Manali to Leh Route
Manali to Leh Route has been an all-time favorite of every ardent explorer especially bikers who want to reach Ladakh via the adventurous roads of Manali to Leh Highway! Not only will your soul get to be in touch with its inner wanderlust through this route, but even the vistas and panoramas are spectacular and thrilling to make you turn into a photography buff! So, if you have planning to explore Ladakh by getting there via this route, here is a full-fledged guide to assist you in every aspect and helping you make the most of your adventure time!
The total distance you will be traveling via Manali to Leh route is 490 km in which 230 km will be of Himachal Pradesh and the remaining 260 km is of J&K. Moreover, Sarchu comes as the border between Himachal Pradesh and J&K and there is a total of 5 passes that will come in this route and the two days is the approximate time for completing the journey.
Detailed Manali to Leh route
Now let’s take an elaborate look at the places you will cover during the Manali to Leh route.
Manali – Marhi – Rohtang Pass
Beginning the journey from Manali, you will first have to go through Rohtang Pass for which you need to get the permit. The permit can be obtained from Manali SDM Office or through an online website. Moreover, the road to Rohtang Pass is a tough one but the panoramas are actually a feast to the eyes! Try leaving early from Manali to avoid traffic and then you can also stop 19 km ahead at Marhi for a hot breakfast and then you will be ready to cross Rohtang Pass. This route is around 52 km long and after accomplishing the rough road of Rohtang Pass and then you will head towards the next key stop Kokhsar.
Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Kokhsar
Around 19 km from Rohtang Pass, Kokhsar is a tiny hamlet where the main thing to do is register at the check-post situated in this village. You can also opt for a night stay as Kokhsar has a guest house for travelers and then you start afresh from next day.
Kokhsar- Sissu – Tandi
Tandi is the next important place to stop since it is the last gas station until Leh. So, stop at the gas station, get your vehicle filled with enough fuel and tank up till you reach Leh. Although there might be some dhabas ahead where you can ask for fuel, it’s still better to be on the safe side by getting extra fuel.
Tandi – Keylong
Keylong is a key stopping point in this route since here you can get a proper check of your vehicle by a mechanic because from Keylong there can be chances of not finding any mechanic shop ahead. Also, Kardhang Monastery is a must-see attraction of Keylong while you can also go for a night stay here. This is also the last stop where you will find working network connection so prepare yourself to unplug devices further in the journey.
Keylong – Jispa
Jispa is a small hamlet which is the most common stop for travelers for a night stay. Here many accommodation alternatives from camping to hotels are available. You can conclude your first day’s travel here at Jispa and then get up the next morning to continue your trip.
Jispa – Darcha
Darcha will be the subsequent check-post point after you will start next day from Jispa. The roads are well-maintained and the scenery is wonderfully spectacular as well!
Darcha – Sumdo – Patsio – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu
At Darcha, you can stop at Deepak Taal which is a stunning lake mixed with the beautiful aura of the mountains all around. Here you can have lunch or you can also plan a camping night with your travel buddies! Moving further from Deepak Taal, Baralacha La is the next important stop which will be filled with snow creating a charming wonderland. Then you can stop at Sarchu which is a military base and is a good place to find accommodation and stay for the night. Also, reaching Sarchu, you might start to experience Acute Mountain Sickness so make sure that you take medicines and proper precautions before heading for the trip.
Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakeela La – Lachulung La – Pang
Gata Loops is a famous place which is actually formed of 21 hairpin bends and is believed to be haunted by a dead trucker’s ghost. Most of the travelers avoid stopping at Gata Loops mainly because of the ghost story plus the jam of trucks and smoke filling up this area so it’s advised to move ahead without halting here. Then, you will get to Lachulung La which is an easier one and will take you to Pang where you can again stay for a night if you feel exhausted. Also, the chances of Acute Morning Sickness increase more and more after coming to Pang, where it’s more of a surety that you will experience it.
Pang – Moore Plains – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi
After Pang, you will reach Moore Plains which is a plateau located amidst a serene and isolated landscape. The road is rough and bumpy and then Tanglang La is also a difficult one to cross. It is hailed the highest motorable road in India and is also the last pass you will come in this route.
Upshi – Karu – Leh
A few kilometers before reaching Upshi, the road will start getting smooth and then you can stop here for a small break as Leh is just an hour away from Upshi.
Choosing the ideal transport for Manali to Leh Route
For this route, you have various options, from biking to Leh, opting for public transportation like Bus and shared taxis to hiring your own car. Also, going for a bike riding is adventurous as well as rewarding so if you want to soak in the adrenaline rush, motorbiking is the ideal option. But for bikers make sure that you take extra gears as well as additional fuel so that you don’t stuck anywhere amidst the route. Further, let’s explore the public transport options available for this route.
Traveling by bus is a good alternative if you are tripping in a large group, and bus services are accessible both in Luxury and Ordinary by Himachal Pradesh Tourism. These HPTDC and HRTC buses take a stop at Keylong and complete the route in just two days. There are also many bus services from Delhi for which you have to inquire to sort out options.
By shared/private taxi
You can either go for a shared taxi or hire a private one from Manali to reach Leh. The costs can vary and the shared taxis will travel more in a hurry while a private one will take care of your convenience, so you can choose accordingly as per your comfort and budget.
When’s the right time to travel via this route
This route is generally opened during late May or by early June and closes by October. September is actually the right time to travel via this route since the early June time is quite risky due to the danger of slippery roads and landslides. By September, the roads are restored to good condition and the lush landscape is glittery with the monsoons just being concluded, so try planning your trip via this route around September!
The weather for this Manali to Leh route remains warm and pleasant for the day while during the night the temperature can decrease on a higher degree and that’s why it is difficult to drive in the night on this route. Moreover, if you are traveling during the months of May, June July, the summer season will be at its peak. Tripping during September, you will experience a little cold by the end of the day and the snowfall can also happen by the end of October.
Tips for safe travel
- Keep your identity proofs like Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Driver’s License, etc. that may be required at check-posts.
- While packing for clothes, don’t just carry woolens but cotton clothes, windproof jackets, woolen gloves, and other warmers will also be required. Bring clothes in layers so if it’s getting chilly during the journey, you will enough clothes to double up to fight the reducing temperature.
- Always keep additional fuel and extra gears for your vehicle as getting further in the journey, you will find fewer mechanic shops and fuel stations so the extra fuel will come handy.
- For Acute Mountain Sickness, go for a proper check-up with your doctor and get prescribed medicines alongside for the trip.
Hence these are all the significant details to help you in reaching Ladakh via Manali to Leh Route. The vistas are thrilling, exciting and will fill you with charming ecstasy by the time you will reach Ladakh. So make sure to follow all the important precautions beforehand and here is all luck for you to reach Leh safely! Bon Voyage!
Camping in Leh
Bikamp Adventures has permanent campsites at
1) Leh, Ladakh