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Srinagar-Leh highway was thrown open for traffic in Ladakh on May 12, 2017. This means that the Manali-Leh highway too will open up soon and hordes of bikers will head to this rugged beauty of a destination. Every year, Ladakh attracts a number of tourists, especially bikers, during the months of May-September. Its spectacular landscapes, adventurous roads, pleasant weather, mesmerizing lakes and magnificent monasteries make Ladakh one of India’s most precious gems. If you have had Ladakh on your mind and are finally considering embarking on that ride on your Royal Enfield, the first thing you want to do is draw out a rough itinerary. If you are from Mumbai, you can take a train to Chandigarh and then consider the following Ladakh trip itinerary for your bike ride. ALSO SEE Bike trip to Leh: Things to remember Also Read - India, China Ready to Resolve Border Standoff? Here's What to Expect From Key Military Level Talks Today
Chandigarh-Manali-Leh-Srinagar bike trip itinerary
Day 1: Depart Mumbai via Paschim Express, make arrangements one day prior for your bike to go in the luggage of the same train
Day 2: Reach Chandigarh in the afternoon, pick up bikes, stay for the night
Day 3: Chandigarh to Manali – 285 km
Day 4: Spend a day in Manali and Solang Valley where you can go paragliding
Day 5: Manali to Sarchu – 222 km (Be advised that you will cross Tandi here which has the only petrol pump for the next 365 km. So, fuel up and fill up your petrol cans. Also, in case it gets too much for you, you can take a break at Jispa or Zing Zing bar on the way to Sarchu)
Day 6: Sarchu to Leh – 250 km (Check out monasteries like Hemis and Thiksey on the way)
Day 7: Take it easy and just acclimatize by walking around
Day 8: Explore places near Leh city like the Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Thiksey monasteries, Shey, Stok, Stakna, Hemis
Day 9: Leh to Khardung La to Nubra – 160 km
Day 10: Nubra to Leh (Alternatively, you can directly go to Pangong Tso from Nubra Valley by taking the road less traveled. However, be advised that it is an extremely difficult terrain and you will often be riding on rocks and streams with no roads. The route will take around 5-6 hours)
Day 11: Leh to Pangong Tso – 130 km
Day 12: Pangong Tso to Leh
Day 13: Leh to Kargil – 227 km
Day 14: Kargil to Srinagar – 202 km
Day 15: Srinagar to Shri Jammu Tawi – 294 km
Day 16: Depart from Katra via Swaraj Express at 11.15 am
Day 17: Reach Mumbai at 6 pm and then Home Sweet Home
Understand that a 250 km ride typically means around 6-7 hours of riding.
When you are riding across high-altitude places like Sarchu and Pang, you might face AMS (Acute Motion Sickness) and it may not be very safe to ride under such circumstances. Take a break whenever you feel sick by putting up at a nearby hotel or homestay. You can always carry on after a good night’s sleep.
There are always wild cards like tyre punctures, bike breakdowns, etc. So, be prepared to improvise and modify your itinerary on the spot.
This itinerary can be modified for those who do not want to do the whole ride but just want to rent a bike in Ladakh and explore around. You can just take a flight to Leh and then follow the itinerary from Day 7 to Day 11.
To avoid exhaustion, you may also choose to do just one of the routes – either the Manali – Leh or the Leh – Srinagar – by bike and take a flight back home.
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