Manali To Leh Road Trip: Distance, Time, and Useful Travel Information

Situated in the Kashmir region of India, Leh is a dream destination every traveller wishes to visit once in their lifetime. Furthermore, stretching from the Siachen Glacier to the central Great Himalayas and surrounded by dramatic landscapes, Ladakh is a dreamy place known as the world’s freezing desert. Captivating Gompas (Tibetan Buddhist sanctuaries), whitewashed stupas and fluttering prayer flags, Leh is a riot of red-robed monks and elaborate murals. 

With a culture equivalent to Tibetan civilization, the locals of Leh are friendly and welcoming to tourists. It might also not be wrong to say that travelling to Leh is a breathtaking experience that gets beautified with scenic lakes, fascinating Landscapes, quaint villages, high-altitude mountain passes, picturesque valleys, and different spiritual monasteries. And many tourists plan a trip to Leh to seek adventure, breathe the unpolluted air, explore Tibetan culture, and experience the magical bliss found in town. Keep scrolling to read the Manali to Leh itinerary and the most suitable routes to reach Leh via Manali. 

Table of Contents

  1. Why travel from Manali to Leh?
  2. Travelling from Manali to Leh by Car
  3. Best Time To Visit Leh from Manali 
  4. Popular Routes from Manali to Leh
  5.  
  6. How to Reach Leh By Train
  7. How to Reach Leh By Flight
  8. How to Reach Leh By Bus
  9. Other means of traveling
  10. Popular sightseeing attractions in Leh
  11. Popular places to eat in Leh
  12. Hotels and Resorts in Leh

Why travel from Manali to Leh?

Leh is no less than a nature’s marvel with open roads and clear skies that allow you to breathe freely amidst a peaceful atmosphere. Here you will find yourself lost in the magnificence and tranquillity of rugged landscapes, seek reassurance in a plethora of Gompas, and satiate your adventure cravings by enjoying different thrilling activities. 

In addition, Manali and Leh are the two most well-known hill stations in the country and must-adds to the bucket list of all ardent sightseers! So if you want to plan a trip to Leh from Manali, go ahead because an unforgettable experience awaits you. When you take a road trip from Manali to Leh, you can enhance your experience by enjoying everything that lies on the way. With a Savaari, you can turn your drive into a fun-filled journey and also customize the trip to your liking, travel time, and budget. 

Manali to Leh roadtrip

Travelling from Manali to Leh by Car  

Leh is unquestionably an outstanding place in Jammu & Kashmir that evokes a feeling of dreamlike euphoria. Its wild lofty mountains, pristine lakes, exotic traditions and culture make it an integral bucket list destination. Moreover, Leh’s top scenic attractions include its undefiled natural spectacles, Tibetan Buddhist celebrations, colourful sanctuaries, picture-perfect mountain hikes, rugged mountain passes and more. 

And you can add more charm to this experience when you take a road trip to Leh from Manali. The Manali to Leh distance is approximately 426 km, and you can cover it within 11 to 12 hours. While many people opt for a bike journey to reach their destination, it is better to choose a car commute if you are travelling in groups or with family.  With our completely customizable Srinagar to Pahalgam trip packages, you can stop at Srinagar to Pahalgam any of these places and do a quick sightseeing.

Let us help you discover the best routes to travel from Manali to Leh by car. You can also enjoy the route from the back seat by renting a car from Manali to Leh

Best Time To Visit Leh from Manali 

The most suitable time to visit Leh is from May to July as the routes to Leh open both from Srinagar and Manali highway during this time. Furthermore, there is considerable snowfall, specifically on the Leh Manali highway. Another excellent time to visit Leh is from mid-September to October, when Leh transforms into the most mesmerizing landscape. However, you must avoid visiting Leh during the monsoon from July to August as the area is prone to landslides. Autumn or early winter in Leh is another most suitable times to visit. 

The rain stops but leaves behind just the perfect amount of moisture in the air to make the trip delightful. Being bathed by the rain over the rainy season, the wild surroundings turn to the liveliest hues.By the time November arrives, Leh is freezing cold. All areas over 14000 ft undergo sub-zero temperatures. Furthermore, driving through the roads, even the Manali-Leh highways, get risky because of the black ice accumulation.

Popular Routes from Manali to Leh 

Route 1: Manali to Leh via NH3

The Manali to Leh route is unquestionably spectacular. It is such a wonderful extravaganza of nature’s delight that you would love to be a part of! In addition, as you move to the higher altitudes, take quick breaks to soak in the panoramas and camp under the starry sky to make memories of a lifetime! The approximate distance between Manali to Leh is 426 km, and it is advisable to take the Manali to Leh best route that runs via NH3. 

Here’s the basic route map from Manali to Leh. 

Manali Leh route1

Popular sightseeing attractions between Manali to Leh 

  • Rohtang Pass 

With an elevation of 13000 ft, Rohtang Pass is the perfect getaway to Manali to Leh highway. So when you embark on a road trip from Manali to Leh, take a halt at the Rohtang Pass and take a trek to the highest point to witness nature’s full glory. 

  • Jispa village

Located on the shores of the famous Bagha river, Jispa Village is a primary stop for Leh travellers. Here you can spend some quiet time near the lakeside or camp under the starry night to get the most surreal road trip experience. 

  • Atal Tunnel

Constructed at the height of 10 thousand 40 feet above sea level, Atul Tunnel holds the record for being the world’s most extended highway tunnel. Moreover, connecting Manali with Lahaul and Spiti districts, Atul Tunnel is the perfect engineering spectacle you can witness en route. 

  • Solang Valley 

A perfect skiing destination surrounded by lush green environs, a halt at Solang Valley on a road trip from Manali to Leh will make your trip more memorable. 

  • Tayul Gompa Monastery 

Located a few kms from Leh, Tayul Gompa is the oldest-known monastery in the Northern region. Moreover, located amidst the lofty mountain ranges, this monastery is famous for a majestic 

12 ft statue of Guru Padmasambhava, besides the 108 primary wheels that keep on self-rotating on auspicious events. 

Places to eat along this route

  • Leh Dhaba: Situated in Jispa along the Manali to Leh route, Leh Dhaba serves the best Kahwa tea, Thupka and noodles.
  • Pang Restraunt: A perfect stopover point near Leh to witness the serene natural surroundings and enjoy hot coffee and delicious meals served at affordable rates. 

Manali to Leh Road Condition via Route 1:

This is the shortest and the best route to travel between  Manali and Leh. It is also the fastest, because the Srinagar to Pahalgam traffic on this route is regular and there are no road closures. Moreover, for better commute, always check live maps and instant traffic updates for the latest information on  Manali to Leh road conditions.

Other means of travelling from Manali to Leh 

By Flight

The only route to Leh Ladakh in winter is by flight, though airlines fly all year round. In addition, the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh is the area’s major airport. And GoAir and Air India have regular flights running from New Delhi. However, airline services are irregular during winter, and flights usually get cancelled due to snowfall in Leh and fog in Delhi. 

By Bus 

The central bus stand for Leh Ladakh is situated 700m south of the central town centre. State buses from Manali and the HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourist Development Corporation) generally halt overnight at Darcha, Keylong, or Sarchu for high-altitude acclimatization. 

By Train 

Kalka is the nearest railway station to Leh and many buses and private cabs run from Kalka Railway station to Leh. 

Popular sightseeing attractions in Leh 

Here are some prominent scenic attractions you can glimpse in Leh.  

  • Pangong Lake

With an impressive landscape and stunning scenic beauty, Pangong Lake remains at a more elevated altitude in the Himalayan range. In addition, this lake has a spectacular scenic view with sparkling waters, a lakeshore with pebbles, and a stunning backdrop. And the mountains blanketed with snow make this spot something you cannot express in words. 

You can also spot the different hues of blue and green shade in the lake as the position of the sun transitions in this lake. This area is heaven for photographers and bird watchers as you can spot different migratory birds like ducks, Crane, and seagulls, along with skating and camping near the lakeside. 

  • Leh Palace

Leh Palace was earlier the home to the royal family reigning in Ladakh. This famous Leh palace holds the same design as Patola Palace, situated in Tibet and built in the 17th century. In addition, this palace was again deserted in the 19th century when the royal family living in this castle moved to the Stok Palace when Kashmiris took over this palace. Furthermore, with stunning architecture constructed with wood, stones, and sand, with some stunning portraits and carvings on its wall, this site is mostly visited by journalists, historians, archaeologists and professional photographers.

  • Spituk Gompa

Spituk Gompa remains situated at a distance of 8 km from Leh, and this well-known monastery has outstanding architecture and was built during the late 11th century. This place has a central prayer hall where the idol of Lord Buddha is placed, and there are different antique portraits, lists of ancient celebrations, arms and other such things in this sanctuary. In addition, the veils of the Lord Buddha statue are released only once a year during the Spituk festival, where you can witness various dance and music performances with other attractions. 

  • Drang Drung Glacier

Drang-Drung glacier is the second most extensive Glacier you can glimpse after the Siachen Glacier. This Glacier remains situated in the Zanskar range of the Himalayan peaks, and you can reach the place by trekking for a day through Suru Valley. And if you are an avid nature photographer, you can readily click some scenic vistas of the wild marmots, Blue Sea, ibex, and Tibetan Fox. Also, we can say that this place is unquestionably heaven with the stunning terrain and the snow-filled mountain resting in the backdrop that improves the magnificence of this place.

Popular places to eat in Leh 

Leh is a multicuisine town serving Tibetan, Indian, Chinese and even Korean delicacies. Moreover, the dishes here flaunt tints of these foreign influences. So when you visit this beautiful Leh town, you can try regional dishes, such as Thukpa (noodle soup), Tsampa Ngamphe (charred barley flour), and Skyu, a heavy pasta plater with plenty of vegetables. Also, don’t forget to savour the delicious Momos, steamed dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables, when in town. Beverages include coffee, tea, beer and Chang, an alcoholic drink consumed especially on festive occasions. Below are some well-known eating joints in Leh. 

  • Sheldon Garden Restaurant: Famous for Continental and Multi-cuisine delicacies 
  • Old Town Cafe: Famous for Tibetian cuisine 
  • La Terrasse: Famous for Italian and Continental dishes
  • Summer Harvest: Famous for Indian, Chinese and Tibetian delicacies 

Hotels and Resorts in Leh 

Hotel NameAddress
The Grand Dragon LadakhP. Namgyal Road Sheynam, Union Territory of Ladkah, Leh| Phone No. 096224 33776
Gomang Boutique HotelUpper, Changspa Rd, Leh| Phone No. 094191 29157
Ladakh Himalayan RetreatFort road, Tukcha Main Road, Behind GNN School, Leh| Phone No. 096222 26320
WelcomHeritage Lha-Ri-Sa ResortSkara Road, Leh| Phone No. 098182 81103

Nearby road trips from Leh

Destination Distance Duration
Leh to Chandigarh500 Kms15 hrs 34  mins
Leh to Jammu & Kashmir662 Kms16  hrs 5 mins 
Leh to Sonmarg339 Kms7 hrs 50 mins 

If you plan an unforgettable getaway from Manali, Leh should always remain on top of your travel itinerary. Moreover, there are several attractions in Leh filled with pristine beauty that would surely blow your mind. So why wait? Plan a road trip from Manali to Leh now!

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