How to travel to Ladakh under a budget of 20,000 INR

Tso Moriri
Nature’s Love Tso Moriri (Altitude 14,836 ft)

“The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there”

– Gandalf

To view the updated rates for 2020 (click here)

❤ Ladakh❤ the mystical land to the world’s highest motorable passes. It’s breath-taking high altitude mountains, cold deserts, saltwater lakes and insane landscapes makes it a spiritual journey for travelers, nature enthusiast and adventure fanatics.

For all those wanting to travel to Ladakh, this is how you can do it under a budget of 20,000 INR.

This land of wonder had been on my visit list of dreamy places for over 3 years. Considering all the packages I came across on the internet, it took me 3 months of working in a call center to arrange 60,000 INR to make this dream come through.

August 2015, I finally set out solo to the land that was keeping me awake for years. Travelling from flights to buses, cars and motorbikes, dozing off with a million stars, sleeping in different locations every night and waking up to barren mountains every day, this was indeed a journey of a lifetime.

Renting a Bike in Leh

You can get a Royal Enfield Classic 350 for 1100 INR a day or a 500 cc for 1300 INR (No Deposits Needed). Depending on the model and make of the bike you rent, it is advised you carry extra fuel for those extra miles as reliable petrol pumps are only available in Leh. Ladakh Rangers Ph: +91 9596928861 (Note: They are other bikes available for cheaper rent).

Hiring a Taxi in Leh

Just walk across the travel agencies in Leh, they all have notice boards put up for people wanting to share taxis. Below are the estimate return prices for an XUV;

  1. Leh to Tso Pangong (Spangmik) 1700 INR.
  2. Leh to Nubra Valley (Hunder) 1600 INR.
  3. Leh to Tso Moriri & Tso Kar 2500 INR.

(Note – All fares are for a taxi shared by 6 people)

Trip Itinerary from Delhi (15 Days)

Delhi – Manali – Leh – Tso Pangong – (Rafting) – Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) – Tso Moriri & Tso Kar – Leh – Manali – Delhi or Leh – Srinagar – Home Destination

Day 1: Delhi to Manali: You will get an AC Semi-Sleeper Volvo ranging from 600 INR to 1000 INR.

Day 2: Arrive in Manali: You can easily get a guest house costing around 300-350 INR near Mall Road and Old Manali.

Day 3: Manali to Leh: The Himachal Tourism Bus (Manali to Leh) is the most comfortable way to cover this stretch. The bus departs at 09:00 hrs and arrives Leh at around 19:00 hrs the next day. Costing 2700 INR, it proffers a night halt at Keylong that includes your dinner and breakfast as well.

Adding to the advantage pool is those 10 minutes halts at all the major engrossing locations on this stretch.

Manali – Rohtang Pass – Chenab River – Koksar – Keylong – Bara-lacha La Pass – Sarchu – Nakee La Pass – Pang – Tanglang La Pass – Karu – Leh

Tented Accommodation at Keylong (Altitude 10,100 ft.)

Day 4: Arrive in Leh: You will find many home stays which in my opinion are the best options to stay in Ladakh as they are easy on pockets, beneficial to the locals as well as conveniently accessible, serving almost everywhere in the city. Cost for a home stay ranges from 300 INR for single room to 600 INR for double.

My personal favourite home stay in Leh was at Greenland Guest House on Changspa Road, near the Changspa Bridge opposite Cafe de Leh.

Greenland Guest House
Greenland guest house in Leh

Day 5: Explore Leh. Fall in for a jaunt of exploration with beautiful stopovers like the Leh Market, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Jama Masjid, Hall of Fame, or may be just a walk around this lovely town.

The Gorgeous Leh Palace (Altitude 11,562 ft.)
The Gorgeous Leh Palace (Altitude 11,562 ft.)

Day 6: Leh to Tso Pangong, approximately 160 km’s via Chang La Pass.

Chang La Pass (Altitude 17,688 ft.)
Chang La Pass (Altitude 17,688 ft.)

Tso Pangong:  Lukung offers you basic stay options for 250-300 INR. Spangmik which is some 8 km’s ahead, offers Home Stays for 1200 INR and Luxury Tents for 3500 INR that includes your dinner & breakfast. Embrace yourself for some astonishing fireworks in the sky at night (Note: These are the standard prices, but you can always bargain for better deals).

The Beautiful Tso Pangong (Altitude 14, 270 ft.)
The Beautiful Tso Pangong (Altitude 14, 270 ft.)
Stargazing at Tso Pangong
Stargazing at Tso Pangong

Day 7: After breakfast return to Leh, evening at leisure.

Shanti Stupa
The view from Shanti Stupa in Leh (Altitude 11,500 ft +)

Day 8: River Rafting at Indus or Zanskar River will cost 1000 INR, the rapids might not turn out to be that adventuresome, but the view is totally worth it (Note: Body surfing here is much more fun).

River Rafting at Indus River (Altitude 11,400 ft.)
River Rafting at Indus River (Altitude 11,400 ft.)

Day 9: Leh to Nubra Valley (Hunder), approximately 130 km’s via Khardung La.

Independence Day Ride to Khardung La Pass (Altitude 18,380 ft.) August 2015
Independence Day Ride to Khardung La Pass (Altitude 18,380 ft.) August 2015

Nubra Valley: Home Stays & Luxury Tents are available at Diskit & Hunder (Note: Carry extra fuel as there’s only one non-functional petrol pump at Diskit).

Youmbok Home Stay at Hunder (Ph: +91 9469727354)
Homestay in Hunder (Nubra Valley)
Sand Dunes at Hunder
Sand Dunes at Hunder
Stargazing at Hunder (Altitude 10,000 ft.)
Stargazing at Hunder (Altitude 10,000 ft.)
Shooting Star Captured While Stargazing at Hunder
That moment in life when you not only see shooting stars, but also capture one. Stargazing at Hunder!

Day 10: After breakfast return to Leh, evening at leisure.

Day 11: Leh to Tso Moriri & Tso Kar, approximately 470 km’s round trip going via Chumathang and returning via Tanglang La.

Tanglang La Pass (Altitude 17,480 ft.)
Tanglang La Pass (Altitude 17,480 ft.)

Tso Moriri – Home Stays and Luxury Tents are available at Korzok (Note: Riding here is personally not advised as it’s a remote area and the roads are in a bad shape. It’s also one of the longest journey’s you will be making).

Twitter copy
Paradise is right here on earth. Tso Moriri (Altitude 14,836 ft)

(Note: There’s a state bus from Leh to Tso Moriri on the 10th, 20th & 30th of every month. Cost 370 INR one way)

Day 12: After breakfast return to Leh, evening at leisure.

Day 13: Depart Leh: Check for flight fares from Srinagar to your home destination, if they are cheap you can return via Srinagar. If not, return the same way via Manali (Note: Flying out from Srinagar is way cheaper then compared to flying out from Leh).

A shared taxi to Srinagar will cost around INR 1800-2000. The taxi departs Leh at 17:00 hrs and arrives in Srinagar by 09:00 hrs (Note: A guest house in Srinagar near Dal Lake will cost around 300-400 INR, where in a boat house will cost around 800 INR for a double room).

Day 14: Arrive in Srinagar: Explore Srinagar.

Day 15: Take a flight back to your home destination (Note: If you want to save days, then be wise and book your return tickets from Leh well in advance).

Do remember to also read The 5 Best Travel Routes to Ladakh & 10 Spectacular Lakes in Ladakh.

To conclude, if you would like to customize and personalize a trip to Ladakh. We can tailor-make a plan using the above places.


55 thoughts on “How to travel to Ladakh under a budget of 20,000 INR

  1. Bro. This is an awesome piece.
    I’m going to be flying to Delhi from Mumbai on the 16th of this month. I think this could be my itenary – this is just about right.

    Let me know if there are other points you want me to take care of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome 🙂

      They certainly are a few points:
      1. It is very cold and windy at Tso Pangong & Tso Moriri (A pair of woolen inner’s & a warm hoodie is recommended).
      2. Tso Moriri is the road less traveled, it is advised that you get in touch with a few travel agencies in Leh and notify them in advance so your trip can be confirmed for a future date.

      Enjoy your trip to the fullest and please do share the experience.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. One more thing; Nubra Valley is huge! You arrive at a junction from where one road leads to Diskit, Hunder & Turtuk (The last Indian Village), the other road leads to Sumur & Panamik (The last Indian Village).

      You can go about doing this like;
      Day 1: Leh to Panamik (Depart early in the morning). Explore Panamik then go to Diskit (Explore) then move to Hunder by evening.

      Day 2: Explore Hunder and move to Turtuk & spend the night there.

      Day 3: Return to Leh after breakfast.

      If you’re short on days you can skip Tso Moriri/Tso Kar & explore Nubra Valley. If you’re not; you’re a lucky man, do it all!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woow. It feels great to read the all the information. It makes me feel like I have to leave today to be at Leh. Thank you so much for such helpful information .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice article..I should have written this too 😛 I did this a 9 day trip from Leh to Srinagar and back by air (both sides) with hiring private taxis almost everywhere and staying overnight at a luxurious Shikara in Dal lake.. without thinking of cost cutting or a budget trip in approx 17 K. this was Oct 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely! Ladakh is actually a very economical destination. Only if I knew this earlier, I would have done this trip long back. The packages offered online are ridiculously high and so I decided to write this article to help others like me, who think visiting this magical land is out of our budget.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome 🙂 Ladakh is actually a very economical destination. Only if I knew this earlier, I would have done this trip long back. The packages offered online are ridiculously high and so I decided to write this article to help others like me, who think visiting this magical land is out of our budget.

      Like

  4. Hi Ken,
    It is so helpful reading all the information we need.
    I would like to take help of you in couple of questions.
    1. Is this itinerary fine?

    Day 1 | Srinagar – 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 2 | 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 3 | Leh Rest Day or Local sight seeing
    – Leh Palace, Tsemo Castle, Local Leh market,Shanti Stupa, Shankar Gompa , Hall Of fame
    Day 4 | Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Diskit / Hunder
    – Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
    – On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
    – Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
    Day 5 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
    -Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
    -Overnight at Leh
    Day 6 | 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 7 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    – Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
    – Overnight at Leh
    Day 8 | Leh – Dah – Hanu – Batalik – Kargil
    — Cover Dah and Hanu Villages on the route to Batalik and Kargil
    Day 9 | Kargil – Sonamarg – Srinagar
    — Spend sometime at Sonamarg

    2. Can we do river rafting/paragliding/Skiing during this itinerary? Could you please suggest the places where we can do that.

    3. Can we be able to cover Tso Moriri as well in the above itinerary?

    Your prompt response will be appreciated as we are planning to travel on day after tomorrow.

    Thanks and regards,
    Kishore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. Yes the itinerary sounds really good and busy.
      2. You will need an extra day to do any of these activities. Rafting in Indus or Zanskar is conducted on a daily basis.
      3. You can cover Tso Moriri in an additional one night and two days. Tso Moriri is the road less traveled, so if you’re just 2 or 3 people and wanting to share a taxi with others, you should contact a couple of travel agencies in Leh at the start of your journey so they can find more people wanting to go there.

      Have a safe and amazing trip, please do post a link to all your pictures. I would love to see them.

      Cheers,
      Ken

      Like

  5. I’m planning to go late October or early November is it ok….will there be much of a price change. Fyi thanks for the great article.

    Like

    1. You’re most welcome! It’s off season in Ladakh from mid September to mid May. During this time many hotels and home stays will be closed, along with both the highways. Reaching other places may also be difficult. Do collect all proper information before you leave.

      Like

  6. Nice article with plenty of information. This will surely be helpful for people planning Ladakh trip.

    Ladakh is truly mesmerizing and should be on bucket list for every one. I feel that even pictures taken by professional photographers or articles written by world class writers will not do justice to explain the beauty of Ladakh. It is so vast, beautiful, remote that visiting the place and experiencing the wilderness is something not to be missed.

    It was pleasure to meet you on the trip. Had great time in your company. All the best for your future adventures Ken.

    Cheers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Buddy,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It was delighting.

    I have few doubts. Hope you will answer.

    How is this itinerary??

    From New Delhi to Srinagar By air.

    Visit Dal lake and some famous places in Srinagar and start for Leh via Dras town and Kargil (CAB it will cost around INR 18000/-).

    Next from Leh to Diskit just to check Khardung La pass(Either by CAB or BIKE Do not know the cost for TO and FRO journey).

    Back to Leh.

    Then From Leh to Manali by Bike. (Around 5-7 days).

    Back to New Dehli.

    revert back.

    Like

    1. Well you’ll miss out on a lot if you skip Ladakh. When are you planning this for?

      For starters, the cost of the cab 18k, is it only for transportation from Srinagar to Leh? They generally charge 2k per seat. Dras, Kargil and Zojila Pass fall on the same highway.

      Khardung La is just 45 km’s from Leh and Diskit is some 125 km’s. You can rent a Enfield 350 from Leh for 1100 a day or some 700 for half a day or any other bike depending on your choice.

      Leh to Manali with sufficient stops should take you 3D/2N.

      Like

    1. * River rafting includes your pick up/drop and lunch.
      * Tso Pangong and Nubra Valley (Yes), just carry extra fuel.
      * Tso Moriri, in my personal opinion “NO”. Tso Moriri is one of the longest journeys on your Ladakh trip. The road going to Tso Moriri is very remote and incase of a bike break down finding help will be difficult. I’d suggest you to take the taxi to Tso Moriri. Not many choose to travel to there so its best to inform travel agents in Leh well in advance. It took me two days to find 4 people to travel to Tso Moriri.

      Have an awesome trip ✌️

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s