Stories from the Road

How this tour works:


  • Cycling for 15 kms through the countryside.
  • Insight into lowland farming in the plains of Tamil Nadu watered by the Mullaperiyar Dam built by John Pennycuick. Learn about the cycle of crops, yield, market for the produce et al.
  • Tea in a Local Tea shop.
  • A Farmer’s Fair Trade Vegetable Market.
  • Bullock Cart Ride.
  • Visit and Lunch at a Private Farm House.

Timelines: Be aware though that the below is flexible… can be and have been in the past altered on the ground as per clients’ interest, energy levels and with their permission.

0630 Hrs – Your clients will be picked up from their Thekaddy hotel (with packed breakfast). They will be driven (in a Sita vehicle) for 12 kms down the Western Ghats and through the lowlands of Tamil Nadu. En-route they will stop at Penstock view point, where the guide will explain about the interesting history of the Mullaperiyar Dam and how it helped change the dry low lands of Tamil Nadu into a fertile one.

Special Remark: Your clients have the option of cycling this entire downhill stretch of 12 kms where they have to use only the brakes. No need to paddle. With its many hairpin bends, it is a beautiful stretch of forested canopies. But be aware this is also the national highway with buses, cars, bikes and also bullock carts plying on it. Some of our clients have done this stretch on cycles and have loved it. Saurabh from our DKC, who has done this entire downhill stretch of 12 kms on a cycle says that it is not for everyone and should be offered judiciously by making it amply clear to clients about what they are getting into – cycling downhill on a highway, very pretty all the same.

0715 Hrs – Your clients will reach the memorial of John Pennycuick who built the Mullaperiyar Dam 120 years ago. Footwear to be removed while entering the memorial.

0730 Hrs - Back in the Sita vehicle they will continue driving on the highway for the next 15 minutes.

0745 hrs – Exiting the highway, they will continue for a short while on a country road to reach a temple dedicated to Kannagi, a character from a Tamil epic worshipped as a Goddess here in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and in Sri Lanka by the Buddhist. The guide will share the story of Kannagi, local myths and beliefs. Here your clients will be handed over their cycles to paddle for the next 15 Kms.

Special Remark: Your clients throughout the next 15 kms have the option of hopping off their cycles should they so desire and continuing on the Sita vehicle following them. They can again hop back to their cycles at any point of time. There is a backup vehicle with extra cycles, cycle racks and a mechanic too at clients’ disposal.

0800 Hrs – Your clients will start cycling through peaceful village roads with agricultural fields on both sides. They may want to make many stops for an insight into lowland farming in the plains of Tamil Nadu watered by the Mullaperiyar Dam built by John Pennycuick. The Guide will explain about the cycle of crops, yield, market for the produce et al. The local life in these lowlands of Tamil Nadu is agrarian and the produce is largely sold to other states, mostly nearby Kerala.

0830 Hrs – Arrive at a Tea shop in the village catering mainly to the farm workers. This is where we recommend clients have their packed breakfast. They may want to have Tea here.

0845 Hrs – Continue on the village road. The next destination is Fair Trade Vegetable Market of the local farmers in the town of Cumbum. This journey will be done part by cycle and part on the Sita Vehicle when on the main highway.

0930 Hrs – Reach the Farmer’s Market. The Guide will explain to your clients about this daily fair price vegetable market where farmers sell their produce directly to the customer without having to depend upon the middle man. Prices are fixed by the Tamil Nadu government and they even provide weighing scales. There are 71 kiosks which are provided on a rotation basis so that every farmer gets to sell from the "prime spots" in the market. Guess what, you can even hire a bicycle for Rs 10 per hour if you need one after having done your shopping and the bags are too heavy to walk with while on your way home. Your clients will also be handed over a bag and enough Indian rupees to pick up some local produce. They have to do this by themselves and will not be assisted by the Guide. Remember the farmers here do not speak any other language but Tamil. A fun experience and super photo opportunities. After shopping, your clients will walk around the market area some more and, should they want, visit a local kindergarten school nearby (if open).

1100 Hrs – Drive in the Sita vehicle to a Private Farm House known for its excellent pomegranate cultivation.

1130 Hrs – Bullock cart ride for 2kms through vegetable farms.

1200 Hrs – Welcome drink and cold towels on arrival at the Farm House. Freshen up. Settle down.

1230 Hrs – Lunch at the Farm House with your Guide. Simple, but freshly cooked South Indian Meal - fried fish, lentils, rice, chicken, chapatti (Indian bread),a vegetable side dish, poppadum and pickle. That’s what we ate.

1330 Hrs – Farm Tour. Your clients will get to know about the Farm and its activities.

1430 Hrs – Clients say Good Bye to the Guide and his backup Team. Drive to their Thekaddy hotel in the Sita Vehicle.

1500 Hrs – Reach their Thekaddy hotel. End of tour.

Good to know:

Best Time

  • October to March 2nd week.

What type of cycles and other logistics