It was time to plan our next trip. After a lot of discussions and debates with friends and family,we decided to do a road trip to Rameswaram and surrounding places.
Day 1: SEP 28,2017
It’s difficult to wake up before sunrise for us on usual days. It is otherwise when it is for a vacation. Akash, Srini and I woke up at 3am and quickly embarked our journey at 4, picked up Aku ‘s paati n thatha enroute. The morning breeze and the clear roads were in our favour and we stopped by Hotel Sangeethas at a place called Vikravandi, about 140 kms before Trichy, for breakfast at 7.30am. After treating our taste buds with some delicious idlis n dosas, off we went straight to Rameswaram at 2.30pm.
The roads in Rameswaram were too narrow and dirty for such a tourist attraction.We checked in to a hotel(Hotel new island Star booked in advance) , which was not too great despite the good reviews online.
Nevertheless, we refreshed ourselves soon and headed towards Ramanathapuram temple, praying for a smooth darshan. We were surprised at the no-crowd temple and decided to take the theertham trip. This is a famous must-do ritual which takes us through 22 theerthams(wells) and water is poured on us from each of them. The routes were well marked and we completed this part of the trip,too, in a smooth manner.
Day 2:SEP 29,2017
We quickly visited the longest corridor which we missed to see the previous day,had breakfast and went towards Dhanushkodi. Visited Ramar padham and Kothandaramaswamy Temple on the way.It was a sad sight to see the dilapidated remains of the storm in the 1960s which had caused great havoc and destruction in the place.
The roads were new and took us till Arichalmunai, the end point of the sea shore.we could not believe that Sri Lanka was just 15 kms away. The view was indeed, mesmerizing. We spent some time shopping a few sea-shell made jewellery and clicking some selfies and went to Tirunelveli, our next stop of the trip. We checked in to Sri Balaji mansion, near the bus stand. The building looked really old outside , but the rooms were surprisingly spacious and clean with all the necessary facilities. Happily, we refreshed ourselves and went to seek the darshan of Nellaiappar and Gandhimathi Ambal. It was a very old and large temple. Then we wanted to have authentic Tirunelveli food for dinner.As recommended by the locals, we went to Annamalai mess, which served us unique delicacies like Mundhiri rava dosa, 3-in-1 uthappam( tomato, onion and coriander), etc.
Day 3:SEP 30,2017
Akash, Srini and I love water, water and anything water. Agastiar waterfalls, with its tall cascade of milk, was waiting for us to dive and splash in it. Though it was crowded , being a long weekend, we had a splendid time to our heartful. Then we had an authentic awesome lunch at Ambasamudram(Thanks to Siva who suggested this place).
In the evening, we planned to go to Tiruchendur.The heavy traffic jam and the long queue to take a glimpse of Muruga was a great turn-off for all of us, leaving all of us hungry for a long time.Nevertheless, Mani Iyer ,(restaurant you may find all over Tiruchendur) saved all of us from starvation.:) That was a long day and we reached Tirunelveli at 11pm.
Day 4:OCT 1,2017
This was the D-Day of the trip. We spotted a cute, small village in the rural suburbs of Tirunelveli, called C.N.Nagar, thanks to Google Maps. This was the place where my dear mother-in-law had spent her happy childhood days. She mesmerized us with her nostalgia when we visited the house where she had lived once,the Kurukkuthurai Murugan temple which lies right on the bank of the Thamirabarani river and the way she narrated each and every road we spotted taking her back to those days when she walked with her friends to school. After spending a good time here and taking a quick dip in the cool and serene Thamirabarani waters, we headed towards Annamalai mess(hoping to relish the taste yet again),but in vain. The shop was closed. Had lunch in another restaurant nearby and the rest of the day was for rest and shopping the famous Tirunelveli halwa,etc.
Day 5 & 6: OCT2,2017
These were the last days of our trip.We started the day lethargically and headed towards Trichy.
Checked in at Mayavaram lodge and climbed up the fort(Malaikottai) to meet Uchipillayar. We happened to meet two of my relatives there as a coincidence. It is great joy to meet our dear ones unexpectedly. The next day we returned to Chennai,thus concluding our long,yet relaxed trip.That was an overall 2000km. 🙂