tanjore paintings 3

Cycle to Temples in India

from $ 2,400

15 Days : This tour will take you through the heart of Southern India from the east coast at Chennai also known as Madras to the west coast at Cochin in Kerala. This unique tour throws in a mixture of the cultural and architectural highlights including the Mahabalipuram Shore temples, temples at Kumbakonam and Madurai as well as bungalows and palaces of the Chettinad Chettiars at Karaikudi.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Cultural Tours, Cycle Tours
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the Cycle to Temples in India.

This tour will take you through the heart of Southern India from the east coast at Chennai also known as Madras to the west coast at Cochin in Kerala. This unique tour throws in a mixture of the cultural and architectural highlights including the Mahabalipuram Shore temples, the temples at Kumbakonam and Madurai as well as the bungalows and palaces of the Chettinad Chettiars at Karaikudi. We also want you to experience the local fares and cuisine along the way which is as rich and colourful as the temples. As you move on from Tamil Nadu to Kerala, the topography takes a complete u-turn with verdant forests, tea estates, spice farms, coconut groves, rubber plantations, jungles and national parks. Experience the cultural vibrancy of Southern India in full spirit of the land on your cycling tour in South India. We love this tour for the many mystical temples, innumerable smiles of the Dravidian people and stomach loads of lovely food !

Your accommodation will be arranged at home-stays, resorts, wildlife lodges and plantation homes.

Trip Highlights:

  • Explore the shore temples at Mahabalipuram
  • Cycle along the coastal stretch to Pondicherry
  • Experience the remnants of colonial French rule
  • Cycle along vast stretches of paddy fields
  • Experience the art, culture and temples of South India
  • Witness the Dravidian culture and lifestyle of South Indian People
  • Visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Cycle along the countryside bordered with coconut groves and sugarcane fields
  • Take in the fresh mountain air and relax in the quietness of the hills
  • Cycle along the tea plantations, ghat roads and verdant forests
  • Explore the heritage city of Fort Cochin
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Modern cycles
  • Tour leaders and guides for the entire journey
  • All accommodation
  • Most meals
  • Grub : Refreshments & water in plenty
  • All transport including taxis and coaches
  • All activities as mentioned in detailed itinerary
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Visa fees and entry clearing fees
  • Liquors, beers and bottled beverages
  • Any shopping
  • Laundry
  1. Day 1 Arrival at Chennai International Airport

    On arrival at Annadurai International Airport @ Chennai meet and be greeted by your tour leader & driver. A quick 2 hours transfer takes you to a hotel close to the 7th century Mahabalipuram Shore temples. Here, the architectural highlights of the temples portray events from the scared Hindu book of Mahabharata. These temples were built during the reigns of Narasimhavarman and his successor Rajasimhavarman of the Pallava dynasty. Walk around Mahabalipuram to experience your first temple in South India.

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  2. Day 2 Pondicherry

    We should leave early today to cycle along the coastal stretch to Pondicherry. The ride today is not exciting but it helps to get used to the warm weather.  At Pondy you can not only experience the remnants of colonial French rule but also explore the Tamil culture. Pondy has a native, Tamil Quarter and a French Quarter. You will be booked into a restored heritage bungalow in the French Quarter for the night. Walking around both the quarters gives you a wonderful start to understanding a people who have accepted and taken in cultures from all over the world. Enjoy mouth-watering dishes and laze around with beer at Puducheri or Pondicherry.

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  3. Day 3 Karaikal

    You will cycle along vast stretches of paddy-fields through the delta of the great Cauvery River passing many villages on the way. Locals thrive on rice cultivation and animal husbandry for a living. The area is considered the granary of South India for its agricultural prowess in cultivating large quantities of paddy. Your destination for today is Karaikal which is a beach destination but one that is not touristy. Relax and rewind in the hotel’s along with local fares for lunch and dinner.

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  4. Day 4 Kumbakonam

    Cycling is again past stretches of pay fields and villages continuing your journey through the granary of South India. On arrival at Kumbakonam, experience the pinnacle of cultural vibrancy. Kumbakonam is also known as “the city of temples”  and is considered a space of energy grounded in a wildly active environment. With your eyes closed you can see the convergence of all elements created for man’s well being. Art, culture and history sweeps gently but ignites deep thinking. The entire experience could be an adventure, but you got to believe it is the unfurling of a divine mantra. Your hotel for the night is as invigorating as the destination itself.

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  5. Day 5 Tanjore

    Tanjore or Thanjavur is the next stop and is a town where classical art forms still thrive. A walk through this town will show you the stone sculptures from the 9th and 12th centuries. The Saraswati Mahal Library established in the 1700s has ancient manuscripts on palm leaf, and many works on medicine, and rare treatises. The place is renowned for the Tanjore paintings and this is where it was developed. We will also visit the wonderful Swathi Mahal Palace, the Art Gallery as well as the Brihadeeswara Temple.

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  6. Day 6 Karaikudi

    Today we cycle towards Chettinad, famous all over South India for its flavourful  Chettinad cuisine. It’s a great place to go cycling as and you continue witnessing the Dravidian culture, its people and their practices. Men in lungi and women draped in saris fill the streets as they go about their daily life. Religion and culture are of utmost importance to the people of Tamil Nadu. Karaikudi is specially known for its traditional mansions some of which have more than a 100 rooms.

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  7. Day 7 Madurai

    Day 7 takes you to the temple city of Madurai where you will visit the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. Established during the Sangam period, this temple has some beautiful architecture of gods and goddesses. This city is also known for classical carnatic music and classical bharatanatyam dance. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2,500-year-old city of Madurai and is a significant symbol for the Tamil people.

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  8. Day 8-9 Athoor

    Heading deep into Tamil Nadu you ride to a typical farming village near Dindigul.  The countryside you will be cycling into will be sugar cane fields and coconut groves. Athoor is a small village and they have a thriving farming community. Your stay today will be at a humble county home and you can spend the day meeting the farmers, going for walks, and bird watching.

    A rest day to relax, meet the locals and watch coconut palm plantation workers on their daily routine. Relax in the calm and quietness of the hills and take in the fresh mountain air after continuous days of cycling in the hot and tough conditions of Tamil Nadu’s plains.

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  9. Day 10 Pollachi

    Your ride today will be to the traditional town of Pollachi. Pollachi is famous for its vast coconut groves, cattle markets and villages.  Experience Pollachi the traditional way on your cycling tour past these villages. You will stay over at a resort that is nestled in a coconut plantation with a pool to compliment.

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  10. Day 11-12 Valparai

    The ride today is challenging past 24 hairpin bends where we go towards Valparai, a hill station through the verdant forests and tea estates in the Western Ghats. The rain forests here  are inhabited by the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Pied Hornbill, and Lion Tailed Macaques. As we gain altitude and reach closer to Valparai, you may spot elephants and gaurs. We stay at a tea-bungalow tonight.

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  11. Day 13 Athirapally

    After a short transfer we start the day’s cycling towards Athirapally in Kerala which is the site of the waterfalls considered one of the largest in the Western Ghats. The cycling takes you past verdant forests and tea estates. Your stay is in a classic little resort nested with views of the falls.

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  12. Day 14 Fort Kochi

    Hurray ! You’re biking south to Cochin today.

    Cochin is the cosmopolitan center of Kerala. On your last tour days you will be transported to the colonial and heritage town of Fort Kochi which is more lively and fun than the commercial city.  At your boutique hotel, your tour leader will give you options on the numerous spots and activities for the evening.

    Some of the best spots in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry (the more historical hub) include the Dutch palace, the Jew Synagogue, St Francis’ Church, Dutch Cemetery, Chinese Fishing nets, Santa Cruz Cathedral and so on. The old world charm infused with the numerous spice markets, antique shops and art galleries will amaze you.

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  13. Day 15 Depart from Cochin International Airport

    Your tour leader and driver will assist you to the airport depending on your flight timings.  You could also extend your holiday for an over-night house-boat cruise at Alleppey.