Cycling through India

An immersive travel experience

News - India & You

Tourism

February 7, 2018

/ By / Kolkata

Travelling by the cycle in India seems to be growing in popularity

Travelling by the cycle in India seems to be growing in popularity

Cycling through the countryside of India is an alternative way to see the vibrant ways of life and mesmerising landscapes.

India’s landscapes are diverse and varied, with the country offering something to each kind of traveller. Even as the railways remains among the most popular ways for those who want to travel through the country slowly, alternative tours making a more immersive and interactive experiences are coming up. One of these ways is cycling through certain routes in the country; am eco-friendly, fit and engaging way to see it. With parts of Western India and southern India leading the way with trails, tourists are experimenting with this mode of travel that showcases the country up and close.

Though Indian cities are far from being friendly for cyclists as they lack basic infrastructure such as cycle tracks, travellers are finding cycling through the countryside a refreshing experience. Local experiences, which include interactions, marketplaces and eateries, is perhaps an important aspect of this form of travel. Agneta Jensen, a tourist from Denmark, who opted for a guided trip through the western Indian state of Rajasthan recalls “It was a memorable experience. We got to see a very real side of India, with the villages and the people. I loved all our stops and being able to feel the wind running through my hair, though it did get physically exhausting for some people in our group.”

As cycling tours demand the continuous use of the cycle, which ranges from hours to days, even with stops in between, it can get difficult. Hence, those opting for a cycle tour are recommended to evaluate their fitness levels and accordingly opt for a trail. Seasonal variations must also be kept in mind, with trails in Rajasthan recommended in the cooler months of October to March, while trails in places such as Wayanad in southern India more flexible in other parts of the year.

Go with a guide

Though cycling through the countryside is not necessarily an activity that requires guidance, in India, it is best done with a guide/ operator. Connection problems, possible health complications as well as language barriers can result in a stressful trip for those who venture out on their own. Hence, depending on the type of cycling trip one is looking for (which ranges from adventure trails by the hills to leisurely ones by the plains), one should look for a tour operator and their trips that run through the months.

Websites such as Thrillophillia besides fully dedicated operators such as Cycleit offer several routes. Depending on one’s fitness levels and/or interests, one can go for high altitude expeditions in northern India, weekend experiences through northern and southern India, or long, extended trips through the western Indian states.

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