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Leh in November

Discussion in 'Jammu & Kashmir' started by ChaaviGohil, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. ChaaviGohil

    ChaaviGohil New Member

    I would like to go Leh in November this year and have joined the forum to get back some suggestions about the queries I have and also know more about traveling to Leh in November.

    I know that it is very cold in November, what temperatures should I be expecting?

    If I decide to travel by road, are the roads easily accessible?

    Would I come across any problems during November if I go in Leh? If yes what sort?

    Is trekking possible in Leh during November?

    Please give me any other suggestions, tips about traveling to Leh in November.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Leh Climate and Temperatures in November

    During the month of November, winter is setting in already in the region of Leh. Temperatures range between 1°C to 8°C although it can get as low as -7°C. Night times are especially colder with the temperatures reaching the zero degrees and even lower. Snowfall is quite negligible during this time though and you might not even be able to see it. Bring heavy woollens, thermal clothes, jackets, woollen socks and other winter paraphernalia like scarves, bonnets and shoes with good grip. You can still visit most of the Leh region, except the Zanskar Valley and Nubra Valley, during the winter season.

    How to Reach Leh During November

    By the time November settles in the region, the Manali Leh route would have been closed already. You can utilise the Srinagar Leh route but even that is pushing it. November can be extremely risky when it comes to road travel to Leh as the roads are quite prone to landslides and road blocks. Once the Srinagar Leh route also closes, the only way to reach Leh would be by taking a flight. Although the Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport remains open all-year round, you have to keep watch for the daily weather conditions. It's not unusual for flights to be delayed due to fogs or extreme snowfall. But during the month of November, taking a flight would be your best option.

    Difficulties in Leh during November

    Perhaps one of the main challenges during this time in Leh is the availability of transportation, accommodation and dining options. During winter time, including November, most of the businesses in Leh close and the same goes for guest houses and home stays. The residents go to the lower areas as the extreme weather conditions in Leh can be quite difficult to pass through. Thus, your options for public transportation, hotel and restaurants are very limited during this time.

    When it comes to transportation, you need to book a taxi in advance even before reaching Leh. Taxi rates might be higher during the month of November as you cannot hire a shared taxi so you have to handle all the fares by yourself. Make sure that you hire a reliable taxi driver that knows the ins and outs of Leh region. A reliable taxi driver is Rigzin, known all around the region by travellers. His contact number is: 09622954779. There's also Tashi Namgail, his contact number is: 09469630613.

    For accommodation options, again, only a few hotels remain open in Leh during this time. The one thing that you should always consider is that the hotel should have central heating or else you'd freeze in the cold. By the month of November, most of the smaller guest houses would be closed and even if they are open, they wouldn't be that of a great idea since many of them don't have central heating. So you really need to allot some money for hotels during this time for your comfort. At the end of this guide, you can find a list of hotels that remain open all-year round in Leh.

    Lastly, when it comes to dining options, there's also not a lot. If you're lucky, the hotel you're staying in might provide your meals for you. I'd recommend just eating in the hotel as finding other food options can be quite tricky. If you can bring small snacks and biscuits, do so as these can save you in between meals.

    What to do in Leh

    After your flight's arrival in Leh, it's better to rest for a whole day, at least 24 hours, to get acclimatised properly. Do not do anything strenuous like trekking or going to higher altitude areas for your first two days in Leh. This can result in Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which can be a terrible issue when in Leh. Prior to your arrival in Leh, consult a doctor for your physical well-being and also so he can recommend some medications to help you combat AMS. If you have booked a taxi for your trip to Leh, make sure that he picks you up right from the airport on your scheduled flight.

    If you haven't pre-booked a hotel by this time, you can have your taxi driver take you around to look for hotels suitable for you. Make sure to reach the hotel before sunset though as it can be quite difficult to traverse the roads as the darkness sets in. When you reach your hotel, rest for the whole day although you cannot lie down immediately as this can hinder your taking of oxygen. You can bring a book or have some videos to be watched on your phone.

    By the next day, if you're feeling okay, you can go for sightseeing in the nearby areas. You can have a look in this thread to know about the tourist attractions in Leh. Some of the attractions near the city centre of Leh are the Sankar Monastery, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa and Spituk Monastery. Other attractions like the Leh Palace, Hall of Fame and Stok Palace are also quite close to the city centre.

    After visiting these places, you can go back to your hotel. Do not push to see everything in one day though as this can tire you out and result in AMS. Higher altitude areas should be visited by the third or fourth day in Leh. These are the regions of Pangong Tso, Lamayuru, Kargil and Tso Moriri. These areas are located quite a distance from Leh so you cannot visit all of them in one day. My advice would be just to pick one or two out of these places and make them a one or two day excursion from Leh.

    If you'd like to indulge in trekking, do so with the guidance of locals. Some of the most common routes where trekking is permitted even in November is the Stok Kangri trek, Markha Valley trek, Rumtse Tso Moriri trek and Lamayuru Chilling trek. Do not do any trekking at least three days after your arrival in Leh. It's better to do trekking once you are fully acclimatised to the region and you also need to climb back down to your hotel within the day to avoid AMS. Also, make sure that you have the proper winter trekking gear with you, like snow gloves, woollen socks, good grip shoes and balaclava.

    Tips for Travelling to Leh in November

    Bring your own thermos and fill it up with warm water during your trip in Leh. This can help you in keeping warm during your stay in Leh. On a related note, stay hydrated but not too hydrated. Just drink enough water, about two to three litres a day would be good. Also, eat nutritious foods rich in carbohydrates to keep your energy up. Do not overeat as well, just make sure you're full enough to have energy for sightseeing and trekking.

    Do not overexert yourself especially during the first few days of your trip to Leh. Allot a few days for this journey and expect delays in the form of road blocks and landslides. If ever your destination for the day is closed due to landslides and road blocks, you have to be flexible and try out another destination. Thus, a trip during the month of November, as adventurous as it is, can be very prone to postponements and delays. Allot at least two to three buffer days for your trip to Leh.

    Bring enough winter clothes and accessories. As much as possible, you should have a few pairs of inner thermal clothes and heavy woollens. Do not forget to bring these essentials on your journey to the region. If going for some trekking, then make sure you have insulated and waterproof shoes. Snow gloves are an essential to protect your hands from the cold as well.

    Lastly, just enjoy your trip to Leh. The different seasons in Leh provide a different landscape which is always a treat for travellers. Although the winter season is not the peak tourist season, the lesser crowds and the white landscapes can be quite thrilling and fun especially for those seeking some isolation and serenity. Do not forget to interact with the locals as much as you can since this is the best time to see how they live during this unpredictable season in the region.

    Hotels in Leh (Open during the winter season including November)

    Hotel NameAddressContact Number/s
    Shanti Guest HouseShanti Stupa Road, Changspa Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101+91 9419 862 010
    Oriental HotelBelow Shanti Stupa, Changspa Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Leh, 194101+91 9622 950 639 or +91 9 22 229 296
    Grand Dragon HotelOld Road, Sheynam, Leh Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101+91 1982 257 786
    Lotus HotelUpper Karzoo, Leh, Ladakh 194101+91 1982 257 265
    Hotel Yak TailNear Main Market, Fort Road, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101+91 1982 252 118
    There you go, I hope this helps you! Have a safe trip in Leh!:)