Thrilling cycling routes? Eh! Why not!
Cycling is an excellent way to travel. Recently a meme floated across social media that said “COVID is a pandemic for the world but for Indians, it’s a cycling tournament.” And that couldn’t be agreed to more. With gyms not being operated, cycling has appeared as the most popular form of workout these days.
India is crowded with cars, buses and bikes all over the metropolitan cities, but did you know that some fascinating parts of the country can be traversed on a bicycle. Cycling not only serves as a great exercise but it’s also for leisure purposes. Travelling at a more moderate speed, you can enthral yourself more deeply with the destination. Cycling is one of the safest and one of the most enjoyable ways to travel to a new city, especially for travellers who are looking for a unique adventure. In recent times, a new-found passion for cycling among fitness-conscious youngsters has also been observed.
Here is a list of eight thrilling cycling routes in India gathered together that may help you to enjoy and explore some beautiful places.
- Shillong to Cherrapunji
Distance – 275km
Duration – 5-7 days
The Shillong to Cherrapunji cycling route is a dream that has become a reality. It is a new yet enthralling cycling route in Meghalaya and is known for its misty weather. Along the journey, you’ll come across waterfalls, floating lakes, lush green mountains, a beautiful clean village, living root bridges in Mawlynnong, peaceful monasteries and several treat-to-the-eye valleys. While cycling on most hilly terrains, you can observe mountains on one side and a valley on the other side. This route is different as you tend to ride on top of the hills and is encountered best during the winter season.
- Munnar to Annamalai
Duration – 4 – 5 days
The Munnar to Annamalai cycling journey will pass through the Mattupetty, Amarvathy and conclude at Annamalai Hills in Tamil Nadu. Along the route, you will come across tea estates of Kanthalloor, Marayoor landscape (known for its sandalwood forest), beautiful temples, and signs that the cyclists have entered Palani. Paddling through the lush green forest, you will reach your destination, Annamalai. The cycling route will bestow cyclists the beautiful scenery of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in just four days.
- Kalimpong to Zuluk (via Gangtok)
Destination – 88km
Duration – 6 days
The cycling route from Kalimpong to Zuluk is for the challenge seekers. The old silk route is the perfect route to be traversed. The roads here are more challenging as compared to other tracks, but the beautiful view and the interaction with the tribal community are worth it. Cyclists will travel along the narrow roads, snow-covered hills and the zigzag turns. These challenging tracks start from Kalimpong and through the steep mountain range, starting from the hillsides of Gangtok, the cyclist will end their journey at Zuluk.
- Manali to Leh
Destination – 700km
Duration – 10 – 16 days
The tracks of Leh and Manali have been a paradise for travellers for years. The excitement of passing through some of the highest mountains in the world and witnessing the majestic Buddhist monasteries is exciting. Thin air, hairpin curves, harsh weather, constant climbs, and irregular terrain make this an experts-only route. These cycling routes can be of longer duration to reach destinations, and so there are overnight stay options at places such as Jispa, Karu, Hemis, Chang La, to name a few. Exotic views and incredible scenery are the spotlights of this voyage. April to August is the fitting riding season for this trip.
- Mangalore to Goa
Destination: 382 km
Duration : 8- 10 days
Mangalore to Goa is one of the relaxed cycling routes. During the journey, one will see various aspects of nature. The route will bequeath cyclists to beautiful clean beaches, divine temples, and enchanting national parks, far away from the hustle-bustle of the city. One can traverse the mesmerizing places like Kaup, Gokarna, Udupi, and Karwar. A relaxing stopover at Maravanthe beach site is a place to recline and savour the view of the serene Arabian Sea.
- Gangtok to Darjeeling
Distance – 456 km
Duration – 8 – 10 days
Gangtok to Darjeeling roads is dotted with monasteries, tea estates and of course the nature. The cycling voyage starts from the colonial hill station and heads to Sikkim and further leads to Temi, a region famous for its tea plantations. Enjoy the serene sunset at the Himalayas while you sip in your favourite beverage on the way. After passing through Temi and Martam, the trek will stop at Gangtok.
- Chennai to Pondicherry
Distance – 155 km
Duration – 2 – 4 days
The journey along the coast includes some of the fascinating places from Tamil Nadu to Pondicherry. During the journey, one will see sparkling water, white sand and swaying palms. The cycling voyage begins from Chennai and crosses through Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam and ends at the former French territory, Pondicherry. There are many spots to halt during the cycling journey like Dakshinachitra Museum, Marundeeswarar Temple and Mahabalipuram.
- Coorg to Munnar
Distance – 459 km
Duration – 7 days
The backwaters of Kerala are worth a memory to cherish. Cycling in this region can be the most incredible journey of your lifetime. From the mesmerizing town, Munnar to Coorg the cycling route is full of greenery around. One can spot beautiful tea and spice gardens on the trail bordering the road with the background of the dense forested Nilgiri hills. The course goes from Coorg to Ooty to Munnar, and it is listed as the world’s Ultimate Riding Wonder. This cycling trip is long as it takes seven days to cover the voyage. The dense forest of Nilgiri Hills is also visible while cycling towards the destination.
So what are you waiting for? Choose your favourite cycling route, get your baggage ready and plan for the next beautiful destination on your two-wheeler, and pedal away from your stress.