“Road trips in mountains”. Doesn’t it sound exciting? A journey filled with breathtaking beauty, heart-pumping adventure, and a lot of fun and enjoyment is all we dream of for a memorable holiday. Ladakh Road trip has been on the list of every traveler. The thrill of conquering the untamed pathways, following the hilly landscape, is something that is beyond every experience. Well, no other place in the world is as beautiful as Ladakh that is defined by the high passes, the deserted terrains, and mountains covered with a thick sheet of white gleaming ice.
Leh Ladakh Tour To Explore The Charismatic Beauty On Earth
Exploring the roads of Ladakh is a lifetime experience. The semiarid planes and the high passes not only offer the best adventure, but it opens up the view of the most serene landscape in the universe. Located at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, Ladakh is administered as an Indian Union Territory. Boasting of an incredible vista, the untouched beauty, richness of culture, and serenity. It is a gem hiding the most pristine valleys, rivers, and mountain ranges.
While this magnificent destination has inspired many from India and every other destination to witness its spectacular sights, planning a road trip can be fun. If you are a bike lover, no other place can be as exciting as Ladakh, which is quite popular for the highest motorable road in the world. Here are some of the unique aspects of exploring this paradise by road.
Delhi to Ladakh by Road For A Long Memorable Holiday
A Delhi to Ladakh Road Trip is quite popular in the country as Delhi is the capital city with connectivity to every corner of the globe. Tourists from foreign countries have to reach Delhi international airport first before heading off to the charismatic valley resting along the foothills of the Himalayas. The distance between the two attractions in India is approximately 951 km, which makes it exciting and a bit tiring too. While there is an option to board a flight to Leh and cover the remaining distance on a bike or car, choosing a road trip is an ultimate thrill. These are the best routes you can choose for your holiday.
Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Leh
- Distance: 906 km
- Driving Time: 24 hours
Delhi – Ludhiana – Srinagar – Leh
- Distance: 1228 km
- Driving Time: 27 hours
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Leh to Ladakh Bike Trip For A Quick Journey
Leh-Ladakh, now this is the most popular and common tour you can opt for if you are short on time. Flights from Delhi to Leh are operating regularly, offering the best and the shortest route to travelers. Now, if you are confused about how a journey via plane can be an exciting road trip, here is the answer.
Most tourists plan to explore Leh and Ladakh on the bike, exploring every nook and cranny. This not only gives them the time to discover every hidden gem but to even observe the lifestyle and the culture of people living there. Renting a bike in Leh is quite easy. All you need is your license and some other documents if you are a tourist. Starting from Leh, you can add on places like Nubra valley, the Khardung La pass, Pangong Lake, and so on.
Choosing The Best Vehicle For Your Leh Ladakh Trip On-Road
Just like you have the option to plan a tour, choosing the best route depending on your time, you have the magic to make it the best or the worst experience of your life. Remember, Ladakh is a beauty only when you are choosing the right time and right path. It can be your winter escape or the best summer destination in India, due to its diverse beauty. A great road trip is only possible if you have the best vehicle on the road. Understand your stamina, strength and then pick the right beast that can conquer those dramatic terrains in a blink.
1. The Dynamic SUV’S
4X4 drives are a real thrill. Ascending the untamed terrains of the mountains and driving smoothly over the hills is a real trick, and SUVs are the best to make your journey exciting. This can be your ultimate travel partner, taking you over the steep lands and passing the river flowing through the roads. You can rent a Scorpio, Thar, Toyota Fortuner, or Toyota Innova.
2. The Bikes
Ladakh road trip on a Bike! Now that’s something very exciting and adventurous to try once. As risky as bike rides can be, they have a zeal that is hard to resist. You will find bikers all along the highway to Leh, packed with their gears. Depending on the sustainability, average mileage, and every biker’s preference, here are the best bikes you can rent for your trip:
- Royal Enfield
- Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Bajaj Pulsar
- KTM Duke
- CBR 250
Best Ladakh Tour Places and Their Highlights
You are on your bike or car, packed with all your warm clothes, hiking boots, and gears to explore Ladakh at its best. Well, this mystical place not only offers the best adventure in India, but is blessed with an alluring beauty of nature that attracts travelers from every corner of the world. But there is so much more in Leh and Ladakh that depicts the significance of the culture and history of the place. While you are up for a thrilling road trip, add on these places that are must explore:
1. The Thiksey Monastery
Leh is quite popular for its old monasteries, the beauty of Buddhist culture, and its unique architecture. The valley is sparsely inhabited by Indo-Aryan and Tibetan people, and this is the reason why it is called “Little Tibet”. Influenced by Tibetan culture, monasteries here best seek solace and connect with your inner self. Thiksey Monastery is one of the most beautiful attractions in Ladakh that is nestled at an altitude of 11,800 feet. With a 12-story area, the monastery is home to more than 500 monks, and a precious collection of Buddhist books, statues, journals, stupas, scripts, swords, and old Thangka paintings.
The main highlight of this tourist attraction is a 49 ft statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is the largest statue in the entire Ladakh and Dukhang Karmo.
2. Diskit Monastery
One of the oldest monasteries, the Diskit Monastery is surely heaven to visit. The sub-gompa of Thiksey Monastery, Diskit is located in the Nubra Valley, at an altitude of 10,300 ft. One needs to trek up the height to reach the gompa. It was founded by the disciple of Tsong Khapa, Changzem Tserab Zangpo, in the 14th century.
The key attraction of the place is the 106 ft tall Maitreya Buddha statue, in gold and red. The statue is claimed to represent and advocate three beliefs, the protection of Diskit Village, the avoidance of additional conflict with Pakistan, and the promotion of international peace. The monastery was consecrated by the Dalai Lama in the year 2010.
- Opening Hours: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
3. The Leh Palace
Leh is one of the most significant spots for a trip to Ladakh where people tend to relax and assimilate for a day. Ladakh is all about its charismatic beauty and wonders, Leh is a place to delve into the history and culture. The Leh Palace is one of those spots where you have the opportunity to better understand the past, the tradition, and the Heritage of this town supporting life at such an altitude.
Also known as the Lhachen Palkhar, this is a former royal palace located in Leh city. Dating back to the 17th century it is one of the best Architectural attractions and the tallest buildings, built in the era. Overlooking the Stok Kangri and the Ladakh mountain, the Palace boasts an incredible landscape and interior beauty.
Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
4. Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid, located in Leh City, is another historical attraction that you must visit on your Leh Ladakh Road trip. Known to be the biggest mosque in the region, it reflects the diversity of culture and unity, which makes India a beautiful destination in the world. The Mosque has a memorial dedicated to a Muslim Sufi Saint Mir Syed Ali Hamdani.
History states that the mosque was built in 1666-67 A.D. as an agreement between the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and Deldan Namgyal, the ruler of Ladakh. Well, the mosque may be a heritage preserved for ages, it has undergone re-constructed many times to add up new elements enhancing its beauty. Well, the mosque is open only to men, but one surely can admire the pious vibes and the art it reflects.
Opening Hours: No information available
5. Drass War Memorial
Built-in the memory of our brave martyrs, Drass War Memorial is one of the most magnificent places to visit in Ladakh. The memorial is built in dedication to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, preserving their motherland during the Indo-Pak war in 1999. Although India won the war, at the cost of many soldiers who placed the nation above everything.
Built with pink sandstone, the memorial holds a significant place in the life of every Indian, inspiring and encouraging people to work for their nation and dedicate their knowledge and strength for the betterment of the people. There is a museum exhibiting the army emblems and a model of the Himalayan Mountain Range. There is a dedicated War wall with the names of the troops who died in the war.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday- 10 am- 12 pm and 2pm-5pm
Closed on Sunday
Your Best Itinerary For Delhi to Ladakh Road Trip
Planning an itinerary can be really helpful for your road trips, be it on a bike or a giant SUV. Depending on the number of days you can always cut short or extend the number of nights, but few routes must be covered during the trip. Ladakh has a vista that is beyond belief and explores those ascending descending lands, the snow-peaked mountains and the long barren and deserted terrains spreading to miles. It is even one of the most unique yet best honeymoon places in Asia for adventure lovers.
You can start the unbelievable drive from Delhi, Manali, or Leh, as it suits your preference. While there will be some stop-overs in-between your starting point to Leh, the journey doesn’t end there. It starts from Leh, the city that is blessed with some magical monasteries, temples, old marketplaces, and insight into Leh culture.
1. The Leh City
This is where your journey of exploring the unrealistic panorama starts. Leh is a sparsely populated city where you can relax, enjoy the city and connect with your family or friends before moving into a no-network zone. The best thing about road trips is you can create, extend or change your plan anytime.
The routes are different while driving from Delhi or Manali, but make sure you plan a day to explore Kargil and get inspired by the patriotic vibes of the place. The stretch is magnificent and scenic. The Chinar forests giving monasteries are dotted all over the landscape. There are some of the best hotels in India, offering you luxury in n Leh.
Note: If you are driving from Srinagar, you can make a stop at Kargil, witnessing its inspiring beauty. The other possible way is to add Leh to the Kargil tour at the end of your Leh-Ladakh road trip, moving towards Kashmir.
2. The Nubra Valley
After exploring Leh, it’s time to move towards a barren corner of Nubra. Well, driving through the roads is quite difficult, so if you are not that sure about handling your vehicle on those steep curves, you have the option to hire a driver. The roads are not that maintained but the beauty is worth every hurdle. And also, you can’t miss out on a drive on the highest motorable road of the world – Khardung La.
Remember accommodation is limited, so homestays and camping are the only possible ways to survive the night to be prepared to take a break from luxury and step into the perks of being a traveler.
Plan your days exploring the Diskit Monastery, the gigantic Maitreya Buddha, Tso Kar, the incredible sand-dunes at Hunder, and a trek to Turtuk village.
3. Pangong Lake
Call it a miracle of nature or just a phenomenon, Pangong Lake is one of the most magnificent attractions, luring many to witness its fascinating beauty. No matter if you are on a family tour, a group tour, or a solo trip to Ladakh, the serenity of Pangong has something for everyone. From relaxing by the lakeside to watching the migratory birds or capturing the beautiful landscape, there is a lot to observe here. Situated at a height of almost 4,350m, it is the world’s highest saltwater lake. If you dare, you can take a cold quick din in its brackish water. It will be fun. A night stay, gazing at the stars will leave you awe-stunned.
Best Month to Visit Ladakh
Depending on the weather, the months from April to October experience a pleasant climate. Winters can be really harsh in Leh Ladakh, and the roads are blocked due to heavy snowfall, disconnecting the city from the world.
You can plan your Manali to Leh Ladakh from Mid-May to October as the Rohtang pass in Manali is open after May. The roads remain accessible till November, but after that, flights are the only option to commute. temperature remains somewhere between 3 degrees to 20 degrees during summer.
Monsoon can be risky as landslides are quite frequent, and the roads can be slippery too. Leh Ladakh is one of the safest places to visit in September as the beauty is at its peak, and the risk of road accidents and landslides is comparatively low. As winters approach, the temperature drops, but it surely leaves the city with few tourists, making it quite peaceful and inexpensive. Remember, morning and evening can be cold throughout the year, and weather changes in a blink, so pack your woolens.
Ladakh Road Trips are quite adventurous and exciting as the long steep curves and the lush green beauty of the mountains are a treat to sight. With its higher altitude, welcoming culture, and peaceful aura, Ladakh is a paradise that has amazed people from every corner. Before hitting the roads, make sure you are packed well with your gears and documents to explore every hidden gem. Taking you away from the chaos to solitude, Ladakh is a heavenly abode. Flights to India are available from every international airport, making it quite easier for the international tourist to reach the country.
Q1. Is self-driving possible in Ladakh?
If you are an expert driver, self-driving is the best option to explore Ladakh. SUVs and Bikes are commonly spotted on the roads to Leh Ladakh, offering you a company to hit the road with travel-minded people. The roads are not that maintained, and the steep curves make them tricky to drive, so make sure you are confident enough to handle the routes, or it is best to hire a driver.
Q2. What are the top attractions to cover in Ladakh?
Ladakh is blessed with places that not only offer solitude but the most enchanting beauty to admire. While there are many hidden spots one can explore, here are the best places you must visit:
- Nubra Valley
- Pangong Lake
- Leh City
- Khardung La
- Magnetic hill
Q3. When is the best time to visit Ladakh?
Answer will be hereWinters can be really cold in Ladakh with the temperature dropping below –10. The season from May to October or November is the best time to plan a road trip as the routes are open, and the climate is pleasant.
Q4. Is there an airport in Leh?
Yes, there is a domestic airport in Leh, serving flight connectivity from Delhi. It is the 22nd highest commercial airport in the world. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh, Ladakh, is located at an elevation of 3,256 meters.
Q5. How can I plan a road trip to Ladakh?
Ladakh is connected with major cities in Northern India like Delhi, Manali, and Srinagar. You can choose your itinerary depending on the time and budget. You can fly to Leh or Srinagar and then the road, or can choose the following best routes:
- Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Leh with a driving distance of 960 km
- Delhi – Ludhiana – Srinagar – Leh with a driving distance of 1228 km
Q6. What are the best attractions in Leh?
Leh is popular for its monasteries, Buddhism culture, and architecture. The valley is called “Little Tibet” where you can observe the culture and lifestyle of people. The major attractions in Leh are the monasteries that you must explore. Some of the places you can visit in Leh are:
- Spituk Gompa.
- Leh Palace
- Thiksey Monastery.
- Matho Monastery.
- Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Q7. What are the best bikes for the Leh Ladakh Bike tour?
Bike trips are best in Ladakh. You will find bikers all along the highway to Leh, packed with their gears. Depending on the sustainability, average mileage, and every biker’s preference, here are the best bikes you can rent for your trip:
- Royal Enfield
- Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Bajaj Pulsar
- KTM Duke
- CBR 250
Q8. How many days can I spend in Leh Ladakh?
To discover the best of Ladakh you can plan a 5 to 6 days tour. The number of nights depends on your holiday budget, but it is best to keep it a week-long to explore every attraction and have time for leisure.