When it comes to road trips, the ‘Land of High Passes’ or Leh-Ladakh is the place to be! 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 an absolutely enchanting journey!

So without any doubt, a bike trip to the challenging mountainscape of Leh-Ladakh tops the bucket list of every passionate biker. Having said that, conquering the rebellious mountainous terrain of Leh-Ladakh is not every biker’s cup of tea! Especially on your way to Leh, you may come across extreme, unruly roads but the spectacular views along the ride, make up for all the pain gone through. However, to better tackle the rugged landscape of this Himalayan wonderland, here’s your Leh-Ladakh bike trip guide to make your journey thrilling and safe!

Feel the rage of the winds in Ladakh
Feel the rage of the winds in Ladakh

Best Time to Explore Leh-Ladakh on a Bike Trip
The months of June 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.

Best Route Options for Leh-Ladakh Two-Way Bike Trip
Consider New Delhi as a base to start your bike trip to Leh-Ladakh. Manali to Leh, and Srinagar to Leh, are the two prime routes offering decent traversable roads and gorgeous landscapes along the way. Here are the details of the two routes:
Route 1: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Pangi → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra → Kargil →
Srinagar → Delhi
Approximate Distance: 3,649 kilometers

Route 2: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali
→ Delhi
Approximate Distance: 2,295 kilometers

Know more about the Dream Ride Motor Bike Expedition to Ladakh.


Places to travel through in Leh-Ladakh
If you are passionate about offbeat traveling, then a bike trip to Leh-Ladakh is something that you need to experience. As you begin your expedition from the concrete jungles to the valley of the gods, feel the air turning nippy and crisp with every kilometer you tread. Ride through high-altitude passes, and take on the extreme twists and turns, to reach this Himalayan refuge, that conjures up an ethereal vision with lofty, snow-draped peaks, plummeting valleys, and quaint monasteries. Here are the prime places to bike your way through in Leh-Ladakh:

Zanskar Valley– The best thing about Zanskar Valley is its remoteness. Tucked in one corner of Ladakh between two alpine lakes, conquering the treacherous trails of this valley is no child’s play! Ride your way through an impressively rugged terrain under the appeasing hues of the blue skies taking in the splendour of the sweeping landscapes, dreamy cave monasteries and settlements of this Trans-Himalayan region.

Khardung La Pass– Imagine freewheeling on the world’s highest road pass taking in the stunning scenery that goes all the way down from the snow-laden terrain to the emerald-green oasis of Upper Leh! Set at a vertigo-inducing altitude of 18,379 feet, Khardung La Pass is about 40 kilometers away from Leh. It is considered one of India’s most dangerous motorable roads that could test the patience of even the most seasoned bikers! A ride along the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is a must-try when you are here.

Pangong Lake– Perched impressively on the Changtang plateau in eastern Ladakh, the 134 kilometers long pristine blue beauty will more than rejuvenate your tired body and mind, making it well worth the long ride up! The world’s highest saltwater lake, the very first glimpse of this brackish lake will make you fall in love with it! An idyllic spot to stretch your legs after along bike ride, spend some time in solitude by the Pangong Lake and enjoy the captivating beauty of the surroundings. Graced by the snowy mountains, the golden sun rays glistening on the lake against the backdrop of vivid twirls of minerals in a starkly arid setting, the Pangong Lake creates a surreal vision for both the eyes and soul.

Magnetic Hill- As they say, ‘nature works in mysterious ways’! The magical stretch of Magnetic Hill invites bikers to be a part of a mystifying experience. At 14,000 feet, you would not be able to figure out if it is the reverse gravity at play or the case of an optical illusion. Boggle your mind by riding on this amazing stretch that works mysteriously – pulling vehicles uphill, defying gravity.

Nubra Valley– Once you land in this picturesque refuge, you will be struck by its utter tranquility and natural magnificence! An austerely gorgeous tuft of land lying in far-flung isolation, find your heart and soul soar with delight as you cruise through this stunning valley. Let your eyes absorb the immense beauty of this valley ornamented by quaint monasteries, vivid orchards, green oasis villages, and the unusual sight of Bactrian camels in a thrillingly stark, arid-white setting.

Other than these beatific locales, you can take a halt at other attractions as the Leh Palace, Stok Palace, Shanti Stupa, Tsemo Fort, Dha and Hanu, Old Town, Tiger Hill, Drang-Drung Glacier, Drass Valley, among others, depending on the duration of your trip.

Limitless deserts, thriving jungles, prosperous rivers and breathtaking views – with every step you take on the Markha Valley Trek you are introduced to nature, beauty, adventure and a heap of emotions felt never before.

With its trail taking you through the Hemis National Park where there’s a good chance you’ll spot a snow leopard to further heading to tiny Himalayan hamlets with huge parachute tents and a unique Buddhist culture to finally crossing high mountain passes that offer you views so enchanting that you almost never want to leave, the Markha Valley Trek has it all!

So if you’re planning your next trekking adventure, look no further! Here are 5 Unbeatable Reasons to do the Markha Valley Trek this summer.

Explore Diverse Landscapes
Unlike the numerous treks that take you through forests or arid deserts of the region, the Markha Valley trek introduces you to landscapes along flowing rivers, green pastures, scenic valleys, and flourishing national parks, and bone-dry desert expanses. On this trek, you will experience excitement – when you spot a snow leopard; hardship -when you cross stretches of the waist-deep Markha River; peace -when you take a stop at the confluence of Indus and Zinchen Rivers; thrill -when you conquer over 17,000 feet at Kongmaru La Pass.

Trek Ladakh Today
Trek Ladakh Today!

Discover Ancient Buddhist Villages
The Markha Valley Trek takes you through some diverse landscapes and while most of the hike is shadowed by wilderness, there will be days when you will stop by tiny mountain hamlets. Trek through scenic landscapes and pass along river banks; meet the region’s locals and come face-to- face with religious shrines at Lhatos and confront the Mani walls. Mani walls are stone structures that are formed by the compilation of intricately carved stone tablets mostly with the inscription of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ loosely meaning ‘ Hail to the jewel
in the lotus’.

Hike through the villages of Umlung and Hangskar. Much like an eagle nest perched on the tallest tree, the Techa Monastery in Umlung is one of the highest located monasteries and is easily a 1000 years old. Although Umlung offers the comforts of a monastery and a handful of homestays, a visit to Hangskar (the last hamlet in the valley) with its ever welcoming locals and their hot butter tea is a reward in itself. Some of the other villages that you will pass by during the Markha Valley Trek are Spituk, Shingo, and Siku among others.

An Encounter with the Wild
One of the best parts of about the Markha Valley trek is that it takes you through the charming Hemis National Park. Best known for having the highest density of snow leopard in any protected area in the world,
the Hemis National Park with its large population of rare species of wildlife is arguably one of the best parts of this trek. Tibetan wolves, red foxes, Eurasian brown bears and Asiatic ibexes – they are all here. But that’s not all – the region also boasts of being the only habitat of the Shapu in India and is also home to the mountain weasel and the Himalayan mouse. The park is also a bird watcher’s paradise and visitors are often lucky to spot the Lammergeier vulture, the fork-tailed swift, Fire-fronted serin and Tibetan snowfinch in their natural habitat.

Camping in Ladakh
Camping in Ladakh

Live in Parachute Tents
The Markha Valley trek is also known as the ‘tea house trek’, takes you through diverse terrains and arid deserts but that’s not the only fun part of this excursion. While the villages on the trail have ample homestays that provide the comfort of a home away from home, this adventure also lets you have the experience of camping in parachute
tents. These parachute tents are massive tents where you camp the night with your entire group. Fun much? Oh, you have to experience it to know how much!

Be an Achiever
The trek begins from the green landscapes of the Hemis National Park but don’t let the lush environs fool you, this is just the beginning. The Markha Valley trek takes you through striking contrasts. Trek through the land masses with powerful rivers that are knee-deep if not more and pass through rocky canyons to reach the towering peaks of
Ganda La at 15748 feet, and Kongmaru La at 17060 feet. Reach the top and be welcomed by breathtaking views of Ladakh and the Zanskar ranges. It’s a superlative achievement that feels a million times better
than it reads.

In Leh
In Leh

It’s not every day that you come across a trek that offers an out-an-out Ladakhi experience. Raw and natural beauty, exciting adventure, the Buddhist culture, the local food, and the warm hospitality of the people
– everything’s covered.

This trip is everything that dream vacations to Ladakh are made of, and if it resonates with your idea of adventure, let there be no place else you head this summer.

What’s expansive, majestic and home to the highest peaks on the planet? Of course, the Great Himalayas! An enigma in itself, the Himalayan Range lures travelers with its arresting landscape of snow-laden mountains, glaciers and plunging river valleys, along with the ever-so-colossal Mount Everest sitting at a whopping elevation of 8,848 meters above sea level.

But there is more to the Great Himalayan range than just natural grandeur…

Stok Kangri in the Himalayas
Stok Kangri, Himalayas

India’s prime outdoor adventure refuge- Himalayas- house some of the most prominent winter-sports destinations like Gulmarg, Auli, Leh, Manali and Narkanda. While Kashmir offers some of the world’s highest, tough-to-tread but blissfully unexplored ski slopes, just right for extreme snow sport enthusiasts, the gentle slopes of Himachal Pradesh provide a perfect base for novices.

Whizzing past jagged and raw terrains, plunging from great heights will fill you with a sense of exhilaration and make you want to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of the surroundings. All this at a fraction of the cost in contrast to famous European resorts! Well, does that make you want to go on a snow-sporting vacation right away? If you are still not convinced, here are our top reasons to go skiing and snowboarding in the Great Himalayas:

Escaping the well-trod path; explore Himalayas in the most action-packed way

You Don’t Get To Do This Every Day!

Winter sports in India are not that prevalent. You do not get to experience such activities every day. That makes the Himalayan resort towns even more special. But if you wish to experience uncharted and unique snow challenges, then the Himalayan Range is your eternal playground. Forget the jam-packed and well trimmed Alpine slopes, the Himalayas offer next-level skiing and snowboarding experiences, adding a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘going-off-piste’!

skiing in gulmarg
Discover Hidden Treasures of Gulmarg

Adventure tourism is on the rise with Kashmir’s Gulmarg leading the pack! Often touted as the Mecca for skiers, Gulmarg has one of the highest ski lifts in the world and it is certainly not just another alpine escapade. While the naturally smooth gradient of Kongdoori Peak makes it an ideal spot for novice skiers to get a hang of the activity, it is the Mountain Apharwat that steals the show! Strictly meant for advanced skiers, it offers an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here, you will find the world’s highest gondola- The Gulmarg Gondola that takes fearless skiers to the world’s most uncharted slopes at a vertigo-inducing altitude of 13,400 feet- almost reaching the peak of Mount Apharwat.

Advanced skiers feeling a little frisky can really push their boundaries in these elevated terrains. How about exploring the hoary playground filled with firs and pines by taking on the mountains from dizzying heights where the Gondolas do not reach? Picture taking a helicopter ride to the most untouched and dramatic mountaintops of the world and get ready for a flabbergasting Heli-skiing experience amid the mystical wilderness of Gulmarg. Those who cannot imagine a skiing holiday without the comforts of gourmet dishes can look forward to an authentic experience with Kashmiri offerings like soothing mint teas, flavored curries, and some warm conversation.

Lose yourself in the picturesque Garhwal slopes of Uttaranchal..
The lesser-known cousin of Gulmarg, Garhwal woos adventure enthusiasts with its intoxicating natural splendor and is just as generous in terms of thrill!

Auli, a pristine stimulation

Auli– Enveloped by the mighty Himalayan range, Auli has some of the gentlest slopes covered in just the right amount of snow. The ski-worthy slopes range somewhere between 2000-3000 meters, making it an ideal playground for both amateur and skilled skiers. To enhance the thrill, an 800 meters long cable car runs between Auli and Joshimath offering magnificent views of the Dronagiri, Kamet and Nanda Devi peaks. On top of the mountain peaks, there is a government operated ski resort equipped with amenities and guide which also features a 500-m long ski-lift.

Dayara Bugyal– With multiple trails, gorgeous scenery and an awe-inspiring ambiance, this Himalayan hamlet has skiing slopes extended about 28 square kilometers in area that brings back skiers for more. The magnificent snow covered slopes are a dream to ski and the enchanting views of the Tal and Barnala lakes add further charm to the site.

Mundali– Another entrancing winter-sports destination in Uttarakhand, Mundali offers sublime views and the perfect snowy slopes for skiing adventures. The powdery snow-draped slopes work as a magnet for both amateur and expert skiers. Getting to the hill station is a thrill in itself. Expect to fight through a tough terrain, unmetalled roads and steep treks to reach this unspoiled paradise.

The Thrill of Mystical Slopes of Manali in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a calling for the venturous souls

Manali has evolved from being a quaint holiday destination to a promising base for thrilling winter-sports like skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding. Covered with miles of glaciers and surrounded by snow-clad peaks, skiing trails in Manali takes one through cedar-birch forests and jaw-dropping ridgelines that is sure to raise your adrenalin levels.

Apart from the above mentioned places, the other Himalayan towns that offer memorable and thrilling skiing experience include Pahalgam, Kufri, Narkanda, Solang Valley, Tawang, Yumthang Valley, among others.
Have you been to the Great Himalayas for skiing or snowboarding? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!