South india trip help

Old Aug 2nd, 2018, 02:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 75
South india trip help

Here's my preliminary itinerary:

Any comments appreciated!

Was initially planning early/mid November but reading about Northeastern monsoon, especially in Tamil Nadu, have thought about delaying it until early December. Would we be better off delaying further? Flight connections wise easier to start in Chennai, would there be a strong argument for doing it backwards delaying time in Tamil Nadu a further week or not likely to make a big difference? We aren't beach people but get enough of the rain in Vancouver

Day 1: Vancouver to Chennai (direct flight, 5 hr stopover in Delhi)
Day 2: (flying, date line)
Day 3: arrive Chennai early afternoon, transfer to Mahabalipuram, rest this afternoon;
Day 4: explore temples of Mahabalipuram, drive to Puducherry;
Day 5: Puducherry
Day 6: Puducherry to Maduri, with stop at temple imbetween
Day 7: early morning visit to Menakshi temple, Maduri to Munnar
Day 8: Munnar
Day 9: Munnar
Day 10: house boat in Kerala backwarters or hotel in backwaters + houseboat
Day 11: as above or extra day in Kochi
Day 12: Kochi
Day 13: Kochi to Delhi AM
Day 14 Delhi, visit family
Day 15: Delhi to Vancouver
tdiddy23 is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2018, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 678
a. After such a long flight, I guess it will be better to stay at least a night in Chennai. There are a whole lot of good hotels and sightseeing there. The city walks are quite interesting.
b. Chennai to Pondicherry is about 4 hours and Mahabalipuram can be done enroute.
c. Pondicherry to Madurai is a whopping 260 miles! Give an overnight in Thanjavur. There are some stunning Temples in the vicinity, viz. Nataraja Temple Chidambaram & Brihdeshwara temples tanjore...a must see.
d. A night on the Houseboat is fine. Take the top-category, the lower being quite disappointing. If that is beyond the budget than better to do a Day ride with lunch and overnight in a hotel.
December should be fine weather, with low precipitation. However, the peak festival time of 20 December to 10 January should be avoided as the rates are quite steep and some hotels will charge a surcharge.
Happy travels!
vp_singh is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2018, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 49
I think your itinerary is fine. Chennai airport is on the southern side of the city and to get out to Mahabalipuram via the scenic ECR is not a problem. It's a 2-3 hour drive depending on traffic. The advantage of staying in Mahabalipuram as opposed to Chennai is you'd get to enjoy the beach and the temples in the evening and early morning before the hordes from Chennai descend. Its the best time to enjoy them.

Rest seems fine though the pondicherry to Madurai stretch is indeed a bit rushed - you'd take the inland road, its a good highway. In that case Srirangam at Trichy will be the stopover. The road via Thanjavur is not so great.

Weatherwise, late november and early december are both fine. The NE monsoon has been erratic in last few years and after Deepawali (this year on 7 November), rains taper off.
AroraV is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2018, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 75
thanks for the replies!

I was a bit concerned with that stretch Pondicherry to Madurai. Thanjavur looks more interesting than Trichy to me, could potentially add a night there instead of extra night in Munnar. However, I don't like the sounds of the road, so NH38 is much better than NH36?
tdiddy23 is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2018, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 678
The Thanjavur road will take a little longer. The general route will be Pondy >> Chidambaram >> Thanjavur >> Trichy >> Madurai.
Hope it helps.
vp_singh is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2018, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,553
I preferred the temple in Thanjavur, but you can see it on the way to Trichy. See:

I didn't have any issues with the road, but I had just experienced the terrible roads in Karnataka.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2018, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 255
Hi Indiapearl.
We are returning to India in February 2019. Planning flying to Delhi and then on to Bangalore.
In no particular order at this point in time - Mysore, Yercaud, Pondicherry and Tanquebad. Want to fit in a trip to Wayanad too but it that is too difficult, then Bangalore to Hampi and on to Goa for a couple of days before returning to Delhi.
Rasputin1 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2018, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 255
Bangalore to Pondicherry has one flight a day. This will eliminate the need to fly to Madras and then a long journey to Pondicherry by road. We have been to Mahabalpurum and Madurai before so do not want to go there again.
Rasputin1 is offline  
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