Image Credits- Prabhu B Doss- Flickr
Manali to Leh Jeep Safari passes through the premier motorable pass in the world. This trip can be stretched to Nubra Valley across Khardongla pass. The drive starts from Manali passing through the verdant green and hazy Rohtang Pass 3980 m.
The countryside converts into the rocky brown terrain of the rain shadow area of Lahaul as you go towards Leh. The landscape amazingly gets deeper into unprotected desert after crossing a few villages of Lahul with prayer flags on their roofs.
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Travel down to reach Baralacha Pass and you will see astoundingly expansive plain areas of Serhcu where you can spend a night in tented camp. There are numerous tiny passes prior to you crossing Tanglang La pass. Taglangla at 5330m before you reach Rumtse and Gya village.
Image Credits- Prabhu B Doss- Flickr
After an hours drive you will arrive at Upshi where you will enter Indus Valley after crossing Indus River where the villages are set up on the bank. Explore beautiful monasteries built on hill side. This enthralling jeep safari from Manali to Leh is an unforgettable experience as you traverse a variety of landscapes.
Major attractions in Leh:
1. Shanti Stupa
Image Credits- Sitaram Shastri- Flickr
Shanti Stupa is located above Changspa village, 3-km west of the market. The sides are embellished with gilt panels describing episodes from the life of the Buddha. Shanti Stupa is one of the monuments set up around India by Japanese Buddhists.
2. Leh Palace
It is a prehistoric palace of the kings of Ladakh, which governed the town from the Tsemo hill. This eight storied palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 16th century. Patola of Lhasa is very famous. Leh palace belongs to the royal family of Ladakh.
3. Sankar Gompa
Sankar gompa can easily be explored on foot. It is situated under Gompa of Spitok. Only 20 monks stay here. You can visit this gompa from 7.00 am to 10.00 am and from 5.00 to 7.00 pm. It is better if you visit it in evening. The monks welcome the tourists and offer yak butter tea, 'Tsampa'. They may offer you boiled and spiced mustard plant.
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How to get there?
Indian Airlines and Jet Airways have regular flights to and fro Leh. Leh airport is linked with important cities like Delhi, Srinagar and Chandigarh.
Regular state transport bus services run between Srinagar and Leh and Manali and Leh. If you do not prefer traveling by bus, the alternative available is jeeps.
Jammu is the closest railway station and is 734 km from Leh. From here Buses take two days to reach Leh.
Best Time to Visit
July to mid-October
Places to visit nearby :
A picturesque village, Kathi is 12-km from Manali. It is located on the Keylong road at the foot of Rohtang Pass. You get a chance to take glance of the striking views from Kothi. The Beas River flows through a very profound and narrow gorge. Rest-house is the most visited place for overnight stays. An awe-inspiring gorge will be in front of you, when you enter into Beas. This gorge is about 61m deep and just few meters broad.
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2. Old Manali
Old Manali is set around 3-km away from the present Manali city. The old Manali is wrapped up with ancient guesthouses and orchards where the livestock move freely.
Things to keep in mind :
- Do not compromise on quality of your vehicle.
- You require moderate level of fitness.
- If you want to go for a Manali to Leh jeep safari, better to travel in-group.
- Keep silence to cherish the close proximity to the natural habitats.
- Do not touch sacred artifacts.
- Avoid drinking, smoking and drugs or spitting in the premises of monastery.
- While trekking in this area, make sure that you do not dirty the surrounding places and camping sites.
Things to carry :
- Warm gloves, clothes, socks, trek pants, trousers
- Prescribed medications (if any)
- Backpack / rucksack/sleeping bag
- Flash light with extra batteries
- Suntan lotion and toiletries
- Camera (optional)
- Water bottles