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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
  • 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.

    Activities

    • Road Cycling
    • Cultural Wonders
    • New Cycling Holidays
  • 1

    Start Mysore; thali lunch and explore the main bazaar

    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, in the city of Mysore. After checking in at the hotel, we'll have a short tuk tuk drive to the city centre for a traditional southern Indian thali lunch; a selection of small dishes served on one plate. A short walk from here is the main bazaar of Mysore, a fascinating old market area. After exploring this area, we'll return to the hotel for our bike fitting. For those who wish to do so, we can go and see the Mysore Palace lit up at night. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 2

    Mysore Palace; afternoon leisurely ride to Srirangapatna

    Today 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 return to our hotel and check-out. From the hotel, we ride through the backstreets of Mysore and into 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. Our leisurely ride continues 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 Hindu Ranganathaswamy Temple, which is considered one of the most important Vishnu temples in southern India. After cycling around the ruins, we continue for another 20km to Brindavan Gardens. Our hotel, the Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden Palace & Spa, overlooks the gardens and is a charming place to relax or enjoy an evening stroll around the gardens. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 3

    Ride to Shravanabelagola; transfer 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 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. Arriving at our hotel for lunch, the afternoon is free to relax or explore the town. Those interested in coffee can either ride or drive to the coffee museum situated on the outskirts of town, to learn more about the history of the coffee bean in India. The town's cinema is a great place to experience a Bollywood movie, and later enjoying some street food at the town canteen. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 6

    Descend and leave to Western Ghats and cycle to Hampi.

    Riding from our hotel well gradually climb for the first 7km before winding our way along forested roads to a small coffee estate for a break. The estate is surrounded by natural beauty, with over 150 bird species recorded in the area. From here we begin a stunning roller-coaster descent out of the Western Ghats with a final drop of 500m to the drier plains below. Ending our ride with some roads side snacks, followed by a 225km transfer to Hampi (5 hrs drive). Hampi is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site and the 2nd largest after Rome and one of the largest cities from the ancient world and capital of the Vijayanagara Kingdom 1500AD. We stay here for two nights to explore this incredible city cut out from rock city. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 7

    Explore Hampi by bike

    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 Vitthala 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 stallholders and small dwellings made of brick and boulder. In the afternoon we explore the Moghul Quarters. The Vijayanagara Kingdom was defeated in 1565 during a power struggle with the Expanding 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 8

    Train ride and cycle to Dandeli.

    This morning we begin with a train transfer to Hubulli, a busy market town. In India, there is a lot of activity to be experienced at railway stations. People carrying all sorts of goods on their heads, and a constant flow of food and smiles. Re-joining our vehicle, it’s a short drive to the outskirts of town and our local restaurant for lunch. Early afternoon we set off cycling on village roads towards Dandeli (some may want to skip the first climb and more or less decent 42km to Dandeli). Dandeli is a small hill station retreat on the banks of the Kali River, and it's also a recognised wildlife sanctuary. The rest of the afternoon is free to either relax, explore the town, enjoy a nature walk or an optional white water rafting trip along the river. *Standard Hotel*

  • 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 are a couple of long but gradual 300m climbs, followed by an undulating section. We are rewarded with a tea and dosa stop at Castlerock, with time to wander around the village. With one more regroup at the highest point It is then a lovely 500m 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. The resort can arrange a jeep safari inside the park to Dudhasagar Waterfalls, which cascades 310m down a rocky cliff. The jeep ride takes approx 2-3hrs. *Standard Hotel*

  • 10

    Ride to Varca Beach, Goa

    Today we cycle all the way to the coast on mostly quiet backroads (there are some unavoidable busy roads), as we pass through lively market towns. Stopping for tea at an old Portuguese villa built in 1789, the owner happy to give you a tour of his house and gardens with drinks on the veranda. The last part of the ride down narrow country lanes, with large white churches and the Portuguese mansions before ending at Varca Beach, where we'll stay for the next two nights. *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 11

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

    Today is free to relax and enjoy what Varca Beach has to offer; local shops, a swim in the sea or the hotel's swimming pool. There is an optional 32km bike ride in the afternoon, exploring some of the other coves south of Varca Beach. We'll return in time for sundown drinks before dinner. The Goan vindaloo curry is certainly worth a try! *Comfortable Hotel*

  • 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 ending the ride at the old ferry point and transfer the last 15 km to town. 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. *Standard Hotel*

  • 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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