How to Plan For Srinagar Leh Trip

Curves Along Fatu la Effectively planning the journey from Srinagar to Leh is almost critical to make a good beginning to your road trip. Most common errors while planning from Srinagar to Leh is “Doing the journey in one day with no night halt in between” This makes you very vulnerable for AMS when you reach Leh and it can totally spoil your trip
Never do Srinagar to Leh in one day
The roads are mostly smooth except when ascending Zoji La and then part of road till Drass .. After Drass till Kargil and then to Leh, the roads are wide and well maintained .. By and large, most common plan for Srinagar to Leh is in 2 days Day 1: Srinagar to Kargil Day 2: Kargil to Leh While if you are short of time, then I don’t think there is anything more that you can do besides enjoying every site on way. If you do have more time or want to tweak this around based on your preference, then continue reading

Zojila Pass Timings

When Zoji LA first opens early in the season ( Generally May ) , it is one way i.e. In 2015, due to excessive snow, one day traffic was allowed to go from Srinagar to Kargil Side and Next day, the traffic was allowed to go from Kargil to Srinagar side. These changes are not known, till the pass is open and you wont get to know even a month in advance. This change has to be done just a few days before the trip at max.

2016 has seen little snow fall so anticipate less problem this year and Zoji La should be operational early  In all other years, traffic is allowed in slots during the day. Srinagar traffic is allowed to cross Sonamarg check post before 8.30 AM so one must start early morning in May from Srinagar. Post 9 AM till about 1 PM, the traffic is allowed to cross from Kargil side.


Driving your own SUV ?? Check out the following resources … 

[ezcol_1third] SUV Driving Tips For Ladakh Terrain SUV Driving tips for Ladakh Journey Self Drive Expedition -Sept 5th Best Hotels For Your Ladakh Journey [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] Most Comprehensive Day Wise Plan from Delhi to Delhi For Ladakh Road Trip
Day 8 : Nubra Valley to Pangong via Shyok
Route : Hunder – Diskit – Khalsar – Agyam – Shyok – Durbuk – Tangste – Lukung – Spangmik  Attractions : Wilderness Drive to Agyam, Drive through Shyok RIver Bed   Distance : 155 kms 6 hrs ( 1 hrs of stoppage time, total 7 hrs )   Road Condition : Bad after Agyam ( Lot of slides , dry river bed , etc If its raining then this section is very tricky 4×4 preferred if not dry )   Food Recommendation : Dhabas are only available near Durbuk ( You wil find an odd tea shop on way before that ) – Khalsar has some Dhabhas ( Pack your food from the camp / hotel in Nubra and then have it at a place of your choice ) 

Kindly check locally and closer to your travel date about this restriction

From Aug, there is no restriction and you can travel easily right through the day and cross Zoji La anytime during the day
This restrictions has an impact on your planning and hence once should not plan to leave for Kargil immediately on arrival in Srinagar, especially in May / June and part of July Now that we have handled the uncertainty of Zoji La, its time to plan the night halts and the possible options


The first night halt can either be in Srinagar or Sonamarg.
While Srinagar is more like a city with no scenic beauty but one can relish Kashmiri Cuisine and enjoy the Shikara Ride amidst the setting Sun, which is certainly a worth while thing to do. If you love being in nature then plan a night halt in Sonamarg. It is about 80 kms from Srinagar and you are away from the town and into the country side of Kashmir. Besides, it is at much higher altitude and the weather is also cooler. However, please do keep in mind that from mid July to Mid Aug due to Amarnath Yatra, do not plan a night halt in Sonamarg due to heavy rush of pilgrims. There are stay options before Sonamarg and you must stay before Sonamarg to avoid Pilgrim rush. The next suggested night halt is Kargil but it is a very boring town and nothing to write home about. At least you can find a decent accommodation for good night rest. Kargil is also a doorway to Zanskar Valley and if you are planning to take a detour to Zanskar then this also acts as your base.
At the start of the season, plan for Kargil only ( Zoji La can be unpredictable ). Sometimes it may take even upto 8 hrs to cross Zoji La This happens only when the snow conditions are high
Once the snow settles down usually from July onwards, if you like you can plan a night in Lamayuru. In order to do this, stay for the night halt in Sonamarg. This way you will have sufficient time for beautiful landscape and sites en route to Lamayuru from Sonamarg.
Kargil night halt can be replaced with Lamayuru from July, once the snow melts on Zoji La
Lamayuru Gompa on the top
Lamayuru Gompa on the top
Lamayuru is a small village and is home to one of the oldest monastery in Ladakh region. The choice of stay in Lamayuru is basic but clean and if you are looking for any kind of luxury then you will be disappointed. Neat and clean accommodation with simple food service in a peaceful surroundings is what you will get here. From Lamayuru, when you begin the drive to Leh, there are may interesting detours. Tingmosgang ( from Nurla about 100 kms from Lamayuru ) and Alchi after Ule are your best possible options.
Tingmosgang & Alchi make for an interesting detour on the Srinagar – Leh highway
Both Tingmosgang and Alchi are small village with interesting Monasteries and you can interact with locals and visit the monasteries to explore the local culture besides driving on rural roads of Ladakh in itself a unique experience. If you like you can plan a night halt at either of these places before you head to Leh or just head straight straight to Leh if monasteries is not your thing Or don’t have enough number of days at hand


  • positive review  Eight of us from Sri Lanka got Sunil to arrange a self driven tour to Leh and we are very happy with our decision. He was punctual, trustworthy and met our expectations. The service provided was very professional. As foreigners it’s hard to arrange such a tour by ourselves and Unwind outdoor filled in the gap perfectly. All places we stayed were nice and decent. Should specifically mention about the two Scopios which we instantly fell in love with. They were very well maintained. Unfortunately we were not issued permits for Nubra and Pangong by the Leh government but Sunil came up with an alternative on time. We are very happy and satisfied and we highly recommend Unwind outdoor, specifically for foreigners. We will definitely use their services for our future adventures in India.

    Sumudu Fernando Avatar Sumudu Fernando

    positive review  Well organised tour. The accommodation selected was to our satisfaction. Road guide given with food places was quite useful.

    Sesamy Malwenna Avatar Sesamy Malwenna

    positive review  We did a SUV self drive trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh and back organized by Unwind Outdoor. Highly recommend Unwind Outdoor as Sunil and Manpreet took care of everything we needed (car, hotel bookings, sightseeing and food recommendations, permits) and everything was organized seamlessly. Sunil was very patient with all our queries, giving suggestions and options to suit our preferences. It was our first time doing such a drive and it was a great comfort to have the team's support in full and them taking care of everything for this awesome trip.

    Ashish Thadani Avatar Ashish Thadani
  • positive review  It had been over a year that we were planning for our dream trip. More than logistics it was to get 4 like minded people to endure the 14 day long trip away from family on an adventure of a lifetime – risks involved, we needed these people to be with each other in bad times. We trusted the lead trip organiser and went ahead with the allocated head count. After days of research, we finally came across a facebook page called ‘Unwind Outdoors’. It seemed like our dream was going to be finally true. Very reasonably priced and Sunil from Unwind was like a know-it-all person. The itinerary was so crisp and so very well laid out that there was no reason for us to worry other than coping up with nature’s fury. The route was so very well laid down that we got our anxieties out of the mind. The daily plan was chalked out in a way that we get enough time to spend on roads- driving and taking photos and at the same time we were reaching destination well in time to enjoy it. Then came the big question – if it were to be in a self-drive vehicle, which one would take us through the most difficult terrains? The Fortuner 4x4 it was! Solid as a rock on bad roads that it took us through where there were no roads at all. The vehicle was very well maintained and did not budge other than the smaller issues of punctures that we were anyways expecting. Finally, the accommodations provided were top notch based on the options available. The smaller Dhabas for our pitstops were also indicated which was a great portrayal of dedication and professionalism to the cause – We have never seen or experienced such a meticulous tour organiser. All in all it was a great trip and our humble regards to Sunil, Manpreet and the team Unwind for making this dream trip happen. For anyone planning to take this trip up, we highly recommend a 5 star rating for the services and the overall support provided.

    Priyadatta Prabhavalkar Avatar Priyadatta Prabhavalkar

    positive review  We booked for a Scorpio on a 8 day trip from Srinagar to Chandigarh via Kargil, Leh, Nubra, Pangong, Jispa and Manali. The hotels booked by Sunil and Manpreet were amazing and had great hospitalilty. We reached a few hotels late at night and even then they served dinner for us, loved the hospitality. On the way to Tso Kar the suspension of the car broke and we had to return to Leh to get it fixed. Sunil was extremely helpful and made immediate hotel booking for us at Leh for the night and shifted the following bookings. We had a really breathtaking experience, thanks to Sunil and Manpreet. I highly recommend Unwind Outdoor.

    Srivathsan Avatar Srivathsan

    positive review  amazing amazing travel partner I had till now ,100% cooperation since beginning planning till coming back ,continuous in touch at every destination and must say very very sweet lady manpreet havent seen her face and dont know weather older than me or young ,if old than manpreet ji thank u so much for everything , all properties which sunilbhai gave us all superb and excellent property was glass house would love to go again and again ,also car and driver was so good in our entire trip .thank u I recommend unwind outdoor for everyone just trust these peoole

    Rajshree Panchal Avatar Rajshree Panchal
  • positive review  Fantastic planning by Sunil and Manpreet. Right from airport pick up ( choice of driver - Pandey ) to airport drop, everything was meticulous and detailed. The hotels and resorts that we stayed at were just perfect with very comfortable rooms, great food and hospitality, and spectacular views. We stayed at the Amber Vermont ( Mussurie ), The Terraces ( Kanatal ), Namani Ganges and the Glass house in Rishikesh. All in all a great holiday thanks to Unwind Outdoor. Some photos from our trip (10th to 15th April 2019 ) are attached. Annoottam Ghosh

    Annoottam Ghosh Avatar Annoottam Ghosh

    positive review  Thank you for a wonderful trip unwind outdoors, especially Sunil Kapoor n team..considering traveling with 5 month and a 3 yr old it was definitely well planned! Even the food places suggested were great! Thanks again for the memorable experience guys!!

    Hetal Patel Avatar Hetal Patel

    positive review  Family Trekking Trip can never be so adventurous but equally comfortable, without Unwind Outdoors. Planning a trek with a 10 year old daughter was not easy, if it was not planned the way Unwind Outdoors did it for us !! All managed well... right from Dehradun airport - Sursingdhar - Barsu - Trek to Barnala - Trek to Dayara Bugyal - Harsil - Gangotri - final actual unwind at Mussoorie - Dehradun Airport !! Nothing to complaint - be it self driven car - on the go support by Manpreet - Delicious simple food - Stay - Route details ! All perfectly planned by Sunil Kapoor ! This was my 3rd experience with Unwind Outdoors and look forward to many more ! Thank you Sunil Kapoor and team - Manpreet - Nareshji - and everyone else for all the efforts ! We know this is your work but can see the passion in your work.! All the above said comes with a Price... worth paying !!

    Nirali Shah Avatar Nirali Shah
  • positive review  We just returned from a first ever visit to udaipur, city of palaces. Unwind Outdoor helped plan and book this fun vacation for us. Hotel Fatehgarh sitting on top of a hill offering mesmerizing views was the Highlight. We loved the quaint ambience of this palace hotel; breakfast buffet filled with melodious bansuri, sumptuous dinner offering lighted city views of lake Pichola and courteous staff. We highly recommend it. Our itinerary was meticulously planned and executed. Unwind took care of arranging transportation and sightseeing. Boat and recommended restaurant reservations were made in advance and followed up each day to accommodate changes. Sightseeing highlights were the City palace and Jain temple in Ranakpur. We also took the boat ride to Jagmandir and walked around badi lake. On recommendation of our local driver, we stopped at a street stall to enjoy an appetizing and apparently very famous lemon tea. This spiced tea tasted yummy and felt medicinal. Thank you Unwind Outdoor for making this trip a memorable vacation.

    Mona Nanda Avatar Mona Nanda

    positive review  Thank you Sunil and Manpreet for such an awesome experience of Rajasthan..It was a 7 day long road trip with Self drive car and we had absolutely no issues during the whole trip. The car was perfect, the stays a perfect mixture of Experience and Luxury, the secluded spots advised by Manpreet were really beautiful and unexplored. If you want to avoid the monotonous places to see with lots of crowd and want to experience the real Rajasthan then Sunil is the person for you. Thank you so much!! Will surely plan another destination with you guys again..

    Smriti Garg Avatar Smriti Garg

    positive review  Thanks Sunil for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything went well and we were in good hands with friendly and competent drivers. Accommodation was good and tents were comfortable beyond our expectations. We didn't have problem with food choices. It was a totally rejuvenating vacation and experience for us. Thanks from us in Singapore!

    Lilian Chan Avatar Lilian Chan
  • positive review  We had an amazing 9-day from Manali to Leh. Serene, breathless and picturesque. High altitude sickness was a big issue for us but we were in good hands. Unwind Outdoor was superb in arranging and coordinating the trip. Taking care of all arrangements and checking-in on us. Kudos to Sunil and his team.

    Alvin Chia Avatar Alvin Chia

    Just done with 18 days bike trip with unwind outdoor ... wat i can say about the arrangement made by mr.sunil ... its just truely amazing and wonderful ... the guides and the Accommodation provided was really great .... mr sunil really showed his professionalism when he all the way keep in touch with alot of ideas and tips for us along our rides .... Unwind Outdoor is surely a name u would not regret choosing for any of our trip plan ....

    Magenthiran Shanmugam Avatar Magenthiran Shanmugam

    Few things command more respect than dedication, integrity and ability to follow through. These were few things among many that we experienced in our journey to Leh-Ladakh. It's not easy to travel for a fortnight without exhaustion taking a toll on your body but surprisingly the arrangements made by Unwind outdoor made us feel that it ended too soon. Every hotel and tent booked were excellent and refreshed us for the next day. When my group started this journey, we knew this was a one time deal and had certain expectations but i am pleased to say that our experience was way above what we thought possible. We did encounter some difficulties as every trip does at some point or another but needless to say Sunil and his team took care of it. Selecting a travel agency is tiresome but i cannot recommend this agency enough and i will be doing the same no matter how many times i visit.

    Vishant Shah Avatar Vishant Shah
  • Dear Mr. Sunil Kapur, Thank you very much to you and your team for arranging this fantastic tour. One of the best pick from this tour was your meticulous planning and promptness of service. All arrangements were fantastic, be it a delivery of vehicle at Chandigarh airport, hotels particularly at Chandigarh, Leh, Nubra, Pangong. However the best was at Jispa, Kargil and Srinagar for different reasons. Jispa was simple but authentic with very tasty food. Location of property at Kargil was outstanding with very clean and well furnished rooms. And Hospitality of Mr. Shamim at Srinagar won our hearts in addition to quality of their property. Travel from Jispa to Leh was breathtaking with Himalaya showing us variety of rocks in different colours and sheds. It was strong and rustic. Later on seemed wear a lush green gown of all bright coloured ornaments. Transforming the Himalaya into a Romantic heroism. In contrast experience to war memorial at Kargil was heart wrenching. Making you humble to feel “मुझे तोड लेना, वनमाली, उस पथ में देना तुम फेंक, मातृभूमि पर शीश चढाने, जिस पथ जाएॅ वीर अनेक!” Assurance given by Naresh, your person who gave vehicle at Chandigarh, on behalf of Unwind Outdoors for getting any type of help at any place during the tour boosted our confidence. The best part was the way each of your associates respect you, speaks volume about your genuineness and professionalism. We wish to thank you once again for the services provided and also wish all the best to you and your team!

    Gauri Natu Avatar Gauri Natu

    We are back to our busy life but thank you so much for arranging this wonderful flawless trip for us. We were not sure what to expect from this trip but everything was just perfect , hotels /tents/ vehicles/Permits everything, we were not bothered about anything, Unwind took care of everything.All the information provided by unwind was very useful, appreciate their prompt response whenever contacted. Waiting for our next trip, hope it comes soon and needless to say will contact unwind either for another Ladakh or Spiti trip. Wish you all the best !! hope you provide packages for other exotic places as well!

    Kaushikee P Pal Avatar Kaushikee P Pal

    Sunil had planned our trip to Lahaul and spiti very meticulously. Every day was different and our stays very memorable. A trip that is unforgettable.

    Srinivas Vittal Avatar Srinivas Vittal
  • We are back to our busy life and we want to say thank you for such an amazing trip. All the arrangements including tents, meals and tour guides were awesome. We had a very good time there. And we’d like to share some beautiful moments with you. Once again, thank you for organizing everything professionally. Best regards, Team Natasha Enterprises.

    Anshu Sethi Avatar Anshu Sethi

    Sunil had planned a self driven trip for us from Delhi to Leh in June 2017. It was very well planned and was perfect!! Sunil had multiple discussions with us to understand what our interests are and changed the itinerary accordingly. We had a great time and made some nice memories. Definitely looking forward for my next trip with Unwind outdoor.

    Vinutha Nagarajaiah Avatar Vinutha Nagarajaiah

    Sunil we enjoyed a lot . thankyou for nice memories ...

    Chaitanya Turakhia Avatar Chaitanya Turakhia
  • We had a self drive from Delhi to Spiti Valley in August 2017...and it was an amazing experience. Special thanks to Unwind and Sunil for making this happened. All the arrangements including Car and Hotels were superb. Also the instruction call by Sunil just before the tour was very much helpful. Looking forward for the next trip with Unwind....

    Hiren Thakkar Avatar Hiren Thakkar

    We had the most wonderful time on our trip and we have you to thank for that. You really made this leh ladakh self drive road trip, it’s sights and history, come alive and be very meaningful for each of us. We really enjoyed every moment, even when there were tensions in J&K. 🙂 We appreciate your knowledge, expertise, kindness and sense of humor. The arrangements made from your end were extremely perfect and in timely manner. This trip has become a life time memory for us. We all friends are thankful to you.

    Mayyhul Jhaveri Avatar Mayyhul Jhaveri

    We did a road trip in June 2017 covering Delhi- Srinagar-Kargil-Leh- Nubra- Pangong- tso moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Narkanda-Sangla-Delhi, completely planned and organized by Sunil. With Amazing stays and a great vehicle we completed the trip with mesmerising memories and Awe by the Nature. We shall definitely return to Unwind outdoor for more trips in future.

    Arvind M Gowda Avatar Arvind M Gowda
  • My family and I vacationed in Ladakh with Unwind Outdoor in May 2017. It was a magical experience. Sunil's arrangements were excellent and the memories will last for a lifetime. We flew to Leh and visited Nubra , TsoMoriri and Pangong. Firstly, the driver for our trip, Namgyal was super. Very safe and totally professional. The accommodation organized in Leh, Pangong , Nubra and TsoMoriri was very good - with exceptional service and often very good food. Also, Sunil prepared us well for potential altitude sickness. Of course, Ladakh itself is pristine and not overly commercialized yet. We have traveled on vacations across the globe and this trip was undoubtedly one of the best . Thanks to Unwind Outdoors for facilitating this

    Gopal Rangachary Avatar Gopal Rangachary

    Unwind Outdoor has helped us to realize our dream !! Like anybody we were little skeptical in the beginning with the whole Leh ladakh plan but Sunil ensured it to be as perfect as it could be. It was a 12 Day road trip from Delh to Delhi( via Manali-Jispa-Leh-Nubra Valley-Pangong tso- leh-tsomoriri-sarchu- manali- chandigarh) on Scorpio 4X4 S4+. The itinerary which he provided had all the required information including the journey time, places to eat and visit . Also the vehicle was in very good condition. Sunil was constantly in touch with us and made sure that we have comfortable & memorable trip. Looking forward to have another road-trip next year with Unwind Outdoor. 🙂

    Aditya Kiran Avatar Aditya Kiran

    Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.

    Jignesh Shah Avatar Jignesh Shah

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