In last few years, tourism in Ladakh has really taken a boost. What was once considered a highly remote region specific to only adventure junkies is now a place where even families go for a vacation. Authorities here are also taking steps to make it convenient for people to visit Ladakh and move around for sightseeing. New areas have been opened for tourists and availability of basic amenities has been improving by each passing year. One such addition this year which I am glad will be a welcoming news for both locals and tourists was the introduction of Bus service in Leh City.
This will make movement to places near Leh town much easier; which until now was completely dependent on shared taxis or rented vehicles. In this article, I will provide information on the schedule and timings of these buses.
Please note though that the information below is specific to bus from the town of Leh to places that are within a short distance. This does not include buses running from Leh to other areas of Ladakh like Nubra valley or Pangong Tso. That bus service has been available for a long time already and I have provided that schedule in a different article here, Schedule of Bus Service in Ladakh. However there have been no regular buses available within Leh town or places within a short distance which has changed this year onward.
So far one of the most common ways for moving from one place to another in Leh city was to rent a motorcycle or automatic bikes like Activa or Scooty. While this was convenient, but also a costly affair with a daily rental of about Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 per day; fuel charges extra. This used to make things difficult for people who were visiting Ladakh on budget.
Due to this, a lot of people used to just walk around in the city. Leh is not really too big and also a tourist spot so walking around while sightseeing worked fine for some people; including myself. But this was not really an option if you wanted to go a few kilometers towards Sakti, Karu or other villages nearby. In this case the only choice left was of shared taxis but there really was no schedule of those and availability was not always guaranteed.
Another problem was a pick and drop from the airport. A private taxi for this purpose was the only choice which was again a costly affair. If you wanted to take a monastery tour covering Spituk, Shey, Thikse and Hemis monastery etc then a private taxi or rented motorcycle was the only convenient option. All this however will now change and become convenient since a local bus service has been brought in to effect; timings of which are as mentioned below.
All these buses will depart from Leh Gate and terminate at the same place, except for the one going towards Leh airport. This bus will start from Tourist Information Center, Leh at 6.00 AM and arrive at the airport at 6.15 AM. It will drop the people at airport, pick new passengers and bring them back to tourist information center. Then a second bus for the same schedule will start from TIC at 6.30 AM and arrive at Leh airport at 6.45 AM.
Bus Service in Leh City
Source: Leh Admin Page
Please do note though that this service has just been introduced for the first time. So there is a high chance that the schedule may change later depending on demand. I will update the article as and if the timings change.
Buses from Leh City
Below is the schedule of buses starting from Leh.
- Leh to Sakti Bus via Shey and Thiksey
- 8.15 AM Departure from Leh, 9.45 AM Arrival at Sakti
- 1.30 PM Departure, 9.30 PM Arrival
- 2.30 PM Departure, 9.30 PM Arrival
- 3.30 PM Departure, 4.30 PM Arrival
- 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Leh to Phyang Bus
- 9.00 AM Departure from Leh, 9.30 AM Arrival at Phyang
- 2.30 PM Departure, 3.00 PM Arrival
- 4.30 PM Departure, 5.00 PM Arrival
- Leh to Martselang via Changa and Hemis: 8.30 AM Departure, 9.30 AM Arrival
- Leh to Choghlamsar: The first bus for this route will start from Leh 9.00 arriving at Choghlamsar at 9.20 AM. After this, there will a bus every 10-15 minutes; with last bus starting from Leh at 8.00 PM
- Leh to Shara via Shey and Thiksey: 8.30 AM Departure, 9.45 AM Arrival
- Leh to Stakna via Chuchot: 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Leh to Spituk: The first bus on this route will leave Leh at 8.30 AM and arrive at Spituk at 9.00 AM. After this, there will a bus every one hour, last one at 6.00 PM.
- Leh to Agling: The first bus on this route will leave Leh at 9.00 AM and arrive at Agling at 9.30 AM. After this, there will a bus every one hour, last one at 6.00 PM.
- Leh to Skalzangling: The first bus on this route will leave Leh at 8.30 AM and arrive at Skalzangling at 8.45 AM. After this, there will a bus every 15 minutes, last one at 8.00 PM.
- Leh to Gonpa Village: 8.45 AM departure from Leh, 9.15 AM Arrival at Gonpa
Buses to Leh City
Below is the schedule of buses from other places to Leh City.
- All the below mentioned buses will start from their respective towns at 8.30 AM and will arrive at Leh at 9.30 AM
- Sakti to Leh via Shey and Thiksey
- Karu to Leh Bus via Shey and Thiksey
- Cemday to Leh Bus via Shey and Thiksey
- Igoo to Leh Bus via Shey and Thiksey
- Stakna to Leh Via Chuchot: 8.45 AM Departure, 9.45 AM Arrival
- Choghlamasar to Leh: The first bus for this route will start from Choghlamasar at 8.30 AM, arriving at Leh at 8.50 AM. After this, there will be a bus after every 10-15 minutes.
- Martsellang to Leh via Changa and Hemis: 4.30 PM Departure, 5.30 PM Arrival
- Spituk to Leh: The first bus on this route will depart from Spituk at 9.00 AM and will arrive at Leh at 9.30 AM. After this, there will a bus every one hour; last one departing from Spituk at 6 PM.
- Agling to Leh: The first bus on this route will depart Agling at 9.00 AM and will arrive at Leh at 9.30 AM. After this, there will a bus every one hour; last one departing from Spituk at 6 PM.
- Skalzangling to Leh: The first bus on this route will leave Skalzangling at 8.45 AM and arrive at Leh at 9.00 AM. After this, there will a bus every 15 minutes, last one at 8.00 PM.
- Gonpa Village to Leh: 4.30 PM Departure, 5.00 PM Arrival
In the end, I am sure that addition of this bus service in Leh city will be greatly beneficial for the tourists; and more than that it will make the lives of the locals much easier. I hope the information above was of help. If you need any further details, please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.