Taking on Ladakh on a Nano


Its always great to challenge the established notions, stir up the status quo. I think the Tata Nano does so in good measure.

With that in mind, I embarked on a trip to Ladakh and beyond on the 1st of July 2013 from Noida. This is just a very brief account of the trip highlighting the challenges involved for those Nano owners still hesitant to undertake this awesome journey.

I went up the Srinagar side, travelling via Kargil to reach Leh in 5 days (with stops at Jalandhar, Udhampur, Srinagar & Kargil). The only place the car kind of struggled is before Zojila pass from where you can see Baltal and the Amarnath Yatris. The nano slipped about 6-7meters in a non-existent part of the so called highway. I put on the hand brake, engaged first gear and just stepped on the accelerator while releasing the brake, got out of that one easy.


The nano at Zojila

The trip up from Leh to Khardungla is easier than one would imagine, inspite of the dirt track that is the road stretching from South Pullu to North Pullu for a distance of about 40 Kms. The people on Khardungla top were fascinated at a Nano being there to say the least. I crossed over to Nubra Valley and visited Sumur, Panamik, Diskit & Hundar. I think it is the first Nano ever to reach Nubra Valley (Tata, please fact-check).


The Nano at Khardungla


The Nano at Hundar

The road from Leh to Pangong via Changla is far more difficult. Just before Pangong, I got stuck in a bit of sand. It was enough to get out of the car and push the sand away with army boots to get the car free and moving. Arrived at Pangong to an eager crowd of taxi drivers and tourists alike. The drive up from Pangong to Changla is one of the more difficult drives of the trip. The Nano struggled just the once on the uphill drive where the road was a combination of lose stones and water flowing over. A slight nudge by two extremely helpful taxi drivers saw me back up without a problem.


The Nano at Changla


The Nano at Pangong Tso


Pangong Tso from the little wonder

From Leh to Tso-Moriri starts out as the best of roads, and gets you wondering why more people do not venture there. But you have to wait for it, for the last 25 kms to hit you in the face. The road is non-existent with a carpet of jagged stones of all shapes and sizes. This stretch took me about 2 hours to get across, and the car did it slowly but without a hitch. The lake is truly worth it, and I think mine was the first Nano to reach there as well. On the way there though, if any of you plan to go in a nano, please do not take the tracks made by vehicles as some travel blogs might indicate. They do look easier, but that’s because they’re basically sand tracks, and the Nano really does not like sand, as I found out the hard way. I had to wait 15 minutes for a passing taxi and 4 kindly travelers to get me out of that jam. A new set of tyres will take on almost all surfaces, but the Nano can not take sand that runs too deep.


Nano from Kyagar Tso- enroute Tso-Moriri


Kids at Karzog / Tso-Moriri got all excited- the first Nano there


The Nano at Tso-Moriri

The toughest part of the journey was the return trip across the Rohtang pass- a combination of slush, stones, water, rolling clouds, steep hairpin bends and continuous traffic. The little one did the up and down the pass extremely efficiently, and without a body part lost.


The Nano at Tanglangla

I was on the road for 3947 kms, for 20 days and the Nano used up 168-170 liters of fuel. No other car would return this kind of a mileage on this kind of a terrain. From Leh to Tso-Moriri and back, the car delivered a mind-boggling average of 27.1. To say I came back happy would be a gross understatement. Tata, you have made something special here, kudos to you.

It was a special trip, and I did it solo.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Labana, welcome to BCMTouring! :)
You are made of the tough stuff and the right stuff! :cool:
A very nicely presented account!


Active Member
Hats off to you, buddy.
Doing it solo made it extra special.
You are very brave and courageous.



Well-Known Member
Labana welcome to the family.....!!
Great start..........!! hats off to your determination and courage...:prayer::prayer::prayer::prayer:
Keep pouring more pics....!!


Be a Good person but Don't try to Prove.
Awesome Bro. Hats off to your spirit. Did you take Leh - Manali Highway in the return journey?
Please pour day wise details.
Yellow Nano looks awesome in the barren landscapes.

And lastly "What a Dhamakedaar entry into BCMT". Welcome.:)


Labana, you said kudos to Tata, I would rather say kudos to you. I would say it is more of the man than the machine. You are a trendsetter, one of the few, who lead the way by setting examples. I salute thy passion and determination and of course your driving skills. You are one gutsy bloke.