10 Questions: Cycling The Indian Himalaya

Christian DittmannIn the adventure-cycling world, India’s beautiful Himalaya mountains are one of the most interesting and scenic places you can go, as well as one of the more challenging.

Christian Dittmann recently completed a bike tour in this area.

“The ride took me through three of the big world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. I went through many different ethical areas. There was Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul with its Tibetan and IndoArian influences (a unique mix of Buddhism and Hinduism); remote Ladakh, the land of the high passes and often called Little Tibet; the barren and isolated Zanskar Valley and the mainly Muslim inhabited beautiful green Kashmir,” said Christian.

For this edition of 10 Questions, Christian describes his experiences of bike touring there in summer 2010 and shares practical tips for cycling in the Himalaya mountains.

1. Can you briefly describe your route and why you choose this route in particular?

I started in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and cycled through the Kinnaur and Spiti Valley, close to the Tibetan border, then went via the Manali- Leh Highway up to Ladakh, then further to Srinagar, halfway I went down to remote Zanskar before heading to the final point in Kashmere, Srinagar. This route offers a huge variety of ethnicities, natural settings and cultures. From three of the world religions to lush green valleys, remote high altitude desserts and high passes this was motivation enough for me to choose that route.

Friendly People

2. What resources did you use in planning the trip?

Mostly I used maps. I love maps! I also got information from websites, mostly from cycle forums and trip reports from other cyclists. I also used guidebooks, but mostly for rough information about the region. Although guidebooks are not very helpful for cyclists, they provide a small overview of a country’s history, culture, customs. But generally I don’t plan too much. Expect the unexpected, or in the words of Roald Amundsen: “Adventure is just bad planning”.

3. What was a typical day like on the road?

A typical day on the road can seem quite boring: get up in the morning, breakfast, cycle, lunch, cycle, break, cycle more and in the evening call it a day with a huge dinner and sometimes with a shower. What made a lot of difference was when there were mountain passes to climb during the day, or when the day was easier, with not so many uphill stretches. In any case, every day is different with fresh scenery, impressions, experiences and feelings. This, in combination with cycling, made every single day valuable.

Sorry for the oooh, ahhh, ouch...

4. What was the road condition like?

Everything can occur, from newly paved virgin tarmac to tracks where potholes dominate. Some parts were in very good condition while others were more riverbeds than a road. It depends on the importance of the stretch. In Kinnaur, for example, the roads are very good because of the close distance to Tibet and the need of fast access for the army. Other parts are less important like the Zanskar road and are more like a washboard. Because of landslides, parts of the road can turn from excellent to very bad to unrideable in no time.

5. What did you do for accommodation? Are there hotels most nights, or is a tent an absolute necessity?

This trip can be done without camping gear. There will be accommodation all along the way, from hotels and rest houses to luxury tent camps. All is possible but don’t expect too much. In most places it is better, quieter and cleaner to camp in your own tent. The sound of drunken truck drivers or snoring during the night is not everybody’s cup of tea.

Out riding in the Indian Himalaya

6. Is food and water easily obtainable every day? What kind of supplies can you buy?

Food and water is easily obtainable almost all the way. Sometimes the supplies can be limited, but normally it is no problem. I always carried food for a few days, but mostly it was possible to find something along the road, though on some stretches it is worth to plan ahead with water and food. For example, on the road to Zanskar there were almost no shops. On the Morrei Plateau on the Manali- Leh road, there is no water for 90km or so.

Bottled water is available almost everywhere. Although a water filter would be helpful, I didn’t carry one. With boiling water or the use of iodine tablets, I was fine.

The usual diet is dhal (lentils), rice or chapatis (bread), eggs cooked various ways and also instant noodles. Soft drinks are available too, as are the usual suspects of Snickers and Mars chocolate bars.

7. Is is possible to throw your bike on a bus, if you don’t want to cycle the whole way?

During the few summer months there are buses, shared taxis, trucks and private vehicles so it is easy to organize a transport. Normally it is no problem to throw the bike on the roof of a bus or taxi. On the road if something happens it is also easy to wave down any transport if you need a lift. There is frequently traffic passing by and someone will help you if necessary. The unreliable bus schedule can be a problem if time is an issue, but then there are alternatives such as taxis or trucks.

8. What one moment really stands out from the trip as a great moment?

It is difficult to point out one great moment. There are too many to chose from. Let me name two small moments that really warmed my heart: Once a military convoy stoped next to me and a couple of officers handed me a few apples in the middle of nowhere. Another day, I had a tea break in one of the seasonal parachute dhabas (a sort of tent) run by a Tibetan family. After a while, the girl came to my table and gave me one banana and a plum as a gift. Those fruits were probably the best I’ve ever eaten.

Which way? The open plateaus in the Indian Himalaya.

9. And what was one low point or tough challenge you had to overcome?

The landslides in Leh in August was very tough and demoralising. It show how fragile we are when nature strikes back. All roads in and out Leh were blocked. Bridges and parts of the roads were washed away. I met an Austrian in Leh and we decided to try to go out by bicycle. The destruction we saw was very high and at some point I asked myself if it really made sense to be here right now.

10. One piece of advice for people who want to do this route?

Bring a strong bike, it might be not the most expensive one, but something like a MTB gives a huge advantage. Also bring good all-weather gear, the Himalayan weather can change within minutes, and snowstorms in summer are not unusual. And then? Just do it…

Thanks to Christian Dittmann for answering the questions and providing the photos. Check out his blog, Terra Interminate, with its wonderful journals and photos of his ride.

Need more information? Check out these helpful resources for cycling in the Indian Himalaya:

If you’d like to answer 10 questions about a favourite cycling destination, read the guidelines and then get in touch.



  1. harjinder
    18th May 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Best information.Thanks

  2. Rich
    10th February 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Hi, I am thinking of doing this trip. How much would this cost and how long do you need to complete it? Thanks

  3. Gary
    18th November 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Hey thats awesome info, by all means I would be going for this trip on bicycle in jan/feb/March – one of these months depending on the upcoming exams.

    Nevertheless if u r interested Rich we can join in.

    my email is gargaurav and thats on gmail.

    • Dave Morgan
      31st October 2015 at 11:19 pm #

      The roads won’t be open in November. Aim to go between June and mid October.

  4. Rahul
    1st July 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi, I am very keen of cycling through the Himalayas. It would be very helpful if you can tell which bicycle brands are best suited for the trip.

  5. cheap paul george shoes
    20th July 2022 at 11:37 pm #

    I wanted to draft you the little bit of remark to be able to say thanks a lot once again on your great basics you have documented here. It has been really remarkably generous with people like you to offer unhampered all a number of people would have offered for an e book to help with making some money for their own end, mostly now that you might well have tried it if you ever wanted. These things as well acted as a easy way to recognize that many people have a similar keenness like my own to find out a whole lot more on the topic of this matter. I think there are millions of more pleasant sessions ahead for individuals who check out your blog.

  6. cheap curry 8
    20th July 2022 at 11:38 pm #

    I precisely wanted to appreciate you all over again. I’m not certain the things I would’ve created without the actual creative ideas contributed by you over such area of interest. It was before a real frightful situation in my view, nevertheless spending time with a professional technique you handled that made me to cry with joy. Extremely happy for this information as well as have high hopes you recognize what an amazing job you have been putting in teaching the rest through the use of your website. I am certain you’ve never met any of us.

  7. cheap kyrie 6
    23rd July 2022 at 8:24 pm #

    I simply wanted to say thanks yet again. I do not know the things I would have done in the absence of the type of recommendations shown by you regarding this area. This has been a real terrifying problem in my position, however , being able to see your expert technique you treated the issue forced me to jump with contentment. I am just happier for your service and even wish you realize what an amazing job you are providing training people today by way of a web site. Most likely you haven’t encountered all of us.

  8. supreme clothing
    25th July 2022 at 5:29 am #

    I have to voice my gratitude for your generosity giving support to men and women that have the need for help on this particular subject matter. Your very own dedication to passing the message around came to be incredibly powerful and have all the time encouraged professionals just like me to arrive at their dreams. Your amazing helpful publication signifies so much to me and even more to my mates. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  9. golden goose
    25th July 2022 at 5:29 am #

    Thanks for all your efforts on this site. Gloria really likes setting aside time for investigation and it’s really easy to understand why. All of us hear all concerning the dynamic way you deliver advantageous things on your website and even recommend participation from other individuals on the idea plus our favorite child is without a doubt understanding a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. Your carrying out a wonderful job.

  10. kyrie 5 spongebob
    25th July 2022 at 5:30 am #

    I want to show my admiration for your kind-heartedness giving support to visitors who must have help with that matter. Your special commitment to passing the message along turned out to be especially invaluable and has constantly empowered individuals just like me to realize their ambitions. Your entire insightful advice can mean a great deal a person like me and somewhat more to my office colleagues. With thanks; from all of us.

  11. bape clothing
    17th August 2022 at 5:38 am #

    Thank you a lot for giving everyone such a breathtaking possiblity to read from here. It is always so awesome and as well , full of a great time for me and my office friends to search your blog a minimum of thrice a week to find out the new things you have. And of course, we are certainly pleased with your exceptional concepts served by you. Certain two ideas in this posting are without a doubt the most effective we have had.

  12. off white
    17th August 2022 at 5:38 am #

    I must show thanks to the writer just for rescuing me from this type of difficulty. Right after surfing around throughout the online world and obtaining recommendations that were not beneficial, I assumed my entire life was well over. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the difficulties you have solved by way of your entire write-up is a serious case, as well as those which may have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your site. The skills and kindness in playing with everything was vital. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a stuff like this. I can also now look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for the impressive and sensible help. I will not hesitate to endorse the sites to any person who should get recommendations about this matter.

  13. kobe sneakers
    24th August 2022 at 11:05 am #

    I must voice my respect for your generosity in support of individuals who really want guidance on this one issue. Your real dedication to getting the message throughout appeared to be remarkably good and has truly made most people like me to achieve their endeavors. Your insightful guide entails a whole lot to me and a whole lot more to my mates. Thanks a ton; from all of us.

  14. jordan travis scott
    24th October 2022 at 9:48 pm #

    I’m just commenting to let you know of the extraordinary encounter my wife’s girl experienced viewing the blog. She picked up such a lot of pieces, including how it is like to have an amazing giving character to let other folks smoothly comprehend some tricky topics. You undoubtedly surpassed readers’ expectations. Many thanks for imparting the productive, healthy, revealing and even cool thoughts on that topic to Kate.

  15. yeezy shoes
    26th October 2022 at 10:57 am #

    I am glad for writing to let you understand what a exceptional discovery my friend’s child experienced browsing the blog. She learned some pieces, with the inclusion of what it’s like to have an incredible coaching character to let others really easily have an understanding of a variety of complex topics. You really did more than my desires. Thanks for presenting those priceless, trustworthy, educational and even fun thoughts on your topic to Julie.

  16. yeezy
    31st October 2022 at 10:31 am #

    I precisely had to say thanks yet again. I am not sure the things I might have handled in the absence of the entire basics discussed by you regarding such a concern. It became a real difficult condition in my circumstances, however , viewing the professional form you managed that forced me to weep over gladness. I am happier for your guidance as well as have high hopes you comprehend what a powerful job your are doing training others with the aid of a site. More than likely you haven’t come across all of us.

  17. goyard
    5th November 2022 at 1:39 am #

    I precisely desired to appreciate you again. I’m not certain the things I might have done without the entire creative concepts discussed by you over such a industry. It previously was a challenging crisis in my view, nevertheless encountering this professional strategy you dealt with the issue forced me to weep for happiness. Now i am grateful for this service as well as hope that you recognize what a powerful job you are always accomplishing educating people today using your webpage. More than likely you have never encountered all of us.

  18. supreme clothing
    5th November 2022 at 1:39 am #

    I must point out my respect for your kindness giving support to women who should have assistance with this particular concern. Your real dedication to passing the solution all over appears to be unbelievably important and have truly allowed employees just like me to realize their goals. Your amazing interesting tutorial indicates this much to me and substantially more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from all of us.

  19. bapesta
    6th November 2022 at 3:14 pm #

    I wish to voice my love for your kindness supporting those who absolutely need guidance on the concern. Your personal commitment to passing the solution across appears to be amazingly insightful and has really enabled many people like me to get to their desired goals. Your own helpful suggestions entails this much to me and much more to my colleagues. Regards; from all of us.

  20. kyrie 9
    10th November 2022 at 6:05 am #

    I simply wanted to thank you very much once again. I do not know the things I could possibly have made to happen without the tricks provided by you about my situation. It had been a very terrifying condition in my position, however , encountering your expert technique you resolved it made me to jump with fulfillment. I’m thankful for your advice and thus wish you comprehend what an amazing job you are providing educating the mediocre ones thru your site. Most probably you have never encountered all of us.

  21. bape outlet
    11th November 2022 at 10:18 pm #

    I as well as my friends appeared to be reading the good tips and tricks on the blog and instantly came up with a terrible suspicion I never thanked you for those tips. Those ladies came so glad to read through them and have really been taking advantage of those things. We appreciate you actually being very kind and also for going for this form of helpful topics millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. My sincere regret for not expressing appreciation to earlier.

  22. bape
    21st November 2022 at 12:47 pm #

    I needed to compose you one very small remark to be able to thank you very much again for your personal wonderful information you have shared in this case. This has been so open-handed with you to supply unhampered what exactly most people might have sold for an ebook to end up making some profit on their own, mostly considering that you might have done it in the event you considered necessary. These advice in addition worked as a fantastic way to be sure that some people have a similar passion like my own to learn many more with regard to this condition. I am certain there are numerous more pleasant instances ahead for folks who looked at your site.

  23. travis scott jordan
    22nd November 2022 at 2:40 pm #

    I want to convey my respect for your kindness supporting those individuals that need help on your niche. Your personal dedication to getting the message all through was rather powerful and has continually enabled those like me to get to their endeavors. Your own important facts indicates much to me and even further to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  24. curry 9
    22nd November 2022 at 2:41 pm #

    I precisely desired to appreciate you yet again. I do not know the things I would’ve taken care of in the absence of the type of tips and hints discussed by you relating to my subject matter. It has been a alarming issue in my view, nevertheless viewing your professional tactic you treated the issue made me to jump for gladness. I’m happy for your assistance and then expect you comprehend what a great job you have been undertaking instructing men and women through the use of your site. More than likely you have never got to know all of us.

  25. supreme sweatshirt
    24th November 2022 at 5:24 am #

    I wish to voice my admiration for your kindness supporting men and women that have the need for help with this one question. Your real dedication to passing the solution throughout appeared to be exceptionally useful and has always allowed girls like me to realize their objectives. This helpful facts can mean much to me and additionally to my peers. With thanks; from each one of us.

  26. kawhi leonard shoes
    27th November 2022 at 1:11 am #

    Needed to create you one little bit of note so as to thank you the moment again with your breathtaking strategies you have featured above. It’s so tremendously open-handed with you to present unhampered all numerous people would’ve supplied for an electronic book to get some profit for their own end, specifically given that you could have done it if you ever desired. These ideas additionally acted to provide a fantastic way to recognize that the rest have a similar passion just as my own to figure out more and more when it comes to this matter. I know there are thousands of more pleasant sessions up front for individuals that read through your site.

  27. check out
    30th November 2022 at 10:35 am #

    apartment dryer rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised apartments in hanover md

  28. index trading
    30th November 2022 at 4:10 pm #

    Wwvjix – is google making us stupid annotated bibliography Tnbzle sfaxfi

  29. invest foreign currency
    1st December 2022 at 11:21 am #

    They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts

  30. invest precious metals
    1st December 2022 at 2:23 pm #

    Really enjoyed this article. Much obliged.Loading…

  31. off white shoes
    2nd December 2022 at 3:41 am #

    I intended to write you a very little remark to give many thanks again for these incredible basics you’ve contributed here. It was shockingly generous with people like you to make freely what exactly a lot of people would have supplied for an e-book to generate some profit on their own, most notably since you might well have done it if you wanted. Those good ideas also worked as the easy way to be certain that other people have the same eagerness like my own to learn a good deal more in terms of this condition. I am certain there are several more fun instances in the future for folks who find out your site.

  32. supreme clothing
    4th December 2022 at 8:48 pm #

    I actually wanted to send a quick comment to appreciate you for the splendid concepts you are writing here. My considerable internet look up has at the end been recognized with professional facts and techniques to share with my classmates and friends. I would assume that many of us visitors are really lucky to exist in a really good network with so many perfect professionals with interesting things. I feel extremely happy to have seen the website and look forward to plenty of more exciting moments reading here. Thanks a lot again for everything.

  33. off white
    4th December 2022 at 8:48 pm #

    I am writing to make you know of the incredible discovery my wife’s child experienced reading through yuor web blog. She mastered plenty of pieces, including what it’s like to have a marvelous teaching mood to get most people with no trouble completely grasp various advanced things. You really exceeded visitors’ expectations. Thank you for churning out the essential, dependable, explanatory and even easy guidance on the topic to Evelyn.

  34. go to these guys
    10th December 2022 at 11:50 am #

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog. Really Cool.

  35. Proposal cover page Word
    19th December 2022 at 9:41 am #

    wall market darknet televend darknet market

  36. axiomamerica.com
    1st January 2023 at 10:16 pm #

    Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting information.

  37. Æthelburg Boyd
    2nd January 2023 at 7:26 pm #

    Your article has proven useful to me. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content.contact us

  38. free gift certificate template word
    10th January 2023 at 7:31 pm #

    celsius apartments apartments in memphis 6ft apart

  39. Buy Bitcoin
    12th January 2023 at 2:18 pm #

    apartments for rent in tuscaloosa al rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised apartments in dublin ga

  40. Lucius Lloyd
    29th March 2023 at 2:17 am #

    cbd near me cbd pills cbd tinctures cbd tinctures

  41. technology
    2nd April 2023 at 5:58 pm #

    This blog post was fantastic Thanks for creating it.

  42. Elliot Phillips
    3rd April 2023 at 5:37 am #

    That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.Short but very precise information

  43. Gia mang chong tham hpde
    5th April 2023 at 3:00 pm #

    I’ve only just arrived reliv 24k reviews Asked about the victim’s claims Mr Afolabi had “chatted” the woman up, clinical psychologist Dr Janine Robinson told the jury he would “struggle to realise when he was overstepping the mark”.

  44. CNC Milling Part
    6th April 2023 at 9:28 pm #

    I think this is a real great blog. Will read on…

  45. slim dvd case template
    8th April 2023 at 1:17 am #

    lantower apartments rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised laguna beach apartments

  46. winner
    11th April 2023 at 1:46 pm #

    Really Appreciate this update, how can I make is so that I receive an email sent to me whenever you make a fresh update?

  47. Anime Character Info
    12th April 2023 at 11:00 am #

    herbs that lower blood pressureivermectin for dogs

  48. Heather Rowe
    12th April 2023 at 1:50 pm #

    I love this post, very usefull for tour to Uzbekistan

  49. Names For Your Baby
    15th April 2023 at 3:46 pm #

    writing services essay writing personal essay samedayessay

  50. faceless cc
    15th April 2023 at 6:28 pm #

    windwood apartments apartments for rent in richmond ky solis apartments

  51. https://golfclubmanagement.net/
    18th April 2023 at 1:00 pm #

    If you have a hunch about Super Bowl LIV, evaluate the oddsbecoming supplied at BookMaker.eu.

  52. bobbleheadsme.com
    18th April 2023 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for the article. Much obliged.

  53. skincare
    18th April 2023 at 6:01 pm #

    help writing college essaysgood persuasive essay topicsnational honor society essay

  54. gaming
    18th April 2023 at 8:42 pm #

    apartment design ideas rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised gretna apartments

  55. chau su
    19th April 2023 at 1:01 pm #

    apartments for rent in roseville rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised acclaim apartments

  56. emotional intelligence
    28th April 2023 at 12:39 am #

    our times stolen by those more time you choose, the less

  57. moving company
    1st May 2023 at 10:34 am #

    I really enjoy the blog. Cool.

  58. chapter 7 bankruptcy in ga
    2nd May 2023 at 6:31 pm #

    Im thankful for the blog. Great.

  59. stay active and engaged
    3rd May 2023 at 9:56 am #

    You said it adequately..essay about myself for college how to write a thesis statement executive resume writing services

  60. shelly
    4th May 2023 at 12:08 am #

    liquid ivermectin for cats ivermectin ingredients

  61. CPD,ICF,UKCP AND BACP accredited qualified staff members

  62. plastic beverage bottles
    8th May 2023 at 10:08 pm #

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  63. curry 6 shoes
    11th May 2023 at 10:41 am #

    I simply had to thank you very much yet again. I’m not certain the things that I would have taken care of in the absence of the entire secrets documented by you relating to that topic. It was the terrifying dilemma in my circumstances, nevertheless looking at the very specialized tactic you handled the issue made me to leap for delight. Now i’m grateful for your work and thus hope you comprehend what a great job that you are providing educating some other people with the aid of your blog. I know that you have never come across any of us.

  64. bape hoodie
    16th May 2023 at 5:28 am #

    I wanted to draft you a little remark to finally give thanks the moment again for your incredible strategies you’ve provided on this site. It is shockingly open-handed of you to give freely exactly what many of us could have sold as an e book to help make some profit for their own end, specifically since you might well have tried it if you ever decided. These guidelines in addition served as a good way to be aware that other people online have a similar dreams the same as my very own to know the truth a little more with regards to this problem. I believe there are a lot more enjoyable sessions in the future for many who scan your website.

  65. Reformas urbanas barcelona
    17th May 2023 at 3:45 am #

    paying someone to write a paper pay someone to do my paper

  66. commission advance real estate
    19th May 2023 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks again for the blog post. Much obliged.

  67. Katie Read
    22nd May 2023 at 7:45 pm #

    There is significantly a package to learn about this. I think you made certain good factors in attributes additionally.

  68. kd 12
    23rd May 2023 at 9:00 am #

    I must point out my affection for your generosity for visitors who really need guidance on this one matter. Your real commitment to passing the message all over appeared to be surprisingly significant and has usually permitted guys and women like me to reach their desired goals. Your own important help and advice entails a whole lot to me and extremely more to my office workers. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  69. download nekopoi
    24th May 2023 at 12:15 am #

    research methodology thesis thesis help services

  70. kd shoes
    25th May 2023 at 12:46 pm #

    I have to show my gratitude for your kindness in support of folks who absolutely need guidance on that area. Your real dedication to getting the solution across had become definitely productive and have in most cases allowed regular people like me to achieve their endeavors. Your personal warm and helpful useful information implies a great deal a person like me and extremely more to my office colleagues. Many thanks; from everyone of us.

Leave a comment