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Old 20th August 2011, 11:23   #1
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Default Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Hi,

Need Team-BHPians generous support in a week long trip to Tamilnadu from Bangalore. I've gathered enough information from various threads (thanks to HVK, Ampere, LongDriver Lover and Damu). Based on all these I've arrived at the following schedule and seek inputs and suggestions. I'd be driving 2007 Honda City and would have my wife and two sons.

Lets call this Plan A:

Day 1: Blore-Madurai
- Leave BLR early and reach Madurai by noon
- Visit temple(s)
- Stay at Supreme Hotels or Madurai Residency
Day 2: Madurai-Kanyakumari
- Reach KK by noon.
- Vivekananda memorial etc.,
- Any suggestions on a decent hotel?
Day 3: KK - Rameshwaram
- Leave KK by noon and reach Rameshwara by evening
- Follow ECR (HVK's route!)
- Stay in Hotel Royal Park
Day 4: Rameshwaram
- Temple in the morning
- Dhanushkodi in the evening
Day 5: Rameshwaram-Tranquebar
- Leave early morning and reach Tranquebar by noon
- Continue on ECR (HVK's route again)
Day 6: Tranquebar - Tanjore
- Leave Tranquebar after breakfast
- Temple visit
- Night stay in Hotel Gnanam
Day 7: Tanjore - Bangalore

I have the following questions:

1. Do you see any issues in the above itinerary?

2. I had a variant for Day 5/6/7: (Plan B)
Day 5: Rameshwaram-Tanjore
Day 6: Tanjore-Tranquebar
Day 7: Tranquebar-Blore
On Day 7, I'd be driving non-stop to Bangalore and need to get into
office the next day. Hence the decision to start the last day from
Tanjore (Plan A) or to start from Tranquebar (Plan B) is really dependent
on the road conditions that help me drive to B'lore fast. Please help.

3. My support to Anna Hazare not withstanding, please warn me of the places where TN police will ask for money and whats the reasonable monies to be doled out.

4. Please let me know of bypasses that are available along the way. Any other short-cuts and local knowledge when moving thru cities and towns.

5. Specifically, should I have to go via Trichy if I drive from Tanjore - B'lore?

6. Any other places of interest along the way (or with a small detour) that are good/interesting but may not be on touristy map? Eateries on the way? and inputs on pertrol bunks in TN.

7. Finally any other info that you think would be useful.

Thanks a ton. This'd be my longest drive in a single trip and I'm counting on Team-BHP to make the trip as smooth as possible.

Thanks a lot.

This drive is proposed during the last week of Sep.

RamP!
(aka Prasad)

Mods: I did survey several threads. Instead of posting my questions on multiple threads I chose to create a new thread, so that BHPians can give better advice if they know the full plan (and I'm seeking inputs on the plan itself).
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Old 20th August 2011, 13:08   #2
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Hi Prasad,

Plan A is perfect.

a) Bangalore - Madurai on day 1 is easily doable before lunch. Leave early say 5.30, so that you can cross Hosur by 6.30 after which the road is a bliss till Madurai.

b) More than a night in Madurai is not required. See temple post lunch and also the palace. Have Breakafst and leave madurai to reach KK by lunch. See temple, Vivekananda rock memorial and Vivekananada museum. Next day rise early to see beautiful sun rise, have breakfast and leave for Rameswarm. Recah Rameswram by lunch.

c) Half a day is more than sufficient in Rameshwaram unless you have any vows. Visist temple and Gandhamadahana Parvatam after lunch. Spend evening on Dhanushkodi beach.

d) Leave Rameshwaram aftre BF and reach Tranquebar by lunch. Go around the place leiseurely aftre lunch say 4 visis Fort which closes by 6, spend evening on the beach

e) Leave for Tanjavur after breakfast, visit Brihadeswara temple, have lunch in Tanjavur. Procedd towards Swamimalai visiting Thiruvaiyar, the birth place of Saint Thyagaraja on the banks of cauvery. cauvery will have good waters by then. Then proceed to Sterling Swamimali visiting Darasuram temple on the way. Stay in Sterling Swamimalai. Alternately you can stay in Tanjavur.

f) Leave Swamimalai and arrive in bangalore by evening. come via Trichy - Karur - Bangalore.

Take a look at my post on this thread for Traquebar

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ion-beach.html (Bangalore - Hill station - Beach?)

and also on Ramewaram

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ing-menus.html (Fauji's Drivologues: Charming Chettinad - Magnificent Mansions & Mouth Watering Menus)

It would be nice to club Chettianad. Otherwise do it with Trichy.
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Old 20th August 2011, 13:16   #3
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Perfect plan Prasad. Some Notes:

1. Hotel Supreme does not have car parking. They have a security guard
who is supposed to take care of the cars of the hotel, parked on the main road.

2. A good comfortable place in Kayakumari is Singaar international.
Good place and decent service.

3. At Rameshwaram, do hire a jeep to Dhanushkodi. Car cannot go there.
Hence you need to find a good place to park your car at Rameshwaram, while you are gone to Dhanushkodi.


Now for your questions:

Quote:
I have the following questions:
1. Do you see any issues in the above itinerary?
No issues perfect itinerary according to me.


Quote:
2. I had a variant for Day 5/6/7: (Plan B)
Day 5: Rameshwaram-Tanjore
Day 6: Tanjore-Tranquebar
Day 7: Tranquebar-Blore
On Day 7, I'd be driving non-stop to Bangalore and need to get into
office the next day. Hence the decision to start the last day from
Tanjore (Plan A) or to start from Tranquebar (Plan B) is really dependent
on the road conditions that help me drive to B'lore fast. Please help.
Last day at Tanjore is better. As you do lesser distance and also more of 4L.
The Plan A also gives you a chance to explore ECR.


Quote:
3. My support to Anna Hazare not withstanding, please warn me of the places where TN police will ask for money and whats the reasonable monies to be doled out.

4. Please let me know of bypasses that are available along the way. Any other short-cuts and local knowledge when moving thru cities and towns.
No idea about police stuff.
About by-pass:
- NH7 BP are clearly marked. So no issues.
- KK-Rameshwaram goes via Tiruchendur/Tuticorin (if on ECR) or via Tirunelveli/Tuticorin.
In either case you need to check find Tuticorin by-pass for Ramnad. At Tirunelveli I am not sure of a BP for Tuticorin.
A look Google maps tells me that it is now called NH7A.
(I was not aware of this)


Quote:
5. Specifically, should I have to go via Trichy if I drive from Tanjore - B'lore?
Yes and no! You take the NH67 and come to the junction where NH67 meets NH45 (GST) North of Trichy (Its a busy signal).
You then take deviation towards Madras. Cross the two bridges on the river and then you will see the Musiri deviation (SH 25) on the left.
Here is the route map:

Tanjore to Bangalore

Quote:
6. Any other places of interest along the way (or with a small detour) that are good/interesting but may not be on touristy map? Eateries on the way? and inputs on pertrol bunks in TN.
Carry food when starting from KK and Rameshwaram for the ECR.
You won't find many hotels.
No plans for Trichy? I know you are packed, but still I thought I would ask!

Last edited by ampere : 20th August 2011 at 13:19.
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Old 20th August 2011, 13:57   #4
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I would recommend Hotel Tamilnadu in Kanyakumari mainly for its location. You can book ir online too.

Also around 20 kms from tuticorin there is a place called Mayoora thottam close to ottapidaram. I have never been here but its supposed to be a peacock garden with facility to stay also. You can try if interested. I plan to go there sometime. Also near Rameswaram there is a famous pillayar temple where the Ganesha is quite huge. Forgot the name. Will check with my brother and update the thread shortly. You can try that too.

Edit: Name of the village is Uppur.
http://temple.dinamalar.com/en/new_en.php?id=1091

Last edited by prabhuferrari : 20th August 2011 at 14:13.
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Old 20th August 2011, 14:40   #5
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

There are a lot of hotels in KK. Please select one which can offer you Moonrise, Sunrise from the comfort of your balcony/room. For that i feel once you reach KK you should look about and decide.
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Old 20th August 2011, 16:21   #6
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

You can park your car at Dhanushkodi beach and then take the 4*4 ride to end point. They cahrge Rs 80 per person and will not start until complete set of 20 passengers come which is a long wait. Else you have to pay Rs 1600 and hire it exclusively for yourself. No problems with police.
If your schedule permits, I would recommend Karaikkudi after Rameshwaram and then to Tanjavur. Making Tanjavur as base doa day trip to Tiruvarur and Tranquebar. Check if you can get accomodation In bungalow on beach. If not not worth going there as you would have seen lot of sea by then. For this same reason, I would strongly recommend you to drop Tranquebar and include Karaikkudi and as Ampere rightly suggested Trichy as well.
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Old 20th August 2011, 18:20   #7
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
You can park your car at Dhanushkodi beach and then take the 4*4 ride to end point.
If your schedule permits, I would recommend Karaikkudi after Rameshwaram and then to Tanjavur.
Thanks Fauji for these suggestions. I chose Tranquebar for a day to take rest and do nothing. If I don't get acco in BoB, I'll add a few other things as you folks have reco'd.

Also in Rameshwara, we do not have any vow, but have to take that bath in many pools. Isn't this available only in the morning?

Swamimalai: I'd like to include Swamimalai to be chosen dynamically depending energy levels. Generally should Sterling be booked much in advance? OR how about hotels in Tanjavur - whether we should book in advance?



Quote:
Originally Posted by prabhuferrari View Post
I would recommend Hotel Tamilnadu in Kanyakumari mainly for its location. You can book ir online too.

Edit: Name of the village is Uppur.
Dinamalar Temple | News | Thuligal | Information | Temple news | Story | Purana Kathigal
Thanks PrabhuFerrari. Hotel Tamilnadu sounds good, Outlook Traveller also recos the same place. Need to pick b/w this one and Singaar reco'd by Ampere. Shall surely visit the Ganesh temple and the Peacock place. I was not aware of both. Thank you very much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Perfect plan Prasad.



No plans for Trichy? I know you are packed, but still I thought I would ask!
This originally was a 9 day trip which was to cover Trichy and a couple of other places. But due to a few things that are beyond my control I have to start only on Mon (26-Sep), instead of Sat (24-Sep). . The trade-off was b/w Trichy and Tranquebar and majority vote went to Tranquebar for a day of leisure and also to visit Shani temple at Nallar, close to Tranquebar.

Thanks a lot for instructions to cross Trichy. The only thing I'm wary of driving long distance, is the headache of crossing big towns, when I don't know the local language. With your instructions, I need not have to ask anyone. However, I do have a question. In the google map you sent for this, it shows the route from Dharmapuri to Hosur via Royalkotai. Is this the reco'd route OR should I come via Krishnagiri on NH7.


Thanks again everyone for your time in explaining the details. I surely will have more questions.

Thanks

Prasad
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Old 20th August 2011, 18:31   #8
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
In the google map you sent for this, it shows the route from Dharmapuri to Hosur via Royalkotai. Is this the reco'd route OR should I come via Krishnagiri on NH7.

Hi, Sorry even I noticed that mistake. I did not route it correctly in google.
Yes Once in Salem, what better than the GQ!

Corrected route:

Tanjore to Bangalore
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Old 20th August 2011, 19:19   #9
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Default Re: Long drive Help: BLR-KK-Rameshwara-TranqueBar-Tanjore-BLR

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post

3. My support to Anna Hazare not withstanding, please warn me of the places where TN police will ask for money and whats the reasonable monies to be doled out.
They will stop the moment they see a diff state vehicle.

A month back while holidaying in kodai, my car(KA) and another KA Swift got pulled over. He did a routine check and I realized that I hadn't done an emission test! I spoke to him in Tamil and told him its a 2010 reg vehicle, its less than a year old. He believed me and let me go. The other Swift chap couldn't speak Tamil and had to grease his palm by paying 100 bucks. 50 each for the two cops.

BTW, my car was 17 months old when I got pulled over, my vehicle was indeed not certified for emission
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Old 23rd August 2011, 08:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
Day 1: Blore-Madurai
Day 2: Madurai-Kanyakumari
Just last night, I returned from my 2000+km long trip including Madurai and Kanniyakumari. At Madurai, I stayed in an AC double room in an old hotel called Neww [No typo, this is the official spelling!] College House Hotel at Town Hall Road, costing Rs 1090 per night. It had congested car parking. But it was very near to the Meenakshi Amman temple so that we walked up and down leaving my Linea at the hotel. There was a fantastic eatery called Sabari located diagonally opposite to Neww College House Hotel wherein we had our breakfast, lunch and dinner! Apart from these advantages, there is nothing special about Neww College House Hotel. And don't forget to get back Rs 10 [if you pay Rs 1100 as advance] from the counter staff!

At Kanniyakumari, we had stayed at Vivekanandapuram of Vivekananda Kendra in a non-AC double room costing Rs 262.50 per night. Details are here (Travelling to Kanyakumari).

Quote:
My support to Anna Hazare not withstanding, please warn me of the places where TN police will ask for money and whats the reasonable monies to be doled out.
I drove in my KA-registered Linea for 2000+ km trip comprising Bangalore>Chennai>Pondy>Velankanni>Sikkal>Pillayar patti>Madurai>SriVilliputtur>Kuttralam>Kanniyakuma ri>Suchindram>Bangalore. Nowhere, was I stopped and checked. Apart from the inevitable toll, I did pay anything to anybody on the road.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 23rd August 2011 at 09:06.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 10:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Just last night, I returned from my 2000+km long trip including Madurai and Kanniyakumari. At Madurai, I stayed in an AC double room in an old hotel called Neww [No typo, this is the official spelling!] College House Hotel at Town Hall Road, costing Rs 1090 per night. It had congested car parking. But it was very near to the Meenakshi Amman temple so that we walked up and down leaving my Linea at the hotel. There was a fantastic eatery called Sabari located diagonally opposite to Neww College House Hotel wherein we had our breakfast, lunch and dinner! Apart from these advantages, there is nothing special about Neww College House Hotel.

I visit Madurai once in couple of months on work, after staying in Supreme once I have been staying at Ratna Residency always. Free Wifi, decent rooms, complimentary breakfast, close to the temple & railway station and finally not so expensive tariff. Parking could be an issue but both the times when I drove down I was able to park the car in the hotel premises without any issue. The rooms used to cost me about Rs.1400/- for A/c double occupancy. Hotel Rathna Residency Madurai - Hotel Rathna Residency Coimbatore - Hotels in Madurai, Madurai Hotels, Hotels Madurai, Hotels & Hotels in Madurai, Hotels to Saty in Madurai, Accomodation in Madurai, Conference Halls in Madurai, Business Class Hotels

Madurai is very famous for some very good Non-veg hotels, unfortunately being an "egg eating vegetarian" I never do justice to these hotels when ever I have food out there. But one place where I do full justice is Hotel Sabari certainly "To Visit" place for vegetarians especially during dinner where you get some well made dosa varieties. I used to enjoy their coffee as well, so much even though Ratna's breakfast spread is decent I end up walking down to Sabari for my breakfast

Last edited by pypkmsrikanth : 23rd August 2011 at 10:17. Reason: Link added
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:24   #12
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[quote=J.Ravi;2477878]Just last night, I returned from my 2000+km long trip including Madurai and Kanniyakumari. At Madurai, I stayed in an AC double room in an old hotel called Neww [\quote]

Thanks Ravi. I was not aware of this hotel. Shall check it out.

[quote=J.Ravi;2477878]
At Kanniyakumari, we had stayed at Vivekanandapuram of Vivekananda Kendra in a non-AC double room costing Rs 262.50 per night. Details are here (Travelling to Kanyakumari).
[\quote]
I learnt about this place only y'day in another thread. How do you compare staying here vis-a-vis at TTDC (not w.r.t the rooms themselves), but the ease of going back and forth from the town center into VK. Would we get easy parking near the jetty? What about food?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
I drove in my KA-registered Linea for 2000+ km trip comprising Bangalore>Chennai>Pondy>Velankanni>Sikkal>Pillayar patti>Madurai>SriVilliputtur>Kuttralam>Kanniyakuma ri>Suchindram>Bangalore. Nowhere, was I stopped and checked. Apart from the inevitable toll, I did pay anything to anybody on the road.
This is very good news. I get stopped regularly outside KA. May be its got to do with my Honda City! I'm glad to hear this.

Thanks a lot for taking time to put in your thoughts.

Prasad
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:29   #13
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Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
This is very good news. I get stopped regularly outside KA. May be its got to do with my Honda City! I'm glad to hear this.

Thanks a lot for taking time to put in your thoughts.

Prasad
Not wanting to tempt fate, I have been using a KA registered car in Chennai for the last 4 years, I have not had any issues till date except for once when a constable wanted to make a fast buck out of me, when I insisted in paying the fine what ever be the amount with the receipt he could not get his Superior to come to the spot to challan me, he had to let me go finally.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 13:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prasad14 View Post
I learnt about this place only y'day in another thread. How do you compare staying here vis-a-vis at TTDC (not w.r.t the rooms themselves), but the ease of going back and forth from the town center into VK. Would we get easy parking near the jetty? What about food?
Vivekanandapuram of Vivekananda Kendra is a sprawling campus with acres of space for car parking near our stay. It is located on LHS while travelling from Thirunelveli to Kanniyakumari, just 1.5 km away from boat jetty and Gandhi Bhavan. There is a big arch at the entrance. I parked my Linea at TTDC car parking located by the side of the building housing the wandering monk photographic exhibition by paying Rs 30. My Linea remained parked there till I completed my ferry trip to Vivekananda Memorial/Thiruvalluvar statue, darshan at Kanniyakumari temple, stroll at the beach, visit to Gandhi Bhavan and the wandering monk photographic exhibition. The food was good for the price we paid. The meal comprising 4 chappatis, side dishes, unlimited rice with rasam and buttermilk cost Rs 37 each. But, coffee/tea were not good. As I mentioned in another post, the room sans TV, running hot water, newspaper, room service, telephone, etc., catered to my requirement.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 23rd August 2011 at 13:12.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 13:32   #15
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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Vivekanandapuram of Vivekananda Kendra is a sprawling campus with acres of space for car parking near our stay.
Perfect, this one is settled. I posted my previous question and later read your post in another thread, though you had given the link. Thanks again.

Prasad
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