It is a country with a variety of landscapes, embedded in a long and interesting history. An eviable culture that embraces the arts, nature, heritage, religion, innovation and a strong sense of justice for all.
On arrival we will check into the Old Courtyard Hotel, Fort Cochin - a 200 year old Portuguese building, centered around a cobblestone courtyard. After a chance to relax and freshen up we have lunch, and then the rest of the afternoon to discover a little of this amazing city. Kochi (Cochin as it was known in colonial times) is a major port on the west coast of India, set on a cluster of islands surrounded by sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters. Its historic links can be seen in the Colonial Bungalows, an old Jewish Synagogue, Chinese fishing nets, the oldest European Church in India and a medieval Portuguese Palace. We finish the evening with a Kathakali dance performance.
After breakfast we start off on our cycle challenge making the most of the early morning coolness heading towards the foothills of the western Ghats towards the lowland forests of Thattekkad. We will start a little off the city limits enabling us to avoid the morning city traffic and reach a quiet countryside where the roads are mostly level throughout the morning. We pass through scenic countryside of temples, spice gardens, paddy fields and rubber plantations. After a leisurely lunch en-route, we will reach the spectacular eco-lodge on the banks of river Periyar - The Hornbill Camp.
The ride passes through the narrow winding country roads along the banks of the Periyar & through dense low altitude forests of Neriyamanagalam. This is an excellent opportunity to see the numerous rubber estates, pepper planations, cardamom estates and finally tea - all this as the altitude goes up gradually to 5000 feet msl (1600 m). Stay will be at the beautiful farmhouse on a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Western Ghats.
We will make our way to Munnar (the hill country) after breakfast. Once a favourite summer resort town of the British, the hill town of Munnar is set amidst dramatic mountain scenery: craggy peaks, tall red wood trees, and some of the world's highest tea plantations. On arrival at Munnar, we will check into a Tea Estate Bungalow to experience first hand, the life of planters of yester years. We will also use our afternoon to visit the Tea Museum, watch the endangered Tahrs at Rajamalai and roam the bazaars of Munnar.
We will take a ride along the famed tea gardens at Munnar through the Grahamsland Estate, and the daunting mountain pass " Lockhart Gap", a testimony to the perseverance of the early planters. We will arrive at the Kalypso Camp at Suryanelli, where we will stay in Luxury Cottage Tents, with bed rooms & en-suite toilets.
Our destination today is the morning ride to Periyar passing through forests, tea gardens, mountain villages and spice plantations. We will reach our resort late in the afternoon where we can relax our legs or take off into the jungle. Periyar is one of the best wildlife reserves in India and has large herds of Asiatic elephants, Indian Bison as well as tigers. For the ornithologists it has over 330 species of birds including the majestic Great Hornbill. Today we see a little of the tribal population and their lifestyles before we eat and retire for a fine nights sleep. On the second day, we have enough time to go boating to spot wildlife, trekking into the forest and to visit the spice bazaars at Kumily.
Vagamon town is set against the rolling grasslands of the Western Ghats and the cycling route passes through spectacular sights of the tea gardens interspersed with pristine forests that have made this place so beautiful. Today will be mostly off road and the ride will be tough, but the sceneries en-route will be nothing short of awe inspiring. We will settle down at the resort overlooking the Western Ghats mountains.
We will take the descending roads through the foothills of the Western Ghats to a homestay tucked away in the deep interiors of Kerala, at the foothills of the Western Ghats on the banks of the Kannadipuzha - the Mirror River - cascading down the hills. The 'Thomas Falls' is a few miles upstream and makes an ideal spot to take a picnic basket. Professor Jose and his family live in the farm - an organic farm with goats, cows and buffalos, pigs and chicken, turkeys, ducks and guineas fowls. The farm produces meat, fish, milk, eggs and vegetable which are used for preparing delicious South Indian dishes for the guests. From the patio of your room you can see the mountains of the Sahyadris (the local name for the Western Ghats), beyond the river and the forest. The traditional home offers wooden walls and an atrium: an open space within each room. This is something very special for people who love nature!
We cycle through the rubber country of Palai to Thodupuzha to Kumarakom, the gateway to the backwaters. We will embark one of Kerala's most luxurious forms of accommodation - the Houseboat. The houseboat is a converted rice-barge and you will be cruising along the backwaters. Reclining on cushions and drifting through quiet canals, you'll pass through paddy fields grazed by ducks, floating markets, local toddy shops, temples and churches.
We'll disembark and make our way to a heritage villa along the backwaters. We will cycle through the backwater villages to see close at hand the life of the people living along the backwaters. Or you can take it easy here - reading in the hammock, dangling your toes in the water, taking massages, and trying out the local tea shop. You can also visit the fruit and vegetable market, the ancient temple or the local pottery factory; go cycling through the necklace of villages of Kuttanad; take evening walks or go bird watching through the paddy fields and homesteads; take fishing lessons; and learn to cook in the family kitchens.
Bikes: Mountain Bikes
Bike Sizes: 13-21
Bike Hire: Includes on Tour Cost. You may bring your own bikes, but in this case let us know in advance. Other equipment provided: Pedals, helmet, water bottles.
Accommodation is offered at all locations. Most of the hotels are Culture Resort, Eco Resorts & family run hotels - all with a common line of quality in service. Our costs are based on 'twin-sharing' foundation. For those who wants single room, we offer single room, but at extra cost.
The landscape includes flatlands, mountains, backwaters and village streets.
The variety of the regional features of this country has led to a corresponding variety in environment. The Great Varies have awesome environment throughout the year, while the flatlands are warm and moist. The common level of yearly rain fall is superb in Kerala, Sikkim and some of the Northern Eastern Declares of Native India, when compared to other Native India. July to Aug is the monsoon season, with heavy downpours. It is always recommended to check weather and temperature at websites.
All transport is involved in the cost. We provide backup vehicle at all times during cycling trip. The vehicle can be used to boat your baggage & yourself as required.
Food is a very essential part of these trips. We make sure that the meals we offer is method delicious, unless you ask for dull meals. You are also permitted the choice of veggie or non-vegetarian meals. We suggest that you consume only the canned standard water. Please make sure that the container is enclosed.
Water is higher risk; hence we suggest that you drink only nutrient water in bottles during your trip. A cage of standard nutrient water is always focused for in the start of the vehicle during trips as an urgent evaluate. Despite the high requirements, it is worth providing basic OTC medications for disappointed tummies, complications, pest attacks etc. Indian is a financially creating democratic republic and has worked very hard to control illnesses. Sufficient medical care is available in the major inhabitants' facilities, but is usually limited in the non-urban areas of the country. Many western worlds are utilizing the state-of-the-art healthcare services available in Indian. The cost of treatment is much less expensive here in comparison to the same features available in innovative nations.
The most important cause of sickness of tourists in Indian is food and water-borne illnesses. Malware, bacteria, or harmful bacteria can cause diarrhea. Attacks may cause simple diarrhea and throwing up, high temperature, or, in extraordinary instances, liver organ damage (hepatitis). Malaria is a avoidable disease that can create trouble if neglected. One can prevent disease by taking recommended anti-malarial drugs and defending against insect attacks. The areas you will be passing are Malaria-free. Make sure that your insurance provider includes illnesses and injuries overseas.
Details given above are liable to change every now and then and one should contact the Native India tasks of the specific country or the government vacationer offices for more details.
You will get possibilities en-route to do a bit of purchasing. However unless particularly requested for, our guide will not suggest any particular store. Neither we nor our driver/guides take any percentage on purchasing.
Every visitor will have different cash specifications and varying personal costs. Please assess your own spending routines while enabling for beverages, purchasing and falling. Also keep aside cash for extra costs like:
As Indian currency value tend to go up and down, make reference to the following website for daily return rates: www.xe.com.
There is no airport terminal or leaving taxation from any airport terminal of India.