The tourist season in Ladakh has officially begun and many people have already visited the place via Srinagar. The Manali side road is not yet open, but should occur within the next week or at most 10 days. The Rohtang Pass was declared open on the 30th and thousands of people are now eagerly waiting for snow to be removed from the entire stretch of Manali to Leh. Some of them have their own vehicles, all with maintenance and equipment for the adventurous journey ahead, while many others would opt for the bus service from Manali to Leh. If you are also planning a trip to Ladakh and fall into the second category of travelers, below is the timetable for Manali to Leh Bus 2019 which may be useful.
There are three types of bus services available from Manali to Leh. Two of them are provided by HRTC and the third by HPTDC. HRTC buses are common and best suited for budget travelers. The HPTDC bus is deluxe and is yet another package with accommodation and meals included. More information about these buses is provided later in the article.
Bus from Manali to Leh HRTC
Let’s talk about the Manali to Leh Bus service provided by HRTC first. This is a good economical option if you want to travel to Ladakh within budget. Buses provided by HRTC are common, which also means that for some people it can be quite uncomfortable considering the long distance and time that this bus covers. These are two types of services available in this category.
- Manali to Leh by bus in 2 days
- Manali to Leh by bus in 1 day
Both services usually start around 15-20 days after BRO declared the Manali Leh highway open and safe for a bus to pass; and continue until early October. Neither will stop for a walk. They will complete the journey virtually uninterruptedly, and breaks will be limited to some Dhabas for meals and bio breaks.
Manali to Leh by bus in 2 days
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a single bus that takes you all the way. Instead, it is you who will make the journey in two parts and will have to board different buses to complete your journey. From Manali, you will first arrive at Keylong and then take a connecting bus from Keylong to Leh.
Assuming you plan to travel this way, your first task will be to get to the Manali bus stop and board a bus to Keylong from there. In this part, you will have the luxury of choosing the bus schedule at your convenience. There are some HRTC buses from Manali to Keylong, the first starting at 05:00 and the last at 13:00. My advice would be that you board the 1st available bus, because that means you have arrived in Keylong in time to look for a good hotel. But if you missed the first bus, you will have the option to board another one later.
Bus from Keylong to Leh
When you arrive in Keylong, find a hotel as close as possible to the bus stop as you will have to take a bus again in the morning at 5 am to Leh. Note that from Keylong it will not be the same bus you boarded at Manali, but a different bus. There is only one bus available in Keylong in the morning to make sure you get it on time, because if you missed it you will have no choice but to stay in Keylong that day and take the bus the next morning.
For your trip from Manali to Keylong, you will only receive one ticket and you can sit anywhere on the bus you wish. But for Keylong and Leh, your seat number will be mentioned on your ticket. Another important thing to note is that if the bus encounters some kind of technical difficulty or collapses on the way; or the bus was not working on schedule, for whatever reason it would stop for the night in Sarchu or Pang. What this means is that the trip from Keylong to Leh will be completed in two days and the total duration from Manali to Leh will increase to 3 days.
Prices of bus tickets from Manali to Leh
Your total fare for this journey is also divided into two parts. Manali to Keylong Bus ticket will be for about Rs. 175 and then Keylong to Leh will take about Rps. 550. Therefore, the full journey will cost a little more than Rs. 700
Manali to Leh HRTC Bus Booking
There is no reservation system available for this bus. You will have to buy the ticket at the local Manali and Keylong. But, as I mentioned, the seat number will be assigned on the ticket you buy at Keylong.
Bus schedules from Manali to Leh HRTC
There are several buses from Manali to Keylong between 5am and 1pm. From Keylong, it is just a bus to Leh at 5 am.
Manali to Leh by bus in 1 day
Now, let’s take a look at the second bus service provided by HRTC. In fact, I covered this topic in great detail in a different post that I would ask you to read, HRTC’s Manali to Leh One Day Bus Service
This bus will start at Manali at 16h and will arrive in Leh at 20h30. The rate per person is about Rs. 900. It’s a great choice for people with little time and need to complete the journey in a single day. Another added benefit of this service is that you can book the ticket online, which was not an option with the two-day bus. For more details and programming, please have a look at the article I provided in the link above.
Bus to Manali to Leh HPTDC
This is a luxury bus and direct from Manali to Leh. If you are looking for a Volvo bus from Manali to Leh, this is what you need to choose. This is also a 2 day journey with a night stop in Keylong. It starts at the Manali bus stop early in the morning and arrives at Leh in the evening the next day. Another benefit of this bus is that it stops at all major stops on the sightseeing route.
Accommodations in Keylong are at Hotel Chandrabhaga. There is a lawn in front of the Chandrabhaga hotel and HPTDC creates tents on this lawn. Yes, you will not be staying in a hotel, but in tents. If you don’t like it, you always have the option to check in at the hotel, but you will have to pay for your own expenses. HPTDC will not refund money from your fare if you do not use the tents.
Manali to Leh HPTDC Bus Service
Also note that this is not a daily service. The bus leaves from Manali to Leh on alternate days. This bus operates entirely on the reservation system. It will only travel if there are a minimum of 10 passengers and will be canceled for the day if booked tickets are less than 10. If this happens, HPTDC will make alternative arrangements in the form of private taxis; and you will have to pay the difference between bus and taxi fare. You must report to the HPTDC office 30 minutes before the bus departs.
You can book a ticket for this bus in advance at the HPTDC office in Manali or you can do it online. Payment will be made immediately upon booking your seat. The rate per person is Rs. 2900 which includes your accommodation in Keylong and meals (dinner, breakfast and tea). To book, you will need to visit the HPTDC Reservation Page. On this page you can select the dates according to your travel plan and can book tickets for Manali to Leh and Leh to Manali.
Bus from Manali to Leh
I am adding this information here, because many people ask me that. There is no specific Manali for Leh Volvo Bus Service available.
Manali to Leh Volvo Bus Fare
For a bus from Manali to Leh Volvo Bus, you will pay Rs. 2,900 for a side trip, equal to the HPTDC.
Bus AC from Manali to Leh
No AC bus available from Manali to Leh. Even the luxury provided by the HPTDC is a non-AC bus. This is because you do not need an AC bus for this journey. The temperature will be freezing and you will be sitting with the windows closed and wearing heavy woolen clothes.