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&squot;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, Aleppey, Munnar and Cochin, 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 1,300km. 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 destination is Trivandrum (Thiruvanathapuram), Kerala's capital city. We will pick you up from the airport and bring you to the hotel in Varkala (about 50km).
2. Day: Varkala
Breakfast. 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
Breakfast. Finally, the time has come: We are getting the Enfields out of the garage and everyone can pick his or her companion for the next two weeks. You will have an instruction on how to drive the bikes and what it is like to be in the Indian traffic. Afterwards our tour begins. We're getting to know our Enfields riding along stunning coastal roads, a short sandy track and eventually on the highway.
4. Day: From Varkala to Kanyakumari
Breakfast. 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
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
Breakfast. 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
Breakfast. On our trip today, we can again please our curves-enthusiasts with many mountain passages. We will drive through two wildlife sanctuaries, the Indira-Ghandi and the Chinnar national park. If we are lucky, we might even spot some wild elephants. In the afternoon we will reach the land of tea: Hills and valleys covered with spicy scented and energizing plants as far as your eyes can reach.
8. Day: Munnar to Thekkady
Breakfast. We continue our trip through the endless tea plantations. At some point, the landscape changes and pepper and cardamom replace tea. In the early afternoon, we reach Thekkady, which is an ideal place to do some (souvenir) shopping. We stay at a Heritage Hotel built in the traditional Keralan style which offers a relaxed atmosphere.
9. Day: Thekkady
Breakfast. Today is our well-deserved rest day and Thekkady is the perfect place to spend it. Due to the high location in the mountains, the climate is very pleasant. If you want to, you can spend your day with a guided tour through Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and learn about the animals and plants there. In case you want to spend your day more laid-back, you also have the opportunity to do a boat tour on the Periyar lake. Also, many Ayurveda massage centers offer their services.
10. Day: Thekkady to Kollam
Breakfast. Well rested we are back on our bikes. Our trip today consists of approximately 7 hours of riding on mountain passages with lush vegetation. For the last time, we can enjoy the curves of the Western Ghatts. The closer we get to the sea, the warmer it becomes, and we can finally get rid of our warm "mountain clothes".
11. Day: Kollam to Varkala
Breakfast. Closely located to Kollam lies Munroe Island, one of many starting points for the boat tour through the famous backwaters of Kerala. The backwaters are a palm-fringed, partly natural, partly artificially created canal system comparable to the Everglades in Florida. A few hours later, we will be sailing through the backwaters on motorboats. At noon we will be back with our bikes and start off to the last ride on this tour and arrive in Varkala.
12. Day: Varkala
Breakfast. This day is for relaxing. Our mechanic takes the bikes and gets them back into shape for the next tour while we can just laze around.
13. Day: Varkala
Breakfast. Today you can either get a typical South-Indian Ayurveda Massage or go to the beach and enjoy the sun. For dinner, we recommend you to eat freshly caught fish or one of many other Indian delicacies.
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.