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Old 17th November 2008, 15:56   #1
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Default Bangalore - Nanjangud - Bandipur - Madurai - Dhanuskodi trip by Esteem VXi

Hi Team Bhpians,

Hope the information of the below route will help the community members, which i had in my Esteem Vxi a month ago.

Bangalore - Mysore - Nanjangud - Bandipur - Mudumalai - Ooty - Mettupalayam - Avinashi - Palladam - Dharapuram - Sembatti - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Dhanuskodi - Madurai - Bangalore.

Total Distance - Approx 1500kms total.
Days Planned – 2days.

The trip was a combination of my cousin sister’s engagement in Mettupalayam and weekend visit to Rameshwaram - Dhanuskodi, a long waiting trip in my life.

Day 1
Have started from Rajarajeshwari nagar by 4.30AM and reached Mysore by 6.00AM. Had a cup of coffee at Mysore and then moved towards Nanjangud Siva temple (a long time wish to visit the temple even though i have crossed minimum 50 times this place i never get a chance to see the temple ).

Have parked my car and finished the pooja and had a morning Tiffin in Nanjangud itself. By 7.45AM we have started from Nanjangud and straight to Bandipur. Have see bunch of elephants, wild boars, spotted deers in Bandipur / Mudumalai.

Have taken right at Mudumalai camp office and headed towards Ooty via Masinagudi. I am sure this route will save you minimum 35Kms to Ooty from Bangalore and have 36 hairpin bends. One must be very careful taking these turns as the local jeeps cruising in this area at their regular trips in dangerous speeds. Most scenic way and enjoyed a lot with fresh air.

Have reached Ooty around 10AM and didn't even stop it for a second as we have to be there at Mettupalayam by 11AM. While getting down we took Coonor and it was very heavy traffic till Chinnar Post. Somehow managed to reach Mettupalayam at 11AM and called the relatives and noticed that we need to come to Sirumugai for the groom’s house. Reached around 11.30AM at Sirumugai. We were there at function till 5PM and have left that place by 5.10PM.

Drived towards Avinashi and took right near the temple to go to Palladam (Can avoid Tirupur and the traffic). Then Dharapuram and had dinner at the road side dhaba near amaravathi river. Then reached Oddanchatram and then Sembatti. From Sembatti driving towards Madurai is a very big head ache. Widening the roads and four lanning is going on full swing. Finally reached Madurai at 10.30PM at my uncle’s house.

It was a nightmare driving after dark on the highways. So took rest in uncle’s house. Kilometer reading is 610 for that day. Will continue after a short break….

Day 2

Had a nice sleep and had a nice shower on the next day morning. Had a nice sleep and had a nice shower on the next day morning. Left uncles house by 7AM headed towards Rameshwaram. All the way it was very patchy road and lots of bumps. Finally noted that it was NH. Really very bad road. Reached Ramnad around 9AM and had breakfast. Then left to Rameshwaram and reached around 10AM. Have stopped at Pamban Bridge and was there for 10mins. Then left to the temple back side and then had bath at sea. Then moved inside the temple and arranged a guy to bath in all 22 thirthams. He had asked 60Rs per head and taken to all the 22 thirthams inside the temple. It is must to bath in all the 22 thirthams to finish the full cycle visiting this temple.

Then changed the wet cloths (Temple have permanent arrangements for this) and visited the temple and the world famous 3rd Corridor in the temple. Then the car moved towards Dhanuskodi which is 17kms away from Rameshwaram and it has a new decent road till Dhanuskodi naval check post. Frequent busses fly from Rameshwaram to this place. We parked the car and have seen lots of 4 wheel drive forward control vans parked in a separate place. We have enquired the charges to and from that place to Dhanuskodi and got reply as Rs 1200 per vehicle. There was one more family of 5 members were willing to go. So we have talk to each other and took one van.

The guy took us the unfamiliar sand track from that place to Dhanuskodi for next 11kms. The route was a combination of sand, mud and sea water. It was a fantastic off road experience where most of the places these guys used 4 wheel drive to move on the beach sands. Guy took us to one point where all 3 sides were covered by sea and one side by beach sands. It was 11kms away from Dhanuskodi check post. Lonely place and only few visitors were available there.

Noticed that few jeeps were parked next to our van and learnt that jeeps are on rent from Rameshwaram at Rs 1000 per trip. All are 4 wheel drives. Spent about 30 mins there and returned back. On the return have visited the remains of railway station and some ruined buildings. Few peoples were still living and most of them are fishers. Returning was the same joy and has seen many 4x4 jeeps there. After finishing that we went to a place called “Ramar Padham”. This is the place where lord Rama stand and departure to Srilanka to kill Ravana to retain Sita I believe. Then from there we came back to Pamban Bridge and next to Pamban bridge is where you can visit Coral rocks. Govt boats are available at Rs 30 per head and they will take you to ½ kms into sea and you can see colorful corals around here. You should go in the noon to have better sight.

There is one more island called “KURSADI ISLAND” around 45mins travel from Rameshwaram in the sea where you can find dolphins if you have luck. We didn’t go there as you need to get permission from Forest dept in advance and the boats are to be arranged by individual who wants to go there. The boat cost around 1500 – 2000 depends on negotiation skill. Go in the morning and return back on the evening is the right way to enjoy. Remember no shops, no check posts, not even tea shops. So you need to take care of your food and others on your own.

From the coral island then return back to Ramnad and had very late lunch at 6.30PM. Then returned to Madurai for halt. Then the next day morning left Madurai at 5.30AM and reached Salem at 11.30AM and stopped at Restaurant to refresh our self and for a tank fill up. Then reached Rajarajeshwari nagar at 2.30PM and after a long drive it was the time to take rest.

Total Tank fill up – 94litres.
Total distance covered – 1529KMS.

The photo's have been uploaded in the following link.
Flickr: ramprasath8442's Photostream
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Old 17th November 2008, 16:20   #2
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Good report. Would have been nice if the photo's were uploaded directly along with this travelogue. Surprised you didnt clicked the bridge inspite of spending 10 mins or U didnt uploaded it?
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Old 17th November 2008, 16:20   #3
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Very interesting trip. Hectic first day. Looks like the Ooty-Conoor-Mettupalayam road is finally repaired after many years. Surprised about the bad condition of NH49 between Madurai and Rameswaram - used to be a very good road (looks like recent rains have wrought havoc). Never knew there were so many things one can do out of Rameshwaram, thought it was only the temple and Dhanushkodi.

When I went to Dhanushkodi, we could go only 3-5 kms from the Check Post (till the ruined railway station and church buildings), you seem to have gone further.

You mentioned the widening work - I suppose this is on NH7 between Dindigul bypass and Madurai?
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Old 17th November 2008, 16:43   #4
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Road between Ooty - Coonor - Mettupalayam is really in good shape. it tends to go fast but beware of sharpe curves.

NH49 is really in bad shape. Cannot go more than 100KMPH speeed in most of the area's.
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Old 17th November 2008, 17:00   #5
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There is roadwork happening between Otanchatram till Sembatti as well. 3 or 4 culverts were being built. The road is narrow in places and I think there is a plan to relay them.

I did it on my Civic during daytime so didn't have a problem, however my relatives who came later that night on a Tavera managed to dent their wheel on one of the speedbreakers put up before a culvert diversion.
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