(Last Updated On: June 27, 2018)

Travel sets your soul on fire, doesn’t it? Not literally though, but travel is one medium that gives you the push to see beyond the four walls of your office and home. And isn’t it better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times? Well, Deepak Mangal had heard about the popular Manali-Leh bike trip a number of times from his friends, across the internet and it was time for him to actually be on the road, feel the North air on his face, witness the beauty of the majestic Himalayas, and ride on the roads that have given the most memorable stories to many explorers.

One of the most stunning things about travel is that every day is different. There are no set rules, guidelines or expectations. You are free to do whatever you want and every time you take new steps towards exploration, you can sense the freedom that travel brings to you. “Travel, for me, breaks down monotony and brings excitement and exploration in my life that gives me a new energy to work when I get back to my home.”

 

Let The Adventure Begin

 

“On our first day, we reached Manali from Delhi by Volvo bus and met other group members. Upon reaching the hotel, we freshened up, ate lunch to our satisfaction and were later introduced to our bikes. Oh! The feel of touching the super-brute bikes and the sounds they made gave us a thrill. For a test drive, we all decided to go to Solang Valley and clicked a lot of pictures. The valley was beautiful and added fantastic beauty to even simple photographs.”

“Then, there was the amazing experience of paragliding which we all took. We all went to a high peak from where the Thrillophilia representative coordinated with us to take the giant leap. We were soaring in the sky and at the beginning of the trip was so amazing, I was super excited about the next stage.”

After the thrilling experience of paragliding, Deepak and his new explorer friends went ahead to see the natural hot springs near the Vashisht Temple and returned to the hotel in the evening.

 

 

Kickstart And Ride 

 

After a sumptuous breakfast in Manali, the troupe kick-started the ride from Manali towards Jispa via Rohtang Pass, Gulaba, and Marhi Koksar. One of the most deadly roads of India, the Rohtang Pass is nature’s perfect spectacle. Connecting two beautiful valleys- Manali and Lahaul & Spiti, the pass gives an enthralling experience to adventurers with its dangerous curves, rough weather, snow-capped mountains, fresh mountain air and a great challenge.

“We halted at Rohtang Pass and the view was amazing! We didn’t get tired of clicking so many photographs. Riding on the pass was a great adventure. There were blind curves, snow everywhere and narrow roads that gave me the chills. Later, we reached Jispa in the evening and the Thrillophilia team had already arranged tents for us. I rested for a while and heard the sounds coming from outside. I stepped out of the tent and saw bonfire, everyone sitting around the fire and singing songs. I joined them and we all danced and enjoyed the evening of togetherness in the silence of the valley.”

 

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Frozen!

 

From Jispa, Deepak packed his bag for Sarchu. The extreme cold weather and cold winds froze him completely. He had never experienced such harsh cold conditions before and it was for the first time in the hills. After crossing the dangerous roads in such bone-chilling cold, Deepak and the other travelers stayed a night at Sarchu and from there, started the ultimate ride of 250 Km to Leh. “The cold wind was so strong there at Sarchu but I feel, if you have the guts, then you can manage in any situation.”

 

Leh Me Up!

 

“The next day, we rode around 250 km to reach Leh. On the way, we passed the Nakee La, Lachung La and Gata Loops and the highest motorable road in the world where we stopped to click a lot of photographs. The wind was so cold that it froze our hands and despite warm gloves, we had to keep riding to our destination.”

“Upon reaching Leh in the evening, we crashed at the hotel which was adept in all facilities and amenities. The company’s representatives were truly supportive to us and helped us in every way possible. A very small example is when one of the riders slipped the helmet on the road in the middle of nowhere, the representative stopped and got off the bike to get the helmet and gave it to the rider. A sweet gesture, truly.”

At Leh, the riders along with Deepak left for Sham Valley for a mini excursion after breakfast. From there, they all headed further for exploring the famous spots such as Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, The Magnetic Hill and the confluence of Zanskar and Indus rivers.

“We went to Sangam, where the two rivers meet. One river carried clean water and the other carried muddy water and that confluence was a pretty sight.”

“The next day, we rode towards Nubra Valley and on the way, we crossed Khardung La Pass which is situated at a height of 18,984 ft. above the sea level. Within those 15 minutes of halt at that spot, we clicked photos, had a snow fight and though some people started to face breathing problems, we were told to be strong and that actually helped. I believe that positive affirmations help a lot in adverse situations. It is the power of brain according to which the body reacts.”

 

 

Starry Nights

 

“One of the best moments of the trip was at the camps of Nubra Valley. After reaching there, I realized that it was white desert with snow capped mountains and beautiful scenery all around. In the night, we set the bonfire and had a few drinks but what happened next took my breath away. Amidst singing and dancing, we all looked above and there it was: starry sky with a clear view of the Milky Way. All the group members enjoyed the best night of our trip, including the couples who were a part of the trip. We helped and supported each other in all situations and shared our travel stories throughout the trip.”

 

3 Idiots In Real

 

“Yes, I was most excited to visit Pangong Lake the next day to visit the most popular site of all: the red scooter set in the background of the pristine blue lake. The entire road towards the lake was so rugged that we took a little longer than the usual time. We stayed there for the entire day, indulged in few adventure activities, splashed the cool water of the lake and clicked photos with the red scooter.”

The trip ended with the group returning to Leh with lots of good memories, memorable adventures, and new friends beating the cold, bone-chilling weather, crossing the dangerous roads and experiencing the most beautiful destination of India.