10 MUST TRY BIKE TRIPS IN INDIA
Four wheels may take you to the destination, but two wheels move your soul with the everlasting memories of the journey. For a soulful trip having a look at the scenery of incredible India, tracing every ounce of your journey is the best kind of journey one can ever make. It may require a lot of time to go for a bike trip, but trust me you’ll make a memory worth of lifetime. In this article, I’ll help you find the best places to explore in India. All you need to do is pack your bags, turn a key and hit the road for the most memorable trip of your life. Here’s a list of 10 must try bike trips in India:
1. Manali to Leh
The utmost peace of mind you’ll find with this trip through Manali – Leh Highway is inexplicable. The road in all its snowy glory is tempting people of all walks of life, all over the world to swan along this startling route. One of the most popular Bollywood movie “ Jab we Met” was shot along this route, where you can see Kareena Kapoor twirling and performing on the song “Ye Ishq Haaye”.
Imagine the thrill of riding your bike at the altitude of 3000 – 4000 meters above sea level, with deadly turns and deep gorges. It is a stretch of 479 Km and will take approximately 2 days to be covered, with a number of sojourns for relaxing. The route is closed for about 7 months of the year due to heavy snowfall and is accessible for only 5 months of the year.
The Best Time to Visit: From May to mid-October
Tip – I would advise you to have a few stopovers in this journey because you need to be gradually adapted according to the changing climate with increasing altitude.
2. Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley
Start your journey from the Visakhapatnam, which is situated at the confluence of Eastern Ghats mountain range and the mighty Bay of Bengal providing an astonishing view to start your journey with. You will be awed at every step as you proceed towards Araku Valley, by the steep turns, slight elevation, lush green flora all along the route and pristine beauty of the hills, making it one of the best bike trips of South-India.
It is a distance of about 116 Km and takes about 3 – 4 hours to be covered. You’ll find a number of sites worth visiting along the route which includes Borra caves and Tatipudi Reservoir. Borra caves are known to be the deepest caves of India, making it a site must visiting, while you are traveling along this route.
The Best time to Visit: From October to March
3. Guwahati to Tawang
Guwahati in Assam and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh both are the worth visiting cities of North –East India, and a bike trip from Guwahati and Tawang is a must-do, to add adventure to your visit to the North-East. The narrow roads, steep turns, and deep gorges, as you can see in the image above will send a chill down your spine while riding through this road. Yet the scenic beauty of the panoramic view of the mountains makes it a challenge worth taking.
The distance between both the cities is of 520 odd Kilometers, it will take you 13 – 14 hours to be covered owing to the risky terrain of the region. A ride on the roads of Assam is smooth and comparatively easy but the moment you cross the state border to enter Arunachal Pradesh, you’ll hardly find a proper road. The roads are in very bad condition and at many places, you’ll find huge craters on the roads.
The Best Time to Visit: From March to October
- Don’t ride in the dark else you won’t be able to spot huge craters on the road.
- Don’t try to complete the journey in one day. Prefer to stopover when and where necessary.
4. Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
Riding on the roads surrounded by snow clad mountains of Great Himalayan ranges is such an amazing experience. Since the North-East India is the least explored region of our country, its flawless beauty is still well conserved and has the most adventurous terrains to be traced by road trips. You should ride through this pristine route at least once in your lifetime. The magnificence of this road lies in the unpredictability of terrains making your ride full of surprises and challenges.
This road used to be a part of very popular road for trade until 1962, before Sino-Indian War and was well-known with the name of Silk Route. This route is only 55 Km long and the distance can be covered within 2 hours. During a ride through this road don’t forget to stop at Tsomgo Lake also known with the name Changu Lake. Visiting this lake in winters will leave you with an astounding experience.
The condition of the road is very poor. You may get stuck in the traffic for hours because of recurring landslides, snow or other road conditions.
The Best time to visit: The best time to visit the place is from May to October when the temperature remains a bit higher and suitable for riding as you won’t find any snow during this period. But if you want to see snow clad Nathula then the months of November and March are the best suited for this purpose and the route remains open for only these two months in winter. Nathula remains closed for public for 2 days of the week i.e. Monday and Tuesday.
- If you’re going to visit in winters then first visit the stalls nearby Nathula that offer snow gears on rentals for temperature may go below -25°C.
- Due to the very high altitude at Nathula, the oxygen level in the atmosphere is quite low, so if you have any health problem or breathing problem then consult a doctor before the visit.
- Keep some Acetazolamide tablets in your pockets, it helps to maintain oxygen level in the body. You can also carry portable oxygen cylinder along with you.
5. Shillong to Cherrapunjee
This stretch lies in the North-Eastern state of Meghalaya. Though the stretch is not that long, it provides a variety of spots to explore like a few waterfalls, caves, etc. As Cherrapungi, an abode of the clouds is known for its second highest rainfall in the world after Mawsynram, you may find drizzles all along the way. All these natural phenomena make the trip on this road thoroughly refreshing. Because of plenty of rainfall, this region is covered with lush green flora with sub-tropical moist broad leaf forests. Riding on this road with the cool breeze from the forest swirling around your hair and feasting your eyes on the scenic surroundings is totally mesmerizing.
It is a distance of 53 Km and can be covered in approximately one and a half hour.
The Best time to visit: You can plan this trip any time of the year as the weather remains pleasant throughout the year. Still, the best time to visit is from October to May.
- Eateries and shops shut down early in this region, so buy your stuff accordingly
- Don’t forget to keep an Umbrella while packing your bag.
6. Shimla to Manali
The starting point of the bike trip of this route is Manali, in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Apart from feasting your eyes on natural exotic valleys of Manali, you can also explore a number of sites of tourist attractions like temples, some historic monuments and the popular hot spring of Vashisht. As you proceed, you’ll come across a tribal settlement where you’ll find a number of centuries old temples, making it a place worth stopping at. This tribal settlement is popularly known as Saharan. Give your trip a spiritual ending by stopping at the Monastery in Spiti Valley, which is the oldest and biggest monastic complex in the world.
You can choose to take any of the 2 routes from Shimla to Manali. One route is short and direct and will take only around 2 hours to complete your trip but is not that happening. For a wonderful experience of your bike trip I would suggest you to take the longer route which passes through Mandi. It is of 248 Km and will take around 6-7 hours to be covered other than the stopovers you take. Though it is a longer route, it is full of thrills and is worth traversing to make the best of memories and ends with beautiful orchards, shrines and revitalizing rest houses.
The Best time to visit : From Mid June to Mid October
Tip – Do not try to cover the distance in one day only because the terrain is dangerous and there’s a lot of stuff to explore in the way itself, so stopover and relax wherever possible and explore the places thoroughly.
7. Salem to Kolli Hill
Kolli Hills, in the state of Tamil Nadu, are popularly known as biker’s paradise. Before starting this trip get yourself prepared to have an inevitable adrenaline rush, as there is something bizarre about tracing this unusual route. Nestled in the Eastern Ghats mountain ranges, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills have 70 continuous hairpin bends, thus given the nomenclature “Mountains of Death”. All 70 turns are within the distance of 30 Km which includes a turn every 200 meter. As you move up through the route, the temperature drops with the increasing altitude. There are a number of spots on the way worth taking photographs.
The summit of the hills is known with the name of Semmedu, a place flourishing with coffee, pepper plantations and paddy fields and offers a scenic pristine view of the valley, covered with lush green flora, from the top. Other worth visiting sites on this hill are Mini Falls, Masila Falls, Selur Nadu, botanical garden and Agaya Gangai Falls. Distance between Salem and Kolli Hills is less than 100 Km.
The Best time to visit : Summers are the best to visit Kolli hills.
Tip – Don’t ride your bike in the dark on this hill, for the hairpin turns in the hill makes the route very risky to ride at night.
8. Pollachi to Chalakudy
This is the bike trip starting from Pollachi, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, all the way to Chalakudy, in Kerala. This route is surrounded by lush green flora of tropical rain forests leading to a cool ride through this route. En-route you’ll find a number of places worth stopping at including various dams and reserves. You may also spot some wild animals along this route.
It is a distance of roughly 129 Kilometers and is covered in 2-3 hours.
The Best time to visit : You can take this ride any time of the year
Tip – Be careful while riding on this road during the monsoon, as the area is covered under rain-forest, there would be so many wet places in the area.
9. Barmer to Bikaner
This road trip requires a lot of patience in the beginning as, riding through a vast expanse of deserts, with not even a single trace of settlements may cause one to lose one’s mind and may not want to continue with the ride. But as Aristotle said, “ The patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet”, as you proceed further with the ride you’ll find this trip poised and balmy, when you ride along the vast stretches of the Great Indian Thar Desert all by yourself in peaceful environment. This trip would leave an everlasting impression on your soul and will prove to be a biking trail that certainly gives you a high.
It is a stretch of roughly 400 Km and it takes about 6-7 hours to be covered.
The Best time to visit : From November to March i.e. during winters. Summers of Rajasthan are extremely hot, so not suitable for the ride.
10. Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar
All the routes I listed above are for the veteran adventure enthusiasts. I would like to reserve the last slot for the beginners who want to feel that adrenaline rush but are not in the stage to take a lengthy adventurous ride through dangerous terrains, hairpin turns, along the deep gorges and craters.
Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar bike trip is best for to begin with the bike trips because of the steady elevation of the mountain with the astonishing view on both the sides of the road with extensive flora. During the trip, you may relax at a few stopovers including Panchgani to have an eyeful of the scenic beauty of the plateau. Once you are done with this riding trip, you’ll be encouraged to undertake many other such trips through the deadly routes. So, basically it’s only a starter.
It covers a distance of approximately 230 Km which can be covered in about 5 hours.
The Best time to visit : This region can be visited any time of the year owing to its pleasant weather throughout the year.
In India, the best kind of travelling for leisure is done by bikes, since you can meet people from different walks of life, know their culture, history and lifestyle apart from feasting your eyes upon the wonderful beauty of Incredible India.
Contributor : Diksha Sharma