After the recent flooding situation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, I received a few emails from people asking is it safe to travel to Ladakh in coming few weeks; or if they should postpone their trip until it feels safer to go. Al the rain in the valley caused a lot of destruction in Kashmir region and panic among people who wanted to go to Ladakh. Much of this fear is getting driven because of the 2010 floods of Ladakh. There is really no straight one line answer to this question. If you also have a plan of visiting Ladakh shortly, there are a few things you must consider as listed below.
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There is really not much time left in order to consider a delay in the trip. Srinagar to Leh road is closed as of now. Half of the September is already gone. Manali Leh highway usually closes by Mid October but taking a road trip on this road in October can be quite a hassle. First of all, temperature starts to drop drastically in October and several areas get snowfall. Baralacha La receives snow early in October and there is always a chance that it may close down at any point of time. So delaying the trip now is not really an option.
If this is your first trip to Ladakh, then you would want to cover as many areas as possible; which is not an option that you currently have. Srinagar Leh highway is not operational right now; so you would have no choice but to take the Manali Leh highway for both reaching Leh and return journey home. Road from Leh to Kargil is still operational but there have been landslides reported after Kargil. If you go to Leh now, you will have to strike several must see places off your list.
Also read: Is Srinagar Leh Highway Safe for Tourists
There has been no heavy rainfall in Ladakh region but considering the unpredictable weather this year in J&K and also the cloudburst in Ladakh a few years ago, there is really no certainty in terms of rain and snow. Baralacha La has already received snowfall last week and was closed for a few years until BRO declared it cleared and safe to ply on.
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Is it Safe to Travel to Ladakh Now?
A wise choice would be to give up the plan for this year and plan it for 2015. That way you will get to cover both highways;, see all that you planned to and would feel safer to travel. But if you however must travel this year; then I would recommend that you travel within next couple of weeks before September ends; or better yet, catch a flight to Leh. Do not make this a road trip and use all the time to explore more of Ladakh. I hope the information above was of help. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.