from both ways. Here some reasons to why start from Srinagar than Manali -

• Properly Acclimatization
When you travel to Ladakh via Srinagar-Leh Highway, you passes the altitude in a gradual manner. That means, your body gets more time to get acclimatized for the high altitude of Leh and you feel much better plus relaxed upon reaching there. Science tell that, if you increasing altitude gradually then, the chances of facing AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is lower.

If you start your Ladakh trip via Manali-Leh Highway then most of the places go through more than 13000 ft. Not only that you have to cross few highest passes in this route from the very beginning. Hence, by the time you reach such a high altitude, your body is not properly acclimatized and it will increase the chances of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), which can spoil your whole Ladakh trip.

• Disproportionate Travel Distance
It is suggested on both route (either Srinagar-Leh Highway or Leh-Manali Highway), to divide the distance minimum in two parts. When you travel from Srinagar it will divided more proportionately than Manali-Leh route. Generally traveler stay at first night at Kargil and very next day they reach at Leh, it is more proportionate.
But, when you start you Ladakh tour from Manali it will suggest to stay at Keylong and to avoid Sarchu (high altitude than Keylong) and very next day you have to travel till Leh. You have to cover more than double distance on very next day of your tour.
But, when you come from Leh and go to Manali then your body already acclimatized properly and you can stay at Sarchu. So the distance also divided properly and proportionately.

• Better Placement of Tsomoriri Lake in the Itinerary
As you already aware after read the detail blog, Tsomoriri is one of the best part of Ladakh. if you travel towards Manali from Leh then you can better place Tsomoriri lake in your itinerary and save a day for you.
You should not visit Tso Moriri while coming from the Manali side because first, you will not have any permits and secondly, even if you get the permits somehow your body will not be acclimatized properly to sleep at a very high altitude of Tso Moriri lake.
So, you will have to go to Leh first, get the permits for Tsomoriri, do all your sightseeing in Leh Ladakh and then visit Tso Moriri from Leh. Then again, go back to Leh from Tsomoriri to exit from Leh to Srinagar-Leh Highway. All it means is that you should include one more day in your Ladakh itinerary.
But you can always exit from Tsomoriri lake towards Manali via Tso Kar lake near Leh-Manali Highway, it gives more flexibility to place it in the itinerary when you travel from Leh towards Manali.

• Avoid to issue permit of Manali-Rohtang Pass for Non-HP vehicle
In 2011, the Himachal government floated a strange rule which disallowed any Non-HP vehicle (now) including two-wheelers (bike / scooters) to ply on Manali to Rohtang Pass road. The govt. stated that this rule was brought into effect to regulate un-necessary traffic plying on Manali to Rohtang Pass road and make the traffic situation a bit better.
Later the blanket ban was lifted and only 1200 tourist vehicles are permitted on Rohtang Pass every day. You have to get the Rohtang Pass permit to visit Rohtang Pass from Manali now.
For the people going past Rohtang Pass towards Lahaul or Spiti Valley or further to Leh Ladakh, the rule required to get a Beyond Rohtang Pass permit which is available online or using the mobile app now. If you plan to rent a bike, this will mean a delayed start from Manali as it required you to provide vehicle RC number to apply for Beyond Rohtang Pass permit.
But the most important thing is that, those vehicle are coming from Rohtang to Manali (Ladakh to Manali & Lahaul-Spiti to Manali), do not required any permit.

• Rohtang Pass permit not issuing on Tuesday
If you are traveling from Manali side to Rohtang Pass, you will not be allowed to travel on Manali-Rohtang Pass road. Also, the permit to cross Rohtang Pass will not be issued on Tuesday.
However, you can travel from Keylong side to Rohtang Pass on any day, including Tuesday also. Then you do not need and permit for Rohtang Pass when you travel to Manali from Keylong side.
So you can plan any day of the week.

• Better Enjoyment of Views on Manali Leh Highway
The scenic beauty of Manali-Leh Highway is lifetime achievement. As well as this route is more adventurous than Srinagar-Leh Route. So don't spoil it ! For better enjoyment you have to acclimatized properly.
It is not only very risky but also difficult to enjoy the beauty of landscape with tired or exhausted mind or health on very first day of the tour. So it will much better to enjoy the beauty with pleasant mind and make the journey memorable.

Based on the above consideration start your dream vacation from Srinagar & end at Manali and make your vacation memorable one.

Tsomoriri is a must visit place of Ladakh. Where you can found raw nature and taste of remote Ladakh. Few travelers planning to visit Tsomoriri from Manali side but, few points are below behind reason why you should avoid Tsomoriri from Manali side.

• No properly Acclimatization to sleep at Tsomoriri
You should not visit Tsomoriri from Manali side because your body will never be acclimatized properly to sleep at such a high altitude on very beginning of the tour. It is never recommend people to even sleep at Sarchu while traveling from Manali to Leh. Please keep in mind, altitude of Sarchu is around 14075 ft and Tsomoriri is around 15075 ft. Thogh Sarchu Altitude is less than Tsomoriri, but the altitude difference between two places are only 1000 ft. But when comes to altitude, then 1000 ft is is quite a lot.
Especially when you suffering from AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), then 350 ft altitude difference may save your life. As traveler called Sarchu The Vomit Hilton and it observed that very few people can survive at Sarchu without any problem. So, is it worthy to take risk at such altitude from very first day to spoil your vacation?
Now, Tso Moriri lake is even higher in altitude than Sarchu. So, there is no gradual ascend for your body to accept such a high altitude. You cannot sleep that early in the trip at such height. It is because you may have only slept properly at Manali (the day before yesterday), or even sleeping at Keylong / Jispadoes (last night), but it may not help.
While on the other hand, if you are coming back from Leh side, then your body is in much better condition to accept sleeping at the high altitude of Tso Moriri lake. The main reason is that you are coming after covering other high altitude places in Ladakh, especially sleeping at Pangong Tso. Such acclimatization will help you enjoy the beauty of the lake much more and without any worries of falling sick.

• Helpless when medical emergency required
Tsomoriri is located at a desolated place in Ladakh and in case if there is any help that is required whatsoever after falling severely sick due to AMS (is travel from Manali side), you are looking for about 8 hrs drive to Leh.
Any wise person can judge what it means to be away from medical help for about 8 hrs in any medical emergency. Hitting with AMS badly, is indeed is an emergency as AMS can be fatal if not dealt with quickly.
The main problem is when people are suffering from AMS, they tend to avoid admitting it and either say it is motion sickness or says it is fatigue. This ignorance aggravates the symptoms further, and the condition worsens mostly.

• Tsomoriri allow only Leh Taxis
As per Leh taxi union rules, you will have to a taxi from Leh to visit Tso Moriri lake unless you are not traveling by your own car or bike. When coming from Manali, you will be having Manali taxi in most cases unless you plan to call a Leh based taxi to pick you from Manali or make such an arrangement on the way to Tsomoriri in Manali-Leh Highway. Behind this reason is again properly acclimatized.

• Tsomoriri allow only Leh rented bikes
As per Leh bike rental union rules, you will have to rented a bike based out in Leh to visit Tsomoriri lake unless you are not traveling by your own bike. When coming from Manali, you will be having Manali or Delhi rented a bike which will not be allowed at Tsomoriri, if confronted at the various checkpoints installed by union guys.
Gain behind this reason is properly acclimatized.

• Inner Line Permits are required to visit Tsomoriri
In case you need to visit Tsomoriri lake from Manali or Ladakh, Indians also need Ladakh Inner Line Permits to visit Tsomoriri.
Although inner line permits are available online, domestic tourists need to get the permit copy stamped from the DC office in Leh or Tourist Reception Center (TRC) in Leh. Also, the fee for the Inner Line Permit needs to be paid in person.
Hence, you will need to reach Leh to get the inner line permit stamped and pay the required fees. Otherwise, you need to get the permit arranged in advance and handed over to you before the check post, either at Tso Kar or Debring.
In case you are a foreigner, you need the protected area permit to visit Tsomoriri. This permit is issued from the DC office in Leh as well as online. In the case of Protected Area Permit online, you can select the travel agent and pay the fee as well. So, this is a minor issue for a foreigner visiting Tsomoriri lake.

If you are traveling from Manali side to Rohtang Pass, you will not be allowed to travel on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. Also, the permit to cross Rohtang Pass will not be issued on Tuesday.
However, you can travel from Keylong side to Rohtang Pass on any day, including Tuesday also. Then you do not need and permit for Rohtang Pass when you travel to Manali from Keylong side.
So you can plan any day of the week.

If any nature lover goes to choose between Pangong Lake or Tsomoriri, then Tsomoriri lake will get much higher position than Pangong Lake. Just because of its raw nature and less crowd or less commercialization. However, if you are visiting Leh Ladakh for the first time, you should visit Pangong Lake because it is something that you should not miss on your first trip to Ladakh without regretting it.

In winter, the roads to Ladakh from Manali and Srinagar are closed. Hence, the only way to make a trip to Ladakh in winters is to fly to Leh and then do the sightseeing within Ladakh to places like Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri.
The roads within Ladakh over Khardung La and Chang La remain open all around the year with the exception of few days of heavy snowfall. So, you can make a trip to both Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso over them, respectively.
There are no high passes that come on the way to Tsomoriri via Mahe bridge route. Hence, the road from Leh to Tsomoriri remains mostly open all around the year from the Mahe bridge route. Similarly, the road connectivity between Leh and Hanle exists in the winter months. But due to heavy snowfalls of snow road may closed any time.
Few things you have considered before planning a winter trip to Ladakh.

• Take sufficient rest
Directly flying to Leh any time may trigger AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). But in winter, chances of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is very high. So, take complete rest at least 48 hours after arrival at Leh. Plan your vacation properly to avoid too long journey and high altitude from very first half of your vacation. Increase altitude level gradually to avoid AMS.

• Maintain your body Oxygen level and Minerals
In this high altitude you have yo maintain your body Oxygen and minerals level. Take adequate water and keep sipping black tea, black coffee or hot honey lemon tea or you may use ORS water or Glucon-D water and keep sipping it after every half an hour to keep yourself adequate hydrate and maintain your body Oxygen and minerals level.

• Ready to fight with very cold weather
Directly flying to Leh, that too in winters, may trigger some AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) issues. So, take garlic & black pepper too as they provide warmth in the body. Sometime in high altitude you may face chilled wind so take sufficient woolen clothes with you to combat with cold.

• Carry good sleeping gears
As not all hotels will be open, so you might be staying at home stays, especially at Nubra, Pangong Tso, and Tsomoriri. Best is to carry your sleeping bags if you find the quilts provided by the home stay uncomfortable or inadequate. Best to stay those hotel / guest house, provide centrally heating system.

• Carry enough dry food and cash
In this season ATM and en-route Dhabas might be shut down even Leh also. So please carry enough cash and carry enough dry food for any emergency situation.

• Don't plan with tight schedule
In this season you may stuck any time anywhere for a couple of days. BRO tries to keep the roads over Khardung La and Chang La open all around the year but in case of heavy snowfall, the roads may get closed for a couple of days. So don't plan with tight schedule and add few buffer days in your itinerary.

• Book a window seat of your flight
In this winter season the frozen beauty of Ladakh attracts many tourist. You can enjoy this beauty after arrive at Leh Airport. But when you in the sky you can also enjoy the frozen vistas also. To enjoy the Arial view of most attractive Himalayan range and frozen vistas, book a window seat in your flight. It can gives you a lifetime memory.

The July and August has been considered monsoon season in North India. Few areas of Srinagar Leh Highway (till around Kargil) and Leh-Manali Highhway (till around Baralacha La) you may face monsoon effect. Landslide may affect your vacation. There will be mud in road especially Zozila Pass, Rohtang Pass and lower area of Himachal Pradesh & Jammu-Kashmir.
But once you get closer to Ladakh, then Ladakh being a rain shadow region is very less affected by monsoon rains. Things are changing all over the world, but it is generally safe and secure. But no one can guarantee about the sudden incident.
In this season you can found the clear blue sky at Ladakh region. So it is the best time for photographer. Following are some tips to plan Ladakh in monsoon season.

• Be prepared for monsoon hassles in lower hills
August is peak monsoon time in general up in North India. At some parts of Leh-Manali Highway (generally after Baralacha La pass) you will surely face monsoon hassles and can face around Sarchu also. The Baralacha La mainly marks the boundary of the rain shadow region from the Leh side.
Similarly, Srinagar-Leh Highway will be in mess before Drass and Kargil belts. You will face monsoon rains and slush especially till the moment you cross Zojila pass from Srinagar side. Beware, with rains Zojila Pass will be a nightmare.
But once you start getting closer to Leh Ladakh, then being a rain shadow region, it is less affected by monsoon rains. Please note that, when traveling to Leh Ladakh in August, you may face sometime the landslides or roadblocks in the lower hills due to heavy rains.
Especially the route on troublesome between Sonamarg to Zojila Pass and Keylong to Manali, around Darcha.

• Be prepared for driving in slush
There will be mud on the roads, especially around Zojila Pass on Srinagar Leh Highway and similarly around Darcha near Keylong & Gramphu to Rohtang pass on Leh-Manali Highway.You must be prepared, drive with extra care in slush and do always remember the location of the engine chamber of your car if you are self-driving.
There could be stones hidden below in slush which can damage your engine sump / chamber, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Do not push through too much in case you get stuck, try the back-n-front tactic to come out or use push or wooden plank / rubber mat. Otherwise, you may end up with burned clutch plates.Do learn some tips and tricks about driving in slush and do not forget to carry must-have essentials when self-driving to Ladakh.

• Be prepared for crossing furious water stream
When you travel to Ladakh in monsoons, you will notice that most rivers will be flowing in spate and so does the water crossings on Leh-Manali Highway.
Many of the water crossings have been passed through using pipes or making bridges on Leh-Manali Highway by BRO. However, some of the water crossings are still troublesome on Leh-Manali Highway, especially between Sarchu to Zingzing Bar to Jispa.
If you reach late at such water crossings in the day, they may become the reason for spending a night in the middle of nowhere or puncturing your engine sump while crossing it.
If riding a motorcycle, gumboots will help you move on overflowing water crossings and help you keep your other boots dry to ride further.

• Be alert on shooting stones
When you travel in a monsoon in the hills, the landslides are common and so does the shooting stones. When driving or riding or even sitting in the car, you must always be alert. Watch out to see over a shooting stone from the side of the mountains. Hence, be a attentive driver and passenger when traveling to Ladakh in August or monsoons.
Be careful on stretches that have loose gravel or mud, like the ones you can spot between Khardung village to Hunder in Nubra Valley and road along with Shyak River. Such, stretches are more common for shooting stones. Even a small stone can pierce through the windshield, and your trip will be screwed. So be alert and keep a watch on the movement when traversing such mountains which are exposed to shooting stones.

• Carry water resistant clothes and boots
Always carry a rain coat, waterproof shoes or sandals at least along with a water repellant lower & upper with quick-dry material. Carrying such a jacket will help you in many ways when there is rain. It may end up saving your electronic equipment too.
So, do not forget to carry these at the very least. For riding bikes, gumboots are always an essential things to cross the water stream.

• Carry tarpaulins & few waterproof bags
Apart from the rain coat, carrying small tarpaulins or waterproof bags which will protect your clothes, luggage or electronic gear if the need arises. It will also help you protect your luggage which you may plan to put on top of your car.
It is one of the cheap yet effective essential equipment for a trip to Ladakh in monsoons. If you hire a car then ask your car pilot to do this.

• Check windshield wipers
When you are driving windshield wipers are very essential and before start your journey check the wipers are properly working or not.

• Always sleep early and leave early
When you exploring the remote areas or easily inaccessible areas of Himalayan Destination, you should be always follow a rules “Sleep Early and Leave Early”. It becomes more important in the rainy season as you are already expecting delays due to landslides, roadblocks, slow speed of cars in rain.
So, always try to follow this principle as it will allow you to give extra time on your day trip. It will also help you cross the water crossings when water is less in the early hours of the day.

• Plan with couple of buffer days
You should expect rains in monsoons, which may delay your daily plans or make you stuck behind a landslide for a day or two sometimes. If you are running with a tight schedule, well, delay of one day somewhere will trigger tensions in mind, which will not help you enjoy the Land of Lama. You will continuously keep worrying about missing a flight or train.
So, always better to plan your trip with a couple of buffer days when traveling in monsoons.

• Protect your electronics devices from moisture
Always protect your electronics devices from moisture. Always put them to a safe zone in your luggage.

Hikers, skiers, and adventurers who travel to high altitudes can sometimes develop acute mountain sickness. Other names for this condition are altitude sickness or high altitude pulmonary edema. It typically occurs at about 8,000 feet, above sea level. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath are a few symptoms of this condition. Most instances of altitude sickness are mild and heal quickly. In rare cases, altitude sickness can become severe and cause complications with the lungs or brain.

Higher altitudes have lower levels of oxygen and decreased air pressure. When you travel in a plane, drive or hike up a mountain, or go skiing, your body may not have enough time to adjust. This can result in acute mountain sickness. Your level of exertion also plays a role. Pushing yourself to quickly hike up a mountain, may cause acute mountain sickness.

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness generally appear within hours of moving to higher altitudes. They vary depending on the severity of your condition. Few type of sickness are as follows with there general symptoms -

1. Mild acute mountain sickness : If you have a mild case, you may experience.
General symptoms are dizziness, headache, muscle aches, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, irritability, loss of appetite, swelling of the hands, feet, and face, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath with physical exertion etc.

2. Severe acute mountain sickness : Severe cases of acute mountain sickness can cause more intense symptoms and affect your heart, lungs, muscles, and nervous system. For example, you may experience confusion as a result of brain swelling. You may also suffer from shortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs.
Symptoms of severe altitude sickness may include with Mild acute mountain sickness as followed by coughing, chest congestion, pale, complexion and skin discoloration, inability to walk or lack of balance, social withdrawal etc.

Your risk of experiencing acute mountain sickness is greater if you live by or near the sea and are unaccustomed to higher altitudes. Other risk factors include the follows :
1. Quick movement to high altitudes.
2. Physical exertion while traveling to a higher altitude.
3. Traveling to extreme heights.
4. A low red blood cell count due to anemia.
5. Persons who have Heart or Lung disease.
6. Taking medications like sleeping pills, narcotic pain relievers, or tranquilizers that can lower your breathing rate.
7. Past bouts of acute mountain sickness.
8. Taking Alcohol or Tobacco may increase the chances of AMS.

If you’re planning on traveling to a high elevation and have any of the above conditions or take any of the above medications, talk to your doctor about how best to avoid developing acute mountain sickness.

You can take some important preventive steps to reduce your chances of acute mountain sickness. Get a physical to make sure you have no serious health issues. Review the symptoms of mountain sickness so you can recognize and treat them quickly if they occur. If traveling to extreme altitudes (higher than 10,000 ft), ask your doctor about ACETAZOLAMIDE, a medication that can ease your body’s adjustment to high altitudes. Taking it the day before you climb and on the first day or two of your trip can lessen your symptoms.

When climbing to higher altitudes, then you have to plan accordingly to gain altitude gradually.

Generally we used Non AC Innova / Xylo / Scorpio / Similar for this route up-to 6 head and above 6 head used Tempo Traveler.

Inquire to us or reach us directly 7980464525 / 8697471273 and book your package with advance amount as directed to you & we will sent to you the confirmation detail within 7 working days from date of advance received.

More than 45 days advance amount is non refundable.
In between 44 to 30 days 50% of the total tour cost.
In between 29 to 15 days 75% of the total tour cost.
In between 14 to 07 days 85% of the total tour cost.
Less than 7 days / No show or after arrival in Bhutan 100% of the tour cost.

Yes you can. But it is fully depends on houseboat / hotel / camp / guest house / transportation availability. Cancellation policy may applicable as per houseboat / hotel / camp / guest house / transporter policy. Seasonal hike may applicable for this circumstances.

Yes you can with prior information. Additional costing may applied for this up-gradation. Up-gradation is depends on availability.

For all Indian citizen Voter Card / Passport / Aadhar Card / Driving License (Adult only) & Birth Certificate / Passport (Child only) with photocopy of the said documents and passport size color photo for all traveler.
For all foreigner Passport is mandatory with photocopy and passport size color photo for all traveler.

Please note that without valid documents permit can not be issued. Better to ask before travelling for valid documents list. Several parts of Ladakh falls under protected area and you need a special permit / Inner Line Permit (ILP) and suggested go with a trusted / reliable Tour & Travel agencies only.

Inner Line Permit or ILP, is a travel document issued by the Government of India which allows an Indian and foreigner travelers to travel to a protected area for a limited time period. Obtaining this permit is mandatory for all the citizens who do not belong to Ladakh.
Foreigners visiting Ladakh are required to obtain Ladakh Protected Area Permit (PAP) before entering this region.
The Inner Line Permit, or ILP, is valid for a period of 3 weeks for Indians, and 1 week for foreigners. It should also be remembered that there is no limit on the number of times you visit a place within the valid period as long as you have the necessary permits with you.

Please noted that the Inner line Permit is not required for visiting all the areas. In fact, it is only required for some areas like Dah Village, Hanu Village, Khardung La, Nubra valley, Turtuk, Sumur, Panamik, Pangong Tso, Man Merak, Chusul, Nyoma, Loma Bend, Hanley, Didder La, Tangyar, Tsomoriri & Tyakshi.

Now, it has become easy to apply for inner line permit without visiting any government office. Just visit the newly launched portal and apply here for ILP. The whole process for obtaining the permit has been described below.
o Firstly, go to http://lahdclehpermit.in/ and after entering the URL, allow the webpage to load first. When it has loaded, click on the half circle which appears at the bottom of the screen and reads “Issue”. When you do this, a fly menu will appear on the screen. Next, click on “Domestic Clients”.
o This will take you to another page which will require you to fill out your details elaborately.
o Next, mention the year of your travel, your name, the state you reside in and your gender. Click on the ID type on the drop down menu and select the one which you feel the most comfortable with, or which you possess with you.
o Fill out the information of your Aadhar Card, Driving License, Passport or Voter ID number.
o Mention your complete address
o Under the section, “Issue Permit” field, select “Directly”.
o Click on the field mentioned “Date of Arrival”. When you do this, a calendar will appear on the screen. Select your date of arrival in Leh town.
o After you have completed filling all the information, review the entire information once again because once you submit it, you cannot alter the information any longer.
o Next, click the Submit button. A fly out which will appear on the screen will tell you that you have been successfully registered. Click “Ok”.
o After you have done that, you will be taken to the next page where you will be required to select the areas that you need an Inner Line Permit for.
o At the bottom of the screen, select your date of arrival in Leh as well as the date of departure.
o Select the apply button for Permit
o A new fly out will pop up on the screen informing you that the circuit has been assigned successfully. Click OK.
o A new pop up which reads “Inserted Successfully” will appear on the screen. Click OK.
o After you have done that, you will be taken to another page which will contain the details of your permit. The page will mention your name, ID number, state of residence and different fee related structures.
o You can now either take a print out of it or take a screenshot of it.

After completing the above procedure you need to submit the fees. It should be noted that there is no option for making the payment online. For making the payment and getting the permits signed or stamped, you will have to take the printout of the online form along with a copy of it and visit the following address:
TIC Office, Opposite J&K Bank
Main Market, Leh