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Old 22nd July 2014, 11:44   #106
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

Last year when I was in Madurai, I took a room in Hotel Rajdhani for an overnight stay. The hotel has good parking space, the rate was nominal and the room was clean too.

I think you should be more worried for your stay in Rameshwaram. It doesn't have many good places and to find a good one near the shore is very hard too. Please check the acco in Rameswaram thread.

I would suggest remove Pondy from your itinerary and add Kodai to it. Since you are going to visit Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram, you will be witnessing some finest, pristine and quaint beaches, and coming to Pondy after that will either disappoint or will be an overkill. Kodai, this time of the year, will be lovely and less crowded. So squeeze your plan to accomodate Kodai, you won't be disappointed. The pleasure of seeing the sea and the hills will be very pleasing to your senses.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 22nd July 2014 at 11:47.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 13:08   #107
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

The best place Rameshwaram is Hotel Daiwik. Very comfortable and good. But it may be a bit high on tariff
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Old 22nd July 2014, 13:31   #108
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Thanks. That's a good option. Problem is budget. We love neemrana hotels and use them as far as possible. Except here we don't want the other family to spend as much :(

Are there other as nice places in tranquebar? It looks like a day visit, worthy place, right?

Narayan - thanks. replies inline.

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
If you are leaving that early, you'll face some minimal traffic till you cross extended city limits of Paranur toll You should easily reach Trichy in 4 hrs flat at sane speeds, Madurai is another 90 mins from there. Even if you start a little late like 3-4am, it should be ok. You would still avoid the initial traffic, you might encounter a little on Trichy bypass and some entering Madurai. I don't really see a need to wake as early as 1230-1am for a Madras-Madurai drive.

Problem is that I would've landed after a ~4 hour flight. I just cannot go to sleep for 2-4 hours after that no matter what. Hence, I would rather start early and nap enroute than spend precious waking hours at home. Sounds silly but that's how my sleep cycle is.

I'd second ampere's suggestion of staying at Metropole in Madurai, that way you save the hassle of entering and exiting Madurai. Madurai traffic has a huge population of cycles, certainly not a pleasant experience to drive through after a highway drive. Unless you are used to it, not for the faint hearted

oh that's okay for me. I'm presuming its not much worse than the mayhem of delhi's chandni chowk Metropole doesn't work because of the hard budget constraint - MR International meets that best.

EDIT: I see you don't have much time for Kodai.

Yes I realize as much!
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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Last year when I was in Madurai, I took a room in Hotel Rajdhani for an overnight stay. The hotel has good parking space, the rate was nominal and the room was clean too.

I think you should be more worried for your stay in Rameshwaram. It doesn't have many good places and to find a good one near the shore is very hard too. Please check the acco in Rameswaram thread.

I would suggest remove Pondy from your itinerary and add Kodai to it. Since you are going to visit Dhanuskodi and Rameswaram, you will be witnessing some finest, pristine and quaint beaches, and coming to Pondy after that will either disappoint or will be an overkill. Kodai, this time of the year, will be lovely and less crowded. So squeeze your plan to accomodate Kodai, you won't be disappointed. The pleasure of seeing the sea and the hills will be very pleasing to your senses.
Thanks CH. http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_...amil_Nadu.html is the one, right? I didn't find a hotel "rajdhani".

Let me see the rameswaram thread.

Kodai would be nice for sure but the other family is interested in a beach vacation! (these delhiwalas I say! ). How would u recommend it? Can we finish rameswaram/dhanushkodi with enough time on 15th so that we can reach kodai on 15th night itself? (my original plan / hope).

EDIT: Thanks aargee
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Old 22nd July 2014, 14:11   #109
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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14th : Reach madurai by 9-10 am. Check into hotel , 2nd family arrival at 1.30pm
Is the 2nd family flying in to Madurai? Am thinking, either you can pick them up and drive to Rameswaram or Kanyakumari (since you are insisting on beach).

Spending the day from 9am on 15th to 9am on 16th in Madurai seeing only Meenakshi temple and intending to see beaches seems like a waste of time to me
---
Also there is a Hotel Sivabaghya near Madurai Arapalayam Bus Stand off Dindigul Road, which works out cheaper. Have stayed 2-3 times there, parents are regular patrons.

Last edited by narayans80 : 22nd July 2014 at 14:34.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 14:42   #110
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

http://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Revi...amil_Nadu.html

I looked at your itinerary again and it looks tight to accommodate Kodai, still if everyone is interested, which is important as you will be hardly staying there for a day, it can be done as the distance is around 300km and the roads are a blast to drive.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 15:28   #111
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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T
Thanks CH. http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_...amil_Nadu.html is the one, right? I didn't find a hotel "rajdhani".
Yes thats the one http://hotelrajadhane.com/hotelrajadhanecontactus.html
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Old 22nd July 2014, 22:30   #112
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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Thanks. That's a good option. Problem is budget. We love neemrana hotels and use them as far as possible. Except here we don't want the other family to spend as much :(
Sorry for late reply. For Hotels in Madurai, Metropole is good and have basement parking. Hotel North gate is also good and somewhat near to Meenakshi temple. I have only good experience on both the Hotel.

Strongly advice you to take a tuk tuk ride to Meenakshi temple, cos finding a parking spot is a task.

If you are someone who likes south Indian non-veg food, There are plenty of eating joints in Madurai, especially those "Mess". Amma Mess, Pandian Mess etc.. enter into anyone, you wont come out with regrets. Their idlies and dishes were awesome. but if you are someone who prefers posh restaurants, then better stay away.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 22:45   #113
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Thanks. That's a good option. Problem is budget. We love neemrana hotels and use them as far as possible. Except here we don't want the other family to spend as much :(

Are there other as nice places in tranquebar? It looks like a day visit, worthy place, right?

Narayan - thanks. replies inline.





Thanks CH. http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_...amil_Nadu.html is the one, right? I didn't find a hotel "rajdhani".

Let me see the rameswaram thread.

Kodai would be nice for sure but the other family is interested in a beach vacation! (these delhiwalas I say! ). How would u recommend it? Can we finish rameswaram/dhanushkodi with enough time on 15th so that we can reach kodai on 15th night itself? (my original plan / hope).

EDIT: Thanks aargee
When in Madurai,dont miss the original version of Jil Jil Jigarthanda
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Old 23rd July 2014, 12:49   #114
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Post re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

Here are some interesting coordinates I have saved in Madurai:

Eating:
9.91706, 78.09441, KFC
9.93122, 78.14372, Dominos Pizza
9.93280, 78.13451, Amma-Mess
9.93581, 78.14934, Chopstix

Malls:
9.92803, 78.14298, Milan-em mall
9.93799, 78.13625, Vishaal-mall

Hotel:
9.92041, 78.11216, Ratna-Residency (budget hotel with car park, also okay food)
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Old 23rd July 2014, 18:59   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Sorry for the mass quote - that's the easiest way to get people to respond, hence apologies in advance!! Now on to my query!

North gate whenever I visit Madurai. Decent sized car park and good enough rooms.
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Old 26th July 2014, 21:05   #116
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For anyone visiting Madurai, strongly suggest getting a hotel not close to the city centre or temple and rather book something like metropole or annamalai residency. The traffic is a mess at most times and I figured that Fasttrack cab service is really good and economical way to move around the city. I used them for my visit to meenakshi temple and tiruparangundram during my recent trip. North gate, where I stayed, is an average hotel which apparently was an hot choice earlier but not anymore. It's not a bad choice but I guess there must be better options.
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Old 27th July 2014, 10:34   #117
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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For anyone visiting Madurai, strongly suggest getting a hotel not close to the city centre or temple and rather book something like metropole or annamalai residency. The traffic is a mess at most times and I figured that Fasttrack cab service is really good and economical way to move around the city.
Madurai's traffic is a 'cultural shock' for those of us who are used to driving in Madras or Bangalore. I feel we are used to faster moving traffic in cities, the sheer number of bicycles and tricycles you encounter after a highway drive gets on your nerves.

Actually Metropole works if you are coming Trichy than from Dindigul direction. If from latter you should choose your hotels on the south-south western suburbs, anywhere near KaLaivasal would be ideal for visiting Meenakshi Temple and Tiruparankundram. Azhagarkovil alone would require travel to the opposite end of town though.

If you don't have old people or kids on tow, taking bus to Periyar Bus Stand and auto to Meenakshi Temple from there would workout the cheapest (infact temple is walkable from Periyar Bus Stand).
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Old 16th August 2014, 04:28   #118
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

Sorry for the mass quote folks. Question:
Now we're at rameswaram - whats the fastest route from here to Pondicherry? When should we leave for us to be in pondicherry by 4pm max (or 3pm)?
I want to visit thanjavur and gangai konda cholapuram. doable?

I was in Madurai yesterday. Took 7 easy hours from thiruvanmiyur door to door. I didn't find it too bad actually, very decent actually. We have far rowdier idiots up north

The road had a 3km under repair section at km 240 or so (just before a toll).

Stayed at Madurai Residency - 1000 rs discount made it 2100/night and was quite good place to stay - lots of parking etc. Its a good hotel.


I otherwise managed Madurai - Rameswaram in under 3 hours (excluding endless photos on the pamban bridge and coconut consumption. All of that is after a half an hour jam leaving Madurai.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Last year when I was in Madurai, I took a room in Hotel Rajdhani for an overnight stay. The hotel has good parking space, the rate was nominal and the room was clean too.

I think you should b senses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The best place Rameshwaram is Hotel Daiwik. Very comfortable and good. But it may be a bit high on tariff
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Is the 2nd family flying in to Madurai? Am thinking, either you can pick them up and drive to Rameswaram or Kanyakumari (since you are insisting on beach).

Spending the day fromatrons.
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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
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Originally Posted by DRIVE_ADDICT View Post
Sorry
restaurants, then better stay away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manim View Post
Here are some interesting coordinates I have saved in Madurai:
Hotel:
9.92041, 78.11216, Ratna-Residency (budget hotel with car park, also okay food)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkumar View Post
For anyo choice but I guess there must be better options.
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Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
North gate whenever I visit Madurai. Decent sized car park and good enough rooms.
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Old 16th August 2014, 05:15   #119
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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whats the fastest route from here to Pondicherry? When should we leave for us to be in pondicherry by 4pm max (or 3pm)? I want to visit thanjavur and gangai konda cholapuram. doable?
You are looking at 7-8 hr drive even if you drive directly.

For Thanjavur you can take Rameswaram-Ramanathapuram-Tondi-Mimisal-Nagapattinam-Thiruvarur-Thanjavur. ECR connecting Nagapattinam-Ramanathapuram has virtually minimal facilities so tank up and eat at Ramnad itself. There was hardly any traffic last time I did. Rameswaram-Nagapattinam took 5 hrs, so you should be starting at 4-5 AM so that you can complete Big Temple before it closes.

Thanjavur-Kumbakonam and continuing towards Sethiathope-Neyveli direction will get you to Gangaikondacholapuram.

From Gangaikondacholapuram there are 2 options:

- Follow Sethiathope-Neyveli-Panruti join NH45 at Vikravandi and take Tindivanam-Pondicherry NH66.
- Or join Vriddachalam-Kumbakonam road and join NH45 at Ulundurpet.

The former route is the prime bus route but was very bad until recently when it was resurfaced and has become better. The second route is the alternate route to get to Kumbakonam from Madras.

The faster way to get to Pondy skipping the others would be Rameswaram-Ramnad-Paramakudi-Ilayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-NH45-Tindivanam-Pondy. 3hrs to Melur, 4 hrs Melur to Tindivanam and about 30-40 min Tindivanam-Pondy.
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Old 16th August 2014, 10:17   #120
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Default re: Chennai - Madurai : Route Queries

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Sorry for the mass quote folks. Question:
Now we're at rameswaram - whats the fastest route from here to Pondicherry? When should we leave for us to be in pondicherry by 4pm max (or 3pm)?
I want to visit thanjavur and gangai konda cholapuram. doable?
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
For Thanjavur you can take Rameswaram-Ramanathapuram-Tondi-Mimisal-Nagapattinam-Thiruvarur-Thanjavur. ECR connecting Nagapattinam-Ramanathapuram has virtually minimal facilities so tank up and eat at Ramnad itself. There was hardly any traffic last time I did. Rameswaram-Nagapattinam took 5 hrs, so you should be starting at 4-5 AM so that you can complete Big Temple before it closes.

The best for end to end to Pondicherry would be:

Rameshwaram-Ramnad-Pudukottai-Trichy Byass - Ulundurpet - Villupuram - Pondicherry.

Thats about 50-60km more, but way less hassle as compared to driving through Tanjore/KMU.

If you start by 3/4 I doubt you can do the temples at Tanjore/GKC. Wont it be too late. And these temples are far too big to be seen through a fast visit. You will need to spend time here.
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