The ultimate adventure of lifetime in India is the Leh Ladakh Bike Trip. Every adventure lover wishes to visit the ‘Land of High Passes’. And for an even better thrill, they dream of bike trip. To help you with this journey, we have the ultimate guide for the dream trip.
The beauty of Ladakh is certainly beyond words. Snow-clad peaks, barren lands, spots of green, crystal-clear lakes coupled with ancient monasteries, palaces and more lure your hearts. The high-altitudes are not just exhilarating but a challenge you would love to overcome. Pass through surreal beautiful spots, bask in the bliss of an unexplored world and set records for yourself. Test your spirit with Ladakh Bike Tour.
To start with, we help you prepare for the journey, the crucial challenges and all the possible guidance to overcome them all.
Best time for a Ladakh Bike Trip
Ladakh remains covered in snow most of the year. The warm months are therefore the best time to visit Ladakh. The summer months, May to June and the monsoon season- July to September is the only time when a bike expedition to Ladakh is possible. Therefore, the best months to embark upon a Ladakh Bike Trip from the end of May to September.
Also, the summer is the pleasant season to start your bike expedition right from Manali, proceeding to Spiti and the region of Ladakh. You can proceed to Srinagar on bike during these months. In fact, the summer and monsoon season, the months of May to September is the perfect time to plan a Himalayan bike trip!
Ideal Days needed for a Bike Tour in Ladakh
The days needed for Ladakh bike tour totally depends upon the route you take and what you would like to cover on your expedition. While you can start your bike tour from Delhi, there is option to begin your thrilling expedition from Manali or fly to Leh and begin your bike tour in Ladakh.
For a bike tour to Ladakh from Delhi, the time required would be 15-18 days, while From Manali you can cover most of places in 10 days. If you fly to Leh and begin your bike tour then it would take 7-8 days to have an unforgettable experience.
So, depending on the route you chose and the places you would like to stop at a Ladakh Motorcycle tour requires 7-18 days.
Suggested Read: Manali-Leh Road Trip
Best Routes for a Motorcycle Trip to Ladakh
To get to Ladakh by motorcycle, there are two important routes. The first is from Manali, while the second is from Srinagar. While riding from Manali, pass through Rohtang Pass and gradually you will enter the region of Ladakh. The road from Srinagar is equally impressive but not very popular among bikers to start the bike tour from. You can choose from both the routes and plan according to what suits your driving skills, duration and other factors.
Considering that you start from Delhi and plan to experience both of the routes than a round trip starting from Manali proceeding to Ladakh and later ending at Srinagar is the best option. Ladakh Bike tour packages plans your expedition to the last details, with particulars about the best routes and itineraries, in addition of accommodation and other planning.
Route 1: Manali to Leh & Back
Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi
Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometers
Route 2: Srinagar to Leh & Back
Route Map: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali → Delhi
Distance Covered: Approximately 2,295 kilometers
Tip: Avoid the season of Amarnath Yatra, July to August as the road route will be crowded and have numerous check posts.
Also Read: Road Trip to Ladakh – Leh Manali Highway
Best Bikes for Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
While talking about Ladakh bike trip, the very important thing that needs to be discussed is the motorcycle. For the best experience you certainly need the best bike. While the best bikes depends upon various factors it is generally the bike with powerful machine with heavy engine. The bike must certainly have the stamina for the cold weather, high altitude and steep gradient.
While Ladakh Bullet trip is the dream of many, there are also various other options. Choose the bike that you have driven before, the one you can easily maintain and service. As all through your journey your bike remains you only true companion, you have to assure only the best for the best experience of motorcycle trip to Ladakh.
Read More: Best Adventure Sports in Leh Ladakh
Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Expenses
The ultimate adventure of your lives requires careful planning with your budget. Therefore it’s important to discuss Ladakh Bike trip expenses. A budget of 30k-40k is the range you must keep aside.
As, you will be riding a motorcycle, therefore the major share of you expense will go towards your ride. The fuel, petrol is the priority of a bike trip. If you consider that you will be covering a distance of almost 3500 kilometers, you will need around 100 liters of petrol if your bike gives and average mileage pf 35 km per liter. Roughly estimated the fuel costs will amount to INR 7000 to INR 8,000.
Also, Leh Ladakh Trip Cost varies on the other factors such as permits, accommodation, meals, in addition of fuel. In the event that everything is under normal circumstances, you will end up spending approximately INR 35000 for a 15-day trip.
Accommodation on your Ladakh Tour
The bike tour to Ladakh ranges from 7-18 days and during the trip accommodation is one of the major points that must be discussed. Rest is quite important as you are not just riding a bike but riding at some of the highest altitudes not just in India not also the world.
To start with, there are a number of budget hotels in Ladakh that are easy on the pockets as well as equipped with all required amenities. Campsites are the best options for stay for an adventure holiday. Get to experience nature at its best and the pure rush of adrenalin.
Homestays in Ladakh are the best options if you would love to experience Ladakhi culture. The amiable folks of the region open their hearts and homes for guests.
Petrol Pumps on the route
Petrol is the most important thing when it comes to bike tours and especially to Ladakh. There are very few petro pumps in the region. Therefore, on spotting a petrol pump get your tank filled. In addition of full tanks, carry extra fuel in jerry can and other containers.
If you are on the Manali-Leh route, there are four petrol pumps. Get you tank full at Manali, later you have one at Tandi, 110 km from Manali. The next one is at Karu, 30 km from Leh. Lastly, Leh city has petrol pumps. Therefore it is almost a 350km stretch on the road that does not have a single pump, therefore you have to depend on the fuel you carry.
The bike tour from Srinagar to Leh has better options when it comes to petro pumps on the route. Leave with a full tank from Srinagar. The next stop is Nagbal. Later, Ganderbal on the route has two petrol pumps. Get a refill at Kargil. Next, stop at Khalsi, after which you can smoothly arrive to Leh. While even on the route you must carry extra fuel for emergency purposes.
While you are on the road to Ladakh, there are several options of roadside dhabas that serve delicious warm food at economical prices. Homestays also provide the option. But on your bike tour it is extremely necessary that you carry small amounts of food and water with yourself at all times.
Permits, shopping and some other emergencies is a part and parcel of bike tour to Ladakh. It is necessary to keep aside a small budget for such expense.
Acclimatization in Ladakh
While planning to ride to the ‘Land of High Passes’ you must know everything about acclimatization. The high altitude of Ladakh often gives the visitors acute mountain sickness (AMS). Therefore, you need plenty of rest, fluids, exercise as well as proper nutrition to acclimatize to such heights. The higher you go up in the mountains the more there will be lack of oxygen. Acclimatization is the very basic requirement for a successful Ladakh Bike Tour.
Packing Essentials on Ladakh Bike Trip
Bike trips to Ladakh require careful packing. You will be carrying everything you need on your bike, therefore you must go for smart and light packing.
Some essentials are:
- Sturdy helmet which is also comfortable.
- Valid photo identity proofs and most importantly, driving license.
- All-weather jackets that you can use in rain, snow, sunshine and the changing weather.
- Sweatshirts, jeans, shorts, shirts, tracks, inner-wear, socks, towels, handkerchiefs, and other clothing items that you may feel necessary.
- Trekking shoes or leather boots.
- Extra pair of socks gloves.
- Riding goggles to keep the cold air from your eyes.
- First-aid kit for yourself and a tool-kit for your bike.
- GPS and also a physical map.
- Charger, power banks, Bluetooth headset, batteries for backup, torch etc.
- A good-quality camera to capture the breathtaking landscapes.
- A Swiss Army Knife for its multi purposes.
- Camping tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils and small packets of ration
- Disposable small packs of toiletries of toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo sachets, face wash, liquid soap, moisturizer, cold creams, etc.
- Loads of sunscreen with maximum SPF.
- Medicine for AMS, high temperatures, cold, lose motions, nosebleeds and other medications prescribed by doctors and medical practitioners.
- Keep over the counter medications for pain, antiseptic cream, and re-hydration salts (oral) – 6-8 sachets/Gatorade type electrolyte, iodine based water purification tablets, and Insect repellents.
- Abide by the rules of driving and follow them wisely.
- Get basic training for servicing your Bike and Tyre change, even though you can easily get bike mechanics anywhere on the route.
- Try and plan a group bike tour. If you are riding solo, join one of the groups that are already on the route.
- Keep your fitness in check a month or two prior to your trip.
- Camp only at the sites allotted or ask permission of authorities before pitching in your tent.
- Do not harm the environs or the sentiments of the people.
- Keep your folks at home updated with your whereabouts.
- Keep emergency contacts on your phone in the event of some hard circumstances.
Places to Visit on Ladakh Bike Tour
The capital city of Ladakh, Leh City is one of the must visit places on your bike tour. The ancient town has much to offer. From ancient architecture, markets and traces of Tibetan heritage, here you will experience the region’s rare beauty and bliss. On your arrival, keep a day for rest in the city. Here you can go sightseeing as well as shopping for souvenirs to take home.
Built in 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal, this nine-storey royal palace of Leh is blessed with breathtaking views. Enjoy the sights of snowcapped peaks, Stok Kangri looming up to the sky and the serene Indus River. The palace has a collection of artefacts of the time. Check out costumes, jewellery, religious scriptures and other remnants of the royal family.
Nestled at 14,270 feet, the crystal clear Pangong Lake is about 134 kilometers long and 60% falls under China’s territory. The scenic beauty of the tranquil lake is beyond words. Displaying seven shades of blue, the waters certainly ensnares the travelers’ mind. The towering peaks and the tough road leading to the lake is an experience of a lifetime.
Situated at the height of 15,000 feet, Tso Moriri is fresh water lake in Ladakh. The environs of the water body is a magnificent landscape offering a change from rough to lush green. Fed by two streams and springs, the water body is 7 kilometers wide and 19 kilometers long. The beautiful lake is home to 34 species of birds and rare flora and fauna.
The Shanti Stupa was inaugurated in 1991 by the Holy Dalai Lama. The Japanese structure is located close to the town of Leh. Set at a height of about 4200 feet, the white beauty enjoys magnificent views of the panorama of looming snow-clad mountain peaks. The sunset and sunrise is worth seeing from this point.
The Hemis Monastery has put the town of Hemis on the world map. The monastery is the largest and richest in India. The Tibetan style architecture glows golden in the midst of the rugged environs. The Hemis Festival is one of the most celebrated festivals in the region. The monastery also houses rare and exquisite of Buddha, gold and silver stupas and Thangkas (Holy Scriptures).
Read Must: Festivals in Ladakh
The Thiksey Monastery is sited in the Indus valley and is just 18 kilometers away from Leh. The 12-storey monastery encloses ten temples, an assembly hall and living quarters for the monks and nuns. The 40 foot high statue of Maitreya Buddha is the prime attraction. Marvel at rare, precious stupas, wall paintings, statues and swords in the monastery.
The curious natural phenomenon of the Magnetic hill is located on the National Highway from Leh to Kargil. The elevated road can pull any vehicle up its steep slope even with the ignition of the vehicle off. Road trips to Ladakh remain incomplete if you not been here.
The isolated Zanskar valley is blessed with picturesque natural beauty. Inhabited by monks, it is one of the places that complete your Ladakh Tour. The Zanskar River flows through the valley and has lent its name to the place. It is full of adventures. From river rafting to frozen trek, there are numerous options of adrenalin gushing activities.
Read Must: Markha Valley Trekking
Khardung La Pass
At 18,739 feet, Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the world. The pass is located in the Karakorum Range north of Leh. The pristine air, scenic vistas and the feeling on top of the world have made Khardung La a popular tourist attraction. Before you sojourn the region make preparations.
Nubra Valley is Ladakh’s beautiful secret. Known as the Valley of Flowers, the landscape is a treat. Verdant farms, double humped Bactrian camels, vibrant blooms, traditional villages, desert like landscape exist at one place. Breathtakingly beautiful, Nubra Valley cannot be explained in words.
Hall of Fame
The Hall of fame located near Leh Airfield is a museum constructed and maintained by the Indian Army. The monument honors soldiers who had lost their lives during Indo-Pak wars. Here you can get information about weapons, tough conditions and also how the Indian army guards the Siachen Glacier.
Phyang Gompa is a renowned monastery dating back to early 16th century. Famous for its Digung teachings, 900-year old museum and ancient festivals, the Gompa must be visited to understand the nuances of the lifestyle and culture of people surviving these tough conditions.
15 kilometers from capital city Leh, Shey monastery was earlier the summer residence of the royal family. Located on the banks of River Indus it is adorned with number of shrines and stupas. The statue of 17.5 meter high, blue-haired Maitreya Buddha is a major attraction.
The Diskit Monastery in the Diskit Village of Nubra Valley dates back to the 14th century. The ancient monastery is home to 106 feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha in the prayer hall. Every year in February, the monastery is bustling with activities as the popular Dosmoche festival is celebrated.
Zoji La Pass
The Zoji La pass is an important mountain passes lying between Ladakh and Kashmir. The pass is located at a height of about 11,575 feet. The beautiful views are heartwarming and it is one of the important attractions.
Famous for its natural hot springs that are blessed with medicinal benefits, Drass Valley is located in the heart of Kargil district, Jammu & Kashmir. Renowned to be the second coldest inhabited region in the world, Drass Valley strikes a perfect balance between the lush greens, soothing blues, and bold browns.
To end with, Ladakh Bike tour is truly an experience you cherish forever. With this extensive guide you have the complete details to have a safe and successful adventure!