Planning Ladakh Road Trip
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
Are you planning a road trip to Leh Ladakh? Nestled in the Himalayan region, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is one of the most visited summer holiday destinations in India. As you ride across the high-altitude passes while attending festivals, visiting monasteries, and camping next to stunning lakes, this fascinating place leaves an imprint on your soul with its spellbinding landscape, pleasant people, and astounding beauty hidden amidst the colourful layers of mountains, forever!
However, if you want to enjoy yourself to the fullest on this trip, it’s recommended to plan your trip meticulously and well in advance. And, if you are hopping on a road trip, it demands you to put in even more endeavours, such as carrying your cold weather biking gear and buying a two-wheeler insurance policy so that you can protect yourself and your pillion rider against injuries and damages that you might face in an accident.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can prepare yourself for a remarkable road trip to Ladakh.
How to Plan a Ladakh Trip
Every adventure enthusiast wants to visit Ladakh at least once, and they mostly plan to do it by road. But Ladakh is not a very easy terrain, and it requires a lot of careful planning.
Plan your Route: As you hop on this fascinating journey, you may choose either the Srinagar-Leh route along the National Highway 1D (which may take around 2 days with a night halt at Kargil), or you may opt for the Manali-Leh route ( which is a 2-day journey with a night halt at Keylong or Sarchu). Albeit, the National Highway 1D route is comparatively in better condition, the Manali-Leh route is more popular amongst bikers for the sheer thrill of navigating through the adventurous terrains amidst the alluring landscapes.
Notwithstanding which path you choose, you are supposed to carry your bike insurance policy and enough fuel along in order to return safely to your city, for there is no fuel pump for around hundreds of kilometres on these routes.
Take Time to Acclimatise: Ladakh offers spectacular beauty in every nook and corner, but then its environs are hostile and challenging to conquer at the same time. So, it’s advisable not to rush your trip. Reserve the first two days in Leh to allow your body to acclimatise to the low atmospheric pressure.
Wear bike riding clothes for winter to cover your body and do breathing exercises at regular intervals to maintain your body temperature. You may carry prescribed medicines to prevent AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), which is a common condition observed amongst tourists in the region.
Pack your Accessories: As you pack your bag for this magical journey, do not forget to carry your winter riding gear, comprising winter bike riding gloves and a winter bike riding jacket, to protect yourself from extreme weather conditions. Also, do carry your sunglasses, sunscreen, first-aid kit, and some cash (for there are only a couple of ATMs in Ladakh). Although Indians are no longer required the Inner Line Permits to wander around Ladakh, there are still a few places, such as Tsaga, Hanle, Chusul, Marsimik La, and Batalik, that may demand you to furnish the permit. So, it’s advised to do your homework in advance before you get on this magnificent journey to Ladakh.
Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh
If you are planning a road trip, then July till October can be the best time to visit the Himalayan regions (if your bike riding gear for winter is with you). However, if you are travelling via flight, then you could explore the mystical beauty of Ladakh at any time of the year.
The tourist season here starts around early July; therefore, the duration from April to June could be the best to marvel at the spectacular beauty of this high-altitude paradise nestled in the Himalayas.
How to Roam Around in Ladakh
Ladakh is a paradise for bikers where you can let your inner beast gleam in full glory! Every year, thousands of people hop on a bike trip to Ladakh from their hometown for an ultimate adventure. Do not forget to carry your insurance for 2 wheeler along in that case. You can also choose to rent a bike and wander around to enjoy sightseeing. Here, bike rentals are available even for long-distance journeys. However, if you are travelling with family, the easiest way to get around is by hiring a car.
Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh Trip
Dotted with snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, majestic willow trees, imposing glaciers, captivating mountain passes, and burbling rivulets, the astounding landscapes of Ladakh are famed as ‘Heaven on Earth’ for a bounty of reasons. Let’s talk about a few places that deserve mention here.
Pangong Lake: Located at a height of about 4350 metres, the Pangong Tso Lake exudes natural beauty at its peak. If you are on a road trip from Delhi to Leh, this is one of the most sought-after destinations for a biking enthusiast like you (provided your body is covered with a bike riding jacket for winter throughout).
Lamayuru Monastery: Famed as the ‘Place of Freedom’, the Lamayuru Monastery is one of the oldest and grandest monasteries in the region. Situated on a steep mountain at around 127 km from Leh, this monastery houses more than 150 monks. If you have a love for scriptures, rich paintings, and Buddha statues, then this is a must-visit place for you.
Drass Valley: Nestled in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir, the Drass Valley is also colloquially renowned as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’. Starting from the base of the Zojila Pass, this valley runs along the Drass River. It is one of the best destinations you could get on a visit ever! It is the second coldest inhabited place on earth after Siberia. Bikers planning to visit this place may face frigid weather conditions. Therefore, they must have winter bike riding gear, essentially, winter bike riding gloves, winter bike riding jackets, and liners that fit inside cold weather biking gear.
As we have mentioned already, Ladakh is a very demanding terrain, and accidents are very common on these mountain roads. Therefore, having a bike insurance policy becomes absolutely necessary for bikers. And just like a biker needs insurance for the two-wheeler, a car owner must have insurance for his car.
In the End
Every year, thousands of tourists and bike enthusiasts from across the globe flock to Leh to dive into its magical beauty. As you embark on an adventurous road trip amidst the Himalayan regions, it is recommended that you are fully equipped with riding gear for winter to protect yourself from extreme weather conditions and an insurance policy to prevent any damage to your pillion rider as well. Even if you rent a bike, make sure all the essential documents are in place. You may compare two-wheeler insurance policies at the Tata AIG website and opt for the one that fits your bill.