The Eastern Loop: Motorbike Tour through the North East of India

  • Sport & Abenteuer Reisen
  • Motorrad Reisen

Overview

  • Total Days: 16
  • Riding Days: 11
  • Riding Km:  ~ 2300 Km
  • Avg. day riding distance: 180 Km
  • Avg. riding time: 6 – 8 hrs
  • Altitude variation: 0 – 3800 mts
  • Airport In: Guwahati (Assam)
  • Airport Out: Guwahati (Assam)

This particular ride takes us through the backroads of some of India’s easternmost states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya. A rider’s delight, this route includes the high Himalayas of western Arunachal Pradesh, densely forested hills of Nagaland, tea and wildlife of Assam and the wettest places on Earth at Meghalaya. Incidentally, this region has one of the highest densities of ethnicities and languages in the whole of India.

During the tour we ride through territories of 12 different tribes. In fact, every single day takes us through territories of different tribes, each tribe totally different from the previous. You will ride across swathes of lush tea plantations, some of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries of the sub-continent, quaint and remote villages, unending forests, view some of the tallest waterfalls and visit some of the deepest caves of Asia among others. The loop starts and ends at Guwahati, which is the capital of Assam and the largest city among the seven states. The ride itself takes us through varying terrain, road conditions and vegetation, every single day bringing totally new and unique settings.

Program

DayFromToActivity
1Guwahati AirportGuwahatiArrival, Bike allocation
2GuwahatiSapoi TERide 150 Km
3Sapoi TEDirangRide 235 Km
4DirangTawangRide 140 Km
5TawangLocalLocal visits
6TawangSangti ValleyRide 150 Km
7Sangti ValleyKazirangaRide 285 Km
8KazirangaLocalLocal visits
9KazirangaMokokchungRide 200 Km
10MokokchungKohimaRide 180 Km
11KohimaHaflongRide 280 Km
12HaflongJowaiRide 180 Km
13JowaiCherrapunjeeRide 160 Km
14CherrapunjeeLocalLocal visits
15CherrapunjeeGuwahatiRide 185 Km
16GuwahatiGuwahati AirportDepart

Day 1. Guwahati Airport to Guwahati

Upon your arrival at the Guwahati Airport your guide will meet you and assist you on your transfer to Guwahati City. After checking in to your hotel you will be allocated your motorcycles, following which you guide will brief you regarding the days to come, safety issues and the motorcycles themselves.

Activity: Bike allocation, Briefing

Overnight: Hotel

Day 2. Guwahati to Sapoi Tea Estate

The first day of riding takes us across the Brahmaputra River to the North bank of the valley. The north bank of the Brahmaputra has dotted with most of the wildlife sanctuaries of the state as well as a multitude of lush tea plantations. Our destination for the day is one such tea plantation spread at the foot of the lower Himalayas. Though a short day, it gives you an introduction into the riding and traffic conditions as well as getting you used to the bikes.

Once at Sapoi, we make use of the time to visit the tea factory and fields to understand the process of some of the world’s finest tea.

Activity: Ride 155Km / 4hrs, Tea factory visit Overnight: Tea Bungalow

Day 3. Sapoi TE to Dirang

Leaving Assam, we enter the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh. For the first half, we will be generally riding along the Bhutanese border. We get off the main road for the second half of the day to remote villages. The highest point for this day is 3250 m at Mandala top. This point offers beautiful panoramas of the high Himalayas of Bhutan as well as Arunachal Pradesh. The destination for this day is the little township of Dirang lying at the banks of the namesake Dirang Chu (River).

Activity: Ride 240Km / 8-9 hrs

Overnight: Cottages

Day 4: Dirang to Tawang

Today we get onto the high road as we pass the 13700ft Sela Pass. We start along with the Dirang Chu (river) and steadily climb to Sela pass. There is always a high chance of finding snow up here, but the Army usually ensures its open throughout the year. From here, a long descent with numerous hairpins takes us to the valley floor only to start climbing again. Enroute, we stop at the beautiful Naranang waterfalls. Situated at 10,000ft Tawang is the last proper town before Tibet in this sector. Tawang is a town famous for its Monastery is one of the important religious centers of Tibetian Buddhism and its panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayas into Bhutan in the west and Tibet in the North. In older times this used to be an important and influential town due to its proximity to Tibet and Bhutan.

Activity: Ride 140Km / 5-6 hrs

Overnight: Hotel

Day 5: Tawang (Local)

A day of exploring around Tawang. We start with the Tawang Monastery. This is the second biggest and oldest in Asia and is known as the Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse i.e., the celestial paradise of the divine site chosen by the horse was founded by Merag Lodroe Gyamtso in the year 1680-81. Next, we visit Gyangong Ani Gompa. This nunnery, with about 50 Buddhist nuns, was founded by Merag Lama (founder of the main Tawang Gompa) for his sister. Next comes the Urgelling Gompa. The ancient if modest Urgelling Gompa, is where the sixth Dalai Lama, a Monpa, was born in 1683. Before he left for Lhasa, it’s said that he stuck his walking stick into the ground just inside the monastery gate and it eventually grew into a giant oak tree. Within the main hall are hand-painted portraits of all the Dalai Lamas, and imprints of the forehead and feet of the sixth Dalai Lama.

Activity: Local visits

Overnight: Hotel

Day 6. Tawang to Sangti Valley

We retrace our path to Dirang from where it is another 11 km to the village of Sangti nestled in the namesake Sangti Valley. Enroute visit the Nuranang falls and Dirang Dzong. This Dzong ‘Fort’ was built during the 17th century as a bulwark against invasions and raids. Not much remains, however the little village and the remnants of the structure do give you a window into the past.

Activities: Ride 160 Km, Dirang Dzong

Overnight: Homestay

Day 7: Sangti Valley to Kaziranga

Post breakfast we ride towards Kaziranga National Park. En route we visit the Thembang fortified village. This is the best-preserved among the numerous fortified villages that used to dot the region. Next we have a short boat ride to spot the elusive Gangetic River Dolphins once we reach the Mighty Brahmaputra at Tezpur.

Activity: Transfer- 250Km, Thembang visit, Dolphin spotting

Overnight: Lodge

Day 8: Kaziranga (Local)

A typical day in Kaziranga starts with an early morning Elephant Safari followed by two Jeep Safaris. We try and cover three ranges of the park.

Activities: 1 x Elephant Safari, 2 x Jeep Safari

Overnight: Lodge

Day 9: Kaziranga to Mokokchung

Today we leave the Brahmaputra Valley and enter the hilly state of Nagaland. Long considered the ‘wild east’ of India, Nagaland abounds in primeval beauty and tribal culture. Its dazzling hills and valleys, reaching right up to the India–Myanmar border, are other-worldly places where, until not long ago, headhunting Naga tribes fought off intruders and each other. Our destination for the day is the township of Mokokchung. Mokokchung is the traditional heart of the Ao tribe. The first 135 km is spent riding through the plains of Assam till we reach the Nagaland border. The last 65 Km is on winding roads of the Naga hills.

Activity: Ride 200 km / 7-8 hrs

Overnight: Hotel

Day 10: Mokokchung to Kohima

A beautiful day riding the twisty hill roads of Nagaland. Leaving the region of the Ao tribe today we head towards Kohima the capital of Nagaland and the traditional region of the Angami people. Enroute we dill deviate off the main road to take village tracks which take us through the beautiful Doyang Reservoir. Doyang is famous for the annual congregation of the Amur Falcon, which is the longest migratory raptor in the world. The Amur Falcon does a 22,000 Km round migration from Siberia to South Africa and back. Enroute, it stops in Doyang for a period of about 40 days during the months of October and November. During this time the sky is overcast with up to 2 million of these birds.

Activity: Ride 180 Km / 8-9 hrs

Overnight: Homestay

Day 11: Kohima to Haflong

A long day as we ride to the Dima Hsao district of Assam. Our destination for the day is Haflong the district headquarters of Dima Hsao. Enroute, we ride through the Karbi Anglong district of Assam. Karbi Anglong and Dima Hsao are the only two hill districts of Assam home to the Karbi and Dimasa tribes respectively.

Activity: Ride 280 Km / 7-9 hrs

Overnight: Hotel

Day 12: Haflong to Jowai

Another beautiful day of riding, we start through the forested North Cachar hill tract following which we climb up to the Jaintia Plateau. Enroute, we cross the pristine Umrangso reservoir with phenomenal views all around. The Jaintia hills are the easternmost hill range of Meghalaya, the traditional territory of the Jaintia Tribe. We end our day close to the township of Jowai.

Activity: 180 Km / 7 – 8 hrs

Overnight: Hotel

Day 13: Jowai to Sohra (Cherrapunjee)

Our destination for the day is Cherrapunji which has the distinction of receiving some of the highest rainfall ever recorded. We will ride close to the Bangladesh border on excellent roads with very little traffic. We shall stopover at a small Khasi village enroute for a scrumptious traditional meal. Cherrapunji has much to offer, including the natural root bridges and some of the deepest caves in India. For a large part of the day, we will be riding along the Bangladesh border. Enroute, we visit the Krang Shuri Waterfall, Mawllynnong village and the largest root bridge of the region.

Activity: Ride 160 Km / 6-7 hrs

Overnight: Eco Lodge

Day 14: Sohra (Cherrapunjee) Local

A rest day, with an optional hike to the living root bridges. This region other than being the wettest place on earth during the monsoons is also home to the Living root bridges. Over centuries the Khasi folk of this region have been entwining the roots of the Ficus Elastica trees to build bridges across the fast-flowing streams that are found all over. Other options are visits to the Mawsmai cave and the border town of Shella on the Indo – Bangla border.

Activity: Local visits

Overnight: Eco Lodge

Day 15: Sohra (Cherrapunjee) to Guwahati

The last day of riding takes you back to the Brahmaputra valley. Our destination for this day is Guwahati, the capital of Assam and the largest city of the region. Ride takes you on sweeping roads through the east and west Khasi hill districts of Meghalaya, enroute we visit a couple of beautiful waterfalls. Upon arrival check in to your Hotel while the team dispatches the bikes.

Activity: Ride 185 Km / 7-8 hrs

Overnight: Hotel

Day 16: Depart

Your port of departure is the Guwahati airport.

Services

  • Accommodation: 15 nights
  • Meals: 15 breakfast, 16 dinners, 15 lunch
  • Refreshment & Water: Throughout
  • Guide: Throughout on Royal Enfield bike
  • Mechanic: Throughout with related tools and spares and gasoline
  • First Aid Kit: Comprehensive
  • Backup Vehicle: Pickup Truck
  • Airport: Pickup and drop
  • Fees & Toll: All
  • Entry permit for foreigners
  • Royal Enfield Himalayan with fuel
  • Visa
  • international flight
  • unmentioned food and beverages

Highlights

Prices and Dates

Fixed Date: 04.11.2023 – 19.11.2023

Best time: October to March

Cost from 2 pax: Per person 3100 €

Cost from 4 pax: Per person 2500 €

Cost from 6 pax Per person 2100 €

Single room Supplement Charges 350 €

Pillion Rider will cost 200 € less

Tour Info

Requirements

Good motorcycling skills are required. Some rivers have to be crossed and it goes over jeep tracks and sometimes poorly developed roads. Every day, 6-7 hours or more are spent on the motorcycle.

Further Information

Of course, a motorcycle driving license is necessary – usually, the International Driving License, which can be applied for free of charge with the authorities.

Larger repair costs in case of self-inflicted debt must be borne by the participants.

We recommend taking your own motorcycle clothes as well as your own helmet.

This tour takes us through regions that are still not very accessible to tourists. Flexibility and spontaneity are required. The accommodations may be a bit simple from time to time, but they are clean and well maintained.

We are happy to assist you with the organization of your arrival and departure.

The Eastern Loop: Motorbike Tour through the North East of India

Copyright © 2021 Chalo! Travels