Known for its dazzling landscapes and mind-blowing cuisine, Nepal is tucked in the midst of the mighty Himalayas and the Indian plains. There is something unbelievably quaint and striking about the place as you ride through the mountains, it makes you one with nature, it makes you love the simplicity and it keeps you grounded. With the mountains as a backdrop and an unspoken magic in the air, you can truly experience the essence of motorcycling in Nepal.
Not all roads in Nepal are fair, although not in the best condition. They are rather famous for their notorious bends which turn out slightly dangerous for the rider. Still, the long trips along the roads of Nepal are pure bliss! Crossing the border from India to Nepal is fairly easy with the necessary documents.
Taking a trip from India to Nepal is a rather common idea among drivers and riders. Here are a couple of trips you can keep on your list when you think of going to Nepal.
Places for Motorcycling in Nepal
1. Road to Sagarmatha National Park
The road to Sagarmatha is packed with beauty, thrill and a tad bit of danger. The place is located in eastern Nepal and is also the Highest National Parkin the world as it includes Mount Everest (8848 meters) in it.
The ride from Kathmandu and back covers around 520 kilometers with a rather steep 8 kilometers which are rated as the most difficult part of the trip. You might not be able to ride all the way to park as the place is ‘severely affected’ post the earthquake in 2015.
There are alternate ways to explore the park with help of tour guides should you wish to travel there. The park attracts heaps of visitors from all across the globe as it offers plenty of trails and the famous trek to Everest Base Camp.
Check: Ride to Spiti Valley!
There are numerous peaks around here that lead to gorgeous views of the sunrise. Depending on your preference for snow, pick a time of the year to visit.The road can take you only so far, to explore the park you have to trek inside as the conditions could be inhospitable which requires the help of a tour guide and someone with knowledge of the area.
The ride to Mustang is not an easy one and calls for experienced riders. The route is long and riding through the mountains requires a trained & focused mindset. The ride begins from Kathmandu and covers the Pokhara valley and progresses towards Muktinath.
As a rider, you can decide whether to take your own bike from India or rent a bike in Kathmandu for this trip. It’s easy to find bikes for rent, just ask around and you will come across a good source for bike rental. There are also some Tour Guides that offer a completely guided trip to one of the prettiest places on earth.
You can contact locals in Kathmandu for the specific details. The distance is usually covered in about 7-9 days on dirt roads and blacktopped roads. Kalopani and Pokhara offer a magnificent view of the mountains and riding along the roads is bound to fill you with exuberance.
Muktinath, being at an altitude of 3800 meters allows you a glorious view of the valleys you’ve left below. The entire experience of the ride allows you a candid view of the Tibetan and Thakali cultures.
There are a couple of variations of the ride depending on which agency you pick to go ahead with. The suggestion is to decide on the one that perfectly fits your needs and time constraint.
3. Bardia to Kathmandu
Much like most other rides at Nepal, this one too begins at Kathmandu. This has been rated as a fairly easier ride and does not require extreme precision and experience with your bike. The ride covers a distance of about 1500 kilometers spread across a vast region.
The ride progresses to Bardia with a complete trip of the Royal Bardia National Park. The next day, there is a ride up to Mahendranagar to experience the Shukla Phanta Wildlife Sanctuary. It finally moves to Tikapur, Lumbini and ends at Kathmandu via a different route.
The whole ride explores the wildlife of Nepal and gives an authentic view of the tribes around the area. Again, there might be possible variations in the route and number of days taken depending upon your trip planner, so choose what you want and design your experience to Nepal’s wildlife in your own way.
4. Pokhara Valley to Kathmandu
This is one of the most common rides most riders embark upon. The road leading from Pokhara to Kathmandu takes around 5 hours to traverse. Although one of the easier rides, the roads in Kathmandu make it rather difficult, especially during the night. Consider wearing reflective jackets.
You will come across some breath-taking scenery on your way and the experience around Pokhara valley is simply blissful. The lakes of Pokhara and the valley region of Kathmandu, especially with the Himalayas and Annapurna ranges acting as a backdrop to the setting are more than enough to entice any rider.
This is a comparatively simpler ride. This road trip lasts for about 4 days, beginning from Kathmandu again. You would encounter some of the best roads in Nepal during this ride with an absolutely mesmerizing experience of the country life in Nepal in its truest sense.
It lets you capture the beauty of Bhote Kosi river as you ride along its banks to Jiri. The best time for this ride is from August to December. Depending on which agency you pick, they may or may not include a short ride to Namo Buddha which is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site.
A Complete Tour of Nepal on Motorcycle
This is one of the best & most time-consuming and challenging rides in Nepal. Popular tour guides pick alternate routes and have varying range of days/time required for this tour. But the essence of motorcycling in Nepal remains simply awe-inspiring.
This tour covers around 1500 kilometres covering the bustling streets of Kathmandu, to the serene valleys of Pokhara and the mystic chants of Lumbini. This truly explores the magic of Nepal and the essence of all the cultures it holds dear. It is usually covered in 14-15 days with a total of 9-10 riding days.
It covers Kathmandu, Pokhara, Tatopani, Muktinath, Kalopani, Chitwan, Nagarkot, Last Resort and finally returning to Kathmandu. The trip familiarizes you with the absolutely magnificent architecture of Nepal and the old tribes and their cultures. A tour of Nepal promises a complete essence of the entire country with all its heritage and glory.
The trip also sets on to visit some of the oldest temples and some of the richest wild-life sanctuaries in terms of their flora and fauna. Allowing the best experience of Nepal, this is also one of the most expensive trips that can be made.
However, the wonderful experience of motorcycling in Nepal in the shadow of the Himalayas and traversing the country that act as a home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, make it all worth the price. Most groups insist on a Royal Enfield which is one of the matters you may have to look into while considering this trip.
The roads in Nepal aren’t in the best condition. The city areas are a little overcrowded and people regularly complain about the traffic. Kathmandu, being the capital of the country, is the major point of beginning for most trips.
It is however, in your best interest to be extremely careful on the streets of Kathmandu. Make sure you have a sturdy motorcycle and know exactly how to fix it if something goes unplanned. It is important to consider safety while motorcycling in Nepal, especially during the night.
Familiarize yourself with the area and always try to travel with a group. The localities are extremely friendly and always ready to help. When in doubt, you can always rely on them for help.
The best time to go motorcycling in Nepal in most of these places is from August to November, which is around the summer and autumn seasons. Visiting from February to April when the country enjoys its winters and spring could also be a great time to visit if you are keen on the snow.
While you are motorcycling in Nepal, make sure to carry road maps, spare bike parts, torches and extra cash to be safe. Be very particular about the legal documents in case the need arises.
Also check: Experience of Riding in Bhutan!
No matter how problematic motorcycling in Nepal gets due to the roads , the scenic beauty makes up for everything else in Nepal.