The best time to drive from Srinagar to Leh is during the summer. From May to September, you’ll have the best riding and driving conditions, as well as the fewest road closures due to weather. During the off-season, there will also be fewer opportunities to rent a vehicle.
What is the most convenient way to get to Srinagar?
Road: Get on the road and travel along with the National Highway network to Srinagar in 2 to 7 days, depending on how far you want to travel each day.
Bus: Taking the bus can be an adventure in and of itself, but it may leave you tired when you arrive in Srinagar. Rather than wasting time that could be spent exploring Leh and its surroundings, it may be more convenient to ride your bike or car rather than rely on a bus.
Flight: Flying into Srinagar and landing at the Sheik-ul-Alam International Airport is another great option because it allows you to save days on the road and rent a car once you arrive.
- Route from Srinagar to Leh by Road
There are a few road options to Leh from Srinagar, but we highly recommend taking different routes to go and returning to maximise your road trip experience.
How to Get from Srinagar to Leh
Srinagar, Sonamarg, Lamayuru, and Leh are all popular tourist destinations.
The total distance is 430 kilometres.
- Srinagar- Sonamarg
The first leg of your road trip to Srinagar will take you about 80 kilometres along the NH1 and should take you no more than a couple of hours. Stop and take in Sonamarg’s breathtaking natural beauty, complete with glaciers in the distance.
- Sonamarg – Lamayuru
Continue on the NH1 for about 200 kilometres to the next rest stop, Lamayuru. The road to Lamayuru is usually good but slow; plan on at least 4 hours. With so much to see and so many places to stay, you should plan some sightseeing and an overnight stay before continuing to the next leg that will take you up to Leh.
- Lamayuru- Leh
The last 100 kilometres to your destination should take no more than three hours. Once in Leh, visitors should take advantage of the numerous activities available, such as paragliding, kayaking, camping, and much more.
- Returning from the Leh Road Trip Leh to Batalik, then Kargil to Srinagar
Distance of 462 kilometres
We take a detour through Batalik and Kargil on our way back to Srinagar. Although the road is a few kilometres longer, returning this way provides more opportunities for photography.
- Leh – Batalik
Returning to the NH1, this time heading north-west to Batalik. This stretch of highway, only a few hundred kilometres away, should take you no more than four or five hours, though it can become congested with heavy vehicles. If you enjoy rock climbing, stay here and plan a climb with one of the adventure sports operators.
- Batalik – Kargil
Your next checkpoint, Kargil, is only 50 kilometres away and should be easy to reach; however, heavy traffic later in the day may cause congestion along the way. To avoid crowds, leave early, then stop in Kargil for some sightseeing and a meal before continuing to Srinagar.
- Srinagar – Kargil
Continue down the NH1, and you’ll find yourself back in Srinagar, where it all started. It’ll only be a matter of time before you’re back in your hometown.
- Rental of a vehicle
With so many options for renting a car in Srinagar, you can either contact tour operators ahead of time to reserve something specifically for you, or you can take a chance and make do with what is available when you arrive.
Motorcycles are easily available for hire, with prices ranging from Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2000 per day, including much-needed equipment, which is usually provided at no additional cost.
When renting a four-wheeler, you may have to settle for one that comes with a driver, as most rental companies prefer to operate in this manner.
These can be expensive, reaching up to Rs. 5000 per day for a decent vehicle, but keep in mind the number of occupants who can split the bill.
- Tour Essentials –
Weatherproof clothing is an absolute must for any trip.
Water and food
GPS or maps
All-purpose chargers for torches
Some security cameras
Money for groceries, gas, and other necessities
- The road trip from Srinagar to Leh is filled with sights and experiences. Enjoy the beauty of Leh as well as the available activities.
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