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Old 23rd August 2011, 15:18   #16
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Just back from a trip to Madurai inspired by another T'logue. Stayed at hotel golden park - decent stay for 1600 for 3 people. (a/c std room with extra bed). Watch out for bicycles and any speed over 90 would be dangerous as you would hit pockets of towns too fast. No issues with cops with my KL registered vehicle.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 23:38   #17
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Default Some more help

Hi,

Thanks everyone for loads of help on this trip. Here are some new questions as more people are getting to the trip.

1. Do we have wheelchairs available in Madurai, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram and Tanjavur temples? If not, would they allow our own wheel chair. My MIL might need it occasionally.

2. Any tips for a route in Madurai that is easy to get in from NH7 (from BLR) and then get back on to NH7 (to KK)? I looked at Google maps, it sounds little complex. I can't speak any Tamil. I'd be staying close to the temple, mostly in Supreme Hotel or something near hotel new college house.

3. Any comments on the choice of hotels in Rameshwaram: TTDC vs Royal Park?

4. Might drop Tranquebar and spend a night in Kumbakonam . Any inputs on decent hotels are most welcome.

Thanks,

Prasad
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Old 24th August 2011, 08:36   #18
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Default Re: Some more help

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Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
1. Do we have wheelchairs available in Madurai, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram and Tanjavur temples? If not, would they allow our own wheel chair. My MIL might need it occasionally.
I saw a rusted and damaged wheel chair with flat tyres lying in a corner uncared for while coming out of Meenakshi Amman temple, Madurai. I suggest that you can carry a folding wheel chair with you. Don't depend upon Sarkari wheel chairs. They will definitely allow people in wheel chairs.
Quote:
2. Any tips for a route in Madurai that is easy to get in from NH7 (from BLR) and then get back on to NH7 (to KK)? I looked at Google maps, it sounds little complex. I can't speak any Tamil. I'd be staying close to the temple, mostly in Supreme Hotel or something near hotel new college house.
My MMI Lx130 navigator with version 6.1 maps guided me properly all along the trip. Both Supreme and Neww College House are famous landmarks. If you just mention these names, people will guide you.
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4. Might drop Tranquebar and spend a night in Kumbakonam . Any inputs on decent hotels are most welcome.
You can stay in Hotel Raya's, Kumbakonam [18, Head Post Office Road near Mahamaham Tank, +919842923170], which has decent rooms with ample secured car parking. I had stayed here a few months back. http://www.hotelrayas.com/ [right now the site is unresponsive, you can try later].

Last edited by J.Ravi : 24th August 2011 at 08:49.
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Old 24th August 2011, 15:51   #19
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Default Trichy help

Hi,

With a day of leisure at Tranquebar out of the way, I can now visit Trichy too, as suggested. Request BHPians to reco decent hotels at Trichy.

On the last day of the trip, I'd be starting from Trichy to BLR. Can I cover Srirangam enroute?

Prasad
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Old 24th August 2011, 16:13   #20
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Default Re: Trichy help

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Request BHPians to reco decent hotels at Trichy. On the last day of the trip, I'd be starting from Trichy to BLR. Can I cover Srirangam enroute?
I recommend Hotel Anand, No. 1, Racquet Court Lane, Trichy [near Central Bus Stand/Railway Junction next to Sangeetha's] Telephone: +91- 431 - 2415545 ( 14 lines ). It is decent with ample car parking. You can have your breakfast/lunch/dinner at the next door Sangeetha's. Yes, you can visit Sri Rangam on your way back to Bangalore.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 24th August 2011 at 16:16.
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Old 24th August 2011, 17:06   #21
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Default Re: Trichy help

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
Hi,

With a day of leisure at Tranquebar out of the way, I can now visit Trichy too, as suggested. Request BHPians to reco decent hotels at Trichy.

On the last day of the trip, I'd be starting from Trichy to BLR. Can I cover Srirangam enroute?

Prasad
If you want to splurge a bit, Royal Southern is the place.
Amazing hotel!

SRM Hotels
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Old 24th August 2011, 19:17   #22
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If you want to splurge a bit, Royal Southern is the place.
Amazing hotel!
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
I recommend Hotel Anand,
Thanks Ravi and Ampere for quick response. Hotel Anand looks good enough, but I'm saving some monies because we are not staying in BoB, Tranquebar. So SRM too is tempting. Let me ask the high command.

Another question. Is Saree compulsory for ladies in most temples? Would salwar kameez be fine? Alternatively, is their any temple in the belt where Saree is compulsory?

Yet another question. My sister asked us to visit a Saraswati temple. A quick Google search revealed that it is in Koothanur. Is this correct?

Thanks,

Prasad
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Old 24th August 2011, 19:24   #23
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14

Thanks Ravi and Ampere for quick response. Hotel Anand looks good enough, but I'm saving some monies because we are not staying in BoB, Tranquebar. So SRM too is tempting. Let me ask the high command.

Another question. Is Saree compulsory for ladies in most temples? Would salwar kameez be fine? Alternatively, is their any temple in the belt where Saree is compulsory?

Yet another question. My sister asked us to visit a Saraswati temple. A quick Google search revealed that it is in Koothanur. Is this correct?

Thanks,

Prasad
I don't think any temple enforces Saree. And koothanur is indeed the saraswati temple. If you are staying in kumbakonam you can try ARR hotel.
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Old 5th October 2011, 17:04   #24
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Default Thanks

Thanks to all the Team-BHPians help, my trip BLR-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Thirunallar-Kumbakonam-Tanjore-BLR was hassle free. Here are some interesting tid bits:

1. Never imagined NH7 to be so good. We reached Madurai in 6.5hrs with a 40min break at A2B (J P Nagar to Madurai Residency hotel - door to door). My co-brother and his family joined, so we drove in an Innova and not in my Honda City. The next day Madurai-Kanyakumari was covered in about 3.5hrs. Awesome roads.

2. Stayed in Madurai Residency. Overall a good hotel. They annoyed me a bit, by refusing to give an extra blanket even when we were paying for an extra bed. I don't know who makes such rules. Had to raise my voice to have one. But the staff in most places are simply not empowered.

3. Stayed in Vivekananda kendra at Kanyakumari. The cottages were fabulous. The campus, the exhibition etc., are super. Though the sea hugs their compound, they'd open the doors only b/w 6 and 7AM and from 5 to 6PM. It was bit of dampener for kids, but then the sand at this stretch of the beach was jet black and we didn't venture out even when the doors were open. The restaurant is very basic.

4. Had another good journey to Rameshwaram from Kanyakumari via Tiruchendur. Missed the Tuticorin bypass and wasted about 20mins going thru the city. Except for Tiruchendur-Tuticorin stretch the roads were pretty deserted and we could maintain 90-110kmph even on a 2lane road.

5. Ramanathapuram too has a bypass, well almost. You travel about 4-5kms and suddenly discover that a bridge just about 300-400 mtrs from the end point is incomplete!! Pretty stupid and dangerous things as the contractor entrusted with directions, milestones etc., has completed his job. The bypass from both sides has well marked directions and milestones. I was zooming at 140kmph on this road when some villagers frantically waved at us and we were able to stop well before the bridge. Wasted another 20mins going back and traveling thru Ramanathapuram town.

6. Stayed in TTDC in Rameshwaram. A great place, especially if you want to stay in a decent place close to the temple. It does have some limitations as its a govt enterprise, but we witnessed that the service levels were at their best over here. Went to Dhanushkodi in a jeep and that place is so beautiful. Crystal clear waters, shallow Bay of Bengal and a slightly turbulent (relatively) Indian Ocean, sand as white as snow and with almost no one around. Amazing place. Do not miss to visit this place if you ever go close to Rameshwaram.

7. Another monotonous journey thru ECR brought us to Thirunallar, just when the temple got closed. Had to kill 3hrs, had a good darshan, shanti etc., Just when we got on to our cars to go to the Saraswati temple at Koothanur, skies opened up and temperatures dropped making us wonder are we really in TN?

8. Due to this delay, we had to cancel our Trichy plans and instead stuck to only Kumbhakonam and Tanjore. Did standard stuff over there.

9. Saw Dr. Kalam's house in Rameshwaram and the great Srinivas Ramanujan's home in Kumbakonam. Add to this the stay at Vivekananda kendra and the influence of Vivekananda, we all have come back with loads of inspiration.

10. Stayed in Hotel Raya's at Kumbakonam. Fairly inexpensive place (Rs.1250 for a std. A/c room). Nice and courteous staff. We hired a local driver to take us around for local attractions and it proved a master stroke as we would have taken atleast double the time to cover all the temples.

11. The last night stay was at Tanjore (after cancelling Trichy) and we stayed in Hotel Gnanam and it was a big disappointment. Despite confirming our arrival time 3hrs in advance, we were made to wait for an hour to get into the rooms. It was the last dinner on the trip and we all wanted to sit together. They refused to join the tables and deprived us of some good time together. This was the only place where I had not asked TBHPians, as we had plans of staying in Trichy and it showed.

12. We started from Tanjore to Bangalore via Srirangam and hit the holiday crowd at Srirangam. The roads around Musiri for about 20kms or so has become bad, relatively. Otherwise another great drive once we hit NH7 at Namakkal. We again passed thru the town, don't know whether there was an easier way to get into NH7.

13. We found cops very co-operative and never had to pay anyone any bribe to get thru. We were stopped while entering Trichy, but that was an ongoing check due to elections. After realized that we were piligrims they let us of without checking our bags.

I was able to spot only one TBHP vehicle throughout the journey and it was in Rameshwaram. May be most TBHPians are traveling this week.

Thanks a ton again. Without TBHPians support the trip would not have been this much enjoyable.

Prasad
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