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Dotted with ancient architectural wonders, thick green coffee plantations, and golden sands, the Bangalore to Goa yoga bike tour is topographically scintillating as well as a fulfilling journey. It’s a trip into the past with thousands of years old temples, local flavors in food, and a great insight into South India’s magnificent mountain scape, the Western Ghats. The journey starts in Bangalore, one of the most cosmopolitan cities of India and traverses through the foremost yoga capital of India, Mysore and past dramatic boulders of Hampi to finish at sunny Goa.
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On this casual inn tour, experience the best of small boutique hotels at each destination. They are chosen carefully so that you are well rested, get a drift of the local character or an enthralling view from your verandah! Under circumstances of non-availability of a hotel, Art of Bicycle Trips will put in equivalent or a better hotel. Any extras at a hotel are at your expense.
Away from the hustle-bustle of the town and tucked away in a quiet green street of Bangalore, if the bright cheerful rooms of Casa Cottage Hotel do not impress you, the lovely green patch in front of this small hotel will.
The beautifully restored Chittaranjan Palace, once built for Mysore’s princesses, is a charming hotel with extensive gardens, with formal lawns, fringed by majestic trees.
An epitome of Indian aesthetics and hospitality, The Ashhok Hassan offers plush rooms furnished in warm hues, delicious local picks in the restaurant, Indian board games, a swimming pool, and an Ayurveda massage facility that will keep you comfortable.
Perched on the gentle slopes of the Sahyadri mountains, the pretty cottages and tranquil gardens takes you back to the era of plantation living.
The expansive backwaters of the Bhadra Dam provide a dramatic view from the comfort of your room at River Tern Lodge.
The Yatrinivas is a basic and clean guesthouse overlooking the Chitradurga Fort. Do not expect plush décor or rich interiors. Good for a night stay, the tourist lodge offers basic facilities only.
Strewn across Hampi’s extensive rocky landscape are luxurious mud and thatch cottages with individual sit outs.
The hotel that dates back from 1981 emphases on a relaxed and a friendly informal approach. Guests are welcomed by an enchanting oasis of palms, exotic plants, and flowers that give a feel of a botanical garden.
When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Most of Art of Bicycle Trips' tours in India run on some of the best hybrid bikes in the cycling tour industry. Upright position, good traction, and optimal balance between performance and comfort are some of the characteristics. Please note that this tour is suitable for active riders (intermediate) who enjoy biking on rolling and hillier terrain, and feel comfortable riding around 45 to 80 kilometers or 30 to 50 miles per day and prefer to reach to the hotel on a bike.
Arrive in the IT hub of India and meet your Art of Bicycle Trips' tour leader at the airport. Transfer to Casa Cottage Hotel, where you can rest for a short while. In the evening, leave for the arterial street of the city, M.G. Road, to have dinner at The 13th Floor. With a brilliantly lit view of the city below you, you will get to known each other better and get briefed for the tour.
Art of Bicycle Trips knows you are eager to ride, but you will get on a different set of wheels (a train), to omit the traffic and long transfer between the cities. Riding train is an exciting way to travel in India and is one of the not-to-miss experiences. Post lunch, you will spend good time understanding and practicing yoga at a local yoga ashram in Mysore.
Start the day with a yoga session under the guidance of Art of Bicycle Trips' yoga expert and then get on the bikes and ride to Shravanabelagola, en-route Hassan. Shravanabelagola is a Jain pilgrimage with a mammoth statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali atop a hill, overlooking the town. The statue was constructed in 993 AD and is the subject of intrigue and reverence for many travelers.
You will make a short stop here and later take a shuttle to Hassan. The ride today is going to be nothing short of a roller-coaster. You will reach Hassan and check in to The Ashhok Hassan. Indian motifs, artifacts, Ayurveda massages, and local Indian board games add the earthy touch to this heritage resort. You can take a dip in the pool or relax on the verandah with a good book. You will end the day with a yoga session in the evening.
Another fulfilling start of day with yoga. Later ride from Hassan through the sparsely populated roads, through thick foliage, vast coffee plantations, and green paddy fields into Belur and then Halebidu, the two essential temple towns on this route. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Belur temple is also known as the Chennakesava Temple. 103 years of hard work resulted in 4000 exquisite carvings in slate stone.
You can see the Hoysala emblems, statues of dancing ladies and portions of the Indian epics unfold in the black stone. In Halebidu, the Shiva temple is similar in aesthetics but also has some distinct intricate features. The depiction of the mythological ‘seven in one animal’, Makara, and tales from Ramayana and Mahabharata are more explicit here. All this is better understood with a guide.
Time dependent, you will take a ride up or take the shuttle to Chikmagalur. Once you are past the town, the sprawling coffee estates start emerging, with a promise of copious cups of coffee and great weather.
Chikmagalur is one of the most picturesque stretches in Karnataka. With its dense forests and wealth of flora and fauna, it has been declared one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world. You are free to plan your day. Start the day with yoga and later hike to Mullayangiri (6,314 feet), a moderate hike, except for a small stretch of steep ascent in the middle. If you want to take it easy, simply step out and walk through the plantations and practicing asanas.
You will leave the coffee-scaped hills of Chikmagalur and pedal along the spectacular mountain landscape to a small village called Lokavalli, which houses one of the best river lodges at the edge of the Bhadra Dam, The River Tern Lodge - Lakkavalli. A wildlife-oriented lodge, this is known for river tern bird sightings, especially during the breeding season. Before you reach the resort, you will have to snake through undulating parts of the richly green Western Ghats. This is one of the best ride of a journey and truly refreshing.
This morning, you will cover some distance by the shuttle and then ride along the rural countryside, making your way to Karnataka’s largest fort, Chitradurga. Enroute, you will see typical Indian village life - farmers at the fields, livestock lazing through grassy patches, small streams, and neat village huts in clusters. In the evening, enjoy yoga at Chitradurga Fort.
Today, discover the ruined city of Hampi on your bike and ride through the centuries old history and culture of this ghost city. Once the flourishing capital of one of the mightiest empires in South Asia, Hampi was sacked in 1565 after a terrible battle and never settled again. Evidence of its former glory lies strewn all around in the form of beautiful temples, magnificent statues and royal edifices, all in ruins, and looking all the more spectacular for it.
You will cross the mighty Tungabhadra River as it flows by angrily confined to a narrow ravine by granite hills. Coracles float by as huge boulders stand at odd angles, quiet witnesses to over half a millennium of history. You will ride past local villages, watch village folk at work in rice paddies and learn about the history and architecture of some of its most beautiful temples. This is truly a memorable stop to enjoy yoga under the peacefulness ancient temples and be dazzled by the ingenuity of master architects of the Hoysala period.
You will take an early morning train to Goa from Hampi. Enjoy the sunny Goa at your own pace.
For a leisurely final morning in Goa, consider taking a stroll along the beach and meditating. Your trip concludes late-morning at the hotel. Your leaders will make arrangements for transportation (by shuttle - short transfers) to the Goa International Airport (GOI) for your onward journey or to your hotel for an extended stay in Goa.
Having undergone the rigmarole of meeting rooms and pie charts, Pankaj savors nothing but hot cups of tea and some local gossip with villagers in far away places. The last three years have been largely on his set of wheels since he set out to explore his own bizarre country - the long bumpy rides, traversing miles of isolated roads, and sharing stories with strangers has been absolutely worth it.
After six years, Dibin was happy to leave Dubai’s clinically clean environs and come right back to exploring the wonderfully unkempt and thickly green landscape of good old Kerala on his cycle. Amongst the diverse Kerala experiences, Dibin loves the traditional cuisines and organic farming methods the most! If he’s not scouring through the Kerala trails, you will find him hooked to movies with an intellectual tug. Additionally, he has cycled from Bangalore to Ladakh in one month.
Muthu, a native of Bengaluru, Karnataka, studied and grew up in the Silicon Valley of India and knows the city like the back of his hand. Muthu is a lover of adventure sports and naturally gravitates towards an active lifestyle. Like most of his fellow Bangaloreans, he is an avid cricket fan and is always game for an impromptu match that one might stumble upon, strolling through any of the numerous parks in the cricket crazy city.
Poonacha grew up in the hilly plantations of Coorg, Karnataka, far from the crowds and the noise of the new booming cities of India. As an avid reader, you will either find him buried into a book or planning the next cycling tour for Art of Bicycle trips. Besides hitting some of the best trails in India, he has also cycled extensively in New Zealand.
This ride showcases the essence of the State of Karnataka. You will start from the Mysore plateau and moves to the hills of the Western Ghats before culminating at the sandy beaches of Goa. The ride has been designed to capture the wealth of flora and fauna and the fabulous diversity all along the route. With a contrast of a modern Indian city, to the countryside villages, ancient temples, plush estates, and finally the easygoing beaches, the variety of experiences each day will keep the intrigue levels high!
Half the route is through the plains and semi-arid regions of southern Karnataka before hitting the hills near Chikmagalur and riding on the ridge line till Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. From here, you will start a gradual downhill towards Banavasi and Kali before a final descent to the coastline and Goa. In short, the terrain is a mixture of ups and downs through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Karnataka.
Local food plays an integral part in experiencing the culture of region and Art of Bicycle Trips makes sure that you get plenty of this. The inclusion of daily meals is highlighted in the detailed itinerary. Drinking water and soft drinks such as juice, tea, and coffee are included in your price. Alcohol is at your expense.
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