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Old 28th December 2014, 10:22   #286
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Thanks ampere. That travel plan is now postponed because the weather is starting to look ugly - very dark skies at 10.20 am and thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow. I guess I will retry around mid Jan after Pongal
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Old 29th December 2014, 08:56   #287
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Bangalore - Kumbakonam - Chennai - Bangalore round trip

Folks

I had been to kumbakonam on Thursday (25.12.14) from bangalore by car. I took the following route

Via Attibele, Kelamangalam, Rayakottai, Vellichandai, Karimangalam, Kambainallur, Morappur, Harur, Ayyodhiapattinam, NH79, V Koot Road, Vriddhachalam by pass, Jayamkondan, Gangai Konda Cholapuram and Anaikarai.

In the hindsight, i think i committed 3 blunders (2 of them major ones)

First i took the Attibele - Rayakottai road via Kelamangalam. This road is an average one with many good and bad stretches enroute. The Hosur - Rayakottai road is any day better than this one.

Second blunder: Harur - Ayyodhiapattinam SH18. I will use one word to describe the road condition

HORRIBLE.

Was this the same road that was a bliss to drive when i last went in April. Broken tarmac, potholes all the way. Absolute bone jarring drive. If not attended to immediately, this road has all the makings of NH66.

Third Blunder (Mother of all): V koot road. Absolute shocker. Shame that this is being called NH 532. Prior to this route i was determined to go via Harur, Thanipadi, T V Malai, Thirukkoilur by pass, Ulundurpet.

I read in this forum that the Ulundurpet - Vriddhachalam road was broken at many places. Sorry to say this. The road is way way way better than the V koot road.

Choice of eat out on NH79 is very very less. If i remember near Attur we have Ramas Veg. I had lunch at VIP residency (a small hotel) on V Koot road.

V Koot road is broken at many places. At some stretches there is absolutely no tar. As you near Vriddhachalam by pass, the road condition goes down drastically.

From Vriddhachalam by pass all the way till Kumbakonam, I will use one word to describe the road condition

SUPER

I left kumbakonam on friday evening and went via Ulundurpet road to chennai. Near vriddhachalam level crossing, there was a bridge construction going on. In this stretch we have a mud road. Otherwise good tarmac to drive. In fact i drove in the night.

I left chennai on Sunday evening at 6 PM and took the Manimangalam route to touch Sriperumbudur. This road is a treat to drive. I went to bangalore via NH and as usual encountered traffic jams at Chennasamudiram, Krishnagiri and Attibele toll plazas.

Reached home at 12:15 AM.

More details to follow regarding the temples i visited along with the road condition snaps.
Stay tuned......

Last edited by suresh_gs : 29th December 2014 at 09:01.
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Old 29th December 2014, 20:26   #288
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

I second everything what Suresh mentioned, because both of our routes are identical except for dates & temples.

Nothing to mention different about route from Bangalore till V.Koot road junction after Attur/Thalaivasal. From V.Koot Road exit-Veppur-Vridhachalam road is horrible. Instead of exiting at V.Koot road, I would strongly recommend to drive down till Ulundurpet and then drive towards Vridhachalam-Jayankondam for those who drive towards Kumbakonam. You will not regret for driving those extra miles, unless you want to damage your car axles and tyres .

Last year, when i drove via this route, it was average, but this year its very bad.

Vridhachalam-Jayankondam-Kumbakonam roads are good but there are couple pot holes which are negligible for the entire distance in this stretch.

Today i drove from Kumbakonam to Madras via Vridhachalam-Ulunderput and Suresh covered everything i wanted to say

-Ravi
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Old 30th December 2014, 05:52   #289
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravib View Post
It is via Jayankondam Madhav. From Sridhar's updates, it seems they have relaid the road newly, so i hope T.Palur stretch will not be killing my time

-Ravi
Many thanks Ravi. I took the KMU, Jeyamkondan, Virudachalam, Ulundurpet route and the road was good for most part of it. I strayed into the route that leads to Sethiathope/Vikravandi by mistake after my visit to Gangai konda cholapuram and realized driving through it will be hell! I went back past GKC and took the route to Virudachalam. I was glad to see good roads.

With my i10 which has a relatively poor ride quality, it would have been miserable to drive through NH45C as google maps puts it. Saw many state transport buses take that route as it is shortest route probably.

Thanks
Madhav
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Old 5th January 2015, 20:00   #290
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Plan to drive Bangalore > Vaitheswaran Kovil > Chidambaram > Pichavaram > Pondicherry > Bangalore during the Jan 26th Weekend . After reading through the last few pages on this thread, I am thoroughly confused!

Bangalore > Vaitheswaran Kovil Which of the below is the best option?
Option 1: Salem > V Koot > Ulundurpet > Virudhachalam > Chidambaram >Vaitheswaran Kovil
I understand that Ulundurpet > Virudhachalam roads are not great. Question is will my poor WagonR take a very bad beating on the road.

Option 2: Arcot > Thindivanam > Panruti > Chidambaram >Vaitheswaran Kovil Have heard horror stories about the panruti stretch and I am not sure if this is a good option. But if the roads on the option 1 are very bad, them I am willing to consider this.

Option 3: Arcot > Thindivanam > Pondicherry > Cuddalore >Vaitheswaran Kovil Not sure about the traffic on this route as I will be starting from bangalore on 25th i.e Sunday.

Vaitheswaran Kovil > Chidambaram > Pichavarm > Pondicherry I guess I have no other option but to go via Cuddalore and live with the traffic on the road. Anyway to make life a little easy on this stretch?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 5th January 2015, 20:15   #291
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Your option 3 has the best roads but the most traffic. If you time your journey to avoid peak city traffic hours you might get through with your suspension in one piece
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Old 5th January 2015, 21:57   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Your option 3 has the best roads but the most traffic
Thanks hserus. What would be a realistic estimate for Pondicherry > Vaitheswaran Kovil during the afternoon? 2.5 hours?
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Old 5th January 2015, 22:09   #293
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by procrj View Post
Thanks hserus. What would be a realistic estimate for Pondicherry > Vaitheswaran Kovil during the afternoon? 2.5 hours?
2 hours "without traffic" - but keep in mind that you are driving on the NH45A, which is a horrible two lane road with thick traffic.
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Old 5th January 2015, 22:32   #294
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by procrj View Post
Plan to drive Bangalore > Vaitheswaran Kovil > Chidambaram > Pichavaram > Pondicherry > Bangalore during the Jan 26th Weekend . After reading through the last few pages on this thread, I am thoroughly confused!
Dont do Pondicherry-Cudalore. Extremely high on traffic.

Best route would be :

Bangalore-Salem-Ulundurpet-Vridhachalam-Bhuvanagiri-Chidambaram bypass - Sirkazi bypass - Vaitheeshwaran Kovil.

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Old 12th January 2015, 07:20   #295
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
Bangalore - Kumbakonam - Chennai - Bangalore round trip


More details to follow regarding the temples i visited along with the road condition snaps.
Stay tuned......
Folks
Sorry for the delayed detailed trip report. Here it goes.

I left my home in Bangalore on 25.12.2014 at 7:10 AM and took the following route to reach my hotel room near Uppiliappan temple at 3:30 PM inclusive of a 1/2 hr break, 20 min break and two 5 min breaks a piece.

Via Attibele, Kelamangalam, Rayakottai, Vellichandai, Karimangalam, Kambainallur, Morappur, Harur, Ayyodhiapattinam, NH79, V Koot Road, Vriddhachalam by pass, Jayamkondan, Gangai Konda Cholapuram and Anaikarai.

TVS Road

This road is generally road as evident in the photos

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-tvs-road.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-tvs-road-1.jpg

The Hosur by pass road is also good to drive

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-hosur-pass-road.jpg

ATTIBELE - KELAMANGALAM ROAD

I would rate this road 50% good. All the culverts that were being worked on have been completed but still there are a number of stretches wherein the top layer of tar has been washed off. There are some occasional potholes too.
We do have some very good stretches to drive. Was held up at Kelamangalam level crossing for 2 trains to cross.

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-kelamangalam-road.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-20141225_082117.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-20141225_082730.jpg

RAYAKOTTAI - VELLICHANDAI ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-rayakottai-vellichandai.jpg

VELLICHANDAI - KARIMANGALAM ROAD

This road was also good to drive even though the road was narrow at some stretches.

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-vellichandai-karimangalam.jpg

KARIMANGALAM - KAMBAINALLUR ROAD

I remember somewhere on this route there was a broken portion of the road. Apart from this rest of the tarmac was super.

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-karimangalam-kambainallur.jpg

KAMBAINALLUR - MORAPPUR ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-kambainallur-morappur.jpg

MORAPPUR - HARUR

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-morappur-harur.jpg

HARUR - AYYODHIAPATTINAM ROAD

Here comes my first blunder i committed by taking this route. Was this the same route that was a bliss to drive when i went on this stretch in April 2014. Broken tarmac all the way. The ghat section was even worse.
The photo i captured was fortunately a good section of the road. Please do not get carried away by the above snap.

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-harur-salem.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-harur-ghat.jpg
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Old 12th January 2015, 07:39   #296
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

After crossing Ayyodhiapatttinam, i then took the NH79. Paid toll at 2 toll plazas amounting to Rs 46 each. On this NH there are hardly any options to break for food apart from Ramas Veg near Attur.
So folks plan accordingly when you travel on this stretch.

From the NH, i deviated towards V Koot road and had lunch at VIP Residency (a small hotel)

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-20141225_131139.jpg

V KOOT ROAD

The second blunder i committed by taking this road. Shame that this is being called a NH. The initial portion of the road was okish but gradually turns to worse, hell as you approach Vriddhachalam by pass road.

Again please do not get carried away by the snap of the V Koot road. I somehow managed to take a snap of the very few good portions of the road. Overall by taking this road you are inviting trouble for your vehicle. So Beware!!!!!

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-v-koot-road.jpg

From Vriddhachalam by pass onwards till Uppiliapapan temple (Thirunageshwaram), roads are very good to drive.

VRIDDHACHALAM BY PASS ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-vriddhachalam-pass.jpg

VRIDDHACHALAM - JAYAMKONDAN ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-vriddhachalam-jayamkondan.jpg

JAYAMKONDAN - ANAIKARAI ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-anaikarai.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-jayamkondan-anaikarai.jpg

Reached my hotel room in Thirunageshwaram by 3:30 PM.
The same evening we covered 3 temples (all of them were a part of 108 divya desams)

1. THIRUCHERAI
2. NACHIAR KOIL
3. UPPILIAPPAN TEMPLE

Here is the snap of Nachiar Koil

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-nachiar-temple.jpg

The next day (26.12.2014) we proceeded to Thirukkaragvur (Garbharakshambikai temple). We went via Papanasam. The roads all the way to the temple shrine were very good.

KUMBAKONAM - PAPANASAM ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-kumbakonam-papanasam-road.jpg

PAPANASAM - THIRUKKARAGAVUR ROAD

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-papanasam-thirukkarugavur-road.jpg
Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-papanasam-thirukkarugavur-road-1.jpg

After having darshan of the goddess, we then proceed to visit the following temples

1. KABISTHALAM
2. THIRU ADHANUR

In the evening we covered the following 2 temples in the heart of Kumbakonam

1. SARANGAAPAANI TEMPLE
2. RAMASWAMY TEMPLE

Here is the snap of Sarangapani temple

Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries-20141226_171335.jpg
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Old 12th January 2015, 07:59   #297
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

The same evening i left for chennai. I took the following route

Via Anaikarai, Gangai Konda Cholapuram, Jayamkondan, Vriddhachalam, Ulundurpet and then the GST.
I read somewhere on this forum that Vriddhachalam-Ulundurpet road was broken at many places. I am sorry to say this. The road was very good to drive. Infact i drove in the night and it is way way way better than the dreadful V Koot Road.
Near the level crossing in Vriddhachalam where bridge construction is going on, the road in that portion is a mud road. Apart from this very good roads to drive.

Left Kumbakonam at 5:40 PM and reached Chennai (Nanganallur) at 11:30 PM. Stayed in Chennai for 2 days and then left for bangalore on 28.12.2014

Took the Tambaram,Mudichur,Manimangalam road. Excellent tarmac. From Sriperumbudur, i took the regular NH. Encountered sufficient waiting time at Chennasamudiram, Krishnagiri and Attibele toll plazas.
Left Chennai at 6 PM and reached Bangalore at 12:15 AM. Overall it was a good trip.

Hope this helps....
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Old 12th January 2015, 08:09   #298
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

I did this route over the weekend - chennai, nh45 and then a left after the vikravandi toll plaza. The road after that is end to end potholes so you end up having to drive on the shoulder or the opposite lane, wherever there happens to be an occasional clear patch. Any oncoming traffic needs you to swing towards the shoulder of the road anyway, the road is quite narrow with both sides of the two lane so called highway considerably eroded.

Lunch at 'padmma vilas', a self described 'multi cushion' restaurant on nh45, decent food, clean loos and nothing after that till you reach kumbakonam.

Had started at 6 and the last 100 odd km after the vikravandi turnoff took over two hours. Arrived at hotel rayas only around 12.15. Grabbed lunch and started around 3 for garbharakshambigai. Half decent roads and anyway they were better than the horror of that last 100 km. Back for an early dinner and my wife and kids were way too beat to do any more temple visits, though there's no shortage of them within a short walk from Rayas.

Food / stay - There's a padmavathi bhavan round the corner from Rayas that serves excellent banana leaf thalis, always crowded and very cheap. Sathars, the restaurant in the Rayas lobby isn't too bad either. The room we first got at Rayas had an ancient window ac that hadn't been cleaned since God knows when, so we upgraded ourselves to a small suite at Rs 1650 instead of 1200 and this was better, with a new split ac. Large and aggressive mosquitoes (and at least one other species of bloodsucking insect) come free with the room, and seem to appreciate good knight liquid, odomos cream etc as much as we would regard agarbathis and jasmine flowers. Other than that the staff are polite and helpful. And at 1600 you can hardly expect a hilton or marriott.

The return - early next morning we took the road towards karaikal, to reach thirunallar (a few km before karaikal). This too is a branch of nh45, narrow and with hairpin bends, blind curves etc every few km. Still the road was in great repair, and before sunrise the way we started out, mercifully empty. We passed by several other temples (swamimalai, upiliappan, thirukadayur, chidambaram, poompuhar etc etc) and hit the ecr, straight on to chennai. A much longer route but smooth throughout.

On the way, we had a lunch break at adyar ananda bhavan in cuddalore and like an idiot I left my credit card at the billing counter, only discovered this after I returned to chennai. The ananda bhavan people, when I called them, confirmed that they followed their standard practice of retaining the card in a sealed plastic envelope for me to pick up when I can. I still got the card blocked and a new one issued. Easier than driving all the way back there just to pick up a card. Tanked up in pondy at a company owned indian oil outlet, thus saving some money over doing it anywhere in TN.
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Old 12th January 2015, 08:11   #299
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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I read somewhere on this forum that Vriddhachalam-Ulundurpet road was broken at many places. I am sorry to say this. The road was very good to drive. Infact i drove in the night and it is way way way better than the dreadful V Koot Road.
Is this freshly tarred? Because last year, pretty much every member was lamenting about this section being bad.

As regards to V-Koot Road - Veppur - Virudhachalam :

I have always maintained that one may not save much time taking that route. Its better to go via Ulundurpet. Plus now your finding that the road itself is not greats makes it doubly sure.

Quite surprised at Harur-Ayodhyapatnam section. Typically I thought it to be decent with some rough patches here and there. Never expected it to be real bad. Its one of the major arterial state road for TN as most buses from Jolarpet/Thirupatthur plying to Salem and further south take this road.
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Old 12th January 2015, 08:23   #300
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Default re: Chennai - Kumbakonam : Route Queries

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Is this freshly tarred? Because last year, pretty much every member was lamenting about this section being bad.

As regards to V-Koot Road - Veppur - Virudhachalam :

I have always maintained that one may not save much time taking that route. Its better to go via Ulundurpet. Plus now your finding that the road itself is not greats makes it doubly sure.

Quite surprised at Harur-Ayodhyapatnam section. Typically I thought it to be decent with some rough patches here and there. Never expected it to be real bad. Its one of the major arterial state road for TN as most buses from Jolarpet/Thirupatthur plying to Salem and further south take this road.
Amp, the Ulundurpet-Vriddhachalam road has not been tarred. No ways this road is bad as lamented by others. Infact i drove in this section in the night and was cruising at around 80 kmph. Ravib also mentioned the same status as mine.

Avoid V Koot road like Dengue. Infact till the last moment my plan was to go Via Harur, Thanipadi, T V Malai, Thirukkoilur by pass road, Ulundurpet and Vriddhachalam. Looking at the feedback given by some that the Ulundurpet-Vriddhachalam road is broken at many places I chose to go via V Koot Road.
In the end anticlimax show.

The biggest let down was the Harur-Ayyodhiapattinam road. Miserable to drive. Cannot think of the number of times my car took a beating. The ghat section was even worse than the plain road.

Last edited by suresh_gs : 12th January 2015 at 08:28.
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