The diary of a few rides and clicks!

Friday, April 29, 2011

On 4:17 AM by Yashwanth Rao   8 comments
About the places:

Madurai is an ancient city in Tamilnadu, very famous for the Meenakshi temple. It is known as the Temple city and is often also referred to as City of four junctions (Koodal Maanagar), Cultural center of Tamil Nadu (Kalaachaara thalainagar), City of Jasmine (Malligai Maanagar), Sleepless city (Thoonga Nagaram), Athens of the East and The City of Festivals (Thiruvizha nagaram).It is the third largest (was second largest from its origin till 2001) city by population in Tamil Nadu and second largest by area. The city is pretty big and the roads connecting to Madurai are good as well. 

Rameswaram or Rameshwaram is a town in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on Pamban Island separated from mainland India by the Pamban channel and is about 50 kilometres from Mannar Island, Sri Lanka. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is connected to mainland India by the Pamban Bridge. Rameswaram is the terminus of the railway line from Chennai and Madurai. Together with Kashi, it is considered to be one of the holiest places in India to Hindus, and part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. Hence, it is a bustling pilgrim centre.

Dhanushkodi or Danushkodi  is a town/village at the southern tip of the Rameswaram island, at the eastern coast of the Tamil Nadu state of India.Dhanushkodi is situated in the South-East of Pamban. Danushkodi is about 18 miles (29 km) West of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. The Dhanushkodi railway line running from Pamban Station was destroyed in the 1964 cyclone and a passenger train with over 100 passengers drowned in the sea.

Kanyakumari is a town in the state of Tamilnadu in India. It is also sometimes referred to as Cape Comorin. Located at the southernmost tip of the Indian Peninsula, it is the geographical end of the Indian mainland. The district in Tamilnadu where the town is located is called Kanyakumari District. The closest major cities are Nagercoil, the administrative headquarters of Kanyakumari District, (22 km) and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala (85 km).

The Journey :

Once February started, we were all getting bored, since its the worst weather to go to trips. The break of summer had prevented us from visiting any waterfalls or mountains, since it would be hot and dry always. So after wasting two months without any trips, finally, in April, we had a crazy brainstorm of going to Kanyakumari in bikes! Kanyakumari was our dream destination since an year, since we always wanted to be at the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. And thanks to Good Friday, we got a 3-day weekend. We immediately decided to leave to Kanyakumari without much of a plan. 

Our plan was simple. Since Bangalore to Kanyakumari via Rameshwaram would be around 1800 kms, we had decided to ride one way till Kanyakumari, and to put the bikes in a train while returning. But since we planned the trip 2 days in advance, we couldn't get the train or bus tickets. So our plan was to go to the railway station at Madurai, exactly 2 days before our departure and book the tatkal tickets(since the tatkal quota ticket booking opens only 2 days before, at 8 am). 
Day 1 :
And finally, the 6 of us(me, Anoop, Sandeep, Santhosh, Sharat, Shrinath) left in 4 bikes. One bullet classic 500, one Thunderbird, and two Pulsar 180s. 

We left Bangalore by around 4 pm and decided to ride till Madurai at a stretch and stay there. The distance to Madurai from Bangalore was around 430 kms. After initial hiccups due to heavy rain, our ride was pretty smooth, in NH7, till Salem, where we had our dinner.

Post dinner, we left Salem at around 10, and we had to ride for another 212 kms. Thankfully it didn't rain heavily again till we reached Madurai at around 1. We all were so tired that we didn't know what happened, 5 mins after we went to bed.
Our first day consisted of only the long ride of 450 kms at a stretch, where we managed to reach the top speed of 140 kmph!

Day 2 :
We were too lazy to start the day. Two of us went to the railway station at 7.30 to book the train tickets. But they were surprised by the huge queue of people waiting to book tickets there. In the end, we couldn't get the train tickets. We were in total confusion as we didn't know how we would be returning back. 

We then visited the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple, after having bath. The temple is a really huge one and if you stand in the general queue, it will take you atleast 2-3 hours to complete the rounds there. We paid 100 bucks for a special darshan and managed to complete everything in an hour.And it was really huge. It was full of people everywhere. We finally left Madurai at around 11.

Rameshwaram was around 220 kms from Madurai. We had to deviate from the smooth NH7. So it was a two lane road from there. It was a hot day, contrary to the heavy rains the previous day. After riding for 50 kms from Madurai, we reached a place called Rajakambiram. There, our Bullet Classic 500's red light started to blink, and it wasn't getting started at all. We tried everything in vain for over an hour. And after making a few calls, we decided to tow the bike back to Madurai to get it repaired. We found a goods carrier and towed the bike back to Madurai.

 
Two of us had gone to get it repaired, while the other four of us were getting bored at that small village. After eating and drinking everything that a small provision store in the village had to offer us, we asked some people about a river nearby. He leaded us to the banks of a dried up river and thankfully, it was a pleasing sight for us. We had the entire place to ourselves and 2 peacocks which were making distant noise. It was a very calm place, where we spent most of the time capturing images and enjoying the scenery.
At around 4, the other 2 arrived after getting the bike repaired. Then we left to Rameswaram. On the way, we came across Ramnathpur or Ramnad, which is the district center. We decided to have some chats there, and ended up having dinner since none of us had lunch that day. Then we reached Rameswaram by around 9, got rooms in a lodge next to the temple. Went for a walk around the temple and the beach next to the temple, and slept off. Madurai to Rameswaram road is again, very nice, even if its a 2 lane road. 

Day 3 :

We had to get up very early since we knew how crowded the temple would be after 7. So we got up at 4.30, took bath and were in temple by around 5.30. The temple is well known for its 22 wells. The water in these wells is considered to be sacred and everyone goes through all the wells and get drenched in the water from all the 22 wells, in a queue. We did all that, got the darshan, and were back to lodge by 8. This temple was also, remarkably huge and is considered to be a very sacred place by the Hindus. 

After having breakfast, we left to Dhanushkodi, and it was constantly raining again on that day. Without having much of an option, we got drenched and reached Dhanushkodi. And, wait! It was the first time we went in a road, which had beaches on both the sides! It was an unforgettable experience. 


After reaching Dhanushkodi, you can't take your bikes further. We had to park it there and hire a tempo, which carried 20 people at a time, taking 100 bucks from each. It was a breathtaking journey, since it took us on the beach, which was covered by ocean on both the sides. How often do you get to experience that!?


After reaching the end point, there were ruins of an old church and an old railway station. It was a very calm place and we had loads of fun by taking some crazy snaps there. Saddest part is, the tempo guys keep on calling us back, telling its time already. We barely got 20 mins to spend there, since there hurried us into leaving back. And we also got a dead star fish there! It was full of red and scary!
It was still constantly drizzling, and we left back to Rameswaram, checked out from lodge after packing the bags and tying it to the bikes. Our next destination was our dream, finally. And we were all set to leave to Kanyakumari. As I said before, Rameswaram lies in an island and it is connected by the famous Pamban bridge. It was such a memorable experience to be at that bridge, since, again, it was the first time for us to stand on a bridge which was constructed across an ocean. We could see the railway track also, where no trains run these days.



To go to Kanyakumari from Rameswaram, we had to go all the way back to Ramnathpur from Rameswaram(70 km). We had lunch there and left. It was a pleasant day again. Kanyakumari was around 250 kms from Rameswaram, and we managed to reach it comfortably, once we got connected to NH7 again. We got Toothkuni, Tuticorin, on the way to NH7. And the western ghats and numerous windmills alongside the highway made us forget all the tiredness. We reached kanyakumari at around 7.30 and spent the evening peacefully, having a heavy punjabi dinner.




By that time, we had realized there were no bus or train tickets available, and we had to ride all the way back to Bangalore the next day only, and were getting prepared for the big day.

Day 4 :

 The day started for us as early as 6 for us. We were all waiting for the sunrise at the tip of the Indian peninsula, accompanied by hundreds of others, but in vain, since it was cloudy. We captured some snaps there, where we had a beautiful view of the Vivekananda Memorial and the Thiruvallavar Statue. 

Then we had to stand in the queue for the ferry to reach the memorial hall, and the queue was pretty long by 6.30 only. They start giving the tickets at 7.45. But by 7.45, the queue had increased 5 folds. So it was worth standing in the queue for an hour. A ferry took us to the Vivekananda memorial, where there is a small statue of Vivekananda and a meditation hall inside. We enjoyed our time there, then left after an hour, back to the other side. We did some shopping, packed our bags for one last time and left Kanyakumari at precisely 1 in the afternoon. 

It was the ride of a lifetime, since we had to ride 650 kms at a stretch. NH7 was such a beauty, without a single speedbreaker(except near toll gates) till Bangalore from Kanyakumari. WE had our dinner at Salem at around 10, after riding for 450 kms. It was heavily raining again and we were totally wet. We waited for around 45 mins then again left in the rain to Bangalore. After stopping a few times, we managed to reach Bangalore by 3am. We couldn't believe we weren't too tired after such a hectic schedule!
Guidelines :

- If you are planning to put the bikes on the way back and ride one way, better plan the trip atleast 3 weeks early, so that u can get train tickets.
- Carry jackets along with you during rainy seasons, since it rains frequently near the Tamilnadu coastal area.

- Fill as much petrol as you can always, since you will require ample amount of petrol.

Final Review :

Do I need to say more? Just go for it! Takes 3-4 days in bikes to cover all these places. The other option to reach Kanyakumari would be through Ooty, Alleppay, Trichy, which isn't a bad option either.

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. but you dint tell wat happened to the bullet ,why did it sttuck???????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome pictures. A road trip on bike is always adventurous and full of fun. I love Madurai city because Dubbed as the City of Temples, Madurai has been a prominent human settlement for two thousand years. Explore all places to visit in Madurai.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hope to visit Kanyakumari and Danushkodi in March-2015.Your blog was of good guidance and thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice detailed write up and adventurous one. Guys you had good fun n tuff time too. Enjoyed while reading, hope we soon hit the same route. Thank you so much for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very nice and interesting post. I think you have very well experience with your travel time. Bangalore, Madurai and Kanniyakumary all are my favorite places. Thank you so much.

    Best Holiday Packages in India | International Tour Packages from Chennai | Domestic and international tour packages

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting blog. It is Good to explore new things. Especially by traveling, one can meet new Challenges and people from various customs.
    Patel Travels

    ReplyDelete
  8. very nice and interesting post.I think you had great experience in your travel from Bangalore to rameshwaran.Thank you for sharing your travel experinece. KPN Travels

    ReplyDelete