Through some of the most scenic routes in India.
The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) will start a bus service from Delhi to Leh via Manali which will take the passengers through one of the most challenging terrains of the world.
The 1,045-kilometer long stretch is considered as one of the coolest roads. From the hectic traffic lanes of Delhi to high mountain passes and snow falling lands, the-40 hour-long bus ride will be an all packed journey for a passionate traveler.
“This is the longest, highest and toughest bus route which tests the skills of our drivers and also bus fitness. No state dares to run a bus on this route, which throws landscapes of myriad hues open to passengers, not to mention the extreme temperature variation. HRTC has offered its service on public demand,” Keylong HRTC regional manager Rashid Shaikh told The Times of India.
The bus starts at 2.30 PM from Delhi on alternate days and reaches Keylong, beyond Manali, the next evening. A special camp is arranged at Keylong for the passengers for a night halt.
On the next morning, the passengers are shifted to another bus and will reach Leh in the evening. The bus will pass through some of the most challenging mountain passes such as Taglang-la (17,480 ft), Lachulung-la (16,600 ft), Baralacha-la (16,050 ft) and Rohtang-la (13,050 ft).
Considering the perils of the passes, the HRTC has arranged a group of best drivers for running the buses.
“All our drivers are known to drive safely on dangerous routes. We change a bus to ensure the safety of the passengers. As there is no service station in a large stretch between Darcha and Leh, we sometimes take help from Border Roads Organization personnel. In the case of serious breakdown, we send a new bus to shift the passengers but it takes many hours. Drivers and conductors are trained to handle such a situation,” Shaikh said.
The ticket costs Rupees 1,300 one way and will go up to Rupees 2,600 if the passenger opts to stay overnight at Keylong. HRTC has surveyed the route and ensured that it is safe for the bus ride.
Open only for four to five months year, usually, small vehicles and SUVs run on the route.