How to Travel from Manali to Leh


What is the distance between Manali and Leh by road? What all things have to be kept in mind while planning for a road trip from Manali to Leh? Are two of the most common questions that cross the mind of a traveler.

A complete travel guide for a road trip from Manali to Leh is what most people look for. Here is one that has all the important information to help every traveler wanting to enjoy their trip from Manali to Leh hassle-free.

So, let's quickly iterate everything that would be useful for this trip!

How to plan a trip from Manali to Leh: Important things you should know!

How to reach Leh from Manali

The best way to travel from Manali to Leh is via road. A traveler gets to enjoy enthralling and high-altitude passes while capturing some breathtaking views of the surrounding. Here is the route that travelers planning a trip from Manali to Leh should follow.

Popular Manali to Leh Ladakh Route

Manali- Rohtang Pass- Gramphu- Tandi- Keylong- Jispa- Darcha- Patseo- Zingzing Bar- Baralacha La- Sarchu- Nakee La- Lachulung La- Pang- Tanglang La- Upshi- Karu- Leh

Note: The buses from Manali also follow the same route to reach Leh. Those who are taking the bus service for this trip can get down at the stopover locations for some photography sessions.

  • Manali to Leh Ladakh Distance: 472 km (approximately)
  • Total Time: 2-3 days (depending on a lot of factors)
  • Best time to travel through this route- June to September (it highly depends on the weather. Usually it starts to snowfall in mid- October in Rohtang and other higher passes)

Manali to Leh Road conditions

Most people traversing through the Manali- Leh highway remain unknown to the road conditions and that causes problems at a few points. It becomes better if the riders or drivers get to know the road conditions beforehand so that planning and conquering them becomes way easier. Here is an overview of how the road conditions might turn out to be throughout the stretch.

Places on the Manali Leh         Highway

Road Conditions

Manali to Rohtang La You can expect an average road on this stretch.
Rohtang La to Khoksar The road is very challenging with water-puddles, slushy, and gravel.
Khoksar to Sissu This stretch is a bit better, you can call it average.
Sissu to Keylong This is the first time when you will get a well-constructed road and can cover more distance quickly.
Keylong to Jispa This stretch is also good enough and won’t pose much of a challenge.
Jispa to Zingzing bar The road remains the same like the “Keylong to Jispa” stretch; not much of a challenge. Cruise through this stretch.
Zingzing to Baralacha Pass Here the only problem is the altitude. In this stretch, you will be gaining approximately 600 m in altitude.
Baralacha to Sarchu This is one of the most challenging stretches of this route. The road is bad as well as bumpy.
Sarchu to Pang The road remains challenging on this stretch as well. Slushy, gravel, and water puddles are all over the place.
Pang to Moore Plains This stretch has a mix of good to challenging trails and one needs to be cautious while riding on this stretch.
Moore Plains to Leh This entire stretch is well- constructed and maintained. You can speed up here to reach Leh quickly.

Petrol Pumps Availability: Manali to Leh Ladakh Road Trip

One of the most critical things to keep in mind on the Manali- Leh highway is carrying extra petrol. You can keep jerry cans or even airtight bottles for your fuel reserves. Here is where you will be getting fuel on this entire route.

Note: In emergencies, you can ask the locals at Sarchu, Pang, Zingzingbar, and a few other places for fuel in black. Also, keep in mind if you are buying that, put a thin cloth to filter out the fuel.

Route: Delhi- Manali- Leh Highway

Location of the Petrol Pump Distance from the previous Petrol Pump
Manali Get your tank filled here!
Tandi The road is very challenging with water-puddles, slushy, and gravel.
Karu This stretch is a bit better, you can call it average.
Leh This is the first time when you will get a well-constructed road and can cover more distance quickly.

To know more about Fuel Availability in Leh Ladakh Click Here!

Places to Stay and Eat On The Manali-Leh highway

Undoubtedly, Manali- Leh highway is one of the most challenging roads in India and there are a lot of high-altitude passes throughout the route. Places to eat and stay on Manali- Leh highway account for an important point in this travel guide.

Places to Eat  Places to Stay
Marhi Khoksar
Khoksar Sissu
Sissu Gondola
Keylong Patseo
Jispa Tandi
Darcha Keylong
Zingzing Bar Upshi
Bharatpur Jispa
Sarchu Darcha
Pang Bharatpur
Rumste Sarchu
Upshi Pang

Note: You can rest and eat at any of the above-given places.

Availability of ATMs

Leh Ladakh bike tour from Manali is one of the most intriguing activities that lures a lot of riders every year. The Manali- Leh highway lacks a lot of basic facilities and one of them is the availability of ATMs. There is just one place where you will get an ATM between Manali and Leh and that is in Keylong. It is advised that you withdraw enough cash in Manali itself.

Note: You will have to pay in cash at the hotels or places you stay on the way and even at the petrol pumps (Tandi or Karu). Therefore, withdrawing enough cash at Manali itself is highly recommended. To know more click here!

Availability of Mechanics

In case of emergencies, if your bike or car needs mechanical attention and you don’t know a thing about it; you can halt at the places given below for a quick check-up. On the entire Leh- Manali highway, you will find mechanics at these places:

  • Khoksar
  • Tandi
  • Keylong
  • Darcha
  • Sarchu
  • Pang
  • Upshi

Emergency medical help (if needed)

Due to less civilization on the entire Manali-Leh highway getting medical help everywhere can be difficult. It can be found in a few places only. Medical facilities are available in Sissu, Keylong, and Sarchu. In an emergency, people can also stop by at the Pang medical facility of the army. You can get first aids and a few more quick medical help at these places.

Therefore, while drafting an itinerary from Manali to Leh, it is always essential to keep important things in mind just like the availability of medical support. If one feels uncomfortable, take a halt at any of these places to get a regular checkup or medicines for the problem.

Availability of mobile networks

Another problem that travelers have to face while traveling to this wonderful place is the Mobile connectivity in Leh. The connection of airtel networks will be there near Keylong, Upshi -Leh. Whereas BSNL networks are the best throughout. People will get decent coverage throughout the route and even in Leh-Ladakh. Jio is in progress and would be there any time.

Note: Do keep in mind that no prepaid connections will work anywhere in the Leh-Ladakh region.

Tips to keep in mind while traveling from Manali to Leh

There are a few general tips that every traveler using the Manali Leh highway should keep in mind. Some of the important ones are listed below:

  • Ensure that your bike is in optimum condition and is serviced before starting this journey. It is going to be a challenging road throughout and the bike would definitely take a beating. Make sure that the brake pads, chain, engine oil, oil filter, and other essential parts are changed if required or else you might be stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  • Finding help on this highway can be a really difficult task so keep an extra brake wire, clutch wire, chain clean and lube. Make sure to keep lubricating the chain and leavers every 200 km.
  • Keep a puncture kit and a foot pump for emergencies because the highway lacks settlement and civilization in major portions of the route.
  • Keep all the AMS preventive medicines and also those that can come in handy while you go on this trip. If possible, consult your doctor before keeping any medicine in the backpack. It is the best way.
  • Keep all the important documents in the backpack and get their multiple copies as well. If you wish to visit the Rohtang Pass, make sure to get the permit from the Manali DC office.
  • Refrain from taking any alcohol and antidepressant drug throughout the trip as it can make things worse during the trip.
  • All the places that you are going to cross throughout the journey are situated at a high altitude which is why it is recommended that one should not exert more. Over-exertion can lead to breathlessness and more problems thereafter.
  • As already mentioned above, it is never recommended that travelers should spend a night at a high altitude. The best places for an overnight stay in the entire journey are Keylong and Jispa. Most of the basic amenities and facilities are available here and they are not at a high altitude as compared to others on the route.
  • Keep eating every now and then, make sure your body has the energy required. Don’t consider riding as an easy task on this highway. One needs to be cautious and concentrated. So keep your belly full. Another very important thing is keeping your body hydrated. At such a height and cool temperature, people usually don’t prefer drinking much water because they simply don’t feel thirsty. Don’t do this. Keep drinking a small portion of water in gulps to keep yourself hydrated.
  • One of the biggest problems on the Leh-Manali highway is finding a petrol pump. It is advised to keep jerry cans in your bag (filled) so that you don't have to worry about petrol.
  • Apart from Manali, you will have ATMs at Keylong and then straight to Leh. There are no machines throughout the way except these. So it is better to keep cash in hand for spending on food wherever you stop.
FAQs How to Travel from Manali to Leh

Ans: The distance between Manali and Leh Ladakh is roughly around 434 km. You can take the Atal Tunnel that will reduce your travel time and distance significantly.

Ans: Planning on a trip from Chandigarh to Leh via Manali? The complete distance for this trip is 1005 km which takes approximately 20 hours to cover on an average.

Ans: The total distance between Delhi and Leh via Manali is 1011 km by road.

Ans: If you are traversing through Rohtang Pass, you will require a permit to cross it. But if you are going to take the Atal Tunnel, then there is no permit that you will have to take.

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