Seeking advice for south India Trip in February.

#1 Dec 4th, 2011, 17:23
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  • ffiona is offline
#1
Hello All,

I'm looking for a bit of help in planning my second trip to India. I fly into Goa, arriving at 6am on February 18th 2012.
I'll fly home from Mumbai on 17th March at 1.30am.

From Dabolim I plan on getting a taxi to either Palolem or Patnem. Am I correct in thinking this journey will be less than 2 hours? (And around 1200 rupees?)

My proposed plan from Palolem/Patnem is as follows;

18th-21st; Palolem/Patnem
22nd; Train to Hampi.
23rd-25th; Hampi
26th; Travel to Madurai.
27th/28th; Madurai
29th/1st; Kanyakumari
2nd-4th;Varkala
5th-7th; Cochin
8th-11th;Gokarna
12th-14th;Palolem/Patnem
15th/16th;Mumbai
17th - Leave Mumbai

So my first query is does this look not only possible but enjoyable? I realise I don't have a wealth of time and don't want to be too rushed.

I've been in Goa and Hampi on a previous trip and so think I know what to expect there with regards to accommodation etc. If my memory serves me right travel from Goa to Hampi is straight forward. I'm hoping to catch an early morning train.

Not wanting to have too many days taken up with train journeys I was hoping I could travel from Hampi (Hospet)to Madurai on an over night train. I think I can go via Bangalore but obviously I'd prefer to travel straight to Madurai. Can anyone tell me if this is possible?

Also, on the way North can I get a sleeper from Cochin to Gokarna?

I've never visited Madurai or Kanyakumari before. I'm wondering if anyone can offer me advice on these places. Particularly on Kanyakumari as I've read mixed reviews from other travelers. The idea on being on the Southern tip of India appeals but is there anything else worth making the trip for?

Another option would be to scrap Kanyakumari and Varkala and from Madurai travel for Kodai for a few days. Then from Kodai to Cochin.

Am I best to book trains from Scotland or will I be ok to wait until I get to Goa and book them from there. Last time I was in south India trains were booked solid... but that was over the christmas/new year season. Will February be different?

Thanks kindly,

Fiona
Last edited by ffiona; Dec 5th, 2011 at 01:25..
#2 Dec 6th, 2011, 04:07
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
According to erail.in there are no direct trains from Hospet.
Also the route Hospet Bangalore and the to Madurai is not an optimal connection.
There is a direct train from Kochi to Gokarna but not on the day you have planned to travel. http://erail.in?T=ERS::GOK:

During our last trip we went to Kanyakumari and besides the idea you are on the Southern point there is not much to see. Besides it was cloudy so no spectacular sunsets and sunrises.

About booking trains on erail you can see the availability for the trains so let that guide you.
The only site to book trains from abroad is cleartrip
#3 Dec 7th, 2011, 18:49
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  • ffiona is offline
#3
Thank you so much Vonkla for your help.
Especially with the trains.
Think I'll probably give Kanyakumari a miss.

Best wishes.
#4 Dec 8th, 2011, 03:02
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  • nigelg is offline
#4
Instead of Kanyakumari take a day trip from Madurai to Rameshwaram instead. It is a truly magical place.
#5 Dec 23rd, 2011, 00:47
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  • superkarts is offline
#5
There are no direct trains from Hospet to Madurai ..However you can switch trains at Bangalore.Each leg taking approx. 9 hours.Madurai has a wonderful temple in the middle of the city but there are several places you can visit around Madurai if you stay there for a couple of days(Nayak Palace, Tiruparankundram, Alagar Koil,Jain caves etc..)I've never been to Kanyakumari so i don't know much about it but one shouldn't give a miss to Kodaikanal when you come as far as Madurai.
#6 Dec 29th, 2011, 00:01
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  • ffiona is offline
#6
Thanks kindly for your input SuperKarts. Much Appreciated.
#7 Dec 29th, 2011, 18:28
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  • santos_g15 is offline
#7
As you have seen Hampi is great but its bit out of qway.If i were you I would take Goa-Trivandrum-Kanyakumari-Madurai-bangalore-hampi-Goa. Best bet.

Note Kanyakumari-Trivandrum is 40 kms journey and very much even doable as day trip.Again i would encourage you to just hire cab for half day to see sunset and move from trivandrum to madurai.Rameshwaram is magical if you are very spiritual and want to see hindu customs.
#8 Dec 29th, 2011, 18:30
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  • santos_g15 is offline
#8
You can add cochin/varkala before reaching trivandrum
Like goa-cochin-tvm-madurai-bangalore-hampi-goa.

book your ticket from scotland.BTW did u try booking in foreigners quota.

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