Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ride to Rameshwaram

Since, there were 3 days leave, was planning for some trip. Many thoughts were floating inside the mind. I had a plan of riding to Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. Asked couple of friends, whether they can join for ride. Since many did not had leave for Ramadan, they couldn't join for my 3 days plan. Later, Shailesh said he is ON for the 3 day plan and within few mins our route plan was ready.

Day 1-2 (Jun 23rd-24th):

Though we had decided to leave Bengaluru around 7 PM itself,it was around 10 PM when we started from Bengaluru. He took me in some shortcuts and finally we hit Hosur road. After riding for an hour, we stopped at Krishnagiri to fill Petrol and also had Tea break.

A guy met near this shop was surprised when we said we are heading to Rameshwaram. After a break, we started in highway towards Salem. When we reach Namakkal, it was around 4 AM and we both were feeling sleepy. We decided to park our bike in some petrol bunk and sleep for sometime. Took rest for sometime and then we started towards Trichy.

We took diversion from NH to state highways in Namakkal towards Trichy. After breakfast, we en routed towards Rameshwaram via Padukottai-Karaikudi-Manamadurai-Paramakudi-Rameshwaram. Though this is state highway, it was very good for riding. 

We had a plan to reach Rameshwaram by 9 AM and after visiting temple and sightseeing in Rameshwaram, by evening will go to Kanyakumari. But we reached Rameshwaram by 2 PM after taking many breaks. We do not wanted to give more strain to our body by riding continuously. Already we had 620 kms of ride since last 16 hrs and do not wanted to continue further for a day. Hence, we dropped Kanyakumari plan and cancelled room booking there. Although Shailesh insisted to extend our plan for one more day, so that we can visit Kanyakumari also. But, I was not in a position to extend due to shortage of leaves. 

After crossing the Panban bridge,We reached Rameshwaram around 2 PM via Pamban bridge, which connects mainland to island (Rameshwaram). A 2 km bridge is the main connectivity to Rameshwaram. Also, there is a railway bridge next parallel to this road. This Railway bridge is one of the world's dangerous route since its constructed over sea and it requires everyday maintenance. This bridge also reminds of Kalam sahab's childhood where he use to sell news paper in the train which travels in this bridge. 

Then we directly headed to hotel. Our body needed a nice sleep for sometime and we do not wanted to go against it. After taking rest for sometime, we headed to temple for Drashana, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.

Day 3 (June 25th)

Early morning around 5 AM we headed towards Dhanushkodi, which reminds of Ramayana where Lord Rama built bridge to connect India and Lanka where one edge of bridge becomes Dhanushkodi which means end of the bow. The 20 km ride from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi was excellent. It was very nice experience to ride in a very straight road and sea in both the sides. Had a felling like riding in between the sea itself. Had to ride with wild wind shaking the bikes, sand blowing in the wind. 

5 km before to Dhanushkodi, there is an check post and security guard was not allowing our bike towards Dhanushkodi, the tip. We requested him saying that we had ride 620 kms all the way from Bengaluru. After exchanging few words, he agreed to allow us to ride till end. Earlier, there was no road till Dhanushkodi. One use to go with 4*4 jeeps available there, since it was full of sand. But now, very good road is constructed and any vehicles can go there. 

At Dhanushkodi, there is an abandoned railway station and old church which were washed away in the Tsunami in 1964. Also, we can see few old homes there which are all destroyed. But now, looks like its not permitted to live there.

After spending some time in the tip and beach, we headed back to room and started towards Madhuai. On the way we also visited Abdul Kalam's memorial. Since, it was under construction, nobody was allowed near his graveyard. Around 3 PM we reached Madhurai. Again we took rest for sometime and went to Meenakshi temple. Since, it was long weekend, temple was huge crowded. It took almost 2 hrs for Darshanam. The temple is majestic in its architecture. The pillars and carvings are most beautiful.

After visiting temple, we went for roaming the city. Shailesh wanted to have Biriyani at famour Kumar mess. I accompanied him in the hotel and later I had dinner in different hotel, since Im vegetarian. 

Then it was time for Jigarthanda, a native drink of Madurai made of Almonds. Since, we both are kind of foodies, we prefer to taste native food whenever we travel anywhere. 

Day 4 (June 26th)

We started from Madhurai at early morning around 5:30 AM and we started in NH-7 towards Dindigul. After Dindigul, we took diversion to state highway towards Tirupur. Since, we had planned to ride back via Satyamangalam forest, we took deviation from national highway. The state roads in TamilNadu are well maintained. Around afternoon we reached Bahavanisagar dam which is near Satyamangalam forest. 

We had lunch in the small hotel near dam, and we started our ride towards forest which is Tiger reservoir. After crossing the Satyamangalam check post,had to ride inside a forest,then the thrilling and scary ride begins in Dhimbham ghat which has 27 hairpin bends. This was incredible ride in the ghat section. My dad traveling in his route for almost 30+ years to Coimbatore and Tirupur for cotton business. I remember he use to tell about this ghat since my childhood, how difficult to go in loaded lorry n this Ghat.

After Dhuimbham ghats, we were inside Karnataka state. After a small break for tea, started our journey to Bengaluru via Chamarajanagar - Kollegala - Malavalli - Kanakapura - Bengaluru.

Around 7:30 PM we reached Bengaluru and ended our long ride of 1425 kms. 

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