16 Days | Biking 11 Days
Suitable for families with young children
Khardung La (5602 M)
Highest point/ Max altitude
Moderate and strenuous 6-8 hours activity per day with occasional longer days on peaks or high passes. Expect high altitudes, difficult terrain and changeable weather patterns. Previous experience desirable but not vital, good physical fitness and preparation recommended.
A challenging and extremely rewarding journey by bike, crossing five passes including the world’s highest, Khardung La (5,602 metres). This carefully planned itinerary combines spectacular scenery, a great variety of landscapes and rich cultural interest to give a fabulous experience of India’s beautiful Himalayan region.
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Our tour begins in Delhi, from where we drive north into the mountains. First stop is Mandi, an old trading centre at the entrance to the lush Kullu valley – the start of the Himalayan foothills. We’ll spend two nights further up the valley in the laid-back town of Manali, taking a gentle bike ride to acclimatize and exploring the local sights.
For the next ten days we will be cycling each day, with some long and challenging rides as we ascend into the high Himalaya. Accommodation will be a mix of campsites and hotels. The first pass to cross is the Rohtang La (‘La’ means Pass in Tibetan) (3979m), which leads us into the semi-arid Lahaul valley. From Lahaul we head over the Baralacha La (4892m), the point at which the route crosses the main Himalayan range and arrives in Zanskar.
The scenery becomes more barren as we cross the Naki La (4739m) and Lachulung La (5065m) and arrive on the Changthang plateau. We camp at the high altitude Tsokar (‘Tso’ means Lake in Tibetan) close to Tibetan Changpa nomads, amid staggering scenery. Next we will cross our final pass Taglang La (5328m) to reach the enchanting Ladakhi capital of Leh.
From Leh we will take a day ride to the Khardung La (5602m), the highest motorable pass in the world. Over the course of our tour, the scenery changes from verdant deodar forests and flower-filled valleys to barren lunar landscapes with towering icy peaks.
Alongside this natural splendour, the rich Buddhist culture of Ladakh provides rich cultural interest. We will explore the long history, religion and traditions of this remote land and its people by visiting villages, small towns and their tranquil temples and monasteries perched high on cliff-tops. A full day relaxing in Leh brings the tour to an end.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
DAY 01 - Delhi
Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in
Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi our KVT’s representative will meet and would assist you there, later board the vehicle and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free for you to relax at hotel or can explore the surroundings by own.
DAY 02 - Mandi
Drive to the historic town of Mandi
This morning after breakfast board the vehicle for a long drive journey to Mandi (Distance: 475km | 10-11hrs drive). Mandi is situated on the banks of the Beas River and also known as the “Kashi of the hills” is also a major town situated on the banks of Beas River in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Mandi is full of Hindu temples, so here we have a chance to visit some of them. The road journey to Mandi is full of fun after covering the plains the road enters the mountains and view becomes amazing. Late evening we reach Mandi and check-in to the hotel.
DAY 03 - Manali
Drive to Manali
Today we continue our journey towards east for a while until we join the mighty Beas River and the beautiful Kullu Valley. At Kullu we head north and follow the river all the way to Manali. As we ascend the valley we will be surrounded by lush fir and pine forests and the scenery becomes more beautiful. Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated at a height of 2050m in the Himalayas. In the afternoon we try out our bikes with the help of mechanic and make any necessary adjustments if requires. Manali is also on the road to Ladakh via the valley of Lahaul and Rohtang La (3979m) which is the main attraction near Manali. Rest of the day is free time for us to explore the beautiful town. (2050m | Distance: 120km appx)
DAY 04 - Manali
Manali, sightseeing by cycles (Cycle 55Kms/2050M)
This morning after breakfast we get our bicycle and will proceed for a gentle cycle ride to explore the surrounding area in Manali. We ride to Hadimba Temple; it is an ancient cave temple which is surrounded by a beautiful cedar forest. It is a famous temple in Manali and visited by many tourists every year. Then we ride downwards to Naggar which used to be the capital of Kullu; we reach there and visit Naggar Castle which runs as a heritage hotel, it was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu. Here we also visit Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery who was the reputed Russian artist and the gallery houses his rare paintings and later we ride back to Manali and then towards the hot water springs at Vashisht. After that we head back to the hotel. (2050m | Cycle approx. 55km)
DAY 05 - Marhi
Cycle alongside the Beas River to Marhi (Cycle 38Kms/3360M)
Today we will get ready for the exciting cycle ride towards Marhi. Marhi is located on the Manali to Leh highway before reaching Rohtang La (3979m); it is a stopover point where few small restaurants are open during summer season. Our ride ascends as we cycle through cedar and pine forests, climbing some hairpin bends and passing by a beautiful waterfall. One can never get tired of riding because the surrounding view will keep on encouraging the rider; later we reach Marhi and stay overnight in the tents. (3360m | Cycle approx. 38km)
DAY 06 - Tandi
Cycling to the mighty Rohtang La (3979m) to Tandi (Cycle 75Kms/2970M)
Morning cycle towards the mighty Rohtang La (3979m) the road ahead is very challenging and at some point you may not be able to ride the cycle. We start a steep uphill ride through zigzag road leading us to the pass; the road is muddy at some sections. We reach and cross Rohtang La; it is a high mountain pass which remain closed for more than six months due to heavy snowfall. From the pass the ride will be downhill zigzag road which leads us to Kokhsar on the way and we stop there for a break. We are now in Lahaul valley and the landscape is totally different here. We continue cycling towards our next stopover point Tandi; the ride from Kokhsar to Tandi is very pleasant as the road goes along with Chandra River. We reach Tandi where Chandra River meets Bhaga River and makes Chandra-Bhaga River; when it enters Jammu and Kashmir it is known as Chenab River. Here we ride towards our campsite where we camp for the night. (2970m | Cycle approx. 75km)
DAY 07 - Jispa
A beautiful ride towards Jispa (Cycle 30Kms/3360M)
Morning after breakfast, cycle towards Jispa, the ride is surrounded with amazing view of the valley. We ride through Keylong which is a small town located on the banks of Bhaga River; the mountains rise high above us as we ride further; on the way we will be crossing few nallahs (streams). The road now is quite good for cycling; later we reach Jispa and check-in to the hotel, rest of the day is free for us to enjoy the surroundings or can relax at the hotel. (3360m | Cycle approx. 30km)
DAY 08 - Patseo
Cycle to Patseo (Cycle 25Kms/3810M)
Today ride towards our next stopover Patseo, we start cycling and reach Darcha which is located on the banks of Bhaga River and here we can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. From here we cross the river and ride a steep zigzag road which will be leading us closer to Deepak Tal. We cycle further to reach our next campsite Patseo where we camp for the night. (3810m | Cycle approx. 25km)
DAY 09 - Sarchu
Cycle to the Baralacha La (4892m) to Sarchu (Cycle 58Kms/4290M)
Today we have breakfast in the early morning and start cycling upwards to Baralacha La (4892m); the ride is challenging today as we ride steep uphill road that lead us to the high mountain pass on the Manali-Leh highway. On the way to Baralacha La there is a beautiful lake situated Suraj Tal which means Lake of the Sun which is also the source of Bhaga River which meets Chandra River at Tandi and both the rivers forms Chandrabhaga River. After crossing Suraj Tal we continue ascending and from here the pass is not far; so the effort is worth it as the views become breathtaking. Finally we reach the top of Baralacha La which connects Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul. In ancient times it used to be a part of a trade route. After crossing the pass the ride is all downhill to Bharatpur where we halt for refreshment and then we begin cycling towards Sarchu, reach our campsite at Sarchu and rest for the night. (4290m | Cycle approx. 58km)
DAY 10 - Pang
Cross Naki La (4739m), Lachulung La (5065m) then to Pang (Cycle 85Kms/4600M)
This is a very challenging and hardest day for cycling because we will be crossing two highest mountain passes and before that we will be riding upwards through Gata Loops (21 hairpin bends). As we start cycling for few kilometers we pass through Brandy Nallah and Whisky Nallah; afterwards we will be cycling through Gata Loops which is a steep uphill ride. Later we will be cycling towards Naki La (4739m) then we ascend towards another pass that is Lachulung La (5065m) then descending down on the rough road and reach our next campsite Pang where we stay in the tents for the night. (4600m | Cycle approx. 85km)
DAY 11 - Tsokar Lake
Cycle via More plains to Tsokar Lake (Cycle 70Kms/4530M)
Today we start cycling upwards to reach More plains then we continue the ride through More plains and after completing the 30-35 km stretch we head towards Tsokar Lake. Tsokar Lake is also known as ‘White Lake’ because of the salt deposits all over its shores and it is situated in Rupshu Valley. Later we reach at Tsokar Lake where we camp for the night; one can explore around the lake and also get an opportunity to watch different species of birds and the most spotted mammal here is Kiang (Tibetan wild ass). (4530m | Cycle approx. 70km)
DAY 12 - Rani Bagh
Cycle to Lato en-route cross Taglang La (5328m) (Cycle 72Kms/4040M)
This morning we start cycling towards the next high mountain pass Taglang La (5328m); the ride is challenging as the condition of the road is not good (gravel road). After ascending for some stretch we reach the Taglang La and would be blessed with a spectacular view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. Here the wind is too strong so we stop for a while for some pictures and continue cycling through a zigzag downhill road and crossing Rumtse and Gya villages on the way and heading towards our next campsite Lato where we camp for the night. (4040m | Cycling approx. 72km)
DAY 13 - Leh
Cycle towards Leh (Cycle 77Kms/3500M)
Morning after breakfast we start our cycling to Leh, today the ride is amazing and after crossing Upshi we enter to the Indus valley from here we join Indus River and ride alongside the river. On the way we visit Thiksey Monastery which is located on top of the hill which holds the resemblance of Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet). After that we cycle towards Shey Palace; the monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Later we continue to Leh; we reach Leh and will be transferred to the hotel for check-in and rest of the time is free to relax at the hotel. (3500m | Cycle approx. 77km)
DAY 14 - Leh
Cycle to Khardung La (5602m), return to Leh (Cycle 80Kms/3500M)
Cycle towards the world’s highest motor-able pass Khardung La (World’s highest motor able pass) (5602m) the ride today is challenging all the way uphill to the pass and the road is smooth till South Pullu then it will be a rough bumpy road till the pass. Reach Khardung La (5602m) from where we would be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the valley, snowcapped peaks of Zanskar range from the top of the pass. We spend some time then ride back the entire way downhill to Leh. (3500m | Cycle approx. 80km)
DAY 15 - Leh
Local exploration and leisure time in Leh
Today we will explore the surrounding area and can stroll around the market or we can relax at the hotel. (3500m)
DAY 16 - Leh
Leh to Delhi by flight and in the evening departure Delhi
Early morning transfer to the airport to board the flight to Delhi, upon arrival at Delhi transfer to the hotel for check-in. In the evening you will be transferred to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to board the flight for back home.
Tour Map (Only key areas marked)
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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.