Visiting Ladakh in February-Condition of Roads, Transportation, Hotels, Food, Winter Clothes, Accessories, and First-Aid
What is the availability of hotels and food in Leh?
Hotel accommodation, food and transportation would not be any problem but it is the weather, which will cause problems.
If you want to know what roads would be open/closed?
Both Manali and Kashmir roads are closed in February month and you will not be able to go by road this time and the only way to visit Ladakh is through by air this time. For more information check this link: http://www.visitladakh.com/about-howtoreach.html
You have to go to Leh first by air and then from there you have two options to go to Kargil through taxi or bus. You will find the bus or taxi for Zanskar from Kargil and please confirm the status of roads of Zanskar from the taxi union or bus operators.
For Nubra, again first you have to fly to Leh and then taxi or bus from Leh to Nubra. If there is a heavy snowfall on Khardung-La, then the road used to get close for 2-3 days, please again check with taxi union or bus operator, check this link for important numbers of Leh: Emergency contact numbers of Leh
In Pangong, it depends on the snowfall. It snows very less here but if it snows the Changla and Khardungla will be blocked and it does not stay closed for many days. May be 3-4 days at a stretch, so a very good chance that you may be able to see those places.
What is the availability of transportation in Leh?
The taxi fares from Manali to Leh will cost you around 1000 INR to 1500 INR per head.
It is very cold there these days, so it is a bad time for a person you is not used to extreme cold temperature. The maximum temperature itself is below freezing point.
Because Zanskar via road is not open in February, most foreign tourists go to Zanskar in February on the Chaddar trek for trekking on the frozen Zanskar river, as the roads are closed during February.
What winter clothes and other accessories are required?
For your Ladakh trip, winter clothes and other accessories will include:
1. Four denim jeans.
2. One sweat pant.
3. Four long-sleeved shirts.
4. Four sweat shirts and sweaters.
5. One shorts.
6. One button-down shirt.
7. One bathing suit.
8. One Khaki pant.
9. One corduroy pant.
10. Undergarments according to the days spent.
11. Socks according to the days spent.
12. One woolen jacket.
13. Walking shoes.
14. One hiking boots.
15. One raincot.
16. Waterproof gloves.
17. One hat.
18. Travel alarm.
19. Mini flashlight.
20. Digital or point and shoot camera.
21. Film for the camera.
22. Extra batteries for cameras and mobile phones.
23. Walkman if you are fond of music.
24. Toothpaste and toothbrush.
25. Extra food.
27. Shampoo and conditioner.
28. Shaving kit.
29. Lip balm for visiting areas, which are very dry due to cold.
For visiting gompas in Leh, Ladakh, I would recommend a simple dress which you wear for visiting religious areas.
Also prepare a first aid box with things like waterproof Band-Aids, sunscreen lotions, tampons, over-the-counter ibuprofen for mild-to-moderate pains, antibacterial lotions such as Dettol and Savlon, etc.
For people visiting Ladakh in February
Though if you are highly adventurous and have good stamina and tolerance for bad weather, you can visit Ladakh in February but for other people, I would suggest that February is not a feasible time to visit Ladakh. Even the famous lakes like Pangong and Tso Moriri will be totally frozen and temperature will be below freezing point and most people don't visit Ladakh during this time because of cold and dryness, but there is one positive side that it is less crowded in this month. It is also a good month to visit Ladakh for people who love peace.
The lakes start getting frozen in December end. One more thing to add is that the lakes will not look so beautiful when they are not frozen.
Best of luck for your trip.
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