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Cycle India

India

Cycle India

Biking
·
Start: Delhi
·
End: Kochi

Explore romantic India on a cycling tour from the classic cities and history of Rajasthan

Activity
Biking
LocationIndia
Duration22 days
Start / EndDelhi / Kochi
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

India

Cycle India

Biking·
22 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Delhi
·
End: Kochi

Description

The enchanting northern province of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. On our cycling adventure we see all sides of this fascinating state. Cycling means that everything is slower and up close in India. Interact with the wonderful local population of small towns, drink chai under a roadside tree with friendly locals. From the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs' palaces to Holy ...

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Itinerary

Day 1Delhi
Namaste and welcome to India. Please attend a welcome group meeting today at 6 pm to meet your fellow travellers and trip leader. You’ll also meet your cycling crew and get fitted out for your bike. Please see the important notes section of you trip notes for more information. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive into Delhi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Perhaps pay a visit to the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb or the 12th-century Qutub Minar. As the former residence of royal families and British soldiers, the Red Fort plays a vital part in Delhi’s history and is a must-see. Otherwise book an Urban Adventure to see Delhi through the eyes of a local. Riding distance: None
Day 2Jaipur
The day begins with an early morning warm-up ride (approximately 25 km). For the rest of the day, tour the sights of Delhi in a private vehicle. Explore Old Delhi, which has been an important city in India for well over 2,000 years. Visit the Jama Masjid (Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque), the Sikh temple of Sheeshganj Gurudwara and India Gate, the latter commemorating soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Indian Army in World War I. In the late afternoon, take a five-hour train journey to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Bikes will be transported separately by vehicle to Jaipur. Cycling distance: approx. 17kms/11 miles, mostly flat with approx. 125m/410ft of elevation gain.
Day 3Jaipur
This morning explore the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur by private vehicle and on foot. Visit the Amber Fort. Set atop a hill overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Entering the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is a particularly memorable experience. You’ll also have the option to visit Jaipur's Royal City Palace and/or one of the five astronomical observatories built by the founder, Jaipur Maharaja Jai Singh. At the end of the day you might like to sit back in the iconic Raj Mandir Cinema and enjoy a Bollywood blockbuster. Riding distance: None
Day 4Pushkar
Depart Jaipur after breakfast and enjoy a ride to the sacred city of Pushkar. On the way pass several forts and make brief stops to take pictures. Upon reaching Pushkar in the evening, take a guided walk around the town. Pass the holy Pushkar Lake, where pilgrims come to cleanse themselves of sins and disease by bathing along the lake’s 52 ghats. As the most important temple of its kind, head to Brahma Mandir - one of India’s few temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma. The main street of the town is a bustling tourist market and well worth a visit if you want to stock up on souvenirs. Cycling distance: approx. 100kms/62 miles, mostly flat for the first 48kms/30 miles, then undulating, with approx. 465m/1525ft of elevation gain.
Day 5Udaipur
Spend the day cycling to the ‘White City’ of Udaipur. Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur is often regarded as the most romantic city in India. Set amid the Aravalli Hills, the city curls around Lake Pichola, the two palaces of Jag Mandir and Jag Nivas rising out of the water in their own reflections. Cycling distance: approx. 68kms/42 miles, undulating for the first 17kms/10 miles, then flat, with approx. 490m/1610ft of elevation gain.
Day 6Udaipur
Spend the day touring the sights of Udaipur with the group. Wind through narrow streets to the City Palace complex on the banks of Lake Pichola, which is the largest palace in Rajasthan. Pop into the impressive Jagdish Temple, dedicated to the Lord Vishnu. If time allows, perhaps visit the rose gardens of the Gulab Bagh, take a boat trip across Lake Pichola or participate in a Sitar lesson. Cycling distance: approx. 14kms/9 miles, flat with approx. 90m/295ft of elevation gain.
Day 7Paangarh
We start our day with a 50km ride through the Chittorgarh countryside before boarding our support vehicle and driving towards Chittaurgarh itself (55kms, 1.5hrs) then climb back onto our bikes and cycle 22kms through the hills towards Bijaipur. From here we avoid riding on a main highway and transport south to Pangarh Lake, spending the night sleeping in a comfortable permanent tent camp. On arrival, unwind with a cup of chai while watching the sunset over the lake and serene Vindhya Range. Enjoy a view out to the 15th-century Pangarh Fort, perched atop a hill to the north side of the lake. Ride 1 - Cycling distance: approx. 53kms/33 miles, lightly downhill/flat with approx. 390m/1280ft of elevation gain. Ride 2 - Cycling distance: approx. 22 kms/14 miles, uphill for the first 15kms, then downhill, with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Day 8Bijaipur
This morning, leave the campsite and cycle through farmland to the village of Bijaipur. On the way witness local rural life in action and, depending on the season, opium poppy fields in harvest. In Bijaipur stay in the 16th-century Castle Bijaipur, which is now a heritage hotel within the original fortified walls. Enjoy the palace’s blend of colonial and Mughal architecture as you relax by the pool or in the gardens, pampered by the Mewar hospitality of the hotel’s owners. Cycling distance: approx. 17 kms/11 miles, undulating with approx. 150 m/490ft of elevation gain.
Day 9Bundi
After breakfast, cycle on to charming Bundi. On arrival, explore the town on an orientation tour. Wander narrow streets packed with blue Brahmin houses, bazaars, temples and shops, and mingle with locals in the downtown market. Visit Bundi’s ancient and ornately carved baoris (step wells), which once provided water to the city. Imposing itself over the town is the 17th-century Bundi Palace, where you can check out some exquisite murals. Cycling distance: approx. 70 kms/43 miles, undulating/hilly with approx. 720m/2360ft of elevation gain.
Day 10Ranthambhore National Park
Today, ride to Ranthambhore National Park. Once a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, today it’s a major wildlife park and the best place in Rajasthan to see tigers in the wild. The group will reach Ranthambore by late afternoon, so you’ll have plenty of time to rest up for an early start the next day. Cycling distance: approx. 70 kms/43 miles, undulating with approx. 540m/1770ft of elevation gain.
Day 11Ranthambhore National Park
Embark on a 4WD safari before dawn in search of leopards, wild boar, hyenas, nilgai, birds and of course, tigers. Deep in the jungle of the park is Ranthambhore Fort. Founded in 944 AD, few buildings have survived the ravages of war and time, but the ruins of Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court pavilions hint at its previous grandeur. In the late afternoon, explore a different sector of the park via 4WD to increase the chance of tiger sightings. Notes: Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On the trips affected, we'll visit nearby Mansingh Sanctuary instead. In 2015 Intrepid returned to Ranthambhore National Park after suspending our visits in 2014 due to vehicle safety concerns. The majority of vehicles have now been assessed and upgraded. As the safety of our travellers is our highest priority, your group leader has the authority to reschedule or cancel the safari tour if they believe the vehicles available do not meet our safety standards. Cycling distance: none
Day 12Madhogarh
Today is the final day of cycling. Depart Ranthambhore and reach your destination of Madhogarh by late afternoon. After saying goodbye to the cycling crew, explore the small village with your group. Enjoy famous Rajput hospitality when you spend the night in the 400-year-old Fort Madhogarh, built by Madho Singh Ji and once the battlefield of the Kachwaha Rajputs. In 2000, the fort was converted into a family-run hotel in order to finance its upkeep. Cycling distance: approx. 31 kms/19 miles, flat/lightly undulating with approx. 320m/1050ft of elevation gain.
Day 13Agra
Today, travel by bus to Agra. Agra is a city of temples, gardens and palaces and is rich in Mughal heritage. Visit the Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. As described by the poet Rabindranath Tagore, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' never fails to amaze. If you like, continue on to Akbar's Mausoleum. Cycling distance: none
Day 14New Delhi
In the morning, tour the spectacular Red Fort. Founded by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, its sandstone walls once enclosed the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. Wander around the fort’s palaces, mosques and halls before the afternoon drive back to Delhi. Perhaps go out for a final night dinner for those not continuing on to Kerala. Cycling distance: none
Day 15Trivandrum
Please note the flight and transfers from New Delhi to Trivandrum are not included in the cost of the trip and must be purchased separately. You will need to purchase your own flight from New Delhi. Please arrange a flight to arrive before 4pm as your next group meeting in Trivandrum is at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. Today is a free day in Trivandrum with ample time to wander around Kerala’s capital and admire its British colonial architecture, visit an art gallery, or stroll through the intricate Puthenmalika Palace, which was previously closed to the public for 150 years. Cycling distance: none Please see the Accommodation section of the Essential Trip Information for the hotel name and address in Trivandrum.
Day 16Varkala
Say 'hello' to your bike support team this morning, then get suited up and fitted to a bike before starting your first ride in Kerala. Leaving from Trivandrum, head straight towards the beach on the flat road that takes you all the way up to the Varkala. The scenery is memorable, with Kerala on your right and nothing but long stretches of sand, palm trees and the Arabian Sea on your left (approximately 50 kilometres). Varkala sits on India's Keralan coast and is home to some of the whitest and most pristine beaches in the whole country. Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and laid-back. The town itself, a string of laid-back bars, restaurants, guesthouses and hotels, will be explored on an orientation walk. If you want to get active, there are plenty of water sports on offer. If you have time, perhaps take the bike and cycle through fishing villages to Varkala Lighthouse. Sitting on the sand and watching the sun dip below the horizon is the perfect way to end a day here. Cycling distance: approx. 51kms/32 miles, flat with approx. 240m/780ft of elevation gain.
Day 17Kerala Houseboat
By support vehicle (approximately 60 kilometres) and bike (approx. 30kms), ride to the backwaters of Kerala this morning and discover sleepy Alleppey. Once a significant trading port, the town is now famed for the long ‘snake boats’ races that take place in August every year. Here you will board a typical Keralan houseboat (Kettuvallam) to cruise through the complex system of beautiful lagoons and canals. These floating cottages have western toilets, private bedrooms, a dining area and sundeck for you to relax on. The backwaters are best explored by boat as life revolves around the water here – children often learn to swim before they can walk and they row boats before they ride a bike. Float down the waterways, try your hand at fishing, and just lay back and enjoy this unique landscape. Notes: The houseboats cruise through the backwaters the whole day. As per the local administration rules, at around 5:30pm the boats are supposed to be put aside for overnight stay. Air conditioning is available only from 6pm-6:30am. Fans are available throughout the day along with options to recharge your gadgets. Each houseboat will have 3-4 rooms so the group will be split between a few houseboats. Cycling distance: approx. 30kms / 19miles, flat with approx. 155m/500ft elevation gain
Day 18Periyar
Leave Alleppey and the houseboat behind and travel by support vehicle inland approx. 80 kilometres (3.5hrs) to Vagamon and start our first ride among the hills of Kerala.Today can be a tough but beautiful ride as the route undulates along winding roads and verdant green hills. Ride for approx. 45kms then avoid the really steep sections by climbing into the support vehicle and continuing all the way to the sleepy town of Periyar. In the evening why not soothe your aching muscles with a well-earned traditional malayalee massage. Cycling distance: approx. 45kms/28 miles, hilly with approx. 750m/2460ft of elevation gain.
Day 19Periyar
After a leisurely breakfast we enjoy an easier day in the saddle as we cycle through the Kerala high country and the many tea plantations that dot the hills. Enjoy a long downhill into the spice trade town of Kumily, on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and gateway town to Thekkady and the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, before enjoying an evening walk in the nearby jungle. You also have the opportunity to witness firsthand the fascinating Indian martial art Kalaripayattu, considered to be one of the oldest surviving fighting styles in existence Cycling distance: approx. 33kms/20 miles - initial climb for 3kms, undulating for 20kms then downhill for 10kms - with approx. 550m/1850ft of elevation gain.
Day 20Kochi
Today is packed with adventure so we have a very early start. What goes up must come down and after an undulating 35kms you have the pleasure of a 20kms/12 mile winding downhill cycle that takes you from the cool hills above 1000m all the way down to sea level itself. The road then flattens out as we cycle the last section across the plains to the busy town of Ponkunnam before avoiding the busy traffic by driving to the beautiful beachside city of Kochi. We arrive in the mid-afternoon, heading to the Mattancherry part of Fort Kochi for a guided walking tour. Explore the Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace), which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and later claimed by the Dutch in 1663. Continue on to the Jewish quarter – the Jewish community here has roots going back as far as 1,000 AD, and you’ll see the Jewish synagogue in the city. The tour will take around 2-3 hours and with enough time to wash off the days effort before heading out to dinner and enjoying one of India's most revered classical dances, at a performance of the famed Kathakali. Cycling distance: approx. 75kms/46 miles - undulating for 35kms, downhill for 20kms, then flat for 20kms - with approx. 820m/2700ft of elevation gain.
Day 21Kochi
Today is our your last day cycling in the state of Kerala as we enjoy an early morning ride from Kochi to the popular Cherai Beach (approx 35kms), famed for its Chinese fishing nets, sandy shores and tranquil waters. After a relaxing dip we say goodbye to our bikes and continue on (by support vehicle) to Athirappally Waterfalls. Aptly nicknamed “The Niagara of India”, the nearby 24-metre (80 foot) Athirappilly Waterfalls is the largest waterfall in Kerala. Enjoy the view and a packed lunch nearby the falls before returning to Kochi in the late afternoon. The rest of the day will be free to do as you wish, before perhaps meeting for a final group dinner to recount the amazing experience you've enjoyed together over the last 7 days. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat with approx. 180m/590ft of elevation gain.
Day 22Kochi
There are no activities planned for the final day. You’re able to depart the accommodation at any before midday. There is so much to see and do in Kochi - why not book and extra day or two. Perhaps indulge yourself in a hands-on cooking lesson in the ‘land of spices’ and learn how to cook classic Keralan cuisine with a local. Ask your guide for more information.

More info

Trip title

Cycle India

Trip code

HHXCC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2020

Introduction

The enchanting northern province of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. On our cycling adventure we see all sides of this fascinating state. Cycling means that everything is slower and up close in India. Interact with the wonderful local population of small towns, drink chai under a roadside tree with friendly locals. From the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs' palaces to Holy Lak... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle,Train,Metro,Cycle rickshaw,Aeroplane (not included)

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do fo... Read more

Joining point

Hotel Taj Princess

Joining point description

The Hotel Taj Princess is located in the Karol Bagh district. The hotel has a rooftop terrance, restaurant and free WIFI. Each room has private ensuite facilities.

Joining point instructions

Delhi's Indira Gandhi's International Airport is approximately 25km from Karol Bagh. One of the biggest airports in the world, it can be quite chaotic and can take some time to process your visa and collect your luggage. For Original and Basic style trips Intrepid offer a pre-arranged transfer service option. Enquire with your agent and advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to... Read more

Continuing point

Fortune Hotel The South Park

Continuing point description

The South Park is located in the heart of Trivandrum on M.G Road. Facilities at this hotel include a swimming pool, spa & massage centre, gym, restaurant and free wifi. Each room comes with a private bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities.

Continuing point instructions

ARRIVAL TRANSFER: We are happy to arrange an arrival transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details at least 14 days prior to departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met in the arrivals hall by your representative with an Intrepid sign board. Please contact our transfer represe... Read more

Finish point

Abad Pepper Route

Important information

1. The flight and transfers from New Delhi to Trivandrum on Day 15 are not included. See the Transport section for more details. 2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. 3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 4. Bike helmets are compulsory ... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other g... Read more

Safety

We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the ground. Your leader can assist with this. FOOTWEAR For safety reasons we strongly recommend that you w... Read more

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with ... Read more

Why we love it

Take the road less travelled as you cycle through the rural villages and majestic countryside of Rajasthan

Is this trip right for you

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed) This trip covers anywhere between 25 to 90 km of cycling each day, so a reasonable level of fitness is required, although you’ll have plenty of rest b... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Money matters

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). It's symbol is ₹ The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via ATMs, which are readily available in most towns. Look for Bank of India or ICICI ATM's. Our experience has shown they are the most reliable ATM's to use for withdrawals. Cash shortages at ATMs can be a problem in rural areas. Foreign currency notes t... Read more

What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to pur... Read more

Climate and seasonal

Please note that heat and humidity during summer (Apr-Jun) in India can be particularly oppressive with temperatures reaching 45 degrees C/113 degrees F.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. Below link will take you to the feedback site: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/ http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, transfer or accommodation issues, you can reach our local India Intrepid office on their 24 hour number: While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss t... Read more

Responsible travel

As part of our commitment to responsible travel a portion of your trip cost will be donated to Bicycles for Humanity – a not-for-profit, volunteer run, grass roots charity organisation focused on the alleviation of poverty through sustainable transport – in the form of a bicycle. In the developing world a bicycle is life changing, allowing access to health care, education, economic opportunity an... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multisha... Read more

Transport notes

While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, ... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Hotels (15 nights),Guesthouse (1 night),Houseboat (1 night),Heritage Property (3 nights),Deluxe permanent tent (1 night)
22days
€2,675per person
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Apr 13
Delhi
May 4
Kochi
€2,675
Seats left: 10
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Oct 12
Delhi
Nov 2
Kochi
€2,675
Seats left: 11
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Nov 2
Delhi
Nov 23
Kochi
€2,675
Seats left: 11
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Nov 16
Delhi
Dec 7
Kochi
€2,675
Seats left: 16
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