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How to go Ladakh?

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by Nitaya, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Nitaya

    Nitaya New Member

    I would like to make a quick trip to Ladakh and need help from the forum to find out how to go to Ladakh from Delhi, in the shortest time and most comfortable way.

    I understand that there is an airport to get to Ladakh, but how far is the airport and how long would it take for the body to get used to the air once I would reach Ladakh?

    I would really like to go Ladakh and come back to Delhi in five days.
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Nitaya. Welcome to the forum!

    Since you are crunched for time and you need to reach it in the shortest amount of time possible, your best option would be to take a flight from Delhi (Indira Gandhi International Airport) to Leh (Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport). The Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport is one of the highest airports in the world and it is merely five minutes away from the city centre of Leh. It is also just about under 30 minutes away from the main attractions of the city like the Leh Palace and the Stok Palace.

    From Delhi, there are direct flights to Leh. There are only a few flights per day and they are in the morning so you need to plan accordingly. Here are the flight schedules:
    • Go Air G8 217 - This flight departs from Delhi at 6:40 and arrives in Leh at around 8:05. Fare is at Rs. 9,141 per passenger. The journey duration is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    • Air India AI 445 - This flight departs from Delhi at 5:45 and arrives in Leh at around 7:15. Fare is at Rs. 16,035 per passenger. The journey duration is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
    • Jet Airways 9W 2368 - This flight departs from Delhi at 5:40 and arrives in Leh at around 7:05. Fare is at Rs. 19,530 per passenger. The journey duration is around 1 hour and 25 minutes.
    • Jet Airways 9W 2366 - This flight departs from Delhi at 5:55 and arrives in Leh at around 7:25. Fare is at Rs. 19,530 per passenger. The journey duration is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
    From the Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport, you can just hire a taxi to take you to your hotel. Getting a flight is also the most comfortable way to reach Leh. Bus journey can be very uncomfortable and you need to halt the night at Keylong and Manali. On the other hand, train journey is a little bit better but it still doesn't go directly to Leh. By car, it's more convenient but still requires a long time, at least two days, to reach Leh.

    With regards to the acclimatisation process, that's the tricky part. For the first one to two days on your arrival to Leh, you cannot do anything strenuous at all. In fact, as soon as you arrive in Leh, it's better to rest and stay at the hotel. Don't lie down immediately though, you can just sit, maybe in the balcony of your room and enjoy the views. By late afternoon, you can indulge in some light walking but don't go to other attractions and especially don't go to higher altitude regions like Pangong Tso.

    Here are some more tips when taking a flight to Leh:
    • Consult a physician prior to your trip to Leh. Make sure you are of sound help, without any heart or lung ailments. The physician can also prescribe Diamox to you, if needed. This tablet is taken one day before your arrival on Leh and also for two days after your arrival on Leh. The tablet helps in fooling the body to excrete more carbon dioxide and in turn, helps you take in more oxygen. Thus, it can help in preventing the symptoms of AMS. Again, a physician's approval is necessary and you need to be tested if you're not allergic to the medicine.
    • On your first day in Leh, rest completely. Make sure you bring enough entertainment like books, music, games, videos and such activities. Since you're at a region where internet signal is quite weak, you cannot rely on it for your entertainment needs. This way, you still has something to do despite not being able to go out and visit the other places. If you can rest for at least two days, the better, but then again, you're crunched for time so you won't be able to explore Leh fully this way. But do not go sightseeing without resting for at least one day.
    • Stay hydrated, at least two to three litres of water each day. You also need to eat nutrition rich foods, those rich in carbohydrates can help relieve the symptoms of AMS. Over-drinking and over-eating are not allowed though so only eat and drink in moderation. On a related note, do not drink alcohol or smoke as well.
    • For the first few days, don't ascend to the higher altitude areas. You can visit the nearby temples and monasteries but make sure they're not situated at a higher altitude. Attractions like Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley or Pangong Tso can be visited at the end of your trip, maybe the last few days.
    • If ever symptoms of AMS are apparent, you need to move at a lower altitude area. In fact, you can move at lower altitude areas for your first few days in Leh to fully avoid the symptoms of AMS. And after a day, you can then move to Leh again, this time, hopefully, your body has been acclimatised properly. Places with lower altitude that you can stay in are at Alchi and Uleytokpo.
    • Lastly, even though you'd like to ascend to higher altitude areas of Leh, it's better to do this during the day and by late afternoon, descend again. You can then stay in your hotel instead of spending the night at these higher altitude areas.
    I hope this helps you!:)

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