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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tales From Ladakh: Trip Essentials for Ladakh

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju
In this post, I gonna give all the information required for a trip to Ladakh. Travelling to ladakh is once in a life time experience and you won't repent for the time/money you spent for ladakh trip.



Trip Plan:

All these trips are planned considering Delhi as starting point.


Plan 1 :  

  • Delhi to Srinagar (Flight or Train till Jammu and then catch bus from Jammu to Srinagar). Flight being the best option. 
  • Srinagar to Leh road trip. Over night stay at Kargil. You can hire a cab from srinagar. Requires two days to reach leh.
  • Leh Places to visit (5-7 days). (Khardungla + Nubra Valley + Pangong Lake )
  • Leh to Manali Road trip. Overnight stay at Sarchu. Requires two days to reach Manali via Rohtang pass.
This plan requires at-least 10-12 days. This plan suits for people who likes adventures.

Plan 2:
  • Delhi to Ladakh Flight (Just 1 hour).
  • Leh places to visit (5-7 days).  (Khardungla + Nubra Valley + Pangong Lake).
  • Ladakh to Delhi Flight.
This plan requires at-least 6-7 days. This plan best suits if you traveling with kids and families. 

Plan 3:
  • Delhi to Ladakh Flight (Just 1 hour).
  • Leh places to visit (5-7 days).  (Khardungla + Nubra Valley + Pangong Lake).
  • After  Pangong Lake Visit Tso Morri Lake on the way to Manali.
  • Tso morri to Manali road trip. 
This plan requires at-least 8-10 days. This plan is for people who wants to enjoy both pangong and tso morri lakes along with drive through Rohtang pass.

Book a package trip or Plan and Travel Individually???
  • If you are going with families and kids, I recommend booking a package trip which includes return flight to Leh. 
  • If you opt for Plan 2 mentioned above, then please book a package. Because of sudden increase in the flight fares may spoil your entire plan. But if you want to drive your self from leh to Nubra valley or leh to Pangong lake, then please book flights in advance, at-least 6 months before(December).
  • If you opt for Plan 1 mentioned above, then plan individually. You can find good information about the road maps, places to stay @ http://devilonwheels.com/.

Trip Budget:
  • Package trips from makemytrip and yatra starts from 33k which includes return flight to Leh from delhi. 
  • If you want to book flight then round trip costs around 12-20k per person. And Leh trip will costs you around 15-25k per person. Depends on the hotel and flight prices.
  • If you opt for Plan 1, then Delhi to Srinagar Flight - approx 5k,  Srinagar to Manali - approx 2k , Leh sight seeing - 10-20k, Leh to Manali - 2k, Manali to Delhi - 2k. So this comes around 20-25k. Depends on the hotels you choose and the mode of transport. But it will be more than 20k.
  • If your starting point is not Delhi, then you have to add expenses to reach Delhi to the expenses mentioned above.

Best time to Visit:
  • May to September is the best time to visit Leh.
  • Rohtang pass and Srinagar to Kargil road will be opened in mid april and will be closed in November.
  • But if you planning for chadar or zanskar trek, then January - March is the best season.

Temperatures?
  • Day temperature will vary from 20-30 degrees Celsius during summer. But temperature fall below 20 during the nights. 
  • Temperatures fall below zero during the peak winter.(December - February).

What is AMS????
  • Accute Mountain Syndrome (AMS), occurs when you are traveling in the high altitude areas(above 10k ft)
  • The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache, loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, weariness and lack of concentration. If untreated, AMS will lead to the death too.
  • As Ladakh is situated at an altitude of 11.5k ft, chances are high that people get effected with AMS.
  • So it is advised to take rest for at-least 24 hours once you arrive at ladakh. Don't go to the Pangong lake or Khardungla with out proper acclimatization. 
  • Most of the doctors advise to take Diamox tablets for the first two days of the trip, which will help you in not get effected with AMS.

Innerline Permits:

Mobile Signals:
  • Only Airtel and BSNL postpaid SIM's will work in Ladakh area. 
  • Mobile internet works, but very slow. There are many internet cafe in Leh market area, in case if you want to use internet.
  • No mobile signals will be available in Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake.

Backpack Essentials:
  • Along with the normal clothing, pack winter wear like Jackets and Thermals. Probably you won't need them in Leh city, but if you are going to stay in pangong lake, then thermals are must.
  • Sleeping Bag and Trekking shoes.
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen lotions, lip guard, cold creams are must.
  • Carry extra pair of batteries for your cameras.
  • Always carry enough food(snacks, chocolates, cookies), specially when you are travelling to nubra valley and Pangong lake.
  • Every bank operates ATM's in Leh city. Its better to carry cash as most of the people don't accept credit/debit cards.

Other Useful links:

Krishna Srivatsa Nimmaraju / Author & Editor

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