The old saying “there’s beauty everywhere, all you have to do is just look around” is true to the core when it comes to the mesmerizing Leh-Ladakh travel.
When it comes to road trips, the ‘Land of High Passes’ or Leh-Ladakh is the place to be! Ladakh Bike Tour is counted among the best adventure experiences in the Land of High Passes. The adventure of riding your bike through Ladakh calls for tourists from around the globe. The 15 Day and 14 Night bike tour are truly one of the lifetime opportunities. Get ready to experience unforgettable memories with this well-planned itinerary.
Extending from the Kunlun mountain range to the Great Himalayas to the south, the mystical region of Leh-Ladakh features jaw-dropping landscapes as far as your eye can go. If you still have not experienced the Delhi-Manali- Leh road trip, you are missing out on an absolutely enchanting journey!
Every biker, irrespective of the gender, dreams of going on a Leh Ladakh bike trip once in their lifetime. While they dream of a flawless journey, the reality does come into contact with a lot of shortcomings. Having understood that bikers are bound to stumble upon a few barriers on a rugged landscape like that of Leh and Ladakh.
Best weather to Explore Leh-Ladakh on a Bike
The months of July to September is the best time for a road trip to Leh-Ladakh as the snow melts away by this time leaving the mountain passes clear and safe for travel.
Leh-Ladakh Trip Cost
A lot depends on the vehicle you are selecting for your journey and the Leh Ladakh road trip cost would also vary on the accommodation and the kind of food you choose to eat. Still, an average budget can be arrived upon considering basic factors such as accommodation, meals, and fuel. Hence, under normal circumstances, you will end up spending approximately INR 35000 for a trip to Leh Ladakh on a bike for 15-days. This also includes the cost of permits and miscellaneous expenses for the Leh Ladakh bike trip.
Royal Enfield FOR LEH -LADAKH BIKE TRIP
Talking about the first things first, every biker must give his or her total attention to their first love, which is their bike. One must be very careful and picky when it comes to choosing their Leh Ladakh road trip bike. So whenever you’re choosing a bike for any road trip, make sure you go for suitability more than popularity. Consider it one of the most vital aspects of your Leh Ladakh trip plan!
My ride had to be the Royal Enfield Bullet 500 cc, a behemoth of a machine I have lusted on ever since I rode my first two-wheeler with an electric motor. Logic wise, here are the reasons I chose an Enfield:
- It’s a Royal Enfield.
- I needed a heavy engine to work on high altitudes and cruise on the highways. A motorbike with a smaller engine fares well on the congested city roads of India; on the highways, you need a sturdy ride that can easily maintain speeds between 70-80 on open stretches.
- You need instant power delivery and lots of torque to charter steep mountain inclines.
- Opting for the kind of bikes that one can easily handle and are easy to maintain, has always proven to be safe, and helpful for the riders for journeys like Leh Ladakh bike trip.
Bike Rentals in Delhi
No bike. No worries. The bike rentals at Delhi and Manali are ever willing to offer you a ride on rent provided you submit all the required documents. In Delhi, Karol Bagh is the hub from where you can rent a bike for INR 900 per day. All you have to submit is a valid photo id proof, your driving license, INR 10,000 as the security deposit, and a consent letter from your parents in case you’re still under 25, and you are all set for a bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Delhi.
Okay, since this was supposed to be a two-week trip, it called for a lot of planning. I lapped up one travel forum after another and zeroed in on the essentials. Since I was riding without a pillion, I could afford some extra luggage to straddle my bike. Here’s what all I packed.
- Leather Jackets and Woolen Pullovers.
- A pair of raincoats.
- Two pairs of hand gloves – leather for riding and woollen otherwise.
- Mufflers and skull caps to keep warm.
- An elaborate first aid kit with life-saving medicines like Avomine, Dexamethasone, Diamox, and Acetazolamide.
- Comfortable woollen thermoset inners.
- Woollen and cotton socks
- Waterproof shoes since the ride involved crossing rivulets.
- A Tesco Sleeping bag for unplanned camping stays.
- Lots of instant energy chocolates, biscuits and dry fruits.
- Batteries and more batteries for Camera and cell phone plus a universal charger.
Day 1 Trip Begins
As I arrived Delhi (Hazrat Nizamuddin) I hired a cab for Majnu ka Tilla for my hotel to meet other bikers. I have booked the hotel by go-ibibo and was welcomed by a hotel with a free drink. Thereafter room boy escorted me to my room. I was hungry so after freshening up I left out to Chandni Chowk for some Non-veg delicacies. Rest of the day was spent roaming on Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid.
DAY 2: DELHI – MANALI (550 Km / about 12 hrs drive)
In the morning, we started on our road journey to Manali. This is where the bike ride was supposed, to begin with (I already had my bike sent by train).
For the uninitiated, located at an elevation of 2050 meters on the banks of the Beas River, Manali is a popular hill station in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
The drive itself was tiring, yet fulfilling and featured smooth highway runs, sharp mountain bends, and uncertain terrains. Upon arrival in Manali, we checked in at the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 3: Manali
Manali is a gorgeous Himalayan hill station in Kullu Valley and an immensely sought after holiday spot in India. The hill station is well known for its snow-clad peaks in winters as well as adventure activities like trekking and white water rafting. Manali is the doorway to Leh-Ladakh.
After having morning Breakfast we started strolling local markets. After grabbing a quick lunch, we started to test our bikes on the roads. You can go riding on the Himalayan riding premier through the challenging roads along the Kullu Valley. The tricky bends and stretches on the road will help you test the characteristics of the bike and acquaint yourself to handle the motor beast for your entire tour. Enjoy a fun ride to the beautiful Kullu Valley. Later, come back to the hotel for a comfortable overnight stay.
DAY 4: MANALI – JISPA (145 km / about 6 hrs ride}
After having our breakfast we plunged on the snowclad road for Jispa. we started on our bikes for Jispa through the Rohtang La pass(3978 meters). The beautiful mountain pass is the gateway of your bike tour. This first leg of your journey is your first challenge as the roads are really bad and the weather conditions are also uncertain. Overcome your first test, after which you will pass through the Lahaul Valley. Lahaul introduces you to the mountains capped with snow all around.
The journey was a revelation, and I could feel the chills as we negotiated hairpin bends and uneven terrains the mountains threw at us. As we arrived in Jispa, we checked in at Hotel and relaxed for a while. Later, we set out to explore the native Jispa on a walk. Enjoy a delicious dinner of the mountains. Steamed Momos and Thukpa are famous traditional Himalayan items for dinner. Fill your stomachs and be off to your well-deserved rest.
DAY 5: JISPA – SARCHU (75 Km /about 4-5 hrs ride}
After the morning ritual of heavy breakfast. We began our ride over the picturesque BaraLacha pass. Enjoy the splendid view as you pass through the Baralacha Pass (5000 meters above sea level). We kept driving towards Sarchu which is the borderline between Kashmir and Himachal. From there, get to the Sarchu camp. They make me believe I’m closer to nature. Plus, Bonfires! We stayed in Sarchu for the night. Please keep a high intake on fluids to keep away AMS (acute mountain sickness).
DAY 6: SARCHU – TSO MORIRI LAKE (140 Km / about 6 hrs ride)
The day starts with a lot of challenges. Today we have to ride our motorbike through flatlands and get into the mountain horizon. Drive through the Tanglang-La Pass which is the second-highest motorable mountain pass in the world at the height of 5300 meters. After crossing this pass, you will ride through well-maintained roads all the way to Leh. En-route, get to see the monasteries of Thiksey and Shey.
Now is when it got tricky. Day 6 morning, I felt having difficulty breathing. I was panting while talking and was struggling to gather enough oxygen. My nose was paining and irritable and I thought I was better off travelling in the backup car. I couldn’t eat much and had to contend with a small portion of Maggi noodles.
My companions told me this was the ever so common high altitude sickness and would take me some time dealing with. And really, I was okay after a while – endless cups of coffee only helped further. So we headed towards the Tso Moriri Lake, at an altitude of 4595 meters above sea level.
We reach Tso Moriri and it’s camping again! I was again not feeling well; by now, 7 more riders of the group were feeling nauseous and even made an adequate show of it. We all retired early to our bunks.
DAY 7: TSOMORIRI – LEH (215 km / about 7 hrs ride)
Early morning, our tour instructor gave us a small lecture on Acute Mountain Sickness and how to deal with it.
Later, we all took a leisurely stroll on the banks of Tso Moriri Lake & explored the Korzok monastery. Sometime around noon, we began our journey to Leh. On the way, we passed through a picturesque village right alongside the Indus River. 7 hours and several aching limbs later, we finally reached Leh. we checked-in at the hotel in the borders of Changspa in Leh and spend our time exploring the local places. Rest for the night.
DAY 8: EXPLORE INDUS VALLEY
Day 8 began with a full day excursion to the Indus Valley. We visited the Shey Palace, the 14thcentury Thikse monastery ( a fine specimen of Ladakhi architecture) This was followed by the much-anticipated visit to the Hemis monastery. These ancient monasteries are set on the top of a hill and are kind of attraction for tourists.
DAY 9: LEH – KHARDUNGLA PASS
Early morning, we began our ride towards the Khardung La Pass, one of the world’s highest motorable pass. The breathtaking views only added to our excitement. In the afternoon, we left for a local city tour of Leh to explore the attractions of Leh city. The Old Fort which overlooks the city is quite a breathtaking beauty. There were many eating joints on the central street which serve a wide variety of cuisines. We Spend the evening at of the garden restaurants which are popular in this place. Later we returned to your hotel for the night.
Day 10 Leh-Pangong Lake (149 km)
The day started with a visit to Pangong Lake. The largest brackish water lake in Asia is one of the best attraction of Ladakh. The 2/3rd portion of the lake lies in China. The waters are crystal clear blessed with so many intriguing shades of blue. After a halt at the lake, we proceeded towards Chang La (5500 meters above sea level) there is an army checkpoint at Tangse. Later we checked-in a hotel for a comfortable stay at night.
Day 11 Pangong- Leh Ride
We had our breakfast in the early morning and were getting ready to head towards Leh. We explored the Leh whole way. Finally reached Leh and decided to explore local markets/bazaars. We visited the Shanti Stupa, the Buddhist white-dome huge structure which overlooks Changspa. Enjoyed a great view of the Indus Valley and the Zanskar range. Returned to our hotel for a night stay. I felt like I had seen it all, like the trip could end right now and I don’t care.
Day 12 Leh- Sarchu (250km ride)
For obvious reasons, the trip back to Sarchu didn’t seem that exciting. The trough of our journey had started and we were returning to the same old way of life we were used to. We bid adieu to Leh and begin our ride. En-route, we saw Pang, a scenic spot in Ladakh’s landscape. We reached sarchu, Sarchu lies in the middle of the two beautiful destinations, Manali and Leh. We decided to halt there for a night stay.
Day 13 Sarchu-Keylong 110 km
In the morning, we begin our drive through the Sarchu plain. We started our journey towards Keylong and marvelled at the spectacular views of the conifers hillsides and meadows as the road climbed upwards. Upon arrival in Keylong, we checked in at the hotel to relax. I was starting to hate Lad.
Day 14 Keylong – Manali 120 km
It seemed like time was flying like we were going faster than required. We reached the Baralaccha plain till noon. Enjoyed the beauty crossing through Lahaul ranges and reached Rohtang pass. Rohtang pass will challenge you with mini-rivers of mud. We ride through all obstacles to reach Manali.
We reached Manali in 4 hours approximately. While others were too clumsy to get out of their beds, two of us got out to examine the local scene. We came back a couple of hours later, still fresh, still ready to go back to Leh. But we had to sleep, for our tomorrow journey back home.
Day 15 Manali to Delhi
This was the last day of our adventurous tour to Heaven. We bid adieu with fond memories of our adventure in Ladakh. The logistics company arranged for our bikes to be transported back to Delhi.
I Leave you with a few more photographs from Ladakh.
P.S. – I’m going back next year!
Do read My Blog on “Blue-Mountains Of The Nilgiris”