Manali to Leh Ladakh Highway – How to Plan a Trip in 2024

by Vargis.Khan

Manali to Leh Ladakh Highway

Traveling on Manali to Leh Ladakh highway is truly an experience in itself. The lush green valleys of Manali and Lahaul Valley and the majestic barren desert of Ladakh are sure to charm all kinds of travelers. For motorcyclists, it is a dream destination. For photography enthusiasts, it is a place where they can shoot to their heart’s content. But for adventure junkies, it is nothing less than a habit

A journey on Manali Leh highway will take you through an ever-changing landscape consisting of deep verdant valleys, snow-capped mountain peaks, rugged barren desolated wasteland, high mountain passes, tiny hamlets, and nomad shepherds. Memories will last a lifetime and you will tell tales of your trip for years to come.

With that being said, the road also passes through a region where the roads are challenging, the terrain is rough and the weather is unpredictable. Before you leave home, you need to ensure that you are fully prepared for what is to come.

About Manali Leh Highway

Manali to Leh Ladakh is a 490 kilometers long highway. It connects the town of Leh in Ladakh to that of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. The road is open for roughly around 5 months in a year, from late May or early June to mid-October when snowfall again blocks the high altitude passes en route.

The average elevation of the highway is more than 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Its highest elevation point is 5,328 m (17,480 ft) at Tanglang La mountain pass.

The road was built and is maintained by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of the Indian army. It is one of the two roads connecting Ladakh to the rest of the country (the other being the Srinagar Leh route) and acts as a lifeline for the Army.

Please note that in this post, I will only talk about the Manali Leh Highway in detail. For other information on visiting Ladakh, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Leh Ladakh – A Complete Travel Guide.

Manali to Leh Distance

Manali to Leh road runs a total of 490 kilometers. Of this, 230 kilometers is in Himachal Pradesh, and the remaining 260 kilometers is in Ladakh.

Sarchu acts as the border between two regions. The road from Manali to Sarchu is in Himachal and Sarchu to Leh is in Ladakh. In total, you will be crossing 5 high-altitude passes and the journey is better planned to be completed in at least 2 days.

Manali to Leh Ladakh Highway

Manali to Leh Ladakh Route

If you are planning a journey on the Manali Leh highway, mentioned below in this article is a detailed description of the entire route. I have mentioned a list of towns that you will be crossing, with distances in between and some other information on how you can plan your trip better.

The route of the journey is as mentioned below.

  • Manali – Marhi – Rohtang Pass
  • Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Kokhsar
  • Kokhsar- Sissu – Tandi
  • Tandi – Keylong
  • Keylong – Jispa
  • Jispa – Darcha
  • Darcha – Sumdo – Patsio – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Bharatpur – Sarchu
  • Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakeela La – Lachulung La – Pang
  • Pang – More Plains – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi
  • Upshi – Karu – Leh

Below is a detailed description of the route that you will be taking from Manali to Leh. Later in the article, I have also posted a route map that you can refer to.

Manali – Rohtang Pass = 52 Km

Your first day of the journey from Manali will have you cross the mighty Rohtang Pass, your first high-altitude pass of the journey.

The biggest concern when it comes to crossing Rohtang is that of a permit without which you will not be allowed to travel across. This can be obtained from either the Manali SDM office or online. Please read How to get a Permit for Rohtang Pass for more details on this.

In the peak tourist season, getting a permit sometimes can prove to be a difficult task. If for some reason you were unable to get it in time, you can skip Rohtang and travel through the Rohtang Tunnel.

It is always better to leave Manali in the early hours as there can be huge traffic on this road throughout the day. Taxi Drivers, tourists wanting to visit Rohtang and a huge amount of trucks will start on the ascent with the break of dawn.

The 52 km ascent to Rohtang is a feast for the eyes because of the beautiful vistas all around you. If you started early from Manali, you can either have breakfast at Marhi, 19 km from Manali, or at Rohtang Pass itself. There are a lot of dhabas open at Rohtang Top throughout the day so you can take a quick stop here to eat and to click photographs.

It is also interesting to know that the word Rohtang actually means a “pile of corpses”. The name is derived from a lot of people dying in bad weather, trying to cross Rohtang Pass in old times.

Road to Rohtang is a mix of super smooth and super rough patches. The bad section of the road is mostly towards the top and on the descent towards Kokhsar.

Solang Valley

Solang Valley is located at a distance of about 15 km from Manali, towards Rohtang. It is at an altitude of about 2590 meters. To get here, you will have to reach Palchan from Manali, take a left turn, cross the Solang Bridge and drive for about 5 km to reach Solang town.

It is a less crowded area and is a little more scenic than the main town. Due to this, a lot of people prefer to break their journey in Solang Valley instead rather than staying in Manali.

The entry point of Rohtang Tunnel is also a little ahead of Solang town. So if you were planning to skip Rohtang entirely and travel through the tunnel, you can also stay in Solang Valley.

But if you were traveling by a Bus, you must stay at Manali only, closer to the bus stand. You will have to board the bus early in the morning and get tickets from Manali. You cannot do it from Solang.


Gulaba is a small village about 20 km from Manali This is where the permits for Rohtang Pass are verified at the check post. During the winter season, when Rohtang is blocked due to snow, Gulaba is the farthest you can travel on the route. It gets buried under snow completely in the winter season and is known as a lower winter snow point in Manali.


Marhi is located quite close to the Rohtang top. There are a few dhabas located here where you can get something to eat. It is also a good spot for self-camping. People who are cycling from Manali to Leh break their journey here on Day 1 and pitch their tent for the night.

Rani Nallah

Rani Nallah is actually a glacier point and a water crossing. The snow melts and a water stream runs right through the road before falling in the valley below. The road near this water crossing is always bad due to the mud and slush caused by the water. Usually, there is also a lot of traffic jam as vehicles try to get through the water and the mud.

rohtang pass

Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Kokhsar = 19 Km

As you start driving down on the other side of Rohtang, Gramphu is the first place that you will reach. There is nothing here really except for a small dhaba. The Manali Kaza Road bifurcates towards Spiti at Gramphoo. It is also the same road that goes towards Chandratal Lake. So if that was a part of your itinerary, you will need to turn right or else continue straight.

Kokhsar is a small village, 19 km downhill from Rohtang. The only significance this village will have in this journey is that you will need to get yourself registered at the check post here before continuing any further.

Kokhsar is the first village in Lahaul Valley also has accommodation options available in the form of a couple of guesthouses, a PWD rest house, and a few dhabas.  There are also a couple of mechanic shops in Kokhsar.

Kokhsar – Sissu – Tandi = 38 Km

Sissu is a small village situated right next to the Chandra River. The northern side of the Rohtang tunnel opens near Sissu. If you skipped Rohtang Pass, this is where you will exit on Manali to Leh route.

There is a waterfall in Sissu on the opposite side of the town. The water from the fall then forms a small body of water known as Sissu Lake. If you had some time, you can take a short detour and visit the waterfall.

There is also a PWD Rest House and a few other hotels/guesthouses here if you want to break the journey here. The village also has a Primary Health Care center in Sissu where you can get medical assistance if you were not feeling well.

The last gas station on this route is at Tandi. After this, there is no other petrol pump for another 380 km, until Leh. While you can still get fuel at local dhabas on this route at a higher than the regular price, it is strongly advised to tank up at Tandi and carry extra fuel.

This is in case your vehicle’s petrol tank isn’t large enough to carry enough fuel to complete the journey. If it was, then you should get enough fuel from Manali itself.

A road towards Udaipur and Sach Pass bifurcates at Tandi.

Other than the last petrol pump, Tandi is also known for the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga Rivers. The Chandra River originates from Chandra Tal / Samudri Tapu in Spiti Valley, and the Bhaga River originates from Suraj Tal in Lahaul Valley.

Both the rivers meet near Tandi to form the Chandrabhaga River that flows into Kashmir and Pakistan and gets known as the Chenab river.

sissu waterfall

Tandi – Keylong = 9 Km

Short after Tandi, you will arrive in Keylong which is the district headquarters of Lahaul Valley and the last big town on the route. If you were traveling by Bus, Keylong is where you will stay for the night on Day 1 in HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga.

It is the last town on this route where a reliable mechanic is available. It is a good idea to get a final check done on your motorcycle here. This is also the last place where you will see network signals on your cellphone. After Keylong, you will remain off the network until Upshi near Leh.

Also Read: Mobile Network in Ladakh and Data Connectivity

Keylong has a few decent hotels and guesthouses along the main highway itself. If you were traveling by your own vehicle, you can opt to break the first day of your journey here. You can also find a hospital, banks, and an ATM in Keylong.

Kardhang Monastery is located in Keylong, across the Bhaga River that is worth a visit.

Keylong – Jispa = 22Km

Jispa is a small village on this route. It has a hotel, a couple of guesthouses and a few campsites. In case it is still your first day of the journey, it is strongly recommended to halt here for the night. There won’t be any accommodation available after Jispa, until Sarchu.

It is a very scenic village and I have always preferred to stay here as opposed to the busy town of Keylong. You may find accommodation in form of Chadar tents after Jispa as well but not a decent enough campsite or hotel. There is also a mechanic shop at Jispa, just at the end of the village.

For sightseeing, Jispa has a small monastery and a small museum along. The best part however is the village itself on the banks of the Bhaga river. It is a great spot for a bonfire at night if you were staying at a campsite.


Jispa – Darcha = 6 Km

The roads here are in good condition. You will need to get yourself registered at a check post here. As you get closer to Darcha, you will notice that the greenery will start to disappear and the landscape will slowly start turning barren.

The newly built road that connects the valleys of Lahaul and Zanskar bifurcates from Darcha. Known as the Darcha to Padum road, it runs across the Shinku La Pass and ends at Padum in Zanskar Valley.  It is also the starting point of the trek from Lahaul Valley to Zanskar.

There are a few dhabas here where you can get something to eat. These dhabas also act as Chadar tents and can offer a bed for a small amount of money if you wish to stay overnight.

deepak tal

Darcha – Baralacha La – Sarchu = 84 Kms

The road after Darcha gets even better and is mostly smooth until Sarchu. There are a lot of sightseeing places on this stretch and it is recommended that you take the journey slow with plenty of photography breaks.

Deepak Tal

Shortly after Darcha, you will come across beautiful Deepak Tal. It is a very small lake but has its own charm. The water of the lake surprisingly remains still even after the sun is up. It offers some very nice reflections of the surrounding mountains and is a photography spot.

There is a small Dhaba near the lake that also has arrangements to stay for the night. In case you are planning to camp on your own, Deepak Taal is a good enough spot to do so.


Right after Deepak Taal, the ascent towards Baralacha La starts. On the ascent, you will arrive at Patseo which is an Army establishment. The weather here will start getting even colder and you will feel a certain chill in the wind.

Zingzing Bar

I love the name of this place. I am not sure who came up with it but it sure sounds awesome. It is a halt point before Baralacha Pass and has a few dhabas. You can get something to eat here and even a bed to stay in for the night if you were cycling from Manali to Leh. These Dhabas also sell Petrol/Diesel at an increased price to anyone who is in need.

They also buy fuel from travelers actually. The last time I was traveling from Leh to Manali, I was carrying some spare fuel that we did not get the need to use. One of the Dhaba owners asked me to sell it to him which I did, at an increased price of course.

Suraj Tal

Just before the top of the Baralacha La pass, you will reach the second lake on Manali Leh Highway. It is known as Suraj Tal and is the source of the Bhaga River. In all my trips to Ladakh, I have found it to be either completely or partially frozen even during the summer months.

What fascinates me even more though that how a small body of water like this gives birth to an entire river.

Baralacha La Pass

A little after Suraj Tal, you will reach the top of the Baralacha La Pass. It is the second of the five high mountain passes between Manali and Leh and is also the source of the Bhaga River. The water from the melting snow at the pass feeds the Suraj Tal Lake and forms the Bhaga River.

Another river originates from Baralacha La Pass and flows to the Sarchu side of the pass.

Baralacha La remains buried under snow for all 12 months. It is the first pass that gets closed in the winter season and the last one to open. if you were traveling early in the season, you will surely come across the high snow walls on both sides of the road.

Killing Sarai

The reason why this place is called Killing Sarai is because of a water crossing. About more than a decade ago, when tourists on Manali to Leh route were not that common, the road ran right through a massive rivulet. Vehicles would often get stuck in the water, including trucks. It was one of the most dreaded water crossings on the route and hence the place got named Killing Sarai.

BRO has now built bridges in the region and now you do not have the need to go through the water stream. There is no Sarai here as well now. Maybe there were a few dhabas earlier but not anymore. Now it is just a barren piece of land.

Bharatpur City

A little after Killing Sarai, you will reach Bharatpur City. I have no idea who named it as a city because it is definitely not one. It is a temporary tenting accommodation that gets set up in June and wrapped up in late September or early October.

There are a few dhabas here that provide refreshments and beds for a night’s stay. The accommodation here is considerably cheaper than what you will get at Sarchu. So if you were on a limited budget trip, you may look to break your journey for the day at Bharatpur.

Keep in mind though that this place is at an even higher altitude than Sarchu. So be prepared to feel the symptoms of AMS and to have a very uncomfortable night. If you were already suffering from altitude sickness, do not stop here and move on.

Another point to note is about speeding. Out here, the road runs straight for a few kilometers but please do not step down on the gas pedal. The road, though good and straight, is very bumpy and can damage your vehicle’s suspension.

There is also wildlife in this area and marmots can sometimes dig holes right underneath the road, causing a risk of a cave-in. The last time I was on this stretch, one of my friends ended up killing a pigeon because he decided to accelerate his bike a little bit.

Also Read: Keylong or Jispa or Sarchu – Which is the Best Place to Stay


Sarchu is a military base and also the border between Himachal and Ladakh. You will have to register yourself at a check post here before entering Ladakh.

It is a major halt point on the Manali Leh route because it is more or less the center point of the highway. People who are covering the route in 2 days stay here for the night on Day 1 and move on to Leh on Day 2.

Accommodation in Sarchu is available in the form of Swiss luxury tents and Chandar tents. The luxury campsites will charge you anywhere between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000 for a night’s stay. The Dhabas/Chadar tents on the other hand can offer a bed for a few hundred Rupees. It is also a good spot to pitch your own tent if you were planning on self-camping.

Before deciding to stay at Sarchu, you should know that the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness are very high here. This is where you will for the first time get hit by AMS. The night in Sarchu can turn out to be a very uncomfortable one.

Road conditions will keep changing from bad to good to bad again in this area. You can also get fuel at an increased price at the Dhabas and campsites here.

suraj tal

Sarchu to Pang = 80 Kms

Right after Sarchu, the ascent of Gata Loops starts. Gata Loops is a series of 21 hairpin bends that takes you to the top of Nakee La, your 3rd high mountain pass on this route.

Gata Loops

Interestingly enough, these loops are said to be haunted by the ghost of a dead trucker. No one is supposed to stop at Gata Loops unnecessarily and there is a story behind it.  Please read The Ghost of Gata Loops for the haunting story related to these loops.

A direct result of this ghost story is people offering water bottles to the ghost, at a small brick temple. I will request you to please not do it and pollute the environment.

But it is not the ghost of the dead trucker who will make this ascent difficult. It will be the live ones in a long line of slow-moving trucks and a cloud of thick smoke and dust that will test you to the bone while you climb up to Nakeela Top.

Another thing of note about Gatal Loops is the shortcuts. There are a lot of dirt tracks that act as a shortcut between the loops. A lot of adventure junkies who want to go offroading try taking these loops but I will strongly advise against it. The last time I was here, I witnessed a car tumbling down and ending up on its side.

The driver was trying to take the shortcut but the car stalled at a point and he lost control. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.

gata loops

Nakeela Pass

The last loop of Gata Loops will see you arriving at Nakee La, the third high-altitude pass on the route. Take a break, click some pictures and be on your way. If you were lucky enough, you may even get to see some wildlife around in this region.

Lachulung La Pass

Right after Nakeela, after descending down for a few kilometers, you will again start climbing up the 4th high mountain pass of this route, Lachulung La. It is one of the easier passes in Ladakh and you will hardly notice the climb.


The descent from Lachulung La will take you to Pang. It is an Army establishment and a transit camp. There are a lot of Dhabas / Chadar tents in Pang where you can spend the night in a dormitory-type tented accommodation. This place also serves as a major stop point on the Manali to Leh Highway.

As you get closer to Pang, you will start noticing unique soil formations in the mountains and funny BRO signs along the road. The entire region is deprived of any vegetation at all and you will truly feel that you are crossing a barren desert.

In my earlier days of traveling to Ladakh, I got stuck badly in a water crossing here. Thankfully though, BRO has now constructed bridges. Though you will be traveling next to the river, you will never actually have to cross it.

If you have not faced Acute Mountain sickness on this route so far, Pang is the place where you will definitely suffer from it. It is at an even higher altitude than Pang and you should stop here only if you were running out of daylight. If you arrived here at around 2 pm, continue straight to Leh.

A little ahead of the tents is the Army establishment. In case your condition worsened due to altitude sickness, you can seek medical assistance from the Army personnel.

Dhabas out here have solar panels and there is electricity available at night.

sarchu to pang

Pang – Moore Plains – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi = 125 Kms

After Pang begins the final lap of your journey to Leh. From here, it will not take you more than 4-5 hours at most to reach Leh, with plenty of sightseeing breaks in between.

Moore Plains

About 4 km from Pang, you will be greeted with the spectacular sight of Moore Plains, a plateau sitting high up in the lap of the Himalayas.

Also spelled as More Plains, Moreh, or Morey plains, it is a flat piece of land for about 30-35 kilometers inviting you to accelerate but please do not make that mistake. The road is bumpy and can test your vehicle’s suspensions and your stomach.

If you were traveling in a group, this is where you must stop and get pictures of your entire group together. Some of my best pictures of Ladakh trips are from More plains.

Also Read: Ladakh Driving Tips for a Self Drive Trip to Leh Ladakh


At the end of the More plains is a place called Debring. It is an establishment of the BRO division of the Indian army. There are a few dhabas where you can get something to eat at Debring.

The road to Tso Kar lake also bifurcates from the Manali Leh route at Debring. From here, Tso Kar Lake is about 20 odd kilometers and will take you a couple of hours for a round trip.

This is the same road that goes further to Tso Moriri lake near Karzok as well. Though it is not advised to do so at all, if you wanted to visit Tso Moriri from Manali, this is the road that you will need to take.

The reason why I said it is not advised is because you will need to first get the permits from Leh to visit Tso Moriri. Without the permits, you cannot go all the way and will be sent back by ITBP. Secondly, Karzok is at an even higher altitude. So if you went there directly, your symptoms of AMS may get worse.

Tanglang La Pass

After the more plains, the tough climb to Tanglang La pass starts. It is the fifth and last high mountain pass on this route. Though Tanglang La claims to be the world’s second-highest motor-able pass, it has been proven incorrect as there are several higher motor-able passes in India itself and Tibet.

But it is the severely deteriorated roads on this ascent and descent that make crossing this pass difficult, not the height.

Apart from the roads, the second factor that will test your nerves between Pang and Tanglang La is Acute Mountain Sickness. Be ready to feel like you have just been hit by a train. You will feel feverish and will have a severe headache. Things will get better once you start descending down.


On the other side of the Tanglang La, you will reach the small settlement of Rumste. It is also an Army establishment accompanied by a few dhabas. If you were suffering from AMS at Tanglang La, your condition will get much better by the time you reach Rumste.


A little after Rumste is the village of Upshi. This is where you will start getting the feeling that you have arrived in Ladakh. There is a check post in Upshi where you will need to register yourself again.

Upshi acts as a halting point for people cycling from Manali to Leh or the other way around. There are a few dhabas and guest houses here.

To the right, a road bifurcates from Upshi that takes you to Tso Moriri via Chumathang. But as I mentioned earlier, going there is not a good idea and you are better off heading straight to Leh.

Road gets much better as you get closer to Upshi. As a matter of fact, you will find it even better than most city roads, thanks to BRO.

Manali to Leh Ladakh Highway

Upshi to Leh = 55 Km

By now AMS will subside and you will start feeling much better. Take a quick tea break at Upshi and off you are on your way to Leh, which is hardly an hour’s drive from here.

The landscape between these places can only be termed as beautiful. This is where you will notice how colorful and pretty can the mountains be, even the barren and rocky ones.

The road between Upshi and Leh runs through a populated region at several places and is also a bit narrow. Please drive very carefully and do not speed up because you were wanting to end the journey as soon as possible. Because of the traffic and the fact that there are houses on both sides of the road, this is termed as an accident-prone area.

In between, you will also cross the village of Karu. There is a petrol pump here in case you were running low on gas. A road bifurcates on the right side in Karu that goes to Chang La Pass and Pangong Tso Lake. But once again, you will need permits to go that way that you will need to get from Leh.

Manali Leh Highway Road Conditions

Contrary to common belief, Manali Leh Highway usually remains in a good condition except for the time when it has just been declared open. There are of course several bad patches in between, water crossings you will need to cross, and several badly broken dirt trails.

But the overall condition of the road is not as bad as everyone perceives it to be. Maybe it once was more than a decade ago but not anymore.

Extremely bad sections of the road will mostly be around Rohtang Top and near Tanglang La. For the rest of the journey, it will be a mix of smooth, good, Ok, and Bad.

Also Read: Hanle in Ladakh – Travel Guide, Sightseeing & Itinerary

Manali to Leh By Bus

If you are however planning to travel by Bus, then there are three options available. You can either board the HPTDC luxury bus from Manali or the ordinary HRTC Bus from either Manali or Delhi.

From Manali, both the HPTDC and HRTC buses cover the journey in two days with a night halt at Keylong. The HPTDC one is a luxury bus that is introduced for tourism purposes only. It is a single bus that takes you all the way to Leh from Manali.

The HRTC bus on the other hand is an ordinary bus that the locals use as well. You will first board the morning bus from Manali and it will drop you at Keylong. You will stay for the night in Keylong and then early in the morning, board a second bus from Keylong to Leh.

The Delhi to Leh bus is also operated by HRTC and is an extension of the Manali Keylong bus. You will first board an HRTC bus at 2 PM from Delhi ISBT and arrive in Manali in the morning of the next day. From Manali, you will board a second bus that will drop you at Keylong. The next morning, you will board the third bus for Leh.

For more detail on Manali to Leh Bus, please take a look at Manali to Leh Bus: Frequency, Fare, and How to Book. If you were thinking about traveling straight from Delhi itself, please read Delhi to Leh Bus Service: How to Plan your Journey.

delhi to leh bus

Manali to Leh by Shared or Private Taxi

Another way to travel from Manali to Leh apart from the bus service is to either rent a private taxi or board a shared taxi. Both these options are available in Manali, and depending on your budget you can choose either.

While a private taxi will complete the journey at your convenience, a shared taxi completes the journey in a non-stop manner; often referred to as Cannon Ball run.

A private taxi will cost you anywhere between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 for a drop to Leh. The fare per person in a shared taxi is about Rs. 2000 to Rs. 25000. For more details, please take a look at Private and Shared taxis on Manali to Leh Highway.

Manali Leh Highway Travel Time

This journey can be done in 18 hours approximately if you traveled non-stop as the shared taxis do. Recommended time however is a minimum of 2 days to travel from Manali to Leh.

On Day 1 you can either reach Keylong, Jispa, or Sarchu from Manali and continue to Leh on Day 2. This way, you will ensure that you do not stress yourself and give sufficient time to enjoy the journey.

If you can add another day and make it a 3-days trip, then it will be even better. On Day 1 you can reach Keylong or Jispa, Sarchu on Day 2, and finally Leh on Day 3.

For more details and a sample itinerary, please take a look at Manali to Leh Travel Time and an Ideal Itinerary.

Best Time to Travel from Manali to Leh

The road is declared open sometime by late May or early June and remains open by early October. The best time to travel on the Manali Leh highway in my opinion would be in late June, early July, and September.

The road is mostly in a terrible state with a lot of water crossings caused by melting snow in the months of May and early June. Monsoon arrives by Mid to Late July and remains until August, causing a high chance of landslides in hilly areas.

By September however, BRO would have restored the road completely and road conditions are also considerably better. Monsoon would have gone by late August but the valleys are at full blossom.

If you want to travel on a near-perfect road, through lush green valleys starting to show signs of arriving autumn, while experiencing the thrill of the challenging terrain, then September is the perfect time to do so.

Also read: List of Must Visit Places in Ladakh

Manali Leh Highway Permit

There is really no pass or permit required to travel from Manali to Leh. The only permit needed is to cross over Rohtang Pass that I provided details of above. However, if you reached Leh from Srinagar and returning via Manali, then even this permit is not needed.

Carrying valid identity proof like Aadhar card, Driver’s license, Voter’s ID, Passport, etc is a must. You will have to register yourself at several check posts in between and may be asked to produce identity proof.

manali to leh ladakh highway

Where to Stay between Manali and Leh

Accommodation on the Manali Leh highway is not really that big a problem. Almost every big or small town en route has some sort of accommodation choice available.

It will entirely depend on your mode of travel and the way you have planned your itinerary. If you are traveling by bus, then you have no other choice but to stay at a hotel in Keylong. This is where you will have to board a bus the next day for Leh.

But if you are traveling in your own vehicle, then you can stay at Keylong, Jispa, Sarchu, and Pang. If you want to in a cemented hotel, you should opt for Keylong or Jispa. If you want to stay at a campsite, Jispa, Sarchu, and Pang are the places where you can find a campsite.

Please read Hotels, Guest Houses, and Camp Sites on Manali to Leh Highway for a complete list of hotels and campsites available en route Manali to Leh.

Manali Leh Highway Weather

The weather on the Manali Leh highway in the summer season is pleasantly warm in the day and very cold around mornings and evenings. Once the sun goes, the temperature falls close to 0 degrees celsius or even a few degrees below.

It will also depend on where you exactly were. The top of the passes is always windy and much colder even in the noon. Towns like Kokhsar and Keylong on the other hand can get pretty warm in the day.

In winters, however; when you cannot even travel here by road, the temperature can go down several degrees below zero.

The months of June, July, and August see moderate weather. September will see the start of cold settling in and it can snow anytime after October first week.

Clothes to Pack

It really depends on how you are traveling, but to be on the safer side, pack your clothes in layers. Do not carry all heavy woolens but also do not just pack your regular cotton clothes. It will have to be a mix of both.

Carry plenty of cotton clothes, a few light woolens, and a heavy windproof jacket. Also, bring along a few pairs of woolen socks and gloves.

The idea is that if you start feeling cold, you can put clothes on top of one another, in layers. If you were feeling warm, you can remove layers per your comfort.

For more details on what kind of clothes you should be packing for the Ladakh trip, please take a look at Clothes for Ladakh Trip: What to Pack.

vargis khan

Places to Visit from Manali to Leh

I have actually covered this topic in great detail in another post. But for a brief overview, below is complete of places that can be called tourist attractions between Manali and Leh. For a detailed description of these places, I will request you to please read, Tourist Places on Manali Leh Highway. Adding this information here again would have just rendered this one post endless.

  • Manali
  • Rohtang La
  • Jispa
  • Sissu Waterfall
  • The confluence of Chandra and Bhaga Rivers at Tandi
  • Deepak Taal
  • Baralacha La
  • Suraj Taal
  • Gata Loops
  • Nakeela Pass
  • Lachulung La
  • Moore Plains
  • Tso Kar
  • Tanglang La

You will cover all these places as you continue your journey on the highway. You do not have to take a diversion or spend another couple of hours in addition to the day’s journey.

High Altitude Passes on Manali Leh Highway

There are a total of 5 high-altitude passes between Manali and Leh. Rohtang La will be the first pass that you will cross and Tanglang La will be the last one.

  • Rohtang Pass – 3,978 meters (13,051 ft)
  • Baralacha La – 4,890 meters (16,043 ft)
  • Nakee La – 4,739 meters (15,547 ft)
  • Lachulung La – 5,059 m (16,598 ft)
  • Tanglang La – 5,328 meters (17,480 ft)

Of these 5, Tanglang La is at the highest altitude. But it is in fact Baralacha La that is considered to be the most difficult and receives the highest amount of now each year. It is the last pass to be declared open and the first one to close.

High-Altitude Sickness

High altitude sickness (also known as Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS) is a direct result of exposure to a lower percentage of oxygen at high altitudes. As altitude increases, the level of Oxygen present in the air starts to get lower. In order to accommodate for low oxygen per breath, our body increases the breathing rate and this is the reason why we start to huff and puff so easily in mountains.

The process of a human body getting accustomed to low oxygen and adapting to the new environment is called acclimatization. When there is ample time for this process and our body is not undergoing stress, there will not be any symptoms at all.

However, as it happens in the case of a trip to Ladakh, the gain in altitude continues to happen over a period of 3-4 days and at a faster rate than our bodies can adapt to. This is what leads to acute mountain sickness on Manali to Leh route or in Ladakh.

The common symptoms of altitude sickness are different for everyone. But for most people, they are mostly the same as a high fever. Your temperature will shoot up, you will have a headache, body ache, won’t feel like eating anything, and would just want to lie down and rest.

Places that you are most likely to suffer from AMS are between Sarchu and Tanglang La Pass. This is why a night stay at either Sarchu or Pang is never recommended. If you are traveling with your family, it is best to break the journey at either Keylong or Jispa and then go straight to Leh from there.

For more information on altitude sickness and tips about how you can avoid it, please read How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh.

water crossing on manali leh highway

Lakes on Manali Leh Route

There are three lakes that you will see while traveling from Manali to Leh. The first one is the Sissu Lake which actually is a man-made lake. It is located right next to the Sissu Waterfall.

The second lake is just before the ascent of Baralacha La starts. It is called Deepak Tal and is also a great spot for self-camping on Manali Leh highway.

The third lake is located at the top of the Baralacha La Pass. It is known as Suraj Tal.

There is also a 4th lake right after you climb down from Baralacha La. It is just a small body of water and I do not believe anyone has bothered naming it yet. I have always seen a lot of ducks floating around in it though.

Petrol Pump on Manali Leh Highway

Petrol pumps on the Manali Leh highway are located in Manali, Keylong, Tandi, Karu, and Leh. Between Tandi and Karu is the 350+ kilometers long stretch where there is no fuel station in between. The Dhabas en route however sell both petrol and Diesel in black.

ATM on Manali Leh Highway

ATM is available in Manali, Keylong, and Leh only. Other than these places, there are no ATMs on Manali Leh highway. I noticed one in Karu as well but found it to be non-functional.

Places on Manali Leh Highway & Their Altitude

Below is a list of all the places that you will cover while traveling from Manali to Leh along with their respective altitudes.

  • Manali – 1950 Mtrs
  • Marhi – 3300 Mtrs
  • Rohtang Pass – 3980 Mtrs
  • Gramphu – 3200 Mtrs
  • Khokhsar – 3140 Mtrs
  • Sissu – 3170 Mtrs
  • Tandi – 2573 Mtrs
  • Keylong – 3080 Mtrs
  • Jispa – 3320 Mtrs
  • Darcha – 3360 Mtrs
  • Deepak Tal – 3810 Mtrs
  • Patseo – 3811 Mtrs
  • Zingzing Bar – 4270 Mtrs
  • Suraj Tal – 4883 Mtrs
  • Baralacha La – 4890 Mtrs
  • Bharatpur – 4600 Mtrs
  • Sarchu – 4290 Mtrs
  • Gata Loops – 4190 Mtrs
  • Nakee La – 4740 Mtrs
  • Lachalung La – 5079 Mtrs
  • Pang – 4600 Mtrs
  • Moore Plains – 4730 Mtrs
  • Debring – 4835 Mtrs
  • Tanglang La – 5328 Mtrs
  • Rumste – 4260 Mtrs
  • Upshi – 3480 Mtrs
  • Leh – 3500 Mtrs

The only place where you will have to leave the highway to visit is Tso Kar Lake. A road bifurcates from the Manali Leh road to the lake just after More Plains, near Debring. You will turn right and travel for about 20 km to arrive at the lake. The condition of the road is good though and at most, it will take just 90 minutes to 2 hours to cover Tso Kar.

All the other places are either a part of the highway itself or are located right along the road.

lahaul valley

Manali to Leh Ladakh Highway – Conclusion

For as long as I can remember, the Manali Leh highway has always been given preference over the second route to Leh, the Srinagar Leh highway. Though both the roads are equally beautiful and challenging, almost everyone prefers to reach Leh via Manali and take the Srinagar road for the journey back home.

I think the primary reason behind that is the challenging nature of the road. When someone plans a trip to Leh, the feeling is of adventure, and Srinagar to Leh route is considered easier. So for adventure seekers and people who want the adventure to begin early, the Manali Leh highway becomes the obvious choice.

I hope the information on traveling from Manali to Leh Ladakh was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.

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Alexis Malafosse May 23, 2023 - 8:09 pm

Bonjour Vargis,
Excellent blog sur le Ladakh !!! J’aimerais savoir si on peut quitter la route Manali Leh et aller jusqu’au Pologongka la et revenir sur la route Manali Leh. Ya t il un poste de contrôle avant le Pologongka la ?? De ce col, on peut tenter le sommet du Pologongka qui a l’air d’un sommet à 6000 m accessible.
Comme je roulerai à vélo, j’espère ne pas être dévoré par un de ces horribles chiens dont vous parlez dans un de vos articles.
J’arrive à Manali vers le 23 juin pour une dizaine de semaines au Ladakh.

Vargis.Khan May 24, 2023 - 7:48 am

Bonjour Alexis,

Merci. Oui, vous pouvez aller à Polokongka La mais ce sera une longue balade à vélo. Vous devrez rester au lac Tso Kar pour la nuit. Essayez Polokongka La le lendemain et revenez à Tso Kar. En raison de la pente et des mauvaises routes, tenter cela en une journée pourrait être difficile.

Alexis Malafosse May 25, 2023 - 5:16 pm

Bonjour Vargis,
Je vous remercie pour votre réponse et pour votre blog qui est une aide précieuse pour préparer un séjour au Ladakh.
J’espérais passer la nuit au Pologongka la, monter au sommet du Pologongka à 6390 m d’altitude le lendemain puis retourner à Tso Kar. Ensuite, retourner sur la route Manali Leh, le Tanglala Pass puis Leh pour finir le voyage.
Ensuite, j’aimerais aller au lac Tso Moriri et tenter un ou deux sommets à 6000, comme le Chalung ou le sommet de Korzok Kangri en ayant demandé le permis pour le lac Tso Moriri à Leh. J’aimerais aussi tenter le sommet Chamser Kangri, c’est plus long, je ne sais pas si c’est possible.
Si je pouvais monter au sommet du Pologongka, le Chalung et le Korzok Kangri pendant mon séjour au Ladkh, ça serait parfait, je resterai une dizaine de semaines.

Vargis.Khan May 26, 2023 - 7:05 am

Bonjour Alexis,
Je vous remercie pour vos aimables paroles. C’est un plan génial mon ami. Si vous envisagez de camper en solo, alors oui, vous pouvez le faire à Polokongka La. Sinon, vous devrez rester dans les campings près de Tso Kar et tenter le sommet le lendemain.

Shikhar May 23, 2023 - 11:22 am

Hi Mr Vargis, Thanks for detailed info and inspiring me to undertake Delhi – Leh – Delhi trip by road self drive (SELTOS) with family (wife & 2 Adult Daughters). Based on all the inputs tha you have provided, i have made an relaxed itinerary for myself which i can fast track depending on experinces and situations. I wish to ghet a validation from you is possible as that definitely will boost morale.

Day No Date From To

Day 1 02-06-2023 Ghaziabad Manali
Day 2 03-06-2023 Manali Manali (Will celebrate b’day of my Daughter)
Day 3 03-06-2023 Manali Sarchu
Day 4 04-06-2023 Sarchu Leh
Day 5 05-06-2023 Leh Leh
Day 6 06-06-2023 Leh Disket (Nubra)
Day 7 07-06-2023 Disket (Nubra) Panamik
Day 8 08-06-2023 Panamik Pangong Lake
Day 9 09-06-2023 Pangong Lake Leh
Day 10 10-06-2023 Leh Tso Morari
Day 11 11-06-2023 Tso Morari Tso Morari
Day 12 12-06-2023 Tso Morari Sarchu
Day 13 13-06-2023 Sarchu Manali
Day 14 14-06-2023 Manali Ghaziabad

Since i have earmarked few extra days let me know if you ahve any suggestions to offer to get more out of this trip.

I have keenly noted finer points but still if you have any thing to say, would be great.

Thanking you in advance, b/r

Vargis.Khan May 24, 2023 - 7:52 am

Hi Shikhar,

A few suggestions from my end.

1. There will be a risk of altitude sickness in Sarchu. If you can, stay in Jispa for the night instead
2. Why do you want to spend a day at Tso Moriri? There is nothing there really except for the lake.
3. Sarchu while returning will be Ok.

Shikhar May 24, 2023 - 10:37 am

Thanks will note that …. since i donot have clue about place or interest that it might generate,have kept time in hand, can always fast track it. This surely helps

Shikhar May 24, 2023 - 10:40 am

Secondly have kept Sarchu as place to stay because of Deepak Tal etc ….. Will anyways check for altitude sickness, didnt happen in mylast trip to KAZA some years back hence was contemplating ….. Anyways thanks for headsup…..

Vargis.Khan May 25, 2023 - 7:00 am

You are welcome !!!

Puneet April 2, 2023 - 5:36 pm

Hello Vargis!
Thank you for an excellent coverage of the journey with all the necessary details. We are planning to rent a car from Manali and take on this road trip in Week1 June this year. Since the Atal Tunnel will save 3-4 hrs of the journey, by what time can we expect to reach Sarchu Camp Site realistically? I understand the possibility of AMS in Sarchu but with the medication, do you think it is manageable? If not, then will it be possible to do Jispa – Leh on Day 2 comfortably before sunset?
Also, any recommendations or contacts for reliable car rentals in Manali?
Thanks a lot!
Really enjoying all your related blogs!

Vargis.Khan April 3, 2023 - 5:27 am

Thanks Puneet

Manali Sarchu by Atal Tunnel – 6 hours
AMS at Sarchu – You should definitely expect it even after medication
Jispa to Leh – Doable in 8-9 hours easily

Divya March 12, 2023 - 5:06 am

Hi Vargis!
This is an excellent guide for first timers like us. We are a family of four, with two teenage boys wanting to make a trip to Leh in the end of April. Would it be too early in Leh? Would roads be closed? If yes, then does it make sense to fly in from Chandigarh? We would like to go by your advice.

POOJA APURVA MALKAN January 23, 2023 - 9:00 am

manali to leh can we travel in end of may?

Vargis.Khan January 23, 2023 - 10:48 pm

Depends on the weather but it is usually open by the end of May

Vinitha Belliappa January 31, 2022 - 7:42 am

Hello Vargis, we are a group of 4 women in our early 60’s planning the Manali to Leh road trip this year. Your blog made for a very interesting read and gives a lot of very use info. Is there someone who can help us to put this trip together . We also need a good vehicle with a good reliable driver for the road trip…. exploring various options. We were planning May but your blog advised otherwise. Pl do advise.

Vargis.Khan February 5, 2022 - 11:23 am

Hello Vinitha Ji – Please try contacting Kunal @ 9910402252. Give him my reference and he will offer you the best rates possible. Let me know if it doesn’t work out and I will guide you to someone else

Vinitha Belliappa February 12, 2022 - 5:33 pm

Thank you Vargis. Have already contacted Kunal…on your recommendation. We plan to spend 2 nights in Manali then set out from Manali on June 3rd….to Jispa. Stay there for two nights and then onto Leh. Is the timing ok? Will it be safe to do the road trip then….your vlog says best is September but we’d love to experience the drive thro banks of snow. …what do you say?
We plan to spend 3 nights in Leh, 2 nights in Nubra valley to include turtuk and one night in Pangong .

Vinitha Belliappa February 12, 2022 - 5:38 pm

Which is the best vehicle for the Manali to leh road trip ?

Vargis.Khan February 15, 2022 - 10:31 am

SUV with high ground clearance

Vargis.Khan February 15, 2022 - 10:32 am

Hi Vinitha – Yes, June is also a good time to go. Weather will be good and pleasant.

Deepak February 6, 2022 - 4:58 am

Such a beautiful write up !!
Early July will there be snow on both sides while driving like in the pic? Which month we can witness snow on the road sides?

Vargis.Khan February 10, 2022 - 10:24 am

Thank you. Late May or June will be the best to see snow walls. That picture was clicked in July but there was heavy snowfall that year. This winter, there has not been a lot of snow anywhere.

Sujit Ganvir From Nagpur February 23, 2022 - 6:31 am

प्रिय वर्गिस खान जी,
मुझे आपका ब्लॉग बहोत अच्छा लगा. आपने काफी अच्छी जानकारी दी हैं. मैं और मेरे ३ दोस्त, ऐसे ४ लोग मिलकर हम लोग अगस्त २०२२ मे मनाली से लेह रोड से जाना चाहते हैं. कृपया हमे बतायें की हम कहा से गाडी ले और कहॉं-कहॉ होम स्टे या होटल मे रुक सकते हैं वो भी बजट मे. पूरी ट्रीप के लिए ४ लोगो को अंदाजन कितना खर्चा आयेगा…?
कृपया हमारा मार्गदर्शन करे.

Vargis.Khan February 25, 2022 - 4:50 am

Dhanyavaad Sujit Ji. Kharche ka toh andaza batana thoda mushkil hai par main aapko ye zaroor bata sakta hoon ke kaise travel karna hai. Aap kahan se shuru kar rahe hain?

Sujit Ganvir From Nagpur February 23, 2022 - 6:32 am

प्रिय वर्गिस खान जी,
मुझे आपका ब्लॉग बहोत अच्छा लगा. आपने काफी अच्छी जानकारी दी हैं. मैं और मेरे ३ दोस्त, ऐसे ४ लोग मिलकर हम लोग अगस्त २०२२ मे मनाली से लेह रोड से जाना चाहते हैं. कृपया हमे बतायें की हम कहा से गाडी ले और कहॉं-कहॉ होम स्टे या होटल मे रुक सकते हैं वो भी बजट मे. पूरी ट्रीप के लिए ४ लोगो को अंदाजन कितना खर्चा आयेगा…?
कृपया हमारा मार्गदर्शन करे.

Vargis.Khan February 25, 2022 - 4:50 am

Dhanyavaad Sujit Ji. Kharche ka toh andaza batana thoda mushkil hai par main aapko ye zaroor bata sakta hoon ke kaise travel karna hai. Aap kahan se shuru kar rahe hain?

CHANDRAJIT MUKHERJEE January 11, 2022 - 8:30 pm

Hi, I am a regular follower of your blog, and it’s truly magnificent.
I have make a plan to visit leh ladakh on 12th June 2022 from manali. Is the manali leh highway will be opened at that time. I had already book my return ticket for leh air port on 25th June 2022. Then is it better to go through Srinagar leh highway. Which one is better in sonic beauty.

Vargis.Khan January 12, 2022 - 9:31 am

Thank you Chandrajit. Yes, Manali Leh is usually open in June. Both of the roads are an equal in scenic beauty but if this is your first time, go via Manali.

Pulkit jain May 29, 2022 - 9:27 pm

Hey even I’m starting my journey from manali from 12 Tu June 2022 on a bike ride . Can u pls help me with some queries .. pls share ur contact no. If possible

Marshall July 24, 2021 - 4:26 am

Thank you for this detailed explaination of the route. I have a question and it has been keeping me pondering for days. I’m tryna take my car for the trip next week but its 11 years which isn’t allowed on Rohtang Pass. I was wondering if there would be any restrictions on taking the Tunnel coz of the age of the car. And secondly as you mentioned there would be a verification of the permits for Rohtang Pass at Gulaba, would they allow me through if i said that i was taking the tunnel ? Your reply is much anticipated. Thank you.

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2021 - 6:43 am

The restriction is only applicable to the pass, not the Tunnel.

And that too while going from the Manali side. The restriction also does not apply and no permit is needed if you are approaching the pass from the other side and driving down to Manali

ARVIND SINHA April 16, 2021 - 1:03 pm

I am a solo traveller . 54 year old male . Want to travel from Manali to Leh . What is the easiest way to do so ?

Vargis.Khan April 17, 2021 - 9:31 pm

A bus will be a good choice.

ARVIND SINHA April 19, 2021 - 11:23 am

Does HPTDC (HP Tourism Development Corporation)provide Luxury or Volvo Bus from Manali to Leh ?

Vargis.Khan April 19, 2021 - 2:06 pm

Yes they do, starting June every year

Mohammad Rafik shaikh January 21, 2021 - 10:58 am

Dear sir, I want to know can we get the local transport (Bus) to reach leh from srinagar, if we want to go from srinagar leh route.

Suraj Tal - How to Reach, Best Time, Sightseeing & Tips - Vargis Khan November 15, 2020 - 8:29 pm

[…] There is also a legend associated with Suraj Tal, a love story that I will further discuss in the article. The lake remains covered under snow for most of the year and only turns blue between June and September. It is one of the major attractions of Lahaul Valley and Manali Leh Highway. […]

deepak tal - Vargis Khan November 15, 2020 - 7:56 pm

[…] For a complete list of places that you will see between Manali and Leh, please take a look at How to Plan a Journey on Manali Leh Highway. […]

Sarchu - Vargis Khan November 5, 2020 - 1:38 am

[…] For a complete travel guide on Manali Leh Highway, please take a look at How to Plan a Journey on Manali Leh Highway. […]

nakee la - Vargis Khan November 3, 2020 - 10:37 pm

[…] Please note that in this post, I will only talk about the Nakee La Pass. For information on the rest of the route between Leh and Manali, I will recommend you to take a look at How to Plan a Journey on Manali Leh Highway. […]

Tanglang La Pass, Ladakh - Travel Guide & Sightseeing - Vargis Khan November 3, 2020 - 10:23 pm

[…] La in itself is an attraction of Manali Leh Highway. It is just a high altitude pass and there is not much to see at the pass as such. There are […]

How to Plan a Bike Trip to Leh Ladakh - Vargis Khan October 28, 2020 - 1:23 am

[…] like Srinagar, Leh, and Manali have plenty of mechanics and you will have no trouble finding spare parts there. But in remote […]

Best Time to visit Jispa - Weather of Jispa & When to Go - Vargis Khan October 26, 2020 - 5:07 pm

[…] banks of the Bhaga River, Jispa offers some of the best views you can get in Lahaul Valley and on Manali Leh highway. It is really just a quiet little village consisting of a handful of houses, a school, a helipad, a […]

Dileesh October 4, 2020 - 6:56 am

Appreciate your patience in replying to many individuals and assuring their safety and concern since ages. You are indeed gifted. May you find peace and luck in all your good deeds.

Vargis.Khan October 4, 2020 - 2:21 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words Dileesh. I appreciate it. God Bless you !!!

DrVijaysinha Desai October 3, 2020 - 2:56 am

Vargis one of the best descriptions of the route from manali to Leh.I did the tour in2018 but your blog refreshed and rekindled memories of that visit.Thank you so much for the great effort you taken for future visitors to this beautiful place.

Vargis.Khan October 4, 2020 - 2:25 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to drop a note, Dr. Desai. I appreciate your kind words.

Ashhar Ali April 4, 2020 - 9:48 am

Hi Varghis,
Thank you for the blog, one of the best I have found online so far.
I am planning a ride from Manali to Leh towards end of May or early June this year, depending how the whole Covid-19 situation goes.
Are there any bike rental places you would recommend? Someone you trust.
I will need atleast 2 bikes (still waiting on more people to confirm). Ideally looking at Bullet Standard or Thunderbird.
We would also have girls in the group, how safe are the accommodations in Jispa etc. Also any news rules that we should be aware of?
Appreciate you sharing all the experience from your trips, a real guide for first timers like us.

Upmanayu May 30, 2020 - 4:29 am

Khan bhai if possible plz share ur contact number .

Animesh Rai June 1, 2020 - 11:00 am

Hi Vargis,
Thanks for the detailed info. I am planning to cycle solo from Manali to Leh from 10th June onwards or thereabouts. Can I be assured of finding accommodation in the form of tents and food in dhabas all along the way? If so, what would be the cost of the tents per night? Is the food cheap?
Or is it better to carry one’s own tent and food? In that case, would I be able to set up my tent wherever I want to depending on how much I have cycled on a particular day?
Thanks and best wishes,

dipz June 2, 2020 - 7:36 am

Hi Animesh,
I was also planning for a cycle ride from Manali to Leh, but now not this year. If you do, please share your experience. Would love to follow your suggestions to do so.

Animesh Rai June 3, 2020 - 5:11 am

Hi Dipz,
Sure. If I do, I surely will. I am currently waiting to see how the COVID-19 situation develops.

Shalabh March 16, 2020 - 11:20 am

Hello Vargis,
Hope you are doing well and thanks for this wonderful blog.
I am planning to go to Leh from Delhi on 14th June 2020 by my own car. My question is are the roads okay to drive Baleno on this Leh Ladahak Manali rugged roads or should I take flight directly from Delhi to Leh and from there we can opt for rented bike?

Thanking you in anticipation !

Vargis.Khan March 16, 2020 - 2:02 pm

Hi Shalabh – Yes you will be able to manage it in a Baleno as long as you have decent enough driving skills.

Shalabh March 16, 2020 - 11:19 am

Hello Vargis,
Hope you are doing well and thanks for this wonderful blog.
I am planning to go to Leh from Delhi on 14th June 2020 by my own car. My question is are the roads okay to drive Baleno on this Leh Manali rugged roads or should I take flight directly from Delhi to Leh and from there we can opt for rented bike ?

Thanking you in anticipation !

Vargis.Khan March 16, 2020 - 2:02 pm

Hi Shalabh – Yes you will be able to manage it in a Baleno as long as you have decent enough driving skills.

Manali Leh Highway Status 2020 Latest Updates - Vargis Khan October 27, 2019 - 12:37 am

[…] If you want to know the complete present status of Manali Leh highway then it cannot just be restricted to the question of when does Manali to Leh road open.  You will also have to apprise yourself with other information like the condition of the road, your accommodation choices, mode of transport, the best way to travel, etc. If you were traveling by your own vehicle, either a car or motorcycle, then please do take a look at Manali to Leh Road Route Map to familiarize yourself with the region. If you want to read a more detailed version of the map, then please take a look at Manali Leh Highway Guide : Map and route explanation. […]

How to reach Ladakh by Bike, Car, Bus, Train and Flight - Vargis Khan September 1, 2019 - 6:50 pm

[…] first one is via Srinagar, known as Srinagar Leh Highway, and the second one via Manali, known as Manali Leh Highway. Both these roads are almost the same in distance and travel time. From Srinagar, Leh is about 420 […]

ROSHAN August 31, 2019 - 10:21 am

Hi Vargis,
This is Roshan here, I have been going through a lot of your articles recently to plan my Ladakh trip.
Thanks a lot for these articles, it’s turning out to be really helpful to plan.
However, I have a few questions about this, me and 3 of my friends are planning for a bike trip to ladakh starting from 28th of sept from Manali and planning to return back by 8th of October, to manali I am concerned a bit about the weather and all the other scenarios that need to be taken into account is it advisable to travel back via Leh Manali highway in the first two weeks of October, kindly help us on this and thanks in advance.

Where can you Camp in Ladakh in 2019 - 2020? - Vargis Khan August 18, 2019 - 3:59 am

[…] tents are available throughout on Manali Leh highway and you will keep coming across them now and then. Almost every Dhaba en route has an arrangement […]

NARINDER SINGH MALHAN July 2, 2019 - 11:16 am

Beautiful description of route

Vargis.Khan July 2, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Thanks Narinder

Bhupendra June 29, 2019 - 9:50 am

Hello sir,
Can u plz tell us the no.of stoppages and names of them from Manali to Leh tour by HPTDC bus.

Vargis.Khan June 29, 2019 - 5:53 pm

Hello Bhupendra Bhai – Please see the following post.

Ekta June 26, 2019 - 10:56 am

Hi Vargis! I am travelling to Leh in September…driving from Manali to Jispa on day 1 and Jispa to Leh on day 2. I’ve been doing my bit of reading and though all other details seem to be pretty clear, i want to know if there are toilets available while one is on the road? The travel time isn’t less and we need to figure this out since there are women in the group. No one seems to be asking/talking about it but it is a concern for us. Would appreciate any help on this.

Vargis.Khan June 27, 2019 - 12:03 am

Hi Ekta,

Public toilets on the way? None
Where to go? Chadar tents and Dhabas on the way have arrangements. It is basically a hole dug in the ground that a person squats over inside a tent. Very stinky and bad experience.

Ekta June 28, 2019 - 7:48 am

Thanks for the reply. It is indeed a sad state. What if i carry my own portable toilet tent? Will it be allowed? It is a slightly tedious task to set it up everytime one needs to use it but i am guessing better than the unhygienic conditions.

Vargis.Khan June 28, 2019 - 1:21 pm

Hi Ekta – Yes you can bring your own tent. Lots of space to set it up.

Ekta August 5, 2019 - 9:24 am

Hey! Owing to the current situation in J&K, I’ve been reading about a lot of trips getting cancelled. Though my trip is still a month away and I’m taking the Manali-Leh route, i was told about Nubra and Pangong shut down and protests on the road. Just wanted to check if you had any insights on the same.

Vargis.Khan August 5, 2019 - 2:23 pm

No such news as of now but wait for a few days and see how the situation develops before deciding on what to do.

Suraj Nair June 21, 2019 - 10:08 am

Hey how many times have you completed your leh journey?

Vargis.Khan June 21, 2019 - 12:39 pm

I have been there a few times

Vineet June 5, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Hi Vargis Bhai..EID Mubarak..!!

You have provided some excellent info as I was reading above..Thanks for all this..!!

I belong to Delhi and planning to go to Jispa next week and stay there in camps for 3-4 days..i would not go futher and come back from Jispa…Is Jispa good place to stay..also I would be traveling in i -20 road safe to travel in a mall car..!!


Vargis.Khan June 5, 2019 - 3:42 pm

Hello Vineet Bhai – EID Mubarak !!!

Yes, Jispa is a lovely place and you can definitely travel in your i20 till there.

Yash June 11, 2019 - 3:29 am

Jispa is a good place u must go to baralacha its a awesome plase must visit its 2 hours journeys u can come back by visiting tomorrow and can come back after spending time there

Vardhman Bengani June 15, 2019 - 5:52 pm

Hii Vargis Bhai.. I am planning to travel to Ladakh in September first week.. Looking for a good travel agency that can take care of the tour.. Can you pls suggest one .

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2019 - 6:45 pm

Bhai you can contact Rohit @ 9910722252

Srinagar Bike Rental Rates 2019 - Bikes on rent in Srinagar - Vargis Khan April 28, 2019 - 6:40 am

[…] Also Read: Manali Leh Highway Travel Guide […]

Nayan April 26, 2019 - 11:03 am

Hi Vargis, we are planning to visit ladakh in coming month from Ahmedaabd Gujarat with our own vehicle, which is Creta.

kindly guide.

kind note, its our 1st trip by own vehicle.

Vargis.Khan April 26, 2019 - 2:19 pm

Hi Nayan – Let me know what your questions are and I will be happy to answer.

Manali Leh Highway Status 2019 - Vargis Khan February 4, 2019 - 12:26 am

[…] Manali Leh Highway Guide : Map and route explanation […]

Mohd adnan August 22, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Hi Vargis
Hope you r well,
How’s the weather of Himachal , we r coming this Friday for Manali to leh trip.
Mohd Adnan

Mohd adnan August 26, 2018 - 9:19 am

Hi Vargis .
I have reached manali..

Mohd adnan August 18, 2018 - 7:51 pm

How’s the condition of bike (bullet)of which we opt from mnali . Or can u suggest me , which person give me the best bike for leh I love came to coming Friday . I really exited for my dream trip.
Everything is ok in himachal ??
Mohd Adnan

gagank88 August 17, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Hello Vargis,

Thanks for putting together these documents, they have been very helpful! Me and a two friends are planning to get to Leh on September 9th and staying there until around the 13th before getting either a private taxi or by HPTDC bus to Manali as you have suggested. Have any of the rates changed? From which you have mentioned? I went on Himachal Pradesh Tourism website and noticed that the bus is now Rs. 2900 here:|Leh&toCity=686|Manali&departDate=13-09-2018

Do you know if this still includes the food and accommodation that you noted above?

Also, if we decide that we want to take a taxi, do you know if we would be able to easily find taxis around Leh that will be able to give us tourists a good deal?

In addition: Would it be easy to find taxi’s to take us around Leh and surrounding areas while we’re there? And how much do you think this would cost (say per hour) — This last question may be a little out of the scope of this page.

If you would be able to get back at your earliest convenience, that would be great.

Thanks again,

Mohd adnan August 15, 2018 - 10:50 am

Hi vargis ,
How’s the weather in Himachal cause we r pland manali to leh from 24th august is that right tym to planepl leh trip . We Heard about himachal weather . Please assist .

Mohd Adnan .

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2018 - 12:38 pm

Hi Adnan – Weather right now is bad in Himachal. Lots of rain and resulting land slides. Keep your fingers crossed that weather subsides by 24th.

Mohd adnan August 15, 2018 - 2:29 pm

Thanks Vargis ,

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2018 - 4:08 pm

You are welcome Bhai !!!!

Mohd adnan August 15, 2018 - 6:07 pm

One more query , is it safe rout for two person in one bike mnali to leh .

Vargis.Khan August 15, 2018 - 8:12 pm

Yes it is

Suraj Singh August 8, 2018 - 2:50 am

Hi Vargis bhai,

I saw your article and it’s very useful for us.

Main coming Friday evening (10th Aug) Ja rha hu Leh-Lakadh from Delhi-Manali-Leh route and 19th Aug(Sunday night) vapis aana hai apni Baleno car se jo ki recently kharidi hai and ek service bhi ho chuki hai.

So kya ap 09 days ke liye itinerary bata sakte ho jisse hum sab cover karke timely vapis aa sake.


Vargis.Khan August 8, 2018 - 1:21 pm

Hi Suraj Bhai,

Aap ye uper wala article ek baar dekh lo pls. Ise padhne ke baad koi sawal ho toh let me know.

Ravi August 3, 2018 - 2:57 am

Vargis bhai ram ram,
Bhai hum kal nikal rhe hai leh laddakh ke liye to gadi se ja sakte hai na aram se Renault Kwid hai gadi

Vargis.Khan August 3, 2018 - 3:26 am

Ram Ram Ravi Bhai

Bilkul ja sakte ho Kwid leke, achhi ground clearance hai. Bas zara water crossings par dhyaan se nikalna, baaki sab theek hai. Mera dost abhi Swift leke gaya tha, koi dikkat nahi hui kahin

Mohd adnan August 2, 2018 - 12:03 pm

I have planned 24th Aug Manali to leh is this safe tym and mnali to leh higwayh open in last month of august

Vargis.Khan August 2, 2018 - 7:17 pm

Yes the road will be open and OK to travel at that time. It won’t be raining so much by August end.

Mohd adnan August 2, 2018 - 11:57 am

We are planning last month of August please aseet.

Vargis.Khan August 2, 2018 - 7:18 pm

What help do you need?

Mohd adnan August 4, 2018 - 6:19 pm

Tell me about the permit . Or two persons will manage one bike it’s safe or not

Sanjay MR July 24, 2018 - 5:54 pm

Hi Vargis,

An excellent article, enjoyed reading all your write ups.

Need some suggestions.I was planning to go on a trip to Leh starting from Manali by the last week of August by renting a bike from Manali. However, I am a solo traveler and I was wondering if could travel with any biker group or even better if I could join with or any Company or a tour operator which arranges a bike trip to Leh-Ladakh. (basically to travel along with a few bikers and a mechanic, just in case) I got in touch with this Company called Adventure Nation and was keen on going ahead with their offering of a 12 day trip from Manali to Leh at a cost of INR 42,000. (Bike, fuel, stay ,food and other miscellaneous things included).

However, just before making a confirmation deposit to them, I fortunately went through a few reviews online. To be honest most of the customers who have dealt with them previously were completely unsatisfied with the services provided by them and mentioned it was a complete rip off. Could you kindly suggest any other Company or a tour operator who provides a similar package who may not be a rip off and are genuine people.

Thank you in advance.

Vargis.Khan July 24, 2018 - 10:40 pm

Hello Sanjay – Sorry to disappoint you brother but I really don’t know of any tour agents; have never dealt with any. Most of them are anyways ripping customers off; trying to make as much as money as they can from tourist rush in Ladakh, so I am not really surprised hearing such reviews about this agency.

Shyam July 1, 2018 - 10:36 am

Hi Vargis,
Really appreciate your effort to post valuable information which is extremely helpful for travelers. I am planning to go leh and manali from delhi in this july last and i have got only 8days in total.
I have read most of your post regarding manali leh trip.However, I have got few questions, It would be really helpful if you could give me an answer for following questions.

1. Do i need to take a permit from manali, if I am going to leh by hrtc bus via manali?
2. How reliable is manali to leh single day bus (4:00am to 6:30pm) and does that reach leh on the same day?
3. Can you please tell me the bus schedule from leh to manali? Is there any bus from leh runs to manali in a single day?
4. How long does it takes to reach leh via Srinagar? Could you please suggest me the ways to reach Srinagar from delh and bus timings from Srinagar to leh.


Vargis.Khan July 1, 2018 - 2:59 pm

Hi Shyam,

1. Rohtang permit is not needed if your are going by HRTC Bus.
2. Yes it will definitely reach Leh on same day.
3. There is no single day bus for return journey. For Leh to Manali, the bus will halt at Keylong overnight. See the post below please.

4. You can board a bus or train to reach Srinagar from Delhi. See the post below please.

Vatsal mody June 14, 2018 - 3:00 pm

Hi mr. vargis,

How much actual time it take from jispa to leh. On google map it shows only 9 hours.

Kindly let me know so can plan at what time i have start from jispa. Im travelling on 25th june from jispa to leh.



Vargis.Khan June 14, 2018 - 4:10 pm

Hello Vatsal – Please plan according to a journey of about 11-12 hours and start by first light of the day from Jispa.

Vatsal June 14, 2018 - 4:12 pm

Thanks a lot

How much storage time in this? Approx

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2018 - 3:07 pm

I am sorry .. Storage time?

Vatsal June 15, 2018 - 3:10 pm

Hell with the auto correct. Actually it’s stoppage time on the road.

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2018 - 4:49 pm

Bhai that is why I said that you should plan for about 12 hours of journey. There will be a lot of places en route where you would want to stop for sightseeing and starting by first light of the day will give you sufficient time for that.

Vatsal June 15, 2018 - 4:59 pm

Thanks a lot

Vargis.Khan June 15, 2018 - 7:24 pm

You are welcome !!!

Saim Raza June 14, 2018 - 10:54 am

Vargis Bhai
We r planning to visit Leh via Manali in 4th week of June18. This would be a 9 Member Gang with one XUV500, one Himalayan Bike & one R15 V.3 and the Question is that ‘क्या मनाली-लेह रूट में हम पेंगोंग लेक होते हुए जा सकते हैं..?’
If yes, then Guide us (route-accommodation-time)….


साइम रज़ा

Vargis.Khan June 14, 2018 - 1:42 pm

Hello Saim – You cannot go straight to Pangong without permits. You will first have to reach Leh, get the permits and then go to Pangong.

manish April 22, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Hello sir,
I just want to know about the status of rohatang pass. I have planned to reach in manali in first week (07/05/2018) of may.

Vargis.Khan April 22, 2018 - 4:14 pm

Hi Manish – It was opened earlier in April but then closed again due to recent snowfalls. There is no telling as of now by when they will open it again.

Mahesh Bisht March 8, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Hi Vargis,

We are around 8 people, planning to do a cycling expedition from Manali to Leh during third week of July, 2018. We have certain queries:

1. Would third week of July be a good to time to pursue this adventure?
2. What kind of permits would we need to take for this expedition?
3. Would we be able to find space for tent pitching and camping? If yes, we might plan to carry camping gears like tent, mattresses, sleeping bags, cooking ware and the like with us.
4. Please suggest us a itinerary out of your experience.

Any other suggestion which you would like to give us.


Vargis.Khan March 8, 2018 - 3:18 pm

Hi Mahesh,

1. Yes
2. No permits needed on Manali to Leh route for cycling
3. There are several places en route where you can camp so yes, you may carry your own camping gear
4. How many days do you have for the trip?

Mahesh Bisht March 9, 2018 - 5:33 am

Hi Vargis,

Thanks for clarifying our doubts.
For our 4th point, we would have around 10 days for the expedition (but we can manage to have 2 more days).

Vargis.Khan March 9, 2018 - 9:01 pm

Hi Mahesh – For a 10 days trip, take a look at the article below. I have suggested a few itineraries in detail. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mahesh Bisht March 10, 2018 - 4:50 am

Hi Vargis,

Thank you for the valuable information.
But it seems impossible to follow the itineraries you have attached while cycling. Because with cycles we would be able to cover a distance of around 40-60 km a day, not more than that, in the mountains.

Please share your opinion.


Vargis.Khan March 12, 2018 - 8:52 pm

Sorry brother, I forgot that you were cycling; must ask you a couple of more questions. You have 10 days to cover just Manali Leh highway or are you including other areas as well? And I am guessing that you will be flying back, correct?

Mahesh Bisht March 13, 2018 - 4:52 am

We would have around 12 days and we would surely like to visit other places like Tso Kar, Khardung La, Leh and yes, we would be returning back from Leh by vehicle (bus or taxi).

Mahesh Bisht March 13, 2018 - 4:55 am

We would have around 11-12 days for our trip. If it’s possible, we would like to cover Manali-Leh in around 8-9 days. We will return back from Leh by vehicle (bus or taxi).

dipz April 2, 2018 - 1:09 pm

Hello Mahesh,
I am also planning for Manali – Leh self supported cycling, and was looking up for partners. If you don’t mind, may I join you?

Debasis Barman March 5, 2018 - 7:04 pm

Can we hire a car from Manali and self drive till Leh and around ? Is it allowed ? Is it safe ?
D Barman from Kolkata

Vargis.Khan March 5, 2018 - 9:33 pm

Any car rented from outside Ladakh can only be used to reach Leh City. For visiting other areas of Ladakh, you will need to rent a local taxi from Leh.

Darshan February 14, 2018 - 9:12 am

Hi Vargis

Thank you very much for sharing such an excellent information.

We are planning a Trip by Road from Jammu and the itinerary is below

13th May Jammu – Srinagar
14th Srinagar – Kargil
15th Kargil – Uleytokpo (Taking precautions due to AMS as we are having child 5 Years of Age)
16th Uleytokpo – Leh
17th in Leh
18th Leh – Hunder
19th Hunder – Leh
20th Leh – Pangong
21st Pangong Tso to Leh via Hemis Monastery
22nd Leh – Jispa
23rd Jispa – Manali
24th Manali – Chandigarh

Is there any chances that Jispa – Manali Highway opens in the end of May ???

Please suggest


Vargis.Khan February 14, 2018 - 2:38 pm

Hello Darshan – Your itinerary looks OK except for the Manali route part. It usually opens by late May or early June. You will have to ask around while you are in Leh. If the road is open then return via Manali or you will have to go back to Srinagar.

Darshan February 21, 2018 - 12:12 pm

Thanks Bro

If we plan our tour from 22nd of may is there any chance that manali route will be opened by 01st or 2nd june

Vargis.Khan February 21, 2018 - 3:05 pm

Yes, there is a very high chance that the road may be open by 1st June

Dip September 6, 2017 - 4:41 pm

Hello vargis bro,

I m Dip from Bangladesh. Your blog really helps me a lot! We are 4 in member and planning for a ladakh tour, we have already confirmed our tickets. Could you please help us by providing the mail ID of Shabuz vai? From Bd? I need to contact with him cause we are from same country. This could help us a lot!

Vargis.Khan September 6, 2017 - 5:09 pm

Hello Dip Bhai – I really do not feel comfortable sharing someone’s email IDs without their consent. If you can please post the questions here and I will ask Shabuz to check the page again and reply.

Shabuz September 7, 2017 - 3:33 pm

I will be very much happy to help or share my experience. But I am just about to leave BD for Kashmir tour. May be I will try to be in touch via email.

Vargis.Khan September 8, 2017 - 5:25 pm

All the best for your trip Shabuz Bhai

Shabuz February 21, 2018 - 3:21 pm

Hello Mr. Dip, so you are from Bangladesh..

Dennis August 23, 2017 - 2:17 am

Dear Varghis Bhai, wonderfully written article, as all your writings are!!

Wanted to know, any bike repair/ tyre puncture shops available on Leh- Manali route? Came to know there are none, but just asking you because you are a more knowledgeable traveller.


Vargis.Khan August 23, 2017 - 1:10 pm

Hello Dennis Bhai – Thank you for your encouraging words. The last puncture repair shop on Leh – Manali route is at Jispa and after that you can find one at Upshi.

Badshah ps August 6, 2017 - 4:28 am

Once again applausing for such a brilliant work!!!..bro if me and my friend renting 3 bullets from manali and reached leh and spent 3 days in leh….and returned to manali…..then what will be the total rough estimate…please show the calculations ( including food(min) ,stay(min) ,petrol ,different passes)

Vargis.Khan August 6, 2017 - 8:16 pm

Bhai first of all you will have to rent two sets of motorcycles. First in Manali to reach Leh, then in Leh again to visit Nubra valley, Pangong etc. You cannot use Manali rented bikes there. Average daily rental of motorcycle will be about 1500 per day so for a 10 day trip, it will be about 15000 for Manali motorcycles and then 3 days for Leh so another 4500 for Leh rented motorcycle. So 20k for just motorcycle rental, then fuel depending on what all places you plan to cover. Average 500-600 minimum per day for stay, so about 6000-7000 for hotels, food is so keep a budget of about 30000 for 10 days.

Ramesh July 25, 2017 - 6:31 am

Dear Vargis, I wanted to thank you for the tips and other important notes, from your earlier posts and mails exchanged which helped me complete our bicycling tour from Manali to Leh in 1st week of July. My son and I completed the journey in 5.5 days. It was a life changing experience…Thanks again for your blog and tips you provide to so many of us …

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2017 - 2:40 pm

Hello Ramesh Bhai, You are welcome. I am glad that the information was useful. How was the cycling trip? Where did you stop? I have been to Ladakh several time but never on a bicycle, am planning this for next year. Would be great if you can share some tips based on your own experience.

Much appreciated.

raghuraman June 4, 2017 - 11:22 am

I am male indian, age 55 years. I am coming from chennai to delhi and then to jammu by train.staying in jammu for 4 days. then catching a flight from jammu (9 25 a.m) reaching leh at 10-30 a.m. on 14th july 2017.
i have read heaps of stuff on ams in your forum and other fora. due to uncertain situation on the srinagar leh route, i somehow booked the flight from jammu to leh. ow i am really really really worried about ams symptoms.
1. it is like a catapult being thrown in just 55 minutes from jammu plains to leh at an altitude of 11000 feet: coming from chennai: current tempeature 39 deg celsius and near the sea,m and i am aged 55 years (no known medical history, though). how serious is ams formme?

2. is carrying oxygen cylinders: portable: allowed in flights? if so, can i carry in hand baggage or should i book them in checked in luggage?

3. can i use the cylinder in the flight or can i use them after getting down in the leh airport?
4. are oxygen bars available in leh: hospitals near leh?
5. i am going to take the precautions as mentioned by you seriously: no activity abd sightseeing etc. for the first two days: only proper nhydraiton and proper food: carbs and rest: may be sleepling in an upright position for the first two days: and no sleeping during the day. what happensd if stull ams strikes? how will i know and can i disturb the hotel staff at untimely hours and whether hospital will be open?

6. Can i carry my laptop to leh: i read somewhere that at high altitudes, sometimes electronic items stop working. can i take the risk?

these are serious and very worrisome questions. i shall be extremely thankful, if you could answer them patiently one by one. thanks and regards.

Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 2:57 am

Hello Mr. Raghuraman,

Sir first of all I would like to add that I have absolutely no medical knowledge at all. Whatever I mentioned in my article was based on my pratical knowledge. I would strongly advise that you please consult a doctor before starting the trip and get an expert advice on the matter.

1. AMS can get quite serious but such cases are extremely rare. For majority of the people, it is just symptoms for a while, few hours, a day at most and then it gets better as their body adjusts to high altitude.

2. I do not beleive carrying oxygen cylinders in flights is allowed.

3. They already have those oxygen masks on top of the seats in plane. You wont need a cylinder on the flight.

4. Yes

5. If you suddenly start feeling like you are suffering from high fever, your head starts to hurt followed by bodyache, know that it is AMS.

7. You can carry it but will have to be careful. Please take a look at this article where I have detailed about carrying laptops to high altitude places.

Shabuz June 2, 2017 - 8:15 pm

Hello bro..
I am Shabuz from Bangladesh. Last few days I have been reading your many posts as I have found your site is really helpful. We 3 friends will be visiting Leh starting from 16 to 20 June 2017. On 21st June we will start from Leh to Manali by Jeep. Our draft itinerary is as below
• Day-1: Reach Leh in the early morning from Delhi by air, finding tour operator and local site seeing
• Day-2: local site seeing in Leh
• Day-3: Leh to Nubra valley, night stay
• Day-4: Nubra to Pangong lake, night stay
• Day-5: Back to Leh, night stay
• Day-6: Leh to Sarchu, night stay
• Day-7: Sarchu to Manali
Based on the above itinerary, what I found Day-5 is waste of day as we have nothing to do in Leh. Can we stay at “Tso kar” lake instead? It will also lift us a bit towards Sarchu I guess. But I have no idea about Tso kar lake such as is it beautiful, or how far it is from the main highway. I just saw the map. Or can plan for Tso moriri?
Another help please…in pangong lake there are 3 areas I have found to stay 1- Spangmik, 2- Man, 3-Merak. Which place do you recommend?

Vargis.Khan June 3, 2017 - 3:57 am

Hello Shabuz Bhai,

You cannot do Pangong to Tso Moriri in a day, way too long a journey. Yes you can however come to Tso Kar and stay at a camp there. It is about 15-20 kilometers off the highway towards Tso Moriri. Stay there on Day 5, then stay at the camps in Jispa on Day 6 and come back to Manali on Day 7,

Shabuz June 6, 2017 - 3:08 pm

Thank you very much Khan bhai, Really you helped a lot. BTW, would you please help further answering below questions?
1. Is it worthy to visit Tso kar rather staying that night in Leh again?
2. How long will it take to reach Tso kar from Leh?
3. How long will it take to reach Sarchu from Tso kar?
4. Should we stay at Sarchu? or Jispa?
5. Most important: should we hire a single taxi/ jeep for the whole trip upto manali?

Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 3:51 pm

Hello Shabuz Bhai,

1. It is a different experience is what I can say, staying at a camp near the lake rather than the hotel.
2. About 2-3 hours at most.
3. 4-5 hours
4. Jispa is better
5. Hire from where, Leh? If yes then yes, you can and probably should do it for a comfortable journey.

Shabuz June 6, 2017 - 4:25 pm

Thanks Bro!! for your continuous support.. I might get back to you again if required.

Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 4:44 pm

You are welcome Bro !!! Happy to help

Shabuz June 6, 2017 - 5:18 pm

Hello Khan Bhai,
Based on your advice I am now planing to stay at Tso kar starting from pangong lake towards manali:
1. How long will it take to reach Tso kar from pangong?
2. How long will it take to reach Jispa (considering few stops for photography).

Vargis.Khan June 6, 2017 - 7:42 pm

Shabuz Bhai,

1. 8-10 hours depending upon your speed and breaks
2. Jispa from Tso Kar will be about 6-7 hours.

Shabuz August 6, 2017 - 9:09 am

Dear Vargis Khan Bhai,
Please accept thanks from Bangladesh!
We completed our tour covering Leh, Nubra, Pangong lake, Tso Kar, Jispa, Manali. Your detail info and quick response to my series of queries really helped us a lot.

Thank you bro!!
Shabuz, Bangladesh.

Vargis.Khan August 6, 2017 - 4:44 pm

Dear Shabuz Bhai,

I am glad that you trip went well and that my answers were of help. How many days did you take to cover all the places?

Shabuz August 6, 2017 - 5:34 pm

Our trip was for 12 days. Total 7 days starting from Leh to reach Manali.

Vargis.Khan August 6, 2017 - 7:32 pm

Did you travel by public transport? Would you mind putting in a little details like how and where you obtained permits, how you traveled? Some basic tips from the point of view of a foreign national? I would love to add it to the blog here with your name to help other foreign citizens planning trip to Ladakh. I can post a few pictures of yours here too if you can share. Thanks Bhai.

Shabuz August 7, 2017 - 11:42 am

First of all I would be very happy if my experience can help any traveler a little bit, specially foreign traveler.

We were 3 friends in the tour. After reaching Leh in the morning we took full day rest for body acclimatization and in the evening we went to main market area for inner line permit (ILP) and money exchange (very good rate compare to Delhi). As ILP cannot be obtained without registered tour agent, we went to an agent name something like Indus valley Adventure Tours located at the corner of the main market area, on the 2nd floor of a 4 storied building, not near the taxi stand as there is another travel agent with almost the same name. There are so many agents over there. I am not recommending this agent as we suffered a lot. They did horrible mistakes while feeling the application for ILP which we found later in the evening as we were on local sightseeing for the whole day (traveller should check the print out before submitting to ILP office). There was no time for correction as were about leave hotel for Nubra in the next morning. It delayed our journey for 2 hours in the morning for getting new ILP with corrections. Unfortunately we took almost all services from this agent as below:

• ILP (1800 rupees for 3 person)
• Full day local sightseeing on the 2nd day (5500 rupees, later we found this is a bit higher)
• Xylo jeep up to Manali for 5 days including 4 nights hotel stay (68000 rupees)

Our strong requirement was 3 individual beds in all 4 hotels but except Nubra we got 1 double and 1 single extra bed everywhere onward. Sometimes we paid extra for extra single room.
Important info for ILP: Every tour agent has their own predefined format which is not 100% same to other. Authorized govt officer just sign it with seal and fix a tiny holographic sticker. It is strictly advised to check and ensure that there is validity in the application. For example 7 days. In our case there was no validity. While we were heading to Pangong lake from Nubra, a police officer called our driver to stop and wait until he reaches there. We waited one hour on the road for that officer to reach us. After reaching the police officer has made us understand the fault. He was a very nice guy, showed apology for the interruption and let us go.

Requirement for ILP:
• Passport copy (main information page including picture)
• Last Indian Visa copy

One set of the above documents need for ILP application but need minimum 6 additional sets in hand as every check post keeps one copy.

Few more info/ advice:
• We did not get permission for Tso moriri
• There is a nice Tour Information Desk closed to Leh center, we found them very helpful and informative. One can get important map and booklet for free.

• Tso kar is really very cold, temperature is fewer than Pangong but not windy
• Avoid continuous shooting during photography specially on high altitude. We may don’t know that we hold breath during shutter clicking of camera. It may cause headache. So take break!

• Diamox should be taken after diner before sleep. We did it wrong on the first day.

• To avoid AMS risk, we rent one oxygen cylinder with the help of our driver for 2800 rupees
for 7 days (400/Day). We didn’t even open that cylinder and handed over it intact to the
driver after reaching Manali. There are cheap mini oxygen bottles ranging 450-550 rupees, but those are onetime bottles. One cylinder is enough for entire group for the whole trip.

• As per the official leaflet of local authority, everyone should drink minimum 5 liters of water every day. Try to eat more carbs, minimum 70% carbs in daily food. It really helps!

Khan bhai, as per your request, how can I post pictures? Also the picture size is very high as I use professional camera. I may compress the size.

Moreover, tour experience or itinerary I can share if required. But I hope you are much more experienced for Ladakh region 😀

Vargis.Khan August 7, 2017 - 2:39 pm

Thank you so much Shabuz Bhai. Great appreciate all the information. Super helpful for a lot of people.

For pictures, you can email me at [email protected] and I will post it here on the blog under your name. If with the pics, you want to add a smalll day by day travelogue or write up, please feel free to do so. Once I post, I will email you back the link. I am sure the information you will provide will be of great help specially for foreign travelers.

Shabuz August 8, 2017 - 9:03 am

Ok..I will send you. Btw, do you have any blog or link for Srinagar? Or any reference? I am now planing for Srinagar and will stay there for about 8 days.

Vargis.Khan August 8, 2017 - 2:01 pm

I do not have a separate blog for Kashmir, will add to this blog only in coming months, haven’t done much writing about Kashmir yet but it is definitely on the list. When are you planning to go?

Varishtha Sharma July 5, 2022 - 8:57 pm

I read many blogs but you explained everything, nice description. Thank you so much ❤

Hetal Dedhia January 16, 2017 - 8:36 am

M planning to visit keylong n baralacha pass from manali this may 25 th.. vl route be open n keylong to kaza.. want to visit baralacha specially. .

Vargis.Khan January 16, 2017 - 2:27 pm

It all depends on the weather Hetal, hard to predict right now. Road usually opens by late May or early June.

Varun August 11, 2016 - 1:04 am

Hello Vargis, i am leaving with my wife tomorrow on a bike, via manali leh route. Are we good with nobody accompanying? Especially in this rainy season?

Vargis.Khan August 11, 2016 - 3:53 am

Hi Varun – You will be fine, I have seen a lot of couples do the route alone. Rain may be a problem but until and around Manali or Rohtang, not much beyond that.

Varun August 11, 2016 - 5:22 am

Thank a lot for clearing my doubts. That’s really encouraging.
Just want to tell you that most of my itinerary is based upon your suggestions spread all over this site. Want to thankyou for all the information and efforts that you put into this site.
Have a look at the itinerary:
August 2016 (13th-26th)
Delhi to Chandigarh – 12th (Fri)
Chandigarh to Manali – 13th (Sat)
Manali Stay – 14th (Sun)
Manali to Jispa/Darcha – 15th (mon) (146km)
Jispa/Darcha to Pang – 16th (tue) (164km)
Pang to Leh – 17th (Wed) (180km)
Leh Stay – 18th (Thur)
Leh to Panamik (Warshi village) – 19th (Fri) (138km) (183km till warshi)
Panamik-Hunder-Leh – 20th (Sat) (167km)
Leh to Pangong Lake – 21st (Sun) (196km)
Pangong Lake to Leh – 22nd (Mon) (196km)
Leh to Tso-moriri – 23rd (tue) (240km)
Tso-Moriri to Sarchu – 24th (wed) (228km)
Sarchu to Manali – 25th (thur) (220km)
Manali to chandigarh – 26th (Fri)
chandigarh to delhi – 27th (sat)

How is it?

Trip to Tso-Moriri is dicy, since i’m skeptical about the distances to travel (240km+228km+220km).

Any suggestions?

Vargis.Khan August 12, 2016 - 2:51 am

Itinerary is perfect brother, I couldn’t have planned it better myself. Leh to Tso Moriri is easily doable in a day but start early from there the next day in order to reach Sarchu in time.

I am glad that the information I posted on the blog was helpful. Thanks for appreciating brother.

I would love if you could share some pics from your trip in the forum at the link below.

Rav June 12, 2016 - 5:10 pm

Is pang a good place to stay on the way to leh from manali.planning the first night stay in jispa ?

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2016 - 5:23 pm

Hi Rav – Yes Pang is a good enough place to stay. Actually there are only two options, either stay ar Sarchu or at Pang and I would advise Pang. In Jispa, there is a camp site right next to the river where you can halt for the night

Rav June 12, 2016 - 5:25 pm

But you have mentioned that pang s high in altitude and ams will hit hard if stayed there

Vargis.Khan June 12, 2016 - 5:34 pm

I agree but then the only other option is to stay at Sarchu. At Sarchu and staying there will prolong the duration of your third day travel. If you stay at Jispa, you will reach Sarchu within 4-5 hours. Staying at Pang will reduce your 3rd day journey to merely 6-7 hours which will give you ample time to reach Leh and search for a good hotel.

AMS will hit you at Pang but it will also prepare you for the journey ahead. Your night her may be a little troublesome but then the night at Pangong will be a little easier.

A Ramasatyavathi June 24, 2023 - 9:37 am

What about signals for cell phones

Vargis.Khan June 26, 2023 - 8:15 am

Jio and Airtel both have good coverage


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