Places to See on a Manali-Leh Road Trip

Places in Manali-Leh Road Trip


The Manali-Leh road trip makes for one of the grandest experiences in the Indian Himalayas. The road trip starts from Manali, a picturesque tourist hotspot located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, and ends at Leh, the capital city of the Leh District in Jammu & Kashmir.

The Manali-Leh Highway stretches for more than 470 km., and the 2-3 days journey takes travelers through some spectacular tourist sites that are simply unforgettable. Here are some of the sites along the way that are sure to blow your mind!

Rohtang Pass


This high-altitude Himalayan pass is the first major hurdle on the Manali-Leh Highway, and it is just 51 km from Manali, which makes it one of the must-visit destinations on any Manali tour. Surrounded by the mighty snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, the pass has been used since ancient times, when traders frequented it to cross from the lush green Kullu Valley to the barren landscapes of the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys.

Unpredictable weather conditions often resulted in the deaths of these traders, which resulted in the name Rohtang or ‘pile of corpses’. Vehicular access through the pass is only possible between May and November,  so make sure that you plan your Manali-Leh road trip during this period.


Jispa travel

The small village of Jispa is located in the Lahaul Valley, and it is popular as a night-halt for people traversing the Manali-Leh Highway. The village is a far cry from urban landscapes, and its serene and peaceful ambiance makes it a dream destination for seekers of peace and spirituality.

While the village’s main attraction is the Jispa Monastery, which sees quite a lot of people during the peak tourist season, you can head to the banks of the Bhaga River if you want to surround yourself with peace instead of a lot of people.

Baralacha La


If the visit to Rohtang Pass was an awe-inspiring experience, just wait till you reach the Baralacha La, another high-altitude Himalayan pass that is perched even higher than Rohtang. At an altitude of over 16,000 ft., Baralacha La connects the Lahaul Valley to Ladakh, and even though the roads here are extremely difficult and dangerous to navigate, the views would leave you wanting for more!



Like Jispa, Sarchu too is popular with Manali-Leh travelers as a night halt, and it is here that you start to feel the Ladakhi vibe. The landscape is a drastic change from the greenery of the Kullu and Lahaul Valleys, with very little greenery visible around you. However, you certainly won’t be complaining too much about it, as the gorgeous greenery gives way to breathtaking barrenness at this point.

Sarchu is also well-known to trekkers as the base for a long and tiring trek into the Zanskar region of the Himalayas.

Over the years, Manali tourism in India has seen thousands of travelers, both Indians and foreigners, traverse the Manali-Leh Highway. While the adventurous ones hire heavy-duty motorbikes for the trip, the more conservative tourists opt for four-wheelers. You might have to spend quite a lot of money to reach Leh from Manali, but rest assured that it would be money well spent!