With the recent boost in tourism in Ladakh, several modes of travel that people avoided using earlier are now gaining popularity. What was once considered a destination for adventure enthusiasts now also gets considered for family vacations. A journey to Ladakh earlier used to be though as expensive because of the time and the related cost involved but now there are several cost effective methods available. One such mode of travel that people have started to opt for a lot is bus service. So many people look for a bus to Ladakh that HRTC even started a direct bus from Delhi to Leh, details of which I have provided in the previous article here. In this article, I will provide details on Srinagar to Leh Bus service; fare involved, timings, frequency, where to board it from and how can you book a seat.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Service
There are two kinds of bus services available of Srinagar to Leh route; one by Jammu & Kashmir government and other by private tour operators. Government run buses are a mix of luxury, semi deluxe and ordinary buses. The ones run by private tour operators are usually the semi-deluxe mini buses.
Also read: Is Srinagar Leh Highway Safe for Tourists?
JKSRTC Bus from Srinagar to Leh
JKSRTC provided three different types of buses on this route. One is MCV, 14 and 19 seater, which is a fully luxury bus; next is a Deluxe Bus followed by a Semi Deluxe Bus. There could also be an ordinary bus but it is not available on a daily basis. Usually it is just the MCV, Deluxe or Semi Deluxe bus from Srinagar to Leh.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Distance
This bus starts from Srinagar, travels via Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil and covers a total distance of 425 kilometers. It crosses three high altitude passes on the way; Zoji La, Namika La and Fotu La.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Schedule
This is a daily bus from Srinagar. Usually it is just one bus every morning but depending on the bookings, JKSRTC may run a second bus on the same day.
Srinagar to Leh by bus
The bus departs at 8 AM from Tourist reception center near Dal Lake. It is a two days journey with night halt at Kargil. The bus stops at all popular tourist places for a little while for sight seeing. It reaches Kargil by evening and starts again the next day early in the morning for Leh; where it arrives by late afternoon or evening.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Timings
Departure from Srinagar is in the morning by 8 AM from TRC. Arrival at Kargil is in evening between 4-5 PM. Next day it departs from Kargil at 6 AM and arrives at Leh by 4 PM.
Srinagar to Leh Bus fare
An MCV bus will cost Rs. 1300 per person. Fare for a deluxe bus is Rs. 919 and Rs. 737 for a semi deluxe bus. Accommodation at Kargil is not included in this fare. You will be paying for your stay and meals separately. Ordinary bus, if available would cost around Rs. 500.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Booking
For booking your seat, you will need to arrive at TRC and buy a seat for your date of travel. Please note that a booking at least one day in advance is must. JKSRTC usually decides on number of buses based on the bookings made. It is possible that you arrive early in the morning without booking and may get a seat but it is not guaranteed. To be on a safer side, buy your ticket at least one day before your date of travel.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Booking Online
There is no online booking available. You will have to physically go to TRC and buy your ticket.
Volvo bus service from Srinagar to Leh
Adding this information here because someone emailed me a few days ago with this question. There is no Volvo between Srinagar to Leh, just the MCV by JKSRTC which is as good as a Volvo.
Jammu to Leh Bus
There is no direct bus that runs from Jammu to Leh. You will have to reach Srinagar and board a bus from there for Leh.
Jammu to Leh Bus Fare
Fare for Jammu to Srinagar is Rs. 445 for MCV, Rs. 392 for Hi-Tech, Rs. 321 for Deluxe, Rs. 230 for Semi Deluxe and Rs. 213 for an Ordinary bus. Depending on which bus you chose to travel in, add this fare with charges for Srinagar to Leh and you will get the total cost for traveling from Jammu to Leh.
Leh to Srinagar Bus
For traveling from Srinagar to Leh, there is a direct bus that you can board at Leh bus stand. This bus starts at 2 PM, runs non-stop and arrives at Srinagar the next day at 7.30 AM. Fare is Rs. 1050 for a deluxe bus, Rs. 650 for Semi Deluxe and Rs. 450 for an ordinary bus.
Apart from the bus provided by JKSRTC, there are plenty of other options like shared taxis, tempo travelers, and mini buses. These usually start from Leh by evening 5 PM and reach Srinagar the next day by 8 AM. It is a non-stop drive all the way fare of which will be between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 15000, depending on which mode of travel you chose. Mini buses are probably the best way to go here rather than choosing a shared taxi which can be a lot inconvenient.
I hope this information on Srinagar to Leh bus service was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I would be glad to answer. Also, if you have travelled to Ladakh by Bus recently and have any information that can be added for other people’s benefit, please feel free to do so in the comments section below and I will add it to main article