Region: Manali / Lahoul Valley/Ladakh
Total Duration – 11 Nights / 12 Days
Style Of Trip – Cycling
Maximum Altitude – 17582 feet.
Grade – Difficult.
Best Season – June to September
Accommodation – Hotel/Guesthouse; Organized Campsite
Food – On trek – All meals included
Distance – 560Km
Manali Leh Khardung la Cycling
Cycling is an anchor to one’s life. The motion of the pedals makes one to feel excited. The weight of the helmet on your head makes you feel secure. High speeds and the gushing winds hitting in the face gives you a sense of freedom; and the absolute control hunching over the front wheel and the brakes giving a sense of power. Riding cycle makes you adventurous and makes you feel complete.
If you are looking for a new challenge in cycling, come across to the Manali-Leh route. If you are looking for an adventure filled cycling trip in picturesque settings, there cannot be a better route than this one. Cycling 500 km over high altitude mountains, crossing some of the highest roads in the world, is no mean challenge, especially because the roads are blissfully paved and are non-existent at some places. One has to be prepared physically and mentally to complete this journey. And so, with physical fitness, mental resolve and a truckload of excitement start your journey with Himalaya destination.
The overnight bus journey from Delhi to Manali is comfortable, safe and takes 14 hours to reach the destination. One has to get off at Patlikuhl a few km’s. further from Kullu and take taxi or bus to the camp at Naggar about 5 km. from Patlikuhal. At the camp you will meet the rest of the group, consisting people of varying ages and the organizers. Moreover, the times that you were to face together invariably brings out the best in people. The experience you will get during these ten days goes beyond anything words can explain. If there are the daunting challenges of continuous up slopes, biting cold winds, and uncertain weather, there are also the joys of riding miles of down slopes, getting the first glimpse of the destination and the spell bounding beauty of the mountains. The ride starts from Manali climbing up to Marhi then over Rohtang top to Sissu and so on passing by different locations and high passes such as Bara lacha la, Lachung la, Nakee la, Tanglang la and then the highest Khardung la. The route takes you through vast grounds of Sarchu and the plateaus of the endless More plains to nomad villages on the way. You might get a chance to see wild animals like Blue sheep, Ibex, Yaks, Marmots, wild horses etc. As we reach Rumtse the landscape turns to a bit greenish side which feels like awesome after days of seeing arid nature. Every morning you will wake up wondering what challenges the day would bring and every night you will go to sleep with the satisfaction of having lived up to another challenge. It would be more appropriate to say that each day will amble away as we pedal through it and yet in no time we find ourselves in Leh. Then to the highest motor able pass at Khardung-la at the height of 5600m. by cycle, demands a great stamina to excel at the top and less oxygen makes it more difficult to ride. But at the end once you reach the pass all the fatigue vanishes by conquering it. The feeling throughout the expedition is outstanding and one should do it once in a life for sure.
Things to Pack:
Rucksack, cotton clothes, good trekking shoes, a warm jacket,warmer, woollen or monkey cap covering head and ears, UV rays protected sunglasses, raincoat, extra socks, water bottle, torch, cold cream, sunscreen, toilet soap, towel, walking Stick and medicines that you usually use.
How To Reach Manali
Distance by road:-
Manali is well connected to Delhi. Take an overnight bus from Delhi and you will reach Manali in 12 ‐ 14 hours(approx 540 KMS). Tickets can be booked online at www.redbus.in or www.hrtc.gov.in Tip : Since Delhi Manali is a long journey most Volvo private buses leave Delhi between 5 pm and 6 pm. The last govt bus leaves at 8.30 pm from ISBT Kashmere Gate. Volvo buses charge between Rs.1,000 to 1,400 per sector from Delhi to Manali and vice versa. Manali to Delhi: Like the onward journey, buses leave from Manali to Delhi between 4 and 5 p.m. Your tentative arrival at Delhi may be anywhere between 6 a.m and 10 a.m. Plan your onward journeys only post noon giving enough buffer for bus delay.
How to Reach Naggar:
From Manali, Naggar is 18 km. far and there are multiple buses running in every 15 minutes or one can get off at Patlikuhal which is 5 km. far from Naggar on the right bank highway. Patlikuhal lies in the middle of Kullu Manali highway. You can club a taxi or travel by a local transport from Manali or Patlikuhal to approach Naggar.
Nearest Railway Station:-
Nearest Railway station is Ambala (350 kms) and Chandigarh (310 kms). Tip: Regular Volvo and Buses are available from Chandigarh to Manali in the evening. Volvo buses charge between Rs.800 to Rs.1,200 per sector from Chandigarh to Manali and vice versa.
Nearest Airport :-
Nearest Airport is Bhuntar is 60 Kms. Bhuntar, which is 52 km away from Manali, is the nearest airport. Taxi services are available from Bhuntar to Manali, which costs about Rs.1000‐ Rs.2,000. Bhuntar is well connected to Delhi by air. The airliners that take you to this Airport are Indian Airlines, Kingfisher airlines, MDLR Airlines and Jagson Airlines, operating flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to Kullu.
Fix Departure tariff 34,999/- excluding GST of 5%
Note that the cost would vary for customized group according to their requirements.
Trek Line up:
Day 1 Arrival Base Camp Naggar (Manali).
Day 2 Manali to Marhi (11023 ft) 36 km
Day 3 Marhi to Sissu 10235 ft via Rohtang La (13050 ft) 50 km
Day 4 Sissu to Jispa (10480 ft) 53 km
Day 5 Jispa to Zing Zing Bar (14000 ft) 60 km
Day 6 ZZ Bar to Brandy Nallah via Baralacha La (15900 ft) 68 km
Day 7 Brandy Nallah-Nakee La 15547 ft to Lachulung La (16616 ft- Pang 15100 ft) 56 km
Day 8 Pang to Debring 15862 ft via More Plains) 52 km
Day 9 Debring to Rumtse 14000 ft via Tanglang la (17582 ft) 46 km
Day 10 Rumtse to Leh (11482 ft) 76 km
Day 11 Leh to Khardung la -Leh (18380 ft) 90 km
Day 12: After Breakfast group breakup.
Day 1 Arrival Base Camp Naggar. (1800m.)
Arrive Naggar where you would be greeted by our representative and transferred to camp/hotel. Naggar is an ancient village of Kullu District just before 18 KM of Manali. Today, we would spend the day in Naggar itself to acclimatize to the high altitude. This is absolutely necessary and is most important for the days ahead. Night halt will be in tents/Hotel.
Day 2 Manali - Marhi (11023 ft) 36 km
We will drive to Manali, cycles and all, early in the morning. From there we will cycle about 36 km to Marhi- a continuous climb that takes one from 6700 ft to 11000 ft. The ride, though strenuous, takes through some exquisite locations. The mountainside, which is thickly covered in vegetation- trees and shrubs alike, is a treat for any nature lover. As we climb higher, human settlements became fewer and farther apart. The last one before Marhi, Gulaba, is about 20 km away. Marhi itself is just a cluster of dhabas and camping sites which acts as a comfortable stop over for road travellers. We camp a night under a clear sky where the stars are as clearly visible as the back of your hand.
Day 3 Marhi - Sissu 10235 ft via Rohtang La (13050 ft) 50 km
The 16 km climb to Rohtang La is more fun than hard work. There’s a temple of Rishi Vyas which marks the origin of the Beas River slightly before Rohtang which is a popular stop over for tourists. The first few kilometres of the climb down from Rohtang is both exhilarating and unsettling at the same time. Rohtang pass is an uphill area covered with snow at height of around 13052 feet above sea level, very chilling and pleasant atmosphere , our route will be starting from this point. The speed is exhilarating but the steep falls on one side and the hairpin bends are sometimes unsettling. But all that is for the first few kilometres, after that the road vanishes and a kachcha track starts that doesn’t allow any great speeds. Continuous downward of around 17 kms from Rohtang pass till Sissu village. This continues up to Koksar from where the roads suddenly show up again and there’s a rolling terrain alongside the Chandra River up to Sissu. Stay overnight in Home stay at Sissu.
Day 4 Sissu - Jispa (10480 ft) 53 km
We will leave Sissu after tea and breakfast consisting of sumptuous and healthy food. The ride, with towering mountains on one side and the serene flow of the river on the other, had a calming effect. A gradual route from Sissu to around 8-10 km, where it gets climb for around 20 km or so later it stretches to jispa . It is advisable to drink lots of water at high altitudes and you need not always depend on the support vehicle for refilling your bottles. The highway is frequently intersected by fresh water streams that are blissfully cool and refreshing. Keylong, which falls halfway between Sissu and Jispa, serves as an excellent place for having lunch- a meal that usually consisted of chapattis rolled with vegetables and a boiled egg and potato as accompaniments. It’s surprising how a simple boiled potato can be so delicious. After Keylong, the mountainside starts dropping subtle hints that you are moving towards a desert. The vegetation becomes noticeably thinner and one gets the impression that brown and green are competing each other to become the dominant colour. One has to be careful as some of the more errant stones might come rolling down onto the road. After a few kilometres of uphill and a few more of rolling terrain, we reached Jispa. Located at the banks of Bhaga River, Jispa is as peaceful as a permanent human settlement can be. It has a monastery which boasts of Dalai Lama’s visit to it.
Day 5 Jispa - Zing Zing Bar (14000 ft) 60 km
We wake up early in the morning, after having healthy breakfast we leave behind some other things as well- settled civilization, vegetation cover, and mobile signals. Route is a slight upward climb after jispa till 8-10 kms. After a rough road we reached Deepak Taal a nice place to refresh in Patseo which had a board claiming that on a bright sunny day, the lake mirrors its surroundings. After Patseo, there is rolling terrain up to Zing Zing Bar. From there the climb to Baralacha La starts. Gradual increase in altitude and a bit start of altitude prone area followed by gradual slope till zing zing bar. We climb steadily and reach the dhaba where we will stay for the night. You will be welcomed with a glass of hot soup as approached.
At this time we are at a height of 14000 ft and it is pretty cold at ZZ bar. So sleep tight in the Dhaba.
Day 6 ZZ Bar - Brandy Nallah via Baralacha La (15900 ft) 68 km
The16km climb to Baralacha La is pretty gradual. What really slows one down is the low amount of oxygen (the simple task of bending to tie your shoelace can leave you breathless). We climb at our own pace in twos or threes as it is never advisable to strain the body at such heights. The desert starts to show its evidence now. The brown colour had won the battle and greenery is nonexistent for all practical purposes. One sees a new variety of vegetation- small red plants that looked like they were oddly coloured sand. Baralacha La, at the height of 15900 ft, is cold, made more so by the ceaseless winds. We climb down after clicking a few pictures and have lunch at a dhaba which is located at the banks of a river. The serene flow of the river and the majestic mountains surrounding it will not cease to amaze one, and it would not for the rest of the journey.
After lunch, there is a stretch of rolling terrain up to Sarchu which marks the border between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. There is no change in the surroundings, the mountains are as barren and as high as they had been earlier. It is another 20 km to Brandy Nullah where we are to camp for night.
Day 7 Brandy Nallah-Nakee La 15547 ft - Lachulung La (16616 ft- Pang 15100 ft) 56 km
This is perhaps the most difficult day with Gata Loops (a series of 21 hairpin bends covering a distance of 7 km), Nakee la, and Lachung la, all in the same day. After about 2 km of rolling terrain, one will see a board announcing the beginning of Gata Loops and claiming that we are at a height of 13780 ft. From there the 17 km climb - 7 km of Gata Loops and 10 km afterwards- to Nakee La begins. The roads are blessedly paved and that makes the climb easier. As you climb higher, the loops below are visible and they look deceptively flat. They are not very difficult, nor is the 10 km climb after that but still when the board announcing the end of Gata Loops came into view, one will be relieved. We reach at Nakee la, after clicking some pics start journeying downwards because it is too cold to stay longer. We will have hot lunch at a dhaba at Whiskey Nallah and start the second climb to Lachulung la. It is a 7 km climb which is tiring only because it is the second one of the day. After Lachulung la, the road practically vanishes and the 25 km climb down to Pang is a bumpy ride. This ride will take you through valleys surrounded by towering, completely barren mountains. There is hardly any wildlife visible and any sound made by the passing trucks reverberates ominously. This ride seems intriguing and exciting to some and plain eerie to others. We will stay in a Dhaba at Pang.
Day 8 Pang - Debring 15862 ft via More Plains) 52 km
With a mere 5 km climb followed by about 40 km of plains, the ride this day is supposed to be a cakewalk. The climb is over soon enough and with a new thrill, we start riding on the More Plains. We will reach Debring after an easy ride, where we are to stay for the night at a Dhaba.
Day 9 Debring - Rumtse 14000 ft via Tanglang la (17582 ft) 46 km
This is the only pass that we could see from where we started. It is a 20 km climb and one of the most difficult- not because of the steepness, but because of the altitude and low amount of oxygen in the air. There are no loops today that are characteristic of the mountains. Instead, there are bends, and it is impossible to see what lay beyond the next bend. So it comes as a surprise when, on rounding a bend.I Once reached Tanglang La which, at the height of 17580 ft, is the 2nd highest pass to cross. It is a feeling of overwhelming happiness that I one had never felt before. There is a temple at this pass. It is impossible to see what deity resides inside because it too is covered with prayer flags. But it did not matter, just go down on your knees and send up a word of thanks. After clicking pictures with the board claiming that we are on the second highest pass in the world, we begin our journey down. The downhill and excellent roads ensure that we reach Rumtse in no time at all. Here in Rumtse we are to stay at a home stay.
Day 10 Rumtse - Leh (11482 ft) 76 km
We start our journey to Leh after a sumptuous breakfast. As we climb down from Rumtse, vegetation starts appearing again. A little way before Upshi, there is a board announcing the first view of Indus River. As we enter Upshi, there is a bridge across the Indus from where one could see the river flowing in its full glory. The ride after Upshi is a mix of ups and downs where downs are blissfully more abundant. We cross many settlements of varying sizes and stop at Thiksey for lunch. Another 20 km ride and we are in Leh. We reach the guesthouse and have lunch. Overnight stay in the guest house at Leh.
Day 11 Leh - Khardung la - Leh (18380 ft) 90 km
Early morning, group has to leave for the route. Khardung la pass known to be the highest motor able road in the world, with altitude of around 18380ft, has continuous climb from Leh to Khardungla-top. Khardungla top is around 45 kms from leh, continuous climb in the route till top. High altitude prone area and known as very challenging route, as it is the final destination of the route. After reaching the top, a continuous downward slope on the same route back to leh.
Day 12: After Breakfast group breakup.
What is included in the tour
- Highly advanced & Skilled Mountain biking guide from Himalaya Destination, who has ample knowledge of the route.
- Logistics vehicle to carry all our equipment.
- Backup vehicle will be provided.
- Mechanic for any basic problems.
- Puncture kit and other Basic tools for Mountain bike.
- Vegetarian meals on the trek (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
- Cooks/Helper and other requisite staff.
- Equipments – Tents on sharing basis / Sleeping bags / Sleeping Mats
- Basic medical aid will be carried along in the route such as oxygen cylinders, basic first aid kit, pulse oxymeter, bp monitor, etc.
- Tented accommodation will be on three or four sharing basis, home stay will be in group as per availability,in hotel stay it will be on tripel sharing basis.
- Forest Permits, wild life fees and camping charges.
- Completions Certificate.
- Himalaya Destination Jersey.
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
- Solo Travelers: you do not have to pay extra charge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Mountain Bikes and Helmat.
- Any expenses of personal nature, tips, phone etc.
- Personal insurance or cost of emergency evacuation.
- Purchases of personal natures (like mineral water bottles/bottled or canned beverages/chocolates/dry fruits etc)
- Food to/from the trail head.
- Any damage in cycle or change of parts required, will be charged extra.
- Rent for cycles would be from Rs. 500/- per day to Rs.800/- per day depends of brand of cycle.
- Rent for cycles/ bike would fetch cost upto cycles/ bikes returning to manali.
- Food at leh hotel borne by the participants, accommodation provided by Himalaya Destination.
- please Carry Extra tubes, Extra spares for cycles, Mechanic for the same will be from our side .
- Permit fee for Khardung la.