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Old 13th August 2013, 11:00   #61
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

Hi All,
I just returned on short but memorable trip to Kanyakumari and Rameswaram, in my T Fort.
Day 1 – Bangalore to Kanyakumari
Distance – 675 Kms (approx.)
Started at 5 am, from Basavanagudi, after taking the blessings of the almighty and childhood friend, Dodda Ganesha.
Took the elevated highway to Attibele, all the while fearing jams between Hosur and K’giri, the first jam was at the Hosur Check post, looks like the it is perennial problem, which may not be resolved at all, after this jam, surprisingly lost 10 minutes and did not encounter any till Kanyakumari!!!!. Passed by CCD, Mac, sorry did not notice if they were open, reached Salem by 7.45 am, despite all the advices from fellow bhpians, I landed at a restaurant Apoorva; it is on the main bifurcating circle of Salem, food was average but had no other choice, prices are higher than in Bangalore, so hit the highway at 8.30 am, passed by many towns and cities, was worried on the bypass of Madurai, surprisingly it was easy, crossed Madurai and Tirunelveli, we decided not to stop for lunch as it was an odd time, so finally reached Kanyakumari at 1.30 pm, which was amazing by my standards, my parents who had accompanied, heaved a sigh of relief, had done 675 kms in about 7.5 hours, an average of 90 km/h.
Checked in at Gopinivas Grand, there is no parking in this hotel and had to use a shared parking at different hotel, which was fine, but unfortunately, there is no orderly parking.
Had quick lunch at one of the Punjabi Dhabas nearby, food was good and headed to Vivekananda rock, not much of rush, but unfortunately 90% of them did not know what was there and who Vivekananda was, this gyan, I got by overhearing some of the conversations, which is not surprising with the political climate, where there is single family dominance. The authorities have tried and still trying to maintain it beautifully, but some of them who deliberately want dirty it by spitting and throwing things. The boat ride involves us to wear life vests, not sure if any of them have been cleaned since they were bought and highly unhygienic.
Once back from the boat ride, headed to the temple, to our luck, the temple was absolutely empty, took the blessings and headed back to the hotel, as it was cloudy, there was not clear sunset visible, so had an early dinner and retired.
Day 2
Day 1 – Kanyakumari to Rameswaram
Distance – 350Kms (approx.)
We woke up at 4.30 am as we were told the sunrise is at 5.30 am, rushed after bath, only to find that veil of clouds were hampering the vision, immediately realized to visit the temple again, here again it was empty, but got filled up in huge numbers on our way out as most of them rushed to the temple after the disappointment. Checked out of the hotel and had breakfast at Kanyakumari and headed to Rameswaram.
There are windmills of all sizes, here some working and other not, each one had a company’s name, not sure if they install and sell power to the Government or use it themselves.
Finally on the highway towards Tirunelveli and onto Rameswaram at 7.30 am, though my wife was guiding me correctly, used my poor sense of judgment and took a turn which mentioned Tuticorin, as had read of the confusion of NH 7A, this was a big mistake, but did not cost any, it took me on the SH 75 all through, the road surprisingly was 99% good, so finally reached legendary Pamban bridge, it is straight Rs.100, once you cross it Rs.50, fleeced, but no choice, reached the Hotel at 11.30 am, which is on the way in, checked in and the Front Desk informed that the temple is closed for the day as it was a day of rituals the main deity was away and would return late in the evening, so decided to anyway go near the temple, so we headed to the temple and parked in the Public Parking and headed near the temple, were informed that it would be open at 6pm, so as per plan we hired a Jeep to go to Dhanushkodi, which was disaster to the body but a spectacle to the mind and eyes, it was 3 hour round trip, reached back and had lunch, decided to head to the hotel and then return in the evening than loiter in the hot sun. Started from the hotel at 6pm, hired an auto as taking the T Fort would be stupidity, reached the temple and it was open, spent an hour inside had darshan and retired post dinner.
Day 3 – Rameswaram to Bangalore
Distance – 600 Kms (approx.)
Started at 6.30 am, had breakfast at Ramnathapuram and headed towards Madurai, it is 2 lane with no divider, tough drive with towns an buses, passed by Paramakudi, hometown of my favorite movie actor, reached the Airport crossing at Madurai outskirts and took the road to Airport, but instead of proceeding further, took a right, which took me into the city or not sure if that is the road, but it was bad, roads and traffic, somehow after a 45 minute tackling of Madurai traffic, hit the AH 43. It was almost nonstop to Bangalore a distance of 400+ kms in four and half hours, reached Bangalore ( Silk Board) at 3 pm, to reach home I took 30 minutes to cover 10 kms, anyways it ended well.

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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 26th August 2013 at 08:15.
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Old 25th August 2013, 18:36   #62
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Really not sure now, but when I traveled in 2011, it was ~300. Road conditions - only bad stretches are Hosur bypass road and the widening work on Hosur-Krishnagiri stretch, beyond that you get superb roads all the way up to Kanyakumari.
Hello NPV, I read your complete 5 day journey details. Very informative and greatly compiled along with expenditure. Thanks a lot!

I am planning to do the same circuit this September, maybe a 6-day trip. Tentative plans for our stay will be: 1 day in Madurai, 2 days in Kanyakumari and 2 days in Rameshwaram. 6th day, we will return back to Bangalore.
  • Need to know any places of interest at these three places that you had missed during your journey and would be worth-visiting for us?
  • I can neither understand/talk, Tamil/Malayalam language, so are there language problems in these areas?
  • Also any other pointers/precautions will definitely help. Please advise.
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Old 25th August 2013, 18:51   #63
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Satshan View Post
I am planning to do the same circuit this September, maybe a 6-day trip. Tentative plans for our stay will be: 1 day in Madurai, 2 days in Kanyakumari and 2 days in Rameshwaram. 6th day, we will return back to Bangalore.

I think you should be good with 1 night in KK and 1 in Rameshwaram. May be 2 in Rameshwaram. But surely you can do with 1 night at KK.
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Old 26th August 2013, 06:46   #64
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

You could do Suchindram and Padmnabhapuram Palace close to Kanyakumari, please check with locals for the right time to pass thro' Nagercoil, as it is notorious for huge traffic jams. Rameshwaram, you could visit Tiruchendur on the way, Dhanushkodi can also be seen, which is worth seeing how a an entire city was washed way and you could see ruins
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Old 29th August 2013, 09:16   #65
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satshan View Post
I am planning to do the same circuit this September, maybe a 6-day trip. Tentative plans for our stay will be: 1 day in Madurai, 2 days in Kanyakumari and 2 days in Rameshwaram. 6th day, we will return back to Bangalore...
Places of interest/things to do:
Madurai - we only visited the Meenakshi temple, but there are several temples all around so a lot to explore

Kanyakumari - visit Vivekanada Rock, the temple, a walk on the rocky pier and visit the sangam/sunset point. Also try to visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace about 20-30km drive from Kanyakumari

Rameshwaram - visit the main temple, Dhanushkodi, the Kodandarama temple on the way to Dhanushkodi

Not knowing the local language may not be much of a problem in these places since a lot of tourists from other parts of India visit and I found many locals could converse in Hindi, not so common in Tamil Nadu
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Old 2nd September 2013, 19:41   #66
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Rajesh1968 View Post
You could do Suchindram and Padmnabhapuram Palace close to Kanyakumari, please check with locals for the right time to pass thro' Nagercoil, as it is notorious for huge traffic jams. Rameshwaram, you could visit Tiruchendur on the way, Dhanushkodi can also be seen, which is worth seeing how a an entire city was washed way and you could see ruins
Thank you Rajesh. I read your trip log, points mentioned will surely help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Places of interest/things to do:
Madurai - we only visited the Meenakshi temple, but there are several temples all around so a lot to explore

Kanyakumari - visit Vivekanada Rock, the temple, a walk on the rocky pier and visit the sangam/sunset point. Also try to visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace about 20-30km drive from Kanyakumari

Rameshwaram - visit the main temple, Dhanushkodi, the Kodandarama temple on the way to Dhanushkodi

Not knowing the local language may not be much of a problem in these places since a lot of tourists from other parts of India visit and I found many locals could converse in Hindi, not so common in Tamil Nadu
@NPV: Thank you for your inputs. Also I am more skeptical about the road traffic, since its Ganesh festival season next week.

We are planning to leave this Friday i.e. 6th Sept 2013. Our previous schedule had the visit to Padmanabhapuram palace on Monday. However, Monday is holiday and the palace is closed, I believe. Hence we have tweaked our plans by doing Rameshwaram first and then Kanyakumari.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 13:04   #67
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Places of interest/things to do:
Madurai - we only visited the Meenakshi temple, but there are several temples all around so a lot to explore

Kanyakumari - visit Vivekanada Rock, the temple, a walk on the rocky pier and visit the sangam/sunset point. Also try to visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace about 20-30km drive from Kanyakumari

Rameshwaram - visit the main temple, Dhanushkodi, the Kodandarama temple on the way to Dhanushkodi
Here is our plan for a 6-day trip (on paper only). I have Googled a lot of places around Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram worth-visiting. Not sure if we will be able to cover all these places.

Sorry, we are starting on 7th Sept and not 6th as mentioned earlier. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Attached Thumbnails
Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days-20130903_113408.jpg  

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Old 3rd September 2013, 13:24   #68
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

Thirumala Naicker Palace has a sound and light show starting from 6 PM so plan it accordingly. Though the Palace is not maintained the kids may like the show. It remains closed from 5 PM to 6 PM. If you are interested to only see the palace than make it before 5 PM.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:33   #69
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Satshan View Post
Here is our plan for a 6-day trip (on paper only). I have Googled a lot of places around Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram worth-visiting. Not sure if we will be able to cover all these places.
Seems like you did find a lot of interesting places to visit, do post your review/feedback when you're back from the trip.
For Kanyakumari, your list is missing sunset (at the sunset point), I don't think you will want to miss this - check out this post/pic (Our Incredible India drive - Saagar se Shikhar tak !) by @roamingrao

Last edited by NPV : 3rd September 2013 at 20:35. Reason: spell check
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Old 4th September 2013, 00:54   #70
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by vinukm View Post
Thirumala Naicker Palace has a sound and light show starting from 6 PM so plan it accordingly. Though the Palace is not maintained the kids may like the show. It remains closed from 5 PM to 6 PM. If you are interested to only see the palace than make it before 5 PM.
Thanks a lot Vinukm. Though there are no kids in our trip, we will try to checkout the sound and light show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Seems like you did find a lot of interesting places to visit, do post your review/feedback when you're back from the trip.
For Kanyakumari, your list is missing sunset (at the sunset point), I don't think you will want to miss this - check out this post/pic (Our Incredible India drive - Saagar se Shikhar tak !) by @roamingrao
@NPV: Yes, I was finding lot of details of sight-seeing for a week's time. (As and when time permitted apart from work.) Since we are spending one whole day each in Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram, I am hoping we will cover these locations.

My list did miss the sunset point, but I definitely don't want to miss it.

I have read that the sunset at Muttom beach is also very fascinating. Will catch these sightings at both locations on two evenings. (10th & 11th)
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Old 4th September 2013, 09:59   #71
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Satshan View Post
Here is our plan for a 6-day trip (on paper only). I have Googled a lot of places around Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram worth-visiting. Not sure if we will be able to cover all these places.

Sorry, we are starting on 7th Sept and not 6th as mentioned earlier. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
For all those who are going to Kanyakumari, I suggest best staying option in Kanyakumari is Vivekananda Ashram. They have AC cottages which actually in between serene atmosphere, very different than hotel. You will wake up in the morning with lots of peacocks around your cottage. They have their own private beach on east side, which they open everyday morning during sunrise. I stayed there twice and would stay again on my next visit.
Only thing is no other option of food available other than "meal" & "dose".
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Old 4th September 2013, 23:01   #72
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Rajesh1968 View Post
my parents who had accompanied, heaved a sigh of relief, had done 675 kms in about 7.5 hours, an average of 90 km/h.

It was almost nonstop to Bangalore a distance of 400+ kms in four and half hours, reached Bangalore ( Silk Board) at 3 pm,
Sure, they heaved a sigh of relief! In fact, all of Team-BHP heaves a sigh of relief that you have safely completed this trip!

Comon Rajesh, as a fellow T-bhpian I would plead with you not to drive sooo FAST. By saying this I am in no way, doubting your driving skills. It is only that, every one else in your car should also enjoy the trip and to have a SAFE trip.

BTW, soon I would be needing your advise on a drive which covers Palani, Madurai and Tirupati.

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For all those who are going to Kanyakumari, I suggest best staying option in Kanyakumari is Vivekananda Ashram.*
Only thing is no other option of food available other than "meal" & "dose".
Thanks for the info anujmishra. Any contact numbers or any web site to book the same? Since I am happy with meals and Dosa!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Places of interest/things to do:
Madurai - we only visited the Meenakshi temple, but there are several temples all around so a lot to explore

Kanyakumari - visit Vivekanada Rock, the temple, a walk on the rocky pier and visit the sangam/sunset point. Also try to visit Suchindram temple and Padmanabhapuram palace about 20-30km drive from Kanyakumari

Rameshwaram - visit the main temple, Dhanushkodi, the Kodandarama temple on the way to Dhanushkodi

Not knowing the local language may not be much of a problem in these places since a lot of tourists from other parts of India visit and I found many locals could converse in Hindi, not so common in Tamil Nadu
NPV, thank you for your wonderful travelogue. Thank you for such huge information and also the nice photos. I have a daughter almost of the same age as yours. She is now pestering me for the trip. You know why? Just for the play ground in that Hotel.

- Sai

Last edited by Vihari : 4th September 2013 at 23:06.
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Old 5th September 2013, 00:40   #73
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
For all those who are going to Kanyakumari, I suggest best staying option in Kanyakumari is Vivekananda Ashram. They have AC cottages which actually in between serene atmosphere, very different than hotel. You will wake up in the morning with lots of peacocks around your cottage. They have their own private beach on east side, which they open everyday morning during sunrise. I stayed there twice and would stay again on my next visit.
Only thing is no other option of food available other than "meal" & "dose".
Thank you so much Anuj for the information on Vivekananda Ashram.

I will definitely book a room here, the next time I have to visit. Since its only 2 days left now for my trip, can't wait to get behind the wheel.
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Old 5th September 2013, 08:21   #74
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

I did realise my mistake, it is good that it went off well, but the repercussions are far too many. Point noted, will respect the sentiments of all well wishes in Team-BHP and also to my loved ones
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Old 5th September 2013, 10:49   #75
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Thanks for the info anujmishra. Any contact numbers or any web site to book the same? Since I am happy with meals and Dosa!
Booking process is little tedious and old fashioned. You need to send mail to rooms at vkendra.org to check the availability. Even, sometimes you may have to give call to their booking manager. Once they confirm then it needs to transfer some advance amount (eg 1000 Rs.) to their SBI account. In a day or two they confirm once they receive money.

Cottages are priced around I think ~2200 Rs. Each cottages has 2 bedrooms, one living room with Sofa, TV, Fridge, dining table etc. Bathrooms are fitted with geysers and bath tub. Both bedrooms are AC. You will get veranda as well in all cottages to sit and relax. Anybody can stay, there is not any spiritual obligation.

More information at http://www.vivekanandakendra.org/accommodations

Last edited by anujmishra : 5th September 2013 at 10:52.
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