• Ladakh is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that currently extends from the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram range to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. (Wikipedia 2019)

Highlights

  • The road from Manali to Leh is sometimes called one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
  • The turquoise blue waters of the Pangong Lake
  • Khardung La Pass, sometimes cited as the highest motorable road in the world

Route

  • Delhi – Nalagarh (320 kms ~ 5 hrs)
    • via Karnal, Ambala, and Pinjore
  • Nalagarh – Manali (275 kms ~ 7 hrs)
    • via Bilaspur, Mandi, and Kullu
    • Scenic drive as you pass hills clothed with green forests after Nalagarh
    • Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Mall road in Manali
  • Manali – Jispa (140 kms ~ 6 hrs)
    • via Rohtang Pass
    • Jispa is a small village in the Lahaul region.
    • Rohtang Pass, located at 13,050 feet, is dry and cold, and with tremendous views.
      • It is surrounded by high mountains on all sides, the Great Himalayas to the north, the Pir Panjal to the South, and the Spiti-Chandra watershed to the east.
    • If pressured for time, it is advised to leave Manali at 4 AM to avoid tourist traffic at Rohtang Pass.
    • Stop at Keylong village from where you can see the awe-inspiring Shingri Glacier
    • Refuelling at Tandi
  • Jispa – Spend some time here to acclimatize and to get ready for the steep climb
    • Enjoy a cultural programme performed by local young people
    • Drive your vehicles to the banks of Bhaga river for lunch
  • Jispa to Leh (330 kms ~ 10 hrs)
    • Early start for a long drive at high altitudes
    • From Jispa, the drive is up along the Bhaga River
    • Baralacha-La Pass (4,850 meters – 16,049 feet above sea level)
    • Tanglangla Pass (5,360 meters – 17,585 feet above sea level)
    • Feel the raw power and majesty of the Himalayas – The terrain is rugged, the air crisp. It could be another world altogether. Stop for lunch at Pang and reach Leh by late evening. Overnight in Leh.
    • Leh – Good place to spend some time – at “the roof of the world” as it is known.
      • Visit the Shanti Stupa, an imposing structure situated on a hill overlooking Leh.
      • Relatively modern Shankar Monastery, which is closely associated with the Spituk Monastery.
      • Side trip to Pangong Lake (There and back to Leh is 320 kms ~ 10 hrs – Doable in one day, but why rush?)
        • Lake is at 4350 meters – 14,271 feet above sea level
          • Part of the lake runs through the Indo-Chinese border.
        • Visit the Thiksey monastery enroute
        • Chang La Pass 5288 meters – 17,350 ft above sea level
  • Leh – Khardong – Nubra Valley (120 kms ~ 4 hrs)
    • North of Leh, at about 10,000 feet above sea level
    • The road, which climbs up and over the Khardung La, at approximately 18,380 feet
      • Often cited as the the highest motorable road in the world.
    • Visit Khalser and
    • Visit the Diskit Gompa monastery in Hunder village
    • K2 is not that far away to the north (mostly) in Pakistan.
  • Nubra Valley – Leh (120 kms ~ 4 hrs)
    Can’t go too much further down this road. Return to Leh.
  • Leh –Kargil (230 kms ~ 6 hrs)
    • Pathar Sahib gurudwara (monetary)
    • Magnetic Hill (questionable attraction – more fiction, like the Magnetic Hill in Moncton)
    • Mulbek village
    • Kargil
  • Kargil – Srinagar (210 kms ~ 6 hrs)
    • Crossing Zozilla Pass (3528 meters – 11,575 ft above sea level)
    • Drass, cited as the second coldest inhabited place in world
    • Sonamarg
    • Srinagar – a paradise valley. Plan to spend some time here.
      • See the floating vegetable gardens on Dal Lake.
      • Nishant Bagh
      • Shankaracharya Temple
      • Lal Chowk market
  • Srinagar – Amritsar (460 kms ~ 9 hrs)
    • Patnitop – Gorgeous hill station
  • Amritsar – Delhi (460 kms ~ 9 hrs)
    • In Amristar
      • Golden Temple
      • Jallianwala Bagh

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