Its time to get Leh’d and Spitified
Leh – Ladakh, a dream ride for all the bikers. Bikers call it Heaven. Through this blog I would like to share the preparation strategies for your Dream Ride.
Sharing the information from my experience during my Leh expedition 2017 and my preparations for Ladakh 2018.
The most common routes to Ladakh:
Delhi / Chandigarh – Jammu – Udhampur – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Kargil – Leh – surrounding Leh (Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Turtuk, Pangong) – Tso Moriri – Pang – Sarchu – Jispa – Keylong – Manali – Delhi / Chandigarh.
Delhi / Chandigarh – Manali – Rohtang – Keylong – Jispa – Sarchu – Leh – surrounding Leh (Khardung La, Nubra Valley, Turtuk, Pangong) – Kargil – Sonamarg – Srinagar – Udhampur – Jammu – Chandigarh / Delhi.
If you choose the Option 2, you need to apply for Rohtang Permits. Take the beyond Rohtang Permits to cross the Rohtang Checkpost and continue the journey to Leh. This Rohtang Permits needs to be applied online 2 days in advance before the day you intend to cross Rohtang. Beware Rohtang Pass is closed on all Tuesdays and no vehicular movement from either sides.
Planning the above itinerary in 15 days is the best so that you can have a pleasant travel. There are riders who have done the Leh circuit in days lesser than that, but don’t go there to race against time, instead enjoy the beautiful mountains.
If you are an experienced rider, then you can add on Spiti circuit (needs an additional 7 days) or even ride the Sach Pass or tame the World’s Deadliest road Killar – Kishtwar.
Places Banned for Travellers:
- Umling La
- Marsimik La
Few new routes:
- Kargil – Hamboting La – Batalik – Dah Hanu – Skurbuchan – Khaltse – Leh
- Kargil – Penzi La – Padum – Darcha
Effective June 2017, every visitor has to obtain Inner Line Permits from Leh DC Office to visit few places and list is as below:
- Batalik – Dah Hanu –Skurbuchan stretch
- Tso Moriri – Tso Kar
- Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Turtuk
- Pangong Lake (the lake in the movie 3 Idiots)
- Hanle (as of year 2018, Hanle is banned)
Kindly contact my friend Rigzin Bhai on +91 8146591625 or +91 7018159824 for any assistance regarding Inner Line Permits. He also helps you out with Bike Rentals at Manali or at Leh and he also conducts Chadar Treks.
As the places enroute the circuit is close to International Borders, so there will be Army Base camps or check-posts and any kind of photography / videography is strictly prohibited. Please don’t take pics or videos of any such places and always obey the orders given by any Indian Army / Defense personnel throughout the journey.
Things to carry for Leh – Ladakh Ride
Always follow ATGATT (All The Gears All The Time) throughout the ride, no matter what bike you ride on these terrains.
- Riding Jacket
- Full faced helmet
- Riding Pant, if you don’t have a riding pant; do take good knee guards
- Riding Gloves
- Shoes (full ankle shoes are preferred)
These riding gears are only for your safety that would protect you from injuries in case of a fall.
- Jerry Cans for fuel
- Acceleration Cable
- Clutch Cable
- Clutch plates
- Puncture kit for tubeless tyre vehicles
- Extra pair of tubes for tube tyre vehicles
- Engine Oil
- Chain Lubrication
- Spark Plug
- Ensure you have fog lamps fitted on your bike.
- Tool Kit
- Saddle Bag
- Foot-pump / electronic air pressure for air fill.
- Any other accessories you feel necessary for your vehicle
Clothing and Luggage:
Never carry your entire wardrobe along with you. Make note of this quote “Less the luggage more the fun”
- Winter Gloves
- Gum Boots / Full ankle shoes
- Only 2 jeans or maximum of 3
- Shirts / T-shirts; 3 to 4
- Socks (carry extra pairs, as there are many water stream crossing throughout the journey and clothes won’t dry in the temperature here)
- Inner wears 7 to 8
- Toiletries and Personal Hygiene products
- Balaclava / full face caps
- Oxygen cans
- Personal medications if any prescribed by your doctor
- Diamox Tablets / Gingko Bilbao (for Acute Mountain Sickness)
- Pain Balm / Spray
- First Aid Kit (Cotton, band-aids, cream to apply on wounds)
- Tablets for cold, cough, fever, loose motions, body ache.
- Any other medicines you feel necessary.
- Glucose / ORS Powder
Documents to be carried:
- Driving License
- Vehicle RC
- Identity Proof / Address Proof
- Inner Line Permits
- Rohtang Pass / Beyond Rohtang Permits
- Manali Green Tribunal Tax (to enter Manali)
- Emission / Pollution Certificate
- Personal medical / health insurance if available
- All Foreign Nationals keep a check in the official website of Leh DC Office for documents to be carried.
BSNL Postpaid works in most of the places. Airtel postpaid works in some of the places. None of the prepaid connections work in Kashmir Valley.
Electronic gadgets (optional):
- Action Camera
Carry power bank and keep your mobiles for charging while staying in your hotel rooms.
If you ride via Srinagar, fuel is available in all the major places; Udhampur, Srinagar, Kargil, Leh. To visit places surrounding to Leh, you need to carry sufficient fuel to have a smooth journey.
Leh – KhardungLa – Nubra Route:
The petrol pump at Diskit was fully functional when we did our Leh expedition in July’2018
Leh – Pangong Lake Route:
No availability of fuel.
Leh – Tso Moriri / Leh – Hanle:
Fuel is available in local shops at Sumdo for INR 100/litre.
Leh to Manali:
The only place where fuel is available is at Tandi. So there is no availability of fuel for a stretch of 365 km. Leh to Tandi is 365kms.
Ensure you carry sufficient fuel depending on your vehicle’s fuel tank capacity and the mileage of your vehicle.
Fuel was available in local shops at Sarchu for INR 140-150 /liter.
ATMs are available at Srinagar, Leh, Manali. Please ensure you carry sufficient cash for your entire journey.
Get your bike is properly serviced before you start your journey. There is good mechanical support at Leh. There are few small garages / minimal mechanical support in Tandi, Jispa, Udhampur.
There is a mechanic named Sonu in Diskit. Kindly keep his contact number +919469524727 saved in your mobiles.
Few important websites and contact:
- All information regarding Leh Ladakh: https://www.lehladakhindia.com/
- For Inner Line permits: http://www.lahdclehpermit.in/
- For Rohtang Permits and Beyond Rohtang Permits: http://admis.hp.nic.in/ngtkullu
- Also please read through the comments in Ladakh Return group on FB for all the latest updates from travelers.
Few important things to be noted:
- No Drink and Drive
- Don’t smoke while you are at the mountains
- Keep the ecology clean, don’t trash your travel.
- Don’t stick any kind of stickers on any of the sign-boards. The sign-boards are meant for information and not to put your stickers.
- Keep your dear ones informed about the places you traveling, whenever you find cellular network; make the first call back home. “I / We are safe and fine” is what your family wants to listen from you.
- Most of these places are prone to landslides, cloud burst, flash floods; so be prepared with things.
- You can’t predict or win against the Universal Law of Nature.
- Take other important things which you feel most important and necessary to you.
In case I have missed any information on the preparations for the Dream Leh Ride, please drop your comments below so that it can help the readers here.
Stay Safe, Ride Safe; enjoy the best and the most memorable Trip of your Life 🙂
Until next time.
Also visit: My Leh Expedition 2017