Have you heard of things like AMS, Altitude Mountain Sickness, and Acute Mountain Sickness related to high altitude traveling to places like Ladakh, Spiti Valley, Zanskar Valley, or other parts of the Himalayas?

Well, we all want to enjoy the lovely nature and breathtaking views of the high Himalayas. While traveling to the Himalayas, many of us take the high altitude very lightly and always consider the brighter side of the travel which is experiencing the majestic vistas 🙂

However, there is a darker side attached to the high altitude travel as well.

Hindi Video: 12 Tips to Prevent AMS | Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh – Spiti – Zanskar | Mountain Sickness

What is AMS?

How many times have you noticed that when traveling to high-altitude places, either you or people around you complained of shortness of breath, nausea, headaches, vomiting, etc.?

I am sure you must have encountered such common situations while traveling in the Himalayas, especially at the high altitudes like regions of Manali – Leh Highway, Leh – Ladakh, Rohtang Pass, Spiti Valley, Zanskar Valley, etc. in India, to name a few.

Acclimatization is the prime reason I propose to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road. To be very frank, some people suffer mildly and some may not suffer altogether; consider yourself very lucky in the latter case. However, some people suffer drastically and the effects can be seriously ugly for them.

Illness or sickness on Himalayan trips is widespread, especially if you are directly flying to places like Leh or driving to a higher altitude, which makes it almost certain that AMS may hit you. Such illness can spoil a much-awaited relaxing holiday in the Himalayas and turn it into something ugly. In some cases, there are very severe/fatal consequences too.

The higher you go directly and quickly, the higher will be the risks of you getting hit with AMS. Hence, it’s always better to know what altitude sickness means and what you can do to prevent it.

Further, in the article, I will try to lay out some important theories and facts about acute mountain sickness and the importance of acclimatization. It may help you be prepared for altitude changes and enjoy that ever-awaited holiday in the Himalayas 🙂

Pro Travel Tip: You can make a trip to Ladakh by following my most recommended Ladakh itinerary which takes care of a gradual increase in altitude. Hence, this itinerary helps in acclimatization and in turn results in a memorable Ladakh trip.

Acclimatization and Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Generally, people can go up to 8,000 feet without many problems with mountain sickness. As you start to increase altitude, the barometric pressure starts to decrease, which reduces the Oxygen intake per breath. Now, to compensate for the less Oxygen intake, your body needs to increase the breathing rate.

Altitude can be categorized into the following scales —

  • High (8,000 – 12,000 feet [2,438 – 3,658 meters])
  • Very High (12,000 – 18,000 feet [3,658 – 5,487 meters])
  • Extremely High (18,000+ feet [5,500+ meters])

Although the increased breathing rate does increase the Oxygen level in the blood, it does not take the Oxygen level to the same level as required by the body while you are at home doing some activity. By spending a proper amount of time at such altitude, your body will adapt to such changes in Oxygen levels, and this process is called acclimatization.

Always keep in mind that different people will acclimatize at different rates. Hence, always try to avoid any sought of comparison and wait for the person suffering in the group better acclimatize.

Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is caused above the altitudes of 10,000 Feet or 3,048 Mtrs to a majority of people. The higher the elevation and rate of ascent, the more will be the effects of AMS.

Hence, do not try to directly go or stay overnight at very high altitudes directly. When you sleep, the symptoms will get worse as your body’s respiration decreases while sleeping.

Pro Travel Tip: You can make a trip to Spiti Valley by following my most recommended Spiti itinerary which takes care of a gradual increase in altitude. Hence, this itinerary helps in the acclimatization and in turn results in a memorable Spiti Valley trip.

The best cure is either to acclimatize properly or to descend. However, the effects of mild AMS can be cured by taking some preventive AMS medicines like headache pain relief or Diamox with proper consultation and prescription from your doctor or physician before the start of the trip.

Diamox is a sulfa drug and does have side effects including allergies. Hence, Diamox shall only be taken after proper prescription by your doctor or physician. Diamox can also be helpful in case a person suffers from periodic loss of breath, which especially occurs in the night while sleeping.

In case, you feel the person is suffering badly then ask him to walk in a straight line by placing him toe to toe. If the person is not able to walk in a straight line i.e. he is suffering from ataxia. IMMEDIATELY DESCEND!!

Important Tips on Preventing Acute Mountain Sickness
Important Tips on Preventing Acute Mountain Sickness

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this infographic guide about tips for better acclimatization and preventing acute mountain sickness. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

Tips for Better Acclimatization

Below are a few tips that will certainly help you in better acclimatization:

Increase the altitude gradually

The acclimatization rules state that after 10,000 feet we must stay overnight for every 1000 feet or 305 Mtrs of elevation in order to properly acclimatize our body. This schedule in between shall allow a complete day of acclimatization rest after 3000 feet or 915 Mtrs with an overnight stay at the same altitude.

If you can adjust your plan to this rule, then perhaps you will not suffer from mountain sickness. However, the ground reality is only a few people stick to this schedule, especially in India where leaves are hard to find from their work life.

It is the prime reason I always recommend traveling to Ladakh from Srinagar side. Similarly, I always suggest people travel to Spiti Valley from Shimla – Kinnaur side.

Keep your body properly hydrated

Do take plenty of intake of water with ORS or fluids like milk tea, juice, and soup (garlic will do wonders). If possible, take ORS soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs with you to replenish the lost nutrients immediately. Also, ginger-flavored water (keep ginger in water bottles) will help much more than drinking plain water which should be avoided. This will help keep the oxygen level normal in the body. You should avoid too much black tea or coffee as well…

AVOID overhydration

As quoted by Vistet linked here(post #12):

Forcing children to drink when they are not thirsty: at best they will vomit ( which will force you to descend), at worst they´ll start to develop cerebral edema – either only from water intoxication or as a mixed result from this and altitude sickness. See, for example, Peter Hackett ( Everest-climbing doctor and co-author of the CDC altitude advisory ) on this: ” Too much water is harmful. It can dilute your body’s sodium levels (hyponatremia), causing weakness, confusion, seizures, and coma.”

Avoid sleeping at high altitudes

As sleeping decreases the respiratory drive of your body, it is recommended that one should hike or travel to high altitudes in the day but should always come back by the evening to sleep at a lower altitude.

Avoid overexertion

Do not overexert your body with any unnecessary physical activity which may lead you to pump more breath.

Avoid tobacco, smoking, alcohol and other depressant drugs

Avoid tobacco, smoking, alcohol, and other depressant drugs including barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the symptoms.

Keep your body warm

Keep your body warm with woolens and do not let it cool. Make sure your clothes are always dry. Carry enough warm clothes for the Ladakh trip.

Eat lots of Carbohydrates

Eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 70% of your calories from carbohydrates) while at high altitude.

Avoid sleep during the day

Try not to sleep during the day and keep yourself involved in some light activity during the day. Respiration decreases during sleep which further exacerbates the symptoms.

Travel Tip: Do not forget to check my itinerary for a combined trip to Spiti Valley and Ladakh.

Sleep in an upright position, if possible

Try to lie down or sleep by resting your back against the wall. If you cannot sleep in such a mode, then do not flatten your head on the bed rather place a bag below your head and then one or two pillows and then sleep in such a posture. It will help you keep your head much lighter.

Carry preventive medicines for AMS

Do take preventive AMS medicines along with you on the trip but only after consultation with your doctor or physician because the AMS medicines may lead to some side effects too. If you are not sure about any allergy to these medicines then try them one or two weeks before you plan the trip. Check to see if there are any allergic effects and decide.

Carry Oxygen Kit

If possible, you may also carry an oxygen cylinder to counter the AMS symptoms. It will certainly help as a supplement but do take proper consultation from your doctor about the intake amount of oxygen, before the trip.

Oxygen intake will help you in case of an emergency and will spare you more time to descend to lower altitudes as soon as possible. You should look into my article on how to rent oxygen cylinders in Leh – Ladakh?

A note from the pioneer, Vistet linked here at post #12: on oxygen cylinders:
Small tanks of even medical-grade oxygen provide a false sense of security: they will at extreme best last for an hour or two. For the value of cheap, portable oxygen solutions see here, # 5 and #7 check here

Immediately descend, if symptoms increase

Last but not least, if the AMS symptoms start to increase then you should consider immediate descent. This is the only cure in some conditions when the symptoms have reached moderate levels and are not decreasing.

Apart from these tips, I will suggest that you also read about 7 things to consider for making a Ladakh trip.

Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Below is the categorization of symptoms for different levels of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) along with an indicative cure for it…

AMS Symptoms

AMS Level

Possible Cure

A headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise


Medication or Descend
Decreased coordination (ataxia), Severe headache (not relieved by medicine), other mild level symptoms with increased effect


Advanced Medication or Descend  about 305-610 Mtrs
Inability to walk, decreasing mental status, and fluid build-up in the lungs


Immediate Descend about 610-1,220 Mtrs

Taking baby or kid to high altitude?

Many a time when you want to travel to high altitudes, you may likely worry about your kid or baby or infant. Well, I suggest you travel with a kid or infant at least 12 months old. However, studies suggest it is safe to travel with an infant more than three months old IFF he/she is not born prematurely or does not suffer from any illness.

NEVER travel with a baby less than 3 months old. While the above tips are helpful for kids or babies above 3 months old as well there are other tips which need special attention for traveling with Kids and babies. I have tried to cover the details of traveling with babies or kids in my article Traveling to High Altitude with Kids or Babies

Thanks to Ram Kris for these awesome FAQs on AMS and Acclimatization

English Video: Tips to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness and get better acclimatization on Ladakh or Spiti trips


If you need more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, then you may read the following links as well.


Please share your valuable comments on acclimatization and acute mountain sickness or if you like the article, and it could be of some help to you too. You should note that it is not just humans that get impacted by high altitude, you also beware of tips for carrying a laptop to high-altitude places like Leh – Ladakh, and Spiti Valley.

Having said all that, it is still recommended that you CONSULT A DOCTOR or PHYSICIAN before you make a trip to a high-altitude region just to ensure everything is in the right place.

Have a travel question?? You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment to ask your travel questions about traveling to the Himalayas.

Again, these are my suggestions based on my very limited or negligible knowledge of AMS or mountain sickness. But I will suggest that you consult some physician or doctor before going on the trip because I am not any of them. For more details on the same, you MUST READ the links mentioned in the references which explain it in better details


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


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  2. Highway Blues on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Travelling to Spiti next week and this will be my first time above 2100 m. Are you aware if a pre course of Diamox (250 mg) 3 days before the ascend will help in AMS prevention? Spoke to two doctors and one contradicts the other so a bit confused 🙂


  3. Laverne Heine on

    Undeniably consider that which you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest factor to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about issues that they just don’t recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

  4. Vicky Jain on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for doing wonderful work for the community.
    I heard there are certain “Oxygen bars” in Leh area where one can take oxygen for some time to overcome AMS problems. How we can use them and what would be the approx. cost? Do you have any recommendation for how much time one should use it on first or second day of arrival at Leh.
    Thanks in advance.

  5. Hello Dheeraj,

    We are planing to trip from Leh to Manali in 1st week of May this year. how would be road condition for leh to manali ? we are 3 members with 4 year old baby, do we need to take bus or hire car from leh ? we are flying by delhi to leh and then by road to manali.

    please advise.


    • Manali – Leh Highway will not be open by first week of May. There are very slim chances though BRO was claiming to open it in first week of May due to less snow but recent snowfall would have hampered the plans. Hence, it will not be open most likely.

      It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 5 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

      • Thanks,
        how about road conditions in second week ? what is the cheap way to reach manali by leh ? should i use shared car or tempo traveller ? or can i use public bus transport ? is there any local driver union or travel agents who can help us ? i am traveling with my wife and daughter.

        • I will recommend to make a trip in late May or June period on Manali – Leh Highway after the highway stabilize a bit. Cheapest way to reach will be using the shared taxi, that early in the season even the buses are not running. But with wife and daughter getting in shared taxiw ill also be a challenge. You should look for shared tourist taxis in Leh or find online travel partners. You can post your own travel calendar entry using the main menu

  6. Roshni Preman on

    Hi Dheeraj ,

    my mom and dad ( 50 – 55 yrs old) are planning to go to manali in october. They will be reaching there on october 21st morning. Will spend the whole day with manali local places and on october 21st they have a plan to visit rohtang pass. After that they will return back to delhi.

    They dont have any breath issue but my dad has high Blood pressure. So will it be a problem visiting rohtang pass?

  7. Priya Chawla on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am travelling to Leh on 8th of Sep from Delhi. Will fly back to Delhi on 15th morning.
    Since i’ll be reaching Leh on 8th morning itself, the rest of the day is enough to acclimatize or i’ll have to stay in Leh on 9th as well?
    If i’ll have to stay in Leh for 8th and 9th, i’ll be going to nubra on 10th morning and will stay there for two days.
    Then on 12th Sep in the morning, i am planning to go to Pangong Lake. I read in your article somewhere that it is better to sleep at lower altitudes. Does that mean that i cannot stay in Pangong and have to return back to Leh?
    In that case, Is it possible to reach Pangong from Nubra (which route is preferable?)and come back toLeh on same day?
    If i stay in Pangong on 12th and return to Leh on 13th, what all can i do on 13th and 14th?
    Can i visit Lamayuru or there are some better options to see? Like Tso Moriri?
    Also,are there any biker groups in Leh which i can join and plan rest of my journey with them?

    • Hi Priya,

      You should stay on the next day as well on 9th as it is highly recommended to have 2 days of rest in Leh. Then make two day Nubra, then two day Pangong Tso. Come back to Leh and take the normal routes.

  8. Guneet Manktala on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    We are planning a trip to chandratal from manali.
    We will be staying in manali for first night.
    I wanted to know if we should stay the second night at chandratal or at batal keeping AMS in mind?

  9. raghuraman on

    Thanks for your detailed, helpful and professional reply. i shall plan my trip accordingly, from srinagar to leh and then back from leh to manali. Guess i have to find my own devices for taxi from srinagar to leh. being a single traveller, can i get shared taxis? or any comfy buses available from srinagar to leh? just to be prepared.

  10. raghuraman on

    oops: raghuraman here, further to my earlier post, i plan to travel in July, 2017. both the road routes will b open by then? srinagar-leh and manali leh?

  11. raghuraman on

    I plan to travel from chennai; male age 55 years; wish to travel to leh/nubra valley/pangong. concerned about AMS issues.
    1) Is it advisable to take a flight from delhi to leh? if not, then you have said that srinagar leh route will be easier than manali leh route. questions:
    2) Is it safe to be in the vicinity of srinagar, going by the very current news reports? (i have no interest in sightseeing in srinagar). I plan to take Jammu-srinagar-leh bus route. is it safe: for tourists: current unrest situation?
    3) where to get permit for visiting pangong and nubra valley in leh?
    4) can you suggest an itinerary for leh/nubra/pangong, looking to acclimitazation issues?
    5) can i take a flight out of leh to delhi/jammu: no AMS issues there?

  12. Hi.. One of my friend is concerned about breathing issues. We are planning bullet trip with an organiser in mid june.

    Please advise to make a better choice. 1) srinagar-leh-manali 2) manali-leh-manali…. Somebody told him that srinagar to leh is better than manali to leh as you dont reach to heights suddenly.

    Is 15th june departure advisable looking at this years weather ?

    Please guide. And yes if let me know if you yourself organise bike trips.

    • Best choice always is Srinagar to Ladakh to Manali and he was advised correctly. Yes, 15th June is fine to travel on both Srinagar – Leh HIghway and Manali – Leh Highway

      PLEASE note Discover with Dheeraj is a Travel Platform to share information with fellow like minded travellers for FREE. We neither organize any tours nor offer any travel packages. There are some people who do sell tours and run commercial things with same or similar names like ours with few spelling changes. Please BEWARE of such copy cats using our name to disguise fellow travelers, as they use our name or similar name to fool people for their own commercial purpose and in the past we have heard tons of complaints about them from the people who got confused in entities and ended up trips with them.

      We at Discover with Dheeraj Travel Platform offer sufficient information we possibly can from road conditions to routes to maps to hotel details to day by day plans and other advises that one need to make a successful Himalayan trip including Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand or North-East thoroughly. This will save you a lot of money and hassles too which you can use to buy something good for you or to help the ones in need in Himalayas 🙂 🙂

  13. Hello Dheeraj,

    In case of AMS, you have mentioned to descend to low altitude. Please let me know where to descend..towards which location etc..?



    • Hey Sunny,

      Are you planning Ladakh? Then if you are in Leh, you can go down to Alchi or even Kargil. If you are at Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, you can go down to Leh. Few 100 Mtrs also do the wonders to the AMS symptoms at times.

  14. rupesh taunk on

    hi dheeraj ji
    we have 27 members on 27 seater bus to planned, to visit leh on 1 june from jammu srinager kargil, leh 3 days , 2 days nubra, 1day pangong ,1) can we direct go to sarchu from pangong. 2) on this day all roads will opened or not. 3) today i know that this year inner line permit is compulsory for indian as well as foreigners also. and fee are approx 1000 to 1100 for indian , is it true or not plz confirm . 4) leh to manali road are open or not on 9 june from pangong to sarchu & 10 june sarchu to manali.

    • Hi Rupesh,

      This year there is too much of snowfall and Manali – Leh is expected to open by the second week of June. Plying heavy vehicle on it may not be conducive, so better postpone the trip by couple of weeks.

      Update April 2017 = Pay environment fees and apply for permits again (those who missed before)

      The environment fees of Rs 400 & Inner Line Permits (most likely as well) will again be required in Ladakh for Indian Tourists / Nationals with effect from April 1st, 2017. This has been recently announced and is available on official website of Leh administration. It is expected that a public circular should follow soon as well. Hence, like it used to happen before 2014, all Indian Nationals or Indian Tourists WILL need to pay environment fees and may need to also get the inner line permits in Leh – Ladakh region in order to visit the restricted places like Dah, Hanu Villages, Pangong Tso, Man, Merak, Tso Moriri, Nyoma, Loma Bend, Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Turtuk, Tyakshi, Digger La, Tangyar (for trekking only). For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here

  15. Shivam Rathore on

    Me and my friend are planning to make spiti trip on 10th of march
    Is this is the correct time to visit ??

    • Shivam, Spiti in march is still harsh and frozen. If you are used to such conditions then only plan a trip as even the hotels will be closed and only home stays will be working condition, so make sure you are determined to make such a trip.

  16. Hi dheeraj,

    I have plans on Amarnath yatra and leh ladakh trip as below , plz suggest ..

    Fly from Bangalore to jammu (a day before).

    Day 1: visit katra vaishnodevi temple by helicopter from sanjichit and few kms walk to reach Bhawan, and return by walk / pony. katra Halt.

    Day 2: leave katra to srinagar by bus/ shared taxi early. Reach srinagar max by 6.00 pm. Halt.

    Day 3: srinagar sightseeing and rent bike, leaving to sonmarg/ Baltal and reach by 5-6 pm and stay.

    Day 4: take a piligrimage on Amarnath Yatra by helicopter from baltal helipad. Later need to walk atleast 6kms to reach holy cave. Return to baltal by pony / horse. Rest/ halt/ if possible leav to drass.

    Else on Day 5, Day 6 & so on : baltal to drass, kargil, batalik, leh ……. Etc

    My query is : plz suggest me on acclimatisation matters till/on day 4.
    Can I go ahead with Amarnath yatra on this itinerary planned ?
    And Precautions that I can take as there is steep increase in altitude suddenly?

    • Outside rented bikes are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh, so better reach Leh and then hire a bike on rent in Leh. Till Day 4, it is fine but then you will be walking to holy cave in high altitude region after landing from helicopter which can cause AMS issues. But, since you might not be sleeping at high altitude and come down to sleep at either Baltal or Sonamarg, it should still be OK.

    • Thnx for reply Dheeraj

      Yes, I won’t stay at any camps enroute holy cave on top. I wil return back same day and stay at baltal/ sonmarg. How about taking an Acetozolomide (diamox, after doctor consultation) on 3rd night b4 commencing Yatra ??

  17. mamatha n on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am travelling by air to Leh this October 9th. What would be the expected minimum temperature that time? I get frequent colds because of sinusitis and I am worried it might worsen. I am also concerned about AMS. Let me know precautions and what I should be prepared with before travel?

    • Regarding AMS, I have explained in the article above and the tips you can follow over it. It will surely be cold up there and hence you need to go prepared with heavy woollens. Nights will be sub zero.

  18. Hi dheeraj,
    we are 3 planning to travel from srinagar on 4th sept to leh then manali.we have to reach manali by 11th sept.please plan our journey.we are from kerala.waiting for your valuable reply.

  19. Hi Dheeraj,
    I Will be visiting Leh-Nubra-Pangong in the next few days and have all the hotels booked but confused how to book the taxi. Can you pls suggest good taxi agents/driver contact details or one of your articles link on it ?

    • Pranay, for the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

  20. AMS is NOT going to hit You! I traveled to Kaza last month and was psychologically inclined to fall sick due to AMS. I kept on thinking, I am unable to breathe and literally to get enough oxygen, I deliberately increased my breathing rate. Immediately, I was rushed to the hospital in Kaza , after my repeated complaints of being breathless.

    My oxygen level as checked was absolutely normal, if not better than normal. But due to excessive breathing and psychological inclination to believe that I was breathless, my blood pressure had shot up.

    The doctor immediately asked me if I had read about altitude sickness on Internet and whether I also had Diamox. The majority of cases, he received were due to READING about AMS online and the psychological effect. They weren’t really AMS cases.

    While thie above knowledge is good to have, I feel, the best is to simply enjoy the trip and the pollution-free freshness at altitudes and just completely forget about AMS.

    You are going to feel a little restless. Accept it! Nothing wrong with that. Short of breath is also Ok. Vomitting is Not OK; and, Severe headache is not Ok. Slight headache is Ok.

    My partner who was travelling with me was smoking cigarettes like a chimney in Kaza and he never took AMS seriously and he was completely fine.

    • Good to read it Chintan the insights from the doctor but that does not mean at all that one should not be worry about it. The whole reason which gave birth to Discover with Dheeraj was to spread practical information people for traveling to high altitude places which people lacks. Believe me, I have seen people vomit blood and have myself been to be admitted into hospital in Padum to save my life. When it hits, believe me, it looks like worst nightmare and biggest lesson if you survive it. I have done countless trips to high altitude places in last 7 years now and even I dont guarantee myself that I wont get hit again. So, to know about it and how to react is definitely worth to know than dying without knowing the reason why you did die. It is foolish to copy someone smoking cigarettes like chimney in high altitude and consider that it is OK. Even doctors can’t predict who gets hit with AMS and when. Some does cope with it well, some does fair job, some does not but comes alive like me and some die.

      The article is not to scare people or make them psychologically ill of AMS rather it will help you mitigate the chances of getting hit with AMS. People die every year of AMS while traveling to high altitude places.

      • Hi Dheeraj, Thanks for your reply. What you have provided in your article is real wealth of information and there is no question about its truthfulness. It is an amazing resource on AMS, however, I do feel, somewhere if you could have a section on “Psychological AMS”, it will help many travelers. Trust me, not only the doctor, the owner of the hotel where I stayed, he, too, commented in sarcasm, “I don’t know why but People want to fall sick here”.

        • Sure Chintan, I will add a paragraph about why not to take too much mental pressure about AMS and when to be really concerned & when not. Thanks again for highlighting it.

  21. Hi Dheeraj ,

    Thank You for the great work you are doing. It is helping us a lot.

    We are group of 14 people travelling to Leh . Below is the Itinerary that we are planning as of now .

    Day 1 : Chandigarh – Manali
    Day 2: Manali – Jispa
    Day 3: Jispa – Tsu Kar
    Day 4: Tsu kar – Tso Moriri – Leh
    Day 5: Leh Local Sightseeing
    Day 6: Leh to Pangong
    Day 7: Pangong To Leh
    Day 8 : Leh to Nubra
    Day 9 : Nubra to Leh
    Day 10 : Departure from Leh Airport.

    Do you think this plan is feasible and also let us know your recommendation ? What about AMS factor for the above route ?

  22. Hemant Saini on

    hello deeraj,

    we are 4 persons & planning for leh ladakh tour and plan is like that

    7th Aug chandigrah to manali(night stay)
    8th manali to jispa or sarchu(night stay)
    9th sarchu to leh(nightstay)
    10th leh to nubra leh(stay at leh)
    11th leh to pangong (night stay )
    12th Pangong to Tso moriri (night stay)
    13th Tso Moriri to Tso Kar to leh(night stay)
    14th Leh to Kargil(night stay)
    15th Kargil to srinagar(night stay)
    17th Flight out

    I have one day extra

    so pl. tell me is this plan ok..? or need some changes, if so guide me.
    also if you can suggest for accommodation at pangong & Tso moriri

    • Hi Hemant,

      You should plan it like below with one day extra:

      7th Aug chandigrah to manali(night stay)
      8th manali to jispa
      9th Jispa to Leh
      10th leh rest day
      11th leh to Nubra Valley
      12th Nubra Valley – Leh
      13th Leh – Pangong Tso
      – Extra day as Pangong Tso to Leh and then follow below
      14th Leh to Kargil(night stay)
      15th Kargil to srinagar(night stay)
      17th Flight out


    Hello Dheeraj

    I am travelling to Leh via Manali this weekend with my wife and a cousin . My Itenary is as following : –

    24 june ( friday ) – leave panipat/ Delhi late night
    25 june ( saturday ) – reach manali by 12-1 pm
    26 june ( sunday ) – leave manali early morning for jispa , reach jispa be eve ( IBEX OR PADMA )
    27 june ( monday ) – leave jispa early morning for leh , reach leh by eve .
    28 june ( tuesday ) – leh local sight seeing
    29 june ( wednesday ) – leh to nearby 1 day trip ( Bike Tour )
    30 june ( thursday ) – leh to nearby 1 day trips ( Bike Tour )
    01 july ( Friday ) – leh – khardunglan- leh ( Bike )
    02 july ( saturday ) – leh to pangong lake
    03 july ( sunday ) – pangong to tso morori
    04 july ( monday ) – tso morrori – manali
    05 july ( tuesday ) – manali – panipat
    06 july ( wednesday ) – extra day




  24. Abhinav Chauhan on

    Hi Dheeraj

    First up, thanks for an amazing write. Wish i had read this before my first ride as well:)

    Now, I do have a query as well – I understand the skepticism and concerns related with doing TsoMoriri enroute to Leh when coming from Manali. But, is it totally non-doable? Or are their ways, we can still accomplish it, probably stay a day extra at a halt on Manali-Leh highway to get acclimatized, or break up the ascents? A friend suggested staying additional day at Sarchu, however, i think Sarchu is almost at the same altitude as Tso Moriri and dont really think that should aid much. Help a brother out. Thanks!

    • You should not do Tso Moriri while going from Manali to Leh because you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude so early in the trip and may cause some ugly AMS issues for you. Highly not recommended, because any help if required will be very hard to find in case you get hit with AMS.

  25. Will you recommened to travel to chandrataal and Kaza with Parents(Age:60+).

      • I am planning to travel to chandrataal around 20th June with parents.

        I want to do night stay in chandrataal becoz of high altitude. So is it possible to stay at some low altitude, start early morning and come back.

        The best solution i found out a stay in sissu. The height is 10000ft. and also 80 kms from Kunzum pas.

        If we start at 6 am in morning from sissu, we can reach chandrataal by 11 am and can leave at 3 pm to reach sissu by 7 pm. Is this feasible?

        • Hi Rahul,

          Both Sissu and Khoksar are the good options to stay before sleeping over at Chandratal. Since, the altitude is too high for Chandratal, you can never be acclimatized 100% to deal with it unless you travel from Shimla side and spend some days in Spiti.

  26. Hi Dheeraj,

    Let me be specific about my question rather explaining the whole plan for the trip.

    Manali – Leh – Srinagar

    Am leaving Manali by 5th June Morning and need to catch flight @ Srinagar on 12th June (2.40pm)

    Considering the travel from Manali to Leh & Leh to Srinagar, I will have to stay @ sarchu and kargil.

    The time ll be @ Leh would be from 6th Noon till 9th Night.
    But, I want to cover Pangong, Nubra and Lamayaru.

    What do u suggest ?

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    Let me be specific about my question rather explaining the whole plan for the trip.

    Manali – Leh – Srinagar

    Am leaving Manali by 5th June Morning and need to catch flight @ Srinagar on 12th June (2.40pm)

    Considering the travel manali to Leh to and o Leh to Srinagar, I will have to stay @ sarchu and kargil.

    Thus I consider the time from 6th Noon till 9th Night @ Leh.
    But, I want to cover Pangong, Number and Lamayaru.

    What do u suggest ?

  28. Ankita shah on

    Hi, Dheeraj!
    I am Ankita and I am travelling with 3 of my friends to Leh. We are all 25. We will be leaving on 2nd June and the trip commences on 12 June.
    We are from Mumbai. We are taking a flight from Mumbai to Srinagar, followed by a road trip to Leh.
    Out itenary is as follows;
    1. Srinagar to sonemarg. Stay sonemarg
    2. Sonemarg to lemayuru. Stay Lemayuru
    3. Lemayuru to Leh. Stay Leh
    4. Leh acclimatisation
    5. Leh to Nubra. Stay hunder
    6. Hunder to Leh. Stay Leh
    7. Leh to pangong. Stay pangong
    8. Pangong to leh. Stay Leh
    9. Leh to Kargil. Stay Kargil
    10. Kargil to Srinagar. Stay Srinagar
    11. Fly out
    Please let me know if this itenary is relaxed and convenient. Also, I have been reading way too many articles on AMS and I am getting increasingly worried about it. None of us have been on an adventurous trip before this and never to this altitude. The amount of articles that I’ve been reading only state that it’s kind of scary. Just want to know if it’s actually that scary, and whether out itenary is good enough for us to comfortably enjoy the ascend. If there’s anything I need to change please do let me know. Also, please tell me it’s going to be fun cause now I’m only super worried about the altitude sickness.
    Thank you so much!

  29. Robin Bansal on

    hello sharma ji
    my father is 50 yrs old nd me 25 yrs
    we r going for amarnath yarta nd aftr that we”ll travel to leh ladak.plz plan a journey for us .its 27th yatra of my father nd mine is 7th.we r traveling by our own Alto.pls give ur suggestions.

  30. Robin Bansal on

    Hello Sharma ji
    Me nd Father in s going to Shri Amarnath Yatra.My father is going from last 26 yrs nd me started In 2010. This year we r going to Leh ladak By our on Alto. plz help me to make our tour by excellent Plaining.
    My father is 50 yrs old nd m 25. plz give ur suggestions.

  31. Thanks Dheeraj,

    Lot of information here. I am flying last week of June 2016 from delhi to Srinagar and then taking innova via Kargil Route to reach Leh-Nubra-Leh-Pangong-Leh-Tsomoriri-Serchu-Manali in order of visit day by day. Please advice if this is fine or do I need to tweak it a bit. Also, need your advise on,

    1. What all important stuff we need to carry for trip?
    2. My wife has very very mild asthma so planning to carry portable oxygen tank. Is it allowed on the flight?


  32. Sanjay Singh on

    Hi Dheeraj

    Tremendous effort by you & your team. Well done.
    I have a q.
    I am flying to Leh on0 3 May 16.
    Staying put on 3&4th May.
    Planning an overnight at Pangong on 06th May 16.
    Will it be okay?


    • Sanjay, I will say you do day trip to Pangong Tso or if required at any cost, then better stay at Tangste about 34 KMs before Pangong Tso

    • Hi Dheeraj ,
      we are going to leh in june. we did not find any accomodation near tsomoriri . can you please help me out .

      • You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  33. indrajit sanyal on

    I am reaching leh by flight on 10th Oct’16 & leaving leh by flight on 20th Oct’16 morning.
    we are 3,myself 48yrs my daughter 15yrs & my wife 47yrs. please suggest a programme and also teĺl me if the flights are cancelled frequently in this time at leh.

    • Hello Indrajit ji,

      Ocotober is quite cold in Ladakh with lakes very cold especially at night and most of the hotels shutdown and restaurants closed. Can you make some other time up to September?

      • Indrajit Sanyal on

        Hello Dheeraj ji,
        Due to my daughters examination and my office I could not manage in that time. This the only time i can manage. I have visited ladakh in august earlier. this time i want to go and stay at Turtuk and Nubra for 3 days. and also in tso morriri and pangong if possible. please suggest.
        Thank you

        • I can only suggest, final call is yours. Nubra Valley is still fine but for Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri you will have to stay at Tangtse (34 KMs before Pangong tso) and Chumathang (about 85 KMs before Tso Moriri)

  34. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to go from Manali to Leh to Manali on bikes. Here are the small details –
    Manali – Jispa – Pang – Leh – Pangong – Leh – Sarchu – Manali.
    On 25th Jun we will start. How will be the climatic condition at all these places? Will there be rain during travel period as we are starting towards the end of Jun? Is this the right plan?

    • PK, PLEASE do not stay at Pang while going to Leh as your body will not be acclimatized to sleep at that height while going to Leh. Also, I see there is no rest day in Leh and no visit to Nubra Valley. How many days do you have?

      • Thanks Dheeraj. We have one day to rest in Leh. ya… we r not covering nubra valley. our tour organizer has set it tHis way….first daystay at Manali. Next day Jispa. 3 day Pang 4 day Leh 5 day Leh n around 6th day pangong 7 day back to Leh 8 day Sarchu 9 day Manali

        • I will drop Pang from the plan and reach Leh directly as there is always a high chance of getting stuck with AMS in Pang or Sarchu while going to Leh from Manali. I will move Day 5 as Leh rest to Day 4. Day 5,6 I will make two day trip to Nubra Valley. Day 7 I will make one day trip to Pangong Tso and then I will start back to Sarchu on Day 8. OR I will stay at Pangong Tso and leave at 5 AM from Pangong Tso for Sarchu or Pang on Day 8

  35. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for an excellent blog. It’s been a go-to site for me as we planned our Ladakh trip in June. We’ll be driving to Leh from Srinagar with a night halt at Kargil. We’ll reach Leh on Day 3 and leave for Pangong on Day 8 (with a full day of acclimatisation and trips to Nubra and Lamayuru in between). Given that Pangong is the highlight of our trip, we are planning to spend two nights at Pangong. Just wanted to check with you if altitude sickness will be a problem if we stay for two nights. What precautions can we take for that?

    • KK, not really, you should be acclimatized by then to the altitude and should not have much problem. Unless there is too much of a problem staying at Pangong Tso on first night, there isn’t much issue staying next night too. Keep your body hydrated well always.

  36. I want to share my experience with AMS prevention medicine called “Diamox”.
    When browsing on the internet i found multiple articles mentioning the use of Diamox for AMS preventition and hence i thought to use that during my trip to avoid any discomfort.
    Than i came across this article which mentions about the side effects of this medicine,since i never had reaction to any medicines in the past i took it casually.
    Two days before leaving for my trip i had an i feeling that i should atleast try this medicine once so i consumed one tablet and nothing happened for 2 days,on the morning of the my journey day i started some skin allergies with lot of itching.
    I was not sure that is because of medicine or something else and given the fact i won’t get adequate medical services once start from manali i got scared.
    Luckily i had a stop at chandigarh before continuing to Manali,i visited a skin doctor there and she confirmed it is because of medicine and prescribed me few more medications which helped me get cured in 2 days.

    In nutshell, i have described this incident in detail because i feel many of us think the same way and take medicines without considering much and when you are on a adventurous trip like Manali-Leh we should take all precautions.

    • Thanks a lot Rohit, this will surely help many. I wonder how a sulfa drug like this is being mentioned all over the internet in many article even I have read without any warning or issues related to it which can cause allergies. Great to know that all went well for you as you had a presence of mind to get it worked out else it could have been a nightmare trip with bare minimum medical facilities along the way. Thanks again for sharing it.

  37. Hi Dheeraj,

    Need your expert advice.. My father-in-law would be visiting kaza n spiti in the month of October (beginning). he is 70 years old n going in a group which would have 3 kids aging 10/ 3/3. Should they be carrying an oxygen cylinder with them…. is it required? If so, would it be available enroute Shimla ?? Whom can we contact in that case ? also please brief me as to what SHOULD BE THE STRENGTH OF THE CYLINDER REQUIRED IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY??

    • Hi Juhi,

      It depends on person to person to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D… The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With less than 3 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and if you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Best is that you guys carry a 2.5-3 Ltrs oxygen cylinder with you to help in case required. However, going by Shimla side will help everyone to be acclimatized but it will be great if you can carry it. Not sure if you will find it in Shimla.

  38. Hi Dheeraj !!!
    Quite useful article. My bro was planning to go to Leh-Ladakh via Srinagar route by road taking a halt at Kargil. The plan is to complete the journey in 10-11 days. He had these panic attacks (epileptic seizures) few months ago and currently its all under control. Will it be advisable for him to be a part of the trip to Leh/Ladakh considering the AMS and low oxygen levels. Also should we be consulting our family doctor before he goes.

    Kindly advise.


    • Viv, please consult a doctor because I do not know AMS impacts to panic attacks he had and if it is safe at all to under take this journey or not. Pleasse consult a doctor.

    • Hi viv,

      I want to know if ur brother visited leh and how was his trip? Was he comfortable there? M asking because m also a anxiety sufferer and want to enjoy leh views but m afraid of all these silly symptoms of panic like fast heart rate etc. thanx in adv.. Hope u reply..

  39. amrit nandra on

    Hi bro thnx for making dow, ur doing suprb jo,, acctly we 4 are plannig a trip On this 14th to kazza through shimla route, and thinking of coming back through kunzum., manali route, is it the right tim. To go? I mean kunzum pass rought is open or not? And cn we go by verna car?

    • Amrit the route from Manali to Kaza might not be open by that time you are planning. It is expected that it might open by 25th of June.

    • Verna will surely have some hit at under belly, For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  40. Abhijit Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj
    First of all many thanks for maintaining such a wonderful website which is helping all of us. We (family of three) are visiting Ladakh for 5 nights from 12th June to 16th June; and we have taken a package through Yatra. Please see the itinerary –
    1. Arrival at Leh from Delhi by flight on 12th Morning. Transfer to hotel; full day rest and acclimatize
    2. Full day sight seeing at Leh; return to hotel for overnight stay.
    3. Leh to Nubra via Khardung-la; Hunder Monastery, Sand dunes, Camel safari; overnight stay at Nubra.
    4. Nubra to Leh via Diksit; reach Leh by afternoon for overnight stay.
    5. Leh to Pangong via Changla Pass and back to Leh for overnight stay
    5. Leave Leh for Delhi on 17th morning

    Please let me know your opinion on this itinerary. Also please share your knowledge on such package tours.
    I am a bit worried regarding AMS since my wife has high BP (however she is presently fine with medication). As per package rule they will provide one oxygen cylinder per group (I think group here means maybe 7-10 people) Is there a need for me to carry a oxygen cylinder? I am not sure where and how to buy one….please suggest. If you can provide any other health related tips (I have read the page regarding AMS on this website) Also I am worried if Vodafone mobile connection will work there….if not then what is the solution…

    Any other general advice would be welcome.



    • 5 days are a bit less a time to visit Ladakh. Given the days plan looks OK. No idea about group but in Leh oxygen cylinders are available on rent. Only postpaid connection work over there where BSNL provide the maximum coverage.

  41. Sandesh Satam on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I am planning to visit Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand in the month of Sept,

    Detailed Itinerary from Haridwar to Valley of Flowers and back to Haridwar.

    Day 0
    Saturday 29th of August 2015
    Reporting at Haridwar

    Day 1
    Sunday 30th of August 2015
    Haridwar to Govindghat.
    Distance 300 Kilometers,

    Day 2
    Monday 31st of August 2015
    Govindghat and Ghangaria.

    Day 3
    Tuesday 1st of September 2015
    Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers to Ghangaria.
    Distance 12 Kilometers (6 kilometers one side)

    Day 4
    Wednesday 2nd of September 2015
    Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers to Ghangaria.
    Distance 18 Kilometers (9kilometers one side),

    Day 5
    Thursday 3rd of September 2015
    Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib to Ghangaria.
    Distance 12 Kilometers (6 kilometers one side),
    Time 8-9 Hours by trekking.

    Day 6
    Friday 4th of September 2015
    Ghangaria to Govindghat to Badrinath to Mana and back to Govindghat.
    Distance 20+20 Kilometers by Road and 13 Kilometers by trek,
    Two hours by road and 6-7 Hours by trekking.

    Day 7
    Saturday 5th of September 2015
    Govindghat to Haridwar
    Distance 300 Kilometers,
    Time 10-12 Hours by road
    Altitude loss (From 5500 ft to 1100 ft)

    I like to know about chances of AMS and what kind of precautions I should follow.


  42. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning trip to Srinagar – Leh – Manali (thanks to your guidance that its best to travel via Srinagar)
    Dates: 28th August to 8th Sept (12 days trip)
    below are the trip details, I want to know the chances of AMS for normal people and a senior citizen

    Day 0 (28th August) – Arrive at Srinagar and spend the day resting or local site seeing

    Day 1 (29th August): Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zojila Pass – Drass – Kargil
    Visit: Great vistas of Drass Valley with views of Tiger Hill, Kargil War Memorial
    • Enjoy the vistas en-route especially the lush green Minamarg Meadows
    • Have late brunch meal at Drass
    • Overnight stay at Kargil

    Day 2 (30th August) : Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
    Visit: Rock Carved Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes
    • Hit the roads by 6:00 AM
    • On the way to Leh you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
    • Overnight at Leh

    Day 3 (31st August) : Leh Local
    Visit: Leh Main Market, Leh Palace or just rest
    Stay @ Leh

    Day 4 (1st September) : Leh – Khardung La – Diskit
    Visit: Khardung la , highest motorable road (as claimed), Diskit Monastery, which has 106 Feet tall Buddha statue, Go for Camel Safari over Hunder Sand Dunes in the evening
    • Hit the roads by 6.30 AM
    • Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
    • On the way enjoy a cup of Tea at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
    • Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue
    • Hunder has sand dunes and double humped bacterian camel safari

    Day 5 (2nd September) : Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    Visit: Hot water springs @ Panamik
    • Hit the roads by 6.30 AM
    • Overnight at Leh

    Day 6 (3rd September) : Leh – Hemis Monastery – Chang La Pass – Pangong Tso Lake
    Visit: Hemis Monastery,
    Pangong Tso: One of the largest salt water lakes in the world which is 1/3rd in India and rest in Tibet
    • Hit the roads by 6.00 AM
    • Witness the the largest monastic institution in Ladakh – Hemis Monastery
    • Dash for a day trip to Pangong Tso to experience the blue hues
    • Overnight at Pangong Tso

    Day 7 (4th September) : Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    Visit: Shey Palace, Thicksey Monastery,
    Pangong Tso: One of the largest salt water lakes in the world which is 1/3rd in India and rest in Tibet
    • Wakeup witnessing the beauty of Pangong Tso lake
    • Travel to Thicksey Monastery and Shey Palace
    • Back to Leh

    Day 8 (5th September): Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
    Visit: Kiagar Tso, a small lake on the way to Tso Moriri,
    Tso Moriri , high altitude salt water lake changes colors many times a day
    • Hit the roads by 6.00 AM
    • Kiagar Tso, a small lake on the way to Tso Moriri,
    • Cover Korzok Monastery and Hot springs at Chumathang
    • Explore Something Unexplored at Tso Moriri or Rest before the next long day
    • Overnight at Tso Moriri

    Day 9 (6th September) : Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Sarchu – Jispa
    Visit (en route): Tso Kar, Moore Plains, Pang, Lachulung la @ 16616 ft, Nakee la @ 15547 ft, Gata Loops
    • Early morning we leave from Tso Moriri for TsoKar

    Day 10 (7th September) : Jispa – Manali
    Visit (en route): Rohtang Pass @ 13,054 ft
    Travel time: 5-6 hrs odd
    Stay @ Manali at 6,730 ft

    Day 11 (8th September) : checkout from Hotel and tour ends.

    is this good? let me know if i need to make any changes in the trip plan

    • Hi Dheeraj,

      Thanks for quick reply,
      1 female joining the tour she is 57 years old and has a history of cancer which is cured now. is it ok for her to travel to Srinagar – Leh – Manali itinerary i shared?

      Also as i would like to know any group or trust we can donate some books, toys, chocolates for kids in the entire trip.

      Thanks for your help, it means a lot!!!

  43. Devdatt Pandya on

    Hi Dhiraj,
    First of all many congratulations for DOW, you are doing a super job.

    We are travelling to Leh-Ladakh from 4th June to 11th June. On our 7th day we are visiting Pangong Lake.

    As per our itinerary its a DAY Excursion. I wish to spend a night at Pangong Lake, Please let me know how safe is it ? (from the weather point of view)


    • Devdatt, are you talking about 7th June or 7th day that is 10th June? If 10th June, then it shall be OK to spend night at Pangong Tso. But, take a call if you all were able to sleep well in all previous 3-4 nights. Weather will be cold at night though.

  44. hi dheeraj
    firstly let me say u r doing a wonderful thing by sharing all ur inputs…wanted ur guidance….m planning a 15 to 20 day trip to leh via manali route from jalandhar n coming back via srinagar route in june…with my 6 yr old kiddo…have been to leh six yrs back via sri nagar route…so wanted to explore the other end..!
    could u please guide me as to where we should stop in route via manali for better acclamatization for my kiddo(who is going fr d first time)….
    thanks a ton

    • Navneet, Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      You will still be exploring the other end as well but with ease and less chances of getting hit with AMS. You can check a 15-20 day travel plan for Ladakh + Zanskar as below. To make it more relaxing, you can remove the Zanskar (Day 4 to Day 7)

      Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
      — Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

      Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
      — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
      — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 3 | Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 4 | Kargil – Padum (Zanskar Valley)
      — Head straight to Padum

      Day 5 | Padum Local Sightseeing
      — Enjoy Zangla, Stongde, Karsha

      Day 6 | Padum – Zongkhul Monastery – Penzi La Pass – Rangdum
      — Start back and stay at Rangdum

      Day 7 | Rangdum – Panikhar – Sankoo – Kargil
      — Checkout rock carved statue at Khartse Khar

      Day 8 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 10 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Turtuk
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — enjoy the culture in the Turtuk Village
      — do mention Turtuk on the permits

      Day 11 | Turtuk – Hunder
      — Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
      — Overnight at Hunder

      Day 12 | Hunder – Deskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
      — Enjoy drive upto Panamik, visit Yarab Tso Lake and back Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 13 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
      Day 14 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 15 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour OR You can do tour to Sham Valley
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries.
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 16 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
      Day 17 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang
      Day 18 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Jispa

      Day 19 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 20 | Manali – Delhi
      — Return home

  45. Abhishek Kumar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am also planning a trip to Leh with my family (5 adults and 1 child of around 6-7 years) in June 2015. I have been to the forums and read through the various articles about planning a Leh trip (Noida > Srinagar > Leh > Manali > Noida).

    I am planning to go on a trip for around 10-12 days and wanted to know from you whether this time would be good to plan this trip and also can you also let me know whether 10-12 days would be sufficient for this trip.

    Let me know.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Abhishek Kumar

      • Abhishek Kumar on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        First of all, thanks a lot for replying to my query. I must also thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing by keeping such a forum running online which provides ample reading material and serves as a ready reckoner for many people like me who loves to travel and read about it.

        Now, the situation is that the plan for this trip would be executed starting around 6th June 2015 and would end by 14th or 15th June 2015 due to some other official commitments. Do you still think that it would be good time to travel during this time?

        Also, I am following the common itinerary provided by you and it seems to just suite my need to plan the trip. Can you let me know which pitstops to take during this journey (hotels, guest houses etc.)? Also, an indication of expenses that would be incurred on an average so that we can plan to carry that amount of cash with us?

        Let me know if we can talk offline while I attempt this trip (if I need any help from you)?

        Thanks and Regards,
        Abhishek Kumar

        • 9-10 days are always quite short to travel for Ladakh trip. The only option in case is that you fly to Leh which will be costly. Manali – Leh Highway is yet to open and will open between 15-20 June. So, you cannot follow the common itinerary.

        • Abhishek Kumar on

          Hi Dheeraj,

          In that case, do you think that it is ok if we return back the same way i.e. Noida > Jammu > Srinagar > Kargil > Leh > Kargil > Srinagar > Jammu > Noida.

          We can extend this trip by around 2 days i.e. start on 4th/5th June and then return by 15th June 2015.

          The tentative itinerary that I have in mind is as follows:

          Day 1: Noida > Jammu (overnight stay at Jammu)
          Day 2: Jammu > Srinagar (overnight stay at Srinagar)
          Day 3: Srinagar > Sonmarg > Drass > Kargil (overnight stay at Kargil)
          Day 4: Kargil > Leh ( rest for the day at Leh in the hotel and get acclimatized)
          Day 5: Rest Day at Leh (roam around in Leh/Local Sightseeing)
          Day 6: Leh > Nubra Valley > Leh (overnight stay at Leh). Do you think that we should stay at Nubra Valley? Also, do you think we should take a taxi so that we can enjoy at the fullest?
          Day 7: Leh > Pangong Tso (Pangong Lake) > Leh (overnight stay at Leh). Do you think we should stay at Pangong Tso? Atleast one of the above stay if we can?
          Day 8: Leh > Drass (overnight stay at Drass)
          Day 9: Drass > Srinagar (overnight stay at Srinagar)
          Day 10: Srinagar > Jammu (overnight stay at Jammu)
          Day 11: Jammu > Noida (Trip Finishes!!! :))

          I guess I am being a little pushy here but I really want to do this trip.

          Thanks and Regards,
          Abhishek Kumar

        • Hi Abhishek,

          I am not convinced 100% that you are not even spending any day in Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and then following the same route of Srinagar to return back as well. Such kind of trips are made once in a while for majority of us, I will strongly suggest that in case you really want to enjoy then at least try to post pone the trip by couple of weeks and add at least the charm of Manali – Leh Highway. This will give you an additional day as well and you can use that additional day in night stay at Nubra Valley.


        • Abhishek Kumar on

          Dheeraj Ji,

          If you can please look up my plan that I shared with you yesterday and let me know if this would work, that would be super awesome.

          Thanks in advance.

          Thanks and Regards,
          Abhishek Kumar

  46. Hi Dheeraj, I am planning a 5 day trip to Ladakh. I am planning to cover Leh and surrounding area (Sham Valley) by renting a bike. Then Nubra and Pangong Lake by car. The plan to spend night in Nubra and Pangong which means effectively I am left with one day to either acclimatize or cover Sham valley. So I have two options and need your help to pick a viable one.

    1. I am reaching first day at 9:00AM by Air. Can I go out to Sham Valley same day or do I stay at hotel to acclimatize?
    2. If I stay at Hotel, I will have to cut down Pangong stay as I want to cover Sham valley on bike (kinda dream 🙂 )

    So, is first option feasible?


    • Hi Ravi,

      1. You have to stay at hotel for rest and acclimatization only. Day 2 you can try out Sham Valley if you are able to sleep well else skip it and rest for local sightseeing only.
      2. Then next two days you go over to Nubra Valley and on 5th day do day trip to Pangong Tso.


      • Thanks Dheeraj for the response.
        Your website is THE “travel to himalayas guide” and I am sure there are hundreds of folks out there who are benefiting from this website and your experienced advice. So thanks again for being there with your guidance 🙂

        Two more queries:
        1. Can I find shared taxi for Pangong Tso and Nubra valley from Leh? We are just two people so might end up paying a lot in Taxi fares if we travel alone.
        2. I am planning a trip to Chandratal in early June. We can also get shared taxi from Manali to Chandratal?

        Thanks & Regards

        • Thank you Ravi 🙂 🙂 !!

          Regarding your queries:

          1. You will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself.

          2. Very difficult that road to Chandratal will open in early June. Shared taxi to Chandratal will not be possible but you can use shared taxi to Kaza and get down to trek to Chandratal from diversion point. Read: Chandratal Lake | Cheapest Ways To Travel There


  47. First of all thank you very much for this informative post. I have a daughter who suffers from heart problem like hypoplastic left heart syndrome by birth. She is now 7 years old and doing well. She has undergone two corrective surgeries last one being Bidirectional Glenn Shunt. She is scheduled to undergo the third (last one) in the series called Fontain procedure.

    We were wondering if it is possible for us to do this trip to Leh via self drive on Srinagar Leh route?

    In the past we have been to following places with our daughter –
    Dhanaulti, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Aru, Gulmarg, and Sonmarg. So I would say she has been to 9200 ft in height so far. During all these trips she was just fine and did not face any difficulty breathing or any problem related to altitude.

    • Abhy, I Will suggest that you please consult your doctor for the same and they will be able to advice you better in this case. Technically, high altitude is considered above 10000 Feet, so, I would suggest to consult the doctor as I will not be the right person. May be get in touch with someone who has experience of high altitude as well.

      • Hi Deeraj,

        Thank you very for your response. I understand this. Information you have collected and penned down your site is very helpful.

        Thanks again.

  48. Deven soni on

    Hi Dheeraj my name is Deven soni I am traveling with my family to Srinagar I want to have a trip to gulmarg gondola ride and I want my family to see the second stage which is around 8,000 Feet
    But the is a problem my wife suffers from asthma do you have any contacts in Srinagar from where I can hire a Portible Oxygen Kit for 2 or 3 days.


    • Yogi, For Srinagar bike rental you can refer the link: https://discoverwithdheeraj.com/india/ladakh-zanskar-travel-guides/outside-rented-bikes-banned-ladakh-t1009-50.html#p12858

      Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      Since, this is the first time rule is getting implemented no one is sure what will happen or what will not. I personally feel larger groups will be targetted more than smaller groups or individuals.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DwD Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2014 – 15 & Reliable Shops

  49. hii Dheeraj,
    I m from maharashtra..
    we 7 frnds are interested to go to leh by road as per your suggestion we choose shrinagar-leh route for start the journey, we have 15 days to complete the journey, shrinagar-leh-manali..
    please guide us for better experience..
    please tell me about what is the right time to start a road trip

  50. Hello sir
    We are a group of 7 and planning a trip to Leh on 4th oct to 11th oct.
    Should we travel by road or by air.
    We want chepeast way to travel so that we have enough time to explore the beauty. also how do you recommend the return.

    • Nikhil, try and check the tickets of air because you do not have sufficient days to complete a road trip to Ladakh. Also, it is not a season to do road trip to Ladakh as snowfall starts on passes and cold intensifies.

        • 15K will be tight I will say especially because in general Leh air tickets are quite costly and of course, the Ladakh taxi too is costly. If you hire bike, it comes about 800-1500 per day depending upon condition, model and make of the bike.

  51. Hi Dheeraj, your blog is very helpful and descriptive. thanks for it. Needed your guidance on one concern, we are group of 6 people are going to Leh-Ladakh on 14.8.14. We have our flight from Delhi to Srinagar on 14.8.14 arriving Srinagar at 1:30PM.Hence, we can not reach Kargil the same day therefore, we are planning to start very early on 25.08.14 at around 3:00AM, enabling us to reach Leh by same day evening. We are returning back from Srinagar -Leh on 22.8.2014 and will stay at Kargil while coming back to Srinagar. Pls. suggest what precautions should we take to avoid AMS while going to Leh on 15.08.2014..

  52. Hi Dheeraj,

    so great to read your blog bro, we are planning to travel to Leh on Aug 9th our plan is as below:-

    DELHI to Manali (by road hiring a taxi )
    Manali to Sarchu (stay over at Sarchu)
    Sarchu to Leh and
    then take a flight from Leh back to Delhi on 15th, can you suggest how good are the roads from Delhi to Manali also is it advisable to travel such a long distance by road (Delhi to manali)

    • Shaheen, are you interested in just Manali – Leh Highway? If yes, then it is better to stay overnight at Jispa and then do Jispa to Leh. You are not spending much time in Ladakh to see it beauty. Also, it is monsoon time and you will face hassles upto Jispa, so keep a day’s buffer too.

      • thanks a lot dheeraj, we have changed the plan now, we will be traveling to Srinagar from Delhi, and we will be taking the sreenagar – Leh Route by road, and would spend our days in Leh and would return from Leh to Delhi, we have 7 days would that be enough, and how good are the roads from Srinagar to Leh, will we face some hassles through this road, we are opting this way coz we came to know this road would be better for AMS compared to Manali – leh, waiting for your advise.

        • Shaheen, for sure Srinagar – Leh Highway is far far better than Manali – Leh Highway when it comes to acclimatization as it provides gradual ascend. However, it takes 4 days from Delhi to reach Leh from Srinagar. Then 1 day of acclimatization. In the remaining 2 days, you can make a visit to Pangong Tso & Khardung La / Nubra Valley as 1 day trips. Surely as you can see there is very least amount of rest.


    Dheeraj !!
    I am not travelling anywhere. 🙂
    Just wanted to quickly convey that your blog is superb! and it appears that…
    Your patience is incredible!
    Your responses are detailed and immensely helpful and encouraging!
    And… you are not trying to selling anything to these folks!
    God bless you buddy.

    btw: Catchy name “Discover With Dheeraj!” but to all the folks who have benefited from your blog it would be AngelOnWheels 😉

    God bless you …again 😉

  54. Any specific or additional precaution I must take if I’m going to Leh directly by flight?

  55. Pratik Maru on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    We are 4 frds leaving on 13th June to 24th june and want to cover both ways. We are planning to go from Delhi-Manali-Leh Route and coming back from Leh-Srinagar-Delhi route.

    Is there any problem if we take this route or it should be other way round?
    Pls suggest :)TIA

    • It will be much much better if you do the journey in reverse direction. I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

    • Pratik Maru on

      Hey Dheeraj, With your guidance our tour was successful. God bless 🙂

  56. I’m traveling with my husband to Ladakh from bahrain (technically below sea level) we r suppose to go straight to leh airport via delhi with no rest. The tour guide suggested to only acclimatize for a day then go to pangong lake for two and back for one… Will we be okay? Do I need to stay the night in delhi? Should we go by car?


    Dear dheeraj,first of all, i must say that you respond promptly to all the querries,within few hours,really appreciate…as i am travelling from srinagar to leh,i went through your blog on how to plan the journry on srinagar leh highway,Iam travelling with my wife and 8 yr old daughter,we are all healthy and quite active(thank God),we will be reaching leh on 23rd june,at around 12 pm,the previous day(22nd) we will be taking a night halt at alchi,(you suggested it in your blog),21st night will be in kargil,I want to know whether this is sufficient acclimatization,as we plan to do leh to nubra on 24th,overnite at nubra,(pls suggest a place??desert oasis)25th,back from nubra,26th to pangong,overnite at pangong,27th,back to leh,on 28th we are flying back…

    • Anshul, that will be very much sufficient for raising the altitude slowly to Leh. Just keep in mind, along with it YOU MUST keep your bodies adequately hydrated. Use enough juices as water sometimes is difficult to gulp forcefully. It will help a lot. Keep your activity after reaching Leh to bare minimum, short walks, again ample of water and good diet. In Nubra you can stay at Hunder. Last time I stayed at Yourdum Guest House – Hunder, Nubra Valley, Ladakh | Review

  58. deven mehta on

    sir, please give me your contact number, already e-mail you many times for that, we are planing to go leh in july 1st week, our aim is Amarnath Yatra, 1st we will dont amarnath yatra and thn we will go leh, our registration for amarnath is on 1st july, i heard there is a lama’s festival so we are confused abt is,, please give me your contact details so i can clear some confusion…

  59. we plan to visit leh and other parts in early may. we will fly to leh from delhi day 1 and acclimatize , on day 3 go to nubra, stay overnight at nubra, day 6 pangong lake.day 8 leave leh. the rest of the days 2,4,5,7 in and around leh. does it seem a good schedule as far as acclimatize goes. our 11 year old daughter is travelling with us.thanks.

    • Anu, yes, it seems a very good schedule I will say. First two days are utmost importance. Follow the tips in above article and keep resting for first two days. Hydration is key over there and rest for couple of days.

  60. Hello Dhiraj,
    What a wonderful and helpful blog. Thank you. It’s really nice that you have taken your passion and are using what you gain from it to help so many travelers. My question is – Are Two days of acclimation in Leh enough before heading to Nubra Valley and crossing the pass? I know Nubra Valley is at a lower elevation but crossing the pass is the challenge. We will be arriving from the USA and have 2 days to acclimatize before having to start our itenary. Wanted to get an opinion from someone like you. Thank you.

    • Sheetal, thanks alot. Yes, two days are good to go. Take necessary precautions as suggested in the article above. Hydration and rest are key to acclimatization in initial days. Yes, crossing the pass will be challenge, so keep the stay to minimum over there. Don;t worry too much, you should be good to go. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh by Air followed by many travelers including me at the link here for 8 days: Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air.

      First two days will certainly help you get an idea.

  61. dr.sonu patel on

    please sir guide me is der any watercluster problem during road journy as snow will melt in early june period and water will b lodge on road so can we able to drive through these water cluster
    or we can avoide this problem in last week of july???????

  62. hi dheeraj

    is there any major problem of water crossing during mid june as snow going to melt and will create road blocks is it so ??? or we can manage driving in that type of water cluster on rough road??
    please guide me sir

  63. sonu patel on

    According to my knowledge dalai lama going to come at Ladakh on 1st week of July to 15 of July so it’s batter to go in mid June

  64. dr.sonu patel on

    which time is better june end or july end because someone says dat at end of july u will not find much water crossing which is going to make ur drive easy but frankly speeking my mind is not ready to wait till july end …..
    but u tel me i will follow ur timing only

    • I will say go with June, avoid first two weeks of July as it is time for Kalachakra festival and there will be lacs of people around there in Leh that time of the year.

  65. dr.sonu patel on

    hellow dhiraj
    me n my wife r planning to go leh ladakh on last week of june by car bmw x1 is proper car to go and is it safe to travel me and my wifw alone
    second can u suggest me route and places where we can visit and where we can stay
    please answer me as soon as possible so we can plan accoriding to dat

  66. Hi I’m planning to a trip in kulu manali in december
    i’m suffering from asthma so will this asthma affect me when i go to this trip?

    • Sahana, carry your regular medicines with you and it shall be fine enough. You will not be scaling much of height in visiting Kullu and Manali, so nothing much to worry about AMS too. It is regular destination and is not at all at high altitude.

      PS: Sorry for delayed reply as I was traveling Ladakh for last couple of weeks.

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • thank u for ths useful information.
        Nw i hv gained confidence to pack my travel bag..

  67. vijayakumar on

    thank you very much this site was very helpfull for me and my daughter. we both will be traveling on 24 sep 2013 by air directly to leh.as per your expereince srinagar leh route will be diff for us .

    • Vijay, it is best to travel to Leh from Srinagar by road as the ascend is very gradual and it helps in best way for acclimatization.

  68. Abhay Krishnan on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m planning a bike trip to Leh from Manali via Rahtang Pass. Will we be able to acclimatize properly if we are taking this route.

    • Abhay, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

  69. Hi Dhiraj!
    Would u plz let me know whether it is advisable to go for Ladakh tour during August or September? Actually we have planned to go there during that time. Whether it is possible to cover whole Ladakh during Octobre. We intend to enter through Kargil and to end the tour through Manali, keeping Tso Moriri as the last spot to cover. Our team will consist of 60+, 50+ as well as 20+ people.Remember, we intend to cover entire Ladakh as far as possible. Whether it is O K to have from Delhi to Delhi.Plz let me know whether the weather is favourable (generally) during August/ September, considering heavy rain and flood during August 2010.

  70. further if u can suggest taxi operators for the Srinagar- Leh rout.

  71. Sir i want to go srinagar to leh by road in the month of may, kindly tell which time will be ok for this trip, the highway will be open on may month. Thanks and your sugessions are realy helpfull.

    • Pradeep, in May the Highway may not be open or may be open and the chances are 50-50. If you can make it to second week of june then both Manali – Leh as well as Srinagar – Leh will be highly likely open.

      Dheeraj Sharma

  72. Hi Dheeraj,

    Went to the doctor, so that he could prescribe diamox, and to understand the dosage. But he was unaware that diamox is also used for preventing AMS. He said it is used for glucoma. What should i do.

    • Hi Glenda,

      Then better check with some good doctor, may be who knows that it is also used for AMS 🙂 … Or on the other hand, take care of the points mentioned above as precautionary tips and you shall be fine with the trip.

      Sorry for the delayed reply.

      Dheeraj Sharma

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        I have just returned from my trip to Ladakh.

        Thanks to your guidance I had a wonderful time.

        I did not carry diamox with me, but since I went from the srinagar route, I did not face any problems at all.

        Thanks a ton for your help.

        • Very glad to know about your lovely experience Glenda. Feel very nice that my blog helped you had a lovely trip 🙂


  73. nilesh patel on

    Hello Dhiraj

    i have planned to go to leh dt:-23/07/2012 from ahmedabad. I will reach sonmarg on 26/07/2012 night.

    At that time Amarnath yatra will be on,so i just wanted to know that from jammu to sonmarg there is any type of harresment from j&k police or military. Is it safe to go at that time from jammu to leh via srinagar or from manali to leh? reply asap

    • Hello Nilesh,

      Yes, they do pose some concerns but mostly allow tourist to go by with some rigorous security checks. But, generally it would be OK to travel if you do not mind some delays or security stops at quite a few places.


  74. Hi Dheeraj

    I am planning a trip to Leh for one week from 15th June.

    Two questions:

    1. I will be flying into Leh travelling 17 hrs at a stretch. I am flying Hong Kong – Singapore – Delhi – Leh. Could this increase the extent of AMS.

    2. My parents who are 72 and 65 plan to join me for the trip travelling from Mumbai. Could AMS affect them more.




    • Hello Manish,

      I guess, you meant 15 July. AMS affect people irrespective of age for healthy people. So, like your parents you are also equally vulnerable to AMS. If you can fly to Srinagar and then take on the journey by road from there then it will be much easy on your body.

      If you are flying directly then your first two days should be planned like below only:

      Day 1 | Delhi – Leh (By Flight)
      — Checkin at Hotel. Many hotels provide free pick and drop from Airport. Ask while you book them.
      — Take ample of rest as well as water or anything that keep your body hydrated enough. DO NOT OVER HYDRATE. Take ORS Soluted water or ORS – L tetra packs from home.
      — Do not over exert your body at any cost. Avoid too much up-down on stairs or avoid it in entirety, if possible.
      — After 5-6 Hrs of rest you can visit Leh Palace, Local Leh market, Shankar Gompa .
      — If you feel exerted go back to Hotel, have dinner at Hotel and take rest. Avoid any exertion. Else continue and,
      — Follow the sunset by stroll at Changspa road and have a nice dinner on varied cuisines offered in-around Changspa road.
      — Go back to hotel for overnight stay at Leh.
      Day 2 | Leh Local Sighseeing + Inner Line Permits
      — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here:
      — Hire a taxi from Leh taxi stand or Hotel whichever suits you.
      — Bargain hard with taxi driver. Book that single taxi for entire trip after explaining the complete plan.
      — Take his inputs if you feel reasonable and if required modify the plan accordingly but should suits you best.
      — Ask him to be with you guys starting first day itself, if required and charged reasonable else do it at your own.
      — Again DO NOT over exert and take little steps and slow walks only.
      — If feeling OK then do Local sightseeing include Namgyal Gompa, Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa, Main Market, Hall of Fame, Spituk Gompa, Changspa Road Stroll in evening
      — Do not use stairs at any of these places just to see them as it will exert your body much more.
      — Overnight at Leh

      You can read more tips on Hydrated body here: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

      Dheeraj Sharma

  75. parini vyas on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I have been reading about AMS from a longtime. Recently I came across this "Asthmatic people should avoid going to ladakh" on the internet.. How true is this?

    • Hello Parini,

      I will direct you to the pioneer for such questions "Vistet" at his blog here. He will be most apt person to answer this question after any doctor 🙂 … So, consult them both!!

      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Parini, asthmatic people are more likely to have breathing problems in Ladakh but whether one can cope up to it or not is something none can say for sure.

      With adequate medication and precaution (extremely zero level of physical activity), one might be able to finish his/ her Ladakh trip but how worthwhile that would be, is a question that only you can answer for yourself.

  76. sayee krishnan on

    Dear Dheeraj,
    Excellent advise on the site and I am following this closely. I need your advise as well. I am visiting Manali with my family (wife and 2 kids – aged 12 and 7 years) in May 2012 and the itenary is as follows
    Day 1 Delhi to Simla, overnight at Simla

    Day 2 Simla to Manali overnight stay at Manali

    Day3 Rohtang Pass

    Day 4- Kulu Manikaran

    Day 5 return to Delhi via volvo

    My question in light of AMS

    After a day travel from Simla to Manali on Day2 and a overnight stay at Manali I am planning to do Rohtang pass next day – will an overnight stay at Manali help my family to acclamaitize or do I need another full day before I take up Rohtang travel – please advise

    • Well, i have been to simla, as well as manali. Though not at the same time z u r planing.

      I traveled with my son 4 years of age and we took a road trip. We traveled straight to manali from delhi with overnight journey. It was beautiful, and my child didn't suffer anything majoy except routing motion sickness in hills.

      Then we enjoyed d day at manali and next day we again drove to Rohtang pas.

      Infact, that time I didnt even thought about HMS. Lucky me, there was not even single episode of any discomfort among my whole family including my son.

      And the journey from Manali to Rohtang pass is awesome.

      So u need not worry about, until n unless they suffer with some ailments.

      Infact, i m planing to take him to manali – leh route this week.

      • Sachin, as I said on the other post Rohtang Pass is nothing as compared to what you will get on Manali – Leh Highway. Plus it is the sleep at high altitude that makes the matter worse, a hike to high altitude and then back to low altitude will not make any difference but constant exposure to high altitude with non-acclimatized body, is like calling the trouble to yourself. I have seen, read and heard through my blog various instances of ugly experiences. Rohtang Pass does have lots of vegetation around, you go few KMs down and there is even more towards Manali side. At Manali – Leh highway, most of the time you would be at altitude (14K feet) more than Rohtang Pass (is 13K feet) beyond Darcha and there is no vegetation at all or you can say almost very minimum. This makes breathing more difficult and lack of oxygen also counts for AMS issues.

        Dheeraj Sharma

        • Chitradhamodaran on

          Greetings!!! I’m Chitradhamodaran, South Indian, planning for a Trip from Manali –Srinagar from 28th June to 11 the July .The Tour was planned by a 7 YEARS EXPERIENCED Himalayan Bike raider come Travel’s Owner .We, 15 Bike Raiders and Two family in INNOVA are the Tour team .The Tour is planned in such a way that, Max 150Km /day is Travel ( from 7 am to 15.00 PM) and Rest till Leh.
          Just referring Internet ,I found your valuable tips . You are recommending to start from Srinagar, but it was well before organized to start from Ratang .So, it found difficult to change .
          My questions are ;-
          a)What will be peak climate at day & Night
          b)We are plan to Buy Oxygen cylinder at Chandigar .Do you recommend any Shop or
          Brand. Apart from Diamox, we are carrying Head-ache tablet . is it any more Medicine is require
          c)Diamox has to be 3 times per day ?
          d)My Husband is Aged 49, Fat and he will be uncomfortable if NO free air. Is it any danger
          In the Trip. Last year we were at Manali and he was so comfortable .But , it is New Route & High attitude .So pls advise.
          e)We are using Thermal wear, T-Shirt, Fleece , Woolen Swatter & Rain coat and Thermal cloth for Head to Neck , Gloves for Hand, Leather shoe & Socks .Is it ok or Need more precaution.
          f) Incase of emergency, Hospitals are available on the way ?
          g) Your are recommending Carbohydrates Food . Hope Rice is high Carbohydrates Food. Is it available in Hotels there . Pls advise list of Carbohydrates Food ?
          h)Is it ORS – L tetra packs is available in all shop in the Trip route
          i)Honey, Lemon , Glucose and Nuts shall be effective food during travel ?
          j)How the climate in June end to July ?
          k)We are staying Two days in Sri Nagar . In that, one day in lake . Pls list the beautiful site seeing Places in Srinagar with in 100 Kms

          We are so impressed in your answer and brought confident . Expecting your kind reply for the above and any more advise ,if shall be better .
          Thanking you ,
          Best regards ,

        • Please find my replies below:

          a) It will be mostly pleasant in July.
          b) Small Oxygen cylinders will not help much as they dont last long.
          c) Please consult your doctor first before taking diamox. It has side effects and should be taken under supervision of doctor only.
          d) AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any physical health condition. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D..
          e) Should be fine.
          f) No hospitals are available few army settlements are there who will help. But, they are not close but too much away from each other. Consider 100+ KMs on Manali – Leh Highway
          g) Yes, it is available.
          h) No, you will need to carry them
          i) Yes, all should be effective.
          k) Pay a day visit to Gulmarg if possible else drop it.

    • Hi Shrihari,

      Indeed it is very important and yet people take it very lightly. I do try my best to convey people about the same but guess lack of holidays compel them to take such risks. But, one should always feel and be serious regarding AMS. Sad, to hear that… May god bless him. Thanks for the share as it may help others to analyze that situation is not that simple in greater Himalayas than what they think.