This is a detailed blog about one of the best road trips in India and that is Srinagar to Leh Road Trip. This trip is a long journey that one can explore across the Himalayas of Kashmir and Ladakh, over high passes, snow peaked mountains and the varied valleys and settlements through Srinagar tour packages. This is an epic road trip giving a lifetime of road experience.
Start your road trip from Srinagar to Ladakh by traveling the breathtaking Srinagar Leh highway, which passes through the picturesque places of Sonamarg and Drass as well as the breathtaking Kargil valley. It is truly an amazing road trip from the verdant slopes of Kashmir to the imposing brown of Ladakh.
In Srinagar to Leh road trip you never truly go too far from society. There are reduced risks of becoming lost here since you will keep going through several tiny villages and towns at regular intervals. There are better lodging options and amenities like gas stations along the Srinagar to Leh road.
We have included a comprehensive travel guide in the post below that will help you organize a journey along the Srinagar to Leh highway during the year. The post that follows provides details on the most recent upgrades, a route map, sightseeing options, lodging options, safety advice, and itinerary planning.
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Srinagar To Leh Itinerary
Day 1- Srinagar Arrival
Arrive at the hotel in Srinagar. It’s a leisurely day today. Free day to explore Srinagar. Explore the city’s magnificent Mughal gardens and vibrant streets. Come together for an evening briefing and icebreaker. Only then will registration and other requirements be completed. Stay at Srinagar today and be prepared for the marvellous journey to cover Srinagar to Leh Distance.
Day 2- Srinagar- Sonamarg/Kargil
Today, we will traverse Sonmarg and Zojila Pass—a very difficult journey. See the second-coldest place in the world, Drass Sector, later. Visit the Kargil War Memorial, the site of the 1999 war, to pay your respects to our war heroes.
Day 3- Kargil-Leh
Since the entire route runs along the river’s bank, the ride is pleasant and smooth today. Along the way, attractions include Kargil, Lamayuru, Moon Land, Fotu La, Sangam, and Nimmoo. Later on, we’ll pass by Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Magnetic Hill. This path will also take the renowned Hall of Fame.
Day 4- Leh- Exploration
Day off. Enjoy your day after breakfast and a late night. Go on an independent exploration of the city’s main attractions. You are liberated to explore Leh on this day without having to rush; the road captain will give you a list of the sites to see that day. The one you wish to visit is up to you to decide. Discover the Thiksey Monastery, Magnetic Hills, Leh Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, Hall of Fame, Shanti Stupa, Royal Palace, and neighborhood Tibetan market. leisurely evening. Enjoy shopping at vibrant markets in the town. The hotel will serve dinner. Have fun while you’re staying the night.
Day 5- Leh- Khardung La Pass- Nubra Valley
Set out for the 18380-foot Khardung-La Pass. world’s highest motorable road, open in all weather conditions. Passing through this road by bike is the most demanded journey all over the world. The Siachen Base Transit Camp will be the next stop. Visit the Diskit Monastery later. Savor the breathtaking scenery and see the Himalayan desert. Popular attractions in Hunder include the Bactrian Double-humped Camels, which serve as a reminder of the former Silk Road era, and dunes in the high altitude, frigid desert.
Day 6- Nubra Valley- Turtuk-Sumur
After a delicious organic breakfast in Hunder, begin your journey towards Turtuk. Turtuk is an amazing place and is distinct for more reasons than just its remote location. It is predominantly an Islamic community, although Ladakh as a whole is largely a Buddhist region. In Turtuk, crops such as apples, apricots, tomatoes, broccoli, and cabbages are grown. Turtuk is a vibrant portrait and a gallery of breathtaking beauty. Bogdang, the final major village before Turtuk, is predominately a Sufia Noorbakhshia community where, until recently, television purchases were prohibited. Arrive at the hotel or camp by dusk. Dinner and a stay by the bonfire for the night in Sumur (Nubra Valley).
Day 7- Sumur- Pangong
Set out in the direction of Pangong Lake. If you’d like, you can get up early, go to Panamik on your own, and then come back to the hotel for breakfast. Today, we will traverse the Agham – Shyok route. There are more adventures and less travel on this route. Attractions of the day: Pangong Tso, Khalsar, Agham, Shyok, and Tangtse. The greatest places to stay at Pangong Lake are the camps; take in the picturesque grandeur of the lake and the breathtaking view from your camp.
Day 8- Pangong Lake
After your good rest at Nubra Valley, Visit the well-known “Three Idiots” location at Pangong Lake for a picture opportunity. Today, we’ll cross Chang La, the second-highest pass. All these places run along the Indochinese border. Explore a blend of cultures in these locations.
Day 9- Departure
It’s the last day of the expedition today. After waking up and having a sumptuous breakfast, depart for your hometown. Here, the expedition comes to an end with many wonderful memories.
Explore the stunning landscapes of Leh Ladakh through: Leh Ladakh Tour Packages
Route Overview Of Srinagar To Leh
Starting from Srinagar in Your trip you will travel through spectacular places in between.
Srinagar to Sonamarg (80 km)
The journey begins with a drive to meadows of gold, Sonamarg. You will explore breathtaking valleys and glaciers. Traveling across the Sindh River is a chance e to witness the beauty of Kashmir. Before starting you Explore Srinagar and travel to Sonamarg for a trekking experience.
Sonamarg to Drass (60 km)
Later from Sonamarg, the route continues to the coldest inhabited place, Drass. You will pass through dramatic Landscapes. All the routes will be filled with lush meadows and rugged turns. You may need to stop here to explore the history of the valley surrounding it. Enjoy quality time with locals and their culture.
Drass to Kargil (60 km)
On continuing you will reach Kargil, the war capital of India. Known for its role in the Indo-Pakistan war Kargil is the major location in between the journey. The route offers you majestic views of the Suru River and the Himalayas. You can visit the Kargil War Memorial and Museum during your break. The Zoji la pass will be your primary attraction during this plan to cover Srinagar to Leh distance.
Kargil to Lamayuru (120 km)
From Kargil, after traveling 120km you can reach the peaceful Lamayuru monastery. Stargazing is also popular here. Explore vistas of Barren mountains and mountaineering along with Camping and trekking. Lamayuru Monastery offers you festivals and Buddhist events to take part in.
Lamayuru to Leh (115 km)
Lastly, on moving from a peaceful break at the monastery, travelers reach Leh. You will pass through. Charming villages of Kashmir and barren land. You will be accompanied by the mighty Indus River throughout the last phase of the journey.
Leh to Khardung La (40 km)
For adventure seekers regular trips may not be sufficient, a side trip to Khardung La from Leh will satisfy your soul. This journey through the snowcapped peaks and the highest motorable road is truly thrilling and memorable. Continue your journey to Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and other places through Khardung La. Other than these places you can visit remote areas for a more immersive experience.
Experience romantic trip through: Kashmir Honeymoon Packages
Best Time For Srinagar To Leh
The months of summer May-September are the greatest times to travel the Srinagar Leh Highway. The highway begins operation in late April and ends in November. The finest weather and road conditions are expected to occur over these three months.
By late June, the monsoon arrives in the area, and in July and August, severe rains can wreak havoc. Although a lot of individuals travel at this time, I would advise avoiding it if at all possible. There are occasions when landslides obstruct the Dras–Srinagar route, making further travel impossible.
Following November, the road is closed for the whole winter and reopens approximately in mid-May, or early June in the event of significant snowfall in the area. For the entire duration, civilian traffic is prohibited from using the route.
Stops Along the Route Of Srinagar To Leh
The Srinagar Leh journey is the most scenic. Destinations in between with notable stops like Zoji La, drass, Kargil, and Magnetic Hill. Each stop has its significance of adventure and nature, making the trip memorable. Sonamarg is a popular stop for landscapes and glaciers. If you are looking for a stay then camping and trekking at Sonamarg are also notable. the high mountain pass through which h you need to travel a long distance is Zoji La Pass. It offers stunning views of the Himalayas surrounding it. It connects Leh with Srinagar and other places in Kashmir.
After Zoji la you can have a stop at Drass which is considered to be the coldest inhabitant area. With its unique and cold landscape, it offers historical details of the Kargil War. Kargil is the major destination between Leh and Srinagar which is almost the same distance from both Leh and Srinagar. This town is known for its role in India Pakistan war in 1999. For people seeking a peaceful break in this long trip, Lamayaru monastery Offers you the moon-like landscapes. The stunning hill and surrounding area are worth the break here. Later for more Adventure and stunning exploration, you can stop at Magnetic Hill which is known for its magnetic illusion.
Places To Visit During The Srinagar To Leh Tour
Situated amidst the Pir Panjal mountain ranges, Dal Lake is a well-known destination for Shikara rides during trips to Leh and Srinagar. When the weather is nice, people especially enjoy Dal Lake for their shikara excursions.
These standard Kashmiri boats are used by the locals to cross the lake. Along with its stunning scenery, Dal Lake attracts anglers with its large population of carp. Furthermore, the lake is recognized for its numerous varieties of floating markets. By taking part in the Heritage Walk, you can explore Srinagar’s architecture and culture by visiting the vicinity of Mughal gardens and streets.
Sonamarg’s verdant summer meadows and snow-covered winter fields are contributing to its ongoing rise in stature and appeal. When traveling from Srinagar to Leh by road, the area seems to offer a full vacation package because it offers so much in every season. Sonamarg, the gold meadow, is so breathtakingly beautiful that it leaves the viewer in awe when viewed at sunrise or sunset because of the unmatched golden view of the Himalayas. You can plan bike trips and add them to your itinerary for adventure activities and camping.
Zoji La Pass
Zoji la stands as a symbol of nature vacation in Kashmir Valley. It is a high pass that connects Leh to other places in Kashmir. The journey while traveling the pass is a thrilling adventure at an altitude of 3536 meters. You can ride bikes through steep ascents and turns. This pass is a symbol of the region’s history, and currently, it is a gateway to the land of High Passes. It is located around 9km from Sonamarg. Passing through this route in winter may be a difficult task and it remains closed due to snow
In the Union Territory of India’s Ladakh, the District of Kargil contains the stunning valley known as Drass. Drass is sometimes referred to as the Ladakh gateway. Drass is situated 3230 metres above sea level on the Leh-Kargil National Highway. The Drass Valley begins at Zojila Pass. In the winter, Drass is the second-coldest place on Earth. This area is covered in snow, and the winter months bring extremely low temperatures. Nearly every itinerary that travels from Srinagar to Leh includes a stop at this location.
Kargil is situated on the Leh-Srinagar highway, 220 km and 210 km from Leh and Srinagar respectively. It is one of the two districts and a major town of the Union Territory of Ladakh in India. The elevation is roughly 8600 feet on average. At Kargil, you can delve into the rich history of the Indian army and ancient kingdoms. See the Kargil War Memorial while traveling from Srinagar to Leh by road. When is the best time to visit Kargil? May to October. Winter brings extreme cold and snow-blocks most of the roads leading to Kargil.
The Lamayuru Monastery is located on the Leh-Srinagar highway at a height of 3510 meters. Around 125 kilometers from Leh, in Ladakh, lies an unusual but accessible village called Lamayuru. It’s always an excellent choice to stop and take in Lamayuru’s natural beauty and historic legacy. It is easily doable from Leh as a day trip, or when traveling from Kargil to Leh. If you want to pursue trekking in the Trans-Himalayas, there are a few treks that you can undertake around Lamayuru. July and August, during the Yuru Kabgyat festival, is the ideal time to pay a visit to the Lamayuru monastery.
You won’t believe it until you witness this magnetic hill in Ladakh, which is situated along the Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway. It is said to miraculously draw stationary objects towards itself. The magnetic road has been dubbed “Mystery Hill” and “Gravity Hill” because cars traveling at 20 km/h can reach astounding speeds there.
The magnetic hill , located in the Trans-Himalayan region at an elevation of about 14,000 feet over sea level, draws a large number of visitors each year who come to witness this amazing phenomenon in action. The eastern portion of the magnetic hill is swiftly crossed by the Sindh River.
Indus and Zanskar River
The Indus and Zanskar Rivers meet at Sangam in Ladakh. It is situated in Nimmu on the Leh Srinagar highway, 35 kilometers from Leh. Here, the two rivers may appear to be coming together separately. The Zanskar River has a muddy green appearance, whereas the Indus River is shiny blue. It’s an amazing sight to behold.
The two streams at Sangam have different flows depending on the season. The Indus River is calmer in the summer than the Zanskar River, which swells and rapises. Zanskar slows down and nearly freezes during the winter, and the Indus flow is even less. Originating in Tibet, the Indus is one of Asia’s longest rivers. The Zanskar Valley is where the Zanskar River forms.
The Alchi town is well-known for housing Alchi Monastery, one of Ladakh’s oldest monasteries and the region’s most priceless cultural treasure. The Likir monks are in charge of the Buddhist study and worship institution known as Alchi Monastery. The structure is thought to have been constructed in the eleventh century, and it has outstanding architecture.
Thousands of tiny images of the Buddha are shown on one of its walls. It’s the ideal spot to unwind and take in the essence of a Buddhist monastery.
The Likir monastery is located just before the settlement of Saspol, six kilometers north of the major Leh-Srinagar route. It is sixty-two kilometers west of Leh itself. The monastery is home to a wide variety of antique manuscripts, an eye-catching assortment of thanks, and antique household and religious items. In the courtyard stands a massive Jupiter tree, one of the few surviving examples of its kind.
Not only is Likir Monastery big, but it’s also rather well-off. Likir is home to about a hundred monks, and it has a branch monastery called Alchi.
Overlooking the town of Leh, Leh Palace is a former royal residence situated in the city of Leh. Tsewang Namgyal, the founder of the Namgyal Dynasty, laid the foundation for the palace when it was built in the seventeenth century. The Leh Palace complex is made up of nine levels, each of which served a distinct purpose during its heyday. This palace is a great example of the ancient botanical system because it is based on the Potala Palace in Lhasa. When observed from a distance during the night, the building looks much more massive.
Located in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, Shanti Stupa is perched on a hill. Buddhist white-domed stupas are known as Shanti Stupas. Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura, a Japanese Buddhist constructed it in 1991. The 14th Dalai Lama personally protected the Buddha’s remains at the base of the Shanti Stupa. The Shanti stupa offers a stunning, expansive perspective of the surroundings. Beyond its religious significance, this has emerged as the main reason why Shanti Stupa has become a famous tourist destination.
Situated in Thiksey, Ladakh, the monastery can be found 19 kilometers east of Leh. In the heart of Ladakh, it is the biggest monastery. and is well-known for having similarities to Lhasa’s Potala Palace. The monastery is connected to the Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa or Yellow Hat sect. It features a different collection of structures just for female renunciates. Thousands of visitors come from across the world because of the special position and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The combination of modern design and craftsmanship, a calm atmosphere, and a variety of Buddhist sects all contribute to the overall beauty.
One of the most well-known lakes in Leh Ladakh, Pangong Lake, gets its given name from the Tibetan phrase “Pangong Tso,” which translates to “high grassland lake.” The lake is 134 kilometers long and nearly 5 kilometers wide, with two-thirds of its length being in China and one-third in India. Reaching a maximum depth of over 328 feet, this well-known Ladakh lake is also fairly deep. You might contemplate here for hours and still not be able to fully appreciate its beauty. It is also known that Pangong Lake changes colour, appearing at various times as blue, green, and red.
Road Condition Of Srinagar To Leh
The road conditions from Srinagar to Leh can vary depending on the weather and the time of visit. Generally, the highway NH1 is open for a few months of the year. From May to October, you find the roads are free of winter snow and safer to travel.
During this time the road is generally in a good situation, but still steep turns and narrow ways in between can make it challenging. During monsoons falling rocks and sliding roads are a challenge for travelers. From Srinagar to Sonamarg you may find fewer difficulties and blind curves in between, after passing Zoji La through narrow passes you will enter a steep descent into drass valley which requires safe driving. Landslides are hurdles between Kargil and Drass. It’s important to drive cautiously and get ready to face any rough terrain. In heavy seasons Sonamarg and Leh towns may experience traffic occasionally. Overall the road is well maintained but needs experience to cover the long distance with rough terrains.
Best Transportation Options For Srinagar To Leh Trip
Traveling to Leh from Srinagar can be completed through different transportation options listed below
By Rental Vehicles: Renting a vehicle is the best option for a flexible and controlled journey. XUVs and 4*4 are recommended by us for the challenging routes. You can make stops, and navigate roads and remote areas while having a smooth journey. Numerous rental services are available in Srinagar. Bike trips can also be the best choice for friends and couples. It may cost you 1000-2000 for a bike and 2500-4000 for a car rental per day.
By Public Transportation: Public buses run between Srinagar and Leh, providing an affordable option. However, the timings may be fixed and can be interrupted by the weather. The journey takes more time and less comfortable choice. It’s a better option for a low-budget trip. If you want a comfortable journey then bus services are not an option for you. You must check current schedules and road conditions to travel by public transport.
By Taxi/ Cab: Taxis and cabs are convenient choices for budget and group travelers. You can be confident about the driver who knows the routes without any tension. Negotiations can be your priority. Taxi or can selections. You can book taxi service in Srinagar to Leh taxis considerably under budget but a little more expensive than buses but still are an affordable and comfortable choice to cover the Srinagar to Leh distance.
Srinagar To Leh By Bus
There is a JKSRTC bus service from Srinagar to Leh at TRC, which is close to Dal Lake. This bus takes two days to complete the 434 KM Srinagar-Leh Highway trip.
Currently, the bus departing Srinagar for Leh arrives at 8 AM and spends one night at Kargil. It departs Kargil at around seven in the morning and arrives in Leh by evening the following day.
You may catch a JKSRTC standard bus from Srinagar to Kargil and then the following day take the bus that runs between Kargil and Leh if you intend to split the trip and choose not to take the immediate bus from Srinagar to Leh.
Read here complete details on: Kashmir Taxi Service
Tips For Travelers On Srinagar To Leh Tour
Planning the Srinagar to Leh trip can be a memorable adventure that promises you the best cultural history and geography of diverse regions of Kashmir. To make the trip successful and enjoyable, consider the following tips and suggestions that can enhance the beauty and comfort of your itinerary.
Check Road Conditions: Even though the Srinagar to Leh Highway looks scenic and enjoyable, it is filled with several challenges at high altitudes. before starting your journey check the current road conditions. Note the point that High-altitude passes like Zoji La will be closed in winter due to heavy snowfall. Staying ahead with proper analysis of roadways can ensure a safer trip.
Collect Permits: Several areas in the Srinagar to Leh route, especially in Ladakh require permits for outsiders. You must obtain these permits beforehand to avoid delays and obstacles in your plans. This is a mandatory check for border places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and Kargil War Memorial. All of these can be acquired in Srinagar Ladakh tour packages, or you can obtain them at concerned district offices.
Checkout Weather: Srinagar to Leh bike trips can face several unpredictable weather conditions. The route is known for its variations in temperature and even occasional rain or snow. Pack your backpack accordingly with layered clothing, boots, and rain gear. One must be aware that chilly nights can be a hurdle in your trip. Must be prepared for Camping at high altitudes where temperatures drop during the night. Proper riding gear and trekking equipment can help you face unknown weather fluctuations.
Travel Time & Distance: If you are interested in the Srinagar to Leh bike trip then planning distance daily with suitable stops can be helpful. The road conditions can affect your designed plans significantly. Estimation of time cost and stops in between us crucial. Plan yourself such that you can acclimate at proper breaks. More leisurely space can provide a healthier and more joyful experience.
Fuel & Supplies: As you travel through remote areas along the route, know the importance of carrying fuel before departure. Always start your trip after breaks with a fueled vehicle to avoid unnecessary breakdowns. Stock up with essentials like water, liquid cash, and medical kits as you may find less or no services in your trip. A proper tool kit with basic equipment is mandatory along with fuel.
Advance Booking For Stay: Accommodations are less in Srinagar to Leh road trip. To ensure a comfortable stay, you must book them in advance according to your trip breaks. This proper planning allows you to rest peacefully, particularly in Leh and Kargil. All the accommodations along the route include monasteries guesthouses and hotels, you can select and book them according to your needs and budget. Altitude Considerations
You must adapt to high-altitude regions and get along with low oxygen levels. Plan your food and hydration options to stay healthier at high altitudes. Trekking and riding at such a height may lead to constant breathing problems you must get your gear to face the challenges imposed by the height of the region.
Challenges For Travelers On Srinagar To Leh
- The journey includes adapting to higher altitudes with lower oxygen compared to Srinagar.
- The Highway you pass through is rugged and contains unpredictable turns and terrain.
- You may not find fuel stations and ATMs during your journey. You must carry them with you prior.
- Unknown weather changes can lead to disturbances in your trip. Occasional rain can also be a hurdle.
- Certain remote and border areas need permits to explore and prepare in advance with all the requirements.
- Traveling such distance demands physical and mental fitness with endurance.
- Limited lodging and food stalls along the route, especially during high passes.
- Closing of roads and seasonal hurdles can impact travel plans.
- Network connections can be interrupted and may be scarce in some regions.
Planning a trip from Srinagar to Leh is not about visiting the destination, it’s meant to immerse your heart in stunning landscapes and feel the adventure, rich culture, and memorable experiences that it has to offer. No matter what kind of traveler you are this trip sure fills your cravings for adventure, culture, and nature. This epic journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy such an amazing experience with us. We Cliffhangers India are here to guide you throughout the Kashmir valley. We hope the above information includes all the details of Srinagar to Leh. For more queries regarding planning trips and itineraries, you can contact us.
What is the Srinagar to Leh distance?
The Srinagar to Leh distance by road is around 434 kilometers. You will travel through some of the most stunning landscapes in Kashmir Valley. Several rivers and barren lands accompany you throughout the journey. The journey is not only about starting and ending points but also about the stops along the way.
What is the Srinagar to Leh taxi fare?
Srinagar to Leh taxi fare depends on factors such as vehicle type, season, and bargaining skills. In general, you need to pay around 12000-20000 for a round trip. This may seem like an expense, but it offers you the most convenient journey with flexible timings. You can explore remote areas through rental vehicles which allows you to travel at your own pace.
How do I get from Srinagar to Leh?
To travel from Srinagar to Leh, you can select different modes of transport. Private taxis and rental vehicles allow you to explore the region with flexible timings. Whereas affordable bus services are another option. Shared taxis, offer you both comfort and an affordable journey with a little flexibility. Each travel option allows you to explore differently, and select them according to your budget and needs.
How is the road trip from Leh to Srinagar?
The Srinagar to Leh road trip is known for its adventurous experience. The journey takes around 2 days with a stop in Kargil. The trip is not just about completing the distance it is about immersing in the rich tapestry and culture. From barren land to lush greenery of Kashmir valley you get to witness spectacular sceneries in between. A road trip to Leh is always a worthy experience with your friends and family in any season.
How much is a taxi from Srinagar to Leh?
Taxis from Srinagar to Leh are an affordable travel option yet costlier than public transport. You may need to spend 12000-15000 for a round trip for a week. This includes your fuel cost and other vehicle costs. You can bargain as much as you can and select your desired taxi service.
Can I go for the Srinagar to Leh bike trip?
Yes, the Srinagar to Leh bike trip is famous among adventure travelers all over the world. You can rent a bike and explore the thrilling turns of steep terrain. Ride through the highest motorable roads like Khardung La Pass and Zoji La Pass. People prefer this as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What are 6 most adventurous trekking routes in Kashmir?
The 6 most adventurous trekking routes in Kashmir are:
- Warwan Valley Trek
- Gurez Valley Trek
- Tulian Lake Trek
- Bodpathri lakes trek
- Gangabal Lakes Trek
- Sheshnag Lake Trek