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Food

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners included. Generally you can eat out very cheaply in India. South India is an ideal destination if you are a vegetarian. Lunches on riding days are usually taken in local roadside cafes, allowing us to try typical south Indian dishes such as poori (deep fried bread served with curry), dosa (thin pancake made with fermented rice and lentil batter) and Goan vindaloo curry (milder than the UK version). Tea and soft drinks are very cheap, and there'll be plenty of tea stops so that you can enjoy a cold can, a cup of chai or refreshing coconut water. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$5). You should allow approximately £10 (approx. US$16.00) per day for lunch and dinner when th

Activities

  • Guided Group
  • Accom: hotel/lodge
  • Cycling
  • Cycling: road
  • New trip
  • 1

    Arrive Bangalore; transfer to Mysore.

    Those on the group flight arrive in Bangalore early in the morning and transfer by coach to our hotel in Mysore (3.5 hr drive). Please note that we may have to wait until around noon if rooms are not ready. Those travelling independently should meet us in Mysore. Our hotel is a charming place to relax, overlooking the Royal Pleasure Gardens. After lunch we'll do our bike fitting, followed by a leisurely ride to Srirangapatna, the ruins of Tippu Sultan's capital. Srirangapatna was destroyed by the British in 1799 during their final battle to secure control of southern India, which consequently led to the death of Tippu Sultan (also known as 'the tiger of Mysore'). The island fortress stands in the middle of the Kaveri River and is held sacred as one of the abodes of Lord Vishnu. We cycle over the bridge to the ruins and explore the old ramparts. We also visit Tippu Sultan's Mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple, which are both considered to be one of the most important Vishnu temples in southern India. This evening is free for you to relax. Cycle approx. 37km.

  • 2

    Explore Mysore.

    Today we explore Mysore. From our hotel, we ride through the surrounding countryside, passing fields of dahl and sugar cane, the main crops associated with Mysore. Traditional oxen and cart usually line up outside the villages, which are used to transport the harvested crops. We arrive in the old quarter of Mysore mid-morning, which we explore by foot. We start with a guided tour around Mysore Palace (also known as the Amba Vilas Palace), the official residence of the Wodeyars - the former royal family of Mysore, which ruled the state of Mysore for over seven centuries. The Wodeyar kings first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th Century but it was demolished and constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was commissioned in 1897 and completed in 1912. It was later expanded around 1940. The décor is simply stunning, if a little bit over the top, and the former maharaja is still living in his private quarters. We then have lunch nearby, sampling our first thali; a traditional southern India meal made up of a selection of small dishes served on one plate. A short walk from here is the main bazaar, a fascinating old market area. Later in the afternoon, we cycle back to our hotel. Cycle approx. 57km.

  • 3

    Ride from Mysore to Hassan.

    This morning we cycle from our hotel along quiet backroads to Shravanabelagola, a Jain shrine famous for its giant 57ft stone statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali, the spiritual leader of Jainism. The shrine is perched on top of a hill and depicts the spiritual leader standing in a meditation pose, which he maintained for a whole year, hence the vines growing around his legs. The statue is thought to be the largest in the world and was built in 981AD by his followers. It is reached by climbing 614 steps from the small bustling town nestled at the bottom of the hill, which has a lively spiritual atmosphere due to the numerous Jain pilgrims. Every 12 years a spectacular purification ceremony takes place, where the statue is anointed with water and turmeric before being garlanded with flowers. For lunch we try roasted Bajra Methi Poori, a local bread made of millet flour and fenugreek leaves. We then transfer 70km to Hassan. If you still have the energy, there is the option to ride this part. Cycle approx. 61km.

  • 4

    Cycle from Hassan to Belur (Karagada).

    After breakfast, we get on our bikes and cycle 31km towards Halbeedu, the 12th Century capital of the Hoysala Kingdom. We explore the ornate Hoysaleshwara temple, with carvings of Hindu mythology and two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. We spend time exploring the temple before riding another 17km to the old capital of Belur, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is free to explore the old city before we ride another 9km to our hotel. Cycle approx. 58km.

  • 5

    Cycle to Chickmangalore.

    Today we cycle on village roads towards Chickmangalore, the centre of India's coffee growing region. As we cycle, we'll see that the lower forested hills of the Mullayanagiri mountain range are covered with coffee plantations. Introduced in 1670, Sufi priests used coffee as a medicinal drink before the local population caught on to its revitalising properties. We stop at a coffee museum en route to learn more about the history of the coffee bean in India. We then continue to wind our way along forested roads to a small coffee estate for lunch, which is also our accommodation for the night. The afternoon is free to explore the grounds and enjoy the surrounding nature, with over 150 bird species recorded in the area. Cycle approx. 62km.

  • 6

    Descend and leave to Western Ghats and cycle to Hampi.

    We descend from our homestay and leave the Western Ghats behind for the drier plains below. We're making our way to Hampi today, riding 65km to the fortress town of Channagiri, followed by a 225km transfer (4-5 hrs drive). Hampi is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest cities from the ancient Vijaynagara Kingdom 1500AD. We stay here for two nights to explore this incredible city cut out from rock. We have time in the afternoon to start exploring some of the sites, but we'll be revisiting the site in more detail tomorrow. Cycle approx. 65km.

  • 7

    Explore Hampi.

    Today we explore Hampi by bike. Starting at the Talhari Gatta Gate, we enter the outer city and ride along the old streets, which are lined with thousands of stone pillars. They'll lead us to the Vithalla temple, one of the most iconic temples in India. The famous stone chariot carved from a large rock is found here. We then head to the Courtesan Street and Hampi Bazaar, passing more stone pavilions and temples en route. We can leave our bikes with one of the tea stall vendors, taking time to walk inside the buildings. We then move on towards the river, passing trinket sellers, food stall holders and small dwellings made of brick and boulder. In the afternoon we explore the Moghul. The Vijaynagara were defeated in 1565 during a power struggle with the Moghul Empire, who then controlled the region and built a new city. The Mohamaddean Palaces and the military building are still standing today. After a busy day exploring Hampi, we'll eat some delicious street food in the modern part of the town. Cycle approx. 27km.

  • 8

    Cycle from Hampi to Dandeli.

    This morning we follow a maze of small roads and foot paths to the main irrigation canal. There are steps on the banks of the canal, which are used as local bathing Ghats. Villagers come here to wash their clothes or to simply cool off. We'll see colourful saris hung out to dry along the canal banks as we cycle along. Reaching the main reservoir, we have a short 10km transfer to avoid the busy roads and large trucks (mining is the main industry here and the deep red soil is full of iron oxide.) Hopping back on our bikes, we cycle west along rural roads towards Goa and see the locals going about their daily life. We'll stop for lunch after 45km, which is then followed by another transfer to Dandeli (approx. 3.5 hrs drive). Dandeli is a small hill station retreat on the banks of the Kali River, and it's also a recognised wildlife sanctuary. The afternoon is free to either relax, explore the town, enjoy a nature walk or an optional white water rafting trip along the river. Cycle approx. 60km.

  • 9

    Cycle from Dandeli to Mollem.

    Leaving our forest resort, we enjoy the scenery as we cycle along teak plantation roads towards Castlerock, a village close to Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park. The area is beautiful, with little or no traffic. There is a long but gradual 300m climb for 10km, followed by an undulating section. We are rewarded with a tea and dosa stop at Castlerock, with time to wander around the village. It is then a lovely long descent to the state of Goa, crossing the state border to Mollem. We spend the night at an adventure camp on the Goan side of Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park. Cycle approx. 53km.

  • 10

    Ride to Colva Beach, Goa.

    Today we cycle all the way to the coast on mostly quiet backroads (there are some unavoidable busy roads). We stop at the Dudhasagar Waterfalls en route, which cascades 310m down a rocky cliff. A jeep takes us close to the waterfall and we then walk the last 1km. If we're lucky, we'll spot the gray langur and the bonnet macaque monkeys in the tree tops (which are known to steal food - be careful). We leave the waterfall and return to our bikes, passing through a lively market town. It's worth stopping here for some refreshing coconut water. Finally, we reach Colva Beach where we'll stay for the next two nights. Cycle approx. 73km.

  • 11

    Free morning to relax; optional afternoon ride to explore the coast.

    Today is free to relax and enjoy what Colva Beach has to offer; local shops, a swim in the sea or the hotel's swimming pool. There is an optional bike ride in the afternoon, exploring some of the other coves south of Colva Beach. We'll return in time for sundown drinks before dinner. The Goan vindaloo curry is certainly worth a try! Optional ride approx. 20km.

  • 12

    Ride to Panjim, the capital of Goa. Afternoon free to explore.

    In the morning we cycle to Panjim, the capital of Goa. We pass old Portuguese villas before heading inland to avoid busy roads. Our hotel is located in the heart of the old quarter of Panjim, where the Portuguese influence is strong. Narrow streets are lined with yellow houses and restored mansions, with wrought iron balconies and terracotta roofs. The afternoon is free to wander around Panjim and enjoy the sites, such as the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1619 and was once frequently visited by the sailors from Lisbon. Whilst wandering around Panjim, you'll find that colonial-era buildings and old bookshops stand side by side with modern shopping malls and backstreet bars. Cycle approx. 49km.

  • 13

    Tansfer to Goa Airport; fly to London.

    Those on the group flight will be transferred to Goa Airport for your flight. Land Only clients finish the tour after checking out from the hotel.

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