Bangalore to Dhanushkodi road trip via Thanjavur

You all have already seen the pics from our road trip from Bangalore to Dhanushkodi via Thanjuvur,  in insta. So here is the detailed story of our road trip.

We usually spend our Onam and Christmas at home with family. Christmas especially is my favorite time of the year, because in my hometown Alappuzha it is the time of festivities. I have written about  Mullakkal chirappu in explore Alappuzha post. This time we decided to drive to Alappuzha after exploring some new places on the way. So we planned for a 4 day trip.


We started from Bangalore around 6 am and reached Thanjavur around 1pm. The only stop in between was at Anand Bhavan, for breakfast. We had booked our stay at Ram’s Inn . The hotel had an adjoining restaurant and we had tamil thali lunch from there. Generally the tastes of Kerala and Tamil Nadu cuisine are similar in many ways, but one new dish we tasted here was the sesame chutney served with rice.

We returned to the hotel which had a well decorated reception, especially with the famous dancing dolls of Thanjavur. Our room was spacious and had wooden paneled floor. We took a nap and after tea decided to explore Thanjavur.

Bhrihadeeshwara temple

Brihadisvara Temple

Bhrihadeeshwara temple or the Big temple is the first search result you will get for places to visit in Thanjavur. It was just 1.5km from our hotel. There is a free parking ground opposite to the temple, where we parked our car and walked to the temple grounds. The temple is one of the largest in South India and is  UNESCO world heritage site.

Sculptures of Bhrugadeshwara temple

This temple build under the reign of Rajaraja Chola is an exemplary example of Dravidian architecture.

The gopurams are huge and ornate with intrinsic stone sculptures. The ceiling of the Nandi mandapa, near the temple entrance, has stunning mural paintings in vivid blue color.

Mural paintingv

The seated Nandi, facing the shrine is also one of the largest statues made of single stone.

Brihadisvara Temple

The scale of the whole temple is mind blowing. This temple has one of the largest Shiv lingas of India. The temple complex was not overly crowded and devotees spend a lot of time relaxing in the temple grounds, which is well kept. The evening there was quite lovely and we could see the sun set slowly behind the monumental gopuram.

There is a government shop near the temple gate, where devotees can leave their footwear and shop for dancing dolls and murals. We found the price there to be a bit higher than what was quoted in shops for the dolls, so we didn’t purchase the doll.

Thanjavur dancing dolls

We then walked towards the market near the old bus stand for buying the Thanjavur special Ashoka halwa. In the market also you can find doll sellers and you can get it at a cheaper price. We explored the market, got halwa from a bakery and had dinner from Vasantha Bhavan(the food at Ram’s Inn is the best we had in Thanjavur, eventhough this one had great reviews online). I wanted to checkout the government handicraft store called Poompuhar Handicrafts. We found handicrafts from all over India in the store, but we were interested in the dancing dolls. By the time we were selecting the dolls, the staff started leaving for the day and noone attended to us. So we also dropped the idea and returned to the hotel.


Breakfast for the next day was included in the stay. We explored the city a little more before leaving to Rameshwaram.

Our next stop was at the Pamban bridge. Strong winds, clear green water on both sides and anchored boats throughout the sea made a great view. The original Pamban Bridge next to the passenger bridge, is a railway bridge which connects the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island to mainland India. After spending some time at the bridge, we continued to Rameshwaram.

Pamban bridge
Pamban bridge

We reached our hotel, ‘Temple tower’ which is very near to the Rameshwaram temple. We had lunch got ready to explore Dhanushkodi, which is around half an hour journey from Rameshwaram. The hotel staff said that the Dhanushkodi entry closes at around 4.30pm. It was already 3.45 pm when we started, but we made it since it was a weekend and traffic was less. The road to Dhanushkodi is like a narrow strip between the vast ocean and the drive is beautiful. There were barely any other vehicle on road and the strong winds, sound of waves and white sand makes it all the more beautiful.

Dhanushkodi beach

We passed the check post just in time and continued to the tip of the Pamban Island, beyond which it is water and Srilanka. We parked the vehicle on the road side and took a walk in the sands. Guards were restricting people from getting into the water.

We spent just 10 min there when the guards started asking people to leave. Since it was quite crowded and we didn’t want to spent the evening there, we drove back to Dhanushkodi beach which we passed on the way.

Dhanushkodi beach
The church ruins at Dhanushkodi

You will see the ruins of this abandoned town, scattered all over the place. There are barely any inhabitants here apart from the family of fishermen. You can see shacks on either side of the road displaying the curios and jewelry made of sea shells.

Dhanushkodi beach
Shells at Dhanushkodi beach


Once back at the hotel, we got ready to visit the famous Ramanathaswamy temple. we entered through the East gate and it was not as crowded as expected.

Rameshwaram temple

This Shiva temple also has one of the longest corridors of any Hindu temple in India, with huge pillars adorned with sculptures on both sides. The whole temple complex is painted in bright colors and the corridor and pillars are not like  in old pictures of the temple anymore. The temple has many theerthams or water bodies nearby where people do poojas early in the morning. We were right in time for the evening arathi, where the diety is carried by devotees in huge wooden poles on their shoulder and walking through the corridors, chanting and stopping at main gates for pooja.

We bought some laddoos and other prasad from the temple complex to take home.


After the eventful first day at Rameshwaram, we decided to relax a bit. We had a late breakfast and spend some time at the Agni theertham, watching the devotees make offerings to ancestors.

Agni Theertham
Agni Theertham Rameshwaram

We drove to Sri Abdul Kalam’s residence next. It is a humble two storied building in a narrow alley. One floor displays his accolades, photos, books etc and we get a sneak peak of this eminent personality’s fulfilled life and contributions. The top floor is now a shop selling curios. We also went to Ramar Padam, which is a temple on a hill with an awesome view.

Ramar Padam Rameshwaram
View from Ramar Paadam Rameshwaram

Next stop was the Panchmukhi Hanuman temple which is back at the town. This small temple is famous for the floating stones.


Dhanushkodi beach
Dhanushkodi beach

In the afternoon, we again went to Dhanushkodi. This time we stopped at the solitary beaches on the way and spend the time walking on the beige sands populated with tiny crabs and shell fishes.

You can see many shacks with a big round pan at the entrance,  with sizzling fish on big iron pans. We talked to an old lady from one of the shacks and she invited us to try the fish there.  Eventhough she offered to fry a fresh one, I didn’t want to waste much time there. So I asked her to serve the already fried one and it was surprisingly very tasty.

Fish fry

We walked to the beach afterwards and spend the evening there watching the  beautiful sunset. The police guards didn’t appear till later that evening to ask people to leave as the sea was not as rough as the previous day.

We had dinner on the way and went to bed early.


We started to Alleppey, early in the morning around 5 am. On the way we made up stories about how at night, the abandoned town of Dhanushkodi might come alive with the spirits of people who lived there. They might live on as if nothing happened and have their prayers at the now ruined church and probably enjoy the sea and have a party, who knows!

As we approached Kerala, we decided to stop at the Thenmala Dam. It was just a slight deviation from the route. There is an eco park and adventure zone here and we chose to visit the eco park. Next one hour was spent walking up the narrow pavements of the hill, displaying stone sculptures and murals all the way. Hidden in the lush green plants and trees were sculptures of dinosaurs, elephants, dancers etc. There is also a hanging bridge, which amused many of the students who came for picnic from their schools.


This was our last stop before we left for Alleppey. The drive through Changanasherry to Alleppey is quite picturesque and eventhough I am born and brought up in Alleppey, the lush green paddy fields, the islets in lakes and the beautiful landscape always manages to add  a wisp of freshness to the mind.

Do comment below your road trip experiences and suggestions for trips.

Explore Alappuzha, my most favourite place in the world

Alappuzha or Alleppey is a popular tourist destination and is aptly known as the Venetian Capital of Kerala. Lush paddy fields, Arabian sea and house boats in backwaters, attracts tourists from India and abroad thorughout the year.

Alappuzha has many small water ways and canals, which are connected by bridges. So the landmarks are usually the names of the bridges and, there are upto even 4 bridges connecting a parallel road.

I am lucky to be born and bought up in this beautiful place and with this post, I intend to take you on a journey to explore the beautispots of Alappuzha.

Light House

The iconic red and white light house is one of the oldest of its kind. The light house service was started in 1862 and eventhough Allppey is no longer the busiest trade centers, the light house is still in great condition. Wooden spiral staircase leads to the top and offers a stunning view of the beach on one side and the lush green town behind.

Alleppey light house in a stamp

There is also a small museum near the entrance, where the instruments and lenses which were earlier used in the light house, are displayed. Entry fee is 20Rs.

Thanneermukkom Bund

A bund is a barrier constructed to prevent the salt water of the sea, from entering the low lands and paddy fields. It is fun to spend an evening here, sipping hot tea from small stalls next to the road, across the Vembanad lake.

Also this is the best place to buy fresh karimeen or Pearl spot fish, at a bargain price. By the way Karimeen pollichatu, or pearl spot fried enclosed in a masala filled banana leaf, is a must try delicacy.


PC: trodly

Pathiramanal (Sands of  night) is an islet in Vembanad lake. It takes around 5-10min boat ride from the main land, to reach this green wilderness.

Eventhough it is famous for bird watching, one has to be really lucky to spot them, as the walkable path covers only  a very small area. There is nothing much to do here apart from just walking amidst the thick foliage and spending some solitary time on the lake bank.

Info Time : Alappuzha is the one district in Kerala with no forest.

Mullakkal Temple

Mullakkal Rajarajeshwari temple is about 500 years old and the main deity is Goddess Rajeshwari, residing in the central shrine.  Other deities surrounds the main shrine. The premise houses many plants, ancient trees and a pond at the back. This temple is also a great example of traditional kerala temple architecture. Spending an evening in this serene atmosphere, listening to the leaves of the ancient banyan tree fluttering to the music of idakka from the evening ritual refreshes and rejuvinates the mind like nothin else.

Mullakkal Chirappu

If you ask me, the best time to visit Alleppey and is in December. The famous Mullakkal Chirappu, which is a festival associated with the temple, takes place then. The entire town will be decorated with special multicolored lighting installations of dieties and it looks spectacular at night.

The roads will be closed for vehicles, to accomodate the crowd on foot, and street vendors selling colorful jewelry, toys and snacks. All you need to do is just stand in the road and the crowd will slowly push you forward.

There will be special rituals in  the temple, procession of 9 caparisoned elephants and cultural and music shows. Beach fest and flower shows are also some of the attractions. The spectacular display of fireworks on the last day, marks the end of the festival.

Alappuzha Beach

I am not a beach person but I find the sunsets in Alleppey beach, so stunning. A multitude of colors in the sky from violet to pink and yellow to red, paints silvery flames in the evening sea.

As a child I used to frequently visit the beach with my grandpa and we used to collect sea shells from under the deteroriating iron pillars of the pier. We used to run after tiny crabs and catch the slow ones, before they get a chance to hide under the sand. A visit to the Vijaya Park next to the beach, and a snack from The Indian Coffee House (Mutton cutlet and mutton omlete are a must try) marks the end of a beach evening.


Kuttanadu or the rice bowl of Kerala is where most of the paddy cultivation happens. The most peculiar feature of Kuttanadu is that the land in which the farming is carried out can be upto 3m below the sea level.

Enough of the facts. Exploring Kuttanadu in a vallam (small wooden canoe) throught the narrow water channels along the paddy fields, is a great experience. When we went boating last time, we could spot kids goofing around in small motor canoes, racing with each other. You can see the daily life of villagers up close while slowly moving along the waves of the lake.

If you are on a budget, you can take the public boat service from Alleppey and tour around many nearby places for under 50Rs.

Krishnapuram Palace

Located in Kayamkulam town in Alappuzha district, this palace displays one of the largest mural paintings of its kind, ‘Gajendra Moksham’. I visited this palace many years ago and I distinctly remember the beautiful architecture of the palace which involved lot of wood work, and the large pond with stone stairs leading to it. This palace was built by Marthandavarma Raja of Travancore. Now maintained by the Archaeology department of Kerala, the palace exhibits the belongings of the royalty.

Other places to visit are the Andhakaranazhi beach and Ravi Karunakaran museum, both of which Iam yet to visit.

Hope you liked the post. Do comment on your experience in Alleppey incase you already visited the place.