I am from Visakhapatnam and intend to visit leh with my family, wife and two children aged 18F & 11M, in the last week of May’2011. The school holidays are from 14thMay’11 to 14th June’2011. I am planning tour for 22 days. I want to do both the safaries, i.e. srinagar-leh and manali-leh as I have heard that both r awesome in their own ways. I want to know which direction I should choose to ensure that the roan is open for tourists.
Tentatively, I planned my tour from 22nd May’2011 hoping that the road will be open on both sides by 1st week of June’11. I have two options:
22-05-11: Fly from Visakhapatnam to Delhi.
23-05-11: DELHI-AGRA-JAIPUR TOUR FOR 3 DAYS.
26-05-11: Reach Shimla via Kalka (Toy train)
27-05-11: Local tour at Shimla
28-05-11: Reach Manali
29-05-11: 2 days stay at Manali
31-05-11: Manali to Leh (2days bus journey)
01-06-11: Reach Leh and stay for 4 nights.
04-06-11: Leh to Srinagar (2days bus journey)
06-06-11: 2 days stay at Srinagar
08-06-11: Srinagar to katra;
09-06-11: visit Vaishnodevimata temple
10-06-11: Reach Amritsar via Jammu
11-06-11: Amritsar to Delhi
12-06-11: Fly from Delhi to Visakhapatnam.
If I perform my journey clockwise covering same places and duration of stay, i.e., DELHI-AMRITSAR-JAMMU-KATRA-SRINAGAR-LEH-MANALI-SHIMLA-DELHI, I would be leaving Srinagar to Leh by 3rd June’10.
My question is, which high way opens first? Manali to Leh or Srinagar to Leh ?
Is 31st May ’11 a safe date to plan my Leh journey from Manali?
or 3rd June’11 would be more appropriate from Srinagar to go ahead to Leh?
Please advice me dates to plan from Manali-Leh & Srinagar-Leh so that I will adjust my dates. And also let me know, Is it safe to travel with my children 18F & 11M? You can suggest me to leave/add some places in my plan.
The School holidays are bit early for doing Manali-Leh or Srinagar-Leh by Bus. The likely dates for Bus service in both the routes can not be predicted now as the Jan., Feb and March are the months of snow fall. However you can plan the following destinations of H.P if the Leh route is not open.:-
Dharamshala to see Dal Lake, Bhagsunag etc.
Dalhousie to see Kalatop, Khajiar Lake in the dense Deodar forests.
Manali to see Parashar Lake, Solang valley, Snow point at Gulaba, Marhi, Nagar castle, Roirich Art, Manikaran hot water, etc.
Kaza to see Shimla, Narkanda, Rampur, Kinnaur, Nako Lake, Sangla Valley, Nako Lake Tabo Monastery, Key Monastery, Highest villages Kibber, Komik, Langja, Pin Valley National Park etc.
You can also do the following destinations of Uttaranchal :-
4 Dham of Uttaranchal i.e. Yamunotari, Gangotari, Kedarnath and Badrinath but you have to travel on foot or by mule for Yamunotari 5+5 = 10 KMs as the vehicles go up to Jankimai chatti and from Jankimai Chatti to Yamunotari is 5 KM so to and fro 10 KMs.
For Gangotari you have not to travel on foot as the vehicles go up to Gangotari but if you would like to travel on foot than go to Gomukh which is 20 KMs from Gangotari. For Kedarnath you have to do 14 KMs on foot/Mule riding from Gauri Kund and for Badrinath you have not to do trekking as the Bus reach there.
This year the Rohtang Pass and Baralacha Pass of Manali route has got heavy snow fall of about 7 Fts. so it can be cleared bit late and similar is the case with Jozila Pass of Srinagar route but let us see when the BRO opens these both routes. Juley..