How much will a trip to Ladakh cost? This is probably the first question that comes to mind after you have decided on a trip to Ladakh. Lack of knowledge about the region makes people wonder about how much it will cost to go there. In this article, I will provide some basic information and guidelines on how you can calculate and plan your minimum budget for Ladakh trip.
A lot of people think that visiting Ladakh will cost a lot and it is not a place for them. This however is not really true. Though different in several ways, Ladakh is still like any other tourist destination in our country.
While it is true that Ladakh is not really your usual weekend getaway where you can just pack your bags and go. But if you have proper planning, good knowledge about the place, and a well-laid itinerary, you can visit Ladakh on a moderate enough budget as well.
In the post below, I will discuss the cost aspect of a trip to Ladakh. But if you need any other details like the best time to visit, how to reach, where to stay, what to see, and itinerary planning, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide.
How to Calculate Minimum Budget for Ladakh Trip?
Your total cost of Ladakh trip will depend on several factors like your mode of travel, the total number of days, accommodation preferences, what all places you want to cover, etc.
However, if you narrow it down, the three prime factors that will impact your total budget for Ladakh trip are:
- Your mode of travel
- Accommodation preferences
- Your eating habits
The rest are just extensions of these three factors. Get an estimate around these three, multiply it by the number of people traveling, then the number of days and you will have your minimum budget for Ladakh trip.
I will break down the information and explain it from the point of travel expense, accommodation charges, and personal expenses that you may incur.
Ladakh Travel Cost
Your mode of travel will be one of the foremost deciding factors in the total cost of the trip. The majority of the tourist opt to travel by their own vehicle but some of the other available modes of transport in Ladakh are buses, private cabs, and shared cabs.
The cost will vary for each of them. But I will mention some figures as the minimum budget for Ladakh trip by each mode of travel.
Also read: Clothes for Ladakh Trip: What to Pack
By Private Car
Though convenient in numerous ways, if you are traveling by your own car, fuel would be your biggest expenditure. The total fuel expense will depend on the mileage of your vehicle and the distance covered.
Delhi to Leh via Manali is approximately 1100 km. Leh to Delhi via Srinagar is approximately 1200 kms. A round trip to Nubra valley is roughly 250 kms, Pangong Lake is roughly 300 kms. A journey to Tso Moriri via Chumathang and back to Leh would be roughly another 500 kilometers.
Please note that I am using the most common itinerary as an example here. If you have included other places like Sham Valley or Chushul route as well, then the total kilometer count will change. But even if you traveled directly between Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and Tso Moriri, the distance cover will not increase drastically and will be around these numbers only.
Keeping the above places in mind, the total kilometers covered from Delhi and return will be between 3500 – 4000 kilometers. Taking into consideration a minimum average of 10 kilometers per liter, your vehicle would consume about 350 – 400 liters of fuel.
If you were coming from a different city, use the same calculation I mentioned above. Consider the distance from your starting point to Manali and Srinagar and you will get a total number of kilometers you will cover.
Depending on the price of petrol or Diesel at the time of your trip of travel, this should give you an estimated cost of how much the fuel expense would come out to be.
Also read: Mobile Network in Ladakh & Data Connectivity
The calculation above will remain applicable to bikes as well. The only thing that will change is the mileage of the vehicle.
The reason why I said only 10 kilometers per liter for a car is because your vehicle is bound to consume more fuel in the hilly areas. You will constantly be driving in the low gears and the fuel consumption will be high. The mileage for cars with an engine size of around 2000 CC or higher can even be lower than this.
For bikes, assume an average of around 25 km per liter and divide the total distance by this number. That will give you an idea of how much fuel you will consume and then just multiply it with the fuel price at the time of your trip.
To get an idea of the distance you will cover within Ladakh, take a look at this Detailed & Comprehensive Road Map of Ladakh.
By Private Cab
If you are traveling in a private cab, then this will be your biggest expense. A private cab from Manali to Leh will cost anywhere between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000. For Srinagar to Leh, it will be anywhere between Rs. 12,000 to 15,000.
A two-way trip to tourist destinations like Nubra valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri will cost you about Rs. 14,000 to 15,000 each (could even be slightly higher) for a 2-day trip.
Covering all the places and provided that you were able to negotiate a bit as well, your total taxi fare will be between Rs. 40,000 – 50,000 if you hired it for about 6-7 days, covering all the major routes.
An important thing to remember here is that a Manali or Srinagar cab will not be allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh. So you cannot book just one cab for the entire trip. You will have to hire a cab for dropping you at Ladakh and then rent another local cab there for sightseeing.
By Shared Taxi
Shared cabs are a great option if you are not bringing along your own vehicle. They are run by local taxi drivers and tour operators and are a great option to save travel costs.
The total fare per person for these would be
- Rs. 2500 per person for Manali to Leh
- Rs. 2500 for the return journey either via Srinagar or Manali
- Rs. 1000 for a two-way journey to Nubra Valley
- Rs. 1000 for a two-way journey to Pangong Lake
- Rs. 1000 for a two-way journey to Tso Moriri Lake
To be on the safer side, keep an estimate of Rs. 4000 – Rs. 5000 for local sightseeing in Ladakh. So for shared taxis, your total travel expense would come to be anywhere between Rs. 8000 – Rs. 10,000 per person.
Any money you spend for traveling from your hometown to either Srinagar or Leh and then for the return journey will be in addition to this cost.
This is the cheapest option to travel to Ladakh. Your travel cost will go down considerably but the problem is that the frequency of public transport is not that high in Ladakh still. At some places, it is not even a daily or weekly service, rather 2 to 3 times a month.
If you are traveling in a Bus, then the one-way fare from Manali to Leh would be around Rs. 2,500 – Rs. 3,000 for a deluxe bus and Rs. 500 for an ordinary bus. From Srinagar, it is Rs. 1000 – Rs. 1500 for a deluxe bus and Rs. 500 for an ordinary bus.
A round trip to Nubra would cost about Rs. 700 – Rs. 800. For Pangong and Tso Moriri Lake, it would be about Rs. 500 – Rs.600 round trip each. For Padum in Zanskar, it would be about Rs. 2,000 round trip to Leh.
So in total, including the return journey, you will end up spending around Rs. 8000 on bus fares. But as I mentioned, it is not really possible to make this trip only by bus. In Ladakh, you will have to do a mix and match game. If there is a bus, then board it otherwise look for a shared cab.
So by public transport, between Manali – Leh – Srinagar and using both buses and shared cabs, your travel cost will be between Rs. 8,000 – Rs. 10,000. Any travel expense to get to Manali/Srinagar from your hometown and then for the return journey will be in addition to this.
By Rented Bikes
When it comes to a bike, there are a few different things you will need to keep in mind.
- You can rent one from your hometown
- Rent from Chandigarh, Manali, or Srinagar that most people do
- Reach Leh by flight and rent one there for local sightseeing.
Different companies have different rental rates for different bikes. Depending on which bike you chose, you will pay between Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2000 per day as a rental. So for a trip of about 10 days, your bike rental cost will come out to be Rs. anywhere between Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000.
The fuel expense will also have to come out of your own pocket. So depending on the total kilometers you plan to cover, calculate the fuel cost and add it to the rental cost.
The most important thing you need to keep in mind though is that non-local bikes (rented outside Leh) are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh. If you have rented a bike in Manali or Srinagar, it is only good enough to take you to Leh. But for visiting places like Nubra, Pangong, and Moriri in Ladakh, you will need to hire another bike from Leh.
So if you rented a bike from Srinagar or Manali, you will first pay a daily rental of that bike as long as it is with you. Then add another Rs. 10,000 to the rental cost for the bike that you rented in Leh.
If you are planning to rent a bike from Manali and drop in Srinagar, or vice versa, there will be an additional cost of about Rs. 10,000 as transportation cost.
By Self-Drive Cab
What I mentioned above about non-local bikes applies to self-rental cabs as well. If you have rented a self-drive cab from anywhere outside Ladakh, it is only good enough to take you to Leh. But for visiting places like Nubra, Pangong, and Moriri in Ladakh, you will need to hire another cab from Leh and leave your self-drive rental parked at the hotel.
Another thing that you must know is that there are no self-drive cab services available in Leh. So if you are traveling in a self-drive cab, I am going to assume that you hired it from your hometown to take it all the way to Ladakh.
There will be three costs involved here.
- The first one is fuel
- The second is the daily rental you will pay for self-drive
- The third is the expense you will incur for local sightseeing which can either be a private or shared cab or by Bus.
Fuel expense would cover the journey from your home town to Leh and back. Assuming you started from Delhi, it will be a total of about 225 liters of fuel, covering a distance of 2300 kilometers at an average of 10-11 kilometers per liter (minimum value I am taking into consideration here).
Multiply this by the fuel price. Then add the travel expense in Ladakh plus the daily rental of the car based upon your choice and you will get a close enough figure.
Hotel Cost in Ladakh
Now since we have covered the mode of travel part, next in line is the accommodation part. All across Ladakh, you can easily find a decent enough hotel for as little as Rs. 700 to Rs. 1000 (at an average).
At places like Pangong where there are no hotels, you can easily find a Chadar tent offering you a bed for as little as Rs. 200 – Rs.300 per night, or a homestay at Spangmik for about Rs. 700 per day.
So your average cost of accommodation would come out to be about Rs. 1000 per day if you are traveling solo and about Rs. 500 per person if you are traveling with a friend who will share the room cost.
This is the minimum cost that I have mentioned here. The rest will depend on your choice of accommodation.
Also read: 10 Reasons why you should NEVER visit Ladakh
Food Cost in Ladakh
Not much to say here really because it all depends on where you eat and what you eat. But there are several reasonably priced restaurants/dhabas in Ladakh. On average, you will be spending a minimum of Rs. 400 – Rs.500 per person for meals daily.
Any other charges will depend on you completely and will be in addition to the numbers I quoted above as the minimum budget for Ladakh trip. These could be shopping, permits, or any other personal expenditure that you will have total control over.
Minimum Cost or Budget for Ladakh Trip
So to conclude it in the end, let me give you some round figures for your minimum budget for Ladakh trip. These numbers are considering that you will be covering about 3000 kilometers starting from Manali and exiting at Srinagar or vice versa.
- In terms of accommodation, meals, and permits, you are looking at a minimum cost of about Rs.1000 – Rs. 1500 per person, per day.
- If traveling by your own motorcycle, your fuel cost would come out to be about Rs. 10000 – Rs.12000.
- If traveling in your own car, your fuel cost would be anywhere between Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 35,000.
- If you are renting the motorcycle, add another Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 as Bike rental in addition to the fuel.
- If driving a rented self-drive vehicle, add your daily car rental fee to the fuel expense.
- Depending on the places you wish to attend, the cost of a private taxi will be a whopping cost of Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000
- If traveling by Bus, your total fare would come out to be close to Rs. 7000.
- If traveling in a shared taxi, you are looking at a total fare of about Rs. 10,000.
Traveling Solo or in a Group
Your total Ladakh trip budget will also depend on whether you were traveling alone or in a group. For example, if you are visiting Ladakh on a bike with a friend, then the total fuel cost will get divided between the two of you. The hotel charges that you will pay will also get divided.
The same is the case when traveling with a group of 4-5 friends. The fuel cost, taxi charges, and accommodation cost also will then get divided.
In both of these cases, only the money that you spend on meals or any other personal expenses will be your own. The rest will be shared among friends or the group.
Leh Ladakh Permit Cost
This also will be an individual cost that cannot be shared. The permit is issued on a per-person basis and not per vehicle. So if you were a total of 5 people in a car, all 5 of you will need to get the permit and pay for it individually. Even if you were traveling on a bus, you will still need to get a permit issued in your name.
No permit is needed to reach the city of Leh but you will have to obtain ILP in order to visit areas like Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso. Please read How to Obtain Inner Line Permit for Ladakh for details on how to apply for the permit and how much it will cost you.
In the end, let me give some cost estimates from different cities in India. Please note that these are rough estimates and the final cost is bound to be a little different. But these are the minimum cost estimates that can be a safer number to assume.
Ladakh Trip Cost from Delhi
A trip to Ladakh from Delhi will cost at least around Rs. 25,000 by Bike, and Rs. 50,000 by car if traveling alone. These figures are for a 10 to 12 days trip. The overall cost per person will be lower depending on the number of people sharing the fuel and accommodation expenses.
Ladakh Trip Cost from Mumbai
A trip to Ladakh from Mumbai will cost around Rs. 40,000 by Bike and Rs. 70,000 by Car. These numbers are for a 10-12 days trip and assuming that you are reaching Leh by flight and hiring a local cab or bike for sightseeing. If you are traveling in a group, then the bike rental and taxi charges will get divided, thus reducing the per-person cost.
If you want to rent a bike or taxi from Srinagar or Manali, add another 20,000 to this cost as your bike or cab from outside Ladakh will not be allowed for local sightseeing.
The same charges will apply to any other nearby city like Pune or Nagpur.
Ladakh Trip Cost from Chandigarh
A trip to Ladakh from Chandigarh will cost at least around Rs. 25,000 by Bike, and Rs. 50,000 by car if traveling alone. The cost estimates, in this case, will be around the same as in Delhi.
But if you were coming from a different city to Chandigarh by flight and then renting a bike from there, then the cost will easily be around Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 by Bike and around Rs. 70,000 by a private taxi.
Ladakh Trip Cost from Lucknow
A trip to Ladakh from Delhi will cost at least around Rs. 35,000 by Bike, and Rs. 70,000 by car if traveling alone. This will also apply to any other nearby city like Agra or Kanpur.
Ladakh Trip Cost from Bangalore
A trip to Ladakh from Mumbai will cost around Rs. 40,000 by Bike and Rs. 70,000 by Car if traveling alone. This number is assuming that you are reaching Leh by flight and renting a bike or taxi there.
If you want to drive all the from home, then the fuel expense itself for the long drive will be above Rs. 12,000-15,000 by Bike and Rs. 30,000 – Rs. 40,000 by car. Then add at least Rs. 1000 per day for accommodation and another Rs. 500 per day for food.
The same figures will also apply to other cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, or anywhere in Kerala. This will be your minimum budget for Ladakh trip.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh with Family
1. Is Ladakh Expensive?
No Ladakh is not expensive. The high cost of the trip is a result of the number of days of travel and the distance covered. If you travel to any other place for this long, it will cost you around the same.
2. How to reduce Ladakh trip costs?
The best way to reduce the cost of Ladakh trip is to travel in a group. Since the fuel cost will be the greatest expense, this will then get divided and the cost per person will be way less.
3. How much would Leh-Ladakh trip cost from Bangalore?
I am using Bangalore as an example here but the answer will also be applicable to any other city at a similar distance. Unless you were ready to shed a huge amount of money, the best way to plan your trip is to book a flight to Ladakh a few months in advance. This way, you can get a good deal and pay less.
Once you arrive in Leh, if you were traveling alone, then opt for buses and shared cabs. If you were with a friend, then rent a bike. If you were in a group, then hire a private cab.
I hope the information above on the minimum budget 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.