Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) in a move to boost tourism has restarted the bus service from the Indian capital to Leh (Ladakh) via the hill station of Manali. The passengers will be taken through one of the most challenging and arduous road trip in the Himalayan mountains. The bus covers more than 1050 kms in 33 hours.
The service is undoubtedly one of the coolest and cheapest road trips one can experience. The bus passes through the scenic beauty of Pir Panjal Hills, The Himalayas and through the colourful flapping flags of prayers.
In this adventurous trip to the cold deserts of Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir the bus crosses four high mountains passes – Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft), Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft), Lachungla Pass (16,620 ft) and Tanglangla Pass (17,480 ft).
Cheap and Adventurous
The one-way ticket will just cost €18, the bus will leave Manali at 11 am on every alternate day and halt overnight at Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district and will arrive in Leh the next day in the evening after covering the remaining 475 kms.
For the night stay, the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has developed a special camping site at Keylong for the passengers. To add night stay, dinner and breakfast, the one-way trip will cost €36.
Ladakh is a dream destination for many travellers, especially foreigners coming from all over the world and all year round. The flight from Delhi is just an hour journey but if you want to enjoy the landscapes and take your time to discover the life of the people living in the hills, the bus is definitely the best option.
Most of the times the route remains snowbound and the extreme weather condition adds more challenges. Indeed, the route remains open only for four to five months a year.
Ladakh’ sceneries, from cold desert, dramatic gorges to snow-capped glaciated peaks is a feast for the eye. Ladakh is also the less populated region of India with just 0.29 million people spread over 59,146 Sq. Kms. The local culture is vibrant and the state majorly Buddhist offers a lot of monuments to discover and other adventure activities. The journey to Ladakh with its high passes and treeless rain shadow is one of the most memorable one can ever imagine.
To make this and the other routes to Leh pliable throughout the year, the governments of Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir should make more efforts to develop the road and hospitality infrastructures. To allow more influx of mountain lovers, Himachal Tourism Board will very soon restart the luxury bus service to make the trip more comfortable.