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Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue 1-1

We went city hopping across southern India – from Kanyakumari all the way to Goa – in the new Hyundai Santa Fe, and here’s the first leg of that journey.

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

The sun’s fiery embers meld with the endless ocean, shining its last light upon a lone sentinel of stone keeping a silent watch on the liquid expanse that surrounds it. The sound of waves crashing and breaking across a coastline of ragged rocks and the calls of a street hawker selling her wares make for an oddly soothing symphony as I stare into the distance, leaning against our ‘stardust’ grey Santa Fe, just taking it all in. My shirt collar flutters as a soft wind carrying the scent of the ocean wafts past me. I’m standing at the southern most tip of the Indian mainland, the quaint little town of Kanyakumari – the starting point of our drive across southern India.

Before I go any further with the actual trip, some introductions are in order. Car India‘s team of four included Jim, Piyush, Sanjay (the man behind the lens) and yours truly, and our chariot for this escapade would be the new 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Santa Fe is one of the newer big cars to make its way to the Indian market, and is one of the most prominent products from Hyundai’s stable. We had the top-end 2.2-litre CRDi 4×4 Automatic, and as soon as I discovered this fact I was stoked! For a trip like this, comfort and convenience were what I was looking for, and the automatic gearbox would be a great boon in that respect. Plus this chariot is drawn by 197 horses, and produces 436 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,500 RPM, all of which translated into me champing at the bit to get behind the wheel.

Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue 1-3

Back to Kanyakumari, having arrived at the Tamil Nadu Hotel replete with pet peacocks frolicking around the garden, and with the keys to this intriguing car in our possession we knew we just had to explore the area a little. Our first stop: the coast overlooking the Vivekananda Rock Memorial which was built in 1970 on an island just off the coast. This spot was chosen for the memorial because legend has it that Swami Vivekananda swam from the coast to this rocky isle to meditate in the late 1800s. This island is flanked by another outcropping of rock that plays host to a mammoth 133-foot-high statue of the famous Tamil poet, Thiruvalluvar – a silent guardian watching over the Indian mainland, positioned at the confluence point of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea with the Indian Ocean. After we were done gazing upon the magnificence that is the statue, we headed down along the coast and towards a local beach.

Hyundai Santa Fe Travelogue 1-6

 

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