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Old 18th September 2011, 19:13   #46
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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@ hvkumar and @ampere - How is the road condition between madurai and rameshwaram? Is it doable in 4 hours with sane driving?
Sorry was on the road today. Hence did not see this.
More importantly you also need to check how is the condition at Paramagudi due to the recent developments.
I still keep hearing news reports. Hopefully it would have all quieted till then.

Other than that 4 hours is decent time to budget with about 45-50Km per average (180Km total distance).
The only decent option for any food break would be at Ramnad.
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Old 18th September 2011, 19:39   #47
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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Sorry was on the road today. Hence did not see this.
More importantly you also need to check how is the condition at Paramagudi due to the recent developments.
I still keep hearing news reports. Hopefully it would have all quieted till then.

Other than that 4 hours is decent time to budget with about 45-50Km per average (180Km total distance).
The only decent option for any food break would be at Ramnad.
Where were you returning from? Outside Bangalore :-)

I am sorry i am not aware of anything in Paramagudi. Since i do not understand the local languages, i dont see the local channels. Is there any tension around that area?

I hope Madurai and KK would be safe.

Another question, someone mentioned that i can make Madurai as base and go to Rameshwaram and come back in the same day. Is that doable?
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Old 18th September 2011, 21:17   #48
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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Where were you returning from? Outside Bangalore :-)

I am sorry i am not aware of anything in Paramagudi. Since i do not understand the local languages, i dont see the local channels. Is there any tension around that area?

I hope Madurai and KK would be safe.

Another question, someone mentioned that i can make Madurai as base and go to Rameshwaram and come back in the same day. Is that doable?
To Mysore and back!
Madurai/Paramagudi had some issues. You can google for the news.

Check this:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2503521

You cannot do Rameshwaram the same day and come back.
That would be too hectic.
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Old 1st February 2013, 09:43   #49
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

I was the one who started this thread in 2009, but couldn't do this vacation then. I am planning it in the next few weeks.

This is the plan - fly from Mumbai to Trivandrum early on a Sunday Morning and return Thursday Afternoon.

These are the things I want to do
1) Visit Kanyakumari - what's the best way to do this?
I see a tour conducted by KTDC from Trivandrum
http://ktdc.com/tours.php
They say
Quote:
2. Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) Departure: 07.30 am
Arrival: 9:00 hrs
Fare: Rs. 700/- per person
Tour starts and finish at the Tourist Reception Centre, Trivandrum except otherwise stated.
It's not clear what is the arrival time of 9:00 am does it mean arrival at Kanyakumari at 9:00 am or does it mean we will arrive back in Trivandrum next morning at 9:00 am.

Anyway - does anyone has info on this tour conducted by KTDC - is it good option. If not what's a better way?

2) How far is Cochin from Trivandrum - is it possible to do a day trip to Cochin? What's the best way to do this?

3) Want to do sightseeing in Trivandrum - Padmanabham temple any thing else in Trivandrum? Should I do one of the KTDC tours or do people have other suggestions?

4) Kovallam beaches

5) My wife saw a TV program about Kumarakom - it had a boat kind of thing - you go in the boat and while the boat is roaming around, you have a kitchen in the boat which will cook you seafood etc. My wife wants to do this. I think Kumarakom is far from Trivandrum and it's not worth going there just for this - but is there places in or around Trivandrum where I can do something similar.

How should I plan my trip? Any suggestions?

Next is about hotels - My budget is 1000-2000? Ginger Hotels costs around 2000Rs - that would be my choice unless some one has better suggestions. Are there better hotels I can get between 1000-2000Rs. In hotels, my only criteria is cleanliness. I had stayed at Ginger in Orissa and liked it & hence.

Last edited by carboy : 1st February 2013 at 09:46.
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Old 1st February 2013, 11:48   #50
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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How should I plan my trip? Any suggestions?
Spend your Sunday morning at Trivandrum, including visits to Padmanabha Swamy Temple and Kovalam. Kovalam has a couple of beaches around and afternoon is fine if you just want to enjoy the beach. At times, there could be speed boating on the sea. Take Kanyakumari trip next morning. Early mornings are better else you will have to face peak traffic. Padmanabhapuram Palace, en route, is not to be missed. You really travel back in time, if history interests you. If travelling alone, I would say, go with a conducted tour. Otherwise, according to budget, take a taxi. An A/C vehicle would be better as the place will be hot and humid. I've heard that Suchindram (I have not been there), en route, is a famous temple. At Kanyakumari, visit Vivekananda Rock, by boat. I have felt that, sunrise is better than sunset at Kanyakumari. So you might want to stay back the night at Kanyakumari or return back to Trivandrum. There is not much beach activity to be done at Kanyakumari.

Cochin from Trivandrum would be 200kms, well connected by road, rail and air, in the opposite direction to Kanyakumari. Allepey/Alappuzha is in between Trivandrum and Cochin and a better option than Kumarakom, IMO. You get the boat thing - 'house-boats' aplenty there (more than at Kumarakom) and don't forget to taste the Pearl-Spot specialty ('karimeen pollichathu' in Malayalam), if you take fish. Take a house-boat at Alappuzha on Tuesday and stay overnight in it. Wednesday morning, you can start to Cochin and do a Cochin Sightseeing Tour or start to Munnar if hills interest you. You can get your flight back from Cochin, the nearest airport to Munnar.

I have sketched this in a hurry and if you have clarifications or anyone have better options/corrections, please add to this.

EDIT: Hotels at TVM - My close friend had recommended me S.P.Grand Days and Aroma International some time back, both very much inside the city.

Last edited by thoma : 1st February 2013 at 11:57.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 08:32   #51
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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Spend your Sunday morning at Trivandrum, including visits to Padmanabha Swamy Temple and Kovalam.
How do I get around in Trivandrum for these places. Are autos convinient?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Take Kanyakumari trip next morning. Early mornings are better else you will have to face peak traffic. Padmanabhapuram Palace, en route, is not to be missed. You really travel back in time, if history interests you. If travelling alone, I would say, go with a conducted tour.
What are my choices for a conducted tour? Is the KTDC one I reference in my previous post a good one? When do these tours return - is it the same night? What's the travelling distance and time between Trivandrum and KK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
At Kanyakumari, visit Vivekananda Rock, by boat.
How long does it take from KK to Vivekananda Rock?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post

Cochin from Trivandrum would be 200kms, well connected by road, rail and air, in the opposite direction to Kanyakumari.
I think then I would not be going to Cochin. I don't want to travel 200kms each way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post

Allepey/Alappuzha is in between Trivandrum and Cochin and a better option than Kumarakom, IMO.
Even Allepey seems to be 150 kms - so I assume more than 3 hours. Is there anything else within shorter distances - say 2 hours or so - or lesser.


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Originally Posted by thoma View Post
EDIT: Hotels at TVM - My close friend had recommended me S.P.Grand Days and Aroma International some time back, both very much inside the city.
Do you know approximate rates?
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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:15   #52
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
How do I get around in Trivandrum for these places. Are autos convinient?

What are my choices for a conducted tour? Is the KTDC one I reference in my previous post a good one? When do these tours return - is it the same night? What's the travelling distance and time between Trivandrum and KK?

How long does it take from KK to Vivekananda Rock?

I think then I would not be going to Cochin. I don't want to travel 200kms each way.
If you want to do a one day sight seeing, I would suggest to better hire a taxi car or stick with a conducted tour. Auto drivers typically tend to fleece tourists and the rates may finally come up to the taxi rate. But, if you are staying inside the city, you can well get an auto to Padmanabha Swamy temple and back. The temple is bang in the middle of the city. Ask your hotel's front office about the rates or even to help arrange an auto. Knowing the auto rates beforehand and making the auto driver agree with it is a must. Volvo A/C buses run by the govt. are a good alternative for the budget conscious traveler, especially to Kovalam, some 12-15 kms from the city. But without knowing the local language, it might be difficult inquiring their timings.

Sorry, I do not personally know about the KTDC conducted tour. But KTDC is the face of the govt. when it comes to tourism. A govt. agency and I think they are serious about their job since tourism is a good source of income for the govt. I've been to their hotels a couple of times. Bottom line - it cannot be a bad experience.

TVM-KK should be around 100 kms. Please check up google maps too. Conducted tours are usually a return-back-the-same day. And 700/- definitely seem not to include any stay. But since you are cutting out Cochin, I suggest you spend a night at KK. Enjoy Padmanabhapuram Palace, Udayagiri fort, Suchindram Temple, Vattakottai fort and beach en-route and reach KK for the sunset. Next morning, enjoy the sunrise and visit the places nearby, including Vivekananda rock, 5 minutes from KK by boat.

After doing KK that morning, I would really suggest you to do an overnight in a houseboat at Alappuzha. There are direct trains from KK to Alappuzha, which would be lot cheaper than a taxi.

Poovar and Ashtamudi are backwater locations before Alappuzha from Trivandrum, Poovar much nearer to TVM. But I do not think you can get a house-boat there.

When I was searching T-Bhp, I just came across this conversation a few pages before, on the same topic, between yourself and hvkumar, which you could refer to. This (Vacation in a Vacation : Discovering Kerala - A Photologue) could be another interesting read. Hotel rates are available at http://hotel.makemytrip.com/makemytrip/site/hotels
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Old 2nd February 2013, 12:16   #53
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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5) My wife saw a TV program about Kumarakom - it had a boat kind of thing - you go in the boat and while the boat is roaming around, you have a kitchen in the boat which will cook you seafood etc. My wife wants to do this. I think Kumarakom is far from Trivandrum and it's not worth going there just for this - but is there places in or around Trivandrum where I can do something similar.
These are house boats that go around the backwaters. You can do this boat ride (overnight) between Alleppey and Kumarakom, one sample here.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by NPV : 2nd February 2013 at 12:18.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 17:40   #54
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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These are house boats that go around the backwaters. You can do this boat ride (overnight) between Alleppey and Kumarakom, one sample here.
Hope this helps.
Not looking for a full night boat ride. Just an hour in a boat restaurant kind of thing. Is something not available in and around Trivandrum. I am more interested in day trips based from Trivandrum rather than spending nights elsewhere.
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Old 9th February 2013, 16:58   #55
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What about Kollam - how far is it from Trivandrum? Is it a good place to visit for day from Trivandrum?
Here are some boat tours in Kollam - http://www.dtpckollam.com/intinerary.html#boat
But the info is not clear.


Also after getting down at Trivandrum airport - which is the best area to go to looking for hotels?

Last edited by carboy : 9th February 2013 at 17:19.
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Old 11th February 2013, 16:02   #56
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Default Re: Travelling to Kanyakumari

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What about Kollam - how far is it from Trivandrum? Is it a good place to visit for day from Trivandrum?
Here are some boat tours in Kollam - http://www.dtpckollam.com/intinerary.html#boat
But the info is not clear.


Also after getting down at Trivandrum airport - which is the best area to go to looking for hotels?
Kollam is 70 kms from Trivandrum on NH47, can take anywhere from 1-1.5 hours depending on time of day.

Nothing in Kollam except the Ashtamudi backwaters where you can take a boat cruise.

Lots of budget hotels around TVM railway station.
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Old 14th February 2013, 21:09   #57
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So my trip is over - thanks to everyone who answered my questions

Day 1 - From the airport went to KTDC's Chaitram hotel at Thampanoor. The hotel looks great from outside. But the rooms weren't clean. There were bad smells at a lot of places at the corridor also. Luckily hadn't booked a room, so ran from there.
Took an auto to Kovalam beach. Looked through 5-6 hotels there & finally booked a hotel practically on the beach.
Had lunch at the beach and then took an auto to visit Padmanabha Swamy Palace Museum, Padmanabha Swamy temple and Attukal temple.

Day 2 - Spent it mostly on the beach lazing, shopping and eating on the beach. Did a speed boat ride which was miserable - it felt like sitting in a washing machine. Too uncomfortable to enjoy.

Day 3 - Took the KTDC Trip day tour from Thampanoor to Kanyakumari. Also visited Padmanabhapuram Palace and Suchindram temple on the way. This started at around 7:30 am at Thampanoor and ended around 8:15 pm at Thampanoor. Very hectic and tiring but good.

Day 4 - Took an auto to Poovar and did 2 hour backwater boat trip for a very reasonable price of Rs. 1000 (for 2 people for 2 hours). This was from a place called Lara Backwater - anyone going here can PM me for their number. I highly recommend them - service was wonderful. And they much much cheaper than the other backwater trips in the area. Came back to Kovallam and spent the rest of the day lazing around the beach.

Day 5 - took a few walks in the beach in the morning and then flew back to Bombay.

The hotel - Marine Palace at Kovallam beach - the season was winding down - so got the room at Rs. 1800.
Cleanliness - 8/10 - the reason we chose the place and stuck around.
Service - 6/10 (Room Service was good, but other stuff was downright lazy - had to at least remind them 3 times about any other thing)
Facilities - 5/10 Not very good - AC remote was changed 3 times but had to practically be within 1 inch for the AC for the remote to work. Powercuts were frequent (the last night it was once every hour for 15 minutes) - this wasn't the hotel's fault, but their generator conked off both on day 2 and day 4, so this made it worse. Hot water was solar - so not available early in the morning. Even at other times, I think their capacity was not enough for their needs. Atleast one day, the water wasn't even lukewarm even after the sun was up.


Best part of the trip - the backwater boat trip in Poovar.

Best food in the trip - a chicken curry + parotha for Rs. 60 at a roadside joint in Kanyakumari.

Worst part of the trip - the auto drivers in Kovallam Beach. Really left a bad taste about the whole trip. I have lived in or visited Bombay, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Orissa, Jaipur, Alibagh, Lonavala, Goa, Delhi, Kulu, Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Agra, Mussorie and probably some more places. Auto Drivers at most tourist spots try to overcharge tourists and rip them off. But nowhere is it comparable to the auto drivers at Kovallam Beach. Not only do they rip you off more than any other place, but they are so well organised that it's difficult to escape their clutches.
And the amount they charge are outrageous even when compared to only other tourist spots.

Last edited by carboy : 14th February 2013 at 21:25.
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