With Himalayan cycling, India offers exhilarating and epic biking through some of the most dramatic mountains in the world. The Ladakh region spans the Himalaya and Karakoram mountain ranges, the two highest in the world, and it would be hard to find a more dramatic backdrop to your cycling adventure. Inhabited by remote traditional communities with Buddhist traditions, life is a challenge at these altitudes and so is the cycling, as you ride over high passes on the roof of the world. The harsh winter means Ladakh is only accessible for four months a year, and therefore few cyclists explore this remarkable region.
In the north of India, other popular regions for cycling include Himachal, Darjeeling and Garwhal, all on the southern flanks of the Himalaya, not forgetting Sikkim, with forested slopes and dramatic views to the high peaks of the Himalaya.
Delhi is a bustling city in the north of India with nearly 20 million inhabitants and a fascinating place to start any cycle tour. You can cycle through Rajasthan to discover dramatic forts and striking Moghul architecture such as the Taj Mahal. Take leave from the bikes to go in search of tigers in Ranthambore National Park.
The pace of life slows significantly as you cycle south and the dusty northern plains are replaced with tropical beaches, swaying palm trees and the tranquil backwaters of Kerala. Ride your bike through a varied landscape of spice, tea and rubber plantations before relaxing on the Keralan backwaters on a traditional houseboat. Across the Western Ghats in the south-east of India you can cycle between ancient temples through the cradle of 2500 years of Dravidian civilisation.
Food is a key part of Indian culture and after a day in the saddle you can build up a good appetite which makes it all the more appealing. The south offers an abundance of fresh seafood and creamy coconut curries whereas dishes in the north tend to be drier and spicy. It is estimated that almost 40% of the population don’t eat any meat so vegetarians enjoy plenty of choices. There are plenty of options for the less adventurous palate too with western dishes often available.