Leh Ladakh in November – A Detailed Guide to Plan a Trip to Ladakh in November
Are you an explorer looking for a new adventure? Do you wish to watch the snow and ride your motorbike through large sheets of ice? If your answer is Yes, then Ladakh is the best option for you. You will have an opportunity to see all the locations that have been part of movies and countless vlogs, in a completely from.
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November is an off-season month for tourists because of the harsh winter conditions. One can witness snow in all areas of Ladakh. Even the lower regions like Leh witness heavy snowfall and rain. It is this snowfall that makes most of the remote parts of Ladakh uninhabitable by this time. The roads may face blockages and at times, even flights are not operational.
If you still have a desire to visit Ladakh and the adventure enthusiast within you is adamant, you can plan a trip to Ladakh in November. There are a lot of factors to keep in mind before you begin your journey. With the information given below, you can make full use of all the resources you get. Our guide will help you in devising a plan so that your journey is memorable.
The most adventurous choice would be to take a road trip. Still, it is not safe at all, and only professional bikers who have the experience of traveling through tight roads and difficult terrains can make this treacherous journey. You can also travel by air to Leh airport. From Leh, rent a taxi or a bike, and that will take you to different places.
Some Pre-requisites For a Trip to Ladakh in November:
Avoid the Road if You are a First-Timer
If you have no experience of traveling to places at higher elevations, then, do not plan a trip to Ladakh. Examine and analyse the situations you are going to face before going on a road trip in November. If there is snowfall, there are blockages on roads, and the chances of landslides and other obstacles increase. During November, traveling by air will be the most suitable option as it is safe and remains functional for the most part of the year.
Understand About the Conditions Beforehand
If you face physical problems at higher elevations, notice them before you start your trip to Ladakh in November. In the first couple of days, stay in lower altitudes, and then gradually advance to higher regions. If you are taking the air route, it will not be a problem, but avoid bringing children with you.
Try to Stay Fit
Prepare yourself physically for the conditions that prevail in the cold desert of Ladakh. If you have lived in cities for a considerable time, adapting to the atmospheric conditions in Ladakh will be difficult for you. As you advance towards higher elevations, there are chances that you might suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Being physically well is a necessity to bear mountain sickness.
Prepare Your Documents for Permits
If you want to visit distant and remote places in Ladakh, you will need to get permits from the Magistrate’s office in Leh. These permits are available when you show your valid documents and medical certificates. The authorities will check these at various checkpoints.
Tips to Visit Leh Ladakh in November:
Though it is not the right choice at all to plan a trip to Leh Ladakh in November. Those willing to make the trip should consider the following tips and recommendations to have a smooth journey and a proper sight-seeing experience.
Plan Your Journey in Early November
The whole month of November is icy and snowy in Leh Ladakh. However, the first half is a bit lenient comparing to the end half of the month. It may be easy to even travel through the Srinagar route at this time. Snow has not settled too much by this time, and also the snowfall may not be that dangerous in early November. Nonetheless, when you dare to travel in the second half of November, you must prepare yourself to handle the harsh conditions of the winter climate.
Keep Your Itinerary Simple
Do not overstretch your itinerary. Remember that you are touring this place with a little risk. Some areas in Ladakh remain unavailable to tourists as permits are not readily available to travel to those extreme zones. These include the very interior and remote places. Even if you get the licenses, accessing the areas in interior regions may be hard or even close to impossible because of breakdowns or being stranded for days between blocks of ice on roads. Therefore, keep your plan simple and just include the major tourist sites like Leh, Pangong, Nubra, and Tso Moriri.
Include Buffer Days in Your Itinerary
Whether visiting Ladakh by road or air, buffer days are of utmost importance for this unpredictable weather. It is because experiencing a breakdown while on the way or delays from the harsh weather may cause severe shifts in your plan. If you do not have buffer days, you will not be able to enjoy the place fully. During any emergency, having buffer days can compensate for the delays.
Plan to Face Harsh Cold Weather
You need to have a high level of preparation to be in a position of putting up with the cold weather in Ladakh. You should have body warmers and woollen clothes with you. Ensure that you pack some excellent woollen socks for your feet and gloves to protect your hands. On top of that, you need a heavy jacket to protect your body from cold. Ensure that you have a heavy coat that is rain and windproof with a hoody for your head protection. Shades in front of your eyes will also serve as a windbreaker.
Why to Visit Ladakh in November?
Snow Cover All-Around
If you love and find adventure in seeing land covered in deep snow, then November is your month for touring Ladakh. The whole area has a covering of snow that is a phenomenal experience. If you want to enjoy skiing and trekking in the frozen landscapes, you can choose to visit Ladakh in November.
If you desire to spend some time peacefully away from crowds, then November is an ideal time for you. It is off-season, and therefore only a few visitors are seen in the major tourist attractions. November is a great time to enjoy the peaceful and serene mountains.
Once in a Lifetime Experience
A trip in November will give you the experience of visiting the winter wonderland with very few people around. You will learn the value of truly great things in life. Witnessing snow and riding your bike through snow-covered roads will be a life-changing journey.
The Last Window for A Road Trip to Leh Ladakh
If you desire to visit Ladakh via road, then this may be your last chance of the year to do that. It is because after this month and even towards the very end of November, Srinagar road is also almost inaccessible, and even if some people still dare to do it, it is not recommendable for first-timers.
Why It Might Not Be a Good Idea to Visit Ladakh in November?
Not Enough Options
A road trip is constrained to the Srinagar route, but the Manali-Leh route is entirely not available for travel. It limits the possibilities of enjoyment.
High Probability of Getting Stranded
With the unpredictable weather conditions of Ladakh, snowfall can happen at any time, and this means that sections of the highway will suffer blockages from ice. Therefore, you may get stranded between two damaged parts of the road.
If you can bear a low temperature, then you can visit the place in November, but for people who cannot put up with cold weather, the Ladakh trip will be challenging. Any person with a medical history of respiratory illness and chest related problems should not be visiting Ladakh in November.
The High Cost of Living
When talking about the high cost of living in Ladakh, it may imply both economically and even biologically. It is because you need to pay a lot more to create conditions that a human being can thrive in with fewer efforts.
Black Ice limitation
Black ice on the roads in Ladakh is widespread, and it is the reason why there are delays while traveling. Thick ice can also endanger the lives of people; therefore, a road trip is not the best option, and avoiding it would be wise.
Best Itinerary to Plan a Trip to Ladakh in November
Ladakh can be challenging to access by road in the month of November. It is because heavy snowfall blocks the highway and may cause landslides. However, if you are going to visit Ladakh in November, here is a simplified itinerary that you can follow. It includes activities for eight days of traveling.
Day 01 – Arrival in Leh; rest of the day at leisure followed by evening visit to local marketplace.
Day 02 – Take a drive from Leh to Diskit; overnight stay at a Diskit hotel.
Day 03 – Drive back to Leh; overnight stay at Leh hotel.
Day 04 – Full-day tour to Pangong Tso followed by overnight stay near the lake.
Day 05 – Drive back to Leh; rest of the day at leisure at the hotel room.
Day 06 – Drive to Tso Moriri; overnight stay near the lakeside.
Day 07 – Drive back to Leh; rest of the day at leisure. Take out time to visit local market in the evening followed by overnight stay.
Day 08 – Departure from Leh; end of tour.
Road Trip to Leh Ladakh in November:
Leh Ladakh can still be accessed through road but specifically through the Srinagar route. It is because sections of the Manali-Leh highway are by this time wholly blocked by ice and are rarely allowed for tourists. Srinagar road is also a little unsafe for road trips because a road trip will force you to put up with a very rough way that proves to be a challenge to navigate through. Some sections of the way that face blockages may take a day or two for fixing, which means that you will have a lot of delays in getting to your destination.
November may not promise much in Ladakh for regular tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of this amazing place from a safe distance. However, if you love watching the snow and want to enjoy skiing and other adventure sports, November would be an excellent choice to plan a Ladakh trip.
You can enjoy the trip even more if you are cautious and follow the recommendations in this guide. However, please ensure to learn more about Ladakh; road conditions, climate change, things to do, how to pack, and other such aspects before you plan the trip. If you are careful and take calculated risks, you will have the most fabulous time of your life in Ladakh.
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