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How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh


This is definitely going to be your best road trip ever. The sound of the engine, roaring amidst the serene Himalayas and the chilled breeze striking your face is what every biker has ever dreamt of. It is truly a magical journey, The mountains, the rivers, mesmerizing valleys and even deserts! The place has everything. This ride through the semi-parched plains of Ladakh is an exhilarating experience for all the adventurers in India and also those around the world. Here are some travel tips you must know before getting LEH’d!

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-1

Are You all Prepared?

With roads that open up for only a few months a year, this ride will test you, scare you, shock you but will leave you spellbound. You will believe that life is beautiful!

1. Is your bike ready?

Most important thing is to know which bike you are going to take. Is it well maintained? The next time you take your bike for servicing ask them if it’s fine to take it for long rides, like Ladakh. Very carefully check that your bike’s drive chain, air filter, the clutch and gearbox, control cables, the lights and electrical, the brakes, the wheels and tires, frame, the engine and suspension, everything are in the best condition. It is very important to get your bike thoroughly serviced beforehand.

2. Did you buy the essential luggage?

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-2 Don’t fill your bag with anything, Pack your luggage in a way that it is easy to carry on the ride and doesn’t add to the burden. You must have your driving gears, and few jackets to beat the cold. It is wise to carry a few supplies like a Bluetooth headset, a torch, extra pair of gloves, a tool-kit, a physical map, a battery pack, a headlamp and a first-aid kit.

3. Are YOU ready?

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-3 A bike trip to Ladakh means long hours of riding, dealing with the temperature variations, and also sticking to the schedule. Exercise and warm up thoroughly and strengthen your immunity and stamina. Make yourself believe that you are going to do it, you will tackle every situation with a positive attitude and will conquer Ladakh!

4. Don't have a bike? No problem

Bike rentals are nowadays a very good option. You can rent a bike from Delhi or Manali. The rates start from Rs.900 for a day for two wheelers, a deposit amount is required while renting a bike, which starts from Rs.10, 000 and varies according to its make. At the time of the rental, you are required to provide sufficient documents of identification and the driver license. But, make sure you check the condition of the bike very minutely before renting it out.

Routes that can be taken

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Route 1- Delhi- Srinagar- Leh- Manali

Route Map: Delhi- Ludhiana- Jalandhar- Jammu- Srinagar- Kargil- Leh- Hunder- Pangong- Karu- Sarchu- Manali. ( 2200 km approx.)

Day 1: Delhi to Jammu

Your journey will start from Delhi. From Delhi, you will cover up an approximate distance of 600 km to reach Jammu. It will take around 10 hours while riding you will cross Ludhiana and Jalandhar

Day 2: Jammu - Srinagar

On the second day, travel from Jammu to Srinagar via Patnitop and Udhampur. This distance is approximately 300 Km. You will take around seven hours to reach Srinagar.

Day 3: Srinagar

After a tiring journey from Jammu to Srinagar, get some good night’s sleep in a hotel in Srinagar and energize yourself for the awaiting thrill. The roads ahead are going to be challenging and you must be ready for it. (if you have reached early, and you are not tired then you can halt at Sonmarg too. Sonmarg is around 70 km ahead of Srinagar)

Day 4: Srinagar to Kargil

Begin your day early, for a 203 Km spellbinding bike ride. You will be riding from Srinagar to Kargil via Sonmarg. This route passes through the Zojila Pass (11,500ft), Dras. While in Kargil, a visit to the Kargil War Memorial is a must, to know the heroic stories of our brave soldiers. (while entering Kargil district you have to fill a form at the check post, do not miss that.)

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Day 5: Kargil to Leh

Today, enjoy riding the stunning boulevard from Kargil to Leh and explore the beauty of Ladakh as you pass through Phey, Alchi, Lamayuru and Saraks. It’s a journey of 210 Km, which will take you about 4 hours. You will also cross Dras, which is the 2nd coldest inhabited place in the world!

Day 6: Leh and Around

Spend a day at Leh and visit the captivating places around. Take a day off for acclimatization. To adapt to the low atmospheric pressure condition you need to give yourself time for proper acclimatization. Tonight, you can stay at any hotel in Leh, depending on your comfort.

Day 7: Leh - Khardung La - Diskit - Hunder

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-6

After rejuvenating yourself at Leh, start early and prepare yourself to travel a distance of 120Km. This is going to be thrilling, exciting and challenging as you make your way to the 2nd highest motorable pass in the world - Khardung La. Also, visit the Deskit Monastery on the way, as you ride further to Hunder.

Day 8: Hunder - Nubra Valley

While in Hunder, you can experience the double-humped camel ride. Later, enjoy camping under the stars at Hunder.

Day 9: Nubra - Pangong Tso

Today you will depart from the Nubra valley and cover approximately 217 Km to reach the Pangong Lake. The scenic beauty of the Pangong Tso Lake and the serene surrounding is what one comes for. There is a camping site near the lake, check-in into the camp for an overnight stay.

Day 10: Pangong - Karu

Ride from the mesmeric Pangong Lake towards Karu through the Chang-la pass(17370 ft)

Day 11: Karu - Sarchu

Sarchu is located on the border of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh and is one of the most popular halts in the Himalayas. Ride approximately for 217Km and cover the stretch from Karu to Sarchu in about 6 hours. Sarchu proffers tented accommodations where you can take a break.

Day 12: Sarchu - Manali

Start riding towards Manali and enjoy the amazing views along the way. Spend the night in Manali.

Day 13: Manali - Delhi

Depart from Manali and reach Delhi. The adventure ends here, but this will make you crave for more.

Route 2- Delhi - Manali - Leh - Delhi

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-7 Route Map: Delhi- Manali- Sarchu- Pang- Leh- Kardungla- Hunder- Nubra- Pangong- Leh- Kargil- Srinagar- Jammu- Delhi. (2300 km approx)

Day 1: Delhi - Manali

During this 12 hours ride from Delhi to Manali, you’ll ride amidst vast farmlands. Commencing from National Highway 1, you will cover approximately 550 km to reach Manali. Make a halt at Manali check into a hotel of your choice and take rest.

Day 2: Manali - Sarchu

On day two will cover a stretch of around 235km, as you traverse towards Sarchu. It is a beautiful place to halt, you can accommodate yourself in tents and camp there. During this spectacular journey through NH 3, you will reach Sarchu via Spiti and Lahaul.

Day 3: Srachu - Pang - Leh

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-8 It would take around 2 hours for you to reach from Sarchu to Pang. Pang is a right place to halt during the journey, as it has several tea houses along the way and it also proffers tent accommodations. After taking a break at Pang, ride further to Leh.

Day 4: Leh

Spend a day at Leh and admire the age old Lamayuru Monastery. You can also visit the mesmeric vistas of Lamayuru, also known as the ‘Moonland’ Hills. Tonight, you can stay in a hotel in Leh, depending on your comfort.

Day 5: Leh - Kardung La - Hunder

Today morning start early and travel a distance of 120Km. Feel your spine tingle as you explore the Khardung La (18,380ft), the utmost motorable road in the world .Visit the Deskit Monastery and ride further to reach Hunder.

Day 6: Hunder - Nubra

While in Hunder, you can experience the double-humped camel ride. Later, enjoy camping under the stars at Hunder.

Day 7: Nubra - Pangong

Today you will depart from the Nubra valley and will cover approximately 217Km to reach the Pangong Lake. Entice yourself with the scenic beauty of the Pangong Tso Lake. There is a camping site near the lake, check-in into the camp for an overnight stay.

Day 8: Pangong - Leh

How To Get Leh'd- A Bike Trip Guide To Ladakh-9 Pangong Tso is located approx 175 kms from Leh town across the Chang la pass. On this route you will pass via. Chang La at 17,590 ft, which is one of the highest motorable roads.

Day 10: Leh - Kargil

On day ten, enjoy your ride from Leh to Kargil, as you pass through Saraks, Lamayuru, Alchi and Phey. these are going to be the best roads you have ever rode upon. It’s a journey of about 210 Km, which you will cover in approximately 4 hours. Pay a tribute to our heroic soldiers, at the Kargil war Memorial.

Day 11: Kargil - Srinagar

Commence early from Kargil and traverse via the alluring vistas of Dras, Baltal and Sonamarg and reach Srinagar. Today, you will be covering a stretch of 200 km in about 5 hours.

Day 12: Srinagar

Admire the divine beauty of Srinagar, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir. If you are not tired then do visit the famous places before you find a hotel to relax for the night.

Day 13: Srinagar - Jammu

leave the picturesque city of Srinagar and ride back towards Jammu. This route will take you via Jawahar Tunnel that will open at Jammu, Patnitop and Udhampur. Check in at a hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 14: Jammu - Delhi

The enthralling journey comes to an end. the Leh Manali journey has epic written all over it and you are now a part of it.

Petrol Pumps On Highway

While riding on long routes it is advisable that one should have their tank full and also carry some extra jars of petrol along with you.

1. Petrol pumps between Srinagar to Leh

On this route, it is easy to find fuel as you will come across several petrol pumps. -Srinagar -Kangan -Sonamarg -Kargil -Mulbekh -Wakha -Khaltsi

2. Petrol pumps between Manali to Leh

On this route, once you start from Manali, you will find only two Petrol Pumps till you reach Leh. -Tandi -Upshi/Karu

Cost of the entire trip

If you can cut some cost, stay at an average priced hotel, make a little compromise with the comfort if you can and eat at the dhabas, then the cost for the entire journey comes out around Rs 13000 – 17000 including the cost of the petrol. You could surely try your luck in getting some discount. The total cost acquired, including the bike rent and the fuel cost will be about Rs 21000 – 26000 approximately.

Inner Line Permit

Indian Nationals (other than Jammu & Kashmir residents and children below the age of 12 years) require Inner Line Permits and Ladakh Protected Area Permits (PAP) is for the foreigners. To obtain the ILP, you need a valid photo ID. Also, an original and self-attested photocopies of Proof of Nationality (Passport, Voters ID etc. but not Aadhar Card) is needed. You need to pay an environment fee of Rs 400 per person and Inner Line Permit fee of Rs 20 per day per person. The Inner Line Permit is valid for a period of 3 weeks for Indians, and 1 week for foreigners. The regions which require ILP in Ladakh are: Chusul, Dah, Digger La, Hanle, Hanu Villages, Khardung La, Loma Bend, Mahe, Man, Merak, Nubra Valley, Nyoma, Pangong Tso, Tsaga, Tso Moriri, Turtuk, etc.

What could go wrong?

There is a possibility that you might suffer from Altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). One should be aware of the following symptoms. The major symptoms are the lack of appetite, nausea, insomnia, plus drop, nose bleeding, fatigue or weakness etc. It is advisable that you carry certain medication and stay hydrated. If your health doesn’t permit, kindly go down to a lower altitude and take rest.

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