Southern India Sojourn Bike Tour

south india bike tour 2

Overview

This tour combines the three spectacular states of Southern India: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. Be ready for some serious green therapy riding amidst the Western Ghats – the long stretch of mountains on the South Western edge of the country. Considered a notable hotspot for biodiversity, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Expect to be submerged in the lush environs of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and reserve forests along with tea plantations of Nilgiris and backwaters of Kerala.

We have planned this cycling tour in a way that you are up against the challenge of the mighty mountains and get to soak in the comfort of estate homes as well. Local food, abundant wildlife, and gorgeous views enthrall and keep you hooked throughout this cycling trip.

Start

Bangalore | 17:00hrs

Finish

Kochi

Lodging

casual

Level

moderate

Avg. dist. cycled

50km or 30mi

Suitable for

Age: 16+

Highlights

Highlight Image

Flavour of South India

Witness a vivid concoction, which represents the entire mood of South India

Itinerary

Brief Itinerary

DayPlacecasual Inns or similarMealsDistanceActivity
DAY 1BangaloreCasa CottageD
DAY 2 Train to MysoreHotel Sandesh The PrinceB,L,D
DAY 3MysoreHotel Sandesh The PrinceB,L50km / 30micycling
DAY 4WayanadVarnam HomestayB,L,D70km / 42micycling
DAY 5MudumalaiBamboo BanksB,L,D80km / 48micycling
DAY 6Red HillsRed Hills Nature ResortB,L,D30km / 18micycling
DAY 7Red HillsRed Hills Nature ResortB,L,Dhiking
DAY 8CoonoorMciverB,L,D50km / 31mi
DAY 9PollachiCoco LagoonB, L, D40km / 25micycling
DAY 10DindigulCardamom HouseB, L, D70km / 44micycling
DAY 11MaduraiJC residencyB, L, D60km / 36micycling
DAY 12MaduraiJC residencyB, L
DAY 13PeriyarWildernestB, L, D60km / 36micycling
DAY 14AlleppeyEmerald IsleB, L, D50km / 30micycling
DAY 15Vembanad LakeAbad Whispering PalmsB, L, D40km/24micycling
DAY 16KochiAbad Dutch BungalowB, L, D40km / 24micycling
DAY 17KochiB

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Bangalore

Arrive at Bengaluru Airport and get transferred to a boutique stay, Casa Cottage Hotel, in the heart of the city. After resting for a short while, hit the arterial high street of the city, M.G Road. Criss-crossed by narrow streets lined with bookshops, contemporary clothes, pubs, cafes, and trinkets, the place is abuzz with shoppers in the evenings. Bangalore acquired itself the moniker of the ‘beer capital’ of India, with around 70 pubs in a radius of 2 km in this area.

Your Art of Bicycle Trips (ABT) tour leader meets you at 05:00 pm for bike fit and trip briefing over dinner.

Get well rested tonight.

Meals: D
Accommodation: Casa Cottage
Itinerary Image

Day 2: Train to Mysore

We know you are eager to ride, but we get on a different set of wheels (a train), to omit the traffic and long transfer between the cities. Post-lunch (lunch is served on the train) is to take in the magnificent structures of Mysore.

We start with the palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace is a 14th-century enthralling structure, which is beautifully lit at night on special days. After the historic sight, we make our way into the busy Devaraj market. The market is a concoction of sights, sounds, and smells – a real visual treat. Walk around the stalls stacked with conical mounds of Kumkum, stacks of glittering bangles, blocks of jaggery, and huge mounds of fragrant marigolds, jasmine, asters, and even antiques!

We convene tonight at the dinner to celebrate the start of a fabulous cycling journey.

Meals: B,L,D
Itinerary Image

Day 3: Mysore

A short transfer of about 1hr brings us to Somnathpur Temple, a 13th century Vaishnava Hindu temple on the banks of River Kaveri at Somanathapura, Karnataka. The ornate temple is a classic illustration of the Hoysala architecture, built-in soapstone. Enjoy the stunning temple with our local guide.

Bike from here along the idyllic river Kaveri past paddy fields, sugarcane, banana plantations towards Srirangapatna, enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island. Srirangapatna was a scene of the decisive battle fought between Tipu Sultan and the British East India Company, a turning point in Indian history. End the ride with a well-deserved local meal. Somanathpuram-Srirangapatna.png

Meals: B,L
Cycling Distance: 50km / 30mi
Itinerary Image

Day 4: Wayanad

The river Kabini flows alongside us as we cycle through farms and forests. Located on the southern fringes of the Nagarahole National Park, nature has endowed Kabini with excellent weather throughout the year. Damned in 1974, the Kabini reservoir supports a fascinating range of wildlife – tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, crocodile, blackbuck, sloth bear, and peafowl. Further, we cross the Karnataka border to reach a state of Kerala, also promoted as God’s Own Country. The ride largely remains a rolling one.

Tonight, we stay in a Keralan homestay in the hilly town of Wayanad. Later take a dip into their gorgeous pool and rejuvenate taste buds with a sumptuous home-cooked local meal. Mysore-Wayanad.png

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 70km / 42mi
Accommodation: Varnam Homestay
Itinerary Image

Day 5: Mudumalai

This morning, wind your way through the tropical forest and tea plantations to enter the state of Tamil Nadu and immerse yourself in a complete wilderness as we cycle through. The initial leg of the ride is through a canopy of dense forest largely consisting of teak trees and the second leg is past gorgeous tea plantations. Today is a stunning day on the saddle.

Later we take a short transfer to Mudumalai National Park, a favorite haunt of wildlife buffs & professional wildlife photographers from around the world. Wayanad-Mudhumalai.png

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 80km / 48mi
Accommodation: Bamboo Banks
Itinerary Image

Day 6: Red Hills

We begin our journey with a drive from the Mudumalai to Ooty. Be rewarded with a breathtaking misty view of rolling hills carpeted with shola forest as we shuttle through hairpin bents and reach Ooty, situated at a level above 2,000m and part of the amazing Nilgiris biosphere. This combination of high elevation and low latitude is typical of the Nilgiris, giving them their unique equatorial highland climate.

From Ooty, we begin the day’s cycling by heading due west. The terrain consists of undulating hills covered by Shola forests – a tropical montane forest-grassland complex endemic to the Nilgiris. The Shola forests consist of stunted forests and grasslands that occur together covering entire mountains whose monotony is broken only by numerous crystal clear lakes gleaming under a mellow sun, giving the appearance of a patchwork quilt of multiple hues. We ride through villages where forests have been cleared to plant cash crops such as tea, coffee, wattle, blue gum, and exotic spices such as cardamom.

The British found the Nilgiris climate so salubrious that they introduced the cultivation of their favorite drink, tea, to this region. Red Hills is thus a place that is surrounded by lush green forests and tea estates that spread out over its mountain slopes like exotic oriental rugs of green velvet. We end the day with a cup of the finest Nilgiri tea, a befitting toast to the commencement of an unforgettable journey. Mudhumalai-Redhills.png

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi
Itinerary Image

Day 7: Red Hills

Today we exchange our cycling gear for hiking boots as we go hiking into the Nilgiri forests. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and a world heritage site by UNESCO on account of the extremely rich flora and fauna it supports, much of which is not found anywhere else in the world. Some of the rare animals found in this region are the Nilgiri Tahr, a critically endangered mountain goat of which a little over 3000 individuals are left in the wild today, and the Gaur or Indian bison. In the distance, we can spot the Doddabetta peak, the highest mountain in the Nilgiris standing tall at 2637m above sea level. We hike for 3-4 hours through the picture-postcard landscape of the Nilgiris. The rest of the day is free for relaxing and enjoying the fabulous views from your window. We recommended trying some traditional Badaga cuisine today that is prepared by the Badaga tribal community of the region using locally available ingredients and traditional techniques such as cooking in wood-fired ovens.

Meals: B,L,D
Itinerary Image

Day 8: Coonoor

We get back on our bikes today and cycle towards the hill station of Coonoor, a quaint town surrounded by tea estates and drenched in an old-world, colonial charm. The twin towns of Ooty and Coonoor, once ruled by Toda tribals, were discovered for the modern world by the British civil servant John Sullivan who wrote that they “resembled Switzerland more than any country of Europe, the hills beautifully wooded and fine, strong springs with running water in every valley”. It is a description that still holds true, the only difference being that the beautifully wooded hills and strong springs have been added the charm of verdant tea gardens and quaint colonial bungalows. As we ride past garden upon a garden of lush green tea leaves glistening under a soft highland sun, kissed ever so lightly by the cool mountain breeze so that the very air is diffused with their pleasing aroma, we know we are in a region that produces one of the finest teas in the world. Redhills-Coonoor.png

Meals: B,L,D
Cycling Distance: 50km / 31mi
Accommodation: Mciver
Itinerary Image

Day 9: Pollachi

An amazing rolling downhill awaits you from Coonoor, with spectacular views of Mountains followed by a ride through the hinterland.

Immerse yourself in a countryside living as you stay in a rural village of Pollachi, an unexplored tract in the Indian tourism arena. Coonoor-Pollachi.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 40km / 25mi
Accommodation: Coco Lagoon
Itinerary Image

Day 10: Dindigul

This morning after breakfast, ride through Palani, the temple town of Tamil Nadu to reach a village in Dindigul.

We stay at a family homestay near Kamaraj lake. Pollachi-Dindigul.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 70km / 44mi
Accommodation: Cardamom House
Itinerary Image

Day 11: Madurai

Our last cycling day through Tamil Nadu as we arrive at Madurai. Madurai is one of South India’s oldest cities and has been a center of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. This is where Mahatma Gandhi took the decision, in 1921, to wear nothing but khadi (homespun cloth). Khadi textiles and tailors’ shops are everywhere in town. Dindigul-Madurai.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation: JC residency
Itinerary Image

Day 12: Madurai

It’s best to visit the main temple early in the morning when it is relatively less busy. Meenakshi Amman (Sri Meenakshi) temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city of Madurai. The temple complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities.

Meals: B, L
Accommodation: JC residency
Itinerary Image

Day 13: Periyar

We take in the spectacular views of the western ghat mountains as we ascend to the neighboring state of Kerala. The last leg has a steep climb and we may decide to that in a shuttle.

If time permits, we head to a garden of spices and learn about the spices from a local farmer. Madurai-Thekkady.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi
Accommodation: Wildernest
Itinerary Image

Day 14: Alleppey

This is going to be a beautiful ride – from the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady, through the tea gardens that lie lower. A hilly ride, with both dips and steep climbs, but the cool weather helps you grapple with this challenging ride better.

After biking, we transfer to Alleppey. Alleppey is the backwater destination of India, as it lies at the edge of the massive Vembanad Lake. Thekkady-Allepey(Vagamon).PNG

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 50km / 30mi
Accommodation: Emerald Isle
Itinerary Image

Day 15: Vembanad Lake

Ride through the narrow lanes and experience a fabulous birdlife before arriving at Kumarakom, situated right at the edge of mesmerizing Vembanad Lake. Allepey-Kumarakom.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 40km/24mi
Accommodation: Abad Whispering Palms
Itinerary Image

Day 16: Kochi

On the last biking day, ride along the beach road and past fishing villages and numerous Christian churches along the coast towards Fort Kochi, the historical port city in Kerala, once glorified for its spice trade.

The tour support staff will say goodbyes, as you reach Fort Kochi and check-in to the hotel. kumarakom-Kochi.png

Meals: B, L, D
Cycling Distance: 40km / 24mi
Accommodation: Abad Dutch Bungalow
Itinerary Image

Day 17: Kochi

Depending on your time in the morning you can explore Fort Kochi and learn more about the history of this old port city.

Please make your arrangements for onward travel.

Meals: B
Accommodation:

Ready to plan your adventure? Download a print-ready detailed itinerary.

Map

Dates and Prices

Members get an estimated 10% off on this trip.

$50/yearLearn more



Couldn't find a trip with convenient dates?

Open your date as a join-in tour or customize further as a private one.


Essential Info

Inclusions

LODGING

All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).

trip leader

Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.

bike

Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.

shuttle

A Van support follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.

meals

Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.

refreshments

Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.

entrance

Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.

E-bikes

E-bikes are available (subject to availability) on this trip at a surcharge.

Exclusions

Airport pickup and drop

We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.

meals

Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.

Beverages

Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.

Bikes

When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Our fleet majorly consist of the below bikes as a part of this tour. However, sometimes due to height or availability constraints, we may provide a different but similar quality bike.

Bike Image

Scott Sportster or similar

hybrid

Included in your trip price

Bike Image

Specialized Diverge or similar

gravel

Available at a surcharge

Bike Image

Scott E-Bike or similar

ebike

Available at a surcharge

Weather

With varied terrain, starting from below sea level in coastal plains to 1900m in the mountains, Kerala has a diverse climate. A typical tropical climate remains cooler in the highlands and hot and humid in the coastal plain throughout the year.

Mid-November to the end of February is the winter time in Kerala, which is best experienced in the highlands with a pleasant climate in the mornings and temperature falling below 10°C at the night. A fleece jacket or warm sweater and long pants may be needed for the cooler evenings and mornings in hill stations. The temperature in plains averages between 25°C to 31°C during this time.

From the beginning of March till the end of May, it is summer. The temperatures go above 40°C during some days in coastal pains and generally remain very hot and humid. The highlands still offer some relief during this time with comparatively cooler climates.

The start of June is the beginning of the Monsoon season in Kerala. Kerala receives two cycles of Monsoon. From June till September, it’s the southwest monsoon, which brings heavy rainfalls till mid of August and it slowly weakens towards the end of September. The second cycle, the Northeast monsoon, starts from the beginning of October till mid-November with light to heavy showers mainly during the evening hours.

Visa

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. E-Visa has been made available by the Government of India to citizens of certain countries, including the United States of America. Details of the scheme are available on the dedicated website created for this purpose: e-Visa
e-Visa has 5 sub-categories viz. e-Tourist Visa (for 30 days/01 year/ 05 years), For e-Tourist and e-Business visa, Applicants may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival. Recent front-facing photographs with white backgrounds and photo pages of passports containing personal details like name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date etc, are to be uploaded mandatorily by the applicant. Additionally, one more document depending upon the e-Visa type would also be required to be uploaded. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded documents and photograph are not clear / as per specification.

Reviews from our friends

End of reviews

You may also like


End of tours


What Sets Us Apart

itinerary icon

Thoughtfully Crafted

Each day is crafted with utmost care so that you are well-rested; get a drift of local culture and enjoy the curated routes at your own pace.

guide icon

Handpicked Hotels

True to their heritage and character, luxury and boutique hotels that reflect local ethos; providing an unforgettable experience.

bicycle icon

Top-quality Gear

With our unwavering commitment to quality, you can fully immerse in the adventure while we take care of providing top-notch bike.

like minded icon

Expert Guides

The folks who steer you towards a unique and enriching experience, and sometimes truly a life-changing adventure.


Join 5000+ Cycling Adventurers

Join our newsletter to get inspiration for your next biking adventure. Opt-out anytime.

Stay connected for the latest updates

Follow Us on Instagram

cycling adventures
cycling adventures
cycling adventures
cycling adventures
cycling adventures

Featured in

instagram iconyoutube iconlinkedin iconfacebook icon

© 2024 Art of Bicycle Trips