Every biker, irrespective of gender, dreams of going on a Leh Ladakh bike trip once in their lifetime. While they dream of a flawless journey, the reality does come into contact with a lot of shortcomings. Having understood that bikers are bound to stumble upon a few barriers on a rugged landscape like that of Leh and Ladakh, we’ve put in our best efforts to collate every information in this blog that will help them encounter any such difficulties on the way.
Table Of Content
- About Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
- Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh On A Bike Trip
- Ideal Duration For A Bike Trip
- Leh Ladakh Trip Cost
- Best Bikes For Leh Ladakh Road Trip
- Leh Ladakh Bike Rentals
- Best Leh Ladakh Bike Tour Route
- Basic Expenditure On Leh Ladakh Bike Tour
- Places To Visit On Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
- Things To Do On Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
- Must Experiences
- What To Pack
- Why Do A Leh Ladakh Bike Ride
- Eligibility For Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
- Tips For Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Preparation
About Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
The old saying “there’s beauty everywhere, all you have to do is just look around” is true to the core when it comes to the mesmerizing Leh Ladakh travel. Offering scenic vistas of one of the trip to Leh Ladakh India is all about the feel of snow-clad mountains, rugged landscape, soaring peaks, dangerous routes, and roaring bike engines. In short, going on a Ladakh bike tour is all about the good vibes and the undying spirit of a rider.
Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh On A Bike Trip
The best time to visit ladakh by bike is from the months of June to September. These months enable the bikers to enjoy the tourist circuits of Ladakh, as much as they enjoy their Lahaul & Spiti trip. However, most of the riders love to kick-start their new year with this crazy bike trip as Ladakh offers magical vistas which can be cherished round the year except for monsoon season.
Ideal Duration For A Bike Trip
Depending on a lot of factors like the route you’ve taken, your entire schedule, and mainly the weather conditions, an ideal duration for a Leh Ladakh bike tour would span over a period of 15 days or more. Also, this duration is apt when one opts for Manali to Leh bike trip from Delhi.
Ladakh Bike Trip Cost
First things first, you should figure out your budget. A lot depends on the vehicle you are selecting for your journey and the Leh Ladakh road trip cost would also vary on the accommodation and kind of food you choose to eat. Still, an average budget can be arrived upon considering basic factors such as accommodation, meals, and fuel. Hence, under normal circumstances, you will end up spending approximately ₹35,000 for a trip to Leh Ladakh on bike for 15-days. Your cost will also vary according to your Leh Ladakh bike trip route. This also includes the cost of permits and miscellaneous expenses for the Leh Ladakh bike trip.
Best Bikes For Leh Ladakh Road Trip
Talking about the first things first, every biker must give his or her total attention to their first love, which is their bike. One must be very careful and picky when it comes to choosing their Leh Ladakh road trip bike. So whenever you’re choosing a bike for any road trip, make sure you go for suitability more than popularity. Consider it one of the most vital aspects of your Leh Ladakh bike trip plan!
Opting for the kind of bikes that one can easily handle and are easy to maintain, has always proven to be safe, and helpful for the riders for journeys like Leh Ladakh bike trip. Hence, the five best bikes for Leh Ladakh bike trip are:
- Royal Enfield – Considered to be the best bike for Leh Ladakh trip, it is a powerful bike with an engine of either 350 CC or 500 CC that is enough to be a lifesaver on a Leh Ladakh bullet trip.
- Royal Enfield Himalayan – With a strong engine of 400 CC, Royal Enfield Himalayan will make your ride smooth and hassle-free on any rugged trail and offbeat roads.
- Bajaj Pulsar – By far, no bike has been a hit in the Indian market when compared to Bajaj Pulsar. Being the most favored bike after the Bullets, Pulsar offers variants of 150CC, 200CC, and 220CC, either of which can be your trustworthy partner on any of the adventures.
- KTM Duke – Being a featherweight bike can be advantageous on roads like that of Ladakh. With the series of new engine variants of Duke 390, and Duke 250, KTM can be a good choice for a bike trip to Ladakh too.
- CBR 250 – This bike from Honda is indeed a stunner except for its Contigo tyres which can be a little tough to handle on Ladakh’s terrain in case of a change in weather. On the bright side, if the tyres can be replaced, one can put the bike’s torque and fi technology to great use, and a greater purpose.
Other top bikes for Leh Ladakh trip that the association of bike rentals has taken into consideration are Yamaha Fazer, Bajaj Vikrant, Yamaha FZ, and Hero Impulse. Though these bikes are not so heavy on the engine, they can surely pick up some speed (without breaking any rules) on the go.
Leh Ladakh Bike Rentals
No bike. No worries. The bike rentals at Delhi and Manali are ever willing to offer you a ride on rent provided you submit all the required documents. In Delhi, Karol Bagh is the hub from where you can rent a bike for ₹900 per day. All you have to submit is a valid photo id proof, your driving license, ₹10,000 as the security deposit, and a consent letter from your parents in case you’re still under 25, and you are all set for Leh Ladakh bike trip from Delhi.
In Manali, the per-day rent charges range from ₹1000 to ₹1800 whereas the security deposit is between ₹12,000 to ₹18,000 along with the original copy of valid ID proofs.
Other than this, you can also hire a mechanic to take on the basis of daily wage for the entire duration of Leh Ladakh bike trip. Also, don’t forget by mistake also to run the bike through a test ride and test its abilities beyond limits to be on a safer side during the bike trip.
Best Leh Ladakh Bike Tour Route
Considering Delhi as a base for Leh Ladakh bike trip route, Srinagar to Leh and Manali to Leh are the two main routes that offer the best road conditions and picturesque views. Srinagar to Leh route doesn’t overlap and forms a complete circle from end to end. Leh Ladakh bike trip route from Manali encircles the rugged mountainous landscapes, offers better views, increases the level of difficulty, and the level of danger.
Route 1: Srinagar To Leh And Back
Route Map: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali → Delhi
Distance Covered: Approximately 2,295 kilometres
Route 2: Manali To Leh And Back
Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi
Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometres
Route 3: Delhi To Leh And Back
Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi
Distance Covered: Approximately 2,022 kilometres
Basic Expenditure On Leh Ladakh Bike Tour
Here is a list of expenditures that will guide you through a basic idea of the budget that you may expect from your Leh Ladakh bike trip:
Keeping petrol as the priority for a bike trip, an average, you’ll be covering a distance of 3500 kilometers. Of all the bikes that have been considered, the average mileage is that of 35 kilometers per liter. This means that you’ll be needing somewhere around 100 liters of petrol for which, you will roughly need an amount of ₹7000 to ₹8,000.
There are a lot of budget hotels in Leh Ladakh wherein one can find easy accommodation options within the range of ₹500 to ₹2,500 per person, on a double sharing basis, and including taxes (as per booking.com).
Hence, the rate for an average accommodation with the best amenities, comfort, and ratings, can cost you ₹500 to ₹2,500 per night per person depending on whether you want a budget hotel or luxury. Considering the lower limit, a 15-day trip will cost you a rough figure of ₹7,500 for accommodation. Let’s round it off to ₹8,000 per person.
Similarly, the cost of food depends on the choice of the rider whether he or she prefers to eat at a dhaba or a restaurant. Eating at a dhaba may cost you ₹100 to ₹150 whereas dining at a normal and a bit upbeat restaurant may cost you about ₹400 to ₹500 per person on your tour to Leh Ladakh. Considering the lower limit, you’ll be spending close to ₹2,250 to ₹6,000 on meals. On average, you can keep ₹3,500 aside for meals.
It is a must to keep some amount of money aside for emergency purposes, shopping for souvenirs, or for permits. Thus, an amount of ₹2,500 to ₹5,000 is a must for every biker to spread it across the luggage or pockets and save it as a backup.
Average Budget = Petrol + Accommodation + Meals + Miscellaneous = 7000 + 8000 + 3500 + 2500 = ₹21,000/-
Thus, considering all the lower limits, an average budget for a 15-day Leh Ladakh bike trip would be ₹21,000 per person.
Please Note: We’re assuming you have a bike of your own as the budget doesn’t include the cost of bike rental. Hence, in case you plan on renting a bike, the budget would exceed by a minimum of ₹13,500 to ₹15,000 per bike for a minimum of 15 days.
3 Places To Visit On Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Wondering what all attractions to cover on your Leh Ladakh bike trip 2022? Plan your itinerary around these best places to visit in Ladakh.
1. Pangong Tso
Popularly known as the Pangong Tso Lake, this natural marvel set in the lap of Ladakh is a must-visit tourist attraction on your Leh Ladakh bike trip. Located in the heart of Himalayas, the lake stretches at a distance of about 134 kilometres offering scintillating views in sync with the rustic mountains. The lake is so gigantic that sixty percent of the lake’s length lies in China making it one of the largest lakes in Asia.
Famous for: Stunning location, beautiful scenery
Location: Stunning location
Things to do: Camping, stargazing, ice hockey/skating, capture amazing pictures
2. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Much famed to be one of the famous monasteries in Ladakh, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa or Namgyal Tsemo Monastery is located right in the heart of Leh district. It is believed that Ladakh’s King Tashi Namgyal founded the monastery in 1430, that serves as a home to the famous golden statue of Maitreya Buddha. You can even have a glance at it from the top of Leh Royal Palace. If you are staying in the town of Leh, this is one of the best places to visit nearby.
Famous for: Architectural marvel, ancient paintings & manuscripts, soothing ambiance, serene vistas
Location: Namgyal Tsemo, Leh district, Ladakh
Things to do: Indulge in meditation, attend prayers, explore intriguing history of the place
3. Zanskar Valley
Hues of soothing blue and beautiful brown can only be witnessed at the famous Zanskar Valley which is surrounded by the massive snow-clad peaks on all sides. One visit to the bustling Valley is sure to leave you charmed forever. In winters, the river gets frozen giving adventurers a chance to do the famous Chadar Trek where people walk over the frozen ice for days.
Famous for: Picturesque location, snow-capped mountains, serene rivers
Location: Zanskar, Kargil district, Ladakh
Things to do: Attend monastery festivals, trekking, river rafting, adventurous activities
3 Things To Do On Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
If you want to get high on adrenaline, these are some of the exhilarating things you should consider doing on your Leh Ladakh bike trip.
1. Experience The Magic Of Nubra Valley
Serenity is what strikes one’s mind on reaching the renowned Nubra Valley. The valley is popularly known as “the valley of flowers” referring to the beautiful and colorful blooming flowers that are worth a visit to the Nubra Valley. It is one of the best-found treasures of Ladakh that you must definitely visit on your bike trip to Ladakh.
Famous for: Mesmerizing beauty, orchards, monasteries, scenic vistas
Things to do: Camel safari, river rafting, cycling, photography
2. Find Solace At The Shanti Stupa
Perched atop a hill, the famous Shanti Stupa is set at an elevation of whooping 4267 meters. Offering panoramic views of Leh, it is a must for the bikers to witness either sunrise or a stunning sunset from the Shanti Stupa. It is one of the best places to find peace and tranquillity. The stupa is blessed to be located amidst wondrous surroundings of nature. You may also find relics of old Buddhism culture inside the shrine.
Famous for: Tranquil ambiance, cultural richness, fascinating history
Things to do: Enjoy photography, watch alluring views
3. Test Your Riding Abilities At The Khardung La
Any biker who is planning a trip to Leh already has the ride to Khardung La on his list. Set at a heart-wrenching height of 18,379 ft. and located at a distance of about 40 kilometres from Leh, Khardung La Pass is one of the most dangerous motor-able roads in India. Challenging the bikers and the drivers in the face, your Leh Ladakh bike trip is incomplete without experiencing a ride through the “Pass of Lower Castle”. This is certainly one of the best places to visit on a bike trip to Ladakh.
Famous for: Height, enthralling experiences, natural beauty
Things to do: Camping, biking, adventurous activities
3 Must Experiences
Don’t say you have visited Leh Ladakh unless you have had all these experiences on your bike trip. Every person visiting the region must strike these off their lists.
1. Royal Leh Palace
Considered to be a gem in the heart of Ladakh, the 17th-century royal Leh Palace was built by the famous King Sengge Namgyal. Standing tall at a height of about 9 stories, you can soak in the natural beauty of Leh’s whole town, Stok Kangri, Zanskar ranges, and Indus Valley from the roof of this elegant yet rugged palace.
Famous for: Impressive architecture, huge walls, beautiful views
Things to do: Learn about history, photography
2. Magnetic Hill
Feel the pull of nature and adventure at Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, a sorcery of nature. Magic and Magnetic Hill go hand in hand. Encircled by the Sindhu river on all sides, Magnetic Hills rise to a height of about 14,000 ft. and possess a unique kind of magnetic force that pulls the bikes and cars uphill. Sounds magical, isn’t it? Try it for yourself!
Famous for: Gravity-defying occurrence, optical illusions
Things to do: Experience the phenomenon that defies gravity
3. Drass Valley
Famous for its natural hot springs that are blessed with medicinal benefits, Drass Valley is located in the heart of Kargil district, Jammu & Kashmir. Renowned to be the coldest hill station in India, Drass Valley strikes a perfect balance between the lush greens, soothing blues, and bold browns. The stark contrast of nature in the valley of Drass will make your jaw drop to the floor. Pay your homage to Indian soldiers at Kargil.
Famous for: High altitude trekking routes, tourist hotspots
Things to do: Trekking, hiking, camping, adventurous activities, sightseeing
What To Pack
Going on a bike trip is like hard-core backpacking through the roughest of mountains. It is an adventure trip to Ladakh which needs packing to be light yet all the basic requirements need to be carried along. Keep in mind the below mentioned Leh Ladakh bike trip preparation while packing your stuff.
- An intelligent head on strong shoulders is a matter of life and death for everyone. Hence, carry a sturdy helmet and put it to use all the time while you’re riding.
- Valid photo identity proofs and not to forget your driving license.
- One or two leather jackets are a must to glide through the wind and beat the breeze.
- Carry sweatshirts, tees, jeans, shorts, shirts, tracks, inner-wear, socks, towels, handkerchiefs, and other clothing items that you may feel necessary.
- Carrying an extra pair of sturdy trekking shoes or leather boots will keep you away from cold feet.
- Match your shoes with an extra pair of gloves.
- Riding goggles to protect your eyes.
- It is a must to carry a first-aid kit for yourself and a tool-kit for your bike.
- You’ll be equipped with GPS for sure but then carry a physical map for better navigation and clear routes.
- Charger, power banks, bluetooth headset, batteries for backup, etc. are a few other necessities to carry.
- Keep a torch with you, even if you think you don’t need it. You never know when a need may arise.
- A good-quality camera would be a necessity too to capture the breathtaking landscapes.
- Carry a Swiss Army Knife for self-defence since traveling on a bike increases the level of danger automatically.
- Camping tents, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment can be easily rented whereas one can carry them as per their level of comfort.
- Carry basic toiletries of toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo sachets (to save a little space and easy disposability), face wash, liquid soap, moisturizer, cold creams, etc.
- Last but not the least, carry loads of sunscreen with maximum SPF to protect your skin from direct sunlight.
Why Do A Leh Ladakh Bike Ride
Other than being an enthralling experience, a Leh Ladakh road trip is definitely going to be the most memorable experience. You will get to see Ladakh as it really is in its original flavor. Despite being on a bike trip, you can also choose to go for one of the most exquisite experiences i.e. camping in Leh. You can also choose to stay at luxurious Ladakh resorts, hotels, homestays and cottages. Coupled with the fact that you may also go for safaris, and adventure tours to explore this heavenly land.
Eligibility For Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Planning a Leh Ladakh bike trip plan and not sure about where and how to start? Here are the basic eligibility criteria for your trip. Be advised that it is extremely important to go through each and every criterion:
- You should be above 25 years of age with a valid driving license.
- We recommend that if you want to go on a Leh Ladakh road trip, then you should already have some nice riding experiences, especially long bike tours.
- There should be at least a group of 6 people for your entire Leh Ladakh bike trip plan
- You must carry a valid driving license, government-issued photo ID proof, address proof, and photocopies of these documents.
- International tourists must carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by their home country along with their passport.
- Indian nationals do require an Inner Line Permit or ILP in case you want to visit the protected areas in Ladakh.
- Other special permits are required by foreign nationals in order to visit Pangong lake, Tso Moriri, etc.
Tips For Leh Ladakh Bike Trip Preparation
It is believed that rules are meant to be broken and some of you may get the feeling of “your life, your rules” but then it is not at all advised to go on a bike trip with a wrong attitude.
- Breaking the rules on one of the most dangerous and highest motorable roads can be dangerous as death itself. Hence, for your own sake and safety, abide by the rules and follow them wisely.
- If you’re taking the route of Manali to Leh, it is recommended to carry extra jars of petrol apart from the full-tanks as there are only two petrol pumps on this route. On the contrary, the route from Srinagar to Leh has plenty of petrol pumps.
- It is advisable that you learn how to change a bike tyre in case your bike suffers any punctures. For the rest of the times, one can find many mechanics along the way on both the routes.
- Carry necessary medicines with you in case you, your partner, or your friends with whom you’re traveling suffer from altitude sickness.
- It is important to note that Leh only has connectivity from the leading operators of Airtel, BSNL, & Aircel. Riders who don’t have these connections do not have any other choice other than standing in the long queues of overcrowded STD booths or getting a connection from one of the above-mentioned operators.
- Though there are several ATMs at Leh, carry enough cash with you as the ATM you’ll find on Manali to Leh route is at Keylong.
- Applying for an Inner Line Permit will only cost you ₹200 and will give you access to remote places like that Tso Moriri, Chushul, Merak, Loma, Mahe, Hanle, and more. One can apply and get this permit from the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Leh from 9 am to 3 pm.
And that’s a wrap from us. Also, other than the bike tours, one can also explore this natural marvel by customizing amazing trip to Ladakh with TravelTriangle. As you embark on your journey, we hope you enjoy a safe and sound Leh Ladakh bike trip. Once you are there, do not use your smartphone. Instead, come back and do share a few words from the memorable journey you just took.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Leh Ladakh Bike Trip
Is it safe to travel to Leh Ladakh during coronavirus spread?
Tourists are smart enough to think analyse the situation and then plan their travel. Travellers must maintain the safety precautions to stay healthy, stay hydrated and positive while travelling in COVID.
What are the vital documents required during the bike trip to Leh Ladakh?
You must carry a valid driving license, government-issued photo ID proof, address proof, and photocopies of these documents.
What is the age limit for the people who want to travel by bike to Leh Ladakh?
The minimum age of the tourist must be 25 years of age to opt for travelling by bike to Leh Ladakh.
What are some of the essential tips for travelling to Leh Ladakh by bike?
You must carry extra jars of petrol for an emergency, carry essential medication and carry enough cash as it may happen that you don’t find an ATM to withdraw cash. Apart from this, it is recommended to have enough food supplies in case of any emergency.
How far is Ladakh from Leh?
Ladakh is a region in Jammu and Kashmir that has been divided into two districts; Leh and Kargil. Leh is the capital of Ladakh, a land of high mountain passes.
Which is the coldest month of Leh?
The coldest month in Leh is January when the temperature plummets down to lower than -15 degrees Celsius. If you are visiting the destination during this time, make sure to carry enough woollen clothes.
What is famous in Leh Ladakh?
In terms of attractions, Nubra Valley, Magnetic Hill, Zanskar River, Pangong Lake and monasteries are famous in Leh Ladakh. Apart from this, Pashmina Shawl and traditional Tibetan items make for perfect souvenirs.
What should I buy in Leh?
Pashmina shawls, Mandala art &drawings, Tibetan handicrafts and handloom, silver jewellery, etc. are some of the things you should consider buying on your Leh trip.
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