5 amazing things to see along India's first cycle superhighway

Lions, ravines, rivers, temples and the Taj Mahal

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
India's first cycle superhighway is now open

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
Don't get out of your vehicle at the Etawah Lion Safari

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
There are some stunning ravines to see along your way
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
These gharial river crocodiles are critically endangered, but can still be found along the banks of the river Chambal
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
The famous 101 Shiv Temples of Bateshwar must not be missed
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
The Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world
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.
Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Brompton M3L
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Moots Routt
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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