Day 01: New Delhi – Leh (By Air)
You shall be joining the tour by boarding a flight to Leh from the New Delhi Airport (if you haven’t purchased a Meet & Greet ). An early morning flight will bring you into the lap of the Himalayas to Leh, in Ladakh, at an altitude of 3500 M. You’ll be transferred to your hotel where you’re advised to take it easy till you’re more acclimatized to the conditions. If you feel up to it, you can take short walks around town or if you’re not feeling any symptoms of AMS you can even visit the Leh Palace or Shanti Stupa and enjoy splendid views of the Leh city.
Day 02: Leh (short familiarisation ride – 50 KM)
Today you’ll meet your Royal Enfield Motorcycle, your ride for the next several days. After an exhaustive briefing by your ride leader you’ll be taking a short ride in an effort to know your bike better & to get familiar with its controls and riding conditions in India. The rest of the day is free for leisure or sightseeing. We will also be arranging your permits required by all non-Ladakhis to visit the areas ahead on this tour.
Day 03: Leh – Khardung La – Leh (80 KM)
After breakfast it’s time to kickoff your motorcycle tour. Today’s ride will take you to Khardung La (5359 M). “La” means “Pass” in Tibetan and Khardung La, if not “the” highest, is at least considered to be one of the highest motor-able passes in the world. Remaining day is free for leisure or exploration.
Day 04: Leh – Chang La – Pangong Tso (160 KM)
Once you leave Leh it becomes evident that you’re going deeper into the Himalayas and any sights of human settlement will become few & far between from here on, barring some temporary “tent restaurants”, truck stops & Indian Army barracks. Making an early start, today you’ll cross another high pass (Chang La, 5289 M) and a crazy stream of glacier melts (Paagal Nala) to reach the banks of Pangong Tso, the first of the many High Altitude Lakes visited by you on this tour. Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps.
Pangong Tso, a 134 km (83 mi) long endorheic lake, is one of the largest brackish lakes in Asia situated at a height of about 4350 M in the Changthang region of Ladakh. You can just laze around the camps, enjoy spectacular views of the lake changing its colours or take short hikes up the hills behind you for even better vantage points to watch the sunset as village folk return from the pastures with their herds of sheep.
Day 05: Pangong Tso – Leh (160 KM)
Backtracking over the “Paagal Nala” & Chang La you’ll be returning to Leh.
Day 06: Leh
If you want to shop for souvenirs in Leh’s bazaar or just take a stroll through its many streets you should do it today since it will be your last day here, on this tour. Once out of Leh, you’ll be spending many days in a region devoid of certain amenities (& cell phone networks & provision stores, among other things) so it’ll also be your last chance to make phone calls & stack up on toiletries & whatnot.
Day 07: Leh – Chumathang – Tso Moriri (210 KM)
Today you’ll leave Leh, to visit the second high altitude lake on this tour, following the Leh-Manali highway till Upshi (Check-point). Turning left from here the road will take you along the banks of river Indus to Mahe (Bridge & Check-point). Turning south from here the road goes past the village Sumdo and over Namshang La (4739 M) after which its down hill to another small but beautiful lake called Tso Kiagar. The road here turns into just a sandy dusty track sprinkled with loose gravel all the way to Tso Moriri (4541 M) and the village of Korzok. Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps. The area around the lake is also known as the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve and is the breeding ground of the rare & migratory Black-necked Crane. You have a full day at your disposal to explore the area around the lake & the village and soak-in the spectacular views of the lake & snow clad mountains behind it.
Day 08: Tso Moriri – Tso Kar (80 KM)
The journey from Tso Moriri to Tso Tso is a beautiful blend of stark mountain landscape, occasional sightings of the nomadic people (Changpas) and their herds of yaks & goats. Backtracking to the village of Sumdo, you’ll turn left crossing another high pass (Polokongka La, 4940 M ) over over some sandy stretch of mostly gravel roads to reach the beautiful brackish lake called Tso Kar (4524 M), the third high altitude lake on this tour. Surrounded by a wild life sanctuary, Tso Kar is a salt lake and breeding ground of many rare migratory birds. Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps inclusive of all meals.
Day 09: Tso Kar – Sarchu (125 KM)
Today will be your last day in Ladakh. Joining the Leh-Manali highway once again, crossing the vast expanse of flat area called “the morey plains” (at an average height above 4000 M) which stretches for almost 35 km’s and another two high passes (Lachlung La 5095M & Nakee La 4905M )you’ll reach Sarchu, the first settlement (& check-point) in Himachal Pradesh. Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps inclusive of all meals.
Day 10: Sarchu – Jispa (85 KM)
90 km from Sarchu, Jispa (3142 M) is your next stop. You reach here after crossing over Baralacha La (4830 M), one of the many high passes on this tour & considered to get the maximum snowfall during the winters. Going past Suraj Taal, another of the high altitude lakes in the region, you’ll ride along the Bhaga river all the way down to Jispa and to a beautiful guest house right on its banks.
Day 11: Jispa
Another day for relaxation, exploration or contemplation depending on your inclination.
Day 12: Jispa – Manali (140 KM)
Continuing along the Bhaga and going past Keylong you’ll reach Tandi (first fuel station after Leh), where the Bhaga meets the Chandra, another river originating from a glacier near Baralacha La. Its a relatively smooth ride till Gramphu, after which you leave the Chandra river behind as you ride up to Rohtang La (3978 M). The scenery starts to turn a lot greener as you head down the Rohtang pass to the town of Manali. Situated along the banks of River Beas at the northern end of the Kullu valley, Manali is a popular tourist destination attracting thousands of Indian tourists in the summers who want to beat the heat of the plains.
Day 13: Manali – Shoja (110 KM)
Heading south from Manali, along the banks of the Beas, today’s ride takes you through some beautiful scenery. Riding down the Kullu valley past Naggar, you’ll leave behind the Beas and turn south-east towards Banjar at Aut. From here, a 38 kilometer long path lined with apple orchards leads you to your destination, a small hamlet called Shoja, right on the edge of “The Great Himalayan National Park”.
Day 14: Shoja – Shimla (155 KM)
You’ll saddle-up yet again and for the last time on this tour for your journey to Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh & the erstwhile “summer capital” of India. The evening can be spent taking a stroll on The Mall, soaking-in the charm of “the queen of hills” & its surrounds and visiting the Christ Church on the Ridge.
Day 15: Shimla – New Delhi (By Car/Train)
It’s time to say your good-bye’s to fellow travelers & the Himalayas. You’ll be taking a 3 hour Car/MUV ride down the Shivalik range to its footsteps at Kalka from where an Express Train will take you to New Delhi (in about another 4 hours) which shall be the “end” of your tour. Dinner is served in the train & is inclusive in the fare. If you’ve purchased a “Farewell” you’ll be transferred to the hotel where your accommodation has been arranged.