India - Himalayan Hill-stations Ride
India, Bike - Semi Slick, 15 days - from £1,195 (land only) - from €1,495 (land only) - from $2,090 (land only)
- Backroads biking - Dharamsala to Shimla
- Amritsar and its Golden Temple
- Biking off-the-beaten-track
- Views of the Pir Panjal from the Jalori Pass
- Ride Shimla`s `toy` railway
Where the fertile North Indian plains meet the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh, the hills rise abruptly to a picturesque snow-capped crest known as the Dhaula Dhar. Here, during the days of the British Raj, a number of hill-stations were established, such as Dharamsala and Shimla. Flying in to Amritsar, there is the chance to witness the Pakistan-India border closing ceremony at nearby Wagah, whilst our early morning visit to the Sikh religion's amazing gilded Golden Temple creates a magical first impression of India. Then, setting off on our bikes, we begin a similarly unforgettable ride through this historic region, from the cobbled streets and medieval houses of Pragpur, to Mcleodganj, home of the Dalai Lama. Biking on village roads between tea estates, we then drop down into the Kangra Valley, cross the Beas River and begin the long climb to the Jalori Pass (3135m). En route, we'll see ancient forts, mystical temples and traditional villages. Well off-the-beaten-track, we'll meet few other Westerners while biking and the unspoilt scenery and views of the Garhwal Himalaya and distant Tibetan peaks are unparalleled. Travelling by bike, we can expect a friendly reception from the local population, who are well used to this form of transport. We end this superb, steady-paced and fully vehicle-supported biking adventure in Shimla, with its slightly chaotic mix of modern Indian tourism and faded colonial charm.
Is this holiday for you?
SEMI-SLICK ADVENTURE. A mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres is ideal for this trip, which offers a technically straightforward ride on quiet backroads. 90% of the route is surfaced and there is usually little traffic to contend with. This is not intended to be a tough ride, but this is the Himalaya and the terrain is best described as undulating, with some long, steady climbs and equally long downhill blasts. The altitudes we encounter should not cause us any problems and the support vehicle is always available. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.