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Indian Himalayas

Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

redspokes High Himalayas cycling tour begins in Delhi. You will be met at Delhi airport and transferred to the joining hotel. India's capital city makes for an exciting and mystical first experience on your Indian cycling adventure.  We have a group briefing this evening.

Accommodation: Hotel


Day 2-3: Delhi to Manali

This morning we make an early start by road from Delhi to Mandi, today’s destination. Mandi is a bazaar town (known to Tibetans as Zahor) on the banks of the Beas River. The town has a large number of temples and shrines. At the heart of Mandi is Indira Market, a large square featuring a 500-year-old sunken garden with a central pagoda clock tower. To the north of the town is the Raj Mahal Palace.

On the morning of Day 3 we travel onto Manali. After checking in to our hotel there will be time to relax and acclimatise.

Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)
Altitude: 2,050m (6,398ft)


Day 4: Manali

Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, nestles at the head of the lush green Kullu valley, on the banks of the Beas River and at the base of the Himalayas. Towering two miles above Manali, to the north of the town, we can see 6600m high snowy peaks beneath which we will soon be cycling. This is an important acclimatisation day. We will put our bikes together this morning and warm our legs up for the tour riding a short distance from Manali. We cross the River Beas cycling to Vashisht, a beautiful village famed for its sulphurous hot water springs and temple. The waters are believed to have great healing powers. There are separate Turkish-style bath houses for men and women, fitted with showers, where hot baths can be taken in privacy. There are several other shrines in the village dedicated to local saint Vashisht and to Lord Rama.

Cycling Distance: 16km (10 miles)
Altitude: 340m (1,115ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B)


Day 5: Manali to Marhi

We depart Manali for our first full day's cycling on the tour. 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 with a full day of uphill cycling. This is our first ascent as we ease into the tough ride ahead. There are also orchards of apple trees and small hamlets along the route and as we ascend, we pass waterfalls tumbling down the mountains.

Cycling Distance: 36.5km (22.5 miles)
Total Climb: 1,506m (4,940ft)
Total Descent: 56m (183ft) 
Altitude: 3,312m (10,866ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)
 


Day 6: Marhi to Sissu

We start the day by continuing riding uphill for 12km of ascent to the Rohtang Pass. On a clear day, there are some lovely scenic views on the horizon of snow covered peaks and glaciers. After a refreshment stop in Rohtang, we leave the lush scenery behind and continue cycling with a descent into Gramphu. From here we ride along some unmarked stretches of flat road and cross the raging torrent of the river at Khoksar. We continue with a short and easy cycle to Sissu in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range.

Cycling Distance: 48km (30 miles)
Total Climb: 791m (2,595ft)
Total Descent: 1,088m (3,569ft)
Altitude: 3,120m (10,236ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)


Day 7: Sissu to Jispa

We set off with a short ride to Keylong keeping high on the valley side cycling several large up and downs stretches on mostly good roads. You will notice that the terrain is becoming much more arid. From Keylong we continue riding with a steady climb. The day ends with a long downhill into the hamlet of Jispa where we end the day on the bikes. This will be a relatively easy day of cycling on our Manali to Leh tour. 

Cycling Distance:  48.5km (30 miles)
Total Climb: 951m (3,120ft)
Total Descent: 685m (2,247ft) 
Altitude: 3,350m (10,990ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B,L,D)


Day 8: Jispa to Zing Zing Bar

Leaving Jispa we come out of a gorge and briefly ride downhill before starting the cycle ascent to Patseo crossing through streams that flow across the road. We begin to get a sense of the remoteness of the area, with just a few sheep dotted here and there. Travelling on we enter territory occupied by Lamas. On the horizon you can see the bleak, magnificent spectacle of the Higher Himalayan ranges. From Patse we continue cycling uphill for a further 10km to Zing Zing Bar then we ride on a further 5 km up a series of zigzags to our campsite. Road conditions are good – mostly sealed with short sections under repair. 

Cycling Distance:  36.5km (22.5 miles)
Total Climb: 1,158m (3,799ft)
Total Descent: 172m (564ft)
Altitude: 4,020m (13,188ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)


Day 9: Zing Zing Bar to Sarchu

The hard long climb to the Baralacha La Pass continues today. However the tough cycling is rich in rewards as we ride through wild, scenic country. The pass itself is arid with no vegetation, the mountainside resembles a quarry, covered with loose rocks and gravel. Descending into the gorge area of Bharatpur we cross mountain rivers en-route to our campsite 6km before Sarchu. Tonight you will be able to relax and enjoy the magnificent surroundings from our campsite in a wide open valley surrounded by impressive mountains.

Cycling Distance:  41.5km (26 miles)
Total Climb: 840m (2,755ft)
Total Descent: 658m (2,518ft) 
Altitude: 4,255m (13,960ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)


Day 10: Sarchu to Whisky Nullah

The day starts with some easy cycling along the river valley but we are soon tackling the twenty-one zigzag Gata Loops 15,030ft up the canyon wall. These have a good gradient and road surface but beyond the Loops there is a steeper push as we ride to the summit of the Nakeela Pass. Then it's a downhill cycle to Whisky Nullah through the beautiful arid mountain scenery of the high ranges.

Cycling Distance: 83.5km (52 miles)
Total Climb: 1,274m (4,180ft)
Total Descent: 1,100m (3,608ft) 
Altitude: 4,750m (15,583ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)


Day 11: Whisky Nullah to Tso Kar Lake

We begin today ascending the zigzags visible from our campsite to cycle up to the second highest pass on the Manali-Leh highway, the Lachulung La. The road has been recently sealed, only a few rough stretches remain. We have a long descent riding to Pang down a steep sided gorge. This is followed by an 8km switchback climb before we reach 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 hardy nomadic Changpas can be seen tending their yaks and sheep in this most desolate of places. We continue across the plane, cycling mostly downhill on a very good road which even has a white centreline! We turn off cycling onto a rough sandy track for 5km to reach our campsite near the shores of the Tso Kar salt lake.

Cycling Distance: 44.5km (28 miles)
Total Climb: 321m (1,053ft)
Total Descent: 252m (826ft)
Altitude: 4,650m (15,255ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)


Day 12: Tso Kar Lake to Lato

This is a challenge indeed, as we head to the world's second highest pass, the Taglang La at 5,328m. A tough day but road conditions are good and almost completely sealed. It is truly satisfying when you reach the top. We set off again cycling down the exhilarating 1,200m descent of switchbacks to the village of Rumptse. We ride through a few tiny villages as we enter into populated and more fertile terrain. The air feels warmer as we cycle on to the village of Lato nestled under immense rock faces.

Cycling Distance: 70.5km (44 miles)
Total Climb: 493m (1,617ft)
Total Descent: 1,006m (3,300ft)
Altitude: 3,650m (11,975ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)
 


Day 13: Lato to Leh

On the tour today we continue riding uphill to Upshi. The scenery changes dramatically as we enter a fertile irrigated river valley dotted with pretty villages and stupas. The spectacular red-hued mountains around us add to the beauty and richness of our environment. Crossing the Indus River the road improves as we head towards Leh. This is an easy stretch to cycle, we pass the Thiksey Monastery and the Chortens Garden en route.

Cycling Distance: 69.5km (43 miles)
Total Climb: 525m (1,722ft)
Total Descent: 1,056m (3,464ft)
Altitude: 3,500m (11,482ft)
Accommodation: Guest house (B,L)


Day 14: Leh

Taking a well-earned rest from the bikes today, you have the chance to wander around the twisting narrow streets of Leh. A popular tourist destination, there are many cafes and sites of historical interest to explore such as Leh Palace or the Sakar Gompa monastery.

Altitude: 3,500m (11,482ft)
Accommodation: Guest house (B)


Day 15: Leh to The Khardung-La Pass

We will set of for the Khardung - La Pass at daybreak. Cycling twenty-six miles and gaining 2,000m (6,600ft), this is the ultimate challenge of the Manlai to Leh tour. It is the highest motorable road in the world, taking you to a dizzying 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 will feel truly proud of your achievements as you finish the tour with your final, thrilling descent.



Cycling Distance:  79.5 km (49 miles)
Total Climb: 2,165m (7,103ft)
Total Descent: 2,165m (7,103ft)
Altitude: 5,600m (18,373ft)
Accommodation:  Guest House (B,L)


Day 16: Leh - Home

The tour ends this morning. We will arrange a transfer to the airport for your flight back to home.

 

India Cycling Holidays

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