India : Himalayas Cycling Holiday .
Manali to Leh: India Cycling Holiday
17 Days from
Avg. Daily Distance:
Off Road Cycling:
65km (40 miles)
Indian Himalaya Tour Itinerary
Fly to Delhi You will be met at Delhi airport and transferred to our hotel.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel
This morning we make an early start by train from Delhi to Chandigarh. From here we travel on by coach to Mandi, today’s destination.
We travel on today to Manali. When you have checked in to the hotel there will time to relax and acclimatise.
Accommodation: Hotel (View Hotel)
Another rest day. In the afternoon our local guide will lead a walking tour around Manali and surrounding villages. Manali nestles at the head of a lush green valley, on the banks of the Beas river and at the base of the Himalayas. Towering two miles above us to the North of the town we can see 6600 metre snowy peaks which we will shortly be cycling beneath!
Manali to Marhi
This is our first ascent as we begin to "warm up" for the tough ride ahead. Cycling out of Manali through an evergreen area of pine and deodar trees we tackle the first set of many hairpin bends and switchbacks on the way to the Rohtang pass.
Cycling distance: 25 miles (42km)
Altitude: 3320m (10,890ft)
Marhi to Keylong
We start the day by finishing the 12km ascent to the Rohtang pass, where if the whether is fine there are some lovely scenic views on the horizon of snow covered peaks and Glaziers. Once we have refreshed ourselves in Rohtang, we leave the lush vegetation behind and continue with a descent to Gramphu. From here we will encounter some unmetalled stretches of flat road as we cross the raging torrent of the river at Khoksar and continue a short and easy ride to Sissu in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range. From here a short ride to Keylong crossing mountain streams flowing over the road.
Cycling distance: 46 miles (78km)
Altitude: 3350m (11,000ft)
Keylong to Patseo
A relatively easy day cycling up to Patseo. The terrain is much more arid and the road is rutty, dusty and rocky. Passing the hamlet of Jispa we come out of a gorge and descend downhill before starting the ascent to Patseo. We now get a sense of the isolation of the area, with a few sheep dotted around and we begin to enter the territory of the Lamas. In the far horizon you can see the bleak and awesome spectacle of the Higher Himalayan ranges.
Cycling distance: 29 miles (48km)
Altitude: 3820m (12,500ft)
Patseo to Sarchu
Hard long climb to the Baralacha La Pass but the rewards are great as you travel through this wild and scenic country. The pass is arid with no vegetation, the sides of the mountains looking more like a quarry covered with loose rocks and scree. As we descend the gorge area of Bharatpur we will cross mountain rivers before reaching our destination.
Cycling distance: 35 miles (58km)
Altitude: 4255m (13,975ft)
Sarchu: rest day
An important days rest to further acclimatise and to absorb the magnificent scenery.
Sarchu to Whisky Nullah
The day starts with some easy cycling but we are soon tackling the zigzag "21 loops of Gata" at 15,030ft up the canyon wall. Once we reach the summit of the Nakeela Pass its downhill to Whisky Nullah. The day passes some beautiful arid mountain scenery of the high ranges.
Cycling distance: 34 miles (56km)
Altitude: 4750m (15,800ft)
Moray Plains to Debring
We start by ascending the second highest pass on the Manali-Leh highway up to Lachalang La. The road here is likely to be the worst of the trip with a distinct lack of tarmac, it's very gravelly and there are many loose stones. We have a long descent to Pang down a steep sided gorge followed by a 8km switchback climb before reaching the flat top of the Moray Plains. This barren area is known for its extreme temperatures in the morning and evening, fast winds and sandstorms. The only sign of life is the hardy Nomadic Changpas who can be seen tending their yaks in this most desolate place. We camp at Debring 20km below the world's second highest pass, the Tanglang La at 5,360m.
Cycling distance: 49 miles (82km)
Altitude: 4835m (15,600ft)
Debring to Rumptse
This is a challenge indeed, but truly satisfying when you reach the top, before we set off down the exhilarating 1,200m descent of switchbacks to the village of Rumptse.
Cycling distance: 30 miles (51km)
Altitude: 4260m (14,000ft)
Rumptse to Leh
As we continue the descent to Upshi the scenery changes dramatically as we arrive in a fertile irrigated valley by a river dotted by pretty villages and Stupas. The spectacular red coloured mountains around us add to the beauty and richness of the scenery. Crossing the Indus River the road improves as we follow the other road users towards Leh. This is an easy ride as we pass the Thiksey Monastery and the Chortens Garden before we reach Leh.
Accommodation: Guest house
Cycling distance: 56 miles (91km)
Altitude: 3600m (11500ft)
Taking a rest from the bikes today you have the chance to explore Leh and some of its twisting narrow streets, explore some of the more famous sites, such as Leh Palace or the Sakar Gompa monastery.
Accommodation: Guest house
Leh to The Khardung - La Pass
We will set of for the Khardung - La Pass as soon as light comes up. Cycling 26 miles and gaining 2,000m (6600 feet), this is the ultimate challenge of the trip. It is the highest motorable road in the world taking you to a dizzy 5,600m! The view from the top is spectacular, stretching from the Indus valley in the South over the endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range to the giants of the Saser Massif in the North. You can feel proud of a true achievement as you finish the trip with your final satisfying descent.
Accommodation: Guest House
Cycling distance: 26 miles (41km)
Altitude: 3600m (11500ft)
Leh - Delhi
We will be transferred for the early morning flight to Delhi. Occasionally flights are cancelled or bikes are delayed, you are advised to book your international flight home at least 24hrs after landing. Rest day (visit the Taj Mahal).
Day 17: Delhi / Home
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to home.