Leh Ladakh: The Best Way To Travel

  • 11 Aug 2019

Serene snow-capped mountain ranges, narrow and steep roads, and beautiful monasteries are among the wonders you will experience if you take a once in a lifetime bike expedition to Leh-Ladakh, India.

These Leh-Ladakh roads have garnered the reputation of one of the world's top-rated bike routes and are extremely popular among bikers.

Leh and Ladakh are two different places situated just 5 hours apart. Some enthusiastic bikers travel all the way up to Ladakh, while others will just stop at Leh without travelling further.

But if you wish to experience this ultimate ride of your life, here's how you should prepare yourself:

Plan ahead

There are two routes to reach Leh Ladakh - one is via Manali and the next is from Srinagar.

Note that you can never take a bike ride throughout the year, as the roads will be closed between November and April due to heavy snowfall. 

If you still wish to travel during this time, you need to catch a flight to Leh and rent a bike to move around. But you will miss out on all the fun the bike expedition has to offer.

Both the Manali and Srinagar routes are open from May to October, during the autumn and summer seasons. 

Leh is 476km away from Manali, which passes through dangerous terrain with steep climbs. It's 434km from Srinagar, where the road hits high terrain gradually. The Srinagar route is popular among bikers, compared to the extreme Manali route.

Take time to acclimatise

Be aware that chances of getting Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also known as Altitude Sickness, is high.

The symptoms of AMS include difficulty in sleeping, dizziness, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, rapid pulse and shortness of breath.

If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms during your ride, take anti-altitude sickness medication, stop and get proper rest, do not travel to a higher terrain for the next 24 to 48 hours, drink 3 to 4 litres of water a day, and avoid exercising, smoking or drinking. 

Work and improve your endurance level weeks before you start your journey. Remember that even brisk walking can be quite dangerous if you have not acclimatised properly during the trip.

Instead of just rushing through the journey, take your sweet time to acclimatise and enjoy every bit of the trip.

Other things that matter

You need to prepare all the vital necessities before the journey to avoid any extra hassle during your travel.

Ensure you wear all the necessary protective biking gear to keep you safe in the event of any unexpected incidents or accidents. And carry basic medication in case of emergencies.

Travel with enough cash and petrol, as you might not come across many ATMs and petrol pumps on these routes.

Bring an extra puncture kit, accelerator cables, clutch cables, tubes, fuses, and an air pump if your bike breaks down and to ensure a smooth problem-free journey.

Once you have reached Leh, visit Leh's DC office to obtain your Inner Line Permits (ILP).

Wish you a safe and awesome journey to Leh Ladakh!

Image credit: wheelstreet, createtravelplan, tripadvisor, thrillophilia and traveltriangle

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