Which is the Best Car for Ladakh Trip?

by Vargis.Khan

Best Car for Ladakh Trip

Which is the best car for Ladakh trip? The answer to this question is a pretty straight one actually. It is the car that you owned. I know people who have been to Ladakh even in a Martu 800 and a 13 years old Wagon R. In the end, all that matters is how well maintained your car is and how prepared you are for the trip.

With that being said, some cars will definitely have an edge over others. High ground clearance is one of the key factors that is considered when visiting a place like Ladakh.

If you were planning a trip to Ladakh but weren’t sure if your vehicle is good enough for the trip, then hopefully you will have an answer to the question by the end of this article.

For other details on visiting Ladakh like which route to take, where to stay, what to see, the best time to go, please read How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide.

Best Car for Leh Ladakh Trip

This is a comparison that is actually easier when you talk about motorcycles. For a bike trip, it is mostly the riding comfort and engine size that matters majorly. But in the case of a car, several other things like ground clearance and length of the vehicle come into the picture as well.

During all my trips to Ladakh, I have seen all kinds of cars on the roads there. From a Maruti 800 to a Mercedes, from a small hatchback to a 4×4 SUV, everyone is bringing in what they have.

My weapon of choice would be my Mahindra Thar. I also own a Honda Amaze and Honda City up but will never take those up there. But then a friend of mine did his Ladakh trip in a Maruti 800 with 4 other guys and their luggage. Several of them have been there in their Maruti Swift.

Another friend of mine went to Ladakh in his 13-year-old Wagon R. You can read his travelogue and trip details at this link Leh Ladakh Trip by Car – In a 13-Year-old WagonR.

So I guess it is safe to say that there is no best car as such. The question is only about preparation, a few car specifications, and the route that you intend on taking. Let us talk about them all one by one.

Ground Clearance

Your car’s ground clearance will play the most important part while driving to Ladakh. You will be driving on some of the most challenging roads you have ever encountered.

There will be numerous water crossings en route and some of them quite deep. You will encounter broken roads, dirt trails, slush, loose gravel, sharp rocks on the roads and you need to be well prepared to drive through all of it.

Even then, if your car has low ground clearance, it is bound to hit the ground on several occasions, especially at water crossings.

Driving through loose gravel means stones flying and hitting the belly of your car. If you encounter slush like at Rohtang or Zoji La, you will have to think twice about how to take your car across.

In terms of numbers, anything over 180MM is decent enough for a trip to Ladakh. A number lower than that and you will have to be very careful while driving and are risking damage to your car’s underbelly. Cars with over 200MM GC will be the best choice.

aarti and harsh

Engine Size

This comes next in the picture. While driving a smaller engine car to Ladakh, you will have to ensure that there are not too many people in it and you travel as light as possible.

Overloading your car means that it will struggle at those steep ascents, while climbing up the high altitude passes on the way. You need to be seriously good at the wheel to make sure that your car doesn’t stall. With smaller engine cars, you cannot even imagine bringing them on stretches like Wari La and Marismik La.

Length of the Vehicle

This too plays an important role to some extent. With long cars, the problem will be around those sharp turns. Due to its large turning radius, you will have to engage the reverse at several places.

If the sharp turn is at a steep ascent, the problem will double and your driving skills will again come into the picture while you maneuver the car through.

An example of this is Tata Safari. The car has excellent ground clearance but a horrible turning radius. I am not saying that it is not suitable for Ladakh because it definitely is. It is just that at sharp uphill turns, things may sometimes get tricky.

Also read: How to Prepare your Car for Ladakh Trip?


Driving to Ladakh doesn’t mean only the passengers and their luggage but also additional fuel that you will need to carry. There will be several liters of fuel occupying space and adding weight which may become a problem with hatchbacks. Add to it the fact that you will also need to carry all necessary spare parts.

Also read: A Detailed Road Map of Complete Ladakh Region


Last but not the least, it is going to be a really long drive. You will be sitting in the car more than at the hotel. The entire trip consists of driving around for hours on a daily basis. Good leg space and comfortable seats are a must for a hassle-free drive.

ladakh in wagonr

Categories of Cars Available

Keeping the above in mind, let me break it down further into four categories of cars and where can you take them while in Ladakh. A lot will also depend on whether you are traveling solo, with friends or family but let me first explain it in terms of performance.

SUV 4X4 Drive: Goes without saying, you can pretty much take it anywhere you like. This car is built to handle some of the worst stretches of roads.

SUV 2X4 Drive: You will be Ok even if your SUV is not a 4×4 however it will cough at several places which I will further explain in the article.

Sedan: You may bring it to Ladakh but with extreme care to make sure you take it back home without any damage. Some of the areas in Ladakh will remain off-limits for a Sedan.

Hatchback: You really need to be good at the wheel while driving your hatchback to Ladakh. You also need to plan your itinerary in a way that you only visit the major tourist destinations and keep any adventurous thoughts away.

Tourist Routes in Ladakh

With all this being said, mentioned below are the routes that you will be covering during a Ladakh trip. I will explain the road conditions in that particular followed by how a particular car will perform there.

Manali to Leh

An almost 500 kilometers long stretch filled with all kinds of challenges. You will be driving across 5 high-altitude passes, numerous waters streams, slush, and loose gravel.  Traveling earlier in the season will only increase the problems with melting snow.

For more details on this road, please take a look at Manali Leh Highway Route Guide and Road Map.


As long as you are good at the wheel, an SUV will easily take you through it without having to engage a 4×4.

Sedan / Hatchback

With Sedans and Hatchbacks, you will have to drive very carefully but there will still be a high chance of your car’s belly hitting the ground at several places.

Slush at Rohtang top will pose a serious problem. The dirt road at more plains, loose gravel at Tanglang La will be second in line.

The rest of the stretches usually have tar on the road so you will be able to manage it with the exception of high altitude passes where your car may struggle to climb.

best car for ladakh

Srinagar to Leh

It is pretty much the same deal as Manali Leh highway but a bit easier. The condition of the road from Srinagar to Leh is comparatively better though there will still be water streams, slush, high altitude passes, and tough sections of the road to drive through.

For more details on this road, please take a look at Srinagar Leh Highway Route Guide and Road Map.


As long as you are good at the wheel, an SUV will easily take you through it without having to engage a 4×4.

Sedan / Hatchback

With Sedans and Hatchbacks, you will have to drive very carefully but there will still be a high chance of your vehicle hitting the ground at several places. Steep ascent and slush at Zoji La will pose a serious problem

srinagar leh road

Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley is one of the most visited places in Ladakh and the roads in the valley are mostly good. There is a steep climb of about 35 kilometers from Leh to Khardung La. After which it is all downhill and then good straight roads throughout Nubra.

While returning to Leh, the climb is a bit longer until Khardung top but not that difficult. The only challenging stretch on this route is between South Pullu and North Pullu.

While climbing from Leh, the first 24 km until South Pullu checkpoint is a good paved road. From there to Khardung top another 15 km to the North Pullu checkpoint is all loose rock, dirt, and rivulets of snowmelt.

For more detail, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip from Leh to Nubra Valley.


An easy drive throughout Nubra Valley. The climb of Khardung La can be a bit steep from Leh side but nothing that an SUV cannot handle. The section between North Pullu and South Pullu is a bit challenging but doable in an SUV without the need of engaging 4X4.

If however traveling in the months of May or early June, there will be a lot of slush around Khardung top due to melting snow. This will only become difficult if you are new to driving on such roads.

Sedans & Hatchbacks

The drive will be smooth in Nubra valley for a Sedan and hatchback but tough around Khardung La top, between both of the Pullus. If traveling early in the season, it will be extremely challenging if you do not have sufficient driving experience.

best car for ladakh

Pangong Tso

Being another most popular destination in Ladakh, nowadays there is a lot of tourist movement on the road from Leh to Pangong Tso via Chang La. This entire stretch is a mix of good, bad, and really bad, with good taking the majority.

The challenging part again would be around the high-altitude pass, Chang La. After Sakti, it is a steep climb of which the first 30 odd kilometers is mostly a tarred road. As you get closer to Chang La top, conditions will start to deteriorate and can get really ugly at some spots.

On the descent, the first few kilometers are again really bad. After that, it is an average road until Durbuk. From Durbuk to Spangmik, it is again mostly a good road. There is a dirt trail from Spangmik to the campsites at Pangong, no paved road at all.

For more details please read How to Plan a Trip from Leh to Pangong Tso.


This entire drive is mostly easy for an SUV with a few tough sections between Sakti and Durbuk, mostly around Chang La top. You will not need to engage 4×4 anywhere on this stretch.

Sedan & Hatchback

The drive until Sakti is easy for a Sedan or hatchback. From Sakti the climb can be challenging and crossing Chang La can be tough. If traveling early in the season, several spots near Chang La top can be troublesome if you are new to such roads.

road to pangong lake

Tso Moriri via Chumathang & Tso Kar

This entire stretch is mostly easy with an exception of the last 35 kilometers to Karzok after Sumdo. Until Sumdo, the road remains a mix of good and bad and doesn’t involve any steep climbs anywhere.

Tar from the road vanishes about 10 kilometers after Sumdo and then it is just a dirt trail all the way. You will be navigating your way at several places by following the track marks made by other passing vehicles.

There is a high altitude pass as well after Sumdo, Namashang La, but it is an easy one and you will hardly notice the climb at all. This is for the road that bifurcates from Manali Leh highway at Upshi to Chumathang.

If however, you are traveling to Tso Moriri via Tso Kar, or maybe taking this route for your return journey from Karzok, then there is another high altitude pass in between a few kilometers after Sumdo.

Polo Kongka La is not much of a climb but the road is terribly bad. It is all dirt, badly broken, several deep potholes, loose gravel, and full of large stones. However, it gets better a few kilometers after the pass, and then it is a smooth road through Moore plains all the way to Pang.

For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip from Leh to Tso Moriri.


The journey is easily manageable in an SUV until Sumdo via Upshi and Chumathang. After Sumdo, the drive is flat but on a dirt trail. The last 10 kilometers to Karzok can be a little difficult but nothing that an SUV cannot handle.

The stretch around Polo Kongka La however is difficult and will have you driving extremely slowly. There is no need for a 4X4 anywhere on this route.

Sedan & Hatchback

The drive is mostly easy or OK until Sumdo for a Sedan and a hatchback. It is tough once you cross Namshang La all the way to Karzok.

Around Polo Kong Ka La, it is a treacherous drive and you need to be extremely careful if you want to bring your vehicle home undamaged.

Polo Kong Ka La

Pangong to Tso Moriri via Chusul & Hanle

The entire road from Pangong Tso to Tsaga does not have Tar on it. It is a dirt trail with rivulets in between and getting across in a vehicle with low ground clearance can actually be difficult. From Tsaga to Sumdo, it is a mix of good and average. After Sumdo, it is a dirt trail as I mentioned previously in the article.

For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri.


The drive until Tsaga Is just OK for an SUV but some stretches can be tough to cross. From Tsaga to Sumdo is easy and OK again after Sumdo to Karzok. Loma to Hanle is a straight run on a flat tarred road. There is no need for a 4X4 anywhere on this route.

Sedan & Hatchback

Between Tsaga and Sumdo is doable for a Sedan or Hatchback, tough from Sumdo to Karzok, Spangmik to Tsaga, and treacherous at several spots between Spangmik and Tsaga.

best car for ladakh

Loma – Hanle – Photi La

From Loma to Hanle is a fresh tarmac all the way for 50 kilometers except for a few bad patches. There are no passes in between and it is overall a smooth drive. Photi La is a further 24 kilometers from Hanle. The last 10 kilometers on this road to Photi La top are all loose gravel and sand with a steep climb.

  • SUV – Easily doable without needing a 4×4.
  • Sedan & Hatchback – Easily doable until Hanle. Extremely difficult to climb up Photi La.

For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Hanle.

road to hanle

Chumur & Charchghan La Stretch

Let me first mention that there is absolutely no way that you can get a permit for this route these days. People have traveled on it a few years ago but with all the recent Chinese incursions, tourists no longer get allowed this way.

But if you did get a permit, this is a road that seems designed for SUVs and Army trucks only. No matter where you travel from on this route, either from Hanle or Karzok, it is mostly a dirt trail.

The drive can get extremely tough around Charchaghan La and there are a few difficult water crossings as well. From Karzok, there is a tarred road but only for the initial part of the drive. From Hanle, you can expect tar on the road until Punguk, around the Indian Astronomical observatory, but after that, it will be a dirt trail.


Doable but several sections of the road will be tough to cross. You will however not be needed to engage 4×4 unless you are traveling early in the season.

Sedan & Hatchback

The drive is extremely difficult and treacherous around Charchaghan La. A few water crossings can prove to be a herculean task to cross.

vargis khan

Agham Shyok Stretch

This is the road that you take to reach Pangong Tso from Nubra valley,  the other way around. Once upon a time, this was possibly one of the most difficult roads in Ladakh. BRO in recent years has really worked hard on it. Now it is a smooth tarred drive all the way. You can complete the journey between Nubra and Pangong in just 5-6 hours.

Irrespective of whether you were in an SUV, Hatchback, or Sedan, you will not face any problem anywhere on this route. There are some places in between where you may find the road damaged and loose boulders on it. In that case, just get down from your car, clear the road a bit and drive on.

Also read: Nubra Valley to Pangong via Shyok Road

Wari La Stretch

It is another of the less-traveled roads of Ladakh. The final 20 kilometers of the climb to Wari La top will have you popping open the hood of your 4×4; allowing it to cool down. This road remains mostly in bad condition and you will hardly find a living soul traveling on it. If your car breaks down here, you will be on your own.

For more details, please take a look at Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Wari La.


It is definitely doable but the final ascent to Wari La top will have you wishing that you bought a 4×4. I have been here in a 2×4 SUV. Though we were able to make it, it did take some effort and our car almost stalled at several places.

Sedan & Hatchback

It is doable but with someone with excellent driving skills on the wheel, otherwise no. A wise thing would be to not take your Sedan or Hatchback at all on this road.

wari la

Phobrang & Marismik La

At 18,314 feet, Marismik La is one of the contenders for the highest motorable pass in the world. Even my Royal Enfield at some places refused to climb here with a solo traveler and no luggage.

After Phobrang, the mettle road will convert to a dirt trail and then to rubble. It is full of loose rocks sharp enough to tear a tire’s sidewall. As you get closer to the top of the pass, these loose sharp stones will turn into large rocks that will make the drive a nightmare.

  • SUV 4×4: Doable but you will have to stay in 4×4 near the top
  • SUV 2×4: Extremely difficult and you will have to be an excellent driver. Even then your vehicle may just refuse to climb.
  • Sedan & Hatchback: Just do not go this way if you have any love for your car at all.

Chushul, Satatho La, Kakasang La, Hor La, Mahe Stretch

I am not really sure how to even describe how bad this entire stretch is. It involves a really steep climb to Kakasang La top on some nightmarish roads. The majority of the road is either dirt track or loose gravel. This is one of the roads in Ladakh that needs to be traveled on in only a 4×4.

  • SUV 4×4 – Doable but with caution
  • SUV 2X4 – I do not believe it is doable in a 2×4. It would need an extremely good driver if to be attempted
  • Sedan & Hatchback – Do not even think about it

vargis khan

Zanskar Valley (Kargil to Padum)

The entire road from Kargil to Padum is a dirt trail. There is a high altitude pass on the way but it is so easy that you will barely notice the climb. The road, though damaged, never really gets too difficult.

  • SUV – Easily doable without needing to engage 4×4
  • Sedan & Hatchback – Doable but can be tricky at several spots due to low ground clearance and lose gravel underneath.

For more details, you can take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Zanskar Valley.

best car for ladakh

Batalik Stretch

The entire Batalik stretch is freshly laid tarmac and the drive remains to be smooth.

  • SUV – Easily doable, no need for a 4×4
  • Sedan & Hatchback – Easily doable

Sham Valley

The road from Leh to Sham Valley is a mix of good and a few bad patches. The drive on the Srinagar Leh highway is mostly smooth all the way. The few bad patches are after you enter Sham Valley, around Likir, Suspool, Hemis Shukpachan, and Ang.

There are 3 high-altitude passes between Likir and Hemis Shukpachan. The first one is Phoebe La which, at 3600 m, is a gentle climb. This pass is also spelled as Pobe La or Phoebe La.

The next pass on the route, Chagatse La (also spelled as Charatse La) is at 4000 meters. The ascent is pretty steep with a few difficult switchbacks. But thankfully the track is tarred all the way.

Immediately after descending from Chagatse La to Yangthang village, the climb to the next pass begins. It is known as Tsermangchen La but I think it is the same pass that is also called Settmanchan La. The climb to pass at 3850 meters is even more difficult than Chagatse La, with the track getting very sandy at places.

  • SUV – Easily doable without needing to engage 4×4
  • Sedan & Hatchback – Doable but a little difficult around Chagatse La and Tsermangchen La

For more details, you can also read How to Plan a Trip to Sham Valley.


Leh is the district headquarters of Ladakh and the roads here remain mostly in good condition. No matter which car you have, you will have no problem using to drive around within the small town of Leh.

aarti and harsh

Which is the Best Car for Ladakh?

The best car for a Ladakh trip would be a 4×4 SUV, doesn’t really matter which one. If you do not have a 4×4, then even a 2×4 SUV will do the job equally well. Just avoid some of the stretches I mentioned above as suitable for 4×4.

If you are with a couple of friends out to have fun, an open Mahindra Thar will probably be the best for the trip. However, if you are with family then any other 4X4 SUV like Fortuner, Safari, Scorpio will be the best.

If you do not own an SUV, then by all means you can travel to Ladakh in your Sedan or Hatchback. But you will have to be extremely careful to ensure there is no damage to the car. Plan your itinerary avoiding all the places I mentioned above as suitable for SUVs only.

No matter which car you have, the key is to get it serviced well in advance and be confident in your driving skills. If you are someone who just learned driving a few months back or have never been to hills in a car before then it is best to let someone else drive who has a bit of experience.

Best Car for Ladakh – Conclusion

In the end, It all pretty much boils down to:

  • How good of a driver you are?
  • How much off-roading do you intend to do?
  • Who are you traveling with?
  • What time of the season you are traveling in?

I have seen the locals in Ladakh use a Maruti Alto. It of course heats up but when it does, they just allow it some time to cool off before being on their way.

I hope this information on the best car for Ladakh trip was of help. 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 happy to answer.

Related Articles


Kishore June 19, 2023 - 9:48 am

Hi Khan Ji,
I am planning to visit Rohtang & Leh in 2nd July 2023. I am planning it by self driven car, Verna 2019 model, What would you suggest, can I plan this or should go with local cab?

Vargis.Khan June 20, 2023 - 7:44 am

Hey Kishore – Do not by a Verna bhai … I would not recommend it due to the low ground clearance of the car. There are some very bad stretches on Manali Leh route right now

Kishore July 6, 2023 - 1:31 pm

Thank you ji

Srinivasan May 18, 2023 - 7:11 am

saw your interesting write up. ca i travel manali to Kelong/SissuJispa area and back to Manali . Is that possible in a Mercedes E220d.

Anirban Mukherjee May 11, 2023 - 6:20 pm

Which one would be a preferred choice…a latest innova crysta or a 2014 XUV 500 W8 for q Ladakh road trip…if you can pls throw some light on this aspect

Vargis.Khan May 12, 2023 - 5:33 am

Because of its higher ground clearance, XUV will be a better choice.

Anirban Mukherjee May 12, 2023 - 10:01 am

Thank you so much for replying….I am intending to visit during end of May/beginning of June…What are the Pros or cons of the time that i am choosing….Secondly how should i prepare my car as it is ageing around 9 years now for the trip…What should be my checkpoints

Vargis.Khan May 13, 2023 - 4:39 am Reply
Raghu April 17, 2023 - 9:43 pm

Khan Saab, I am planning a trip to leh next month i. e. May 2023 and I have XUV 500 amt 2 wheel drive…. Will it be ok to take it on this route… Im more concerned about its automatic thing.

Vargis.Khan April 18, 2023 - 7:23 am

Raghu Bhai you will be Ok as long you stick to the main road and do not try to go offbeat.

Nirav R Mehta February 21, 2023 - 1:10 pm

Tempo traveller vs innova
Pros and cons for 10 people going in a holiday in ladakh

Raghavendra cheruku January 6, 2023 - 8:07 am

Hi Sir,
I am planning to Ladakh in september 2023 via Hyderabad—Nagpur—-Delhi—-srinagar—-ladakh
and then Ladakh—manali—-Delhi—-Nagpur—-Hyderabad Route on my Diesel Nexon 2021 manual transmission with family (Me, my Wife and 6 years boy) is it fine on Nexon and is it safe for children under 10 years.

Planning in 16th sept 2023 . please guide me, Also please let me know is it safe to travel on srinagar Highway
Advance Thank you for your valuable feedback and waiting for your Feedback.

Raghavendra cheruku

Vargis.Khan January 17, 2023 - 10:43 am

Hello Mr. Cheruku,

Tata Nexon – Yes it is doable but please ensure your car is well-maintained and serviced. I have seen Tata Nexon struggling a bit at the high altitude passes. But it also depends on the driver and the condition of the car.
Timings – Yes, September is a good time to visit but it will also be very cold so pack accordingly.

Shariq bhat June 19, 2022 - 6:22 pm

Sir i am planning to travel to Ladakh in my maruti ecco through Srinagar is it good should i take it or not

Anchal June 9, 2022 - 10:28 am

Hi sir, we wish to travel to Leh Ladakh by Baleno. We live near Shimla. so would you suggest Baleno for this trip. And please suggest us the perfect route. We are planning this trip in july only.

ATUL May 3, 2022 - 10:11 am

Hi sir,
We want to travel from pune to ladakh with my celerio CNG car. between this May-2022 or June-2022. can we complete this circuit with this car. Which month will be good for us?

Vargis.Khan May 5, 2022 - 7:43 am

I will not recommend a Celerio for this route bhai due to its low GC and especially if its CNG

rizvi May 23, 2022 - 12:02 pm

mahindra TUV is ok for leh city or chandertal lake

Manish September 21, 2021 - 4:25 pm

Hi vargis..I have Innova and Xylo..which one I should prefer for Leh ladhak trip?

Dr. Navin Motghare September 28, 2021 - 12:18 pm

Hi, Vargis very nice information about Leh tour. I have XUV 500 will it be a good option for Leh tour. I’m planning for May end 2022

Dr. Navin Motghare September 29, 2021 - 6:41 am

Hi, Vargis very nice information about Leh tour. I have XUV 500 will it be a good option for Leh tour. I’m planning for May end 2022

Pratik Mathur April 26, 2022 - 6:13 pm

Hello sir,
can we take a self rental car from manali to reg

Vargis.Khan April 29, 2022 - 7:34 am

You can only drive it as far as Leh on Manali Leh highway Bhai but cannot drive it to any other place in Leh

Bhavneet September 1, 2021 - 9:23 pm

Hi Varghis,

Thanks, this is very useful. I have an Hyundai Venue top of the line automatic, will this be okay with GC 185mm.
Planning to take this from Una – Leh – Srinagar -Una in September. Plan to cover Nubra valley and Pangong Lake. What do you suggest. Other option is to get a zoom car – trying to find a Thar but looks difficult, may have to settle for XUV.

Sifat Tanveer June 25, 2021 - 10:53 am

Hi, I have recently bought an i20.
I am good at driving Hatchbacks. I fair well with an SUV but I’m never as confident driving it as I am with a Hatchback.
I feel that the new i20 is a good car for the mountains. I feel that the clearance is good enough too.
Do you think i will face all the challenges you mentioned in this article with my car, or it won’t be so bad with an i20?
And I am planning on going till Khardungla Top.
Please give me your opinion.
Also, on an unrelated matter, the network isn’t so good on Leh-Manali Highway after Jispa. And this will be first trip there. So how can I look for directions, give that we’re on our own there most of the time.

Vargis.Khan July 18, 2021 - 2:23 pm

The 170mm GC of I20 can be a little problematic at some stretches. If you are confident in your driving skills though, the trip can be completed.

You will be fine even if you do not have a network. After Jispa, it is just a single road heading to Leh. Stay on it and you will be ok.

Guru Balakrishnan May 7, 2021 - 10:16 pm

Hi Vargis Khan,
It was well details blogs..I really appreciate your efforts on this … Cheers.
I am planning to take my Nexon automatic petrol variant car to Ladakh. Is automatic car can claim the steep of hill.


Rajesh September 18, 2021 - 7:35 pm

Hi Guru,

I too was planning on taking my Nexon petrol from Bangalore to Ladakh and back. Would love to hear how’d it go for you.

Prateek Manchanda March 29, 2021 - 8:18 am

I would like to self drive my discontinued 1998cc Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0 LXD Diesel. It’s in good condition and ground clearance is 185mm. I’ll be traveling with my friend and he’s also a good driver. Please suggest if this car will be okay to travel to Leh from Punjab in May 2021. I am regularly doing many long journeys in this car but mostly in plain. I never had any problem with car.

Mayur March 6, 2021 - 5:30 pm

Going to Leh on Jeep Compass. Is there any service support, if required, in that region?

Saurabh September 6, 2020 - 6:09 am

I have Toyota Etios Cross 174mm GC. In my company name.
Kindly comment on both Ground Clearance and Car Ownership Name for Leh Ladakh.

Vargis.Khan September 7, 2020 - 4:11 pm

You cannot bring it to Ladakh. For a trip here, the car must be registered in your own name

Avadhesh Malik August 13, 2020 - 7:28 am

Thanks for the wonderful write up Mr Khan. I intend to take my Compass 4×2 diesel via the Manali route sometime in May next year. I am a decent hill driver and would definitely upgrade the tyres to all-terrain ones before leaving. I just want to know if it can be managed without serious bashes to the car’s underbody? Or are they inevitable?

Vishwas June 9, 2020 - 10:20 am

Hi vargis
Can I take my vitara breeza disel on this trip.

Anand July 12, 2020 - 1:00 pm

Off course you can take it. I took my Breeza in 2018. It was a Pune-Leh-Nubra valley-Pangong Tso-Manali-Pune road trip with family. Bindass jao.

Enjoy your drive and nature.

Happy travel.

Rahul May 11, 2022 - 7:54 am

Hi sir
I m planing leh trip in may last hum drize leke ja shakte or vo gadi mere jija ji ke naam pe register h kya koi problem aayege kya

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2022 - 11:01 pm

Dzire leke aap ja sakte ho par kyunki gaadi aapke naam nahi hai toh thodi dikkat ho sakti hai. Documents leke jana saath jise ye prove ho sake ke gaadi ka owner aapka family member hai and aap rent pe leke nahi aaye ho

Anand Singh Rawat March 10, 2020 - 5:40 pm

Thanks Mr Vargis Khan for giving valuable information for travel to Ladakh.

Vargis.Khan March 10, 2020 - 7:00 pm

Thank you Mr. Rawat for taking the time to drop a note.

Vivek Singh October 6, 2019 - 10:37 am

Hi Mr. Vargis, Is tata tiago AMT is good from leh trip

Vargis.Khan October 7, 2019 - 4:19 am

Hi Vivek – Yes it is. Just make sure it is well prepared. A friend of mine did the trip in Wagon R actually. See the link below.


Amritansh Tambi August 23, 2019 - 8:10 am

How about Tiago NRG Diesel? It has GC of 180mm

Anonymous July 13, 2019 - 1:30 pm

What kind of car you would suggest Petrol or Diesel? I’ve heard from someone petrol car is not good option for this kind of trip…

Vargis.Khan July 13, 2019 - 3:37 pm

Both are equally good, Engine size is the only differentiating factor

Anonymous July 20, 2019 - 3:04 am

I am thinking to buy Maruti Ertiga CNG + Petrol veriation ground height 185mm is it good for this kind of trip? As CNG won’t work over there or might be frozen but it’ll on complete petrol but does that ground clearance work?

Vargis.Khan July 20, 2019 - 5:11 pm

GC is low but it is doable. Friend of mine visited last year in Swift 170MM GC So yes, Ertiga will manage the trip as well

Sujit April 2, 2021 - 12:54 pm

Can I plan with WagonR or Renault Triber from Mumbai.
Pls do let me know.

Vargis.Khan April 3, 2021 - 5:04 am

Yes you can. Read the post below, details the journey to Ladakh in a Wagon R


Vishwas June 9, 2020 - 10:17 am

Hi vargis
Can I take my vitara breeza disel on this trip.

Lucky snehal massey July 4, 2019 - 4:56 am

Hi Vargis what is opinion for ecosport to leh..

Vargis.Khan July 4, 2019 - 4:32 pm

Hi Lucky – Yes it definitely doable.

Himanshu July 3, 2019 - 10:06 am

Thanks for the detailed information

My question is can I take my Tata taigor AMT to have a leh trip.
I will going via Srinagar.

Vargis.Khan July 3, 2019 - 12:59 pm

Hi Himanshu – Yes you can. Be careful around Zojila Pass, rest should be OK

Himanshu July 4, 2019 - 4:06 am

Thanks a lot

Vargis.Khan July 4, 2019 - 4:58 pm

You are welcome !!!

RAMAN December 14, 2019 - 5:30 pm

Hi can I take my range Rover velar for this trip

Vargis.Khan December 15, 2019 - 9:51 am

Ground clearance of a Velar is very low so you will have to be very careful

SARVJEET Singh June 14, 2019 - 2:09 pm

I am planning to go to Leh & Kargil by Nissan Sunny. Will this car be suitable for this trip??? Kindly suggest.

Vargis.Khan June 14, 2019 - 9:34 pm

Hi Sarvjeet – I will not recommend Sunny for Ladakh due to low ground clearance.

Jacob W. Green June 14, 2019 - 4:37 am

Hi Vargis,

We are three people planning to complete the circuit Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Pang-Leh-Manali. We will start our journey from 21st June.
We have two option, one is Diesel Baleno Delta & second is Diesel Honda Amaze.
Please suggest which car we should choose ?
Also, please suggest on which places we have to be careful and how can we avoid water crossings if possible?
Two of us are good drivers and had good experience of mountains but we are more concerned about the water crossings and underbelly
hit to car.

Vargis.Khan June 14, 2019 - 12:57 pm

Hi Jacob – I will not recommend either of these cars actually due to low ground clearance. But if must chose then I would suggest Baleno.

Jacob W. Green June 15, 2019 - 1:54 am

But bro I’ve seen a lot of people traveling with their hatchback at Leh. Does they all face the same problem ? Because ground clearance of baleno is 170 which is almost equal to most of hatchback like i20 swift etc. If it is not possible then I will wait till I don’t purchase SUV.

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2019 - 5:56 am

Bhai Is it 170 or 165? You can go, I am not saying that you cannot. A friend of mine just completed his trip last year in Maruti Swift that has GC of 175MM. So it is doable but you will have to be extremely careful. Specially at water crossings else your car may get stuck or the underbelly may get damaged.

Mahrsh November 10, 2020 - 1:28 am

Sir,this is Mahesh from Chennai, planning for a trip to leh from Chennai in my tata rigor along with my family in 12 days,is it possible,can I take this car for the trip

Sonika Sharma June 9, 2019 - 4:27 am

Hello Mr. Khan, thank you for all the detailed advice about planning a trip for Leh. My family (4 people) are planning a trip on 22nd June on our Hyundai i20 sportz. Do you think the car will be able to manage Srinagar-Leh-Manali route in our car?

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2019 - 7:03 am

Hello Ms. Sharma, A friend of mine went to Ladakh last year in his Swift which has the same ground clearance as i20 so yes, you should be able to complete the journey but be careful around water crossings.

Sonika Sharma June 9, 2019 - 5:39 pm

Thank you, I will keep that in mind 🙂

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2019 - 7:01 pm

You are welcome !!!

Shiv June 1, 2019 - 6:48 pm

Hi Vargis,
, I want to travel in my Honda BR-V automatic lto Leh. Pl advise

Vargis.Khan June 1, 2019 - 7:49 pm

Hi Shiv – Yes you can. It has good ground clearance and a powerful enough engine to handle the climb.

Shiv June 2, 2019 - 12:06 am

Thank you very much vargis

Vargis.Khan June 2, 2019 - 4:42 am

You are welcome !!!

Richards May 31, 2019 - 7:33 am

Hi Vargis. Firstly amazing work here, thanks a ton. Are there self drive cars available in Leh? Since the local taxi union are cold to outside ones.

Vargis.Khan May 31, 2019 - 7:46 pm

There are no self drive rentals available in Leh Richards.

Prashanth May 29, 2019 - 3:02 am

Hi Vargis, thanks for always being there and helping us riders with the information we seek out. I am planning a trip to Leh via Srinagar in the first week of June. Last time I did it via bullet desert storm. This time I am going with my close family of 4 including me and wanted to do it via car. I have booked a Hyundai Creta for the same from Zoomcar. Is this car good enough ? Will I face any problem enroute since it’s a Zoomcar. I was planning to hire a local vehicle in Leh to visit Khardungla but rest I want to do it with Zoomcar. Will I face any issue and what is the solution for that. I have booked the Zoomcar from delhi and planning to go via Jammu Srinagar Sonamarg Kargil Leh khardungla Pangong lake and back. Your insights would be highly helpful

Hardik Patel June 3, 2019 - 7:20 am

Hi Prashanth. I’m also a self-drive enthusiast like you and prefer to use zoomcar on these destinations. J&K however is not a good place to use it though. Local taxi union is nuts in Ladakh and Kashmir. I’ve even heard of broken windshields of the zoomcars. And it’s a bad place to rely on local police in such cases as the help will be miles away. I suggest you take your own car. It can be a very long drive but if you want to drive your own vehicle, white numberplate is the answer.

Vargis.Khan June 4, 2019 - 12:14 am

Well said Hardik.

Vikas Kumar May 20, 2019 - 5:12 pm

Hi…. We r going to laddakh with 5 friends by grand i 10… On 8 june.2019…. Please suggest us the grand i 10 is comfort or not???

Vikas Kumar May 20, 2019 - 5:16 pm

Please reply at earliest…

Vargis.Khan May 20, 2019 - 5:24 pm

Yes you can go but be careful around the water crossings

Vikas Kumar May 21, 2019 - 3:23 am

Is it safe or not…. Any possibility to damage the car during complete the destination…? Please reply in true..

Vikas Kumar May 22, 2019 - 3:38 am

Plz reply sir i still waiting for yr reply

Vargis.Khan May 22, 2019 - 2:27 pm

Yes there is a high risk of the underbelly of your car getting damaged and that is why I said that you will have to be very careful. A friend of mine has done Ladakh in his Maruti Swift.

Ketki May 13, 2019 - 7:47 am

Hi Vargis, we are 12 to 14 people (including 3 kids) having 10 days trip of leh ladakh starting from Srinagar. We are talking with many agents. Most of them are recommending Tempo Traveler. But few people in our group suggesting Innova instead of Tempo traveler. When asking for Innova, cost is getting increased by 30%. (instead of 1 tempo , we are asking for 3 Innova)

Can you suggest what should we take? Is tempo traveler comfortable enough? What are pros of Innova over tempo traveler?

Vargis.Khan May 13, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Innova will be more comfortable Ketki but a Tempo traveler will be cheaper and the entire group will be together. It is really your own personal choice about what you chose. If it was up to me, I would go with a traveler.

Roshan Jaiswal May 28, 2022 - 1:41 pm

Hi Vargis, thanks for the detailed blog. Can I take Ignis diesel AMT to Ladakh trip covering Srinagar, Kargil, Leh, Nubra Valley, Tso Moriri, Pangong, Khardungla, Hanle, Manali to Delhi.. Tentative dates Aug 2022

Sandeep May 11, 2019 - 7:14 am

Hi Mr. Khan can I am planning to visit Leh 18 may 2019 by my new Honda Amaze model 2019. Is it safe to travel in Amaze.

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2019 - 5:44 pm

Hi Sandeep – Being a Honda Amaze owner myself, I would not recommend that car for a Ladakh trip at all.

AMAN KUMAR May 6, 2019 - 2:37 pm

Hello Mr. Vargis Khan !
Is MARUTI RITz will be fine to take tour for Ladakh???? Season of travel : First week of June 2019
If you ask about how good driving skill than I must say by past two years I had two trips by road DELHI TO CHAR DHAMH &

Vargis.Khan May 6, 2019 - 11:12 pm

Hi Aman, If you have that kind of driving experience then yes, a Ritz for Ladakh is fine. Friend of mine did it in his Swift last year.

Lakaha April 1, 2020 - 7:44 pm

Can i use ertiga cng 2020 bs6 model for the trip

Surekha Saraf Jethalia May 2, 2019 - 6:18 am

Hi Vargis, first of all thanks to the info collated by you .. its been of great help for me. Am travelling to Ladhak in the end of May (May 25) and plan to spend 2 nights at Nubra (around 27th and 28th) wherein am also covering Turtuk. May 29, we plan to travel to Pangong from Nubra and offlate all the resorts have been closed down at Pangong which would mean covering the entire stretch in a day (Numbra – Pangong and Pangong – Leh). What route would you recommend from nubra to Pangong … have been reading that the Shyok one is very treacherous and Wari La has its own challenge of long distance and time. Do you recommend we go back to Leh and then plan Pangong on next day .. need you advice and expertise on same. Below is a rough cut plan of our travel (2 families – 4 adults + 3 kids)

May 25 – Land and Rest in Leh
May 26 – Local sightseeing + Hemis
May 27 – Khardungla + Nubra and stay at Hunder
May 28 – Turtuk and stay and Hunder
May 29 – Nubra to Pangong (this has gone dicey now with all the camps shut down)
May 30 – Pangong to Leh
May 31 – Lumayuru + Confluence
Jun 1 – War memorial .. not completely planned day
Jun 2 – Fly to Delhi

Look forward to hear from you! Thanks, Surekha

Vargis.Khan May 2, 2019 - 5:37 pm

Hi Surekha, You can do Nubra – Pangong – Leh in a day but it will be a bit of hectic journey. I will recommend that you return to Leh from Nubra and make a day trip to Pangong.

Surekha Saraf Jethalia May 15, 2019 - 4:16 am

Thanks Vargis, much appreciated! I have been following your blog for last few months (from the time we planned for ladakh trip) and must say that you have set up quite an informative blog.

One more help .. we are planning to book a Xylo 2WD .. should that be fine for the stretches you mentioned above particularly the Shyok one while going to Pangong and Khardungla one. What’s your suggestion? 2nd option that we have is to go for Innova – Cresta .. would be keen to hear you recommendation. We are 4 adults + 3 kids and driver

Will await to hear from you, thanks!

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Hi Surekha – Shyok road now is a smooth tarmac all the way. Xylo would do fine for all stretches in Ladakh.

Surekha Saraf Jethalia May 16, 2019 - 5:19 am

Thanks Vargis for all the help! Will share my experience post the trip.

Sanjay Khandelwal April 18, 2019 - 8:28 pm

Hello Mr Khan,

I am planning Trip to Srinagar, Leh, Nubra, Tso Mori Mori, Keylong, Manali on My Creta 1.6 2015 Model. Will it cover the steep hights of Khardungla and other passes. The tyre are Goodyear 205/65/R16

Also please advise if any prior checks of vehicle is to be done like clutch, Brakes and if anything else.

Sanjay Khandelwal

Vargis.Khan April 19, 2019 - 1:16 pm

Hello Mr. Khanddelwal – Yes it will very easily. You will have no problem at all.

For vehicle checks, please take a look at the post below.


Sanjay Khandelwal April 19, 2019 - 4:48 pm

Thanks dor the reply Sir

Vargis.Khan April 19, 2019 - 11:14 pm

You are welcome Mr. Khandelwal !!! Have a safe trip

Uttam Mahatha April 9, 2019 - 9:46 am

Hello Sir!
First of all – a big thanks for this website. It helps planner like us a lot! 🙂
Now for my question – I am planning for a Ladakh trip in Aug. While 6 people (and their luggage) in a team – what type of vehicle would be best? Will a single hired car like Scorpio be able to serve our purpose?


SUBHENDU BHATTACHARTYYA March 28, 2019 - 11:23 am

Hi SIR, . I am planning for Aug, 19 with my wife & daughter in Hyundai eon 2012 814 cc model car.

Is it suitable to travel by eon in aug/sep ? Planning to travel via Srinagar to leh & back via manali both ways.

Pls suggest.

Vargis.Khan March 28, 2019 - 1:56 pm

Hello Subhendu – I would not recommend Eon for Ladakh trip at all.

Sonali March 26, 2019 - 9:10 am

Hello Mr. Khan, hope you are doing well! I have few questions, Could you please help me resolving the concern? I am planning to visit Rohtang & Leh in mid April this year. I am planning it by self driven car, Verna 1.6 SX. I am little worried about runflat tyres of car. What would you suggest, can I plan this or should go with local cab?
Will be awaiting for the response:).

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2019 - 3:52 pm

Due to its low ground clearance, I would not recommend Verna for Ladakh trip Ms. Soni. Secondly, the road from Rohtang to Leh will definitely not be open by Mid April.

Pardeep Kapoor January 11, 2019 - 4:27 pm

Hi.. I am planning for June, 19 with my wife & daughter (& may be 1or 2 more members also) in i20 elite 2016 model.

Is it ok to travel by i20 in June? Planning to travel via Srinagar both ways

KP December 28, 2018 - 1:44 pm

Dear Vargis
I am planning to buy XUV 500 (O) AT AWD which has ground clearance of 200mm. Is this car suitable for all the places mentioned in the blog to travel with family? My basic interest of buying car is to have trip to ladakh.

Vargis.Khan December 28, 2018 - 2:26 pm

Hello KP – Yes, definitely. You will surely be able to cover all these places in XUV 500.

Virender Singh December 19, 2018 - 3:59 pm

Dear Sir,
I am planning to drive my 2014 diesel Ertiga that has done 50K kilometers to Leh Laddakh via Kargil & Srinagar. Also, I am planning to cover Kardung La in this trip. we will be 2 adults & 2 children. What would be your advice? Will Ertiga Diesel be able to complete. pl guide.

Vargis.Khan December 20, 2018 - 1:01 am

Hello Mr. Singh, Please take a look at the thread below. This is a travelogue of someone who went to Ladakh in a 13 year old Wagon R. So yes you can definitely do the trip in Ertiga.


Sachin Santhosh December 14, 2018 - 7:46 am

Dear Sir,
I am planning to drive my 2012 diesel Ertiga (175mmGC) that has done 1.2L plus kilometers to Srinagar and from there to Leh via. Kargil. From there I plan to cover Shimla, Nepal before driving back to Chennai. Also, I am planning to cover Kardung La in this trip. What would be your advice? I am reasonable good at the wheels even though not an expert off roader.

SANDIP BOSE November 7, 2018 - 8:22 am

Hello Sir,

I am planning to visit Leh with my cousin by road from Kolkata with my hatchback Figo Petrol (2011 model, run 50000km till date) on 1st week of Sept 2019. Please advise.
Thanks, Sandip Bose.

Vargis.Khan November 7, 2018 - 10:21 am

Ford Figo has a really low GC Sandip Bhai. Try to delay your plan and go towards end of September. There will be a lot of water in the crossings in first week which will be a big problem. Delay your plan by a couple of weeks so that at least the water level has come down a bit.

Omar Memon October 31, 2018 - 11:44 am

Is it possible to cover the route in a Toyota Corolla Altis [petrol variant] in the month of mid-July? We are 4 people and will drive from Pune.

Vargis.Khan October 31, 2018 - 3:54 pm

You can do it but will have to be very careful around water crossings. Since you are going in July, water crossings will be in plenty and with 175MM GC Sedan, it can be a bit problematic to get across.

Pradeep October 21, 2018 - 7:23 pm

Dear Vargis,

This is Pradeep from Chennai. Happy to see you blog over here, very informative.

Couple of our friends planning to visit North India – Flight to Delhi, then rent a car from Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali, Rohtang, Simla – Amirster – Delhi, in the month of Jan last, with our family(kids as well). One of main thing is family like to see the Snow fall.

So couple of clarifications,
1. Is this an ideal time to visit with family & kids. Or better to have some other time?
2. Taking retal cars in Delhi ll be the good choice/comfortable, if its where to get & which car ll be the good options.
3. Can you suggest, the best places can be covered in this trip (with family & kids).

Thanks in advance. 🙂

arun baweja September 18, 2018 - 2:34 pm

Dear Mr khan, please advise me can I take the trip to leh, on my duster 2wd model 2013 and what r the chances of getting its underbody damaged

Vargis.Khan September 18, 2018 - 4:16 pm

Hello Mr. Baweja – Yes you can definitely travel to Ladakh in a duster. Just be careful around water crossings and even the underbelly of your vehicle will remain safe.

Nitin September 12, 2018 - 12:37 pm

Thanks for advice, iam planning to take my cousin’s car to Ladakh. Will face any problem wrt Ladakh taxi union? Though in RC/driving license, with same surname I can try to assure them that we r from the same family. Pls suggest ur advice.

Vargis.Khan September 12, 2018 - 3:38 pm

I will advise against it. It is “gundagardi” in plain words and they find every possible reason to not let you pass through and send back to Leh so that you will end up renting motorcycles or taxis from them. If you try to force your way through, they will vandalize your car. As per them, RC should either be in your name or your parents or siblings (someone that you can prove a direct relation to). If you say cousin, they will say you are renting from someone and lying.

Nitin September 11, 2018 - 4:07 pm

Hii, iam planning to visit Leh Ladakh throu Manali route by Audi A4 sedan starting Sept. last week 2018 from delhi. Can u tell me the present status of road for the sedan, as usually by September end roads condition becomes good. Towing Emergency kit is ready along with more car Duster to assist if required
Only two persons travelling.
Have swift car 11 yrs Petrol but I think swift will not be allowed to pass throu Rohtang due to age limit .pls advise

Vargis.Khan September 11, 2018 - 5:14 pm

You are right. Swift 11 years old will not be allowed to cross Rohtang from Manali side. If I was you, I will not even think about bringing A4 to Ladakh. Its GC is remarkably low for Indian roads anywhere and in Ladakh, your car is bound to get damaged. Crossing water streams will become a nightmare. You can bring you swift in a way that you go to Ladakh via Srinagar and return via Manali.

Vinod July 23, 2018 - 1:11 pm

Excellent blog dude.. Very informative.. Thanks

Vargis.Khan July 23, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Thanks Vinod

Shitanshu June 28, 2018 - 9:52 am

Hi Mr. Khan
I am plannig for a road trip to ladakh via manali and exit via srinagar in july 18 first week with my ecosports 2 year old diesel

it is safe to visit leh ladakh with own car as i researched a lot and found that local taxi mafia attack the private cars

Vargis.Khan June 28, 2018 - 2:18 pm

Hi Shitanshu – They do not attack private cars. The problem is only with taxis rented outside of Ladakh like Zoomcar etc. As long as your car is registered in your name and you have all the documents, you got nothing to worry about.

Basu Gupta June 20, 2018 - 5:53 pm

Sir please tell me
We are 4 people planning to go ladakh by our Tata Tigor.
Is it compatible for the same.

Vargis.Khan June 20, 2018 - 11:11 pm

You can go but will have to be very careful at water crossings.

Bharat Jain June 15, 2018 - 5:50 am

Is duster capable for driving to Leh – ladakh

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Yes, definitely

sandeep June 11, 2018 - 8:38 am

I would say.. that’s an AWEEEESOMLY informative… Thanks…:)

Local people creates problem for self drive cars as well (Black Yellow no plates and not Yellow black as of taxis) ?

Vargis.Khan June 11, 2018 - 6:12 pm

Thanks Sandeep. And yes, locals do create problems for taxi rented outside ladakh, be it with driver or self-drive.

Rohit June 8, 2018 - 8:02 pm

Hello Mr Khan !
Very informative !! I am planning to go to leh via Srinagar and leh to jammu via Manali on Innova 2017 model with my wife and 8 yr kid. Is innova capable to complete this stretch without problems? We are going next week.
Need your advice.

Thanks in advance

Vargis.Khan June 9, 2018 - 2:00 pm

Hi Rohit – Yes Innova is definitely capable of Ladakh. A lot of local taxi drivers here use Innova.

Kriansh jamwal May 30, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Iam travelling with my gypsy king 4 by 4

Abhiroop Das May 30, 2018 - 11:51 am

I am planning to do the following trip delhi -> jammu -> srinagar -> kargil -> leh -> leh -> nubra -> pangong tso (via shyok) -> leh -> tso moriri -> sarchu -> manali -> delhi with my 2X4 SUV from Kolkata. Planning to start from Delhi around first week of Aug 2018.
Any suggestion about the plan? like itinerary/route/vehicle type etc.?

KEDAR SAPRE May 25, 2018 - 3:47 pm

would Honda BRV CVT be good option for Ladakh trip ? we are only 2 people

Dilpreet May 23, 2018 - 5:21 am

Hlo Rajeev am planning to take nissan terrano to leh is that right choice?

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2018 - 1:42 pm

Yes it is

Lakhinder Singh May 22, 2018 - 7:55 am

Hi Vargis,

We are 10 members starting travelling on 10 june, the route is manali->rohtang->leh->kargil->srinagar->jammu-> amritser. The car we are travelling on is Mahindra XUV 500 and Skoda Superb are these two car are good to drive to that route?


Vargis.Khan May 22, 2018 - 1:31 pm

Hi Lakhinder,

XUV is fine but the ground clearance of Superb is way too less. I would strongly advise to not bring it to Ladakh.

Lakhinder Singh May 23, 2018 - 7:52 am

thanks for the advise. Is brezza, creta(petrol) or innova which one we shoul take along

Vargis.Khan May 23, 2018 - 1:37 pm

Definitely a Creta.

Lakhinder May 25, 2018 - 7:54 am

thanks for the advise

Inder May 13, 2018 - 10:21 am

We are planning a trip to Leh via Srinagar around 15 June, with four adults and two under 6 kids.
I had been there by Thar in 2013.
Now we have options of
Scorpio 2×4
XUV 500 2×4

Which is best?

Vargis.Khan May 15, 2018 - 6:01 pm

Definitely a Scorpio Inder.

Ved April 24, 2018 - 12:10 pm

Great info!

I am planning to have 20 days Delhi-Leh-Delhi road trip starting 10-Jun-2018 in my 2014 Honda City with total two riders. However, after going through this blog, I am thinking of dropping the idea with Honda City looking at its ground clearance of 165mm. I still want to do this road trip. Now what are my options?

(1). Do Delhi-Manali in my Honda City. Hire a SUV for self-driving for 10-12 days and do Manali-Leh-Manali circuit. Question is would I get a SUV on hire in Manali?

(2). Hire a SUV at Delhi and do the entire trip. Any suggestion as from where I can hire a SUV in Delhi for 20 odd days?

Any other suggestions? Thanks much!

Vargis.Khan April 24, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Hi Ved – I would definitley not recommend a Honday City for Ladakh. Speaking this out of personal experience because I too own the same car.

You can hire an SUV but before you decide on that, you must know what a non-local taxi is not allowed in Ladakh. Meaning that no matter where you hire it from, you will have to leave it parked in Leh town and rent a local taxi there for local sightseeing to nearby places.

Dr.YUDHVIR SINGH April 22, 2018 - 2:45 pm

Hi , I have ecosport petrol 1500cc and ground clearance about 200mm . It can be good for leh laddakh and spiti tour. Can it run without any hurdle. Or any special precaution to be taken with this car.
Kindly give ur expert commet and advise.
Regard Dr yudhvir singh
Email [email protected]
[email protected]

Vargis.Khan April 22, 2018 - 4:14 pm

Hello Dr. Singh, Yes your Ecosport will do well for Ladakh and Spiti. Just be a little careful around water crossings and you will be OK

riddhi April 10, 2018 - 9:31 am

hello Mr. vargis khan.. i have a question.. we are 6 people travelling to leh on 12th may and we have hired one Toyota innova car for our 10 days itinerary. (which includes nubra vally, pangong tso, kargil and shrinagar)
we have a doubt if we all 6 person + 1 driver + all luggage can travel in one car for leh ladakh region roads or we should hire another car too. we do not want to go for tempo traveler option.

Vargis.Khan April 10, 2018 - 1:58 pm

Hello Riddhi – One Innova for 6 people would be OK I guess. At least all of you would be in the same vehicle and enjoy better rather than being in two cars. One person with the driver, 3 in the middle seat, and 2 people in the rear seats, that I think is comfortable enough?

Riddhi April 11, 2018 - 4:18 am

Thank you Mr. khan..Yes i agree that we will enjoy better in one car…
My concern was only if we would be overloading the car on those rough and single lane road..

Vargis.Khan April 11, 2018 - 8:21 pm

No it will be all right. I will recommend one car only. Hiring additional will only mean added cost and group getting divided in 2 cars.

riddhi April 12, 2018 - 4:25 am

Thank you for the recommendation. 🙂

Vargis.Khan April 12, 2018 - 12:34 pm

You are welcome !!!

arun anand May 29, 2019 - 6:33 pm

Hello Mr Khan please advise if jeep compass 2×4 a good option ,planning to drive from dehradun to leh via srinagar in June 2019

Vargis.Khan May 30, 2019 - 2:16 am

Yes it is Mr. Anand. Someone I know traveled to Ladakh in Compass last year without any problem.

Vijay March 25, 2018 - 8:35 am

I planning to visit leh via Sri Nagar, kargil in 1st week of June with my fiat Punto 2009 With self driven. Is it safe drive this car

Vargis.Khan March 26, 2018 - 4:04 pm

Low ground clearance of the vehicle will be a problem but if you are good at the wheel then yes you can travel.

Pradeep shukla February 28, 2018 - 8:52 pm


I am planning to take my xuv500 W6 automatic to leh from new delhi.

Please suggest
Best time to travel ?
Do i need any thing additional to carry along?
I am first time travel to leh and ladhak so suggest best way without any concerns on road?
and any you can suggest to make my travel smooth it will be great.
Pradeep shukla

Vargis.Khan March 1, 2018 - 1:30 pm

XUV would be good enough for the trip. Please do take a look at the article below for a list of items you may need to carry for the trip.



Abhishek Mishra January 25, 2018 - 6:23 am

Hello sir, my name is Abhishek. Right now I am studying in b. Com and i want to purchase ford endeavor 3.2 tdci 4*4 which is 3198cc vehicle. But my friends tell me to purchase royal enfield thunder bird but i dont want to purchase bike as i set up my mind to purchase ford endeavor. After reading this post i just want to know that can ford endeavor titanium 3.2ltr tdci diesel engine go to ladakh as it is very capable suv. I never thought of going to ladakh but after reading this post i definitely want to go and see the beauty of universe… Please sir tell me whether this suv is suitable or not. It has a gc of 225mm. I m waiting for ur reply. Thank you

Vargis.Khan January 25, 2018 - 3:12 pm

Hello Abhishek Bhai – Endeavor is more than capable or suitable for Ladakh. Go ahead and buy it, there is no doubt that you can bring this beast to Ladakh.

Abhishek Mishra January 25, 2018 - 4:42 pm

Thank you so much… I knew u will consider this vehicle as a beast… As it is a beast af…. Well then i guess i have to work hard and purchase this vehicle…..Thanks for the update

Vargis.Khan January 25, 2018 - 4:47 pm

You are welcome brother. Let me know when you buy it and maybe you and I can both drive our respective cars to Ladakh together.

Abhishek Mishra January 25, 2018 - 4:51 pm

Yeah sure.. It will be a pleasure going with u… But u know m still a student only… And trying my best to purchase endeavor asap…. But it will take time and u know that… But i gonna do it…

Vargis.Khan January 26, 2018 - 4:26 pm

That is all right brother. Ladakh is not going anywhere. Take your time, buy your beast and we will take a trip together. Ladakh will still be here 🙂

Abhishek Mishra January 27, 2018 - 2:26 am

Yeah… That’s right… Btw are you in facebook

Vargis.Khan January 27, 2018 - 11:28 pm

Yes, I am on FB

Mahesh December 12, 2017 - 4:19 am

Shri.Vargis.Khan Ji… This is really excellent article to help to travel in Leh Ladah. I have Maruti Suzuki Celerio VXi Amt (2017 Model)…..My car retrofired approved by ARAI, Pune……. I am physically handicapped person… Both accelerate and break controlled by hand. My vehicle as well as ME are suitable for Leh Ladah trip……

Vargis.Khan December 18, 2017 - 3:33 pm

Dear Mahesh Ji – Sir I am not really sure if I can comment on that. It all depends on how good you are at the wheel but I will definitely advise against traveling alone. Travel in a group or at least with one more car so that in case your Celerio gets stuck somewhere, you will get the help needed to get it out.

Manik December 5, 2017 - 1:36 pm

Hello Mr vargis Iam planning to go on a leh ladakh trip with my family of 4 members..our vehicle is 4 yrs old Mahindra bolero zlx. Pls suggest me can the vehicle handle those rough terrains and best time for travel..

Vargis.Khan December 5, 2017 - 6:34 pm

Hello Mr. Manik – Bolero is definitely capable off handling the rough terrain. Is it a 4 wheel drive? Best time to visit Ladakh will definitely be either late June, early July or September.

SANTOSH November 14, 2017 - 3:32 pm

Hello Vargis Bhai, I am planning for a road trip from Pune in my i20 petrol during 31-05-2018 to 16-06-2018.Entering from Srinagar and exit via Manali.In leh interested in Nubra,Pangog,Hanle and if possible Tso Moriri.Is it doable by my car during the period mentioned.

Vargis.Khan November 19, 2017 - 10:50 pm

Hello Santosh Bhai – Yes you should be able to do it but be extremely careful for safety of your car. It will be early in the season and you will come across numerous water crossings where low GC of I20 can post a serious challenge.

Archit Anand October 29, 2017 - 9:15 am

Hi Mr. Vargis. Is My Etios Liva with 170mm Ground Clearance include 4 persons(During Trip) capable enough for this Delhi – Leh Trip? We are planning for May 2018 mid.

Vargis.Khan October 29, 2017 - 9:18 pm

Hello Mr. Anand – You can definitely bring it to Ladakh but try to plan your trip in either July first week or in September if you can. You will also have to avoid some of the stretches and keep your trip to strictly to Manali and Srinagar Leh highway and local sightseeing at Nubra, Pangong and Moriri.

Shajahan October 19, 2017 - 9:20 am

Hello Mr. Vargis. Is my Audi A3 with 165mm ground clearance safe in the route to Leh from Manali. I am willing to spare the high risk areas as I will be travelling with my family, but is it safe otherwise. I will be driving down from Chennai.

Vargis.Khan October 20, 2017 - 8:32 pm

Hello Mr. Shajahan – Your Audi will perform well in Ladakh but I would advise against traveling early in the season or in August when monsoon is at full swing. A simple itinerary covering Manali and Srinagar routes, Nubra valley and Pangong can be easily completed.

Sushant Jha October 3, 2017 - 8:25 pm

I wanna make a trip to ladakh… Is maruti ignis petrol a suitable car to take to ladakh

Vargis.Khan October 4, 2017 - 4:29 pm

Yes you can but the 180MM ground clearance can be a bit of trouble at some stretches. Are you traveling now or planning for next year?

Sushant Jha October 4, 2017 - 7:57 pm

Not right now… Probably next year

Vargis.Khan October 4, 2017 - 8:14 pm

You can definitely go but I would recommend planning in either first 2 weeks of July or in September. Avoid traveling early in the season or in monsoon

Deepak Talwar September 6, 2017 - 5:09 pm

My name is Deepak Talwar. I want to know is That Q3 Qwattro is good for Ladakh tour and is safe for my car also?

Vargis.Khan September 8, 2017 - 5:35 pm

Hello Mr. Talwar – Unless I am mistaken about specifics, Quattro has about 2000CC engine which is good enough for Ladakh but 170MMM ground clearance is almost the same as that of a Sedan. You can definitely take it there but just avoid some stretches that I mentioned above as badly broken.

Raj s September 6, 2017 - 8:03 am

Hello Vargis
Very helpful information, can one visit ladak during Dec or January. There multiple blogs and thought process what do u feel. Was planning for a trip during Dec end 2017 or 2018 January starting. Should be in my xuv w8 it’s 4×4 .

Need your guidance.


Vargis.Khan September 6, 2017 - 3:57 pm

Hello Raj – There is no way that you can drive to Ladakh in December or January. Both the highways will be closed.

Basant Narayan September 1, 2017 - 6:22 am

Hello Mr Khan

Can i travel from Manali to Leh with Maruti 998 CC make, especially Zen Estillo.

Vargis.Khan September 1, 2017 - 1:33 pm

Hello Mr. Narayan – How old is your car? It all depends on how well maintained your car is. You should travel light and towards the end of September. Please also take a look at this article,


Shashi kumar August 3, 2017 - 12:39 pm

As we want to take it what we have, I intend to drive to Ladakh in my amaze diesel in 1st week of September. Should we go ahead?

Vargis.Khan August 3, 2017 - 2:36 pm

I myself own an Amaze and it is not a car that I will recommend at all for Ladakh. If you do take it however, then ensure that someone really good at driving is at the wheel. You are going in first week of September, just after monsoon so there could be slush and lot of water in the streams, be really careful around that. While planning your itinerary, avoid the routes that I mentioned above in the article as not suitable for Sedan or hatchback.

Kartikeya Sinha July 31, 2017 - 7:03 am

I am planning to buy a car for road trip purposes. I have a Skoda Rapid and as per your post I don’t want to take it to Leh Ladakh area. So, which car should I buy – car which is a good cruiser, comfortable for 6footer like me. I have Fiat Urban Cross T-Jet and Thar in mind. I don’t want to buy sub 100bhp car.

Vargis.Khan August 1, 2017 - 4:07 pm

I have a Thar myself and unless you are ready to compromise big on comfort and some of the very basic accessories, do not go for a Thar. It does provide a powerful 4×4 in a very reasonable price range but is an annoyance at several other things. Take a look at the post below.


Have you considered Scorpio?

Kamalpreet singh July 29, 2017 - 5:28 pm

Hello sir
M Kamal.. m planing to go leh by car Chevrolet Captiva in month of august
Is it safe to drive this car
Will u suggest
I will go from Manali road

Vargis.Khan August 1, 2017 - 5:26 pm

Hello Kamal Bhai – Yes you are OK taking your Captiva to Ladakh.

Debapriyo Chatterjee July 22, 2017 - 5:45 am

Please suggest me which hatchback I should purchase. I wish to drive all around himachal and uttarakhand. I am more interested in driving in the mountain roads rather than extreme off roading.

Vargis.Khan July 23, 2017 - 11:15 pm

You will have to find one that has a good ground clearance. Look for a hatchback with 180MM ground clearance at the least. In Hatchbacks, Fiat Avventura right now has the highest GC of 205 mm

Jatin July 2, 2017 - 2:47 pm

Hello sir…sir we are planning to take i20 elite and grand i10 …so sir anything extra we need too take care off..??? Any advice to cross water streams..???

Vargis.Khan July 3, 2017 - 4:23 pm

Hello Jatin Bhai – Low ground clearance will be a problem for both the cars. Just avoid the routes I mentioned above as unsuitable for hatchback or Sedan and you should be able to do it though. Please take a look at the article below.


Kapil June 25, 2017 - 10:15 am

I’m planning to visit Leh by Maruti Ritz or Tata Bolt which one would be better for trip pls suggest

Vargis.Khan June 25, 2017 - 11:54 pm

They are pretty much the same in terms of Engine CC but Ritz has better ground clearance than Bolt so definitely take that.

Amit khasa August 15, 2017 - 3:24 am

Hi Vargis,

I am planning to go to leh by road via sri nagar route in my sedan Chevrolet aveo from 20th August to 31st August. Is it good to go in sedan. Tell me about the weather conditions as well. Engine Cc of my car is 1399 cc and ground clearance is 181 mm.


Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 11:39 am

Hi Amit – Yes you can travel by your Aveo, however avoid the routes that i mentioned in the article as unsuitable for Sedan or Hatchback. Weather will be pleasant during your time of travel, days will be moderately warm.

Mihir Baxi June 24, 2017 - 8:09 pm

Hi Mr Khan, Eid Mubarak at the outset. I am planning to visit in May’18 to Leh in my Mahindra Bolero. Would it be ok? Pls suggest 🙂

Vargis.Khan June 25, 2017 - 11:51 pm

Hello Mihir Bhai – Aapko bhi Eid Bahut Bahut Mubarak.

Bolero would be perfect for a Ladakh trip. If it is 4×4, then you can pretty much take it to anywhere in Ladakh

rahul June 24, 2017 - 8:20 am

I want to travel LEH-LADAKH By brezza (vdi-o), as i have this car only… so can i go with that.

Vargis.Khan June 25, 2017 - 3:06 pm

Hello Rahul Bhai, Yes you should be able to cover most of the stretches in Ladakh in you Brezza. Avoid going towards areas like Wari La, Marismik La etc and you will be Ok.

Akii Chaudhary June 12, 2017 - 8:23 am

Hello Sir,

I am planning to visit Leh by road with my hatchback Indica Vista from 4th Aug,17 to 15th Aug,17.
Can you please guide me that monsoon how effect my trip/car during this duration. Earlier I drove to rohtang pass with same car.

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2017 - 9:13 pm

Hello Mr. Chaudhary,

You can drive to Leh in Indica, just avoid the stretches that I mentioned above as not suitable for Sedan or hatchback. You will encounter rain until Sonamarg on Srinagar Leh highway and around Manali and Keylong on Manali Leh highway. Rain creates a lot of slush around these areas and water crossing too become furious which you will have to tackle without the belly of your car hitting the ground.

Akii Chaudhary June 13, 2017 - 7:51 am

Thank you sir for your prmopt reply,

One more thing I want to know that, Is there snow/snow fall will expect during journey? if yes then where?

Vargis.Khan June 13, 2017 - 3:01 pm

No snowfall at this time Mr. Chaudhary. The only snow you will come across will be at top of the passes but nothing on the road anywhere.

Srinivas g July 1, 2021 - 5:15 pm

Hi sir,maruti Celerio (auto ) is suitable for ladakh

Vargis.Khan July 2, 2021 - 7:59 am

Bhai I know someone who has been to Ladakh even in a Maruti Alto and WagonR. Just drive very carefully and do not bring too much luggage.

Vargis.Khan July 2, 2021 - 8:00 am
AMITAVA NANDI May 13, 2017 - 11:59 pm

Hi..I am Amitava​..Try to plan a Leh trip by my car Creta..Is it safe to drive by this car..Can you pl suggest..I will like to go by Manali..

Vargis.Khan May 14, 2017 - 12:01 am

Hi Amitava – Yes you can take your Creta to Ladakh, shouldn’t be a problem.

Hemant May 12, 2017 - 8:43 am

Hello Mr. Vargis Khan. Thanks for sharing this useful information. I am reading your other blogs too. I have few questions. I am planning to visit Leh and around, from 1st to 10th June 2017. I am planning to come by self driven car (BMW X1) from Bangalore to Leg via Srinagar, Kargil route. For exploring the region up to Turtuk and to Tso Moriri, Tso kar, Do you think I would be able to use my car to travel this region Or you suggest me to leave the car either at Leh Or at Srinagar itself and hire local car? Are you based in Leh-Ladakh region? Thanks for your advice. Hemant

Vargis.Khan May 13, 2017 - 2:26 am

Hello Mr. Hemant – Thank you for your kind words. With 1995 CC engine and 7 inches ground clearance (correct me if I am wrong about GC), you can bring your BMW to Ladakh with no problem at all. It will be a smooth sailing all the way. All the places you mentioned in your questions will post no challenge for your beast.

What is your itinerary if I may ask?

Hemant Dahale May 13, 2017 - 5:57 am

Hi Vargis. Thanks for giving me confidence! Much needed.. You are right GC is 7 Inch. I am little worried about runflat tyres of car though. Please give me your mail ID or drop me mail on ***************** I will send you the itinerary.

Vargis.Khan May 13, 2017 - 11:24 pm

Your concern is valid Hemant, since there will be nothing at several stretches for miles. Best I can suggest, which I am sure you already know, is to carry an air pump and ensure that you do not run the car zero air for any distance. Your car will have an air pressure indicator and if it indicates any loss at all, just pump in more air and continue to do so until you reach Leh.

Your email address did not appear here for some security reasons. Please use the Contact me button in the menu bar to drop me a message with your itinerary and I can suggest if there is any route that you should avoid.

rajeev October 10, 2017 - 6:47 am

Hello Mr Khan, you have shared a very useful information. had few doubts! whats the ideal month to travel? i hate rains. can u suggest me an itinerary, i am planning to drive down in my X1 from bangalore

Vargis.Khan October 10, 2017 - 8:28 pm

Hello Mr. Rajeev – Month of June, first 2 weeks of July and September would be an ideal time. How many days are you planning the trip for?

Rajesh Nambiar April 6, 2021 - 4:16 pm

Hello Mr.Khan
I am planning bangalore – ladakh – bangalore by my S Cross 1.3 ltr. With my wife ,daughter and a Labrador dog.
Can S Cross do it. And is there any restriction to travel with a Dog.

Vargis.Khan April 7, 2021 - 9:13 am

Hello Mr. Nambiar – Yes, your S Cross can definitely do the trip. There is no restriction about traveling with the dog but I will strongly advise booking your stay in advance according to your itinerary. A lot of hotels do not accept guests if they are traveling with their pet


Leave a Comment