India is blessed to have varied terrains and some of the most amazing and spectacular landscape. With famous beautiful locations most frequented to some offbeat locations for the traveler and niche audience, our country has some for each one of us. And what better way to explore these varied topography other than cycling? The cycling road trips are the most budget and Eco-friendly option with environment and health factor very well taken care of!
Exploring different corners of India while passing through multiple terrains and enjoying the breathtaking scenery can be best done with cycling. Imagine the feel of cycling along a beautiful beach or coastline or along a winding river, or just over the meadows lined with towering trees and cool air blowing. Just a thought of it gives an awesome feeling and an adrenaline rush to go try these out. Some of the best cycling road trips that should definitely be experienced once in a lifetime are given below.
Let’s classify these as per the level of difficulty:
1. Chennai to Puducherry — Cycling along the coast
This route has one of the most scenic views which includes sparkling beaches, swaying palm trees, white sand coupled with undulating roads, making it one of the favorite of the cyclists. This road trip starts from Chennai through the scenic East Coast Road (ECR) and then towards Muttukadu, Mahabalipuram, Kalpakkam and ends at Puducherry. Total journey is of around 155 km and duration is 2–4 days. Some amazing must see tourist places along with scenic landscape, this trip is really a joy ride for cyclists.
2. Somnath to Diu — Cycling through the jungle
Cycling through this route is a treat indeed. You get to see different landscapes like beaches to coast, rugged trails and forest. The cycling starts from Somnath and passes through Gir National Park, the abode of lions in Asia and ends at the picturesque Diu. So when cycling through Gir, don’t be surprised if you are welcomed with a loud roar by the ‘King of the Jungle’. The total cycling distance is 143 km and duration is 2–5 days. This road trip is definitely an ‘All Things Served In One’ amazing ride for the cyclists.
3. Munnar to Anaimalai — Cycling through the best of southern derby
If you want to enjoy the picturesque beauty of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in 4–5 days, then this is the one road trip you shouldn’t miss out. The 210 kms cycling trip starts from Munnar, a hill station in the Western Ghats mountain range and traverses through hidden hamlets like Madupetty, Marayoor, Amaravathy and places like Kundala, Perumala, Kanthallore, Palani which ends at Anaimalai hills in Tamil Nadu. This road trip passes through the tea gardens of Kanthallore, sandalwood forest of Marayoor and also witness the beautiful temples of Palani on the way. This road trip is famous for the lush green cover all along the way.
4. Mangalore to Goa — Cycling alongside the sea and river
This road trip on NH-66 which connects Mangalore to Goa is the one of the best leisure and relaxed cycling expedition that one could think of. The pristine beaches, beautiful cascades, divine temples and the awesome national parks; what else would one want? This road trip starts from Mangalore and passes through Kaup, Udupi, Bhatkal, Gokrna, Karwar and ends at Goa. Covering a distance of 382 kms in 8–10 days, this road trip is a ride along the nature. The place where you will be enchanted by the beauty of nature is Maravanthe Beach where on one side is the Arabian Sea and Souparnika River on the other side.
5. Shillong to Cherrapunji — Cycling in the North-Eastern heaven
One of the least explored road trips but a heaven for the cyclists to travel. In this trip one gets to see amazing cascades, countryside, mountains, hidden hamlets, floating lakes, peaceful monasteries, ‘grand canyon’ type valleys and home to the wettest place in India and so is the cleanest place in India. The road trip starts from Shillong and passes through Mawphlang, Mawsynram, Cherrapunji and Mawlynnong. The entire distance is approximately 275 km and the duration of the trip is 6–8 days. It is an ideal cycle road trip to explore the beautiful North-East side of India.
6. Pune to Panshet Dam — Cycling for the Metropolitan people
This road trip is a great weekend activity and getaway for people especially from Pune, Mumbai and adjoining areas. Scenic beauty with lush landscape and magnificent hills is really a delight for the riders. The road trip starts from Pune and passes through Ramnagar, Khed, Kodanpur, Gorhe Khurd, Khanapur, Malkhed, Panshet and ends at Panshet Dam. The total distance is around 78 km and duration is 1–3 days. The trip can be concluded with a visit to the historic Sinhagad fort and boating at the Sinhagad Fort lake.
7. Udaipur to Jodhpur — Cycling along the royal historical places
This road trip is no ordinary one. It comprises all the royal things like the historical forts, magnificent monuments, holy temples and the famous sand dunes of the never-ending desert of Rajasthan. Starting from Udaipur — The City of Lakes, it passes through Kumbhalgarh, famous for its fort and then to Ranakpur (Famous for its magnificent Jain Temples), Jojawar, Dhakri and finally ends at Jodhpur. This 352 km cycle trip in a duration of 8–10 days is truly an enchanting experience and covers opulence at its best.
8. Bengaluru to Goa — Cycling along the nature’s beauties
This trip takes you through the scenic landscapes of Karnataka and the beautiful coastline of Goa. It starts from the busy streets of Bengaluru and travels through heritage city of Mysore, Hassan, narrow lanes and coffee hub of Chikmagalur, hidden hamlets of Lokavalli and Banavasi and finally takes the coastal route to Gokarna finally ending at Goa. Although this 698 km long trip is tiresome and difficult, but the entire duration of 11–15 days has some amazing scenic views along with sparkling and beautiful beach of Gokarna to compliment it.
9. Manali to Leh — Cycling along the majestic mountain passes
This is another gem of a road trip consisting of passing through some of the highest mountain passes in the world, which is an adrenaline rush for any cyclist. The thrill and adventure of riding on the roads of Leh and Manali is unparalleled for any cyclist or motorcyclist. The breathtaking views and the amazing Buddhist monasteries are highlights of the trip. This challenging 700 km journey starts from Manali and goes through Pangong Lake, Hemis, Chang La, all these having stay options and through Durbuk, Tangtse, Lukung and finally ends at Leh which is covered in a duration of 10–12 days.
10. Kalimpong to Zuluk — Old Silk Route — Cycling along the mountainous terrrain for the brave hearted
If you are thinking that this 88 kms trip in a duration of 6 days is a short and easy trip, then definitely you are mistaken. For the extreme adventure and thrill seekers, this is definitely for them. Starting from Kalimpong it passes through Gangtok and ends at Zuluk. This old silk route is an unexplored goldmine for the adventure cyclists and tests their riding skills with narrow roads, hairpin turns, snow covered hills, mountain ridges and the descending hillsides of Gangtok. There are challenges but the scenic views and experiencing the tribal life makes it an unforgettable cycling road trip.