Road Trip to Leh Ladakh via Manali

Trip Overview

An oasis of gleaming blue and pristine white, enclosed by spectacular mountains and festooned with colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind – Ladakh is pure magic. A road trip through this enchanted land will have you cruising upon some of the highest motorable passes in the world while basking in the warm tranquillity of postcard-pretty Tibetan Buddhist monasteries that cast a shadow upon a landscape that displays only the best that nature has to offer and promises to be nothing short of being unbelievably exhilarating. The Himalayas in all their glory, Nubra Valley, Khardung La and numerous other daunting mountain passes, Thiksey Monastery, Pangong Lake, Tiger Hill and Golden Temple amidst others – the list of attractions on offer here seems endless. Add the signature spunk of Adventures Overland and what you have is the prospect of a journey so exceptional and stimulating, it will leave you truly awe-struck.

About the trip

Duration
14 Nights / 15 Days
Trip Cost

INR 2,25,000/- Per Person
Excluding 5% GST (EMI Option available)

Trip style
Self Drive Road Trip
Vehicle
Bring your personal vehicle or choose to rent from our selection
Landscapes
Mountains, High Passes, Highway, Cold Desert, Rivers, Glaciers
Activities
Golden Temple Visit, Shikara , Kargil Memorial, ATV Ride, Camel Ride, Star Gazing , Monasteries Visit, High Altitude Passes
Upcoming Dates
14 – 28 Sep 2024

Route Map

Get in touch, and we'll craft a unique, tailor-made experience specifically suited to your preferences.

Contact Us
+91 9911599811

Itinerary

The day has finally arrived when we flag-off one of our most adventurous expeditions! Meet and greet your fellow road trippers, who will be akin to your family for the coming 15 days. We will start driving early morning from Chandigarh to reach Manali by late evening. The drive is superbly scenic as lush green mountains present awelcome sight once you cross Bilaspur. We would halt for lunch during the daytime, followed by another quick halt for tea and refreshments later. On arrival at Manali, check-in to the hotel and relax as the first day of this inspiring journey culminates. The upcoming days are going to be challenging as we make our way past numerous mountain tops that promise a vision of unparalleled beauty.

After a long and exhausting drive the previous day, wake up at leisure in the lap of nature and enjoy breakfast and lunch in the resort. Post lunch, we will start the drive and head towards Jispa. En route, we will cross the world famous Atal Tunnel, at a length of 9.02 km, it is the longest tunnel above 10,000 feet in the world. On the way, stopover at Keylong Village from where you can view the awe-inspiring Bara-Shigri Glacier in all its splendour and continue our onward journey to Jispa, after a quick stop for refuelling at Tandi, the last fuel pump before we reach Ladakh! Grab a sumptuous dinner on arrival, as we bid goodbye to the second day of this trip.

Waking up to the views of the majestic mountain peaks and mist-laden surrounds will make you never want to leave this quaint village. We use this day to explore the picturesque village of Jispa while allowing our bodies to acclimatise and prepare for the steep climb ahead of us. The process of acclimatisation can be accelerated by consuming lots of water which helps in keeping altitude mountain sickness at bay. Located along the Bhaga River, Jispa comes dotted with several Buddhist stupas which make for a pretty sight indeed. Take your vehicles for a spin at the banks of the river as we enjoy lunch in the lap of nature. Later, we return to the hotel for dinner and spend the night amongst gloriously verdant mountains encircling us.

The sun rises on what promises to be one of the most exciting days of the journey so far. Today, we would be ticking quite a bit off our bucket list. We leave Jispa early morning and drive through Zingzingbar to reach Baralacha La, situated at 16040 ft above sea level. Take in the rugged gorgeousness of the Himalayas as the road leads you towards Sarchu - the border area connecting Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh region. From here, we drive and cross the daunting Gata Loops which is a site famous for its 21 hairpin bends. The topography is rocky, the air is crisp, and the locals here are friendly and simple folk. The long and exciting day draws to a close as we reach Leh by late evening.

A well-deserved break is what awaits you, as we use this day to explore Leh and immerse ourselves in the local culture. Kickstart your day by visiting Leh Palace. Also known as ‘Lhachen Palkhar’, it was built by King Sengge Namgyal during the 1500s and completed by the 17th century. Its facade resembles that of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Leh Palace’s roof offers amazing views of the Ladakh region and the Stok Kangri. We will also visit Shanti Stupa, a chorten situated on a hilltop which affords remarkable bird’s eye view of the Leh town. Post the sightseeing, feel free to take a stroll through the local market and experience the vibe of this lively city.

A new day offers new scope for adventure! Start your day driving towards Nubra Valley situated to the north of Leh. This deep-cut marvel of nature abounds with incredible views as far as the eye can see. We would be driving across one of the World’s Highest Motorable Passes, Khardung La. Not for the faint-hearted, this pass is situated approximately at an elevation of 18300 ft above sea level. After crossing the pass, we will reach the Khardung Village, followed by a lunch halt at Khalser. Further ahead, we cross Diskit and reach Hunder Village which lies on the ancient Silk Route and is famous for its sweeping sand dunes and double-humped Bactrian Camels. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and allow the stunning setting to captivate your senses.

Today is the day to let yourself be overwhelmed by the beauty of unspoilt nature. An oasis of green, surrounded by mighty mountains that sport every shade of brown, the deep Nubra Valley is nature’s dramatic encore. Go ahead and explore the valley through a safari on the double-humped Bactrian Camels, or a thrilling ATV ride. Lying about 150 km from the town of Leh, the valley is perched at the confluence of Shyok and Siachen Rivers. The valley is also home to the famous pashmina goat. Post lunch, we head back to the campsite to spend the rest of the day at leisure. A delectable dinner will be then followed by a night of rest amidst the fabulous backdrop that will revitalise you completely.

Start your date with sumptuous breakfast and then get ready to drive back to Leh via Khardung La once again. We will halt to visit the Diskit Monastery. Belonging to the 14th century, the monastery is considered to be the largest and oldest monastery in Nubra Valley. Also known as Diskit Gompa, the monastery’s most prominent attraction is the huge Maitreya Buddha statue atop it which was inaugurated by HH Dalai Lama. From the base of the statue, one can get a gorgeous panoramic view of the Nubra valley. Further ahead, we will cross North Pullu and South Pullu to finally reach Leh. Upon arrival at the hotel, give your body a much-needed break and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

The day is finally upon us when we get the opportunity to visit the memorable site where an unbelievably pristine body of water lies unperturbed in stark contrast to surrounding mountains. Situated roughly at 14270 ft, Pangong Tso is a sight to behold! This charming, endorheic lake is approximately 135 km long and extends from India to Tibet. Post a hearty breakfast, we drive to Pangong Lake crossing Chang La, the second highest mountain pass in the world. En route, we also visit one of the largest and the most famous monasteries in Ladakh which resembles Tibet’s Patola Palace - Thiksey Monastery. Further on, we continue driving towards the lake and after spending a while appreciating this marvel of nature, get ready to drive back to Leh.

Tuck in a splendid breakfast and get ready to leave for Leh today. We will make a stop to visit the Hall of Fame - a museum built and run by the Indian Army. We will also visit Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which dates back to 1517, and marks the visit of Shree Guru Nanak Dev to Ladakh. Next up is the mysterious Magnetic Hill, where one can switch off the ignition and still move uphill. While driving in the region, we will bear witness to unearthly looking landscape and the extraordinary site of Sangam, where the different coloured waters of Zanskar and Indus Rivers congregate, is unmissable. We halt for lunch and settle into our comfy hotel upon finally reaching Leh.

We leave for Kargil on this morning after breakfast, crossing the famed Zoji La (11575 ft). We will pass Dras, situated at the height of 10990 ft above sea level and the 2nd coldest inhabited village in the world. Popularly known as ‘The Gateway to Ladakh’, its stark beauty is mysteriously alluring. Intensely beautiful, challenging and numbingly cold, this Himalayan getaway is like none other. Relish the superb views of the renowned Tololing Heights, Tiger Hill, and Point 4875 (Batra Top) from the Kargil War Memorial, where we halt to pay our humble homage to the martyrs who sacrificed themselves for our safety. Upon arrival in Kargil, spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Today you are free to spend the day as per your liking. Surrounded by mountain peaks, lush green valleys, glistening lakes, temples and spectacular Mughal-era gardens, the city has inspired poets through centuries. The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, is situated in the heart of the Kashmir Valley with the Nagin and the Dal Lake adding to its beauty. Indulge in a Shikara ride at the celebrated Dal Lake or visit the exquisitely romantic Shalimar Bagh Mughal Garden. Originally named ‘Farah Baksh’, Shalimar Bagh was built in the year 1619 by Emperor Jehangir for his cherished Queen Nur Jehan. Apart from sightseeing, don’t forget to sample the charms of flavourful Kashmiri cuisine, apples and walnuts that this city has to offer.

Post breakfast, we get ready to drive to Patnitop today. This will be your last night in the lap of plush emerald mountains, so make it count! Breathe in the crisply fresh air, and admire the vastness and magnificence of the great Himalayas. Surrounded by the majestic, snowclad mountains of the Pir Panjal range, Patnitop sits atop a plateau in the Shivalik belt and remains shrouded by a thick canopy of green pines and dense woods. Cut by the pristine Chenab River, it has mesmerising natural charms that will leave you in awe of it. The hill station is also home to three freshwater springs whose cold water is believed to harbour medicinal properties. We subsequently reach Patnitop and retire for the nightafter a lipsmacking dinner.

The time has come for us to drive to the historic city of Amritsar in Punjab. Observe the landscape gradually changing back to the usual, as you fondly look back at the incredible feats you have achieved in the past two weeks. Amritsar holds one of the holiest of Sikh ethos at its heart - Golden Temple. Any trip around this region would be considered incomplete without a visit to the divinely beautiful Golden Temple. Covered in 400 kg of gold and surrounded by a serene pond, one is immediately swamped by the humbling sight of the glistening structure. After paying our respects at this holy site, we head to the hotel to spend the rest of the day at leisure, followed by a farewell dinner.

“Travel! As much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” The last day of the expedition is here, and it’s time to head back to Delhi or your chosen destination. We are certain you cannot fathom how swiftly the past two weeks went by. All good things are destined to come to an end, and so is this journey. Bid adieu to the team and your mates with whom you have now created some great memories, full of thrill and adventure. But not all farewells have to be lasting, and we promise to lend our hand again when you seek to explore another fascinating part of this world.

Contact Us

+91 9911599811

Faq’s

The optimal time for a road trip to Ladakh via Manali is from June to September. During this period, high-altitude passes like Baralacha La open up, making it the best window for a journey through the region.

The total driving distance from Manali to Leh via NH-3 is approximately 430 kilometers.

Typically, the journey by road takes around 2 days, with an overnight stop in between.

The journey from Manali to Ladakh is a breathtaking road trip that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Indian Himalayas. Here are some must-visit attractions along the way: Rohtang Pass, Keylong, Baralacha La, Sarchu, Gata Loops, More Plains, Tanglang La, Leh, and Pangong Lake.

A Ladakh road trip via Manali is an adventurous journey through the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas. It’s important to be well-prepared for this challenging terrain and high-altitude environment. Here’s a list of essential items to carry for a Ladakh road trip via Manali: Documents, Vehicle Essentials, Clothing, Camping Gear, Health and Safety, Communication, Cash and Cards, Food and Snacks, Camera and Accessories, Miscellaneous.

Once you book your seat with Adventures Overland, we will take care of all the luxury hotel accommodations for you.

In that case you will be given immidite assistance and provided with oxygen, and maybe taken to lower altitude.

The Manali-Leh Highway is known for its challenging and unpredictable road conditions. It passes through high mountainous terrain, including several high-altitude passes, and is subject to weather-related challenges, especially during the winter months.

Testimonials

A collection of stories and experiences of the Adventures Overland travellers from around the world which portray the exact moments we strive to live for.

Monisha Karnani

Ladakh Sep 2021

Utkarsh Agarwal

Ladakh July 2021

Komal Shah

Ladakh July 2021

Anita Patel

Ladakh July 2021

Nooruddin Kantawalla

Ladakh 2021

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