The Great Monsoon Chase: Delhi To Kerala and Back


Thanks for the pictures of roads; especially Bombay Pune NE.
Shyam, great extensive coverage of the roads !!

great Drive log it is... I am sure you would have gone through wide verities of roads on your journey ranging from Super smooth Express ways to roads between the potholes... :mrgreen:
Thanks. You are right there. Drove over a variety of roads, but thankfully most of it was great. In a 3600 KM journey, I can't honestly complain about 500 KMs of bad roads. But I guess in a few years even that should be fixed. Hopefully :)

Wonderful descriptive t-log & beautiful pictures, its like I am traveling with you. Great log man.
Thanks :)

Nice drive would have fallen asleep most of the time getting bored of such straights. I remember me dozing off for a couple of seconds on my Pulsar near 115 kph ;)
Fortunately, sleep was not a problem for me. I actually find it quite meditative to drive like that. Weird, I know. Fatigue is more of an issue, especially since I am fond of doing 300-400 KM unbroken stints. And once that kicks in you start to lose concentration, which can be very very bad.


The stay at home was expected to last a little over two weeks at the most, but family commitments meant that it has now extended close to two months. Not much of travel was possible in this time even though many plans were made, only to be unmade by events that followed.

I was born and brought up in Trivandrum, did most of my education here. The city, though, has little in common from the time that I used to call it home, when it used to be a slightly overgrown town that aspired to be much bigger. I have been a regular visitor here in the past 10-years, of which the first seven did not see too many changes. But the past three years have been a different story, there are now numerous Beamers, Mercs and Audis. While there were just a handful of Swifts earlier, the city is now full of them and most of them nicely modded and tweaked.

Even though it is great to have development like this, I do feel a bit sad that the place is slowly losing its charm and character and is slowly turning into one of the many big cities full of people, cars and flashing lights.

Few pictures:


The temporary office.

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Dusk-y palms

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One of the flowers in the terrace garden

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One of the flowers in the terrace garden

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Ash gourd.

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Ghostly trees

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Jasmine bud


For someone who does not know how to swim, I seem to have an unnatural love for the ocean. If there is one thing I miss in Delhi the most, it is the ocean. There is nothing more therapeutic than walking on the beach with the waves lapping your feet. The pictures are from an early morning walk, interrupted a bit by a passing shower.

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I could just stare at this forever.

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The Kashmir to Kanyakumari car (not entirely, since Kanyakumari is still another 80 KMs off)

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After the shower

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Cloud formations and the beach: heaven

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A different perspective

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Trying out the pano feature on the Galaxy S. Not too impressive

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Getting back home.


Few pictures of the only trip I could make while I was in Trivandrum. Ponmudi is a hill station that is about 60-odd KMs off Trivandrum. During the college years, we would make it up there on our motorcycles, hang out for a bit and go back home. It is an oddity since it is hard to imagine that you can find what easily qualifies as a hill station that close to the city.

What has changed much from those times are the roads. Once you manage to get out of the city, the roads are butter-smooth all the way up. It is not advisable to drive up there in the night or descend once it is dark because of the thick fog. During the day time clouds hang about the top and there is not much else there other than a lot of tea estates, couple of Rest Houses and a property owned and run by the KTDC. We reached there at about 9 PM when it was raining heavily (there are 22 zigs near the top that you need to be careful on) and left the next day around noon.

The photos are a mix from my phone camera that I was clicking with and the P&S that was being used largely by my brother-in-law. The order of the pics are thus very much mixed up.

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State of affairs when we finally pulled into the KTDC facility.


What greeted us in the morning.


Lovely tree. There were so many weird shaped ones here.


Early morning walk. Also an example of how well-maintained the roads are.


Second camera man means you have pics of yourself!


Can hardly see a thing behind.


I picked up a leech here. Thankfully, got rid of the sucker pretty easy and early.


The first bus to the place. Earlier the roads were in such a bad shape that only the smaller buses could make it to the top.


Basic camera + below par photography skills = ruined picture. The white sheet you can see are clouds.


Walking back


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This is what the cottage we stayed in looked like. Rack rates are expensive. At about 4K per night, but we had some jugaad there which reduced it to 1.5K.

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The main bed.

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LCD TV with Airtel DTH, but only the FTA channels and a sports channel or two.

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The spare bed in the adjacent room.


The view outside the restaurant.


Trees with the hills obscured by the clouds.


When it got a bit clearer.


Cloudy again.


The road to the hilltop. You have to pay a toll here.


Going further up.



We finally get to the top, park the car and climb to the highest point. My niece and nephew trailblazing for us.


The final push.


This is actually the top, looking down. Even though it looks otherwise.


Lush lovely rich green.


On our way back home.




One of the few times when it cleared up.

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As we use the time machine (thanks to dual cameras), to move back to earlier in the day.

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Awesome tree formations

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More funny shaped trees.