Mountain biking is one of the most adventurous activity one can experience in Uttarakhand. As one paddles through the hilly trails and bicycles amidst the lush green forests, nature can be felt and caressed more closely. Biking through the snowcapped peaks is all the more nerve wrecking and demands courage and bravery. Garhwal in Uttarakhand is not only a biker's paradise but also attracts photographers from every corner of the world.
The panoramic view of the Himalayas and mesmerising landscapes are what the bikers are gifted on reaching their desired destination. But while they bike through Garhwal, there are many more things to explore on the way. The simple lifestyle of the Garhwalis, the peaceful environment by the winding and unending roads are some of the lively memories which one will cherish throughout life.
Mountain biking in Garhwal requires around 12-16 days which can be ventured through various routes. Bikers need to be well aware of the temperature which alters around 30° C to 10°C.
Biking Route in Garhwal: Biking route starts from Rishikesh to Tehri. The route followed is by the Bhagirathi river. It is a romantic journey through the forests, palaces, temples along the steep foothills. The distance covered is around 73 km which involves a day's journey.
Next destination is Dharasu which is 84 km from Tehri and is at an elevation of 1036 m. This route again runs by the winding ways of Bhagirathi river amidst small houses and trees. This day's trip ends with camping at Dharasu. Uttarkashi is the place which is targeted for the next day. This journey covers a distance of 32 km and takes NH 34 which is the Tehri-Dharasu road. One has to book a hotel before hand in order to halt at night in Uttarkashi.
Next day biking starts from Uttarkashi to Bhatwari. It is a journey of 35 km which takes the Uttarkashi-Gangotri road or NH 108. River Bhagirathi is a constant companion throughout this adventurous and daring trail. Presence of markets give an opportunity to the bikers to shop their requirements if needed. Tent accommodation can be enjoyed at Bhatwari.
Biking journey continues the other day from Bhatwari to Harsil. The distance of 43 km can be traversed through NH 108 or Uttarkashi-Gangotri road. The beautiful scenery of Harsil will mesmerise the venturers. At an elevation of 2623 m, the Bhagirathi river, uneven mountain trail, pine trees and the apple orchards are simply spellbinding.
After an adventurous stay at the tent, next day starts with biking towards Gangotri. Again following NH 108 or Uttarkashi-Gangotri road, bikers have to ride through the distance of 25 km. If one is planning to halt here for a day, various sightseeing of Gangotri can also be done. Origin of river Ganga and the holy Gangotri temple makes this place one of the wanted destination amongst Hindu pilgrims.
While you halt comfortably at a hotel in Gangotri, do not forget to rise early the next morning. This day bikers need to ride upto Gangnani which has a risky trail and consumes more time and energy. This covers a distance of 53 km and is situated at an elevation of 2133 m. Gangnani is a calm and serene place in Uttarakhand and ideally suited for meditation. Bikers can also look out for hot water springs before they bid adieu to the day.
Barkot is the next destination for bikers. It is a long journey which includes two days. The trail passes through an important place called Barhmakhal where bikers can also halt. The total distance it covers is around 117 km and after NH 108, bikers need to seek NH 94. Barkot village situated by river Yamuna is a treat to the eyes.
Journey to Nainbagh starts the next day which is 54 km from Barkot. Vikasnagar-Barkot road is the most travelled route taken by the bikers. This place in Uttarakhand is also alluring because of its natural surrounding. Bikers need to halt here for the day and start for Mussoorie the next day.
Vikasnagar-Barkot road takes one to Mussoorie which is the last destination of this biking tour in Garhwal. Covering a distance of 42 km, one cannot miss out the mighty Himalayas which is bewitching from this place. Bikers can depart to Delhi or Dehradun from Mussoorie for a better availability of convenience. They can also try out other adventurous activities like rafting, rock climbing in Uttarakhand.
Requisites for Bikers: Apart from cycle, sleeping bag, helmets and rucksack, bikers must also carry torch, tents, medical requirements, water bottle and other emergency equipments. One needs to adjust physically with the climate and the temperature around. Higher the altitude, lower is the temperature. So warm garments are a must. Other than these, bikers must be well aware of the permits and the restricted areas while they traverse through the hilly terrain.