I have been fascinated with India for years. The country has a beautiful spiritual culture, diverse scenery and amazing cuisine. One of the ways to experience India is by going on a bicycle tour.
These tours allow the travelers to experience the country in a close up, personal manner. You can often see, hear and smell things while riding a bike which you may have missed while driving a car or travelling by train.
I will focus on two areas in this guide; Kerala and Rajasthan.
Before you start thinking about organizing your bike tour, I recommend you read these tips on travelling to India.
Regarding planning the tour, it is a good idea to plan where you’ll be riding and sleep well in advance. This is one of the common mistakes that people make when going on the bike tour.
Located in the south west tip of India, Kerala is packed full of fertile green lands, birdlife and other wildlife.
Lots of tea, spices, bananas and coconuts are grown here with many of them having the option to visit their plantations.
Here are some of the many lovely places in Kerala that you can ride to.
This is a lively city by the sea and has some lovely beaches, old churches, forts and the Mangalavanambird sanctuary.
Interestingly enough it also has the oldest European church in India, built there in 1503.
You can spend a lot of time looking through the spice markets but be warned; it will probably make you very hungry!
I know I keep talking about food but I literally grew up eating Indian curries of all types and descriptions. I would eat them every day but my wife won’t let me.
It’s a fairly small town on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nada.
This area has many coffee plantations and rice fields to visit. It also is home to a tiger reserve and the Periyar National Park.
It also has many great markets which are very popular among locals and travelers.
There are also boat trips and various treks available for riders wanting to take a break from cycling.
This is indeed a true tropical city, ideal for a couple days break from riding.
It’s also very popular for bird watchers, as thousands of birds migrate there once a year.
For food lovers (there I go again!), fish and other seafood should be your first choice as it is home to a wide variety of fresh sea life.
You should have an amazing time riding along Lake Vembanad, past wide forests and canals.
The area of Rajasthan is very different to Kerala, not so much green but with many desert areas.
It is home to many majestic palaces and forts, as well as the magnificent Mount Abu.
Here are some of the delights you can ride to in Rajasthan.
I personally prefer the quiet areas more than the busy cities like New Delhi, so Bijaipur fits that bill perfectly.
It is home to Castle Bijaipur which allows guests to stay in various rooms. The main building was made in the 16th century, so there is a lot of history here.
It isn’t a luxury hotel but the rooms are stylish and comfortable.
The hotel also has a pool, yoga lessons and cooking lessons. Plus for a day’s break from biking, you can hire jeeps to explore the rural locations.
The city of Udaipur is known as the Jewel of Mewar with majestic views in the background of the Aravalli Mountains.
It is packed full of temples and palaces, so you could easily spend more than a day exploring these.
One of the popular places to visit here are the royal palaces set among the Pichola Lake.
This is another popular destination for tourists.
The Jain temples are very famous here and definitely worth a look, even if you only visit them once to see the beautiful carvings.
You can ride here from Udaipur but it’s almost 100 km so you will probably have to make the bike ride over two or three days.
The post you just read was contributed by Jack Harris who writes for www.pedaltours.co.nz a company that offers bicycle tours in a number of countries. Take a look at this for details of their India tours.