This cycling holiday gives you an opportunity to experience the countryside & interact with the people from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala. These are three states in the south with varied cultural differences and many commonalities as well. The colonial toy train ride to Ooty is a major attraction of this tour. Experience the hill country, wildlife and plantations along this route.

ARRIVAL  Bangalore, Karnataka
DEPARTURE  Kochi, Kerala
DAYS 13
INCLUSIONS
Modern Cycles Accommodation
Backup SUV Tour leaders
Airport pick and drop  Bottled water and refreshments
Meals as mentioned Licenses and govt taxes
Helmets Activities as mentioned
EXCLUSIONS
Travel Insurance
Flights
Laundry
Alcohol
Shopping

Trip Highlights:

  • Experience the countryside & interact with people from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala.
  • Take a colonial toy train ride in Ooty & experience the colonial lifestyles and mountain air in the area.
  • Visit textile mills in Pollachi.
  • Quintessential over-night house-boat cruize.
  • Experience the hill country and tea plantations in Ooty, Conoor & Munnar.
  • Experience traditional art forms & dance programmes in Kerala.
  • Jungle walks, spice plantation visits & yoga.
  • Healthy local Indian food.
1

Day 1: Bangalore

Arrive at Bangalore, assist and transfer to hotel in the city. Later in the evening we’re out into cosmopolitan Bangalore to sample a mug of finely made Indian craft beer at one of the many breweries in town.

Bangalore happens to be the craft beer capital of India. IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Blonde, Raging Elephant, Basmati Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Tripel, Classic Pilsner, and such are available to sample and experiment right in the heart of the city.

One of the most beautiful cosmopolitan cities of India, Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka. The third largest city of the country, Bangalore was famous as the Garden city. The city has attracted the Information Technology business and has thus become the Silicon Valley of India. The city is brimming with attractions, you will have a good time visiting Bangalore and experiencing the charm of the place.

Cycling Distance : ~ Nil  //  Hotel : Escape Bangalore //  Meals :  – / – / –

2

Day 2: Mysore

After breakfast at Bangalore we are transferred to Mysore (4 hours drive). In the late afternoon visit the famous Mysore Palace with its durbar hall and the golden royal elephant throne.

Mysore is an ancient city with more than 600 glorious years of legacy. Known for its glittering royal heritage, bustling markets, magnificent monuments, cosmopolitan culture and a friendly populace, it is also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense.

In case cycling through rural India sounds like a good option we’re all set and ready for a fun 30 kms ride past Sorghum and silk farms set amidst the rural countryside.

Cycling Distance : ~ 35 Kms  //  Hotel : Hotel Southern Star //  Meals :  B / – / –

3

Day 3: Mudumalai

Early morning and we’re up to bike up the Chamundi Hills and visit the temple deity where we can see an ancient temple and get a panoramic view of the city.

Later on & after a transfer enter into 2 famous wildlife sanctuaries in South India – Bandipur and Mudumalai. These form a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere and are devoted to conserving the endangered Tiger habitat. Endemics like the Malabar Giant Squirrel, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Lark and Grey-headed Bulbul are commonly seen.

Seasonal streams, along  the river Kabini, are watering holes for the abundant wildlife of the region. We make our way to Jungle Hut set along the fringes of the forest for an ubiquitous stay.

Cycling Distance : ~ 40 Kms  //  Hotel : Jungle Retreat //  Meals :  B / L / D

4

Day 4: Ooty

Situated approx. 2000m above sea level Ootacamund aka Udhagamandalam or Ooty is a colonial little town known for its English styled cottages that have unique teak floors, tiled roofs and chimneys, almost like a movie scene from another era. The excellent botanical garden at Ooty which is over 160 years old is home to not only a great variety of exotic flora but also many endemic birds.

From the local needle factory to small quilt making cottage industry, from the lush tea gardens all round Ooty to the famous chocolate fudge sold at Kingstar Bakery at Charing Cross to the barracks at Wellington, and prestigious boarding schools, this capital of in the Nilgiris has inspired excellence in many fields.

Cycling Distance : ~ 35 Kms  //  Hotel : Taj Savoy //  Meals :  B / – / –

5

Day 5: Pollachi

This morning we board the historic Toy Train for a remarkable rail journey with spectacular vistas as we descend to the popular hill station of Coonoor. From here we take a scenic bike ride to Mettupalayam – a small Indian town located at the foothills of the Nilgiris. We then journey by road to a fascinating area near the town of Pollachi.

Toy Train: The breathtaking Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a railway in Tamil Nadu, India built during the British Rule in 1908. The railway still relies on its fleet of steam locomotives and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Cycling Distance : ~ 50 Kms  //  Hotel : Shenbaga vilasam //  Meals :  B / L / D

6

Day 6&7: Munnar

Though seemingly gentle, this ride is definitely alive; taking you to Munnar, branded for its pristine tea estates, cool breeze and breath-taking views. It is one of those attractions that contributed to Kerala’s reputation as a certain travel destination among domestic and foreign travellers.

Kaivalyam Retreat for your next stay is situated close to town byt hidden away in the vallleys that surround Munnar. Kaivalyam offers a wonderful balcony for sit-out, early yoga sessions and plantation walks. This apart from cycling back to Munnar from Top Station – from where you can view the world’s highest working tea factory.

Munnar, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, is perched about 1600 m above sea level and used to be the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in South India. Your stay will be in classic bungalows/estates growing tea, cardamom and other plantation crops. Indulge in a niche experience with the use of local/farm fresh products to supplement your food requirements.

Cycling Distance : ~ 105 Kms  //  Hotel : Kaivalyam Retreat //  Meals :  B / L / D

7

Day 8: Periyar

This morning, we start off early from Munnar, and bike to Lockheart Gap & Bison valley. We will visit a famous temple; giving you an experience of the India you ought to know. Past Chinnakanal and you’re off the road and off your bike to click away with the colorful, all-smiles tea pickers of Munnar. Our lunch spot is atop a lonely hill from where we get to view the plains in the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu; in full glory. A plantation tour later that day in the Cardamom hills and it’s all more than a dream come true on your Spices journey in Kerala. With packets of fresh produce in hand you’re already in wonderland; after which our night-out is at the best wildlife spot in South-India. Welcome to the Periyar National Park!

Good morning from the jungle today! We either take a jungle walk in search of the wild for sightings of animals such as the barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongooses, foxes, wild pigs and elephants.

Cycling Distance : ~ 60 Kms  //  Hotel : Wildernest //  Meals :  B / – / –

8

Day 9: Vagamon

Early this morning we venture into the national park. Mannans are among the oldest indigenous group of people to inhabit Periyar. As late as the 1940’s, they lived in the remotest areas of the reserve seeking out a simple life, fishing in the lake and cultivating a few crops, today they are the main conservators of the forest. They will escort us through the forest and help you discover the remarkable flora and fauna of the region.
From Periyar we will head to Vagamon – the sleepy town with its scenic valleys, beautiful green meadows, enchanting pine forests, mists, fogs, tea estates, waterfalls with the overall greenery is really striking. The route is consisting of a perfect mountain biking country with a great scenic view that consists of small spice growing hamlets dotting the landscape and undulating roads through tea estates and forests. Your destination is a resort set amidst the tea estates and a quiet retreat after a hard day of cycling.

Cycling Distance : ~ 50 Kms  //  Hotel : Wintervale  //  Meals :  B / L / D

9

Day 10: Alleppey Back-Waters

Cycling downhill’s got to be the best way to have fun.  After a quick and lovely descent we transfer out of town to Alleppey for the epitome of your bi-cycle holiday. A luxury rice-barge moored on the Vembanad Lake awaits our arrival. Festive lunch on boat, music in the background, you’re next in charge steering the boat through vast stretches of blue waters. The backwaters extend far into the countryside as deep or shallow canals or channels, and are navigated by ketuvallam or boats, ranging in size from a one person ketuvallam to large open goods transporters.

Cycling Distance : ~ 20 Kms  //  Hotel : Houseboat  //  Meals :  B / L / D

10

Day 11: Ezhupunna

Morning at 9am and after breakfast you’re out onto beautiful stretches of acreage. Goodbyes to your backwater crew and you’re set to learn some Coir (coconut fiber) making from a local outfit, the traditional way! Biking on narrow routes through numerous villages, churches & temples we head to Mararikulam, a fishing village by the beach. After lunch we head out biking to Ezhupunna, your host and friend Mr George who is from an aristocratic Christian family talks about the family and traditions and rumblings from the country-side. His property is a wooden beauty, one that is un-imaginable for an average Indian to be able to construct in the 21st century  – for its sheer size, construction, grandeur and elegance. With rounds to the shrimp farms and Chinese fishing nets, you’re experiencing a rural country as well.

Cycling Distance : ~ 50 Kms  //  Hotel : Villa De Parrai //  Meals :  B / L / D

11

Day 12: Fort Kochi

Hurray! You’re biking to Cochin today.

Past backwater & coastal villages, fish farms and coconut plantations the route is scenic and charming.  The villages you bike into throw light on the life-styles and living standards of the Keralan people. Women making lunch on open fires, men working on their fishing nets, happy kids waving out to you in unison or just elderly men and women engaged in their traditional way of life. There’s alot happening today be it the numerous colonial buildings, spice godows, the art galleries stranded all along Fort Kochi or the breath taking show of Kathakalli(you can also see the face painting before the show), Kalaripayattu as well as Mohiniyatttam & Theyyem. In bed and you’re sure to be transported into a dreamy concoction of rural life, colonial art and spices.

Cycling Distance : ~ 40 Kms //  Hotel : Old Lighthouse Bristow//  Meals :  B / – / –

12

Day 13: Cochin International Airport

After a relaxed breakfast walk to the neighbouring villages as well as participate in traditional Syrian Christian cooking classes. Your tour leader and driver will assist you to the airport depending on your flight timings.

Cycling Distance : ~ Nil //  Hotel : Nil //  Meals :  B / – / –


South India Cycling