In this article, I will provide details on Srinagar to Leh Bus service; covering information like fare involved, timings, frequency, where to board it from and how can you book a seat. With the recent boost in tourism in Ladakh, several modes of travel that people avoided using earlier are now gaining popularity. What was once considered a destination for adventure enthusiasts now also gets considered for family vacations.
A journey to Ladakh earlier used to be thought of as expensive because of the time and the related cost involved but now there are several cost-effective methods available. One such mode of travel that people have started to opt for a lot is the bus service. So many people look for a bus to Ladakh that HRTC even started a direct bus from Delhi to Leh, details of which I have provided in the previous article here.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Service
There are two kinds of bus services available of Srinagar to Leh route; one by Jammu & Kashmir government and the other by private tour operators. Government-run buses are a mix of luxury, semi-deluxe, and ordinary buses. The ones run by private tour operators are usually the semi-deluxe mini-buses.
JKSRTC Bus from Srinagar to Leh
JKSRTC provides three different types of buses on this route. One is MCV, 14 and 19 seater, which is a fully luxury bus; next is a Deluxe Bus followed by a Semi Deluxe Bus. There could also be an ordinary bus but it is not available on a daily basis. Usually, it is just the MCV, Deluxe, or Semi Deluxe bus from Srinagar to Leh.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Distance
This bus starts from Srinagar, travels via Sonamarg, Drass, Kargil, and covers a total distance of 425 kilometers. It crosses three high altitude passes on the way; Zoji La, Namika La, and Fotu La.
Also read: Is Srinagar Leh Highway Safe for Tourists?
Srinagar to Leh Bus Schedule
This is a daily bus from Srinagar. Usually, it is just one bus every morning but depending on the bookings, JKSRTC may run a second bus on the same day.
The bus departs from the tourist reception center near Dal Lake. It is a two days journey with a night halt at Kargil. The bus stops at all popular tourist places for a little while for sightseeing. It reaches Kargil by evening and starts again the next day early in the morning for Leh; where it arrives by late afternoon or evening.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Timings
Departure from Srinagar is in the morning by 8 AM from TRC. Arrival at Kargil is in the evening between 4-5 PM. The next day it departs from Kargil at 6 AM and arrives at Leh by 4 PM.
Srinagar to Leh Bus fare
An MCV bus will cost Rs. 1300 per person. The fare for a deluxe bus is Rs. 919 and Rs. 737 for a semi-deluxe bus. Accommodation at Kargil is not included in this fare. You will be paying for your stay and meals separately. Ordinary bus, if available would cost around Rs. 500.
Srinagar to Leh Bus Booking
For booking your seat, you will need to arrive at TRC and buy a seat for your date of travel. Please note that a booking at least one day in advance is a must. JKSRTC usually decides on a number of buses based on the bookings made.
It is possible that you arrive early in the morning without booking and may get a seat but it is not guaranteed. To be on the safer side, buy your ticket at least one day before your date of travel.
There is no online booking available. You will have to physically go to TRC and buy your ticket.
Also read: Srinagar to Leh Travel Time
Volvo Bus Service
Adding this information here because someone emailed me a few days ago with this question. There is no Volvo bus service between Srinagar to Leh, just the MCV by JKSRTC which is as good as a Volvo.
Jammu to Leh Bus
There is no direct bus that runs from Jammu to Leh. You will have to reach Srinagar and board a bus from there for Leh.
Jammu to Leh Bus Fare
Fare for Jammu to Srinagar is Rs. 445 for MCV, Rs. 392 for Hi-Tech, Rs. 321 for Deluxe, Rs. 230 for Semi Deluxe and Rs. 213 for an ordinary bus. Depending on which bus you chose to travel in, add this fare with charges for Srinagar to Leh and you will get the total cost for traveling from Jammu to Leh.
Leh to Srinagar Bus
For traveling from Srinagar to Leh, there is a direct bus that you can board at the Leh bus stand. This bus starts at 2 PM, runs non-stop, and arrives at Srinagar the next day at 7.30 AM. Fare is Rs. 1050 for a deluxe bus, Rs. 650 for Semi Deluxe and Rs. 450 for an ordinary bus.
Also read: Local Bus Service in Ladakh
Apart from the bus provided by JKSRTC, there are plenty of other options like shared taxis, tempo travelers, and minibusses. These usually start from Leh by evening 5 PM and reach Srinagar the next day by 8 AM. It is a non-stop drive all the way fare of which will be between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 15000, depending on which mode of travel you chose. Mini-buses are probably the best way to go here rather than choosing a shared taxi which can be a lot inconvenient.
I hope this information on Srinagar to Leh bus service was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I would be glad to answer. Also, if you have traveled to Ladakh by Bus recently and have any information that can be added for other people’s benefit, please feel free to do so in the comments section below and I will add it to the main article