An exciting new adventure route that includes the challenging and very remote regions of the Spiti Valley close to the Chinese border as well as detours off the infamous Leh – Manali highway to the unique lakes of the High Himalayas.
Before we head to the mountains , we’ll take you to a secret private motorcycle museum that we stumbled upon in 2013, in the heart of Delhi before a walking tour of Connaught Place. We then make our way to the start point, south of Manali before hitting the curvy roads of the Banjur Valley which borders the Great Himalayan National Park. We’ll ride through pine forests, the scent of which will trigger memories for years to come. We visit temples, forts, sacred mountains, a 70m statue of Shiva, Monasteries up to 1500 years old before entering a restricted area where the scenery will stun you as we stay overnight in a 10th century Monastery.
As we ride along the Chinese border, the most unbelievably situated Gompa reveals itself in Dhankar. We visit the Pin Valley National Park which is fascinating for many reasons. If you are extremely lucky, you might spot the ever elusive and increasingly endangered Snow Leopard of which there is said to be less than 600 in the region. The Siberian Ibex is a graceful animal that should be easy to spot as they weigh up to 130kg but their camouflage is so good that they are rarely spotted.
Right after we explore the world’s highest village, we visit Key Monastery, which is the largest monastery in the region and easily the most picturesque. We cross Kunzum pass before heading north, deep into the heart of the Himalayas. On our way, we’ll drag race across the vast More Plains in a cloud of ancient dust before heading through valleys of unimaginable scale. As we head towards Leh, we take a detour along a road with valley walls towering either side of us, towards the largest lake in the Himalayas – Pangong.
Leaving the lake, we have a choice of a routes depending how you feel to get to our penultimate destination. We’ve been building up to the climax of the adventure – the ascent of the highest motorable road in the world. We conquer Khardungla and then keep our engines off and free roll all the way down to the oasis that is Leh where the 17th century, 9 story Royal Palace watches over us.
Your mind will be swirling, trying to remember everything you’ve seen and experienced in the past 10 or so days as you head home via Delhi. The Himalayas have weaved their magic and will be a part of you for the rest of your life.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||New Delhi, India|
|TOUR DATES||2018 – Sunday 1st July – Saturday 14th July
2018 – Sunday 19th August – Saturday 1st September (Hosted by Greg Sim of Perth Cafe Racers and Ric Steele of MotoMax)
2018 – Sunday 16th September – Saturday 29th September
|PRIVATE TOURS AVAILABLE||This tour is also available as a private adventure for a minimum of 6 people. This can be any combination of riders, pillions, sidecar passengers or even family in one of our expedition support vehicles.
Best months are from June to September
|PRICES||Rider: US$3,990 per person
Pillion: US$3,390 per person
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure
A low kilometre, fastidiously maintained Royal Enfield Motorcycle
Quality Accommodation on a twin share basis (Comfort hotels/guest houses/Camps/tents)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for the entire tour
English speaking guides
Medical kit available and Oxygen on high altitude adventures
Mechanics with all necessary spare parts
Support vehicles to carry all luggage (if riders are injured or feeling unwell they can take a break and jump into our back-up jeep to relax!)
Bottled mineral water throughout the adventure
Tea/Chai & snacks en-route
Permits for restricted areas
All entrance fees en-route
|NOT INCLUDED|| International flights
VISA (details sent with rider pack : eVisa NOT acceptable)
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
Tipping (US$100 suggested)
NOTE: These prices are based on…
- a minimum tour group of 10 people (usually tours are between 10 and 15 people) and…
- sharing a hotel room or a tent. (If you’d like your own room/tent then add US$650)
Payment terms: A minimum US$1000 deposit must be made at time of booking. Balance payment can be paid in US$ upon arrival or prepaid a minimum of 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
Most of the flights land at midnight at New Delhi IGIA. Please ensure you arrive with plenty of time to transfer to the domestic airport for your early morning connecting flight to Chandigarh. Alternatively, if you would like to arrive a day early and relax or sight-see let us know and we can arrange accommodation.
We have a full day of visiting the sights of Delhi before catching a luxury coach to Manali in the evening, arriving at our destination in the morning. There’ll be plenty of stops for food and toilet breaks along the way.
After breakfast, we’ll have a rider briefing with our adventure leader, check personal equipment and cover safety precautions before being properly introduced to the Royal Enfield motorcycles. We’ll take the bikes out on the adjacent narrow roads of the surrounding villages and through the mountains. This is your chance to familiarise yourselves with the motorcycles and get to know the roads. In the evening we get back to the hotel for dinner and rest before the tour starts proper.
After breakfast we will ride to the unexplored area of Kullu District. The Banjar Valley is a lush green valley & the border area of the “Great Himalayan National Park”, a home to many birds, fish & animals. Lunch will be in a Local restaurant and we’ll explore the valley after lunch too. Overnight at Raju Guest house/ similar.
BANJAR/GUSHANI TO SARAHAN (190kms / 6-7 hrs)
A scenic road goes up 2500m through a pine forest to Narkanda which has great skiing in the winter months. A gentle descent through villages to join the main road from Shimla that leads to Kinnaur in the Spiti Valley. We continue to Sarahan, the summer capital of the Rampur Busheher. We visit a 1500 year old temple of goddess Bhimakali and we have an amazing view of the Shirkhand peaks. Overnight in Hotel/ Guest house.
SARAHAN TO KALPA (150kms / 6 – 8 hours)
One of the prime attractions of Kalpa is the Kinnaur Kailash mountain as it is considered to be sacred by the locals of the region. A Shiva Lingam measuring 70m in height sits on top of the peak which attracts a large number of devotees and tourists all year round. We will ride through Sangla Valley which is another prominent attraction after which we visit the Kamru Fort, the Naga Temple and Sapni, which are renowned for their architectural excellence and the city of Reckong Peo which offers a panoramic view of the Kinner Kailash Mountain. Overnight in A Hotel or Guest house.
KALPA TO TABO (180km / 7-8 hours)
We leave Reckong Peo and enter a restricted area after getting our passport checked at Jangi. The route to Khab where Sutlej river enters India and merges into the Spiti river is simply amazing. It is uphill along a cliff, high over the Spiti River until Nako, where a magnificent view awaits us. To the north of the village is the monastic complex belonging to the Drugpa order. We continue along the cliff roads, driving through several villages until Tabo Monastery which was founded in 996 A.D. We’ll explore the village by foot and in the evening join the Puja ceremony in the Monastery. Overnight in Hotel/ Guest house.
TABO TO KAZA via Dhankar, Lalung, Pin Valley (110kms / 4-5 hours)
We head from Tabo via Dhankar, the ancient capital of the Spiti king and home to the most incredibly situated gompa, perched high on a barren rocky mountain. Continuing to Lallung and in the afternoon reaching Pin Valley, known for its national park which is home to snow leopards and ibex. We stay overnight in Kaza.
KAZA TO JISPA (210kms / 6-7 hours)
Today is a long, physically, challenging day as we ride some of the roughest roads of the adventure. We cross streams and dirt tracks with frozen puddles to navigate up and over the Kunzum Pass . We’ll take our chai and lunch break at Batal before continuing along the Chandra Valley. We head through Tandi and enter into the Ghar Valley along Bhaga river through the town of Keylong. Another quick chai break and then finally head to the village of Jispa through the Tod Valley, where we will spend the night in a Hotel.
JISPA TO TSO KAR (220kms / 6 – 7 hours)
Another big day ahead of us but the riding in the morning is easy and spectacular. After stopping at the police checkpoint, we follow the winding road and cross the Baralacha pass which demands your concentration but rewards you with stunning views. We then descend to Bharatpur for a well-deserved chai break and hot lunch. After lunch we ride some fantastic roads along the valley floor, past the semi permanent campsites in Sarchu, before leaving the road to take a cross country short cut to our evening destination next to Tso Kar lake.
TSO KAR TO PANGONG TSO (240kms / 6 – 7 hours)
After a hearty breakfast, we climb aboard our steeds and head to the second highest motorable road in the world – Taglang La. We cruise into Upshi and turn right at Hemis into the narrowest valley of the adventure. Riding towards the 134km saline Pangong lake, one is blissfully unaware that 60% is in Chinese controlled area but that its claimed by India. We snake along the river, past farms on the left, up and over snow capped mountains before we find our way to our camp site at the lake which is larger than Singapore at 699km2 and is 4250m above sea level.
PANGONG TSO TO DISKIT (160kms – 225kms / 6 -7 hours)
There is nothing better than an early morning swim in a freezing lake. If you don’t die, you’ll never feel more alive! We head back out the same way we came for about 50km until we get to Durbuk where we make the decision to turn right and take the shorter route and follow the Shyok River into Diskit or choose to do the far more challenging, twisty route over the mountains to the left before pulling into Diskit for the night? Either way, a massive colourful statue of Buddha will be there to welcome you. We’ll stay in a guest house for the night before tackling the highest motorable road in the world the following day.
DISKIT TO LEH (120kms / 4 hours)
A short day but not easy by any stretch of the imagination as we tackle the highest motorable road in the world at 5350m. After enjoying the once in a lifetime scenery and taking the obligatory picture in front of the sign, we usually have some noodles or walk higher up the mountain for a celebratory shot of whiskey. For those who are game, we highly recommend switching your engines off and rolling all the way from the top to the hotel 43kms below in Leh. Rolling silently at speeds of up to 70km/h is a surreal experience and is a great way to reflect on the phenomenal adventure you’ve just been on. You will arrive in Leh in the afternoon with plenty of time to explore the many sights it has to offer. We have dinner and stay overnight at a hotel in Leh.
FLY LEH TO DELHI( 1.5 hours)
That’s it folks, you’ve just completed one of the most extreme motorcycle expeditions in the world. You’ve crossed three of the world’s highest motorable passes, seen huge hanging glaciers, ridden by high-altitude lakes and immersed yourself in the colourful cultures of Ladakh.
Time to board the flight back to Delhi and onward home. On arrival in New Delhi, we’ll transfer you to the hotel where you can have relax before catching your flight home. If you are staying on for a day or two, then explore some of the many interesting sightseeing options, for example: seeing old Delhi by bicycle rickshaw, exploring the spice market, India Gate, the houses of parliament, the legendary Red Fort, walk in Lodi Gardens and much more.Back on home turf you won’t be able to explain the scale of this journey; photographs and videos will fail to do justice to your adventure. Your memories of this epic adventure will stay with your forever.
INSURANCE IN INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, MONGOLIA, MYANMAR and SRI LANKA
In the countries we conduct adventures, commercial insurance on motor vehicles is either not available, or is of questionable value. They are generally worthless in the event one needs to make a claim. Accidents and damages occurring in these countries are usually settled on the spot and can take hours and even days.
Himalayan Heroes offers optional insurance that covers damage to the bike you are riding. The premium is US$200 paid before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the insurance will cap your damage bill at US$200.(A US$200 excess)
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is US$200.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say US$120 then you pay the $120. The cost to you is US$320 (US$200 + US$120)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then you only pay the $200 excess. The cost to you is US$400 (US$200 premium + US$200 excess).
This insurance is optional so if you would like to carry the risk yourself, you are welcome to. At the completion of the tour, you will be presented with an itemised bill of the damage to the bike. Approximately 50% of our riders do not damage the bikes and of the 50% that do receive a damage bill, the majority of the bills are less than $300. Please send us an email if you’ve got any questions about this if you are thinking about any of our adventures.