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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Manali to Leh Volvo bus service : all details

No, there is no such service between Manali and Leh of Volvo or Mercedes luxury buses! 

It goes without saying that new age luxury buses like Volvo and Mercedes have changed the way we looked at bus travel in India. Infact, in North India, the Volvo B7R bus ply upto the 6500 feet high hill-station of Manali which gets a fair amount of snow between Jan and March and yet, the buses have no issues at all.
However, come summers, and people start searching for the Manali to Leh buses, without even understand the real terrain on this route. A big answer to the question is NO - A Volvo or a Mercedes bus can simply not ply on the Manali - Leh route. Why?
1. The ground clearance is too low for bad section around Rohtang and later at Sarchu / Pang and the various passes. Even with the adjustable suspension, the craters and bad roads are bad enough to stop a Volvo or a Merc bus!
2. The windows are sealed - AMS or acute mountain sickness always hits you pretty bad due to elevation and hence, sealer windows means you cant puke out!
3. Their length : most private and public buses (normal, non-AC) on this route are smaller in length (9 m or less) but the Volvo and Merc ones are 12m in length. You simply cant image the kind of roads (narrow, steep turns, tight corners) on this route. A 12m long bus can simply not make it to Leh from Manali!

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