Manali to Leh Bus Guide 2021 - How to Book & Travel
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Leh Bike Trips

Manali to Leh Bus

Manali to Leh by Bus is an experience, an adventure, and a ride that every traveler needs to embark on at least once in their lifetime. Taking you through the mountains, over the passes, and amidst the walls of snow and towards the other side of the towering Himalayas, these buses are probably a way better experience than taking a private vehicle with you to the moonscapes of Ladakh. 

Not just that you will get to share your journey with countless others who are not necessarily all adventurers. Many of these people will be the locals of either Manali or Leh, commuting from one place to other for a reason that is not traveling and will definitely have a story to share that you may not have heard about before.

These locals and many other adventurers choose to go to Leh from Manali by Bus for a plethora of reasons, one of them definitely has to be the beauty and comfort that you will otherwise miss to experience while on your bike trip or in the car. 

This guide will help you in detail with the key points to keep in mind when traveling from Manali to Leh on a bus.
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01

Bus Route

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The journey for Manali to Leh by bus takes the usual route to get into Leh: the Manali Leh Highway Covering a total distance of about 475 km, the bus takes about 2 days to reach the destination, with the total travel time being somewhere between 18 to 20 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. 

The first leg of the journey starts from Manali and takes you to the famous Rohtang Pass. The snowline starts from this pass and it is one of the most scenic places near Manali. Located at about 51 km from Manali bus stop, the Rohtang Pass is one of the two ways that travelers use to get into the rain shadow side of the Himalayas, and the only one in Himachal Pradesh.

This may mean that you will find a lot of traffic and crowd here, making the progress a little slower than expected. Nonetheless, Rohtang Pass is an important point in the journey, and on the other side of the pass is the famous Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh.

The road from here then leads to the small village of Gramphu. Famous for the Gramphu Dhaba, this where the road bifurcates into two, one which leads to Leh, and the other takes you to Kaza in Spiti. A straight stretch of about 45 km from here brings you to another small village in the region, which is a major stop right before the famous Keylong district of Spiti. This small village on the way to Leh does not even have a total of 100 people. At about 10 km from here, there is the famous city of Keylong.

The journey continues as the bus hurtles towards the next for about 23 km, until it arrives in Jispa. A major stop for a lot of travelers going to or coming back from Leh, Jispa has a lot of facilities that one can want. Mostly, the buses will stop here for refreshments and in some cases, night stopovers. This scenic town in Lahaul is located on the banks of Bhaga River.

Moving on from here, the bus drives on the side of Bhaga River for about 10 km to arrive at another village in Lahaul, Darcha, a place described as "a lonely cluster of dry-stone huts and dingy tent camps" in The Rough Guide To India.

As the route turns from hilly to mountainous, you will cross many amazing settlements and High mountain passes as you travel from Darcha to Patseo (13 km), Patseo to Zingzingbar (8 km), Zingzingbar to Baralacha La Pass (22 km), to finally arrive at Sarchu, another major town and stopover on the way.

A place most disputed about its positioning, Sarchu is located on the very border of the 2 states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This beauty of a town is located north of Baralacha La Pass and to the South of the Lachulung La Pass. This is where you will actually be stepping into Ladakh.

Starting from here, the 36 km ride will take you to Nakee La, another high mountain pass nestled at a height of 4,769 m above sea level. On the way to the pass, however, one has to cross the famous 21 Gata Loops. These hairpin bends are a true nightmare of every rider and traveler, and show the true grit of anyone who knows how to drive.

As you sway from one side to the other with the loops, you will finally arrive at the top of Nakee La, from where the ride takes you up further to a height of 5,059 m above sea level. After about 19 km, you will be arriving at Lachunlung La. From here, a drive of about 21 km takes you to the highest transition post in the world in Pang. On a road trip to ladakh, you show your permits here for entry. After Pang, the road climbs further uphill to reach the highest pass on this route, Tanglang La, about 66 km by road.

A ride of 61 km further from here will bring you to Upshi, a famous junction town in Ladakh that stands at the meeting of two famous roads. The right turn from here will lead you on an ancient trading route that takes you to Tibet.

The straight roads from here, however, will take you further into Ladakh, where after about 14 km you will arrive at another junction town called Karu. This is the way that also leads to Chang La, and eventually, to Pangong Tso Lake.

On the last leg of the journey, driving along the Indus River, you will arrive into the great land of Leh. This is where the bus terminates and drops you at the capital of Ladakh, and is the end point of your journey to Leh from Manali by bus.

if you need complete information for Delhi to Leh check out our full guide.
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02

Duration and Distance

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The journey will be spanning over the course of about 2 days owing to the remoteness. The total distance of the road that runs between Manali and Leh is approximately 475 km.

To cover this distance, the drivers ply on for a total of about 18 to 20 hours, depending on the traffic and stoppage at the Rohtang La Pass.

If you were planning a trip to Ladakh then you must check the guide for the best time to visit Ladakh which makes your trip more helpful and provides essential information regarding this.

Here's our full guide on travelling from Srinagar to Leh which will help you on your journey. 
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03

Best Offers on Ladakh Tour Packages: Enquire Now

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04

Bus Operators and Service Providers for Manali to Leh

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There are two bus operators that primarily provide services for one to go from Manali to Leh by Bus; HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Company) and HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation).

While the HRTC bus goes from Manali to Keylong, and you have to board a different bus from there for Leh, while the latter is a bus that goes from Manali to Leh and has the overnight stay cost at Keylong and meals throughout the journey already added into the ticket fare.
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05

Approx Fare

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For the two different buses that take you from Manali to Leh, the fares vary according to the services provided. The HRTC bus is a simple bus that is taken by the locals as well as the visitors, and is actually split in two parts. The bus from Manali to Keylong comes at about INR 150, while that from Keylong to Leh at about INR 500.

On the other hand, the HPTDC bus is a luxury one and has a stopover at Keylong, complete with accommodation and meals included in the package. The ticket fare per person for this bus will be INR 2900.

Explore the scenic beauty of Ladakh with the most awe-inspiring adventurous activities in Ladakh.

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06

Manali to Leh Boarding and Dropping Points

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The boarding points for the buses are as follows:
HRTC bus stand Manali
Old manali bridge
Ram bagh chowk manali
Vashisth shiva parking manali

And the dropping points in Leh include:
JKSRTC Bus Stand Leh
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07

Things to keep in mind while travelling from Manali to Leh

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A few things that one must take care of while traveling from Manali to Leh by bus are as follows:

-Always carry a first aid kit and your own personal medication. There is a high chance that you won’t find both in the remoteness of Ladakh, especially on the bus.

-Keep a torch with extra batteries, and a swiss army knife especially, if you're going for trekking in ladakh

-Keep hydrated as dehydration is the first thing to happen in altitude sickness.

-Carry energy foods like nuts and dry fruits as appetite is usually reduced to the altitude.

-Keep your documents, especially IDs and permits handy and safe as you will be flashing them a lot during the journey.

-Keep a list of important contacts on a paper as mobile batteries die quick in colder environments.

-Carry enough cash as there are not much ATMs in Ladakh, and none at all on the highway.

-When you prepare your first-aid kit, make sure to keep the following items in it: Moov/Iodex, Dettol/ Savlon, Headache Medicine, Dizziness and body pain Medicine, Disprin/Asprin, Band-aids, Medicine to suffice lack of oxygen,  Imodium, Diamox, Stomach ache medicine.

Ladakh is a wonder on Earth and a blessing to nature, its a dream of everyone to visit Ladakh once in a lifetime. 
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08

Places for Night Stopover

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There are not much stopovers during the journey. As you are traveling to Leh from Manali by bus, you will most probably be stopping at Keylong. The HPTDC bus will make your arrangements for overnight sleep at the Hotel Chandrabhaga.

If you are traveling by the HRTC bus, the night accommodation will cost you around INR 1000 per room per night.

Apart from this, other options for staying at Keylong includes the HP PWD Rest House, HP PWD Circuit house, and Nalwa Guest House.

For your comfortable stay, check out these hotels to stay in Leh
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"the experience was awesome. The whole thing organized by Thrillophilia was great. Our tour operator Jigmet sir and the whole crew were 1 no. SHAMAAASS. Julley.
11 July 2019
Excellent
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
We had a wonderful experience with Thrillophilia Out tour was Leh-Ladakh 6N7D, which includes Leh Sightseen, Nubra Valley Overnight Stay, Pangong Overnight Night. 1. First of all you should know that Thrillophilia doesn't have its own Travel Team. Thrillophilia actually linked up with several local Travel Agency. Once your Tour is booked Thrillophilia tagged one local Travel Agency for your Tour and that particular travel agency will take care of your entire tour. Our travel manager is Lobzang Tseldon. She is very helpful and you will not face any problem in your entire tour. 1. Hotel provided in Leh: Ladakh Heights. The hotel was very good,neat and clean.It is a new hotel so you don't found any pics in the internet. But lobzang will send you the pics of the Hotel. There is a canteen within the hotel where you will be having complimentary breakfast and dinner. Non Vegetarian please let Lobzang know that you want non-veg items as well.they generally prepare veg items only.but on request they will provide you omlette in breakfast and chicken/mutton in dinner. So if anyone wants to book Thrillophilia please ask Thrillophilia to tag you to the travel agency that offers non veg items too. The Hotel Ladakh Heights is a bit far from the main city but don't worry Lobzang will provide you car for visit to Leh market whenever required and she will not charge you for that. You will get a beautiful view from this hotel but if you want to stay near the main city you will not get any view from the hotel. 2. The stay at Nubra Valley was awesome. They have Royal Camp in Nubhra and it's is a nature-friendly camp. You will love it, I can guarantee you. 3. They stay at Pangong was okay. You can understand that at that altitude you will not get luxury.so the camp provided at Pangong was good for 1 night stay. Overall my experience with Thrillophilia was very good. We enjoyed a lot. Thanks a lot to Lobzang Tseldon for the wonderful arrangements of our tour.
"Trip was really awesome. I feel everyone should consider this trip at least once in their lifetime. My eyes were never tired of looking around at such beautiful and scenic views. I would like to extend my special thanks to Tour leader Mr. Jigmet Tandar. He is highly trained professional. The way he lead the tour made us have more fun. Thanks to the whole crew Jigmet, Stanzin, Wangyal, Kaushal, Tundoop. Made a lot of new friends. One suggestion to Thrillophilia team: Since this is not just any casual trip that anyone can go through please consider keeping a screening process for people who opt for it. This is one of the most extreme adventures where your body and mind will go through a lot of challenges, one can successfully complete this trip only if they are determined and well prepared."
03 June 2019
Excellent
An exhilarating life-changing experience. If you are able bodied, a biking lover, a landscape / scenery admirer and a crazy adventure seeker, this is a must try for life. Our group of bikers were fun-loving yet very responsible riders. We became friends on the very first day and all of us enjoyed every moment, giving mutual respect at every instance, having each other's backs at every dangerous turn. Even elderly couples in the group made amazing memories with all the young folks! The Ladakhi food, the heritage site visits, the campfire dancing, the photos, the market shopping, the music, the hikes, the snow, even the adorable mountain dogs, furry yaks and double-hump camels, every-bit was amazing. The road team was extraordinary, specially Tani (captain) and Shashi (bike repairman). They were very friendly, accommodating, knowledgeable and also helpful at every step. We had a truck carrying our luggage all along, running behind us all through the roads, making sure no one is left behind. Jigmet has a lot of local connections, so you will be well taken care of at camps and hotels (even Jain food, on request).
24 October 2020
Excellent
I had a wonderful trip with Thrillophilia. Hotel provided in Leh was clean and good. All sightseeing places covered as per itinerary. The camping stay at Nubra Valley and near Pangong lake was awesome. We enjoyed a lot and overall experience was great.
The Sham Valley Trek was one of the most enjoyable treks I have undertaken in the last few years, and all the credit goes to Thrillophilia. The booking experience was extremely smooth and I would highly recommend this company for all your travels in the valley.
17 November 2019
Superb
It was an awesome experience. Completed the tour in July 2019. We had booked for 8 persons on Thrillophilia. The facilities were good, Tani-the tour guide, was superb. Amazing tour, to say the least. I have penned down my entire experience of Ladakh bike tour on my blog. Sharing the link here.
17 November 2019
Excellent
When we made the booking for 6-days trip to Ladakh via Thrillophilia, we had a lot of questions in our mind on how it's going to turn out, especially on whether it's a suitable honeymoon destination even for those who love a bit of adventure. That is primarily because the reviews of Ladakh were a bit scary. Almost all of the people who wrote reviews had a lot of things to warn you about- the extreme climate, sudden decrease in Oxygen levels, deserted/uninhabited places where it's difficult to get some help from anyone in case of any issues and so on. And there were some people who wrote bad reviews about Thrillophilia for some negative experiences they had to endure from the operators. But it was reassuring to see how Thrillophilia answered all the reviews, even the negative ones. They clarified how they assign tour operators based on customer reviews and in case of any negative experiences from the operators, there is not much Thrillophilia can help with apart from not assigning those operators anymore. As we were getting immediate response from Amit on all our queries on a timely basis, we decided to book the package. Cutting to the chase, we were contacted by the operator(Thupstan) the day before our arrival and he ensured that there was a taxi to pick us up on time. The tour guides and the driver of the backup vehicle he assigned for our group were so experienced that all we had to do was to keep riding until they ask us to stop. The halts were all well planned that we didn't have to worry about anything. And they were so approachable in case of any issues. And whenever we rode for a long time, they would come and inspect each bike and fixed any issues immediately. They were always willing to go the extra mile to make us comfortable. Let me quote an instance here - The driver of the backup vehicle had an issue with Blood Oxygen level when we reached Pangong. We had enough stock of Oxygen cylinders in the backup vehicle. But he didn't consider using it and hence took one of the bikes and rode to where he could find a pharmacy to get an Oxygen cylinder for himself. When one of us asked him on why he didn't use one of the cylinders that we had carried, he told us that the cylinders are just for our use and himself or any of the guides won't use that. Such was the concern they had for everyone in the group. In case anyone reading this still has a question regarding whether it's a suitable place for couples, the answer is YES. The accommodation they provide is suitable for couples as well. Even the tents are nice and safe. I could go on like this and I never thought this review is going to be this long when I started writing it. As others have mentioned in the reviews, it's such a beautiful destination and the experience is awesome. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Ladakh, go ahead and embark on this beautiful journey with Thrillophilia. I'm sure that you won't regret it.
"it was a very well organized trip,the hotel was very good,the tent in nubra was lovely and the food was good too..overall a good experience "

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People Also Ask About Ladakh

  1. Is Manali to Leh bus safe?

    Yes, travelling to Leh from Manali via Bus is safe considering you are taking the government buses. Since it is a journey of around 18-20 Hours you have to make sure you take a comfortable bus and keep check of your belongings, eat light food and carry essential medicines.
  2. What is the Manali to Leh bus timing?

    For HRTC Buses, the first bus starts at around 04:00 AM and last one goes at 01:00 PM and it will take a stopover at Keylong and starts at 05:00AM from Keylong.
    In case of HPTDC Bus, it starts from Manali at 10 AM and take a stopover at Keylong. It starts from Keylong between 04:00 AM to 05:00 AM.
  3. What is the fare of Manali to Leh bus ?

    There are mainly two buses that takes you from Manali to Leh and prices varies accordingly. The HRTC bus will cost your INR 150 from till Keylong and INR 500 from Keylong to Leh. While, HPTDC bus will cost around INR 2900/- because of the luxury it offers.
  4. How can I go to Manali from Leh by bus?

    To travel from Manali to Leh by bus, one would first have to book a ride from one of the bus operators functioning here. The two primary Manali to Leh bus services available here are HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Company) and HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation). The buses travel to Leh via the Manali-Leh Highway, and the journey takes around 2 days to complete.
  5. Which route is best for Leh?

    The best route to go from Manali to Leh is the Manali-Leh Highway. Stretching across 474 kilometers, the highway is flanked by majestic, snow-capped mountains on all sides, offering a delightful view as one travels along the road.
  6. Is Manali Leh highway safe?

    Yes, Manali-Leh Highway is extremely safe, which is why most Manali to Leh Bus services often opt for this route as the preferred way to travel. Although there might be slight risk involved during the months of snow and rain, it is not considerable enough to hamper one’s journey. Moreover, bus operators take extra precautions during turbulent weather, and check weather conditions beforehand and to offer the smoothest and most hassle-free experience possible.
  7. How far is Manali from Leh?

    Leh is about 428 kilometers away from Manali. It takes about 12 hours to travel between the two places in ideal weather conditions.
  8. How much time will the bus take to reach Leh from Manali?

    It will take around 2 days for the bus to reach Leh from Manali. This includes travel time as well as the time required for rest, food and night stopovers. The distance between the two destinations is 474 kilometers.
  9. Can I do pre-bookings for Manali to Leh bus service?

    Yes, one can easily pre-book tickets for Manali to Leh bus service online and enjoy a hassle free commute. Thrillophilia offers great discounts on this Manali to Leh bus service and is the best platform to pre-book your travel
  10. Is it possible to book the Manali - Leh - Manali bus online?

    Online booking for the Manali to Leh buses is not only possible, but also recommended. By booking the bus tickets online, you can easily avoid the hassle of on-site booking, and thus ensure a smooth experience.

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