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Our Himalayan Odyssey

Photo source Bcmtouring.com. http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/road-ladakh-captured-t6265/

Compiled by
Saurabh Srivastava
Overview of the journey

Sunday, Monday, June Tuesday, June Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, July 3, Saturday, July
June 28, 29, 2009 30, 2009 July 1, 2009 July 2, 2009 2009 4, 2009
2009
Delhi - Chandigarh - Manali - Sarchu - Pang - Rest , Permits , Leh - Khardung hunder - deskit -
Chandigarh manali Rohtang La - Upshi - More Bike Checkup La - Khalsar - khalsar - left turn
Khoksar - Palins - Karu - Diskit - sumur - for agam - agam
Tandi - Keylong Leh panamik - diskit - tangyar - wari la
- Darcha - - shakti - changla
Sarchu - dubruk - tangtse
- spangmik
Alternate route
(Check note)
Distance - Distance - 310 Distance - 230 Distance - 240 Distance 50 Distance - 200 Distance - 230 /
270 local maybe 180
Sunday, Monday, July Tuesday, July Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, July Saturday, July
July 5, 6, 2009 7, 2009 July 8, 2009 July 9, 2009 10, 2009 11, 2009
2009
BUFFER Spangmik - Chumathang - Sarchu - Mandi Mandi - Delhi BUFFER DAY Travel back
DAY Tangtse - Karu Mahe Bridge -
- Upshi - Tso moriri -
Kumdok Puga - Tso Kar
Chumathang - Sarchu
Alternate
route :
(Check
note)
Distance - Distance - 230 Distance - 200 Distance - 350 Distance - 450
170
NOTE: On Saturday July 4 enroute there is a chance that we find a glacier river in agam which might not be possible to
cross due to high flow, generally water is less in morning before the ice starts melting so we might need to drop this route if
we dont reach early enough and go back to leh and then go to pangong, therefore the next day is a buffer day. Preferable
time is before 9 as after this the flow will increase due to melting ice. So the alternate route would be to go back to leh on
Saturday and on Sunday travel to Pangong tso via karu – chang la – tangskey.
Journey Begins
Day 1 26/June Friday night :
Mumbai and Bangalore guys leave for delhi

Day 2 27/June Saturday :


Train travel

Day 3 28/June Sunday :


Delhi to Chandigarh/Kalka – Distance 270KM. approx time 6 hrs. at avg speed of 50kmph.
reach delhi by 10am throughout the day we have two choices either in these 6hrs we board our bikes on some
train to Chandigarh/Kalka (anyways our bikes will be packed) Or in case if we are not able to board it for some
reason then we leave for Chandigarh/Kalka and stay overnight there.

Day 4 29/June Monday


Chandigarh/Kalka to Manali – Distance 310 KM approx time 10 hrs at avg speed 30kmph as we will
definitely be taking lot of breaks on this scenic route that cuts right through the beautiful himachal. We should
target reaching to manali by 7 pm max so we need to leave Chandigarh atleast by 8 am.
Manali

We will reach manali by evening say 7 pm. Gotta rest and everyone would definitely want to hog on to the true Tibetan momos and
thukpa.

Day 5 30/June Tuesday


Manali to Sarchu – Distance 230 KM. time 8hrs at avg speed 30kmph. We will leave manali before 10 am
as that will help us bypass the traffic which is heavy on the rohtang pass. We need to keep it really slow, gotta
take lot of pictures so whenever anyone wants to stop just hint others .
Manali - Rohtang La (52kms): Fun starts within an hour of leaving Manali, as you make your way to the first
high altitude pass, Rohtang La 13,050ft, a.k.a. heap of dead bodies!
Roads are mostly in good condition and with in an hour of leaving Manali, you should be at Marhi (19kms
before Rohtang); you can have your breakfast here or at Rohtang Parking, followed by a quick stop at the
Rohtang pass for photos.
Rohtang La - Kokhsar (19kms): Even though road from Rohtang to Kokhsar is downhill all the way, it is
mostly in bad condition. Foreign nationals are supposed to get themselves registered at the check post in Kokhsar,
apart from that, this small town has little to offer unless you want to have a quick meal or want to spend the night
at the only guest house in town.
Kokhsar - Tandi (38kms): Journey from here is also downhill till Tandi and roads are mostly in a state of
disarray. Tandi has the last petrol pump before Leh, roughly 380kms from here. So dont forget to tank up before
moving on to Keylong.
This is a popular spot we should find around Keylong source http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/road-ladakh-captured-t6265-37/
Tandi - Keylong (9kms): Keylong is the last place where your mobile phone will work before you reach Leh
and also the last place where you can hope to find a mechanic, in case you are having some problems with your
vehicle get it checked ASAP! Also this is a preferred stop over for many who decide to split their journey in to
three days or more. TANDI HAS THE LAST PETROL PUMP BEFORE LEH.
Keylong - Darcha (28kms): From Keylong roads are in some what better condition and only get smoother as
you approach Jispa and eventually Darcha. Once at Darcha, take a break and tank up on supplies and get your
self registered at the check post here.

Somewhere between Bharatpur and sarchu. Source BCMTouring.com. http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/road-ladakh-captured-t6265-12/

Darcha - Sarchu (84kms): Roads are mostly in bad shape. It is advisable to take it easy and dont over stress
your self, especially at the summit of Baralacha La, 16,500ft. From Baralacha La it is again a downhill but a
rough ride till Bharatpur, after which the road condition starts improving gradually as you approach Sarchu.
Sarchu, at an altitude of 14,000ft, is a collection of tents and a militarily base. Even though it is quite a windy
place and high in altitude, it is the prefer night stop for most travelers. You will need to register at the check
post in Sarchu before proceeding further.

We will stay in sarchu and enjoy the night at the army camps
Camp at Sarchu source. http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/road-ladakh-captured-t6265-32/

Day 6 1/July Wednesday


Sarchu to Leh – Distance 240 KM. time 8hrs at avg speed 30kmph.
Sarchu - Pang (80kms): Roads from Sarchu till the start of Gata Loops are in good condition and the progress is
fast.

Pic: Gata loops source: http://www.op59.net/ladakh2000.html


Gata Loops are a collection of 21 loops that take you to an altitude of 15,302 ft, roads in the loops are in not so
good condition and the slow moving trucks leaving cloud of thick smoke make the ascent feel tougher than it
actually is.
Next up is the third pass on the Manali Leh route, Nakee La, 15,547ft. While few km down the road is
Lachulung La pass situated at an altitude of 16,616 ft.
The descent from Lachulung La will take you to Pang, which is a temporary tent settlement and has a check post
where travelers need to register themselves. Take a breather here and eat some thing for the final push to Leh.
Pang - Upshi (125kms): The road from Pang will take you to the famous Moore Plains; situated in a plateau,
you will be hard-pressed to believe this relatively flat piece of land is located at an altitude of 15,400ft. Road
here are relatively straight and in good condition, inviting you to indulge in speeding. But dont! Road is quite
bumpy and it will be a good workout for your vehicles suspension and your stomach.
Moore Plains this is the place for offroading fun, awesome mudtracks for really long distances
Pic: Moore Plains source http://media.photobucket.com/image/moore%20plains/amitpatil888/ladakh/IMG_3571-1.jpg
After the fast paced journey on the Moore plains, you will find your self on the ascent to the third highest pass
you will encounter in Ladakh, Tanglang La (17,582ft). Final few kms to the summit of the pass are in bad
condition and the steepness coupled with lack of air takes a toll on vehicles performance. But once you reach the
top you will be greeted with spectacular views, in fact from Tanglang La you can clearly spot the road to the pass
for miles on both directions.
Descent from Tanglang La for first few kms is in bad condition, however after that you will be greeted with
spectacular roads and with the altitude decreasing gradually, your spirits will start picking up and you will feel
rejuvenated by the time you reach Upshi.
Upshi - Leh (55kms): A small break for a cup of tea/coffee at Upshi to unwind is recommended before you
continue your journey on the Manali Leh highway to reach Leh, about an hour and a half drive from Upshi. You
can also spend the night in Upshi in case you are too tired to continue with the journey.
Day 7 2/July Thursday
Leh

Pic : View from a popular restaurant in Leh. Photo source http://BCMTOURING.com


Leh: We need to take permits, get our bikes checked and relax. See the annexure for details on Leh. Try
renting a place on changspa road There are good restaurant close to it.(for names see pics below)
Recommended to see Thiksey, Hemis around leh if possible.
Recommeded place for food
Pic : a popular restaurant in Leh. Photo source http://BCMTOURING.com

Also this one for german bakery and leh view restaurant(serves beer inteapot ha ha ha) in main leh market
Pic : a popular
restaurant in Leh. (above SBI- Lake view restaurant) Photo source http://BCMTOURING.com

Day 8 3/July Friday


Leh to Nubra– Distance 180 KM, we will leave by 9 am and spend whole day in leisure riding but try reaching
by 6.30pm so that we can bargain for a place to stay. A minimum must do is either hundur disikit sumur or
diskit sumur panamik.
Leh – Phyang – Khardung La (40 kms): An early start should ensure that one reaches Khardung La without
encountering lot of traffic. Despite all the hype surrounding Khardung La, drive/ride to the summit is relatively
easy. Road beyond South Pallu (check post where one needs to submit the permits) is in a bad condition and gain
in altitude is substantial, however it isn’t as strenuous or steep as Chang La or for that matter Tanglang La.
Once you reach the summit, you can take time out to get your photo taken next to the signboard which says
“Khardung La, 18380ft, Highest Motorable Road in the world”. For those out of breath, there is a café at the
summit, where one can have a much needed cup of tea/coffee along with some snacks. There is also a suvnior
shop selling Khardung La memorabilia.

Khardung La – Khalsar (58 kms): After break get ready for a bumpy ride/drive till North Pallu (one needs to
submit permits here as well) this is also the last place before the village of Khardung where one can expect to
find food.
Roughly 30 kms from the Khardung La pass is Khardung Village, it is quite a small settlement and there are only
a few restaurants here, a quick stop here for photos is recommended due to the lovely mountainous backdrop.
Roads from Khardung to Khalsar are once again in good condition, Khalsar is the preferred pit stop of taxi/bus
operators for breakfast/lunch.
Somewhere out there source http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/road-ladakh-captured-t6265-38/
Nubra Valley

Khalsar – Diskit (20 kms): Few kms down the road from Khalsar the road bifurcates into two, road on the left
leading to Diskit while the road on the right goes to Panamik. This is also the place where you first experience
the changing vistas Nubra Valley is famous for, few kms into the road leading to Diskit the scenery changes
from arid desert to a small oasis.
Many people choose to stay at Diskit and there are phone facilities available here as well as hotels and guest
houses. While in Diskit don’t forget to visit the ancient Diskit Gompa which was built in 1420AD. Perched on
top of a hill overlooking town of Diskit, the Gompa provides some breathtaking panoramic views. Access to
Gompa is via a half hour trek through a two meter wide steep path; however the views and the Gompa more than
make up for the effort. The main attraction of the Gompa is the main Deity, which holds in its hand the
mummified human forearm and head, which is believed to be of a Mongol warrior.

From http://pinpix.blogspot.com/2007_06_21_archive.html
Diskit – Hunder (8 kms): 8 kms down the road from Diskit is the village of Hunder. Hunder is set amidst fields
of rye and barley and surrounded by fruit orchids and sand dunes; for people used to seeing the moonscape
scenery of Ladakh, Hunder is a welcome break.
Hunder – Sumur (40 kms): After backtracking for 20 odd kms you should be back at the bifurcation from
where you had taken the diversion to Diskit, now you need to take the other route going towards Sumur and
Panamik. The 20km drive from here to Sumur is scenic to say the least, with the views changing every few kms.
Sumur’s main attraction is the 150 year old Samstening Gompa and apart from that the village itself is an oasis in
the middle of a desert.
Sumur – Panamik (20 kms): 20 kms down the road from Sumur is the village of Panamik, famous for 250 year
old Ensa Gompa and hot water springs. This is also the last point tourists are allowed.

Accomodation : You will easily find accommodation at Diskit, Hunder, Sumur and Panamik. Personally I like
the first three more than Panamik as they are greener
[QUOTE]
This is a small Guest House with just 4 rooms and a really helpful and cheerful owner "Thupka". Just when you
enter the Sumur Village this Guest House is located on left side of the road just a couple of houses down...
Lots of flowers, fantastic views of snow clad mountains and a beautiful cow. Also there is a shop nearby that
sells a really strong blend of Old Monk - Specially prepared for Army... Enjoy
[/QUOTE]
Day 9 4/July Saturday (this is the route where we can save a day by short cut to pangong)
Nubra – Pangong (if possible) Distance 180km. This is the river at Agam in the pic below if the flow is really heavy we
won’t take this route.

Source http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/travelogues-north-india-f61/wari-la-pass-during-bone-freeze-season-t7966/
If river favors us then the route would be deskit – khalsar – agam – tangyar – wari la – shakti – changla
– dubruk – tangtse – spangmik else we will go back to leh.
Pangong Tso

We will camp at Pangong Tso Either on Day 9 or Day 10 which ever plans take effect.
http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/21715
Day 10 5/July Sunday (alternate route if we have to come via Leh else start from day 11 as day 10)
Leh Pangong distance 170Km

Leh – Karu (45 kms): Start off from Leh early in the morning after breakfast and start driving/riding on the Leh
– Manali highway till you reach the town of Karu. Road is in good condition and journey is fast paced, due to
this you will be in Karu in less than an hour.
Karu – Chang La (35 kms): From Karu you need to take the left turn that would take you to the village Shakti,
roads are mostly straight till you cross Shakti and a few kilometer thereafter the real ascent for Chang La starts.
For most part ascent is steep and initially roads are in good condition. As you approach the final few kms of the
ascent to Chang La, road conditions start to deteriorate and steepness increase, making the affair of reaching the
summit of Chang La more challenging and memorable.
Of all the passes one encounters in Ladakh (barring Marsimik La), Chang La is the steepest and due to bad roads
at the final ascent it is also the toughest, no wonder it is called "The Mighty Chang La".
At 17,800ft it is also the second highest pass in ladakh that you will come across. Once you reach the summit,
you will be greeted by the Indian Army troops who are stationed here to acclimatize to high altitude, before they
are posted in world’s highest battlefield, Siachen. There is a temple on top of Chang La pass, called Chang La
Baba ka Mandir, as well as a cabin built by the army where you can warm up yourself while chatting with the
soldiers.
Chang La – Tanksey (58 kms): After a few minutes rest, its time to begin the descent from Chang La, road is in
bad condition for few kilometers, beyond which superbly laid tarmac coupled with beautiful scenery awaits you.
Your next big break will be at Tanksey a.k.a. Tangste; Tanksey is a big town with few shops, hotels and an
internet café. It is a good idea to have your lunch here.
Tanksey – Spangmik (Pangong Tso) (32 kms): Journey beyond Tanksey for most part is through fantastically
laid tarmac and views, however don’t indulge in over speeding, since there are quite a few water passages built
in the middle of the road, which essentially mean 8-10 feet long depression in the middle of the road without any
warnings! As you approach the lake, the sheer size of it starts becoming more apparent as you finally reach its
shores. On the banks of the lake is a military camp and also Lukung which is a collection of tents and newly built
Eco Huts. From here you can carry on, on the road that turns in to sand and rock filled dirt track. The small
settlement visible from here is the village of Spangmik, the last village up to which you are allowed to go on
normal inner line permits.
Pic: http://picasaweb.google.co.in/hianusunil/SunilHim#5232885141749066962
Day 11 6/July Monday (if short cut from nubra to pangong comes handy then this is day 10)
Pangong (spangmik) to Chumathang – Distnace 230 KM

Take the route back to Karu as on the earlier day and from Karu Drive down to Upshi towards manali.
Upshi – Chumathang (95 kms): From the roundabout at Upshi take the left turn and a few hundred meters
down the road is the check post where you need to submit your permits. For better part of the journey you will
have the Indus River for company and tarmac is in good condition for most part, barring few landslide prone
stretches. Chumathang itself has little to offer to a visitor apart from a few restaurants, a Gompa and hot water
springs.
Day 12 7/July Tuesday (if short cut from nubra to pangong comes handy then this is day 11)
Chumathang to Tso Moriri to Tso Kar to Sarchu – Distance 200 KM we have to leave as early as possible as we
need to drive for atleast 10 hrs on this day to reach sarchu in time.
NOTE there is no plan of staying overnight near Tso Moriri. If need be then we need to move further to village
called Korzok as camping near Tso Moriri is not allowed.
Chumathang – Tso Moriri (40kms): From Chumathang it is a relatively easy drive till Sumdo, few kms after
which it is best not to use the road since it is too bumpy, instead either make your own track by driving/riding off
road or use one of the numerous tracks left by passing vehicles. The last 30kms are a pain, but a boon for those
who love off road riding/driving, the track here is a mix of sandy and dirt trails littered with small stones.
However the view one gets at the end of it makes it all worth it.
Even though Tso Moriri is smaller than Pangong Tso and fewer people come here, it is more beautiful in some
ways due to the fact that area surrounding Tso Moriri is a wild life reserve and one can see Tibetan wild ass
(Kiang), marmots, red foxes and quite a few migratory birds. For accommodation and eateries take the right turn
from the main entrance of Tso Moriri wild life sanctuary and continue for few kilometers to reach the village of
Korzok a.k.a. Karzok.

Tso Moriri – Tso Kar (60 kms): From Korzok back track till the Mahe Bridge and from there take the diversion
to reach Tso Kar. Road from Mahe Bridge is in bad condition, but a boon for off road junkies.
It is believed that Tso Kar was once connected to Tso Moriri, even though Tso Kar is a salt water lake while Tso
Moriri is fresh water. The area surrounding Tso Kar is protected and forms the Tso Kar wild life sanctuary.
Return Journey
If we have a buffer day we can keep it really easy going here.
Day 13 8/July Wednesday (Alas we start our return journey here)
Sarchu to Mandi – Distance 350 KM (if we have a buffer day we will stay in manali)

Day 14 9/July Thursday (if we have buffer day then we will stay in kalka)
Mandi to Delhi – Distance 450 KM

Day 15 10/July Friday (we reach delhi on this day if we utilize the buffer.)
Buffer day for delhi.

Day 16 11/July Saturday


Travel Back
Day 17 12/July Sunday
Travel Back
Annexure
Manali - Leh
Accommodations
There are several accommodation options available at various places in Manali Leh route; here are few places
along the way, where you can spend the night.
Kokhsar: There is only one guesthouse in Kokhsar.
Keylong: Apart from the majestic HPTDC hotel Chandrabhaga which offers rooms, luxury tents and dorms,
there are several small guest houses as well where you can spend the night.
Jispa: Jispa has quite a few tent settlements along and a guesthouse.
Darcha: There is tented accommodation available at Darcha where one can spend the night.
Zingzing Bar: In case the weather turns ugly en route to Baralacha La, you can find accomodation at Zingzing
Bar dhaba tent.
Bharatpur: There are few tents at Bharatpur which offer basic accommodation.
Sarchu: Sarchu only has tents to offer to an exhausted traveler; however there are quite a few choices here, from
cheap accommodation in Dhaba tents which costs Rs. 30 per person to luxury tents costing thousands of rupees a
night.
Pang: Pang also has tented accommodation available, although choices are less than one gets in Sarchu.
Upshi: There are few guest houses in Upshi along side the Leh Manali highway.
Leh: Leh being the capital and tourist hub of Ladakh has tons of accommodation options to suit budget of every
type, from dorms costing as little as Rs. 75/per person a night to luxurious hotels and resorts costing a thousands
of rupees a night.

Amenities
Phone services: Mobile phone networks only work in Manali, Marhi and in some parts of Rohtang, Tandi and
Keylong. One can also find paid phones in Manali, Keylong and Jispa. Only after reaching the outskirts of Leh,
mobile phones from select operators start working and one can hope to find a pay phone
Petrol Pumps: The only petrol pumps before Leh are in Tandi and Manali, so be sure to fill up your tank here
and carry enough petrol for rest of the journey.
Mechanics: The last place on Manali Leh highway for finding a mechanic is at Keylong, so in case youre having
problem with your vehicle, please get it checked there.
Leh
Leh and surrounding towns and villages have a lot to offer to travelers in the form of ancient Gompas, Mosques
and Palaces.
Shanti Stupa: One of the newest of Leh’s religious monument, Shanti Stupa was built by a Japanese Buddhist
order in 1985. The white colored structure of Shanti Stupa is decorated with traditional Buddhist paintings.
Located only a couple of kms from Leh’s Fort Road, Shanti Stupa offers fantastic views of Leh city.
Ancient Leh Palace: Towering over the city of Leh is the former residence of Ladakh’s royal family, Leh Palace.
Built in 16th century this 9 story Palace still looks fantastic and offers a panoramic view of the city. Above the
palace on the Namgyal Tsemo hill are the remains of an old fort built in the 16th century by then King of Ladakh,
Tashi Namgyal.
Main Market: main market of ladakh offers travelers and locals a place to indulge in shopping, from internet
cafes, to restaurants offering mouthwatering traditional and foreign cousins, traditional ladakh handicraft items,
cloths, vegetables, so if you need some thing, chances are you will be able to find it in the main market.
Polo Ground: Located couple of kms away from the main market is Leh’s polo ground, the highest in the world.
Next to the Polo ground is Ladakh’s DC Office where one needs to apply for permits to visit restricted areas like
Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley etc.
Thiksey Gompa: 20 kms from Leh on the Leh - Manali highways is the famous Thiksey Gompa. Situated on top
of a hill, Thiksey Gompa not only offers spectacular panoramic views, it has some of the most beautiful murals
and statues. Thiksey Gompa also contains gold covered 15 meter tall statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha
There are several other Gompas worth visiting in and around Leh; to know more about them
Accommodation in Ladakh: Leh is filled with hotels and guest houses of various types and budget.
Amenities
Petrol Pump: There are two Indian oil Petrol Pumps, one located on the entrance of Leh city and another
located few kms down the road on the Leh - Manali highway.
Garages and Mechanics: There are several garages and mechanic shops, including an official Maruti service
center at Sakara road.
Phone Services: Leh has plenty of pay phone booths and cyber cafes, add to this if you own a post paid GSM
connection and your operator has a roaming agreement with either BSNL or Airtel, you will be able to make and
receive calls with ease.

Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley


There are various ways to do this excursion, people short on time prefer to only drive/ride till Khardung La,
spend some time there and come back to Leh, a trip of this sort should come out to be 80 kms.
However many people do decide to go to Nubra Valley, which is highly recommended. You will need at least
couple of days for such an excursion, with a night stop at Diskit, Hunder or Panamik.
Restricted Area: Nubra Valley is a restricted area and to visit it you need permits which are easily obtainable
from the DC’s office in Leh and can be procured by either submitting the application yourself or through a travel
agent. The permits are issued for a maximum period of three weeks, in case you are visiting other restricted areas
like Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso you need to mention them in the permit as well.
Make at least 4 photocopies of the permit per region, since you would need to submit them at various check posts.
Accommodations
Diskit: Diskit is the district headquarters of Nubra Valley and has the maximum number of accommodation
options. Add to this quite a few households in Diskit run small guest houses from their home, which provides
cheap and clean accommodation to travelers on a budget.
Hunder: Hunder has few guest houses and camping ground where one can find decent accommodation.
Sumur: Like Diskit, Sumur also has wide variety of accommodation options and is a favorite pit stop of many
travelers.
Panamik: Unlike Diskit and Sumur, Panamik has fewer accommodation options. However the guest houses here
do provide hot water from the hot water spring which believed to have therapeutic values.
Amenities
Petrol Pumps: It is advisable to tank up at Leh itself and carry enough petrol/diesel to see you through this trip,
since only Diskit has a petrol pump and availability of petrol/diesel can be an issue there.
Phone services: Diskit has quite a few pay phones that one can used to make long distance and overseas calls.

Leh – Pangong Tso


This one is very tough Spangmik – Marsimek La (42 kms): 10 kms before Spangmik on the Spangmik –
Tanksey road is a diversion that goes towards the village of Phobrang and finally to the highest Motorable pass
in the world, Marsimek La a.k.a. Marsimik-La a.k.a. Marsmik-La. If you want to attempt Marsimek La then you
need to specifically mention that while applying for permits. Make at least 4 photocopies of the permit per region,
since you would need to submit them at various check posts.
Restricted Area: Pangong Tso, Marsimek La and Chang La are restricted areas and to visit them, you need
permits which are easily obtainable from the DC’s office in Leh and can be procured by either submitting the
application yourself or through a travel agent. The permits are issued for a maximum period of three weeks, in
case you are visiting other restricted areas like Tso Moriri and Nubra Valley you need to mention them in the
permit as well.
Accommodations
Tanksey: Even though Tanksey is 32 kms before Pangong Tso, it is a good place to spend the night, due to sheer
number of accommodation options and their quality which is better than both Lukung and Spangmik.
Lukung: Eco Huts at Lukung are just right of the shore of Pangong Tso. Be warned there is no electricity or
proper toilet, just camping grade toilet and warm water courtesy solar water heater. Beside this one can also pitch
ones own tents here.
Spangmik: Spangmik only has one hotel which offers rooms as well as luxury tents; however get ready to shell
out any where between Rs.700 - 1200 for these. One can also find accommodation in guest houses that some
inhabitants of Spangmik run from their home.
Amenities
Petrol pumps: It is essential to fill up your vehicles petrol tank at Leh and carry enough petrol for the return
journey, since there are no petrol pumps beyond the outskirts of Leh.
Phone services: Beyond Thiksey there are no phone booths and mobile phone coverage, however there is an
internet café at Tanksey.

Tso Moriri

Return Journey
From Tso Kar; More Plains – Pang – Sarchu
Restricted Area: Tso Moriri is a restricted area and to visit it you need permits which are easily obtainable from
the DC office in Leh and can be procured by either submitting the application yourself or through a travel agent.
The permits are issued for a maximum period of three weeks, in case you are visiting other restricted areas like
Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso you need to mention them in the permit as well.
Make at least 4 photocopies of the permit per region, since you would need to submit them at various check posts.
Accommodations
Chumathang: Chumathang has more accommodation options to offer than Korzok or Tso Kar; it has a few
guest houses and even a resort!
Korzok: There are few accommodation options in Korzok since Tso Moriri isn’t as famous as Pangong Tso.
However there is a hotel here along with guest houses that Chang-pa Nomads run from their houses. There is
also a collection of tents and one can even pitch their own tents at designated spots.
Tso Kar: There are tented accommodations available near Tso Kar; one can also pitch their own tent in
designated spots.
Amenities
Phone Services: There are no internet cafes or phone booths beyond Leh, so be prepared to remain out of touch
for the next couple of days.
Petrol Pump: Carry enough petrol for the return journey to Leh or till Tandi, since there are no petrol pumps
beyond Leh. Although one can find contraband petrol/diesel at Chumathang, Pang and Sarchu, it is
recommended to carry enough petrol to see you through this trip comfortably.