above the clouds … pangong tso

Adventure trip through the Himalayans
Manali – Zanskar Valley – Pangong Tso – Leh Ladakh

It would perhaps be a bit presumptuous to speak of humanity’s last great adventure – but this fantastic motorcycle trip through the mystical Himalayas will definitely become one of your very personal highlights in life.
The highest mountain range in the world has always been one of the places of longing in the Western world. Through impressive high valleys and lonely villages, you continue over the highest passable mountain passes in the world. And on unpaved roads that are no longer legally accessible in Europe – that’s what makes every off-road enthusiast’s heart soar. But we won’t just drive through the Himalayan massif. Rather, we would also like to get to know something about the mystical, Buddhist-influenced culture and the centuries-old traditions.

We have ridden the tour described below for the last two years and were enchanted by the fantastic surroundings, the incredible gravel roads and the diversity of the different regions. These impressive experiences form the basis for the Himalayan road trip 2024, which we would like to experience together with you. It goes over the highest passable passes in the world, over challenging gravel passes, through streams and water fords but also through Indian mountain villages, past people and lots of monasteries, temples and spiritual statues.
We planned the route very carefully for you with our local partners. However, one must not forget that we are traveling in an area close to the border that has only been opened up more and more to strangers in the last few years. This can lead to very short-term changes to plans, which our spontaneous organizational talents on site will take care of on a routine basis.
Unforeseeable road closures, capricious weather or last-minute decisions by local governments can lead to deviations from the route at any time – so the tour plan should not be seen as binding in detail – for this we would have to strictly adhere to the tourist routes – which we definitely don’t want.
Because every spontaneous complication and every problem we encounter makes the adventure of our motorcycle trip together complete.

Period: September 20th to October 4th 2024
Double /twin room: € 3,899 per person
Single room: € 4,199 per person

your motorcycle

You will be traveling with a gravel-tested Royal Enfield Himalayan.
Your adventure bike has the following key data
Power: 24.5 HP
Displacement: 411 cc
Engine: single cylinder
Seat height: 80 cm
Weight: 185kg

The Himalayan has been specifically designed for the rugged terrain of the Himalayas and is regularly maintained to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.

We may be able to get the brand new and completely revised Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 from our rental company. In this case, the above key data will change in your favor.


key facts


Chandigarh – IXS Shaheed Bhagat Singh


Leh – IXL Lama Kushok Bakula Rinpoche


September 20th to October 2024


14 nights in mid-range hotels, homestays
and glamping tents

total distance:

about 1500 km


50% – 70% proper offroad (dirt and gravel roads)


medium to demanding

drivers licence:

motorcycle license and proof of
International driver’s license

entry requirements:

passport and visa


Your motorcycle is insured with a deductible of 500 euros liability and comprehensive insurance.

We recommend taking out travel cancellation and international health insurance.


detaillierte Route

Arrive in Chandigarh and come-together at Hotel Regenta Central Cassia. Time for a bit of relaxation from the strain of travel and preparation for your GRAVELADVENTURE.

Our long transfer of the entire GRAVELGANG from Candigarh to Manali is coming up.
An exciting journey from the city, through completely different regions into the Himalayan foothills. From the bubble in the shuttle bus, this will be your first impression of the crazy traffic in the cities, narrow serpentines with frightening encounters as we climb the first foothills of the Himalayas and the typical peculiarities of a fascinating country that is very foreign to us in many parts.
We spend the evening with typical local food at the Ride Inn Hotel.

The road captain gives instructions on the route and the daily plan. And: Today you will receive the key for your Royal Enfield Himalayan, which will race through the dust with you for the next few days. We start with a few short laps around Manali to get used to the left-hand traffic and the new machine. If adjustments are required, our mechanic is available. We use the rest of the day to explore picturesque Manali, hang out a bit, pack our bags and make the final preparations for the epic adventure. We’re going to bed early today because we want to leave early tomorrow.

We start our first real stage on the highest expressway in the world: the Manali-Leh Highway.
From Manali we head north towards the new and very impressive Atal Tunnel. This 9 km long tunnel is built at an altitude of 3,050 meters, making it the longest in the world over 3,000 m. Out of the tunnel we drive into the Chandra Valley, where the surrounding area transforms into a rugged mountain landscape as the altitude increases. Along the mighty Chenab River in the valley we reach Tandi, at the junction of the Chandra and Bagha rivers, where the Chenab begins. We continue the journey along the Bagha River, passing small villages on the way to Jispa, a picturesque village surrounded by majestic mountains, where the simple Hotel Anand Yule accommodates us with its delicious cuisine.

Today we head to the barren lunar landscape for which Ladakh is famous. Instead of taking the Manali-Leh highway to get to the Zanskar valley, we take a mountain pass. The Border Roads Organization’s new route leads from the south over the Shinku La Pass into the beautiful Zanskar Valley. There we pass the Gonbo Rangjon, the sacred mountain of the people of Zanskar. The mighty peak is an unforgettable sight. On the edge of the mountain we enjoy a few spectacular water crossings and sandy slopes.
After a day full of GRAVELADVENTURES, at the end of the day we arrive in the village of Purne, where we spend the night in the glamping tent and simple kitchen of the guest house.

You can choose to spend a relaxing morning in Purne and watch the impressive merging of the brown Kurgiak and the milky-turquoise Tsarap or take a beautiful trekking tour to the well-worth seeing Phugtal Gompa Monastery. One of the few gompas that is still only accessible on foot along horse paths. A very graceful place where the scattered monastic buildings were built directly into the rock. There we wander through the alleys and levels of the monastery, let ourselves be enchanted by the Buddhist mysticism for a while and immerse ourselves in the culture of the monks. It is an easy 1.5 to 2 hour trek along the milky turquoise “Tsarap” foot to the monastery and the same time back again.
Afterwards we make our way to Padum, our driving skills and determination will be put to the test as we mainly deal with gravel roads and inclines. On today’s stage we cross probably the most desolate and barren areas you’ve ever seen – but it’s not as if this picturesque desert landscape doesn’t have its own special charm. After another eventful day, we reach Padum, the capital of the Zanskar Valley, to spend the night in a hotel again.

Today we spend the day visiting the stunning Drang Drung Glacier near Pensi La Pass. The Pensi La Pass is a high mountain pass that separates the Zanskar Valley from the Suru Valley to the north. If you would like a day off, you can also visit some of the impressive monasteries in Padum, the holy waterfall or the Buddha statue… or spend the day picking the famous sea buckthorn berries on the banks of the beautiful Zanskar River.

Some people are already longing for the rest of the day. No matter whether you want to put your feet up today and just do nothing at all or grab your Himalayan and leisurely visit some of the nearby sights. Today everything is in your hands – the main thing is that you recover a little from the strenuous days in the saddle.

We continue our journey to Lamayuru. Today’s stage is certainly the queen stage in terms of the route. From Padum we cruise through the beautiful valley of the Zanskar Valley, which develops over the course of the stage from the brand new asphalt of the extensive plateau to a narrow gravel road along rock faces. A very exciting challenge for man and machine. A little exhausted and covered in dust, we pass the bizarre sandy landscape (Moonland) and the monastery in the evening before enjoying an invigorating chai tea or a warm shower in the Hotel Moonland with a view of the surrounding mountains.

After or before breakfast, it is worth taking the short drive to Lamayuru Monastery, one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Ladakh. Built on a hill, the historic site is known for its understated beauty and rich cultural heritage. After soaking up the beauty of Lamayuru Gompa, we head to Leh. To relax, we enjoy the national road, which becomes increasingly busy towards Leh and crosses one or two small towns and several Indian military bases. We stay a little outside to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Today we enjoy our stay in the beautiful city and let the hospitality work its magic on us. Located in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, Leh is known for its stunning sites, Buddhist temples and pristine landscape. Due to the strong influence of Tibetan Buddhism, Leh is also known as Little Tibet or the Land of the Lamas. If you feel like it, head out and explore the picturesque surrounding area.

Another highlight of the trip awaits us at 5,359 meters above sea level: the Khardung La Pass. It is one of the highest passable passes in the world, to which we climb the countless serpentines above Leh. Halfway up, with a warming chai tea in hand, we enjoy a breathtaking view over Leh and its surroundings. Before we close the ventilation openings and put on the thick gloves to tackle the next 1,000 meters of altitude. At altitude the air is noticeably thin and cold and normally we should find enough snow for a snowball fight, but we will skip this in favor of taking a few photos and continuing our journey quickly.
After a breathtaking descent from the high mountain pass, we have lunch in the valley and perhaps enjoy a game of archery and arrows before turning off at the very impressive Maitreya Buddha statue on the way to the hotel. We spend the night in the valley of Nubra, the only cold desert in India. Nubra, also called Dumra, is a historical region in Ladakh, currently administered as a subdivision and tehsil in Leh district. Its inhabited areas form a three-armed valley bisected by the Nubra and Shyok rivers. If the weather is good, as darkness falls we grab a few logs and light a cozy campfire in the middle of the organic garden at the hotel.

We make our way to the highest saltwater lake in the world. Today a varied route awaits us, with gravel, asphalt, streams, dry river beds and serpentines. A challenging yet very rewarding adventure on one of the most remote routes in Ladakh, connecting Pangong Tso with the Nubra Valley. Planned and built by the Indian Army, today it offers an unforgettable adventure and a unique experience for true GRAVELADVENTURE bikers. The mix of different terrains is a revelation. In the evening we set up camp directly on the banks of the impressive Pangong Tso and enjoy the constantly changing colors of the lake. With a bit of luck, we can observe a wide variety of migratory birds, for which the lake is an absolute paradise.

On the last leg of our epic trip we make our way back to Leh. Not without taking the third highest passable pass in the world, the breathtaking Chang La Pass at 5,360 meters above sea level. A photo shoot on the pass and the descent to Leh ends our 14-day interlude with our Himalayans. We use the evening to once again enjoy the fantastic food and the indescribable hospitality of the Ladakhis together. The entertaining experiences of the last few days and the farewell to our newly made friendships fill the last evening in the Indian Himalayas.

See you next year……

ride in!

start your adventure now!

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