A unique and memorable solo road trip: South Tamilnadu, India
Most of us have done or planned a road trip In Himalayas or Rajasthan, but have you ever thought of having a trip in which you can witness clean beaches, famous temples, hill stations away from hustle-bustle of the traffic and absolutely amazing roads.
Trust me, it is not some dream that I am showing you but a reality and that too in India without having to spend thousands of rupees in flights, visas and other expenses!!
So, I will take you through the trip which I took in “March 2023 during the Holi week” in detail with complete itinerary, where to stay, what to eat and literally everything required for me to convince you to take this trip!!
So, Let’s Start!!!
Places covered in and around Madurai, Rameshwaram, Dhanushkodi, Kodaikanal, Vatakanal
Flight till Madurai available from most of the major cities of India
Self-drive car with Bluetooth stereo from Madurai. Can book it in advance for hassle free experience
Hotels in Madurai, Rameshwaram and Kodaikanal. Will give suggestions for them but best is to check at booking.com
Basic knowledge of changing care tyres and driving on mountain roads.
Lot of options are available including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian with focus on authentic south Indian meals which are absolutely delicious.
South Indian Meal
Anything to take care of:
While most people think that there would be Language problem, but interestingly almost everyone understands English or if not that, you can easily communicate through hand signs.
While it is mostly secure, but try to avoid late night solo outings due to unexpected sightings of wild animals.
Itinerary and day wise schedule
Now I should come to itinerary. You can skip few things if you wish to, or add some days in particular city if you like. I went solo by a self-drive vehicle. So, sharing itinerary basis that:
Day 1: Arrive at Madurai, Sightseeing and reach to Rameshwaram (200 Kms, 4-5 hours)
I landed at Madurai at around 8am in the morning and took a self-drive car (have pre booked it online through comfort cars). I freshened up at airport itself and started my day by visiting Meenakshi temple (One of the most famous temples of south India) which is around 15 kms from airport and in the centre of city. After seeking blessings and having breakfast, I started my journey for Rameshwaram.
Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
After spending some time at Panban Bridge (the Instagram famous bridge of India), I reached Rameshwaram at around 3pm. I checked in to a hotel (Ocean Sands Residency- 8072203154 Jai Ganesh) and rested for a while.
Hotel at Rameshwaram
I left to visit Dhanushkodi (around 30Kms from Rameshwaram) at around 4:30 pm to visit the last point of India, saw the Ram-setu remains and caught a glimpse of one of the best sunsets at the beach.
Last point, Dhanushkodi
I reached back to Rameshwaram at around 7pm, had dinner and went off to sleep
Day 2: Sightseeing at Rameshwaram and reach to Kodaikanal (350 Kms, 7-8 hours)
I woke up early morning, had darshan at famous Shiva temple of Rameshwaram (One of the 12 jyotirlingas).
Shiva Jyortirlinga, Rameshwaram
Post that I had breakfast and started my journey for Kodaikanal.
Red sand Beach, On way to Kodai
On the way I visited APJ Abdul kalam’s museum, again spent some time at Panban bridge, visited few beaches on the way and reached Kodaikanal at around 7pm.
I checked in at Zostel, Kodaikanal (which I had booked earlier, because of non-availability at the last moment), interacted with fellow travelers and went off to sleep.
Day 3: Sightseeing at Kodaikanal
I kept this as a pretty chill day with places to roam around. Post breakfast, along with few of the friends (made last night), we started for Kookal Lake which is around 30Kms from the city.
I also visited the local sightseeing places also along with them. We had lunch at a very famous place on the way called Passiflora which serves mostly Italian with an amazing view facing the Poomborai Village.
PassiFlora Cafe, Kodai
We arrived at Zostel in evening, had some rest and then had some interesting storytelling sessions with some bonfire and drinks.
Day 4: Sightseeing to Vatakanal
To get actual feel of Misty Kodai, I planned my day for Vatakanal (10 kms away from Zostel). I did a small trek to Dolphin’s nose (around 1 hour). The weather is very unpredictable at Vatakanal, with unexpected fog, sun, rain.
Dolphin Nose, Vatakanal
While having lunch, I made a friend who was staying there itself. So along with him I roamed around the place, chilled some time at their property.
Post that I head back to Zostel in evening to spend some time at famous Kodaikanal Lake. In the night I saw a rare sight of Group of wild Bisons crossing the road (Completely awestruck).
Day 5: Visit to Waterfall and Head back to Madurai for return flight back to Delhi
I started early this day, checked out of Zostel to visit waterfalls along the way back to Madurai. I visited silver cascade waterfall and Kumbakkarai Falls (30kms offbeat).
I returned the car back and headed to Madurai Airport along with lifetime experiences and memories to cherish.
Book some hotel in advance if required through Booking.com with pay the property option to avoid last minute rush especially when travelling solo.
Start your journey early in the morning in such tourist places as there would be less traffic and more time for you to explore places.
You will easily get lot of things to eat on the way. So, avoid carrying extra stuff to eat as you would need to carry that weight yourself.
Kodaikanal is a plastic free zone. So do remember to carry your own waterbottles!
Do let me know if I missed anything. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me at Instagram @peakandtroughs.
To many more travels,