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Old 17th May 2012, 16:49   #121
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by deepakchan View Post
Oh ok. Then NH79 is what I should keep following on google in case I go wrong somewhere. I heard about this place called Just Coffee or something like that near madhuranthagam. Anyone has paid a visit there? I will be heading out at 5am from Chennai. If anybody is familiar with the place I would like to know when they open.
Don't worry about anything, keep going until you reach Ulundurpet byepass, at the end of the byepass you would find the directions to your right for Salem / Kallakurichi etc. This is the road you need to take, continue on this road without any issues until you hit Salem byepass, here you can follow the directions for Coimbatore to get onto your way to Avinashi.

With regard to your second query, Just Coffee is bang opposite Hotel Highway Inn before Madurantagam Byepass. They serve good filter coffee in brass tumblers. If you are familiar with NH45 it is just after the Karunguzhi bridge, slow down once you see the Bharat Petroleum pump after Karunguzhi. You would have to take a U turn to park next to Just Coffee or pull over to the side near Highway Inn and walk across the road.
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Old 21st May 2012, 10:50   #122
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

Just an update on my trip from Chennai to Coonoor which I and family did on May 10th (onward) and May 13th (return).

Car : Scorpio CRDE SLX 7 seater

Route taken (on both onward and return) : Chennai-Tindivanam-Villupuram-Ulundurpet-Kallakaruchi-Salem-Avinashi-Mettupalayam-Coonoor

Although there were several forum posts advising against going the Ulundurpet Salem route, and taking the Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri route, I decided to take this one, as I've gone multiple times to Bangalore using that route, and getting out of Chennai through Poonamallee/Porur is a pain. In contrast, I could just hit NH45 immediately after Pallavaram and keep going ....

Stayed at Sunvalley Homestay (visit Hotels, Travel and Holiday Reviews - TripAdvisor where I've posted a review dated May 15th). Awesome place for family !!

Point to point distance : 570 kms+

Things to watch out for :

1. Just after Ulundurpet, the highway branches off towards Salem in a ~95 km awesomely laid 4 laner (NH79). While going on the onward, after a breakfast break at Ulundurpet A2B (Adyar Ananda Bhavan), this was covered in barely 1 hr. Only to hit a big speed bump (figuratively) around Attur, where the 4 laning incomplete work reduces your joy to a single lane :-( This starts in "Kattukottai" (you can view this without labels on Google Maps).

Please watch out for this stretch where laning work is ongoing and there are several diversions. Especially around the last 20 km to Salem, there's a small diversion which you have to watch out for which takes you through a single lane highway. We missed this while going on the onward, and had to hit a literal dead end after which we the usual way of asking passersby for directions.

The incomplete work amazingly stretches for 70 km or so. My guess is it should take another 3-4 months to be completely done. If you have kids, please wear seat belts all the way.

2. Another thing to watch out for is the bypass in *Avinashi* that takes you to Mettupalayam. This is a sharp right that comes without warning (there are no signboards whatsoever till this point). You should see a signboard in Tamil/English that shows Mettupalayam - 41 km from this point.

3. Ghat section (for those who have no experience driving like me) : Ghat section driving was quite exhilarating and a new experience. Of course with a Scorpio it was a cakewalk. The only frustrating bit was to overtake trucks and buses and ensuring no oncoming traffic (the one going down). Please horn liberally - there are the usual "expert" cab and commercial vehicles going down in full speed, unmindful of what it does to their ability to react.

While going down, it was quite quick and the fact that we started at 10.30 AM on Sunday (13th May) helped, as the traffic was'nt there at all. Probably 3 more hours and they might've closed the down traffic (on account of heavy jams).

All in all a great experience !!
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Old 22nd May 2012, 22:56   #123
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by scorpion07 View Post

Please watch out for this stretch where laning work is ongoing and there are several diversions. Especially around the last 20 km to Salem, there's a small diversion which you have to watch out for which takes you through a single lane highway. We missed this while going on the onward, and had to hit a literal dead end after which we the usual way of asking passersby for directions.

The incomplete work amazingly stretches for 70 km or so. My guess is it should take another 3-4 months to be completely done. If you have kids, please wear seat belts all the way.
No. The incomplete stretch should be hardly 45 kms. between Attur and Salem. May be because of the diversion and time taken you might have felt the distance to be on the higher side.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 15:19   #124
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

That's right. It is not 70 kms.

Today morning I took this route from chennai to reach erode. As others had mentioned upto Athur it is good. From Athur to Salem you have frequent diversions that slows you down badly. Couple of points to take care,
1) From Ulundurpettai to Athur there are 5 or 6 places where four lane road condenses to two lane, mostly at places where there are long bridges. Since the traffic is sparse, this is not a thing to bother but couple of years down the line, it may prove a bottleneck
2) Athur to Salem section will be difficult to drive and to find correct diversions in dark for first time travellers. There are no proper sign boards. One can manage during day time with passersby help.

I will be returning to chennai on sunday and planning to take erode-rasipuram-athur-ulundurpet route. I heard from my friend that though erode to athur is two lane, the road is in very good shape.
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Old 24th May 2012, 23:29   #125
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ndinesh View Post
That's right. It is not 70 kms.

Today morning I took this route from chennai to reach erode. As others had mentioned upto Athur it is good. From Athur to Salem you have frequent diversions that slows you down badly. Couple of points to take care,
1) From Ulundurpettai to Athur there are 5 or 6 places where four lane road condenses to two lane, mostly at places where there are long bridges. Since the traffic is sparse, this is not a thing to bother but couple of years down the line, it may prove a bottleneck
2) Athur to Salem section will be difficult to drive and to find correct diversions in dark for first time travellers. There are no proper sign boards. One can manage during day time with passersby help.

I will be returning to chennai on sunday and planning to take erode-rasipuram-athur-ulundurpet route. I heard from my friend that though erode to athur is two lane, the road is in very good shape.
The 4 lane becomes 2 laned road at all the bypasses in the Ulundurpet-Salem section. I really don't know the reason why they have designed this way.

The road from Rasipuram to Attur is not that great. I would say that it is just above average. I did this route 2 weeks back.
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Old 28th May 2012, 21:54   #126
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ndinesh View Post
2) Athur to Salem section will be difficult to drive and to find correct diversions in dark for first time travellers. There are no proper sign boards. One can manage during day time with passersby help.

I will be returning to chennai on sunday and planning to take erode-rasipuram-athur-ulundurpet route. I heard from my friend that though erode to athur is two lane, the road is in very good shape.
Friends,
I would be driving from Neyveli-B'lore via Attur-Salem stretch this sunday around late night (after 11PM). Any pointers would greatly of help, as I'm doing this stretch first time.
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Old 28th May 2012, 22:07   #127
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by nfsfreak View Post
Friends,
I would be driving from Neyveli-B'lore via Attur-Salem stretch this sunday around late night (after 11PM). Any pointers would greatly of help, as I'm doing this stretch first time.
Please take @nfs. The road suddenly turns from 4-lane to 2-lane as per what Ramesh mentioned (For about last 40-45km toward Salem).

You won't be able to spot deviations easily.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:28   #128
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

In my opinion though the directions are not well marked, I think it would not be much of an issue anyways since the Athur - Salem stretch is well used even during late nights. What I would suggest is once you cross Athur you cut down your speed to about 60 kmph, this would allow you to spot diversions easily.
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Old 31st May 2012, 12:06   #129
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by rameshnanda View Post
No. The incomplete stretch should be hardly 45 kms. between Attur and Salem. May be because of the diversion and time taken you might have felt the distance to be on the higher side.
Yes. The last 45 km to Salem was so bad I decided to take the Krishnagiri route back from Ooty. Since I had google maps switched on with a navigator I didn't miss the right from the Salem Avinashi highway which is again incomplete. Since both the highways Salem-Avinashi and Salem-Attur slowed me down considerably on the way to Ooty, I decided to take the Krishnagiri route on the return. I saw quite a few Chennai registered vehicles also taking the Krishnagiri route from Salem. I guess for another 3-4 months it is best to avoid these two stretches especially while travelling after sunset. The only advantage with the Ulundurpet route is I paid Rs.229 toll charges from Chennai to Ooty and Rs.439 toll from Ooty to Chennai. But not worth spoiling my car with the huge craters on the diversions.

I hit the same deadend that scorpion07 met with. I had to follow a local on a tvs50 to reach a parallel state highway to reach the salem bypass. The diversion for this deadend was too bad only an SUV could sail through. I saw an Innova and Sumo struggling to cross it. I immediately backed off to follow this local on a tvs50. And thank God I did.
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Old 5th June 2012, 14:44   #130
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

Recently driven through Salem ulundurpet route, the first 2 tolls from ulundurpet - Salem are in trial phase. They did not collect fee from me but those representatives were feeding the system with vehicle details. I believe the charges are Rs.37 and Rs.35 for the 1st and 2nd tolls. They might start collection in few days.

Night Drive is quite tough in this route, hope they will come up with better marking system to indicate the Lane changes. I had to stop the car at one point to check lane changes.
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Old 7th August 2012, 00:22   #131
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Happened to travel towards Chennai through this route during the weekend (I was in a Volvo) Though it was wee hours I happened to wake up in between ( thanks to the zip zap zoom manoeuvres of our driver) and could see that toll collection has started in this section. Checked news sources and it seems they, Reliance infra, started this during 30-Jul or so. I think I saw the last toll booth in this stretch in this direction and it was somewhere near Ulundurpet.
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Old 19th September 2012, 22:34   #132
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Guys, Any updates on the tolls charged along this stretch?, and where all?
How is the stretch between Attur and Salem now?
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Old 20th September 2012, 11:18   #133
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ThePunter View Post
Guys, Any updates on the tolls charged along this stretch?, and where all?
Sorry, biker's are free to roam without charges, so I don't know May be there're 2 tolls between Ulundurpet to Salem. But don't go by my words though

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Originally Posted by ThePunter View Post
How is the stretch between Attur and Salem now?
Attur - Chinna Salem - Vazhapadi - excellent as usual

Vazhapadi starts with byepass bridge later followed by 15 Km of switching left & right with good sign boards for taking diversions. The last 2-3 Km before the junction (to enter into Salem town) is two laned without median.
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:20   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePunter
Guys, Any updates on the tolls charged along this stretch?, and where all?
How is the stretch between Attur and Salem now?
There are two toll booths en route and they charge 35 each for one way for a car.
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Old 8th October 2012, 22:29   #135
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Default re: Chennai - Ullundurpettai - Salem : Route Queries

There will be 3 toll booths between Ulunderpet and Salem.

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Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post
There are two toll booths en route and they charge 35 each for one way for a car.
I somehow missed this update. Do you mean to say that the tolls are now open?

Also, I request an update on Salem-Attur section and the new Salem bypass which is being constructed before Ayodhyapattinam itself.
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