Leh Ladakh In December

Ladakh’s snow-covered mountains, ice-covered lakes, and snow-blanked roads provide a magnificent background for tourists in December. The cold air, powdered snow, and snowflakes contribute to the appeal of the winter paradise.

Despite being thought inaccessible during the winter, Ladakh offers courageous guests a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Leh Ladakh in December are uncommon, allowing tourists to appreciate the breathtaking barrenness of the area and observe the charm that has remained for decades.

A trip to Leh Ladakh in December will give you an experience to cherish for a lifetime. 

Ladakh Weather in December

Winter in Ladakh is severe. The temperature during the day is approximately -11°C. However, the temperatures can drop to less than -30 degrees Celsius at night. During December, you may expect 3 to 8 days of rain in Ladakh. 

If you are planning to visit, you should brace yourselves for frigid (very cold) days and much colder nights. Everything will be frozen. There will be no water pouring from the faucets. The streets appear vacant, yet life carries on as usual. You may encounter snowfall as well when visiting Ladakh in the winter.

Because the winter season is at its peak, the weather in Leh in December is frequently snowy. Snow blankets the roads and sidewalks, and everything becomes covered with snow. However, this will not impede your travel because it will melt as soon as the sun shines.

How to Reach Ladakh in December?

Leh Ladakh is accessible in December, which may be the finest time for daring spirits to come. The pleasure of traveling on snow-covered routes and high-elevation mountain highways in sub-zero temperatures is unparalleled! There are two methods to go to Leh Ladakh: by road and by aeroplane.

By road

  • Both the Manali-Leh Highway and the Srinagar-Leh Highway are closed during the cold winters of Ladakh, making travel impossible. 
  • In late October or early November, the Manali-Leh Highway is continually obstructed and coated by snow. By December, they are completely submerged. 
  • Due to the harsh winters and significant snowfall, the Srinagar Leh Highway begins to be blanketed with snow in December.
  • Even though the roads may be open, it is advisable to travel with caution and keep some buffer days as well.

By flight

  • The most convenient mode of transportation to Ladakh is via flight. 
  • The principal airport of Leh is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, which is located 3 kilometres from the city centre. 
  • It has direct and connecting flights from Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Srinagar, and Kolkata. The flights continue to operate throughout the year. 
  • However, flights may be delayed because of climatic conditions in December. 
  • There are a lot of flights from Delhi even in December. 
  • Since just a few people visit Ladakh in the winter, airfare is fairly reasonable (if booked in advance).

By bike

The Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh roads were blocked in December because of excessive snowfall on the high mountain passes. If you want to go on a Leh Ladakh bike tour in December, you may fly to Leh and then rent a mountain bike to discover the region.

Best Places to Visit Ladakh in December

You will be able to access any section of Ladakh once you arrive in Leh. In December, you can travel within Ladakh by taxi or cab.  The entire countryside is coated in gorgeous white snow in December. During this month, there are several locations to visit in Leh Ladakh that will give you a wonderful experience.

1. Nubra Valley

Nubra Valley
  • Nubra Valley was previously called Ldumra, which translates to “flower valley.” 
  • It is known for its breathtaking panoramas and rivers that pass through steep valleys. 
  • You may stay at Turtuk, Hunder, Panamik, or Diskit in Nubra Valley. Accommodation is available in other settlements as well. 
  • To go to Nubra, one must cross Khardung La. It is 150 km from Leh.
  • From a distance, the valley appears parched, but it is here that the excellent farmlands may be found. 
  • That is precisely why the valley has been conferred with the distinguished title of Ladakh’s Orchard.

2. Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake
  • Pangong Lake is the perfect location to visit in Ladakh in December.
  • It offers visitors the most tranquil and magnificent landscapes. 
  • Pangong Lake’s colours are well recognized for changing into tones of blue, green, and red. 
  • The lake begins to ice in December due to the very cold weather. 
  • However, there are numerous things to enjoy throughout your visit. 
  • You may stay at homestays around the lake in Spangmik, Man, and Merak.
  • Local people who reside around the lake would be delighted to give meals and lodging at a low cost.

3. Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park
  • The Hemis National Park Sanctuary is an excellent winter location for sightseeing in Leh-Ladakh. 
  • It is also India’s first national park to be built in the north of the main Himalayan Range. 
  • It is also the largest national park in South Asia. 
  • Hemis is home to a huge number of uncommon species, many of which can only be found at high altitudes.
  • At Hemis National Park, you can see endangered species such as leopards, Asiatic ibex, red fox, Tibetan wolf, and the Eurasian brown bear.
  • It is the only place in India where you may see Shapu or the Ladakhi Urial.

4. Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill
  • Magnetic Hill is a gravity slope in Ladakh where slow-moving automobiles are dragged against gravity. 
  • The Magnetic Hill in Leh, Ladakh, is a natural wonder. 
  • Even if the ignition is switched off and the vehicle is in neutral mode, the car will travel at a speed of 20 km/h here.`

5. Tso Moriri

Tso Moriri
  • Tso Moriri is well-known among tourists for its natural beauty. 
  • However, if there is heavy snowfall in the area, everything may freeze up in December, and the spot may be completely unavailable to tourists.
  • When the weather is nice, this is a must-see for travellers in Leh Ladakh in December.
  • It offers the most lovely and peaceful views of Tso Moriri.

6. Kargil

  • Kargil, one of the world’s harshest terrains, is the 2nd largest town in Ladakh after Leh. 
  • It is located on more than 1500 km of land. 
  • Kargil, at about 2700 meters in elevation, is close to the Line of Control. 
  • Suru Valley, Tangole, Tai Suru,  Rangdum, Zongkhul, Stonday, and other prominent attractions can be found in Kargil.

7. Leh Palace

  • Leh Palace is an imperial residence in the market district with some of the nicest views in town.
  • It is a massive nine-story structure that functioned as the royal residence of the Namgyal dynasty.
  • It is a renowned Tibetan-style architectural gem. 
  • In December, one may simply spend time at the palace before going shopping in the adjacent market sites.

8. Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame
Image Source: lehladakhindia.com
  • The Indian Army established and continues to operate the Hall of Fame.
  • It is a museum dedicated to remembering the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Indo-Pak conflicts. 
  • The Hall of Fame should be seen during the visit to Leh Ladakh in December.

Some of the other places that you can visit and explore in Leh-Ladakh are:

  • Shanti Stupa
  • Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
  • Thiksey Monastery
  • Shey Palace
  • Zanskar Valley
  • Leh main market

Things to do in Leh Ladakh in December

1. Chadar Trekking on the Frozen Lake

The Chadar Trek is a popular winter trip in Leh Ladakh that involves crossing the ice-covered Zanskar River. It is one of the world’s most difficult treks, involving hiking in subzero temperatures. The intense cold weather causes the lake to freeze when the temperature drops below freezing. The lake freezes into a delicate sheet of ice, making it excellent for walking.

2. Ladakh Winter Festival

If you are planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh in December, the Ladakh Winter Festival is something that you shouldn’t miss. This yearly event takes place in Leh throughout the month of December. The annual celebration highlights the local way of life with a range of cultural activities, spectacles of dance, and traditional games. Tourists may interact with residents while discovering about their culture by attending the event.

3. The Snow Leopard Trek

In the winter, the Snow Leopard Trek in Leh-Ladakh is quite famous for seeing wildlife, particularly the Himalayan big cat, which is an endangered species and the pride of the Himalayas. On the route, you may observe the Trans-Himalayan region’s rich flora and animals as well as exquisite Buddhist temples.

In addition to these, you can also go ice skating and ice climbing at many places in Ladakh.

How much does a trip to Leh Ladakh cost in December

Flight CostAccommodation CostTrekking Cost ( Optional )Tour package Cost
The average flight prices to Leh would vary depending upon the city from where you are taking the flight.In Leh Ladakh, you can find 2-star, 3-star, and even 5-star hotels.For those interested in trekking, Ladakh offers several options. The Ladakh trek packages start from Rs. 15,000.There are bike trip packages also available, starting from Rs. 35,000.
Approximate cost of New Delhi to Leh flight: Rs. 2,500-3,000The budget accommodation would start below Rs. 1,000. A budget tour package to Leh Ladakh for 6 nights and 7 days would cost approximately Rs. 18,000. The cost could go as high as Rs. 2,00,000 depending on the tour operator and the choice of package.
Approximate cost of Mumbai to Leh flight: Rs. 6,000-7,000The budget accommodation would start below Rs. 1,000. 

How to plan a trip to Leh Ladakh in December?

Ladakh is accessible to tourists all year. As a result, you might plan a trip to Leh Ladakh in December to discover the splendor of this beautiful town. To enjoy every moment of your vacation to Ladakh, you must properly organize your itinerary.

Here are some of the points that you should take into consideration when planning a trip to Leh Ladakh in December.

  • December is not a popular month for tourists in this place.
  • Extreme freezing temperatures in Leh during winter.
  • The only means of transport is by air.
  • Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh Highway closed for vehicular traffic.
  • Sightseeing the Himalayas under blue skies
  • Internal roads to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri remain open.
  • Temporary roadblocks due to snowfall cleared by the Army
  • Inner Line Permit is required to visit beyond Leh City. 
  • The City of Leh is well connected to local areas of Ladakh for sightseeing in December
  • Mobile phone connectivity only available in Leh and with postpaid connections
  • Hotel and accommodation options in Leh are limited in December
  • Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, or Tso Moriri are the most preferable options for staying.
  • Plan your stay well in advance and inform your hosts about your arrival dates
  • Your itinerary should be simple, focusing on the places that you want to visit.
  • Avoid routes like Chushul, Marsimik La, Horla, and Charchagan La due to extreme cold weather
  • Carry warm clothes, thermals, woollens, and a windproof jacket
  • Good quality socks, woollen gloves, and a cap or muffler should be a part of your backpack.

Do’s and Don’ts during your Leh Ladakh in December

It is essential to examine the weather and route before embarking on your Ladakh vacation. This will help you decide how and stuff to pack.Don’t plan any excursions on your first day in Leh. Acclimatization is essential.
Ladakh is at a high elevation, hence the oxygen level will be quite low. To acclimate to the decreased oxygen levels, it is best to walk slowly and breathe deeply.Avoid putting your body through physical stress and strain. Take things easy.
Because there is an electrical outage in Ladakh, bring additional batteries and fully charge them for electronic devices such as cameras and cell phones.Do not go if your or any of the family members have a medical history of Asthma or heart problems.
Always bring lots of water with you since staying hydrated is critical in high altitude circumstances.Make no comparisons to others. Cold resistance varies from person to person.
Another essential item in your backpack is a first-aid kit including all necessary medications. Include any medications you are taking in the box as well.Do not hide or overlook any discomfort or medical problems.
Make sure you have all of the necessary documentation and permissions, since many attractions will only allow guests who have the necessary permits.Do not trust your GPS.
Before taking photographs at a monastery, obtain permission from the monk or the individual in charge.Do not rely on mobile connection or expect good internet.
Make many unexpected stops along the road.Do not attempt to disturb the wildlife.
It is not advised to ride a bike alone in December. This is because the roads become slippery and often obstructed due to heavy snowfall.Do not use polythene bags.
Do not use Google Maps to determine time frames.

A journey to Leh Ladakh in December combines adventure and relaxation. Beautiful scenery, monasteries, frozen lakes, and a tranquil atmosphere refresh the body, mind, and spirit. So bundle up for this winter trip in Leh Ladakh.

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