Travel Guide to Leh Ladakh in November for a Winter Holiday to Cherish

Ankita | Updated on July 19, 2022

The charismatic landscape of Ladakh stretches across the “land of highways”. No wonder, why Ladakh is listed on the top of every adventurer’s bucket. Planning a trip to Leh Ladakh in November challenges your physical and mental fitness as winters are here officially and temperatures are freezing. At the high altitude mountain passes like Chang La and Khardung La, the weather becomes biting cold and unpredictable too. 

Despite the fact that roads get blocked for some time, November is still considered to be one of the best times to visit Ladakh. Padum and Thiskey festivals add to the reasons for planning a Ladakh trip in November. Also, snowfall adds to the charm of high altitude passes and low altitude regions. The places are clad in thick snow sheets, especially on the passes like Chang La and Khardung La.

Snowfall adds to the charm of high altitude passes and low altitude regions. The places are clad in thick snow sheets, especially on the passes like Chang La and Khardung La.

Tourist footfall is much less in November as the highway – Srinagar to Leh closes this month. So, reap benefits of low tourist season in Ladakh in November 2022. 

Without further ado, scroll down and get to know more about Ladakh and Leh in November

Ladakh Weather in November 

Ladakh experiences winter in November and the temperature dips below freezing point. The lakes are frozen this month. Rain showers occur many times in November in Leh, 15 to 22 days on average. So, a waterproof jacket or raincoat must be packed during a Ladakh trip in November.  

It snows heavily in November in Ladakh. The entire region remains blanketed in snow. So, bundle up properly in woollen clothes while exploring the attractions. The temperature on an average remains between -12.4°C or 9.7°F but can also vary. For a better idea about Ladakh temperature in November, go through the details below –

  • Minimum temperature: -19.8°C 
  • Maximum temperature: -5.9°C 
  • Precipitation / Rainfall: 20mm 

If a trip to Ladakh is on your cards in November, do check the weather forecast before your arrival.

How to Reach Ladakh in November

As Leh Ladakh is heaven for adventure enthusiasts, November rings in the perfect time to visit this lovely adventure land. There are two ways to reach Leh Ladakh in November – by road and by flight. However, only one route – Srinagar Leh Highway, remains open till November. 

Air travel is the best way to reach Ladakh all throughout the year. However, you have to be cautious to take precautionary steps to deal with Acute Mountain Sickness. 

If you are looking for how to reach Leh Ladakh in November, here are ways to reach there– 

By Public Transport

In November, there is no availability of public transport to reach Ladakh such as shared cabs and buses, from either Manali or Srinagar. Because of heavy snowfall, both Manali Leh Highway and Srinagar Leh Highway are closed in November. So, the high-altitude mountain passes remain blocked for travelling. 

By Flight

For a Ladakh trip in November, reaching by air is a good option. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the airport in Leh, which is only 3 km from the city centre. It is among the world’s most commercial airports. The airport is well-connected by direct and connecting flights to Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Jammu. The airport operates all through the year.

Private Taxi

As aforementioned, highways to Ladakh remain blocked in November because of heavy snowfall. So, you can book a private cab or taxi from outside Leh, which will take you only till Leh. From Leh, you have to book another taxi or cab to explore the region. 

However, due to snowfall at high altitudes, passes might disrupt the speed of the vehicle, resulting in increased travel time. So, be prepared for such a situation. But a Leh Ladakh road trip in November is an experience to treasure.  

Bike

A bike trip to Ladakh is one of the most fascinating things that an adventure lover looks forward to. This is once in a lifetime kind of trip. Ladakh’s passes have gained the reputation of being among the highest passes on earth. Thus, riding two wheels and a powerful engine on them and that too in the freezing month of November is an epic experience. 

However, a bike trip to Ladakh in November is not a great idea. Unpredictable temperature, cold winds, and challenging terrains don’t present ideal conditions to ride a bike through the mountains. Also, routes are blocked due to heavy snowfall. Where there is tar, roads have black ice and snow causes slush.

But if adventurers still want to delight in a Leh Ladakh bike trip in November, they can first catch a flight to Leh and rent a bike from there. It is noteworthy that Leh has very limited availability of bike rentals in November.

So, the passionate bikers have the chance to pull the gear amidst meandering roads, steep curves, ancient monasteries, snow-capped mountains, and various surreal sites. 

Places to Visit in Leh Ladakh in November

Ladakh has always fascinated people with its rugged beauty. No wonder, ardent tourists always look forward to exploring this cold desert. And when it comes to enjoying a visit to Ladakh in November, there is a unique vibe that makes your trip worth it. As the land is blessed by scenic charm, natural wonders, and a serene aura; it deserves to be visited to be experienced. 

The barren expanses come out alive with frozen lakes, snow-clad mountains, and jade meadows covered in the glistening snow. There are many more attractions that make you spellbound. So, here are some hand-picked places that you must visit in Ladakh in the month of November.

Magnetic Hill

Another natural wonder in Ladakh is the Magnetic Hill, which is a gravity hill. It has some magnetic forces that attract the vehicles uphill or downhill, even if those are in neutral gear and the engine is turned off. 

To experience it in person, plan a trip to Leh Ladakh in November 2022.  Although, people have different opinions about it and many argue that the hill doesn’t defy gravity but creates an optical illusion. Whatever it is, watching vehicles slow down as soon as they hit this hill is an experience. To find out what is true, drive your wheels to this hill. 

Khardung-La Pass

Commonly known as one of the highest motorable roads in the world (5,359 m), Khardung La is also known as the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’. The pass is among the attractions that command your visit as you enjoy a Leh Ladakh tour in November. Constructed in 1976, the pass was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988. 

It is maintained by the Border Roads Organisation and supplies to the Siachen Glacier are carried through the pass. It holds strategic importance since historical times as it lies on the major caravan route that links Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. During WWII, an attempt to transfer war well to China was made through this route. 

Travel Tip: Carry Diamox to overcome acute altitude sickness as its high altitude can be problematic for many. 

Nubra Valley

For an insightful trip to a place, which maintains its raw beauty, Nubra Valley must be in your list of places to visit in Ladakh in November. Its serenity, mountains, and the gushing Shyok River make it a mesmeric place. Even the route to the valley passes through the Silk Road across the Ladakh range.

Camping in the valley is among the best experiences. Some of the best camps in the region invite tourists for a great time. Don’t miss out on a Bactrian camel ride here. You will get the rare experience of riding this double-humped camel in very few places and Nubra Valley is one of those.  

Travel Tip: Make sure to obtain an inner line permit as it is a mandate to visit Nubra Valley. 

Shanti Stupa

Visit this Buddhist white-domed chorten during your Ladakh tour in November. It stands as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Ladakh. Shanti Stupa was built as a part of the Peace Pagoda Mission by a Japanese monk to promote world peace. The relic of the Buddha is underneath the stupa. 

While soaking in the peace and serenity here, reach the top and enjoy a visual treat to the breathtaking view of Leh town around. 

Travel Tip: Visit the stupa at sunset. You will catch the beautiful sunset view at this time and when the night falls, the white stupa glistens brighter in the lights. You would want to take more time to capture the beauty of Ladakh in your camera. 

Hemis National Park

Explore this natural setting in Ladakh as you enjoy sightseeing. Hemis Park is heaven for keen birdwatchers. The park is the best place to see snow leopards. Additionally, it is among the few places where Tibetan wolves and Eurasian brown bears can be seen. 

For adventure junkies, the park is the starting point for several trekking routes. Its rich flora and fauna will make you feel closer to nature. At the same time, you will have your mind refreshed and soul cleansed amidst these nature-kissed surroundings. 

 Travel Tip: From this park, visit Hemis Monastery which is close by and is home to a thousand monks. Soak in the peace spread all around. 

Phugtal Monastery

Among sacred places to visit in Leh Ladakh in November, take time to visit Phugtal Monastery. Perched in the southern part of the Zanskar range, the monastery is the place of teaching, learning, meditation, and retreat. 

Apart from its tranquillity, the monastery is a source of curiosity among travellers. The reason is that it is set in a huge cave and its architecture is breathtaking. 

Travel Tip: As Phugtal Monastery is a cave that is transformed into a monastery, the terrain is rocky. So, wear comfortable shoes to walk and climb there. 

Chang la pass –

The Chang La pass is situated at an altitude of about 8060 metres. It is one of the most famous passes in Leh and is also known as the ‘Gateway to Ladakh’.The views from the Chang la pass are stunning.

You can see snow-capped peaks on the way up but once you reach the top there are a number of places to visit including a Buddhist monastery.

 Travel Tip – Do not forget to carry your safeguards with you while visiting Chang La Pass.

Zanskar Valley –

Zanskar valley is another place worth visiting in Ladakh during November. The Valley has some of the most fascinating ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples, which are mostly carved out of rock and have amazing architectural design and grandeur.

The valley is renowned for its alluring natural beauty, serene and quiet villages and friendly people. It also has a number of mountain peaks which can be climbed by trekkers, climbers and mountaineers. There are several places to visit in Zanskar valley such as Taklakot, Pangong Lake, Lamayuru etc., which will surely leave you spellbound!

Travel Tip – Stay respectful while visiting the monasteries. Do not disturb monks while they are performing prayers.

Things to do in Leh Ladakh in November

November sets in a lovely winter vibe in Ladakh and repletes the cold desert with picturesque beauty. This picture-perfect scenery also has the scope of some action and presents exciting things to do in Leh Ladakh in November to tourists.  They can indulge in myriad activities such as trekking and enjoy the thrill of driving on high-altitude mountain roads in temperatures below zero. 

So, here are some of the amazing activities to enjoy in Ladakh in the winters of November. Do take this opportunity to delight in the adrenaline rush, something that could be expected in heaven. 

1. Map the Mountains

Mountaineers can test their stamina and courage here in November.  So, mountaineering is among the top things to do in Leh Ladakh in November.

Himalayan lofty peaks have attracted people for ages to conquer them. These days several companies assist adventure lovers in mountaineering. People can choose from easy to difficult climbing challenges as per their expertise. The companies provide the mountaineers with the required equipment to ascend the Himalayan heights.

Travel Tip: Obtain a permit from Indian Mountaineering Foundation for climbing peaks in Ladakh. A Liaison Officer is assigned to every climbing team and a booking fee is also charged. To process the applications, at least 6 months are required.

2. Visit Pangong Lake

If you are visiting Leh in November, Pangong Lake must be included in your itinerary. This is an alluring ocean-like salt lake that attracts tourists. Set at an elevation of 4,350 m the lake freezes in November and becomes an attraction that shouldn’t be missed.  

What makes this lovely lake more special is the fact that it extends from India to Tibet. It doesn’t drain anywhere as it is completely landlocked. Furthermore, the journey to the lake is thrilling as you have to cross the Chang La – one of the world’s highest motorable passes.

Travel Tip: Carry a basic medical kit for emergencies. You cannot contact anyone and expect any phone signals at Pangong Lake.

3. Explore Tso Moriri

Leh in November is beautiful in its own ways. One of these is the frozen Tso Moriri lake. This is an enormous expanse of water and when it turns into a white ice slab in November, the majestic mountains reflect more clearly in it. The area around is blossomed with over 200 species of wild plants in this month. 

Tso Moriri lake lies in the Changthang region is among the most stunning, serene, and sacred (for Ladakhis) high altitude lakes in India. It is the largest high altitude lake in India that is entirely in the Indian Territory.  

Travel Tip: If sunshine is there and the hard cold winters can’t stop you, plan a day trip to Tso Moriri from Chumathang or Nyoma.  Magical shades of blue at this lake will greet you.  

4. Shopping at Gol Market

Buy home souvenirs from the Gol Market – the local market of Ladakh. This shopping arcade sells various prosaic goods, antiques, authentic embroidered Ladakhi work, camping materials, and a lot of woollen clothes. 

A host of colours, textures, and plethora will tempt you to purchase more and more items. The market also has many eating joints to savour authentic local delicacies of Ladakh. 

Travel Tip: The sellers might start with double prices of goods. So, be proactive with your bargaining skills. 

5. Watch Ice Hockey

Ladakh has added unique winter sports with Ice Hockey, also as Skinny and Pond Hockey in Leh Ladakh. It is played at the ice-rink in the Chibra Kargyam village situated in the remote Changthang region of Ladakh.

Tucked at an altitude of 4374 above sea level, this is the highest ice-rink in the world and is made as per Olympic standards. Watch the players skating on natural ice. As the area freezes during winter, several campsites offer Ice Hockey opportunities. 

6. Experience Chadar Trek –

Chadar trek is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh, which takes you through some beautiful valleys and passes before reaching into Zanskar region with its charming villages and monasteries hidden amidst endless snow-covered mountains. 

This trek offers you to reach the top of the mountain where there is a panoramic view of surrounding hills and valleys. You can enjoy this beautiful view from both sides.You will be amazed by the beauty of nature here.

Travel Tip – Do not forget to check the weather forecasts before you plan visiting Chadar Trek.

7. Do Stargazing from the Lamayuru Monastery –

The Lamayuru monastery is at an altitude of 3,510 m above sea level, which makes it a good place for stargazing. The view from here is breathtaking and you can see many stars in the sky above you.

Sit down for your dinner at the Lamayuru Monastery and enjoy the stargazing. It offers a perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of Leh Ladakh and relax under the stars with your loved ones. The view from here is simply breathtaking!

Travel Tip – Make sure you are fully covered while visiting Lamayuru Monastery.

Do's and don'ts on a Ladakh Trip - 

Do’s in Ladakh Trip-

  • Do proper rest and take time to acclimatise yourself once you reach Ladakh.
  • Do book your accommodation well in advance.
  • Do carry a good amount of food and water supplies with you while travelling.

Don’ts in Ladakh Trip-

  • Don’t be fussy over food you get in Ladakh. 
  • Do not forget to carry enough warm clothes with you.
  • Do not try to harm the flora and fauna of Ladakh.

How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh in November?

To plan a trip to Ladakh in November, try to keep the itinerary as simple as possible. Be very careful while planning a trip to this cold desert. Extreme climatic conditions, frequent snowfalls, and sub-zero temperatures give you enough reasons to plan your trip to Ladakh. 

With so many adventure trails and opportunities, Ladakh presents you with a plethora of attractions and activities to indulge in. And adventure lovers aren’t any less. Follow the tips to plan a trip to Ladakh in November – 

Plan Much Before

If you want to explore the road routes of Ladakh, plan ahead. Driving through the biting cold winds and experiencing sudden rainfall is challenging. Look for the route that is open and provides accessibility. 

Book Accommodation in Advance

Make your Leh Ladakh trip in November smooth by making your hotel stay booking much in advance. Till October ends, a majority of accommodation options in Leh, Nubra, and Pangong wind up for the year. An advance booking is sure to prove great and you need not face any troubles of finding suitable accommodation. 

Be Prepared to Deal with Extreme Temperature

Come prepared to combat the cold in Ladakh. Only those having strong immunity and endurance are deemed fit to explore Ladakh in November as winters here are nail-biting. Pack enough woollens to keep you warm in the extreme temperatures, especially the freezing temperature at night.
By staying warm at all times, you can reduce the chances of getting acute mountain sickness. So, you must pack heavy woollens like –

  • Heavy woollen jacket or parka (windproof)
  • Woollen cap or balaclava or monkey cap
  • Inner thermals (2-3 pairs)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Heavy woollens (sweatshirts, pullovers, hand gloves, warm hoodies)
  • Woollen socks
  • Warm insulated shoes or trekking boots
  • High SPF sunscreen lotions
  • Sunglasses

Always cover your chest and neck carefully to safeguard them from the chilling winds. Carry clothes to be worn in layers as it helps in adjusting your body to the fluctuating temperatures in Ladakh.

Carry Medicines and Snacks

Do carry some basic medicines on your Leh trip in November such as those for colds, fever, vomit, dizziness, and upset stomach. To deal with mountain sickness, carry energy drinks like glucose. Also, pack snacks like dry fruits and glucose biscuits to refuel yourself while hiking and trekking. To cope with nausea, carry some chocolates.

Keep Necessary Documents

Carry at least one government-approved identity cards such as a Passport, Voter ID, Aadhar Card, or Driving License. Keep the original document as well as its photocopy.

Tourists also have to carry other documents that include a copy of flight tickets, passport size photographs, hotel reservation slip, a printout of itinerary, and a medical insurance copy.

Customise Your Itinerary 

Customise your itinerary to make it more rewarding. Skip remote areas like Marsimik and Charchagan in late November as the road is blocked because of snow. It also saves you the hassle of obtaining a permit from remote regions, which is not easy

Constraint Relying on Public Transportation

To commute locally, count on cabs or taxis and not on public transport since the frequency of public transportation is largely reduced by October end. As the Ladakh temperature in November becomes extreme and the roads block, only taxis and cabs help you travel within the city.

To be precise, a vacation in Leh Ladakh in the month of November imparts you memories to treasure for a lifetime. Since the place is dotted by numerous places to see and activities to take up, the cold region serves its holidaymakers well. From monasteries and stupa to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Ladakh has everything that is enough to fascinate a vacationer. 

Apart from the attractions mentioned above, you can also explore Sham Valley which harbours various monasteries of Alchi, Likir, and Lamayuru. With this trip to Ladakh in November, you not only surrender to the mesmeric views but also put on your trekker’s shoes for a thrilling trek. Biking in Ladakh is another experience that must not be missed. Meandering through some of the highest passes of the world and that too in the harsh cold is an experience to cherish. 

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Is Ladakh a good place to plan a trip?

Yes, Ladakh is a good place to plan a trip. It offers a unique experience to the tourists.The place is full of natural beauty, pristine lakes, snow-capped mountains and beautiful valleys. There are many things to do in Ladakh and one can enjoy their trip by doing some trekking, skiing or horse riding etc. 

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What are the cuisines one must try on their trip to Ladakh?

You will find both Indian and Tibetan cuisines in this region. Must try cuisines in Ladakh are Tingmo,Thenthuk, Sku, Khambir And Butter Tea, Chhang, momos, etc. These cuisines will definitely make you feel mouthwatering.

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What are the things one must do in Ladakh?

There are so many things one can do in Ladakh like take a bike ride to the top of Zanskar Range , get a breathtaking view of the different valleys, the lakes and the mountains Visit Leh and explore the beautiful monasteries, stupas, etc and a lot more.

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Is it safe to plan a trip to Ladakh?

Ladakh is a popular tourist destination for both locals and foreigners. So safety standards are good in most parts of this region. However, you should consider taking necessary precautions such as carrying extra warm clothes to keep you protected from cold weather.

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Are road trips a good option for Ladakh ?

Road trips are a good option for Ladakh because they allow you to explore the region at your own pace. Road trips are full of beautiful landscapes, timeless atmosphere and thrilling adventures which will make this trip a memorable one.

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What are the things one must carry on the Ladakh trip?

Camera, binoculars and other items which help you take pictures, Battery and charger for your camera, Some snacks and bottled water, Sunscreen cream, Travel towels (in case of rains), Medical Kit, etc are the things one must carry on the Ladakh trip.

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What is the average travel duration every day?

The average travel duration is 7-8 hours on a full-day trip. While you will be visiting most scenic spots and giving yourself ample time to explore and enjoy the beauty of Ladakh.

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Is Ladakh open in November?

 

Yes, Ladakh remains completely open in November. Although it’s an off season, you will be able to see few tourists visiting Ladakh. It will be extremely cold weather. So, if you are planning your trip to Ladakh in November then make sure you carry a good amount of warm clothes.

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Can I visit Leh Ladakh in November?

Yes, you can surely visit Ladakh in November. However, road trips are not possible during this time. As they are highly prone to landslides. The best way is to go to Ladakh via Air. And hire a taxi or a bike in Ladakh to enjoy local sightseeing.

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