Biked to cross the Tropic of Cancer

I recently bought a Royal Enfield Classic 350 Signal bike. My father and I just decided in the morning to drive the bike to cross the Tropic of Cancer and have our morning tea on a roadside eatery after crossing the Tropic line. The Tropic of Cancer is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The Tropic of Cancer passes through 8 states in India — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, and Tripura.

The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude on Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This occurs on the June solstice when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun to its maximum extent.

When this line of latitude was named in the last centuries BC, the Sun was in the constellation Cancer (Latin for crab) at the June solstice, the time each year that the Sun reaches its zenith at this latitude. A solstice is an event in which a planet’s poles are most extremely inclined toward or away from the star it orbits. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, this is no longer the case; today the Sun is in Taurus at the June solstice. Because of the gradual change in the direction of Earth’s axis of rotation, the Sun will reappear in the constellation of Cancer in approximately 24,000 years.

Our city, Ranchi, lies at 23°22′ N near to the Tropic of Cancer while The current latitude of the Tropic of Cancer equals 23°26′16″ N. It’s almost at a distance of 12 km from our house. We drove up the Ranchi-Hazaribagh Highway (NH 33) and crossed the line of Tropic of Cancer. We took some photographs at the place. There are a small seating area and a memorial built on the western side of the highway, which was inaugurated by the Governor of Jharkhand, Shrimati Draupadi Murmu on June 21, 2017.

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We drove further up and then took a u-turn and came to the other side of the road. There was a line hotel near the Tropic of Cancer named Bindas Bawarchi. We had tea there on “kulhar” — earthen cup and returned home.

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