Biking has been around for the longest time, whether you went cycling around the neighborhood slanes with your friends or now indulge in full-blown biking expeditions around the city during the weekends. And truly nothing compares to the simple joy and sense of adventure that biking brings. India has several scenic biking routes that will make for unforgettable adventures and appease the adventurous spirit in you! So here are some of the best biking trails in India that biking enthusiasts must travel.
One of the easier yet scenic cycling routes in India, the journey from Chennai to Pondicherry via the East Coast Road (ECR) is a must-try for all biking enthusiasts. This stretch of road offers visitors miles and miles of seaside views while biking. It's literally like biking with a companion - the sea! With wide undulating roads and beautiful beaches, this biking trail is certainly a dream ride.
Cycling via ECR has its set of pros and cons. The advantage is that since the route runs alongside the sea, you’ll be greeted by cool, coastal winds from time to time. Another pro is the beautiful scenery for sure! Additionally, this route offers you several stops for sightseeing like Mahabalipuram, Sadras Dutch Fort, and Alamparai Fort to name a few.
A con of the ECR route is that it switches from a four-lane to a two-lane route, which certainly affects the traffic density. As a word of caution, it is best to travel with a companion or atleast have an intermediate to expert-like experience if you’re planning to go solo.
Route: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (via ECR)
Road Distance: 151.6 km
Best Time To Go Biking: November to February
While Lonavala and Khandala have been the public choice for years, it's time to switch things up and explore a different trail. Daman is a quaint beach city about 170 km from Mumbai, it is the perfect getaway for Mumbaikars to avoid the heavy traffic of the NH8 going towards the hill stations. The NH-48, your route from Mumbai to Daman, is a well-maintained road, an easier terrain, and dotted with the canopy of trees, eateries, and recreational centers.
This makes the biking journey, even more, easier as you can take rest stops or stop for a few scenic photographs. Once you get closer to Daman, the scenery will changes quite drastically with heavy traffic lanes being switched for a more quiet, beachside road and a few turns with the sea alongside your journey! On reaching Daman, make sure to explore popular attractions like Mirasol Lake Garden, St. Jerome Fort, and the Daman Lighthouse, before setting off back home.
Route: Mumbai - Thane - Manor - Talasari - Vapi - Daman
Road Distance: 171 km
Best Time To Go Biking: October to May
Also Read: 6 Of The Best Offbeat Beaches in India
Another coastal biking trip that is worth every drop of sweat - Mangalore to Goa. The trail runs mostly parallel to the west coast along the NH-66 and takes you through some of the most popular beach towns in the country. You will come across several deltas, rivers, and beautiful landscapes as you start your journey from Mangalore. This route is mostly rolling terrain, that is, it has gentle ups and downs and no steep slopes, making it a slightly easier terrain to navigate.
During your journey make sure to stop at beachside shacks for the local seafood. Throughout the journey, you will come across several smaller and undiscovered beaches that you could explore and take a break. The route follows a major highway, but if you’re feeling adventurous then there are plenty of interesting internal roads especially around Udupi and Gokarna, that bring some change in terrain and surroundings.
Once you reach the Goan coastal belt you can either stop at one of the South Goa beaches or keep moving north until you make it to Vasco Da Gama.
Route: Mangalore - Udupi - Gokarna - Karwar - Goa
Road Distance: 345.3 km
Best Time To Go Biking: November to February
Also Read: The Ultimate Itinerary: 48 Hours In Goa
One of the most scenic biking trails of South India, the Coorg to Munnar journey is basically biking through lush greenery! Starting at a coffee plantation hill town, only to end the journey at a hill station famous for its tea plantations, this route is one that every biker should explore atleast once. The beautiful rolling hills from Coorg to Munnar make the journey quite fun and enliven your soul.
Just imagine cycling on a quiet road, surrounded by fresh, blossoming meadows and the coffee fragrant air! That’s certainly a unique experience. The journey either has you passing a few forested areas depending on the roads you choose. Once you reach Ooty, you should definitely take some time to explore the hill station before making your way to Munnar.
Route: Coorg - Wayanad - Ooty - Pollachi - Munnar
Road Distance: 453.7 km
Best Time To Go Biking: October to March. You can also go during the summertime since most of the journey is across hill stations, but there can be some hot and humid days.
Also Read: Best Homestays In Munnar
Every biking enthusiast dreams of biking through the Himalayas. As one would expect, this trail is a tough one and one needs to have enough biking experience under their belt to go through with this. But the journey is worth all the effort! Cycling from Manali to Leh the scenery is simply breathtaking especially since the whole expedition is set against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas.
The route takes you across some of the most popular passes of the region including the Khardungla Pass, Rohtang Pass, and Lachung La Pass. Throughout the journey, you’ll witness changing landscapes and terrain, from steep hilly slopes at Manali to arid plains at Leh. The biking expedition is definitely a challenging one with numerous loops and curves throughout the trail. So unless you’re a seasoned cyclist, you could also opt for cycling groups that guide you through the entire journey.
Route: Manali - Marhi - Sissu - Jispa - Zing Zing Bar - Sarchu - Pang - Debring - Rumtse - Leh
Road Distance: 426.7 km
Best Time To Go Biking: June to early September (look out for the weather forecast, especially for snowfall during September)
The biking trip from Aritar in Sikkim to Gangtok is a scenic ride with lush green hills, exquisite landscapes, and beautiful monasteries along the way. The route goes through the Old Silk Road which is an ancient trade route that once connected Lhasa to the Tamluk port in West Bengal to facilitate the silk trade in the region. A great way to explore some of the undiscovered territories of Northeast India, this biking tour is a great one for those looking to explore the hidden gems of India.
The route follows several hairpin bends and difficult terrains, so the journey is definitely not an easy one. It is recommended to undertake this tour either if you’re an experienced cyclist or if you’re traveling with a biking group. Once you reach the Nathu La Pass, you’ll be greeted with a stunning view of Tsomgo Lake, snow-capped mountains, and clear blue skies making the challenging terrain worth the trouble!
Route: Aritar - Padamchen - Gnathang - Nathu La Pass - Gangtok
Road Distance: 158.2 km
Best Time To Go Biking: May to October
Continuing on our expedition in the Northeast, another scenic biking trail is the Kalimpong to Zuluk route. The terrain for most of the ride is a hilly one with hairpin bends and valley passes, making this another challenging journey. But keeping the difficulty level aside, the route is absolutely spectacular and a must-visit for all those wanting to travel to the Northeast.
Complete with snow-capped mountain tops, deep green valleys, and colorful little hamlets, the trail will surely make for some amazing Instagram pictures! There will be several street side stalls and shacks selling piping hot momos and Maggi which are absolutely flavorful and delicious. As you approach Zuluk, you’ll see lush alpine forests, beautiful Buddhist monasteries, colorful prayer flags, and valleys filled with blooming wildflowers that make the entire experience surreal and serene.
Route: Kalimpong - Rhenock - Rongli - Zuluk
Road Distance: 87 km
Best Time To Go Biking: May to October
The desert state of Rajasthan makes for an excellent landscape for biking trails and is a delight to explore on a bike. Boasting a rich culture and heritage, cycling tours in Rajasthan are bound to be quite different like moving back and forth in time! Starting from the Lake City of Udaipur, the journey will take you through some of the most magnificent forts and palaces, beautiful temples, and lively villages where you can experience the authentic Rajasthani lifestyle.
Biking across sandy terrain can be slightly challenging until you get the hang of riding there. Make sure you’re bike is up to par and has all the required modifications to get across the desert area. Biking across Rajasthan you might spot quite a few camels and mules, and some deer and blackbuck if you’re lucky! On reaching the Blue City of Jodhpur, go sightseeing to the numerous majestic palaces and forts, and go shopping in the colorful bazaars of the city.
Route: Udaipur - Kumbhalgarh - Ranakpur - Ghanerao - Korta - Benswara - Rohet - Jodhpur
Road Distance: 261.9 km
Best Time To Go Biking: November to early February
Also Read: Best Homestays In Jodhpur
Whether it's the North, South, East, or West part of India, there are several scenic biking trails that one should explore. But before you set off for your next biking tour, be sure to ride only with your gear and helmet on. Let your friends or family know of your daily schedule, pack light, and don’t forget to keep first aid and your ID proofs on hand!
Which Places Are Best For Cycling In India?
The following are some of the most scenic biking routes in India:
Is Mountain Biking Popular In India?
In recent years, mountain biking has picked up popularity just as many other adventure activities. The best part about mountain biking in India is that since the Indian terrain has many more rugged mountainous routes than just the Himalayas, the adventure sport can be enjoyed all over the country.
Is Biking In India Safe?
As with any other country and form of transport, biking in India also has its own set of challenges that one needs to keep in mind. You should plan in advance and familiarize yourself with the route, ensure that your bike is in good shape and serviced recently, and finally be alert of the surrounding traffic and take all necessary precautions (gear and helmet) while riding.
What Are Bike Trails?
Bike trails are routes or paths marked up for people to go biking. These trails can be marked up for miles going across various terrains and cities.
How Do I Prepare For A Cycling Expedition?
Some points to keep in mind while planning a biking trip:
How Many Silk Routes Are There In India?
According to historians, there were 12 silk trade routes mapped across India during the 8th century. These silk routes are spread across seven states, including Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Pondicherry.
Is Zuluk Worth Visiting?
Zuluk is a rather unexplored part of the Northeastern region but is an incredible little hamlet that is certainly worth visiting. The spring and summer transform Zuluk into a valley of blooming wildflowers and herbs, which pass their fragrance with the winds going downhill.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Kalimpong?
The best time to visit Kalimpong is either during the summer (March to May) or during the winter (September to December).