Friday, July 04, 2008

Kerala/Vizag trip plans-Open Invitation

----Note: This post is redundant now----------------

After reading my Mysore Self drive post, few readers expressed interest that they would like to consider joining me in future trips, if found feasible. In this post I am sharing some plans, let me know if you’re interested.

What are your plans for Aug 15, 16 and 17? 3 days of leave. (iDay followed by weekend) I have drafted some plans but am doubtful if they will materialize as some participants are showing signs of pulling out. In this post, I’m presenting an outline of those plans and would like to know if you wish to consider joining.

Plan A: Munnar and Alleppey, Kerala

Munnar is 600 kms from Chennai and Alleppey is another 200 kms from Munnar. There is a blogcamp happening in Alleppey (Alappuzha) on 16th August, sponsored by Kerala Tourism.(Details on this blogcamp)) God's Own Country is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India and the Blogcamp being held there inspired me to make serious considerations of using this as an excuse to visit Kerala. (I'd travelled through Kerala several time to go to my hometown near Mangalore and I've visited few places like Guruvayur, Bekal fort etc. But haven't visited the best ones-Munnar and Alleppey yet)

Trip Plan A1: Rent a car on self drive
Tentative Itinerary:
14th August evening: Start from Chennai towards Munnar, Reach Munnar by 15th Morning, refresh in an economic hotel/homestay.
15th Aug: Visit places around Munnar, leave for Alleppey by late evening (say 11 PM), Reach Alleppey on 16th Aug morning-refreshments.
16th Aug: Attend blogcamp in the houseboat, travelling in backwaters of kerala
17th Aug: Visit other places (like Kumarakom) around and leave towards Chennai

Approx expense: Rent: Rs 10000, Fuel Rs 5000, Hotel, Food others: Rs 3000= Rs 18000, Rs 4000-5000 per person
(Related: Shrinidhi's complete guide to self drive car rentals in India)

Trip Plan A2: Travel to Alleppey by train and back
All trains are already booked full and we’ll have to rely heavily on Tatkal tickets for this. Leave Chennai 14th night, reach alleppey on 15th Morning 11 AM, Return on 17th. Expense will be around 2000-2500 per person or even less.

Trip Plan A3: Fly to Cochin, Rent a vehicle for other movements
This will be most expensive option. Rs 4500 per person on airfare alone, Rs 1500 other expenses. 

Plan B: Vizag
Vizag is a beautiful place in coastal AP and is famous for ship building. Araku valley, Bora caves, Submarine Museum, Ramakrishna Beach, Hrishikonda are few of the popular tourist places in Vizag (Vishakapattanam). Vizag is some 820 kms from Chennai, 1000 kms from Bangalore and 650 kms from Hyderabad. 2-3 days will be ideal time to cover most of the places in and around Vizag

Trip Plan: B1 (Chennai Vizag and back by train, hotel stay and local site seeing by rented cab)
Tentative Itinerary:
Departure: 14th August night from Chennai by Howra Mail, Reach Vizag by 1 PM, 15th Aug, Check in, cover Museum, Hrishikonda, parasailing, Ramakrishna Beach etc on day 1
Day 2, 16th Aug: Araku Valley and Bora caves
Day 3: 17th Aug: Dolphin Nose, Simhachalam and other places, departure by 2 PM Howra Chennai Mail

Approx expense: Train: Rs 800 per person , Hotel: Rs 1500 per person for 2 days, Cab & others: Rs 1200 per person: total: Rs 3500 per person

Status: We’ve confirmed tickets for 3 passengers. One is likely to pull out. To ensure minimum fun and be economical, trip will be executed subject to min 3 people.

Benefits: Train journey is more comfortable and economical than road journey.

Risk factors: Train tickets may not be available for those who show interest late. (Tatkal is there though)

Trip Plan B2 (Rent a car on self drive-drive all the way to Vizag)
This would be very expensive than option A1 and 820 kms will be bit too high to cover on road at one stretch. We’ll be spending 2 days on driving alone and participants will have to apply leave on 18th Aug. Still can be considered.

Tentative Itinerary:
15th August, early morning: Start journey, Reach Vizag by late evening (13-14 hours of journey under ideal conditions)
16th, 17th: Local site seeing covering places listed above
18th Aug: Return Journey

Benefits: Greater flexibility on timing, planning and execution. Extra fun for those who enjoy driving
Risks: Vehicle breakdown, getting lost and other risk factors.

Approx expense: Ford Fiesta/Honda City on self drive from Avis would cost about Rs 10000 for 4 days. Expected fuel expense for 2000 kms: Rs 5000, Food, hotel and other expenses Rs 5000: Total: Rs 20000. Rs 4000 per person if it is 5 member team or Rs 5000 per person if it is only 4 members.

Trip Plan B3: Fly to Vizag, local site seeing by rented cab
There is a morning flight to Vizag and airfare may cost upto Rs 4500 one way. Total expense may come upto 12000 per person

Please note:
  • If you’re from a city other than Chennai-say Bangalore or Hyderabad, you may either chose to come to destination directly or come to Chennai and join us
  • We can have combination of A2 and A3 or B1 and B3-i.e few travelling by train and few who are willing to spend can fly and join others at the destination.
  • We’re looking for min. of one more person and max of 3 more (Taking total to min 3, max 5, for A2,A3, B1 and B3. For A1 and B2, min passengers would be 4). Trip will be confirmed subject to min reqd participants . In an unlikely event of more than 5 people showing interest, we’ll have to rework on logistics.
  • If you’re confirming your participation, you might be asked to make some advance payments towards reservations and other preparations. Depending on cancellation policies of respective hotels/rental agencies and other parameters, this amount may or may not be returned in full if you decide to pull out later. So don’t confirm unless you’re sure about joining.
  • This is being planned on a no profit no loss basis. Costs indicated are indicative only and actual expense incurred may vary. All expenses (excluding personal ones) will be shared equally among participants. Excluding for options A3 and B3, every attempt will be made to ensure that per head expenditure doesn’t exceed Rs 5000 but possibility of it exceeding that amount is not ruled out.
  • Feel free to spread the word or invite your friends
  • Right of admission reserved.
  • Self drive will be more economical than chauffer drive for 4-5 passengers-A TATA Sumo would cost Rs 9 per km=Rs 18000 + driver batta for a 2000 kms drive
  • Feel free to give your suggestions. We’re flexible enough to consider changes in itinerary/plans if found beneficial
If you’re interested or have some questions, pls send a mail to admin at giving following details: Name, Contact Number, Email, City and your preferred option (A1/A2/A3/B1/B2/B3) I'll get back to by 12th July. Thanks in advance.

Related posts: Club Mahindra's Coorg Trip for Travel Bloggers * Trekking at Anantagiri * Skandagiri Betta, Bengalooru * 


ranjana said...

can't join you but indeed kerala is god's own is gorgeous....i loved munnar and kovalam the best

Joel said...

Munnar will certainly rock to the core dude..hope you have a nice stay there.. :)

Joel said...

Also, check out the pics on my blog when I had been there on my college trip... :) Its in my Flickr photo stream on the sidebar..!

Laddoo said...

The monsoons add to the beauty of backwaters !
Have a nice vacation

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Shrinidhi Hande said...

@All: I am just exploring the feasibility of the visit and haven't finalized plans yet. (not enough participants)

Also, I just returned from MUssoorie, the queen of all hill stations, so not so keen on Visiting another hilly area (Munar) so soon.

Will see what best can be done.

Thanks everyone for your comments, information and encouragement.

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