If you are stuck with the thought of traveling to Ladakh in October, then you are not alone. Once the land of avid bikers, Ladakh has now become one of the top travel destinations in India for families and honeymoon couples. And any time of the year shouldn’t stop you! Well, practically speaking, Ladakh is one of those destinations that cannot be visited throughout the year but if you are wondering ‘Can I visit Ladakh in October?’ Then the answer is a definite YES.
Since Ladakh in October is not the peak tourist month, there are some challenges you can face on your Ladakh trip. Do not worry! We have you back. We have compiled this comprehensive Ladakh travel guide to help you plan your trip to Ladakh conveniently. For more information, keep reading to know Ladakh climate in October, places to visit, things to do, clothes to pack, accommodation, and important tips for Ladakh bike trips.
Is Ladakh open in October?
You must remember that October is not exactly the tourist season in Ladakh but is not off-season as well. Therefore, all the public transportations, hotels, and guest houses, and other facilities are still open and available. Not just this, but you will see other travelers as well during October month that have come to gain the best experiences of their life.
Is Ladakh safe for tourists in October? As we all already know, Ladakh is located very close to international borders. So, as long as you are not breaking any rules, crossing borders, exploring remote areas, and roaming around at night, Ladakh is completely safe.
Weather Conditions in Ladakh in October
The month of October in Ladakh is extremely cold. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first, mid, or last week, October will bring shivers along with it. During this period, the temperature remains between a maximum of max 14°C and a minimum of -1°C. And at places like Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso, the temperature may go even lower.
The sun may not shine all day long and can be dry and cloudy and at night, you may see snowfall with cold. However, you can see a slight climate difference in the starting week of October, and that may be the best time to plan a trip to Ladakh. But with each passing day, the temperature and weather will get intense. So, you must wear and carry all the warm clothes with you. Further, at the valleys of Nubra, Sham, and Suru, you can see orange hues, making it a magical scenery to behold.
Clothes for Ladakh Trip in October
Now that you know that it is very cold in Ladakh in October, here are some clothes you must carry for Ladakh Tour - Thermals and woolens
- Windproof jacket
- Gloves, woolen socks, a woolen cap
- Good pair of sport shoes
Other essentials you must-have during your Ladakh travel.
- A pair of sunglasses, sunscreen lotion
- Cold cream, lip balm, moisturizer
- Basic medicines
- Pain relief spray or balm
- Other toiletries
Which route is better for Ladakh travel in October?
To answer this question, we must say both routes have their advantages and disadvantages (not really!). Below are both the routes Manali - Leh route and Srinagar - Leh route and you can choose whichever is suitable for you.
Manali Leh Highway in October
Driving on Manali Leh Highway can be a little tricky. If you want to use this highway to reach Ladakh, then the best time would be the first week of October. It remains open till the mid of the month but is not considered safe for travel. Also, the high passes in between the route start to receive snowfall in September only, and by the time October hits, the roads get completely blocked.
Baralacha La on the Manali route is the first high altitude pass to receive snow and then there are 3 more passes after Baralacha La. If the roads get closed due to snowfall, you will be stuck for quite a while. To avoid this situation, ask around before you commence on your Ladakh trip.
Further, plan your trip as early as possible in October. In case, you are not able to travel in the first week of October, then choose Srinagar Leh Highway for traveling to and fro from Ladakh.
Srinagar Leh Highway in October
The Srinagar to Leh route remains open in October and can easily be used to reach Ladakh. The Zoji La, however, might receive snowfall in October, making it challenging for you to cross it. The road conditions are bad, but check the weather forecast before, travel slow and carefully, and you will be fine.
Ladakh by Flight
Flights to Leh are operated all throughout the year. You can easily book a flight from Delhi to Leh and other major Indian cities. One thing to keep in mind is that flights are more prone to cancellation in the winter season. But the chances are low in October.
Local Transportation in Ladakh
Traveling within Ladakh is convenient as all the internal roads and public transport remain open in October. The local transportation in Ladakh like buses and private taxis are easily available for exploration. And if you choose to drive by your own vehicle, you can travel to any part of the region as long as you have a permit for it.
Places to Visit in Ladakh in October
For attractions in Ladakh, almost all the places remain open for you to visit and explore. Here are some of the best places to visit in Ladakh in October.
- Nubra Valley
- Pangong Lake
- Tso Moriri
- Tso Kar
- Sham Valley
- Zanskar Valley
- Leh - Leh Palace, Shey Palace, Shanti Stupa, Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery
Things to do in Ladakh in October
Known as the adventure’s paradise, Ladakh has no dearth of fun and exciting activities for tourists and adventure lovers to indulge in. Here are some of the best things to do in Ladakh in October.
- Camping - Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri
- Trekking - Stok Kangri Trek, Sham Valley Trek, Markha Valley Trek, Trek to Phuktal Monastery
- Local culture - Tibetan, Indian, Kashmiri, Buddhist, and Muslim culture
- Enjoy local food
- Go Shopping
Festivals Celebrated in Ladakh in October
Diskit Monastery is one of the popular attractions in Ladakh and celebrates Deskit Gustor Festival in Ladakh in October. You can be a part of this festival that marks the victory of good over evil. It continues for 2 days and treats the viewers with amazing performances by Lamas on Chaam Dance, and dances performed while wearing sacred masks accompanied by music. Well, if you wish to visit Ladakh in October 2021, the Deskit Gustor festival will be taking place from 14th October to 15th October 2021.
Accommodation in Ladakh in October
As we just discussed, almost everything is open in Ladakh in October, finding a place to stay will not be an issue. As October is off-season, you can easily get a place to stay in Leh city on the spot. Also, places like Pangong, Nubra Valley, and Tso Moriri have campsites and tents that may be closed due to snowfall. Therefore, it is advisable to inquire about the stay in advance and make the booking.
Tips for Traveling to Leh Ladakh in October
- As Ladakh is located close to the Indo - China border, you need to get a permit from the Office of District Magistrate. This issued permit is not applicable for visiting Leh but other areas such as Pangong, Tso Moriri, and Nubra valley.
- High altitudes and new climatic conditions can lower your oxygen levels and cause Acute Motion Sickness. Therefore, be careful with the symptoms and take necessary precautions, medicines, and remedies to handle AMS in Ladakh.
- Zanskar Valley might or might not be open in October. Get details before visiting.
- You may experience bad road conditions at Khardung La, Chang La, and Zoji La.
- Be prepared for a little snow, pack well, and you will be fine. Only postpaid network work in Ladakh like BSNL.
- In case of emergencies, the hospitals in Leh remain open for 12 months.
- If you want to explore Ladakh by bike, take the Srinagar Leh route to visit and go home from Ladakh.
- If you are catching a flight to Leh, you can still rent a bike in Ladakh and explore the region.
- If you are planning to visit Ladakh in October by bus, drop the plan, and book a flight instead. The road blockage might hinder your bus journey.
- The public transportation services within Ladakh are great and you can easily hire buses and taxis to explore the region.
- While traveling with family in October, make sure to follow all the precautions and take good care of health to avoid any unnecessary problems.
Hope this Ladakh travel guide will guide you on your trip to Ladakh in October. Take all the necessary measures, follow the routes, and you will have an unforgettable and safe journey in Ladakh.