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Jewels Of South India Tour - Cycling Tours India
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10 Nights / 11 Days

A Great Tour for cyclists of every level - with a starting altitude of 1,650m, the longest leg is 55 km and it's mostly downhill through spice and tea plantations with breathtaking scenery all along the way - scenic overlooks, valleys, waterfalls - set your own pace, enjoy a picnic lunch, relax in the fragrance of the Cardamom Hills. A thoroughly enjoyable way to experience the wonderful world of outdoors Kerala. End it all relaxing on a houseboat and at the Arabian Seacoast.

Itinerary Route: Chennai - Mamallapuram - Kumbakonam - Madurai - Periyar - Alleppey Houseboat - Cochin

Day 1: Chennai to Mamallapuram (55 km / 1.5 hour drive)

After check-out, take the short drive down to the beach resort town of Mamallapuram where you'll spend the next two nights. Spend the evening strolling through the town; later venture down to the beach and dine on fresh caught seafood.

Day 2: Mamallapuram

Spend the day sightseeing. By far and away, the most popular tourist attraction is Arjuna's Penance - one of the largest bas relief works of art in existence - carved out of the hillside rock it never fails to impress. Mamallapuram is famous as a pilgrimage town as well as being the seat of stone carving in South India and you'll see evidence of this especially on the way to the Five Rathas. Take time to enjoy the traditional South Indian thali lunch served on a banana leaf. Later, visit the Shore Temple, a rare item as it's the only monument in Mamallapuram "constructed" as opposed to being carved out of the rocky terrain of the town. Go to the beach and treat yourself to fresh fish in beachside restaurants while listening to the sounds of the surf.

Day 3: Mamallapuram to Kumbakonam (250 km / 5.5 Hour Drive)

Spend the morning driving to Kumbakonam and take the afternoon to see the sights. Take the Navagraha Temple Tour to see some of the more prominent temples of Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam, well known for its silk industry, is also a producer of great brass wares. Spend the evening as you like.

Day 4: Day trip to Tanjore

Spend the day touring Tanjore, famous for the giant Nandi bull statue at the Brahadeshwara Temple. Pay a visit to the Bronze Gallery at the Palace Museum, and take a short drive outside Tanjore to observe statue-making and glass painting at a nearby village. Later, return to Kumbakonam to spend the night.

Day 5: Tanjore to Madurai via Trichy (195 km / 4.5 hours)

Stop off in Trichy enroute to Madurai. Trichy, located on the banks of the Cauvery River, is famous for many ancient and popular temples and religious institutions. The highlight of Trichy is the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, the largest temple complex in India. Later, visit the Gandhi Market for a late lunch and spend the remainder of the afternoon driving to Madurai. During the evening, visit the Meenakshi Temple for it's nighttime ceremonies. Spend the night.

Day 6: Madurai

Explore Madurai via a Cycle Rickshaw - sit back while the rickshaw driver maneuvers through the narrow and lesser-seen alleyways and hidden lanes of the town. The rickshaw tour will take you to flower/fruit markets, spice vendors, brassware-makers and silk weavers. Spend the night.

Day 7: Madurai to Periyar (170 km / 4 Hour Drive)

Drive up into the Cardamon Hills of Kerala to the town of Thekkady, home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided spice plantation tour along with an elephant ride.

Day 8: Periyar

Spend the day touring the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve. Take a guided jungle walk and enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar. The sanctuary has a rich diversity of vertebrates. The diverse forest types, vayals, marshes, and a large aquatic habitat together support a vast and diverse assortment of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The Tiger is found in all types of habitats though their density is much less in the evergreen forests. Though sighting one is difficult because of the thick vegetation, evidence like pugmarks, clawings, and scat are located throughout the reserve. The population is estimated to be between 35 to 40.

Day 9: Periyar to Alleppey (140 km / 4 hours)

Enjoy the downhill drive to the Alleppey backwaters and board your deluxe houseboat for an overnight cruise. All houseboats, regardless of category, have highly personalized service including an on-board chef who will no doubt create some of the best food you'll find on the entire tour. Meander around the boat, perch yourself on top and observe the peaceful way of backwaters life, pull up next to a fishing boat and buy a fresh catch, stop off for fresh coconut juice, relax in the back open-ended sitting room and drift away to the morning.

Day 10: Alleppey to Cochin (65 km / 1.5 hours)

Take the short drive over to the the harbor town of Cochin - the Spice Capital of the World whose origins of trading can be traced back to the time of the Pharoahs. Spend the day seeing the sights which may include a visit to the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica or a boat tour of the harbor islands .In the evening treat yourself to a Kathakali performance by the Chinese Fishing Nets overlooking the harbor islands. Enjoy a farewell meal at your hotel.

Day 11: Cochin Departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred to your point of departure.

Tour Details


At the beach, near the sea, in the heart of an ancient cultural center...lots of choices of where to stay on this sweeping tour of the South. Go with...

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When to visit

Best Time:. Mamallapuram and the plains of Tamil Nadu all the way down to the tip of Kanyakumari are sweltering during the summer months. Monsoons...

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Getting there

Chennai is the most well-connected city in Tamil Nadu. Accessible by Rail, Air and Bus, you'll find it easy to make your way there.

Where to eat?

World famous Chettinad fare, fresh seafood in the Mamallapuram beach resort town, much loved idly/dosa south India breakfast...a favorite in the...

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Local Attractions

From the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram down to Vivekananda Rock in Kanyakumari, you'll be amazed at how much can be packed into this trip. Get ready...

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Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions Important and necessary information about Deposits and Payments, Cancellation Policy, Refund Schedule...be...

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