Karnataka/Tamil Nadu - ideas please.

#1 Jul 19th, 2005, 00:09
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#1
We recently had the good fortune to be given five nights at the Gokarna Beach Resort in Karnataka. We must use this between 1st May and 30th Sept 2006. Obviously, we need to get our own flights and organise the rest of our trip so I wondered if anyone had any suggestions for the following:

No more than three weeks. Hampi and Badami to be included. Would like to get across to Chennai and visit Mahabalipuram. Moderate to high budget. Happy to travel by train/plane/car. Trip ending at Gorkarna.

Please suggest: routes / means of transport / places to stay / unmissable events

Questions...
What is the best airport to fly into for these destinations (from the uk)?

What would be the best time to go (weather-wise) during this period?

How long do we need at each of these places, to truely appreciate them?

What detours should we take along the way?

What interesting places are there around Gokarna?

Thanks as always
TQ
#2 Jul 19th, 2005, 04:03
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#2

Thumbs up

Hi Torriquine,

First of all, congratulations for your good luck.

Best airport: Bombay and from there to Chennai, or direct flight to Chennai. You can also try charters from UK to Goa.

From Madras you can star your journey through TN by car and driver to Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and Madurai. From there by train to Hospet ( 10 km from Hampi), then best election is again car and driver for visiting Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal and then head to Gokarna.

From Gokarna you can go by car to Panaji(Goa) and from there by train or airplane to Mumbai.

Best time from 1st May to 30th Sept. in my opinion is September. Otherwise too hot in TN and Karnataka.

Around Gokarna, plenty of wild beaches, but not interesting places.

All the best
#3 Jul 19th, 2005, 14:35
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#3
Thankyou Jorge, that's really helpful.

Just bumping this back up to see if there are other suggestions/advise.


Thanks
TQ
#4 Jul 19th, 2005, 19:07
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#4
What is the best airport to fly into for these destinations (from the uk)?
WHY MUMBAI when you can land at Chennai and go upto Gokarna?

What would be the best time to go (weather-wise) during this period?
SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER

How long do we need at each of these places, to truely appreciate them?
CHENNAI & MAHABALIPURAM- 2 DAYS (One day each)
HAMPI-1 DAY
BADAMI-1 DAY
GOKARNA- 2 DAYS
AROUND GOKARNA-2 DAYS.


What detours should we take along the way?
EX CHENNAI: OOTY (for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, now a UNESCO heritage like HAMPI), KANCHIPURAM, CHIDAMBARAM, PONDICHERRY. These require more thanthe suggested two days.

What interesting places are there around Gokarna?
Around Gokarna
...and I took the road less travelled.
Last edited by rangss; Jul 27th, 2005 at 05:00..
#5 Jul 19th, 2005, 19:25
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by torryquine No more than three weeks. Hampi and Badami to be included. Would like to get across to Chennai and visit Mahabalipuram.
hi,
if you are going to see HAMPI, you can just SKIP mahabalipuram.

good luck
dan
#6 Jul 19th, 2005, 20:02
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan37_123 if you are going to see HAMPI, you can just SKIP mahabalipuram.
?? Except the two have very little to do with each other I think?

Mahabalipuram: Second capital of Pallava kingdom, heydays 5th-8th century AD.
Hampi: Capital of Vijayanagar kingdom, 14th-16th century AD.
M'puram: beaches. Hampi: not

I seemed to remember something about the structures of M'puram being sort of "practice" for those of Hampi but can find no such information now, and indeed with such a time lapse it would seem odd. M'puram's Rathas however are said to be prototypes of the various Dravidian building styles known at the time.

I'd recommend spending a little longer in most of these places than suggested by Rangss. Great link he gave by the way, so it depends what else you want to explore I guess.

For Hampi, I assume you're aware of Beach's exhaustive post that will help you appreciate the place. Print out & don't let it out of sight
Last edited by machadinha; Jul 19th, 2005 at 21:04..
#7 Jul 20th, 2005, 00:41
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#7
This is all great thanks.

Excellent link Rangss.

Mahaballipuram is a place we were to have gone on our last trip, but the tsunami hit shortly before we were due to visit. Devastating as it was, I understand that the waves revealed some previously unknown sculptures, so I want to see it even more now. I'm afraid I could no more consider skipping Mahaballipuram because I'd see Hampi, than I could take the Cistine Chapel off my "to do list" because I'd ticked off the Basilica San Marco! But thats OK, ruins aren't everyone's thing.

There are some great suggestions here. I like the sound of the mountain railway and Thanjavur. Sounds like a real East to West road-trip across the country is in order!

Many thanks, bumping this once more to see if there are any more South India fans online.
#8 Jul 20th, 2005, 00:59
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#8
If you're in a car why not stop in at Dandeli on the way to Gokarne! Wonderful scenic park (though not too many large mammels) And the rafting trip is just beautiful, slowly drift down the kali river watched by the monkeys, the jungle comes right down to the river it's like something from a tarzan film and the rapids aren't too rediculous.
We had never spotted a pied hornbill until we came here, then we saw dozens of these beautiful birds as well as some others.
The rafting guide told us that a Goan ornitholigist had spotted 150 different bird from the roof of his jungle hut!!
Oh yeah they do jungles stays as well as canoeing, island picknicks, all in some of the most beautiful countryside to be found!
Something different after all that temple and culture stuff.

IMHO Aihole can be safely missed, pales by comparison to Badami (which is just stunning by the way) and Pattadkal, though the drive out there was an interesting one!
#9 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:03
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#9
Well if it's east to west you're going do try to fit in Madurai. Its central temple, the famous-one-what's-its-name, sorry too lazy to pick up another guidebook and you could scarcely miss it anyway, was stunning enough being up in scaffolding when I visited, imagine how it would be without. Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) was another place that really got to me, not so much to stay in (fairly boring) but its Srirangam temple is absolutely stunning, but then which Tamil Nadu temple town doesn't have 'em. One of those places where you can see history come alive right before your very eyes though. Nearby Thanjavur (Tanjore) whcih was already on your list has another rightly famous temple, a World Heritage monument. I second the Chidambaram advice btw. Like I said, temple towns abound however, try to pick two or three of your liking unless you're completely into it. Kanchipuram's temples are also supposed to be quite something and would make a nice complementation to Mahabalipuram as it was the Pallava's other capital; it is also one of India's most sacred cities. The rajas of Vijayanagar also held this as one of their headquarters so maybe this is our missing link mentioned above.

edit: fitting in Hampi in all of this in 3 weeks would be tricky though.
#10 Jul 20th, 2005, 01:10
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#10
Excellent suggestion Cyber, that would definitely appeal to Mr TQ
#11 Jul 20th, 2005, 02:35
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Reverter From Madras you can star your journey through TN by car and driver to Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and Madurai. From there by train to Hospet ( 10 km from Hampi)
I'm also planning to go around Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in January...

Anyone know how long it takes to go by train from Thanjavur to Hospet and/or Bangalore?
#12 Jul 20th, 2005, 04:16
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#12
All the suggestions are really great. my advice to move in TN with car&driver instead of train/bus is because you have plenty of temple towns eveywhere. Around Kumbakonam you'll find in 10 km distance sites like Dharasuram really astonishing. Don't forget Gangaikondacholapuram!!!!!. Try to reach Madurai by road and then to Hampi by train, and from there to the Chalukya area. I can't agree with Cyber.. about Aihole. Durga Temple and many others are the oldest sacred hindu temples in India (S. VI) and "World Heritage".

I've spent 48 hours last Dec in Dandeli wild life sanctuary. The rapids in Kali river are really exciting. The Kali River Camp is quite good at reasonable price. You can choose between tents or rooms.

Jorge
#13 Jul 20th, 2005, 11:02
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsita I'm also planning to go around Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in January...

Anyone know how long it takes to go by train from Thanjavur to Hospet and/or Bangalore?
Well, if you take the mysore express(Train no.6731/6732)[1] in thanjavur or even Kumbakonam you'll reach bangalore overnight. From bangalore it's another 11 hrs by bus? Train? to hospet (I hoipe you're not confusing it with Hoskote.


[1] check the indian railways site.
#14 Jul 20th, 2005, 12:37
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#14
my 2 annas:

Hampi needs more than 1 day, and it's at least 700 years later than Mahabs in historical timeline, as well as vastly more populated with cool stuff. Mahabs is essentially a beach town with a few cute sculptures around.
#15 Jul 20th, 2005, 15:50
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Reverter Don't forget Gangaikondacholapuram!!!!!.
Jorge

If I ever learn to pronounce that name I don't think I could forget it!

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