If travelling is your passion, then joining the Manali Leh cycling expedition can be a great idea. It involves days of gruelling and exciting biking along National Highway 3, also known as Leh Manali Highway. The journey is among the most scenic in the world as it goes through some of the most amazing landscapes.
On the first day, board a Volvo bus from Delhi and travel to the beautiful hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Explore the town, take tours to nearby attractions and shop for memorabilia. Travelling further along the Himalayas, you will cross two moderately high mountain passes.
Gata Loops, a series of bends and curves, will be your ultimate prize if you have a stout heart. The next stage of this Manali Leh cycling expedition will lead you past the expansive, flat and picturesque Morey Plains. Your journey will end in the small village of Lhato where you will board your coach to Leh and also get an excellent chance to shop for souvenirs at the town market.
After resting in the town for the night, wake up at the break of dawn to the sounds of the cockerels announcing the advent of morning. Complete your thrilling excursion through the Himalayas with a cycling journey to Khardung La situated more than 18000 feet above sea level. Capture the wonderful vistas and boast back home that you literally touched the sky!
Day 01: Arrive in Manali / Day at leisure
At around 10 AM, you reach the hill town of Manali, which is situated at an altitude of about 6726 feet and is a haven for tourists. A lush forest cover of Deodars greets you and in the distance, snow-covered peaks elevate its charm. Check-in at the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Your guide will take you to explore the Old Town, Naggar Castle, Roerich Art Gallery, Vashisht village and the Pagoda-style Manu Rishi temple or you may shop for local specialities. In the evening, relish a scrumptious dinner and stay overnight at guest house or camps.
Day 02: Manali – Marhi (10,892 feet | 39 KM)
After a scrumptious breakfast, start your biking expedition! Start riding uphill and ride along the curved road. You will pass through few quaint villages and lush forest. Reach Marhi and rest for the day!
Day 03: Marhi – Rohtang Pass – Gondla (12959 feet | 41 KM)
Post a delicious breakfast leave from Marhi and ride 13 KM uphill until you reach Rohtang Pass. The zero point will offer you the best views of snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas! Rohtang Pass is situated more than 13000 feet above sea level and is known worldwide for its mesmerising beauty. You will descend to Gramphu and cross Khoskar, first village of the Lahaul and Spiti district. The trails get easy after Khoskar. Reach Gondla and stay overnight at the camps.
Day 04: Gondla – Jispa (11154 feet | 50 KM)
Start your ride after breakfast and visit Keylong on the way to Jispa. The quaint village offers amazing views of the lush valleys around. The remote Himalayan village will be a good experience away from the noisy and polluted cities. Most of the terrain will be flat and scenic. Reach Jispa and stay overnight at the camps.
Day 05: Jispa – Baralacha La – Bharatpur (15748 feet | 55KM)
Ride uphill for at least 32 KM and reach Baralacha La, a high mountain pass in the Zanskar Range which connects Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Rest of the journey will be downhill to reach your campsite. Stay overnight at Bharatpur.
Day 06 Bharatpur – Whiskey Bridge (11778 feet| 65KM)
Today we ride towards Sarchu, a vast plateau that offers dramatic mountain views. We will ride along the Tserap River until we reach the campsite.
Day 07: Whiskey Bridge – Namik La – Lachang La – Pang (15190 feet | 44KM)
We start the day by riding uphill on the curved roads and reach Namik La followed by a short descend of 3 KM. Next, we will ride uphill for 3 KM to reach the second pass of the day, Lachang La followed by a long descend to Pang. We will camp by a stream at Pang.
Day 08: Pang – Base of Tanglang La (Debring) (14763 feet | 54 KM)
Ride uphill for 5-7 KM and enjoy the beauty of Zara Chu stream, with the canyon erected on both sides in different shapes, and mirages on the large Qyangchuthang (Wild Donkey ground). The ride will be on a flat road along the Pang plateau after crossing Zara Chu. Reach your camps and stay overnight at Debring.
Day 09: Tanglang La (Debring) – Rumste (17,493 feet | 48 KM)
Gradually ride uphill for 23 KM to the world’s second highest motorable road, Tanglang La. Descend to Indus Valley later and see the series of Chortens that will lead you to Rumtse, the first village of Ladakh. Stay overnight beside a stream on a lush meadow.
Day 10: Rumtse – Leh (11154 feet| 90 KM)
Ride through Ladakhi villages and visit Shey Palace and Thiksey Monastery on the way! Reach Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, by afternoon. Stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Leh – Khardungla (18175 feet|39 KM)
This is without doubt the crowning glory and literally the crest of your amazing Manali Leh cycling expedition. Mount your bikes and ride on a steep road which will take about 39 KM from Leh to reach Khardung La. It is situated at a mind-boggling altitude of above 18000 feet. Click photographs here of the surroundings and also of the altitude sign to boast to your pals back home that you literally touched the sky. Return to Leh and stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Leh
Explore the magical city Leh and visit the most amazing sights of the city. Visit Shanti Stupa, Old Fort, Leh Palace and a beautiful monastery. Spend the afternoon packing up your mountain bikes. Relax and spend the evening at leisure.
Day 13: Departure
Have a lavish breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Leh Airport for your onward journey to Delhi as you come to the end of your wonderful cycling expedition. Upon reaching Delhi you will be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay in Delhi.