Himachal Parivahan’s (HRTC) Delhi-Leh bus service kicked off yesterday (7/6/2016) and let us remind you that this is no ordinary bus journey. Traversing more than 1100 km over a span of 38 hours, including a night halt, this bus ride will take its passengers across the arduous and mighty Himalayas, and even pass through the freezing heights of one of the highest mountain passes of the world (Taglang-la). Starting from the warm plains of Delhi, this epic bus ride will pass through 17,000+ ft high mountain passes before reaching its destination at Leh after a daunting 38 hour road trip.
HRTC’s RM Rashid Shaikh puts it rather languidly, “This is the longest, highest and toughest bus route which tests the skills of our drivers and also bus fitness. No operator (though many tried in the past) dares to run a bus on this route, which throw landscapes of myriad hues open to passengers, not to mention the extreme temperature variation. The bus will pass through some of the highest and dangerous mountain passes of the world including Taglang-la (17,480 ft), Lachulung-la (16,600 ft), Baralacha-la (16,050 ft) and Rohtang-la (13,050 ft). We change a bus at Keylong to ensure safety of the passengers. As there is no service station in a large stretch between Darcha and Leh, we sometime take help from Border Roads Organization personnel. Drivers and conductors are trained to handle such a situations.”
Delhi ISBT (Dep.)- 2:30 pm, Chandigarh sec.43 (Dep.)- 8:30 pm
Kullu (Dep.)- 5:30 am, Manali (Dep.)- 7:15 am
Keylong (Arr.)- 1:30 pm
Keylong (Dep.)- 5:00 am, Leh (Arr.)- 7:00 pm
Leh (Dep.)- 5:00 am, Keylong (Arr.)- 7:00 pm
Keylong (Dep.)- 6:30 am, Manali (Dep.)- 1:15 pm
Delhi (Arr.)- 3:45-4 am
HRTC says that there is no online booking yet from Delhi or Manali because the departure from Keylong will depend totally on weather conditions. However, at Delhi ISBT, one can buy counter or advance tickets for the 2:30 pm Keylong bus. From Keylong, the tickets can be further extended to Leh. To be specific, the total distance of the journey is 1203 km, while the fare is INR 1353.