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| Updated on Aug 25, 2016

Wanderer above the sea of fog

Much like in Friedrich’s painting, travelling through the Leh Manali highway is an introspective trip, where nature and the self seem to merge in the top of the world. Spreading over a length of 479 km among the Himalaya mountain range, the Leh Manali highway crosses some of the world’s highest mountains. Uncertain weather conditions, high altitude and a tricky road make this trip ideal for the most adventurous and experienced travellers.

Although this challenging route is certainly not for beginners, the astonishing landscapes that the Ladakh region offers are not to be missed. Visiting this overwhelming composition of rough mountains and precious valleys requires dedication, passion and preparation. Due to the extreme weather conditions of the Himalayas, it is advisable to travel to Ladakh between May and October, as the winter months are characterized by dramatically low temperatures and unpleasant weather that can difficult your trip

Besides of its relatively short length for a leisure road trip -it takes around 14 hours to complete the route- the Leh Manali road is considered one of the most challenging roads in the world. Proper preparation is essential in order to enjoy a safe and enjoyable travel to the area. Before the beginning of your trip, ensure that your vehicle is ready for the trip, inspecting all tires, vehicle fluids and horns. Pack spare tires and extra gasoline in order to prevent common accidents. It is also highly advisable to carry chocolates, glucose and other high energy food.

To travel to India you are required to possess a working passport, a valid visa and an onward or return ticket. An Indian visa can be obtained on arrival for some nationalities, but it is advisable to apply for a visa beforehand, in order to avoid bureaucratic issues.

The basic tourist visa for India is valid for 30 days and has a cost of US$60. To apply for an Indian visa, you must upload a passport sized photograph and a copy of your passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended arrival in India. If you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must contact your closest Indian embassy or consulate, as every country follows different visa regulations and procedures for long stay visas. Once you have applied, either for a short tourist permit or for a longer stay document, you can check the status of your Indian visa application on this official link. Extending your visa once you are in India is not as practical as it may initially seem, as the government currently only grants extensions in extreme circumstances. In order to minimize the impact of potential complications such as robberies, it is advisable to make copies of your passport and travelling documents before you enter the country. Although India is not a particularly unsafe destination, knowing the location of your closest embassy or consulate can avoid many incidents. Please refer to the List of Foreign Embassies and Consulates in India

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