Everything you Always Wanted to Know about the World-famous Leh-Ladakh Road Trip

  • Leh Ladakh Road Trip

Find everything you always wanted to know about the world-famous Leh-Ladakh road trip in India! From essential tips and itineraries to stunning highlights and safety advice, embark on a journey through breathtaking landscapes, unique cultural experiences and adventure in the heart of the Himalayas. Know more. 

Trip to Leh Ladakh

Whether you love bike riding or not, there is one dream that is common to most of us is a trip to Leh Ladakh. Being one of the highest-rated trips among adventure lovers today, it is a trip that will leave you amazed at every turn you take on your trip to here. It is not a journey but an experience that is second to none.

This might be the reason why every next young person you come across think of this expedition. From eye-catching surrounding views to majestic monasteries, steep road curves, on-road challenges, amazing cuisine, there are lots of elements that attract travelers to this new world.

If you also belong to that creed of folks who are planning for this excursion, this post would be of great help in setting everything right. But there is a saying that the best journey is the one that gives you something unplanned. So, let’s start.



The first thing you must need to know is the best route to your destination. There are mainly two routes to Leh. One is from Srinagar and the other one is from Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Though both the routes are hilly nature, the route through Manali is quite preferred as it takes just one day to reach the destination. However, it is up to your choice and weather which route you choose to go with. You can choose the Srinagar route to reach Leh and Manali route to come back. There is one thing for sure that it would be the journey of your lifetime.

The distance between Srinagar and Leh is 434 km whereas between Manali and Leh, it is 476 km.


When it is best to visit Ladakh

According to experts, the best time to visit Ladakh is from Mid-May to October. Do remember that there are only two seasons, summer and autumn when one can choose to visit Ladakh. From November to April, the only option to reach Ladakh is through airplane. During your journey, it is recommended early to avert the traffic jam, which is quite common in the Rohtang Pass.


Where to stay during the trip?

There are numerous camping spots in Manali-Leh route at Tandi, Keylong, Jispa, Sarchu, and Pang. Similarly, you can choose from a number of camping spots on Srinagar-Leh route at Drass, Kargil, Shargol, Tingmosgang and Sham Valley.


Where to eat?

A range of food joints is available at Marhi, Sissu, Keylong, Sarchu, Jispa and Pang in Manali – Leh route. In Srinagar – Leh route eateries are available at Songamard, Drass, Kargil, Mulbekh, and Lamayuru


Checklist for Leh-Ladakh Road Trip



Things to carry on your Leh-Ladakh Road Trip

The first and foremost, don’t forget to use waterproof rucksacks to pack up your belongings. Some other important things you should always keep with you are:

Clothing & Footwear

•   Use heavy gumboot shoes that are meant trekking and hiking. If have enough space, carry an extra pair as well

•  2 – 4 pairs of woollen socks, to help you combat unpredictable climatic conditions and rough terrains

•  Pack enough number of woollen clothes like jackets, sweaters, shawls, comforters, gloves, etc. Wear the clothes in layers

•  Make sure to carry rain jackets to endure the unforeseen showers of rain/snow

Medical Supplies and Toiletry

•    Sunscreen lotions (SPF 40+), moisturizers and lip balm

•     Pain-relieving sprays (volini) and inhaler. Headache tabs

•     Re-hydration liquids such as Gatorade

•     Always carry sufficient amounts of water and try to stay hydrated


•   Hat and scarf

•   Sunglasses with UV protection

•   Multi-tool knife and large plastic bags to keep your items dry during rain

Electronic Devices and Accessories

•  A good quality camera like DSLR is best for Leh Ladakh road trip to capture the awesome views of surroundings. Don’t forget to carry charged batteries and charger

•  Carry mobile charger and power bank. Batteries are found to discharge their power quickly at higher altitudes

Others (Important)

•  Novices who never experienced high altitude locations are recommended to carry the portable oxygen cylinders which last for a few minutes which are available in chemist’s shops in your cities. Buy them at your residing locations itself, as there is the possibility of them being out of stock in Manali due to demand-supply gap in season time

•  Carry enough cash at any time, as the ATMs remain mainly out of order during season time

Driving Tips


•  If you’re traveling through car to Leh – Ladakh, do understand that only high ground clearance vehicles like SUV or MUV are best

•  Get your vehicle properly serviced before the road trip. It is always an advantage to know a few quick and easy solutions so that you are less dependent on mechanic shops which are quite scarce

•  Take spare tyres and mechanical tool kit as you will be traveling through rough terrain

•  Drive safe. Don’t ever try to rush through risky sections of the roads like rough road, landslides, water crossing etc.

•  Always begin your trips for the day early in the morning to avoid traffic so as not to miss the great views of the surroundings

Fuel Stations

•  Petrol Pumps are available at very few places in the entire 900 km stretch (Manali – Leh – Srinagar) of Leh-Ladakh road trip. They are available at Manali, Tandi, Upshi, Leh, Kargil, and Srinagar

•  Carry a minimum of 2 extra fuel cans completely filled. 360 km stretch from Tandi to Upshi in Manali – Leh Road trip doesn’t have a single petrol pump

Mechanic Workshops

The mechanic workshops are available at Manali, Keylong, Srinagar and Kargil.

Vehicle Permits

Non-HP registered vehicles need to seek a permit to pass the Manali-Rohtang Pass route. The permit is issued by a sub-divisional magistrate, Manali.

How to avoid altitude sickness during the Leh-Ladakh trip

•  Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated

•  Eat regularly and eat light. Carry chocolate bars, chewing gums and have them regularly in the journey to avoid tiredness

•  Severely avoid alcohol consumption

•  Have garlic to increase oxygen capacity. Take ginger water

•  Try to sleep at lower altitudes

•  Climb the mountain slowly

Places worth seeing in Manali to Leh Route

From snow-tapped mountains to green vistas covering the road, breath spellbound views of mountain ranges to lovely monasteries, stimulating roads to sharp hairpin bends, Manali – Leh route gives an enthralling experience to adventure travelers and photographers.

 Manali (2050 mts): Tourist destination, view of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges

 Rohtang La (3980 mts) – 53 kms: Pass in Pir Panjal range. Linking point for Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti Valleys

  1.   Keylong (3348 mts) – 117 kms: Kardang Monastery
  2. Jispa (3142 mts) – 140 kms: Hotel, Bhaga river and amazing views
  3. Darcha (3400 mts) – 147 kms: Village, Photographer’s paradise
  4.  Patsio (3820 mts) – 161 kms: Campsite
  5. Baralach La (4892 mts) – 192 kms: Pass. Connects Lahaul to Ladakh
  6.  Sarchu (4253 mts) – 224 kms: Campsite. Halt point for tourists
  7.  Lachang La (5065 mts) – 277 kms: Pass. Close to Pangong lake
  8.  Pang (4630 mts) – 301 kms: Campsite
  9.  Rumtsey (4325 mts) – 397 kms: Monastery
  10. Taglang La (5360 mts) – 365 kms: Pass. Highest point in the trip
  11.  Gya (4100 mts) – 403 kms: Historical place
  12.  Hemis (3518 mts) – 426 kms: Monastery
  13.  Thiksey (3370 mts) – 455 kms: Monastery
  14. Shey (3365mts) – 460 kms: Palace/Monastery
  15. Leh (3348 mts) – 475 kms: Your final destination
  16. Places worth seeing in Manali to Leh Route

From war memorials to scenic villages, valleys, monasteries and world-famous majestic hills, there are various attractions that tend to uplift your voyage.

Sonamarg (2743 mts) – 84 kms: Tourist Resort

Zojila Pass – 127 kms: Pass

Drass (3033 mts) – 147 kms: Valley

Kargil (2650 mts) – 204 kms: War Memorial

Mulbek – 259 kms: Rock Engraves

Fotu La (4108 mts) – 299 kms: Pass

Lamayuru (3440 mts) – 309 kms: Hanging Monastery

Ridzong (2985 mts) – 361 kms: Nunnery

Uletokpo (2985 mts) – 362 kms: Village / Campsite

Alchi (3345 mts) – 367 kms: Ancient Monastery

Likir (3265 mts) – 374 kms: Ancient Monastery

Basgo (3343 mts) – 394 kms: Palace/Monastery

Phyang (3490 mts) – 417 kms: Monastery

Spituk (3380 mts) – 422 kms: Ancient Monastery

Leh (3348 mts) – 434 kms: Your final destination

Festivals in Leh-Ladakh

The land of leh-ladakh is referred as a heaven for festivals. There is nothing better time to visit Ladakh region than during the festive season. This is one time of the year when the air of this beautiful gets filled with vibrancy and aroma of festive spirits from all sides.

Most of the festivals here are marked by dance-dramas played by Lamas boasting of colorful robes and fearsome masks denoting various Buddhist deities.

Some of the major festivals at Leh-Ladakh are:

•  Spituk Gustor   

•  Saka Dawa         

•  Hemis Tsechu   

•  Dosmochey       

•   Deskit Gustor   

•  Ladakhi Losar    

•  Sani Nasjal         

•  Others

Other avenues to visit from Leh-Ladakh

Besides two primary routes which connect the world to Leh, to make the Leh – Ladakh road trip complete there are few destinations around Leh Ladakh that are worth visiting during their road trip to Leh Ladakh. If you don’t have enough time and yet you want to experience the loveliness of Leh and awesomeness in a bike or road trip in Leh. A short duration road trip in Leh can fulfill your desires.

Leh to Pangong Lake – 156 kms

En route, you can explore a number of locations including Shey, Thiksey, Sakti, Chang La, Tangste, and Spangmik (Pangong Lake).

Leh to Nubra Valley – 140 kms

Famous locations worth explore here are Khardung La: Highest motorable road in the world, Diskit, Hunder: Sand dune and camel safari, Samstanling, and Panamik

Leh to Tsomoriri Lake – 240 kms

Famous locations here are:

•  Shey

•  Thiksey

•  Hemis

•  Gya

•   Rumtse

•   Taglang La

•  Tsokar Lake

•   Polokang La

•  Korzok (Tsomoriri lake)

A road trip to Leh-Ladakh is not just a voyage but an experience that teaches various facets of life in the most exhilarating way.

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