How To Plan Leh Ladakh Bike Trip – Guide – Map – For First Timers

LADAKH – The word means the land of high passes. A place with the highest desert (cold) in the world, highest human inhabited place in the world, the highest battle ground on earth, lake that changes colours, frozen river tracks, highest motorable roads and many more astonishing reasons to visit this heaven on earth at least once in your life time.

The mesmerizing beauty of mountains covered with pearly white snow and the cordial locals of leh ladakh will definitely make you forget the rest of the world. You will never ever want your trip to end and feel reluctant to leave that place and come back to your normal life.

Ladakh is also known as the paradise for travelers specially for bikers from not only India but from other countries as well.

You may get many tour packages for bike trips ranging from somewhere around ₹19K to ₹40K depending on the starting point, accommodation and other facilities.

but if you are planing to ride by your own and are going for the first time then you must read this blog.

This blog is for the people planing trip from delhi to leh ladakh to delhi. If you are planing the trip from some other state as well this blog will help you a lot.

First of all lets discuss about the problems you may face and things you shouldn’t do during the trip to avoid any problems or miss-happening.

  • No mobile network other than BSNL postpaid will work after you will cross Rohtang (so download maps and inform your dear ones accordingly)
  • Temperature at passes remains below minus degrees and it is highly risky and advised not to cross any pass at night as the water flowing on roads transforms into black ice and its almost impossible to ride on it. You may damage your bike or get yourself hurt (even fracture your leg or arm depending on the impact)
  • Make sure you wear enough clothes to keep yourself warm and avoid any chances of hypothermia. (My wife got to the stage one of hypothermia as we crossed the baralacha at night (read full story here). We were lucky that we got shelter and help at Bharatpur tent colony on time)
  • Weather on the passes is unpredictable hence if you witness sudden heavy snowfall try to reach and take shelter at army camps you may find on every pass
  • Do not try to cross heavy water flow alone as you may injured your self or damage your bike. Wait and take help from other bikers locals passing from there.
  • Keep a water bottle with and drink it frequently to keep your self hydrated
  • You will not find roads in good shape on the passes such as changla and khardungla hence, try riding slow and stop for help if you face any difficulties
  • Be careful at the areas with warning sign board of shooting stones.  Try not to stop in that as it may become a problem.
  • Do not litter your garbage on the roads or throw them down the hill this will only destroy the beauty of our heaven
  • Try not to make longer stretches and make your self tired
  • Try not stand on the corners for selfies as it may turn into a big disaster
  • Try to carry minimal luggage with you. etc.(If I will get some more will add them 😛)

Now the things you MUST carry with you.

As I said above try to carry minimal luggage with you to have a comfortable ride but some of the things are really important that you can not miss.

  • Permit for crossing rohtang (Its better to book online before starting your journey to save your time. You may book permits here:- https://goo.gl/2w8GG1 , Charges ₹50 per bike as congestion fee )
  • Please note Rohtang is closed on every Tuesday so plan your trip accordingly.
  • After reaching leh you will also require permits to visit places like nubra valley pangong lake etc. You may book the permits online form here :- https://goo.gl/4UwSrf , Charges ₹400 per person as environmental fee and ₹20 per person per day as inner line fee.)
  • Warm cloths to keep you away from the chilling cold
  • A medical kit with Diamox tablets to keep you going at the places where oxygen level is low.
  • A tool kit (including Tyre puncture kit)
  • Extra Clutch wire and acceleration wire
  • Engine oil (If you have space else you may get it at leh as well but at some extra cost)
  • Jerry cane for extra fuel as you may get stuck in between with no fuel.
  • A good quality rain suit to keep yourself dry during sudden rain or snowfall.
  • Safety Gears (Like biker jacket, Gloves, Knee gaurd, etc)
  • Gum Boots (You will require them the most in snow or while crossing the water flow)
  • For buying or renting any accessories or equipment at the cheapest price you may visit Motorclub near shadipur metro station or contact on 9811376385 (Don’t Forget to give our reference for extra discount)
  • Will add more things if needed or if i would remember in future😛

There’s almost no need to carry Tent or sleeping bags with (unless you wish to do camping- It is advised not to do so if you are first timer) as you may get the shelter and food easily.

Now lets discuss the route.

This is my personal route plan you may change it according to your convenience.

  • Start early morning (May be at around 4AM) from Delhi and reach Manali. (Do take stops to give your bike and yourself some rest) Spend night there
  • Start early morning from Manali (As you may find traffic on the way to Rohtang) get your bike’s fuel tank full also the jerry cane. Make small stops, click pictures, enjoy sceneries and try to reach Sarchu before sun goes to sleep. (You may also Target Pang only if possible – Do not push yourself hard and ride at night it may be too dangerous for you) Sarchu has several camp sites available. If the camp site is not within your budget, you can chose to stay at a Dhaba / Chadar tent
  • Your Next target should be Leh. You may get the hotel in leh for as cheap as ₹800 for a night (depending on your luck and bargaining ability😛)
  • Next day take local tour of leh visit monasteries leh market etc. It is advised to get your bike serviced at leh to have stress free ride ahead. (Also get the fuel filled in your bike)
  • Your next destination is Nubra Valley. For reaching there you would have to cross the mighty Khardungla pass (said to be the highest motorable road – but its not true 😞 )Enjoy the camel ride at hunder (Worlds highest desert) Visit Ancient Gumpas and other mesmerizing places. Spend night.
  • Good morning, Now is the time to visit the colour changing and 134Km long Pangong Lake which extends from India to china. You may stay at the camps at pangong which may be bit heavy on your pockets (Starts from around ₹4000 for a tent) or you can stay at Durbuk (₹1500 for a room for 4-5 people) 40Kms (around 45 min away) from there.
  • Head back to Leh. On they way you will have to cross the changla Pass (Height 17586 Ft Actually higher than Khardungla) Enjoy the snow covered pass have some snacks, click pictures and reach leh by the evening.
  • Next morning, time is to visit Magnetic hill, Gurudwara patthar Saheb, Lamayuru, Kargil and finally reach Sonamarg. You would have to leave from leh early to reach Sonamarg on time as you will have to cross one of the worlds most dangerous road of Zogilla pass.
  • Make your next stop at Udhampur
  • You may target next destination as Delhi or make stop in between somewhere in Ludhiana or Ambala.

Read full story of our adventurous journey HERE. We (me & my wife) visited ladakh from Delhi last year on Hero Splendor (100cc motorcycle)

adakh route map
ladakh route map

For any help mail us on tloneriders@gmail.com or call on 7982637234

Thanks for reading our blog!
The Lone Riders – Deepika and Pawan Shakya

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