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Old 20th August 2013, 21:11   #901
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
To my knowledge, there has never been any 'entry tax' to enter Pondicherry or any other state for that matter. (Experts can correct me if I'm wrong)
There is no entry tax for personal vehicles, but for commercial registered vehicles with yellow plates there are entry taxes. For TN its around Rs 400, whereas for Andhra Pradesh, its upwards of Rs 2000 for one year. But, no information is yet available on self drive cars with yellow on black plates. And hence was my confusion as I was driving a self drive car.

Check out the following links on the topic of state entry tax for taxis which confirms the existence of tax.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper...icle827596.ece

http://gvk2.wordpress.com/2009/09/21...nsored-racket/

http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle3332380.ece

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The barricades you mentioned is indeed the RTO check post. I've been checked there all 3 times I drove to Pondy during the past year, while on the way back. Mainly to look for drunken driving and 'smuggling' out liquor.
While going, I was not stopped there (No one was manning the post). And on the way back I took the ECR towards Mahabalipuram, did not encounter any check point on that route though.
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Old 22nd August 2013, 09:41   #902
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

I returned from Pondicherry on Sunday after driving in to over the Independence Day weekend. Route was BLR - SALEM- ATTUR- Villupuram - Pondicherry. As usual the Bangalore Krishnagiri is a mess with widening work happening and the TNTC Buses using the narrow deviations for Stops to pick and drop passengers, just before the deviation a Krishnagiri had to spend nearly 30 minutes, with deviation being so near yet so faaaaar.

The road to Salem as usual was very good and then on to Attur, some parts between Salem and Villupuram is 4 lane some places it is 2 lane, the road quality was very good. A distance of 220 Kms from Salem to Pondicherry would take you approximate 3 hours, however fast you may go, you natural speed breakers such as Towns and Villages. On a good day, Bangalore Salem could be 3 hours.

Eating options post Salem is non existent, so it is better to stack up or snack at or before Salem.

The signs to Chennai is at time confusing, but they are correctly marked , we did a mild circus after the Ulundurpet by pass, but the directions marked were correct.

Overall an alternative to the Bangalore - Vellore - Pondicherry
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Old 22nd August 2013, 10:25   #903
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Rajesh1968 View Post
Overall an alternative to the Bangalore - Vellore - Pondicherry
Good to note this. Also how is it from Villupuram to Pondicherry. I heard its quite narrow. Is that the case?
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Old 22nd August 2013, 10:34   #904
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

Yes, it is regular 2 lane with villages and towns and also crazy private buses, the road passes through the market, which takes the cake, as the people are least bit bothered that they are hampering a busy highway, all in all it reminds that we are in India, unlike by drive the previous week to K'kumari and back, which was a dream
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Old 23rd August 2013, 23:19   #905
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Rajesh1968 View Post
Yes, it is regular 2 lane with villages and towns and also crazy private buses, the road passes through the market, which takes the cake, as the people are least bit bothered that they are hampering a busy highway, all in all it reminds that we are in India...
Reminded me of the Tindivanam market area where it is a similar situation. During our last visit we found the entire road near the market covered with plantain leaves and trucks all over the place loading/unloading them
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Old 23rd August 2013, 23:40   #906
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Reminded me of the Tindivanam market area where it is a similar situation. During our last visit we found the entire road near the market covered with plantain leaves and trucks all over the place loading/unloading them
If you are driving from Tiruvannamalai/Gingee side to Tindivanam, its inevitable to get right into this mess. Even I experienced it once. But since it was an evening time, crowd was not that bad. Those were the times NH66 was still drivable to a degree.
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Old 24th August 2013, 10:26   #907
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If you are driving from Tiruvannamalai/Gingee side to Tindivanam, its inevitable to get right into this mess.
It is possible to bypass Tindivanam town/market area by driving via College Road, NH 45 bypass and NH 66. Many bypass rider government buses plying between Chennai and Thiruvannamalai use this College Road bypass to bypass Tindivanam town.

Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries-tindivanambypass.jpg

Last edited by J.Ravi : 24th August 2013 at 10:32.
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Old 24th August 2013, 10:31   #908
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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It is possible to bypass Tindivanam town/market area by driving via
My bad. I was referring to the time when the bypass was not there ! Hence the comment that its inevitable!
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Old 26th August 2013, 18:37   #909
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

We visited Pondy over the Independence Day weekend. The route we took was this:

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Originally Posted by Raps View Post
BLR -> Krishnagiri -> Vellore -> Arcot (cross river bed) -> Cheyyar (bypass) -> Vandavasi (bypass) -> Thindivanam (college bypass) -> Pondicherry
Both the onward and return journeys did not take more than 7 hours, including the time taken for a couple of breaks. I kept the needle hovering between 100 and 140 whenever the six-laned roads opened up. On the double-laned village roads though I did not push it over 100.

We stayed at Hotel Jyothimani. There was no need for any prior payment or booking, but we did block our room over the phone and also sent an email as a follow-up. The car park is not that spacious. There is space for five sedans or six sub-4 meter hatchbacks. If the car park is full you will need to park your vehicle outside by the main road (the ECR) but virtually next to the all-night watchman.

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Old 27th August 2013, 20:58   #910
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Wanted to add more thing.
I and my wife ate at this restaurant Paris Restaurant.


If you visit Pondy the next time try out the TANTOs pizzeria in Auroville. Excellent place been a regular visitor for the past 3 years there.
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Old 28th August 2013, 15:21   #911
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

Bangalore - Villupuram can be done in about 5 1/2 hours comfortably via Salem. The issue is crossing Villupuram town which would take atleast 15 /20 minutes from the NH to the end of the town. Villianur to Pondy bus stand takes a good 30 minutes atleast on most days.

Add to it the road between Villupuram & Pondy is crowded at almost all times except for middle of the night.

The stretches which I have marked in the map would take 1 hour themselves. So on a good day you would take anywhere around an hour and a half to reach Pondy when you exit NH45 before Villupuram. Too much two wheeler traffic at both ends of the stretch ensure you need to be very careful all the way though the entire stretch is a decently wide two lane highway.

Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries-picture1.jpg
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Old 29th August 2013, 12:13   #912
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

Was just wondering, is there any way to save the most optimal route in google maps, then i can just open it from my GPS on my phone and use that route..
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Old 29th August 2013, 16:42   #913
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Its pretty good till Tiruvannamalai. And still if you still want to use this part, you can try Tiruvannamalai-Villupuram-Pondi. Still not as good as Arcot-Vandavasi-Pondi
Hi Ampere and All
I am driving to Pondy tomorrow and in perusing this thread, I saw that everyone was hitting TV Malai, even after taking the Karimangalam-Harur road. There is another road which is a state highway between Harur and Thirukkovilur via Perungolathur. From Thirukkovilur, one can connect to Villupuram and reach Pondy. I was wondering whether anyone had tried this road. The distance also amounts to only around 340 KMS.

Ceers
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Old 29th August 2013, 20:52   #914
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Hi Ampere and All
I am driving to Pondy tomorrow and in perusing this thread, I saw that everyone was hitting TV Malai, even after taking the Karimangalam-Harur road. There is another road which is a state highway between Harur and Thirukkovilur via Perungolathur. From Thirukkovilur, one can connect to Villupuram and reach Pondy. I was wondering whether anyone had tried this road. The distance also amounts to only around 340 KMS.
Tempelhof had taken the Harur-TV Malai road and mentioned it to be quite desolate. Based on that I can only guess Harur-Thanipadi-Thirukkoilur would the same.

But no idea about road conditions.
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Old 30th August 2013, 15:25   #915
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Default re: Bangalore - Pondicherry : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Mohanan View Post
If you visit Pondy the next time try out the TANTOs pizzeria in Auroville. Excellent place been a regular visitor for the past 3 years there.
Really?! I feel the quality has deteriorated more than a hundred times over the few years. When I first visited Tanto's in 2009, I came out mighty impressed. It was good in all aspects (quality of food, service, attitude of waiters...).

However, When I went there in August, I was mighty disappointed. The place was filled with houseflies, and there wasn't even one housefly killing machine installed (the machine that emits bluish purple colour to attract the flies, then kills them with electric shock). We had to wait for nearly 10 minutes for the stewardess to come, even though the place was half empty.

The baked fish dish we ordered upon stewardess's recommendation was cold. The so-called boneless fish had enough thorns in it. It felt as if they were serving us previous day's fish! The side dish (a garden salad) was tasty though, as it had fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. But it was quite overpriced at 360 Rs.

The pizza was excellent (as expected, when it is baked in a traditional oven with firewood). It was worth the price (390 Rs) compared to the pizzas baked in electric oven sold by international pizza chains.

The lime water we ordered had no sugar. They expected us to stir the sugar ourselves. We all know how well large granules of sugar dissolve in very cold water! At least, they could pulvarise the sugar (in a blender) and give us!

So my recommendation for those who visit Tanto's is: eat only pizza and drink only water or packaged soft drinks.

Last edited by rohanjf : 30th August 2013 at 15:27.
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