For all those planning to go on a bike tour to Ladakh please note this beautiful trip would become a lifetime memory for you. You can take either of the two routes – via Delhi or Manali. The time required from Delhi would be 15-18 days, while from Manali you can cover most of places in 10 days. If you plan to fly to Leh and begin your bike tour then it would take 7-8 days only. So depending on the number of days you have in hand plan your trip.
While riding from Manali, you pass through Rohtang Pass and gradually enter the region of Ladakh. For your knowledge sharing the routes below –
Route 1: Manali to Leh & Back
Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometers
Route 2: Srinagar to Leh & Back
Route Map: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali → Delhi
Approximately 2,295 kilometers
Please ensure that the Ladakh tour bike you select has the stamina for the cold weather, high altitude and steep gradient. Keep in mind during time of Amarnath Yatra (July-Aug) there are several check-posts, so you might not want to plan your trip then.
Roughly for this bike trip you got to keep aside budget of around 35-40K considering the fuel, food, stay, permits and other miscellaneous expenses for a period of 15 days.
There are number of budget hotels in Ladakh that are easy on the pockets as well as equipped with all required amenities. Campsites are the best options for stay for an adventure holiday. They make you experience nature at its best.
Homestays in Ladakh is also a very good option if you would like to experience Ladakhi culture. The amiable folks of the region open their hearts and homes for guests.
Petrol is the most important thing when it comes to bike tours and especially to Ladakh. There are very few petrol pumps in the region. Therefore, on spotting a petrol pump get your tank filled. In addition of full tanks, carry extra fuel in jerry can and other containers.
If you are on the Manali-Leh route, there are four petrol pumps. Get you tank full at Manali, later you have one at Tandi, 110 km from Manali. The next one is at Karu, 30 km from Leh. Lastly, Leh city has petrol pumps. Therefore it is almost a 350km stretch on the road that does not have a single pump, therefore you have to depend on the fuel you carry.
The bike tour from Srinagar to Leh has better options when it comes to petrol pumps on the route. Leave with a full tank from Srinagar. The next stop is Nagbal. Later, Ganderbal on the route has two petrol pumps. Get a refill at Kargil. Next, stop at Khalsi, after which you can smoothly arrive to Leh. While even on the route you must carry extra fuel for emergency purposes.
While you are on the road to Ladakh, there are several options of roadside dhabas, hotels that serve yummy food at reasonable price. To be on a safer side it is a good option to carry small amount of food and water along all times.
Ladhak is a ‘Land of High Passes’ that often gives the visitors acute mountain sickness, therefore, you need plenty of rest, fluids, exercise as well as proper nutrition to acclimatize to such heights. The higher you go up in the mountains the more there will be lack of oxygen, hence important to take care of your health.
Bike trips to Ladakh require careful packing. Remember to carry everything you need, the glitch is the only carrier is your bike, so go for smart and light packing. Below are some tips while worth considering.
- A Sturdy helmet which is equally comfortable.
- Valid photo identity proofs and most importantly, driving license.
- All-weather jackets that you can use in rain, snow, sunshine and the changing weather.
- Sweatshirts, jeans, shorts, shirts, tracks, inner-wear, socks, towels, handkerchiefs, and other clothing items that you may feel necessary.
- Trekking shoes or leather boots.
- Extra pair of socks and gloves.
- Riding goggles to keep the cold air from your eyes.
- First-aid kit for yourself and a toolkit for your bike.
- GPS and also a physical map.
- Charger, power banks, Bluetooth headset, batteries for backup, torch etc.
- A good-quality camera to capture the breathtaking landscapes.
- A Swiss Army Knife for its multi purposes.
- Camping tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils and small packets of Maggie and other ration stuff
- Disposable small packs of toiletries of a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo sachets, face wash, liquid soap, moisturizer, cold creams, etc.
- Loads of sunscreen with maximum SPF.
- Medicine for AMS, high temperatures, cold, lose motions, nosebleeds and other medications prescribed by doctors and medical practitioners.
- Keep over the counter medications for pain, antiseptic cream, and re-hydration salts (oral) – 6-8 sachets/Gatorade type electrolyte, iodine based water purification tablets, and Insect repellents.
Always remember to –
- Abide by the rules of driving and follow them wisely.
- Get basic training for servicing your Bike and wheel change, even though you can easily get bike mechanics anywhere on the route.
- Plan a group bike tour. If you are riding solo, join one of the groups that are already on the route.
- Keep your fitness in check a month or two prior to your trip.
- Camp at the sites allotted or ask permission of authorities before pitching in your tent.
- Not harm the environs or the sentiments of the people.
- Keep your folks at home updated with your whereabouts.
- Keep emergency contacts on your phone in the event of some hard circumstances.
– Happy and Safe Riding