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You Can Now Take A Direct Bus From Delhi To Leh Via Manali As The Service Has Been Restarted

By Sanjay Gouda

Updated - May 9, 20249 min read

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What is definitely one of the most anticipated and waited upon Bus services of our country was flagged off on June 21st for the year 2019. Yes, we're talking about the Delhi to Leh Bus Service 2019 which started from ISBT Delhi to Leh City via Manali. The Leh vacation that you've been putting on hold can finally happen now as the bus services have commenced again from Delhi to Leh via Manali after a long stint of eight months. This Bus will remain in service until the end of September before the highway gets closed for the year in October. Traveling over 1050 kilometers in an arduous journey of 38 hours, it promises its travelers to take through the beautiful and lush valleys of Kullu and Lahaul and to the barren landscapes of Ladakh which makes it one of the most amazing Bus journeys you can experience in India.


Image Source: Condé Nast Traveller India


The bus route includes a one-night stay at the district headquarters in Lahaul-Spiti, Keylong and the entire journey takes about two days. While private buses have already started operating on the route, deluxe buses run by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) will commence again from July 1 onwards. There's also a special daily bus service for the tourists in Manali, who will be picked up from a stop and travel onwards to Leh. Below are the schedule and information on Delhi Leh Bus service 2019.


Image Source: Gaadi Waadi


Delhi To Leh Bus Service 2019

The Bus will start at 2.30 PM from Delhi’s ISBT and reach Manali at 5.30 AM the next day. It will then start from Manali at 7.15 AM and arrive at Keylong by 1:30 PM where it will halt for the night. It will then start from Keylong at 5 AM and arrive at Leh by 7 PM the same night.


Image Source: MakeMyTrip


Bus Details:

  • Delhi to Leh Bus Route: Delhi – Chandigarh – Bilaspur – Mandi – Kullu – Manali – Keylong – Sarchu – Pang – Upshi – Leh

  • Bus type: TATA Ordinary 2X3 (47 seater)

  • Delhi to Leh Distance by Bus: 1016 kilometers

  • Delhi to Leh Bus Fare: Rs. 1353

  • Halts: The Bus halts for the night at Keylong. Accommodation cost at Keylong is not included in your ticket but you will easily find budget hotels near Bus stand itself.

  • Mountain passes covered: Rohtang La, Baralacha La, Nakee La, Lachulung la, Tanglang la


Image Source: Traveler Destiny


Delhi To Leh Bus Service Time Table:

  • Departure from Delhi: 02:30 PM

  • Departure from Chandigarh (Sector 43): 8.30 PM

  • Arrival at Kullu: 5.15 AM

  • Departure from Kullu: 5:30 AM

  • Departure from Manali:  7:00 AM

  • Arrival at Keylong: 01:00 PM

  • **Night Halt**

  • Departure from Keylong: 05:00 AM

  • Arrival at Leh: 7 PM


Image Source: Aahvan Adventures


Delhi To Leh Bus Service Schedule:

  • Evening snacks: Karnal

  • Dinner: Ropar

  • Early morning Break: Pandoh

  • Breakfast: Gulaba

  • Lunch: Koksar

  • Breakfast: Bharatpur near Baralacha La

  • Lunch: Pang

  • Evening snacks: Upshi


Image Source: Treebo


Reverse Schedule:

Below is the schedule of this bus while traveling from Leh to Delhi.

  • Departure from Leh: 4:00 AM

  • Arrival at Keylong: 6:00 PM

  • **Night Halt**

  • Departure from Keylong: 6:30 AM

  • Departure from Manali: 1:25 PM

  • Arrival at Delhi: 3:30 AM


Delhi To Leh Bus Travel Time:

The total journey, including the night stay at Keylong, is of 52 hours. But the actual travel time in the Bus is of about 38 hours.


Image Source: Travel Triangle


Delhi To Leh Bus Fare 2019:

The entire journey from Delhi to Leh will cost you a total of Rs. 1353. This, however, is only the cost of Bus tickets. Your overnight stay at Keylong is not included in this price and you will have to pay for that separately. All the meals or snacks that you will have on the way are payable by you and nothing will get covered by HRTC in this cost. The tented accommodation that HRTC sets up will also have to be paid for by you and is not a part of your Rs. 1353 ticket.


Image Source: India Someday


Accommodation At Keylong

The accommodation that HRTC provides at Keylong is a Unisex dormitory type. What it basically means is that they set up a huge tent and there are beds lined up inside it. The cost per bed is Rs.150. So if you were a guy and a group of guys traveling on a shoestring budget then this is your best bet. Other benefits of staying at this accommodation are that it is right next to the Bus stop and run by HRTC itself. So there cannot be a situation where you overslept and missed your Bus to Leh the next morning.


Image Source: Booking


On the downside, you will have to share accommodation with a whole lot of strangers. They will all be sleeping inside a huge tent on lined up beds. Washroom too would be shared with all the other passengers. So privacy and hygiene can be a concern. If you opt not to, then you will find plenty of other hotels in Keylong to stay at for the night. Average charges at these hotels will be around Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 per day.


Delhi To Leh Bus Service Frequency

This is a daily Bus from both Delhi and Keylong. Earlier, when the service was introduced, it was limited to only 3 times a week. It was then later changed to every alternate day but keeping the huge number of tourists in mind, the schedule has now been updated to daily. You can find a bus from Delhi as well as Keylong for Leh on all days at their respective timings.


Delhi Leh Bus Service by HRTC Booking

How to book Delhi to Leh Bus? There is no booking system available and the tickets must be bought in person from the booking window. This will be the case from Delhi and Keylong both. The only booking option you have is that you can buy a ticket a few days in advance from Delhi. So for example, if you are traveling on Friday, you can go and buy a ticket on Thursday or Wednesday to avoid any last minute hassle.


Image Source: Goibibo


The ticket from Keylong, however, must be bought on the spot in the morning when you are about to board the Bus. But do not worry, there cannot be a case that tickets were sold out. If the number of travelers was more than a single Bus could carry, HRTC will align a second Bus for that day’s journey. So your travel and itinerary will remain guaranteed even if you weren’t booking in advance.


How Safe is the Journey by Delhi to Leh Bus?

Our two words answer would be “very safe”. Yes, it is uncomfortable a little due to being in an ordinary Bus but there is really no concern in terms of safety.


Quick Tips: 

  • The long hours sitting in an ordinary bus will be tiresome so be prepared mentally.

  • From Manali to Leh, pick a sit in the row behind the driver to get better pictures. While coming back from Leh to Manali, sit on the other side.

  • Washrooms will be dirty and a challenge.

  • You may suffer motion sickness in the Bus. Drink plenty of water to avoid that and eat small meals in the form of snacks to avoid that. Do not go empty stomach and do not overeat either.

  • Even if by a Bus, you should remember that you are traveling through a cold desert. Dress appropriately. Do not put on clothes that will leave you shivering in cold. But at the same time, do not put all the heavy ones that will make it impossible to sit in the Bus comfortably


So if a trip to Ladakh was on your mind in the year 2019 and traveling by your own vehicle wasn’t an option, now is the time for you to pack your bags and embark upon a journey that you will remember for years to come. Keep in mind that these bus services will operate for four months starting from July till October. The 475-km Manali-Leh highway is closed for the remaining months of the year due to snowfall, so plan your trip accordingly!


Image Source: Jasper hotel


Note: The buses are very ordinary Bus but comfortable enough. It is no luxury deal however and can be inconvenient for some people so deep keep that in mind before you decide to do this journey. Is it worth it? Only if you are an adventurous type and traveling on a shoestring budget.