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Old 15th February 2014, 20:17   #196
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
From Sethiarthoppe, you should have come down to Ulundurpet via Virudhachalam. That would have lead you to 4-lane much earlier.
Yes but we had some small work in Vadalur and Neyveli plus wanted to check the route out as it has been a while since we traveled on the Panruti road.
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Old 25th March 2014, 14:56   #197
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Hi,

I am travelling April 1st week to my native village which is between Mannargudi and thriruthuraipoondi. I stopped taking the Vikravandi - Neyveli route long back. Hence was wondering if there are any recent updates on this route. I normally take pondy - chidambaram - mayavaram - thiruvarur route, last being in December the stretch between mayavaram and sirkali was very bad and traffic was also bad. but other than this i cover in 7 hours the entire distance. whats the status on jayamkondan - kumbakonam route through t.pallur, neerathanallur? if this is good i will take ulundurpet - vridachalam - kmu- mannargudi.
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Old 25th March 2014, 21:45   #198
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
if this is good i will take ulundurpet - vridachalam - kmu- mannargudi.
This is the only possible option Venki. Don't know if there is anything else. Or take the extra 90km and drive via Trichy/Tanjore/Mannargudi.
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Old 25th March 2014, 22:38   #199
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
This is the only possible option Venki. Don't know if there is anything else. Or take the extra 90km and drive via Trichy/Tanjore/Mannargudi.
Venki,

Ulundurpet-Vridhachalam is patchy and from Vridhachalam to Jayankondam is more patchy 2L road. As you approach Jayankondam, road condition badly deteriorates and the state is same till you reach Madhanathur Bridge. Beyond that, the road conditions are good till KMU. This is as of Dec'2013.
There are literally huge pot holes and you really have to drive from one end of the road to other end to partially avoid them. Roads in Ariyalur district badly needs a huge upgrade & maintenance.

I am not sure due to elections, if they have patched or laid new roads, but i seriously doubt that would've happened.

In a moderate to slow driving speed in these roads, i usually cover vridhachalam to Kumbakonam in about 1 hour (best case) to 1 hour 30 minutes. You can decide, if you can take this route with above information, based on your car and people traveling with you.

If you don't mind that extra 90 kms and need good roads throughout, as ampere suggested, take Trichy/Tanjore/Mannargudi route.

-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 25th March 2014 at 22:41.
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Old 26th March 2014, 14:13   #200
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Venki,

Ulundurpet-Vridhachalam is patchy and from Vridhachalam to Jayankondam is more patchy 2L road. As you approach Jayankondam, road condition badly deteriorates and the state is same till you reach Madhanathur Bridge. Beyond that, the road conditions are good till KMU. This is as of Dec'2013.
There are literally huge pot holes and you really have to drive from one end of the road to other end to partially avoid them. Roads in Ariyalur district badly needs a huge upgrade & maintenance.

-Ravi
Hi Ravi,

Thanks for the info. I took this Vridachalam - Jayamkondam - Tpallur route a year and half back, the roads after jayamkondam was bad. for some reason i have never tried the direct road to Sethiyathope from vridachalam or the jayamkondam meensurity road. I will try to probably explore one of these option this time around.
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Old 26th March 2014, 14:23   #201
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
Hi Ravi,

Thanks for the info. I took this Vridachalam - Jayamkondam - Tpallur route a year and half back, the roads after jayamkondam was bad. for some reason i have never tried the direct road to Sethiyathope from vridachalam or the jayamkondam meensurity road. I will try to probably explore one of these option this time around.
I think all the detours will translate to about 50-60km delta between the altered route as compared to the Trichy/Tanjore road. Just take the 4 lane hassle free approach I would say. You may probably end up taking the same time!
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:25   #202
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Gangaikondacholapuram

An exceptional history teacher developed in me a fascination for history. Early childhood was spent listening to stories from Hindu mythology from my grandmother. Result a keen interest in historically and architecturally significant temples. The wife, to my luck, is equally fond of temples and I am permitted to travel around the world chasing my dreams.

Over the years, we traveled extensively in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, West Bengal and Maharashtra. In late 2008, my parents and I drove for four days from Chennai to Rameshwaram though Chidambaram, Trichy, Tanjavur, Kumbhakonam.

However, in that trip due to my limited knowledge, I missed out on Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram. Later when I read about these temples, I was very disappointed since I was at one point less than 30 kms from these temples and I did not visit them. Since then I have been planning a trip to these places but due to some reason or other it never materialized. Being based out of Mumbai, travelling to GKC was proving difficult.

Proposed Trip
Time flowed, things changed, and we now have an opportunity to travel from Chennai to GKC and beyond. The time available is either 3D/2N or 2D/1N. Like all of us, at the first opportunity to travel, I grabbed my laptop and started reading posts from others who have traveled here before me. (I read posts all the time but now I had a bonafide excuse)

From the wealth of knowledge around, I gathered that the best route would be to travel from Chennai to Kumbhakonam through Tambaram Chengalpattu - Tindivanam Ulundurpet, pass through town, turn left and take SH to Virudachalam and on to Sethiathoppu and GKC.

My itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 March 29, 2014(Saturday): Start at 06:00 am from Chennai, break at Ulundurpet, reach GKC before 12 Noon. I believe the temple is closed from 12 Noon to 4PM. After GKC, drive to Kumbakonam. Visit Darasuram in the evening. Night halt at Kumbakonam.
Day 2 March 30, 2014(Sunday): After early breakfast, drive down to Velankanni. From here visit Tranquebar with lunch at Neemrana. Post lunch, visit Chidambaram and back to Chennai.
We are three adults (all drive) and little Neo, my one year old son in a sedan.

I have the following questions.
1. Is the proposed itinerary too ambitious in terms of travel time/ distance/ weather considerations for my son?
2. Are there any other significant places that I am missing out on? I considered Picchavaram and Kodiakarai (Calimere) sanctuary but believe the weather is not suitable for the little one.
3. Any suggestions on a good place to stay? Hotel Raya / Le Garden have all been recommended. Do they still hold true?

Apologies for the length of the post, my only excuse is that my travelogue when I return would be longer.
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:31   #203
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Smile Advice on Gangaikondacholapuram

An exceptional history teacher developed in me a fascination for history. Early childhood was spent listening to stories from Hindu mythology from my grandmother. Result a keen interest in historically and architecturally significant temples. The wife, my luck, is similarly fond of history and so I am permitted to travel around the world chasing my dreams. Over the years, we travelled extensively in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

In late 2008, my parents and I drove for four days in Tamilnadu on a temple darshan spree. We drove from Chennai to Rameshwaram though Chidambaram, Trichy, Tanjavur, Kumbhakonam. However, on that trip due to my limited knowledge, I missed out on Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram. Later when I read about these temples, I was very disappointed as I was at one point less than 30 kms from these temples and I did not visit them. Since then I have been planning a trip to these places but due to some reason or other it never materialized. As we are based out of Mumbai, travelling to GKC was proving difficult.

Proposed Trip
Time flowed, things changed, and we now have an opportunity to travel from Chennai to GKC The time available is 2D/1N, which may be extended by 1D/1N. Like all of us, at the first opportunity to travel, I grabbed my laptop and started reading posts from others who have travelled here before me. (I read posts all the time but now I had a bonafide excuse)
From the wealth of knowledge around, I gathered that the best route would be to travel from Chennai to Kumbhakonam through Tambaram Chengalpattu - Tindivanam Ulundurpet, pass through town, turn left and take SH to Virudachalam and on to Sethiathoppu on to GKC.

My itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 (March 29, Saturday): Start at 06:00 am from Chennai, break at Ulundurpet, reach GKC before 12 Noon. I believe the temple is closed from 12 Noon to 4PM. After GKC, drive to Kumbakonam. Visit Darasuram in the evening. Night halt at Kumbakonam.
Day 2 (March 30,Sunday): After early breakfast, drive down to Velankanni. From here visit Tranquebar with lunch at Neemrana. Post lunch, visit Chidambaram and back to Chennai.
We are three adults (all drive) and little Neo, my one year old son in a sedan.

I have the following questions.
1. Is the proposed itinerary too ambitious in terms of travel time/ distance/ weather considerations for my son?
2. Are there any other significant places that I am missing out on? I considered Picchavaram and Kodiakarai (Calimere) sanctuary but believe the weather is not suitable for the little one.
3. Any suggestions on a good place to stay? Hotel Raya / Le Garden have all been recommended. Do they still hold true?
Apologies for the length of the post, my only excuse is that my travelogue when I return would be longer
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Old 27th March 2014, 13:07   #204
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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I have the following questions.
1. Is the proposed itinerary too ambitious in terms of travel time/ distance/ weather considerations for my son?
Possible but can be a touch and go.

- You start at 6. You reach Ulundurpet by ~9 (200km).
- Break for half an hour.
- Its another 70 km via Virudhachalam/Jaymkondam (or via Sethiyarthoppu)
- Take 1-1.5 hours thanks to bad roads and single lane roads.

You can make by 11/11:30. If you can start by 4/5AM much better. You have a good margin.


Second day is definitely hectic. Its not the distances in Kumbakona region but the winding traffic prone roads which weather you off.

Quote:
2. Are there any other significant places that I am missing out on? I considered Picchavaram and Kodiakarai (Calimere) sanctuary but believe the weather is not suitable for the little one.
There are temples and more temples! Take your pick.
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Old 27th March 2014, 14:14   #205
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Possible but can be a touch and go.

- You start at 6. You reach Ulundurpet by ~9 (200km).
- Break for half an hour.
- Its another 70 km via Virudhachalam/Jaymkondam (or via Sethiyarthoppu)
- Take 1-1.5 hours thanks to bad roads and single lane roads.

You can make by 11/11:30. If you can start by 4/5AM much better. You have a good margin.


Second day is definitely hectic. Its not the distances in Kumbakona region but the winding traffic prone roads which weather you off.


There are temples and more temples! Take your pick.
Ampere had covered the most. Though your plan is doable, but its really very hot weather now in March itself that could make you tired & slow down. May be difficult for 1 year old kid. Take lots of fluids and have umpteen tender coconuts wherever u see

GKC is amazing temple to see. If you have already seen Tanjore Brahadeeswara temple, this is exactly like that in a mini version. There are thousands of temples in this area, so in your 2 day plan i don't think you can add more in this season. Reserve it for your next trip in better weather conditions (Probably between October to February) and by then your son will also grow up !

PM me, if you need help/guidance on temples based on your interest and i can try my best to help.

At kumbakonam, Hotel Rayas & Le Garden are always good. There is one more good hotel called PL.A.Residency just opposite to Railway station. You can try there too because they have very good parking space and its not located in much congested road like Le Garden or Rayas.

-Ravi
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Old 27th March 2014, 16:19   #206
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Gangaikondacholapuram

From the wealth of knowledge around, I gathered that the best route would be to travel from Chennai to Kumbhakonam through Tambaram Chengalpattu - Tindivanam Ulundurpet, pass through town, turn left and take SH to Virudachalam and on to Sethiathoppu and GKC.
The below route through Panruti - Neyveli - Sethiathoppu is shorter and quicker.
We traveled this route exactly a month ago and the road condition is fine and trouble free.
http://goo.gl/maps/Vq0Uq

The exit (from NH45 into NH45C towards Panruti) comes instantly after you cross the GMR toll gate... well before Villupuram.

Us.Dash, Im awaiting your travelogue
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Old 27th March 2014, 16:25   #207
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Originally Posted by us.dash View Post
I have the following questions.
1. Is the proposed itinerary too ambitious in terms of travel time/ distance/ weather considerations for my son?
2. Are there any other significant places that I am missing out on? I considered Picchavaram and Kodiakarai (Calimere) sanctuary but believe the weather is not suitable for the little one.
3. Any suggestions on a good place to stay? Hotel Raya / Le Garden have all been recommended. Do they still hold true?
Apologies for the length of the post, my only excuse is that my travelogue when I return would be longer
The best route would be Via NH45 till Ulundurpet, Mangalampettai,Vriddhachalam and jayankondam. From here there are 2 options: one via T Polur and the other via Anaikarai.

After reaching kumbakonam, you can cover other famous temples like the Navagraha temples, Uppliappan, Nachiar, Sarangapani, Alangudi, Patteswaram, Papanasam..... From kumbakonam, tirunallar is about 50 kms.

Last edited by suresh_gs : 27th March 2014 at 16:28.
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Old 27th March 2014, 21:43   #208
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The below route through Panruti - Neyveli - Sethiathoppu is shorter and quicker.

We traveled this route exactly a month ago and the road condition is fine and trouble free.

[url]http://goo.gl/maps/Vq0Uq[/Us.Dash, Im awaiting your travelogue

Are you sure the road from Vikravandi is fine. This road has been in very bad condition for a very long time full of potholes and uneven surfaces till sethiathope junction. Could you ease eloborate on " fine".
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Old 27th March 2014, 21:51   #209
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
The below route through Panruti - Neyveli - Sethiathoppu is shorter and quicker.
We traveled this route exactly a month ago and the road condition is fine and trouble free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
Are you sure the road from Vikravandi is fine. This road has been in very bad condition for a very long time full of potholes and uneven surfaces till sethiathope junction. Could you ease eloborate on " fine".
+1. Thats what I thought too. @DDrive Are you referring to Vikravandi-Panruti road?
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Old 28th March 2014, 12:34   #210
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Are you sure the road from Vikravandi is fine. This road has been in very bad condition for a very long time full of potholes and uneven surfaces till sethiathope junction. Could you ease eloborate on " fine".
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+1. Thats what I thought too. @DDrive Are you referring to Vikravandi-Panruti road?
Yes, Im talking about the Vikravandi-Panruti route. We did it on a hired Qualis, on our way to Kumbakonam on 23.2.2014. I found no trouble going through... I was there in the front next to the driver. The car was going at steady speeds of 70-90.

The driver as well as some colleagues who used to be regulars on this route, who traveled along with me commented that this road used to be bumpy and pot-holed, but now it is better that we are going this fast. Whereas, I honestly do not know how it used to be earlier.

For your information, We started from Guduvanchery at 6 am and reached Kumbakonam at 10.30 am taking this route, including 30 minutes for breakfast stop.
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