Enchanting Tamil Nadu Bike Tour

  • This trip acquaints you with the most famous Dravidian temples, dating back to centuries: Sree Meenakshi Temple and Thanjavur are the most famous of the lot.
  • Experience a little bit of France in India at the seaside town of Pondicherry.
  • Gorge on fresh seafood at Mahabalipuram and along the coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • Get upclose to the coastal village life of Tamil Nadu, passing through scenic fishing villages and seeing them buzzing with activity as the catch comes in.
  • See the alternative life at Auroville, off Pondicherry and soak in the philosophy of The Mother and Aurobindo. A visit to the Mantrimandir (dome at Auroville) is essential for meditation enthusiasts.

A trip into the heart of Tamil Nadu gives you a chance to peek into the 2500 years old Dravidian civilization. The state is particularly known for centuries old temples and brilliant architecture. This cycling tour will certainly transport you into civilizations before. Along with a slice of history, expect to cycle down pristine coastlines, forested mountains and bucolic small villages where children run to greet you with a big smile. Gorge on fresh seafood at local haunts picked out by our experts and soak in some of India’s beautifully detailed rock carvings in laid-back Mahabalipuram. You also have a short rendezvous with the French colony, Pondicherry with perfect spots for yoga sessions. Add to this, a chance to tap your adventurous side and trying surfing and scuba diving. We end the tour with s trip into one of India’s largest temples, Sri Meenakshi Temple. The trip is planned as a mélange of food, culture, classical music, temples, history and a great cycling topography.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    10 days / 9 nights

  • Start / End

    Chennai / Madurai

  • Price

    USD 3,295 pp dbl. occ.
    The price is indicative and may vary due to size of group, accommodation, time of year you travel

  • Hotels

    Premiere Inns

  • Riding Style

    Easy Rider

Group Departures

PRIVATE TRAVEL

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GROUP TRAVEL

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ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlacePremiere InnsDuration~ Cycling Distance
1 – 2MahabalipuramTaj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa220km / 12mi
3PondicherryHotel de l’orient130km / 18mi
4TharangambadiGate House160km / 36mi
5ThanjavurIdeal River View Resort160km / 36mi
6 – 7ChettinadChettinad Visalam Hotel260km / 36mi
8 – 9MaduraiHeritage Madurai260km / 36mi
10Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival note: Chennai

Arrive at the Chennai airport and hire a direct taxi to Mahabalipuram. The price of taxi is around Rs 1,500. You can also choose to spend a pre-tour night at Chennai and then take a taxi to Mahabalipuram. We can suggest you few hotels to stay at Chennai. Please write us.

Day 1 & 2: Mahabalipuram

Famous for its ancient rock carvings, especially the Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram was once the second capital and seaport of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Mahabalipuram is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries and remains a renowned centre for stone carving. As you enter into the village, you’ll see and hear the constant tapping of hammer and chisel as artisans chip away at exquisite sculptures.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Distance Cycled: 20km / 12mi

Day 3: Pondicherry

Today we shuttle to Pondicherry, a former French colony, which still has its colonial ambience intact in cobble-stoned streets, bright cafes, and architecture style in most of the buildings. We check into a heritage homestay and later go for a cycling loop in the vicinity. Head out in the evening to explore the town. You can walk along the main Goubert Avenue where the whole town congregates in the evenings for walks as the breeze from the sea makes the weather ever pleasant.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 30km / 18mi

Day 4: Tharamganbadi

We leave Pondicherry early in a shuttle to avoid traffic and ride in the latter part of the journey to Tharamganbadi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 5: Thanjavur

After breakfast, we ride into the adjoining temple village, Thanjavur. The World Heritage–listed Brihadishwara Temple is the main highlight here with its large Maratha Palace complex. Thanjavur is dotted with beautiful living temples in the entire region and we head out with a guide to see the important ones. The village is also known for its bronze paintings that can be bought as souvenirs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 6 & 7: Chettinad

We ride to Chettinad, famous for its cuisine, architecture and temples. The evening is at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 8: Madurai

It’s a long ride into Madurai; during which you might need to dodge some traffic. The large Sri Meenakshi Temple complex in Madurai is world famous for its size and the amount of pilgrims that come here each day. Madurai one of South India’s oldest cities and has been a centre 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cycling Distance: 60km / 36mi

Day 9: Madurai

It’s best to visit the main temple early in the morning when its 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: Breakfast

Day 10: Departure

Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation to the Madurai Airport.

YOUR BIKE

Scott, Marin, Giant, Trek

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. All our bike tours in Kerala run on some of the best hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry (and we maintain them meticulously). Upright position, good traction and optimal balance between performance and comfort are some of the characteristics.

MEET THE LOCAL SPECIALIST

Dibin Devassy

Dibin Devassy

From Art of Bicycle Trips

After six years, Dibin was happy to leave Dubai’s clinically clean environs and come home to exploring the wonderfully unkempt and thickly green landscape of good old Kerala on his cycle. Amongst the diverse Kerala experiences, Dibin loves the traditional cuisines and organic farming methods the most! If he’s not scouring through the Kerala trails, you will find him hooked to movies with an intellectual tug; Into the Wild is his favourite! He is a native of Thrissur, Kerala.