Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Lake Direct Routes

by Vargis.Khan

pangong tso lake

In this article, I will provide information on the two direct routes that you can take to travel directly from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Lake. The same routes will also apply if you were completing the journey the other way around, from Pangong Lake to Nubra Valley. In total, there are two routes that you can take for this and we will talk about both.

There is no doubt about the fact that a trip to Ladakh requires time, that is if you fully want to enjoy the region. A lot of people fly in and out of the city too. But in my opinion, this is a trip that must be done by road, covering both highways leading to Ladakh. But then not everybody can really spare enough time.

It is also not just the getting to Ladakh part. Sometimes even when we want to travel to places in Ladakh, we have to crunch in as many places as we can within a limited number of days. One such question that many people wonder about is whether you can get directly from Nubra valley to Pangong Tso.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso Lake Direct Routes

The answer to the question above is a yes. You can definitely travel between both these places directly without having to go back to Leh City. This was not really possible about a decade ago or so but there is a direct road connection both the regions of Ladakh.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Pangong Tso

Leh Route

In total there are three ways that you can take to travel from Nubra valley to Pangong Tso. The first and probably the most commonly used route is via Khardung La. Yes, I am talking about the same road that you would have taken to get to Nubra Valley from Leh. The next day you travel back to Leh and go to Pangong Tso on the following day.

I remember some time ago I received an email from someone who wanted to know if he can get back to Leh from Nubra and rather than stopping, just continue towards Pangong. I strongly advised him against doing so because that would have been a journey way too long and rushed.

Nubra Valley to Leh is a minimum of 5-6 hours. That is too when it is a rushed journey. Leh to Pangong Tso is a minimum of 6-8. So unless your plan is to start from Nubra valley while it is still dark in the morning and continue on your way to Pangong with plans of reaching there after dark, please do not try it. This journey requires 2 days and is best enjoyed in this manner only.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Nubra Valley

Wari La Route

The second route that you can take is via Wari La. This way, you continue towards Agham from Khalsar, and from Agham take the road that crosses over Wari La. You will exit just after Sakti on Leh Pangong road.

From where you will ascend Chang La and reach Pangong Tso. This route too is a lengthy one and can easily eat up 8-10 hrs of time. I have explained this entire route in detail at Nubra Valley to Pangong Lake via Wari La. Please read through it if you intend to take the Wari La route.

What makes Wari La difficult is the steep ascent at the final 20 km to the top. So you really need a 4X4 vehicle for this. If not 4×4, then at least an SUV with good ground clearance.

There is no public transport available on this route. You will not find a bus or a shared cab for Wari La.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via wari la

Agham Shyok Route

The third and probably least used road is the Agham Shyok one. From Khalsar you reach Agham rather than going towards Khardung La. From Agham you take the road that goes towards Shyok Village, and from Shyok you reach Durbuk and continue towards Pangong.

This is the easiest of all three routes and is also the least time-consuming. On this road, you can reach from Nubra valley to Pangong Tso within a matter of 6 hrs. This route has been explained in detail at Nubra to Pangong Tso via Agham Shyok Road. Please read through it if you are planning to take this road.

Which is the Best route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso?

Now coming to the big question, which road should you take. It primarily depends on 2 questions, how are you traveling and how many days do you have in hand. Let me break it down like this

  1. The route via Khardung La is easy but is most time-consuming
  2. Wari La is the most difficult but can get you to Pangong in a day. You will also add another high altitude pass to your itinerary, one that not many people have been to.
  3. Agham Shyok is the easiest one and least time-consuming.

There is no public transport on this route either. You can hitchhike with any other travelers but will not find a bus or a shared cab running on this road.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via shyok road

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso – Conclusion

So in order to summarize the information above,

  • If you want a very relaxed journey, do not want to get adventurous, and avoid long drives, then you should travel on the Shyok route. It will get you to Pangong Lake from Nubra Valley in 5-6 hours.
  • If you are the adventurous type, have a good GC SUV or a bigger engine bike, are confident of your driving skills, want to add another high altitude pass to your travel plans, do not mind traveling for 8-10 hours then you should take Wari La.
  • If you are traveling by public transport, then you have no other option but to take the bus or shared cab back to Leh. The next day, you can look for another public transport from Leh to Pangong.

I hope the information on Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso direct routes was of help. If you have any questions or need any other details, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be glad to help in any way that I can.

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Anish February 26, 2020 - 12:14 pm

Hi, We are planning to spend 6 Nights in Leh, Nubra valley and Pangong- We are travelling as a family, with 2 kids, 10 and 13 years old- planning to hire a local SUV for the trip. We are planning to stay in Leh for 3 N and then go to Nubra valley, stay for 1N – wanted to clarify
1. Is it safe and manageable to drive from Nubra to Pangong directly and stay there for one night ? Or Can it be done as a day trip enroute to Leh ? I have read that it will take 12-13 hours, so more inclined towards spending one night in Pangong ?
2. 6th night planning to stay in Leh considering the next day flight

Nathan M February 26, 2020 - 8:41 am

Hi Vargis,

Many thanks for all the details you share in this blog. Be blessed for the work you do. I took your advise and planned a leisurely itinerary. Would appreciate your feedback on the same.

Day 1 Getting acclimatized
Day 2 Leh sightseeing – visit magnetic hill if possible
Day 3 Nubra valley – Disket or hunder
Day 4 Spend another day at Nubra
Day 5 Go to Tangste and stay in a hotel like pangong residency. Is this advisable? We have 8 year olds.
Day 6 Visit lake and back to Tangste (or Leh)
Day 7 Drive back to Leh or stay in leh (extra day)

Is this ok? Is it advisable to stay in tangste?

Vaseem February 20, 2020 - 6:32 am

hello Varghis Brother..I am planning to make bike ride in LEH…NUBRA and Pangong with my 8 years old gal..kindly advice please

Vargis.Khan February 20, 2020 - 2:23 pm

Let me know what questions you have Vaseem

Vaseem February 20, 2020 - 4:25 pm

I am riding Leh..Nubra..pangong with my 8yr old it safe?

Vargis.Khan February 21, 2020 - 2:29 pm

No it is not. I will strongly advise against it. If going with kids, you should plan by Car.

Ravneet Singh July 26, 2019 - 6:52 pm

Hello is it advisable to travel in August ? Keeping in mind the monsoon season

Vargis.Khan July 26, 2019 - 8:58 pm

Yes you can travel

sashank June 4, 2019 - 9:40 am


Is it advisable to plan trip for both pangong lake and tso moriri lake or pangong lake is sufficient for one trip of 7 days?

Dhishankar. Chowdhury April 19, 2019 - 1:45 pm

Hi varfgi. We are planning to tour ladakh in august. 4 night at ladakh. 1 night at kargil. 3 nights Srinagar.4th August morning reaching leh. 5th aug leh to nubra valley overnight stay.
6th August nubra valley to pangong along with changla pass and back to leh.
7th auAugu leh local sight scene.
8th auAugu leh to kargil.stay at kargil
9th August kargil to sriSrina via sonemarg
10august Srinagar to gulmarg
11 August Srinagar to pahelgaon
12 auAugu back.
Is it possible to to reach leh from pangong viewing changla by evening??
Is it safe. 3 couple are going all aged 30

Vargis.Khan April 19, 2019 - 11:18 pm

Hi Dhishankar – Yes. From Nubra, you can start by 6 in the morning, take the shyok road to reach Pangong, spend some time and return to Leh via Changla La. It will be about 12-13 hours of journey at least so start and manage accordingly please.

Dhishankar chowdhury April 20, 2019 - 6:43 am

Thanks for your advice. Will it be safe if we return from pangong to leh at 8 pm night.?? As you have mentioned it will take 12 to 13 hours. In case we check out from nubra at 8 in the morning.

Vargis.Khan April 20, 2019 - 4:14 pm

Nubra to Pangong by Shyok road is 5 to 6 hours
Pangong to Leh via Chang La is another 6 hours
Then you will spend at least an hour at the lake as well

So keeping this in mind, you must start from Nubra by 6 AM

To answer your question though, yes it is safe if you have a local driver with you.

Dhishankar April 27, 2019 - 6:34 am

I have seen in that between pangong lake and pangong tso a distance is about 70 km. What’s the difference. Can u guide me ?

Vargis.Khan April 27, 2019 - 6:55 am

Pangong Tso and Lake are one and the same

S.k. Dalmia January 9, 2019 - 10:34 am

Hello vargis, first I appriciate you the pain you are taking to guide us volutery, we grp of sr.or adult frm mumbai are travelling by train to jammu in June 2019 to tour Leh- ladhak than manali Dharmashala,Dalhouie & Amritsar. Plz suggest us proper tour for Leh-Ladhak start frm Jammu to manali route with consideration of sr citizen with minimum days by covering most. We will travelling by innova car.,Our is grp of 18 guest.. Thnx.lots

Abul Kalam September 5, 2018 - 6:10 am

Hi Khan sb, I am Abul Kalam from Varanasi, our friend group of 6 will be in leh on 24 September 2018. This is our first time in Leh Ladakh. We will be there till 27-28 September. can you suggest a budget friendly itinerary for us. Local transport could be our priority.

Shaan August 6, 2018 - 12:25 pm

Hi bro… Considering this article, I think there is no way for solo traveler to go to Pangong from Nubra using public transport. So, I will have to go back to Leh and get a bus or shared taxi from there to Pangong lake. Right?

Vargis.Khan August 6, 2018 - 1:36 pm

Yes Shaan Bhai. You can actually look someone who is going to Pangong from Nubra and hitch a ride. Lot of tourists travel in the season and if they had a spot available, they won’t say now

vaishali July 18, 2018 - 4:20 am

Hi Vargis.I will be travelling to Leh in aug 2018 with my hubby and 11 year old child.Just wanted to know if I I can plan Pangong before Nubra.Is the below itenary doable
11th Fly to leh
12th Leh
13 th Leh
14th Pangong and back to Leh
15th Nubra valley
16 th Nubra Valley and back to Leh
17th fly back

Vargis.Khan July 18, 2018 - 3:01 pm

Hi Vaishali – Yes you can plan Pangong before Nubra. It should be OK since you already would have spent 2 days in Leh city before going to the lake,

Neha June 2, 2018 - 11:28 pm

Hello Vargis,

Hope you are doing good!
I came to know about your website and blogs just few days back and reading many of those as I am planning a trip to Ladakh starting from 15th June. The only problem, we are planning it in a very short span of time as we got our leaves approved just now (IT guys we are :P). I am traveling with family(I , my husband and my 4 years old son).

We are planning trip for 7N 8D. I have not done any bookings yet but need to do in a day or 2 as all the hotels have been started tagged as sold out and flights are on peak 🙁 :(.

Before doing any booking I really really need your suggestion, we will travel by flight for sure from Delhi. Some of the major questions are in my mind like below:

1. What should be our itinerary for 7N 8D as we are traveling with 4 years old.
2. should I stay for 1 night or 2 nights in Nubra? In camp or in home-stay with kid?
3. Should I stay in Pangong or should come back to Leh same day?
4. Are there any chances of snow fall at khardungla in mid June?
5. Any other things I should keep in mind while traveling to Khardungla with kid?
6. For the throughout sightseeing and transfers, I have contacted Nasir as suggested by you. Although, not sure if he will be free or not at that time as this is peak season. Will contact him again once my bookings will be done.

Thanks in Advance!!!!


Manish kamble May 30, 2018 - 12:23 pm

Hi Sir

Is this road can be take with bikes..What time it will take by bikes for nubra to pangong


pk May 10, 2018 - 6:16 am

Hi Vargis,
Do you live in Leh ? If I come to Leh in Aug/Sept will it be possible to sit with you for a cup of coffee at the Cafe Brazil?

Vargis.Khan May 10, 2018 - 3:55 pm

Hi PK,

No actually I live in New Delhi, not Leh 🙂 But I thank you for thinking of me for a cup of coffee, really appreciate the gesture.

Vatsal Deshlahra April 5, 2018 - 6:03 am

Hi Vargis, Is the road conditions frim Nubra to pangong via agham shyok still bad as mentioned above in your blogs. I have read somewhere that the same has been improved.

I am travelling in September this year’s.

Vargis.Khan April 5, 2018 - 1:54 pm

Vatsal Bhai it has improved greatly. Please take a look at the article below. I have clicked a recent picture of this road, clicked last year, in this article; towards the bottom.

Vatsal Deshlahra April 5, 2018 - 2:13 pm

Thank you Vargis Bhai for the update.

Vargis.Khan April 5, 2018 - 2:23 pm

You are welcome Brother !!!

amit kale March 8, 2018 - 1:26 pm

hello sir
Is there any hotel on the road of nubra to pangong lake waya shyok river ?

Vargis.Khan March 8, 2018 - 3:19 pm

Hi Amit – No there is no hotel between Khalsar and Durbuk

Manju January 29, 2018 - 2:53 pm

Hello Sir,
Please check my itinerary , I would be traveling between 29th april to 5th may.
Day 1 -Leh
Day 2- leh local sightseeing
Day 3 – leh to nubra
Day 4- nubra to pangong
Day 5-pangong to leh
Day 6- Hemis, Thiskey ,shey,stok palace
Day 7 -take flight back

My queries:
1. The route from nubra to pangong via shyok will be open in first week of may.
2. Pangong night stay arrangement is in camp are these camp comfortable and can we find a hotel or guest house in pangong.
3. I would like to know the camp in pangong have good temperature barrier property. If you can give reference for stay in pangong.
4. I would like to book a cab for 5 days. If you can give reference.


Vargis.Khan January 29, 2018 - 3:44 pm

Hello Manju,

1. It all depends on the weather and amount of snow. Hard to predict but yes, chances are that the route may be open in May.
2. Please see the article below for accommodatio arrangements at Pangong.

3. Yes all the camps are warm and comfortable.

4. Please contact Sonam Angdus in Leh at 09469272773. Tell him you got his number from me and he will take good care of you.

Brijesh August 27, 2017 - 6:53 pm

Hi Vargis
1. Learnt a lot from your blogs.

2. I am planning a trip with my family consisting my parents wife children & also some friends total 8 Adults n 2 children aged 4 n 6.

3. I’ll be starting from Srinagar land in Srinagar in the afternoon same day local sightseeing

4. Second Day visit to Gulmarg third day Sona Marg and move further ahead to Kargil night stay

5. Third day moon land,lamayuru,Nimmo and night halt at Leh

6. 4th day move to Pangong tso Lake and back
7. V day local sightseeing.wanted to go to nubra valley but unfortunately shortage of time and closure of road from Pangong tso to nubra will have to mess nubra Valley
8. May I request you to kindly give any valuable advice or any change in my iternary which I should be making .
my parents are around 70 years but fit , will the schedule be of any health hazard for them.

Vargis.Khan August 28, 2017 - 2:54 pm

Hello Brijesh,

First of all, about your parents, I will strongly advise to take a doctor’s opinion before you bring them to Ladakh. The Pangong to Nubra road is now open so you can travel directly. After your arrival in Leh, you will have to spend a day there to arrange permits, cannot go straight to Pangong the next day. Better would be to add a couple of days to travel plan. Arrive in Leh, stay there the next day to arrange permits and local sightseeing, then go to Pangong and stay there for the night, next day come to Nubra and stay there and then come back to Leh.

Brijesh August 28, 2017 - 6:55 pm

Thanks a lot Mr Varghis. Prompt reply Much appreciated.
Will make some changes to our Iternary.
Reach leh stay night
Next Day local sightseeing and manage permits.
Move to Nubra and night stay
Next Day to Pangong tso and night stay
Next Day leh
Also wanted to know. .can a veh like Tempo traveller move on this route.
Once again thanks a lot. ..
Do you stay in leh. ..If so would be great to see you. ..☺

Vargis.Khan August 28, 2017 - 9:30 pm

You are welcome Brijesh. Tempo traveller will be a bit tough to find. And no, I live in Delhi, not in Leh.

Nidhi August 18, 2017 - 7:32 pm

Hi Vargis! Thank you for providing such amazing insight of leh ladakh. Really helpful!
I’m planning to travel to Leh in the first week of september and I’d like to share my itinerary with you.

Day 1- Hall of fame & Thicksey Monastry
Day 2- Khardungla pass-Khalsar-Diskit- Nubra ( stay at Nubra)
Day 3- Nubra- Durbuk- Pangong
Day 4- Pangong- chushul-Chumathang hot springs- Leh
Day 5- Leh- Tso moriri lake- Leh ( Is it convenient to return to leh the same day)
Day 6- Local sight seeing

Could you please tell me if I need to make any alterations in the above itinerary. Also, how convenient is it to do Day 4?How are the roads there?

Nidhi August 18, 2017 - 7:47 pm

Can I do Pangong Chushul- chumathang- Tso moriri (night stay here) ?

Vargis.Khan August 19, 2017 - 3:06 am

Yes you can

Vargis.Khan August 19, 2017 - 3:06 am

Hi Nidhi – How are you traveling? By public transport or car?

Nidhi August 19, 2017 - 7:32 am

I’ll be flying to ladakh from delhi and then planning to hire a car there.

Vargis.Khan August 19, 2017 - 9:04 pm

Few things. Direct route from Nubra to Pangong is closed and it is highly doubtful that it will reopen this year so Day 3 is highly doubtful. There is no way that you can travel all the distance you mentioned on Day 4, way too long a journey. Considering that the direct nubra to pangong route is open, your journey would be

1. Leh
2. Leh to Nubra
3. Nubra to Pangong
4. Pangong to Hanle
5. Hanle to Moriri
6. Moriri to Leh

Nidhi August 20, 2017 - 11:34 am

Oh alright! Thanks a lot Varghis. Much appreciated!

Vargis.Khan August 21, 2017 - 1:28 pm

You are welcome Nidhi

Anshul Parmar August 24, 2017 - 11:06 am

Hi Vargis,
Should I book a hotel near Shanti Stupa or on the Fort Road (which is nearer to market area). Is there any market where we can have lunch/dinner near Shanti Stupa?
We are travelling on 20th Sept. So is that a good weather to go to Leh? And how can i book a car before i reach there ? Please provide any references if you know any.

Thanks a lot

Vargis.Khan August 24, 2017 - 1:20 pm

Hi Anshul – Shanti Stoopa is a bit on the outskirts, on a hilltop. It is better to stay somewhere close to the market area.September is a good enough time. For cab, please contact Sonam Angdus in Leh @ 9469272773 He is a good driver, you can book him

Abhinav Choudhary July 24, 2017 - 6:17 am

Hi Vargis, Hats off to you for providing great details and travel insight. It is really helpful for novice tourist like me. I alongwith my two other friends coming to Leh on 3rd Sep 2017 via air and stay there till 9th Morning and planning to rent bike for touring Leh. First two day we are in leh for local touring like magnetic hill etc
My doubts are :
1. After Acclimatization for two days , is Plan of Leh- Nubra – Pangong ( via Agham) – tso Moriri ( via merak) – Leh feasible in first week of Sep 2017.
2. Where all can i find petrol ( Petrol Pump or black petrol) on this route.
3. How many lit of petrol do i have to carry considering we will be riding bullet 350 standard. By my Calculation
considering mileage of 20Kmpl (on safer side) total petrol required will be 38 lit and subtracting tank capacity
of 12 lit we will require 26 lit of petrol in jerry can. Is it feasible to cary such large amount of petrol on bike.
4. Is there any current update to Agham shylok road & Merak – Chusul – Nyoma route about both road conditions.

Vargis.Khan July 24, 2017 - 2:31 pm


Thank you for your appreciating words.

1. Yes it is.
2. Nowhere, just in the city of Leh but you may get petrol at the dhabas and chadar tents at Pangong for double the price.
3. Take a look at this article, should be of help.
Get a tank full done in Leh, carry as much fuel as you can conviniently and tank up again at Pangong Tso. Should see you through.
4. As of now, I have been told that Agham Shyok road is closed but Chushul route is open.

Abhinav Choudhary July 24, 2017 - 2:38 pm

Thnks Vargis for such a prompt reply…

Vargis.Khan July 24, 2017 - 3:34 pm

You are welcome Bhai

Urjit Jhaveri June 8, 2017 - 6:08 am

Hello Sir,

We’re travelling to Ladakh next week and have planned the trip in the following manner:

Fly into Leh, day 1, 2 and 3 in Leh
Day 4: Turtuk, Nubra Valley
Day 5: Hunder/Deskit, Nubra Valley
Day 6: Pangong
Day 7: Leh
Day 8: Leh to Sarchu – 20th June
Day 9: Sarchu to Kasol – 21st June

Wanted your advice regarding: 1) any modifications/changes to the itinerary
2) If there is any improvement in the roads between Nubra – Pangong (we plan to hire an SUV)
3) Would Rohtang pass be cleared for public use by then and what time would be the best to cross it since we would be starting from Sarchu around 7am the day we intend to cross the pass.

Your website is the best resource for anyone heading to Ladakh, much appreciated!!


Vargis.Khan June 8, 2017 - 2:30 pm

Hello Urjit – Your itineary looks good , Sarchu to Kasol will be a long stretch though. Nubra to Pangong direct routes are mostly in bad condition still. Rohtang Pass is open already and if you are starting from Sarchu at 7 AM, you will cross Rohtang sometime after noon.

Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

Jasmine April 29, 2017 - 5:24 am

Thank you Vargis. I have planned to go to Nubra first but instead of Pangong, I am planning to visit Tso Moriri. Is it feasible (Leh-Nubra-Tso Moriri-Leh) with an overnight stay at Nubra and Tso Moriri?

Vargis.Khan April 29, 2017 - 4:59 pm

Hi Jasmine, There is no direct route to Tso Moriri from Nubra Valley. Either you will have to come back to Leh then to Moriri, or take the Wari La route to Sakti and continue to Moriri from there or travel via Pangong, Chishul, Loma, Nyoma route.

Vargis.Khan March 30, 2017 - 5:39 pm

Hi Jasmine – Yes you can go to Nubra from Pangong directly. Routes will be the same as I mentioned above in the article, just the other way around.

Jasmine March 30, 2017 - 5:36 pm

Hello Vargis,
I would like to know if its fine to go to Nubra from Pangong (Leh-Pangong-Nubra-Leh). One of my friend did it last year but am not able to find any info about this route online.

Vargis.Khan March 30, 2017 - 5:50 pm

Hi Jasmine – Yes you can go to Nubra from Pangong directly. Routes will be the same as I mentioned above in the article, just the other way around


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