Routes to Reach Leh from Kargil
Route 1: Kargil- Mulbekh- Lamayuru- Saspol- Leh
Starting from Kargil, Mulbekh comes first and it is located around 45 kilometers east of Kargil. Mulbekh is quite famous because of the Maitreya Buddha statue of 9 meters height along with a 2-stories gompa around it.
From Mulbek to Lamayuru, you will come across a twist on the highway as it winds through two wonderful passes known as Namika La and Fotu La which are situated at a height of 12200 feet and 13479 feet respectively. With a number of adventurous ascents and descents, the passes make a person skip his heartbeats at times. The mountain stretches covering the deep valleys give away a spectacular view of the entire region.
Kargil to Lamayuru is the most happening trip that shows a lot of monasteries, glistening mountains, and very bumpy roads. Lamayuru is 85 kilometers away from Kargil. As you all know, Lamayuru monastery is the biggest attraction in Leh region and if you take a halt at Lamayuru on your trip from Kargil to Leh, it will give you a chance to explore the undeciphered beauty of Lamayuru monastery. After Lamayuru, one needs to cover another 114 kilometers to reach Leh with plenty of attractions that cannot be missed out on.
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Route 2: Kargil- Batalik- Dah- Leh
The route that covers Batalik and Dah seems very sensitive route as it parallelly goes with Line of Control. Batalik is situated at a distance of around 54 kilometers from Kargil.
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Places to Visit From Leh to Kargil
Kargil War Memorial
Located very close to the Drass War Memorial, Kargil War Memorial says to be a must visit place. If you take a taxi from Drass to Kargil, it is the best way to reach the memorial. People who visited have mentioned that one will feel patriotism and national integrity at the first sight of the memorial.
Along with sandstone walls erected in honour of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Kargil war against Pakistan, you can see the photos of the war and the soldiers who took part in them. It is during the summer season people usually visit the memorial as it is easily accessible during the months from May through September.
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two major gompas named Drukpa and Gelugpa Monasteries, Mulbekh Monastery in
Kargil is one of the most important attractions you will come across on your journey
from Kargil to Leh. It is located at a distance of 45 kilometres from Kargil
and at an altitude of around 3000 meters above sea level.
The gompa showcases perfect craftsmanship with 9 meters tall statue of Maitreya Buddha. The statue was built around 8th century A.D, and people call it Chamba. Though the statue is of Lord Buddha, many scholars have pointed out that it resembles Lord Shiva as well.
Built into or around a cave on a clifftop, Phuktal Monastery in Kargil looks like a honeycomb. The monastery is located at a corner space in Lungnak Valley. Visiting this place will give you a vibrant effect as it is a marvelous creation and people often call it by another name that is cave monastery.
Those who love peace and calmness would eventually fall in love with the interiors of the monastery. Moreover, from the altitude, you will be able to get a clear picture of the spreading landscape in front of your eyes. One more information regarding the monastery is that it is the only one in the region that can be reached by foot.
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Namika La Pass
Ladakh and the way from Kargil reaching Leh are blessed with an ample number of small and large passes and one of the major on the route is Namika La pass located at a height of 12198 feet. Since it poses an adventurous ride, travelers love to take a ride through Namika La pass especially the adventurers who are on their Manali Leh Srinagar bike expedition. A plethora of natural attractions can be viewed from the top and this is very close to Srinagar-Leh highway as well.
Fotu La Pass
Being the highest point on your Kargil to Ladakh trip, Fotu La pass is quite famous among the Himalayan travelers. It is located at a height of about 13478 feet above sea level.
As the travelers get to see the rugged mountains and the bumpy roads, Fotu La pass ride is considered to be a must-have during a Leh-Ladakh road trip. There are a number of sharp bends and curves as you cross the pass.
Centuries-old monastery located in Alchi Village is Alchi Monastery. The village has a lot of mind-blowing structures and attractions apart from this famous monastery. It is said to be built between 958 and 1055 AD and one of the oldest buildings in Ladakh region making it one of the best places to visit in Ladakh.
With structures such as Dukhang or Assembly Hall, the Main Temple, Manjushri Temple, and Chorten, the monastery imposes peace and a cherish-able view of the mountains surrounding it. All the buildings in the monastery are ornamented with minute paintings and carvings. Along with them, you will find many statues of Buddha standing inside the monastery.
Likir monastery which is a Buddhist monastery is located around 52 kilometers to the west of Leh. The picturesque serenity in the background is what makes the monastery so adorable. As it is said, the monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and believed to be established in the year of 1065 by Lama Duwang Chosje.
Currently, there are around 120 Buddhist monks in the monastery and it has a school which consists of about 30 students. The view of the Likir Monastery with the huge spread of the Himalayan mountains in the back is the best thing you can ask for when you take a trip of Kargil to Leh.
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Indus and Zanskar Confluence
of the best sights that cannot be missed out on during your Ladakh trip is
Indus and Zanskar river confluence. The merging of attractive blue with the
green is an epic view. Both the rivers originate from the tremendous Himalayas.
Both the of them join at a pristine land called Nimmu in Ladakh region offering a brilliant feeling to the viewers. During summer time, you will be able to see the gushing waters of the Zanskar and a gentle flow of the Indus river and in winter, the scene is just the opposite.
Magnetic Hill is a place every Himalayan rider would wonder about, located at a distance of about 30 kilometers from Leh city. It is a short stretch that makes people believe gravity can be defied. And the reason behind it is that it pulls upwards a vehicle in neutral and so the name Magnetic Hill.
The hill is located at an altitude of 14000 feet on the Leh-Kargil National Highway. Sindhu river is on its east and the mountain range surrounding it makes the entire place a mesmerizing sight to watch. There you can see a yellow box drawn on the road where you are supposed to keep your vehicle stationary and then you watch it moves upwards. People from all over the world have stunned looking at this phenomenon that can’t be explained clearly. This place welcomes many adventurers who are on their bike expeditions to Leh-Ladakh.
Located in Lamayuru at an altitude of 11520 feet above sea level, Lamayuru Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. It is one of the most important monasteries in Ladakh region to visit. It is famed as Tharpa Ling meaning the place of freedom.
People are lured to the monastery with its charm and for the views of the mountains from the clifftop. Nearly 150 monks are in the monastery among which 30 to 50 are belonging to the Red-Sect of Buddhism.
The most beautiful city you will come across on your trip is Leh that is dotted with old structures, the unending Himalayan mountains, gompas, and Tibetan style places and art structures. With the green barley fields on one edge,
There are a lot of places to visit in Leh like- shops, bazaars, monasteries, mountain passes, and many beautiful streams flowing. Along with them, you will find Ladakhi style homes and ancient palaces that give warmth to every traveler reaches Leh.
of Fame is a famous museum in Leh that was constructed to commemorate the brave
Indian soldiers who fought in the Indo-Pak war. As it is very close to the Leh
city, those who visit Leh can’t miss out on this museum built by the Indian
Army. It is a reminder of the sacrifices made by the soldiers to protect and
The museum consists of two floors with the weapons, and various other arms and things the Indian Army captured during the wars. You can also find the pictures of the Kargil war in the museum.
Pathar Sahib Gurudwara
Located at a distance of around 40 kilometers from Leh, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara is yet another magical attraction you should visit on your journey to Leh. It was constructed as a tribute and in the memory of Guru Nanak in 1517. Not just Sikhs and Hindus come to the Gurudwara, Tibetan Buddhists also pay tribute here. It will be open from 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM all days.
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Places To Stay in Kargil
Hotel Baru La
Hotel Silk Route Inn
This hotel is located at a distance of about 1.6 kilometres from the City Centre in Kargil offering a nice stay experience to the guests. It also gives away the magnificent views of Suru River and the serenity attached to it.
Hotel Chutuk Heights
Located very close to Suru River, Hotel Chutuk Heights is yet another important hotels welcoming Leh Ladakh travelers wholeheartedly. The untouched beauty of nature can be felt while you stay here. With all the modern amenities, it has well-maintained rooms, outdoor cafe, free wi-fi, a multi-cuisine restaurant, and lot more.
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Hotel Royal Inn
Hotel Royal Inn situated at a distance of around 3 kilometres from the main town claims to have the best rooms that overlook Suru River flowing through the city. The peace and serenity it offers are commendable. Authentic Ladakhi experience can be extracted from this hotel along with its delicious food and the full-fledged rooms it possesses.
Hotel The Kargil
Claimed to be the best hotel in Kargil, Hotel the Kargil was established in order to give an exquisite stay experience to its customers. This hotel is owned and run by the Bagh family. People who take a trip to Kargil will choose Hotel the Kargil for its impeccable services and hospitality. It consists of Superior Suites and Premium Rooms with most modern amenities to serve its guests at its best.
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Things to Know on Your Kargil-Leh Trip
Petrol Stations on Kargil - Leh Highway
Kargil-Leh trip poses many challenges and fuel is one of the most important
ones. The major thing you need to remember that the petrol stations you find on
the way are not the ones with long queues or perfect service. Hence whenever
you find a petrol bunk on your way and if you are in need of fuel, don’t
hesitate to fill the tank up. Because if you linger on thinking about reaching
the next petrol station, you might get disappointed.
In between Kargil and Leh, you can find petrol stations in Kargil, Mulbekh, Wakha, Khalsi, and in Leh. There are HP and Indian Oil petrol pumps mostly on this route. But still, it is suggestive that you take extra fuel from Kargil itself just in case your vehicle tank gets emptied en route.
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ATMs on Kargil - Leh Highway
-Apart from the ATMs available
in the main cities like Kargil and Leh, there are other ATMs at Shargol and
-However, it would be better if you carry enough cash in your hand as the ATMs at these places can run out of money very often.
-There are many mechanic shops situated on the way. If you face any major difficulty you can only get the help of expert mechanics either in Kargil or in Leh.
-Other than that, for all small problems your vehicles have can be checked and resolved at mechanic shops at Mulbekh and Nimmu.
-It's advised that you acquire some skills to prepare your vehicle during your trip.
-As per the rules and laws
of the state, mobile connectivity to prepaid numbers is not available in Kargil
to Leh route.
-Postpaid connections are better on this route. Hence travellers suggest that those who wish to take this trip should transfer their mobile connection postpaid before the trip itself.
-BSNL is the best connection available though there are some remote areas where you lose that connectivity as well. But it will be reinstated when you are near to a village or town.
-And Airtel seems another good mobile connection you can rely on. Other than these two it is pretty difficult for other services to have a proper connection throughout the route.
Things To Carry
Unlike many other trips you take in India, Kargil-Leh trip should be considered as the most adventurous trip and you need to prepare very well accordingly. Here are the most important things you should carry on your trip to Leh from Kargil.
To start with, you need a lightweight backpack with all the essential elements you need for the trip according to the number of days such as:-Extra clothes
-Essential medicines like Diamox
-First aid travel kit
-Hats or caps
-Moisturizer or any body lotion
-Personal essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, soaps, and toilet papers
-Glucose or glucose mixed water
-Charges for your mobile and camera
Moreover, it would be really helpful if you take nuts, dry fruits, biscuits, chips, etc in your bag to feed you whenever you need energy on your trip.
Apart from these, you need to carry your Govt issued ID card and a couple of copies of it, medical insurance copy if you have one, flight ticket copies, hotel reservation slips, and a list of immediate relatives in case your mobile stop working you should be able to contact them via land phones.
If you are taking a self bike trip, you need to carry extra fuel with you in order to meet the unexpected requirements on the way. Along with that, you should carry a basic toolkit including a screwdriver, hammer, puncture repair elements, spare tube, feviquick, etc.
Safety Tips and Guidelines
-It is highly recommended to take this trip after winter especially during the months of July to September as the roads are in good condition and the chances of landslides will be nil.
-Mostly, Kargil- Leh trip is considered to be safe during the tourist times and the safer period is during Independence Day.
-In spite of the fact that there can be bandhs and hartals in the state often, people come in large numbers to visit Leh, Kargil, and Srinagar. Still, it is always advised to take a trip like this after following the news about Kashmir.
- Also, as Leh and Kargil and the other areas connecting them are situated at greater altitudes, you should get acclimatized once you reach the starting point.
-Keep your body hydrated always, avoid taking too many halts in between Kargil and Leh, carry essential medicines to prevent AMS, avoid sleeping during the daytime, try keeping your body warm by having rich carbohydrate food items.
-Furthermore, never underestimate the rugged terrains and the bumpy roads on the route. If you are taking a solo bike trip or self-drive trip, you should be well aware of the fact that the trip can be very tricky and test you throughout.
Know more about the roads from expert travelers and other experienced people before you plan a trip. Also, don’t go for this trip without an inner line permit and we would talk about it in the following passage.
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Inner line Permit and How to Obtain It?
you all know despite being the most charming place in Jammu and Kashmir, Leh
and other parts connected to it are very sensitive due to the wars between
India, Pakistan, and China. You can see heavy army units in most of the areas
in Ladakh, Kargil, Srinagar, etc. And of course, many of the tourist places
come under the jurisdiction of Inner line. Hence, if you need to visit the
places, you need to get an Inner Line Permit.
-An Inner Line Permit is an Indian government issued document to certify a person from outside the state is eligible to visit the tourist places in Jammu and Kashmir.
-It will give you permission to restricted areas for a scheduled period of time. You need this document to visit places situated near LOC and LAC.
-However, those who are residents of J&K and children under 12 years of age need not obtain this permit.
-You can apply for getting an Inner Line Permit online on a portal launched by the authorities.
-You can receive it from the city’s DC office that will be open from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM from Monday to Saturday.
-ILPs will be issued between 10:00 AM and 03:00 PM. You need to submit a photocopy of your identity proof along with the application form. ID card can be your Voter ID, Driving License, Passport, Pan Card, Aadhar, etc.
-The ILP costs around Rs.400 per person including environment tax, wildlife protection fee, and a charity towards a Red Cross society.