Ever met those enthusiastic travellers who fixate on a particular destination? They obsess over it day and night and won’t rest till they get there?
That’s most bikers and their love for Ladakh. Ask some of your friends, or do a quick Google search, chances are you will find an avid biker who won’t stop raving about his trip to Ladakh on his bike. Chances are, you are one of them, looking to feel the same rush that countless others have felt on this mammoth Ladakh bike trip from Mumbai.
Why is the Ladakh bike trip from Mumbai so popular
Every biker will have a personal inspiration or a takeaway of their trip. But we’ve listed the most likely reasons why Ladakh bike trips are so popular.
- The most gruelling trip: You can experience the thrill of the long, challenging, strenuous routes, all on your bike. This is a milestone bike trip that every biker worth his salt aspires to take in his lifetime.
- Stopovers enroute: The trip will take you through several states on your way that will be worthwhile, including the joy of riding on world’s highest motorable paths in Ladakh.
- Soul-searching: Solo bike trips are best experienced on a road as spectacular as the one to Ladakh. An opportunity to feel centred and at one with yourself and nature.
- Group trips: Biker gang, or a group of friends. This will be the most enjoyable road trip you will take with your buddies.
Ways To Reach Leh-Ladakh From Mumbai
You have several options. Based on how many days you plan to set aside for the entire trip, select from the options below. 10-15 days are usually needed for this trip, excluding the Mumbai to Leh route, which will require at least 20 to 25 days.
- You can either get your bike shipped to Chandigarh, fly or take a train to Chandigarh, pick up your bike and ride the Manali-Leh route.
- Another option is to get your bike shipped to Srinagar, fly or take a train to Srinagar, pick up your bike and ride the Srinagar-Leh route.
- Yet another way is to take a flight to Delhi/Manali, hire a rental bike in Manali and undertake your journey via Manali-Leh route.
- The most hardcore plan of action is to ride from Mumbai… all the way to Leh. A great many bikers who are up for the challenge pick this option. Not for the faint-hearted.
Routes To Take On A Bike Trip From Mumbai To Leh
We’ve put together three routes based on the above-mentioned ways to reach Leh from Mumbai on your bike.
1. Mumbai To Leh
This is the route where you forego the shipping of your bike and head straight to Leh from Mumbai. This epic journey will take almost a month, so your planning and execution will have to be well-done, and your bike will have to be in a good shape. The distance travelled (one-way) will be over 2500 kilometers.
- Route: Mumbai – Surat – Baroda – Ajmer – Jaipur – Delhi – Kurukshetra – Chandigarh – Mandi – Manali – Keylong – Leh
2. Manali-Leh route
The highest rated bike trip route to Leh, an experience one must have in a lifetime. It spans across 480 kilometers and passes through the famously stunning Rohtang Pass. (Remember to get your pass permit online or at Manali SDM.) The best spots to camp on this route are Keylong, Jispa and Sarchu.
- Route: Manali – Gramphu – Khokhsar – Sissu – Keylong – Jispa – ZingZing Bar – Sarchu – Pang – Tanglang La – Miru – Upshi – Karu – Leh
3. Srinagar-Leh Route
An equally gorgeous route that lets you marvel at the natural wonders of Kashmir. It is across 430 kilometers and passes through the gorgeous Zoji La Pass. The best spots to camp on this route are Drass and Kargil.
- Route: Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zoji La – Drass – Kargil – Mulbek – Lamayuru – Saspol – Leh
If you like you can take the Manali-Leh route while going towards Leh and return via the Srinagar route to enjoy the best of both routes.
Best Time For A Mumbai-Leh Road Trip
The routes are closed for around 6 months during the year due to heavy snowfall and landslides. Manali to Leh highway usually opens mid-May and takes time to clear off initially. It generally closes by end of September. Anytime between June to September would be a good time for this route.
The Srinagar route also opens anytime between mid-May to June and closes in November. July to November is an ideal time for this route. Check online to find out the exact time the routes open and wait for a good two weeks for the roads to clear.
- Fuel from Mumbai to Leh and back to Mumbai will cost anywhere between Rs. 14,000 to Rs. 20,000 (considering stopovers, detours, riding in and around Leh and visiting its attractions.)
- If you are getting your bike shipped and then taking the Manali-Leh-Srinagar-Delhi route, your fuel cost will be anywhere between Rs. 8000 to Rs. 10,000.
- Meals will cost around Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 per person per day.
- Accommodation expenses will be anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2000 per night.
- Bike rentals from Manali will cost Rs. 1400 to Rs. 2000 per day (depending on the bike you rent.) Try Bikerentalsmanali.com.
- Miscellaneous expenses can be anywhere between Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000.
Please note that these costs are indicative and may be less or more according to your itinerary and other contingencies.
How To Plan A Bike Trip From Mumbai To Leh-Ladakh
- Decide which route you wish to take.
- Get your bike properly serviced and buy the necessary gear and clothing for the trip.
- Don’t pre-book your hotel stay in Leh if you are taking the Mumbai to Leh route since there is no guarantee on the exact day you may arrive.
- If taking the Manali-Leh route, you can compare tariffs online and book a hotel or a homestay.
Things To Remember
- Get your Rohtang Pass permit and other inner line permits online.
- Remember to get your paperwork in order before the trip, including your photo-id proofs, license and registration, PUC, etc.
- Print-out a route map instead of simply relying on the digital one.
- Check road conditions online before taking off and throughout your trip, make sure to check traffic and other route related updates.
- Remember to carry prescribed meds for AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).
- Remember to get your bike checked and serviced at intermittent stops and fuel up whenever you can as past Tandi there are no gas stations.
- Don’t forget to carry woollen clothing for the Manali-Srinagar-Ladakh stretch of the trip.
- Always stay hydrated and carry light snacks and energy drinks.
- Chargers, power banks
- First Aid Kit (with prescribed meds for AMS)
- Rechargeable torches
- GPS with a charger
- Camera kit and gear
- Swiss army knife
Bike Gear and Other Essentials
- Helmet with protective visor
- Riding goggles
- Riding gloves
- Bandana/skull cap
- Knee pads
- Riding jacket with thermal inners
- Lip balm & moisturizer
- Nylon rope & funnel
- Spare tyre & puncture repair kit
Bike Expeditions To Leh-Ladakh From Mumbai
This is yet another option you can explore from Mumbai to Leh. A lot of groups are undertaking these expeditions for a biking experience that is managed, monitored and maneuvered by experts. These are carefully curated with itineraries, and expert tour leaders, so all you have to do is ride and enjoy the views.
Check out groups/organizers like Adventure Nation, Mumbaitravellers.in, 365Hops.com, Himalayan Motor Bike, The Dream Riders Group, Classic Bike Adventure India, India Motor Bike Tours, 365 Hops, Himalayan Rider, Enfieldriders.com, Bookcruise.in, Shoesonloose.com, Lifeawayfromlife.com., Rideofmylife.in.
Head on out to Leh. Whichever route you take, the ride will be thrilling and filled with memorable experiences that will keep you reminiscing for a long time. If you have questions or inputs, please use the comment box below.