Ladakh and Zanskar - 2 weeks in May

Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
Hi,

A friend's husband is posted at Leh and she has invited us over during summer. I am thinking of a 2 week sojourn to this much awaited destination. I would like to cover as much places as possible assuming I won't be visiting back very soon. I will hire a vehicle for this trip.

For most part I would like to cover with Leh as a base if it is not too uncomfortable. Will get some accommodation at Pangong Tso as well.

The plan is in a formative stage and inputs are most welcome.

Day 1 : Pune - Srinagar
Day 2 : Srinagar - Kargil.
Day 3 : Kargil - Leh
Day 4 : Collecting permit and acclimatization.
Day 5 : TBD
Day 6 : TBD
Day 7 : TBD
Day 8 : TBD
Day 9 : TBD
Day 10: TBD
Day 11: TBD
Day 12: TBD
Day 13 : TBD
Day 14: Leh - Pune

Obviously photography will be one key objective :) I will not be able to delay the trip beyond May. Any inputs on accessibility will be most welcome.

Cheers,

Chetan
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
Chetan, considering the number of days you have in hand, my suggestion would be to spend an extra day or two en route, before reaching Leh. Alternatively, if you do not mind traveling on bad roads, you can visit Suru and Zanskar Valley as well, before heading to Leh.
 

Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
Chetan, considering the number of days you have in hand, my suggestion would be to spend an extra day or two en route, before reaching Leh. Alternatively, if you do not mind traveling on bad roads, you can visit Suru and Zanskar Valley as well, before heading to Leh.
Thanks Yogesh.

The option of traveling to Suru and Zanskar Valley while we are fresh sounds a good one. Given that we have recently gone to Kashmir that would be the best alternative rather than spending a few days in Srinagar/Pahalgam/Gulmarg.

What options would you recommend?
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
Well you can do something like this:

Day 2: Srinagar to Kargil
Day 3: Kargil to Rangdum
Day 4: Rangdum to Padum
Day 5: Local sightseeing and visit Zangla
Day 6: Padum to Kargil
Day 7: Kargil to Leh
Day 8: Monastery Circuit and permit.
Day 9: Leh to Nubra Valley, drive up to Warshi Village and then come back to Sumur or Hunder for night stay.
Day 10: Visit Turtuk and Diskit and Hunder Monasteries, sand dunes.
Day 11: Hunder to Leh, evening can be spent at Namgyal Tsemo Gompa or Leh Palace (you would be back in Leh by 2pm.)
Day 12: Leh to Pangong Tso
Day 13: Pangong Tso to Hanle
Day 14: Hanle to Tso Moriri
Day 15: Tso Moriri to Leh
Day 16: Sham Valley tour or you can do a day run to Dah and Hanu Villages
Day 17: Fly back

AS you can see, this plan calls for a few more days. You can reduce that by either skipping Suru and Padum or you can skip Warshi Village and Hanle + Tso Moriri. However my recommendation would be to extend your stay, especially if you aren’t planning to head back to Leh anytime soon.

If you are mainly interested in birding, then an extra day or two at Tso Moriri and Tso Kar ought to be rewarding as well.
 

Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
Yogesh - Thanks for this input. I have done some thinking and discussed with my family. Also the Leh- Mumbai/Leh-Pune tickets are exorbitant. So I am thinking of doing Srinagar-Leh-Manali

The itinerary I have in mind is as below.
Day 1- Mumbai Srinagar
Day 2: Srinagar to Kargil
Day 3: Kargil to Leh
Day 4: Monastery Circuit and permit.
Day 5: Leh to Nubra Valley, Hunder for night stay.
Day 6: Visit Turtuk and Diskit and Hunder Monasteries, sand dunes.
Day 7: Hunder to Pangong Tso via Wari La
Day 8: Pangong Tso to Hanle
Day 9: Hanle to Tso Moriri
Day 10: Tso Moriri to Sarchu
Day 11: Sarchu to Manali
Day 12: Manali to Shimla
Day 13: Shimla to Chandigarh and flight back to Mumbai
Day 14 & 15 : Buffer

Any views? Will this be too hectic? Any recommended additions/stops?
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
Chetan, Wari La wouldn’t be open in May. It usually opens up in July.

Rest of your plan looks alright to me, though it is a bit hectic, so you may want to consider spending an extra night somewhere (Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri or Tso Kar.)
 

Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
Thanks again Yogesh.

The revised plan is as below.

Day 1- Mumbai to Srinagar
Day 2: Srinagar to Kargil
Day 3: Kargil to Leh
Day 4: Monastery Circuit and permit.
Day 5: Leh to Nubra Valley, Hunder for night stay.
Day 6: Visit Turtuk and Diskit and Hunder Monasteries, sand dunes.
Day 7: Hunder to Leh
Day 8: Leh to Pangong Tso
Day 9: Pangong Tso
Day 10: Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri
Day 11: Tso Moriri to Sarchu
Day 12: Sarchu to Manali
Day 13: Manali
Day 14: Manali to Shimla
Day 15: Shimla to Chandigarh and flight back to Mumbai
 

iamsomnath

Where is the remote?
Day 11, rather stay at Keylong. Much better facilities than Sarchu. My two cents.

regards
Somnath
 

Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
Day 11, rather stay at Keylong. Much better facilities than Sarchu. My two cents.

regards
Somnath
I think the travel time from Tso Moriri to Keylong would be very long. Sarchu should be a shorter distance and hence the choice. Which makes me feel that I should add a day at Tso Moriri instead of Pangong.
 

Yogesh Sarkar

Administrator
This looks perfect Chetan.

The only issue can be, in case Manali - Leh Highway opens late. In that case, there is a sight possibility that luxury tents at Sarchu might not be up by the time you reach there. So just to be on the safe side, check the status of camps before you leave Tso Moriri. If they aren’t up, stay at Tso Kar and next day leave in the wee hours of morning to try and reach Jispa by evening (Baralacha La can be a major bottleneck early in the season.)
 
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