About the Ladakh
This tour begins and ends in the capital of Leh, which involves walking on the popular Chadar Trek of Chilling in order to see a stunning and frozen Pangong Lake, as well as walking on the ice and driving on the world’s highest path. The tour will also take you to see the real king of these parts, the Snow Leopard, in Ulley’s beautiful village, covering almost everything.
About Your Adventurous Tour
1. Delhi – Leh, Rest & Acclimatization (By Flight)
2. Leh Local Sightseeing including Chilling
3. Snow Leopard Spotting
4. Ulley – Khardung La – Leh
5. Leh – Chang La – Tangste/Pangong Tso
6. Tangste – Pangong Tso – Tangste – Thiksey – Shey – Leh
7. Fly back home
Hotel ( double & triple sharing ) , Camp Stay
Clean Bathrooms are available with 24 hours running water.
Arrive at Leh airport, the representative will transfer you to the homestay in Leh.
You are advised to take complete rest to acclimatize to the high altitude of Ladakh, especially so because this will be the time of the winters here.
Dinner and overnight in homestay.
Morning after breakfast, advance towards the confluence of the Zanskar- Indus rivers, which are famous for having different colors at different times of the year. The whiteness of the snow around adds its own charm.
By crossing the holy Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, you will move towards the ever intriguing Magnetic Hill, where you can witness the unusual phenomenon of your car sliding uphill on neutral gear.
You will also be seeing the famous Hall of Fame Museum, filled with memorabilia from the wars that have been fought over the years in Ladakh and Kargil regions.
Also visit the famous 15th century Spituk Gompa, which houses articles and Thangkas of Lord Buddha.
Take the road opposite of confluence towards Zanskar river and travel to Chilling. This is where you will get the chance to walk over the frozen Zanskar River as part of the famous Chadar Trek.
From Chilling, you will be making your way to the small village of Ulley. Famous for being the home to an unusual group of residents, the highest village of Western Ladakh is one of the best places to spot the Snow Leopards of Ladakh.
Dinner and Overnight in Homestay at Ulley.
After breakfast this morning, you will be going to the nearby areas to spot a Snow Leopard.
With the help of an experienced guide, the overall difficult experience will become somewhat easy, and with some luck, you will surely get to see the elusive Wildcat.
Dinner and overnight at Homestay in Ulley.
After breakfast this morning, you would prepare yourself for the most adventurous day as you start the ride towards the highest motorable road in the world, the Khardung La.
Upon reaching the top, witness the beauty that snow casts upon this place with a cup of tea or two.
As you return back to Leh, you will be visiting the famous Shanti Stupa, famous for giving a bird’s eye view of the city of Leh.
Also, visit the Leh Palace. This royal residence was built in the 17th century and was abandoned by 19th century. Open to the public now, the palace also gives an unbeatable view of the city and has a rich collection of artifacts belonging to the royalty and history of Leh.
Dinner and overnight at homestay in Leh.
Morning after breakfast, drive to Pangong Lake on the Indo China border crossing Chang La (17,586 ft), world’s third highest motorable pass. You will drive by the beautiful villages of Shey and Thiksey, turning from the Indus Valley and into the side valleys of Chemrey and Sakti.
Reach Pangong Lake, which is situated at 14,000 feet (4,267m) and enjoy the sight of the different hues of blue and green contrast beautifully with the backdrop of barren brown mountains and clear blue sky.
In winters, you will get a chance to see frozen Pangong Lake as well. The sheet of ice is thick enough that you can walk on it!
Dinner and Overnight stay in homestay at Pangong or Tangste which is 34kms before Pangong. This is because the temperatures at Pangong may drop drastically in the winters.
Drive back through the same route passing Chang La pass.
One the way back, visit Thiksey Gompa which is one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh and sits atop a hil. This monastery contains images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha, religious texts and the largest statue of Buddha in Ladakh is also installed here.
Also visit the Shey Palace and Gompa, which was once the royal residence of the rulers of Ladakh and houses a 7.5m tall gold-plated copper statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The place has a magnificent view of nature around.
On Arrival check in at the homestay and rest of the day is free.
Dinner and Overnight stay at the homestay in Leh.
After breakfast, check-out from the homestay and get transferred to the airport where you will catch your early morning flight back home.
The experience comes to an end here.
Q. Which is the best time to visit Ladakh when all roads are open?
A. July and August are the definite peak months to visit Ladakh when all roads and passes are open. The weather is nippy with a sunny morning and afternoon making it fit for exploration. Expect the mercury to go up to 25 degree Celsius and fall to about 10 degree Celsius post sunset. For bikers too this is the best time to visit and experience all the wonderful colours the place is splashed in. Also the time when the popular Hemis Festival takes place.
Q) What is the difference between Leh and Ladakh?
A. Ladakh is the name of an entire region within Jammu & Kashmir state, and the name of the district. Leh is the capital of this region, and the point of entry into this place if you are arriving by air. Leh is also the main town in the region. Most lay persons tend to use the terms Leh Ladakh together.
Q) Is it safe to travel to Leh Ladakh?
A. Leh and Ladakh are some of the safest areas you can travel to in India. Yes it is a remote region, but there is a strong military presence which helps keeps any mischief makers away. Also, Ladakhi people are some of the most gentle and friendly people you will ever meet. Ladakh is safe for travellers of all kind, even solo travellers. Ladakh is also hundreds of miles away from the India – Pakistan border so it is not impacted by any tensions on that side.
Q) Which car is best for a Ladakh trip?
A. The terrain in Ladakh is such that a normal sedan car would not be suitable for driving around this region. For a Ladakh trip, one should only book or drive an SUV or MUV car. This is why MakeMyTrip only uses MUV cars for their Leh Ladakh tour packages.
Q) Which is the best time to visit Ladakh?
A. The best time to visit Ladakh will depend on what you wish to do and where you are planning to go. If you just want to visit Leh and see its main surroundings, you can visit anytime from April till October. On the other hand, if you wish to explore further around Leh and are considering Leh Ladakh packages that include places like Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley, then ideally you should travel to Ladakh between May and September for the best experience.
If you wish to enjoy winter experiences around Leh such as walking on a Chadar Trek or frozen lake, or even just seeing the snow around Leh, then visit in the winter from December to February. You could also visit in January of February if you wish to do the Chadar Trek.
Q) Does Leh have snow?
A. Leh is a valley and receives snowfall during winter. Areas at higher altitude around Leh will have snow even in spring and autumn months, and it is possible that you will get to see some snow at places like Khardung La pass, Chang La pass etc. depending on when you visit.
Q) How long do I need to spend in Leh before heading out on a trek?
A. Give yourself a couple of days – but at best a day, before moving out to the higher reaches. Not only does Leh have an array of monasteries, palaces and other sightseeing spots, it will also let you acclimatise better when you go further up to a Nubra Valley or Chang La.
Q) How good is a jeep ride from Manali to Leh?
A. There are several shared as well as private jeeps running the 470-odd kilometres from Manali to Leh. Though shared jeep rides come cheap, they can be tad uncomfortable given the length of the journey which is nearly 24 hours with little scope to acclimatise. While the front seat-view (beside the driver) is enviable and puts you as close to the natural surroundings as possible, those on the back seat can have a rather bumpy, uneven ride and suffer motion sickness.
Q) Are there direct buses from Delhi to Leh?
A. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has direct buses from Delhi to Leh, leaving New Delhi’s ISBT Kashmere Gate daily at 02:30 pm and arriving into Leh in about 35 hours. To cover the 1050 kilometre, the bus halts overnight at Keylong before moving ahead to Leh. The bus route is Delhi to Chandigarh to Kullu and via Rohtang Pass to Keylong before arriving in Leh. The bus makes several pit-stops along the way for food and drink and lets you soak up the stunning scenery.
Q) What is there to shop in Ladakh?
A. Souvenir hunters have plenty of opportunities afoot in Leh’s Main Bazaar home to an assortment of curio shops selling Tibetan antiques, trinkets among other bric-a-brac. You can head into the Tibetan market to pick up unique silver jewellery, Pashmina shawls. There are several bookstores in Leh with a superb array of novels, travel books, guide books, and books on the Himalayas and Buddhism. Just by the jeep stand is a second-hand clothing market selling warm winter clothing, in case you desperately need to get yourself one. But if you have a trek planned out, do round up the trekking food shops selling powdered milk, instant noodles, chocolate, biscuit, granola bars and some dry fruits.
Q) How long does it take to get to Pangong Tso from Leh?
A. Pangong Tso at an altitude of 14,271 foot affords a dramatic mountain scenery that is starkly beautiful. In order to get to the blue-coloured Pangong Lake from Leh, you need to begin at the break of dawn so that you get there before noon. Typically it is a five-hour journey through the picturesque Chang La Pass, but the later you start more the difficulty in reaching the lake site since the road gets blocked by water from melting snow trickling in around 01:00 pm up until 08:00 pm. However, you do not have to return on the same day from Leh; you can stay the night at a guesthouse or hotel in the Tangtse village close to Pangong.
Q) Do I need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Nubra Valley?
A. Yes, you need an ILP to visit Nubra Valley because it is close to the borders of Pakistan and China. It is easy to attain an ILP permit these days as you can go to the official ILP website, enter your details, furnish your identification proof, state the purpose of your journey and you will be issued an e-ILP. You need to produce a printout of the same at the site.
Q) Is the Khardung La pass open through the year?
A. Though the Indian Army keeps the world’s highest motorable road open through the year, it may not necessarily be possible to travel all year round. The best time to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and drive through is between April and June and then from September to October. The monsoon months in between make the stretch extremely treacherous, and in the months post November it goes under a blanket of snow. The road opens at 09:00 am and shuts by 05:00 pm everyday.
Q) How long does a bus from Manali take to get to Leh?
A. The Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation (HPTDC) buses take about 2 days to get to Leh from Manali. The 473 kilometre stretch warrants a night stay in Keylong or Sarchu before progressing to Leh. The road is extremely scenic and the slow pace of the journey helps you acclimatise better.
Q) Do local Ladakhis follow English?
A. While Ladakhi is a Tibetan dialect and can be difficult for a traveller to fathom, you can get around locally by speaking in Hindi and also English, courtesy the surge of foreign tourists. Across Leh, most people speak and understand Hindi and even English, but when you travel remotely into the villages, no other language but Ladakhi is spoken and understood. Keep the word ‘julley’ – a greeting in Ladakhi – handy and you can win both favour and friends.