Legendary Biking Routes…For the Sheer Madness
Are you one of those thrill loving bikers who never get tired of riding? Would you just grab your Honda and set wheels on the endless roads? If yes! Then India opens its treasure of destinations that make the most exciting biking routes.
India, a country of mountains, forts, monuments, deserts and cultures connects itself with endless roads that seem to be a wild fantasy. Whether the snow capped mountains of Ladakh, coastal belt of Chennai, barren deserts of Rajasthan or villages of Uttarakhand; every trip is a journey of self exploration. So, get set to go..wild on the roads for the ultimate adventure expedition. With a list of popular routes and destinations, get prepared to take your biking madness to another level.
Spiti Valley –Mountains Calling!!
Absolutely spellbinding, Spiti Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India is a whole new world. At 12,500 feet above sea level, it is a high altitude alpine land full of quaint villages and monasteries. They are surrounded by snow covered peaks, hence exhibiting natural beauty beyond comparison. Being a neighbour of Ladakh and Tibet, it follows Tibetan Buddhism and has similar festivals and occasions. People who live here are mostly farmers who cultivate wheat, barley and peas.
Because of heavy snowfall during winter, these villages completely lose connection with rest of the country. June to October is sunny and pleasant and hence is the best time to plan a biking tour. Proper acclimatization is needed to avoid altitude sickness and dehydration is also a possibility. This is the reason, drinking plenty of water is absolutely necessary.
A journey full of adventure, Spiti Valley in the lap of Greater Himalayas has a challenging terrain. The trip starts from Shimla and ends in Manali passing through villages like Sangla, Kalpa, Kaza, Tabo, Spiti, Kunzum and Keylong. As you unleash the biker in you little by little, the 800 km expedition challenges you at every step. With snow capped mountains as a companion, you pass through isolated valleys, cross the mountain passes, rugged terrains and age-old monasteries. At regular intervals, stay in camps and guest houses and take the opportunity to meet new people and know their cultures.
- Route: Shimla – Sangla – Kalpa – Kaza – Tabo – Spiti – Kunzum – Keylong – Manali
- Distance: Approximately 1100 km
- Tour Duration: 10-12 days approx
- When to Go: Mid June to October
Forests of Vazhachal – Beyond Backwaters
God’s Own Country Kerala is known for its backwaters and that is what comes in the mind of any visitor who thinks about Kerala. The state also has a plenty of biking routes that are less known to people. One such route is the Vazhachal Forest Division.
The journey to Vazhachal begins from Kochi as you take the route to Athirappally, a famous and extremely beautiful waterfall in Kerala. Wait till 8 am for the forest gates to open and then drive into tarmac roads. As your bike is rolling, reach the scintillating Charpa Falls whose beauty is absolutely spellbinding. Stop at the check post for some formalities and also take their instructions for the forest biking tour. Drive towards the collection of waterfalls of Vazhachal.
Amid the dense forests of Vazhachal, you will come face to face with elephants, deer, Indian bison and crocodiles!! The forest division is full of varieties of flora and fauna that allows you one to take a break from the pollution and run to the woods. Next stop is Malakkapara, a small town full of tea estates and coffee plantations. Stop here to taste mouth watering appams and egg masala from the local restaurants. Way ahead are the rolling hills amid wilderness full of chirping birds guiding you to the hairpin bends till you reach the Valparai – Aliyar road.
- Distance Covered: Kochi to Aliyar Dam (191 km)
- Attractions : Athirappally waterfalls, Charpa waterfalls, Vazhachal falls, Malakkappara tea gardens and coffee plantations, Sholayar Dam and Aliyar Dam
- Best Time for the Tour: October till the end of May
- Tour Duration: 1 Day
Known for legendary treks, the mountains of Sikkim and Darjeeling are also ideal for capturing the native essence of its culture. As you ride over the Queen of Hills, you will come across the fascinating places like Martam Village, Temi Tea Garden, Ravangla, Yuksom and Pemayangtse that are full of fun and thrill.
Begin your tour from Gangtok after collecting your passes from the Tourism Department. Take the day to do some sightseeing of Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Tashi Viewpoint, Seven Sister Water Falls, Kanchenjunga Mountain, Phodong Monastery, Ganesh Tok and others. Roll on via Lachen towards Thangu Valley. Here you can stop and spend the night in the homestays. Collect your passes and drive towards the high altitude Gurudongmar Lake which is a crystal clear ice. Then go to Nathu La pass in East Sikkim, enroute stop to pay obeisance in the Kali temple. Other places that can be visited here are Baba Mandir, Kupup, Nathang Valley and Zuluk. The ride here is quite tough and has zigzag turns. Spend some time in the spectacular surroundings and drive back to New Jalpaiguri.
- Distance Covered: 650 km (approx)
- Route : Siliguri – Pelling – Ravangla – Gangtok – Lachung – Zero Point – Lachen – Gangtok – Padamchen – Siliguri
- Best Time for the Tour: October
- Tour Duration: 14 nights/15 days
Jaipur pink city and Ranthambore national park are two most sought after destinations in Rajasthan. They also offer the best of biking routes specially for those who wish to know every nook and corner of this royal land. From Jaipur to Ranthambore, the distance is around 180 kms and the route that most of the people take is the Jaipur – Kota Road highway.
Jaipur has earned a global reputation for its forts and monuments that have numerous mesmerizing legends attached to them. While in Jaipur the places that can be visited are Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Nahargarh, Jaigarh, Birla Temple, City Palace and Chokhi Dhani. Gastronomy delights that should not be missed are Dal Bhati Churma, Lal Mans, Ghewar, Onion Kachori, Ker Sangri and Gatte Ki Sabzi among many others.
Take the Jaipur Kota highway that passes by Kota and Lalsot. The entire route is full of natural beauty, though a bit barren. Stop here to relish some local food in the roadside eateries and also meet the villagers to get a sneak peek into their lifestyle.
Ranthambhore National Park, a popular tiger reserve since 1973 became a national park in 1980. It is famous for its bio-diversity and also tiger population. It used to be the hunting ground for the erstwhile maharajahs before becoming a famous destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Inside the park, roads are pretty fine, though bumpy somewhere. Places to visit inside are the massive Ranthambore Fort, lakes Padam and Surwal, Kachida Valley, Jogi Mahal, ruins of Raj Bagh, Lakarda and Anantpura, Malik Talao and Akula region.
- Distance Covered: 166.2 km
- Route : Jaipur – Kota highway
- Best Time for the Tour: October to April
- Tour Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Shillong to Mawlynnong – Treat for Nature Lovers
An absolute treat for nature lovers, a ride on this route is a 3-4 day trip that covers amazing sights like Living Root Bridge, Mawsmai Caves, Elephant falls and Dawki Bridge. In-between are numerous stops to admire and breathe in the endless natural beauty. While on this biking trip spend a night in the world’s wettest Cherrapunji, visit Mawlynnong – Asia’s cleanest village and camp on the side of Dawki River.
Begin the biking tour from Guwahati and head towards Cherrapunji. The entire area is full of natural beauty that is beyond comparison. Spend the night in a local hotel. Next day start driving towards Tyrna village. Stop your bike here and do some trekking on the Root Bridge; about 3000 steps. Return back to the hotel in Cherrapunji. Begin the drive from Mawlynnong, which is famous for being the cleanest village in Asia. Explore the nook and corners of this village also stop to have lunch here. Drive till Dawki and do camping by the river side. Next day morning drive back to Guwahati.
- Distance Covered: 173 km
- Route : Shillong-Cherrapunji-Dawki-Mawlynnong
- Best Time for the Tour: Anytime round the year
- Tour Duration: 3-4 days