How to plan a journey or trip on Manali Leh Highway? [2022 Travel Guide]

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Manali Leh Highway is one of the roads that lead to heaven on earth called Leh – Ladakh (Srinagar – Leh Highway is the other one). It is one of those Highways in the world which offers almost everything nature has to offer to an adventure lover.

Serious travelers in India and abroad do have a dream of traveling on this dangerous and beautiful Highway at least once in their lifetime. I am one of those honored souls to have experienced this journey of my life multiple times.

Having said that, the journey on Manali Leh Highway could be a bit tricky to plan if you haven’t researched well enough. Almost more than 350 km out of 474 km long Manali Leh Highway (430 km now after Atal Tunnel) does not have any civilization, and hence you would be the only soul wandering on most of your journey here. Even one cannot find fuel (petrol/diesel) for 365 KMs on Manali – Leh Highway.

2021 Update: With the opening of the Rohtang Pass Tunnel or Atal Tunnel in 2020, the distance of Manali – Leh Highway has been reduced by 45 km and brought it down to a total of 430 km from Manali to Leh. It is not just the distance but the overall time to reach Keylong from Manali is reduced by 3.5-4 hrs and that means Manali to Leh journey can be done in about 13-14 hrs. This 9.02 km Atal Tunnel connects Manali to Keylong in Lahaul Valley. You are no longer required to travel over Rohtang Pass which means there is no longer a dependency on its opening date to travel to Keylong from Manali. Along with it, you no longer have to worry about avalanches, bad roads, traffic jams, landslides which were pretty common when traveling to Leh from Manali via Rohtang Pass.

Therefore, adequate planning is very well required to travel on Manali – Leh Highway so as to make it a memorable experience.

Manali Leh Highway Travel Guide - Detailed & Complete
Manali Leh Highway Travel Guide – Detailed & Complete

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Let's quickly dive into the details:

Manali Leh Highway Travel Guide – Detailed & Complete

I hope the below information in this detailed travel guide of Manali Leh Highway will be helpful for someone planning a journey on Manali – Leh Highway.

Should I travel to Leh Ladakh via Manali or Leh to Manali?

Before anything, if you want to enjoy Manali – Leh Highway then does it from Leh side. That is travel from Leh to Manali NOT Manali to Leh. This direction will help you enjoy the Manali – Leh highway without bothering to rush through the place or worry about AMS or driving with nausea, headaches, etc.

1. Better Acclimatization

Traveling from Manali to Leh will hold you back from the enjoyment. Mostly due to AMS and its symptoms because of the majority of the time, you are above 4000 Mtrs of altitude, which your body cannot adapt easily so quickly. But, while coming from Leh towards Manali, your body will be acclimatized for the high altitudes much more than when you travel to Ladakh from Manali.

If you still prefer to travel to Leh Ladakh via Manali, then you can follow the most common itinerary to travel to Ladakh from Manali.

2. Avoid sleeping at Sarchu

Secondly, travel from Leh to Manali will also help you halt your journey at Sarchu which is at an even distance between Manali and Leh and offers a varied amount of accommodation options. Otherwise, you will end up doing Manali – Keylong on one day and push from Keylong to Leh on the second.

Video – Where to stay on Manali – Leh Highway?

Sleeping at Sarchu is not recommended if you are coming from Manali unless your body has completely acclimatized to Sarchu altitude by staying in Spiti and Lahaul Valley for about 4-5 days.

Hence, always try to plan a journey to Ladakh in such a manner that you enter Leh via Srinagar side and then after exploring Leh – Ladakh for few days come back via Manali – Leh Highway. You should also read: 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road to enter Leh over Manali – Leh Road.

Tandi Indian Oil Petrol Pump on Manali - Leh Highway
Tandi Indian Oil Petrol Pump on Manali – Leh Highway

Season to travel on Manali – Leh Highway

Usually, the opening of Rohtang Pass and Baralacha La majorly governs the travel time on Manali – Leh Highway. The average time for the opening of Rohtang Pass every year is around May, and Baralacha La usually opens up close to May end.

Best time to travel on Manali Leh Highway

Hence, June to September is the time window when the Manali – Leh Highway is open and is considered as the only time for traveling on Manali – Leh Highway.

Road Conditions June – July

In the early stages, i.e., June, one can find huge stocks of snow en-route, but the road conditions may be a challenge to drive. While in the later stages, i.e., August to September, the conditions of the roads are almost perfect in shape with all the mud dried out, maintenance work almost completed on these roads by BRO but your eyes will be devoid of the snow mostly.

The weather in June is always unpredictable and the chances of rain are also bright. This leads to the closure of certain sections on Manali – Leh Highway due to landslides triggered by rains.

However, you may be lucky in June as well to cruise this Highway in bright sunshine. June is not exactly the ideal time when one wants to be in Manali due to mad tourist influx.

Should I plan Manali Leh Highway in August?

As the July – August comes, the Monsoon comes as well in the Northern parts of India. However, the regions on the Northern side of Rohtang Pass that is Keylong and beyond mostly remain untouched by these monsoon rains (except the year 2010, which was an exception).

So in July-August, though you may need to cross the Southern side of Rohtang Pass in Monsoon rains that is Manali and lower hills, after especially Keylong, you are almost good to go without much trouble with these rains.

Planning a trip on Manali Leh in October?
Planning a trip on Manali Leh in October?

Dodging the Water Crossings & Slush in June – August

June – July is also the time window when the snow melts on high passes creating almost tiny rivers or water crossings (nallas) on roads in the early stages. This high gush of water is quite a challenge to dodge, especially with the vehicles having a low ground clearance.

Post afternoon, when the sun is burning at its best, some of these water crossings or nallas becomes so violent that they are almost impossible to cross. This gushing water may force you to halt the journey of the day in the middle of nowhere or return to some civilized place for a night halt. The best way to overcome these water crossings or nallas is to know the specific nallas on Manali – Leh Highway and plan to cross them as early in the morning as possible.

In recent years, one of the major hurdles was water crossing or nalla just near Zingzing Bar even though bridges have been built on many of the water crossings up to 2018.

Another major one was between Rohtang Pass and Sissu. In the early stages (June), even crossing Baralacha La is a big challenge due to melting snow, which creates some deep water streams on the road itself.

Slush is also bound to be present on Baralcha La in the early stages of the season and is also quite a challenge to negotiate without proper skills even on SUV/MUV. This mud is generally created by the constantly moving traffic, which beats the snow present on the road or aside.

Hence, try to cover these sections of Manali – Leh Highway in the early part of the day, when the snow melts very slowly and traffic is less.

Are you planning your trip on Manali – Leh Highway in late September and October? If yes, then you must read my article about 5 Reasons to Avoid Manali – Leh Highway in Late September or October

Deepak Tal - A quaint little pond at Manali - Leh Highway
Deepak Tal – A quaint little pond at Manali – Leh Highway

Road Conditions

Below is the general idea of road conditions on Manali Leh Highway. Of course, they are subject to change with the season, time of travel, and weather conditions. However, in general, you will get an idea of road conditions from Manali to Leh road.

  • Manali To Rohtang Pass – Average
  • Rohtang To Kokhsar – Bad, Slushy
  • Kokhsar To Sissu – Average
  • Sissu To Keylong – Very Good
  • Keylong To Jispa – Good
  • Jispa To Zingzing Bar – Good
  • Zing zing Bar To Baralacha Pass – Good
  • Baralacha To Sarchu – Bad, Dirt Track
  • Sarchu To Pang – Bad, Bumpy, Dirt Track
  • Pang To Moore Plains – Good, Bad, Bumpy
  • Moore Plains To Tanglang La Pass – Very Good
  • Tanglang La Pass To Rumste – Very Good
  • Rumste To Leh – Very Good

2021 Update: You no longer need to travel from Manali to Rohtang Pass to Keylong. You can take the route from Manali to Keylong via Atal Tunnel to reach Keylong in just 2 hrs from Manali and avoid all the bad roads of Rohtang Pass.

Modes of travel on Manali – Leh Highway

IMPORTANT NOTE: Himachal Pradesh Govt. has banned the movement of vehicles without any permit on Manali – Rohtang Pass road and visiting Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes. If you are going towards Leh – Ladakh or Keylong or Spiti Valley from Manali side then you need to get permits for Rohtang Pass available online. Please note that Bikes also need a permit to cross Rohtang Pass

Private Vehicles i.e. Cars and Bikes | Self Drive or Ride to Ladakh

Most people prefer to travel from Manali to Leh on a bike or self-drive to Ladakh in their own car. Some people also prefer to self-drive or self-ride to Ladakh by hiring a rental bike or car on rental from the cities. In any case, a hired car/bike or personal car/bike, the idea is to live the passion of driving or riding through one of the toughest and adventurous terrains accessible in India.

You can take your own or rented, car or bike to Ladakh on Manali Leh Highway, but one must be careful while driving or riding through slushy roads, snow and water crossing or nallas. Also, it is always handy to learn little maintenance tasks of your vehicle before the start of this arduous and desolate journey.

For cars, although an SUV/MUV is good to have and a 4WD SUV will definitely help but I have seen hatchbacks (including Altos and Nano) and sedans doing good enough job on Manali – Leh Highway.

Please note that when you are planning from Manali to Leh on bike, the bike registered in Manali will not be allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh. You will need to rent a bike again in Leh again for sightseeing in Ladakh.

Can I do Manali Leh trip in a small car?

With sedans/hatchbacks or small cars on Manali Leh Highway, one must drive with extra care and caution. Also, be ready for few scratches or sacrifice some parts on your sedans/hatchbacks under-belly due to the lack of enough ground clearance required in some water crossings or landslides on Manali – Leh Highway.

If you are trying to travel on Manali Leh Highway in a small car or a hatchback or sedan, I will suggest planning the journey late in the season ( September) when the roads are in good shape than the early season.

Are you planning to hire or rent a bike from Manali? If yes, then you must go through the article on How to Hire or Rent a Bike or Motorcycle in Manali?

Tips for a Self-drive to Manali – Leh

If you are traveling on Manali to Leh by car, whenever in doubt, always step out of your car, walk down the path, inspect with your foot and plan the path of exit before crossing a dangerous landslide or water crossing on your vehicle. You can also park aside and see how others are crossing the risky section to plan your route of escape.

In deep water-crossings try to maintain the momentum without any half clutch measures and complete the entire stretch in one go only.

Similarly, in slush stretches, do not force the issue rather keep the smooth momentum with the required speed to pass you through, without half clutch measures. Do keep an eye on the direction of the vehicle too.

If you get stuck in the mud, then try to back and forth your vehicles to get out of the stuck position. It is always handy to ask your fellow co-travelers to get out of the car and push the vehicle from behind in case the car is struggling to pass through the mud or water crossing stretch.

These tips will certainly help you on your trip from Manali to Leh by car.

Bicycle resting near Zing Zing Bar
Bicycle resting near Zing Zing Bar

Things to carry

Basic toolkit, screwdriver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three “2 ltr” empty bottles of Pepsi / Coke / Limca, etc. to carry extra petrol or diesel (jerry cans will leak, cold drink bottles do not leak), funnel, towing rope, spare tube (must for bikes), Elfy or Fevi quick (2-3 sachets), jump-start cables/wires, M-seal to prevent leakage, etc. were among the few things which I carried along on my trip to Ladakh.

Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the Ladakh journey. Having it serviced will ensure that you have proper time in advance to test your serviced vehicle and get fixed any hitches that may have been introduced in that service.

You can prepare the checklist from my list of 40 must have things to carry on Ladakh self drive trip

Hiring a Private Taxi | Taxi Number or Private Number

All taxis (except Ladakh registration number) having taxi number or tourist permits number plates are only allowed for a drop in Leh – Ladakh. You cannot drive them in Leh – Ladakh ou cand as per the taxi union rules, only taxis with Ladakh number are allowed to roam in the Ladakh region for sightseeing.

If you want to travel within Leh – Ladakh in your private taxi hired from a place other than Ladakh, then, in that case, you need to hire a taxi with a private number plate only. However, in the latter case, be ready for some queries by the local taxi drivers in Ladakh or police constables on your route. You need to ensure everyone interrogating with you that the vehicle is not a rental.

Should I hire a taxi from Manali for Ladakh?

Whenever you need to hire a taxi, always try to hire it from Manali, as the drivers of Manali will always be more skilled and more accustomed to the route or current conditions of Manali – Leh Highway. Secondly, the locals always have a majority with an advantage of local support in any hurdle you might face on the way towards Leh.

To hire a taxi, go directly to the Manali taxi stand and bargain hard with the local drivers only, for a drop to Leh. Do not involve any tour operator or hotel staff at any stage to save costs.

Manali to Leh Taxi Fare

The local taxi drivers will charge about Rs 1500 extra for a planned night halt on the way to Leh. The private taxi fare from Manali to Leh is close to Rs 16000 to Rs 18000 for a drop to Leh from Manali, depending on your bargaining power, tourist rush, and time when you are visiting the place. June is the highest-paid and September – August being the less paid.

On the Manali bus stand, the taxis that drop people coming from Ladakh are also available sometimes. Since the same local sightseeing rules are applied to Ladakh taxis as well in Manali, they are bound to return without any tourists from Manali side, officially. If you can catch any of those Ladakhi drivers, you might save yourself Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 for a drop to Leh from Manali.

The same rule is applicable from Leh to Manali side as well and hence, if you can get hold of some Himachali driver at Leh taxi stand, you will again save about Rs 3000 to Rs 4000 on your return drop to Manali.

However, you need to be a bit careful from local drivers while fixing a deal with non-local drivers. So, it is always nice if you have some references for either place upfront and call them directly to fix the deal. Secondly, it might be hard that these taxis will agree for any night halt on the way, but it depends on how you gel up in the negotiations and bargaining.

You can check the Leh – Ladakh taxi union rate list 2020 – 21 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh. You can get about 10-12% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

The nature's architecture near Pang
Nature’s architecture near Pang

Manali to Leh Bus Service, HPTDC | Good for a solo traveler or a couple

Perhaps if you are traveling alone or with one or two friends, you can buy or book tickets for the Manali – Leh bus service of HPTDC. This semi-deluxe bus covers the 474 Km long Manali – Leh stretch with a night halt at HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga, Keylong on coming from either side.

Bus Fare

The ticket costs Rs about 2900 per person (as of 2020), which includes a stay at HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga, Keylong, and two meals, i.e., dinner and breakfast at the same hotel. Earlier was also an option to buy the ticket only without hotel stay and meals for Rs 1500, but HPTDC no longer offers it.

The prices mentioned here may change anytime though, so please check the HPTDC website for updated info. The overall comfort level of the bus is much better than other HRTC buses that ply on Manali – Leh Highway.


You can check the updated schedule of Manali Leh bus at the HPTDC website. The tickets can be bought or booked at the HPTDC office on mall road, Manali or you may like to contact at HPTDC Office in your local town (HPTDC Contact Details).

Do not book the seats at the back and confirm before booking regarding the location of the seats. In the back seats, you may have trouble when the road gets bad, especially on the second day, i.e., Keylong to Leh. The bus departs at 11 AM from Manali on the first day and 5 AM from Keylong on the second day to reach Leh about 7 PM. These timings will change with the introduction of the Atal Tunnel that will reduce the time to travel to Keylong from Manali to just 2 hrs in total.

Read my detailed article on Manali to Leh Bus Service.

Delhi – Keylong – Leh Bus Service, HRTC | Cheapest mode of travel

HRTC also runs a regular bus service to Leh from Manali (started in 2018) and also from Delhi and Keylong. You can book tickets for connecting buses (Manali – Keylong, and Keylong – Leh) from Manali bus depot itself or even ISBT, Delhi. You can also reach Keylong by getting a seat in numerous shared taxis that ply between Manali – Keylong every day. The HRTC buses may not be as comfortable though, but comfort comes with the price.

The ticket between Manali – Keylong costs about Rs 174 and then Keylong – Leh it costs about Rs 550 and Delhi to Leh costs about Rs 1380, in HRTC buses. The direct bus from Manali to Leh costs Rs 833, which started in 2018. The bus departs at 5 AM from Keylong and reaches Leh about 7 PM.

You can also read the details of HRTC Delhi Leh Bus Service

The beautiful views on Manali Leh Highway
The beautiful views on Manali Leh Highway

Shared Taxi | A Cannonball run

You can also buy yourself a seat in a shared taxi which runs every mid-night from Manali and reaches Leh on the next evening without any night halt. In the same way, shared taxis are run from Leh to Manali as well.

You need to pay about Rs 1800 to Rs 2000 per person for a drop to Leh from Manali or a drop to Manali from Leh. Of course, since it is shared with 7-8 other people plus the driver and completes the back-breaking cannonball run of Manali – Leh in 15-17 hours, you can imagine the level of comfort yourself.

This one is the second cheapest mode of travel on Manali – Leh Highway but mind you, it could be the toughest on the body too 🙂

Other travel modes

You can also get in touch with some travel agent or taxi union in Manali who also runs their private buses or Tempo Travelers on Manali – Leh Highway. They also run according to dates and hence you may not find the immediate bookings for them.

Some travel agencies also offer Manali to Leh road trip packages including stay and travel. Let me know in case you are interested to know about them.

The beautiful weather at Jispa
The beautiful weather at Jispa

Planning Night Stay or Accommodation on Manali – Leh Highway

Based on my experience, you can opt to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway in one of the following ways –

Two Day Journey on Manali – Leh Highway

The options of stay or accommodation are very limited on Manali – Leh Highway due to the limited civilization. Hence, a two-day journey on Manali – Leh Highway is the most common among all travelers. Private Taxis and buses run by HPTDC or HRTC also cover the Manali – Leh Highway in two days. Mostly, people break up the journey on Manali – Leh Highway in the following two ways over two days –

Manali – Keylong / Jispa (Day 1) and Keylong / Jispa – Leh (Day 2)

This option is mostly preferred by people who do not want to run the risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) by staying at higher altitudes than Keylong or Jispa. However, on the second day, you need to leave early in the morning like by 6 AM from Keylong or Jispa to reach Leh in time. Public buses including HPTDC / HRTC halt for a night at Keylong and leave at 6 AM the next morning, too.

Personally, out of Keylong or Jispa, I will always prefer to stay at Jispa if traveling on your own or privately hired vehicle. Jispa has situated right on the banks of river Bhaga and is further 20 KMs away from Keylong town. Spending the evening at this place is extremely refreshing and is a far better experience than the boring Keylong town.

While Keylong town offers varied accommodation options, Jispa has only a few options available for a stay, and hence, you must pre-book them. Secondly, if you are traveling by public transport, i.e., HRTC or HPTDC buses, then you need to stay at Keylong only else you need to manage the travel up to Jispa yourself and then fix the pickup too with the driver or conductor. Mobile phones may or may not work in Jispa.

Manali – Sarchu / Pang (Day 1) and Sarchu / Pang – Leh (Day 2)

After Keylong and Jispa, you will find accommodation majorly at Sarchu and Pang only. Many travelers also take this option. However, Sarchu and Pang being at much higher altitudes, many people suffer from headaches, vomiting, or sleepless nights.

Hence, if you have plans to stay either at Sarchu or Pang, then it is critical that you stay at Solang Valley not in Manali to acclimatize your body a little bit. Solang Valley also may not help altogether though, but Manali will certainly not help the cause.

Both Pang and Sarchu are close to midway between Manali and Leh. So, a stay at any of these places evenly distributes the time and fatigue over two days. This way, it helps you better enjoy the journey on each of the two days.

Again in between Sarchu and Pang, I will suggest a stay at Sarchu due to its lower altitude than Pang. Pang has lesser and cheaper options available, but Sarchu has varied options, including the Swiss tents with attached toilets. In the end, if you are coming from Leh, then you can stay at either Pang or Sarchu without any trouble because by then your body will be acclimatized to handle such altitudes.

Don't have a bike but planning to use Manali to Leh Bus Service?
Don’t have a bike but planning to use Manali to Leh Bus Service?

One Day Journey on Manali – Leh Highway

Manali – Leh (Day 1)

This option of completing the journey of Manali – Leh in a single day is most common among local people or people who are in a high rush and is least recommended if you want to enjoy your travel. Shared taxis are the preferred way to avail of this option.

Although it could be the cheapest or time saving for you, this back-breaking, cannonball run of 15-16 Hrs with least stoppages does put a heavy toll on the body as well as the mind of an average traveler. This long journey is extremely tiring, and by traversing through the varied amount of altitudes ranging from 1900 Mtrs to over 5000 Mtrs in a single day, you are running a risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) or some severe headaches or disorientation en-route. This option will certainly kill the joy of the journey.

Keep in mind that you are most likely to hit with mountain sickness in this option. If you get away with it, consider yourself extremely lucky. Otherwise, keep in mind that any breakdown of the vehicle like puncture, engine heat down, etc. at some high altitude (Tanglang La, Nakee La, Lachulung La, etc.) with you suffering from mountain sickness may lead to very very ugly outcomes. Hence, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT take the acclimatization factor lightly.

Three Day Journey on Manali – Leh Highway

Manali – Keylong / Jispa (Day 1) and Keylong / Jispa – Sarchu / Pang (Day 2) and Sarchu / Pang – Leh (Day 3)

Well, this option is nothing but the combination of the other two to cover Manali – Leh Highway in three days. This option will require more time, as well as more money. This option is the best way to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of nature that is offered by Manali – Leh Highway, with some worries of mountain sickness. There are plenty of places/vistas and picture taking points on Manali – Leh Highway that is worth spending this extra time and money.

I suggest this option of travel or, in particular, overnight stay at Sarchu/Pang only when you are coming from Leh towards Manali. I DO NOT recommend it while going towards Leh from Manali side unless you are coming from Manali side after spending some nights in Spiti and Lahaul Valley. Sarchu and Pang are both above 4K altitude, which requires your body to have few nights at 3K and 2K Mtrs of altitudes to acclimatize your body. If you traveled to Leh via Srinagar side and coming from Leh after spending a few days, your body will be acclimatized better to minimize the chances of AMS at Sarchu or Pang.

Very few people follow this option due to lack of time and to save money for the ultimate heaven. If these two things have no place for consideration at your grounds, then I will say go with it, and you will make your journey on Manali – Leh Highway much more than a memorable experience :).

The comparison of night halts is already made in the first option, so opt as per your taste. Again if possible, do stay at Solang Valley not in Manali to minimize the chances or effects of mountain sickness.

This option will mostly be available if you are traveling by your private vehicle. You will even have tough time bargaining with drivers at Manali taxi stand for 2-night halts unless you are ready to pay them handsomely.

The Famous Gata Loops of Manali Leh Highway
The Famous Gata Loops of Manali Leh Highway

List of Accommodation or Stay Options on Manali – Leh Highway

Its always better to know or have the list of all accommodation places on Manali – Leh Highway before you travel on it because in such unpredictable terrain you can never predict what can come to your rescue. So, having as many details as possible about the place is always favorable.

I have compiled the list of accommodation or stay options on Manali – Leh Highway at the below link which includes the information about their contacts, location, price range, experiences, etc. Refer the link below for details – List of Accommodation Options on Manali – Leh Highway

Acclimatization and its importance on Manali – Leh Highway

The journey on Manali – Leh Highway goes through a series of high altitudes passes which are good enough to cause headaches, vomiting, disorientation and mountain sickness to the best in the business.

After crossing Patseo or Deepak Tal you are bound to run this high road to Ladakh above 4000 Mtrs until you descend from Taglang La towards Rumste / Upshi. However, with little prevention and care, you can combat or minimize the effects of altitude sickness.

Here are some tips which will help to fight the AMS on Manali – Leh Highway –

  • Avoid overnight stay at Manali rather stay at Solang Valley which helps in the acclimatization whereas Manali does not. You always have an option to roam around in Manali and come back for a night’s sleep at some hotel in Solang Valley. This will help your body acclimatize to a certain extent at the start of your journey.
  • On Manali – Leh Highway, do stay at either Keylong or Jispa which are lower in altitude than Sarchu and Pang to minimize the effects of mountain sickness.
  • Keep your body properly hydrated.
  • Avoid sleeping at high altitudes.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Avoid tobacco and smoking and alcohol and other depressant drugs.
  • Keep your body warm and eat lots of carbohydrates.
  • Avoid sleep during the day.
  • Sleep in an upright position, if possible.
  • Carry preventive medicines for AMS.
  • Immediately descend, if symptoms increase

For more information on Acute Mountain Sickness and all above acclimatization tips, please refer my article on Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Eating out at dhabha at Sarchu
Eating out at dhabha at Sarchu

The FAQ on Leh Manali Highway

  1. What will be the cost of Manali Leh Highway road trip?

    Usually, Manali to Leh road trip cost should come around Rs 3500 if you plan to travel on HPTDC Manali to Leh bus service. Traveling HRTC Manali to Leh bus in a single day should not cost you more than Rs 1000 if you are on a budget.

  2. What is the status of Manali Leh Highway 2020?

    You can track Manali Leh Highway's status on my blog. Every year I start a dedicated thread to track the Manali Leh Road status and post regular updates. As of today (December 2019), Manali Leh Highway is closed due to heavy snowfall.

  3. What is the Manali Leh Highway opening date 2020?

    Usually, Manali Leh Highway is opened in the last week of May or the first week of June, officially. In 2019, Manali Leh Highway opened on 10th June 2019, and in 2018, Manali Leh Highway was opened on 13th May 2018. After many years, in 2018, Manali Leh Highway was opened by mid of May.

  4. What are the road conditions on Manali Leh Highway?

    As of 2019, the road conditions on Manali Leh Highway has been improved considerably over the last few years. Most of the water crossings now have been covered with bridges. The conditions on Rohtang Pass have improved a lot, many metalled road sections including Pang to Taglang La via More Plains. People are doing Leh to Keylong in a single day at a comfortable pace nowadays.

Fuel or Petrol Pump on Manali – Leh Highway

After Manali town, there is only one Petrol Pump at Tandi on the entire Manali – Leh Highway before Upshi / Karu. DO NOT forget to get the full tank fuel at this petrol pump, even if you had it filled at Manali. The more you have, the better it will be for you.

ATM on Manali – Leh Highway

Do carry enough cash with you as the ATM is available only in Keylong and Manali town. If you have no plans to stay at Keylong, then do not forget to withdraw cash from Manali town. After Keylong, you will get hold of an ATM only at Leh town.

Video – Places to Visit on Manali – Leh Highway

Video – Sightseeing on Manali Leh Highway

For a detailed description of the major places to visit on Manali Leh Highway including the distance between them and their respective altitudes, please refer to the article Places on Manali – Leh Highway | A Detailed Description

Chart of Manali to Leh Distance by Road
Chart of Manali to Leh Distance by Road

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Manali – Leh Highway

Facility Places
Hotel / Guest HousesKhoksar, Sissu, Gondola, Patseo, Tandi, Keylong (Many options), Jispa, Upshi
Tents / Camps(Dhaba / Swiss / Normal)Jispa, Darcha, Zingzing Bar, Bharatpur, Sarchu (Many options), Pang
Food / BeveragesMarhi, Khoksar, Sissu, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Deepak Tal, Zingzing Bar, Bharatpur, Sarchu, Pang, Rumste, Upshi
Diesel / Petrol PumpsTandi (107 KMs from Manali), Karu (36 KMs from Leh)
Mobile ConnectivityIn our case, the mobile signal of Airtel worked till Keylong only and then faded rapidly. The signals were restored after crossing Upshi for Airtel.
Of course, BSNL has more coverage and better connectivity within this range than any other operator.
SMS does work fine for both BSNL and Airtel.
Reliance Jio is making inroads and covering a lot of parts of Manali to Leh.
Vodafone did not work for us at all after crossing Marhi and not even in Leh -Ladakh.
Packet data also works up to Keylong and Leh packet data is available only with BSNL edge.
Prepaid connections do not work in Leh – Ladakh.
Fixed PhonesKeylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
ElectricitySissu, Gondola, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
Medical FacilitiesSissu, Keylong but Sarchu, Pang has army camps
Police CheckpointsDarcha, Sarchu, Upshi, Khoksar (For foreigners only)
Mechanic / Puncture ShopsKhoksar, Tandi (not sure), Keylong, Darcha, Sarchu, Upshi
Liquor ShopsKeylong, Darcha, Upshi
Natural HighlightsRohtang Pass, Tandi Confluence, Sissu Waterfall, Deepak Tal, Suraj Tal, Baralacha La, Strange Soil formations, Moore Plains (Wildlife too), Taglang La or Tanglang La, Gata Loops, Lachung La, Naki La, Atal Tunnel
Most important aspects of Manali Leh Highway
As we passed the Surajtal near Baralacha La Pass
As we passed the Surajtal near Baralacha La Pass (Photo by Kanishka)

Article Last Updated February 2022 with up-to-date information for planning a road trip on Manali Leh Highway.


In the end, if you have been to Manali – Leh Highway, then please share your valuable thoughts or suggestions which can make the above information more concrete and useful for someone planning to cover Manali – Leh Highway. Your comments and inputs are most welcome. 

I hope this travel guide will help you make a wonderful trip to these dangerous yet beautiful roads in the world.

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  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. You can follow my YouTube Channel or follow me on Instagram to ask your travel questions. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there !!

  2. Avinash Yadav on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 3 people, planning trip from Pune to Ladakh via Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar for 9-10 days.

    29th june : flying from pune to delhi in evening
    taking overnight bus from delhi to manali

    30th june : day-night stay in solang valley and sightseeing in Manali

    1st july : Travelling from Manali to Sarchu(overnight stay) – should we hire a private car or prefer a bus?

    2nd july : Travelling from Sarchu to Leh

    3rd july : SightSeeing at Leh

    4th july : Leh to Nubra valley(Early morning bike trip)
    : In afternoon, Leaving Nubra to reach pangong by evening(overnight stay)

    Question(How is the road condition from Nubra to Pangong and do you recommand us to go Nubra to Pangong?)

    5th july : Return to leh from Pangong

    6th/7th july : Travel to Kargil/Drass then to Sonmarg/Srinagar
    1. Do we need to prebook the car or can we do it at the time there in Leh
    2. Can we reach Sonmarg the same day and stay there or do we need to halt around Kargil

    8th July : Local sightseeing at Srinagar and fly back to Pune.

    Please provide your guidance on the plan.

    Thank you

    • Avinash, my inputs are below

      1. Avoid sleeping at Sarchu, sleep at Jispa and do Jispa to Leh
      2. You can do Leh to Nubra Valley only and then next day Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso and then 6th July Pangong Tso to Leh or further to Lamayuru
      3. Then 7th July do Leh to Sonamarg and then 8th Sonamarg to Srinagar else do Lamayuru to Srinagar

  3. Hi Dheeraj,

    Really So Awesome blog thank u for providing very useful information

    We are about 6 persons for the first time planning for Manali-Leh in early august we have only 7 days in Hand we want to go by bike by rental can u please provide me best iternary it will be very useful for us.
    2.Is it possible to visit pang pong lake
    Thank U

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    I’m planning for this trip in July or August 2018, so is it a right time to go and where can I get Bikes for rent in cheap price?


      • Thanks Dheeraj. Any particular reason to avoid August? may be because of the rain?… I want to go in sunny time. As I have checked previous years weather forecast and it suggested July onwards weather will be sunny.

        • Sujit August is peak monsoon in North INdia. There will be lot of challenges in terms of road blocks and landslides in the lower hill. If you plan to fly to Leh directly, then may be yes, itis fine.

  5. Hi Dheeraj, pl let me know if the leh-manali highway would be open in late October. Also, last September I had travelled through this route and stayed on my first night at Tso Kar. There are some decent accommodations there. Next day I was in manali by 4 pm. For some reason I can’t see a mention of tsokar in your blog. Any specific reasons for the same. Thanks.

  6. Hi there

    Very informative post! I have a question. Is last half of September is good time to travel Leh Ladakh Srinagar?

    • Yes Ashok, though the night gets a bit cold but second half of September is my favourite time to travel Leh – Ladakh because of beautiful colors and less crowd.

      • Thanks dear friend. I saw in YouTube the road somewhere is very risky. We want to avoid that but still want to visit leh, Ladakh, lake, sreenagar, pegelgam etc.

        Would you please make a plan for us from your experience the best road root avoiding the most risky roads?

        Thanks a lot 🙂

        • Well, the roads are risky for sure and there is no road in Leh – Ladakh where risk can be avoided. So, in case you have to make a trip to Leh – LAdakh you have to take risk which is always there with any kind of adventure. You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

  7. Harsha Hegde on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Your blogs on all topics were very informative, Thanks for the same.
    We 2 couples are planning to do Leh-Ladakh between 20, Jul to 1, Aug and initial plan was to travel by road from Manali to Leh and then fly out of Leh. (Initially wanted to fly till Srinagar and then travel by road till Manali by owing to the ever changing situations in Srinagar doesnt want take risk as travelling with family).

    1. But now after reading several blogs of your confused whether to change my plan to Fly into Leh and then travel by road to Manali.

    2. If I chose to travel by road while coming back will I be able to avoid reaching back to Leh from Tsomoriri and directly head to Saarchu and next day to Manali.

    3. We want to hire a RE for a day or 2 in Leh and cover any of the routes from your most-common-itinerary-for-leh-ladakh, please suggest which would be good for the same as although we 2 are very good Riders dont want to take much riskier route accompanied by our partners.

    4. We wanted to ride to Kargil and stay there for the night and next day to be back in Leh, please suggest will it be feasible to cover this route by bike and cover the places en-route too like Pathar Saheb, Zanskar – Indus Sangam, Dras War Memorial, Magnetic Hill etc.

    Harsha Hegde

    • Hi Harsha,

      1. I will suggest that you better skip the situation in Kashmir as in doubt, it is always best to play safe than sorry or being worried all the time. Max you can do is make a two day trip to Kargil – Drass and come back to Leh to fly out from there only.

      2. I could not understand this but still, try. Tso Moriri is on a different route, you can travel to Sarchu directly from Leh without touching Tso Moriri. In case you go to Tso Moriri, there is a direct route that meets at Manali – Leh Highway so you do not need to come back to Leh. I hope it answers

      3. Yes, sure you can rent the bikes from Leh and move around Leh where roads and connectivity are present.

      4. Yes, the road from Leh to Kargil covering places of Sham Valley is in mostly good conditions and in general safe to travel

  8. Hi Dheeraj

    Need your suggestion as I am getting conflicting opinions . Is it possible to do Tso Moriri- Manali in one day looking at the road conditions . I am travelling in an SUV. We travel next month .



    • Possible = Yes, Hectic = Very Hectic. It takes about 12 Hrs to reach Keylong from Tso Moriri on an average with very short breaks. Then Keylong to Manali is another 4.5-5 Hrs with very short breaks.

  9. Sushant Kumar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, let me thank you for maintaining such a huge informative blog. You are really helping all the travelers out there! I am leaving on 24th June from Chandigarh and have a couple of questions for you –

    1. I wanted to ask how many major water crossings are there in the way and their location, so that I could plan accordingly?
    2. Considering the recent rains in Manali regions, till what point i will experience the rains in between Manali to Leh? I mean from where the rain shadow region starts?
    3. Approximately how much food and accommodation would cost for 2 people (14 days trip)?

    Thanks in advance

  10. Harjeet singh on

    i m plan to journey in my own car jalandhar to leh via srinagar and come back from leh to jalandhar via manali. I plan next month 10 july the tour 10-12 days its enough
    Leave the comment its good or not

  11. Ankur Toshniwal on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all, thank you so much for this detailed blog. This single post is enough for all the information.

    Me and my one friend is planning to travel by Bike to Leh via Manali -Leh highway (MANALI – halt at JISPA – LEH ), we are planning to leave Manali on 8th July, will that be good time to travel ? Shall we expect some snow en route to Leh ? And as I read in your post, shall we expect road river(snow melt) at that time?

    • Ankur Toshniwal on

      We are planning to go by our own , is it a good idea or we should go with some group/organizer ?what challenges we may face if we go by our own ?

      Also,it would be very grateful of you if you could share number of some good bike rental in Manali.

      Thanks in Advance 🙂

      • This website has sufficient information on making a trip to Ladakh and you do not need any group or organizer. You will rock !! You can get connected with [email protected] for bike rentals and also they provide Rs 50 discount per bike per day for all DoW Readers and Members 🙂

    • Yes Ankur, early July is good time to travel to Ladakh and Manali – Leh Highway. There will be water crossings for sure in July as well but well, that’s where adventure lies. Leave early in the day so that water is less.

  12. Hiren Pandya on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are 3 people planning our leh trip from 10 June. We have around 14 days.

    We are planning to go with Fiat Linea (this one is not so great with ground clearance).

    We will be taking the Srinagar route to reach leh. And then would like to return through Leh-manali route(mostly 20 to 22 June).

    My question is – Is it impossible to do Leh-Manali in June month with a low GC Sedan car? I read that road conditions are improved from past few years. Please tell me that should we attempt the Leh-Manali for coming back with Fiat Linea or not? or we should just take the Srinagar route to come back?

    Also Can we do Leh – Nubra – Leh AND Leh – Pangong – Leh with Linea at this period of time? We have no plans to do the direct Nubra-Pangong route.

    • Hi Hiren,

      More or less you should be good with most of the route. I will not stay the car will not struggle but still you should be able to make it with careful and cautious driving. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

      You can check a very balanced and most common itinerary for Leh – Ladakh followed by many travellers including me at the link here for 13-14 days: Most Common Itinerary for Leh – Ladakh.

  13. Hi Dheeraj

    Comprehensive post. I am planning a trip in Mid July ie Manali to Leh and back in an SUV . Dates are leave Manali on 13th and reach Leh on 14th with a halt in Jispa for the night . Will rest in Leh for a day and apply for ILP and take off from Leh on 15th . Cover Nubra – Turtuk (2 days) – Pangong Tso night halt – Hanle night halt – Tso Moriri a night or 2 and back to Manali on 20th /21st. Is this doable or pushing it ? Your suggestions please . Also can you advice on opening of Rohtang pass?

    • Nikheel, the plan looks doable and I believe you have days to adjust in case there is a need. Go with it and take a call once you reach Leh. You have to ensure that you carry enough fuel from Leh to do about 950 KMs without fuel pump. Manali – Leh Highway is expected to open by 25th May. 5 KMs of road is left to be cleared from Baralacha La Pass.

      • Hi Dheeraj

        Further to my post below. Need some info on Rohtang pass permit and ILP . We reach Manali late afternoon. How long do you think should it take me to procure the Rohtang pass permit? Since I do not want to waste much time in Manali, some heads up on how to expedite procurement of pass will be a big help.

        Also some similar info on ILP from Leh.

        Thanks in advance

        • You have to take the permit in 2 days advance from the online website. Permits are vanishing in just 12 minutes, you make sure you hook on to it by 12.00 with fast internet connection.

          For details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link All you want to know about Inner Line Permits for Ladakh. Page 1 is Protected Area Permit applicable for foreigners. Fill in Page 2, 3 for Inner Line Permit applicable for Indians, got to DC office in Leh and submit the application with valid Photo ID nationality proof and pay the required fee of Rs 400 + Rs 20 x number of days you will be in Ladakh.

  14. Hi dheeraj…Are there tour operators who offer bike trip from leh to manali….I find few operators providing from.manali to leh.but could not find bike trips from leh to manali. .
    Can you or anybody pls post any good operators …Thanks in advance

    • You can write to [email protected] and ask for bikes to be dropped at Manali from Leh. They also offer Rs 50 per day discount on bike union rates for all readers of DoW. Please note that pickup charges can make a big dent in the pocket, about 10K per bike for a pickup or drop 😉

  15. Adil Meraj on

    What about nature’s call during the 475 km journey on manali – leh highway. Is it possible if we plan the trip with tents?

    • You can plan the trip with tents. Mostly it will be wide open nature for its call 🙂 , rest you will be staying either at Jispa or Keylong which will not make it 474 KMs long.

  16. Saurabh Srivastava on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First and foremost, thanks for all the details. This is such an amazing place to explore for travelling enthusiast . 🙂

    We are 5 ppl ( 3 M + 2 F ) , planning a maiden for a Leh- ladakh trip coming June- July -17.

    As everyone can’t get the desired 2 weeks off so we have to curb our plan for 9 days.

    Here is the overview of itinerary. FYI everything is in planning stage as of yet.

    23rd June – Leaving from Delhi to Manali.
    24th June- Reaching Manali by 11 am tentatively . Leaving to Leh – Ladakh, Overnight stay at Jispa.
    25th June- Jispa to Leh
    26th June- Local Sightseeing in Leh
    27th June- Leh to Nubra (Overnight At Nubra)
    28th June- Nubra to Leh (Overnight at Leh)
    29th June – Leh to Tso Pangong (Overnight @ Tso Pangong)
    30th June – Tso Pangong to Manali return (Overnight Stay at Sarchu)
    1st July – Sarchu to Manali by Evening. Return to Delhi

    Is the above schedule is good & sounds doable? If there is anything which needs to be taken care of or we are missing, please suggest.

    Also is it possible to twist it this ways too

    28th June – Nubra to Tso Pangong ( Direct travel ) ( Overnight @ Tso Pangong)
    29th June – Tso Pangong to Tso Moriri ( Stay overnight )
    30th June – Tso Moriri to Manali return ( Overnight stay @ Sarchu)

    Just wanted to make sure that in process of seeing everything we should not miss the real fun and beauty of the place.

    Please provide your guidance on same.

    Thanks !


      • Saurabh Srivastava on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        We are back with our memorable LEH trip. Thanks to you & DOW for all the vital information.



        P.S: We could not make to Tso Pangong from Nubra as the direct route via Shyok was closed.

        • Hey Saurabh,

          It is wonderful to know that you had a wonderful trip to Ladakh. If possible, do share some updates or road conditions on the route or any tips worth sharing which can help others plan better too 🙂 …


  17. Arjun Dhawan on

    Once we reach Hunder from Leh while visiting Khardung La and Dikskit so shall we do night stay at Hunder or come back to Leh in same hotel ?

    Thanks in advance!

  18. Arjun Dhawan on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    i and my wife are going for Manali to leh in 3rd week of august for 7-8 days trip, we will go on Bike from Manali but as i will be riding bike and my wife will be sitting at back, We will take 2 bags with us so what you suggest for carrying bags in most convenient way.

    Thanks in advvance

    • Hi Arjun,

      Are you experienced with long rides and your wife too? Also, 8 days you are saying from Manali? Best is to have Ladakh carrier installed on the bike.

  19. Shashank Sah on

    Hello Dheeraj
    Excellent post.

    Planning to visit Leh Laddakh in May end or June 1st week.
    Is Leh Manali route open by that time !
    Some apprehensions also – because of 5 and 7 yr old kid with us. what medical facilities are available on route!
    what are your inputs -if we reach directly to leh by flight.


    • Manali – Leh may not open by that time of the year. It is not recommended to travel that early on Manali – Leh Highway with kids as road closure are pretty common during that time.

  20. HI Dheeraj ,

    Have planned for Leh by road from Chandigarh to leh via Srinagar and then back to Chandigarh via manali.

    can you please help us to know where to take proper stops for the above trip. and as well we will be traveling from 2 Sep to 10 Sep is this enough time for this trip ?

    Thank you

  21. Hrishit Amlani on

    Hi, loved the detailing in your blog.. i m planning to travel to Leh on the 10th of July from Manali.. is it advisable to visit Tso Moriri on our way to Leh from Manali?? Or should we visit it once we have reached Leh?

    • Thank you. Not at all advisable to visit tso Moriri from Manali side. You should visit it in the last after Nubra, Pangong tso and then while coming back to Manali from Leh.

  22. Darshana V on

    Hi. We have already booked our flight tickets based on a travel agent’s recommendation (and I am cursing myself for the plan). The route is Manali – Leh – Srinagar exactly the opp of what you have recommended & also, we are planning to go by bike. Can you pls suggest a suitable plan or recommend training such that AMS issue doesn’t come up? And also, such that we reach Leh within 2 days?

  23. Hi,
    Am planning to ride leh from Bangalore in this April last week or first week of May…Will my plan works out considering about 3-4 weeks time?
    Would appreciate your suggestions.

      • Samya Maiti on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I am planning to go from Manali to Leh on 11th of June. Can you please let us know if by that time the roads will open or do I need to change my plans. I have booked my Hotels.


  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    i’m planning manali – leh road trip and in the month of July. My travel dates are 1st July to 12th July.
    So, my question is can we travel in the month of July. or else, which is the best month to visit by road.
    And, 12 days would be sufficient for this trip?

    please suggest me.
    thanks for your time.


  25. Hi, I wanted your advice on my trip which we are planning this 1 July to 9 July 2017 with a group of 6 age from 21 to 35 years. 2 people have hypertension problem among them. I wanted to know will it be safe to travel at this height. We are planning Mumbai -chandigarh flight,chandigarh -manali bus, manali -leh rent a vehicle. Please can you guide on where to stay and how to plan the trip in these many days. Can you also guide whether we should pre book the vehicle or go to manali and then look into it? Thanks in advance.

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi with stopovers at Sarchu, Manali. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about 10 days. 1 Day can be used as Day trip to Pangong Tso and other day can be used as day trip to Nubra Valley or just Khardung La pass.

      Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

  26. I would be interested in some feedback on my plan below please.

    18th June: Arrive Dehli
    19th June: Dehli > Shimla (354 km 7 hrs)
    20th June: Shimla > Manali (250 km 6 hrs)
    21st June: Manali > Keylong (128 km) ** Rohtang Pass
    22nd June: Keylong > Sarchu (111 km)
    23rd June: Sarchu > Leh (265 km)** Zingzingbar Highest
    24th June: Leh > Kargil (5-6 hrs)
    25th June: Kargil > Srinagar (3-4 hrs)
    26th June: Srinagar > Jammu (7 hrs)
    27th June: Jammu > Dehli (9 Hrs) ** Return Motorcycle
    28th June: Dehli (Express Train from Delhi to Agra Taj Mahal RETURN)
    29th June: **** Contingency day ****
    30th June: Fly Dehli to Nepal Kathmandu
    1st July: Nepal
    2nd July: Nepal
    3rd July: Nepal
    4th July: Nepal
    5th July: Fly Australia (Thailand for Koh)

    • Hey James,

      Well, plan looks OK but if you will do it from the other side, it will make more sense. I mean enter from Srinagar side and exit from Manali side. Also, It will be much better that you skip the Shimla as it is nothing but concrete jungle in comparison to what you will see in rest of the journey. Use that day to make a day trip to Khardung La pass and use your contingency day to rest in Leh after reaching from Kargil. Times, don’t go by what you have mentioned it will take more what you have mentioned there.

  27. Hi Dheeraj

    Your article on Manali Leh highway is thorough and answers all the questions.
    Too bad it is not open in March – we were planning to go to Keylong.

  28. Bhaskar Roy on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I have a plan to visit Ladakh by this year September.

    My route will be like below:

    Day 1 : Manali – Keylong
    Day 2 : Keylong Sightseeing & travel upto Jispa
    Day 3 : Jispa – Leh
    Day 4 : Leh Sight seeing
    Day 5 : Leh – Nubra
    Day 6 : Nubra Sight seeing
    Day 7 : Nubra – Pangong
    Day 8 : Pangong – Leh
    Day 9 : Leh – Tsomoriri
    Day 10 : Tsomoriri – Leh
    Day 11 : Leh – Lamayuru
    Day 12 : Lamayuru – Leh
    Day 13 : Leaving Leh by flight

    Want to hire exclusive Xylo for the entire tour. What should be the cost for Car [including cost for driver, inter state toll / permit etc].

    Please advice.


    • As per the taxi union rates of year 2016-17 ( following is the break up
      Srinagar – Leh in 2 days = 18400
      Leh Local sightseeing = 2500-3000
      Leh – Nubra Valley 2 Day = 10566
      Leh – Pangong Tso 2 Day = 10301
      Leh – Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Sarchu – Manali 2-3 days = 29056
      Leh – Manali 2 Days = 21588
      Leh – Pangong Tso 1 Day = 8653
      Leh – Nubra Valley 1 Day = 8053
      You can usually get about 10-15% discount on these taxi rates after getting in touch with the driver directly.

      • Bhaskar Roy on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for your reply. Please let me know, if I need any special permit to travel through the below route.

        Day 1 : Manali – Keylong
        Day 2 : Keylong Sightseeing & travel upto Jispa
        Day 3 : Jispa – Leh
        Day 4 : Leh Sight seeing
        Day 5 : Leh – Nubra
        Day 6 : Nubra Sight seeing
        Day 7 : Nubra – Pangong
        Day 8 : Pangong – Leh
        Day 9 : Leh – Tsomoriri
        Day 10 : Tsomoriri – Leh
        Day 11 : Leh – Lamayuru
        Day 12 : Lamayuru – Leh
        Day 13 : Leaving Leh by flight

        I am Indian citizen and will carry my photo identity card [adhar & passport] with me. Tell me if anything more is required.


        • Bhaskar, in case you are traveling by road in your own car from Manali side, then well you need permit but I see you flying out of Leh so assuming you are traveling by taxi or other means, you will not need any permits.

  29. Guru Dutt Sharma on

    Hi Dhiraj,

    Your Blog is wonderful.

    We are planning a family trip to by our own SUV to Delhi-Manali-Leh and back by the same route between 20 April to 03 May 17.

    We are parents to 16 and 20 years old kids. Also, our 2 years old PUG would be accompanying us.

    Duration is 14 days(02 weeks)

    Kindly suggest us the itinerary.

    with warm regards


  30. Srijan Mukherjee on

    Hi !!,

    we are planning a 15 day trip from delhi-rampur bushahr-kaza-zingzing-leh-kargil-srinagar-patnitop-ludhiana-delhi in august this year. Mode of transport in bikes.

    few questions:
    1. possibility of doing kaza to zing zing in 10-12 hours ?
    2. can we find places to stay at zing zing ??
    3. possibility of doing zing zing to leh in 10-12 hours ?

    let me know your email address, can share the detailed itinerary as well.


    • Hi Srijan,

      1. In 12 Hrs, you should be able to hit Zing Zing Bar from Kaza but I will suggest to stop at Jispa
      2. There are only dhabha dorm tents available at Zing zing bar, no other accommodation
      3. Jispa to Leh can be done in 12 hrs.

      • Thanks for the quick input Dheeraj. Ok, another quick question. How about rampur bushahr to kaza, looks good on paper in 10-12 hours with stops but what does your experience say??


        • Srijan, for sure Kaza to Rampur is a long and tiring ride/drive owing to the bad roads and you will just be rushing. With stops it will be 12+ hrs of drive only. If you say possible, I will say yes but for sure tiring.

  31. Jyoti Rameja on

    Hey Dheeraj, thank you for oyur valuable insights on the manali-leh road trip. Me and my husband have booked the tickets from mumbai to leh from 27th may – 2nd june. Although we have booked our flight tickets from mumbai to leh. But we are of the opinion of travelling from Leh to Manali by road. By halting at Sarchu. Could you please help me with deatils of how to take this trip from Leh to Manali to Delhi By Road. It would be of great help if you could provide me the some contact details for taxis or buses(mode of public transport).
    Awaiting Eagerly for your expert advice! 🙂

    • Hi Jyoti,

      Unfortunately, you do not have enough time to make Ladakh trip as well as do Manali – Leh journey. With just 6 days in hand, two days will be just for acclimatization and rest in Leh when you land by flight. Then you should be doing sightseeing as well in Ladakh. Leh to Chandigarh via MAnali – Leh Highway will take about 3 days of road journey, so you will not have enough days for sightseeing in Ladakh in such a case. Also, Manali – Leh Highway opens by last week of May and first week of June, so it is touch and go with respect to your dates as well.


  32. Thanks for the very useful post.

    We have come up with the itinerary based on your inputs.
    We are 9 ppl with 2 kids (aged 3yrs and 2.5yrs) travelling from Srinagar to Leh to Manali to Chandigarh in the month of May. We will reach Srinagar airport around 3pm. Please do let us know if this is feasible.

    Hire a TT to drop us at Leh
    Day 1: Srinagar (Start at 4pm) to Kargil
    Day 2: Next day – Kargil – Leh
    Day 3 and Day 4: Hire a local TT to roam around Leh for 2 days
    Day 5 : Leh to Manali
    Day 6 and Day 7 : Manali sight seeing
    Day 8: to Chandigarh airport

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ashok, I will highly not recommend taking Manali – Leh Highway that time of the year with kids and family. More or less it will be closed but even if it is open, DO NOT take this trip.

      Also, considering kids and family and large group, your plan is too hectic nad it will be very taxing on them. The journey is not a leisure journey, so please consider before making such a trip.

      Also read: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies

      Even if you make the trip, you must fly out of Leh to save some days for rest in Ladakh

  33. Nice blog Dheeraj, well explained and covered almost everyting

    Could you shed some light on how likely is it that my bike’s tyres would get punctured or fuel run out cuz these are the scariest scenarios for me and I want to clear my head around these issues before planing for rest of the things.

    PS – I would def plan to keep extra fuel but want to know if i tank up at manali would my fuel run out before tandi.


    • Vaibhav, puncture is the main issue and you must plan for it. You must carry foam based solutions with you which can buy you time and help in not being stuck in the middle of no where.

      Petrol, you can still work out after carrying some extra. Black fuel is available almost at each small dhabha settlements, so in worst case you end up buy that to save yourself reach Leh or Tandi. In most case it is not required unless you do Leh to Tso moriri to Manali direclty. This should help you: Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      • Hello Dheeraj
        This blog is really informative for us. I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh. We are planning a tour from manali to leh to Srinagar in September 2017. But I m worried about the situation of kashmir. Is there foreigners are allowed at this time? Please ensure me about it.

        • Things have settled quite a lot in Kashmir as compared to the season season this year. You should be OK else you can follow the Manali – Leh route only

  34. Hey dheeraj thanks a lot for giving such a detail description ur post will be my commandment for planning my journey
    First of all I would like u to know about us we are group of six guys aged between 29 to 36 and married(do we need to say something more)go for a road trip once every year in our scorpio this year july 2016 we went to manali and rohtang from delhi we started at 12.00 am in the night and reached manali in 13 hours we are 3 good drivers in the group and next day we went to rohtang pass and we reached there in 2.5 hours after wasting around half an hour at permit and one of the nullah were we took some photos
    Now coming to point we are planning to go to leh from delhi next year june end 2017 what we are planning that we start one hour early like 11.00 in the night and reach manali by 11.00 in the morning since we need waste any time in photos and selfies as it has already been done this year and than we continue till keylong before 5 evening on day 1 , I know it will be hectic but we can save 1 day from our 7 day trip than on day 2 keylong to leh starting early in morning 5.00 am reach leh by evening adjust there and local sighseeing on day 3 than day 4 and day 5 your recommendations like some famous lake I dont remember the name than back on day 6 reach keylong night stay and than day 7 keylong to manali to delhi .. now u guide me how much is this feasable and if take 3 days while going than we get only 2 days in leh so please guide us and we have 3 driver all who have travelled and driven a lot..

      • It is not at all recommended that you continue driving over Rohtang Pass and sleep at Keylong at your first night. It will make you all vulnerable to AMS which can cause serious issues over Manali – Leh Highway. Hence, keep two days to reach KEylong with overnight halt at Solang. Then next day leave for Leh at 5 AM from either Keylong or Jispa. Then, one day complete rest in Leh. This makes it 4 days for you without seeing anything in Ladakh. Now on 5th day, go over as day trip to Khardung La pass, Day 6, go over as day trip to Pangong Tso lake and while comping back go towards Manali and sleep at Upshi. Day 7 start the journey back to Manali from Upshi and you can reach Sissu or Khoksar if you start at 5 AM from Upshi by 7 PM. Day 8 from Sissu/Khoksar go over Rohtang Pass and reach Delhi without stopping at Manali

    • It is not at all recommended that you continue driving over Rohtang Pass and sleep at Keylong at your first night. It will make you all vulnerable to AMS which can cause serious issues over Manali – Leh Highway. Hence, keep two days to reach KEylong with overnight halt at Solang. Then next day leave for Leh at 5 AM from either Keylong or Jispa. Then, one day complete rest in Leh. This makes it 4 days for you without seeing anything in Ladakh. Now on 5th day, go over as day trip to Khardung La pass, Day 6, go over as day trip to Pangong Tso lake and while comping back go towards Manali and sleep at Upshi. Day 7 start the journey back to Manali from Upshi and you can reach Sissu or Khoksar if you start at 5 AM from Upshi by 7 PM. Day 8 from Sissu/Khoksar go over Rohtang Pass and reach Delhi without stopping at Manali

  35. hello, i am about be the weirdest person on the planet please bear me.
    i wanna go for a manali-leh walk trip nor bike nor bus or anything but i am not able to plan properly sometimes it’s the issue of food and sometimes it’s about the altitude sickness if not i occurred to the biggest problem for this trip is WATER I’ll be walking for around 500km (with breaks in the middle wherever i get accommodation and pitching tents by myself) if anyone can give me some suggestions, please do help me if you’ve got a idea!

    • Aprameya, dont worry people have asked this to me many times. Now let’s work out few things. How many days do you have in hand, if doing it from Leh to Manali side, is it OK for you? Which month are you planning it?

      • I have plenty of time, so it doesn’t matter, and yes it doesn’t matter Manali to leh or vice versa it’s going to be the same! Any month but ASAP…!

        • Then spend few weeks in Leh and sightseeing in Leh living in high altitude villages for few nights and start your journey from Tso Moriri to Tso Kar to Debring to Pang to Sarchu to Bharatpur to Zingzingbar to Darcha to Keylong – Manali. The moment you reach Darcha, you are out of trouble. You cannot sleep at any high altitude pass and hence you have to go down to base of the pass. Somewhere in the altitude of 4000-4500 shall be fine after you have spent few nights at Tso Moriri lake for acclimatization at that altitude.

          Have you ever done any high altitude trek before? If not, start by some short high altitude treks gradually and see how your body reacts. Then make a call of this months of travel.

  36. Just an update on road condition from Manali towards leh
    Manali – rothang ( good road till uphill of rothang )
    Rothang – kelyong ( absolutely no road, kind of nightmare )
    Kelyong – pang ( except 20-30 km the roads will punish your vehicle )
    Pang – leh ( beautiful road, you can hit easily 60+ )
    * Most of the tents would be closing
    * No water streams to cross through
    * Please carry sufficient warm clothes/thermals.
    * Good stays at jispa

  37. Awesome Blog , got so much of information about leh manali journey. Thats what i am looking for.
    Its not easy to plan a trip like this but after seeing the post i got aware of the things to keep in mind while travelling via manali leh route.
    Thanks for the post..cheers

  38. Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all, thank you for all the valuable information shared here.
    Secondly, as most people here, I am also planning a trip to Ladakh in september, so my plan is like this:
    16 September: Delhi – Leh (by plane, 05:45 – 07:15); rest of the day in Leh for acclimatization and some sightseeing
    17 September: one day trip to Numbra Valley (I know it’s quite short time, but possible in one day if we start at 6am)
    18 September: one day trip to Pangong Lake
    19 September: monasteries around Leh: Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, etc.
    20 September: Leh – Keylong
    21 September: Keylong – Manali
    22 September: Manali (Kulu) – Delhi by plane

    My questions are:
    1. Would you change anything to this schedule?
    2. Do you recommend any particular driver for these days (except 16th of September), or we can arrange locally at the hotel?
    3. If we find a driver, can he arrange the permits on the first day? (16th of September), so we can start traveling the next day, or we have to arrange them ourselves?

    Thank you again…

    • Hi Dan, I think I replied to your other comment but I will suggest again:

      1. You should take complete two days rest and little sightseeing on first two days. Then go for two day trip to Nubra Valley, then a day trip to Pangong Tso and then take the bus to Keylong from Leh and next day reach Manali from Keylong
      2. If you have a group you can get in touch with any driver but in case you planning alone or couple then it is better to rely on shared taxis to thse places on the spot.

      • Hello Dheeraj,

        Thank you for your advice. You didn’t reply to any other comment, because this is the only one I wrote 🙂 It might be another Dan or a similar itinerary 🙂
        Anyway, yes, I will take two days rest. Afterwards I have to vsit Nubra Valey and Pangong Tso in one day (each), because I have no more time. Hope it’s manageable
        Afterwards I will take two more days to get to Kullu, as I have a plane to catch…
        Hope to be able to do it…

        • Hmm, it will be difficult like 12+ Hrs a day each and then arduous journey over Manali – Leh Highway. So, it is very tight schedule I will say.

  39. Hi Dheeraj, Its me again.
    Due to unrest in srinagar, we had to make major changes in our plan, now we have decided to go via manali. So had to bug you again mate. 😐

    Here are the details, which might help you to give us better planning.
    We will reach Delhi on 10th Sept @ 3AM and need to be back to Delhi by 21st 11AM to catch a flight back to blore and we are planning to take flight from leh-Delh on 21st morning,if time is not feasible.

    Few question,

    1.We are thinking of taking a cab/taxi to manali from Delhi airport @ 4AM, do we get a cab from Delhi airport to manali without any fuss and how much would it cost and also what would be the journey time?

    2.Major concern is taking a cab from Manali to Leh along with the Rothang pass permit, we have no idea whom to contact regarding the permit and afraid we might get ripped off.
    We have to take care of cab/taxi booking and permit in the manali on the 10th evening/night only, so that we can leave for Jispa in the early morning. So your inputs are very much needed here.

    3. is it possible to visit Tso Morori while on the way to Leh?

    To include in Itinerary,
    -We are thinking of covering Kargil,Magnetic hills and other near by places to kargil, which we would have visited if we had come from srinagar side. We will be going by rented Bikes . So we need you to include this in the itinerary.

    -We are thinking staying overnight at Pangong lake and Numbar valley(if time allows) and we wouldn’t want to miss out anything which is near by Leh or can be visited from Leh

    So can you please consider all this and give us a Itinerary.

  40. Hi Dheeraj,
    Planning for a Leh trip in mid august. The situation in srinagar doesn’t seem good. So good chances are to take the Manali – Leh -Manali bike ride. Will reach manali 13th morning. Please suggest an itenary for 13th morning to 18th (on which i should be back to manali) for the bike ride. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • With just 5 days not sure it makes sense to make a Ladakh trip.

      Day 1 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
      — It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
      — Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
      — I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
      — Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

      Day 2 | Keylong/Jispa – Leh
      — Leave Keylong/Jispa early next morning, say by 4/5 AM types, so that you reach Leh in the evening.
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 3 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
      — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 4 | Leh – Taglang La – Pang – Sarchu
      — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
      — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

      Day 5 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

    • hey m Mayank here, m traveling whr r u frm and how many ppl r with u??

    • ss…me and my frnd are travelling from 13th august from manali to srinagar via leh.10 days..

    • hey there…
      we will be reaching leh by 11th aug.
      our trip is for 10 days and you may contact me on this no. 9166285328/ 9982241199.


  41. Superb blog. Got so many details from a single post. Thanks for sharing the experience and contact details 🙂


  42. Apoorv Gaur on

    Hey Dheeraj!

    Awesome blog man. I am planning to travel to Ladakh from Manali on 17 July. Many articles & blogs say that travelling on the manali – leh road gets quite tricky during July. Would you recommend traveling on the manali leh road around 17-19 July ? Would it be very risky because of the monsoon ?

    Also are you aware whether if its possible to rent a self drive car from Manali, which can be left at Ladakh , as we want to come back to delhi via plane. Most of the sites I found online, offer taxis from manali to leh, but not self drive cars.

    Thanks so much!

    • Piyush Nagpal on

      Hi Apoorv,

      I am also leaving on 16th from manali to Leh.

      Please call me on 9953646006 so that we can coordinate.


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