A Mega Nano Trip to Kanyakumari
Date: 13-Aug-16 to 17-Aug-16
Finally, the day has come to seriously plan for our long pending mega trip. We had a dream of going to Kanyakumari from Bengaluru since the day Tata Nano became our travel companion. The large share of credit for our numerous trips goes to Nano.
If not Nano, we would not have traveled so much in past 2.5 years. Tension free parking, very good mileage of 21-22 km/l, smooth drive through narrow, curvy, city roads, not a single breakdown during any of our trips, “badhiya” space inside the car as opposed to most people’s imagination, made us fall in love with this car. Trust us !! Our Nano had gone on some of the worst roads without creating any issues. Why not take the car’s testing level to one step higher? we thought and decided to take our Nano to southernmost tip of India, Kanyakumari from Bengaluru.
Luckily, there was a long weekend for Independence day this year and two more days extra leaves gave us five days for this trip. Since visiting just the destination on a plain highway never fascinated us, a rigorous planning for the route map for this five day long trip was required. As I was busy in my official work, Thilak alone sketched out a wonderful plan for this mega trip. He came up with a longer route which made us cover many of Tamil Nadu’s popular tourist destinations like, Gingee Fort, Pondicherry, three Great living Chola Temples in Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram (one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India), and Rameshwaram. The most preferred highway route (NH44) became route for our return journey which made us cover Madurai. You can find our route map at the end of this post.
When checked with my in-laws about this trip, they agreed instantly to join us which made us immensely happy. I must say, hats-off to their energy, they could cope up with our tightly packed schedule without any difficulty.
Our itinerary for this mega trip was as below:
- Day 1 – Start from home at 3.30 AM. Have breakfast at Thiruvannamalai at 8 AM. Then, visit Gingee fort and proceed towards Pondicherry. Finish lunch in Pondicherry and check in to the hotel. After refreshing, visit the tourist spots of Pondicherry: Matrimandir (Auroville), Aurobindo Ashram, White Town, and Rock Beach. Finish dinner and retire for the day.
- Day 2 – Check out of the hotel in Pondicherry by 8 AM. Visit Sacred Heart Church and proceed towards Gangaikonda Cholapuram. After exploring Gangaikonda Cholapuram, have lunch in Kumbakonam and then visit Airavatheshwara Temple in Darasuram. Proceed towards Tanjore and visit Brihadeeshwara temple in the evening. Plan to leave Tanjore max by 5.30 PM and travel towards Rameshwaram. Finish lunch on the way and check in to the hotel in Rameshwaram.
- Day 3 – Start from room at 8 AM, have breakfast, and visit Ramanathaswamy temple. Check out of the hotel before 12 noon. Finish lunch and proceed towards Dhanushkodi. If not allowed to travel in own vehicles, using the tempo services, visit the places in Dhanushkodi. While returning, stop in Pamban bridge for a photo session and then continue journey towards Kanyakumari. Enroute, visit one of our relatives’ house in Tuticorin. Check in to hotel in Kanyakumari at night.
- Day 4 – Wake up early morning (by 5.15 AM) and be present in the sunrise view point in Kanyakumari. Experience the sunrise where three seas meet. Return to hotel, freshen up and then visit Bhagavathi Amman Temple and Gandhi Mandapa. Check out of the hotel and proceed towards Vivekananda Rock Memorial. After visiting Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue, have lunch, and start return journey. If time permits, visit Padmanabha palace in Nagaracoil, otherwise, directly reach to Madurai and check in to the hotel by night.
- Day 5 – Start from room at 8 AM, have breakfast, and visit Meenakshi Amman Temple. Return to hotel and check-out. Then, visit Gandhi memorial museum in Madurai, post which, have lunch and proceed towards Bengaluru via NH44.
Detailed day-wise travel logs of this trip are in the following links:
- Day 1 – Gingee Fort (Senji Fort)
- Day 1 – Pondicherry (Puducherry)
- Day 2 – Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram Temples
- Day 2 – Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur
- Day 3 – Rameshwaram
- Day 3 – Dhanushkodi
- Day 4 – Kanyakumari
- Day 5 – Madurai
We stayed in the following hotels:
- Hotel Ram International in Pondicherry
- Hotel Brindavan Residency in Rameshwaram
- Hotel Sivamurugan in Kanyakumari
- Hotel Rajadhane in Madurai
After planning these, four of us were absolutely ready for this trip sharp at 3.30 AM on 14th August 2016.
- Route Traveled: Onward: BTM Layout > Hosur > Thiruvannamalai > Gingee Fort > Pondicherry
Return: Madurai > Dindigul > Namakkal > Salem > Hosur > BTM Layout
- Total distance (To & Fro): 1882 km
- Mileage (Car): 19 km/l
- Fuel expense: 5890 Rs
- Total expense (4 people): 25,631 Rs
- Photos Albums: