It shouldn’t take you more than 3 hours to cover the distance between Bangalore and Mysore, because the highway here is well-maintained and 4-laned. In Mysore, make a pit stop and take in the tourist attractions including the resplendent Mysore Palace and the museum that gives you a genuine taste of Karnataka culture. Mysore needs at least one day to cover its length and breadth, and once you are re-fueled and rejuvenated, your next stop is going to be a ride across state borders. Mysore to Wayanad is a 2-lane roadway, but from Thrissur, the roads open up to a wide 4-lane highway.
Kerala’s Kochi is an international tourist favorite, and there is so much to see and do. You need to make a pit stop here for at least a few days to soak up the down-to-earth culture of the local people. Language might prove to be a barrier, but they are warm and make an effort to welcome you as a valued visitor. Ride up to the waterways to witness the unique fishing technique of Chinese fishing nets used by the fishmongers, making it one of the best places to visit in Kochi. The local cuisine is a typical coastal fare, consisting of fresh fish and an abundance of coconut, a widely cultivated crop.
Your next stop along the Southern coast route is Madurai. But before reaching your destination, you can take a detour to neighboring Kodaikanal, an internationally known destination famous for its laid-back culture and chilly weather. Madurai is another major pit stop that needs some of your time to explore, especially if you want to visit their temples and experience Tamil Nadu culture. Madurai is famous for its religious monuments, including ISKON and the Madurai Temple Meenakshi.
From Madurai, the road stretches to 4 lanes, with the weather being relatively cool, sporadic with winds and tougher to navigate with the sun overhead. Nevertheless, it is a smooth ride to Dhanushkodi, the closest point between India and neighboring Sri Lanka. Dhanushkodi itself is a ghost town, since the entire population was wiped out in a storm that ravaged the strip decades ago. You can navigate the road on a bike, though the number of tourists visiting the spot are limited to avoid overcrowding. Dhanushkodi beach is going to be your “lowest” point, so to speak, travelling through South India along the Southern Coast Route, but is totally worth the visit.
Once you’ve had your photo-ops, take the highway that leads to French-influenced haven, Pondicherry. You will find a large number of foreign tourists, some of whom stay over for the long term. Pondicherry is known for its pristine white facades and east coast culture, so similar and yet completely not the same as that of its western cousin. Beaches here are a welcome respite from the long ride, so take your time taking in the sights, sounds and smells of this divine city. There are plenty of things to do in Pondicherry and places to visit in Pondicherry.
Post Pondicherry, the East Coast Road or ECR is a smooth, straight ride over to your last pit stop, Chennai. 4 lanes of a wide highway make it for one of the most thrilling, freeing rides so far on your trip. The road literally heads alongside the coast, so expect a salty wafting breeze and sweltering afternoons. The road trip from Pondicherry to Chennai is also a spectacularly scenic one.
Chennai is what you’d expect a bubbling Indian city to be. Heavy traffic and bustling civilization may take you aback for a while, but the city will soon grow on you. Whether its food, accommodation or any other re-fuelling staples, all are available at affordable prices.
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