Tuesday 21 February 2023

11th edition REPUBLIC DAY HERITAGE RIDE Ponniyin Selvan Trail

Thanjavur, 20th - 22 January 2023

How would you feel if you had an opportunity to combine your favourite hobby / passion and make it a holiday, but just don’t feel guilty about it as you also burn good calories, and the icing on the cake was the choice of the Trail?

The ‘Ponniyin Selvan Trail Ride’ was organised by Cycling Yogis as part of their 16th Republic Day Heritage Ride between 20th - 22nd Jan 2023.  We covered a total distance of about 220 km over the 2.5 days with Thanjavur (TTDC) as our base and visiting some of the key places from the epic novel.  

DAY 1 of the ride was about 115kms, giving a sneak peak into Pazhuvettaraiyars at the  Kizha Pazhayarai, the controversial burial of the Raja Raja Cholan and the War zone at Udaiyalur, inscriptions on the murderers of Aditya Karikalan @Sankarankoil. The day ended with a breezy ride along the Veeranam Lake, which was the starting point of the journey for Vanthiyathevan. We then took a bus ride back to TTDC Thanjavur for dinner and rest.

Day 2 started with a long journey towards Kodiyakarai, with a few pit stops along the way for refreshments and Lunch at an Ayyanar temple.  We then reached the Kodiyakarai Wildlife Sanctuary, to reach Point Calimere and the remains of the Lighthouse. This is the place where Poonguzhali was born and her base to travel to Srilanka.

DAY 3 ride - 30 km: This was a short ride to Thiruvaiyaru, where the Vandhiyadhevan and Arulmozhivarman, will be in disguise as Chinese merchants and roam around the temple streets during the Aiyarappar temple festival. 

Got the opportunity to visit the Aiyarappar temple with its beautiful wall paintings and also visit the famous Thiagaraja Samadhi temple.

The Grand finale was the ride upto the Braghadeeswarar temple along with a guided tour. The Medal distribution was organised at the ASI premises and turned out to be a memorable one.

We are already looking forward to the PS2 ride…

A big shout out to Ramanujar Moulana for bringing this experience to life, with so much of planning over the past several months in collaboration with TTDC and Probikers.  Big kudos to him as he gave utmost importance to the safety of the riders.

Thanks to Girija Palani the Ride director for the trail. Special thanks to our volunteers John Kennedy and Devi Durai who took great care of all the riders, and to Rajashekar of Probikers and the Pitstop team. The hospitality of the TTDC team at Thanjavur was just amazing. Medical team from Dr. Francis Roy was a big support.  Madhan Sundhar photography made the trip more memorable as we will carry these memories forever.

Last but not the least, my ride partners Shanmuga Sundar Lakshmanan and Agy George were my pillar of support through the entire ride. We did quite a few practice session past few months together and that really made a difference

Blog by Archana Ramanakumar 

Some Pictures, Video & Newspaper Clippings 

Hotel Tamilnadu, Thanjavur 

Women Riders in Ponniyin Selvan Trail 

The Hindu Metroplus - Trichy 

TOI - Trichy Edition