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Old 9th February 2017, 12:15   #2596
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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Thanks binand and what roads would you suggest to and fro? I am worried about the toll booths in evening.
Here is my recommendation.

In both ways, you take Hosur/Krishnagiri/Vellore route. Its not a long weekend/public holiday, so the toll booth queue/crowd will be normal.
I too stay near in C.V.Raman Nagar which is near to K.R.Puram, but always taking Hosur route because nowadays there is no significant benefit in taking Mulbagal/Chittoor/Ranipet route. Timewise it may be more or less same, but driving effort wise chittoor route is more tiring for sure.

Since you have a full packed day with shopping and driving, better to stick to Hosur/Krishnagiri route which will be more comfortable and easier.

In case if you really want to drive in Chittoor route because you haven't done this for long time, then, if you are returning to Bangalore on same day take this route while going to Kanchi. If you are returning on sunday morning after an overnight stay in Kanchi as ampere suggested, then take it in your return journey.
-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 9th February 2017 at 12:19.
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Old 9th February 2017, 13:58   #2597
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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Here is my recommendation.

In both ways, you take Hosur/Krishnagiri/Vellore route. Its not a long weekend/public holiday, so the toll booth queue/crowd will be normal.
I too stay near in C.V.Raman Nagar which is near to K.R.Puram, but always taking Hosur route because nowadays there is no significant benefit in taking Mulbagal/Chittoor/Ranipet route. Timewise it may be more or less same, but driving effort wise chittoor route is more tiring for sure.

Since you have a full packed day with shopping and driving, better to stick to Hosur/Krishnagiri route which will be more comfortable and easier.

In case if you really want to drive in Chittoor route because you haven't done this for long time, then, if you are returning to Bangalore on same day take this route while going to Kanchi. If you are returning on sunday morning after an overnight stay in Kanchi as ampere suggested, then take it in your return journey.
-Ravi

Thanks Ravi, sounds good to me too. Will plan accordingly
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Old 9th February 2017, 15:56   #2598
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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Guys, we have plans for a trip to Kanchipuram (ofcourse for Saree shopping) on the last weekend of this month (happens to be a Shiva rathri weekend) and I expect the shops to be bit crowded .
You already have most of the inputs you need, adding my 2 cents here:
1. Most of the shops open between 10am-11am, so 5am start will get you there around 8:30-9am. Suggest you start by 5:30, take the Hosur road route and stop for breakfast at Sai Sangeet, Vaniyambadi about 150 km away. Have a relaxed breakfast and then proceed to Kanchipuram.

2. Park your car on Gandhi road somewhere opposite GRT hotel/Saravana bhavan (park on left side of the road in front of shops. This is a divided wide road and these hotels are on right side of the road, just mentioned them as landmarks). Should be quite easy to find parking at or before 10am here.

3. Most of the saree shops are in and around this place, worst case take an auto rickshaw through the narrow bylanes.

4. Based on our earlier experiences, other than Nalli suggest you go to A S Babu Sah also known as the old/original Babu Sah. They now have a new building opposite their old one and is located just off the Gandhi road (they do not have any other branch anywhere else). Very good collection and good customer centric staff. The rest rooms in their building will put even the most expensive star hotels to shame

*I have absolutely no business interest with them. We did some wedding related shopping 15 years ago and went there again last year and found them to still be good.

Stay away from brokers there, most guys on 2 wheelers especially the TVS mopeds will be brokers. If you stop somewhere to ask for directions, they will follow you or ask you to follow them to a store of their choice!

5. I'd suggest not starting your return journey by 4-5pm. Either stay overnight or start after dinner say 9-10pm. Don't drive if you're tired and/or sleepy.

* KR Puram - Chittoor route can be considered for a morning/onward drive but avoid for the return as it will be dark and deserted. If taking this route onward, you can stop after Kolar on left there is Maiyas, MCD etc and on right you have Vasudev Adigas. But these places open around 6:30 or later so keep that in mind.

Last edited by NPV : 9th February 2017 at 16:06.
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Old 9th February 2017, 16:24   #2599
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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5. I'd suggest not starting your return journey by 4-5pm. Either stay overnight or start after dinner say 9-10pm. Don't drive if you're tired and/or sleepy.

* KR Puram - Chittoor route can be considered for a morning/onward drive but avoid for the return as it will be dark and deserted. If taking this route onward, you can stop after Kolar on left there is Maiyas, MCD etc and on right you have Vasudev Adigas. But these places open around 6:30 or later so keep that in mind.
Awesome inputs NPV, really helpful and Yes my actual plan is to visit the Babu sah first as this shop was also suggested to me by dear friends. I am just worried that I could find it right as I was told there are many fakes with almost similar or same names in the town.

My main reason to travel early is to beat traffic, crowd and find some decent parking space. If you suggest Gandhi Rd, I would give that a try and get a rickshaw to ferry us further. Do these shops generally don't have any parking space in front? Again many thanks for the idea on brokers will try avoiding them at any cost.

Also as suggested you and all fellow members earlier, I intend to stick to the Hosur road option onward & return. Atleast we could have a relaxed journey.

Well, why would you suggest not to start the return by 4-5pm? I was thinking of reaching Bangalore by dinner time or atleast hit the bed a little early
And I generally do not think that staying overnight would be a good idea as this may give the ladies a fresh hope to continue shopping the very next morning as well - you never know how extreme wives could think sometimes
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Old 9th February 2017, 17:48   #2600
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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Awesome inputs NPV, really helpful and Yes my actual plan is to visit the Babu sah first as this shop was also suggested to me by dear friends. I am just worried that I could find it right as I was told there are many fakes with almost similar or same names in the town.
You can try VaraMahalakshmi as well. They have a store, which resembles an old house kind.

My in-laws did the wedding saree purchases in Prakash Silks, which is kind of "budget", if you dont wish to splurge. ( I know we dont have a say on it, but still ..)


Park it wherever you find a place in Gandhi Road. The security guards near the hotel, will object to the parking in front of the hotel and go elsewhere. Tell them, you are coming back for lunch and give them a tip, so that they will take care.
I have seen the road with parking full at 9 AM on weekends.
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Old 9th February 2017, 18:31   #2601
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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You can try VaraMahalakshmi as well. They have a store, which resembles an old house kind.

My in-laws did the wedding saree purchases in Prakash Silks, which is kind of "budget", if you dont wish to splurge. ( I know we dont have a say on it, but still ..)


Park it wherever you find a place in Gandhi Road. The security guards near the hotel, will object to the parking in front of the hotel and go elsewhere. Tell them, you are coming back for lunch and give them a tip, so that they will take care.
I have seen the road with parking full at 9 AM on weekends.
Thanks Hamster, will surely try to influence the guards. In worst case is there a parking area or a pay & park alternative in / around the area?

With regards to shopping this is kind a bulk marriage shopping with both quality and price in mind. Would you still suggest Prakash silks to Babu Sah?
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Old 9th February 2017, 20:48   #2602
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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Well, why would you suggest not to start the return by 4-5pm? I was thinking of reaching Bangalore by dinner time or atleast hit the bed a little early
The shop I mentioned is "A S Babu Sah" on Nadu Street (they have a new campus now just opposite to their old/heritage place). Reason I asked you to park on Gandhi Road opposite the GRT/Saravana Bhavan hotels is since that portion of road is wide, has median and left side is full of smaller shops like medical & grocery shops, and lot of parking space so easy to find a spot around 9-10am. If you park here, you've just overshot the turn to Nadu Street where the shop is located, so better to take an auto from there. This way, you can also shop at other stores and get back to your car around lunch time or when you're done with shopping.

There is parking in the basement of the Babu Sah shop and also on that street generally but after coming out, you will again need to find parking on Gandhi Road if you want to visit other stores and by then parking will be full there Hence parking on Gandhi Road early morning gives you more flexibility in plans.

Reason for suggesting not to start around 4-5 pm is that you will get stuck at Attibele with all the city traffic, especially weekdays, but if weekend you can try your luck! Sometime, Attibele to Silk Board can be very painful and slow. You can even try Attibele-Sarjapur-Varthur when returning.

Last edited by NPV : 9th February 2017 at 20:54.
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Old 9th February 2017, 21:10   #2603
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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The shop I mentioned is "A S Babu Sah" on Nadu Street (they have a new campus now just opposite to their old/heritage place). Reason I asked you to park on Gandhi Road opposite the GRT/Saravana Bhavan hotels is since that portion of road is wide, has median and left side is full of smaller shops like medical & grocery shops, and lot of parking space so easy to find a spot around 9-10am. If you park here, you've just overshot the turn to Nadu Street where the shop is located, so better to take an auto from there. This way, you can also shop at other stores and get back to your car around lunch time or when you're done with shopping.

There is parking in the basement of the Babu Sah shop and also on that street generally but after coming out, you will again need to find parking on Gandhi Road if you want to visit other stores and by then parking will be full there Hence parking on Gandhi Road early morning gives you more flexibility in plans.

Reason for suggesting not to start around 4-5 pm is that you will get stuck at Attibele with all the city traffic, especially weekdays, but if weekend you can try your luck! Sometime, Attibele to Silk Board can be very painful and slow. You can even try Attibele-Sarjapur-Varthur when returning.
I now totally understand your logic, thanks npv
I would also track the A S Babu Sah via google maps and ensure that the auto guy does take us there.

Hopefully being a Saturday evening I guess not much people would be heading back to Bangalore except for the usual city traffic, however if I could cover the rest of the journey peacefully I don't mind the traffic close to end of the trip. Anyways will have to try out my luck.
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Old 10th February 2017, 09:24   #2604
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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I would also track the A S Babu Sah via google maps and ensure that the auto guy does take us there.
Just be alert with auto drivers - many of them double up as brokers as well

Since we've gone so far on the discussion about shops dealing in silk sarees, I wanted to share this as well to complete the whole nine yards

We had some old, slightly damaged silk sarees and were told that the Zari in them was worth some money at least as the sarees were decades old. We tried at couple of exhibitions/sales in Bangalore and the way they evaluated the sarees (simply rub a stone on the Zari, ostensibly to check purity and then quote a random figure!) left a lot to be desired and I told wifey to just hold on to them for some more time.

A friend's uncle is a resident of Kanchipuram and he referred us to a store there that only deals with buying old silk sarees. We headed there without too much of expectation but were in for some surprise at how they dealt scientifically.
They actually took a small bit of the Zari as sample to check purity and after that, measured the quantity of Zari that was present in the saree before evaluating and telling us how much it is worth. The amount they offered was 2-3x what we were offered in Bangalore. At the same time, they also pointed out that one of the sarees had artificial/"tested" Zari that is worthless.

Also, no bargaining there but the way they deal, it is very clear that they're straight forward and knowledgeable.

The shop is Farooq Silk Traders at the corner of the cross road on left side (Sangusapet) of Gandhi Road opposite to Saravana Bhavan and GRT, very close to where I suggested you park the car.
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Old 10th February 2017, 10:32   #2605
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Just be alert with auto drivers - many of them double up as brokers as well

A friend's uncle is a resident of Kanchipuram and he referred us to a store there that only deals with buying old silk sarees. We headed there without too much of expectation but were in for some surprise at how they dealt scientifically.


Also, no bargaining there but the way they deal, it is very clear that they're straight forward and knowledgeable.

The shop is Farooq Silk Traders at the corner of the cross road on left side (Sangusapet) of Gandhi Road opposite to Saravana Bhavan and GRT, very close to where I suggested you park the car.
Wow, that's very informative. Let me check all my wardrobes for any old stuffs that are lying around useless, I can atleast cover the fuel expense

And yes I will be doubly careful about the auto brokers as well
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Old 27th February 2017, 17:09   #2606
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

Thanks for all your sincere advice and thoughts, I was able to successfully complete my shopping journey on Saturday to Kanchipuram and it was indeed a pleasant experience.

The to and fro journeys were both via Hosur - Krishnagiri routes. With a 4.30am start from Bangalore and with multiple breaks for Fuel, Tea, Restrooms and Breakfast, we were at Kanchipuram (A S Babu Sah shop) by 9.40am.

The shop was already crowded by the time we arrived, however we were able to find some space to settle down and a guy assigned for our needs. Fortunate / unfortunate, I could not find a good parking spot on the Gandhi road as adviced by fellow BHPians here and I finally proceeded to the shop with my car accepting the risks. Luckily for me after dropping my family, I was told to either proceed to their basement or further to their parking area. Since my car has a lower GC, I was wary of taking the basement parking and hence proceeded further. The parking area was huge at a distance (~250m from the shop) just for their customers with security staffs present at the area. I guess this is new as the walls and gates looked freshly painted with the shop names all over the place. This could accommodate about 30-40 cars easily in the compound.
Shopping was completed around 3.30pm and we quickly left as all of us were exhausted and a lot hungry and I could see that the gates were closed with parking full when I went to take my car back from the parking lot.

We headed back to the highway and had lunch at the same restaurant where we had our breakfast - 'Murugan Idly Shop' which is close to 25kms from Kanchipuram town towards Vellore. Had a peaceful start at 4.30 post lunch and were back home by 8.15pm as the roads were almost empty where in we could almost maintain 3 digit speeds except for the Hosur - Attibele stretch which had some crazy traffic late evening.

All in all it was good drive, but one thing that skipped all of our mind was visiting the Kanchi temple ! Hopefully will make it the next time we drive down there.

Some pointers from my trip:
  • Bangalore-Kanchipuram should be an easy 4.5hrs drive on non-peak hours.
  • Vellore - Kanchipuram the 4 lanes are in a bad shape with lot of uneven patches.
  • Preferably head to Kanchipuram on weekdays if you can and want a less crowded shopping experience (I hope it's lesser on weekdays)
  • FASTags could be not worthy in some tolls between Krishnagiri & Chennai as some Heavy Vehicles could occupy the lanes (and this is with knowledge from the officials as they have set up counters to issue receipts on these lanes) - hence except delays at tolls.
  • Murugan Idli Shop - is highly recommended for it's tasty & hygienic food, service, restrooms and huge parking area on your trip this route. Sweet pongal & Oil Uthappam roast are a definite tries: https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/...5!4d79.4799766
  • Traffic within Kanchipuram town - I felt was a little crazy with 2&3 wheelers zipping past you with no consideration to fellow commuters (which I feel is a little better even in Bangalore). Hence be a bit careful while you make sudden stops / turns as anyone could literally hit you from any sides.
  • Again expect a lot of small, medium or even heavy vehicles cutting you through U turns and coming towards you on the 4 lanes, I literally had to brake hard seeing a Truck coming towards me while I was overtaking a Government bus, especially close to Vellore / Ambur areas.
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Old 27th February 2017, 17:45   #2607
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Default Re: Bangalore - Chennai - Bangalore : Route Queries

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[*]Vellore - Kanchipuram the 4 lanes are in a bad shape with lot of uneven patches.
[*]Murugan Idli Shop - is highly recommended for it's tasty & hygienic food, service, restrooms and huge parking area on your trip this route
Not to disagree with you, but, as a person who's taking this route almost 5-6 times a week, the below is what I got to update!!

Starting from Chennasamudram toll all the way upto Kanchipuram, most of the bad patchy sectors have been fixed

This means most of the uneven surfaces have been fixed & is smooth now. This is how the entire sector used to be, so what is there to rejoice?

Well this time, most of the stretches are not fixed in terms of patches, but in stretches ranging from 250 meters upto 2/3/4 Km of silky smooth tar but is yet to be segregate with white markers. But behold!! This is only from Chennasamudram toll all the way up to Kanchipuram only!! Post Kanchipuram, the stretch is as usual. So now, the stretch that USED to be good from Kanchipuram to Chennai FEELS not so good compared to the stretch from Wallajah to Kanchipuram.

Is there something to really be happy between Wallajah to Kanchipuram? Well not in terms of a proper NH standards, however, the bumps have come down significantly, patchy uneven surfaces have gone. Also there're few other stretches, ranging from few feet to Km, of roads being relaid (please read that the road is being relaid on top of existing tar road after removing a minor layer)

But one has to be careful in the night until the white marker lines are in place.

Murugan Idly has become worst in terms of quality as how it used to be during their haydays. Right after Kanchipuram, towards Chennai, there's Hotel Saravana Bhavan (the original one) & Sakthi Ganapathy adjacently opposite to it are highly recommended.

Arya Bhavan near Chennasamudram/Wallajah tollgate is also recommended. Beyond that there's a restaurant (forgot name) towards left when going towards Bangalore precise 7 Km from tollgate which is also recommended. Then, A2B at Arcot, which is towards BLR-Chennai side. Further after Vellore, Sai Sangeet is recommended at Ambur & Chola, The Restaurant is recommended at Vaniyambadi, 52 Km before Krishnagiri junction, both are towards BLR-Chennai route.
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Old 27th February 2017, 18:17   #2608
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This means most of the uneven surfaces have been fixed & is smooth now. This is how the entire sector used to be, so what is there to rejoice?

Is there something to really be happy between Wallajah to Kanchipuram? Well not in terms of a proper NH standards, however, the bumps have come down significantly, patchy uneven surfaces have gone. Also there're few other stretches, ranging from few feet to Km, of roads being relaid (please read that the road is being relaid on top of existing tar road after removing a minor layer)

But one has to be careful in the night until the white marker lines are in place.

Murugan Idly has become worst in terms of quality as how it used to be during their haydays. Right after Kanchipuram, towards Chennai, there's Hotel Saravana Bhavan (the original one) & Sakthi Ganapathy adjacently opposite to it are highly recommended.
Yes the stretch is fair, but not a smooth surface as you could feel the uneven patches at certain points (probably depends on your ride as well). Though you may not be able to maintain good speeds over them, there were definitely no potholes. Also I could see works going on the sides at many points and also many shops / buildings half demolished close to Ambur ..etc giving hints of possible expansions to the highway.

With regards to Murugan Idli shop - we never intended to take the Kanchipuram - Chennai route hence did not consider the Saravana Bhavan. We just happened to stop over for breakfast here seeing the number of cars parked and also did thoroughly enjoy the dishes. Though certain items like chutney, sambar were just blant - the rest of the food and quality seemed to be up to the standard and the final bill amount looked fair for the deal. Thus ended up coming back here for lunch. Lunch was again sumptuous and inexpensive. Probably they might have bettered themselves recently, as I could still see much people having late lunch at 4pm here

We also had plans to probably have a late lunch at Ambur (for a nice biryani) in case we could wind up our shopping earlier. However this was never achieved. As for Ambur are there any restaurants that you would recommend, probably we could give a try the next time we are in this route.
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Old 27th February 2017, 19:25   #2609
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Though you may not be able to maintain good speeds over them, there were definitely no potholes
Until a month ago, it was not the potholes that was giving the back breaks, but, it was the uneven patch work that was horrendous. For now, its far better than what it used to be in 2016 Jan & it improved slightly from Jun 2016 & significantly last month.

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Also I could see works going on the sides at many points and also many shops / buildings half demolished close to Ambur ..etc giving hints of possible expansions to the highway
Well...I've a doubt on this; Ambur, the demolition that you're talking about is right at the entrance into the town which has been there for atleast a year now. Other than this, I haven't observed any other demolition.

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As for Ambur are there any restaurants that you would recommend, probably we could give a try the next time we are in this route.
Ambur always has one name which is the best - "5 star biriyani" (like Thalapakatti in Chennai or Shivsagar in Bangalore); however, right from the highway & as you enter into the town you can observe about 100 "5 star biriyani" and all of them with tagline "estd 195x"!! So its extremely difficult to find the original one. Few say it's located near Ambur market, but, I haven't been able to verify one.

So, what I would suggest is, on the way Pallikonda to Ambur, right on the highway before entering into Ambur town, there's a super huge sign board 5 star biriyani which is always crowded. You may want to try that. That also has the "estd" tagline as well
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Old 27th February 2017, 21:31   #2610
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Until a month ago, it was not the potholes that was giving the back breaks, but, it was the uneven patch work that was horrendous. For now, its far better than what it used to be in 2016 Jan & it improved slightly from Jun 2016 & significantly last month.
I haven't travelled this stretch in ages, hence can't comment. I was comparing them with the usual Krishnagiri - Salem route that I take from Bangalore quite often to Kerala, which is splendid comparatively. And TN is quite famous for the way they maintain their roads even the rural ones, so this stretch came as a little surprise and that too being a major connectivity route for 2 big southern cities.

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Well...I've a doubt on this; Ambur, the demolition that you're talking about is right at the entrance into the town which has been there for atleast a year now. Other than this, I haven't observed any other demolition.
Yes, I think that's the one. So is it not for any further expansion? Also if I am not wrong I did see some expansion works (roads dug up) going on either sides of the road close to the Murugan Idli shop area.

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So, what I would suggest is, on the way Pallikonda to Ambur, right on the highway before entering into Ambur town, there's a super huge sign board 5 star biriyani which is always crowded. You may want to try that. That also has the "estd" tagline as well
Thanks for the inputs and yes if there's one successful business a lot of duplicates crop up. I did see a hotel with a huge 'Star biriyani' on the left towards Bangalore, however the hoarding looked too huge to be the original. I passed them both ways on non-peak hours (early morning & late evening), hence failed to notice any crowd. Also I dont remember if it were '5 Star' or just 'Star'.
Anyways will do proper investigations the next time I take this route
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