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Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya - The Trans-Himalayan

Motorcycle road trip India / Himalaya

The Trans-Himalayan

Alex

Alex, Travel designer

He has set up Vintage Rides and has now expanded its presence in nine countries. An explorer by heart, he's always looking to discover new adventures around the world.

For this new edition, we start off from Dharamsala, at the conquest of the formidable Saach pass (4420m). Our rocky route, unlike the well-tarmacked and busy with traffic Manali-Leh highway, remains untouched. Welcome on the Trans-Himalayan! Second objective: the Khardung-La, the highest pass in the world (5602m). Prepare for an extreme expedition on the edge of beyond. In this land of mountain passes, from verdant, mainly Hindu valleys to desert-like high plateaux where the Tibetan Buddhist culture is in clear evidence, you will cross bewitching lunar landscapes, only encountering nomadic goat and yak herders. A physical challenge for explorers seeking the ultimate, who will join the club of Himalayan motorbiking devotees. This new 2019 itinerary will take you through a less frequented, yet quite formidable pass, that we spotted in 2016.

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Useful information
Period July to September
Duration 15 days incl. 10 days riding
Available extensions
Level Demanding
English-speaking tour leader
Accommodation Standard
From €2,590/pilot
Pillions unadvised

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Your Motorcycle Tour in Himalaya 15 stages - 981 miles


india gate delhi
D1 / Arrival in Delhi

Pick up at the airport and transfer to a hotel close to the airport of Delhi. Your room is available from midday.

himachal pradesh mounntains
D2 / Delhi - Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj) - Domestic flight

In the morning, transfer to Delhi airport for your internal flight, in direction of Dharamsala McLeod Ganj. You may choose to take rest in the afternoon or to stroll and enjoy this unique atmosphere.

royal enfield india
D3 / Dharamsala - 19 miles

We spend the day in Dharamsala Mc Leod Ganj for your acclimatization day. And so your motorcycle circuit in the Himalayas begins. We get to know our Royal Enfield 500, by going for a small ride in the area. The Himalayan foothills in Himachal Pradesh are green and full of charm.

rohtang pass himachal pradesh yak
D4 / Dharamsala - Chamba - 85 miles

This amazing first leg is perfect for you to familiarise yourself with your motorcycle and the Indian way of the road. The mountain roads are in an overall good condition and we quickly find ourselves navigating winding roads up and down the green valleys that skirt beneath the towering glaciers of the Dhauladhar range.

sarchu camp ladakh
D5 / Chamba - Killar - 105 miles

We tackle the mighty Sach Pass (4,420 m), which is not your ordinary Great Himalayan pass: it may not be the highest, but it certainly is the most difficult! Unlike the route from Manali, which was well-tarmacked and busy with traffic, this road is stony and reminiscent of the roads of yesteryear. The ride down to our destination for the night is just as impressive as the road up.

pang gorge ladakh
D6 / Killar - Jispa - 100 miles

Waking up in the Pangi valley is a treat! This rocky stretch along the Chenab river will lead us to Lahaul, a gateway to Ladakh, where Buddhism and Hinduism intermingle perfectly. We will progress slowly at the beginning because eternity has passed since the tarmac was laid! We end this leg with a much easier road, which is tarmacked.

monastery gompa ladakh monk
D7 / Jispa - Tso Kar - 130 miles

We enter Ladakh: a geological and mystical feast of a place, where the landscapes become more and more desert-like. The road goes up to the dizzying heights of the Lachulung La pass (5,060 m), our first pass above 5,000 m altitude, and then pushes down into Pang’s superb gorges. Finally, we can pick up some speed on the high More plains and we arrive at Tso Kar salt lake, at 4,600 m altitude.

pass india himalaya
D8 / Tso Kar - Leh - 111 miles

We leave the incredible Kar basin and head back up to Tanglang La (5,315 m), the second highest motorable pass in the world. We lose altitude on a road that is nothing more than a double track made up of twists and turns: something that would make any racetrack driver drool! We pass back under the 4,000 m mark and arrive in the vast Indus river valley, one of the seven most sacred rivers in India.

lake himalaya motorbikes
D9 / Leh - Khardungla - Leh - 50 miles

Today we climb north up to Khardung La, highest motorable road in the world: 5,370 m! We’ll discover a magical panorama going from the Zanskar chain on the southern side to the great Karakoram chain on the northern side. We go back down for lunch, rest, shopping, walk and spend a second night in a comfortable hotel in Leh.

india himalaya tso kar motorcycle
D10 / Leh - Tso Moriri Lake - 135 miles

We ride back up the Indus valley towards the Tibetan border. We stop at the iconic Thiksey Monastery. After Upshi, we continue along the river through stunning gorges. We reach the beautiful turquoise Tso Moriri lake through a small road and gravel tracks at a 4600m altitude. Camp along the lake.

india himalaya gata loops horse
D11 / Tso Moriri Lake - Sarchu - 135 miles

We ride many tracks early in the morning, before getting near Tso Kar, where we slept some days before. From there, we take the same road in the opposite direction, but the landscapes are so awe-inspiring under a different light, you will ask your tour leader if you have already been there! Then, we push on through the More plains, Pang gorges, over more passes above 5,000 m altitude.

motorcycle trip himalaya
D12 / Sarchu - Manali - 135 miles

After stopping at the only petrol station between Leh and Manali, it’s time for a new road heading through Lahaul to the legendary Rohtang Pass (3,980 m). We leave the Ladakh desert and ride through some lush landscapes, forests and humidity after the pass, as we ride down on several bends to the Kullu valley, a great road for your last stint in the saddle.

motorcycle india
D13 / Manali - Delhi

Today, you can spend the day in Manali (a buffer day just in case). You can stroll around the town, do some shopping, etc. In the late afternoon, you will take an air-conditioned overnight bus to Delhi.

children india himalaya
D14 / Delhi

You arrive in Delhi in the morning. You are transferred to the hotel and can spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

fabulous food
D15 / Delhi - International airport

You are transferred to Delhi international airport for your flight where our services end.

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Available extensions


le taj mahal
Taj Mahal / 2 or 3 days

You're taken to Agra from New Delhi in a private vehicle with driver. During 2 or 3 days, visit the fabulous Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Red Fort of Agra.

varanasi benares
Varanasi (Benares) / 2 days

2​ days to discover the sacred town of Varanasi. ​An English-speaking guide​ ​shows you around ​the Buddhist city of ​Sarnath, one of the four holy Buddhist cities.​ As the sunsets, you take a stroll along the Varanasi ghats​ and​ attend Aarti, a daily worship ritual.​ ​On the second day, you t​ake a boat tour at sunrise​, visit the University, Bharat Mata Mandir​ and the rest of the city.​

The riders' opinions

Stephen R
One of the most challenging and intense…

“One of the most challenging and intense experiences of my life. The route was extreme and remote, but the scenery and experience were both spectacular. The weather provided every season from snow and ice to heat and monsoon rains. Accommodations were rudimentary in the more remote areas, so do not expect luxury. The motorcycles are easy to ride, but well used. Our guide was great, and the support team efficiently fixed any issues with the bikes. This is not a trip for everyone, but I am so pleased I did it.”

Peter Zalums
Outstanding adventure with Vintage…

“Outstanding adventure with Vintage Rides crossing the Himalayas on Royal Enfield motorcycles. Excellent operation from trip preparation to support through the entire tour. Dedicated staff to ensure participants can experience an adventure with optimum safety and reliability. Highly recommend Vintage Rides as the ideal adventure motorcycle tour operator wherever they operate around the world.”

Steve
My 2nd trip with Vintage Rides and yet…

“My 2nd trip with Vintage Rides and yet another brilliant trip exploring another aspect of India.This was an 'adventure' trip to the Himalays so less comfort and more difficult riding conditions , so if you aren't prepared..beware!. If you have all the riding kit, then it's brilliant. Just booked my 3rd trip with them , so that says it all Steve (UK)”

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