Explore Our India Bike Tours
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How Do I Know Which India Bike Tour Is Right For Me?
We have several bike tours in India. Choosing the right India bike tour boils down to answering three questions:
Where in India do you want to bike?
The best cycling in India typically happens in the following regions:
- North India - Rajasthan
- South India - Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa
- Northeast India - Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya
- Himalayas - Uttarakhand and Ladakh
What kind of experiences do you have in mind?
Here’s a quick checklist to help you narrow down your choices:
- Beaches - Head to South India
- Wildlife - South India for the best overall experience. Assam for the one-horned rhino. Uttarakhand for tigers, and Rajasthan for birding, camels, and leopards
- Taj Mahal - Rajasthan/North India
- Forts and Palaces - Rajasthan
- Deserts and Oases - Rajasthan
- Tea Plantations - South India/Sikkim/Assam (northeast India)
- Spectacular Temples - South India
- Mountains - Sikkim/Uttarakhand/Ladakh
How much time do you have on your hands?
Our India bike tours vary in duration from 4 to 17 days.
Once you’ve got answers to these questions, you can pick from among the several tours we have in each region of India.
1. Choosing the Best Rajasthan Bike Tour
If you want to visit the Taj Mahal, experience authentic Indian rural life, shop in bustling bazaars, and soak in slices of India’s ancient and medieval history, our Rajasthan tours are your best bet.
However, Rajasthan itself is a region roughly the size of Germany, and there are plenty of ways to explore it on bike.
If you want to spend 13-14 days cycling north India with an itinerary that includes Rajasthan, Agra (Taj Mahal), and Delhi, we suggest the following two tours:
If you’ve got a time horizon of 7-8 days, and do not want to include Jaipur, Agra or Delhi with your Rajasthan tour, the following two tours might be right for you:
If you only want to bike the famous Golden Triangle, which includes Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi, while incorporating a tiger safari and a bike ride in a bird sanctuary, we suggest the following tour:
2. Choosing the Best South India Bike Tour
If you want to bike through lush green forests, verdant tea gardens, relax at beautiful beaches, ride past herds of elephants, and bike along India’s splendid coastline, then our south India tours are what you’re looking for.
To better help you choose the south India bike tour best suited to your needs, we’ve classified our tours according to the highlight and the theme that best defines each tour. Keep in mind that each tour has plenty more to offer apart from this theme.
Wildlife If you’re a wildlife enthusiast who wants to experience at close quarters the wildlife India is famous for, the following tour is a good choice for you:
- Wild South Luxury Bike Tour: This is the only south India bike tour that does not touch the coast.
Coast and Beaches If you want the coast and beaches to be the highlight of your south India bike tour, the following tours might be right for you:
- Coast to Coast Luxury Bike Tour
- Coast to Coast Bike Tour Both these tours start from Kerala on India’s west coast and end at Chennai on India’s east coast.
Goa If you’re interested in combining a southern India cycling experience with the famous beach resort destination of Goa, the following tours might interest you:
- Bombay to Goa Bike Tour : This tour starts from Bombay, India's financial capital and the home of Bollywood befpre heading south to Goa, all the while staying close to the coast.
- Bangalore to Goa Bike Tour : This tour covers the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi, the beautiful coffee growing highlands of Karnataka, and sandy beaches in Goa.
- Enchanting Goa Bike Tour : This is a 5-day tour within Goa, covering its beaches, churches, and natural wonders.
- Mysore to Goa by Gravel Bike: This tour covers beautiful palaces in Mysore, 1000-year temples, coffee plantations, and Goa's beautiful beaches.
Kerala If you want to explore the southern state of Kerala, often called “God’s own country” for its pristine beauty and rich culture, then the following tours might be of interest to you:
- Classic Kerala Luxury Bike Tour, a complete Kerala luxury tour.
- Kerala Escapade Bike Tour, a complete Kerala tour.
- Kerala Backwaters Bike Tour. This is a short tour with a focus on backwaters, a unique ecosystem of lagoons, lakes, canals, and rivers that flow into the sea.
- Kerala in Style: Bike, Hike and Kayak. This is a multi-sport tour that combines different adventure activities.
Complete South India If you want to explore all that south India has to offer, including its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, its spectacular temples, its wildlife, and its beautiful coastline, then the following tour would be a good fit:
- Southern India Sojourn Bike Tour: This tour covers the three major south Indian states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. At 17 days, this is also our longest India cycling tour.
3. Choosing the Best Northeast India Bike Tour
Northeast India offers a little explored, yet stunningly beautiful side of India. We have the following three tours in northeast India:
Splendid Sikkim Bike Tour: Ride in the shadow of Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, explore Buddhist monasteries and bike through plantations of the famous Darjeeling tea.
Arunachal and Assam Bike Tour: Your chance to meet the endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the wild and explore the single-largest tea growing region in the world.
Enthralling Meghalaya Bike Tour: Bike through the unspoiled beauty of the “Scotland of the East”, and visit the wettest place on earth, Mawsynram.
4. Choosing the Best Himalayas Bike Tour
If you want to explore the Indian Himalayas, we have the following two tours:
High in the Himalayas Bike Tour: Bike through Ladakh, an extension of the Tibetan plateau, located 3,500m (12,000 ft) above the sea level, and visit Khardung La, the highest motorable pass on earth.
Pristine Uttarakhand Bike Tour: Ride through charming colonial-era hill stations and get a chance to spot tigers at the famous Jim Corbett National park.
When Is the Best Time for Cycling in India?
Given India’s vast geographical spread, the best time for a bike tour in India depends on where you’re headed.
Rajasthan and South India
Fall to spring (October to March) is the best time to visit Rajasthan and South India. The temperature varies between 5°C to 25°C (41°F to 77°F), depending on the specific month and the altitude of the place you’re in.
The same applies to all other places in the north Indian plains including Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Mumbai etc.
The best time to cycle northeast India is fall (September-November) & spring (March-May). Winters can get cold with snow in some of the higher-altitude destinations, while summer and monsoon months see heavy rainfall.
The best time to cycle Ladakh is June to August. Days are warm and sunny with little to no precipitation, although night time temperatures can drop close to freezing point.
Due to its high altitude, Ladakh remains out of bounds for tourists for the rest of the year owing to its inclement weather.
The best time for cycling in Uttarakhand is spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). The temperature during this time varies between 5°C to 25°C (41°F to 77°F) with mostly clear skies, making it ideal for cycling.
Which Are The Best Regions to Experience On an India Cycling Tour?
India is the seventh largest country in the world by land area, and also one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world. This means the cyclist is spoilt for choices when it comes to cycling in India. Here’s a quick primer to the best regions for cycling in India:
The best region for cycling in north India is Rajasthan. It offers a wide variety of terrains including hills, plains, meadows, and deserts so that no two days feel alike.
Rajasthan has the best preserved culture and Indian traditions, complete with colorful traditional costumes, handicrafts, and folk culture. This includes some of the oldest and best preserved forts and palaces in India, several of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Everyday life in rural Rajasthan still continues the way it did centuries ago, so that a Rajasthan bike tour feels like stepping into a time machine and traveling to an era long gone by.
Rajasthan is also home to several national parks with sizable populations of tigers, leopards and other endangered animals.
The main cities in Rajasthan are Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaipur, and most Rajasthan cycling tours include these three in the itinerary.
Adjoining Rajasthan is Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal. Delhi, the capital of India, and itself a major tourist destination on account of its historical monuments and bustling bazaars, is also located in close proximity.
Where north India is sub-tropical and semi-arid, south India is tropical and lush.
The coastal regions are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as those in Goa and Karnataka.
The highlands of south India are covered with lush green tea plantations and dense forests. They’re also home to several charming hill stations dating back to the colonial period, such as Ooty.
Aficionados of colonial-era architecture will especially appreciate Pondicherry, a former French colony that still retains much of its colonial charm, and Goa, a former Portuguese colony with several beautiful churches dating back to the Portuguese era.
The Western Ghats region of south India, covering the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa is a biodiversity hotspot with several national parks, offering visitors the chance to encounter wildlife including tigers and elephants while on a bike tour.
South Indian architecture, especially its temples are renowned the world over for their colorful design. South India is also a hub of handicrafts, and is especially known for its ornate textiles.
South Indian cuisine is very different from the north, and incorporates a wider range of spices and ingredients that grow in the tropical south. Seafood is also an important part of south Indian cuisine.
When cycling in south India, visitors are spoilt for choice. This is why we have over 12 tours in south India, and still feel we’ve barely scratched the surface of this beautiful region.
An off-beat cycling destination, Northeast India is the least urbanized and the least populated region of India. Most of it is hilly and covered with dense forests, and it retains much of its pristine, untouched character to this day.
Northeast India is primarily inhabited by tribal communities that have preserved their ancient tribal customs intact, thus offering the visitor a unique chance to interact with their distinct, yet welcoming culture.
The main cycling attractions in the northeast are Sikkim, a mountainous Buddhist province with gorgeous views of snow-clad Himalayan peaks including the Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world.
Assam is another popular cycling destination in northeast India. It is famous for its Assam tea, and as the home to the Kaziranga national park which has the largest population of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros in the world.
Meghalaya is yet another unspoiled destination which offers spectacular views of hills, valleys and rainforests. It is also home to Mawsynram/Cherrapunji, the wettest place on earth. Because of its misty mountains and crystal clear lakes, it is known as the Scotland of the East.
The Himalayas are the highest mountain range on earth, and about 30% of the Himalayan range falls in India.
One of the best places for a cycle tour in the Himalayas is Ladakh. It is a spectacularly barren plateau located some 3500m (12,000 ft) above the sea level that has retained much of its pristine beauty due to its remoteness and its harsh climate. However, Ladakh comes alive in the summer and offers spectacular views to cyclists. Due to its altitude, a cycling tour in Ladakh is recommended only for advanced cyclists.
Uttarakhand is another state nestled in the Himalayas which rewards the persevering cyclist with gorgeous views and beautiful rides. It is home to several colonial era hill stations such as Nainital, Mussoorie, Binsar, and Ranikhet.
It is also an excellent destination for wildlife lovers. The Jim Corbett and Rajaji National Parks in Uttarakhand offer excellent tiger sightings, besides being the northernmost habitat of the Indian elephant.
5 Reasons to Do an India Bike Tour
1. The Taj Mahal and Other Architectural Marvels
Considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Taj Mahal is poetry in white marble and a must-see for any traveler. India is also home to 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites as of January 2024, with several more in the pipeline. This is the sixth largest number in the world after Italy, China, France, Germany, and Spain.
2. The Food
Indian cuisine is consistently rated among the best in the world. India is home to some of the most expensive spices on earth that have titillated mankind’s taste buds since antiquity and have shaped global history.
Afterall, it was the search for Indian spices that led Columbus to discover America, and for the various European East India companies to colonize Asia. India is also the second largest producer of tea in the world, and everywhere you go, you will be welcomed by the ubiquitous Masala Chai.
3. The Culture
India is a predominantly rural country where village life continues undisturbed the way it has for thousands of years. When cycling in India, you can still see shepherds herding their sheep, water buffalos wallowing in village ponds, caravans of camels traversing the desert sands much as they have been doing for centuries. At the same time, India is also home to opulent palaces of erstwhile Maharajas, spectacular temples, bustling bazaars, and beautiful crafts.
India is among the top 10 most biodiverse countries in the world. It is also the last remaining refuge of some of the most critically endangered megafauna on earth including the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, the Indian elephant, and the one-horned rhino.
There’s a good reason Rudyard Kipling chose India as the setting for his classic The Jungle Book. In fact, the word jungle itself is India’s gift to the English language, being derived from the Sanskrit/Hindi word for forest. With 24.62% of its vast landmass still covered by forests, India offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife lovers to spot some of the rarest flora and fauna on earth.
5. Diverse Landscapes
Pretty much every region of India we run tours in is the size of a large European country. This means that each of our India bike tours packs a ton of diversity when it comes to terrain and landscapes for cycling. From hills to forests to beaches to meadows, there is never a dull moment when you’re cycling in India with us.
What to Expect When Cycling in India With Art of Bicycle Trips?
At Art of Bicycle Trips, we believe in experiential travel. Our tours combine cycling with cultural activities and nature exploration.
An average day on tour includes 4-5 hours of biking, with the rest of the day reserved for local experiences such as exploring local attractions, interacting with local communities, visiting monuments and museums, learning local crafts, trying local cuisine and more.
Each guided India bike tour is led by an expert trip leader who is also a local. For groups of more than 4 members, we have 2 trip leaders to take care of our guests. ABT trip leaders are a repository of local knowledge, routes, customs, cultures, and cuisines. By employing only local guides, we also help generate employment opportunities for local communities.
All hotels on tour are carefully chosen for their character, comfort, and cuisine, and each hotel becomes an experience in itself that guests can enjoy.
A support vehicle accompanies guests at all times, and if at any point a rider does not feel like biking any further, they can always load their bike and sit in the support van.
Our tours are all-inclusive, which means meals, permits, fees, transportation and other additional costs are included in the price of the trip, unless otherwise stated.
We pride ourselves on the degree of customization we provide on each tour, and are always happy to accommodate any special requests from our guests relating to the tour.
What Kind of Bikes Are Provided On Your India Bike Tours ?
We provide the following kinds of bikes for our India bike tours:
1. Hybrid Bikes: Hybrid bikes are available for all our Rajasthan and South India cycling tours, and some tours in northeast India such as the Arunachal and Assam Bike Tour.
2. Gravel Bikes: Gravel bikes are available for specific tours such as the Mysore to Goa by Gravel Bike Tour, and the Coast to Coast Bike Tour.
3. Mountain Bikes: Mountain bikes are available for tours in high-altitude regions, such as the Splendid Sikkim Bike Tour, Enthralling Meghalaya Bike Tour, and High in the Himalayas Bike Tour.
4. E-bikes: All our tours are also available with e-bike upgrades.
All our bikes are of the latest make, well-maintained and in excellent condition.
What Types of Terrain Should I Expect When Biking in India?
1. Rajasthan: Rajasthan consists mostly of flat terrain interspersed with rolling hills and the occasional challenging but short climb. All our Rajasthan tours are classified as either Easy or Moderate, and are great as family cycling tours.
2. South India: South India has its fair share of hills. The steepest climbs are encountered around Ooty (2240m/7350 ft above the sea level) where gradients can be as steep as 12%. The majority of the terrain in our south India bike tours, however, is either flat or consists of rolling hills. Nearly all our south India bike tours are classified as Moderate or Easy to Moderate.
3. Northeast India: Northeast India is generally mountainous and most tours in this region are classified as either Moderate or Challenging. Some tours such as the Assam and Arunachal Bike Tour have plenty of riding on flat terrain.
The Enthralling Meghalaya Bike Tour has mostly rolling hills, while the Splendid Sikkim Bike Tour unfolds over terrain that is situated at an average elevation of 1250m (3933 ft) above the sea level and is meant for riders who enjoy biking in the hills.
4. Himalayas: The Pristine Uttarakhand Bike Tour consists of a few tough climbs along with some flat terrain and some rolling hills. The High in the Himalayas Bike Tour is one of our most challenging routes and is only meant for riders accustomed to high altitude biking.
India Bike Tours — Frequently Asked Questions
Is India Safe for Cycling?
Yes, India is a fairly safe country for cycling. As of January 2024, the United States Department of State classifies India as a Level 2 destination. This puts it in the same category as most West European countries including France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, all of which are classified as Level 2 destinations.
In 2023, India welcomed over 1 million foreign tourists, placing it among the top 10 most visited countries in Asia. Several thousands of these tourists were cyclists, and it is not uncommon to meet other foreign cyclists when biking in India. Cycling is also popular as a means of transport among working class Indians.
However, just like in other low-income countries, petty crimes like theft and snatchings are not uncommon. This is why it is advised to do a guided bike tour in India where a local guide will be with you at all times to ensure your safety.
Is Biking Popular in India?
India is an emerging tourist destination for cycling. Even though millions of Indians still use bicycles for their everyday commutes, cycling as a sport and as a leisure activity has only picked up over the last decade or so.
However, more people are now realizing that India is a unique destination that offers experiences unmatched by any other destination in the world. As a result, cycling in India is increasing in popularity each year.
What Are the Rules for Cycling in India?
Here are a few rules to pay attention to when biking in India:
India is a left hand traffic (LHT) country, a practice common in countries that were formerly a part of the British empire. This means that when cycling in India, riders should stick to the left-side of the road.
Overtaking is done from the right, although cyclists should avoid overtaking as much as possible.
Always follow your trip leader or your support vehicle, whichever is in the lead.
Always wear a helmet while biking.
Use hand signals when turning
Be mindful of stray animals such as dogs, cows, water buffaloes, monkeys, and camels. (yes, India has plenty of these animals sharing the streets with commuters!)
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Contact us today to book your India bike tour or inquire about custom options.