Manali to Leh

Leh is one of the highest cities in the world and is blocked off by road for half the year. In the summer, the road from Manali offers some of the most spectacular scenery of the Himalayas. Most travellers take jeeps, buses or private cars and complete the trip in two days. We decided to take our time and hitch hike our way to Leh. By the time we reached Leh (four days after leaving Manali) we had ridden in 2 cars, 1 bus and 4 trucks. The road was spectacular but even more impressive was the kindness of the people who gave us rides. Here is the trip in pictures.

Vehicle 1: Actually two small cars of truck transport politicians from Dehli. They drove us to the top of Rohtang Pass (where this photo is) and originally said they were driving to Keylong, but after seeing no cars on the other side of the pass they freaked out and drove back. It took some convincing to allow them to leave us on the top of the pass.

Looking down Spiti Valley from Rohtang Pass.

Vehicle 2: Our first truck, drove us to Gramphoo.

Vehicle 3: The most comfortable truck on the trip. Took us from Gramphoo to 9kms out of Keylong. They were very helpful and helped us get another truck to cover the last 9kms.

View on the way to Keylong.

Vehicle 3 stopped on the way to catch up with many other truck drivers. Providing great photo opportunities.

Vehicle 5: Our driver was from Kashmir and would drive all the way from Dehli to Leh, then start the drive back on the same day as arriving. He had calloused hands from the steering wheel. The truck was very slow but managed to get us from Keylong to Sarchu.




Some of the amazing views we saw on the way to Sarchu.

Vehicle 6: we only waited at most 30 minutes but the local bus arrived before any trucks so we jumped on that instead. At first there were no seats, but in India you are always taken care of and we were soon squeezed in. We did have a small part of the road capsize under one wheel which had everyone off and helping making it a quick stop.


More spectacular views on the last day.

Our destination- the Indus Valley.

We stayed one night, just outside of Leh in a monastery (next post) and ended up hitchhiking in one more truck and one more car before we finally reached Leh, Ladahk.

Feeling at home in India’s colourful trucks!

This entry was published on July 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm and is filed under India, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Manali to Leh

  1. Kate Sampson on said:

    Love the guys pink thongs!! Gotta love how no bus has any sort of capacity – upside is you always get on, downside is you may have to stand for hours!

  2. What an amazing journey!!! Glad you are with your bro.

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