Road Trip: The Indian Himalayas by Motorcycle
In this post, I’ll share my insight about a 10 – 14 day Indian Himalaya Bike Tour on my Royal Enfield.
Embark on an unforgettable journey through the Indian Himalayas on a motorcycle, where every turn presents a new vista, every climb a challenge, and every descent a relief. This adventure isn’t just about the destinations but the rugged paths and the tales they hold.
Himalaya Bike Tour Itinerary
Day 1-3: Manali to Spiti Valley
Begin your odyssey in Manali, a haven nestled amidst the towering peaks. From here, throttle towards the Spiti Valley, an arid landscape punctuated by monasteries that stand as sentinels of time. Ride through Rohtang Pass, where snow-capped mountains bid you farewell from Manali, and enter the stark beauty of Lahaul. Continue to the heart of Spiti, Kaza, exploring the ancient Tabo Monastery and the surreal landscapes around. Let the night skies at Chandratal Lake, a crescent-shaped wonder, narrate stories as you camp by its side.
Day 4-6: Spiti to Leh
Post the Spiti exploration, set course towards Leh, the land that bridges the heavens and the earth. This leg of the journey is a test of will and machine, with passes like Baralacha La and Tanglang La offering both dread and delight. Amidst this, the azure waters of Pangong Lake offer solace, a perfect spot to rest and reflect.
Day 7-9: Leh and Ladakh Exploration
Leh, a melting pot of cultures and traditions, offers a day or two of restful exploration. Visit the Leh Palace, Shanti Stupa, and local markets. Then, gear up for the Ladakh leg, riding through the cold desert to the Nubra Valley via the daunting Khardung La, one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The Diskit Monastery and the sand dunes of Hunder await your tread.
Day 10: Leh to Srinagar (Optional)
For those seeking to extend their journey, the road from Leh to Srinagar presents an epic conclusion. Traverse through the magnetic Zoji La pass and arrive in the verdant valley of Srinagar, a stark contrast to the lunar landscapes of Ladakh. This motorcycle journey through the Indian Himalayas is more than a trip; it’s a pilgrimage for the soul, a test for the body, and a feast for the eyes. It’s a call to those who seek not just to travel but to experience, not just to see but to explore. Gear up, throttle on, and let the Himalayas unfold their mysteries to you. The journey awaits.
Brooke’s Trip Report From The Indian Himalayas on a Royal Enfield Bullet 350
My friend Brooke recently motorcycled the Indian Himalayas on her Royal Enfield Bullet. This classic Indian Himalaya motorbike itinerary included all the highlights of the high mountains of the far north.
Interested in a longer bike trip? Read my motorcycle tour of India ride report.
Brooke began her journey in Delhi, then up to Rishikesh to Leh and back down again in a two-week itinerary.
A Classic Himalaya Bike Ride Itinerary (14 days)
- Delhi to Rishikesh, explore the city and rest
- Rishikesh to Manali, taking in the scenic routes
- Rest day in Manali, bike checks and permits
- Manali to Jispa, adapting to altitude
- Jispa to Sarchu, crossing Baralacha La
- Sarchu to Leh, via Tanglang La
- Explore Leh, Nubra Valley, and Pangong Lake
- Leh to Srinagar, through Kargil
- Srinagar to Delhi, concluding the journey
Brooke said of the trip:
I can not describe how epic the journey was but what I know is that I am somehow sad it is over even though my body doesn’t want to sit on the bike for a few days ! Over the highest passes , through the snow, great friends , emotional and physical challenges. It took me 6 years to make the ride and it felt like it lasted for one thousand years . Thank you to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, lent me warm jackets and also those who got me drunk after a long days ride. @bdeva23
Himalaya Bike Trip Cost
How much does it cost to go to Ladakh on bike?
The cost of a bike trip to Ladakh can vary widely based on several factors including the duration of your trip, your choice of accommodations, and whether you’re going solo or with a tour operator. Typically, a 10-15 day trip can range from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 per person. This includes bike rentals, fuel, food, accommodations, and permit fees. Renting a bike could cost you about INR 1,000 to INR 2,000 per day depending on the model. Remember, choosing the right bike is pivotal for the challenging terrains of Ladakh.
Is Ladakh bike trip worth it?
Absolutely! A bike trip to Ladakh is not just about the destination but also the breathtaking journey. Crossing high-altitude passes like Khardung La and Tanglang La, and witnessing pristine lakes like Pangong Tso are experiences that redefine adventure. It’s not just a trip; it’s a rite of passage for every biker.
How can I go to Nepal from India by bike?
Riding from India to Nepal on a bike is an adventure that offers a mix of cultural and scenic delights. The most common entry points from India to Nepal are through the border crossings at Sunauli, Raxaul, and Panitanki. Ensure your bike’s paperwork is in order, along with valid ID proof and, if required, a Nepal visa (though Indians can enter Nepal using valid ID proof without a visa). The journey is relatively straightforward, but always check the latest travel advisories and border regulations.
Which month is best for Ladakh?
The ideal time to visit Ladakh is from June to September when the snow has melted and the roads are clear, making it perfect for bikers. This period offers sublime weather and accessible routes to all major attractions. It’s also when Ladakh’s vibrant culture comes alive with festivals like the Hemis Festival, adding a rich cultural tapestry to your adventure.
In conclusion, a bike trip to Ladakh or extending your ride to Nepal is an adventure that promises not just thrills but also a profound connection with nature and culture. It’s an investment in experiences that last a lifetime. As you plan this epic journey, remember it’s not just about the destination but the stories you gather, the challenges you overcome, and the memories you create along the way.
Himalayan Bike Ride Package
A Himalayan bike ride, especially to Ladakh, is an adventure of a lifetime, but it’s essential to know the costs involved. Planning a 16-day trip? Expect to spend around INR 34,900 if you’re going solo or INR 21,355 per person with a pillion.
These estimates cover fuel, meals, accommodation, and bike maintenance. For a detailed cost breakdown, consider resources like Vargis Khan’s guide to budgeting for your Ladakh trip. Remember, careful planning can help you manage your expenses effectively
Which Royal Enfield is best for Ladakh trip?
Choosing the best Royal Enfield for a Ladakh trip involves considering durability, comfort, and altitude performance. The Royal Enfield Himalayan stands out for its off-road capabilities, long suspension travel, and comfortable seating, making it ideal for the challenging terrains of Ladakh.
Its torquey engine copes well with high altitudes. For detailed comparisons and rider experiences, it’s advisable to consult specific forums or websites dedicated to motorcycle touring India and Royal Enfield models.
I rode my Thunderbird in the Indian Himalayas and it was great. The laidback riding position made it comfortable for a all rider like me.
The Thunderbird is more Easy Rider than Danny MacGaskill
Many friend have taken standard Royal Enfield Bullet 350 on Himalaya Bike Tour and they loved it. It’s best to test ride the bike before you decide. Consider buying a second hand Bullet in Delhi for your trip. It’s value to own the bike if you plan on longer trips or repeat visits.
Have you made a Himalaya Bike Tour? Share your stories in the comments.