‘Juleh!’ It is the first word that you hear when you enter Leh. Smiling faces of locals, comfortable homestays, scenic landscape, high-altitude lakes, and starry night skies, are some of the most charming sights in the region. Ladakh can be called an untouched paradise as the place had been an off-beat location to travel. Only recently, Ladakh has been experiencing a major outburst of travelers.
A journey from Jammu to Leh is exciting. If you are an adventure seeker then the route will surely not disappoint you. The scenic views and picturesque locations that one crosses on their way will make one feel they are traveling from one paradise to another. A visit to the beautiful lakes, numerous monasteries, and thrilling passes is a cherry on the top. A trip from Jammu to Leh Ladakh allows you to get closer to nature and witness the raw beauty of nature, unvarnished.
Due to the proximity of both the places, Leh is one of the top locations for a road trip from Jammu. The journey is a breathtaking experience and perfectly safe to travel. Our Leh Ladakh Tour Packages from Jammu comprises of amazing jeep tours with visits to all the famous tourist attractions and several thrilling fun-filled activities like camping and trekking. Our packages are custom made and can be tailored according to your budget.
A marked distance of 745km via Srinagar-Leh Highway might seem a bit long but is a perfectly amazing drive. If someone is traveling via road then they can take either of the two routes:-
The silent valleys with scenic skies will turn up your mood as you take a two-hour drive to Udhampur, the 4th largest city in the Jammu region. Another 2-hour drive will land you in Patnitop, a beautiful hill station, and a major tourist location. The next step in the journey is Srinagar which is 7 hours away from Patnitop. One can halt here and explore places like Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh and the famous freshwater Dal lake where one can engage in a Shikara ride which is undoubtedly beautiful. Another 3 hours drive and you will cross the Sonmarg. An hour later comes the Zoji La, a high altitude pass at 11,640 feet. For crossing, this path one will need to register themselves for security reasons. The next one hour drive to Drass will make you pass through the roughest route of the entire journey. The route to Kargil from Drass is smoother and guarded by army personnel. Another one hour drive and you will come across the beautiful Mulbekh Monastery with its stunning stone carving of Maitreya Buddha. An hour and a half later you will cross the Lamayuru village which is famous for its unique landscape and centuries-old monastery or Gompa. Lamayuru to Leh is about 3 hours drive. You can stop at Saspol on your way which is famous for its old caves. Or, you can take a little detour from Kargil to Batalik which is about an hour and a half away. However, to pass through this route you will require to obtain inner line permits from Kargil. Though this route is a bit longer but in no way less beautiful. While traveling from Jammu one can travel to Ladakh via Srinagar-Leh Highway and return via Leh-Manali Highway.
Another way of traveling between Jammu and Leh is via flights. Air India has non-stop flights from Jammu to Leh on most days of the week except Tuesday to Thursday. One can embark on a road trip from Jammu to Leh from mid-May to June. Monsoons should be avoided due to the fear of frequent landslides that occur in the area. Both the highways, Srinagar-Leh Highway and Leh-Manali Highway remain closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.
Places you mustn’t miss while on a trip from Jammu to Leh
Patnitop– A beautiful hill station on NH44. The place is famous for honeymoon with amazing stay options for couples. Places like Sanskar Lake, Baglihar dam, Nathatop, and Naag Mandir. The place is famous among tourists for paragliding and amazing picturesque locations.
Srinagar– The place needs to introduction. Famous for its beautiful freshwater Dal Lake where one cannot resist to indulge in a Shikara ride. The place is famous for gardens, waterfronts, and houseboats. The place has many famous tourist locations like Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Pari Mahal, Hazratbal shrine, Chashme Shashi, and Jama Masjid.
Dal Lake– Popularly known as the “Lake of Flowers” or “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir”, the place is encompassed by the Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats, and hotels. The place is as perfect as a picture. Soaking in the surrounding raw beauty of nature will make you realize why Kashmir is called “Heaven on Earth”. The lake has several floating plants and flowers and also supports fish and the local community. Floating gardens on the lake are known as “Rad”, with lotus blooms during July and August. Houseboats and Shikara rides on the lake are beautiful and extremely romantic. Tourists cannot resist to indulge in it and get clicked.
Sonamarg– Famously known as the ‘Meadow of Gold’, this pristine hill station is situated near Nallah Sindh. The place offers scenic views of the surrounding valleys. The beautiful Gadsar Lake, Nilagrad, Baltal, Yusmarg are some of the famous tourist locations in the area. While on a trip to Leh a visit to Sonamarg, enjoying its natural beauty, shiny suns and beautiful walks, is sure to be a cherry on the top.
Zoji La– Zoji La is famous for its adventurous locations and thrilling rides. The high mountain pass is a vital link between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. The pass remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall.
Drass– Popularly known as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’, Drass is situated at an elevation of 3300m. It is one of the coldest places in the country. The place has various tourist attractions like Manman Top, Gomchan Valley, Dongchik, Bhimbet Stone, Dras War Memorial, and Draupadi Kund. The place has a rustic charm about itself which will keep you mesmerized.
Kargil– The place is remembered due to the 1999 Indo-Pak war that took place in the region. At an elevation of 8780 feet, the place is situated on the banks of the Indus river. The people visiting the place often pay their respects to the martyrs of the war at the Kargil War Memorial. Other places of attraction in the region are Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum, Kargil Trade Artifacts, and Sheikh Mussa Sherif.
Mulbekh– Tourists stop by the place to visit the famous Mulbekh Monastery or Gompa. Locate don the top of a small hill which is around 200m from the main road the monastery’s Chamba statues and inscriptions are visible even from the road. The statue is centuries old and many people visit the place each year to admire its rustic charms.
Namika La– Namika La is a crossing at a height of 12,319 feet. It is popularly known as ‘Pillar of the Sky Pass’. The pass remains closed from October to June. Crossing the pass one can admire the breathtaking views of the surrounding lush green landscape and snow-covered peaks. The narrow cuts, twists, and turns can prove to be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. You shouldn’t travel the route at night or in poor visibility.
Fotu La– Famous for the Prasar Bharati Station that serves Lamayuru, Fotu La is another high mountain pass at an elevation of 4,108 meters. The place excites all travelers as it is the highest marked point on the whole route between Jammu to Leh. Sharp twists and curves, rugged brown mountains and several Tibetan flags adorn this route making it beautiful and scenic.
Lamayuru Monastery– A treat to the eyes, the famous Lamayuru Monastery was built in the 10th century. The monastery is decorated with beautiful colors, murals on walls, wooden structure, and rocky ruins. The monastery has a rustic feel about it which adds to its charm. People traveling from Jammu to Leh often stop by the monastery to admire its beauty and spend some peaceful moments by themselves.
The confluence of the Indus and Zanskar River– Sangam, nestled amidst the mountains, is the beautiful meeting place of clear blue Indus and the dusty green Zanskar. Their variation in the color offers a beautiful mix that is stunning to look at. The confluence has become one of the hot tourist attractions in the region. The place is an example of nature’s magical nuances. People often stop at the place, en route to Leh, the soak in the natural beauty and click some stunning pictures.
Magnetic Hills– The ‘Cyclops Hills’ is famous for its optical illusion. The hill road is a downhill road. But the cars moving on the road gives the impression of moving uphill, defying gravity, when they are rolling downhill. This optical illusion is the reason why the place is called Magnetic Hills. The place is another major tourist attraction in the valley and a quiet place to stop for tired drivers traveling on the highway.