India is the land of adventure and excitement. And there is always something special for everyone. What better way to take in the ride of the country as you travel from one place to another on a bicycle? There are many different styles of cycling, from mountain biking to track or road cycling. Depending on which style suits you, here are some great cycling trails in India to help you rediscover your freedom:
Munnar to Annamalai
From well-manicured tea estates to ancient temples and sandalwood forests, this gorgeous cycling trail will take you through the best of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Cycling through the dreamy Western Ghats, you will pass some of southern India’s most picturesque landscapes. From Munnar, paddle your way through the lush tea estates of Madupatty, from where you can reach Kundala and unwind at the serene dam here. Your next stop should be Anamudi Chola, where you can explore the Anamudi National Park perched atop a hill. From here, cycle to Kanthaloore via Perumala. Ride along Kanthaloore’s tea estates to sniff some sandalwood in Marayoor. Finally, embark on a temple run in Palani, from where you can head towards Annamalai via Devikulam Lake.
- Route: Munnar-Madupatty-Kundala-Perumala-Kanthaloore-Marayoor-Palani-Annamalai
- Distance: 210 km
- Duration: 4-5 days
- Where to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Munnar market, Munnar; Sandal Breeze Restaurant, Marayoor
SOMNATH TO DIU
Somnath to Diu is 90 km via Veraval-Prachi-Kodinar on Somnath-Una NH-8E HW upto Keshariya and then right turn on Keshariya-Diu road upto Diu, all on good tar. Landscape is very-very picturesque with rows of coconut trees and Hokka trees canopying, in lush greenery and clear blue sky with flocks of migratory birds flying overhead in a hurry to reach their destinations. The pieces of arts on the round about, the massive bridge, the fort, the historical structures, the churches, the beach side resorts, hotels and if not an exaggeration the entire little land was illuminated with mind blowing colourful lights creating a unbelievable illusion of pictures on canvas. Hats off to the curators and administrators, a true honest effort and belongingness can only produce so good result and appreciations are indispensable for those behind the curtain. Lost in illusions, we slowly ventured the entire city with occasional halts to experience the enchanting colorful views and capturing them in my camera.
- Distance: 84 km
Manali to Leh
No list featuring the most breathtaking routes in India can be complete without the road connecting Manali to Leh. Perhaps the longest cycle trip among those featured here, this one is surely not for the faint-hearted and inexperienced. Nothing matches the thrill of riding through some of the world’s highest mountain passes, while stopping at age-old Buddhist monasteries. During this almost ten-day-long trip, you can choose places like Pangong Lake, Hemis, and Chang La for overnight stays. Feel the adrenaline rushing as you descend and ascend through unpredictable hairpin bends faced with challenging climatic conditions. This track also gives you the golden opportunity to tick the popular and much-visited Rohtang Pass off your bucket list. Don’t let the inviting snow-capped peaks keep you from visiting the tiny villages tucked away in the Ladakh Valley.
- Route: Manali-Pangong Lake-Hemis-Chang La-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Leh
- Distance: 700 Km (approx)
- Duration: 10 -12 days (approx)
- Where to eat: Whisky Nala-Leh Manali Highway; Rolling Stones camping and Restaurant, Jispa Chamba
Udaipur to Jodhpur
Riding from Udaipur to Jodhpur takes you through varied landscapes while introducing you to the rich cultural and historic heritage of Rajasthan. Meet camel herders on your way, or spot a deer or blackbuck in the scrubs, or experience the warm hospitality of the Rabari folks, this is a truly enriching experience. Apart from Udaipur and Jodhpur, some of the major stops on this journey could be the magnificent Kumbalgarh Fort, the historical Haldighati, the impressive Jain temples of Ranakpur, and the villages of Jojawar and Dhakri, where you can observe desert life at its most authentic. Just before Jodhpur, don’t forget to pay obeisance at the Om Bullet Baba Temple, where the presiding deity is a Royal Enfield.
- Route: Udaipur-Kumbhalgarh-Ranakpur-Jojawar-Dhakri-Jodhpur
- Distance: 352 km
- Duration: 8-10 days
- Where to eat: Gazebo, Club Mahindra, Kumbalgarh; Amrai Valley Restaurant, Ranakpur; Harmony Restaurant, near Roopam Mata Temple