Photo Tour of Road Trip from Delhi – Manali – Leh – Kargil


Leh, a District in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, was earlier was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh. It is famous around the world for its beauty and divine landscapes. If you are planning to visit the heavenly state, The Other Home’s recommendation is to drive down from Delhi to Leh. Delhi (Delhi) to Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) is 1010 km and takes approx 17 hrs 30 mins by road.

The main overland approach to Ladakh is from the Kashmir valley via the 434-km. Srinagar-Leh road, which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 ft. (3505 meters high Zoji-la, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh.

Since 1989, the 473-km Manali-Leh road has been serving as the second land approach to Ladakh. Open for traffic from around mid-June to early October, this high road traverses the upland desert plateau of Rupsho whose altitude ranges from 3,660 meters to 4,570 meters.  A number of high passes fall enroute among which the highest one, known as Taglang-la, is the world’s second highest motorable pass at an altitude of 17,469 feet (5,325 meters).

The journey start from Delhi, the capital of India, the first stop from Delhi is Manali.


Manali, in the Beas River valley, is an important hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley. Delhi to Manali is 585 km & Journey duration is 14 Hrs.

Manali - Start of JourneyManali

Manali to Rohtang Pass: Rohtang Pass, altitude 13,051 ft, is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas some 51 km (32 mi) from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India.


The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, ie the land between Tibet and India.

RohtangSpitti Valley

Tandi: is 8 kms short of Keylong and is situated at the confluence of Chandra & Bhaga rivers. It is the only village on Manali-Leh highway which has a petrol pump.


The next petrol pump is 365 kms away in Leh. Interestingly the petrol pump is owned by Lahul Potato Growers Co-operative Society (since the region is part of the ancient trade route; potatoes from the Lahaul Valley played an important part in the barter and trade with locals of Zanskar and Changthang). That is history, but today one needs to tank up at Potato Petrol Pump and also carry extra/spare fuel according to the make, tank capacity and mileage of the car. It is advisable to carry extra fuel since most of the time one is riding in lower gears and taking frequent stops, and the quality of petrol is also not assured.

Tandi Petrol Pump

Jispa is luxury, Keylong is the only major town on Manali-Leh Highway, Darcha is a temporary campsite put up by locals; you can take your pick. It is usually advisable to take a necessary halt at Jispa on the way to Ladakh when coming from Manali. Not only are the subsequent distances to Leh and Tso Moriri too much to cover on the same day, but also to enable travellers get acclimatized to the high altitudes of the region. Jispa is located at a height of 10,890 feet above sea level in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh.


The route from Rohtang Pass to Lake Chandertal is fantastic and you come across marvelous scenery of the high altitude deserts as well as the River Chandra Valley area. The area is very less explored and has a few visitors from all over the world who love the nature and mountains.

Chandratal Lake is situated at a height of 4,300 meters and 6 kms away from the Kunzum Pass in Spiti and Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh India. Boasting of a circumference of about 2.5 kms, the deep blue-water of Chandra Tal Lake is the source of the Chandra river.

Chandra Lake

Baralachala also known as Bara-lacha Pass, 16,040 ft (4,890 meters) is a high mountain pass in Zanskar range, connecting Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, situated along the Leh-Manali highway.

Baralachala means summit with cross roads from Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul meet here and in ancient times it was part of a trade route. On the North West lies the Bhaga River while the Chandra flows South East. Near below the Baralacha-la is having a beautiful emerald lake the Suraj tal (Sun lake), the source of the river Bhaga.

This is also the point of origin of Chandra, Bhaga and, Yunam rivers. They flow to three different directions through the Chandra, Bhaga and Lingti valleys.

Sarchu (Also called Sir Bhum Chun), a tented camp in the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway, on the boundary between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) in India. It is situated between Baralacha La to the south and Lachulung La to the north, at an altitude of 4,290 meters.


The journey along the Manali-Leh highway at high altitude and variable road conditions, normally takes two days, so travellers and tourists use this spot as an overnight stop. An Indian army camp is sited nearby on the banks of the Tsarap Chu river. The highway and thus the camp are closed during the winter, when snow blocks the high passes along the road.

Afternoon at SarchuSarchuNature

Outside the camp, you can enjoy the walk in a vast valley overlooking the mighty Himalayas.

Nature WalkStarting Point - Journey to Leh

When you will start your journey again to Leh. You will come across one more interesting name on this stretch and it will struck to your memory – Twing Twing Bridge.

Twing Twing Bridge

Gata Loops: 21 hairpin bends called Gata Loops will take you 4,190 meters to 4,630 meters height, starts after 24 kms from sarchu tents.

Gata Loop

This series of twenty one loops covering a distance of few kilometers takes the road up more than 2,000 feet (440 meters). Since the loops keep going back and forth there are shortcuts that can take one up straight and in a short path provided your vehicle has a 4×4 drive train and sufficient grunt.

Gata Loop

Nakeela Pass after Ghata Loops on the Leh-Manali Highway, is situated at 15,547 feets height.


After the Nakeela pass, the road dips for about 300 meters towards the Whiskey Nullah campsite before climbing up once again towards the Lachulung La pass. It is also known as Lungalacha La, situated at the height of 16,600 ft (5,059 meters). It is located some 54 km from Sarchu and 24 km from Pang on the Leh-Manali highway.


The climb up the Lachulung La is nothing spectacular but it opens up to a whole new world on the other side.

Nature - LehRoad Journey

Taglang La, elevation 17,582 feet (5,359 meters), is a high mountain pass in Ladakh, India.

Taglangla Pass

The Taglang La pass is 109 km from Leh and is 51 km from Upshi. There are a number of camping spots along the highway between Upshi and Taglang La pass.

Old Stupa

Upshi, village and junction on the Leh-Manali Highway, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Leh is to the west along the Indus river valley, Gya (village) is to the south as is Tanglang La and the bulk of the Leh-Manali Highway, and an ancient trading road heads to the east towards Tibet.

Leh Village

Ladakh, a part of Jammu & Kashmir State in north of The Prayer wheel India consisting of two districts Leh and Kargil. Leh with an area of 45110 Sq Km makes it largest district in the country in terms of area. It lies between 32 to 36 degree North latitude and 75 degree to 80 degree East longitude. The district is bounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the West and China in the north and eastern part and Lahul-Spiti of Himachal Pardesh in  South East.

The best thing after entering in Leh is to stroll in Leh bazaar.

Leh BazaarWay to Leh Palace

Leh Palace overlooks the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh, modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

The palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century, but was later abandoned when Dogra forces took control of Ladakh in the mid-19th century. The royal family moved to Stok Palace.

Leh Palace is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, the stables and store rooms were in the lower floors.


Leh Palace

The view of the city of Leh from Leh palace. This is really picturesque.

Leh City

The history of Leh Palace is stored inside the complex.

History of Leh Palace

Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu Gyomyo Nakamura . The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself .

Santhi Stupa

The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Ladakh Shanti Stupa

The “magnetic hill” is located on the Leh-Kargil-Batalik national highway, about 50 km from Leh, at a height of 14,000 feet above sea level. On its eastern side, flows the Indus, which originates in Tibet and goes to Pakistan. The Indian Army maintains a sikh Gurudwara near the hill where Guru Nanak Dev, meditated in the 16th century.[citation needed] Due to both the Gurudwara and the gravity hill, the area has become a popular sightseeing destination.

Megnetic Hill

The hill is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill and force passing aircraft to increase their altitude in order to escape magnetic interference; in reality, the effect is an optical illusion created by the gravity hill.

Megnetic Hill - CarOn the way to Magnetic Hill, you can see the famous muralpainting of Alchi, confluence of Indus and Zanskar river.


Once rivalling Manali-Leh as the classic ride of the Indian Himalaya, the Leh-Srinigar Highway has been cast into shadow by the continuing political tensions in Kashmir. The road, which skirts the Line of Actual Control between India and Pakistan, has been the target of Pakistani shelling and crossfire.

Kargil Road

There are three key milestones from Leh to Kargil – Nimmu, Lamayuru and Khaltse. The landscape is simply majestic. However, all the time you will remain under military vision from both side – India & Pakistan.

Leh to KargilRoad Snake

On the Leh-Srinagar Highway, Fotula Top is the highest point with an altitude of 13,479 feets.

Fotula Top

Dras is a town in the Kargil District of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is often called ‘The Gateway to Ladakh’. The town shot into prominence in the summer of 1999 following Pakistani-backed incursions into Jammu and Kashmir.

Kargil War Memorial

Dras is famous for the Kargil war which was fought in 1999. National Highway 1D passes through Dras connecting Srinagar and Leh. Tiger Hill and the Tololing ranges were captured by the Pakistani army and could directly block National Highway 1D. The famous three heights which were recaptured during the war were the Tololing, Tiger Hill and The Three Pimples.

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

The 1999 Kargil war, though not officially a war claimed the lives of 532 Indian soldiers and air force personals and 1400 soldiers were injured. There is a small wall at the memorial, which lists the names and ranks of all the soldiers who lost their lives, protecting our country.

Name of Soliders - Drsas War Memorial

Tiger Hill is a mountain in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the highest peak in the sector.

Tiger Hill

The journey ends with the spectacular view of Amarnath Hills. a part of the great Himalayas and is one of the famous abode of Lord Shiva.

Amarnaath Hills

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37 Responses to Photo Tour of Road Trip from Delhi – Manali – Leh – Kargil

  1. a wonderful article with amazing photographs!!

    • depankar says:

      amazing amazing experience you guys had… it was such an knowledgeble article altogether. thank you for putting it. Just few questions… how about if take the same way on a bike??? what are the threats and solutions???

  2. trip to india says:

    Awesome writing …….. keep it up………………..

  3. This is a unique post, which is providing fully information about tour and travels.

    Thanks and Regards

  4. India Tours says:


    A complete Information you Posted with the Awesome Pictures to have a tour Delhi to Kargil.

    Thanks For Sharing. Keep it up……..

    Thanks & Regards

  5. vivek says:

    Very excellent photographs. Actually an overview of Manali-Leh tour could be felt in real.
    Great! I plan to travel this year on my scooter Eterno. I know it is not going to be easy but by seeing the photographs wouldn’t like to miss the great opportunity.

    Thanks & regards

  6. Bijoy Ullhas says:

    Hey.. that’s a lovely description, details and snaps you’ve shared up there… I would love to take your advice on, how about a bike trip from Delhi to Leh/Kargil/Ladak in the month of August 2012? Is it the right time to do this stunt? We’re four and are planning 2 Bullets from Delhi to these places.. Please advice.

    Thanks in advance.

  7. vikas says:

    hi vivek
    i am also going to leh ladakh by L.M.L scooter at the end of may or starting june.if you want partner than contact me on email

  8. harpal singh says:

    hi there,

    awesome photograph. thanks for posted on the net………to seeing these photos my dream become alive……i am waiting 4 the day wen my dream become true……

  9. Adarsh says:

    Non-Stupid Activity

  10. Stella says:

    Incredible! Great Collections of photos of valley, lake, mountains covered with snow. I must tell you that your collection of pictures attract me towards your blog…

  11. Himanshu Joshi says:

    Story written the beautiful way… so informative…

  12. Anshu Chauhan says:

    Nice Pics..We are going to Delhi -LEh- Shirinagar-Delhi……….on 27 June 2012. This blog help me alot about the trip :)

  13. naveen gaur, new delhi says:

    nice pictures and information about the roads and conditions.

    In fact yesterday (20/6/2012) I planned for the laddakh alongwith my wife, daughter (12) and my son (8). I was driving my Wagon R, I drove from delhi to manali in 15 hrs. with a brak of 2.30 hrs on my way to Manali. Stayed at Manali and started 4.45 a.m. from Manali and reached at 10 a.m. at Rohtang. But when I reached Rohtang pass they feel unwell due to exertion and less Oxygen I have to come back. I coudnt make it. I will try next time.

    • Dear Naveen….Sad to know that you did not able to make it…however, we would like to advise that it is better to go with a group and all medical facilities if you are with kids.. Driver from Manali to Leh is amazing but you will need to take precautions tooo…. we wish you Good Luck!!!

  14. Mount Kailash says:

    well wrtitten …vivid memories…….. it was always a pleasure to get associated with Road Trip from Delhi – Manali – Leh – Kargil.

  15. DA Upadhyay says:

    Hi Guy,
    It is really very good Photos and information, for first time visitors, I want to go in the month of Aug 2012, with my family and son aged 6 years by car, Please provide some information about whether and what I need to take care in this way… Many Thanks…

  16. ricky says:

    i just come back from AMARNATH YATRA return from BALTAL route and i show on that road LEH its not far way from BALTAL i gusse aroubd 300km from BALTAL its NATIONAL HIGHWAY 1 i gusse its 2 way u can go to LEH one is from MANALI – LEH ROAD and other is SRINAGAR BALTAL raod which is NATIONAL HIGHWAY 1 (NH1) i show lots off bikes going on that ROAD NH1 to LEH

  17. Sisir Deka says:

    Reliving you adventure from the 25th July 2012 from Guwahati, Assam by Tata Safari.
    Will let you know after we are back.

  18. anuj says:

    Wow what a journey….This is once in a lifetime Trip.

  19. Shalu Sharma says:

    Really amazing journey. I am quite fascinated by the sign that says “next filing station 365 km ahead”. What if you run of fuel?

  20. Amar sharma says:

    Wonderful Blog!!! Full of Detail all about the destination,lovely Photos and road map is very informative for the first time visitor..If you guys to visit these awesome places then navigate to our website and book online cabs and taxi with affordable price…

  21. Wow. wonderful photos and locations. This year, i like to visit this locations.

  22. Sai says:

    17hrs 30 min fromDelhi to LEH??

  23. Sachin says:

    wow whats a great places……..

  24. Holiday homes in manali says:

    Good post….thanks for showing.. very useful for Holiday homes in manali.
    Best Regards.

  25. imperialvoyages says:

    Very nicely written post. Your blog is very beneficial for every reader including me. Keep doing the great work so that people like me can learn some nice and new things.

  26. Vikash says:

    good City for Lah

  27. Amit says:

    We are 4 frnds planning to drive from Delhi-Manali-Leh-Kargil-Srinagar-jammu-Delhi in August. Is this the correct time? I am apprehensive if we get struck becoz of rains.. Can anyone pls give some idea on the weather in August??

  28. Ravi choudhary says:

    can i go manali to leh in 1 day

  29. satish kolpe says:

    very beautiful foto’s .
    i like these picture.
    how to plan this trip?
    please send me details.thank you.

  30. devram says:


  31. Really I am so glad your blogs information it’s nice get new growing the knowledge of Kashmir. Kashmir destination like becomes only for honeymoon couple and new married have take enjoy with snow valley which part of Kashmir. kashmir tour package from Delhi

  32. shalini says:

    Thanks for sharing…..
    Get Best offer on Manali Tour Package.

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