OPTIONS OF TRAVELLING TO LEH
Ladakh or “Little Tibet” as it is known is strategically located, lying to the north of the Great Himalaya on the Tibetan Plateau and to the south of the Karakorams.
LEH is the main city and district headquarters of U.T. Ladakh. There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Leh as well as flights from Jammu, Chandigarh and Srinagar on certain days of the week. Options are several to reach LEH, each being a rewarding journey from the other!
OPTION I – FLYING
Perhaps the easiest and fastest is flying to Leh. This is one of the most spectacular flight journeys as you fly literally over the mountains. Schedule flights of Air India, Air Vistara, Go Air, Indigo and Spicejet have daily flights. These flights are all early morning departures with 1st flight as early as 05:00hrs and last being at 09:25hrs from Delhi. On the return leg, 1st flight departs from Leh at 06:50hrs and last at 12:00hrs. So runners can easily connect whether travelling from another city in India or outside.
OPTION II – FLY AND DRIVE
Flight options are also available via Srinagar and then either 2 days or 1 day long drive to Leh. This is a very good choice as it helps you with the acclimatisation process as you drive across high passes from Srinagar to Leh. And the views are very rewarding.
There are several flights a day from Delhi to Srinagar where you can experience a night in a houseboat. From there you can get shared taxis to Leh from the Tourist reception centre. These usually leave very early in the morning and drive direct to Leh – 12 to 14 hrs. Charges are approximately Rs 4000/- per head. The more comfortable option of hiring a jeep to drive to Leh in 2 days costs about Rs 20,000/- and you spend the night in Kargil where there are several hotel options.
OPTION III – OVERLAND VIA MANALI
The drive from Manali to Leh is a “once in a life time’s journey”. This drive will take you across spectacular and stunning landscape.
Getting to Manali from Delhi, the options are:
- For travel to Manali from Delhi one can take the Himachal Tourism Volvo bus from Delhi to Manali from HPTDC office (Mandi House New Delhi) or the state run buses from ISBT or private buses from the Tibetan settlement of Majnu ka tila. These buses, leave around evening time with 1st departure around 17:00hrs and last around 20:30hrs. Bus fares are in the range of Rs 1200-1500 per head.
- The other option is to take the comfortable Shatabdi express train to Chandigarh from Delhi and drive to Manali. Buses, shared taxis, reserved taxis (cost approximately Rs. 8500- Rs 9500) are available easily.
- And if you want to be more comfortable then fly to Chandigarh from Delhi or Mumbai and drive to Manali. There are flights to Kullu as well, which is the nearest airport to Manali, but not very reliable and subject to weather.
Getting to Leh from Manali, the options are:
- Shared taxis that cost approximately Rs 4500/- per head. These leave at about 1 am and reach Leh by 5 pm.
- Hire a taxi from Manali to Leh in 2 days spending an overnight in Jispa. This costs approximately Rs 21,000/- We suggest spending the night in Jispa and not at Sarchu as the latter is at almost 15000ft and you inevitably fall sick spending a night here. Staying in Jispa means a longer drive to Leh – 10 hrs but you will feel better and sleep better. And Ibex hotel is Jispa is a very comfortable place to spend the night.
*Please note all the prices given above are as on current basis (approximately) and may change or charged differently by different service providers.
You are advised to pre-book the services or confirm the prices prior to your travel.