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Best time to visit Leh Ladakh by road

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by RoachKiller, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. RoachKiller

    RoachKiller New Member

    I am from Delhi and wish to go Leh and that too by self-drive in my car. I know the road is quite tricky and like heard from many can be a tedious and long drive.

    If I do go, I would be traveling with my wife and sister, which means I would be the only driver. To make the driving a bit easier, I would like to know when the best time to visit Leh Ladakh by road is?

    I know during the early months. There are some signs of snow and roads are not that good to drive on. Please suggest to the best of your knowledge.

    By making two stops on the way to Leh from Delhi, how many days would it take to reach Leh?
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    It really depends on what route you want to take. There are two routes to reach Leh, namely: Srinagar to Leh Highway and Manali to Leh Highway. These routes aren't open all-year round and even if they open, it's just for a limited amount of time. Therefore, the best time to visit Leh is whenever these highways are open.

    1. Srinagar to Leh Route - This is the first route that we'll discuss. This is open from May/June to October/November. It generally opens earlier than the Manali Route. The first few weeks of May or June, depending on what month the highway opens, are crucial and dangerous. This is the time when the snow is melting so there are landslides and road blocks along the way. It's best to avoid travelling during these weeks. I'd advice to wait until the third week of whatever month the highway opens. So this would mean that from the end of June to the first of July, you can traverse this route safely. During the monsoon season, from mid-July to mid-September, it's best to avoid travelling as well due to landslides caused by the rain. By the end of September to the first few weeks of October, travelling through this route would be safe again.
    • Best months to travel for this route: Middle of May or June to middle of July and end of September to first few weeks of October.
    • Route to take: Delhi > Panipat > Ludhiana > Pathankot > Srinagar > Wayul > Sonamarg > Dras > Kargil > Mulbekh > Heniskot > Uleytokpo > Nimmu > Leh.
    2. Manali to Leh Route - This is the second and more difficult route you can take to reach Leh. This is open from June to September/October. It opens a bit later than the Srinagar Route. Just like the previous route, it's very dangerous to take this route on the early few weeks that it just opened. The roads are still filled with snow during the early weeks of June and it can be hard to travel through this route. Landslides due to snow melting are also common. The good thing about this route is that the higher regions after Rohtang Pass are not touched by rain. The challenge would be the tiny rivers or water crossings on the higher regions. They become more violent by afternoon so make sure you leave early to avoid them. By October, snow starts to set in and it can be difficult to reach Leh from Manali.
    • Best months to travel for this route: End of June to end of September.
    • Route to take: Manali > Marhi > Khoksar > Sissu > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Patseo > Zingzingbar > Bharatpur > Sarchu > Nulla > Pang > Debring > Rumtse > Upshi > Karu > Thiksey > Shey > Choglamsar > Leh.
    It can take you about two to three days to reach Leh. In the Srinagar route, you can have a halt at Srinagar and Dras/Kargil. In the Manali route, you can have a halt at Keylong/Jispa and Thiksey/Shey. These stops are necessary to be properly acclimatised, especially via the Manali route.

    I hope this helps.:)

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