Delhi to Leh Ladakh via Manali is one of the most popular routes in India. People love going through this scenic route and enjoy the challenges that come with it. While a car ride is a much-preferred mode of transportation, you can now easily have a cheaper bus journey on the same route. The bus route from the capital to one of the most beautiful places on earth is operated by the HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation). The New Delhi to Ladakh bus service will be functional from the summer season until the onset of winter. This bus route aims to improve the footfall in the valley.
New Delhi to Ladakh Bus Service
The bus service from Delhi to Ladakh was flagged off in 2019. It was challenging to arrange a bus for such a lengthy route. The bus service by HRTC will be available for almost 6 months from April and will be available till the end of September when the snowfall starts. The bus service will not be available during the winter months. Not only is this route convenient for the locals and tourists but will also take you via Manali to get a glimpse of that paradise as well.
The Delhi-Leh Bus Route
The New Delhi to Ladakh bus route is one of the longest with a total distance of 1026 km. The bus route passes through snow-capped mountains and a few challenging stretches such as Tanglang La, Baralacha La, and Lachung La, high passes as well. This is one of the rare routes that pass through various types of terrains including cities, desolate wastelands, and villages before reaching the snowy mountain valley.
Since this is a long route, there will be a halt at night at Keylong. But you will not be travelling on the same bus the next morning. There will be another bus with a new driver ready to take you to your destination. It could take 3-4 changes for the bus and its driver along the way.
A journey on this bus will be nothing short of an adventure. The route will take you from Delhi through Chandigarh, Manali, Rohtang Pass, Keylong, Jispa, Baralacha La, Sarchu, NakeeLa, Lachulung La, Pang, Tanglang La, Upshi, Karu, and Leh.
New Delhi to Ladakh Bus Journey
The travel duration from New Delhi to Ladakh on the HRTC bus is 36 hours, including a 10-hour break at Keylong. The bus departs New Delhi ISBT at 3.30 pm and will reach Chandigarh by 9 pm to take a short break. Resuming the journey from here, the bus will then reach Manali by 5 am the next morning. There will be a break and a change of bus here and the journey resumes by 10 am. From here, the bus reaches Keylong by 7.30 pm where you will be halting for the night. The bus will again start at 5 am the next morning and will reach Leh by 7 pm. The bus from Delhi to Leh operates on alternate days.
Stay at Keylong and Other Breaks
At Keylong, there is a special campsite setup for the passengers arriving from Delhi and Leh for the return journey. Though the camp is set up for you, you must ensure that you are ready before the bus departs. The bus will not be waiting for you. Apart from this night stay, the bus will be taking frequent breaks for the evening snacks, dinner, breakfast, lunch etc, on the way. These stops are likely at Ropar, Pandoh, Gulaba, Koksar, Bharatpur, Pang, Upshi, etc.
Moreover, the bus will have additional stops at each of the mountain passes allowing you to take some pictures and enjoy the views.
New Delhi to Ladakh Bus Fare
The Delhi to Leh bus fare will be approximately INR 1500 per person for the one-way journey. Since this is not a direct route and you will be taking at least two buses, the ticket charges will be separate.
The first ticket will be from Delhi to Keylong, which will cost INR 1055. The next bus will be from Keylong to Leh, which you can purchase from the bus stand or get an extension on the same ticket. This will cost an additional fare of INR 500. These are the minimal charges which can be higher, depending on various factors.
The New Delhi to Ladakh bus service by HRTC is operated on standard non-AC buses. If you are expecting a luxury AC bus, you are in for a disappointment. Not only are the buses even semi-luxurious, but HRTC is also the only bus operator functioning on this route. Travelling by this bus will be more of an adventure where you can enjoy the route rather than a luxurious journey where you simply relax and admire the route.