Golden Himalaya Tour2020-08-15T20:17:15+00:00
Golden Himalaya motorcycle tour map

The Golden Himalaya Motorcycle Tour – from Amritsar, Punjab to Chitkul, HP

Join us on a very special laid-back Himalayan bike tour through India’s golden autumn!

You can look forward to 14 days of Royal Enfield cruising, intense impressions and endless variety. This journey will take you to through Punjab including the Golden temple of Amritsar, up the beautiful passes of the Himachal Pradesh foothills to altitudes of up to 4,000 meters, to the gates of Tibet, and to India’s most sacred sites and pilgrimage centers of the Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus.

This breathtaking motorcycle tour through India is a true Himalayan treat for any rider. We’ll ride past the best paragliding spots in the world, across the passes of the Himalayan foothills and through verdant forests and valleys – always with a breathtaking view of snow-capped sacred giants.

On this motorbike tour, we’ll not only be taking a deep dive into the country and its culture, but also giving ourselves time to unwind. We’ve lined up the best resorts and hotels – and the occasional campfire and hot springs – for your relaxation.

In the land where Buddhism meets Hinduism, we’ll see historic wooden temples, visit the residence of the Dalai Lama, and sleep in hill stations built by the British to escape the scorching summers on the plains. We’ll soak up the colorful atmosphere of the Sikhs’ Golden Temple in Amritsar and the serenity of the Buddhist temples in Dharamsala. Expect breathtaking mountains, intoxicating colors and enchanting, mystical atmosphere.

Golden Himalaya Motorcycle Tour Highlights

  • Breathtaking views of the most beautiful Himalayan mountain regions and premier paragliding spots: Bir and Billing
  • Riding the fantastic Kandi, Jalorie and Sutlej passes – reaching altitudes of up to 4,000 meters
  • Cruising picturesque valleys in idyllic Kullu, Tirthan and Kalpa, as well as the rugged Sangla Valley
  • Unwinding in the hot springs of Tatapani
  • Visiting the mystical Kali Hindu temple in Sharahan
  • The 6,000 meter sacred Kinnaur Kailash mountain
  • The artist village of Andretta
  • A day for the Dalai Lama’s residence in McLeod Ganj and Pong Lake
  • A day for the colonial-era Dalhousie hill station

2021
14.11. – 28.11.

Enfield Bullet 500: 2.990€
Pillion: 2.680€
Single Room: +690€

15 days / 14 nights / 13 riding days

Overnight stays in resorts and selected middle class hotels and guesthouses

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Golden Himalaya Motorcycle Tour in India Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome in India, flight to Dharamsala, HP

Arrival: Flight from Delhi to Dharamsala, home of Tibetans in exile and the Dalai Lama. After plenty of time for relaxation, we’ll visit the Norbulingka Institute. The Institute was founded in 1988 in Dharamsala to preserve Tibetan culture, literature and art – a perfect introduction to Buddhist culture. Its traditional architecture evokes the ancient Tibet. There’s no shortage of things to see and do.

During the welcome dinner on the roof terrace of our hotel, you’ll not only meet the guide and the crew, but also enjoy a fantastic view of the golden roofs of the temples at sunset.

Dharamsala

On the road to Bir

Day 2: Warming Up Tour to Bir

Today we’ll do a warm-up run to Bir. But first, we’ll get acquainted with our Royal Enfield Bullets, with a briefing on their technology and the finer points of riding in Indian traffic. Our first ride will take us up into the Himalayas, past the popular paraglider take-off point at 2,100 meters, up to Billing. There we can enjoy the fresh, cool air and a fantastic view of the Himalayan mountain region with its snow-capped peaks. After reaching our accommodation for the evening in Bir, we’ll have a delicious traditional dinner, followed by a hot, spicy chai around the campfire.

Distance covered: approx. 100 km, Bir

Day 3: The “Switzerland of India” – Kullu Valley and Kandi Pass Motorcycle Tour

Fantastic mountain roads will take us over the 2,100-meter Kandi Pass, from Kangra Valley to the “Switzerland of India” – Kullu Valley on the Himachal motorcycle tour. We’ll ride through several villages decorated with colorful flags and garlands. High above the village we’ll explore the old royal residence of Naggar, with its unique wooden castle, the folk and art museum, and the historical Krishna Temple. It’s an enchanted world of Indian history and faith. In the evening, we’ll relax with dinner around the campfire.

Distance covered: approx. 150 km, Naggar

 old royal residence of Naggar
wild Tirthan valley

Day 4: The wild Tirthan valley

Our motorcycle journey continues – even before the morning mist clears! We’ll descend into idyllic Kullu Valley until we reach the narrow, rugged Tirthan Valley, and head up into it quite a ways. Surrounded by lush green trees and colorful landscapes, we’ll follow the crystal-blue mountain rivers, home to wild rainbow trout. Tonight’s accommodation is in the village of Gusheni.

In the evening, we can enjoy a fresh rainbow trout filet and look back on the day with a cool beer in hand.

Distance covered: approx. 150 km, Tirthan Valley, Gusheni

Day 5: Motorcycle Tour to the Enchanted Landscapes in Sutlej Valley

We’ll cross Jalourie Pass (3,200 meters) and follow the road along the river upstream to about 2,000 meters through the extremely narrow and rugged Sutlej valley. Magnificent mountain peaks and dense evergreen forests line the valley.

After leaving Rampur, the capital of the Kinnaur region, we’ll ascend to the famous Kali Temple – the city of Sarahan. Sarahan marks the entrance to the legendary Kinnaur Valley. The Hindu temple complex, dedicated to the goddess Kali, lies on the cultural threshold between Hinduism and Buddhism. In the complex itself, we’ll come across three more temples, of which we’ll hear exciting, mystical stories. The ornately crafted wooden exterior and unique architecture of these temples evoke a bygone era.

Distance covered: approx. 160 km, Sarahan

Enchanted Landscapes in Sutlej Valley
Kinnaur, Kailash – Shiva’s mountain

Day 6: Kinnaur Kailash – Shiva’s mountain

Today we’re setting our sights on the “high point” of our Himachal motorcycle tour! We’ll ride through Kinnaur and reach the quiet, ancient mountain village of Kalpa, which dates back to the year 1000, at an altitude of nearly 3,000 meters.

This dreamscape, surrounded by apple orchards, offers us a fantastic view of the 6,000-meter Jorkhanden and the holy mountain Kinnaur Kailash. Kinnaur Kailash is considered to be the winter residence of the god Shiva and is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists.

Distance covered: approx. 90 km, Kalpa

Day 7: Passes, glaciers and forests

The ascent to the remote Sangla Valley is a real challenge, with its dizzying, steep mountain road and abruptly changing landscapes – a real adventure! The green countryside now give way to a rocky world. Sangla Valley has a lot to offer: passes, glaciers and snow, but also green forests, rivers and majestic waterfalls. We’ll ride through lush nature and charming little wooden villages on the mountain slopes – a key stage of our tour and a true highlight!

We’ll have dinner and spend the night in a cozy hotel in the quaint surroundings of the village of Batseri in the middle of Sangla Valley.

Distance covered: approx. 60 km, Sangla

Sangla Valley
Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh

Day 8: Day trip to Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh

We’ll head up to Chitkul, where the road ends not far from the Chinese-Tibetan border. Beautiful small temples there vie for our attention, and the local culture is unique. The people of this heavenly place are not only serene and friendly, they also practice both Hinduism and Buddhism. In ancient mythology, the Kinnara community of Chitkul were halfway between humans and gods. We’ll return to Batseri today. In the afternoon we’ll explore the enchanted Himalayan village on a short hike. Batseri is straight out of a fairy tale – snow-capped mountains, wooden huts and apple orchards as far as the eye can see! We’ll relax on the hotel terrace, in the most beautiful valley of Himachal Pradesh, and spend another night at the same hotel.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km, Sangla

Day 9: To the hot springs of Tatapani

A beautiful long day on the National Highway toward Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh state awaits us – a route that will warm the heart of every rider! It’s as if we’re floating through an unreal landscape on the winding mountain roads. In Tatapani, we’ll treat ourselves to a well-earned break and descend into the deep valley to the hot springs – time to unwind in the thermal pool. On the restaurant terrace high above the river, we’ll sample popular regional dishes and spices for dinner.

Distance covered: approx. 180 km, Tatapani

Road to the hot springs of Tatapani
artists’ village of Andretta

Day 10: Winding our way to the artists’ village of Andretta

Another day of endless winding roads awaits! On quiet country roads, we’ll ride our Royal Enfield bullets through the Himalayan foothills until we reach Andretta, a village known for its artists and pottery, in the afternoon. Andretta is a sleepy little place, far from any hustle and bustle. The village was founded in the 1920s, when the Irish theater artist and environmentalist Norah Richards moved there from Lahore. Andretta still attracts artists and potters from all over the world. We can congratulate ourselves today for having completed the highest daily mileage of the tour! We’ll have one last beer together, enjoying the tranquility of the mountain region.

Distance covered: approx. 220 km, Andretta

Day 11: Pong Lake and the ride to Dharamsala

Our first destination of the day will be Pong Lake. We’ll spend our lunch break there, and do a bit of wildlife spotting. Pong Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is a prime example for the conservation of rich local plant and animal life, including numerous rare species. If we get lucky, we might even spot a leopard.

In the afternoon, we’ll reach bustling McLeod Ganj, the home of the Dalai Lama and his government in exile. Nestled in majestic hills and surrounded by lush greenery, the mountain town is home to a large settlement of Tibetans and shaped by their cultural influence. The area around McLeod Ganj is one of the most fascinating landscapes in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh. Namgyal Monastery, one of India’s most important religious institutions, is located here, as well as the Tsuglagkhang, the Dalai Lama’s temple. We’ll also visit the picturesque Dal Lake and take a relaxing walk in the evening hours.

Here we’ll spend two nights in a stylish guest house in a stunning location.

Distance covered: approx. 90 km, McLeod Ganj

Motorcycle ride to Dharamsala
McLeod Ganj

Day 12: Relaxation and sightseeing in McLeod Ganj

Our bikes have the day off today! We have the whole day to explore this amazing region. We’ll start the day with a kora, or circumambulation, of the temple and the monastery. There’s a lot to discover in McLeod Ganj – waterfalls, a spiritual vegan hippie village, the Tibetan bazaar and a brewery with a beer garden roof terrace!

We’ll immerse ourselves in a colorful Tibetan world, experiencing history in the Tibet Museum, philosophy in magnificent temples, and relaxation with a Tibetan massage. Dinner will be in a Tibetan restaurant, where we can sample momos and the local fire water!

McLeod Ganj

Day 13: Dalhousie hill station

We’re heading for the hills again today – specifically, the hill station of Dalhousie. Dalhousie was used by senior British military and civilian officials posted to India and other parts of the Empire to escape the summer heat of the lowlands.

Dalhousie, which is surrounded by five hills, is located at 1,970 meters. The hill station is great for people who like a tranquil atmosphere. It’s also one of the most famous resorts in Himachal Pradesh, thanks to its pleasant climate. Here we’ll spend the night in a colonial-style hotel.

Distance covered: approx. 170 km, Dalhousie

 Dalhousie hill station
On the road to Punjab

Day 14: Motorcycle Tour to the Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab

A last day on the bikes in India – on fantastic roads, through incredible landscapes and past villages with their colorful culture on our short motorcycle tour of Punjab.

Today we’ll cross the fertile plains of Punjab, arriving in Amritsar in the afternoon. There we’ll have plenty of time to visit the legendary Golden Temple, the most sacred place of the Sikhs. A breathtaking golden building awaits you in the middle of the “pond of nectar”. Millions of Sikhs come here every year to perform ablutions. The magnificent ensemble and spiritual atmosphere are sure to move you.

Distance covered: approx. 200 km, Amritsar

Day 15: Flight from Amritsar, Punjab to Delhi, departure day

The tour ends with a flight from Amritsar to Delhi. In Delhi, we’ll visit the Royal Enfield Flagship Store in Saket. In the evening, we’ll get together for our farewell dinner and a brew, followed by your flight home.

We don’t have a hotel planned for tonight, but we’ll be happy to help you find one if you’d like. We can also set you up with a follow-up program to the Taj Mahal, Goa or Rajasthan.

Delhi

Don’t Miss Out On a Wonderful Experience

Book your Tour Now – The Golden Himalaya Tour

We can accommodate only 14 motorbikes on this tour.

Since our tours get filled up fast, please book our The Golden Himalaya Motorcycle Tour now to avoid disappointment.

Our Next available tours are as follows:

2021
14.11. – 28.11

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Questions & Answers

Included Services2020-01-15T08:59:09+00:00

Included Services

  • All airport transfers
  • Domestic flights Delhi – Dharamsala and Amritsar – Delhi
  • All accommodations in double/twin rooms, with en-suite bathroom. Mid range options, guesthouses and resorts (always best possible hotels at the destinations).
  • Breakfast, lunch snack, dinner (without beverages)
  • Drinking water in the service vehicle
  • Rental motorcycle Enfield Bullet 500 cc with comprehensive insurance with a retention of EUR/US$ 500, motorcycle touring kit, electronic starter Bullets
  • Seats in the service vehicle for pillions
  • Experienced English speaking tour guide on own motorcycle
  • Experienced motorcycle mechanic (spare rider who can ride your bike in case of need)
  • All road and bridge tolls, entrance admission fees for sights for the entire program

Excluded services:

  • International flights from/to Delhi
  • All beverages (beside drinking water which is always carried in the service vehicle)
  • Optional tips for guide and mechanic, souvenirs, shopping
  • India tourist e-visa (around € 65)
  • Travel rescission costs and repatriation insurance
Do I need a visa for India?2019-12-18T06:33:21+00:00

Visitors to India need a tourist visa, which you must obtain in advance.
Visas are not issued on arrival.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of your stay.
The e-Tourist Visa costs around 20 to 80 euros and you can apply for it online.
Important note: The terms for the e-Tourist Visa can be found here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
The visa application itself can be found here: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/info1.jsp

What do I need to bring along for a motorcycle tour?2020-01-06T11:30:46+00:00

You will definitely want to bring your riding suit with protectors and a helmet. You will also need motorcycle boots or lighter riding shoes and gloves. While your gear should be breathable in hot climates, you need to be ready for anything at high altitudes and in the Himalayas. We recommend winter gloves, warm socks, liners for jackets and trousers, a scarf and face protection. Rain gear is a good idea if your riding suit is not waterproof.
Please note that we do not hire out clothing. We believe that your own riding gear will fit best and thus give you the best protection. If you forget anything, we’ll find a solution, however. We often have spare gear with us, or we can point you in the direction of a shop.

Do I need travel insurance and travel health insurance?2019-12-18T06:24:21+00:00

We always recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover costs incurred if you need to cancel the trip due to illness or other reasons. When shopping for travel health insurance, make sure the policy covers the potentially high cost of medical evacuation to your home country. Both forms of insurance can save you a lot of money in an emergency and we recommend them unreservedly. In many countries, your national motoring organization can provide the coverage you need.

What should I keep in mind when riding with a passenger?2019-12-18T06:24:20+00:00

Riding two-up is almost always possible. In difficult terrain or on rough tracks, every passenger has a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle to keep things relaxed for both rider and pillion.

Do pillion passengers have a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle?2019-12-18T06:24:16+00:00

Yes, all passengers have a guaranteed seat. In bad weather or challenging riding conditions, they can switch to the support vehicle at any time – and back to the bike when conditions improve.

How big are the groups? What’s the minimum number of participants?2019-12-18T06:24:15+00:00

Groups generally consist of 8 to 14 riders and 2 to 6 passengers. The minimum number of participants is 6 riders.

What’s the Classic Bike Adventure travel team like?2019-12-18T06:24:12+00:00

Our European tour guides are skilled motorcyclists and inveterate travelers who love India. They’re resilient in the face of stress and know the history and culture of the regions they cover. Our Indian mechanics are experienced Enfield specialists who all speak English and are happy to help with any technical problem, great or small.
A stand-in rider is always available. More information on our travel concept is available here.

What kind of bikes will we ride?2019-12-18T06:24:12+00:00

We ride 500cc Royal Enfield Bullets manufactured from 2014 to 2017 that feature electric starters, 5-speed gearboxes with the gearshift on the left, front disk brakes, roomy and rugged leather saddlebags, crashbars, 19” tires and twin horns.

What do I need in the way of documents?2019-12-18T06:24:09+00:00

You will need your passport, national driving license, international driving license and flight ticket. Please be sure to make photocopies of all of your important travel documents and carry them separately. They can be invaluable in an emergency.

What are the import regulations for India?2019-12-18T06:32:08+00:00

Up to 200 cigarettes and 2 liters of alcohol may be imported duty-free. All international cigarette and spirits brands are available in India. Customs checks of arriving tourists have become considerably less strict in recent years.

Do I need a driving license?2019-12-18T06:24:05+00:00

All riders must have a valid motorcycle driving license issued in their home country. An international driving license is also required. Be sure to contact the relevant authorities in your home country well in advance for more information on obtaining an international driving license.

Will I need maps?2019-12-18T06:31:37+00:00

Simple street maps are often available locally. The best road maps are available from the German publishers Reise Know How and Nelles. These are only available in specialized bookstores or online.

Where can I stow my bags?2019-12-18T06:24:02+00:00

Your baggage will be carried by the support vehicle. Please don’t pack too much – remember: less is more. From time to time, we’ll have to carry our baggage over short distances to the hotel. Baggage is not insured, so please be sure to purchase your own baggage insurance for the trip if necessary. Your personal items for the day are best kept in the saddlebags or your daypack. Tank bags – including magnetic ones – can be used on the Enfields, but we don’t provide them.

Do I need to buy an Indian SIM card for my phone?2019-12-18T06:30:59+00:00

European SIM cards now work almost everywhere in India. You’ll need patience if you want a local SIM card, as the registration takes a minimum of three days, and in some regions it is not possible at all.

How much is the deposit for the bike?2019-12-18T06:24:00+00:00

Riders must make a deposit of USD/EUR 500.00 in cash for their bikes. The deposit will be refunded when the bike is returned in good condition. The deposit corresponds to the comprehensive insurance deductible for damage to the rented bike and damage or injuries to third parties caused by the rider.
(The deductible is payable in such cases!)

Important note: The deductible also applies to damage or injury to third parties. In practice, the rider is initially liable for the full damages. The costs are later refunded by the insurance company, minus the deductible.

What are the specs of the bikes?2019-12-18T06:23:59+00:00

Technical specifications: Single-cylinder four-stroke, 499 cc, 16 kW (28 bhp) at 4,600 rpm, 178 kg, 80 cm seat height, 123 kph max.

Our Enfields were manufactured from 2013 to 2017 and are well-maintained. Naturally, some of them bear the minor battle scars typical of touring motorcycles. Technically, they are all in top shape and perfectly suited to the planned tours. They’re tremendous fun to ride, and their handling is safe and predictable after a brief familiarization period. Our average speeds on the tour range from 40 to 60 kph, depending on the road conditions and traffic.

On which side do you ride in India?2020-01-14T22:21:09+00:00

Indians drive on the left. The flexible and generally considerate driving style of the locals makes it easy to adjust to riding on the “wrong side” and coping with traffic conditions that initially seem chaotic. The behavior of pedestrians and cyclists, and the frequent presence of animals on the road call for considerably more attention, however. Extreme caution is required around children.
Further information on traffic and riding can be found here and here.

What kind of food and drinks will we be having in India?2019-12-18T06:29:54+00:00

Western food is generally not available, so we’ll be having simple, often vegetarian meals as well as regional specialties throughout the tour. Hearty breakfasts will not always be available. We can promise you a wide range of cuisine, with a special emphasis on local specialties. In general, a lot of curry is served in India, and little meat – chicken being the most common non-vegetarian food – but plenty of vegetables, legumes and rice. Indian cuisine is generally well-spiced, easily digestible and not overly hot. Vegetarians will have no problems in India.
Indian beer is not always up to international standards. The most common brands are Kingfisher, Castle and San Miguel. The local Chang beer is quite effective but requires a bit of getting used to. Wine – when it’s available – is even more of an acquired taste than Chang. Mineral water and beverages such as Coca Cola can be purchased anywhere and must be carried individually.

Should I bring Indian rupees to India, or are US dollars preferable?2019-12-18T06:29:18+00:00

You are not allowed to bring Indian currency into the country or take it out. You may bring the equivalent of up to US$ 5,000 in foreign currency into the country without prior notice. We recommend bringing euros in €50 and €100 notes. Please make a note of the daily exchange rate to avoid getting a bad rate at the airport. American Express Traveler’s Cheques are no longer in common use and will cause unnecessary hassles. Credit cards (Maestro, Visa and MasterCard) with PINs can be used for cash advances from ATMs in many towns.
You will need the equivalent of around €100 to €150 for drinks, lunch and tips per week.

What’s a typical day on the road like?2019-12-18T06:22:49+00:00

A travel day normally begins at 8 am with breakfast. Around 9 am, after a short briefing by the road captain, it’s time for the day’s riding, the mileage of which can vary quite a bit. Plenty of time will be available for lunch and coffee breaks, of course. Depending on the day’s mileage, we’ll reach the destination hotel between 3 and 4 pm.
Since our tours vary considerably, we may also hit the road at 8 am on high-mileage days – which is also nice, because then we have the whole day ahead of us.

What’s the time difference?2019-12-18T06:28:18+00:00

Indian standard time is 5.5 hours ahead of GMT.

Tour Concept by RC Vinod

About RC Vinod