Motorcycle Tour
Coast-to-Coast with Enfield plant Chennai

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Culture and technology are the themes of our road trips from Varkala to Chennai, across the South of India. In Tamil Nadu we'll find numerous well-kept, actively used temple sites from all historical periods of the country.

Pricing

per rider in shared twin/double room €2,600.00 $2,892.39 ?
per pillion passenger in shared twin/double room €2,250.00 $2,503.03 ?
per person single room (surcharge) €400.00 $444.98 ?

Features

20 x overnight stay in hotel
19 x breakfast
19 x lunch or dinner
Rent a motorcycle
Operating materials (petrol/oil)
Service vehicle
Mechanic Service
Tour guide
Airport transfer in India
Visit of the Enfield plant in Chennai
Not included features
Everything that is not listed under services

More details

Total distance: approx. 1890 km
Daily stages on site: approx. 50 - 350 km (except arrival and departure stages)
Road condition: winding mountain roads. Oriental traffic
Riding skills: Difficulty level is medium
Climate: The south of India is characterized by a tropical climate. Warm, dry days (30-40°C). It gets a little chilly at night. The amount of precipitation is also limited.
Hotels: You sleep in good, well-kept Indian middle class hotels in double rooms with shower or bath and WC.
Minimum number of participants: 4 persons. If the minimum number of participants has not been reached 6 weeks before the start of the trip, we will refund the deposit in this case.
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Clues:
Flights: When booking flights, please note that the first day of travel is the day of departure and the last day of travel is the day of return.
Insurance: A complete travel insurance package is available at HanseMerkur for about 100 €, depending on the price of the trip. You can find all information here: HanseMerkur will be happy to take out travel insurance for you with HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung.
Visa: To participate in a "Wheel of India" trip you need a tourist visa with a validity of 6 months or the new eTV. The visa is valid from the date of issue. The passport must be valid for 6 months after the end of the trip.
Vaccinations: It is generally recommended to be vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid fever.
Half double room: We offer single travellers the possibility to share a double room with another traveller. If there is no "half" double room available at the time of your booking, we will charge the single room supplement. You will be refunded as soon as a double room partner is found.
Single room occupancy is possible at extra charge. The single room surcharges can be found in the tour descriptions.
Language: This offer is usually suitable for English and/or German speaking participants. We will gladly provide binding information upon request.
Mobility: The offer is not suitable for people with reduced mobility. Please contact us for more information.

Description

In no other state of the subcontinent, Hindu culture has survived in such a pure form.

But also the younger history left its traces. In Chennai, capital of the Tamiles, the formerly British traditional bike Royal Enfield is still manufactured acc.to the original plans. Each month, about 70.000 of these unique single cylinders leave the production halls. Thanks to the new injection engine, the demand has visibly increased. A highlight for all technology freaks is the guided tour of the Enfield factory.

Concerning the landscape, we'll experience nearly everything that India has to offer: white beaches at the West and East Coast, curvy mountain roads in the Western and Eastern Ghatts, endless planes on the High Plateau of the Dekkan. Only desert sand we won't find.

Routing:

Day 1: Arrival

Today your flight to India begins. Late at night or early next morning, you'll arrive in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), the capital of Kerala. We'll pick you up at the airport and bring you to the hotel in Varkala.

Accommodation in Varkala

Day 2: A sunny day in Varkala. After breakfast, we you want to visit the beach. If you like, you may pay a visit to one of the numerous tailors and get yourself a handmade Indian shirt, or you simply enjoy the day in one of the numerous nice beach cafés.

First supper with the group

Accommodation in Varkala

Day 3: Bike rides in Varkala and surroundings (ca. 50 km)

Now the time has come, we take the Enfields out of the garage and each one of you can choose his favorite bike. We give you a short introduction into handling the bikes and how the Indian traffic "functions". Then we start. Alongside romantic coast roads, across a short sandy part and finally on the highway, we get to know the Enfields.

Accommodation in Varkala

Day 4: Varkala - Kanyakumari (ca. 150 km)

Ride to Kanyakumari (Kap Komorin). Most of the time we spend on small beach roads. On the road, we'll visit a Kali temple and the royal palace in Padmanabhapuram. If we're lucky, we'll experience a terrific sunset and finish the day with a Pooja in the temple of goddess Kanya Kumari. From our hotel windows, we have a direct view of the Gulf of Bengal. Joint dinner. We'll enjoy Thali, a South Indian speciality.

Accommodation in Kanyakumari

Day 5: Kanyakumari - Madurai (ca. 245 km)

Ride to Madurai. Shortly after leaving Kanyakumari, we'll cross a gigantic wind energy plant. We'll arrive in Madurai after about 6 hours. In the evening, we'll visit the Menakshee Temple, one of the most gigantic temples in India. Then we'll have dinner on the roof top.

Accommodation in Madurai

Day 6: Madurai - Thanjavur (ca. 160 km)

We go further into the center of Tamil Nadu. Western tourists get more and more rare. This part of India has never been noticeably influenced by foreign powers in its thousand years of history. Here we'll experience Hindu culture in its purest form. Along the road to Thanjavur, we'll see many fixed images of horsemen on reared-up horses. By early evening, we'll arrive in Thanjavur.

Accommodation in Thanjavur

Day 7: Thanjavur and further to Pondicharry (ca. 180 km)

Thanjavur is characterize by the Dravidic temple architecture which is typical for Southern India. The Brahadhiswara Temple (Big Temple) is an impressive example for this type of sacred buildings. After our visit there, we'll move on to "France", to Pondicherry, one of the few former French colonies on Indian soil.

Accommodation in Pondicherry

Day 8: Pondicherry

French influence on the Indian subcontinent is minimal, but you find traces of their presence still today. Pondicherry is one of the few former French colonies. Until today, local policemen wear the typical Flic uniforms in the streets of this pretty port town, just like in Paris. The promenades along the shore and nice bistros invite for enjoying yourself.

Accommodation in Pondicherry

Day 9: Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram (ca. 130 km)

Only a few kilometers separate us from our next goal, Mamallapuram (also called Mahabalipuram). On our way, shortly behind Pondicherry, we might visit one of the most unusual "world projects", the center of Auroville, Ashram of Aurobindo. People from more than a hundred different nations are trying new, peaceful forms of living together. By early afternoon, we'll arrive in Mamallapuram.

Accommodation in Mahabalipuram

Day 10: Mahabalipuram

Tick tick tick … the sound of Mamallapuram. As long as living memory is concerned, this "song" can be heard in the roads and streets of this town. It is a center for stonemasons. The artists sit in front of their shops and in their studios and transform different materials into most beautiful pieces of art. The large rock reliefs testify of the long tradition of this craftsmanship. Beyond that, Mamallapuram has to offer very beautiful beaches.

Accommodation in Mahabalipuram

Day 11: Transfere to Royal Enfield in Chennai

In the middle of our tour, we visit the Enfield factory in Chennai, for many among you the highlight of this adventure. We'll not bother ourselves with the local traffic chaos, instead we take public transport for the last few kilometers. The production site of our bikes if a typical Indian example for the close co-existence between modernity and traditional craftsmanship. Jobs that in our part of the world are done by robots, here will be done by artist-like hand work.

Accommodation in Mahabalipuram

Day 12: Mahabalipuram - Trichy (ca. 350 km)

Well rested and full of fresh energy, we go on today's longest daily distance of our trip. Without stop, we ride to Trichy (Tiruchirappalli), a distance of about 350 kilometers. Early in the morning, we'll leave the Eastern coast and again get a chance to study the originality and "naturalness" of Indian rural life. Roads are simply "re-conquered" and turned into agricultural spaces.

Accommodation in Tiruchirapalli

Day 13: Trichy

Besides Madurai, Trichy, or better the neighbouring Srirangam, harbours the largest temple compound of our trip. Numerous smaller and larger Vishnu sanctuaries dating back to Dravidian times are spread across a huge area which is surrounded by seven concentric rings of walls. Trichi itself is a vibrating big city with a colorful and lively bazar. From the Rock Fort, which was built on a 83 m high rock, you have a gorgeous view over the city.

Accommodation in Tiruchirapalli

Day 14: Trichy - Palani (ca. 165 km)

For the last time, we cruise the highland of the Dekkan, across wide fields and tiny villages. Starting tomorrow, the world will look differently. Early afternoon we'll arrive in Palani, site of the famous temple which was built on a rock. More than seven million believers visit the Murugan Temple every year. The painstaking climb is worthwhile anyway, here is always action, Indian religiousness in its pure form. There is also an elevator.

Accommodation in Palani

Day 15: Palani - Munnar (ca. 70 km)

From now on, everything will be different. We enter the country of tea and spices. First, we cross two huge natural parks, the Indira-Ghandhi and the Chinnar-Wildlife Sanctuaries. And suddenly, we are surrounded by juicy green colors. Up to the treeline, the hip-high tea plants have conquered all the space. They are harvested all over the year, and therefore you'll see tea pickers doing their work everywhere.

Accommodation in Munnar

Day 16: Munnar - Thekkady (ca. 110 km)

Also today we'll be accompanied by tea. Sometimes however, we'll come across huge spice plantations, mainly cardamom, but also pepper, chili and other spices. If you still want to go on motorcycling, we'll make a short trip to the Top station. Early afternoon, we'll reach the town near the entrance of the Periyar Nature Park, Thekkady. During the rest of the day, we may relax or go shopping.

Accommodation in Thekkady

Day 17: Thekkady

We'll take a well-deserved break. Thekkadi is the ideal place for doing so. Situated relatively high in the mountains, the local climate is very pleasant. Who likes, can take part in an appr. 3 hours long, guided tour of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and get expert information about the fauna and flora of the region. Those of you more fond of relaxing might take part in a boat tour on Lake Periyar. Furthermore, there are numerous Ayurvedic massage centers offering their services.

Accommodation in Thekkady

Day 18: Thekkady - Kollam (ca. 200 km)

After an extended breakfast, we get on the bikes again. Ahead of us are seven hours of mountain cruise, amidst a lavish vegetation. For the last time, we may enjoy the curves of the West Ghatts. The closer we get to the ocean, and the lower we get, the temperatures will rise, until we finally have to get rid of our warm "mountain clothing". Our today's accommodation is located in the middle of the backwaters of Kerala.

Accommodation in Kollam

Day 19: Kollam - Varkala (ca. 80 km)

Before going back to Varkala we start for our boat trip across the famous backwaters of Kerala. This is a partly natural, partly artificial channel system, seamed by palm trees. It is comparable to the Everglades in Florida. For a few hours, we'll be on small motor boats. Around noon time, we are back on the ground. The last bike ride of this tour begins. Shortly after, we are back in Varkala.

Accommodation in Varkala

Day 20: Varkala

Now relaxing is the goal for the day. You may let yourself be pampered with an Ayurvedic massage or enjoy the sun along one of the beautiful beaches. For evening dinner, we once more recommend to have fresh fish or one of the other delicacies of the Indian cuisine.

Mostly late at night our return flight will start. Until airport transfer you may use your hotel room.

Accommodation in Varkala

Day 21: Flight back home

Those of you who didn't leave during the night, will be transferred to Trivandrum.

In case you enjoyed your trip, why don't you come to India with us for another time? Maybe to the desert state of Rajasthan or on the highest passes of the world, to Ladakh in the Himalayas? India has many faces, and none equals the other.