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For every biker in India, Leh bike ride is a dream trip. The main town of Leh is located 3500m above sea level, tucked in the great ranges of Himalayas, Karakoram, Zanskar and Ladakh. Leh is the largest town in Ladakh which is a union territory and is one of the highly regarded tourist destinations in the world, edged on all sides by the Himalayas. Leh is a large city with a range of religious and aesthetic attractions. Nature has been generous to Pangong Lake which is a sight to behold in all its glory and Nubra Valley which looks like an exotic carpet of flowers. The city is guarded by Tibet from its eastern side and Himachal Pradesh from the southern end. The bike trip towards Leh can be started from four places namely Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali and Srinagar. The whole trip definitely provides adrenaline pumping due to windy mountain roads, deep gorges, blind curves and some breathtaking views of the surroundings. The journey is not easy, rather it requires a sound physical fitness.
Starting point: Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar and Manali
Grade: moderate to difficult
The total distance of this expedition varies as there are multiple starting points which are as follows:
Delhi to Leh-2200 km
Srinagar to Leh- 434 km
Manali to Leh- 473 km
Chandigarh to Leh- 714.5 km
There are four starting points for this particular activity which are Delhi, Srinagar, Manali and Chandigarh. All these four cities are easily accessible to each other and have a sound connectivity with other north Indian cities and also the other big cities of the country with all modes of transport. Participants of this activity are required to report any of these above mentioned cities before starting off with their journey.
There are some things which a biker need to consider before starting off with this long journey:
There are four different routes to Leh and the main problem lies in choosing the route which is most appropriate. One must select his route keeping in mind the total time duration, capabilities, comfort and experience.
Another thing to be taken into account is that planning the ride on perfect time. The best season for this expedition are summer and autumn that is from mid-May to mid-October. One must avoid planning this trip during the winter as the route becomes extremely dangerous due to heavy snowfall.
One must be extra careful about the bike which they are option for, as they need to travel through some tough and lengthy routes. It is mandatory to recheck the bike and get it serviced in order to have a smooth and hassle free journey throughout. Some good quality bikes for this trip are KTM RC 390, Bajaj Dominar 400, Bullet 500/350 CC, Hero Xpulse and many others.
After choosing the route, it is mandatory for the biker to get their route mapped. The journey is lengthy and tough and hence mapping the route would help them in case they lose the track in between the journey.
It is necessary for every participant to take some extra care for their fitness before coming for this trip. As the journey is strenuous and lengthy and one needs to pass through some challenging routes. Good physical stamina and sound mental health are the necessary requirements for this activity. People with low stamina should stay away from this trip since at high altitude oxygen level is less.
The best time to indulge in this bike trip towards Leh is from mid-May to October as the road gets clear and the snow begins to melt. The routes from Manali and Srinagar are accessible only in summer and autumn and are opened up from May.
Apart from quenching the thirst of the bikers the city is also gifted with some famous monuments, valleys, freezing mountain streams, gorgeous passes and many more. These places are the must visit one for those who come for bike trips and also other tourists who visit Leh Ladakh. Some of them are as follows:-
The name of Pangong Lake, one of the famous lakes in Leh Ladakh, comes from the Tibetan word "Pangong Tso" meaning "high grassland lake". It is located roughly at an altitude of 4,350m above sea level and the lake changes its colour at different times from blue, green to red. This is the world's highest salt water lake and a must do place for those who visit Leh Ladakh.
At a height of 11,841 feet above sea level the Shanti Stupa in Leh is a majestic white-domed Buddhist monument situated atop a steep hilltop. This monument is said to be built by the Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura in the year 1991. The place is a popular meditation site, which offers the ultimate peace and serenity. The dusk and dawn time are considered the best time to visit this place.
Tso Moriri Lake or the mountain Lake, is one of the most prominent lakes in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in the Ladakh region. Nestled at a height of 4595 meters above sea level, the lake is guarded by the high mountains. The lake remains frozen during the winter months and the snow melts after April. This is an offbeat destination and gets less number of tourists as compared to Pangong Tso.
The royal palace of Leh is counted among the most famed tourist attractions in this region. The place is situated in the capital town Leh and it is believed to be founded by the founder of Namgyal Dynasty, Tsewang Namgyal. The palace is also known as "Lhachen Palkhar' and served as the residence of Namgyal Dynasty. The palace is now looked after by the Archeological Survey of India.
Hemis Monastery sits on a mountain at an altitude of 12000 feet above sea level, and is considered as the largest one in the Ladakh region. The monastery was built in the 17th century by Chapgon Gyalshas and is situated 49 km south from Leh. The monastery is a fine specimen of Tibetan style of architecture and the main building of Hemis Monastery has white walls. The ideal time to visit this place is in the month of June and July that is during the two-day Hemis festival.
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.