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Travel From Srinagar To Leh By Road

Discussion in 'North India' started by Rahool, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Rahool

    Rahool New Member

    I will be traveling from Ambala to Leh by road. I will be taking the route via Srinagar and I am fine with traveling up to Srinagar as I have been to Srinagar before as well and the road is straight forward and an easy kind of drive. It is from Srinagar to Leh drive which I need some help with as I have never been on this route before and I would rather have some help before I set off for Leh from Srinagar.

    I would first of all like a route map from Srinagar to Leh.

    I will be traveling sometime during June, is this a good time to visit Leh?

    What is the road condition like from Srinagar to Leh?

    I would most probably make a stopover in Srinagar, what time do you suggest I leave for Leh the next day?

    Do you suggest any night halts on the way to Leh from Srinagar?
    If yes then where?

    Are there any roads which may be closed due to problems in the Srinagar/Kashmir area or due to snowfall?

    The distance between Srinagar and Leh is 419km, taking into count the road conditions how long do you think the journey would take?

  2. KK

    KK Member


    June is the perfect time to visit Leh, and you will find a lot of people during this time of the year.

    The road from Srinagar is good, and you won't have any problems while driving up to Leh. You will see a few army trucks on your way to Leh as this is the route used by the army as well.

    You should leave early at sunrise, so whether you want to drive straight to Leh or stop at another place, you would reach before night.

    Yes, you can make night halts, it all depends on how comfortable you feel driving and how your health allows you.
    A night stop can be done at Kargil, which is half way from Leh. If you require more night halts, then choose Sonamarg or Drass, which is before Kargil and Lamayuru or Alchi, which are after Kargil.

    During the month of June, there would not be any roads closed, as the snow would have melted by then. I would recommend you get a road status check before you from Srinagar.

    The total journey time from Srinagar to Leh would be around 14 hours. This is with a night halt in Kargil. 7 hours from Srinagar to Kargil then another 7 hours to Leh.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Rahool! Welcome to the forum!

    Here's a road map from Srinagar to Leh:

    Image courtesy of Google.

    June is definitely a good time to visit Leh. During the month of June, roads to Leh are opened up until late September or early October. Make sure that you schedule your journey at least in the second week of June or later. The first week of June can have unstable road conditions due to road blockages and landslides. Also, by this time, snow is melting so your routes and paths might be covered by water and streams.

    However, this is also the peak tourist season so you need to book a hotel in advance. Make sure that you leave early in the day as the traffic to Leh can increase especially during weekends.

    Festivals to look out for during the month of June are the following: Hemis Festival, Saka Dawa and Yuru Kabgyat. The Sindu Darshan Festival was also held during the month of June this year.

    Temperatures range between 7°C to 21°C. So if you're from a low altitude area, make sure that you bring your woollens as the nights can be colder. The days are warm and sunny though. But because of its location, the sun can be harsh in Leh. It's better to bring your sunscreen with you as well as sun essentials like umbrella, cap or hat.

    So first, the route you have to take from Srinagar to Leh is:
    • Srinagar > Wayul > Sonamarg > Dras > Kargil > Mulbekh > Heniskot > Uleytokpo > Nimmu > Leh.
    From Srinagar to Sonamarg, this is about 80 kms so about 1 hour and a half of driving. Road conditions here are excellent. You will encounter many army trucks, in fact, too many of them. Rest assured that they're only there to protect the residents and tourists alike. There are scenic views along the way so get your camera ready.

    From Sonamarg to Dras, this is about 62 kms so an hour or so of driving. During this route, you'd encounter Zoji La Pass and you'd be required to register yourself. This is also the first high altitude pass on the way to Leh. In the Zoji La Pass, there's this rough patch that you'd encounter. Some roads have no actual pavements and you'd be driving through a dirt track. But in Dras itself, road conditions are excellent. You can also halt in Dras and eat a snack or even stay the night here as the hotels are very cheap.

    From Dras to Kargil, this is about 64 kms, so an hour or so of driving. The Dras War Memorial is located here, worth a visit if you have the spare time. But anyway, road conditions are excellent as well here. You won't encounter rough patches or anything like that. Some people also halt here for the night. There are plenty of accommodation options here although they're a bit more expensive than Dras.

    From Kargil to Uleytokpo, this is about 148 kms so 3 hours of driving or so. Road conditions here are good. You'd also pass by through high altitude passes at this point: Namika La and Fotu La.

    The last stretch would be from Uleytokpo to Leh, about 62 kms or an hour of driving. The Hangro Loops are in this route, which are comprised of about 18 loops, that are very steep and sharp turns. Other than that, road conditions here are good enough.

    I mentioned two halts along the way for proper acclimatisation. You can also opt for a halt in Alchi, just before reaching Nimmu, to be on the safer side.

    I would suggest early in the day so you won't reach evening and still be on the road. It can be tough to go through these routes especially at night time if you're not from there.

    Yes, I've recommended you three night halts above. These are: Dras, Kargil and Alchi.

    In Dras, I'd recommend staying at the J & K Tourism Department Bungalows. It's reasonably priced at Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 per night. You'd have to inform the kitchen staff about your meals in advanced as they prepare it on by order basis. Aside from this, there's a couple more guest houses around Dras which are reasonably priced.

    In Kargil, there are plenty of hotels but they're a bit pricier. With hotels in Kargil, expect to pay anywhere between Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 4,000 per night. Meals are good here though, so that's an upside of staying here.

    In Alchi, there are a few hotel options. There are many home stay options as well. But with hotels, they're priced a bit steeper at Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 per night.

    As I've said, during the early week of June, some roads might have blockages or landslides due to snow melting. This is why I'd recommend going into Leh by mid-June or by the end of June.

    However, it's best to just search for websites constantly updating the road status of Leh before your trip. This is one site that does that: Manali - Leh road STATUS 2016 but there are also plenty of other sites that updates tourists about the road status in Leh.

    A non-stop journey would only be 9 hours, more or less. However, it's not recommended as you need to properly acclimatise your body to the higher altitudes. So adding in the night stops, it would take you 2 to 3 nights to reach Leh.

    I hope this helps.:)
    Chahal and Admin like this.