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Road Trip to Leh From Hyderabad


SK01
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Road trip to the Himalayas is the thing that always fascinates me. I read almost all the trip reports available in all the top road trip forums about road trip to Leh. I think this is the perfect time for me to plan a road trip now. I have a beautiful car, completing my Degree which means will have a great time for the trip and also I partially convinced my father. The only things remaining is a proper route plan which is the reason behind this write up  and hopefully 15 days of time for my father for this trip. 

 

Vehicle: Ford Freestyle Titanium TDCi

Drivers: Me and my Father

No. of travelers: Me and my parents.

Month of travel: Between June, July.

 

So it will be me and my parents doing the road trip. I request experienced people out here to please give information and the route, terrain details as we both are new to drive in the Himalayas, vehicle capability, family friendly stay (if possible), precautions, driving tips, weather details.

 

Waiting for responses, thanks in advance.

 

 

Edited by SK01
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I have never driven to Leh But I have planned to do once soon so did some extensive research. By the way I have been to Ladakh thrice and again for the 4th time I am going this year in July. So this would be my suggestion for route:

 

 

Day 0: Hyderabad to Nagpur (500km/ 9 Hrs)

Day 1: Nagpur to Jhansi (590Km/ 10 Hrs)

Day 2: Jhansi to Ludhiana (800Km/ 13 Hrs)

Day 3: Ludhiana to Srinagar (500km/ 13 Hrs)

Day 4: Srinagar to Kargil (200km/ 5 hrs) Enroute visit Sonmarg

Day 5: Kargil to Leh (220km/ 5 hrs) Enroute Visit Lamayuru Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Likir Monastery

Day 6: Leh to Nubra Valley via Khardung top (200Km/ 5 hrs) Enroute Visit Hemis monastery, Diskit Monastery. After reaching Nubra you can take camel Ride in the desert. Also Plan to start      early from leh

Day 7: Nubra to Turtuk and Back (One way 85KM/ 2 hrs) Visit the beautiful village of Turtuk and take a trek through the village.

Day 8: Hunder to Pangong Tso (Merak) (185 KM/ 6 hrs this road is very much bad but scenic. Alternate you can take the Diskit Turtuk highway and then join the pangong lake road 250km/ 7 Hrs)

Day 9: Merak to Karzok (Tso Moriri) (200Km/ 5hrs) Avail Tsaka La road. Enroute Visit Kyagar Tso, Tso Kar

Day 10: Karzok to Jispa (300Km/ 10 Hrs)

Day 11: Jispa to Manali (150km/ 5Hrs) Enroute visit Vashisth Temple, Keylong, Rohtang Pass

Day 12: Manali to Delhi (550KM/ 12 Hrs)

Day 13: Delhi to Jhansi (480km/ 9 hrs)

Day 14: Jhansi to Nagpur (590km/ 10 hrs)

Day 15: Nagpur to Hyderabad(500km/ 9 Hrs)

 

Before Moving to Leh from Srinagar (Day 4) you can take one day for Srinagar Sightseeing.

Before moving to Nubra from Leh (Day 6) You can add one day for leh sightseeing (Shanti stupa, Thikse monastery, Leh Palace, Leh Bazaar -Shopping etc).

Before moving to Delhi from Manali (Day 12) You can add one day for Manali Sightseeing (Solang Valley, Hidimba Devi Temple)

 

You can add the days as per availability. For a first timer in Himalayas I feel June/July would be great time to drive because the roads will be dry very less chance of snowfall.

Let me know if you need any other details. Apart from the road conditions (lets leave that to experts, we have many who have driven the terrain many times), I can help you out in terms of hotel suggestions and sightseeing plans.

 

Happy Driving

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1 hour ago, dishari said:

Nubra to Turtuk

Where is Turtuk? Is it after crossing leh? Do we find any good stay options for family?

1 hour ago, dishari said:

Hunder to Pangong Tso

Where is Hunder? And do we find any stay options for family? 

1 hour ago, dishari said:

 

 

1 hour ago, dishari said:

 

 

1 hour ago, dishari said:

Manali to Delhi

I read Manali route is dangerous from @sagar route suggestions. Any more suggestions please? 

 

Edited by SK01
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25 minutes ago, SK01 said:

Where is Turtuk? Is it after crossing leh? Do we find any good stay options for family?

Turtuk is ahead of Nubra valley. Its a day trip. You will go there visit the village and come back to Nubra again. Night stay at Nubra(Hunder) itself

26 minutes ago, SK01 said:

Where is Hunder? And do we find any stay options for family? 

Hunder is the village near Nubra dessert. Maximum hotels camps are there only. I have already sent you contacts of Yourdum Guest house and Goba guest house there.
 

 

26 minutes ago, SK01 said:

I read Manali route is dangerous from @sagar route suggestions. Any more suggestions please? 

As for driving its a national highway so should not be a problem. Leh - Manali is treacherous in terms of AMS. So if any one is going to Leh from Manali one have to be very cautious. But as you are coming back via that route you are already acclimatized with the altitude. So should not be a problem.

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26 minutes ago, SK01 said:

day 7 to day 11 I don't understand. Could you please give some more details? Like the stay options, location (after leh or else back to Leh and those places) 

Day 7: Nightstay at Nubra (Hunder Village) - Turtuk is a day trip so you can drive there and come back by evening.

Day 8: Nightstay at Pangong Tso (Merak Village) - Already sent you option of Dorjay Delbu guest House and Peacefull home-stay
Day9: Nightstay at Tso Morini (Karzok village) - Sent you the contact of Nomadic Life camp.
Day 10: Night Stay at Jispa (I will find some contacts of Home-stay and send you the same)
Day 11: Reach Manali and Night stay at Manali (I will suggest you 2-3 hotels)

 

Hope this clarifies the doubt.

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2 hours ago, dishari said:

Day 7: Nightstay at Nubra (Hunder Village) - Turtuk is a day trip so you can drive there and come back by evening.

Day 8: Nightstay at Pangong Tso (Merak Village) - Already sent you option of Dorjay Delbu guest House and Peacefull home-stay
Day9: Nightstay at Tso Morini (Karzok village) - Sent you the contact of Nomadic Life camp.
Day 10: Night Stay at Jispa (I will find some contacts of Home-stay and send you the same)
Day 11: Reach Manali and Night stay at Manali (I will suggest you 2-3 hotels)

 

Hope this clarifies the doubt.

Very much clear. Thank you. Please update on the road conditions and safety for outside vehicles as well. I'm traveling with family so taking extra care. 

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Hey, @SK01 .. Congratulations on starting to plan on such a wonderful road trip from your base to the Himalayas with family. @dishari inputs were spot on and very much in detail.

One thing you are supposed to keep in mind is to forget luxurious stays whenever you travel to Himalayas. Make sure to put this note in advance to your family members.

 

 

 

 

Please check out the thread above for my detailed drive plan and road conditions of your drive from Hyderabad to Leh.

 

If at all you would want to enjoy this place thoroughly while sitting back and admiring at the Himalayas also, I have a known person in Leh who can take you around to the unknown and the regular places around the Himalayan range. If at all you plan to choose to do this by flight until Srinagar, Do let me know and I can share the contact with you.

 

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5 minutes ago, SK01 said:

Thanks for the response @sagar

Is the route suggested by you and @disharithe same? Does the same route conditions written by apply to the route suggested by @dishari

Yes, but just different pitstops.

 

Road conditions:

 

1) Hyderabad  ---> Kamareddy ---> Nirmal ---> Adilabad ---> Hinganghat ---> Nagpur (Halt) ~ 500 kms

Hyderabad - Nagpur stretch is a good track for a drive but considering the rainy season scenario, it might be a bit dicey with a few unexpected ditches and potholes on your way. So, just drive carefully. Also, make sure you be maintain decent speeds.

 

2) Nagpur ---> Chchindwara ---> Narsinghpur ---> Sagar ---> Lalitpur ---> Jhansi ---> Gwalior (Halt) ~ 700 kms

Via Seoni is another route from Nagpur which will not touch chichindwara which is avoidable due to bad road condition when compared.

Narsinghpur - Jhansi is a perfect four lane all the way with hardly any traffic.

Jhansi - Gwalior is again pathetic with many diversions. There is significant traffic all the way about which 80 kms stretch might take 2 hours at least.

 

3) Gwalior ---> Morena ---> Agra ---> Noida ---> Delhi --> Ludhiana ~ 615 kms

Gwalior - Agra is again four lane track but the traffic is dense.

Agra - Delhi - Delhi is again a usual story. No way to bypass Delhi. Huge traffic jams at the toll is no option to escape from.

Delhi - Ludhiana is a 4-lane road, super good to drive.

 

4) Ludhiana --> Pathankot --> Srinagar ~ 530 kilometers
Roads are average, with beautiful views enroute.  Need to start early in the morning.

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You can plan your circuit from Srinagar this way....

 

DAY - 5

Srinagar Local

 

DAY - 6

Srinagar - Sonamarg - Kargil

 

DAY - 7

Kargil - Lamayuru - Magnetic hill - Leh 

 

DAY - 8

Wake up Late and cover up Leh Local (Leisure day)

 

DAY - 9

Leh - KhardungLa - Diskit - Nubra valley

 

Day - 10

Nubra valley - Turtuk - Nubra valley

 

Day -11

Nubra valley - Pangong Tso lake

 

Day 12

Leh - Jispa

 

Day 13

Jispa - Manali

 

Day 14

Manali Local (Leisure day) OR Manali - Prashar Lake - Manali

 

Day 15

Manali - Delhi

 

Day 16

Delhi - Sagar

 

Day 17

Sagar - Hyderabad

 

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You can plan your circuit from Srinagar this way....
 
DAY - 5
Srinagar Local
 
DAY - 6
Srinagar - Sonamarg - Kargil
 
DAY - 7
Kargil - Lamayuru - Magnetic hill - Leh 
 
DAY - 8
Wake up Late and cover up Leh Local (Leisure day)
 
DAY - 9
Leh - KhardungLa - Diskit - Nubra valley
 
Day - 10
Nubra valley - Turtuk - Nubra valley
 
Day -11
Nubra valley - Pangong Tso lake
 
Day 12
Leh - Jispa
 
Day 13
Jispa - Manali
 
Day 14
Manali Local (Leisure day) OR Manali - Prashar Lake - Manali
 
Day 15
Manali - Delhi
 
Day 16
Delhi - Sagar
 
Day 17
Sagar - Hyderabad
 

Missed a day there between Day 11 and Day 12. I guess. Anyway this basically sums up. Missing Tso Moriri but should not be a disappointment because you are visiting mighty pangong. As@Ranger suggested. Add a day or two here and there to make your plan full proof and relaxed. Because you might lapse one or two days because of exhaust/permit


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16 hours ago, Ranger said:

add few more days to make the trip relaxing/comfortable.

Sure @Ranger thanks for the advice. Any precautions to be taken before we start the trip? And particular precautions for the Himalayan nature and conditions? 

21 hours ago, sagar said:

Kargil

No sight seeing in Kargil? 

 

21 hours ago, sagar said:

Yes, but just different pitstops.

 

Road conditions:

 

1) Hyderabad  ---> Kamareddy ---> Nirmal ---> Adilabad ---> Hinganghat ---> Nagpur (Halt) ~ 500 kms

Hyderabad - Nagpur stretch is a good track for a drive but considering the rainy season scenario, it might be a bit dicey with a few unexpected ditches and potholes on your way. So, just drive carefully. Also, make sure you be maintain decent speeds.

 

2) Nagpur ---> Chchindwara ---> Narsinghpur ---> Sagar ---> Lalitpur ---> Jhansi ---> Gwalior (Halt) ~ 700 kms

Via Seoni is another route from Nagpur which will not touch chichindwara which is avoidable due to bad road condition when compared.

Narsinghpur - Jhansi is a perfect four lane all the way with hardly any traffic.

Jhansi - Gwalior is again pathetic with many diversions. There is significant traffic all the way about which 80 kms stretch might take 2 hours at least.

 

3) Gwalior ---> Morena ---> Agra ---> Noida ---> Delhi --> Ludhiana ~ 615 kms

Gwalior - Agra is again four lane track but the traffic is dense.

Agra - Delhi - Delhi is again a usual story. No way to bypass Delhi. Huge traffic jams at the toll is no option to escape from.

Delhi - Ludhiana is a 4-lane road, super good to drive.

 

4) Ludhiana --> Pathankot --> Srinagar ~ 530 kilometers
Roads are average, with beautiful views enroute.  Need to start early in the morning.

This is very much detailed. Thanks much @sagar

 

22 hours ago, sagar said:

have a known person in Leh who can take you around to the unknown and the regular places around the Himalayan range.

A taxi? Or else a guide who comes along with us in our car? 

 

On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 7:09 PM, dishari said:

this road is very much bad but scenic

Bad means? Is the terrain dangerous? Doable for first timers? And please let know if it is safe to take private vehicles to Leh considering the previously happened taxi union fights. And is it safe for family to travel in those Himalayan areas? I hope the roads aren't isolated and we'll find many travelers... 

 

What all permits we must take before we go? And how to take? Please guide me here. 

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2 hours ago, SK01 said:

No sight seeing in Kargil? 

 

You have got the Kargil War Memorial to see enroute Kargil near the Tiger hill and also a sign boeard at Drass which reads World's coldest region. On your way towards Lamayuru Monastery after you start from Kargil, you will find a Buddist Gompa arena where the Buddha was carved on the rocks.

 

2 hours ago, SK01 said:

A taxi? Or else a guide who comes along with us in our car? 

Yes, He will be the best guide and driver ever you would meet in your life.. :)  Very nice person. He would also explain the life in Leh during the Kargil war time.

 

2 hours ago, SK01 said:

Bad means? Is the terrain dangerous? Doable for first timers? And please let know if it is safe to take private vehicles to Leh considering the previously happened taxi union fights

 

Roads between Leh - Manali are little steep, rocky patches and very narrow for a 2 way drive. You need to be a skilful at wheel to handle any tricky situation. Most unpredictable part on this track would be any landslide which can happen at any point of time would create a huge traffic jam which would sometime last for hours to days to get cleared .. All these things have to be kept in mind :) 

And regarding the taxi union fights, they do exist but you never know when the hay catches fire on the run :D Most of the times it wouldn't an issue but at times it can cause trouble.

 

 

 

2 hours ago, SK01 said:

What all permits we must take before we go? And how to take? Please guide me here. 

To do Khardungla and Changla pass, you need to get the permits at Leh. Since, you are suggested to do a local day or a leisure day at Leh after you reach, I would suggest you to get them done on that day. There would be many travel agencies who would do it. Ladhakis are helpful, so it can be very easily handled. Just make sure you carry a government ID along

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3 hours ago, SK01 said:

Any precautions to be taken before we start the trip?

  • Brake pads
  • Tires
  • Suspension
  • Puncture kit 
  • Extra spare tire/Tube
  • Head lamp bulbs
  • Don't overload the car, would suggest you to stick 3 members (Max 4)
  • Battery
  • Spare key
  • Towing rope (must, don't buy cheap ropes from Amazon, they can get snapped in no time)
  • Medical kit
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11 hours ago, sagar said:

landslide which can happen at any point of time would create a huge traffic

Any alternative route available?

 

11 hours ago, sagar said:

but at times it can cause trouble.

Any recently reported incidents which came to your notice?

 

7 hours ago, RajG said:

Adding to Sagar's points

  • Torch light
  • Duct tape
  • Air pump
  • Car manual 
  • Wiper blades (new set/keep a spare in boot)

Thanks @RajG these are really helpful ?

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On 4/15/2019 at 9:53 AM, sagar said:

If at all you plan to choose to do this by flight until Srinagar, Do let me know and I can share the contact with you.

Please share the contact. Also please let me know if it’s really risky or safe to take a self drive car to the Himalayas considering the taxi unions . 

Edited by SK01
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3 hours ago, SK01 said:

if it’s really risky or safe to take a self drive car to the Himalayas considering the taxi unions

 

Problem is not present in entire Himalayas. 
Only Leh has issues with self drive. 

 

Only options:
- Drive your car all the way from Hyderabad, it will be a trip of your life time. You need to earn it.

- Take a flight like every other regular tourist and hire a cab. 

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7 hours ago, SK01 said:

Please share the contact. Also please let me know if it’s really risky or safe to take a self drive car to the Himalayas considering the taxi unions . 

 

I shall PM you once your itinerary is fixed after I ask him for his free dates during your travel.. Also, I wouldn't recommend you the self drive car if you are doing it via Srinagar considering the unpredictable risk involved with the taxi unions.

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On 4/16/2019 at 7:27 AM, SK01 said:

A taxi? Or else a guide who comes along with us in our car? 

 

Don't take a guide, plan well in advance. The whole point of visiting Himalayas with your family/friends is to spend quality time.  

I am not saying that taking a guide makes things bad but IMO it is not required. 


Drive your car and plan well in advance. Nothing beats the confidence you build specially when you do things on our own.  

All the best for your drive, hope it turns out to be life time adventure. 

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9 hours ago, Ranger said:

Drive your car all the way from Hyderabad, it will be a trip of your life time. You need to earn it.

 

5 hours ago, karthik said:

All the best for your drive, hope it turns out to be life time adventure. 

Yes definitely a life time adventure but unfortunately we had to cancel the road trip during the last moment since my father can't afford to take 20 days leave. However, we are planning by flight till Srinagar and then by taxi referred by @sagar

 

Hopefully we do it next year, everything happens for our good... I'll also have the opportunity to see the roads before I myself drive there...

 

However, canceling this at the last moment is really saddening to me?

 

Main reason behind this plan is I wanted to take my car somewhere really far, wanted to do a really big road trip. Taking a flight will definitely not satisfy me, though the mesmerising beauty will make me happy. Confused between Leh and road trip to some far away wildlife sanctuary. Anyway I have a week's time, will see if I can take my car on another road trip (800kms approx one way) which wouldn't take these many days or else will plan for Leh. 

Edited by SK01
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12 hours ago, SK01 said:

the road trip during the last moment since my father can't afford to take 20 days leave

I think, if you are doing by flight from Hyderabad to Srinagar, you can comfortably do this full trip in about 7 to 8 days :) .. You can still choose to do it this year. Before you attain the experience in driving through the mountains ridges and the offroad tracks, you will know the routes to handle and work on your confidence levels.. I would recommend you to go for it this year :) 

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