Day 2:

On second day morning took breakfast and left the resort. Today we have check-in in Geethu International Hotel, Poovar.

So after check-out the Kovalam resort, we drive straight to Poovar. On the way to Poovar, we stopped at Poovar Golden Sand Beach. This is a long stretch beach and have beautiful view.

See the panoramic view of the Poovar Beach below:

After we spend some time here (around 45mins), we left the beach and went to the Hotel Geethu International. Check-in to the hotel and took some rest.

Around 2PM, we finished our lunch in this hotel and left for backwater cruse. There are many boating services available here. They charge around 2000 per hour per boat for 6 seater boat. They will take you to the sea and show some point of interest places through the backwater channel.

There are few floating restaurant on the backwater. You eat sea food here, but prices are very costlier. So think about ordering anything. They will charge Rs.300 for briyani, which tastes below average.

We hired 2 hour boating and return to the hotel around 5PM. We completed the dinner around 8PM and went to sleep.

Backwater Pic:


Day3:

On day 3, we wake-up early morning and bath. Around 8 AM we completed the breakfast and drive to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). We reached Trivandrum around 10 AM and went to Kerala Science and Technology Museum. There is nothing for me, but it's very useful for school students. This place includes a planetarium, science and technology gallery, 3D&4D theater which has shows about tech and astrology.

After spending around 45 mins, we left to Tirivananthapuram Zoo. It's medium size zoo, which host some 20 types animals includes bear, tiger, deer, monkeys, reptiles and birds.


Here you can spend around 1 hour. After this zoo, we left the place and rive to another beach Shangumugam Beach. This is another long stretch beach and have good panoramic view. Just walk and you will spend around 1 hour. Around 4 PM we left the beach and drive straight to the Hotel. We reached the hotel around 6 PM. We did some shopping for spices, have dinner and went to sleep around 9 PM. 

There are many other places to see if you have time. There are around 20 point of interest places.

We planned to wake-up very early morning to get back to our home. So then we can avoid traffic and worst ever road condition.

So woke-up around 3 AM and left the hotel and drive towards HOME.

More photos:











I made this trip with one of my friend. The total distance to Kovalam from my place (Aranthangi) is 425kms.

Root: Aranthangi - Madurai - Thirunelveli - Nagarcoil - Kovalam.

Driving to Kovalam for 425kms will make me very tired. So I decided to start one day before and stay in Thirunelveli and start earlier on next day from Thirunelveli. So we can reach the hotel in Kovalam on the check-in time 11PM.

In Thirunelveli, we stayed at Hotel TVK Regency, a Two Star Hotel. I booked a AC Room in this hotel via MakeMyTrip. The cost for the room for a night is Rs.1100 including GST.

Pros:

1. Clean Room.
2. Geyser in room.
3. Clean bathroom.
4. LED TV.
5. Bit small room, but OK.
6. Located in the main road.

Cons:

1. No private parking. You should park in front of the hotel.
2. If you open the windows, bad smell come from outside.

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On next day, we started early morning around 6:30AM towards Kovalam. The road is very good up to Nagarcoil, it's toll road and there are 4 toll gates within 250kms. After Nagarcoil, the roads started getting worse. You can drive the car maximum 40kmph speed.

We reached the hotel around 11:30AM, but the check-in time 12PM. Even though our room is ready, the receptionist requested us to wait for 12PM.

On 12PM, we check-in to the resort (Beach & Lake Ayurvedic Resort). Booking made via MakeMyTrip for one night for Rs.1286 including GST with complementary breakfast.

Pros:

1. Very near to sea. You can see the sea from the resort and listen to the waves.
2. Very clean and big room.
3. Big and clean bathroom.
4. Cable TV.
5. WiFi Internet.
6. Running hot water.
7. Mini Bridge.

Cons:

1. Even though the name is Beach & Lake, there is no access to beach.
2. Food taste is average.
3. No Bar.

After check-in, we had lunch at the resort's restaurant and went to Kovalam Beach. We relaxed their up to evening. We come back to resort late evening, took dinner and went to sleep early night.

Kovalam is just a another beach, I feel nothing special. There are hotels and restaurants alongside the beach. These restaurants will serve you food, beer and wine. No hot drinks.

Root Map for Aranthangi (Tamilnadu) to Kovalam (Kerala):



Photos of the resort - Beach & Lake Ayurvedic Resort:






Kovalam Beach Photos:









I went Rameshwaram many times to visit Dhanushkodi (Lands End). This time I went to visit the Arichalmunai (அரிச்சல்முனை), the real end of the land.


As most of you know that the Rameshwaram is an island (The Pamban Island) and connects with the main land through Pamban Bridge (Rail Bridge and Road Bridge). And some peoples know the Dhanushkodi, which is long stretch of land with merely about 100 meters of width ends in to the sea. But few peoples know the real of the stretch which is Arichalmunai.

Arichalmunai which was not accessible due to there was no road, because it was destroyed by a tsunami some years before. But the road was rebuilt and recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister Modi. This road is National Highway NH87 (Kochi Madurai Dhanushkodi Road).

This is the great place to see. Nothing to say about this place, but lot about to SEE.

There is no season to visit this place, but go early morning before 10AM or evening after 3PM. Will be very hot in noon. Avoid when there is any high wind, because there will be sand storm on Arichalmunai.

Here is some photos of Arichalmunai - Land's End.















Bison Valley Cottage, Palaniappa Tea Estate, Coonoor, Ooty, Tamilandu.

If you really want to super relaxed for an affordable expense, this is the place for you.

This time I want to super relaxed at an off the town evergreen place, and very peace and calm at an affordable price. So I selected Coonoor Tea Estate Homestays. In Coonoor, the notable home stay is DevaShola Homestays which has 5 home-stays for for your budget.

I booked my room at Bison Valley Cottage (which has row rooms with modern amenities) located at Palaniappa Tea Estate (which is division of DevaShola Estate), around 30 kms from the the Coonoor Town. Booking was made through MakeMyTrip and I got a nice discount.

This row rooms are clean and has basic modern facilities, clean rooms, clean toilets, geyser. But this cottage have no TVs, so you can enjoy the place around the cottage and go to sleep earlier. Around the cottage everywhere is green and misty tea plantations and aroma. Just wake-up and open the door, that's the great start of your day.

The Food: Only vegetarian food is available (Non-Veg may be available, I didn't ask them) and limited menu only. But the food is good and mostly I eat much (more than my average). The cook (lady) is very kind and polite.

Activities: You can walk around the estate all the day, no will stop you, but beware of wild animals like buffaloes, elephants etc.. They will take you Jeep Safari around the estate and trekking to a near by top-hill will take half a day. My best activity here is just walk and take photos.

Note: If you need anything more to eat (like packaged snacks, please buy before entering the estate). Because if you want to the town (Coonoor) will take around an hour (30 kms) and very small roads. And it's not advisable to leave/enter the cottage after 6PM.

Other home-stays in DevaShola Estate: MANGO TREE BUNGALOW, SULTANA BUNGALOW, PALLANIAPPA BUNGALOW, BISON VALLEY ROW ROOMS and MADAWA ROW ROOMS.

Tariff: Rs.1500 + Taxes per couple and Rs.350 per extra person with Free Complimentary Breakfast.

Best time to visit: You can anytime, any season except heavy rainy time.

I guarantee that you will be super relaxed.

Some Photos of this trip:







Mathur Aqueduct or Mathur Hanging Trough is an hanging bridge with water through canal. This aqueduct is named after the village Mathur where is as built, in Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu State. Which is located 60 kms from Kanyakumari City.

 Mathur Aqueduct is one of the longest and highest aqueducts in South Asia. Mathur Aqueduct was constructed in 1966 by the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, K. Kamaraj, as a drought relief measure across the river Pahrali (also called Parazhiyar in Tamil - பரழியார்).

 Mathur Aqueduct is a concrete structure held up by 28 huge pillars, the maximum height of the pillars reaching 115 ft. The trough structure is 7 ft in height, with a width of 7.5 ft. The trough is partly covered on top with concrete slabs, allowing people to walk on the bridge and also see the water going through the trough. Some of the pillars are set in rocks of the Pahrali river, though some of the pillars are set in hills on either side.

 Mathur Aqueduct is one of the tourist attraction in Kanyakumari district. Every day hundreds of tourists visiting this place.

 Here is the few photos of Mathur Aqueduct:





My another travel experience went wrong, here is how...

This time I decided to enjoy this summer in Ooty. I made the plan to go by car with my friend and my brother. Booked the room via Oyo Rooms for 3 days at Ooty town. The hotel is nearby the lake, railway station, botanical garden and the race course. I thought this location will help to see the city around the near by main attractions the lake and the botanical garden.

So we start the car from my place (Pudukkottai) on midnight April 15, 2016. Everything is fine until we reach the city. The city is full of crowd and bad smell around the city. Another nightmare is reach the hotel (Kurinji Residency). This hotel has very small parking space (we lent the nearby talkies parking space) and the road to the hotel is very small and both sides of road is occupied by the shops and their vehicles. But the hotel is neat and nice. I recommend this hotel for peoples go by bus or taxies. If you have your own vehicle please another place out of the main town.

On the whole trip, we could see only 3 places, Avalanche Lake (nice drive along), Lake and the toy railway station. We couldn't go to the other places because of heavy traffic and no parking on other places especially botanical garden.

On last day, We tried to take train ticket and see the hills beauty by train, but because of minimum number of tickets we couldn't buy the tickets even though we wait on queue around 45 minutes. So we went back to hotel, ate and slept.

Next day we decided to wake up earlier and leave the Ooty. So left the city at 6AM.

Mostly I don't prefer to go the tourism places on peak season. This time for my brother only, because he is studying in school.

My advice is. if you want really enjoy this hill stations, don't go on peak summer season. Because everybody is there at this peak season and there is no green at all.

I planned go again to Ooty on June 1st week. There may be less crowd and book resort out of the city..

I can't say anything more about this trip, will post another one for Ooty later my on my next trip with more details.

Few photos from my Ooty tour:






I booked this hotel for one day extension of my family vocation at Kodaikanal. Booked via OYO Rooms (YSIG7380) for Rs.1700 for a day.

Hotel Varaha Valley is listed in OYO Rooms as Premium Property, I don't know why, while there is no such thing starting from the reception.

First impression is the best impression. Their guest reception was not well and nothing like Premium. They even don't care about our arrival and never noticed us. We have to carry our packages, waited at the reception desk for about 10 minutes asking him to check-in for about 5 times, they just don't care.

There is no sign board for OYO Rooms. Only good thing is the Room, neat and clean. That's All.

Hello OYO, tell me what is the meaning of Premium?

What I Liked:
  • Neat and Clean room.
What I Don't Liked:
  • Very limited parking space, only 7 or 8 cars can be parked.
  • No Kids Playground.
  • Worst Breakfast.
  • Wow what a food. Worst tasting food. Don't even eat curd rice.
  • Worst ever guest welcome reception.
  • Non friendly staffs, looking terrible.
  • There is no OYO Toiletry kit, even there is no water bottle in the room. 
  • No OYO Rooms sign board. You will get confused.
  • If you ask them anything, there answer will not polite and responsive.
  • Photos of the room and the real one is different.
  • It's Premium Property, but even there is No View.
Finally there is no premium at all, it's below average for the price. I was expected something good like my last stay at Pondicherry. Because it's premium property, so I expected a premium experience better then previous one.

No recommended for family and couples, the staffs are looking good and not a guest friendly. You don't feel safe.

I wanted to write a review about this property on their website, but there is no such feature. So be careful about the property you are booking via OYO Rooms. Another problem with OYO Rooms is that they won't display the property name before making the booking. So you have no way to read reviews of the property. So you have to just book blindly.

In future, OYO Rooms is my last choice.

My Rating: 5/10

This time I went to Kodaikanal and this is my family vocation trip.

I stayed 2 days (6th to 8th Feb 2016) at The Hotel Carnival, booked via MakeMyTrip. The booking is fine and got good discount.

This hotel is located around 2.5kms from Kodai Lake and 3kms from the Bus Stand.

What I Liked:
  • Friendly Staffs including the security staff.
  • Good view from the room (upgraded for 250rs per day).
  • Welcome drink and fruits.
  • Neat and clean room.
  • Located in nice place.
  • Children's play ground.
  • Garden with many kind of plants and flowers.
  • Worth for the money paid.
What I don't liked:
  • Average breakfast.
  • Food is below average, find a better restaurant outside.
  • They didn't changed the bed linen for the days, even I asked them to change when we went out. They just cleaned and used the same bed linen.
And one more thing is that my baby girl enjoyed the place well because of the spacious place and children's playground.

My rating: 8/10.

This hotel is recommended for couple and family with kids.
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