“Turn on, tune in, Drop out” It was 1967 – the Summer of Love – and Timothy Leary had this advice for his young followers at the Human Be-In taking place in San Francisco. War was raging in SE Asia, the Civil Rights Movement was spreading throughout the USA, the Cold War was at its height and all around the world young people were looking for a new approach to life. Many of them headed to India to explore new spiritual possibilities. Now, half a century later, we invite you to pedal the Hippie Trail from New Delhi to Goa.
Follow in the footsteps of the flower children and cycle into a physical and spiritual kaleidoscope. Experience the incredible sights, sounds and smells of the country from the seat of your bike. Bed down for the night in converted forts, palaces and heritage hotels and enjoy some of the finest regional Indian cuisines available. Cyclists will pedal past the Taj Mahal; pass through the colourful desert cities of Rajasthan; marvel at the wonders of Mandu, Ajanta & Ellora; spend a couple days exploring the bustling metropolis of Mumbai; and relax on the pristine, empty beaches of the undiscovered Konkan Coast.
The hippies of the 1960’s and ’70’s headed to India in the hopes of gaining a new spiritual understanding, of undergoing new experiences, of seeing their world in a new light. We feel confident in saying that if you join us cycling the Hippie Trail, you will do just that.
Hippie Trail cyclists should arrive in New Delhi a few days before the start of the expedition in order to explore the city’s numerous attractions: Red Fort, Qutb Minar, Jama Masjid & many others. The ride begins with a 2 day jaunt south to Agra and the Taj Mahal before turning west into Rajasthan – the ‘Land of the Kings’ – and a series of mystical Rajput cities: Jaipur and its historic Pink City; Puskar, home to over 500 temples and a surprising large number of modern ‘hippies’; Jodhpur – the ‘Blue City’ and home to the imposing Meherangarh Fort; and Udaipur with its picture-perfect setting on the banks of Lake Pichola.
Along the way riders will spin along little-traveled desert roads meandering through picturesque rural villages. The cyclists will also experience the delights of exclusive hidden gems like the Roopangarh Fort Hotel and little-known Fort Dhamli.
Pedaling south out of Udaipur, the cyclists will spend a decadent night in Dungarpur at the Udai Bilas Palace before crossing into Madhya Pradesh and through some undiscovered areas: smoky towns distinguished by their lack of noise, save curious murmurs from children, the rhythmic slap of a woman washing laundry against a stone, and the plod, jingle and rattle of the ox drawn carts. At times these villages will give way to scenes of severe austerity, rocky hills hosting little more than dry scrub and grass.
Riders will be treated to 3 spectacular rest days: Mandu – a city of remarkable splendour, with sprawling palaces, elegant mosques and impressive forts, all guarded by a series of stone turrets and gates; Ajanta – a series of caves set along a U-shaped river gorge featuring incredible Buddhist religious art; and Ellora – Hindu, Jain, Buddhist temples and monasteries cut out of of the Charanandri Hills. The Hippie Trail then heads west, pausing in the popular hill station of Matheran where riders can gaze out over the plains of Maharashtra before spinning down towards the Arabian Sea.
The section ends with a gorgeous ferry ride across the water to the formidable Gateway of India and the country’s commercial and entertainment hub, Mumbai.
Hippie Trail cyclists will bid farewell to the fascinating city of Mumbai, enjoying a beautiful ride across the harbour to begin their week-long trip along the Konkan Coast. This coastal stretch is a hidden treasure and India’s best kept cycling secret (but not for long!): pristine, empty, white sand beaches, stunning seaside views, quaint ferry crossings, rolling hills, villages, coconut groves, banana palms and the dominating shade of the mango tree.
The route is broken up by a rest day in sleepy Ganapatiphule where riders can enjoy the ocean breezes, a sunset walk along the town’s endless golden sandy beach or a visit to the local Ganesh temple. Three more days of cycling take us to Panjim, the capital of Goa and the historic end of the Hippie Trail.
Cyclists can celebrate the completion of their 2-wheeled journey here by exploring the evocative ruins of Old Goa or heading to any one of the area’s stunning beaches.