The first thing that comes to your mind while discussing South India is lush green forestry, rich wildlife, beautiful structures bearing history and serene beaches; not to leave the oh-so-yummy South Indian Food. The Western Ghats are known to be home to biodiversity and we all want to explore the states that have their own unique culture and heritage. What can be more beautiful than zooming through the winding routes of the Western Ghats, while the green foliage of the tea or coffee plantations seems to beckon you? What can be more thrilling than watching a majestic peacock, Trogon or a Hornbill in close vicinity as you are passing through the woods where sunbeams play hide ‘n seek with you?
Before getting into the essentials and itinerary of the detailed best bike trips in south India, let us first revise what the highlights of this ever-so-pristine region of India are.
Know More Here:
Know South India Better
From tree plantations to the green hills, from rich flora and fauna to the mesmerizing backwaters, from magnificent beaches to the temples and palaces – South India trip is all about enchanting you more and more!
Gokarna, Kovalam, Baithkola, Om, Majali, Kurumgad are some of the fabulous sites to encounter sea-fish, dolphins, otters and other aquatic lives. A visit to fishermen’s cove and enjoying some outstanding sea-food is simply the best experience apart from beach-hopping.
Tranquil Temples and Palaces
Shore temple, Lord Venkateshwara Temple, Shiva Temple, Naganath Temple, Shantadurga Temple, Durga Devi Temple, Rameshwaram temple are some of the best worship houses. Don’t miss the exquisite Mysore Palace and the Mausoleum and also the Aurobindo Ashram on the way from Chennai to Pondicherry.
Splendid Sanctuaries and National Parks
Periyar, Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai are some of the most sought-after national parks. Wayanad, Dandeli, Pulicat, Thattekad, Ranganathittu are some of the Sanctuaries acting as a paradise for photographers. Elephants, Gaurs, Tigers, Elephants, Leopards, Malabar Giant Squirrels are the animals while Hornbills, Robins, Peacocks, Malabar Trogons are the special avifauna found in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
The trip of the backwaters in “God’s Own Country” Kerala and Tamil Nadu will offer you the rawest form of South Indian Culture. Explore the villages; get to know the local people.
Superb Spice Gardens and Plantations
The lush green Coffee and Tea plantations complimented by the Cardamom, Pepper, Banana and Coconut plantations will make you fall in love with the countryside.
Heavenly Hill Stations
Ooty, Munnar, and Coonoor form the verdant hill stations famous for a holiday retreat. Colonial structures, churches, botanical gardens and everlasting greenery – get lost in nature.
Preparations for the Best Bike Trips in South India
- Clothing – Raincoats, sweatshirt/jacket/fleece (according to weather), 4-6 sets of inner garments), scarf, balaclava (for winter), khaki trousers / comfy jeans, t-shirts (4-5 sets), all-weather clothing
- Accessories – medicine, money, ATM cards, ID Proofs, Driving License and other important papers, south India map/GPS, insect repellent, sunscreen, moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant, toiletries
- Complete Riding – Helmet, Sunglasses, Bike gloves, knee-cap, elbow guard, snood, kidney belt, bike tools (spanners, pliers, bungee cords, tire tubes, petrol pipes, clutch cable, spark bulbs, accelerator cable, chain grease, clutch lever etc)
- Backpack & Waist Pouch – water-resistant fabric for both if you are travelling around rainy weather
The Route/Terrain for the Best Bike Trips in South India
Your journey will be through thick jungles, tropical rainforests, rice fields, verdant plantations, terraced gardens and so on. The road trip from Bangalore will start with flat smooth paved terrain and gradually enter the hilly region. The route along the Western Ghats runs through the Western coasts. The route through the jungle is bumpy, with sometimes challenging climbs. You may consider Bengaluru as your starting point for this South India trip as it is conveniently connected with all national and state highways. You can start from here and after exploring the famous spots, return to Bangalore.
Best time to Visit
October to March is the best time. You will find the perfect magical experience with mist, rain, sun and calm ocean breeze.
Here are some of the top destination options that deserve a bike or a road trip from Bangalore.
Options for Road Trip to Explore the best of South India
The Garden City of India to the Scotland of India
Bangalore to Coorg bike route is going to be diversified as ever with the bustling town roads to the winding and tricky green Western Ghats embracing the coffee, tea, cardamom plantations along the side. Enjoy Dosa, Vada, and Sambar from roadside dhabas. The distance from Bangalore to Coorg is 260km. No wonder, this is one of the most preferred weekend getaways for the Bengaluru crowd. This one tops our list of one of the top South India riding destinations.
Bangalore to Kashmir of South India
Since Colonial days in the British era, Bangalore to Munnar was the most sought-after trips owing to Munnar’s smooth roads through the lush green forests and pastures. Though the distance from Bangalore to Munnar is a long 476km, it never ceased to stop bikers from traversing the smooth scenic roads. Arriving here from the concrete jungle of Bengaluru will truly make you visit the real Kashmir, perhaps that's a ride for another day?
Although Bangalore can seem like a favorable base-point to start the South India trip, there are a few enchanting routes for the road trips from Chennai too.
Gateway of South India to Yelagiri
The 230km distance from Chennai to Yelagiri, the quaint colonial town, is going to gift you the 14 hilly hairpin bends, thick forests, Jalagamparai Waterfall, Punganoor Lake, Swami Malai Hills and so on. The trip from Chennai to Yelagiri can be made more colorful if planned during the Summer Festival around the end of May.
Detroit of Asia to Paris of the East
These 160km winding roads are one of the best road trips from Chennai. You will see the salt-making setup at Marakkanam on the way from Chennai to Pondicherry. The curvy roads are awesome to take sharp turns but can be accidental too. Auroville and Aurobindo Ashram are the highlights of the French-cultured town of Pondicherry.
Itinerary and the Special Spots to Explore
Now we will prescribe you the best bike trips in South India where you will be guided to both conventional and unconventional routes and it’s up to you how to plan. You can, of course, make a change, add or reduce any places according to your choice.
The “Beer Capital” of India, Bangalore has many places to offer such as Ramoji Film City, Bangalore Fort, Butterfly Garden, Bangalore Aquarium, St Mary’s Basilica, Cubbon Park, Tipu Sultan Palace, Bangalore Palace, Lal Bagh, Bannerghatta National Park etc. Roads are fabulous and so is the weather. Take your bike and start exploring.
150km along NH275 is going to be a smooth ride to Mysore. Mysore Palace, Amba Vilas are some of the highlights along with the colorful Devaraj market full of kumkum, bangles, antiques, and flowers.
Deer, Gaur, Tiger, Elephant and Peacock are going to mesmerize you in the Mudumalai National Park. The smooth road through the forest is going to be breathtaking.
Ooty Hill and Nilgiri Biosphere
Botanical Gardens, Tea plantations, green hills, boat houses –Ooty is all about romance in nature. The Nilgiri Biosphere is rich in wildlife. The roads are quite tricky but enchanting.
Bike through winding roads to descend to the downhill Coonoor village, then traverse the mountainous roads of Pollachi while exploring the essence of the countryside and finally head towards the hill slopes full of tea-plantations of Munnar. Pothamedu spice gardens and Marayoor Sandalwood forest is the highlight of Munnar.
Ride 250km to reach Kodaikanal. Explore the orchards and the hill-plantations, Berijam Lake, Kodai Lake, Kurinji Andavar Temple and Dolphin Nose of Kodaikanal.
Ride 160km through God’s Own Route to reach Periyar. Winding roads through Lockhart gap, the refreshing view of Tea plantation, spice gardens, small hamlets will enchant you. Indian Bison, Elephant, Tigers can be encountered in Periyar Wildlife Reserve.
Ride through the smooth 160km road to reach the backwater destination of Kumarakom. Vembanad Lake offers rice barges, canoes, houseboats with cook and crew. Enjoy the stunning backwaters and try star-gazing at night.
Ride through the coasts of Trivandrum to reach the “Paradise of the South” Kovalam Beach. Soft sand, palm groves, watchtower, shells and gushing waves- Kovalam is all about beach-hopping.
Ride to the tip of India to experience the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay Of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Take a day off and check out Vivekananda Rock memorial and the statue of Thiruvalluvar.
Palm groves and Backwaters – God’s Own Country Kerala is about houseboat rides, Cardamom Hills of Thekkady and Tea Gardens.
Fishing Villages, Christian churches, Fort House, Portuguese Palace will be the highlights of Kochi.
These are the best and most sought-after places that you can check out in your best bike trips in South India. Let us now see the relatively unknown sites that you can access through Kochi and what you can expect there.
- Mahabalipuram –Shore Temple, Golden Beach
- Rameshwaram –Pamban Bridge, Rameshwaram Temple
- Parambikolam – Sholayar Forest and Valparai Tea Estates
- Marayoor –Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kanthallur-Kundala –Mannavon Chola National Park, Kundala Dam
- Devikulam-Kailasapara –tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom and other spice gardens
- Nedumkandam, Kuttikanam, Teekoy, Kottayam, Muhamma, Wagamon, Elapara are other interesting and pristine sites that you can take a tour of.
The Western Ghats are all about rich plantations and winding paths through the mountains. Take necessary precautions of your bike while enjoying the best bike trips in South India as this is going to be a hilly ride through ups and downs. The number of Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks are rich in wildlife and if you can take out some time, you will get some out-of-the-world shots of the animals and birds. Explore the plantations and get in touch with the workers. Taste some of the best south Indian Food from the roadside dhabas as well as the hotels and restaurants. Bring warm garments and waterproof clothes for enjoying the bike trip without hindrance.