If you are looking for the ultimate motorbike adventure, this is the expedition for you. The Manali to Leh Highway combines the joy of riding some of the toughest terrains in the world surrounded by impossibly beautiful landscapes – Ladakh is truly the playground of the gods.
This expedition is as riveting as it is challenging. The locations offer sceneries bound to stay tattooed to your memory. Over the duration of the expedition, you will experience riding through different landscapes, from snow-kissed mountain passes and Mars-like plateaus to lush, rolling hills and pristine lakes.
We will provide you with all the logistical, technical and cultural support to undertake this journey and ensure you have the best ride of your life! I won’t say much more…this road needs to be seen to be believed and fully appreciated.
TRANSFER DELHI TO MANALI
All riders need to arrive in Dehli by DATE TBC. Our private bus charter will transfer you from Delhi to Manali at 17:00 and the journey will take around 14 hours. When we arrive in Manali we will check into The Himalayan hotel (or another similar luxury hotel) in time for a hearty breakfast, shower and rest.
Familiarisation day in Manali
Distance: 60km approx. Elevation: 2050m
Following a morning meet and greet with our team, we will brief you about the journey ahead, the safety tips to be observed while riding and answer any last minute questions you might have. After this, we're introduced to the bikes we're riding and we will them for a spin around the scenic locales of Solang Valley and Naggar Castle. This will allow you to get comfortable with your bike as well as take in some of the natural splendours of Manali. The expected ride is around 60kms and offers first-timers to the Himalayas a chance to get familiar with the sharp turns and hills, as a group, under an experienced expedition leader. We will spend another night at The Himalayan hotel.
Manali to Jispa
Manali > Rohtang Pass > Jispa
Distance: 137km Elevation: 3350m
We begin our journey from Manali to Leh through the Pir Panjal Ranges of the Himalayas with a steady ascent lasting around 50kms to Rohtang La Pass, situated at an altitude of 3980m. Then we cross over to Lahaul Spiti district, where we descend to Gramphu followed by Khoksar. This is followed by another steady climb to Sissu and onto the district headquarters in Keylong, and then onto Jispa where we will spend the night. We are likely to encounter traffic jam at Rani Nallah and tough riding conditions throughout. We spend the night camping in tents.
JISPA TO TSOKAR
Jispa > Gata Loops > Lachulung La > Sarchu > Tsokar
Distance: 192km Elevation: 4500m
Today is all about high passes and, following a good night's sleep, we will continue from Keylong to Baralachala Pass (5030m). It’s a steady 67km journey with a steep ascent to the pass, especially the last 18 km from ZingZingBar. It’s important we take extra precautions on these roads as the winds could be chilly and roads dangerous. Our onward journey to Ladakh will lead us around 21 hairpin turns through the Gata Loops to Nakee La (4738m) and Lachulung La (4881m) passes and onto Sarchu, where we will register at the police check post. We will continue for another 40km for a night of camping under the stars.
Tsokar to Leh
Tsokar > Pang > More Plains > Tanglang La > Leh
Distance: 144km Elevation: 3500m
This is the last stretch of our journey from Manali to Leh and we will still have about 250 kms to ride. Prepare to be amazed by the landscapes you encounter. We will have one more pass to conquer at Tanglang La (5315m) and, en route to the pass, we ride across a plateau called More Plains at an altitude of 4724m. The scenic beauty of this landscape is truly amazing and sure to keep shutterbugs occupied. We will then descend as we move along the Indus River to small settlements through Upshi Karu and finally reach Leh. We will stay at Saboo Resort overnight.
Leh Palace > Shanti Stupa > Gurudware Pathir Sahib > Magnetic Hill (TBC)
Day five will give you an opportunity to relax and explore the town of Leh at your own pleasure after a short ride to Magnetic Hill, Pathir Sahiband and a few Monastries. Some other sights you may wish to visit include the Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa and the many good restaurants on Changspa Road. We will spend another night at Saboo Resort.
LEH TO HUNDER
Leh > Khardung la > Khalsar > Hunder
Distance: 115km Elevation: 5606m
This day will be the highlight of the expedition, as we will ride up to the highest pass in the world, the Khardung La (5359m). Not only will this ride provide you with an adrenaline rush but the views will remain in your memory forever. We will then ride down into the vast, spectacular Nubra Valley, visit the sand dunes and stay in Hunder.
NUBRA VALLEY TO PANGONG TSO
Hunder > Pangong Lake
Distance: 180km Elevation: 4300m
We will have breakfast early and then ride to Shoyk on the way to the lake. Only around 45km of this huge L-shaped lake is under Indian control, the rest is in Tibet. We’ll also stop for a Camel Safari, a great moment for taking photographs. We camp on the edge of the lake.
PANGONG TSO TO LEH
Pangog Tso Lake > Leh
Distance: 135km Elevation: 3500m
We will head back to Leh for the last part of our motorbike adventure, arriving in Leh with plenty of time to collect and share our memories from the trip so far and get in touch with loved ones (Leh is one of the only towns that provides access to phone networks and the internet). We will spend another night at Saboo Resort.
LEH TO SARCHU
Distance: 252km Elevation: 4290m
We will begin our journey back to Manali today and aim to be at Sarchu for the night. Expect better conditions than we encountered when we crossed the road eight days ago. Crossing familiar passes from the other side will make for a more relaxing and enjoyable return trip.
SARCHU TO MANALI
Distance: 222km Elevation: 2050m
On the last day of riding, we will cover the 222km stretch from Sarchu to Manali with the aim of starting early and reaching Manali by evening. We will stop for lunch in Keylong. Expect tough riding conditions from Koksar to Rohtang La. A summary of our entire trip on the road can be appreciated during this final stretch, as we cross high passes, lush greenery and vast barren lands. We will spend the night back at The Himalayan hotel.
Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India