Situated on the border of Tibet and translating literally as ‘land of high passes’, Ladakh is unsurprisingly one of the least populated regions of India, most of it being over an astounding 3000 metres above sea level. The sometime austerity is precisely what drives many to seek out mountain biking holidays there – that, and the complete dearth of other people and vehicles to be seen around. This really is a place to go for those who want to escape the more commercialised routes, which often, due to overuse, can actually prove more dangerous.
# Last Indian Village
You may still not want to be alone on the great open areas, but for many hardcore bikers it’s still much more desirable to find yourself out in the desert region than on major routes. The challenge you can expect should not be underestimated – but neither should a competent mountain biker find it offputting! On most of the routes you can take, the roads are up to 80% paved, and of course most of the fun of offroading is avoiding the paving and going on the rough. Much of the area is dominated by slopes, and by travelling across any significant stretch of Ladakh it’s possible to rack up a total climb equal to the height of Everest!
As far as sight-seeing goes, there are plenty of old Buddhist monasteries on view, as well as the stunning vistas afforded by such a high vantage point. Starting at the Tibet border, you can see right into this mystical and unique country, and travelling back firmly into Indian territory you can see right over some of the world-famous Kashmir region. Overall, cycling in Ladakh is certainly a unique experience; share it with a few friends and it’ll certainly be one you’ll never forget!