Traveling to Leh Ladakh is the most ambitious travel bucket list for many. As I have regularly updated on my blogs about visiting Ladakh, there are multiple ways to explore this gorgeous destination. You can arrive by flight, ride a tempo traveler or thump your bike across the scenic Manali – Leh highway. If the idea of your travel to Ladakh is of the third kind then you can always consider Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey in 2021 (depends on the current travel situation).
Royal Enfield Himalayan Odysseystarts from Delhi and goes all the way to Leh, the headquarters of Ladakh. A thrill seeker always dreams of being a part of this trip because of the adrenaline rush and the company. The trip is planned in such a way that you get to see the most on the route. Travel experts plan the layout of the journey and a camera crew is present to record your experience.
Another highlight of the journey is the number of stopovers that showcase unique culture and attractions. Some of the best places on this route are –
New Delhi is the starting point of the journey but many bikers drive all the way from Mumbai and Bangalore. The participants assemble here with Royal Enfield bikes and then move towards the mountains. During your stop in Delhi you can visit, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Old Fort, Hauz Khas, Chandni Chowk, and Jama Masjid.
Once you leave Delhi, you drive all the way to Manali which is almost 12 hours away. The visitors are advised to spend a day here so that they are able to acclimatize with the height of the Himalayas. While you are here, take some time out to visit Hidimba Temple and Buddhist Monasteries. Since you cross Rohtang Pass on the way to Leh, there is no point in making a special trip for the place unless you wish to enjoy skiing which is almost impossible considering the months when the trip is organized.
Keylong is Lahaul’s headquarter and an amazing place for a stopover. After this you are in the territory of 4000+ metres so it makes sense to spend a night here. It s also the biggest town located on Manali Leh highway so in case you want to buy some essentials then you can do that here. The views of Bhaga river flowing by Keylong town are ideal for photography.
Jispa Village is famous for Bhaga view point, Jispa Rural Museum and Buddhist Stupas. Most of the experienced Himalayan Ridesenthusiasts prefer staying at Jispa because the place offers pristine views that Keylong often blocks. Jispa is also a popular camping spot among those who drive on this route.
Suraj Tal or Surya Tal is the second highest lake in India and 21st highest in the world. It is hidden in the middle of Baralacha La Pass. The crystal clear water with shadow of the surrounding hills make the environment extremely scenic. Suraj Tal is also the origin source of Bhaga River and is mostly frozen till the months of April.
Baralacha La is another of the high passes through which one enters Ladakh. This pass is located at a height of 4890 metres and is an amazing place to enjoy the beautiful valleys and mountains. With two rivers flowing on both sides, Baralacha La is extremely picturesque and place where bikers often take a halt if they have continuously drove from Jispa or Keylong.
Sarchu is often preferred by drives who don’t like driving straight to Leh once they leave Jispa. The groups that go on Himalayan bike tours with Royal Enfield chose the camp stay options here and then proceed to Ladakh the next day. This is advisable as continuous bike riding can be really arduous.
Note: One must consult with the trip organizers regarding the halts so that you find a clarification on the number of rest stops that are going to come your way.
Leh is the final stop of the journey. From here, you can either travel further on your own or return to Manali after resting for a day or two. When you are in Leh, visit the gorgeous Leh Palace and take a hike to Shanti Stupa. There are lovely restaurants and cafes here where you can enjoy Tibetan, Chinese and Indian Cuisine.
Take a two day rest in Leh after your journey is over and make sure that you complete your paperwork for permits to Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley.
For the best experience of Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey, you need to keep a few tips in mind –
- Keep a list of petrol pumps on Manali Leh Highway.
- Prepare first aid kit, bike repair kit and rain protection gear to make sure that your journey is smooth and free from any mishappenings.
- Stay close to your group and don’t wander off.
- If you are applying for leave from office then keep 4 to 5 days extra in hand in case of emergency.
- Spend a day in Manali to make sure that your paperworks are complete.
- Don’t plan anything serious or arduous after you reach Leh.
Hope these tips will help you plan your Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey in a better way. For more information, check the official websites of Royal Enfield.