Kanpur is an Amazing city, torn between time.Landing in a makeshift airport, travelling a city with a glorious industrial past and futuristic technology minds.(IIT-Kanpur).A Road trip in Kanpur can be so fulfilling and yet so enigmatic.
Try Kanpur by road and local cuisine and the local language can be so enchanting.
Dont finish without a small interaction with the IIT – Kanpur Students and their plans to change the world.
Delivering a Key note address to the Students of This Famed Institute was a Great Feeling.
The Institute itself is so vast and calm, cycling or walking around can be so relaxing.The Canteen in the CompuSc. Block served hot paratas and sitting in the canteen eating food as like the students unlike many Star Studded Hotels we are sometimes fortunate to be in as Part of Corporate Programes feels humbling.
A Combination of work with local sightseeing in the evening in Kanpur is so cool and the city’s great heritage so inspiring.
Some Road Trips are not for seeing outside but for seeing within.This trip was one such. Velankani. Well, Velankani has been in my plans but somehow never happened. Finally the guilt took over and I decided to do it.This one for the soul.A Spiritual Road Trip.
Velankani, I remember pretty well from my school days.I had this friend in School, who along with family used to do this trip probably every year and would always come and give me a Red or Black color ring Ring.I loved that gesture.
Also then I always thought Velankani a place in Kerela. However google, my best tutor, told me otherwise. Velankani was in fact in TamilNadu and a 500 km drive from Bangalore.So, to coincide with my birthday last year , I decided to do this 1000 kms drive in 24 hours and take my mother along this time.Thats how this happened.A Pilgrimage by Road to a Holy place with Mother and Son, on my birthday 🙂
Its a good drive, although hot in many stretches, surprised by the lack of greenery in this part of country but the destination is nice, serene and spiritual with a beauty of the church specially in the evenings.The adjoining beach and the flea market are also nice to explore.and finally I got to buy those red and black velankani rings which had started the original curiosity many years back. 🙂
Tips – Drive route from Tanjavur, Trichy,Salem,Bangalore is better and advisable.
Stay – Hotel MGM Velankani. Good for family.
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Drive time will be mostly 7-8 hours with a small breaks for snacks and lunch.Keep Water bottle handy.
All in all, nice spiritual road trip of 1000 kms in 48 hours, to mark the entry into the next phase of life:)
Here’s the Google Map for Driving Directions.
Finally could drive to the southern tip of India,Kanyakumari. This place was in my scheme of things for a long time as every day my drive to work included a small stretch through the NH-44, and the NG signboard showing Kanyakumari. I always felt the calling to drive off to the southern end of india. But Time and Tide are not bounded by human fantasies.So I had to wait for that day when I could finally plan for the drive to Kanyakumari.
That day finally came in December 2018.Every December for last few years we do this long drives, but Dec 2017 was little bothering as I could not do a Trip to some tourist destination but took a trip to Sakra hospital in Bangalore where I spent most part of December and Jan 2017 / 2018.This trip was my first one in an Ambulance, and yes, as a patient.Dec 2017 was spent in my surgery and post surgery recuperation. There was a point in time when I was even skeptical that I could drive ever.But Thanks to God and so many people prayers,I recovered and could also drive after a period of time.So When I got the opportunity , I dint want to loose it.I thought this recovery should be celebrated by driving to the Southern Part of India. Kanyakumari :).
The usual planning , booking and budgeting was over. We planned to coincide the trip to kanyakumari to few places of Kerela which we had not done earlier.Varkala, Poovar and Kovalum,keeping our kerela base as Trivandrum.That became our 10 day Road Trip Itiniery for Dec 2018.
Places to Mention.Sunrise at Kanyakumari is Awesome.Must Try.
Duration – 22nd Dec 2016 to 1st Jan 2017.
Distance – 3000 kms ( including local driving )
Stopover – Kolhapur & Mumbai till Daman.both ways.
Pros / Cons – NH – 4 and NH-8 mostly.good roads except Satara where city flyover construction can cause little delay.Mumbai better to use local GPS as the roads can be confusing.best travelled at night ( Mumbai)otherwise mostly smooth driving and convenient NH travel..I had avoided night driving.
Stay – Kolhapur – airbnb.homestay.highly recommened.
Mumbai – International House, YMCA. Was humbled to hear that Mr Azim Premji stayed here too long back and recommended the work done by YMCA globally.
Overall rating of he ttrip – 5/5 star 🙂
- Distance – 250 kms approx.
- Road Types – NH and SH, Country Road via Coffee Estates.
- Quality of Roads – 7/ 10.Country Roads in Coorg – 9 / 10.
- Traffic Conditions :
- Moderate , Peak during Festivals.specially Mysore entry.
- Avoid Abbey Falls, entry by car as its slippery and steep during rains.no proper management at site.better to walk the last mile, 2 kms.
- Toll gates jammed during entry and exit in long holidays.
- Stay – homes stays, good quality, reasonable price.try airbnb.com for options.Try Cavalry House ( Recommended).
- Highlights –
- Abbey Falls in Monsoons,
- Golden Temple – Tibetan Monastry.
- Jog in the plantations mid morning..avoid early mornings as elephants can be seen.
- Offroading with company, not solo.
- Overall Recommendation for Road Trip – 8 / 10.