Manali-Leh and around in 3rd week of July

#1 Jun 17th, 2011, 04:57
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  • zaf1205 is offline
#1
Hello Friends,

I am planning a trip to Leh via Manali by road. Will 3rd or 4th week of July be a good and safe time as far as travel conditions are concerned?. How is the weather and rain in area in this time of the year?.

We will traveling with 6 years old, will altitude pose some issue?.

Our preference would to hire a car with driver from Delhi/Manail and take about 10 days trip ( from Delhi and Back) before flying out from Delhi. I would not mind flying back to Delhi from Leh. Any suggestion on car hire for such trips from Delhi or Manali?, any suggestion on itinerary?

This will be our first trip in India in mountain range so need help with better planning.

Thanks in Advance
#2 Jun 17th, 2011, 09:26
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  • arindamdas is offline
#2
3rd and 4th week of July is exactly when I was there last year. Surprisingly, it rained quite a bit in Leh last year, followed by that freakish cloudburst in August. I would say that last year was an aberration ... usually, it doesn't rain all that much in Leh (being on the leeward side of the mountains). But, I was told by locals that they are seeing a lot more of the monsoon in the recent years.

You would really feel the monsoon in Manali though. Most people do not like it, I do. The rivers are all swollen, it's misty all around, the vegetation is lush ... it's pretty (to me at least). Road travel from Leh to Manali could be a bit tricky though ... there's a definite chance that you could get stranded because of landslides. We were ourselves stranded on Rohtang pass for about 6 hours, also met people who were stranded for a couple of days.

If you want to avoid all that, you can simply fly into Leh (from Delhi) and back out. But you would miss Manali.

We flew into Leh from Delhi and took a road trip back to Manali/Kullu. Spent some time in Kullu, then flew back out from Kullu to Delhi. But, flight service from Kullu could be severely disrupted too ... Kullu sits in a deep valley and the monsoonal cloud cover is frequently such that flights can't take off or land. You have to be prepared to drive back to Chandigarh from Kullu/Manali in case flights are disrupted. We were on the verge of canceling our Kullu-Delhi tickets and take a cab instead to Chandigarh when magically an announcement came on that the flight was on. We were also told that our flight was the first one in 15 days. Worst case scenario ... if you are stuck in Kullu/Manali, you can rent a cab for Delhi (or take a bus), or, you can drive to Chandigarh and take a flight from Chandigarh to Delhi.
#3 Jun 17th, 2011, 16:48
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  • kshil is offline
#3
@zaf1205, Altitude can anytime be an issue to anyone at any age unless you know how your body responds to altitude change. So if it's your first trip with 6 yrs old kid in high altitude, you simply don't know and no one can predict either. So you have to take precaution before planning this trip.

Flying in and out is safest bet but worst in terms of missing the natural beauties around. So here you need a trade-off.

Also remember, no outside cabs either from Delhi or Manali is allowed ply for any sightseeing in Leh. You have to take the cab from Leh only and that's better to me as atleast being local, driver can help you in case of any emergency. I have seen many outside drivers simply lost their composure in a challenging situation. So that's another risk of getting a cab from outside with a driver inexperienced in that terrain.

If I were you, I might think to fly from Delhi to Srinagar (Keeping a Delhi -Leh flight ticket open as well just in case Kashmir Valley gets disturbed during Amarnath Yatra). From Srinagar I would take 2 days to reach Leh staying one night at Kargil. This is a better road than Manali-Leh in terms of acclimatization.
Day4 would be kept for my Leh sight seeing and arranging for permits
Day5, I would proeceed to Nubra Valley and cover Deskit and Hundar, staying at Deskit
Day6, I would cover Sumur before returning back to Leh
Day7, I would go to Pangong and Back (Though I strongly prefer a night stay there at Spangmik if vacations can be extended)
Day8 , I would go to Tsomoriri and stay at night
Day9, I would start early and drive to Keylong
Day10, Keylong to Manali (If you still have energy, catch a night Volvo to reach Delhi next day morning)
Else Day 11- Start early drive to Kalka and catch evening Shatabdi to reach Delhi at Night

Other alternative is On Day9 - Drive back to Leh
Day 10- Fly to Delhi (But you would miss the Leh-Manali drive, the most beautiful part of whole trip) Whatever you do, this ticket (Leh-Del) should be booked as a backup incase if Leh-Manali is closed/blocked, you shoud get an escape route for flight out of Delhi.

I hope you understand if you don't fly in both the way, you need atleast 1/2 days extension to your 10 days schedule to make it doable. I won't suggest going to Leh via Manali as because

1. July Later half would be high time of active monsoon in North India and roads till manali would be in bad shape and even the lower region may experience floods.

2. Manali-Leh is always risky in terms of altitude issues for a first timer in high altitude who doesn't know how he/she responds to altitude change.
#4 Jun 18th, 2011, 05:29
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#4
Hello kshil and arindamdas,

Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. I think I would go by Kshil recommendation and consider flying options than road trip.

Regards
Zaf
#5 Jun 18th, 2011, 14:37
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  • kshil is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaf1205 View Post Hello kshil and arindamdas,

Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. I think I would go by Kshil recommendation and consider flying options than road trip.

Regards
Zaf
Zaf, all the best and have a safe and nice trip, please update us and share your experience and learning with us.
#6 Jul 17th, 2011, 17:41
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  • VaishaliS is offline
#6
Hello Zaf1205,

I want to undertake this trip same time as you and can discuss car/taxi sharing with you. Usually taxis accomodate 8-9 people. We are 3. How many are you. If 4 (i.e. 2 plus 2 children) then I can offer to share the cost of cab at 3/7 of the total. Let me know if this works for you. As of now my dates are flexible. I have made notes and travel plans and I can share them with you. I plan to fly back to Delhi as drive back maybe too much hardwork. I can also share the local cab with you in Leh.

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