Ladakh Tourism: How to Plan your Leh Ladakh Trip

Ladakh in August

Introduction

Complete Guide to Visiting Ladakh in August 2021

Do you know Leh Ladakh is exciting, thrilling, and offers plenty of advantages to tourists in monsoon? There is less crowd in Ladakh in August because the month falls in the monsoon phase. But still, August has been considered the best time to visit Ladakh by the Ladakh tourism official website. There are certain aspects linked with August and Ladakh travel. You need to understand all of them before experiencing Ladakh’s immaculate beauty in August. Tourists who have made Ladakh trips possible in August in recent years have reported that it is possible to travel across Ladakh in August; however, to make your journey a breezing encounter, tourists have to stay tuned by the ever-changing rules.

If you too have questions or thoughts in your head about how to visit Ladakh in August 2021, read the complete guide to visiting Ladakh in August 2021.

The Good Thing About Traveling to Ladakh in August 2021

Both the highways, Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh, remain open in August. Remember that Ladakh is a rain shadow region which means this high altitude cold desert in the Himalayas blocks the rain cloud, and thus, drizzles to light rain are faced in Ladakh. In August, both the routes to reach Ladakh brims with lush greenery will blow your mind for sure. From a sightseeing point of view, there will hardly be any activity you can’t do in Ladakh in August, from river rafting to trekking to masked dances in monasteries. Even the internal roads connecting famous tourist attractions in Leh Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri Lake are also open. Accommodation in Ladakh in August is also not a problem. All the accommodation options, including homestays to hotels, remain open for tourists.

Usually, the monsoon in Ladakh lasts for two months - July and August. In the first half of August, rainfall starts at Kashmir and Himachal, connecting Ladakh via Srinagar-Leh, and Manali-Leh Highway! By the end of August, the monsoon would mostly be gone! You will find a clear sky, pleasant weather, and fresh mountain air to breathe in - Cold air starts showing its presence in Ladakh in August which can be felt by you if you don’t take your winter clothes.

The Tough Thing About Traveling to Leh Ladakh in August 2021

The untold truth about traveling to Ladakh in August 2021 is that a road journey is a tough call. Both the highways to reach Leh Ladakh, Srinagar-Leh, and Manali-Leh become challenging to drive because of water streams and landslides. If you arrive at Leh from the Srinagar side, you will find downpour troubling upto Zojila Pass and from Manali upto Zojila Pass. There might be a temporary roadblock anywhere on the highway if rain showers often or more than 3-4 hours (approx.). But relax, the Border Road of Organization (BRO) clears the route as soon as they can for vehicle commute. If it is suggested that you plan your Leh Ladakh trip in August 2021 by the latter half of the month. Wondering why we are persuading you to plan your trip towards the later half in August? Continue reading!

Independence Day Checking

You need to keep additional days as a buffer in the Ladakh itinerary because if you go by the first week of August before Independence Day, you would need to take a halt at several check posts. Indian Army Officials are on their duty with full alertness. They don't let any vehicle pass through both the highways, especially Srinagar Leh Highway, because of the curfews and disturbance in the Kashmir Valley! So if you are traveling to Leh via Kashmir, be prepared to cooperate with the Indian Armed Forces. Whereas you will hardly find any patrolling by the Indian Army on Manali-Leh Highway in Ladakh in August 2021. This clearly signifies Manali to Leh Highway does not have many stopovers or halt points.

Also, the mobile connectivity may get affected during Independence weekend while traveling to Leh Ladakh in August 2021 via Srinagar-Leh Highway. So we would recommend you plan your Ladakh trip via bike or car in the second half of August (after Independence Day). If you still want to travel via the Srinagar-Leh route, keep 3-4 days additional in your itinerary.

Water Streams

By August, you will come across water streams taking a toll on your journey as the streams are well fed by melted snow and rain showers. You will find such water streams on both the highways, including the internal roads within Leh, where vehicular movement is observed. Those who will plan their Ladakh journey via bike wear rubber sandals instead of shoes to avoid getting wet at their feet during a water crossing. Someone coming via car should bring a good ground clearance car to easily cross the challenging water streams.

Can I Plan A Road Trip to Ladakh in August 2021?

You can plan a road trip to Ladakh in August either by bike or car but follow the guidelines to overcome the monsoon hassle. You must carry a waterproof bag so that you can carry all your clothes. Also, you need to wrap your electric items and motorbike documents nicely in a plastic sheet all the time if your are on bike. As you know, Ladakh is a rainshadow region, but anything might happen at such an altitude, the weather is unpredictable. In that case, to prevent yourself from getting wet by a downpour, carry a raincoat. It will help you a lot when you are on your bike. Did we mention that your shoes need to be waterproof even if you are traveling to Ladakh via car?

Fuel Stations Information on Manali-Leh Highway and Srinagar-Leh Highway

Fuel Stations on Manali Leh Highway

If you are planning to tour Leh Ladakh via bike in August, this is one of the top tips. Traveling to Leh via Manali Highway means you will find fewer numbers of petrol pumps. The total distance between Manali to Leh Highway is 473 kilometers (approx.). Although, within Manali, finding a petrol pump station will not be a hassle. But once you embark on the Manali to Leh route, you will find an authorized petrol pump first at Tandi and then at Karu. The first petrol pump at Tandi is supposed to be 110 kilometers (approx.) from Manali, and then the next fuel station is in Karu, which is before 35 kilometers (approx.) from Leh. This clearly signifies that you will not find an authorized petrol pump on Manali to Leh Highway other than at Tandi and Karu. So it goes without saying you have to cover 330 kilometers (approx.) without a petrol pump on the Manali-Leh route. It is advised to fuel your bike completely at Manali, Tandi, and Karu.

Note: There are only two authorized petrol pumps on the Manali-Leh route, and both of them remain operational throughout the touristy season. To be on the safer side, you should carry fuel in a container or plastic bottle with a protective cap so that the fuel won’t get in touch with your bike carburetor. You will find fuel selling in black at Sarchu and Pang or at several Chadar Tents on Manali Leh Highway.

Fuel Stations on Srinagar Leh Highway

So, the Srinagar-Leh Highway total stretch is around 434 kilometers (approx.), and on this route, you fill several petrol pumps after every 150 kilometers to 200 kilometers (approx.). We suggest you fill your tank with fuel at Srinagar because after passing Srinagar, the petrol pump frequency on the Srinagar-Leh Highway decreases. From the side of Srinagar, you will find the last one before Sonamarg, which is around 80 kilometers (approx.). If you talk about the Leh side, Khalsi is where the authorized petrol pump is present, 90 kilometers (approx.) from Leh. During your ride on the highway, there are petrol pumps at Nagbal, Ganderbal, Kargil, and Khalsi.

Note: Apart from the authorized petrol pumps on Srinagar-Leh Highway, you can buy fuel in black at Sonamarg, Drass, and Lamayuru. However, when you are on Srinagar to Leh Highway, locating petrol pumps on your drive to Leh Ladakh is no hassle.

Read complete information about how & where to carry spare fuel for Ladakh trip

Srinagar Leh Highway or Manali Leh Highway: Who’s the Ultimate Winner

In every sense, be it acute mountain sickness, road conditions, and petrol pump availability, Srinagar-Leh Highway beats the Manali Leh Highway. But keep in mind that the Srinagar route due to Kashmir Valley is heavily occupied with the Indian Armed Forces, and it can go under lockdown at any time if the Army officials feel there is something suspicious going on in the valley. Also, Srinagar to Leh Highway makes more sense to those who haven’t been to high altitude regions before as this route is best for acclimatization.

Will Hotels and Homestays in Ladakh Be Operational in August 2021?

Yes! All the hotels and homestays in Ladakh will remain operational in August 2021 as of August in Leh Ladakh, experiencing peak tourism, despite the monsoon. But you need to book your accommodation in advance as most of the camps, hotels, or homestays get pre-booked by the tourist. You can’t take the risk of going directly and finding accommodation. So you should choose your accommodation in advance and reserve it with utmost alertness.

What Will Be the Weather and Temperature in Ladakh in August 2021?

The weather and temperature of Ladakh in August 2021 will allow you to lose yourself in the serene and tranquil ambiance of mighty mountains. You will feel cold at night, so carry warm clothes. Expect light rain showers on both Manali to Leh and Srinagar to Leh Highway. As you will reach close to Leh, downpour chances reduce gradually. In August, the average temperature of Ladakh will fluctuate between 15°C - 20°C (approx.) in day hours and drops by 5°C after dusk.

Visiting Ladakh in August? Follow These Travel Tips

  • Take Srinagar-Leh Highway after 15th August
  • Spend 2-3 days (approx.) to acclimatize yourself
  • Carry sufficient sunscreen and take hats
  • Nights would be cold so carry warm clothes
  • Drive safely on Khardung La or Chang La Pass due to the probability of snowfall in August
  • Heavy rainfall might hamper the road journey at Baralacha La, Khardung La, and Zoji La

Which of the two routes, Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh, will you take to reach Leh Ladakh in August 2021?


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