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The Comprehensive Manali Leh Cycle Tour 20 Nights / 21 Days

This insightful journey takes you from the hill resort of Manali on the Manali Leh highway through an amazing lunar landscape to the roof of the world the laid back capital of Ladakh Leh. On the journey you pass lakes, rock and granite hills sculpted and eroded into spirals and surrealistic shapes by nature's awesome power. See colours and hues you could have never imagined existed and vast mountain plateaus home to brackish water lakes that sustain hundreds of migratory birds in season, and an unusual variety of wild life species including marmot, pica, wooly hare, Tibetan Red Fox, Himalayan wolf, Tibetan Wild Ass known as Kyang and the subtle Snow Leopard. Avian species include the Himalayan Lammergeyer and the giant Golden Eagle besides a number of smaller birds and the migratory endangered Black Necked Crane and Bar Headed Geese. It's a virtual geological and wild life museum in a backdrop of awesome barren stark mountains often snow topped. This is a leisurely journey enabling you to enjoy the magical scenery and view the simplistic harsh life of the Changpa nomads who graze their sheep and goat in the expansive pasturelands of the Changthang plateau in the Rupshu Valley.

 
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Day 1: On your arrival at the International airport in New Delhi we meet you and drive you to your pre-reserved hotel. As most international flights arrive early in the morning after checking in at the hotel you can either spend the day relaxing or opt for a half day city tour. Our tour takes you to the old city of Delhi with its numerous narrow lanes exuding the aura of an age gone by yet very much still existent. Visit exotic bazaars selling an amazing variety of merchandise; stop by to sample delicious cuisine the recipes of which date back to the 15 th and 16 th centuries; explore the imposing Red Fort and the elaborate yet simple Jama Masjid a Moslem mosque both built in the 15 th century and by late evening return to your hotel with a treasure trove of memories. After dinner drive to the New Delhi Railway Station to board your train to Pathankot from where your adventure begins.

Day 2: We arrive at Pathankot Railway Station by 7:30 am and drive 90 Kms by road to Dharamshala and 10 Kms further to Macleodgunj where we check into a pre-reserved hotel. After lunch we stroll around this peaceful suburb also home to the Tibetan Government in exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Visit the Monastery and the bazaar with its interesting shops selling curios, antiques and handicrafts; the laid back restaurants offering Israeli, Thai, Chinese, Tibetan, Italian, Continental and Indian cuisine; and then return to your hotel for the night.

Day 3: 40Kms we inspect our bikes and make certain that everything is well to begin our journey down into the lush green Kangra valley. Today we begin our first day by cycling down to Dharamshala 1387m / 4549ft and then taking the Pathankot Mandi road bike for 40 Kms to the undulating tea gardens of Palampur - 1219m / 3998ft. We set up camp near the Neugal Stream with spectacular views of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Take a walk around the picturesque tea estates. Return to camp for the night.

Day 4: 90Kms Today we ride along the Kangra valley via the small towns of Baijnath and Jogindernagar 1500m / 4920ft on a up and down hill road to our next halt at Mandi town 750m / 2460ft.

Day 5: 54Kms the road from Mandi heads north east to the sprawled settlement of Pandoh site of a large dam. Crossing a wide bridge we get on to one of the most remarkable roads built by the GREF a military engineering force. Ride under cavernous rocky overhangs high above the River Beas viewing thickly forested hillsides across. A 19 Km drive brings us to the small hamlet of Aut the starting point of the 80 Km long Kullu valley and also where we stop briefly for some tea before heading north to our destination for the night the small village of Bajaura.

Day 6: 55 Kms enjoy the lush green fields, abundant apple, plum and cherry orchards as we ride through an undulating road that gradually climbs up to the hill resort of Manali our final destination for the night. On the way we pass Kullu the capital of the district and a major town and later the quaint little villages of Raison, Katrain, and Patlikuhl before riding into the main Mall road of Manali . On arrival we check into a comfortable hotel.

Day 7: rest day in Manali which we spend by strolling to the 500 year old Hadimba Devi temple in a dense grove of giant Deodar trees; the charming Tibetan monastery and the colourful vibrant Mall road the main shopping area in town. After a hearty lunch we proceed to the ancient village of Vashisht high up on a hillside 3 Kms from town. Here take a rejuvenating dip in the hot springs before returning the Manali by evening.

Day 8: 40 Kms leaving Manali and crossing the bridge over the River Beas we head north to the small village of Palchan from where a side road takes us to the winter ski resort of Solang Valley. We however continue on the road that takes us to the 4019m / 13,050ft high Rohtang Pass however we stop over at the small hamlet of Murhi for the night.

Day 9: 43 Kms After a wholesome breakfast we ascend to the Rohtang Pass and then descend to the Chandra River valley. From the saddle of the pass you can see the drastic change in landscape as you look north into a barren land with towering stark mountains. After riding down from the pass and registering at the Khoksar police post we continue on till we reach the village of Sissu. We camp in a grove of willows for the night.

Day 10: 63 Kms After breakfast we proceed along the Chandra River till Tandi Bridge where it meets up with the Bhaga Rive r flowing in from the north. We then turn north and by passing the district headquarters of Keylong we ride on to the sleepy hamlet of Jispa where we camp for the night on the banks of the Bhaga River.

Day 11: The road now continues north past the small settlement of Darcha the trek head for treks into Zanskar and Ladakh, the small village of Patseo to finally reach the flat grounds of Zingzingbar where we set up camp for the night.

Day 12: 60 Kms On today's ride we pass the second mountain pass on our journey the 4830m / 15,483ft Baralacha La. This pass was once the meeting point for traders coming in from four distinct regions and journeying north into the teeming bazaars of central Asia. After descending from this pass we head on to the pastures of Sarchu 4235m / 13,890ft with quite a few private camps. We go on ahead of these tented settlements and camp for the night.

Day 13: 60 Kms The road now goes along a level path and then after crossing a bridge begins a slow ascent through 21 hairpin bends known as the Gata Loops till we reach the Naki La and Lachulang La passes. From the saddle of the pass it's a short descent to the campsite of Pang where we put up our tents for the night.

Day 14: 53 Kms the road from here climbs up past two mountain streams and emerges into the vast 4750m / 15,580ft Morey Plains (45 Kms long and 2 to 3 Feet wide) also referred by locals as the Kyangshuthang Kyang in Tibetan means Wild Ass which in herds roam these expansive plains. The road goes straight past grazing land with its colonies of marmots and pica. Wildlife in the form of Kyang, Tibetan Woolly hare, Marmots, Pica, Tibetan red Fox and Wolf besides the elusive snow leopard inhabit these plains fringed by barren mountains. These plains are an extension of the Changthang Plateau and home to a few large brackish water lakes. We camp near the abandoned road workers camp at Debring 16 Kms below the Tanglang La pass.

Day 15: 79 Kms the road now begins a winding ascent to the Tanglang la at 5334m / 17,582ft the third highest motorable road in the world (the first is the Marsimik La at 5590m / 18,335ft near Pangong Tso and the second is the Khardungla La at 5570m / 18,269ft north of Leh) . From the pass it's entirely a downhill ride to the small village of Rumtse and further to the settlement of Upshi. We camp near the Indus River for the night.

Day 16: 68 Kms we are now in the Indus Valley and the road heads west to Leh passing a few monasteries and sudden patches of swaying green fields and fruit trees appearing like oases in this vast barren land. On reaching Leh we check into a comfortable hotel for the night.

Day 17: Rest Day in Leh . Wander around this laid back town sample some of the amazingly available international cuisine Italian, Israeli, Chinese, Ladakhi, Tibetan, Kashmiri, Indian, and Continental.

Day 18: After breakfast we leave on a exploratory tour of Shey, Stok Palace and Thiksey monasteries. On our way back we stop over at the Tibetan settlement of Choglamsar before returning to Leh by evening.

Day 19: Our route today leads 40 Kms north towards the Khardungla pass the second highest motorable road in the world at 5570m / 18,2569ft. After getting fabulous views of the Nubra valley and having our packed lunch we return to Leh and your hotel by evening.

Day 20: We leave early for the airport to enable you to board your one hour flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we drive you to your hotel. After a brief rest and lunch we go on a half day's tour of the historical backstreets with their colourful bazaars and monuments in Old Delhi . Savour some fine delectable Mughal Cuisine of Kebabs Biryanis (meat and fragrant rice) and spicy curries; visit the imposing Red Fort and the largest mosque in India the Jama Masjid both built during the heydays of the Mughal Empire in the 15 th century. Return to your hotel in the evening.

Day 21: After an early breakfast we drive 4 hours to the historic city of Agra. After washing up in a hotel we visit the legendary Taj Mahal, the imposing elaborate Red Fort and the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri . All ancient edifices built in the 14 th and 15 th centuries when the Mughals ruled over India. We leave for Delhi by late afternoon and return to our hotel where after a farewell dinner we drive you to the International airport for your flight to your next destination or home. Normally all international flights depart only after 2300 hrs (11:00 pm) at night or early in the morning.

Other Mountain Biking Tours
S. No. Tour Region Days
1. The Himachal Pradesh Exploratory Bike Journey Himachal 23
2. The Great Himalayan Cultural Bike Passage Himachal 30
3. The Garhwal Hills and Forests Biking Tour Uttaranchal 10
4. Biking the Corbett Trail in Kumaon Uttaranchal 12
5. The Pangong Lake Circuit Ladakh & Zanskar 11
6. The Tso Moriri Lake Trail Ladakh & Zanskar 12
7. The Nubra Valley Tour Ladakh & Zanskar 9

 


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