Despite its harsh environment and jarring weather, Leh-Ladakh continues to be one of the dream vacation spots for all nature lovers out there. People queue up to get a chance to visit there. And if you love riding bikes, it would be a sin not to go on a biking ride in Ladakh!
These are some considerations you should make before organising a road trip to Ladakh.
The ideal period for travel
It is well known that there is a very narrow window of opportunity for taking a bike journey to Leh because both routes are only open to tourists for around 6 months of the year. beginning the first week in mid-May or early June and ending in the middle of October or early November. So it should be safe to bet on the months of June through September. However, due to the monsoons, July and August could be challenging on the passes (i.e. Zojila pass in the Srinagar- Leh highway, Rohtang pass on the Manali- Leh highway). Consequently, June and September are the ideal times to travel, however you may still be a little daring during the rainy season.
There are two principal ways to go to Leh. both the Manali-Leh highway and the Jammu- Srinagar-Leh highway. Both routes are really scenic, therefore I highly advise taking one when travelling there and the other when returning. However, if my experience is any indication, I believe it is preferable to use the Srinagar highway on the way back because the ascent to higher heights is more gradual on the former route, making it simpler to acclimate to the altitude.
Must bring all required medications
People who cycle to Leh-Ladakh suffer from “altitude sickness” or “severe mountain sickness,” which can be a genuine pain; therefore, taking basic measures doesn’t make you a coward. The degree to which an individual is immune to high altitudes varies. The best person to determine how much your body can handle is you. Some people are affected very negatively, while others are only slightly affected. The symptoms of mild AMS are similar to a light hangover. Before your journey, you can see a doctor, and you can bring the prescription with you to Ladakh. A bike tour from Leh to Ladakh is a popular activity for adventurers and bike enthusiasts.
When riding at extremely high altitudes, wear a balaclava or cover your lips with a piece of clean cloth.
When riding at high elevations, one tends to breathe via their lips because high altitudes result in low oxygen levels. Due to your rapid breathing, it’s possible that you’ll inhale water vapour from the air, which could cause water to accumulate in your lungs. I know it sounds scary. There hasn’t been much investigation on this particular truth, but why take a chance when the answer is so straightforward? A bike tour from Leh to Ladakh may cost between $30,000 and $50,000.
Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol
While I’m not forbidding you from having fun, you must act very responsibly while out here. Alcohol dehydrates the body and offers little to alleviate altitude sickness. To avoid exceeding your boundaries, be aware of them. Never ever push the envelope around here. This advice is meant to save you from overexerting yourself when biking to Leh Ladakh, which can be physically taxing.
Leh offers permits for protected areas and inner lines
Travel to places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake, Tso Moriri Lake, etc. requires Inner line permits (ILP) for Indian residents, and Protected area permits (PAP) for foreign nationals. There are numerous tour companies in Leh city who may make these arrangements for you, or you can go to the DC office in Leh and obtain the permissions on your own. If you do it yourself, it will be far less expensive and not a particularly difficult process. When travelling to Leh, keep several extra passport-size photos with you.
Include spare parts and your bike tool kit
Get your bike inspected by a mechanic both before and after you arrive in Leh. If at all feasible, pick up some fundamental bike maintenance skills. Carry spare fuses, tubes, accelerator cables, clutch cables, puncture repair kits, air pumps, and so forth. On the road from Jammu to Srinagar to Leh, there are still mechanics to be found.
Carry only what is necessary
One of the most crucial things to remember is to pack lightly because a bike journey does not allow for lavish clothing choices. Due to two factors: first, the weather doesn’t lend itself to much fashion, so it’s best to dress comfortably and warmly and stick with them, even if you have to repeat one or two looks; and second, you’ll need the extra room to pack items like a sleeping bag, possibly a tent, and some energy bars for emergencies. Additionally, you should bring extra gas for certain portions, particularly on the Leh-Manali highway, and indicate if you’re going to the Pangong Tso or Tso Moriri lakes. These are lengthy periods without any settlements .
Be polite to all of the passing truck drivers. increasing your karma points
Trucks are your best escape route if things start to go extremely wrong. When you are in a dire situation, these individuals have the capacity to transport your bike to the next town. Truck drivers are friendly guys who will assist you, yet negotiation skills could come in helpful. These advice can undoubtedly be helpful because the travel to Leh Ladakh by bike is long.
If you can, leave a few days open in your schedule
On journeys like these, things may not go precisely as expected; your itinerary may be changed for a variety of reasons. Weather-related road closures can occur, you might need a bit more time to adjust, or your motorcycle might develop a snag that requires some time to correct. A bike trip to Leh Ladakh from Manali can take a lot of time.