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Call from Rameshwaram

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by C_S, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    It was the evening of July 27, Saturday, the light was ebbing as I sat on my balcony sipping coffee and browsing through my mails. Once I logged out of my mails, the logout page had some news snippet on the corridors of Rameshwaram temple. Since I am not a pilgrimage kind of person I never took note of it and ignored. A week passed by and again I saw some photos and write up on Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi on the net. This time I did not ignore it did a bit of reading and left at that. A few days passed and again I came across Rameshwaram and this time through the movie Chennai Express. Somehow in a span of about 15 days, I was always encountering Rameshwaram through our modern windows to the world(Internet and Television). That is when I decided to do some reading on the place its importance and its surrounding. After reading on Rameshwaram and its significance in the Ramayana, I was compelled to visit this holy place. Thus came the call from Rameshwaram. Strange but true, I was planning for my first trip to a holy place. Every time I was asked to accompany my parents to holy places I used to crib and here I was planning for Rameshwaram. I was so much captivated by this place that I had decided to do this trip alone if no one joined me. This coincided with me booking the T-Jet and I decided that the first long trip on the T-jet would be for Rameshwaram. I then requested my parents and wife to join me on my trip and they were shell shocked looking at the itinerary .. temples, temples temples all the way. But strangely that is how it was, I still cannot believe I did plan such a trip.
    After finishing my overseas work engagements I made plans to visit Rameshwaram during Deepavali holidays. Looked at google maps and following places were earmarked. Bangalore – Madurai – Rameshwaram – Thanjavur – Kumbakonam and back to Bangalore.
    Evening before the Trip:
    I left my office at about 5 PM and went home to get ready to take the Tjet on its first highway trip. Gave it a good wash, checked the pressure on the tires, kept all the necessary trip requirements (Torch, ropes, manuals, first aid, etc). Car being new, I had never tested the alternate keys, tried the alternate key and it never worked. Called the helpline they could not figure out much and asked me to check with the dealer. Called the dealer and to my SHOCK they had given me the wrong alternate key. So had to rush to the showroom to get the correct alternate keys, before they could close the showroom and service center. Still gives me jitters when I think that if I had gone ahead with the trip and lost one of the keys. New buyers, please check if your alternate keys work. Rest of the day went in to packing deep in to the night.
    Day 1: Bangalore - Madurai
    As usual we were late to start (5.45 am instead of 5 a.m.) and the moment we crossed electronic city we encountered Deepavali traffic, people trying to go to Hosur to buy crackers. Took about 2 hours to cross Hosur, and the MID was showing 9.8 km/ltr. The only silver lining to this piece of travel was the early morning mist we encountered. The photographs below depict the mist and early morning rush.

    Morning Mist.jpg Traffic.jpg

    We had breakfast somewhere after Hosur and then the traffic eased.
    It was time to check how good my new possession was and the moment I hit the pedal, boy-o-boy did she fly. Miles after miles just flew by and before we could realize we were almost near Namakkal. I had read about how sure footed Fiat cars were on the roads, and the Tjet was like a horse bred for the highways, I just realized that I was leaving behind a plethora of cars behind me without even breaking a sweat. After a few miles of spirited drive I decided to slow down. My mom who was sleeping peacefully till then suddenly got up and said “ Yaako train ninthaa haage aagthha ede” (Feel as though the train is stopping), and here I was doing about 95km/hr. (For a few readers this explanation may look weird to be part of a write up, but here we were a bunch of people who had upgraded from a simple hatch to a sedan that was easily 3 segments above and stability at 120km/hr was unchartered territory for us)
    Saw the MID and it was hovering around 12Km/ltr, I decided to make the travel a bit more economical and started driving with a light pedal. We reached Dindigul and took a break for lunch. After which we took a few pictures of the car.

    Lunch car.jpg Lunch car 1.jpg Madurai 2.jpg Madurai 3.jpg Madurai 4.jpg Madurai 6.jpg Madurai 8.jpg Madurai 13.jpg

    We rested at Madurai for the day.

    Day 2: Madurai to Rameshwaram
    After breakfast we left for Rameshwaram, this was a state highway. As we were going through the city we encountered a huge temple pond, the size of which we had never seen before.

    After some distance we decided to break and the chosen place was below a tamarind tree. Enjoyed some fresh, tender tamarind and continued our journey to Rameshwaram.
    Tamarind 2.jpg Tamarind 1.jpg

    As we closed in near Rameshwaram, we were greeted with light showers and the automatic rain sensing wipers was put on show, we were really impressed. On the way the jet clocked 1000kms, Then came our first sight of Rameshwaram.

    1000 km.jpg Blue.jpg

    Just before the Pamban bridge we saw a temple and shore and we decided to take a break. I took this chance to take a few snaps of the car and water. While I was doing this, a sea duck was more than obliging to give some poses for my camera.

    Car Rameshwaram enter 3.jpg Car Rameshwaram enter 2.jpg Boat 2.jpg Boat 1.jpg Bird 2.jpg Bird 1.jpg

    After the small break we continued and within a few minutes, we were on the Pamban bridge. The bridge is an amazing amalgamation of human engineering and nature’s beauty. We were left spell bound for a few minutes just soaking in everything, until a shrill horn from one of the private operators woke us up, because I had parked the car on the bridge, and he wanted me to move it to a side.

    Pamban 7.jpg Pamban 6.jpg Pamban 5.jpg Pamban 4.jpg Pamban1.jpg Pamban 3.jpg Pamban 2.jpg

    After this treat to the eye and senses, we silently drove towards the hotel. Evening we visited the shrine, again here we were not allowed cameras or mobiles. The temple was a humungous and the mere size of the temple left us gasping. Discussions were around the effort taken to build the temple. Me and my wife being from the IT industry were thinking about how the project plan could have been, logistics, QC, QA and all such things(sometime I pity myself that we cannot even think anything outside these words), and within a few minutes we were in front of Lord Ramanathaswamy. The deity at the shrine was nothing special, a normal lingam, but the urge that I had to visit this temple made the deity look all the more special. This is when I realized the famous sentence from the movie Kung Fu panda, where the panda is advised by its dad about the secret ingredient of the soup that “one has to think something is special to make it special”. (Apologies if I got the wordings wrong). Since there was not a big crowd we could get to see the deity as long as we wanted and after satisfying ourselves we left for the hotel, and I settled in front of the television for the India –Australia cricket match.

    Coming up more on Day 3: Rameshwaram – Dhanushkodi
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  2. linealover

    linealover Regolare

    Awesome writeup sir!

    this part of india is totally disconnected.
  3. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    Day 3: Rameshwaram – Dhanushkodi
    Previous day someone spoke to me about a special pooja that is done here called the Spatika Ling Pooja (Spatika means quartz). Decided to be part of this. Woke up at 4 am and after the morning routines we were at the temple at 4.45. The pooja started at 5 am and went on for about an hour but pilgrims are allowed to see this for about 10 min and had to move. The same ritual is repeated for 1 hr. After the pooja we decided to have a look at the sunrise, before going in for the holy dip across the 22 wells at Rameshwaram. The sunrise was an extraordinary spectacle, not that I have not seen a sunrise before but for some strange reason this felt special. Managed a few snaps.

    After soaking in the first rays of the Sun, we left for the holy dip across the 22 wells and then left for Dhanushkodi.

    Soaking in.jpg

    Sunrise 6.jpg

    Sunrise 5.jpg

    Sunrise 4.jpg

    Sunrise 3.jpg

    Sunrise 1.jpg
    5 people like this.
  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    How many days is sufficient for Rameshwaram trip?

    I am also planning to visit in Dec last week.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Two days should be more than sufficient. Also, you can club Tanjore and Madurai as well if time permits. I recommend visiting Tanjore Big Temple if you haven't seen before. The temple is more than 1000 years old and is declared as 'World Heritage Site' by Unesco.
    5 people like this.
  6. C_S

    C_S Amatore


    Ravi, 2 days should be enough if it is strictly for Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi, as ramjn suggested it would make sense to do the Madurai and Thanjavur, which i did. I will post the pictures of the same sometime today. But please have a one full day for Dhanushkodi, that place is worth min a day.
    1 person likes this.
  7. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    Day 3 - Dhanushkodi - Continued

    Dhanushkodi was another special place. Before reaching the island, we came across a stretch of road that has water on both sides and the road stretches for about a kilometer.

    Water on both sides.jpg Dhanuskodi 1.jpg Dhanushkodi 2.jpg Dhanushkodi 3.jpg

    As we moved closer, Acres and acres of pristine beach, and the special feeling that we were standing on the piece of land from where Lord Rama built the bride to cross the ocean to Sri Lanka. Our normal cars cannot take us to Dhanushkodi, one has to hire Jeeps or Maxicabs as shown in one of the snaps to Dhanushkodi. As can be seen, the drive is on the fringes of the ocean battling mud, sand and water. Throughout the fringes we can see small ecosystems where tiny birds and making a living. Cannot help but say that we are irresponsibly moving on these beaches and killing these small wonderful ecosystems, each time we move on the fringes of the beach. We have got no right to do this. I believe the government should ban such rides or create an alternate transport to reach this place. I can sense that may be in about 5 years with the increase in tourism and accessibility, even this place will be littered and we will lose the pristine waters that can now be seen. Few snaps of Dhanushkodi, the final snap was of puppy, who despite me ignoring was persistent to get his snap done and I finally gave in and gave its piece of camera time.

    Dhanushkodi 4.jpg Dhanuskodi 5.jpg Dhanuskodi 6.jpg Dhanuskodi 7.jpg Dhanuskodi 8.jpg Dhanuskodi 9.jpg Dhanuskodi 10.jpg Dhanuskodi 11.jpg Dhanuskodi 12.jpg Dhanuskodi 13.jpg Dhanuskodi 14.jpg Dhanuskodi 15.jpg Dhanuskodi 16.jpg Dhanuskodi 17.jpg Dhanuskodi 18.jpg Dhanuskodi 19.jpg Dhanuskodi 20.jpg Dhanuskodi 22.jpg Dhanuskodi 21.jpg

    After Dhanushkodi- we left for Thanjavur. – Coming up some pictures from Thanjavur
    4 people like this.
  8. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Great pictures, specially the stretch with water on both side.
    Till what point one can take car? And how you hired Jeep there? From hotel or from last driving point?
  9. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    We took the Maxicab from the last driving point. You can also hire Jeeps from the hotel. Also the Maxicabs will only take you till a certain point. But i would suggest you hire a Jeep either from the hotel or at the last point till you can drive. The Jeeps will take you to a point which is the Tip of the land and from where the Rama Setu is just a few kilometers in to the sea. I did not know this and missed it. The Jeeps will cost you more, but i think it is worth it, if you have traveled so far.

    Cost of the Maxicab is rs 100 per head. I got to know once i came back that the cost of the Jeep is 2000(for four/five).
    2 people like this.
  10. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    Day 4 - Thanjavur

    We arrived late Night in to Thanjavur. It was about 11.00 when we arrived. The state highway between Rameshwaram and Thanjavur was good. The drive was very entertaining, Took on one of the Innovas that was travelling, since the roads were empty. Managed to overtake it, but with a lot of effort. Finally when i took a break for some coffee, the Innova driver (who also had to stop there, as there were hardly any hotels around there), came down and enquired about the car and asked me to look after the car really well. He also said that there were not many cars around that could keep up with his Innova . (Not sure why he told me that, may be he wanted to make me happy). But i was smiling ear to ear with that kind of feedback.

    We rested for the day, and the next we went to the Famous Bhruhadeshwara Temple. Some snaps of the temple. After Thanjavur we went to just one temple at Kumbakonam and rested. Next day we were back to Bangalore. Thanks for patiently reading my experiences.
    Next time i will be back, when i happen to to visit some other place. Hoping my photography would have improved by then.
















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