India ist extremely diverse. From the highest mountains to deserts, sandy beaches and jungle you will find everything. Traveling in India is not always easy but often exhausting. The traffic, noise and dirt can be overwhelming at times. But India fascinates again and again. India polarizes, most travelers either love or hate it.

You are constantly surrounded by people. Privacy is unknown and everyone wants to know where you come from and where you are going. Apart from this curiosity most indians are very friendly, cheerful people that will always help you. 

Roads

As a cyclist on Indian roads, it is not always easy. The constant honking is very difficult to get used to. Indian drivers never look back and there is no right of way. This means you constantly have to be on the watch. On the other hand people are used that there is anything from cyclists, cows, elephants to donkey carts on the road.   

From the very remote Himalaya dirt track to multi lane highways you will find everything. The big challenge for cyclists is to find a remote and quite road.

Accommodation

In India you will almost always find a simple guesthouse to stay. In more remote places there are often gouvernement resthouses. If not, people will help you you find a place for the night. I have only very rarely camped in India except in Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti.  

 

 

Below are some of the places I find most interesting for cycling:

Lots of attractions (forts, temples) and fascinating culture. It is often possible to find rather quiet roads. Well developed for tourists.

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Barren high mountains, majestic passes and Tibetian/Buddhist culture. This region is some of the best, the sub continent has to offer. The Manali - Leh road has become a classic already.

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Kashmir

Beautiful, alpine scenery. Unfortunately often the scene of conflicts. Make sure to check the current security situation.

Very little in size but traveling in Sikkim is very slow going. Extremely hilly terrain with no flat spot whatsoever. You mostly cycle on steep roads through dense forrest in heights of 500 - 2500m. Only in the north along the border it is higher.

 

Permit (free) required which is easily obtained at most borders. If you want to go further north than Manag or to the border regions in the east you will need a special permit which is only available through a tour operator.

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The northeastern most province of India. Some of the best India has to offer. Incredible transition from the Tibetian highland to southeast Asia. Dense jungle and countless tribes (speaking over 50 different dialects). more infos

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Nagaland

I did not ride across Nagaland myself. Friends of mine have written:

 

Nagaland was not quite as good as Arunachal. Mostly because most of the state has been destroyed by slash and burn. The route the we chose was demanding, with daily climbs of 1500m.

The crossing from India into Myanmar at Tame/ Moreh is currently open. You just need an (expensive) special permit. We got ours from Exotic Myanmar. Currently there is the rule, that you also have to exit in Tame/ Moreh. But you can buy two permits and then exit in the south of Myanmar (Myawaddy border) without problems.

GPS Track:

Nagaland.gpx

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