The tourist season in Ladakh has officially begun and people are eagerly waiting for the Manali Leh Highway to open. Some of them have their own vehicles all serviced and geared up for the adventurous journey ahead while a lot many others would be opting for the Manali to Leh Bus service. If you too are planning a trip to Ladakh and fall in the second category of travelers, below is the Manali to Leh Bus 2021 schedule that can be of help.
There are three types of Bus services available from Manali to Leh. Two of these are provided by HRTC and the third one is by HPTDC. The ones by HRTC are ordinary Buses and more suitable for someone who is traveling on a bit of a budget. The HPTDC Bus is a luxury one and is more of a package deal with accommodation and meals included. More information on these buses is provided further in the article.
Manali to Leh HRTC Bus
Let us talk about the Manali to Leh Bus service provided by HRTC first. This is a good cost-effective option if you want to travel to Ladakh within budget. Buses provided by HRTC are ordinary ones which also means that for some people, it can be highly uncomfortable considering the long-distance and hours that this bus covers. These are two types of services that are available under this category.
- Manali to Leh by Bus in 2 Days
- Manali to Leh by Bus in 1 Day
Both of these services usually starts about 15 to 20 days after BRO has declared the Manali Leh highway open and safe for a Bus to ply, and continue till early October. Neither of the two will stop for sightseeing. They will complete the journey pretty much in a non-stop manner and breaks will be limited to at a few Dhabas for meals and bio breaks.
Manali to Leh By Bus in 2 Days
Contrary to common belief, this is actually not a single bus that takes you all the way. Rather, it is you who will break the journey into 2 parts and will have to board different buses to complete your trip. From Manali, you will first reach Keylong and then take a connecting Bus from Keylong for Leh.
Assuming that you plan to travel this way, your first task will be to reach the Manali Bus stand and board a Bus for Keylong from there. For this part, you will have the luxury of choosing the Bus timing as per your own convenience.
There are a few HRTC buses from Manali for Keylong with the first one starting at 5 AM and the last one at 1 PM. My advice would be that you board the 1st Bus available because it will mean that you reached Keylong in time to look for a good hotel. But in case you missed the first Bus, you will have the option of boarding another one later in the day.
Keylong to Leh Bus
Once you arrive at Keylong, please find a hotel as close to the Bus stand as you can because you will have to catch a bus again in the morning at 5 AM for Leh. Please note that from Keylong, it will not be the same bus that you boarded from Manali but a different one.
There is just one Bus available from Keylong in the morning so ensure that you catch it in time because if you missed it, you will have no other choice but to stay in Keylong for that day and catch the bus the next morning.
Also read: Manali to Leh – Available Modes of Transport
For your journey from Manali to Keylong, you will just get a ticket and can sit anywhere on the bus. But for Keylong to Leh, your seat # will be mentioned on your ticket.
Another important thing to note is that in case the bus faces any sort of technical difficulty or had a breakdown on the way; or the Bus was not running per the schedule for any reason, it will stop for the night at either Sarchu or Pang. What this means is that the journey from Keylong to Leh will be completed in two days and the total duration of Manali to Leh will increase to 3 days.
Manali to Leh Bus Ticket Price
Your total fare for this journey too is broken into two parts. Manali to Keylong Bus ticket will be for about Rs. 175 and then Keylong to Leh will be for about Rs. 550. Hence the complete journey will cost you slightly over Rs. 700.
Manali to Leh HRTC Bus Booking
There is no booking system available for this Bus. You will have to buy the ticket on the spot from both Manali and Keylong. But as I mentioned, seat # will be assigned on the ticket that you buy at Keylong.
Manali to Leh HRTC Bus Timing
There are several buses from Manali to Keylong between 5 AM and 1 PM. From Keylong, it is just one bus for Leh at 5 AM.
Manali to Leh By Bus in 1 Day
Now let us take a look at the second Bus service provided by HRTC. I have actually covered this topic in great details in a different post that I would request you to please read, Manali to Leh One Day Bus Service by HRTC
This bus will start from Manali at 4 PM and will reach Leh by 8.30 PM. The fare per person is about Rs. 900. It is a great choice for people who are short on time and must complete the journey in a single day.
Another added benefit of this service is that you can actually book the ticket online which was not a choice with the 2-day Bus. For further details and schedule, I would request you to please take a look at the article that I provided the link to above.
Manali to Leh HPTDC Bus
This one is an all luxury and direct bus from Manali to Leh. If you are looking for Volvo buses from Manali to Leh then this is the one that you need to choose.
This one too is a 2 days journey with a night halt at Keylong. It starts from the Manali Bus stand early in the morning and reaches Leh by evening the next day. Another benefit of this bus is that it 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
Manali to Leh Bus Schedule 2021
Please also note that this is not a daily service. The bus runs from Manali to Leh on alternate days. This bus entirely operates on the booking system. It will only travel if there are a minimum of 10 passengers and will get canceled for the day if tickets booked are less than 10.
If this happens, HPTDC will make alternative arrangements in the form of private taxis; and you will have to pay the difference between bus and taxi fare. You will have to report to 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. Payment will be made 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).
For booking, you will need to visit the HPTDC Booking Page. On this page, you can select the dates as per your travel plan and can book tickets for both Manali to Leh and Leh to Manali.
Manali to Leh
Below are the details for the Manali to Leh trip.
|Pickup||Dropoff||Fare||Dep. Time||Arrival Time||Stay||Bus type||Duration|
|HRTC, Bus Stand, Manali||JKSRTC Bus Stand, Leh||2900/-||10:00 AM||07:00 PM at Leh(next day)||(arrival at Keylong 04:00 PM) night stay at HPTDC Hotel Chanderbhaga, Keylong which includes (Dormitory accommodation + Dinner + Breakfast )Departure from Keylong at 04:00 AM)||2X2 Deluxe Non AC||21 hours|
Leh to Manali
And below are the details for the journey from Manali to Leh.
|Pickup||Dropoff||Fare||Dep. Time||Arrival Time||Stay||Bus type||Duration|
|J&K Bank/ Tourist Information Centre, Fort Road, Leh||HRTC Bus Stand, Manali||2900/-||5:00 AM||01:30 PM at Manali(next day)||(arrival at Keylong 07:00 PM) night stay at HPTDC Hotel Chanderbhaga, Keylong which includes (Dormitory accommodation + Dinner + breakfast departure from Keylong at 07:00 AM)”||2X2 Deluxe Non AC||21 hou|
Manali to Leh Volvo Bus
I am adding this information here because a lot of people ask me this. There is no specific Manali to Leh Volvo Bus Service available. The only luxury buses are the ones provided by HPTDC that I mentioned above.
Manali to Leh Volvo Bus Fare
For a Manali to Leh Volvo Bus, you will pay Rs. 2,900 for one side journey, same as HPTDC.
AC Bus from Manali to Leh
There is no AC Bus available from Manali to Leh. Even the luxury one provided by HPTDC is a non-ac Bus. That is because you do not need an AC bus for this journey. The temperature will be freezing and you will be sitting with windows shut and wearing heavy woolen clothes anyway.
Clothes to Pack for Ladakh Trip
Irrespective of the fact that you will be traveling by a Bus, it is very important that you pack the right type of clothes for your trip. The weather of Ladakh is cold and unpredictable and varies highly depending on the month and time of the day.
The trick is to bring clothes that can be worn on top of one another, according to the temperature of the day. For more details, please read What Kind of Clothes to Pack for Ladakh Trip.
Best time to Visit Leh Ladakh
If you were traveling by bus, the best time to visit Ladakh would be in late June, July, August, or September. Weather in these months remain to be pleasant and the bus service on all routes will remain available. For more details, please read When is the Best time to visit Ladakh.
Acute Mountain Sickness
Yes, altitude sickness will be one of your biggest concerns while visiting Ladakh. Take a look at How to Handle Acute Mountain Sickness in Ladakh to know what AMS is, what its symptoms are, and what can you do to avoid it.
I hope the information above on the schedule of Manali to Leh Bus service was of help. If you have any questions; or need any other details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below, or at our Community Forum, and I will be glad to answer.