Holiday season is still in full swing and the hot favourite destination after the International destinations is North India. Last year this time v suddenly decided let’s go to Leh. A destination that was long awaited. We were 5 of us and I started with flight bookings. That was the easiest part. When u hv never been there it gets a bit difficult to plan your whole trip with hotels and locations without any knowledge or any help. It was a tedious one month of research and search for hotels and after getting hotels their numbers and then bookings was a daunting task. We took the trip in August end. This year since many ppl are doing the place and many are planning to I decided to share the itinerary with hotel names and things to do. We took a roadtrip from Chandigarh to Manali n Manali to Leh- firstly because its supposed to be the most beautiful roadtrip n secondly, coz Mumbai to Chandigarh flights are cheaper. Check out our day wise activities with names of places for stay as well as visiting-
Day 1-land at chandigarh aiport and drive down to manali watching the beautiful landscapes pass by full of greenery; a happy change after the concrete jungle of bricks and cement in Mumbai. We had booked an Suv cab from Chandigarh to Manali which came to around 7000-8000 rs.
The drive lasts for 8-10 hrs. We reached manali and checked in to Sun park resort manali- we got a beautiful mountain view room for 1400 rs for 2 ppl only.
Day 2- We checked out from this hotel at 7.30 am and drove to keylong which is a 5 hrs drive. On the way to Keylong we stopped at Rohtang pass and took in the view and some pics.
Fyi the road to Rohtang is quite precarious. On the way to Keylong we witnessed beautiful landscapes.
Also since the drive is so long ull stop over for food, but dont expect any Mc D or fast food joints to come to your rescue. The only food u get here when travelling is in small tiny kitchens that make maggi, thukpa, momos and bread and tea. Once in a while ull get soups and dal chawal roti which u wont enjoy in taste. Hence my personal advice carry dry snacks or ready to eat packs if you are very choosy about food. Also one more thing; there are NO TOILETS. At the max ull come across tin doors which cover a hole dug in ground which pass as toilets here. No modern amenities whatsoever. This is the story all across LEH.
Reached keylong by 3 and checked in to new gyespa hotel that had Himalaya view rooms at 2000 rs per night. Beautiful view.
Instead of keylong can also stop over for a night at Jispa and take tents by the lake or stay at Padma lodge(beautiful property). Advisable not to stay over at sarchu-its super cold and high altitude.
Day 3- checked out from keylong by 7.30 am and drove to Leh which is 12 hrs drive (so it’s better to leave as early morning as possible). On the way to leh we stopped at Jispa for brkfast.
Then we stopped at Baralachala pass for pics.
On the way to Leh the roads are so beautiful and scenic; youll see the mountains change colors. The beauty is unmatched. Check it out-
We stopped at Thanglangla pass for short break-
We reached Leh by 8 pm. Checked in to Gangaba homestay where we paid 1500 per night for 2, cheap but one of the best homestay with amazing food with their own produce
( one of the only place where we ate to our heart’s content everyday) and beautiful view of shanti stupa from your bed. FYI its pure veg homestay.
Day 4- We chilled in Leh visited monastries-thicksey monastery, shey palace, shanti stupa and markets and cafes.
Day 5-we left for Nubra valley. on the way to Nubra major attraction is Khardungla. Khardungla is best done by bikes. So we had our suv along with our rented bikes. Being at super high altitude its freezing cold and can get difficult to breath coz of less oxygen. We stopped there for half hour for pics and some piping hot and very tasty food in their canteen.
Then drove on to nubra-hunder-for sand dunes and double humped camel rides. the only place ud ever get to see a double humped camel is here. also u get to see a desert between mountains.
Next we visited Nubra monastery which has the tallest Buddha statue. the surrounding of this monastery is breathtaking.
After this we checked into our hotel by 7pm. Our stay was at hotel Sand dunes-best service, good rooms and great food. room was for 1000 rs per night.
Day 6- We left from Nubra hotel after breakfast and back to Leh. Reach back by 4pm then took the rest of the day off to relax.
Day 7-left for Pangong lake at 7 am. takes 6 hrs to reach. The roads are horrible, but make sure u reach pangong by 4pm max to enjoy the view in the daylight. On the way to Pangong we stopped to play with the marmots; there is a marmot viewing site on the way. They r cute tiny animals only found here.
After this and the horrible roads we finally spotted a speck of dark blue waters amidst the mountains and we couldnt contain our excitement.
Once at Pangong, just enjoy the view. FYI though the waters r inviting, dont try taking a dip in that water, it is ice cold. The best place to stay here overnight is in the tents facing the lake. It is freezing cold here in the nights so make sure to take enough warm clothes. 3000-4000rs for a night for 2 with breakfast and dinner included in these tent stays.
Pangong sky is the best to be viewed at night for the galaxies and stars and shooting stars. DO NOT MISS it.
Day 8-checked out of tent after breakfast around 10-11. stop to see the 3 idiot shooting point
and reached back to leh by evening 6-7 pm. Enjoyed the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 9- drove to lamayuru-the broken moonland as its known. We left at 8 in the mornin, its 2.5 hrs away by bike. From leh to lamayuru take the first stop at hall of fame-the best museum every Indian must visit.
Next stop was Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which is 20 mints away. A very peaceful place. If you reach during afternoon u can also eat in the langar. Next stop was magnetic hill for 10 mints. Nothing great about it honestly.
Then came zanskar sangam point in 10 mints. Its a place where Zanskar and Indus river meet.
Then a straight drive to Lamayuru. We stopped there for half hour for pictures.
Then had lunch there. There is a monastery there which u can visit if u like. We skipped it. We left lamayuru by 3.30 4pm and drove back. On the way back stop at ALCHI MONASTERY. DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS PLACE. One of the oldest monastery in its original form. its so beautiful it haunts u. Here they have fresh walnuts and all kind of apricot products sold. They have amazing restaurant too. Try food here and then head back to leh.
Day 10-was exciting. We did zanskar river rafting- the bus comes to pick u at 9 am and drops u back to ur hotel by 5 pm. its the best experience of river rafting in the most freezing waters. definitely do it.
Day 11 was just roaming around in the markets and chilling at cafes and eating desserts. There are few very good restaurants serving amazing lebanese and mexican food, desserts and fast food. We also ended up buying few souvenirs from the markets
Day 12- was heading to the airport and waving a good bye to.the beautiful mountains from the flight ????
1. Carry lot of woolens-scarfs, gloves, everything if going in august or march.
2. The food sucks everywhere on the roads…. u only get maggi, thukpa and momos everywhere and trust me u will start hating them all by the end of the trip…carry food for travelling. leh has amazing restaurants and nubra has good food. manali has good food… for in between road travel carry some.
3. If u got bikers with u enjoy bike ride throughout ur trip. its more fun then car.
4. Carry Diamox with u… lot of people face lot of problems adjusting to high altitudes of leh…. have diamox on the first day. it helps in body adjusting faster.
5. Dont run around or do too much exerting activities or ull go breathless very quick in this place.
6. Create memories- ull fall in love with the place.
Our entire trip inclusive of each n every thing came to 34k per person for 12 days ( includes flights, Suv hired, bikes, hotels, transfers, food, drinks, sight seeing, tips everything). If you like the post do share and comment. TIA.