Leh Ladakh 9 Days Itinerary : 3 Detailed Travel Plans

by Vargis.Khan

Leh Ladakh 9 days itinerary: A journey to Ladakh is best done at ease, without rushing yourself at any day or any point. It is not really a place where you can accelerate your car to over 100 kilometers per hour and cover distances quickly. Up here, you need to take the journey slow; both to ensure your safety and also to enjoy the trip to fullest.

With that being said; fact however is that not all of us can afford to be away from our jobs and regular lives for several days or weeks. Add to it the fact that the tourist season in Ladakh is limited to just 4-5 months in a year due to which a lot of people try to make a short trip to Ladakh with whatever time they can afford; trying to cover as much as they can within a short span of time. Most of the people manage to squeeze out one week and add it with two weekends. If you too are planning a week long trip to Ladakh, here is how you can travel.

leh ladakh 9 days

Leh Ladakh 9 Days Itinerary

How to plan a Leh Ladakh 9 Days Trip

There are a few things which I will detail below that you must keep in mind. For the sake of this article, I will assume that you are traveling from Delhi. If you are traveling from another place, then your first and last day journey will be different.

  • Days is the least required time for a road trip to Ladakh. Any less than this and you are better off catching a flight.
  • Minimum time required for travelling from Srinagar route is 4 days which includes your first day travel to Jammu, to Srinagar on2nd, Kargil on 3rd and finally to Leh on 4th day. Compared to this, you can easily make it to Ladakh via Manali route in 3 days. If you are short on time, it is best that you go via Manali and come back the same way.
  • Even though doable; 9 days for Ladakh is still a short time and your trip will be rushed. So please be mentally prepared for this.
  • You will not be able to cover all tourist destinations in Ladakh. In the example itinerary below however, I have included all major tourist destinations.
  • Managing a 9 days trip to Ladakh is not possible at all by public transport. You can only do it if you are traveling by your own vehicle or hiring a private taxi.
  • You are also most likely to suffer from Altitude sickness while traversing on the Manali Leh highway. Read How to deal with acute mountain sickness in Ladakh to know how you can handle it in a better way.

I will suggest three different travel plans, both starting from Delhi and ending at Delhi. You can pick and follow whichever seems the best to you.

Leh Ladakh 9 Days Itinerary 1
  • Day 1 – Delhi to Manali
  • Day 2 – Manali to Jispa
  • Day 3 – Jispa to Leh
  • Day 4 –  Leh
  • Day 5 – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Leh
  • Day 6 – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh
  • Day 7 – Leh to Sarchu
  • Day 8 – Sarchu to Manali
  • Day 9 – Manali to Leh
Day 1 – Delhi to Manali

On Day 1, start as early as you can from Delhi. There is not much to this day except for a long monotonous drive. The most important factor here is to ensure that you have your permits for Rohtang ready otherwise your Day 2 would be wasted trying to obtain these from SDM office Manali. Either you obtain these online or contact a travel agent/hotel in Manali to keep your permits ready. Best choice would be a hotel. They usually provide these services in order to win over customers. Call the hotel, ask if they can arrange your permit and if they agree, check in with them for your night stay at Manali. Total distance covered is about 540 kilometers in 12 hours; depending upon your speed and breaks you take. Road conditions are mostly good all the way to Manali.

Also read: Rohtang Pass Permits : Details, Charges & How to Apply

Day 2 – Manali to Jispa

Start early from Manali on Day 2 in order to avoid the usual traffic rush at Rohtang top. You will cross your first high altitude pass, Rohtang La, and descend in to Lahaul valley. Continue all the way to Jispa and either check in to the only cemented hotel here or any of the available camp sites. Total distance covered will be about 140 kilometers in approximately 7-8 hours. Road conditions are mostly good except for the bad roads near Rohtang top.

Day 3 – Jispa to Leh

Once again, start early from Jispa, possibly by first light of the day. You will cross the remaining 4 high altitude passes, Baralacha La, Nakee La, Lachulung La and Tanglang La today. There are also two small but beautiful lakes on the route, Deepak Taal and Suraj Taal. Road conditions will be a mix of good, bad and ugly. Total distance covered will be about 340 kilometers in approximately 10-12 hours depending upon your speed.

Day 4 –  Leh

Spend day 4 in Leh and use this day for 3 things. First is to allow your body some time to adjust itself to high altitude. Second is to arrange Inner line permits for the journey ahead. Third is to visit local places in Leh town like Leh Palace, Shanti Stoopa and Leh Market.

Day 5 – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Leh

It is going to be a long day so yet again, take an early start by first light of the day. Take the road towards Khardung La and descend on the other side in to Nubra Valley. If you started between 5-6 AM, you can easily make it until Diskit by 12 noon. Have your lunch there and start back towards Leh taking the same route across Khardung La. Reach back to Leh by evening. Total distance until Diskit and back to Leh will be around 240 kilometers and can take around 10 – 11 hours. Roads are mostly good except for between South Pullu and North Pullu (Khardung La top).

Day 6 – Leh – Pangong Tso – Leh

Your journey for Day is going to be even longer so you must start by 5 AM from Leh. Travel on Manali Leh highway and then take the diversion towards Chang La. After crossing the pass, it is a straight run to Pangong Lake where you should make it by noon. Start your return journey after spending a little time at the lake and travel on the same route via Chang La to Leh. Distance travelled will be approximately 450 kilometers and can take anywhere between 12-13 hours. Roads are mostly good except for a few bad stretches and a really ugly stretch around Chang La top.

Day 7 – Leh to Sarchu

Start your return journey on Day 7 towards Manali. It will be the same road back however this time, you will not go all the way to Jispa; rather you halt for the night at Sarchu and stay here at any of the camp sites.




Since your body would already have gotten adjusted to high altitude now, you will not have any trouble with AMS; which a lot of people worry about while staying here.

Day 8 – Sarchu to Manali

From Sarchu on Day 8, start really early and reach Manali by evening.

Day 9 – Manali to Leh

On Day 9, reach back home Delhi from Manali.

This is the most common and advised itinerary if you just have 9 days in hand. You will be able to cover most of the tourist destinations in Ladakh however will miss the Srinagar Leh highway.

Below is another example of an itinerary that you can follow if the first one doesn’t suit you.

Leh Ladakh 9 Days Itinerary # 2

Day 1 – Delhi to Manali
Day 2 – Manali to Jispa
Day 3 – Jispa to Leh
Day 4 –  Leh
Day 5 – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley
Day 6 – Nubra Valley – Agham Shyok Road / Wari La – Pangong Tso
Day 7 – Pangong Tso to Pang
Day 8 – Pang to Manali
Day 9 – Manali to Leh

Until Day 4, journey will be the same as I described for Itinerary 1.

Day 5 – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley

On Day 5, start for Nubra valley but in this itinerary, you will not be coming back to Leh by evening; rather you will stay at Nubra Valley itself. Check out of the hotel at Leh and carry all your luggage with you as you will just head back straight home from here. At Nubra Valley, you can stay at either Diskit, Hunder or Panamik. All these places have several hotels and guest houses. For more information read Accommodation In Nubra Valley – Ladakh

Day 6 – Nubra Valley – Agham Shyok Road / Wari La – Pangong Tso

Your journey on Day 6 will be long and tough. Destination will be Pangong Tso and you have two options to reach there directly from Nubra valley. Option one is to take the Wari La route and option two is to take the Agham Shyok road. Read the article below for more details on these routes.

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Agham Shyok Road

Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso via Wari La

Once you reach Pangong, stay there for the night at any of the numerous camp sites available.

Also read:Accommodation at Pangong Tso : Hotels & Camp Sites

Day 7 – Pangong Tso to Pang

You will start your return journey directly from Pangong Tso on Day 7. Take the route back towards Chang La which will have you exit at Manali Leh highway near Karu. From Karu, turn on your left and reach Pang by evening. Stay for the night here at any of the Chadar tents available.

Day 8 – Pang to Manali

Day 8 will be a long journey but doable and you should start really early from Pang, by first light of the day. Since you would already have traveled on Manali Leh highway while going to Leh; keep your breaks limited. You should be able to reach Manali by evening 5 PM.

Day 9 – Manali to Leh

Once again, it will be your return journey home on Day 9.

The difference in Itinerary 1 and 2 is that in the second itinerary, you get to spend nights at both Nubra and Pangong rather than coming back to Leh every day.

One thing that both of the above itineraries are missing is the Srinagar Leh highway. If you are keen to be covering that as well then you can follow Itinerary number 3; as described below.

Leh Ladakh 9 Days Itinerary # 3

Day 1 – Delhi to Manali
Day 2 – Manali to Jispa
Day 3 – Jispa to Leh
Day 4 – Leh to Khardung La to Leh
Day 5 – Leh to Pangong Tso to Leh
Day 6 – Leh to Kargil
Day 7 – Kargil to Srinagar
Day 8 – Srinagar to Jammu
Day 9 – Jammu to Delhi

Journey until Day 3 will be same as I explained for Itinerary 1.

Day 4 – Leh to Khardung La to Leh

On Day 4, the first thing you need to do is to get your permits for Nubra and Pangong. Reach at DM office at Leh early, even before it opens. Arrange for your permits and the moment you have them in hand, start towards Nubra valley. You will not be able to reach all the way to Nubra but at least you will be able to cover Khardung La. If you have some time, then descend from Khardung La on the other side and go as far as you can towards Nubra Valley. However keep a close check on the time to ensure that you are back in Leh before it gets dark.

Day 5 – Leh to Pangong Tso to Leh

Your journey for next day is going to be long so you must start by 5 AM from Leh. Travel on Manali Leh highway and then take the diversion towards Chang La. After crossing the pass, it is a straight run to Pangong Lake where you should make it by noon. Start your return journey after spending a little time at the lake and travel on the same route via Chang La to Leh. Distance travelled will be approximately 450 kilometers and can take anywhere between 12-13 hours. Roads are mostly good except for a few bad stretches and a really ugly stretch around Chang La top.

Day 6 – Leh to Kargil

On Day 6, you will start your return journey to Srinagar. Start early so that you have some time for sightseeing on the highway. See Gurudwara Patthar Sahib, Indus & Zanskar river confluence, magnetic hill and reach Kargil by evening. There are several hotels at Kargil so you will have no trouble finding one. You will also cross two high altitude passes, Fotu La and Namika La, on the way.

Day 7 – Kargil to Srinagar

Day 7 will see you reaching Srinagar by evening after crossing Zoji La. Enjoy the natural beauty of Kashmir valley throughout your drive. Have lunch at Sonamarg. If within budget, stay at a houseboat at Dal Lake in Srinagar.

Day 8 – Srinagar to Jammu

On Day 8 Have your breakfast at Srinagar and be on your way to Jammu via Patnitop.

Day 9 – Jammu to Delhi

On Day 9, it is nothing but a long monotonous journey from Jammu to Delhi.

I hope this information on Leh Ladakh 9 days itinerary was helpful; If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer.

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24 comments

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Sudhir Bandi May 13, 2019 - 9:55 am

Vargis Khan,

Really appreciate your blog and the good you are doing to the fellow travellers.

We are group of 6 people(3 couples) coming from Hyderabad. We are taking a flight to Delhi. From Delhi we would like to go to Leh via Manali route as per your itinerary #2. we have 9 days (jun 29th to July 7th) we need to take our return flight 8:45 pm on Sunday(July 7th).

Friday jun 28th 2019 11:00 pm will be in Delhi and Zoom car(TATA Hexa SUV) will be waiting for us for self drive. Among 6 people 4 people can drive the car.

Can you suggest any tips or changes required in the itinerary #2 for our plan.

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Vargis.Khan May 13, 2019 - 1:16 pm

Sudhir – Zoomcar will not be allowed in Ladakh. You can use it only to reach Leh but once you get there, you will need to hire a local taxi for sightseeing in Ladakh.

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Sudhir Bandi May 15, 2019 - 12:31 pm

Thanks for the information

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Vargis.Khan May 15, 2019 - 12:49 pm

You are welcome !!!

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Sudhir Bandi June 3, 2019 - 11:46 am

Bhai one more query on our first day we are planning to reach jispa by evening. Can you suggest me if I can take a halt at routang pass provided that I will get both routang pass permit and beyond routang pass permit. Is it possible?

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Vargis.Khan June 4, 2019 - 12:02 am

You just need to get Beyond Rohtang permit Sudhir and you will cross Rohtang Pass on the way anyways

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Hitendra Mehta November 14, 2017 - 8:13 am

Mr.Vargis,
I want to visit Ladakh with Chushul war memorial, Siachen war memorial, Turtuk Pangong lake ,Kargil and Drass in June 2018 after Ladakh tour going to Amarnath yatra Khirbhavani ,Srinagar,Budha Amarnath,Shivkhori, Mata Vaishno devi ,Jammu to Mumbai
Mobile no .9326024247

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Vargis.Khan November 15, 2017 - 1:32 pm

Mr. Mehta – Yes you can definitely do that in June

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Leena Satav June 7, 2017 - 5:00 am

Hi Vargis,
Thanks for your immense effort to help people like us, travelling Ladakh. We are 4 Adults(Women) planning for Ladakh starting this September,12th.
12-Sept Arrive at Jammu
13-Sept Jammu Srinagar
14-Sept Srinagar Sightseeing
15- Sept srinagar sonmarg kargil
16-Sept kargil to leh
17-Sept Leh city tour-hemis, shey, thiksey, 3 idiots , sindhu ghat
18-Sept Nubra
19-Sept Leh
20-Sept Pangong
21-Sept Leh
22-Sept Leh – sham valley upto sangam
23-Sept White Water Rafting at Zanskar river
24-Sept Fly out to airport
Srinagar to Leh By road traveling is okay or not we are confuse.
Can we book any travel package or no need to book. or manageable on that
Need a suggestion. Thanks in advance !!

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Vargis.Khan June 7, 2017 - 5:30 am

Hello Leena, Thank you for your appreciating words. Your itinerary looks great to me and yes, Srinagar is safe to travel through. How are you planning to travel by the way? Booking a private taxi?

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Robin dhama August 13, 2017 - 4:52 pm

Hello Vargis,

Hope you are doing good. Your blog is very informative. Love reading you post on latest updates on routes and planning a trip.
My name is Robin and I am from Gurgaon. I am a marathon runner and planning to participate in ladakh half marathon which is scheduled on 10th September 2017

I was supposed to travel with my friends. Now I will be travelling alone as other friends leave not got approved. I have made a new plan for myself please have a look at it and suggest.

5 sept Delhi to leh by flight (booking already done) will be taking rest on this day.

6 sept leh local sightseeing and inner line permit.

7 sept. Leh to pangong lake
8 sept pangong to leh
9 sept complete rest
10 sept ladakh half marathon

As of now I haven’t booked my return ticket. For coming back my travel plans as follows.
11 sept leh to kargil by bus
12 sept kargil to srinagar. Followed by evening flight to Delhi.
Please suggest if the plan looks good to you. I hope I will be able to catch evening flight from srinagar if I leave early from kargil.
Thanks.

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Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 5:30 am

Hello Robin – Thank you for your appreciating words. I am glad the information was of help.

Your plan looks great to me except for the last day. You are cutting it a bit close, What time is your flight from Srinagar?

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Robin dhama August 15, 2017 - 8:45 am

Thanks for the reply Vargis. As of now I haven’t booked by return flight from Srinagar, as I was waiting for you feedback. The flight timing is 1715. Even I also think it will be too close to catch a flight.

The return flight from leh is too costly so I thought to catch the flight from Srinagar. How about travelling to Delhi from leh by manali side by bus?

Thanks.

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Vargis.Khan August 15, 2017 - 11:33 am

That is a great option too Robin. Take a look at this article, about this bus service.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/return-journey-leh-to-delhi-bus-service-via-manali/

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supriyo dutta May 24, 2017 - 1:26 pm

Hi Vargis,
Thanks for your immense effort to help people like us, travelling Ladakh. We are 6 Adults & 6 Kids ( two of them are of 3 years ) planning for Ladakh starting this September,25th.
Our initial itinerary was like this,

Day 1 (25/09/2017): Airport Pick up , (Acclimatization at Leh)
Day 2 (26/09/2017): Day Trip : Leh Palace, Museum, Magnetic Hill, Sangam trip
Day 3 (27/09/2017) Day trip : Shey, Thiksey , Hemiz Monestry
Day 4 (28/09/2017) Nubra Valley and Stay ( Camel riding , desert activity )
Day 5 (29/09/2017) Nubra to Leh
Day 6 (30/09/2017) Leh to ( via Changla Pass ) Pangon and Stay
Day 7 (01/10/2017) Pangong to Tso Moriri and Stay
Day 8 (02/10/2017) Tso Moriri to Leh
Day 9 (03/10/2017) Back to Delhi

Now, after going thru your blog, we are confused a bit regarding that Pangong to Tso Moriri rout and thinking to drop Tso Moriri from the list. Will it be wise ? How do you rate Tso Moriri vis a vis Pangong Tso in September, in terms of beauty ? Number of days are ‘almost’ fixed for us. Can we cover the first three day’s plan in two days ? Then we can come back to Leh from Pangong and next day can head for Tso Moriri.
Need a suggestion. Thanks in advance !!

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Vargis.Khan May 24, 2017 - 2:26 pm

Hi Supriyo, To answer your question, I am assuming that you are hiring a taxi in Leh and that your flight will land sometime in the morning. Correct me if I am wrong about this.

Tso Moriri is equally beautiful and so is the drive. If you have a day additional, you should visit this side of Ladakh as well.

What route are you planning for Pangong to Tso Moriri? Via Chushul or Chumathang?

Your flight will land sometime in the morning so you are actually spending three days in Leh town which is not really required. Remove the plan for Day 3, cover this on Day 1 itself and move straight to Nubra on Day 3. This way you will have an additional day to add for Moriri.

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Shiney May 15, 2017 - 7:39 pm

Hi,
We are planning Delhi-Leh Trip via Srinagar. Wherein we first reach Srinagar and then move towards Leh and then back to Delhi via Manali. I am counting approximately 10 days for the trip. Does this plan sound viable? Also, if you let us know by when Rohtang pass would be open as we are planning this trip from 1st June.

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Vargis.Khan May 17, 2017 - 8:35 pm

Yes you can definitely do it in 10 days. What is your itinerary, let me know and I can make suggestions if required.

Rohtang Pass will definitely be open by the tiime you come back from Leh, do not worry about it.

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Rateesh Sharma May 14, 2017 - 3:35 am

Also I have been told that due to army convoys traffic from Sonmarg is only allowed after 11 am..That would make one day stretch to leh impossible

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Vargis.Khan May 14, 2017 - 4:37 am

That timing changes each year and the ones for this year are not out yet.

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Ratnesh Sharma May 13, 2017 - 5:14 am

We are group of 3 friends in chandigarh planning trip to leh in 1st week of june.
Tentetative plan.
1. Day one.. Chandigarh to Udhampur-ee plan to start at noon
2. Day two…Somnath
3. Day three…Leh
4. Day four…Leh local
5.Day five… pangong overnight
6. Day six …Leh
7.Day seven…Leh to jispar or key long
8. Day eight..Manali
9. Day Nine… Chandigarh

Pl suggest if ok or needs changes
I am also worried about kashmir valley situation although we are not halting st Srinagar

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Vargis.Khan May 13, 2017 - 11:04 pm

Before I suggest anything Ratnesh, you got to tell me where exactly Somnath is that you are planning to stay at on Day 2.

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Raeesh Sharma May 14, 2017 - 2:51 am

autocorrect feature of phone…It’s actually Sonmarg

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Vargis.Khan May 14, 2017 - 4:37 am

Well then your itinerary looks good brother, no change required.

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