10 Days Ladakh trip in less than Rs. 35K for a couple

Julley! 🙂 (It means Hello in Ladakh)

Ladakh is a slice of heaven on earth and a dream destination for many travelers. If you have not visited Ladakh, you have not done justice to yourself as a traveler. Pack your bags, Ladakh is calling! This place is not to be missed in this lifetime!

If you are reading this, trust me either you have already been to this magical land or it’s on your wish list.

Our Ladakh trip was undoubtedly one of the best trips of our life. Since it was our first trip and we didn’t know that we’ll go there again or not, we decided to cover all the major places. In this article, we will tell you how we traveled to Ladakh in less than Rs. 35,000 and also cover our entire itinerary for 10 days from start until the end. Hope it helps all the future travelers to wisely plan the trip on their own and cover all the major places.

We traveled in September 2015, it’s a great time to visit this amazing place to experience the beauty at its peak since the monsoons have ended and the skies are clear, the lakes are super blue and it is less crowded compared to earlier months. One can enjoy the incredible beauty of Ladakh peacefully as well as get good deals on the commute and stay.

Food items which are a must try in Ladakh are Butter Tea, Thukpa, Momos, Yak Cheese Pizza, Tibetan meals cooked by the hospitable hosts for their guests in the homestays. The homemade Ladakhi beer is worth a shot too.

Ladakhi Soup - ThukpaLadakhi Soup – Thukpa

Tibetan Dinner

Tibetan Dinner

Who traveled: My husband Deepak and me

Travel dates: 11th Sep 2015 to 20th Sep 2015

Duration: 10 Days

Route followed: Leh, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Leh, Nubra Valley, Leh, Kargil, Sonamarg, Srinagar

Road Map of Ladakh

Road Map of Ladakh

Accommodations:

Leh:

We stayed at Seven Seas Guest House which has spacious neat rooms with attached bathroom and hot water facility, beautiful gardens with blooming flowers. The place is less than five minutes walk from the main market. We found very good reviews of this place online. Surprisingly, only a call was sufficient to reserve two rooms with no advance payment. The lady who owns this place is very sweet, soft-spoken, kind and had loads of stories to tell. 🙂

Stayed for 4 nights/Address: Leh Ho, Malpak, Zangsti, Leh Ladakh 194101/Phone No: 01982-252-830/Price: Rs. 500 per night/Double Sharing

Seven Seas Guest House

Seven Seas Guest House

Freshly grown vegetables, fruits and flowers in Seven Seas Guest House

Freshly grown vegetables, fruits, and flowers in Seven Seas Guest House

Pangong Tso:

We stayed at Tibetan Home Stay in Spangmik village. The village is located on the banks of Pangong Lake with few local families residing there. Our homestay was a small brick-walled home which kept us warm from the cold and windy night outside. The owners of the homestay served us hot home cooked Tibetan dinner which we had in their living room with the Buddhist chant ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ playing in the background. It was a divine feeling amidst the chilling night.

Stayed for 1 night/Price: Rs. 1,000 per night/Double Sharing

Note: One can also stay at Camp Martsemik La whose charges are more than Rs. 3,000 but during off season the camps are available at Rs. 1,000 per night.

Tso Moriri:

We stayed at Dolphin Homestay which is a Buddhist homestay near the Tso Moriri Lake. They served us typical Tibetan dinner which we had in their lovely kitchen area. In my view, a Buddhist family’s kitchen area is a must visit place for every traveler.

Stayed for 1 night/Price: Rs. 700 per night/Double Sharing

Nubra Valley (Hunder):

We stayed at Happy Day Guest House which is at a walking distance from the Hunder sand dunes. It has nice, clean and spacious rooms with attached bathroom, cute little garden area and a big terrace from where stargazing can be done at night. They served us delicious vegetarian home cooked dinner which we had in their beautifully decorated kitchen area listening to their stories.

Stayed for 1 night/Phone No: 94697 34141/Price: Rs. 500 per night/Double Sharing

Kargil:

We stayed at the New International Guest House which has clean and spacious rooms, attached bathrooms, wifi facility and is very near to the main market.

Stayed for 1 night/Phone No: 94191 76568/94190 87404/Price: Rs. 800 per night/Double Sharing

Srinagar:

We stayed at the New Manhattan Houseboat at Ghat No. 3 in Dal Lake. The boathouse is luxurious with artistically designed interiors.

Stayed for: 1 night/Phone No: 99067 43163/Price: Rs. 1,400 per night including breakfast/Double sharing

New Manhattan Houseboat

New Manhattan Houseboat

Total Cost:

Stay for 9 nights – Rs. 6,400 (In Leh, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley, Kargil, and Srinagar)

Average per day food cost for us as a couple cost around Rs. 550. (For 10 days – Rs. 5,500)

Cultural program cost at Nubra valley, Kashmiri dress photography in Srinagar, Shikara ride in Srinagar, Bacterian camel ride at Hunder Sand Dunes and other miscellaneous costs around Rs. 2,000

Cultural Show at Nubra Valley

Cultural Show at Nubra Valley

We had hired a Xylo for the entire trip which we shared with another couple. We had booked the Xylo before we started our trip. (Taxi rates are very high in Ladakh).

Our companion for the entire trip - Xylo

Our companion for the entire trip – Xylo

The total Xylo fare for 10 days was Rs. 42,000 (Leh, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, Nubra Valley, Kargil, Sonamarg, and Srinagar) which was shared among 2 couples. Fare per couple was Rs. 21,000.

For Xylo – Contact – Mr. Lobsang Tsering. He is a very genuine, friendly and knowledgeable person who knows the roads of Ladakh in and out. Phone No. – 94192 69824, 97974 95764

We were lucky to get a good deal on flight tickets (Mumbai to Delhi, Delhi to Leh and return from Srinagar to Mumbai) for only Rs. 15K for two people. It is advisable to set price alerts for cheap flight bookings.

So the total cost was less than Rs. 35,000 for two people (excluding flights).

Itinerary:

Day 1 (11-Sep-15) – Flight to Leh is a very unique and special experience because one can see the rows of majestic Himalayan ranges with snow-crowned peaks and valleys in between them. It is an amazing visual treat to see the whole canvas from the sky! We arrived at the Leh airport around 9:30 in the morning and were welcomed by the ever smiling Mr. Lobsang Tsering who was our driver and also the guide for the entire trip. 🙂

The first day was the rest day so that our body can acclimatize to the high altitude. Only went out for lunch at Chopsticks and dinner at Bon Appetit.

Night stay at Seven Seas Guest House at Leh.

Majestic Himalayas

Majestic Himalayas

 Day 2 (12-Sep-15) We did sightseeing in and around Leh and visited the following places:

1)Shanti Stupa, 2)Leh Market, 3)Sankar Gompa, 4)Spituk Monastery, 5)Hall of Fame and Adventure Park near Hall of Fame, 6)Stok Monastery, 7)Leh Palace, 8)Namgyal Tsemo Castle

Entire sightseeing was done in 6-7 hours and we were free to do local city tour and shopping in the evening.

Night stay at Seven Seas Guest House at Leh.

Shanti Stupa

Shanti Stupa

Day 3 (13-Sep-15) – The day began with an unexpected change in the initial plan! Change in plans is common here due to landslides, unseasonal rains etc. Our initial plan was to go to Nubra Valley, however, due to a Cycle Marathon, the road towards Nubra was closed so our driver suggested that we can go to Pangong Tso instead of Nubra from Leh.

On our way to Pangong Tso, we visited the following places:

1)Druk White Lotus School – It is also popularly known as Ranchos School. The place became popular due to its association with the movie ‘3 Idiots’. It is to be noted that the school is closed for visitors on Sundays and remains open on weekdays till 6 pm. It is advisable to keep some time in hand while visiting it. One can also buy some memorabilia here, the proceeds of which go towards the education of poor children.

Rancho's School

Rancho’s School

2)Thiksey Monastery (Presiding over a small hill, this monastery is really picturesque)

3)Stakna Monastery

4)Chang La Top (3rd highest motorable mountain pass in the world – 17,590 feet above sea level)

We had our lunch at a local Tibetan home in Tangste village. We were lucky to spot few Himalayan Marmots on the way to Pangong. Generally, they are considered to be very shy creatures and remain underground for half of the year.

We reached Pangong in the evening around 4 pm. It is the most beautiful lake I have seen in my life till now and is etched in our memories till now. We immersed ourselves in the beautiful sunset and evening photography. Pangong Lake too, just like Ranchos School, became very popular after the movie ‘3 Idiots’. We were lucky to spot few Seagulls too.

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake

Night stay at Tibetan Home Stay in Spangmik Village on the banks of Pangong Tso.

Day 4 (14-Sep-15) – We watched the sunrise over the Pangong Lake next morning around 5-5.30 am and it was a marvelous sight! One has to experience it to believe it. The water at the shores of the lake had turned into ice in the morning. The sunrise at Pangong Lake is a photographers delight and is not to be missed at any cost!

Sunrise at Pangong Lake

Sunrise at Pangong Lake

We left for Tso Moriri after having breakfast at our homestay in Pangong Tso. We had our lunch at Upshi Restaurant on the way to Tso Moriri.

We visited many popular excursions on our way:

1)Chumathang Hot Springs (Known to have therapeutic benefits)

2)Rupsha Valley

3)Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Lake

Tso Moriri Lake

4)Taglang La Pass (17,480 feet above sea level)

We spotted nomadic herds of sheep, goats, yaks, wild asses, cows, migratory birds and beautiful flora-fauna on the way to Tso Moriri.  Tso Moriri Lake is another gem in Ladakh picturesquely located in the secluded breathtakingly beautiful Rupsha Valley. During winters Tso Moriri Lake remains mostly frozen with no options to stay around the lake. September and early October is the best time to visit Tso Moriri to witness the full glory of beautiful shades of blue color. We loved gazing stars in the star-studded night sky. Tso Moriri was the coldest place in the entire trip.

Night stay at Dolphin Homestay at Tso Moriri.

Day 5 (15-Sep-15) – Post breakfast and morning photography at Tso Moriri lake, we left for Leh, we had our lunch at Skitchan Restaurant.

We visited the following places on our way:

1)Tso Kar Lake which is also known as the White Lake. The reason why it is called the ‘White Lake’ (‘Kar’ – White, ‘Tso’ – Lake) is obvious when one visits the lake and sees the white salt deposits all over the lake shores.

Tso Kar Lake

Tso Kar Lake

2)Hemis Monastery (A song from the movie Jab We Met was shot in parts here)

We had our dinner at Gesmo Bakery in Leh. It is highly recommended. The yak cheese pizza is a must try there.

Yak Cheese Pizza

Yak Cheese Pizza

Night stay at Seven Seas Guest House at Leh.

Day 6 (16-Sep-15) – We left Leh around 6 am for the famous Nubra Valley.

We visited the following places on our way:

1)Khardungla Pass (It is claimed to be the highest motorable mountain pass in the world, 18,380 feet above sea level). It is advisable not to stay at the pass for more than 15-20 mins due to the high altitude. We had momos, maggie, and tea at the café near the Pass maintained by the Indian Army.

Happy WE at Khardungla Top

Happy WE at Khardungla Top

2)Diskit Monastery (Oldest and Largest Buddhist monastery in the Nubra Valley of Ladakh)

3)South Pullu (Army Check Post)

4)Hunder Village which sits like an oasis in the middle of cold desert in Nubra Valley

In the evening, we reached Nubra and later attended a Cultural Program by the Ladakhi women at the Nubra Valley near our Happy Day Guest House. After having a delicious home cooked meal by our hosts in their cute little kitchen area, we enjoyed our favorite hobby of the trip which was star gazing at night. 🙂

Night stay at Happy Day Guest House at Nubra Valley.

Day 7 (17-Sep-15) – We drove back to Leh on the same day.

Activities done and places visited on our way:

1)Bacterian Camel Ride at Hunder Sand Dunes (Double Hump Camel found only in Hunder Sand Dunes in India, imported from Mongolia). The rides start from 8 am and goes on till 6 pm. It’s better to go in the morning to avoid the rush. Charges are Rs. 200/- per person for a 15 mins ride.

Double Humped Bacterian Camel

Double Humped Bacterian Camel

2)Samstemling Gompa in the Sumur village.  Roamed around in the apples, apricots and red berries orchards inside the Gompa.

Apple Orchards

Apple Orchards

3)Panamik for hot water springs. We cooked cuppa Maggie from the fresh hot water spring water and took bath at the hot water spring pool which is known to have therapeutic benefits.

Cooking Mggie at the natural hot water spring

Cooking Maggie at the natural hot water spring

We reached Leh at night and had our dinner at the Himalayan Kitchen restaurant.

Night stay at Seven Seas Guest House at Leh.

Day 8 (18-Sep-15) – It was time to visit the patriotic Kargil and we left from Leh in the morning.

We visited the following places on our way:

1)Shey Monastery

2)Sangam at Nimu (Confluence of Zanskar & Indus River). Zanskar River is known for its famous Chadar Trek

Sangam

Sangam

3)Patthar Sahib Gurudwara constructed in memory of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Managed by the Indian Army)

Patthar Sahib Gurudwara

Patthar Sahib Gurudwara

4)Magnetic Hill which is a phenomenon that defies gravity. You must see it to believe it!

5)Sham Valley (It consists of Basgo Monastery – Some shots of movie Dil Se was shot here, Alchi Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries of Leh and have monuments and scriptures dated as old as the 10th century and Likir Monastery which houses 25 feet high gold covered Buddha Statue).

6)Moonland or the Moon on Earth. The soft craters and orangish yellow land simply add charm to the surreal astounding beauty of Lamayuru village.

Moonland

Moonland

7)Lamayuru Monastery (Tibetan Buddhist Monastery)

8)Fotu La Top (At an elevation of 13,478 feet above sea level, it is the highest point on the Srinagar-Leh road)

9)Mulbekh Maitrey (Mulbekh is best known for this 8m-high rock-carved Maitreya-Buddha that’s over 1000 years old)

Buddha Statue at Mulbekh Maitrey

Buddha Statue at Mulbekh Maitrey

10) Kargil War Memorial at Dras (Operation Vijay)

Kargil War Memorial

Kargil War Memorial

11) Saw Tiger Hill, Tololing, Batra Top/Point 4875. Seeing the war points filled us in awe of the Indian soldiers!

The war stories of Kargil filled our hearts with pride and respect for the brave soldiers who laid their lives for us. It is an indescribable feeling! Experience it to feel it!

We reached Kargil in the evening.

Night Stay at New International Guest House at Kargil.

Day 9 (19-Sep-15) – Time to visit the Srinagar beauty, so we left from Kargil in the morning.

We visited the following places on our way:

1) Namika La Pass (Known for salt like white deposits at an elevation of 12,139 feet above sea level)

2) Zoji La Pass (At an elevation of 11,575 feet above sea level)

3) Sonamarg (Change in the landscape with spectacular Pine trees all around)

Beautiful landscape at Sonamarg

Beautiful landscape at Sonamarg

We had a delicious lunch at Narrinder Punjabi Hotel in Sonamarg. Reached Srinagar in the early evening.

Had a Shikara ride (spotted beautiful ducks) in the Dal Lake and visited the following places:

1) Nehru Park

2) Meena Bazar

3) Floating Vegetable Market

4) Golden Lake

We bought pashmina shawls and kesar from Meena Bazar.

Night stay at New Manhattan House Boat at Srinagar.

Day 10 (20-Sep-15) – We visited the Moghul Gardens in Srinagar and did photography in the local Kashmiri attire. Finally headed for the Srinagar airport. Please note that guests are required to reach the Srinagar airport at least 2 hours prior to the flight departure time. Reached Mumbai.

End of a memorable lifetime trip! 🙂

If you loved Leh-Ladakh, click here for a soulful journey to another beautiful heaven on earth.

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7 Responses

  1. very narrated post, it will be very helpful post in planning my trip

  2. Coolpams says:

    Very detailed post.. loved the way you narrated 🙂

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