Ladakh Travels Tips
Ladakh is open for tourist throughout the year, while the best period for tour and trek is from May to October. Most of the trekking routes are closed after October due to heavy snowfall at high passes except the Liker to wanla (Sham) trek. The best period for Chadar trek is from January to Mid-March. The festivals of Stok, Matho and New Year take place in winter. It is possible to visit monasteries in winter, as there are many centrally heated hotels in Leh.
Overland Approach - The overland approach to Ladakh from Kashmir Valley via Kargil is approx. 434 Km, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet / 3,505 m high Zoji-La, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh.
Climate :
Temperature in summer (June to September) can touch 30C and -20C in late December to F ebuary. Annual rainfall is 6".
Getting Acquainted :
Ladakh is spread over an area of 97,000 sq. kms. and lies on an average of 3,500 meters. Above the sea level. Ladakh has a population of around 1,70,000.
The J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC) operates regular Deluxe and Ordinary bus services between Srinagar and Leh on this route with an overnight halt at Kargil. Taxis (cars and jeeps) are also available at Srinagar for the journey. Groups can charter Deluxe and A-class buses for Leh, Kargil or Padum (Zangskar) from the J&K SRTC at Srinagar.
What to bring?
Clothing :
The Temperature in mid summer is pleasant and T-shirt and half pant in the daytime and in Evening temperature come down and need Jacket or pullover. While trekking above 4000m, you need warm cloth. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need wind cheater or raincoat.
Shoes :
Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and Sandal is useful while crossing the rivers.
Sleeping Bag :
Warm sleeping Bag. also available on hire in Leh @ Rs. 60 per day
How to reach
By Air :
Indian Air Lines, Deccan airways and Jet Airways operates regular flight to Leh from Delhi.
By Road :
There are two routes the Srinagar National highway to Leh road remains open from early June to November. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation operates regular deluxe and ordinary bus services. The Manali-Leh road remains open from mid June to early October. Himachal Pradesh tourism, HRTC and Manali private bus union, operates a daily bus services, which takes two days to reach Leh, after a night halt at Sarchu or Darcha.
By Taxi :
Taxies are also available at Leh, Manali and Srinagar.
Services in Ladakh
Permit and Passport: Tourist don't require permit for Leh; however, all foreigners are required to registered at Drass, Rumtse and Sarchu if they are traveling by road. Those traveling by air get themselves registered at the airport. The tourist are required to get a permit for restricted areas like Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lakes, Dhahanu and Nubra Valley, which can be obtain through registered travel agencies. Make it sure to carry 5 or 6 photocopies of the permit while traveling, to submit at the Checking points.
Money Exchange : All the money should be changed with authorized moneychanger, available at various places. You should insist for a receipt, which will help you in reconverting the money whenever you desire.
Time Difference : the standard time of India is calculated from Alahabad, and is common to all cities in the country. Indian standard time (ISD) is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of London, 4 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Paris and about 10 hours and 30 minutes behind New York.
Credit Cards : Credit Cards are not accepted by most of the hotels and travel agents except some antique shops. ATM card machine of SBI, J&K and PNB are available at three places in the main market.
Post and Telecommunication : Telephone & Fax and post facilities are available in Leh, Padum, Kargil and Nubra valley. Internet, Email services are available in Leh, Kargil and Padum only.
  • "Julley " Means Greetings, Namaskar, Thanks etc while meeting people and receiving favors
  • Always put off your shoes before entering a monastery shrine.
  • Always wear proper dress while visiting monasteries.
  • Take Permission from the monks before taking photos inside the shrine.
  • Always walk closewise while visiting monastery/Stupa
  • Taking intoxicating thing around the religious places is strictly not welcomed.
  • Avoid offerings chocolate, pen etc to local children.
Ladakh has no local beggars, so please Discourage outside beggars in town
Avoid Acute Mountain Sickness
Acute mountain sickness can occur to any one at an altitude above 10,000 ft. from the sea level. The most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness are headache disturb sleep loss of appetite, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, breathlessness, lassitude and lack of concentration. Since Leh Town is situated at an altitude of 11,500 ft. above sea level. It is advisable to take the following precautions, so as to acclimatize your body properly.
  1. Take complete rest for the first 24 hours of your arrival at Leh. However, this period may vary with different people.
  2. Your body should get used to the lower oxygen levels.
  3. Incase you develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please consult a Doctor.
Rescue and precaution for mountaineering and trekking in Ladakh
Tourist undertaking mountaineering and trekking in Ladakh, whether in groups or individual, should take some precautions. There is no private aerial rescue agency in Ladakh and only as a life saving measure; engaging the Indian Air Force help in evacuation.
Government of India Ministry of Defence has authorized the station Commander, Air Force Station Leh, to airlift for rescue cum causality evacuation of members of mountaineering expedition and trekking parties in distress in the available IAF aircraft helicopter on the following conditions:.
  1. The evacuees should give an undertaking to the effect that payment on account of the cost of the aircraft for rescue will be borne either by the travel insurance company or by the individual concerned.
  2. The evacuees are also responsible for reimbursements of loss/ damage to the aircraft/helicopter while undertaking the task of rescue causality evacuation, deviation, diversion, return to base and for the liabilities due on above account-to IAF, as well as compensation to any individual including the aircrew, which may become payable as a result of any accident/incident.
  3. The authorities empowered to place the demand for airlift of any causality require the following forms to be filled by the evacuess for settlement of bills with air force headquarter.
a. Form of guarantee of full payment.
b. Form of acceptance certificate.
c. Form of indemnity bond.
d. Photocopy of insurance policy card.
e. Photo of passport.
All the above forms can be obtained from Dy. Director, TRC Leh.
Tipping has become common in Ladakh, as pony men, helpers, guides and cooks expect tips after finishing the tour. Big hotels and restaurants already charge 10% service charge.
Photographing of People
Take permission before you click a photograph of any one. Don't take photo if they ask for money.
Water purification
Take water purification piles with you. And you can use boiled fresh water during the trek. Dzomsa and few more Shop sells high pressure boiled water for Rs.7 per liter. Bring your own water container to avoid plastic bottle menace in Ladakh.
Plastic Bags
Do not use plastic bag since plastic is officially banned in Ladakh. Always separate and properly dispose off litter burns burnable, bury biodegradable materials while trekking.
National Parks
Don't distrub wild life during the trek; be aware of the highly sensitive ecology and the economy of the geographical and cultural landscape.
Distances Chart
Some popular Monasteries, Lakes and their distances from Leh, the capital of Ladakh :
  • Leh - Hemis 47 Kms
  • Leh - Thiksay 20 kms
  • Leh - Shey 15 Kms
  • Leh - Stok 17 kms
  • Leh - Likir 60 kms
  • Leh - Alchi 67 kms
  • Leh - Stakna 35 kms
  • Leh - Lamayuru 125 kms
  • Leh - Spituk 8kms
  • Leh - Phyang 19 kms
  • Leh - Gya lato 75 kms
  • Leh - Matho 37 ms
  • Leh - Chemday 45 kms
  • Leh - Takthok 50 kms
  • Leh - Rizong 73 kms
  • Leh - Pangong Lake 147 kms
  • Leh - Tsomo Ri RI Lake 237 kms
  • Leh - Nubra 118 kms
  • Leh - Upshi 47 kms
  • Leh - Meru 61 kms
  • Leh - Rumtse 78 kms
  • Leh - Taklang la 111 kms
  • Leh - Debring 121 kms
  • Leh - Brandy Nallah 232 kms
  • Leh - Serchu 251 kms
  • Leh - Dracha 328 kms
  • Leh - Keylang 358 kms
  • Leh - Rothang La 421 kms
  • Leh - Manali 473 kms
  • Leh - Srinagar 434 kms.