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How to go to Ladakh from Delhi?

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Dhami007, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Dhami007

    Dhami007 New Member

    I have made a sudden unplanned trip to go to Ladakh from Delhi. As the trip has not been planned and I need all the help that one may need to go to Ladakh and that too urgently, as I would be leaving in a couple of days.

    There will be three of us going to Ladakh all of which are able to drive in turns, so we do plan to only make one stop on the way that is if its required.

    One of the main concerns is taking things from Delhi which we may need in Ladakh.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    There are two routes that you can take to reach Ladakh from Delhi. One is via Srinagar and one is via Manali. Due to the heightened military issues in Srinagar and Kashmir, I'd suggest skipping that route for now. It's better to take the route via Manali which would be open until the middle of October. So for this thread, I would highlight the road conditions from Delhi to Ladakh via Manali. Here is the route that you can take from Delhi to Ladakh:
    • Manali Route to Ladakh - Delhi > Manali > Solang Valley > Marhi > Khoksar > Sissu > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Patseo > Zingzingbar > Bharatpur > Sarchu > Nulla > Pang > Debring > Rumtse > Upshi > Karu > Thiksey > Shey > Choglamsar > Ladakh.
    So from Delhi to Manali, there are a few routes that you can consider as well:
    • Route No. 1 from Delhi to Manali - Delhi > Panipat > Kurukshetra > Ambala > Dharampur > Ghaghas > Mandi > Manali.
    Perhaps this is the best route that you can choose. It is about 539 kilometres long and can take around 11 hours to cover. It's an alternative route and by choosing this one, you'd avoid the bad patches at the other route.

    From Delhi to Ambala, roads are in good conditions, if not excellent. However, traffic can be a huge issue here so leave Delhi very early, even 4:00 am in the morning is good. This way, you can avoid the morning rush hour in this stretch.

    From Ambala to Ghaghas, road conditions are good as well although smaller. Make sure that you take a right turn for Brahmpukar and a left turn for Subathu Kunihar instead of Kiratpur to reach Ghaghas. Otherwise, you'd pass by Kiratpur where road conditions are bad.

    From Ghaghas to Manali, road conditions are good as well. Do take the Kullu Bypass Road for a smoother drive until you reach Manali.
    • Route No. 2 from Delhi to Manali - Delhi > Panipat > Kurukshetra > Chandigarh > Kiratpur Sahib > Mandi > Manali.
    This route is about 538 kilometres long and takes around 11 hours to cover as well. This is the most chosen route from Delhi to Manali. However, there are some rough patches here that you must pass through.

    From Delhi to Chandigarh, road conditions are good. Again, traffic is your main issue here so do leave early from Delhi to avoid it.

    From Chandigarh to Kiratpur Sahib, roads are in bad conditions. Once you leave the Ropar Nangal Highway, there are rough patches of road that would continue on until Kiratpur. A better route would be to reach Una then Bhota and finally Mandi from the Ropar Nangal Highway. Otherwise, you'd have to traverse the bad roads in Kiratpur which can affect cars especially those with lower ground clearance.

    As soon as you reach Mandi, roads are smoother until Manali.

    Anyway, once you reach Manali, you can take this route to reach Ladakh:
    • Manali to Ladakh Route - Manali > Solang Valley > Marhi > Khoksar > Sissu > Keylong > Jispa > Darcha > Patseo > Zingzingbar > Bharatpur > Sarchu > Nulla > Pang > Debring > Rumtse > Upshi > Karu > Thiksey > Shey > Choglamsar > Ladakh.
    Once you reach Manali, head on over to Solang Valley and rest for the night there. This way, you'd be properly acclimatised before ascending to the higher altitude areas of Ladakh.

    The next day, commence your journey and proceed to Khoksar. From Solang Valley to Khoksar, road conditions are good. This stretch was recently repaired and so most of the roads are freshly laid. But there are still some rough patches in the middle of the roads. But actually, this stretch was very bad in the last years, the repair has helped in making the journey in this stretch bearable.

    From Khoksar to Jispa, roads are mostly in good conditions. This last September though, there were constructions works in Tandi so expect some delays here. Apart from that, roads are smooth and easily passable. Make sure that you fill your fuel tank in Tandi as well since the last petrol station is located here until you reach Ladakh. If you'd like to halt for a stopover or rest, then Keylong is a good option for that.

    From Jispa to Sarchu, roads are in average conditions. This is also where you'd ascend to Baralacha La. Roads are okay until you reach Baralacha La, where there are some patches of bad roads. A few kilometres before Sarchu, roads are also in bad conditions. But aside from these, roads are mostly in okay conditions.

    Now, you'd reach Sarchu and continue on until Pang. You'd pass through the Gata Loops, a series of hairpin bends, which are newly tarred so roads are not an issue. Then, you'd reach Nakee La and Lachulung La, which are high altitude passes. Roads in these passes are average with some bad parts so do be careful in driving.

    From Pang to Ladakh, roads are mostly smooth so you'd reach the latter in a over an hour or so.

    So stopovers in this stretch would be at Solang Valley and Keylong. I won't recommend just one stopover as you need to be properly acclimatised before ascending to Leh. The other reason would be that driving during night time in this route can be very dangerous. Accidents are known to occur and if you do need something, it can be more difficult to ask for help during night time. I'd advice two stopovers and not driving during the night time and halting at these places.

    We now go to the things you need to bring in your road trip adventure from Delhi to Ladakh. Since Ladakh is located at a higher elevation, temperatures here are quite lower as compared to the other areas in the region. Days can be quite crisp and sunny while nights can be quite colder and chilly. Here are some clothing essentials that you need to bring:
    • Thermal inner clothing, jackets, pullovers, cardigans, socks, gloves, bonnets, waterproof & thick shoes and pants.
    Of course, toiletries are a must since you cannot buy them in many regions in Ladakh. Bring the essentials only:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, alcohol/hand sanitiser, sunblock, lotion/moisturiser and lip balm.
    Also, don't forget to bring a first-aid kit, in case any of you becomes sick or suffers from AMS:
    • Medicines for AMS (Avomine, Diamox or Acetazolamide), fever, headache, diarrhoea motion sickness, cold & cough, bandaid, cotton, antiseptic cream and prescription medicines (if any).
    Now, for your gadgets, don't forget to bring:
    • Chargers, portable charger, camera, extra memory card and music player.
    You also have to bring these necessary documents:
    • Valid photo identification card, map of Ladakh, itinerary and hotel reservation proofs.
    Don't forget to pack the following:
    • At least one litre of water for each member of the group, snacks like biscuits, chips, chocolates & nuts and other beverages like juice or coffee. Also, bring enough money so you won't have to withdraw from ATM machines.
    For your vehicle, carry the following:
    • Spare tire, torch, essentials for changing of tire and extra fuel bottle.
    I hope this helps you!:)