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|
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|
|Pilgrim Rush for Sabarimala|
|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.
|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|
|NArrow Winding Road|
|Tamilnadu View point|
|Ottakalthumedu View Point|
|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|
|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