Days: 26 to 29 of GIRT tour  

Chennai > Trichy > Tanjore > Rameshwaram > Ramanathapuram > Dhanushkody > Kanyakumari > Allapuzha

Srirangam - Trichy 



The above pictures are of  Srirangam Temple ..  on 9th Jan-08 morning

Tanjore - Big Temple


Nandi 3M high weighs 25 tons

All above pics ... taken inside Brihadishwara Temple, Tanjore 

The Ayappa Devotees were there in large numbers at Big temple

 The Big Temple's Elephant

 Tanjavur University 




 Indira Gandhi Bridge (1988) crosses over Gulf of Mannar to isalnd of Rameshwaram island


 View from the Pamban bridge

 Rameshwaram shoreline

Ramanthaswamy Temple at Rameshwaram



Sandy ride alon beach coast

Coast line at Dhansuhkody

Ruins in Dhaushkody Village

Fishing line being hauled in

A Sadhu in Dhaushkody

Kumar our 4WD Jeep driver


Kothandarama Swamy Temple

 On top of Kothandaramar temple

A stone plaque at Kothandarama temple says renovated 1976-78 with donation from a devotee in Kolkata! 



Kanya Kumari


Kanya Kumari Beach road

 Kanya Kumari

 Viewing Tower at K"kumari

8th January 08 > Day-26 : Chennai - Trichy 334 Kms  


We left Chennai at 6:45AM via NH-45 heading to Trichy. This  road which was reputed to be good, was actually now pretty bad most of the way due to heavy 4-laning construction work. The road had been gutted badly by teh heavy construction dumpers & excavators. Anyway we reached Trichy at 3:30PM and too roos in Hotel Arun (Rs 605 per DBL room) near Railway station.

Since the Self-starter was a nagging problem now, we found that a Tata Motor Authorised Service Center run by VST Motors was nearby. We took it there at 4:00 PM  and were lucky to get the Works Managers attention to attend to our problem immediately. They were more than happy to do that when they heard  about our GIRT tour and that Tapan was from Telco. They did a very through job of reparing the self-starter motor and as per their advise changed the battery too as the old battery was already more than 2 years old. The Car started running very smoothly after this servicing and the fuel average also went up beyond 20 KMPL.


Trichy Srirangam Temple - entry gate 

9th Jan 08 > Day-27 : Trichy - Tanjore - R'waram  328 Kms  

We checked out of the hotel at 7:00AM and first went to the Srirangam Temple - Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple dedicated to Vishnu. The temple is dated from 10th century and iin 12th century the philosopher Ramanuja was the head of the temple school here.  We had a good darshan in half-an-hour.  At 7:30AM headed out to Tanjore via NH-67. We passed REC Trichy on the way and reached Big Temple of Tanjore at 9:50AM  

Entrance Gopuram of Brihadishwara Temple, Tanjore

Brihadishwara Temple - Tanjavur, Tamilnadu

The entire temple grounds .... seen in long perspective shot.

Brihadishwara Temple in Tanjavur is a World Heritage site. Built by Raja Raja in 1010 in Chola temple architecture. the temple is  loacted in spacious grounds with many pillared halls and 250 linga shrines along teh oputer walls.  The huge Nandi created from a single rock faces the inner sanctum which contains a 4M high Lingam with circumfrance of 7M.

We left this temple at 10.30AM and continued southwest on the road leading to Pudukottai, from where w ewent down NH-210 via Thirmayam, Karaikudi (Lunch, 100PM) , Devakottai, Devipattinam and reached  Ramanathapuram at 4:30PM. there we were advised to carry on to Rameswaram to get better hotels. So we continued past Uchchippuli, Mandapam, Pamban and Rameshwaram. On the Pamban bridge we stopped for to take pictures of the Railway lift bridge and the Coast lines: 

The NH-49 after crossing Ramanathapuram becomes very scenic


Railway Bridge on Gulf of Mannar - Lift section at Pamban  


Near Rameshwaram-Island.... the railway line goes under road bridge

At Rameshwaram, we got two DBL rooms, with AC  & TV at Hotel Maharaja on the main street, near the temple for Rs 520/- each. We have now covered nearly 7250KMs in 27 days and completed 75% of our whole GIRT trip.

In the evening we walked over to the Ramanthaswamy Temple and had an easy  darshan. This huge temple built in 12th century AD in typical Dravidian style, has four magnificiant and long corridors lined with pillars with elaborate sculptures. It is said it is here that Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) offered prayers of thanks to Shiva.

10th Jan 08 > Day-28 : R'waram - Dhanushkody and back

Today morning (8am to 11am) we went from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkody (17Kms) and another 7Kms beyond to the very land's end of India, near Adams bridge. The last 10-15Kms of the road is thru some amazing sandy beaches and sea water. We had sea beaches on either side. At the end we seemd to be surrounded by sea all round; except for the narrow peninsula, down which we came!

Fisherfolks pulling in a fishing line at Dhanuskody

There was amazing scenery all along the way with small fishing villages and cocunut / palm trees and green shrubs along the way. [ This was a kind of a cross between Kumarkom backwater and Sam Sand dunes!]. Dhanuskody was in ruins with broken buildings that came down during a storm in 1964.

The 4WD Jeep is the only kind of vehicle that can perhaps negotiate this kind of terrain. The Rs 850/- we paid for the 3 hour ride was worth every paise just for the unique scenery alone!

Causeway road .... leading to Kothandramar Temple

On our way back we visited the Kothandarama Swamy Temple which was , in a sort of island by itself, down a causeway-road, off the main road to Dhanushkody. 

10th Jan 08 > Day-28 : R'waram - Kovilpatti - 270 Kms 

We left Rameshwaram at 11:30am and started for Kanya Kumari. We were advised not to take the coastal route via Tuticorin, as the roads were not in good condition. So we headed north-west to Madurai (via NH49  i.e. via Paramakudi, Manamadurai & Madurai) and then turned south again on NH7 towards Kanya-Kumari (via Tirumangalam, Virudhnagar, Sattur & Kovilpatti). At 5:00PM we decided to stop at Kovilapatti Ananda Lodge; DBL room with AC for Rs 400/- each.

11th Jan 08 > Day-29: Kovilpatti - K' Kumari - Alleppy 400Kms

We left Kovalpatti at 6:30AM and carried on down NH7 all the way to Kanya Kumari ... reaching the beach there at 10:00AM. But we found the entire beach and the beach-road parked full to capacity, with Buses and Sumos and Vans! And the whole place (beach and roads) was overflowing with men-in-black i.e.  Sabarimalai Pilgrims taking a holy dip at the southern tip of India. 

Kanya Kumari - beach view

We could barely walk to the beach in that crushing crowd. So in the end we just stopped for 5 mins at the beach, took some pics and left KanyaKumari in a hurry!  The Kerala portion of today's drive continues in Page-9.