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Insurance Article

Planning a Road Trip to Ladakh? Read This!

January 05 2017
 Road Trip to Ladakh

Here’s what you need to do for the ultimate road trip

A road trip to Ladakh is something that you don’t decide for in the afternoon, pack your packs in the evening, and be on your way the next morning. To visit this enchanting land and to enjoy the trip to the fullest, you must plan well and prepare meticulously. Only after you put in the effort and have all the boxes ticked, are you truly prepared for the road trip to Ladakh, which can be grueling to say the least.

How to Prepare:

  • Plan the Route and Night Halts

There are two routes you can choose to get to Leh, the administrative capital of Ladakh. You can either take the Manali-Leh highway from the south (490 kms, will take 2 days, with a night halt at Sarchu or Keylong), or the Srinagar-Leh route along the National Highway 1D (Approx. 430 kms, will take 2 days, with a night halt at Kargil).

Lamayuru Monastery

The former route is more popular among bikers for the sheer thrill of riding through one of the toughest motorable terrain in the world. While, for the sake of convenience, you can take the National Highway 1D as the road is in a comparatively better condition.

Either ways, you will need to carry fuel. There is no fuel pump for hundreds of kilometers. Here’s a word of caution: trips through this route can be undertaken from mid-May to September only, the road is closed due to snow for remainder of the year.

  • Acclimatize
  • It is true that Ladakh is a portrait of beauty, but it is also a challenging and hostile environment to conquer. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a common condition observed in those who are not used to low oxygen levels prevalent at high altitudes.

    To prepare yourself, make sure that you do some breathing exercises at regular intervals. Medicines such as Diamox can be taken to prevent AMS. The best way to acclimatize yourself is to take the Manali-Leh route and let your body naturally acclimatize as you take the gradual ascent towards J&K from Himachal Pradesh.

    Pangong Lake
  • Accessorize

    Ladakh is cold throughout the year, so make sure that you carry woolen clothes. Also, carry sunscreen, sunglasses, first-aid kit, snow boots, and cash (yes, there are very few ATMs in Ladakh). Previously, Indians were required to furnish Inner Line Permits for visiting most places but that is no longer the case. However, sensitive areas such as Chusul, Tsaga, Batalik, Marsimik La and Hanle among others may still require these. So, do your homework before proceeding farther into Ladakh.

  • What to see:

    Ladakh can be called ‘Heaven on Earth’ for more reasons than one. It has a landscape dotted with snow-capped peaks, burbling rivulets, majestic willow trees, turquoise lakes, imposing glaciers, and captivating mountain passes. But these places deserve a mention:

    • Lamayuru Monastery:

    One of the oldest and grandest monasteries in Ladakh. It is situated on a steep mountain and is home to more than 150 monks. Here, you also get to see scriptures, paintings and artifacts pertaining to Buddhism. It is especially famous for its two annual masked dance festivals taking place in the second and fifth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.

    Kargil War Memorial
    • Pangong lake:
    • The Pangong lake (or Pangong Tso) is an incredibly beautiful lake in the Himalayas. Situated at a height of about 4,350 m, 2/3rd of the lake is in China. Made popular by the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots (2009), this is one of the most sought after destination for biking enthusiasts visiting Leh.

    • Kargil War Memorial
    • A memorial dedicated to the soldiers martyred in the Kargil War. A sandstone wall has been erected displaying the names of all the jawans who died in the line of duty. Pay your respects here and once done, visit the shop located inside the complex to collect a memento or witness the various artifacts on display.

    When in Leh, enjoy the local cuisine, and experience the hospitality. Tourists from all over the globe flock to Leh during the summer time. You will also see a significant military presence in the region. As you embark on this treacherous road trip, ensure that your bike in is in top condition. Even if you are hiring a bike, ensure that all the documents including a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy are in place.

    Ya Jule (Goodbye)!

    Related Article:

    5 Popular Biking Groups in India
    Five Mantras for Perfect Riding

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