Planning a new bike trip? Trying to think of a new destination? Want to explore the unexplored? Well, if you haven’t been to the North-eastern states of India, you are missing out a major chunk of fabulous travelling experience in India. Encompassing ancient monasteries, dense forests, snow-capped mountains, glistening lakes, pristine valleys, cascading waterfalls and much more, Northeast India is truly a paradise on Earth. This is especially true for the bikers. A northeast India bike trip would let you experience the enthralling beauty of nature. Rather, a piece of paradise with a rare variety of flora and fauna which only the lucky ones can visit!
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Taking you one step closer to heaven, every adventurous biker must go on a North East trip at least once in their life to unveil the secrets of North East India! To make it easier and systematic, we have tried to present a detailed guide to help you with your Northeast India bike trip.
Read on to know:
- Map of Northeast India
- Best Time to Visit Northeast India
- Northeast Road Trip Routemaster
- Northeast India Bike Trip: Places to Visit
- The Soul-Stirring Seven Sisters
- Things to carry for the Northeast India Bike Trip
- Summing Up
Map of Northeast India
The Northeast India is the eastern most region of India and comprises of eight states – the contiguous Seven Sister States and the Himalayan state of Sikkim.
Best Time to Visit Northeast India
The best time to visit northeast India would be from the month of November to April. The whole north-eastern region of India is dominated by mountains and hills to a very large extent. This is why the climate generally remains cool. Weather-wise, Northeast is a fairly pleasant region with heavy rainfalls in the monsoons. So, maybe one would want to avoid taking a road trip in and around the Northeast vicinity from early weeks of June to the end of August.
Northeast India bike trip during the rainy season of June to August end must be avoided.
The weather is beautiful September onwards to October end and February to April when springtime is at its peak. The whole of Northeast looks attractively pretty with stretches of wild blossoms and a shade of dark green hue. It is also at these times that one might witness local cultural events and festivals like Bihu, Losar, Ambubachi Mela, Anthurium, and many others.
The Northeast India has tricky terrains. To challenge these terrains you need solid bike tires. Select the best motorcycle tires for a bike trip.
Northeast Bike Trip Routemaster
What makes the seven regions of Northeast India an ideal destination for road trips is its proximity to each other. All the states are closely knitted and one can easily trespass. A bike trip in Northeast India would take from 10 to 12 days. The weather is a tad bit erratic around this place. Hence, it would be prudent to keep a few extra days in hand, lest the elements get the better of you.
For people from outside of Northeast, New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is your gateway to the Northeast Niche of India. Reach NJP via train or road, get your bikes transported to the place and kick off your bike from there.
Also, it may so happen that to travel from one northeast state to another, you may have to cross through Guwahati or other parts of Assam several times. This is because, Assam sits right at the center of the Northeast region, surrounded by the other states.
Places to Visit in Northeast India
The Northeast India has a plethora of beautiful places to get awed by. These are spots remind you that nature and its children are do not care about the cosmopolitan evolution of the world. And you, too, would agree once you step into the Northeast nook.
Darjeeling: The Quaint Hill Station of India
Visiting the Seven Sisters is undoubtedly the highlight of the entire tour. But, your northeast India bike trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the north-eastern area of West Bengal, Darjeeling which is a part of the north-eastern region. You could begin your journey from West Bengal and then ride to Darjeeling. Located in the foothills of Himalayas, Darjeeling is the quaint, little and one of the most popular hill stations in India. April to June is the ideal time to visit the state but you could also visit the state anytime from October to December.
Quite renowned to have served as the summer getaway during British Raj period, Darjeeling is known for its famous toy trains, aromatic tea plantations and not to forget the breathtaking views of Mount Kanchenjunga in the backdrop. On your ride to Darjeeling, the beautiful tea plantations and stunning views would leave you amazed.
While in Darjeeling, do visit the Tiger Hills, the popular Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop, Peace Pagoda and the Rock Garden. Don’t forget to ride on the popular toy train. You could opt for bike rental in Darjeeling if you do not have your own bike.
An Unforgettable Trip to the Enchanting State of Sikkim
Sikkim popularly referred to as the brother state in north-east India offers the bikers the chance to explore the beauty of nature in its untouched form. It is undoubtedly one of the places to visit in northeast India. Once there, you would easily fall in love with the magnificent mountainous kingdom of Sikkim. Here, you would get the chance to enjoy a bike ride through the famous Nathula Pass which is one of the highest motorable roads at the height of 4, 310 meters.
While you are there, visit the capital city, Gangtok and explore Lake Tsomgo, Gurudongmar Lake, Rumtek Monastery, Zemu Glacier and Pemayangtse Monastery. On your way to exploring this beautiful state while on the Sikkim roads, you would appreciate the wondrous creations of nature and undoubtedly be amazed by it. Sikkim is, of course, the peaceful gateway for each and every traveler alike.
The Soul-Stirring Seven Sisters
Arunachal translates into the “land of dawn-lit mountains” and is a hidden gem which you would explore while biking across northeast India. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state of all seven sisters which has been truly blessed. The state is famous for its various kinds of orchids found here. On the Northeast India bike trip to Arunachal Pradesh, you would see that the state has 12 tourist circuits with each of these circuits has different topography, ethnicity, and vegetation.
All that riding on varied terrains can take a toll on your bike. Sometimes your bike may refuse to start, learn how to fix it.
The state has a varied culture with about 26 major tribes and offers sports like rafting and trekking for the adventure seekers. You might find homestay facilities in the state. April to June or October to March would be the best time to visit this state. While you are there, explore the natural beauty of Tawang – the largest monastery in the India; second to the world-largest Lhasa Monastery in Tibet, and the birthplace of Dalai Lama.
If you visit during the month of September to October, you would get the chance to be a part of the famous Ziro music festival.
Assam is that one state in India which is rich in flora and fauna and has the Brahmaputra and its tributaries flowing through the state. The state is all about good feels and positive vibes. The state, famous for its archaeological sites and vast tea plantations is truly a rider’s paradise. The state is also home to one of the greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kaziranga National Park which you must visit on your northeast India road trip.
While there encounter one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park and enjoy boating in Dawki River near the Indo-Bangladesh border. Your trip to Assam would take you through beautiful roads and get to experience the stunning beauty of nature.
Meghalaya remaining true to its name is indeed an abode of clouds, which became renowned for being home to the cleanest village in Asia, Mawlynnong. The state is considered as the Scotland of East since the British Rule and the northeast bike tour to this state wouldn’t disappoint you. While in Meghalaya for your northeast India bike trip, you would ride past cascading waterfalls and lush greenery on both sides of the road.
Other than those, the state is filled with natural attractions like the living root bridge and some of the longest caves in Asia. Other attractions include Laitlum Canyon, Balpakram National Park, Umiam Lake, and more. The state would definitely cast its magical spell on your bike trip.
Manipur, popular for offering natural marvels in abundance and being a multicultural society, the state is truly a hidden gem of North-east India. It is often referred to as the country’s Switzerland of the East and a bike ride to this state would let you enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna. Referred to as the land of festivals, Manipur is also renowned for its indigenous games, majestic hills, rich traditions and culture, handicrafts and handlooms, and martial arts.
While you are there in the stunning state, Taste Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)- hottest pepper in the world. Don’t forget to shop at Khwairamband Bazaar – a local market with a matriarchal setting and run wholly by women. The trip to Manipur would ensure that you have an unforgettable north east India road trip.
For the people who are truly attracted towards natural beauty, Nagaland evokes a sense of wonder and awe. Nagaland's colorful culture and life is an integral part of the 16 Naga tribes living in the state. The state experiences monsoon climate largely with high humidity levels. While on your northeast tour to Nagaland, you would be welcomed by a large variety of flora and fauna and might even be able to spot the Great Indian Hornbill which is one of the famous birds of the state.
It is also quite popular for its colorful, vibrant and lively festivals which celebrate the diverse traditions and cultures of its tribes. If you visit during December, you would get to be a part of the Hornbill festival. The state is an epitome of striking beauty, magnificent mountains, lush greenery and quixotic valleys. A bike ride to this state would truly bedazzle you.
Popular as the “land of the hill people”, Mizoram isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience in itself. Most of the bikers on the north east India road trip are attracted to Mizoram because of its pleasant climate and dramatic landscape. The ride through the mighty mountains which are nestled in north-south ways and numerous narrow rivers is truly breathtaking. Mizoram does offer countless opportunities to bikers to quench their wanderlust.
If you visit the state during the spring season, you would get the chance to be a part of the Chapchar Kut Spring Festival which is Mizoram’s oldest festival. While you are there do visit the Palak Lake, Murlen National Park, Phawngpui Hills, Dampa Tiger Reserve, Vantawng Falls and Luangmual Handicrafts Centre.
Tripura, popularly known as the Queen of Eastern Hills is surrounded on all sides by the deltaic region of Bangladesh. While biking across northeast India to Tripura, you would be surprised by the natural beauty of this place. The place isn’t quite as popular in terms of tourism as compared to all the other states in the north-east. The artistic and royal places and the enchanting temples of the state are yet to receive the attention that it deserves. On your bike trip, you would be going past ten major rivers which flow through the state.
While you are there, do visit the royal Ujjayanta Palace which would take you back into the historical past of Tripura. While you are there, do visit Neermahal, Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary, Unakoti, Jagannath Bari, Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura Government Museum, and more.
Things to carry for the Northeast India Bike Trip
Before heading out on the northeast India road trip, you would need to make a list of all the things that you are going to need. We have listed down a below a list of basic things which you are going to need for the trip. You might add a few things as per your requirement but remember that you are going to be riding a bike.
- A sturdy rucksack as that would be the most favorable option when riding a bike
- Clothing (You would need to pack clothes according to the weather conditions. But, when going on the northeast tour, do pack some warm clothes. You are going to be riding in hilly areas which are generally cold) Check out our Buying Guide for Riding Gears!
- Safety Gears (The riding gear is compulsory both for the rider and the pillion rider) which includes Jackets, Full face helmet, biking gloves, elbow pads and knee pads (You could get this on rental basis is opting for a rental bike), a basic bike repairing kit in case of emergencies, boots, and boot covers
- Four copies of your ID proof (Voter ID card or Aadhar Card) for all the members
- At least two printouts of the Itinerary Northeast India bike trip
- A valid driving license of the rider
- All the important documents of your bike in case you are bringing your own
- Copy of visa, passport and the international driver’s permit for the foreign nationals
- Mobile charger, Powerbank, camera
- Sunglasses, zip-lock bags, safety pins
- Water Bottle, lock for your bags, pen, and a small diary
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, and cold cream
- First aid kit and personal medicine kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Energy bars to keep you going
- Other than these, pack essential toiletries and you would be good to go.
There’s one thing that’s absolutely true – Northeast India doesn’t deserve the attention that it should. However, the northeast region of India is, undoubtedly, one of the most intriguing parts of the country. With a bike trip to Northeast India, you would get to experience the charm and beauty that this region exhibits.
Get ready for the trip of your lifetime, this one is surely on our bucket list!