This post was last updated on July 17th, 2020
Recently I came across a question on TripAdvisor asking for a suggestion for Manali – Leh Road Trip:
We, 3 friends of mid-twenties, are planning to have 10 days Leh trip during August. The itinerary which I want to follow is as follows:
Train travel from Delhi to Chandigarh and then jeep to Manali on 9th August.
Rent a bike in Manali and reach Leh by riding a bike on 11 August.
Spend 6 days in Leh traveling Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake, and other nearby places
Drop bike in Leh and come back to Delhi by flight on 17-18 August.
This is my plan for the trip. I need a suggestion for the proposed plan and contacts/budget for the bike rentals, hotels. If you have experience with a travel agent who arranges all this then do provide the contact details.
Since I have been to Ladakh and the last time I also traveled in a group of 3 riders here’s what I’d suggest.
Your plan is good but could be costly since you want a one-way ride to Leh from Manali. If only you could ride back to Manali and drop it at the place from where you hired it. This could bring down your tour cost by 7000-10000 per person.
But if you still want the one-way deal, then here how you can do it:
- Since it will be a one-way deal, an additional cost of 7 to 10 thousand will be charged per bike when you drop your bike in Leh.
- A refundable deposit of 3000-20000 is required along with your Photo ID
- Per day rental would be anything between 700-1500 per bike
- You’ll have to bear the cost of petrol
- These bikes come with 3rd party insurance which means any damage to the bike will have to be borne by you. In case there’s some trouble with the engine, you need not to pay anything.
Once you do have the bike in your possession, leave Manali as early as possible so that you could reach Sarchu before sundown.
And don’t forget to check out tips on how to prepare for a road trip to Ladakh.
There’s a vicious water stream along the pass which gains strong current as the day passes due to melting of snow and which you should avoid crossing if such is the case.
And don’t forget to carry plenty of extra fuses and get them all filled at Tandi which is the last Petrol Pump on Leh – Manali Highway. The next one from here is at Karu which is around 380 km away. More on roads and distances between Leh- Manali along with halts and sights could be found in detail on the page Ladakh by Road.
On the second day, you’ll easily make it to Leh in the meanwhile crossing some amazing landscape. Taglang La, Nakee La, and Gata Loops are stunning rides. And hey! Don’t spend much time at the top of the pass. Have lunch in Pang and make it to Leh before sundown.
There are many hotels in Leh which you can book and comes at a very affordable price. In 1000 – 1200, you’d get very decent accommodation for three.
On the second day stay back in Leh for acclimatization. Remember, acclimatization in Ladakh should be taken very seriously.
The first thing you need to do today is wake up and get to Leh DC office before 10 in the morning to apply for inner line permits which are required for visiting Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso.
You can do local sightseeing and since have a bike you may even ride to Nimoo at the confluence of Zanskar and Indus. Also, go to the famous Magnetic Hill. It’s just a road sign though.
You may choose either Hunder or Panamik to spend the night but I will personally recommend Hunder. In Hunder you could also do Bacterian Double-humped camel safari in the high altitude sand dunes which have given Hunder the name “Desert in the Sky”.
On day 4, return to Leh from Nubra Valley after exploring Panamik, Sumur, and Diskit.
On Day 5 head to Pangong Tso Lake via Chang La Pass. Pangong Tso is an absolute beauty and you ought to spend a night here to enjoy the stunning beauty of this lake and the surrounding. Here’s more on Pangong Tso Lake.
Stay back at Pangong, ideally in Spangmik Village by the bank of the lake. Homestays are available at as low as 700 for 3.
On Day 6, you should return to Leh. If you have time up your sleeve in the evening then head to Shanti Stupa which offers a magnificent view of Leh Town. You should also explore Leh Palace etc.