Leh–Manali Highway was designed, built and maintained in its entirety by the Indian Army's Border Roads Organisation (BRO). The total length of the highway is 490 km. The distance in Himachal between Manali and Sarchu is 230 km and the distance in Leh region from Sarchu to Leh is 260 km.
Route Map to Leh from Manali
Manali – Rohtang - Gramphu - Kokhsar - Keylong - Jispa - Darcha – Zingzingbar - Baralacha La - Bharatpur - Sarchu - Gata Loops - Nakee La - Lachulung La - Pang - Tanglang La - Gya - Upshi - Karu - Leh
Accommodation options are available at Keylong Jispa and Sarchu
Leh via Manali
Leh to Manali is the preferred route to return from Leh Ladakh. The route is far more ardous than Srinagar Leh route however the vistas that the route offers sufficiently offsets the difficulty gradient!
If you choose to start your trip from Manali the real climb up starts near Rohtang Pass. The ever changing landscape is mesmerizing and spectacular. Expanses of snow-capped mountains, deep verdant valleys and small quaint villages you come across in this route is unforgetably beautiful.
Acute Mountain Sickness
AMS is common at high altitudes at elevations over 10,000 feet as oxygen reduces by roughly 40% at such heights. The first syptoms of AMS is headache, dizziness and shortness of breath. If you experiance any of this make sure you stop at Keylong and get it attended to.
Best Time to Travel
May end to September is the time window when the Manali – Leh Highway is open and is considered as the only time for doing a road trip to Leh via the Manali – Leh Highway.
Manali Leh Travel Guide
By road the Manali - Leh route will take two days with a night halt. It is better to stop at Keylong on the way towards Leh especially for first timers which will help in acclimatization to a extend. There is a petrol pump at Tandi however it is better not to depend on it and carry enough petrol to take you through to Leh. The last climb, up Tanglang La after the Moore plains might prove to be a bit difficult.
Manali – Leh Bus Service
HPTDC runs semi-deluxe bus service from Manali to Leh and back. The bus covers the 474 Km long Manali – Leh stretch with a night halt at HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga in Keylong while coming from either side. The ticket costs approx Rs 2000 per person which includes stay at Keylong and two meals i.e. dinner and breakfast at the same hotel. The bus runs every other day from Manali and Leh.
After Manali town, there is a petrol pump at Tandi about 120 kms from Manali. Do not forget to get a refill at this petrol pump, even if you had it filled at Manali as the next pump in Upshi is 320 kms away. You might not get the expected mileage from your vehichle due to the moutainous terrain.
Use Leh - Manali to Return
If you are doing a high altitude trip for the first time, it is better to return via Leh - Manali route as the stay in Leh would give your body a chance to acclimatize to high altitudes. The elevation gained in Manali - Leh route is comparatively is much more than Srinagar Leh route.