OCTOBER 8, 2024










19024 feet





Experience amazing Zanskar in all its glory – deep in the heart of the Himalayas, in remote
valleys that were till recently isolated from the outside world. A magical land once lost to
time, finally open to the greater public today is a privilege to ride through. Witnessing the
beauty of the area, the simplicity and spirituality of its people and the magical scenery will
make your ride an adventure of a lifetime!

Zanskar is one of the most stunning and challenging driving regions anywhere in the world
today! You will find a mixture of terrain, from smooth tarmac to dirt roads, through winding
valleys and gorges along the flowing rivers, climbing and descending some of the highest
mountain passes anywhere in the world! Though the roadworks in the region have
improved the level of tarmac greatly, challenges such as the altitude ensure that passage
through the region must always be earned by those who make the journey!

Summit Umling La – the World’s Highest Motorable Pass at 19024 feet above sea level –
even higher than Everest Base Camp! Return via stunning Ladakh,
crossing several iconic high altitude passes enroute, each more scenic than the last!

The region is remote and though the locals are warm and hospitable, travelling here with
the proper level of safety, backup and experienced group leaders is an absolute must.

If you don’t own a 4×4, don’t want to go through the logistics of transferring it up to
Himachal, or simply want to come along as a passenger to enjoy the beauty and serenity
that the Himalayas have to offer? No problem!

Enjoy the experience while in the capable hands of an experienced driver behind the wheel,
all in the comfort of the passenger seats of one of our fully equipped 4×4 vehicles!
All you need to do is arrive with your luggage in Manali on Day 0 and we will take care of the
rest! Enjoy the beauty of Zanskar and Ladakh without any of the ownership and logistical
planning from your end.




Participants are to arrive at the resort in Manali, optimally by 1500hrs so that we can complete pre-drive formalities. 

A general BP/ O2 check shall follow, providing the team with your baseline readings for the remainder of the trip. This shall take place daily so that to ensure any issues that may occur as we gain altitude in the following days are addressed before they can escalate!

A drive briefing will take place over a barbeque as the team and group get acquainted with one another and we set down a few guidelines for the days to come, followed by dinner.

MANALI – SISSU (110 km)

The acclimatization day – a leisurely start post breakfast as we climb to the Atal Tunnel, a 9.2km long tunnel constructed at above 10,000 feet above sea level and a real marvel of modern day engineering. 

We turn off towards Gramphoo and begin a beautiful off-road section, one that will provide the group with a taste of some of the terrain to come in the following days. 

We drive till Chhatru, have lunch and return the way we came before heading on to Sissu – our halt for the day. This will also be a good night of acclimatization, as we shall spend the night at just over 10,000 feet above sea level, holding us in good stead for the rest of the trip.

SISSU– PADUM (190 km)

We take the road from Sissu to Padum via Keylong, Darcha, Shingo La, Kargiak and Purne. Though the road has been largely tarred, the ride remains challenging with dirt stretches, bare-bones infrastructure along the route, the possibility of water/ice crossings and maybe even snow atop the 16,800 ft high pass – Shingo La – the Gateway to the Zanskar Valley. Further along the road we cross the holy mountain – Gombo Ronjon, and make our way past the village of Purne, before riding along the Tsarap river for much of the remainder of the day. We halt in the town of Padum for the night.


One of the toughest days of the entire trip. We leave at first light and follow the smooth tarmac which soon turns into a narrow dirt track flowing along the Zangskar river. The route is spectacular, and one you would struggle to rival anywhere in the world! 

We arrive at a crossroads further on, with those willing and able having the option to make the climb to Lingshed. Those wishing to sample a new, uncharted route can head towards the hamlet of Yolchung, and climb the dirt that meets the old road just short of Singge La. We then surmount Sirsir La, and soon after we join the tarmac to Kargil – our halt for the night.

KARGIL – LEH (250 km)

This day has two options. 

Those wishing to visit the War Memorial at Drass may do so, before following the main highway to Leh.

Those that have the restless energy of a true explorer shall venture towards the Batalik sector – mere kilometres away from the LoC and a central area during the Kargil War, climbing Humboting La and following the rock strewn dirt road beyond for miles before rejoining the main highway.

Further on, we join the lesser known track to Likir and beyond, emerging short of Leh – our destination for the night.

LEH – HANLE (250 km)

We set off early from Leh towards Hanle – our destination for the next few days. The road is incredible – a mix of tarmac and dirt, with minimal traffic – all the tourists from Leh drawn towards the more mainstream sights. Time permitting, we will make a small detour to spectacular Tso Moriri for lunch, before carrying on to the spartan village of Hanle.  

Facilities are sparse and basic – a throwback to Ladakh of yore! Sit back and enjoy everyone’s company under the watchful gaze of the Milky Way at night – a truly cathartic experience!


We start the morning after breakfast and set off towards Umling La – the highest motorable pass in the world today! The altitude gain will be rapid – both man and machine will gasp for air as we make our ascent to the landmark location.

Truly a bucket list item for travellers all over the world – an achievement that will stay with those who make the summit for life! We return to Hanle via an alternate route, tarmac this time but no less spectacular!

HANLE – JISPA (370 km)

We start early from Hanle in a bid to make short work of the long day’s driving ahead. A mixture of dirt and tarmac, we pass the hot springs at Puga, cross the Tso Kar and hit the main highway between Debring and Pang.

The road is much improved but still tricky in sections, with the constant gain and drop in altitude along the way, making the drive a challenging one. 

Finally, once we surmount Baralacha La and cross over into Himachal Pradesh, we park up in Jispa for the night.

JISPA – MANALI (100 km) 

A short day’s drive from Jispa through the Atal Tunnel and down to Manali – back to civilization!

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the hotel spa, explore the Manali marketplace or just chill – the choice is yours! 

We reconvene in the evening over a barbeque and some drinks to celebrate a truly epic adventure with people who have now become friends for life!

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Cost for tour (Twin Sharing): TBA
Cost for pillion (Twin Sharing): TBA
Single Rooming Supplement (Optional): TBA


The cost includes:

1. Accommodation for 9 nights at places specified in the itinerary, on Twin Sharing basis.
2. Breakfast and dinner at all hotels.
3. Lunch/ tea/ refreshments en route on all riding days mentioned in the itinerary.
4. An Isuzu V-Cross 4×4 equipped with a VHF Radio for communication for the duration of the ride. The vehicle will carry your luggage, have a trained Mechanic onboard, Tool Kit, Puncture Kit, High Volume Air Pump, emergency fuel etc. and will sweep the course to ensure everyone is brought home to roost! All cars shall be equipped with radios as well to as network is spotty in the area, allowing us to keep a track of the entire group!
5. First Response Medical kit. 
6. Services of an Xplorearth lead vehicle and personnel, one backup truck driver/ mechanic.
7. Toll taxes, green fees and permissions required en route.


The cost excludes:

1. Accommodation & meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
2. Costs towards accidents/ illness and medical evacuation.
3.Expenses of a personal nature such as porterage at bell desk of hotels, soft beverages, alcoholic drinks, laundry, telephone/internet charges or room service.
5. Air/Train fares
6. Indian Visa fees
7. Anything not mentioned in the inclusions.


Born and bred in the Himalayas, we at Xplorearth are a group of passionate motorcyclists and 4×4 enthusiasts curating experiences for travellers from across the globe to experience these magical mountains. Our team is highly skilled and we take utmost care to look after every aspect of your journey from the moment you join us so all you need to do is enjoy the ride! 

Xplorearth started out as the logistics backbone for the Rally Raid de Himalaya and the pan-India National Superleague TSD Rally Championship. We have not only an unmatched understanding of the region, but also the infrastructure, local contacts and other intangibles that are crucial when organising a trip into these areas, particularly when other connectivity and healthcare infrastructure is underdeveloped! Moreover, our experience in the area helps us take riders on routes that most others haven’t even heard of!

Drive Leaders:
Xplorearth has a number of skilled and experienced ride leaders who have been heading expeditions for decades now! We share the common passion of all things adventure with our clients – something which transcends all barriers! Our team is well-versed with every single bend and rut enroute this journey, and also fluent in English as well as local dialects, making them the perfect guides to lead you through these remote and stunning regions. 

Hospitality, accommodation and cultural experiences:

Our team makes it a point to ensure the best possible accommodation even in the most remote regions! We understand the value of comfortable accommodation after a hard day’s drive, and make sure to cut no corners when designing our itineraries in this regard. All the hotels used on the trip shall be 3 or 4 star properties. Homestays and tents offered by other operators sound great in theory, but not so much so after a full day’s driving at high altitude!
Our knowledge of the region also allows us to point out certain cultural nuances and traditions to those who travel with us, making the entire experience a more fulfilling one!

Backup (medical and technical) and comms:
We use an Isuzu V-Cross 4×4 (or multiple, depending on group size!) equipped with a VHF Radio for communication as our backup vehicle for the drive. 
The vehicle will have a mechanic onboard, Tool Kit, Puncture Kit, High Volume Air Pump, emergency fuel etc. and will sweep the course to ensure everyone is brought home to roost! Unlike most other tour operators, we don’t simply throw everyone’s bag into the back of a local pick-up and hope for the best!
We put the utmost priority on rider safety during our rides. Our team understands the limitations that the remote areas of the Himalayas have when it comes to medical infrastructure and are well equipped to be the first-responders for any medical issue that may arise. We carry a comprehensive medical kit, stretcher, oxygen cylinders to deal with the altitude and so on to ensure that everyone makes it home safe! Our team also carries licensed VHF Radios for the duration of the trip – each vehicle will be fitted with such a radio during the trip to ensure smooth communication so that we can keep a track of the convoy and anyone in need can reach out to the team instantly – cellular connectivity in the region is extremely spotty!


To confirm your slot on the ride, or for more information on anything regarding it,
contact us on any of the following:

Email: [email protected]
Phone/ Whatsapp: Arjun +91 9769144072 / Vijay +91 9816004137

Email: [email protected]
Phone/ Whatsapp: Arjun +91 9769144072 / Vijay +91 9816004137