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Old 14th October 2015, 15:31   #1
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Post Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

Hi guys,

I plan to travel with my wife and 6 yrs old son from Rajahmundry to Pondicherry (actually Ranganathapuram near Pondicherry on the ECR) next week for Dasara holidays. I wish to complete the entire journey on the same day in my Duster, and plan on following the GQ till Chennai. My queries are:

1. What would be the fastest route from Chennai to Ranganathapuram?

2. How are the road conditions from Vijayawada to Chennai? Has the road construction work been completed?

3. At what decent places can I stop for lunch from Guntur to Nellore which are on or near the highway?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 14th October 2015, 15:58   #2
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by penpusher View Post
1. What would be the fastest route from Chennai to Ranganathapuram?
It would still be good to be on 4-lane all the way till Pondicherry and then drive back Ranganathapuram (I see on Google that its North of Pondicherry on the ECR). Suggesting this since you will be on GQ all the way. Hence it would help to be on it.

Quote:
2. How are the road conditions from Vijayawada to Chennai? Has the road construction work been completed?
3. At what decent places can I stop for lunch from Guntur to Nellore which are on or near the highway?
Check with others. I think the 4-lane is alive. But good to check from others. Do also check the Hyd-Chennai thread to get more updates on the 4-lane near side of Chennai.
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Old 14th October 2015, 16:07   #3
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by penpusher View Post
2. How are the road conditions from Vijayawada to Chennai? Has the road construction work been completed?
I drove Chennai>Ongole>Hyderabad and back recently. Road-widening works from 4 to 6 lanes are in progress from Ongole towards Chennai on many stretches. But, there are good diversions all over with proper signages. The 6-laning works were completed near Vijayawada as witnessed in April 2015 during my drive to SK, AS & AR.
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Old 14th October 2015, 17:44   #4
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by penpusher View Post
1. What would be the fastest route from Chennai to Ranganathapuram?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
It would still be good to be on 4-lane all the way till Pondicherry and then drive back Ranganathapuram (I see on Google that its North of Pondicherry on the ECR). Suggesting this since you will be on GQ all the way. Hence it would help to be on it.
Much depends on the time you land in NH45. What time do you plan to start from Rajamundry?

I'd suggest take Chennai Bypass from Red Hills all the way to Tambaram. Turn on NH45 towards Chengalpattu, take a left immediately after Vandalur Zoo. It is the Vandalur-Mambakkam-Kelambakkam road. Right at OMR in Kelambakkam and use OMR till Mahabalipuram. From here take the ECR to Ranganathapuram.

This would be faster than doing Vandalur-Tindivanam-Pondy-Ranganathapuram considering the traffic conditions on NH45 these days. It took us 2:30-2:45 hrs to Tindivanam bypass crossing Vandalur at 4:45 pm. Timings will only get worser as you enter Madras further late in the evening.
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Old 16th October 2015, 15:55   #5
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Post re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Check with others. I think the 4-lane is alive. But good to check from others. Do also check the Hyd-Chennai thread to get more updates on the 4-lane near side of Chennai.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
I drove Chennai>Ongole>Hyderabad and back recently. Road-widening works from 4 to 6 lanes are in progress from Ongole towards Chennai on many stretches. But, there are good diversions all over with proper signages. The 6-laning works were completed near Vijayawada as witnessed in April 2015 during my drive to SK, AS & AR.
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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Much depends on the time you land in NH45. What time do you plan to start from Rajamundry?

I'd suggest take Chennai Bypass from Red Hills all the way to Tambaram. Turn on NH45 towards Chengalpattu, take a left immediately after Vandalur Zoo. It is the Vandalur-Mambakkam-Kelambakkam road. Right at OMR in Kelambakkam and use OMR till Mahabalipuram. From here take the ECR to Ranganathapuram.

This would be faster than doing Vandalur-Tindivanam-Pondy-Ranganathapuram considering the traffic conditions on NH45 these days. It took us 2:30-2:45 hrs to Tindivanam bypass crossing Vandalur at 4:45 pm. Timings will only get worser as you enter Madras further late in the evening.
Thanks a lot all of you for such quick responses.

I plan to start from Rajahmundry by around 6-6.30 AM on Monday morning, so expect to reach Chennai sometime during evening rush hour.

I am now planning to follow the route suggested by @narayans80. Hope to reach by 8-9 PM at night.
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Old 26th October 2015, 18:05   #6
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Post re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

Hi guys,

Just an update. I completed my drive last week.

Followed the NH5 upto Chennai and took the Chennai Bypass Road thereafter. The NH5 is in great condition, almost 6 lanes throughout from Vijayawada onwards to Chennai. Some diversions exist where overbridge, etc are under construction, but they have been properly managed and even most of the construction activity seems to be about complete.

After Chennai, I tried to take the route suggested above by @narayans80, however, about 2-3 kms in, there was a massive jam on myside of the road and so immediately took a u-turn back to the Grand Southern Trunk Road and followed it upto a town called Melmaruvathur. Then took a left turn to reach ECR via Cheyur (courtesy Garmin GPS device and Sygic Maps on my phone).

On my return journey I followed the ECR till after Thenpakkam and then took a left turn to follow a state highway upto Madurantakam. Thereafter, took the same route back home. Even the internal roads of Tamil Nadu were decent roads with sparse traffic.

I covered about 1717 kms to & fro as per the odometer (including internal daily drive within Pondicherry).

Drove about 790 kms one way and covered it in 12 hrs. time with minimal breaks. My Duster was great throughout and was a pleasure to drive.

Thanks to all once again.
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Old 26th October 2015, 18:40   #7
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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about 2-3 kms in, there was a massive jam on myside of the road and so immediately took a u-turn back
Where exactly was this jam? On Vandalur-Kelambakkam road?

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Originally Posted by penpusher View Post
On my return journey I followed the ECR till after Thenpakkam and then took a left turn to follow a state highway upto Madurantakam.
How was this (Madurantakam-Marakkanam) road? The only time I've been on this was 25 years back, it used to be almost empty back then. The only disadvantage being it joins NH45 inside Madurantakam. Have vague memories going through some market in Madurantakam. Some one-off Madras-Pondy buses used to take this route.
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Old 27th October 2015, 11:14   #8
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Post re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Where exactly was this jam? On Vandalur-Kelambakkam road?
It was on left side of the Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road. Actually there were a lot of school buses and looking at the map I felt that there must be some town ahead where situation may get even worse, and as I wasn't very far from the highway, I felt it prudent to turn back. Fortunately there wasn't any traffic on the other lane and the waist-high dividers had gaps in places.

Quote:
How was this (Madurantakam-Marakkanam) road?
The road was a regular single lane paved state highway but had very less local traffic. It did pass through some towns but was still quite clear.

In fact while going my GPS asked me to go through Madurantakam but I kept going straight on the highway as I did not want to get into a large town and also saw what looked like a cleaner turn at Melmaruvathar. I turned left there and went straight to Cheyur. This road went through some salt pans before Cheyur and in fact was unpaved at a small bridge. Thats why I avoided it coming back and took the Marakkanam-Madurantakam route.
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Old 29th October 2015, 07:25   #9
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

I am travelling from Chennai to Pallakolu next week and was looking for a recent update of this route.

Your post gives me a lot of relief as we would be travelling in two sedans which have low ground clearance.

Earlier Ravi Sir and Himavanth had provided me useful inputs and we are eagerly looking forward to his trip.

Also could you let us know which route did you take from Rajamundry to Vijaywada and how long it took for the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by penpusher View Post
Hi guys,

Just an update. I completed my drive last week.

Followed the NH5 upto Chennai and took the Chennai Bypass Road thereafter. The NH5 is in great condition, almost 6 lanes throughout from Vijayawada onwards to Chennai. Some diversions exist where overbridge, etc are under construction, but they have been properly managed and even most of the construction activity seems to be about complete.

After Chennai, I tried to take the route suggested above by @narayans80, however, about 2-3 kms in, there was a massive jam on myside of the road and so immediately took a u-turn back to the Grand Southern Trunk Road and followed it upto a town called Melmaruvathur. Then took a left turn to reach ECR via Cheyur (courtesy Garmin GPS device and Sygic Maps on my phone).

On my return journey I followed the ECR till after Thenpakkam and then took a left turn to follow a state highway upto Madurantakam. Thereafter, took the same route back home. Even the internal roads of Tamil Nadu were decent roads with sparse traffic.

I covered about 1717 kms to & fro as per the odometer (including internal daily drive within Pondicherry).

Drove about 790 kms one way and covered it in 12 hrs. time with minimal breaks. My Duster was great throughout and was a pleasure to drive.

Thanks to all once again.
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Old 29th October 2015, 07:53   #10
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Also could you let us know which route did you take from Rajamundry to Vijaywada and how long it took for the same.
I always take the NH5 via Ravulapalem & Tanuku for RJY to Vijayawada. Although it is slightly longer than the route through Kovvur I find it faster as its a 4 lane highway and avoids most towns. However, it has some minor potholes in parts & there is always repair work going on near Kadiam.

It takes me about 2.5 hrs to reach outskirts of Vijayawada, the most frustrating traffic will be in & around Vijayawada itself as well as at Hanuman Junction & Gannavaram.

Hope you find above helpful.
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Old 29th October 2015, 09:03   #11
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Default re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Rajamundry to Vijaywada
Here are my timings:

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Old 11th November 2015, 08:47   #12
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Default Re: Rajahmundry to Pondicherry : Route Queries

Just came back from a place near Rajahmundry. The roads are pretty decent. Onward it took us close to 6.5 hrs from Chennai to Vijayawada as there was traffic and diversions. We left at 5:00 in the evening and reached at 11:30.

Return was a breeze we left at 12:30 pm and reach our home at 6:00 pm. It took us only 5.30 hrs from Vijaywada to Chennai. We did not cross 100, there was hardly any traffic on roads and I felt the diverions during day was less, not sure if work is being carried during nights and hence lot more diversions.

Roads are fairly good and as always Fiesta was fun to drive.

Thanks to Ravi sir, Himavanth and others for providing us valuable information on the road conditions

Last edited by Chillout : 11th November 2015 at 08:48.
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