A new cycle superhighway has been opened in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, running 207km from a lion safari park all the way to the Taj Mahal’s eastern gate in Agra. It runs mostly through rural areas, and it sounds amazing.
“It is a historical moment as a world-class cycling infrastructure is being made operational not only for locals but to the people of the state and the nation,” state minister Abhishek Mishra at the official opening, according to the Times of India.
India’s first cycle superhighway is now open Twitter/arun kumar
The cycle superhighway runs parallel to the main highway, is around 2m wide, and is completely separate from auto traffic, according to the Times of India. It connects 92 villages, and crosses the Chambal and Yamuna rivers, with breathtaking views of ravines along the way. And if you’re lucky, you might spot a river crocodile or two.
1. Asiatic lions
Don’t get out of your vehicle at the Etawah Lion Safari Hindustan Times
Obviously, if you start your trip from the Etawah Lion Safari Park, you’ll want to check out their kings of the jungle. Inspired by the UK’s Longleat Safari Park, it’s a drive-through experience that you should definitely do on four wheels, not two.
2. Awe-inspiring ravines
There are some stunning ravines to see along your way Jangidno2
The Chambal river takes its name from the word ‘Charmanvati’, meaning the river on whose banks leather is dried. When you ride along it, you’ll see some incredible deep-sided ravines, like this one.
3. River crocodiles
These gharial river crocodiles are critically endangered, but can still be found along the banks of the river Chambal Prakash Mathema
We love a snappy critter at BikeRadar, and spotting one of these is a possibility on the Yamuna river. The gharial – also known as the ‘fish-eating crocodile’ – has extremely long, thin jaws, and is rated as critically endangered. However, they are still to be found along the Chambal river, so keep your eyes peeled.
4. 101 temples of Bateshwar
The famous 101 Shiv Temples of Bateshwar must not be missed Soltan Frederic
You won’t be short of temples to visit as you cycle along India’s new cycle superhighway, and the village of Bateshwar in particular is worth exploring. It’s located on the banks of the Yamuna river, and features the 101 Shiv Temple Complex (no relation to the Shiv bicycle).
5. The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world JulieanneBirch
Saving the best for last, this magnificent mausoleum will greet you at journey’s end. Built in the 17th century AD by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, it’s an incredible sight that attracts 8m visitors a year. Top tip – for security reasons, only five portable items (water in transparent bottles, small video cameras, still cameras, mobile phones and small purses) are allowed inside the complex, so you’ll have to leave the panniers outside.