India : Spiti - Ladakh
redspokes high altitude cycling adventure from Spiti to Ladakh combines ever changing panoramas on rough terrain and challenging weather conditions. Experience awe inspiring mystical overtones in isolated mountain locations. The extremes of the journey intensify the aesthetics of landscape, culture and local communities on your journey from Chandigarh to Leh.
Spiti valley was opened to foreign visitors for the first time in the 1990’s. The redspokes adventure cycling holiday is a thrilling journey of contrasts from beautiful valleys to expansive barren landscapes. The high mountain ranges divert cloud cover from the area, resulting in wide open of arid desert like terrain. Dotted across the region you’ll encounter religious culture: monasteries, prayer flags and sacred symbolism.
Nestled high in the Himalayas and accessible for only 4 months of the year, Ladakh which means the "land of passes" has been described as ‘Little Tibet’ and the last 'Shangri-La'. The region is situated on the banks of the Indus between the World's two highest mountain ranges, the Karakoram to the north and mighty Himalayas to the south. It is the highest, most remote and least populated region in India. From the verdant Kullu valley we traverse a striking barren landscape through Ladakh, so high and stark it is barely populated. The Spiti to Leh cycling tour follows lonely roads dotted with nomad camps where Tibetan refugees tend to their yaks and craft cheese in the traditional way.
We cycle over major passes, two of which are over 5000m (16,400ft). An old trading route and described as a 'highway', the Spiti to Leh road is in fact narrow in places and for much of the year exposed to extreme weather conditions and blocked by snow, although we will avoid this on our trip.
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Day to Day Details
Key details of our Cycling holiday in India:
- Chandigarh: India’s best planned metropolis.
- Shimla: summer capital of India.
- Ki Monastery: the largest gompa in Spiti Valley.
- Gata Loops: twenty-one zig-zagging hairpin bends.
- Leh: 'little Tibet' Buddhist Stupas, bustling bazaar.
- Kardung La: one of the highest motorable roads.
This map is for illustration purposes only and may not show the exact route taken on this India tour.