Leh Ladakh Road Trip: A Surreal Indian Drive


We pass through apple orchards, Chinar forests, and lush meadows on our way to Ladakh, where the sun shines brightly on barren landscapes. When you see monasteries and monks all over the place, you know you’ve arrived in one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

A road trip to leh Ladakh bike trip  is truly the stuff of dreams—it is no small feat. The silence of Ladakh, as well as its brilliant rainbows, glistening lakes, and cobalt-blue skies, are pure magic. This road trip features famous landmarks like the world’s highest motorable road, Khardung La; Zoji La and Tanglang La, two of the world’s highest mountain passes; wonderful drives with beautiful scenery in remote areas, as well as some lesser-known treasures like the kaleidoscopic More Plains, Lamayuru, and the hypnotic Gata Loops. It is truly an unparalleled road trip!


This self-drive road trip is only for seasoned drivers who are proficient in driving in the hills and comfortable driving in India. There are numerous unpaved mountain passes, bumpy sections, and dubious roads (details are provided in the daily breakdown below). However, if you enjoy driving and taking road trips, this is by far the best option available. Take a look at these views and the pristine skies. Before setting out on this road trip, be sure to read our article 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Road Trip to Leh and Ladakh.

Food If you’re in India, try to stick to bottled or filtered water. Before the road trip, stock up on water and non-perishable snacks like cookies, nuts, and dried fruits. However, hot food is readily available, inexpensive, and abundant in India, so there is no need to overindulge.

Along the way

There are hundreds of dhabas (shacks), the majority of which are accommodating to vegetarian and vegan travelers. Sandwiches and paranthas, which are stuffed flatbreads, are expected. Mok mok/momos (steamed dumplings), chowmein (an Indian take on traditional stir-fried noodles), and Maggi (instant noodles) will start appearing on menus as you get closer to Leh. A meal at a shack by the road rarely costs more than £5 (INR 500). During this road trip, you’ll also pass through a lot of big cities and find a lot of mid-range restaurants as well as some truly exquisite ones. 


The total cost depends on which hotels and restaurants you choose to stay in and eat at. We chose quaint little B&Bs, as we do with every country we visit, for days when we had to be on the road all day and just needed a place to sleep, and luxury hotels for long days when we had to stay in the same city. If you rent a car, in addition to lodging and meals, you can expect to spend approximately £120 (INR 12000) on fuel and £40 (INR 4000) on tolls and road taxes. If you own a car, this amount is slightly lower.

Rental Car 

Though renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle isn’t necessary, it makes traveling to Ladakh easier. In the majority of India’s major cities, renting a car is simple. Driving in India is unlike driving anywhere else in the world, as most of you probably already know. Lane driving is a myth, and the road is chaotic. It is best to rent a car from an Indian rental company in light of these factors. These businesses are well-versed in the particulars of the Indian market.

In India, there are a lot of companies that rent cars. While renting a self-driving vehicle in India, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the company you choose offers unlimited mileage. A lot of businesses provide quotes with limited mileage included. For every kilometer traveled beyond the predetermined distance, customers are subject to exorbitant charges. If you, like us, enjoy detours and discovering unusual treasures along the way, this is never a good idea.

We rented a Scorpio from Myles Cars for our self-driving road trip with these considerations in mind, and the process went smoothly. We chose their individualized service, which included a pick-up and drop-off at our door—something we had never seen before in India. We drove through a variety of terrains, bumpy roads, and mountain passes in our excellently maintained vehicle. We drove it a lot more than we anticipated, but we didn’t pay anything extra because the policy allowed us unlimited mileage!

Prior to your arrival in Leh town

You can take care of a few things to make your first day a little easier by arranging permits in advance. This will include making reservations for a hotel, a taxi, and Inner line permits.

Make a phone call to a few hotels in Leh and inquire about whether they can arrange for the permits for you when you arrive. This service is provided for a fee by a number of Leh hotels. Scan and send your IDs to your hotel if they agree, wire the money, and book your stay.

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