How to plan a journey on Manali Leh Highway

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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 KMs out of 474 KMs long Manali Leh Highway, does not have any civilization and hence you would be the only soul wandering on most part of your journey here. Even one cannot find fuel (petrol/diesel) for 365 KMs on Manali – Leh Highway.

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 really want to enjoy Manali – Leh Highway then do it from Leh side. That is travel from Leh to Manali NOT Manali to Leh. This 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. Believe me, mostly due to AMS and its symptoms because 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 you journey at Sarchu which is at an even distance between Manali and Leh and offers a varied amount of accommodation option. Otherwise, you will end up doing Manali – Keylong on one day and push from Keylong to Leh on the second.

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

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 slush dried out, maintenance work almost completed on these roads by BRO but your eyes will be devoid from the snow mostly.

The weather in June is always unpredictable and 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 remains 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 is quite a challenge to dodge, especially with the vehicles having 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 may force you to halt the journey of the day in the middle of nowhere or return back 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 slush is generally created by the constant 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 season, time of travel and weather conditions. However, in general, you will get the idea about 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
  • Zingzing 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

  

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 bike or self-drive to Ladakh by their own car. Some people also prefer to self-drive or self-ride to Ladakh by hiring a bike or car on rental from the cities. In any case, hired car/bike or personal car/bike, 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 prior to the start of this arduous journey in which you will be desolated majority of the time.

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 which may be 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 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 Self drive to Manali – Leh

If you 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 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 slush 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 slush 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, screw driver 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. This 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. They are not allowed to be driven in Leh – Ladakh and 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 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 vehicles are not hired.

Should I hire 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 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 cost.

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 being the highest paid and September – August being the less paid.

On 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 2018 – 19 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
The 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 of 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 2018) 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.

Schedule

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.

Read my detailed article on Manali to Leh Bus Service.

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

HRTC also run 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 was 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 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 are 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 a span of 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 in 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 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, it is important that you 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 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. This option is also taken by many travelers. 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 extremely important 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 a span of 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 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 definitely running a risk of acute mountain sickness (AMS) or some severe headaches or disorientation en-route. This 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 other two to cover Manali – Leh Highway in three days. Definitely, 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 NOT 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 just go with it and you will make your journey on Manali – Leh Highway much more than a memorable experience :).

I guess the comparison of night halts are already done 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 own 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 sleep at some hotel in Solang Valley. This will help your body acclimatize to certain extent on 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 over exertion.
  • 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 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

FAQ on Leh Manali Highway

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.

What is the status of Manali Leh Highway 2018?

You can track Manali Leh Highway 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 (November 2018), Manali Leh Highway is closed due to heavy snowfall.

What is the Manali Leh Highway opening date 2018?

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. Usually, Manali Leh Highway is opened in the last week of May or first week of June, officially.

What are the road conditions on Manali Leh Highway?

As of 2018, 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 has been 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 comfort pace now a days.

Fuel or Petrol Pump on Manali – Leh Highway

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

ATM on Manali – Leh Highway

Do carry enough cash money 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.

Places to Visit 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 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, Gondla, 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.
Vodafone did not work for us at all after crossing Marhi and not even in Leh -Ladakh.
Packet data also works upto Keylong and in Leh packet data is available only with BSNL edge.
Prepaid connections do not work in Leh – Ladakh.
Fixed PhonesKeylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
ElectricitySissu, Gondla, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
Medical FacilitiesSissu, Keylong but Sarchu, Pang has army camps
ATMsKeylong
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
As we passed the Surajtal near Baralacha La Pass
As we passed the Surajtal near Baralacha La Pass (Photo by Kanishka)

Article Last Updated on 3rd November 2018

Conclusion

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 this dangerous yet beautiful roads of the world.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Manali Leh Highway, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable trip on Manali – Leh road.

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About Author

Helping travelers, backpackers & tourists in planning memorable trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, Responsibly and Economically. I am in love with Spreading Smiles in the Himalayas through DoW Causes. You can read more about me in detail by checking out About Me section from the main menu.

817 Comments

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

  2. Hey guys, hey DHEERAJ SHARMA! 🙂

    I am planning to do this route in 2 or 3 days (havent decided yet)
    I am gonna to leave Delhi on the 7th or 8th of August 2016. iS there anyone who would like to join me ??

    The dream would be to drive it with my own car and stop everywhere!
    But for now… I have to do it probably with a bus

    Dam!!

    Ola

    • Ola, you should check DoW Travel Calendar if you are looking for travel partners. If you are going by bus, especially HPTDC, many tourists will already be there in the bus to travel with you.

      • Thanks for replay!
        Where is the best place to stay overnight to avoid hight attitude sicness??
        Keylong seems to be located to low and Sarchu too high. Anything between?

  3. We are 5 friends
    Can we come by swift ??
    What about route conditions of jammu to leh or manali to leh?
    We have 10 days.

  4. Ishu Malya on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    I have read the post and comments mentioned above ,still i have some queries
    I am a female 29 want to travel alone to Leh trip-please suggest what is best way to plan keeping security and fun in mind.

    I can also plan for few more friends but not confirmed hence i am planning alone.
    I am planning in the month of sept early ( for ten day )
    I will travel from Bangalore

    • You should consider to travel with HPTDC bus of Manali to Leh and back. Then, You are alone/couple and private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are 🙂

    • vineet rungta on

      If you are interested in Leh trip by bike one side(Manali-Leh, Leh -Delhi by Air ). I f you want we can together make a plan.

  5. we are 3 guys going on 25th june . i have 2 questions

    1. will xuv500 be a good option on the route.
    2. shud we prefer manali route for going or srinagar route while going or coming back?

    • Shraddha aggrawal on

      Hi dheeraj
      This is shraddha and i am planning a trip to leh with all of my family including my grandparents and cousions … So i had certain queries
      First of all being a punjabi family i dnt think anybody is fit enough soo is it okay for everone to travel to leh… And wat wid u suggest satying overnight at jispa or sarchu

      • Shraddha, well, you should seriously plan to go from Srinagar side and come back from Manali side especially with your grand parents on the trip. 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.

        You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

        For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.

  6. hello dheeraj ji

    i am plan to travel manali to leh by bike but bike owner is my friend, they have not travel with me, please you suggest to me :-
    1. why ? i am travel other owner bike
    2. yes, document formalities .
    3. any permit query . related to bike

  7. hello dheeraj ji
    we are 2friends toplaning to visit leh ladhak by own. EON car HR.N. We have plane to go on 05/06 june 2016 from manali to leh
    my question is this date malini leh highway open?
    Any other formalities req. for hr. no. vehicle.
    Rohtang Pass Green tax as applicable
    Most popular visiting place.
    REq. Items.
    Approximately Budget.
    Road Conditions, my tour are complete with in 7 Days

    • Manali – Leh is already open yesterday unofficially. You need to get Rohtang Pass permit from SDM office as it is not yet available online. 7 days is less, you need at least 9-10 days for hectic tour.

    • Satish Gupta on

      hello dheeraj ji,

      I am planning with my family (02 kids 3, and 09 years). to visit Manali & leh ladhak as per below schedule.

      11 June Leaving from Delhi to Manali.
      12 June one day stay at Manali.
      13 June leh ladhak by hiring local taxi, with night stay at Jispa.
      14 June we will reach at leh ladhak and will spend three days there.
      19 June I will take flight from Leh to Delhi.

      Please confirm if this schedule is OK or you can help us on same. please also help us to estimate cost of this package for Travelling + accomodation.

      Seconly Manali to leh OR Manali to Kaza which will be best option. I am travelling first time to both places.

      • Plan looks fine but you may not be able to see things in Ladakh. Also, with small kids doing Manali – Leh can be tricky what I personally feel and that too early in the season.

    • We are two friends as well planning for leh in next week karam veer and we are from faridabad ! So if you want we all 4 together can make a plan !

  8. We are a 3 girls travelling from Delhi to Leh via Manali route. We’ll start from Delhi on 2nd June.
    Couple of things we wanted to know
    1. Is the Manali – Leh highway open
    2. In case we are hiring a taxi/ cab do we need to take route permits or the taxi provider usually takes care of these things
    3. Anyone interested in sharing a cab/ taxi from Manali – Leh?

    Thanks 🙂

    • 1. No Manali leh is not open yet, expected to open by first week of June
      2. Yes, the taxi will need the permit to cross Rohtang pass
      3. You can check DoW Travel Calendar from the main menu

    • we are a couple leaving for leh from manali on 31 st may we can do sharing unto leh

      pls call 9899800330

      vimal

    • Hye.
      1. Manali leh highway is open now as you can check the status from the leh official site.
      Secondly,we r also going to leh from manali on 3 june in a grp of boys and girls ,you can join us

      For any further communication.
      Note my id – [email protected]

    • You are three and we are two friends planning exactly for the 3rd June ! We are not taking our car instead we are intrested in hiring a taxi so if you think we can share our taxi then please let me know !

  9. Massive respect for your brilliant blog,
    We are planning a trip starting 3rd June, ending 11th June. Manali – Leh – Manali.
    Is it the right time for a bike trip ? If not , Could you please suggest how to complete this trip ? during this time. As we have booked all the tickets 🙁 and have taken leave to complete this dream.

    Appreciate your help!

    • Thank you David. I will suggest that you push your dates by couple of weeks and allow Manali – Leh to settle down. Or start from Srinagar side and come back from Manali side. Also, 9 days is very less time for Ladakh trip.

      • Thanks for your reply. Our bad we have a solid constraint on the dates.
        We will be reaching Manali on June 2nd and have to head back to Manali on June 11th.

        Do you think the bike trip during this period, is viable at all ?

        If not could you please suggest the most suitable mode of transportation during this time?

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization.

      • Thank’s for the info, Dheeraj.

        Our aim/dream is to have a bike trip from Manali – Leh – Manali.
        How feasible would it be for us to drive during the first week of June ?

      • hi Dheeraj,

        Could you please let us know, how feasible would it be for us to drive a bike during the first week of June ?

  10. Hi,

    Me and my friends are planing a trip to leh via the Manali-Leh highway starting from 30th may 2016 to 10th of june 2016. As per your articles and my research i think the highway would be open by this time . But still i want to make sure is this a good time to start the trip?

    • Hey Ashish

      Are you guys going ? We are planning a trip for the same starting 3rd June from Manali. Is it the right time to go ?

      • Dibyendu Das on

        hi, I am Dibyendu Das ,we are 3 persons (my wife,son and me) want to manali to leh. we are join to your trip if you want to us. please call me how many cost the trip. which time you start go and which date you will back ? My best time is end on May,2016 and back on 10th June,2016. Please send reply our mail : [email protected]

  11. Vikash gupta on

    Hi dheeraj ,we r planning to go to leh on 9th july to 20 july from Chandigarh via manali on bike (bullet or avenger)..but m little worried about mountain sickness .so please suggest me the best plan for the road trip and how to get over mountain sickness .

  12. DIVYAJYOTI HOTA on

    Hi all,
    We are planning a trip to Leh starting from odisha. We would be requiring the service of a experienced Ladakhi driver ( only ) having a fare bit of experience in manali – leh- kargil- Srinagar – Jammu route. He may join us from Chandigarh and drop us in Jammu after a round trip. The approximate time would be for 6 days.

    Anybody who knows a driver of aforesaid condition, please let us know. My contact is given below.

    Regds
    Divyajyoti Hota
    mail – [email protected]
    Cell – 8908360072

    • It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have about just 6 days?

  13. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am bit confused regarding going to Tso-Moriri directly from Sarchu and then to Pangong tso and then Leh. as I dont know the availability of Petrol Pump.

    Day1 Chandigarh- Manali (Night stay @ Manali)
    Day2 Manali (Night stay @ Manali)
    Day3 Manali-Sarchu (Night stay @ Sarchu)
    Day4 Sarchu-Tso Moriri (Night stay @ Rso-Moriri)
    Day5 Tso Moriri- Pangong So (Night stay @ Pangong)
    Day6 Pangong So- Leh (Night stay @ Leh)
    Day7 Leh (Night stay @ Leh)
    Day8 Leh- Nubra (Night stay @ Nibra)
    Day9 Nubra -Leh (Night stay @ Leh)
    Day10 Leh (Night stay @ Leh)
    Day11 Leh- Kargil (Night stay @ Kargil)
    Day12 Kargil- Srinagar (Night stay @ Srinagar)
    Day13 Srinagar (Night stay @ Srinagar)
    Day14 Srinagar-Patnitop (Night stay @ Patnitop)
    Day15 Jammu- Delhi Train @night

    Let me know if my itinerary is ok.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Viraj

  14. We am planning to visit Ladakh via Manali-Leh highway from 25th June to 9th July by Bullet Classic 350.

    Below is my itinerary.

    I am bit confused regarding going to Tso-Moriri directly from Sarchu and then to Pangong tso and then Leh. as I dont know the availability of Petrol Pump.

    Date Night stay @ Brief Itinerary
    25th june Manali Chandigarh- Manali
    26th june Manali Manali
    27th june Sarchu Manali-Sarchu
    28th june Tso Moriri Sarchu-Tso Moriri
    29th june Pangong So Tso Moriri- Pangong So
    30th june Leh Pangong So- Leh
    1st july Leh Leh
    2nd july Nubra Leh- Nubra
    3rd july Leh Nubra -Leh
    4th july Leh Leh
    5th july Kargil Leh- Kargil
    6th july Srinagar Kargil- Srinagar
    7th july Srinagar Srinagar
    8th july patnitop srinagar-Patnitop
    9th july Train journey Jammu- Delhi Train

    Let me know if my itinerary is ok.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Viraj

  15. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am travelling to Manali with family (3 kids 6,7 and 10 years). I will be in Manal from may 6 to May 9th. I am planning for a trip to Balaracha la pass by taking a night stay in keylong – and return back to manali the second day. Is this a good plan?

    • Jinu, yes you can give an attempt or at least go over to Jispa/Keylong. Stay at Jispa instead of Keylong as it is more close to nature.

  16. Nakul goenka on

    Hii
    I and my friends were planning to travel to leh this august that is 2016 by a car,

    i had few questions about manali-leh route i will be very thankful if you can help

    1. we are hiring a self drive cab for our trip so do we need any permits to travel from manali to leh, and if yes where can we get those permits?

    2. If we start early, say 3 am is it possible to reach leh same day or we have to stay at some place in between?

    thank you hoping for your earliest reply

    Thank you

    • Hello Nakul,

      1. You will need permits for Rohtang PAss: How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Online

      2. Best is not to do it and commit this mistake. You should take a night halt at Jispa and then next day leave at 5 AM to reach LEh by evening. Keeping in mind that acclimatization is the key to success of LAdakh trip. IF you oversee it, it can easily be a misadventure of life.

  17. hridhant soni on

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE GUIDANCE…AND I WANTED TO ASK THAT IF I GO TO MANALI FIRST AND THAN RENT A BIKE FROM THERE…THAN WOULD THAT BE POSSIBLE TO GO TO LEH FROM MANALI?..WILL THAT BE SAFE?…IF NOT THAN WHICH OTHER ROUTE SHOULD I PREFER…AND WILL THE ROADS GET CLEAR BY THE MID OF JUNE?

    • You can rent the bike from Manali but only to reach Leh. Then once you reach Leh, you will need to hire local Ladakh bike again. Roads will be clear by mid of June.

      • Yogesh Dua on

        Hello Dheeraj…
        According to me manali leh highway will be opened by late April. ..
        After so many years, the volume of snow in manali leh highway is so less…
        I went to rohtang pass in the starting of this month and according to B.R.O., they will be able to open it by April end.

        • Yogesh, there have been 2 spells of heavy snowfall this month already, the clearance operations were all on hold. Rohtang was expected to open by mid of March this year breaking all BUT weather had the last say. Rohtang Pass is expected to open around mid of April now. So, I do not expect at all that rest of the 4 passes will within 15 days.

  18. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for all the articles. After reading your blogs, We are planning for a trip to Leh. This will be our first trip but not sure what would be the best itinerary.

    We have only 10 days and wants to do manali-leh highway with rented bikes. Could you please suggest what is best for us.We are planning to travel by bus from delhi to manali and then with bikes.

    Also we are thinking to reach leh from delhi via manali by Innova. And there we can hire bikes to roam around ladakh for 2 days and then come back with our innova. Would this be feasible? or Travelling with innova on manali-leh highway is enjoyable as compared with rented bikes?

    • Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      This year as per reports, rule is going to be stricter. Manali rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of the bike. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      The one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not or if at all it is worth the money spent. My suggestion is unless you are hard core biker and cannot live up the passion of biking, it is not wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike.

      I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

      It will take 4 days to reach Leh from Srinagar side starting from Delhi and 3 days to come back from Leh from Manali side to Delhi. 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.

  19. hridhant soni on

    hi dheeraj…i saw the news of manali-leh highway opening a liitle soon this time…I am planing for a bike trip to leh say in june most probably…And i have never travelled so long on bike…Maybe my love for nature is giving me this unresistable urge to travel to leh…can u please suggest me the preferable and safe route…And what can be the rent of bullet if i rent it from manali?…and would it be prefarable if i set up a tent in the middle of manali leh highway…I would prefer to stay in the lap of mother nature rather than staying in some hotel…Can u please guide me with all this things?…it would be a big help for me…and even give me some suggestion from your side as it is my trip…thank you

    • hridhant soni on

      And yes one more thing i almost forgot…what can be the minimum expense for this trip if i am planing for 20 days…5 day stay in leh and other days in manali and surrounding
      (including bike rent and petrol expense etc)….

    • Hello Hridhant,

      Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      This year as per reports, rule is going to be stricter. Manali rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of the bike. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      The one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not or if at all it is worth the money spent. My suggestion is unless you are hard core biker and cannot live up the passion of biking, it is not wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike.

      I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

      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.

  20. Dear Dheeraj,

    As suggested by you we will be driving thru Spiti from Shimla, it will be a ten day tour and will end at Chandratal on July 18th.After this can we get back via Keylong/Leh/Srinagar/Chandigarh rather than rothang/Manali/Chandigarh. Number of days is not a problem, just wanted to know if its too taxing,

    Regards,

    Ravi Benne

    • Yes Ravi, you can surely return from that route as well. Here is what you can follow and may skip at your need:

      Day 11 | Chandratal – Jispa / Keylong, leave early in the day
      Day 12 | 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 13 | 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 14 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
      — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
      — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
      — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

      Day 15 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
      — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 16 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
      — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

      Day 17 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 18 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
      — Cover Karzok Monastery
      — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
       
      Day 19 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
      — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 20 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 21 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
      — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
      — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
      — Overnight at Kargil

      Day 22 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
      — Enjoy the vistas enroute
      — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
      — Overnight at Srinagar

      Day 23 | Srinagar – Jammu
      — Overnight at Jammu

      Day 24 | Jammu – Ambala – Delhi
      — Back Home

      • Dear Dheeraj,

        Many thanks for your immediate reply, much appreciated. Two questions – can we do Tso Moriri from Jispa enroute to Leh, and what is the mileage I can expect in these terrains, I will be driving my recently bought Pajero Sport Automatic(2WD), on highways its giving 10kms/lt and 8.5kms in city,

        Regards,

        Ravi Benne

        • No Ravi, doing Tso Moriri from Jispa is not recommended as it is high altitude lake and your body will not be acclimatized at all to sleep that early at Tso Moriri. Other way round is still holds true as after being in Ladakh, the body adapts to the high altitude after doing all the sightseeing in Ladakh. Regarding mileage, consider about 30% drop.

  21. Hi Dheeraj,
    I’m visiting India in August and would like to do Manali-Leh-Ladakh on motorbike. Can you suggest any agency that offers group travels and bikes. And is it best time to visit these places. The only reason I am choosing agency is coz I don’t have bike in India now. Do you suggest going without any agency?
    Thanks

    • Theja, you can surely go without the agency too. You should be able to get the bike on rent in Manali without it as well. You can ride that bike up to Leh and then from there you can hire a local Leh bike for sightseeing in Ladakh after parking manali bike in hotel. Then you can return the Manali bike once you reach back to Manali from it.

  22. Hello , Thanks for all the information. I am planning for Ladakh this year (aug/sep). My initial plan is Chandigarh–>Manali–>Leh–>(Nubra+Pangong+Tso moriri+Hemis & Thikse)–>Leh–>Srinagar–>Jammu–>back to my home. I will have budget around 30k (Manali–>Leh–>Jammu , excluding my train fare) and time span : 14-15 days (excluding my train journey). Now please suggest me in bit details that what my plan should be as per you (keeping those facts : my budget , time span and being solo) .

    • Hi Subhro,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

      You should check: Top 10 Tips for a Solo Trip to Ladakh or Spiti Valley

      • Alright. I will go for Srinagar-Leh highway and will also try to follow your itinerary .Now please enlighten me about the cars which i should take from Srinagar or Jammu to reach Leh. Actually I had plan to take shared taxi but as you said that the journey wont be comfortable at all in shared taxis , i got confused about cars. Which travel mode i should take ? Bus ? or is it possible to get a group and hire a car ? If yes then how ? And after reaching Leh should i contact some agent or guide to go for some further destinations like Nubra , Pangong ?Here is also my same question about travel mode . Which i should take : shared taxi, bus or hire a car by joining some group or few people?

        • Hello Subhro,

          For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2016 – 17 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 12-15% of discount by directly getting in touch with drivers and of course, talking in person rather on phone always help in bargaining more.
          While going from Srinagar to Leh, you might need to work out few things as there have been some tensions now in taxi unions and to settle it out what they have done is that they have a transit point just before Fotu La while going to Leh from Kargil. All Leh taxis stop there and kargil taxis too. They exchange passengers and move back in respective directions. Leh taxis take passengers to Leh coming from Srinagar/Kargil and Kargil guys take passengers to Srinagar/kargil coming from Leh

          Try to get a group formed, may be post or find travel partners through travel calendar from the menu of the site.

          private taxis are very costly in Leh but you will be able to find the shared taxi without much fuss at all. There are lots of flyers which people put at cafes, dine-ins, restaurants, travel agent desks/shops/whiteboards wanting to share the taxis for different trips within Ladakh. Even travel agent organize such shared taxis trip as well but charge a little higher about Rs 200-300 more than it would ideally cost. So, in worst case you can always go back to them and book a seat for yourself. Gelling up with people in Ladakh is more or less easy because many people travel solo and look forward to meet new people and share cultural thoughts and values over the trip. No where else in the world you will find more smiling and helpful people as Ladakhis are 🙂

  23. Hi Dheeraj (wiki of Himalayas)

    Thanks alot for all info you providing, you are doing a great job. respect \O/

    I just wanted to know, is there any AMS problem to stay at SARCHU/PANG if we are coming from srinagar-leh highway?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Adnan

    • Thank you so much Adnan. If you come from Srinagar side and then do whole ladakh stay at places overnight at Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, mostly the body adapts to high altitude and you do good at Sarchu and Pang. Chances of getting hit with AMS on return are very very very slim but not 0 🙂

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your reply,
        Based on info and rough itinerary you provided, i have finalized my own itinerary with following dates.
        Please review it and give your valueable feedbacks.

        Our Itinerary (15days) Ghaziabad-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Ghaziabad
        Day 1: 29th May (Ghaziabad-Jammu)
        • Overnight at Jammu

        Day 2: 30th May (Jammu-Srinagar)
        • Can we cover Local sightseeing in Srinagar at same day (Dal lake/Shikara ride)
        • Overnight at Srinagar

        Day 3: 31st May (Srinagar-Sonamarg-Zozi La-Drass-Kargil)
        • Overnight at Kargil

        Day 4: 1st June (Kargil via foti la-Lamayuru-Leh
        • Can we Cover these Places (Magnetic Hills, Pather sahib Gurudwara, Mulbekh maitrey, Lunar landscapes, Lamayuru monastery & Confluence at Nimmu) at same day, and if not then what your prefer.
        • Overnight at Leh

        Day 5: 2nd June (Leh-Khardung La-Diskit-Hundar)
        • Can we cover Diskit monasteries and hundar bactrian camel safari in sand dunes at the same day?
        • Overnight at Hundar (ie. Snow leopard guest house)

        Day 6: 3rd June (Hundar-Turtuk-TYAKSHI-Hundar)
        • Overnight at Hundar

        Day 7: 4th June (Hundar-Sumur-Panamik-Sumur-Khardugla-Leh)
        • Can we cover Sumur monastery and Panamik hot water springs on same day?
        • Overnight at Leh

        Day 8: 5th june (Leh local sightseeing)
        • Cover places (Shanti stupa, Hall of fame, Hamis, Shey, alchi and Thiksey Monasteries)

        Day 9: 6th June (Leh-Karu-Changla-Pangong Tso lake)
        • Overnight at pangong Tso lake

        Day 10: 7th June (Pangong-Changla-Karu-Upshi)
        • Overnight at Upshi

        Day 11: 8th June (Upshi-chumathang-Mahe-Sumdo-Tso Moriri)
        • Overnight at Tso Moriri (Tented accommodation)
        • we will carry extra fuel for 550 kms from KAARU before Start
        • can we cover Karzok monastery at the same day?

        Day 12: 9th June (Tso Moriri-Sumdo-Tso Kar-Moore plains-Pang)
        • Overnight at Pang

        Day 13: 10th June (Pang-Lachangla-Sarchu-Baralacha la-Jispa)
        • Overnight at Jispa

        Day 14: 11th June (Jispa-Keylong-Tandi-Rohtang La-Manali)
        • Overnight at Manali

        Day 15: 12th June (Manali-Delhi)

        thanks,

        best regards,
        Adnan

        • Adnan, most part looks good to go for me JUST please keep the rest day in Leh before you leave for Nubra Valley s that you have some acclimatization before climbing Khardung La

        • Hey thanks,
          One more question
          I know i m questioning like a kid, ok here it is

          If i will go with this itinerary, i will miss tanglang la, and if i will cover tanglang la
          I will miss tso moriri…
          Which one u prefer?

          Best regards,
          Adnan

        • I will prefer Tso Moriri over Taglang pass. If you have time on hand, you can take the route to Taglang back from Debring (where Tso Kar route meets Manali – Leh) and then come back to stay at Pang. Sarchu might get 1 Hr far in this way.

        • you mean we can cover this route (Tso moriri – tanglang la – pang) in one day, it is around 210 kms

        • Yes Adnan, you can do so. I am talking about, you start from Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring – Taglang La – Debring (back again) – Pang – Sarchu. You will need to come back to Debring from Taglang La.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Again i am here to take your expert advise.

        I read the update that leh-manali highway is still closed.

        As per my itinerary, i will coming back from upshi to tso moriri on 7th june.
        tso moriri to pang on 8th june
        pang to manali on 9th june.

        What is your thought, manali to leh highway will be operational by then?

        Thanks,

        Best regards,
        Adnan

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    Massive respect for your brilliant blog, and the amount of information you’ve obtained. My friends and I are trying to create a custom itinerary of Manali-Spiti-(Keylong/Zinging)- (if possible Tsomo riri)-Leh in mid-June

    Would this be feasible across a 5-6 day period? And do local travel agencies support such a customer itinerary?

    Thanks
    Tauseef

    • Ahmed, Tso MOriri is out of context here. You want Manali – Spiti or Manali – Lahaul? Keylong/Zingzing bar are in Lahaul not Spiti. With just 6 days in hand from Manali you can do something like below:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of 28 and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Chandratal
      Day 5 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 6 : Chill around Manali and take evening Volvo
      Day 7 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

      • Thanks Dheeraj!

        What we were planning was to start with Manali-Spiti, then u-turn and do Spiti-Leh
        (Fly back from Leh to Delhi)

        It’s a very long journey, which is why I was asking if such a plan is feasible, and if any tour operators can help us with such a complicated route 🙂

        Would you advise against doing Manali-Spiti and Spiti-Leh in one trip?
        (By car/SUV, with a local driver)

        • Hi Ahmed,

          If you have enough days, you can surely do. I am sharing a tentative plan of entire circuit Delhi – Kinnaur – Spiti – Ladakh – Srinagar – Jammu – Delhi. You can opt to fly from Leh instead coming down to Srinagar and then to Delhi by road.

          Day 1 | Chandigarh/Ambala – Narkanda – Sarahan
          Day 2 | Sarahan – Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul
          Day 3 | Rakcham/Sangla/Chitkul – Nako – Geyu Mummy – Tabo
          Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Pin Valley – Kaza
          Day 5 | Kaza Rest and Local Sightseeing
          — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
          Day 6 | Kaza – Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit – Kaza
          Day 7 | Kaza – Sissu / Keylong, leave early in the day
          Day 8 | 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 9 | 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 10 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Hunder / Diskit
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari

          Day 11 | Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 12 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
          — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)

          Day 13 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 14 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          — Cover Karzok Monastery
          — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri
           
          Day 15 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Taglang La – Upshi – Leh
          — Come back via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 16 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 17 | Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          — Overnight at Kargil

          Day 18 | Kargil – Drass – Zozi La – Sonamarg – Srinagar
          — Enjoy the vistas enroute
          — Have late drunch meal at Sonamarg
          — Overnight at Srinagar

          Day 19 | Srinagar – Jammu
          — Overnight at Jammu

          Day 20 | Jammu – Ambala – Delhi
          — Back Home

        • BTW, you will get all the info. up here even to make any of complex to complex trips, so if you can spare some time to plan your trip and read articles on DoW, you can save good amount of money 🙂

        • This itinerary is amazing, thank you so much!

          Will definitely do so, since we have time till April to plan!

    • Vivek Kumar Srivastava on

      I was visited Spiti like below plan
      Day 1, July 10: Delhi to Manali (Boarded Bus from Majnu ka Teela and left around 7:00 PM)
      Day 2, July 11: Manali to Losar (Reached Manali in the morning of 9:00 AM and left for Losar around 11:00 AM)
      Day 3, July 12: Losar to Tabo (covered Losar, Key, Kibber and Dhankar)
      Day 4, July 13: Tabo to Losar (covered Tabo, Kaza, Komic, and Langza)
      Day 5, July 14: Losar to Chandratal (covered Kunzum Pass, Chandratal Lake)
      Day 6, July 15: Chandratal to Manali (reached Manali around 3:30 PM and boarded bus for Delhi around 5:00 PM)
      Day 7, July 16: Reached Delhi in the morning around 9:00 AM

      • Very starnge to see Losar all over night stays and doing long hops when Kaza seems more practical. Also, the second day I am glad to know that you do not have any health issues of AMS going by the plan in case it would have been caused, you might have been in bad shape. But, anyways good that you were able to make it sound. I am just commenting here so that NO ONE else tries this plan because AMS can be FATAL too at times.

        • Thanks Dheeraj for valid point. Actually, second day I was planned for night stay in Kaza but we were started late from Manali (Delhi to Manali bus was late due to rain) and reached Losar around 9 PM. There was raining too, so we decided to stay at Losar because road was very bad and Losar to Kaza was further 2 hour journey.

          Some of member between us feel little headache; yes I think due to AMS issue. But our driver was very expert and he come with a lot of fruits juice and three dozen water bottle from Manali (Also advised us to drink a lot of water and juice to avoid AMS). I think this advice help us for night stay at Losar.

          In return time, all of us were adjusted with Spiti environment. So night stay at Losar didn’t cause any issue.

        • Good to know that Vivek, glad your driver proved as a true guide and well wisher for you. Had it been otherwise you know what could have been ended up in 🙁 … I just commented because sometimes people read comments and due to pressing time they follow something which might not work for them assuming it worked for someone else. Hence, dont want any of the DoW reader to end up in mess

          Thank you for explaining it, it will help others make a wise call !! Appreciate it.

  25. Hello, Dheeraj. Massive respect to you for maintaining this kind of the blog and replying to comments promptly. I have few suggestion before going into my questions i.e. please can you add right click button so that it will help in opening the multiple tabs in without interrupting the existing page what we are reading., second one please add copy or pdf so we can take printout while going to trip.

    Coming to my queries,
    Basically, I am from Delhi and planning Leh trip somewhere in July end. I would like to make this trip by bike from Chandigarh. This would be my first trip to this Himalayas though I have been to Manali by car from Delhi.
    I am considering my trip from chandigarh>>Manali>>Leh>>Srinagar>>Chandigarh.

    1. Which is the good place/vendor to hire a bike from Chandigarh (if you are aware of any vendor).
    2. I would like to take RE classic only, however, do have any suggestions for Displacement/Capacity/CC of the bike. I am planning by 350 CC. Doe 350 CC will have any issues in terms of pick/performance and all.
    3. Most of the vendors are quoting Rs 1200-1500 for 350CC and 1800Rs for 500CC. is this okay cost? or can I get the even lesser price?
    4. I am planning 14days for an entire trip. do you think it will be sufficient?
    5. how many liters should I carry with bottle apart from filled tank? I am planning not carry extra petrol bottle from Chandigarh to Manali and will fill everything over there and continue the journey.

    Thanks in advance for you suggestions.

    • Hello Shree,

      Thank you for suggestions, I have re-enabled the support for right click now, you should be good with that. The Print/PDF can be done using the vertical buttons on the left that slide with the articles along with other social media icons. There is a button with Printer sign on it, You can click on that to get the print and then say save as PDF to any article.

      1. Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      This year as per reports, rule is going to be stricter. Manali rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of the bike. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      The one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not or if at all it is worth the money spent. My suggestion is unless you are hard core biker and cannot live up the passion of biking, it is not wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike.

      I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

      4. I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

      5. Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      • hi,
        I am not bother about bikes renting at leh. i am bothering about bikes at chandigarh as of now. and CC of the bike. can you throw some light on that.

        • Ok, I am not sure what you will do with bikes rented in Chandigarh which cannot be used in Leh. Anyways, Chandigarh does have few shops where bikes are available on rent though I do not have contact for them. I suggested a link of DoW Comunity about bikes in previous article, you can post under the forum and tag PreetKamal who can help you with some contacts.

          Regarding CC, all depends upon your wit and determination as a rider to complete the trip. Well though it is not required to have more powerful bike like Bullet/RE but always preferable. 100cc might be able to do it as I known people and have read many accounts of it in the past but surely will struggle at some places where it might be required to push manually, especially I believe if you get stuck in some water crossing. DO NOT push the bike beyond its limit in case your stuck rather user your own physical power to get it out. Also, the speed will be slow when you ride near the high mountain passes on a lower cc bike.

        • Thanks dheeraj, as i mentioned i am planning my journey from chandigarh and gonna hire bike from there. Hence i am insisting bikes in chandgarh. Yea, your correct i need to take bikes in leh too. it can be avoided.

  26. The last entry having been made in June, 2015, I am not sure if Dheeraj is still available for answering my query or not. But what I am sure of is that he has written one the best pieces on travel on the Leh-Manali Road. Thank you Dheeraj for that. Reading the article and all the queries and their answers, I now have answers to most of my questions. One nagging doubt still remains.

    I will be driving my Dzire diesel sedan. I am a fairly good driver and have driven to Lahaul valley, Badrinath, Gulmarg etc. and have enjoyed driving on each trip.

    i) How difficult is it to cross nallahs/rivulets in this sedan? There will be 4 passengers including me (not-so-young passengers who can be expected to get out and push the car).

    ii) Which time will be more suitable for the Leh to Manali journey? Mid June (say around June 15 ) or last week of June (say around 28)? The only slot available to me is from June 1 to June 30. Thats why this predicament.

    • Thank you so much PP, I am still around here and will always be in Devil On Wheels for the love of travel in Himalayas 🙂 🙂

      1. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway and Ladakh, I will say:

      You will indeed face few tough challenges on the route. The hatchback/sedan will increase the level of every challenge even further, sedan is the worst candidate. My suggestion will be to go via Srinagar route as it will help you feel comfortable with the driving, provide more acclimatization and then once you have done the local Leh-Ladakh, then come back via Manali side. Secondly, since you are in hatch/sedan, then you need to drive with extra care as well. There will be some sections on the Manali – Leh highway in which you might need to sacrifice some scratches on the underbelly. Just make sure you do not bump the engine sump (know it before where it is placed in your car). You need to protect it all around the trip. Thirdly, whenever in doubt do not rush into the section rather park aside and feel the section with your foot, see how other vehicles are crossing it and make a planned route in your mind to cross that section. At the very least do carry Mseal, quick fix, funnel, jerry cans and towing rope with you all the time.

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Ladakh Self Drive tips at the links below:

      7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips
      FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan?

      2. You can plan anytime between 15th – 30th June as by then the Manali – Leh will be stabilzied. In fact it might openin winters as per local newspapaer due to not much snow at all this massive strange year. So, you have a good window even if it snows in March too much.

  27. Narendra Nath Sanyal on

    Hi,
    Very Well written. I am planning for a bike trip from Manali to leh during June end it will be a 14-15 day trip. l am from Mumbai and will be travelling from mumbai to Delhi by flight and the Delhi to manali by Bus. The main journey starts here. I have many questions and would like to get some advice from you.
    1) Where to Hire bikes from in Manali?- I would like a classic 350 newer model.
    2) What is the price of the Bike?
    3) Apart from the rent how much the rentals charge for the deposit money?
    4) what will be the overall expenditure (Average) including everything (Stay, food, petrol , etc) The places can be basic camps nothing fancy.
    5) Which are the best places where we should halt during the stay? Dont want to make it too hectic
    6) Incase of brakedows, what do do? Do we carry extra clutch cables and other minor equipments?
    7) Are there enough petrol pumps in the way or we need to carry some extra cans of petrol?
    8) Is getting permits difficult?
    9) Can you provide with some bike rental agencies?

    These are some questions i have in my mind. i await your reply.

    Thanks
    Naren

    • Narendra Nath Sanyal on

      This blog cannot be printed 🙁 can you provide a pdf so that i can print this… This will be very informative.

    • Hi Narendra,

      Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

      To know about AMS and acclimatization including the tips to combat AMS, please DO READ: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

      Bikes rented outside Leh are not allowed for sightseeing inside Ladakh except Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes which can be done while going to Manali from Leh. Private bikes are completely allowed. You can use the outside rented bike to reach Leh but then for going to Pangong Tso, nubra Valley, etc.. you need to hire rented bikes from Leh only.

      To know more about this rule and present situation, please refer the link: Bikes Rented Outside Leh Banned in Ladakh

      This year as per reports, rule is going to be stricter. Manali rental guys have formalized a deal that for the days Manali bike is parked in Leh and Leh bike is rented, they will charge 50% of the rent of the bike. So, confirm with Manali rental guys first about this signoff.

      For renting bikes in Leh – Ladakh along with current Bike Union Prices, you can check the DoW Community thread: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2015 – 16 & Reliable Shops

      The one way bike rental is quite costly and leave a big dent in pocket for you, sometimes like 12K for just the pickup from Manali. Be sure if you are ready to make that investment or not or if at all it is worth the money spent. My suggestion is unless you are hard core biker and cannot live up the passion of biking, it is not wise to spend that much money just for the pickup of bike.

      I will suggest that you go through the articles mentioned under the DoW Community thread for bike trip to Ladakh or any other part of Himalayas at the link: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

      1,2,3 Read above

      4) For doubts related to budget for Leh – Ladakh trip, I am sure the link below will help you alot for getting an idea of overall budget:
      How to calculate cost or budget for Leh – Ladakh trip

      Also, check the article: 5 Tips for a Budget Trip to Ladakh

      5) Read above
      6) Read above
      7) Yes, you need to carry extra fuel. Read the entire series, 7 Useful Tips for a Self Drive to Leh – Ladakh, Routes and Road Conditions In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips, Fuel Availability In Leh – Ladakh | Ladakh Self Drive Tips

      8) You do not need permits within Ladakh now since 2014. If you travel in direcion from Manali to Leh still reading above, you need permit from Manali to Rohtang Pass for which you can read: How to get Rohtang Pass Permit Online

      9) Can you provide with some bike rental agencies?

  28. we are planning to go leh-manali in the time of jan by car could you please suggest the road conditions are favourable or not

  29. Hello Dheeraj,

    First of all #MassiveRespect to you and commendable work on this website. The detailed inputs about any / every place Himalayan places by you calls for an applaud sir 🙂

    I am a software engineer by profession and an avid traveler who along with 3 friends (guys) are planning a trip to Leh-Laddakh by the end of June or beginning of July 2016. I have been re-searching, following your threads regarding this place and according to the time we have, the 9 day trip suits us the best. I read the related itinerary written on

    Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days

    As this will be my first trip I am a bit confused hence the below queries (hope they make sense :P)

    1) We want to go Leh via Manali route and return via Srinagar (Delhi-Manali-Leh; Leh-Srinagar-Delhi). Is it possible on a 9 day trip ? If yes what should be the ideal itinerary ?

    2) Had a word with few travel agencies operate in those regions plus few friends who went to Leh via themselves (renting bikes, cars and pre-booking hotels). The cost estimation I received crosses 30 K per person approx but the travel agencies giving package ranges from 35-40 K per person ! Which is preferable & cost effective ?

    3) Apart from all the details and precautions mentioned on your thread/link anything special to be taken care off as well ?

    Awaiting your response and if possible willing to talk to you prior we set for this trip. Would be really helpful 🙂

    Regards

    • Hi,

      Still awaiting a reply on this … If anybody can throw some light, it would really be helpful 🙂

      Regards

    • Thank you so much Deep. I am just in transition of a new home, so spending a bit less time here online. The DoW Community is alive as ever and in case you see delayed reply here on the blog, you can always post it under DoW Community (refer link from Menu)

      Regarding your current queries:

      1. Well, it will take 3 days from Delhi to Leh via Manali with overnight halts at Manali/Solang, Keylong/Jispa and then finally Leh. One day at least you need to rest in Leh for acclimatization. This makes your 4 days. Now, 4 days are required for return from Srinagar – Leh Highway as night halts Kargil, Srinagar, Jammu and then finally 9th day you reach Delhi. Now, in between you have 5th day left for you on which you can either make a day trip to Khardung La or Pangong Tso, your choice. All in all a very hectic trip with just being on the road and seeing nothing much in Ladakh apart from Srinagar – Leh Highway and Manali – Leh highway

      2. Cost effective will always be if you plan on your own and with all the help available on DoW, I see no reason you cant plan unless you do not want to read at all and prepare yourself. In the latter case you can always give a shot to travel agent.

      3. Read the article on Acclimatization and tips for taking clothes to Ladakh from menu of Ladakh above.

      • Hello Dheeraj,

        Thank You for replying. I will plan accordingly as advised.

        Will bug you again here if required 😉

        Regards

  30. Hi I am Ankith, we 5 friends are planning a road trip from Bangalore to Leh ladak in a Innova car.
    Our plan is for 9 days road trip. Can anyone suggest the places in Leh ladak which we can cover in this span.

      • Hi Dheeraj,
        Thanks for the reply
        As we are planning for this trip on Mid December this year, whether it will be a right time to visit?
        9 days include travel from bangalore to Leh and back to bangalore by car. We may get not more than 4.5 days to see all the paces. So please suggest some places in this span and information about permits at this season.

  31. Gurpritam Singh on

    Me and my friend planning to travel keylong from Chandigarh in our personal car (around September 10) our trip duration is of 3 days only, Please guide us about the whole procedure, like permission for rohtang pass, accommodation, travel time and hotels etc

  32. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning this trek (the way you have suggested Leh to Manali) with family. Is it ok to take our kids aged btw 10-12. If yes, what are the challenges or risks involved. Is it advisable to take at the first place and if so pls help out in suggesting precautionary elements.

    Regards
    Kusuma

    • In general, it is fine to take the children of such age group because AMS do not matter with respect to age or sex or any fitness level. It can happen to anyone of any age or sex or fitness I shall say :D.. The issue with children is that they tend to exert the body considering it the same kind of place they belong to and this elevates the chances of getting struck with AMS. Secondly, they are not much expressive about their uneasy feelings, so it is parents who need to watch out and take care that the child is not suffering from uneasy feelings, headache or nausea and is behaving properly. With 5+ year child, I think he/she would be able to convey the uneasiness with little efforts. If you notice any such feeling or he/she tells you about such a feeling then please do not ascend anywhere, either descend to lower altitude or stay at the same place to watch things overnight and if symptom increase then start descending immediately. Same is applicable for any adult as well. And yes, do keep the body adequately hydrated!!

      Also, PLEASE read the article: Traveling to Ladakh with Kids or Babies. This article covers this topic in complete detail.

  33. I wid my 5 frnz planning to visit leh via srinagar-leh-manali…1st week of sept is safe or not by own private four wheeler..and all passes ll be opened.

  34. Looks like a great adventure here. thanks for the tips. I hope I can go to Manali too

  35. Hi Dheeraj,

    May i know on an average how much time it takes from Manali to Keylong and Keylong to Leh in shared taxi. i am planning to take shared taxi/public transport to reach Leh from Manali. And halting a night at Keylong? That would be fine? Will be reaching Manli on Aug 14th. Other than Keylong any place to stay ? whats your suggestion.

    • Dinkan, Manali to Keylong will take around 5-6 Hrs types and Keylong to Leh will take around 12-14 Hrs. You can extend to Jispa rather Keylong which is about 1 hr ahead of Keylong.

  36. Sorry but I am firm supporter of Manali to Leh than opposite as recommended above. I have both many times, yes, opposite its easier but the challenge of Manali to Leh is special. The barren valley unfolding it as we travel along is a privil that is missed while returning….SIn all, Manali to Leh for me always…

  37. hey guys; i and a friend of mine, are planning to go to leh from manali around the 10th of july.so anyones intrested cn let us know, as we are looking for company. Any other leads on bike rentals and stuff are welcome.
    #9972282626

  38. Dr.Himanshu on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    I tried calling few people who are offering d bikes on rent…but all of them are saying that this season no bikes are available….as all are booked…
    can u gv me some contacts who can provide us bikes from 25th june……..

  39. Dr.Himanshu on

    We are four person….on bike…
    any1 ready to join…..
    can contact me….8889088999

  40. Dr.Himanshu on

    I am trying to plan as per your advice…
    on bikes from shrinagar-leh-manali…
    Is it possible to get bikes from shrinagar that we can drop at manali…nd wht ll b d cost in that case…?

  41. Poonam kharya on

    Hi Dhheraj ,

    Me and MY husband planning for leh bike trip from manali . we have booked our ticket from mumbai 11th JULY 2015 . we have our bike TB350 but we are going alone is it ok or we have join any group. if yes could you please help to find any group .

  42. Hi dheeraj, Kindly suggest some bike rentals at srinagar for renting bikes from srinagar to manali – one way without extra charges or else atleast from leh to manali-oneway trip.
    Thank you

    • Samson, there are no such bike rentals who can provide you bikes without charging extra for one way trip 🙂 … It is about 10-12K they charge per bike for loading charges on one way trips. Best is if you are not hard core biker then avoid it.

  43. Hi,
    We are group of 6 guys and planning a road trip. Could you please suggest if this iternary is good or need modifications. Also can you please suggest some semi-luxury hotel in Leh. We have our flight tickets booked from Mumbai to Chandigarh and from Srinagar to Mumbai so that can’t be changed, the rest of the trip is flexible.

    CHANDIGARH – MANALI – LADAKH – SRINAGAR JEEP SAFARI
    Duration: 14 Nights & 15 Days
    Travel Dates: 25 July to 08 August
    Synopsis: Chandigarh – Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Jispa – Baralacha pass – Sarchu – Morre Plains – Tsokar – Tso Moriri – Mahe Bridge – Leh – Sangam – Pangong Lake – Khardungla Pass – Nubra – Panamik – Leh – Lamayuru – Kargil – Drass – Sonmarg – Srinagar
    ITINERARY:
    Day 01: Chandigarh – Manali
    Travel to Manali and stay overnight
    Day 02: Manali
    Sightseeing and overnight stay.
    Day 03: Manali – Jispa/Sarchu
    Drive to Sarchu (or Jispa) for night stay.
    Day 04: Jispa/Sarchu – Tso Moriri
    Meal: Breakfast and Dinner
    Visit Tso Moriri and overnight stay
    Day 05: Tso Moriri – Leh (7-8 hours) – 220 kms
    Tour Tso Moriri and overnight stay
    Day 06: Leh
    Sightseeing in Leh and overnight stay
    Day 07: Leh – Pangong Lake (5-6 hours) ( 225 to 290 kms )
    Stay near Pangong lake
    Day 08: Pangong-Leh (7-8 hours) ( 225 to 290 kms )
    Return back to Leh
    Day 09: Leh – Khandrungla Top – Nubra Valley-
    Visit to Nubra valley and stay overnight
    Day 10: Nubra Valley
    Sightseeing and stay in Nubra valley
    Day 11: Nubra Valley – Leh (7-8 hours) (120 kms )
    Drive down to Leh and stay there
    Day 12: Leh
    Sightseeing in Leh
    Day 13: Leh – Kargil (211 kms)
    Drive down to Kargil and visit any tourist places on the way.
    Day 14: Kargil – Drass – Sonamarg – Srinagar (202 kms)
    Drive down to Srinagar and stay overnight

    • Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  44. Dileep Yadav on

    Excellent inputs. Thanks. Taking these inputs have planned to drive entering Srinagar from 12th September. Need your advise / confirmation on:
    1. Drive Leh to Pangon Lake on 18th Sept. Stay Spangmik for night.
    2. On 19th, wish to drive from Spangmik to Tso Moriri- please advise route, condition & will you recommend?
    3. On 20th drive from Tso Moriri to Sarchu – advise route and condition. Stay night at Sarchu – next day to Manali.
    4. Will we need to take permit for Pangong and Tso Moriri?
    5. Booking hotels through your website at both lakes. Any recommendation for Leh Hotel?
    Will drive Toyota Qualis.
    Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Dileep,

      Regarding Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri, please read: Tips for Pangong Tso to Tso Moriri Direct Route

      Yes, you need to take inner line permit to take direct route from Pangong Tso to Tso moriri and even after permits it will not be confirmed that rmy will let you pass through or not. For inner line permit download form and complete process, refer: Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

  45. I and my wife are planning Leh trip via road from Delhi – Manali – Leh – Manali – Delhi.

    Please contact me if any other couple is also looking for Car Pool partners.
    Note: (For couple only and Serious Traveler)

    • Hi Jai,

      Where are you from and when are you planning to travel? We might go in august 2nd week? Hw about you? I am from Gandhinagar, Gujarat

      Regards,
      Pooja

  46. vivek yadav on

    Hi Dheeraj, we a group of 4 friends are planning a trip to leh on 1 bike and 1 car. We are carrying camping tents with us, can you please suggest us the sites that would be best for camping on manali – leh highway. Plus is there any danger of staying in our own tents at a foreign place?

    • Vivek, there is no issue in camping in case you have camped earlier in remote areas and used to it. Else mostly it is mental outfit towards the camping in remote areas that is the major bottleneck. For information on pitching your own camps in Leh – Ladakh, please refer our FAQ in the community: FAQ | Can I pitch my own tents or camps anywhere in Ladakh?

      You can camp at Jispa, Darcha before Baralacha La and then may be Rumtse after getting down from Taglang La. If you coming from Leh, then you can also consider Pang and Sarchu but while going from Manali side it is not recommended because of less acclimatized body.

  47. hi dheeraj ji
    we are 2friends toplaning to visit leh ladhak on rent bikes.
    we ave plane to go on 14 june 2015 from manali to leh
    my question is this date malini leh highway open?
    2…2 person in one bike or laggage is that ok?
    any tips for the trip plz sussage me

  48. Ankit Yadav on

    Is it advisable to take Honda Activa on leh manali Highway?? If yes, which is the bst tym to do that?

  49. I am planning to Leh _ Manali Cycling (12 Days) during August . Kindly let me know the details about camping .

    Nambi

    • Nambi, you looking out for detailed itinerary fo 12 days for a cycle trip on Manali – Leh Highway? How much can you ride in a day?

  50. Hi Dheeraj

    I along with my friends are planning an 8 day Manali-Leh on bikes;
    Total No of People: 4
    No of Bikes: 2
    My Itinerary is:
    1.) 24th June – Bengaluru – Chandigarh by flight, reaching Chandigarh by afternoon, leave to Manali that same night.
    2.) 25th June – We plan to Rent Bikes at Manali and start our journey towards Keylong/Jispa, stay 25th night at Jispa/Keylong.
    3.) 26th June – Leave Jispa/Keylong and plan to reach Leh, stay 26th night stay at Leh
    4.) 27th June – Leave to Pangong Lake, stay 27th night over at Pangong Lake
    5.) 28th June – Leave to Leh, stay 28th night at Leh
    6.) 29th June – See Magnetic Hill, back to Leh. Planning for Rafting and other activities/sightseeing in and around of Leh.
    7.) 30th June – Leave for Kardungla Pass and back to Leh, stay 30th night at Leh
    8.) 1st July – Leave to Manali from Leh, Plan to reach Sarchu and camp for the night.
    9.) 2nd July – Reach Manali by end of the day, stay overnight at Manali
    10.) 3rd July – at Manali
    11.) 4th July – at Manali, leave to Chandigarh that night.
    12.) 5th July – Morning reach Chandigarh and leave to Bengaluru that afternoon.

    The one thing that bothers me is that on the 26th June, we have to cover close to 350~375Kms to Leh from Keylong/Jispa, depending on where we start our journey. Are there any alternative routes to achieve this keeping the AMS and high altitudes in mind? After reading your blog and other articles it looks like a risk to stay an overnight at Sarchu / Pang, but on the contrary travelling 350~375Kms is also looks like a risk.

    • Gagan, please read the tips for pillion riding in the article: 5 Tips to Rent Bike in Leh – Ladakh and Ride with Pillion

      Now regarding your plan please make the changes as below:

      27th June – See Magnetic Hill, back to Leh. Planning for Rafting and other activities/sightseeing in and around of Leh.
      28th June – Leave for Kardungla Pass and go over to Nubra Valley stay there
      29th June – Come back to Leh after covering Nubra Valley
      30th June – Leave to Pangong Lake, stay night over at Pangong Lake
      1st July– Leave to Leh, stay night at Leh
      2nd July – Leave to Manali from Leh, Plan to reach Sarchu and camp for the night.
      3rd July – Reach Manali by end of the day, stay overnight at Manali
      4th July – at Manali, leave to Chandigarh that night.

      Srinagar to Leh is the alternative route to reduce risk of AMS.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thanks for your reply and also for evaluating our itinerary,
        I’ve had a chance to speak to my friends about the changes mentioned by you in the itinerary.
        I would like to ask you a couple of questions om these changes;
        1.) Why do you recommend us to ride to Nubra valley via Khadrungla pass and stay over at Nubra Valley, considering that we might have to ride another 115kms?
        [Our sole reason to drop Nubra valley was to avoid excessive riding the day before we plan the descent from Leh – Manali]
        2.) Could you provide any information regarding on how to pack our luggage for this journey, the problem we face is that we would be riding pillion and we are not sure on how we can balance our luggages, what types of bags to carry, saddle bags, duffel bags,rucksacks etc.

        Thanks again,
        Gagan

        • Hi Gagan,

          1. I could not get the first question. Nubra Valley is included by most people going to Ladakh and also plays key role in acclimatization before going over to Pangong Tso and tso Moriri.
          2. May be your queries might be answered under this or you can ask on any of the relevant threads under the article: All About Bike Ride to Ladakh & Himalayas. This will help you cover almost all your queries related to bike trip to Ladakh or Himalayas.

          Regards
          Dheeraj

  51. kandaswamy on

    hello,

    i am kandaswamy from chennai. i plan to travel kullu, manali and leh with my wife by end of june or 1st week of july kindly tell me what are the places to visit in himachal pradesh and leh.plan t travel by flight chennai to chandigarh and travel by taxi to manali. kindly give suggestions and advice how to travel all these places by government or private vehicles.
    Thanks,
    Kandaswamy

    • Kandaswamy, Firstly, I will suggest you that please plan it in other direction as going via Srinagar – Leh Highway will be much much easier on your body and help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Manali – Leh Highway. Also, it allows you to enjoy the beauty of Manali – Leh by splitting the journey almost evenly in two days which is very difficult in the other direction. Thirdly, it will allow you to fit Tso Moriri lake into the itinerary in better way. You can read more reasons on the link here

      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.

      You can check the nice, preferred list of accommodation options in entire Leh – Ladakh (Leh, Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri) including moderate (cheap budget hotels as well) in the series of articles starting on the link here

    • Hi mr kandaswamy this is jeeva from coimbatore , myself n my wife are going for ladak trip in firdt week of july. Have u planned ur trip? We are planning for bike trip from srinagar to manali/vice versa. We would like some partners, kindly call us. Jeeva-8754671818.


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