A Road Trip to Ladakh always fascinate everyone, its dream for everyone to go on a Road Trip to Ladakh. I have recently been to my first Road Trip to Ladakh Trip, thanks to the ScoutmyTrip and OYOrooms. I was there for the Highest Blogger Meet and we started our journey from Delhi in 5 SUV’s.

We started our journey from Delhi and it took us 12 days to complete the Entire Ladakh Circuit and return back to the Delhi.

Delhi to Ladakh Road Trip at Glance:

Difficulty: Hard (Extremely Hard if you’re riding for the first time in the Himalayas)

Duration: 10 Days (Take 2-3 extra buffer days)

Distance: 3000+ KM

Highest Altitude: 17,582 ft

Temperature: Min: -5° C, Max: 32° C

Avg. Travel Time: 10-13 hrs / day

Day 1: Delhi to Jammu (593KM)

We woke up early in the morning and left Delhi at 6 AM, we skipped the breakfast as we’ve planned to have our breakfast at Murthal, Haryana. Through all the Dhabas are overly hyped, taste wise the food was not great.

White Scorpio to Ladakh
White Scorpio cruising at Punjab highways

As we’ve to cover almost 600 KM in a single day, we halt for a very short period of time. After 14 hours of journey, we finally reached Jammu our first pit stop. We’re happy as it was our first day, but soon our happiness vanished as we heard the news about the terrorist attack on Amarnath Pilgrimage. It means our next 2 days would be tough as we’re also after the same route and there will be a blockage and extra security check by the Kashmir Police.

Day 2: Jammu to Sonmarg (Struck in Ramban)

As per our schedule, we again started early in the morning for our next pit stop Sonmarg. We welcome by the Rain and I got the idea that today’s journey would be the tough one. As we move towards the Kashmir Valley, the rainfall increased.

Chenani-Nashri Tunnel
Chenani-Nashri Tunnel – India’s Longest Tunnel

Because of the rainfall, the route becomes very challenging. As we move forwards, we also passed through the India’s longest tunnel which was just unveiled by our PM.

Soon we reached the Ramban where we were stopped by the Jammu & Kashmir police as landslide halt our journey. There was no going back or forward as we struck in the mid and we’ve to take an unexpected halt at Ramban.

Chenab River, Ramban
Chenab River, Ramban

We spent our evening sitting near the Chenab River which was flowing at full speed due to rainfall in the mountains.

Day 3: Ramban to Kargil

We woke up at 3 AM and queue up our cars but cops won’t allow us the to cross the Ramban, because of the terrorist attack they’re not allowing any tourist vehicle to pass through as they’re waiting for the clear message from BRO.

Beautiful Road of Kashmir
Beautiful Road of Kashmir

After waiting for One and half hour, we finally get clearance and we race through there and entered the Kashmir Valley. The valley was tensed as there was a band but thanks to Dr. Shakeel Khan he help us to the clear the Srinagar with ease.

Baltal, Sonmarg
Amarnath Yatra Base camp, Baltal, Sonmarg

We halt at Sonmarg for lunch and the entire settings of Sonmarg were beautiful and this is why we called Kashmir the Heaven on earth. At Sonmarg we took a long breath and ready for our first pass i.e Zoji La Pass.

Zoji La Pass, Sonmarg
Zoji La Pass, Sonmarg

Right at the Zoji La pass, our bolero tire punctured and our Bolero struck at the pass with the Black Scorpio. At the moment, we also find out that our Stepney is also punctured. Rest of the car left us in the middle of Zoji la pass, they didn’t realize that on a road trip you’ve to be together. We waited for 4 hours there till we get the fresh tire for our car. Both the cars missed the Kargil War Memorial and we reached the Kargil at 9 PM.

Zoji La Pass, Sonmarg
Bolero Tyre Punctured at Zoji La Pass

Day 4: Kargil to Leh

Today they shuffled the cars and its passenger and now I’m riding with Yayawar in his Black Scorpio. After crossing the Zozilla pass, the entire mountains settings completely changed, we’re at the high altitude and all the mountains are dried up, no trees, no meadows. We started to get the feel of Ladakh.

Namika La, Ladakh
Car line up at Namika La Mountain Pass, Ladakh

From Kargil to Leh, we crossed two passes Namikala & Fotu La, Fotu La is the highest pass on Kargil to Leh highway and this is where I broke my previous high altitude record which was 12500 feet at Kedarkantha Summit.

Moonsland, Lamayuru
Moonsland at Lamayuru
Lamayuru, Ladakh
Lamayuru Monastery, Ladakh

The Entire Kargil to Leh stretch is very smooth and very scenic, we faced no problem on this route and made a halt at Lamayuru where we also saw the Moonsland. Indus-Zanskar River confluence is also on this route.

Kargil-Leh Highway
Somewhere after Lamayuru at Kargil-Leh Highway

The Magnetic Hill is also on this route but believe me its complete disappoint, no magic nothing there. It’s just a marketing gimmick.

At around 7 PM, we finally reached Leh.

Day 5: Sightseeing at Leh

We decided to take a break from the epic road trip and gather our energy for the next part of our road trip. Leh is a small city and we first went to Hall of Fame Museum by Indian Army which is recently built for the tourist and then heads to the Leh Palace. It was very hot and we’re back to the Hotel.

Leh Palace, Ladakh
View of Lake City from Leh Palace

At evening, we head to the Shanti Stupa for some night photography and this is the perfect place to shoot some good shot.

Shanti Stupa, Leh
Shanti Stupa, Leh

Later at the night, everyone gathers at the Dinner table to celebrate the end of the first leg of the road trip.

Shanti Stupa Night Photo, Leh
Long Exposure Shot at Shanti Stupa

Day 6: Highest Blogger Meet at Khardung La & Nubra Valley

20 Travel Bloggers from all around the India gather at Khardung La for the Highest Blogger Meet. The Khardung La is known as the Highest Motorable Road and we gather for the History meet at the Khardung La where Oyorooms also unveil the new platform for the travelers called Oyonauts.

During the meet, Bloggers shared their journey how they started the travel blogs and many other things.

Khardung La, Ladakh
Tsolding Buddha Park, Khardung La,

After the meet, few bloggers head back to the Leh as they’re flying out and rest move toward the Nubra Valley. Just after the Khardung La the Nubra Valley starts.

Diskit Monastery, Nubra Valley
Golden Buddha at Diskit Monastery before Nubra Valley
Sand Dunes at Nubra Valley, ladakh
Sand Dunes at Nubra Valley

We drive along the Shyok river, one thing you notice is that one side of the Nubra River is the Himalayan range and another side mountains called Karakorum range.

Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Reflections near Nubra Valley, Ladakh
Camel Ride, Nubra Valley
Camel Ride at Nubra Valley Sand Dunes

Day 6: Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso & Broken Scorpio

Today we had to cover the longest route of our road trip which expected to takes around 13-14 hours. We started our journey at 6:30 am towards the Leh. We all knew that Black Scorpio is not in the good shape when we reached the Khardung La the Scorpio refused to move the uphill and we’ve to get out from the car and had to push the car to get going. Somehow we managed to reach the Khardung La top and we took the long breath but wait. The scenario at the Khardung La was completely different, we saw the highest traffic jam at the Khardung La. The Khardung La is flooded with the tourist, the delicate mountain pass is suffering because of tourist. Hope just like the Rohtang pass, NGT will show the strictness for the Khardung La as well.

Chang La, Ladakh
Evening view of Chang La Mountain Pass

We had a lunch at Karu and then started our journey to next Mountain pass. We begin our ascend to the Chang La pass and this is where Black Scorpio finally gave up. The Engine becomes very hot and this is where we had to take the hard decision. Vineet & Deepak from Scoutmytrip decided to stay at Leh with the Black Scorpio, where they get it repaired and rest of us move ahead.

Chang La, Ladakh
Me Posing at Chang La Mountain Pass

Because of the broken car, we were running late and after crossing Chang La, it’s already dark and we’re cruising towards Pangong Tso through Tangste. It was very dangerous to drive in the dark and we’re crossing through so many river streams.

Chang La river crossing, Ladakh
Stream Crossing near Chang La Mountain Pass

Around 9 PM, we finally reach the famous Pangong Tso lake. Though we were not able to see the lake but I was stunned by looking at the tourist tents near the lake. It’s like an entire village setup for the tourist.

Day 7: Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri

Despite the last day fatigue, I woke up at the sunrise time to capture the beauty of Pangong Tso Lake. After the breakfast, we begin our journey towards the Tso Moriri.

Pangong Tso, Ladakh
Early Morning view of Pangong Tso Lake

We were moving along the Pangong Tso Lake and believe me the entire route is beautiful as hell.

Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh
Colors of Pangong Tso Lake

Near the Chusul, we can see the Indian Army bunker at nearby mountains, we were moving along the Indo-China border.

Trishul, Ladakh

After Chusul, we arrived at wetland where we heard another bad news, our Bolero got punctured. We again struck but this is the part of the road trip. The good thing is that we got the time to enjoy the beautiful view of Wetland.

Wetlands, Pangong Tso
Wetlands in Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri route

Pangong to Tso Moriri is again long distance route and there is no petrol pump on this route, we were carrying addition diesel in the jerry cans.

Ladakh Road Trip

At the mid, it starts raining which spoiled our plan for Night Photography at the Tso Moriri. It was cloudy, but the view was beautiful. Tso Moriri is still the pristine lake and very few tourist arrive here.

Day 8: Tso Moriri to Keylong (Returning back to Delhi)

Tso Moriri is the last stop point in Ladakh, we started our return journey to Delhi. This time we were taking the Manali route.

Thar at Keylong Route
Thar flaunting at Tso Moriri-Keylong route

Tso Moriri to Keylong is again very scenic route, we crossed through Tso Kar Salt Lake, Moore Plains, and Gata loops. This is the first time we’re getting the great asphalt road. The driving through Moore Plains is the best experience any rider can have. At the end of Morre Plains, the famous Gata loops start. The Gata loops haves a total of 21 loops which takes you all the way to the down.

Baralacha La Pass
Baralacha La Pass

After the Gata loops, we arrived at Sarachu and begin on the way to the Baralacha La Mountain Pass where we also saw the beautiful Suraj Taal. At around 9 PM, we finally reached Keylong.

Suraj Taal
Suraj Taal

Day 9: Keylong to Manali (Our Last Pitstop)

We begin our journey towards the Manali and after crossing the Keylong we suppose to fill our Cars with the diesel as this was the first Petrol Pump we meet since we left the Karu, Leh. But when we reached the Petrol Pump, we got the news that there was no diesel at the Pump, their tank got emptied few mins ago and we struck again. Next Petrol Pump is at the Manali and we didn’t have the enough in our tank to reach there. Everyone stopped at Dhaba while our scouts left to find diesel, after 2 hours they finally arrived with the Diesel.

Black Scorpio Crossing the Water stream
Black Scorpio Crossing the Water stream

We filled the tank and starts again since now we’re in Himachal, the entire Mountain scene was completely changed, the mountains are covered with green meadow and every few meters you’ll spot the waterfall.

Waterfall before Rohtang Pass
Waterfall before Rohtang Pass

We stopped at Khoksar for the lunch, Khoksar is famous for its Mutton curry and Rice, I also ordered the Egg curry which is equally good. After the Khoksar, the uphill of famous Rohtang Pass starts. On this entire trip, Rohtang is my second favorite pass after the Chang La. Green Meadow, Waterfall, and Clouds make the Rohtang pass a very scenic mountain pass.

Rohtang Pass
Rohtang Pass

After crossing the Rohtang Pass, we finally arrived at Manali and the best Oyo Property is waiting to host us.

Day 10: Manali to New Delhi (The End of Great Ladakh Circuit)

Time to leave the Mountains and head back to the Plains, Traffic Jams, and Pollution. This was our last day of Road Trip, we’re bit sad inside but also happy as we completed the Ladakh Circuit.

I like to Thanks, Scoutmytrip and Oyorooms for the opportunity to go on this memorable trip. If you’re a good car or bike driver then Once in a lifetime you must go for the Ladakh Road Trip. It’s not necessary that you can start from Delhi, you can start from Chandigarh, Jammu or Manali as well.

If you’ve any good memory from Ladakh trip or If you like to ask any questions, please feel free to ask in a below comments section.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The post refreshed my memories of this trip, especially the time we spent at Shanti Stupa, the crossing at Chang La and the route to Tso Moriri. It was an absolute pleasure traveling with you and I am really hoping to be able to do so sometime again and soon. Cheers Raza.

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