MEASURING THE ROAD TO LEH

HOW TO PLAN A MOTORCYCLE TRIP TO LEH
-Ambika
“There is no happiness for him who does not travel … Therefore , wander !”
-Aitareya Brahmana, rig veda
A journey onto the highest roads of the world , through the most rugged terrain , all in search of the most self challenging version of you , finding your soul through the breathtaking and landscapes … Welcome to leh ! And the adventure increases manifold if its a motorcycle trip .
The best time to undertake the journey is from May to October .As for the budget , it would cost approximately between 30, 000 – 50,000 INR depending upon the accomadation one takes up. Since much of the trip cosists of daunting weather conditions , it is well advised to check upon one’s physical fitness before undertaking the journey . Also one should be well equipped with a well equipped first aid kit and good quality woolens to keep you warm as most of the time you will be camping under the stars . It is also imperative to take a postpaid sim along with you as prepaid sims of other states donot work in Jammu and Kashmir .
At an altitude of about 13000 feet and above in the himalyas the distance that one can cover depends upon the roads and weather conditions and also the stops that one takes to halt en route . The best take would be to reach Delhi as the first stop and then to proceed towards Kullu either via a taxi or a bus as the flights can be pretty unpredictable due to bad weather conditions . from here the most advisable option is to take a taxi to Manali as that would be your next stop . From manali starts the motorcycle ride .
After the enchanting climb of over 13,051 feet and 52 kms of lush green mountanious terrain we arrive at the Rohtang Pass . After Rohtang one reaches the Chandra Valley and goes on to reach Tandi – the only place along the entire highway that has a petrol pump . Fill up your tanks and reserves in containers as well . The next stop where we halt is Jipsa which is 32 kms from Tandi thus ending the day’s ride .
From Jispa , next day we move on towards Sarchu, the next stop . The route comprises of small mountain lakes and breathtaking landscapes and also the second high altitude pass Barcha-la , the origin of the rivers Chandra , Bhagha and Yunam at 16,500 ft . Sarchu is a plain area and and snowbound for most of the year . in absense of any permanent buildings one can just well camp out in the open .
From Sarchu onwards we enter the state of Jammu and Kashmir and here encounter the Gata Loops a succession of 21 hairpin bends . The other significant landscapes are those of Lachung La , Nakee La and leading towards the Changthang plateau . After a dirt and sand ridden track one reaches to the Tso Kar Lake , which is a freshwater and brackish lake and a refuge for both Indian and Tibetan nomads for winter months . This is the next halting stop for camping at the night .
Day 5 begins with a ride from Tso Kar lake towards the Tso Moriri lake which is a distance of 60 kms . An extremely enchanting path that will take you to completely another world making you forget all the tiresome journey till now . The route has the magical three lakes , two high altitude passes Nalshang la and Pologonka la (16500 ft ) and a continuous stony track . so , just unwind , unfold your senses and click it up . a night of camping at the beautiful Tso Moriri lake would just be the cherry on the cake !
Our last day ride upto Leh is a perfect lesson on how the nomadic tribes enroute have been living harmoniously with mother nature . Especially the Changpa nomads are well known for the various innovative uses they make out of Yak products . the Yak wool tents in which they live , the yak milk tea are definitly some very amazing things that one gets to experience . The ride finally culminates onto Leh . This marks the end of the road trip . the various worth seeing sights around and in leh are Pangong Lake , Wari La , Nubra Valley , Khardung La . Worth mentioning is the heart thumping first view of the Pangong lake which appears suddenly as a cobalt blue meadow onto the rugged barren terrains of Leh .
With the best of Leh etched onto your hearts take it all with you for a lifetime to come !
Wishing you a safe and happy journey !

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