+44 (0) 1463 417707

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

India Himalaya

Indian Himalayas Cycling Holiday

Manali to Leh

Day 1: Delhi

Upon your arrival at Delhi airport, our team will arrange for you to be escorted to the designated joining hotel. The vibrant capital city of India provides an exciting and mystical initiation to your Indian cycling adventure. To kick off the expedition, there will be a group briefing this evening, where you'll receive essential information and connect with fellow cyclists. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as you begin the pedal-powered exploration from Manali to Khardung La.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2-3: Delhi to Manali

This morning, our journey continues as we depart from Delhi and embark on a scenic road trip to Mandi, our destination for the day. Mandi, also known as Zahor to Tibetans, is a captivating bazaar town nestled along the picturesque banks of the Beas River. The town is renowned for its rich cultural tapestry, adorned with a multitude of temples and shrines that reflect the deep-rooted spiritual essence of the region. 

As we bid farewell to Mandi on the morning of Day 3, our adventure unfolds further as we set our sights on the enchanting destination of Manali. Upon reaching our hotel, a haven amidst the stunning landscapes, we'll have the opportunity to unwind and acclimatise to the mountainous surroundings. Take the time to breathe in the crisp mountain air and absorb the tranquility that Manali has to offer, setting the stage for the next leg of our unforgettable journey.

Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)
Sleeping 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 6,600m 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)
Sleeping Altitude: 2,050m (6,398ft)
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: 38km (24 miles)
Total Climb: 1,506m (4,940ft)
Total Descent: 56m (183ft) 
Sleeping 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: 51km (32 miles)
Total Climb: 791m (2,595ft)
Total Descent: 1,088m (3,569ft)
Sleeping 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:  57km (35 miles)
Total Climb: 951m (3,120ft)
Total Descent: 685m (2,247ft) 
Sleeping 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)
Sleeping 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:  63.5km (39 miles)
Total Climb: 969m (3,179ft)
Total Descent: 921m (3,021ft) 

Sleeping Altitude: 4,381m (14,373ft)
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: 54km (34 miles)
Total Climb: 925m (3,034ft)
Total Descent: 522m (1,712ft) 
Sleeping 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: 73km (45 miles)
Total Climb: 685m (2,247ft)
Total Descent: 816m (2,677ft)
Sleeping Altitude: 4,610m (13,123ft)
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: 61 km (38 miles)
Total Climb: 725m (2,378ft)
Total Descent: 259m (849ft)
Sleeping Altitude: 4,045m (13,271ft)
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: 73 km (45 miles)
Total Climb: 525m (1,722ft)
Total Descent: 1,056m (3,464ft)
Sleeping Altitude: 3,500m (11,482ft)
Accommodation: Guest house (B,L)

Day 14: Leh

A well-deserved rest day awaits, perfectly poised before tomorrows ultimate challenge—the ascent to Khardung La Pass. Begin your day by leisurely wandering  through the vibrant Leh Main Market, discovering local crafts and enjoying the distinctive flavors of Ladakhi cuisine. Consider a visit to the historic Leh Palace, offering panoramic views of the town and surrounding mountains. To truly unwind, immerse yourself in the tranquility of Shanti Stupa, especially during the evening when the setting sun bathes the mountains in hues of gold.

As the sun sets over the rugged Ladakhi landscape, embrace the quietude of Leh, knowing that tomorrow's ride will not only be a physical challenge but a journey to conquer the breathtaking heights of the Himalayas. Rest well and gather the strength needed for the remarkable ascent that awaits.

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

Day 15: Leh to The Khardung-La Pass

Today's cycling ride from Leh to Khardung La Pass is a true test of both physical resilience and sheer determination. As you pedal your way towards Khardung La Pass, the air becomes thinner, and the landscape transforms into a stark yet mesmerising panorama of snow-capped peaks and deep valleys. The climb is both physically demanding and mentally invigorating, with each turn unveiling a new facet of the majestic Himalayan scenery.

Reaching the summit at an elevation of 5,359 meters is a triumphant moment, rewarded by panoramic views that make the arduous journey worthwhile. The descent back to Leh provides a different perspective, allowing cyclists to relish the exhilarating ride down the winding roads and reflect on the unique experience of conquering one of the world's highest motorable passes on a bicycle.

Cycling Distance:  76 km (47 miles)
Total Climb: 1,832m (6,010ft)
Total Descent: 1,832m (6,010ft)
Sleeping Altitude: 3,500m (11,482ft)
Accommodation:  Guest House (B,L)

Day 16: Leh - Home

Your Manali to Khardung La cycling adventure concludes this morning, marking the end of an unforgettable journey. To ease your transition back home, we've arranged a transfer to the airport. We'll make sure you get to the airport in time for your flight, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free departure. As you head home, carry with you the sense of accomplishment and the unique experiences from this extraordinary cycling expedition. Safe travels!


If you need assistance or wish to discuss the tour, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on office@redspokes.co.uk for more information on this adventure holiday.