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Old 3rd March 2011, 16:24   #16
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

I need to go to Mayiladuthurai in couple of weeks time? Is Chennai - Pondy - Cuddalore - Sirkali - Mayiladuthurai the only route? Is there any other alternative that I can try. I do not mind travelling extra as long as it is faster.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 17:09   #17
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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I need to go to Mayiladuthurai in couple of weeks time? Is Chennai - Pondy - Cuddalore - Sirkali - Mayiladuthurai the only route? Is there any other alternative that I can try. I do not mind travelling extra as long as it is faster.
Yes that is the standard route. You can use GQ of NH45 (GST) to reach Pondy (Chennai-Tindivanam-Pondicherr).

The other option is to by-pass Pondy. Drive till Vikravandi on GST, and divert to Panruti. Then via Neyveli-Chindambaram-Sirkazhi you can hit Mayiladuthurai.
(I think this may have lesser traffic compared to ECR). And you also get 4L till Vikravandi.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 20:16   #18
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

I would suggest the ECR all the way. Very nice till Pondy, OK till Cuddalore, not bad afterwards. Even the stretch from Chidambaram to Sirkali was nowhere as bad as the Panruti-Neyveli route I took on republic day. No idea if this route has been black topped since then.
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Old 6th March 2011, 21:28   #19
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

DWind: As others suggested that is the best route. You can either take ECR to pondy or go via Tambaram-Tindivanam. My dad did Chennai- Mayiladutharai via Tindivanam -Pondy-Cuddalore in a wagonR last week and took 4 hrs. Per him, the Tindivanam-Pondy stretch is in great shape bypassing most towns. On the Cuddalore to Mayiladuthurai, Chidambaram town could be bypassed but Sirkali bypass is only half ready. The road is okay but one cannot maintain good speed due to potholes. Just need to ensure that you don't cross Pondy/Cuddalore during peak hours to reach there quickly.

Ampere:There is a road that connects Jayakondan to Kumbakonam but for a an incomplete bridge. As far as I know the bridge is pending completion for a long time and have been hearing for years that once the bridge is complete, Chennai-Kumbakonam travel time could be cut down a great deal.
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Old 6th March 2011, 21:32   #20
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
Ampere:There is a road that connects Jayakondan to Kumbakonam but for a an incomplete bridge. As far as I know the bridge is pending completion for a long time and have been hearing for years that once the bridge is complete, Chennai-Kumbakonam travel time could be cut down a great deal.

Thanks Sridhar for that info. Once completed that should definitely help this stretch. But looked at Google maps, Satguide and Wikimapia and could not spot this. It was shown only in MMI (as I had mentioned earlier). Lets hope this gets completed faster.

Any reasons, why its getting held up?
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Old 7th March 2011, 14:52   #21
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Thanks Sridhar for that info. Once completed that should definitely help this stretch. But looked at Google maps, Satguide and Wikimapia and could not spot this. It was shown only in MMI (as I had mentioned earlier). Lets hope this gets completed faster.

Any reasons, why its getting held up?
That should be our Anakarai bridge I think

The bridge was built by the British as a check dam I guess on a tributary of the Cauvery , allows a single lane traffic . With buses, auto, trucks in the mix, you can imagine!
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Old 7th March 2011, 15:08   #22
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

@polopm. This is different from the anakkarai bridge which has been closed to heavy vehicle traffic for the past couple of years. Just check the map my India snapshot on the previous page. You could see a road that connects Kumbakonam to Jayankondan without going to Anakarai cutting across Kollidam but from what I know the bridge is work in progress. Have been hearing eternally that the bridge is pending construction and do not know what/why is getting held up.

As an aside, don't understand what is preventing them from repairing the anakkarai bridge. It has been closed for heavy vehicles for close to 2 years now and no repair work is in sight.

Planning to do a trip to K. Konam next week and will try to post an update
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Old 8th March 2011, 13:04   #23
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
@polopm. This is different from the anakkarai bridge which has been closed to heavy vehicle traffic for the past couple of years. Just check the map my India snapshot on the previous page. You could see a road that connects Kumbakonam to Jayankondan without going to Anakarai cutting across Kollidam but from what I know the bridge is work in progress. Have been hearing eternally that the bridge is pending construction and do not know what/why is getting held up.

As an aside, don't understand what is preventing them from repairing the anakkarai bridge. It has been closed for heavy vehicles for close to 2 years now and no repair work is in sight.

Planning to do a trip to K. Konam next week and will try to post an update
You are right, did not see the map !
Administration apathy is the only reason for the state of the bridge.

If you notice the approach to the bridge is not straight, the road turns sharp right/left depending on where you come from and these are highly inhabited areas.
Also I think they are only going to do some patch work as double laning would be extensive work. It would be better to have a bye-pass with a brand new bridge there.
Cheers!
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Old 8th March 2011, 14:15   #24
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

Did some googling and some update on the status of the bridge across anaikarai: The bridge had developed cracks and PWD has strengthened the bridge but it cannot handle heavy vehicles anymore. So, the only option is a new bridge altogether. Since the stretch comes under NHAI now, land acquisition has started for constructing a new bridge. Don't think we are going to see anything in the next few years especially with the elections around.

Flash News Today Online News Magazine Muttam bridge to be ready ahead of schedule

On the link between Kumbakonam-Jayamkondan, the bridge at Neerathanallur is the one I was alluding to in my earlier posts. Per the above news items, the bridge is already open which raise a doubt that MMI may be correct. However, the minister also talks about Chennai bound vehicles using this route to Perambalur, which does not make sense. For Perambalur one would use the bridget on SH27 near Thiruvaiyaru to Ariyalur via poondi. This bridge was newly opened and the minister may be mixing things up.
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Old 8th March 2011, 19:17   #25
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
On the link between Kumbakonam-Jayamkondan, the bridge at Neerathanallur is the one I was alluding to in my earlier posts. Per the above news items, the bridge is already open which raise a doubt that MMI may be correct.
As per the latest updates from my friend, the bridge at Neerathanallur is under-construction in fast pace, scheduled to be completed by mid of 2012.
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Old 9th March 2011, 09:49   #26
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

Update on the Anaikarai Bridge:

All vehicles movements have been stopped since Feb21 2011. The only vehicles allowed are the share autos. I didnot know this info when I went to Kumbakonam and reached the bridge only to be turned back. Had to go through Udayarpalayam, Thriruvaiyaru to reach Kumbakonam as I was told this is the only option.... should have read this post before starting, my miss. Had to travel through the Jayamkondan - thiruvaiyaru road which is pathetic.
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:00   #27
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

@ramanan.skr & @venki.bala: Thanks for the updates. Very important for people travelling between KumbaKonam & Chennai.

Will stick to the Mayavaram-Chidambaram-Pondy route.
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Old 9th March 2011, 15:55   #28
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
@ramanan.skr & @venki.bala: Thanks for the updates. Very important for people travelling between KumbaKonam & Chennai.

Will stick to the Mayavaram-Chidambaram-Pondy route.
The Chidambaram-Kumbakonam has its share of pot holes which come from nowhere ! When I was driving down to Chennai got struck behind a Rathee Meena(or Sethu Meena??) omni bus for most of the part and it was horrible..
Not safe to overtake such a big bus on the curved routes..
The only goodie was that I could see a very old Vento ( imported one) and took a cellphone snap from my India made Vento..I will post my 4500kms initial ownership by next week hopefully and include that picture!!

Cheers !
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Old 9th March 2011, 20:08   #29
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Default Re: Chennai-Kumbakonam route choice!

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Originally Posted by Sridhar K View Post
@ramanan.skr & @venki.bala: Thanks for the updates. Very important for people travelling between KumbaKonam & Chennai.

Will stick to the Mayavaram-Chidambaram-Pondy route.
I started from Vaitheeswaran Koil at 3 PM and reached Chennai Ashoknagar at 8 PM with a stop over of 45 mins @ Tindivanam Bypass Arya's for dinner. I took Vaiteeswaran koil - Sirkali Bypass - Chidambaram bypass - bhuvanagiri - Sethiathope - Panruti - Vikravandi - Chennai ( NH45). Th road is bad between sethiathope and neyveli.... and very bad between Panruti and Vikravandi.. but very less traffic when compared with the chidambaram - pondy - route.
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Old 11th March 2011, 12:51   #30
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Default Pondy byepass

Can someone update if Pondy bypass is completed connecting the North & South ends of ECR?
An year back, it was only 1 KM of road to be completed which seems to be under litigation.
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