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Old 28th April 2012, 19:15   #1
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Default Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Folks,

Need some help. Planning to visit Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar over a weekend pretty soon. I don't plan to drive [ so as to be able to use the night times for travel ].

Plan to use either Chidambaram or Karaikal as base [ or if there is a better choice of place for accomodation ] and get a cab to visit the 2 temples.

Questions :

1. Prefer the train : 2 choices available :
i. Karaikal Express
ii. Mayiladuthurai Express, closest as far as I see, but not sure if there is good accomodation facilities? Not sure if I can get cabs either to the hotel at Chidambaram or to the temples
iii. Any other ?

2. What has better accomodation ? Karaikal or Chidambaram ? Any good hotels ? Pl share your experience.

3. Any other tip when traveling to these 2 temples [ I know it's going to be very warm, but any tip on if specific days see more rush/crowd will help ]

Thank you folks.
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Old 29th April 2012, 08:08   #2
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
Folks,

Need some help. Planning to visit Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar over a weekend pretty soon. I don't plan to drive [ so as to be able to use the night times for travel ].

Plan to use either Chidambaram or Karaikal as base [ or if there is a better choice of place for accomodation ] and get a cab to visit the 2 temples.
@AG,

I only know of two places. One is expensive:
.::GRAND PALACE STAY::.

The other one I think is decent.
Saradharam Hotel

Quote:
1. Prefer the train : 2 choices available :
i. Karaikal Express
ii. Mayiladuthurai Express, closest as far as I see, but not sure if there is good accomodation facilities? Not sure if I can get cabs either to the hotel at Chidambaram or to the temples
iii. Any other ?
Question is how would you travel to Chidambaram on a train? I thought Karaikal express is from Chennai. Is there one from Bangalore as well? Mysore-Mayilduthurai is what I am aware off.
I have traveled by that train. The train is good, but it would be good to carry your own food. No pantry and getting down at stations sometimes not all that easy.

Vaitheeshwaran Koil itself has a railway station but it falls in the Chennai-Mayiladuthurai section.

Here is one place for Mayiladuthurai :

http://www.sadhabishegam.net/

Quote:
2. What has better accomodation ? Karaikal or Chidambaram ? Any good hotels ? Pl share your experience.
3. Any other tip when traveling to these 2 temples [ I know it's going to be very warm, but any tip on if specific days see more rush/crowd will help ]
I think Chidambaram has some decent hotels. I dont know about Karaikal. But from a travel point of view Mayiladuthurai is more apt.
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Old 29th April 2012, 13:12   #3
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
Folks,

Questions :

1. Prefer the train : 2 choices available :
i. Karaikal Express
ii. Mayiladuthurai Express, closest as far as I see, but not sure if there is good accomodation facilities? Not sure if I can get cabs either to the hotel at Chidambaram or to the temples
iii. Any other ?

2. What has better accomodation ? Karaikal or Chidambaram ? Any good hotels ? Pl share your experience.

3. Any other tip when traveling to these 2 temples [ I know it's going to be very warm, but any tip on if specific days see more rush/crowd will help ]

Thank you folks.
Apart from Sadhabhishegam, try Hotel Akshardham at Vaidheeswaran Koil. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Train 26231/26232 is the best bet for you from Bangalore - again need to book well in advance.

If you can't stay in Vaidheeswaran Koil, 'Hotel PAMS' in Mayiladuthurai can be a good alternative.

Keep your base either as Vaidheeswaran Koil or Mayiladuthurai - they are 14 kms apart.

The road from Mayiladuthurai to Thirunallar may not be very good - so allocate an entire morning for that visit.

Both Karaikal and Chidambaram are NOT on the way for you from Bangalore.
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Old 29th April 2012, 15:22   #4
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Mayiladuthurai to Karaikal is hardly 30km when you go via Peralam where you join the Kumbakonal-Karaikal SH.
Even from that point of view Mayiladuthurai seems to be a right to base camp.
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Old 30th April 2012, 17:36   #5
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Not sure - whether this will help or confuse more. But my own experience here.

On a weekend trip from chennai (friday night & return sunday afternoon) - we went to multiple temples and kept our base as Kumbakonam. We have some family friends there - hence the choice !.

Actually, on sunday morning - we came to Vaitheeswaran koil by Auto (was it 2 hrs ? - think so) & took bus from there to chennai. It was simple !.

And saw lot of bus options from kumbakonam to Bangalore. From the look of it - there is good frequency. And kumbakonam is indeed good for accomodation - i believe.
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Old 30th April 2012, 18:25   #6
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjiyap1 View Post
On a weekend trip from chennai (friday night & return sunday afternoon) - we went to multiple temples and kept our base as Kumbakonam. We have some family friends there - hence the choice !.
Kumbakonam can also work out as a base. The Bangalore train also stops at Kumbakonam for 2-5 minutes.
But since mentioned specifically which temples to visit, I think from that point of view Mayavaram is a
better position. (As the train also starts from there).
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Old 1st May 2012, 02:27   #7
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

@airguitar

If you are not very particular about traveling in train, KSRTC operates a multi-axle Volvo from Bangalore to Chidambaram. You can freshen up in Hotel Saradharam which is just opposite the KSRTC office/stop. Take a cab after breakfast, visit Vaitheswaran Koil (45 min drive), and from there go to Thirukadayur (another 45 min), and then finally to Thirunallar (again 45 min drive). In between you can plan your lunch in either Thirukadayur or in Karaikal. Return Thirunallar - Chidambaram is one and half hrs drive. You can visit Chidambaram Natarajan temple the same night or the next day. Another famous temple in Chidambaram is Thillaikaali amman temple.

You can plan it in the reverse too. Chidambaram - Thirukadayur - Thirunallar - Mayiladuthurai - Vaidheshwaran Koil - Chidambaram.

Hotel Saradharam is not very neatly maintained but it has separate Veg and Non-veg restaurants and it's location is just opposite the Bus Stand.

Hotel Grand Palace is just outside the railway station. Room are small but neat. Restaurant is average.

Last edited by Harshavarthan : 1st May 2012 at 02:31.
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Old 5th May 2012, 22:44   #8
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Folks, thank you for your prompt responses and apologies for me checking in late.. (my situation is a mess at the moment ).

Harshavarthanan - It has to be the train unfortunately ( I hate trains ).

Amp - you're right - there is no Karaikal train.

Tempelhof - Yes is PAMS is what we have zeroed in on.

Here's a part of the itinerary

Friday Night : Take the Mayiladuturai Express from BLR
Sat Morning : Check in at PAMS
Sat Morning 9 AM : Start for Thirunallar
Sat Evening 4 PM : Vaideeswaran Koil

I don't know what train to take to get back to Bangalore : the 5.45 PM train from Mayavaram is a bit of a challenge to meet in terms of time available.

Does anyone know of a train that starts later in the night or in the day time to Bangalore [ from any other town nearby ]?

Pondichery - BLR train starts at 22.05 - but it sounds silly to drive 100 kms to take that train [ althought the timing might work out ].

Thank you for all the help.
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Old 6th May 2012, 12:22   #9
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Hotel Mano Residency (04368-224142, 222243) and Hotel Nandha (04368-220533) are good options at Karaikkal.

I dont have good opinions about the hotels at Mayiladuthurai
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Old 20th May 2012, 08:24   #10
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Default Re: Vaitheeswaran Koil and Thirunallar from Bangalore (train and itinerary help)

Thank you all, folks. Did this last weekend. Needless to say trains were all booked until late June. So I was told it was OK for us to take a sleeper bus

SRS runs a sleeper service till Mayiladuthurai ( bus starts at 10.45 PM ), we took that bus. Reached Mayiladuthurai at around 10.15 next morning ( yes, 11.30 hours ! mainly due to the fact they offload a lot "parcels" at almost all big towns and they spend close to 10-15 minutes, somtimes more doing that). The bus itself was very comfortable and the night passed in peaceful sleep ( except of course b/w Krishnagiri and Thiruvannamalai when even the bus couldn't take the bad roads ).

Checked into Hotel PAMS - pretty neatly kept room with clean bathroom and bed. And yes, the silly lady at the reception asked numerous questions to ascertain we were a "bonafide couple", sigh. Some renovation is going on so once in a while you would hear an electric saw at work, but otherwise OK.

Had booked a cab, we started around 11.15 from Mayiladuthurai to Thirunallar ( Thirunallar temple open all day on Saturdays ). After Darshan, headed to Karaikal for lunch. Had lunch at Hotel Vandana near the bus stand. Clean and Good food. We dropped the idea of hitting the Karaikal beach, returned to the hotel for some rest. Started at around 3.45 PM to Vaideeswaran Koil ( again an easy Darshan, no crowd at all as usual).

BTW the SRS service to Mayiladuthurai passes through Vaideeswaran Koil, so booking the Sadabishegam hotel for stay makes sense as well if you want to visit Vaideeswaran Koil.

From there, we headed towards Chidambaram, after a good Darshan of Nataraja and seeing a natyam performance by an upcoming artist, we headed to the bus stand. Had dinner at Hotel Geetanjali [ belongs to the Saradha Ram hotel group ]. Took the SRS sleeper bus back to Bangalore from Chidambaram, 8.15PM. Got down at Attibele and took the Anekal-Hoskote 399F BMTC bus back home.

Comfortable trip in the end, sorely missed my car though.

Last edited by airguitar : 20th May 2012 at 08:30.
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