The tourist season in Ladakh is at its peak right now; a lot of people have already been there and others are planning to travel in coming few months. When is the best time to visit Ladakh is probably one of the most frequent questions pondered upon by travelers. Quite honestly, there is no optimum time to be in Ladakh as the region is capable of mesmerizing visitors throughout the year. September however is favored by many as to have an edge over other months. In this article, I will provide details on why visiting Ladakh in September is better as compared to others; what can you expect and how to prepare for your trip.
This by is the biggest advantage that visiting Ladakh in September has. During this time, all roads to and within Ladakh remain open. You can travel to any part of Ladakh and explore as much as you want. Even the high altitude passes are all approachable and chances of you getting stuck in a certain part of Ladakh are minimal. I agree that there are other months as well when roads remains open but read on further to understand why I mentioned this as biggest advantage for September.
While roads in Ladakh are mostly all open in July and August as well; the condition of the roads is best during September. Already passed a few months in the tourist season, BRO by September has restored almost every road throughout Ladakh. In the months of May and June, roads are mostly in terrible conditions; broken at several places with numerous water streams due to melting snow. July and August is the time of Monsoon which can really play havoc up in Himalayas. On the other hand, there is minimal chance of rain in September; snow has already melted as much as it wanted to and starts to freeze once again as winter approaches; and you will find plenty of fresh inviting tarmac laid on the roads. With Monsoon just gone in August, there is plenty of green as well as you approach through either via Manali or Kashmir.
Get ready to be spell-bounded by unreal vistas all around; a thousand shades of so many colors. As monsoon departs, valleys are on full blossom until Jispa from Manali and Drass from Srinagar. Witness the lush of the green on the way and be humbled by the beauty of brown in deserts of Ladakh. Its start of the autumn and you are in for a treat. Snow starts to settle at top of the peaks, blanketing them and giving life to the barren brown landscape; and thus offering a unique contrast of desert and snow.
Everyone has their own reason to go to Ladakh but majority of the people seek it as a destination either because of the adventurous journey or remoteness of the region. June, July and August see an influx of tourism which can undermine the majesty of remoteness. September however, more or less, marks the end of Tourist season in Ladakh. Most of the people who had Ladakh as part of their yearly plan have already visited here. You won’t find many people either in Leh or in other parts of Ladakh as well as compared to what you will come across in earlier months. If you want to be away from the crowd, spend some time in solitude while traveling through Ladakh; then September is the month you should opt for.
This is also related to the point that I mentioned above. October will mean even lesser number of tourists but by then; weather has gotten a bit cold with a high chance of snowfall all across Ladakh. Manali Leh highway may get closed anytime in October and as most of the tourism dependent business have already wrapped up; chances of finding accommodation and other facilities will also be less. September however will be less tourists with favorable weather conditions. It is also not just limited to Ladakh but also in the region that you will be traveling through to get here. The days are not as warm as they were in July and nights are not yet that cold as they would be in coming months.
Yes, I am adding this as a pros here for September. By Mid September, all the high altitude passes start to witness snowfall. Chances are that if you are in Ladakh in September, you will definitely come across snowfall at either Khardung La or Chang La. So if would like to add some snow to your Ladakh experience without the risks involved in October and November, then September is the month you should plan your trip in.
This actually is the 7th and an added bonus of visiting Ladakh in September. Ladakh festival is one of the biggest festivals of Ladakh. It is held in the month of September; lasts for two weeks during which people from all over the region gather to display an amazing and colorful cultural diversity. The event is marked with a host of cultural programs, impressive masked dance performances, colorful robes and ends with matches of Polo at Polo ground in Leh. Attending this festival truly gives a feel of Ladakh.
Ladakh in September
The only word of caution that I would advise about traveling to Ladakh in September is that you should try to plan it either towards or mid of September. Avoid traveling by late September as far as you can. Also, carry an additional layer of warm clothes than what you would have packed for July and August. For more details, read Clothes for Ladakh Trip, What to Pack?
I hope the information above related to Ladakh in September was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer.