Ladakh is best described as heaven on earth. Lapped among the hills, this gorgeous place is a great place for a holiday. With the best attractions to see and plenty of adventure sports, there is no shortage of activity in Leh and the whole of Ladakh.
Ladakh is surrounded by the great Himalayas and the Karakoram. So, you’ll have plenty of open, natural places to see in the region. Whether you are going on a solo trip, a honeymoon or with family, you are sure to experience a lot of fun and excitement on a Leh Ladakh trip.
Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh
To make the most of your holiday in Leh Ladakh, travel during the months of June to September. June is a great time for trekking, as the weather is pleasant. It is best to avoid going during winter as it is impossible to travel by road during the cold and the climate it too extreme to venture outdoors.
- Flight: The most favoured mode of transportation to Leh Ladakh from Delhi is by flight.
- Bus: For those who are not comfortable travelling by flight, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) runs regular buses from Delhi to Leh.
- Car: You could also choose to drive down by your own vehicle via the Leh-Manali Highway and the National Highway 1.
A popular way of getting to Leh Ladakh is via road. The journey is long, taking around 35 hours to reach Leh Ladakh from Delhi and the distance is about 1200 kilometres.
While most of the road is fairly straightforward, there are some parts that pass through steep slopes and curvy roads. If you are driving down from Delhi, it is best to make a few stops along the way.
The best part about a trip to Ladakh is the fact that you can ride to the place. Many Delhi bikers often head out to the hills via the Leh Manali Highway. Riding to Leh Ladakh can be a lot of fun. You can head to Leh Ladakh either via Srinagar or via Manali. You will have to keep a few things in mind; some portion of the route has rugged roads and steep curves, so make sure your bike tyres are in perfect condition.
The best way to enjoy biking to Ladakh is by going in a group. There are many tour operators and bikers groups who organize these trips during the summer.
A trip to Leh Ladakh from Delhi can be a costly. If you plan your trip well, you can reduce costs drastically.
- Flight tickets to Leh from Delhi cost anything between Rs. 1,800 to Rs.3,000. Cost of flight tickets depend on season. If you are going during the peak tourist season, it is but natural that flights tickets will be more expensive.
- If you find flight tickets costly, you can choose to travel to Leh Ladakh by bus. The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) run buses from Delhi to Ladakh. Cost of tickets begin from Rs. 1000 onwards.
- If you drive down to Ladakh, it can be costly. Cost of a road trip will depend on fuel prices and how much you spend at stopover points.
- Hotel rooms can be expensive or moderate in price. It all depends on where you want to stay. Fancy hotels will surely cost you more than a home stay or a dormitory.
- Food is Ladakh is fairly reasonable as you won’t find too many fancy or posh restaurants around town. Shopping will depend on what you buy. Some local products like Pashmina shawls and stoles can be a bit expensive.
Itinerary for Leh Ladakh
- Ladakh is one of the most travel-friendly places in India. There are many places to see in and around. Once you land in Leh, you can rest for a day. This is necessary as it takes time to acclimatise to the high altitude atmosphere.
- The next day proceed to tour the Old Town. At this place you can spend some time scouting the bazaar for local products such as Pashmina shawls, stoles and woollen clothes. There is a Tibetan fort in the area that is a must visit for every tourist.
- On your way back from the Old Town, stop by at the Leh Palace to check out a bit of the town’s history. You can then head back to your hotel and rest for the day.
- The next day head out early and visit a few monasteries. The famous ones to visit are the Spituk Gompa and the Tisseru Stupa.
- You can also visit the Nubra Valley, where there’s a safari on the sand dunes.
- Do save at least a couple of days for trips to Pangong Lake and/or Nubra Valley.
Treks to enjoy in Ladakh
The best way to enjoy the hills in Ladakh is trekking. The mountains are scenic, challenging and you will have a lot of fun hiking on them.
The best places for trekking in Ladakh
- Markha Valley Trek (Altitude: 3700 metres)
- Lamayuru to Chilling Trek (Altitude 4950 metres)
- Ripchar Valley Trek (Altitude 4300 metres)
- Darcha Padum Trek ( Altitude 5000 metres)
- Lamayuru to Alchi trek ( Altitude 5200 metres)
The Best camping sites in Ladakh
If you’re going to be here for a longer duration, do check out places to go camping in Leh Ladakh.
- Nubra Valley: There are many camps located close to the Hunter Dunes.
- Pangong Tso: It is a lot of fun, camping near the Pangong Tso (Pangong Lake). Most of the camps near the lake have boating and are equipped with all the best facilities for a comfortable stay.
- Manali – Leh Highway: Along the Manali – Leh Highway there are many campsite, close to villages. Most of the campers here, are trekkers or bikers who often drive through the Manali – Leh Highway. For food, there are many dhabas, near the campsite.
Food to Try in Ladakh
Unlike with most parts of India, in Ladakh, the food is heavily inspired by Tibetan cuisine. You will find a lot of Tibetan specialities being served at food stalls across Ladakh. Some popular Tibetan delicacies in Ladakh are Momos, Skyu, Thukpa and Butter Tea.
Cheese made from Yak milk is a delicacy in Ladakh. Called Chhupri in the local language. Yak cheese is harder than normal cheese and comes in three flavours. It is easily available near the main market in Ladakh.
How to Plan a Delhi to Leh Trip
- Start with the mode of transportation – flight, bus or a private vehicle.
- Set a budget, as this helps you pick the best hotel according to how much you are willing to spend.
- Booking hotels in advance is cheaper, so might want to consider doing all your hotel bookings a few months earlier.
- Book flights at least one month in advance to avoid high ticket charges.
- Pack your medication for high altitude ailments.
- If you are travelling by road, make sure your vehicle is serviced.
- Pack torches, especially if you are going by road.
Make Sure You Carry These Essentials
- Prescribed Medication
- If you are going on a road trip, carry all your bike or car papers and tools.
- Carry all your ID proofs, you need them for hotel bookings and to show at some places.
- Carry sunscreen lotion if you are going during summer. The harsh UV rays fall at a high altitude and can affect your skin.
- Make sure you have a first-aid kit.
- The dry and cold weather of Ladakh can make your lips dry, so carry a lip balm
- While trekking at high altitudes, you might feel tired or lax, to feel energised, carry a bottle of water with glucose in it.
Medical Conditions You MIght Face
The high altitude of Ladakh might cause you Acute Mountain Sickness. It will take you a few days to acclimatize to the weather conditions in Ladakh. So, wait for a few days before you can explore the mountains or go on treks.
Dry skin due to the cold weather can be an issue, so make sure you carry a moisturizer. If you are going during summer, carry a sun sunscreen and UV proof sunglasses, the sun’s harsh UV rays can affect your skin.
From planning to what places to see and how to go, we have given you all the best tips. Now, all you need to do is pack your bags and head to Leh. Go any more questions? Do let us know in the comments.