Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Chennai to Thekkady, A Trip to Cradle of Nature

Thekkady trip was planned for the Christmas Holidays.

Plan was to visit Vekkaliamman koil at Woraiyur Trichy, Take the Manaparai road, dress purchase at Puthanatham, by lunch reach Dindigul to have Ponram biryani and to reach Kumily via Theni Gudalur, around 5 pm.
Poojai at  Vandalur Eraniamman temple

Started from home at 6.30 in the morning, halted at Vandalur Eraniamman temple for the pooja halt, when reached Paranur ROB, there was a big queue of vehicles, a rear ending accident on the ROB and all vehicles were piled up. Slowly moved and cleared toll plaza by  7.40am.

Paranur Chengalpet Toll Plaza Pile up from ROB

Queue at the Toll Plaza

For the RFID electronic toll collection 2 lanes in the toll plaza are under construction, so it was all zig zag queueing and moving at Toll plaza.

NH 45 on our way to Dindigul

Tindivanam Toll Plaza Queue

Highly Decorated Ambassador

Tindivanam toll plaza had still bigger queue and cleared them by 8.40 am. Traffic was there all along, due the good quality of roads many are seen traelling in private vehicles, there was big rush of cars.
Vikravandi toll was reached at 9.15 am here also waited for about 10 minutes.

Post Villupuram the road was comparatively free and by the time we were near Perambalur it was already 11 am, so there was no chance of visiting the Vekkaliamman temple as we expected the temple will close by 11.30 am.
Before Perambalur Tea Break Halt

NH 45 Highway

Nearing Trichy 

At Trichy Mannarpuram Aristo junction flyover work was happening so the road to Dindigul approach was closed, didn’t want to venture in to the Trichy city and navigate, so took the NH 45B Madurai road till Manikandam, took the pongudi road and reached Nh 45 near Ramji nagar police station.

NH 45B to Nh 45 Manikandam Ramjinagar road 

Pongudi Ralway station crossing

ON way to Dindigul

Dindigul to Kodaikanal Diversion

Dindigul Manaparai road was totally traffic free reached Puthanatham aby 12.45 pm, the garment shop where we regularly purchase garments was shifted, and didn’t know where to get the clothes. One person directed to another garment factory store nearby, checked with them and purchased 6 shirts, Chudhidhar sets.

Temple enroute to Theni

Parts of the Theni Road were good

Toll Plaza Unfinished and abandoned on Theni Kumily road

Reached Dindigul Ponram Restaurant around 2.20pm, ordered famous Briyani, Chicken Winglet, Briyani was served in small quantity, later understood it is ¼ biryani.

Started from Dindigul and to get in to the Theni road one should take the service road and Not NH 7, there were no signboards present, we took the NH 7 only to see the Theni road passing underneath us and we were on the flyover, when asked with a biker, he told you have to travel 4 km to take a U turn or go reverse in the 4 lane road wrong side driving for about 400 metres to take the Theni road.

We took the longer detour took the next U turn available and came to the service road to travel to Theni.

Dark by 5 Pm itself
Since sabarimala pilgrimage season was on, there were so many mini vans and tavera type vehicles going towards sabarimala.
Pilgrim Rush for Sabarimala
The Highway NH 183 Theni to Kumily is 2 lane road where work is completed in patches and many portions were potholed roads.
On to the Theni Road towards Kumily
Bad Road Condition

Got grapes at Gudalur for 30 rs a kg, and by this time around 5 pm it was getting dark, and the Kumily ghat road was still a good 20 km away, finally around 5.30 pm started the Ghat climb and reached Thekkady by 6.30 pm total 564 km and toll of 285 rs.

Stayed in Woods and Spices resort, next day went around Kumily, Thekkady to find the places of  interest, it was told the famous Boating at the periyar reserve is all booked for the weekend through online so everyone told no point in visiting the boating point.

Christmas celebration Lighting at the Thekkady Resort

Checked with the Jeep safari and Gavi forest safari team was complaining they did not see any wild animals in their trip also it started at morning 5.30 am and returned by 3.30 pm.
On 27th December booked the Thekkady sight seeing Jeep safari covering Otakulathu medu view point, Pandikuzhi view point, one falls view, Spice plantation and Elephant Safari.

At Thekkady

Front of Coffee Plantation

Various Home stay options

Kumily Bus stand

At the Kumily Bus stand

English names for the Spices

Bamboo bushes may be more than 50 years old

Lunch Menu Selection at Thekkady

Reserve forest restricted area was next to the resort

Road to the Resort

Resort Road steep climb

Bamboo Jungle

NArrow Winding Road

Tamilnadu View point

Ottakalthumedu View Point

Sandalwood trees

Jeep Safari Sight Seeing Options and Fares

Elephant Ride first occupant

Elepehant Ride first and Second occupant

Here we go on the Elephant Ride to the Plantation garden

Goodbye Kerala and Entering Favourite Tamilnadu

Kumily Bus stand for TN vehicles

Theni Enchanting view

In search of Grape vieyard but it was Gentleman toe plantation

Bus on its way from Kumily to Nagercoil, it does not touch Madurai

Benny Cuick Bus stand Theni

Manikandam Trichy Lush green Fields

Ulundupet Vikravandi Section

Overloaded Vehicle

Ulundurpet Toll Plaza Queue

Started at 12.30 pm for the Safari in the Jeep, it went through all non motorable roads and reached the view points, Spice plantation was not interested and already on the previous day purchased the spices at Kumily, Next went for the Elephant Ride, 400 per person for a 30 minutes ride, there was a queue and to get our turn we were made to wait for 45 minutes, completed the Elephant ride on a 1.50 km track, it was bumpy ad back breaking ride. Returned to the room by 3.30 pm had lunch at a Hotel in kumily named Maharani food was ok.

Started to Home on Sunday 28th December, Left Thekkady by 8.00 am, on the return purchased Grapes box at Gudalur, pineapple also it was available in plenty.

Went to Chinnamanur ODaipatti, thenpalani  to have a look at the Grape vineyard, but there was no plantation available, hence tracked back to Theni, by 10.30 am, Reached Dindigul by 12 pm. Visited Puthanatham to complete the balance garment purchase, by 2.30 pm we were at Manaparai Kurinji hotel for Lunch. Purchased famous manaparai murukku and started to Chennai.

This time at the Ramji nagar police station pongudi road a bridge was under repair and made to take a detour to reach the Madurai tiruchy Road, While taking puthanatham road Trichy Dindigul toll 88rs at ponnambalapatti was avoided
crossed Samayapuram by 3 pm, 40 Rs toll
Padalur 3.45,  50 rs toll
Ulundurpet 4.30  50 rs toll
Vikranvandi 5 pm  75 Rs toll
Tindivanam 5.30 pm  35 Rs toll and from here onwards traffic was more
Paranur was crossed at 6.30 pm  35 Rs toll,and by the time Urapakkam came the traffic came to a stand still halt, slowly moved inch by inch to reach tambaram by 7.30 pm, reached Home by 7.45 pm.
Total distance covered 584 km and 285 Rs in Toll.
Total Petrol 68 litres


  1. Theni road toll plaza is knocked down now, the roof lies to the floor

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. THeni Road toll plaza getting ready for toll collection may start anytime

  4. Thekkady is a wonderful place.Your trip experience is really awesome.It was wonderful to read your blog.I love reading your travelogue because it has new information everytime to read.Plan your travel with ticketgoose from the leading bus travel operator like KPN Travels to visit the place.

  5. Thanks for sharing nice information!!
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  7. So beautiful place to visit with family. Pictures were awesome, it shows your entire experience. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post in this blog. It is a lovely place. Make your trip by booking your bus tickets in advance in Online Bus Ticket Booking Portal to comfort your trip.

  8. Nice information. Thanks for the sharing.

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  9. Hi
    Thekkady is located about 257 km (160 mi) from Trivandrum, 141 km from Madurai City and Madurai Airport, 145 km from Cochin International Airport and 114 km from Kottayam railway station. Thekkady is located near to Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. The sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs.

    Very interesting post, we enjoyed each and everything as per written in your post. Thank you for this article because it’s really informative. If you are planning for your holiday and searching for the beautiful place to spend your time then you can wander around this vibrant city. It really helps people to plan for future trips. If anyone want go to visit these places book your online bus tickets advance in Online Bus Ticket Booking


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