The Journey so far-

Day 3 | 2nd, August 2010 | Rohtang Pass to Keylong

After an enthralling experience, the downhill from Rohtang pass till Gramphu was pretty OK I should say but there was no change in weather as we were expecting it to be. The weather remained cloudy powered by drizzling at quite a few places. Also, although the road was in bad shape but not as bad as it was on the Manali side of Rohtang Pass. Our target was to reach Khoksar for a good breakfast as soon as possible as we were hungry :). It would be the first time we will have breakfast since this Ladakh journey started :)… The vistas had changed dramatically on this side of the Rohtang Pass. However, the bleak weather topped with poor light kept us refrained from taking any pictures 🙁 …

Weather glimpses…
Views from Manali-Leh Highway
Views from Manali-Leh Highway

This was not the first time we were seeing these beautiful sceneries as we had already been to this side of Rohtang on our trip to Chandratal in 2009. On our trip to Chandratal we had to take right turn from Gramphu but this time we had to continue on Manali –Leh highway towards destination Keylong. The high bumps while sitting in the car didn’t let us sleep or relax except my friend Deepak who was snoring as if he is in sleep-well mattress 😆 After a bumpy drive of more than 4.5 hours we were ready to stop at Khoksar and give some rest to our bodies…

Khoksar is first one of the small towns situated on the Manali – Leh highway having a PWD rest house and some dhabhas for food stop over. If you are planning to stay at Khoksar that PWD rest house must be booked upfront. As soon as our car stopped, we had to rush to wash room at first which was surprisingly quite clean and I think was only Sulabh toilet we saw en-route Leh. After that as my friends entered the dhabha just opposite of PWD rest house to order breakfast, for me this meant some time to click few pictures and here they are… 🙂

The order was already placed and I we got some fried 😯 paranthas… I don’t like fried stuff 😥 but have to push it in… I couldn’t push it much and ordered my omelet against it. The Maggie was not so good as well but I just had to taste it. The time was not a constraint for us as Keylong was well within timeline sights, so were going easy. Well, we had three awesome cups of tea each 🙂 before leaving for Keylong.

Chandra River… The Source is Chandratal…

Chandra River

Khoksar Bridge over Chandra River…

Khoksar Bridge over Chandra River

Manali-Leh Highway… Khoksar….

Manali-Leh Highway
Manali-Leh Highway

House at Khoksar….

House at Khoksar on Manali-Leh Highway

Testing the P90 zoom… I clicked something partly…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway

What I clicked partly above… WOW… Great Zoom…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway

As we left… Neeraj is wondering :confused:.. but what??…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway

As we left Khoksar our run to Sissu was pretty fast. Sissu is another small village on Manali – Leh Highway where there is just a PWD rest house and again you need to book the same in advance. We marched ahead and there were few breakages due to landslides or road widening work being carried out by BRO.

BRO Road Widening Activities…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway

Minor Landslide Clearance…I believe…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway
Views from Manali-Leh Highway

Rock has my Initial… “D”evil oops “D”heeraj :D…

Views from Manali-Leh Highway

Wait I am also in it… says my cousin…

Trio at Manali-Leh Highway

The beauty was mesmerizing throughout our run and we were actualizing the fact, why Manali – Leh  is considered among top 20 must visit places in India. I would rather say every traveler must visit Manali – Leh highway atleast once in his/her life :)… After reaching Tandi we tanked up the fuel on the last Petrol Pump before next 365 KM :shock:… I knew but my friends were shocked to see the figure…Last Petrol pump was in Manali around 90 KMs behind and see next is 365 KMs ahead… i.e. Single petrol pump on a stretch of almost 460 KMs :shock:…

Only Petrol Pump on Manali – Leh Highway… Don’t miss it…

Only Petrol Pump on Manali – Leh Highway

Nano at Tandi…

Nano at Tandi on Manali – Leh Highway

Trees at Tandi…

Trees at Tandi on Manali – Leh Highway

The pleasant run amidst the beauty let us reach Keylong by 12.00 PM if I remember correctly. We went in search of guest house and took it just on the highway. Narwala Guest House was the name and offered us 1400 for two joint rooms with a common bathroom. But, for us it was perfect!!! Time for some pictures from the room…

View from the Room…

View from the Room at Keylong on Manali-Leh Highway

Lazing in the Room…

Lazing in the Room at Keylong on Manali-Leh Highway

Glimpse of Chandra River from the Room…

View from the Room at Keylong on Manali-Leh Highway

Can you spot the above picture in this one… Power of P90 Zoom…

View from the Room at Keylong on Manali-Leh Highway

We couldn’t find anything interesting here even after Keylong being one of the largest town on Manali – Leh highway in lahaul valley district of Himachal Pradesh.The only reason to stay at Keylong was to acclimatize and nothing else. I refused to go ahead towards Sarchu as it was almost 14500 Feet high and Deepak was feeling nausea right at just 10000 odd feet. I declined every time they forced me even if it cost one day more to reach Leh. They could even feel good at 10 K feet and I don’t know how they will survive the so called “VOMIT HILTON = SARCHU”. They were taking it too easy and mocking the acclimatization need but I was not stupid like them.

We wasted the entire day laying in the room without doing much :sad:… But, today I regret the decision of staying at Keylong as we should have definitely gone 20 odd KMs ahead to spend our day at beautiful valley of Jispa besides the river. Our driver said without the advance bookings we will not be able to stay at Jispa, so we didn’t go ahead. But, that was certainly a bad decision. The beauty of Jispa was marvelous and one should always stop over at Jispa rather than staying at Keylong.

The other mistake we did was we just rested at Keylong. Probably we shall have ventured to explore a little bit of Lahaul valley with almost entire day at our disposal :cry:.. But never mind we did rest the entire day like lazy crocodiles :D… The second part of the day was boring to the core and we slept in the night with the hopes of reaching Ladakh next day.


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. To ask your travel questions, you can follow my YouTube Channel for a faster reply or for a much slower reply follow me on Instagram. :)

  2. Dipesh Sethia on

    Hi Dheeraj, Was Just Browsing Through Internet And Got To Read Your Article, Dheeraj I Just Want To Know That In Which Period Of The Year You Took Your Travel? And Is This The Same Route To Leh For Bikers?
    I And Couple Of My Friends Are Planning To Go For Leh Trip Around Next Year.

    Your Information Could Be Very Useful.
    Thanking You In Advance

  3. hi guys

    we friends went sep 2009 to Manali Rohtang pass Keylong and all the way travelled to LEH by roadtrip SUV …. man it was so so tedious travelling the whole day and as you said when u go above 10k feet, you feel nauseating and i think everyone will puke at some point or the other as you pull above the higher altitude 🙂

    thanks for letting me know abt JISPA and LAHAUL VALLEY …. i thot i will stay this time of the year in KEYLONG and take rest for 1 day

    • Hi Rohan,

      You can check the whole Travel Guide to Manali – Leh Highway including the tips for acclimatization to help you feel better at the followin link –

      Travel Guide for Manali Leh Highway

      Please go through the link and I am sure you will really like it. Let me know incase you need any kind of inputs.

      Dheeraj Sharma