Jammu & Kashmir / Travelogue

Budget Trip To Ladakh – Part 6

Beas River Manali

This is the 6th and last part of the series Budget Trip To Ladakh. To reiterate again, we are on our 15 Day trip to Ladakh following the below itinerary (roughly).

28th July : Day 1 : Kolkata – Srinagar / Sonmarg
29th July : Day 2 : Srinagar / Sonmarg – Drass – Kargil / Lamayuru
30th July : Day 3 : Kargil / Lamayuru – Sham Valley Sightseeing – Alchi / Uleytokpo
31st July : Day 4 : Alchi / Uleytokpo – Dha and Hanu Villages – Leh
1st Aug : Day 5 : Leh Local Sight Seeing + Arrange Inner Line Permits
2nd Aug : Day 6 : Leh – Khardung La – Diskit (Nubra Valley) – Hunder / Diskit
3rd Aug : Day 7 : Hunder / Diskit – Turtuk – Hunder / Diskit
4th Aug : Day 8 : Hunder / Diskit – Agham – Wari La – Shakti – Chang La – Durbuk – Tangste – Pangong Tso / Nubra Valley – Agham – Shyok Village – Durbuk – Tangste – Pangong Tso
5th Aug : Day 9 : Buffer Day
6th Aug : Day 10 : Pangong Tso – Man – Merak – Kakstet – Chusul – Tsaga – Loma – Hanle
7th Aug : Day 11 : Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Sumdo – Tso Moriri (Karzok) / Hanle – Salsal La – Charchagan La – Tso Moriri (via Chummur)
8th Aug : Day 12 : Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu – Baralacha La – Darcha – Jispa
9th Aug : Day 13 : Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
10th Aug : Day 14 : Manali Sightseeing. Manali – Delhi (Evening Volvo)
11th Aug : Day 15 : Delhi – Kolkata

NOTE : (1) For Permits, you’d need to mention the exact name of all the places, and not only the destinations. Thus it’s very important to make a note of the possible routes too. (2) In case of Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, you may see that I have used or sign (/) as there were two possible routes, and accordingly based on various parameters we had to opt for one.

The Budget Trip To Ladakh Series :

8th Aug : Day 12 : Tso Kar – Debring – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu – Baralacha La – Darcha – Jispa :

Today we woke up a bit early at around 5:30 AM. Although we got ready quickly within next 1 hour, as we had plans to leave by 7:00 – 7:30 AM, however our breakfast were served at around 7:00 AM. After having our breakfast, we loaded our luggage and left by around 8:00 AM towards our first destination of the day – Debring.

Well, we were anyway saddened because of our trip coming to an end, however what burnt a hole in our hearts is that achu is going to leave us within next few hours. Throughout the route to Debring, hardly anyone uttered a word. It took us around around 30 minutes to reach Debring.

Rinku Ji – Our driver for the last leg of our trip was already waiting for us there. While they were transferring the luggages, we thought of taking a smoke break and went ahead to the nearby dhaba to also buy some chocolates to gift the same to our beloved achu.

It took them around 10 minutes or so to transfer all the luggages and check all the belongings. We went ahead and bidded goodbye to our beloved achu by handing over a small endowment from all of us and a tight hug. However, without wasting a moment, he left instantly.

Girls went ahead to relieve themselves, while Me and Ayan choosed to have a smoke. Soon we started towards our destination for the day – Jispa. As we moved ahead, the beautiful landscapes greeted us.

Manali - Leh Highway

And that’s when we realized, why most people wants to go by Manali – Leh Highway. Well, we being covered both the Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh Highway, I’d say both are equally beautiful and offers different kind of landscapes. Meanwhile, it didn’t took us much time go get befriendly with Rinku Ji. Although he is mostly used to exclaim his guests as “Sir” and “Madam”, however we strictly informed him not to do that!! Instead we’ll be glad to hear “Bhaiya”!!

Finally by around 12:15 we reached Sarchu. Sarchu is the border of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. There’s a small bridge which divides both the states. We took a halt there. While Rinku Ji was busy processing permits, we went ahead and relieved ourselves.

We were already hungry by then, thus we asked Rinku Ji, if we can stop for having our lunch somewhere nearby. However he asked us if we can wait and we nodded positively. He further informed us that, we’d have to cross a long river bed, and once glaciers starts melting we’d be stuck for the day. Although it mostly depends on luck as it’s already past 12 PM, however it’s better to proceed and have lunch.

Manali - Leh Highway

Finally in between we halted for a lunch at a Dhaba at around 1:30 PM and quickly after having our lunch, without wasting much time, we started towards Jispa. Soon we came across the river that Rinku Ji was talking about. Well I don’t know what the hell that was. Glad that we crossed it successfully without getting ourselves stuck. We just wondered why this route has been given a tag of Highway considering the condition of this portion of the road. Rinku Ji shot a video of the same, which I later taken from him just to give you guys an idea.

As we gradually proceeded, we noticed, greenaries appearing in gradually. The beauty here is different and something that we generally imagine about being at hills. Rinku Ji pointed towards few tunnels en-route and informed us that, by next few years, the Manali – Leh highway would get closed and instead this would be the way to reach Leh which would be way faster. Like one can expect to reach Leh within 8 hours from Manali.

In between we stopped by a small Lake as really wanted ourselves to soak into the lap of mother nature.

Lake at Keylong

A few KM’s of drive and finally we reached Jispa by around 4:20 PM. Achu had already informed him that we do not have any hotel bookings and requested him to help us with the same. Rinku Ji drove us to a hotel amidst the valley. The surrounding view was simply breaktaking.


It was off season anyway considering the monsoon season at Manali. And everyone is aware about the disasters that these regions had to face during this season. Considering all these, we didn’t had to waste much words for bargaining to get it within our budget. Again we 4 decided to share a room with an extra matress, while Ayan and Piu took another room.

Later after getting freshen up, we went ahead for a walk. We just loved the walk through such a quaint village with breathtaking views on each side. First we spent sometime by the river bed.

Farm at Jispa

Next as we were about to proceed towards the market, we noticed a farm nearby. We went ahead and seeked permission for visitng the same. The walk through the farm was something very different kind of experience for us. The people there welcomed us warmly with a big smile. We just loved the place and the people there. They even offered us some peas, which was way too sweet, something which we could never expect in our hometown.

Farm at Jispa

Jispa Portraits

Jispa Portraits

Jispa Portraits

Jispa Portraits

Next we went ahead further, and noticing few Birds, Avik went ahead for capturing them in his camera. Later we walked back towards our hotel.

While Sushmita went ahead to freshen up, Me, Avik and Suparna pulled a chair together in the garden. Rinku Ji too joined us and we chit-chatted for a while over a cup of tea. Well, another aspect of staying here is, there are lots of birds in the garden, which is right in the hotel premises. This made Avik quite happy!! Infact he spent the whole evening running after those small creatures with his DSLR.

Kids at Jispa

Later around the evening, both of them went ahead to their room, whereas I joined Rinku Ji over a glass of drink. He arranged some local drink – Chaang, which is made up of fermented rice or barley or sometimes fruits like apples. Rinku Ji informed that this specific one what he has got is made up of fermented barley. Frankly speaking, although I was very afraid of trying out a local drink, specially because of what I saw happened to Raj after drinking Ara, which again a local drink of Bhutan. However there was not way I could have avoided him after all these. So instead I decided to go for a glass instead. And believe me it was really nice. A nice smell unlike ara and tastes great. He also prepared dry chilly chicken for us which was fingerlicking.

While having drinks together, he informed me that, he was worried that how his new tourists would be. And thus he asked Achu while at Debring that how are the guests i.e. us. He further informed us that, achu replied him “Dil pe bithake le jao, fir pata chalega guest kaisa hai“. Well I felt very happy that achu too was missing us. Rinku Ji even told us that, while leaving, he noticed tears in his eyes and that he’s definitely missing us.

Kids at Jispa

Later around 8:30 PM, one of his friend arrived at same hotel with few guests. Soon he joined us too. As I was about to leave, Rinku Ji hold me back and said “apke saath baat karke pehle hi pata chal gaya ki aap sabke saath uthne baithne wale admi ho. Bahut accha laaga ki aap humhare saath baithe” (While speaking with you throughout the route, I could tell that you are a kind of person who gets along with everyone. I’m glad that you joined us).

Later I went ahead to the room and shared this story with others. Finally after getting freshen up, we were chit-chatting for a while, and then we were called up for Dinner. Well, the food was not really that great, but can be easily survived on.

Later, after chit-chatting for a while and having a smoke with Rinku Ji, we went ahead to our rooms. Finally after a long time, Sushmita having BSNL, got her connectivity back, thus we took a while to call with our family back there. Finally by around 11:30 PM or so, we called off the day and hit the bed.

9th Aug : Day 13 : Jispa – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali :

The plan for the day was to reach Manali. Although there’s nothing to hurry, however Rinku Ji informed us last night to start early, considering we would be travelling towards the town, and we might get stuck in a traffic jam. We woke up at around 5:30 AM and got ready gradually!! We took a long than usual, as we got geyzer, and it was a great feeling of taking a bath after 5 long days. Considering the scenarios like unavailability of hot water, high altitute, temperature and most importantly we were starting early, it’s been 5 days all of us had to skip bath.

Finally we were ready by around 6:30AM. Noticing us, Rinku Ji asked us to relax and have Tea / Coffee if we wanted to and that we’d start within an hour or so.

Finally at around 7:20 AM, we started for our shelter of the day – Manali, after paying up all the bills. Our eyes were pleased to experience such green beauty. After driving for a while, Rinku Ji informed us that we should now be getting our mobile connection back gradually.


Soon we reached Chandrabhaga, where the rivers Chandra and Bhaga meets up and flows further in the name of Chandrabhaga. After having a smoke break, we started proceeding further. Later after driving for a while, Rinku Ji, stopped by a Dhaba for having our breakfast. After a long time, we were having proper breakfast like Alu Paratha. Here the punjabi’s are used to have Paratha with Ghee, however at Dhabas they are mostly stucked with Butter. Although we being not used to such rich food habits, we were avoiding the same. However Rinku Ji asked us to have the same with Butter, which would spice up things a little bit. Noticing us hesitating at first, Rinku Ji assured that, there’s nothing to worry, and in this climate, we’d be fine anyway. And believe me, it tasted heavenly. It’s kind of first time for us!! Noticing this, Rinku Ji told us that “jab ghar ke ghee ke sath khayenge to sochiye kaisa lagega” (Just imagine, how it’d taste when you’d be having the same with clarified butter)!!

The next part of the route was in devastating state. Infact I should say there was no route at all. It was all muddy. At one instance, a vehicle was continuously trying to overtake us and considering the state of the route, Rinku Ji was constantly warning him not to do that. Suddenly at one point, he got fed up and stopped the vehicle allowing him to pass. While passing, they smilingly mocked us. Noticing this Rinku Ji, drove past through him with all the force, splashing all the mud over the vehicle. It was like, the whole vehicle got covered with mud. Well, I must say, it was a scene that I wished I could have made a video of.

Manali - Leh Highway

Gradually we made our way to Rotang Pass. A place, which I used to know was covered with snow throughout the year, as I experienced while I was kid, is something that has turned all green due to global warming. Me and Sushmita have already been here and we couldn’t imagine what it has turned into. Though we previously thought of making an halt there, but Rinku Ji pointed towards the Army Convoy and suggested us not to do that. As if we get stuck behind them, it’d take us years to reach Manali.

Thus we kept on driving and rest of the route was mostly uneventful. In between, Rinku Ji gave us a small break which we utilized for havng a smoke. Finally we reached our hotel by around 1:00 PM.

We had our hotel booked at Manali in advance as we got great deal on MakeMyTrip. Upon arriving the staffs welcomed us warmly and we were informed that although we booked Standard Rooms, we have been upgraded to Luxury Cottages. We seemed to be the only guest staying there.

After keeping all the luggages, we came back to Rinku Ji and payed him the remaining balance as per our discussion with Rigzin Ji. Finally after a breif hug, we bidded him goodbye with promises to stay in touch.

Rinku Ji

We went back to our rooms and quickly after getting freshen up, we placed the order for lunch. The 3 cottages that we were allocated, are actually joint i.e. on a same building. It’s kind of a family suite. Thus we had our own private garden, common drawing and dining space. We were informed that, we don’t need to go to the restaurant and we’d be served our food at our private dining space instead.

We gathered together and as we were about to start planning if we should relax or go to market, it started raining badly. We decided to keep a watch on the weather and planned to decide something accordingly later in the afternoon. We called up achu. He was glad that we called him. Meanwhile while chit-chatting with him, we were served lunch. The food was good I’d say. Well, it’s not something heavenly, but definitely can’t be labelled bad.

Later as rain came to halt, we decided to go to market. To save on taxi costs, we went ahead to the Bus Stand and took a local govt. Bus instead as suggested by the hotel manager. Rest of the evening we roamed around the market, exploring various shops. Sushmita bought few items for her and family members, while Suparna bought a jacket.

Finally while walking back to the hotel we picked up a couple of beer. Later while our dinner was getting ready, we pulled a chair together in the garden and enjoyed the chilled beer.

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Soon, our dinner was served and after having the same, we came to conclusion that, we must have stick to North Indian Cuisine instead of trying out Chinese Cuisine at Lunch, as this being their local cuisine, it was really great unlike our experience at lunch.

Later, we gathered together in our room to make a distribution of all the remaining foods. Well, as tomorrow we’d be parting our ways, we couldn’t find any best time to do that!! Out of everything, the main thing that was left was Maggie, because starting from Nubra Valley, all the hotels / homestays / camps comes with Breakfast and Dinner. Even if we won’t have opted for meals, we couldn’t have prepared breakfast on our own due to lack of electricity. As electricity in those remote regions, is provided by solar, and powered on during the 7PM – 11PM window only. Rest of the snacks like cakes, biscuits, dates, chocolates, walnuts etc. were anyway consumed!! Thanks to the remote roads of Hanle and Tso Kar where we couldn’t spot any dhaba or as such for our lunch and kept munching on these snacks only!!

Finally, after chit-chatting for a while, we called off the day and hit the bed.

10th Aug : Day 14 : Manali Sightseeing. Manali – Delhi (Evening Volvo)

It was a leisure day for us. We slept till around 9AM. Finally anyhow I made myself move out from the bed, went ahead and removed the curtain and got overwhelmed by the view. Wish I could wake up to a view like this every morning!

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Soon we got ready and ordered our breakfast. We were asked to step to the restaurant for the same.

Finally after having our breakfast, we went back to our cottages and found that our vehicle has already arrived and waiting for us. Well, yesterday after gathering information about the sightseeing we found that our hotel itself is offerring the lowest rates. Thus we asked the manager to arrange the same only, as that would be more convenient anyway. He also suggested us to speak to the driver directly for dropping us to Bus Stand after sightseeing, for some extra bucks, as otherwise if we ask him to arrange the same instead, he’d have to charge by the fixed rates which would be higher.

Quickly after getting freshen up, we checked out and left the luggage at the hotel premises itself, as per our discussion with the manager there.

Our first stop was Vashist Temple. Me and Suparna went alone, as one needs to remove their shoes, they refrained from entering the temple.

Vashisht Temple - Manali

Vashisht Temple - Manali

Next, we went ahead to Hidimba Devi Temple. Hidimba Devi Temple and Ghatotkacha Temple is situated at walking distance from each other.

Hidimba Devi Temple - Manali

Ghatothkacha Temple - Manali

Next, Honey Ji – Our Driver, drove us to Club House. There were various entertainment activities like Boating, Bungee Jumping, Ziplining, etc. However we felt none of them to be worth the money their charge. Thus we spent sometime by the Beas River before leaving. The Club House have various restaurants, however again, they aren’t that pocket friendly.

Beas River Manali

Our next and last spot was Market. We already bought what we needed yesterday only, so instead, we choosed to have our lunch there. Considering the overnight Bus Journey, we thought of having something light. After discussing and scanning a few restaurants around, we chose to head to a restaurant named Balaji Restaurant. However our experience was very bad. There were flies in the Khichdi, rubber band on Lassi and what not. Moreover their attitute towards the guests were not at all attentive and welcoming.

Balaji Restaurant - Manali

Finally we moved back to our hotel by around 3:00PM. As suggested by the hotel manager, we requested Mr. Honey to drop us to Bus Stand for something extra and he agreed and asked us to pay anything between Rs. 100/- – Rs. 200/- as per our wish.

After reaching our hotel, we were allowed to use the washrooms as previously discussed with the hotel manager. Finally after getting freshen up, we loaded our luggage and left bidding goodbye to the staffs and the manager for such a wonderful stay and co-opearating and friendly behaviour.

Finally we drove to Bus Stand whcih took us a mere 5 or 10 minutes from hotel. What really impressed us is Honey Ji stayed with us till the Bus showed up. We thought that he’d have left after dropping us there. In the meanwhile, we got really annoyed with thousands of vendors continuously approaching with Apples, Saffron etc. Finally after the bus arrived, we loaded the luggage and went ahead and payed Rs. 200/- to Honey Ji and thanked him for all the co-operation.

Manali Delhi Volvo Bus

The Bus left as per it’s deperture schedule. The rest of the journey to Delhi was mostly uneventful. We were given halts from time to time for refreshments, snacks break and dinner break. The journey was really comfortable enough!!

11th Aug : Day 15 : Delhi – Kolkata

When we woke up, we were already driving through the roads of our capital city – Delhi. The Bus was mostly on time, however when we reached the Bus Stand, we noticed that it’s late by a mere 30 minutes, which is completely acceptable.

First we thought of getting a hotel nearby Airport so that we can freshen up and take rest. However Avik, Sushmita & Trisha suggested to move to Airport directly and not to waste money on Hotel and the respective transports to & from hotel. Well, finally after thinking and discussing for a while, we decided to move ahead to Airport only.

There we had our breakfast from a coffee shop. And finally after killing some time by chit-chatting and gossiping, we thought of checking in our luggages as that would relieve ourselves from the headache of carrying and looking after all these luggages.

The security checkin was smooth, and finally we were in the deperture bay. The girls took a seat, and rest of us went ahead for a smoke. Later we had our lunch at KFC and kept waiting till our boarding time. This being a silent airport, there was no announcements being made, so we had to keep a close watch on the deperture table, not to repeat the scenario we faced during our onward journey!!

Flight To Kolkata

The journey back to Kolkata was uneventful anyway. As we boarded Uber to our home, the journey from Day 1 appeared like cinematic flashback. However, we were really tired, to even feel sad of getting back to our boring life again.

I quickly did a calculation en-route and was glad to find out that, we completed the whole trip within a budget of 30k per head!!

1 Dream Destination – 6 Friends – 15 Days – 30,000 Per Head!!

The Budget Trip To Ladakh Series :

Important Points To Stay Safe :

  1. In Jammu & Kashmir, only postpaid connection works. So get yourself a postpaid connection before hailing to Kashmir. Also throughout most part of Ladakh, BSNL is known to work best and then Airtel.
  2. Even with BSNL, you would be out of network at most regions. So inform your family beforehand about the situation. Although at places, you’d get local options to call your home and inform. Most hotels offers that service for free or for a premium for their guests. In case it’s free, use it wisely and make room for next one. Your amazing travel stories can wait.
  3. Ladakh is a land of Cold Desert, and thus during the day, it too hot. Unlike Kolkata, the humidity is very low, thus you won’t be sweating, but the heat feels like burning a hole on your skin. Use Sunscreen, Body Lotions, Lip Balms etc. daily.
  4. However the nights are cold and depending on the region nights can be really chilly.
  5. Most importantly, whatever it be, whether starts changing post 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM, and one shouldn’t be without a basic winter garments like pull over / windcheaters / thermals etc. As that’s the time when the weather changes and if you are not protected / covered, it easily affects you. Believe me, we are the sufferers.
  6. In this part of the country, sun sets late, during 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM. However don’t be misguided that sun rise late too. Unfortunately that’s not the case and thus you get a lot of daylight to travel and explore.
  7. Most regions in Ladakh is situated at very high altitude and thus Acclimatization should be given top priority if you really want to enjoy Ladakh and stay safe.
  8. Ladakh can be approached in various ways – (1) Starting from Srinagar i.e. travelling through Srinagar – Leh Highway, (2) Flying to Leh, (3) Starting from Manali i.e. travelling through Manali – Leh highway. Considering the Acclimatization, the options are given in order i.e. 1 is best, second best is 2 and worst option is 3.
  9. Unless you are travelling with very less number of days in hand, I’d always recommend Option 1 i.e. travelling through Srinagar – Leh Highway
  10. Well Ladakh is known for harsh weather i.e. too hot during the day and too cold during the night. Also the thin level of oxygen plays an important role for your dissatisfaction. Unless you are acclimatizing properly, it’s really hard to enjoy the trip. Instead you’d always think of going back. During first few days, we felt same. But when we had a first glimpse of Pangong Tso, everything changed!!
  11. There are lots of guides available in internet regarding AMS. So I’ll refrain from writing a story about the same again. In short, AMS depends and varies from person to person depending on their health, age and various other factors. However below are few important and helpful tips which would help you enjoy Ladakh safely.
  12. Never rush it. Better do it some other time with more number of days in hand and properly acclimatize at every 3000 ft gain. Although you don’t need to follow this rule hard and fast, however don’t change altitudes everyday. The idea is to acclimatize every other day with every possible altitude gain.
  13. Don’t compete. Don’t be a superhero / superheroine. Well as I said, every person is different. So is their health. So don’t compete and take your own sweet time and instead enjoy the beautiful landscape.
  14. While at high altitude, you’d feel exhausted even by going to toilet or loo. It happens because of the thin layer in oxygen. Steady and Slow wins the race. Don’t walk faster or run as you’d do in your hometown. Keep it slow.
  15. Communication is a key point. Never feel ashamed and hide it when you are having issues. AMS can strike anyone. Thus if you are having any kind of problem, communicate with your Team Members. May be you are affected with low level however if not communicated and treated in time it can turn into severe. And in that case everyone have to leave and descend.
  16. At all points you’ll come across Army Hospitals / Base Camps which can come to your rescue in case things turns worse. So there’s nothing to fear.
  17. Keep AMS Medications handy like Coca 30 / Coca 6X / Diamox. We started taking Coca 6X twice daily (5-6 drops) from Kargil onwards. Remember these medicines prepares you for the high altitude, i.e. these are considered as preventive medicine. Once AMS had striked, these might not come to resue depending on the condition. Don’t be a doctor yourself, instead in case of any issues contact the locals and go to Army Hospital / Base Camp nearby.
  18. Drink lots of water. Yes hell lot of water i.e. 3-4 lts. minimum per day. This is very important to keep yourself safe. If possible mix ORS to it, which is even better. We carried 2 packet ORS per person per day.
  19. You might be a foodie. But to stay safe the myntra is to eat light. Avoid spicy foods and avoid over eating. Infact eat a bit less than what you generally eat. When your body is getting low oxygen, most of it is driven to your brain to function properly and thus indigestion is a common issue if you are eating heavily.
  20. Very importantly, avoid Smoking, drinking Coffee (or any kind of Caffine) and Alcohol. This single point will keep you fit and fine. People have even died due to drinking alcohol. You might not face issues while drinking alcohol, however your body might get collapsed after you sleep. This has happened to a lot of people already. You might notice foreigners drinking and smoking, however again as I said don’t compete. Their upbringing and yours might not be same.
  21. Most importantly, be positive. Yes there’s no medication or nothing than being positive and believing in yourself.
  22. Last but not the least, your god’s sake keep your plan flexible and don’t be a stubborn to stick to an specific itinerary even if your health is not permitting it. You are the best person to know if your health is permitting or not. And if not, descend. Because, if you don’t, it can be a life risk and a lot more risk for other team members. And Ladakh is not a top priority than your life.

Reviews :
Norbuling Guest House, Jispa : The hotel is situated amidst the valley surrounding the breathtaking view. The whole property, rooms and the washrooms were really clean well maintained. The rooms were very spacious. The staffs were very cordial and smiling. The food however, needs a bit of improvement, but can be survived on!!

Norbuling Guest House - Jispa

Norbuling Guest House - Jispa

Norbuling Guest House - Jispa

Norbuling Guest House - Jispa

Apple Bud Cottage, Manali : In one word, one of the best place we have ever stayed. The large window overlooking the hills covered with clouds right in front of bed, is the first thing you see after waking up in the morning. The cottages were really quaint and ethnically designed. The whole property, rooms and washrooms were really clean and well maintained. Well considering a 3* hotels, you get aminities like Mini Bar, TV, Soap, Shampoo etc. The staffs are very helpful and co-operating. We just loved our stay at Apple Bud Cottage.

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Apple Bud Cottage - Manali

Costing :

Norbuling Guest House, Jispa : Rs. 2200/- (1 x Double Bedroom @ Rs. 1000/- + 1 x Double Bedroom with Extra Matress @ Rs. 1200/-).

Apple Bud Cottage, Manali : Rs. 5114/- (3 x Double Bedroom @ Rs. 1704/-). This includes Breakfast and Dinner. Although we booked Standard Rooms from MakeMyTrip, however on spot, we were upgraded to Luxury Cottages.

Vehicle (Manali Sightseeing) : Rs. 1500/- (Arranged by the hotel itself)

Vehicle (Hotel to Manali Volvo Bus Stand) : Rs. 200/-

Parking : Rs. 50/- (Vashisht Temple) + 60/- (Hidimba Devi Temple) + 150 (Club House)

We were travelling with flexible plan and had a budget of Rs. 60k per couple + Rs. 10k as buffer (i.e. Total 70k with Buffer per Couple) which we were carrying in cash accordingly, excluding Flights & Manali – Delhi Volvo Bus which we booked in advance. Finally we made it within Rs. 70k per couple for the whole tour Kolkata to Kolkata including the Fights and Manali Delhi Volvo Bus. That means we made it within 54k per couple excluding the flights and Manali – Delhi Volvo Bus.

CCU – DEL – SXR : 7334/- (For Me & Suparna)
Manali – Delhi HPTDC Volvo Bus : 2840/- (For Me & Suparna)
DEL – CCU : 5126/- (For Me & Suparna)
Vehicle : 64000/- (For the whole tour)

Contacts :

Norbuling Guest House, Jispa : Sonam Thakur – +91-94187-73787 / Thandup Thakur – +91-94590-18023

Apple Bud Cottage, Manali : 01902-254177 / +91-86268-83484 / Website / / C.R. Premi (MD) – +91-98574-22803 / Angali Negi (General Manager) – +91-98177-98177

Rinku Ji (Driver, Debring – Manali) : +91-98167-28828. He drives an white Innova with regisration number HP 01K 5119.

Mr. Honey (Driver, Manali Sightseeing) : +91-70182-72221. He drives an white Innova with registration number HP 01K 5446.

Bakir (Our Achu, The Driver, Very friendly young chap, Works for Rigzin) : +91-94696-66401 / +91-70514-45539. He drove a white Aria which belonged to Rigzin, under registration number JK 10A 4036.

Mr. Rigzin (Driver, The single point of contact, The Showstopper) : +91-96229-54779 / +91-94694-72772.

The Budget Trip To Ladakh Series :

About Author

Hi, I'm born and bought up in Kolkata in the midst of what bongs are best known for - Eating, Sleeping and Travelling. A developer by profession and a traveller by passion. As I was facing a lack of budget-friendly information on the internet while planning my travel, I started drafting my travel experiences here to help you all having a pocket-friendly smooth travel experience.


  • Tushar Mondal
    September 7, 2018 at 9:38 PM

    Like all good things it has come to an end ……
    But i am damn sure that your next tour is only few months away, so keep traveling and keep writing ……

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      September 7, 2018 at 10:38 PM

      Hahaha!! Thanks a lot and I’m glad to get an avid reader like you 🙂

  • Anonymous
    September 7, 2018 at 10:56 PM


  • Saroj baral
    March 28, 2019 at 5:26 PM

    Dear Mr Krisnandu
    Thanks a lot for such a beautiful description of Leh Ladakh tour.
    We are nine (9), member going to visit Ladakh this year (start from Kolkata on 24th May 2019 and return on and from Delhi on 7th June)
    You have given all the detail information about each tourist spot, hotels and driver, will you please suggest any driver for our tour, it is to be mentioned that as we are nine members we need a Tempo Traveller.

    Thanking you

    Saroj Baral,

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      March 28, 2019 at 7:59 PM

      Hi Mr. Saroj, Well we were 6 members so I never enquired for Tempo Traveller. You can check with Mr. Rigzin : +91-96229-54779 / +91-94694-72772 once and see if he’d be able to arrange a Tempo Traveller.

  • Saroj baral
    March 29, 2019 at 3:17 PM

    Thank you.

    December 28, 2019 at 1:13 PM

    Very informative and well phrased. Seemed we ourselves were into the land, travelling.

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      December 28, 2019 at 9:51 PM

      Hi Abhtaneel, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

  • Stella Wilson
    May 28, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    I am in love with all the photographs. It’s one of the best blogs I have ever read on the Ladakh trip. Thank you for sharing the information. 🙂

    • Krishnandu Sarkar
      May 28, 2020 at 7:32 PM

      Hi Stella, Thanks a lot and I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

  • max
    April 16, 2024 at 5:12 PM

    Your photos are breathtaking, I’m inspired to visit these destinations. If you are planning a trip to kashmir visit


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