Hyderabad to Madurai: A Pictorial Journey

This is a continuation of my India trip report from last year. For our trip to Kerala, I decided to fly into Madurai and admire the Meenakshi Temple before making the 4 hour drive to Munnar, a resort town, in the Western Ghats. Most people fly into Kochi to get to Munnar, but I figured I would take the more scenic and windy road to Munnar. A lot of people I talked to mentioned car sickness from the windiness of the road, but we thought it was beautiful and didn’t feel it was too bad.

The cost of this flight was $70 per passenger on Indigo, which is pretty much the only airline that flies the route. I used my Capital One Venture X card’s travel credit to cover the cost of these flights.

Our journey of course began at Hyderabad, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. It’s probably my favorite airport in India because it’s big enough to have good connectivity, but still smaller than the likes of crazy busy places like Delhi or Mumbai.

people inside of a building

As I said our chosen carrier was Indigo which has sprinted to become India’s #1 airline. It’s truly remarkable how fast Indian aviation has grown over the years. Even small towns and villages are getting air service now.

a close-up of an airplane

You have to love some of the fun stuff written on Indigo ramps. Though I still find it a waste of resources to run a bus from passengers getting off the rare of the aircraft rather than just allowing everyone to use the connected jet bridge. I guess we should be happy because Indian passengers can be pushy while getting off the aircraft.

a blue airplane with a blue ladder

a plane parked in front of a building

It was an uneventful flight and mostly smoggy for the first 30 minutes after take off. The first sight was what I believe was the Krishna River near Kurnool.

an aerial view of land and water

A while later was the city of Bangalore, which stood out like a sore thumb given the super dense cluster of buildings.

an aerial view of a city

About 30 minutes after Bangalore, I looked out the window to see the start of the Western Ghats.

aerial view of mountains from an airplaneAgain it was a very smoggy and hazy day alongside some low clouds.

aerial view of a valley with mountains and cloudsAnd then there were the layers upon layers of mountains as far as you could see.

a high angle view of mountainsAs we approached Madurai Airport (IXM), I saw yet another famous hill station and resort town nestled in the Western Ghats: Kodaikanal.

a high angle view of clouds and mountains

a high angle view of mountains
The density of the mountains only became greater as we passed by the border between the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Western Ghats is one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots as they call it and is a mountain range. Something like a third of flora and fauna unique to the Indian subcontinent are found here. The mountain range predates the Himalayas by almost 100 million years.

clouds above a mountain rangeOf course as we approached Madurai, we began to see the white and bright colored houses which often adorn the streets of India.

aerial view of a cityWe flew right around the entire town though I didn’t get a glimpse of the temple because of how hazy it was in some parts.

an aerial view of a city

And then of course we touched down and had a quick taxi to the gate. I was intrigued by the mountain which loomed prominently behind the airport terminal.  I later found out that the massive monolithic hill stands 1000 feet is referred to as “Skandamalai” by the locals. There are some ancient caves carved within the hill.

an airplane parked in front of a building

a building with a blue roof

The journey south to Madurai is a very scenic one especially when seated on the starboard side of the aircraft with the Western Ghats in view for a vast majority of the flight. Please don’t take that airplane window for granted 🙂  Anyway I will talk more about our experience seeing the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and the area in the next post.

Trip Report Index

Introduction: Xmas in India & NYE in Singapore

Lufthansa Business Class DFW-Frankfurt-Delhi

Lufthansa Business Class Lounge B @ Frankfurt

Andaz Delhi

The Leela Palace – New Delhi

Park Hyatt Hyderabad

Hyderabad to Madurai: A Pictorial Journey

Courtyard by Marriott Madurai

Focal Point: The Temples of Thanjavur & Madurai

Fragrant Nature Munnar

Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class Hyderabad – Singapore

Andaz Singapore

SilverKris Lounge Singapore

Singapore Airlines Long Haul Business Singapore – Los Angeles

Hyatt House LAX/Century Blvd

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