Top 5 Motorcycling Routes In India
Snapshot: While everyone has their own personal favourites, we try to identify and pinpoint some of the best routes that one should ride on in India.
There is nothing like a motorcycle to blast the cobwebs off your brain. Gearing up for a ride and actually making that ride happen gives one a wonderful sense of achievement and personal satisfaction. Arrow straight stretches of tarmac, serpentine, sinuous and winding roads, mountains, landscape and scenery- they all are essential components of the perfect ride. Whichever destination you ride to or whatever route you take, there is always something new to experience and learn everytime you ride. India offers a wide variety of destinations and terrain to satisfy the most demanding of bikers. While everyone has their own personal favourites, we try to identify and pinpoint some of the best routes that one should ride on in India.
Route 1 – Chandigarh to Ladakh
Ladakh is the holy grail of all bikers in India with thousands of bikers making the pilgrimage every season once the passes open. This scenic destination has a lot to offer- mindblowing scenery, tantalising roads and also boasts the highest motorable road in the world- Khardung la. There are numerous other scenic locations all within riding distance from Leh. You could visit Pangong Tso, Zanskar Valley, Nubra valley etc. all to satisfy that craving for adventure. The route from Chandigarh to Ladakh takes you through other picturesque destinations like Shimla, Manali, Rohtang, Keylong etc. Those with a craving for more adventure can carry on further to Kargil, Patnitop and Amritsar.
Best time to visit: is between May to October since the passes close once winter sets in.
Route 2 – NH17 from Mumbai to Goa
Goa known as the party capital of India is a year round favourite destination. The warm climate, sultry weather and magnificient beaches and the hospitable locals all make for a memorable experience. Ride down from Mumbai to Goa via NH17 and you will be treated to a visual spectacle. NH 17 will take you past Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg etc. eventually taking you to Panjim, the capital of Goa. Revel in the twisties and enjoy the tarmac that’s generally as smooth as a baby’s bottom in most sections except during the monsoons. Those looking for an additional twist to this roadtrip can opt to enter Goa by heading towards Dabhol side and riding down the coastal state highway that takes you through Malvan into picturesque North Goa. Lots of ferry crossings to experience here too.
Best time to visit: is pretty much year round but do be careful during the rains since most of the areas this highway passes through experience pretty heavy rainfall.
Route 3 – ECR (East Coast Road) from Chennai to Pondicherry
Pondicherry offers a peek into French culture since it used to be a French colonial settlement. Famous for its beaches and the Auroville ashram alongwith the quaint architecture found there, Pondicherry offers succour for tormented souls. Start your journey from bustling Chennai and ride via this scenic coastal route all the way to Pondicherry. This road invariably runs parallel to the coastline and boasts some really scenic vistas along the way. Best enjoyed, preferably at high speeds, hehehe!!
Best time to visit: is between November to February. Summers are best avoided since Chennai can get quite sweltering in the summers.
Route 4 – The Thar Desert route from Barmer to Bikaner
Rajasthan is perhaps best known for the Thar Desert. Miles upon miles of sand piled in dunes way high as far as the eye can see makes for a eally awesome sight. Riding through the desert is fun and can be a mind-altering experience. One of the most sparsely populated stretches of desert runs between Barmer to Bikaner. Start from Barmer and head to Jaisalmer and onwards to Bikaner. Check out the elegantly designed forts and palaces along the way. These remnants of a glorious past still brave the elements and stand the test of time with pride and dignity so becoming of the fierce Rajput warriors of yore.
Best time to visit: is in winter between November to February. Summers in Rajasthan can get pretty fierce.
Route 5 – Pune to Goa via Belgaum and Chorlem Ghat
Another alternate route to Goa passes via Pune on the NH4. Ride the NH4 straight down to Belgaum. It’s a fantastic road for some high speed riding and the surface only gets better once you cross the border into Karnataka at Nipani. Large capacity superbikes easily clock 200 kmph+ speeds on these roads which take you straight to Belgaum. From Belgaum turn towards the VTU campus avoiding taking the NH4-A via Ponda. Once past the VTU campus you hit some amazing twisties that will keep your pulse racing until you reach Chorlem. At Chorlem, at the peak point of the ghats, if you are lucky enough to have clear visibility, you can see the sun glinting into the far off Arabian Sea. Makes for a wonderful sight especially towards sunset. From Chorlem , cross the border into Goa and go past the site of the Anjunem Dam project. The road takes you further via places like Bicholim, Sanquelim right upto Mapusa circle.
Best time to visit: is pretty much year round but try to avoid summer since it can get quite hot. Adventure lovers can also try riding this route in the monsoons surrounder by lush greenery and pattering rain.
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