There some road trips in our lives that remain etched somewhere in the back of our mind forever. Such kind of road trips can be experienced when one plans a trip to Ladakh. Roads leading to Ladakh, which mainly includes the NH 1, and Zojila Pass are just beautiful. Counted amongst the most dangerous roads in the world, these roads are audacious and just the perfect to experience over a mountain biking or motorbiking trip. Even for the budget travelers, there's nothing better than taking a road trip to Ladakh as the airways prices are quite skyrocketing. Even from the health point of view, traveling by road will be a good idea as the Ladakh is located at quite a high altitude. And traveling Ladakh by roads give sufficient time for tourists to get acclimatize to a particular environment.
For all those who like the idea of traveling by public transport then the bus is a good option. There are two bus routes leading to Ladakh:
For all those planning to reach via Manali, there are only two buses available run by HRTC Buses and HPTDC Semi Deluxe Tourist buses. HRTC are public transport buses that stop only at important food joints while the HPTDC, which are semi-deluxe buses are available for tourists only from 1st July to 15th September every season and does all the sightseeing on the Manali – Leh Highway. Some HRTC Buses are available from Delhi too, which covers a total distance of 1260 km and has a fare of Rs 1339. The total travel time is about 35 hours. Some private buses also run between Leh and Manali.
Deluxe buses by JKSRTC Srinagar are available from Leh to Srinagar almost daily. From Srinagar, the buses start at 8 in the morning and take a halt at Kargil. Timings of these buses mainly depend upon the climate condition at the Zojila Pass. If not comfortable with the idea of the public tourism buses then there are many tempo travelers available too from Srinagar, which also runs overnight.
For all those who love the idea of the road trip, there's no better place to be than Ladakh. The roads leading to Ladakh are audacious, smooth but at times nerve wracking too. There are three major routes that lead to Ladakh:
Route: Manali – Rohtang Jot - Gramphu - Kokhsar - Tandi - Keylong - Jispa - Darcha – Zingzingbar - Baralacha La - Bharatpur - Sarchu (state border) - Gata Loops - Nakee La - Lachulung La - Pang - More Plains - Tanglang La - Gya - Upshi - Karu - Leh The road connects Leh in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir state and Manali in Himachal Pradesh state, and remain open only during the summer season It connects Manali valley to Lahaul and Spiti valleys and Zanskar valley in Ladakh.
Route: Srinagar - Sonamarg - Drass - Kargil - Mulbekh - Lamayuru - Alchi/Likir - Leh Generally, tourists traveling to Ladakh suffer from acute mountain sickness. So for those this route is just the perfect as it slowly and gradually goes through different altitudes, giving sufficient time for the tourists to acclimatize.
Route: Chandigarh - Narkand - Sarahan - Kalpa - Pooh - Tabo - Kaza - Kibber - Chhatru - Keylong - Jispa - Darcha – Zingzingbar - Baralacha La - Bharatpur - Sarchu (state border) - Gata Loops - Nakee La - Lachulung La - Pang - More Plains - Tanglang La - Gya - Upshi - Karu - Leh
If opting for this route, you need to divide your journey in three different days as the journey is way too hectic. By opting for this trail, you can see most of the Zanskar region in Himalaya.