How to Reach Ladakh
Ladakh is called the adventure capital of the country for a genuine reason. The geographical location of the place makes it an ultimate destination for anyone looking for an adrenaline filled vacation. Ladakh is one of the very few destinations in the world where the entertainment starts the moment you begin your travel towards it. Thanks to the scenic routes, the travel to Ladakh is as exciting as your vacation. The land is bestowed with mountains, valleys, snows, cold desert, frozen lakes, trekking routes, rivers, mountain passes and so on. If you have picked Ladakh as you next destination, you are in for an exciting vacation.
The easiest way to travel to Ladakh is by air. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport located in Leh. This airport is connected with many international airports in India like Delhi. It also receives flights from Srinagar, Jammu, Chandigarh and other common destinations in India. The airport is a military terminal and thus, the security is a bit strangling. It is important to have all your documents ready when you enter Ladakh via the airport. It is better to have a hard copy of your e-ticket.
You can find a few taxis outside the airport to reach required destination. Not all destinations have daily flights to Leh. It is better to book your accommodations after you book your tickets. The most common flights to Leh fly from Delhi. The cost of an air ticket from Delhi to Leh starts from INR 8,000. The cost varies with the service provider, season and other factors.
There are government and private buses from Srinagar and Manali. If you are choosing Srinagar, you will pass through Zoji La Pass to reach Ladakh and you will scale Rohtang Pass to reach Ladakh from Manali.
The Srinagar path is open from June to October for bus entries. The Manali route is open for bus routes from June to September. If you were planning to hire bus from New Delhi, it would take minimum 4 days to reach Ladakh
The nearest railway station to Ladakh is in Tawi, which is 700 km away from Ladakh. This railway station receives trains from many important destinations like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and others. From the station, you can find cabs to reach Ladakh. You can also pre-book cabs. It would take two days to reach Ladakh and the trip will cost INR 10,000. Other nearest railway stations are in Chandigarh and Pathankot. It would take at least three days to reach from the railway station to Ladakh. This is the most inconvenient method to reach Ladakh.
Most tourists visit Ladakh in bike. The place has the world’s top three highest mountain passes that can be scaled on a vehicle. Biking along the mountain passes and stopping for a steaming cup of tea is the iconic activity of this place. If you are planning to travel to Leh via bike, you can choose one of two routes.
Leh – Srinagar Highway
Srinagar is 434 km away from Leh. The route covers Sonmarg, Zozi La, Drass, Kargil, Mulbek, Lamayaru and Saspol before reaching Leh. This route is open from May to October. It is the most scenic route with many attractions in its path.
Leh – Manali Highway
This route stretches from 490 km covering Rohtang, Gramphu, Kokshar, Darcha, Baralacha La, Gata Loops, Lachulung La, Tanglang La, Gya and Karu on the way. This route is open from May to September.
If you are planning to reach Ladakh in a bike, choose a brand that can easily take you through rocky terrains. It is better to choose a bike with higher displacements. The most common bike opted is Royal Enfield, Hero Impulse, KTM Duke, Bajaj Avenger and others. You can hire bikes from Srinagar or Manali at the cost of minimum INR 1,700 per day. The cost of the bike varies with service provider, brand, quality, season and others. The documents required for hiring a bike also varies between service providers.
Anyone wanting to enjoy the adrenaline rush of a bike ride but not able to handle the activity can choose jeep. Jeep ride is easier than bike and more comfortable. You can choose either one of the highway routes as mentioned before. If you are choosing jeep, you ought to visit Zoji La, the door of Ladakh that is found in the way from Kargil to Ladkah in the Kashmir Valley. The price of a jeep safari can start from INR 32,000 and the price is subjected to change.
You can hire taxis from Manali to Leh. Bargain before you agree upon a charge. It would cost minimum INR 12,000. Hire local drivers as they have more experience in driving through the rocky terrain. If you are choosing a taxi from Manali for reach Leh, you can hire cars with Manali registration or any other registration. If you are planning to use the same car for sightseeing inside Leh, you ought to have a car registered in Leh or a private (white board) car. Rented cars with other city registrations are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh.
By Shared Taxi
You can also choose to ride shared taxi, which would cost minimum of INR 1,200 per person. The frequency of the shared taxi depends on the season. You would be travelling with 6-7 people in a car including the driver.
Best Option to Reach Ladakh
The most comfortable option is air travel. However, if you are looking for an adventure time, it is recommended to try bike ride or jeep ride. Choose your travel option with at most care with regards to quality, season and cost.