Best time to visit Ladakh!!
Ladakh!! Here we come. Who might not have dreamt about reliving the alluring scenes from 3 Idiots and Jab Tak hai Jaan which was shot from the mesmerizing Khapa-Chan(Snow land) of India?
Ladakh being the merry land of the Himalayas is considered the nirvana by everyone who loves to travel about and who look forward to adventure and peace. And Ladakh is always that Indian destination which everyone has on their bucket list and dreams of going to with friends and most everyone will be having that cancelled Ladakh trip in their list when they don’t somehow manage to convince their peer.
So, talking about the best season to visit Ladakh!! We would be thinking about the best season to visit Ladakh by road or the best time to visit Ladakh by bike or the best time to visit Ladakh for snowfall or the best time to visit Ladakh for honeymoon.
Ladakh is a place with hell lot of unexplored places about which you can read about in our blog The Hidden Gems of Ladakh.
These days we are pretty much aware that each one of us are so done being at home and working all day after this pandemic and thinking about workcations where we can schedule our work with a vacay going along. So why not a workcation in Ladakh?? Ladakh workcations are going to refresh anyone like anything. Pack your bags and work from Ladakh!!
So are you thinking about a Ladakh trip ?? and just had a vague look on the Ladakh map?? And confused over the Leh Ladakh trip plan and thinking to make your Ladakh trip by bike and searching for a Leh Ladakh bike trip itinerary?? Then continue reading for the best time visit Ladakh!!
Best time to visit:
Ladakh occupies a greater part of the high-altitude mountain ranges of the Himalayas in India. Cold desert type climate prevails throughout the year. One of the important Leh Ladakh travel tips to bear in mind is that there is cold wind throughout the day and night in this region. People who are unable to withstand the cold weather even with warm clothing must avoid the Ladakh trip during the winter of November to March. The weather will be extreme as it reaches below freezing point. You must carry sweaters and warm jackets in all seasons here. It is advisable to visit during the dry season, which is from April to June. You can feel some sunshine and heat during the day. The summer season is the best time to travel here by all ages of people. You can go exploring the glaciers, Indus River, trekking in its mountain pass and valleys. You can also take a scenic drive route to Ladakh.
Due to its high altitude, Ladakh is always freezing cold and dry for most of the year. The air is so thin that you can feel the sun’s heat intensely. In summers, the temperature during the day is just above zero degrees and the night temperature is much below -30°C. In winters the temperature remains as low as -40°C most of the time.
The rainfall in this region is as low as 10 cm annually. This is because it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas. The area experiences freezing winds and burning sunlight. Therefore, if you sit in the sun with your hand in the shade; you will experience sunstroke as well as frostbite at the same time.
Summers in Ladakh (June- September) are truly beautiful with moderate temperatures and a hospitable environment for the tourists. During the remaining part of the year, the Manali-Leh highway which is the only means to reach Ladakh remains non-functional. Although there is another route, that can be used to reach the place, the Srinagar-Leh highway, it can get affected by landslides as well. Moreover, it is during summers that you can enjoy the entire setup of the place in totality. Said to be a dream destination for most people, Ladakh comes across to be a worth visiting place for travellers. Be it the splendid set-up showcasing snow-covered mountains well blended with alluring valleys and lakes, Ladakh is sure to touch your chord at its best. Beautifully displaying the sights of the splendid field of valleys and slopes adjoined with the relishing knowledge of perseverance via the spectacularly beautiful neighbourhood, this place calls to endure you with the best experience. However, the land of Ladakh has its own charm in the winters as well. This is the reason why many people, especially the truly adventurous ones, seek to visit the place when it is blanketed in snow. The Frozen river trek which is also one of the most famous and unique treks is also carried out in winter, upping the excitement quotient in the travellers to visit Ladakh during this harsh but glorious period.
Between April to mid-May there is no heavy snowfall and the summer season slowly and steadily takes over the place completely. The travellers who aim to visit Ladakh during this time can search for homestays, hotels, places, and guesthouses on many online sites. If you plan on visiting during this span of time then you must definitely opt for flight booking as all the passes and the roads to the place is generally blocked or are not open.
The beginning of the seven to ten days in the month of June isn’t meant for travelling purpose to Ladakh as most of the roads at this time is blocked. At this time, if you wish to travel to Ladakh, you must definitely choose a flight as this is the best option if you wish to travel. The major airport in the area to visit this area during the summer season is the KushokBakulaRimpochee Airport. Also, in the mid of this time, the travellers must surely visit the highway in between Srinagar and Leh.
If you wish to visit Ladakh by road during this time then you must consider going from the Valley of Kashmir via Kargil, which is about a distance of four hundred and thirty-four kilometres. This is the route that remains open from the early month of June to the month of November. Finally, the longest road route that is about a distance of four hundred and seventy-three kilometres, is the Manali-Leh road route is open in the middle of June and remains open until early October.
Ladakh during Monsoon(July – August) [10-20 Degrees]
Monsoons in Ladakh are as harsh and untoward as winters if not more. The air is crisp, blue and usually clear. Beginning in July, monsoons in Ladakh do not last long, and whatever little rainfall that the area receives is generally in the form of heavy but short-lived downpours.
The weather is refreshing and perfect for outings. It is also a great time for adventure activities such as white water rafting which can be indulged in at Indus and Zanskar rivers. The period from May to October is also a wonderful time for going on the many treks organized in the area, especially the Kang Yatse Trek, Markha Valley trek and the one from Spituk to Stok.
The place is infamous for occasional incidents of landslides and cloudbursts during this period. This time of the year, roads, especially the Manali-Leh highway can become hard to traverse owing to washing off of the narrow road or landslides due to rains.
If travelling to Ladakh in Monsoons, it is necessary that you pack clothes that are lightweight and easy to dry and wear shoes that are waterproof. Make sure you also carry a raincoat and/or an umbrella and sunscreen with you. Check the weather report before embarking on your journey to stay safe.
Ladakh during winter(September to February) [0 Degree]
During the winters the temperature steadily drops from September (5 Degrees to -21 Degrees ) to January (-2 Degrees to -14 Degrees ) and then gradually rises again. The weather is pleasantly chilly at the early phase (September-October) of the season, with cold winds blowing in the evenings. The latter phase of winters (November-February) can be extremely unbearable with temperatures dipping violently, making it impossible to enjoy your stay. The temperature in Kargil during this part of the season can drop up to -50 Degrees!
Winter calls to be the time when you can relish the beauty and adventure of trekking through one of the best treks in the world known as the Chadar Trek. Moreover, you are also sure to relish trekking over the solidified and grand Zanskar River, which is highly loved and cherished by travellers. Only the early phase of the winters are good for travelling to the place. This period is ideal for many great and popular treks in Ladakh including the famous Frozen River Trek or the Zanskar Valley trek. The period from mid of January to March is however best suited for Chadar Trek.
Ladakh sees a very sparse crowd of tourists from November to February due to heavy snowfall in the area. This is also the reason why many trekking routes to are closed down at times. Also, be prepared for frequent power cuts in this season.
The extremely low temperature and high altitude can cause AMS or common cough and cold. Hence, it is good to be prepared with necessary precautions such as multiple layers of warm clothing, necessary medicines and taking enough fluids. You can take oxygen at oxygen bars if experiencing dizziness and headaches, which is common due to the high altitude. Carry a 1000mAh power bank and several spare batteries as the cold tends to drain out batteries quickly.