Don’t listen to what they say, go live. I actually did it, living is not all about going to work from 9-5 or partying all night and then spending the day in hangover, but it is about exploring new places. Every biker, irrespective of his/her age, dreams a bike ride to leh-ladakh once in their lifetime. I am glad travelomaniac made my dream come true. Leh-Ladakh Bike Tour is counted among the best adventure experiences in the Land of High Passes.
There are two different routes to Leh; one from Manali and the other one starting from Srinagar. Manali to Leh trip is around 476 km whereas Srinagar to Leh is around 434 km. However, we would suggest you to take the Manali route, which passes through beautiful terrains and also some of the highest motorable passes in the world. Through the Srinagar route you would hit the high terrain gradually rather a quick however it is a steep climb.
The best time for bike trips to Ladakh is from mid-May to October. Roads from Srinagar are thrown open from mid-May, whereas the Manali route is opened after May. You can take this road trip only during the autumn and summer season. Or else, you will need to take a flight.
One must be prepared to deal with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which will hit you at some point of time. It all depends on your coping mechanism, and how well prepared you are. Some of the places that I visited in leh-ladakh include the Patong Lake, Khardung La Pass, Magnetic Hill, Zanskar Valley, Tso Moriri,Rizong Monastery, Shanti stupa, Indian Astronomical Observatory and Hall of fame.
Patong Lake is really beautiful. It has gained more visibility after the shooting of last scene of film ‘3 Idiots’ here. It is around 3-4 hours away from Leh. Situated at an elevation of 5602 meters (18379 ft) in the Ladakh region, Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world.
The Magnetic hill houses are a rare and unique optical illusion that mystify tourists everytime they see it. The magnetic hill is a “gravity hill” capable of giving an illusion that an object which is going downhill seems as if it is going uphill, thereby defying the attractive force of gravity. These magnetic hills can also be found in other countries too like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and United States.
Trekking in Zanskar valley was one of the amazing experiences of life time. This place is full of natural attraction and the beauty of the place is wonderful. Zanskar has sceneic beauty. While you are walking on it, you feel the bliss of silence and ice. Its temperature during day time varies from -2 to -3 and at night it goes down to -32 to -37. Trekking in Zanskar valley is worth all the problems you face while doing it.
Next was Tso Moriri, one of the largest lake in ladakh. This lake water is fed by snowmelt of mountains in the Changthang plateau. It is surrounded by snow capped mountains from all sides. It is siuated at more than 4500m altitude and offers a great sight of flora and fauna.
Rizong monastery and Shanti Stupa are the religious places of tibetians in ladakh. It is situated at the top of a rocky side valley on the north side of the Indus river. The monastery is also called ‘The paradise for meditation’ and is noted for its extremely strict rules and standards.
The Indian Astronomical Observatory has one of the world's highest sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It is currently the third highest optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters.
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