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Old 30th May 2015, 23:28   #1
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Arrow Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Summer is not a good time to plan a trip to heart of Tamilnadu, long weekend is not a good time to plan a trip to anyplace. However, thanks to trouble in getting leaves at office, we had to plan a trip in mid summer and during a long weekend.

29 - 04 - 2015

We start from our home near Bellandur at 04:30 AM, since its a weekday toll booths out of Bangalore are less crowded and we reach Krishnagiri toll booth by 05: 40 AM.

Day break sees us cruising on NH 7.

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NH 7, both south and north of Bangalore is a beauty.

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We stop at Valluvar restaurant soon after Karur. We had stopped at the same place during another trip of ours couple of years back and had liked the food then. Should say, their quality remains good even now.

They are not listed on Google Maps, however approximate location is around here, on right side when driving south from Karur.

A 35 minute break for breakfast and we start at 08:50 AM towards Dindigul. On reaching Dindigul we get into the town, cross over and get on to SH 35.

SH 35 was bit crowded initially, however traffic eases up on crossing Natham.

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Road condition is good throughout, apart from a few speed breakers in village limits.

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Karpaka Vinayakar Temple

Our first stop was at Karpaka Vinayakar Temple.

While searching about Karaikudi, we had read many reviews about this temple, since it was enroute from Bangalore, we thought of stopping. We reach near temple by 11:20 AM.

There wasn't much crowd around the temple when we reach. Temple is located next to a pond and there is ample parking space around the pond.


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We start after a break of around 30 mins towards Shanmuganathan Temple.




Shanmuganathan Temple

Location

This temple, located on top of a small hill is listed among top rated tourist locations around Karaikudi on TripAdvisor.

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Apart from the religious significance, architecturally there is nothing much to see at both the temples. We start towards Karaikudi at 12:15 PM.


Karaikudi

On reaching Karaikudi we stop for having lunch at Hotel Annapoorna. Though a veg only place, we liked the food there.

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Our stay was booked at Bangala

A colonial era club house, the place was converted to a hotel towards late 90's. The place consist of an administrative building, which houses the office and lobby. A new block and an old block, both of which has almost identical rooms and view and then a dining block located between garden and swimming pool.

Main gate

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Parking area

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Administrative block

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The new and old block

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Lobby

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Dining area

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Swimming pool

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Room

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Toilet

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Thanks to the lean season, there were only one other family apart from us in the hotel. As per the staff, they get more booking in Oct - Feb months.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 31st May 2015 at 23:38.
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Old 31st May 2015, 01:44   #2
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Kanadukathan

After a small break, we decide to start towards Kanadukathan.

This place is famous for its Chettinad mansions. It is located about 20 KM's away from Karaikudi, which takes about 20 mins drive.


Pond located at center of the village.

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The building called as Chettinad palace is a main attraction and one of the better maintained buildings, this is located near to pond.


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Few other buildings are in good condition.


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While most of the other buildings are in not so good state.

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Though an old village, the roads are well planned.

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We park the car and walk around for 30 mins, once done we start back to Karaikudi.

Enroute we notice another stay option much discussed about online - Visalam, this is around half KM from Chettinad palace mentioned above.

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We plan to have dinner from a hotel rated high on TripAdvisor, Karaikudi Annalakshmi.

This is a no frills place which serves descent food, this prompted us to visit the place again next day.


Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1028.jpg

Dinner done, we get back to Bangala.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 31st May 2015 at 23:41.
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Old 31st May 2015, 19:54   #3
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Default Day2

MSMM House

Located about 2 KM's from Bangala, this mansion belongs to the owners of the hotel.

Current owners stay in Chennai and apart from couple of caretakers no one stays in the house.

Location

We start from Bangala at 10:15 AM after a superb breakfast.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0679.jpg

Interior

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Ceiling work

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Dining room

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Open area in backside of house for ladies

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Wooden pillars are kept covered to prevent sun from damaging them

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Caretaker takes a lot of effort to open the doors

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We can make out the reason for the heavy doors on stepping over to other side

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We thank the caretakers and start off to Athangudi.


Athangudi

Located off the highway few KM's north of Karaikudi this place is known for Tile making.

Location

NH 210 from Karaikudi is a two lane beauty

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0743.jpg


We take a left deviation from NH towards the village, road conditions remains superb still

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We were suggested to visit Sri Ganapathi Tiles by Bangala people, seems they have some arrangement with the tile makers for showing tile making process to tourists.

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We get a detailed explanation on tile making process


Raw materials

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Paint poured to mould

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Design after removing mold

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Sand sprayed on top of paint

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A layer or cement applied on top of sand

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Finished product

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This is kept immersed in water for few days

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Once taken out from water it is kept for drying

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Design on each tile compliments the next one

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The tile making factory is a small one. There are quiet few similar factories on either side of the road. This is a fairly labor intensive way of manufacturing tiles.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0849.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 31st May 2015 at 23:44.
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Old 31st May 2015, 21:19   #4
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Default Day2 Ctd

Once our tile factory visit is completed, we start towards old mansion in Athangudi. This is located enroute to the tile factory from NH.

Main lane of Athangudi town, the big building on right is the mansion.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0863.jpg

We were informed earlier from the Bangala that the caretakers at this place may ask for a Rs 50 per head entry charge. True to that caretakers asked for the same when we visited.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0933.jpg

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Main door

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Decoration on ceiling

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Main hall

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Open area

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Dining room

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0920.jpg



While returning to Karaikudi from Athangudi, we notice this temple beside the road. We decide to stop and have a look

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Seems like there was some festival coming up at temple in few days. Saw two chariots getting decked up, Optimus gets a chance to pose along with the chariots.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_0950.jpg



We take the beautiful NH back to Karaikudi

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Roads inside Karaikudi town are congested though

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1040.jpg

After lunch, we visit 1000 window house, I am not able to locate the same on Google maps, however it is located somewhere around here.


The house was bit of a disappointment, apart from numerous windows, architecture wise there was nothing much to see.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1034.jpg

We spend rest of the evening relaxing in the resort.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 31st May 2015 at 23:48.
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Old 31st May 2015, 22:00   #5
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Default Day 3

We needed to visit Chennai on way back to Bangalore, hence we had decided to take Karaikudi - Thanjavur - Tiruchirapalli - Chennai - 2 day break - Bangalore for our return.

We had visited Thanjavur earlier, hence we decide to visit only Brihadeeswara Temple on way.

We check out from Bangala and start at 10:00 AM. We take NH 210 till Pudukotai, from Pudukotai we take the right fork to NH 226.


Road condition till Pudukotai is good.


Pudukotai is a small congested town, however crossing the town does not take much time.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1119.jpg



Road conditions remains good for few KM's after crossing Pudukotai.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1121.jpg

However, as we near Thanjavur, we are slowed down due to road work.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1127.jpg


We reach Brihadeeswara temple by 12:20 PM.



Brihadeeswara Temple

This is one of the biggest and oldest temples in India, constructed a 1000 years ago.

Location


Parking area

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1151.jpg



Details

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1155.jpg



Layout

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1157.jpg


Main entrance

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Second gate

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1159.jpg



Main temple building


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We are done visiting the temple in an hour, we start off towards Chennai at 01:20 PM. We decide to take the longer route via Tiruchirappalli instead of Paluvur - Ariyalur SH route since there was some report about bad roads.

Road condition between Thanjavur and Tiruchirappalli is good and traffic minimal.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1243.jpg


We cross Tiruchirappalli by taking bye pass, we can see rock fort at a distance.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1262.jpg


Roads become even better on crossing Tiruchirappalli, however traffic too increases.

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1283.jpg

Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-suh_1292.jpg


We take a break for lunch at A2B restaurant along with BP COCO at Senguruchi around here.

Including a one hour lunch break we reach Chennai bye pass by 07:35 PM.

The next two days we spend in Chennai for some personal work and start back to Bangalore over the weekend.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 31st May 2015 at 23:51.
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Old 31st May 2015, 23:01   #6
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Default Epilogue

Route details

Onward
Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-onward.jpg


Return


Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)-return.jpg

Epilogue
  • Total KM's 1395
  • Karaikudi can be considered as a stay option for Rameshwaram visit. (~ 140 KM)
  • Our initial plan was to do a circular trip - Bangalore - Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Nagore - Velankanni, - Thanjavur - Karaikudi - Rameshwaram - Madurai - Bangalore. Dropped the same as it required more days leave and few of the places in the list were already visited by us.
  • Apart from breakfast, no meals are not included in room rates in both Bangala and Visalam.
  • Both lunch & dinner cost - Rs 800 per head at Bangala. The food was tasty and homely, however we felt the rate to be on the higher side. Do note that option of restaurants in Karaikudi are limited, more so for non - veg food. Strange, considering Chettinad non veg cuisine is famous all around.


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Old 1st June 2015, 21:30   #7
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

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Old 1st June 2015, 22:45   #8
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Default

Am surprised that so many places can be seen around Karaikudi. Thanks for enlightening about these places. Excellent pics and very crisp narration.

Rameshwaram is hardly 3 hours from Karaikudi
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Old 2nd June 2015, 17:44   #9
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Thanks a ton for the share! Really light and relaxing read. The images of the simple yet beautiful architecture really bring out the beauty of the South India.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 18:48   #10
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Nice travelogue! Always wanted to visit Karaikudi and stay at one of these places mentioned. It will be wonderful to experience that cuisine first-hand. Stomach grumbling already
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Old 4th June 2015, 10:12   #11
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Wow, excellent coverage as usual Mr.Suhas.
You have that passion in you, Wonderful.
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Old 4th June 2015, 12:21   #12
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Excellent triplog Suhas. Everytime I see your posts, i realize yet another wonderful little gem of a place that I could've visited during my Chennai stint!
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Old 6th June 2015, 22:08   #13
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

As usual excellent travelogue with some great photos. Is there any place left in south that you have not visited? You are surely a Wanderlust Traveler
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Old 7th June 2015, 07:42   #14
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

Very nicely chronicled.
Thanjavur is my In laws place, so I have to strongly agree to the point written at the beginning.

"Summer is not a good time to plan a trip to heart of Tamilnadu".

In 2014 I went to see my family, residing there for vacation and it turned out to be the hottest day of the year !!!!
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Old 8th June 2015, 14:54   #15
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller : Karaikudi & Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

The "wanderluster" strikes again
Suhas - Excellent travelogue and pictures, thanks for sharing
This one is also in our bucket list, hope we complete the visit sometime soon.

Would the Dindigul-Nattam route still be the best or are there any other options with good road conditions ?

Last edited by NPV : 8th June 2015 at 14:57.
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