Three must do motorcycle routes in Northeast India

Where do to go next once you are done with Leh – Ladakh? Motorcyclist around the country are now flocking to the new frontier of adventure biking in India – the Northeast. Here are a few popular motorcycle circuits in the Northeast of India.

The Dalai Lama Trail

Guwahati – Mazbat – Dirang – Tawang– Zemithang

Guwahati is the major port in the Northeast so it is convenient to either ship in your motorcycle or rent one. This circuit starts from Guwahati in Assam and goes deep into the land of Monpas in western Arunachal Pradesh till the Tibet/Chinese border. The route passes through endless tea gardens in Mazbat and the beautiful Dirang valley full of orchards. You will also cross Sela pass – one of the highest in this part of the country. Sometimes during peak winters, the roads get blocked due to snow. Make sure you are aware of the weather forecast whilst you plan a trip there.

Once you have reached Tawang, take time to explore the beautiful hill town, its massive monastery, before riding on to a small little village called Zemithang in the border with Bhutan and China. You are essentially taking the same route that Dalai Lama took while he escaped from Tibet. The circuit will take around ten days starting and ending in Guwahati.

Asia Highway 1

Guwahati – Kaziranga – Kohima – Imphal – Moreh

The much talked about Asia Highway that is supposed to join India with East Asia is now functional. If you have the necessary documents and clearances, you can ride your motorcycle all the way to Thailand.

You can start from Guwahati, riding to Kaziranga National Park on the first day. While you are there, take some time off to see the famed one horned rhinoceros.  After the flatlands of Assam, you will enter into hilly Nagaland. You would need Inner Line Permits to visit Nagaland so apply ahead. From Kohima you will ride into Imphal – capital of Manipur and then the next day you can ride up to the Indo Burma border town of Moreh. On your return, instead of going back the same way, you can turn towards Mokokchung after Kohima. Then you can ride to Dibrugarh in Assam the next day and end your tour there. The circuit will take you anywhere between 12 to 15 days.

The Rainy Circuit

Guwahati – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Dawki

This is one of the short and sweet rides that you can do in less than a week. This ride too starts from Guwahati to the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong. From there you will travel deep into Khashi hills to some of the wettest places on earth. Cherrapunji and nearby Mawsynram have the distinction of being the wettest place on earth. From there, you will ride to the Indo Bangladesh border to witness the stark differences in the landscape. After spending a night in camps on the banks of crystal clear UmgotRiver, you will finally ride back to Guwahati via Jowai in the Jaintia Hills.

The whole circuit can be done in 4-5 days in total. But you can take time off here and there to see some of the incredible scenes nature has to offer.

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