Rameswaram and Danushkodi – All you need to know to plan your travel

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Trip to Rameswaram

December 2019 saw me plan a road-trip of its kind to Rameswaram from Hyderabad.

A opportunity for family to unwind but work was not permitting us to take a break, so we decided to ensure we use the weekend to plan our travel and weekdays to focus on our work commitments.

Read my Mahabalipuram road trip report here: https://explorebyroad.blog/roadtrip-to-mahabalipuram-tamilnadu/?amp=1

With the travel plan almost ready, we selected the below route which we have undertaken few months back until Mahabalipuram.

The Route

Route: Hyderabad – NAM Expressway – Tangutur – Ongole – Sullurupeta – Chennai – Mahabalipuram (night stay – Tiruchirapalli – Melur – Mandapam – Rameswaram

Renault  Duster at a Fueling station
Duster all ready after refuelling at a Essar Fueling station in Hyderabad

Now coming to the route condition:

Segment one: Hyderabad (ORR Pedda Amberpet) exit – Nalgonda exit: Four lane toll road

Sunrise over ORR, Hyderabad
Sunrise while on ORR

Segment Two: Nalgonda exit – NAM Expressway – four lane state highway (FASTag doesn’t work on this route), so keep your cash ready (₹135 split across two tolls). Road condition is good with few bad patches near Telangana and Andhra Pradesh border for around 3-5 KM’s

You also need to keep in mind the numerous speed breakers and the route that passes through villages on this route but is by far the best one as you can skip the Vijayawada traffic and save a lot of time.

Segment Three: you merge onto the Grand Northern Trunk road connecting Srikakulam – Chennai on the NH radar.

The road from Medarmetla once you merge with the National Highway until Gummudipundi is a beautiful six lane road with good food options on the highway.

Once you cross Gummudipundi, you would start witnessing Chennai city traffic and could be very stressful depending on which time of the day have you entered the city. Ensure that you cross this traffic before your night halt so that you can start of afresh the next morning.

Segment Four: for me this is from Mahabalipuram, you could look for staying at the exit of Chennai as well instead of the place I stayed at.

Route from Chennai via Tiruchirapalli – Melur – Sivaganga – Mandapam – Pamban – Rameswaram would be the route for you today which would be a delight for you to drive. Six lane roads most of it until you turn to your exit towards Sivaganga and beautiful wide two lane roads would greet you with some lovely views.

One thing I noticed driving in Tamilnadu is the absence of Interceptor vehicles to keep a tab on rougue drivers. While I didnot end up seeing any but there were speeding vehicles for sure well above the permissible limits.

Do follow traffic rules while on roads…

Pit stops

Stop 1- We started with our breakfast break at Vivera. Which is just close to Chityal.

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Breakfast at Vivera

Stop 2: The next stop was near the Tangutur Tollplaza for a routine stop along with a light refreshments around 11:00 hours

Tollplaza with a view
Tollplaza with a Restaurant above it!

Stop 3: It was too early for lunch at Tangutur and we continued further on the Chennai highway and stopped at Manubolu close to Gudur. This is a vegetarian restaurant with some good food and Chocolate Room besides it. Service was fast and upto the mark.

Padmavathi Vilaas, Manubolu
Lunch break stop at Padmavathi Vilaas, Manubolu
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Some plain Pulka and Dal Tadka for Lunch

We continued on our journey to our first overnight stay of the day in Mahabalipuram and reached by around 1800 hours.

Day Two of the Travel to Rameswaram

We stared the next day at around 0900 hours and after refuelling, headed on our way to Rameswaram.

We continued until around 1400 hrs before we stopped for lunch at A2B (Aadayaar Anand Bhavan) at Siriganur.

Adayar Ananda Bhavan, Kodikulam
A lovely A2B Outlet at a BPCL refuelling station

Finishing a quick lunch there, we started out on our way to the destination – Rameswaram.

As you need Sivaganga, you merge onto a two lane newly laid out National Highway. A few newly built bridges and roads with ponds greet you as you cruise on these roads.

It took us around 9 hours with breaks for us to reach our final destination on day two of our road-trip.

Finer details

Day One: Hyderabad – Mahabalipuram: 708 KM’s takes around 15 hours.

Hyderabad to Mahabalipuram Fuel and Toll details
Hyderabad – Mahabalipuram Road trip Finer details

Day Two: Mahabalipuram to Rameswaram is 517 KM’s and takes around 10 hours

Mahabalipuram to Rameswaram Fuel and Toll details
Mahabalipuram to Rameswaram

I should actually share on the FASTag too here.

I have used ICICI FASTag and didnot face any challenge other than at Chennai outskirts where the vehicular movement was very high.

The drive and passing of Tollplaza was very smooth.

I enjoyed my drive through the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka.

Getting a FASTag is pretty simple these days.

Just head over to one of the Tollbooths and get one for your vehicle with your Aadhaar card copy, photo.

Fill the application form and the tag will get activated in a matter of few minutes.

Some tips to keep in mind while heading on this road trip:

  • Start early so you reach your night halt well in time
  • Ensure your car is serviced and checked properly before heading on a road trip
  • NAM Expressway passed through villages, be careful and watchout for speedbumps before villages and for crossing cattle / people unannounced
  • Adequately stock snacks and NAM expressway food options are very very limited, the next halt would only be at Tangatur
  • Only if required, drive at nights else avoid
  • Maintain the permitted speeds only and follow traffic rules
  • Use indicators when switching lanes
  • Rameswaram municipality charges ₹100 as entrance fees for any vehicles entering the town, be wary of it, they make a big issue if you try bypassing them

A detailed post on Danushkodi by my good friend Ami is shared here: https://thrillingtravel.in/whispers-ghost-town-dhanushkodi.html

Should you need any details or help in planning your trip, reach out on my social media or through Comments.

Head over to my Instagram / Youtube Profile and do follow me for more amazing road trip / travelogues.

Until my next blog-post, this is Srikanth Signing Off!Do follow me on Social Media for my travel journeys: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest

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