Places on Manali – Leh Highway | A Detailed Description

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There is no doubt that Manali – Leh Highway is easily the most adventurous as well as the most beautiful among all the Highways in India. Every adventure lover has a dream to traverse this 474 KM long, Manali – Leh Highway at least once in his or her lifetime. However, I strongly feel that everyone who loves to travel, be it adventure lover or nature lover or any other form, must and must travel Manali – Leh Highway at least once in his/her lifetime. Personally, I am lucky enough to have gone through the experience of this lifetime journey and wish I will do it many more times in future too. Over a span of 474 KM, on the Manali – Leh Highway, one goes through varied forms of nature ranging from beautiful lush green valley(s) to rocky barren multi colored mountains to high walls of snow to violent river/water crossings (nallas) to wide flat lands to abrupt landslides to head swaying hair pin bends to butter smooth roads to many non-existent and washed away roads to strong cold winds blowing you away and to what not :lol:, all this raising the fun of this ultimate journey to greater heights.

The Manali – Leh Highway makes you experience the raw mother nature present on earth in almost its every form. Technically, BRO takes care of this Highway and they have further divided its responsibility between Project Deepak and Project Himank . Project Deepak is responsible for maintaining the section from Manali to Sarchu(222 KM) in Himachal Pradesh region while Project Himank is responsible for Sarchu to Leh (252.4 KMs) section which falls in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir region.

Manali – Leh Highway | Altitude over Distance Graph

Manali - Leh Highway | Distance v/s Altitude Graph
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How to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway

If you need the details on how to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway, you must refer the link : How to plan a trip on Manali – Leh Highway

Places of Manali – Leh Highway

This article is an informatory dissection of all major places that comes on the route from Manali to Leh along with the details of food, fuel, accommodation or stay options, amenities etc on Manali – Leh Highway. I hope this may help you get an idea of what is offered on a journey of Manali – Leh Highway bearing in mind the stoppages of your interest including overnight stays, food, beverages, amenities, photos etc. If you are not interested in much of the text then you may also check the summary of the places in tabular format at the end of the article directly.

Manali | Altitude: 1950 Mtrs – Solang Valley | Altitude: 2590 Mtrs

Manali, about 570 KM from Delhi, is the place from where this life time journey begins. Manali, the valley of gods is lush green at the time when you would be doing your Leh journey and you will definitely enjoy the weather there. Although, in May – June due to holiday rush this place is not a penny less than the chaotic trade fair and I am sure you will not want to be at this place in such a tourist rush. Being said that, you can do a lot in Manali town and for comprehensive details including how to reach Manali from Delhi, I request you to go through the Manali Travel Guide here: Delhi to Manali, Himachal Pradesh | A Travel Guide

One point worth highlighting here is that if you are on your way to Leh – Ladakh from Manali then avoid staying overnight in Manali town rather stay overnight at Solang Valley, 14 KM away. Why? Manali is at lower altitude than Solang Valley and does not help in acclimatization. Solang Valley does help acclimatize your body to some extent which may help in minimizing the troubles of mountain sickness as you move ahead towards Leh – Ladakh in upcoming days. Solang Valley is further 16 KM ahead of Manali and is much more calmer place as compared to Manali. Solang Valley also offers some majestic views along with adventure activities like parachuting, paragliding, skating and zorbing etc

The only drawback with Solang Valley is that you won’t find as many options for a stay as you can find in Manali. The prices of the hotels in Solang Valley are likely to be on the higher side as compared to the varied economic hotel options available in Manali town. Also, the variety of cuisines will be much less as compared to Manali and mostly you will need to have your food in hotel only. But, the advantage acclimatization and peace definitely outweighs these minor hitches, unless you really want a very very cheap hotel. If you really miss different cuisines and lively place, you can surely spend your day in Manali enjoying the other flavors of the valley and come back to hotel at Solang Valley for night stay.

Technically, Solang Valley is not on Manali – Leh Highway rather one needs to take a left diversion from Palchan and travel further 6 KM to reach Solang Valley. If you have hired a taxi from Manali to Leh, you need to ask the driver upfront to pick you from Solang Valley hotel. If you have opted for a shared taxi / public bus, then you yourself need to reach Palchan, the diversion point on Manali – Leh Highway to get into one of them en-route but that also must have been booked in advance from Manali.


Running through few small villages (Palchan, Kothi) of this beautiful lush green valley you reach Gulaba, 20 KM from Manali. Gulaba is famous as one of the lower winter snow point when the road to Rohtang Pass gets closed. There are only few Dhabhas on Gulaba and no options of stay.

Marhi | Altitude: 3300 Mtrs

After Gulaba, one reaches Marhi which is the highest snow point in winters when road to Rohtang Pass is closed. There are few Dhabhas on Marhi and as well as there is a liquor shop as well :D. There are no stay options apart from those temporary Dhabhas.

Rani Nala

Few KMs ahead of Marhi you reach Rani Nalla which is a glacier point. This place is famous for its huge snow walls, more than 20 feet high. You can find snow here almost every day of year, may be just year 2010 was an exception. The feeling of going between between these huge walls of snow is impeccable. Of course, if you do not leave early in the day then surely the traffic jam may frustrate you here due to the narrow passage and kill your time. You need to leave as early as possible like 5 AM from Manali to avoid traffic jam on Manali – Rohtang Pass road. In year 2010, the stretch here was in pathetic shape and took many lives due to constant landslides. It is perhaps the last major point on southern portal of Rohtang Pass. No stay or food options are available here.

Rohtang Pass | Altitude: 3980 Mtrs

51 KMs away from Manali town, Rohtang Pass connects the tribal valleys of Lahaul and Spiti to Kullu Valley. This is the hottest Himalayan tourist spot in Northern India and people flood this place in the month of May and June. Do expect heavy tourist rush and traffic jam, if you are late in leaving from Manali. It is closed for more than six months in the winter months due to heavy snowfall. Many people feel the altitude factor after reaching Rohtang Pass with headaches and feeling to puke. So, it better to keep yourself hydrated on the way. You can enjoy food / beverages here but there is no place for accommodation. By the way meaning of Rohtang is “pile of corpses or dead bodies” ;)…

Gramphu | Altitude: 3200 Mtrs

After you descend towards northern portal of Rohtang Pass, you reach Gramphu. At Gramphu, there is a diversion towards right which will lead you to Spiti Valley via Kunzam Pass. If you want to visit Chandratal then you need to take the diversion towards Spiti and once you reach Battal, go straight towards Chandratal. There are no stay or food options at Gramphu. If interested in knowing more about Chandratal then read its travel guide at: Delhi to Chandratal, Himachal Pradesh | A Travel Guide

Khokhsar | Altitude: 3140 Mtrs

Just few KM after Gramphu you reach Khoksar which is the first settlement in the Lahaul Valley of Himachal Pradesh. This place has several Dhabhas where you can enjoy the food, a clean washroom / toilet to freshen up and a PWD rest house. In order to stay at PWD rest house, generally you will need the advance bookings. There are few houses as well in this small village. The Chandra river flows through this place and the views are just amazing from the village.

Sissu | Altitude: 3170 Mtrs

Sissu or Khagling is a small town situated at the right bank of Chandra River in the Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh. There is a waterfall on the opposite side of town which, people says, looks spectacular but personally I haven’t seen it.

It has a PWD Rest House but in case you want to stay then do book that in advance else you may not find the accommodation. My personal experience had not been good with getting any accommodation at any of the HP PWD Rest Houses. There are few small dhabhas or food stalls where you can find food, tea/coffee and drinking water as well. You may also get some basic healthcare facilities at the local Primary Health Care center at Sissu town. There is also a helipad that is used for the chopper services and mainly utilized by locales in the winter months when the roads are closed due to heavy snow at Rohtang Pass connecting Kullu – Manali Valley and Kunzam Pass connecting Spiti Valley.

Tandi | Altitude: 2573 Mtrs

At Tandi, you will find the only petrol pump on Manali – Leh Highway after Manali and up to Upshi / Karu or Leh. The next petrol pump is about 365 KMs away towards Leh from Tandi. Hence, it is extremely important that you do not miss this petrol pump to top up the fuel. Apart from being famous for this only petrol pump on Manali – Leh Highway, Tandi is a confluence of Chandra River and Bhaga River. The merged river is called Chandrabhaga River and when it enter Jammu and Kashmir, it is further called Chenab river. The Chandra River originates from Chandratal, Spiti Valley and Bhaga River originates from Suraj Tal or Surya Tal, Lahaul Valley. So, if you have time on hand then do click some pictures of the confluence too.

Keylong | Altitude: 3080 Mtrs

Keylong is the biggest town located on Manali – Leh Highway and is the district/administrative headquarter of Lahaul Valley and Spiti Valley districts of Himachal Pradesh. All the major GOVT. offices of the district are present in Keylong town only. The Keylong town is completely cut off from the outside world in the winter months of November to April, due to heavy snow present at Rohtang Pass. There is a famous Kardang Monastery in Keylong which is the largest and most important monastery of Lahaul district of the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The views from the Keylong town are nice with Bhaga river flowing in between but personally I felt it (Keylong) too boring 🙁 …

Most people while traveling on Manali – Leh Highway including the HRTC and HPTDC bus services halts for a night stop at Keylong town. There are many options of accommodation (small hotels and guest houses) available at Keylong including the famous HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga, Circuit House, PWD Rest House, Tourist Bungalow etc. There are few small hotels or guest houses in Keylong town which are right on the Manali – Leh Highway and can be opted for a stay too.

Also, people coming to explore Lahaul Valley including Udaipur, Triloknath Temple etc make Keylong as the base town. There are phone and power connections which can be utilized to call at home, charge mobile or camera batteries. Beyond Keylong you will not not find mobile signal and fixed landline phone except Jispa. Medical facilities are also available at the local hospital and there is also one SBI ATM in Keylong town. So, if you have by chance missed the ATM at Manali to fetch the cash then do not miss this one. At first place, I will say do not miss the Manali ATM but still if you have missed it then try your luck at the Keylong ATM which is the only ATM in reach on Manali – Leh Highway.

Jispa | Altitude: 3320 Mtrs

Jispa, is a small village that is located on the banks of Bhaga River. While coming from Manali side, this is my most preferred place for a night stay and to break the journey on Manali – Leh Highway. The accommodation options present in Jispa are limited as compared to Keylong but if you book them in advance I bet the vistas are worth spending time and money. There is hotel Ibex, a guest house and some camping tents including the Swiss tents which are available as stay options at Jispa. You can get the food as well as beverages here. The village also has a small monastery, a small museum along with numerous trails into the woods which you can explore or how about spending some time on the banks of Bhaga river, for me it’s just amazing. There is a helipad as well in Jispa. Jispa have telephone connection which you may use to call at home or inform someone close because beyond Jispa mobile signals (might have gone already) as well as fixed phones will be hard to find till you cross Upshi or reach Leh.

Darcha | Altitude: 3360 Mtrs

Darcha is a small village that is considered as last northernmost civilized place in Himachal Pradesh. Primarily, everyone traveling on Manali – Leh Highway needs to stop at Darcha police checkpoint and has to register their names with vehicle number in the passerby records. This acts as a record that a person has passed Darcha on his journey on Manali – Leh Highway which is useful in case of rescue like operations (or other purposes as well). Foreigners need to get their passports verified at Darcha police checkpoint. Darcha is also the endpoint of a famous trek which starts from Padum, Zanskar Valley in Ladakh region and of course, you can start the same trek from here as well :)…

Food / Drinking Water / Beverages (tea/coffee) in dhabhas or road side stalls is available at Darcha. This place also have some tented accommodations and a few people stay overnight at Darcha as well. Darcha does have telephone and power connections, in case you need to call home or charge your phone or camera for one last time before reaching Leh 🙂 then you may try your luck here as well. I didn’t see any phone here but people do say that the village has the connection even WIKI also say so 🙂

Beyond Darcha, the vegetation will start to reduce and the mountains will start to change their colors into dark brown water color paintings that we all used to paint in childhood. Decrease in vegetation also means difficulty in pumping the oxygen and increasing altitude will make it even tougher. This is another reason why you need your body to be acclimatized better and hydrated always on this tough journey. Do not forget to intake good amount of water just to keep your minerals and oxygen correct in the body. It will be best if you can carry ORS diluted water with you all the time and keep sipping it after every half an hour or so.

Deepak Tal | Altitude: 3810 Mtrs

Deepak Tal is a small man made lake near Patseo having its own charm and is one of the two lakes that comes on Manali – Leh Highway. The still water of the lake offers some very nice reflecting views, almost picturesque from many different angles to all those photography lovers. So, if you are one of those then get ready to shoot some unique angle of your own :)… You can enjoy a cup of tea or your breakfast at the Dhaba just aside Deepak Tal. Beyond Deepak Tal, you will be at an altitude of more than 14000 feet till you reach about Upshi. So, get ready for some real fun in various ways… 🙂

Patseo | Altitude: 3811 Mtrs

After passing through Deepak Tal you will reach Patseo just a couple of KMs ahead. Patseo is a small place where only few army camps are present and they have diverted the road in some weird zigzag manner. Once you reach Patseo the roads deteriorates considerably and there on for about 40-45 KMs till about you pass Baralacha La, you will find some very rough or even washed away roads.

Zingzing Bar | Altitude: 4270 Mtrs

Zingzing Bar is a tiny place with 2-3 tented dhabhas that offers stay options in them. Of course, these dhabhas does offer food and beverages too. If leaving early from Keylong/Jispa and if you are one of those who eat late after waking up then you can mark this place for breakfast as well. This is where the ascent to the mighty Baralacha La pass starts. Just after Zingzing bar, there is a nalla (water crossing) created by the melting snow of Baralacha range. So, do cross this nalla or water crossing early in the morning because in the late noon it becomes barely impossible to cross this violent nalla even by trucks :). In such a case, on Manali side, you will either have to stay overnight in the vehicle or Zingzing Bar dhabhas and on the Baralacha La side, you will need to go back to Bharatpur or Sarchu tented accommodations for a night stay or stay in vehicle.

Suraj Tal | Altitude: 4883 Mtrs

Suraj Tal or Surya Tal is the second highest lake in India and 21st highest lake in the world. Amidst in the high hills of Baralacha La range and just below the Baralacha La pass (8 KMs before Baralacha La pass), you will find this beautiful crystal clear aqua colored sacred body of water. Suraj Tal is the source of Bhaga river and remains totally frozen and cut off in the months of winter.

Early in the season i.e. June, you may find this lake to be frozen as well. As the time pass into the summers, surrounded with snow covered peaks and emitting its aqua green color as the base, the Suraj Tal looks simply breathtaking. Do not miss to click few pictures of this amazing high altitude lake in India.

Baralacha La | Altitude: 4890 Mtrs

Baralacha La or Baralacha Pass (La meaning Pass) is second of the five high mountain passes that comes on Manali – Leh Highway. Baralacha La connects Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. At the North West base of Baralacha La range, Bhaga river originates from Suraj or Surya Tal and at South East base, Chandra river originates from Chandratal. Yunam river flows on the Sarchu (Ladakh) side of Baralacha La. There is another famous trekking route which goes to Chandra Tal or Chandratal, either starting from or ending at Baralacha La. You will not find any food or water or accommodation at this pass.

After Rohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass is the second major hurdle to cross or open. At least in the early season of Manali – Leh journey, you will certainly witness one or two vehicles either stuck aside or stuck in the middle to traffic jam the road. The ice or snow melting from the slopes, battered by moving traffic either creates deep slush or deep water crossings by washing away the roads. This makes the journey more adventurous and full of challenges on this mighty mountain pass :).. The feeling of passing through this particular pass is a feeling of its own kind and I purely loved it 🙂

Bharatpur | Altitude: Not Sure and Killing Sarai or Sarchu Sarai | Altitude: 4600 Mtrs

After passing through a small deserted place named Killing Sarai or Sarchu Sarai, you will reach Bharatpur (city) which has 2-3 dhabhas as well as a series of tented accommodation running along side Manali – Leh Highway. Some people do stay overnight at these camps as well. The tents here are cheaper as compared to Sarchu. You can have food / tea / coffee here. Once you cross Bharatpur, after a few KMs you will come across a road straight as an arrow leading towards Sarchu. Your instincts will compel you to rip apart and just zip pass through it. I will suggest to hold on to those instincts as the road is straight but does have lots of bumps in between may be due to loose soil beneath or due to holes dug by Himalayan marmots. All I want to say is that while speeding through that road, do not be too complacent while driving :)… else ready for some super bumps on the way…

Sarchu | Altitude: 4290 Mtrs

Sarchu, 222 KM away from Manali, is famous for its good tented accommodations on Manali – Leh Highway. At Sarchu, the state changes from Himachal Pradesh to Jammu and Kashmir. Also, the Deepak Project ends and Himank Project starts from Sarchu. At Sarchu, there is a second police checkpoint where you need to register your name again on this epic journey. The entry acts as a record of your arrival up to Sarchu. Sarchu is almost a middle point of the journey on Manali – Leh Highway having good amount of tented accommodation options including the Swiss tents with attached toilets. Hence, many people do consider it for a night halt. People already having the night halt at Keylong or Jispa, usually stops for lunch at Sarchu. It does have few dhabhas (2-3) which offers food and beverages as well.

Sarchu is at high altitude and many people staying overnight here suffer from mountain sickness including sleepless night, severe headaches or vomiting. If you are not properly acclimatized you will surely be one of them, suffering the pinch or punches :)… While coming from Manali side the body is not properly acclimatized and incase you have not had a night stay at Keylong or Jispa, the body will surely suffer to adapt at such high altitude at night. Hence, even though Sarchu offers good amount of stay options (tented) but it’s always better to avoid a stay at Sarchu over Jispa or Keylong in the same order of preference. However, if you are coming from Leh after spending few nights at higher altitudes then the body is acclimatized to adapt and you can either opt to stay at Sarchu or Pang depending upon your taste of the place.

For more information on Acute Mountain Sickness and acclimatization tips, please refer the following link at least once: Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Gata Loops | Altitude: 4190 Mtrs

After 24 KMs from Sarchu, a series of 21 hair pin bends or loops about 7 KMs long, just before Nakee La Pass, will elevate you from an altitude of 4190 Mtrs to 4630 Mtrs. They are called Gata Loops. No food, no fuel and no accommodation is available here.

Nakee La | Altitude: 4740 Mtrs

This one is the third of the five passes that comes on the Manali – Leh Highway. You will not find any soul, food, accommodation or fuel or even trees here 🙂 … The place is totally deserted.

Lachalung La or Lachulung La | Altitude: 5079 Mtrs

Lachulung La or Lachalung La or Lungalacha La is the second highest pass on the Manali – Leh Highway. Get ready to start feeling some breathlessness from here. You will reach above an altitude of 5000 Mtrs or 16000 feet for the first time on your journey. Again there is no vegetation (also counts for breathlessness too), people, fuel, food, or accommodation 🙂

Pang | Altitude: 4600 Mtrs

Pang, is where you really start to see those unique looking soil formations on the mountains and special colors of Ladakh will become more prominent just around Pang and onwards. Pang also has the world’s highest transit camps. Pang has few tented accommodation in Dhabhas for a night stay and one can also enjoy food or beverages on their short stopover at Pang, evening tea may be. One of the Dhabhas also had attached bathroom. Few KMs before Pang, the road runs alongside a river which offers an exciting feeling and some very nice vistas. Pang along with its surrounding areas, does offers some fantastic views to be captured in your camera. Hence, do not miss on the opportunity to record few of them 🙂 … Pang is at higher altitude than Sarchu which will account for headaches + mountain sickness and offers much lesser accommodation option too. Hence, it is always better to stay at Sarchu which offers the Swiss tents too.

This is the last point where you can find food and accommodation at least before Upshi, which does have very basic and limited guest houses. If you are running late, then at Upshi as well you are likely to be unlucky on accommodation front. Hence, if you think you have gone late and don’t want to carry on till Leh in dark, I will suggest you to stay at Pang only and thoroughly enjoy the rest of the colorful journey in next day’s daylight, it will be totally worth.

Moore Plains | Altitude: 4730 Mtrs

Moore plains or Morey plains are surprisingly, flat bedded plains amidst the highest of hills in the country. They run over a length of about 30-35 KMs. As soon as one reach here, the instincts force people to make their own roads 😥 but I request you not to do so because it damages the ecology of the place and disturbs the wildlife. Many of the wild animals live on the water sources present in Moore plains and running the car off the used tracks may damage those scarce sources. Most people make their own road here and try to do all sought of things with their vehicles, including race with other fellow drivers (specially common among taxi drivers). However, these jerks are unaware of the fact that along with risking the damage to the vehicle in loose soil or pot hole in the middle of nowhere they are also disturbing the ecology of the place. So, I request at least you not to do so 🙂 and respect the mother nature in every term so that it prosper more and more… If you are lucky you may spot a Kiyang (Ladakh wild asses) here and blue sheeps too. Hence, keep your cameras ready for the game 🙂

Debring | Altitude: 4835 Mtrs

At Debring, there are few wrecked shelters of road workers may be and some army camps too. There is a road (rough in condition) rather I shall stay dirt track that goes to Tso Kar lake and further to Tso Moriri lake of Ladakh. However, you cannot visit the lakes if you are going from Manali side as you will not be having the inner line permits to visit the lakes. The permits are issued from DC office, Leh or even if you arrange the permits through a travel agent it is not recommended that you attempt a stay at such high altitudes (Tso Moriri: 4595 Mtrs and Tso Kar: 4530 Mtrs) with improper acclimatization. Well, on your return if you have plans to visit Tso Moriri and Tso Kar then you can return via this route. However, the road conditions are bad.

Taglang La or Tanglang La | Altitude: 5328 Mtrs

This is the last and the highest pass on Manali – Leh Highway at a whooping height of 5328 Mtrs or 17582 feet. This pass is also the second highest motorable pass or road in the world, after Khardung La (5602 Mtrs or 18380 feet) which is the highest motorable pass or road in the world. The winds at the pass are freezing cold and the force is such that it will blow you off the cliffs 🙂 … Sometimes, it’s even hard to stand your ground even. Secondly, the oxygen level per breath decreases considerably and with almost nil vegetation most people suffer breathlessness at this pass. The raging pollution from trucks or oil tankers also accounts for the stoppage being brief, by most people. Don’t be surprised if your head may also spin many rounds at this place, especially when you come from Manali side. While our short stay of 10 minutes, I had almost lost my footing quite a number of times due to that spinning affect at Tangang La 😀 (Disorientation or ataxia)… The picture aside the sign board of second highest motorable road in the world, is a must for everyone visiting this mighty pass. No food and no accommodation is present here.

Rumste | Altitude: 4260 Mtrs

As you descend from Taglang La, Rumste is the first settlement you will come across as you enter the Leh valley. It is situated alongside the Indus river and have several tea houses. The road conditions will dramatically improve as you descend from Tanglang La towards Rumste. There will be a point when you will be driving just adjacent to Indus river and you will feel ecstatic, forgetting all about the swaying headaches in the past 3-4 hours. Reaching the place, you will start to breathe a bit better and so as your head will also feel slightly lighter. I started to feel that I have reached my dream destination i.e. Leh :). I am not aware or heard of any accommodation or food options which may be available at Rumste apart from some home stay, if the villagers allows you. Secondly, the drive to Leh from Rumste is almost like a drive in plains and you can cover it fast enough. Hence, after clicking the pictures of this small village you better move ahead towards Leh. BTW, the trek to Tso Moirri and Tso Kar and further towards Kibber in Spiti Valley also starts from Rumtse.

Upshi | Altitude: 3480 Mtrs

Upshi has the last police check point where you need to register your name along with vehicle number in the records. This marks either your arrival in Leh town or marks the departure from Leh town in opposite direction. Upshi is a small town from where you can lead to Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes via Chumathang. It does have few hotels or guest houses with food but they are very basic. Upshi and (few KMs ahead) Karu also have a petrol pumps from where generally you need to top up on the return towards Manali from Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes route. But, you can ignore it if you are heading to Leh, where you can find the fuel as well. So, overall you can ignore Upshi and head straight to Leh even if gets late.

Leh | Altitude: 3500 Mtrs

Leh, the dream of reaching Ladakh is finally true and if you love this place then the excitement to reach Leh will refresh each of your body part even after a 14-15 hours of strolling journey. It’s better that you give some days to local Leh sightseeing and feel the culture, people, traditions and magical aura of Leh – Ladakh. Main market and Changspa road really rocks, so if you like lively environment then try to get a hotel as close to them as possible. Next day, along with local sightseeing you can also arrange the Inner Line Permits for other destinations you are planning to visit in Leh – Ladakh. If you need more details on Inner Line Permits of Leh – Ladakh then read this article: Inner Line Permits for Leh – Ladakh

Summarized View of Facilities or Amenities on Manali – Leh Highway



Hotel / Guest Houses Khoksar, Sissu, Gondla, Tandi, Keylong (Many options), Jispa, Upshi
Tents / Camps

(Dhaba / Swiss / Normal)

Jispa, Darcha, Zingzing Bar, Bharatpur, Sarchu (Many options), Pang
Food / Beverages Marhi, Rohtang Pass, Khoksar, Sissu, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Deepak Tal, Zingzing Bar, Bharatpur, Sarchu, Pang, Rumste, Upshi
Diesel / Petrol Pumps Tandi (107 KMs from Manali), Karu (36 KMs from Leh)
Mobile Connectivity
  • In our case, 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. Airtelworks in Ladakh but with poor connectivity.
  • 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 upt Keylong and in Leh packet data is available only with BSNL edge.
  • Prepaid connections do not work in Leh – Ladakh.
Fixed Phones Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
Electricity Sissu, Gondla, Keylong, Jispa, Darcha, Upshi
Medical Facilities Sissu, Keylong
ATMs Keylong
Police Checkpoints Darcha, Sarchu, Upshi, Khoksar (For foreigners only)
Mechanic / Puncture Shops Marhi, Khoksar, Tandi (not sure), Keylong, Darcha, Sarchu, Upshi
Liquor Shops Marhi, Keylong, Darcha, Upshi
Natural Highlights Rohtang 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


The above information is known to my knowledge only and may not be in its entirety. Hence, I request you to share your valuable inputs or information which I may have missed out. Looking forward for your responses as comments and develop it as an comprehensive information pack on Manali – Leh Highway.

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About Author

You can call me an avid traveler, a day-night dreamer and a passionate lover of the Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in the Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan travel experiences with the other fellow travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...


  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. We (2 Adult $ 2 Kids) are planning a trip from Manali to Leh by Honda City/ Honda amaze car. Is it possible ?
    How to arrange for Rohtange Pass permit ? we tried online but the site is not working . Do we need permit for each member of Family ? which are the Best Accommodation and Food joints along the Manali Leh Highway.
    Places to see in Leh ? Our a 14 days trip. We have already applied for Inner Line Permit online

    • Amit, you can read: Rohtang Pass Permit Mobile App & Other Updates 2018-19. Rohtang Pass permits are for Car only while Inner Line PErmit in Ladakh are for person.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway, Spiti Valley and Ladakh, I will say Possible = Yes, Difficult = Yes, at quite a few place:

      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. You should carry some important essential things for a self drive trip to Ladakh and for it, do read reference my 40 Must Have Things to Carry on Ladakh Self Drive Trip

      Also, I will strongly suggest that you go through and read my series on Spiti / 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

  3. Abhirup Chatterjee on

    Hey Dheeraj,

    You mentioned in some of the comment that out side rental bikes are not allowed in LADAKH. can you please clarify!!
    1) if i want to go from Manali then the rented bikes from Manali or Delhi registration wont be allowed within Ladakh province?
    2) what is the possible option to complete your 14 days round trip itinerary from SRINAGAR – LEH – Manali or vice-versa on a rented self drive.

    • Hi Abhirup,

      Bikes rented outside Ladakh are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh, it is true. You need to rent local Leh bike once you reach Leh.

      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.

      You should travel on Manali – Leh, and Srinagar – Leh by taxi or public transport and use local Leh bike for sightseeing in Ladakh

      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. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly thanks for all your experiences at one place. We are planning for Manali-Leh road trip with bike. Please give me suggestions for below

    1) Planning on this month Sep 29th. Is it right time to go and if it is not, to how much distance we can cover and come back like Manali to Jispa or Manali to Keylong

    2) Can we take a bike and ride with pillion on the above suggested route?

    3) Can you please suggest a good bike rental service as we are totally new

    4) If weather doesn’t help us for Manali to Leh trip, can you please suggest some places for 3-4 night stay from Manali

    • Hi Raja,

      1. Now a days you can travel on Manali – Leh Highway with a little risk of bad weather and snowfall till first-second week of October. You will have to do Manali – Jispa and Jispa – Leh. I will not recommend coming back though, come back from Srinagar – Leh Highway in October.

      2. Yes, people do ride with pillion. Travel as light as possible.

      3. Outside bike rentals are not allowed in Ladakh, better to travel by shared taxis or bus if still running and then rent bike within Ladakh

      Also, if you have 3-4 nights only then better visit Spiti Valley and drop Ladakh which required at least 7-8 days from Manali to make some sense of Ladakh trip.

  5. Prabodh Shah on

    Hi! Can you please tell me the status for Manali-Leh Highway? I am going on my cycle and will start my journey from Manali on the 17th?

  6. I have spent almost two days on your blog. I must say it is output of tremendous effort and heaps of information. Thank you. I need some help with planning my trip.

    1. We will reach Manali by HRTC bus at about 8-9pm on July 8. We hope we will get cheap stay option nearby bus stand on arrival. Have you written any post on this? We are 3 people.

    2. Also We wish to leave for Leh the following morning. We wish to stay at Sarchu on this route. Do we need to pre-book or call for accommodation in the morning or can we easily get one on arrival? Cheaper the better.

    3. What are options to reach Leh by shared cabs from Manali to Leh. As we will reach Manali on 8-9 pm. Do we need to book a shared cab in the night only or do I have to book in morning?

    4. Do we have book Manali – Leh in the same cab? Rates?

    Your input will be very very helpful. Glad I found this blog. Thanking again.

    • Hi Mouktik,

      Thank you, glad I could be of help.

      1. You will only get cheap options of stay in Old Manali or Manali – Naggar road.
      2. It is not recommended to stay overnight at Sarchu, best is Keylong if by public transport or Jispa. Body is never acclimatized to sleep at Sarchu while going from Manali to Leh.
      3. You can go over to taxi stand and book the shared taxi for the next day.
      4. I could not understand this question.

      • Thank You!!!

        1. Ok. Do you have any contacts or recommendation there? our budget is 600-800 max. Better if it is near by taxi stand or bus stand.

        2. Thank you. Yes, May be I’d Consider staying at Jispa only. Do I have to pre-book tents or easily available on arrival? Rates?

        4. Sorry about typing mistakes. I wanted to ask how does the shared taxi booking service work on the Manali-Leh route. Like Do I have to book the the same taxi from Manali to Leh or do I have to get another one at Jispa? And do you know about the rates of this route for shared taxis?

        • 1. Not really bro, I mostly go and hunt there. 600-800 is easily possible. You can also check Hotel Triveni near bus stand, it is in a narrow lane near tibetan market at Mall road.
          2. Again, you can go there and negotiate. Unless you are too fussy about the place to stay, you will get something or other to stay in Jispa.
          4. Well, if it is shared taxi unless it is tourist shared taxi it will not stop at Jispa. Most of the local shared taxis stop at Keylong or do not stop at all for a night stay. So, in such a case Keylong is the stay point if the taxi is taking the halt else you will reach Leh in one go. You can also check HRTC or HPTDC semi deluxe bus.

  7. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am planning for Leh this july.
    I was expecting to have halts at Jipsa,Sarchu and then Leh.
    Do you have any Hotel suggestions or is it ok to reach there and then opt for accomodation? pre booking is a must or Options can be explored?
    more over is there anything else we need to arrange? some documents or Permits?
    How Long a stay you suggest in Leh?

    expecting for your Response.
    Quite helpful article though.
    My entire plan is based on this. 🙂

    • Hi Gargi,

      I will not recommend the night stop at Sarchu because of high altitude and you will not be acclimatized to sleep at such high altitude. Better do Jispa to Leh directly by leaving at max 6 AM from Jispa. It should be OK to book place on spot at Jispa. You will need Beyond Rohtang Pass permit and once you rreach Leh, you will need INner Line Permits for Ladakh. After reaching Leh, you need one day of rest, acclimatization and permit arrangement. Then it is recommended to have 2 day trip to Nubra Valley and 2 day trip to Pangong Tso before returning back.

      • Vijay Sharma on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        I am planing to Leh this June.

        We will start 6 AM from manali.

        Please suggest where we should night halt.

        Sharchu or Pang?

        Please advise.

        VIjay Sharma

        • Vijay, you must halt for night at Jispa and next morning start at 6 AM to reach Leh by evening. Sarchu and Pang night stays are not recommended because you will not be acclimatized by that time to sleep at such high altitude and may fall sick.

  8. Harkirat singh on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    As far as I know the nallah after Zingzing bar has been bridged over by the BRO guys. Can you confirm it?

  9. Hey..can u tell me wich is the best for roadtrip..manali to leh..or srinagar to leh? Or else is it possible that we book a car from manali-leh-srinagar and leave it at srinagar or vice a versa?

    • Best is to plan the road trip to Ladakh as Srinagar to Leh to Manali. 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

      • Ya bt are there bookings done for one way i.e. srinagar to manali and leave the car at manali? Hw much does it cost? Do u have any contacts there for asking abt the bookings?

        • 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. You can call the local drivers directly to connect with them and check the comprehensive List of Taxi Drivers for Ladakh – Srinagar – Leh – Manali with recommendations/reviews for DoW community members.

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