Travelling is one thing, but travelling on motorcycle is quite another. Long before the Motorcycle Diaries became the cult hit that it is now, people loved to explore new places on two-wheeler. India is the ideal destination for the two-wheeler lover, so we’ve put together a list of places you must visit, with or without a pillion rider.
There’s nothing quite like zooming by on your motorbike and feel the wind in your hair. If you’re a traveller and a biker to boot, you must have at least thought of travelling on your bike and conquering some famous passes on your two-wheeler. If you’ve been seduced by images of Bollywood stars ride their bikes on secluded roads along picturesque locations in the movies, you can be them too!
Here’s a list of places you need to tick off your list.
1. The Khardung La Pass
This is a mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. It’s also an important gateway to the famous Siachen Glacier. It is a 39.7 km stretch of motorable road situated at an altitude of 5359 meters. While people are still arguing about whether this is the highest road of this kind in the world, be assured that it is definitely one of the most beautiful rides you will ever go on in your life.
2. Siliguri to Darjeeling by road
Siliguri is a commercial hub in the Indian state of West Bengal, often considered the gateway from this part of the country to the Himalayas. The approximate distance between Siliguri to Darjeeling is 65 km and it will take you around two hours depending on the state of National Highway 55. In order to really enjoy this ride, budget about six hours for it, set out early, and stop by en route at Sukna forest and then later at Kurseong. Time your trip so that you will reach Hill Cart Road and Hotel Rajdarbar by lunchtime.
3. Exploring Sikkim
If you want to throw in a bit if spiritual awakening along with your motorcycle journey, look no further than Sikkim, the ‘Green Mountain State’ of India. Be aware, though, that the quiet atmosphere of Sikkim sometimes belies its treacherous terrain; Sikkim boasts of the steepest rise in altitude over the shortest distance in the country. So if you’re going to take a motorcycle along, ensure that you speak to enough locals and get the lie of the land.
4. Riding around Daman
Did you know that if you want a great mixture of old world historical charm and all the new world facilities, you should look no further than a Union Territory? Goa and Pondicherry are great, but so is Daman. Especially if you choose the right time of the year (i.e. outside of the summer months) to visit it, you can head out here and rent a motorcycle for next to nothing and explore the region at your own pace. You have beaches where the alcohol flows on tap, and further inland you have the forts and churches positively dripping with rich Portuguese history. Why would you say no?
5. Challenge yourself on Se La Pass
If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, you may want to give Se La Pass a try. Because of its winding roads and high altitude, it pays if you take it slow, if for nothing else but to enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the valleys of Arunachal Pradesh that this pass offers. It connects the Buddhist city of Tewang Town to Tezpur and Guwahati, and also connects Tewang to the rest of India. So if you’re spiritually inclined, spend a couple of days in Tewang and take in the slow pace of a quiet, measured life.