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Car, Self-Drive & Bike Rental

Complete Information

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Car, Self-Drive & Bike Rental (Complete Information)

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Upload By: Kabir Ansari on April 30, 2023
Travel Info,

Overview:


Ladakh is a place where every traveller want to go once in his/her life time. In this article will try to provide all relevent information regarding car/taxi hire, Self-drive and bike on rent in ladakh.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information


To know more about the latest updates on Taxi Hire, Self-Drive, Bike Rental & Others in Leh / Ladakh, you can follow me on , Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Koo, Telegram and YouTube. or mail to "tmydestination@gmail.com"


Know more about Preparing for Ladakh Bike Trip.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Self-Drives & Car Hire in Ladakh: Common FAQ's

Taxi & Self-Drive options available in Leh - Ladakh. In this section I will cover some basic queries about the options available for your Taxi/car hire and Self-drive during your trip to Ladakh.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Where can I book taxis in Leh?

You can book taxis at the Leh taxi stand after reaching Leh. Alternatively, you can call Leh local drivers directly from the List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for many DoW community members. This list also has contacts of some tempo traveler drivers too.

You can get about 10-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with these local drivers and of course, talking to the last service provider (local driver) always help in reducing the cost.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

How to rent or hire a taxi for Leh Ladakh trip?

It is always better to reach Srinagar by air to save time and some energy that you might waste on a two day trip to Srinagar from Delhi with one night stay at Jammu. Then once you reach Srinagar, you can hire a taxi to Kargil.

You should fix a Ladakh based taxi to pick you up in Kargil so that you can do sightseeing in Sham Valley on the way to Leh. Otherwise, Srinagar based taxi will not be allowed for sightseeing in Sham Valley to Alchi, Likir or Basgo, etc.. This Ladakh based taxi can stay with you for the rest of the trip for a drop up to Manali after complete sightseeing in Ladakh.

After reaching Manali, you can take an overnight HPTDC Volvo back to Delhi.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

What is the cost of a taxi for a Leh Ladakh trip?

Taxis in Ladakh are costly as per taxi union rates because of small season window and rough terrain that requires more maintenance of the cars. In order to get the idea of taxi cost for your Leh Ladakh trip, you can refer to the latest Leh Ladakh Taxi Rates 2020-21.

As it can become cryptic sometimes to read the Ladakh taxi union rates in this booklet, I have listed below taxi rates of some important sightseeing places of Ladakh, including trips to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.

These rates also cover the taxi rates for Manali – Leh Highway and Srinagar – Leh Highway routes. This table will help you quickly get a rough idea of the total cost for a taxi on your Leh Ladakh trip.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

En-Route Spiti Valley Road Status 2023

Popular Tourist Route in Ladakh Taxi Rate (XUV/Innova) Taxi Rate (Tempo Traveler)
Srinagar – Leh in 2 days Rs 20000 Rs 23000
Leh Local Sightseeing Rs 3000-3500 Rs 4000-4500
Leh – Nubra Valley in 2 Days (Diskit, Hunder) Rs 10500 Rs 11500
Leh – Nubra Valley in 2 Days (Diskit, Hunder, Sumur, Panamik) Rs 12900 Rs 13900
Leh – Nubra – Pangong Lake via Shyok in 3 Days Rs 21500 Rs 24500
Leh – Pangong Tso (Spangmik) in 2 Days Rs 11500 Rs 13000

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

What is the cheapest way to hire a taxi in Ladakh?

Taxis rented or hired outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing in Leh Ladakh. The taxis within Leh Ladakh are costly. However, there are a couple of tricks that can help you save some money when hiring taxis for a Leh Ladakh trip.

You should get connected with a local taxi driver directly. They do have some power to discount the taxi rates of Ladakh union and give those discounts out of their own pockets. So, you may get a good deal by talking to them directly.

Check if any driver is traveling to Srinagar or Manali based on your starting point of the trip and can pick you from Srinagar or Manali. Sometimes Leh drivers might offer discounts on Srinagar Leh trip or Manali Leh trip when they have to return empty to Leh. So, better to ask for such discounts.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

How can I get shared taxis in Ladakh?

If you are traveling alone or as a couple, the taxi charges on your Leh Ladakh trip can make a deep hole in your pocket. The private taxis are costly in Leh, but you will be able to find the tourist shared taxis too within Ladakh without much fuss at all.

There are lots of flyers that people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agents organize such tourist shared taxis trips as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in the worst case, you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself on such trips to save the cost of a taxi.

Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meeting new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. Nowhere else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis.

If you are unable to get shared tourist taxis, then you can hop on to any local shared taxi, but the disadvantage will be that it will not stop in between for sightseeing. Such taxis you can use to reach destinations like Nubra Valley or Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri, but then they do not stop in between to take pictures.

Alternatively, you can also find online travel partners to share taxi costs. You can also check the DoW Travel Calendar. There have been about 1000+ entries of the people planning their trips in the last few seasons which helped them have better visibility for finding out travel partners online for their Ladakh trips.

You can filter entries based on the preferences you have and increase the chances of visibility. Hence, kindly explore DoW Travel Calendar and also post your entry too. This calendar will help you find other fellow travelers looking for a company and increase the probability of finding your post by others too.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I take an outside rented taxi to Ladakh?

Taxis rented outside Leh Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Ladakh, including places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. You can use these outside rented taxis for reaching Leh over Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway only.

However, further sightseeing in Ladakh is not allowed on these outside Leh rented taxis.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I do sightseeing in Ladakh on an outside rented taxi?

Only private cars with white number plate registered under your name, your wife’s name or your father’s name are allowed to do sightseeing within Ladakh and are allowed to travel to places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.

If you have an outside Leh rented a taxi for your Ladakh trip, you will have to again rent a taxi from Leh to do sightseeing in Ladakh.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Is Zoomcar or other self-drive rental cars allowed in the Leh Ladakh trip?

Self-drive rented cars outside Leh Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Ladakh, including places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. You can use these outside rented self-drive cars to reach Leh over Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway only. However, further sightseeing within Ladakh is not allowed on the self-drive rental cars.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I get a self-drive rental car in Leh Ladakh?

No, unfortunately, there is no option to get a self-drive rental car in Leh Ladakh. You will have to rent a local taxi in Leh to do sightseeing within Ladakh. At max, you can ask the local driver to let you drive in some stretches, if possible for him.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I get a self-drive rental car in Manali?

No, like Leh, there is no option to get a self-drive rental car in Manali. You need to take a taxi from Manali to reach Leh first and then rent a local taxi in Leh. At max, you can ask the local driver to let you drive in some stretches, if possible for him.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I get a self-drive rental car in Srinagar?

No, like Leh, there is no option to get a self-drive rental car in Srinagar. You need to take a taxi from Srinagar to reach Leh first and then rent a local taxi in Leh. At max, you can ask the local driver to let you drive in some stretches, if possible for him.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Where can I get a self-drive rental car for a Leh Ladakh trip?

You can get self-drive rental cars for your Leh Ladakh trip only from the nearby major cities like Delhi and Chandigarh or any major cities near your home if you plan to drive from home. There are no self-drive rental car services available in Leh Ladakh or Manali or Srinagar.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I take my own private or personal car to Ladakh?

Yes, you can take your personal or private cars to Ladakh. The cars with white number plate registered under your name, your wife’s name or your father’s name are allowed to do sightseeing within Ladakh and to travel to places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I take someone’s else private or personal car to Ladakh?

In case the private white number plate car is in someone else’s name, then it is better that you carry a “no objection certificate” from them. The document should declare that the owner agrees to let you drive the car for personal use. Get your name and license number on the document along with the name of the owner and vehicle RC number.

If confronted by the Ladakh taxi union on your trip, you can show this NOC document to them. Try to resolve the matter amicably and do not get into a struggle. If the situation is going out of hands, better to return to Leh and rent a local taxi.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I do a trip to Ladakh in a hatchback or sedan?

You can certainly take a hatchback or sedan on a Leh Ladakh trip, but surely there will be challenges. I have seen Tata Nano doing it so that any car can do it. It all depends upon your driving skills and how much you love your car. I have personally driven my Swift dZire to many remote corners of the Himalayas.

Having said that:

You will indeed face a few tough challenges on your Ladakh trip when driving a hatchback or a sedan car. A sedan is much worse than a hatchback car. If you are not used to such road conditions, the best option will be to travel from Srinagar Leh Highway. You will get used to the road conditions, get acclimatized, and also get comfortable with those roads. In case you feel Srinagar Leh road difficult to drive, I advise that you drive back the same route instead of taking Manali Leh Highway.

Secondly, since you are driving a hatchback or a sedan, then you need to drive with extra care and caution as well. There will be some sections, especially Manali – Leh road, where you might need to bear some scratches on the underbelly of your car. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump. Hence, knowing the location of your car’s engine-sump is very important because you need to protect it throughout your trip to Ladakh.

Thirdly, whenever you are in doubt in crossing any tricky section of the road, then do not rush into the section. You should rather park aside and feel the section with your foot or see how other vehicles are crossing it and then make a planned route in your mind to cross that section.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

What are things to carry on a self-drive trip to Ladakh?

There are so many things that you can think of carrying on your self-drive Ladakh trip. However, some of the most essentials and spares are mentioned below which you must carry.

  • Basic Toolkit including Jack and Spanner
  • Air Compressor and Foot pump
  • Hydraulic Jack
  • Spare Tyre (Check for puncture before leaving)
  • Puncture Repair Kit
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Torchlight / Flashlight
  • Jump Start Cables
  • Spare Bulbs for Headlights
  • Tow Away Rope approx. 3-6 Ton Capacity
  • 1-2 Jerry Cans / Coke Bottles to carry spare fuel
  • Funnel
  • Thin cloth to filter impurities in the black fuel
  • Spare Coolant and Engine Oil
  • A Long Stick/Rod
  • A Shovel and a Hammer
  • 2-3 Packs of M-Seal and Quick Fix/Fevi-Quick/Elfy


Also, in case you need more details, I have prepared this 40 Must-Have Things to Carry on Ladakh Self-Drive Trip


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Do I need to carry extra fuel or petrol on my Ladakh trip?

If you are traveling to regular tourist destinations in Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri using the conventional routes, you may not need to carry spare fuel or petrol on your trips. However, you must keep in mind that in case you want to travel the direct routes without coming back to Leh, then you must carry spare fuel with you in the car.

Please note that you must account for about 70-80% mileage that you are used to getting from your vehicle in normal conditions back home.

Now the important thing to keep in mind is that petrol or diesel is available at petrol pumps in Leh and one petrol pump is present in Karu town, which is about 45 km from Leh on Manali Leh Highway. Then, there is one petrol pump available in Diskit, Nubra Valley town as well. As of 2016, the Diskit petrol pump is fully functional and also work in winters. Overall fuel availability in Leh is tremendously improved as well now for the last few years (as of 2020).

However:

The problem arises when you plan to travel on the direct routes without coming back to Leh. That is where you need to carry extra fuel or petrol with you. Listed below are some of the common long routes in Ladakh along with the approximate distances that you will be covering on them without any fuel (petrol/diesel) pumps:

  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh = 550 km
  • Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Leh = 600 km
  • Leh – Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso – Hanle – Tso Moriri – Leh = 700 – 750 km
  • Leh – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Manali = 550 km
  • Leh – Karu – Rumtse – Taglang La – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali = 350 km
  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali = 700 km
  • Leh – Pangong Tso – Hanle – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Tandi – Manali = 750 KMs
  • Leh – Hanle – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Keylong – Manali = 730 KMs
Hence, you must keep these routes in mind and plan to carry spare fuel with you based on the distance you will be traveling without a fuel pump. In case you may run out of fuel on any of these routes, you can also try villages on these routes (especially Tangste, Chumathang, Khalsar, Deskit, Hanle, Pang, etc.) where you may find the black diesel/petrol sold by the villagers, (of course, highly likely, with quality compromised) which can be handy in such odd circumstances.

DO NOT forget a carry a thin cloth that can be used with a funnel to filter any impurities while using such black fuel.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Do I need to carry extra fuel or petrol on Srinagar Leh Highway?

You do not need to carry any extra fuel or petrol on Srinagar Leh Highway. There are plenty of fuel pumps available on Srinagar Leh Highway, and even if you top up your tank at Kargil, you will easily reach Leh which is about 240 km from Kargil.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Do I need to carry extra fuel or petrol on Manali Leh Highway?

You do not need to carry any extra fuel on Manali Leh Highway. Once you start from Manali, you will get the fuel at the Tandi petrol pump. After that, you have to travel 365 KMs before you reach the next fuel pump near Leh. Most cars should be able to cover this distance without the need for any spare fuel.

Sometimes, Sarchu and Pang tea shacks / dhabhas on Manali Leh Highway have fuel available in black. In case of an emergency, you can buy some fuel from them. DO NOT forget a carry a thin cloth that can be used with a funnel to filter any impurities while using such black fuel.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

What is the best car for Leh Ladakh trip?

There is nothing as such called the “Best” car for Leh Ladakh trip. A lot of factors depend upon making a car the best for one or the other trip. We must understand that the driver sitting behind the wheels matters the most, and which car you have for the Ladakh trip is just a matter of commute option.

I have seen people making Leh Ladakh trip on cars like Tata Nano to Range Rover. So, you can see the diversity of cars that can come in between and hence, no one car is best for Leh Ladakh trip.

It still does not answer your question. Right?

Well, you should consider the best car for Leh Ladakh trip which:

  • has a high ground clearance to overcome the bad sections of the roads and water crossings,
  • is spacious enough to carry your whole luggage,
  • is comfortable enough to not tire you on this long journey, and
  • is in a good mechanical condition which will not give you any trouble on Leh Ladakh journey or will not leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Is Innova car good for a Leh Ladakh trip?

Innova is JUST suitable but not so good, and if the person behind the wheel is amateur, then there are high chances of getting stuck in water crossings, landslides that require high GC and driving skills to negotiate.

Over the past few years of my trans-Himalayan experience, a majority of vehicles I have seen getting stuck in water crossings, and landslides/slush apart from sedans/hatchbacks are Innovas!! So, it is just good as long as you have good skills behinds the wheels.

There is no doubt that Innova offers the best in comfort on such long trips like Ladakh than any other car in the segment!! Hence, if you are hiring Innova as a taxi, then you should not have any issues because the driver behind the wheels will be very well skilled to drive on such routes in Ladakh.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Is tempo traveler better than a taxi?

If you have a large group and you want to travel together, then nothing beats the enjoyment of traveling together with your whole gang. Secondly, the cost of tempo travelers is about 35% more than the cost of a taxi. Hence, because of the large group size, a tempo traveler will always come cheaper to travel when compared to two taxis.

However, when you travel by taxi in Ladakh, the two advantages that you get is the comfort and speed of travel. There is no doubt that cars like Innova will offer you much more comfort than a tempo traveler. It is not only the seats that are comfortable in a small car, but the overall suspension and ride comfort are better than a tempo traveler. Secondly, tempo traveler will be slow in overall average speed while cars like Innova will be faster to travel.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Bike Rentals for Ladakh Trip: Common FAQ's

Accommodation & Food options in Leh - Ladakh. In this section I try to cover some basic queries about the options available for your saty and food during your trip to Ladakh.

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I take outside a rented bike to Ladakh?

Bikes rented outside Leh Ladakh are not allowed to do any sightseeing within Ladakh, including places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri. You can use these outside rented bikes for reaching Leh over Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway only.

However, further sightseeing in Ladakh is not allowed on these outside Leh rented bikes.

Some bike rentals in Himachal do have a pact with Leh Bike Rental Association that for the days Leh Bikes are rented, they give 50% discount on their bikes when they are parked in Leh. Make sure you strike the deal for it first be clear on the terms and conditions about it.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Where can I get bike rentals in Srinagar?

There are a couple of bike rental shops in Srinagar now that provide bikes on rent for Leh Ladakh trip. Make sure you inspect the bikes and rent them. Maybe go for a short test ride, if possible.

Keep in mind that bikes rented from Srinagar will not be allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh, and one-way bike rental will make a deep hole in your pocket for about Rs 10000-12000 for a pickup only. So, think before you make a deal of one-way bike rental from Srinagar and if it is worth it.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Where can I get bike rentals in Leh and at what prices?

There are numerous shops in Leh Fort Road and main market areas where you can get the motorbikes on rent. You can pretty much walk in, inspect the bike, go for a test ride, and book a deal. I will highly recommend doing it.

Leh / Ladakh Bike Rates for 2023 - 2024:

Royal Enfield Himalayan:
Engine Size: 411CC
Rental: Rs. 2,500 per day, Rs. 1,300 for half day

Royal Enfield Classic
Engine Size: 500CC
Rental: Rs. 2,100 per day, Rs. 1,200 for half day

Royal Enfield Standard
Engine Size: 500CC
Rental Rs. 2,000 per day, Rs. 1,100 for half day

Royal Enfield Electra
Engine Size: 350CC
Rental: Rs. 1,800 per day, Rs. 1,000 for half day

Royal Enfield Standard
Engine Size: 350CC
Rental: Rs. 1,800 per day, Rs. 1,000 for half day

Bajaj Avenger
Rental: Rs.1,200 per day, Rs. 700 for half day

All other Bikes Like Pulsar (150CC)
Rental: Rs. 1000 per day, Rs. 600 for half day

Automatic Bike / Scooty
Rental: Rs. 1000 per day, Rs. 600 for half day

Leh / Ladakh Bike Rates for 2022 - 2023:

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Ladakh Bike Rental is a good reliable bike rental shop run by Gurmat Namgial. The cost of bikes ranges from Rs 1000 per day (Bajaj Avenger) to Rs 2000 per day (Himalayan). Hence, the cost of bike rental depends upon the model, make, year and also the condition of the bike, at times.

Leh / Ladakh Bike Rates for 2021 - 2022:

Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

You can check the latest Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates

Where can I get bike rentals in Manali?

There are many bike rental shops in Manali that provide bikes on rent for Leh Ladakh trip. You must make sure you inspect the bikes and then only rent them. It is also a good idea to go for a short test ride, if possible.

Keep in mind that bikes rented from Manali will not be allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh, and one-way bike rental will make a deep hole in your pocket for about Rs 12000 for a pickup only. So, think before you make a deal of one-way bike rental from Manali and if it is worth it.

An interesting read about this topic How to Hire or Rent a Motorcycle in Manali for Leh Ladakh trip.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Are bikes rented from Delhi allowed in Ladakh?

The bikes rented from Delhi are not allowed for any sightseeing in Leh Ladakh. However, they can be used to reach Leh from either Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway. Once you reach Leh, you will need to rent a local Leh based bike on rent.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Are bikes rented from Manali allowed in Ladakh?

The bikes rented from Manali are not allowed for any sightseeing in Leh Ladakh. However, you can use them to reach Leh and then park them in Leh. Once you reach Leh, you will need to rent a local Leh based bike on rent.

Some Manali bike rental guys have associated with Ladakh Bike Rental and give a 50% discount for the days their bikes are parked in Leh.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I go to Ladakh on a 100cc bike or a scooty?

You can, of course, make a trip to Ladakh on a 100cc bike or even a scooty like Activa or Jupiter. However, with some challenges and compromises, it is completely possible to make a trip to Leh Ladakh on a 100cc bike.

You should know how to respect the limitations of your bike. At places, you will be required to get down and push the bike. Now, light bikes mean it is an advantage

You should avoid catching up with other vehicles or bikes, which means that you should drive in speed limits. Try to avoid riding for long hours in low gear to avoid heating engines and time to time keep taking breaks.

It is needless to say that you should avoid taking any shortcuts that feel enticing but can be fatal.

At a bare minimum, you should be carrying a clutch cable, accelerator cable, a couple of headlight bulbs, a spark plug, brake cable, adhesives like m-seal, Fevi-Quick, Elfy, coolant, puncture repair kit, etc.. You can refer the complete list & carry these required essential spares for your bike or scooty.

Hence, although it is not required to have a powerful bike like Bullet/Royal Enfield for your Leh Ladakh trip, it makes the journey a bit comfortable.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Is it possible to rent a bike in Manali and drop it in Leh or Srinagar or vice-versa?

It indeed is possible to rent a bike from Manali or Srinagar to make a one-way trip. However, the one bike rentals are very costly, and you will need to pay somewhere from 10000-12000 just for the pick up of the bike from Leh. If you drop it to the circuit end like Manali or Srinagar, then the prices for pick up of the bike may range about 15000.

Hence, unless you cannot live without the bike on Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway, there is no point in spending that much money in the rental bike pickup. In such cases, you should reach Leh and get the bike on rent from Leh based bike rental shops.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I take my friend’s bike to Leh Ladakh trip?

Yes, you can take a bike under your friend’s name in most cases unless there is some current tension among bike rental unions from Leh, Manali, and Delhi.

When you take a friend’s bike, then you need a NOC document from him stating that the bike is for private use only, he is the owner of the bike with RC number, and he authorizes you with your DL number to ride the bike personally for this Leh Ladakh trip.

This NOC document will be helpful in case someone stops you and objects the case of RC not being under your name. Solving the matter amicably is highly recommended unless you want to go into the struggle and spoil the rest of the vacation and money for the trip.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I transport my own bike for Ladakh trip by train?

You can transport your bike from anywhere in India on a train for a Leh Ladakh trip. There are two ways to carry motorcycles or bikes on the train in India. You can carry it either as luggage along with passenger / yourself, or you can parcel the bike from one place to another.

If you want to get into the details of the “How” part, you can read my article on How to Carry your Bike in Train to Ladakh or Himalayas?


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I courier my own bike for Ladakh trip?

You can courier your bike for a Leh Ladakh trip from anywhere in India using private services like Gati or Safe Express. As far as I know, Safe Express is the only movers who courier the bike to Srinagar and the rest of the movers have Jammu as the last drop point.

The prices of Safe Express are also reasonable, but they do not pack your bike because they are just movers. You need to get your bike packed by other packers independently. Most of the other service providers charge a much higher amount. I am sharing this info based on multiple posts from DoW Community members in our travel forums.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I do a bike trip to Leh Ladakh with a pillion?

Yes, you can make a bike trip to Leh Ladakh with a pillion. In my honest opinion, it is a trade-off between choosing the comfort of a solo ride or riding with your partner to either save cost or to feel the ride together with your life or soul partner or best friend.

Having said that, there are some caveats associated with riding to Ladakh with a pillion. You should be aware of certain factors when you are making a trip to Leh Ladakh that includes

  • The overall distance will be quite long and each day rides will also be of long duration
  • The condition of your bike
  • Luggage you plan to carry with you along with spare fuel
  • The size of yourself and your pillion
  • And above all, the riding skills
Keeping in mind the above points will help you decide if it is worth riding with a pillion to Ladakh or riding solo or a balance of it.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

Can I rent bike accessories and riding gear in Leh Ladakh?

Yes, bike accessories are available in some of the Leh bike rental shops. Following are some of the common rates of common bike riding accessories per day:

  • Two Men Camp = Rs 500
  • Sleeping Bag = Rs 200
  • Sleeping Mattress = Rs 150
  • Riding Jacket = Rs 300
  • Knee / Elbow Guard = Rs 200
  • Riding Gloves = Rs 100
  • Ladakh Carrier / Saddle Bags = Rs 100
  • Gum Boots = Rs 50
  • Digital Camera = Rs 500
  • GoPro with mounts = Rs 700
The bike rental shops provide the helmet for the rider as included in the rates of daily bike rental charges.


Taxi, Self Drive and Bike Rental Information

What is the best bike for Leh Ladakh trip?

You have already read in this book that people have already traveled to Ladakh on a 100cc bike to a scooty to Royal Enfields to the Ninjas sharing a range of horsepower. One benefit that comes to my mind is the sitting comfort is better in cruiser bikes than sports bikes. Ladakh’s journey is long, which requires long hours of riding daily. Hence, if you are not used to a particular bike posture you are subject to suffer from fatigue and other issues.

The roads within Ladakh, on Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway, is not in that great shape. So, you must have full control of the bike all the time while riding. If the bike is too heavy for you to control or uncomfortable, then well, you are bound to fall sometime. And, it is not a good place to fall or get injured. The help will not be present in the distance.

Hence, the best bike for a Ladakh trip is the one that you can ride with control and comfort. DO NOT go copying others who may be used to riding such bikes. If in doubt about the power of your bike, do refer to the section above in the book where I describe that even 100cc bikes and scootys can make a Ladakh trip.


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Common FAQ's: Ladakh Trip

In this section I will try to answers all common question related to permissions required during your visit to Ladakh.


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Does prepaid sim card work in Ladakh?

Prepaid mobile connections outside Leh Ladakh does not work in Ladakh. As a state, J&K does not allow outside state prepaid connections. The postpaid connections from BSNL / MTNL and Airtel do work in Leh Ladakh.

In terms of quality of the connection, Airtel is the best in Leh Ladakh, but the coverage of Airtel connection is pretty much confined to Leh town and its vicinity. Hence, when you need wide coverage within Ladakh, then BSNL / MTNL mobile connections have the widest coverage.

I highly recommend carrying a BSNL / MTNL postpaid mobile connection to Leh Ladakh.


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Where do I find mobile phone connectivity in Ladakh?

Mobile connectivity in Leh Ladakh is fairly limited to Leh town and Nubra Valley only within Leh Ladakh. There is limited connectivity at Hanle village and Pangong Tso (Lukung village); however, many times, the connection cannot be connected at these places. Tso Moriri, on the other hand, does not have any mobile phone connectivity. The last place where you will get mobile signals towards Tso Moriri is Chumathang.

On Srinagar Leh Highway, you will get signals up to Sonamarg, then once you reach nearby Drass and then finally in Kargil. Once you leave Kargil, you will get mobile connectivity at Lamayuru and then finally, when you are near Leh. In between places on Srinagar Leh Highway do not have any mobile phone connectivity.

Similarly, on Manali Leh Highway, you will get mobile signals up to Keylong and nearby Jispa. Once you leave Jispa or Darcha, the mobile phone connectivity is lost for the rest of the Manali Leh highway, and you get the signals only around Upshi / Karu near to Leh town. There is no signal at Sarchu or Pang.

Hence, it becomes very important that you inform your loved ones back at home whenever you get an opportunity to contact them before leaving for the day or after reaching your destination. This step will help them keep your whereabouts in case you get stuck in between some no phone connectivity zones.


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Does Jio sim card work on a Leh Ladakh trip?

At the time of writing this article (2018), Jio had installed the towers in Leh Ladakh, and connectivity was started in Ladakh in September 2018. The Internet data speed of Reliance Jio connections is quite fast. Reliance Jio is also planning to provide mobile phone connectivity up to Turtuk in Nubra Valley and Sarchu on Manali Leh Highway.


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Does Vodafone’s phone connection card work on a Leh Ladakh trip?

No, Vodafone connectivity is not present in Leh Ladakh.


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Does Aircel phone connection card work on a Leh Ladakh trip?

No, Aircel connectivity is not present in Leh Ladakh.


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Is it safe to travel to Leh Ladakh?

I have never heard or experienced anything in particular to the safety concerns of the travelers in Ladakh, in my last nine years of experience with traveling to Leh Ladakh. There have been a couple of instances when unrest in the valley, especially in Kashmir, may have disrupted the traffic movement. Still, in general, Ladakh remained safe, especially in the tourist areas.

It is always recommended that you leave the cities in Kashmir in the early morning hours in cases of bandhs, which usually are pre-declared. As long as you can stick to main highway roads and tourist areas, in general, there aren’t any untoward issues that I had known.

Having said that, please keep in mind that Leh Ladakh is an adventure travel destination, and the word adventure does come with risk, sometimes the risk of life. So, be a sane traveler and try not to cross the thin line between adventure and craziness.


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Is it safe to travel on Srinagar Leh Highway during 15 August or Independence day?

In general, it is fine to travel on Srinagar Leh Highway during Independence Day. The tourist areas remain safe mostly, but bandhs can affect the traffic movement. I always advise that you leave the Srinagar city in the early morning hours in such cases.

Usually, these bandhs are pre-declared, and hence you can leave the city in early morning hours judging the situation before the bandh gets active. As long as you can stick to the main highway and tourist areas, in general, there are no issues with traveling on Srinagar Leh Highway. I recommend you to follow the news during your travel days.

Also, you can skip the stay at Srinagar and move to Sonamarg the same day you plan to reach Srinagar. But, it adds about four more hours to the day’s journey.

If you or your family are really concerned about the Kashmir situation, I will suggest that you travel to Ladakh from Manali Leh Highway.

Having said that, as it is August and monsoon, you will definitely face monsoon hassles as described in the previous section of this article.


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Do I need a travel agent for my trip to Leh Ladakh?

It depends upon person to person for choosing to have a travel agent for a Leh Ladakh trip or to plan the Leh Ladakh trip on your own with the help of online forums and websites like www.TravelMyDestination.com.

I will still like to point out some pros and cons of planning your own Ladakh trip or buying a package tour from a travel agent.

When you plan a trip to Ladakh on your own, you get the advantage of a customized itinerary, your own choice of accommodation, control on quality stay, and flexibility in the plan. However, you need to invest time searching the information over the Internet and reading reviews.

While when you buy packaged tours from travel agents, you get peace of mind, an organized tour along with a single point of contact to connect in case of problems. But, such package tours are going to be expensive in comparison, restrictive in nature of itineraries and you may not have an idea of what is coming ahead without researching the place.

I plan my trips always because the biggest advantage to me is to have control of my plan and get an opportunity to research a place before landing there without any clue about it.


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Do you organize any tours or trips?

PLEASE note Travel My Destination is a travel information web portal with fellow like-minded travelers for FREE and help deserving locals get a promotion platform. We neither organize any tours nor offer any travel packages. Some people do sell tours and run commercial things with the same or similar names as ours, with a few spelling changes.

Please BEWARE of such copycats using our name to disguise fellow travelers, as they use our name or similar name to fool people for their commercial purpose. In the past, we have heard tons of complaints about them from the people who got confused in entities and ended up trips with them.

We at Travel My Destination website offer sufficient information one possibly can from the updated Leh Ladakh road conditions to the routes to the maps to the hotel details to day by day travel itineraries or plans, and other tips that one needs to make a successful trip Leh Ladakh, Himachal or Uttarakhand. This information will save you a lot of money and hassles too which you can use to buy something good for you or to help the ones in need in the Himalayas.


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Important Articles of the Series:

Leh Ladakh FAQs – Planning, Sightseeing & Routes
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Preparing for Ladakh Trip
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Public Transport, Budget and Travel Cost
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Stay, Eat, Permit & Mobile Connectivity
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Trekking Tour Preparation
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Bike Tour Preparation
Leh Ladakh FAQs – Adventure Tour Preparation

Conclusion:

Now, I concludes Questions and Answers series on Stay, Eat, Permit, Mobile Connectivity & Others in Leh / Ladakh. I hope this article answers your all questions related with Stay, Eat, Permit, Mobile Connectivity & Others in your Leh / Ladakh Trip. If you have any other query just type below in the comment section, will get back to you within short span of time.


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What's to Carry when you go for adventure tour?

Must carry extra cloths and also carry medicine for general purpose
Must Carry some cash because there are limited network and Banking Facility around your location
Carry some food items
Carry some warm cloths
Not to travel alone



Leh - Ladakh Travel Map


 




Best Time for visit
  JAN     FEB     MAR     APR     MAY     JUN  
  JUL     AUG     SEP     OCT     NOV     DEC  





Ideal Conditions for Visit

 Best conditions for skiing are sub zero temperatures(that's in degrees Celcius).

 The difference between wet snow, granular snow, corn snow and dry snow is based on the snow-to-liquid equivalent.

 Dry snow will have more air pockets than wet snow, making it lighter with less moisture and more powder. Dry snow is easier to ski for beginners because it involves less carving, but it can slow you down.

 Wet snow has more moisture, larger snowflakes and goes through a few melt-and-freeze cycles, which produces a crust on the snow. This is OK in the early morning, but the midday sun causes the crust to melt into slush, which can be more challenging for beginner skiers.





What Should Wear

 Rugged workaday cloths (jeans, corduroys, regular shirt, Shorts or T-Shirt) Rain Jacket.

Activity's Location

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FAQs about
Leh - Ladakh

Is tour to Ladakh by the road a good option?

For those who love biking and adventure of a Himalayan drive, a road journey is the best way to experience it.

What is the ideal duration for the Ladakh trip?

The ideal time depends on your plan and itinerary. Generally, it needs 5 to 10 days to cover the major destinations in Ladakh. If trekking is your main goal then you may have to increase the duration as some long trekking trails require a more prolonged time to complete the tour.

What kind of tourist vehicles are found in this region?

The high ground clearance vehicles are favorable in Leh. Tourists can found Toyota Innova, Mahindra Scorpio, XUV, Tata Safari, Sumo Grande, Xylo, Tavera, and Qualis. You will not find auto rickshaws here. Tourists can also rent a motorbike in Leh.

Is there any oxygen problem in Ladakh?

Ladakh is located at high altitude, nearly 11,500 feet above sea level. At this altitude people often find difficulty in breathing or are likely to fall prey to altitude sickness. It happens due to a low level of atmospheric oxygen. It is advisable to give yourself enough time to acclimatize before engaging in any physical activity.

What kind of accommodations are available in Ladakh?

There are varieties of accommodations available in Ladakh. The region is sprawling with the innumerable hotels, guest houses, homestays, and hostels. People can easily find accommodation in Ladakh without any hassle.


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