Manali Khardungla Cycle Expedition
This ain't no touristy stuff! This is that once in a lifetime event that cyclists around the world dream of. The expedition starts at Manali : door to the heaven of Himalayas which has ironically become honeymoon spot! The expedition makes you cross 5 passes with a maximum altitude of Khardung La (5602 mts). Each one of these passes is unique in their own stature: Bara Lachha La - one of the most loopy passes, Naki La & Lachu lung La are like Twin brothers standing just next to each other, Rohtang Pass is the most unpredictable and moody of them all, and last but not the least & the toghest to cross - Tanglang La (5360 mts). Overwhelming..right? Well there is much much more. Gata loops with 22 curves can send a fine chill up your spine when you see it from the top, Moray plains is one of the highest & coldest deserts in the world, snow laden peaks, rivers like Chandra-Bhaga & Indus, and more. The destination city of Leh needs no intro which culminates your expedition in a perfect way. Well, its just not possible to explain the beauty of the expedition in words! One has to do it to feel it.
Are you an avid biker or even a regular cyclist? If yes, then Manali-Leh Cycling Expedition is just the adrenaline boost for you. Manali-Leh Cycling expedition is a 10-day challenging expedition, consisting difficult terrains and uphill riding conditions. Factors like high altitude, difficult passes and hairpin bends make it completely different from cycling in plains.
If you are a regular cyclist and have enough stamina to undertake this 10-day strenuous challenge, then give no second thoughts before signing up for this. Make sure you stick with the practice schedule for Manali-Leh Cycling Expedition to maintain a good stamina and physical endurance for the ultimate challenge.
However, if you are a newbie and still want to take up the challenge, it is advised that you start preparing for the expedition well in advance. You will need to invest in a good bike and follow a strict exercise regimen before the final showdown. Have a few warm-up rides like Dehradun-Mussoorie Ride or Kufri-Solan Ride to boost up your confidence.
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Manali is well connected to Delhi with through road and air. There are no direct trains from Delhi though. By Road The road distance from Delhi to Manali is 536 km. There are overnight HPRTC buses and Volvos available from ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi for Manali. It is a 14 hour journey by bus. You can book your bus tickets online through hrtchp.com or any other bus services available. You can also hire a private taxi or an outstation cab from Delhi. By Rail To reach by train, take a direct train from Delhi to Pathankot. Some of the trains that run on this route are Delhi-Pathankot Express, Jammu Tawi Express, Delhi-Dhauladhar Express. You can then take a bus from Pathankot to Manali. Or you can take a connecting train from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar which is the nearest station to Manali. There are buses running frequently between Joginder Nagar and Manali. By Air The nearest airport is Bhuntar airport which is located 50 km from Manali. There are taxis available at the airport which will take you to Manali. You can also take local buses that keep running from Bhuntar to Manali at a very regular frequency. Buses are decent and very cheap compared to a taxi that can cost you around INR 2000 to 2500 depending upon the season.
When you reach Manali, you will have day to explore the tourist place. Manali is the gateway to Solang Valley where you can participate in adventure activities like paragliding, and zorbing in the summer months when the snow melts. This famous tourist hill station has so many places to visit in Manali. Visit the ancient Hadimba Devi Temple which has an interesting mythological tale associated with it. Walk through the charming lanes of Old manali. Visit the bazaar to buy some souvenirs. Jogini Fall and Vashisht Temple are other famous attractions in Manali. You can also visit Rohtang pass while you are in Manali. There are so many enchanting places to visit in Leh-Ladakh when you complete your expedition. During your acclimatization period, you can roam around the town and visit the monasteries; Diskit Gompa, and Lamayuru Monastery. Drive up to the Magnetic Hill and experience the crazy magnetic phenomenon on the hill. The picturesque Nubra Valley will take your breath away. The green oasis villages, the monasteries, the ruined palaces- Turtuk and Bordang; there is a whole different culture in this place. It is 150 km away from Leh. You can take a shared taxi to this route. How can you leave Ladakh without seeing Pangong Lake, the sapphire blue lake? Also, visit Gurdwara Pathar Sahib and Leh Royal Palace.
You will get a good connectivity till Rohtang Pass. Beyond Rohtang pass, BSNL network is available on some other campsites like Sissu and Jispa but not on the trail. There would be long stretches beyond Keylong where there would be no connectivity but Army personnel can arrange for a satellite phone call, if urgently required, at Pang. Only postpaid connection works in Leh and nearby areas. BSNL has the best connectivity in Leh-Ladakh region followed by Airtel. However, all the mobile networks like Idea and Vodafone also work in Leh. Please note that only postpaid numbers work in J&K state, prepaid connections will cease to work as soon as you enter Ladakh region, post-Baralacha La.
Taking a flight from Leh is the most convenient option in case you are carrying your own bikes. You will be charged with an extra nominal fee for the bike. You will be asked to dismantle your bike and pack the parts properly inside the box. To get back from Leh to your respective destinations, please book your flights from Leh to New Delhi well in advance due to low frequency of flights and for cheaper price. In case you are not carrying a bike and looking for travel options from Leh to New Delhi, you can take a shared taxi from Leh to Srinagar which will cost you around INR 3000-4500. Take an alternate flight from Srinagar to New Delhi. Flights from Srinagar to Delhi are generally cheaper than Leh-Delhi. And the drive from Leh to Scenic is breathtaking. You can also take buses from Leh to Srinagar, Manali, or New Delhi depending upon your comfort and number of days you are willing to invest in commutation. The bus ride can be long and exhausting. It is better to take halts in between if you decide to come back by road.