Breathe In Some Ladakh: Riding From Leh to Zanskar

Mohit Khushalani, a mountain biking enthusiast, gives you the low-down on everything you need to know about riding from spiritual Thiksey to tranquil Zanskar.

Ask a biker & they'll confirm that the roads of Ladakh are clichéd for a reason, good reason

Ask any biker & they’ll confirm that the roads of Ladakh are clichéd for a reason. A good reason

Fabulous interstate highways, muddy slushy rural paths, coastal roads that encourage high speed riding and of course, the off-road mountain rides for the adventurous rider…When it comes to road trips and more specifically, motorcycle rides, India boasts of all kinds of terrain. All a rider needs to do is chart a route and hit the road.

And while charting your route you can’t ignore the 2 most popular motorcycle routes, Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh. Or even combine them and make one crazy ride Manali-Leh-Srinagar.

Not everyone is up for an adventure on two wheels in mountainous regions; that doesn't mean it's an end to your biking dreams once you fly into Ladakh

Not everyone is up for an adventure on two wheels in mountainous regions; that doesn’t mean it’s an end to your biking dreams once you fly into Ladakh

But what if, as a motorcycle enthusiast, you’ve flown in to Leh because your parents aren’t up for a road trip? Or your partner’s idea of breathing in Ladakh is completely at odds with yours? No worries, because there are several tour operators who rent out motorcycles.

Just get in touch with your tour manager and they will give you options of some really amazing motorcycle excursions. Just choose one and hit the road. And if you are the kind of person who just needs a machine and not a plan, that too is possible. They will get you a motorcycle of your choice and off you go. I chose the latter on my glamping holiday at Chamba Camp, TUTC. Within no time I had a Bullet Electra waiting for me.

There are several operators that rent out bikes in Leh

There are several operators that rent out bikes in Leh

Ladakh is the place where wishes do come true; I wished for a Bullet Electra to explore the region, and I got exactly that

Ladakh is the place where wishes do come true; I wished for a Bullet Electra to explore the region, and I got exactly that

After some asking around, Dorje the head of excursions at TUTC suggested a short ride to the Sangam point. It’s the place where the Zanskar River meets the Indus and flows to Pakistan.

Leg 1 Of The Ride, Thiksey To Nimmoo

The route is divided into two Legs. Leg 1 is from Thiksey, where the Chamba Camp is located, to Nimmoo. It’s a very pleasant ride. Narrow winding roads, colourful graffiti on the mountains, a lot of army trucks on the road. On the way you pass the Shey Monastery, Choglamsar which a slightly busy town, Phey and the circle at Nimmoo.

The ride from Thiksey to Nimmoo made me realise how meaningless life would be without bikes to pacify all the roads

The ride from Thiksey to Nimmoo made me realise how meaningless life would be without bikes to pacify all the roads

Leg 2 Of The Ride, Nimmoo Onwards

Leg 2 is where the drama slowly unfolds. Once you take left from Nimmoo you see the roads widen and the mountains approaching. This where your biking dreams come true. The landscape is brown, green and a bit of white with the snow-clad peaks, coupled with the winding roads- an unexplainable feeling. You need to be there to experience it. No amount of words can do justice to the ride. All I can say is that this where the Gods like to brag!

Goes without saying, I stopped after every kilometer or so to capture every view and at times just to sit on a rock and stare into oblivion.

The place where Gods like to brag

The place where Gods like to brag

The Point Of Confluence

After riding for about an hour, I reached a point where you see the confluence of the rivers—the culmination of the ride. It is surreal. You can see the green Zanskar meeting the blue Indus. I was compelled to go down to that site, sit on the banks of the Zanskar, and breathe in a bit of Ladakh. Truly a beautiful experience!

Cause nothing beats splashing water from the Zanskar & Indus on your face

Cause nothing beats splashing water from the Zanskar & Indus on your face

Looks like Mohit loved the ride! If you like bike rides too but want to return home to luxury at the end of the day then TUTC is for you!

Book Yourself A Tent Now!

TUTC operates in Ladakh during the summer months i.e. from 15th May to 10th October and in Nagaland from 29th Nov to 12th Dec to coincide with the Hornbill Festival!  To book this luxurious experience, call +91 801 090 2222 or write to us at info@tutc.com

Take a look at some other experiences TUTC offers…

 

 

 

 

 

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