Manali to Leh Bus Service: Frequency, Fare & How to Book

by Vargis.Khan

In this article, I will talk about Manali to Leh Bus service, detailing information like frequency, schedule, fare, and how to book a seat. If you are planning a trip to Ladakh anytime this year and intend on traveling by public transport, you can plan your trip according to the details below.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh – Complete Travel Guide

Is it really worth traveling to Ladakh by Bus? This question comes up quite often and in my opinion, the answer is a definite yes. Several people chose to travel to Ladakh using public transport services like buses, private taxis, shared taxis, and even hitchhiking. It has its own advantages and disadvantages but the experience, in the end, is different altogether. Fortunately, as tourism in Ladakh increases each year, the availability of public transport is also getting better.

manali to leh busImage Credit: HRTC

Manali to Leh Bus Service

There are two types of Buses plying on the Manali to Leh route. One Bus service is by Himachal Road Transport Corporation, HRTC, and another one by Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation, HPTDC. The HRTC bus is cheaper and an ordinary bus; the one provided by HPTDC however is a luxury bus; the fare for which also is higher.

Also read: Delhi to Leh Bus Service

Manali to Leh Bus HRTC

This is a good cost-effective option if you want to travel to Ladakh within budget. It is an ordinary bus that locals use to commute. Contrary to common belief, this is not actually a direct bus all the way to Leh.

From Manali, you will first have to board a bus for Keylong and from there, catch a connecting bus to Leh. This bus service starts 2-3 weeks after Manali Leh highway is declared open by BRO and usually ends by early October. From the Manali bus stand, you will catch a bus early in the morning, will get down at Keylong, and look for accommodation for the night.

The next day morning, you will have to reach the Keylong bus stand early morning and catch the bus going towards Leh. Please note that from Keylong, it will not be the same bus that you came to Keylong on from Manali but a different one. This bus does not stop for sightseeing and breaks are pretty much limited to at a few Dhabas for meals and bio breaks.

Keylong to Leh Bus

There are several HRTC buses from Manali to Keylong throughout the day, at regular intervals. The first one is at 4 AM and the last one is at 1 PM. So in case you miss one bus, you always have the option to catch the next one on the same day. However, from Keylong, it is just one bus at 5 AM which if you miss, you will either have to look for some other mode of travel or spend another day at Keylong.

Also read: Manali to Leh – Available Modes of Transport

From Keylong to Leh, there is a seat allocated with your ticket but from Manali to Keylong, there is no seat allocation. Another important factor here is that in case there is any problem like if the bus breaks down, or there is a roadblock or the bus is not running per its schedule, then this journey from Keylong to Leh will turn into two days. The bus will halt for the night at Pang and then go to Leh the next day; thus making the entire travel time from Manali to Leh 3 days.

 Manali to Leh Bus HPTDC

This one is an all luxury and direct bus from Manali to Leh. It usually starts in July 1st week and gets withdrawn towards the end of September; usually by the 15th of the month. This bus too starts early from the Manali bus stand and reaches Keylong via Rohtang La by late afternoon.

The difference however is that with this Bus, your stay at Keylong is already decided and included in the total fare you will pay per person. This bus stops at all major stops on the route for sightseeing.

Accommodation at Keylong is at Hotel Chandrabhaga. There is a lawn in front of the hotel Chandrabhaga and HPTDC sets up tents on that lawn. Yes, you will not be staying at a hotel but in the tents.

If you do not like it, you always have the option to check in to the hotel but then you will have to pay for your room charges on your own. HPTDC will not refund any money from your fare if you do not use the tents.

Also read: Accommodation on Manali Leh Highway

Please also note that this is not a daily service. The bus runs from Manali to Leh on alternate days.

delhi to leh bus

Manali to Leh Bus Ticket

For HRTC buses, it is an on the spot deal. You reach the bus stand, look for the bus going towards Keylong, board it, and pay the conductor for your ticket. In the case of the HPTDC bus, however, it is entirely based on the booking system; details of which are provided further in the article.

Manali to Leh Bus Fare

Fares for both the HRTC and HPTDC buses are different. HRTC bus being the ordinary one and used commonly by locals is cheap to travel in. HPTDC bus, being a luxury one, designed for tourists, is a bit expensive.

Manali to Leh HRTC Bus Fare: The fare for this bus is actually broken into two parts. You will first have to buy a ticket for Keylong and then for Leh from Keylong but expect the total cost of the journey to somewhere close to Rs.700. You pay about Rs. 150 for Manali to Keylong and then close to Rs. 500 for Keylong to Leh.

Manali to Leh HPTDC Bus Fare: For HPTDC Bus, you will pay at once as you book your seat. The fare per person is Rs. 2900 which includes your accommodation at Keylong and meals (dinner, breakfast, and tea).

Also read: What to See on Manali Leh Highway

Manali to Leh Bus Timings

For the HRTC bus, as mentioned previously in the post, there are several buses from Manali to Keylong. The first one is at 4 AM and the last one for the day at 1 PM. From Keylong, it is just one bus for Leh at 5 AM.

For HPTDC, the bus starts from Manali at  10 AM, arrives at Keylong between 4 to 5 PM (or even later depending on the traffic, road condition, and speed). From Keylong, it starts early in the morning between 4 to 5 PM and arrives at Leh by 5 PM.

Manali to Leh Bus Booking

This will differ on which bus you chose to travel in. I will explain for both.

Manali to Leh HRTC Bus Booking: There is no booking system available for this bus. Just reach the Manali Leh bus stand in the morning, find the bus, and board it. You will pay for your fare on the spot.

The same is the deal with the bus you will board the next day from Keylong. Your seat is not guaranteed from Manali so if you reach the bus stand to find the bus full and crowded, best to let it go and wait for the next one after one hour. From Keylong however, you will be allocated a seat along with your ticket.

Manali to Leh HPTDC Bus Booking: This bus entirely operates on the booking system. This bus will only travel if there are a minimum of 10 passengers. It will be canceled for the day if the tickets booked are less than 10.

If this happens, HPTDC will make alternative arrangements in form of private taxis and you will have to pay the difference between bus and taxi fare. You will have to report at the HPTDC office 30 minutes before the departure of the coach. You can either book a ticket for this bus in advance from HPTDC office Manali or you can do so online.

Also read: Best Time to Travel from Manali to Leh

Manali to Leh Bus Online Booking

Online booking is only available for HPTDC Buses. In order to book a seat, visit HPTDC Online Portal. Once at the page, enter the from location as Manali and To location as Leh. Hit search buses.

It is possible that the date you entered yields no results. It is so because this bus starts from July 1st forward only and only until September 15 so your date of travel must be between this time frame.

Secondly, this bus runs on alternate days so if the date you entered shows no bus, just try the next date or the day before. You also have the option of selecting the seat as per your own preference.

Just hit on the “Select seats” tab under Price on the right side of the page. Once you do so, it will show a seating arrangement of the bus from where you can select the seat you want to travel on.

ladakh road trip

Manali to Leh Bus Schedule

The HRTC bus is a daily service but the HPTDC bus runs on an already decided schedule. What is means that the bus is available from Manali to Leh and vice versa on specific dates only.

To confirm if a bus is available on your date of travel or not, visit HPTDC Bus Schedule Page and hit on Manali to Leh or Leh to Manali to check the schedule of the bus.

Volvo Buses from Manali to Leh

There are no Volvo buses running on this route. The only available bus is the HRTC ordinary one and HPTDC luxury ones, but they are as good as a Volvo. Seats are quite comfortable and spacious with plenty of space for your luggage.

Also read: How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness on Ladakh Trip

Manali to Leh Bus Distance

The total distance covered on the journey is 475 kilometers from Manali to Leh.

Manali to Leh Bus Route

Route of both these buses as mentioned below.

Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphoo – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – Darcha – Patseo – Zingzing Bar – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Upshi – Karu – Leh

Manali to Leh Bus Travel Time

For both these buses, it is a 2 days journey. The total time that you spend traveling, depending on the traffic you may encounter at Rohtang, road conditions, breaks, etc is approximately between 18-20 hours.

Leh to Manali Bus Service

Now let us take a look at the buses that ply from Leh towards Manali. Options are once again the same as for the bus from Manali to Leh. You can either take an HRTC bus or book your seat with HPTDC Bus.

The journey will pretty much be the same but just the other way around. You will start early in the morning from Leh, arrive at Keylong and then go to Manali the next day. For HRTC, these will be two different buses and for HPTDC it will be the same bus.

There is also a Semi Deluxe bus that runs on this route provided by JKSRTC. It starts from Leh early in the morning at 4 AM, the fare per person is Rs. 740 and I think it arrives at Manali on the same day but I am not too sure about this one.

Leh to Manali Bus Timings

The bus from Leh to Manali starts from Fort road Leh at 5 AM. It arrives at Keylong by evening 5 PM. Bus from Keylong to Manali is again early in the morning at 5 AM and arrival at Manali is at around 4 PM.

Leh to Manali Bus Route & Fare

Route and fare for Leh to Manali is the same as I mentioned for Manali to Leh.

manali to leh bus

Contact Details:

For more information on the matter you can also contact:

Address of Leh Office :

Himachal Pradesh Tourism Dev. Corp. Ltd.,
Booking office, Fort Road,
Opposite Hotel Yak Tale,
Contact No. 09418691215

Address of Manali Office:

Himachal Pradesh Tourism Dev. Corp Ltd,
Marketing Office,
The Mall Manali
Contact No. 01902-252116 & 01902-253147

Other Tips

With the above details provided, let me also add a few general tips based on the queries I get.

The HPTDC bus overall is very comfortable. Seats are all push backs and nice suspension for minimum discomfort on bad roads.

Is it safe for a solo woman traveler? Absolutely. On your journey, you will find several other couples and families traveling on the bus. Drivers and conductors are well behaved and rather well caring knowing that you are a solo woman traveler. You will also not face any trouble during your accommodation at Keylong.

Also read: When is the Best time to visit Ladakh?

If you are interested in photography, then you will need to be careful about which seat you pick. If you sat on the wrong spot or on the wrong side, your photography window will be very limited.  From Manali to Leh, most of the time the valley is on the right side so grab a seat in the row behind the driver’s seat. From Leh to Manali, grab a seat along with the door of the bus. If you sat on the wrong side, you will just be clicking photographs of a mountain wall.

Even though in a bus, you will still be traveling through a cold desert and crossing 5 high altitude passes on the way. Keep a light woolen jacket, windproof jacket, cap, and gloves handy for times when you will get down from the bus for sightseeing. Keep your socks on as well.


The HPTDC bus provides two vegetarian meals at Keylong; breakfast and dinner. For the rest of the journey, you will be eating at several dhabas en route and paying for your own food. At these Dhabas, you can expect some very basic food like Roti, Sabzi, Daal, Chawal, Parantha, Momos, Thukpa, Paratha, Biscuits, Snacks, Cold Drinks, Tea, and water.

The cost at all these dhabas will be higher than regular. A water bottle would cost about Rs. 40-50, double the price. A chips packet too will be for Rs. 40-50, which sells for Rs. 20 in the rest of the country. If you smoke, then the price of the cigarettes too will be double so carry your stock. There are no fruit stalls anywhere.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Ladakh by Public Transport Services?

The meal timings at Chandrabhaga hotel are at around 9 PM sharp. If you miss it, you may not have any dinner at all. The hotel kitchen will close after dinner and even if it’s open, you will have to pay for the food out of your own pocket.

pangong lake


Accommodation at Keylong as I mentioned is in tents on the lawn of hotel Chandrabhaga. These are canvas tents and each gender-specific tent is shared by 5 guests. Washroom in the hotel complex too is common for all 30 passengers for the bus.

If you want to check in to Hotel Chandrabhaga, the cost is Rs. 1000 for a double bedroom.

You may suffer motion sickness at several places. In order to avoid that, drink plenty of water and eat small meals throughout the day. Do not go empty stomach and do not overeat either.

At all the places that this bus will stop, washroom facilities will be a challenge. The bus stops at Chadar tents where you will have to use shared washrooms that almost everyone uses who stops there.


Do not expect this bus to stop at every tourist attraction you come across. HRTC bus does not stop anywhere at all but the HPTDC bus may stop at a couple of places. Sightseeing is limited to only a few places at the discretion of the driver and conductor.

As a matter of fact, on Day 1, the sightseeing break will only be limited to Rohtang top for 10 minutes. Then it is a straight run to Keylong with a brief stop at Tandi Petrol station for tank fill. On day 2 as well, the bus will stop at only the passes en route for 10 minutes each but not all of them.

Private tour operators also run buses for both Manali to Leh and Leh to Manali. For further details, you will need to contact the travel agents at Manali or Leh.


I hope this information on Manali to Leh Bus service was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below, or at our Community Forum, and I would be glad to answer.

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Teny September 14, 2019 - 12:15 pm

Hello Vargis, for leh-manali trip also the hptdc bus stops at tourist spots for tourists. Or that happens only on the waY to leh

Vargis.Khan September 14, 2019 - 2:05 pm

Hi Teny – It stops on the way back as well from Leh to Manali

Tom July 3, 2019 - 8:51 pm

Hi Vargis,

thanks for this helpful article!
Is it possible use the bus to go from from Darcha to Leh, and at what time would the bus be in Darcha?
Or is there any other transport from Darcha to Leh?

Vargis.Khan July 4, 2019 - 3:03 am

Hi Tom – The Bus can only be boarded either from Manali or Keylong. No transport from Darcha.

NITESH KUMAR April 27, 2019 - 3:37 pm

In May time is HRTC bus available from manali to leh every day

Vargis.Khan April 27, 2019 - 7:21 pm

Not before June 15th

Suman Ghoshal April 26, 2019 - 2:45 pm

2nd or 3rd june of 2019 I want reach leh by bus .which root will be better via srinagar or via manali. Is both the root will open at that time?

Mayank Jain January 23, 2019 - 6:30 pm

Hlo bhai i want to know about weather in march is it worth going??

kamensind January 9, 2019 - 1:40 am

Hi Vargis, very informative piece. I know this is difficult to answer but is it likely that the road from Manali to Leh is open the last week of May (with busses running) ?? Is the section to Keylong always closed when the road Keylong to Leh is closed ? In other words even if I could not reach Leh, could I still make it to Keylong and the Spiti Valley ? I just booked a flight to Delhi a few days ago not realizing that road conditions in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh are seasonable. Thanks for any insights.

Vikram January 4, 2019 - 5:26 pm

Hi Varghis, Is Rohtang Pass open in mid-April? Also, what is the best way to reach there during mid-April?

Vargis.Khan January 5, 2019 - 1:53 am

It all depends on the weather Vikram. Hard to predict right now.

Randhir verma August 14, 2018 - 6:54 pm

Hi sir I wang to go Manali and leh in September month is it good or not if it good option then then please mention me date in which date of September traveling is best for me

Afais June 29, 2018 - 11:49 am

whats the status of srinagar… can we travel Next week?

Vargis.Khan June 29, 2018 - 2:16 pm

It is open if that is what you meant to ask

Afais June 29, 2018 - 2:29 pm

some issues going on na that’s y I asked .. I would like to travel July 3rd

Vargis.Khan June 29, 2018 - 6:23 pm

No major issues that I am aware of. Road is open.

Afais June 29, 2018 - 2:31 pm

I have a plan to travel Srinagar to leh to manali Next week. .do you have any other suggestions??

Vargis.Khan June 29, 2018 - 6:23 pm

You can travel via Srinagar as per your plan

Mayur Gijam June 3, 2018 - 2:56 pm

Hello Vargis bhai,

I am planning for Chandrataal Turtuk and Hanle this season in July 2018, Looking at the fact that there is no bus to Chandrataal 🙁

Can you please suggest if I can hire a cab from Manali to Chandrataal on first day and then on Second day if I can get dropped at Keylong and then catch bus from Keylong to Leh on Third day? Basically I don’t want to waste day two by coming back to Manali from chandrataal and then catch Leh bus from Manali on third day as it will take one day additional 🙂

Do we need bus ticket from Manali to Keylong to board in bus from Keylong to Manali

Also, can you suggest if I need any permits while travelling through bus or cab? 🙂

Ramesh lal May 26, 2018 - 7:32 pm

Dear sir,
Please address me how to go Manali to leg way bus please guide me
M going 1st time leh I need ur help

From Ludhiana

Shyam Pandit May 21, 2018 - 2:09 pm

sir can you help me a tour of manali to leh… hum apni car se jana chahte h hum keylong tk gye bhi h pr iss bar leh jana h please contact me 9711102347 or 9810380411

Vargis.Khan May 21, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Agar aap Keylong tak ja chuke ho toh yes, you can go till Leh as well. The road will open in next week or so.

Ankit May 12, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Hello varghis,

It has been informative to read through your blog. Thank you for all the info you shared.
We are 2 couples traveling by a private taxi. After previous night halt near chumathang, on our last day of ladakh region we will be reaching Tso moriri next day morning i.e. 1st July 2018. From here one couple will proceed to Leh with the cab and fly back home from Leh.

Now we wish to continue to Manali from Tso moriri using public transport.

1.Since Hptdc Bus is from Leh and even that starts only after 4th July…What are the other options available?
2.Is it easy to hitchhike ? Or What are the other options to reach leh-manali highway from Tso moriri?
3. And will hrtc buses be operating by 1st July, if yes from where can I board it ?



Vargis.Khan May 12, 2018 - 4:55 pm

Hi Ankit – It will be hard to find a ride back to Manali from Tso Moriri. Your best bet would be to take a bus or shared taxi from Moriri back to Leh. Next day, take the Leh to Keylong and then Keylong to Manali bus.

Laurent April 29, 2018 - 7:56 am

Hi Vargis,
Thank you for your blog and this very good article.
Reservation For HPTDC bus Leh – Manali has opened, so I have booked a seat.
It is written that the pick-up is at 5.00 at Jammu Kashmir Bank/tourist Information Centre, Fort Road, Leh.
Can you explain where it is because I didn’t find on the map ?
Do you know hotels or guesthouses near ?
Thank you very much

Vargis.Khan April 30, 2018 - 7:35 pm

Hi Laurent, Hard to explain like this but Leh is a small town. You can cover it on foot in an hour. Fort road is like one of the main spots there that EVERYONE will know. Just ask around and you will easily find both the Fort road and J&K Bank.

Satish April 23, 2018 - 9:13 pm

Hi Vargis. I’m from Malaysia. I heard that Rohtang pass is one of the dangerous passes in the world. May I know how safe it is to travel from Leh to Manali?

Satish April 23, 2018 - 9:16 pm

*how safe it is to travel by bus from Leh to Manali ?

Vargis.Khan April 24, 2018 - 7:23 pm

It is quite safe. Lots of people it each year.

Vargis.Khan April 24, 2018 - 7:24 pm

Rohtang Pass is not that dangerous Satish. Even families go there for vacation with children.

Robieo Chazhoor April 19, 2018 - 5:42 pm

Hi Vargis

Me and friend are travellling from Manali to Leh
We will be reaching Manali on 9th June morning and have to be in Leh by 12th June

1.How diffcult is to get the ticket from Keylong to Leh?

I mean, will we get the ticket from Keylong only if we board the 4am bus from Manali and wait in a que at Keylong? or can we take, say a 10am bus from Manali and still get ticket from Keylong for the next day?

2 Where exactly do we you get this ticket in Keylong?

Is there any way to get the ticket from Keylong without going there on the previous day?

3.What will be the most effective way(Cheap and convinient) to travel from Manali to Leh – Share taxi or Bus?

Share taxi, may be with a shorter time and less stay or bus with 3 days journey and stay for 2 days…
Will we get share taxi from Keylong to Leh instead of Manali to Leh?



Vargis.Khan April 19, 2018 - 6:10 pm

Hi Robieo,

1. It is not difficult at all. For HPTDC bus you get the ticket for entire journey from Manali only. For HRTC bus, you buy a ticket from the counter at Keylong.
2. You get it at the ticket counter at Keylong bus stand.
3. Bus will be cheapest and more convenient than shared taxis.

The bus journey also is of 2 days, Manali to Keylong and then Leh. It is not 3 days. Yes, you can get shared taxis for Leh from Keylong as well.

Robieo Chazhoor April 20, 2018 - 2:45 am


1.The issue is that HPTDC bus only starts in July. I have checked the website. Any chance if this will start earier?

What I meant by difficulut is that, will there be a huge demand for the ticket from Keylong to Leh?In that case do I have to reach Keylong earlier

3.I though the Manali to Leh bus is 3 days? Manali to keylong, Keylong to Pang and then Pang to Leh. Can you please confirm on this?

Thanks 🙂

Vargis.Khan April 20, 2018 - 3:03 pm

1. No. It depends really on how soon the road is stable enough but historically speaking, they do not start the service until July. And no, Manali to Leh bus is for 2 days. Manali to Keylong and then Keylong to Leh on Day 2.

There is never a huge rush for tickets of this bus so you will not have any trouble

Robieo Chazhoor April 21, 2018 - 7:33 am

Thanks Varghis,

My last few queries 🙂

1.Do we have options for cheap stays in Keylong for the night when reach from Manali?
2.Also, at what time will we reach Leh, if we start from Keylong at 5am?

Vargis.Khan April 22, 2018 - 6:02 am

You are welcome Robieo.

1. Yes, you will easily get a room at Keylong for Rs. 500-700 for the night.
2. Possibly by 5 PM

nidheesh kumar April 18, 2018 - 11:52 am

Hello Vargas,,
after reading your artical , now I want to know whether the taxis take same time to reach manali from leh as bus !!!!

Vargis.Khan April 18, 2018 - 4:30 pm

Hi Nidheesh, It depends. 3 kind of taxis available for Manali to Leh

Private Taxis – Will ply as per your convenience of course. Mostly 2 days journey.
Shared taxis – Mostly 2 days journey, cheaper than private taxis, halt at Keylong
Canon-ball – Non-stop from Manali to Leh, 18-20 hours run

You can check and find all these from Manali bus stand.

Abdulaziz April 16, 2018 - 12:22 pm

Hi is there any possibility to travel manali to Leah if I plan on 20 April 3018

Vargis.Khan April 16, 2018 - 8:10 pm

3018 Aziz Bhai? Who knows … it may be open a thousand years later. LOL … Just kidding.

The route will definitely not be open by 20th April.

Santosh April 15, 2018 - 7:02 am

Hi Vargis
Very informative & useful notes can you please let me know if Manali Leh road open from 4th june 18 as we are reaching on 4th & plan to go through public transport
S K Tanwani

Vargis.Khan April 15, 2018 - 10:26 am

Hi Santosh, Yes the road will be open but bus service will not be operational. You may have to look for shared cabs.

S Dutta March 30, 2018 - 6:57 am

Hello Vargis
What an article…exactly what I needed. Thanks a ton. Only one more thing I want to know. What is the cost for sharing taxi from leh to manali and is this readily available…I mean if the hotels can arrange that for me. Are these taxis stop at the passes or for photo ops? TIA

S Dutta

Vargis.Khan March 30, 2018 - 10:20 pm

Hello Mr. Dutta,

Thank you for your kind words. A shared taxi from Manali to Leh will cost bout Rs.2000 – Rs. 2500 per person. These are not booked or confirmed in advance but an an on the spot deal from Manali Bus stand. Reach there, find a taxi going to Leh and jump in.

S Dutta March 31, 2018 - 6:39 pm

Thanks for your quick reply. Do these shared taxis provide with the night’s accommodation and dinner and breakfast within this price? How many people do they carry normally? Since it’s a long journey would it be very difficult to sit in a cab for this long time? I mean what should be preferred – HPTDC buses or shared taxi? Please suggest. TIA

Vargis.Khan April 2, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Shared taxis do not provide anything. They are just a public transport form one place to another. HPTDC bus is definitely way more comfortable than being stuffed in a car with strangers all day long.

Manish Vishwakarma March 13, 2018 - 5:53 pm

Thanks for the valuable information Varghis bhai.. all the information are very helpful, i need your help to plan my itinerary according to which i can book my train ticket..
Plese help me to know from which date HRTC will start there service??… We are 3 friends & will reach manali on 17th June Morning… Is there any other options?
Manish Vishwakarma

Vargis.Khan March 14, 2018 - 2:49 pm

Hello Manish Bhai. Usually the bus starts around mid to Late June. 15th June is a safe date to assume. Since the road is expected to open a bit early this year, even the bus service could resume early. If not, shared taxis will definitely be available.

ZAMEER AHMED March 3, 2018 - 2:20 pm

Your article has cleared almost all doubts we were having in mind, can u guide us which are the must see places in leh, how many days stay required at leh & can suggest affordable places in leh, further please guide us as we want to travel to Srinagar from Leh, what are the modes of transport available, and finally, in your opinion, which travel would be best – Manali to leh or vice versa.

Vargis.Khan March 5, 2018 - 5:36 pm

You should cover both in my opinion. Go via Srinagar and come back via Manali. For places to visit in Ladakh and modes of transport available from Srinagar, please take a look at the two articles below.

Isha February 25, 2018 - 11:33 am

Hi Vargis,

A very informative article!

I am planning to travel to leh in July.
While returning from leh we want to stay over in Manali.
I am planning to travel from Leh to Manali by bus.
I want to make the reservations for the entire trip by march, but looks like hptdc schedule will come in april/may.
I want to know whether the hrtc buses from Leh to keylong and further keylong to Manali run on daily basis?

If that is confirmed, then I can go ahead and make my bookings without waiting for hptdc schedule since I will have the backup of hrtc buses in case if there is no hptdc bus from Leh to Manali on the date I’m planning to travel.


Vargis.Khan February 26, 2018 - 3:49 pm

Hi Isha – Yes the HRTC bus from Leh to Manali is a daily service. The bus starts from Leh early in the morning, halts at Kargil for the night and reaches Manali by next day evening.

Milan Dey February 18, 2018 - 6:14 pm

Hi Vargis I am from Kolkata and I would like to travel Leh from Manali with my wife between 3 week of October 2018.

So please suggest us how to reach Leh from Manali.

Vargis.Khan February 20, 2018 - 3:54 pm

Hi Milan – Manali to Leh in 3rd week of October will be a bit of a problem as the road may be closed by then. Better plan from Sriangar to be on a safer side. There will be no public transport available so you will have to rent a bike from Manali but know that you are risking getting stranded if it snows at any of the passes and the roads closes or gets blocked.

Ramod Sayed February 4, 2018 - 6:16 pm

Hello Vargis Khan, this article is really comprehensive and yet covers everything which a new traveller is required to know. Seems like you are an expert in this. I am from Kerala. I came to this page with no idea about Manali and this Leh trip. Now I got an idea as to how to plan my upcoming backpack trip. I don’t know how can I express my gratitude to you.

Vargis.Khan February 5, 2018 - 2:56 pm

Thank you so much Ramod for your kind words. I really appreciate it and glad that the information provided was of help.

Farouk Sulaman February 1, 2018 - 8:24 am

Hello Vargis, I am truly grateful for the invaluable information you provided – words cannot describe my appreciation. After about a months worth of research I stumbled across your website which contained the detailed information about the Manali – Leh bus trip and I was planning to arrive early September 2018, but that seems to be a bit late for the season, so I will reschedule to arrive in mid August. I am from New Zealand (originally South Africa) and looking forward to visiting India (Manali / Leh) after 40-years. I was inspired by the movie ‘3 Idiots’ to make this trip to Leh and visit Pangong Lake.

Vargis.Khan February 2, 2018 - 1:43 am

Hello Farouk – Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that the information posted was of help. Please let me know if you need any other information.

Early September is not actually a bad time to visit Ladakh so you do not have to reschedule. As long as you are doing it in first half of September, you have nothing to worry about.

TheWorldOutOfMyWindows January 24, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Hi Vargis

I stumbled upon ur blog when I was searching buses to return from Leh to Manali by Sep last week (2018). Your blog was awesome with all the details one could ask for!
Since am a Solo Female traveller, I would like to know if HRTC buses will be running during that time of the year to plan my trio further!

Thanks in advance!

Vargis.Khan January 25, 2018 - 3:10 pm

Hello – Thank you for your kind words. Yes, HRTC buses will be operational in September.

Afais February 12, 2018 - 11:37 am

I would like to travel from leh to MANALI .. may 1st week 2018.. buses are available??? And what about climate??

Vargis.Khan February 12, 2018 - 5:48 pm

There will be no bus available towards Leh in May 1st week.

Afais February 12, 2018 - 11:39 am

Can you pls tell me when Will be the Best time to travel…. Status of rothang pass…..

Vargis.Khan February 12, 2018 - 5:48 pm

Rohtang Pass usually opens in April sometime but the bus to Leh starts only in June.

Afais February 12, 2018 - 11:40 am


Best time to visit

Vargis.Khan February 12, 2018 - 5:47 pm

The best is available only in late June, July, August and half of September. Whichever month suits you the most.

sandip January 13, 2018 - 5:08 am

Hello Sir , I am Sandip from Kolkata , April end or May 1st week main Manali to Leh bus available hai , aur raste pe snow milegi kya?

Vargis.Khan January 14, 2018 - 10:54 pm

Hello Sandip, Bhai ye bus June 15th ke baad hi available hoti hai, usse pehle nahi

tarunbikas biswas January 3, 2018 - 9:32 am

Kindly tell me expected time for opening road from Srinagar via Zojila & from Manali via Rothang this year 2018 to Ladakh. We a couple from Kolkata want to visit Ladakh. We want to stay 1 night at pangong tso, Tso Moriri & Nubra valley respectively. Whether the Hotel Owner/ Local tour operator/ Taxi owner can arrange night stay in those places for two of us. We want to share a car. Inform me of some local tour operator of Leh who can arrange a tour for us & cost of tour per head. Also inform name of some Budget hotel near taxi/ Bus stand of Leh.

Vargis.Khan January 3, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Srinagar Leh usually opens by mid to late April and Manali Leh opens by Late May to early June. I do not have any contacts with tour operators. For budget hotels in Leh, take a look at the article below.

Senthil Kumar January 1, 2018 - 7:37 am

Hi whether the bus stops at all sightseeing places even when returning from leh to manali?

Vargis.Khan January 2, 2018 - 8:11 pm

It takes only brief stops at a few places, more like washroom or snacks breaks at dhabas enroutes; not from the point of view of sightseeting

Tony August 7, 2017 - 10:40 am

Hii Vargis, its a crystal clear article thank you for your valuable information.. We are from Kerala and planning to travel from manali to leh on October 4th.. So is there any HRTC bus running that time.. ?

Vargis.Khan August 7, 2017 - 2:35 pm

Hi Tony, Thank you for your appreciating words. Yes the Manali to Keylong and Keylong to Leh HRTC bus will be available in early October.

Josh July 25, 2017 - 4:31 am

Hi Varghis. First of all, I just want to thank you for your absolutely indispensable blog…its a treasure cove of information, so thank you so much for all the articles.

I am planning a low-budget cycling trip and a few non-cyclist friends want to join me. They would be traveling by vehicle and we would rendezvous at the destinations for each day’s cycling. I have two questions. First, do the HRTC buses (the local ones) stop and pick up passengers at any locations other than Keylong? Second, are there public transport options to Chandrataal Lake? Below is the travel plan so you can see the intermediate stops.

– Day 1: Leh to Debring
– Day 2: Debring to Sarchu
– Day 3: Sarchu to Keylong
– Day 4: Keylong to Rohtang Pass
– Day 5: Rohtang Pass to Chandrataal Lake
– Day 6: Chandrataal Lake to Manali (via Rohtang Pass)

If its easier to continue this conversation by email, please let me know. Again, thank you so much for all the time and effort you’ve spent on helping outsiders like me 🙂

Vargis.Khan July 25, 2017 - 2:37 pm

Hi Josh,

Thank you for your appreciating words. Coming to your questions,

1. It entirely depends on driver’s wish like it happens in cities as well. They do pick up locals on the way because it is after all an ordinary bus that stops to pick and drop local travelers.

2. There is no public transport option to Chandratal. You will have to try your luck with shared cabs towards Kaza but they will only drop you at Kunzum Pass top from where a person either has to walk 14 kilometers to the lake or hitch hike.

Also, from Keylong you won’t have to come back to Rohtang Pass. The road towards Spiti and Chandratal bifurcates near Gramphoo,slightly after you start climbing towards Rohtang.

Christin Engler July 24, 2017 - 1:25 pm

Hey, wonderful clear information! Thank’s for that. I’m solo women traveler & after trekking I wanna take the bus to Manali to be there around 14 September. I’ve found out that the HPTDC has last departure on 11tg September. Do you know when the HRTC finish? Since I wish to travel very basic & with locals my question is, if the HRTC busses are the better ones for that kind of adventure? And you wrote about women safety: that includes both bus & overnight options, right? Many many thanks! Christin

Vargis.Khan July 24, 2017 - 3:29 pm

Hey Christin,

The HRTC bus usually remains available until September end. HRTC buses are OK, since you wish to travel basic. I recommend that you go through the travelogue below. The author just returned from a solo trip to Ladakh, she traveled solo using public transport. Should give you an idea about how to plan and from the point of view of safety as well.

Vai July 9, 2017 - 9:22 am

Hi Vargis,
Thank you for your well researched blog. It is very handy for planning our trip. We have planned to reach Keylong on 31st July by HRTC bus probably by the 4am departure from Manali, just to get some sense of adventure. Our present plan is to get onboard HRTC bus from Keylong on 1st August morning. However after reading your blog I want to clarify something, if there are numerous HRTC buses coming from Manali to Keylong (or from other places for that matter) during day time, what is basis of seat allocation on the bus leaving for Leh following day from Keylong?Is it first come first serve for bus ride to Leh? How are passengers allocated on the Keylong to Leh journey? All tourism offices I have tried to reach to get clarifications are advising me to go by HPTDC buses instead of HRTC, however my dates are not allowing me to travel by HPTDC. Thanking you in advance for your good work and guidance.
Kind Regards,

Vargis.Khan July 10, 2017 - 3:49 pm

Hi Vai, Thank you for your appreciating words.

The HRTC buses are the ordinary ones that locals use to commute. There is no seat allocation system for these kind of buses. More like you buy a ticket from the counter, board the bus, find a seat and get comfortable. With that being said, there will be no fight for the seat as the number of travellers is not really that high. Just reach there early in the morning, before 5 AM and you will be able to reserve yourself a seat.

Emilie July 4, 2017 - 7:55 pm

Thank you so much for this very usefull information and the excellent blog! I am coming for the first time to India from Belgium this summer and we decided to combine Ladakh and Rajastan. I have a question for you on the bus ride Delhi – Leh. We land in Delhi on Saturday July 29th at 11PM and plan to take the bus the next day to be able to start the trek from Leh on Thursday August 4th.

Can I ask you to have a look at the planning to get there and tell me if it’s realistic?

– Sat July 29th: night in Delhi
– Sun Jul 30th: HRTC bus Delhi to Keylong (arrival on Monday July 31st at 10 AM)
– Mon Jul 31th: night in Keylong
– Tue Aug 1st: 5AM HRTC bus from Keylong to Leh (arrival 7 PM)
– Wed Aug 2nd: acclimatation day in Leh
– Thu Aug 3rd – Tue Aug 8th: Markha Valley trek
– Wed Aug 9th: 11 AM flight Leh – Delhi

We opted for the HRTC busses as there is no departure on the day we want with the HPTDC ones.

Thank you so much,


Vargis.Khan July 5, 2017 - 4:32 pm

Hello Emilie – Welcome to India. Your planning looks perfect. No change required at all.

Feroj khan July 3, 2017 - 6:40 am

Kya mid August me snow milegi raste me??

Vargis.Khan July 3, 2017 - 4:26 pm

Passes ke top par shayad mil jaaye thodi bahut,, uske alawa kahin nahi milegi

Anil Modak May 13, 2017 - 6:29 pm

Lovely informative article…I hv read one of yr article for Shrinagar to Leh by road also. Planning g to go S’nagar to Leh in TWO days by car (4 adults) in Sept 2nd week 2017. Hope we r permitted to bother u for any required information in this regard…
Thanks so much once again.

Vargis.Khan May 14, 2017 - 12:01 am

Hello Anil – Thank you so much for your appreciating note.

You are most welcome to ask me for any information you need, I would be more than happy to answer any questions.

arvind May 11, 2017 - 4:51 am

Excellent article.full of information.highly appreciated.kudos.more power to you.keep up the good work.

Vargis.Khan May 11, 2017 - 2:05 pm

Thank you for your kind words brother … I really appreciate it.

Robieo Chazhoor April 19, 2018 - 5:40 pm

Hi Vargis

Me and friend are travellling from Manali to Leh
We will be reaching Manali on 9th June morning and have to be in Leh by 12th June

1.How diffcult is to get the ticket from Keylong to Leh?

I mean, will we get the ticket from Keylong only if we board the 4am bus from Manali and wait in a que at Keylong? or can we take, say a 10am bus from Manali and still get ticket from Keylong for the next day?

2 Where exactly do we you get this ticket in Keylong?

Is there any way to get the ticket from Keylong without going there on the previous day?

3.What will be the most effective way(Cheap and convinient) to travel from Manali to Leh – Share taxi or Bus?

Share taxi, may be with a shorter time and less stay or bus with 3 days journey and stay for 2 days…
Will we get share taxi from Keylong to Leh instead of Manali to Leh?


Vargis.Khan April 19, 2018 - 6:09 pm

Hi Robieo,

1. It is not difficult at all. For HPTDC bus you get the ticket for entire journey from Manali only. For HRTC bus, you buy a ticket from the counter at Keylong.
2. You get it at the ticket counter at Keylong bus stand.
3. Bus will be cheapest and more convenient than shared taxis.

The bus journey also is of 2 days, Manali to Keylong and then Leh. It is not 3 days. Yes, you can get shared taxis for Leh from Keylong as well.


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