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HAMPI & BADAMI CYCLING TRAIL
It’s this unadulterated warmth and joy that the people of North Karnataka exude that makes this trail a great immersive experience. This is a 5-day trail that goes through picturesque valleys where large boulders form cascades and rapids. You will trail through mythical landscapes imbued with the presence of Gods, Goddesses, and heroes linked with ancient legends. The cyclist in you can experience stretches that challenge your limits, sceneries that indulge your senses, and interactions with the locals that expose you to their culture and way of life.
Who can do this tour?
This expedition is for anyone who has a keen interest in history and would like to explore and go back in time to visit an era bygone. Every year the excavations around Hampi reveal a new story and a fresh insight into the empire of Vijayanagara.
Physically, this is not an intensive trail making it doable for anyone who is initiated to cycling and is keen to explore and ride with a group of like-minded people can sign up. The terrain in Hampi and Badami ranges from flat grounds to moderate climbs. Distances pedalled daily will range between 40 to 60 kilometres on a rolling terrain that combines relatively flat sections with rolling terrain. You will be required to practice some cycling before joining this trail. Our trail leaders will aquatint you with the necessary practice to put in to ensure you enjoy and not endure the trail.
The expedition starts from Bangalore with an overnight drive or train ride to Hampi, a town filled with rustic charm and bustling bazaars. On this expedition, you will get an insight into the historical, mythical, geological, and religious past of one of India’s richest kingdoms.
You travel overnight and reach Hampi early in the morning. Once we cross the river on boats to Anegundi, we will check-in to a hotel and freshen up. Post lunch, you’ll cycle to a hiking spot and ride/drive back. The night will be spent in a simple/quaint backpackers homestay with a view of paddy fields and huge boulders.
Drive distance: 350 kilometres
Accommodation type: Homestay
• You’ll eat a hearty breakfast at the Mango Tree Café in Hampi.
• You will ride around rocks and hillocks and look at Neolithic rock paintings.
• You will be briefed about your tour.
You’ll cross the river on boats with your cycles and explore the once prolific empire of Vijayanagara. You’ll begin the trail from the Virupaksha Temple and find your way through the ruins as your expert guide relives the story of geological wonders from the formation of rocks in Hampi to the stories of faith, betrayal, and conquests through the dynasties.
Ride distance: 350 kilometres
Accommodation type: Hotel/Homestay
• Visit the ruins of Hampi by hike or bike.
• Hike up Matanga Hill for a sunset of the Hampi ruins
• A day of many fascinating stories of Vijayanagar Empire
Rise and shine, wake up early and ride out to Badami through quaint villages and farms. Apart from delighting your senses with great views leading to the open black soil fields closer to Badami, you’ll also try your hand at the local cuisine with a simple yet nourishing lunch, true to its local style at a “Lingayath Khanavali”. Once at Badami you can give rock climbing a shot guided by expert national level climbers. Tonight you will stay in luxury at the Badami Court hotel.
Accommodation Type: Hotel
• Cycling distance – 80-120kms
• Local north Karnataka food
• A session of rock climbing
Today you will ride to explore the erstwhile city of Badami, which was fought over by the Chalukyas, Pallavas and the Rashtrakutas for power and territory. This now obscure agrarian village is a delight to explore as you ride past ruins still nestled within. Prepare to be amazed by the magnificence of Badami caves, Bhutanatha Temples, the revered Mahakuta filled with urban miracles, Aihole and Pattadakal (coronation stone). Delight your taste buds with some local cuisine and spend the evening by the campfire sharing stories and experiences with fellow travellers.
Accommodation Type: Hotel
• Cycling distance – 30-45 kms
• Stories of the Hoysala Kings and Exploring the caves of Badami
• Visit to various ruins sites of Aihole and Pattadakal
Post a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to Hospet and reach by lunch time. Post lunch, you will drive back to Bengaluru. The expected time of arrival in Bengaluru is around 10 P.M. Bid goodbye to your new found friends and fellow travellers with hope and cheer for another Unventured journey.
The Unventured Experience
Explore the region at the pace of a pedal trailing this boulder-strewn topography flanked by the Tungabhadra River and leading to Vatapi (Badami) via the quaint countryside, cotton, paddy and corn fields. En route you may even get a chance to sip on a “majjige” (buttermilk) and “rotti” (flat bread) from a generous farmer. This 5 day trail begins and ends in Bangalore and includes an approximate 150kms of cycling over the 5 days. This trail includes the right mix of cycling, leisure and exploration. You will experience stretches that challenge your limits, sceneries that indulge your senses and interactions with the locals that expose you to their culture
Difficulty Level: Moderately challenging due the altitude and weather conditions
Preparedness – Physical & Mental
The Hampi and Badami trail is not an intensive trail with the exception of 1 day ride from Hampi to Badami. The tour is a good blend of stories from the bygone era of one of India’s richest empires and the many empires that ruled the region and their interests in art and architectures that are now tales etched on stone. The Hampi and Badami trail is ideal for anyone who has a keen interest in exploring the historical and cultural past of the region and wishes to do it in an off the bean path kind of way. You will be covering about 150Km by cycle over 5 days, trailing through quaint countryside roads, ruins, villages and farms soaking in the life of the locals. What’s more your tour leaders will expose you to cultural, historical, gastronomical and natural essences of the region.
This tour is graded low intensity in terms of distance and gradient climbing, since most of the rides will be done on 100% tarmac roads. We suggest that you start mountain biking in your own home country a few weeks before this trip. This is to ensure that you take away any unfamiliarity with mountain bikes that occurs due to lack of practice, physical unpreparedness and you don’t hold up the other prepared participants. This tour will include a personal guide, mechanic and a designated driver.
Cycling Support Your tour will be supported with cycles, these are 24 speed American made, well maintained mountain bikes of good quality. You will also have a well-trained mechanic accompanying you and a full repair kit with essential spares. We will also be carrying a back-up cycle along the expedition just so that nobody misses out on the riding experience should his or her bike have a serious breakdown.
Accommodation Accommodation will be in basic hotels and home stays with good hygienic bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis.
A team of 10-12 riders will be supported by one TT with a carrier that will carry both the riders and bikes along with a spare cycle and lunch packs and water. Through the day this vehicle will ride with the riders.
The idea of exploring a new places on a bi-cycle is really catching up. I joined this tour all-thought I have visited this place with family a couple of times before… I realized that I explored more of these places during this trip than I did before …. we had a amazing tour leader Tejaswini and good team of participants , the guide just made it more interesting stopping by at places and it’s history which is not on a usual tourist map….
One should definitely try such tours with Unventured , you will get hooked on to such tours