This motorcycle adventure on the new Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle in the Himalayas of Ladakh is designed in such a way that you spend all of your riding time in the Himalayan mountains and none on heavily trafficked highways. All night halts will be at well-appointed hotels or campsites with attached toilets. This is a semiluxury tour that will give you the chance to take unique routes that are not covered in other tours or by most motorcycle tour companies!
During this tour, you will be staying in shared twin rooms at hotels, Swiss tents, or homestays. Single occupancy is also available for an additional fee. Campsites have attached toilets.
Arrive in Delhi by 8 p.m. India Standard Time. If you wish, Ride of My LIfe can recommend you hotels in Delhi according to your budget as this night is not included in the price.
The tour starts with you taking the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. The 70-minute flight takes you from sea level to the ancient Himalayan city of Leh at an altitude of 11,500 feet. Due to the rarified atmosphere at that altitude, it is of utmost importance that you rest all of this day to get used to the thin mountain air. This day will be used to give you a detailed brief of the whole ride and also provide you with maps and information on the places you will be traveling to.
After a day's rest, it will be time for you to start the ride of your life. But before that, you will take a spin to get used to riding the motorcycle in India. Here, people ride on the left side of the road. The ride will be on smooth tarmac and on dirt tracks to give you a feel of the Himalayan adventure in store for you. This ride will ensure that you get used to riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle and if you need any adjustments, the mechanics can do the same.
Arguably the most breathtaking region of Ladakh, the 18,500-square-mile Changthang Plateau is where you ride to on this day. Changthang is a unique landscape compared to other parts of Ladakh. Its great plains have some of the most majestic grasslands and meadows in the world. To reach Changthang, you have a long and steep ride through the third highest motorable pass in the world, the Chang La Pass at 17,586 feet.
After the descent from Chang La, the magical plains of Changthang open up and you will see nomads with their flocks of yak, sheep, and goat on the various grasslands. The real treat is the 84-mile long Pangong Tso Lake. A lot of migratory birds come here during this time of the year.
Today, you will stay with a Ladakhi family as their house guests. Homestay is a concept developed by the Ladakh authorities wherein locals are empowered through tourism. The homestay will be on the banks of the Pangong Tso Lake and you will be treated to traditional Ladakhi and Tibetan cuisine.
Today, you will ride on one of the most remote route of Ladakh made especially for the Indian Army. It connects Pangong Lake to Nubra Valley bypassing Leh. This route was washed away in a cloudburst in 2010. Parts of it are still not rebuilt. With various stream crossings, riding on dry riverbeds, smooth tarmac and switchbacks, it truly is a religious experience for an adventure rider.
You will take a short ride of 35 kilometers to another beautiful village in Nubra Valley called Sumoor. After checking into the hotel, you will visit the famous sand dunes, as well as the hot springs in Panamik. This will be a unique experience and will rejuvenate you for the rest of the tour.
Today, you will take the road to the highest motorable pass in the world, Khardung La, at 18,380 feet. In spite of the altitude, you will ride on some of the smoothest roads so far and the landscape also becomes grand. After a steep and tough ascend and celebrations at Khardung La Pass, you will descend back towards Leh.
This is your chance to take a breather from the grueling ride you have had. After a half day's rest, you will explore various parts of Leh, such as the Namgyal Palace, the Tibetan market, and the Shanti Stupa.
You will leave Leh early in the morning for the much-awaited part of the ride. You will ride up and down the second highest motorable pass Taglang La, at 17,582 feet. This will lead you straight to More Plains from where you take an off-road towards Tsokar.
The Tso Kar basin has miles of meadows and marshy land. It has both a fresh water and a brackish lake along with several natural springs and streams. Tso Kar Lake is also used by a lot of migratory birds as their breeding ground. Apart from its sheer beauty, Tso Kar basin is also a very important region for the Indian and Tibetan nomads who live here in the winter months. Your camp resort for the day is close to one such nomadic campsite of Pongunagu.
Undoubtedly, the best stretch on the Manali-Leh Highway, this section will feel as if you are on a roller coaster ride climbing up and down from one Himalayan pass to another. From the Tso Kar basin, you touch the Manali-Leh Highway after a 30-kilometer stretch long tableland called More Plains. Soon after that, you will ride up and down two high altitude passes, Lachlung La at 16,616 feet and Nakee La at 15,547 feet.
You will also ride a section of 21 switchbacks called Gata Loops. All this through one of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. Before reaching Sarchu, you will leave the state of Jammu and Kashmir and enter the state of Himachal Pradesh. Since Sarchu is snowbound for most of the year, there are no permanent structures here, so you will stay in Swiss tents with attached toilets.
If you think that nothing can keep you surprised or excited all day long, think again. This day's ride is where you will be amazed by the passing landscapes, small lakes, rivers, and one high altitude pass. The landscape will transform from barren desert land to sights of green plantations and small patches of forests. Tandi is a very small town and you will spend the night in bamboo cottages overlooking the confluence of the Chandra and Bagha rivers.
The Manali-Leh Highway is considered the most beautiful yet demanding highway in the world. Your ride today will be the toughest since you started. The mud covered climb and descent of the 13,051 feet high Rohtang Pass will test your riding skills to the maximum.
Lush green Himalayan mountains and waterfalls will appear out of nowhere once you cross the Rohtang Pass. Nature here is at its best. After the descent from the pass, you will ride into Manali, a popular hill station in the Himalayas, and call it a day at a hotel here.
Instead of waking up early, today you can sleep as late as after lunch. You will then have a 390-odd-mile bus ride to Delhi in an air-conditioned bus. The bus journey to Delhi will take around 15 hours.
Gaurav is a national award winning filmmaker who gave up making commercial films a long time ago to follow his passion. Since the last 11 years, he has been traveling solo across India and making documentary films about remote places and indigenous people. Two of his films, Riding Solo to the Top of the World and One Crazy Ride, have won awards at film festivals worldwide. His third film, Motorcycle Chang Pa is about a one-year journey to the Changthang plateau in Ladakh. Gaurav brings with him his years of travel experience and knowledge of the most remote and breathtaking regions of India.
Vinod's interests lie in motorcycle travel, photography, and technology. An avid photographer, he has done several motorcycle rides to different parts of India and abroad, especially in the Himalayas. Vinod has an uncanny knack for planning a ride to the bone without killing the romance and footloose nature of travel itself. His zest for perfection and meticulous planning is the backbone for designing the ride flow of all tours. He is also a member of 60kph, Motorcycle Travel Club, India, and was an integral part of the award-winning motorcycle documentary One Crazy Ride.
This motorbike tour will take place in the Himalayas of Ladakh, India. Ladakh means the land of high passes. The mountain ranges, with 16,000 to 23,000 feet high peaks, were formed over a period of 45 million years by the folding of the Indian plate into the Eurasian plate. Ladakh lies in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India. It is sometimes called “Little Tibet” as it has been strongly influenced by Tibetan culture.
Historically, Ladakh was a strategic location at the crossroads of important caravan routes, eventually leading to the Silk Route. The region was opened to tourism only in 1974 and it is only after then that outsiders came to know about the beautiful landscape of Ladakh and the rich culture of the Ladakhi people. Ladakh has a blend of many different ethnic groups; predominantly, Tibetans and Mons.
Ladakh is bound by mountains and made up of mountains. From November to May, Ladakh is almost completely cut off from the outside world. Even in summer, getting here involves crossing the highest mountain passes in the world. The journey by no means is easy, but the highest roads in the world here are termed as the best riding destination in the world.
From the millions of years of permanence, the Himalayas make the journey to Ladakh different and unpredictable every year. It is anybody’s guess on what the road would look like after being covered with feet of snow in winter. Mountain streams, high altitude passes, majestic plains, and enormous mountain lakes have left a lasting impression on the lucky ones who have got a chance to travel to this remote Himalayan region.
The price of the tour includes daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It also includes bottled water, juices, tea, and coffee on all days.
Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).
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