An experience away from touristic paths
“I enjoyed the complete change of scenery and feeling constantly amazed as we delved deeper into off-the-beaten-track India,” Dominique told us. Our rider has just been on this motorbike holidays with a small group. It’s his second tour with Vintage Rides after visiting Nepal with us last year. “After Mustang, I wanted to do a tour with my wife and we fancied something calmer paced, which would also give us the chance to relax.”
Off we go!
The tour starts in New Delhi before a train ride to the small village, Orchha. The group meet in a beautifully decorated Maharaja palace, where the riders get better acquainted with their motorcycles, their trusty travel companions for the next ten days. Before setting off, the tour leader gives riders some tips about riding a Royal Enfield and the Indian rules of the road, which can seem unsettling at first. “When you first set off, everything surprises you. You have to pay full attention at all times, and then, before you know it, you start to enjoy riding in this country!”. The adventure starts on Madhya Pradesh’s superb roads, over rolling hills covered in savannah and vast wooded plateaux. Some easy off-road sections are great fun and help riders step –or ride– out of their comfort zones.
“On the road, we got caught up in a few rural traffic jams made up of herds of animals! The thousand-year-old palaces were spectacular and we were always very touched when we met locals in the villages."
Carved decoration & Eroticism
The extraordinary temples in Khajuraho astound all who visit, as they are easily some of the most beautiful in north India. The façades of the famous tenth-century erotic temples are covered in sculptures illustrating scenes from Indian mythology and some even more surprising motifs! Little by little, civilisation becomes scarcer, the road pushes deeper into nature and the group reaches the large wildlife sanctuaries. The riders stay in comfortable, luxury accommodation near each of the nature reserves.
An impressive tomcat
The star of Madhya Pradesh is the tiger! India is home to 70% of the world's tiger population and the good news is that tiger numbers have risen in recent years. The group spends two nights at each of the lodges in Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench, giving them plenty of time to go on safaris in search of the famous Bengal tiger. This region inspired Rudyard Kipling when he wrote The Jungle Book, especially Pench National Park, where Mowgli’s adventure unfolds. “We didn’t just spot one or two, we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of four!” Dominique chirped, still on cloud nine.