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Old 14th October 2012, 21:28   #1
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The tentative schedule is:
Day 1

Ernakulam > Rameshwaram

Day 2

Rameshwaram > Madurai

Day 3

Madurai > Srirangam > Tanjore

Day 4
Tanjore > Tirumala via Kanchipuram

How are the road conditions? Where else to visit in TN? Which specific routes to take?


Not worried about Tirumala - Ernakulam return leg.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 14th October 2012 at 21:30.
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Old 14th October 2012, 21:35   #2
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Default Re: Rameshwaram > Tanjore > Srirangam > Kanchi > Tirumala (AP) route?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Day 4
Tanjore > Tirumala via Kanchipuram
Is Kanchi a requirement? If not then :

Tanjore-Trichy-Tindivanam-Vandavasi-Cheyyar-Ranipet-Chitoor-Tirupati is the best option.
Roads are very good.

Other places to visit: Tiruvannamalai
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Old 14th October 2012, 21:56   #3
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Default Re: Rameshwaram > Tanjore > Srirangam > Kanchi > Tirumala (AP) route?

ampere - that is pretty quick response. We are still planing; and Kanchipuram sounded "cute". :-D

Is it because of road conditions? Or distance?

What are ideal places for break / food between Tanjore / Trichi / SriRangam?

My plan was To start from Madurai, visit Sri Rangam early morning, and then proceed to Tanjore. If I accept your suggestion, it will be Madurai > Tanjore > Sri Rangam; and start for Tirumala next day morning from Sri Rangam. Or is it that it makes no difference?

Also, not breaking at Madurai enroute to Rameshwaram ond a 1 because distance to other places (ie., Tanjore / SriRangam) from Rameshwaram is a bit too much to be covered (both travel and visit) during day time.

The vehicle would be a rented Innova, with a dedicated (read - pro) driver. I would not be doing night driving both because I am not familiar with the driver and because there will be 2 kids on board, with my parents, and my own health is not very good.
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Old 14th October 2012, 22:48   #4
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Default Re: Rameshwaram > Tanjore > Srirangam > Kanchi > Tirumala (AP) route?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
My plan was To start from Madurai, visit Sri Rangam early morning, and then proceed to Tanjore. If I accept your suggestion, it will be
Madurai > Tanjore > Sri Rangam; and start for Tirumala next day morning from Sri Rangam. Or is it that it makes no difference?
I did not get this. Where are you putting for the night? Tanjore or Trichy/Srirangam?
Either way, it would be GST all the way for Tirupati. Why I said no to Kanchi was, in case, you dont plan to visit the temple, you will take
more time cross the town. Driving to Arcot via Cheyyar would bypass Kanchi totally. Roads through Cheyya/Vandavasi are also much better.
Most Bangalore folks for Pondicherry use this option. Hence te Arcot-Tindivanam is well test route with regular updates here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...quired-43.html (Planning : Bangalore-Pondicherry : Help Required)

Also I hope you dont plan to visit the temple at Madurai before you begin for Trichy.
If not, then if you start early, you can easily be at Trichy before 9 (assume a 6AM start from Madurai). By noon you can finish Srirangam and Malaikotai.

Have lunch and by the time you reach Tanjore it would be past noon and the Big temple will be opening for evening. You can finish the darshan and break for night.

Quote:
The vehicle would be a rented Innova, with a dedicated (read - pro) driver. I would not be doing night driving both because I am not familiar with the
driver and because there will be 2 kids on board, with my parents, and my own health is not very good.
This would definitely help, only constrained by energy levels of kids and elders.

Last edited by ampere : 14th October 2012 at 22:51.
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Old 16th October 2012, 21:16   #5
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The trip details are still being worked out.

If I break at Madurai on day 1, and go to Tanjore from R'swram, (day 3 early morning), what route would I take?

Google maps shows Sh 108 to Tirupati from Ranipet. But if I search for tirumala, (and not the one via sholinghur, ammavarikuppam) I get the route via Chittoor. :-| Am I reading maps wrong?
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Old 16th October 2012, 22:28   #6
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Default Re: Rameshwaram > Tanjore > Srirangam > Kanchi > Tirumala (AP) route?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
If I break at Madurai on day 1, and go to Tanjore from R'swram, (day 3 early morning), what route would I take?
Rameshwaram-Ramnad-Devipatnam-Thondi-Adirampatnam-Pattukotta-Tanjore


Quote:
Google maps shows Sh 108 to Tirupati from Ranipet. But if I search for tirumala, (and not the one via sholinghur, ammavarikuppam) I get the route via Chittoor. :-| Am I reading maps wrong?
Not sure of this highway, but the route via Chitoor is very good.
Also note enter Tirpuati town from Chennai side. Thats much easier.

This is the route link
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Old 14th November 2012, 20:15   #7
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Default The trip as it turned out to be

I am not in a modd to post a full travelouge; so here is a not so short post on how things turned out to be.

Tanjore was dropped at planning stage. And we decided to stay at Madurai on day 1; which turned out to be a wise decision.

We took the Ernakulam - Perumbavoor - Kothamangalam - Adimali - Munnar - Poopara - Bodi - Theni - Madurai route on day 1. Even with a 6.30 AM start from Ekm, it was 11.30 by the time we reached KTDC restaurant, Munnar, which was closed. So had food from a north Indian restaurant nearby (excellent food), and drove around in Munnar for some time.

We reached Theni by 4.30 and had a tea break. It was 6.30 PM by the time we reached Madurai, where rooms were booked in advance at TTDC, Madurai.

With a 9 AM start from Madurai we reached Rameshwaram by 1.30, stay again at TTDC, Rameshwaram (very good rooms - depends on which room you get). Did Dhanushkoti (INR 1050 for a 3.30 to 6.00 PM drive on a 4wd Jeep - TTDC to Dhanushkoti and back). Did darshan only next day.

With a 11- ish start from Rameshwaram on day 3, we reached Srirangam at 6.30 PM via Ramanathapuram (turn right a few km before Ramnad) - Karaikudi - Pudukottai. Lunch was from Karikudi Annalakshmi and had a tea b reak few KMs after Pudukottai. Pudukkotai - trichy was where we were loosing time with 4 laning work going on. Stay was at the Serviced apartments - (there is a link on another thread, will search it out if anybody wants it). Very good place to stay - though the a/c and water heater were not working. Food was only from the Satguru restaurant within the same premises, again reasonably good.

Lord Ranganatha was pleased to give my kids darshan of nis bullock cart, white Stallion and an Elephant as we were entering the premises.

Day 4 was very hectic - started from Srirangam after the darshan - again by 11. I followed google maps, and forget the "Vandavasi Cheyyar ranipet" part posted by ampere above. I turn left at Villupuram on to SH 4 via Gingee. Maps shows a right turn somewhere after a left at Gingee, which we miss and we go through errr... umm.. farm lands for a good 10 KMs. I should confess that couple of times I looked up google maps from home, it showed the route via Cheyyar; dunno why it showed the Gingee - farm land - Arcot route when I invoked it from Srirangam. Vellore - Chittoor was very patchy, with Chittor being busy, crowded and we miss the Chittoor byepass, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise (as we found in the return trip).

Return started with the Tirumala - Tirupati - Mangapuram - Srikalahasti leg; with road to Srikalahasti being not bery smooth. Stayed overnight at Srikalahasti overnight, again for an early morning darshan.

With a 9.45 start from Srikalahasti, we lose plenty of time on Chittoor byepass (tarring work going on). Reach Vellore and have lunch from a brand new place (Ananda something) few kms from Vellore (LHS towards Krishnagiri side).

Before Salem, we go down the Thoppur - Mettur road for couple of KMs before we realise that we are on the SH, rather than NH. We go back to the NH, whcih turns out to be huuuuuge mistake. Few Kms before Avinashi, the road is literally paralysed. I am drowsy and go back to the 3rd row; from Salem. All I realise is that we pass what I think is outskirts of Tiruppur just before 7 PM, and are forced to enter Coimbatore city at around 11.30. (run out of smileys). Had dinner somewhere in between, and realise that we have not lost much in terms of running time.

We hit first real pothole of the 1800 odd kms journey few KMs after Walayar, and the front wheels go out of alignment, according to the driver. We reach home by 3.30 AM with a 15 minutes stop for tea around Pattikkad.
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Old 14th November 2012, 20:46   #8
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Default Re: The trip as it turned out to be

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Pudukkotai - trichy was where we were loosing time with 4 laning work going on.
Wow! Did not realize this stretch is getting 4-laned. So Trichy-Pudukottai-Ramnad is getting 4-laned? Nice.

Quote:
Day 4 was very hectic - started from Srirangam after the darshan - again by 11. I followed google maps, and forget the
"Vandavasi Cheyyar ranipet" part posted by ampere above. I turn left at Villupuram on to SH 4 via Gingee. Maps shows a
right turn somewhere after a left at Gingee, which we miss and we go through errr... umm.. farm lands for a good 10 KMs.
I should confess that couple of times I looked up google maps from home, it showed the route via Cheyyar;
dunno why it showed the Gingee - farm land - Arcot route when I invoked it from Srirangam.
The trick here is to drive till Tindivanam. At the bypass you notice the road to Arcot.


Quote:
Vellore - Chittoor was very patchy, with Chittor being busy, crowded and we miss the Chittoor byepass, which turned out to be a
blessing in disguise (as we found in the return trip).
I thought Vellore-Chittoor via Katpadi was decent. Did not realize it was bad. Thanks for this update.

Quote:
With a 9.45 start from Srikalahasti, we lose plenty of time on Chittoor byepass (tarring work going on). Reach Vellore and have lunch
from a brand new place (Ananda something) few kms from Vellore (LHS towards Krishnagiri side).
Chitoor helps if you are driving towards Bangalore. It also helps Bangalore folks driving toward Chennai. If you are coming to Vellore,
going through the city is always better.


Quote:
Before Salem, we go down the Thoppur - Mettur road for couple of KMs before we realise that we are on the SH, rather than NH.
We go back to the NH, whcih turns out to be huuuuuge mistake.
I wont say its a mistake. You can do Perundurai-Kangeyam-Palladam-Pollachi-Vadakkancherry. Thats where you join NH47 again.
This helps you to avoid Avinashi and Walayar. But you still have to endure Kuthiran.
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Old 14th November 2012, 21:14   #9
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Default Re: The trip as it turned out to be

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Wow! Did not realize this stretch is getting 4-laned. So Trichy-Pudukottai-Ramnad is getting 4-laned? Nice.
Not the entire stretch; only Pudukottai - Trichy part. The first 80 KM or so from Ramanathapuram is fantastic and spotless. But conditions become worser (no - no potholes - just narrower roads, no markings, narrower roads in towns, etc) till Karaikudi.

I would also clarify that the worst roads in TN and AP (on the roads I took) are still better than best roads in KL).


Quote:
I thought Vellore-Chittoor via Katpadi was decent. Did not realize it was bad. Thanks for this update.
"Decent" or "lousy" are not the exact terms I will apply here. This part is certainly worse than what it was some six years back, when I passed this last. Just may be the huge increase in traffic. But the road to Tirupati after the Turnoff from Chittor -- anantapur -- Cuddappah (??) NH is fantastic - still the same when I passed it last, in spite of the increase in traffic.

I remember doing Tirumala - Tirupati - Chittoor (byepass) Vellore - Krishnagiri / Hotel Tamilnad in 2.45 Hrs in an OHC and 3 hrs and few minutes in a jelly bean Zen a few weeks apart, when Vellore - Krishnagiri was still two laned.

And speaking of road improvement, 6 laning of the Vellore - Krishnagiri stretch is already on, and the Coimbatore - Trichur NH 47, which carries around 10 times traffic than Krishnagiri - Vellore is still 2 lane. for the leaders of KL.

Quote:
I wont say its a mistake. You can do Perundurai-Kangeyam-Palladam-Pollachi-Vadakkancherry. Thats where you join NH47 again.
1. Did not think of it.

2. Was not following the "Current Conditions of roads to Kerala" thread. (my mistake).

3. After the 10 KM offroading near Gingee, I was chary. Any miss and I would have been at the receiving end from the whole family.

4. Trusted the driver had a good idea of Salem - TCR stretch.
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