There is no better destination that is spell binding like Leh and why I would say like that is because our Ladakh Bike Trip from Manali to Leh and back was an epic written by the beautiful landscapes. I and my husband Nikhar are really fond of adventure activities and we have been doing adventure trips for last ten years together. Leh has been calling us since a long time and in August 2016, we have booked our Leh bike trip through Thrillophilia.
The team of organizers have helped us a lot from booking to executing the tour properly. We arrived in Manali from Chandigarh as we are from Chandigarh and then met Amit, the local tour operator waiting for us since morning. As we have reached there around noon, he asked us to have food and roam around Manali for a while.
Manali was crowded, I mean, overcrowded since the traveling season was on then. The shops, hotels, restaurants and streets were filled with people overwhelmingly. Amidst the large groups of people, we were trying to escape into somewhere peaceful. By that time, we have got our hotel room arranged and we checked in and took rest till evening.
The guides, the supporting staff and the organizers have arranged a meeting for us along with some other bikers from different parts of India to explain the itinerary and details about the package.
Later, we have received our bikes from them and we have already asked for a Royal Enfield Himalayan. My husband was really fond of that bike though I was in love with Standard. We have done some initial rounds in the bike around Manali and stayed at our hotel that night.
If you are an overseas citizen, then don’t forget to check Inner Line Permits for Leh/Ladakh
The climatic conditions were more than beautiful to start our trip the next morning, and we started around 05:00 am from our hotel in Manali. The morning was not so fun to enjoy the sights as the cold wind was freaking our body and mind out and we reached Rohtang Pass first and the ride on the pass, at a height of around 4000 meters was quite exciting for us. We did not wait for too long there as we had to continue to reach Keylong. The beauty of Lahaul-Spiti Valley was unwinding as we crossed each road to Keylong, it was overjoyed with the replenishing nature. We reached Keylong around noon as we had to take a break for breakfast. Keylong was astonishingly beautiful. We have seen a lot of tourists staying there, preparing for camping or for the continuing treks and journeys. It was a continuous buzzing sound in Keylong we could hear throughout.
Before you depart, don’t forget to check weather conditions on accuweather.
We thought to take a necessary interval at Keylong by visiting the refreshing spots of nature as well as the famous Shasur and Gemur monasteries. Our team was split into three and we have taken our interesting paths to explore the place by foot ourselves. In the evening, we have checked in to our tents and arranged a campfire near the site. We enjoyed our food with the other people in the group as the night, cold wind was embracing us from all sides of Keylong.
The next day journey was somewhat challenging, long rides without frequent breaks or stops, through the inimitable curves and altitudes. We reached Jispa which was looking amazing by the side of Chandra River and then we continued to Sarchu. En route came the awesome Zingzing Bar and we were really enjoying the ride along the road where it situated. We thought to take a little break from the ride and visited the bar. There also, people from different parts of the world were having some nice time with their team mates. We moved to Sarchu after sipping some drinks and our campsite for the night was the extensive Sarchu. Baralacha La pass came in between was a relishing point to gaze at for a long time and it looked all the way more pretty from photographs. As we continued our journey, we felt that Baralacha La was haunting us, just it was calling us back to be there. But we had to reach Sarchu by evening as the climate started fluctuating without any prior notice. It was a pleasant campsite and the tents were pretty fine to enjoy a relaxed stay.
Sarchu to Leh was the most magnificent journey happened in the first four days. We crossed the famous Gata Loops, then came to conquer the Lachulung La, then the reddish Pang with so many army officers ganged around, then the challenging Tanglang La. Finally we reached Leh on the fifth day of the tour. By then, we needed a complete day rest before we could start off the continuing journey. Leh was pretty from each side I could see it and we took one day off to acclimatize, rather to see around Leh and its virgin valleys.
Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Diskit monastery and Nubra Valley were the destinations we covered the next day our bike trip. By late night we check in to our Nubra Valley tents. It was an amazing valley with Shyok River’s support from one side. Since it was so late we did not spend much time outside the tent and slept early as we had to go to the mighty Khardung La the following day.
We went to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of Nubra River the next day morning. We returned to the Diskit way to reach Khardung La. Riding up the highest motorable pass was tight as the curves were not so smooth and the road was rather rough to us. But on the top, it was a coloruful plethora of a lot of prayer flags. The Army office and the people were not a strange site but the canteen was something we did not feel matching with the circumstances. But we could take rest there while enjoying the sights as much as we wanted.
From Khardung La, we moved to Pangong Tso which was the most awaited destination and it did not disappoint us also in any manner. The colour of the lake was spreading across the surface I felt and the shimmering mountains had a great beauty on the water than in real. Pangong Lakeside stay could influence all of us in an alarming way and it was simply amusing. The wind was bringing us happiness from the lake.
Return to Leh from Pangong was hard for us, I mean, we were falling in love with the lake and its neighbours. Although it was the condition we had to return to Leh and then spend one more day in Leh before heading back to Manali. Who wants to leave such unconditionally lovable places so easily? On the day we had to do some shopping and exploration in Leh, it was raining lightly. But it did not kept us away from the preoccupied minds of ours. We visited some shops there, bought souvenirs, shawls and also some flowers.
We returned to Manali conquering the same route but without taking breaks. We checked into the campsite at Jispa and then on the last day, we reached Manali. The 11th day of the trip marked the end to our explicit bike journey, no it was a saga of precious sights and destinations. With a farewell party at night, we bid adieu to the marvelous group came with us and then boarded the bus to Chandigarh.
*I recommend you to book you bus from Manali to Chandigarh by Red Bus for hassle free journey.
Thrillophilia was a great support for us to book this wonderful trip and they let us get a wonderful team and local operators. The organization team from Manali has done a great job and they have done their service at the best level any organizer can possible do. Such a refreshing trip had a lot of things to do in our body and soul. We are really grateful to all those people who played an important role in making our trip a beautiful one.