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India Mountain Bike Tour

High Altitude Tour
(5/5) from 4 reviews

Conquer the thin air to reach the highest point on earth you can travel on wheels. A truly exhilarating journey.

You’ll cross rocky plains to the highest Himalayan passes towards Western Tibet. It’s an extraordinary landscape of gorges, wild rivers, snow-topped ranges, Buddhist gompas and stupas, alpine meadows and hot springs.

Our journey takes us from Delhi to high mountain passes firstly in our bus and then by bike. We start slowly to acclimatise, but soon find ourselves climbing and descending. You’ll feel on top of a timeless world.

18 Days
  • 2019
  • Best time to travel: July - September
  • Availability Guide:
  • Current date selected
  • Plenty
  • Limited
  • Closed or too close to departure (Call Us for options)

Reviews for India Mountain Bike Tour - Tour

If you are ready for India, and have the fitness required, this tour will simply blow your mind!

Christer Johansson June 26, 2018

We enjoyed the friendship and encouragement of like-minded bikers and our safety was never compromised. This certainly was a life-changing trip for us and seldom a day passes that we do not reflect on our experiences.

Jackie & John New Zealand February 14, 2015

Global Cycling Adventures - India biking tours

An amazing experience through unbelievable landscapes, culminating in a tremendous sense of achievement when reaching the top of the highest road in the world.

Juan-Antonio Ibanez September 8, 2012

The enormity of the landscape in which we found ourselves each day - it was just breathtaking!!! Leh is indeed a very special place to end such a ride, surrounded by huge mountains.

Alison McConaghy September 5, 2012

Delhi to Delhi

Delhi
  • High Altitude Cycling
  • Grade
  • Minimum group size: 4
  • USD450 single room surcharge
  • Leh to Dehli flight additional & approx USD250-USD400
  • This tour is invoiced in USD
  • We can arrange alternative dates to suit your group (July to Sept).
Words and pictures can't really describe the 'high' of travelling through this landscape, and of conquering what you may have thought were your personal limits. You'll also see many sacred monuments in India, including the Taj Mahal. This trip is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness. There are some long rides, and one or two tough climbs. Those who cycle the whole distance should expect a fairly challenging two weeks. With our excellent support, inexperienced riders can be catered for and are more than welcome to join this tour.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival Day: Delhi

No cycling. Hotel

Welcome to Delhi, the 8th largest metropolis in the world. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your city hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we will take you on a city sightseeing tour this afternoon. In the evening the group will get together with the guide for a pre-tour meeting to discuss and prepare for the journey ahead.

Meals: None

DAY 2

Delhi to Nalagarh (en route to Manali)

No cycling. Hotel

In the early morning we begin our 2-day bus journey to Manali, an important hill station in the Beas River Valley. The first leg is a 7 hour bus drive to the town of Nalagarh, gateway to the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh, one of India's most prosperous regions. We overnight in a hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3

Nalagarh to Manali

No cycling. Hotel

Today its an 8-10 hour bus ride through the hilly landscape of the Himachal Pradesh, the Kulu valley, and alongside the river Beas. By days' end we finally reach the hill station of Manali (2000 m).

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4

Manali

Cycling: a short distance, for acclimatisation. Hotel

First we'll assemble our bikes and take an exploratory tour around Manali to help with acclimatisation. We'll visit the 550-year-old cave temple of the Goddess Hadimba, set in a cedar forest. Then we drive to the old Manali village (further along the Beas river), and on to the hot springs of Vashisht, before returning to Manali town.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5

Manali to Rohtang Pass

Cycling: 40 km, 1365 Am. Camping: 3320 m a.s.l.

Today's ride takes us through forests towards the majestic Rohtang Pass in the eastern Himalayas (3985 m). We bike through the last village of Kothi and after 35 km arrive at our camp below the Pass (3320 m). Here we can acclimatise further in the water-shed of the Rothang Pass, where we can possibly expect some rain.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6

Rohtang Pass to Tandi

Cycling 52 km, 835 Am. Camping

Our road winds up to the Pass at 3960 m from where there is a spectacular panoramic view, weather permitting. To the north, the Lahul and Spiti glaciers and the barren mountains of Ladakh, India's northernmost state. To the south, the Kullu valley woods. In winter the Pass was a great hazard for trading caravans, with snowstorms and avalanches claiming lives. Hence the name, Rohtang ('death heap'). A 1000 m descent leads to Khoksar village past Gaddis (nomad shepherds) with sheep, goats and cows. We finish the day by riding alongside the Chandra river to Tandi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7

Tandi to Jispa

Cycling: 56 km, 950 Am. Hotel

Today we cross the Tibetan-Buddhist cultural border, reaching the town of Keylong (3350 m), which is cut off from the world during winter. In the middle of last century, Herrnhuter Moravian Church missionaries settled here. One of them was the German tibetologist A.H. Francke, who preserved much knowledge of Ladakh's history. There are Buddhist monasteries in Keylong, including the prominent Kardang Monastery. This afternoon on our bikes there'll be more climbing to reach Jispa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Jispa to Zing Zing Bar

Cycling: 40 km, 1115 Am. Camping 4260 m a.s.l.

Past Darcha, with its mighty river landscape (where the remote Zanskar trek starts), we reach Patseo. From here we climb past the welcoming spot of Zing Zing Bar to our camp site, 600 m below the Baralacha Pass. It's a short day, and the last phase of our acclimatisation.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Zing Zing Bar to Whisky Bridge

Cycling: 70 km, 765 Am. Camping 4175 m a.s. l.

The Baralacha Pass is ahead (4880 m), which requires an ascent of 1400 m through a landscape that will become treeless and barren. Some may wish to ride part way in the support vehicle while others may somehow summon extra strength. There are 3 rivers on this flat pass — Chandra, Bhaga, and a source river of the Zanskar, which we'll follow. We have now crossed the Himalayan weather border, with little rainfall in the desert-like mountains. An exciting descent via Sarchu at Ladakh's border leads to our campsite at Whisky Bridge (so named by road workers).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Whisky Bridge to Pang

Cycling: 54 km, 1150 Am. Camping: 4600 m a.s.l.

A narrow winding road leads us from Whisky bridge to Nikli Pass (5050 m), continuing down into a huge valley. Many stone remains are a reminder of past caravans which have been left decorated with prayer flags to soothe the mountain demons. Next, we reach the 5065 m Lachulung-la, surrounded by the towering Trans Himalayan mountain range. We ride down into a bizarre gorge until we reach Pang at the second tributary of the river Zanskar called Zara-Chu, which disappears through an impassable gorge. Our camp is here, with restaurants and a checkpoint nearby.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11

Pang to Toskar Lake

Cycling: 52 km, 355 Am. Camping: 4500 m a.s.l.

We start with a short climb to the dry Mora plain at 4700 m. Only Changpa nomads live here in yak-hair tents, with their yaks, goats and sheep grazing up to 5600 m. On an unsealed track between 2 mountains, we'll find a river source gushing from a green meadow. Nearby is lake Toskar, almost solid due to its high mineral content. The Changpa used to transport its salt by goat. This is also the habitat of rare Kyang donkeys, geese, and Tibetan laughing gull. We'll spend the afternoon and evening here, then head to our nearby camp.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12

Toskar Lake to Gya Gorge

Cycling: 65 km, 1000 Am. Camping: 4100 m a.s.l.

Only the Taglang-La pass (5370 m) stands between us and the Indus Valley. Starting in the decayed village of Debling (4800 m), the road follows the daring bends of the old caravan path, bordered by chorten (stupa) and mani walls. After a gentle climb of just 3 hours to the pass we are rewarded with views of the Karakorum (highest paved road in the world), and the descending road to the Indus valley. Next, a continuous 50 km downhill to villages with irrigated fields. Our camp is in the Gya river gorge where we can meet the locals and have a well-earned bathe in the river

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Gya Gorge to Leh

Cycling: 85 km, 750 Am. Hotel: 3500 m a.s.l.

The narrow Gya gorge gives way to the vast Indus Valley, where we cross the river that Tibetans and Ladakhis call Singhi-Chu. It rises from the 'muzzle of the lion' near the distant holy mountain of Kaliash. Once more we'll cross the Indus before a steep 30 km ascent to the famous Hemis monastery. After lunch we head to the white-walled Tikse monastery, with an amazing roof-top view over the Indus. We continue to Ladakh's old capital, Shey, previous residence of the Royal family. Passing stone figures of the 5 Dhyani Buddhas, we at last arrive in Leh (3500 m).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14

Leh: Rest Day

No cycling. Hotel: 3500 m a.s.l.

This morning we rest. After lunch we can do some sightseeing on foot in and around Leh. Remember your camera for the fantastic view from the fortress of Namgyal Tsemo to the snow-covered Stok Kangri range beyond the desert-like Indus valley.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15

Leh to Kardung La to Leh

Cycling: 80 km, 2100 Am. Hotel: 3500 m a.s.l.

Today we conquer the 5602 m high Kardung-La. This pass should not be too tough, considering the high altitude training of previous days. A jeep will accompany us, but we will have to power for 4–5 hours in thin air. We'll eventually be rewarded by the experience of a 40 km, 2000 m descent! It will be an unforgettable adventure. This afternoon, the bikes will be packed for their return (by truck) to Delhi.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16

Leh to Delhi to Agra

No cycling. Hotel

Its time to leave this fascinating wilderness behind, as this morning we'll fly from Leh back to Delhi (flight cost is approximately USD350 and additional to advertised tour price). Its then a 5 hour bus transfer to our hotel in the famous city of Agra.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17

Agra

No cycling. Hotel

Another iconic experience lies ahead as we have a full day's sightseeing in Agra, including the infamous Taj Mahal. You may also wish to visit the Agra Fort and other attractions.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18

Departure Day: Delhi

No cycling

This morning we return to Delhi by bus. Depending on your flight departure, there may be time for more sightseeing around the city, or we will take you directly to the airport.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (11 nights), camping (6 nights)
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers (day 1 and day 18)
  • Transport and support vehicle as listed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tourguide(s)
  • Local tourguide for Dehli and Agra sightseeing
  • Entrance fees for sights and attractions as in the itinerary
  • Camping equipment

Tour Excludes:

  • International flights and airport taxes
  • Domestic flight: Leh to Dehli (day 16)
  • Passport and travel visa requirements
  • Please bring your own mountain bike
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Tips for the guide(s) and support crew
  • Sleeping bag
  • Agra sightseeing entrance fees

Tour Video

Mountain biking tours off the beaten track in New Zealand, Tanzania, Tibet and Italy. This movie gives an overview of what you can expect on a Global Adventure Guide mountain biking tour.