Southern India Coast to Coast Ride

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Southern India Coast to Coast Ride - Exodus Travels
Southern India Coast to Coast Ride - Exodus Travels
6 reviews
Chennai (Madras)
+10 Destinations
Southern India
Kochi (Cochin)


Start in Chennai (Madras) and end in Kochi (Cochin)! With the bicycle tour Southern India Coast to Coast Ride, you have a 14 day tour package taking you from Chennai (Madras) to Kochi (Cochin) and through Chennai (Madras), India and 10 other destinations in India. Southern India Coast to Coast Ride is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
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6 Reviews

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  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 1
    Written on November 5, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Fantastic people, fantastic scenery and fantastic food. Guides were happy to adapt so that we could ride more and transfer less.The route ws great with plenty of chai and dosa stopsto keep the legs going.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Dropping down through the mountains to Vanilla County with mist over the rainforest and waterfalls everywhere. Simply magic - so much so I had to start singing!What did you think of your group leader?Very flexible to the needs of the group, great knowledge of the country and culture.

  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 2
    Written on April 17, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A Brilliant holiday , well organised and with good accomodation. We stayed in two really amazing places and the rest of the accomodation was good. The holiday has a lot of riding and is low on bus transfers. We visited lots of temples, a tea factory and wild life park and all added to the experience.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The most amazing day was the ride through the tea plantations, the sun was shining , the women were out picking the tea and the whole area looked perfectley manicured. There were also some numerous undulations which made a great ride.  What did you think of your group leader?Peter the leader was absolutely great. Our trip was the second one run and he was continually tweeking and asking for feedback.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?It Can be very hot for the April/May departure, a camelbak is usefiul to keep hydrated. If you feel you might be suffering from het exhaustion don't be afraid to use the airconditioned bus.Using hand gel before eating and for after loo stops wise. We had no serious stomach problems despite all the roadside snacks we sampled.Lots to photograph on the way so a camera that fits in the pocket is much more useful than a SLR ATM,s were a bit haphazard and sometimes it was necessary to try three before getting any money. Probably useful to have some hard currency just in case. In Kochi the palace and symague are closed Friday /Saturday so if you want to visit go Thursday, when you arrive.Is there anything else you would like to add?Good to use so many local places for lunch and tea stops.Cold towels from an iceboox would be very welcome in the temperatures we were cycling  35 centigrade + some of the time.

  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 3
    Written on March 27, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A fantastic trip taking in an array of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and terrain.  As a first flavour of a cycling holiday it gave me an enjoyable experience of life in the saddle for a few days.  The culinary and cultural stops also made for a memorable holiday. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Reaching the top of the 13k hill, struggling up hairpin bends whilst monkeys looked on leisurely chewing branches.   Watching the sun go down over the tranquil back waters, then waking up on such a millpond with the fishermen quietly going about their business. Banana Jam!!!!! What did you think of your group leader?Peter our leader was a good judge of character and tended to any needs, the back up support was also superb.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Make the booking :)Is there anything else you would like to add?You will love it 

  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 4
    Written on March 27, 2013
    3.0 - Average

    Great route, but cycling in India for me is about pedalling between points of interest, rather than pedalling for its own sake - and this tended towards the latter.  That said, this was the first time the trip had been run - and I did have a damned good time.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The Brihadishwara Temple in Thanjavur - for the astonishing buildings and unexpected sense of calm.  And by way of almost complete contrast, the village temple festival on the road to Kumarakom, which was a riot of music and gold-caparisoned elephants.  The Chettiar town of Karaikudi had a special atmosphere too.What did you think of your group leader?Peter doesn't take sugar in his chai, which is almost unforgivable (!).  He did plan a superb route though.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Don't worry about the distances - the terrain in Tamil Nadu is extremely flat, and apart from a couple of hilly days in the Ghats, the cycling is not as intimidating as the distances imply;  The books on Chola bronzes in the museum at Thanjavur are poor quality, but you may be able to pick up a reasonably-priced copy of the excellent "The Sensuous and the Sacred" from one of the bookshops in Kochi instead.  This covers much of the same material, but with much better photography; The gentle hike around the Periyar / Kumily National Park seemed to be much better value that the boat trips - we saw plenty of birdlife and monkeys whilst on foot that would not have been visible from the lake;  Handmade soap is much cheaper to buy in Kumily than Kochi; If you have an early start for the flight home, there is a cafe on the roof of Kochi airport that serves a reasonable veg biryani and a very decent coffee (but no chai); Don't forget to pack your trunks - several of the hotels have excellent pools.Is there anything else you would like to add?Perhaps it was because I went on the first of these trips, perhaps it was the dynamic of the group - or perhaps it was just me, but I was hoping for a more integrated cycling / cultural experience than I got.  Whilst appreciating that not everyone is interested in temples (although I have to recommend Michael Wood's "A South Indian Journey", which gives a great flavour of the vibrant living classical civilisation that can be experienced in Tamil Nadu), some of us are - and make the trip to India specifically to see these things and learn more about the country that is hosting us.  We did have a local guide on one day (who gave us an excellent tour of the Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar temple in Madurai), and I would have appreciated more of this level of local engagement.  Having said all of which - I'm sure I'll be back in India in the not too distant future.

  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 5
    Written on March 18, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    another great trip organised by Peter Bluck going through parts of south india hardly visited by tourists. Lots of variety in terms of scenery and accommodation.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Pedalling up to Periyar, not as big a climb as the one up to Ooty but still a challenge. Realising we had indeed pedalled from coast to coast.What did you think of your group leader?Peter....great and never flustered.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?It can be very very hot in the lowlands and I would aim for December/January departure for maximum comfort.look out for random speedbumps, I didn't see one as I was too busy looking at  village life and had a spectacular fall. Luckily no major damage and my gashed/grazed arm healed remarkably quickly....I was paranoid about cleaning it and it didn't get infected, which I think is quite unusual for India!Is there anything else you would like to add?Take a comfy saddle as there are some long days and my posterior suffered! Get used to the idea of being photographed by locals incessantly, they clearly were intrigued by us!Take long sleeves and trousers for evenings as there are quite a few mosquitoes.

  • Southern India Coast to Coast Ride reviewer 6
    Written on March 6, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A great new trip from Peter Bluck who created the Kerala and Sri Lankan trips. It was the first time the trip had been run so there will be some tweaking for future trips but its another winner! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The amazing people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There cheers, waving and welcome. We attracted a lot of attention. Tea stops could cause minor traffic jams as crowds came to greet us. It was funny having our picture taken!The ride through the tea plantations and down hill to the home stay was probably my favourite day but every day was great, diverse in scenery and interest. Chettinad is almost like being on a film set. The Sri Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple is amazing.Coming across a spectacular festival in a temple just by hearing the music as we cycled.What did you think of your group leader?The reason why I booked this trip was because of Peter. Having cycled around Sri Lanka with him I knew the trip would be good. He is a great group leader. The support staff were also great. There local knowledge steered us through some stunning back streets. We were well looked after.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Again, this was the first time the trip had been run so the itinerary might be tweaked slightly.Tickets to get inside Auroville should be booked in advance. When we arrived the next available ticket were two days later.Visit the market at Thanjavur.If you want to visit the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary, book tickets in advance if the day of arrival doesn't change.You will see more wildlife in a few minutes on the house boat than an hour in the bird sanctuary but it was worth getting up early for the sunrise! Completely cover yourself with mosquito repellent on the boat. They were biting through clothing! In Fort Cochin the Synagogue is closed Friday and Saturday. The Palace is also closed on Friday, so if arriving on Thursday visit these first. If you want to see the Katharkali dancing I would also suggest booking the tickets early so you can get a seat nearer the front. For those who like a cold beer after a hot day in the saddle be advised that a lot of the hotels do not have a liquor liscense. It might be an idea for exodus to get a cool box (not just for beer) and pick some up on the way. You might have to ask for "special tea or coffee"!  Odomos is a local mosquito repellent, widely available and very cheap. Money - £250 covered everything including tips at the end. There are ATMs if you plan to do a lot of shopping.Camelbaks or something similar I suggest are better than bottles. I would also suggest getting/bringing a handlebar bag. There are so many photo oppurtunities. It would make life easier. Is there anything else you would like to add?Get on it!


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  1. Introduction
  1. Day 1: Start Chennai; transfer to Pondicherry via the shore temples of Mahabalipuram.
  2. Day 2: Circular ride passing the spiritual commune of Auroville. After lunch in the old quarter the afternoon is free.
  3. Day 3: Pleasant ride along village roads to experience the rural life of Southern India. Our afternoon ride heads to Chidambaram, famed for its bronze deity casting.
  4. Day 4: Riverside ride to the 16th Century Nayak's capital of Thanjavur; afternoon free to visit the town and Royal Palace.
  5. Day 5: Long ride through the Tamil Nadu heartland to Chettinad, renowned for palatial mansions.
  6. Day 6: Scenic ride to Madurai, a highlight of any trip to India.
  7. Day 7: Free morning to visit this magnificent temple city. Transfer to lunch then ride past Indian vineyards before a final ascent into the Western Ghats and our night stop at Thekkady.
  8. Day 8: Free day to relax and stroll around this hill station or visit the nearby Periyar N.P.
  9. Day 9: A hilly ride through the tea estates with a refreshing stop at a tea factory; after lunch ride one of the most scenic roads in Kerala to Vagamon.
  10. Day 10: Cycle through rubber and spice plantations to Kottayam, the Syrian Christian heartland of Kerala.
  11. Day 11: Free morning to explore or relax by the lake before boarding a houseboat for a stunning backwater cruise.
  12. Day 12: Final ride along the coast road to Fort Cochin.
  13. Day 13: Free day in Fort Cochin with its Chinese fishing nets.
  14. Day 14: End Cochin.

Travel guide

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  • Accommodation

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  • James12th May 2018
    I was able to sort through the various trips until I found a couple I wanted to take. After I booked I misjudged the travel time between when one tour ended and when I had to get to the next one (I didn't realize there were no evening flights where I was). TourRadar was great in connecting me with the tour operator and they were in turn great with helping me change the itinerary so I could do both trips without any extra hassle.



Southern India Coast to Coast Ride

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go



Plugs & Adapters



Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.


These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Recommended for India. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for India. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for India. Ideally 10 days before travel.
Japanese B encephalitis
Recommended for India. Ideally 1 month before travel.


Chennai (Madras) is the starting point and Kochi (Cochin) is the endpoint.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 18 December 2018 the full payment of $3,175 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $3175 for Southern India Coast to Coast Ride, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
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The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express


Covering a total distance of approx 700 km.
  • Chennai (Madras) (India)
  • 49 km
  • Mahabalipuram (India)
  • 89 km
  • Pondicherry (India)
  • 9 km
  • Auroville (India)
  • 9 km
  • Pondicherry (India)
  • 146 km
  • Thanjavur (India)
  • 147 km
  • Madurai (India)
  • 110 km
  • Thekkady (India)
  • 16 km
  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary (India)
  • 36 km
  • Vagamon (India)
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