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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dhanushkodi: The great offroad ride adventure

Indian Bloggers
A visit to Dhanushkodi was pending since long time. It materialized recently. From my previous readings I knew that we can't go to Dhanushkodi in our own vehicles, so asked at my lodge in Rameshwaram about arrangements to go to Dhanushkodi. Hotel staff checked with a van driver and quoted Rs 2250. We were only 5 people, but he had quoted for an entire van (15 pax). Realizing that it is not economical, we drove in our rented Figo to Dhanushkodi entrance and from there boarded the van that would take us to Dhanushkodi.

From Dhanushkodi parking lot, charges are Rs 150 per person with Mahindra vans and jeeps waiting in line to ferry tourists to Dhanushkodi over a non existing road. The great ride to Dhanushkodi over sea and half wheel deep sand is an experience in itself as the driver skillfully negotiates aged and modified vehicle over the challenging terrain.
I asked the driver about the van- he confirmed that front two wheels are altered to make the van a four wheel drive. So it is able to traverse the sandy terrain to Dhanushkodi.

I made a 90 second video of the ride over ocean to Dhanushkodi- take a look below.

 Some more pictures of the off road journey to Dhanushkodi 
 Most vans are very aged and may breath its last any moment.

Automobile companies that want to demonstrate 4x4 capabilities of their vehicles should test them here, instead of some mild tracks.
Dhanushkodi on map
Overall, the journey takes about 15 minutes one way, we get 30 minutes at Dhanushkodi to explore the ruins and 15 mins return ride. I will write about Dhanushkodi in a separate post. I could see that nice roads are being laid connecting Dhanushkodi to mainland. The road was not open to public yet. If it opens then we can reach Dhanushkodi in our own car, without having to offroad like these vans. But then a few dozen van and jeep drivers who are earning money ferrying tourists to Dhanushkodi will have to find an alternate job. We will also miss the fun the ride offers.

15 comments :

Alok singhal said...

Oh man, such a terrible ride that would be; but seems will be enjoyable too! I feel for those drivers, who knows till when will their vehicles last!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes the ride was an experience in itself.

Arun said...

Oh..the vehicles looks like they will fall apart any moment!

specs buffy said...

Wow...journey to the southern tip of mainland...

specs buffy said...

Wow...journey to the southern tip of mainland...

Antarik Anwesan said...

Wow. This is amazing. A road vehicle on sea :D

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Antarik, Specs Buffy.

@Arun: Yes, these vehicles have lived their commercial life and are on life support. Drivers can't afford to deploy new vehicles for this ride, as vehicles will go out of order soon and they can't make any money.

Arun Prasadh said...

Yes the Jeep ride to dhanuskodi is a fun one. The road work was going on when we went. Yes it would be good to drive your own vehicle till the end but we will not get the fun ride on the beach.
We went in a Jeep and it was an amazing experience. http://aruntravelpics.blogspot.in/2015/03/dhanushkodi-ghost-town.html

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Arun- once new road opens we might be able to drive down till end.

Your post is nice too

Sabyasachi Patra said...

I had done the journey a decade ago. That is a nice scenic place. At that time I had taken a 4x4 jeep and I couldn't see any other vehicle around. There used to be a Navy outpost to keep an eye as it is close to Srilanka and that route is used by smugglers, LTTE etc.

Leena Walawalkar said...

Had never heard about this! Sounds like an experience!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Leela- you should go there sometimes

@Sabyasachi- Thanks for sharing your experience... I didn't spot any army/navy post around

Suraj Pawar said...

That vehicle and its driver are really deserve a hats off.
All roots are terrible but its would be fun definitely.

Prashanth M said...

Looks like an adventurous ride. Is is possible to go my cycle (MTBs) instead of the jeeps?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Payaniga- no way. But as I said a new road is being built. On that you can cycle. Not sure when that road will open to public,