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Manali – Leh Things to Carry

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

THIS IS A SMALL LIST OF THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD CARRY ON YOUR MANALI TO LADAKH EXPIDITION. THERE ARE ENDLESS ENTRIES TO THE LIST BUT THESE ARE THE ONES THAT WE THINK ARE THE MOST ESSENTIAL. 

RIDING GEAR:

  1. RIDING JACKET – IF ITS TOO EXPENSIVE TO GET ONE PLEASE GET ATLEAST A PAIR OF KNEE AND ELBOW GUARDS. COST 600 – 2500
  2. ​RIDING PANTS
  3. RIDING SHOES – IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE, YOU CAN BUY ATLEAST DUCKBACKS ( GUMBOOTS ). THEY WONT GIVE YOU ANY PROTECTION BUT WILL ATLEAST SAVE YOUR FEET FROM GETTING WET. DO NOT WEAR SHOES YOU ARE INTTENDED TO WEAR ON YOUR TRIP ON THESE ROAD TRIPS AS THEY ARE BOUND TO GET WET ON THIS ROUTE. COST 250 – 400 RS.
  4. HELMET – BETTER A FULL FACE WITH TRANSPARENT VISOR.
  5. GLOVESGET 2 PAIRS OF GLOVES. ONE SHOULD BE WATERPROOF AND WITH GRIPS. ANOTHER ONE CAN BE NORMAL
  6. BALACAVA 
  7. MONKEY CAP AND A MUFFLER – THESE CAN BE LIFE SAVORS 😉 
  8. SUNGLASSES

BIKE SPARES:

  1. SPARK PLUGS : IF YOU HAVE A TWIN SPARK CARRY BOTH THE SIZES OF SPARK PLUGS.

  2. THROTTLE AND CLUTCH WIRE : CARRY ONE OF EACH AS THEY DON’T REALLY BREAK MUCH. CLUTCH CABLE IS EASY TO CHANGE BUT MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO CHANGE THE THROTTLE CABLE AS IT CAN BE A BIT TRICKY.

  3. DISK PADS : CARRY A SPARE SET OF DISK PADS. IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE RIDING THE NEW THUNDERBIRDS 350/500CC WITH DISK IN THE REAR, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CARRY ATLEAST SET OF 2 DISK PADS AS THEY ARE VERY RARELY AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET

  4. TYRE TUBES : CARRY ATLEAST 2 OF THESE. IT IS ONE OF THE WORST FEELINGS TO HAVE A FLAT TYRE IN MIDDLE OF NOWHERE AND UNLOADING YOUR WHOLE BIKE TO GET THE THING FIXED. EVEN MORE CHALANGE IF YOU ARE ALONE. ALSO NOTE THAT BE VERY CAREFULL WHILE USING THE TOOLS TO FIT THE TUBE BACK IN THE WHEEL.
  5. 24 X 27 KEY: IT’S IMPORTANT TO OPEN THE WHEEL IN CASE YOU HAVE A FLAT TRYE. ALSO THE TOOLS TO OPEN THE TYRE.
  6. ENGINE OIL : CARRY ATLEAST 1 LITER OF ENGINE OIL AS BIKES TEND TO EAT UP MORE OIL IN HIGH ALTITUDES . HENCE CHECK ENGINE OIL EVERYMORNING BEFORE YOU START YOUR RIDE.
  7. CHAIN LINK : GET A SET OF 2 .. NOT REALLY REQUIRED BUT BETTER TO HAVE .
  8. SPARE FUSE : KEEP A FEW OF THESE AND MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THE RIGHT ONE.
  9. BLACK TAPE : JUST IN CSE YOU NEED IT…
  10. PUNCTURES : EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE TUBE, CARRY A FEW PUNCTURES AS WELL.
  11. SPARE HEDLIGHT BULB : ACTUALLY YOU SHOULD AVOID RIDING AFTER 5 PM IN THE MOUNTAINS ESPECIALLY WHEN RIDING FROM MANALI TO LADAKH. STILL FOR THOSE DAREDEVILS BETTER HAVE A SPARE BULB.
  12. SPRINGS : CARRY A FEW OF SIDE STAND SPRINGS ARE THEY ARE TEND TO BREAK VERY OFTEN.

ALSO CARRY YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, LICENSE, INSURANCE PAPERS, PUC. HAVE ATLEAST 2 COPY OF THOSE.

NEVER COMPROMISE ON YOUR SAFETY AND SAFETY OF YOUR BIKE !

Manali To Leh Road Status

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

ROADS ARE ALREADY CLOSED FOR WINTERS.

ROADS WOULD LIKELY TO REOPEN BY END ON MAY 2019, DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL IN WINTERS.

SEE YOU GUYS THEN !

Leh for first time bikers.

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

This page is been set up for those people who are visiting Leh for the first time and have a lot of questions in mind. 

Every year bikers from across the globe plan to ride on what is termed as one of the Best /Toughest routes to ride in the world, the 475 kms long Manali – Leh Highway. The Manali-Leh highway is a roller-coaster ride of high-altitude passes, bad roads, landslides, glacial melts, broken bridges and what not. So don't mistake it for 475 kms on a normal highway and a single day's ride.

Almost half of the length of this highway is above 13000Ft. The route passes through five high altitude passes including Taglang La 17,480ft (Second highest pass in the world). The terrain is so high and so barren as to have no settled habitation, infrastructural support is at a bare minimum. No repair or service stations after Keylong, no petrol pumps after Tandi for about 350 Kms, almost no “Proper” accommodation on highway. But this scenario on the Manali – Leh Highway gives the excitement of planning, adventure and bliss while riding and Memories of a lifetime after the trip.

 

1. Planing:

As most of you guys would be coming from places much far away from Manali or in fact India, It’s very essential to plan your tour right. Most of the people are not aware of the harsh road conditions, high altitudes, lack of facilities enroute and simply what they are getting into. The highway is open for just about 4 months, from June till September – Oct.

There can never be a perfect plan to ride on this highway, simply because the road conditions are different every year owing to landslides, amount of snowfall, glacial melts and the progress of Border Roads Organization (BRO), an Army support organization whose job is to build and maintain all roads leading to the Indian Borders.

Each individual or group of bikers have their own plan for the Manali – Leh highway. Some want to do it in one day, some in two days, some in four  and others have no specific plan. Many times People Mistake this 475 kms road as city highway road and they think they can do it in 10-12 hours. Well it’s a Big Misunderstanding. This route is full of bad roads (some places almost no roads), River Crossings, Slush, glacial melts, Broken Bridges etc. All this is what makes this route thrilling and full of adventures.

Many bikers rush through this stretch, which is a crime. Manali-Leh should be done leisurely. Your first ever ride on this stretch will be the best; no matter how many times you ride on this road thereafter, you cannot beat your first experience on this route. So for first timers, make sure you have enough time to spend it on this route.

 

2. The Ride Preperations:

We Strongly advise you to complete Manali to Leh in 3 days. This will help your body get clematise with the High Altitude. We have often seen people trying to be brave and telling us they are “professional” riders and they can do it in two day. It is possible if you don’t suffer from Ams and if you are fit for the next days riding after riding one complete day. But is it fun? Not at all … you are to enjoy the drive, the route, the challenges, being out on the road not rush out from one point to another. There is no point in riding this route if you want to just rush. Take your time, the terrain keeps changing after few kms and they is so much beauty to see and capture in your Camera.

One you arrive in Manali you have to stay a night here. You will be only allowed to cross rohtang pass from 6 Am to 11 Am as its declared one way from this year onwards.

When you are renting a motorbike, it’s always advised to test it before you head out on your adventures. So therefore we Advice all our clients to hire the bike on the day they arrive. Every bike is different. Even though you may have the same bike back home it will be different to ride another bike. Also it will take you few kms to get your hands on the bike and get familiar with the machine. On this day you can visit Places around Manali. Also this is a good way of testing the bike you are going to have for the rest of your trip. During this test run if you encounter any problem wiith the bike or you need some adjustments as per your need, we have time to fix them all up.

At dusk you should get you bike all set and ready including final checkup, Full gas tank, all your bungee chords and also fill up the spare cans , check up your tool kit and have an early night hoping that it will be clear weather for the next morning.

3.The Ride:

Next Part Coming Soon !

Manali – Rohtang Road One-Way

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

March 21,2013

Tourists will now have to keep patience to see snow at Rohtang pass this summer season as Manali has drafted strict regulations for vehicles plying on the Manali-Rohtang route. As per the plan, tourists will be able to enjoy the panoramic journey to Rohtang only between 6 am and 12 noon as vehicles before or after this time limit will not be allowed to go towards Rohtang pass.

Representatives of police, administration, Beopar Mandal, hoteliers and taxi union of Manali have now consented to a strict strategy to cope with the fierce traffic jam problem on this route. In peak summer season, vehicles take five to eight hours to cover the 51-km distance between Rohtang and Manali. The problem intensifies in the evening as vehicles from Rohtang leave for Manali and get stuck in the narrow road for hours. According to the new plan, vehicles from Manali can go towards Rohtang between 6 am and 12 noon and come back to Manali only after 12 pm.

"The time table for vehicles and making the route one-way will definitely help reduce traffic problems. This will make the journey more comfortable and fast. It will also reduce accidents and save the precious time of travelers," Kullu police chief Ashok Kumar said, adding that the restrictions would be lifted for ambulances and vehicles in emergency.

Though people have welcomed the plan, police have warned that those who violate the rule will be penalized by way of seizing their car. Also, 10 pm to 6 am will be zero traffic hours when no vehicles will be allowed on the highway. If tourists reach Manali after noon, they shall have to postpone their Rohtang visit to next day.

Sources said that some taxi operators were reportedly taking tourists to Rohtang early morning and even at midnight, so as to make multiple trips to Rohtang on the same day. Many tourists were complaining that the taxi drivers don't allow them to enjoy much time at Rohtang pass, saying that they will get stuck in traffic jam. Fixing of timings for cabs and other cars will now allow tourists to spend more time in snow, they said.

Police, tourism department and administration authorities are also planning to take effective steps to stop service providers from duping tourists. Instructions have been issued to adventure sports organizers and snow dress lenders to hang a rate-list in front of their kiosks, sources added.

Rohtang pass opens for pedestrians

Rohtang pass has officially opened for pedestrians from Wednesday, after setting up rescue posts on either side of the pass. Expert mountaineers stationed at the posts will monitor movements and help people in emergency. Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports director Randhir Singh Salhuria said that rescue posts have been set up at Koksar in Lahaul and Marhi in Kullu. "We strongly recommend people to get themselves registered at both the posts before and after they cross the pass so that we can ensure their safety," he said.

Rohtang pass is still covered under 30 to 50 feet snow and temperature is many notches below freezing point, sources said.

Source : Times of India

Information about Permits from Leh.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

UPDATE MAY 2014 

There is good news for indian tourist who have a small amount of time and dont want to waste a day applying for permits in Leh. From this May onwards Inner line permits are NOT required to indian nationals. Your ID ( License, Pan card, Passport etc ) would work as your permit is anyone checks it at any post along the way. But you would still require a permit if you visit remote places like Hanle, Chusul, Chumur , Marsimik La and batalik Sectors. 

However Foreign Nationals still require a permit  like before. Guide on how to get one is given below on this page. 

Here is a copy of the circular for Reference. ( Credits : Kumar HV Fan and Forum on Facebook)

Inner Line Permits Leh Not required for indians

 

 

Inner Line Permits Leh

Inner Line Permits Leh 4

Inner Line Permits Leh 2

 

Tourist don't require permit for Leh. However, all foreigners who are travelling by road are required to register at Koksar, Darcha, Sarchu, Pang and Upshi on their way to Leh. Those traveling by air get themselves registered at the airport. All the Tourists (indian/foreigners) are required to get a permit for restricted areas like  Khardung La, Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley, which can be obtained through registered travel agencies or DC office which is located in Leh town . Make it sure to carry at least 10 photocopies of the permit while traveling, to submit at the Checking points.

Here is the Process for Indian Citizens :-

For Indian Citizens, Process is very simple : The DC's office is near the Polo Ground.

Go to the DC office, it's next to the polo ground.

Take a handwritten application along with you. Application should state

1 – That you are an Indian national

2 – The list of areas that you wish to travel to AND the travel dates AND also the number of days. I would personally advise : Also, put in extra dates for duration of the permits. Say you are planning to leave ladakh by the 10th day, take permits upto the 15th day ( there's no extra charge anyways ) so that just in case you want to stay a day extra here or there, you dont have to go for permits again.

3 – Your full name incl. father's name and correspondence address – Ok to write the full address of only one member and the cities for the rest.

Go to the ADC and get this application signed off by him. He'll shall usually do it without any bother.

Then take this signed off application to the permit office, that's the office on your left just as you enter the DC office compound.

Ask him for the form to be filled up..( Or you can Download the form Here ). he'll probably give you 1 copy and ask you to make 3 more copies of the same ( there is a copier shop just a few hundred metres from the DC office).. get the copies done and fill up the details on all the copies….

Fill up the form and get it initialled by the head clerk… and take it from him and again approach the ADC for his signature…

Once that is done .. again take the forms and go to the head clerk… he'll take two copies for their records… and stamp and give one back to you…

well… your ILP's are ready…

This process may sound complicated and long drawn… but believe me it's very easy and wont take more than 20 mins if all concerned are in office…

OR, take the easy way out – ask your hotel / travel agent to get them for you. He'll charge something between 100 – 300 Rs. for getting it for you. If you go by this method – check that the locations that you plan to travel are specifically written in the permits. Usually, the agents write the general routes that everybody take and miss out any location that you might be travelling.

Once you have the permits – first thing you do is to get around 10-15 copies made as you shall have to handover 1 copy at all the traffic points as you will not find any coy machins at an altitude of 18,000Ft. ))

(Source: Permits Requirement for Leh – India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com, For The Application form :Devil On Wheels)

FOR FOREIGN CITIZENS BEST OPTION IS TO GET YOUR PERMITS THROUGH TRAVEL AGENTS.

 

SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • Permits are issued from DC office in Leh. Application submission timings are from 9.00 Am till 3.00 Pm however its better to be there at earliest time you can. DC office is closed on Sundays.

  • Permit fees is 20 Rs/person/day. 

  • Photocopy of your nationality Proof is required ( Passport, Pan card, etc)

  •  Application form is supposed to be carefully filled. 

  • Sample Application form can be downloaded from Here.

  • Be Precise on places you want to visit. Because if the place is not mentioned in the permit, you'll not be allowed to go there. 

  • A written application is also required beside the application form for the approval of your permits.  In the application, you need to express your interest to visit the places you wish to travel along with the dates you would be visiting these places.

  • Make Sure the Request letter and the application forms are in SYNC.

  • Validity of the inner line permits are 3 weeks for Indians and 1 week for foreigners. However, there is no limit on the number of times you enter a place in the valid period provided you have the permits with you for that place.

  • Permits for Changthang are issued only to Indian Nationals not for foreign tourists.

  • If you need less hassle and less running around, best bet will be to let a travel agent sort out the permits for you. however they will charge you anything between 100-350 Rs.. 

 

Acute Mountain Sickness ( AMS )

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Many of us takes  the precautions we need when we are on our way to high altitude places. Like over from Manali – Leh and further in Ladakh region. If we are riding we get spares for our bikes, warm clothes, recharge our cameras and ipods..etc.

But most of us forget about the most important factor in this reagion which is not to be taken lightly at all as it can be life – threatning I.e AMS (  Acute Mountain Sickness ).

No one can predict who will suffer from AMS and how bad it’ll get. Some people can suffer mildly, some wont even feel it whereas for some it can get real bad. 

It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). 

Altitude can be categorized under 3 categories: 

  1. High Altitude – 1500 – 3500M (  5,000 – 11,500 feet )
  2. Very High Altitude – 3,500 – 5,500m (11,500 – 18,000 feet )
  3. Extreme Altitude – 5500m+ ( 18,000 feet above ) 

 

Here i will try to help you with some more deep information about AMS and how to prevent it :

Causes:  

Acute mountain sickness is caused due to a combination of reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. Although the proportion of oxygen in the atmosphere always remains the same (21%), as we go higher the "driving pressure" decreases. The driving pressure depends directly on the barometric pressure, and forces oxygen from the atmosphere into the capillaries of the lungs. Reduced driving pressure results in decreased saturation of oxygen in the blood and throughout the tissues. The main cause of altitude sickness is ascending too rapidly. It may also be caused by going too high and staying there for too long. The human body needs to adapt to the lower air pressure and decreased levels of oxygen – for that it needs a gradual progression (acclimatization). The faster you climb to a high altitude, the more likely you will get acute mountain sickness. Your symptoms will also depend on the speed of your climb and how hard you push yourself.

You are at higher risk for acute mountain sickness if you live at or near sea level or if you had the illness before.

Symptoms :- 

The primary symptom to diagnose altitude sickness is a headache. However, one of dehydration's symptoms is also headache. Therefore, for proper diagnosis, experts say the patient needs to be at a height of at least 2,500 meters (8,000 feet), has a headache, as well as at least one of the signs and symptoms listed below:

  • Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  • Exhaustion or weakness
  • Dizziness (light-headedness)
  • Rapid Pulse
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling sleepy (drowsiness)
  • Swelling of the hands, feet and face 

Symptoms generally associated with more severe acute mountain sickness include:

  • Chest tightness or congestion

  • Confusion

  • Cough

  • Coughing up blood

  • Decreased consciousness

  • Gray or pale complexion

  • Inability to walk in a straight line

  • Shortness of breath at rest

Prevention :

Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness. Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of AMS. As alcohol tends to cause dehydration, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24-hours at a higher altitude is optimal

Descending – Descending to a lower altitude is probably the best thing to do if symptoms develop. Attempts to treat or stabilize the patient in situ at altitude is dangerous, unless highly controlled and with good medical facilities. People with moderate symptoms usually respond well if they descent just 1,000 feet (300 meters) and stay there for 24 hours. If the individual with moderate symptoms remains at this lower altitude for a couple of days their body will have become acclimatized and they can then start ascending again. People with severe symptoms should descend at least 2,000 feet (600 meters) as soon as possible. If this is not done quickly there is a risk of serious of life-threatening complications. People whose symptoms do not improve after descending 600 meters should go down further until they start feeling better. 

 

  • Acclimatization – the best way to prevent altitude sickness is to ascend gradually, so that your body can become acclimatized to the changing altitude.
  • Fluids – Consume between 4 to 6 liters of water per day.Take ORS. Avoid Caffine.
  • Food – Eat a high calorie diet while at high altitude, esp carbohydrates.
  • ExertionAvoid Over Exertion.
  • Stay Warm
  • Sleeping – Avoid sleeping at high Altitudes and during the day. When your altitude is over 3,000 meters, ascend no more than 300 meters each night. On your route to Leh, we recommended you staying first night at Keylong (3,000m)  after Manali ( 2000m) and second at Sarchu ( 4290M). However Sarchu being at such an altitude, is the place where many people may suffer AMS.
  • Smoking – Do not smoke or use tobacco or any other Drugs'
  • Alcohol – Do not consume alcoholic drinks.
  • Moderate symptoms – People with moderate symptoms should stay at their current altitude until their symptoms have gone completely.
  • Medications – Acetazolamide / Dexamethasone medications can also be used to prevent altitude sickness. Some medications may make symptoms worse while at high altitude, or ascending, including tranquilizers and sleeping pills.

​According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK:

  • Mountain sickness is fairly common among skiers, mountaineers and people who spend time at high altitudes.
  • At a height of over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) about three-quarters of people will experience mild symptoms.

In the UK altitude sickness does not exist. Ben Nevis, Scotland, UK's highest mountain is 1,344 meters (4,406 feet) high. No matter how fast you went up that mountain, you would not get altitude sickness. 

The average human body needs from 1 to 3 days to get acclimatized to a change in altitude. People who do not spend enough time acclimatizing to a new altitude before going further up have the highest risk of developing altitude sickness.  

There is a Very Usefull Book you can download from Here. Its your ultimate guide for travelling at high Altitudes. 

THATS WHY WE ALWAYS SUGGEST PEOPLE TO TAKE 3 DAYS WHEN THEY ARE DRIVING UP TO LEH SO THAT THEIR BODY ACCLIMATIZE TO HIGH ALTITUDES. 

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