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Old 24th February 2011, 09:44   #1
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Default Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Hi,
Have driven the Bangalore-Chennai-Bangalore route before. Now I intend to drive from Chennai to Rameshwaram temple then proceed to Bangalore, aim to complete the trip in 2/3 days.

Am intending to do this trip starting on the 11/12th of march.

-is it possible to get there taking the senic way; travelling along the coastline , go by PY?

- Any watchouts to keep in mind? (bad road stretches (car has low GC), widening delays, lonely/windy roads, safety/security issues, etc.)

-the recomended timeframe I am looking at for each leg.

- Short stops/off route interesting sightseeing opportunities along the way

- recommended eating places along the way,

-Good place to stay while @ Rameshwaram with good car parking

Will really appreciate insight from members who frequent these routes.

Looking forward to your responses.

Cheers.
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Old 24th February 2011, 14:02   #2
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

I am looking to do this trip as well. Looking forward to the suggestions from those who have taken that route.

My plan was to take the normal route till madurai and then take the NH 49. I am not entirely sure about the scenic route after chidambaram.
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Old 24th February 2011, 15:08   #3
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
is it possible to get there taking the senic way; travelling along the coastline , go by PY?
Yes you can, I did the stretch from Nagapattinam to Rameswaram in October. Its a great unspoilt 2-laner with minimal traffic. I did have a tough time finding the ECR from Nagapattinam though, lost about an hour there. But the near empty stretch compensated that. Its not coastline-ish past Karaikal, you'd be driving slightly inlands all through till Ramnad. If you have a GPS, i think HVK has the tracks for this stretch (he is the guru enlightening the junta on this part of ECR). There are minimal food, fuel facilities on the Nagapattinam-Ramnad stretch, make sure you are prepared for that. Other than that no safety issues, the road gets narrow and wider nearby small towns at couple of places.

Pondy-Cuddalore is traffic prone i've heard. If you want to avoid traffic on Madras-Pondy stretch of ECR, you could take the NH45 till Tindivanam and the newly 4-laned NH66 section to Pondy and continue on ECR thereon.

If you want to make use of 4-lanes as much as possible. Take the NH45 and NH45B to Madurai. Take the bypass and catch the NH49 thereon. First 20 kms from Madurai is traffic prone, rest all is piece of cake 2 laners. Paramakudi was irritating to cross, but hardly lasted 5 mins.

I think doing Bangalore-Madras-Rameswaram-Bangalore (320+630+630 kms) will be an overkill of driving even for 3 days. 4 days probably would be ideal.

Not sure what kinda places you are looking at ? There are tons of temples, Mahabs, Pichavaram, Paradise Beach (between Pondy-Cuddalore), Tranquebar are few i can think off.

If you are looking at temples in Kumbakonam, the Kumbakonam-Karaikkal road has been patched up and is in decent shape too.
~~~~
VW2010 you could do the ECR on return, its straightforward to spot and the turnoff bypasses Ramnad entirely.
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Old 24th February 2011, 17:31   #4
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

The standard route to Rameshwaram from Chennai is:

Chennai - Trichy NH45
Trichy-Puddukotai-Devipatnam-Ramnad (NH210)
Ramnad-Rameshwaram NH49

Some folks also like to take ECR via Tanjore.


This route then is : Tanjore-Pattukottai-Thondi-Ramnad-Rameshwaram.

But for this you need to hit Tanjore either from Trichy or through deviations from the main GST via Ariyalur. Or alternatively take ECR all the way, which I would not suggest, as its pretty crowded.


My take is take the regular route via Trichy, Pudukottai-Devipatnam.

Return is pretty standard. To Madurai via NH49 and NH7 all the way to Bangalore.

@Narayan, The route via Madurai would be a roundabout at least by 70-80 km (as per my opinion).
Plus we dont gain much as you will have NH49 cover which is not 4L.

Last edited by ampere : 24th February 2011 at 17:33.
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Old 24th February 2011, 19:41   #5
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
My take is take the regular route via Trichy, Pudukottai-Devipatnam.
Karaikudi to Devipatinam is in a bad state before monsoon. Not sure about the latest conditions.

ECR is faster & less crowded between Nagapatinam and Ramnad but expect more delays between Pondy & Nagapatinam as the road is not in good condition in most parts.

You can expect good roads all along Chennai - Trichy - Madurai - Ramnad - Rameswaram though you have to drive more.

Generally takes min 9 hrs of driving to reach Rameswaram to Chennai in all these routes if maintained an optimum speed.
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Old 24th February 2011, 19:58   #6
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

If 45B is the option, then a better option may to hit Manamadurai from Melur via Sivaganga. This way you would be able to bypass Madurai. Roads I gather are decent, but not too great. Some needs to confirm about this stretch. I am not aware of the latest condition.

If you want to use ECR, then best option would be "best of both worlds.. err. routes"!

Turn of from 45 at Perambalur and goto Tanjore via Ariayalur. Thats only main bad stretch. From Tanjore join ECR via Pattikotai.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu - Google Maps
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Old 24th February 2011, 20:06   #7
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If 45B is the option, then a better option may to hit Manamadurai from Melur via Sivaganga. This way you would be able to bypass Madurai. Roads I gather are decent, but not too great. Some needs to confirm about this stretch. I am not aware of the latest condition.
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Ideal one. Route is also not so bad.
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Old 24th February 2011, 20:20   #8
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
expect more delays between Pondy & Nagapatinam as the road is not in good condition in most parts.
Am getting contradictory opinions on this part of ECR, I remember someone mentioning the monsoons havent broken this stretch as much as the Panruti-Neyveli stretch.

Quote:
My take is take the regular route via Trichy, Pudukottai-Devipatnam
This route is a big no-no, the roads esp after Karaikudi are in terrible state as Ramanan says. Even though other sections have improved since my drive in Jan 2003. It took 6 hours then, so you get how bad it was.

Quote:
The route via Madurai would be a roundabout at least by 70-80 km (as per my opinion).
Over the regular route, yes somewhere around 50 kms, but then you get 450 kms of 4L and reasonably peaceful 2L (barring some ~ 20 kms of traffic filled roads out of Madurai). Wouldn't it amount to a similar distance if you do Madras-Trichy-Tanjore-Pattukottai-Tondi-Ramnad-Rameswaram ? Both Ariyalur and the regular Panruti road being in bad state.

Quote:
take ECR all the way, which I would not suggest, as its pretty crowded.
That is why NH45-NH66 to Pondy and ECR thereon, you cant avoid the Pondy-Cuddalore traffic though. Alternatively there is a route through Panruti, Bhuvanagiri to Chidambaram, dont know that route condition though.


Quote:
This way you would be able to bypass Madurai
You would bypass Madurai anyway, the turnoff to NH49 is on the NH45B-NH7(Tirumangalam) bypass. The bypass is the one between Meenakshi (?!) Hospital and the Mattuthavani bus stand. Dont remember the signage at the bypass though!
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Old 24th February 2011, 21:07   #9
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

1. Only issue with ECR all the way: Not many good places to break. If one is with familly it may be bit difficult. Road is very good. (I remember HVK commenting on it)

2. I mentioned Pudukottai route only from the point of view that, you may more towns and facilities on the route. Even Trichy/Madurai you wont get much when on by-pass.

And by Madurai by-pass I meant, you may not even need to go to Madurai.

GQ option is better than the ECR option for sure.
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Old 24th February 2011, 22:41   #10
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

I would go on a leisurely drive on the ECR to Rameswaram - allow for a full day, starting early morning - and if I want to slow doen further, I would cover many of the temples en route. However, bear in mind that by the time you reach Chidambaram itself, most of the temples would have closed for the afternoon siesta and reopen only after 3-4 pm, so you will be disappointed in the region with maximum density of temples (like Chidambaram, Vaideeswaran, Tirukadaiyur, Tirunallar, etc).

Since you are returning to Bangalore, you could take the NH49-NH7 route back, giving you a very fast drive back home.

Happily, the rains have not damaged the ECR much. As has been mentioned by ampere and narayans80, facilities are poor and local traffic high. Now all major towns have good bypasses except Pondy & Cuddalore. Nagapattinam also is easily bypassed now, although I am unsure of a crucial bridge in Sirkali bypass is complete.
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Old 24th February 2011, 22:42   #11
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Only issue with ECR all the way: Not many good places to break. If one is with familly it may be bit difficult.
Except @ Ramnad, Tuticorin & Tiruchendoor, none other places enroute has good eateries or good petrol pumps throughout the ECR beyond Nagapatinam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Even Trichy/Madurai you wont get much when on by-pass.
Thats true. But atleast this is just 120+ KM against 400+KM along ECR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Wouldn't it amount to a similar distance if you do Madras-Trichy-Tanjore-Pattukottai-Tondi-Ramnad-Rameswaram ?
One should ensure that Tanjore - Tondi is in good shape, otherwise going through Madurai is the best option.
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Old 25th February 2011, 16:59   #12
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Firstly, thanks for the insight into all the permutations of the routes from Chennai to Rameshwaram. Really opened my eyes.


After having spoken to Dad, have decided to shelve the 'scenic' way for now; concerns of belly scraping compounded with fearful trawling due to low GC on stretches of bad roads! I would do it in a heartbeat, if it were a suv (maybe the coming year). Thinking along the lines of Bangalore-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Chennai.

The current path from Chennai to Rameshwaram, would be NH 45 to Trichy, then NH45b to Madurai, followed by NH49 to Rameshwaram. Reason being, that I hope to be able to cover ground faster by not encountering bad stretches of road.

Am still open to other routes, with good roads that may be quicker. Would like to stop by Kumbakonam but concerned with regards to the state of the roads.

-As of now will only be stopping by at temples in Madurai, any other suggestions?

-Request some insight into the benchmark time frame to aim at for each leg;
Chennai to Trichy,
Trichy to Madurai,
Madurai to Rameshwaram.

-good place to stay while @ Rameshwaram?

Looking forward to valuable insight, once again!!
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Old 25th February 2011, 20:23   #13
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Surya View Post
-Request some insight into the benchmark time frame to aim at for each leg;
Chennai to Trichy,
Trichy to Madurai,
Madurai to Rameshwaram.
Chennai to Trichy - 5 hrs
Trichy to Madurai - 2 hrs
Madurai to Rameshwaram - 3 hrs

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Surya View Post
good place to stay while @ Rameshwaram?
Check at TTDC - Ph: 04573-221064
Facilities available:
Ample parking space/restaurant inside/huge campus/a foot step to Sea

But you need to reserve the rooms earlier itself.
If anyone known to you working/retired from TN Govt services, refer his name and designation at the time of booking as they give priority to TN State Govt officials. If possible, get a letter from them if the hotel guys asks for.
There are also other good hotels in Rameswaram like Vinayaga & Pushpak.
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Old 25th February 2011, 22:09   #14
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

For stay in Rameshwaram, i would recommend Hotel Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
Its is a good place to stay with ample parking space. But for food, you have to eat in some good restaurant in bazaar street.

We stayed there last Aug'10 and were happy with that place. Rameshwaram, being a coastal and fisherman town, with sand all over the place, this place is definitely a good one to stay.

-Ravi
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Old 1st March 2011, 12:19   #15
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Default re: Chennai - Rameshwaram - Bangalore : Route Queries

Quote:
Would like to stop by Kumbakonam but concerned with regards to the state of the roads
Kumbakonam-Karaikal is doable in 1-1.5 hrs, its in decent shape than what it used to be last couple of decades. Roads were being relaid at places when i did this in October. Only roads leading from Trichy-Kumbakonam (via Tanjore - i have personally done and via Kallanai) seem to receive good reviews. Not sure of other roads that lead into Kumbakonam.
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