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Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour
South India Cycling from Fort Cochin to Chennai on the East Coast
Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour (KC - 15)
Region : South India



Cost per Person

US$ 2380

Based on a minimum of 2 people travelling

Tour Overview

Spice farms, friendly villages, coconut groves, rubber plantations, coffee and tea gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, the great temples of Madurai & Tanjore, the beaches at Tranquibar along the East coast, the former French enclave of Pondicherry and the exquisite rock carvings at Mahabalipuram are on offer to you during the two weeks that you travel through the heart of Southern India on this Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour. This is an ideal way to go off the usual touristy trails and meet the people and places that make up this culturally vibrant region. Your journey will also take you to great temples, remote villages and wildlife areas.

Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour

Day1: Kochi
Arrival at Cochin International airport and be transferred to Fort Kochi. This port has seen the Portuguese, Dutch and English making their mark on the bustling city known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea" and trading to this day in tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and pepper. You can take a short walk down the Fort Cochin area with your guide & attend a Kathakali dance recital in the evening.   
Day2: Athirapilly
You are transferred a short distance before you start the first day’s ride of this Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour by setting out towards the great waterfalls at Athirapilly at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Your ride passes through back roads, plantations of rubber, oil palms and spices as you gradually gain in altitude. Your destination is near the magnificent waterfall in Kerala and one of the largest in all of the Western Ghats. Recently this was in the news with conservationists in Kerala managing to stave off a big dam which would have irreversibly destroyed the rich bio-diversity of this region. There are projects to link the fragmented forests to ensure that the migrations of the Asiatic elephants are not hindered.  
Day3: Valparai
Today begins with a fantastic ride through the rich canopy of the Western Ghats up towards the hill station of Valparai with vast swathes of tea and forests. The area is rich in birds & mammals, many of them endemic to the Western Ghats. Keep a look out for the highly endangered Malabar Pied Hornbill and Lion Tailed Macaques which are on the IUCN Red List. The rain forests here also hold promises of sightings of the endemic Malabar Grey Hornbill, Wayanad Laughing Thrush and the Nilgiri Langurs. Elephants, leopards and gaurs (Indian Bison) are commonly spotted near the roads, as you gain in altitude to nearly 1500m at Valparai. On arrival, you will stay at a colonial Tea Estate Bungalow.   
Day4: Pollachi
Ride downhill past the 24 ‘hair pin’ bends to the great plains of Tamil Nadu, arriving at a quaint village near Pollachi. The Indira Gandhi National Park is in the vicinity and a trip there awaits you on the second day here. The ride gives you a spectacular view of the plains of Tamil Nadu through which the rest of your ride will be passing through. Your stay will be at a resort set amidst a coconut grove.   
Day5: Athoor
Riding forward, you reach the small village on the banks of the Kamaraj Lake, near Dindigul. The scenic ride will pass through coconut groves, sugar cane fields, small villages and towns. The village of Athoor is very small and is home to a thriving farming community.  
Day6: Madurai
Today you will cycle to the great temple city of Madurai. After checking into your hotel, you will visit the Madurai Meenakshi temple in the afternoon. Established in the Sangam period of the pre Christian era, this bustling town in Tamil Nadu is famous for its ancient temple - the Meenakshi Temple. The beautiful architecture of some of the temples that you will see today is attributed to this era - the architectural genius of the Meenakshi temple, the multi colored gopurams of the other temples, classical Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam (a classical dance born in the temples of the South).
Day7: Madurai
Today you will be visiting Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India. Legend says, Lord Shiva appeared to King Kulasekhara Pandya in his dream where drops of nectar locally called as ‘madhu’ was falling from matted hair of Lord Shiva. The place where the nectar fell became Madhurapuri, later renamed as Madurai. Madurai being the heart of Tamil Nadu has both historical and cultural significance. A visit to Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal, Gandhi Memorial Museum and Madurai Flower market will be a great experience in the city that never sleeps.  
Day8: Chettinad
You will take the ride through the countryside to the famed chettiar village, Chettinad - well known for its local cuisine, architecture, and religious temples. This small town is also famed for its houses – large, colourful and with rooms numbering more than 100! This is also a great countryside for cycling through the fascinating Tamil Nadu countryside with its great swathes of farmlands, rural farming communities, temples and massive Chettinad Mansions.   
Day9: Tanjore
Your next destination in this coast to coast South India Cycling tour is the town where classical arts still thrive – Thanjavur. Today also you will ride through the villages and countryside of rural Tamil Nadu passing the vast rice growing areas of the Cauvery River Delta and the coconut plantations. You will also get an opportunity to walk through this bustling town where splendid bronze and stone sculptures from the 9th and 12th centuries have been found. Stroll through the Saraswati Mahal Library established in the 1700s containing ancient manuscripts on palm leaves, works on medicine and plenty of rare treatises. Ruled at one point by the greatest Chola king, Raja Raja Chola and Nayaks and Marathas at later times, Thanjavur is also where the Tanjore style of painting was developed. You will visit the The Brihadeeswara temple, the wonderful Palace and Art Gallery.
Day10: Tranquebar
Today the coast to coast south India cycling tour will pass through the delta of the great Cauvery river with long stretches of rice cultivation which makes this area the true granary of South India. You will reach the eastern coast today at Tranquebar – known as Thiranganbadi locally – a centre of Dutch conquest and trade during the eighteenth century.  
Day11: Pondicherry
Another ride along the coast and you will be at Pondicherry – the erstwhile French enclave. Here you can cycle around this last remnant of colonial France and visit both the French quarter & the ‘native’ quarter, where you stay at the well-appointed restored heritage bungalow.
Day12: Pondicherry
Today you will be visitng the French Quaters of Pondicherry that have well-preserved bungalows, most now converted as heritage hotels. Your visits will include the Aurobindo Ashram – showcasing Aurobindo's ideas of bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, to unite the spirit and matter. You will also visit Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together.Today you will be visitng the French Quaters of Pondicherry that have well-preserved bungalows, most now converted as heritage hotels. Your visits will include the Aurobindo Ashram – showcasing Aurobindo's ideas of bringing about a synthesis of Yoga and modern science, to unite the spirit and matter. You will also visit Auroville - a unique experiment in international living and creating a new environment where men and women of all nationalities live together.
Day13: Mahabalipuram
The final ride of this coast to coast south India cycling tour takes you along the East Coast all the way to the famed temple town of Mahabalipuram – a UNESCO Heritage area. You can take a ride around to see the architectural wonders and the life of the people here. The temples of Mamallapuram, portraying events described in the Mahabharata, built largely during the reigns of Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasimhavarman, showcase the progression from rock-cut architecture to structural building.   
Day14: Depart
End of your Coast to Coast South India Cycling Tour.   


Accommodation, Most Meals, Transportation by AC car as per itinerary, Multi-geared bicycles, Accompanying Biking guide, Mineral water & Refreshments during cycling, All applicable taxes.

Holiday Feedback

Just like to thank you and your team for a well organised and most enjoyable trip. All of our group were impressed with the organisation and content of the tour. Francis, Deepu and Ratheesh were attentive and professional and we would have no hesitation in using your company again and recommending you.  Bob Stunt 2017-03-03

 "Myself and my wife joined two other cyclists and we were guided by Ratan and Jeffen.In essence, we had a wonderful time on this holiday.The cycling was well tailored to our abilities and the fact that there was always a back-up vehicle for us was a very important factor in our being able to relax and enjoy each day. It allowed, of course, people of different abilities to enjoy the same route and was a very welcome refuge particularly when the tropical heat got that bit too much for us. We were very pleased with the standard of the bicycles: this made the cycling much easier and the bikes were sturdy and well maintained: a big plus, as we did not know what to expect from the standard. We were more than happy. The accommodations we found varied and delightful: each one had a different strength and character and they were obviously chosen from experience. We were particularly impressed by the way the guides and your office dealt with our holiday very personally. We felt that we were in good hands and that our enjoyment was something that was important to you and you did not cut corners anywhere. We got on well with our guides who were always courteous, good-natured and well informed. Thank you for an enjoyable experience on our first trip to India. " - James (Tony) Maguire - 19-Mar-15 James (Tony) Maguire  2015-03-19

We wanted to let you know we had a great holiday and to pass on our appreciation of the enthusiasm, energy and knowledge of Shinas which went to making the holiday so great. We also appreciated all of the support provided to us by Das, they make a great team. Most of the hotels we stayed at we would highly recommend and they certainly provided us with good service and good food and were a key part in the success of our holiday. Finally we would definitely recommend your company to others interested in exploring India Vanessa and Bob  2019-02-19

I would like to thank Kalypso Adventures for our recent cycle tour of South India. The tour was excellent from start to finish. Great route chosen and lovely hotels. Very well organised trip. SHINAS (TOUR LEADER) Was fantastic as our guide and tour leader. He has an exceptional knowledge of the history, wildlife and culture of all of the amazing things that we saw along the route. He organised meals, hotel check in and cultural tours. Nothing was too much trouble for him. He looked after our safety whilst cycling and because of this I never felt unsafe on the Indian roads. He is a real asset to your organisation. SHARAT (Support Vehicle Driver) Was a very competent and safe driver, very calm and not phased by the busy Indian roads. All of my time spent in the traveller vehicle I felt completely safe. Thank you again for a wonderful trip.  James Gibb  2019-12-16

I would like to thank you all for a very enjoyable trip. I particularly wish to thank Shinas for his unfailing humour and positive attitude in all situations and his almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the plants and animals we passed on the trip. He also went out of his way to ensure that as a vegan I was well catered for at each of the hotels and restaurants we visited. I also admire the polite way he dissuaded us from cycling along main roads and through the worst of the afternoon heat. We quickly realised the error of our ways. I also wish to thank Sharat for his extremely careful driving through the worst of the traffic and weather that it seemed possible to find. We always felt safe and secure. He also exhibited great calmness in all situations, had a nice sense of humour and presented us with a gratefully received never ending supply of water and energy foods. The roads were well chosen to experience things and avoid traffic and the visits to rice paddies, coconut factories, roadside gardens, brick works etc to see people working were the highlight of each day. How he organised the elephant in the lake I don't know. All the hotels and restaurants we stopped at were good and we were well treated by the staff. But I particularly wish you to pass on my huge thanks to the manager of the Athoor Lakeside bungalow hotel who astonished me by providing me with some great vegan meringues despite him and his chef not even knowing it was possible the day before. Also for the tasty vegan omelette the following morning. It was great to feel that someone was going out of their way to provide interesting food. Also my special thanks to the hotels and staff of the CGH Earth hotel chain who provided us with great accommodation in beautiful buildings, good food and staff who were unfailingly at the top of their game. I was very impressed by the tours, cookery demonstrations etc that are laid on for the residents and have already recommended them to a friend who is visiting Kerala later in the year. I enjoyed the trip and would recommend it to anyone wishing to experience the sights and sounds of real India and believe it is good value for money.  Paul Anderson 2020-01-09

Our party of 12 just completed a cycle ride across Southern India. It has been a huge sucess for everybody. This is a party of occasional cyclists, average age over 60. The Guides were awesome; so diligent and competent, and cool, of course. Logistics (vehicles, bike maintenance and baggage translocation) were immaculately executed. Just superb. Thanks, Kalypso.  Jeremy Warren 2024-02-04

Route Maps



Q. Are cycles provided for this tour?
Cycles are provided for the tour

Q. What type of cycles are provided?
We provide CANONDALE / TREK / GIANT cycles.

Q. Will I get choice of my size?
We can provide frame sizes from 13” to 21”.

Q. Can I get my own cycle?
Yes, you can, but do let us know in advance.

Q. What other equipment are provided?
Standard items provided with the cycles are Pedals, Bar ends, water bottles and Helmets. We however recommend you bring your own helmets and camelbaks.

Q. What about transfers?
All transportation is included in the cost including airport pick up & drop at the nearest airport. The vehicle is also used to ferry your luggage , cycle & yourself as required.

Q. What kind of terrain can I expect?
The terrain consists of both level roads and mountainous terrain.

Q. What are the distances cycled each day?
We will send you this with the detailed itinerary.

Q. Are meals included in the package?
Most meals are included. The itinerary will have the details.

Q. What do I do if I’m too tired to cycle?
There is a vehicle that accompanies you throughout the trip. You can load the cycle on to carriers and take a ride it till you are ready to cycle again.

Q. Are panniers provided?
No but can do on specific request.

Q. Do we have a guide who cycles with us?
Yes, our guide will cycle with you throughout the trip.

Q. Do we get to shop along the way.
Yes, you will get opportunities en-route to do a bit of shopping. However, unless specifically asked for, our guides will not recommend any particular shop. We or our guides do not take commissions on shopping.

Q. Do we get to interact with local people?
You will get lot of opportunities to interact with local people and the itinerary specifically designed for such interactions.
Q. Does our visit help the local community in any way?
Yes, Most of the places you would be staying at are in small homestays, family owned resorts or camps and eco lodges managed by local community members . Your guides are selected from amongst the locals.

Q. Are entries into national parks, treks, elephant rides etc. included in the package?
No, all entries and activities will be charged extra but at actuals.

Q. Is the water available en-route safe to drink?
We recommend that you drink only the bottled water provided by us or if you are buying water, ensure that the bottle is sealed and has an ISI mark (India Standards Institute).

Q. How spicy is the food?
Typically Kerala food is spicy. We ensure that the food we provide is medium spicy unless you ask for bland food. Any special food requirements can be met if sufficient advance notice is given.

Q. Do we get an option of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food?

Q. What is the type of accommodation?
Accommodation provided is a combination of heritage villas, Eco Lodges & luxury Tents - all with a common thread of excellence in service. Most are family owned and run with great care and love. Food is a very important part of these journeys and we have ensured that Keralan cuisine is a part of this adventure. Our prices are based on 'twin-sharing' basis. For those interested, we provide single rooms, but at additional cost. While staying at the camp we provide all essentials including sleeping bags. A open-air barbeque around camp fire is another highlight of this adventure.

Q. What are the Exclusions ?
• Insurance - Please take your own insurance
• Tips to the guide and driver
• Personal expenses like beverages, laundry, telephone bills etc..
• Airport departure taxes (if any)

Q. Do we need a VISA ?
Yes, visitors to India must obtain a Visa before departure.

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