The Night Bike ride of 200kms: Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai Temple

Travelling by bike is not new to us, but riding a motorbike in the dark night – definitely it was a new and scary experience. This was my first ever “well – planned bike trip” on Shivaratri night from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple. 

Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai Temple: Bike ride at night

Little Intro on Our regular Trips from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple

Tiruvannamalai temple has been our favourite destination for bike rides for 5 years since our marriage in 2015. We have always enjoyed the ride, riding amongst the never ending mango farms were our favourite. 

After a couple of times from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple, there was no need to look at google maps for directions, literally our bike took us there. It stopped in all our favourite pit stops, it stopped when we needed to click pics and it stopped whenever we crossed village fruit stalls. 

We usually start our journey by 7 to 8am, stop at Krishna Inn in Bangalore -Salem highways around 9.30 for a long break for breakfast and coffee. Spend some time in the parking area checking on the other bikers, their gears and small chat with them possibly.

Best restaurant in Bangalore - Salem Highways - Krishna Inn
The best TamilNadu style Pongal and vada from Krishna Inn, Bangalore – Salem Highways restaurant

Then we set out on a carefree ride in Salem National Highways until we take a turn towards Chennai highways which are relatively narrow roads.

We put on music from our Boat mini speaker, listen to songs to beat the boredom riding in the hot sun, all the while enjoying the countryside view and agrilands.

After a couple of pit stops, and lunch, we reach our destination by 2 to 3 pm, check-in the room to freshen up, preferably a short bath.

We would reach Tiruvannamalai temple by late evening for darshan, if possible (and lucky) we would stay back to watch 10pm Thiruoonjal sevai before calling it a day. Usually the next day, we always – mostly always went to Tirukoilur temples, situated about 1hr ride from Tiruvannamalai town towards Pondicherry. 

Travel Distances

Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai Distance – 200kms (little varies based on the location you start).

Tiruvannamalai to tirukoilur temples – 37 kms

*Distances mentioned only for just onward journey

It is another countryside ride we love riding for the love of Tirukoilur Ulagalantha Perumal temple. We usually reach by noon, attend the noon pooja just before the temple closes.

bangalore to tiruvannanmalai temple
Trip to Tirukoilur From Tiruvannamalai

Before we return back to Tiruvannamalai town we lunch at Arya Bhavan, the only possible good vegetarian restaurant in the Tirukoilur town. 

Then we collect our packed bags from the hotel reception (usually the saddle bags so we can ride stress free), stop at our favourite french coffee shop before we take the Bangalore road.

(Update: This coffee shop is permanently closed as on our recent trip to Tiruvannamalai on 8th Feb 2020).

The next day, Rajesh would go to office as if nothing happened in the past 2 days. He would resume his work in office as if he didn’t ride 470 kms by bike with just one night rest inbetween in 2 days. 

I too force myself to go to the office on Mondays, to avoid binge eating – Netflix day.

That’s the reason, I prefer to take off on Tuesdays – to maintain work -life balance. Probably it is the only day I get to rest properly, as most weekends are reserved for travel.

This has been our routine so far, until one day we decided to break the routine.

Night Bike Trip to Tiruvannamalai Temple

This time, on 24th Feb 2017, at 5pm, we started our night journey from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple. 

We rode our bike for 7 long hrs, reached the Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar temple around 1 am. Had we not delayed in Krishnagiri, we would have reached about an hour early to the destination (explained in detail below).

The main reason behind this night trip plan was to attend the ‘Shivratri’ pooja in the most significant Lord Shiva temple.

Since it was going to be a night bike ride on the highways and country side, we had to make sure everything was 100% perfect.

Just a week before our journey, Rajesh had got the bike from the service station, spent about 15k on the bike fixing all the issues, adding some fancy headlights and tail lights. 

As a travel partner, I double checked on the travel essentials and packaging for the much expected Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple trip.

I have been always asking Rajesh – 

“Will this workout?”

“Are we taking a blind risk?”

“Should we think again?”

“Will we reach safe?”

“What if anything happens along the way, how would we ensure our safety and road safety?”

It was Rajesh – who by nature never deviated from any set out goals, pressed me on to continue planning for the journey. 

So, I went on to do what I do best for the travel plans. Write down all to-dos, things to pack, buying all the necessary stuff and packing the bags a day before the journey.

Rajesh would cross check the itineraries ensuring I have not left out anything in the overwhelming of planning.

Always expect the Unexpected – Delay in our well thought plan – In Our Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai Temple Night trip

Since we had planned to go straight to the temple for darshan, we packed light and carried just one backpack for the trip.

Our bike is ready, bags are packed, mobile phone chargers, bluetooth speakers are cross checked. We all set to go from Bangalore to Tiruvannamalai temple.

We started our bike at 5pm. 

I never thought our journey would be delayed more than the usual travel time.

Though I kept the extra buffer time since we were starting on weekend evening, and very well aware of the volvo bus traffic until we crossed Hosur.  

But this is how we got delayed.

Since both Sivarathiri and pradosham are falling on the same day making the day super special, I had a plan to stop at the Krishnagiri Lord Shiva temple for a quick darshan on Pradosham

So, we diverted from the actual route from the national highways, entered the Krishnagiri town, found the temple I marked in the google map a week before. 

To our shock, we found the entire town was gathered in that temple, we could not even walk past the main gate. Thinking that the crowd will clear like they usually do on the auspicious days, we kept waiting in expectation for about an hour only to realise we took a bad decision of stopping here.

And as the time went by, riding in the dark in the dark was becoming challenging as we were slowed down by the heavy beam of the opposite vehicles.

Not to mention the annoying tiny insects hitting on our helmets, some even crawling up under the helmets giving a tough time to focus and ride the bike.

Finally we reached the Tiruvannamalai temple on the next day i.e. 25th Feb, around 1 am. We then found a place in the temple, listened to the Navrathri songs until we waited for the early morning darshan. 

Around 4am, we joined the early morning queue for darshan and by the time we came out, it was around 6am. 

Tiruvannamalai temple trip from Bangalore
Tiruvannamalai temple

Then around evening we went to our next favourite destination – Tirukoilur.

Since we needed to take a good rest from the previous night long journey, I didn’t plan any other destinations except Tirukoilur. 

Tirukoilur Perumal Temple
Tirukoilur Perumal Temple Gopuram – Main Entrance

What followed the Night Ride was Unimaginable day

On our 3rd day, on 26th Feb 2017, Theerthamalai in Dharmapuri, a hill temple which was crowded beyond my imagination on the day we went.

Since it was “no-moon” day, devotees gathered in huge numbers to darshan Lord Theerthagirishwarar on the top of the hill. 

As usual, Rajesh did not back off from the plan, so with no other choice, I decided to trek the hill on a hot summer. We dropped our backpack at a shop near the bike parking area and went on to climb 1km uphill with just 1 litre bottle in hand.

What seemed like easy to climb 1km in the google map, it took us more than 1hr with just 10 min break in between. 

After standing in the long queue for the Lord Siva darshan, and Parvathi devi, Rajesh managed to get some of the holy water from the multiple tiny waterfalls (they say it never dry out). 

Overall, it was more than we could take. 

All the experience was new and it was too much to handle at once.

First ever experience riding 200kms in the dark.

As if that was not enough, going on a trek for an hour to the hill temple on the next day, cursed my guts while planning this trip, we suffered indefinitely.

But looking back now, I could not believe that we took all that risk, we have stretched our boundaries and achieved something great.

That’s all it matters now. 

We did it.

Renu’s Solo Trip To Kumbakonam – How I roamed Kumbakonam for 5 days in a Rented Bike

I went on a 5 days solo trip to Kumbakonam, one of the best vacations ever in my life. Thanks to Rajesh for arranging my travel and accomodations. To roam around my favourite places in Kumbakonam, I have arranged for a 2-wheeler rental bike through my Kumbakonam native friend. 

Trip To Kumbakonam – Decision on Solo trip

The most important reason is that ever since we went on an 11 days long bike trip to Kumbakonam in 2017, this place is close to my heart. I (we) fell in love with this place on our first trip to Kumbakonam for the Masi Magam festival for 3 days. In the following year 2018, again we went to Kumbakonam on a 12 days bike trip.

I didn’t want to miss going there in 2019 too.

But my hubby was busy in organising the “Cloud Summit” event. And he made it a hit, that’s a different story. Since it was a big deal finding speakers and organizing the event, I let him be.

So I have decided to go chill out in my favourite place, for 5 days, all alone.

I started my trip on 8th December 2019 from Bangalore, boarded a train from Bangalore Central  and reached Kumbakonam on 9th December, 6am.

This is the story of my 5 days solo trip, from 9th December to 13th December 2019.

Solo trip is NOT new for me

Travelling alone is not new for me. I have been travelling to places since I was 18, travelled for studies, travelled for jobs, travelled to new cities for interviews. And finally I lived in London for more than a year, for my Management studies just before I got married.

I never had any fear or any concern on travelling alone. But since my marriage in the year 2015, I kinda fell in a comfort zone of being in a company all the time. 

Any time I step out of my home, I am always accompanied by my hubby. Apart from weekly groceries and yoga classes, ofcourse. 

Just like the years 2017 and 2018, I looked forward for this trip to Kumbakonam too. But, you know, unfortunately Rajesh had his own plans.

So rolled up my bachelor sleeves, and decided to go on a solo trip to Kumbakonam. 

Yeeeyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!

Why Kumbakonam?

Kumbakonam – A small, very beautiful mesmerizing town, well connected with roads to Trichy, Chidambaram, Tiruvannamalai, Thanjavur etc., is always beaming with history and ancient temples.

A beautiful town surrounded by numerous ponds filled with lilies, lakes and dams, agri fields and ancient temples. I can never find the right words to fit the beauty of this simple town. And I never get bored of visiting this place over and over again in my life.

When I am in Kumbakonam, I feel connected to my ancestors (no kidding). Every temple has a story to tell, and it compels your undivided attention for long hours. The hardship behind each temple’s architecture makes you humble and fall in love with it forever.

Yes, that’s my connection with Kumbakonam and its temples – bond forever.

Long list of Famous temples in Kumbakonam with Google Map

Probably this is the longest list of temples in Kumbakonam you will get in internet, it took me 1 full week to compile this list with google map link. Click here.

I chose Kumbakonam because I would not want to be anywhere else on my solo trip, because it’s like my second home.

What did I do in those 5 days?

How I Spent 5 days in Kumbakonam – Overview

What I Did

I did exactly the same of what we both would do on a duo trip – i.e. roaming Kumbakonam and visiting our favourite ancient temples.

Read – Kumbakonam Famous Temples

Yes I visited my favourite temples in and outside of Kumbakonam, spent time hanging out near Mahamaham tank, watched the sunset sitting in UNESCO Darasuram, ate food in my favourite restaurants in Kumbakonam.

Sometimes, I went over and over again to some of the favorite temples in the late evening, which are close to my heart. They are Sarangapani temple, Adi Kumbeswarar temple and Ramar temple which are located within short distances in the centre town. 

Late evening poojas are very special in those big ancient temples, and since it was an auspicious month, luckily I got to watch elephants parading with the idols in the streets – every single day.

Not all the time you get to watch these special parades and poojas.

It was a blissful moment when I spent long evenings in those favourite temples, my soul was at peace.

Where I ate

Everyday, I wake up, get ready with a pair of water bottles in my day bag. Then start my rented bike to go nearby “ayya kadai” (written all about my favourite famous food items in Kumbakonam), to have a hearty southindian, pocket friendly breakfast. 

kumbakonam famous food items
Kumbakonam Famous degree coffee

Thanks to ‘ayya kadai’ brothers for all the yummy quality – budget priced food, otherwise it would have been difficult on budget on such a long trip.

It is one stop for all breakfast, snacks and lunch items, except for dinner. I would return back to this shop after a short trip to pack snacks (a couple of vada made fresh every day) and also lunch (variety rice ready by 12 noon itself ) if I have plan to go on a long bike trip away from Kumbakonam. Like the days I went to places like Thirukannapuram, Thiruvalanjuli and Alangudi.

Where I Went

Since it was a solo trip to Kumbakonam, I wasn’t too serious about visiting all my favourite famous temples in Kumbakonam.

I was not dead serious about going to all possible temples in and around Kumbakonam, that is not even practically feasible. 

So in the 5 days of itinerary metioned below, you could see me visiting temples aggressively in the first 2 days. And the last 3 days, I slowed down, spent more time in any of the favorite temples leisurely. Unlike my past road trips to Kumbakonam, this time I took it real slow.

There has to be one special occasion in the solo trip right?

I could name many, but just one occassion holds strong place in my heart.

On day-2 of my solo trip to Kumbakonam, I traveled all the way to Tirukannapuram Lord Vishnu temple only to find the main sanctum closed at hardly 11 am. Since there was no anticipated devotees at that time, the temple panditji decided to close it for the day.

I was utterly disappointed to only to see the closed doors, sitting in front of the main sanctum cursing my luck as I couldn’t darshan him even in this trip. Because in our last couple of trips to Kumbakonam, we couldn’t even make it to this temple.

Just when I thought I will leave the place saying good bye to the care taker, a preist came hurridly saying he forgot to pick something from the temple. Soon after I introduced myself, before I could even ask that is there any possibility of darshan, he opened the main sanctum door, and in 30 secs he was showing me aarti (oil lamp plate) to the Perumal.

I stood there marveled at the height of Lord Vishnu, taller than 35 feet idol in Tirukoilur Ulagalantha Perumal temple. And humbled at the luck I have got that day to darshan the most beautiful, tallest Perumal (tallest among all 108 divya desams) in my life.

The best and most memorable moment in all my life.

What People Miss to See in Kumbakonam

Most people (devotees) visit Kumbakonam, for any of the following reasons.

  1. Navagraha temples Trip
  2. 108 Divya desam Trip (Exclusive Lord Vishnu trip)
  3. Lord Shiva padal petra stalam trip (exclusive Lord Shiva temples)

But what they don’t see (I assume) is this. Look at the beauty of Kumbakonam. Only for this reason, I will be keep coming again and again to this beautiful place on the first opportunity I am getting to travel after #coronalockdown.

trip to kumbakonam
Hundreds of Lily Ponds all over the temple town – Kumbakonam
Temple with Lily pond Entrance
trip to Kumbakonam
Beauty Of kumbakonam
temples of Kumbakonam
The beauty of Kumbakonam temples in one picture – Tirubhuvanam Temple

Trip to Kumbakonam – 5 Days Detailed Itinerary

The first thing I did after checking in the room was to visit my most favorite and beautiful temple in Thirubuvanam (see pic above), 5kms from Kumbakonam town. Next step was to Mahalingaswamy temple, enquired for Pradosa pooja and returned back to the same temple with all pooja items in the evening and did the ritual.

On the 2nd day, I enjoyed riding all the way to Thirukannapuram, among the green fields. Again, traveled long distance on the 4th day to Alangudi.

On the 3rd day, I took a break in the morning, just chill near mahamaham tank after breakfast and a cup of ginger tea. 

Read – Kumbakonam Famous food items

Then packed lunch from my favorite ayya kadai, went to Darasuram with a book in hand. Spent the entire afternoon in the darasuram temple. 

On the last day, I spent most of the day in the room reading books. Went out in the evening to spend time near Mahamaham tank after a cup of ginger tea.

Here is the Detailed Itinerary of 5 Days Solo Trip to Kumbakonam

Day 1 – 9th December Monday:

  1. Thirubhuvanam Lord Shiva temple
  2. Thirukadaiyur Mahalinga swamy temple -Lord Shiva temple
  3. Adhi Kumbheswar temple -Lord Shiva temple

Lunch Break

  1. Again Thirukadaiyur Mahalinga swamy temple -Lord Shiva temple

Day 2 – 10th December Tuesday:

  1. Thirucherrai Saranatha perumal temple – Lord vishnu temple
  2. Thirukudavasal Koneswaran temple -Lord Shiva temple
  3. Engan Perumal temple – Lord Vishnu temple (due to the crowd I couldn’t see next door Engan Murugan temple).
  4. Thirukannapuram -Lord Vishnu temple
  5. Nachiyar kovil – Lord Vishnu Temple

Lunch Break

  1. Kasi Viswanathar temple, near mahamaham tank in Kumbakonam
  2. Sarangapani temple, Ranganathar temple in Kumbakonam
  3. Ramar temple – oorvalam darshan

Day 3 – 11th December Wednesday:

Morning – Break

Evening –

  1. Darasuram – Lunch, book read and darshan
  2. Garbarakshambigai temple, Thirukaragavoor
  3. Thiruvalanjuli – White Lord Ganesha in Lord Shiva temple
  4. Ramar temple
  5. Adhi Kumbeswarar – oorvalam darshan

Day 4 – 12th December Thursday

Morning – Break

Evening –

  1. Alangudi guru temple – Lord Shiva temple
  2. Uppiliappan temple – Lord Vishnu temple
  3.  Sarangapani temple – oorvalam darshan

Day 5 – 13th December Friday

Morning – Break

Evening – Adhi Kumbeswarar – oorvalam darshan

The Happy Ending – Weekend with Hubby in Kumbakonam

Whole 5 days of solo trip to Kumbakonam came to an end and I was ready to leave Kumbakonam. 

But, at the last minute my Hubby announced that he would be coming to Kumbakonam to spend the weekend.

Since it was last minute decision, he had a very long journey by changing multiple private buses to reach Kumbakonam.

He arrived on 14th December, Saturday around noon, spent 2 days with me in Kumbakonam before we returned to Bangalore by Volvo.

Again we both went to darshan the most important and favorite temples in Kumbakonam town, he too personally loved Kumbakonam temples.

He made it all the way more special trip to Kumbakonam and till date this trip is very close to my heart.

Vaikunta Ekadasi Experience in Trichy Srirangam Temple

I remember the time we went to Trichy in Jan 2017 for Vaikunta Ekadasi darshan at Ranganathar temple

Here is our experience on what to expect when you are planning a trip to Trichy for Vaikunda Ekadasi, and list of other important temples to visit in the city.

Overwhelmed by the Crowd at Srirangam For Vaikunta Ekadasi

Having gone to the temple at 4am on the day of Vaikunta ekadasi, we were standing in a queue that would take about 5 to 6 hrs to come across Vaikunta vasal (golden door). 

Looked like as if the whole world had lined up around the all doors of this huge temple for celebrating the auspicious day. After seeing such a mass crowd as early as 4am, and after a long dilemma, we decided to drop the plan. Then headed to the two other famous temples in Trichy for Vaikunda Ekadasi darshan. 

Srirangam Vaikunta ekadasi
Police force and temple crowd at the temple entrance
Temple trip from bangalore to Trichy
View from Inside of Ranganathar temple- Srirangam
temple architecture of Srirangam temple
Wall inscriptions on Srirangam temple – inside view

Both are renowned 108 Divya Desams namely Kamalavalli Nachiyar temple and Uthammar kovil. Not only were we able to enter the golden door but also had good darshan at both of these temples. 

Temple trip from bangalore to Trichy, uthamar kovil images
Uthmar kovil View – Trichy

And swore to ourselves that when we come back to Trichy next time for Vaikunda Ekadasi, we would never return back without a darshan at the Ranganathar Temple. 

We were happy that atleast we could darshan Lord Ranganathar just before the day of Vaikunda Ekadasi. That too after waiting in the 200 rupees VIP queue for almost 3 hrs. Glad we did that darshan one day before, to count the effort we had put in for that trip.

Not always we fail to predict the crowd in the temple. In the year 2017, for Athi Varadar raise after 40 yrs from the temple in Kanchipuram – we planned the trip well, and did darshan on 21st July 2019. That too after long wait of 3.30 hrs (yet nothing compared to the predicted time wait in Srirangam for Vaikunda Ekadasi darshan) and walking for 8 kms in total.

Read – Athi Varadar raise once in 40 years and how we did darshan on 21st July 2019.

Bangalore to Trichy Travel

This was the time we were about to become ardent travellers.

We travelled many destinations by bike since then. This year was the stepping stone for making everlasting memories in our married life. We travelled back to back on all weekends, challenging ourselves to the longer distances as we grew confident. 

From Bangalore to Trichy, we travelled by Volvo bus booked in Madiwala, Bangalore. This was a planned trip for 2 days, falling on 7th and 8th Jan 2017. 8th Jan 2017 being the auspicious Vaikunda Ekadasi.

Apart from memories from the Srirangam temple, we have also visited the very famous, ancient (padal petra stalam) – Jambukeshwar temple. We went late evening to this temple, waited till the last pooja rituals (see pic below) before retiring for the day.

Tiruvanaikaval – Jambukeshwar temple

Here goes our 2 days Itinerary.

2 days temple trip From Bangalore to Trichy For Vaikunta Ekadasi Darshan:

We travelled by bus, so we would have 2 full days in our hands to roam around the Trichy city. Like the same way we did for 3 days train trip to Kumbakonam and yet another 3 days train trip to Madurai, many trips to Goa – where we have rented a bike to roam the destinations.

But, here in Trichy, we hired an auto to see around the places. Like how we did in our Tiruttani trip. 

Nothing beats the comfort of riding your own vehicle, in any destination. 

Day 01 – 7th July 2017 – List of temples Visited:

  1. Ranganathar Temple, SRIRANGAM
  2. Uthamar Kovil / Picchandar Kovil
  3. Sri Sameevaneswarar (Mattrurai Varadeswarar) sametha Balambikai temple at TIRUVASI
  4. Arulmigu Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari Temple, THIRUVANAIKAVAL

Day 02 – 8th July 2017 – Vaikunta Ekadasi – List of Temples:

  1. Ranganathar Temple, SRIRANGAM (left in 1 hr without entering Golden door )
  2. Uraiyoor Kamalavalli Nachiyar Temple
  3. Uraiyur Panchavarneswarar Temple
  4. Thayumanaswami Temple, Rockfort
  5. Uchi Pillaiyaar Kovil

We travelled by train on the second day night to return to Bangalore.

Now that we know to anticipate the crowd at Srirangam for Vaikunta Ekadasi, we are sure to go back with a proper plan.

Madurai From Bangalore by Bike: Copy My Trip Plan To Roam Around Madurai

We have been to Madurai a couple of times, and each time we had new activities planned to roam Madurai. One time we roamed all popular Hindu temples by Bike (rented) in our train trip to Madurai from Bangalore. The other time when we went by Car to Madurai during our 5 days road trip to Tirunellveli and Papanasam, we did nothing but shopping there. Ofcourse, we did darshan the great Meenakshi temple.

Madurai From Bangalore – How We traveled

Since the year 2017, we were popular among friends for non-stop bike travel from Bangalore on almost all weekends. 

But as ardent travellers, we didn’t restrict ourselves to just one mode of travel. 

Our favourite train trips are to Hampi, Belur, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Tiruttani, Mumbai, and Madurai.

And most memorable air trips are to Delhi (Agra and Nainital), Cochin and Goa. 

We did not take many bus trips, except for a few times to Kerala and Goa.

First trip to Madurai From Bangalore

Trip to Madurai from Bangalore was quite unique – that is, we arrived at our destination by train and rented a bike to roam the city for 3 full days. 

We got inspired from our 3 days trip to Kumbakonam by train in the same year, where we rented a bike to roam the temple for 3 full days.

For three continuous days, that is 21st, 22nd, 23rd of July 2017, we roamed all the ancient temples in Madurai.

All the 3 days,  we did not have any issues roaming the city by bike as an outsider. We had a good choice of restaurants all over the city and enjoyed all vegetarian south indian meals in our entire trip. 

Road trip to Madurai

On our recent 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli and Papanasam, we stayed in Madurai for just a day, and did not visit any temples except the great Meenakshi temple. But roamed around the city by car, hung out around big temple lake, enjoyed Madurai’s famous Jigarthanda, and had awesome non vegetarian meals in Kari kanji restaurant. It is a must try restaurant for all kinds of non-vegetarian dishes. Click on the name to get the google map link.

Well, there aren’t many places to see in Madurai if you are not a temple architecture lover. So you can couple your trip plan with other famous places like Tirunelveli and Papanasam, or even kanyakumari.

Restaurant suggestion in Highways

Be it bike trip or road trip, the best Veg restaurant in Bangalore – Salem highways is Shri Krishna Inn. Its our all time favorite and this is where you could see hundreds of bikers hangout in the weekends. For more restaurant suggestions – you can find here.

Copy My Plan to Madurai

Of all the trips we went to Madurai from bangalore, not even once did we have issues on travel or stay or food.

The best place to spend your vacation, but only if you could couple it with other places. Because, many tourists including foreigners visit this majestic Madurai city for just one main reason – to darshan Madurai Meenakshi temple.

And, you could easily cover this place in just one day, including Thirumalai Nayak Mahal – another must see place in Madurai.

So what could you do to spice up your travel?

Go One Day Trip to Kodaikanal Hills:

Madurai and Kodaikanal are two like twins – inseparable in any trip plan. People who plan to go to Kodaikanal always make plans to visit Meenakshi temple and vice versa.

You could stay in Madurai and make a one day trip to Kodaikanal or just choose to stay in Kodaikanal for an extended period of your vacation. Kodaikanal is the best romantic place to visit near Madurai and makes it a place for best family vacation too. There are many options for kids to enjoy like cycling and boating – a complete package for family.

Madurai to Kodaikanal Distance – 116 kms

Go Long Drive From Madurai to Kanyakumari:

If you have been to Kodaikanal already, you could plan a long road trip to Kanyakumari. You could plan a direct trip from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, making Madurai as one of the pit stops. Or plan a drive from Madurai city.

Madurai to Kanyakumari distance – 245 kms

Bangalore to Kanyakumari distance – 665 kms

Woah, guess it is a practical idea to plan a long drive from Madurai instead of Bangalore.

Things to do In Kanyakumari – Kanyakumari beach, Tiruvalluvar statue, Visit Bhagavathy and Suchindram temple.

Places to Visit between Madurai and Kanyakumari

  1. Tirunelvelli – Yet another popular city known for two things: Nellaiyappar temple (Lord Shiva temple) and for Wheat halwa (iruttu kadai halwa). Distance from Madurai to Tirunelveli – 163 kms
  2. Papanasam – A very famous tourist spot in Tirunelveli district, popular for waterfalls (agasthiyar falls), and nearby manimuthar dam. We personally loved this place for never ending greenery and mountain view drive. (Read – Places to Visit in Papanasam in One day with distances)
  3. Courtallam – Not any intro is required for this place. Popular among tourists for its Courtallam falls and lord shiva temple at the foot hills. 

Visit to Madurai is incomplete without visiting these 3 popular places.

If you like to visit temples enroute madurai to Kodaikanal, you could then go to Thenkasi for a majestic Lord Shiva temple, situated 5.5. Kms from Courtallam. And you could also go to yet another historically important 3 temples called ‘Srivilliputhur andal temple’, ‘Sankaran kovil’ and ‘Tiruchendur’.

First two temples are close by, whereas Tiruchendur Lord Subramanya temple is situated at entirely different route.

I mean it is not practically possible to cover all the above places in just one day. That’s why we went on a 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli, and took time leisurely to see all the above mentioned places. 

On the way back to Bangalore from Tirunelveli, we stayed at Madurai for a day and roamed the city.

If you are planning to Visit Kanyakumari from Madurai, you could go straight to the destination. Or if you prefer, stay in Tirunelveli for a day or two, to explore all the above mentioned places. It is definitely worth your time, especially Papanasam.

Go Long Drive From Madurai to Rameswaram:

Another best option to add tourist places to your trip to Madurai from Bangalore, you could go Rameshwaram.

In jan 2017, we went to Rameshwaram for 3 days by bus and we coupled the trip with Tirunelveli. We stayed in Rameswaram mainly to visit Ramanathaswamy temple to pay respect to my father on ‘mahalaya amavasya day’. We didn’t go to any other places in Rameshwaram. And we cherish the time we travelled on the pamban bridge – one of a kind experience. 

Madurai to Rameswaram distance – 173 kms

Tirunelveli to Rameswaram distance – 226 kms

This is how we plan our travel – compare the distances from different places to the end destination, then decide which plan is best. 

It is as simple as that.

Sum – Up

So, practically we know clearly about all the tourist places in and around Madurai. 

Well, if none of the above places interests you, and if you are looking for particularly temple trips in Madurai, then copy my Madurai temples list. 

Click on the link below.

The list of ancient temples in Madurai city alone. 

There is no need to book any tour packages, because you know you will not be given any special access to darshan. 

You could just follow the google maps, plan to visit temples between 6 am to 11.30 am and between 5pm to 8.30 pm. You could rest in the afternoon or find a nice restaurant to chill the day.

List Of Ancient Temples in Madurai

In July 2017, we went on a 3 days trip from Bangalore to Visit temples in Madurai city. We traveled by train to Madurai, where we rented a motorbike for roaming the city. This was a purely a temple trip, as we are always fond of exploring the less explored. 

Here I have written a great deal about why we visit temples on our bike trips.

So, this was one such trip, where we wanted to see beyond the great Meenakshi temple. Because it is the only popular temple in Madurai among the tourists.

We dedicated 3 full days just to explore the temples in Madurai city, and we were not disappointed, thankfully.

In Fact we could not cover all the ancient temples you see. We picked the most historic and popular, and filtered those were within the feasibility of our travel distances. 

(Especially when you have a rented rotten bike).

Having said that, feel free to copy this list for your spiritual trip, a list filtered with only most ancient and important temples. A short and sweet list of temples in Madurai, closer to the city.

I have saved you plenty of time from planning the trip, so have fun.

List of Ancient Temples in Madurai

Even Though Madurai is significantly famous for just one temple – The Meenakshi Amman temple, there are many other temples in Madurai which are not widely popular. I have taken a list of those temples, selected the most ancient and important ; and are also closely located ones to visit as much as possible in one day.  

Since we have planned this trip to visit Madurai from Bangalore on auspicious days; Friday and Sunday being most auspicious, I kept flexible timings keeping the waiting period for darshan in each temple in the list.

Why We did not Visit Madurai Meenakshi Temple on Day -1 : Two Reasons

The entire Madurai tourism is weaved around the great Meenakshi Amman temple. Yet, I have planned to visit them on the 2nd day for the following 2 reasons.

First, we will become more tired of visiting this enormous temple on the very first day.

Second, this temple is always crowded on regular days, and extremely crowded on auspicious days. On the day we arrived it was auspicious Friday falling on the auspicious month for Hindu religion – Aadi month (Some call Aashada). 

So it’s decided to visit the temple on the next day – Saturday, that too early in the morning to avoid a long queue. Yet we could not completely avoid the crowd, we had to be in the queue for 30 mins before we darshan Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi.

Day wise List of Ancient temples in Madurai

I have carefully planned our 3 days travel fitting all the famous temples possible in the map, also being careful not to overburden Rajesh like how did in Kumbakonam visiting 24 temples in 3 days.

Temples in Madurai – Day 1 (21 July 2017) Itinerary:

Morning trip:

1. Aapudaiyar Kovil, Madurai 

2. Thirumohoor Kalameha Perumal temple

Evening trip:

3. Thiruparankundram

Day 2 (22 July 2017) Itinerary:

Morning trip:

1. Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple 

2. Koodal Alagar, Madurai

3. Thiruvedagam Edaganatheswarar Temple

Evening trip:

4. Thirupuvanam Sri Pushpavaneswarar temple, Sivagangai district

5. Inmayil nanmai tharuvar temple, Madurai

Day 3 (23 July 2017) Itinerary:

1. Palamuthircholai  and Rakkayi hill temple with waterfalls

2. Aaru padai murugan temple

3. Alagar temple

Short Note on the List of Temples in Madurai

If you are planning a trip to Madurai from Bangalore by road or any transport, feel free to copy my 3 days trip plan mentioned above. 

For example, Thiruparankundram (see day 1) and Palamuthircholai & Arupadai Murugan temples (see day -3) are notable temples for Lord Muruga. 

We absolutely loved riding to the Palamuthircholai located in the outskirts of Madurai City, riding among the trees, watching the atrocity of the monkeys was one of an experience. 

Also, to add thrill to our trip, we have coupled a trek to a Rakayi temple with waterfalls on the hills near to Palamuthircholai. Since we had planned it on an auspicious day, we ended up in a long queue but otherwise it was overall a good experience. If we had planned to go to this hill temple on the normal days, we were not sure of the safety of the travellers given the location and ambiance of this temple.

And the final temple in the list, is Alagar temple, a sight to the sore eyes. Just as the name depicts, the Lord Vishnu is such a charm and beauty to darshan.

On day -3, we returned back to Bangalore with plenty of memories. We really did have a good time. Infact we watched a movie named ‘vikram veda’ at Vishal De mall, Madurai just before leaving the town.

In all our Bike trip From Bangalore – Why Did We Choose to Visit Temples?

We are bikers, duo travelers to destinations in SouthIndia mostly bike trip from Bangalore. What started as a casual outing for coffee in Kanakapura road and Mysore road has soon become a planned bike trip to similar places.

And what started as fun riding bikes to nearby places has soon become a passionate bike ride to the far destinations.

To the readers wondering why we always go to places with temples, here is the reason behind it.

Bike Trip From Bangalore: How it Started After Our Marriage

Our very first official bike trip was from Bangalore to Srirangapatna and its nearby places on 26th August 2016. 

Definitely a date to remember in our life.

Then after a couple of train trips to Hampi and Belur, we challenged ourselves to go to different states in one day. That is how we went by bike from Bangalore to Lepakshi (Andhra Pradesh) via Nandi Hills (Karnataka).

But what gave us recognition as bike riders among friends (majorly in social media since we started posting pics and total Kms we rode), was a night bike trip to Hassan. That was an unplanned trip to Hassan and we rode 500kms back to back in less than 40 hrs, day and night.

That was a greatest milestone achievement in the year 2016.

In the following year 2017, after numerous 1 day and 2 day trips, we had set another milestone of 11 days continuous bike trip within SouthIndia.

We broke the 2017 record in the following year by going 12 days long bike trip within SouthIndia.

Well, if you see, either 1 day or 2 days or 11 long days, we always visit a famous temple in that particular place. Sometimes our trip plan will be weaved around a particular famous temple in that destination.

Why temples? Why not just go to a exotic destination, chill out and come back?

The Reason Behind Visiting Temples – On All Our Bike trip From Bangalore

The only connection I remember having with temples are those in my childhood. I remember my mother dragging me and my sibling to an ancient Lord Shiva temple in the town I grew, barely giving us time to change from school uniform to civil clothes. 

Many years after, I remember accompanying my roommate from Bangalore to Tirupati Balaji temple. 

And many years later, soon after our marriage, we went to temples with family as it was customary to darshan several temples. 

But here we are, riding to all the famous places, visiting the famous/ ancient temples, taking pics, and taking great effort sorting them in all possible harddisks.

Well, to begin with, I suggested going to Srirangapatna Ranganathar temple, as a meaningful destination for our first bike trip from Bangalore.

We liked the idea of keeping a meaningful destination instead of just hanging out in any restaurant and coming back.

Unintentionally we went on a couple of temple trips in the following months.

Later we came to know, both our families liked (assumed?) that we both went on a spiritual trip, spending our weekends in a meaningful way.

Only we both knew it was not just visiting temples, it was about meaningful destinations in our bike trips.

Also we had some meaningful conversations while we were there in the temples – about the architecture and about us. 

Sometimes our conversations gets more interesting, we used to compare with the previous temples we have visited, engage in that topic even after we return to our hotel rooms.

Like how we were amazed to see Karnataka’s only unique Hoysala arhictecture’s influence in Ambarnath temple, Mumbai.

Soon, by law of nature, we were naturally attracted to similar destinations, and many good things happened since then.

The Best thing Happened from Visiting Temples in Bike Trips

The constant planning and organizing the trips became my main hobby after marriage. 

We were always on the wheels, sometimes going to the same destinations again and again because we did not have any plans laid for that particular weekend. Or simply because of silly reasons like how we liked to have black coffee in Tiruvannamalai (200 kms bike trip from bangalore) and going to nearby Tirukoilur riding among sunflower fields. (See the pics here). 

Sometimes we go out shopping, but change our mind soon after we exit our apartment building, ride to the far destination for cuppa coffee and come back home late in the night. 

We soon became best friends riding together, talking about the past and the future.

In the past 5 yrs of married life (as of Sep 2020), we grew together as a strong couple and the complete credit goes to all the numerous travels we went (including the ones by train, air and car).

You can click on the following link to know the challenges we have faced over the course of time, against all odds how we became best friends and complimenting bike riders. 

Read – The Challenges we faced during our bike trips.

Had we not started visiting temples in our short bike trips from Bangalore, we would not have planned our 11 days long bike trip in the year 2017 and 12 days trips in the year 2018. Because it is difficult to just kill time without any purpose. 

Wow, what a journey we had. Looking back, it was like magic, but we did it. Riding under sun and moon, storm and rain, we rode bike continuously for those many long days.

You know what else we achieved from those bike trips?

Apart from becoming friends-

Apart from undertaking long bike trips and eventually becoming super confident riders-

We have realised one very important thing in life.

Together we are strong.

Together we can achieve anything.

As an individual, we have our own strengths and weaknesses. But when we both are together, we have only strength.

But Why did I go on a solo trip for 5 Days?.

Final Words – We are not Temple Crazy

Before you think of me as crazy visiting only the temples on our vacation – know this. I am not a spiritual nor a devoted traveler to temples. It’s just the curiosity to know the significant importance of many temples from one another. Also, I am totally in love with the ancient architecture and the lost temples. So you cannot find me visiting any modern age temples, or any non-historic temples for that matter.

Like this train trip to Belur in Karnataka, where we explored 2 less popular Hoysala architectures, the two very beautiful temples in Karnataka.

And once we have been to 24 temples in 3 days in Kumbakonam, it is the only place where temples are more than tea shops in TamilNadu. So could not get enough from those 3 days, we planned 11 days long motorbike trip to explore the Kumbakonam temple city.

Did we ever go on an exotic trips?.

Many actually, because we are not saints you see.

We did go exotic places like when we stayed in Aveda Resort in Kumarakom, The continental Inn for a week stay in Mumbai, The Grand Mercure in Mysore, Riva Resort in Goa to name a few.

Facebook Showed Me This Memory from 4 yrs Ago

I was happy to see the these pics popped in my Facebook memories a week ago.

It showed us the place where we went one day trip by train to Halebidu and Belur.

This trip was close to our heart, beacuse we travelled back to back to 4 different Hoysala architecture temples in Karnataka. And it was the day we were totally spell bound in the beauty of Hoysala architecture.

This is about how I recalled the events and why this trip was so close to my heart.

Facebook memories – recollecting the events :-

As I recall, I remember well that how we left home early to catch train, the junction we got down (arasikere), the hot tea in a local shop in the morning, the village muddy smell from the previous day rains.

I also recall the pain I felt seeing the lost state of importance to 2 temples – one in Arasikere and the 2nd in Javangal.

Compared to both, Arasikere Lord Shiva temple was in better condition.

We were lost for words to explain the state of Javangal temple, the broken and damaged roof was heartbreaking.

That explains why the reason for no devotees or tourists to these places.

I have written in detail about how we went to these 2 less famous temples in karnataka.

The other two temples we have visited that day, namely – Halebidu and Belur temples were sparkling with crowd.

They were receiving all the care and attention, and they stand proud in a vast area with little damage here and there.

I also recall going to a local eatery before entering the Halebidu temple, ordering the only rice bath variety available with a vada. While our phones were charging, we relaxed and prepared ourselves to visit the mass temple in piping hot sun.

Thanks to facebook memories, I am feeling happy to recollect the events.

Look at some of pics here, am sure you will love it.

hoysala architecture
Hoysala architecture – Halebidu temple art
Hoysala architecture
Halebidu temple
karnataka famous temples
Halebidu Big Nandhi
famous temple images in karnataka
Belur chennakesava temple

Read about the another famous Chennakesasva temple (more like replica of Belur) in Somanathapura.

Here is another trip we went to Hassan Nuggehalli temple, another type of Hoysala architecture

And here is when we went to hampi by train, and explored Vittala temple and other famous places.

My Rescued Baby Bird Story During #2020Lockdown

This is a story of a rescued baby bird fallen and injured in our home balcony. And how we took care of it after with medicine and strength training before reuniting with its parents.

The reason I mentioned “My rescued Baby bird” is because Rajesh did not come near that Bird at all. Except for clicking a couple of pics and just one time when we had to take the bird to the Vet.

Read about a tiny, cute little Red Whiskered BulBul Baby bird – a singing bird, which we rescued from our garden balcony, in Bangalore.

I have written a very detailed story here in an intention to cherish the memory forever. So, if any time you feel bored of the lengthiness of my story, feel free to turn to the next one. 

And yes, this story has a happy ending.

How We Rescued this Baby bird

About My Apartment Garden – Small intro

It is always a pleasure to watch the Red Whiskered BulBul bird build a nest on our garden gate. The garden gate is a collapsible grill gate which separates our balcony and the sky open garden.

Our garden has a couple of flowering mini trees and many ornamental plants, both kept in soil and pots.

But that’s not the very reason they are attracted to my home. Not even for the tray of water I regularly keep out for birds (that invited yet another regular guest – cat, an ungrateful soul poops on my grass sometimes 🙁  ).

Well, not for trees, not for water, not for a couple of grasshoppers and insects my garden has to offer.

But for the location you see. It takes just 2 second bird flight distance from its home tree, situated just across my apartment wall. Where atleast 3 dozen Red Whiskered BulBul birds make home of that tree. And I can proudly say atleast a dozen of them were born in my garden.

Well, the reason is this. My garden balcony makes a perfect territorial hideout where its enemy “spotted blue bird” – atleast 10x bigger in size cannot find its nest’s location. 

Also, my balcony gives them a perfect “bird view” to babysit / egg sit even from quite long distances. I don’t know how they do it, the minute I step out onto the balcony, they always arrive in a jiffy to show they have eyes on me.

These little lives never ceased to amaze me.

The Rescued Baby Bird’s Parents Are Not Experienced

All the couples who built their nests in our balcony were amazing, hardworking and dedicated parents you see. 

Some parents lay 2 eggs, some lay 3, depending on their parenting experience I guess.

While I am writing this article, yet another couple has started their family already. I can tell that they are experienced parents from the look of its tightly weaved nests.

But the rescued baby bird’s parents were inexperienced. I could figure out not just from the number of eggs, but from the display of its messy nest. For sure they are ‘new parents’. And somehow clumsily covered it by torn polythene bags which gave a meagre support. 

I am always curious to watch these birds growing in my balcony, and this time looking at the modern house made of plastic, my curiosity had no boundary.

Finally, parents were successful hatching 2 eggs after a week of relentless hard work.

Myself and hubby were excited for the new arrivals and they became the top discussion during our every day morning coffee.

In Fact we even moved our bed near the balcony, so we can ‘baby watch’ them through the glass balcony doors.

We Rescued Baby Bird On 8th May 2020

My hubby was pretty sure the fledglings would leave the following weekend just like the previous batch chicks did.

He loves to make these guesses you see.

Apparently he would have been right if only those naughty fledglings waited for a day. 

On 8th May 2020, those 2 fledglings fell down from the top. It was the siblings’ fight that made them fall down on the ground along with the nest.

Obviously parents were more shocked than we were, fluttering wings and making stress calls to protect them from the exposure. 

What seemed like an eternity, soon those fledglings recovered from the shock, moved to the corner as guided by the parents.

Hatchlings falling from the nest in my home balcony
The falling down with the nest – Ray baby at the corner, all shocked. Hanged a towel to protect them from sun.

Healthy Baby Bird Fledged with its Parents

What was more shocking is that when we saw one fledgling kept pushing the other one. It was aggressively blocking the other so as to seize all the food from its parents. 

Around 4pm, we were relieved to find them on the garden lawn just outside of the balcony gate. They were taking conscious little leaps by being extremely aware of the new world.

The aggressive one was the first to move towards the tree, and the other one was shy and nervous to take the steps. Little did we know that time is that, it was suffering from the injured pain from falling down.

From our previous experiences, the fledglings usually leave the nests in the morning, and fly to their parents’ home tree only by late evening. Until then, the parents keep feeding them tirelessly and guarding them from the predators. 

Until late evening, the shy baby bird was not making much progress. Sat on the alovera pot , exhausted. All the while, the aggressive baby made progress like any normal baby bird would do and had successfully fledged with its parents. 

Waiting to fly with the sibling - baby bird rescue
Ray Baby at fledgling stage – All cute and worried after its aggressive sibling took off with its parents
Seeking comfort in the garden - injured baby bird
Healthy baby Clicked Just before it flew away with its Parents

We Named the Rescued Fledgling – “RayBaby”

During late evening, we bought the shy baby inside home, with an intention to protect it from the cold air and our apartment stray cat.

We named the baby bird  “Raybaby”.

It slept tight until I woke the baby the next day morning. Such a little adorable baby. It was so cute to see it sleep with head tucked between its feathers.

Raybaby’s Desperate Attempts to Fly to Parents

The next morning we kept the Raybaby in the same place where we found it last night. 

Its parents were very early and kept making stress calls until they saw the raybaby.

We expected that it would fly with its parents soon any minute. 

Despite all its desperate attempts to fly, atleast 100s of times every day, it could not bring itself to move its right side of the body. Only its left feathers were actively flipping, and had absolutely no problems with walking at all.

It was very painful to watch its desperate cry to get its parents help, whenever its parents were around to feed. Needless to say, parents too, tried its best luring Raybaby into flying with all their energy.

During afternoons, Raybaby would go behind any of the aloe vera plant pots on the ground, would stay calm and safe until its parents returned back to feed in the evening.

Soon all the crying and jumping starts all over again. 

We and its parents took turns to look after the baby for a couple of days – “them” in the mornings, “us” from the evening till next mornings.

On one particular night, it was looking weak and exhausted. It was so weak, that it could not be able to sit with tight grip, nor flip its feather and make short jumps like it used to do before. 

After seeing its poor condition, Rajesh insisted that we take Raybaby to consult the doc.

“RayBaby” Consulted Vet for its Injured Feathers

On 12th May, Tuesday afternoon, we took Raybaby to a vet for consulting, and was relieved to know that it had only minor injury to its feathers.

All that weakness and exhaustion could be due to hurting itself while attempting to fly.

Raybaby was given medicine for a week, one drop of it daily, for 8 days.

While coming back home, we were trying hard to figure how to feed medicine to the babybird since it has never accepted any food from us. But after Vet’s consulting, having waited for a couple of hrs in the queue without food, it accepted sugar water complacently from us.

Guess back and forth travel to doc’s office has made Raybaby super hungry. Soon it started accepting hand fed egg whites, grapes, apples and muskmelons.

It’s all time favourite is Muskmelon fruit. 

Going forward, I kept feeding this baby bird 15 to 20x a day, keeping away from the sun until we were sure of its strength gaining back. 

Strength Training “RayBaby” for 2 Weeks

As much as we wanted to baby sit and keep it ourselves forever, we also wanted the baby to be reunited with its parents for its deserving life. 

We did all we could to make it fly, keep it active, practice small jumps by luring it towards food and all the while gaining its trust. It amazingly responded well to my voice, and tried its best to fly and reach to me for food.

The best days in my life were the time when Raybaby climbed onto the bed looking for me (bed on the floor near the balcony) and made serious attempts to snuggle under my neck. Once successfully climbed on to my belly, it would then start crying with an open mouth showing that it was hungry. As if saying to me, “can you see me now clearly huh human, am super hungry”. 

Since I am used to this call every 20 mins, whenever I try to ignore its call, it would then proceed to jump on to my shoulder, and would start to peck on my mouth. Until I get up to feed it with muskmelons.

Sometimes she/he fly directly to my kitchen counter, where I usually keep the fruits stock. Then cry from there, looking at me expectantly.

This cry and food drama continues until it falls asleep in the evening. 

There were times I would be working in my laptop after lunch, with Raybaby snuggled under my neck comfortably.

Also there were days when myself and hubby would be having evening tea with Raybaby snuggled sleeping under my neck. 

We were becoming inseparable.

Late evenings were the most hard times, since Ray was clinging on to my neck, seeking comfort behind my ponytail, and sleeping. I could separate it only when it was super asleep and slowly sneak into a bedroom and leave it in its basket.

Happy Ending – Reuniting with Parents

The 2 weeks of Raybaby in our life was indeed a golden period, turning #2020lockdown into treasurable memories. We took extra care when we released Raybaby into our garden to permanently reunite with its parents. Every single minute we kept watch on which direction it was flying, where it was resting and all. 

Because, all these days when we left Raybaby outside to be fed by its parents, parents kept calling the baby to fly. So, in an desperate attempt to fly with its parents, Ray either got stuck in the neighbor’s balcony for the whole day or fell outside of our garden wall in an attempt to fly.

Soon, it gets tired from its weak wings and immobilizes. Also once its first attempt failed, it’s parents couldn’t make it fly high again for another long hrs. 

Reuniting attempts – Ray’s parents waiting patiently across my Kitchen grill, in the garden tree

Mostly it was afraid of heights, so kept clinging to our / our neighbours garden area, afraid to jump beyond our tall apartment wall. Just 2 days before it was finally reunited with its family, it was chasten by the enemy “spotted bird”, and was saved by its brave parents.

It landed in our garden again, shaken. I took it inside, kept it safe for 2 more days, practiced more heights before leaving it outside again. 

Thanks to Raybaby, My life was happy and adventurous all these 2 weeks.

When Raybaby flew permanently with its parents, needless to say I was clearly upset. Yet, happy for the little soul going to its deserving wild life.

In one flick, it flew high confidently to the home tree with its parent.

Wow, It was one of the proudest moments. And I will never forget, ever in my life.

Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore in Our #AllNewCreta

Yesterday, we went on a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, bought in June 2020.

Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore

We wanted to take our new Creta on a long drive since 2 months.

Since its a new car and that too an SUV, we were more than cautious all these days. All we did was to take our ‘Milo’ – that is the name our car :), on a short one day road trips in highways.

We did go once in Hassan road, and couple of times in Mysore road and several times to Kanakapura road to our regular cafe coffee day.

Well, its time we took the beast for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore.

Why We Chose Mysore for Our First Long Drive

The main reason being, we are very much familiar with just 2 roads / highways starting from Bangalore.

One is Hosur road, leading to Chennai and Salem, where we have been on multiple bike trips and road trips to Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Yercaud, Kumbakonam, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Madurai, etc.,

And Second, Mysore highways, leading to Mysore, further to places like Coorg, Wayanad, Bandhipur, Ooty, Chikmagalur, Mangalore etc.,

Due to pandemic – interstate highways lock-down, we were left with just one familiar road, that is Mysore highways.

Very soon we will be exploring many other roads such as Kunigal Highways and Hyderabad highways. We have covered Nandhi hills and Lepakshi in one day bike trip in Hyderabad highways, yet to explore further once this pandemic is over.

Our recent Hassan road trip in our #AllNewCreta

Many Other Good Reasons for Choosing Mysore Highways:

  • Well Paved Roads – A very popular highways (NH 275), now under construction for 6 ways road is a treat for anyone looking for long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, or Coorg or Wayanad.
  • Numerous Restaurant Choices – Throughout the highways, you have numerous choices of restaurants and coffee shops. Our new favorite is Drive thru McDonalds in Channapatna, where you get hot meals at all times. And the best part? It is a drive through. No time waste in dine – in.
  • Toll Fare of Just 65/- rupees – We all need a weekend getaway that doesn’t burn our pockets, isn’t it?. Trust me, Mysore highways doesn’t cost you much like Salem and Kunigal highways where you would be easily spending minimum of 250 rupees for a one way drive. Whereas, here, for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, you would be spending just 65 rupees. And if you choose Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey, you would be spending only half of that money. Very gooood.

Best Drive in Restaurant in Kunigal highways

From our recent short raod trip from Bangalore, the best drive -in restaurant in Kunkgal Highways is Swathi Delicacy. Here is google map link – https://goo.gl/maps/TLXDeUxjxEFF3M678.

Taste their coffee alteast, its the best :).

Travel Time from Bangalore to Mysore by Road

Bangalore to Mysore distance is 150 kms from each other. The travel time from Bangalore to Mysore by road, was just 3 hrs. Fair good time with just pit stop of 10 mins (that too at McD’s drive thru) in a moderate traffic.

Ideally it would take about 4 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in an ususal weekend traffic. Whereas, it would take just 3 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in a weekday traffic. The toughest one is from Nice road until Ramanagara, after that it is usually a smooth drive.

We started by 8 am on a Sunday morning, after having a cup of black coffee at home.

(This is how to make best coffee at home, my all time favorite drink).

McDonald’s Drive thru, Channapatna, Long drive from Bangalore

By the time we reached “the frosting” cafe, it was 11am. Strectched legs, quenched thirst, ate pizza, clicked pics and chilled out for some time. After all the chillax, roamed the city until 2.30pm.

Entrance view at the frosting cafe, Mysore

Meantime had coffee at Ashirvaad grand pure veg situated across Grand Mercure hotel.

If you are wondering, we came to know this restaurant when we stayed in ‘Grand Mercure‘, just a week before outburst of Covid-19. While we stayed there, we came to this veg restaurant for the evening meal. We liked this veg restaurant in Mysore since then. And their best mysuru coffee too.

Instead of “frosting cafe”, last time we went to “The Old House” cafe. Love both their ambiance and food.

In fact we wanted to go to our all time favorite Green hotel with Malgudi cafe. It is one of the best cafe in Mysore. Unfortunately it was temporarily closed for the pandemic. Otherwise we would never miss their coffee and dessert for anything in the world.

best cafe in mysuru
The green hotel, Malgudi cafe in Mysuru

Around 2.30, we had lunch at yet another famous restaurant in Mysore for Biryani, called Hanumanthu Mess. It is rated one of the best non veg restaurant in Mysuru. And it is true. A small mess serving delicious non veg and biryani could be your favorite too.

We then leisurely started our Milo, to return back to Bangalore.

Returning Back – Long Drive Via Malavalli / Kanakapura Road

It is our thing, we always choose Malavalli – Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey.

Ideally it is a parallel highways to Mysore highways, with less fancy road and far less traffic.

Not only that, we love that road for the greenery and agri land.

We were on this route couple of times when went on bike trip to Shivanasamudra falls, T Narasipura, Talakadu Tala Kaveri river and Somanathapura (Hoysala architecture) and Srirangapatna.

With our favorite music playing at the back, the return journey took us 4 hrs of time. Because, we stopped at many places to click pics, the most notable one was the thriving Kaveri river after monsoon.

We never had any interest to go sightseeing in Mysore. If you are travelling with kids, and planning to go sightseeing Mysore palace, zoo and botanical garden – then you need to be arriving Mysore at 10am. So that you would have sufficient time to look around places in Mysore in one day.

But, we always love to hangout in cafe’s instead of sightseeing in Mysore.

This time too, in our long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, we did nothing but chill out in cafes.

Glad we took our Milo for a long drive.

Famous Temples in Kumbakonam – A Very Big List with Google Map link

This is the only article which has long list of famous temples in Kumbakonam with google map links from our frequent visits. Probably its the only article in the internet with loads of temple list with google maps. Enjoy your cultural trip to Kumbakonam.

This article is useful for those who are looking to explore the famous and must visit temples in Kumbakonam, navagraha tour in Kumbakonam.

Kumbakonam became one of the favorite long bike trip destinations when we went on a 3 days trip for Masi Maham Festival in the year 2017. Soon in the same year, we planned a 11 days long bike trip from Bangalore to Kumbakonam. Because we loved the temple city’s breathtaking temples and its serene beauty.

So I can proudly say I know well about Kumbakonam like how well I know Bangalore. 

Famous temples in Kumbakonam and other important temples in and around Kumbakonam are covered in this article.

Famous Temples in Kumbakonam and Much More

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock this holy town on all auspicious days. 

As I mentioned earlier, we first went to Kumbakonam for the Masi Maham festival in the year 2017. Little did we know that time is that we are going to come back year after year to this beautiful temple town. 

The famous temples in Kumbakonam and many other things people don’t know about.

  • Kumbakonam is famous for “Navagraha temples” – a unique spiritual experience of visiting 9 planet gods in their individual houses.
  • The temple city is famous for “108 Divya Desam” temples – of 108 Historic Vishnu temples, 40 temples are in chola region (trichy -tanjore- kumbakonam belt).
  • Kumbakonam is famous for “275 Devara Padal Petra Stalam” temples – Of 275 historic Lord Shiva Temples, 18 temples are in and around Kumbakonam town.
  • The city is also famous for one of the largest manufacturers of Temple brass and bronze items.
  • The Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II (1146–73) during 12th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur, the Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Kumbakonam that are referred to as the Great Living Chola Temples.
  • Less known famous thing about Kumbakonam is that they are known for their unique handloom weaving of silk sarees. “Thirubhuvanam” is the place to look for power looms and sarees that are available for buying in all shops in the centre town.
  • The Flora and fauna of this town is very rich, thanks to the 3 rivers adorning the city, namely – Cauvery, Araslaru and Kollidam.
  • Needless to say, Kumbakonam is wide known for its coffee. Every sip is a bliss.

(Because I am a coffee lover, I wouldn’t miss a chance to try good coffee).

Other than the above mentioned list of  historic temples, there are hundreds of important temples in and around Kumbakonam. 

You will fall in love with the majesty and beauty of the temple architecture. They are so big that it would even take some time to figure out the entrance to the temples. 

Here is the list of Kumbakonam famous temples and must visit temples in Kumbakonam once in life from our multiple road trip experiences. 

List Of Famous Temples in Kumbakonam – An Intro

I am giving a list of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu temples in the following order.

(a) famous temples in the center town Kumbakonam. They are within 10km radius and are the most beautiful temples you must visit once in your life. You could skip going to Navagraha temples altogether unless you specifically wanted to go for some horoscope reasons.

(b) famous temples around Kumbakonam. These are nearby famous temples in Kumbakonam from the main town. And some are far from town like Tanjavur and Chidambram).

The following list of temples are my most favorite and must see temples in Kumbakonam. I cannot give you the exact plan of where to start and where to end the temple trip. It is not practically possible actually. I can share my side of the story, hoping it would help you in planning your trip. 

These are the most famous temples in Kumbakonam, let’s see them category wise.

A. List of Must Visit Famous Temples In Kumbakonam town

(i). List of Lord Shiva Temples

 Let’s start with Lord Shiva temple for 2 reasons – they are open for darshan very early compared to Lord Vishnu Temples. 

Click on the individual temples to get the google map link.

  1. Kudamookku – Adi Kumabeswarar Temple – Padal Petra Stalam
  2. Sri Nageswarar temple -Padal Petra Stalam
  3. Sri Someswar temple – Padal Petra Stalam
  4. Kottaiyur Shivan Temple – Padal Petra Stalam 
  5. Kasi Vishwanathar Temple
  6. Abhi Mukheswarar Temple – Facing the Mahamaham tank
  7. Shri Airavatesvara Temple – UNESCO Heritage

(ii). List of Lord Vishnu temples

These are the famous Lord Vishnu temples in the centre town Kumbakonam, all the following temples are connected with Mahamaham Festival.

  1. Chakrapani Temple – Vila Archanai which is usually performed to Lord Shiva is performed here for Lord Vishnu.
  2. Sarangapani temple – Lord Ranganathar residing on a big chariot mandap is the attraction here. And the temple is also breathtakingly huge.
  3. Ramaswamy temple – A Marvellous temple with intrinsic work of paintings depicting the Ramayanam.
  4. Varahaperumal Temple.
  5. Rajagopalaswamy temple.

B. List of Temples around Kumbakonam

(i). List of  Lord Shiva Temples

  1. Thirusakthimuttam Temple,Padal Petra Temple –  Padal Petra Stalam
  2. Gnanambiga Sametha Sri Thenupureeswarar Thirukovil – padal petra stalam
  3.  Pazhayarai Vadathali Temple,Padal Petra Temple -padal petra stalam
  4. Sri Garbarakshambigai Temple Thirukarukavur (for child birth) – padal petra stalam – Very beautiful Goddess Parvathi
  5. Thirunariyur Shiva Temple – padal petra stalam (Also visit nearby Shri Saneeswaran Temple – Sani Stalam)
  6. Thiruvanjiyam Arulmigu Vanchinadha Swamy Thirukovil – Lord Yama Statue
  7. Sri Naganatha Swami Temple (Raghu Stalam) – Padal Petra Temple – Majestic Temple famous for Afternoon pooja on sundays to Planet Raghu.
  8. Thirumanancheri Shiva Temple
  9. Sri Kampahareswar Temple – Tirubhuvanam Majestic Very Beautiful temple.
  10. Sri Mahalingaswamy Temple Thiruvidaimaruthur – Padal Petra Temple
  11. Gangai Konda Cholapuram Thiru Brihadeswarar ThirukkovilUNESCO Heritage
  12. Thirumetrali Shiva Temple – Bramha Nandeeswarar Temple (Broken Lord Shiva temple with big Square Sivalinga)
  13. Pasupatheeswarar Temple –padal petra stalam
  14. Thiru Nallur KalyanaSundareswarar temple – padal petra stalam
  15. Palaivana Nathar Temple,Padal Petra Temple – padal petra stalam
  16. Sri Sivapuranathar Temple -padal petra stalam
  17. Sakkottai Shiva Temple – Sri Amirthakalasanathar Temple (raghu Stalam) -padal petra stalam
  18. Maruthanallur ShivaTemple -padal petra stalam
  19. Sri Swarnapureeswarar Temple -Alagaputhur Shiva Temple – Padal Petra stalam
  20. Tirupandurai Shiva Temple – padal petra stalam
  21. Sri Sornapureeshwarar Temple, Andankoil – padal petra stalam
  22. Thiruvirumpoolai Shiva Temple (Guru Stalam) – Padal Petra stalam
  23. Kovilvenni Shiva Temple – Padal Petra stalam
  24. Arulmigu Sathurangam Vallavan Temple – padal petra stalam
  25. Shri Amirthanayagi Samedha Naganathaswamy Temple (Raghu Kethu Parikara temple) -Padal Petra stalam
  26. Sri Saraparameswarar Temple -padal petra stalam
  27. Thirunaalur Meignanam Sivan Temple -padal petra stalam
  28. Kudavasal Koneswaran Shiva temple – padal petra stalam
  29. Thirukollampudur Shiva Temple -padal petra stalam
  30. Narthanapureeswarar Temple, Thalaiyalangadu (Lord Natarajar)
  31. Manakal Ayyampettai – padal petra stalam
  32. Karaiveera nathar Shiva Temple — padal petra stalam
  33. Shri Suryanar Kovil – Suriyan Stalam
  34. Sri Vijayanathar Temple, Thiruvijayamangai -Padal Petra Temple
  35. Sri Vijayanathar Temple, Thiruvijayamangai,Padal Petra Temple
  36. Innambur Shiva Temple – Padal
  37. Sri Saatchinathar Temple, Thirupurambiyam
  38. Vilvaneshwarar Temple, Thiruvaikavur,Padal Petra Temple
  39. Vada Kurangaduthurai temple  – padal
  40. Thiruvisanallur Shiva Temple -PAdal
  41.  Sri Karkadeswarar Temple -padal
  42. Apath Sahayeswarar Temple (Siva Temple), Aduthurai – padal
  43. Thirukodeeswarar Temple, Tirukodikaval – padal 
  44. Thirukozhambam Shiva Temple,Padal Petra Temple
  45. Sri Shanbakaranyeshwarar Temple,Padal Petra Temple
  46. Thiruneelakkudi Shiva Temple – padal
  47. Shri Natarajar Temple, Konerirajapuram, padal
  48. Thiru Anniyur Shiva Temple, padal
  49. Karuveli Sarguna Natheswarar Temple, (very big temple pond)-  padal
  50. Thiruveezhimizhalai Shiva Temple (big temple) -padal
  51. Thirumarugal Shiva Temple
  52. Uthrapatheeshwaraswamy Temple, Thiruchengattangudi
  53. Nannilam Shiva Temple
  54. Thirukondeswaram Shiva Temple
  55. Thirupanaiyur Shiva Temple
  56. Thirupugalaur Vardhamaneswarar Temple

(ii). List of Lord Vishnu Temples 

These are the list of Divya Desam temples situated nearby from centre town Kumbakonam.

  1. Sri Oppiliappan Temple
  2. Arulmigu Thiruppullamboothangudi Valvill Ramar Temple
  3. Sri Aandu Alakkum Ayyan Perumal Temple
  4. Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple / Nachiyar kovil
  5. Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple
  6. Sri Sowri Raja Perumal Temple
  7. Gajendra Varadar Temple

Famous Temples around Kumbakonam – Nearby cities

First we saw a list of must visit famous temples in Kumbakonam within 10kms radius(A). Second we saw important temples around Kumbakonam with little travel distances (B) (about 1hr).

Lastly, here is the list of famous temples around Kumbakonam that is – quite far from this city.

I tried my best to give this list up until the Tiruvaiyaru, Mayiladuthurai and Thiruvarur routes.

(C). List of Lord Shiva temples

  1. Gangai Konda Cholapuram Thiru Brihadeswarar Thirukkovil
  2.  Sri Kampahareswar Temple, Tirubhuvanam
  3. Sri Mayuranathar Temple – Mayiladuthurai
  4. Vaithiyanatha swamy temple (Sevvai Stalam) -Vaitheeswarankoil 
  5. Sirkazhi Shiva Temple – Sirkazhi
  6. Sri Abhirami Amirthakadeswarar Temple – Thirukadaiyur 
  7. Sri Dharbaranyeswara Swamy Temple (Saturn Temple) – Tirunallar
  8. Thiruvarur Shiva Temple – Thiruvarur
  9. Sri Aiyarappar Temple – Tiruvaiyaru
  10. Thanjavur Big Temple
  11. Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram
  12. Ranganthar temple, Trichy
  13. Rockfort temple, Trichy

The above temple lists are the very popular Lord Shiva temples in the major districts around Kumbakonam. We have covered all the temples during our long bike trip in the year 2017 and 2018. 

If you are on a short trip, but want to make the most of your trip, here is the plan.

In that way, you will not only see Kumbakonam, but also cover most of the historically important places just in one trip.

That’s what many travelers do. Because all the above mentioned places are famous only for the temples.

Except for Chidambaram, you could go sightseeing to Pichavaram mangrove forest. 

Since the accommodation and food was satisfactory beyond expectation we stayed in Kumbakonam for many days. Apart from that, we also loved the city very much. From there we traveled to the nearby cities by bike.

Note that there are no waterfalls in Kumbakonam, but it has lots of waterdams, lakes and ponds. One such famous place is Anaikarai Bridge – a very old bridge over the Kollidam river.

Read – Kumbakonam is Famous for Not Just temples.

How We Covered Many Temples in a Day

Even Though we had stayed for more than a week in Kumbakonam, we had crazy plans to cover as many temples we could in a day possible. 

Once we have covered all the temples in Kumbakonam (A), we then traveled to nearby towns like Sirkazhi, Mayavaram, Thanjavur, Thiruvaiyaru, Mannargudi, etc

We covered many temples as we could because of the following 2 reasons

  • We raised early, we were in the temple for the early pooja. Tirelessly, we visited temples until their closing time at 12 noon. Needless to worry about the food, as you will get plenty of good choices along the way. Almost all Lord shiva temples are open for darshan as early as 6am. Eventhough, Lord Vishnu temples are open early but early morning darshan time varies depending on the temple. Sometimes you would have to wait until 8 am. Therefore it is smart to visit the Shiva temples first, then later visit the Lord Vishnu temples.
  • We went by Motorbike, and it’s just the two of us. Both our energy level matched and we loved every single day of non-stop travelling in bike. We had a tank bag where we kept our SLR, mobiles, chargers, power banks and water bottles to keep the trip plan smooth. We never in a day deviated from our plan, thanks to my 10 days of research and planning.