First thing you need to know about making a Manali-Leh trip is that you cannot have it round the year. The 472 kms trip is open for just three months in a year and you better make the most of it. The trip can be extended to Nubra valley across Khardungla pass, which is also the highest motorable road in the world. You can also extend it to Srinagar through crossing Zojila Pass. The trip will take about two days to finish if you move at a leisurely pace.
The trip has to be arranged via a tour operator who will provide you with the permit to enter Tsomoriri. In the initial few kilometres one can see lush green trees and snowy mountains outside. But once you enter Lahaul, the landscape gives way to a brown terrain because these areas receive less rainfall. This terrain will slowly change in to deserts after crossing some villagfes. Soon we can enter the Baralacha pass to the area where you can camp for the night. The next day you can resume the journey from there and after travelling through many passes you reach Rumtse and Gyaa village. Later we have to cross Indus river and through Indus valley with villages and monasteries on hillside we can finally finish our journey to Leh.
The drive is quite enjoyable and challenging and one needs to constantly remind himself to keep his eyes on the road as the surroundings are quite scenic. The trip will definitely provide you an incredible on road experience.