I am planning a road trip to Leh, Jammu & Kashmir, India, that's quite a place for motorcycle enthusiasts. However, due to some time constraint, I may not be starting my trip from Delhi.

I checked out various web pages about shortest travel routes which could minimise the travel time. I came up with these two cities Pathankot and Chandigarh. I calculated the distance and travel time which were respectively almost similar from both places to Leh.

However I'm not certain whether to take public transport from Pathankot/Chandigarh to Leh or just hire a bike from these two places. Can someone detail the travel time from these two cities to Leh.

4 Answers 4


Leh by road is once in a life time trip. You can go by bike, but you need to take necessary precautions. We did this trip in a car(Toyota Qualis) two years back (2012) and we loved the experience We took the route Pathonkot-Srinagar-Sonmarg-Kargil-Leh We stayed at Kargil for a day While coming back We took Leh - Jispa - Manali with a stay in Jispa Please visit http://leh.nic.in/ for the status of road being opened. Generally both the routes open by first week of June. I have not seen convenient public transport for both the routes. Best option is Bike, but please do take necessary precautions about bike travel as the amazing beauty comes with its doses of challenges. We summarized our experiences in http://www.amazon.in/Road-Leh-Discovering-Heaven-Earth-ebook/dp/B00FU94FKC I am not trying to sell that here (there are more professional write-up on the subject), but if you are interested in knowing about our experience, drop a note and I will see if I can get a PDF across to you !! Also visiting some places in Leh require permits. Take the trip and have fun.

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    Thanks for clarifying your affiliation with the title, it's good to see. Sounds like a great trip!
    – Mark Mayo
    May 1, 2014 at 2:16

Leh is quite difficult to reach: there are only two roads, one from Srinagar and the other from Manali. Starting from either requires at least two days by public transport, and starting from Chandigarh or Pathatkot means you will need to add a day just to get to Manali.

If you are pressed for time and are starting from Delhi, the sensible thing to do is to simply fly from Delhi direct.


Pathankot to Leh will take a lot lesser time due to better road conditions as compared to Chandigarh to Leh via Manali. You would save atleast ten hours of driving time if you started from Pathankot.

The reason Pathankot-Leh road is better is because it is used by the Indian Army as a supply route to Kargil and other regions where as Manali-Leh road is hardly used by anyone except for local commuting.

Source : I have been to Leh by road five times and used both routes.


I would suggest taking overnight bus from Chandigarh to Manali. This way you can travel comfortably in the night saving time. From Leh you can either hire bike to ride till Leh (if you're an adventure enthusiast, and more importantly have prepared well for Manali-Leh Bike trip) or take Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus which runs daily from Manali to Leh (overnight stay at Keylong). HRTC bus starts from Manali in the morning at 9:00am and reaches Keylong in the evening and next day starts early morning from Keylong reaching Leh by night. Bus would take around 36 hours.

Also remember this route Manali to Leh is not open all year round and closes in Winter due to snowfall.

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