India Himalayan Hill-stations Ride

Backroads Indian cycling holiday - Dharamsala to Shimla




From $1,940 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Visit Amritsar and its amazing Golden Temple, sacred to Sikhs
  • Himalayan foothill mountain biking, off the beaten track
  • Views of the peaks of the Pir Panjal from the Jalori Pass
  • Visit the former hill-station of Shimla & ride the `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?

ADVENTURE CYCLING. 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.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Amritsar. Transfers from Amritsar Airport are provided.
  • Early visit to the Golden Temple then drive to Pragpur in the Kangra Valley. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Cycle on quiet backroads with views of the Dhaula Dhar. Overnight in Kangra with a visit to the fort.
  • A short day, with lots of biking uphill, through Dharamsala to Mcleodganj, home of the Dalai Lama.
  • Sightseeing in Mcleodganj, then cycle down to Dharamsala and on to the artists village of Andretta.
  • Cycle through a pretty tea-growing area, with temple and village visits, to Jogindernagar.
  • Leave the Kangra Valley and bike across to the town of Mandi on the Beas River.
  • Cycle beside the Beas River through a steep mountain valley to the tiny hamlet of Larji.
  • Heading up into the Himalayan foothills, ride via Banjar and Chaini to Shoja (2600m).
  • Cycle across the Jalori Pass (3135m) with views of the snow-capped Pir Panjal. Overnight at Luhri.
  • Bike up and out of the Sutlej Valley to the ridge-top at Narkanda (2700m).
  • Cycle around through Himalayan foothills to the former British Raj hill-station of Shimla.
  • Free morning in Shimla, then ride the train from Shimla to Kalka. Overnight in Chandigarh.
  • Morning train from Chandigarh to Delhi. Afternoon sightseeing or taking it easy at the hotel.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.
Sun 15 May - Sun 29 May Code HPMB/01/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
Sun 25 Sep - Sun 09 Oct Code HPMB/02/16/ Adult$1,940 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 21 May - Sun 04 Jun Code HPMB/01/17/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Amritsar and departing from Delhi. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • transfer
  • bike

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Amritsar. Transfers from Amritsar Airport are provided.

    Arriving in the Punjab city of Amritsar in the early afternoon, we meet our local guide and transfer to the group hotel. You will have some free time in the afternoon and a chance to rest after your international travel. This is also an opportunity to reassemble your bikes, or for those who have hired bikes to pick them up. Close to the border with Pakistan, Amritsar is the spiritual centre of the Sikh religion and its name means ‘sacred lake of nectar’. There is the option to see the elaborate Wagah border ceremony that takes place before sunset each day. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal and a guided visit to the fabulous Golden Temple.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Early visit to the Golden Temple then drive to Pragpur in the Kangra Valley. Afternoon at leisure.

    The Golden Temple is a special place and it’s certainly worth a second visit. We will look to make an early start and get to the temple as the morning light reflects (in the surrounding pool) from the gold-plated central dome, presenting a magical impression. Returning to our hotel for breakfast, we will have time to freshen up before boarding our transport mid-morning for the drive to Pragpur in the Kangra Valley. Arriving mid afternoon, we check in at our hotel and have time to look around this fascinating settlement. The Himachal Pradesh Government has bestowed Heritage Village status on Pragpur, on account of its well preserved and colourfully painted houses. The village itself is built around a central square courtyard and pool, known as the Taal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Cycle on quiet backroads with views of the Dhaula Dhar. Overnight in Kangra with a visit to the fort.

    We have a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, since this first day of biking is a short and easy one and there is no need to set off too early. We are now in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, one of the most diverse and beautiful regions of India, which rises from the farms and meadows of the south up to snow-capped Himalayan ridges. We can see the peaks of the first foothills ahead of us to the north, as we get on our bikes for the first time and ride out of Pragpur (600m) and down to the bridge that crosses the Beas River. Today’s ride is on quiet backroads and takes us through fields, mixed forest and several villages in the Kangra Valley. There are only short ascents and descents on our undulating route to the old regional capital of Kangra (730m). Arriving in Kangra in the early afternoon, there is the chance to do some exploring, with one option being to bike out to the nearby Kangra Fort.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 760m

    • Distance 47km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 620m

    • Time 4 - 6 hrs cycling

  • A short day, with lots of biking uphill, through Dharamsala to Mcleodganj, home of the Dalai Lama.

    The first Himalayan ranges (the Dhaula Dhar) run roughly north-west to south-east and can clearly be seen as we set out from Kangra this morning. We try to make a reasonably early start, as today’s ride, although quite short, does involve a lot of ascent. An early start also means that we can do a couple of hours riding in the relative cool. To begin with, the road through the upper Kangra Valley is very straightforward, but beyond the road junction at Gaggal it starts to climb in a series of long hairpins that are, thankfully, quite well graded. There’s no rush, you can bike at your own pace, and anyone who wants to can take a ride in the support vehicle. Throughout today’s ride, there are inspiring views of the Dhaula Dhar (White Mountains). Dharamsala is one of the most famous of British Raj ‘hill-stations’ and is spread across the foothills for several hundreds of vertical metres. Passing through the main streets of Dharamsala, we continue our ride to the upper suburbs of Mcleodganj at around 2000 metres, where we check in at our accommodation in time for a late lunch. Free time to explore in the afternoon. Mcleodganj retains much of the flavour of the original British colonial settlement and also resembles a Tibetan settlement, with its bazaars, prayer flags, handicrafts and traditional Tibetan food. For many years, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile have made Mcleodganj their home.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1370m

    • Distance 47km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 360m

    • Time 5 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Sightseeing in Mcleodganj, then cycle down to Dharamsala and on to the artists village of Andretta.

    We will have some free time after breakfast for sightseeing and souvenir buying in Mcleodganj, before setting off on the day’s ride. This starts with an easy descent through Dharamsala, where we pick up a network of quiet country roads that take us eastwards just above the valley floor. We pass through a number of tranquil villages and tea plantations and stop off for lunch en route. Our overnight accommodation is in the small and friendly village of Andretta (1100m), south of Palampur. Andretta is known as a ‘Kala Gram’ or Village of Art and has an ongoing art and culture movement, with several galleries and pottery workshops. There will be time in the afternoon to do some exploration, on foot or on your bike.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 55km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1380m

    • Time 5 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Cycle through a pretty tea-growing area, with temple and village visits, to Jogindernagar.

    This part of Himachal Pradesh is important for tea-growing and today’s ride will take us through lots of picturesque, emerald-green plantations, laid out in orderly rows. We have views northwards to the Himalayan ranges and nearer to hand can enjoy the spectacle of rural India going about its daily life. An early highlight of the ride is the chance to stop at the beautiful 13th century temple at Baijnath, dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Continuing our ride on quiet backroads, we reach our overnight stop at Jogindernagar (1220m), which is the eastern terminus of the narrow gauge Kangra Railway. We stay here in a guesthouse.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 800m

    • Distance 38km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 530m

    • Time 4 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Leave the Kangra Valley and bike across to the town of Mandi on the Beas River.

    The long ridge of the Dhaula Dhar turns towards the south and our route today turns with it. There are a number of hills to negotiate on this scenic ride, as the road crosses minor spurs that run down from the main ridge. However, the general character of the ride is downhill, as we follow the Uhl River towards its confluence with the Beas River and our overnight stop in the town of Mandi (800m). After checking in at our hotel in the early afternoon, there is time for those who are feeling energetic to do some exploration. Mandi is effectively our gateway to the Kulu Valley. It is the main town in the region and, with its dozens of old stone temples, featuring many fine carvings, it is sometimes referred to as the 'Varanasi of the Hills'. The temples of Bhutnath, Trilokinath, Panchvaktra and Shyamakali are among the more famous.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 630m

    • Distance 54km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1030m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Cycle beside the Beas River through a steep mountain valley to the tiny hamlet of Larji.

    The Beas River cuts through the first of the Himalayan ranges and provides us with a convenient route into the southern end of the Kulu Valley. Although the road twists and turns it manages to stay reasonably level, considering the mountainous terrain on both sides of the river. The lowest slopes in many places are terraced and covered in apple orchards, whilst beyond the dam and hydro-electric plant at Pandoh, we find ourselves riding above an extensive reservoir. Our overnight stop is in a lodge in the small hamlet of Larji (960m), close to the point where the Beas River makes a dog-leg turn towards the west. Free time in the afternoon and maybe even a chance to do some fishing for brown trout.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 770m

    • Distance 49km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 470m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Heading up into the Himalayan foothills, ride via Banjar and Chaini to Shoja (2600m).

    To the north and to the east the terrain rises up towards the high Himalayas and the logical way for us to go is to continue through the foothills, towards the south. This is still a day of climbing, however, as we follow State Highway 11 alongside the River Tirthan, a tributary of the Beas. We take it steadily, with regular stops to admire the views and to take a breather. This is a wild and seldom-visited part of the Indian Himalaya, cloaked in forest of pine and oak. At the village of Banjar, after approximately 10 kilometres, we pass through a main street lined with wooden-fronted shops and then just a couple of kilometres further on have the chance to take a break at the attractive, pyramidal Murlidhar Temple, dedicated to Krishna. The last leg of the ride to Shoja (2600m) is steeper if anything and there is always the option if you are tired to take a ride in the support vehicle. Overnight at a guesthouse in Shoja, with great views over the valley. Plenty of time to walk around this charming village and to meet the villagers who are not used to seeing may foreign visitors.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 1530m

    • Distance 32km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs cycling

  • Cycle across the Jalori Pass (3135m) with views of the snow-capped Pir Panjal. Overnight at Luhri.

    We have 2 quite tough days ahead of us, with lots of climbing and many zig-zags to negotiate. The steady ascent above Shoja soon takes us up to the tree-line. We leave the forest of pine behind and find ourselves in a sub-alpine world with stunted birch trees and closely-cropped grassland. The road surface deteriorates, too, broken by winter freeze-thaw and there are long stretches of hard-packed earth and gravel. At the Jalori Pass (3135m), we can look beyond the nearest ridges to an unbroken crest of snow-capped peaks, the Pir Panjal. From here, it’s all downhill and we need to ride carefully, keeping our speed under control, particularly on the many bends. Finally, we reach the Sutlej River and shortly thereafter our rest house accommodation in Luhri (800m).

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 860m

    • Distance 60km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2490m

    • Time 5 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Bike up and out of the Sutlej Valley to the ridge-top at Narkanda (2700m).

    What goes down, must go up! Almost 2000 metres in this case. After breakfast at our lodge, we set off on the long climb out of the Sutlej Valley. Once again, there is the option for anyone who doesn’t fancy the climb to use the support vehicle for all or a part of the day’s ride. But, for those that do fancy a challenge, the order of the day is ‘steady away’. The road meanders amongst the trees and gains height gradually. We will take a break every hour or so to give the bikers the chance to regroup, take a drink and a bite to eat. The magnificence of the scenery will take some of the sting out of the day’s exertions and will certainly give us plenty of excuse for stopping to take photographs. Our overnight lodge accommodation is at Narkanda (2708m) on the ridge-top and has great views of the Pir Panjal and perhaps even of peaks further north in Tibet’s Ngari Province.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1850m

    • Distance 37km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 50m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • Cycle around through Himalayan foothills to the former British Raj hill-station of Shimla.

    The big climbs are behind us now and we are left with a delightful, high-level ride through Himalayan foothills to Shimla. The road twists and turns, contouring around ridges and generally managing to avoid doing a lot of climbing. Mixed forest of pine and oak covers most of the valley sides and we have occasional glimpses westwards into the Sutlej Valley, far below us. After several stops, including a lunch stop in a village en route, we cross a final low crest and drop down into the widespread settlement of Shimla (2400m), another former British Raj hill-station. We have time to look around in the evening and to walk along the pedestrian main street, known as the ‘Mall’.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 530m

    • Distance 64km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 4 - 6 hrs cycling

  • Free morning in Shimla, then ride the train from Shimla to Kalka. Overnight in Chandigarh.

    Once the summer capital of the British Raj, Shimla is nowadays the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and sometimes referred to as the ‘Queen of the Hills’. Built on a series of interconnecting ridges, its houses are strewn across the hillsides in a riot of coloured roofs. Parts of the old town have a faded charm that dates back to the late 19th century and we will spend the morning sightseeing. Then, after lunch, we will take the narrow gauge railway to Kalka, where the mountains meet the north Indian plains. One of the world’s great train journeys, this exciting 100 kilometre run has more than 100 tunnels. From Kalka, we drive to our nearby hotel at Pinjore on the outskirts of Chandigarh.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning train from Chandigarh to Delhi. Afternoon sightseeing or taking it easy at the hotel.

    A short drive takes us to the railway station in Chandigarh, from where we take the early morning train to Delhi. We arrive in time for lunch and then have the afternoon free to do some independent exploration. There is a lot to see, both in Old Delhi and in New Delhi, which are completely different in character to one another. The busy bazaars of Chandni Chowk and the Moghul Red Fort are highlights. We have a celebratory evening meal and overnight at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Airport transfers are provided for all client departing on this day. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in india. Why not pre-book a 1-day excursion to the fabulous Taj Mahal, or a multi-day Rajathan experience, or a beach hotel break in Goa or Kerala. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional English-speaking bike leader
  • Airport transfers (on group arrival and departure days only)
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • One or more support vehicles
  • Baggage transfer

  • Travel insurance
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than on group arrival and departure days)
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with your carrier for charges

Throughout this holiday, we will stay in a mix of hotel and lodge accommodation. Mostly, the accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis and if you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. A couple of our overnight stops are at simple government rest houses, which usually represent the best standard of accommodation in the area. Here, more than 2 people may share a room.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary to breakfast on the final day of the Land Only itinerary.

All meals are provided. Breakfasts are provided at our overnight accommodation and can be buffet style - you take what you want. Lunches may be a picnic taken in a scenic spot, provided by our local staff, or we may stop in a roadside cafe or restaurant. Each evening, we will find a suitable restaurant for dinner. Once again, it is quite usual to be presented with a choice of food items at a buffet. Food in India is great, especially if you are prepared to sample some of the local, spicy dishes. Western style food is usually an option and vegetarians are well catered for.

Transfers from Amritsar Airport to the group hotel in Amritsar are provided on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. At the end of the holiday, on the final day of the Land Only itinerary, transfers are provided from the hotel in Delhi to Delhi Airport.

The group will be accompanied by a professional, English-speaking Indian biking leader. Large groups may have a second biking leader. There will also be one or more support vehicle drivers and a mechanic.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent in Euros, US dollars etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including local staff tips (allow approximately £50) and soft drinks, etc. (allow approximately £40). There are several opportunities to buy souvenirs on this trip. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Indian Rupees) before you travel. Sterling, US dollars and Euros are readily exchanged in Amritsar. Since you will be changing the majority of your spending money into local currency on the day of arrival, we recommend taking this in cash. Credit and debit cards can be used in some places and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in Amritsar and some of the other towns and cities that we visit.

Tipping is an accepted and expected part of Indian culture, although you should only tip for services which are well done. The total amount that you can expect to pay in tips for your local guide, drivers and other crew is approximately £50 (in rupee equivalent). It is usually best to do this as a group at the end of the holiday, rather than individually, with one group member acting as the group spokesperson. Further information and guidelines for tipping will be provided with our acknowledgement of your booking.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We advise you to visit the website of your chosen airline and check out their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. Take account of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport, since airlines can charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure are the responsibility of each individual client.

We recommend semi-slick tyres for this trip. Your bike must be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your current bike. Front suspension is essential and comes as standard on the vast majority of modern mountain bikes. Many of the roads and tracks we follow are only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles, and in many places not even these. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks - replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check ALL bearings and quick release skewers, adjust / grease bearings as required.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check brake discs, brake pads, calliper mounts and cables / hydraulic lines - replace if necessary.

f) Check, lube / threadlock (as required) and tighten all bolts to specified torque settings (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts & disk mount bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear - replace as necessary.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture and changing an inner tube. Naturally, our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs. However, due to the often-remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage -providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.

PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout this trip we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. On most of our biking holidays it is usual that there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group and there may be times when other group members, vehicle support and biking leader are out of sight. However, our regular stops mean that it's never long before we regroup. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

One option is that you take your own bike on this holiday. After all, it is the bike you know best. However, you can also hire a bike locally. Our local agent has a range of Merida (Matts 40 and Matts 20 hardtails). These bikes generally have Shimano Acera and Altus components. They have Tektro Disc Brakes, 100mm front suspension and 26 inch diameter wheels. They are available in a range of frame sizes - from 13 to 21 inches. Bikes can be reserved, subject to availability, at a cost of £95 (Oct 2014 – subject to change) for the duration of the holiday. This cost will be paid locally and does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. Contact the KE office if you want us to reserve a bike for you. Your hire contract will be with our local agent and KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You must also take your bike helmet, which you will wear whenever you are biking. One final issue with regard to the hire bikes is that they are fitted with regular knobbly tyres. If you would prefer to ride on fast-rolling, semi-slick tyres (the great majority of this route is on tarmac) you should consider taking a pair with you. These can be fitted to the bike for you before the first day’s ride.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for predominantly warm climatic conditions during the day. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.


  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s
  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 1)
  • Mid-layer - long sleeved cycling top (x 1)
  • Outer layer - lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or jumper
  • Regular biking gloves
  • Padded cycling shorts (x 2)
  • Baggy overshorts for modesty
  • Eyewear - Biking glasses
  • Cycling helmet - mandatory
  • Travel and apres biking clothes
  • Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking
  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries, including anti-bacterial handwash
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Swimwear
  • Headtorch/Headlamp
  • Sheet sleeping bag liner (silk ones are lightest)

Daypack and contents


  • Note: If you are hiring a bike, you do not need to bring any spares. Although it is still a good idea to take a couple of 26 x 2 inch inner tubes with Presta valves.
  • You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.
  • Tyres - for this trip you will need: 1.9 to 2.2 inch semi-slick tyres suitable for mostly dry tarmac/dirt road conditions.
  • Pump
  • Plastic tyre levers
  • Spoke key
  • 2 x inner tubes
  • Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)
  • Multi-tool with Allen keys
  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)
  • 2x puncture repair kits
  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train
  • Spare chain links
  • Spares specific to your bike if applicable (e.g. disc brake bleed kits, shock pumps etc)

KE tools and spares

On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike.

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

  • Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

We run this holiday either side of the summer monsoon season. Weather conditions should be broadly similar in the pre and post monsoon seasons, with daytime maximum temperatures of between 25 and 30 degrees Centigrade at the lowest points on our journey, becoming progressively cooler as we gain height. Night-time temperatures at our highest overnight stops (Narkanda and Shimla) can drop to 10 degrees Centigrade. During the pre-monsoon departure, we may get quite close to the snow-line on the highest points of our route. In this part of the world, most of the rainfall occurs during the monsoon months of July to September - but this is a mountainous area and short-lived storms cannot be ruled out at any time of the year.

  • The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist
  • Trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Lonely Planet
  • India. A Travel Survival Kit. Lonely Planet
  • Exploring the Hidden Himalaya. Kapadia and Mehta

India Map Store: Himachal Pradesh Road Guide with Map - IMS0079.

Available online at low cost. A folded road map of Himachal Pradesh marked with State Headquarters, District Headquarters, Taluk Headquarters, Towns, International, State and District Boundary, Trekking Routes, Railway Line, National Highway, Roads, Airport, Peaks with Height, Wildlife Sanctuary, and so on. A map of Trekking Detail is also included along with a Distance Chart.

Extend Your Holiday

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Full day

India - Full Day Delhi City Tour AIH

From $75 per person

More info

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Half day

India - Half Day Delhi City Tour (AIH)

From $65 per person

More info

Agra and the Taj Mahal Tour

Agra & the Taj Mahal - 1 day tour

From $270 per person

More info

The Taj Mahal and Jaipur Tour

Agra & Jaipur Sightseeing - 3 Day Tour

From $700 per person

More info


From $116 per room per night

Florence Inn

From $97 per room per night Combining comfort and elegance with economy, the Florence Inn is our preferred group hotel in Delhi. Well appointed throughout and with a smart lobby, it is immaculately clean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The Florence Inn is just 5 minutes walk from Karol Bargh market and the metro station making it an ideal location for exploring the city.


From $166 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi within 10 minutes walk of the famous Lodi gardens and Khan Market, Claridges oozes old-world charm and luxury. Set in a landscaped garden with swaying palm trees, you can get right away from the hurly burly and enjoy gracious Indian hospitality. The guest rooms and suites are classically decorated and equipped with all modern conveniences as you would expect in a hotel of this calibre. Claridges contains several excellent restaurants offering a choice of world cuisine and there is an outdoor swimming pool and a health club.

Maidens Hotel

From $133 per room per night Operated by the Oberoi group and set in 8 acres of garden with shady trees, Maidens is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. Built in the early 1900s, it has retained its colonial charm and offers spacious well appointed rooms with high ceilings. The hotel has a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine, a garden terrace extending to an open courtyard, and a small intimate bar. There is no pool. Located in Old Delhi, it gives easy access to Mughal monuments and the colourful Chandni Chowk bazaars.

Manor Hotel

From $144 per room per night This 2-storey, 15-room boutique hotel in a pleasant garden setting is very distinctive. With clean modern lines and contemporary furnishings the Manor Hotel has an understated elegance and comfort which is very appealing. Its public areas contrast cool Italian mosaic flooring with warm rich wood panelling, and you can enjoy a high level of service which is friendly and efficient. The hotel has an award winning restaurant and a bar. There is no pool but the hotel has a Wellness centre with yoga and massage. The Manor is located in a quiet residential area close to the Lodhi Gardens.

Ambassador Hotel

From $133 per room per night Situated in Lutyens’ Delhi next to Khan Market, this art deco style hotel designed by British architect Walter George in 1945, is a listed heritage building. Its location makes it convenient for both the airport (22km) and the city centre (10 minutes by dive). The Vivanta-by-Taj Ambassador is operated by the Taj group of hotels, so you can expect the best of hospitality and service.

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