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273 Kms from Velankanni
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Ma...
It was late in the evening, we started our All India Trip from my home at Perambur, Chennai which was earlier decided to start the travel at 10:00. Unfortunately, due to last minute problem over placing the carrier/racks we had to start the trip late by 16:45.
A while ago, my friends and I were invited to attend a two-day wedding in Chennai. While the wedding was festive and quite enjoyable, we sneaked out early on day two to return home, for various reasons. I hitched a ride back with two of my friends since they were driving, and we decided to stop by the historic port town of Mahabalipuram.
The smooth East Coast Road (ECR) provides great view and a relaxed back. In an hour we were in Adyar. Jonathan had already spotted the Biryani place before I pointed it to him. He had his Biryani and went ahead to the airport in Ola, while I took another one to get to Nungambakkam to meet Anitha, my batchmate, and once colleague, who would help me buy Saree for my mom. We got done with the Saree shopping in an hour and Anitha hosted my sumptuous Chettinad dinner at Maplai. I bid goodbye to Anitha, and got an Uber to the airport.It was 9.30pm and my flight was at 6 am. Jonathan's flight was at 2 am. I called Jonathan but he didn't pick. I sat outside the airport for a while, and Jonathan called me back, he wasn't allowed to check in before 11, so he too was waiting outside at the International Terminal that happened to be 5oo metres away from the Domestic Terminal on the same pavillion. We walked towards eah others terminal and sat at the Domestic one for a bit as it was much less crowded than the International. In an hour, Jonathan checked in, and I entered the airport to make attempts to sleep before the check in began at 3.
Day zero: As this was a last minute plan, only My friend Vignesh (interested in photographing beautiful landscapes) and I (interested in wildlife photography) started this trip from Chennai. It was a long weekend (Jan 26, 27 & 28). We didn't plan the trip on these three days because we could not get tickets on 25th. So, we planned it differently like we start a day late, take a day off for office and comeback a day late. We boarded the train Kaveri Express at 9.15 pm.
So, the plan for this trip started way back in June 2017, when we decided to book a flight to Egypt(Always on top of our bucket list). As we are budget backpackers, we always want a cheap and convenient flight. For any trip plan, we decide the cities we wish to see and the number of days we have to take off from office. Finally we fixed the date Jan 26-31 ,2018 and the flight rate came to 26000 INR per head in July after Yatra Offers. So flight Ticket- Done!.After few months, The next big thing for the travel plan came to Hotel Accommodation,Visa and Forex. In December, we used Hostelworld to book accommodation in Cairo(Reserved) and Luxor(Reserved) for Visa Purposes. Our Egypt tourist Visa were processed by musafir.com. The Visa fees along with processing fees and tax came to 4350 INR per per head.Started our plan for itinerary in Jan first week, decided to stay 3 days in Cairo and 2 days in Luxor. Our Final plan looked like this:Day-126Jan 250AM chennai - 550AM Kuwait26Jan 10:00AM kuwait - 12:10Noon - cairo.. Take Metro to Rameses Station - Walk to New Palace Hostel - Check IN by 1pm..Take rest..Start at 3pm..visit Al-Azhar Mosque,Citadel of Salah El Din,Mosque of Md Ali and back to room by 8.Day-2 - Jan27Check Out - Leave Bags - Start by 7 and reach Pyramid Giza complex((khufu & Khafre) & Great Sphinx)..spend till 1pm. Reach Museum(Must visit rooms 3,4,9,35,46,56) by 2pm..spend till 5pm..back to hotel and take the bags..Get to Ramses Station by 8..get train ticket or board train 86 at 910PMDay-3 - Jan28Reach Luxor 610AM..Reach New Everest hotel at 8AM Check-In get settled and start at 9AM..Reach West Bank (All places 6AM-5PM). Ramesseum,Temples of NoblesValley of the Kings - KV62-tutakhamen,Temple of Medinat Habu,Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari. Return back to Hotel by 8Day-4 - Jan29Check Our and Leave the bags. Start by 8..visit Temple of Karnak 6AM-5PM and 4PM-9PM in the morning and Luxor Temple - 6AM-9PM - 60LE by noon..Back to Hotel by 8 and take the bags..Reach Luxor station and board train to cairo at 940PMDay-5 - Jan30Reach Cairo Rameses Station..Check In New Palace Hotel. Visit hanging church,coptic museum and saqqara pyramid, Khan el khaili if time permits in evening and return back to hotelDay-6 - Jan31Start at 8AM..visit Baron Empain Palace(must-see) Reach airport by 11AM and then back to Chennai on Feb 1, 1:30 AM.A week before our trip, we went to Maharaja Forex to get Egyptian pounds we needed. But due to limited stock and higher conversion rate(1LE=4INR) we exchanged 15000 INR to 250 USD, so that we can change it to EGP in Cairo Airport which eventually came to 4500 EGP. We also had our International credit cards covered.
So I started from Chennai on 21st night. Had booked KSRTC Rajahamsa Executive bus, which starts at 22:09. Those are quite good for ₹450. Reached CMBT by 9 on train and metro rail. Had some chana poori at the bus terminus. Found out my shoes got torn on my way, so bought a new pair of slippers from a shop inside the terminus, and dumped the old one.Bus started almost on time. Put my earphones on, for Leviathan Chronicles podcast. But have a long bike trip next day, so had to doze off early. Just to be clear though, I am not the one whose gonna drive.Day 1
140 Kms from Velankanni
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...
Located in Pondicherry, this is a garden with a difference. There's grass, there's foliage and there's loads of positive vibrations, to boot. The sea is at its doorstep and the breeze is always mild and pleasant. I visited it once and want to return, again and again.
The next day, we woke up with great excitement and a kick-ass Coffee by Guru Bhaiya, to explore the city. We hired bikes, my bad I don't know how to ride a bike, a pillion anyways, haha i know how to ride a cycle though.The morning was pretty awesome, we rode our bikes on the roads of Pondi, drove through the coastline again, it is a must have experience for everyone i suggest, who does not want to witness such a nature's beauty, but yeah it is a traveler kinda thing not so likely for tourists.Anyway, man!!! the blue color was everywhere, as far as I could see. Renting bikes is the best way to explore Pondi and nearby places, it isn't that costly either. You can have them in 150 INR only, the rate changes as per the vehicle.Though there is no scope of bargaining, yaaas because the locals are way too friiiiiendly there :D and yep verrrrry helping :D :D - Rage from last night i guess :D :D :D :D So we had a breakfast stoppage on our way, we ate delicious chicken curry, traditional ~ local South Indian chicken curry and no concept of Roti yes, so be aware all the chapati fans outta here!! you can get a Parotha only, anyways it was yumm.As usual die-hard non-vegetarians we are who cares for what day meal is it, murga kabhi bhi faad sakte hain ji, subeh ho ya sham!!Well, the City ~ Crowded, Chaos, Noisy and a lot of hustle, perfect small town. It was very hot though, almost burning temperature, I got a real tan dude!! unbreakable tan layer you must say :D or the darkest tint of Tan :D, anyways,So after few circles of the streets and some lost ways, we get our way straight out towards the main attraction of Pondicherry - The Rock Beach, French Colony & Serenity Beach.
Here are some of the must do things when here:1. Walk around the White town2. Have food at a cafe here - Visit Cafe DesArts for the decor and Cafe Xtasi for the pizza3. Walk along the Promenade early morning, may be catch the sunrise from here4. Spend time surfing or just chilling and swimming at one of the beaches5. Visit the Matrimandir in Auroville and on your way back, grab food at the famous Auroville bakery!
8) Puducherry: A 22 K.M drive From Cuddalore station takes you to the union territory of Puducherry or Pondy as fondly nicknamed by the visitors. Life moves at its own pace in Pondicherry. With beautiful little cafes scattered around white town, Pondy is the place where you can afford to go off-routine and let go a little. Tree lined streets, quiet beaches, backwaters, and a French connection that is visible in the architecture are some of the things that add charm to Pondicherry. Pondy is also known for its Doll-making, textiles and silk. Shopping here is easy on the pockets as there is low to no tax. Pondy is home to many boutique and designer brands. Travel and leisure wise, Pondicherry is a complete experience in itself. Do plan your journey in a way that you don’t end up here on a weekend. There are a LOT of people and if you do visit on a weekend, get your stay booked well in advance.What to see: Promenade beach, Aurovile, Lighthouse, Serenity beach, Paradise beach, Pichavaram mangroves.Where to stay: Sarvamangalam inn, Ramana Residency, Executive Inn, Bay View Hotel, Pondicherry guest house, Velvett Villa, Coramandal Residence, Raj residency, Auroville.Where to eat: Seagulls, Tantos, Rendezvous café, Surguru Restaurant (Classic lip-smacking local food) Sarvana Bhavan, La Villa, Umami Kitchen.Recommended number of days: 3n/4dPondicherry to Chennai train – 140/- (4 hours)Chennai to Hospet bus – 1200/- (12 hours)Stay: Rooms start at 1000/- per night.Food: 1200/- per day or less, depends where you choose to eat. (Breakfast-lunch-dinner; without alcohol)Total Cost: 7940/-
India is literally like a box full of treasures waiting to be explored. Pondicherry is a beautiful place and it’s considered as French capital of the nation. Be it historical sites, ancient monuments, location with natural beauty, right from Snow capped mountains to pristine beaches. India has it all! But Pondicherry is like no other City in India. This city is Unique in more than one ways and will take you back in time with its beautiful French colonies and establishments, which are preserved till date.You will have enormous fun in your small holiday trips to Pondicherry and make a fun filled excursion. When you are visiting Pondicherry then you need to see the best weather to visit this place. But before we begin, here’s what you need to know before you plan a trip to Pondicherry.
9) ENJOY THE NIGHTLIFE IN FRENCH STYLE!Housed in a beautiful French colonial building, Café de Flore organises lovely evening concerts. The grassy courtyard, delicious French food with the music in the background make for one magical evening.
Known for its French architecture and beautiful beaches, Pondicherry is also home to progressive people who mind their own business.
After taking a weather check, I started towards Pondicherry. It was a fresh and a nippy morning with spine freezing breeze blowing my senses away.
267 Kms from Velankanni
Best time to visit - April,May,June,August,September
Translating to 'the gift of the forest' in the native language of Tamil Nadu and originally home to the Palaiyar tribal ...
When something good happens travel to celebrate.. when something bad happens travel to forget and when nothing happens travel so that something happens .. This s a kickstarter for our first trip together after marriage . The first couple trip to the queen of hills Kodaikanal and fortunately being my native place too .. The trip was planned basically like a road trip just for a night stay to enjoy the nature and a hill drive to initiate the number of travels which forever lies ahead of our life together . We started from Madurai at 9 in our car towards Kodaikanal. We reached around 12 with pit stops in between . We had booked for a room at The Carlton . After checking in and refreshing we went for a walk around the lake .. Then a drive around the lake and pillar rocks . The Maggi stalls and Bhajji stalls around the lake are sure to satisfy your food cravings .. And not to forget the hot chai is the absolute best thing you can have in that climate . We restricted ourselves from indulging in any other activities other than walking and ice hockey . For all those who love purchasing in tourist destinations this place gives you everything you can ask for . But the highlights are the home made chocolates , handmade accessories,winter wear , herbal balms and different fruits . And to mention my husband gifted me a handmade necklace and earrings piece inspired from peacock feather .We called the day off at Kodaikanal with a walk in the coakers walk . We reached around the closing time so the park was almost empty giving us the ‘ our ‘ time in the serene hills . Returning to our room and with a dinner in the balcony with the lakeside view crashing in to each other’s arms is nothing more we could have asked for a better sign off for the day .We travelled back to Madurai the next day from Kodaikanal with the amazing memories we had made . Traveling is not a part of life ,it’s a life by itself .. Follow to know more about the Wanderlust partners hooked forever !!!!!!!
Entrance fee: There is no entrance feeTimings: The lake is open throughout the day. Although early mornings and evenings are the best time to visitTip: The lake is untouched by human actions and we can keep it that way. Don't throw plastic in and around the lake and refrain from harming the natural surroundings in any way.
Once you reach The Misty Mountain Hop, expect to be mesmerized by the jaw dropping valley views. The mountains that belong within the property are cut into steps, where at each step you can choose a spot to pitch your tent. Just surrender yourselves to Mother Nature and let her take care of you!
Over the long weekend in May 2018, we booked two of the campsites in Kodaikanal through CampMonk. This one is about The Spice Valley Campground. Read about the other one Here. This 200 acre land comprising of 4 hills adjoining the Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is right in the lap of wilderness.We packed our saddles and gear and set off on a long bike ride to the mountains. Even though we have been to Kodaikanal few times, this trip was an adrenaline fueled journey.
Kodaikanal is a weekend gateway from Bangalore. The beautiful hill station is just 465 kms away from the city and situated in the lap of Palani hills in the state of Tamil Nadu. I started my journey on Friday night to reach there by 10 AM. Day 1:The first stop was Pine Forest which is quite popular among the tourists. The mystic place will certainly make you spell bound.
5) Kodaikanal – A 160 K.M bus ride from Munnar takes us to our next destination - the hill-station of Kodaikanal. Pleasant climate, scenic natural vistas and numerous waterfalls are what draw travellers to this quaint hill station. One of the reasons to include Kodai in the circuit is because it is relatively less crowded as compared to its counterparts, Ooty and Conoor. Another place worth visiting, rather worth spending a night at is Vattakanal. It is 30 KMs from Kodai and is known as the hip part of Kodaikanal. Evergreen meadows, dense pine forest, lofty hills and the mist in the air makes Vattakanal a traveller’s delight. There is no dearth of accommodation here. You can find lovely places to stay at just 400 INR per head. Incaase you run out of luck, and all rooms are booked, do visit the IPC church in Vattakanal. They charge around 200 bucks per head and allow you to spend the night in their dorm.The golden hours at Vattakanal are something, you CANNOT miss.What to see: Berijam lake, Kodaikanal Lake, Guna Caves, Pillar Rocks, Silver Cascade Falls, Palani Falls, Vattakanal Viewpoint, Kodailkanal Solar Observatory, Thalaiyar Falls, Dolphin’s nose, Upper Lake view, Pine forest, Perumal Peak.Where to stay: Altaf’s café, Edwin’s, RC guest house, Jennova’s cottage. Out of 3 nights make sure to spend atleast 2 nights in VattakanalRecommended Number of Days: 3n/4dKodai to Madurai by train: 140/- SL (45 mins)Madurai to Rameshwaram train: 40/- Gn (3 hours, 40)Stay Cost: Rooms start at 700/- per night. *Tariff may vary from time to time*Food: 800/- per day or less, depends where you choose to eat. (Breakfast-lunch-dinner; without alcohol)Total Cost: 4680 /-
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Day 2 - Kodaikanal, What a love place, very beautiful, I stared riding at 7, got up late again. anyway reached kodaikanal around 3 pm, Got a decent hotel, took my camera and went for exploring kodaikanal. Climate is always chill at kodai (No Fan in rooms). Many places to see in kodaikanal. Pillar rock Pine forest Devil's kitchen Dolphin nose (Trek)All places are open for limited time. Till 4.30-5Pm so make sure you start early to cover all the places. In evening you can spend a very beautiful time near the lake. You can hire cycle and many fun games are available around the lake.
78 Kms from Velankanni
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...
From Chinnasalem after refreshing, we started at 11:00 hrs and as planned we traveled to Madurai via Thanjavur. We reached Thanjavur at 14:10 hrs. As I have already visited, Rajesh alone went to the Thanjai Periyakovil and continued our trip to Madurai.
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.
210 Kms from Velankanni
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 ...
All the we traveled to Madurai, we reached a toll gate and it started to Drizzle as our luggage's are left uncovered, we stayed in the toll till it stopped. We enjoyed the Drizzle - the day was so hot of 37.5'c and we had a rough day. We had a friend in Madurai and we decided to head towards his home for night stay and sleep.
It was 12:30 in the middle of the day and I had just caught the bus to Rameswaram from Madurai. It was quite a hot day, and a big burly police officer took his seat next to me, almost squishing me to a pulp . I was hoping they’d start the bus soon.In the spirit of travel, I started talking to him. He introduced himself as Mr. Ganesan. He was the sub-inspector of Paramakudi, a small town near Rameswaram. Two minutes into the conversation, we were already talking about Dhanushkodi, and the remains of a place that once had a huge economical impact to make on our state.
I woke up in Madurai; got down the bus; thought for a while over waiting until the morning to visit the Meenakshi Temple, but then dropped the idea thinking that in those 3 hrs, I would reach Trichy. I walked across the State Bus Terminal to easily find a bus till Trichy.
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.
130 Kms from Velankanni
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...
I was in Trichy at 5.15 am, and it was too early. After having snoozed at the Bus Depot itself, I decided to go to the Railway Station. At Tiruchirapally station, I found a 20 Rs Ticket for an hour long stay in an AC Waiting Room equipped with comfortable sofas. I spent my 1 hour quite peacefully taking a nap. Now was the time to visit the temples of Trichy. I asked the autos for taking me to the Ranganathar Temple. I felt that the auto guys were overcharging, and I booked an Ola from the Ola Stand right outside the Railway Station. In half an hour, I had crossed the dried Kaveri River to reach the Ranganathar Swamy Temple.
On entering Tamil Nadu's third largest city, Tiruchirappalli or Trichy as it's affectionately called, you are ushered into a tract where modernity and tradition co-exist. As you tread Trichy's clean streets, you are greeted by amiable residents and the ringing of bells from the nearby temples that have single-handedly promoted the city's tourism from time immemorial. Whether you're a history buff or a cultural enthusiast or even a run-of-the-mill vacationer, the ancient temple city has something for everyone. Find out why you should visit Trichy:1. Experience religious and architectural diversity
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.
220 Kms from Velankanni
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, dreamy sunsets and spiritually-uplifting energy, Mahabalipuram is perhaps ...
One of the oldest cities in India, Mahabalipuram is famous for its cave temples, stone carved sculptures, and monuments, that are typical of Pallava art and Dravidian architecture. The shore temple that is cut out of granite rock, overlooks the shores of the Bay of Bengal, and offers a breathtaking view during sunrise and sunset. If you're looking for historic as well as naturally beautiful places to visit in October in India, then Mahabalipuram is for you. Need expert guidance in booking your trip to Mahabalipuram? Click here and connect with your personal travel guide right away!
We woke up pretty early the next morning, and went to Sun bathe. While I soaked in the Sun, Jonathan went for surfing again. In a while, I took a bath in the sea. 2 hours were spent and it was already 10. We had quick showers and handed over our luggage to the individual hotel owners, having checked out. Mine allowed me to let me keep my stuff in the room itself. We had a quick brunch of a South Indian Thaali at Dhanlakshmi, and got onto our foots to the Rock Complex. This time, we did get into the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse had a spiralling stairs that could not accommodate two way traffic, and it took us some time to get to the top. The last flight of stairs rose at some 70 degrees and barely had any space to place a whole foot. But the view from the top was splendid. The massive boulders appeared like pebbles and Bay of Bengal looked amazing. The Shore Temple could be seen as a pretty small peck against the Blue Sea.
I was woken by the noise of trumpets & dhols at 8am. The festival at the night was the eve to this Full Moon festival that happens to be Holi in North India. The beach was mobbed with people who were taking bath and worshipping the Gods who stood in their chariots at the beach. In a while, the chariots made a way to the Othanwadi street where my hotel was, and people came up to take the blessings. By 12 the procession ended. Jonathan was awake by now and working on some project. He sent his papers by 1, and we went for lunch. While he enjoyed the Spanish Music playing there, he was definitely dissappointed by the Lasagne he ate. He wanted to surf and hence, rented a surf board from the place at the beach. I sat at the seashore watching him struggle with the low waves. He disappeared in the sea, and my attention was lost to the North Indian family playing Holi in the sea, and the kids digging up mud to pluck crabs and other creatures out which I didn't recognize. Jonathan finally was able to stand up on the board for a few seconds while surfing. He was excited telling me about it, I was happy that I saw him do it. He had been very disappointed with his performance and the waves otherwise.
Having rested for a bit, I walked towards the beach that was at a few steps from my stay, and then moved on to the Shore Temple, at a 10 minute walk from there. The shore temple stood in solitude, segregated from the shore by the wires installed by the Archaelogical Department to save its status as a World Heritage Site. I took a lot of pictures of the temple, but the bright sun wasn't providing me much support. Way back, the market outside the temple was thronging with people. It was some sort of festival and people were taking a dip in the bath, at the centre of the market, and buying uensils from the roadside vendors who probably had lined up for helping people meet one of the rituals of the festival. It gave me that perfect Indian Market Scene. It was 5 pm by then, and I started walking towards the 5 Rathas, but mid way, I stopped to climb up to the Mahishamardini Rock Cut Mandappa, which provded an excellent view of the entire town and the sea. By the time I got down to get up the Lighthouse, the guards had started evacuating people of the premises. I walked towards the 5 Rathas, but the entry had closed there too. I just happened to take pictures of the site from outside and the Stone Carvers Street.
I slept for a bit late, meanwhile, a new lady roommate checked in; got ready; and left too; my other two roommates too left; I freshened up, had breakfast of dosas at the roadside shanty, and got ready to leave. As I was staying closing to the East Coast Road, I just waited at the bus stop to board the next bus. However, the bus was only Pondicherry bound, and it dropped me at the border from where I got a bus to Mahabalipuram in 5 minutes. I was dropped at the highway and walked towards the Tourist information Centre to get an idea of the places around. Today again was my Veg Day and I had a lunch of Mushroom & Tandoori Roti at Hotel Chettinadu Virudhu, a popular place in the area, who surprisingly, had a perfect North Indian flavour in the food. I walked around to find a place to stay- the first one offered me a room for 800 bucks, and of course, I chucked it. I negotiated with the guy at Mara Guest House for a pretty decent room for 400 bucks.
Chennai – Mahabalipuram: Day 13 to Day 17
It was the first weekend of my internship at Chennai. Out of all the weekend getaways from Chennai, I decided to start with the temple city of Mahabalipuram ( aka Mamallapuram among locals ).Mahabalipuram is a town in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, about 58 km south of Chennai. It is a historic town, famous for its group of monuments dating back to the 7th century. These monuments have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.I boarded the bus to Mahabalipuram from Koyambedu bus stand in Chennai at 10:30 am. The journey took a total of 90 minutes with splendid views of the Bay of Bengal along the East Coast Road. This road is popular among travelers looking for a road trip as well. After getting down at the bus stand, I made way for Arjuna's penance. Also known as Descent of the Ganges, this is a Bas relief that stretches along a length of 100 feet and is 45 feet high with intricate carvings of humans and animals.
208 Kms from Velankanni
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.
A little less than a thirty kilometres from Karaikal, lies Velankanni. The stark white Church of Our Lady is the first structure that comes to view as soon as you start approaching the beach. Nestled between cashew groves, the church was initially dedicated to the goddess of sailors, Our Lady Star of the Sea. Before you leave Velankanni, be sure to drop in at the adjoining museum, the neighbouring bazaar festooned with seashell handicrafts and toys moulded out of clay and the pristine beach.