We explore the beauty and tranquillity of Leh and Ladakh for five days as part
of Honda Sunchasers, an event organised by Honda Big Wing.
Story: Vaibhav Kashyap
It has been well said that there is beauty everywhere, all you have to do is just
look around. This holds particularly true when the region in question is Leh-
Ladakh. Abounding in scenic vistas, a trip to Leh-Ladakh in the upper reaches
of India is all about snow-clad mountains, rugged landscapes, tall peaks,
dangerous routes, and roaring bike engines. For motorcyclists, Ladakh offers
breathtaking sights and scenery, including majestic mountains, sweeping
valleys, arid deserts, sprawling lakes, vast uninhabited hinterlands, and a
challenging terrain comprising both motorable roads and high-altitude passes.
It is and has for quite some time been an adventure wonderland for
No wonder then that every biker dreams of doing a Leh-Ladakh trip at least
once in their lifetime. While they dream of a flawless trip, in reality they have
to face a number of hurdles and challenges. The experience of riding in these
parts of the country is known only to a few people who choose to accept the
challenge. One comes across several Buddhist monasteries and high mountain
passes with various camping sites that offer a great experience of solitude in
the midst of pristine nature.
Thanks to Honda Big Wing, we got an opportunity to ride to Leh and Ladakh
for five days and explore the variegated beauty of this region. Indeed, the
Honda Sunchasers ride was about just that: riding the Honda H’ness CB350
over widely varying terrain and exploring the scenery.
On the first day, we were given a warm welcome by the Honda Big Wing team.
We were escorted to our respective hotels. Many cultural programmes were
organised on the occasion and, before dinner, we were briefed about the ride
and the route planned for the coming days. The ride leader, Vijay Parmar,
briefed us about the dos and don’ts. Essential riding gear in the form of fine
gloves, jackets, riding trousers, and rainwear was provided by Rynox. Thanks,
On the second day, we were handed the keys to our bikes and Vijay Parmar
gave us another short briefing before we set off. We were all well-equipped and
started our ride at eight o’clock in the morning. We visited the most beautiful
monasteries, including Stakna and Hemis. In Hemis, there is a museum
housing warriors’ armours and other raiment as well as many other interesting
artefacts. We covered about 80 kilometres and were required to cover more
than 150 km the next day. We rode to all the places earmarked for a visit and
returned to the hotel before nightfall.
The next day we planned to go to Khardung La via Khalsar, Diksit, Hundar, and
back to Leh, about 126 km of riding. We started the ride in the rain and
reached South Pullu, where we were stopped by the police because of snowfall
and bad weather. We were stuck there for three to four hours and had to
return to the hotel as we could not make it to Khardung La in that bad
weather. We returned to Leh early to rest at the hotel, so that we would be
ready for the ride the next day.
The destination on day four was Lake Pangong. We were to cover Hundar-
Khalsar-Agham-Durbuk-Tangste to finally reach Maan Pangong for overnight
stay. The day was bright and clear, nature at its resplendent. The views were
amazing and mostly seemed surreal to me. I had never thought the mountains
would look so beautiful. We rode over the winding roads of Changla Pass,
which was an amazing experience in itself. Some sections of the road were
newly paved and the off-road section along the way was a completely different
experience. Needless to say, our bikes stood us in good stead on those roads.
On the fifth day, after covering almost 550 km in all, we were to return to Leh
from Pangong via Wari La. The terrain was unfamiliar and surrounded by
beautiful landscapes. We rode on the winding roads of the village of Sakti. The
asphalt was newly laid and the MRF tyres on the H’ness CB350 clung to it very
well. After mastering all the new routes, we reached Leh again in the evening
and our ride came to an end.
Overall, it was a great experience. I would like to thank the Honda Big Wing
team, the Rynox Gear team, and all the riders. They helped us a lot during the
ride. The Honda Bigwing Sunchasers event will remain etched in my memory.