Paddling your way through the countryside

3rd Mar 2018

India is a land with diverse landscapes and remarkable cultures. This has made this country a special attraction among both inbound and outbound travellers. Trains have always been the preferred mode of transportation for travellers who want to enjoy the scenic beauty of countryside, but lately, adventure enthusiasts are choosing cycling over trains to explore the hidden gems of the country, up and close. Cycling tours provide an opportunity to people to take a moment from their mundane routines and go on a new adventure every day. It will give you time to meet new people and understand local cultures and it will take you to places that you never imagined existed on the map. Here are few cycling trails that you can try out:

A Himalayan cycling trail

Manali to Leh

When to go: June to September

Time on the road: 12 days

Route: Manali- Marhi- Sissu-Jispa- Patseo- Sarchu - Pang- Tso Kar - Rumptse - Leh

Distance: 550km

Top Experiences:

This cycling tour can be considered to be an advanced level adventure tour. You will have to tackle hairpin bends, unpredictable terrains and other weather difficulties. This route is for someone who lives by the motto of ‘you live only once’ and can take risks of any level to get that adrenaline rush. Apart from the difficulty level, the scenic beauty of lakes, clear blue skies and snow rock formations can make you take this risk more than once.

Where to stay: If you are looking for a place to stay in Manali then you can rent a room in Orchards House which will cost ₹1,100 per night and if you are looking for a play to stay in Leh, then Ecology Hostel that charges ₹600 per night is a good option.

The Nilgiri tour

Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala

When to go: December

Time on the road: 20 days

Route: Bengaluru - Mysore - kushalnagar - Sultan Bathery - Oooty - Kdanand - Ooty - Conoor - Manjoor - Ooty - Gudalur - Mysore

Distance: 955km

Top Experiences:

The Tour of Nilgiris is one of the largest and most loved cycling tours in India. The tour spans through three wildlife sanctuaries, Bandipur in Karnataka, Wayanad in Kerala and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu. Riders can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the hills and can also explore some unheard and unseen parts of Western Ghats.

Where to stay: Looking for a place to stay in Mysore? Book a room in Hotel MB International. It charges ₹1,190 per night. For travellers planning to take a break in between in Ooty, you can book a room at Tulips Elkhill Resorts. It charges ₹1,250 per night.

The pleasant trail

Gangtok to Darjeeling

When to go: November to April

Time on the road: 8 to 10 days

Route: Darjeeling - Pemayangtse - Yuksam - Tashiding - Ravangla - Temi - Martam - Gangtok

Distance: 456km

Top Experiences:

On this route, experience the most breathtaking views of nature. Cycle through the neighbouring locations of the Himalayas, take an extraordinary view of tea plantations in Darjeeling and Temi and indulge yourself in the culture, history and cuisine of the locals in Pemayangtse and Yuksam.

Where to stay: Want to spend some time in Gangtok before starting the journey? Get yourself a room at Bamboo Retreat which will cost you ₹6,000 per night.

A dive into history

Udaipur to Jodhpur

When to go: October to March

Time on the road: 8-10 days

Distance: 352km

Route: Udaipur - Kumbhalgarh - Ranakpur - Jojawar - Dhakri - Jodhpur

Top Experiences:

India is blessed with a variety of terrains. The deserts in Rajasthan have a pool of history to dive into.There are humongous forts, such as the Kumbhalgarh fort on barren lands of deserts, waiting for you to take a peek into the lives of our ancestors and unravel the mysteries of past.

Where to stay: If you are tired after a day long excursion at the Kumbalgarh fort, then you can opt for staying at The Adohi which charges ₹4,000 per night.

Journey along the coastline

Mangalore to Goa

When to go: November to March

Time on the road: 8-10 days

Distance: 382km

Route: Mangalore - Kaup - Udupi - Bhatkal - Gokarna - Karwar - Goa

Top Experiences:

Cycling along the coastline of India will give you an opportunity to explore this part of the country thoroughly. You will encounter waterfalls in Udupi, pristine beaches in Gokarna and holy temples in Bhatkal on your way to explore some the oldest Goan villages in the country.

Where to stay: Gokarna has several options for tourists. Budgeted travellers can choose to stay at Hari Om which will cost ₹800 per night. Travellers looking for a luxurious place to stay can go for Anaariya Beach Front that charges ₹4,000 per night.

Touring the Southside

Trivandrum to Kochi

When to go: December to February

Time on the road: 15 days

Distance: 678km

Route: Trivandrum - Madurai - Vathalagundu - Kodaikanal - Marayoor - Chinnakanal- Kumily - Vagamon Village - Alleppey - Kochi

Top Experiences:

Experience Kerala's some of the best-hidden treasures. Take a ride on the slopes of Western Ghats to reach Kodaikanal, a hill station. Cycling through national parks, tea plantations and lush green forests of these states can be the best form of slow travel.

Where to stay: Spend some time at Alleppey backwaters in the Bamboo Lagoon Backwater Front Resort for ₹2,253 per night.

Touring the old Silk Route

Aritar to Gangtok

When to Go: October to December

Time on the road: 9 days

Distance: 158km

Route: Afitar - Phadamchen - Dhupidara - Gnathang - Nathula Pass - Memencho lake - Gangtok

Top Experiences:

This tour is not for beginners, the ride can get tough. For the ones who are always looking for an adrenaline kick, this tour can prove to be satisfactorily good. The route is famously known as the old silk route and is steeped with history at every turn. The trail has its own share of picturesque landscape, waterfalls, monasteries and forests.

Where to stay: Want to spend some time resting in Gangtok after cycling? Get yourself a room at Bamboo Retreat which will cost you ₹6,000 per night.

#Adventure #Nature #Scenery #Gastronomy #Mountains #Lakes #History #Coastlines

Are you a cycling junkie and have already covered few or all of these trails before? Then, we would definitely want to know about your experience. Share your journey with us here.