Touch-icon-iphone-76x76

Download Thrillophilia App

Book Tour and Activities on the Go!

X
1464159588_9624521081_46a6ee4c6c_b.jpg

Srinagar to Leh Road Trip Guide

 
  • The engine starts and the four wheels take you on a mind-boggling boulevard. The journey from Srinagar to Leh by road is a trip to remember. Trading the roads of heaven on earth, you would be revitalizing every inch of your body and soul.

    The pristine beauty of Srinagar has left its every admirer spell bind and speechless. Encompassed by the fascinating vistas, the challenging and rugged boulevards and the immaculate culture, the journey from Srinagar to Leh by road is bewitching.

     A road trip to Leh is a perfect plan to spend quality time with family and friends and to be partners in adventure. Explore the nature, trekking in the snow clad mountains of Leh. Attain peace in the magnetizing monasteries on the way. Savour the delicious cuisines that North proffers and build memories to cherish forever.

  • 01 Srinagar to Leh Distance

    On the way from Srinagar to Leh-Ladakh by road, you will cover approximately 434 Km. There is only two ways to reach Ladakh, one is from Manali to Leh and the other is from Srinagar to Leh.

    Your Road trip will commence from Srinagar, the highway is called the National Highway – 1D (NH – 1D) and is one of the most dependable ways to reach Ladakh.

  • 02Srinagar to Leh Route Map

    Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayaru – Saspol – Leh

    1) Once you commence your journey from Srinagar, it will be around 85kms to reach Sonamarg.

    2) From Sonmarg you would head towards Drass, via the Zoji La pass, which is another 62kms.

    3) One can choose to stay at Drass or travel another 58 kms and reach Kargil, which also proffers decent accommodations.

    4) This is then followed by a 110 kms drive from Kargil to Lamayuru via Mulbek, Namika La and Fotu La. From Lamayuru, Leh is approximately 125km that passes through Hangro Loops and Nimmu.

    Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil - Batalik - Dah – Leh

    1) Once you commence your journey from Srinagar, it will be around 85kms to reach Sonamarg.

    2) From Sonmarg you would head towards Drass, via the Zoji La pass, which is another 62kms.

    3) One can choose to stay at Drass or travel another 58 kms and reach Kargil, which also proffers decent accommodations.

    4) After which drive for about 53kms and reach Batalik and then reach Leh via Dah. One needs to have an inner line permit to travel from Kargil to Leh, via Batalik and Dah.

  • 03Mode of Transportation

    Image Credit : draskd - flickr

    1) Private Cars and Bikes

    One can choose to commute this journey in their personal car or bike. In this case they have to take into consideration factors like petrol cost and vehicle maintenance.


    2) Srinagar Leh JKSRTC Bus

    The buses from Srinagar to Leh start at 8 AM and halt at Kargil for one night and reach Leh the next day.

    In case you choose a   Deluxe bus, then the cost is about Rs. 1058 per person and for semi deluxe the cost is approximately Rs 670 per person.

    These timings are subject to change based on timing of Zojila Pass.
  • 04Places to visit during Srinagar to Leh Road Trip

  • 05Dal Lake

    The charismatic Dal Lake that stretches across a 26 sq km is a major tourist attraction. It is filled with narrow water canals, beautiful lotus and vegetable gardens and shops. Experience living in the middle of a lake, wake up to the glistening pearls and watch the sun submerge in the water, as you spend a day on a houseboat in the Dal lake.

    One can enjoy a entire day trading through the lake, by booking a Shikara for a day. Admire the varied attractions like the Nishat Garden, Nasim Bagh, Hazratbal Mosque, Pathar Masjid and Shah Hamdan's Shrine while sailing in the Shikara. If you are with family and friends, Shikara makes an awesome picnic spot.

  • 06Drass Valley

    Imagine spending a day in a township which is right in the centre of a valley. Drass valley is a gateway to Ladakh and is popular for being the coldest inhabited place in the World. Sip on some hot coffee and strike a conversation with the villagers here to know more about their colourful yet challenging lifestyle.

    Drass is a base camp for several trekking routes. Adventurers and nature lovers should explore the varied trekking tracks that begin from here. Pilgrims who visit the holy cave of Amarnath, often trek through the beautiful flowery meadows of Drass. Drass valley proffers an tranquilising experience to all its visitors.
  • 07Sonmarg

    Image Credit : draskd - flickr
    Sonmarg is one of the enticing destinations that you would come across on your way to Leh, from Srinagar. Being situated at an elevation of 2800 m above the sea level in Jammu and Kashmir, Sonmarg allures all its visitors. It is encompassed by lakes and glaciers and mesmerising lush green vistas, this makes Sonmarg a perfect attraction for tourists.

    If you are seeking for some thrill and adventure, then Sonmarg proffers a plethora of activities like trekking, rappelling and lot more. One should surely visit the Zoji-La Pass, Thajiwas Glacier, Vishansar Lake, Nilagrad River and Gangabal , when in the city
  • 08Kargil

    The stories of the Kargil war are not unheard. The heroic deeds of the soldiers fighting for the respect and dignity of the Nation have touched several hearts. Kargil is located in Ladakh and is also the second largest town here. One should not miss the opportunity to visit this place, while on the road trip to Leh. Exploring the Kargil War Memorial is a must.

    Know more about our brave soldiers and enhance the sense of patriotism for the nation. Moreover Kargil offers a variety of options for accommodation. Hence, it is a perfect spot to take a break and rest until you resume again.  In kargil there are two famous restaurants; one is Pasgo that serves authentic Indian food and another is Hotel Shangril, which serves Multi-cuisine cooking.
  • 09Pattharsahib Gurudwara

    Image Credit : Pranav Bhasin - flickr
    Do not forget to visit the Shri Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, which is located on the Srinagar-Leh Road. Shri Pathar Sahib Gurudwara has a captivating architecture and was created in memory of the founder of Sikh religion and the first guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji. Spend some time in the tranquillity of this Gurudwara and soothe your senses.

    The Gurudwara is located at a high altitude. Due to the paucity of oxygen here, one can have breathing problems. Therefore, visitors are advised to take proper precautions and also wear woollen clothes before embarking on this journey.
  • 10Mulbekh Monastery

    The 30ft tall, Maitreya Buddha sculpted on a limestone, is the popularity of the Mulbekh Monastery. The reason to visit the Mulbekh Monastery is to admire the wonderfully carved Buddha on the rock. This sculpture of Buddha overlooks the National Highway 1D between Leh and Kargil.

    It is also well-known for its two gompas. The Mulbekh Monastery with its gompas is located on a peak and can be witnessed from the Srinagar-Leh highway. 

  • 11Alchi Monastery

    The Alchi monastery which based on the banks of the river Indus is the most important Buddhist centres in Ladakh. It is also regarded as the monastic jewels of Ladakh. If you are an admirer of art and culture then you should surely visit this Monastery. You will fall in love with the wall paintings made in the Choskor temple complex.

    One of its walls has thousands of miniature sized pictures of the Buddha. The Gompa offers a very healthy atmosphere for its visitors; there are several restaurants, tea stalls and as well as souvenir shops around. 

  • 12Lamayuru Monastery

    Admire and find peace at the age old Lamayuru Monastery.  Take time and stopover to be in awe of the mesmeric vistas of Lamayuru, which are also known as the ‘Moonland’ Hills. The Lamayuru monastery was established by Mahasiddhacharya Naropa and belongs to Red-Hat sect of Buddhism. It is also known as Yung-Drung. The essence of the monastery is that it is an abode to almost 150 monks.

    It showcases a variety of artifacts, wall paintings, thangas, statues and carpets. The 11-headed, 1000 eyed image of Chenzing here is very impressive. Moreover, Lamayuru is amidst a picturesque landscape and thus attracts a lot of photographers and trekkers.

  • 13Leh

    The District of Leh encompasses around 45100 Sq. Kms and is one of the largest Districts in India. The Leh district is a mountainous region and has three parallel ranges of the Himalayas, the Zanskar, the Ladakh and the Karakoram. The mountains and the valleys of Leh make it a hub for several adventure activities. The Shayok, Indus and Zanskar rivers flow between these ranges making the vistas even more pleasing.

    The place is renowned as the land of monks and the pristine monasteries are major attractions in this land. When in Leh, savour some scrumptious cuisines at places like the Lamayuru Restaurant, the Gesmo Restaurant, Shubh Punjabi, Little Italy Restaurant and many more.

  • 14Magnetic Hills

    Image Credit : SAGAR PURO - flickr

    A road trip to Leh is incomplete without experiencing the adventure of driving in the Magnetic Hills. It is a small stretch of road located approximately 30 kms from Leh towards Kargil and known as Magnetic Hill of Ladakh. The Magnetic Hill is also known as the gravity hill and is located near Leh in Ladakh.

    The specialty of the hill is that it seems to have magnetic properties that pull cars uphill, but the reality is the effect of an optical illusion created by the gravity hill. For several years the mystery of the Magnetic hills has enticed the tourists.

  • 15Royal Palace

    The nine storeys high, Leh Palace is a former royal palace built by King Sengge Nemgyal in the 17th century. The Leh Palace is situated at the edge of the Namgyal hill, from where one can see the Leh town below. It is now being utilized as an office for Indian Government's archaeological conservation organization. The medieval Tibetan architectural style, used while making the palace is very attractive.

    The walls of the palace are massive and also have wooden balconies. The old wall paintings of Leh Palace showcase the former magnificence of the ruined apartments. The fourth story of the palace is the Dukhar temple. This temple preserves thousand-armed image of its deity, Goddess Tara.

  • 16Pangong Lake

    Pangong Tso is one of the biggest salty lakes in Asia and is located 154 kilometers southeast of Leh. It stretches for a 134 km, from eastern Ladakh to Tibet. Around 60% portion of the lake lies in China. The Pangong Lake is approximately five hours away from Leh.

    The drive towards the lake is extremely exciting as you travel through the facinating mountainous region. Entice yourself with the scenic beauty of the Pangong Tso Lake. There is a camping site near the lake, you can also check-in into the camp for an overnight stay.

  • 17Nubra Valley

    Image Credit : Karunakar Rayker - flickr

    The Nubra valley is situated 3048 meters above the sea level and is around 150 km north from the town of Leh. It is mandatory for a tourist to have an Inner line permit for entering Nubra. The region is named, Nubra because of the river Nubra that flows above and below their amalgamation point.

    Explore the captivating Wari La- Nubra Valley and take time to experience the camel safari through the sand dunes.

  • 18Khardung La

    The Khardung La pass, which is also known as the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’, is a gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valley. The Border Road Organization has declared the Khardung La pass as the utmost traversable pass in the world. It is a very enticing and challenging drive.

    The Khardung La pass is approximately 40km away from Leh and is situated at an altitude of 18,379 ft. When you drive through this pass, you will be fascinated by the breathtaking view of the valleys.

  • 19Tso Moriri

    Image Credit : Gopal Vijayaraghavan - flickr
    Tso Moriri Lake falls in the Changthang region of Ladakh. It is one of the most gorgeous, tranquil and sanctified high altitude lakes in India. It is also known as the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. One of the major attractions of the Tso Moriri Lake is the innumerable flora and fauna found in this area. If you are looking forward to spend some quality time with your partner, then the Tso Moriri is a perfect destination.

    The multi hued water, along with the quaint scenery makes this place an epitome of romance. The Tso Moriri lake also offers an average accommodation with basic provisions like electricity, medical aid, hot running water, western toilets etc.
  • 20Things to know during Srinagar to Leh Road Trip

  • 21Petrol Pumps on Srinagar Leh Highway

    So if you are wondering where to feed fuel to your vehicle. You don’t have to worry much, because on this route, it is easy to find fuel. As you drive through, you will come across several petrol pumps. On the Srinagar to Leh highway there are petrol pumps at the following places:-  

    1) Srinagar

    2) Kangan

    3) Sonamarg

    4) Kargil

    5) Mulbekh

    6) Wakha

    7) Khaltsi

  • 22ATMs on Srinagar-Leh Highway

    No matter how well we pre plan the expenditure, money always finds its way in and out of our pockets. On the road trip from Sringar to Leh route, you will find ATMs at the following places.

    1) Srinagar

    2) Ganderbal

    3) Drass

    4) Kargil

    5) Leh

  • 23Mechanics on Srinagar-Leh Highway

    A mechanic is a messiah in times of need; let’s not waste time hunting for one, when required the most.  In case of emergency, one can find many mechanics and puncture shops on the Srinagar to Leh route. They are available at 

    1) Ganderbal

    2) Sonamarg

    3) Kargil

    4) Lamayuru

    5) Mulbekh

    6)  Nimmu

  • 24Mobile Connectivity

    Mobile connectivity has become priority in today’s fast paced life.  So be well informed about the mobile networks that function perfectly in these hilly areas. 

    BSNL and Airtel are the two service providers, having good coverage in Ladakh. Another thing to be considered is that only post paid works in Ladakh. None other mobile network will find connectivity here.

  • 25 Places to Stay

    Image Credit : alan jones - flickr
    On the road trip from Srinagar to Leh, you will find numerous stay options, which would be adequate for your demands and necessities. There are several factors, which directly affect the cost of stay like comfort level, circumstances and many other clauses.  If you are contented staying in an average budget hotel, then the expenditure for the same would go up to approximately Rs 500-700 per day.

    If you are looking for a high-end accommodation, with all the amenities then you would have to spend approximately about Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 per day. It is advisable that you rest either at Drass or Kargil. Since, halting here would give you a perfect break from the tiresome journey and also rejuvenate you for the journey ahead.

    Kargil

    1) Hotel Greenland KargiL

    2) Hotel PC Palace Kargil

    3) Hotel D'Zojila

    4) Panorama Guest House

  • 26Things to Carry on Srinagar to Leh Road Trip

    Image Credit : Christopher Michel - flickr
    Travel light, but also carry all the necessities required to suffice your basic needs. A few jackets to beat the cold are extremely necessary. You would halt at several places, to admire the popular attractions and enjoy the specialties, hence carry an extra pair of sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing. It is wise to be armed with a few supplies like ear plugs, a torch, a tool-kit, a physical map, a battery pack and a first-aid kit.
  • 27Safety Tips and Guidelines

    1.      A sudden change in climate and atmosphere can hamper your health. Hence, it is sensible to stay at least for a day before you begin your journey. If you are with children or elderly, you may extend           your stay a bit longer. This will help everyone get accustomed to the surroundings.

    2.      Try and maintain a cordial atmosphere when you visit the local villages, religious centres or other such places.

    3.      Rules and regulations are imposed for your own safety. They help your journey be peaceful and joyous. Do not break any rules, while on this road trip. 

    4.      The locals define the culture of a place, befriend them and enhance your knowledge. Treat them with harmony and respect and avoid hurting their sentiments in anyway.

    5.      Exploring a new place becomes easier with proper guidance from experienced people. Feel free to take assistance from tour guides or organizers. 

    6.      Preferably, eat less oily but healthy food like boiled veggies and meat.

  • 28Inner Line Permits

    The Inner Line Permit application form is easily available at the stationary shop behind the Leh DC office. One can visit the Leh DC office from 9.00 AM to 03:00 PM, no applications will be accepted after that. The office remains closed on Sundays and National Holidays. To acquire the permit one has to pay Rs. 200, which includes environment tax and Red Cross Donation. Once approved, it is advisable that you carry copies of your Inner Line Permit, as you might have to submit them at certain check posts of the military personnel.

    Rules for Inner Line Permits for Indian Nationals

    The inner line permit (ILP) rules for Ladakh tourism have been simplified. There are certain requirements to be considered like a valid photo ID and attested photocopies that act as a proof of Nationality (Passport, DL, Voters ID etc.).

     No inner line permits are now required to travel to places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. However, there are some exceptions. In case one plans to cover a direct Stretch from Tso Moriri to Pangong Tso via Chushul route with a visit to Hanle, then one needs to give detailed information.

     It is important to mention Pangong Tso, Man, Merak, Chushul, Tsaga, Loma, Nyoma, Mahe, Hanle and Tso Moriri in the permit application. Similarly, it is mandatory to apply for an Inner Line Permit, if you are planning to visit Pangong directly from Nubra via Shyok, Darbuk, Tangtse.

    Inner Line Permits for Foreign Nationals

    The foreign nationals must obtain the inner line permits, if they plan to visit areas like Turtuk, Panamik, Khaltse, Pangong, Changthang, Hunder, Tso Kar and Tso Moriri and few others. Also, to visit Hanle, Chusul, Tsaga, beyond Loma bend, Chumur, Marsimik La and Batalik Sector, they must have the inner line permits.

    Foreign nationals, with exception from Bhutan, Burma, Nepal and Pakistan, also need to obtain PAP or the Protected Area Permit to visit the above mentioned places. This permit is issued at the Leh DC Office and is allowed only to a group of four or more foreign nationals and is valid for 7 days.

    While travelling Suru and Zanskar valleys, inner line permits are not required. However, this permit doesn't allow them to beyond Merek Village in the Mahe or Pangong village.


  • 29Info about AMS

    One often encounters health issues due to change in weather and climate. Hence, it is wise to be precautious and prepared for what may come. There is a possibility that you might suffer from Altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). One should be weary of the following symptoms.

    1)      Lack of appetite

    2)      Nausea or vomiting

    3)      Fatigue or weakness

    4)      Dizziness

    5)      Swelling of hands , feet, and face

    6)      Insomnia

    7)       Shortness of breath upon exertion

    8)       Nosebleed

    9)      Persistent rapid pulse or drowsiness.

    10)  It is advisable that you carry certain medication and stay hydrated. If your health doesn’t permit, kindly go down to a lower altitude and take rest.