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India Cycling Holiday

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: June - September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1545 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1775 Pound Sterling (GBP)

The journey is one of the most demanding mountain bike tours in the world offering extreme challenges and rewards through the very heart of the Himalayas. You will encounter sacred and spiritual landmarks in this celestial landscape on some of the finest roads an adventure cyclist could wish for, riding switchback after switchback for hours on end, ascending into the thin air at an altitude of 5,000 m. We transfer by road from Delhi to Manali via Mandi and spend a couple of days acclimatising. Situated at 1,950m (6,398 ft) Manali is an interesting hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh and a popular tourist destination during the summer months. Our cycling route from Manali to Leh in Ladakh covers 476km (296 miles) over 8 days and takes us over five major passes, two of which are above 5000m (16,400ft). An old trading route and described as a 'highway', the Manali to Leh road is extremely narrow in places. For much of the year it is closed due to extreme weather conditions.

Day 1: Delhi.
Arrive Delhi. You will be met at Delhi airport and transferred to the joining hotel. India's capital city makes for an exciting and mystical first experience on your Indian cycling adventure. We have a group briefing this evening.

Day 2: Delhi to Mandi.
This morning we make an early start by road from Delhi to Mandi, today’s destination. Mandi is a bazaar town on the banks of the Beas River with a large number of temples and shrines.

Day 3: Mandi to Manali.
We travel on today to Manali. After checking in to our hotel there will time to relax and acclimatise.

Day 4: Manali.
This is another important rest day. In the afternoon our local guide will lead a walking tour around Manali and surrounding villages. Manali nestles at the head of a lush green valley, on the banks of the Beas River and at the base of the Himalayas. Towering two miles above us to the north of the town we can see 6600 m snowy peaks beneath which we will soon be cycling!

Day 5: Manali to Marhi.
This is our first ascent as we begin to "warm up" for the tough ride ahead. Cycling out of Manali through an evergreen area of pine and deodar trees we tackle the first set of many hairpin bends and switchbacks on the way to the Rohtang pass. There are also orchards of apple trees and small hamlets along the route and as we ascend, we pass waterfalls tumbling down the mountains.

Day 6: Marhi to Sissu.
We start the day by continuing along the 12km ascent to the Rohtang pass, where on a clear day, there are some lovely scenic views on the horizon of snow covered peaks and glaciers. After a refreshment stop in Rohtang, we leave the lush scenery behind and continue with a descent to Gramphu. From here we travel along some unmarked stretches of flat road and cross the raging torrent of the river at Khoksar. We continue with a short and easy ride to Sissu in the foothills of the Pir Panjal range.

Day 7: Sissu to Jispa.
We set off with a short ride to Keylong keeping high on the valley side with several large up and downs on mostly good roads. You will notice that the terrain is becoming much more arid. From Keylong we start with a steady climb and then the day ends with a long downhill into the hamlet of Jispa where we end the day on the bikes. This will be a relatively easy day of cycling.

Day 8: Jispa to Zing Zing Bar.
Leaving Jispa we come out of a gorge and briefly ride downhill before starting the ascent to Patseo crossing some streams that flow across the road. We begin to get a sense of the remoteness of the area, with just a few sheep dotted here and there. Travelling on we enter territory occupied by Lamas. On the horizon you can see the bleak, awesome spectacle of the Higher Himalayan ranges. From Patse we continue our climb for a further 10km to Zing Zing Bar then on a further 5 km up a series of zigzags to our campsite. Road conditions are good – mostly sealed with short sections under repair.

Day 9: Zing Zing Bar to Sarchu.
The hard long climb to the Baralacha La Pass continues today. However the tough cycling is rich in rewards as we travel through wild, scenic country. The pass itself is arid with no vegetation, the mountainside resembles a quarry, covered with loose rocks and gravel. Descending into the gorge area of Bharatpur we cross mountain rivers en route to our campsite 6km before Sarchu. Tonight you will relish the magnificent surroundings from our campsite in a wide open valley surrounded by impressive mountains.

Day 10: Sarchu to Whisky Nullah.
The day starts with some easy cycling along the river valley but we are soon tackling the twenty-one zigzag Gata Loops 15,030ft up the canyon wall. These have a good gradient and road surface but abiove these is a steeper push to the summit of the Nakeela Pass. Then its downhill to Whisky Nullah through beautiful arid mountain scenery of the high ranges.

Day 11: Whisky Nullah to Tso Kar Lake.
We begin today ascending the zigzags visible from our campsite to the second highest pass on the Manali-Leh highway, the Lachulung La. The road is now recently sealed with only a few rough patches. We have a long descent to Pang down a steep sided gorge followed by an 8km switchback climb before reaching the flat top of the Moray Plains. This barren area is known for its extreme temperatures in the morning and evening, fast winds and sandstorms. The only sign of life is the hardy Nomadic Changpas who can be seen tending their yaks and sheep in this most desolate of places. We continue across the plane, mostly downhill on a very good road which even has a white centreline! We turn off onto a rough sandy track for 5 km to reach our campsite near the shores of the Tso Kar salt lake.

Day 12: Tso Kar Lake to Lato.
This is a challenge indeed, as we head to the world's second highest pass, the Taglang La at 5,328m. A tough day but road conditions are good and mostly sealed the whole way and it is truly satisfying when you reach the top. We set off again down the exhilarating 1,200m descent of switchbacks to the village of Rumptse. There are tiny villages as we enter into populated and more fertile terrain. The air feels warmer as we cycle on to the village of Lato nestled under immense rock faces.

Day 13: Lato to Leh.
Continuing uphill to Upshi, the scenery changes dramatically; we enter a fertile irrigated river valley dotted with pretty villages and Stupas. The spectacular red-hued mountains around us add to the beauty and richness of our environment. Crossing the Indus River the road improves as we head towards Leh. This is an easy stretch, we pass the Thiksey Monastery and the Chortens Garden en route.

Day 14: Leh.
Taking a rest from the bikes today you have the chance to wander around the twisting narrow streets of Leh. A popular tourist destination, there are many cafes and sites of historical interest to explore such as Leh Palace or the Sakar Gompa monastery.

Day 15: Leh to The Khardung-La Pass.
We will set of for the Khardung - La Pass at daybreak. Cycling twenty-six miles and gaining 2,000m (6,600ft), this is the ultimate challenge of the trip. It is the highest motorable road in the world taking you to a dizzy 5,600m! The view from the top is spectacular, stretching from the Indus valley in the south over the endless peaks and ridges of the Zanskar range to the giants of the Saser Massif in the north. You will feel truly proud of your achievements as you finish the trip with your final thrilling descent.

Day 16: Leh - Home.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to home.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation will be in hotels
- Guest houses and camping for the duration of the tour. Our prices are based on sharing a twin room; single rooms are sometimes available at extra cost.
- When camping we provide 2 person tents. Hot washing water will also be provided.
- All food is provided on camping days plus 2 lunches and 2 dinners plus all breakfasts.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011

M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...

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