8 Days Road Trip in South India | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India

8 Days Road Trip in South India | Temples and Beaches of South India | Road Trip | Beaches of South India | Temples of South India | South India Trip | Bangalore to Madurai | Madurai to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India

Introduction

This post is a summary of my Road Trip in South India. I own a Mahindra XUV 300 and I took this journey along with my family. This is not a tour advisory or how you should travel. This is purely my experience and my exploration.

In this post I will discuss the route that I took for this journey, the temples and beaches of South India that I visited. I will discuss what I liked and what I disliked.

In this trip, I drove Mahindra XUV 300. I took my wife, my 2 and half years-old son, my 65 years old mother and it was a great experience.

Day 1: Bangalore to Madurai (22nd Dec)

We started on Friday evening (22nd November 2023) from Bangalore around 7:00 PM. Driving conditions in Bangalore is tough and it took around 3 hours to come out of the Bangalore traffic. Then we headed straight towards Madurai taking the Hosur road, Namakkal, Dindigul and reached Madurai by 4:00 AM.

We reached Madurai by 3:00 AM (23rd-Dec-2023)

The hotel in Madurai was pre-booked through Booking.Com and we had requested for the early check-in and the request was accepted with ease. However, when we checked-in to the hotel (Hotel Temple View) we were asked to check out exactly after 24 hours. i.e. If we checked in at 3:00 AM, we had to check out by 3:00 AM. In some other post, I will write a detailed trip of Madurai. This post is a summary of the travel.

Day 2: Madurai Temple Visit

Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple opens at 3:30 AM and after taking a bath, we immediately went to the temple. We offered the darshan and came back to the hotel. As my mother is unable to walk long distances, I easily got a wheelchair for her, and it became very convenient for us.

In second half of the day, we visited Nayakkar Mahal and Kudal Azgar Temple.

After taking some rest, we started from Madurai at 2:30 AM towards Dhanushkodi.

Day 3: Madurai to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram

Day 3: Drive to Dhanushkodi (24th Dec)

Dhanushkodi is the last land of India. Morning was indeed a good time to visit the place. We started from Madurai around 2:30 to 3:00 AM on 24th-Dec-2023 towards Dhanushkodi. The road was fine, and it was a great experience. As you get to the southernmost part of India, you develop a sense of driving to the last point of a big country.

The maps would show the oceans on both of your sides and the thrill starts developing. As soon as you get the first sight of the sea on both of your sides, you get a great feeling.

We crossed the Pamban Bridge in darkness, but later during the day, we came back for it. Pamban is the bridge that connects Rameshwaram to the Indian subcontinent.

The barricade for Dhanushkodi opens at 6:00 AM and we were there by 5:30 AM and were almost the first in the line. It was the time for Sunrise, and we entered for Dhanushkodi. We could witness the sea on both the sides of the road.

We deviated at point to the left and went to the Kodanda Rama Temple, however, it was closed. We then moved further and deviated again to the right and went to a broken ship station and could find a serene beach. We decided that we will come back after we return from the last point.

We went to the last point and could witness the meeting point of the 2 Oceans, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. Generally, you will find that water in the ocean flow on one or the other side. However, at this meeting point the waters will collide with each other make a turbulent water structure.

It was already bright, and Sun was up in the sky. We moved back towards the beach that we saw in the morning. We spent around an hour at the last point of India. The crowd started coming and soon the place was full of people.

We came back to the point where we could access a silent sea beach. We got down and sat near the beach and had some snacks that we brought along with us. This was peaceful and relaxing.

I went into the water, and I would advise that you do not go far enough here. The land suddenly goes down and if you do not know swimming, you might get carried away in the sea. This was the point where I realized as why being such a clean and nice beach, people do not encourage tourism here. Later, I saw some shallow beaches and realized the difference.

Soon the shops opened and people here mostly into finding and selling seashells and crystals. We bought some and moved towards Pamban bridge and stopped at the Sea Park for some time.

Then we headed towards the hotel near the Rameshwaram Temple. Hotel Annamalai was pre-booked with Yatradham.com. We stayed at the hotel at night and morning 3:00 AM we went to the Temple. I will put more details in a dedicated post on Rameshwaram temple.

Day 4: Rameshwaram Temple and Drive to Kanyakumari

On 25th December we visited the Rameshwaram temple. We started with the Mani Darshan which starts at 3:30 AM in the morning. Then we went to take bath in 22 wells dedicated to different teertham. Post taking the bath and changing the clothes, we went to to the Rameshwaram Jyotirling darshan which starts at 6:00 AM.

We were through the darshan by 12:00. However, we could have done it early but due to my old age mother it took a little longer as we took time to move. It was all good and my mother enjoyed it too. I see a big problem with people that they are always in hurry and pushing people around them. Either their journey is poorly planned, or hurrying is there in their nature.

Due to long holiday the crowd was big, and it took some time in getting into the queue.

By 2:30 PM we were good to start for Kanyakumari, our next destination.

During my drive to Kanakumari, the road was single laned but was in good condition. It was about to take 6 hours to reach Kanakumari. For this night, there was no hotel booked in advance. We had to find a hotel on the way, however, due to Christmas all hotels were occupied.

I checked with my family and asked if they could sleep in the car. They all agreed. We stayed near (NH 44, Vadaku vallioor, Valliyur, Tamil Nadu 627117) STN Indian Oil Petrol pump at night. The breeze was cold and soothing, so my family was able to sleep well in the car. At night, I could see a lot of windmills which were close enough to the highway and blinking red lights far away. I got it right, there were more than 1000 windmills, and the morning drive was going to be fun.

Day 5: Kanyakumari and visit to Vivekananda Rock Memorial

We woke up around 6:00 AM in the morning and the breeze was refreshing enough for a good sleep. We were all fresh and ready to start. As our booked hotel was only 35 Kms away from the petrol station, we did not hurry. We freshened up at the petrol pump and had some snacks and tea. We enjoyed the scenic beauty of the place.

In my overall journey that I have done across India in car or motorcycle, I trust only Indian Oil petrol pumps for cleanliness of the bathrooms. I have travelled long distances with my mother and wife, and we use Indian Oil Petrol Pumps for bathrooms. Thanks to Indian Oil. So anytime ladies travelling with me wants to use the toilet or bathroom, the code is Indian Oil. I have visited other petrol pumps, but they are not well managed.

Morning was nice, my 2.5 years old son also enjoyed a lot. Then by 8:00 AM we started for Kanyakumari. We had pre-booked hotel for the day Raghavi Tourist Home and that was another great experience. We reached the hotel Raghavi Tourist Home and checked in. We took some rest there.

In the second half of the day, after proper rest, we went to the Kanyakumari Bhagvathiy Amman Temple by 2:30 PM and then joined the queue for the jetty to Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

I did not take my old age mother as boarding the jetty is tough. So, she rested at the hotel only. The jetty ride was fun, and it was more fun when we reached the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

After witnessing the sunset, we took the last jetty to come back. Then we walked along the Bhagwathy Amman Temple, 16 Pillar Mandapam, saw the Dhwaj Mandapam, Triveni Sangam of Kanyakumari (Confluence of Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea & Indian Ocean).

We walked along the path and reached back to the main road easily. You just need to walk, and you will get to all the places. From the main road, we reached hotel easily and had a peaceful sleep.

Day 6: Kanyakumari to Padmanabh Swamy Temple

Padmanabh Swamy temple is 98 Kms from Kanyakumari. We took the route through Colachel as we wanted to remain close to the beach. That in my opinion was a good decision but was to be proved wrong.

We started by 11:00 AM from Kanyakumari and started driving towards Padmanabh Swamy Temple. Enroute, we booked a hotel and found a good deal. Hotel Sri Udupi which was on the main road and right beside the West Nada of the Padmanabh Swamy temple.

I enquired as soon as I reached the hotel and found that there was a strict dress code to enter the temple. For men it was dhoti and for women it was saree. In the morning, I went to enquire further, and one counter was selling the dresses. It was easy and convenient to buy it from there as the price was reasonable and no bargaining.

Day 7: Visit to Padmanabh Swamy Temple and Drive to Kannur

In the morning we freshened up and took bath. I had already arranged for the dresses and my mother and wife went with saree. So, it was super easy. There are no mobiles or camera allowed so, we left all other stuff at the hotel room.

I arranged a wheelchair from North Nada of the temple, and it was convenient for my mother to roam around the temple. However, the wheelchair does not go to the sanctum, so, she had to walk inside. Police personnel were helpful as my mother needed to stop, rest, and move.

Later by 12:00 Pm we started from Padmanabh Swamy and visited the Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace and Udayagiri Fort. Padmanabhapuram Wooden palace is worth seeing, however, the fort is only advised, if you want to witness the place, there is nothing of much importance.

We started driving again and crossed the Lemur beach and Muttom Beach. We did not stop at the beach as I guessed that the road condition is harsh, and we need to keep moving.

In Kerela, the roads are bad, the state transport bus drivers are absurd, and nobody seemed to follow the traffic rules. Truck drivers are reckless. So, if you go there, drive with caution. The road is 2 laned, and during overtake or a small mistake, your right-side car will get easily damaged. This was the scene I witnessed with many cars.

On the way we stopped at the Kovalam beach. This is a famous beach; however, the crowd has made it dirty. Driving to this beach was tough and full of cars. Maybe we went near the Christmas and found the crowd.

It took almost 3 hours to drive 90 Kms. We had to stop at Kochi, however, I took a decision to drive whole night and come out of this nightmare. If I had stared during the day, it would have taken another full day to reach Kannur. So, no stopping till we reach Kannur. That was tiring but okay. Less traffic at night, however, traffic jams due to truck lines.

8 Days Road Trip in South India | Temples and Beaches of South India | Road Trip | Beaches of South India | Temples of South India | South India Trip | Bangalore to Madurai | Madurai to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India

Day 8: Reached Kannur and Visited Payyambalam Beach

By 6:00 AM in the morning, we were in Kannur and faced another problem. Beef was being sold everywhere, being a Hindu, I could even take tea at these hotels. Later I found out that Hindus of Kerela also eat beef. It seemed to me like a different country.

We checked in to the hotel Luxe Inn in Chalad and they allowed early check-in with a small amount. We rested for full day and in evening we went to the Payymbalam beach. It was a perfect sunset that we witnessed. We enjoyed bombie ride, and a small speed boat ride. We then came back to the hotel.

In the morning, we went to see the Snake Park in Kannur as I was travelling with a 2.5-year-old kid. He enjoyed seeing animals, fish, and snakes in the snake park. We had a good time in the park.

By 1:30 PM we came back to the hotel and by 3:00 PM we left for Muzhappilangad Beach. Muzhappilangad Beach is one of the best driving beaches in India. As the care would go on the beach and you can drive in the water, I took my mother along with me. She too enjoyed watching the sunset at Muzhappilangad.

My car went bad as I have a broken rear sensor and water went inside the car. However, it started after that and I was able to reach an Indian Oil petrol pump, but the car stopped at the pump. I sent my mother, wife, and kid to the hotel in a taxi. I stayed at the pump that night. I called the tow service in the morning, and they took me to a nearby Mahindra Service Center (Eram Motors in Nadal). That was another experience.

The service center was closed as it was 31st December – Sunday and next day 1st January – New year leave. We stayed at the hotel for 2 days and finally on 2nd January 2024, the car was fixed. So, I am not counting these 2 days. But I already had 1 day in hand as I planned.

Once the car was fixed, we took the route via Mysore and reached our home in Bangalore.

This was the complete story of the drive in South India. 8 Days Road Trip in South India.

8 Days Road Trip in South India | Temples and Beaches of South India | Road Trip | Beaches of South India | Temples of South India | South India Trip | Bangalore to Madurai | Madurai to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India

Summary – 8 Days Road Trip in South India

8 Days Road Trip in South India, Temples and Beaches of South India, Beaches of South India, Temples of South India, South India Trip

This post is an overview of the overall journey in a car and 8 Days Road Trip in South India. We visited Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari, Padmanabh Swamy, Kovalam beach, Payyambalam Beach, Kanyakumari beach, Dhanushkodi beach, Payyambalam beach, Muzhappilangad beach.

We enjoyed the trip. India is a country of temples and it is not possible to visit each and every local temple. We stick to the plan of visiting main places. If you have enough time, you can visit all the places.

When you read multiple blogs, they will confuse you with a list and make you scared. If you plan it well and keep your eyes and ears open, you will find everything nearby.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. I will put a detailed post about each location and place that I visited. Thank you for reading!!!

Road Trip in South India

8 Days Road Trip in South India | Temples and Beaches of South India | Road Trip | Beaches of South India | Temples of South India | South India Trip | Bangalore to Madurai | Madurai to Dhanushkodi and Rameshwaram | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India

If you want to see videos, I will post in my YouTube Channel and primarily on Instagram. Follow me on the Instagram.

8 Days Road Trip in South India | Beautiful Temples and Beaches of South India, ThePoemStory - Poems and Stories, Poems and Stories

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