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Old 5th September 2013, 19:22   #76
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by Vihari View Post
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.
Happy to know the information in the travelogue was helpful. I'm sure you will enjoy a trip to Madurai, Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram and you daughter will like it too, have fun, do post if you need any information in planning your trip.
Are you referring to the children's play area at the Capsi restaurant ? That was enroute to Kanyakumari from Madurai.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 10:15   #77
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Happy to know the information in the travelogue was helpful.
Wonderful narration, extremely useful details. Thank you very much!

I am planning for a trip to Dhanushkodi, but not for temple visits
Just blown away by the photos and narrations from multiple posts, by you and Rudra!

This is a tentative plan - 2 families (4 adults, 4 kids, Innova)
Starting from Bangalore on Oct 13 5PM, reach Rameshwaram early morning. Max 2-3 days trip, need to be back in Bangalore by 16th.

I've seen the route from multiple posts, but if you think I need to be specifically careful of some road stretches, please share those.

Which is the best place to stay? Daivik or Queens? Need the place to be clean, with a decent restaurant. Daivik is good, but costlier.

Places to see -
Pamban, Dhanushkodi beaches. Till what point can I go in my car? Saw in Rudra's traveloge about 4x4 vans.

Heard about some bird sanctuaries, and also the Gulf of Mannar Marine park. Any one knows about these?

Last edited by samm : 2nd October 2013 at 10:16.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 11:18   #78
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by samm View Post
I've seen the route from multiple posts, but if you think I need to be specifically careful of some road stretches, please share those.
I hope you are aware how to Cross Madurai.
- Drive till Tirumangalam on the NH7 bypass
- Take the ring road which goes along the airport.
- Exit at NH49


Quote:
Which is the best place to stay? Daivik or Queens? Need the place to be clean, with a decent restaurant. Daivik is good, but costlier.
Hands down Daiwik. Because its a new place. Expect things to be in better condition

Quote:
Places to see -
Pamban, Dhanushkodi beaches. Till what point can I go in my car? Saw in Rudra's traveloge about 4x4 vans.
Take a 4x4 from the hotel all the way to Dhanushkodi. Its better that way.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 14:44   #79
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by samm View Post
Wonderful narration, extremely useful details. Thank you very much!
This is a tentative plan - 2 families (4 adults, 4 kids, Innova)
Starting from Bangalore on Oct 13 5PM, reach Rameshwaram early morning. Max 2-3 days trip, need to be back in Bangalore by 16th.

Which is the best place to stay? Daivik or Queens? Need the place to be clean, with a decent restaurant. Daivik is good, but costlier.

Places to see -
Pamban, Dhanushkodi beaches. Till what point can I go in my car? Saw in Rudra's traveloge about 4x4 vans.

Heard about some bird sanctuaries, and also the Gulf of Mannar Marine park. Any one knows about these?
Thanks, glad that the information was helpful in planning your trip.
Ampere has answered all your questions lets see if i can add any value here.

Other than the temple & other religious places and Pamban bridge and Dhanushkodi there's not much else so if you're skipping the temples, etc you can visit Dhanushkodi, Pamban Bridge. I also remember reading about a beach called Kushi beach near the bridge, I think you need to turn left before the Pamban bridge when going towards Rameshwaram, please try to search for more information on this.
Daivik is in a different class but Queen Palace is decent, if you're going to spend more time at the hotel i'd suggest Daivik.
You can hire a jeep on the main road (NH49), there are jeeps available near Queen Palace hotel and Daivik too is not too far from there on the same road. The hotel front desk should be able to arrange these as well. Do look at Lukeskywalker's Dhanushkodi travelogue I think he mentioned the contact information for a jeep.

On the route, the first junction you get to go into Madurai is at Samayanallur where you get the feeling that the highway is curving to left (2 lanes here) but don't take this and instead go straight towards the Tirumanagalam/Airport Ring Road and turn there.

Regarding other sanctuaries, etc I couldn't explore much on that trip, but do look up Mundanthurai near Tirunelveli, unexplored place and maybe not much facilities but you can give it a try if you have some forest department contacts.

Last edited by NPV : 2nd October 2013 at 15:13.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 16:52   #80
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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On the route, the first junction you get to go into Madurai is at Samayanallur where you get the feeling that the highway is curving to left (2 lanes here) but don't take this and instead go straight towards the Tirumanagalam/Airport Ring Road and turn there.

How much does one lose crossing Madurai ? If its any where close to an hour, then one can try Paramakudi-Illayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-Nattam-Dindigul.

Saves around 25-30km and more importantly can save that time spent going around Madurai (if it is high)
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Old 2nd October 2013, 23:50   #81
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
How much does one lose crossing Madurai ? If its any where close to an hour, then one can try Paramakudi-Illayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-Nattam-Dindigul.

Saves around 25-30km and more importantly can save that time spent going around Madurai (if it is high)
If one takes the Tirumangalam/Airport Ring Road it just goes around the periphery of the city so city traffic is almost completely avoided, I took about 30 minutes or so for this.
How are road conditions on the Paramakudi-Illayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-Nattam-Dindigul route ?
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Old 3rd October 2013, 00:07   #82
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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How are road conditions on the Paramakudi-Illayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-Nattam-Dindigul route ?
Its actually very good compared to NH49. But still I am not sure if its a good alternative esp with 4-lane kicking in at Madurai. Its potential advantage comes on if the time spent to go past Madurai is high. If not then it may not make sense.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 09:39   #83
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

Excellent write up NPV and thanks to everyone for sharing their views and suggestions. This thread is helping me plan for a 1 week South Indian drive with my friends in Jan. I want to visit the temples for their sheer beauty and architecture. KK for it's Sunset/rise views.

The tentative plan for now is to do Hyd -> Pondicherry(via Vijayawada) -> Thanjavur->Rameshwaram->Tiruchendur->KK -> Tiruvananthapuram -> Madurai -> Hyd (via B'lore) .

Need your inputs for the following.

1. Do you think it's doable in 7-8days?
2. Would you recommend night driving through above routes considering the time factor?
3. Is it better to get the bookings done for stay upfront or look for it when we reach the destinations?

Suggestions on any other places to visit will help.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 10:04   #84
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by 21Archer84 View Post
The tentative plan for now is to do Hyd -> Pondicherry(via Vijayawada) -> Thanjavur->Rameshwaram->Tiruchendur->KK -> Tiruvananthapuram -> Madurai -> Hyd (via B'lore) .
I would say too many things and too less a time.

Quote:
1. Do you think it's doable in 7-8days?
2 days minimum to drive from Hyderabad. 1 day for Pondicherry and and another 1.5 from Madurai to Hyd. That means 4.5 day left.


How long you want to spend in Pondicherry ? Say one day ? If yes you dont do much justice to the place. And then one day each at Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. Add another 5-6/8 hour drive from Pondicherry to Rameshwaram and Rameshwaram to KK. And beside that you also want to do Trivandrum? You wont be able to spend time at any of these places.

Last edited by ampere : 3rd October 2013 at 10:05.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 10:55   #85
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Hands down Daiwik. Because its a new place. Expect things to be in better condition
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Daivik is in a different class but Queen Palace is decent, if you're going to spend more time at the hotel i'd suggest Daivik.
Thanks guys! My family might want Daiwik, I might tend to Queens. I would prefer to be on the beach, rather than in hotel!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Take a 4x4 from the hotel all the way to Dhanushkodi. Its better that way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
You can hire a jeep on the main road (NH49), there are jeeps available near Queen Palace hotel and Daivik too is not too far from there on the same road. The hotel front desk should be able to arrange these as well. Do look at Lukeskywalker's Dhanushkodi travelogue I think he mentioned the contact information for a jeep.
Thanks for your inputs. Any reason that its better to go in jeep rather than in car till whatever point possible in car? Any safety issues or its due to the road/traffic condition?


Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
If one takes the Tirumangalam/Airport Ring Road it just goes around the periphery of the city so city traffic is almost completely avoided, I took about 30 minutes or so for this.
How are road conditions on the Paramakudi-Illayangudi-Sivagangai-Melur-Nattam-Dindigul route ?
I'm not too familiar on Madurai. Let me do some google map search on this before asking more questions. Since I will be driving in the night, I need to have a firm route planned upfront. Distance isn't a big issue, rather, road should be good.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 11:03   #86
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by samm View Post
Thanks for your inputs. Any reason that its better to go in jeep rather than in car till whatever point possible in car? Any safety issues or its due to the road/traffic condition?
Simply because, you dont know if you may get a jeep there at that point. So taking a jeep right from start is a much better option.


Quote:
I'm not too familiar on Madurai. Let me do some google map search on this before asking more questions. Since I will be driving in the night, I need to have a firm route planned upfront. Distance isn't a big issue, rather, road should be good.
You should stick to Madurai-bypass-Tirumangalam-Ring Road - NH49 exit.
Route Link
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Old 3rd October 2013, 19:25   #87
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by 21Archer84 View Post
The tentative plan for now is to do Hyd -> Pondicherry(via Vijayawada) -> Thanjavur->Rameshwaram->Tiruchendur->KK -> Tiruvananthapuram -> Madurai -> Hyd (via B'lore) .

Need your inputs for the following.

1. Do you think it's doable in 7-8days?
2. Would you recommend night driving through above routes considering the time factor?
3. Is it better to get the bookings done for stay upfront or look for it when we reach the destinations?
As ampere rightly said, it seems like too much to cover in 7-8 days (unless you plan to just drive by most of the places).
Night driving on NH7 stretches between Hyderabad-Bangalore-Kanyakumari should not be an issue but I don't know about the Hyderabad-Vijaywada-Pondicherry route.
As for hotel bookings, if your plan is finalised and you have more than 1 night of stay in each place, I would suggest booking in advance, especially if you're particular about a hotel/resort. If not just try walk-ins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samm View Post
Any reason that its better to go in jeep rather than in car till whatever point possible in car? Any safety issues or its due to the road/traffic condition?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Simply because, you dont know if you may get a jeep there at that point. So taking a jeep right from start is a much better option.
Sometimes, the parking space near the Dhanushkodi checkpost gets full and is a mess so you don't want to be struggling there to find a parking spot!
Plus you may not have much choice in terms of the vehicle you go out on, most are the larger ones that can take ~10 people so you lose out on privacy (if you wanted the entire vehicle for your family).

Last edited by NPV : 3rd October 2013 at 19:33. Reason: Tags/quotes
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Old 4th October 2013, 09:18   #88
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I would say too many things and too less a time.



2 days minimum to drive from Hyderabad. 1 day for Pondicherry and and another 1.5 from Madurai to Hyd. That means 4.5 day left.


How long you want to spend in Pondicherry ? Say one day ? If yes you dont do much justice to the place. And then one day each at Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. Add another 5-6/8 hour drive from Pondicherry to Rameshwaram and Rameshwaram to KK. And beside that you also want to do Trivandrum? You wont be able to spend time at any of these places.
Thanks ampere. We are not so particular about seeing everything around the above mentioned places apart from having darshan at the temples and enjoy their architecture. I actually wanted to enjoy the drive than seeing the places. You know right, we just need a reason to drive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
As ampere rightly said, it seems like too much to cover in 7-8 days (unless you plan to just drive by most of the places).
Night driving on NH7 stretches between Hyderabad-Bangalore-Kanyakumari should not be an issue but I don't know about the Hyderabad-Vijaywada-Pondicherry route.
As for hotel bookings, if your plan is finalised and you have more than 1 night of stay in each place, I would suggest booking in advance, especially if you're particular about a hotel/resort. If not just try walk-ins.
Thanks NPV. I'm looking for a reason to drive while my friends are particular about seeing places. I did Chennai-Hyd on my Apache last March, so I know that the roads are good, since Vijayawada-Chennai is part of GQ. Hyd-Vijayawada is a breeze, can be done in ~4.5hrs. Chennai-Pondi route am not sure, but think it's a 2 lane on the ECR. Inputs on this route would be appreciated. I don't want to travel through same places, hence chose this route. Initial plan was to do East and Wast Coast from Hyd-Pune covering all these places and few more on the West Coast. But that would need more time and planning than this. Saved that for some other time.

We won't be staying for more than a night at any of the places and not so particular about any hotel/resort as long as it's decent and worth the money.

It's my first long drive and my friends aren't so confident either with the way it's planned. All your inputs will help me plan better and in making it a reality.
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Old 4th October 2013, 09:30   #89
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Thanks ampere. We are not so particular about seeing everything around the above mentioned places apart from having darshan at the temples and enjoy their architecture. I actually wanted to enjoy the drive than seeing the places. You know right, we just need a reason to drive.
Agreed, but still you need some breather. More importantly, even if you can drive you need to be at these places when the temples are open. You need to look at that aspect.

Quote:
Thanks NPV. I'm looking for a reason to drive while my friends are particular about seeing places. I did Chennai-Hyd on my Apache last March, so I know that the roads are good, since Vijayawada-Chennai is part of GQ. Hyd-Vijayawada is a breeze, can be done in ~4.5hrs.
This is very good to note!

Quote:
Chennai-Pondi route am not sure, but think it's a 2 lane on the ECR. Inputs on this route would be appreciated. I don't want to travel through same places, hence chose this route. Initial plan was to do East and Wast Coast from Hyd-Pune covering all these places and few more on the West Coast. But that would need more time and planning than this. Saved that for some other time.
No ECR. Chennai bypass and continue of NH45 till Tindivanam (4-lane) and then take Nh66 to Pondicherry (again 4-lane). The total time should be a max 2 to 2.5 hours of drive time.
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Old 4th October 2013, 09:47   #90
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Default Re: Dizzy Drive :Bangalore-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Rameshwaram-Bangalore in 5 days

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Agreed, but still you need some breather. More importantly, even if you can drive you need to be at these places when the temples are open. You need to look at that aspect.


No ECR. Chennai bypass and continue of NH45 till Tindivanam (4-lane) and then take Nh66 to Pondicherry (again 4-lane). The total time should be a max 2 to 2.5 hours of drive time.
Didn't know of the NH45/66 option, definitely saves time.

We are planning to have a day or two in buffer, especially for situations where we may not get to enter the temples and to have enough rest. For some reason I'm too optimistic about this trip.
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