Down the proud highway
And as long as I keep movin'
I won't need a place to stay
Motorcycle riding in India is often associated with the cool terrains of Ladakh or the sweltering hot barren plains of Rajasthan. But there’s more to biking in India than these famous (and rather commercialized) places. Here we take a look at some of the lesser known, but equally adventurous (if not, more so) places across all four directions in India.
Spiti valley : Spiti (meaning ‘The middle land’) valley is a cold desert mountain located between Tibet & Himachal Pradesh. There are two ways to reach the valley, one via Manali through Rohtang Pass & other via Shimla through Kinnaur Valley. It’s advisable to take the Shimla route as it helps you gradually acclimatize to the altitude, unlike the Manali route. You also get to pass through the infamous Hindustan-Tibet Highway which is termed one of the most adventurous (& deadliest) traverses in the world. If you find the crowd at Leh-Ladakh annoying, then Spiti valley will serve you as perfect alternative.
Zuluk : Situated in East Sikkim, close to the Indo-China border, Zuluk is merely a hamlet with 60 houses, but a phenomenal one at that ! Better known for being a chief location in the Old Silk Route, Zuluk is famous for it’s sunrise view from beyond the surrounding mountains. To reach the place one can start from Siliguri, go through the scenic heights of Darjeeling & Gangtok to reach Nathu La (which is the current trading post between India & China as well as the highest motorable road in the world) & eventually reach Zuluk. Thrill seekers can cherish the many hairpin bends which get you to the hamlet.
Slopes of Hell,Kamshet : The Slopes of Hell near Kamshet,Maharashtra is indeed the place to go for bikers with a penchant for an adrenaline rush. You can begin your ride from Pune district & move towards Kamshet town, which is about 35-40 Kms away. Once there, you need to ask localities for the turn you need to take towards the slopes. After a two Km ride down this turn you’ll spot a dirt road (although,you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for it). Once you’re on the right track, the road keeps going uphill & finally after many a bushes & gravel you’ll behold the mother of all slopes, which slants at an improbable 40-50 degrees, in front of you. Conquering this slope will be guaranteed satisfaction, although one would do well to follow a simple advice : ‘Don’t Do It Alone’
Kolli Malai : Kolli Malai, i.e ‘The Mountain of Death’, is a picturesque hill station situated down south in the Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu. But what would attract bikers here are the 70 continuous hairpin turns which get you to the top. You can start your journey from Salem on the Trichy highway & move towards Rasipuram. From there you ride towards Kalapannaikkampetty via Sendamangalam, before taking the sloping curves to Kolli Malai. The road is fairly decent to ride on & stretches across approximately 15 Kms. For those looking for a lazy ride between the confines of lush green trees on one-side & panoramic views of the plains below on the other, added with the pleasure of curvy roads, then Kolli Malai is the place to be.