The day you arrive in Ladakh, the first thing to do is to acclimatize yourself to conditions at such a high altitude. It is recommended not to venture out for sightseeing on your day of arrival. If you have breathing issues you must carry your medicines. If staying for a short period of time, it is better to hire a cab for sightseeing and not self-drive. If planning to stay for a month or so, then you can rent a bike or explore on your own vehicle. You will get helpline numbers on www.lahdclehpermit.in/helplines/
Inner Line Permits (ILP)
Permits are mandatory to explore some restricted areas in Ladakh. These permits to tourists are authorized by the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh. It takes 24 hours to process your request after submitting your application. The validity of these permits is 3 weeks for Indian nationals. You can also apply for ILP online. For more info visit www.lahdclehpermit.in
You must keep at least 8 – 10 copies of your permits.
Check-out Leh; Check-in Pangong
08:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Another day you must reserve exclusively for travel. The distance between Leh and Pangong is 230 km. Although the journey is breath-taking and scenic, the road is dangerous. Highly recommended not to self-drive. The total journey takes close to 6 hours.
Begin your journey as early as possible to witness the stunning views of the Pangong Tso Lake at sunset. There is a check post at Tangtse where you have to present your documents and submit permits.
Make sure to get your permits on time from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Leh. If applying online for permits, visit www.lahdclehpermit.in
Arrangements are available for a night stay in Pangong in form of camps around the lake. There are a couple of homestays and guesthouses available in nearby villages and Tangtse.
Also read: Ladakh Itineraries
10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
In the last leg of your Ladakh trip, you travel from Pangong Lake to Leh and cover three prime attractions on the way.
Changla Pass: The second highest pass after Khardungla Pass, Changla Pass is challenging terrain to pass through. No concrete road, water crossings, and narrow lanes make it mandatory for every passer-by to take caution. It takes more than 2 hours to get here from Pangnon Tso Lake.
Thikse Gompa: 60 km from Changla Pass, Thikse Monastery is the largest Tibetan monastery in Ladakh. The 12-storey complex houses multiple stupas and Buddhist artifacts. A must-visit place to take a short layover from a long journey.
Shey Palace: Just 10 km south of the capital city of Leh, Shey Palace is a 16th-century monument that houses the largest stupa in Leh.
Stay in Leh for the night and the next day begin your journey back to your home.