It's not every day when one gets the chance to ride across the country on their own two wheels. That's exactly how I kickstart my new adventure, where I rode over 1500 kms, passing 4 states across a span of 5 exciting days.
This episode of the series shows you Kolkata through my eyes, in the short time I had in the bustling city. Trams, yellow cabs and boats are some of the ways I travelled here, all the while giving me a chance to indulge in the madness of this place.
After spending some quality time in Kolkata, I hop on my Royal Enfield Himalayan to get the long-awaited journey started! We travel through the state of West Bengal through Malda and eventually to Siliguri.
It's a beautiful day here in Siliguri, West Bengal as I set out to continue this ride on my Royal Enfield Himalayan. I cross the famous Coronation Bridge and enter the more scenic part of the state, but all that comes to a sudden halt. My initial plan was to cross over into the state of Assam and ride further on.
But it seems I cannot continue further.
It's been a few days since my ride had to come to a stumbling halt. Fortunately, I find a Royal Enfield service centre a few kilometres away from me! So I get my RE Himalayan on a tow truck and head to the small town by the name of Birpara in West Bengal.
Days of repair and ordering parts from around means I have some downtime for myself - to refresh and take a dip in a river. But does this all mean that there's a chance we can continue?
We are finally back on the saddle of my Royal Enfield Himalayan, excited to continue this journey forward! After 3 days of working on the repairs of my bike in a small town in West Bengal, we move further.
Assam is on the horizon, and I'm so excited for what's to come!
Finally, after riding 2500 kilometres through India, we are in the dreamland called Meghalaya! On our first night in this beautiful mountainous state, we pitch our tent under the open sky and camp in Ri Bhoi.
Just the perfect start for our moto camping adventure in Meghalaya!
I wake up to a perfect camp morning in Meghalaya. The plan is simple: Ride to Shillong, while checking out the massive Umiam Lake on the way. So, I take my time to pack up camp and ride on the beautiful tarmac of this beautiful northeastern state of India!
Did you know India had its own Grand Canyon? No, right? Well, here in Shillong, located 24 km away from the main city, lies a site of astounding beauty - Laitlum Canyon.
So, come join me for yet another amazing day of exploration on our moto camping trip in Meghalaya!
Episode 10 - Part 1
The next thing on the itinerary after two days in Shillong was to camp at Phe Phe falls. The beauty of this campsite is that it is bang in the middle of a beautiful stretch of tarmac along the Shillong-Dawki route. You know it's a great day when your greatest objective in the day is to find a nice spot to camp. Not much to ask for if you're in Meghalaya.
Part two of this episode sees us waking up to a breathtaking view from my camp here at Phe Phe Falls. We first check out nearby local attractions like the Thlumuwi stone bridge and the Thlumuwi waterfalls. Then finally, we head to check out the majestic Phe Phe Falls of Meghalaya!
We camp along the white sand bank of India's cleanest river of Dawki in Meghalaya. The Umngot river is where all the action is, with water so clear that it's almost invisible! The village of Darrang becomes our home for a couple of days, where the sun is so magnificent that even the dogs want to sleep around all day. Welcome to tropical Meghalaya!
Next up on this journey of mine moto camping through Meghalaya, I ride to Mawlynnong which is dubbed as Asia's cleanest village! So we do some exploring around and end up at the beautiful living root bridge to watch some breathtaking landscape!
I'm off from Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya to my next destination, which happens to be Cherrapunjee (Sohra). When I started out, I didn't know that this will be my best day (yet) of motorcycle riding across Meghalaya. The jaw-dropping scenery and beautiful roads are what make this ride to Cherrapunjee worth every second!
After Shillong, Cherrapunji is perhaps one of the most famous spots in Meghalaya. But, I wanted to sway away from the standard 'tourist places' and do some exploring of my own. So we get on with a rather special day, trekking up to the famed double-decker living root bridge of Nohwet village, and then discovering the Mawsmai Cave and spending a relaxed evening against the rolling hills of Cherrapunji!
We continue on our moto camping adventure from Cherrapunji and ride to a rather unexplored part of Meghalaya to camp inside the Mawphlang Sacred Forest. We set up our tent right at the edge of the valley and hike deep inside the sacred forest, learning ancient tales about the rituals that were held here and the nature that lives here. Probably the best camping experience of my life so far here in Mawphlang!
After camping for two days inside the Mawphlang Sacred Forest, I move ahead on my moto camping adventure in Meghalaya. Beautiful landscapes, fine tarmac and a spectacular winter sun are all things I have with me, but what I don't have is a plan of where I'll end up next. And that's how I end up on Nongkhnum Island.
I wake up on Nongkhnum River Island, amongst beautiful golden hues and acres of winter grass. By now, I have ridden for more than 5,500 km across the width of the country to make this series possible and have spent some of the most memorable times exploring the beauty of the state of Meghalaya.
After about more than a month on the road, motorcycle camping through Meghalaya, it is time to call curtains on my time in this beautiful state.