Backpacking Journey - Manali to Ladakh & Manali

Manali – Ladakh – Manali: Ride the High Passes


DAY 01: Manali – Rest/Exploration

Arrive in Manali. Today you have the option of taking it easy in Manali. One can roam around the local market, visit a famous temple and check out other sightseeing spots in and around Manali. Also you can decide to just laze around at the hotel. Overnight in a hotel/ beautiful mountain lodge.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 02: Manali – Jispa (3200m, Drive 135 kms/4-5 hrs)

This day you start on one of the greatest road trip on the planet. You will be driving on the famous Manali – Leh highway and reach Jispa today. Ahead of Manali you will cross the famous Rohtang Pass (3980m), with excellent views of the Pir Panjal range. You will stop here for some photography. This pass is open only during a few summer months every year. From here you descend to the Chandra River and drive to the quaint village of Jispa. Overnight in a hotel/guesthouse

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 03: Jispa – Sarchu (4253m, Drive 95 kms/4 hrs)

Today you will drive to Sarchu via the Baralacha La (4892m). It’s a double pass linking both the upper Chandra and Bhaga valleys with the Lingti valley and the vast Lingti plains around Sarchu. Sarchu is inhabited by Himalayan clan, Gaddi, and few lonely soldiers at an army outpost. Overnight stay in a good quality fixed camp in tents.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 04: Sarchu – Leh (3500m, Drive 233 kms/7-8 hrs)

Like the previous days you will be driving through some breathtaking scenery on your way to Leh, en route you will be crossing two high – passes, Lachlung La (5065m) and Tanglang La (5360m), the third highest motorable pass in the world. Also you will drive through the vast More plains and 22 loops, both very unique. Late in the afternoon you enter the Indus valley passing the beautiful village of Rumtse and arrive at Leh, capital of Ladakh. Check into the hotel for overnight stay.

Meal Plan- B, D

DAY 05: Leh (3500 m)

Today you start exploring the Indus valley. You will drive to Shey, Thiksey and Hemis gompa (monastery) accompanied by a local guide loaded with information on the history and practices of these gompas. Return to the hotel for lunch. Rest of the day at leisure for exploring the local market and shopping. Overnight in a hotel.
Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.
Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.
Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17th century. The setting is perfect, with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long mani walls.
Optional: For people looking for some adventure we can organise a good rafting trip on the Indus river which is suitable for first timers and gives a beautiful & unique perspective to this magical landscape. This will take around 3-4 hours(Charges extra).

Meal Plan- B, D

DAY 06: Leh – Khardung La (5602m) – Hunder (4000m, Drive/5 hrs)

Today you will set out on a 3 day overland exploration trip to the Nubra Valley (meaning Valley of Flowers in local language). You will drive from Leh to the Khardung La pass (5602m), the second highest motorable pass in the world. On a clear day views of Indus valley below are phenomenal. The villages of the valley are extremely pretty and characterised by greenery, willow & poplar trees. Also this valley has the distinction of being one of the trade centres on the ancient Silk Route. You will stop at village of Diskit and visit the local monastery. Continuing from here you come to a very rare sight, sand dunes just like in a desert, along the road. You will check into a fixed camp or a guesthouse. Overnight in guest house.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 07: Hunder – Samstanling gompa in Sumoor – Leh , Drive/4-5 hr)

After breakfast you will drive to Samstanling gompa at Sumoor. You spend some time here and then drive back to Leh. Overnight in a guest house.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 08: Leh - Chang La (5320m) – Pangong Tso – Leh (4350m, drive / 8-9 hrs)

They say Ladakh trip is not complete till you visit one of the 3 high altitude lakes here – Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri and Tso Kar. So to give an exciting end to the trip we head towards the lake. You will embark on a memorable drive to the mesmerising high altitude lake of Pangong Tso. We will start early and take about 6 hrs to reach the lake. Driving along the Indus river we will cross the Chemrey gompa, green cultivated fields, typical Ladakhi houses and hairpin bends before reaching the fourth highest motorable pass in the world, Chang La (5320m). From here we descend to the lake. Nothing prepares you for the first sight of the Pangong Tso lake. Its seemingly unreal beauty will take some time to sink in. With crystal clear turquoise blue water and stark mountain ranges all around it’s truly a captivating sight. One third of the lake is in India while the rest two thirds of the lake is in Tibet. In the afternoon we start driving towards Leh. Overnight in the hotel/ guesthouse.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 09: Leh – Jispa (Drive/ 12 hrs) Meal Plan – B, D

On this day we start early and leave for Jispa. It’s a long drive and will take about 12 hours. Overnight in the camp/ Hotel.

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 10: Jispa – Manali (Drive/ 6 hrs)

On this day we will take it easy and after an leisurely we drive towards Manali. On arrival we sit back and relax at the beautiful mountain lodge. Evening at leisure. Overnight in the lodge

Meal Plan – B, D

DAY 11: Manali Departure

After breakfast depart for onward destination. Trip ends here

Meal Plan – B



  • Transport by a comfortable Mahindra Xylo/ Mahindra Scorpio/ Tempo Traveler. Transport is included from day 2 to day 10 of the itinerary
  • Accommodation in neat and clean guest houses/homestays/camps. Accomodation for first 10 nights
    • Manali : 2 nights
    • Jispa : 2 night
    • Sarchu : 1 nights
    • Leh : 4 night
    • Nubra : 1 night
    Experienced and knowledgeable trip leader for the trip. All our guides/ trip leaders are professionally trained and have many years of relevant experience in guiding trips.
  • Meal plan In the detailed itinerary given to you, on all days you will see B, L, D mentioned against each day, this indicates the meal plan for the day. If you have (B, D) mentioned it signifies you will get breakfast and dinner on this day. Similarly (B, L, D) indicates you will get all meals and so on.
    On our backpacking treks you get simple food which is fresh, hygienic, tasty and has a strong local flavour The meals will be self-cooked by the team ( participants and guides)
  • All permits and permissions for the trip
  • First aid kit (our guides are certified in handling first aid situations)
  • Service Tax


  • Any meals/services not mentioned above
  • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
  • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Any entry fees for the monuments, monasteries etc
  • Any costs rising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
  • Insurance


  • Payment to be made by Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD in favour of GREAT INDIAN OUTDOORS (P) LTD. payable at New Delhi/Gurgaon or online through our payment gateway
  • Payment for this trip will not be adjusted against any future trips
  • Cancellation Policy
    • >45 Days: Full refund (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
    • 30-45 Days: 75% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
    • 15-30 Days: 50% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
    • <15 Days: No refund

Transport Options (Delhi – Manali – Delhi)

For travel from Delhi to Manali & back, one can choose between air, rail & road. For air travel, the closest airport is Bhuntar (Kullu) airport. There are a couple of flights that link this airport to Delhi airport

Train travel though not very popular is available to cover a certain distance. One can either take a train to Pathankot or Jogindernagar (narrow gauge). From both these places one will need to drive to Manali. For train details, you could log on to and for online railway ticket bookings you could log on to .

There are frequent Public Transport buses including Volvos available from Delhi to Manali that cost about Rs. 1300 per person. They take about 15 hrs to cover the distance. A private vehicle could also be arranged for if you require the same.

Weather Details

Temperatures and climate vary according to the altitude. The summer days are warm with brilliant blue skies (max 25°C. min 10°C), but the weather in mountainous areas can be very unpredictable. Come prepared for chilly evenings and a small possibility of rain. Early morning starts and descents at altitude require good quality weather gear.

Please keep in mind that the above information is not exact and does not account for sudden changes. Whatever the temperatures and conditions rest assured we will be prepared to handle it with ease as we use equipment of very high specifications.

List of Essentials

Mountain/adventure travel requires one to be adequately equipped with the right kind of personal gear. Since one is travelling in the wilderness there will be hardly any opportunity to buy anything once you hit the trail so we urge you to carefully pack everything into your bags. Also please keep in mind you can rent out or purchase equipment from our Gear Store, if required.

  1. Shirts and trousers 3- 4 pairs
  2. Fleece jacket/ woollen sweater
  3. Water and wind proof jacket
  4. Thermal top and bottom
  5. Warm jacket
  6. Balaclava
  7. Gloves
  8. Two 1 ltr water bottles (preferably thermos flasks)
  9. Lip care
  10. Torch with extra batteries.
  11. Body Moisturizer
  12. Body Powder / Anti-Fungal (feet and body)
  13. Warm Socks (4-5pairs)
  14. Sports shoes
  15. Sandals
  16. Sun cap
  17. Sun screen lotion
  18. Sunglasses
  19. Head torch with extra batteries.
  20. Toiletries
  21. Small light towel and napkin
  22. Personal medicines
  23. Camera with extra batteries.


Carry your stuff in a duffel bag, soft shoulder bag or a rucksack. Avoid suitcases, trolleys or any other hard luggage. Please avoid carrying expensive watches, jewellery and electronic items on the safari.


Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. takes utmost care to ensure safety of its clients. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part in the trip/program/activities.

11Days | Jun-Sep| Moderate | Max Alt : 5602 mts (Khardung La Pass)


DAY 01: Manali Rest/Exploration
DAY 02: Manali Rohtang Pass (3980m) Jispa (3200m) Drive 135 kms/4-5 hrs
DAY 03: Jispa Sarchu (4253m) Drive 95 kms/4 hrs
DAY 04: Sarchu Leh (3500m) Drive 233 kms/7-8 hrs
DAY 05: Leh (3500m) sightseeing
DAY 06: Leh Khardung La (5602m) Hunder (4000m) Drive/5 hrs
DAY 07: Hunder Khardung La Leh (3500m) Drive/5 hrs
DAY 08: Leh - Chang La (5320m) Pangong Tso (4350m) - Leh Drive/ 8-9 hrs
DAY 09: Leh Jispa (Drive/ 12 hrs)
DAY 10: Jispa Manali (Drive/ 4 hrs)
DAY 11: Manali Departure from Manali


  • The contrasting scenery of the lush green Manali region and the trans Himalayan, cold desert landscape of Ladakh
  • Driving through spectacular high passes for panoramic views of the valleys and the high Himalayas
  • The ever changing hues of the mountains of Ladakh and the surreal blue sky
  • Driving through Khardung La (5602m), the worlds second highest motor able pass
  • The spectacular high altitude lake, Pangong Tso
  • Opportunity to experience the unique Buddhist culture at close quarters

Brief Description

This exciting overland trip has it all. On this voyage you traverse through some of the most bizarre and surrealistic landscape, travelling at an average altitude of more than 3,500m. This one is surely one of the highest road trips that one can take on planet Earth. You will visit regions which till recently were cut off for tourists, and are steeped in rich culture and history. Also it offers a great opportunity to interact with the beautiful people of this land. Ladakh has such a distinct character of its own, that it hits one very hard with its stark beauty. Every day our preconceived ideas of mountain beauty are challenged by the wonderful landscapes of this arid cold desert region in the high Himalayas. Ladakh with its snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, alluvial fans and ancient monasteries is a mystical land and offers one great pleasures while driving through its landscapes.

This Mother of all Road trips starts from the beautiful hill town of Manali where you spend a night. This journey involves traversing through the Greater Himalayas and crossing a number of high passes beginning with the Rohtang pass (3,978 m). From Manali you pass through Keylong, headquarters of the Lahaul area, to reach Jispa. From Jispa you drive to Sarchu via the Baralacha Pass (4883 m) over the Zingzingbar plains. From here one can view the Mulkila and Barashigra peaks. In the next stage you drive through the Lachlung La (5065m) and Tanglang La (5306 m) passes and from there descend to the beautiful Indus valley to reach Leh.

The mid course of this road trip would involve exploring the Nubra valley and driving to the spectacular Pangong Tso (lake). Nubra is an incredible valley which till recently was completely cut off for travellers. It is a Buddhist region north of Leh across the 5602m Khardung La Pass, the second highest motorable pass in the world, and the route to the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen Glacier. This valley also known as the valley of flowers was on the former trade route between Tibet and Turkistan. We finish this exciting voyage with a road trip to the high altitude lake at Pangong Tso. This lake and the surroundings are surely going to leave you spell bound with its beauty. On the last leg of this trip we will drive back to Manali. We spend 1 night in Jispa while returning to Manali. From Jispa we will continue to drive to Manali to finish our trip at this beautiful hill town. From Manali one can drive to Chandigarh/ delhi and can take flights/ trains to different parts of the. Also one can extend the trip by a few days if required

Duration 11 Days
Region Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh

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