Manali – Leh travel guide

The Manali to Leh road route is considered by many to be the greatest and arguably the toughest motorcycling road in the world.

Every year, dozens of bikers from all over the world ride over this road, which crosses over some of the highest mountain passes of the world.

The road is open from the end of May to about October, give or take a few weeks. The exact timings are dictated by the amount of snowfall that the passes recieve each year.

After my trip last year, a lot of people have been asking me time and again about the trip and for some tips on this route.

The Manali to Leh road route is considered by many to be the greatest and arguably the toughest motorcycling road in the world. Every year, dozens of bikers from all over the world ride over this road, which crosses over some of the highest mountain passes of the world. The road is open from the end of May to about October, give or take a few weeks. The exact timings are dictated by the amount of snowfall that the passes recieve each year. This road is maintained by the Indian Army and is of strategic importance and so the Army takes all pains to ensure that for the few summer months, the road is never closed for more than a day or two, even if the weather is particularly bad.

The Route: Manali – Rohtang Pass – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – ZingZing Bar – Baralacha La (Pass) – Bharatpur – SarchuGhata loops – Nakee La – LachLung La – Pang – More PlainsTanglang La – Upshi – Karu – Leh

Planning

You can never plan enough to ride on this highway. There are just too many unknowns. Even if everything else is all hunky dory, the weather can play spoilsport anytime. The only way to ride on this route is to keep an open mind and be open to exploring new options.

The Manali-Leh highway is full of bad roads, water crossings, glaciers (if you’re lucky) and crosses over some of the world’s highest passes and such the journey is highly unpredictable. Be prepared for uncertainties like inclemental weather, tyre punctures and any other mechanical problems with your vehicle. Carry any spares you think your vehicle might need and prepare for the worst.

Plan to take atleast three days to complete the journey although some people do the entire stretch in two days, it doesn’t make sense to rush up. The real fun is in the journey and not the destination.

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