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Old 25th December 2012, 12:20   #1
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Default Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur

Places covered: Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi, Tiruchendur, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Suchindram, Trivandrum, Srivilliputhur
1900 Kms

Day 1:
Bangalore->Hosur->Krishnagiri->Dharmapuri->Salem->Namakkal->Karur->Dindigul->Madurai. Had a brief stop over at Namakkal to visit the anjaneyar and Narasimhar temples in Namakkal. Excellent road all the way to Madurai. Madurai - The special darshan for Rs 100 in Meenakshi amman temple is worth it, as one gets a special darshan at both Meenakshi amman and the Sundareswara (siva) temples with this ticket. One can also get a peaceful darshan with out someone putting pressure on you to move. Also visited Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Thiruparankundram, Azhagar Kovil and Pazhamudhircholai. Thiruparankundram (8 Kms from Madurai) and Pazhamudhircholai (25 kms from Madurai) are 2 of the Aarupadaiveedu (6 most sacred abodes of Murugan). More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Abodes_of_Murugan. Had food at Sabarees, New college house, Ashok Bhavan (this is on west veli street). All are good. Stayed at TTDC. Rooms are decent although they can improve on maintenance, parking available, location is very good, close to temple and other market area.

Day 2&3:
Madurai > Tiruppuvanam -> Manamadurai -> Paramakudi > Ramanathapuram -> Mandapam -> Rameswaram. Road is good, but cannot do high speeds due to the road being two way, need to get in to the towns, slow moving vehicles. Stopped briefly at pamban bridge before reaching Rameswaram. We were fortunate enough to see a train passing on the bridge. Amazing view of the sea from the bridge. Loved Dhanushkodi, its the hihlight of the trip. Happenned to get a view of the controversial Ramasethu from Danushkodi. Bathed in the sea (Agnitheertham) and did bath in the 22 Thirthams (these are wells within the temple campus. A person fetches water from the wells and puts on to your head). We hired a person separately to put water from the 22 thirthams, so we did not have to wait in the queue. water is warm and clean. The whole process of bathing in 22 thirthams is real fun. Another good place to visit is Ramar padam/Gandhamadhava hill. The view of Rameswaram and the surrounding sea from here is good. Evening would be a good time to visit this place. Darshan at Ramanathaswamy temple is easy, did not face much rush. Other places to visit are Rama thirtham, Seetha thirtham, Lakshmana thirtham, pancha-mukha hanuman temple (one can see the floating stones in a small tank), Abdul kalam house. We stayed in TTDC. The room is very good, we had a beautiful sea view. Food is very good (They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets at stipulated timings. Food is tasty and is priced well. Breakfast buffet is Rs. 77 and dinner buffet is Rs. 100). Another good palce to eat is Senthil Andavar. A small kiosk sells Badam milk right in front of this hotel, which is good.


Day 4&5:
Rameswaram -> Ramanathapuram -> Kizhakarai -> Ervadi -> Sikkal -> Sayalgudi -> Vembar -> Kulathur -> Tuticorin -> Shahupuram -> Tiruchendur -> Uvari -> Koodankulam -> Chettikulam -> Kanyakumari. Road from Rameswaram till Tiruchendur is very good, although 2 way with towns in between and slow moving vehicles. Road from Tiruchendur to Kanyaumari is bumpy - Some road works are going on on this road closer to Kanyakumari, road is chipped at some of the places throuh out from Tiruchendur to KK, it slows down the speed. No potholes though. From Rameswaram, after crossing Pamban bridge, there is a bypass towards Ramanathapuram. However this is closed due to some works. We had to get in to the town to hit the highway. We stopped at Tiruchendur for the darshan. This is another of the Aarupadaiveedu (6 most sacred abodes of Murugan). Temple is located right beside the sea. After reaching outskirts of Tuticorn, one has to be careful to take the tuticorn bypass and avoid getting in to the city. If Tiruchendur is not in the itenerary I would suggest people to take the route via Tirunelveli to reach KK. Kanyakumari -> Had a good and easy darshan at Kumari amman temple. Could not see the sunrise on both the days as it was cloudy. other places to visit are vivekananda rock memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue (only view. havent seen anyone going there), Gandhi mandapam, Vivekananda rock memorial is good to watch in the night with the lighting. Vattakotai fort (we went in the evening, it was very pleasant with the cool breeze, nice view of the beach, fort protuding in to the sea). Stayed in TTDC. The room is very good, had a panoramic view of the sea from the room, spent long mornings and evenings just watching the sea, fishing boats, birds. Food options in Kanyakumari are limited. We found the food at Vivekanada kendra decent compared to others. Food in KK is expensive when compared to Madurai or Rameswaram.

Day 6:
Kanyakumari -> Suchidram -> Nagercoil -> Thuckalay -> Marthandam -> Trivandrum. Road is good, 2 way, the traffic increased a lot after we got in to Kerala. Kerala is densely populated, one will find one town after another, roads a little narrow compared to that of Tamilnadu. We stopped at Suchindram and Nagercoil to have darshans at those temples. We stopped at Thuckalay to see Padmanabhapuram palace. Just before getting in to Thuckalay town, there is a deviation towards the right side that will lead to the palace (approx 4 kms from this point till palace). Although padmanabhapuram palace is in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu, it is under the administration of Kerala govt. We spent a good 1.5+ hrs here to watch the splendour. There are proper directions across the palace, so that one doesnt lose their way. Every room has a guide explaining the significance and the history of the room. A museum is newly opened in Mar/Apr 2012 which exhibits the articles used by the royals. Started from palace and reached Trivandrum by around 2PM. Stayed in Hotel Chaitram (KTDC hotel) which is right opposite Trivandrum railway station. Did darshan of Padmanabhaswamy temple. Guys including boys are supposed to wear dhotis. Ladies can wear sarees or long skirts. Even salwars are not allowed. Even ladies need to wear dhotis on top of their jeans or salwars. Everyone looked really funny managing their dhotis. Dhotis are rented out for Rs. 15. This is one of the most mis-managed temple. Even though the rush is not much, there is no proper queue management especially when one nears the main temple. Everyone was pushing the others and it was a total chaos. We also had fun at Kovalam beach.

Day 7:
Trivandrum > Peroorkada -> Nedumangadu-> Chullimanoor -> Palode -> Kulathupuzha -> Thenmala -> Shenkottai -> Tenkasi -> Kadayanallur -> Puliyangudi -> Sivagiri -> Rajapalyam-> Srivillaputtur-> Tirumangalam-> Madurai -> Dindigul -> Salem -> Dharmapuri -> Hosur -> Bangalore. We stopped at Srivilliputtur for darshan of Andal (Srivilliputtur is the birth place of Andal). Between Thenmala and Shenkottai, at Aryankavu - we crossed Kerala border and entered in to Tamilnadu. Trivandrum to Aryankavu is mostly Ghat, the route is very scenic. Roads are good, but very narrow with steep curves. One cannot do more than 40 kmph in this route. Road from Aryankavu to Srivilliputtur is excellent, some parts are newly laid out/widened, its a 2 way but the road is very wide. After darshan, started from Srivilliputtur, reached Tirumangalam and hit the NH7. One has to be cautious to take the bypass to NH7 even before getting in to Tirumangalam town. We missed taking it and got in to the town, waded through traffic before hitting NH7. Its a cakewalk all the way to Bangalore after hitting NH7, except for the traffic on Salem bypass. Traffic piled up on the bypass, it took us around 20 min to cross this. Had a good darshan at Srivilliputtur and also had tasty kova (Srivilliputtur is famous for milk Kova).



Tips:
1. Most of the temples close between 12 and 1PM, and open between 4 and 5PM. Special darshan at most of the Tamilnadu temples (more importantly at Madurai, Thiruparankundram, Tiruchendur) are worth it, as you will be allowed to go further in to the main temple, can have a peaceful darshan and at most of the places can get an archana done.
2. Temples in Rameswaram - Have the darshan in the evening, rush will be relatively less.
3. Visit to vivekananda rock memorial - one has to get in to the queue early to beat the rush. We did not see much rush again after 11AM.

Will post the photos shortly
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Old 25th December 2012, 12:30   #2
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Default re: Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur

Photos in Madurai, Rameswaram, Dhanushkodi:
Thirumalanayak Palace:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3012.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3016.jpg
Meenakshi Amman Temple:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3024.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3027.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3033.jpg
Pamban Bridge
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3049.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3058.jpg
Long corridor in Rameswaram:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3069.jpg
Dhanushkodi:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3074.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3097.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3099.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3119.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3123.jpg
Ramasethu:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3102.jpg
Kalam's House:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3129.jpg
Tiruchendur:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3143.jpg
Wind Mills on the way to KK:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3152.jpg

Last edited by daisyb : 25th December 2012 at 12:38. Reason: Adding photo info
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Old 25th December 2012, 12:46   #3
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Default re: Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur

Photos in Kanyakumari:
Vivekanadan Rock Memorial Night view:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3164.jpg
Vivekanada Rock memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3177.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3195.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3203.jpg
Vattakottai Fort and Beach:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3205.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3206.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3221.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3223.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3227.jpg
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3232.jpg
Lady of Ransom Church:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3236.jpg
Suset at KK:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3273.jpg
Sea view from our hotel room:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3281.jpg
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Old 25th December 2012, 12:54   #4
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Default re: Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur

Padmanabhapuram Palace:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3293.jpg
Mantrasala:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3303.jpg
Dining Room - can accommodate 2000 guests in both the floors
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3308.jpg
Pillar made of single Jackwood piece:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3316.jpg
King's bed made of 64 ayurvedic herbs:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3324.jpg
Photos from Newly opened musuem:
Massage parlour:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3334.jpg
Articles used during those times:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3336.jpg
Music room:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3337.jpg
Child birth room:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3338.jpg
Jula:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3339.jpg
Kitchen:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3340.jpg
Old clock:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3345.jpg
Palace view:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3348.jpg
Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum:
Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhur-img_3349.jpg
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Old 27th December 2012, 20:22   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhu

That's a nice quadrilateral route after Madurai! Road from Ramnad to Tuticorin is part of East Coast Road (ECR) all along Tamilnadu, glad to know it is good.

The return trip from Trivandrum to Srivilliputhur seems quick. You haven't visited Thenmala eco tourism park, Ariyankavu temple or Courtallam?
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Old 28th December 2012, 09:57   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore, Namakkal, Madurai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum & Srivilliputhu

Quote:
Originally Posted by viggienomad View Post
That's a nice quadrilateral route after Madurai! Road from Ramnad to Tuticorin is part of East Coast Road (ECR) all along Tamilnadu, glad to know it is good.
Road between Rmnad and Tuticorn appeared like it is laid out/repaired recently. The route is very scenic and the drive is enjoyable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by viggienomad View Post
The return trip from Trivandrum to Srivilliputhur seems quick. You haven't visited Thenmala eco tourism park, Ariyankavu temple or Courtallam?
The first 90 or so kms from Trivandrum is ghat and slows you down. But once the ghat is over, one can pick up very well on the speed as the road all the way till Srivilliputtur is very good. Road widening is going on. Most of the parts is already widened. Although it is a 2 way road, we could consistenly maintain close to 90 - 100 kmph speeds. We did not visit other temples and places on the way, as we wanted to reach Srivilliputtur before the temple closes. We are just in time for the darshan and puja.
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