Weather in Leh in September: Magical autumnal colours

Last Updated on September 2, 2022 by asoulwindow

Leh weather in September

How is weather in Leh in September? As per my personal experience of traveling around Leh and other sightseeing attractions of Ladakh, I think the weather of Leh is just perfect in the month of September. It is neither too hot nor too cold in Leh throughout September.

In fact, Leh in September end is also doable. What’s more? It is also a wonderful time to go on an epic Leh Ladakh bike trip in September. What’s not to love? Here are all the myths around Leh Ladakh September weather debunked.

Is September a good time to visit Leh?

Which month is best to visit Leh Ladakh? This is a frequently asked question. I finally have an answer after paying several visits to Leh in different seasons.

Not many tourists, whether Indian or foreign realise that despite being the shoulder season, September is actually one of the best months to visit Leh and other tourist places in Ladakh. Personally, I enjoyed traveling across Leh and nearby areas for 2 weeks in September.

Each day was filled with excitement and new experiences as I slow travelled in Ladakh during my long trip here. Leh trip in September can be very rewarding if you read this detailed guide before visiting Leh Ladakh. There are so many exciting things to do in Leh Ladakh in September that I was never bored during my visit. So, who is excited about Leh Ladakh September tour?

Weather in Leh in September
Pleasant Weather in Leh in September

Is it good time to visit Leh in September?

Yes, in spite of the popular belief, September is actually a good time to pay a visit to Leh and other major attractions of Ladakh. Since I have travelled to Leh and elsewhere in Ladakh in both peak as well as shoulder season, I can easily compare the both.

My experience of Leh tour in July was more or less same as my Ladakh trip in September. Barring a few delights and inconveniences, traveling to Leh in shoulder season was not very different from a visit in the peak months. The lovely Leh Ladakh weather in September also adds to the experience. This is the most comprehensive travel guide on Leh in September.

Leh temperature in September

What is Leh temperature in September in Celsius? I observed that the temperature of Leh was very comfortable and moderate during September. Weather in Leh in September is therefore perfect for an enjoyable travel experience. Below are the average temperatures in Leh in September:

  • The maximum temperature of Leh in the month of September is 21 degrees centigrade or Celsius (°C) or 70 degrees Fahrenheit (°F).
  • The minimum temperature of Leh in the month of September is 5 degrees centigrade or Celsius (°C) or 41 degrees Fahrenheit (°F).

Leh temperature in September in Celsius keeps varying. However, it is indeed comforting to know that the temperature in Leh does not dip to minus and hovers around a comfortable 21 degrees Celsius even in the afternoon. This makes September a pleasant time to pay a visit to Leh and surrounding places of interests.

Can we see snow in Leh in September?

  • Is there snowfall in Leh in September?
  • Does Leh have snow in September?
  • Is Leh frozen in September?

These are some commonly asked questions. Well, here is the answer you were looking for. No, it hardly snows in Leh during September. Rest assured that you do not need to worry about snow in either Leh or even Nubra valley and Pangong Tso Lake in the month of September. This Ladakh trip blog covers all related topics. Leh Ladakh in September end is also bereft of any snow.

September is a largely sunny and dry month in Leh. In fact, even in extreme winters, it hardly snows in Leh. If you stay for a long time in Leh in September, then you might see an occasional snowfall. However, I did stay for 15 days of September and I never saw any snow or even rain for that matter.

Khardung La Pass in September
Khardung La Pass in September

However, it is possible to see snow on the peaks of Khardung La Pass and Stok Kangri Mountain towards the end of September. I am including all such lesser-known facts about weather of Leh in September in this information packed blog so that you can plan your trip well.

Does it rain in Leh in September?

Let me tell you another secret of Leh Ladakh September weather. I stayed in and around Leh for more than half a month. Not once did it rain or even threaten to rain in Leh in September. I roamed around without an umbrella because September is a completely dry weather in Leh. You can easily visit Leh Ladakh in September sans a worry.

This is also why visiting Leh in September is also hassle free. It is a blessing in disguise because the lack of rains helped me in enjoying all the top things to do in Leh Ladakh in September. Weather in September in Leh Ladakh is soothing and comfortable.

So, do not worry about rain if you are traveling to Leh in September. To give you a perspective, precipitation in Leh during September is around only 9 mm or 0.4 in. July and August have the highest precipitation in Leh.

Is Leh open for tourists in September?

  • Is Leh closed in September?
  • Can we visit Leh in September?
  • Can we go to Leh in September?

So, is it possible to visit Leh in September? Yes, very much! It is as easy to travel to Leh in September as it is during peak months such as June and July. It’s possible for tourists to explore Leh in September end as well, although with fewer facilities upon arrival.

Places to visit in Leh in September 

So many people believe that there are not places they can visit in Leh in September. This is far from the truth. The moderate Leh temperature in September also makes it a pleasure to travel here. Some of the best places to visit in Leh in September are

  • Sangam
  • Museum
  • Leh palace
  • Hall of Fame
  • Zorawar fort
  • Shanti Stupa
  • Dog sanctuary
  • Magnetic Field
  • Shey Monastery
  • Alchi Monastery
  • Chokhang Vihara
  • Stakna Monastery
  • Thiksey Monastery
  • Gurudwara Pathar Sahib
  • Gurudwara Shri Datun Sahib Ji

Excursions from Leh in September are

  • Diskit
  • Hundar
  • Tso Moriri
  • Moonland
  • Pangong Tso
  • Chamba Statue
  • Lamayuru Monastery
  • Nubra valley via Khardung La

You can easily explore these places to visit in Leh in September if you read this exhaustive guide well.

My Experience of visiting Leh in September

I was invited to Leh in the capacity of a travel blogger from India to attend and write about Naropa festival. Do read my detailed guide to Naropa festival. I extended my trip on my expenses and included other places to visit in Leh during September. I had great experience here as I found the climate in Leh in September suitable to my taste.

It was an amazing 15 days I spent in Leh and surrounding areas as I also ended up enjoying 3 festivals such as Naropa festival, Ladakh festival and mask dance festival in Leh market. I also packed in an intellectually stimulating heritage walk around the old Leh city and visited many Gurudwaras and ate freshly baked Kashmiri breads straight from the oven.

The yak Cheese Pizzas and thukpas I had was equally delicious. I feel that the hot Tibetan food in the lovely weather in September in Leh Ladakh is so comforting!

I experienced so much on this trip despite September being the shoulder season in Leh. To date, it remains one of my most memorable travel experiences in India. In fact, the lovely Leh Ladakh September weather added to my pleasure. For record, I also visited Leh Ladakh in September end and found it perfect for tourism here.

Are there tourists in Leh in September?

Yes, I myself visited Leh as a tourist. I noticed many tourists, both Indian as well as international, having a great time in Leh in September. I visited Pangong Lake with a tourist from a South East Asian nation in a shared cab. While I returned from Pangong Lake, I and my friend were accompanied by few young women travellers from Europe.

Pangong Lake in September
Pangong Lake in September

I also made friends with Anna, a solo female traveller from Ukraine. We both were loitering around in the ‘oldest hotel of Leh’. I was whiling away my time and attempting to discover hidden spots of Leh as I waited for my friend to arrive from Mumbai. We started chatting and she turned out to be a huge fan of Bollywood, yoga, ayurveda and other Indian exports such as Chyavanprash.

To sum up, there are enough tourists in Leh in September. I saw enough tourists in Leh to motivate the ‘imported’ halwais from North India to fry samosas and (chola) bhaturas in their kadahis. They had still not packed their bags and left Leh as yet. So, do not worry about dwindling tourist facilities in Leh in September.

Which season is September in Leh?

September is autumn or fall in Leh. This is when you can see trees full of dramatic orange and yellow leaves as they prepare to make way for an upcoming harsh winter. Leh Ladakh climate in September is therefore very different from the other months of the year!

Soul Window Travel Tip

The colors of the leaves look best during the golden hour, that is sunrise and sundown. This is when sun rays add a special glow to the fall colours. That said, the yellow and orange leaves don’t look as appealing when in shade.

Autumn or fall colors in Leh during September

It is totally worth it to travel to Leh and other tourist attractions of Ladakh such as Pangong Tso and Nubra valley, Hundar and Diskit only to soak in the views of fall colors during September. weather in Leh in September is also very soothing. You can expect sunny days and lightly cold evenings in Leh when visiting during autumn or the fall season!

Autumn season. Fall colors in September.
Autumn season. Fall colors in September.

Fall colors of Leh in September: Autumn

Leh trip in September comes with a special bonus! Did you know that September is the perfect time if you want to some a dash of color in your photographs and videos? It is best kept secret that the tall poplar trees, rotund willow trees etc turn into a riot of colours during the autumn or fall season of Leh in September.

Their green leaves give way to bright yellow and orange-colored leaves as they prepare for a bone-chilling winter. It is only in Leh, Ladakh and some places of Jammu and Kashmir that you can see this phenomenon.

The spectacle of witnessing the changing colours of leaves on trees is an underpromoted tourist attraction itself. Many people (who know) love visiting Leh in September, only to witness the fall colours.

The Kashmiris call Autumn season as Harud. Fall or autumn lasts in Jammu and Kashmir from September to mid- November. You can see such fall colours in Leh in October also. The fall colors look ethereal especially when surrounded by the picturesque Nubra valley, Tso Moriri and Pangong Lake.

Soul Window Thoughts

The Himalayan autumn is not experienced by many due to lack of awareness. I was chosen by the universe to experience the fall in Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley. You can plan to visit Pangong lake during autumn using this complete weather guide on Pangong Tso.

Landscape of Leh in September

Such is the climate in Leh in September, that it looks different from the other seasons. In fact, the landscape of Leh is beautiful in September. Since it is bright and sunny all day in Leh in September, I witnessed some of the most gorgeous sunsets here. It is indeed very rewarding to visit Leh Ladakh in September.

Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa near the Leh Market offers some of the most amazing sun set views because they are both located on a hilltop. The panoramic views from these major tourist attractions are what postcards are made up of.

Stay in Leh in September

Both luxury and budget hotels are easily available in Leh even in the month of September. Therefore, you must not worry about closed hotels. Though it is true that many hotels and lodges in Leh close down in September but it is also true that many are available too.

From expensive resorts to backpacking hostels to cheap lodges of Leh, its easily available in September even at walking distance from the Leh market.  In fact, I had inspected many hotels in both new and old Leh as a walk-in guest before zeroing in on the Shanti Guest House. If you are visiting Leh in September end, then worry not. Hotels, lodges, hostels, 5-star luxury resorts, homestays, and other accommodation types are also available till the last week of September.

So, it is a myth that hotels of Leh are completely closed in September. If everything fails, then you can find accommodation in several Gurudwaras in and around Leh market. I met a cyclist who travelled throughout India on a cycle. He was staying in a Gurudwara near Leh market in September.

Budget stay in Leh in September

I stayed in the low-cost Shanti Guest House, at walking distance from the Leh market for the price of two coffee in Starbucks. While the path to this budget hotel may be very narrow, I was surprised to see huge lawns and large rooms when I visited here.

It was full of Indian tourists from places like Mumbai (they spoke Marathi) etc. The hotel rates are generally low in Leh in September because it is the shoulder season for tourism in much of Ladakh.

Is Leh too cold in September?

How is Leh weather in September? Does it get very cold in Leh during September? These are some frequently asked questions. All you wanted to know about cold weather in Leh in September.

No, I didn’t feel very cold in Leh during my September tour even in the night. The days were bright, sunny and even mildly hot at times, I pretty much roamed around Leh in merely a T shirt and Jeans throughout the day in September.

However, irrespective of the month, the weather conditions in Leh can change anytime due to various reasons. You should come prepared for the same. Weather wise, Leh trip in September, can be very refreshing! The bottom line is that weather in Leh in September is not very cold!

What should I wear in Leh in September?

What clothes to wear in Leh in September? Leh Ladakh weather in September is very pleasant and moderate. I wore only T shirt, half pants, jeans or lower all day in September when walking around Leh.

It is not as cold in Leh in September as many tourists imagine it to be. The pleasant Leh weather in September makes the packing very easy. Below is what you should pack for Leh tour in September.

Packing list for travel to Leh during September

Leh weather was very mild when I visited in September. However, do pack in some warm clothes, thermal wears and jackets for sudden change in weather and especially if you are planning to visit the remote Nubra valley, Turtuk, Diskit, Hundar, Lamayuru, Tso Moriri or Pangong Lake which might be colder in September, especially after dark.

Since the weather of Tibet is also very similar to that of Ladakh, you should read my packing check-list for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. You will need to carry more or less similar things in Leh Ladakh as well.

Should I carry cash to Leh in September?

Although there are many ATMs in Leh because it is a reasonably big city, some ATMs may not work or may even run out of cash or have long queues. So, it is better to carry some cash from your origin city such as Kolkata, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Delhi or Mumbai.

Digital transaction may or may not be acceptable at the shops and monuments due to its remoteness and patch cellular connectivity. It is therefore advisable to always carry cash and some loose change with you at all times when visiting Leh in September. Many roadside small shops and vendors only accept cash.

Festivals in Leh Ladakh in September

I was invited by the authorities to attend Naropa Festival in the month of September itself. I ended up attending Ladakh festival as well in September. What’s more? I even saw an exclusive live mask dance in Leh in September.

These festivals are held once in a year, therefore to make the most of your time, you must visit Pangong Lake during September. This will leave you with lasting memories of Ladakh which is not possible if you visit Leh in other months. Some of the festivals of Leh Ladakh in September end are not to be missed.

Cham Mask Dance festival, Leh

I even had the opportunity to attend a Cham dance festival at Chokhang Vihara Temple which is located in the heart ofLeh market. Some dancers had come all the way from the faraway Lamayuru Monastery to perform the dance here. I feel the dances were a part of the Ladakh festival as I saw several dancers also perform in the square near the big mosque of Leh market.

I even saw a Bollywood actor here. Like me, he was busy shooting the dances, seemingly on a professional assignment. I always knew acting is a boring job! I did acting course at Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares to figure that out!

Soul Window Observations

The mask dance I saw in Leh was quite similar to the mask dances during Tsechu festival of Bhutan and the mask dances I saw near the quaint Paro valley, also in Bhutan and during the lesser known Torgya festival in the spiritual Tawang. The silent Buddhist town of Tawang is located in the remote Arunachal Pradesh near Tibet.

Naropa festival in September, Hemis Monastery

Naropa festival is held only once in 12 years. This is why it is also known as the Kumbh of the Himalayas. However, I have observed that ever since I attended Naropa Festival, it is celebrated every year now.

Naropa festival has become an annual celebration of spirituality, music, theatre, culture, cuisines, drama, humanity, heritage and diversity. Mostly taking place in the third week of September, Naropa festival is the No. 1 reason to travel to Pangong Lake and nearby places in the month of September. You can easily club the trip to Pangong Tso and Naropa festival on the same itinerary.

The festivities during Naropa Festival continued all day and included religious ceremonies, dance, theatre and music etc. Some of the dancers who performed during Naropa Festival came from as far as Nepal, Bhutan and different parts of Ladakh. You can see my favourite Nepali song Chal Chal Chalkeyo Pani here. I shot this in Naropa festival.

I am one of the top Indian Travel Vloggers on Youtube. My blog A Soul Window has been rated as most successful travel blog in India many times.

I even met and interviewed several celebrities such as Bollywood celebrities Shreya Ghoshal, Shankar Mahadevan and Hollywood actors such as Michelle Yeoh of the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Do watch my video of interview with Shreya Ghoshal here.

Ladakh festival of Leh in September

Imagine my happiness when I realised that Ladakh festival is scheduled from 20th to 23rd September at walking distance from the low-cost Shanti guest house near Leh Market where I was staying. So, in the next few days I juggled my time between the annual Ladakh festival and Naropa festival.

It was my first trip to Leh and Pangong Tso or anywhere else in Ladakh. I waited for many years for this. And I loved the way my trip was shaping up.  I saw the local people from Dha Hanu Village, 160 kms northwest of Leh.

They are called Brokpa or Drokpa and are said to be the last Aryans in the valley. It’s said that their ancestors were once a part of Alexander’s empire. I looked closely and noticed their blue or green eyes, brown hair and fairer skin which is not common in other parts of India. On special occasions such as this, you can also find them wearing a ‘flowerpot’ on their head.

Attending Ladakh festival and Naropa festival in the month of September gave me a great opportunity to observe and inspect the various tribes of Ldakah from all corners.

It is during these Ladakhi festival when local people from all parts of Ladakh congregate in Leh to celebrate and perform rituals. With a little pre-planning, you can easily club these festivals with top places to visit in Leh in September.   

Soul Window Thoughts

Many people from as far as my home state Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh and adjacent Kashmir etc either have shops of their own or work in local hotels and restaurants.

When the tourist season ends in Pangong Tso and other places in Ladakh, they migrate to places like Palolem and Patnem beach of Goa, where tourist season begins in September. I had even met a young waiter from Madhya Pradesh in the remote Nubra Valley in September. He was preparing for his exit to picturesque Goa.

Advantages of traveling to Leh in September

One of the main advantages of visiting Leh during the autumn month of September is that I didn’t suffer any crowd or rude tourists and screaming travellers. Much of what I visited in Ladakh during September, whether it is Zorawar fort or even Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley (excursions), was deserted. I and my friend had these tourist places to myself.

Disadvantages of traveling to Leh in September

Leh trip in September comes with its own challenges. For example, the otherwise crowded Leh markets and other shops may look deserted in September depending on which day in September you visit.

That small and cute shop which sold delicious seabuckthorn juice from a dispenser, the local tiny museum and the old shop which sold rare travel books not available online might also be closed in September.

What to do in Leh in September

So, what are the best things to do in Leh Ladakh in September? I also visited the major Buddhist monasteries around Leh such as Hemis monastery, Stakna monastery, Thiksey monastery and Shey monastery along the popular route of Leh Manali Road. I also did an amazing heritage walk around the new and old Leh and learnt so much about the rich culture and history of Leh within few hours.

I booked this pocket-friendly heritage walk at the gorgeous Lala’s café which also offer grand views of the imposing Leh palace from its rooftop. I was surprised that the heritage walk in old Leh was still operational in September. The balmy Leh weather in September is also ideal for long walks.

The Leh palace Shanti Stupa and is also open for tourists in September. I enjoyed breath-taking views from both Shanti Stupa as well as Leh palace in the evening.

What’s more? If traveling to Leh in September, you can also visit the offbeat Zorawar fort, Alchi monastery, Gurudwara Shri Datun Sahib Ji, Leh market area, museum, little-known dog’s sanctuary, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, magnetic field, Sangam, Hall of fame etc in and around Leh city and Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. Almost all of these tourist attractions are free to visit.

What to eat in Leh in September

My favourite restaurant Aa Ka Ma which sold delicious local Tibetan food had also closed much like many other shops in Leh in September. So did the roadside bakery which offered the ‘best apple pie’ of the world.

It was also uncertain if I would be able to fill my face with the Yak Cheese Pizza at the popular Gesmo restaurant. Their chocolate cinnamon roll is also a personal favourite. Thankfully, I got lucky with Gesmo restaurant but not my other favourite restaurants.

That said, visiting Leh in September doesn’t mean that you will starve or end up with bad food. Still, I was able to find a plenty of vegan and vegetarian food including the comforting Punjabi vegetarian food such as samosa, chola bhatura, kadhi chawal, rajma chawal or steaming hot Tibetan food such as laphing, thukpa, nenthuk, tingmo, momos etc.  Some of my favourite cafes such as Lala’s café are open in September end as well.

veg Cheese Rhuchtsey or Ruchotse. Vegetarian Tibetan Food
Veg Cheese Rhuchtsey or Ruchotse. This momo soup is a vegetarian Tibetan Food I had in Leh Market in September.

I also had delicious veg Cheese Rhuchtsey, Veg Teemok and Spaghetti Cheese Tomato Sauce at a restaurant right in the heart of the Leh market. Dumplings or momos are known as Ruchotse or Rhuchtsey when it is served with a soup. This dumpling soup is a must-try.

In that cold winter, I really loved the taste of that hot soupy momo. Teemok is very much like ‘pau’ of Malaysia. Also, another must-try Ladakhi dish is the Chuttagi. I also had endless cups of the local Seabuckthorn juice, which is rich in Vit C and E, and also used in making cosmetics.

Soul Window Travel Tip

Somehow, I found the food at the stand-alone restaurants of Leh (and even Kargil) to be far tastier than the (often bland) food served in the hotels and resorts of Leh, including the luxury ones. The hotels perhaps keep the food bland to please the palate of western tourists.

But you do not need to suffer that fate. Just go out and explore the small cafes and local Tibetan restaurants food authentic and delicious Tibetan cuisine.

Leh Ladakh bike trip in September

Can I visit Leh Ladakh on a bike in September? This is a frequently asked question. Yes, since it is still not the time for heavy snowfall, the below routes are open:

  • Leh Manali highway via Keylong and More Plains or
  • Srinagar-Leh highway via Sonamarg, Baltal, Lamayuru monastery, Namik La and Fotu La is open.

You can choose to bike on either of these routes. We did a road trip in SUVs. We entered Leh via Jammu, Srinagar and Kargil. After spending some days in Leh, Nubra valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, we made the exit via Leh Manali highway via Keylong and More Plains. It was one of my most memorable trips in India. You can also replicate our route or choose the one convenient to you.

Leh Ladakh bike trip in September is even more enjoyable and therapeutic because of less crowds and less bikes on roads. I also saw many cyclists (hats off to them) who road all the way from Manali to Leh.

How to reach Leh in September?

Much like other months of summer and monsoon, it is possible to reach Leh via road as well as flights during September. The flight, self-drive and bus routes to and from Leh are still open in September.

Cabs to reach anywhere in Leh city is also available at Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport and other places. Even if you are traveling to Leh in September end, these services are available.

Located just 4 kilometers away from the city centre of Leh, the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport or the Leh airport enjoys the tag of one of the highest commercial airports in the world.

There is no train connectivity here so you can-not reach Leh via train throughout the year.

Manali to Leh in September 

Is Manali Leh highway open in September? Yes, it is possible to travel from Manali to Leh in September. Leh Ladakh September weather is very much suitable for a road trip whether on a car or bike or even bus.

Mostly the Manali Leh highway closes down for tourists and locals from the first week of November onwards because it snows heavily during this period.

Icing on the road and drop in temperature also contributes. The highway reopens for tourists and local people of Ladakh in the month of April or May.

Conclusion: Why visit Leh in September

Is it worth it to visit Leh Ladakh in September. Well, here is a complete overview based on my personal travel experiences. Leh trip in September has its own charms, which not many people talk about! Leh Ladakh weather in September is one of the best, I feel. Here is why!

While most tourist prefer to visit Leh in the peak months of June, July and August, I personally feel that September is an amazing time to visit Leh. Not only can you see the rare fall colours in India around Leh but also enjoy several culture rich festivals and lack of crowds. Apart from cycling, Leh Ladakh bike trip in September is also popular with tourists and bikers.

In a nutshell, the above-mentioned factors make September one of the best months to visit Leh. Hereare my final thoughts! Based on my own travel experience in Leh for 15 days in September, I highly recommend that tourists should consider traveling here during this time. You can also use this exhaustive guide and plan a memorable Leh September trip.

The view from my Soul Window is bursting with autumnal colors!

Pin this blog to save the blog and plan a trip later!

Related blogs

Guide to Pangong Lake in September

Guide to Leh to Nubra Valley

Guide to Lamayuru Monastery

Guide on how to reach Lamayuru Monastery

Guide to Mulbekh Monastery

Guide to Zoji La pass

Guide to Naropa Festival

Guide to Khardung La

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