A Solo Bike Trip: Delhi to Kanyakumari
Why is there a new hymn about the journey and not the destination? What does it take to be a traveler? What does it take to travel six thousand km on a bike? These are the few questions apart from managing funds, putting a month’s leave from office at stake, convincing your parents, and believing in yourself to accomplish a dream. So in between all this fuss, it was my time to travel from Delhi to Kanyakumari, my dream trip. With two days of planning for surviving twenty days on the bike from only here to there. With a beautiful start from the Arawalis of Rajasthan, sunset at Daman, kissing the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, riding from the Deccans, through the streets of Kerala, arriving at the Southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari; A destination of not dreams but a journey above the dreams. Yes, it looks haphazard because the trip was too unplanned, but filled with adrenaline, with always decreasing fuel level and my pocket, but the enthusiasm was always there. It was all about the roads, my riding capacity, and my excitement to get the answers to so many questions. Now let’s not dig to the answers but the journey of finding these answers!!
December 19, 2020: Day 0
Place: Jaipur-Delhi (252 Km)
Highway Food Joint: Old Rao Hotel
There is always a day 0 for any journey. This was the preparation day for the upcoming 6k kilometers. I had to go to my home in Delhi to collect the trip accessories (tent, sleeping bag, necessary tools) as my whole trip was dependent on it. Delhi-Jaipur highway was blocked due to farmers protest, my hopes to reach Delhi were shattering the closer I was traveling to the protest site, my bike (or my companion) kept me moving ahead until we found a small diversion and alas reached our destination. I went directly to buy saddlebags to carry more stuff for the trip, including a tent. After purchasing and collecting the trip accessories, I packed all my stuff and got my baby ready for our upcoming adventure. The next day, again, I had to travel back to Jaipur, my hometown. This route is now a local street ride for me as almost every weekend, I find myself riding Delhi-Jaipur-Delhi.
December 20, 2020 Day 1
Place: Delhi-Jaipur (252 km)
Highway Food Joint: Hotel Highway King
A sudden trip brings sudden problems. As soon as I started the ride, within 15 km, the saddlebag on the right got burnt because of the exhaust, along with the tent inside. This ride brought so many thoughts about travel, trails, sceneries, life, and wife, because of which I missed the turn to enter Jaipur city. Here the cost-saving shoes (not the riding ones but the industrial safety shoes🤣) were the next significant pain, and sooner I realized that I could not ride on these shoes. This is how I started my trip!
December 21, 2020 Day 2
Place: Jaipur–Kumbhalgarh (336 Km)
Hotel Stay: Kumbhalgarh Safari Camp (Stay in Swiss tents; Cost: ₹4600)
Here in Jaipur, day 2 became day -1 in the search to find appropriate riding shoes. The pitstop was like Haas, not Redbull; it went long. The day went in finding shoes, doing bike’s RSA, insurance renewal, pollution check, repairing saddle bags, emergency light, swiss knife (safety first), and what not! After all the primary stuff, the trip began to the first destination Kumbhalgarh viewing one of the best sunsets. That evening’s highlight was about following a beautiful bird, flying in the soar high, spreading its wings in the sky. It felt like the universe is arranging itself to make it happen for me. The roads were excellent to ride, and then the day and ride ended at the Kumbhalgarh Safari Camp, where my sister with her family was waiting for me. The day was over, but not the fuss about the unplanned things as I carried a backup phone, but alas, I forgot its password 🤦♂️.
December 22, 2020 Day 3
Place: Kumbhalgarh-Vadodara (421 Km)
A so and so ride! Nothing major happened during the ride apart from rushing thoughts. I had a pitstop at my relative’s place, where I had the fantastic Gujarati food. For me, Vadodara is about excellent food, the hell of traffic, and a lovely conversation with them. While telling about my trip plans to my Grandma, she shared her memories about her travel days to Goa and Kanyakumari and reliving it again on that evening. The fascinating thing was that her entire trip costed ₹102, with one time meal costing 50 paise. Now, in 2020-21, that same route is costing ₹102,000 ( approx. 😜). Also, the backup phone is still not repaired.
December 23, 2020 Day 4
Place: Vadodara-Daman (257 km)
Now the journey had taken a pace. It was a fantastic ride as I reached Jampore Beach, Daman. The timing was perfect for the much-awaited sunset time lapse. So I started pitching my tent for a night stay on the beach. It was all going smooth as I was resting in my tent, then came the guest, the patrolling team peeping in my tent, blinding my eyes with the flashlight. With a bit of interrogation about me, my bike, my trip and my overnight stay here, they asked me ‘aren’t you scared of ghosts?’, to which I replied ‘ maybe not ghosts, but humans for sure!’. with their concern about safety and enough of my convincing, we agreed that I should find a new place to stay; indeed the beach ghosts didn’t like me. The pain of being a bachelor had triggered again when the hoteliers denied giving a room to me for the same reason until I got one place that was perfect for a bachelor on a road trip, a creepy Hotel in some corner of the city.
December 24, 2020 Day 5
Place: Daman-Mumbai-Pune (280 km)
Highway Food Joint: Hotel Jalaram in Talasari
From Daman, I proceeded towards Mumbai and witnessed the most special Mumbai thing, the traffic. I trusted the GPS and went on to the Mumbai-Pune expressway on my bike. The bikes are not allowed on the expressway, and hence once again, I had an encounter with Police. But I have already started to like them more than ever. He did not ask for any fine and guided me to go through the diversion to reach Pune. During the ride, I thought to add new partners to my solo trip 😜. The firsts were my work friends living in Pune with whom I planned to go to Goa, and the others were my parents with whom I thought to meet in Kerala to celebrate the new year. The running odometer and my mind were engaged in planning these add-ons while I reached Pune. Reaching my friend’s home, I was more than a dead person. After a nap, it was time for Goaaa!
December 25, 2020 Day 6
Place: Pune-Goa (252 Km)
Bikes are awesome, It is a universal fact, but everyone has their own reasons. My six other friends left for Goa in their car while I joined them. I started the ride four hours after they left and reached one hour before. In between the route, I witnessed the love people have for Pune-Goa road trips with its scenic journey. While I arrived, there was something different in Goa’s air as it was Christmas eve. It was more lit, more beautiful, and more lively. After reaching Goa, there was a halt to the running thoughts in my mind and start to enjoy the time with friends.
December 26, 2020 Day 7
Place: Dudhsagar Falls, Goa (88 Km)
The most debatable thing about Goa is North ya South! Above all, I prefer South Goa as there you witness more adventure, unexplored beaches, less crowded, and remain closer to nature. This time, It was North Goa, as my friends insisted. It was all about chilling with friends, walking on sand, witnessing the drowning sun in the dusk, and thinking a lot about life. Yes, everyone feels the same in Goa; above the daily skirmish, there was a sense of breath for me this time.
Then, the new adventure awaiting was Dudhsagar waterfalls. I have been to Dudhsagar before, but through the road trek and always wanted to go via train(Chennai Express on my mind!). I was lucky this time as the train booking agent came directly to us as we reached the Jeep booking office in Kulem town. I was overwhelmed, and we made the booking. We boarded the train at Kulem Station. It felt more like a bus as the guide was able to stop the train anywhere in between. We witnessed the beautiful waterfalls from the train journey, and then we had a small trek from the train station to the falls. It was an amazing short trek between the forest, stream, and finally, to the falls. We had great fun at the falls; the water was cold and truly rejuvenated all of us. While returning from the falls, it was late evening, and we could easily see the shining moonlight getting reflected through the falls. The scene was true to the name of Dudhsagar. Mesmerized by the place, we enjoyed the sight and silence in the midst of the falling water until we realized we should leave now and get back to life; boarding station! While walking back we had to pass a tunnel, while there we saw a train coming towards us, and a little frightened about being stuck in the tunnel and waiting to witness the dragging force of the train, we heard someone shouting at us, and while that the train moving towards us stopped, that’s when we saw our guide was calling us to board the train or as I would say the engine. This time the pictures cannot describe our experience; it was above glare and flare!
December 27, 2020 Day 8
Place: Goa–Udupi-Mangalore (387 km)
Hotel Stay: Bombay Residency (Cost: ₹999)
Food Joint: Rajasthani Thali House
After the fantastic time in Goa, it was time to go towards Udupi and Mangalore. This route was different from others, as I witnessed many bikers group. The Deccan roads were terrific to ride, having its glory with cool sea breeze and full of greenery, a perfect start to southern India’s entry. The icing on the cake was this excellent Rajasthani food on the way towards Mangalore from Udupi. At Udupi, while searching for a cloakroom to keep my baggage and visit the beach and being unable to find any, I reached a dead end and had an encounter with a person from Myanmar who was literally drunk. It was fun to talk to him; he was amazed when I told him that I am coming from Delhi. He helped me to get my bike out. Later, I rushed back to visit Malpe Beach and shot this marvelous sunset timelapse.
December 28, 2020 Day 9
Place: Mangalore-Palakkad (354 Km)
Hotel Stay: Nalanda Inn (Cost: ₹706)
After my night stays in Mangalore, today’s day was planned for Adiyogi, but I had to work from home, and so I was behind schedule for the first time on the trip. The day became more challenging as going behind schedule was not enough, and l had a small accident. One irony was that my friend suggested I should shoot a bike riding time-lapse of the trip, so I set up my mobile mount on the bike and started to record. I just rode 5 km ahead and met with the accident. The other person was a localite and eventually started to quarrel, but lucky enough, I had the video recorded, and that’s what worked to calm him down as he saw that it was his mistake. I stayed at Palakkad that evening and decided to go to Adiyogi the next morning.
December 29, 2020 Day 10
Place: Palakkad-Kochi-Alleppey (186 Km)
Hotel Stay: House Boat, Boat Jetty Road (Cost of per house boat, 6 beds: ₹6380)
I woke up late, as the last day had too many incidents of its own, and skipped visiting Adiyogi that day and planned it for the return journey. I had to reach Kochi to meet my parents there to join me for the trip ahead. Well, if you don’t give time to your bike’s health, she eventually takes it on her own. The accident yesterday not only pushed me to service my bike but also to give some rest to both of us. So, I gave the bike to the BMW service center at Kochi for the next 4 days until my trip with my parents. I met my parents, and then we went to Alleppey. I had booked a houseboat for us, the views were wondrous, and we also got the opportunity to drive the houseboat; it was a fun experience. Mom being mom, brought me homemade food that day, and of course, I relished it the most.
December 30, 2020 Day 11
Place: Alleppey-Poovar-Kanyakumari (247 Km)
Hotel Stay: Hotel Shri Devi (Cost of 3: ₹2318)
The day starts with a beautiful morning, waking up in the boat with the mesmerizing sound of birds, delicious breakfast (I’m not an idli fan, but I can say I had the best idli of my life on the houseboat). Yes, it actually felt like we woke up in God’s own country. We went for the boat ride in the backwaters. I tested my photography skills and ended up clicking 800 photos during the one hour ride
We left for Poovar backwaters then and witnessed the fantastic greenery of mangrove forests. The Poovar beach is not much commercialized as other beaches but is one of India’s famous golden beaches, having a meeting point of backwater and seawater, and you can easily witness that.
Later in the evening, we reached Kanyakumari and checked-in to our hotel. The hotel stay didn’t go well with us. Eventually, it was a full moon night, so we walked down to witness Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue’s beauty under the moonlight. The entire aura was too good and worthy for all this journey.
December 31, 2020 Day 12
Place: Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram (98 Km)
Hotel Stay: Treebo Trend Highness Inn (Cost of 3: ₹2436)
Food Joint: Mothers Veg Plaza
With the first boat ride, we went to the Vivekananda Rock memorial. I had an important office meeting, so I attended it from the memorial itself while enjoying the cold breeze from the sea. It was a great feeling, as I accomplished the trust I had in myself, that I could complete my journey from Delhi to Kanyakumari and gain one of the most awaited lifetime experiences; but also I did miss my bike because it felt incomplete here without her.
Heading back to the city lights, Thiruvananthapuram was all perfect, right from sightseeing, beaches, hotel, and food, I lived to the most. The Sadhya Meal at Mothers Veg Plaza was the highlight here. The restaurant owner was very friendly and wholeheartedly served us the food; he helped us know more about the cuisine and its health benefits. It was a cloudy day, and hence we missed the last sunset of the year. It was a great time with mom and dad, as we ended the day and the year with beautiful memories and experiences.
January 1, 2021 Day 13
Place: Thiruvananthapuram–Munnar (283 Km)
Hotel Stay: Le Celestium (Cost of 3: ₹3165)
Highway Food Joint: Clay Oven, Aluva – Munnar Rd
The return journey started as we moved from Thiruvananthapuram to Munnar while witnessing scenic tea estates and pleasant waterfalls. The houses along the way were so beautiful that, like any other Indian family, we decided that this place would be an appropriate one to move to after retirement.
January 2, 2021 Day 14
Place: Munnar-Kochi (129 Km)
Hotel Stay: Hotel Abad, Fort Kochi (Cost of 3: ₹1972)
The day started with the local sightseeing of Munnar, and I have to admit that it is no more like it was when I visited 5 years ago. It has now become a place to visit by local bikers. I saw a clear example of how commercializing ruins the essence of a place, but for parents, as it was their first visit, they enjoyed there. I was profoundly disappointed, and so our driver suggested a diversion. It was an off-road drive through the Munnar village, witnessing various plantations (cocoa, black pepper, cardamom, etc.), waterfalls, and scenic views. There was a sense of relief from there, and then it was time to be back to Kochi and collect my bike from the service center. As it was the last night of the trip with my parents, I did some luggage shuffling and handed half of my luggage to my parents to take by to Jaipur as now I have completed more than half of my trip!
January 3, 2021 Day 15
Place: Kochi-Adiyogi-Tumkur (556 Km)
Hotel Stay: C N V Chambers, Tumkur (Cost: ₹1250)
Highway Food Joint: Vegetarea – 24 Hours Vegetarian Restaurant, Maddur
It was time to say goodbye to my parents and start my return journey. Today’s target was to visit Adiyogi and to reach Coimbatore. But as I arrived very early to Adiyogi, so I had to decide where to go next. I checked Pune on GPS, which was around 1150 Km, and thought of riding in that direction until the day ends. Well, I was not aware of the scenic beauty which was coming my way for the next 250 Km. I would say that was the most beautiful ride I ever had. The narrow roads crossing through the farms, Tiger reserve dense forest, 27 steep hairpin bends, and reconnecting with my bike made this journey very adventurous. After riding for six hours, I was starving and so decided to take a pitstop in Maddur. There I tried finding hotels for a night’s stay but didn’t find any budget ones. Since Pune was still 900 Km from there, I decided to cover some more miles to reduce the kilometers for the next day. I covered another 100 km and reached Tumkur and found a good budget hotel including breakfast to stay there. At the end of this day, In the back of the mind, I was planning to do the remaining 800 km to Pune by the next day. Yes, it was challenging but achievable, and also, it would be the longest ride (in terms of distance) in a day I have ever ridden.
Route Information: Adiyogi – Thonda Madampatti Rd – NH181 – Sirumugai Rd – Mettupalayam – Cuddalore Rd – NH948 – Maddur
January 4, 2021 Day 16
Place: Tumkur-Pune (801 Km)
This day was an important one for me as a rider, to achieve the maximum of my capabilities. The breakfast at the hotel was a fulfilling start. The day was mine, and so were the smooth roads as I drove 800 km in 9 hours to finally reach Pune. Fantastic weather, beautiful highway, and great ambiance led me to attain this new milestone.
January 5-7, 2021 Day 17-19
As last night, I reached Pune. Now it was the time to straighten my back and just be on the couch all day. I stayed in Pune for three days, met friends, and relaxed. That relaxation period was much needed. Now my mind was a lot free than before, and I did not keep any schedule to reach any place.
January 8, 2021 Day 20
Place: Pune-Ratlam (661 Km)
After stretching an 800 km ride and 3 days of relaxing, my endurance level was increased. I drove 650 km in a stretch and reached Ratlam. Here, I met my uncle and stayed with him.
January 9 – 10, 2021 Day 21-22
Place: Ratlam-Neemuch-Udaipur (273 Km)
With my uncle, we traveled to Neemuch from Ratlam. Here I met his family after a long time. My aunt prepared enjoyable food; it felt like I’m having homemade food after years now. I had a plan to stay there for the night, but since Udaipur was just 130 Km (Yes ‘just’ since after achieving the 800 Km stretch, it felt doable), my sister and little nephew called and asked me to come over. During the start of my journey also, I met them at Kumbhalgarh. My entire trip was about places and people! Also, I started feeling sad as the journey was reaching its end destiny.
January 11, 2021 Day 23
Place: Udaipur – Jaipur (390 Km)
Highway Food Joint: New Jammu Himachal restaurant
Meeting my little nephew always makes me feel happy. With that feeling of happiness, I rode back to Jaipur, my home. On the way, I had Bajre-ka-choorma from a highway Dhaba called ‘New Jammu Himachal Dhaba’; it needs a special mention for its authenticity.
January 12-14, 2021 Day 24-26
Back to pitstop 1, my home. It was all about resting and sharing the feeling of gratitude with everyone who was a part of this trip physically or virtually. I spent Makar Sankranti with my family and school friends as it’s an important festival for Jaipurites.
January 15, 2021 Day 27
Place: Jaipur-Delhi (252 Km)
After traveling from North-South-North, my confidence in riding has increased, but new obstructions were waiting for me. The farmer’s agitation was loud than before, and in between Jaipur-Delhi Highway, there was a blockage at 3 locations. Anyhow after some struggle, I was able to reach Delhi.
With that comes the end to this Journey, which I could say a treat of India’s Western Coast. The feeling of calmness I felt after the end is inexpressible. After all, this planning, execution, encounters, and finally ending it all sums up to be perfect!
There is a time in life, where you need to explore not just the places but also yourself. You dream of traveling, doing the backpacking, and riding long. After doing almost that so-called cool stuff, I see my bike and gears. I can sense the aura of the places where I went by seeing the marks on my gears and dust on my bike. Sooner this dust will be covered by new dust, these marks will be fashioned by new, but my memories, courage, and dream to explore and travel will remain!
Time passing along the traveler,
I hope someone’s wait along this traveler!
₹ 91538 and 6013 km, these digits will remain with me might be forever but surely for long. As my trip cost me this much and while writing the post, my credit card deadline is near, these digits are like a fresh wound or kiss. Expenses vary with an individual, but a smooth, comfortable trip will somewhat cost around this much. The trip was planned solo, but after the trip, I can conclude it was not. My bike expenses were almost half. The bike’s RSA and preparation stuff cost have been taken only 60% of the amount spent. There is different math while taking 60%, as in general average run of the bike is 10k km a year, and the trip was 6K km. Hence this calculation comes from this thought. Do remember when planning such trips, the money will come and go, but the time always passes away.
You can find more details about the Budget Below.
Eastern Coast of India, you are next……!!