This post was last updated on October 3rd, 2020
Overview – Ladakh Bike Trip from Delhi
A Mecca for bikers and ‘the Land of high Passes’, Ladakh offers exceptional opportunities for a road trip to Ladakh. Meandering through some of the world’s highest motorable roads and enjoying a visual treat of this enchanting region of India is like a dream come true for keen adventurers.
As they expect the journey to be exciting and scenic, the fact is that a road trip to Leh Ladakh is not a cake walk. No matter how thrilling it sounds, the rugged landscape and unpredictable weather never ceases to pose challenges and present some barriers to the bikers. So, if a Leh Ladakh bike trip is on your travel calendar, we are here with a well-prepared guide to Ladakh bike trips from Delhi. This will help you have a smooth bike trip to this cold desert, while combating the challenges en-route.
What Makes Leh-Ladakh an Exceptional Spot for Bikers?
Bike riders love destinations that offer them generous doses of thrill but when it comes to Leh-Ladakh, the level of a road trip excites manifolds. The main reason for a road trip to Leh-Ladakh is snaking through the routes that are listed among the topmost road trips of the world. The striking landscapes, ancient monasteries, breathtaking passes, narrow and steep curves, snow-capped mountains, dense white clouds, crystal clear blue sky, and many such surreal spots add more dimensions to your journey. Also, during the road trip the magnetic charm allows liberty to the riders to halt wherever it feels like.
Best Time for a Ladakh Bike Trip from Delhi
The best time for a bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Delhi is from June to September. During these months, bikers can delight in the best tourist circuits here.
Many roads and passes remain closed during winters, around October to March. It may extend up to May. Refrain from taking a road trip to Ladakh during these months. If you opt to visit Leh-Ladakh during this month you may encounter uncertain climatic conditions and inaccessible roads. A bike trip to Ladakh should also be avoided during monsoons.
Routes lead you to your dream destination. Well, if we talk about the distance from Delhi to Ladakh, you have to cover approx. 1023 km from Delhi. Bikers can beat the roads of Ladakh with two/three amazing routes from Delhi to Leh, depending on their curiosity.
Note: As the distance it is arduous to cover Leh-Ladakh in a day, it usually takes 2 to 3 days to reach Leh-Ladakh via road. Drive time or day may exceed depending on the number of halts taken on the road trip.
Route 1: Delhi to Leh via Manali
If you are into landscape photography and want to enjoy the magnificence of nature on a high altitude, opt for the Delhi to Leh via Manali route.
Destinations covered: Delhi – Chandigarh – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Keylong – Jispa – Sarchu – Tanglang La – Leh
Distance: 1008 km. (approx.)
Travel Time: 26 hours (approx.)
Delhi to Leh via Manali route is divided into two phases–
- From Delhi to Manali – NH 1 is the main trail towards Manali. You can easily enjoy the ride till Chandigarh. The thrill begins once you start approaching Rupnagar, the uphill climb begins. After reaching Mandi you can take a short refreshing break before heading towards Manali.
- From Manali to Leh – This phase offers an extreme hilly road crawling straight to Leh. After a drive of about 51 km, you will reach the high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas called Rohtang Pass. Enjoy a breathtaking ride through the pass and reach Sarchu after a drive of about 172 km en route you will cross Keylong and Jispa. After reaching Sarchu you are just 250 km away from your dream destination.
Fuel Station En Route
Always keep a fuel backup for an uninterrupted ride. Riders understand the value of fuel, especially during a long journey. Carry extra fuel from Delhi and en route you can refuel at Chandigarh. If you require to refuel further ahead in the journey, you can refuel at Tandi which is about 110 km from Manali. After that, you have to drive till 345 km (approx.) before finding the next fuel station.
Halts and Restaurants
Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass are among the main attractions near Manali for a stopover.
Eateries: Johnson’s Cafe and Hotel, Chopsticks Restaurant
Accommodation: Manali Heights, Manali Top Inn & Cafe
It is the perfect stopover to enjoy landscape photography surrounded by rich greenery, snow-capped mountains, and gushing rivers. Also, you can visit Gemur and Shashur monasteries.
Eateries: Hotel Gyespa
Accommodation: Hotel Gyespa, Hotel Dupchen Inn
Bike riders halt at Jispa for an overnight stay, mostly camping in open fields.
Eateries: Rolling Stones Camping and Restaurant, Flying Monk Huts & Restaurant
Accommodation: Padma Lodge Jispa, Yak Hotel Jispa
It is a major stopover during your Delhi to Ladakh road trip, where most of the bike riders stop for an overnight stay, and enjoy camping and stargazing in open fields.
Eateries: Must carry some snacks or packed food as you would not find any eateries around.
Accommodation: Enjoy camping here as there is less availability of rest house.
- Gata Loops:
It has several steep roads for that adrenaline rush. It is a series of 21 hairpin bends, which lead to one of the highest mountain passes called Nakeela Pass.
Eateries: Here you have to carry some snacks or packed foods are there is no eateries available here.
Accommodation: Enjoy crossing the loops, stop here only for some good landscape photography.
- Tanglang La:
It is about 109 km away from Leh. This high mountain pass is located at an altitude of about 5,358 meters, among the highest mountain passes after Khardung-La.
Eateries: Here also you have to carry some snacks or packed foods are there is no eateries available here.
Accommodation: Enjoy landscape photography here there is no such accommodation around.
Route 2: Delhi to Leh via Srinagar
If you are more into adventures that call for the most daring in you but wish to dodge mountain ailing, Delhi to Ladakh via Srinagar route is recommended. It lets you adapt with a progressive rise in altitude or new conditions unlike the route via Manali.
Destinations covered: Delhi – Amritsar- Patnitop – Srinagar – Sonmarg – Zojila – Drass – Kargil – Lamayuru – Nimmoo – Leh
Distance: 1230 km (approx.)
Travel Time: 28 hours (approx.)
A trip from Delhi to Leh by road via Srinagar is a bit different from route 1 mentioned above. Delhi to Ladakh via Srinagar route allows you to adapt with a progressive rise in altitude or new conditions unlike the route via Manali.
Fuel Stations En Route
You will find plenty of fuel stations in Srinagar, where you can refuel your bike and stock some fuel for further ride. Mangan is the next fuel station, located 33 km (approx.) away from Srinagar. Once you head out of Mangan, you will have to ride about 50 km to reach Sonmarg for the next fuel station. Thereafter, no option to get fuel is available until you reach Kargil (almost 125 km away from Sonmarg). So do carry fuel at Sonmarg. There is one more fuel station in Mulbekh which is about 45 km from Kargil.
Halts and Restaurants
It is one of the most popular stopovers for bikers. You can enjoy the local cuisines and satiate your hunger here.
Eateries: Makhan Fish and Chicken Corner, Kesar Da Dhaba, and Bharawan Da Dhaba for delicious meals. Must try the Amritsari lassi before you leave.
Accomodation: Hotel Grand, Hotel Palace.
It is a famous hill station in the Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir.
Eateries: Janta Vashno Dhaba, Sharma’s Rajma Rice Hut.
Accomodation: Hotel RL Dreamland, Hotel Jai Shree.
It is also one of the most popular stopovers on the route of Srinagar-Leh.
Eateries: Cafe de Linz, Stream, and Ahdoos.
Accomodation: Hotel the Valley View, Hotel Lake Resort.
Sonmarg is a popular stopover for the riders, where they can enjoy landscape photography.
Eateries: Glacier Heights Restaurant, Hotel Sounsar and Restaurant.
Accomodation: Hotel Divine Inn – Best Hotels, Hotel Barzman Sonamarg.
- Drass Valley:
It is the entrance of Ladakh. It is not a stopover but you can take a short pause for scenic beauty and some clicks.
Eateries: White Mountain Hotel & Restaurant, Hotel D’ Meadows Ladakh
Accomodation: Hotel Tiger Hill View, Hotel in Kargil (In Drass)
Places to Visit in Ladakh
Once you enter Ladakh on your bike, the sense of accomplishment, the challenging landscapes, and a new experience will welcome you. So, if a bike trip to Ladakh is on your cards, go through this carefully created guide and know about the best places to visit in Ladakh to manifold your Ladakh biking thrill.
Ideal Duration for a Ladakh Bike Trip
The ideal duration for a Delhi to Leh is considered as 15 days or more for a decent round trip. However, it also depends on several factors, which include:
- The chosen route
- Total number of halts taken
- Climatic conditions/bike problems
- Trip schedule
Best Bikes for Leh-Ladakh Trip
Bikes play a very important role for such a long tour to challenging landscape. It is suggested to ride a heavy engine motorcycle or specially designed off-roading bikes, which can carry a heavy load and provide a comfortable ride. Here are some of the suggested bikes, which one can opt to ride for the Leh-Ladakh Trip:
- Benelli TRK 502
- Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
- Bajaj Dominar 400
- Mahindra Mojo XT300
- Jawa Perak
- BMW G310GS
- KTM 390 DUKE
Things to Carry
Here is a list of things that you must carry to your tour:
- Valid Driving License
- Government issued identity proof
- Original motorcycle registration certificate
- Valid motorcycle insurance
- Riding Gear:
- Riding gloves
- Riding jacket
- Riding pants/knee guards
- Motorcycle Essentials:
- Extra tubes
- Spare key of motorcycle
- Puncture repair kit
- Foot pump
- Allen key set
- Spanner Set
- Clutch & Pressure plates
- Spark plug and cap
- Clutch and Brake lever, along with the yoke
- Headlight Bulbs
- Chain link
- Clutch and Accelerator cable
- Screwdriver set
- Luggage solutions for motorcycles:
- Saddle Bags
- Tank Bags
- Tail Bags
- Phone Charger
- Ear Plugs
- First Aid kit
- Camera and Charger
- Hand sanitizer
- Tissue Papers
- Torch with Cells
- Lighter / Matchbox
Physical Fitness Requisites
It is always good to get a comprehensive physical check-up to make sure you have no serious health concerns. If you are suffering from any ailment, postpone your plan and recover.
Mountain sickness is one of the biggest challenge for riders. To overcome this challenge, take time to acclimatize well to high altitude of Ladakh. Be mentally prepared that you are going to a high altitude zone. It is suggested to take proper halts and rest while riding a long distance.
Guidelines for Riders
Before you hit the road, you must go through certain points so that you can safely enjoy your ride.
- Always rely on heavy motorcycles or motorcycles, which are made especially for off-roading.
- Must check the condition of your motorcycle. If required, get the motorcycle serviced properly.
- Must carry all protective gear such as helmet, gloves, knee guard, and others.
- Carry all the essentials items which will be required at the time of camping.
- Must carry woolen clothes.
- Must carry a sufficient amount of fuel with you.
- Carry all the necessary medicines and supplies with you.
- Do not harm nature or wild animals if you get caught you may face big trouble.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid spending much time on the mountain you might suffer from mountain sickness.
- Carry sufficient packed food.
- Do not drink and drive it may cause death.
- Carry sufficient cash with you. There is less availability of ATMs in the mountains.
- Carry a pair of comfortable shoes in your luggage.
- Must keep a map or download offline maps, do not expect for networks.
- Always wait for the clear weather and do not proceed if the weather condition is bad.
- Follow all the COVID-19-related guidelines issued by WHO including hygiene practices and social distancing.
- One most important thing, you must have an inner line permit to enjoy your trip. Always keep the required document with you.
- Select a 100% hygienic hotel for a safe stay.
- Carry essentials like a torch, rope, and hook.
- Always behave politely with the locals.
Note: If you do not have any bike and you still wish to go for a trip to Leh-Ladakh do not worry there are several Ladakh Tour Packages that provide the best services to make your tour memorable.
So, get ready to enjoy the amazing bike ride to Leh. Enjoy the best bike tour ever by going through the above-mentioned details. Do not forget to carry your camera to capture all the remarkable moments during your Leh-Ladakh bike tour.
Stay safe and have fun!