Should I Carry Fuel For My Ladakh Road Trip

One of the common questions that come to mind when planning a road trip to Ladakh is the need to carry fuel in my car / bike. Are there sufficient Fuel station on way ?

I’ll try to answer this question based on following

  • Which vehicle are you driving & which route you are taking
  • You must understand your vehicle mileage & fuel tank capacity of in order to take an informed decision. There is no need for overly cautious as well.

Please remember, if you carry fuel in regular plastic can in a Car, fumes do come out and it can cause nausea, so make an informed choice

Only a steel Jerry Can like this is robust and can be carried safely Olive planet Steel Jerry Can

Various Vehicles and there fuel tank capacity

  • Bikes RE Thunderbird 500 CC  have a fuel capacity of 18 liters
  • RE Classic  ( 500 CC or 350 CC ) 13.5 liters will need extra fuel based on the stretch you are going
  • Mahindra Scorpio : 55 L
  • Mahindra XUV 500 : 70 L
  • Toyota Fortuner : 70 L
  • Duster : 50 L

If you are driving XUV / Duster / Fortuner / RE Thunderbird then by and large you won’t need extra fuel with you

1. Srinagar – Leh Highway

On Srinagar Leh highway, there is absolutely no need to carry fuel whether you are driving a bike or an SUV. There are fuel station available at regular intervals. Just refuel when you see the fuel station and forget about it.

Detour to Zanskar on Srinagar – Leh Highway

Kargil has a fuel station and if you choose to take a detour to Zanskar Valley and go all the way till Padum and explore around in Zanskar Valley, then you certainly need to carry fuel from Kargil, based on your vehicle

2. Trip to Nubra Valley From Leh

There is no fuel available in Nubra Valley but Hunder is only 125 kms from Leh so a return trip is about 250 kms.

If your plan is to go to diskit / hunder and come back to Leh, then you don’t really need to carry fuel. But if you intend going to Turtuk / Panamik Or Siachen Base Camp or go towards Pangong directly from Nubra Valley via Shyok or Wari La, then you must carry fuel with you.

How much to carry is based entirely on your plan and how much you intend to drive.

The fuel station near Diskit is highly unreliable and most often then not there is no fuel available.

3. Return Trip to Pangong from Leh

There is no fuel available in Pangong or around the area. A shop in Tangste village sells fuel and you can inquire should you need in case of emergency.

4. Trip From Leh to Pangong – Tso Moriri via Chushul and then to Sarchu

This section of the journey, you must carry fuel. If you are going towards Sarchu then for almost 700 kms there is no availability of fuel. And if you are planning to add Hanle to your trip as well, then carry fuel accordingly

5. Leh – Manali Direct Route

The only availability of fuel on this route is in Tandi. Tandi is roughly 300 kms from Karu. Karu is roughly 50 kms from Leh towards Manali / Pangong side which has the fuel pump. Most bikes will need to carry fuel while most Cars/SUV will not need to carry fuel on the Leh – Manali section

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