Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey 2013

7:25 AM


Some call it 'The Holy Grail' 'The Mecca' or 'The bikers paradise', but for me it was a passion to ride on the world's highest motor-able road. Even before I had bought my Enfield, I had decided that the coming year I will be visiting this heaven on earth. However, as I received delivery of my bike late in 2012 I could not go for the trip in that year. And I was waiting like cuckoo clock for the announcement of the Himalayan Odyssey 2013.

Himalayan Odyssey is an annual event organized by Royal Enfield which starts from Delhi, having Nubra Valley as its other extreme end. Registrations for the Odyssey can be done on their website given below:

Registrations are opened usually two months before the event, that is around early May. As the demand for this ride is very high, all the 100 slots were filled within 4-5 days.

Preparation for the event:
Himalayan Odyssey requires lot of preplanning and preparations, especially for a first timer. After the registration on the website, we have to provide RE many documents including insurance for self and the bike, medical certificate, driving licence and bike registration certificate. Good thing is as soon as you are registered, a Facebook group is created by the RE for all the riders of the event. Here you can share your concerns with the fellow riders.

The first thing I did after registration was booking flight tickets as I could not afford leaves at office to go by Train. The next thing you need is riding gear. After doing a lot of Google research and trying out everything, I finally went for Royal Enfield jacket, gloves and boots with DSG pants. Now came the part of sending bike to Delhi. Well, you can send bike either with train or by road. To take the bike as parcel, it costs around 800 Rs but as always you cannot trust Indian Railways and I was not ready to take that risk. At this point the Facebook group comes handy. We were 16 riders from Bangalore, we decided to send our bikes with group package via GATI road transport. We got a group discount and it costed us 4500 Rs to send bike from Bangalore to Delhi including packing.  

And viola..!!! Our journey began...

Day 1: Bangalore-Delhi [20/06/2013]: 

Hotel Royal Plaza, New Delhi
We started in the afternoon, directly from office. Saving leaves is hell of a task, hence the half day work. Our Indigo flight was at 3:30 pm and it was on time. We were out of Delhi IGI airport by 6pm. As soon as flight door was opened the heat wave of Delhi welcomed us. Kinshuk gave a smile and told me Welcome to Delhi. We booked taxi  from the airport and went straight to Blue Frog where the 10th Himalayan Odyssey anniversary party was to be held. When we entered the pub it was getting cleaned for the party :-/ . So, we decided to check in at the Hotel and come back to the pub. Our stay in Delhi was arranged at The Royal Plaza Hotel which is near India gate[~ 2Kms].

RE had arranged a bus service from the Hotel to the pub and back [Obvious, they do not want drink and ride]. When we reached Blue Frog, party had already started. The highlights of the party were Royal Enfield special drink menu, a clip from previous odysseys and Advaitha band. Party got over by night 12 and we took the bus back to the Hotel.

Day 2: Delhi  [21/06/2013]: 

Bulls lined up at Hotel parking lot.
We got up early in the morning. It was fitness test day. We had to run 5kms and 50 push-ups in one hour.
Streets of Delhi were our jogging tracks. Well, I finished the test well within time, thanks to some lousy preparation which gave me some confidence if not built my stamina. And after the buffet breakfast we went to collect bikes from GATI. With lot of anxiety when I opened my bike I was happy to see the minimum damage except for number plate dent. After coming back to Hotel we got bikes and riding gear scrutinized. We went to Kake Da Hotel for Lunch. Amazing Butter Chicken and Rotis for lunch after a tiring morning. After lunch we had briefing of our tour by Sachin Chavan, GM of Marketing. He announced that Santhosh Vijay will be leading our group of 50 riders.We were given tshirt, buff and stickers for the bike. Rest of the day was free, I went for a walk to India Gate.

Day 3: Delhi -Parwanoo [22/06/2013]:

Bulls lined at India Gate
And the morning we have been waiting for 3 months has arrived. We again woke up early morning, wore riding gear, had breakfast, prepared bike with a final cleanup for our show off at the India gate. Santhosh Vijay and Sachin Chavan were leading us in formation of 2 till India Gate. I say, it was a proud moment for all of us to ride in front of India Gate as the passerby were clicking our photos, we were celebrities in a day. We had a brief speech by RE VP, we were given good luck shawls and threads by the monks.

And thus 100 bullets started roaring on the streets of Delhi. We were riding in the formation of 2 till Chandigarh Highway. Our first regroup point was at Rasoi Dhaba, 50 Kms from India Gate on Delhi-Chandigarh Highway. Sun had already come out and we were wet, not because it was raining but because of the Delhi heat. Insanely thick riding gear had added flavor to the heat. 2 lassi at the Dhaba gave a little respite. But we continued as the sun came out. Our next hop was McD, outside Chandigarh. Another 150 km away from the dhaba, our ETA was 1 pm. AC at the McD was the best thing of the day after the flag off from the India Gate.  We waited till all the riders arrived.
Hotel Windsmoor at Parwanoo

We had to take a right on bypass road to reach Parwanoo, which was our destination of the day. We started around 2:30, another 50 kms on nicely built highway. As we started climbing the hill temperature came down a little and was a big respite. We reached the hotel Windsmoor by 4 pm. The rooms are served on first come basis. Me and Kinshuk got a room.

After freshen up a decent dinner was waiting for us at the restaurant. Tired face crashed.

Total Kms travelled: 300
Best part of the Day: That proud moment when  you ride on Janpath, swirling around India Gate looking at it high on your bull. Priceless..
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 4: Parwanoo-Narkanda  [23/06/2013]:
Briefing by Santhosh
And now we were used to getting up early in the morning. Every ride starts with a briefing on how we will proceed for the day. Santhosh was infront of the hotel at 7:30 am, all the riders had arrived. He told us about where all we stop for the day for the regrouping, some riding techniques were given to ride on curves.

We started around 8 am, we had to go on Shimla highway but not till Shimla, after around 30 kms take a right towards Khanda ghat. And we were told to regroup outside Kufri town. The weather was perfect for riding. As we cruised on the highway, Kyron was standing at the deviation towards Khanda ghat. After the right we were inside the mountains, riding in a drizzle, a perfect weather for a rider. The roads were narrow sometimes even a single lane but the fun on riding them was not less. I always loved curves than highways. I was riding with Kinshuk, we were told to always ride in group or atleast have someone in your eye sight, it helps when you need help. We reached the Kufri town by 12 and had lunch at the amazingly slow serviced Himachal Pradesh tourism hotel.

Riders in a drizzle.
The ride from Kufri to Naraknda was a small ride of 50kms on a well maintained two lane highway NH 22. We reached Hotel Hatu by 3'o clock. The hotel resides high on the hills. The place was absolutely beautiful. After high tea, I went out to the town of Narkanda for a walk and photography.

On NH 22

Hotel Hatu at Narkanda
The fog had covered the Hotel by evening 6 and it was getting cold, awesome butter chicken and manchaw soup was waiting for us for dinner. The view from my room was astonishing but I decided to close it and went to bed.

Total Kms travelled: 160
Best part of the day: The riding through the curves in a drizzle, tempting.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 5: Narkanda-Manali [24/06/2013]:

Misty morning at Narkanda

Our actual route to reach Leh was via Kalpa and Kaza. But just a few weeks back flash-flood had caused the road swept away in rain (You may remember Uttarakhand tragedy). So, we decided to take a reroute to Manali and take the usual Manali-Leh road. Most of us were disappointed as Kaza to Keylong is said to be the best. Especially Murtaza, I wonder how many alternate theories he would have thought in his mind and some presented to Santhosh too which were declined mercilessly.
Riding along with Sutlez

The morning was misty, rainy. Santhosh briefed us in the rain. All of us including him were excited since this was the first time Odyssey was taking this route and they were not sure what was ahead.

And as usual we started in group. The roads were good for first 20Kms, after that it became rocky and narrow. Soon enough we were riding along the banks of Sutlej river. Rain had stopped by this time but the surface was still wet and slippery with loose rocks. We were riding carefully as there was frequent traffic too on that narrow road. After 53kms from riding we reached Anni, a small town[ still big enough in that area]. We stopped there for tea.

Town Anni

The roads from here were really good and went through the country side. Beautiful houses below the mountains and the school going children were cheering us while riding. Definitely the best part of the day. Again as we started climbing the mountains it started raining. And soon we were rising on slush. We encountered our first small water crossing. And everybody stopped there for the photos. Now we were heading towards the Jalori pass. The climb began very steep and my bike could run only on 1st gear. Those 500cc riders were riding at much higher speed [Only time you feel pity at your bike]. The climb to Jalori pass was better than expected for many riders. It was very cold at the pass. Santhosh advised us to leave early as this could cause sickness[3135m/10281 feet].

Murtaza, Kinshuk and Myself

Riders on a roll near Jalori Pass.

At Jalori Pass

We started riding down and this was much difficult than climbing. Use of clutch and you were loosing control over your bike. Roads were slippery with slush and rain. We had to reach Sojha for our grouping. We reached there by 1:15 PM. The only hotel/guest house there is Raja guest house. The host was very busy serving 50 riders. Only thing we could get in time was maggi. Distance from Anni-Sojha was 81 kms.

Guest House at Sojha
Distance from here to the Manali highway was 30kms and the road was decent enough. As soon as we reached Manali Highway we gave the full throttle to our bike and we reached Manali by 5 PM. The rooms were allotted at Samrat Hotel in Manali. We were told that the next day is a rest day for us in Manali.

Total Kms travelled: 200
Best part of the day: Riding from Anni to Jalori pass, including me for most of the first timers this was the first pass they rode in their life.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 6: Manali Rest Day [25/06/2013]:

Hotel Samrat, Manali
We had a rest day in Manali. Bikes which needed service were attended at the Hotel by mechanics. And most important of all it was a laundry day. Making our laundry count to zero. We did nothing much for the day except oiling the bikes. I went for a ride in Manali, visited few places. We had dinner arranged for us.

Total Kms travelled: 0
Best part of the day: Lunch at cafe Johnson.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 7: Manali-Keylong [26/06/2013]:

Rohtang Pass base.

Ride at Rohtang Pass
As I woke up in that chilly weather, I peeked through the window outside. It was drizzling and I realized its gonna be a hell of a day. I wore my complete riding gear along with the thermals. We started to Rhotang Pass base, our first grouping point. The drizzle continued and we rode through the forests of Manali in those curvy road. It was cold and the rain water had found its way to our body. We covered 50 kms in an hour and  reached the base. Some bike had got punctured on the way. So, we waited for it to come for an hour. First rule of HO is "Leave no one behind". We all had tea and took photographs.

By this time Rohtang pass was buzzing with tourists and the cars had started to pile up on the road. Advantage of a bike is it overtakes all of them :P. We reached the pass. I stopped there for a short while. To be fair, I was worried about mountain sickness. I took some pictures and left. People were skiing and it was a hot commercial spot [not my type].

Riding down Rohtang Pass.

The downhill ride from the pass was tricky and we had to meet up at Koksar for the second grouping. We had our brunch here. While Kinshuk and Murtaza had the best Mutton rice, I had to settle with the Omlet :(.

As we started riding down for some more kms we came across a water crossing. This was pleasant, we crossed it one by one and did not try to be hero overtaking while water crossing. From here the roads were good till Tandi[The last petrol bunk, after this the next petrol Bunk is 300Kms away near leh]. We were told to get full tanked. Kyron collected money from everyone and he got a barrel filled with extra petrol for refueling at Sarchu. The barrel was kept in the Luggage Truck. The road from here to Keylong was pretty bad, we had to ride slow and carefully.

Tandi Petrol Bunk

 We reached Keylong by 5P.M. The hotel we were staying was Dekyid and it was pretty good. As soon as I checked in I took a hot shower bath and went for Keylong city visit. I found a terrace to capture the sunset on the opposite Himalayas. The view from my Hotel was astonishing.

View from the Hotel

Total Kms travelled: 120
Best part of the day: Driving down the Rohtang Pass. Fun at Tandi Petrol Bunk
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 8: Keylong-Sarchu [27/06/2013]:

Small towns in the valley
As usual we started early in the morning. Santhosh briefed us about the day at the school ground which was near the hotel. The roads were good and everyone started to stop for photographs every few kilometers. May be the reason was the ride of the day was just for 130Kms. We were riding alongside with the valley, and the view was picturesque. After riding for an hour and half we had our first major water crossing. Everyone stood in a line to cross the water. Kyron was on other side guiding us with the best path to cross the water. This is the place where most of the riders got there socks and pants wet(with ice cold water). The feeling of crossing it was amazing.

Kaizad makes his way

Picturesque lake, name unknown.

After riding for some more time we had another picturesque lake on our left. Most of the bikers stood there. Not just us, there were some people from BMW motorrad as well. I decided to be a little foolish and trekked to the other side of the mountain to photograph a small water stream which ofcourse caused dizziness and severe headache at Sarchu as I ran not hiked to that stream.

Sexy twists and turns of Baralachla.
Our regroup point was Bharatpur, just after Baralachla. As we climbed up Baralachla pass, the snow started to mount on the mountains. At the Baralachla pass it was very cold. I did not take the risk of staying there as I had already seen few signs of headache. I rode down till the plains of Sarchu were visible.

Our camps at Sarchu. Bulls parked outside.
The camp was on right side and there were already few riders on the road showing us the direction to turn. The camps were neat. After freshen up, I decided to take a photography tour around the camp. Which led to more headache in the night. I call it the worst headache I ever had in my life. I had little dinner and went to bed in that freezing cold.

Total Kms travelled: 130
Best part of the day:  The first major water crossing. Who wasn't excited there?
Mobile Network available: No network

Day 9: Sarchu-Leh [28/06/2013]:

Beginning of planes of Ladakh.

The morning at Sarchu was not pleasant either. It was cold and I still did have little headache and was feeling dizzy. Doctor Naveen Saab came to help now. He gave a tablet which worked. I wasnt fine but still chose to ride. Soon after entering JnK we were into the plains of Ladakh. What a beautiful morning it was. I forgot all problems of my body. Riding there was a bliss. A bliss which most are not blessed with. We had 250kms to cover today with three majors passes. Our first pitstop was at Pang checkpost after Lachung La, 70 kms from Sarchu. We reached there by 12 PM. The tented restaurants had little to offer but still a lot in that human scarce area. Many riders had dozed off inside the tents, may be the tiredness from Sarchu. Kyron was not letting anyone sleep though.

Mani Bhai at Chang checkpost

The next pass was Tanglangla and we had to cross 40kms of More plains to reach there. This road has an average elevation of 4000 metres  and is flanked by mountain ranges on both sides. At some places the road runs along the Sumkhel Lungpa river featuring some stunning sand and rock natural formations. The road now here is constructed properly and its a beautiful feeling to ride. The mountains are photogenic. The road from the end of More plains to Tanglangla was pathetic. There were like million speed bumps and everybody had there ass getting hurt. Everyone must have thanked God when they reached Tanglangla.

More Planes.

At Tanglangla Pass

Wallpaper display continues on the roads

Our next regroup was at Upshi. A small checkpost just before Leh. Everyone reached there by 5 PM. Omlet helped the hungry stomach. After the counting, we started riding to Leh, another 50KMs, the road from here were in very good and most of the time we went through the fields on both sides. We reached the Hotel Namgyal Palace by 6 PM.

A phew. Reached Namgyal Palace in Leh. 1st stage of Himalayan Odyssey is completed successfully.

Total Kms travelled: 250
Best part of the day:  Riding in the More plains.
Mobile Network available: BSNL available. Airtel network is available but you need postpaid connection. For prepaid connections only data is available.

Day 10: Leh Rest Day [29/06/2013]:

Pathhar Saheb.
Because of Kaza and Kalpa cancellation we had 3 rest days at Leh. First day we decided to goto nearby places. Morning time, we had to do laundry and set our laundry counter to zero. After lunch we headed to Pathhar Saaheb, a Gurudwara. The next stop was obviously the Magnetic Hill. Many said they felt the magnetic effect. I was yet to feel it. For me it was just a plain magic trick.

Over exposed me. And no Helmet too. Bad Ramnath. @Magnetic Hill

Shades of Ladakh. @Magnetic Hill

We then went to the confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers. We could see some rafting in the river but we chose not to do it.  We rode back to the town and Kinshuk, Mani bhai and Murtaza went for shopping. Family problems.

Indus valley 

Total Kms travelled: ~100
Best part of the day:  Riding to the Magnetic Hill.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 11: REunion Day [30/06/2013]:

Reunion North
The day was REunion Day. Royal Enfield's first reunion in the north. We were given tshirt, bands and free meal vouchers at the reunion. We went there in the morning around 11 a.m. Nothing was happening at that time. Guess all bikers are not morning persons. We decided to go out of the venue and explore more in the town. So, we went to Leh Palace.

Ancient palace of Leh was built in 16th century by the Namgyal Dynasty. We took some pictures and headed to market again for shopping. In the evening we went back to the reunion venue and watched some events and had dinner.

Leh Palace

 Total Kms travelled: ~I n the city
Best part of the day:  Reunion party in the night.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 12: Leh-Pangong Tso [01/07/2013]:

At Chang La
Previous day we had planned for Pangong trip and booked cabs. We were totally 15 people in 3 Xylo. We started at morning 6. The drive to the Pangong was around 250 kms one way.

The roads were good for few tens of kms but after that they turned out to be bad especially when we neared ChangLa pass. We regretted not coming by our bikes. But once we reached the lake after 5 hours of journey we forgot everything. That was the most beautiful lake I had seen ever.

Pangong Tso

Pangong Tso (Tibetanང་གོང་མཚོWyliespang gong mtshoHindi: पांगोंग त्सो; Chinese班公错pinyinbangongcuo), Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is an endorheic lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from Indiato Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km2. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water.
(Source: Wiki)

We stayed at the lake for 3 hours. Had lunch at the offshore cafes. The food was decent for that place.
We took GBs worth pictures. Murtaza was brave enough to take bath in that ice cold water. On the return journey nobody cared about road and everyone was sleeping in the car.

 Total Kms travelled: ~ 0Kms ride ( drove ~450kms)
Best part of the day:  Pangong lake.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 13: Leh- Hunder [02/07/2013]:

Just reached Khardung La
This was the day when we would be riding on one of the World's highest motorable roads. Its a common misconception that Khardung La is world's highest motorable road. Well, it actually comes 5th in the  list. Our first regroup point was at South Pullu before Khardung La. The road to Khardung La was good ( better than other passes we had been). Once we reached Khardung La it was a photography session for all.  The joy of standing below 'World's highest motorable road) was priceless. Santhosh had warned us to not stay at the Khardung La pass for a long time. So, soon we started heading down towards North Pullu which is on other side of the pass. Roads were neat once we rode down onto the other side. We stopped at North Pullu for brunch. As usual maggie and brown egg omlet at that altitude tastes amazing. Ride from here to Hunder was short and we reached Hunder in one and half hour.

Nubra Valley

Nubra (Tibetan : ལྡུམ་ར; Wylie : ldum ra; English : Nubra) is a tri-armed valley located to the north east of Ladakh valley. Diskit the capital of Nubra is about 150 km north from Leh town, the capital of Ladakh district, India. Local scholars say that its original name was Ldumra (the valley of flowers). The Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus river. The average altitude of the valley is about 10,000 ft. i.e. 3048 metres above the sea level. 

(Source: Wiki)

Our camps at Hunder

We were given tents in Royal Camp and Hunder Sarai camp in Hunder. Tents were good with attached toilet. After a quick tea we went to Nubra sand dunes. Here you see the double hump camels. We spent our evening in the sand dunes.

Later in the night we had camp fire, a perfect time for everyone to share there moments.
Bonfire in the night

Total Kms travelled: ~ 140Kms.
Best part of the day: That moment at Khardung La
Mobile Network available: BSNL available

Day 14: Hunder-Leh [03/07/2013]:

Today we knew that we had to ride for a shorter distance, so we were slow at everything. Right from the camp we started, we stopped at every few kms to take photographs. A 140 kms ride took 6 hours to complete and we were at Leh for lunch at 1 pm. Knowing that it was not necessary for the day Santhosh did not give us any regroups.
At Khalsar

Common Hoopoe

Later in the evening we finished remaining part of the shopping and went out for dinner.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 140Kms.
Best part of the day: Riding at  the planes near Khalsar
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 15: Leh-Tsokar [04/07/2013]:

Fun rides.
Santhosh briefed us in the morning about day's ride. We had to regroup at Upshi and after Tanglangla for the group picture at the beginning of the More Planes. This time the ride was smooth, we were aware of the roads and the time it would take to make it. Hence it resulted in many pitstops for relaxation and pictures.

We reached Upshi for brunch and we never miss a chance to have brunch. Ride from here to Tanglang La did not seem tiring this time. We were at the base of Tanglang La by 2'o clock.
Fun ride 2

After lunch we started offroading to the More Planes to find the perfect place for the group photograph. Its a tradition for Himalayan Odyssey to take a group photograph at More Planes. We all parked our bikes in a line and took the photograph [The one at the beginning].

Guptaji in action

From here our camps at Tsokar were 10ksm inside. We had to go offroading to reach the camps. These camps were situated at a beautiful location a little far from Tsokar lake. After having tea and freshen up we headed towards the lake in our bike. The lake was beautiful, serene, pleasant.

Nirvana at Tsokar

Campside trails

Milyway at Tsokar

Night time I tried to capture milkyway and got some good pictures.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 170Kms.
Best part of the day: Watching Milkyway with naked eye for the first time
Mobile Network available: No network

Day 16: Tsokar-Keylong [05/07/2013]:

Stream burst
We had to ride 270kms today. Longest ride in the Odyssey and the toughest one. Santhosh suggested us to leave early in the morning and reach Keylong before dark. More planes did not look that great in the morning. We crossed Lachulungla and Nakeela pass and just before Gata loops, actually on the top of it my bike got punctured. Kinshuk and Murtaza has gone ahead, so I was alone. I waited for the service truck to come. They were there within half an hour and my bike was standing within an hour. Now, I had to cover up the time I had lost. I turned the accelerator and did not stop anywhere till I reached Bharatpur. We had lunch here.

From here I did not stop till I reached Keylong to our hotel. Well, I had reached there just before dark by 5:30.

Flat tyre.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 270Kms.
Best part of the day: An unexpected stream burst after Bharatpur
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 17:Keylong-Manali [06/07/2013]:

Firt boots
The final day of Himalayas. After this we will be out into the concrete jungle again. So, I was enjoying every bit of today's ride. Today we had a short ride of 115 kms on a road which we knew. I stopped at every possible place, took pictures. Our regroup was at Koksar, the one with the mutton rice. Kinshuk wanted to have it in the same hotel we had been while going to Leh. The climb from here to Rohtang pass had traffic. Especially at the Rohtang pass it had started raining and the visibility was merely 20 meters. I was actually riding blind, slowly and steadily with headlights on. The rain had caused slush on the road. By the time I got out of that mess my boots had become dirt boots.

Fog at Rohtang pass

Murtaza is happy.

We had another regroup at Marrhi after Rohtang. Everyone here seemed checking their boots and bikes completely covered in dirt. Few did not stop, they rode to Manali. Manali was 40kms from here and it had started raing again. By the time I reached my hotel in Manali I was completely drenched.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 110Kms.
Best part of the day: Riding at Rohtang Pass in the slush.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 18: Manali-Chandigarh [07/07/2013]:

Mystic lake behind HPTDC hotel

We woke up to the drizzle. Manali had seen rain last night. The roads were wet and so were bikes parked outside. By the time we got out of Manali the rain started mounting on us, we were driving slowly on those truck filled roads. The ride of the day was for 250kms and we had one regroup just before Bilaspur town. I din not take out camera nor did I get out of my bike comfort-zone, thanks to the rain. I stopped at HPTDC restaurant near Bilaspur. ManiBhai followed me.

Again, from here I did not stop till I reached Chandigarh. The hotel we were staying was Hotel Park View in Sector 24.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 250Kms.
Best part of the day: Riding in the rain.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 19 : Chandigarh to Delhi [08/07/2013]:

Happiness after completion of Odyssey
Chandigarh had its heater turned on. We had our riding gear which was acting like catalyst. While Santhosh was briefing us it started raining heavily rather pouring. It was a phew moment for me. Santhosh told us there is no regroup point today and we meet directly at Ashok Country Resort in Delhi and abandoned us. We started riding in rain and it rain completely all the way till Delhi. I did have only one stop for Chai and Paratha. 

Finding the resort in Delhi was tedious, Guptaji came to rescue. We entered the resort completely wet. We had a celebration party in the night with certificate distribution.

Total Kms travelled: ~ 240Kms.
Best part of the day: Riding in the rain.
Mobile Network available: All networks available.

Day 20: Delhi-Bangalore [09/07/2013]:

Last day of the tour. We were told that we had deal with GATi to transport our bikes at a lower price. Morning they had come to resort and they packed our bikes at the resort itself. This was a relief as we did not have to burden ourselves with any of these things.
Our flight was in the night and it got delayed because of the rain but landed safely in Bangalore :)

Cost of the trip:

Well, it will vary from person to person based on their needs but here is the budget of the Himalayan Odyssey:
Registration: 30,000
Flight tickets two way: 10,000
Petrol: 10,000
Riding gear(if you are buying new): 25,000
Bike transport: 10,000
Food and misc: (10000)
Total: 1,00,000 Rs.

To Carry things:

I. Equipment:

First Aid Box (scroll below for contents)*
Tool Bag/Pouch (Contents)
Bike-specific Spares Contents
Aloksak Waterproof Zip Lock bags – 2 sets
Cell phone with charger
Camera kit (with lenses & flash if SLR) with spare batteries & charger*
Tripod and/or Shoulder pod
LED Flashlight/Headlamp – 2 with spare batteries*
Swiss Army Knife

II. Riding Gear
Helmet with new visor
Skull cap/bandana/balaclava
Riding Goggles (UV/Polarized)
Riding Jacket with Thermal Liner
Armored Gloves
Waterproof/Thermal Gauntlet (long sleeved glove)
Waist support belt
Riding Shorts/trunks
Riding Pants with Thermal Liner
Sealskinz Socks (waterproof submersible)
Riding Boots

III. Clothing & Accessories
Thermal Underwear – long sleeve/long johns – 1 set
Sweatshirts – 2
T-shirts – 5
Jeans – 2
Shorts/Track pants – 3
Chappals/ Quickdry Floaters – 1
Y-Briefs or Trunks – 5
Nylon Belt – 1
Cotton Socks – 5 
Woolen Socks – 2
Woolen Cap/Beanie – 1
Woolen Inner Gloves – 1
Wide Brimmed hat or Baseball cap – 1
Micro-fiber Wind cheater or lightweight Fleece jacket – 1
Towel – 1
Handkerchief – 2

IV. Personal Hygiene
Toothpaste (small tube)*
Tooth Brush
Liquid Soap*
Shampoo sachets or 60ml bottle*
Face wash*
Cold Cream*
Sunscreen Lotion UVA/UVB – SPF50 or higher*
Electric shaver
Roll-on Deo or Spray
Washing Detergent soap or powder (small sachet)

Water Bottles and/or Hydration Pack

V. First Aid Kit:
Diamox (Acetazolamide) - Useful as a prophylactic for acute mountain sickness (AMS) and as an aid to acclimatization - RE will provide
Nicardia (Nifedipine) – Only in case of emergencies if HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) is suspected - RE will provide
Crocin Pain Relief (Paracetamol) – Relief from pain/ache and fever
Brufen 400mg – Relief from mild to severe body pain
Coldact – Relief from Cold
Avomine – Relief from Dizziness, Motion Sickness and Vomiting
Digene – Relief from Flatulence, Indigestion, acidity (mild)
Entroquinol – Relief from Loose motion (mild)
Eldoper – Relief from Loose motion (severe)
Streptsils Lozenges – Chewable tablets for relief from sore throat
Digital Thermometer
Cotton wool – 1 medium
Bandage Gauze – 5 (various sizes)
Micropore Paper plaster
Crepe Bandage – 2 (for fractures)
Belladonna bandage sheets – 2 (for sprains)
J&J Band-Aid FastHeal Washproof – Long, Square and circle patches
Voveran Thermagel – Ointment for sprains/muscular fatigue
Burnol – Antiseptic ointment (for Burns)
Betadine – Antiseptic Ointment for wounds and scratches
Healex Spray or equivalent Mediderma – Aerosol spray dressing for fresh wounds
Dettol Antiseptic Liquid – 50ml
Water purification tablets – mild concentration
Vicks/Amrutanjan Inhaler (Not to be shared)
Vaseline/Himalaya Lip guard (Not to be shared)

1. First Aid Kit
2. Camera Kit and tripod
3. Mobile and Mobile Charger
4. Bike accessories- spark plug, fuse, tube, clutch and break wire and lever.
5. One pair of clothes
6. 2 pairs of socks.
7. zip lock bags
8.  Torch
9. Swiss knife and a good knife
10. Riding pants and jackets thermal
11. Water bottle

If you need any information, do mail me @

                                                                     Keep riding

You Might Also Like


  1. Ramnath, One of the best blogs describing in detail about the Biking trip to Ladakh. This has been my dream from a long time and happy that you have achieved it. Thanks for taking us on a virtual trip to the Magical Wonderland with some amazing pictures and beautiful write-up.

  2. Thanks a lot buddy. If you are planning Ladakh bike trip any time, let me know.

  3. Congratulations, and thanks Ramnath for the elaborate blog! Hope my and my friends will be able make it through the Odyssey in 2015 :)

  4. The Best blog on the Odyssey read so far... thanks a lot for the minute details & wish U loads of success on every trip.


  5. Very informative Ramanath, Thank you. I have registered for 2014 HO.

  6. Hey Ramnath,

    An excellent read. This is Subhrajit from and we would love to have your blogs listed in our website. We have also launched a credit system for contributions by which contributors can reimburse the points for cool travel stuffs ( The credit points are a way of saying thank you for your sincere effort and time for writing.

    0091 8378997510
    Education: B.Tech (IIT Bombay) & MBA (IIM Lucknow)

  7. Hi Ramnath

    Was looking for information on how to book Himalayan ocussed bike tour 2015 for my Husband . Planning to give it to him as his 40th bday gift . Can you guide me to a contact or website to make the booking and advise on the bike ride . Looking forward for response.


    1. Hi Radhika,
      If you are going for official Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey then you can book it from the below website.
      The ride happens in second half of June and the registration opens by April. There are limited 50 seats and demand for this ride is huge. So the registration gets closed in 2-3 days. I would refer this ride as this is the cheapest and the best handled ride to Ladakh. Registration cost is 30,000Rs for 15 days but this is a subsidized ride by Royal Enfield, that is why you get it for 30000. Otherwise the ride would have cost above 50000. The ride included accommodation, breakfast, dinner, support vehicles.
      There will be a fitness test before the ride where you have to run 5KM and do 50 push ups in 1 hour. So start making your husband sweat out :)

  8. really needs a lot of determination and strength of mind to go for such rides :-)

    Wonderful pictures and wish you many more happy rides ....
    Hotel asia ladakh

  9. looks really awesome, hell of an adventure

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.


Follow me on Twitter

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Flickr

Slow shutter speed.
Follow me on Instagram