About The Listing
Type of Trip : Cycling
Level : Hard
Location : Leh and Ladakh
Duration : 11 Days 10 Nights
Trip Start : Manali
Trip End : Leh
This extreme cycling tour takes you to the very heart of the Himalayas. The Manali-Leh cycling tour is one of the most scenic, challenging and popular mountain biking routes. You cover 550 km over 11 days going past many high passes – Rohtang (3900 m), Baralacha La (4800 m), NakeeLa (4900 m), Lachung La (5050 m), Tanglang La (5260 m and the world’s second highest motorable road). Along the way your challenges include searing hot days, freezing nights and most importantly, high altitude.
Day 01: Manali – Marrhi Nallah – 40 Kms.
Manali, nestled on the foot of the giant Rohtang Jot (Mound Of Skulls) & on the bank of the Beas rive, is an evergreen area with Pine & Deodar Trees surrounding the town. You will start early and cross the Beas River over Manali town bridge in the middle of the market & proceed to Palchan the Army Check post. The Beas River flows on the left side of the road. Passing through a small Hamlet town you take the first set of hairpin bends on the Serpentine road on the road to Rohtang. Be prepared to a total contrast in weather from the partly sunny Manali. There will be fog and mild rain. Overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 02: Marrhi – Rohtang – Koksar – Sissu – Gondla – 70 Kms.
The 17 Kms to Rohtang jot is all ascend. After a welcome cup of tea in one of the little Parachute cafes on the Pass ride downhill till Koksar bridge. If the weather is clear there are some scenic views of snow- covered peaks & Glaciers in the far horizon. As you descend there is change in vegetation, the tree line seems to be getting away from you making way for small bushes. You are in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range. After crossing the check post follow the river flow till Tandi. At certain points you will abandon the bank, climbing uphill but you will be moving more or less along the river. In case the sun is out weather can be warm & Humid, but the nights will be cold being on the riverbank & open area. You will encounter some unmetalled stretches of road today after Koksar till Gondla, & cross a few mountain streams flowing over the road. Overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 03: Tandi – Keylong – Gemur – Jispa – Darcha – 45 Kms.
At the confluence point of River Chandra & Bhaga cross the bridge & proceed uphill to Keylong town. Enroute is Gemur as you ascend the serpentine road into a gorge. Ahead lies the Jispahamlet town as you come out of the gorge & descend downhill. The Ibex hotel at Jispa is the last comfortable hotel till we reach Leh town. It's again a green belt for sometime where you will see many shepherds and their sheep scattered on the hillsides. You are almost in the Land of Lamas now. Infact Keylong does support a small Gompa. After crossing Jispa one is definitely in an isolated region & in far horizon you can distinctively see the bareness of the Higher Himalayan ranges. Overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 04: Darcha – Patseo – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – 55 Kms.
Darcha can be considered the gateway to the Higher Himalayas as you cross the bridge & proceed on the hairpin bends uphill. Now it is going to be all ascend till you come to the cantonment area of military garrison of Himmatnagar, Appx - 20 Kms ahead. For next 10 Kms you are into the flat area & then down hairpin bends of Patseo & Zing Zing Bar as you move into the harsh terrain of the arid mountains. The sun suddenly seems hotter than before and the atmospheric pressure make the ride today a bit more challenging. But there are little signs painted in yellow on the rocks - When the going gets tough the Tough get going! - boosting your Spirits as you ascend the heights of the Baralacha Pass - 4892 M & Suraj Tal Lake. The Icy blue water & the origin of the river at the top of the bend that brings you closer to the Pass is a post for the road construction worker toiling hard every day to maintain the roads as best as they can under the harsh conditions. It is time now for mountain river crossings. Twice you will be in the middle of water. You will descend down to the gorge area of Bharatpur. Overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 05: Bharatpur –Sarchu – 4253 M –Brandy Nallah – 35 Kms.
The Day starts with an easy ride on a flat road, downhill & then entering a gorge descending to the bridge connecting to the Sarchu Plateau. Cross over the bridge & you’ll move ahead ascending a small uphill road making you move to the plateau area & now ahead lies another vast stretch flat ground with shepherds and their mountain goats. There are a number of features of arid landscapes with some beautiful scenery, a delight for photographers who are looking for high rise mountain ranges, bearing water marks & erosion of soil clearly indicating that the area was under water a few million years ago. The area is sparsely green, the wind is chilly & fast blowing here. You are at the Traffic Check post, which is the entry point into Ladakh. Another 20 Kms ahead on the base of the Gata loops hair pin bends you will camp for the night at Brandy Nallah. The road though metalled is very bumpy with flat stretches of barren land on both sides.
Day 06: Brandy Nallah – Gata loops – Naki la –Lachungla – Pang – 57 Kms.
After an easy day yesterday you now move to scale the Gata loops, 23 hairpin bends bringing us top of the mountain feature. You ride up hill, over an easy slope only to cross the Naki La pass, descend down into the gorge to an isolated military garrison area & then ascend again to the height of the Lachulung la - 5065 M. After Naki La you are almost on an unmetalled stretch of gravelly road all the way inside the gorge of Pang. Overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 07: Pang – More Plains – Tanglangla (Base Camp) – 47 Kms.
Eight Kms uphill from the Bowl-like feature of Pang you come to the plateau area of the More plains. Changpas, the Nomadic people who tend their yaks here and a few wild asses are the only sign of life on this isolated and long road. This belt not only barren but is known for fast blowing winds, sandstorms & extreme temperatures in the early morning and evenings. Fresh stream water can be considered a scarcity in this area though you might find some isolated mountain streams flowing down from the Tanglangla. The ride is easy going being a flat plateau area, but the road, which stretches on ahead, is not as smooth as it looks. There are tiny bumps all along! Overnight stay will be in Camp at the base of Tanglang La.
Day 08: Tanglangla – Rumtse – Gya – 50 Kms.
You proceed early to scale the World's second highest motorable pass, Tanglang la - 5,360 M. The ride for the next 17 Kms is a challenge for even the fittest of riders, weather being cold early in the morning, with gravelly stretches of the road consuming extra energy, riding over the altitude of 17,000 Ft will be an acid test for the mind & body. Reaching the top is a very satisfying experience & then it's all downhill with smooth gradients till the base of the Pass. After crossing a small mountain river it is time to find civilization again! The Chortens along the road in the villages announce your arrival in the heart of Buddhist culture. The greenery changes the landscape, and the red colored mountains surrounding you and reflected in the river only add to the beauty as you hit Rumtse and Gya for overnight stay will be in Camp.
Day 09: Gya – Upshi – Karu – Leh – 61 Kms.
For next 20 Kms you ride on some metalled & unmetalled stretches of roads & cross over the Upshi Bridge across the river Indus. The river originates in China & crosses over into India somewhere in the higher regions of these great Himalayan ranges. The road condition improves considerably as you follow more traffic from the cantonment area & local villages going to Leh. Ahead lies the Thiksey Monastery & the Chortens Garden before you finally enter Leh Town. The ride is easy & you can expect to reach Leh by evening. Overnight stay will be at Hotel Kanishka in Leh.
Day 10: Leisure day.
A much required day for relaxing & maintenance of the bicycles. A comfortable bed, hot water and a relaxed day is the only way to be after the tough conditions you have ridden over in the last few days!
Day 11: Fly Delhi.
Early morning transfer to Leh Airport Fly to Delhi. Arrive & check in the Hotel. Spend the day at leisure and take the International flight back home, or extend your stay to other destinations.
- 10 night accommodation in standard room / tent.
- All meals.
- Transportation by non AC Innova or Scorpio for departure transfers at Leh airport.
- Mountain bike.
- All equipment of community-use nature and nature friendly including high altitude two person client tents.
- Camping charges.
- Kitchen equipment like cooking utensils, camp crockery, tableware, lamps, wash bowls and cloth linens.
- Support team Guide, cook, mechanic & helper.
- Separate vehicle to carry the equipment and support team to / from cycle starting / ending point.
- Inner-line permits.
- Poterages at hotel and airport.
- All applicable luxury/ road taxes.
- Personal expenses.
- Sleeping bags, trek shoes, kit bags, day packs, down jackets and other special clothing's etc.
- Camping / cycling equipment.
- Medical expenses (apart from first aid).
- Tips and gratuities.
- Beverages (liquors, wines, mineral water).
- Telephone charges.
- Items of personal nature.
- Transportation is not on disposal basis.
- Cost arising out of unforeseen circumstances.
Terms & Conditions
- 100% advance need to be paid for confirmation of registration.
- On cancellation fees will not be refunded.
- Tour once commenced will strictly go as per the itinerary finalized. In case of events and circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to change all or parts of the contents of the itinerary for safety and well being of the riders.
- All the arrangements for trekking as preplanned and prepaid. In case of not completion of the trek due to any reason whatsoever there will not be any refund for any utilized services. Any extra expense due to the same has to be paid extra.
Tips, Hints, Precautions
1. Is there medical back up on the tour?
Yes, the trip is accompanied by qualified paramedics and HAPS.
2. What is the sleeping material provided in the tent?
You get a cotton wool mattress, a trekking mattress of foam, a sleeping bag. If you still feel cold after the arrangements they do give you blankets and duckback hot water bottles.
3. Are any spare cycles carried on the bus, incase of a major cycle breakdown?
Yes we do, though these are Firefox targets. We have a mechanic accompanying us who does carry some spares. We also recommend that you carry your own spares as well.
4. Is there any physical preparation/ diet, that needs to be done, to reduce the chances of altitude sickness?
The simplest things are the most difficult. On this expedition lets keeping it to the basics. No smoking, no drinking. If you do, then please reduce. Stick to your regular diet, increase carbs, greens. At least 5-8 ltrs of water everyday and other liquids (citrus). Mix your cycling with aerobics and swimming. As such there is no golden thumb rule to avoid High altitude sickness, the mantra is to go high on fluids. Lots of water helps. The ride is slow paced which aids in acclimatization.
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