Leh is a fascinating destination among the bikers in India. The Joint Capital of The Indian Union Territory of Ladakh attracts bikers to explore its high altitude mountainous passes along with water crossings and off-road driving adventures and that too with an eye-soothing view of incredible landscapes. Situated in the Northern part of the Country, the Leh bike trip is blessed with the immense beauty of nature. So visiting here could be like a dream come true for everyone, especially for bikers.
Best Time to Visit Leh through Bike
April to July is considered the best time to explore Leh by bike. The weather remains pleasant during this time. The sky remains clear these days, so the natural beauty of Leh can be enjoyed ideally.
After July Monsoon Starts in Leh and lasts till September. Although this season is also suitable for visiting Leh, irregular rain may affect the trip for bikers. During this season, the temperature varies from 3 deg. C to 17 deg C. The weather and the temperature are unpredictable, and this season is unpreferable for the Bikers.
After September and till March, the whole of Ladakh covers itself with a thick sheet of snow. The average temperature these days in the daytime remains around 5 deg. C and during the night it falls to about -5 deg. C. So from October to march, bike trips should be avoided.
How to Reach Leh through Bike
There are two points from where a bike trip can be started. The first one is from Srinagar, and the other is from Manali.
Let’s talk about Srinagar first. The distance between Sri Nagar and Leh is around 435 KM. The National Highway – 1D connects these two points through Zoji – la pass. The Srinagar – Leh Highway remains open from March / April to December. After December, it is closed because of the heavy snowfall. The entire route is:-
Sri Nagar – Sonmarg – zoji-la pass – Drass – Kargil – Mulbekh – Lamayuru – Saspol – Leh
The Second route for Leh is from Manali. The distance from Manali to Leh is around 428 Km. The Leh- Manali highway is part of National Highway- 21, and it remains open for just 4-5 months every year as snowfall starts after October. The route for Manali to Leh is:-
Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Jispa – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Leh
Best Bikes for the Leh Trip
Although there is no hard and fast rule to select a bike for Ladakh, One can choose it according to his convenience, but it is recommended to have at least 200 cc engine as Leh is a high altitude region and at some places, roads are not in good condition. Some of the recommended bikes are:-
- Royal Enfield Bullet 350 CC
- Hero Xpulse 200 CC
- Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Bajaj Dominar 400 CC
- Bajaj Pulser 250
Best Places to Visit in Leh
The entire Ladakh is magnificent and perfectly filled with numerous beautiful places. Some of the homes here are so incredible that everyone should visit here at least once in a lifetime. These are:-
1. Pangong Tso / Pangong Lake
“The Lake of Changing Colors”
Yes, it’s true. The Pangong Lake keeps changing its colour throughout the day. Located at the height of 4350 meters, this lake is the world’s highest saltwater lake. It is 134 Km long and 5 Km wide, surrounded by the Himalayan Range Mountains. One-third of its total length lies in India, and the rest two-thirds lies in The Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. “Pangong Tso” is a Tibetan word that means “High Grassland Lake.” It’s a gorgeous lake, and if you are visiting Leh, then don’t miss the chance to explore the beauty filled with the calmness of this lake.
2. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa
Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is a Buddhist Monastery. It was founded in 1430 AD by King Tashi Namgyal. It is situated over the top of Namgyal Hill and is very famous for its 3 Storey (floor) gold statue of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya Buddha means Buddha of future or the Successor of Buddha. This beautiful monastery offers a panoramic view of Leh along the Indus River.
3. Magnetic Hill
The magnetic hill of Ladakh is also termed “Mysterious Hill” or “Gravity Hill.” It is located at around 30 Km of distance from Leh and is very famous for strange phenomena.
Vehicles with engines off roll upside by a speed of around 20 km/h. There are two scientific theories to reveal the mystery behind this strange phenomenon. The first theory says that the hill has a powerful magnetic force that pulls the vehicles upward. And The Second theory explains this phenomenon as Optical illusion. According to this theory, the Slope of Roads seems to be like Uphill because of the Optical Illusion, but it is Downhill.
Leh natives deny both this scientific explanation and they have their version claiming it to be a way to heaven. They believe that people who deserve to go to heaven will automatically be pulled, and those who do not deserve will never be able to reach there. Apart from all the theories, the place looks beautiful and never amused visitors.
4. Shanti Stupa
According to The Hindu, “Shanti Stupa is the most famous tourist destination in Leh.” There are only 7 Shanti Stupa in India. One of them is here in Ladakh. It is one of India’s most Significant and Sacred places as it has the Relics of Lord Buddha at its base. It was built in 1991 by both Ladakh Buddhists and Japanese Buddhists. During the time of sunrise and Sunset, the Shanti Stupa Looks Incredible.
5. Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley is also called Dumra, which means “The Valley of Flowers.” It is around 150 Km away from Leh and known as the fruit garden of Ladakh. The world’s highest motorable road, “Khardung la pass (18380ft.),” leads you to the Nubra Valley.
In between the Barren Mountainous Desert of Ladakh, Nubra valley is where greenery has spread its feet. It is also the meeting point of the Nubra River and Shyok River ( Siachin river). The Unique two hump Camels camels, which are rare and more minor in numbers, are only found in Nubra valley and nowhere else in the whole world.
Staying Facility in Leh
As Leh is a very famous tourist destination in the country, there is no shortage of accommodation here. Plenty of staying facilities ranging from budget to Luxury categories is readily available here. Hotels, Guest Houses, lodges, Homestays wherever you prefer to stay are available here.
Some of them are mentioned here:
|Category||Name of Accommodation||Cost (INR)|
|Budget Hotel||Go Stop Hotel, Zostel||500 – 3000|
|Luxury Hotel||TIH The Zen Ladakh, Grand dragon Ladakh, Ladakh Sarai Resort||5000 – 40000|
|Home Stay||Gangs Shun Homestay,||800 – 2400|
|Guest House||New Moon Guesthouse, Zee guest house||800 – 2400|
If you are planning a bike trip to Leh, fuel should always be your priority as you need to ride hundreds of kilometres over the deserted highways without having fuel stations. For your convenience location of all the fuel stations is mentioned below:
Availability of Fuel Stations on Sri Nagar – Leh Highway ( Total Distance – 430 Km.)
- Sonmarg (80 Km. from Srinagar)
- Kargil (125 Km. from Sonmarg)
- Khalsi (122 Km. from Kargil)
- Leh (96 Km. from Khalsi)
Availability of Fuel Stations on Manali – Leh Highway ( Total Distance – 473 Km.)
- Tandi ( 110 Km. from Manali)
- Karu (330 Km. from Tandi )
- Leh (35 Km. from Karu)