Public Transport Services To Leh


Traveling to Leh in a self owned mode vehicle always comes highly recommended however for those who chose not to do so because of any reason, there are several modes of public transport services available to reach Leh.

Flight :

While both of the highways to Leh are equally as scenic as the destination itself, Traveling by Air is a great option for those who want to spend more time in Leh and visiting nearby places. It is also the only option to reach Leh if you are planning a trip in Winter.

Following three Airlines operate regular flights to Leh.

  • Go Air operates daily flight from Delhi to Leh.

  • Indian Airlines :
    • 4 flight in a week between Delhi and Leh.
    • 2 flights in a week between Jammu and Leh
    • 1 Flight in a week between Srinagar and Leh
  • Jet Airways has six flights in a week from Delhi to Leh.

Bus :

There are regular bus services to Leh, both state and privately owned. These services are available only when the highway is open and is also the cheapest way to reach Leh.

HPTDC,( Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation) operate deluxe buses on Manali Leh highway with an overnight stop at Keylong. HRTc, [Himachal Road Transport Corporation], also has buses running on this route. Charge can be anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs.2000. HPTDC ticked will be inclusive of your overnight stay at a hotel in Keylong.

JKSRTC [Jammu and Kashmir state road transport corporation] operates regular bus service on Leh Srinagar highway with an overnight stay at either Kargil or Drass. Estimated fair is close to Rs. 1000 / person.

Several private travel companies also operate buses on Manali - Leh route details of which an be obtained from any travel agent in Manali.

In case you are in a hurry to reach Leh, there is a direct bus that takes around 24 hrs from Manali with no overnight stop.

Supposedly, there is also a direct bus from Delhi to Leh with stops at Manali and Keylong. Further details can be obtained from ISBT, New Delhi.

To get a more detailed information about Bus services to leh and in Ladakh region, click at the link below.

Bus Service to and in Ladakh

Taxi / Shared Taxi / Jeep :

This is another great and cheap way to travel to Leh is by Taxi and Jeep.

1. Direct Taxi / Jeep : These start real early in the morning, between 3 and 4 AM from Manali Taxi stand and reach Leh by night. There will be short breaks on the way but no overnight stay. Even though this journey roughly takes about 18 - 20 hrs, it will be the longest and most uncomfortable ride of your life. Road can be bumpy and the driver will be in a hurry to reach Leh by night, rest i will leave to your imagination. This Jeep / Taxi will charge you between roughly around Rs. 1500 and is a great way for anyone who wants to make it to Leh ASAP. Nicknamed as Canon Ball Run, it truly is a day of Joyride. If you are taking this, try to grab a middle or front seat.

2. Shared Taxi : This is usually run by Travel agents. If you a large enough group, then the Taxi is all yours. If you are a smaller group, 2 or 3 people, the travel agent will club you with other tourists in the same Taxi. It is a 2 day journey with night halt at Keylong or Darcha. Fair will depend on how well you can negotiate with the travel agent and how many people are traveling [Per head cost = Total cost / total passengers].

3. Privately Hired Taxi : As the name suggests, this is a Taxi that you hire for yourself and family / friends, has the option of traveling at your own pace, stopping wherever you like. Be advised that this is a very expensive option considering the terrain.


Trucks :

OK i know this is going to sound weird but it truly is an option to reach Leh from Manali and i believe also the cheapest. There is a long line of Trucks on this route almost as soon as it opens and quite often these truck drivers will let you hop in, of course in exchange of money which will depend on how well you can negotiate with them. Usually this charge is around Rs. 500. If you are in for a taste of the life of a Trucker, this is the option for you however be ready to sit on a pillow for a few days after you reach Leh.

If you chose to take this option, please pay only after you reach Leh. Paying in advance will get you the risk of the Trucker driving away while you were having tea at a Dhaba. Also, opt for a truck that does not have too many people traveling in it.

Please also be advised that by traveling this way, you are running a serious risk of getting robbed, or maybe even killed. You will be alone on a deserted road, in a truck, with strangers who know that you are a tourist and got money on you. There are stretches on Manali Leh highway where you wont see a single living soul for miles, thus giving ample opportunities to someone to rob you. If they killed and dumped your body here, it will be weeks before its found, Or it may not even be found if the animals decided to feast upon it.

Rail :

Leh does not have a railroad, however one is currently on the papers which, if the proposal is accepted, will run along the Manali Leh highway.

However for now, Jammu is the nearest railway station, which is about 734 km from Leh. From Jammu, you will either have to take a flight, Bus or Taxi to reach Leh.

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