How to Reach Leh Ladakh

Being a remote area, Leh-Ladakh is only traversable by air or road. Ladakh is linked to the rest on India through only two road routes. One route is through Manali which is enchanting but long, and the other is through Srinagar which requires crossing the perilous Zoji La Pass. However, the road through Srinagar is at a comparatively lower altitude reducing the risk of severe high-altitude mountain sickness. Both these roads close from October/November to May, leaving flying as the only option of reaching Leh Ladakh. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh is the main airport serving the region.

On reaching Ladakh, you might be asked to pay an environmental fee of around INR 200-300. You can keep the receipt to present it when applying for permits. 

Read more about how to get Inner Line Permit for Leh Ladakh.

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Most frequently searched routes to Leh Ladakh

Route Name Distance Time
Delhi to Leh Ladakh 1,251 km 22 hours 58 mins
Srinagar to Leh Ladakh 415 km 8 hours 6 mins
Mumbai to Leh Ladakh 2,671 km 1 day 20 hours
Hyderabad to Leh Ladakh 2,798 km 1 day 22 hours
Chandigarh to Leh Ladakh 1,006 km 19 hours 56 mins
Chennai to Leh Ladakh 3,423 km 2 days 7 hours
Bangalore to Leh Ladakh 3,387 km 2 days 6 hours
Pune to Leh Ladakh 2,721 km 1 day 22 hours
Amritsar to Leh Ladakh 876 km 17 hours 33 mins
Shimla to Leh Ladakh 1,084 km 23 hours 11 mins
Kolkata to Leh Ladakh 2,720 km 1 day 22 hours
Ahmedabad to Leh Ladakh 2,202 km 1 day 12 hours
Jaipur to Leh Ladakh 1,537 km 1 day 3 hours
Gurgaon to Leh Ladakh 1,288 km 23 hours 47 mins
Agra to Leh Ladakh 1,466 km 1 day 2 hours
Varanasi to Leh Ladakh 2,049 km 1 day 10 hours
Goa to Leh Ladakh 3,138 km 2 days 6 hours
Udaipur to Leh Ladakh 1,919 km 1 day 8 hours
Jodhpur to Leh Ladakh 1,640 km 1 day 6 hours

How to reach Leh Ladakh by flight

The only route accessible to Leh Ladakh in winter is by air, though planes fly all year round. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh is the primary airport serving the region. Air India and GoAir have daily flights to and from New Delhi. Air India also connects Leh to Jammu and Kashmir. In winter months, the air services are infrequent and the flights often get cancelled due to fog in Delhi and snowfall in Leh.

Being a military air terminal, the security check and measures are stringent. It is advised to have a printed copy of your air ticket before entering the airport.

You can easily find taxis to travel from the airport to the main town. Those arriving by air are advised to allow one day of rest to acclimatize to the high altitude of Leh Ladakh.

Nearest Airport: Leh Airport (IXL) - 44 kms from Leh Ladakh

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Tentative return flight prices to Leh Airport (IXL) from major cities in India.

How to reach Leh Ladakh by road

There are two road routes to Leh Ladakh - one through Manali in Himachal Pradesh and the other through Srinagar. To travel to Ladakh by road, first, reach Manali or Srinagar via trains and buses. Both the routes are spectacular and time-consuming with narrow winding roads and military checkpoints.

The Leh Manali Highway covers a distance of 473 km and is most commonly opted by tourists. This route generally takes two days and requires making an overnight stop at either Keylong or in tents at Sarchu or Pang. A lot of people cover this route on their motorbikes, especially on Royal Enfield motorcycles as the terrain is a bit bumpy. Some cycle enthusiasts also cover this distance over their bicycles.

Read More about the Adventurous Journey through Leh Manali Highway

The route from Srinagar to Leh Ladakh covers a distance of 434 km and runs at a lower altitude than the Leh Manali highway. This leads to lesser risk of severe high-altitude mountain sickness, though this route is less opted for. The main is the presence of several high-risk militant areas in this region. This route also takes 2 days with an overnight stop in Kargil.

Jeep
The fastest way of reaching Leh from Manali is by jeeps, mostly shared. These jeeps cover the journey in one day as opposed to two days with an overnight stop. However, it runs a high risk of severe altitude sickness. The shared jeep journeys usually cost around INR 1500 per person and are available in the Old Manali area.

How to reach Leh Ladakh by train

Leh Ladakh is at a very remote location with minimal resources available. So the region does not have a railway station. However, the nearest railway station is Jammu Tawi (700 km from Ladakh) which is well connected with Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.

From the Jammu Tawi station, you can board a taxi or a JKSRTC (Jammu Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation) bus to Leh.

How to reach Leh Ladakh by bus

The main bus stand for Leh Ladakh is located 700m south to the main town centre. State buses run from both Srinagar and Manali. The HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation) buses mostly make an overnight stop at Keylong, Darcha or Sarchu for high-altitude acclimatization. There is a direct 24-hour bus from Manali to Leh, which is, however, not recommended. 

Local transport in Leh Ladakh

The mystic and awe striking region of Ladakh is surrounded with gorgeous scenery and travelling through this region can indeed be a pleasure. There are buses, taxis, motorcycles and bicycles available for getting across Ladakh and you can choose the one that you deem fit.

Leh is small enough to walk to most places. However, do not walk around on the first day of your arrival to avoid suffering from altitude mountain sickness. To get to the tourist places around Leh, taxis are easily available from the taxi stands. The rates are pre-decided by the local taxi unions, so do not haggle. It is advised to book taxis via local agencies to get the best possible rates.

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