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Old 16th February 2008, 16:10   #1
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Default Cochin-Chidambaram-Pondicherry and back

Did a 1400 km round trip to chidambaram and pondicherry last week.
The excuse- Post graduate entrance exam for annamalai university
The tool- My Pete’d Swift DDiS
The route-…read on

I took the assistance of team BHP in determining the route. I was’nt disappointed, got prompt replies from quite a few members.

I think I’ll put up the travelogue in sections as I have a habit of rambling when I write, that most people find tiresome.

The plan was to stop at CBE at my uncle’s place and then drive on to Chidambaram.
Set off at 1300hrs after a customary snap of my wife and son waving me goodbye from the verandah(I do it before every long trip)

I was accompanied by my brother in law who works on a cruise ship and wanted to experience traveling overland after 8 months at sea.

Covered a distance of 207 kms in 4 hrs between CBE and cochin. Traffic was heavy as usual with truckers and buses competing with each other to be more annoying. I had to exploit every legal and illegal gap to overtake and maintain a paltry average speed of 50kmph(200km in 4hrs)

Palakkad police are on a crackdown on speeders and have handheld radar guns, but I got by without being nicked.
Favourite spots for the pigs with radar guns
  • end and middle of long straights.
  • just beyond a crest so that they are hidden
Off topic-Brother got caught yesterday,overtaking an alto at 100kmph. Paid Rs.300

About the route between CBE-cochin
4 laning between chalakudy- thrissur-vadakancherry- bearable
vadakanchery to walayar is decent-including the little, but infamous ghat section
upto 10 kms after the checkpost on the TN side, there are large rim bending craters that pop up without any warning while you’re doing a 100 on the intervening smooth sections

I turned off left at Kovaipudur(180km from cochin) from the main road to bypass coimbatore city traffic.
I love this section Kovaipudur-perur-thondamuthur-vadavalli(uncle’s place)
Winding roads through coconut groves with mild traffic and scattered villages. Very relaxing with sandy corners suited for some drifting(I promise I was safe)

Till then traffic was heavy and had to use 3rd and 4th gears most of the time to accelerate and overtake.
Only rarely was I able to engage 5th and cruise.
My mileage for this section was 17.33kmpl



Pics and further route descriptions to follow
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Old 16th February 2008, 17:17   #2
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... and... rippy, are we have a Part II? Or is this it?

and buddy, where are the snaps of the trip?

lastly, how did the exam go?
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Old 17th February 2008, 09:59   #3
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Occupation-Doctor. What PG entrance exam is it? Waiting for your photos and write about your timing when u mention the route


Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
Favourite spots for the pigs with radar guns
Why?
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Old 17th February 2008, 11:48   #4
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Quote:
About the route between CBE-cochin
4 laning between chalakudy- thrissur-vadakancherry- bearable vadakanchery to walayar is decent-including the little, but infamous ghat section
That vadakancherry - I will prefer the "Vadakkencherry" - with the "e" - to distinguish between this place on the National Highway 47 and Wadakkancherry, which is on Trichur - Ottapalam State Highway. The latter - Wadakkancherry has a Railway station.
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Old 18th February 2008, 11:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
... and... rippy, are we have a Part II? Or is this it?

and buddy, where are the snaps of the trip?

lastly, how did the exam go?
there is a part 2, its being written. my router was acting up, so couldnt upload pics. will retry soon.

who cares about the exams? it was just an excuse for a long drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Occupation-Doctor. What PG entrance exam is it? Waiting for your photos and write about your timing when u mention the route
Why?
will put up the timings. I will have to go through my notes for it.

I didnt understand the reason for "Why?"

as in...
why do the pigs position themselves at the end of long straights and just beyond crests?

OR

why do I call them pigs?
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Old 18th February 2008, 13:25   #6
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Set off next day at 0620hrs towards salem
1st 50km was covered in 1hr
2nd 50 also in 1hr
150 kilometers from CBE I turned off the highway towards thiruchancode- it was’nt the shortest route, but I was told it was smooth and that I could bypass salem on my drive towards namakkal.

Why namakkal when I want to go to Chidambaram? you might ask.
For the heck of it! That’s why!
Thiruchancode was a busy town, and after getting lost for 10km or so-I got back on the route to namakkal.

I stopped for directions at a tea shop and met a swamy/holy man kinda guy who wanted me to visit the Ardhanareeshwara temple before I went on towards namakkal.

Now, driving through thiruchancode, I had been eyeing this imposing rock that towered over the town. There was a temple on top of it that I wondered how they managed to construct. All I could see were hundreds of steps leading to the top.

The Swamy handed me a posh looking businees card of the temple and told me that there was a road all the way to the summit. Now this was too much of a temptation to resist, so off we went paying a 10rupee entry fee at the entrance. The short drive to the top was nice with the swift hauling our sorry butts up there in 3rd gear. The views from the road down on the countryside was amazing. Photos don’t do justice to the location.

This was a Kilometer after the start of the climb.





Reached the temple where I paid another 10rupees for parking. While scouting for a nice place to park, I saw a dirt trail leading up higher. It looked smooth enough, so off we went again, temple forgotten. Reached the end of the road, took in the views, then some snaps.

here's one from the highest motorable point on that hill.that rock in the background is huge, couldnt get the perspective right.



While posing for snaps, a friendly local neta/anna came up to us and claimed credit for having constructed the road, and informed us that he had grander construction plans ahead.

I think I was appropriately polite and oohed and aahed at all the right spots during his narrative. He was rather pleasant and wanted us to see more of the hill and the temple’s surroundings but we declined and pushed off.

The whole place looked rather pious and holy, so did’nt want to enter the temple and cause offence by bungling hindu rituals that I didn’t know.
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Old 19th February 2008, 18:13   #7
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got sick of image shack

been trying all of yesterday to put up the pics there. gave up. why me?
here are the photos, I've put them up on flickr.

1.view from the top of the rock
IMG_2962 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

2.after my chat with the local anna
what you see in the background is the trail I hauled the swift up on.
and the peak in the background is also seen from another angle on the imageshack link in my previous post.
IMG_2958 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

3.view of the side of the temple on my way down from the summit
this place is gorgeous.
IMG_2959 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
4. leaving the temple.
wish I had gone in- but I always worry about offending religious sentiments and the more uneasy i am, the more awkward my actions. didnt want to risk it.
the main temple is in the background.
the light was against me, hence the poor picture quality.
IMG_2959 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 26th February 2008, 22:12   #8
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here are the pics, thanks to A S H V I N who told me how to put up the images on imageshack

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