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Manali Leh Highway

The Manali Leh Highway: Route & Distances

Manali Leh Highway

The Manali Leh highway is becoming more and more popular these days due to the fact that there are much more places en route and there is a lot to explore while on the road regardless of the Srinagar Leh Highway. In summers from May-end till mid-September, a large number of vehicles cross the Rohtang pass to travel Ladakh, across the world's highest motorable pass, Tanglang La, which reaches a dizzying altitude of 5,328m/17,480ft from sea level. The road surface varies from smooth tarmac to dirt tracks and streams of water flooding roads.

Manali Leh highway status 2017

The Manali Leh highway is still closed officially and is supposed to be opened by the end of May, 2017. Also from this year onwards, a new rule is implemented to pass only 800 vehicles a day to Lahaul/Ladakh via Rohtang Pass. One have to take a permit from SDM office, Manali and will also have to pay a congestion fees of Rs.50 per vehicle.

Manali to Leh Route

The 473km journey between Manali to Leh is divided into three days depending on road conditions, weather and the traffic situations. The journey will have two night halts at Keylong and Sarchu respectively.

  • Manali to Keylong

    As soon as you drive out of Manali towards Gulaba, there will be a long steep ascent to the Rohtang Pass (3,978m/13,050ft). Despite of the total distance of only 51km between Manali and Rohtang Pass, it may take upto hours to reach the top due to heavy traffic and the clogged up road caused by trucks. The road from here descends to the Khoksar located at the foot of Chandra Valley. You will find some tea stalls here and can take a short break to re-energies yourself.

    Tandi is located 50km away from Khoksar. Most of the journey during this time is very pleasing with beautiful landscapes on either side of the road especially the one along the river. The last petrol pump of the Manali Leh Highway is located in Tandi, so you are advised to full up your fuel tanks and take some extra fuel in the jerry cans. The rest of the journey is only 9km and will hardly take 30 minutes to reach Keylong from Tandi.

  • Manali to Keylong

    After Keylong, the Bhaga Valley broadens, but you will hardly see a village on either side of road because of the barren land. At Darcha, you will find a cluster of dry-stone huts, the camps and a few dhabas, and a police checkpost where you will have to submit your details. From Darcha, the road will ascend steadily to the Baralacha La Pass (4,890m/16,040 ft). At Sarchu, 32km ahead, there are chances that you will find a little of uneasiness due to high altitude sickness.

  • Sarchu to Taglang La

    Sarchu for most of the season remains pack with the tourists. After Sarchu 30km ahead are the Gata Loops (21 hairpin bends), you can find some people with a 4x4 vehicle taking shortcuts to cut off the distance. For those who stayed at Jispa insted of Keylong choose Pang (4,500m/14,764ft) as their second stop which remains open almost 24 hours. North of Pang, the road heads up to the Taglang La, the highest point on the Manali–Leh Highway at a literally breathtaking 5,328m/17,480ft from sea and the second highest pass in the world. Travelers pull in for a quick spin of the prayer wheels and a brief photo session alongside the altitude sign and small temple.

  • Taglang La to Leh

    Thirty one kilometres beyond the Tanglang La pass is Rumtse, the first Ladakhi village. There are a few guesthouses and dhabas here, you will se a number of villagers here, mostly dressed up in traditional Ladakhi outfits. At Upshi, 29km ahead, the road reaches the beautiful Indus Valley, tracing the Indus River past slender poplar trees, sprawling army camps and ancient monasteries. Traffic will be increasing as you approach Choglamsar, climb the final dusty kilometres to Leh crossing the Thiksey Monastery on your way.

Manali Leh Highway: Distances

Manali to Rohtang Pass
51 km
The Rohtang Pass to Khoksar
19 km
Khoksar to Tandi
40 km
Tandi to Keylong
9 km
Keylong to Darcha
32 km
Darcha to Baralacha La
44 km
Baralacha La to Sarchu
32 km
Sarchu to Gaata Loops (21 hairpin bends)
31 km
Gata Loops to Lachalung La
24 km
Lachalung La to Pang
22 km
Pang to Tanglang La
66 km
Tanglang La to Rumtse
32 km
Rumtse to Upshi
29 km
Upshi to Leh
47 km

photo credit: Debarup Mukherjee via photopin (license)

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The Manali Leh Highway: Route & Distances
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The Manali Leh Highway: Route & Distances
The 473km journey on Manali Leh Highway is divided in two halts at Keylong/Jispa & Sarchu respectively. Manali to Leh road is open from May till September.
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The Elated Cult
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