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Old 1st May 2017, 12:31   #1
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Default Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

Folks

I had been to Gingee, 40 kms from Tiruvannamalai on 30th April to visit Singavaram Ranganathar temple and the Gingee Fort.

For the onward journey went via Hosur, Krishnagiri, Bargur, Mathur, Uthangarai, Singarapettai, Chengam, Tiruvannamalai

While returning back from Gingee, came to T V Malai to have lunch at Hotel Nalas and then proceeded to visit Adhi Thiruvarangam near Manalurpet (another Ranganathar temple).

From Adhi Thiruvarangam came to Bangalore via Arulampady koot road, Bondai, Theerthamalai, Harur, Morappur, Kambainallur and the NH route.

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd May 2017 at 07:08.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:06   #2
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

Folks, Here goes my trip details

I left my home at 4 :55 AM to be precise and encountered very little traffic till Attibele. I took the Attibele-TVS Road. As usual this road was Okish to drive. I saw one particular stretch that was relaid completely new with lane marking. I was under the impression that at last this road has seen light at the end of the tunnel, but not to be.

I took the Hosur by pass road and then the outer ring road before joining the Bangalore Chennai NH. My plan was to go till Bargur and then take the Bargur Tirupattur route. Everything went fine till i reached Bargur town. From here not sure what happened , I missed the road to Tirupattur and unknowingly was heading towards Mathur.

ONWARD JOURNEY

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-onward-journey.png

I then noticed quite a number of bad sectors on this route but very much drive able and then I was in doubt as to whether I am on the right track. I spoke to one of the locals who then said that I the road I was going was actually leading to Mathur. Road widening was going on at many places and wherever work was complete, it was a wide 2 lane road without lane marking.

BARGUR-MATHUR ROAD

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-bargur-mathur-1.jpg
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From Mathur, it was the regular shorter route to Gingee via Tiruvannamalai.

The Mathur-Uthangarai was not so good to drive in terms of road surface. Relax folks. You will not find major potholes that used to exist on this entire stretch say about 5 years back. Yes, there are quite a number of sections on this road where you have only mud and stones to drive on but this is for about 100 metres or so, after which you get a wide 2 lane road to drive without lane marking.

MATHUR-UTHANGARAI ROAD

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Last edited by Aditya : 3rd May 2017 at 07:07. Reason: Quoted text not required
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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:20   #3
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

The Uthangarai-Singarapettai stretch was way better compared to the latter (Mathur-Uthangarai) in terms of the road surface. I did not notice that many sections that had bad road surface.

UTHANGARAI-SINGARAPETTAI ROAD

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From Singarapettai onwards till Gingee, the road surface is amazing to drive. You get wide 2 lane roads without lane marking where the road surface is very good. Infact i took the Chengam by pass road which is also a very good one. We do have road widening work going on at very few places but otherwise absolutely no issue to drive.

I would caution users on this stretch on 2 aspects.

1. Wherever the road is wide, kindly do not get carried away. At some point the wide road narrows down to the regular 2 lane road with slightly bad surface.
2. Driving in the night will be risky because of the above mentioned point and due to the absence of lane marking. There are no issues driving in the day time.

SINGARAPETTAI-CHENGAM ROAD

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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:32   #4
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

CHENGAM-TIRUVANNAMALAI ROAD

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I entered Tiruvannamalai by 9 AM. Inside T V Malai noticed very good roads as against mud road back in 2011.

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-inside-t-v-malai.jpg
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Took a snap of the above temple in Tiruvannamalai. I guess it is the Arunachaleshwara temple.

TIRUVANNAMALAI-GINGEE ROAD

The T V Malai-Gingee stretch of about 40 kms is also very good to drive. I did notice road widening happening at few places. Overall very good stretch to drive.

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-tv-malai-ginghee-1.jpg
Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-tv-malai-ginghee-2.jpg
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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:53   #5
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To go to Singavaram Ranganathar temple, you have to cross the Gingee Fort. From the fort, this temple is about 4 kms. The temple is located on a hill top and one has to climb approx 160 steps to reach the temple.
Once you enter the sannidhi, it is a magnificent sight to behold gigantic size of Lord Ranaganthar. You have separate prakaram to have darshan of Lord's face, body and feet something similar to Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

Not many are aware of the existence of this temple and it is a must visit one. I did not click any photo of the lord. I am enclosing one such image of the lord taken from some other website.

SINGAVARAM RANGANATHAR TEMPLE

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Below is the snap of the road leading to Singavaram from Gingee Fort

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-road-singavaram.jpg

As you drive back to Gingee Fort from Singavaram, you can have a clear view of the fort

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-20170430_102806.jpg
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Old 2nd May 2017, 11:53   #6
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

I came out of the Singavaram temple by 10:30 AM and proceeded towards Gingee town to have breakfast. Here not many options to find a proper hotel. Opposite to Gingee Bus stand we have Hotel Vasantha Bhavan. To park the car, I took the immediate left to this hotel wherein we can park the car in the premises of HOTEL SHIVAN.
I then proceeded to visit the fort. There are 2 forts in Gingee bang opposite to each other. The King's fort is called RAJAGIRI while the Queen's fort is called KRISHNAGIRI. Both these forts are maintained by the Archaeological survey of India. Entrance ticket for both the forts is Rs 15 which can be purchased in either of the forts.
I decided to trek KRISHNAGIRI first that has 350 steps. I found it tough to reach the top of the fort as not one of the 350 steps was aligned properly though we had steps. May be due to the fact that I decided to climb immediately after breakfast added to my tiredness. But still it is worth climbing to the top of the fort. Plus the heat added to the discomfort as well.
In fact climbing down was tougher as against climbing up. I took 1 hr to climb up and down.
I then relaxed in the car and pondered over whether I should climb RAJAGIRI as it has 850 steps. The last thing I wanted was to get admitted in the hospital. Moreover I had to drive back to Bangalore. Keeping this in mind, I decided to skip RAJAGIRI fort as there is always another time to come back again.

KRISHNAGIRI FORT

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View of RAJAGIRI fort as taken from KRISHNAGIRI fort

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-view-rajagiri-fort.jpg
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Old 2nd May 2017, 12:29   #7
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

I finished the KRISHNAGIRI fort by 12 15 PM and then proceeded to Tiruvannamalai to break for lunch. My next agenda was to visit the famous Adhi Thiruvarangam temple near Manalurpet.
This temple is much more ancient than Srirangam and the idol is bigger as well. Moreover this temple does not close for lunch.

I had lunch at Hotel Nala Residency in Tiruvannamalai only to find huge crowd waiting for lunch. As I was alone, I managed to find one.

I then proceeded to Manalurpet via SH 9A and found the roads to be very good to drive

TIRUVANNAMALAI-MANALURPET ROAD

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-tv-malai-manalurpet-1.jpg
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ROAD TO ADHI THIRUVARANGAM

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-road-adhitiruvarangam.jpg
Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-adhitiruvaragam.jpg

After completing darshan of the lord, I then took the following route for the return journey to Bangalore

RETURN JOURNEY

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-return-journey.png

Last edited by suresh_gs : 2nd May 2017 at 12:33.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 14:20   #8
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

For the return trip, I inquired from the locals as to how to go to Harur without going back to Tiruvannamalai. For this one of the locals suggested me to take the road to Arulmabady Koot road. From there I took the diversion to Bondhai.
Surpisingly the interior road to Arulambady Koot road junction was good. In some places the tarmac had come off but no potholes as such. From the Koot road junction, it was very good road to drive till I intersected the SH 6A.

ROAD TO ARULAMBADY KOOT ROAD JUNCTION

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-road-arulampady-1.jpg
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After meeting the SH 6A that happens to be the Tiruvannamalai-Harur SH, my observation was the SH is good to drive but at many places the patch work is pretty average resulting in bumpy drive. Infact from Reddiarpalayam till Naripalli, the road is good in some stretches only while have small broken sections enroute.
From Naripalli till Harur, the road surface is better than the previous section but at many places the tarmac top layer has been eroded. This could be because of the rains also.
I remember the winding road to Harur being in a pristine condition earlier. This time though, I would rate the road condition to be around 85% good.
From Harur till Kambainallur the road is again good to drive. The best of the stretch was from Morappur to Kambainallur. After crossing Kambainallur, bridge construction is going on at 2 places. So users , beware while driving on this stretch.

ROAD TO HARUR

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-road-harur-1.jpg
Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-road-harur-2.jpg

HARUR TO MORAPPUR

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MORAPPUR TO KAMBAINALLUR

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-morappur-kambainallur.jpg

KAMBAINALLUR TO NH

Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort-kambainallur-nh.jpg

I reached Krishnagiri toll plaza by 7 PM only to find a long queue of vehicles. Finally reached home by 8 50 PM.

If you compare the onward and return journey route, I see not much difference between the two except that I would discourage people from using the Chengam route in the night because of the sudden reduction in road width.
I thoroughly enjoyed this solo drive. There is always another time to revisit the place especially the RAJAGIRI fort.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 07:16   #9
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Default re: Tale of 2 Ranganatha Temples and a Fort

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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