This tour makes you acquainted with a part of India that most motor bike tour organizers neglect which is hard to understand, although we too discovered it relatively late. That shall change now.
The tour leads us across four Indian federal states. It starts in Maharashtra, continues through Karnataka, from there to Goa and back to Maharashtra. You can follow the exact routing on the map.
You'll experience different landscapes with a lot of cultural highlights, and you'll get an insight into the rural life of India.
The driving skills aren't really high, though some distances are long and therefore exhausting, and there are some curves waiting for you in the Western Ghatts.
1. Day: Departure
Today your flight to Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, will start. Sometime during the night you'll have reached India, and the adventure may begin.
2. Day: A day in Mumbai
After a few hours of sleep and a good breakfast, you'll have the opportunity for a walk through Mumbai. Near our hotel you'll find some highlights easy to reach by walking.
3. Day: Ride to Nashik / ca. 220 km
After a few hours of sleep and a good breakfast, we'll not get on the bikes but first get into a car, depending on the group size, and the driver will bring us to Nashik. After the experience of the first MaKaGoMa tour in February 2019 we decided to do it this way. The traffic in Mumbai is so horrendous that we don't want anybody to torture himself by spending hours in this chaos.
Shortly after noon time we will arrive in Nashik. There will be sufficient time left to explore this interesting city. We'll walk to the Ghatts, where at the time of Kumbh Mela millions of Hindu believers from all over the world take a cleansing bath in the holy river Godavari. The next Kumbh Mela in Nashik will take place in 2027. But also now, there are many believers gathering at this place.
Later on we'll inspect the bikes and talk a little bit about the Indian traffic. Don't worry! Even if it appears like incredible chaos at first sight, it soon will look less threatening, and after a few hours we will be part of this ocean of trucks, busses, cars, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians and, not to forget, cows, dogs and goats like a fish in the water.
4. Day: Ride to Ellora / ca. 195 km
The next two days we'll visit some of the most important examples of Indian sacral art, Ellora and Ajanta.
Our hotel in Ellora is only a few steps away from the temple district. Here we find some famous Buddhist and Hindu cave temples, but we'll mainly admire a building which is unique in this dimension, the so-called Kailash. Five generations worked on this building. The temple was completely cut from massive mountain and modeled top down. Alone the communication over such a long period of time is a master piece, not to speak about the architectonic and art mastery.
5. Day: Daytrip to Ajanta / ca. 205 km
In a U-shaped valley near the little town of Ajanta, Buddhist monks lived from the 2nd to the 8th century in complete isolation. They created one of the most visited historical cult places of India. There are 29 cave temples at this location, in different degrees of completion. They were partly used for religious ceremonies, partly as living areas for the monks. Since 1983, Ajanta is part of UNESCO world heritage list.
6. Day: Ride to Solapur / ca. 340 km
The next two days will be real Enfield days. There are about 600 km in front of us, and we can look forward to Indian biking in the finest degrees. We'll hardly reach high speed intoxication, and repeatedly curse the condition of the roads as well as the behavior of the Indian traffic participants, but in the end it will be pure pleasure to cruise above the high plateau of the Deccan.
7. Day: Ride to Badami / ca. 220 km
In the afternoon, after two great days of driving, we'll arrive at our next goal, Badami. Also in Badami we'll find impressive temples and cave temples dating back to different historic epochs. At the shores of a very beautifully located lake, you have time to relax from the hustle and bustle of Indian everyday life.
8. Day: Visit of Badami and Pattadakal / ca. 40 km
In Pattadakal where we'll spend the day today, we'll find a kind of experimental ground for the South Indian temple architecture. Also the great Kailash temple in Ellora has its origins here.
The town itself is just as impressive as the temples. The friendly and open population is ready to grant anyone interested some insights into their daily life. Especially photographers will be richly rewarded.
9. Day: Ride to Hampi / ca. 140 km
After a short ride across rural India we'll arrive in Hospet, site of our hotel. If you like, you can go on a trip to Hampi already today, or take a walk in the city and postpone the visit of Hampi until tomorrow.
10. Day: Visit of Hampi
In the 16th century, Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagar kingdom, which ruled over nearly the complete South of the Indian subcontinent. Today Hampi is a huge ground whose landscape, but also the cult places will thrill the visitors.
The whole area spread over several kilometers is covered by huge rocks. It looks as if some giants wildly threw with rocks in long gone times.
In the middle of this rough landscape, sometimes hidden under the rocks, sometimes on the plain ground we'll find numerous temples all dating back to the Vijayanagar rulers.
11. Day: Ride to Goa / ca. 330 km
Today there are many kilometers in front of us, more than 300 until we reach the coast of the Arabian Sea. We aim for Goa, the former Hippie colony. Our hotel is only a few meters away from the beach, and for sure each of us will jump into the sea after our arrival. Who wants to have it calmer can settle down at the hotel pool with a cold Kingfisher beer.
12. Day: A day in Goa
Today it is your choice. If you want to relax from the efforts of the last days you can just relax. There are more than enough opportunities to do so. You may sunbath at the nice beach, make a shopping tour or use the pool or the ocean as opportunities for a refreshing bath.
Who wants to have activity can take the bike and explore Goa. He or she will see that the Portuguese have built white churches all over Goa. The landscape - green rice fields, forests and coconut plantations - are a pleasure for the eyes and for the mind, after we spent days in the rather dry plains of the Dekkan.
13. Day: Ride to Kholapur / ca. 245 km
We leave Goa, and in the coming three days we'll tour the Western Ghatts, which means fabulous mountain touring. Our Enfields get the opportunity to show their best and to prove that they are the ideal means of transport in India.
14. Day: Ride to Panchgani / ca. 160 km
People from Mumbai come here to escape from the unbearable heat and the dirt in this mega city. Here we will experience something that is totally unknown in other parts of India: tranquility. No honking cars, no loudspeakers at temples and mosques, only peace and calm and a gigantic view over the wide valley.
15. Day: Ride to Mumbai / ca. 250 km
Another wonderful day of driving, and we'll have arrive in Mumbai. We will leave our bikes already a few kilometers outside of Mumbai and take a car with driver for the last kilometers to the mega city.
16. Day: A day in Mumbai
We have one day left for exploring Mumbai. Everybody can do what he or she prefers. You can stay in the city, or take a boat to Elephanta and visit some more cave temples. I want to inform you that the caves in Elephanta, compared to those in Ajanta, Ellora and especially Badami, are not as spectacular. But the boat ride is great fun.
17. Day: Flight back home
That is the end of this journey. If you liked it, please come back to India with us! There is enough still to discover. Maybe the Rajput state of Rajasthan, or the tropic-exotic South of the country, or the peaks of the Himalayas. India has many faces.
Namaste, see you again!