A Riders Guide To Plan A Trip To Leh-Ladakh: The Land of High Passes

India is the 7th largest country in the world terms of area and one of the most diverse nations on the Earth. Due to its diverse geography, it is home to thousands of different species of plants and animals and a hotspot for thousands of tourists all over the world. From north to south and east to west there are thousands of tourist places in India but there is one place in India which is a hot destination for domestic travelers as well as for foreign travelers. I am talking about the Ladakh Valley and two of its prominent districts i.e. Kargil and Leh. The entire trip to the Ladakh Valley is known as a Trip to Leh-Ladakh and every year thousands of travelers undertake this journey from different parts of India. Thousands of meme, jokes, suggestions, and videos circulating on social media and at the same time plan to visiting Leh-Ladakh is discussed among friends. I got an opportunity to complete the trip of Leh-Ladakh in the year 2017. It was a 20 days trip to Leh-Ladakh and one of the best and memorable trips of my life. I had been planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh from past two years i.e. 2015 but every time the plan got derailed due to some or the other reason. In 2017, I had decided I will visit the Ladakh Valley no matter what the circumstances are and applied my leaves three months earlier. Three of my college juniors joined me on the trip and two from their offices. Now we were a group of six people ready to visit Leh and this time there was no probability that the trip will be called off. Visiting Leh is amazing but, at the same time, it is a daunting task to collect information about how to plan a trip to Leh-Ladakh.

There is a lot of information available on Internet as well as on social media. At the same time, there are hundreds of companies and tour and travel agencies providing packages to Leh-Ladakh. In spite of all this, there are still numerous doubts in the mind of the person visiting Leh. In this article and upcoming articles, I will be sharing my detailed trip to Leh-Ladakh as well as I will provide answers to the most sought-after questions while planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh. I hope my article, as well as the coming articles, will be useful to all the travelers visiting Leh-Ladakh. In case any further information is required, do ask via mail and comments and I will try to assist the best I can.

Why Visit Leh-Ladakh

Read Also: Bike Trip to Sach Pass, The Toughest Pass in India

The most important question before visiting Leh is why to visit Ladakh Valley? I mean there are thousands of amazing places in India then why to opt for Leh-Ladakh? If you say mountains, then there are many mountain ranges and peaks running through different states of India and they host some of the famous tourist destinations in India. The main reason for which Ladakh Valley is famous for is its remoteness. The Leh district is the second largest district in India in terms of area and the Kargil District further increases the area we cover during a trip to Ladakh valley. While traveling to Leh-Ladakh there will be stretches when you won’t find a single human being or human settlement for 40-50Km. The only vehicle you will ever find is the military vehicles plying on the road. Riding in Ladakh is great because you ware away from usual traffic that you encounter on any other tourist location in India.

There are many other reasons for visiting Ladakh Valley like crossing some of the highest mountain passes of the world but for me, the main reason for visiting Ladakh is to enjoy its remoteness. For days you will be cut off from Facebook, What’s App, mobile networks and you will be riding/driving on some roads where no life can be found. It is the remoteness of the Ladakh Valley that entices the traveler to visit Ladakh Valley. Riding to Turtuk Village and Chushul Village which are the last village on the international border of India is a memorable ride for any traveler. At the same time, people go to the passes like Pensi La and Photi La just to see the remove villages and people living there. So, whenever you are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh and its adjacent places get ready to encounter its remoteness and plan your trip accordingly.

How to Plan A Trip to Leh-Ladakh

Also Read: Bike Trip To Chanshal Pass Covered in Snow

Planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh is a daunting task and requires different parameters to keep in mind while creating an itinerary to visit Leh-Ladakh. The first and foremost is the weather condition and opening of mountain passes. Apart from that how many days are sufficient to visit Leh-Ladakh is another important question asked by travelers. Here I will be listing some of the important questions that everybody has in their mind when they start planning their trip to Ladakh valley. I will be providing answers to these queries in coming articles or you can directly visit the post and get the updated answer.

  • What is the best month to visit Leh-Ladakh? Can it be done in Winters?
  • How many days are sufficient to complete a Trip to Leh-Ladakh?
  • How to start a trip to Leh-Ladakh? Different routes available to reach Leh and condition of the road on these routes.
  • What is ILP (Inner Line Permit), How it can be obtained? Documents required to obtain ILP? Do Indian Citizens also need ILP? Can it be obtained online?
  • Which bike is best for covering the entire Leh-Ladakh? Can it be done on Motorcycles with smaller engines and low BHP? 
Loneliness in Ladakh. The most amazing thing of Ladakh valley is its sparse population with scenic beauty. For kilometers, there are no vehicles running on the road.

Loneliness in Ladakh. The most amazing thing of Ladakh valley is its sparse population with scenic beauty. For kilometers there are no vehicles running on the road.

  • How many days are good to acclimatize in Leh? What is AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), do we encounter AMS while covering different areas of Ladakh Valley?
  • Which option is better, renting a bike for sightseeing or taking own bike/car while traveling to Leh-Ladakh?
  • Availability of Petrol Pumps, Mechanic, Network Signals, Restaurants and other basic amenities while covering different areas of Ladakh Valley.
  • What is the best way to take bikes to Ladakh Valley? Driving from source or couriering it via Railways of Private Agency?
  • The tussle between Himachal Bikes Association and J&K Bikes Association about renting bikes to tourists.
  • Which Monasteries, Mountain Passes, War Memorials and Lakes lie while covering the entire circuit of Leh-Ladakh.

I know there are many more queries which a traveler has regarding planning a trip to Ladakh-Valley. I will be trying my best to answer all the queries, at the same time I will be updating this article from time to time in case there is any point that has been missed by me.

Turtuk Village is the last village on the international border of India and Pakistan. 10km from the village the official border of Pakistan starts

Turtuk Village is the last village on the international border of India and Pakistan. 10km from the village the official border of Pakistan starts

Apart from answering the queries I will also be sharing my traveling experience of the entire Leh-Ladakh trip, the route we followed, permits, places we explored and the do’s and don’ts while traveling in Ladakh Valley. I hope my travelogue will be useful to future riders and those who are planning to visit Leh-Ladakh in coming years.

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