If there’s one image that you can’t separate from the salty marshes of Gujarat and the highly diverse terrain of the state, it is undoubtedly that of an ATV. In 2013, a dedicated all-terrain vehicle track came up in Rajkot, but the craze for off-roading has been a significant part of adventure tourism in Gujarat.
These formidable behemoths are what the BSF personnel use to patrol the border with Pakistan on this uncertain territory. And it is these highly manoeuvrable and adaptable vehicles that have a found a massive following among both locals and travellers in the state. Be it the city fringes or the wildernesses of southern Gujarat and the salt marshes towards the west, every adventure tourism event has a dedicated segment for off-roading.
Take, for instance, the salt pans of Kutch. The vast white desert of this region beckons not just jeep trail enthusiasts, but those who are looking to get a wholesome off-roading experience in a more compact, less daunting automobile. The best time for these thrilling trails in these salt marshes is the three-month-long Rann Utsav, which has special segments for the activity. The place comes alive with the culture and colour of Gujarat and going for an ATV trail at this time delivers an adrenaline punch to the occasion. Just hire one and set out to explore the area.
The Little Rann of Kutch is an immensely fascinating terrain that throws up unexpected delights. As you go cruising in your handy quad bike, there’s a good chance you’ll spot the Indian wild ass or entire flocks of harriers. And even if you don’t, it’s worth every second of your time to take these mean machines for a spin on the vast, breathtakingly barren landscape.
It isn’t just the desert that offers thrilling ATV trails—you can go quad-biking and tandem biking on coastal terrain, too. Mandvi, which has undoubtedly Gujarat’s best-known beach, is a great pitstop for those visiting Kandla. Apart from enjoying the carefree beach environment, watching the sun go down and the waves lashing the shore, and going for camel safaris along the coast, ATV riding is also a much-looked-forward-to sport here. Zoom away on the bike, leaving tyre tracks in the wet sand in your wake.
And if you’re at Mandvi any time between February and April, don’t miss the Mandvi Beach Festival, which offers a great ATV experience in addition to parasailing, jet ski and bungee jumping.
Billed as the latest in wildly popular beach destinations in India for both domestic and international travellers, Shivarajpur (14km from Dwarka) has garnered quite a bit of a reputation, including the tag of a worthy competitor to Goa and the coveted Blue Flag certification. It is also being developed as a marine sports and adventure tourism hotspot by the state’s tourism department, and the ATV trails here offer thrills unparalleled by most places in the country. Waves wash over the beautiful, sandy beach as you zip past on a quad bike, having the time of your lives.
Sure, zipping around an all-terrain vehicle like a motorboat outside water is fun, but quad-biking in Dang district’s lush Saputara, with its hilly, undulating terrain is no mean accomplishment, and is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Probably the reason why Gujaratis just love off-roading is the vast variety in terrain across the state.
This is a sponsored post.