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Old 23rd February 2015, 13:58   #1
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Default Kolkata - Rameswaram - Madurai - Kodaikanal - Palani - Coimbatore - Bangalore

Hi BHPians

Chariot: Jan 2010 French Eclair Maruti Suzuki SX4 Zxi (48571)

Date: Start @ 3.00am from South City, Kolkata on Feb 25, 2015

Travellers: Me, better half, sons aged 3 and 2 and my dad from Madurai

Trip: Kolkata-Rameswaram(Danushkodi)-Madurai (Dad joins us by travelling via Nagercoil Express from CST Mumbai)-Kodaikanal-Coimbatore-Bangalore-Tirupati-Kolkata.

Estimated kms: 5400 odd

I need to know:

1. Best routes on the way, routes to avoid, road conditions, if i drive late evenings routes t avoid; security issues. I am taking the google map route via mobile gps.

2. How to improve the average of my chariot. Recently changed oil to castrol magnatec. I religiously use system-g. Changed Air filter, is an oil filter change needed? Off-late getting 9kmpl in city. Did an ECU reset (20mins battery).

3.How much fuel would be needed?

4. Budget hotels in Rameswaram and for night halts enroute?

All suggestions welcome like things to re-check/take.


Will be updating enroute live on road conditions, time taken etc. Detailed travelogue with pics on my return. God be with me and thank you all in advance for your help/suggestions.
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Old 24th February 2015, 09:58   #2
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Default Re: Suggestions: Kolkata-Rameswaram (Dhanushkodi)-Madurai-Kodaikanal-Palani-Coimbatore-Ban

Quote:
Originally Posted by SafariMan View Post
Estimated kms: 5400 odd
...

1. Best routes on the way, routes to avoid, road conditions, if i drive late evenings routes t avoid; security issues. I am taking the google map route via mobile gps.
Best Route: Stick to GQ. Kolkata-Chennai byapss - Trichy-Nh210-Rameshwaram
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Old 24th February 2015, 12:08   #3
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Default Re: Suggestions: Kolkata-Rameswaram (Dhanushkodi)-Madurai-Kodaikanal-Palani-Coimbatore-Ban

Last month we (Me, Better half & daughter(infant)) did a trip to Rameshwaram (Dhanushkodi) & Munnar from Bangalore
Quote:
Originally Posted by SafariMan View Post
Hi BHPians

I need to know:

1. Best routes on the way, routes to avoid, road conditions, if i drive late evenings routes t avoid; security issues. I am taking the google map route via mobile gps.
Bangalore - Salem-Madurai-Ramanathpuram-Rameshwaram-Dhanushkodi is in Fabulous condition .. Not to worry at all if by chance you take up this road.
Quote:
2. How to improve the average of my chariot. Recently changed oil to castrol magnatec. I religiously use system-g. Changed Air filter, is an oil filter change needed? Off-late getting 9kmpl in city. Did an ECU reset (20mins battery).
Didn't you change the oil filter when you changed the oil ? It's always better to change oil filter when changing engine oil.

Check the condition of Spark plugs, tyres & brake pads.

Highway mileage will definitely better than that.
Stick to gearshifts below 2000-2500Rpm & Maintain an average speed between 85-100kmph
Maintain Proper tyre pressure (2 psi more than average as you are doing a complete highway drive)
Avoid excessive braking & sudden acceleration

Quote:
3.How much fuel would be needed?
It all depends on how you drive & no. of kms travelled.
Quote:
4. Budget hotels in Rameswaram and for night halts enroute?
We stayed at Daiwik Hotel at Rameshwaram.
It was fabulous, price is around 4K/day including breakfast.
There are plenty of budget hotels in Rameshwaram.
Hotel SS grand seems to be fine (though we didn't stay).
Also check online portals for hotel booking (makemytrip, goibibo etc) they are now offering a better price on all hotels

PS- Madurai traffic is pain in peak hours, try to avoid by not driving through this city during peak hours.

Last edited by sushrutha : 24th February 2015 at 12:09.
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Old 4th March 2015, 13:20   #4
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Default Re: Kolkata - Rameswaram - Madurai - Kodaikanal - Palani - Coimbatore - Bangalore

Some road-trips are made just for the sheer joy of travelling. My current trip is one such road travel. This is my first travelogue and first-hand report of the subject.

Start Time and Place: South City Mall, Kolkata @ 05.36 AM on February 25, 2015

Route Taken: NH 5, Chennai By-Pass, NH 45B

First Major Stop: Hotel RadhaKrishna Near Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

Time Reached: 13.00 (1.00 PM) on February 27, 2015

Next Route Taken: via Batlagundu (as per Google Maps) for Kodaikanal

Present Location: Country Club Valley Vista, Prakashapuram, Kodaikanal

Entire GQ is in very good condition except:

1. Road from Kharagpur till Balasore
2. Usual bad roads around Orissa-AP border
3. Cattle and villagers near Ongole
4. Heavy traffic in Chennai By-Pass till Tambaram (But I have to accept that I got the feeling of driving as though I am driving around the New Jersey-Washington DC roads)
5. Bad traffic in Madurai
6. Heat Factor (Humidity) around Trichy at this time of the year.

We had taken food for Day 1 (Feb 25). Stopped for the night (11.00 PM) at Hotel Sunrise, Vishakaptnam. Started on Day 2 at 5.47 AM. I have to mention that there is a very good restaurant DFG Hotel New By-Pass Road Tadepalligudem NH-5. We had early Lunch at this place. Reached Chennai at 8.00 PM and stayed at Hotel Plaza for the night. Started early morning at 4.46 PM on Day 3 and reached Madurai @ 12.57 PM. Had an evening darshan at the Madurai Meenakshi Temple in the evening; thanks to a acquaintance who took us through the temple easily and quickly. Received my father coming by the Mumbai- Nagercoil Express which reached Madurai late at 21.40 (Instead of 20.55). Next day after my father's solo temple darshan left Madurai at 1.00 PM and reached Kodaikanal (Feb 28, 2015) at 4.47 PM.

March 1, 2 and 3 has been spend in Kodaikanal at the hotel and sight seeing (Bear Shola Falls, Green Valley View, Moier Point, Coakers Walk, La Saleth Church, Golf Course, Pillar Rocks, Guna Caves, Pine Forest, Upper Lake View, Bryant park, Silent Valley, Kodai Lake, Berijam Lake, Dolphin Nose, Fairy Falls, etc.

Performance of Car: SX4 gave me an average of 17-19 kmpl of Petrol. Car performed majestically and reached at times three digit figures without any strain. The only let down was the low-end pick-up / torque. This vehicle has been made only for the top-end three-digit figures. Front Left Tyre (OEM) JK Vectra has peeled and waiting to be changed to Bridgestone).

More to Follow and pics.
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Old 26th February 2016, 18:14   #5
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Default Re: Kolkata - Rameswaram - Madurai - Kodaikanal - Palani - Coimbatore - Bangalore

Kodaikanal to Palani....What to say! Legendary. So scenic even beats NZ Auckland - Wellington scenery in my books. Had darshan of Palani Murugan with the Winge Train as the rope train was under service (Murugan alone knows since when and when it would be fully functional).

Palani to Coimbatore via Dharapuram. The best route to take, Fantastic roads till Sulur. Traffic-laden aftter that till Coimbatore.

Attended wifey cousin's wedding for 4 days in Coimbatore.

Coimbatore to Coonor via Mettupalayam have good to very good roads but single laned with lots of shops on both sides of the road. Stayed in a company guest house in Coonor.

Coonor to Ooty was again a breeze full of winding roads but SX4 just handled it very well. I always had a doubt about its cornering handling. This trip has put to rest whatever doubts I had. Just need to have a good feel of the Car before hitting winding roads.

Ooty to Bangalore. Had to wait at the Forest Post for 4 hrs. But, the wait was worth it. Awesome route.

Bangalore to Tirpati-Tirumala Darshan. Excellent route albeit with lots of traffic. Had the gracious darshan of Shree Venkatachalapati and his elder brother below.

Tirupati to Kolkata via Naiudapeta. GQ Excellent Roads.

Wonderful Trip I must say without any major hiccups.
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