Travel Guide for Manali – Leh Highway

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There have been many articles on Manali – Leh Highway published earlier on the blog. Now to make complete sense of all of them  I would like to put them all at one location to transform it into a Manali – Leh Highway Travel Guide. I hope this helps all my fellow travelers to find information or all they want to know about Manali – Leh Highway at a single place only.

Manali - Leh National Highway

Planning a Journey on Manali – Leh Highway

In order to help you plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway, you can refer the below link which will explain you complete details about how you can plan your journey on Manali – Leh Highway. The below link includes the information regarding best season to travel on Manali – Leh Highway, modes of travel on Manali – Leh Highway, public amenities like ATMs, Petrol Pumps, Liquor shops etc on Manali – Leh Highway etc. Refer the link below for details – How to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway

Complete Details of Places on Manali – Leh Highway

If you are interested to know comprehensive details about the places on Manali – Leh Highway then below is the link for such information. The below link includes the information about distance and altitude chart for the places on Manali – Leh Highway along with their description which helps you plan your brief stoppages, night halts, point of interests etc on Manali – Leh Highway. Refer the link below for details – Places on Manali – Leh Highway | A Detailed Description

Suraj Tal besides 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 much details as possible about the place is always favorable. I have complied 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

Views at Pang on Manali - Leh Highway

Importance of Acclimatization on Manali – Leh Highway

Since, you would be traveling above 14000 feet for about 300+ KMs on Manali – Leh Highway its really IMPORTANT for you to understand about acclimatization, its importance and AMS or mountain sickness. Many instances people have been found in doubt weather to take the babies or kids with them to Leh – Ladakh or on Manali – Leh Highway. To answer yuor queries and doubts in such cases, I have complied a brief text on the link below which includes information about AMS, acclimatization and few important TIPS which will help you keep your body better acclimatized and minimize the chances of AMS or mountain sickness, when its safe to take babies or kids to Leh – Ladakh and what precautions to take etc. Refer the link below for details – Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Tangang La on Manali - Leh Highway

List of things to carry on Manali – Leh Highway

I have tried to compile a practical list of things to carry while you travel or go on trip. I am sure it will be helpful for you even in case of Manali – Leh Highway too. Refer the link below for details – List of things to carry when you go on trip or travel

As for clothing, its always best to dress up in layers with Inner Thermals both lower and upper always ON. It might irritate in bright sunshine in lower hills but as the altitude increase then it will certainly help in the shades or evenings or mornings or if the weather turn up dark. You need to carry heavy woolens while you travel to Manali – Leh Highway.

Its really IMPORTANT that you carry eateries like dry fruits (must have as backup incase you get stuck), chocolates, some non-perishable food and ample of water to keep each one of you hydrated.

Along with things mentioned in above link, if you are self-driving then you must take the Basic toolkit, screw driver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three “2 liter” 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. These are among the 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.

Deepak Tal besides Manali - Leh National Highway

Conclusion

I hope the above information along with dedicated links will help you plan your travel to Manali – Leh Highway in the entirety and hassle free. In case you wish to share your experience or have any suggestions or have any queries then please feel free to leave a comment below and I would be more than happy to respond to it within quick time…

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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 ...

955 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. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are four of us from Chennai. We are driving on Zoom car from Delhi.

    1. Is it possible to do Manali – Leh in a day’s time like start at 4 AM from Manali on 1st September 2018 and reach there by 9 PM.
    2. Similarly we plan to do Leh – Manali at 4 AM on 5th September and reach Manali by 8/9 PM same day.
    3. Is the drivers list in Leh updated? We plan to do half day Leh local and then Diskit, Hunder, Turtuk, Pangong in 3 days 2nd Sept 2018 to 4th Sept 2018?
    4. I ready in one of your posts that only BSNL postpaid SIM’s work enroute Manali to Leh, is that correct. We are from Chennai, TamilNadu, will a BSNL Postpaid SIM purchased here work there as well.

  3. Sanjay Vaid on

    Hi Dheeraj,
    We are a month away from our annual roadtrip. Revisiting Ladakh after three years (leave Manali early morning 6th September 2018 / leave Leh early morning on the 14th of September).Though I have done the Manali-Leh route thrice before will be very grateful for your ever valuable inputs.
    1. Re the route: Do you think there is any particular stretch this year to be more concerned about ..for eg: the nalla after Zing Zing Bar / uphill climb to Tanglang-La ( at this time of the season) ? Planning to stay in Sarchu for the night halt both ways. Hope some tented accomodations will be open for the return journey.
    2. As I had mentioned in my earlier email to you we are travelling to Turtuk after the Leh marathon. This time I have a Belgian nationality couple friend accompanying my wife and me.They have always wanted to visit Ladakh and do this epic roadtrip. They are bringing all their personal documents / insurance etc. I have already forwarded everything to my friends in Manali and Leh for necesssary permits etc. Do you feel there will be any issues anywhere en route or after Leh also because we are with foreign nationals ? Do we need to take any extra precautions / documentation other than those required?
    3. Earlier trips were in my Scorpio. This time its a Fortuner AT. If I top up in Tandi would it see me through till Leh or would I have to still carry extra fuel ( tank capacity is @ 80L) ? Also planning on shifting whenever requires to manual mode especially on steep inclines ( would you agree?).

    Thanks very much for all your very helpful advice once again,
    Best regards,
    Sanjay

    • Here are the inputs:

      1. Not really, mostly water crossings will be tamed during that time period.
      2. No, they do not need to take any extra permissions. You guys will need Inner Line Permits and those folks will need Protected Area PErmit
      3. It should be able to make it to Leh with 80L tank full.

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    At the outset thanks for sharing much information. Me along with other 3 friends planning for Manali – Leh – Srinagar trip this month end and planning not to join any club. We are planning to hire a bike at Manali, but exploring the web if we have options to leave the bike and Leh or Srinagar instead heading back to Manali again. And how do we obtain the permission to pass Rhotang Pass, I see ur blog where link is provided to again approvals but it requires the vehicle register number and other details. Also through another blog of u I learned Manali reg bikes are not allowed in Leh and surrounding site seeing places. Can we park our Manali hired vehicle in Leh and hire a vehicle in Leg, is it good option? Also it would be great if you can share ur contact number pls.

    • Yes Pavan, you can park your manali bikes and rent the bikes again in Leh. Manali rental agencies provide a discount as well for those days. Once you have the bike, you can apply the permit too.

  5. susmita kapoor on

    nice article,, you have written everything about that beautiful place

  6. Hi Dheeraj,

    One more question. Can you please clarify on this.

    1. Do we need to take Inner Line Permit to visit Nubra valley and Pangong lake
    2. If yes, can you also let me know from where we can get them.

    Thanks,
    Avaneesh

  7. Hi Dheeraj,

    Thank you very much for your effort in making us more comfortable in planning our Himalayas trip.

    We are 3 peaople starting our journey to Leh from Delhi on 29th June till 8th July. Below is the plan.

    First we will start our journey from Delhi to Manali by Bus on 29th June and reach Manali by 30th June. From Manali we will catch HPTDC bus to Leh on 1st July and reach Leh on 2nd July at 5PM(As scheduled).

    We will take rest for that day and the next day. Next 3 days (4th – 6th July) we will take bikes on rent and visit Pangong lake and Nubra valley with night stays at these places.

    Can you please clarify me on below questions

    1. Are there any private shared taxis available from Leh to Manali, so that we can reach Manali by night of the same day (i.e. 7th July)instead of taking HPTDC bus which takes 2 days to reach Manali from Leh. How much they charge (approaximately)?

    We will make a day-time journey from Manali to Delhi on 8th July. This stretch is mainly because we have to catch flight from Delhi to Hyderabad at morning 8AM on 9th July.

    2. Can we pitch our own tents at Pangong lake and Nubra valley?

    3. Can we get bikes on rent for 3 continuous days in Leh?

    Your response is much appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Avaneesh

    • Hi Avaneesh,

      You must visit Nubra Valley first and then Pangong Tso and take at least one day rest in Leh before moving to these places so that body is acclimatized.

      1. Private shared taxis doing Manali – Leh in a single day will be tough to find, local shared taxis will be present and common though.
      2. Yes, if you are carrying your own tents, you can pitch them: Top 10 Tips for Camping in Ladakh & Spiti Valley
      3. Yes, you will be able to get bike rentals in Leh for as many days as you want: Leh – Ladakh Bike Rental Rates 2018-19

      Overall the schedule is too tight and one day here and there could end up missing the flight for you.

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for the quick response.

        For the first question, you mean we can get the local taxis which can run from Leh to Manali using which we can reach Manali in one day. Am I right?

        Avaneesh

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Thank you for the quick response.

          For the first question, you mean we can get the local taxis which can run from Leh to Manali using which we can reach Manali in one day. Am I right?

          Avaneesh

        • Yes, there are local shared taxis that run per seat basis and used by locals to commute between Manali and Leh in a day. Majorly these are taxis from Manali that are going back to Manali for their next pickup because Manali taxis are only allowed for drop to Leh, so they drop their passengers as tourists and then they have to go back to Manali empty or in shared local taxi basis.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Can you you please confirm the below point.

          For the first question, you mean we can get the local taxis which can run from Leh to Manali using which we can reach Manali in one day. Am I right?

          Thanks again,
          Avaneesh

    • Debolina Sen on

      Hi Dheeraj,
      Thank you for all the information you have provided in your articles. I have been reading many of them while we plan for our Ladakh trip this August. We were planning on flying from Delhi to Kullu then renting a self-drive car and drive to Leh. However, we do not have enough time to drive back from Leh on our return trip and wanted to fly back from Leh to Delhi. I haven’t found anything online yet but do you know if there are options for one-way self-drive rentals (from Kullu/Manali)? If car is not an option, do you know if we can rent a bike one-way? Please let me know and also let me know your suggestions. I do understand that we cannot drive the out of station rented car in Ladakh and that we would have to get a local taxi while in Leh.

      • There will not be any such services available in Kullu Manali nor you will find any service for one way rental even in Delhi/Chandigarh. You can rent bikes from Manali and drop them in Leh but the charges for one way rental will be around 10-12K and then you cannot use those bikes for sightseeing in Ladakh. So, I will not say it will be worth to spend that much money just for bike ride experience of Manali – Leh

  8. Dinesh Sharaf on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    You are doing a great job by providing such useful information. We have done Spiti trip with the help of information provided by you couple years back.

    Now we (3 of our friends) are planning to visit Leh via Manali during June 30 – July 8. We are opting public transport Manali to Leh (and Leh to Manali) and planning to take bikes on rent to visit Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Pangong lake and few monasteries etc.

    1. Can we get bikes on rent in Leh for 3 days to visit the places mentioned.
    2. What is the best itinerary as we are opting for public transport.
    3. Any other must visit places en route.
    4. Can we pitch our own tents at Pangong lake or at any other places that I mentioned

    Your response is very much appreciated and helpful for our trip.

    Thank you so much in advance.
    Dinesh

  9. can we plan for chandratal lake from manali on 25 may 2018 with 4 adult and 1 child 6-7 years.

  10. dear dheeraj ur article are very helpful for us can u tell that can we come leh by zoom car self drive car is there any issue raise by leh local people for rented zoom car plz reply

    • Pradeep, you can only come to Leh and exit out of Leh on outside rented car. You will have to do sightseeing within Ladakh on a local taxi.

  11. parveen rana on

    hi dhreej can you guide me about snow chain for bike i am planing a winter ride to spitti velly a have Apache rtr 160

  12. Hrishikesh Chakraborty on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Thanks for the valuable information in your blog. We are again planning for Ladakh, but this time we will start from Manali. We are planning to start our journey from Manali to Jispa on Monday 11th June 2018. Is that time good for clear sky, or do we get rain in between our journey?

    Your response is much appreciated and helpful for our planning.
    Thanks
    Hrishikesh

      • Hrishikesh on

        Thanks for your comment Dheeraj. However will you able to inform us about the weather of that time, clear sky or cloudy. I know prediction about mountain weather is nearest to impossible, but please inform us about the trends.

        • It has already started snowing at high passes, cold has set in the high Himalayas. Skies usually are clear but occasional snowfall can always occur.

  13. Mahendra Karki on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    Many thanks for providing all the information’s regarding ladakh trip.

    We planned our whole trip based on information on devilonwheels site and enjoyed the most with min. cost. We contacted Mr. Rigzin (driver) no. 1 in ur list of drivers for taxi service, he arranged taxi from Srinagar to leh ( 1 night stay in kargil ) and for leh sightseen, nubra valley and pangong visit. We were lucky to have Mr. Rigzin as driver from leh to khargungla, he is awesome driver, he jokes, he sings, he is a genuine heart person. He guides us the timing we shud leave nubra to reach pangong via leh as the direct route was closed due to landslide so we dnt miss our pangong stay.

    Again I want to thank you Mr. Dheeraj and Mr. Rigzin for making our trip memorable and unforgettable.

    Note: Kargil War Memorial (KWM) will be closed for visitors with effect from 22 to 26 July for maintenance purpose.

    Hope the above information helps others to plan their trip in case they dnt want to miss KWM.

    Regards
    Mahendra Karki

  14. Dear Dheeraj,

    Thank you for your valuable information. Please share your valuable info on the below queries.

    1. How is the situation now with rented bike communication from Manali to Leh. We have already rented bkes from manali prior to this bike association issue that happened last week, which led to restrict manali rented bike to cross Sarchu.

    2. Is there any local bus services available to go Sarchu from Manali in Day-1 and to go Leh from Sarchu on Day-2. I have inquired about HRTC buses, but they go till Keylong and next day from Keylong to Sarchu.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Hi Ashuotsh,

      1. Renting bikes from Manali may not be the best thing now as Ladakh bike rental union has banned them to even enter. Best is to avoid renting them and rent bikes only in Leh.
      2. You cannot do from Sarchu, you have to use local transport from Manali to Keylong and then Keylong to Leh. Once you reach Leh, then rent the bikes. Sarchu is nothing but some camps pitched for overnight stay. There is no civilization or village there. Darcha will be the last village on the way to Leh from Manali side and then directly comes Rumtse after crossing Taglang la.

  15. Dheeraj,

    Will hiring a bike from chandigarh solve the purpose ?? I mean, can i drive chandigarh bike till Leh ??

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