Travel Guide for Manali – Leh Highway

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There have been few articles on Manali – Leh Highway published earlier on my 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 along with the list of places to visit on Manali Leh Highway.

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

Download your FREE high-resolution version pdf copy of this Manali to Leh infographic guide. If, you liked it and found it helpful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends to help them too.

Manali Leh Travel Guide

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 travel on this 474 KM long, Manali – Leh road trip at least once in his or her lifetime.

I strongly feel that everyone who loves to travel, be it adventure lover or a 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 traveled through the experience of this lifetime’s journey on Manali Leh road trip numerous times in the last ten years, as of 2018. And, I wish I will do it many more times in the future too.

The highway is desolate at many places, so it is better to plan the trip and have as much information as possible before making a trip to Ladakh.

I hope this detailed guide on Manali Leh road trip helps all my fellow travelers to find complete information or all they want to know about Manali – Leh Highway at a single place only. In this article, I have also merged the important places to visit on Manali Leh Highway road trip.

Who maintains the Manali to Leh road?

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 the 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 National Highway

Planning the Trip

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, bus services from Manali to Leh, public amenities like ATMs, Petrol Pumps, Liquor shops, etc. on Manali – Leh Highway. You can read all the details in the article How to plan a journey on Manali – Leh Highway

Every year, I also publish an article to post updates on road conditions and Manali Leh Highway Status. You should be able to hook to that thread to get the latest updates on road closure, road opening, water crossings, etc..

Where to Stay

There are many options to stay 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 when making a Manali Leh road trip.

Video – Where to stay on Manali – Leh Highway?

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. You can read the details in the article List of Accommodation Options on Manali – Leh Highway

Views at Pang on Manali - Leh Highway

Importance of Acclimatization

Since you would be traveling above 14000 feet for about 300+ KMs on Manali – Leh Highway, it’s really IMPORTANT for you to understand about acclimatization, its importance, and AMS or mountain sickness. Many instances people have been found in doubt whether to take the babies or kids with them to Leh – Ladakh or on Manali – Leh Highway.

To answer your queries and doubts in such cases, I have compiled a brief text on the link below. The article includes information about AMS and acclimatization, which will help you keep your body better acclimatized. It will help 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. You can read all the details in the article Acute Mountain Sickness and Importance of Acclimatization

Tangang La on Manali - Leh Highway

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 a trip to Manali Leh Highway. I am sure it will be helpful for you when you take this adventurous journey. You can refer to this complete list of things to carry when you go on Manali Leh road trip

Clothes to Carry on Manali Leh Road

As for clothing to carry on Manali Leh road trip, it is 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 turns up dark. You need to carry heavy woolens when you travel to Manali – Leh Highway.

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

You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂

Are you making a self-drive trip?

If you are traveling from Manali to Leh by car then you must carry a few things on this adventure trip to Ladakh.

Along with the list of things I mentioned in the above link, if you are self-driving on Manali Leh Highway, then you must take the Basic toolkit, screwdriver set, small hammer, puncture repair kit, iron rod, two or three “2 liters” 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.

You can also refer the top 40 list of things to carry on Manali Leh self drive trip.

Even if you are making a trip from Manali to Leh on bike, this list of things to carry will help you on your bike trip as well.

Also, do not forget to get your vehicle (car/bike) serviced about 2-3 weeks before the start of the Ladakh journey. This service 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

Places to Visit on Manali – Leh Highway

Throughout 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 hairpin bends to butter-smooth roads to many non-existent and washed away roads to strong cold winds blowing you away and to what not, all this raising the fun of this ultimate journey to greater heights.

Video – Tourists Attractions on Manali to Leh Road Trip

Video – Sightseeing on Manali Leh Highway

In this travel guide of Manali Leh Highway, I am going to share an informatory dissection of all major places that come on the route from Manali to Leh along with the details of food, fuel, accommodation or stay options, amenities, etc..

I hope this information helps you get an idea of what you can expect 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.

Altitude over Distance Graph

I have created this graph of Manali to Leh distance by the road along with the changes in altitude as you travel on Manali Leh Highway.

To save a bigger resolution picture of the altitude over distance graph of places on Manali Leh Highway, Right Click & then select the option: “Save Image As…”

Altitude over distance graph of places to visit on Manali Leh Highway
Altitude over distance graph of places to visit on Manali Leh Highway

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

Manali, about 570 KM from Delhi, is the place from where this lifetime journey begins on Manali Leh Highway. Manali, the valley of gods is lush green at the time when you will be doing your Ladakh journey and you will definitely enjoy the weather up in Manali.

Although, in May – June due to the holiday rush, Manali 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. You can do a lot in Manali town, and for comprehensive details including how to reach Manali from Delhi, I request you to read my Manali Travel Guide.

Should I sleep at Manali or Solang Valley?

One point worth highlighting is that if you are traveling Leh – Ladakh from Manali side then you should avoid staying overnight in Manali town rather stay overnight at Solang Valley, 14 KM away.

Why?

Manali is at a lower altitude than Solang Valley, and it 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 the next few days of your Ladakh road trip.

Solang Valley is further 14 KM ahead of Manali and is a much calmer place as compared to Manali. Solang Valley also offers some majestic views along with adventure activities like parachuting, paragliding, skating, and zorbing, etc

Is there any drawback to stay at Solang Valley?

The only drawback sleeping at Solang Valley on your Ladakh road trip 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 what you get in Manali, and mostly, you will need to have your food in the hotel only.

But, the advantages of getting acclimatized and peace around will outweigh these minor hitches, unless you want a very cheap hotel. If you miss different cuisines and lively crowded place, you can surely spend your day in Manali enjoying the other flavors of the valley and come back to the hotel at Solang Valley for night stay.

Is Solang Valley on Manali Leh Highway?

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 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. Else, you will have to travel to Manali town in the morning to get the shared taxi.

Similarly, if you are traveling by Manali to Leh bus service, then as well, either make prior arrangements with the conductor the previous night or travel to Manali in the morning to catch the bus.

That was all about the first place that we covered of this Manali Leh Travel Guide 😉 …

Planning a trip to Shimla and Manali?
Beautiful Views in Manali

Gulaba

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 a few Dhabhas on Gulaba and no options to stay.

Marhi | Altitude: 3300 Mtrs

After Gulaba, you reach Marhi which is the highest snow point in winters when the road to Rohtang Pass is closed. There are few Dhabhas on Marhi by HPTDC but there are no stay options.

Marhi is a common stoppage point for people doing cycling on Manali Leh Highway. Cyclists put up their own camps to spend the night at Marhi and get acclimatized for the ride ahead.

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 nine out of 12 months. The feeling of going between these huge walls of snow is impeccable, especially in the early season.

Of course, if you do not leave early in the day, then surely the traffic jam may frustrate you in the early season due to the narrow passage and kill your time. You need to leave as early as possible like 5 AM from Manali to avoid the traffic jam on Manali – Rohtang Pass road in June.

It is perhaps the last major point on the southern portal of Rohtang Pass. No stay or food options are available at Rani Nalla.

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. Though there has been some respite since the introduction of Rohtang Pass permit.

Do expect heavy tourist rush and traffic jam, if you are late in leaving from Manali in the early season.

Rohtang Pass remains closed for more than six months in the winter months due to heavy snowfall and thus closing the Manali Leh Highway.

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. There is no place to stay or eat at Rohtang Pass.

Rohtang Pass is the first of the five major mountain passes in this travel guide of Manali Leh Highway.

Fun Fact: By the way, the meaning of Rohtang is “pile of corpses or dead bodies” 😉 …

A road full of slush to Rohtang Pass
A road full of slush to Rohtang Pass

Gramphu | Altitude: 3200 Mtrs

After you descend towards the northern portal of Rohtang Pass, you reach a place called Gramphu.

At Gramphu, there is a diversion towards the right which will lead you to Spiti Valley via Kunzum Pass. If you want to visit Chandratal then you need to take the diversion towards Spiti and once you reach Batal, go straight towards Chandratal. There are no stay options at Gramphu, but you will find a couple of tea shacks / dhabhas serving tea.

If you are traveling from Kaza to Manali, it will be the first point where you will get mobile signals.

Khokhsar | Altitude: 3140 Mtrs

Just a few KM after Gramphu, you will 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 or toilet to freshen up and a PWD rest house for night stay. To stay at the PWD rest house, generally, you will need bookings. There are few houses as well in this small village. The Chandra river flows through this place, and the surrounding views are just amazing from the village.

It is a major eating point on Manali Leh Highway especially when you are traveling from Manali to Jispa for the first night stop.

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 looks spectacular especially near monsoon months.

Sissu has a PWD Rest House, but in case you want to stay, then you should 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.

Apart from PWD rest houses, there are a couple of more places to stay at Sissu including Hotel Triveni.

There are a few 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 Kunzum Pass connecting Spiti Valley.

The northern portal of Rohtang Pass tunnel will be opening near Sissu, very soon (as of 2018).

Riding your way on Manali - Leh Highway
Riding your way on Manali – Leh Highway

Tandi | Altitude: 2573 Mtrs

Next on the list of places to visit on Manali Leh Highway is the most important place called Tandi.

At Tandi, you will find the only petrol pump on Manali – Leh Highway after Manali and up to Karu or Leh. The next petrol pump is about 365 KMs away towards Leh from Tandi.

Hence, you mustn’t miss this petrol pump to top up the fuel. Apart from being famous for this only petrol pump on Manali – Leh Highway, Tandi offers a view of the confluence of Chandra River and Bhaga River. The merged river is called Chandrabhaga River, and when it enters Jammu and Kashmir, it is further called the Chenab river.

The Chandra River originates from Chandratal / Samudri Tapu, 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.

There is Manali Leh Highway travel guide that is complete without the mention of Tandi petrol pump 🙂

Keylong | Altitude: 3080 Mtrs

Next comes Keylong, which 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.

The opening of the Rohtang Pass tunnel will provide year-round connectivity to Keylong and the rest of the Lahaul Valley. Although the road from Manali to Leh will remain closed at other mountain passes in winter months even after the Rohtang Pass tunnel is operational.

Keylong Sightseeing & Stay Options

There is a famous Kardang Monastery in Keylong, which is the largest and most important monastery of the Lahaul district of the Drukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The views from the Keylong town are pretty nice with the Bhaga river flowing in between, but I felt it (Keylong) a bit boring 🙁 …

Also, people coming to explore Lahaul Valley including Udaipur, Triloknath Temple, etc make Keylong as the base town.

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 for 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 without going down to Keylong village.

Utilities / Services at Keylong

There are phone services at Keylong, and mobile phone data services work great too at Keylong. You can make calls at home from Keylong as then mostly there will not be any phone signals once you cross Darcha and reach Upshi near Leh on Manali Leh Highway.

The electricity power connections are also available at Keylong, which can be utilized to charge mobile or camera batteries.

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 the ATM at Keylong. However, in the first place, I will say that DO NOT miss to carry cash from Manali ATM. Still, if you have missed it then try your luck at the Keylong ATM which is the only ATM available on Manali Leh Highway.

Jispa | Altitude: 3320 Mtrs

Jispa is a small village that is located on the banks of the Bhaga River. While coming from Manali side, Jispa is my most preferred place for a night stay and to break the journey on Manali Leh Highway in two days.

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. Jispa feels much closer to nature than Keylong.

There is a Hotel Ibex with a perfect restaurant serving delicious food. There are a couple of other guesthouses 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 in Jispa.

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. and it does have a 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 on this adventurous Manali to Leh road trip.

Beautiful Roads at Jispa
Beautiful Roads at Jispa

Darcha | Altitude: 3360 Mtrs

Darcha is a small village that is considered as the 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. BRO completed the new road from Darcha to Padum via Shingo La pass in 2018. So, if you are planning a trip to Zanskar, then you can travel to Padum from Darcha over Shingo La pass through this route.

Utilities, Food & Stay options at Darcha

Food / Drinking Water / Beverages (tea/coffee) in dhabhas or roadside stalls is available at Darcha on Manali Leh Highway. This place also has 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 a phone connection.

Beyond Darcha

Beyond Darcha village, the vegetation will start to reduce, and the mountains will start to change their colors into dark brown watercolor paintings that we all used to paint in childhood. The 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 better acclimatized and always hydrated on this tough journey on Manali Leh road. Do not forget to intake a good amount of water to keep your minerals and oxygen levels correct in the body.

Pro Tip: It will be best if you can carry ORS diluted water or Glucon-D water with you all the time and keep sipping it after every half an hour or so to keep yourself adequately hydrated on Manali Leh Highway.

Deepak Tal | Altitude: 3810 Mtrs

Next on the list of sightseeing places on Manali Leh Highway is Deepak Tal. It is a small man-made lake near Patseo having its own charm and is one of the two lakes that you can visit when traveling to Ladakh via Manali.

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 yours.

You can enjoy a cup of tea or your breakfast at the Dhaba just aside Deepak Tal.

Fun Fact: 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… 🙂

Deepak tal lake near Patseo
Deepak Tal lake near Patseo

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 a few army camps are present, and sometimes they divert the road in some weird zigzag manner. Once you reach Patseo, the feeling of getting to the high altitude starts taking in effect.

Zingzing Bar | Altitude: 4270 Mtrs

Zing zing Bar is a tiny place with 2-3 tented dhabhas that offers stay options in them as dormitory beds. Of course, these dhabhas do offer food and beverages too.

If you leave early from Keylong/Jispa and you prefer to have your breakfast a bit late, then you can mark Zing zing Bar dhabhas for breakfast as well. This point is where the climb to the mighty Baralacha La pass starts.

Just after Zingzing bar, there was used to be a nalla (water crossing) created by the melting snow of the Baralacha range. People mostly used to get stuck in it when traveling later in the day. However, BRO has built a permanent bridge on top of it, and the adventure of the most ferocious water crossings on Manali Leh Highway is gone.

Still, there are a couple of water crossings on Manali Leh Highway that becomes violent late in the noon. Hence, the advice of starting the day early on Manali Leh Highway still holds true 🙂 …

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 the Bhaga river and remains frozen and cut off in the months of winter.

Early in the season, i.e., June, you will find this lake to be frozen as well. As we get more into the summers, having snow-covered peaks around and emitting its aqua green color at the foothills, the Suraj Tal lake looks simply breathtaking. Do not miss to click a few pictures of this amazing high altitude lake in India on Manali Leh Highway.

Later in the season time when the snow has melted, the Surajtal may not have much water in it and will not look as enchanting as it looks in the early season.

Suraj tal Lake near Baralacha La
Suraj Tal Lake near Baralacha La

Baralacha La | Altitude: 4890 Mtrs

Baralacha La or Baralacha Pass (La meaning Pass) is second of the five high mountain passes that come on the Manali to Leh Highway. Baralacha La connects the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh to the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir.

At the North-West base of the Baralacha La range, the Bhaga river originates from Suraj or Surya Tal, and at South East base, the 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 Chandratal lake, 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 this journey on Manali Leh Highway, you will certainly witness one or two vehicles either stuck aside or stuck in the middle which results in the traffic jams on this road.

The ice or snow melting from the slopes, battered by moving traffic either creates deep mud or deep water crossings by washing away the roads. This gushing water makes the journey more adventurous and full of challenges on this mighty mountain pass. Once you get into the late-season like September – October, the Baralacha La pass becomes mostly devoid of snow.

The feeling of passing through this particular pass is a feeling of its own kind and I purely loved it 🙂

Bharatpur – 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, which has a few dhabhas to have some food as well as a series of tented accommodation running alongside the Manali – Leh Highway.

Some people do stay overnight at these camps as well, but being in much higher altitude than Sarchu, I do not recommend to sleep at Bharatpur as well. The accommodation or camps at Bharatpur are cheaper as compared to the stay options at Sarchu. You can have food/tea/coffee here.

Once you cross Bharatpur, after a few km, 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, especially after you have been held up by the road conditions since morning.

I will STRONGLY suggest to hold on to those instincts of pushing the paddle of your as the road is straight, somewhat metalled. Still, it does have lots of bumps in between may be due to the loose soil beneath or due to holes dug by Himalayan marmots. You do not want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere when the broken car at Sarchu.

All I want to say is that while speeding through that road to Sarchu on Manali Leh Highway, do not be too complacent else be ready for some super bumps on the way. When self-driving to Ladakh, always make sure you are not carried away by the emotions and drive with caution & care.

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

Sarchu | Altitude: 4290 Mtrs

222 KM away from Manali, Sarchu is famous for the night halt because it offers some good tented accommodations on Manali – Leh Highway. At Sarchu, the state changes from Himachal Pradesh to Jammu and Kashmir. Also, the Deepak Project of BRO 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 on Manali Leh Highway. 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 offering some good accommodation options including the Swiss tents with attached toilets. Hence, many people do consider Sarchu for a night halt. People already having the night halt at Keylong or Jispa, usually stops for lunch at Sarchu. It does have a few dhabhas which offer food and beverages as well.

At Sarchu, you may get some fuel or petrol in black in dhabhas in case of any emergency.

Avoid Stay at Sarchu when coming from Manali to Leh

Sarchu is at very high altitude and many people staying overnight at this rough place suffer from mountain sickness including sleepless nights, severe headaches or vomiting. No wonder many veterans call Sarchu a Vomit Hilton.

If you are not properly acclimatized, you will surely be one of them, suffering the pinch or punches, especially at night. While traveling from the Manali side, the body does not acclimatize properly, and in case you have not had a night stay at Keylong or Jispa, the body will surely suffer to adapt at such a high altitude of Sarchu at night.

Hence, even though Sarchu offers some 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 or Tso Moriri lake after spending a few nights at higher altitudes in Ladakh, then your body is acclimatized already. So, in that case, you can opt to stay at Sarchu to break the journey on Manali Leh Highway evenly.

Gata Loops | Altitude: 4190 Mtrs

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

Please note that there goes a story of a ghost of the Gata loops, please don’t pollute the environment in the name of the ghosts or superstitions and do not throw plastic bottles in the offering to them. Even if you are superstitious, offer the water and keep the bottle with yourself.

The loneliness of Manali Leh Highway near Gata Loops
The loneliness of Manali Leh Highway near Gata Loops

Nakee La | Altitude: 4740 Mtrs

Next place on the list in this Manali Leh travel guide is the third of the five passes that come on the Manali – Leh Highway, Nakee La Pass. You will not find any soul, food, accommodation or fuel, or even trees here. The place is deserted.

There are few short cuts around Nakee La of dirt roads, I will strongly advise not to take any of the short cuts because I have seen many cars losing control especially when getting down and losing tractions or burning brakes.

Nakee La Pass
Nakee La Pass

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 and fourth on the way from Manali to Leh road trip.

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

Lachung La Pass
Lachung La Pass

Pang | Altitude: 4600 Mtrs

Pang, is where you start to see those unique looking soil formations on the mountains. The special and deserted colors of Ladakh will become more prominent just around Pang and onwards. Pang also has the world’s highest transit camps.

At Pang, there are few tented accommodations in Dhabhas for a night stay, and one can also enjoy food or beverages on their short stopover at Pang, evening tea maybe. One of the Dhabhas also had an attached bathroom.

Few KMs before Pang, the road runs alongside a river which offers an exciting feeling and some very nice views. Pang, along with its surrounding areas, does offers some fantastic views to be captured in your camera. Hence, do not miss the opportunity to record a few of them and spend more time between Sarchu and Pang.

Pang is at a higher altitude than Sarchu, which will account for headaches + mountain sickness and offers much lesser accommodation options too. Hence, it is always better to stay at Sarchu, which offers Swiss tents too unless you have some emergency.

You may get some fuel or petrol in black in dhabhas at Pang in case of an emergency.

Pang is an important place where you can find food and accommodation at least before Rumtse – Upshi, which does have very basic and limited guesthouses.

If you are running late, then at Rumtse – Upshi as well you are likely to be unlucky on the accommodation front. Hence, if you think you have gone late and don’t want to carry on till Leh in the dark, I will suggest you stay at Pang only and thoroughly enjoy the rest of the colorful journey in the next day’s daylight. It will be worth.

Some of the dhabha have electricity arranged from transit camps or battery backups, so, you may charge your phone or camera here. Also, the army transit camp may have a phone to call back home in case of an emergency.

In case of any medical emergency on Manali Leh Highway, you can get help at the Pang army transit camp.

Moore Plains or More Plains or Morey Plains | Altitude: 4730 Mtrs

Next place in this Manali Leh guide is one of the most interesting popular by the names More Plains or Moore plains, or Morey plains.

More plains are surprising, 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 reaches Moore Plains, the instincts force people to make their roads 😥 but I request you not to do so because it damages the ecology of the place and disturbs the wildlife. So, please stay on that beautiful blacktop road.

Fortunately, BRO has built a well-laid tarmac road on which you may hit 60 KMPH for the first time after long hrs of this drive on Manali Leh Highway. Hence, please avoid off-roading and preserve the ecosystem. Use this well-built road and enjoy the views at Moore Plains. You can make good progress on some lost time as well by staying on the road.

Many of the wild animals live on the water sources present in Moore plains and running the car off the roads may damage those scarce sources. Many people try to do off-roading for show off, and all sought of things with their vehicles, including the race with other fellow drivers.

However, these jerks are unaware of the fact that along with risking the damage to the vehicle in loose soil or potholes 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 mother nature in every term so that it prosper more and more for our generations to come.

If you are lucky, you may spot a Kiyangs (Ladakh wild asses) and Blue Sheeps too at Moore Plains on Manali Leh Highway. Hence, keep your cameras ready for the game 🙂

Excellent Roads at Moore Plains - Manali Leh Highway
Excellent Roads at Moore Plains – Manali Leh Highway

Debring | Altitude: 4835 Mtrs

At Debring, there are few wrecked shelters of road workers maybe and some army camps too. Sometimes there you can find a makeshift dhabha too where you can stop for tea.

Debring is the point where the diversion road to Tso Kar and Tso Moriri lakes connect at Leh Manali Highway. The road is a mix of good and bad to Tso Moriri from Debring.

However, you should not visit the Tso Moriri lake from Manali side as you will not do not have the inner line permits to visit the lakes. If you are traveling from Manali to Leh by car, 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 journey from Leh to Manali, if you have plans to visit Tso Moriri and Tso Kar lakes then you can exit on Manali Leh Highway at Debring via this route.

Taglang La or Tanglang La | Altitude: 5328 Mtrs

Taglang La is the last and the highest mountain pass on Manali – Leh Highway at a whopping altitude of 5328 Mtrs or 17582 feet.

This pass is also the falsely claimed to be the second-highest motorable pass or road in the world, after Khardung La (5602 Mtrs or 18380 feet) which is also falsely claimed as the highest motorable pass or road in the world.

The winds at the Tanglang La pass are cold, and the force is such that it will blow you off the cliffs. Sometimes, it’s even hard to stand on 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 travel to Ladakh via Manali side.

I do not recommend spending more than 15 minutes on Taglang La pass. While our short stay of 10 minutes, I had almost lost my footing quite a number of times due to that spinning effect at Tangang La 😀 (Disorientation or ataxia)…

The picture on the side of the signboard of one of the 15 highest motorable roads in the world, is a must for everyone visiting this Taglang La pass on Manali Leh Highway. You may not find food (sometimes a makeshift dhabha), and there is no place for accommodation at this place.

Tanglang La Pass and yeah, that's me :)
Tanglang La Pass and yeah, that’s me 🙂

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 has some tea houses and homestays.

The road conditions are in good shape at Rumtse. From Pang to Leh, the road conditions are excellent, mostly on Manali Leh Highway. There will be a point when you are driving just beside the Indus river, and I tell you that you will feel ecstatic, forgetting all about the swaying headaches in the past 3-4 hours.

Reaching Rumtse, you will start to breathe a bit better, and so as your head will also feel slightly lighter due to the decrease in altitude. 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 that may be available at Rumste apart from some homestays if the villagers allow you to stay. Secondly, the drive to Leh from Rumste is almost like driving in plains, and you can cover the remaining distance fast enough.

Hence, after clicking the pictures of this small village or spending time beside the Indus river, you better move ahead towards Leh and stay overnight.

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 destination marks either your arrival in Leh town or marks the departure from Leh town in the opposite direction.

Upshi is a small village from where the right will take you to Hanle and Tso Moriri lake via Chumathang. It does have few homestays/guest houses with food but they are very basic.

A few KMs ahead of Upshi, at Karu, you will finally find the second petrol pump of Manali Leh Highway. You should top up at Karu petrol pump when traveling from Leh to Tso Moriri to Manali without going back to Leh.

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 Karu 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 parts even after these 12 hours of an arduous journey on the Manali Leh Highway in a single day.

It’s always better to spend a couple of nights at Leh for local Leh sightseeing and get a feel of the culture, people, traditions, monasteries and magical aura of Leh – Ladakh. It will also help you acclimatize to further sightseeing places in Ladakh.

Main market and Changspa road are two happening places in Leh. So, if you like a lively environment, then try to get a hotel in Leh as close to them as possible. The next day, along with local sightseeing, you can also arrange the Inner Line Permits for other Ladakh destinations you are planning to visit in Leh – Ladakh.

This completes the last place in this Manali Leh travel guide.

Suraj Tal besides Manali - Leh Highway
Suraj Tal besides Manali – Leh Highway

Conclusion

I hope the above information in this Manali Leh road trip guide along with dedicated links will help you plan your travel to Manali – Leh Highway in the entirety and hasslefree.

In case you wish to share your experience or have any suggestions or have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment below, and I would be more than happy to respond to it within quick time.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel to ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram or comments on my YouTube videos.

If you know your friends or family are planning a trip to Manali Leh Highway, do share this travel guide with them to help them make a memorable Ladakh trip.

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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.

955 Comments

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

  2. Hi,

    Can you please provide me any good cab service details for manali to leh.

  3. Hi Dheeraj,

    As my dates are close, please help me with the final one, this is how i am planning

    24th June – Leh to Nubra valley (Night stay in Hunder/Diskit)
    25th June – Nubra valley to Leh
    26th June – Leh to Pangong Tso (Night stay in Pangong tso)
    27th June – Pangong tso to Leh

    I know i am in tight schedule, but, need to work it pout in these 4 dyas.

    Where i need ur help is
    1. Can we go and come back in same day from Nubra valley/Hunder/Diskit ?? So day i can have first day for Leh only.
    2. Should i do Leh to Nubra/Hunder/Diskit to Pangong Tso to Leh in three days ?? In this case also i can manage to have first day for Leh itself.
    Or is it fine to stick with the above mentioned plan of mine ??

    Please help me with this 🙂

    • Do first day rest in Leh in case you are going by road to Leh, in case flying you need two days of rest at least. In next 3 days do, Leh – Nubra Valley, Nubra Valley to Pangong Tso, Pangong Tso to Leh.

      • Thank you very much for your response Sir Ji 🙂
        Will stick to this plan, however there is another issue going on Manali with rented bikes, i have heard that they are not let pass HP vehicle beyond Sarchu, my dates are pretty close and i am very afraid because i am not getting any clear information on this.
        Could you please help me with this, if you have any concrete information, i have no other option accept to take bike from Manali 🙁

  4. Hi Dheeraj,

    As usual, always Dow Community before taking every new trip.

    Planning for the following trip in the first week of July and requires your inputs

    1) Day 1 – Flying to Leh from Delhi, rest of the day rest for acclimatization.
    2) Day 2 – Local Sightseeing in Leh
    3) Day 3 – Leh to Pangong Tso and stay at Pangong Tso
    4) Day 4 – Pangong Tso to Leh stay at Leh
    5) Day 5 – Leh to Nubra Valley stay at Nubra Valley
    6) Day 6 – Nubra to Leh and stay at Leh
    7) Day 7 – Leh to Kargil Stay at Kargil
    8) Day 8 – Kargil to Srinagar, Stay at Srinagar
    9) Day 9,10 – Srinagar, Pahalgam. Please suggest.

    • Thank you KRJ 🙂

      Plan looks OK but major edit is that you MUST do Nubra Valley first and then Pangong Tso, Hence, swap those days and it should be good. Also, if you are not aware you need Inner Liner Permit for Leh – Ladakh again starting this year.

  5. Naman Gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are going to Leh from delhi via manali and returning back from the same route. We are taking self drive ecosport from delhi with us. Can you please let me know the itenaray since we have less number of days. We are leaving on 9th June night and will return to delhi on 18th morning.

    Since this year there is no clarifications on the ROHTANG PASS PERMIT AND INNER LINE PERMITS (Online process is still not matured enough). APPRECIATE UR HELP IN DESIGNING BEST ITENARAY FOR US . Please note that we dont want to explore manali. And not much idea of what we should cover in ladakh (Pangong so, nubra or Tso moriri, Hanle).

    We are in complete confusion because getting inner line permit may ruin our full one day.

  6. Rajesh Hota on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Amazing insights, i have been reading all the feeds for 4 hours now, i am excited. Need one answer from you, since i am thinking of going to Leh via Delhi-Manali-Leh starting on 10 of june-2017- Return via Kargil-drass-srinager route. Is it the right time, also is it feasible to drive down by HYUNDAI ACCENT ?? pLEASE HELP !! if the roads are good

    • Rajesh, roads will be open by 10th June so that is not an issue. However, to return from Srinagar side, please keep a tab on the updates and read updates in Srinagar – Leh Status thread in DoW Community by the people traveling there.

      For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  7. Gaurav Sood on

    Hey Dheeraj Ji,
    Great work at Devil on Wheels community, I have been referring your website to plan my visit to Kaza (in 2014) and now to Leh. It is of great help to travelers. Keep the excellent work up.
    We live at Shimla and did Shimla- Rampur-Nako-Kaza(2 days)- Losar- Sissu-(Keylong)-(Manali) -Mandi -Shimla tour with our kids in 2014. We had a bit of AMS(little breathlessness) at Nako only and rest of the tour was fine.
    This time around we plan to visit Leh from 7th July 2017 to 17th July 2017 in our own Duster-AWD (2016 model).
    I have an official meeting in Leh from 10th July afternoon to 13th July, 2017. We want to travel from Shimla to Leh via Manali. Need your help in planning this. This time around it will me and my wife only. I am just not able to make up my mind to where to stay on first night- Manali? Sissu? Jispa? ( Jispa seems to be too long a drive from Shimla). Can you kindly advice the journey from Shimla to Leh, so that we start on 7th and reach Leh by morning/afternoon of 10th July? Is it advisable to travel alone on the route?

    Also we plan to visit Nubra valley and Pangong Tso like Leh-Nubra-Pangong Tso-Leh- can this be done in two days with a night stay at Pangong Tso?

    Looking forward to your advice
    Regards

    Gaurav Sood

    • Thank you Gaurav !! Do it like Shimla to Solang Valley (7th), Solang Valley to Jispa (8th) and then Jispa to Leh (9th). Since, you been to Spiti, you will find more vehicles on this route 🙂

      You will need at least three days for Leh – Nubra – Pangong Tso – Leh trip.

  8. Dhawal Patel on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    First of all thanks for the efforts you put in for making our planning so easy.

    We are planning for 10 day trip to Leh from Manali and following is the Itinerary i have made:

    Day 1: Manali or Solang Valley
    Day 2: Manali to Jispa
    Day 3: Jispa to Leh
    Day 4: Leh Local
    Day 5: Leh – Sham Valley – Leh OR Leh – Nubra Valley – Leh
    Day 6: Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
    Day 7: Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
    Day 8: Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
    Day 9: Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
    Day 10: Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali

    Following are my Questions:

    1) We are planning the trip from 14th July 2017 to 23rd July 2017, Is this the right time to visit Leh? Will we get rain around this time?

    2) We will be renting Bikes from Manali.. In older comments i read that bikes rented from Manali can not be used to travel in or around Leh – Ladakh. Is it true?

    3) For Day 5 what should we choose Sham Valley Or Nubra Valley. Is it even possible to cover Nubra Valley in 1 day? If not is Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Leh a better option?

    4) For Day 7, instead of coming back to Leh from Pangong Tso Lake, is going to Hanle and than Hanle – Tso Moriri (Day 8) a good option?

    5) Are there any changes we can make to this Itinerary (other than increasing the no. of days :P) so that we do not miss out must visit places.

    • Below are the replies:

      1. Yes, the dates are fine to travel
      2. Yes, this is true. You will have to pay twice for riding bikes in Ladakh and keeping Manali bikes parked in Leh
      3. I will highly recommend that you add one day or else go to Nubra Valley and then take direct desolated route to reach Pangong Tso from Nubra Valley and then come back to Leh from Pangong Tso. Skip Sham Valley
      4. Keep it less tiring and come back to Leh

  9. Hello Dheeraj!

    I sometimes wonder how you are able to manage and keep-up with so many requests and queries on your blog and give the latest updates and the most relevant responses.. You are awesome that-ways! The content on your blog is extremely useful!

    An bunch of us (Late 20’s and early 30’s) are traveling to Leh mid July and have an interesting debate on what is the best thing to do considering the climate/rains and acclimatisation and your suggestions and advise will really help us make that decision. Our real intent was to do the Manali – Leh route.

    Options:

    a) Manali – Jispa – Sarchu -Leh (3days)
    Start from Manali to halt at Jispa (as per your recommendations) on day 1 followed by a halt at Sarchu on day 2 (Higher Altitude) and head to Leh on day 3.
    Do we increase a day at Jispa? Are there better things to do?
    Will this route be okay – this is the most suggested route.

    b) Manali – Jispa – Leh (2 Days)
    How feasible is the travel if we skip a halt at Sarchu? Will it help us any with the acclimatisation?

    c) Leh – Manali
    Land at Leh and rest for 24-36 hours and begin the trip visiting places and travel down to Manali.
    (Although not my preference as there is always a different excitement and thrill to reach the end destination on any adventure / expedition compared to starting from the endpoint – this was a tip suggested on one of your posts)

    Your feedback will really help! Looking forward to your inputs. Best,
    Sreyans

    • Sreyans, thanks a lot for your warm words of appreciation !! 🙂 🙂

      It keeps the fuel running.

      Options:

      a) Manali – Jispa – Sarchu -Leh (3days)
      I do not recommend night stay at Sarchu even after a night stay at Jispa because realistically your body can never acclimatize to the altitude of Sarchu while traveling to Leh from Manali. Most nights are always worst in Sarchu in such cases too.

      b) Manali – Jispa – Leh (2 Days)
      This is the second best option to travel Manali – Leh Highway from Manali to Leh and best in case you are traveling in that direction only.

      c) Leh – Manali
      If you fly to Leh, do ladakh sightseeing including Nubra and Pangong Tso, the body is much more acclimatized to tackle the high altitude of Pang and Sarchu. So, in this case after a night stay at Tso moriri, you can make a night stay at Sarchu to split the Manali – Leh journey.

      Also, don’t worry, Manali – Leh Highway journey is itself a destination 😉

      • Dheeraj, Thanks again for your suggestions. We have taken your advise and re-done the itinerary. Please let us know if this looks good and suggest the right towns/villages to halt after day 6. Also anyother suggestions that will make this itinerary better.

        Kept the day 1 for Acclimatization
        The next two days is for travel in and around Leh.

        Day Date Start End
        1 14-Jul Leh – Leh
        2 15-Jul Leh – Leh
        3 16-Jul Leh Leh
        4 17-Jul Leh – Turtuk
        5 18-Jul Turtuk – Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder)
        6 19-Jul Nubra Valley – Pangong Tso
        7 20-Jul Pangong Tso – TBD (please suggest)
        8 21-Jul TBD – Hanle
        9 22-Jul Hanle – Karkoz (Tso Moriri)
        10 23-Jul Karkoz – Sarchu
        11 24-Jul Sarachu – Jispa
        12 25-Jul Jispa – Manali

        • It looks very good but a little tweak I will suggest as following:

          1 14-Jul Leh – Leh
          2 15-Jul Leh – Sham Valley – Leh
          3 16-Jul Leh Turtuk
          4 17-Jul Turtuk – Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder)
          5 18-Jul Nubra Valley (Diskit/Hunder) – Leh
          6 19-Jul Leh – Pangong Tso
          7 20-Jul Pangong Tso – Hanle
          8 21-Jul Hanle – Tso Moriri
          9 22-Jul Tso Moriri – Sarchu
          10 23-Jul Sarchu – Jispa
          11 24-Jul Jispa – Manali
          12 25-Jul Buffer day that can be spent in Hanle, Pangong Tso or offbeat Tso Moriri lake.

  10. Hey,

    Please tell me if my plan is practical.
    1. Is it too hectic?
    2. How can I book the various cabs. (Manali to Leh and Leh tours)

    18th June : Manali – Jispa
    19th June : Jispa to Leh
    20th June : Leh to Nubra
    21st June : Nubra to leh
    22nd June : Leh to Pangong
    23rd June : Pangong to Leh
    24th June : Leh
    25th June : Fly back

  11. Hi Dheeraj,

    Your blog has wealth of information and truly useful for avid travellers. Request your comments on the following tour schedule that we have already booked in July

    Day 1: Local sightseeing in Manali
    Day 2:Manali to Sarchu
    Day 3:Sarchu to Tso Morori
    Day 4:Korzok village
    Day 5: Tso Morori to Hanle
    Day 6: Hanle to Pangong
    Day 7: Pangong to Leh
    Day 8: Leh
    Day 9: Leh to Turtuk
    Day 10: Turtuk to Leh
    Day 11: Leh to Delhi

      • Thanks a ton for that quick response and your help to the community means a lot! And the action is taken, we have already requested our tour organiser for requisite change.

        By the way, does DoW organise any sort of tours to Ladakh?

        • PLEASE note Devil On Wheels is a Travel Platform to share information with fellow like minded travellers for FREE. There are some people who do sell tours and run commercial things with same or similar names like ours with few spelling changes. Please BEWARE of such copy cats using our name to disguise fellow travelers, as they use our name or similar name to fool people for their own commercial purpose and in the past we have heard tons of complaints about them from the people who got confused in entities and ended up trips with them.

          We at Devil On Wheels Travel Platform offer sufficient information we possibly from route to maps to hotel details to day by day plans and other advises that one need to make a successful Himalayan trip including Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand or North-East thoroughly. This will save you a lot of money and hassles too which you can use to buy something good for you or to help the ones in need in Himalayas 🙂 🙂

  12. NIRAJ KUMAR on

    Hii Dheeraj

    I found your blog really helpful. I am planning to travel to leh on my bike in july this year. I am planning to go from chandigarh to leh, however i will have to return by flight. Are there packers and movers services available so that i can get my bike shipped back???

    • Niraj, I have never heard about any such service that can bring your bike back from Leh to Chandigarh. Most of the packer services operate up to Srinagar. You can check with Gati or SafeExpress.

  13. Dinesh Bhagat on

    Hi ! Deeraj by giving very important details of each & every of leh , pangaong, it is a great valuable information is being provided by you. As a those who are travel worm, it is a dream to visit the place of heaven of course leh. I one again thank you by giving valuable information about the said places. Could u provide the local non government buses that ply within the cities of leh as well the buses whiich goes to nubra valley also provide me economy hotels or villagers room rents as available near pangong tso lake.

    Lastly I say you are fabulous by sharing the information through your devil on wheels.

  14. Hello Guys..
    Nice blog.. Good job.. Thank you so much for the information. It’s a great post…I love travelling and want to travel all over the world. Explore new places, adventurous things and many more. And photographs are just amazing. Keep writing !!!

    • Manali – Leh is open but snowfall has started now. Tourists have been cautioned by the authorities for avoiding traveling on Manali – Leh road as it can be quite dangerous now.

  15. Hi All,

    My friend is currently in Leh. He went on his newly purchased bullet but now it creating issues.
    And keeps on shutting down. Hence he is not able to continue with his bike.
    Could someone please help in case knows any tow service that could tow his bike to nearest railway station so that he could bring bike back to delhi.

    Its urgent. Kindly help. Thanks in advance.

  16. Hi Dheeraj,
    I am big fan of DOW now.
    I have completed my bike ride from Chandigarh – Manali – Leh – Manali – Chandigarh.

    First of all thank you very much Dheeraj for all information you provided. I would urge to other guys, if you are not well prepared or
    if you have any doubts regarding journey, DOW is the place. Its like one stop shop for all information. 😀

    I would like to share few experiences. Actually I dont know where to post so posting within comment, if you wish you can move it to proper place and just update me with link.

    1. Since we went in August, So I would like to tell, guys, weather was detoriorating. At Sarchu, since it was raining, temperature drop to sub zero (As confirmed with locals, since I didnt had thermometer 😀 ). So be prepared for that.

    2. Medicines, as Dheeraj always suggests, do carry Diamox, and ORS. This had became most important intake after food for us 😀

    3. Since weather was extreme, at tanglang la we faced same sub zero temperature and it was raining, so do carry cloathing in layers.

    4. Shoes: I had raised query too, for this. Based on experience I suggest, if you are travelling in rainy, just carry gum boots. and extra pair of socks. and normal chappal to use when at day halt and at colder places carry woolen socks.
    I had carried DMS shoes, but gum boots were the best since we had to cross lots of water streams.
    Please note, in water streams socks do get wet. since water comes from top of boot, so carry extra pair since we were in bone chilling weather.

    Also one mistake we had done was our gum boots were not too long. it was just above ankles and below calf. I recommend get longer ones since, in water streams water used to drop in from top. so it was worst for us.

    5. Gloves: I am not a regular rider, so I did not have expensive gear. I would recommend if you have normal mesh gloves, then carry extra medical gloves, which doctors use. when it is raining, you can wear it inside mesh gloves.

    6. Most important mistake I had done. Dheeraj always suggested, we cannot wait on tops for more time. Actually thing is due to some reason, we had to wait for long at tanglang la top, since some of our team members were lagging behind. My mistake was since I was tired so, I tried to take a nap at some place on top. That was my mistake.
    Although by gods grace, it didnt turn up too worse, but i did got nausea. luckily other people came and we immediately climbed down. SO DO NOT TRY TO SLEEP ON TOP even though you have plenty of time. It was most idiotic thing I did. I admit.

    7. At pangong, there was huge landslide, luckily our group leader was in touch with base team, so we got all updated info. I suggest be always in touch of support team or else in touch of locals they might have all info. coz few days before of our journey to pangong, the landslide happend, it was very huge, we heard that
    road was closed for 4 days. Thus I request you to stay in touch with any or your support system.

    These were key points we faced. rest experiences are same as all other people. So I sum up with my experience.
    Hope so I am not forgetting anything, If I recollect, will surely update info.

    Meanwhile you can check my short timelapse video which I made during journey. Hope you like it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxHiusHWkY

    Also for more pictures from ladakh journey please visit following page.

    https://www.facebook.com/HiddenEye2016/

    Once again Thanks Dheeraj for all information you provided. I’ll definitely recommend this site only for any leh-ladakh tourist.

    All the very best for other riders. It is most amazing, surreal place you would ever visit. No matter when you visit, it will always be best. You’ll just fall in love with Ladakh.

    Its a MUST DO journey. so GO FOR IT. Cheers. 🙂
    Warm Regards,
    Swapnil.

  17. Dheeraj,
    I am a big fan of your DOW . I am planning to go on September last by bike .check my schedule and let me know your valuable comments

    DELHI – SHIMLA 1 (stay at shimla)
    SHIMLA – HIDIMBA 3 ( stay at Hidimpa)
    HIDIMBA – PRASHAR LAKE 4
    PRASHAR LAKE – KASOL 4 (stay at kasol)
    KASOL – KULLU 35 KM 5
    KULLU – MANALI 40 KM 5
    MANALI – SOLANG VALLEY 5 (stay at solang)
    SOLANG VALLEY – LEH 7 (stay at jispa,leh)
    LEH – TURTUK 8 ( stay at turtuk)
    TURTUK –LEH 9 ( stay at leh)
    LEH – PANGONG LAKE 10 ( stay near to lake)
    PANGONG LAKE – CHANDRATAAL 12 (stay at jispa ,chandra taal)
    CHANDRATAAL – KULLU 13 (stay at kullu)
    KULLU- DELHI 15

    • Jeswin, you are trying to club too many things in too less days. I will highly recommend that you focus just on either Ladakh or Himachal or Spiti.

  18. Parthasarathy B on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    planning to do Delhi – Leh between Sep 2 and Sep 11. We are still in dilemma, if we should go with
    1. delhi-jammu-sringar-leh-manali-delhi (or)
    2. delhi-manali-leh-manali-delhi …

    We are more inclined to do option 1, but is it doable with present Kashmir valley curfew in place ???

    We will be reacing Delhi (from chennai) by 2 AM on Sep 3rd (saturday). We have already booked zoomcar Ecosport for the whole duration. We would be starting from Delhi around 4 AM.

    If we cannot do Srinagar – leh, then we gotta do manali leh. We would be reaching manali by night on sep 3. Would it be possible for the agents to collect permit for us on sep 3rd (as we get to kno Abt car reg number by early morning) to cross rothang on sep 4th ?

    Do we need to have leh booking confirmation , even if we get permit thru agents ?

    If agents can’t help us, can we get permit on sep 4th (being Sunday) and to cross rothang on same day ?

    Any reply for our queries wud be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • No you do not need any booking but it is better to carry some email conversation with some hotel so that in case required you can show them in SDM office in Manali. Vinod (our core member), who is in Leh, met a group today who came from Srinagar last night. According to his update, situation is abit better but no one can ascertain the risk and comment on assurance of safety. As per them, it is fine to travel now. Better talk to your driver who will pick you up from Srinagar and leave Srinagar to Sonamarg as soon as possible.

      You can wait for couple of days and call up hotel in Srinagar to asses the situation. Do not discuss what happened and why happened with any local up there in Kashmir including the driver.

      • Parthasarathy B on

        Thanks for the quick reply Dheeraj. There is one small change ,,,, there are no drivers to hire ,,,, we are doing self drive (zoomcar) trip from Delhi. 🙂

        • I hope you know outside rented cars including self drive ones are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh and you will have to hire the local taxi again.

  19. Hi Dheeraj
    It’s me Firaz from Bangalore. We infact 3 couples planning a trip to Leh Ladakh (honeymoon trip) which has to include at least 2 day sight seeing at Manali. For this we have only about 12 days in our hand. On day 1 early morning we ll be reaching Delhi ( by flight) and we ll be taking zoom car ( Xuv or Scorpio) to start our journey. Please give us ur valuable options so that I can make this trip a memorable one as we ll be leaving by this Friday from Bangalore.

    • Firaz, first of all, Ladakh is a adventure travel destination not honeymoon travel destination. Be prepared for surprises and hiccups mentally. My general suggestion is not to mix honeymoon with adventure but still if you want to make it well, you may follow below plan. Unfortunately, you can only use the self-drive rented cars including Zoomcar (black number plate and yellow number plate) just to enter Leh and exit Leh from Srinagar – Leh Highway or Manali – Leh Highway but you cannot use them for any kind of sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh to places like Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso. For sightseeing within Ladakh you will need to hire a Ladakh based taxi. Please refer the link from the post for the personal experiences: https://devilonwheels.com/india/himalayan-travel-guides/topic2618-10.html#p22017

      Day 1 | Delhi – Manali/Solang Valley
      — Better stay at Solang Valley and avoid Manali as sleeping at Solang Valley does help in acclimatization
      — If going by own car, get the permit made in advance to drive on Manali – Rohtang Pass road through hotel/travel agent in Manali
      — Overnight at Manali/Solang Valley

      Day 2 | Manali/Solang Valley – Keylong/Jispa
      — It is always better to stay either at Keylong/Jispa so that you do not feel sick or hit by AMS.
      — Avoid sleeping at Sarchu at any cost while going to Leh from Manali because your body will not be acclimatized by the time you reach there.
      — I prefer staying at Jispa more because Keylong gives the feeling of a town while Jispa is more closer to nature having Bhaga river running just aside the Manali – Leh Highway at Jispa.
      — Overnight at Keylong/Jispa

      Day 3 | 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 4 | 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 5 | 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 6 | 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 7 | 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 8 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
      — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
      — Overnight at Leh

      Day 9 | Leh – Taglang La – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu
      — Stay overnight at Sarchu

      Day 10 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali
      — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
      — Overnight at Manali

      Day 11 | Manali rest day

      Day 12 | Manali – Delhi

      • Thanks for the prompt reply. Yeah sure for the sight seeing in Ladakh am planning to use the taxi drivers from ur list.i will be parking the zoom car at hotel itself. So once I reach Ladakh I will strictly follow up ur plan. Pls let me know wat will be the taxi fare if we plan to all the places you mentioned in the plan in Ladakh. I guess we will be opting for Innova or aria.

        • Two day trip to Nubra and two day trip to Pangong Tso will cost you around 20K and take about 2.5K for local sightseeing in Ladakh.

  20. Hi Dheeraj,

    Is it advisable to take Manali – Leh trip alone on rented bike, I am planning to start my journey on 24th August.
    Do we have any other folks(Groups) here starting from Manali – Leh on 24th Aug. Is it advisable to take rented bike for rounded trip. Please suggest better options for me.

    Please provide your valuable comments.

    Thanks in advance,
    Vishnu

    • Vishnu, many people do it every year on rented bikes. You can check the DoW Travel Calendar from manin menu to see if other people are doing it and looking for company on the road.

  21. Hey Dheeraj,

    I think the whole mountain lovers society across the world must appreciate what you have going on here on DoW. I need an advise on the following itinerary.

    Day 1: September 17th: Arrive in Manali. Take a rented Enfield Bullet 500 cc and leave for Jispa. Stay the night at Jispa
    Day 2: September 18th: Jispa to Leh on bike. Arrive in Leh in the evening. Stay overnight at Leh.
    Day 3: September 19th: Local Sightseeing in Leh on rented local motorcycle as Manali bike is not allowed in Leh
    Day 4: September 20th: Leh to Khardungla, Nubra Valley and back. Stay overnight at Leh. On Local motorcycle
    Day 5: September 21st: Leh to Pangong: Stay the night at Pangong: Local Motorcycle
    Day 6: September 22nd: Pangong to Tso Moriri: Stay the night at Tso Moriri: Local Motorcyce
    Day 7: September 23rd: Tso Moriri to Leh: Stay at Leh
    Day 8: September 24th: Leave for Manali: Stay at Sarchu
    Day 9: September 25th: Arrive in Manali.

    Now this is my third trip to Leh. I did the first one in a hired taxi from Manali in 2011 with 8 friends and then another one for Zanskar Chadar trek (successfully completed) in 2014 February (temperatures -5 to -30 degrees). This info is just to highlight I am aware of the contingencies and dangers en route Leh or I must say in Himalayas. I am seasoned trekker in the Himalayas so to say.

    Can you advise me on following questions besides any suggestions on the itinerary above:

    1. Is it advisable to reach Manali and then rent a bike ? Will there be a risk of not finding a bike in September and plan going boom?
    2. Should we ask a travel agent to arrange stuff in Leh in advance or plan things on our own? there are 2 of us on one motorcycle.

    Thanks
    Ambuj Tripathi

    • Thank you Ambuj. Sorry for delay, been stuck in many things lately at home and office.

      1. Not at all, you will find the bike then and there.
      2. Better plan things on your own to save good money for you. All info. you need to plan a ladakh trip is avaialble in DoW

    • as per my experience , going and coming back from Naubra valley on the same day will be challenge. our guru Dheeraj ji is saying ok , then all is fine

      • Hi Praveen,

        Well, if once does not have time, you are forced to suggest 🙂 … Ideally all the places in Ladakh deserve an overnight stay but when it comes to possibility, they can be done. People do a 12 Hrs journey of 340 KMs to Pangong Tso in a single day just to spend couple of hrs there only. Nubra is still 100 KM less than it. So, with 12 Hrs one can possibly do it.

        However, if you ask, if it is worth without spending a night or not. Then, yeah, I will not do it myself 🙂

  22. Hi, We are planing to reach Manali early morning on 12th August, Is it possible/advisable to start our journey to Leh the same day. Can the Pass be arranged easily? or should we make an advance appointment via call or mail if possible? please suggest/ provide some info.

    • Vaibhav, you will need to get the permit for Rohtang Pass which may require couple of hrs. Depending upon the weather, it will take at least 6-9 Hrs to reach your stopover at night at either Keylong or at Jispa. The problem is if you do not rest for first day and reach tired to Keylong/Jispa, you are more vulnerable to AMS on Manali – Leh Highway as next day you anyways have to start by 5-6 AM to reach Leh by evening.

    • hima theja on

      Mr. Vaibhav , this is hima theja , We too planned to reach manali on the same day , We planned our trip for 7 days from august 12-19 , Can you give me some info regarding the trip so that we can help eachother . call me 9916934668

        • hima theja on

          Thank you very much Mr. Dheeraj Sharma , Actually I wanna share my plan with you ..
          Bangalore – Delhi – 11-08-2016 morning 7:10 Am flight .
          Delhi – Kullu (Bhuntar) – 11-08-2016 evening 8:00 pm bus .(Assuming we reach kullu by 7:00 AM).
          Manali – Hidimba temple – Rhotang Pass – Jispa – Pangong -leh – Nubra – Sarchu – Manali .
          This is above trip of us , We dont know about the necessary places to be seen in the trip kindly let us know a plan . so that we will cover all the important places .

          Trip Duration is August 12th (Manali ) – August 19th (Manali ) . We are 6 members . call me 9916934668

  23. Siva Shankar P on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    We are group of 8 people.We are planning for manali – leh trip from, from july 11 – july 18. We are going to reach Manali on July 11th early morning and we have to catch the flight in Delhi on July 18th late night.

    And we are planning to rent bikes in Manali.

    Could you please provide us a brief plan what are all the places we can cover ?

    Thanks in advance

  24. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are a group of 5 member traveling to Ladakh on 15th of July. Here is our itinerary :-
    Day1 (15 July): Kolkata to Chandigarh via flight (Hire bikes for rent in CDG), Night stay at CDG.
    Day2 (16 July): Chandigarh to Manali (310 kms), Night stay at Manali.
    Day3 (17 July): Manali to Sarchu (240-250 kms), Night stay at Sarchu.
    Day4 (18 July): Sarchu to Leh (240-250 kms), Night stay at Leh.
    Day5 (19 July): Rest day at Leh , Local sightseeing.
    Day6 (20 July): Leh to Nubra valley via Khardungla (150 kms), Night stay at Nubra valley.
    Day7 (21 July): Nubhra valley to Leh (150 kms), Night stay at Leh.
    Day8 (22 July): Leh to Pangong Tso (140 kms), Night stay at Pangong Tso.
    Day8 (23 July): Pangong Tso to Leh (140 kms), Night stay at Leh.
    Day9 (24 July): River Rafting at Indus.
    Day10 (25 July): Leh to Kargil (210 kms), Night stay at Kargil.
    Day11 (26 July): Kargil to Srinagar (201 kms), Night stay at Srinagar.
    Day12 (27 July): Srinagar to Patnitop (184 kms), Night stay at Patnitop.
    Day13 (28 July): Patnitop to Pathankot (170-180kms), Night stay at Pathankot.
    Day14 (29 July): Pathankot to Amritsar (120-130 kms), Night stay at Amritsar.
    Day15 (30 July): Amritsar to Chandigarh (230 kms), Night stay at CDG.
    Day16 (31 July): Back to Kolkata from CDG (via flight).

    Can you please provide u the details if any permit we need get approved before traveling?

    • Tamal Pakray on

      Hi Joydeep myself Tamal Pakray from Burdwan(W.B) i’ll join to ur group not for this year trip but for future. So, if u allow me to join ur group pls respond me by mob(9153513305) or mail Id([email protected]). I’m waiting for ur “Dream comes true” response. Thanks

    • Nitesh Menghani on

      I am taking the same ride, but I am starting on 13th JUL evening(Delhi to Chandigarh).
      As I am travelling alone, I was planning to take Srinagar route but after the recent mis-haps it will not be possible. Any idea if I can take the same ?
      If I take the Manali route only, do I need to take any permit from Manali ?
      Do you suggest me to stay at Sarchu or Jispa (if taken Manali route) ?
      I have kind of 11 days therefore missing on lakes and just covering Nubra valley, any other suggestions ?

      • Yes Nitehs, from Manali side you need Rohtang Pass permits to pass through rohtang Pass. You should halt at Jispa and then make a early morning trip from Jispa to Leh.

  25. Shashidhar Manchale on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my friend are travelling to Leh from Bangalore on 8th of July 2016. I have been following your blog from many months and wanted your advice on the Itinerary that I have prepared and if possible give your thoughts. Is it possible to get accommodation in Pangong Tso without booking in prior?
    I am awaiting for your response..

    Day 01- Bangalore to Delhi
    Day 02- Evening Delhi to Bhuntar Bus
    Day 03- Reach Bhuntar, stay at Kasol
    Day 04- Trek to Kheerganga
    Day 05- Buffer day : stay at Kheerganga
    Day 06- Kheerganga to Manali
    Day 07- Manali to Keylong
    Day 08- Keylong to Leh
    Day 09- Buffer day : Leh (Acclimatisation)
    Day 10- Leh-Khardung La-Diskit-Hunder (Bike ride)
    Day 11- Diskit-Panamik-Leh (Bike ride)
    Day 12- Leh-Chang La-Pangong Tso-Spangmik (Bike ride)
    Day 13- Pangong tso-Leh (Bike ride)
    Day 14-Leh sightseeing, Sham Valley (Bike ride)
    Day 15- Leh to Keylong(HPTDC Bus)
    Day 16- Keylong to Manali (HPTDC Bus)
    Day 17- Manali sight seeing, evening board bus to Delhi
    Day 18- Delhi to Bangalore

    Regards,
    Shashidhar

      • Shashidhar Manchale on

        Thank you so much Dheeraj. Looking forward to having a good time at Leh. Also once more question if you don’t mind. Do we get Riding gears and Helmet cam for rent at Leh or Manali?

  26. Subhankar Choudhury on

    is their any risk to take child below 5 yrs of age to ladakh?

    • It depends on person to person 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 less than 4 year child, I think he/she will also be NOT able to convey the uneasiness she may feel. You have to be vigilant and 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!!

  27. Mayank Upadhyay on

    Dear Dheeraj,

    When I started searching for Leh Ladakh expedition I found you website, which is just awesome. Would request you to please help us. We are planning a trip to Leh Ladakh in August last week. We will be a group of of around 6 members. The date will be mostly from 27th August till 4th September((days).

    We would like to travel via bike and cover the Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi route.

    Please assist us with the same. Feel free to connect on the below mentioned contact.

    Warm Regards
    Mayank Upadhyay
    [email protected]

    • It will take 3 days to reach Leh from Delhi via Manali side with stopovers at Jispa, Manali and 4 days to come back to Delhi from Leh via Srinagar side with stop overs at Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil . This makes it 7 days. 1 Day is required in Leh for acclimatization. You have just 9 days. Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. You can fit in plan I suggested in above para in this plan

  28. gagan grewal on

    hello dheeraj
    i want to ask if ther is any type of permits needed to travel from leh to pangong nubra vally or tso miri ????
    can we do it in private car ????
    is it compulsry that the person should be ther in car on whose name RC is registerd ??

    • No Gagan, no permits are required to travel to these places if you follow regular routes and also if you all are Indians. Yes, this can be done in private car and yes the RC should be under the name of any person sitting in the car or his or her wife or father or mother.

  29. Ashish Tiwari on

    Hello! I am travelling to leh ladakh from 12th to 24th July with 2 friends. This will be our first trip. We will be travelling via Chandigarh – Manali route and will return via Srinagar Would really appreciate suggestions :
    Places to visit in Leh Ladakh
    Activities to do
    Affordable places to stay as we would not pre book
    Places to rent bikes and rates
    things to carry
    Additional tips would be welcome !

    • 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

      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.

  30. Sunil Khairnar on

    hello dheeraj,

    thank you for your valuable information becoz of which we successfully completed leh trip last year.
    this year we are again going der in july to explore turtuk and hanle via manali-leh route.
    please tell can we do campaing at hanle plains?
    also tell is there any road from jispa to phugtal monastery becoz we also want to go der..

    Thank you
    Sunil

    • Yes Sunil, you can pitch your camps in Hanle. There is no road from Jispa to Phuktal and that road is under consturction and has been made motorable up to Shinkoo La pass.

      • sunil khairnar on

        Thank you so much dheeraj.
        Manali bikes are not allowed in leh for sightseeing, so we are thinking that someone from leh provide us bike in manali so throughout our journey we ll use only leh bikes.
        So can please tell if there is someone from leh who provide us bikes in manali.
        I did contact with our previous frnd from leh but he is not sure that he ll able to provide us bikes on the same date.
        We are starting on 18th of july from manali.

        • No Sunil, it will not be possible unless you know really close whose bikes are coming to Manali by a group and he hands them over to you.

      • Sunil Khairnar on

        Thank you so much dheeraj for earlier information.

        We are going to complete this trip on our own bikes but two bikes have different owner, but we have all the proof and documents like driving license, PUC, bike registration document.
        Please suggest is it okay or we have to take something else.
        Sunil

        • Sunil, please carry them and if possible get an NOC done from Notary too to help your cause when confronted at checkposts. Do not get into the tussle if they dont agree, better handle the issue in a amicable manner.

  31. Chandrakant on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my friends travelling to Leh in last week of July. is this right time to travel ?

    We are going with my 4 years old Swift Dezire. we will start our journey from srinagar to Leh

    Return Journey from Leh to Manali.

    Do you think Dezire will sustain on both these routes ?

    Thank you.

    • For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  32. Hi DOW team/Dheeraj,
    Me and my friend visting Leh/Ladakh in 1st week of July 16 and we are planning to go by my won car Hyundai Grand i10.
    My quwations are..
    1) Is this time is good to travel by Manali-Leh &
    2) Is my car is comfortable on these roads.
    Please suggest

    • Somnath, time is OK to travel. For hatchback/sedan taking on Manali – Leh Highway Or Spiti Valley via Manali Or Ladakh, please refer the link: FAQ | Can I do Leh – Ladakh / Spiti / Manali – Leh trip in Hatchback or Sedan? for more details.

  33. Hi Dow we are planning to do srinagar to manali bike ride. Need ur guidance. We are plannjng to visit in first week of august.We have estimated cost with one of the travel organisers it goes like this

    1.
    30000 tour cost includig breakfast dinner breakdown vehicle mediclw support etc

    2.
    15000 bike transport from mumbai to srinagar.

    So my questions are..

    1. is the cost fine or shall we look for other sources

    2. how much it will be good as per current weather conditokn to travel alone.

    3. if we travel alone would reduce cost? Any ideahow much difference will be there?

    4. Is it worthy to ride in first week of august?

    5. I ve also checked ur status of snow on dow site. So do you find it good for riders?

  34. Pranav Gavande on

    Dear Mr.Dheeraj,

    your posts are much helpful and thanking you for sharing all the details.

    I am planning for Leh from Manali by taking bullet 350 on rent.We are two buddies and want to self ride on 1 Bike only.

    I Can start my journey on 19-6-16 9:00 AM from Manali so can you please provide Route,Halts for Manali-Leh highway.I have to back Manali by 28-6-16 9:00 AM.

    Which main points we have to cover in Leh?

    we planned to cover major points like Pangong Lake,Khardungla Pass,Nubra Valley,Magnetic Hill.

    Is it possible to ride Manali To Leh continuous without any halts if health support?
    Night Drive Is Possible? What problems we will face if doing Night or Continuous ride?

    please share valuable experience and give us some extra important instructions and precautions which helps us a lot because we are only two buddies are there on ride.

    I will study your above article also.

    Thanks In Advance.

    Kind Regards,

    Pranav Gavande

  35. Abhishek Tiwari on

    can you please tell me that when will the manali-leh highway will start. we are planning to go leh via manali on 21st May. Will it be possible

  36. Hi,

    We are planning a trip to Leh/Ladakh vai manali in July 1st week in XUV 500, so I want to know if we require any kind of approval for our vehicle?

    Thanks,

      • Thanks for the response Dhiraj!!

        However the link to get the permit on the site “http://admis.hp.nic.in/ngtkullu/” does not seems to work. Is there any other link to apply online?

        OR

        When we reach manali, is it possible to get the permit manually? Because i remember when i last visited manali, we got the permit while entering manali only . But we wanted to visit rohtang pass & come back same day so the permit was given accordingly. So same way any process of getting the permit to pass rohtang pass to leh/ladakh?

        Looking forward for your response!!

        Thanks

        • Yes, the link is not working currently. I hope when the road will open the link will start working. The proces has changed a bit from the last time of your visit. You should get anyhow the permit after reaching Manali, though not sure about same day or next day due to shortage of permits.

  37. Pranay Mohapatra on

    Brother, your site is the absolute best. It would cost me thousands if I hire a trip planner for such stuff.
    Wish to meet you someday and give my gratitude

  38. mohamedirshad on

    dheeraj,,,when will the roads open?can you give an approximate time period ?manali – leh and leh – kashmir..
    thank you

  39. Sandesh S on

    somewhere i found that leh manali road and rohtang pass is opened on 07.04.2016..! is it true Dheeraj ?

  40. Hi Dheeraj,
    First of all i would say your blog is awesome which give lots of knowledge and make easier to travel. I and along with 5 friends are planning to go for bike trip from manali for 9 days. We are bit confused 9 days are good enough for bike trip.? Where we should stop and give rest to our body? Could you please tell me how should we plan from day1 to day 9. It would be highly appreciated

  41. Nirmal Krishnamoorthy on

    Hi Dheeraj ,

    How are you, hope you are doing good and Great . I’m Nirmal Krishnamoorthy from Chennai . We two guys planned for Budget Road Trip Manali – Leh in month of Aug-16 , Following is the itinerary . Kindly need your suggestions and information’s

    12-Aug-16 – Friday Day 1 Chennai -> Delhi

    1. 7.00 PM – 7.30 PM – Should be in Airport
    2. 9.00PM – 12.00 AM – Air India AI-43
    3. 12.00AM-1.00 AM Airport – Friend home

    13-Aug-16 – Saturday Day 2 Delhi -> Manali

    1. 6.40 AM bus or 7.45 AM HRTC Bus – Smruti Samal friend home – ISBT Kashmiri Bus Stand
    Breakfast & Lunch on via route, if possible will finish breakfast and start from Delhi .
    2. 5.00 PM – Reaching Manali – After Check-in HOTEL and Snack covering Manali Mall Road
    3. 7.30 PM or 8.00 PM – Finishing Dinner and Good long Sleep

    14-Aug-16 – Sunday Day 3 Manali

    1. 8.00 AM – After Breakfast Starting from Room – Searching for Bike
    2. 10.00 AM to 12.30PM – Covering Hadimba Temple , Manu Temple , Solang Valley 1 adventure sport
    3. 12.30 PM – 1.00 PM – Lunch
    4. 2.00 PM – 4.00 PM – Solang valley – Vashith temple ( Hot water Spring) – Naggar castle
    5. 5.00 PM – 6.00PM – Naggar Castle to Hotel – local roaming after Snacks
    6. 8.00 PM – Dinner – Early to Bed – Need to Start early Next Day ( Checking Out )

    15-Aug-16 – Monday Day 4 Manali – Sarchu

    1. 5.00 AM – Starting from Room – Need to cross Rohtang Pass Toll to avoid Traffic
    2. 8.30 AM – Breakfast at Sissu , Packing Some lunch in Sissu or Tandi
    3. 9.00 AM – 10.00 AM – Sissu to Tandi – Fuel not available after Tandi – Refilling and getting it on 20ltr Can
    4. 11.00 AM – 2.00 PM -Tandi- Baralach La
    5. 2.30 PM – 4.00PM – Baralach La – Sarchu

    Evening and Night Stay Tent in Sarchu – either booking or Own tent

    16-Aug-16 – Tuesday Day 5 Sarchu – Leh

    1. 8.30 AM – 09.30 AM – Sarchu to Gata loops – Starting after Breakfast and packing Something for Lunch and eatables from Sarchu -15 mins in Gata loops
    2. 09.45 AM – 11.45 PM – Gata loops to Moray Plains – 15 mins in Moray Plains
    3. 12.00 PM – 1.30 PM – Moray Plains to Taglang la Pass – 30 Mins in Taglang la Pass ( Finishing Lunch)
    4. 2.00 PM – 3.30 PM – Taglang Pass to Upshi – Refill Petrol in Upshi
    5. 4.00 Pm – 5.00PM – Upshi – Leh – Night Stay at Leh – Hotel Chk-IN

    17-Aug-16 – Wednesday Day 6 Leh-Nubra Valley

    1. 8.00 AM – 11.00 AM Checking Out hotel – Starting from Hotel- Leh palace , stok palace , Hall of fame , shanti stupa – Filling Petrol as much and refilling in Can
    2. 11.00 AM- 12.00 PM – Finishing Lunch
    3. 12.00 PM – 5.30 PM – Leh – Nubra Valley – Slow Reach with Photographs
    4. 6.30 PM – Night Stay at Nubra Valley
    Sand Dunes Guest House – Diskit or AO Camping Gardens or A O Guest House – Hunder

    18-Aug-16 – Thursday Day 7 Nubra Valley – Pangong Lake

    1. 8.00 AM Starting from Nubra valley after Breakfast – Packing for Lunch too with Snacks
    2. 8.00 AM – 10.30 AM – Nubra Valley – Agham ( Checking Route which one will be good , for safer side will take Sakti Route )
    3. 11.00 AM – 1.00 PM – Agham – Karu via Sakti – Finishing lunch in between and refilling Petrol in Karu and in Can
    4. 1.30 PM – 4.30 PM – Karu – Pangong Lake
    5. Night Stay at Pangong Lake tent – either booking or Own tent

    19-Aug-16 – Friday Day 8 Pangong Lake – Sarchu or Pang

    1. 8.00 AM Starting from Pangong Lake after Breakfast – Packing for Lunch too with Snacks
    2. 8.00 AM – 10.30 AM – Pangong Lake to Karu – Refilling Petrol
    3. 11.00 AM – 5.30 PM – Karu – Sarchu – If can’t make it Tent in Pang – Finishing lunch in between
    4. Evening and Night Stay and Dinner Tent in Sarchu – either booking or Own tent

    20-Aug-16 – Saturday Day 9 Sarchu or Pang Pang – Manali
    &
    Manali – Delhi

    1. 8.00 AM – Starting from Sarchu or Pang after Breakfast
    2. 8.00 AM – 12.00 PM – Sarchu to Tandi , If possible need to reach Manali as early as Possible
    3. 12.30 PM – 4.00 PM – Tandi to Manali
    Paying rest of the amount and returning bike in Manali, Packing something for Dinner.
    4. 6.00 PM – 6.30 AM – Bus – City Land Travels – Manali to Delhi – Night Travel

    21-Aug-16 – Sunday Day 10 Delhi – Chennai

    1. 6.30 AM – 8.00 AM – Will be in ISBT Delhi
    2. Noon Flight from Delhi – Chennai
    12.30 PM – 3.25 PM Air India AI-142 or 01.20 PM – 04.10 PM Indigo 6E-367
    3. 4.30 PM – 6.00 PM – Chennai Airport – Home

    Please let me know if any changes required in above itinerary . Below are my other queries :

    1. Is any specific type of tent required ?, we are having one which we used it for Stay in Forest . Can we stay anywhere on side of roads without any Trouble ?
    2. Is it ok , if two guys riding on same bike ? , does it make any trouble ?
    3. Day 8 and Day 9 Travel – Is it possible to take 8 hrs Journey within a day – Pangong Lake – Sarchu . On Day-9 we have to be in Manali for Bike return and Night Bus from Manali to Delhi
    4. List of Items need to be carried
    5. We like to hire a bike in Manali (Royal Enfield ) without any booking thru online , hope it will work . Is it ok ? , Places to hire good bikes ?
    6. Any Important places i missed out in the itinerary or i need to remove as per Timeline ?
    7. Is Zorping is available in Solang in month of Aug-16 ?
    8. Good and cheap Accommodation in Manali & leh ? In Nubra valley – Sand dunes hotel , In Pangong and Sarchu we have our own tent , Do we need to change , please suggest .

    Thanks in Advance,
    Nirmal Krishnamoorthy

      • Nirmal Krishnamoorthy on

        Yes , Dheeraj . Validation of itinerary from well known Himalayan traveler is good before we starting our Journey right ??? 🙂

        Though i read all blogs , it could be great if you are responding to those queries .

      • Nirmal Krishnamoorthy on

        Yes , Dheeraj . Its always good to get validated by Well known Himalayan Traveler 🙂 . Can you please confirm the itinerary , is any changes required .

        It could be great if those queries are answered , so that we will prepare our self well and get confidence before our dream journey .

        Thanks,
        Nirmal Krishnamoorthy

    • 1. Well, you will need a good sturdy tent to withstand the winds up there in Himalayas. 
2. Apart from a little discomfort, and travel very light, you should be fine. A lot of people do it.
3. Your whole plan is very rushy and hectic. We do not recommend at all sleeping at Sarchu while going to Leh, you are not acclimatising as well in Leh.
4. Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.
      6. As said, it is too much and quite hectic
7. I do not think so.
8. 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

      • Nirmal Krishnamoorthy on

        Thanks Dheeraj for list of things need to be carried and Hotels Sugeestions .

        As My plan is quite rushy and hectic , Can you please suggest better way to do it ?.

        We have only 9 full days to cover all this and why we cant stay in Sarchu ? .. On day 8 we try to make it to Sarchu , if its not possible we planned to halt in Pang . Please Clarify 🙁

        • 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 9 days. Opt to go via Manali – Leh Highway and I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days. Of course with just 9 days in hand it will continue to remain hectic but at least you can avoid causing AMS issues to yourself.

        • Nirmal Krishnamoorthy on

          Thanks for the plan Dheeraj . One final query ..

          We like to stay at Nubra valley and Pangong lake for one night respectively in Camps . Is it possible ?

  42. hi
    dheeraj
    i am planning to go manali to pangong tso lake by self driven taxi.
    is there any problem with self driven taxi ?
    delhi-manali-keylong-sarchu-pangong tso- and back to delhi on same route..

      • karnesh diwakar on

        Hi dheeraj
        Ok let me clear you brother.
        Last year in june i have visited Ladakh with your help via
        Delhi-srinagar-Ladakh. And back with same route. we missed leh manali route. as that time road was not stable. Due to frequent snowmelt and land sliding.
        So this time
        I wann go manali -Spitivelly(till kaza)-keylong-jispa-pangong tso lake- and return from same route.
        So suggst me
        I am taking XUV from zoom cars..

        • Karnesh, outside rented cars are not allowed for sightseeing in Ladakh. Rest you can follow:

          Day 1 | Chandigarh/Ambala – Manali / Solang Valley
          Day 2 | Manali / Solang Valley – Kunzum Pass – Kaza
          Day 3 | Kaza – Pin Valley – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Tabo
          Day 4 | Tabo – Lhalung – Kaza and then do — Ki, Kibber, Gette, Tashigang
          Day 5 | Kaza – Hikkim, Komik, Langza circuit – Kaza and then go over to Chandratal for overnight stay
          Day 6 | Chandratal – Jispa / Keylong
          Day 7 | 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 8 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Acclimatization
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 9 | 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 10 | 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 11 | 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 12 | Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on return to Leh
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 13 | Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang
          — Cover Karzok Monastery
          — Overnight at Karzok or Tso Moriri

          Day 14 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Pang – Sarchu
          — Go over to Sarchu via Tso Kar and Manali – Leh Highway
          — Overnight at Sarchu

          Day 15 | Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Manali
          — Overnight at Manali

          Day 16 | Manali – Back home

  43. sudhirbogra on

    Thank you so much Dheeraj ji for your valuable suggestions!! I really appreciate your help which you are giving to hundreds of travelers 🙂

    Sorry I could not get option to reply on your responses and accordingly thanking you in new post .. Thanks again!

    – Sudhir Kumar

  44. sudhirbogra on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am reading multiple articles on DOW community for last 2 months and I want to say that you have explained multiple trips very accurately and professionally. I really want to thank you for placing such an informative & educative posts related to Leh-Ladakh. I am also planning to visit Leh via Manali with my 3-4 friends near around June end to 1st week of July-2016.

    I have got many queries 🙂 and need your expert advise on these, so that I can make this trip as one of my memorable trips in my life 🙂 🙂

    Snow? – Do you think we will able to see snow (not necessarily on the road, but may be few step away from the road) if we travel between June end and July 1st week?

    Permits? – How permits can be obtained well advance in time if we are travelling by rented bikes & car? Or with our own car & two rented bikes from Manali? Because we cannot apply for permit till the time we have vehicle registration number. We do not want to take any vehicle on rent without seeing it and that can be done after reaching Manali. Also I have seen somewhere that online permits are not valid?

    Limitation of vehicles? – Do we still have any limitation for self-driven cars along with rented bikes? I have read multiple articles from DOW sites and I got confused now. At some places it says we shave some cap on vehicles (Petrol & Diesel or public transport/taxies/private vehicles) and at some placed it says all vehicles are banned except for Govt buses. Please provide your valuable suggestion on this topic.

    Bikes & SUV on rent? – I have seen people renting bikes from Manali, do we have some options for SUV type cars on rent from Manali?

    Flooding nallahs issues? – Do you think we will face flooding nallahs issue during that time?

    Plan itinerary from Manali to Manali of 7 days: – Can you please help us planning our travel from Manali-Leh-Manali with 7 days in hands?

    Budget (via one car of mine and 2 two-wheelers rented from Manali or one SUV rented from Manali along with 2 Two-wheeler):- I have Ford Classic (Old Fiesta) car, do you think it will be safe to drive this sedan from Manali to Leh? Please suggest about generic budget if we opt rented car & bike.

    I am eagerly waiting for your response ..

    – Sudhir Kumar

    • Thank you Sudhir, glad you loved our info. on Ladakh. Sorry for delayed reply, things are a bit hay way here 🙂
      1. Most of the passes will have snow by June
      2. No permits required if all are Indians and you doing journey from Srinagar to Leh to Manali direction.
      3. All that stuff is valid if you do trip from Manali to Leh to Srinagar but like I said if you do Srinagar to Leh to Manali, no permit or hassles.
      4. No, you cannot use rented bikes or cars inside Ladakh for sightseeing purposes.
      5. Yes, key is to start early no late than 7 AM every day
      6. I will suggest that you refer the thread for more details on the route and night halts though it is of 9 days: Manali – Leh – Ladakh – Manali | Itinerary for 9 Days.
      Now since you doing it from Manali side, you need to get the permit done in Manali which will waste a day for you in case you are unable to get it online.

      • sudhirbogra on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I understand you must be busy in celebrating HOLI! BTW Happy Holi!!

        Can you please suggest something on renting an SUV from Manail? We can use that SUV to reach Leh-Ladakh and for return from Leh to Manali. We will rent another bikes from Leh for local site seeing purpose.

        Another concern for Budget: – Budget (via one car of mine and 2 two-wheelers rented from Manali or one SUV rented from Manali along with 2 Two-wheeler):- I have Ford Classic (Old Fiesta) car, do you think it will be safe to drive this sedan from Manali to Leh? Please suggest about generic budget if we opt rented car & bike.

        Thanks again for guiding thousands of visitors visiting Himalayas 🙂

        – Sudhir Kumar

        • sudhirbogra on

          Hello Dheeraj,

          Two more things, I just now read your 9 days itinerary, it does not show TSO Moriri anywhere. Is this a place which we can cover while returning from Leh to Manali ?

          2nd thing, I could not find Pangong Tso on map. Is this place at China boarder?

          Please suggest .. Thank you so much!

          -Sudhir Kumar

        • To get an idea of the routes in Ladakh along with distances, you can refer: DoW – Maps of Ladakh | Nubra Valley & Changthang. Keep in mind that, the remote routes are isolated and completely off track with almost no roads. Better stick to traditional routes in case it is the first trip to Ladakh.

          Yes, you do not have sufficient number of days in hand to including the Tso Moriri. You need one more day to add Tso Moriri.

        • Thank you Sudhir, happy holi to you too 🙂 🙂

          Do you want taxi or looking for self drive SUV rent? If self drive SUV rent, better take from Delhi itself.

          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

          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

  45. hi dheeraj,
    we are a group of friends who are planning to visit leh via manali during mid may tentative in our own private bikes and some rented bikes too.Can you guide on what all things too carry,are any permits required,how much budget we should keep in mind and any other valuable suggestion from your side.

    • Hi Varun,

      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

      Check the list of things to carry for Leh – Ladakh or other trip including basic medical kit, clothing, must haves etc. at the link here: List of Things to Carry for Leh – Ladakh trip.

      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.

  46. Hi Dheeraj,
    Thanks for your efforts to run such extremely useful site.
    We are 7 people (3 couples, 1 bachelor) planning bike trip from Manali to Leh in early June on 4 bikes.

    We are still in basic stage of planning. Need your expertise if it will really be worth the money spent:
    1. Our plan is to make 1st halt at Keylong/Jispa, Second at Sarchu and Reach Leh on 3rd day.
    2. Can’t afford lot of risk as female members accompanying. So thinking to carry a mechanic and a support vehicle for our luggage as per your suggestion.
    3. Drop the bikes at Leh. Do sightseeing by local taxi in Leh and head to Srinagar by another taxi.

    My questions for you;
    1. You mentioned cost of one bike is ~1300 rs per day. For 3 days, it shall be ~4k one way. Then why do they charge 12k for just return?
    2. Any idea about cost of mechanic and support vehicle?
    3. I see you recommend doing Srinagar-Leh-Manali rather than my plan. I somehow feel going from manali to leh will have novelty factor as the terrain changes completely with first sights of snow. Whereas having already done Leh sightseeing, it may not feel as special to drive from Leh to Manali. I may be completely wrong, as I have never travelled on these roads. What are your thoughts on this aspect? Is Leh->Manali travel equally exciting as Manali-Leh?

    Thanks
    Tejas

    • Hello Tejas,

      1. They need to tow the bike in a tempo or someone will go there and ride your bike all the way back to source. All these roads does have risk involved too and frankly speaking it is fine to me if someone gives you that luxury.
      2. Cost of mechanic per day is around 2000-2500, support vehicle is much as taxi only, charged may be 10-15% less the actual taxi.
      3. The article: 5 Reasons to choose Srinagar – Leh Road over Manali – Leh Road, have enough compelling reasons to make the trip from srinagar – Leh highway side, rest still people go otherwise and make successful trips to Ladakh. I never prefer it though.

  47. Hi! I am from the US but I have been living in a village near Dharamsala. Seeing Ladakh (Leh and Pangong Tso!) is my dream trip and a goal for me while I’m here and your blog has been so helpful! Unfortunately I don’t have much time or money to work with. We’d like to go in early/mid May (the end of our time living in India unfortunately). We were going to take the overnight train to Manali from Dharamsala and then hop on a bus when we get to Manali. We leaned that there is a bus that goes directly from Manali to Leh with stops for food and bathroom, as opposed to the one that stops in Keylong (that one would be difficult in terms of price and give us much less time in Ladakh itself). Then we would stay in Leh, perhaps do a night in the Nubra Valley, and then go do a night in Pangong Tso before heading back to Dharamsala the same way we came. Does that sound feasible in terms of AMS and road openings?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kyla,

      I will suggest that you read through: Top 10 Tips for a Solo Trip to Ladakh or Spiti Valley

      This will answer many of your questions. Mid May Most likely Manali – Leh Highway may not open but chances this year are high because of less snow. All depends upon the snow in coming weeks. So, you need to plan from Srinagar side. Dharamshala to Jammu to Srinagar to Kargil to Leh and then try to come back from Manali side in case it is open.

  48. Anand R Patel on

    hi
    i found it very useful

    i want to go to Leh-ladhakh between 15th may to 25th may of 2016.
    i want to know that whether roads from manali Rotang pass will be open.

    please let me know.

    • Anand, most likely Rohtang Pass will be open but on the other hand rest of the passes on Manali – Leh Highway will not be open. Usually the Manali – Leh Highway opens by end of May or early June and stabilizes for safe travel by mid of June.

  49. This sounds fab! We’ll work further on this and let u know if need more guidance.

    Thanks a ton for all your help as always 🙂

    Cheers!!

      • Hi Dheeraj

        We have finalized to fly from Mumbai to Delhi and Delhi Leh n same way back due shortage of leaves

        We’re planning to leave from Delhi on 24 Sept n fly back on 6th Oct.
        We would love to cover kargil, pangong tso, nubra and if possible then tso moriri as well.. Can you suggest the places we can and should cover? And the suitable routing for that too.. We’ll need help to hire vehicles within Leh as well..

        Thanks sooooo much in advance

        Best regards
        Nupoor Desai

        • Hi Nupoor,

          You have good amount of time considering you are planning to fly to Leh. Leh – Ladakh | Most Common Itinerary by Air, is the plan you should refer and add the days of rest in between. Once you are done with aboove part you can make a two day trip to Kargil covering Lamayuru and Sham Valley on the way to Kargil and back to LEh in two days.

          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

      • Hi Dheeraj

        we r back to bother you

        We have figured out itinerary as below. We will be staying at homestays recommended by you at most of the places.. Have already booked the Himalayan Wooden cottages for Pangong stay. We definitely want to stay at Goose homestay for a night but there is no way to connect with them.. Have sent several email messages through their webpage but no response.. We are now 9 of us and we may need all three rooms they’ve got ..from what I read on blog NJ o one had any contact number to reach them.. do you reckon any way at all to connect with them for prebooking?

        We will be staying at Khan manzil for leh stay and nubra we were thinking of booking on the spot (what would you recommend?)
        Our itinerary goes like this.. And obviously we’d follow your reccos here if you suggest any twice

        24 Sept Leh
        25 Sept Leh
        26 Sept Nubra valley
        27 Sept Nubra valley
        28 Sept Leh
        29th Sept Leh to Pangong
        30th Sept Pangong 
        1st Oct Pangong to Tsomoriri
        2nd Oct Leh
        3rd Oct Leh to Alchi to Leh (day trip)
        4th Oct Leh to Kargil
        5th Oct Kargil to Leh
        6th Oct Depart from Leh

        Looking forward to your suggestions

        Thanks in advance
        Nupoor

        • Hi Nupoor,

          You can land there at Tso Moriri and Nubra and book the home stays. Should be OK during that time of the year. Regarding plan:

          1. Go over to Turtuk on 27
          2. Why not add Hanle in it? You have ample of time. Do Pangong Tso to Hanle =, Hanle to Tso Moriri as mentuoned below

          1st Oct Pangong to Hanle
          2nd Oct Hanle to Tso Moriri
          3rd Oct Tso Moriri to Leh
          4th Oct Leh – Alchi – Lamayuru – Kargil, no need to come back to Leh from Alchi it falls on route to kargil
          5th Oct Kargil to Leh
          6th Oct Depart from Leh

    • Nupoor Desai on

      Hi Dheeraj

      We are leaving Mumbai on 23rd eve and be in leh by 24th morning.

      Our tentative plan is as below.. But I really want to cover Hanle.. And we have two people leaving on 4th ..do you think we can cover hanle in the midst of this before 4th?
      24 Sept Leh
      25 Sept Leh
      26 Sept Nubra valley
      27 Sept Nubra valley
      28 Sept Leh
      29th Sept Leh to Pangong
      30th Sept Pangong 
      1st Oct Pangong to Tsomoriri
      2nd Oct Leh
      3rd Oct Leh to Alchi (sham valley tour as per your blog) to Leh (day trip)
      4th Oct Leh
      5th Oct Leh
      6th Oct Depart from Leh

      Await to hear from you 🙂

      Best regards
      Nupoor

  50. Hiii Dheeraj

    I bugged you for our trip to tirthan in the year 2014.. And with your reco of Raju’s guesthouse in goshaini it turned out to be the most memorable trip ever.. We profusely thank you for that. We now seek help of your expertise To plan yet another memorable trip and this time it’s ladakh. We can travel anytime post July and can take out about 10 days Delhi-Delhi or Chandigarh-Chandigarh. We Want to take our Royal Enfield with us and others from the group would be hiring bullets from Chandigarh or Manali..we need ur advice on that too..

    Our queries are:
    1. The time to travel as per Your blog would be Sept-Oct because we would definitely want to avoid the super peak crowded travel times. What precautions do we need to take for travel around this time of the year.
    2. We r a total homestay lovers, so your reco’s for value for money homestays @ leh, nubra, pangong tso, tso. Moriri. Though we would love to stay @ on of those lovely lake facing camps that is if you recommend for the given time of the year.
    3. What routing do u recommend?

    We have never been to ladakh before so we r going to Take your advice word by word 😉

    DOW’s Help seeker
    Nupoor

    • Hi Nupoor,

      Good to know you had memorable time at Raju Bharti, it is indeed a wonderful place.

      1. July is also a good time just that tourist rush is at its peak and less discounts on hotels. Also in lower hills at time rains would be there but not much of a too much concern in July. Rest you are good to go. In case you guys are particular about the stays then book all in advance else book on the spot by searching few places.

      2. I am the home stay type too, so the listing having the home stays will perfectly suit you 🙂 … Check the stay options at all these places from the menu.

      3. Regarding route, firstly I will advice you to go from Srinagar side and come back from Manali side as it will help you acclimatize alot better

      Apart from all this, 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.

      • Thanks a lot for such detailed revert Dheeraj… Looks like we should ideally ditch the bike option for now.

        Do you have any contact details for a vehicle hire from srinagar-leh-Manali? We’ll see of we can hire bikes in leg for internal travel.

        In the meantime we’ll go through the homestay list options n zero down a few. Thanks soooo much!!

        • Nupoor, For the leh – ladakh taxi union rate list 2015 – 16 including the contacts of some reliable taxi drivers within Leh – Ladakh, check the link here. You can get about 10-15% 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

          You can hire the bikes within Ladakh from Leh and it will do for you.


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