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Delhi To Leh By Road

Discussion in 'North India' started by Saurav, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Saurav

    Saurav New Member

    This summer's holiday have been decided, and it is Leh, a place where many people plan to go but hardly get a chance. It is, of course, a once in a lifetime trip which is going to happen, as it is not easy going to a place so far away, and the important thing is that I need to know everything about the trip as even the smallest of details will help this trip become perfect without any problems.

    I will be self-driving my car, with my family which is my wife, two sons aged ten years old and daughter who is eight years old.

    I have read that the road can be a tricky one to drive on with the curves, and the road conditions which may cause obstructions which I would need some advice about. As mentioned before this will be my first trip to Leh and will be going beyond Manali for the first time too, so I will need help with even the stopovers and places where I will need to fuel my car and even places we should stop to eat.

    It would be great to get feedback from people who have driven to Leh themselves as well as those who know about the trip in general. My preferred route to take would be via Manali, so please answer questions taking into mind that I am asking about the Manali route.

    1. What is the total distance between Delhi and Leh?

    2. How long will it take to cover this distance?

    3. Which route is better via Manali or via Srinagar (I have read a lot of people take the Manali route)?

    4. What is the distance from Manali to Leh?

    5. At which places and petrol pumps should I get my car full?

    6. After Manali what are some good places to stop and get some food?

    7. Which places should there be a stopover at night after Manali?

    8. Apart from the general things what are the essential and important things we should take along with us?

    9. Are there any mechanics on both of the routes, in case anything goes wrong with the car?

    10. Is it true that one should take at least 24 hours rest before going sightseeing in Leh?

    11. I have been reading that the heating should not be turned on in the car as it would decrease the amount of oxygen which is not okay especially when travelling towards Leh, is this correct?

    12. If we stop at Manali overnight, what time should we leave the next day?
  2. Deven

    Deven Member

    The distance from Delhi to Leh is 1252km.

    To cover this distance of 1252km it would take you roughly 2 -3 days which includes night halts as well.

    For driving the Srinagar to Leh route is preferred as the road conditions are much better maintained. The Manali to Leh route is more scenic which is why some tourists opt for it. But it is best to take the Manali route on the way back.

    Manali to Leh road distance is 490km.

    The petrol pumps to refuel your vehicle on the Manali - Leh highway are at:

    The most important refueling should be done at Tandi as there is no petrol station until a further 345km, which would be at Karu.

    The places to stay at to eat are at the following places:

    There are no particular places mentioned, as there is a number of dhabas to choose from at the destinations mentioned above.

    You should make at least two spots, one at either Keylong or Jispa then another one at Sarchu.

    Make sure you have a petrol pipe, spare tool kit, a torch, and some extra batteries. Make sure there is enough drinking water and some dry snacks to eat which would also give you some energy.

    On the Manali -Leh route you would find mechanics at the following destinations:

    Yes, it is true. The oxygen levels in Leh are very low, so it is recommended that you spend at least a day resting and sleeping, and allow your body to acclimatize.

    Yes, it is correct. For the cold I would just suggest wearing inners and woolens.

    It is always best to leave early, preferably at sunrise so that you can get to your next destination before dark.
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum, @Saurav!

    The distance between Delhi and Leh is about 1,325 kms via NH44 and NH1.

    Considering the night halt in Manali and another night halt in Keylong, Jispa or Darcha, it can take you 3 days before you reach Leh.

    For me, both routes have their merits. You can opt to go through both, one way from Srinagar to Leh and the other way from Manali to Leh. But for the sake of giving you some information, let's talk about the advantages of both routes:

    Manali to Leh Route Advantages
    • Manali is closer to Delhi as compared to Srinagar. Manali is about 540 kms away from Delhi, while Srinagar is about 908 kms from Delhi. So if you're coming from Delhi, it's more practical to go through the Manali to Leh way. You only need a day to reach Manali from Delhi, while Srinagar is about two days away from Delhi.
    • It's the more adventurous route. If you're a person who loves the thrill of adventure, then the Manali to Leh Route is perfect for you. You will pass through five of the highest passes in the world in this route. The views on top of these passes are quite stunning and are sure to pump your adrenaline.
    Srinagar to Leh Route Advantages
    • The ascent is gradual in this route. As compared to the Manali Leh Route where the ascent is sudden. Hence, the chances of acquiring AMS are lower with the Srinagar Leh Route.
    • It doesn't disappoint on the scenic views. Despite the ease of the route, it still delivers on the scenic views along the way. Landscapes are beautiful and capture-worthy at every turn.
    • The Srinagar Leh Route is open for a longer time than the Manali Leh Route. So if you're planning a trip in early June, it's better to take the Srinagar Route than the Manali Route.
    • It has more fuel stations and accommodations along the way as compared to the Manali Leh Route.
    Again, both routes have their own advantages. But since you're coming from Delhi, then Manali is the better option for you. You can take the Srinagar Route when you're going home.

    The distance between Manali and Leh is about 473 kms. It can take you a day or two to reach Leh from Manali.

    Here are the gas stations from Manali to Leh:
    • Tandi - This is about 110 kms from Manali.
    • Karu - This is about 439 kms from Manali and just about 36 kms from Leh.
    Once you reach Tandi, fill up your fuel tank and make sure to bring an extra litre with you by putting the fuel into a bottle.

    So first, here is the route you need to take:
    • Manali > Marhi > Khoksar > Sissu > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Patseo > Zingzingbar > Bharatpur > Sarchu > Nulla > Pang > Debring > Rumtse > Upshi > Karu > Thiksey > Shey > Choglamsar > Leh.
    In Marhi, this is the place that people go to before going to Rohtang Pass. There are many dhaba eateries in here. They are small eateries and they are usually seasonal as they close during off-peak season.

    After you pass Rohtang Pass, you'll reach Khoksar. There's also some dhaba eateries here. Some even provide some accommodation to tourists.

    In Sissu, there's the Triveni Hotel and Restaurant. Another famous eatery here is Adarsh. There's a couple more you can find as you go from Sissu to Keylong.

    Keylong is the district headquarters of the Lahaul District so there are plenty of eateries here. This is also where most people halt for the night so there are plenty of accommodation options here.

    In Jispa, Darcha and Patseo, there's just a couple of eateries here. Accommodations are also very few here.

    From Patseo to Debring, there are camping sites here providing some dhabas to travellers. After Patseo, the usual hotels and restaurants can only be found in Rumtse.

    After Rumtse until Leh, there are only a handful of eateries along the way. Once you reach Leh, there are hundreds of restaurants and accommodations you can find.

    I cannot name most of the restaurants just because they're very small and seasonal. However, they do serve hot meals which are perfect for the colder weather in Leh.

    Again, this is the route:
    • Manali > Marhi > Khoksar > Sissu > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Patseo > Zingzingbar > Bharatpur > Sarchu > Nulla > Pang > Debring > Rumtse > Upshi > Karu > Thiksey > Shey > Choglamsar > Leh.
    Stopovers are usually at Keylong, Jispa or Darcha. Then, you can also have a night halt at Thikshey or Shey.

    Here are some hotels in Keylong:
    • Hotel Dekyid - This hotel is registered with the HPTDC. Their Deluxe Room is at Rs. 2,000 per night. It has satellite LED television, a window with the views of the mountains, wooden flooring and furniture and bathroom with hot/cold running water. The hotel also has a multi-cuisine restaurant. Their address is: Town End, Upper Keylong, District Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India 175132.
    • Hotel Tashi Delek - This hotel is located right at the heart of the city. Their room rates start at Rs. 2,400 per night. The rooms have attached bathroom with 24 hours hot/cold running water and basic amenities like television and bed. The hotel also has a restaurant. Their address is: Tashi Delek Hotel, Keylong Town, Keylong, Himachal Pradesh.
    • Hotel Dupchen - Room rates here begin at Rs. 3,000 per night. The room has room service as well as a bathroom with 24 hours of hot/cold shower. The hotel also has a restaurant. Their address is: Keylong, Himachal Pradesh 175132.
    Then, here are some hotels in Shey:
    • Hotel Caravan Centre - Their Deluxe Room is at Rs. 4,400 per night. The room has television, attached bathroom with 24 hours hot/cold shower and working desk. They also have central heating during the winter months, in all rooms and public areas. The hotel also has an organic vegetable garden on the premises. Their address is: Skara Road, Leh - Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101.
    • Hotel Royal Palace - Their room rates start at Rs. 5,700 per night. The room has modern amenities and a bathroom with 24 hours of hot/cold shower. Their restaurant offers Ladakhi cuisine as well. Their address is: Old Road, Sheynam, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir.

    Here are the items you need to bring:
    • Some light woollen clothes before winter season. If you're going in the winter, bring some heavier woollens especially if you're not used to the cold temperature. Bring some other winter essentials as well.
    • You also need a good pair of shoes with good grip. This is for the trekking so you can traverse through the tough terrains.
    • Carry a first-aid kit and some medicines to combat AMS.
    • Bring a water bottle as well, fill it up before your road trip. Carry some snacks too to cover you in case eateries are sparse along the way.
    • Bring a torch light, tools in case your car breaks down and power banks as well for your phone.
    • Photo identification and other necessary documents.
    • Also bring your chargers and gadgets like cellphone and camera.
    • Toiletries and especially alcohol and hand sanitiser.
    Keylong is the last town with a mechanic. Thereafter, mechanics can only be found in Leh. Make sure you have your car checked before departing from Keylong.

    In the Srinagar Route, you can find many mechanics along the way. Specifically, you can find them in: Ganderbal, Sonamarg, Kargil, Lamayuru, Mulbekh and Nimmu.

    Yes, you need to rest for at least 24 hours so your body can adapt to the higher altitude of Leh. Apart from that, you need to rest on the provided stopovers so that the proper acclimatisation process can go through.

    That is correct. Using heater destroys the level of oxygen in the car and can increase the likelihood of acquiring AMS.

    Leave earlier as possible so you can reach your next stopover, Keylong, before sunset. Before 6:00 am is preferable.

    I hope this helps!:)

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