NATURE OF TRIP : Roadtrip in SUV’s and Motorcycles
LOCATION: Manali, Ladakh
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: KhardungLa (5650m)
GRADE: Moderate +
DEP. DATE: Minimum 4 people
A Brief Description
‘It’s 6am, I am still inside my tent, listening to the wind blowing outside, awakened by the morning noise of the Kitchen staff and the throttle of Bikes starting. The temperature is close to 8 degrees and my sleeping bag is warm and cuddly. The morning tea arrives with a gentle knock on my tent and I step outside to be greeted by the cold wind and a wide expanse of a high altitude meadow and a seemingly never ending road passing through the middle. The other riders say hello! Good Morning and start to share their story of yesterdays ride and the bike. Softly exchanging pleasantries I walk towards my own bike and kick start it. The sound of the engine is motivating enough for the day ahead. 130kms of riding through high altitude himalayan plains and the looming chance of catching my first glimpse of a high altitude lake surrounded by snow capped peaks. Welcome to Ladakh. I am at Sarchu (also known as Sir Bhum Chun) perched 14000ft above sea level, living my dream and looking further up the road on which I will travel today to Tso Kar, located in the Changthang Plateau of Ladakh. The ride so far has been just a return of innocence, turning inwards and now it has started raising its head as a new dawn of happiness and serenity engulfs my Soul. This is what Motorcycling to Spiti and Ladakh does to you’. a rider’s note
We at Being Out There simply love sharing these experiences with you and invite you to join our team as we roll out our motorcycling/SUV roadtrip into Ladakh. The long roads, high altitude lakes, the passes, the snowcapped precipices, the occasional marmots, the fellow riders, clear blue skies, the winds caressing your cheeks and more make this ride special. And as ‘Walt Whitman’ puts it – summing it up nicely – “Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open roads, Healthy and free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose … Henceforth I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune …Strong and content I travel the open road.
We welcome your interest and appreciate your enthusiasm to participate. We encourage active explorations which energize you, leading you to the path of experiencing, exploring, evolving and certainly excelling. Read on more to find out about the trip.
The strongly Tibetan influenced high valley of Ladakh, the green Kullu Manali valley in the lower Himalayas and the semi desert region of Lahaul are three distinct geographical areas of the Himalayas. Linking these very different regions is a high altitude mountain road open to non-military traffic only since 1989. It starts at the Ladakhi capital, Leh and crosses the main Himalaya Range by way of a series of spectacular passes, the highest of which is at 5280 meters (Tanglang La – the second highest road pass in the world). Sandwiched between the Western Himalayas, the Karakorum and the Tibetan Plateau, lies the high altitude desert of Ladakh, or “Little Tibet”. Once a major halting post on the caravan route through Asia, this Buddhist land is more culturally akin to Tibet than the lowlands further south. The beautiful multi-coloured desert landscapes are arid and awesome and dotted with small villages inhabited by rugged-looking people of Tibetan stock. This is a fascinating and exciting itinerary exploring the Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh and Lahaul with visits to lakes and many ancient monasteries and palaces. This remote corner of India is one of the last bastions of Tibetan Buddhism. Once the crossroads of Asia, Ladakh is now better known as the land of high passes.
THE ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
DAY ONE Manali
DAY TWO Manali to Jispa
DAY THREE Jispa to Leh
DAY FOUR Leh to Alchi and back to Leh
DAY FIVE Leh to Khardungla to Hunder (Nubra Valley)
DAY SIX Hunder to Leh
DAY SEVEN Leh to Pangong Lake
DAY EIGHT Pangong Lake to Leh
DAY NINE Leh to Tsomoriri
DAY TEN Tsomoriri to Jispa
DAY ELEVEN Jispa to Manali
DAY ONE ARRIVAL IN MANALI
Arrive in Manali and check into the Hotel. In the afternoon visit Vashisht hot springs and later drive towards Naggar on the left bank of the river Beas and visit the Roerich art gallery and the Naggar castle. In the explore the mall Manali or pay a visit to old Manali. O/N Hotel
DAY TWO MANALI TO JISPA
A long day as we start our journey into the Himalaya. First up its Rohtang pass (3950mts) and we descend into the Lahaul valley. A magnificent ride past Sissu and Gondla brings us to Tandi, the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers which becomes Chandrabhaga thereafter or Chenab as it’s known in Punjab. Jispa is another 31 kms from here. O/N Padma Lodge
DAY THREE JISPA TO LEH
We cross to the other side of the River Bhaga at Darcha and ascend till Darcha top from where an undulating road brings us towards Patseo followed by Zingzingbar switchbacks and 27kms uphill towards Baralacha pass 4900mts. Just before the pass we feast our eyes on the magical Surajtal lake. The downhill from Baralacha is broken tarmac and we tackle some streams, reaching Bharatpur and continuing towards Killing Sarai entering the Rupshu plains. The Tsarap Chu river is ferocious here and the roads are straight bringing us to Sarchu, greeted by marmots. Thereafter Whiskey Nullah, Brandy Nullah and then the 21 Gata loops, switchbacks that rise with a backdrop of the Zaskars, Greater Himalaya | that’s what our ride is like in the morning. Naki La 5000mts comes just after the Gata loops and a descend and an ascent brings us to Lachulung La 5200mts. Kangla Jal is not far from here and there are chances that we could run into Himalayan wildlife in this area (Himalayan Thar, Ibex etc). Ascend to Pang and still further and we reach the Changthang Plateau of Ladakh, known by the nomads there | The Changpas. This is a ride where you feel the winds caressing your cheeks as you ride the long road, 40 kms till Debring, through the Moray plains. Up next is the Tanglangla at 5400mts and then descent to Rumptse, driving through canyons till Upshi from where Leh is 50kms. O/N Hotel
DAY FOUR LEH TO ALCHI TO LEH
Today we travel along the Indus river towards Alchi Gompa. We make brief stops at Nimmu (confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers) and Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and return to Leh by Late afternoon. One has the option of exploring Shey and Thiksey monasteries later in the evening or just chill out at the Leh Bazaars, Fort road, Changspa road.
DAY FIVE LEH TO HUNDER (NUBRA VALLEY)
Khardungla 5400mts looms at 37kms from Leh town, an uphill ride almost the half of it on off road after South Pullu. We can see the Karakoram range at the distance and from here on we take the beacon highway to enter Nubra valley; a bastion on the old silk route and reach Diskit. We make a short trip to Hunder; famous for its double humped Bactrian camels and head to our camp.
DAY SIX HUNDER TO LEH
Start early morning and visit Panamik hot springs and the Yarab Tso lake. Thereafter back track through Sumur and Khyagar and start the climb towards Khardungla. Reach Leh by late evening. O/N Hotel
DAY SEVEN LEH TO PANGONG LAKE
We leave early today as we backtrack till Karu and then ascend towards Chang La, the third highest motorable pass in the world. It’s a descent from there on as we journey through marmot country to reach the shores of Pangong. Travel further till Merak and Chushul and in the evening back to Spangmik. O/N Camps
DAY EIGHT PANGONG LAKE TO LEH
We start late after breakfast after soaking in the essence of Pangong 4350mts and start our journey towards Leh. We cross Changla 5300mts (third Highest pass in the world) late afternoon and descending from there brings us to Karu from where the town of Leh is a short while. O/N Hotel Yaktail or similar.
DAY NINE LEH TO TSOMORIRI LAKE
We start early today and travel to Upshi. It’s a great ride from Upshi towards Tsomoriri Lake via Mahe bridge. O/N Camp
DAY TEN TSOMORIRI LAKE TO JISPA
Travel through the Changthang plateau and after a brief halt at Tso Kar, another salt water lake we continue towards Sarchu and further to Jispa. O/N Padma Lodge
DAY ELEVEN JISPA TO MANALI
The last day of our trip as we travel towards Manali from Jispa O/N Hotel
THE ROUTE DISTANCES IN A NUTSHELL
BEAR IN MIND
For Motorcyclists/Jeep Safari (4 people in a jeep)
Double Occupancy Basis: Rs.48000/- Per Person
Bike Rental included Per Person Fuel not included
Pillion 36,000/- for the Pillion rider
Enfield Bullets 350cc NEW
JEEP SAFARI – 42,000/- PER PERSON
For Self Drive Option/Own Motorcycle
Accommodation as mentioned, (Single Or Double Sharing Bases) hotels/camps, Breakfast and dinners, Evening snacks, Ride Mechanic, Support Vehicle, Service Tax
Does Not Include:
Transport from Delhi to manali and from manali to Delhi, Any personal expenses (Tips, Medicines etc), Insurance, Any expenses raised due to natural occurrences, Cost of spare parts.