Hi Friends,

I am sharing some memorable moments of my roughly planned Ladakh Trip here.

I am from Karwar, Karnataka & presently working in Barnala, Punjab. After my pre-planned leave of complete July month was reduced to 16 days by my superior due to some official reasons, I decided to visit some tourist place rather than going home in the leave period. I searched in internet for best tourist places in and around Punjab. Since I had to go alone, I thought it would be a bad idea if I plan to go to Places like Shimla, Manali. Then I thought I should go to Katra for Mata Vaishno Devi Darshan. Since only 2-3 days are sufficient for that, I started to think about other possible destinations which I can finish in my 16 days Leave. Long time ago I had a wish to go to Ladakh but after hearing about the dangerous roads and about AMS, I had convinced myself that Ladakh Trip isn't my cup of tea. But this time I had enough time to prepare & I was also confident about doing the trip since I had done Barnala - Karwar - Barnala solo ride on my bike in the same year, in the month of March. So first, I searched in the internet for the best time to visit Ladakh. To my surprise it was showing as July month is the best time since the temperature is not so low in the month and snow will be less in the region. I decided not to miss this opportunity. I started to plan my trip.

PREPARATION : I wanted to keep the budget minimum for the trip so that I can cover most of the tourist places of Ladakh and can spend money in case of any emergency during the trip. (For that I had to regret a little during the trip. I will discuss about it in the end.) I also didn't get my bike serviced before the trip because the bike ran only for around 600kms (Including my Kasauli trip) after last servicing which was done a month ago. Replaced the loud Punjab long bottle silencer with the stock silencer which is best for the bullet in long run. topped up the battery with distilled water. Connected Mobile-charger which was un-installed after Kasauli trip. Looked for Ladakh Carrier in Barnala but couldnt find it in any bike spare part shop. Tyres - tubes, battery, clutch - throttle cables of the bike were already 25 months (16000+kms) old. But I felt that I can stretch them for some more kilometers so didn't go for replacement. Ordered a raincoat, foot-pump, a camera , a tarpaulin by online shopping. Didn't buy any water-proof boots, knee/elbow guards because I thought I will buy them Srinagar or Manali while going to Leh. I didn’t buy any jacket/ winter clothing as I already had my old jacket , gloves and winter clothing. Saved J&K, Himachal Pradesh & Punjab regions’ in Google Maps for offline use.

ROUTE PLAN : I was in confusion that whether I should opt for Manali route or Srinagar route while going to Ladakh. After reading some forums related to Ladakh trip, I felt that Manali route is best for going to Ladakh as it is more treacherous and beautiful compared to Srinagar route and returning via Srinagar is more comfortable since most of the part of Leh - Lamayuru - Kargil - Srinagar road is smooth except some bad stretches like Zoji La. But my problem wasn’t solved here. In some forum, I read that it is mendatory to obtain permit from DC office, Manali to cross Rohtang Pass. And it it was also mentioned that only a specific number of vehicles are allowed per day. I did'nt want to spend my time/day for obtaining permit. I just wanted to enjoy my trip as much as I can and I keep riding unless I get bored or get tired. So I opted for Srinagar route. In fact Srinagar route was more convenient for me since I had a plan to go to Katra also, for Mata Vaishno Devi darshan. After spending some time with Google Maps, I finalised my route plan as follows (I also calculated the amount of fuel that needs to be carried between two destinations where no Fuel stations are available in the route and distance is more):

Plan A :

Day 1 (16 Jul ): Barnala to Vaishno Devi (387kms). Night Stay in Vaishno Devi.

Day 2 (17 Jul ): Vaishno Devi Darshan, Night Stay in Vaishno Devi.

Day 3 (18 Jul): Leave Vaishno Devi at 5am to Srinagar (263kms). Visit Srinagar in the evining ( Dal and Nagin Lake.) Night Stay in Srinagar.

Day 4 (19 Jul): Leave Srinagar at 1130hrs. Srinagar to Kargil journey (199kms). Night Stay in Kargil.

Day 5 (20 Jul): Kargil to Leh via Lamayuru (210kms) . Night Stay in Leh

Day 6 (21Jul): Local Sight Seeing in Leh. Leave for Hunder with minimum 30ltr Petrol

Day 7 (22 Jul) Leh to Hunder (127kms) and Hunder to Nubra Valley (51kms)

Day 8 (23 Jul): Nubra Valley - Spangmik - Merak via Shyok (192kms) (***or via Sakti (252kms)***)

Day 9 (24 Jul): Merak to Hanle via Chushul (142kms), Hanle to Tso Moriri via Nyoma (159kms)

Day 10 (25 Jul): Tso Moriri to Leh via Kiari (220kms)

Day 11 (26 Jul): Leh to Tso Kar (153kms), Tso Kar to Sarchu via Pang (141kms)

Day 12 (27 Jul): Sarchu to Manali via Keylong (Lahul Valley), Solang Valley (250kms)

Day 13 (28 Jul): Manali to Barnala via Mandi, Rupnagar (413kms)

Day 14 (29 Jul): Spare Day

Day 15 & Day 16 (30&31 Jul) : Rest

Fuel required for Long Distances without petrol pump :

A) Srinagar to Leh : 410kms (14ltrs)
B) Leh – Nubra Valley - Pangong Tso - Tso Moriri - Leh : 891/ 951kms (33ltrs)
C) Leh - Tso Kar - Manali : 544kms

Plan B (if entry is denied in Chushul) :

Day 1 to Day 8 same as Plan A

Day 9 : Merak to Leh #upto Chushul and Back# (177kms #+ 50kms#)

Day 10 : Leh to Tso Moriri via Chumathang (220kms)

Day 11 : Tso Moriri to Tso Kar (88kms), Tso Kar to Sarchu (141kms)

Day 12 to Day 16 same as Plan A

Fuel required for Long Distances without petrol pump :

A) Leh - Nubra Valley - Spangmik - Chushul - Leh : 597kms/657kms (22ltrs)
B) Leh - Tso Kar - Tso Moriri - Manali : 700kms (24ltrs)

Though my preparation was rough, I was ready to go ahead and start my trip. But 7 days before the start of my trip, I heard the news that Curfew has been imposed in Kashmir valley on 9th Jul due to violence in Srinagar. I didn’t take it seriously thinking that it will end in couple of days but Curfew wasn’t lifted even after a week. This got me disheartened and once again I thought that Ladakh Trip is really not written in my fate. But I still decided to go at least to Vaishno Devi Bhawan and I still believed that I will do my trip successfully. So I packed my luggage and kept my bike ready on 15 July Evening.


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Route Map - Day 1

After having good sleep in the night, I woke up at 6:30am. After finishing my breakfast, I started my Journey at 8:30am. Soon after leaving Barnala, it started to rain. I chose Jagraon route over conventional Ludhiana route, for reaching Jalandhar but I got stuck in the traffic in Jalandhar. So it took time to get back on the highway. Had some small breaks for refreshment. Reached Jammu in the evening. In Jammu, the situation was normal. So I hoped for the best. Enjoyed riding in night in the four lane highway from Jammu to Katra which oncludes some tunnels. Reached Katra at around 9:30pm. Stayed in a hotel in the night. Parked my bike infront of the hotel. The room with attached bathroom, was clean and well maintained. I slept late in the night at around 11:30pm.


Woke up late in the morning. Checked out from the hotel at around 11am. The hotel owner kept my bags in his home and told me that I can take them back whenever return back after Mata's darshan. I left my bike also infront of the hotel and left for Mata's darshan. Vaishno Bhawan is 12kms away from the hotel where I stayed. I walked slowly and took rest at regular intervals and reached Vaishno Bhawan at 8pm. Took bath there before Mata's Darshan.


Near Banganga Entrance at Vaishno Devi

After mata's darshan, I went to Bheronath Temple which is at a distance of 2kms from Vaishno Bhawan. The climb was almost vertical. Hence I got very tired. After Bheronath's darshan, returned back to Vaishno Bhawan and slept there in the night.


Woke up early and came back to the hotel by walk. Couldn't take Adhkawari darshan due to lack of time. This time it took less time to reach hotel since I used steps for climbing down in most of the parts. Plenty of dry fruit shops were there. Bought sufficient dry fruits for my journey. The hotel owner warned me that entering Srinagar will be too risky and the entry maybe prohibited due to curfew. I didn't want to return back from Katra. Loaded my luggage at the hotel, at around 1pm and left for my next destination Srinagar. Very less traffic was on the road. CRPF soldiers and J&K police were deployed after every 10-15kms. I asked a them about the situation of Kashmir. They advised me to return back from there itself as the possibility of getting entry into Srinagar is very less for me.

Line of vehicles, Police check posts were common on Udhampur - Srinagar Road
The road wasn't looking like a highway. It was so desolate. Very few vehicles were traveling. I decided to ride until I am stopped and denied to move further. At many posts, J&K Police stopped me but allowed me to go ahead with a caution that I will be surely returned back from any point before Anantnag. My hope was alive because of some Amarnath Yatris who were also travelling in the same route. Between Ramban and Jawahar Tunnel, there was a long queue of vehicles. The police wasn't allowing them to cross that point. I was also denied from crossing that post. I got disappointed. The time was 7pm. Some drivers told me that the police will allow the vehicles between 9pm to 12pm to cross Srinagar. My hopes got life again. I untied my bag, opened some snacks and kept waiting there.

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My Bike in the Queue for Entry just before Jawahar Tunnel

But after 9pm, the police said that they didn't get clearance from higher authorities so they can't allow any vehicle. I got frustrated but still decided to wait. I fell asleep on my bike. At around 12:30am, a policeman woke me up and told that there is no chance of getting entry to Anantnag for next 24hours since stuation has worsened in Srinagar and some more people were killed in the violence. He advised me to return back from there and sleep in some dhaba or in some hotel in Ramban. I got disheartened and decided to end my journey there. Started my return journey. Stopped at a dhaba and slept there.


I woke up with a plan to return back to Barnala via Amritsar after my Ladakh trip plan was ruined due to the curfew in Kashmir. After having my breakfast at Ramban, I checked in Google Maps for any alternate routes for Ladakh though all my hopes of doing Ladakh trip were finished by that time. In the maps, It was showing two routes to reach Manali, one via Anantnag and other one via Batote. Both the roads were meeting at Kishtwar. I also noticed that I didn't have to go to Manali or Rohtang Pass if I go in this route since the route meets Manali - Leh highway at Tandi. I asked some local Truck drivers about the route. Most of them were not aware of that route. They told that I have to go to Pathankot for going to Manali. Some said that they never travelled beyond Kishtwar but there exists a rough road which connects to Himachal. They also warned me that the road sometimes remains closed due to landslides. I decided to take my chance again. Took left turn at Batote after topping off of the fuel tank near batote. Upto Kishtwar, the road was nice and wide.

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At Doda

It started to rain continuously few kms after Kishtwar. The road was also bad, with no tar. I rode upto Padder and stayed in Padder that night.
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Day 5 (20 JUL 16): PADDER - KILLAR - UDAIPUR (132kms)

I left Padder early in the morning. I was not expecting some good road after Padder but I never expected such a deadly road as well.


Somewhere between Kishtwar - Killar Road

The road looked like a way to hell. One small mistake and you will fall directly into Chenab river. However the road is not so risky for Two wheelers. For four wheelers, the road is extremely dangerous. I saw only few local vehicles in this route (3-4 Tata Sumos only). My luck was with me this time. It didn't rain for the whole day otherwise it could have been a worst nightmare for me sice the entire route has no tar and there are few water crossings.


at Pangi Valley

You will hardly see any person in this entire route from Padder to Killar if you ever travel in this route. I was enjoying to ride in this beautiful and treacherous road but I was also little afraid because there was no chance of getting any help easily in case of any emergency. And I was also worried about the uncertainties since this route looked more prone to landslides.


Kishtwar - Killar Road parallel to Chenab river

In most of the part, the road goes parallely to Chenab river. Some ascents in this road are so steep that even my 350cc Bullet struggled to climb even in 1st gear. At one stage, the bike suddenly stopped because of releasing the throttle at wrong time and the bike was getting dragged backwards in that steep ascend. I had to try very hard to get out of that condition.

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Narrow and Dangerous Kishtwar - Killar Road

After passing few more kms, the road was blocked due to landslide. BRO was already working to clear the road. A local Tata Sumo was also waiting there since an hour. The driver of Tata Sumo told me that it may take 1.5 to 2 more hours for clearing the road. BRO Engineer and a staff came in a Maruti Gipsy to inspect the work in progress. The BRO staff told me that the road is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. He also said that many Passenger vehicles like buses, travel in this dangerous road during a festival season (I forgot which festival he talked about).


Waiting hour. BRO is clearing the road which got blocked due to Landslide

After about one and half hour, the road was cleared and I continue my ride. MY SALUTES TO BRO PERSONNEL who builds road in such a high altitudes and in tough conditions, and maintains it.

After a steep descend, I entered Himachal Pradesh border, where me and my bags were thoroughly checked by SSB soldiers. They congratulated me for crossing the tough road and entering Himachal. They told me that the toughest part of the road is over. However still the road was very bad, with loose gravel, sharp stones in most of the parts which could have teared the tyres. In Himachal the sceneries were even more beautiful. I had never seen such a gig mountains before. Some of the mountains looked as if they are extended beyond sky after penetrating the clouds.

At around 8:30pm, I reached Udaipur. I could travel only 132kms in the whole day since the road from Padder to Udaipur was very treacherous. Land slide near Himachal border and Security Checking at Himachal border also contributed to the less riding in the day.

Had my dinner in a small hotel and stayed in the same hotel for that night. I was feeling like achieving something big after doing that Kishtwar - Udaipur route.

Day 6 (21 JUL 16): UDAIPUR - TANDI - SARCHU - PANG (261kms)

Started from Udaipur at around 7:30am in the morning. There was still no good tar road even after crossing Udaipur. Its at Thirot village where I saw a nice tar road after Kishtwar.
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At Tandi
After few kilometers, the road meets Manali - Leh Highway at Tandi Village. I had to go about 2kms towards Manali for filling up petrol, where the last fuel station of the highway is located before Leh/ Upshi.I also carried 10litres of extra fuel because I wanted to go to Tso Moriri before going to Leh.
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Tandi Fuel Petrol Pump

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At Keylong

Had my breakfast at Keylong and started my journey in Manali Leh highway. Unlike the dull Jammu - Srinagar highway, Manali - Leh highway was a busy highway . I took several breaks at Jispa, Sarchu, Gata Loops etc, for taking pics and enjoyed watching the beauty of true colours of nature.

Jispa - Sarchu Road

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Army Vehicles and Leh-Delhi Bus on Leh - Manali Highway

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At Sarchu

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Gata Loops

I saw many bulleteers in the route travelling in groups. All of them were travelling fast. I had my own speed of riding my bike. So I didn’t follow any of them. The climate was very fine and the temperature was decreasing gradually in the evening. Road was in bad condition after Sarchu. But it was manageable. Also there were small water crossings in between the roads. I started to feel little difficulty in breething after reaching Naki La. And also it was getting very colder. It was little difficult to ride in the night in that low temperature.
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Inside Tent

At around 8:30pm, I reached Pang. Stayed in a tent. They charge 200 rupees per head, per night. Food was costly. Rice - Dal 100 Rupees per plate. (In Sarchu 80Rs/Plate) . But it was tasty. And its worth that price because it is not an easy task for them to Bring the food items in such locations. I was still facing problem in breathing. But till morning, my body got adjusted to the climate.


After a good sleep in the tent, I left Pang in the morning at around 8am after having maggi in breakfast my next target was Tso Kar. The road from Pang was very nice.
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At More Plains
I was riding fast and I checked the Map at Debring and realised that I actually missed the junction where The road to Tso Kar starts. I took U-turn. After riding 9kilometers I found the junction. Actually Tso Kar road was very narrow, so it was left unnoticed.
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Tso Kar Road starts from here

Tso Kar was only 21kms away from the junction. Though the road was narrow, it wasn’t bad road. I reached Tso Kar within half an hour. But there was nothing much to see in Tso Kar as the lake was dried up.
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At Tso Kar

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Me at Tso Kar
I spent some time there and left for Tso Moriri. The road from Tso Kar to Tso Moriri was horrandous. Tar was laid on only few kilometers in some parts of the road. Rest all part was back-breaking. On the way to Tso Moriri, there was another Lake - Kyagar Tso, which was also very beautiful. After clicking some pics at Kyagar Tso, I rode to Tso Moriri.
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At Kyagar Tso

The road was very bad in last few kms to Tso Moriri. The lake was big and beautiful. I had plan to go to Pangong Lake from Tso Moriri. But I was suffering from severe back pain due to riding in those bad roads of Tso Kar - Tso Moriri and I felt that the remaining fuel may not be sufficient for doing Pangong Lake trip . Took rest near Tso Moriri for an hour. When I felt much better and relieved from back pain, I decided to ride to Leh since there was enough time left in the day.
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Tents near Tso Moriri

Started my trip from Tso Moriri at around 5pm in the evening. For first 10-12kms, it was the same road which connects Tso Moriri - Tso kar. After that the road splits for Leh road (via Chumathang) . The road was smooth for about 40kms and there was no traffic in the road. But few kms after Chumathang, again bad road started. It also started to rain. It was still fun to ride in the night with Indus river flowing along with the road. Sound of the river flow was so scary in the night. I reached Leh at 11pm and stayed in a guest house just near Shanti Stupa. That area (near Shanti stupa) is full of hotels and home stays.

Day 8 (23 JUL 16): LOCAL SIGHT SEEING AT LEH (69kms)
On 8th day of my trip, I spent most of the time in taking rest in the guest house. In the morning, I went to Shanti Stupa which was close to the guest house where I stayed. In the evening I got my bike’s engine oil changed by a local mechanic (Mr Verma) on Manali Road, just before Royal Enfield showroom. Had to wait for an hour since there were lot of bikes in the queue waiting for their maintenance. The left foot rest of my bike was also straightened by him which was bent due to hitting a rock while coming back from Tso Moriri. After that, I was just roaming inside Leh and visited Leh Palace & returned back to the Guest House.

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Me at Shanti Stupa
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Leh View from Shanti Stupa
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Leh view from Leh Palace
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Bike's Oil Changed at Leh

Day 9 (24 JUL 16): LEH - KHARDUNG LA - DISKIT - HUNDER - CHALUNKA (204kms)

Woke up late in the 9th day and checked out from the guest house at around 11am. Went to fuel station and carried 10ltr of extra petrol as the next part of my trip was Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake without returning back to Leh. I was expecting it to be tough part of my trip to climb Khardung La which is famous as world’s highest motorable road ( However it is not true. In fact it is not Highest in India also. Marsimik La is the highest motorable road in India, which is near Pangong Lake ) The road to Khardung La was not so good, but was manageable. In South Pullu TCP, Travellers had to submit a self declaration form which was available in nearby shop for 10Rs per form. I carried # extra copies as suggested by the shopkeeper since the form may not be available near other check posts after South Pullu. We see lot of cyclists riding to Khardung La on the road. Most of them hire bicycles in Leh and ride to Khardung La and back. I also met some cyclists who rode from Manali . Climate was very fine so I reached Khardung La very easily. Huge crowd was there to get their photo click with the HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD display board. I had to wait for sometime for my turn and found a cyclist gentleman for clicking my photo with the board. Just after Khardung La, I had close view of snow covered mountain for the first time in my life. I spent sometime there with the snow and moved ahead for Nubra Valley. After Khalsar, the road splits for Hunder and Sumur. I took left turn and reached Hunder in the evening. Most part of the road to nubra valley was not so wide but very fine tar road. Spent some time at Hunder Sand Dunes where lot of tourists were enjoying Camel Ride. Rode upto Chalunka village and haulted there in the night.
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South Pullu TCP
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At Khardung La
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Snow near Khardung La
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At Hunder


Very few travellers were going to Turtuk. I went upto Turtuk and took U-turn there without staying there for much time. After continous ride upto Sumur, got nothing watchable at Sumur. On the way to just 10kms before Panamik, I took U-turn after a local person told me that there is nothing to see in Panamik also. So there was nothing much for me to enjoy in Nubra Valley except in Hunder. Soon I reached the tri-Junction after Khalsar village where the road splits for Pangong Lake direct routes and to Leh. In the previous day, some locals told me that direct routes of Pangong Lake ( Wari La route and Shyok Route ) are in very bad condition. But I had a desire to ride in Shyok route since the day I planned for my Ladakh Trip. I waited near the junction for some vehicle to enter that direct route but all the vehicles were going towards Leh only. After a long wait of 1 and half hour, two SUVs came in that direct route. Then I felt that its safe to attempt the direct route. The road was nice till Agham village where the road further splits for Shyok Route and Wari La route. Shyok route is more dangerous since the Shyok River has destroyed some part of the road very badly and at some parts the river itself is flows on the road making it hard to cross. But the distance was less. Wari La route was less dangerous compared to Shyok Route but the distance to be travelled was more and we need to cross two High Altitude passes ( Wari La and Chang La ) . The road meets Leh - Pangong road near Sakti village. I asked a truck driver about Shyok road condition and he told me that the road is in bad condition but for bikes, its manageable. I decided to take my chance and went ahead. Even after Agham village, the road was nice for upto 10kms and then I saw the same SUVs which I saw at Khalsar Junction. They were returning back after feeling the danger and they suggested me also to go back or stay somewhere in Agham for that night and try to cross the route in early morning as the condition is not favourable right now. I still wanted to give it a try as I had sufficient fuel with me so that I can return to Leh from any point if I find its too risky to go ahead. I continued my journey and soon the first huddle was infront of me. Loose sand on the road was making the bike to slide and bike wasn’t moving ahead esasily. But it was for just a small distance. Again good road started and after few kilometres the road was is in very bad condition. At some parts the road was swallowed by Shyok River and there were some tough water crossings especially the ast few kilometres before Shyok village. Somehow I managed to cross them and reached Shyok Village. It was the most adventurous ride of my lifetime. From Shyok, the road was nice but 15kms before Pangong Lake there was huge slush. It was already night time and I was over confident after having crossed Shyok route comfortably. I tried to move my bike from the corner of that road after seeing that the water level was too high at the center due to the dip created by cars and heavy vehicles. But my bike got stuck in the slush. I tried to lift it up with the help of some travellers but it couldn’t be lifted up from the slush by 3-4 people. So I had to stay there till next morning.
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Shyok Axis War Memorial
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Agham Shyok Route


In the morning some more bullets also got stuck in that slush. I helped them and some bulleteers helped me also to lift my bike from slush. I was not feeling well because of lack of sleep in last night so I stayed in a nearby tent till the afternoon. The tent was belonged to BRO. In the afternoon when I felt much better, I started my journey again and reached Pangong Lake. The lake was looking very beautiful in that afternoon. Almost all restaurants at that place were having names like 3 Idiots or Rancho which looked strange to me. Had my lunch there. Food was very costly there. Just took some photographs at Pangong lake and I left for Leh. I thought it wouldn’t take much time to Leh but climbing Chang La pass became a tough task for the bike. It was very cold that time and the road was very treacherous. However descent towards Upshi was smooth. At around 9:30pm, I reached Leh & stayed in the same hotel where I stayed before.
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Slush before Pangong Lake
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Day 12 (27 JUL 16): LEH - DEBRING (140kms)

The trip was almost over for me. It was time to return home with beautiful memories of Ladakh Tour. Due to the unrest at Kashmir Valley, I didn’t want to take chance to return via Kargil, Srinagar and I also thought that it is better to leave some places so that I can come to Ladakh once again and visit those missed places in my future trip. So I decided to return via Manali. I took rest till afternoon and left the hotel at 2pm. Took rest in a Tent at Debring thast night.

Day 13 (28 JUL 16): DEBRING - SARCHU - KEYLONG - MANALI (369kms)

From Debring upto Tandi, it was the same route in which I came to Ladakh. But this time there wasn’t much traffic on the road. Only few bikes and taxis were going towards Ladakh. After Tandi, road widening work was in progress So road condition wasn’t good. Ascent to Rohtang Pass was also steep and treacherous. Though descent towards Manali was good, the whole route from Rohtang Pass to Manali was covered by clouds. So visibility was very poor. Since I am a bad rider at such conditions, I just followed a Scorpio and stayed behind it till I reached Manali. Took rest in a local hotel in Manali.


Got ready early in the morning for the last day of my trip. Now I was little bored of riding so to make my ride little interesting, I decided not to go via Chandigarh and Patiala. I followed Mandi - Una - Hoshiarpur route. After Mandi, the road was very narrow and zigzag. So I regretted first for choosing that route since it could take more time to reach Barnala and I wanted to reach home the same day. But after some distance the road was smooth and I felt like I am travelling in Western Ghat roads of my native place (Karnataka). After Una, it was same flat straight roads of Punjab which took less time to take me to my home.

After 14 unforgettable days of riding in beautiful valleys of Himachal and Ladakh, I took rest for two days and continued in my regular working schedules .

Day 10 -3 Shyok River.jpg
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• I carried a foot pump, basic puncture repair kit and extra clutch / throttle cable with me during the trip. The bike tyre didn’t get punctured in the whole trip but the throttle cable got damaged just 2 days after my Ladakh trip. So I think it is essential to keep such basic spare parts for such long trips.

• Though the most adventurous ride of my trip was the ride from Agham to Shyok, the best thrilling ride was the ride from Padder to Udaipur on day 5 of the trip. I was aware of the fact that Agham - Shyok route is very dangerous and adventurous. So I already included that route in my Ladakh trip plan but I was not at all knowing anything about Kishtwar - Keylong route. You will hardly see any person on this narrow and treacherous route. Though it is not so risky for bikes, it was still so much adventurous to ride alone on those steep ascents with too much load. I could ride for only 132kms in the whole day. I didn’t take much pictures and videos of that road because I thought maybe it was just beginning and there is plenty ahead. It was only after returning from the trip I came to know that Kishtwar - Killar road is in world’s toughest roads list.

• Till the start of my trip, I was in confuse whether to go via Manali, or via Srinagar since Manali route is preferred by many people while going to Ladakh because it is more beautiful and more tough compared to Srinagar route. But I didn’t want to waste a day in obtaining permits for crossing Rohtang Pass so in Last moment, I decided to follow Srinagar route only, and moreover since I also had plan to visit Vaishno Devi Temple, I considered Srinagar route. But the funny thing is I neither had to go to Srinagar nor to Manali while going.

• Though there are many high altitude passes, only Chang La pass I felt it very difficult to ride. From Durbuk, the ascent to Chang La was very steep and treacherous compared to all other high altitude passes. The weather was bad and it was very cold when I was riding. I was really not enjoying the ride and wanted to cross that part and reach Leh as soon as possible. After Chang La, the other pass which looked tough, was Rohtang Pass. The ascent towards Manali was dangerous. The road was in bad condition and traffic was also high to make it even more difficult. Road to Khardung La didn’t look so tough as expected. Maybe it depends on the weather because the weather was very clear while riding to Khardung La and it was very bad while riding to Chang La due to which the bike was struggling to climb.

• I carried my old jacket and couple of jerseys, body warmers, a raincoat and my old gloves and thought that it is sufficient to ride comfortably in Ladakh in July month. But I was very much wrong. In July also we need all weather clothing. We should carry such a clothing which can protect from sunlight, winter and which is 100% waterproof including the gloves and boots. I struggled a lot at some moments due to my negligence in this case. I didn’t wear Knee/Elbow guards also, which are also essential. But the thing for which I regretted the most, was for not having Ladakh Carrier in my bike. I had too many luggage with me and I had to adjust them frequently because of not having Ladakh carrier in my bike.

• In my view, Ladakh trip should be for enjoying the natural beauty and to enjoy riding / driving in the roads of Ladakh. If you are going for ladakh trip, try to go by Bike to enjoy the Ladakh visit fully. If you are booking some taxi to go there, half of the fun is lost there because the real fun is in driving in that area.

• About AMS. I was worried about Acute Mountain Sickness after reading about it in some travel blogs. But it was only in Pang where I found it much difficult to breath and suffered from headache for some time. But after taking rest at pang that night, everything looked fine from next day and I didn’t face such issues again.
• Can’t talk much about innerline permits and Rohtang pass permit as I didn’t take either of them and I wasn’t asked by any TCP for such permits. ( I didn’t go via Rohtang Pass while going to Ladakh and while returning we don’t need any permit to cross Rohtang Pass.) . At some TCPs we need to make just an entry in a register about our particulars and at some TCPs we will be asked to fill and submit a self declaration form. The form is sold in some shops in Leh as well as, at some shops nearby some TCPs. If you are planning a trip to Turtuk, Panamik, Chusul, Hanle, you better carry 3-4 copies of the form because it may not be available near some TCPs. I covered Tso Kar, Tso Moriri, Turtuk, Panamik, Pangong Lake in my trip and I wasn’t asked to show any permit for visiting these areas. If you are planning to travel via chusul or go to Hanle, you may have to take permit for that, in Leh.

Thats all I wanted to share about my first Ladakh Trip. I have planned to go to Ladakh again in June 2017 to see snow covered mountains, Magnetic Hill Road, Zanskar Valley, Srinagar which I missed this time. I will ensure full preparation in my next trip so that I don’t have to regret later and to make the trip more amazing and enjoyable.

Thank you for reading and my apologies for grammatical errors.
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Be a Good person but Don't try to Prove.
Hey Swastik, What Happened? You wrote so nicely about first 7 days trip and then you just skipped. Please post complete account with lots of pictures. We are loving it.
Hey Swastik, What Happened? You wrote so nicely about first 7 days trip and then you just skipped. Please post complete account with lots of pictures. We are loving it.
Thank you for the appreciation Shekhar ji. Somehow managed to complete it but the fact is the amazing experience of my Ladakh trip cant be expressed in words :)