Cycling Manali to Leh

Gio Adventures
INR38000
  • 13 days
    (Duration)
  • 4.9
    (Rating)
  • Hilly
    (Terrain)

Cycling on the main Leh - Manali road is fairly straightforward, following compacted dirt track or tarmac.



Description

If you are looking for the excitement of pure downhill, day after day through ever changing scenery, the Manali to Leh traverse is hard to beat. Riders will have the option of ascending a total of 3800 meters to cross the four main passes on the route, (although you can use the vehicle support and not cycle any uphill if you wish).

Nobody will want the bus for the downhill though, as there is the unforgettable experience of descending 10,800 meters (35,500 feet) through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. You will traverse a series of spectacular passes, the highest of which is at 5280 meters (Taglang La - the second highest road pass in the world), before descending into the popular hill resort of Manali. Cycling on the main Leh - Manali road is fairly straightforward, following compacted dirt track or tarmac.


Itinerary

  • Day 1

    RIDING AROUND TOWN / ARRIVE MANALI / ACCLIMATIZATION RIDE

    We recommend to arrive a day earlier in Manali. Board the evening bus/Overnight journey bus to Manali (580kms). We pick you up from the bus station and drive to the Ride Hotel. Early afternoon Ride to Naggar and Roerich art Gallery (19kms one way). The evening is free to explore the local surroundings. Manali is surrounded by beautiful fir and pine forests and there are lovely walks in and around the town. There is also a colourful Tibetan bazaar famous for its shawls, caps, jewellery and handicrafts made by Tibetan refugees.

  • Day 2

    MANALI – MARHI (UPHILL TO CAMP AT MARHI 35 KM, 5-6 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 1250M)

    Today we start our first full day of biking on one of the classic cycle routes in the world. We start climbing right from Manali through the flower-filled valleys and cedar and fir forests, passing through numerous villages. After the last village, called Kothi, we will cycle up lots of hairpin bends which bring us to the Rohalla Falls. We will then ascend into a small valley after where we will reach our camp for the night at Marhi.

  • Day 3

    MARHI – SISSU (THE FIRST PASS ROHTANG, MARHI – SISSU 53KMS, 5-6 HOURS, ELEVATION GAIN 1600M)

    We leave early and leave all habitation behind as the road zig zags higher and higher into the mountains. We feel as though we are entering a different world as we reach the top of the Rohtang La (3978m). This barren windswept pass, blocked by snow for more than six months of the year, crosses the Pir Pinjal Range and is the gateway to Ladakh. An exciting downhill of 22 kms down to Khoksar village, thereafter we take a short detour and climb to the meadows and small villages to finally descend to Sissu.

  • Day 4

    SISSU – JISPA('LAHAUL' 64 KM, 6-7 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 600M)

    We are in the Lahaul Valley and the cycling becomes easier as we continue on to Tandi, where the rivers Chandra and Bhaga come together, to flow as Chandrabhaga or Chenab as it is known in the Chamba valley. From Tandi it's a short climb to Keylong, which soon continues through some swtichbacks to descend to Jispa 37 kms from Keylong.

  • Day 5

    JISPA – PATSEO(ENTERING THE HIGHER GROUND – JISPA – PATSEO 32 KM, 3-4 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 500M)

    Another fairly easy day for acclimatisation as we are now approaching the Great Himalayan Range. We cycle through beautiful green pastureland to Darcha (3235m) where we can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at a local restaurant. From here we continue climbing, until we reach Patseo (3650m). The site now of a lone tea house Patseo used to be the place of an annual fair of the Changpa nomads.

  • Day 6

    PATSEO – SARCHU (THE SECOND PASS – PATSEO – SARCHU PLAINS 60 KM, 6-7 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 1400M)

    A hard day today as we cross the Himalayas to Sarchu. Sarchu is the border between the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. After a gradual climb across large meadows past Zingzingbar we start our long ascent to the Baralacha La Pass (4892m). The climb seems at times to go on for ever but the hard work is worth it as the views become increasingly spectacular. Finally we reach the top - we are in the middle of the mighty Indian Himalaya. The word Baralacha means 'a pass with crossroads' and the trails from Zanskar, Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul come together here. This is the main crossing of the Great Himalayan Range and we get amazing views of the many snow-covered peaks including Barashigri, Chandrabhaga and Mulkila. From the pass the cycling gets easier as we descend past Kiling Serai and on to Sarchu.

  • Day 7

    SARCHU – PANG ( A HARD DAY'S RIDE – SARCHU - PANG 84 KM, 8-9 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 1200M)

    This will be our longest and hardest day of cycling so we will set off early. We start by climbing fairly gently for approximately 38 km across the windswept Sarchu Plains past Brandy Nallah and Whisky Nallah to the bottom of the Gata Loops. This is a series of 22 amazing hairpin bends, which we slowly ascend. Take time to stop and look back - the valley behind is full of amazing wind eroded rock formations. At the top of the loops we will have climbed 500 metres and reached the Nakli La 4800m. A short downhill is followed by another winding ascent to our second pass of the day, the Lachalung La at 5100m. We are now crossing the barren Zanskar Range and we are surrounded by amazing multi-coloured mountains - the purples, greens and browns of the hillsides change shades as clouds are blown across the sky. From the Lachalung La we have an easy ride down through an amazing canyon of magnificent rock formations of the Trans Himalaya until we reach Pang.

  • Day 8

    PANG – TSO-KAR (INTO THIN AIR – PANG – TSO - KAR 57 KM, 4-5 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 400M)

    We start slowly with a short ascent to the Mori Plains (4700m). We are now in Rupshu, the waterless high altitude desert of the Tibetan Plateau. This area is all above 4500m and is home to the hardy Changpas, Tibetan nomads who live in yak hair tents and graze huge flocks of sheep and yaks in this seemingly barren landscape. We turn off the main road and cycle along a sandy track to Tsokar Lake where we camp for the night near Pongunagu. Tsokar means 'white lake', and there are white salt deposits ringing the water. Our camp is a few kilometres from the lake but for the energetic there will be time to cycle to the lake, or even around it to visit some of the nomads. Look out for herds of 'kiang', the wild asses which roam the surrounding hills. The lake is also good for birdwatchers.

  • Day 9

    TSO-KAR – RUMPTSE(THE BIG ASCENT – TSO KAR - RUMPTSE 80 KM, 6-7 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 900M)

    A hard day today as we cross the last pass before Leh, the Taglang La. We leave Tsokar and cycle back to the main road. The long climb starts gradually and winds ever higher and steeper to the top of the Taglang La (5350m). You should be proud of yourself at the top - you have just cycled to the top of the second highest motorable road pass in India! We are rewarded for all our hard work with wonderful views of both the Himalaya and the Karakorum Mountains. After a rest and photo stop we have a wonderfully long zig zag descent to our first real villages since Lahoul. The houses and green fields of barley and potatoes greet us as we reach our camp at Rumptse.

  • Day 10

    RUMPTSE – LEH (LEH 82 KM, 7-8 HR, ELEVATION GAIN 450M)

    We start early with an easy ride winding down following the Kyamnar River down to Upshi. Here we join the Indus Valley, which we follow all the way into Leh. But first we have a diversion to visit Hemis monastery, once the largest and richest of all Ladakhi monasteries. To get there we have a 7km climb as the monastery is tucked away up a side valley. There is time to visit the ancient temples with priceless Buddha statues. We then cycle down to the main road and follow the mighty Indus River. From Karu we continue on to Tikse, where an impressive monastery sits perched on a hilltop. If there is time we can cycle up to the monastery, which contains a very impressive two-storey statue of the Future Buddha. Passing the ruins of Shey Palace the cycling is fairly easy as we come to Choglamsar, home to many Tibetan refugees. There is a final sting in the tail as we leave the Indus and climb into Leh. Tonight we can enjoy the comforts of a hot shower in our hotel in Leh.

  • Day 11

    REST DAY & EXPLORATIONS (EXPLORE LEH)

    We have a rest day on ourselves. Options are open to make day trips to Pangong Lake (8 hrs to and fro journey costing approx 2000/- INR per person) or going rafting on the Indus (2 hours approx 1100/- INR per person). The ideal is cycling down to Nimmu and indulging in Rafting there.

  • Day 12

    LEH – KHARDUNGLA – LEH (THE BIG CLIMB – KHARDUNGLA PASS 80KMS, ELEVATION GAIN 2100M)

    For the energetic today there is the challenging ride to the Khardung La (5602m), arguably the highest motorable road pass in the world. After the last 10 days we should now be fully acclimatised to the altitude and mountains. We leave Leh early and take a packed lunch. It will take around 6 hours to cycle to the top of the pass. The views are magnificent as we wind our way higher and higher away from Leh. The first half of the ride is tarmac and the last half is rough road. From the top we are rewarded with close-up views ahead of the Karakorums, while behind us the Ladakh and Zanskar mountains seem to stretch forever. After a photo stop we have a fantastic downhill ride back to Leh - a great reward for all the hard work this morning! Overnight in Leh

  • Day 13

    LEH - DELHI

    Post breakfast departure from Leh


Price Includes

  • 2 Guides for the group of maximum 12 trekkers so 1 guide for 6 group members. This will ensure high safety and more information and personal attention which are necessary to appreciate a trek. All our guides are professionally trained and have many years of relevant experience in guiding treks.

  • Accommodation in a hotel/guesthouse at on single/ double occupancy. Accommodation will be in a basic but neat & clean hotel/guesthouse

  • High quality Camping arrangements

  • We believe that roughing it out necessarily doesn’t mean sleeping in smelly sleeping bags, compromising on safety by using low quality equipment and having unappetising meals. We focus on your safety, basic comforts and the environment while camping. Keeping this is mind, the following equipment is provided on the trek:

  • 3/4 season imported alpine tents.

  • Fresh and clean sleeping bags of very good quality

  • Good quality Camping Mattresses

  • Camping stools & tables

  • Mess Tent

  • Toilet tent with portable toilet seats

  • First Aid / Medical kit

  • All meals starting from dinner on Day 1 till breakfast on Day 9. A lot of emphasis is given to nutritional needs and a menu of vegetarian dishes is prepared accordingly. Tea/coffee will be served throughout.

  • Porter/mule charges for carrying camping equipment & rations

  • Forest entry charges, permits & camping fee (if any)

  • First aid kit (our guides are certified in handling first aid situations)

  • Service Tax


Price Does Not Include

  • Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bag
  • Any meals/services not mentioned above
  • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
  • Insurance
  • Service Tax

Payment Terms & Conditions

  • Less than 45 Days: Full refund (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)

  • 30-45 Days: 75% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)

  • 15-30 Days: 50% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)

  • <15 Days: No refund


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