North India is a treat for the lovers of adventure sports for it provides endless trekking, hiking, mountaineering, and other such activities amidst its expansive mountain range. Cycling in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one such tour which has attracted a handsome number of tourists over the years.
Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh has an average altitude of 2000 ft and it extends from the foot of the Dhualadhar Range to the south of river Beas. The top-most summit on the Dhauladhar range which signifies the border between the valley and Chamba stretches to 15,956 ft.
Cherish a wonderful yet demanding cycling tour through the plush Chir pine forests, jeep tracks, bending streets, and the accompanying breath-taking Dhauladhar ranges. If you are starting you tour from McLeodganj, which is one of the most preferred spots to start the tour from, be ready to cycle through almost 260 km over 4-7 days depending upon your speed. Since the activity involves longer hours of physical activity, it is important for you to be fit and healthy to be doing this tour. If you plan this tour between October and March, be prepared to face harsh winter with temperatures falling to zero degrees at times. Pack woolen clothes including gloves, socks, boots, jackets, and caps.
A suggestive itinerary for the cycling tour can be:
Arrive at McLeodganj – Cycle from Mcleodganj to Shahpur to Jawali (64kms) – Cycle from Jawali to Ranital to Basecamp Andretta (69kms) – Cycle from Andretta to Paprola to Baijnath to Bir (58kms) – Cycle from Bir to Palampur (45kms), Drive from Palampur to Kangra (20kms)
This type of itinerary requires minimum 5 days, however, if you like to travel slow and plan to take breaks and rest in between, you can take up to as many days as you wish.
For accommodation, you can use hotels or pitch tents wherever possible like Pong Reservoir banks during Mcleodganj to Shahpur to Jawali and Basecamp Andretta.
The nearest airport to Kangra is Gaggal Airport, Dharamshala. It is 19 km from Kangra.
Nearest railhead is Patankhot near Kangra which is 90 km from the city of Kangra.
However, most treks to Kangra valley start at McLeodganj, Palampur, or Baijnath through the valleys and ultimately end at Chamba and Bharmaur, over the Dhauladhar Ranges.