Southern India Sojourn – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka

  • Witness a vivid concoction, which represents the entire mood of South India
  • Diverse food of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala will definitely enthrall your taste buds
  • A thrilling biking route with the lush Western Ghats combining three states of Southern India
  • Experience an abundant wildlife

This tour combines the three spectacular states of Southern India: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, 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 bio diversity, 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 enthrals and keep you hooked through on this cycling trip.

Quick Facts

  • Duration

    14 days / 13 nights

  • Start

    Bangalore | 17:00hrs

  • Finish

    Kochi

  • Hotels

    Casual Inns

  • Riding Style

    Active Rider

  • Average Distance Cycled

    50km or 30mi

  • Total Distance Cycled

    ~ 450km or 280mi

  • Bicycle

    Included

  • Support Vehicle

    Included

  • Group Size

    Min 2, Max 12

ITINERARY

Brief Itinerary

* with shuttle
DayPlaceHotelDuration~ Cycling Distance
1BangaloreCasa Cottage1Nil
2 -3MysoreGreen Hotel250km / 30mi*
4MudumalaiBamboo Banks145km / 27mi*
5 – 6NilgirisMcIver240km / 24mi
7PollachiCoco Lagoon160km / 37mi*
8 – 9MunnarAranyaka270km / 44mi*
10PeriyarWildernest170km / 44mi*
11AlleppeyPamba Heritage Villa150km / 30mi*
12KumarakomAbad Whispering Palms Lake Resort140km / 24mi
13KochiFort House140km / 24mi*
14Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival note:

Bangalore or Bengaluru (BLR) has direct connecting flights via Middle East & few destinations in Southeast Asia. Domestic flights can be connected to Bangalore either from Delhi or Mumbai. Bangalore is mainly an arrival/meeting point and you can plan to arrive at Bangalore by afternoon or night.

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 are 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 kms in this area.

Your Art of Bicycle Trips (ABT) tour leader meets you at 05:00pm

Get well rested tonight.

Day 2: Mysore – train journey, palace and market walk

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 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: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Mysore – Kaveri trail

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 British East India company, a turning point in Indian history. End the ride with a well deserved local meal.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 50km / 30mi*

Day 4: Masinagudi – agricultural trail

Break away from the cultural capital of Karnataka, as we wind our way through the Chamundi hills and later ride past agricultural farms and numerous villages, capturing the rural life to enter the state of Tamil Nadu.

Post-lunch shuttle to Masinagudi, a favourite haunt of wildlife buffs & professional wildlife photographers from around the world.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 45km / 27mi*

Day 5: Nilgiris – switchbacks

Be rewarded with a breathtaking misty view of rolling hills carpeted with shola forest as we climb through hairpin bents and reach Ooty, situated at level of above 2,000m and part of amazing Nilgiris biospehere. Admire the unmatched views in every direction while making your way to the top.

Later take a shuttle to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 24mi

Day 6: Nilgiris – day at leisure

Today you can plan your own day. Enjoy the day at leisure or explore the nearby areas by walk or just take a ride on the heritage toy train, weaving through the forest and valleys of Nilgiris!

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Pollachi – epic descent 

An amazing rolling downhill awaits you from Coonoor, with spectacular views of Mountains. Later, we transfer you to the countryside of Pollachi to spend a night, before heading to the tea clad mountains of  Munnar.

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

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 60km / 37mi*

Day 8: Munnar – sandalwood trail

This morning after breakfast, ride through Marayoor sandalwood forest. The gradual rising trail winds its way through tea and sandalwood plantations.

We continue our gradual climb towards our lunch stop at a local restaurant. After lunch, bike amongst past tea plantations in the rugged Munnar hills to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 70km / 44mi*

Day 9: Munnar – our favourite ride to Top Station

Explore the tea gardens of Munnar by walk or if your legs are up for biking, head out to Top Station, a viewpoint of great touristic eminence. The riding stretch to Top station is one of our favourite cycling route in Kerala. As we ride all the way up to Top Station, you will be stunned with  brilliant view of the stacked mountains and deep valleys below.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 25mi*

Day 10: Periyar – Tea trail 

Ride through the God’s Own Route today. It’s a stunning climb out of Munnar through the Lockhart Gap, with spectacular views of tea gardens and lakes along the way before we gradually descend along a winding country road, passing small hamlets and spice plantations to settle in the town of Thekkady.

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

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 70km / 44mi*

Day 11: Alleppey – undulating trail

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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 50km / 30mi*

Day 12: Vembanad Lake

Ride through the narrow lanes and experience a fabulous bird life before arriving at Kumarakom, situated right at the edge of mesmerising Vembanad Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance cycled: ~ 40km/24mi*

Day 13: Kochi – coastal trail

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 it’s spice trade.

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

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance cycled: ~ 40km / 24mi*

Day 14: Kochi

Depending on your time in 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: Breakfast

* With shuttle – short transfers.

REGION

insightful details

Terrain

Stretched over fourteen days this trip takes you through the south western half of peninsular India. A fabulous journey which passes through thick jungles, tropical rain forests, verdant tea plantations, rice fields, terraced vegetable gardens and Eucalyptus trees. Bangalore to Cochin is a quintessential experience a must do for the avid nature lover and wildlife enthusiast. The ride starts with flat plains and rice fields and gradually moves to the hills of the Western Ghats.

The Western Ghats also known as the Great Escarpment of India is one of the top bio- diversity hot spots in the world and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna, some of which are still yet to be discovered. It runs parallel to the western coast all the way from Mumbai till the tip of the Peninsular.

As we ride through this fabulous landscape we are greeted with the regular chorus of the jungle!. Chirping birds and noisy crickets add a musical note different from the beep and honks of Crazy Indian Traffic. The route is full of ups and downs and at times the climbs can be challenging as we ascend to altitudes close to 2000 meters above sea level.


See

Birds such as – Pelicans, King fisher, hornbills, Indian roller, Peafowl, Jungle Fowl, Hawks, Eagles, Minivets, Bulbuls and Sun birds which are all endemic to this region.

Mammals such as – Indian Gaur, Elephants, Leopards, Tigers, Spotted Deer, wild boar, bears, Sambar, Giant Squirrels and monkeys.

Having said all that, it should be your lucky day to spot them!


Experience

• The Palace and Markets in Mysore
• Tea gardens, coffee plantations, pepper vines and cocoa plantations in the hill stations of the Western Ghats
• Terraced vegetable gardens and Eucalyptus trees on the hillsides of Ooty
• Colonial Bungalows and plantation lifestyles with traditional south Indian cuisines
• The wealth of flora and fauna found in Peninsular India

DATES + PRICES

Group Departures

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REVIEWS

from our friends

Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
Average rating:  
 6 reviews
by Tom Trottier on Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
Great tour operator with personalized…


Great tour operator with personalized service. The routes were excellent and the food was great. Wonderful accommodations. The tour leader and driver made us feel very welcome and comfortable...professional, attentive, personable, flexible.

by Catherine Fogarty on Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
Great way to travel


Art of Bicycles is a fantastic company and along with a group of family and friends had a most excellent time in India back in January 2018. Everything was great from the itinerary, accommodation, food but most of all being surrounded by an amazing country. From a bike everything is up close and personal. And there is always the back up vehicle when you need it. A decent level of fitness is definitely an advantage but the Art of Bicycles will move at your pace, create a flexible itinerary and aspire to meet your needs.

by Lisa Valencia-Svensson on Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
I am still absorbing my wonderful trip…


I am still absorbing my wonderful trip with Art of Bicycle Trips, several weeks after it ended, and trying to figure out how quickly I will be able to take more trips with the company. Our guides and drivers were wonderful - fun, friendly, thoughtful, very attentive, they guided me personally up and down some steep hills and adjusted the itinerary to best suit our collective abilities. The places we visited on our Southern India trip were beautiful, serene, bustling, always fascinating, often rejuvenating. The food was beyond delicious, southern Indian flavouring and spices are phenomenal and perhaps without comparison in our world. And who can argue with fresh coconut water, fresh papaya, fresh bananas as cycling snacks! The cycling itself was invigorating. I especially enjoyed building up my uphill abilities day after day, and the gorgeous views that we enjoyed on several days were more than worth the effort. Definitely take a trip with this company!

by Mike Hulme Moir on Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
wonderful trip through south india


wonderful trip through south india. very well organised with great accommodation and food. excellent guides,bikes and transport. would do it again

by John Daniels on Southern India Sojourn - Three States Bike Tour
Repeat customer, happier than ever


I took the Jodhpur-Udaipur bicycle trip in 2012. It was fantastic. That's why, in 2017, I took the Bengaluru-Kochi trip: it was even better cycling. The company is great, their support teams are outstanding, I recommend them to all my friends, I've personally used them twice, and I have a friend who's gone with them three times. Obviously you will have to do your own careful research and decide what's right for you. But I was very happy.

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