We see the bicycle not as a piece of equipment, but as a tool for empathy and a way to bring the world closer together.
On this amazing adventure, we will explore beautiful South India – from coast to coast! Begin with traditional temples and the world famous heritage sites of Tamil Nadu before climbing to the breathtaking hill stations in Western Ghats. Follow with a magnificent descent into the bird sanctuaries and enchanting waterways of Kerala, and end the trip in the colorful spice trading streets of Cochin.
Day 01: Chennai - Mahaballipuram
Riding distance: 0 km
Arrive at Chennai International Airport where you will be met and shuttled to Mahaballipuram to have a relaxing day exploring the famous rock carvings and 7th century stone temples along the shore. Overnight at Mahaballipuram.
Day 02: Mahaballipuram - Pondicherry
Riding Distance: 95 km
Follow breakfast with a pleasant flat ride along the eastern coast road, to the former French enclave of Pondicherry. On route we pass Auroville, a new-aged spiritual commune, founded in 1968 and named after the Guru Sri Aurobindo. Overnight at Pondicherry.
Day 03: Pondicherry – Kumbakonam
Riding Distance: 76 km
Today you will be shuttled to Chidambaram. In 907 B.C., Chidambaram became the capital of the Chola dynasty, and remained so for 400 years. The temple is dedicated to Shiva in his incarnation as Nataraja, or "King of the Dance". It occupies a huge site, with monasteries, shrines, and a water reservoir, and is attended by Dikshitar Brahmin priests, who wear distinctive topknots above their forehead. Then it’s a gentle ride to Kumbakonam. Overnight at Kumbakonam.
Day 04: Kumbakonam – Tanjore
Riding Distance: 40 km
Ride to Tanjore, also a former capital of the Chola Empire between the 9th and 13th centuries; it regained its status under the Nayaks in the 16th century who rebuilt the Royal Palace, Durbar hall and libraries. The Palace houses one of the finest collections of bronze sculptures and stone carvings in southern India. Overnight at Tanjore.
Day 05: Tanjore - Trichy
Riding Distance: 66 km
After breakfast we will continue cycling along the riverside road to Tiruchirapalli, a former trading post of the British East India Company which is dominated by the fort perched on the rock overlooking the town. Overnight at Trichy.
Day 06: Trichy – Athoor
Riding Distance: 70 km
Ride past Dindigul to the very small village of Athoor, a beautiful village surrounded by hills on all sides. Overnight at Cardamom House, an eco-farm and bird sanctuary and a place to write the Great Novel.
Day 07: Athoor
Riding Distance: 0 km
This day is free for leisure. There are beautiful walks that weave around the lake and through hillsides, or you may simply drink tea and enjoy the cuisine and the swimming pool.
Day 08: Dindigul – Palani
Riding Distance: 65 km
Continue cycling towards the Western Ghats. Palani is famous as a Hindu destination; join the pilgrims who climb the stairs to worship at the hill-top temple. Enjoy the culture and the beautiful view offered from the Palani temple. Overnight at Palani.
Day 09: Palani - Marayoor
Riding Distance: 73 km
Today we will be cycling into Kerala – known for soon-to-be-obvious reasons as ‘God’s own Country’ - one of the most magnificent destinations anywhere! Marayoor is famous for natural sandalwoods forest and tea and coffee plantations. Pass through the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Elephant Reserve. Overnight at Marayoor.
Day 10: Marayoor - Munnar
Riding Distance: 41 km.
One day of uphill to Munnar, a hill town at an altitude of nearly 6000 ft. Here the British government established their summer retreat many years ago to avoid the summer heat of the coastal regions. A short day of cycling leaves you plenty of time to enjoy the tea scenery. Overnight at Munnar.
Day 11: Munnar – Thattekad
Riding Distance: 71 km
Cycle to Thattekad. Today’s highlight might be fields of pineapples, rubber, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, and coffee and tea plantations – or the highlight might be a SUPER descent into the region of Thattekkad, a region known for its bird sanctuary. Overnight at Thattekkad.
Day 12: Thattekad
Riding Distance: 0 km
This day is free for leisure, a close cycling distance to the bird sanctuary and wildlife park. Overnight at Thattekad.
Day 13: Thattekad - Kumarakom (Kottayam)
Riding Distance: 83 km
Enjoy a pleasant ride along sleepy agricultural communities until reaching the fishing townships of Kottayam. Almost surrounded by Vembanadu Lake, Kumarakom is formed by approximately 40 rivers that flow down into the Arabian Sea from the cardamom hills to the east. Overnight stay at Kumarakom.
Day 14: Kumarakom – Cochin
Riding Distance: 50 km
Today we cycle to Cochin – a very European center for India, at one time shared between the Portuguese, Dutch and English. Once in Cochin, we watch huge Chinese fishing nets in action as the sunsets over the Arabian sea... exquisite food to mark the end of the tour. Overnight at Cochin.
Day 15: Cochin
Today we explore the exotic spice markets of Cochin...optional short ferry to mainland Ernakulam. Dinner at our residency. Overnight at Cochin.
Day 16: Cochin
Today there is an option for south Indian cooking classes and a visit to some galleries and nearby temples, or lunch and half day at Cherai beach on Vypin Island...fabulous last tour dinner and overnight in Cochin.
Day 17: Cochin departure
Typically, most travellers opt for an early morning flight to Calcutta , travelling there with Dave ... ask Dave for further details.