Delhi to Ladakh on a Royal Enfield is perhaps one of the most famous and challenging trips that you can undertake on a bike. But the famous 1,800 kms of round trip is by no means for inexperienced bikers – most parts of the roads are at an altitude of 13,000 feet and above, and you need to take care of rough road conditions and the weather.
So what about the not-so-adventurous bikers? Here’s a list of some options you can explore near Delhi-NCR. Most of them can be covered on the weekend. Especially if you own a Royal Enfield, and you love bike trips, there’s no reason you should miss out on these trips. Holidify brings to you some of the best road trips from Delhi you can take using your motorcycle.
1. Garh Mukteshwar, 110 km from New Delhi
At just about 110 km from Delhi, this is the closest point where you can take a bath in the holy Ganges. One of the famous road trips from Delhi, this stretch is also famous for dolphin sighting, but you need a bit of luck on your side to spot them. They are more easily visible when the water level is low, and there is bright sunshine, so early summers (April-May) should be a good time to spot them. Fort Unchagaon is a heritage hotel in Garhmukteshwar, so if you would like to stay luxuriously, you can book a room and stay overnight.
Road condition and driving directions: Take the NH-24 from Ghaziabad and keep driving straight towards Hapur. Take the Hapur bypass to avoid city traffic. The road is in good condition, and the traffic thins once you are past Hapur. Take the road to Birjghat, which is around 10kms from the Garh Mukteshwar city. The ride shouldn’t take more than 2 hours of yours.
Dhabas: The small town of Babugarh on the way has plenty of dhabas, with a chain called Shiv Tourist dhabas. There’s a bunch of them, and it’s hard to tell which one is the original, but they are all more or less good.
2. Agra + Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, 2 hours Drive on Yamuna Expressway
The Yamuna expressway is probably the best road in the country at present and an absolute must-do for all road trip enthusiasts in Delhi. If you have enough driving stamina, you can visit the Taj Mahal and Bharatpur bird sanctuary and come back to Delhi by late at night.
Road condition and driving directions: You can cover the 180 kms stretch of road in less than 2 hours – the road is just amazing. Take care of the air pressure in your tires – too much heat driving at a fast speed have caused tires of some vehicles to burst, so remember to maintain a lower than normal air pressure.
Dhabas: Unfortunately, the expressway has no dhabas at the side, so if you want to stop and eat on the way, you might prefer the old highway (via Palwal), although the driving wouldn’t be as much fun or fast. There are a few eateries on the side of expressway right after each toll. These eateries are good enough to quench your hunger and thirst but don’t have high expectations from the dhabas here.
3. Mussoorie, a bike trip to the hills
Mussoorie is one of the nearest and prettiest hill stations around Delhi and one of the most popular road trips from Delhi. From waterfalls and ropeways to a bustling local market and steaming momos, it has all the makings of a classic Indian hill station. And the drive from Delhi to Mussoorie, especially the last stretch after Dehradun, is breathtaking.
Road condition: Unfortunately, the road from Delhi to Dehradun is not in the best condition, but the scenery on the road after that more than makes up for that. Driving to Dehradun takes around 6 hours and another 1.5 hours from there to the hilltop on Mussoorie.
Dhabas: Among the dhabhas, Cheetal Grand is the famous eating joint on this route. Located near Khatauli, Cheetal Grand serves typical roti, dal, gobi, paneer, parantha, etc., to western-style breakfast food including omelettes, sandwiches, fries, cutlets etc. Between Dehradun and Mussoorie, there are a lot of small Maggi joints as well, serving hot bowls of Maggi with chai, snacks and soft drinks.
4. Chandigarh + Kasauli/Shimla
The most planned city in India, Chandigarh is not only a good place to visit on the weekend, but also serves as a base from where you can drive to the hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. Shimla and Kasauli are extremely pretty hill stations near Chandigarh, around 2-3 hours of a pleasant drive from Chandigarh.
Road condition: Connecting Delhi to the rest of Punjab, the Grand Trunk road is very important for the economy, and is in a reasonably good condition.
Dhaba: Sukhdev dhaba at Murthal is one of the most famous dhabas among Delhites, and is by no means over-rated. Haveli and Gulshan Dhabha are also very famous dhabhas at Murthal. The food, especially the parathas, here are amazingly delicious, which is why many people drive to Murthal every day (and night). The food alone could make your road trip worth the effort.
The famous pink city is just about a perfect drive from the capital, at around 7 hours by bike. And with so much to offer, Jaipur is always a good choice for a tourist destination.
Road condition: Unfortunately, the Delhi – Jaipur highway, although a part of the Golden Quadrilateral project, is in a terrible condition. One of the best roads in India till a few years ago, unfinished, abandoned flyover constructions have left the road in poor shape and traffic merging at several points, so it takes up to 6-7 hours to reach Jaipur from Delhi.
Dhabas: There are a few dhabas scattered all along the highway, although there is no particularly very famous one. Bajwa Ka Dhabha and Highway King are among the good dhabas on the road which could be tried. If you really have to go to a dhabha for just food, you might have to head out of Jaipur on the Sikar Road and eat at Sharma Dhabha, the most famous dhabha around Jaipur.
6. Alwar + Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska, one of the most famous Tiger reserves in the country, along with Alwar, is an interesting short weekend trip from Delhi. Pick a good time to visit – preferably in February/March, when the chances of sighting a tiger are most, and before the weather gets hot enough even to contemplate visiting Rajasthan.
Road condition to Alwar: With the construction of a lot of flyovers abandoned midway, this is not the best of roads for a fast and furious kind of trip, but you can reach Alwar from Delhi easily in under 5 hours.
Dhabhas: There are a lot of dhabhas and restaurants along Delhi-Alwar Road. Even though no particular dhabha is very famous on this route, Pind Balluchi and Haldirams are among standard restaurants which serve good food.
One of the popular hill stations in the Himalayas, Nainital is one heck of a place for a road trip from Delhi. Though it is considered to be a year-round destination, one could avoid visiting this place from about July-September, mainly to avoid the monsoon which often causes road blockades.
Road condition to Nainital: Most of the people travelling to Nainital via road take the Delhi - Hapur – Moradabad – Rampur route which have good roads with just a few potholes between the Moradabad – Rampur stretch. The entire journey would take approximately 6 hours.
Dhabas: There are quite a few places along the route where one can stop over for food. Apart from the small dhabas on the highway, Bikanerwala, in Garjola, is a popular restaurant where one can indulge in some real good food.
Located at the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Chandrabagha, Rishikesh is one of the holiest and most spiritual places of the Hindus. The raw, scenic beauty of this place makes it an ideal setting for yoga, meditation and adventure sports such as river rafting and trekking. It has pleasant weather throughout the year, but it gets hot there in May-June.
Road condition to Rishikesh: Delhi to Rishikesh by car is a good option for a hassle-free travelling. The roads and traffic gets a bit bad once you reach Muzzafarnagar, and it continues till Roorkee. Else, the road conditions are pretty decent. It’s a 6 to 7 hours journey.
Dhabas: Cheetal Restaurant at Khatauli has been a famous stopover point for many years and offers good, hygienic food. One can also try Pandit Dhaba, which offers some really good snacks and tea.
Nestled in the beautiful Kangra Valley, with dense pine and deodar forests, numerous streams, cool healthy air, attractive surroundings and the nearby snowline, Dharamsala has everything for a perfect holiday. It is also the headquarters of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Though a bit far compared to other road trip locations, this quiet, peaceful hill station is one of the must-visit road trips from Delhi
Road condition to Dharamshala: The drive to Dharamshala from Delhi via Chandigarh, Kiratpur and Bilaspur should take around 12-13 hours. Roads are generally clear, broad and well maintained.
Dhabas: Driving along NH 1, several eating options can be found depending on your budget. Pahalwaan Dhaba at Murthal is an excellent stop if you’re craving for some yummy paranthas. You can also stop at McDonald’s or Haveli near Karnal while going towards Ambala.