Biking tour to Ladakh
Ladakh the land of many passes presents numerous opportunities for mountain bikers. It provides biking enthusiasts with opportunities to cycle to the highest ranges of the world. Cyclists explore small hamlets tucked away neatly in the Ladakh geography. The Buddhist Gompas attract cyclists from far and wide. There is no doubt about the varied levels of treks available for cyclists here. The best time for cyclist to venture into Ladakh is from mid-June to September.
Biking trips from Manali to Leh can be done through various routes. Below are four routes discussed with their distances and halts.
Route 1: Delhi - Manali - Keylong - Sarchu - Leh - Khardung-La
The first one begins from Delhi from where you reach Manali by road. The biking expedition begins in Manali and the entire journey is 270 miles of trekking which includes climbing 5 major passes out of which 2 are over 16600 feet en route Leh. You will cycle from 11,500 feet (3600 meters) in Leh all through the Khardungla Pass which is the highest motorable pass in the world. After this climb you will be 18,380 feet (5603m) high. In between you will halt at Keylog, Sarchu and Leh. Just before Leh there is are three passes to cross. The last one and the most challenging is Khardung La. Route 2: Leh –Khardungla – Pangong Tso – Tso Moriri – Spangmik – Man Village - Marek – Chusul – Tara – Loma – Muth – Nyoma – Mahe Bridge – Karzok
This is another route to take up where you halt at Leh and reach Khardungla pass at 18,380 feet. From here you can reach the Pangong Tso which is 420 km. You will cross several passes and before reaching Mahe Bridge. The entire distance covers over 800 km until you reach the final destination Karzok. The entire journey is more than 1000 km of biking in the rough terrains. The journey is stressful and requires you to be very well prepared.
Route 3: Manali-Marhi-Rohtang-Kanzum Pass-Spiti Valley-Kibber-Leh-Khardung La
The safari begins by covering a 39 km stretch from Manali to Marhi. Rohtang pass isn’t that far from Marhi, a mere 15 km from Marhi. From there you will cycle 50 km uphill to Kunzam Pass after a night halt and enter Spiti Valley. You might stay put for a while and explore the monasteries there before taking off to Kibber to watch Ki Monastery, Tabo and Dankar monastery.
As cyclists you will peddle through Rohtang Pass, Baralachala Pass at 4,892 m, Lachalangla Pass 5,065 m and Tanglang la at 5,360 m. Leh will be the last stop before you cycle up Khardung la at a towering height of 18370 feet.
Route 4: Manali to Leh or Leh to Manali Traverse
This trip has its ultimate goal to reach the highest motorable pass. It tests your limits, it challenges the adventurer within. The trip to Tsomoriri Lake on the way to Leh is worth including in the trip. At Leh, one of the halts, the historic monasteries make it to for a welcome change. Manali- Leh road (520km) otherwise known as Army Road was opened for foreigners in 1990, and was also on the way to the Pangong Lake in 1994. The road treks over passes which are snowed in for 7 months a year. In between you also pass the Khardung La which is considered to be the highest motor able pass in the World. En route the road touches the high- elevation lake of Tso- Kar which takes you across country, thinly inhabited by nomads with herbs of yaks and sheep.
The Manali-Leh route
Originally the Manali- Leh road was built for defense purposes. That’s why it is known as Army Road. Through this road Indian armed forces made their supplies to the remote areas of Ladakh. In 1990 the road opened and in 1994 Pangong Lake opened up for foreigners.
The road is 520 km long covering distances between Manali and Leh. It paves across passes which remains snow covered for 7 months out of 12. Also the road touches Tso- Kar renowned as a mineral lake rich with wildlife like the Tibetan wild ass, The Kiang as well as the famous monasteries of Ladakh, like Tikse and Hemis.
The passes are open generally between the months of July and October. There is drastic drop in temperature as you move higher up from Manali. The air becomes thin and dry making the adventure her challenging. During the months of July and September it is sunny and warm near the passes and Manali gets heavy rainfall.
Tips for Mountain Biking in Ladakh