Jammu - Srinagar - Leh (Ladakh) - Manali - Chandigarh on Yamaha RX-135

PrabhuG

Active Member
Hello Friends,

I would like to share my detailed travelogue of riding Yamaha RX-135 in Ladakh region last year (Jul 2018). Four of us from Bangalore shipped our two Royal Enfields, One Yamaha FZ-R and one RX-135 from Bangalore to Jammu through Indian railways. We started our journey from Jammu and ended at Chandigarh via Srinagar, Kargil, Leh, Hunder, Pangong Tso, Leh and Manali in 13 days.

001-P1260927.JPG
 
Last edited:

PrabhuG

Active Member
Planning of trip:

My friend Vinod asked me in Jan-2018 if I am interested to join for the Leh motorcycle trip. Around 14-15 people from Bangalore were planning the trip on the hired Royal Enfield’s (RE). I asked the duration and probable dates of the trip and the answer was 9 days and July 2018. I told Vinod that I will check with my family and get back. Consulted my family and it was a go ahead signal with 5 days of holiday and 4 days of weekends.

July month was chosen for our trip since roads to Leh generally re-open around April month and initially weather also might not be favorable. Also, April/May being summer vacation for kids we thought many of us would be planning some or other trips with families. June being school re-opening month, we wanted the kids to settle down in schools. So, we thought July was the ideal time with no festivals around.

Vinod and team had already formed a WhatsApp group and I was added to the group. The initial discussion went on for some time in WhatsApp group about the starting and end of the trip. The options were Leh to Leh (Visit Kargil, Pangong lake etc with Leh as base), Srinagar-Leh-Srinagar and Manali-Leh-Manali. All these road trips were planned on hired Royal Enfields.

However, 7-8 members decided to hire bike from Leh and drop the bikes back at Leh after visiting Tso-Moriri, Nubra and Pangong. They will go for 9 days with a tour operator.

Few of us wanted to see Manali and Srinagar as well and concluded that 9 days will not be sufficient to cover these places. We thought of taking additional 2 days of vacation and increased the duration of trip to 11 days. i.e., start on a Thursday and reach back Bangalore on subsequent Sunday. We formed a new WhatsApp group, discussed the plan and determined that 11 days is also not enough to cover the intended places. Finally ended up of taking full two weeks of vacation and 3 weekends which comes to 16 days at our disposal. So decided to leave Bangalore on a Saturday and reach back Bangalore on subsequent Saturday night (2nd Saturday from start). Sunday was kept as rest day in order to resume to office on Monday. Anyway it was trip of lifetime so we wanted to do it leisurely.

With 6 people only in this new group now, we checked with a tour operator and his plans for 15 days of trip. The trip was matching with our requirements in terms of days but dates and places they were going were not suitable.

Meanwhile I checked with one of my friend who has a Royal Enfield if he is interested to join but his response was negative since the duration is too long for him. However, he gave a reference who had done solo Leh trip from Delhi on a Bajaj Avenger. I spoke to that reference and collected information. Finally we decided to go on our own with our bikes shipped to Chandigarh and do a circuit starting from Chandigarh and go through Srinagar, Kargil, Leh and return via Leh Manali route to Chandigarh/Delhi.

With addition of couple of more people we had 8 people on board now but three had no firm plans. However we decided on the dates for booking flight tickets and confirmed the onward journey on flight to Delhi as 30-Jun-2018 Saturday and return date to Bangalore as 14-Jul-2018 Saturday. Since there was no confirmation from other three members and one more guy had his marriage proposals going on, we booked 4 flight tickets to and pro to Delhi from Bangalore. The team of 4 included Vinod, Raja Prabhu, Narasimha Prasad and I. Vinod decided to take his RE classic 350 CC, Raja Prabhu RE Electra, Narasimha Yamaha FZ-R and I decided to take my Yamaha RX 135.
 

PrabhuG

Active Member
Plan for Shipping of the Motorcycles (Bikes):

Next, we started exploring shipping of bikes from Bangalore to Delhi, Chandigarh or Manali. Checked with couple of prominent packers & movers and the shipping cost was coming to INR 8K one side and it would take more than a week to ship the bikes. We were not that much happy with the price & time and also probable damage to bikes if we move it on trucks. Hence started exploring to ship it on train.

Meanwhile, we were exploring if we can ship the bike to closest place to Srinagar so that we can start the journey from that place to Leh via Srinagar Leh highway instead of from Manali side. The other reason for this decision was we heard that they won’t allow bikes older than 10 years from Manali side for safety reasons.

The closest railway station to Srinagar was Katra – base camp of Vaishnodevi temple but there are no direct trains from Bangalore or Yeshwanthpur to Katra. We decided to send the bikes to Katra either from Mangalore or from Erode since there are 2 trains going to Katra every week from these places. Mangalore was starting point to Katra train but Erode is closest for us from Bangalore. Since we decided we would ship the bike to Katra, we booked the train tickets for 30-Jun-2018 from New Delhi to Katra. The train would depart from New Delhi at 8:50 PM and would reach Katra next day morning by 8:00 AM.

We visited Bangalore central, Yeshwanthpur and even Mangalore railway stations (through our friends and when I visited Mangalore once for other occasion) to understand the process to ship the bike, cost and the duration it would take. Since it would take more time and effort to ship the bike from Mangalore or Erode to Katra, we decided to ship it to New Delhi from Bangalore railway station on Karnataka express and then book it again to Katra once we reach New Delhi. There are many trains that are going to Katra via New Delhi hence it was a feasible option. Anyway, we would reach New Delhi on 30th June morning by 11:00 and we have sufficient time to ship it to Katra as our train to Katra is at night. Last resort was to take the bike as luggage on the same train we were travelling since we had confirmed tickets.
 
Plan for Shipping of the Motorcycles (Bikes):

Next, we started exploring shipping of bikes from Bangalore to Delhi, Chandigarh or Manali. Checked with couple of prominent packers & movers and the shipping cost was coming to INR 8K one side and it would take more than a week to ship the bikes. We were not that much happy with the price & time and also probable damage to bikes if we move it on trucks. Hence started exploring to ship it on train.

Meanwhile, we were exploring if we can ship the bike to closest place to Srinagar so that we can start the journey from that place to Leh via Srinagar Leh highway instead of from Manali side. The other reason for this decision was we heard that they won’t allow bikes older than 10 years from Manali side for safety reasons.

The closest railway station to Srinagar was Katra – base camp of Vaishnodevi temple but there are no direct trains from Bangalore or Yeshwanthpur to Katra. We decided to send the bikes to Katra either from Mangalore or from Erode since there are 2 trains going to Katra every week from these places. Mangalore was starting point to Katra train but Erode is closest for us from Bangalore. Since we decided we would ship the bike to Katra, we booked the train tickets for 30-Jun-2018 from New Delhi to Katra. The train would depart from New Delhi at 8:50 PM and would reach Katra next day morning by 8:00 AM.

We visited Bangalore central, Yeshwanthpur and even Mangalore railway stations (through our friends and when I visited Mangalore once for other occasion) to understand the process to ship the bike, cost and the duration it would take. Since it would take more time and effort to ship the bike from Mangalore or Erode to Katra, we decided to ship it to New Delhi from Bangalore railway station on Karnataka express and then book it again to Katra once we reach New Delhi. There are many trains that are going to Katra via New Delhi hence it was a feasible option. Anyway, we would reach New Delhi on 30th June morning by 11:00 and we have sufficient time to ship it to Katra as our train to Katra is at night. Last resort was to take the bike as luggage on the same train we were travelling since we had confirmed tickets.
Good compilation !!! keep going. BTW, how much was for to take the bike as a luggage to New Delhi?
 
Nice. There is a weekly train going from Madurai and the train stops at Chandigarh. Hope you've considered this train option too. For my first bike trip in Spiti this year I'm planning to ship to Chandigarh from Madurai. And then I will fly to Delhi then reach Chandigarh station to pick my bike there. And return too same way. Chandigarh to Madurai bike transfer and I will fly down from Delhi. Is it feasible?
 

PrabhuG

Active Member
Good compilation !!! keep going. BTW, how much was for to take the bike as a luggage to New Delhi?
Thanks Tilak !

My intention is to share this travelogue in detail so that travel enthusiast to Leh get good amount of information. We had done lot of study by discussing with friends, searching in internet, visiting railway station etc before concluding on parceling the bike.

There is a difference between luggage and parcel here. To take the bike as luggage, we need to have confirmed railway ticket. The bike will be loaded in the same train that you are travelling provided they have luggage space in their wagons.

If it is parcel, one can book it by paying necessary charges at railway parcel booking office. Packing of bike is not mandatory but better to get it packed so that the damage and scratches can be avoided.

The charges depend on how much amount we insure the bike for. In my case, for RX-135, it came to around INR 2700 from Bangalore to New Delhi. For RE's it came to around INR 3400. Packaging and loading charges came to INR 1000 per bike.

We took the bikes from New Delhi to Jammu as luggage as we had confirmed tickets. The charges were INR 4600 for 4 bikes.
 

PrabhuG

Active Member
Nice. There is a weekly train going from Madurai and the train stops at Chandigarh. Hope you've considered this train option too. For my first bike trip in Spiti this year I'm planning to ship to Chandigarh from Madurai. And then I will fly to Delhi then reach Chandigarh station to pick my bike there. And return too same way. Chandigarh to Madurai bike transfer and I will fly down from Delhi. Is it feasible?
No Prasad. We didn't consider Madurai to Chandigarh train as our plan was to ship the bike to closest point to Srinagar i.e., Katra.

Your plan to ship the bike from Madurai to Chandigarh works very well. Book the parcel in the week you are travelling to Delhi. Plan such a way that you collect the bike as soon as you reach Chandigarh. The reason is, once the train arrives at Chandigarh, railways won't charge any money for first 6 hours. After that they will charge INR 10 per hour. So if you collect the bike after 24 hours, you need to pay INR 240 as parking charge.

We shipped our bike on Wednesday evening from Bangalore and it reached New Delhi on Friday morning. We collected the bikes next day i.e., on Saturday afternoon after we flew from Bangalore to New Delhi. We had to pay INR 231 per bike as parking charge to get the bikes released.

Once you land in New Delhi, my suggestion would be to take metro train to New Delhi railway station and from there you may board train to Chandigarh. There are many trains including Shatabdi and you can alight at Chandigarh railway station and collect the bike. On return journey we did same. Sent our bikes from Chandigarh railway station to Bangalore (Yeshwanthpur), took Shatabdi to New Delhi and boarded our flights to Bangalore.
 
Top