During my recent road trip to Kerala from Chennai, on the way back we stopped by at Bailkuppe close to Kushalnagar, Coorg, Karnataka to see the Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery). These were some of the photos of the monks.
This was during my drive from Bangalore to Payanur, Kerala. We spotted these somewhere after Gonikoppal, Karnataka on the way to Kerala. Only later we realized, when we were looking at these photos, that probably they were domesticated. There were chains around the legs and one elephant had a bell around its neck. But it was still a wonderful feeling to have sighted these giants.
Rameswaram has one of the cleanest, beautiful beaches in Indian mainland. Look at the color of the water and the visibility, you can see the rocks in the sea bed.
This was taken at 5:30 AM in Rameswaram. And a long-exposure photo, that is why this photo has such lovely lights and a surreal feel to it.
This was shot on the way back from Goa, a road trip I did with three friends. I think this was road trip number 5. From Chennai to Goa and we took the Ghat roads(fun part) Couple of years back, It was 7:30 AM and we had taken a less trodden route to the NH4 from Goa. Loved the curves and sun rays falling on the road through the leaves.
There is a long weekend coming up (Sept 7, 8, 9) and here are a few places that I’ll recommend for you. If you love driving, all these places are definitely approachable by road and believe me, Tamil Nadu state highways are great. If you do not want to drive, take a train or bus(chances of getting tickets is very less)
1. Chennai to Pondicherry (Pondy)
Distance – 160 Kms.
Genre – Coastal
You can take the scenic ECR or you can take the GST. Both roads have their benefits. If you take the ECR route, you can stop by at a lot of places (Dakshina Chithra, Crocodile bank, Mahabalipuram). If you start early morning by around 8, you can see all these places and reach Pondy before sunset. The next day you can roam around in Pondy in a relaxed, no hurry manner and start back from Pondicherry on the third day.
2. Chennai – Pondy – Pichavaram – Tranquebar
Distance – 280 Kms
Genre – Coastal, Historic
First day morning start from Chennai and reach Pondy, chill out in Pondicherry that day. 2nd day morning start from Pondy and head to Pichavaram, less than an hour away.
Pichavaram has only one thing to offer. Boat ride in the mangrove forest. It is humid and hot during the middle of the day. So if you wish to enjoy this place, you need to go in the morning around 9 and the boat ride with get over by 12 or 1 PM. After that you can have lunch in Chidambaram or head to Tranquebar. Tranquebar (known as Tharangambadi) is popular for a Dutch fort which still stands in a good condition. It has a Dutch governor’s house and a Maritime museum. You can have lunch or dinner at a Neemrana hotel there. You can either stay there (bit costly) or stay in a Tamil Nadu house (property maintained by Neemrana) which is cheaper. OR you can just drive back to Pondy that night. 3rd day morning you can look around Pondy or Chill out there and start from Pondy around 3PM and be back in Chennai by 6 PM.
3. Chennai – Masinagudi
Distance – 600 Kms
Genre – Hillstation
The driving is a bit too much, so if you are a road trip enthusiast and have one more driver with you on this trip, it’s better. Masinagudi is a great place to relax, you can go on a jungle safari or just relax in your resort. On your way back you can even stopby ooty and come.
4. Chennai – Rameswaram
Distance – 550 Kms
Genre – Historic, temple town, superb beaches
It is a hidden gem, I would say. Not many know about the beautiful, white sand beaches and Dhanushkodi.
5. Yercaud from Chennai
Distance – 350 Kms
Genre – Hillstation, Trekking
Amazing place for relaxing, superb weather, fresh air. The best thing is it is not even that far away from Chennai. If you are trekking enthusiast, you should really try this place. Rent out a tent-accommodation at Heaven’s Ledge and rent a guide. He will take you through the coffee plantations, through rivers and show you some superb viewpoints. My post on my Yercaud Trip