As peacocks perform a rain dance, we gather two of the best cruisers in the country and head for the Aravallis...
The heat wave in Delhi came to a delightful end with the season’s first pre-monsoon rains. The sky had cleared and the breeze was cool. The timing was perfect for us to take a break from the city and hit the open road. And when it comes to cruising the smooth tarmac in Rajasthan, there’s no better choice of vehicle than a massive cruiser motorcycle – and, obviously, we picked the two best that we could get our hands on. The beautiful Indian Chief Vintage and the brawny but comfortable Triumph Thunderbird LT were our steads for this sojourn. The plan was to head to the Sariska Tiger Reserve near Alwar, and ride free through the beautiful jungle landscape.
We made our way out of Delhi just after sunrise and hit National Highway 8. Once we reached Daruhera, we turned left towards Bhiwadi – and then onto National Highway 25, which takes you straight to Alwar. For almost the entire length, the roads are phenomenal and traffic is sparse. We must have covered nearly 150 kilometres without ever slowing down. The bikes were performing beautifully, and as they thumped through every little town, we had more than our share of amazed onlookers gawking at us. Most of them had never had the pleasure of seeing such impressive machines as the ones we rode.
This became more apparent as we stopped for breakfast at a dhaba just outside Alwar. The locals ran towards us and surrounded us. Children on their way to school scurried across the street to get a glimpse, vehicles that were passing by slowed down to see what all the commotion was about, and, as we ate our food calmly, everyone joined us at our table and questioned us about the monster bikes. We knew that the bikes would draw attention, but we weren’t prepared for a crowd to surround us – but they were very friendly people and wished us luck as we continued our ride.
Once we bypassed Alwar, and entered the heart of the Aravalli Range, the topography changed completely. The farmlands gave way to arid and deciduous forests, rocky landscapes, elephant grass and cliffs. The roads, however, remained as smooth as ever, with only a few rough patches. By now, the sun was also out in full force, but the ride was still enjoyable.
Our first stop was the historic Sariska Palace. However, we weren’t in the mood to pay the Rs. 500 per person entry fee, so we decided to head straight to the Sariska Tiger Reserve. When we reached the entry gate of the park, we were informed that private vehicles are no longer allowed inside the sanctuary – so we politely turned around and continued down the road. The road ran along the outskirts of the park and made for a beautiful ride through the thick jungle. Even though we hadn’t entered the park, we still had a wonderful ride along its border. And, as a bonus, a full-grown male Sambar crossed our path – so at least we got to see some wildlife. I quickly jumped off my bike, grabbed the camera and managed to get a nice picture of Divyanshu on the Thunderbird LT right next to the deer. He was a little scared to get too close to the animal because it had giant antlers. At this point, we decided to turn around and head back to Delhi. So we made our way through the lovely jungle roads that wound through the Aravallis and headed back towards civilization.
The Indian Chief Vintage is an extremely refined machine, and can really be ridden with such comfort and grace – even on some rural back roads – and that’s not to mention that it’s one of the most beautiful motorcycles in the world. The Triumph Thunderbird is a little more brawny and feels heavy, but it has a wicked kick of torque and is the most comfortable cruiser I’ve ever ridden. Both bikes were incredibly fun to ride. As a kid, I visited Sariska and the neighboring areas with my family almost every year, but I never imagined that I would one day return as a man and ride the most magnificent cruiser motorcycles in the world in this area.
So, if you’re ever in need of a day ride outside the capital, just saddle up and make your way to Alwar – and from there you can head onwards towards a number of interesting destinations. Be rest assured, the roads are fantastic and the scenery impressive. All you need are two beautiful and capable cruisers like these to complete the picture…