Ushering to the rugged terrains of Ladakh are the much serene sights of the Himalayas that speak to the soul. The stories they narrate are covered with tire marks and the picture they paint depict an escape from the hubbub of city life. Only a biker soul can hear Ladakh’s callings and it’s actually some true ones that vroom their way on a road less traveled in response.
Ladakh has barren lands untouched by civilization, so much so, that you will question human existence. Here, terrains are so tricky that your inner biker will pat you on your back after conquering each pass. There is beauty in every direction and stillness in every moment. Believe us, there is no place as serene as this and no journey as beguiling as the ultimateLeh Bike trip 2020. So, without any further ado let’s dive right into what is in store for you at this top road trip in India. Shall we? Woohoo!
DAY 1: MANALI ARRIVAL
If you have a hillbilly hiding behind the shadows of your urban self, then, you will fall in love with Manali at its very glimpse.
Manali has a rhythm to its existence. It isn’t all hurly-burly like its streets. Believe us, it does drop spine-chilling beats the moment you start exploring its secluded treasures. This hill town is the onset of every bike adventure that exists in the Himalayas. So, getting your vehicles here is always the best thing to do.
Once, you are done with the excruciatingly difficult decision of choosing your ride, take it for a spin! Roam around the Solang Valley and try some adventure sports for that sake. Not much into adventure sports? Then, go off-roading with your vehicles to Hidimba Devi temple or Jogini falls. The panoramic treasures here are brilliant and you will get the “me” time you signed up for. Sounds like a win-win situation to us fellas!
DAY 2: JISPA VIA KHARDUNGLA PASS
Up next on your Ultimate Leh Bike trip 2019 is Jispa. Located at a distance of approximately 137.5 km from Manali, a trip to Jispa on a normal day takes up to 4 hours and 31 minutes.
The drive up to Jispa will be insane and why wouldn’t it be? You are going to be driving on the very famous Rohtang Pass at an altitude 3798 m. Still, this is not the heart-curdling fact about this ride. Rather, it is the drive through the sharp hairpin bends on a jagged road that will leave you stunned.
Jispa rustic charms have the entourage of the Himalayan Mountains against the background score of gushing Bhaga River. This beautiful hamlet feels like the meadow of wonders overlooking land-slided mountains. Although the village is a pit spot for the bikers to relax, it’s capable of redefining magnetism with its monastery and breathtaking views.
Note: Leave Manali as soon as the sun is up for avoiding any delays. This will give you ample time to enjoy the scenic landscapes during the ride and will give you the freedom to stop wherever your heart desires.
DAY 3: SARCHU
If there is one place where the phrase “milking that sunset magic” finds its value, hands down it has to be this one. Besides that it looks like you’ve landed on the moon, Sarchu will be your introduction of what is coming up next on your Leh Bike trip 2020.
Put a halt to your trip here after 113 km of rigorous biking. Accommodate in tents and enjoy the best life at this altitude on one of the most unexplored places in India.
Note: If you manage to reach here early, don’t forget to enjoy the boulevards of Baralacha La and Lachulung La.
DAY 4: ENROUTE LEH
The mountains have been easy on you until now. So, handle your grips well as you will see the mountains rolling on this 215 km ride from Sarchu.
While motoring your way to Leh through the mysterious Gata loops, nausea will hit you hard. Well, we won’t blame you, its 21 hairpin bends one after the other we are talking about here. So, it’s pretty much expected.
As soon as you will be done with the topsy-turvy loops and a little headache, Nakee La will be waiting for you to ascend and then descend. Sounds hectic, doesn’t it? Don’t worry Dhabas at Whisky Nala will be there for your rescue. Here, prepare yourself for what is lined up next. We are sure the stunning topography and flavorsome food will be enough to re-energize you. Believe us, you will need it as the very steep Lachulung La and the world’s highest mountain pass Tanglang la will be coming your way!
On reaching Leh, add the popular monasteries of Thikse and Shey to your travel journals. Savor in ginger-lemon tea and flavorful thukpa here while basking in the glory of this amazing travel destination.
Note: The route to Leh can feel exhausting due to lack of oxygen. Keep yourself hydrated and maintaining calm are the pointers that will help you big time.
DAY 5: LEH TO NUBRA VALLEY
Quite contrasting from the wilderness of its counterparts, Leh feels like an abrupt encounter with civilization. Although you will love the food sagas on the streets, getting back to the secluded cradles of the Himalayas will be all that you will vouch for.
Hit the road yet again from Leh to Nubra Valley via Khardungla pass. This journey that’s about a 160 km will be full of the joys of spring.
Feeling a little high on adrenaline? Then, you should definitely try the Wari-La pass. Although the route is a tad long and craggy, driving here is an adventure in itself.
On arrival at Hunder (in Nubra Valley), explore villages, monasteries and more. Make the most of the flexibility of having a bike and if not, just sit back and enjoy nature’s bounty.
Note:Nubra Valley accords the most breathtaking landscape of India along with the perks of riding on the two-humped camels. Instead of riding these bounded desert creatures, try playing with them and riding beside them. It’s your call at the end of the day. Try to be considerate!
DAY 6: NUBRA VALLEY TO TURTUK
LehLadakh bike trip experience is just getting eerier from here onwards. Why do you ask? Well, that’s because it’s the last village of India that’s on your route map next.
Reaching this hindermost village on a journey of 83 km from Nubra Valley is compelling. The topography of this route to Turtuk via Diskit-Turtuk highway changes colors and leave you gasping in awe.
Turtuk is a place lost in time. It is a village with small patches of agriculture breaking the monotony of natural monochromes. Here, apricots grow in the wild and the local Balti people converse in a completely different dialect.
Turtuk is the paragon of stillness on Leh Bike trip 2019. It overwhelms you with its peace and connects you from your roots of nature. So, how about staying here for the night?
DAY 7: TURTUK TO PANGONG TSO LAKE
Star mark your Manali to Leh bike trip with the very tranquil Pangong Tso Lake. This amazing landscape in India is the only saltwater lake that shares boundaries with China. As much as placid will be gazing at its infinite waters, driving here will be a tiresome task.
For this drive, become early birdy and ensure that you leave Turtuk even before the sun rises. After traveling all the way to Hunder you will have two options by which you can reach Pangong Tso directly. Mind it! Neither of these routes is going to be easier than Khardungla Pass. Yet the topography and experiences are worth the gushing adrenaline.
1. Nubra Valley- Agham-Shyok Village-Durbuk-Tangtse-Pangong Tso 154 km
This route is gaining popularity among bikers as it is shorter than the other route and saves a lot of time. There are problems of landslides and flooding reported in certain areas. So, make sure you learn about the road conditions at Agham Village beforehand. Otherwise, it saves you a whopping 185 km, and we think that is certainly a win on a tour as exhausting as Leh Bike trip 2019.
Note: If you are taking this route, remember the only fuel station you will come across is in Diskit. So, store some extra fuel for the way from there.
2. Nubra Valley-Agham-Wari la-Shakti- Chang La-Durbok-Tangtse-Pangong Tso 339 km
Riders around the globe recommend this route because of its ease. Although it’s longer than the route passing through Shyok Village, the less susceptibility of landslides and flooding makes it worth it. Planning to travel here mid- June or in October- end? Then there is some bad news for you. There are chances that the routes will be closed during this time due to snowfall. So, it’s better to avoid this way during these months.
DAY 8: PANGONG TSO TO LEH
Bid adieu to the tranquil surroundings as you will have an early morning jaunt towards Leh. This 229 km drive will pass in a nick of time if you enjoy the scenery that follows. This will be your final day riding in the wilderness and believe us; the realization of this reality will make the ride more meaningful. So, try to live in the moment, okay?
DAY 9: DEPARTURE FROM LEH
That’s a wrap!
Here is the end of your LehLadakh bike trip route map. This North India trip is one hell of an adventure and is an escapade that will make home in your memory lane for years to come. Fly off you travel birdies from KushokBakulaRimpochee Airport. Leh will miss your energy!
BEST TIME TO TAKE LEH BIKE TRIP
High five fellow riders! You’ve now discovered the ultimate bike itinerary to Leh. Still, it’s important for you to know that not all time in the year you can pick up your bikes and get going. The best riding season for Manali to Leh bike tour is from Mid-May to Mid-October. So, plan accordingly.
TIPS FOR LEH BIKE TRIP 2019
- Fuel your LehLadakh bike trip with some extra gallons of fuel. We believe that you will have your tanks full at the onset of your journey. But there are only two petrol pumps on the route. So, carrying some extra fuel will help you big time.
- Know your vehicle. If you are a true biker soul then we are sure that you will know the basics. If not, why not practice some? Learn to change the tire at least. Although there will be mechanics on the route, you really cannot go “my way on the highway” at a tricky terrain like this, isn’t it?
- Keep up with the medicines. You never know who may become a victim of high altitude sickness on your journey. So, carry the necessary medicines for you and your fellow rider’s safety.
- Be a responsible traveler. As much as we as travel agency want you to enjoy the scenic treasures of Leh, saving this treasure for the future generation is equally important for us. So, for leaving less carbon footprint make sure you get the green test done on your vehicle. Consume less bottled water or water in general, do not rely on packaged food and never litter.
- Connecting is important. At an altitude as high as Leh’s, believe on the connectivity of the leading operators like Airtel and BSNL. Otherwise, the only option you will have will be that of STD booths. So, if standing in queues and chaos is the last thing you want on your Leh bike trip 2019, then, follow this tip.
- Keep the cash in handy! Don’t worry, there are ATMs at Leh but carrying enough cash with you for the journey will help you big time. Especially till Leh.
PACKING CHECKLIST FOR LEH LADAKH BIKE TRIP
- Valid photo identity proofsand driving license
- What’s a bike ride without a sturdy and stylish helmet? So, make sure you carry one that is as strong as your will to explore this tricky terrain. It’s the matter of life and death you all!
- You cannot trust the GPS at a secluded land like Leh. So, carry a physical map instead to help you in the most needful hours.
- Can a first aid kit ever go wrong? No right? Well then, there is no harm in taking one for the bike too, right?
- Cut the cold with some reliable leather jackets.
- Sweatshirts 2
- Tees- 4
- Jeans -2
- Tracks 2
- Inner-wear -2 pairs
- Socks as many as you can
- Towels at least 2 pairs.
- Trekking shoes
- Leather boots
Gadgets and tools:
- Power Banks
- Bluetooth headset
- batteries for backup
- Swiss Army Knife for self-defense and other miscellaneous things.
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- Cold cream
- Face Wash
- Planning on camping? Take with you the camping essentials like camping tents, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment can be easily rented and carried.