Ride of Pi - Coast to Coast Cycling Itinerary
Today you arrive at the Chennai Airport and get transferred to your hotel. Check-in, rest for a while and take a stroll in the local marketplace.
- In the evening, you visit Auroville (City of Dawn), an experimental township built with a purpose to realize human unity.
- You also visit the Matrimandir in the middle of this town, bearing in mind that the Matrimandir is not a 'tourist' site; it is a place for individual silent concentration.
- The highlight of today is Sri Aurobindo Ashram, built in 1926 where Sri Aurobindo devoted himself entirely to his inner spiritual life and work. During his forty years in Pondicherry he evolved a new method of spiritual practice, which he called the Integral Yoga.
Enjoy your stay at our choicest unique hotels of South India to experience a tasteful blend of old-world Tamil and French architectural styles. Located in the heart of the city, close to major tourist attractions these hotels offer you their timeless atmosphere, so old, so modern, so fresh, so rare.
22 mile / 35 km
After a hearty breakfast, you set out to explore Pondicherry on two wheels and it feels like a trip down France. As you ride, you realize that this city’s colonial past is hard to miss!
- Your heritage ride starts at French Institute of Pondicherry and covers major tourist attractions of Pondicherry. You ride along the Goubert Salai with Pondicherry beach on one side and Goubert Avenue, White Town on the other.
- This beachside promenade is unique as it can be spotted with several monuments and statues of war heroes that speak volumes of the rich heritage and history of this place.
- You visit the 300 years old Manakula Vinayagar Temple, the Anglo-French Thiepval Memorial, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Arikamedu, the only city with an archaeological record of Roman presence in India, Paradise Beach and Pondicherry's Grand Bazar fish market.
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you allow the calmness of Pondicherry to sink in and spend some quality time at our specially chosen restaurants that serve a mélange of cuisines to delight your palate.
38 mile / 60 km
Start early today after a sumptuous breakfast.
- Today’s ride is on one of the scenic routes of South India and it is unlikely that you’ll find this diversity and serenity anywhere else.
- You set out to enjoy a coastal ride on a relatively flat terrain to reach Chidambaram, the pilgrimage town of Tamil Nadu. This quaint town is also known as the seat of Lord Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer which can be found inside the famous Thillai Natarajah Temple.
33 mile / 52 km
On somedays, nothing beats a good drive!
- Due to long-distance, winding roads and traffic density between Chidambaram and Thanjavur we’ve split the distance appropriately for riding and driving.
- So you enjoy pedaling alongside the picturesque Kollidam River, (aka Coleroon River) and after few miles hop on to a support vehicle as we drive you tirelessly to Thanjavur, an important center of South Indian religion, art, and architecture.
- Your evening is reserved for sightseeing at Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore). You visit the Brihadeeswarar Temple dedicated to the Hindu Deity Lord Shiva. A part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site this is one of the largest temples in India.
34 mile / 54 km
After an early breakfast, check-out from the hotel and our support vehicle transfers you Dindigul.
- In the afternoon you visit the Dindigul fort. There is an abandoned temple on its peak apart from few cannons sealed with balls inside. Visitors can view the ruins within the fort walls, arsenal depots, or animal stables) and damaged halls decorated with carved stone columns.
- Your stay is arranged at the Lakeside resort overlooking the Kamaraj Lake. You get to immerse yourself in nature here and indulge into plenty of leisure activities this evening.
- Relax your body with a massage, take a dip in the pool or play some fun board games at their little library.
54 mile / 87 km
Get ready for a challenging ride towards Kodaikanal through the lush green forest of Nilgiris. Don’t worry! You will be rewarded for all the hard work right from the moment you catch a glimpse of Kodaikanal.
- Kodaikanal is a one of the most popular hill stations in South India.
- It is set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, eater falls and grassy hills. Its name in the Tamil language means ‘The Gift of the Forest’.
- At 2,000 meters above sea level, it has a cooler climate than the plains below and is a popular holiday destination. The town centers around star-shaped, man-made Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest.
- You can simply admire the views, meander through the wooded forests, row a boat across the lake, bathe in one of the splashing waterfalls or go for horse riding and cycling around the lake.
- A lesser known fact about Kodaikanal is that it was founded by the American and European Missionaries, hence Catholic churches can be seen in abundance here.
Today you have the option to capture the beauty of this small hill town nestled amidst the imposing Western Ghats.
- The beauty of Kodaikanal is that there are several hiking and trekking trails within easily commutable distance from the city.
- Kodaikanal is referred to as the ‘Princess of Hill stations’ and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination.
- A half-day trek and hike will be sufficient to bring you up close with this 'Switzerland of the East'. The rest of the day can be used for meditation, yoga, reading books and other leisure activities at the hotel.
- The cool and misty weather, scenic beauty of rolling hills and the leafy paradise of Kodaikanal create a magical impact on several tourists throughout the year.
- Interesting fact: The Kurinji flower which blooms once in every 12 years is a sight to behold, and is found only in Kodaikanal.
34 mile / 60 km
The ride from Kodaikanal to Munnar is yet another challenge. And it is equally beautiful too! Munnar offers a lot to explore - the mountains, streams, waterfalls, valleys, the wildlife sanctuaries, hamlets, the flora and fauna and more.
- You ride in the Western Ghats, all the way through its dense forests. The initial stretch from Kodiakanal is mostly an easy downhill ride but after few miles you start pedaling upwards. It is fun to ride on rolling terrains.
- You cover the last few miles with the help of our support vehicle as we drive you through the jade colored cardamom hills and aromatic tea plantation.
- You visit the Tea Museum (opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar) that diligently portrays the growth of Munnar’s tea estates and enjoy shopping in Munnar’s local market which is an interesting expedition in itself.
Munnar which is perched about 1600 m (5249 ft) above sea level used to be the summer resort of the erstwhile British administration in India in the late 19th century.
ALLEPPEY (HOUSE BOAT)
38 mile / 60 km
After tasting some local flavors for breakfast we ride on a pretty flat terrain towards our floating cottages (House boat).
- We bid adieu to the Western Ghats, have lunch and board the support vehicle that drives us towards Alappuzha (or Alleppey), a city on the Laccadive Sea best known for houseboat cruises along the rustic Kerala backwaters and a network of tranquil canals and lagoons.
- These huge, slow moving exotic barges are created for leisure and carefully crafted with mostly, all natural products to bring you as close to nature as it could.
- Amidst modern day amenities such as furnished bedrooms, toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony, you'll be amazed to find bamboo mats, sticks and wood from the areca nut tree used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks forming the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for bedding.
- When in Kerala, the luxurious and comfortable Alleppey boat house cruises are a noted piece of interest for vacationers.
- The USP of a houseboat ride is the magical view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float! Now, wouldn't that be something?
KOCHI (FORMERLY, COCHIN)
41 mile / 65 km
Your biking trail passes through one of those canal bund roads, amid fertile paddy fields, numerous coconut trees and lonely villages leading you out of the Edamalayar forests to reach you to Kochi.
- Welcome to the ‘Land of Coconut Trees’, ‘The Land of Spices’ and ‘God’s Own Country’ – Kerala.
- Post lunch you start exploring the city of Kochi and visit - the Francis Church, Dutch Cemetery, Jew Synagogue, Dhobi Ghat and the Chinese Fishing Nets, a common sight in the backwaters of Kerala.
- You also visit the Jew Town that hosts a Spice Market. The bustling trade of spices is evidenced in the trucks going to and away from the warehouses, loads being taken in and out using pushcarts, and the sight of workers drying, sorting and packing spices.
- End the day by watching Kathakalli – a stylized classical Indian dance-drama and Kalaripayattu - a martial art form which originated as a style in Kerala.
- Things to do in Kerala- Sip on tender coconut water.
DID YOU KNOW? Coconut water is a great natural electrolyte, and it contains high amounts of potassium. It is also lower in carbohydrates — It only contains about 4.5% carbohydrates, whereas typical sports drinks can contain a 6%-8% carbohydrate concentration.
Our trip leader transfers you to the Kochi International Airport only to let you depart with a bag full of happy memories.
For BikeStreetBoys every day is a journey and the journey itself is a home. We hope that this little step is the beginning of a great journey for you!