My father who is a month short of his 73rd birthday, insisted on travelling from Leh to Manali by road. That worked as an impetus to us, for me, my wife to take my parents by road from Leh to Manali. We are very thankful to my father as because of him, we could witness the nascent and subtle effect of nature, and the breathtaking views of the second most beautiful road trip in the world.
The distance of 479 kms can be covered on a single day also, but we opted to do it in two days, as my parents are too old to take such a long drive in this difficult terrain in a single day.
We started from Leh early in the morning, had breakfast on the road, and were on our way. The first highest point we crossed was Tanglang La, which was covered with snow on the mountain sides, we had a photostop to enjoy natural snow, at 17,400 feet.
We stayed the nights inside tents at Sarchu, which was the most unique experience. When we arrived around 1430 the wind was blowing at 20kms/ hr, and we were shivering in the cold. At night fall, the temperatures fell further. Sometime around midnight, the wind totally stopped. The place has no electricity. The darkness of the night, the eerie of silence, with dog barks being heard quite a distance, was an experience never to be forgotten.
We were coming from Leh. We met some bikers who were coming from Manali, they had respiration problems due to paucity of oxygen in air, as they had come from down below.
Next morning we started at 6 in the morning and we crossed Baralacha La at 16,500 feet. This place had walls of snow on both sides of the road, and again Oxygen content in the air was very less. It was important for us to cross the area early in the morning, as water from the glacier melts and starts flowing in the afternoon, and makes the roads slippery.
By afternoon we crossed Rohtang pass, but our entry to Manali got delayed due to long traffic snarl on entry point at Manali.
It was the most beautiful road trip in India which we did, and we did with my parents.