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Old 3rd January 2011, 17:18   #1
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Smile Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 2010

Hi

Here is an update on my just finished drive from Bangalore to Madurai, Thekkady, Rameswaram, Tirunelveli, and back to Bangalore.
Total distance of round- trip: 1780 km

24-Dec-2010
Bangalore to Madurai
NH7, via Krishnagiri, Salem, Karur, Dindigul
Road Condition: Near Excellent (Toll road), can easily do 120+ km/ hr, and an average of 90 km/hr over entire stretch till Madurai. Some unfinished 1/2 km of NH7 at Madurai itself.

25-Dec-2010
Madurai to Thekkady
NH49, via Theni, Kumily
Road Condition: Good upto Theni, frustrating after that with broken road at many villages along the way. Bad potholes on ghat section of Lower Camp to Kumily. Can do around 50 km/ hr on average in most compact cars.

27-Dec-2010
Thekkady to Madurai
NH49, via Theni, Kumily
Road Condition: Same as that just described.

28-Dec-2010
Madurai to Rameswaram
NH49, via Ramanathapuram
Road Condition: Great! Single lane road without divider though! Smooth ride. Watch out for straying goats, cattle, peahens, and of course, humans. Can do 100 km/hr at many places, and an average of 75 to 80 km / hr

30-Dec-2010
Rameswaram to Tirunelveli
NH49 upto Ramanathapuram, and ECR (East Coast Road) upto Tuticorin, NH7A from Tuticorin to Tirunelveli
Road Conditions:
NH49 upto Ramanathapuram: Great, watch out for the intrusions just described above. Can do average of 80 km /hr
ECR (East Coast Road) upto Tuticorin: Superb!, can do average of 90 km /hr.
NH7A from Tuticorin to Tirunelveli: Average drive, lot of 4- laning work along the way. Can do average of 60 km/hr with care. Hell of traffic on Tuticorin bypass, especially around branch- off point to Tirunelveli.

1- Jan- 2011
Tirunelveli to Madurai
NH7 via Virudhnagar
Road Condition: Near excellent, some diversion for 3 to 4 km, but on good road.

2- Jan- 2011
Madurai to Bangalore
NH7 via Dindigul, Karur, Salem, Krishnagiri
Road Condition: Near excellent, except for the unfinished NH7 stretch at Madurai itself (1/2 km)

A few local drives:

Ramanathapuram- Devipattinam (Navapashanam temple, where Rama set 9 stones dedicated to the Navagrahas)
12 km
Superb smooth road (almost fit to be a runway, as it is a perfect straight road for nearly 8 km)

Ramanathapuram- Tirupallani temple (Adi Jagannathar)
10 km
Good smooth road

Tirupallani- Sethu Karai (Sea shore temple from where Hanuman surveyed Lanka)
5 km
Good smooth road

Madurai- Alagar Koil
20 km
Fairly good road, except for a handful of broken spots

Alagar Koil - Pazhamudir Solai (Murugan- Valli Temple)
4 km
Good road, ghat through forest

Madurai- Srivilliputhur
Fairly good road

Srivilliputhur- Sivakasi (Tiruthangal temple where Lord Krishna had halted, hence the name Tiruthangal, to celebrate the marriage of His grandson)
Fairly good road

Tirunelveli- Navatirupathi (9 Vishnu temples, all Divya Deshams of Sri Vaishnavas)
Fairly good roads, not on same route- need to go in different directions

Bye
DrVjy

Last edited by GTO : 4th January 2011 at 14:41. Reason: Removing excessive smileys
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Old 4th January 2011, 14:42   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

Excessive smilies removed, and thread restored. Thanks for sharing, DrVjy
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Old 4th January 2011, 17:22   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

Great update, DrVjy, lot of info gained!

Is the Ramanathapuram bypass - connecting NH49 before town (when coming from Rameswaram) to ECR - complete? Or did you have to go into town to get onto ECR to go south to Tuticorin?

Are they 4-laning the entire Tuticorin-Tirunelveli road? That will be great, will avoid the ECR south of Tuticorin which is never in good shape!

Nice discoveries - the temples at Devapattinam (is the temple on the sea shore, on the ECR towards Tondi or on Karaikudi/Trichy road?), Tirupallani & Sethu Karai!

To go to Sethu Karai, I presume you turn off NH49 a little after the new ECR bypass?

Any routing details for the Navatirupathi drive you did?
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Old 5th January 2011, 07:44   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

Good information. Infact I am driving on 6th from Kottayam to Bangalore through the Kumily, Theni Dindugal, Salem route.
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Old 5th January 2011, 13:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Great update, DrVjy, lot of info gained!

Is the Ramanathapuram bypass - connecting NH49 before town (when coming from Rameswaram) to ECR - complete? Or did you have to go into town to get onto ECR to go south to Tuticorin?

Are they 4-laning the entire Tuticorin-Tirunelveli road? That will be great, will avoid the ECR south of Tuticorin which is never in good shape!

Nice discoveries - the temples at Devapattinam (is the temple on the sea shore, on the ECR towards Tondi or on Karaikudi/Trichy road?), Tirupallani & Sethu Karai!

To go to Sethu Karai, I presume you turn off NH49 a little after the new ECR bypass?

Any routing details for the Navatirupathi drive you did?
Thanks hvkumar.

1. Ramanathapuram bypass was still not ready on 30-Dec-2010. But no issue- if driving from Rameswaram, just continue along NH49 into Ramanathapuram for some 2- 3 km, and you will get a good Indianoil petrol bunk on the left (This bunk is excellent for topping up if going anywhere for 250- 300 km). Some 100- 200 metres further on after the bunk, to the left, is a good tar road. Take this road, and you will soon cut across the level crossing for Ramanathapuram. Go on and you will meet the Ramanathapuram bypass in just 4 to 5 km. This is the same road that takes you to Tirupullani temple and Sethu Karai, but you have to branch off to the right if going to Tuticorin instead of the temples. This branch point is well indicated before it comes up. Then on it is a nice ECR all the way upto Tuticorin.

2. Sethu Karai temple is reached by taking the left fork at a Y- intersection just before Tirupullani temple. Its is about 4 km from that Y- junction. There is an indication at that point. Road is smooth and good, but watch out at a couple of villages- sudden unpainted road humps can give you a nasty surprise. Sethu Karai is definitely worth a visit- the Hanuman temple is right on the sea shore and hardly any traffic.

3. Navapashanam is actually sort of a small elevated enclosure jutting platform within the sea itself. Will try to post an image of it soon. The platform entrance point is rather badly maintained (dirty and stinks from umpteen pilgrim offerings of all sorts), but further inside, the sea breeze blows away that stink. You may need to cross- check for directions with a couple of people once you enter Devipattinam itself. There are no clear signboards, but anybody around should be able to guide you- Navapashanam is just 1 to 1 & 1/2 km from Devipattinam entry point.

4. Navatirupathi alone was done by a local cab, unlike Navapashanam, Sethu Karai and Tirupullani that I did by my own car. I did not take my own car for that local drive as I needed to get to cover all 9 temples within 3 hrs before the temples closed for the daily rituals- something only local cab drivers can achieve with their knowledge of the local routes. I will try and post an approximate map soon for this circuit.

Bye
DrVjy
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Old 11th January 2011, 13:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrVjy View Post
Thanks hvkumar.

1. Ramanathapuram bypass was still not ready on 30-Dec-2010. But no issue- if driving from Rameswaram, just continue along NH49 into Ramanathapuram for some 2- 3 km, and you will get a good Indianoil petrol bunk on the left (This bunk is excellent for topping up if going anywhere for 250- 300 km). Some 100- 200 metres further on after the bunk, to the left, is a good tar road. Take this road, and you will soon cut across the level crossing for Ramanathapuram. Go on and you will meet the Ramanathapuram bypass in just 4 to 5 km. This is the same road that takes you to Tirupullani temple and Sethu Karai, but you have to branch off to the right if going to Tuticorin instead of the temples. This branch point is well indicated before it comes up. Then on it is a nice ECR all the way upto Tuticorin.

2. Sethu Karai temple is reached by taking the left fork at a Y- intersection just before Tirupullani temple. Its is about 4 km from that Y- junction. There is an indication at that point. Road is smooth and good, but watch out at a couple of villages- sudden unpainted road humps can give you a nasty surprise. Sethu Karai is definitely worth a visit- the Hanuman temple is right on the sea shore and hardly any traffic.

3. Navapashanam is actually sort of a small elevated enclosure jutting platform within the sea itself. Will try to post an image of it soon. The platform entrance point is rather badly maintained (dirty and stinks from umpteen pilgrim offerings of all sorts), but further inside, the sea breeze blows away that stink. You may need to cross- check for directions with a couple of people once you enter Devipattinam itself. There are no clear signboards, but anybody around should be able to guide you- Navapashanam is just 1 to 1 & 1/2 km from Devipattinam entry point.

4. Navatirupathi alone was done by a local cab, unlike Navapashanam, Sethu Karai and Tirupullani that I did by my own car. I did not take my own car for that local drive as I needed to get to cover all 9 temples within 3 hrs before the temples closed for the daily rituals- something only local cab drivers can achieve with their knowledge of the local routes. I will try and post an approximate map soon for this circuit.

Bye
DrVjy
Here are a couple of photos of Navapashanam at Devipattinam. All the water inside the platform is sea water itself.

Bye
DrVjy
Attached Images
  
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Old 18th February 2011, 10:31   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

hvk, Navapashanam 'temple' is in Devipattinam town itself, singages are pretty confusing. Nevertheless locals are very helpful finding the way.
~~~~
Did you go via Srivi to reach Tiruthangal ? Tiruthangal is actually on Virudhunagar-Sivakasi road which you can take from NH7 Virudhunagar bypass.
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Old 19th February 2011, 23:18   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Are they 4-laning the entire Tuticorin-Tirunelveli road? That will be great, will avoid the ECR south of Tuticorin which is never in good shape!
This is part of port connectivity and not near completion. 2 lanes are dug until now, beside the existing 2 lane road, also it is quite dangerous as the shoulders are truncated. This is an update 2 months back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Any routing details for the Navatirupathi drive you did?
I have attached a rough sketch of Navathirupathi temples.

Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 2010-nava-thirupathi-map_fs.jpg

Exact Translation of names of the places from Tamil to English.
ஸ்ரீ வைகுண்டம் - Sri Vaikundam
ஸ்ரீ வரகுணமங்கை - Sri Varakunamangai
திரு புளியங்குடி - Thiru Puliyangudi
இரட்டை திருபதி- Rettai Thirupathi
பெருங்குளம் - Perungulam
தென் திருப்பேரை - Then Thiruperai
திருகோவூர் - Thirukovur
ஆழ்வார் திருநகரி - Alwar Thirunagari


Hope this would help to get a rough idea about the locations of Navathirupathi temples.
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Old 20th February 2011, 19:39   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

ramanan.skr, thanks, that was a very useful map.
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Old 20th February 2011, 20:14   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore- Madurai- Thekkady- Rameswaram- Tirunelveli- Madurai- Bangalore: Dec 20

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
ramanan.skr, thanks, that was a very useful map.
My pleasure, HVK sir. I attached this as I could not find one in English. If you are curious to know other places in the map, please let me know.
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