This is 12 days of hardcore adventure. A beginner rider would find this difficult and even an experienced rider will find it challenging. The route will be approximately 50% dirt roads, it’ll probably be wet for two days, we’ll get some serious altitude and the days are long. You will be as exhausted as you are refreshed, ready to take on whatever the world can throw at you. If your life is lacking a bit of motivation, then this is the adventure for you.
We’ve devised a route that will push you to your limits (and beyond for one group!), taking you to the most remote part of the Himalayas, where the roads are rebuilt every spring after the harsh winter has taken its toll. Starting in Ladakh, we’ll visit isolated villages along the border areas before tackling the notorious roads of the Pangi Valley where we’ll camp under a million stars. We’ll zigzag over unimaginable mountain roads on the newest motorcycles in the fleet – the Royal Enfield Himalayan (Classic and Bullets 500cc are available upon request).
After the very first day of riding on narrow and dusty mountain roads more akin to 4wd tracks, through deep gorges and wide-open valleys, crossing axle-deep cold glacial streams, you’ll know you’re in for one hell of an adventure. The enchanting Kishtwar National Forest welcomes us as we ride through lush green valleys, orchards, rhododendron forests, sandy desert regions, and restricted areas where passports are checked multiple times a day.
We’ll visit monasteries that are over 1000 years old and national parks with Snow Leopards and Ibex and pass through one of the highest permanent settlements in the world. The great rivers – Satluj and Chenab are our guides as they weave their way through the gorge it has created over millions of years, lashing itself into a fury alongside the never-ending hairpins of the infamous Sach Pass at 4,420m. The cliffs we ride along, though, and sometimes even under, have a sheer drop of over 600m in places.
On the final leg, we take an old trekking route that has only recently become accessible to vehicles. We will cross two 5000m+ passes, have lunch in the shadow of a sacred mountain and meet the friendliest people in the Himalayas. The challenging roads will have you buzzing and is the ultimate way to end your adventure.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||New Delhi, India|
|ADVENTURE DATES||2023 – September, Monday 11th – Friday 22nd
(Optional Extra) – Inaugural Indian MotoGP Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th
|PRIVATE ADVENTURES||This tour is also available as a private adventure for solo adventurers, a couple, a club, or even just a group of mates. This can be any combination of riders, pillions, sidecar passengers, or even family in one of our expedition support vehicles. The tour can be shortened or lengthened to suit your desires. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
The best months are June, July, August, and September
|PRICES||Rider: US$3,990 per person
Pillion: US$3390 per person
|WHAT’S INCLUDED|| Transfers to/from Airport and Hotel
All internal transfers and other travel for the duration of the adventure
Your choice of Royal Enfield Himalayan or Classic 500
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 your luggage and tired riders
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)
MotoGP entry, accommodation, food, transport.
NOTE: The prices above are based on a twin share basis. If you’d like your own room, then there is a US$650 supplement.
Payment terms: A US$500 deposit must be made at the time of booking. Balance payment must be paid 8 weeks before the tour start date. Payment plans are available upon request.Terms & Conditions What To Bring Price Guarantee
NOTE: This route was designed around the infamous “Cliffhanger” road in the Pangi Valley as seen on YouTube and countless websites claiming it to be the most dangerous in the world. It certainly was a contender but having ridden it in 2022, we found it to be closed to traffic and a higher mountain pass was made to replace it. (I haven’t seen other companies mention this :/). People who are attracted to this adventure want a life-changing experience on a challenging road so I designed a new route that takes the same period of time, includes the reroute around the “Cliffhanger” (as per days 7 and 8 below), and then continues to the most challenging roads I’ve found in the Himalayas…so far. It’s now better than it has ever been.
This motorcycle adventure has been specifically designed to be the most challenging 12-day route in the Himalayas. It is not for the faint-hearted and is suitable for experienced riders.
Most flights land at New Delhi IGIA at midnight. A Himalayan Heroes representative will meet and greet you at the airport and accompany you in a private bus or taxi to our hotel for an overnight stay. We will start early the next day so please ensure you arrive with plenty of time to catch the domestic flight the next morning. Alternatively, if you would like to arrive a day early and relax or sight-see, let us know and we can arrange the extra accommodation.
We catch an early morning flight to Chandigarh, have breakfast, and then jump in our private taxis along the mountainous and snaking roads to Banzar. We’ll have lunch before arriving in Banzar so that as soon as we get there, we can jump on the bikes to get acclimatised. After the rider briefing where we explain what is expected of you, give you a run-down on road safety, and check everyone’s equipment, we’ll go for a spin around the town to get to know the bikes. If mirrors, pegs, or levers need adjusting, now is the time to mention it. In the evening we get back to the hotel for dinner and rest before the tour starts proper.
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. If time permits, we’ll visit an 800-year-old temple of goddess Bhimakali and have an amazing view of the Shrikhand peaks.
The first stop is the picturesque village of Chitkul in the stunning Sangla Valley. We should have time to visit the Kamru Fort, the Naga Temple, and Sapni which is renowned for its architectural elegance.
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 and the city of Reckong Peo which offers a panoramic view of the Kinner Kailash Mountain.
KALPA TO KAZA (200kms | 7-8 hrs)
We leave Reckong Peo and enter a restricted area after getting our passports checked at Jangi. The route to Khab where the 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 on foot before heading to Kaza via Dhankar. It is 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.
KAZA TO KEYLONG (180kms | 6 – 7 hrs)
If you’re still feeling good, we’ll make a very early start to the highest village in the world accessible via car. It’s a memorable road that will stick with you for the rest of your life. As we cross the Spiti river, we pass through some beautiful villages and checkpoints before ascending the 4590m Kunzum Pass where the view of the Chandra Valley is breathtaking….or maybe that is the altitude taking your breath away.
The terrain starts to get much tougher from here as the roads are battered by the elements over winter and are often washed away. You need to back off the pace a little and ensure you stay upright as you carve up the canyon.
KEYLONG TO KILLAR (120km | 3-4 hours)
Follow the narrow Chenab valley to Killar along a breathtaking road that offers a magnificent ride full of hairpins. We’ll stop briefly at Udaipur to visit the Mrikula Mata Temple. From Udaipur, we say goodbye to the tarmac and say hello to very challenging dirt roads. Careful on the curves here, as it is so narrow that it is hard to find somewhere to pull over to let others coming in the opposite direction, have room to pass. Thousands of metres high in the Himalayan mountains and deep gorges make this day exceptional and truly unforgettable. We guarantee you’ve never camped in a more surreal place in your life. If this night doesn’t blow you away, nothing will.
EXPLORE KILLAR (180kms | 6-7 hrs)
You’ve seen the videos on YouTube where crazy riders tackle an extremely narrow mountain road with sheer drop-offs, knee-deep puddles of mud, and waterfalls cascading over them, well now is your chance to be one of the crazy people. This is optional but highly encouraged. We head northeast along the Chenab River before turning around to head back to our campsite on top of the mountain. Get your cameras out for some amazing time-lapse photos of the milky way spiraling over the Himalayas.
KILLAR TO KHAJJIAR (180kms | 7-8 hrs)
We cross the Chenab River and ride along a shady cliff road with waterfalls cascading over the road onto the frozen crust of ice that covers the rivers below. We stop for a break before the now legendary 50m river crossing that gets deeper and harder the further you get into it. Not everybody makes it across without coming off, but everyone comes away with a story at the end of it.
From here we continue up and over Sachs Pass until we get to a military checkpoint where the adrenalin is seeping out of our pores and we’re waved through. Enjoy the view of the valley before a snaking descent through villages perched on the side of the mountains.
We descend into the tree line and continue along the forest road that is spotted with small villages, through the valley all the way to Khajjiar. Often called India’s Switzerland, the exquisite glade has a circumference of approximately 5km. Along its fringes, thick forests of Himalayan Cedar climb the slopes, and the snowline rests above these woods. There is a 12th-century temple dedicated to Khajji Nag that contains life-size, wooden images of the Pandavas brothers.
DAY 10: ENDLESS TWISTIES
Ride early in the morning via a snaking road until Jot Pass where we’ll enjoy the magnificent view of the Dhauladhar mountain range and the Chamba valley. We descend via a seemingly endless twisting cliff road to Chowari through a Rhododendron and Oak forest. The bewitching beauty of the paddy fields will jostle for your attention while descending. The town of Dalhousie can be seen in the distance through the Jungle. After Chowari road we pass through a narrow valley before joining the main highway of Pathankot to Dharamsala, the hometown of the Dalai Lama.
FREE DAY IN DHARAMSALA
A former colonial retreat, McLeod Ganj rose to prominence after the large-scale exodus of Tibetans from their homeland in 1959. It is now the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the majestic Hanuman Ka Tibba mountain behind it. As this is our last day on the bikes and very much a free day, we’ll have a late breakfast before visiting the Dalai Lama’s residence and if he’s in town we might be fortunate enough to hear him speak.
We’ll explore more of the local area, the Tibetan handicraft centre, the monastery of Nurbulinga, and the Hindu temple at Kangra. We’ll head back to our hotel and check over the bikes with the mechanics and pack for your flight to Delhi the next day. The evening dinner will be somewhere special to celebrate your phenomenal achievement.
DHARAMSALA TO DELHI TO YOUR ONWARD DESTINATION
We take an early morning flight to New Delhi and we’ll transfer you to the hotel where you can shower and relax. If you have a late flight then you are free to shop or 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.
Time to board the flight back to Delhi and head home. On the plane, it will hit you, what an insane adventure you’ve just been on and you’ll be smiling in your sleep as you completely zonk out. Once home, you won’t be able to explain the scale of this journey; photographs and videos will fail to do justice to your extraordinary adventure. Your memories of this epic adventure will stay with you forever.
Optional Add-On – Taj Mahal
As most flights leave in the evening we have time for a quick day trip to see the Taj Mahal. We’ll travel via a private minibus to the Taj stopping for lunch along the way. An English speaking guide, an air conditioned mini bus, Entry fees and lunch is included in the price of US$250
INSURANCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
(INDIA, NEPAL, BHUTAN, TIBET, 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. 3rd party insurance will usually not cover foreigners and even if it does, it is generally worthless if one needs to make a claim. In the event of an accident in these countries, the situation is usually settled on the spot without the “assistance” of insurance companies. If insurance companies are involved, it can take days, weeks and even months before there is a resolution.
Damage Cap Option “DCO”
Himalayan Heroes offers its riders the option of capping the cost of your damage bill on the motorcycle you are riding. The cost of this damage cap option “DCO” is US$195, paid as a lump sum before the tour starts. In the event you damage the motorcycle, the DCO will cap your damage bill at US$200.
- If, like most of our riders, you do not damage the motorcycle then the total cost to you is only the cost of the DCO = US$195.
- If, like some of our riders, you put the bike down at slow speed and damage mirrors, levers, foot pegs etc and the damage bill is say, US$120 then you pay the US$120. The total cost to you is US$315 (US$195 DCO + US$120 damage bill)
- If you have a big off and damage the tank, forks etc and the damage bill is say US$750 then your damage bill is capped at US$200. The total cost to you is US$395 (US$195 DCO + US$200 damage bill).
The DCO 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 the DCO.
The DCO is not an insurance policy and therefore any costs related to it cannot be claimed on a travel insurance claim.