A brand new bicycle road has opened in India this november. It runs from Agra, where Taj Mahal is, to Etawah. Etawah is a little over 100 kilometers from Agra, but the bicycle road takes a scenic road to Etawah. So the entire trail is more than 200 kilometers long.
I took the road last week and this is really a great road to cycle. It is away from the trafficked road most of the time and takes you through small villages that has never seen tourists before the trail was build. The road surface is paved almost all the way and it is very well sign posted. They were still finishing a couple of stretches when I cycled 80 kilometers of it last week, but this was minor parts and they were busy working on them.
For cyclists who do not want to venture out in the chaotic traffic you have on many Indian roads, but still would like to experience India by bike, this is just perfect.
The project really has potential from a tourist perspective. Many tourists like to combine being active with cultural activities. I saw that some Indian cyclists were complaining a bit that local villagers were sometimes using the trail to dry cow dung and to put some of their work stuff on. But this was not a big deal when I cycled there. At the moment, this is only at a scale where foreigners like me think it just ads a bit of local flavour to it, but it’s of course important that the trail will not turn in to something that is used for driving and parking cars on.
To avoid this, It’s important that the cycling trail from Agra to Etawah becomes an instant success, so that it’s not forgotten by the locals. And it needs to be properly maintained by the local officials who should make sure that it is being cleaned regularly for sand, rocks and so on.
The trail from Agra to Etawah is really scenic, especially if you are a visitor looking for a village experience, so get on your bike if you are in Agra to see the Taj Mahal anyway and try India’s new bicycle trail.