Leh was originally the capital city of Ladakh. Today the Leh district is situated in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and with an area of 45,110sq.km it is said to be the second largest district in the country. So if there is any query which relates to whether Leh Ladakh is in India, then the answer is 'Yes', Leh Ladakh is situated in India.
Leh the only major town of Ladakh can be conveniently reached by Airlines from Delhi. Indian Airlines normally operates 3 flights a week between Leh and Delhi, twice a week from Jammu and once a week from Srinagar. Other flights include Jet Airways which operates 6 flights a week between Leh and Delhi. One can also find Kingfisher and GoAir which flies throughout the year from Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Delhi.
Ladakh can also be reached through roadways and Manali-Leh road has been serving as one of the best roadways to connect with the beautiful Ladakh. Open for traffic from June onwards till October, the route encompasses through several altitudes which ranges from 3,660m to 4,570m. One can also take the bus services which also travel through Manali and Leh. The bus journey normally takes 20 hours with an overnight halt in camps at Serchu or Pang.
DEL – Leh – IXL – ticket cost Economy (normally) 12,000 Rupees
Flight No: Some of the common flight details are mentioned below:
IC445 DELHI – LEH Airbus 320
9W609 Delhi 0540 Leh 0655
9W1609 Delhi 0630 Leh 0745
Srinagar-Leh 434 Km
Manali-Leh 473 Km
Delhi-Leh 1047 Kms
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is an airport in Leh and is said to be the highest airports in the world at 10,682 ft. above the main sea level.
Inner Line Permit is a travel document which is officially issued by the Government of India to allow the citizen of India to travel in a protected or restricted area for a limited time frame. If you plan to visit Ladakh, then in many cases you need to take the Inner Line Permit from the Deputy Commissioner Office of Leh. One can also get this done through the tour operator or through the hotel staff. Since it's almost impossible to travel the places without the Inner Line Permit, so it is advisable to get the names of the travelers submitted in order to avail the permit.
No such special visa or permit is required for the tourists to visit the Leh/Ladakh area; rather a normal visa can work for the tourists. But tourists visiting from abroad need to register themselves at Drass, Rumtse and Sarchu if in case they plan to visit by road. For the ones planning to travel by air can register themselves at the airport. There are several registered travel agencies which help in the process of registration. Also, there are several restricted and protected areas which requires the tourists both foreigners and domestic to get the Inner Line Permit.
Leh/Ladakh is a place which provides tourists with all sort of amusements and activities apart from providing some of the best scenic beauty and because of which one can see visitors throughout the season. Because of such a high preference for the area, you can easily find lots of accommodation facilities in the area that ranges from small cottages/lodges/tents to luxurious and budget hotels. The deluxe and luxurious accommodations normally include 4 and 5 star properties whereas the budget accommodations normally include the 3 star properties. The rooms are always found to be hygienic and clean and provides plentiful to your next retreat.
Leh provides with ample of opportunities to travel in and around the area. For a group of family members they can easily hire a taxi or a SUV or may be use a public transport which is easily available in the area. The public transport is not as frequent as the other means of transport. And for a group of adventurous people or friends, they can easily hire a bike to enjoy the places. Since the roads are rugged and treacherous, it is always advisable to hire a cab or a taxi though this is the costliest affair in the area.
The weather is quite pleasing in Leh-Ladakh with scenic beauty adding more substance. Also, this is the place where one can get acute by both sunstroke and frostbite at the same time. The winds that blow here are quite chilly and gusty and at the same time the Sun pierces at the high altitude, so it is advisable to carry the sunscreen and also carry some hot blankets and woolen stuff because in the night it gets really cold.
It all depends on the plan and itinerary you have in mind. Since there are lot of places and area to discover, so the number of days might also change and differ. If you are planning to travel by roadways, then it takes normally 2 days to reach the destination and again 2 days to return. Also, since there are various places to explore in your trip to Leh-Ladakh, so you may consider 8-10 days time. If you have any plans to explore some remote areas including Zanskar region, then a month's trip will give you that extra time to explore the places to the fullest.
The distance from Delhi to Leh Ladakh is 1,047 km, which can be covered by both roadways and airways. Delhi roadways have regular bus service to J&K, from where one can change the bus for Leh. Beside this one can also travel by car which is far better than the other option.
If you are planning for a trip to Leh Ladakh from Delhi, the best means of transport is by Air. Indian Airlines has 3 flights that operate between Delhi and Leh. Options are also available for Delhi to Jammu and Delhi – Srinagar. Beside this one can also reach through road as there are regular bus services from Delhi to Jammu. The roadways though long can help you in adjusting with the atmosphere.
Though you can see traveler visiting this place quite often around the year, but the time from May to October is said to be the ideal season to visit this beautiful place. This is the time when the two highways provide the connectivity with the mountain town of Leh. Travelers also plan and visit Leh-Ladakh in the winters through airways. At any time before your plan your itinerary make sure that you enquire about your travel because many a times it happens that the roads gets blocked because of extreme highways and hilly areas.
There's every possibility of altitude problem, considering the fact that Leh is at an altitude of 3500 meters, which is almost 12,000 feet. The air normally gets thinner as the altitude gets above the 10,000 feet and the level of oxygen gets reduced by 40%. This shows that the body has to accept functioning at the reduced oxygen level which can never happen at one go especially for the ones who plans to travel by air. For the ones who travel by road have the better chances of accommodating to the environment. It is always advisable to take an accommodation for the first 2 days to make the body adjust to the oxygen level and the climatic changes before you actually move on with your itinerary. The risk of high altitude sickness may land to various problems like vomiting, headaches, shortness of breath, increased urination, sleeping problems, etc.
As said, anyone who is travelling above the 10,000 feet will find it little difficult to breath normally or involve in any physical exercise. This is mainly because of the low level of atmospheric oxygen. But this is nowhere the reason to ignore visiting such a beautiful place as if you get some rest in the first two days of your trip you can then get adjusted to the low oxygen level and go for any activities.
When it comes to shopping in Leh and Ladakh, tourists can normally have the shopping mixes in the main bazaars and markets of the Leh-Ladakh area. In the heart of the Leh, one can find some of the popular stuffs including the Pashmina
shawls, stoles and other woolen garments. In and around the Old Leh Road and Leh Fort Road, Tibetan markets are situated which is popular for various Tibetan handicraft items and traditional jewelry.
Ladakh markets are also known to provide some of the best hand-woven rugs, shawls and carpets along with providing some of the best collection of woolen stuffs.
In Leh you can have the networks for only Aircel, Airtel and BSNL. If the tourists have the post paid connection of the above mentioned networks, then they can have the connectivity access or else they can purchase a pre-paid mobile
connection of the following operators from Jammu/Srinagar. In Ladakh you can't find any data services.
Leh, Padum, Kargil and Nubra valley provides the telephone facility along with fax and post facilities for the tourists to enjoy. Also, J&K operates its own wireless radio phone network with field stations in various parts of the state including Kargil and Leh.
Though there is some problem with the mobile network in some parts of Leh Ladakh, but the network coverage of Aircel, BSNL and Airtel works absolute fine in Leh Ladakh. For the visitors, if they wish to have the best of mobile networks in Leh and Ladakh, then it is always advisable to have this connection or have the post paid connections for the same networks.
Leh Ladakh has BSNL Cellone, Airtel and Aircel mobile services in place and all these networks provide the best connectivity. If you have the post paid SIM card Mobile service connection or have tie up with BSNL Cellone or Airtel or Aircel, then your connectivity will work in J&K. Please confirm with your service provider before you carry your mobile.
Around the market area in Leh you can easily find the branches of SBI (State Bank of India), J&K Bank (Jammu & Kashmir Bank), and PNB (Punjab National Bank) to name a few. Also SBI and J&K with its branches in several
areas have the money changing facility as well.
ATM and Credit cards are not accepted in Ladakh area, except in few of the handicraft shops in the Leh town. ATM Machines (for J&K, PNB, and SBI) are found in the Leh main market area.
Though there are various points to remember before you take a step. Few of the things which need to be considered are:
Leh Ladakh can be said to be the perfect place for your next Honeymoon. People from all across the world visits this place to celebrate their anniversary or for a memorable honeymoon. With scenic beauty, high mountains, colorful locations and never ending beauty, this place is sure to make your visit a truly everlasting one.
This trip of Leh-Ladakh is sure to provide money's worth to all the visitors. Various adventure spots and nearby beautiful localities is going to make this trip a worthy with all memorable offerings in place. Places like Zanskar, Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lakes, etc, are going to make your trip more exciting and happening.
People who are quite accustomed to smoking and drinking should avoid this trip. Also, people with emphysema, asthma, anaemia, diabetes and high blood pressure should avoid visiting to such places. Always consult your medical doctor before booking your trip to Leh-Ladakh.
Leh town has the best of restaurants in store when it comes to food and cafes. You can find some of the finest exotic Tibetan, Kashmiri, and Ladakh Foods. Also you can enjoy Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Italian & Israeli cuisines in your trip to Leh.
In summer, you can wear clothes like cotton and light woolen, whereas in winter it is preferable to wear heavy woolen and wind-proof clothes.
In summer, the average maximum temperature is 25 degree Celsius to minimum 5-7 Celsius and in winter the maximum temperature is around -5 and minimum around -20 degree Celsius.
Yes, there are the facilities for the Foreign exchange. Both J&K and SBI provide the facility. There is also an authorized Western Union Money Transfer branch which deals in Foreign exchange. Moreover, for your convenience, you can also visit the authorized forex counters.