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A guest post by Sparsh Garg 

If you are a bike lover, then Ladakh must already be on one of the top priorities in your bucket list. Ladakh is best known for its ancient Buddhist Monasteries, breathtaking views, dangerous routes and of course roaring bike engines.

Whether you are riding with your boy gang or you are travelling solo the feeling of riding your favourite bike at the height of 15000ft is simply PHENOMENAL. I suggest before you start your road trip to Ladakh you need to plan on the following topics:

How to choose the perfect bike for your Ladakh trip?

If you are planning a road trip to Ladakh you need to choose the right bike for it.

I suggest you should choose a bike that has a powerful engine, swift movement and easy to maintain as biking in Ladakh is not going to be a child’s play.

Most importantly you need to choose a bike that you are comfortable riding because you could be riding in extreme weather conditions, narrow-steep roads and long hours with no proper rest.  Here are my top recommendations:

  1. Royal Enfield (strong engine 350 CC to 500 CC)
  2. Royal Enfield Himalayan (400 CC engine: made for the mountains)
  3. Bajaj Pulsar (Reasonable price range and varied engine options)
  4. KTM Duke (Lightweight and Great Engine)

(Remember: you can always rent a bike instead of buying a new one especially for the trip)

Best routes for Ladakh trip:

Every route has its own beauty, therefore there is no perfect route to reach Ladakh. However, according to me the most scenic route to Ladakh is via Manali. I suggest you reach Manali from whatever location you are based in, rent a bike and set off for your adventures. Here is my preferred route from New Delhi to Ladakh:

Route: Delhi – Manali – Sarchu – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Kargil – Srinagar — Delhi

Total distance: Approx. 2500 km

On your route to Ladakh, you will witness drastic changes in language, culture, food and even the mountains. When you are in Manali you will be riding across the Kullu Valley. As you drive through the Baralachha Pass to Sarchu you will witness mountains getting much bigger than they were in Manali.

Finally, as you descend towards the mighty Ladakh via Tanglang-La Pass, riding your bike will turn challenging. Once you cross the 5300 m pass, you will be on the roads of Ladakh.

I suggest you stop and visit the famous monasteries of Leh- Thiksey and Shey.

Best places to visit in Ladakh:

  1.  Zanskar Valley
  2. Pangong Tso Lake
  3. Kargil
  4. Khardung-la Pass
  5. Nubra Valley
  6. Magnet Hill
  7. Spituk Gompa
  8. Hemis National Park
  9. Shanti Stupa
  10. Hemis Monastery

For a detailed description of the places, you can visit Sparsh’s Blog.

Budget Planning for Ladakh Trip:

  1. Petrol: you will require almost 100 litres of petrol for covering a total distance of 3500 km. Approximate cost: 8000 INR
  2. Accommodation: considering a twin sharing basis on a budget hotel in Ladakh, it will cost you about 10000 INR for 12 days trip. Moreover, it totally varies depending on where you are staying and the number of people you are accompanied with.
  3. Food: Just like the accommodation, food expenses totally depends on what kind of place you are dining at. If you are dining at dhabas or ordering pocket-friendly food from Swiggy or Zomato, it will charge you 150 INR per meal.
  4. Emergency Fund: Every traveller must carry some extra funds in case of any mishap. I suggest keeping 2500 to 3000 INR aside as emergency fund or miscellaneous.

Approximate total budget: 25000 INR considering you have a bike of your own. If you are planning to rent a bike charges will obviously increase.

Things you should not miss on your road trip to Ladakh:

  • Helmet
  • Goggles/Shades
  • Driving License
  • Gloves
  • Leather Jacket to look cool and beat the breeze
  • Toiletries
  • Warm Clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Power Bank
  • Torch
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit for you and your bike

I hope this post answered most of your questions and doubts, feel free to share your queries or feedback in the comments section.

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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