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290 Kms from Kilinochchi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
For a dose of south Indian culture with a side of French flavours, travel to the city of Pondicherry (also known as Pudu...
Leafy plazas, tranquil boulevards, colonial buildings, joli cafes, belle restaurants and the splendid promenade. Puducherry - A French secret gone wild!
Visit to ‘Paris of the East’Next one was a road trip to a small French town on the Coramandel coast of India which is also known as French capital of India, the place that offers serenity and sanctity in its truest sense, Pondicherry! The former French colony, this quaint little town has retained its old-world French charm. Miles apart from France, Pondicherry gives you all the feel of French culture right from the food to the architecture.We started this trip from Chennai with early morning breakfast in authentic South Indian restaurant, followed by sightseeing at Mahabalipuram (which is on the way to Pondy) and delicious lunch at the famous hotel Moonrakers (their sea food is fabulous, especially Prawns). Yes, my all trips are well complimented with the local food trail. I plan it well in advance where to have my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because you can't just compromise over the food and not exploring local delicacies is a crime.Pondy has a lot of things to offer and it is an ideal getaway for all kind of travelers. If you like the architecture, take heritage walk across the white town, visit Pondicherry Museum to discover the charm of French architecture. Beach lover? Take a walk on Rock beach anytime of the day or sunset on serenity beach or take a boat ride from Chunnambar Boat House to Paradise beach and get drawn in the beauty of this beach. If you are a foodie, then trust me, this is the best place to be in. French food in the local cafes is to die for, right from breakfast to mains and then drool over the dessert treat at Zuka Café and thank me later. And if you are looking for peace of mind, Sri Aurobindo Ashram or Auroville shall take care of that.
Stay- Good accommodation can be availed both in Pondi as well as Pondi-TN border which is approximately 2 Kms away from Rock beach. You may find some peaceful and economic Dorms in Kottakuppam and Kuilapalayam.Places to Visit – Top 4 beaches are Rock Beach, Paradise Beach, Serenity Beach and Auro beach. Sunrise at Serenity gives a perfect start to your day. Then you can head towards Rock Beach for delicious breakfast. The French Colony is exactly adjacent to Rock beach. There may be some events going on in the morning at Rock beach. Best Pubs n Cafes are all there in the French Colony. Try Ebony Truffle at Zuka Choco-laParadise Island beach provides you wide range of water sports. The journey to it is also amazing. You may choose a Ferry boat or a Speedboat. There are a couple of shacks on the beach which will serve delicious food. And yes, you will get beer, but mostly not chilled.
Pondicherry, or Puducherry, is famously known as the French Riviera of the East, and is one of the most mesmerizing and charming places in South India. A former French colony, this quaint little town has retained its old-world French charm. 8000 kilometers away from France, Pondicherry comes very close to giving you a feel of the French culture and the French influence is very obvious in the city right from the food to the architecture.With its many colonial buildings, churches, temples and statues which, combined with the beautiful French-style avenues from when it was under French rule, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. As such, dozens of beautiful cafés and restaurants have sprouted up, many on rooftops or with shaded patios, so tourists and locals alike can bask in the fuzzy Indian air with their cup of morning Masala chai. Here are the ten best places to go for late breakfast or brunch in this charming Indian city.
How to reach Pondicherry:1. Pondicherry is easily accessible by bus from Chennai. The Tamil Nadu Transport Development Corporation runs AC buses with a high frequency. These are comfortable and affordable.2. Zoom Car offers cars on rent for those interested in driving down to Pondicherry.3. Ola offers Outstation rental packages from Chennai.4. Pondicherry is accessible by train from Chennai and Bangalore.
282 Kms from Kilinochchi
Colombo, the capital city, our first stop, stands out for its tree-lined, clean roads that lead to open parks and ground...
On our last day in Srilanka, we went to the famous Gangaramaya Buddhist temple and Seema malaka temple. Some more shopping we did and then it was time to say bye bye to Srilanka. In evening we took the flight back to Chennai.
We reached Colombo at 12:30 in afternoon and started looking for currency exchange but had hard luck getting it. At last we met a guy who arranged currency and a local sim for us. We took a bus to go to Colombo City. It took almost 1 hour to reach as the airport is 30 kms from the city.Situated on the shores, Colombo is a vibrant and lively city and a walk at Galle Face Green was a great experience, here you can also get good sea-food.
Colombo is so much more than just a passage to the other destinations in Sri Lanka. The city's colonial past reflects in the current architectural build of the city, giving it a vibe distinctly different from the rest of the country. It may feel over-populated, but it is rapidly developing into Sri Lanka's most swanky cosmopolitan. Multiple cafes, art galleries and high-rise modern buildings now adorn Colombo, making it a destination one needs to put on their itinerary. November is actually one of the better months to visit this city as the days are pleasant and the weather is a perfect combination of sunny and windy.Top things to see and do: Visit the National Museum and be greeted by a 9th-century stone Buddha; have a leisurely time at the Viharamahadevi Park; sample great food at the Dutch Hospital, a colonial-era building in the middle of a fort; shop at the Federation of Self Employees Market; spend the evening at the Galle Face Green, a beach-side promenade.Flight cost: Round-trip airfare from New Delhi to Colombo in November starts from ₹13,961.Daily budget: Expect to spend an approximate of ₹3,000 per day, which will include your intracity travel, entertainment and food. Accommodations start as low as ₹1,000 and can go up to ₹15,000 per night.Where to stay: Ramada Colombo; Cinnamon Red Colombo. You can check out more stay options here.
Head back to Colombo, for your flight back home.What to packSri Lanka is unpredictable when it comes to its rainfall. So be sure to pack an umbrella – a sturdy one at that, and some light rain gear. Also, pack sunscreen and insect repellents. Carry good, durable helmets before embarking on the trip.VisaYou can apply for a 30-day visa online, which is valid for a month from the date of arrival, but an extension can be obtained for up to six months. The processing takes up to two days and costs ₹986. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, but this will be a relatively long and tedious process. This costs a fee of ₹1,315.
Colombo is so much more than just a passage to the other destinations in Sri Lanka. The city's colonial past reflects in it's current architectural build of the city, giving it a vibe distinctly different from the rest of the country. It may feel over-populated, but it is rapidly developing into Sri Lanka's most swanky cosmopolitan. Multiple cafes, art galleries and high-rise modern buildings now adorn Colombo, making it a destination one needs to put on their itinerary.
5. Get the morning train to Colombo which reach around 10 a.m. Check-in your hotel and go out for sightseeing in Colombo. You can finish it within 4 p.m. Get back to your hotel, take a shower and check-out if you have scheduled your flight on the same day. If you want relax at Galle Face Green (sea beach of Colombo city) in evening, eat sea fish at beach food stalls then you can stay overnight in Colombo, take rest and leave next day for you home.
It's a decent AC Bus. But, it will not move until all passenger seats are full. So, one has to wait for a while. In my case, the bus left within 30 minutes. I reached Colombo Bus stand around 8.25 AM, from there the Colombo fort is just a 10 minutes walk.
207 Kms from Kilinochchi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Thanjavur is more of a pilgrim centre than a tourist destination. It is also popularly known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil N...
Thanjavur is considered by many as the centre of art, architecture and religion of South India. It was the capital of the mighty Chola Empire for four centuries. It later fell under the Marathas and Nayaks. They too left a mark on its architecture that is regarded as the finest in South India.
On day four you stop at Thanjavur. Locally known as Thanjavur, this city is a prominent centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture. This is the centre of the most remarkable civilisation of Dravidian history, the Chola empire. After sightseeing in Thanjavur, we leave for Trichy. Trichy or locally known as Tiruchirappalli, is a city with a strong character and long history. It is pretty much the geographical centre of the state of Tamil Nadu. It's a huge city that mixes up culture, religion and business and one can only experience it by actually being there.Sights covered: Brihadeshwara Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Maratha Palace, Sri Rangam Temple in Trichy (India's largest temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu).Meals: Breakfast and dinner on board. Lunch at a riverside luxury resort enroute Trichy from Thanjavur.Timings: Brihadeshwara Temple at 10am, Maratha Palace at 11.30am, Sri Rangam Temple at 4pm.
Points to look out for: the grand structure, Gopuram, spatial organization, South Indian Dravida style of architecture, sculptures, intricate detailing, construction techniques.3. KhajurahoKhajuraho group of temples are a famous cluster of Hindu and Jain temples located in Indian district of Madhya Pradesh about 175 km south east from Jhansi. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its grand temples, North Indian Nagada style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures. Most of the temples are dated back to 950 -1050 A.D and were made by the Chandella dynasty.Important temples in the clusters are Kandariya Mahadeva temple, Lakshmana Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple among the Hinduism and Parshwanatha Temple, Adinath jain temple among Jainism. Vaishnav and Shaiva sect of Hinduism was predominant.
I had no prior travel arrangements, planned to use local transport for entire trip. My first destination was Tanjore. I started late night Wednesday night around 11 pm. Boarded bus to Salem, from there I might get bus to Tanjor. I reached Salem and found some SETC bus to Tanjore. But I was not interested so I boarded ordinary bus to Trichy, frequency is every min. From Trichy there are buses frequently to Tajore. I boarded a private bus and it cost 23rs. Just found BHEL and Sastra Univ are on the highways. I have reached Tanjore around 6 AM. It just stopped raining and climate was pleasantly cool.I haven't booked any accommodation in Tanjore. Found a stay for 300rs just behind the old bus stand. Just relaxed a bit and went to Tanjore Temple. One of the ancient temple of Chola's period. Spent almost three hours inside the temple exploring architecture and praying. It was quit interesting to see people from all over world visit the temple. After a small walk around the streets and vacated the room. I left for Trichy where I had booked my accommodation for the day.
The erstwhile capital of the great Chola dynasty, Thanjavur aka Tanjore is truly the embodiment of South Indian art, architecutre, culture and heritage. Located in the Cauvery basin of Tamil Nadu the town is also known as the "rice bowl" of the state. Synonomous with the world renowned Tanjore paintings, splendid temples with stunning Chola architecture and the Tanjore or Saraswati veena, Tanjore is a city where the rich legacy of the past is evident even today.
Brihadeeshwar temple of this place is very famous temple in south India also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The one who is fond of history and admire the stone structures, for sure will love this temple.
261 Kms from Kilinochchi
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
With an intriguing history, the oldest inhabited city in the world is a delight to discover. Visited by people from all ...
Madurai's air, rail and bus connectivity makes it an ideal place to start Tamil Nadu backpacking trip. It is often referred to as 'the Athens of the East', it boasts some of the best Dravidian temples, an Indo-Saracenic palace and a Romanesque cathedral. And, it is the right place to explore the flavours of Chettinad cuisine.
Travelling in a toy train/Nilgiri mountain train has been on my list for a long time. I was in Madurai for some work along with two of my friends and we had a big weekend off. As I always wanted to go and explore Ooty also known as Udagamandalam sounds crazy isnt it ;), it took me a long time to say this name properly. This was the best time and opportunity to do it with my friends. Ooty was on my list because of its famous tea estates, sprawling grasslands and incredible weather in the south of India.
Madurai is known as the "Athens of the east" purely because of the major attraction of the city, the Meenakshi Temple, the entirety of the city can see its magnificence, just like the pantheon of Athens, hence the name. There is a ruling that no building above the height of nine metres be built around the area.
I am not exactly a big fan of temples but this one definitely took my breath away. The architecture that you can see here is pure bliss and the carvings will leave you spell bound. At the very entrance you will be able to see the tower welcoming you to Meenakshi Temple with a variety of idols carved in stone on the tower. It just makes you wonder, how much time, effort and money was spent to build this marvel. This marvel was built keeping in mind all architectural details. Initially it was designed in the form of a square and owing to this square shape, it has entry gates from all the four directions. There are 14 Gopurams inside the temple, the tallest one being 52 m in length.
But never mind that the beaches were pretty clean even if the water was not also there were small huts on the beach where one can sit and enjoy the view of great Indian ocean. The plan after Rameswaram was to visit the ghost town Dhanushkodi which was cancelled due to lack of time, so just after we were done with our town exploration and lunch we straight away headed towards the railway station from where we boarded a train towards Madurai. After reaching to Madurai we packed our stuff, had our dinner and boarded a bus to Auroville.
After getting into our room we got ready and went to explore Madurai at around 8 P.M., and everything around was so beautiful that one can easily fall in love with the city and the first thing you want to see is Meenakshi Temple. After which we had our dinner at A2B restaurant where one can taste different cuisines but I’ll say it is an average place to eat, there are better places in Madurai that one can find only if you are going to have your dinner before 10 P.M. because after that even the city likes to sleep a bit.
and then at around 1 P.M. we boarded our bus to Madurai. I was shivering when we left Kodaikanal but just after an hour or so I was sweating which was expected after leaving a hill station. After a journey of three hours we reached Madurai, an ancient city filled with wonderful ancient architecture that will make you think “Just how can they make something this huge with so much detailing and with a plethora of colours”, but after reaching there we first searched for a hotel and our search came to an end after almost looking in the hotels of that area for one hour and finally finding a hotel with good facilities and reasonable price “Hotel Padmam” from where one can have a direct view of Meenakshi Temple’s east gate and if you can get up early you can have a perfect view of sunrise as well from its roof top.
The highlight of the trip was the ancient and vibrant city of Madurai. Often referred to as the Temple city or the Athens of East, Madurai claims the soul of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the oldest cities in India, a metropolis that traded with ancient Rome and was a great capital long before Chennai was even dreamed of. People from all over India and abroad come here for the absolutely amazing Meenakshi Amman Temple, a dazzling maze-like structure ranking among India's greatest temples.
Day five you arrive at Madurai. Lovingly called the 'Athens of the east', Madurai is a city, the skyline of which is defined by the 14 colourful gopurams (gateway towers) of Meenakshi Amman Temple, making it a true centre of religion and spirituality.Sights covered: Meenakshi Amman Temple, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show.Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.Timings: Meenakshi Amman Temple at 10am, Thirumalai Nayakar Palace for sound & light show at 6pm.During the afternoon you can either stay and relax on the train or go out to shop.
247 Kms from Kilinochchi
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
This city in Tamil Nadu does not provide much to see unless your sightseeing interests include religious dwellings. In t...
After an hour long journey reached Trichy. I have booked accommodation near Chatram Bus Stand which is second and local bus station. It is also located near Cauvery river and city outer. There are very frequent buses from Central Bus stand and Railway jn. About Trichy it been too crowded and mostly commercial places. Lot of shoppes all around the city. Each place is named around the type of shops in that area. After a small nap I started to explore the streets of Trichy and went to uchi pillayar temple one of the famous destination in Trichy. Just found Trichy is not just commercial city but also temple city. Lots of temple around the streets at every corner of the city. View of city from the top of the temple is just amazing. One could see the entire city from the temple.
274 Kms from Kilinochchi
Charmed by the elegance and magnanimity of the cave temples, we travelled on the meandering roads to Nuwara Eliya. Throu...
Charmed by the elegance and magnanimity of the cave temples, we travelled on the meandering roads to Nuwara Eliya. Through sun-kissed tea gardens, terraced farms, little huts by the road selling food, marigolds and banana flower lining the street, the view resembled a painting done by an innocent child defines beauty in simplicty. Nothing ever has looked so refreshing. On reaching Nuwara Eliya, we spent the evening by Lake Gregory, soaking in the view of the sun going down at the horizon of the lake, while we slurped bowls of hot maggi to beat the chilly winds of the hill station and the lake.
Finally we reached "Nuwara Eliya". Nuwara Eliya resembles an old English town, complete with a lake, race track, well kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican Church and an 18 hole golf course. We were pleased with the view from our hotel "Heaven Seven". Enjoyed the weather most.
Explore the wildlife around Nuwara EliyaTravel to the central highland of Sri Lanka to the Horton Plains National Park that lies an hour away from the city of Nuwara Eliya. Another great outdoor adventure could be visiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on the fourth day that is also a breeding ground for Asian Elephants. This will be the highlight of your trip, for you and your kids.
Explore the best of Sri Lankan landscapes at Nuwara EliyaNuwara Eliya lies at a five hour distance from Colombo and makes for the next stunning destination on this trip. The misty hills here are covered in tea plantations was once a favourite destination of the British colonizers, who escaped to its cool shadows in the harsh summer. The small country houses, left behind by the British pop up in its green landscape, giving it a parallel identity of “Little England,” as it is popularly called. Nuwara Eliya is where the natural beauty of Sri Lanka Tourism is highlighted and celebrated.
To reach Nuwara Eliya: take LONG Distance# 1126 from Kandy – Nanu Oya
After breakfast, proceed on an excursion to Nuwara Eliya. Situated at around 2000m above sea level and surrounded by lush tea plantations, Nuwara Eliya is the main hill resort of Sri Lanka and the heart of the tea industry. Once a pleasure retreat of the European planters, the town is still very much an English town with many English style bungalows and buildings. Nuwara Eliya is a good escape for those who miss cool breeze in tropical Sri Lanka at any time of the year. Local tourists flock to this town from March to May when it is the hottest duration for the town, April being the busiest. Nuwara Eliya offers many activities for tourists like tea plantations, golfing, horse riding, boating, hiking and of course exploring the beauty of the landscaped gardens, waterfalls and plateaus. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city. Overnight in Kandy. (B)You can stay at-
254 Kms from Kilinochchi
Day 3 we started with morning breakfast from Hotel itself. We had a small tour around Nuwara Eliya city. As this was our...
Day 3 we started with morning breakfast from Hotel itself. We had a small tour around Nuwara Eliya city. As this was our last destination, so we preferred to go Negambo beach, which was round 170 km away from Nuwara Eliya. On the way we tried Avocado which they were serving with Honey. Honey which again made from Kithul tree. Trust me , it was just awesome. We again stopped Kandy for lunch. Kandy basically famous for gems. Sampath took us to one place where they showed us how Gems are being processed.
Things to do: Negombo is a popular spot for vacationers owing to its close proximity to the airport. The town lies 10km south to the airport. Resorts towards the south side of this town provide various commercial water sports activities such as jet skiing and banana boat rides. Between Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue Hotels, lies the water sports and diving centre. It offers equipment for hire and guided day tours for diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.Best time to visit: Negombo is ideal for windsurfing throughout the year. For experienced windsurfers, January to March is the best time to challenge the waves here.
So we landed in Colombo around afternoon and we decided to relax that day in Negombo itself and we had booked a bful Home Stay called Henderson Lake view residence. It was away from the main city therefore was a very quite place. We met the host family , had lunch and left to see Negombo beach which was around 5 kms from there. It was a nice beach and luckily the sky was extraordinarily stunning and we could capture that in out pictures. We took a speed boat ride, ate some snacks and went to the nearby market. When we came back, we met a lot of tourists from various countries who were staying in the same home stay and we decided to spend the evening listening to their travel stories . Below are few pictures of Henderson Home stay and Negombo beach
Day 1/31st December, 2015:Land at Bandarnaike Airport at about 9:30 P.M. and transfer to hotel in Negombo. Sea Drift, Negombo is a small house stay which is convenient to locate and is 100m from the main beach. The room was clean with mosquitoes net in place and clean bedding but the bathroom was a little cramped up. Considering the fact that the stay cost us only INR 2k (USD 30), it was not a bad deal at all. You may reach Negombo with a 20-30 min drive(pvt. taxi) from the airport or if you are travelling in the day time finding a Tuk Tuk or a local bus would not be a problem at all. Airport Taxis will charge you anywhere close to 1200-1300 LKR (600 INR/ 10 USD), a bus ticket would be way cheaper at 100 LKR (40 INR/<1 USD).We had bought 4 bottles (Malibu, Baileys, Smirnoff and Sheridan’s) for INR 6700 (100 USD) from the Airport because of which our pre-new year bash started in our room. We enjoyed new year’s party at a nearby hotel which over-looked the sea and we gate-crashed to the party, consequently paying zilch!
Day 1 -Negombo: Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka and one of the most back packer friendly airports even at 2:00 am. You could land at this airport without a plan and within a few hours get everything done right from a local sim and connection to meeting people planning the same leg and to mapping your next few days with ease.
Others | 35kms north of Colombo lies Negombo, famed for its lagoon of the same name and a beach road stretch dotted with bars, cafés and many a lost hippy. Drop in to Dolce Vita (27, Poruthota Road, Ettukala.) for some tasty, hugely-sized Italian and European favourites; back in Colombo, Green Cabin (453 Galle Road, Kollupitiya, Colombo 3) is an institution, with its outdoor garden leading to fronds of swaying palms.It’s a lovely spot for some home-style Sri Lankan food, including the ever-present white hoppers and devilishly hot curries and concoctions, including Achchi’s Chicken; staying in Colombo, 41 Sugar (41 Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7 | +94 11 268 2122) is a hip rooftop café that opens in the evening, and walks fashionably towards the night with a fine cocktail selection, lovely views, reasonable tapas collection, and a grown-up vibe; finally, Curve (1 Park Street, Colombo 2) serves up some mean cocktails, a sufficient variety of tapas, and memorable ice cream liqueur shots.THE DIGS
Colombo to negombo and airportWe have flight in early morning so we kept our luggage at airport and went to negombo beach. Which is near to international airport. You have to exchange 2 buses to reach beach from airport. We spent last evening of our srilanka travel at negombo beach. After that we spent our night at airport to avoid room charges.
Negombo is a Major city in Sri Lanka, on the West Coast of the Island and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable beach.Its beaches, an old favourite with local and foreign visitors and lagoon famed for lobster harvesting. Negombo’s beach is very wide in places, but rather shabby compared to the more pristine resorts further south, although the surrounding resort area is often one of the liveliest places around the coast if you’re in search of cheap beer and late nights. A couple of miles south of the beach, Negombo Town offers an interesting introduction to coastal Sri Lankan life, with a lively fish market, a dash of old-world colonial charm of Dutch-Portuguese and hundreds of colourful wooden boats. Sprawling Negombo, is of interest mainly thanks to its proximity to the Bhandaranaike International Airport, just 10km down the road – many visitors stagger off long-haul flights straight into one of the beach hotels here, or stay here as a last stop before flying home.
289 Kms from Kilinochchi
Best time to visit - N/A
Also known as tintukkal, this is the District Headquarters of the Dindigul District. This place was at one time ruled by...
Historically one of the most important cities of Tamilnadu. Known for its illustrious Railway junction, Dindugul serves as the gateway to Theni, Trichy and Madurai
These caves where closed way back in 1965. But you can go till a certain distance. The entrance can be seen from a certain distance. Also there is a platform erected from where a certain cliff can be seen. When we went in there the entire view was shrouded by clouds. So we couldn't see more than 10 meters.