A new development has been made in Ladakh, the land of passes. Border Roads Organization (BRO) has built the highest motorable road in the world, at a fearsome height of 19,300 ft; an addition to the list of their commendable achievements.
Created under the "Project Himank", it is an 86-kilometre long road that passes through Umingla Top and connects the two villages of Chisumle and Demchok, which are about 230 km away from Leh. Against all the fatalities, BRO has constructed the road under the same project that has successfully constructed other mighty roads such as the roads through Khardung La Pass (17,900 ft), Changla Pass (17,695 ft) and so on.
Ladakh is a dream destination of every biker since these roads constructed on tremendously menacing terrain are one of the mightiest challenges for a biker. And to complete this journey could be the most fulfilling experience of life. If you've been planning to go on a road trip to Ladakh, then here's the comprehensive guide you've been looking for.
Best Time To Go On A Bike Ride To Ladakh
PC: Jochen Westermann
The months of June to September are perfect to go on a biking trip to Ladakh since these months are pleasant, and are the least cold months of the year. However, make sure you carry winter clothes, the right jackets, good quality shoes and prepare yourself for a cold weather of the Himalayas.
The duration of this trip depends on the number of places you intend to cover, as well as the place from where you start the journey. Usually, the journey takes a minimum of 15 days. You can choose between the two routes - Srinagar to Leh or Manali to Leh, both of which take the same amount of time to be completed.
Here are the things you need to keep in mind before undergoing the bike trip.
1) Choosing The Right Bike
Since your journey will be through tough roads that require a certain level of performance from your bike, you need to choose the right kind of bike. Royal Enfield, Royal Enfiled Himalayan, KTM Duke are the kinds of bikes you need to be looking at. In case you borrow the bike from someone, you need to have a NOC from the owner; you might have to show one at Leh.
2) Renting A Bike
You can take a flight till Manali and rent a bike for a much hassle-free journey. Manali is filled with rentals that let you borrow a bike for Rs 1200 to Rs 1800 per day, with a refundable deposit of Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000.
Make sure you carry your ID and drivers' license and also check the bike documents such as pollution certificate, insurance papers, etc., given by the rentals. Another point to keep in mind is to check the bike for any scratches, faulty chain, tire, etc.
You can also hire a mechanic, who will be available on a daily wage basis. Usually, bike rental places send a mechanic along, but in case they don't, you can hire one yourself.
3) Look Out For Altitude Sickness
Ladakh is a mountain desert, an area that is perched at heights you might've never scaled before. So it is very important to look out for any symptoms of altitude sickness such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat or tiredness.
4) Acquire An Inner Line Permit (ILP)
Since Jammu & Kashmir is still a sensitive area, certain places such as Chushul, Loma, Changthang, etc., require the government-issued Inner Line Permit (ILP). This was required even for places like Pangong Tso and Nubra Valley but that has now been exempted.
The base cost of an ILP is Rs 200 per person, after which, additional Rs 30 must be paid on a daily basis in order to cover contributions for charity and fee for wildlife protection.