When you are planning for a Trip to Leh, there are bound to be a lot of questions that pass a travelers mind. Later in the blog, there are some commonly asked questions and their answers that could provide you with some guidance if you are planning to go on a road trip to Leh for the very first time.
A long-distance journey by road for recreational purposes or visiting someone, or somewhere necessary is considered to be a road trip. India, being a land of diverse culture and heritage is also the home to some amazing sceneries and landscapes. A journey down the road during one of your holidays, in the midst of scenic beauty, could surely give you the experience that you will remember lifelong.
Leh is a city in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas that is famous for breathtakingly gorgeous natural surroundings, Buddhist architecture, and stunning trekking areas. Surrounded by mountains and possessing a cold desert climate, this can be best explored if you take a Leh Ladakh road trip.
1) If I rent a car for traveling to Leh, will I be able to cover the entire Ladakh region?
If you have rented a car from any place other than Leh, you will be able to use it just to reach the place i.e Leh. Once you have reached there, you won’t be able to explore further. To do so, you will have to rent a different car again to explore the place and local sightseeing. Only Jammu and Kashmir registered vehicles can be used for Leh local sightseeing.
Local travel unions have placed a restriction on rented vehicles from other states.
2) Do I need a passport to visit Leh?
If you are an Indian citizen, you do not require any passport or visa for Leh road trip. However, if you are going to continue your journey further to the Ladakh region, you will require inner line permits as mentioned by the government of India. These permits can be obtained from the state administrations of the Leh city and it requires any Indian Government approved ID like Aadhar, Voter ID, Driver’s License.
National of other countries require a passport and Visa copy for the Ladakh region.
3) What is the best time to go on a road trip to Leh?
If you look month-wise, then the time from the month of April to the middle of May is the best time to go to this place. During this time, the snow starts melting and the weather becomes congenial. Furthermore, festivals take place during this time and are a surplus for your travel. During April and May months, the roads connecting Leh from Manali and Srinagar are not open. You will have to take a flight to Leh.
But if you are planning for a road trip from Manali or Srinagar then the best time to visit Leh Ladakh will be from June starting to September mid, as it is only after mid-May that the passes connecting Ladakh valley opens.
However, if you are looking on for an adventurous trip, then the winter months of December and January would be suitable. These months will offer you a chilling and harsh climate along with snowfall which could lead out to be a thrilling experience, but you can only fly to Leh, roads remain inaccessible.
4) What type of clothes do I need to travel to Leh?
For a comfortable journey, dress in a woolen jacket because whether be it summer or winter, cold chilly winds always prevail in the place. Gloves and caps that would cover your ears should be preferred as well. Apart from this, carry thermal inners, trekking shoes, and woolen clothing to keep yourself warm in Leh.
For a detail list on things to Pack for Leh Ladakh road trip, visit the link
5) Are Leh and Ladakh the same?
Ladakh is now A Union Territory that has two divisions-Leh and Kargil. Earlier it was a part of Jammu and Kashmir state. It shares borders with Pakistan and China. Leh is basically the tourist attraction part of Ladakh.
So technically speaking, Leh and Ladakh are not the same. Ladakh is the whole northeastern part of Jammu and Kashmir while Leh is a city and district of Ladakh.
6) Are the roads leading to Leh safe to travel?
Roads start to get a bit rough once you enter the areas of Union Territory of Ladakh. You have to make use of your driving skills during your road trip to Leh. Driving in the normal road is completely different from driving in hilly areas.
Winding roads and traffic jams around the mountain pass could really test your driving skills. You just have to be confident and concentrate while driving.
7) Where can I camp during the Ladakh trip?
There are generally three places where you can camp during your Leh road trip. Jispa, Nubra and Pangong are the places where you can halt after a long drive. But during the winter months, especially from the month of October to March, it is extremely difficult to put up a camp.
The roads may not be accessible during the winter months.
8) Will I face a deficit in oxygen while traveling to Leh Ladakh?
Since you are traveling at quite a high altitude above sea level, you are likely to face dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, and height sickness.
The best way to avoid this would be to get an ample amount of rest, sleep, and keep yourself hydrated at all times. We recommend carrying Diamox medicine with you to prevent this. Take acclimatization seriously, if at any part your body starts showing symptoms of AMS, take proper rest and consult the nearby doctor.
Read the blog (link) about AMS, to find out more bout it and what necessary precautions to take
9) How can I get permits to restricted areas?
You have to submit photocopies of valid identity proofs to the state administrative departments to secure permits. These valid identity proofs include a Voter ID card, Aadhar Card, or passport that could prove your identity.
Leh government also has an online portal wherein you can fill in the details and you will get the necessary permit.
10) Which are the places that require permits to pass through on the Leh Ladakh road trip?
To cross Rohtang pass, Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and Tso Moriri Lake, you will be asked for permits at the checkpoints. Apart from Leh city local sightseeing, whenever you are crossing a pass or covering other places in Ladakh which are closer to the border area, you need to get Inner Line Permit.
Try to secure the permits beforehand in order to continue uninterruptedly with your road trip.
11) Will I get a mobile network in Leh?
Some of the major network carriers work in the place. You will be able to use BSNL and Airtel postpaid while traveling by road. But there are certain areas in Leh, where you won’t be able to use any mobile network at all.
12) How many days will it require to cover the entire place?
Apart from the time consumed by a road trip, you will need a minimum of ten days to explore all around the place. The Buddhist monasteries, Scenic mountain areas, and lakes are scattered far away. Thus, it will take some time to cover the major attractions. A day 10 road trip from Manali or Srinagar is what we recommend if you are flying to Leh, then in 6-7 days, you will be able to cover all the major locations of Ladakh.
To get more details about the packages for Ladakh, you can check the listed packages.
13) Are any precautionary measures recommended?
Apart from this, you need to take some precautions yourself on your road trip to Leh. Keep the focus on the road while traveling to avoid any kind of accident. Get an optimum amount of sleep to keep yourself fresh on the road. Carry dry and packet foods with you in the car. This will be useful in case you don’t find any roadside dhabas or shops.
Bike trips are famous to Leh via Manali but you have to check your speed limits with a bike.
To read more about common mistakes to avoid during Leh Ladakh road trip
So, don’t wait anymore! Pack your bags with all the things you may find useful and set out for a marvelous experience by taking a road trip to Leh.