While the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, people across the globe found solace in cycling activities. This increase in cycling’s popularity has been visibly apparent in Ranchi where cyclists are seen on the roads more than ever before.
Ranchites are turning to bicycles in an effort to avoid crowded public transport during the coronavirus pandemic and to explore the hinterlands of Ranchi. In recent times Instagram and Facebook profile of people are flooded with photos of new places which perhaps are not even listed on Google. Some of the most popular routes discovered during the CoVID-19 lockdown are listed below for reference:
The Blue Pond
This pond has been formed in an abandoned quarry where ground and rain water seeped in to form a beautiful lake. The color of the lake is pristine blue due to the black granite underneath and looks like Emerald lakes in Himalayas or in South Asian Islands. It is now regularly visited by various cycling groups due to its close proximity to the city. The ride to the pond and return equals to approximately 40 kms with mostly flat terrain.
Route: Take right into the ring road from Tipudana and ride towards Balsaring. The lake is right behind the big rock formation on the left. People generally exist ring road from Dhurwa Dam side to complete the circuit.
Distance: 40 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Easy
The Green Pond
Hidden between the Patratu and Ramgarh Valley – This pond is also formed in an old abandoned quarry just like Blue Pond and can be accessed from Boriya Ormanjhi Road. The pond is in middle of dense forest which makes it a perfect picnic spot and good for bird watching. The color of the pond is so green and clear that you can see the rocks underneath. Please do carry ample water as ride back to the city has gradual incline and you need to stay hydrated.
Distance: 50 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Medium
Ride to Remta Lake
Remta Lake is a little unknown among locals due to the presence of Dassam Waterfall in close proximity which takes the entire spotlight. It is approximately 35 kms from the city center with ample camping spots if you wish to spend the night in nature. The ride takes us through some beautiful forest, farms lands and country sides with long stretch of beautiful road. Going down the valley, the trees cover keeps the sun away and all the climbs on return make the ride worthwhile. The lake is less frequented by people which makes it less polluted and closest to nature.
Route: Doranda – Kusai Colony – Sadabahar Chowk – Enter Rind road at Kharsidag and take right – 3 Kms ahead take left towards Khuti – Follow the course of road for 8-9 Kms and take left from Chakru More. The lake will be on your left 3 kms ahead of Chakru More.
Distance: 70 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Moderate (Please do carry ample water and food)
Churni Falls (Baheya Waterfall)
Churni Falls has been one of my most treasured exploration during the lockdown. The waterfall is merely 17-18 kms from city center and is nestled between dense forests which can only be accessed on foot after a certain point. The ride to Churni takes you through a bit of trail ride in forest and after a point you have to hike with your bike – at times on your sides and at times on your shoulder. The water falls into a natural pool which is not too deep and is perfect for swimming. It is said that water here is crystal clear during winters and you can see the grown underneath.
If you wish to venture into more adventure – Go on top of the waterfall – cross the river and follow the forest trail for few hundred meters until you reach the rail lines. Cross the rail line and walk towards your left till you find another trail on the opposite side of the rails which takes you to the main road. It is a nice hike in the forest if you have some time and water with you.
Route: Follow the course of road after reaching Tatisilwai till you reach Milan Chowk. Take right into the small village lane and follow the course of road for another 5-6 kms. There is couple of left turnings and best bet is to ask the locals for directions.
Distance: 35-40 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Moderate (Please do carry ample water and food)
Who would believe that there is a beautiful stretch of empty road with dense forest on both sides and hardly any population in proximity? The ride to Ganga Ghat is one of my favourite breathing spaces around the city these days. The ride towards Ganga Ghat is beautiful with tree covers on both the sides and the view of the valley which is mystical. Best for sunrises and sunsets, you will see long stretch of green cover with railway line crossing the road twice. The place has literally no traffic and hence makes it on the top list for Cycling. The forest also has plenty of trails for off roading if that is something that inspires you more.
The ride back from Ganga Ghat will have long stretches of climb and it is advisable to carry lots of water.
Distance: 40-70 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Moderate
On days when we wish to do a lazy and recovery rides, ITDP is the place. The ride ends at a rocky hilly terrain which is quite peaceful to relax and has a beautiful view point of the city skyline. The ride to ITBP is mostly flat with only one km of uphill ride towards the end.
Route: Enter the ring road from Law College, Kanke Road and head north towards ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) camp. Take the lane next to the ITBP campus and ride 1 kms uphill to reach the view point.
Distance : 30 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Easy
Hanuman Temple, Ulatu
It has been one of the many other locations which we explored amidst the lockdown and totally fell in love with. The place is a huge piece of rock in middle of Horap forest with a Shiva and Hanuman Temple on top of the hill. The best part about this place is riding to the top of the hill on my bicycle. That sheer joy of climbing and that feeling to never stop pedaling is priceless. I love the vibes of this place and can sit on the rocks for hours looking at the green cover around and the sunset.
Route: Continue the course of road after crossing the Namkum Bazar on Ranchi – Tata Highway for 1 Kms and take left after crossing Jharkhand Acadmic Council. Follow the course of road for 8-9 kms to reach the destination.
Distance : 35 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Easy
The ride to Lodhma takes you through some really beautiful scenic stretch with green covers and lakes with lotuses on both sides of the road. The ride to Lodhma is beautiful but if you feel like venturing on longer ride, go further ahead to Karra which is even more beautiful.
In the route you will come across couple of beautiful lakes with lotus blooming and ducks swimming in it.
Distance : 40-80 KM’s from city centre and back. Difficulty Level — Moderate
Bicycle Mayor of Ranchi, India
Author, Bikepacker, Designer, Travel Blogger
Kanishka runs a design studio for men’s ethnic wear in his hometown at Ranchi, India. He loves bicycle touring, playing with words, sketching and cooking. Traveling has always been the balancing factor in the juggle between work and life.