10 Questions: Bike Touring In India’s Himalaya Mountains
In the adventure-cycling world, India’s beautiful Himalaya mountains are one of the most interesting and scenic places you can go, as well as one of the more challenging.
Christian Dittmann recently completed a bike tour in this area.
“The ride took me through three of the big world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. I went through many different ethical areas. There was Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul with its Tibetan and IndoArian influences (a unique mix of Buddhism and Hinduism); remote Ladakh, the land of the high passes and often called Little Tibet; the barren and isolated Zanskar Valley and the mainly Muslim inhabited beautiful green Kashmir.”
For this edition of 10 Questions, Christian describes his experiences of bike touring there in summer 2010 and shares practical tips, in case you too would like to go cycling in the Himalaya mountains.
1. Can you briefly describe your route and why you choose this route in particular?
I started in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and cycled through the Kinnaur and Spiti Valley, close to the Tibetan border, then went via the Manali- Leh Highway up to Ladakh, then further to Srinagar, halfway I went down to remote Zanskar before heading to the final point in Kashmere, Srinagar. This route offers a huge variety of ethnicities, natural settings and cultures. From three of the world religions to lush green valleys, remote high altitude desserts and high passes this was motivation enough for me to choose that route.