Manali Srinagar Drive

By Akash Das [email protected] | 2011

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I owe these pictures to Bipinbhai Shah, Sarthak Parikh and Akash Das. Bipinbhai introduced me to Sarthak who gave me the pictures and to Akash for clicking them. You see a typical zig zag road.

The drive from Manali to Leh to Srinagar is amongst the most challenging and exciting drives this part of the world. I did it in 1988 by hitching a ride with truck drivers. You see the Royal Enfield bike against a snow clad mountain back drop.

Sarthak & group were on six motorcycles. Altitudes are high. It is very cold.

Another typical road enroute. Since this is adventure narrations would consist of personal insights than history.

Look at the hills behind and the shadow of the sun. In 1988 I trekked from Pahalgaum to Sonmarg, and then hitched a bus ride to Leh.

Snow clad mountains, water, landslides are a common sight. I hitched a drive with eight sardar truck drivers who were going from Leh to Punjab.

Awesome sight. Then we took four days by truck. Drivers called me City Boy or Shehari Babu. Now you can do it in two days.

Have no words to describe this. I sat in the driver’s seat all day.

Between Keylong and Leh you can spend the night in tents. I spent my night in the truck. The drivers gave me two blankets.

What a sight, 6 bikers on the sand dunes of Hundar

Taking a break at Khardunga La 18380 feet. It is the highest motorable road in the world. Also visit Kibber Village 4205 mtrs in Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is the 2nd highest permanently inhabited village of the world connected by a motorable road.

Himalayas in their majestic beauty.

Dry and barren mountains is the landscape for the most of the Manali Leh drive.

We reached Leh. Coming back to my journey with truck drivers. They make very good cooks.

From here starts the drive from Leh to Sringar.

Landscape. The drivers mothered me as if I were a small child.

Local Buddhist if I am correct.

We head towards Kargil where the last Indo Pak war took place.

A small town enroute.

Our motor cycle convoy. I recommend this drive to all Himalaya lovers. The happy times that you spend together will echo in your memory for a lifetime.

This looks like the river Indus that flows in from Tibet & then to Pakistan.

We met a group of mountain lovers who too were driving motorcycles.

Super Himalayas, note road on extreme left. I recommend this trip to Human Resource Mgrs who organize outdoors for teams. It can break barriers & build bonding.

One of the highlights of the Leh Srinagar drive is crossing Zojilla Pass. It is amongst the most dangerous drives. In 1988 the road was one way. Vehicles were led by an Army Convoy. At virtually every corner there was a memorial for someone who had lost his life navigating these mountains. Blasts at the Pass.

After a tough exciting drive we reached Srinagar. You see sunset at Dal Lake. Thanks to Sarthak & Akash for sharing these pictures with us.