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Old 30th September 2009, 00:41   #1
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Default Pancha Bhoota temple road trip

Folks,
I am planning the following Pancha Bhoota (5 elements) Siva temple trip during Oct 2 to 4 weekend. Plan to start early on Oct 2nd but need to return by evening 6 PM on Oct 4th

Bangalore - Kalahasti (near tirupati) - Kanchipuram - Chidambaram - Trichy - BLR

I will be covering 4 out of 5 Pancha Bhoota temples (5th one is in
Tiruvannamalai - not sure if I can make it). Rough plan:

Oct 2nd - Kalahasti (by mid day) and then to Kanchi (stay overnight)
Oct 3rd - Kanchi - Chidambaram and then to Trichy (stay overnight)
Oct 4th - Trichy (see temples in the morning) and start back to BLR say by
10 AM. Should safely reach BLR by 6 PM.

Please provide some help on this plan. I can get directions from google etc,
but how are the road conditions and what are your preferred routes?

What can I do to complete Tiruvannamalai also (without changing the
start/end date and time)?

Sriram
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Old 30th September 2009, 11:35   #2
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I did this Trichy Banglore route yesterday.The road upto Musiri and Thottiam is ok.From Thottiam the road is better.I got lost into Namakkal as a new flyover is under construction and had go through Karur road to take the bypass from ther to Banglore is breeze road is very good.Started Trichy 1pm reached Hosur checkpost 5pm
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Old 1st October 2009, 01:04   #3
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My suggestion:
If you start early morning on Oct 2nd, say around 3-4am from bangalore, you should reach Srikalahasti by 8-9am, finish darshan in half an hour & leave immediatly for Kanchi via Renigunta-Tirutanni-Arakkonam, should finish Ekambareshwarar temple in Kanchi by 11am, leave for Tiruvannamalai which is 100kms from Kanchi, should reach by 12.30-1pm, finish darshan & leave for Chidambaram which is around 150kms via T'malai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry-Cuddalore-Chidambaram, finish darshan around 4pm(remember temples close from 1pm-4pm) & leave for Tiruvanaikaval around 150kms, Chidambaram-Ariyalur-Tiruvaiyar-Kallanai(Grand Anicut)-Trichy-Srirangam-Tiruvanaikaval.
See, with a good driver & a good fast car, one can cover all the temples in just 1 day
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Old 2nd October 2009, 21:23   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSMINC View Post
My suggestion:
If you start early morning on Oct 2nd, say around 3-4am from bangalore, you should reach Srikalahasti by 8-9am, finish darshan in half an hour & leave immediatly for Kanchi via Renigunta-Tirutanni-Arakkonam, should finish Ekambareshwarar temple in Kanchi by 11am, leave for Tiruvannamalai which is 100kms from Kanchi, should reach by 12.30-1pm, finish darshan & leave for Chidambaram which is around 150kms via T'malai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry-Cuddalore-Chidambaram, finish darshan around 4pm(remember temples close from 1pm-4pm) & leave for Tiruvanaikaval around 150kms, Chidambaram-Ariyalur-Tiruvaiyar-Kallanai(Grand Anicut)-Trichy-Srirangam-Tiruvanaikaval.
See, with a good driver & a good fast car, one can cover all the temples in just 1 day
Wow, that was a "Swift" drive.
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Old 4th October 2009, 19:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Wow, that was a "Swift" drive.
We hope to please..,
Honestly Kumar, I do a trip every month, Bangalore-Tirupati-Tiruvannamalai-Pondy-Navagraha temples(all 9)-Trichy/Srirangam-Bangalore.
I leave Bangalore on thursdays late night & am back by sunday evening, covering around 15-18 temples
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Old 4th October 2009, 19:55   #6
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GSMINC, would love to see an itinerary/ route map - that is an exciting temple circuit. Post details of distances, etc, sometime, will be an useful referencer for anyone on the temple trail in that region.
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Old 4th October 2009, 22:44   #7
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Hi Sriram,

Hope you would have enjoyed the trip.
Guess you would be seeing this post tomorrow morning at office. Do update on how the trip was. I am planning for a similar trip from chennai. Of course except for the bangalore to Kanchi part all other things will remain the same. Let me know you stay details too.
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Old 5th October 2009, 10:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSMINC View Post
One can cover all the temples in just 1 day
If you want to just "see" the Temple, you don't even need one day. You can "see" all of them within a few minutes at Templenet - The Comprehensive Indian Temple website

I was in Thiruvannamalai last week for 2 days, went thrice to the Temple, and yet I could not cover everything !! This temple is built within an area of 24 acres.

Both in Thiruvannamalai and at Thiruvannaika, to walk from the car park to the sanctum sanctorum will take about 12 minutes - and then you have the Goddess sannadhi - add another 10 minutes.

If you reach the temple at 0530, assuming that there are no queues, and RUN from one sannadhi to another you can "cover" the entire temple in about 30 - 45 minutes.

But, do you want to RUN? Also, after the darshan, you will RUN away from HIM and HE too will RUN away from us !!
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Old 5th October 2009, 20:04   #9
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@tempelhof, what I meant was: You can see a temple in 10minutes or for more than an hour, T'malai is 24 acres, just imagine Srirangam, the world's largest temple complex-155 hectares(1hectare=2.5acres), or the Tanjore Periya Koil/Big temple having the tallest Vimanam, a mammoth Shivalingam & an unsurpassed nandi, or the Trivandrum Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple, one of the grandest & best maintained temples in India, or the Tiruvarur Tyagarajaswamy temple complex, the only temple known where the Navagrahas stand in a row side by side.
There are hundreds of unique temples in India & hence I try to cover as much as possible
Since I visit the TTD-T'malai-Navagraha-Srirangam temples every month I might just not be amazed by the sculptures, gopurams, murals, artwork, like I was when I saw it for the first time.
I am not saying that familiarity breeds contempt, hope you get my point
My aim is to conect with the power inside the sanctum sanctorum, focus on the presiding diety, feel the positive energy flowing out towards you
Another thing what I do is, I dont park my car in front of the Rajagopuram/Main entrance of the temple, generally I park at the side entrance/staff entrance where you can avoid the shops/street hawkers/parking attendants/tourist guides etc & since I visit often I have built a rapport with the priests there & hence dont need to ask around for any help.
Hope this clarifies, no offence intended
@HVKumar, will post a detailed distance & time itinery soon, am leaving again next week for tha same circuit

Last edited by GSMINC : 5th October 2009 at 20:15.
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Old 5th October 2009, 21:40   #10
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I am sure that there are many such temple circuits - GSMINC, share with us any others that you do/ have done. The Navagraha circuit is a must-do, which I have advised several on, but never done myself!
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Old 6th October 2009, 08:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSMINC View Post
@tempelhof, what I meant was: You can see a temple in 10minutes or for more than an hour, T'malai is 24 acres, just imagine Srirangam, the world's largest temple complex-155 hectares(1hectare=2.5acres), or the Tanjore Periya Koil/Big temple having the tallest Vimanam, a mammoth Shivalingam & an unsurpassed nandi, or the Trivandrum Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple, one of the grandest & best maintained temples in India, or the Tiruvarur Tyagarajaswamy temple complex, the only temple known where the Navagrahas stand in a row side by side.
There are hundreds of unique temples in India & hence I try to cover as much as possible
Since I visit the TTD-T'malai-Navagraha-Srirangam temples every month I might just not be amazed by the sculptures, gopurams, murals, artwork, like I was when I saw it for the first time.
I am not saying that familiarity breeds contempt, hope you get my point
My aim is to conect with the power inside the sanctum sanctorum, focus on the presiding diety, feel the positive energy flowing out towards you
Another thing what I do is, I dont park my car in front of the Rajagopuram/Main entrance of the temple, generally I park at the side entrance/staff entrance where you can avoid the shops/street hawkers/parking attendants/tourist guides etc & since I visit often I have built a rapport with the priests there & hence dont need to ask around for any help.
Hope this clarifies, no offence intended
Yes, I agree - being from Thanjavur, I have seen all the temples you have mentioned here.

Parking at the right place and building a rapport with the priests are very good points, which I follow too - though I do not go to these places as often as you do ! (you're blessed !)

The rules of thumb I follow are:
  • go as early as possible
  • always buy the special darshan ticket (if there is one)
  • allocate maximum time, if it is the first visit
  • if it is the first visit, get a Guide - pay him well
  • do my homework before going - read as much as possible about the temple, before I go there
  • plan to visit just 2 or 3 temples during the period 0600 to 1200
  • take rest in the afternoon
  • plan just 2 more in the evening
A good resource for those who wish to visit temples (apart from Templenet - The Comprehensive Indian Temple website ) is "Vaaram Oru Aalayam" podcasts (Search for this in the Net - however this podcast is available only in Tamil)

All the best for your visits!
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Old 6th October 2009, 08:45   #12
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Default First update of the trip

One car - fiesta 1.6S
One driver - myself
8 temples, 2.5 days, comfortable journey.
Felt one with all the elements.

More details coming up. For starters here is the route Map that I took.
Attached Thumbnails
Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-panchabhootatripmap.jpg  

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Old 6th October 2009, 10:19   #13
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Default Trip Update - 1

Overall trip summary
--------------------
  • Route: Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati - Srikalahasti - Puttur - Arakkonam - Kanchipuram - Vandavasi - Chetpet - Tiruvannamalai - Villupuram - Neyveli - Bhuvanagiri - Chidambaram - Sethiathoppu - Jayamkondacholapuram - Lalgudi - Trichy - Kulithalai - Thottiyam - Namakkal - Salem - Thoppur - Krishnagiri - Hosur - Bangalore
  • Only one 20 KM (part of the Tirupati/Srikalahasti section) was repeated.
  • State highways in Tamilnadu were brilliant except that you have to go through the towns where the holiday bazaars were in full swing. It is indeed colorful but can slow you down.
  • Total distance - 1235 KM. Started 5:45 AM on Oct 2nd 2009, ended 3:30 PM on Oct 4th 2009
  • Temple timings have to be kept in mind, so plan to drive accordingly. Also there are lots of other lovely temples around so planning helps.
  • I did not rush at all (in fact I was not as disciplined as I would have liked). If strict timings are maintained one can cover more.
  • Many pictures were taken while driving since I was doing a solo and did not want to spend too much time stopping and starting


Bangalore - Srikalahasti (Element: Wind)
Route taken: normal Bangalore - Tirupati - Srikalahasti route.
Distance: 310 KM, Time Taken: 5 hours
----------------------------------------------------------
Got up around 4:30 AM and planned to start by 5:30 AM. Before you get any ideas, I do not take 1 hour to get ready. One of the conditions of allowing me to do a solo drive was that I had to walk our Labrador (Neige) at 5 AM in the morning. Eventually I started at 5:45 from south bangalore. Comfortable cruised to Marathahalli junction where I met a friend to pick up some stuff. Then proceeded via Varthur in Bangalore to Hoskote on NH4.
  • Bangalore to Kolar (NH4) - lots of construction is going on. Roads are wide enough and smooth so decent speeds can be maintained. I was fortunate enough to not encounter any wild traffic
  • Kolar - Mulbagal - Andhra border (NH4) - good roads, can run at good speeds. Stopped for breakfast near the border which was not very good. I recommend that people try either Palamneru or Kolar itself.
  • Andhra Border - Palamaneru - Chittoor - Srikalahasti (NH4, NH18, NH205 to Tirupati): awesome roads. Upto Palamaneru roads are mint-fresh blacktops. There was one 3-way junction where work had started at 9 AM on Oct 2nd and they had blocked the entire junction. I was lucky to escape that bottleneck with just 10 minutes delay. It was ridiculous.

Crossed Tirupati around 10:30 AM (that is around 4.5 hours from Bangalore, incl of breakfast break). Reached Kalahasti around 11 AM.

Srikalahasti temple is situated on the banks of Swarnamukhi river. The temple which is famous for Rahu/Ketu dosha (sarpa dosha) etc was really crowded. Finding a parking spot, getting the darshan was not a great experience. Such elusive darshans take away the fun part of seeing temple beauty and architecture. Suggest that you take Rs.30 special darshan ticket (there are other denominations available like 500 and 1000 also).
Attached Thumbnails
Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0797.jpg  

Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0800.jpg  

Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0804.jpg  

Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0808.jpg  

Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0810.jpg  

Pancha Bhoota temple road trip-img_0811.jpg  

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Old 6th October 2009, 10:28   #14
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Hmm that surely sounds interesting. Waiting for the full review.
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Old 6th October 2009, 10:32   #15
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You are back. Great! Now for the pics and the description. All ears and eyes.
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