29-Feb-2004 -- After successfully reaching 11°N 77°E, we headed out of Coimbatore at 0945 hrs towards 11N78E. This confluence seemed to lie a few kilometers from the town of Karur in Tamil Nadu. Our friend, Mr. Anantharaman, in whose property we located 11°N 77°E, was kind enough to give us directions on how to get to the Thiruchirapalli (Trichy) highway which would take us to Karur. Karur was about 120 kilometers from Coimbatore and we estimated we would approach the confluence in a couple of hours.
The Trichy highway was a good smooth road and we made good time. According to the maps, the confluence lay very close to the road connecting Karur to Erode. It meant that we would have to reach the outskirts of Karur (we were traveling east), and then turn on to the Erode road that headed north-west. But even before we reached Karur, we saw a road go off left and it looked like it was heading very temptingly in the direction indicated by the GPS. We decided to chance it and take the road. Happily for us, it headed in the direction of the confluence and we counted down rapidly till we found that the nearest the road would go was about 750 meters from the point. We parked our car, collected the gear, donned our caps and set out on a little path that seemed to go directly to the confluence. It was a hot day and all of us started tiring in a short while. We approached a little hut and found a couple of folks harvesting chilly peppers in a tiny farm next to the path. They seemed happy to see us and the lady gave us directions on where to cross a boundary fence. After that, we reached 11N78E in a few minutes in the middle of an arid, uncultivated patch of land. The time was 1154 hrs and the altitude recorded was 164 meters.
After taking the mandatory photographs, we quickly found our way back and met with the same couple again. We chatted with them for a few minutes and I took a picture of both of them with their day’s harvest of ripe chilly peppers. After making conciliatory conversation with Mani their dog (whose siesta we had disturbed), we thanked them and I promised to send them the photograph we took. The farmer told us his name was Raasi and he showed us a letter written in Tamil that had his address on it. Our driver Mohan could read Tamil, so we were able to note their address down. We headed back to the car and the relative comfort of its air-conditioning and then started off towards the town of Karur from where we would drive on national Highway #7 towards Salem.
The next confluence we aimed to reach was 12°N 78°E and was located about 30 kilometers north-west of Salem.