How to Plan Your Ladakh Trip

How to Plan Your Ladakh Trip

April 10, 2019, 06:55 AM

leh ladakh bike tour packages

Complete Travel Guide on Ladakh by Road

In recent times, Ladakh has become one of the most famous summer holiday destinations in India. Are you ready to ride across in the major allure of Ladakh?

  • Visiting Monasteries
  • Camping by some stunning high altitude lakes
  • High Altitude Mountain passes
leh ladakh bike tour packages

Besides, not only the landscapes, Ladakh are well-known for its ancient Buddhist monasteries. Many don’t know what Ladakh is often named for? It calls for ‘Little Tibet’. Why? Because it shares an international boundary with Tibet also plays host to a sizable population of Tibetan Buddhists.

A trip to Ladakh has more to offer, whether tourists have to carry some precautions? Yes, because of barren land, low atmospheric pressure, and low oxygen levels at higher altitudes.

Here we go, shall we discuss some vital points that every tourist planning a trip should know and answer some frequently asked questions in travel forums online.

The most common questions are,

  • Acclimatization
  • Acute mountain sickness,
  • ATMs,
  • Petrol Pumps,
  • Inner line permit as well as how long Ladakh tour itineraries tend to be

Tips are based on Triumph team personal experience in the region.

How to Deal with High Altitude and Acclimatize?

The most common questions are,

  • Acclimatization
  • Acute mountain sickness,
  • ATMs,
  • Petrol Pumps,
  • Inner line permit as well as how long Ladakh tour itineraries tend to be

Tips are based on Triumph team personal experience in the region.

How to Deal with High Altitude and Acclimatize?

  • Acclimatization plays a vital part of building your Ladakh itinerary
  • Don’t rush your trip and allow some time for your body to adjust to the low atmospheric pressure
  • Sit and relax yourself for first 2 days once you arrived in Leh for getting used to the high altitude

Once you step in Leh and don’t hurry to go to Nubra or Pangong. You will be affected by AMS that leads to severe headaches, restlessness, nausea, or even inability, to walk or think. Even fittest people are affected by acute mountain sickness.

So, we will share some precautions to remember

  • Planning to ride a trip – Then, you should take care your Physical fitness
  • Gradually, Increase your altitude at slow rate, and balance ascent with rest to help your body accustom
  • Due to the low atmospheric pressure, tourists need to take rest for 48 hours after reaching Leh Ladakh
  • People suffer from high blood pressure, heart ailments and asthma, they will not be allowed to visit Ladakh
  • Hydration is essential, but overdoing it could harm you. Just drink a liter more. Dehydration does not necessarily lead to Acute mountain sickness
  • In cold weather season, just cover your head and ears with warm. Never run out of excitement, especially on the passes. There will be low oxygen levels that could lead to fatigue and it is difficult to breathe
  • Some preventive medicines do aid acclimatization and treat altitude sickness. The most popular medicine is Diamox. Before you take – consult with your doctor. A Natural alternative is garlic soup
  • Found any symptoms such as nausea, headache, dizziness, or fatigue, rest immediately and descend without further delay, if you are at a high altitude
  • You must avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at a high altitude to prevent AMS
  • If you are taking Leh-Srinagar Highway you should be spending the night at houseboat or hotel

Things to carry: Clothing and Other Essentials

Ladakh is located in the Greater Himalayas, which means it is cold and at a considerable elevation. Once you cross Keylong (Leh-Manali Highway), you will experience a drastic change in weather condition and landscape. You will feel the same when you cross Zoji La on Leh-Srinagar Highway.

Few things that you should carry when traveling to Ladakh

  • Shirts / T-shirts / Trousers
  • 2-3 pairs of thermal inner
  • Take two jackets
  • Towel, Water bottle
  • Good waterproof shoes
  • Woolen Cap, Woolen gloves
  • Personal medication
  • 4-5 pairs of scarf woolen socks (must for riders)
  • One warm sleeping bag if you are planning to camp along the route
  • Personal toiletries
  • Take chocolates, biscuits, and dry fruits
  • Torch, Mobile chargers, Camera kit

For more click –

Essentials for Bikers

You will need something more like,

  • You need Waterproof Gloves
  • Take a pair of raincoats, you will be facing the rains once you cross Chandigarh and before crossing the Rohtang La Pass on Leh – Manali highway. In Srinagar – Leh highway you will get caught in rain until you reach Zoji La
  • You can use your raincoat as a windbreaker. It helps your clothes clean while riding in dirt tracks. The cloud of sand and dirt can be quite substantial and while crossing passes you will see narrow roads where trucks and other vehicle takes longer route
  • Wear Boots that will keep your feet, shoes, and socks from getting wet at streams flowing on passes. You will see more water crossings on passes such as Khardungla La and Chang La. You should not cross from the middle, keep your bike in first gear, and use the clutch to maintain traction and throttle, or if it is your 1st time then you could wait for others to pass, watch how they cross
  • While packing clothes, you should also pack spare tube, clutch wire, gear oil, engine oil, puncture kit, brake wire, chain lock, spark plugs etc. Carry a petrol can, if you are taking Leh – Manali Highway as you will find the last petrol pump in Tandi, which is around 380 KM before you find the next at Karu. So you must carry 10-20 liters of extra petrol

You will not find any Puncture shops and suppose if you find there is no guarantee that they will have the tube, which is why a tire tube is a must-pack item even if you don’t have a puncture kit.

Getting Inner line Permits for Indians and Protected Area Permits for Foreign Travelers

If you visit certain inner areas such as Khaltse, Tso Kar, Turtuk, Pangong, Changthang, Panamik, Hunder, and Tso Moriri, etc. in Ladakh, even for this foreign residents need to obtain inner line permits.

Visiting some places such as Hanle, Chusul (for Pangong to Tso Mori RI by road), Marsimik La, Tsaga, beyond Loma bend, Chumur, and Batalik sectors will still require Indian Nationals to obtain inner line permits.

Travelers from overseas (except the residents from Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, and Pakistan) need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit the above places. In the case of foreigners, the permit is issued only for a group with four or more foreign tourists.

For foreign tourists, once can approach through a registered Ladakh travel agent in order to obtain the permits. For more call – 9843123665.

Permit Validation

For Indian nationals – Inner line permits are valid for up to 3 weeks, and the Protected Area Permit is issued for a maximum of 7 days. Suppose if you are planning on visiting more remote areas in Ladakh then you need to re-apply for the same permit again.

For foreign tourists who had PAP, you don’t need to travel with the same group or same travel agent mentioned in the permit.

You do not require inner line permits while traveling to Suru and Zanskar Valley. Foreign visitors can’t go beyond Merak Village in Pangong or Mahe Village in the Changthang.

Documents to get permit?

You should carry a valid photo ID and photocopies of your proof of Nationality (Passport, DL, and Voter’s ID etc.)

One person may apply to the entire group provided he or she is carrying proof of nationality of all the members in the group.

Once you acquire the permit, ensure that you carry 4-5 copies with photo id proof. There will be certain checkpoints by military personnel who track entry and exit at certain points to make sure tourists all return to and from the journey.

Due to bad weather, this is more for your own safety since one may get stranded or stuck during the treks or rides.
With the permit – You should be mentioning the major places you are traveling to. I.e. if you are spending the night in Spangmik, you need to mention only Pangong Lake. In some cases, certain places or routes need to be mentioned.

Bikers how to reach Srinagar via Bus

Srinagar is connected through Jammu, Chandigarh, and Delhi. One can take JKSRTC deluxe buses to travel to and from the city. The Srinagar has a good network of highways. This includes National Highway 1A, connecting the valley to rest of India and National Highway 1D, which is connected to Leh.

You can take private buses from Jammu to reach Srinagar.

Bikers Accommodation in Ladakh

Due to the nature and conditions of the Ladakh region, luxury hotel properties are mostly not available in these regions. You will find some luxury tents at Pangong Tso, and Nubra Valley.

Triumphex will allocate minimum 3 star hotels that will make you more comfortable.

In Leh (winter): You will find few hotels and guest houses with heating facilities.

Best way for cultural tour – Ride in the month between April and October ending.

Bikers Route
Srinagar to Sonmarg, Sonmarg to Kargil, Kargil to Leh, Leh to Pangong, Pangong to Nubra, Nubra to Leh, Leh to Jispa, Jispa to Manali, Manali to Delhi
For more visit –

Petrol Pumps in Leh Ladakh

If you are traveling by road and going Ladakh by motorcycle or four-wheeler once needs to know where the petrol pumps are? Also ensure where you get extra petrol in cans and jars so that you don’t run out of fuel on the highway while traveling.

You no need to worry about petrol or fuel if you are taking Leh – Srinagar Highway as you’ll find enough petrol pumps en route.

Suppose if you have chosen Leh-Manali Highway for your road trip. The last petrol pump that you’ll find on this route is located at Tandi and the next one is at Karu which is around 380 kms away. It is advisable to carry petrol in reserve.

Similarly, if you Plan Leh – Pangong – Tso Mosriri – Rumtse – Leh or Leh – Nubra – Pangong – Leh which would be like traveling more than 600 – 800 kms, then get your tank full and carry plenty of petrol in reserve as you are going to need it.

Ready to pay more – Then you can get petrol from local shops and residences near roadside settlements along the route, and the quality of are not guaranteed.

Tips on Cash and ATMs

Except at some antique shops – credit cards are not accepted by any of the hotels. Carry some amount of cash when you start from your home. If you find carrying cash a bit risky, go for plastic money i.e. debit cards, and withdraw money from ATMs whenever required.

Leh Town – You can see ATMs of SBI, AXIS Bank, J&K Bank, PNB etc. More remote places such as Pangong, Changthang, etc. don’t have them so carry your cash when traveling farther abroad in the region.

Travel Essentials for Your Trip

Respect the Local Culture

While traveling in Ladakh, you should show respect towards the local culture and don’t do any unwanted things against the norms of Tibetan Buddhist culture. This culture is quite ancient and conservative, so dress properly that covers your whole body. Before taking photographs of any person ask for permission. If they seek money, then just avoid.

What are the Communication Facilities in Ladakh?

  • STD booths available in most of the markets in Ladakh region, but they close down before 10 PM
  • In Kargil, you have a global direct dialing telephone facility, in addition to a post and telegraph facility. A wireless radio phone network service of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism station with field stations at Leh, Padum and Kargil.
  • In Peak tourist season, Jammu & Kashmir Tourism has mobile wireless stations in the remote areas.

Avoid Using Plastic Bags

  • Locals and tourists are responsible for maintaining the environment
  • Do not litter
  • Plastic & polythene bags are officially banned in Ladakh

Carry Proper Documents for Your Bike Trip

If you are heading to Ladakh from Srinagar on a motorcycle, you will come across some highland passes such as Changla Pass, Zojila Pass, Fotula Pass, and Khardungla Pass. All these areas have a huge military presence; you need to carry a permit, driving license, vehicle registration, and bike insurance paper.

To make the entire job easier, Approach a leading travel agent –

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