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Backpacking on a Budget Across Leh : The ‘Juleh’ Land

Ever wondered of pursuing a Leh backpacking trip ? Well you should head to Leh this coming holiday season and feel enchanted amidst the majestic Himalayas. 

Leh is a serene and calm location in the lap of astonishing mountains and valleys. No pictures or words will ever do justice to its beauty. Visiting Leh is something you will remember forever.

From the warm welcome from your guest house managers with a cup of butter tea to tall mountains and snow you see around, use the word Juleh carefree. Juleh,  pronounced “joo-lay“, is a magic word, just like the magical aura of Leh itself. Say juleh when you want to say hello, goodbye, thank you, how are you, nice to meet you and you’re welcome.

When you get there and look around, all those smiling faces and overlooking mountains, Juleh will come out unrehearsed. There is something magical about Leh that makes you fall in love with its culture, people, food, tea and everything in between.

This coming holiday season, plan for an exciting Leh backpacking trip jus as I did a while ago. Feel free to download the Leh backpacking trip itinerary for free at the end of the article.

Leh Backpacking Trip: An Overview

Best time to visit  June to September
Eating options Local food, Tibetan food, North Indian food
Top shopping tip Buy small souvenirs only
Ideal accommodation choices Guest Houses and Home Stays
Best budget tip Spend more on exploring places than hotels
leh backpacking trip

Leh is a serene and calm location in the lap of astonishing mountains and valleys. Photography by Prashant

Is it Possible to Make the Leh Backpacking Trip Cost Effective ?

Budget travel, food and stay in Leh is all possible if you looking in the right places. From taking the local bus from Manali or Srinagar to staying in guest houses, Leh can be easily traveled on a Budget.

For  food, wander around the market streets and you can easily find small kitchens that serve hot delicious lunch and dinners at nominal costs.

The local market is a really big place to shop things for self. Many shops sell jewelry, warm clothes, pashmina shawls, and various souvenirs. Try exploring shops other than those in the main market for cost effectiveness of your budget.

Ideal Visiting Time And Weather Conditions for Pursuing the Leh Backpacking Trip

The temperature in Leh varies around the visiting seasons. During Oct – Nov, and Mar-May the temperature goes to a minimum of – 1 degree Celsius and 15 degree maximum. But the temperature at Khardungla and Pangong lake can go as low as – 10 degree Celsius. Between late May-Early Oct, the weather conditions are little warm as snow starts to melt and the green starts to come back.

If you are interested in snowfall and real cold weather, the Oct – Nov, and Mar-May are the best months to visit. Also, the traffic is limited so Leh backpacking trip can be pursued. 

Special Advisory for Leh Backpacking Trip

During Mar-May the road routes from Manali to Leh and Srinagar to Leh is closed. The only mode of travel will be via Air from Delhi or Srinagar. This might add as an extra travel cost to Leh.

leh backpacking trip

The confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers is a site to behold. Such is the beauty of Leh. Photography by Anish Bhandari

Nominal Accommodation Options for Leh Backpacking Trip

Accommodation in Leh is easy to find and can suit everyone’s pocket. There is one luxury hotel in Leh – The Grand Dragon. However this isn’t a convenient place for backpackers.

For budget travelers, there is nothing better than home stays and guest houses. When I say home stay, don’t picture a hostel room or dorms. All home stays in Leh have furniture for all your needs. The hosts usually live downstairs and a the guest area and accommodation is upstairs.

The prices of rooms are negotiable. Rooms can be booked in advance. These home stays or guest houses also offer food on demand services in case you prefer it.

Facilities Available for the Recommended Accommodation Options

Based on my own travel experience in Leh multiple times, I’d suggest you stay in any of the following places. I’m enlisting the facilities available. Also the distance from Leh airport has been mentioned for your convenience. 

The following guest houses and home stays will keep your Leh backpacking trip budget friendly.

Almost all the accomodation places in Leh keep changing the price as per the season. So make sure to book in advance. It’ll help you save money for your Leh backpacking trip.

Budget Accommodation Facilities Available, Airport Distance & Starting Price
Free wifi, free parking, sitting area, Only 5 kms away from Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

Starting price per night is 500 INR

Free wifi, Bike rental services, Only 4 kms away from Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

Starting price per night is 700 INR

Wardrobe, Sitting area, On site breakfast, On site dinning, Only 600 m from main market, Only 5 kms away from Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

Starting price per night is 400 INR

TV with cable, Free wifi, Only 4 kms away from Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

Starting price per night is 900 INR

 

TV with cable, Free wifi, Only 4 kms away from Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport.

Starting price per night is 800 INR

Best deals on Flights and Accommodation

In case you’re planning to take the Leh backpacking trip during peak season, the average prices are bound to scale up. However, you can avail various budget deals in case your timing is correct.

Explore the following for the best deals on flights and accommodation not just for Leh backpacking trip but for a nominal trip around the world.

The subsequent 3 booking websites are being suggested to you because I’ve experienced the services of all for my various trips to North India.

Agoda Budget Accomodation
Expedia Budget Accommodation and Flights
Make My Trip Budget Flights

 How to Reach Leh from Within India ?

 Leh can be accessed via various routes and transport options.

Srinagar to Leh By Air – Leh Airport is well connected to Srinagar via air.

By Road – The ones who prefer to visit Leh by road can take the route via Kargil. It is around 434 km.

This comes under budget as JKSRTC runs regular deluxe and ordinary bus services between Srinagar and Leh.

Delhi to Leh By Air – Leh is well connected to Delhi via air. Flights run by Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways on a regular basis.

By Road – The route is from Manali to Leh and is open from mid-June to early October.

leh backpacking trip

If you have the time and resources, visit Leh via Manali. The journey is breathtaking. Photography by Alekha Chugani

How to Reach Leh from Outside India ?

For visiting Leh from outside India, it is important to reach New Delhi first.

Any place outside India to New Delhi Board an International flight till New Delhi. From New Delhi visit Leh either via road or air.
Delhi to Leh By Air – Leh is well connected to Delhi via air. Flights run by Air India, Go Air and Jet Airways on a regular basis.

By Road – The route is from Manali to Leh and is open from mid-June to early October.

My Recommended Budget Travel Tips for Leh Backpacking Trip 

Tip 1 Though the flight’s schedule is set before hand, these are subject to change according to the weather. Therefore, keep your plans flexible.
Tip 2 If Leh isn’t in your sudden plans, pre-book your flights. Reason being,  the flights get really expensive during June to September.
Tip 3 HRTC and JKSRTC run daily deluxe and ordinary buses between between Jammu to Leh and Manali to Leh. These are best travel options for a budget friendly Leh backpacking trip.

Inner Line Permit: Must have Document for a Successful Leh Backpacking Trip

Inner Line Permit (ILP)  is a travel document issued by the Government of India. It allows visitors to travel to a protected area for a limited period of time.

Obtaining the ILP is essential for all the citizens who do not belong to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Foreigners traveling to Ladakh are required to obtain the Ladakh Protected Area Permit (PAP).

The PAP is required for visiting areas like Nubra valley, Khardung La, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Dah, Hanu Villages, Man, Merak, Nyoma, Loma Bend, Turtuk, Tyakshi, Chusul, Hanle, Digger La etc.

What in My View are the Must Visit Places on your Leh Backpacking Trip ?

Leh has lots of natural beauty and is full of palaces, monasteries, lakes and beautiful valleys. One can visit Kargil, Alchi, Magnetic Hill, and various passes on the way.

The Khardung La and Chang La are two most visited passes in Leh and are crossed while visiting Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso respectively. Hunder in Nubra valley has two humped camels.

The magical Magnetic Hill is a place of its own significance.

Leh also has various national parks like Hemis National Park. All these places are under 200 km from Leh and regular buses or personal taxis can be hired. The Leh Palace, Hall of Fame, and Shanti Stupa are around the main city of Leh.

leh backpacking trip

Two humped Bactrian camels at Hunder. Photography by Ankur Bhagra

What Lakes to Visit on your Leh Backpacking Trip ?

Leh is blessed with naturally formed magnificent lakes.

1. Pangong Lake (Approx 222.5 Km from Leh) This is a 134 km long lake that extends from India to China. Situated at a height of about 4,350 m.
2. Tso Moriri Lake (Approx 240 Km from Leh) The lake is at an altitude of 4,522 m and entirely within Ladakh. About 26 Km in length.
3. Tso Kar lake (Approx 160 Km from Leh) Popularly known as the white lake, Tso Kar is one of the high altitude lakes of the region.

 

leh backpacking trip

The beautiful Tso Kar Lake. Photography by Anmol Mittal

A Special Note on Pangong Lake

Distance from Leh

The approximate distance between Leh and Pangong lake is about 154 kilometers. It takes 4 to 5 hours to reach Pangong Lake from Leh.

Try starting early from Leh to be able to spend ample time in and around Pangong lake.  The entire journey from Leh to Pangong Tso is splendid.

Preferred Route

Leh via Chang La or from Nubra Valley via Shyok Villages and Tangste.

leh backpacking trip

The magnificience if Pangong Tso is one of the main reasons why travelers visit Leh. photography by Neves Purificacao Rodrigues

Beauty of Pangong Tso

The sheer beauty of Pangong Tso or more popularly known as just the Pangong Lake makes travelers visit it from far and wide. It has serene bright water that changes shades from blue, green and even reddish at times. The rugged mountains on one side of the lake add to the stunning view.

All the hype about the water being so blue and praises of its calm and composed and at times chaotic experience are all true. It is a must visit spot on your Leh backpacking trip.

Though, the Pangong Lake gained fame after the climax of the movie the Three Idiots was shot here, no pictures or videos do justice to this lakes beauty. One can only experience this endorheic lake by visiting it.

Tips for First Time Travelers Visiting Pangong Lake

 Tip one  Since Pangong lake actually changes colours, make sure you spend a night here and witness this amazing lake during morning and evening as well. Do not speedily visit the lake.
 Tip two The temperature at night goes below -10 degree C. To keep warm you should bring along your best winter wear and thermal wear.
 Tip three As Pangong Lake is situated at a remote location, luxury is not an option. Be prepared for power cuts during the day. Generators will be available during dinner time only . 
 Tip four During the peak season, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance. Else, you’ll face difficulty finding staying options both near Pangong Lake as well as Ladakh in general.
 Tip five Carry extra toilet rolls. These can be handy as at times the water freezes overnight.

Alluring Monasteries and Palaces to Visit on your Leh Backpacking Trip

As mystic is Leh, so are its monasteries and palaces.

1. Leh Palace This is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh.
2. Hemis Monastery (45 Km from Leh) This is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Drukpa Lineage, located in Hemis, Ladakh, India.
3. Thiksey Monastery (19 Km from Leh) This monastery is affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
4. Diskit Monastery (116 Km from Leh) This monastery is located beyond the Khardung La in Nubra Valley.
leh backpacking trip

The entrance to the fascinating Hemis Monastery. Photography by Arun Thottakathu Prasannakumar

Magnificent Valleys to Visit on your Leh Backpacking Trip 

The two most gorgeous valley that should most certainly be covered in your Leh backpacking trip have been listed below by me.

1. Nubra Valley (160 Km from Leh) This beautiful valley of sand dunes, Shyok river and double-humped camel lies northeast of Ladakh.
2. Zanskar Valley (460 Km from Leh) Its a part of Kargil district, lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of J & K.

A Special Note on Nubra Valley

Distance from Leh

The distance between Nubra and Leh is 150 km and takes on average of 5 to 6 hours. Leave early for Nubra so you can enjoy a beautiful sunset from sand dunes over barren mountains in Hunder.

Preferred Route

The most accessible and common route taken by travelers for Nubra Valley is via Khardung La. This happens to be the highest motorable pass in the world and has a different charm to it during early May.

Though it is not much colder up here when the sky is clear but one can suffer from sunburns due to reflection from snow when the sun is shining bright.

leh backpacking trip

The captivating Nubra Valley. photography by Raju Wankhede

Beauty

Nubra Valley is a mysterious place tucked up in the lap of the Himalayas that is filled with an enigmatic culture, mesmerizing valleys, double-humped camel rides, captivating sand dunes and challenging roads.

The Shyok River meets the Nubra River in this mesmerizing village that separates the majestic Ladakh and Karakoram mountain ranges.

 Nubra Valley is also known as a cold desert due to long stretches of Sand Dunes that offer a serene view between Hunder and Diskit. The rays of sun bring life to the vast never-ending stretch of sand dunes that proves you are at a high altitude cold desert.

Tips for first time travelers to Nubra Valley

 Network Coverage The network lines are usually broken and not repaired until late May or early June.

It is really difficult to get a signal or keep communication with outside world.

Though guest houses have landlines which can be used to make a call, they are chargeable.

 Network Provider Leh is a part of Jammu & Kashmir and it has its own rules and regulation of network providers.

Only Airtel postpaid sim can get a network coverage if it’s available.

Buying a sim from J&K is quite difficult so it is recommended that you carry an Airtel Postpaid Sim before traveling to Leh.

 Emergency  In cases of emergency during the journey, there are numerous army campsites after every few kilometres.

As army camps have their own communication network, this can be your best chance of rescue in case of emergency.

 Altitude Sickness As Nubra Valley can be reached only via Khardung La, it is advised that all travelers stay at Leh for at least 24 hours on arrival.

This will help you get accustomed to an elevation of 3.5 Km and cold air.

One has to pass Khardung La to get to Nubra Valley which is situated at an elevation of 5359 m. This can result in nausea, vomiting or other severe health conditions if one doesn’t rest before starting the trip to Nubra Valley.

The Uncanny and Mysterious Magnetic Hill Near Leh

Magnetic Hill is located near Leh in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.  It is around 30 kms away from mainland Leh and it is on the Leh – Kargil national highway.

Magnetic Hill is an extremely famous and mysterious destination.  Not only is the uncanny component of the hill a topic of exploration among backpackers but also among people at large.

However, mystery is not the only thing that surrounds Magnetic Hill. Beauty and awe is what inspires travelers to visit here often. 

Does Magnetic Hill Defy Gravity ?

Magnetic hill is said to be possessing strong magnetic properties. It is this magnetism which is responsible for pulling the vehicles up hill and air crafts to be shifted on a higher altitude while passing by the area.

People experience their vehicles being dragged on road even when the vehicle is turned off. The vehicle starts to move ahead with speed of about 20 km.

A few people say that the magnetic phenomena is felt only when the vehicle is big. Small vehicles like bikes do not experience any pull.

Theories Behind Magnetic Hill

There are two major theories that are generally discussed around Magnetic hill. Challenging two scientific approaches, one is of course the Magnetic force which allows vehicles to move on an upward hill without racing the gear or even not turning it on.

Second is the optical illusion which plays around with peoples mind. It is claimed that the hill is actually going downward but because of the illusion created by the ambiance of the mountains it works as a natural trick to the eyes. 

Not defying the rules of gravity but it actually creates an opposite image on the viewer’s mind that it looks like the force is pulling you upwards.

Owing to the phenomena of Optical illusion, a downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. It depends on the horizon lines and we usually take reference of horizon to mark something as up or down.

So it appears to be defying the rules of gravity. 

Leh backpacking trip

Magnetic Hill near Leh. Photography by Rahul Budhania

Rare Wildlife that can be Observed on your Leh Backpacking Trip

Asiatic Ibex

Asiatic Ibex is one of the rarest animals found in Leh. Its like a wild goat and its scientific name is Capra Ibex Sibirica. It is a long vaulted horn curved that grazes at high elevations.

They like to stay in high altitude meadows in the rocky hills. They are rare to spot in Leh but can be found randomly while traveling to various locations at Leh.

 Marmot

About 8 to 10 kilometers before the Pangong lake, a cute Himalayan creature can be found hiding in burrows or even on the side of a remote road. This animal goes by the name – Marmot. 

It is one of the highest elevation residing mammal in the world. Any visitor who spots a Marmot should be careful enough to not disturb the innocent animal.

Due to the heavy influx of travelers on the way to Pangong lake, the marmots are decreasing in number over the past few years.

Leh backpacking trip

A marmot sitting near on top of a burrow. Photography by Srini

Food Guide for a Yummilicious Leh Backpacking Trip

 As a traveler exploring a new land on your Leh backpacking trip, make sure to taste the locally prepared Butter Tea. This tea is prepared in specially made equipment and has butter and salt in it. As weird as it may sound, it is amazing.

Along with butter tea, don’t forget savour specially made momos. Also, the local dishes like Tigmo, Mokthuk, and Kahwa are available at local eateries.

When you enter the Mall Road of Leh, various small shops offer delicious breakfasts and lunch options. 

While exploring the markets, you will come across many small kitchens that offer delectable lunch and dinner options at a cost of mere 70 – 80 INR  per person.

leh backpacking trip

Butter tea at one of the homestays at Spangmik village. Photography by Kunal Chavan

Witness Popular Festivals on your Leh Backpacking Trip

Leh is a lot more than the snow covered mountains and valleys. It celebrates life through customs and festivals. Here are some popular festivals celebrated in Ladakh, that in my view should be on your bucket list.

Losar Festival This is celebrated across Leh and Ladakh during December for welcoming the Nnew year with open hands.
Hemis Tsechu Festival Stretching over two days, this is celebrated in Hemis Monastery during July.
Ladakh Festival People celebrate harvest season in September across Leh.

Performers come from all parts of Ladakh and celebrate with utmost happiness and extravaganza.

Dosmoche Festival In this festival, celebrated all over Leh, Likir, Diskit monasteries, Ladakhis masked in a fancy disguise perform the sacred dance together.

Its celebrated in February.

 

 Leh backpacking trip

A masked dancer performing at Dosmoche Festival. Photography by Dong Ho

Top Tips from My Side for First time Visitors on Leh Backpacking Trip

Tip 1 Mountain and altitude sickness is common in Leh. Don’t rush to start traveling on the very first day. Take at least 24 hours acclimatize.
Tip 2 Stay hydrated with butter tea or warm water throughout the day.
Tip 3 Carry along postpaid BSNL and Airtel mobile networks only. Another state prepaid SIM will not work throughout your journey in Leh.
Tip 4 ATMs of various banks are in Leh Market. Beyond that, it is advisable to carry cash.
Tip 5 Carry your valid ID proof and multiple copies for Inner Line Permit (ILP) and military check points at various places. ID proof are to be submitted at various inner parts.

A Comparison of Leh Backpacking Trip: Solo Travelers versus Group Travel

Solo Travelers

As inspiring as it may sound, solo travel to Leh can be a tad bit expensive. The fact that you’re travelling alone will put the entire responsibility of finances on yourself. This will prove especially true for accommodation and food.

However, this does not imply that an ideal Leh backpacking trip for solo travelers is not possible. It can be done if you ensure a few things.

If traveling solo, try to book your accommodation way in advance so that you are able to avail the best deals. Also, try staying closer to the main area. This will be helpful not just from a budget point of view but safety point of view as well.

Try reaching out to fellow solo travelers for the sake of sharing cabs. Private transport can be expensive in hilly terrains. So if you pool, it’ll prove cost effective. Else, just avail public transport.

Lastly, eat at places where a whole meal is cheaper than mere junk food. Make sure it is hygienic.

Group Travelers 

Now coming to group travelers. On an average a group of three to five can easily pursue the Leh backpacking trip. Since you’re not alone, you can split bills for your stay, food and internal transport.

A reasonable way is to contribute money in advance to the most travel friendly person of the group. Transfer the money in his/her account before the commencement of the trip. Throughout the trip, let him/her pay. This will save all the extra hassle.

In case you don’t pool money in advance, there are significant chances of the onus falling on only one person.

Whether traveling solo or with peers, make sure to have lots of fun on your Leh backpacking trip. The region will own you forever and you would most certainly want to visit again.

Average Cost for Leh Backpacking Trip

The daily average cost for your Leh backpacking trip will depend entirely on 3 factors – Place of stay, transport options and nature of trip – solo or in a group.

In order to assist you better, I will methodically do a full break down of expenses for your Leh backpacking trip –

Transportation to Use on your Leh Backpacking Trip

Public transport Cost of boarding a bus from Manali to Leh will be 500 INR to 2500 INR. It will be 500 INR for a non-deluxe bus and 2500 INR for a deluxe bus.

For traveling via bus from Leh to Pangong lake, bus service will cost you about 600 INR.

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Shared cab Cost of hiring a shared cab from Manali to Leh will be around 2000 INR per head.

Cost of hiring a shared cab for visiting places within Leh – 6000 INR to 10000 INR per head.

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Private cab Cost of hiring a private cab from Manali to Leh will be around 10000 INR per head.

Cost of hiring a private cab for visiting places within Leh – 30000 INR to 50000 INR per head.

Not recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Rented bike 1000 INR per head per day

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Accommodation to bunk in on your Leh Backpacking Trip

Home stay 500 INR to 800 INR per night

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Guest House 400 INR to 900 INR per night

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Tents 150 INR to 400 INR per night

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Luxury Hotel 2000 INR to 5000 INR per night

Not recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Food to eat on your Leh backpacking Trip

Small eateries 100 INR to 300 INR per meal

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Cafes 200 INR to 500 INR per meal

Recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Restaurants 400 INR to 1000 INR

Not recommended for Leh backpacking trip

Shopping to do on your Leh Backpacking Trip

Souvenirs 200 INR to 400 INR

Choice based for Leh backpacking trip

Unique items such as Pashmina shawls 2500 INR to 6000 INR

Choice based for Leh backpacking trip

Reasonable Itinerary for an Inclusive Leh Backpacking Trip

Leh backpacking trip can be pursued either via road or plane. The itineraries for both the cases will be different. For the sake of convenience, I am mentioning both the itineraries below. I am also uploading the PDFs for both. So feel free to download them for FREE

Leh Backpacking Trip Itinerary for Travelers Visiting via Plane

Day 1

Morning Arrive at Leh early morning. Ask the hotel/Guesthouse staff to serve you ginger tea. Acclimatize by popping in a Diamox tablet and take ample rest.
Noon – Evening Wake up and monitor oxygen levels. This is extremely important. Have proper lunch and head out nearby to explore the place. Maybe rent a bike if you want.
Night Return to your place of stay, have dinner and sleep.

Day 2

Morning After an early breakfast, head to Shanti Stupa. Next visit Tsemo Fort and spend some time there.
Noon – Evening Have lunch at any of the eateries in the main market and head to Leh Palace and head to Leh Hall of Fame. Your final destination for day 2 should be  Magnetic Hill.
Night Return to your place of stay in Leh after an exciting day. Have dinner and sleep early.

Day 3

Morning Eat your morning meal and head straight to Khardun La – the highest motor able pass in the World. Enjoy the view there but ensure to leave early as there can be altitude sickness.
Noon – Evening Have quick snacks at the Pass (at the Indian Army canteen).

From Khardung La, head to Nubra Valley, Dikshit Monastery and even Panamik (famous for sulphur springs).

At Hunder in Nubra Valley, do observe double humped camels.

Night Stay at Dikshit (because it has an awesome range of staying places), eat supper and sleep.

Day 4

Morning Head straight towards Pangong lake without going back to Leh. Take the Shyok road.
Noon – Evening It will take 7 plus hours to reach Pangong. You will reach there by evening. Hence have lunch mid way.
Night Camp overnight at Pangong.

Day 5

Morning Wake up to the most beautiful view ever. The shimmering blue waters of Pangong lake will stay in your mind forever. 

Enjoy early lake side breakfast.

Head for Loma nd finally Hanle.

Noon – Evening For reaching Loma, take the take the Chushul route. At Loma, register yourself at the check post. Take the diversion towards Hanle. 
Night Either check in to the sole guest house in Hanle or stay as a paying guest with any of the villagers.

Day 6

Morning The main destination for day 6 is Tso Moriri lake. Start early. Take the same back road till Loma as the previous day.
Noon – Evening Once you reach Loma, follow the Nyoma, Mahe and Sumdo route to reach  Tso Moriri lake. 

Tso Moriri lake is located on the shores of Karzok village. 

Night Stay overnight at Karzok village. Have dinner and sleep early.

Day 7

Morning Wake up once again to a splendid view. Have early breakfast and head back to Leh.
Noon – Evening On the way back you can visit Thiksey and Hemis monasteries, in case you have time.
Night Reach Leh and ither stay overnight and head back home early next morning or head back right away.

Leh Backpacking Trip Itinerary for Travelers Visiting Via Road through Manali

Day 1

Morning Start as early as 4 am from Manali and Reach Rohtang Pass by 9 am. Have breakfast there. 
Noon – Evening From Rohtang, head to Lahaul Valley and Tandi. Have lunch at Tandi.
Night Reach Keylong finally. Check in your place of stay. Have dinner and sleep.

Day 2

Morning Wake up as early as 4 am and start for your onward journey at 5 am.  Have breakfast on the way. 
Noon – Evening On your beautiful journey, you will travel past locations such as Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal, Baralacha La, Lachuchulung La, Nakee La and Taglang La pass.
Night Check in your hotel. Have some strong ginger tea. Savour some good dinner. Finally pop a Diamox pill  for acclimatization and sleep well.

Day 3

Morning Eat your morning meal and visit the Khar. The Leh Palace, Tsemo Castle and Namgyal Gompa lie on the same hill as Khar.
Noon – Evening Next visit the Shanti Stupa. Try taking a cab up till the hill top. Else you’ll land up climbing a flight of 500 stairs.

Spend some time here. 

Night Get back to your Hotel maximum by 7 , have dinner and sleep.

Day 4

Morning Head towards Lamayuru on Leh Srinagar highway. Visit Gurudwara Patthar Sahib. 
Noon – Evening Have langar at Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib and head out towards Magnetic Hill and the confluence of Indus-Zanskar rivers. If you have time, visit the Chilling village.
Night Head back to your hotel, have dinner and sleep.

Day 5

Morning Rise early and head straight towards Khardung La Pass. Its the highest motorable pass in the world.

Spend not more than half an hour here to avoid altitude sickness.

If you like, sip hot steaming tea at the army canteen on top of Khardung La.

Noon – Evening Nubra valley is your next destination for the day. You will spend the rest of the day here because here are a lot of places to visit – Sumur, Panamik, Hunder or Diskit.

At Hunder, observe double humped camels. At Panamik, watch the hot sulphur springs.

Night Check in to a guest house at Dikshit. Have dinner and sleep for at least 7 hours.

Day 6

Morning Wake up early and after savouring some healthy breakfast, head straight towards Pangong Tso.

This will take 6 plus hours.

Noon – Evening Reach Pangong by early evening and head to your home stay at Spangmik village or tent near Pangong.
Night Stay overnight at Pangong. Enjoy an early night meal, keep yourself warm and sleep.

Day 7

Morning Wake up to a magnificent morning near Pangong Lake. The shimmering blue water will change shades and make you fall in love with it. 
Noon – Evening Head back to Leh. On the way, stop by Thiksey Monastery.
Night Leave for home.

 Download Leh Backpacking Trip Itinerary PDFs

You can click on the pictures below to download Leh backpacking trip itinerary as per your choice of route.

Leh backpacking trip

 

Leh backpacking trip

I hope you’ve been able to gather some insights from my experience and knowledge and will head out on your Leh backpacking trip soon. The mystic land is waiting for you. Go make it your own forever.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

About the Author

Osheen Jain

Osheen Jain

Osheen Jain is an avid reader since her school days and has interest in dystopia, classics, science fiction, and western philosophy. Sips black coffee from beer cup. Chooses adventure and photography over snuggling in a blanket every single time (almost). She is a learner by the day and freelance writer when the sun goes down. A caffeine addict, and snapper in between, Osheen loves mountains and woods, not for escape but because they are powerful, mysterious, dangerous, and beautiful. She believes that words have the power to change the world for better. She’d love to be a part-time bartender and pizza delivery girl someday.

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