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Old 3rd January 2013, 14:19   #1
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Default Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

Been a long time since I did a travelogue here. Some of my older ones are still incomplete. However this is not a lengthy one since it is just about a solo drive from Bangalore to Chennai via a Road Less Traveled.

Ever since my new job brought me to Bangalore, I have been traveling between Chennai and Bangalore every weekend. Once every 4-6 weeks I do this trip with my White Stallion. These trips are mostly done on the GQ route - Chennai - Vellore - Krishnagiri - Hosur since the Chennai - BLR leg is invariably done on Monday mornings and the return leg on Friday evenings. Twice I had company and tried the Vellore - Chittor - Kolar route as well. But there was one route I always wanted to try out - Kolar - KGF - VGKota - Gudiyatham - Vellore. And I got a chance for that on 29th Dec.

After a long day in the office on 28th, I got back to my Apt at 1.00 AM on 29th. The plan was to leave as early as possible on 29th morning. I managed to get a 5 hr sleep and was up at 6.15 AM. After a quick shower, I left home to pickup my White Stallion from the office where he was parked. Time was 7.05 AM when I left my office in Basavangudi. Drove through the city tanking up at the HP Bunk on MG Road and crossed KR Puram bridge at 8.05 AM. First 16 Kms done in 1 hr.

By 8.30 AM I was at the Kamat Upachar some 8-9 kms before Kolar. After a quick Breakfast of Idly, Dosa and Coffee, I was back on the road at 9.00 AM. The road from Kolar to KGF via Bangarpet had a good tarmac and I reached KGF bypass around an hour later. KGF Bypass was in a bad shape for some distance with the rest of it having been relaid recently. By 10.15 AM I was able to reach Koti Lingeswara temple. Road between KGF and this village and further on till the Karnataka border is battered in many places and reduced my Stallions pace to a trot. Still by 10.50 I was able to touch VenkatagiriKota from where the roads got a bit better.

Driving through the forests after VG Kota was a pleasure and by 11.15 I enetred TamilNadu after climbing down the 6 Harpin Bends. Roads inside TN run through Pernampet, Gudiyatham and are quite smooth but the traffic was quite thick compared to the earlier parts of the journey. At Gudiyatham, I decided to take the road to Pallikonda as I wanted to reach Chennai at least by 2.00 PM.

Reached Pallikonda and the GQ around 12.00 PM and by now the sky had become grey and it started raining. Crossed Vellore by 12.15 and the rain had become heavier once again reducing speeds to sub 80.

The drive from Vellore to Chennai took full 2 hrs though traffic wasn't dense till Chennai Outskirts but the going had to be slow due to blinding rains.

Here are a few pix and Videos that I managed to take during the trip. Want to do this trip again at leisure and before the summer sets in.

Road from Kolar to Bangarapet






Road through VG Kota Forest



Driving through Heavy Rains after Vellore

Attached Thumbnails
Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled-20121229_090740-1024x768.jpg  

Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled-20121229_091414-1024x768.jpg  

Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled-20121229_102626-1024x768.jpg  

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Old 3rd January 2013, 16:30   #2
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Default re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

Nice account of the drive.

I read somewhere there are plans to create a new Chennai-Bangalore highway that cuts across in a straight line. As you know, the Hosur, Krishnagiri, Vellore to Chennai is a roundabout way. With the new road, they are hoping to cut down the distance and travel time considerably. But there is no progress or update on this new road afaik.

You can also try the Gudiyattam, Katpadi and Walaja route to Chennai. If you go via Pallikonda, you have to pay the toll at Pallikonda. If you want to drive on GQ and still avoid this toll, you can drive from Gudiyattam towards Katpadi. In between, you will come to a place called Vaduganthangal. Take a right turn here just after the juction and this road will lead to Virinjipuram/Seduvalai on the GQ after the Pallikonda toll.
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Old 3rd January 2013, 17:48   #3
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Default Re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

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Originally Posted by murillo View Post
Nice account of the drive.
You can also try the Gudiyattam, Katpadi and Walaja route to Chennai. If you go via Pallikonda, you have to pay the toll at Pallikonda. If you want to drive on GQ and still avoid this toll, you can drive from Gudiyattam towards Katpadi. In between, you will come to a place called Vaduganthangal. Take a right turn here just after the juction and this road will lead to Virinjipuram/Seduvalai on the GQ after the Pallikonda toll.
Thanks. That was my original plan and I would have done that if I had left an hour earlier. Also one major drawback about this route is that after Kolar till you get to the GQ there didn't seem to be any good Veg eateries. Maybe some place at VG Kota or Gudiayatham. Any places anyone?
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Old 3rd January 2013, 18:02   #4
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Default Re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

Is this different from the Chittoor road? Where do you deviate? I often prefer the Chittoor road as there is less traffic than the GQ. and Less toll ofcourse.
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Old 6th January 2013, 15:05   #5
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Is this different from the Chittoor road? Where do you deviate? I often prefer the Chittoor road as there is less traffic than the GQ. and Less toll ofcourse.
Yes, this is different from the Chittoor route. On the Kolar byepass, at the NH234 junction take the left ramp down on the flyover - there is a board on the flyover indicating KGF / Bangarapet. This road (NH234) takes you to Bangarapet from where you take SH95 to KGF. At KGF, just after the BEML complex, you will come to a Y fork where the right goes into KGF township while the left acts as a byepass to KGF. SH95 continues past KGF into Venkatagirikota.

At VG Kota, you will merge into the Kuppam Chittoor road - continue on it till you reach the APSRTC VG Kota terminus junction. This is a sort of busy market area. At this Y junction the road to the left (the better looking one) takes you to Chittoor while the right limb leads you to Gudiyatham via Pernampet. The Gudiyatam road is a narrow road so I would suggest sticking to speeds under 60 though traffic is thin.

At Gudiyatham, you have an option to take SH127 to join GQ at Pallikonda (the route I took) or if you want to continue with the RLT experience, take the Virinchipuram, Katpadi, Wallajah route. On the day I travelled, there was a diversion inside Gudiyatham and I tailed a Pallikonda bus till I got out of the town.

Please remember
1. Locals are helpful when you want to know the direction.
2. Some of them may request a lift if they are traveling in the same direction - I gave lift to 2 school kids between Kolar and Bangarapet and to 2 guys between Bangarapet and KGF.
3. Roads on this route are narrow and the tarmac is not so great between Bangarapet and Pernampet. Shoulders at many places are a good 3-5 inch lower than the tarmac making it quite a challenge when you have to allow oncoming traffic to pass / when you are overtaking.
4. I did not see any good eatery between Bangarapet and Gudiyatham.
5. The stretch between VG Kota and Pernampet is less populated and part runs through forests. I would not take this road at night if it was a solo drive.
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Old 6th January 2013, 15:55   #6
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Default Re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

@cnaganathan,
Why didn't you try Kolar - Mulbagal - Venkatagirikota, instead of going to KGF? The stretch between Kolar & Mulbagal is as good as ever and 4 laned if I remember correctly. Plus the KGF route seems to be marginally longer.

@murillo,
Thanks for that bit of "bypass" information. Will be using it in the coming week for sure
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Old 8th January 2013, 22:29   #7
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Default Re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

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Thanks. That was my original plan and I would have done that if I had left an hour earlier. Also one major drawback about this route is that after Kolar till you get to the GQ there didn't seem to be any good Veg eateries. Maybe some place at VG Kota or Gudiayatham. Any places anyone?
Yes, you are right. There are no good eateries in this stretch. Approaching Wallajah, I have seen restaurants on both sides of the road, but haven't used any so don't know how good they are.
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Old 10th January 2013, 08:24   #8
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Default Re: Chennai - Bangalore via a road less traveled

No offense meant,but did you shoot those videos with your mobile pointing to the road while driving in the ghats and rain?
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Old 16th January 2013, 17:00   #9
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No offense meant,but did you shoot those videos with your mobile pointing to the road while driving in the ghats and rain?
Am afraid I did though I was aware that it is unsafe. Just to ensure that I do not cause injury to anyone else, I chose deserted stretches and slowed down to sub 40kmph speeds as well as stuck to the left end of the road when I shot them.
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