Challenge your endurance across the great Himalayan ranges in Manali to Khardungla cycling expedition, through one of the most beautiful yet challenging roads in the world.
Pedal across the picturesque Pir Panjal, Great Himalaya, Zanskar and Ladakh mountain ranges; weaving through Rohtang Pass, Keylong, Baralachala, Nakeela, Lachulungla, More Plains, Taglangla, Leh, and Khardungla.
This 581 km, 12-day long cycling expedition will be a memorable and life-changing experience that will take you through some of the highest motor-able roads in the world, with a maximum altitude of 5600 m.
To be the part of this expedition that is scheduled from Manali in August 2019, please contact through the following means –
Details of Expedition:
Day 1: Manali
Arrive in Manali and check-in at the hotel. Enjoy welcome tea with snacks on arrival. After a little rest, we will have a brief introduction with the team comprising the guides and the staff that will accompany you during the expedition. This will be followed by a session to acquaint you with your mountain bikes. Accessories depending on each rider’s own personal choice shall be affixed on each bike.
In the afternoon, we shall have a test ride towards Hidimba Temple and old Manali. This is especially important as this would be the only time we will get to identify any issues that we might experience with our bikes and to fix the same if needed.
Day 2: Manali — Marhi (37 km)
We will start our expedition at around 8:00 am, after breakfast at the hotel. Even though it is only 37 km from Manali to Marhi, the entire way is completely uphill. We will therefore cover only this short distance and make a slow start on the first day of the expedition. Along the way, we will have lunch at Gulaba, which is almost mid-way between Manali and Marhi.
We will reach Marhi between 2:00 – 3:00 pm and settle into our tents. As you enjoy evening tea with hot snacks, there will be a short briefing regarding the next day’s ride. With an early dinner and hot chocolate drink, we will call it a night.
Day 3: Marhi — Sissu (47 km)
After you relish a hearty breakfast at the Marhi camp, we will start our 16 km uphill ride to Rohtang Pass. Located at a height of approximately 3980 m, this is the first Pass that we will cross on this expedition. It is a beautiful ride uphill, the road zig-zagging its way to the top. It is however a very crowded pass too, as many tourists also drive from Manali to Rohtang Pass.
It is very windy at the Pass and hence not more than 10-15 minutes should be spent clicking pictures once you reach the top.
We then start riding downhill from Rohtang Pass and the first 4-5 km is beautiful roads, after which off-roading starts. As you manoeuver through mud, dust and pebbles during the off-roading patch, you will feel your entire body rattling. Views of the Pir Panjal mountain range will help in calming the nerves in this section.
We will have hot lunch with tea at Khoksar, which is 20 km from Rohtang Pass. We will rest for an hour as we let our lunch settle down and thereafter we continue on towards Sissu. We cross over to the true left bank of River Chandra after passing through Teling. We will come across some small settlements before finally reaching Sissu.
The camp site at Sissu is set next to the Chandra River, with mountains rising high on either side. On arrival at the camp, we will have tea with snacks, after which you can carry on and settle into your tents. One can carry out laundry and other general cleaning in this camp.
There is an army unit based here and you can have some good chai and Maggi at the Army run café. One can even go for a short walk around the camp, visit the helipad, and take a boat ride in the man-made Sissu Lake. A briefing regarding the next day’s ride will be followed by dinner.
Day 4: Sissu — Jispa (62 km)
On this day, the initial 10 odd km is an ascent as we move away from the Chandra River. The 20 km downhill is off-roading and the road is dusty, with Chandra River visible deep down at the foot of the hills on our left side. Just before the Tandi Bridge, we will see the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga Rivers. We will proceed towards Keylong after crossing the Tandi Bridge across the River Bhaga.
We will stop for lunch at Keylong. After this, there is a gradual uphill ride till Jispa. Both the uphill and downhill rides on this route are not very easy and adequate care has to be taken. In Jispa, we will stay in a hotel instead of a tent and it is a good opportunity to enjoy a hot shower. After evening tea you can go for a little short walk right outside the hotel. Briefing and dinner will continue as usual. Jispa is the last point where one would see trees and vegetation.
Day 5: Jispa — Patseo (32 km)
The short distance to be covered on this day should not mislead one into thinking that it will be an easy day. In fact, this is the first real test of your endurance on this expedition. It is quite simply a power game as we slowly but surely pedal up into heights, where the effects of altitude take a toll along with the steep incline of the road. There is very little downhill section on this route.
As we ride on this route, the contour and form of the landscape changes drastically. The trees give way to sand and stones, and the mountains look black and brown with an occasional snow cap on a few of them.
Today’s ride will be slow and deliberate, and we will take our time going easy and mindfully. We will camp by the Bhaga River at Patseo and the chances of developing a headache are high as we will be spending the night at an altitude of around 3750 m. It is all the more important to remain properly hydrated here and to drink lots of fluids along with hydrating and replenishing salts.
Day 6: Patseo — Sarchu via Baralachala Pass (60 km)
From here on, we start getting into the serious high altitude zone. You start the ride with some stunning views of the early morning landscape, especially when you come across a small lake. Today is also the day when you cross the second Pass of this route – Baralachala located at an altitude of 4890 m.
The first few kilometres out of the camp in Patseo and up till Baralachala Pass are steep. After crossing the Pass, we roll down till Bharatpur. We will have tea and lunch after this, and then continue on towards Sarchu. All through the ride, the views are very picturesque. This stretch is almost plain but the road is uneven and laden with scree along the 35 km patch from Bharatpur to our tents in Sarchu.
Day 7: Sarchu — Pang via Gata Loops (84 km)
This day is yet another test of endurance and power as we have to cross another two Passes on our way to our final destination. The ride till Gata Loops is gradual, rolling terrain. The ascent to Nakeela Pass (4740 m) is through the 21 Gata Loops. One has to ride cautiously here as not only is the ascent steep but one also has to contend with the harrowing road conditions that are covered in scree and rocks. The section is muddy and the hairpin bends are a story unto themselves.
From Nakeela, we have a gradual descent to Whisky Nala and the going does get easier than it has been before. After crossing Whisky Nala, we ride up to the next Pass – Lachungla (5065 m) and riding up to the highest altitude of our expedition so far will be a huge push on the body. From there on, it is an easy ride to Pang where we will call it a day. On this long day, the landscape will start to change faster and become more beautiful as the sun will go down. It gets cold really fast and hence layering of clothes will be a big help. Our camp at Pang is also one of the highest Army transit camps.
Day 8: Pang — Tsokar (57 km)
This day is a slightly relaxed one so that the body may adjust and have enough juice to push through the few really tough days up ahead. In the morning session of today’s ride, we negotiate a 6 km ride up a ridge from Pang. We then cross the 45 km stretch of More Plains, which is a region of large, expansive wilderness plains. The road is good in this section and it will give you an opportunity to show your leg power (if you like) and try to zip across some of the sections.
From here, we reach Rupshu, a high altitude desert and part of the Tibetan plateau. A nomadic tribe of Tibetan descent called Changpas live here. They are shepherds and you can witness them grazing huge flock of sheep and goats.
Tsokar (meaning White) Lake is last point for the day. We set up camp next to a stream and call it a day.
Day 9: Tsokar — Rumtse (80 km)
Today, we cross Taglangla Pass (5360 m), the world’s second highest motor-able Pass after Khardungla, and the fifth Pass on our route to Leh. Make no mistake today as it will be one of the most challenging days in the expedition.
After crossing the Pass, we start our exhilarating descent to the village of Rumptse. The view is amazing as you ride along snowcapped mountains.
Day 10: Rumtse — Leh (82 km)
Today, most of our riding is downhill till Upshi. This is followed by 50 km of plain areas, with the Indus river flowing alongside our route till Choglamsar. We also pass through Karu, which has a military canteen open for public. Right at the end we have a 7 km uphill climb to Leh. The night is spent in a hotel as we contemplate the last day of our ride, coming up the next day.
Day 11: Leh — Khardungla — Leh (40 km)
On this last day of our expedition, we head out to the highest point in our ride – Khardungla Pass, located at a staggering height of 5600 m. We will leave as early as 5 am today in order to be able to successfully complete the ride. We will have hot lunch en-route at South Pullu, around 25 km from Leh. From South Pullu, we will climb on the remaining 15 odd km towards our goal of the expedition.
Once at the top of Khardungla Pass, we will have enough time to take pictures, savour our achievements, and celebrate the success of our efforts over the last 10 days.
After this we will pack our cycles into the vehicles, and drive back to Leh, into the comfort of a hotel.
Day 12: Departure to Leh Airport
- All meals (including 2 nutrition halts during the ride everyday) from Day 2 to Day 10 of the expedition days as per Itinerary.
- Breakfast and lunch on Day 11 of the expedition.
- Breakfast on Day 12 of the expedition.
- Mineral water, tea, energy drinks and energy bars during the ride.
- 1 night stay at hotel in Manali on Day 1; 2 nights stay at hotel in Leh on Day 10 and Day 11; and camping or hotel stays en-route as mentioned in the itinerary.
- All camping equipment required during the expedition – tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, toilet tents, kitchen and dinning tents, as well as camp furniture.
- Cycling equipment: Cycle with water bottle stand and helmet.
- Support vehicles: 1 truck, 1 jeep and 1 mini bus.
- Support staff: 1 organiser, 2 cycling guides, 1 mechanic, cook with helpers.
- High Risk Insurance for all members of the team. However, in the event that the insurance is utilised, the individual will be responsible for payments, claims, etc and not Mountain Walker Pvt. Ltd.
- Medical first aid in case of minor injuries.
- All permits with associated fees.
- GST @ 5%.
- Travel from city of origin to Manali and travel from Leh to city of origin.
- Any meals in Manali on Day 1 and dinner in Leh on Day 11 of the expedition.
- Any and all extra teas, meals, snacks, and beverages that are not provided by the organisers and bought from stalls en-route or from other hotels/camps/dhabas.
- Laundry charges, telephone charges, battery charging, internet surfing charges.
- Any and all charges arising from extra camping days and/or hotel stays in case of weather emergencies, or other acts of nature such as land slides, floods, etc.
- Camera expenses at monasteries.
- Excess stay in Manali or Leh before and/or after the expedition, apart from the expedition days as per Itinerary.
- Any and all personal expenses incurred outside of the items mentioned in the “Price Inclusions” section.
For any further queries and clarifications regarding details of the Manali to Khardungla Cycling Expedition 2019, contact us: