If travelling is your passion, then joining the Manali Leh cycling expedition can be a great idea. It involves days of gruelling and exciting biking along National Highway 3, also known as Leh Manali Highway. The journey is among the most scenic in the world as it goes through some of the most amazing landscapes.
On the first day, board a Volvo bus from Delhi and travel to the beautiful hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Explore the town, take tours to nearby attractions and shop for memorabilia. Travelling further along the Himalayas, you will cross two moderately high mountain passes.
Gata Loops, a series of bends and curves, will be your ultimate prize if you have a stout heart. The next stage of this Manali Leh cycling expedition will lead you past the expansive, flat and picturesque Morey Plains. Your journey will end in the small village of Lhato where you will board your coach to Leh and also get an excellent chance to shop for souvenirs at the town market.
After resting in the town for the night, wake up at the break of dawn to the sounds of the cockerels announcing the advent of morning. Complete your thrilling excursion through the Himalayas with a cycling journey to Khardung La situated more than 18000 feet above sea level. Capture the wonderful vistas and boast back home that you literally touched the sky!
Day 0: Arrive in Manali
Reach the hill town of Manali on your own from Delhi. Situated at an altitude of about 6726 feet Manali is heaven for tourists. A lush forest cover of Deodars greets you and in the distance, snow-covered peaks elevate its charm. Check-in at the hotel and later head out to test your bicycles. Take a ride around the town to see if you’re are comfortable in riding your vehicle. In the evening, relish a scrumptious dinner and stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 1: Manali – Naggar – Manali (46 km | 1987 m)
Today morning, you will ride till the beautiful Naggar village on the single tracks. Post breakfast, you will begin the ride, as it will make sure you adjust with the climate and your bicycle. Let us know if you want to ride on the regular route. Later in the evening, you will head back to Manali to spend time in the markets and restaurants. Have a relaxing evening, then at night post dinner, head back to your hotel..
Day 02: Manali – Marhi (10,892 feet | 39 KM)
After a scrumptious breakfast, start your biking expedition! Start riding uphill and ride along the curved road. You will pass through few quaint villages and lush forest. Reach Marhi and rest for the day!
Day 03: Marhi – Sissu (12959 feet | 43 KM)
Post a delicious breakfast leave from Marhi and ride 13 KM uphill until you reach Rohtang Pass. The zero point will offer you the best views of snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas! Rohtang Pass is situated more than 13000 feet above sea level and is known worldwide for its mesmerising beauty. You will descend to Gramphu and cross Khoskar, first village of the Lahaul and Spiti district. The trails get easy after Khoskar. Reach Gondla and stay overnight at the camps.
Day 04: Sissu – Jispa (11154 feet | 52 KM)
Start your ride after breakfast and visit Keylong on the way to Jispa. The quaint village offers amazing views of the lush valleys around. The remote Himalayan village will be a good experience away from the noisy and polluted cities. Most of the terrain will be flat and scenic. Reach Jispa and stay overnight at the camps.
Day 05: Jispa - Zing Zing Bar (15748 feet | 50KM)
Ride uphill for at least 32 KM and reach Baralacha La, a high mountain pass in the Zanskar Range which connects Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Rest of the journey will be downhill to reach your campsite. Stay overnight at Bharatpur.
Day 06 Zing Zing Bar– Sarchu (11778 feet| 54KM)
Today we ride towards Sarchu, a vast plateau that offers dramatic mountain views. Today it will not be an easy climb, as the route is laden with bumper-to-bumper rocks. Though the ride after the pass becomes good, as the gravity pulls makes it easier till you reach the campsite. Your campsite at Sarchu is fringed by gran views of the high mountains. At the end of the day, enjoy a good meal and sleep within the nature.
Day 7: Sarchu to Whiskey Nallah (46 km | 4937 m)
In the morning, after breakfast, you will begin the ride with the first thrill coming your way is 21 hairpin bend roads called Gata loops. You will be amazed to ride on this road as it is quite famous for its adventure and nature beauty. You will reach Nakeela Pass through this road, and then a downhill ride will take you to the campsite nestled in Whiskey Nallah.
Day 8: Whiskey Nallah to Tso Kar (71 km | 5078 m)
Today morning is set for you to reach one of the campsite of your trip which is Tso Kar Lake, nestled in Rupshu Plateau and valley in the southern part of the Ladakh. You will pass through Lachung La which is the second highest pass that comes in the Manali- Leh highway and then youwill descend back to Pang. The roads are good and smooth, feel free to ride with all the zeal. On reaching the lake, rest at your campsite, enjoy time with the other riders, bask in the nature’s bounty and take a good sleep as you will need rest for crossing the World’s second highest pass.
Day 9: Tso Kar to Lato (61 km | 5311 m)
As soon as the sun gilds the sky, you will head-out for the ride to Lato post breakfast. Today’s climb will not be easy, as the altitude will keep on increasing and oxygen will keep on decreasing, hence it is important for you to keep your calm. Once you start and keep accelerating, you will forget the grueling struggle and will amazed with the staggering view of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain range. When you will descend, you will be happy to ride downhill from Taglang La. Also single track downhill trails are available.
Day 10: Lato – Leh (70 km | 3975 m)
This day starts with lots of fun and thrill as today you will reach Leh, where you will be thrilled to have modern amenities like hot water shower. You will be also amazed whike riding along the roaring Indus River and also the vegetation will catch your attention as you ride. Once you reach Upshi, your eyes will be treated with views of greenery, monasteries and Tibetan culture. Roam around the town and explore how Ladakhi people live.
Day 11: Leh – Khardungla (78 km | 5874 m)
This is without doubt the crowning glory and literally the crest of your amazing Manali Leh cycling expedition. Mount your bikes and ride on a steep road which will take about 39 KM from Leh to reach Khardung La. It is situated at a mind-boggling altitude of above 18000 feet. Click photographs here of the surroundings and also of the altitude sign to boast to your pals back home that you literally touched the sky. Return to Leh and stay overnight at the hotel.
Duration: 10 Nights / 11Days
Location: Leh Ladakh
Average KM/Day: 40 - 90
Maximum Altitude: 18,380 feet at Khardung La
Best Time to go: July to September
Amazing experience! The service and beauty both were welcoming!