Ladakh welcomes winters as prayer flags flutter freely, crisp air turns sharp, snow spreads its fresh powder, and streams continue to gurgle. As October bids bye and November steps in, this cold desert of Ladakh presents unique vacation opportunities to keen holidaymakers. Located in the Trans-Himalayan region, the region receives maximum tourists in winters and adventure enthusiasts consider this season the best time to visit Ladakh. Temperatures during this month are mild as compared to peak winters. However, occasional snow showers are also experienced.
Featuring on the international tourist map, Leh is the most well-known city among other attractions and cities of Ladakh. With lofty mountains surrounding it, glass-like lakes dotted throughout, colorful monasteries, and historical sites; the city attracts holidaymakers for an exclusive experience.
If you want to plan a trip to Leh Ladakh in November, we bring you a carefully curated travel guide for the same. Before you set dates for this exceptional vacay, go through this concise tour guide that satiates your wanderlust to this adventure heaven.
Is it good to travel in November?
Traveling to Ladakh is truly a pleasure to the senses. It has become famous among tourists in the last few years, from far and wide, travelers visit here to admire this wonderful place. The best time to visit Ladakh depends on the interest, ability, and further travel experiences. Although Ladakh can be visited throughout the year, the winter season is something exceptional.
The thrill of the winter in Ladakh starts in October and lasts till March. The month of October indicates the limit of the tourist season, hence November remains an off-season month for tourists because of the severe cold climatic conditions. Most of the highways leading to Ladakh are closed in November. So, boarding a flight to Leh-Ladakh is the best mode of transportation.
During this month, the entire area of Ladakh falls in the grip of cold, the maximum temperature remains 7 degrees and the minimum is drop-down to -6 degrees Celsius. The lakes completely freeze and most of the tourists have gone from Ladakh. However, some spunky tourists stay in Ladakh to test their ability to bear the cold and have a different experience.
For tourists who are looking for some adventure and wish to witness the snowfall then November is an amazing month to visit. Why November? Check it out!
- In November, there are a lot of famous festivals celebrated here such as Thiksey Gustor, Chemday Wangchok/Padum, and Galdan Namchot.
- Experience the ride of double-humped Bactrian camels ride and cross over Nubra Valley.
- Enjoy playing ice hockey over frozen surfaces.
- Enjoy a trek through Suru Valley to the Drang Drung glacier.
- Low price accommodation
- Admire the beauty of famous monasteries such as Hemis, Spituk, and Alchi.
- Relish hot and mouth-watering local cuisines.
How to Reach?
Leh Ladakh is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts and November is the perfect time for those who are looking for some thrilling adventures. Tourists can indulge in trekking, sightseeing tours, and feel the thrill of riding on the high altitude mountain roads in the sub-zero temperature. There are two ways to reach Leh in November – by road and by flight.
For those who are looking for how to reach Leh Ladakh in November, here we have mentioned detailed information about this:
Leh has its own airport, Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport situated 3 km from the city centre. This is one of the highest commercial airports in the world, nestled at 3,500 m above sea level. It is connected from Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Jammu with direct and connecting flights. The airport remains operational throughout the year. The international passengers can board the flight from these cities. However, sometimes flights can be delayed in November due to bad weather conditions.
There are two routes to travel to Leh – by Manali and by Srinagar. In November, the road from Manali closed due to the heavy snowfall on the high-altitude mountain passes. Although, Srinagar-Leh Highway remains open throughout the year. Traveling by road is an experience of a lifetime. Generally, it takes two days to reach Leh from Srinagar, but the chances of snowfall at the high altitude passes are high in November due to which the traveling time can increase. Thus, travelers need to get prepared for such climatic conditions, if they are planning to travel by road in Ladakh.
The nearest railway station from Leh is Chandigarh railway station located at 716 km. In November, the Leh-Manali highway remains closed due to snowfall. Other nearest major railhead is the Jammu Tawi railway station, which is situated at 748 km from Leh. Tourists can hire a taxi/cab or board a bus to Srinagar from where they can head towards Leh, which is situated at 423 km from Leh. Srinagar-Leh highway remains open throughout the year.
Travel Within Ladakh
Visitors can hire a taxi or cab to travel within Ladakh in November. There are a few buses that ply in November and the complete information can be obtained from the bus stand. Another option is to board a shared taxi from Polo Ground in Leh to visit the popular tourist attractions. It is advisable not to travel on a bike due to extremely cold weather. The low temperature along with cold winds is not an ideal climate to bike a ride through the hills.
The route from Manali to Leh remains closed in November due to snowfall at high altitude mountain passes.
- In November, the Srinagar to Leh route remains open. However, the frequency of snowfall increases in November, due to which few stretches may get blocked for a day or two. But the Border Road Organization (BRO) clears the snow as soon as possible.
- Roads connecting to Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso from Leh remain open throughout the year.
Places to Visit
In November, the high altitude regions and mountain passes receive heavy snowfall. Leh Ladakh region is covered with white snow and becomes a winter wonderland. The sparkling snow adds charm to the breathtaking beauty of the region. There are a plethora of places in Leh Ladakh where tourists can visit in November. Here is the list of best places:
In November, the never-ending sight of snow-covered mountain peaks is a sight to behold. The snow turns Nubra Valley into a fairyland. Diskit Monastery is another popular place in Nubra Valley where tourists can visit and spend some time with the monks
Among the most visited places in Leh Ladakh, Pangong Lake started to freeze. However, it did not freeze completely in November. The reflection of the sky and mountains in the lake looks spectacular and gives a dreamy effect. The mountains surrounded by the lake blanketed with fluffy snow in November.
Creating a gigantic endless expanse of white and reflects stunning mountain vistas, Tso Moriri started turning into a white slab of ice in November. The snow-clad mountains surrounded by the lake leaves everyone captivated and mesmerized.
Leh is the largest town and the capital of Ladakh. In November, it offers the enchanting view of snow-clad mountain peaks. Tourists can visit Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Magnetic Hill, Pathar Sahib, Thiksey Monastery, Shey Monastery, Sangam, and Spituk Gompa.
Khardung La Pass
One of the highest motorable passes in the world, Khardung La Pass is situated at an altitude of 5,359 m above sea level. In November, the pass is covered with snow and offers a view of a long stretch of sparkling white snow-clad mountains. The pass sometimes closes due to heavy snowfall and it takes a day or two for the Border Road Organization (BRO) to clear the snow and open the road for the visitors.
Things to Do
- Explore the Monasteries of Leh-Ladakh
Dating back to the bygone era, Leh-Ladakh is brimming with magnificent monasteries. Tourists can admire the beautiful paintings, ancient thangkas, gold, and silver gilded statues of Lord Buddha inside. All of them are distinct in their way and promote positivity and rich culture of Buddhism to the world.
- Plan An Excursion to Indus and Sham Valleys
Enjoy a full day of excursion to the museum called Hall of Fame and seek blessings at Gurudwara Pathar Sahib. Explore the Magnetic Hills, known for opposing the law of gravity, and visit Nimmy Village, which is the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar river.
- Ride Through the World’s Highest Motorable Road
Experience a ride to Nubra Valley via Khardung La Pass (one of the world’s highest motorable roads). Also, enjoy breathtaking views of roadside cafes and scenic points. Nubra Valley also offers a camel safari ride at the dunes between Diskit and Hunder village.
- Enjoy the Picturesque Sunrise
Wake up early for a ride to Pangong Lake. Witness spectacular views of sunrise here and en route visit Thiksey Monastery and Shey Palace.
The months from November till April are off-season and a few accommodation options are available in Ladakh. Travelers can find accommodation at places like Pangong, Nubra Valley, and Tso Moriri with a little difficulty. Also, small hotels remain non-operational in November and there are limited accommodation options. The hotel rates can be high during this time, so book your stay in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle.
You can also look up to homestays, hostels, and guests houses for a stay.
Things to Carry
With temperatures dropping much below the freezing point, you need to carry a lot of heavy woolens such as pullovers, sweatshirts, and warm hoodies. The most important things to carry during Ladakh trip in November include –
- Thermal wear
- Insulated boots
- Heavy woolen jacket or parka (windproof),
- Monkey cap
- Fleece or windcheater jacket
- Woolen socks
- Warm gloves
Tourists can soak in the culture of the Land of Lamas by attending the festivals. This high-altitude region is splashed by colors of various festivals throughout the year. So, tourists can partake in the same and admire the cultural cocoon that Ladakh turns into with festivities. Festivals with which Ladakh comes alive in November are –
- Chemday Wangchok Festival at Chemrey Monastery
- Thiksey Gustor at Thiksey Monastery
Travelers can pamper their taste buds in Leh with multi-culinary fare that largely hail from Korea and China largely, apart from India. Thukpa Skyu (heavy pasta with veggies), and Tsampa (roasted barley flour are among the delicacies that you must savor here. Served piping hot, a mouthful of these treats is good enough to dare the biting cold. Needless to say, momos are an all-time superhit delight that keeps visitors pepped up throughout the trip here.
Do’s and Don’ts
Among everything that one must know for a Ladakh vacation, tourists must abide by certain do’s and don’ts, which are –
- Check weather conditions beforehand.
- Carry a water bottle with yourself as it is important to stay hydrated at high altitudes.
- Pack extra batteries to keep mobile phones and cameras charged.
- While visiting monasteries, dress modestly
Plastic bags are banned in Ladakh, so don’t carry any.
- Don’t click pictures of monks without their permission.