How to Plan a Budget trip to Ladakh using Public Transport Services

by Vargis.Khan

Planning a trip using public transport services is the cheapest way to travel to Ladakh. Any other way will cost you way more than what you will pay while travelling in public transport. A friend of mine once asked me as a joke about travelling on a bicycle and if that will cost less. My answer was again a No because for going to Ladakh on a bicycle, you will have to first buy a mountain bike which will again cost you more than what you will pay using public transport. Total expenditure is one of the biggest factor people consider while going to Ladakh and with a bit of information, you can easily plan a budget trip to Ladakh, keeping the total cost involved at a minimum.

When it comes to public transport services in Ladakh, the frequency is the biggest issue. There is a regular bus service to most of the tourist places in Ladakh but it is not daily. For most of the nearby places, the bus runs either once or twice a week or a few times in the month. However when and where there is no bus, the option of boarding a shared taxi is always open. If you are planning a budget trip to Ladakh, below is how you can do so by using public transport services. I will follow a most common itinerary as an example which if not precise, should still be able to give you an estimated cost of Ladakh trip.

budget trip to ladakh

For the sake of this article, I will plan the itinerary from Manali and end at Jammu because if you are completing the entire Ladakh circuit, you will start from either of these two places and end at another. Depending on which part of the country you are travelling from, any cost incurred in reaching both these places will be in addition to what I will mention below.

Before getting further in this article, I would recommend that you read the article below that provides more information on Bus services in Ladakh, fare and schedule.

Bus Service in Ladakh : Frequency, Fare & Time Table

I will break the cost information in legs or segments that you can put together to form your own itinerary. I will mention the minimum charge that you will incur while traveling to that place and how much you may end up spending for accommodation and food. Depending on the number of days you have in hand and places that you are interested in covering, you can put together these segments to form your own itinerary.

How to plan a budget trip to Ladakh

You will stay at Manali for the night before starting the next morning towards Leh. Manali is a famous tourist destination and there are numerous hotels here fitting in every budget. You can easily find a place to stay for the night for as less as Rs. 500. Same goes for places to eat as well. You can have a good enough meal without shooting it over Rs. 100. Your total cost until Manali will be whatever you spent reaching there from your hometown and the night stay at Manali.

Leg 1 – Manali to Leh

There is a regular HRTC bus that plies on this route. This is a 2 days journey with night halt at Keylong. Fare of this bus is Rs. 500 per person approximately. Keylong has multiple hotels and you will have no trouble finding one in a price range of Rs. 500-700. If you are travelling in this bus, then your total expenditure would be Rs. 500 for bus fare plus Rs. 600 (approx.) for accommodation + meals.

A second way to do this journey is to catch the Delhi to Leh bus which starts from ISBT Delhi and goes all the way to Leh. Fare for this bus is Rs. 1365 per person. This bus does not halt at Manali but will halt at Keylong. If you are travelling in this bus, then your total expense would be Rs. 1365 + Rs 600 for accommodation + meal charges. However, this 1365 would save your travel charges from Delhi to Manali and your hotel rent for night stay in Manali.

Also read: Delhi to Leh Bus Service : Fare, Schedule & How to Book

Leg 2 – Leh

After reaching Leh, you may want to stay within the town for a day or more in order to rest your body, get acclimatized to high altitude and to arrange permits if you wish to visit any restricted areas. For moving around within the town, you will have no other choice but to rent a motorcycle. If you are low on budget, get an automated bike like Activa or Scooty, rent of which is Rs. 800 for full day and Rs. 500 for half day.

For accommodation in Leh, you do not have to worry about finding a moderately priced hotel. Like Manali, in Leh too you can get a hotel for a fare between Rs. 500 – Rs. 700

Finding a place to eat as well will be no problem. Several places here where you will not spend more than Rs. 100 for one person’s meal.

For any day that you stay in Leh, your total cost incurred will be Rs. 800 for scooty (if you rent one) + fuel charges + Rs. 500 for hotel + meal charges.

Also read: Ladakh Motorcycle Rental Rates

Leg 3 – Leh to Nubra Valley to Leh

For travelling to Nubra Valley, you have three options available. First one is to travel in a bus but it will entirely depend on whether a bus is available on your day of travel or not. Same applies for your day of return as well. Bus service in Ladakh is not regular and it is usually once or twice a week. None the less, if you are able to plan your journey as per the schedule of bus service, then a ticket to Hunder or Diskit in Nubra valley would cost you about Rs. 350 per person. So travelling in a bus, a round trip to Nubra valley from Leh would be approximately Rs. 700 – Rs.800

This bus leaves from Leh main bus stand to Diskit at 8 am every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The same bus returns from Diskit to Leh the next day morning so for return journey, it will be Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 7 AM. There is also a bus to Sumur every Thursday and Saturday that leaves at 6 am from main bus stand and comes back to Leh the next day.

Second cost effective way of travelling to Nubra valley is in a public shared taxi. Yes, this is the taxi that locals here use. A great, more regular but highly inconvenient way to travel but if you are not able to find a bus, you can always board one of these shared taxis from either near Polo ground in Leh or from near Leh bus stand. Charge per person for this taxi is Rs. 400 – Rs. 500. So if you travel this way, then a round trip to Nubra would cost about Rs. 800 to Rs.1000

Third way to go to the valley is using a Tourist shared taxis. These are usually run by the local tour operators. If you can afford a bit more, then this will be your best bet. A round trip using this service would cost you anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000, Leh to Nubra and back. To avail this option, you will have to contact any of the numerous tour agents in Leh and they will book you a seat in there next taxi going towards Nubra valley.

For accommodation, you can easily find a hotel or guest house in Nubra valley ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 800

Meals however can be a little costly if you eat at the hotel. In order to save money, your best choice would be to take a walk in the town and eat at any local restaurant/Dhaba.

Leg 4 – Leh to Pangong Tso to Leh

Like Nubra valley, again three options to travel to Pangong Tso and cost too is pretty much the same. A bus ticket would cost your about Rs. 600 for a round trip, Leh to Pangong and Back. Public shared taxi would cost about Rs. 1000 and Tourist shared taxi about Rs. 1500 – Rs.200 (both ways).

The bus to Pangong leaves Leh every Saturday and Sunday at 6.30 AM. Another bus to Tangtse leaves at same time on Wed, Sat and Sun but doesn’t go all the way till Pangong. Fare of this bus is Rs. 250 per person. Both these buses take the return journey to Leh the next day. So using this bus, you can go to Leh on Wednesday (till Tangste), Saturday and Sunday. For return journey, you can chose Thursday (from Tangste), Sunday or Monday.

A few other buses that you can board to reach Pangong Tso are the ones that travel towards Changthang valley. These buses take the same route that passes via Spangmik (Pangong Tso). Details of these buses are further in the article.

Accommodation at Pangong is tricky when it comes to within budget. There is just one cemented hotel here which is highly overpriced and booked months in advance so you are better off just forgetting about it. Camp sites would cost anywhere between Rs. 2500 to Rs.5000 per person so that too is not an option when on budget. Best choice however is the Chadar tent. These are just huge tents with beds lined up one after another. Here, you can easily find a bed to crash on for the night for as less as Rs.200 to Rs. 400 (depending on your negotiation skills, I managed to get one just for Rs. 100). Best part is that these Chadar tents are also Dhabas that will serve decent enough but reasonably priced food.

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

Leg 5: Leh to Tso Moriri to Leh

Travelling here is trickiest of all and you do not really have much of options except for Tourist shared taxis. The bus from Leh to Tso Moriri is only 3 times a month, on 10th, 20th and 30th of each month. Fare is Rs. 370 and it also takes the return journey the next day, means on 11th, 21st and 31st (or 1st of the following month). It leaves Leh at 6.30 am. So if you travel in this Bus, a return from Leh to Tso Moriri and back would cost you about Rs. 740 (could be slightly higher as well). It is a great option if your travel date is around the schedule of the bus. The only catch however is that it doesn’t give you much time to spend at the lake.

Public shared taxis are not really that regular to Tso Moriri but if you are able to find one, then it would cost you anywhere between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 for a round trip.

Coming to the best available option, a tourist shared taxi. Same logic applies that I mentioned above. Contact a tour operator and they can arrange a seat for you. Cost would be about Rs. 2000 to Rs.2200 for a round trip.

For accommodation, you can easily find a hotel at Karzok (Tso Moriri) for charges ranging between Rs. 500 to Rs.800. There are several restaurants / dhabas here where you can find food decent enough food without shedding too much money.

Also read: Guest Houses, Camp Sites and Hotels At Tso Moriri

Leg 6 – The Chushul / Hanle Circuit

There are really two aspects of journey towards Chushul. Either you just want to visit Chushul or Hanle or you want to travel from Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri directly. For visiting Chushul or Hanle there are several buses you can board.

Two buses from Leh to Chushul travel very week, One starts at 6.30 AM every Wednesday from Leh, fare of which is Rs. 345 per person, and reaches Chushul via Tangste, Chilam and Harong. Another bus starts from Leh every Sunday morning at 6.30 AM and reaches Chushul via Man and Merak. Fare of this bus is Rs. 356 per person.

There is a direct bus from Leh to Hanle every Saturday, fare is Rs. 492 / person, leaves at 6.30 am from Leh.

Apart from Hanle, there is another small village in Changthang valley called Koyul. A small road bifurcates at Loma check post towards Koyul, close to the point where you take the turn towards Hanle. A weekly bus to Koyul starts from Leh at 6.30 in the morning every Tuesday, fare of which is Rs. 415 per person. This is another bus you can take to reach Chushul but if Hanle is the desired destination, you will have to find another mode of transport from Loma to Hanle.

Another bus from  to Nyoma leaves at 9 AM every Monday and Thursday.This is good too if you want to go to Man, Merak or Chusul but for Hanle, the problem will again be of finding transport from Loma to Hanle.

There is another bus for Loma which actually goes to a small village called Mood. The location of this village is pretty much same as Loma and the bus will pass through the check post where you take the turn towards Hanle. This bus starts every Wednesday morning from Leh at 9 AM and the fare is Rs. 260 per person.

A bus from Leh to Tsagha leaves at 9 am every Friday, Fare is Rs. 312 per person.

However if Pangong to Tso Moriri direct is the idea, then it would be extremely difficult to do so by using public transport. There is no bus that goes from either Chushul or Hanle to Tso Moriri. There are no public shared taxis available as well on this route, and the ones that do run are extremely rare. Your best option to travel on Hanle circuit is to contact a tour operator and inquire if they have a cab scheduled on this rout that they can put you on.

Your only choice of option at Man, Merak, Chushul is of paying guest. You will need to talk to the villagers asking if they can let you stay, charges will be nominal at around Rs. 500 per person including meals. There is a guest house at Hanle where you can stay for the night. Finding accommodation at Loma, Nyoma, Mahe or Sumo will be extremely difficult so do not plan on staying at either of these places.

Leg 7 – Kargil to Padum to Kargil (Zanskar Valley)

Public transport services in Zanskar valley is difficult to find. There is only one bus that starts from Leh, halts at Kargil and goes to Padum the next day. There is no direct bus from Kargil to Padum however there is a regular bus from Kargil to Parakchik, Panikhar and Sankoo. From all these three places, in order to get to Padum, you will have to board a public shared taxi.

Visiting Zanskar using Public transport would be tricky. If you are however able to manage your timings as per the bus from Leh, then a trip from Kargil to Padum and back would cost you about Rs. 700 – Rs.800.

Using public shared taxis, this cost would go a bit higher to Rs. 1000. At towns of Sankoo, Panikhar and Parakchik, locals have a few Sumo cabs that they use to commute to either Kargil to Padum but these are very few in numbers. Best way to cover Zanskar is to try and match your dates with the bus schedule. That way you can reach Padum by bus. For return journey, you can either come back the next day using the same bus or you can board a shared taxi to Panikahar and take the bus to Kargil from there.

If you use a tourist shared taxi, the estimated cost would be around Rs. 2000.

There are several hotels that you can find at Padum between the price ranges of Rs. 500 – Rs.800

Leg 8 – Leh to Srinagar

This will be the last leg of the journey, returning to Srinagar and returning home from there. Multiple options are available to do this journey. You can either catch a normal bus, a deluxe bus, a semi deluxe bus or a shared taxi. Like Manali to Leh, this too will be a 2 days journey with night halt at Kargil.

Using a normal bus, fare per person would be Rs. 450. A semi deluxe bus would cost about Rs. 650 and a deluxe bus charge would be Rs. 1050. Private buses also operate on this route and their fare is Rs. 1000 – Rs. 1300 for Srinagar to Leh to Srinagar.

A shared taxi for Leh to Srinagar would cost about Rs. 800 per person.

For accommodation at Kargil and Srinagar both, you will have to hotel hunt a bit but should be able to find a hotel or guest house in price ranges of Rs. 600 – Rs. 1000. At Srinagar, I would suggest staying somewhere close to Dal lake.

 Leg 9 – Srinagar to Jammu

You will of course have to return to Jammu for your return journey so I will also include this in the article. There are regular and frequent buses running from Srinagar to Jammu, fare of which is approximately Rs. 500 per person. You can also travel in a shared taxi for Rs. 800 per person.

If you are staying in Jammu for the night, you will easily find several hotels near the bus stand itself, prices ranging between Rs. 600 – Rs.1000

Depending on how many days you have in hand and what all places you wish to visit, you can plan your itinerary with the cost estimates I mentioned above. So how much it will cost to visit Ladakh by Public transport? Overall, reaching Leh from Manali, visiting Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri, and returning via Srinagar in a 2 weeks trip would cost you somewhere close to Rs. 15000 including your travel, accommodation and meal expenses. I have not really stressed much about meals in the article because I believe that is highly dependent on an individual, like what you like to eat, where you like to eat and of course, how much do you like to eat (LOL).

I hope this information regarding a budget trip to Ladakh was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I would be glad to answer. If you have travelled to Ladakh by public transport, please do share some further knowledge in order to help others.

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Jonathan January 25, 2021 - 6:11 am

I am very impressed by your details, but I wish I could see more photos of the towns/cities that you stopped in. Anyway, thanks for the guide.

himanshu agarwal March 29, 2020 - 8:14 pm

namaskar mr vargis
are these 7N/8D tour…..leh4N/nubra2N/pangong1N offered by various operators ok?

ranee August 26, 2019 - 4:51 am

Hi Vargis! Your blog is very very helpful, we are planning to go to Leh during first week of May. Is that a right time to visit Leh/Ladakh?

Vargis.Khan August 26, 2019 - 5:41 am

Thanks Ranee. and Yes, May is a good time to go but not if you are planning by public transport.

Ashwani May 9, 2019 - 1:19 pm

Hi Vargis,

I read lots of blog of yours, let me tell me all are helpful!

I am travelling in Leh Ladakh (10-17 July) & I am planning to visit nubra valley, pangong tso mainly. Could i rely on public transport or shared taxi for these days?

Vargis.Khan May 9, 2019 - 9:32 pm

Hi Ashwani – Yes you can.

Rohit Kadam October 11, 2018 - 7:10 pm

Hey vargis im planning a solo trip to ladakh in most probably april or may for one week any word of advice

Vargis.Khan October 11, 2018 - 11:14 pm

Hi Rohit – If you are planning by public transport then I will recommend going in May or June if possible. April is a bit too early for traveling by Bus or other shared transport.

Rohit Kadam October 18, 2018 - 12:19 pm

Thankyou vargis. As im going solo any advice

Rafiqul hasan October 3, 2018 - 6:56 am

Hello Mr. Vargis Khan. I have went through you blog regarding Leh Ladakh..I am from Bangladesh. Actually I am planning to travel Leh, Ladakh on 25th October 2018 for 3 days with my other 2 friends. Does sound good to travel end of October 2018? We have very tight schedule to see other parts of Indian after and before of this time..
day 01: arrive at leh and for for leh sightseeing. O/ N leh.
Day 02: Pangong tso tour and return to Leh. O/N Leh.
Day 3: Depart for manali…….

Our preference is shared taxi service to see all.

Hope you will help us to do our plan ..

Vargis.Khan October 3, 2018 - 12:27 pm

Don’t come this year Rafiqul. Permits for Pangong are not being issued to Bangladeshi nationals. You will have to get this from Delhi. Better plan for next year.

Aditya Pran Changkakati September 6, 2018 - 6:11 am

Hello sir,
So far this is the best article I’ve read about descriptions on how to travel solo using Public Transport.

So, even I’ve planned for this trip by the end of October. I’ll be alone and will start the trip from Delhi. What would be the DOs and DONOTs for me during that time?

Vargis.Khan September 6, 2018 - 12:08 pm

Hi Aditya – Bus service to Ladakh is not available in October so you will not be able to travel entirely by Buses.

tawhidul hasan August 10, 2018 - 7:54 pm

hi vargis.thanks a lot for your detailed blog. I am from bangladesh and paanning a trip to ladakh on 5th september.we r four in numbers. i need to know that can i hire a 4 seater private taxi from manali to leh, leh to nubra and pangong, and also from leh to srinagar. and what wil be the taxi fare for each place. waiting for your kind reply

Vargis.Khan August 10, 2018 - 8:28 pm

Better plan it for next year. Permits in Ladakh are not being issued to Bangladeshi citizens this year.

Madhu July 21, 2018 - 3:13 pm

Thank you Vargis for such a detailed and helpful itinerary. I am following pretty much the same itinerary except for the last day when I have to travel to Srinagar through Kargil as my flight is from Srinagar . I am a solo traveller and would be travelling in August .I read your Blog on August travel to Ladakh . Very useful guidance on packing and other tips . I would be mostly travelling by shared taxis or public transport . On Day 4 , you have mentioned about visiting Thicksey monastery ,Druk School, Shey palace etc on the way to Pangong. Do the shared taxis stop to show this mid way tourist attractions. Do I get shared taxi for Tso Moriri from Pangong . Do I get shared taxis from Nubra to Pangong . Where to book the shared taxis in these places Like Nubra, Pangong and Tso Moriri.

Vargis.Khan July 21, 2018 - 7:43 pm

Shared taxi for Tso Moriri – Yes you will get it from Leh Bus stand easily but not from Pangong. May or may not get a shared cab from Nubra to Pangong, will have ask around in Diskit. No booking system available for shared cabs.
Do the stop? Actually no. They will drop you at these places and move on. After you are done sightseeing, you will have to wait by the road for another mode of commute to arrive which these days in tourist season will not take long.

How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh - A Complete Travel Guide - Vargis Khan June 24, 2018 - 3:06 am

[…] How to make a Budget Ladakh Trip by Public Transport […]

gndoshi June 23, 2018 - 1:22 pm

Hi Mr. Vargis,

I made a comment on one of your other blogs. Since you are looking at people’s itineraries and advising them, I’d love some advice on our trip. We are 2 friends joined by one later on, to volunteer in a remote monastery in Zanskar for 4 weeks and before and after our stay there we are planning to explore Leh, Nubra, Pangong, etc.

Here is our itinerary:

9th July – 12th July – Acclimatize in Leh – roam around – Magnetic Hill, Indus-Zanskar confluence, Shanti Stupa, etc.

12 July 2018 – Leh to Pangong Lake (transport isn’t yet booked, and neither is our stay at Pangong)
13th July – Pangong to Leh – see shey, Hemis, etc on the way back – Halt at Leh

14th July – Leh – Kargil – Transport + stay in Kargil not yet booked

15th July – Kargil – Padum – Dorje Dzong – Transport not yet booked

16th July – 11th August – Dorje Dzong monastery

11th August – Padum to Kargil – Transport not yet booked – Halt at Kargil , stay not yet booked

12th August – Kargil to Leh – transport not yet booked. Halt at Leh

13th August – Leh to Nubra – Transport not yet booked. Overnight at Diskit or Hunder – Stay not yet booked

14th August – Hunder/Diskit – Stay not yet booked

We wanted to explore Turtuk village too – will there be transport from Diskit/Hunder to Turtuk?

15th August – hunder/diskit to Leh – Overnight at Leh

16th August – Flight to Mumbai

Please let me know what you think. I am really worried about our transport from Kargil to Padum and back and our stay in Kargil. We are booking our Nubra stay soon at either Hunder or Diskit. Also, I’m kind of worried about our way back from Nubra to Leh. We are not doing 1 night but we are doing 2 nights. So will there be taxis in Diskit/Hunder to take us back?

Thank you so much for your kind help!

Vargis.Khan June 23, 2018 - 2:53 pm

Hello – I must say that I really envy you being able to spend so much in Zanskar. I must ask though, volunteer at the monastery doing what?

As for your itinerary, it looks good. You will be traveling in July august which is really the peak tourist time so finding shared taxis or buses to all the mentioned destinations will be no big deal. You will easily be able to move around.

Yee June 18, 2018 - 7:34 am

Hi Vargis,

Me & one of my friend will be travelling to Ladakh on 16/9-26/9/18 but in budget costs.
Hope you can assist on our planning as following:-

16/9 (Sun) Delhi to Srinagar (By flights)
17/9 (Mon) Srinagar to Kargil – [By bus & Halt Kargil]
18/9 (Tue) Kargil to Leh – [Halt Leh]
19/9 (Wed) Explore in Leh Town – [Halt Leh]
-> apply ILP & PAP for Tsomoriri & Pangong Tso & Nubra Valley
20/9 (Thu) Leh to Tsomoriri – [By bus & Halt Tsomoriri]
21/9 (Fri) Tso Moriri to Leh – [By bus & Halt Leh]
22/9 (Sat) Leh to Pangong Tso – [ By Bus & Halt Pangong Tso]
23/9 (Sun) Pangong Tso to Leh – [ By Bus & Halt Leh]
24/9 (Mon) Leh to Nubra Valley – [Shared Taxi & Halt Nubra]
25/9 (Tue) Nubra to Leh – [Shared Taxi & Halt Leh]
26/9 (Wed) Leh to Delhi (early morning flights)

Awaiting for your kind replies.
Thank you.

Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 1:54 pm

Hi Yee – Yes your plan is great. No change required.

Yee June 21, 2018 - 12:35 am

Thank you for replies.
How is the weather during sep? below 10celsius?

Vargis.Khan June 21, 2018 - 1:07 am

Days will be pleasant, close to 15-20 degrees Celsius but yes, nights will be below 10.

Yee June 28, 2018 - 2:05 am

Last Question. How much if we hire a private driver during these days?
Any nice driver recommend?

Vargis.Khan June 28, 2018 - 2:59 pm

You can contact Nasir in Leh @ 9906229203. he runs his taxi there. Talk to him and he will be able to give you cost estimate per your plan.

Yee July 4, 2018 - 1:46 am

what about srinagar to leh driver? any recommend?

Vargis.Khan July 5, 2018 - 3:14 am

Talk to Faisal in Srinagar @ 9596410670.

Dhaval June 7, 2018 - 7:13 pm

Hi I will be traveling in mid July is it a good season
I haven’t booked a vehicle or stay hope it vl not be difficult once I reach der
If I book a vehicle can I find PPL to share it
Want to visit turtuk is it worth visiting
Are vehicles freely available to go turtuk

Vargis.Khan June 7, 2018 - 11:06 pm

Mid July is OK. Shared cabs are available from Leh bus stand early in the morning on a daily basis.

Kadhiravan Bharani June 28, 2018 - 6:08 pm

Hi Dhavan,

We are two person travelling to leh on 13 – 20 july. if your still with your plan of travelling on mid july we can share the cab. Let me know..


Manali to Leh One Day Bus Service by HRTC - Vargis Khan May 25, 2018 - 2:40 am

[…] Also read: How to Travel to Ladakh by Bus and Shared Taxis […]

monica October 12, 2017 - 9:35 am


Thanks for all the details. Your article was really helpful.

Can you please tell me what would be the Best time to travel to ladakh,since we will be travelling next year… I will be travelling with 2 of my girl friends, so it’s gonna be a complete girls trip.. also please tell us if its safe there.

Anything that we need to do, to prepare in advance, we will be travelling from delhi.

Waiting for your reply!

Thanks in advance.

Vargis.Khan October 16, 2017 - 5:02 pm

Hello – July will be a good time to go or else September. From safety point of view, take a look at the article below. Written by a girl who traveled solo to Ladakh by public transport.

Arnab Chakraborty September 9, 2017 - 9:16 am

Hello Mr. Vargis Khan,

your blog helped me a lot to plan a solo Ladakh trip. I shall reach Leh on 28th of September,2017. Will it be ok to travel to Nubra and Pangong at that time? and How I can booked the shared taxi for nubra and pangong. Please guide me.

Thanks & Regards
Arnab Chakraborty

Vargis.Khan September 9, 2017 - 8:50 pm

Hello Mr. Chakraborty – Yes it will be OK to travel to Nubra and Pangong at this time. Shared taxi is more of a on the spot deal, cannot book. Just reach the Leh bus stand in the morning and you will find multiple taxis there. Check out a few and board the one that seems better and comfortable.

Ali Rifdi Rosli July 3, 2017 - 8:43 am

Greetings from Malaysia. Thank you Sir, your blog really gave much needed information for my solo travel to Ladakh in Sept 17. If you dont mind i would like to consult you on my planned itinerary for 13 days. Regards.

Vargis.Khan July 3, 2017 - 4:38 pm

Hello Mr. Rosli – I would be happy to assist in any way that I can. Please let me know what you plan is and I can suggest if any changes are required.

Ali Rifdi Rosli July 4, 2017 - 12:18 pm

Thank you Sir, my planned iti as follows:

13 Sept (Day 1) – KL to Delhi (Flight)
14 Sept (Day 2) – Delhi to Srinagar (Flight)
15 Sept (Day 3) – Srinagar to Kargil (Bus)
16 Sept (Day 4) – Kargil to Leh (Bus). Arrival evening.

17 Sept (Day 5) – Explore Leh town (Acclimatise)
18 Sept (Day 6) – Leh to Khardungla/Nubra (O/N at nubra)
19 Sept (Day 7) – Nubra to Leh
20 Sept (Day 8) – Leh to Pangong Tso (O/N at pangong)
21 Sept (Day 9) – Pangong to Leh
22 Sept (Day 10) – Leh to Tso Moriri (O/N at Karzok/tsomoriri)
23 Sept (Day 11) – Tso Moriri to Leh

24 Sept (Day 12) – Leh (Free and easy) / Spare day
25 Sept (Day 13) – Leh to Delhi (Morning Flight), Delhi to KL (Night Flight)

I will be travelling solo, after studying and reading your blog, my mode of transportation will most likely be tourist shared taxis/public shared taxis. (Since it’s hard to fit in public bus for my itinerary).

Would it be difficult to get a shared taxis exactly according to my planned itinerary i.e availability on a daily basis or do i need to be flexible ?

My overall ground budget excluding flight will be around 25~30k rupees.

Thanks in advance

Vargis.Khan July 5, 2017 - 4:12 pm

Hello Mr. Rosli

Your itinerary looks great, really no change required. You are going towards the end of tourist season so finding public transport may become a little challenging but you will still be able to find one. Just be a little flexible in terms of both places and mode of transport. If you find a bus, board it. Do not wait for a taxi and vice versa. Same thing applies to places as well. For exammple, if you were planning to go to Nubra on 18th but a mode of transport is readily available for Pangong, then do that first. Another important thing would be arranging your protected area permits for which you will have to go through a local travel agent. Have you made arrangements for that yet?

Ali Rifdi July 6, 2017 - 1:50 am

Regarding the permit i havent arrange it yet. i assumed 3 permits are required? Nubra, pangong and tso moriri.
How much does it cost and should i arrange it during my acclimatise day in leh? And do they arrange permit for solo traveller or i need to arrange with a group. Thanks

Vargis.Khan July 6, 2017 - 2:32 am

You are right. You will need permits for all these three places. Please take a look at the following post detailing how you can get a protected area permit.

Ali Rifdi July 6, 2017 - 2:22 pm

Perfect! Thank you for the input sir, couldnt wait to explore ladakh in next 2 months. Hopefully my solo travel would be a memorable one and if you dont mind i would contact you further for any queries

Vargis.Khan July 6, 2017 - 6:00 pm

I will not mind at all. As a matter of fact, I would request you to share the details of your travel. It will be good to know how you find the country.

Ali Rifdi July 7, 2017 - 8:58 am

Mostly malaysian knows kashmir very well because it is very beautiful but not many know about ladakh. If malaysian know, it is because of the epic movie ‘3 idiots’ haha

BALA May 11, 2017 - 2:07 am

Bro as reading all your post I would like to cover both Srinagar and Ladakh with my wife. I’m from south India. So travelling mode is flight but want to make road travel between Srinagar-leh. Now I want to know Advantages and disadvantages of traveling between SRINAGAR LEH or LEH SRINAGAR.. TRIP BETWEEN 3 days road trip..

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2017 - 2:02 pm

Hi Bala,, There is no disadvantage as such. A trip to Ladakh is best if done by road. I am not sure I understood the last line though, you are planning to do Srinagar to Leh and back to Srinagar in 3 days?

arn prasad May 6, 2017 - 3:41 pm

hi..i will reach Srinagar 10th afternoon and depart delhi 20th May. Want to Cover Srinagar on 10th, Sonamarg on 11th, Kargil/some part of zanskar on 12th, Leh 13th, Nubra 14th, turtuk 15th, panggong/tsomoriri/hanle 16th and 17th, Manali 19th, Delhi 20th – is this doable? I am guessing booking a taxi at srinagar is not feasible since i will end in manali. So public transport till Leh/either bus or shared taxi. Is it possible to book a taxi for one week in Leh for say 3000 a day? whatever i have seen thus far is all point to point fares.

have been to Manali, Leh, Srinagar earlier. This time is me, wife and two sons 10 and 11 – what is the best way to go around? already spending a lot for airfare from bangalore to srinagar and back so want a decent practical solution.Thx

arn prasad May 6, 2017 - 3:44 pm

to save time can travel night times provided there is transport available

Vargis.Khan May 8, 2017 - 1:37 am

Hi Arn – First, Sriangar Leh highway is still closed, expected to open sometime between 12-15 May so that is your biggest concern right now. You may have to spend a couple of days within Srinagar before tourists are allowed to travel towards Leh.

From Srinagar, a shared taxi or private taxi is your only choice. Bus will probably not start until end of May or early June.

For Leh, there is no per day cab booking. It is all point to point but what you can do is to contact a travel agent there and ask them to book you a spot in tourist shared taxi. It will cost you more than a bus of course but way less than a private taxi.

devendra patil April 15, 2017 - 8:34 am

thanks for this blog actually I am searching for this information for so long. I have one question, can i use my own tent for camping in all popular destination in Leh or need any kind of permission?

Vargis.Khan April 15, 2017 - 8:23 pm

You can camp on your own but will have to keep a few things in mind. Take a look at the article below detailing on how to camp on your own in Ladakh.

DEVENDRA SHARAD PATIL April 23, 2017 - 3:06 pm

i had one more question is there any way we can use public transport system to travel between two destination without any need to get back to Leh. like Tso moriri to pongong tso or nubra valley to pongong

Vargis.Khan April 23, 2017 - 6:53 pm

It will be hard to find a public transport on the direct routes.

For going directly from Nubra to Pangong, you will have to travel either on Aghyam Shyok road or across Wari La and there is no bus service on either of these roads. You will have to wait for a shared taxi but chances are you may not find one at all. Very few people on these roads.

For Pangong to Tso Moriri direct, you can take the Chushul route but the bus is available only as far as Loma. From Loma to Karzok (Tso Moriri), you will have to board a shared taxi but the frequency is way too low.

DEVENDRA SHARAD PATIL April 24, 2017 - 3:02 pm

Sorry Vergis to disturb you again, but i have one more question, Is it possible to stay in any monastery and if possible how much will it affect my pocket?
By the way very thanks to you for answering my previous queries 🙂

DEVENDRA SHARAD PATIL April 24, 2017 - 3:05 pm

thank you so much for your instant reply and sorry to disturb you again but have one more question,
is it possible to have a stay in monasteries and if it is then which one also how much it will affect my pocket?

Vargis.Khan April 25, 2017 - 3:18 am

Monasteries will be difficult Devendra, especially around Ladakh.It all depends on your luck, you may talk to the monks and ask if they will let you stay. It is only possible in remote areas though.

Charu March 28, 2017 - 2:23 pm

Your itinerary looks awesome. I am planning for the same. We are travelling with our son who is 11yrs now, any word of advice. And we are planning for travel in may, maybe first week. Is it do able , or what is the best time to travel in may, as my son’s school starts in June. Thank you in advance.

Vargis.Khan March 28, 2017 - 9:31 pm

Thanks Charu. You can visit in May however you will not be able to travel on Manali Leh highway then as it opens only in June sometime. You will have to take the Srinagar Leh highway and return via the same route. Do not plan it in first week though, plan towards 3rd week of May at earliest as there is a delay expected in Srinagar Leh highway opening this year.

Take a look at the article below about traveling to Ladakh with children.

Travel in 3rd or 4th week of May would be my advice. The roads are quite bad immediately after the highway opens and BRO takes a couple of weeks to restore it.

Vargis.Khan March 28, 2017 - 9:32 pm

How are you planning on traveling? Driving, taxi, bus?


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