City cycling in Delhi is a great weekend adventure option. You don’t have to go too far away from home, and you’ll see a side of the city you’ve never seen before. When you explore Delhi on cycles, you’ll understand the glorious past and the modern facets of Delhi, with a taste of the fun that makes the capital city of India so special. A heady mix of ancient ruins, royal heritage, cuisines and so much more are just waiting to be explored on your cycling adventure in Delhi.
Take a cycling trip through time, through the Delhi that belonged to Sufi saints, rebels, English memsahibs, poets and refugees. When cycling in Delhi through this route, you’ll see a Delhi that was ruled by the Sultans, Mughals and British. Starting in the over-700-year-old settlement of Nizamuddin, these 15-km long tours wind their way through the 21st-century concrete jungle and flashy lights of South Delhi to show you a city alive in unimaginable fragments. You'll end the trip with a picnic in the lush green landscape of the iconic Lodhi garden.
The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built his capital city, Shahjahanabad over 11 years, and surrounded it with walls. Now, hundreds of years later, the walls have disappeared, and the structures inside are dilapidated. This area is now Chandni Chowk, which is probably one of the busiest markets in the world. You’ll start from Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the city, to the Red Fort (home to Mughal emperors for 200 years), and through the lanes of the spice markets, including a pit-stop at Parathe Wali Galli or ‘lane of parathas’. The mingling fragrances of roasting parathas, fried potatoes, baking dough, and endless herbs, spices and chutneys will make your mouth water.
To understand the journey that the city of Delhi has travelled, these packages for Delhi cycling are ideal. Starting in the labyrinth of narrow back lanes of Old Delhi, passing through quaint old ‘socialist-style’ quarters of government employees and almost magically landing in the midst of a spectacular view of the Presidential Palace and India Gate encircled by spotless clean, tree-lined wide roads, these tours are very stimulating and comprehensive catalogues of the lives of people who make this great capital today.
Explore the palaces and aristocratic abodes of Delhi by cycle. These tours plunge straight into the deep-end of Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad). Three hundred years of decadence, war, re-building and several regime changes later, the much smaller Havelis of today manage to preserve a stunningly placid beauty that echoes haunting reminders of a grander past.
If you really want to explore Delhi by cycle, book an all-round package that combines all the facets. You’ll start cycling in the older parts of Delhi, from Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan, to the teeming markets of Chandni Chowk. Then you switch to the present and hop off your bikes to catch the uber-efficient Delhi Metro train and take a rickshaw ride. You’ll end at the Tibetan Colony (also known as Little Lhasa), with a delicious breakfast here.
Behind every historical capital, there is a great big river. The route is an ode to the Yamuna river that has been a silent witness to Delhi’s historic past. On this route, you will also learn a little about the rising levels of pollution and its impact on the river. These cycling in Delhi tours take you along the lifeline of the city, the Yamuna river, showing you the unique mix of colours, smells, sounds, tastes and unforgettable images of the city. From vibrant markets to small temples, this route gives you a true feeling of Delhi street life. If the weather and the season are ideal, then your package might include a boat ride on the river as well.
The city of Delhi has brutal summers that last for months. While there are trips to explore Delhi by cycle during these months, they depart early in the morning while the weather is still cool. The monsoon months are fun for cycling. However, if you have the liberty, choose to go on your Delhi cycling adventure in the winter months. In the cold mornings, before the mists have fully cleared, you’ll get to see the best of Delhi.
Delhi is well-connected to major parts of India by air, rail and road.
By air: Domestic and international flights in Delhi are served by Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI). There are frequent flights to Delhi from cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata
From outside the airport, there are regular Delhi Transport Corporation buses (DTC) and you can also opt to hire Government registered pre-paid taxis to reach the city centre. A metro line also links the airport to the centre of the city and there are trains every 10 minutes.
By train: Delhi has four main railway stations: New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS), Old Delhi Railway Station (DLI), Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station (NZM) and Anand Vihar Railway Terminal (ANVT). You can then hire taxis from the pre-paid taxi booth outside the railway station to travel anywhere in the city or use the Delhi metro. It connects these railway stations to most parts of the city.
By road: You can enjoy a comfortable drive to Delhi peppered with fun stops along the way. The capital city is well connected by a strong network of highways. There are also many interstate buses and air-conditioned buses to Delhi from many major tourist cities.
When cycling in Delhi, dress conservatively out of respect for the ancient cultures and monuments you’ll be visiting. Wear comfortable apparel along with equally comfortable shoes. Wear warm layers for the winter months and raincoats in the monsoon months. Also, be sure to wear your sun protective gear i.e sunglasses and a cap.
You need not worry about getting your own cycles as your operator will provide you with comfortable city bicycles that are very well maintained. You’ll also be given a helmet for maximum safety. Other than that, you need to carry your personal essentials in a small daypack, some snacks and extra water. Carry a jacket to protect yourself from the cool morning mist and be sure to carry your sunscreen, sunglasses and a cap.
There is no need to particularly prepare for your cycling adventure in Delhi; if you’re confident on the cycle then you’re good to go. However, it is advised to adopt a fitness regimen prior to your ride to make your trip easier and more fun. Cycling every day and performing exercises that up your stamina levels can greatly increase the enjoyment of your trip.
Don comfortable clothes that are also conservative, out of respect of the old city, its people and their customs. Wear sneakers or any comfortable closed shoes. During the winter months, wear a warm jacket and wear a raincoat during the monsoon months. Be sure to always slather on sunscreen and wear your sunglasses when you’re cycling in Delhi.
You need not carry much for your cycling adventure in Delhi adventure. You will be provided with a well-maintained city bicycle along with a helmet. Other than that, you will be required to carry a warm jacket to protect yourself from the cold, sun-protective gear and a small day pack to carry your personal essentials.
Over the course of 3-4 hours, you will cover a distance of about 12-15kms, cycling through the dusty Delhi lanes and visiting iconic landmarks.
Your trip includes the use of well-maintained bicycles along with a helmet, the service of two English and Hindi speaking guides, bottled mineral water, snacks, tea and delicious breakfast.