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Old 1st January 2019, 03:55   #1
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Default A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends

Wait, What?

Is it a boat ride? Nope. On a cruise ship? Nope. Did I just swim to the middle of a sea? Never in my wildest dreams.

This write up is about a (not so) recent trip to Dhanushkodi with my friends. Sorry for the (kinda) misleading title, though.

Dhanushkodi has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Ever since I first learned to drive 3 years back (I'm 21) driving on the road to Dhanushkodi with the sea on both sides of the road was my dream. Having planned for it multiple times with every attempt being a cancelled plan (like all Goa plans), my excitement was through the roof when the plan for this trip was made.

We decided to go on October 2. Because that was when the college could not conduct classes. And we assumed that there would be no weekend rush as Oct 2 was on Tuesday. I study at SASTRA Deemed University in Thanjavur. The car was in our home in Vellakoil (160km from college). So, the following plan was made. We were 5 of us. Classes would end on Oct 1 at 4.15pm for me and one of my friends and at 5.15pm for the rest. We both would go to my home on a bus, ask mom to prepare some home cooked food for the road (we were hostelers desperate for home food ), get the car, meet others at Karur and then off we go! We could’ve waited an hour, but none of us wanted to miss the sunrise at Dhanushkodi. So every hour counted!

We reached my home at around 10 pm. My mom had packed the food already and we were ready to go after having a coffee. We left my home around 11:15. The timing was perfect. They were 40 mins away from Karur and Karur is 42km from my home. After checking the basics (like fluid levels, tyre pressure, filled up the tank and the mandatory stop at our ancestral temple, we were on our way.

This guy, Dileep, has never been on a road trip before. So he was more excited than me. On our way to Karur on NH-67 (2-laned), I had my first near death experience. What a way to start a dream journey and a first road trip! There were two bikers on the road, one behind the other. I was doing 90kmph. Suddenly, one of them decided to overtake the other and came midway into my lane without checking his mirror. This would have been a rather normal situation to deal with except that there was a truck on the opposite lane and I was too close to the bike. I slammed on the brake and the wheels immediately locked up and the car was now sideways, pointing to the right, facing the truck. I steered to the left, then right. I lost count of how many counter steers I had to do to keep the car straight. Dileep was screaming his lungs out. But I was never scared. Not even for a split second. Not until I stopped the car by the side of the road. Then it hit me. I realized what we had just been through. My heart was racing like never before. I took some time to calm myself down and then we resumed the journey.

We regrouped in Karur at about 12.30 and started to Dindigul. Karur to Dhanushkodi will take about 5h45min according to Google Maps and the sunrise was at 6:07 on that day. Just after the tollgates near Dindigul, we stopped for a late night dinner and then started again around 2 am. We were using Google Maps for navigation and it lead us right through the narrowest streets of Madurai. It took us about 45 minutes to cross Madurai. The road from Madurai to Ramanathapuram had construction work going on. But I have to say, it has to be the worst marked construction work ever. The four-lane road suddenly changes into or is diverted to a two-lane road quite often and with very minimal (in one case, without any) marking. It is best to maintain speeds of 80 kmph during the day and less than that if you’re travelling after nightfall.

Just as we were about to reach Ramanathapuram, it started raining heavily. The car aquaplaned when I was doing 80 kmph. Here's a short video of it :



So I slowed down to 50 kmph for a while and the car was still aquaplaning quite a bit. It was such a badly designed road that there were puddles all over in the fast lane.

It was now that it seemed to us that we wouldn’t make it for the sunrise. After we crossed Ramanathapuram, little did we know that we’d murder hundreds of flies (those flies that appear only after rains)? The windshield was covered with those flies. And at a point, I had to stop the car to wash the windshield before continuing.

The colour of the sky when we stopped to wash the windshield:

A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends-img_20181002_053715min.jpg

The sun was peeking already and we were able to see orange hues in the sky. It was beautiful, to say the least. We crossed Pamban, still having the slightest hope that we would somehow make it. Here’s a picture we took on the Pamban bridge from inside the car. You can see the dead flies on the windshield. Those were new ones to die after I washed the windshield earlier.

A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends-img_20181002_053120.jpg

We were finally on my dream stretch! The beautiful, arrow straight road leading to the very edge of the sea. This has to be one of the most gorgeous roads to drive in Tamil Nadu. I couldn’t help but floor the car here. Open road. No traffic. Smooth tarmac. The temptation to go pedal to the metal is just irresistible. With 5 people on board and luggage, the small and humble Ritzy was able to hit decently high speeds. That was pretty impressive. And that too for a car that’s 8.5 years old! Here’s a video of the drive to Ram Sethu point.



I will let pictures do the talking for now.

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Dhanushkodi is Bae!

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We were also fortunate enough to see a rainbow!

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We missed the sunrise by 12 minutes. But that didn’t let our spirits die. The scenery around us was just too surreal. After goofing around in the beach for a while, we were extremely hungry and also wanted to freshen up. So went back in search of a hotel, skipping the visit to the ruined buildings. This time though, I was absorbing the beauty around me and I didn’t go above 50kmph. It is a road that everyone must drive on at least once. We booked a room for 6 hours in a no-name hotel that we just stopped by. Mom’s dinner was still left over for us all to have breakfast! We crashed for a while after breakfast and then woke up at 12.30 pm. Checked out and went in search of lunch. We had lunch in a restaurant called Aathira Veg Restaurant. If I had to use one word to describe the food there, it would be terrible. Just choose any other place. We went to the temple, to the House of Kalam, and then to Dr Kalam’s Memorial. Photography is banned in all of the three places. We reached Pamban by 6 pm. We decided to wait for the 6.45 pm train from Rameshwaram. I parked the car by the side of the road just before the bridge and then asked everyone to walk to the bridge so as to not cause hindrance to other vehicles. Surprisingly, all of them agreed! We watched the train pass and then left by around 7 pm.

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By the time we reached Madurai, it was 10 pm. We stopped by a Dindigul Thalapakkatti Restaurant and had a sumptuous dinner. A perfect ending to a perfect day. We reached my home at 1:30 in the morning. We were supposed to wake up by 4 am to get on a bus so that we would be able to attend classes that start at 8.45am. But we all woke up at 8! Classic. We had breakfast and then started to Thanjavur at 10.15am. I was asleep for most of the bus journey. By the time we reached college, it was 2.45pm. Guess what, I crashed in my bed again!

The Squad, with yours truly in the centre and the screamer to your left.

A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends-_dsc7968.jpg


Thank you BHPians for reading this. This is my first post on the forum. So please correct me if there are any mistakes. The reason why I did not mention this at the beginning like how most people starting out do is because I wanted an unbiased opinion from you guys so that I can improve my writing skills for future posts.

Till then, Happy New Year and Happy Revving!

And BTW, the last pic is the reason behind the title!
Attached Thumbnails
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A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends-screenshot_20181002073248.jpg  


Last edited by moralfibre : 2nd January 2019 at 09:05. Reason: Only two smileys permitted per post. High speed mentions.
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Old 1st January 2019, 08:55   #2
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Beautiful photographs of the sea and the clouds and where they meet. I liked your style of letting the pictures {worth a thousand words} do the talking instead of long essays and photos of foods and dhabas.:-)
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Old 1st January 2019, 20:57   #3
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Beautiful photographs of the sea and the clouds and where they meet. I liked your style of letting the pictures {worth a thousand words} do the talking instead of long essays and photos of foods and dhabas.:-)
Thanks a lot for your comments Sir! Really appreciate going through the write-up!
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:29   #4
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Default Re: A journey to Dhanushkodi with friends

Nice little travelogue. The pictures clearly tell the story about all the fun you people had. College years are the best time to roam around as you get time to do so every now and then. I can just recollect my Post Graduation days in Coimbatore a decade back when we used to start exploring all the nearby places whenever we got a chance. An Apache RTR and a Pulsar 220 would set forth with 4 people almost every weekend. Thanks for re-kindling my memories.

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Originally Posted by sibi6613 View Post
On our way to Karur on NH-67 (2-laned), I had my first near death experience. What a way to start a dream journey and a first road trip! There were two bikers on the road, one behind the other. I was doing 90kmph. Suddenly, one of them decided to overtake the other and came midway into my lane without checking his mirror. This would have been a rather normal situation to deal with except that there was a truck on the opposite lane and I was too close to the bike. I slammed on the brake and the wheels immediately locked up and the car was now sideways, pointing to the right, facing the truck.
This is a regular occurrence on our Indian roads; slow moving vehicles trying to overtake each other without bothering to look for vehicles in the fast lane. It is always essential to expect these situations and try being careful when there are other vehicles around. Better safe than sorry. Based on your statements of vehicle skidding while trying to avoid the biker and the aquaplaning incident, I guess your tyres are not in good condition. Better check and get the same changed.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 02:50   #5
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I’m impressed with your writing skills and the travelogue. Your gang reminds me of mine (5 guys) from schooling till date!

Only advise is for you to avoid driving on water logged areas in the highway as it can prove to be dangerous most of the times as car will tend to lose control because of aquaplaning issue.

Nice pics & videos there!

Welcome to TBHP! Happy and safe revving, anytime, all the time!

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Old 3rd January 2019, 03:41   #6
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Based on your statements of vehicle skidding while trying to avoid the biker and the aquaplaning incident, I guess your tyres are not in good condition. Better check and get the same changed.
Thanks a lot for your appreciation, Sir! And for the advice! I do have one point of argument from my side. I follow lane discipline very strictly. How will I know beforehand if there will be a puddle of water ahead, especially at night? And also in most roads I guess the water logging is not present in one lane alone. Isn't it also unsafe to suddenly change lanes because of a puddle?

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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:11   #7
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Those 165w JK tyres on Ritz are notorious for aquaplaning. I had a similar experience 8 years back. Next day I upgraded car tires with 185w Michelin's

Nice travelogue. Dhanushkodi has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Last month I even booked hotel accommodation but I had to cancel my trip due to unexpected hartal ( strike ) in Kerala ( temple issue )
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:23   #8
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Originally Posted by sibi6613 View Post
Thanjavur
Quite a destination in itself!

Excellent triplog - you were even fortunate enough to see a rainbow! How rare is that!

Last year I had the chance to visit Dhanushkodi as well. Documented here - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...anushkodi.html (The Road - A Petrolhead group ride log - Rameswaram & Dhanushkodi)

Tanjavur is being planned next, but mostly after summer!
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:55   #9
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Originally Posted by sibi6613 View Post
Wait, What?

Is it a boat ride? Nope. On a cruise ship? Nope. Did I just swim to the middle of a sea? Never in my wildest dreams.
Nice start to the report there. Nice pictures as well including the ones of the low light conditions in the sky.

Quote:
This write up is about a (not so) recent trip to Dhanushkodi with my friends. Sorry for the (kinda) misleading title, though.
Some of my best trips have been with my close friends, including bus, train and car journeys.

The Ritz has always been one of my favourite cars in the segment thanks to the large head room and spacious interiors. Good to know the car served all of you well in this trip.

Cheers,
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Old 3rd January 2019, 16:41   #10
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A really well written travelogue with apt number and placement of pictures to fill in the mental image drawn by the preceding part of the write-up. I have been longing to drive to Dhanushkodi in a Self-Drive Rental since long, but God knows, when that will happen. Your post has only heightened the desire to drive over the Pamban Bridge and then the arrow-straight road to Dhanushkodi. I stay in Rajasthan, so driving all the way down there is not possible at all, Self-drive rental is the only rescue. Fingers Crossed.
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Old 4th January 2019, 17:16   #11
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Nice write-up and snaps.

During my previous trip 2 years back, the final stretch of road from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi was non existent. Fun part was the amphibian ride in Mahindra Minivan with 4X4 through the sea bed and beach to reach Dhanushkodi tip. You can find details and snaps of those minivans on various other Dhanushkodi travelogues on this thread.
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Old 4th January 2019, 21:12   #12
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Nice travelogue and even nicer photographs. Reminded me of a journey to Krishnanagar in Nepal from my hometown Kanpur in UP, a distance of 350 km, undertaken in my first year of dental college, on a Bajaj Chetak. Those were the fun days. Thanks for sharing.

Thanjavur you said, now waiting for a photologue on the majestic and wondrous Brihadeeswarar temple through your gifted eye. Keep travelling and enjoy.
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Old 6th January 2019, 13:31   #13
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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Quite a destination in itself! Excellent trip log - you were even fortunate enough to see a rainbow! How rare is that!
The main inspiration for this trip was your epic travelogue! We even had one of the pictures you put up as the WhatsApp group icon created for this trip!

If I can thank anyone for kindling my inner senses to go on this trip, it has to be you!

Thanks a lot sir!

Quote:
Tanjavur is being planned next, but mostly after summer!
I'd love to be your local guide! Ping me anytime you're near Thanjavur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Nice start to the report there. Nice pictures as well including the ones of the low light conditions in the sky.
Thanks a ton for your comments!

Quote:
The Ritz has always been one of my favourite cars in the segment thanks to the large head room and spacious interiors. Good to know the car served all of you well in this trip.
Yes! That's the reason why we chose the Ritz over the Swift. Even though I was only 12 years old then, I had my eyes set on the Suzuki Splash (when it was launched in Europe) when it was rumoured that would it eventually make it to India. Our Ritzy is still a pleasure a drive.

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Originally Posted by Thunderlover View Post
A really well written travelogue with apt number and placement of pictures to fill in the mental image drawn by the preceding part of the write-up.
Thanks a lot for your kind words, Sir.

Quote:
I have been longing to drive to Dhanushkodi in a Self-Drive Rental since long, but God knows, when that will happen. Your post has only heightened the desire to drive over the Pamban Bridge and then the arrow-straight road to Dhanushkodi. I stay in Rajasthan, so driving all the way down there is not possible at all, Self-drive rental is the only rescue. Fingers Crossed.
Funnily enough the 'screamer' in this travelogue is from Rajasthan.

Sometimes, not having a plan is the best plan. If you can get a weekend off, just fly down here without even thinking about it and I'm sure that Dhanushkodi will not disappoint your hasty decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Nice write-up and snaps
Thanks!
Quote:
During my previous trip 2 years back, the final stretch of road from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi was non existent. Fun part was the amphibian ride in Mahindra Minivan with 4X4 through the sea bed and beach to reach Dhanushkodi tip. You can find details and snaps of those minivans on various other Dhanushkodi travelogues on this thread.
That must've been one hell of a ride! But it's always fun to drive in your own car!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool_leo_guy View Post
Nice travelogue and even nicer photographs.
Thanks!

Quote:
Reminded me of a journey to Krishnanagar in Nepal from my hometown Kanpur in UP, a distance of 350 km, undertaken in my first year of dental college, on a Bajaj Chetak. Those were the fun days. Thanks for sharing.
That would have been quite the story to tell your grandkids!

Quote:
Thanjavur you said, now waiting for a photologue on the majestic and wondrous Brihadeeswarar temple through your gifted eye. Keep travelling and enjoy.
Will definitely post some pictures of the architectural marvel!


Mod Note: Please avoid back to back posts. Use Multi-quote feature to respond.

Last edited by ampere : 3rd February 2019 at 14:45. Reason: back to back posts merged; reduced smilie count to 2
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Old 17th January 2019, 20:50   #14
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Originally Posted by sibi6613 View Post
Wait, What?

Is it a boat ride? Nope. On a cruise ship? Nope. Did I just swim to the middle of a sea? Never in my wildest dreams.
Great short trip and crisp narration of the journey and the place. Some great pictures.
Welcome to TeamBhp !
Keep travelling and sharing such wonderful blogs.

Last edited by ARAY : 17th January 2019 at 20:52.
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:41   #15
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@sibi6613 - short and crisp travelogue of the journey! Welcome to Tbhp.

BTW - I am a 2009 product of SASTRA and so is tbhpian Suryatjet
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