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Departure: New Delhi
Duration: 15 Days
Trip Grade: Gentle

Orissa is one of India's less explored states, but has an amazing amount to offer the visitor. The interior is predominantly tribal, exceptionally fertile and packed with wildlife, while the tropical coast combines pristine beaches with some of India's most impressive temples, quite a combination! The hilly terrain we'll cover in the first week makes for some fairly strenuous cycling, although the ride along the coast is naturally flat. The roads are all well-surfaced.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrive in Calcutta
You'll be met at the airport and taken to a comfortable hotel, with the rest of the day free to either relax or take in some of Calcutta's many sights.

Day 02: Calcutta to Visakhapatnam by plane
We'll spend the morning having a look round Calcutta before boarding an afternoon flight to Visakhapatnam, a coastal town just south of Orissa where we'll spend the night.

Day 03: Visajkapatnam to Koraput by jeep (180km)
We'll take a morning drive up through the hills and in to Orissa, where we'll stop at the tribal market town of Koraput. We'll have time to put our bikes together in the afternoon, and to take them for a test ride in readiness for tomorrow's ride.

Day 04: Koraput to Rayagada (100km)
Our first day's cycling takes us through the heart of Orissa's fertile interior. We'll ride through dense forest on our way to Rayagada, and if we're in time we'll take in the amazing double waterfall at Hatipathar, just 3km from our destination.

Day 05: Rayagada to Gunupur (65km)
Today's ride continues through the heart of Orissa's tribal belt, with the people native to this area most likely to be of the ‘Paroja' tribe. The terrain is again predominantly green and fertile, with most of the riding over gently undulating hills.

Day 06: Gunupur to Parlakimidi (63km)
Another day riding through stunningly beautiful forest as we enter the Gajapati District, renowned for its abundance of wildlife. We'll stop off at a tribal school today, giving us a chance to meet some of the local people and to learn more about their daily lives and education.

Day 07: Parlakimidi to Mahendra Giri (40km)
A day for animal spotters; the area around Mahendra Giri Hill is teeming with wildlife, with elephants, flying squirrels, spotted deer, peacocks and even leopards all commonly seen in these parts.

Day 08: Mahendra Giri to Gopalpur-on-Sea (80km)
Our last day in the forests, as we come out of Orissa's interior and hit the coast at Gopalpur, one of India's cleanest beaches and a great place to relax after our long ride to get there!

Day 09: Day in Gopalpur-on-Sea
A chance to relax and recharge for the cycling still to come. Gopalpur has a fantastically laid back atmosphere – you might have trouble tearing yourself away!

Day 10: Gopalpur-on-Sea to Balugaon (75km)
The first part of the day sees us hugging the coast on our way north, and then after lunch we turn slightly inland and follow the banks of Chilka Lake, Asia's largest lagoon as far as Balugaon.

Day 11: Early morning ferry to Satapada, cycle to Puri (45km)
A ferry will take us the 15km across Chilka Lake; as well as many different migratory birds, we should see dolphins along the way as well. The ride to Puri is a real treat, taking us past picturesque rice paddies, fish farms and tiny villages.

Day 12: Morning visit to Temples, cycle to Konark (25km)
Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the four most important Hindu pilgrimage centres in India, a must-visit before we move on! A short, scenic ride along the coast takes us to Konark.

Day 13: Morning visit to Temples, cycle to Bhubaneswar via Dhauli & Pipli (64km)
The Sun Temple at Konark is one of the most impressive in India, so we'll have a good look round before getting on our bikes for the last ride of the tour. There are plenty of good reasons to take a break today; the first being Pipli. Famous for it's amazing appliqué textile work, Pipli is a riot of colour, eye-catching to say the least! From there it's a short ride to Dhauli, and the amazing 3 rd Century rock edicts of King Ashoka.

Day 14: Day in Bhubaneswar, overnight train to Calcutta
Orissa's capital, the wonderfully named Bhubaneswar, is a fascinating mixture of the old new; the city's history dates back 2,000 years. We'll have time to get a feel for the place before boarding a train for Calcutta, an experience in itself!

Day 15:
Flights home, bon voyage!

 

 

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