Mangalore to Delhi bike ride on Harley Davidson.
Mangalore to Delhi is about 2269 Kms. Riding days 29th April 2022 to 1st May 2022
Day 1- Mangalore to Solapur
662 KMs- 9 hrs, 29th April 2022
After completing all south Indian states on my bike, now it’s time for me to return to my hometown Ghaziabad.
Got my bike serviced a month back at Goa. Fuel and Tyre check done; bike ready to start approx. 2300 km journey.
29th April 3:45 AM bike loaded with my stuff, started the ride with the song (Tez dhaar). The journey begins on NH-66, it was dark, the highway was almost empty, only a few trucks were trying to cover as much distance as they could in almost no traffic. That is the perk of an early morning ride, you are fresh and there is no local traffic, in that way you cover the initial stretch quickly. It was like flying on the bike that time. No obstructions at all, normally I am worried about the stray dogs crossing the highways (major cause of two wheelers accidents), and wrong side driving by locals, but that time even they were missing.
I had to cover 225 Kms on NH-66 to reach near Gokarna city to enter the ghats. NH-66 is normally a 4-lane highway (in Karnataka), so a smooth ride is expected.
There are 5 tolls enroute:
1. Surathkal (near Mangalore)
2. Near Mulki
3. Between Udupi and Kundapur
4. Near Bhatkal
5. Between Honnavar and Kumta
Two wheelers are exempted but good to know for 4-wheeler people.
I took my first tea break near fourth toll (approx. 140 Km from Mangalore). In my experience, however well, you have slept before the journey, but the early hour of the day always brings drowsiness while driving. It is really important to take a break from driving and have a cup of tea/ coffee. Do it every 1.5-2 hours.
Till Bhatkal NH-66 is 4-lanes, from there onwards highway is under construction. A major part of the highway is built but still there are many diversions. But traffic is low, so still you can maintain good speed. There are many interesting places on this highway if you want to visit. Of course, on the left there are beaches, but from a religious point of view too it has famous temples, Murdeshwar has the most famous 125 ft big Lord Shiva statue.
After crossing Bhatkal-Murdeshwar-Honnavar-Kumta, I reached Gokarna at 6:30 AM (two and a half hours). Usually during the daytime, it takes around 4-5 hours for the same journey. I left NH-66 and entered the ghats section on NH-52 towards Hubli. To reach Hubli I had to cross entire ghat section, a small town Yellapur and lot of forest land, in total 134 Kms, it’s a double lane highway. Took One and half hour to cover it and to reach Hubli.
Entered Hubli bypass at 8 AM, was so happy to see the amazing 4-lane highway again. There were highway police stationed to check commercial vehicles, a Police guy stopped me too. I carry all the documents both in hard and soft copy with me, so I was not worried. But He didn’t stop me for that, he was curious about my journey, and my bike. A normal chit chat with him about the journey, he wished me good luck, and I continued. The 4-lane highway ended just after bypassing Hubli, and I again entered double lane highway. I was too hopeful that after Hubli the entire route would be at least 4-lane. But to my disappointment, I was wrong.
It was a 2-lane, but still the road was good. Some speed breakers were there but thankfully not too big. There were no potholes. I was still able to maintain good speed on that highway. The biggest drawback of that highway is that you won’t find a single good place to satisfy your appetite. From Hubli to Vijayapura it is around 200 KM. After crossing Hubli it was already 9 AM and I was hungry, couldn’t find a single place to have my breakfast. By this time, I have already got tank full twice since Mangalore. I drank almost two liters of water since I started, mixed with ORS. It was a hot day so didn’t want to get myself dehydrated at any point.
As there was no good place to eat so I thought of stopping thinking about the food till I found a good place. I continued the ride and by 11 AM I reached Vijayapura. Thankfully from there I got the 4-lane highway again. My first day destination was only 117 KMs away. I was happy that I would reach there soon, as the day had already started getting hot. Already 41 degrees and the heatwave. Still no good place to eat. Just 30 Kms before Solapur I eventually found a dhaba. I had Masala dosa with a cup of tea and hydrated myself with another liter of ORS.
It was 12 PM. Didn’t want to spend too much time out in the open as it was a very hot day. I quickly started again and reached inside the Solapur city in another 20 minutes. Just while entering, 2 more cops stopped me, again to have a look at the bike and discuss the journey. The lady police even asked, “why are you riding on such a hot day?”. I had a small chit chat with them, they were happy, and I continued. As soon as you leave the main highway and enter the city, the roads are bad. Crossed city traffic and reached the hotel by 12:50 PM. Got one more tank full for the next day.
For this complete ride from Mangalore to Solapur (672 Kms), google map was showing 14 hours. But I covered it in just 9 hours. A productive day in terms of saving time, as I didn’t want to spend the second half of the day outside in scorching heat.
I did some walking around the city in the evening and went to bed early at 9 PM to be able to start Day 2 at 4 AM.
Mangalore to Delhi Day 2- Solapur to Indore
750 km- 10 hours, 30th April 2022
After a fiery first day and taking note of admonishing hot weather report by the MET, it was time to start my ride from Solapur to Indore via Beed-Aurangabad-Dhule-Sendhwa.
Before leaving I have heard a lot about Dhule Solapur newly constructed highway. I was so very excited to ride on this highway, which is why I didn’t take Hubli-Kolhapur-Pune-Nashik-Dhule route which is usually overcrowded. And normally I like to explore new routes.
One of my rider friends was going to accompany me on the ride from Indore – Noida on day 3. He started the ride on his Harley Davidson low rider from Noida at 3:30 AM on day 2 (Noida-Agra-Gwalior-Guna-Indore). Our plan was to meet at Indore, explore the city a little, and stay there overnight, then to start early morning for Noida. Well, this is a power of such a wonderful Harley community in India.
Me and him both started at 3:30 AM from Solapur and Noida respectively for Indore.
I was riding and enjoying every bit of the early morning ride. No traffic at all on the highway. Maintaining average of 100 km / hour very easily.
Beautiful sunrise near Beed:
Aurangabad was approx. 320 Km from Solapur. I reached there by 7 AM. In three and a half hours with one fuel, and one tea break. It was a good average speed.
I was thoroughly expecting good roads. But many a times, in India, roads can come with big surprises. Dhule was another 70 Kms and 4-lane highway turned into 2 lane road, while I was approaching ghat section of “Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary”. It was a huge ghat section, with so many slow, loaded trucks ascending and descending from, with so many curves. Some pictures of ghat section:
After half an hour, ghat section was over. I came down on the plain road, expecting a 4-lane highway soon. And there I met another police check post. 5-6 policemen stopped me to check my bike. While stopping me one of them said “I was waiting for this moment for years, to find such a bike and get the pics clicked”. I felt so good hearing it. I was also tired, so I spent 5-10 minutes with them. They took turns to sit on my bike and got their pics clicked. They were super excited.
After receiving lots of best wishes from them, I resumed my ride to Dhule. Reached a small town called Chalisgaon. My target was to reach Dhule by 9 AM. But due to the bad road, I must say a very bad road, everything got delayed. I got one more tank full and then again resumed on the 2-lane road full of potholes and so much traffic.
I reached Dhule at 9:45 AM. This was the worst stretch of my entire 3-day journey. It’s hard to imagine how my bike survived those potholes. Well, this is one of the things about the robustness of Harley Davidson, even on such bad roads. I could hardly manage 30 Km/ hour on that stretch.
Finally, I reached Dhule and took right towards Indore. It was still NH-52. Got back on 4-lane highway, cruised towards Madhya Pradesh border, total distance covered 470 Km in six and a half hours. 270 Kms more to go.
Meanwhile checked with my friend, by then he reached Shivpuri (MP) almost 450 Km. For him 390 km more to cover.
I have stopped for breakfast finally at 10:30 AM, and 200 kms more to go from there. For a change got Aloo ka Parantha in the breakfast, other than only south Indian breakfast in whole south India. I spent half an hour there, rehydrated myself with 1 litre of ORS and resumed my journey.
It was already very hot by then; I just drove without thinking too much and listening to the wonderful melodies. Riding in south India extensively made me endure hot weather very well, I guess. At 41 degrees in heatwave I was still cruising peacefully.
The rest of the journey till Indore was not very memorable, as it was completely through very small towns, with not much to notice. The only things to notice were the heavy commercial traffic, all around deserted places, a few completely dry ghat sections. There were few wind turbines on the way. And yes, the most important things are the speed breakers on every cut through the dividers.
Got the tank full near Indore, and reached the hotel Fairfield by Mariott, Indore by 1:30 PM. My friend reached the hotel by 3:30 PM.
It took me 10 hours in total to cover 750 Kms, with one tea, one breakfast and 3 fuel breaks. My friend took 12 hours to cover 840 Kms.
We just slept for the rest of the day, couldn’t go out to explore the city. I just did a little evening walk around the hotel, not much to describe.
Mangalore to Delhi Day 3- Indore to Indirapuram
857 kms – 12 hours, 1st May 2022
NH-52, NH-46, NH-44, Yamuna Expressway.
Day 3 started with my friend at 3:30 AM. Ready for the ride:
Last day of Mangalore to Delhi ride. It was a peaceful morning with very pleasant weather. Started our ride at 3:30 AM. 2 litre of ORS was premixed and kept in the luggage for anytime hydration. We both were cruising on an average of 100 km / hr. Left NH-52 and entered NH-46 towards Gwalior. The decided route was Indore-Guna-Shivpuri-Gwalior-Agra-Noida. We took our first tea break of half an hour at 5:30 AM, to come over with the early morning drowsiness. Along with a fuel break at 6:15. By then we have covered approx. 230 KM.
MP highways are not as crowded as in other states. But one very unfortunate thing is about the stray cattle. The highway is full of them. You always must be careful about them and save yourself from any unwanted incident. However good the highways are, you cannot ride peacefully. This is the biggest problem on Indian roads. In Madhya Pradesh it is at its extreme. This is a problem which cannot be addressed quickly, it needs massive efforts from the authorities.
MP landscape is very beautiful. March, April and May are the driest months of the year. Instead of greenery it is mostly seen as brownish. But it is still beautiful. Lovely roads, ghat sections.
Few glimpses of the MP terrain and roads, along with sun rise. My friend is on the red bike.
We cruised well on the roads. We crossed Shivpuri by 8:45 AM (400 km in 5 and a half hours). And got a tank full there. Shivpuri bypass is under construction and is in terrible condition. If you would like to travel there, it’s better to make some prior enquiries or pass through the city.
By 10 AM we reached Gwalior. 520 Km done in six and a half hours. Gwalior has a bypass to go to Jhansi from Agra road. It doesn’t have any bypass on NH-46. This is not a good situation, as you have to enter the city. Believe me it is worse to cross the city in the daytime, as there is lot of local traffic and commuters. It took us 45 minutes to cross Gwalior. We stopped for brunch near Morena at around 11:30 AM. Most famous Chambal ghati is also on this route. The barren land of Chambal:
Gwalior to Agra is a very busy highway, with a lot of traffic. Pathetic wrong side driving by bikes and tractors. It is advisable to cover this section early in the morning or late at night. But our fate brought us on this highway right in the middle of noon. Somehow reached Agra at 12:45 PM, took an unofficial bypass through some village and entered Yamuna expressway at 1 PM. It was such a relief to see Yamuna expressway, because for the rest of the ride we just had to face hot weather.
I took a quick rehydration break after the first toll. So far from Karnataka I didn’t have to pay any toll on any highway. But I had to pay toll on Yamuna expressway. From Agra to Gr Noida it costed around INR 205/-.
Further got a tank full near Mathura toll. We entered Noida at around 2:30 PM and stopped for hydration break. Some MLA’s son has stopped his car to inspect our bikes and asked us why we are riding in such hot weather (he was really concerned about people it seems). Anyways, it is normal that people stop us and ask some unnecessary questions. It is important to handle them well, as you also have to protect yourself from any unwanted happenings by such goons on the highways. Me and my friend parted our ways near Noida entry.
I have reached my home at Indirapuram at 3:30 PM, covered 857 Kms in 12 hours.
Mangalore to Delhi ride is a ride to remember for the life time. Hot, cold or rainy weather, it shouldn’t stop you from following your passion. I love riding my bike even if roads are bad. Everything happening is an experience. Make it memorable and cherish the moments.
Checkout Mangalore to Delhi ride video:
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