With our motorcycle tour in India we combine the legendary Spiti valley with the highest passes in the world - up to 5,608m in Ladakh. Spiti in northern India is one of the most remote regions of the Himalayas. The people here are still firmly integrated in their old Buddhist traditions in the middle of a magnificent high mountain landscape.
The desert-like landscape is repeatedly interrupted by fertile oases, towered by snow-capped six thousand meter peaks and flowed through by the emerald green band of the Spiti River and its tributaries. But visiting this region requires a little flexibility due to its difficult accessibility and climatic roughness. We follow the Indus Valley and experience the fascinating Buddhist hospitality as another highlight of the trip. From Leh the highest passable road pass in the world, the Kardung La with 5600 meters, can be taken under the wheels. By plane you go from Leh to Delhi. To top off the trip, an excursion to the Taj Mahal in Agra is possible!
This motorbike trip has been designed in such away that we ascend slowly so we have time to get used to the altitude. An ultimate motorcycle adventure on the roof of the world.
Everything you need to know about this tour. Do you have any further questions? Please contact us!
You arrive at Indira Gandhi InternationalAirport in Delhi and get a transfer to the hotel.
We go by train from Delhi to Chandigarh, a nice experience. Your motorcycle the Royal Enfield await you there. The city at the foot of the Himalayas is the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, and is particularly well suited as a gateway to the discovery of the Himalayas.
After breakfast we take over the motorbikes and start our first tour. The ride to Shimla, one of the most famous hill stations in India, gives us a first impression of what we can expect in the next few days. Curve after curve we keep swinging up to about 2.200m. In the afternoon we reach our hotel and you can relax after the first motorcycle ride in India. In the afternoon you may be able to visit the colonial part of Shimla. This part of the city is car-free and you can walk around quietly and undisturbed.
Today one of the most impressive tours through the Himalayas from our program begins. We travel through a landscape that is breathtaking almost every kilometer and that leads us on and on. On the way to Sarahan we first visit Rampur (1.000m), where we can see the imposing Padam Palace. Then we enter the Spiti valley. The southern part of the Spiti loop is already paved. We turn to Sarahan and experience the first unpaved part of the trip today. Sarahan is at 1.920m, slightly lower than Shimla and therefore perfect for acclimatization. From the village we already have a wonderful view of the Himalayan peaks. The Bhimakali temple is located in Sahara. This mostly woodentemple is beautifully set against a backdrop of white snow-capped peaks. What is special about the temple is above all the striking mixture of Hindu and Buddhist influences and local gods. This is characteristic of this region where these two religions meet and easily merge.
We continue to follow the Sutlej River into the Kinnaur area. We ride about 4 hours to the city of Sangla (2.680 meters).After lunch in the village we continue down into the valley until we reach the village of Chitkul. This is quite an ascent because Chitkul is almost a kilometer higher than Sangla. It is beautifully surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Overnight in Sangla in a simple guest house.
This is one of the most impressive parts of Kinaur with a wonderful view of peaks over 6,000 meters high. The route follows the border with Tibet and in the middle of the border is the Leo Pagral summit of 6,727 meters. A pass of 4,550 meters forms a small border crossing here. The Sutlej River, which we have been following for a few days, crosses the border with Tibet as we continue along the Spiti River. Nako is one of the most beautiful villages on this trip. The inhabitants are Tibetans and the architectural styles in the village are authentic Tibetan. Of course there is also a monastery in the village and the area is littered with stupas and prayerflags. From here, the road gets worse and the surroundings become even harsher.
From today we are riding through the Spiti valley. The name Spiti means House of Mani, the Buddhist mantra Om-Mani-Padme-Hum. The erosion has given the landscape a moon-like appearance. We ride far beyond the tree line and it is probably one of the roughest areas on earth. Because of its centuries-old, isolated location, the population of Spiti is on its own. As a result, many monasteries are much more authentic than in their country of origin, Tibet. We pass two of these monasteries on the way today, and we will certainly visit one of them. We take a lunch break in Tabo and arrive at the end of the day after an impressive ride in the city of Kaza, where we stay two nights.
Kaza is a small village where we can rest today. We can also take a day trip to the village of Kibber, until recently the highest village in the world with road and electricity connections (4270 meters). On the way is the Kee Monastery (Kye), here you can also admire the room in which the 14th Dalai Lama usually spends the night when he is in the region. It is a beautiful village with Tibetan style houses. The harsh climate that prevails here outside of the summer months has clearly drawn the residents' faces. On an adventurous route we ride to one of India's highest monasteries, the Komic-Gompa.
Today follows one of the most adventurous routes. Most of the time, the route is only so wide that there is space for one bus. It goes down steeply on one side and upwards on the other. Fortunately,the Himalayan road builders paved large parts of the road with good asphalt.Even so, this day is not for people with weak nerves. We ride over the Kunzumpass at 4.551 meters. The top of it is of course littered with prayer flags. The Kunzum Pass separates Spiti from Lahaul and is only open during the summer months. On the other side of this pass we follow the Chandra River.
We return to the overgrown mountains of the Lahul valley. Again, it's an adventurous unpaved ride through the high mountains. We don't just leave the Rohtang Pass literally on the left. It is greener here than in the Spiti valley: it is lower and it rains significantly more. Flooded roads are much more common here. The inhabitants are no longer ethnic Tibetans. Keylong, where we spend the night, is a quiet Indian village.
"The trip was great and very exciting. Northern India is breathtaking (in every aspect ;-), the people are great and the landscape is incredibly beautiful. The motorbikes (Royal Enfield Himalaya) were also a lot of fun! The highlights of the trip were the landscape, people, the food, the motorcycles, the weather, the heights, the temples and all of that with my friends! Lidwien organized everything very well and took care of everything, the Indian team on site was also great. "
Today is another day of rest. But it is also nice to ride from Keylong to the valley where Udaipur is located. We can visit the Trilokh Nath Templeand the Bima Harimba Temple. It's a nice ride.
Keylong lies at the foot of the highest parts of the Indian Himalayas. From here it only goes up. Keylong is still in the green, but we're leaving her behind today. After the first pass of 4.880 meters, we stay above the treeline. We spend the night here in a tented camp.
Shortly after Sarchu we have a fantastic view over a dry river bed with sand castle-like shapes on both sides. The road now climbs through a rocky area to the Sarchu plateau. This is followed by the second pass, which is more than 5.000 meters. To get to Tsokar we have to leave the main road. In this very special environment we sleep at the TsoKar salt lake. At 4.500 meters, this is the highest overnight stay on the trip. We spend the night here in a small guesthouse or tented camp.
Today we ride to the Rupshu plateau, also called little Tibet. Then an ascent to the second highest pass of India Taglang La at 5.330 meters. Via Upshiwe ride along a variety of special landscapes to Leh. The road is in excellent condition, there is vegetation again and the climate is becoming friendlier. In the evening we reach our hotel in Leh.
Leh looks almost medieval when you stroll through the winding streets of the old town with a view of the fortress. The multi-storey royal palace at the foot of the Tsenmo mountain can be reached by stairs at the end of the main street. The royal residence, founded in the 16th century, is reminiscent of the Potala Palace in Lhasa thanks to its small windows and balconies. Here you can clearly see that the region is very religiously and culturally oriented towards Tibet. You can visit the various temples worth seeing, Lhakhang, on the way to the palace and also climb Tsenmo Mountain to the top and Gonkhang, the temple of the protective deities. Also worth a detour to the Changspa stupa on the western outskirts, a visit to the Maitreya temple of Jampa Lhakhang and the Sankar monastery, about 4 km from Leh.
In 4 hours we ride to Lamayuru. It is a wonderful route along the Indusand Zanskar rivers and we admire the bizarre lunar landscape. Rugged passes alternate with deep valleys. On the way we visit one of the oldest monasteries in the village of Alchi.
The route is so nice to ride that it is not bad to ride it a second time.
Today, another highlight of the tour awaits us: the “highest passable pass in the world” at 5.606 meters - the Khardung La. For Khardung La we need a special permit which we applied for immediately upon arrival in Leh.
In the morning we board the plane for the flight from Leh to Delhi,according to some, one of the most beautiful flight in the world. From the plane we have a nice view of the highest Himalayan peaks.
Optionally, you can take a trip to the famous and most visited building in India, the Taj Mahal in Agra. The great Mughal Shah Jahan had the marble tomb built for his great love Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. Of course, you can also stay in Delhi and explore the city. Magnificent palaces and forts and a multitude of temples of different religions determine the cityscape. A visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh house of worship is also recommended. You can do also your last shopping and rummage around in the many shops.
During this trip we use the Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle. This is a 'European' type engine with the gear shift on the left side of the engine and an electric starter.
The unpaved roads and the altitude can make the trip challenging for the participants. Without exception,everyone will experience complaints from the altitude. For some it is shortness of breath and small complaints, others will experience headaches and nausea.These are all normal body reactions and most of the symptoms go away after a few days, this process is called acclimatization. In order to make this process as smooth as possible,it is important to climb slowly. We have taken this into account in our tour.We ride about 20% of the route on unpaved roads. Most of these are easily accessible gravel roads, but a few days in the Spiti valley you can expect more rocky parts. Due to the rain the dirt roads can also be difficult to ride on. Of course you should always be careful in the curves because there around the corner a truck can take up whole the road. The high passes in the area are only open in summer, otherwise there is too much snow. This also means that a lot of meltwater flows over the roads in summer. This can be an innocent stream, but it can also cause a significant landslide. In such cases, a solution must be found. This can be a short detour but also e.g. mean that we cross the river on a motorcycle. So flexibility and motorcycle experience is an important quality that you need on this trip.
We ride through two different climates. In the lowlands in the first part of the trip it is the rainy season. This does not mean that it always rains, but a heavy downpour can be a recurring fact, although we may be lucky and not notice it. It is different in the high mountains because this rainy season in the lowlands is the only time when the roads to the mountains are accessible. It doesn't rain here either. Due to the altitude, the temperature fluctuates extremely, it can be very warm during the day, but after sunset it will cool down and get cold very quickly.
A helmet, warm motorcycle jacket with protectors, gloves (summer &winter) and good solid motorcycle pants with protectors and stable high(mountain) shoes or boots are required. Because of the large temperature differences, a jacket with removable lining is best suited. In the colder parts of the mountains, additional clothing can be worn under the jacket if necessary. Good sunglasses are important and a helmet with a visor against the dust. If your motorcycle clothing is not waterproof, it is advisable to bring a separate rain suit.
You should have an valid national- & international driving license with you. For India you need a passport that is valid for at least one year and 15 days when applying for a visa and still has at least two free pages. Most travellers must have a valid Indian visa prior to the start of their tour. Please note that the visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from. To obtain a visa for India, you may either apply for an e-Visa using the link below, or alternately visit the Indian embassy or consulate nearest you to apply for a physical visa on your passport. As of 2017, India is now offering e-Visas for most nationalities. Please visit this link for further information and to apply: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html As there are many fake websites, please only use the link to apply for your e-Visa and for any additional information. You can use the start hotel of your tour as a reference for your visa application. Contact us if you need further information.
Rider starting at: € 3250,-
Single room up-charge: € 375,-
Pocket money to bring: €400,-*
Minimum number of riding participants: 6
Maximum number of riding participants: 12
Maximum number of passengers: 2
Visa: not included
This tour is available on these dates: