THE GREAT INDIA CYCLING CHALLENGE – SEP- Nov 2023

  • Sport & Abenteuer Reisen
  • Fahrrad & MTB

CYCLING FROM LEH TO KOVALAM – KANYAKUMARI

Overview

For the intrepid traveler who is looking for a lifetime cycling adventure, it’s happening right here in India. The mega cycling expedition as you can mention otherwise will scale the entire sub-continent from North to South. Let go of the challenging terrain, noises, and chaos while we lead your way. Soak in the colors of Indian villages, the vibrant culture, festive people, breathtaking nature, historical monuments, heritage living, and aromatic cuisines.  Starting from the Great Himalayan corridor from Leh, riding down the Zanskar and Pir Panchal Ranges towards the Indo Gangetic plain and further towards the capital state of New Delhi. Further, riding the golden triangle with the iconic Taj Mahal, the Tiger Capital Ranthambore, and the grand provinces of Rajasthan viz Jaipur, Pushkar, and Udaipur. We will ride across bustling Surat in Gujarat, and the metropolis of Mumbai in Maharashtra, to head towards the Konkan coast. After riding from the sunny Goa to spiritual Gokarna, we will traverse across the Western Ghats of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and God’s own country Kerala. From the myriad backwaters, we ride towards Kanyakumari, the Southern tip of India where the three oceans confluence. We will spend a day relaxing at the Kovalam beach before we pack our memories for the next adventure.In addition, the trip follows a more fascinating course by closely knitting unique experiences viz visiting the Buddhist Gompas of Ladakh, camping in the Himalayan foothills with the starlit sky, visiting the Mughal remain of Old Delhi, Chandini Chowk, and Agra, staying in royal palaces, and visiting the Rajput forts of Rajasthan, introspection of the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, serene beaches of Goa and Gokarna, wildlife sanctuaries of the Nilgiri Biosphere, tea hills of Munnar, sightseeing of colonial Fort Kochi, houseboat cruise in the backwaters and relaxing at the Varkala and Kovalam Beach.

Program

OUTLINE ITINERARY – 2023

DayDateLocationMeal PlanHotels
Day 115-Sep-23Leh– / – / DThe Grand Dragon
Day 216-Sep-23LehB / L / DThe Grand Dragon
Day 317-Sep-23LatoB / L / DCamping
Day 418-Sep-23Tso Kar LakeB / L / DCamping
Day 519-Sep-23Whisky NallahB / L / DCamping
Day 620-Sep-23Zing Zing BarB / L / DCamping
Day 721-Sep-23SissuB / L / DCamping
Day 822-Sep-23ManaliB / L / DApple Country Resorts
Day 923-Sep-23ManaliB / – / –Apple Country Resorts
Day 1024-Sep-23MandiB / L / DVisco Resorts
Day 1125-Sep-23ShimlaB / L / DShimla Havens Resort
Day 1226-Sep-23ChandigarhB / L / DGolden Tulip
Day 1327-Sep-23KarnalB / L / DThe Vivaan
Day 1428-Sep-23DelhiB / L / DSheraton
Day 1529-Sep-23DelhiB / – / –Sheraton
Day 1630-Sep-23MathuraB / L / DThe Radha Ashok
Day 1701-Oct-23AgraB / L / DHoliday Inn
Day 1802-Oct-23KarauliB / L / DBhanwar Vilas Palace
Day 1903-Oct-23RanthamboreB / L / DTiger Den
Day 2004-Oct-23JaipurB / L / DUmaid Bhavan
Day 2105-Oct-23JaipurB / – / –Umaid Bhavan
Day 2206-Oct-23PushkarB / L / –Pushkar Fort Jagat Palace
Day 2307-Oct-23DeogarhB / L / DDeogarh Mahal
Day 2408-Oct-23UdaipurB / L / DUdaikothi
Day 2509-Oct-23UdaipurB / – / –Udaikothi
Day 2610-Oct-23DungarpurB / L / DUdaibilas Palace
Day 2711-Oct-23MadosaB / L / DMidas touch Resort
Day 2812-Oct-23ChampanerB / L / DChampaner Heritage Resort
Day 2913-Oct-23ShoolpaneshwarB / L / DRamada Encoresou
Day 3014-Oct-23SuratB / L / DRiocolina
Day 3115-Oct-23Daman & DueB / L / DThe Gold Beach Resort
Day 3216-Oct-23MumbaiB / L / DGordon House Hotel
Day 3317-Oct-23MumbaiB / – / –Gordon House Hotel
Day 3418-Oct-23Murud JanjeeraB / L / DGold Swan Beach Resort
Day 3519-Oct-23Kurde Beach DapoliB / L / DLotus Eco Beach Resort
Day 3620-Oct-23GanpatipuleB / L / DBlue Ocean resort
Day 3721-Oct-23Ambolgad BeachB / L / DSamindar Beach House
Day 3822-Oct-23MalvanB / L / DThe Windmill Resorts
Day 3923-Oct-23Goa AnjunaB / L / DCasa Anjuna
Day 4024-Oct-23Goa AnjunaB / – / –Casa Anjuna
Day 4125-Oct-23South Goa AgondaB / L / DAgonda Paradise
Day 4226-Oct-23GokarnaB / L / DSanskruti Resort
Day 4327-Oct-23KundapuraB / L / DBlue Waters
Day 4428-Oct-23KoppaB / L / DKalgreen
Day 4529-Oct-23HassanB / L / DHoysala Village
Day 4630-Oct-23MysoreB / L / DMetropole
Day 4731-Oct-23MysoreB / – / –Metropole
Day 4801-Nov-23OotyB / L / DSullivan Court
Day 4902-Nov-23PollachiB / L / DCoco Lagoon
Day 5003-Nov-23MunnarB / L / DCopper Castle
Day 5104-Nov-23Fort CochinB / L / DDutch Bungalow
Day 5205-Nov-23Fort CochinB / – / –Dutch Bungalow
Day 5306-Nov-23AlleppeyB / L / DCitrus
Day 5407-Nov-23VarkalaB / L / DDeshadan Cliff Beach Resort
Day 5508-Nov-23KovalamB / L / DUday Samudra Beach Resort
Day 5609-Nov-23KovalamB / – / DUday Samudra Beach Resort
Day 5710-Nov-23DepartB / – / – 

YOU Also have the option to join one of the sections

FULL TOURGREAT INDIA CHALLENGELEH TO KOVALAM15 SEP 10 NOV
SECTION 1THE MAGICAL HIMALAYAN CYCLINGLEH TO AGRA15 SEP TO 01 OCT
SECTION 2ROYAL RAJASTHAN CYCLINGAGRA TO MUMBAI01 OCT TO 17 OCT
SECTION 3KONKAN COAST CYCLINGMUMBAI TO KOVALAM17 OCT TO 10 NOV

TOUR OVERVIEW

  • Activity –                       Cycling Challenge
  • Destination –                 India (Leh to Kovalam7Kanyakumari)
  • Total Cycling Distance – 5000 Kilometers approx.
  • Duration –                     56 Nights, 57 Days
  • Terrain –                       Varied, from Mountain to Hilly & Flat coastal
  • Climate –                       Tropical
  • Comfort Level –              4/5
  • Activity Level –               4/5
  • Fly in –                          to Delhi & Leh Airport
  • Fly out –                        of Trivandrum International Airport
  • Group Size –                  02 – 20 riders
  • Cost –                           USD 6900/- per person

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Witness and experience Incredible India all across
  • Prime destinations, innate attractions and offbeat experiences
  • Vibrant heritage, culture, people and cuisines
  • Cycling through the Magical Himalayas
  • Tuk Tuk Experience at Chandni Chowk Market Delhi
  • Visit the Symbol of Love – Taj Mahal
  • Jeep Safari at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
  • Witness the forts and palaces of Royal Rajasthan
  • Cycling along the enchanting Konkan Sea Coast
  • Cycling through the biodiversity hotspot of Western Ghats
  • Houseboat Cruise at the Backwaters of Alleppey
  • Select comfy and serene accommodation in varied properties
  • And much more that we can mention in the trip highlights…

THE ITINERARY

DAY 1: LEH, LADAKH
Arrive at the Himalayan hamlet of Leh

We highly recommend you to arrive (own), a couple of days earlier for general acclimatization at the high-altitude Himalayan town of Leh. We will be happy to pick up; rest of the group (on Day 1), from Leh airport and drive to the hotel nearby. Amazed by the bird’s eye view of infinite Himalayan peaks from above the clouds, it feels different while you land at the barren cold desert town of Leh with thin air. It is unlikely that a major town would exist here at 3500 m above sea level. However, this ancient town was right there from being the seat to Ladakhi Kings and a major stopover in the Indo-Chinese Trade route during earlier times to this date. Upon reaching the quaint hotel with royal elegance, you can relax with the view of the distant snowcapped mountains and the rustic settlements nearby. Evening the group briefing on the epic cycling journey across India is scheduled followed by a customary dinner.

Accommodation The Grand Dragon
Meals Dinner
Activity Pick up from airport

DAY 2: LEH, LADAKH
Cycle fitting and sightseeing of the cultural town

After breakfast, the Cycle fitting is scheduled. Once we are done with the bikes, it’s time for sightseeing around Leh. This includes the Leh palace, ancient monastery, Buddhist temple and museum of the Indian Army. We can also go for an optional warm-up ride to Khardungla Pass, the world’s highest motor-able pass – 5602 m above sea level. It is the gateway to Nubra valleys and the Siachen Glacier in the north and Shyock region in the east. These strategically important roads are maintained by Border Roads Organization, an infrastructure building wing of the Indian Armed Forces. The ride will be challenging as we ascent all the way uphill towards the pass while the oxygen level and the temperature drop exponentially. The narrow and winding road is smooth till South Pullu, here we will stop for police clearance. Further, it will be adventurous, ride on rough and bumpy roads (14 km) with the rock-cut mountains on one side and deep valleys on the other side. Reaching on top of the Khardung La pass, we will be rewarded with the breathtaking view of the valley and the snowcapped peaks of the Zanskar range. After spending comfortable time, we start our downhill ride back to Leh. (3500 m | approx. Cycling distance: 80 km)

Accommodation The Grand Dragon
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycle Fitting & Day Out, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads, Tough Uphill and descent back

DAY 3: LATO, LADAKH
Cycling along the Buddhist Gompas and scenic valley

The morning after breakfast, we start the amazing cycling on the high-altitude Manali Leh Highway. We transverse on a combination of downhill and undulating mountain roads with less traffic. We ride alongside the winding Indus river and through its rustic valley. Our ride will progress with the view of Leh town, Leh golf course, small settlements, snow mountains, scenic viewpoints and remote Gompas en route. Important being the Shey Monastery or Gompa and the palace complex, noteworthy for its giant gold-gilded copper statue of the seated Shakyamuni Buddha. Further on the way, we visit the Thiksay Monastery or gompa towering on the hilltop which resembles the iconic Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet). We leave the Indus river at Upshi and cut across the craggy mountains and scenic valleys towards the quaint Himalayan village Lato. Here, we spend overnight at a makeshift camp with a beautiful view of the starry sky. Elevation Gain 890 m Elevation Loss 312 m

Accommodation Camping
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 72 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads, Undulating

DAY 4: TSO KAR LAKE, LADAKH
Cycling on meandering mountain roads to the spectacular lake village

This morning we start cycling towards the next high mountain pass Taglang La (5328m); the ride is more challenging as the condition of the road is not ideal (gravel road). After 35 – 40 Km ascending the zig-zag stretch, we reach the Taglang La. The pass is blessed with a spectacular view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. Later, we will slowly start descending towards the Tso Kar Lake. Upon reaching the Tso Kar Lake, we will camp here for the night. Tso Kar Lake is also known as ‘White Lake’ because of the salt deposits all over its shores and it is situated in Rupshu Valley. The nomadic settlements of Thugje and Gursan are guardians of the lake and its surrounding area. One can also explore around the lake rich in wildlife and flora to watch different species of birds. The most spotted mammal here is Kiang (Tibetan wild ass).

Accommodation Camping
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 85 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads, Undulating

DAY 5: WHISKY NALLAH, LADAKH
Cycling to the craggy and arid backyard of Ladakh

Leaving Tso Kar Lake, we start cycling on flat roads with a gentle climb for the first 60 km. We ride past hairpin bend roads towards the Pang village and cross a network of streams on the typical Army-engineered iron bridges. Traversing the undulating mountain terrain roads for another 25 km on Leh Manali Highway, we ride along the small villages and towns, with the view of scenic landscapes, Buddhist temples and Dhabas (local roadside eateries). The vast craggy and arid terrain with little vegetation appears strikingly in contrast with the bright blue sky and the ever-drifting puffy white clouds. Crossing the Lachulung La pass, we ride few kilometers downhill on hairpin bend roads to reach Whisky Nallah. Here, we spend overnight at the remote camp surrounded by picturesque hillocks.

Accommodation Camping
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 90 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads with numerous hairpin bends, Uphill and undulating

DAY 6: ZING ZING BAR, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling along the stunning landscapes to Zing Zing Bar

Today, we will ride on a combination of downhill, uphill and undulating mountain terrain roads. Initially, we cross the few kilometers to take on the grueling downhill through the Gata Loops (21 hairpin bends). Further, we traverse gradual uphill for approx. 50 km along the course of the Tsarap river towards the major halt point and camping grounds of Sarchu in Himachal Pradesh. Though we have long day cycling, the ride will be fascinating with views of mountains landscapes, scenic viewpoints, remote villages, Hindu temple, dhabas, Baralachala Pass and Suraj Tal lake and an army hospital. The last stretch of 25 Km will be downhill till we reach the Camp at Zing Zing Bar. The place has one of the most beautiful views of different mountain ranges along the Leh Manali Highway.

Accommodation Camping
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads with numerous hairpin bends, Undulating

DAY 7: SISSU, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling along verdant valleys, forested mountains and the Himalayan river

Today, we ride mostly downhill and undulating mountain roads. Initially, we ride through Lahaul valley with hairpin bends and a stunning view of the verdant and forested Pir Pancha mountain range. We will also witness Buddhist monasteries, local temples, rustic villages, lakes and campsites along the way. The route from Zing Zing Bar through Darcha and Keylong will lead us to Tandi where we will stop for an en-route break. Here, the Chandra River meets Bhaga River and makes Chandra-Bhaga River; when it enters Jammu and Kashmir it is known as Chenab River. It will be pleasant cycling along the Chandra River to reach our destination – Sissu. Here, we end our ride at a peaceful campsite along the scenic Sissu Lake for an overnight stay.

Accommodation Camping
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 80 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads with numerous hairpin bends, Mostly downhill

DAY 8: MANALI, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling through the scenic yet grueling Rohtang La Pass

Morning, we ride towards the mighty Rohtang La (3979m), a high mountain pass that remains closed for more than six months due to heavy snowfall. We will start our ride with a steep uphill ride on Marhi road leading us to the pass. The road is rocky and muddy at some sections with grueling hairpin bends. The ride will be very challenging at few stretches, wherein you might not be able to pedal the cycle at all. Upon reaching the Pass, we further ride downhill up to Manali passing by the rustic Marhi village and beautiful Jogini waterfall. The spectacular views of the snowcapped mountains, picturesque valleys, and quaint Himalayan villages are so surreal to reenergize any fatigued rider. We reach Manali towards the end of our ride. Here, we spend overnight at a boutique hotel nestled alongside an apple orchard.

Accommodation Apple Country
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 84 km, Terrain: High Altitude Mountain roads with numerous hairpin bends, Undulating and downhill

DAY 9: MANALI, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Day out – Hadimba Temple visit and short trek to Jogini waterfall

Today is a break day and sightseeing of Manali is scheduled.

Hadimba Temple: To start with, we will visit the Hadimba Temple. The 16th century-built temple is nestled amid a beautiful deodar forest on a hilltop. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Hadimba who was also the wife of the strongest of the Pandava brothers, Bhima, according to the Hindu mythology Mahabharata. The temple holds great significance for locals and tourists alike. A vast number of pilgrims visit here to seek blessings from Goddess Hadimba.

Jogini falls: Jogini Falls is situated on the Northern edge of Vashisht Village and marks the village boundary. The waterfall cascades down from a height of around 150 feet through multiple levels. There is a small pool at the base formed by the fall and visitors can spend some time taking a plunge in the water. (Please note that the flow of the water is heavy in monsoons. Hence, it is suggested not to venture into the water during this time.) Jogini Mata temple is located at the base of the waterfall. It is an important sacred site for the surrounding villages. The locals bring their children for their first tonsure here.
The trek to Jogini Falls: This is one of the best short treks in Manali to enjoy scenic nature, village life and local culture in the lesser Himalayas. The trek route passes through a narrow lane adjacent to the Vashisht temple and goes through the apple

orchards, tall pine trees and small water streams. On the way, few local restaurants and guest houses can also be seen. A gentle walk for an hour will take you to the base of the waterfall and another 15 minutes towards the top of the waterfall. This easy yet exciting trek can be completed in 3 hours starting from Vashisht Temple. The whole trek route is abundant and scenic and takes you through the rustic villages aligned with the sprawling valleys.

Accommodation Apple Country
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Sightseeing

DAY 10: MANDI, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling to the cultural town of Himachal

We start riding through the lowland hills of the Himalayas on a combination of both uphill and downhill terrain on the state highway and village roads. We traverse mostly on the inclined terrain from Bajaura town up to Tihri for approx. 20 km. We pedal through the rustic villages and towns with the view of picturesque mountains and valleys. We also ride along Manali nature park, the Beas river, river camps, rafting spots, scenic viewpoints and local temples to reach Mandi. This picturesque hill retreat nestled on the bank of river Beas is the cultural capital of Himachal, often called Varanasi of hills. Mandi is also a trade centre for agricultural produce and timber with its Hand-loom weaving and handicrafts being the primary cottage industry. Here, we spend overnight at a serene resort with a view of the narrow Suketi river from your window.

Accommodation Visco Resorts
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 110 km, Terrain: Mountain roads, Undulating

DAY 11: SHIMLA, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling to the Himalayan Foothill haven

Today, we ride through a combination of undulating and downhill terrain. We ride on the highway and village roads along the Suketi river with the view of scenic mountain landscapes, local temples, viewpoints, lakes and forest vegetation crossing the Sutlej river. We ride towards Shimla, the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. Once the summer capital of British India, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Kalka-Shimla Heritage Railway, completed in 1903. It’s also known for the handicraft shops that line The Mall, a pedestrian avenue, as well as the Lakkar Bazaar, a market specializing in wooden toys and crafts. Here, we settle at a small yet comfy resort with the view of a misty valley perched with pine trees.

Accommodation Shimla Havens Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 130 km, Terrain: Mountain roads, Uphill and undulating

DAY 12: CHANDIGARH, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Cycling to the planned city of Chandigarh

The morning after breakfast, we start our ride to traverse through a combination of flat, downhill and undulating terrain. We ride mostly on the highway through villages along the scenic mountain landscapes and many tourist homes. We will also witness the Kaushalya dam and the river at Pinjore as we progress our ride towards Chandigarh, located at the Shivalik foothills. This futuristic city was formerly designed by the Swiss-French modernist architect, Le Corbusier. Apart from the city’s distinguished architecture and buildings like Capitol Complex, High Court, Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and giant Open Hand Monument, it is also famous for clean roads and greenery. Here, we spend overnight at a cozy business class hotel.

Accommodation Golden Tulip
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 115 km, Terrain: Undulating hilly roads

DAY 13: KARNAL, HARYANA
Cycling to the agrarian town of Karnal

Today, we ride along the state borders of Punjab and cross into the state of Haryana. The terrain will be a combination of flat and undulating roads through villages and cities of Ambala and Kurukshetra. It is believed that the historic battle of Mahabharata befallen at Kurukshetra. We will witness friendly waving villagers, local temples, wayside shops, cultivated lands and the sacred Yamuna river along the way. We reach the bustling city of Karnal, also known as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ for being the producer of Basmati rice of premium quality. Apart from its rice production Karnal also leads in the production of wheat and milk. We end today’s ride at a gleaming luxury hotel by the highway for an overnight stay.

Accommodation The Vivaan
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 113 km, Terrain: Flat village roads

DAY 14: NEW DELHI
Cycling to the capital state of India

Today, we progress our ride again through a combination of flat and undulating terrain. We ride south, parallel to the course of the sacred Yamuna river, mostly on highway and village roads with moderate traffic. We traverse through the major towns of Panipat, Sonipat and small settlements along the agricultural lands, local temples, motels and dhaba (roadside restaurant). We will culminate our ride at Rai which is the Delhi Border. To avoid heavy traffic, we will board the transport for a 2-hour drive to the Capital state of New Delhi. Here, we spend overnight at a grand hotel with a whole round view of the city.

Accommodation Hotel Sheraton
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: Flat suburb roads

DAY 15: OLD DELHI
Sightseeing – Monuments and the old-world charm of Delhi

Morning, you will go for a guided sightseeing tour to witness the city life of the Capital state, explore its local market and witness the timeless monuments here. First, we drive to historic Old Delhi to visit Jama Masjid and walk through the Chandni Chowk Market. We can also try out a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling market. Later, we will stop at the historic Kareem’s Restaurant famous for its Mughal Cuisine and have lunch. After lunch, we will resume the sightseeing tour of New Delhi with a drive past the Presidential Palace, the National Parliament, the Jaipur Column, the India Gate, the prestigious Chanakyapuri Embassy District and more. We will further visit the Gandhi Museum, the Humayun’s Tomb and the Lotus Temple. We will wind up for the day at a cozy city hotel.

Accommodation Hotel Sheraton
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Sightseeing

DAY 16: MATHURA, UTTAR PRADESH
Cycling to the holy city and birthplace of Lord Krishna

Today morning, we will transfer you to the outskirts of the city to avoid the traffic. Then, we start cycling to the sacred city of Mathura, for an approx. 80 km. The terrain will be a combination of slightly undulating and flat roads along the basin of river Yamuna. We will ride through villages with the view of wheat, barley and mustard. Mathura hailed as the birthplace of Lord Sree Krishna is one of the seven sacred cities in India and an important pilgrim centre for Hindus. Here, we will visit Shri Krishna Janmasthan temple (birthplace of Lord Krishna). You can also try out the local delicacy, the Rabri. This famous food of Mathura is basically condensed milk served in an earthen pot with Kesar, spices and nuts. We will settle down at a comfy hotel in Mathura.

Accommodation The Radha Ashok
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 140 km Terrain: Slightly undulating and flat suburb roads

DAY 17: AGRA UTTAR PRADESH
Cycling to the marvelous marble wonder on earth

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we take on the road towards Agra. The terrain will be a combination of slightly undulating and flat roads further along the basin of river Yamuna. We will ride through villages and cultivated lands for approx. 60 km to reach Agra. Agra, a small town renowned for its monuments, especially the Taj Mahal, One of the seven wonders of the world, and also for the exemplary marble stone works. After lunch, we will visit the Taj Mahal, one of the most awesome and extravagant monuments ever built. The mausoleum was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife. Built between 1631-1653, the complex is magnificent and contains thousands of semi-precious inlaid stones. The day in Agra will also include a visit to the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site which was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638. You can also tryout the local delicacy – Petha, a sweet made from white pumpkin. We spend overnight at a Boutique hotel in the city.

Accommodation Holiday Inn
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 60 km, Terrain: Flat suburb roads along the river, Evening Taj Mahal Visit.

DAY 18: KARAULI, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the offbeat village of Karauli

Morning, we will start cycling from Agra and pass through many small villages. We can see and experience the way of life around this region as we ride to Karauli. We ride on scenic village roads and state highways for approx. 140 km passing through agricultural fields especially mustard, along small temples, herds of cows and women carrying water. The route is free of traffic until we reach Masalpur after which we will be passing through the busy town. We end our ride at the erstwhile Palace of the rulers of Karauli, presently converted into heritage hotel. We spend overnight for an unforgettable and amazing stay at the palace hotel. A cooking demo of traditional cuisine is also on the menu.

Accommodation Bhanvar Vilas Palace
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 160 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating suburb roads

DAY 19: RANTHAMBOARE, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the grand tiger capital of India

Today, we will continue cycling to Ranthambore National Park / Tiger Reserve. We ride on a combination of undulating and flat rural roads through villages and fields for approx. 100 kms to reach the forest reserve. It is one of the prime centre of Project Tiger’s conservation efforts in Rajasthan & a favorite haunt of wildlife buffs & professional wildlife photographers from around the world. Here, you can opt for a Jeep Safari (optional) to spot wildlife especially the tigers, one of the most magnificent animals of India, which has long fascinated people with its awesome power and beautifully striped coat. There are also many other species to see including sambar deer, cheetah, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, jackal and hyena among others. The scenic national park is known for its largest tiger population and also is one of the biggest national parks in India covering 1334sq km. We spend overnight at a nature resort in the area.

Accommodation Tiger Den
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating and flat backroads, Optional Jeep Safari

DAY 20: JAIPUR, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the pink city of Jaipur

After breakfast, we will start cycling to Jaipur – the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, also popularly known as the ‘Pink City’. Our ride will progress on village roads and state highways with undulating and flat terrain. You will ride through rustic countryside and scenic local villages with view of marble quarries, temples and agricultural fields. After riding for approx. 100 kms, our driver will meet us in the evening and you will be transferred to the hotel in Jaipur. We will spend overnight at a heritage styled boutique hotel. The remarkable artwork, traditional interiors and modern facilities of the hotel makes your stay at Jaipur utmost memorable.

Accommodation Umaid Bhavan
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100Kms, Slightly undulating and flat backroads

DAY 21: JAIPUR, RAJASTHAN
Sightseeing – Palaces and fort of Jaipur

We begin the day by visiting the famous Amer Fort which combines both Mughal and Rajput architecture. The grand fort overlooking the Maota river is made out of red sandstone and marble. Next, you will visit Jantar Mantar, a collection of astronomical instruments also featuring the world’s largest stone sundial. Here on, we will visit the Jaipur markets which showcases the rich colors and vibrancy of Rajasthan. Walk in the lanes and bazaars of old Jaipur to see artisan shops, temples and traditional houses. If time permits, we can also visit the Hawa Mahal – the most prominent and distinctive landmark of Jaipur.

Accommodation Umaid Bhavan
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Sightseeing

DAY 22: PUSHKAR, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the vibrant city of Pushkar

The town of Pushkar is known for its mix of Muslim architecture and Rajput building which makes it different from the rest of the places you see. Today’s ride will take you on the back roads which wind through interesting rustic villages. We pass through Kishangarh famous for its marble quarries and ride the final stretch of lesser Aravalli hills valleys to reach the pilgrim city of Pushkar. Here, we go on a sunset walk around the sacred lake, optional climb up to a hilltop temple, cycle to discover wayside shrines and holy places, or explore rose farms by camel cart. Pushkar is known for the Annual camel fair in the month of October or November and attracts a humongous number of buyers and spectators. We settle at a palace styled resort in cozy rooms with classic interiors and panoramic view of the hills and dunes westwards from its roof top.

Accommodation Jagat Palace
Meals Breakfast, Lunch
Activity Cycling 150 km, Terrain: Undulating backroads

DAY 23: DEOGARH, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the foot land town of Aravalli Mountain Range

Morning, we start our ride towards Deogarh. We ride on a combination of undulating and flat terrain through village roads and state highways with the view of the Aravalli mountain range, rustic rural villages, local temples and agricultural lands. We will wind up our ride at the iconic heritage hotel, an imposing 17th century palace. It stands atop a hill and offers a commanding view of the Aravalli mountain range and the numerous lakes, strewn across the countryside. We can also go for a village walk here or an optional meter gauge train journey from Deogarh to Marwar Junction. The journey progress through many British era bridges and tunnels, the wildlife sanctuary of Kamalighat and picturesque hillocks. The plains of Marwar are visible from atop the mountains and you may spot some wildlife as well. Kindly note that the train journey will take 2 hours and we should start from Deogarh Mahal at 9.30 am.

Accommodation Deogarh Mahal
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 160 km, Terrain: Undulating backroads

DAY 24: UDAIPUR, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the lake city of Udaipur

Today, you will ride on a combination of hilly, undulating and flat terrain towards Udaipur. We ride through villages and dry deciduous forests of the Aravalli Mountain range along Rajsamand Lake, countryside villages and local temples. Traversing across the Banas river and Mewar Biodiversity Park, we reach the iconic white city of Udaipur. We end our ride at an enchanting boutique hotel by the scenic Pichola Lake. Here, you can witness Rajasthani Folk dance and cultural show before resting for the night.

Accommodation Udaikothi
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 125 km, Terrain: Undulating backroads

DAY 25: UDAIPUR, RAJASTHAN
Sightseeing of the white city – Udaipur

After the breakfast you will be guided to the city’s highlights including the famous Udaipur City Palace as well as the local markets before visiting the Jagadish temple. The Jagdish temple in Udaipur city is an imposing structure and one that was built in late 17th century. It is an important attraction for its unique architecture & structural highlights. The City Palace at Udaipur was built over a period of 400 years and the complex consists of various smaller palaces atop a hillock. The Palace is considered the largest amongst the many palaces in the entire state of Rajasthan. After the visits, we go for a heritage walk in the evening to visit Bagor ki haveli to witness the Dharohar dance show. The Dharohar Dance Show is very well organized starting with a brief introduction given by a Rajasthani woman dressed in a traditional Rajasthani attire. The performances are preceded by the beating of a drum, blowing of a conch shell and a religious song. Further showcasing well-choreographed dances ably supported by the musicians playing Tabla and harmonium. The women performing the dance wear typical Rajasthani folk costumes with colorful Ghagra cholis embodied with glass work and embroidery work.

Accommodation Udaikothi
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Sightseeing

DAY 26: DUNGARPUR, RAJASTHAN
Cycling to the marble capital

Morning, we start our ride towards Dungarpur situated in the mineral rich Aravalli mountain range and popular for the green marble. This unique colored marble found here in this region is formed when the limestone mass is penetrated by serpentine group of minerals. Today, we ride on a combination of undulating, hilly and flat terrain through village and forest roads. We transverse through Kewra reserve forest, Daya dam, Kejad lake, small temples and along the Som river. We end the fascinating ride at a dream palace situated by the blue waters of Gaib Sagar lake with a private reserve forest on the other bank of the lake. We will also visit the rustic Juna Mahal a 13th century palace built of the iconic Pareva stone with its elaborately planned security structures and interiors to delay an enemy attack.

Accommodation Udaibilas Palace
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 105 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating and downhill backroads

DAY 27: MODASA, GUJARAT
Cycling to the sunny state of Gujarat

Leaving Dungarpur, we ride south west to cross the Rajasthan state border towards Modasa – a small village in Aravalli district of Gujarat state. Gujarat is known for its vibrant culture, colorful festivals, unique flora and fauna and also immense technological advancement. Our ride will traverse on a combination of undulating and flat terrain through rural villages and backroads. We will ride along the Aravalli mountain range, the Meshwo reservoir, many local temples and agricultural lands. We wind our ride at the serene resort located in the heart of Aravalli hills. The unique location of the resort offers a panoramic view of the tranquil landscape of the northern Gujarat.

Accommodation Midas Touch Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 90 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating and downhill backroads

DAY 28: CHAMPANER, GUJARAT
Cycling to the historic city of Champaner

Morning, we ride south from Modasa to the historic city of Champaner. We ride on a combination of undulating and flat back roads along the Mahi river, rustic villages, agricultural lands and local temples. We will visit the Pavagadh archaeological park, a UNESCO heritage site which consists of archeological, historical and cultural monuments. Inside the hill fortress, we can witness ancient forts, palaces, walkways, arches, residential complexes, stepwells etc. It also consists of different religious sites like temples, mosques and tombs. These timeless structures date back to 8th – 14th century. After the visit, we wind down for the day at a heritage resort nearby with its mansions nestled in the beautiful gardens.

Accommodation Champaner Heritage Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 165 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating and flat backroads

DAY 29: SHOOLPANESHWAR, GUJARAT
Cycling to basin of the sacred river Narmada

Today, we ride from Champaner to Kevadia town in the Narmada district. We ride through a combination of undulating and flat terrain through village and forest roads along farming lands crossing the Hiren river. We wind down at today’s ride at a cozy resort close by the Narmada river and the statue of unity. Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary ecozone is also located south of the Narmada river. Evening, we can go for an optional visit to the statue of Unity nearby. The colossal statue of the highly respected India statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was built to commemorate his leadership role in uniting 562 erstwhile princely states to form the single union of India.

Accommodation Ramada Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 95 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating backroads

DAY 30: SURAT, GUJARAT
Cycling to the commercial hub of Gujarat

Morning, we start our ride to South Gujarat toward the economic hub of Surat. Initially, we ride through the boundary of the Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary spreading across 600 square kilometers. The protected moist deciduous forests in the western Satpura range is the prime habitat for mammals like the sloth bear, leopards and barking deer, many reptiles and avian species of the region. We ride on a combination of undulating and flat terrain through forest periphery road, village roads and state highways. We ride along the scenic Karjan reservoir, rustic villages, lush cultivated lands, local temples and finally the Tapti river to reach the financial hub of Surat. Here we stay at a scenic cozy accommodation close by the Tapti river surrounded by nature.

Accommodation Riocolina Riverside
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 130 km, Terrain: Slightly undulating and downhill suburb roads

DAY 31: DAMAN & DIU
Cycling to the colonial coastal town of Daman

Today, we start our ride South to cross the Rajasthan state border towards Daman & Diu. Daman and Diu lie on an alluvial coastal plain, although outcrops of basalt create low plateaus and promontories in the area. The Daman Ganga River flows through the territory, with Daman town situated where the river enters the Arabian Sea. It is also famous for its beach, Portuguese colonial architecture and old-time churches. Again, we ride on a combination of undulating and flat terrain state highway, village and coastal roads. We ride across Auranga, Par and Kolak river along the Arabian sea, lush fields, local temple, and hidden beaches. We windup todays ride at a cozy resort right on the beachside to spend rest of the day relaxing at the beach.

Accommodation The gold beach resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 135 km, Terrain: Mostly flat suburb roads

DAY 32: MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling to Mumbai – the financial capital of India

Morning, we start our ride further south through a combination of undulating and flat terrain. The ride will be mostly through coastal backroads. We traverse through the old Daman town and fishermen villages, across Daman ganga river, with view of the sea and local beaches. We will ride till the coastal town of Palghar and hop on to the transport for an approx. 100kms drive towards the bustling Mumbai city. We will reach a comfy boutique hotel located near the great pier and monument Gateway to India. Tomorrow, is a break day left for you to explore the famed monuments, museums and a few cultural intricacies of the financial center of India by yourself.

Accommodation Gordon House
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling to Palghar 100 km, Terrain: Mostly flat suburb roads, Transfer to hotel

DAY 33: MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA
Sightseeing of Mumbai – The city that never sleeps

Today, we will have a free day for sightseeing in Mumbai. We will start with the visit to The Gateway of India and the Prince of Wales Museum – one of the prime museums in India. It has three main sections: Art, Archaeology and Natural History. The museum showcases some of the rarest and most ancient exhibits of Indian history and many interesting artifacts from foreign countries as well. We will also stop nearby for photo click at the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ where Mumbai’s ‘laundry’ is scrubbed, bashed, dyed, and hung out to dried.

Next on the list is the Dharavi Slum. Walking through the tight alleys along the trivial dwellings opens up to all sorts of emotions. Though the idea of gazing at the misery of the underprivileged can be quite uncomfortable, it is truly inspirational to witness the sense of community and entrepreneurship that thrives in such harsh conditions.

Accommodation Gordon House
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity 5 hrs Sightseeing of Mumbai (Gateway of India, The Prince of Wales Museum, Dhobi Ghat, Dharavi Slum, etc)

DAY 34: MURUD, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling to the Island Fortress of Murud Janjeera

After breakfast, we pack our gears to board the ferry for transfer from Mumbai to Mandwa Jetty. We will alight at Mandwa and start riding along the coastal route towards the historic province of Murud. The backroad ride will progress traversing small tributaries exiting to the Arabian Sea and rustic villages. Further, we will cycle along the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary abundant for its coastal woodland ecosystem and vide variety of flora and fauna. We will reach a serene beach resort to wind up today’s ride. A visit to the historic and unconquered Murud Janjeera Island Fort is on the evening activity list.

Accommodation Golden Swan
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity 1-hour ferry ride from Gateway of India to Mandawa, Cycling to Murud (75 km), Terrain: Mostly flat coastal roads, Visit the 15th-century Murud Janjeera Fort

DAY 35: KARDE BEACH, DAPOLI, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling to the erstwhile British Camp of Dapoli

Today, we will ride start our ride with a ferry crossing across the wide Rajapuri Creek. After disembarking the ferry, we will ride through the fishermen villages with the view of the scenic Arabian Sea. Traversing the moderately undulating backroads, we will reach the banks of the Savitri River for yet another ferry crossing. It’s a good chance to interact with the locals as the ferry is the only means for the locals to commute across banks. We will end up our ride in Dapoli, in Ratnagiri district – a coastal hill station historically used by the British Troops. Here we settle down at the tranquil beach resort at Karde.

Accommodation Lotus Eco Beach Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 105 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 36: GANPATIPULE, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling to the Ganpatipule – land blessed by Lord Ganesha

After breakfast, we start cycling along the moderately undulating terrain through the coastal villages. We cross the Vashishti river and ride to Veleneshwar Beach (around 75 km) to have a picnic lunch at the beach. After lunch, a short rest, and maybe a quick swim at the scenic beach, we ride further south to cross the Shastri River to witness the Jaigad Fort standing tall against the bay formed by the river. We now enter the erstwhile Marathwada province – the land of brave Marathas once ruled this land before the Mughal reign. We continue our ride to reach yet another tranquil beach of Ganapatipule and rest for the day at a private beach resort. At the beach, one can see the centuries-old Shree Ganpatipule Temple – a prominent pilgrim center in the region with its extraordinary brick red & white walls.

Accommodation Blue Ocean Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 37: AMBOLGAD, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling to Ambolgad – The Heartland of Ratnagiri

Today, again we ride on the undulating coastal backroads of Ratnagiri through Fishermen villages along many fish markets and small temples. We will ride past the shallow basin of the Kajali river which forms a vast expanse of mangrove forest adjoining the coast. We also pass through the Ratnagiri town along the Ratnadurg fort, Mandavi beach, and the agrarian suburbs. We further cross the Purnagad creek formed by the Muchkundi river and Gaonkhadi Beach to reach Ambolgad Beach Village – our destination to end the day’s cycling. We will spend overnight at a secluded yet comfy beach house with a scenic beach right in front.

Accommodation Samindar Beach House
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 83 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 38: MALVAN, MAHARASHTRA
Cycling across the rivers of Sindhudurg to Malvan

After the breakfast cycle through the moderately undulating backroads of Sindhudurg crossing various rivers starting from the Vaghotan, Devgad, Naingre, Achara, Gad, and Karli. We will be riding along small temples, agricultural lands, and suburbs with historic Maratha forts like Devgad and Bhagawatgad in the vicinity. After lunch, you will be cycling through coastal and non-tarmac roads. We will traverse through the Kolamb creek to reach the secluded beach of Malvan in the Konkan Coast. We will spend overnight at the serene beach resort with the beach so closer as if located in the front yard. You will be able to see the Island fort Sindhudurg and the Padmagad Fort towards the distant South West frontiers of the bay.

Accommodation The Windmill Resorts
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 110 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 39: ANJUNA, NORTH GOA
Cycling to the hippie destination – Sunny Goa

After breakfast, we will ride our bikes through the coastal roads, sometimes non-tarmac at sections. We will cross over the Terekhol river to leave the vast state of Maharashtra and enter the small sunshine state of India – Goa. Once been an important Portuguese settlement, Goa is splendid with its customary architectural remnants, churches, and monuments, food, and culture apart from its golden sandy beaches and colorful nightlife. We will pass along the hippie beach of Arambol by the hills. We have a nesting site of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles by the Morjim Beach bay. We will ride past the famous Chapora fort by the river to reach the picturesque beach of Anjuna. Here we spend overnight at a boutique hotel that has been inspired by traditional Goan architecture.

Accommodation Casa Anjuna
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 40: ANJUNA, NORTH GOA
A well-deserved free day by the golden beach

It’s a well-deserved free day at one of the best beaches on the hippie trail. You can spend your free day basking in the sun and a sure dip in the shallow waters to rejuvenate your body and mind for the next South Indian leg of the epic cycling adventure across the country. Evening, you can stroll through the Market by the beach. The vibrant Goan nightlife is never to miss. It’s a great choice to pick up your favorite beer and hit the nearby party place. However, please make sure that you hang out with a small group of your friends and ensure each other’s safety at all times.

Accommodation Casa Anjuna
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Leisure at the Beach

DAY 41: AGONDA, SOUTH GOA
Cycling to the serene South Goa

Today, we will ride from the happening North Goa to the more tranquil South Goa. We will ride along the popular beaches of Baga & Calangute, cross the Mandovi river to enter the Old Goa known for its heritage remnants like the Basilica of Bom Jesus with remains of St Francis Xavier. We will further ride through the village roads with a view of Portuguese styled houses, Churches, Mangroves, Coconut and Cashew trees, restaurants serving Goan Fish Thali and favorite beverage – the Feni brewed from the juicy Cashew fruit. We will ride through the silent beaches of Varca & Cavelossim to reach the tranquil beach of Agonda. Here we spend overnight at the beach resort with palm groves and beautiful cottages built of wood adjacent to the pristine beach.

Accommodation Agonda Beach Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 84 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 42: GOKARNA, KARNATAKA
Cycling to the Sacred Land of Gokarna with its Ancient Temple

Leaving the beautiful beaches behind, we will head towards Gokarna. First, riding through the hilly undulating terrain with sparse forest and woody patches, we will pass through the coastal town of Karwar, Karnataka. Here you can view the sea shaking hands with the river Kali. We will be crossing the river on a Ferry along with the locals. Further, we will ride on the backcountry roads, mostly flat terrain with the view of fishing harbors, Coconut, Cashew, and Mango Tree groves along the way. We will finish the ride at a scenic nature resort in Gokarna. Also, being a prime pilgrim center in South India, Gokarna is famous for the 4th century CE Sri Mahabaleshwara Swami Temple. According to legend, the Atma Linga – the Soul of Lord Shiva is worshipped here. And hence, it is believed that the Mahabaleshwara temple is one of seven temples to be visited for attaining Moksha. In the evening, you will be visiting tranquil Ohm Beach for a sunset walk followed by a special dinner at the beachside restaurant.

Accommodation Sunskruti
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 100 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 43: KUNDAPURA, KARNATAKA
Witness one of the Biggest Shiva Statue and cycle to the riverside retreat in Kundapura

Today, we will start our bike ride Southwards, along the coastal road with the Arabian Sea in the west. We will pass through the fishermen villages of Honnavar and Manki with their off-grid beaches, fish markets, and small temples. We will cross the Aghnashini and Sharavati river and ride through a combination of flat and undulating backroads. En route, we will visit the majestic Murudheshwar Temple standing 20 stories tall in the coastal village of Bhatkala. A mechanical lift will take you to the roof of the temple. From here, you can see the gigantic statue of Lord Shiva sitting gracefully with blessing mudra and the vast sea in the backdrop. We will cross the Venkatapur, Chowtani, Byndoor, and Yadamavu River and ride through the narrow stretch between the scenic Maravante Beach and the Kolluru river. We will wind up the ride for the day at a small resort on the bank of the Panchagangavalli river in Kundapura.

Accommodation Blue Waters
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 105 km, Terrain: Undulating coastal backroads

DAY 44: KOPPA, KARNATAKA
Cycling to the Coffee Capital of Koppa

From Kundapura, leaving the coastline, we orient east and ride towards the most enthralling sections of western Ghats. Initial half the distance, we ride through flat village roads with farms, temples, and dwellings. Further, we ride steep uphill through the Agumbe forest. The unique biodiversity of this lush rainforest makes it one of the top habitats for the reptile species – the King Cobra. The terrain will be hilly and undulating with the scenic view of valleys, winding roads, hairpin bends, and swatches of Coffee Estates. We ride towards the rural destination of Koppa in the Chikkamagaluru district. We will wind up today’s endeavor in a rustic estate house nestled in a 200-acre expanse of Coffee and spice plantation at a height of 1000m above sea level.

Accommodation Kalgreen Valley Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 107 km, Terrain: Undulating forest & ghat roads with hairpin bends

DAY 45: HASSAN, KARNATAKA
Cycling to Hassan to witness marvelous Hoysala Architecture at the Chennakesava temple

We start today’s ride through the undulating and hilly terrain of Chikkamagaluru. The area is blessed with the highest mountains in the state of Karnataka; from which numerous rivers originate, scenic landscape, slithering waterfalls, and lush vegetation. We pass through the small agrarian village with coffee and spice plantations along the Yagachi water reservoir to reach the temple town of Somanathapura, Belur. The town is renowned for the Chennakesava temple dedicated to Lord Kesava / Vishnu. The 13th-century temple is the epitome of exceptional Hoysala architecture. The temple has very finesse stone carving and inscriptions depicting ancient Hindu scriptures Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana, and Ramayana. We will further ride through the back-country roads to reach the rustic Hassan and wind down at a scenic village resort.

Accommodation Hoysala Village
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 125 km, Terrain: Undulating forest, ghat and suburb roads

DAY 46: MYSORE, KARNATAKA
Cycling to the palace city of Mysore

Morning, after breakfast, we leave Hassan and ride through the rural roads towards the city of Mysore also called Mysuru. Today, the terrain will be undulating with a slight downhill. We will pass through villages with a vast stretch of cultivated lands, tobacco plantation, vegetable farms, and small temples along the way. We ride alongside the Krishna Raja Sagara lake which is the confluence point of Sacred river Kaveri and its tributaries. Kaveri river is also the basis of Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary which supports a variety of avian species. Once the region was affected by famines and droughts which had severely affected the farming of the region. It was until 1911 a dam was constructed by the Maharaja of Mysore and the issue was mitigated. Further, we ride to reach the palace city of Mysore and wind down at a cozy hotel.

Accommodation Metropole
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 117 km, Terrain: Undulating suburb roads

DAY 47: MYSORE, KARNATAKA
Rest Day and sightseeing of the historic city – Mysore

It’s a free day and today we set out for the sightseeing tour of Mysore city. We 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 center for the production of premium silk, sandalwood, and incense. We will also visit Chamundi Hill to have a panoramic view of Mysore city. Further, we will visit the ancient Chamundeshwari temple and the Nandi temple with its giant stone sculpture of a sitting bull dedicated to God Nandi. We will wind up the sightseeing tour with an evening walk through the old-time Devaraja Market packed with its flowers, fruits, and vegetable stalls.

Accommodation Metropole
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Mysore Sightseeing: City Palace, Chamundi Hill, Devaraja Market

DAY 48: OOTY, TAMIL NADU
Cycling to the enchanting blue mountains of Ooty

We will start today’s ride through the outskirts of Mysore city crossing the Kabani River, settlements, and small temples. Reaching Bandipur, we will stop cycling and drive through two of the prominent wildlife sanctuaries in South India – Bandipur and Mudumalai. These form a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere and are devoted to conserving the endangered habitat of the tiger. Look out for the commonly seen species like the Elephant, Gaur, Mouse deer, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild Boar, Malabar Parakeet, and the Grey-headed Bulbul. We will restart the ride to take on the grueling high-altitude hairpin bends, tea, and vegetable plantations to reach the scenic hill station. Situated approx. 2000m above sea level 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 land is framed by the lush tea gardens which surround Ooty, but that is not all that makes this area unique. We will wind down today’s ride at a cozy boutique hotel in the city center.

Accommodation Sullivan Court
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 125 km, Undulating suburb, uphill forest and ghat roads with numerous hairpin bends

DAY 49: POLLACHI, TAMIL NADU
Cycling to the backcountry village of Pollachi

Morning, we board the heritage train for a remarkable monorail journey through spectacular vistas as we descend to the popular hill station of Coonoor. The railway still relies on its fleet of steam locomotives and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The train journey through villages and pine forests offers a mesmerizing view of manicured tea plantations and scenic valleys. Alighting from the train, we ride through the backcountry roads to Mettupalayam and further to Pollachi – a small agrarian town located at the foothills of the Nilgiris known for its jaggery, vegetables, and cattle market. The terrain will be continuous downhill and undulating, then flat and windy towards the last stretch. We will settle down at a serene eco-resort amidst coconut groves in the quaint agrarian village.

Accommodation Coco Lagoon
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 135 km, Terrain: Downhill forest and ghat roads, undulating suburb roads

DAY 50: MUNNAR, KERALA
Cycling to the manicured and misty Tea Hills of Munnar

Leaving the great windy plains of Tamil Nadu, we ride another stretch towards the Ghats. The terrain will be hilly and undulating with winding roads. We will pass aside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve and start riding uphill through the hillocks of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and sandalwood forests of Marayoor towards Gundumalai with the view of Anamudi Peak. From here, we will start seeing the vast stretch of Tea Plantation perched by small waterfalls and rivulets and the Eravikulam National Park famous for the endangered Nilgiri Thar. We will be passing through scenic valleys and settlements for tea estate employees. The freshness of the high altitude (1500m) climate and misty cool breeze will be good enough to energize your mind and soul. We spend overnight at a boutique resort with a fascinating view of the valley and tea plantations spread across the horizon.

Accommodation Abad Copper Castle
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 125 km, Terrain: Mostly uphill forest ghat and plantation roads

DAY 51: FORT COCHIN, KERALA
Cycling across the Western Ghats to the harbor town of Kochi

Leaving the high-altitude tea-growing hills of Munnar, we ride to the colonial city of Fort Kochi. The terrain will be hilly and undulating with steep downhill roads. We will ride through the village roads of Adimali and Neriyamangalam with the refreshing view of the Periyar river, lush rainforest, cardamom plantations, small waterfalls, and streamlets, chirruping birds and lurking bonnet macaques watch your way. Further, we will ride past the lowland forest valley of Thattekkad which is also a famous birding hotspot. We ride on mostly flat backroads along the irrigation canals through the village. You can see local cultivates of rubber, pepper, nutmeg, banana, and pineapple plantations along the route. We will end today’s ride at Fort Kochi – rightly called the queen of the Arabian Sea.

Accommodation Dutch Bungalow
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 130 km, Terrain: Mostly downhill forest, ghat and suburban roads

DAY 52: FORT COCHIN, KERALA
Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour of Fort Kochi – Queen of the Arabian Sea

Today, you settle down a bit and relax away from the saddle. Afternoon, we will go out for the History tour of Fort Kochi to know more about its colonial heritage on the famed Tuk Tuks. Once been a major port and trade Centre, it evolved as a settlement hotspot for numerous merchants from across the world. The gradual intermingling of their cultures for centuries has made Fort Kochi a unique heritage city to visit. We will walk through the Jew street, flea market, watch the creaking Chinese fishing nets, and the sunset. Later, a traditional Kathakali dance performance will be showcased. It will be nice to check out the local restaurants for a dinner before winding up in a comfy hotel.

Accommodation Dutch Bungalow
Meals Breakfast Only
Activity Kathakali performance.

DAY 53: ALLEPPEY, KERALA
Cycling along the meandering waterways to Alleppey – the Backwater Village

From Hotel in Fort Kochi, we start our ride toward the backwater destination of Alleppey. The coastal road will be mostly flat throughout. You will be riding along the patches of wetlands, coastal fishermen village of Chellanam, Fishing Harbour of Andhakaranazhi, and coconut groves of Marari. We will stopover at the serene beach at Marari. Further, we embark on the famed houseboat at Alleppey to explore deep into the meandering canals and cruise along the paddy fields, fish and duck farms, coconut lagoons, and canals. In olden times, these houseboats were used to transfer enormous loads of rice to commercial centers. Now they have been converted into luxurious accommodation to explore the backwaters. We will also have a traditional lunch onboard. After the day cruise we arrive at a tranquil backwater resort perched along the backwater countryside. You can also opt for a casual walk in the rustic backwater village to see the church, toddy shop, vegetable market and local tea shop nearby.

Accommodation Citrus
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 60Kms, Terrain: Flat on coastal suburb roads, Houseboat Day Cruise

DAY 54: VARKALA, KERALA
Cycling to the picturesque cliffside beach of Varkala

Leaving the backwater village, we will ride towards the hidden getaway destination – Varkala Beach. You will ride on the flat coastal backroads through agrarian villages and the temple town of Harippad. Riding very close to the sea, we pass through the tranquil countryside along Ashtamudi Lake and the Paravur Lake, crossing the many canals converging with the Arabian sea and wetlands patches. We will ride further on a narrow strip of coastal land with the view of lakes on one side and the sea on the other; towards the offbeat Kappil and Odayam beaches with its fishermen villages. We will end today’s ride at the tranquil Varkala Beach encircled by cliffs and swatches of coconut palms. You can watch the picture-perfect sunset and the beach from the hilltop resort.

Accommodation Deshadan Backwater Resort
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Activity Cycling 135 km, Flat on coastal suburb roads

DAY 55: KOVALAM, KERALA
Cycling to Kanyakumari – the Southern tip of India; to windup the epic Indian Cycling Adventure

Morning, we will ride on the flat coastal roads via fishermen settlements, small villages, towns, along the scenic Veli Beach with its golden sands. We ride through Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is famous for its ancient folklore and traditional temples, viz the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple – one of the sacred and richest temples in South India and the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple known for the Pongala festival – the largest congregation of Women for a festival in the world. We will further ride on backroads and highways across agrarian lands, towns of Marthandam and Nagercoil to reach the Southern sentinel point of India – Kanyakumari. Here, we go for a brief walk to witness the tri sea confluence, then board the transport to drive towards Kovalam. We will wind up at a scenic luxury resort by the famous Kovalam beach. Late evening, we have a get-together followed by a Gala Dinner. It’s also the podium to share each of your experiences through the epic cycling event and portray your version of India which you have rediscovered recently.

Accommodation Uday Samudra
Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Gala Dinner
Activity Cycling 128 km, Flat on coastal suburb roads, Drive back to Kovalam & Celebration dinner

DAY 56: KOVALAM, KERALA
Relax at the sun-kissed crescent beach of Kovalam

This day marks the end of the great India Cycling Challenge starting from the extreme north till the very south of the vast expanse of the colorful country India. With the sheer joy of completing the adventure cycling, it’s time for you to relax or sunbathe at the scenic beach, a few steps closer to the resort. The calm and serene beach offers a good chance to go swimming as well. You also have the chance to ride all the way down (83 km) to the southern most tip of India: Kanyakumari. A shuttle will bring you back to Kovalam.

Accommodation Uday Samudra
Meals Breakfast, Dinner
Activity Cycle Packing and Leisure

DAY 57: TOUR ENDS
Departure Day

With fond memories, invaluable experiences, and great friends made in a faraway land, it’s time to pack the gears. Transport will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport. Stay tuned and we meet you on the next cycling adventure.

Meals Breakfast
Transfer 30 minutes

Services

  • Experienced & First aid trained Tour leaders and guides 
  • Service of expert Bike Mechanic
  • Accommodation in twin room as per itinerary
  • Most meals as per itinerary
  • Grub: Refreshments & water in plenty
  • All transport including support vehicle, taxis and coaches
  • All activities as per itinerary (Cycling, Day tours, Taj Mahal visit, Tiger Safari & Houseboat)  
  • Interstate Permit, Toll & Parking Charges
  • Government Taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Visa and entry clearing fees
  • Liquors, beers and bottled beverages
  • Gratitude to Guide and Driver
  • Any shopping, Personal expenses, Laundry etc
  • Entrance fees to visit monuments, museum, forest etc (to be paid directly by the guest)
  • Modern cycles (Cannondale Trail 6 / equivalent) are available on hire for a supplementary cost of USD 360/- for the entire tour.
  • Essential bike spares & accessories are also available on supplementary cost (only the actual cost of the item will be charged)

Highlights

Prices and Dates

Fixed Dates: 15. September to 23. October 2023

Group Size –                  10 – 20 riders

Cost –                           will be announced

Private Tour

Please inquire

  • Accommodation will be provided in mentioned hotels or of the same category based on availability.
  • Any additional expenses due to local strike, flight cancellation or any unforeseen circumstances will be in addition to the given cost.
  • It is highly recommended to arrive a couple of days earlier from start date of the tour for general acclimatization at the high-altitude Himalayan town of Leh.
  • During the tour, considering safety of our guests, we will be arranging transfers to respective hotel before you enter busy cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai etc and also for some sections of reserve forest / restricted area where cycling is not allowed.

Tour Info

Requirements

This is a bike challenge over 57 days, with only a few rest days in between. Also it is possible to change in the back up car all the time, this tour is meant for serious and regular cyclists who love the challenge and looking forward to an adventure. If possible, we recommend to arrive 1-2 days earlier in Leh, for an appropriate acclimatisation.

Stay

We stay in beautiful luxury accommodation (double7twin-sharing room). Only from Leh to Manali we will have tent accommodation (toilet tents, dining tents)

Arrival

Arrival: Leh

Departure: Trivandrum

More Information

Will be provided closer to departure date and after inquiry for tour.

THE GREAT INDIA CYCLING CHALLENGE – SEP- Nov 2023

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