The Srinagar to Manali Bike Tour via Ladakh takes a rider through three different Himalayan regions; Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. Each of these regions offers landscapes that are both incomparable and indescribable. We start the expedition from Srinagar (the biggest city in Kashmir Valley) and make our way to Leh (the biggest city in Ladakh) via the Indo-Pak war battlefield of Kargil. The first couple of days of riding offers some of the most stunning views but the landscape changes drastically after reaching Leh. From lush green mountains in Kashmir, it changes to barren brown mountains in Ladakh. During the 12-day Ladakh bike trip we are going to ride through popular places such as Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake and at the same time explore a remote border village known as Turtuk. The journey is going to be organised in the form of a group with riders coming in from all over Indian and some other parts of the world. A group of trained and experienced people from Adventure Nation is going to lead the traveller throughout this Srinagar to Manali Bike Trip via Ladakh. After exploring all what Ladakh has to offer, we are going to ride on some of the most treacherous passes and make our way to the bustling and booming town of Manali.
Arrive in the heart of Kashmir Valley on your own and meet the Adventure Nation team at the pre booked accommodation. Get acquainted with your fellow riders during the orientation session and get your hands on the bike. Later, go out and explore a few sightseeing places in the town and possibly catch the sunset at the Dal Lake. Overnight stay in a houseboat/hotel.
National Highway 1 towards Kargil. After riding for a couple of hours, we are going to cross one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, Sonamarg. The valley offers views that can only be described as if you’re witnessing a wallpaper play out in front of your eyes. Soon after passing through the valley, we start climbing Zojila La (3528) and from the top of the pass, the entire valley is visible. After riding for a couple of more hours we’re going to pass the second coldest place on earth, Drass. We stop for a short while at the Drass War Memorial and then continue riding towards Kargil.
Today’s ride is going to be comparatively more comfortable as the roads between Kargil and Leh are relatively decent. We again start early in the morning from the hotel and soon after riding for a couple hours, we are going to cross two high passes known as Namki La(3700m) and Fotu La(4108m). Both of these passes are located in the Zanskar region. Another two hours of riding takes us to Lamayuru, which is home to the highest located monastery in the region. Not that the journey until Lamayuru is boring, but the landscape after crossing the village is extraordinary. We continue to ride towards Leh through a spectacular moonscape and reach our destination in the evening. After arriving in the biggest city in Ladakh, check into the hotel and rest for a while. Later, if time permits, you may go out and take a stroll in the Leh market.
Highlights – Khardung La, Diskit Monastery
After a rather relaxed day in Leh, we continue our expedition and start riding towards Nubra Valley through what’s considered the highest motorable road in the world i.e. Khardung La(5359m). The road towards the pass is well paved and tarred till the checkpoint near South Pullu and after crossing the checkpoint, the road starts to get slushy with loose rocks on one side. Get yourself clicked after reaching Khardung La and hit the road quickly as it is not safe to spend much time on top of the pass due to the high altitude and thin air. We stop for a quick lunch after climbing down from the pass and then continue our journey. After riding for another couple of hours, we make a brief stop to visit the 32m high Maitreya Buddha statue in Diskit Monastery. Our arrival in the valley will be welcomed by the white sand dunes and the sightings of the double-hump Bactrian camels grazing. Stay overnight at the hotel/campsite.
Today is going to be a rather relaxed day as we are going to stay the night at the same place. After breakfast, we are going to ride to an astonishingly beautiful place called Turtuk. Claimed by Pakistan after the end of British rule in 1947, Turtuk was annexed in India after the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Due to its proximity to the border, the village was kept isolated for many decades and was only open for tourists after 2010. Since then, the village, cradled by the Karakoram mountains, has been hosting a lot of adventure travellers. Unlike the dry landscape of the region, Turtuk is quite green and is situated on the banks of Shyok River. After exploring the surroundings, we are going to ride back to our accommodation in Hunder and stay another night.
After having breakfast, we start riding towards the most photographed destination in Ladakh, Pangong Lake. Despite the fact that we are not going to cross any high pass today, the ride should be quite interesting as we ride on the much less travelled road via Shyok. Most of our ride is going to be along the beautiful Shyok River and through the villages like Agham, Shyok, Durbuk and Tangste.
Wake up to an enchanting sunrise over Pangong Tso and recommence your Ladakh expedition. Today we are going to ride the same route that we rode yesterday and after crossing Durbuk, we will start climbing the third highest motorable pass in the world, Chang La(5360m). After crossing Chang La, we halt for Lunch. After eating, we start our journey to Lah via Karu from where we start riding on the Manali-Leh Highway. Just before reaching Leh, we are going to pass through the Thiksey monastery and the popular Druk White Lotus School. There will be a short halt to explore the monastery and take some pictures. After riding for approximately an hour, we will arrive in Leh for the second time during the expedition.
We are going to ride on the widely popular Leh-Manali Highway throughout the day and ride through some of the highest motorable roads in the region. Riding along the Indus river, we’re going to cross the highest pass on the highway; Tanglang La(5328m). Just after crossing the pass, the road starts to get much better as we ride through the Morey Plains toward Pang. After having lunch at Pang, we continue our journey to Manali and cross a couple of more high passes; Lachung La(5059m) and Nakee La(4769m). The adventure doesn’t end after crossing all these high passes as we ride through a series of 21 hairpin bends, known as the Gata Loops. Another thirty-minute ride brings us to Sarchu. Get some rest and have dinner at the campsite.
The distance to be covered today is the shortest on the entire expedition so we’re going to start the day pretty relaxed. After breakfast at the campsite, we are going to continue riding on the Leh-Manali Highway and make our way to another Himalayan town; Jispa. For a while, the Tsarap River is going to be visible on our right side raging down the mountains. After riding for a while, we’re going to cross the treacherous Baralacha La(4890m). The high motorable pass is covered in snow almost throughout the year. Apart from the high passes, we’re also going to pass through Suraj Tal and Deepak Tal, both of these lakes are worthy of taking a halt at and getting photographed as backdrops. We make our way to Jispa after riding for about five hours during the day. Arrive at the hotel/Campsie and stay overnight.
This is going to be the last day of riding on this expedition so try to make the most of it. We start from our hotel/campsite after having breakfast and continue to ride on the Leh-Manali Highway. By passing the quaint towns of Keylong and Sissu and going through the Atal tunnel.