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Manali - Leh : 2nd highest mountain road


The high altitude road beyond the Great Himalayan range, on the edge of Tibetan plateau, connects the densely fertile Kullu valley to the stark barren region of Ladakh, once accessible only from Kashmir.

The journey by jeep or coach goes through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery ever witnessed by road traverses. As on traverses the main ranges of the Himalayan, the stark contrast in the topography becomes apparent. Lahoul and later Ladakh reveal barren landscapes that assume fantastic and bizarre shapes, surrealistic colors splash off rust, gold, pink and yellow. Here one in traversing the roof of the world where the Buddhist influence on the inhabitants tries to soften the rough existence they must lead to survive


Region: Manali-Kullu, Lahoul & Ladakh (North India)Best season: Mid July to September, tour days: 03, Highest elevation: 5'328 mtrs Taglang La.


Day 01: Manali (2050 m.) - Keylong  (3100 m.) Drive 115 km. (6 hrs)

Day 02: Keyong -  Sarchu (3960m.)

Day 03: Sarchu to Pang (4115m.) Leh (3500m.)



Day 01: Manali (2050 m.) - Keylong  (3100 m.) Drive 115 km. (6 hrs):

the journey starts from Manali, at the head of the lush green Kullu valley. The road slowly winds up the Rohtang-la pass (3978m.), the first of the high passes, then down into the Lahoul valley. The landscape changes dramatically, the greenery being replaced by barren hillsides, where the village with their bountiful fields of barley, peas and potatoes, stand out in stark contrast. Following the Chandra River the journey takes one to its biggest tributaries of the Indus. Following the Bhaga up stream; the road goes past Keylong, the district headquarters. Overnight at hotel or camp. At keylong visit Shishur gompa and Kardang gompa across Bhaga river.

Day 02: Keyong -  Sarchu (3960m.)

from Keylong we follow the right bank of Bhaga river. We cross Jipsa and Darcha enroute. A check post at Darcha from where the road begins a steady and to times steep ascent up the Bhaga river. The clear morning air lends sharpness to the snow mountain, visible at the head of the valley. The road crosses large meadows such as Zingzingbar and on to the Baralacha-la pass (4890m.). The ascent is so gradual that one hardly realizes it. In fact the pass itself is a level stretch of 8 kms. With a small lake at the top, the source of the Bhaga river. The pass is also the source of the chandra, which follows in the opposite direction to the Bhaga and later joins to form Chenab River. Fro here the snow covered peaks of the BaraShigri, Chandra Bhaga and Moulkila ranges, towering well above 6000 meters, are visible. The descent is equally gradual and across barren landscapes all the way to the campsite at Sarchu.

Day 03: Sarchu to Pang (4115m.) Leh (3500m.)

Today we cross the Tsarap Chu River and start climbing up the Lachulang-la pass (5065m.) across the Zanskar range. The descent from the pass leads to the Kyangchu plains, a level stretch of over 40 km. which dues its 50 animals at a time. Around mid day the campsite at Pang is approached. Farm the camp short walk to the top of the nearby ridge reveals a large lake the Tsar tso and endless mountain ranges stretching into the horizon.the road goes via Debring, a big Indian army post, and climbs up to the Taglang-la pass (5360m.) the highest point of the journey. AT the top is tiny temple with a few prayer flags rustling in the breeze a content feature up here. Descend in to a narrow valley, past small villages with green patches that stand out like oasis up to Upshi, where the Indus River is approached. The road follows the Indus, past relatively fertile and prosperous village and lake, Buddhist monastery up to Leh. The capital of which is bustling with local traders and tourists.



This itinerary can be combined with several treks in the Lahoul, Zanskar and Ladakh. We highly recommend of the following options: Markha valley trek, Rupshu valley trek, Tso-Moriri trek, Chandratal trek. Please do mail us for more information.







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