NHNZ produces series on epic motorbike rides

Visiting places like the Rat Temple in India - home to about 20,000 rats - features in a new Dunedin-produced television series which premieres tomorrow night.

Tough Rides India follows the adventures of Canadian brothers Ryan and Colin Pyle, who were inspired by the 1987 movie Wall Street to abandon the rat race and explore developing countries on motorbikes.

It premieres at 8.30pm tomorrow on the Travel Channel.

In 2010, the intrepid pair circumnavigated China.

''I met them soon after that and suggested we make a series, which we shot in India last year,'' said series co-writer and producer Kyle Murdoch, of Natural History New Zealand in Dunedin.

''We really wanted to do stuff that was interesting and surprising and showed the diversity of the country and how people live,'' Mr Murdoch said.

''We also wanted interesting off-the-bike stories; otherwise it's just guys on bikes.''

In the six-part series the Pyle brothers attempt to travel 14,000km in 54 days, riding some of the most dangerous roads in the world, through deserts and mountains, in all sorts of weather conditions.

''There were some places I really wanted them to go to, like the Rat Temple [Karni Mata] in Rajasthan,'' Mr Murdoch said.

''The Hindus believe the rats there are their ancestors reincarnated as rats, so they look after them.

''Rohtang Pass, which literally translates as 'Pile of Corpses', and is one of the world's most dangerous roads, was another place we wanted them to visit.''

A third series is planned in Indonesia next year.

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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