Today’s article will be on how to plan a budget trip to Leh (Ladakh). First things first, people with heart and lung ailment should literally avoid going to Leh (Ladakh). Why? because most of the places in Leh are10,000 feet above sea level and you may experience breathlessness because of the scarcity of oxygen which may lead to altitude sickness.
What is Altitude sickness? See, when you ascend to a higher altitude during a short period of time your body doesn’t get enough rest to adapt to the environment. Because of that you may experience vomiting, headache, hallucination and to avoid this you need to acclimatize to the environment by resting for 2 days when you go by air and a day is fine if you go by road as the highway you would take would be Manali Leh Highway or Srinagar Leh Highway which reduces the chances of AMS.
An important thing is to carry the oxygen tablets which are Diamox which helps supply oxygen to your body when you feel breathlessness plus Aspirin, medicines on headache, vomiting everything should be taken care of.
When to visit Ladakh (Leh)
Coming to when to visit Ladakh? So June to September is the most favorable time as the environment is very pleasant. Only thing is that the days are warm and the nights are cold, so don’t forget to carry as much as warm clothes with you hand gloves, mufflers everything and try to layer as much as clothes possible during the night time, and during the day please don’t forget to apply sunscreen with Higher SPF as you may get a good tan. When we arrived here we had got sort of black.
The winter season is from October to March and in winters most of the places are covered in snow and the passes are closed, because of this, you won’t be able to enjoy that much and explore locations.
How to reach Ladakh
The second part is how to reach Ladakh. There are three routes you can explore by road, air, or train. There is no direct connectivity of trains to Ladakh. You will need to book a train ticket to Jammu, from Jammu you can take a local state transport bus to Srinagar which may cost you around Rs. 500 to 800, from Srinagar you will need to book a sharing cab which will cost you around Rs.2500.
So overall expenses will be Rs.4000-5000 depending on where do you board. The total travel time will be 48-50 hours if you board from Mumbai. I don’t think this much of the time anybody has nowadays. A good option is to go by air. If you book tickets 3 months prior to the decided travel time you would get it in Rs.5000, we had booked it 1 month before so because of that, we got an Rs.7000 ticket. I recommend you guys to go by air as it is cheap, takes less travel time & the view is also awesome.
The third option is the road route, there are two highways, Srinagar to Leh & Manali to Lehboth are 400-500kms approx & it takes 2 days to cover all the tourist destinations along the way & to reach Ladakh. Traveling enthusiasts who are ready to explore those routes can go ahead.
After reaching Leh airport you go towards the main road because if you take a cab from inside the premises, it will cost you more. From the main road, you can take a taxi which may cost you Rs.350-400 depending on the distance from the airport to your homestay. The homestay which we had booked cost us Rs.700, it was 1.8km from the Leh market & the scenery was also awesome. It was a good homestay. One day when we were sick they gave us their local food which they had prepared at home, it was really amazing. On the first day you need to rest, just goat your homestay, have food there & rest for the complete day.
Permits (Day 2)
The next day you can explore local food, you can talk to the locals, fill your tummies with sumptuous momos, have thukpa, go for shopping, have some fun. The most important thing around 11-12 pm go to the DC office, there you will have to take out a permit. Just before that go to cyber cafe fill-up the online permit form with all your details, then you submit it to the DC office. The reason you need a permit of all the locations you are visiting is that you will come across different checkpoints, you need to show the permit so keep 4-5 copies which will cost you around Rs.570 ( Rs.450 base price & Rs.20per day).
Keep that in mind it is very important. After what you do is go to the travel agent whichever is nearby you tell them if you are a group of 6 people that you want to go to Nubra & Pangong at so & so date they will brief you the pricing approx Rs.18-20k. Even if you are a couple let them know in advance as they adjust you two with rest people who have booked the cab, but you need to inform them 4-5 days before.
Day 3 what you do is rent a bike, moped or bullet. Moped costs you around Rs.600 & bullet will cost you Rs.1000 & above depending on the cc. If you don’t wish to travel by bike, you can book a cab they charge around Rs.1500-2000 & they cover locations like Hall of Fame, Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Leh Palace & Shanti Stupa; but that isn’t recommended because there are many locations beyond Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which you can explore if you hire a bike.
After Pathar Sahib, you go to Magnetic hill where you can ride ATV bikes which will cost you Rs.1100 but we did not like it so we didn’t do it. And after that you can go to the Sangam which we missed because we had no idea that it is after that and it was actually sunset so we had to go back early before the sunsets. If you wish, if you have time you can go to Lamayuru.
The next day you rent a bike and leave early morning around 7- 8 o’clock. First, on the way you will get Shey Palace, after that Thiksey monastery and after that will be Hemis monastery so see out of all three, Thiksey monastery was very beautiful. You should not miss going there. If you have less time then please go there& return back to Leh.
On the fifth day you will get a shared cab from Leh bus stand to Nubra valley, which costs around Rs.500. There are rough roads on the journey, but I hope you enjoy it because it’s now or never. They will drop you at the Diskit taxi stand. At Diskit you talk to the other taxi driver and ask him how much he will charge you, please guys pay only 600-800 rupees because there are only 2 destinations there to explore nearby.
You will reach there somewhere around 2:00 p.m. So local sightseeing there includes Diskitmonastery where you will get to see the tall statue of Maitreya Buddha & second is Hunder where there are double humped camels, white sand desert it is. There you can also take a camel ride for 300rupees. Next day you can go to Turtuk which is said to be the last village of India, after that you see Pakistan. It is just a normal village but if you have time then you can visit the village.
We took a shared cab back to Leh. We had a talk with the travel agent for taking us to Pangong. There were already 4 people in the cab, they needed 2 people. So according to that, we paid Rs.1800 per head to go to Pangong & then return back.
You can’t complete Nubra itself and Pangongin one day, you need to stay there because the roads aren’t well so you can’t travel at night. We went to Pangong by travel agent’s car & there you can stay at luxurious tents which would cost you around Rs.2500 & above. Normal tents will cost you around 500 rupees per head.
So we preferred a homestay in Spangmik village which is approx. 4 km from Pangong lake, you can tell your local cab driver to take you there. It costed us near around Rs.700 per head there we got to have ladakhi local homemade food, it was quite a cozy place & the next day we left for Leh.
Coming to the final expenses. Air tickets 5000 rupees per head if we calculate to & from it will cost near around 10-12k, for transportation approx. 7000 rupees. per head, food approx. 500 rupees per head per day so 7*500= 3500, for stay 700-1000 rupees if you prefer homestays which makes it 4900-6000 varies depending on which season you go. So overall expenses will be around 25-27kfor one person for approx. 7-8 days.
Yeah, that’s it! If you want to know more about local food, what we had I have posted it on my Instagram account do follow me on Instagram. So this was all I hope this ARTICLE helps you to plan a budget trip to Leh. If you have any questions I am happy to help you, do mention it in the comments section down below. Share this article with your friends whom you want to go Ladakh with, do share your wonderful experiences if you had any in Ladakh.