Zanskar Valley, nestled in a remote corner of Ladakh, is a hot topic this season among the adventure lovers who embark on the adrenaline rushing journeys in trans-Himalayas every year.

Looking for a detailed day by day Zanskar Valley Itinerary?
Looking for a detailed day by day Zanskar Valley Itinerary?

Since I am getting loads of queries related to Zanskar Valley this year, and of course, we had our DoW Mega Meet 2015 in Zanskar Valley only, I thought why not share the most common itinerary for Zanskar Valley and help everyone make an amazing journey filled with full of adventure to this wonderland.

The alternate itinerary also covers Srinagar – Leh Highway and if you have more time on hand, feel free to leave a comment below so that I can help you with a plan to exit Ladakh over Manali – Leh Highway.

Reflections in Twin lakes of Penzi La Pass in Zanskar Valley
Reflections in Twin lakes of Penzi La Pass in Zanskar Valley

Why travel to Zanskar Valley from Srinagar – Kargil side?

I have started from Srinagar side because it gives at least two benefits, if not more. Firstly, the body acclimatizes better due to gradual ascent by the time you reach Padum in Zanskar Valley. Hence, fewer chances of getting stuck with Acute Mountain Sickness or shortly called as AMS.

Secondly, you can travel back to Leh and further over Manali – Leh Highway through Tso Moriri in case you have missed Tso Moriri in your last trip to Ladakh, which most commonly is the case.

For now, these two reasons are good enough to start your road trip to Zanskar Valley from Srinagar side 🙂

Trip to Zanskar Valley in 8 Days – Common Itinerary

The road to Zanskar Valley runs through Suru Valley. Hence, you will be able to cover the Suru Valley, too, while following this itinerary. In case you have already visited Ladakh, I will strongly advise that you do not distract yourself and focus just on Suru Valley and Zanskar Valley over these 8-9 days.

Zanskar is one of the most enchanting and scenic valleys with landscape and culture identical to the rest of Ladakh, at times more beautiful than the Changthang region. The fall or autumn colors are just majestic to witness as those beautiful orangish colors make it no less than a wonderland.

What Zanskar Attractions does it cover?

Besides regular sightseeing of Srinagar – Kargil Highway, you will be witnessing a breathtaking glacier in touch distance, named Drang Drung Glacier while passing over the Penzi La Pass that connects Suru Valley with Zanskar Valley.

Apart from that, you will be visiting the Rangdum Gompa, Zongkhul Monastery, and Zang La Fort near Padum. However, the most amazing thing that you can do apart from these eight days is to explore the unexplored trek of Phugtal Monastery (read more on Phugtal Monastery – Zanskar Valley) which is uniquely located into the cliffside like a honeycomb and considered as one of the remarkable sites in whole Zanskar Valley.

What about Phuktal Monastery?

I will write a detailed travel guide on Phugtal Monastery trek (also called Phuktal Monastery) with all the required details but as of now, you can keep it like if you are beginner it will take about 5 days of the trek at easy pace else you can do it in 4 days if you are intermediate trekker.

In the last, you may give a shot at a road less traveled in Ladakh, the Umba La Pass route that directly connects Sankoo to Drass. Finally, you can end the trip at Srinagar from where you can fly back home after spending a relaxing night in Shikara over Dal Lake 🙂

Sounds Interesting???

So, now where is the plan:

Day by Day Plan – Zanskar in 8 Days

Let’s look at this detailed day by day plan of the Zanskar Valley trip in 8-9 days. You will travel from Srinagar Leh Highway and come back home via the same route.

Welcome to Zanskar Valley
Welcome to Zanskar Valley

Day 1 | Delhi – Srinagar and then Srinagar – Sonamarg (79 KMs) – Zozi La (107 KMs) – Drass (144 KMs) – Kargil (202 KMs)

  • Early morning flight to Srinagar (reach 7 AM) and then by road to Kargil via Zojila pass
  • Kargil War Memorial at Drass
  • Tiger Hill view from a roadside Dhabha while having lunch
  • Arrange permits/bookings for PWD Rest Houses at Rangdum/Parkachik (if possible else be on your own)
  • Will take about 8-9 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Kargil

Day 2 | Kargil – Sankoo (42 KMs) – Panikhar (67 KMs) – Parkachik (98 KMs) – Rangdum (138 KMs) – Penzi La (165 KMs) – Padum (255 KMs)

  • Have breakfast either at Kargil, preferably packed breakfast from the hotel
  • It is going to be a long day, hence, leave for sure by 7 AM
  • Have lunch at Rangdum, specifically not letting you stay at Rangdum as it a much harsh place than Padum with the least facilities. So, better break journey while coming back
  • Beautiful Stod River join you after descending from Penzi La
  • Will take about 9-11 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 3 | Rest day at Padum and Zongkhul Monastery

  • Rest at Padum and enjoy the stay to acclimatize better
  • After lunch, you can do Padum – Tungri (17 KMs) – Zongkhul (37 KMs)
  • Will take about 2-3 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 4 | Padum – Stongde (15 KMs) – Zang La Fort (32 KMs) – Karsha (62 KMs) – Padum (74 KMs)

  • Explore local sightseeing in Padum including Sani, Stongdey, and Karsha monasteries, Zang La Fort
  • An old monastery situated in the nearby village of Tsa-zar, midway between Stongde and Zangla
  • Sheela Village Waterfall: You can spend some time at the waterfall at Sheela village while coming back to Padum from Stongde
  • Karsha monastery: Evening visit for a nice view of Padum village
  • Stongde monastery: Morning visit for better views
  • Zang La Fort: Ahead of Stongde and offers some scenic wide views
  • Will take about 3-4 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Padum

Day 5 | Padum – Penzi La Pass (90 KMs) – Rangdum (117 KMs)

  • On the way see and click some lovely pictures of Drang Drung Glacier
  • Spot some wildlife including Marmots as well on the way to Penzi La
  • Stop by at Statso – Langtso Twin Lakes on the way to Penzi La
  • Some time at Penzi La with pictures
  • Rangdum Gompa is a MUST DO which is about 2-3 KMs from Rangdum
  • Enjoy any leftovers while going towards Padum earlier
  • Will take about 5 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Rangdum, avoid JKTDC Rest House at Rangdum and prefer a homestay

Day 6 | Rangdum – Parkachik (40 KMs) – Sankoo (96 KMs) – Umba La – Drass (160 KMs)

  • Spend some time at beautiful Panikhar village and enjoy the scenic beauty around
  • Excellent views of Nun – Kun from Purikutchey
  • Trek down to the river and relax for a while on the way
  • The rock-carved Maitreya at Kartse Khar
  • Have lunch at Sankoo
  • Give a shot at the unexplored Umba La route on the way back
  • Will take about 7-8 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Drass

Travel Tip: If you are driving yourself to Zanskar, you must check 40 must-have things to carry on a self-drive road trip to Zanskar Valley.

Day 7 | Drass – Zozi La (37 KMs) – Sonamarg (65 KMs) – Srinagar (144 KMs)

  • Enjoy the ride in Dal Lake and sleepover in Shikara
  • Will take about 5-6 Hrs
  • Overnight stay at Srinagar

Day 8 | Srinagar – Delhi By Morning Flight

  • Back to Sweet Home
And it meets into Zanskar river
And it meets into Zanskar river

Itinerary for Srinagar – Zanskar – Leh Trip

In case you want to include Leh local sightseeing as well to complete the journey of Srinagar – Leh Highway, you follow the below plan. Traveling on this route you can fly to Srinagar, cover Zanskar Valley and then fly out of Leh.

Day 7 | Drass – Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

  • Cover Mulbekh Maitreya, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes
  • On the way, you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 8 | Leh – Delhi By Morning Flight

  • Back to Sweet Home

Itinerary for Srinagar – Zanskar – Tso Moriri – Manali – Leh Highway

Finally, in this travel plan option, you can cover Tso Moriri and Manali Leh Highway as well. It will only be possible if you have the luxury of more days in hand.

Many people on their first trip to Ladakh only cover Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley. Hence, the chances of leaving the Tso Moriri lake are very high. Now that you are making a trip to Zanskar Valley, you may want to cover Manali – Leh Highway and Tso Moriri lake too.

If that is the case, then you can follow this itinerary for Zanskar Valley trip:

Day 7 | Drass – Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh

  • Cover Mulbekh Maitreya, Lamayuru Monastery, Lunar Landscapes
  • On the way, you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu in Sham Valley region
  • Overnight at Leh
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 8 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping or move to Chumathang

  • Overnight at Leh/Chumathang

Day 9 | Leh/Chumathang – Tso Moriri via Chumathang

  • There are chances of AMS, hence it is better that you stay the previous night at Chumathang
  • Cover Karzok Monastery
  • Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
  • About 7-8 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Day 10 | 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
  • About 9-10 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Zanskar Travel Guide: If you want to deep dive into the detailed planning of your trip, you should refer my comprehensive travel guide of Kargil – Padum road trip.

Day 11 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali

  • On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the roadsides only
  • Overnight at Manali
  • About 11-12 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between and of course the mess at Rohtang Pass

Day 12 | Manali – Delhi

  • Return Home
  • About 13-14 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between

Zanskar Valley via Darcha – Shingo La Route

As of 2019 September, only one car was able to reach Padum from Darcha – Shingo La route. In the coming years, I expect to see this route from Manali – Darcha – Padum getting more attraction from the tourists.

Once it is fully operational and safe for travel, I will share more details on this route itinerary as well.

Other Zanskar Itineraries: You can also refer a 9-day travel itinerary for Leh – Zanskar – Leh.

Magical Rangdum Village
Magical Rangdum Village

Zanskar Road Trip – FAQs

When is the best time to visit Zanskar Valley?

The best time to visit Zanskar Valley is from June – July and then September month when monsoon rains reside from Northern India. It is not recommended at all to plan a trip to Zanskar in August or monsoon season. Even though it lies in the rain-shadow region, you will have to traverse the lower hills to reach Padum. You can check out my detailed article on the best time to travel to Ladakh & Zanskar Valley.

Can I make a trip to Zanskar using public transport?

Yes, you can make a trip to Zanskar using public transport. Kargil is well connected with JKSRTC buses with Srinagar as well as Leh. Once you reach Kargil, you can travel to Padum using infrequent buses or shared taxis running on Kargil – Padum road.


I hope this common of the itinerary for Zanskar Valley will be useful for travelers planning their journey at least for the first time to this hidden wonderland. Like I said before, you must give time to Zanskar Valley alone. Avoid mixing it up and cramping it in fewer days. You will not be able to appreciate the real beauty of this trans-Himalayan heaven.

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.

I will look forward to any queries or doubts or valuable suggestions and inputs you have and would love to discuss your custom plan as well in the comments section.


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.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Himadri sen on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    First of all, thank you for all the information on Zanskar. I keep coming back here every time i plan to go to the trans- Himalayan region. I like the Leh-Zanskar- Leh plan , i need to know if i can make the entire trip in a single taxi and how much will be the approx. cost ? Basically, need more input on the taxi part as it looks quite complicated.
    Also, i am planning for last week of september , will it be ok for zanskar?

    • No Himadri, the entire trip is not possible in a single taxi as only Kargil taxis can go for a drop to Padum and then only Padum based taxis can do local sightseeing in Zanskar. So, you will need a Leh taxi to drop you at Kargil, then Kargil taxi to reach Padum and finally Padum taxi that can do sightseeing in Zanskar and drop you to Leh. Last week of September should be good.

  3. Prasoon Awasthi on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning for Zanskar Valley trip this July’18. I just want to ask is this a good time to visit Zanskar Valley.
    Also we are planning for bike trip from Srinagar. Are bikes on rent avaialbe in Srinagar. Please suggest me the itinerary.

    • July is good time to visit Zanskar Valley. Yes, there are couple of rental agencies in Srinagar and you can take rented bikes to Zanskar Valley

  4. karansharma on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning to visit Zanskar in the 1st week of June. I wish if u can help me on several things. We are planning to cover Zanskar, Leh, and one lake out of Pangong and Moriri. Going via Srinagar and back via Manali on my XuV500.
    What r stay options in Kargil, Padum, Rangdum and Tso Moriri? Do we need to make advanced reservations?
    Do we need any permit to visit any of these places?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • I will suggest you complete itinerary of Ladakh and Zanskar and you can pick and choose the places in Ladakh from it

      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 | Srinagar – 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
      — 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 to overnight stay at Kyagar or Tiger or Sumur
      — Enjoy walks in Hunder, Deskit, Sumur villages for the last 3 days

      Day 13 | Sumur/Kyagar – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 14 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
      — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 15 | Leh – Sham Valley – Leh
      — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 16 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)

      Day 17 | Pangong Tso Lake – Shey – Thicksey – Leh
      — Mention all the places of this route as mentioned above on the permits and Nyoma as well
      — Overnight at Hanle

      Day 18 | Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Nyoma – Loma – Hanle
      — Overnight at Hanle

      Day 19 | Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Korzok / Tso Moriri Lake OR Hanle – Salsal La – Tso Moriri Lake
      — Overnight at Tso Moriri lake

      Day 20 | 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 21 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Jispa

      Day 22 | Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 23 | Manali – Delhi
      — Return home

      Day 24 | As buffer day that can be used at will wherever required by you

      You will need inner line permits on reaching Ladakh to visit Nubra, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri

      • Thank u very much. This will be really helpful in planning. What about stay options??

        • 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

          Few readers/members of DoW have suggested below options for Kargil though I mostly stay with Hotel Greenland in Kargil:

          Aaman Guest House (just 3-4 kms after entering Kargil check post), it was a homestay and stay and food was awesome.
          Daspa Guest House (confused it with other) near bypass bridge. Name: Mr. Gulam Mohammed; Mob: 09469730240. 
          Paradise Guest House in Kargil is a decent place to stay

          For Padum:
          Go with Omasila Hotel/Guest House and at Rangdum, La Himalaya Homestay/Guest House.

  5. Hi,

    I just want to ask for the update is there any road now from Lamayuru to Zanskar ? if yes , is public transport go through it ? I only know that the road to Zanskar is via Kargil

    • No Rio, there is no road from Lamayuru to Zanskar made through yet. It will take couple of years and that road is from Nimmu, near Leh going through Chilling to Zanskar. Hopefully this year end, the road from Darcha, Manali – Leh Highway to Padum, Zanskar will be made through.

  6. Bhaskar Roy on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Have planned to visit Zanskar valley in 2018. My travel route plan is as mentioned below.

    Reach Srinagar by flight – Drass – Kargil – Padum / Zanskar Sight seeing – back to Kargil – visit Batalik [Dah & Hanu Village] – visit Mulbech Buddha – Leh hotel drop – Take flight from Leh.

    For this I need to know:

    1. Will it be possible for a single cab driver to make us travel through the entire route? If answer is NO, please tell us as per respective taxi union norms, how many cab driver needs to be arranged and what will be there operating route.

    2. Is there any separate list of cab drivers for Kargil-Zanskar area in your blog? If YES, please give us the link.

    3. Is there any direct road to reach Mulbech from Daah village or do I need to go back to Kargil again for starting my journey towards Mulbech?

    • Hey Bhaskar,

      You will need a driver from Kargil who will be able to take care of the entire trip. Nowadays even in Zanskar, outside taxis run but that might change or not change in next season. So, I will suggest that you hire Kargil based driver taxi and go for the entire trip up to drop to Leh. You can call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the more comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.

      You should take Batalik route to Dah Hanu and can come down Chitkan village form Dah and go back towards Mulbekh. If that route is closed, I will suggest to skip Mulbekh and head to Lamayuru only as it is not worth to track back for the buddha statue that can be covered later on. Also, there is a similar statue at KhartcheKhar village near Sankoo. So, you can visit that instead.


      • Bhaskar Roy on

        Dear Dheeraj,

        Thanks a ton for your reply.

        Below is a first cut plan for our Zanskar Tour.

        4th Aug Sat – Reach Srinagar by Flight. Stay at Srinagar

        5th Aug Sun – Travel up to Kargil. En route sight seeing. Stay at Kargil

        6th Aug Mon – Travel up to Padum. Stay at Padum.

        7th Aug Tues – Padum sight seeing [day 1]

        8th Aug Wed – Padum sight seeing [day 2]

        9th Aug Thurs – Travel up to Kargil, all en route sight seeing including Rangdum etc.

        10th Aug Fri – Go to Batalik for visiting Aryans village, then go to Mulbech Buddha. Same day travel up to Leh. Stay at Leh.

        11th Aug Sat – Rest day at Leh

        12th Aug Sun – Return from Leh by flight.

        Please check this plan and let me know:

        1. If the plan is weather wise OK or not. Possibilities of tour getting spoiled for rainfall etc.

        2. We want to hire a car with local driver. Which car will be better – innova / xylo / scorpio? We are a group of 2-3 persons.

        3. We are Indian citizen. Please let me know, how many permits we need to collect for this tour and from where the same could be collected. [During our Ladakh tour all permits were arranged by our hotel manager].

        4. As of now, if there is any certain regulation about the road or not. [Example: Rohtang Pass stay closed for cars on every Tuesday].

        5. If there is any choice of hotels for this region available in your blog. Last time while traveling Ladakh, we had stayed at hotels as suggested in your blog, and the experience was very satisfactory 🙂


        • Hello Bhaskar,

          1. The plan looks fine but I will again suggest skipping Mulbekh as it will add unnecessarily travel but still I think there is rest day in Leh, so manageable but your choice on it.

          2. Go for Xylo or Innova in that preference only.

          3. No permit is required to visit Zanskar Valley but as you will be going through Batalik route, you may need permit from Kargil DC office just for that day.

          4. The time you are visiting, there will be no road issues. All the passes including Zojila Pass and Penzila Pass will be open all the time unless of course there is no landslide.

          5. Hmm, for Padum check with Nobu Omasila at +919469369109, he runs Hotel Omasila. Moderate budget with decent comfort and hospitality. I always stay with Hotel Greenland, They have both economic and deluxe blocks available with them. Very decent place to stay. Else, few readers/members of DoW have suggested below options:

          Aaman Guest House (just 3-4 kms after entering Kargil check post), it was a homestay and stay and food was awesome.
          Daspa Guest House (confused it with other) near bypass bridge. Name: Mr. Gulam Mohammed; Mob: 09469730240. 
          Paradise Guest House in Kargil is a decent place to stay

  7. Mohit Singhvi on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Planning to fly from/to Leh and then go to Zanskar valley. Itinerary as below:

    7 Sep : Delhi – Leh and go to Lamayuru for night stay (about 115 km – but rather acclimatize at Lamayuru) or stay at Leh and acclimatize?

    8 Sep : Reach Kargil by evening from Lamayuru or Leh by shared taxi

    9 Sep: Reach Rangdum or Padum ( depending on shared taxi availability)

    10 -11 Sep Padum and around (monasteries and passes) – local taxi

    12 Sep: Reach Kargil / Mulbekh ( shared taxi)

    13 Sep: Reach Leh (enroute see all monasteries like Likir, Alchi, etc) (private taxi)

    14 Sep: Fly from Leh

    Alternatively, I can travel from Srinagar ( not sure about peace status there) and do the Kargil – Dah – Lamayuru circuit instead of Alchi, Leh, etc)

    Pl suggest..

    • Depending on the situation in Kashmir, which seems normal at tourist spots as of now as per updates from most DwD Community forum members, I will prefer to go from Srinagar and come back from Leh.

      7 Sep : Delhi – Srinagar early morning flight and move to Kargil
      8 Sep : Kargil – Padum
      9 Sep: Padum rest, local sightseeing
      10 Sep: Padum rest and local sightseeing
      11 Sep: Padum – Rangdum
      12 Sep: Rangdum – Lamayuru
      13 Sep: Lamayuru – Leh
      14 Sep: Fly from Leh


    am travelling to leh ladakh from pune .. patni top.. kargil .. padum.. kargil.. leh .. nubra valley complete.. pangong lake.. tso moriri lake .. sarchu/jispa… manali back to pune…
    no shortage of time … so wanted to know how many days in zanskar is good … thanx

  9. Paramvir Singh on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    Always grateful for your posts. 🙂

    We have planned Delhi to Leh trip from 16th June to 1st Jul(16 day) , with 2nd july as buffer.

    My first question, is it worth to visit padum village keeping 2 days in plan.

    Day 1: Kargil to Padum, via Sankoo, Panikhar, Rangdum
    Day2: Back via same route to Kargil
    and next day continue to Leh journey..

    We are confused because we won’t be able to explore places around Zanskar in 2 days..

    Please suggest, we want to see as mush places as we can.

    Thank You,
    Paramvir Singh

      • Paramvir Singh on

        Hey Dheeraj,

        We did some brainstorming and tried to accommodate Padum by Riding Sri Nagar to Panikhar directly (instead of kargil) and then utilize 2 days for zanskar valley. Please check below itinerary and suggest:

        Date Day From and to Places to visit
        6/16/2017 Day 1 Delhi to Jammu
        6/17/2017 Day 2 Jammu to Srinagar/Sonamarg
        6/18/2017 Day 3 Srinagar/Sonamarg to Panikhar via kargil
        Kargil war memorial, Suru River
        6/19/2017 Day 4 Panikhar to padum
        Sight of nun-kun hills ( after Panikhar)
        Parkachik La & prakachik Glacier
        Rangdum Gompa (5km from Rangdum)
        Two small lakes called Ta Tso and the Lang Tso lakes and the massive
        Drang Drung glacier at Pensi La
        Sani Gompa at padum
        12km from padum, bardan Gompa
        Pibting Gompa
        Khursha Gompa(11km from Padum)
        6/20/2017 Day 5 Padum to Kargil Stongde Gompa(18km)
        Zangla Fort (35km from padum)
        6/21/2017 Day 6 Kargil to Leh Mulbekh Monastery
        Fotu la
        Lamayuru Monastery
        Alchi monastery
        Likir monastery
        basgo palace
        Pathar Sahib
        Magnetic Hills

        6/22/2017 Day 7 Leh sightseeing & Permit applied online
        6/23/2017 Day 8 Leh to Nubra via khardung la
        Diksit Monastery(old & new)
        hunder monastery
        turtuk village

        6/24/2017 Day 9 Nubra to Leh
        camel ride at hunder (If it is available in morning)
        sumur monastery
        panamik(hot springs)

        6/25/2017 Day 10 Leh to pangong Tso
        Shey Palace
        Thiksey Monastery
        Hemis Monstery
        Pangong Tso
        6/26/2017 Day 11 Pangong Tso to Hanle  via Man, Merak, Chushul, Loma
        Chusul War memorial
        Tsaga/Chagga La
        6/27/2017 Day 12 Hanle to Tso Moriri   via Loma, Nyoma, Mane,Sumdo
        Namashang la
        Tso Moriri
        Korzok Monastery
        6/28/2017 Day 13 Tso moriri to Sarchu  via Sumdo,Pang
        Tso Kar
        Thukjey Monastery

        6/29/2017 Day 14 Sarchu to Manali
        6/30/2017 Day 15 Manali to Delhi
        7/01/2017 Day 16 Buffer

        – Does revised route to Padum make sense, as we are investing 16 days we want
        to utilize some time and cover this place
        – To reach PaniKhar from Sri Nagar, can we reach in 9 hours approx, in case it takes
        more time we are okay to not roam around sonamarg and Kashmir Sightseeings
        – On our Journey to visit Nubra from Leh, we want to go directly Turtuk Village
        visiting diskit and hunder enroute. Is it advisable, or shall we stay night at hunder
        , because we want to experience the camel ride and not sure if it available in
        morning time.
        – Last is to cover Leh – Pangong Tso – Hanle – Tso Morriri -Sarchu -Tandi circuit, we
        are planning to carry 15-16 litters per bike petrol with us, as my bike gave 30
        Mileage in spiti and with fuel tank capacity of 13. we must be able to cover
        distance within 850KM. Please suggest.

        I hope this itinerary could be useful for travelers, thanks to my friend Mikesh.

        Again Dheeraj, DoW blog is fantastic and we really appreciate your efforts. 🙂

        Paramvir Singh

        • Hi Paramvir,

          I will suggest to take it easy and do not stress upon to include Zanskar Valley. Max if you have two days is what you can do is, make a trip to Rangdum – Penzi La pass, stay overnight at Rangdum and return to Kargil next. You will be able to cover Suru Valley at least. Trying to stress upon to fit Zanskar Valley will do only harm then good to the overall nice plan.

          Go directly to Turtuk without stopping in Hunder, then next day come back and stay at Hunder, Deskit enjoy these village and next day go to PAngong Tso via Shyok route in company of other vehicles.

          Hmm, it is fine but do rely upon other fuel options available in villages and if you re getting the fuel, do not shy away to take it. Carry a small thin cloth which can be used as filter for impurities in such black fuel


        • Paramvir Singh on

          Hey Dheeraj,

          I just want to share my trip experience with everyone and to thank you for guidance.

          You were right, we should not have destined to padum. Journey was too hectic, weather was extremely bad due to rain and cold and guess what, we missed to have lunch at Rangdhum because someone told us there are villages across penzi La. So we end up eating chocolates that we carried.

          Actually there was issue with self start in one bike so we planned to stay at padum instead of rangdhum so that we can get mechanic in morning.

          Otherwise trip was superb, we followed LEH -> Pangong (Man) -> Merak -> Chushul -> Loma -> Hanle -> Sumdo -> Morriri -> Tso Kar -> Tandi route. This was nearly 850 KM circuit so we carried total 67 liter petrol for 2 bullet. At end we had 7-8 ltrs extra fuel.

          I saw petrol pump under construction near to observatory route, which could be bliss for traveler if completes.

          Also observatory timings are 10AM – 5PM, we reached after 5 so missed to visit observatory, fellow travelers could note it.

          During end on manali highway we witness hardship near jispa because of cloudburst, we stayed at tent shop in zing zing bar and it was very difficult to cross baralacha having rain, cold and clouds around.

          I would suggest fellow bikers following:

          1. Prefer trip on your own vehicles, we spent nearly 10K extra on rent bike as it was in very bad condition and unexpected breakdown, like self issue make us ‘dhaka-start’ experts.
          2. Himalayan bike have few major problems, like coil get burnt, tight clutch, gear lever too tight and rear break shoe. Still if you are riding it, remember if self isn’t working, it means coil is gone.
          Lot of Himalayan were facing issue.
          3. Please carry bike tool kit, plas etc and if your bike have luggage carrier take extra screws, because constant jerks will rip off the carrier screws.
          4. Don’t forget to carry extra fuel, maybe you use it, but on the way struck bikers can get help.
          I met biker coming back from spiti due to bad weather and was out of petrol, so we happily helped him.
          5. There are few reliable mechanic,
          a. Mohan Sharma in LEH, near main petrol pump, LEH – Manali highway,
          b. Mahadev autos in udhampur
          They are experts, especially Mohan sharma and service fee etc are very genuine.

          Once again, thank you so much Dheeraj.
          Paramvir Singh

  10. Hi Deeraj,

    How much money would be required for accomodation and food considering the 8 day plan approx??

      • Thanks for reply…..Is it good to go without any booking for accomodation….. How will be the availability of rooms during July…

        • Yeah, if you are OK to search few place on reaching there and are not that much choosy about stay then well yes, you can do so on the spot too.

  11. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    What is the taxi rate from Kargil to Padum and back to Kargil if I reserve a private taxi ?

    2 days to reach Padum from Kargil
    1 day rest at Padum local sightseeing . I know this cost is different as I have to take separate car.
    2 days to come back to Kargil

    So how much the taxi will cost for Kargil-Padum-Kargil for 5 days ( 2 days up + 2 days down+ 1 day stay at Padum)

  12. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    When the road Kargil to Padum is expected to open this year considering Manali Leh opening earlier this year inspite of heavy snowfall ?

    • It is expected to open by the first week of June. Right now as per a bit stale updates road clearance has not reached Randgum from Kargil side and yet to reach Penzi La from Zanskar side.

  13. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    Thanks for replying on Zanskar query. I understand October is not a good time for Manali to Leh. However if I travel to and fro Leh by flight from Delhi Mid October do you see any issue to have a trip to Tso Moriri, Nubra , Pangong Tso in October middle keeping in mind that snowfall may happen anytime in Leh particularly those areas like Chang La, Khardung La etc.

    • Nilavra Ghosh on

      Hi Dheeraj ,
      Another query.. I heard nowadays we have accommodation in between Kargil and Padum in places like Parakchik, Panikhar, rangdum. So e can break journey at Parakchik instead of rangdum or we can reach padum in 3 days from Kargil with night stays at Parakchik, Rangdum as we have 7 year old kid. What kind of accommodation we have at Parakchik and RANGDUM ? aPART FROM THESE TWO PLACES ANY OTHER ACCOMMODATION IN BETWEEN ?

      • Hi Nilavra,

        Well, as you may know that age does not matter for acclimatization and 7-year-old kid can easily communicate annoyance/health issues. So, let’s not keep age factor in play here.

        Now, doing KArgil – Padum in 3 days, well, I understand you plan to break it in between but frankly speaking Rangdum is much harsh place than Padum and it does not help staying up there while going to Padum. Also, these places do not have medical facilities while Padum has a big hospital where things can be taken care if something goes wrong. Parakchik stay is very basic.

        If I were you, I will always stick to doing Kargil to Padum directly, resting in Padum for a couple of days, then while coming back overnight stay at Rangdum where La Himalaya Guest House is not up and running with attached bathrooms.

        • Nilavra Ghosh on

          Hi Dheeraj ,
          Thanks for the response. I am planning Zanskar this july. Another question…I read in one of your threads on Zanskar that couple of new roads being built – Darcha to Padum and Leh to Padum. What’s the status on thee roads ? Are these complete or when they are expected to be operational ? Can tourists like me go from Darcha to Shingo la at the moment ? Do BRO allow Darcha to Shingo La? do we need separate permission for that ? If I plan to come back from Leh to Manali I wish to visit Shingo la with an extra day at hand. is that possible ?

          What about the rest of the strectch from Shingo La to Padum ?
          What about Leh to Padum ?

        • Both roads are work in progress and not yet operational. Darcha to Shingo La pass is open but not any further and no permission is required. You can do it while staying at Jispa. Padum to Shingo La is not open yet.

    • Nilavra, how many days do you have in hand. I am just curious to know as you have many threads open, for Zanskar, PAngi, Lahaul, Ladakh with all destinations ;)….

      Anyways, back to question, both Tso Moriri and PAngong tso get very chilly and windy in nights and morning by that time. Consider sub-zero. So, not an ideal time to enjoy the nature. The snowfall can happen but that may block the road for only a day or two as it is not persistent snowfall unless you have luck running out from you.

  14. Nilavra Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    Is it possible to have Zanskar trip mid october ? I mean Kargil to Padum ?
    As you say Manali Leh is not advised in October so what about the zanskar trip in mid october ?
    Do people go to Padum that time of the year ?

    • Now a days, people do travel but keep in mind it gets cold and dry in Zanskar as well. Also, snowfall may happen but since last few years, snowfall is delayed mostly.

  15. PANKIT SHAH on

    HI, This is Pankit, My Cousin is Planning MANALI – LEH in JULY 17…. I wanted some information ….

    he is keen on doing MANALI LEH thru CAR…so can u give me some options where all he can visit once he reaches… LEH……

    thanking You ,


  16. Harish chander on

    Hi Dheeraj
    We have been twice to Ladakh pan gong and Nubia. This time we have planned from Jalandhar on 28 May to 8 June having 12 days strictly by Pajero sports family of 5. We want to cover zhanskar pan gong and toso Mori. Plushest the possibility and itenry. We all are frequent travellers and can move on any rough terrains for continues days. Pl suggest best possible itenry with home stay accommodations only

      • HARISH chander on

        We have only this period from 28 May to 8 June strictly. So pl suggest us best possible itnery to zhanskar , tso morrari or some route like kaza. We love off road tours. We have been to chitkul and sach pass

        • Harish, Zanskar Valley will most likely be closed during that time as Penzi La will open around the first week of June. Then Srinagar – Leh Highway will be open and most likely Manali-Leh will open too. You have 12 days in hand and can easily refer a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

          Drop the rest day to make it 12 day plan.

  17. Anuvab Ghosh on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I want to visit Zanskar Valley with the Leh-Ladakh tour. Is it possible to visit Zanskar directly from Leh through Zanskar Valley Road (not via Kargil) by Car in the end of September?
    Can you tell me any alternate tour plan including Zanskar with Leh trip? I have only 10 days in hand for the trip.

    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Anuvab,

      The direct road between Zanskar Valley and Ladakh has not been built/completed yet, so the only way to travel to Zanskar Valley is via Kargil only.

      Zanskar Valley needs at least 4 days ex. Kargil. Two days are required to reach Kargil from Leh and come back to Leh or Srinagar. This makes it 6 days. In case you are flying, you can do these 6 days and after returning to Leh, you can make a trip to Nubra Valley for 2 days and Pangong Tso for two days. Finally on Day 11 fly back from Leh.

      • Anuvab Ghosh on

        Thanks a lot Dheeraj for your valuable reply and also for the plan. Now we can make a proper plan. We have a plan to return through Manali, therefore this time may be we could not cover Zanskar.
        Moreover, we want to tough Turtuk in this tour. We have planned such way,
        01-New Del-Leh
        04-Nubra- Leh (if possible local sightseeing)
        05-Leh-Pangong Tso
        06-Pangong Tso – Leh
        07-Leh-Tso Moriri
        08-Tso Moriri – Jispa
        09-Jispa -Manali
        10-Manali- Chandigarh

        Is it working? and what about Turtuk? Can you give few more details?

        Thanks in advance.


        • Hi Anuvab,

          Well, the only concerning factor in the plan is that you may not have enough acclimatization before moving to Nubra Valley on Day 2. In general, if flying into Leh, it is recommended that you take at least two days of rest in Leh before moving to high altitude places. You can only do it in following ways:

          1. Add one day to your plan
          2. Skip Turtuk
          3. Take direct route from Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso.

        • Anuvab Ghosh on

          Thanks again Dheeraj for the reply. We have traveled Kinnau-Spitiwith Chandrataal in the last year. So we need much rest for acclimatization. As you suggest we can move Pangong Tso from Nubra, so we can manage one day extra which we can add on second day.

          I have some more queries, accommodations for Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and Jispa.

          What do u suggest for stay among Sarchu, Jispa and Keylong?

          And what about Turtuk? How it is? I have seen few images and information through internet.

          Thanks in advance.


        • 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

        • Anuvab Ghosh on

          Sorry, I have missed few texts in last reply. I mean to say…
          We have traveled Kinnau-Spiti with Chandrataal in the last year. We have faced few problems. So we need much rest for acclimatization in Leh.


      • Milada Izakovicova on

        Hello Dheeraj,

        how it looks with new direct road to Zanskar valley? When is the planned finish deadline? Is it possible to pedalling with bicycle (not motor bike) trough it now?

        Thanks a lot.


        • Hi Milada,

          The direct route to Zanskar Valley from Leh as well as Darcha – Manali is not yet complete. There was a setback on Padum side due to a flash flood last to last year. If you plan to pedal it, it will be quite a lot of journey where you will need to carry it while trekking. The road from Darcha to Shingo La and few KMs beyond has been opened by BRO last year but beyond that to reach Padum you may have to carry the bicycle alot. If you can get the porters and mules, it could be worth a try.

  18. Dear Dheeraj,
    If I have to go by Srinagar -Zanskar- Leh route , do you mean I will need 3 different taxi for the entire trip.
    I have been to kashmir and ladakh separately , now Zanskar is on my cards.
    Do you have any recommended taxi driver for srinagar to zanskar and zanskar site seeing and drop to leh?

    • Hello Himadri,

      From this year onward the taxi union rules in Zanskar have been relaxed and you no longer need to take individual taxis for it. If you want to do just Zanskar, any Kargil based taxi should be able to take your through Zanskar and now even Ladakh based taxis are also allowed. A Kargil based taxi is more preferable because of the region they are frequent to that route from the past and Ladakh/Srinagar guys will be starting their trips most likely from next season as earlier they were not allowed. You can refer the list: List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali

      • That is a great piece of information , thanks a lot Dheeraj.
        I have a few other questions-
        What is the best way to travel from Srinagar to Kargil on budget or do I will need to hire a taxi for dropping?
        Can it be done in public transport ? How much time will it take?

        • Yes, you can travel from daily buses from Srinagar to Kargil. However, from Kargil to Padum the buses are not that frequent. You either need a private taxi or you need to travel with local shared taxi that works by per seat basis of around Rs 1500

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for the details.
    I finished my trip to Zankar valley. (Shared taxi).
    including trek to Phutkal monastery.

    I just felt, a day stay in Phuktal is really required to enjoy the remoteness of the place 🙂
    And Padum was really awesome, such a big valley.

    Thanks again.

    My return journey from Padum to Kargil was night journey, and it was different experience though.
    (Because of some time constraints, I had).

    – Rohith

    • Awseome Rohith !! How about sharing the travel tale with us in DwD Community. It will be helpful to many other fellow travelers.

  20. Ashutosh Kumar on

    Hi dheeraj
    Is it possible to visit zanskar valley in mid nov, with a fwd high gc car.

  21. HI Dheeraj,

    Last time I asked about Spiti, which I have put on hold and instead want to plan Zanskar in July.
    The quotes I have received for the taxi are exorbitant. Rs 36,000 fro a four day trip from Kargil to Padum and back to kargil. the overall itinerary is as follows. Since I shall be travelling with wife and kinds, the program is relaxed.
    01 Arrival Srinagar Pickup to house boat, Afternoon visit Shalimar, Shankar Achariya,
    02 Srinagar to Kargil over night hotel,
    03 Kargil to Ragdum to overnight camp,
    04 Radum to Padum over night guest house,
    05 Padum Karsha, Stungday monastery visit back to Padum over night guest house,
    06 Padum to Rangdum overnight camp,
    07 Rangdum to Lamayuru over night hotel,
    08 Lamayuru to Leh over night guest house,

    Well the camps too are expensive at Rangdum. Any suggestions? Are the Taxi fares Okay?

    • I will say go directly to Padum instead of staying at Rangdum because it is a harsh place. Taxi fare is OK. At rangdum you can stay at a home stay instead of camps which are very costly

  22. hii Dheeraj

    we are planning for trip from srinagar to leh . But people are saying that road condition from srinagar to leh is not good for bike and also there will be lot of dust. so what should we prefer bike or public transport ?
    we will prefer bike if road are smooth .

  23. Daniel Djukic on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    our Ladakh trip is coming closer and one question is in my head: How about electricity in certain places? – Just need to charge my camera battery (cannot use solar power bank with Canon chargers…). In which of the following is this possible?

    I’d need this information especially for:

    Zanskar (Padum or Karsha) and

    guesthouses around Tso Moriri.

    Furthermore, how about electricity at Pangong Tso and Nubra (Hunder, Diskit)

    Thank you so much for your information and for sharing your experience. This would help me a lot to plan our 50-days-Ladakh-trip.

    Kind regards from Thailand,


    • Hello Daniel,

      Most of the places will have electricity like Nubra Valley, Zanskar, Padum, Karsha. Guest houses in Tso Moriri too will have electricity but limited supply and same will be applicable for Pangong Tso. Some of them do have generators for providing this limited power supply. So, better carry extra batteries for your camera and keep them charged in Leh, Padum, Nubra before making moves to remote places like Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and Manali – Leh highway

  24. Hi Dheeraj,
    I was wondering is it possible to add Zanskar Valley to the 14 days most common Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Manali trip? Because the Zanskar Valley itself take 8 days as stated above. I’m from Indonesia and i’m not sure if i can go back to Ladakh again in the future so i hope i can cover all the places if it’s possible (with time effeciency, and money issues of course haha). Or maybe can you suggest me another itinerary to cover best places at Jammu-Khasmir and Ladakh in less than 18 days?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Hi Falah,

      Zanskar Valley needs about 3-4 days at minimum from Kargil. So, within 14 days, well, it will be too much to ask for. You will need to skip one of the places in Ladakh in order to accomodate it. You can at most save two days, one by directly flying to Srinagar and other by removing the rest day in that common itinerary for Ladakh. You will still needs at least 1-2 days to add Zanskar Valley.

      I see you have 18 days, then it is like:

      Fly to Srinagar, saves you one day. Reach Kargil the next day, then move to Padum from Kargil. Rest day at Padum and local sightseeing next day, next day start for Rangdum enjoying the journey in between with longer stopovers, finally reach Kargil or Mulbekh or Lamayuru next day. From there resume the 14 day plan. Remove rest day from the plan and well you should be good to go with 18 days.

  25. Hi Dheeraj,
    It’s good to know that we can reach Padum with Public transportation.

    With my previous trips to ladakh (July/2015 & Dec/2015), I have covered following places:
    – Manali-Leh
    – Khardungla-Diskit-Turtuk
    – Pangong Tso
    – Tsomoriri

    I have already planned to reach Srinagar in July/2016.

    1. Srinagar-Leh-Hanle (& probably few other places)
    > But, Do I have anything else than Hanle? I have visited other places in my previous visits.
    2. Srinagar-Kargil-padum (Just as per your suggested itinerary)
    > I would miss Kargil-Leh route, Lamayouru and Hanle.

    I am thinking of going on with (2)
    Do you have any suggestion?
    Thanks in advance


    • Hmm, well there are many routes like Pangong Tso – Nubra connects with 3 routes, I am not sure which one you took. Then Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri connects via 3 routes, not sure which one you took. Kargil to Leh is connected by two routes too not sure which one you too. You can try all these places as well 🙂 … Refer DoW Maps of Ladakh to explore any routes that you might not have taken. Zanskar Valley should be done as a dedicated trip, so focus on it only this time.

      • Thanks Dheeraj,
        I think, I will plan for Zanskar only.
        As I am travelling solo, just worried about the journey.
        Anyways, I will update on my travel once I finish.
        Anyways, I have 4 more months to plan.

  26. Jatin Doshi on

    hi Dheeraj,

    As usual amazing info regarding any destination in the Himalyas. Just wanted to confirm one thing. Can the above 8/9 day itinerary be done using public transport? Or is it difficult to get public transport in Zanskar?

    • Jatin, with public transport as well it can be done. Buses do run between all these places but within Padum/Zanskar you might have to rely on shared taxis or private taxi only.