Payyannur: When her husband Madhusudhanan gifted her a bullet bike for their wedding anniversary, Aneesha had already planned a trip to Kashmir. On this bike trip, her daughter Madhurima gives her company.
Maniyara based Aneesha is a teacher at Kanai North UP school teacher. Madhurima is a 2nd-year graduate student at Payyannur college. The travel-loving Aneesha got this bike as a gift only last year. Before making that big trip to Kashmir she decided to go for a trial run to Mysore. When this went smoothly, the mother-daughter duo charted a google route map to Kashmir. Because of pandemic restrictions, the trip was postponed.
They eventually managed to kickstart their journey on the 14th of this month from the Perumbada National Highway. Higher Secondary school district coordinator TV Vinod flagged off the journey. Every day they will cover a distance of 250-300 kms.
Safety tips for women bike riders in India
Planning ahead will help ease your anxiety about a solo ride. Of course, travelling with an organized group and guides are undoubtedly safer, but you can travel safely on a solo mission.
Don’t Overshare Info: A glance at social media will confirm our worst fears—time and place predictability aren’t much of a concern these days. Don’t share your specific locations either online or in-person to anyone who might ask you (such as “Where are you staying?”). This is especially a good call if you’re a woman travelling alone. Stay smart. Better to post about your locations socially only after you have left a week later. If you are not comfortable telling people that you are traveling alone, you can say that you will be joined by friends later on.
Plan the first stay: Knowing your destination ahead of time can greatly improve your travel experience. Choose your accommodation and visit carefully. Plan ahead the first stay at every destination and reach every destination before sunset. This will help you find the hotel easily, change the accommodation if you want to, and unpack your motorcycle saddlebags easily in daylight. Consider communicating your plans with loved ones and using tracking apps to allow your family and friends to follow you along the way.
Avoid night travel: Travel during the day. No need for the added risks that darkness brings. Although sometimes you might unintentionally wind up navigating in the dark, plan your rides for the daylight hours when your eyes work best.
Carry weapons for your safety: It is legal to carry pepper spray which has to be sprayed on the eyes of the attacker. The spray acts as an irritant affecting the eyes and skin of the person. The bottle can be emptied in 6 seconds if sprayed continuously. The second burst is more than enough for keeping down the attacker. Safety rods are great defence weapons.
Pack light: Packing light is the key to a safer, cheaper, and happier travel experience but it requires more planning. With experience and time as you experiment, you will get used to taking only essentials on your ride. You’ll find you don’t need nearly as many pairs of shoes as you think you do!
Be careful while riding off-road: Ride within your ability, especially on dirt roads. If you can’t see what’s coming around a bend, expect a vehicle or farm animals to be there. When riding through villages, be aware that goats and chickens can suddenly run out in front of you. Always ride with constant awareness no matter where you are and try to avoid riding at night when poor vision adds to the risk of a crash.
Knowing first aid and having a first aid kit, including some basic medications like antihistamines and paracetamol, is also a good idea. Pack feminine hygiene products and pain relievers.
Best activities to do in Kashmir
Trekking amidst the Himalayas: Bordered by the Himalayas, colorful meadows, and water streams, Kashmir is full of wonders for travellers. Trekking in J & K is more challenging and exciting where you would find more and more exquisite things and views. We think you should try the trek to Chadar which is the toughest trek of India.
Horse/pony adventure rides in Srinagar: Srinagar, Pahalgam, Yusmarg and Kokernag give you the opportunity to explore the valley through horse or pony riding. In fact, when it comes to horse riding it’s available throughout the year. There is something magical about the snow-capped mountains, lush meadows, rolling hills, and dense forests while riding on the horse. And the local tourists are the friendliest of the lot and will make sure everything goes smoothly for you.
Mountain biking: One of the cheapest adventure sports in Kashmir is Mountain Biking. Cycling in Himalayan terrains, beside lakes, on green meadows, and on the foothills is the best way to explore the natural beauty. You have to hire a mountain bike with proper gears to do cycling on rugged and crazy terrains of the Himalayas. Also, make sure that you are physically strong to indulge in mountain biking.
Riding the Gondola cable car is one of the exciting and fun things to do in Kashmir for people of all ages. Tourists prefer to travel via cable car to enjoy the best views of the snowcapped mountains. Taking a Gondola ride is one of the best things to do in Kashmir in May because during this month, the summers are coming to an end and the view is really great.
White river rafting: It is one of the most adrenaline rush giving adventurous things to do in Kashmir. The rapids here are easy or moderate, which implies that rafting in Kashmir is not difficult. You can go rafting near Sonamarg as well. However, the white water rafting in the Lidder river in Pahalgam is more famous. Teamwork coordination is an important feature in river rafting, and you must also follow the safety instructions given by the instructors.
Camping: Try camping at Sonmarg, also called the Meadow of golf. You can try between the months of April-October at one of the many camping sites in this beautiful hill station. From the campsite, you can choose to trek to one of the many Himalayan lakes or to places like Zoji-la pass, Baltal, and Thajwas Glacier. Most camps also include various activities like fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and sports like volleyball. Also, many camps organize bonfires which you can be a part of and feel at peace.
Ice Skating at Gulmarg: Ice skating can look difficult in the beginning and its common to have a fall due to loss of balance and laugh at oneself, but if you have ever tried roller skates, it can be a joyful experience with a few good tips from experienced skaters. January and February are the perfect months to try ice skating at Gulmarg and you can hire all the equipment along with a good instructor if you are a beginner. If you have time and are keen on learning more about ice skating, you can also join one of the Training camps organized at the rinks.