Leh-Ladak Trip

I am not an Avid traveler ,  but have been to places within India and many countries like USA, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, HK etc, these have been either business trips or  vacations. But the trip to Leh Ladakh comes foremost as one of the most adventurous trips ever, thanks to Crimson Holidays

I am going to start off with Key Learning/Takeaway from this trip, as below

      1.  The first and foremost being, many of us felt that India Defence forces, in particular the India Army needs to be given a huge huge applause, they help build roads, they maintain roads under extreme conditions (clearing snow clad mountain roads), help people on despair. Such is the extreme conditions and such is the sacrifice.  I had this text in Army Hall of Fame…
      2. During Uncertainty Co-Existence Helps – Now coming to the surprise, we observed while traveling at 18,000 plus feet high on some of the difficult terrain, the vehicle drivers stayed together and ensured they helped each other. They had to even put steel chains to the Vehicle Tyre as the vehicles were slipping while going through the snow. We need learn how to coexist and not follow rat race from these folks.
      3. Fitness Matters but have Medication as well– If you are traveling during Mar-Apr when the winter is not yet over, ensure enough physical activities before travel. Diamox is a recommended medicine for High Altitude travel (when Oxygen supply is limited) starting 2 days before travel and through your journey. Even if you are fitness freak please ensure Diamox is taken and not neglected.
      4. For such trips, it is recommended to travel in groups, we were 32 people with 8 families, we were sharing and caring with each other on every bit of fun/problems, making sure everyone stays healthy and survive the adventure.

Next covering what to watch out for / what to expect for

  • The weather when we went in April mid was not predictable, it would rain all of a sudden, snow and turn cold quickly.. true to this one of our vehicle driver who is a local mentioned

    “Weather in Leh and fashion in Mumbai changes frequently”

  • While traveling within Leh like to Nubra, Pangong etc we need to expect some issues in using restrooms as it is scarce(our observation). Men folks can manage but little hard for Women so needs to be planned a bit.
  • Expect Delay on your journey whether it is Khardungla Pass or Changla Pass, during April or earlier there could be snow falls and the roads need to be cleared, carry enough food supplements or snacks while on travel.
  • While traveling or resting keep checking on small children how they are doing, a lot of times they cannot express the issue they are facing(in case they are low on Oxygen), we had children from 5 Years to teens, they didnt have any big problems.
  • Expect minor hitches/issues for all age groups like vomiting, stomach upsets , headaches etc, these are common and not a worry at all. Note : This happens while going in higher altitudes and extreme weather in April.
  • Food Intake – Since we traveled during April never felt much hungry, our intake on food was much less than normal.
  • Mobile and Internet Connectivity – We didn’t have internet connectivity throughout (April 2017, it could change later). We can receive and make calls only in LEH, and no mobile network in Nubra or Pangong. Even though we had post paid, only BSNL works. But the good part was all of us had time for everyone else.

Now lets go to places one by one, I will Rely on the pictures and videos do much of the talking 🙂

BIAL :- Bangalore Airport all set to leave, with a few families having left to Delhi already.

Leh:- Elevation 11,500 Feet, Medium Size town, Places to see, good shopping areas, nuts are available, the market is spic and clean (a lot of waste bins) , well maintained place.

View from KAAL INN where we stayed

Shanti Stupa Monastery.

What a Gang?

A 360 Degree view of the mountains from the monastery as in the Youtube URL

Alchi Monastery (Roughly 1100 Years OLD) with Sindhu River

Bike Ride – The weather is good why not venture out on Bike

Indus , Zanskar River – Sangam

Likir Monastery

Magnetic Hill

Khardung La Pass:- Elevation 18,406 Feet, one of the Highest Motorable Roads in the World. Check these video’s. One and Two

We were prepared for a travel from Leh to Nubra on 22nd morning by 8:00 AM, and the weather turned bad and we were told we cant travel to Khardung La as it is not cleared , we were disappointed, no issues if we need to wait lets have some fun

But we heard the news that the Army has given the green signal at 10:00 AM and we set out at 10:30 AM. A journey which normally takes 4 Hours we took around 10 Hours

We enjoyed every bit of it, we had 3 hours break in South Pass , everyone played with Snow and we had fantastic time.

Ultimate the journey via Khardungla

On the way

At the end of journey we were tired, obviously we didnt come back to Leh the next day and decided to stay back in Nubra Valley for one more day.

Nubra Valley:- Elevation around 10,000 Feet, little bit greenery , this is a very beautiful valley, very scenic. 

Karma Inn – Nubra Valley – Hotel Views

Bonn Fire in the Evening

Sand Dunes in Nubra Valley

Camel Rides

Ready to Capture Mayusmathi?.

What are they trying to do in sand?…

Maitreya – Symbol of Peace

On the way Drive to Pangong Lake

What a ride this turned out to be, we went in a non insured route from Nubra to Pangong through Agyam, Drubuk, Tangse along the riverbed of Shyok.

What a fantastic journey this was in the midst of the valley, mind blowing.

Our driver mentioned the roads are good and in between we will get double roads, I waited enough for double road, and it turned out that double road is nothing but the two wheel marks on a road with mud and stones … what an adventurous ride this was, worth every penny.

Pangong TSo Lake:- Elevation around 14,270 Feet, Lake is 134 KMS, 40% of lake is in India.  What a beautiful spot, nature at its best here.

ChangLa Pass:- Elevation 17,585 Feet, one of the Highest Motorable Roads in the World.

Bharath Mata Ki Jai

Leh:- Hall of Fame

Where do you want to go ?

Trip Preparation

  • As for any Trip , plan ahead, check with family doctors for any issues with travel, especially if you have children. Generally its fine.
  • Start Diamox atleast 2 days before travel and throughout travel, this is mandatory for high altitude travel (also note that this has some side effects , but that is fine)
  • Start with basic exercises, recommend deep breathing exercises.
  • Plan to stay relaxed, believe me out of internet and phone is a blessing.
  • If you go through road from Srinagar or Manali, then by the time you reach Leh you will be acclimatized, but if you fly directly then plan for a day or two with relaxed schedules.

Finally concluding with Things to Take/Buy/Make (Some of the things considering April Travel)

  1. Basic Medicines, First Aid Kit, Wipes, Balm (for headache, Lip, Pain)
  2. Any specific medicines suggested by your family doctor
  3. Goggles as Sun rays are strong with UV Protection
  4. UV Creams for Face +50
  5. A lot of snacks for eating especially if you have children(as during journeys there could be delays)
  6. Glucose Biscuits will be very useful in case people feel tired. ORS or Electrol Powder will be helpful just in case.
  7. Ready to EAT stuff could be useful
  8. Shoes (if playing in Snow carry appropriate shoes)
  9. Thermosflask for carrying Water (We need to drink a lot of water during travel to high altitudes, keeps hydrated)
  10. Peppermint, Candies, Doublemint and Chewing Gums.
  11. Chargers and Power Banks
  12. Warm clothing
    • Thermals both
    • Woolen Gloves
    • Woolen Socks
    • Woolen Caps, Scarfs
    • Jackets

I would highly recommend CRIMSON Holidays, they had organized our trip to near perfection, travel, food, accommodation were at par with the best, we were 32 of us and all of us felt it addressed our needs clearly you can reach then here if you are from Bangalore, India Crimson Holidays


7 thoughts on “Leh-Ladak Trip”

  1. Kannan,
    Very well composed and narrated…. Being a part of the group, I know we have enjoyed very bit of it and more… Travel, fun and Adventure…….
    I would also commend the excellent skills of driving through the difficult and dangerous terrians….. Kudos the drivers who were with us!

  2. Very well written Kanna!!!!
    It was an amazing experience…..Thanks to those small tea shops on the road side, who served us scalding tea☕️& Maggie,🍝which definitely rejuvenated our senses for the hilly drive🚌🚓🚌
    An unforgettable vacation,which we will cherish rest of our lives….

  3. Nice report Mr. Krishnan, very well captured and the tips will help the future Travellers to Ladakh. I am sharing your blog on Crimson Facebook Page. Ladakh is a unique destination for its natural beauty, climate and high altitude factors, and is almost untouched. Ladakh people are known for their hospitality and I am sure you have experienced it. Beautiful photos explain how much you all have enjoyed. Thanks for sharing your experience with a nice write up! It was nice to work with your group and arrange a memorable trip for you all! Your enthusiasm was infectious and Sarat had a great time. Looking forward to plan many more memorable trips for you, family and friends.

  4. Kirishnan reading your blog now I am inspired to visit leh ladak
    Thankyou you very much for all tips
    Wonderfully written

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