“Highway to Heaven”
Through the Kullu, Lahaul, Zanskar and Indus Valleys & over Several High Passes
in the Great Himalayan Ranges and the Tibet Plateau in India
This trip is all about exploring the horizons between the “Valley of the Gods” and Ladakh; we will be riding for the first time from Lahaul Valley to Padum, the headquarters of Zanskar Valley, one of the most remote regions of the Himalayas, taking us over the newly opened Shingo La Pass (5,060 metres). It is a 150 kilometres of rugged track that will open entirely new vistas to us.
Our journey will start in the Kullu valley. The first stretch will take us over the Challenging Rohtang Pass from where we’ll descend into the wild Chandra and Lahaul Valleys. In addition to spectacular landscapes, this motorcycle tour will take us to Buddhist heritage such as Bardan Monastery, the temple of Karsha and the mystical, abandoned Zangla Palace, towering over wild valleys and gorges.
After exploring this interesting region, we will ride over the newly carved Sisir La and Singe La Passes to make our way into the Indus Valley. By then, a rest day in Leh - capital of Ladakh - is a well-deserved treat.
We will continue riding on the Manali-Ladakh Highway, which we call the “Highway to Heaven”. Most of the road is tarmac now, but it still has enough challenges, with over 4 major passes above 5,000 meters in altitude. These passes are guaranteed to put a grin on the faces of even the most hardened riders.
1,400 kilometres in 14 days will give us the time to savour a great new motorcycle adventure featuring the full diversity of the Indian Himalayas and is a classic bike ride with challenging routes. The ride will test your riding skills and require nerves of steel. Between the rugged tracks and the breathtaking scenery, you’ll be hitting some intense adrenaline levels.
RIDING SKILL :
Best for experienced riders
HIGHEST ALTITUDE :
RIDE LENGTH & TIME :
Approx. 1400 kms over 14 days
ROAD SURFACE :
60% tarmac, 40% narrow roads, lots of hairpin bends
Across the challenging Rohtang Pass (3,980 m) into the Chandra valley
Over the newly built Shingo La Pass Trail (5,105 m) from Lahaul directly to Zanskarl, 150 km of new adventures
A day off for the most beautiful monasteries in Zanskar: Bardan, Karsha and the mystical, abandoned palace of Zangla
Over the Sisir La ( 4,790 m) & Singge La (5,060 m) passes into the Indus Valley
From Tingmosgang to Leh via the scenic Sham Valley to the majestic Likir Monastery
Ladakh-Manali road known as the “Highway through Heaven” over 4 major passes.
We tackle eight high altitude road passes on this tour:
3,980 m | Rohtang Pass
5,105 m | Shingo La– Recently opened between Zanskar and Lahaul
4,790 m | Sisir La
5,060 m | Senge La
5,390 m | Tanglang La – the second-highest pass in the world
5,065 m | Lachung La
4,739 m | Nakee La – Via never ending hairpin bends
5,030 m | Baralach La – Challenging and very scenic pass on the Manali – Leh road
UPCOMING TOURS :
4th July 2023 to 18th July 2023 : sold out*
7th July 2024 to 21st July 2023 : 4 bikes Left*
*We need a minimum of 7 participants for the tour to take place ; and a maximum of 14 participants.
MOTORCYCLES AVAILABLE :
Enfield Bullet 500 : 2.595 € per Biker
Pillion : 1.995 € per Pillion
435 € Single Room surcharge on tour price
Overnight stays at handpicked hotels ;
double accommodation, with en - suite showers / WC
All meals (breakfast, lunches and dinner) from Leh to Leh and non-alcoholic beverages with the meals, except lunches and dinners in Leh
VEHICLE DETAILS :
Enfield Bullet 500 cc motorcycle with comprehensive insurance.
Support jeep for baggage and reserve seats for pillions.
Touring gear, fuel, oil and all replacement parts.
DAY 1 :
ARRIVE IN KULLU
From Delhi airport, you can take the early morning connecting flight to Kullu. From Kullu, a taxi will drop you to Naggar late in the morning. Enjoy stunning vistas of the lush green and fertile Kullu Valley. You will be welcomed with a hearty lunch and you can spend the day relaxing.
Naggar is a traditional and peaceful Hindu village in Himachal Pradesh, 500 km from Delhi. Located in the heart of Kullu Valley in Western Himalayas, the Gods – according to the Hindu belief – chose this valley to be their home, giving it the title of “The Valley of the Gods”. Naggar was once the capital of the region, hence the picturesque Naggar Castle. You will feel immediately at home in Hotel Ragini and Cottages, your homely stay. In and around Naggar, thousand-years-old Hindu temples lie scattered around. The view of the valley, the rice fields, the forests and the villages around with their unique culture is breathtaking.
Hotel Ragini Cottages What better way to start your journey than in a cosy family-run cottage? Hotel Ragini and its Cottages offer you a home where the friendly staffs are always ready for you. The rooftop restaurant with a view on the eternal snowy peaks serves local and western cuisine. Ragini lies in the middle of the village but far away from the modern and hectic life.
DAY 2 :
Getting familiar with the handling of the Enfield Bullets and the Indian traffic “system”. Short ride around with a stopover for lunch by the Jana waterfall. Distance covered: approx. 60 km
DAY 3 :
Leaving Naggar to Keylong (3,150 meters) 120 Km
Our Bike Tour begins. After breakfast, leaving Naggar, we ride across the Rohtang pass at 3,970 meters which offers great views of the Pir Panjal Range. We descend into the drier Lahaul Valley travelling along the Chandra River past its confluence with the Bhaga River at Tandi. We reach Keylong, the district headquarters of Lahaul by late afternoon. Overnight in a hotel in Keylong.
DAY 4 :
Exploring Lahaul Valley, riding to Udaipur and Trilokinath
In order to acclimatize for further adventures to higher regions, we explore Lahaul Valley. We ride along the Chandra Bhaga River to visit a unique Ancient Hindu Shiva temple, which is looked after and run by Buddhist monks. This valley is a unique melting pot of Hindu and Buddhist culture. Across the river in Udaipur there is a rare ancient temple of a Goddess, famous for its wood carvings. Night In a hotel in Jispa.
Distance covered: approx. 150 km
DAY 5 :
Jispa to Padum over Shingo La (5,105 m)
This day is one of the most highlighted days of the Zanskar and Ladakh Himalayas Motorcycle tour. From the recently opened Shingo La Pass, which has a height of 5,105 meters, we drive off-road. Today's journey is not easy to take. Crossing this pass is a serious adventure – many will find it a real challenge. Padum was named after Padmasambhava, Guru Rimpoche ("born of the lotus"), an influential Buddhist teacher of the 8th century. He is still revered today and his texts are used in all Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Overnight stay in a comfortable hotel in Padum.
Distance covered: approx. 150 km
DAY 6 :
Day in Zanskar Valley
Today we will enjoy the beautiful valley of Zanskar. We will drive to some of the most beautiful monasteries in the region while enjoying the most breathtaking views and experiencing the Tibetan Buddhist culture first hand. After an exciting ride on fantastic slopes, we arrive at the Bardan Monastery and the Karsha Temple. We will also get a peek into the hardy lives of the local Zanskari people. Evening, back to our hotel in Padum. Distance covered: approx. 50 km
DAY 7 :
Lingshed – through the gorge of Zanskar
We start the day by visiting the mystical, abandoned Palace of Zangla, once the seat of the kingdom
Zanskar. From here the road gets rougher while we follow the Zanskar River to the north. The road narrows and the steep slopes intensify – we are now deep in the Zanskar Gorge. Road conditions are also becoming more and more demanding, in some places the river has to be crossed. Slowly on the way north we gain altitude and finally come close to our destination for the day Lingshed at 3,500 meters. Spend the night at the monastery guest house.
Distance covered: approx. 100 km
DAY 8 :
Over the newly opened two high passes into the Indus Valley
High into Zanskar it goes over the newly opened gravel road and over the passes Sisir La (4,790 m) and Senge La (5,060 m). A great challenge waits, as the somewhat dusty and rugged road with many hairpin bends needs to be tackled. We will reach the green Oasis village of Tingmosgang and will spend the night in the beautiful Tibetan Boutique hotel located in a fantastic and quiet spot. Distance covered: approx 140 km
DAY 9 :
Ride to Leh via Sham Valley and Likir Monastery
Our adventure continues with a relaxed ride to the western Indus Valley. We visit the ruins and temples of the old royal palace of Basgo and the mighty Snake Buddha statue in Likir Monastery. We ride with our Royal Enfield over the narrow mountain roads to the village Yang Tang and over a small nameless Mountain pass on to Hemis Supachen, which is famous for its old sacred juniper forest. After two relaxing hours of riding we arrive in Leh where we spend the rest of the day in our simple but charming and centrally located hotel. Later we explore the area on a walk to the old town and in the evening a delicious dinner will be served.
Leh, the former capital of the Himalayan kingdom Ladakh, is located at an altitude of 3,524 meters in a wide valley surrounded by the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas and played an important role in the historical trade route along the Indus Valley linking Tibet, China and India. In addition to products such as salt, valuable products such as brocade, cashmere wool, silk and indigo were traded. The mighty old royal palace built around 1600 overlooks Leh and is open to the public. It is an impressive testimony to power of the former kingdom.
Distance covered: approx. 100 km
DAY 10 :
Free day in Leh
DAY 11 :
From Indus Valley on the “Highway to Heaven"
We ride to Ladakh's most famous Tikkse monastery, in the upper Indus Valley. Afterwards we continue on the Manali-Ladakh Highway,"Highway through Heaven". Although most of the road is asphalted, it will still present us enough challenges, especially on the following day. But we start with the 5,328 meter high Tanglang La (known as the world’s second highest pass linked by road) and leave the last settlements of Ladakh behind. Overnight stay in a guest house near the salt lake Tso Kar, a sprawling, picturesque salt lake surrounded by mountains and a rich wildlife at an altitude of almost 4,500 meters. Distance covered: approx. 160 km
DAY 12 :
into the Great Himalyan Ranges
A challenging, long day awaits us. We therefore start early in the morning and will ride over three main passes to Himachal Pradesh; Lachung La Pass (5.065 m), Nakee La Pass (4.739 m) and Baralacha La Pass (5,030 m). The road is different today; mostly tarmac, although not at the pass crossings. To make up for this, we will be rewarded with stunning views of high Himalayan Mountains and high plateau landscapes. Distance covered: approx. 230 km
DAY 13 :
Jispa to Naggar
Through the newly built Ata tunnel and back to the lush green Kullu Valley. For lunch we will halt at the ski slopes of the Solang Valley. From there, the ride will take another hour and a half to reach our base in Naggar. Overnight at Ragini Hotel and its Cottages.
Distance covered: approx. 150 km
DAY 14 :
Relaxing day in Naggar
Free day for unwinding and reflecting. Enjoy the comforts at Ragini Cottages and end the tour with deliciously cooked local food around the campfire.
Returning home with lots of memories.
For those who prefer the early morning flight from Kullu to Delhi, we will drop you at Kullu Airport (1 hr drive).
Or you can stay on for more relaxing days in our Home Stay. If your return flight scheduled for the next day, we suggest you take the comfortable tourist bus which goes overnight back to Delhi. Or we can organise a taxi for the same way (12 hours).