No matter what time of the year you visit Ladakh you will find something that will touch your spirit. Want to know which is the best time to visit Ladakh?
Well, The Thumping Nomad lists down the complete weather guide of what you can expect when you visit Ladakh in different times of the year.
Millennials - the internet savvy, tech crazy, and the restless souls have a craving for everything they get to see on their digital sphere. They want the point of differentiation from others as well in every aspect. And at the very same time, they don't want to be left behind. When its come to travel, there is one place that’s in the checklist of every one of them- Ladakh.
While most of them plan for Ladakh in the summer months to beat the tropical heat and get snapped among the snow-capped peaks and deserted open stretch of plains. Most of the camps, hotels and homestay start operations to cater to their basic need including a Wi-Fi connection. The deserted region of Leh goes running in full steam hosting the tourists and travellers alike.
Now comes the one who want to go a step ahead, who want to test their mettle, they test the waters in the sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas. With very basic facilities at their disposal, they set out for a journey very few opt for.
April to May (Max Temp: 16.8ºC Min Temp: -1.3ºC )
If you are one of those who likes to travel when the places are less crowded then this is just the ideal time for you as April marks the beginning of the tourist season in Ladakh. Hotels, guest houses and restaurants start to open. Also, camps at Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri open during this time.
[3-Idiots Point at Pangong Lake]
[TSO Moriri Lake]
Only by mid-May Srinagar-Leh highway opens so before that you can only fly to Ladakh by taking flight from Delhi, Srinagar, Chandigarh or Jammu to Leh.
[A map of Srinagar-Leh Highway]
As this is just the start of the season you can get good discounts from hotels, camps and guesthouses.
June to July (Max Temp: 24.5ºC Min Temp: 6.6ºC ) (Best time to visit Leh Ladakh by road)
This is the peak tourist season of Ladakh as both the highways (Srinagar-Leh highway and Manali-Leh Highway) are open by 1st week of June. So if you are looking to complete the road trip circuit this is the best time to do so. This season can be considered as the Best time to visit Leh Ladakh by road (Bike or SUV).
[If interested check out a detail road guide for Manali-Leh-Highway]
[Manali Leh Highway Map]
With the opening of roads, there is a huge engulf of adventure seekers to Ladakh by road. So if you are one of those who likes a healthy crowd and hustle bustle of a place then this is the ideal time to visit Ladakh.
Weather-wise this will be the best time to visit Ladakh as the weather is mostly pleasant during these months. Also, there will be a lot of festivals in local monasteries.
The most famous annual festival of Hemis Monastery is celebrated in July.
[Check out Various Monasteries of Ladakh]
August to Mid September (Max Temp: 24ºC Min Temp: 5.4ºC )
This is the time when the monsoon is in full swing in the Himalayas. Although Ladakh is cold desert and a rain shadow zone but travelling by road till Zoji La on Srinagar-Leh highway and till Baralacha la on Manali-Leh highway will be a difficult task. There can be a lot of landslides, rivers are full of water and there will be a lot of loose gravel and slush on the roads and this makes travelling tough via road during these months.
[A dangerous road at Zoji La Pass]
So if you are planning your journey during these months it is advisable to get yourself updated with weather forecasts.
Mid-September to October (Max Temp: 20.5ºC Min Temp: -0.5ºC)
As the monsoon recedes from Himalayas and autumn starts to set in this will be an amazing time to see the wonderful colours of nature in Ladakh. Colour of river water again turns crystal blue or turquoise or green that’s for you to decide. Chill in the air sets in and most of the tourists have gone back. Most of the restaurants, hotels, guest houses and camps close by mid-October.
So if you are looking for a tranquil experience with beautiful shades of nature then this is the ideal time for you to visit Ladakh.
November (Max Temp: 7.4ºC Min Temp: -6.7ºC )
By this time the temperature has dipped to sub-zero levels and winter has set in. Both the highways will be officially closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snow. Almost all the tourists have left the scene.
Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri will be starting to freeze.
[A frozen Pangong Tso]
December to March (Max Temp: 6ºC Min Temp: -14.2ºC )
This is the time coldest time in Ladakh when the temperature can dip to -15 degrees at many places. And during this time Ladakh is totally cut off from rest of the world by road. The only way to reach Ladakh is to fly to Leh. But flight frequency is also very low during this time of year. Due to extreme cold and lack of basic facilities during this time of year acclimatization can be very difficult.
In recent years the Chadar Trek on river Zanskar River has become very famous in a month of January to Mid March.
So if you are looking for some Ice Age kind of adventure with bone-chilling temperatures then it’s high time because “ I Like to move it! Move it!”
Best time to visit Leh Ladakh on Bike
Surrounded by the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains Ladakh is the second largest district of India. Ladakh literally refers to the land of high passes and is a cold desert. This is a land of high passes, serene lakes, rugged terrain and vast open lands. Ladakh with its rugged terrain is beloved of adventure travellers especially the bikers. Since both the highways (Srinagar-Leh highway and Manali-Leh Highway) are open by 1st week of June, so June to September will be the best time to visit Leh Ladakh on bike.
Temperature Data of Leh Ladakh
[Historic Temperature Data of Ladakh]
[For Historic data visit Climate Data Org]
Festivals in Leh Ladakh
Ladakh is not only the place of scenic beauty but it's having a beautiful Ladakhi culture as well. One should explore this Ladakhi culture while their visit. Festivals in Ladakh are in certainty the most ideal approach to get a look at the Ladakhi culture. Various festivals celebrations are going on throughout the year. See the updated(till the year 2020) list, explore and enjoy!
[Leh Ladakh Festival Calendar]