Suggestions and Advice on Ladakh Jeep Safari needed [Last Week of May,2008]

#1 Apr 7th, 2008, 18:21
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#1
Hello friends !


First of all, I must say that I am extremely thankful to all the members in the forum whose inputs at various time so far has lead me to have the foundation to formulate a trip which I had been planning to do for a long time now.I want to see it finally happen this year itself. I am planning my trip sometime around last week of August and it should be more of travelling and visiting as many places as possible in a vehicle than to rest at a single destination for long[I did so earlier,so this time I want to cover as many spots as possible.
I am open to travel all days,sight seeing on the way and to spend as little time possible at each place,but to cover almost every possible points available for sight seeing on the way as I have a time constraint.I may halt at a place if there is no other choice of proceeding further and can't compromise places of interest with anything. As in this Himachal Pradesh section of the forum with this post I am looking for guidance of all sorts untill Sarchu and reaching Leh,but my trip is not ending there.The next part would be dealt in Jammu & Kashmir section of the forum once I am done with this one. I would like to know about all the places to be seen in the region,which I may not be knowing at this point. And please let me know if my plan is at all realistic or not. If not,what best can be done to it?

So,below are the details of my trip from Kalka to Sarchu [on way to Leh] :-

Day 1 5.00 AM Reaching Kalka ; 7.30 AM Leaving for Sarahan [170 Km] by Private vehicle. reaching there by 5 pm - Night halt at Sarahan Bhima Kali temple
[I need advice if I should think of a night halt in Shimla first,or can Sarahan be reached in a day from Kalka? I don't need any sight seeing or halt in Shimla/Rampur/Sarahan/Sangla/Kalpa/Chitkul though.I heard another alternative route via Kotkhai -- Sungri -- Taklesh to Sarahan from Kalka is available,I need more information if that is more adventageous or not.]

Day 2 Morning at around 7 am leaving for Puh {152 Km} - [I need advice,if that can be reached in a day's travel or not;Or should Nako be a better option?; And if so,is accomodation possible there?I can't camp or stay in tent this time around. I want to know if anything else that can be seen around here]

Day 3 Starting at 8 am- Puh to Tabo, 60 Km. while visiting Nako Lake and Tabo Monastery & Dhankar [9 km from main road] on the way [If that is at all possible in day?]
{I am intending to stay overnight at Tabo monastery,would appreciate information about advance bookings possibility for a night,if possible]

Day 4 Starting at around 9 am Leave for Kaza,47 Km [Stay at Kaza overnight,and see Ki monastery and also the villages of Kibber,Komik,Langza. Anything more to see around here?]

Day 5 Early morning start to see Chandratal Lake,and then trying to reach Batal [88Km from Kaza] or should try to proceed further.
{I need detailed information about how Chandratal can be reached,how many hours trek accompanied by car to the last point possible; Also accomodation in Batal,is possible. I need your opinion,should we stay at Batal,or try proceeding to Keylong for a night halt}

Day 6 Morning - Leave for Sarchu. Stay at Sarchu overnight {Would like to know if any accomodation available here or not.If not,where else around this place can that be had?]

Day 7 Morning,shortly after breakfast leave for Leh only to reach there by evening and take a hotel for the over night stay ;

At this moment,with all the information I am having,I am keeping 6 nights and 7 days from Kalka to Leh.But,I can extend it for a day or two,depending upon any information about some extra places of sight seeing in this route that someone comes up with in addition to what I have already added above. I would request everyone interested to else here to consider this as if you would be doing this jeep Safari yourself,and hence please come up with an advice which would make this trip better than it is now with all your past experience in the region.And,please do mention where,if at all,registration for foreign nationals are needed to be done,and what kind?

Hoping to get some advice from people who had already been there and thanking you all in advance for reading.
#2 Apr 8th, 2008, 02:08
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#2
Hi soledad,

Can only help with a few points:

Day 1 - Shimla-Sarahan is 170 km, Kalka-Sarahan is a good deal more - 254 km. Evenso, you can do it in one day.

Day 2 - I wud say go to Nako. there are a few small hotels, just do a search in this sub-forum.

Day 5 - I believe Batal is no good as a night stop, unless you have your own tent. The dhaba there is also less than ordinary, from what I've read on IM. There are threads giving specific info about Chandra Tal, just search.
If you don't make it to Keylang by night, no worry, there's accom at Koksar and Sisu. Just make sure you get past Gramphu.
#3 Apr 10th, 2008, 21:42
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#3
Oh, I see I missed answering about the ILP. You'll only need it for parts of Kinnaur and Spiti. The ILP check-post is at Jangi, before Puh.

You can apply for it in Shimla or R/Pio. Block out half a day for it. Consequently you may have to rearrange your night stop or route. Either stay the first night in Shimla, or go from Sarahan to R/Pio on Day 2. With any luck you shud be able to reach at least Puh by evening.

Also see this thread:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...ng-peo-t35964/
Last edited by Dilliwala; Apr 12th, 2008 at 00:14.. Reason: typo
#4 Apr 11th, 2008, 01:43
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#4

Smile Revised Itinerary

Hi Dilliwala,

Thanks a lot for your repling and advicing.After thoughtful consideration of your views,I changed my plans a little,and here it is how I am planning to go for it : -


Day 1 5.00 AM Reaching Kalka ;7.30 AM Leaving for Shimla by Private vehicle. reaching there by 9 am- [96 Km]
Applying for the ILP & utilizing the day travelling in and around Shimla.then night halt there.

Day 2 Morning at around 7 am leaving for Recong Pio {226 Km} -
Settling in for a night halt,and maybe see Kalpa if at all possible, but not necessarily.

Day 3 Starting at 7am- Recong Pio to Nako for a night halt. [101 Km]
I wish to see Nako Lake here; Please let me know,which are the other places of interest around Nako; I heard about Shipki La is nearby,but it can't be reached.Can it be viewed ?

Day 4 Starting at around 8 am Leave for Tabo for a night halt at Tabo Monastery,possibly [60 Km]
Tabo Monastery & Dhankar [9 km from main road] on the way [If that is at all possible in day?]; Also,what else do you suggest to be seen around in here ?

Day 5 Starting from Tabo,intending to move onto Kaza and settling for a night halt/ [47 Km]
[Except Ki monastery and also the villages of Kibber,Komik,Langza. Anything more to see around here?]

Day 6 Morning - Early morning start to see Chandratal Lake,and then trying to reach Keylong [186 Km from Kaza]
{Your attention here,is it possible to reach Keylong from Kaza, even after seeing Chandra Tal, keeping a good 2 hours around the lake?}

Day 7 Leave for Pang. for an overnight halt; [192 Km]
{Would like to know if any accomodation available here or not.If not,where else around this place can that be had?]

Day 8 Morning,shortly after breakfast leave for Leh only to reach there by evening and take a hotel for the over night stay; [180 Km]

And these few things I would like to know :-
1] Is it possible to travel close to 200 Km or more in that region in a particular day? I am concerned if the distance could really be travelled for all those days when I made it close to 200 Km.
2] And if the ILP are get in Shimla,would it be required to take that again in Recong Pio and later? And,can you briefly tell me,how is the process of having the same?
Last edited by soledad; Apr 11th, 2008 at 15:09..
#5 Apr 11th, 2008, 03:43
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#5
Hey soledad,

Day 1
Hmm, some confusion here - Kalka-Shimla is only 85 km. Shimla-Sarahan is 169 km, total 254 km. Bhimakali Temple is at Sarahan.

Day 2
My confirmed reading for Shimla-R/Pio is exactly 226 km! How did you know? Can you do telepathy via computer-screen?
If you like, you can do the extra 7 km to Kalpa too and stay there. That's if you want to - R/Pio is good too, I based myself there and did day-trips to Kalpa and around.

Just to point out, as per your revised plan, Sarahan is not on your route.

Day 3
Fine.
What a coincidence you shud mention Shipki La - some of us have just racked up 3 pages on the subject . The closest anyone can physically get is Namgya village. Read what uttam and voyager61 have to say about the trek to Tashigang and what can be seen from where.

Days 4 to 6
Regret I can't help you directly here as I've yet to go past Khab , but Days 4 and 5 look easily doable. I'll defer to others who've been there to answer your other Q's including Day 6. Also, search for threads with "Spiti" in the title - there's loads of info around.
For Day 6 though, I'll just re-emphasise that whatever you plan/do, make very sure you get to Koksar at least (45 km before Keylang) by evening. With any luck you'll get accom there. Sisu wud be better (31 km before Keylang), there's a decent hotel there right on the main road. I visited the area in Oct, if you like you can read my trip report here.
And if you end up in Keylang, hotel info is here.

Day 7
Pang has tent accom, but is definitely avoidable. Do closely watch this thread, we are eagerly awaiting the resident AMS expert, vistet's comments!
(Great timing with your Q! )

1. Where necessary, 200 km can be done, yes. On average it wud mean approx 7 hours by car just driving. I must caution though, that end-August is peak-monsoon time and anything can happen - landslides, road-blocks, etc. Specially the Satluj valley is notorious. But you can't plan for this, and it's no point worrying about it - you just have to be mentally prepared to change plans at short notice depending on the situation. Hey, this is India - we all travel like that!

2. You only have to apply once. If you get it in Shimla, you can go straight to Jangi without going to R/Pio. You may have read the thread above that it's easier in R/Pio - in which connection I can mention that since you were keen to see Sarahan, you cud go there directly on Day 1 as per your initial plan, and spend the second day-and-night at R/Pio or Kalpa and get the ILP done as well.
It's quite straight-forward with application, do a search for "ILP" and "Inner line permit" - you will find the procedure in detail. If you have pp-size photos and copies of your PP on you, that will save a little time.

Hope this helps - if you have trouble finding the info on ILP procedure, let me know.
#6 Apr 11th, 2008, 17:21
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#6
Hi Dilliwala!

Thanks a lot for your patience,and all your valueable time as I see you work so hard to come up with relevant information meticulously.Without your feedback it would have been very hard for me to come to any sort of definite conclusion on the itinerary,which I am sure I would be doing before my starting out on this trip.

Well, I wrongly typed it,as I really knew Bhima Kali temple is in Sarahan,not in Shimla and also the distance between Shimla and Kalka is not 170 Km. Thanks for pointing that out for me though. I have corrected it now.

Day 1/2 : The reason why I wiped out the plan to stay at Sarahan was mainly because,I am mostly interested in the and around the places which comes after R-Pio/Kalpa and I want to spend as less time as possible in the region from Shimla to R-Pio so that I can devot it for places in the later half of this long tour; If it were at all possible,I would have directly entered R-Pio and continued on my way ahead; And comming to R-Pio from Sarahan would not have made it possible to collect the ILP,as from my personal experience of Government offices, I think it's best to do the official jobs done as early as possible during daytime,because you never know when the government officials becomes moody and leaves the office ahead of scheduled time! ; This seems okay with my plan as I am not having to spend more than 2 days there after arrival in Kalka,but only if the DM office in Shimla makes it difficult by taking too much time to issue ILP;
Does the distance thingy felt like telepathy to you? Well, I have painstakingly tried to calculate the distances for each places I am willing to visit as I have to keep in mind the time factor and everything with limited time in my hand for the entire tour,so as not to loose out on something more interesting to accomodate seeing something ordinary and so on; Maybe,somewhere I may go wrong by a few kilometres,but I tried my best to finalize my itinerary based on them;

Day 3 Thanks for the links of Shipki La; While going through the discussion that is been continuing since last year,I can see, that you have a very clear idea of what can be seen and what not without breaking any rules in that region; If I am not wrong,one can reach Namgia by travelling 20 Km or so,leaving the NH22 just ahead [or after] Khab village? So,can you put it simply,as a summary,in line with this trip of mine, what best chances do I have to see Shipkila,if not Namgiya village and a decent view of the landscape there? I mean, on my way to Nako from R-Pio on day 3,can I spend an hour or two in the region around Khab village,to have some splendid mind blowing experience of natural landscape there and possibly go as near as possible to any of Ka,Tashigang or Namgiya villages? Which way/side should I approach to get it done,without any prior intervention? What and how according to you is that possible the easiest and peaceful way?

Day 4 to 6 : I would certainly be looking for more information or ideas that can be done or included in the itinerary for these days, but my request to you would be,like as you said,please do keep adding the informations as and when you get by consulting others,as I am sure, being here for days,and also at HP in person,you could get things easier and faster than me; So, feel free to keep adding things here in this thread as and when possible;
Yes,I would be eyeing to visit at least Kokshar on day 6,as mentioned by you;

Day 7 : If there is not a good place to halt in Pang, then I think I have to halt in Sarchu, but then,the last days trip is going to be almost about 260 Km. So, do you think it's doable? If not, may I try halting at Upshi,and then continue to see Tso Moriri,or I need to go to Leh first for the ILP and things like that ? I am intending to discuss that thing in the Ladakh section of the forum though;
By the way,can you tell me the distance between Kokshar and Gramphoo,please?

Now, some other things; I decided on going to Spiti during the last week of August,because during the last few years it's seen that all the trouble due to rains and so on takes place in July; I can't delay it too much because I have to keep in mind the closing dates of Manali-Leh and Kargil-Leh roads; So,keeping in mind all those things, do you think I must start a week later; I was intially planning to start on 25th August from Kalka; [Day 1]. No one can stop natural calamity,but all I meant by this is,I want to erase any such possibility,at least theoritically.

About ILP,all I know now is that,a few Passport size photographs,and xerox copies of Passports are needed,the DM office opens at 10 am sharp,and the process isn't too time consuming.Also people prefers R-Pio ahead of Shimla,because it's less crowded.Do correct me if I am wrong,or add to it,if you think something more is needed to be said.
Thanks for all your effort again,hoping to hear more from you soon.
Last edited by soledad; Apr 11th, 2008 at 21:35..
#7 Apr 12th, 2008, 00:05
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#7
Hi soledad,

Just a few points:

1) Minor point - when I wrote that Kalka-Shimla is 85 km, that's a confirmed reading. It shudn't take more than 2.5 hours. Just thought you'd like to know, since you're fine-tuning as much as poss.

2) There being general consensus that R/Pio is easier ILP-wise, I still think you shud apply there - you're going there anyway.
Consequently, if you wish, you cud still spend a night in Sarahan. I certainly wud pick it over Shimla, but it's up to you; one can easily find enough to do for a day in Shimla as well.
And since you seem to prefer early starts, leaving Sarahan let's say at 7.30 a.m. gets you to R/Pio (91 km) at 10.30 a.m. - right in time for ILP application (don't believe anyone who says they start working at 10 sharp - they'll have their morning tea first! ). But like I said, it's up to you.

3) Day 3 - Shortly after Puh you cross the Satluj from right to left. At a distance of 11 km from Puh one road goes up to Khab village (2 km), the main road ahead goes to Khab Bridge (2 km) and onward to Ka/Nako. You have to go to Khab village to get to Namgya. I'm not sure how far it is, check with uttam in the Shipki La thread (BTW, a lot of my knowledge of this area I got only recently from that thread ).

Namgya - yes, you can go there; no one's allowed to go further.

Ka - yes, you'll pass thru on the way to Nako.

Tashigang - as per voyager61, you can walk there from Nako (4-5 hours!). uttam says the Border Police aren't too bothered if you go from Namgya (much closer), but he's Indian; I don't know how they wud react to a foreigner. Apparently you can see a bit of Shipki La and over into Tibet from Tashigang.

soledad, I highly recommend you ask your Day 3 Q's about the area again directly addressed to uttam, voyager61 and AndreasW in the Shipki La thread, they know the area better than me. Specially about going to Tashigang from Namgya (as a foreigner). I have a feeling you won't want to walk there from Nako (or maybe you will, since you'll stay in Nako).

4) Day 7 - Sarchu wud be a short haul and wud make no sense. I myself had thought that Upshi shud be a reasonable (and seemingly only) alternative, but since I already asked vistet, I prefer to wait for his reply. Keep checking that thread, he'll reply soon enough.

Tso Moriri - yes, you have to go to Leh first for the ILP. And Leh's sleeping altitude wud be useful for further acclimatisation before hitting the Tso.

Gramphu-Koksar is 5.5 km.

5) I can't see a week making a big difference, you never know but 1 Sep cud even be worse than 25 Aug. So if 25 Aug is more convenient for you, I'll say stick to that. The passes are usually open till end-Oct/early-Nov though, with any luck.
In any case, I do recommend keeping a track of the monsoon and road/traffic conditions between 15 Jul and 15 Aug.
Cheers!
#8 Apr 16th, 2008, 19:37
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#8

Wink Revised Tour Plans

Hi Dilliwala!

Thanks for your constant help and for all the important information so far. Well,looking at the Monsoon season and also due to clearance of Manali-Leh road and Kargil-Leh road[including some personal obligation as well],I changed my plans somewhat and is preparing to do it in last week of May as follows :-

Day 1 : Kalka - Sarahan [254 Km]
Day 2 : Sarahan - Nako [192 Km]
Day 3 : Nako -Kaza [116 Km]{Includes sight seeing at Tabo/Kaza}
Day 4 : Kaza - Recong Pio [248 Km]
Day 5 : Recong Peo - Bhuntar/Kullu [388Km]
{I already did this last November}
Day 6 : Kullu - Manali- Gramphoo- Batal-Kokshar [240 Km]
{This includes Chandra Tal Lake visit from Batal}
Day 7 : Kokshar - Pang [240 Km]
Day 8 : Pang- Leh [260 Km]

I planned the above taking into consideration of the fact that Kunzum La is not opened during last week of May [as I found it here :- http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...le-now-t53875/,if this does not materialize,then I have to compromise either Spiti or Chandratal.
So,I would like to get some feedback of my revised tour plans.
Thanking you for going through all over again;
#9 Apr 16th, 2008, 23:28
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#9
I take it Day 2 will be via Pio to pick up the ILP?

I'm a bit doubtful about Days 5 to 7. Altho you shud be acclimatised from Nako and Kaza, I wud prefer to avoid Kullu's low altitude for sleeping and try for Manali instead. Specially since you want to spend a night in Pang!

On the other hand I think you shud ready yourself to reroute at a moment's notice in case you hear at Kaza that Kunzum is open - well, everyone's saying that all the passes will open earlier this year! Kaza's altitude will be very useful, in conjunction with the next night in Koksar.
If you have the time available, drive the extra 14 km to Sisu as well.
#10 Apr 17th, 2008, 00:01
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#10

Smile

Yes,day 2 would be for the same if possible; If not, then next day beginning I would be looking forward to do it;

Okay then,instead of Kullu,we would prefer staying at Manali then; I kept Kullu intialy because,that day we were already covering 328 Km,and Manali would be 40 Km away from there;

No,I am not too eager for an overnight stay in Pang,but considering I have to reach in Leh within 8 days from Kalka,and trying to keep the distances equally paced and as minimum as possible,it was like that; But,would be happy if you can come up with something else which could be better; I am indeed still waiting on vistet to come up a halting point in between Manali and Leh [like you mentioned earlier];

Yes,I am really getting myself prepared for reroute;And any moment opening of Kunzum pass reaches me,I would love to continue with my previous plans,which I am keeping aside; And what about Sissu ? Do you mean, a night halt there would be better than Kokshar ?

Anyway,thanks a lot for your response,
#11 Apr 17th, 2008, 00:25
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Yes, I realised that the run to Kullu is already very long. I'll just keep my fingers crossed for you that Kunzum La becomes passable in time.
Otherwise, a very good alternative wud be to slip in a night halt at Shoja (2700 m), just the other side of Jalori pass. Everyone who's been there (I haven't yet ) highly recommends it. There's a few threads on it, also look for "Gushaini" and "Ghiyagi" which are close by. And good altitude too.
Of course this means an extra day - I wud then stay in Manali the next night, and go to Chandra Tal the next day, en-route Sisu or Keylang for night-stop. AND THEN - make a run for Upshi, and hope the car stays fine.

So, let's see where that leaves us, or rather you:
Day 5 - Shoja
Day 6 - Manali
Day 7 - Sisu/Keylang via Chandra Tal
Day 8 - Upshi
Day 9 - Leh

Can you afford an extra day? Other than Day 8 which is VERY long, this is eminently more doable than your present plan. I suggest Sisu becos of the hotel there, which has more rooms than PWD Koksar, and is of course further along the route. Ideal wud be Keylang in the revised scenario.
#12 Apr 17th, 2008, 01:12
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#12
hey dilliwala!

I really like this plan of yours; I wasn't aware of this new place called Shoja and those places; Can you please tell me,how far are those places are from Pio and Manali ?
By the way,what about Jalori Pass? Would that be opened for good,at that time or I have to worry about it as well ? I have seriously started thinking about taking away a day off my subsequent tour schedule; But, let's see.

And please,if ever you gather any new information on Kunzum Pass and it's opening up untill 18th May,don't forget to post that in the thread I started for it in this forum.
And thanks for your wishes;
#13 Apr 17th, 2008, 02:09
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#13
Here's a thread you might like to read where I did some numbers for another member last year, only he was going over Jalori pass coming from Shimla. There's a snippet of N&W's map of the area in #14:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...manali-t39533/

Briefly,
Pio-Sainj - 128 km (confirmed reading)
Sainj-Shoja - 60 km (N&W map)
Shoja-Aut - 40 km (N&W map)
Aut-Manali - 69 km (confirmed reading)
If Jalori pass isn't ok in May, it never will be! Shud be ok though, barring the unforeseen.

I've lost track of your location (Delhi?) but first thing you shud do, if you haven't already, is get yourself 'Nest & Wings' map of HP, it's quite useful for planning. There's some info about N&W maps and also Survey of India maps and where to buy them in Delhi in this thread:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...shimla-t39358/

Still on the subject of maps, a few more threads which might interest you:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...fo-etc-t39928/
http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...ekking-t33161/
http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...d-maps-t12292/
#14 Apr 20th, 2008, 22:55
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#14

Question Suggestions and Advice on Ladakh Jeep Safari needed [Last Week of May,2008]

Hello friends!

I am planning a trip up there in Leh-Ladakh during the last week of May,and it would be in a 4 wheeler and is part of my Spiti-Lahaul-Kashmir tour[First part of the tour is discussed here:-http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...8-days-t53465/;I would be arriving in Leh on day 1 [of the Ladakh part] from Manali and I have decided it to be as following after attentively going through previous posts of other IM users:-

Day 1 Arrive in Leh in the evening,concluding the long journey from Keylong/Kaza in perhaps 2 days.

Day 2 Visit the following: Leh Market ; Leh Palace ; Hall Of Fame; Shanti Stupa; Stok Palace Meusuem;More importantly,I have to apply for the Inner Line Permit to places I visit next;
{Please tell me,anything more I can visit anything more on this day,as I would be in and around Leh for permit; Also entry fee for each sites,if any and other details}

Day 3 Nubra Valley [This includes Khardung La;Deskit;Hundar;]
{Please tell me,what to see and do in the above places,can they be completed in a day(distance?) or staying overnight is a must?

Day 4 On the way back, visit [Shey;Thiksey;Hemis;Thaktok]

Day 5 Leave early morning for Pangong Lake and back;
{Can I visit Marsimik La on that day itself, what extra permits do I need,if any? Can a "Savari"/Qualis make the trip there;What else to see or do on way to Pang Gong Tso and back to leh?}

Day 6 Tsomoriri Lake and getting back to Leh or should I stay there as well?
{Please let me know about accomodation facitlities there,and is it worth it or not?}

Day 7 Early morning leaving for Kargil so as to head to Sri Nagar & Jammu to continue my ongoing trip.
{ Will Kargil be a good place for a night halt? May I visit Gurudwara Pattar Saheb;Magnetic Hill;Lamayuru;Moon landscape on my way to Kargil?}

I would request everyone concerned,who might have had been there before,to go through it and suggest me what do they think of it,and anything more I could add or delete besides all that I had mentioned above;I have also put some of the things I would like to know below each days plan,it would be nice if someone could shade light on the same as well;

Thanking you all for going through this,and would be looking forward to hear more from some of you too
#15 Apr 22nd, 2008, 20:54
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#15
Nubra Valley extends to Panamik on the Northern side and towards Hunder on the Western side of the ridge - thatz as far as you will be allowed even with the Inner Line Permit...

You must spend one night in Nubra (preferably at Hunder)...

Also, if permitted, you should ideally also spend a night at Pangong Tso... (If you don't have the time, you don't have to see both the lakes really, but spending a night there is good...)

More on my thread...

http://www.indiamike.com/india/ladak...r-15-a-t53842/

Cheers...!

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