The Himalayas

Riding among the Giants

Himalayas: our iconic photograph
Himalayas: our iconic photograph
The Himalayan Range covers many countries such as Bhutan, Tibet, India and Nepal. Rising to over 8800M there many such giants to be encountered on a ride through these remote, challenging and awe inspiring destinations. 

There are also obstacles to overcome on a ride among these lofty peaks. Altitude is one of the major factors, in addition roads in these far flung places can easily be ruined by landslides or rains. 

Due to their remoteness they are hard to maintain all year round with many passes and valleys shut off to the outside world for parts of the year.

Himalayas - At the highest point of the Khardung La pass.
Preserved cultures abound with different regions giving way to different faiths and peoples. There are the Hindu temples of India with the gods of India adorning their walls. 

The Dragon people of Bhutan a land known for its ‘gross national happiness’, a people keen on building a world of sustainable tourism, protecting the beauty of their land and controlling the numbers of visitors per year. 

Buddhists, prayer wheels and shrines such as the 108 Chortens or Stupas as seen on the Dochula pass when riding between Thimpu and Punahka.  
Punakha Dzong. Dzongs are distinctive type of fortified monastery architecture found mainly in Bhutan and Tibet. This is the second oldest and second-largest dzong in Bhutan.
Punakha Dzong. Dzongs are distinctive type of fortified monastery architecture found mainly in Bhutan and Tibet. This is the second oldest and second-largest dzong in Bhutan.
The hardy resilient people of Nepal famed for the crack regiment in the British army the Gurkhas a mountain people known for their grit and determination guiding people up the highest mountains in the world adapted for high altitude.

Then there are the sentinels of these countries in the clouds, occupying a land of exquisite beauty the giants of the mountains themselves, collectively known as the 8000ers. 

When riding through Nepal and Tibet you will encounter Everest, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna while the view is a distant glimpse of these huge mountains they will take your breath away, riding in their shadow is a truly humbling experience and one that will remain with you forever. 

Always dusted in snow they produce the perfect backdrop as you wind through the foothills and over the passes as you do in a bike tour of the region. 

The desolated Tibetan Plateau
The desolated Tibetan Plateau
Nepal is famed for its capital city Kathmandu a city of legend with plenty of amazing things to see such as ‘The Monkey Temple’ with its eyes overlooking the city, ‘Pashupatinath’ or ‘Durbar Square’. 
 

Riding through Nepal you can visit the wildlife park at Chitwan home to the Bengal Tiger, Rhino, Elephant and crocodile to name just some of the animals to spot. Pokhara perched on the lake is the ideal place to while away a day out of the saddle with staggering views of the Annapurna range. 

There are remote valleys such as Mustang only opened to world in the 1990’s and still visited by relatively few people. With a mixture of tarmac and mountain roads riding deep into the Mustang Valley is an incredible experience and to do it on the Enfield a bike famed in this part of the world is the way to go.

The Upper Mustang was a restricted kingdom and demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world
The Upper Mustang was a restricted kingdom and demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world
Kye Gompa. Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Gelugpa sect located on top of a hill at an altitude of 4,166 metres, in the Spiti Valley

The mountains of India while not quite as high as the collection in Nepal they are just as impressive and the riding can be even more taxing. Some tours lead up lesser known valleys such as Spiti or through Lahaul cut off for much of the year. 

Leh in Ladakh is a city in the sky with Himalayan architecture .The remote lake Pangong nestled by the Tibetan border is a thing of beauty. 

Nubra Valley famed for its Bactrian Camels, orchards and monasteries is accessed over Khardung-La pass which at 5359M is the highest motorable road in the world complete with an oxygen tent at the top should you need it. 

For many tours this is the culmination of over 10 days of gradual climbing and acclimatisation to ensure that you don’t.

Riding the Himalayas no matter in which country you find yourself is a journey of discovery, delving into ancient mountain cultures encountering people so hardy you cannot help but admire. 

A journey closer to the sun that many never experience, in a landscape that makes you feel small in comparison to your surroundings. If you only do it once we highly recommend that you do it on the work horse of the subcontinent the Royal Enfield. 

Are you up to the challenge?

 

Written by Ben Lloyd

Khardung La, one of the highest motorable passes in the world - Leh, India.
Khardung La, one of the highest motorable passes in the world - Leh, India.

Keen to ride in the Himalayas?

Check out our upcoming tours

Himalayas

Through the Clouds

16 Days – 15 Nights
US $4,350/Rider – Pillion POA

Dates:

✓ Jul 15th – 30th 2023
✓ Aug 4th – 19th