Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina - Jammin thru India

Jammin thru India Day 6 - Tirunelveli to Aluva, Kerala

In Kanyakumari, sanDRina draws a crowd. And then it's up north for man and bike, as they cross their first state border into Kerala

From Tirunelveli, I headed south and passed the wind farm at Muppandal. It's good to see India trying to green up her energy generation but we have a long way to go. I soon reached Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. From here, it's all the way north to Kashmir!

My GPS shows that I'm in Kanyakumari. It's north from here to Kashmir!

A crowd soon formed around this strange biker and after answering the questions of where I'm from, where I'm going and how much mileage the bike gives, I was back on the road, heading for my first state border.
Crossing my first state border into Kerala. Note the new signs over the old ones.

I crossed into Kerala and realized that from here on, I wouldn't know the local languages of the states that I would be riding through. I'm trying to learn some basic Hindi and should be able to manage and Malayalam is similar to Tamil, so I'm good for a few more days.

From Thiruvananthapuram, I headed a bit inland and took a state highway north, staying away from the busy coastal highway. The road was in great condition and with Kerala being so hilly, the riding was good fun with lots of twists and turns and climbs and drops. Traffic is crazy but I've learned how to read the local driving habits and can anticipate if that rickshaw driver is going straight or about to make a random u-turn.

Ahh, the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, right next to the highway towards Kochi.

I rode past busy Kochi and met up with an old Kodai School friend, John Thomas. He was a year senior to me and studied History at Jawaharlal Nehru University and is now teaching at a local university in Aluva, a bit north of Kochi.

Distance clocked today: 416 km. Total 1,355 km

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The scenic beauty of Kerala, a coastal state along India's southeast, has made it a magnet for tourism and earned it the moniker of God's Own Country. Away from the popular tourist attractions are some lesser-known destinations. Explore.

Kumbalangi, a fishing village of crab ponds and ancient Latin Catholic Christians, is fast vanishing against the rising skyline of God's Own Country.
Read more: Kumbalangi - Kerala from another time

Chellanam is an ancient boat-making centre of Kerala. The vanchis -- the traditional boats of Kerala -- are fast yielding to their larger, motorised descendants. With their decline, the renowned boatmakers of Chellanam are a dying breed.
Read more: The disappearing boat-makers of Chellanam

Alappuzha, or Alleppey, is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Kerala and is famous for its backwaters where tourists can rent luxurious houseboats and enjoy fresh seafood and traditional Kerala cuisine.
Enjoy the slideshow: Alappuzha – Kerala’s Enchanted Water World 

Vembanad Kayal between Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala is the largest backwater in Kerala and the area surrounding it is called ‘Kuttanad’. Its history dates back to the Tamil Sangam ... more 
Vembanad Kayal between Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala is the largest backwater in Kerala and the area surrounding it is called ‘Kuttanad’. Its history dates back to the Tamil Sangam age (3rd century BC to 4th century AD). The early Cheras, who had their home in Kuttanad, were called ‘Kuttuvans’, taking their name after this place. One of the most powerful kings in the dynasty, Cheran Senkuttavan, is said to have ruled his vast kingdom covering Kuttanad.

J MADHU RANTHAKAN is a software professional and a hobbyist photographer interested in sculptures and heritage temple architecture. He also loves photographing nature and children. He is a native of Pollachi in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. less 
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Yahoo Lifestyle | Photo by J MADHU RANTHAKAN
Mon 18 Jun, 2012 2:30 PM IST


The Man. The Machine. The Story

There are love stories and love stories, but none tugs more at the heart than a tale of infinite departure. In March 2010, Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina, his beloved Suzuki DR650, left on a great journey back home to India. Jay quit his secure corporate job, sold his Chicago townhouse and every household possession, and left with sanDRina on a journey that saw them through 94,933 km, 32 countries, and 1,150 days on the road through the Global South -- from the USA through Latin America and Africa, heading towards India. At the core of this seemingly mindless pursuit was Jay’s desire to raise awareness about sustainability and a unique sentiment best described by an archaic Greek term, eudaimonia – the search for things that are true, good and beautiful. 

Homecoming isn’t complete unless you experience the country you call home in all her varied terrain and temperaments. And so Jay and sanDRina will embark on a journey of discovery through India. 

Yahoo India Travel follows Jay and sanDRina on their exhilarating discovery of India with daily updates from the road in words, pictures and video. If you have questions to ask, or words of encouragement for Jay and sanDRina, follow Jammin India on Twitter (hashtag #jamminindia). Also visit JamminGlobal.com for comprehensive accounts of his journey so far as well as snippets and trivia.