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Manali to Leh

Manail to leh riding

Manali To Leh

Manali to Leh is a high mountain road situated in India. The average elevation of Leh to Manali is more than 4,000 m (13,000 feet) and its highest elevation is 5,328 m (17,480 ft) at Tanglang La mountain pass.

It is flanked by mountain ranges on both sides featuring some stunning sand and rock natural formations. Uncertain weather, high altitude, extreme cold and no civilization for miles make this a very treacherous track. Manali Leh Highway, the very name ignites a feeling of adventure in everyone’s heart. For the motorcyclist, it is a dream, for photography enthusiasts, it is heaven for travel junkies, it is a habit.

The ever-changing landscape consisting of deep verdant valleys, snow-capped mountain peaks, rugged barren desolated wasteland, high mountain passes, tiny hamlets, nomad shepherds travel on this road and you will see it all.

Memories will last a lifetime and you will tell tales of your trip for months to come. The highway crosses many small streams of ice-cold water from snow-capped mountains and glacial melts without a bridge and it requires driving skill to negotiate fast-flowing streams.

Manali To Leh Route:-

Delhi – Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu (state border) – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – More Plains – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi – Karu – Leh

Mode of Transportation

Delhi To Bhuntar at 246m,  2050m to elevation 483km. 

Bhuntar To Manali at 2050-1950m elevation 58km. Manali (altitude 1,950 m (6,400 ft)) to Marhi at 3,300 m (10,800 ft) elevation 33 km . It is a steady climb and Good roads.

Marhi to Rohtang Pass at 3,980 m (13,060 ft) elevation 18 km. It is a steady climb.

Rohtang to Gramphu at 3,200 m (10,500 ft)  elevation 19 km. It is a steady descent. Turn left at Gramphu on the highway along Chandra river to proceed towards Leh. The right turn at Gramphu leads to Spiti valley and BatalKunzum La and Kaza on a road along Chandra river that is paved for some distance and then unpaved and decent roads.

Gramphu to Kokhsar, the first village of Rohtang Pass 6 km. Foreign nationals have to show their passports with a valid visa at the police check post here. (Anyone can visit Leh freely. However, special permission is needed to visit some restricted areas beyond Leh. This permit can be obtained at Leh). It is a pure off-road.

Kokhsar to Sissu at 3,130 m (10,270 ft) elevation 25 km. There is a helipad at Sissu. The highway runs along the left bank of Chandra River. It is a Brilliant road.

Sissu to Tandi at 2,570 m (8,430 ft) altitude 8 km. Tandi is situated at the bottom of the river valley at the confluence of the Chandra river and the Bhaga river which merge to form the Chandra-Bhaga river. Cross the Bhaga river over the bridge towards the right, take the right turn at the fork and the road again starts climbing. Good road except for a 1 km stretch of off-road. 

Tandi to Keylong at 3,080 m (10,100 ft) elevation 9 km. It is a good road.

Keylong to Jispa at 3,310 m (10,860 ft) elevation 22 km. It is a good road. 

Jispa to Darcha at 3,360 m (11,020 ft) elevation 6 km. All tourists have to register at the police check post here. It is a mixed road (off-road and decent road).

Darcha to Zingzingbar 4,270 m (14,010 ft) elevation 26 km (16 mi). The steep ascent to Baralacha La starts at Zingzingbar. It is a mixed road (off-road and decent road). 

Zingzingbar to Baralacha La passes at 5,030 m (16,500 ft) elevation 18 km. It is a steady climb. (Both the Bhaga river and the Chandra river originate from melting snow at opposite sides of Baralacha La, the former flowing southwest and the latter flowing the first southeast and then northwest to merge at Tandi. It is an offroad.

Baralacha La to Bharatpur 2 km. It is a steady descent. It is an offroad.

Bharatpur to Sarchu at 4,300 m (14,100 ft) elevation 38 km. Sarchu is a military base and has a police check post. Register at the police check post here. Himachal Pradesh state border ends here. Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir state border starts here. It is off-road.

Sarchu to Pang 4,600 m (15,100 ft) elevation 80 km (50 mi) climbing 500 m through the Gata loops (22 hairpin bends) at 4,190 m (13,750 ft) elevation and traversing through Nakee La pass at 4,739 m (15,547 ft) and Lachulung La pass at 5,065 m (16,616 ft) elevations. Register at the check post at Pang. It is an offroad.

Pang to Tanglang La pass at 5,328 meters (17,480 ft) elevation, 69 km through a 4,700 m (15,400 ft) plateau called More plains or Morey plains

Tanglang La pass to Upshi 60 km (37 mi). Upshi has a Customs and Excise taxation check post before crossing the river. Stop here for checking of vehicles. Then cross Indus river to reach Upshi village on the right bank of the river. An ancient trading road (right turn while coming from Manali and going to Leh) heads to the east from Upshitowards Tibet. There is a helipad on this road. It is a brilliant road.

Upshi to Karu 16 km After crossing the Indus river, the highway is on the right bank of the river from Upshi to Leh. Turn left at Upshi for Karu. Do not take the right turn that leads to the east towards Tibet. It is a good road.

Karu to Leh at 3,500 meters (11,483 ft) elevation, 35 km. Continue on the highway towards Leh. Do not take the right turn just before Karu that leads to Shyok. It is a good road.

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