Leh Ladakh is a testament to the scenic beauty of nature, offering serene landscapes, ancient monasteries, and an unparalleled feeling of peace. However, reaching this remote and picturesque area requires careful planning due to its geographical isolation and challenging terrain. This guide will explore different routes and transportation options, providing a comprehensive overview of how to reach Leh Ladakh.

What is the best way to reach Leh Ladakh

By Air:

The fastest and most common way to reach Leh Ladakh is by air. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh is well-connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Srinagar. The flight to Leh offers a breathtaking aerial view of the Himalayas, giving passengers a glimpse of the stunning landscapes that await them.

By Road

Leh Ladakh is a paradise for road trip lovers and the journey becomes an integral part of the adventure. There are two main land routes to reach Leh:

Leh Ladakh

  1. Manali to Leh Highway: The Manali to Leh highway is a popular route that opens when the snow is clear during the summer months (usually from May to October). The highway passes through breathtaking landscapes, high mountain passes, and charming villages. Major stops include Rohtang Pass, Keylong, Baralacha La, and Tanglang La.
  2. Srinagar to Leh Highway: The Srinagar to Leh highway is another scenic route, which is open from June to October. This route takes you through the stunning Kashmir Valley passing through places like Sonamarg, Dras, and Kargil. Zoji La Pass and Namika La Pass are among the main high-altitude attractions.

By Bus

State-run buses and private operators provide bus services to Leh from cities like Delhi and Manali. The journey may be long and arduous, but it offers an affordable option for budget travelers. The buses are equipped for challenging terrain, and the beautiful views from the bus windows make the journey worthwhile.

By Motorcycle

For adventure enthusiasts, a motorcycle trip to Leh Ladakh is an iconic experience. Renting a bike in cities like Manali or Srinagar lets you travel at your own pace on winding roads. The journey offers a unique connection with the landscape, and riders can explore off-beat destinations.

By Shared Taxis

Shared taxis serve as a popular mode of transportation in the area. These shared cabs operate on fixed routes, connecting Leh with surrounding towns and villages. Although they may not provide the comfort of a private vehicle, shared taxis provide a cost-effective and practical option for those who want to explore the area on a budget.

Travel Permits

Before starting the journey to Leh Ladakh, it is necessary to obtain the necessary permits. Since Leh is a strategically sensitive area, a permit is mandatory for both Indian and foreign nationals. The permit can be obtained online or through designated offices in cities like Leh, Manali, and Srinagar. Ensure you have the necessary permits for the specific areas you plan to visit, as some places may have restricted access.

Best Time to Visit

The weather in Leh Ladakh is extreme, here the temperature is zero in winter and the summer season is short. The best time to visit is from late May to early October when the weather is relatively mild, and most of the routes are accessible. Winter travel is limited due to heavy snowfall and road closures, making it challenging for transportation.

Tips for Traveling to Leh Ladakh

Leh-Ladakh situated in the lap of the Himalayas is a destination that is no different from any other. Its surreal landscapes, high-altitude passes, and vibrant culture make it a unique adventure. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, consider these essential tips:

  • Acclimatization is important: Acclimatization is important due to the high altitude. Spend the first few days in Leh to allow your body to adjust slowly. Avoid strenuous activities initially and stay well hydrated.
  • Stay hydrated: Dry mountain air can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, and soups. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, as these can cause dehydration.
  • Pack appropriate clothing: Pack layers for varying temperatures. Nights can be cold even in summer. Include a windproof and waterproof jacket, thermal wear, and comfortable trekking shoes. Don’t forget sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen for protection from strong UV rays.
  • Altitude Sickness Precautions: Carry medicines for altitude sickness, headache, and nausea. Consult a doctor before traveling for individual advice. Diamox can be a preventive measure, but it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
  • Travel Insurance: Ensure comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and evacuation. The remote location of Leh Ladakh emphasizes the importance of reliable insurance.
  • Plan for limited connectivity: Mobile network coverage may be limited, and Internet connectivity may be sporadic. Inform your family about potential communication gaps and plan accordingly.
  • Cash and ATMs: Carry adequate cash as ATMs may be in short supply, especially in remote areas. Inform your bank about your travel dates to avoid any issues in card transactions.
  • Permits and Documentation: Obtain the necessary permits for restricted areas before your trip. Carry multiple copies of identity documents, permits, and passport-size photographs. Ensure their access during spot checks.
  • Local Cuisine and Hygiene: Explore local cuisine but give priority to hygiene. Eat only freshly cooked food and avoid raw or undercooked food. Carry snacks for long journeys, as food options on the road may be limited.
  • Respect local customs: Ladakh has a rich cultural heritage. Respect local customs and traditions. Take permission before taking photographs, especially at monasteries and religious places. Wear a modest dress, especially at these holy places.
  • Emergency Contacts: Save emergency contact numbers, including local authorities, hospitals, and your country’s embassy or consulate. Share your itinerary with someone you trust.
  • Be flexible with plans: Weather conditions can change rapidly, affecting travel plans. Be flexible and prepared for delays. Rely on local advice regarding road conditions and potential challenges.
  • Environmental Responsibility: The delicate ecosystem of Leh Ladakh demands responsible travel. Avoid littering, stick to designated routes, and respect wildlife. Contribute to the preservation of this pristine environment.
  • Carry snacks and water: Long journeys in hilly areas may not require regular food stops. Keep snacks like nuts, energy bars, and fruits with you. Always keep an adequate supply of water.
  • Learn basic phrases: While English is generally understood, learning a few basic phrases in Ladakhi or Hindi can enhance your interactions with locals and show respect for their culture.


Reaching Leh Ladakh is an adventure in itself, with multiple routes for different preferences and travel styles. Whether you choose the convenience of air travel, the thrill of a road trip, the camaraderie of shared taxis, or the freedom of a motorcycle expedition, each mode of transportation offers a unique perspective of the mesmerizing landscapes in this high-altitude paradise. As you set out on this Leh Ladakh journey, be prepared for challenges, enjoy the breathtaking views, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with exploring one of the most fascinating regions of the Himalayas.

Suggest Post:
Best Time to Visit Rann of Kutch
Best Time to Visit Dubai from India
10 Places to Visit in Dwarka, Gujarat
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Snowfall

Written By

Param Dass

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *