Its time to introduce you to the most versatile word I have ever come across 'Julye' pronounced 'Julie' hello, good-by and thank you. Its the first step in getting a smile from the locals.
Reaching Keylong, the capital of Lahaul, sprawls along one side of the green Bhaga Valley, spread out below the Manali–Leh highway. It’s a friendly little town that has experienced a major economic boom since it became the main overnight stop for buses travelling between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. Many travellers stop just for the night and leave early the next morning, but there are interesting walks in the surrounding hills and the pace of life is easy and unhurried.
We will spend a night in town before the long hard push to get to Sarchu, the next day. What's coming up is the Baralacha La pass (a real mouth full that), more about that below. It is cut off from the outside world from November to April, due to heavy snowfall. Keylong celebrates the annual Lahaul Festival in July with a big, bustling market and various cultural activities.
The fun starts within an hour of leaving Manali, as we make our way to the first high altitude pass, Rohtang La. Roads are mostly in good condition and within an hour of leaving Manali, we should be at Marhi (19kms before Rohtang La) and a chance to grab some chai (tea) and breakfast. The road from here to the top is the first taste of the challenges that lie ahead on this journey.
Even though road from Rohtang La to Kokhsar is downhill all the way, it is mostly in bad condition. Foreign nationals are supposed to get themselves registered at the check post in Kokhsar, apart from that, this small town has little to offer unless we want to have a quick meal.
Journey from here is also downhill until Tandi and roads are mostly in a state of disrepair. Tandi has the last petrol pump before Leh, roughly 380kms from here. So we all meet up at the pump to tank up before we move on to Keylong.
HIGHLIGHTS AND FEATURES
- Rohtang La the first taste of the challenges ahead
- Support vehicle will be waiting for us over the pass
- First chance to grab a plate of dal, veg and rice the staple diet in these parts
- Start of 490 km ride to Leh the next city
- Tandi last stop for petrol for 390 km also known as the potato petrol pump
- Coordinates: 32°34'48"N 77°1'48"E
Join our trip, from:
- Rider - $8000.00
- Rider and Pillion - $12000.00