Tropical-exotic South India
During the two weeks of our South-India roundtrip, we are going to visit the states Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These southern and tropical states are still regarded as an insider tip among experts.
The starting point of our tour is the town Varkala, a small town for fishermen and pilgrims with a beautiful beach located about 50km north of Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. Kerala itself is the southwesternmost state in India. The state is a slim, fertile coastline at the western precipice of the western Ghatts. Kerala&squot;s inhabitants describe their home proudly as "God's own country" and once you have been there yourself, you will know that this is not a typical Indian exaggeration! This tour will lead us through the diverse and various regions of this state: High (up to 2,400m) and vast forests, huge conservation areas with elefants, tigers, buffalos, monkeys, leopards and other wild animals or tea and spice plantations. We will visit the cities Varkala, Thekkady and Munnar, just to name a few.
The land of the tamils and the 1000 temples. 2000 years of Indian culture shape this fascinating state. Located in a remote region of the South, the state remained undisturbed by invasions, occupations or plunderings of foreign conquerors who constantly bothered North India. In Tamil Nadu, we find India&squot;s most beautiful temples with their huge Gopurams, the towers through which you enter the temple area. The southernmost place of the Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari, and Madurai with its gigantic temple complex are located on our route.
As diverse as the cultural highlights are the roads we will ride on with our Enfields for about 1,150km. No day will be like the next. Well-developed highways extend along the coast through endless areas of palm trees and pass the canals of the backwaters. From little-trafficked mountain roads over narrow serpentines up steep to the Western Ghatts. There we will be rewarded with an amazing view over these mostly unexplored mountains. Long, and often in need of repair, country roads will lead us to the gently curved plateaus of Tamil Nadu. There is something for every taste. Almost all roads are paved so that every motorcyclist with some experience in motorcycle riding can, without difficulty, cross this stretch.
Motorbike tours through India are neither relaxing vacations at the sea nor are they package holidays to Mallorca. The unusual climate, culture and the special Indian traffic are requesting a lot from our guests. We still want you to feel as comfortable as possible during your adventure in India and therefore we hand-picked our hotels in order to ensure you comfort and cleanliness. Moreover, we are offering you a boat tour into the backwaters as well as optional relaxing days in Varkala at the beginning or the end of the tour, where you can be pampered in one of many Ayurveda resorts and also have the possibility to get used to India and can recover from the tour.
1. Day: Arrival
Your journey begins today with a flight to India. The destination airport is Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), the capital of Kerala. Arrival is usually in the middle of the night or early the next morning. We pick you up from the airport and bring you to the hotel in Varkala (approx. 50 km).
2. Day: Varkala
The beach invites you to sunbathing and swimming. Those who wish can get a tailor-made Indian shirt or you could just stay and relax in one of the many nice street cafés.
3. Day: The first tour / ca. 50 km
Now the time has come, we get the Enfields from the garage and everyone can choose their machine. We will give you a brief introduction to the handling of the motorcycles and explain to you how Indian traffic "works". Then it starts. We get to know the Enfields along dreamy coastal roads, through a short stretch of sand and finally on the highway.
4. Day: From Varkala to Kanyakumari / ca. 150 km
Trip to Kanyakumari (Kap Komorin): Most of the time we are riding on small costal roads. On our way, we will visit a Kali temple and the Padmanabhapuram Palace. In the evening, we hope for a spectacular sunset and finish our day with a Pooja in the temple for the goddess Kumari. Our hotel offers us a great view on the Bay of Bengal. For dinner, we will have Thali, a typical South-Indian specialty.
5. Day: Kanyakumari to Madurai / ca. 245 km
Breakfast. Trip to Madurai: Shortly after we leave Kanyakumari, we cross a gigantic wind power station for many kilometers. We will arrive Madurai after approximately 6 hours and visit the Menakshee temple, one of the biggest temples in India. Our dinner will be served high above Madurai's roofs.
6. Day: Madurai to Palani / ca. 165 km
This tour is especially for our curves-enthusiasts. We climb up the Western Ghatt's heights and will reach 2,200 m above sea level. Many curves and well-paved roads make this day a pleasure for all of us. Once we have reached the height, we will drive down to the temple city Palani which is located in the valley. The climate is much more pleasant down here and the temple is also worth a visit.
7. Day: Palani to Munnar / ca. 135 km
On our route today there are again some mountain passages, so again a paradise for curve drivers. We drive through two Wildlife Sanctuaries, the Indira Ghandi and the Chinnar Conservation Park, and if we are lucky, we will spot a few wild elephants. In the afternoon we are in the land of tea. As far as the eye can see, hills and valleys are overgrown with the aromatic, fragrant, energizing plant.
8. Day: Munnar to Thekkady / ca. 110 km
We continue through endless tea plantations. But then suddenly the landscape changes and tea is replaced by cardamom and pepper. We are literally in the "land where the pepper grows". In the early afternoon we reach Thekkady, an ideal place for shopping. Here souvenir hunters will find everything their hearts desire. We live in a heritage hotel. It is built in the traditional style of Kerala and offers a cozy atmosphere.
9. Day: Thekkady
We're taking a well-deserved day off. Thekkady is the ideal place for this. The relatively high mountain location ensures a pleasant climate. If you want, you can book a three-hour guided hike through the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and get expert information about the flora and fauna. Those who want it more leisurely can embark on a boat trip on Lake Periyar. Numerous Ayurveda massage centers also offer their services.
10. Day: Thekkady to Munroe Island / ca. 200 km
Freshly rested, we get back on our bikes. We have a good seven hours of ascent through lush vegetation ahead of us. One last time we enjoy curve loops in the Western Ghatts. The closer we get to the sea and the deeper we get, the warmer it gets until we finally have to get rid of the warm "mountain clothing". We find a real little paradise on Monroe Island.
11. Day: Munroe Island to Varkala / ca. 90 km
Munroe Island is one of the starting points for a boat tour through the famous Kerala backwaters, a palm-fringed, partly natural, partly artificial canal system (comparable to the Everglades in Florida). For a few hours we will sail through the backwaters on small motor boats. Around noon we have solid ground under our feet again and start the last motorcycle ride of this trip. A little later we are back in Varkala.
12. Day: Varkala
Now it's time to relax. The bikes go back into the hands of our mechanic and are made fit for the next tour, and we will devote ourselves to the strenuous business of doing nothing.
13. Day: Varkala
If you want, you can pamper yourself for little money in one of the numerous Ayurveda resorts with a typical South Indian massage or let the warming rays of the sun burn your belly on the beach. For dinner we recommend freshly caught fish or the other many delicacies of Indian cuisine one last time.
You will usually be picked up from the hotel in the middle of the night and taken to the airport in Trivandrum. If your flight leaves tomorrow morning, you can spend another night in the hotel.
14. Day: Namasté and Goodbye!
The time of farewell has come. The last night in India is often very short since many airlines are departing in the middle of the night. We hope that you liked your trip with us and we are looking forward to seeing you again! What about a trip to the desert state Rajasthan, or riding on the highest passages in the world in Ladakh in the Himalayas…? India has various places worth discovering and none is like the other.