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Old 5th May 2009, 12:39   #1
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Default Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats

Having decided to drive down on a surprise visit home, I needed to do some changes to my driving routine.
On the last day of April, with work pending, I was able to get free only from the afternoon.

So I left Hyderabad at 1:30 PM.
The route was my regular, NH9 -> Narketpally -> Addanki -> Chennai.
Its a 640 km trip and takes under 11 hours.

However this time the condition of the SH road was horrible.
The potholes were wider than my car.
This meant a lot of strain on my driving and I did not appreciate it.
NH5 was charming.
But I reached its Addanki junction at 7:30 PM.
So it was already dark and my speed on the NH was under a 100 almost the whole time.

The NH is very night friendly.
The entire stretch has excellent visual aids and my GPS phone had it marked quite well.
So the remaining 340 kms to my house went in a breeze.

My mother called me as I was crossing Nellore.

Broke the surprise and asked my parents to wait up.
Reached home at 12:30 AM.

Enroute had filled up petrol for a thousand bucks.
No breaks for anything except fuel and toilet.
I may not drive fast but I drive steady.

Decided that my return was not gonna be on this road.
I had found the potholes very irritating and did not wish to repeat it.

So started my hunt for alternate routes.
There was the option of driving via Vijayawada.
I don't like the highway connecting Vijayawada and Hyderabad.
In Hindsight, this turned out to be a very good thing.
Vijayawada was pounded my rainfall on the trip day.

As all highway users know. The first rain in a long time makes all roads very slushy and I would have had a very difficult trip.

The alternate was to take the Sagar road.
Did not feel like it as I am bored with that road.

I decided to check out options via Kurnool.

Noticed the following route via Gudur-Cuddapah.

Name:  route.jpg
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Size:  25.4 KB

Further research showed this
Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world!

Zooming into the ghats
Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-sat.jpg

I wanted to check this road out.
It could not be as bad as the road I came on. And boy was I wrong.


The Route:
Chennai -> Gudur -> Rapur -> Chitvel -> Rajampet -> Cuddapah -> Kurnool -> Hyderabad

Left home at 8:00 AM on Monday.
Stopped for an excellent breakfast at Hot Chips, Ashok Nagar.
The breakfast was simply superb and we even took a parcel of masala vadas.
By 9:00 AM finally got to the junction for NH5.
The trip was on.

NH5 is a very well laid out road.
Consistent speeds over a 120 for a large part.
Even a couple of 140's at some stretchs.
Reached Gudur (135 kms) in hardly anytime.

Gudur junction has a over pass bridge.
As soon as you get down, take a left to enter the city.
Do not ask for Cuddapah.
Instead ask the way to Rapur.
The road is initially like most town roads.
Broken tarmac and chaotic traffic,
Then it opened up into a narrow blacktop.
No potholes.

Was able to maintain steady speeds of 80.

The roads in the ghats are very nice.
Some twisties were simply fantastic.



One short stretch had a under construction lay bye.
So that part about 700 m or so was completely broken.
But if my Wagon R can handle it, then most cars can.


About 93 kms after leaving Gudur this SH58 comes to an end and we enterd SH12.
Good road.
Took us to Cuddapah.
Topped up fuel with fuel worth 600/-
We merged into the National Highway that took us to Kurnool and then Nh7 brought us to Hyderabad,

NH7 is still under construction.
So had to put up with diversions that bring traffic face to face with the opposite side.
Two toll booths on the way.
Encountered two incidents of Tractors on the wrong side.

Was about 60 kms from Hyderabad as darkness fell.
But this road is quite well lit and had no issues.


Reached home at 7 PM with 700 kms on the trip meter.
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Old 5th May 2009, 12:45   #2
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some pics of the ghats

Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1131.jpg
Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1135.jpg

Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1136.jpg

Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1138.jpg

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1131.jpg
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Size:	113.0 KB
ID:	132478

Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1132.jpg

Chennai to Hyderabad via some ghats-img_1134.jpg
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Old 5th May 2009, 12:51   #3
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Good one bblost, and from the snaps, it seems that traffic was sparse on this route. So what would you put the percentage of bad roads to be at?

Would like to give it a try soon. Any more snaps?
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Old 5th May 2009, 12:58   #4
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Though i never travelled to Chennai by road this is good info for folks who want to do this route.

Btw, are you still holding a learner's license?
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:12   #5
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Explorer alert!
Nice information and the ghat seems very tempting!
Quote:
Would like to give it a try soon.
I wouldn't mind joining you!

Last edited by pulsar56 : 5th May 2009 at 13:21.
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:16   #6
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Good Show BBlost.BTW what was the FE of your WagonR?
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:26   #7
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Yet another route to Chennai from Hyd. Thanks for the update, bblost.
I think if you'd taken the road via Renigunta to Rajampet, it would have been a smoother drive. From Rajampet, the route to Hyd is common to what you'd taken.
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:27   #8
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Hey good trip man and nice to know about the alternate routes.

How is the route via Tirupati?

btw I see a L sign on the windshield . Is it for you or someone else?
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Old 5th May 2009, 13:35   #9
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The percentage of bad roads on this entire stretch is less than 5%.

The bad roads were primarily around Gudur.
Traffic very sparse for all most the entire 700 kms.
Exception being Kurnool city and Hyderabad.

The FE was not actively monitored.
Over all statistics.
Left Hyderabad with a Tank full (35 Litres).
Enroute to Chennai tanked up with 1000 Rs worth or about 22 Litres.
650 kms
Some 100 kms of in city driving.
Tank Full in 30 L.
Enroute 600 Rs worth of fuel or 13 L.
712 kms later car took in 31 L to be full.

In short:
Total Fuel used: 22 + 30 + 13 + 31 = 96 L
Distance: 1462 kms.
FE: 15+ kmpl

I attribute this low FE figures to the bad road between Hyderabad -> Addanki.
And the extremely heavy crosswinds yesterday.
AC On at 2 Blower position for the entire trip.

The L board story
My wife got her License last year.
The L board was put at that time.
My own license is over a decade old.
But then I noticed that with my L Board own, most people would make way on their own.
I would get a slightly wider berth than before.
And then a small percentage of people would like to show off and cut me in traffic.
The former made my driving pleasant.
The latter gave me an opportunity for some Evil fun.

Last edited by bblost : 5th May 2009 at 13:38.
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Old 5th May 2009, 14:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
The L board story
My wife got her License last year.
The L board was put at that time.
My own license is over a decade old.
But then I noticed that with my L Board own, most people would make way on their own.
I would get a slightly wider berth than before.
And then a small percentage of people would like to show off and cut me in traffic.
The former made my driving pleasant.
The latter gave me an opportunity for some Evil fun.
I know what you mean. I enjoy the look on people's face when iam cutting off slow moving traffic when driving my L signed i10 Kappa of my wife.

I agree it is worth that astonished look on their face
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Old 5th May 2009, 21:36   #11
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OT: Driving with valid DL and putting L board on the vehicle...Is this allowed? I mean it might be objected by Police. Of course you may always come up with story that it is for your wife. But, i'am not sure whether this will be allowed under law.
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Old 5th May 2009, 22:41   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
OT: Driving with valid DL and putting L board on the vehicle...Is this allowed? I mean it might be objected by Police. Of course you may always come up with story that it is for your wife. But, i'am not sure whether this will be allowed under law.
No issues, after all a vehicle may also be driven by someone who is not the owner. You can't keep peeling off the L board when you drive.
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Old 6th October 2009, 16:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
........The Route:
Chennai -> Gudur -> Rapur -> Chitvel -> Rajampet -> Cuddapah -> Kurnool -> Hyderabad.........

Was able to maintain steady speeds of 80.
The roads in the ghats are very nice...........
One short stretch had a under construction lay bye.
So that part about 700 m or so was completely broken.........
Update: Did this route on 1st October, in the opposite direction, Hyd. to Chennai.

The road from Cuddapah to Rajampet is excellent with fantastic views of the hills around. Rajampet to Chitvel is reasonably good. After Chitvel, the road seems to have deteriorated a lot since bblost did this drive. Construction and road repair work going on and heavy truck traffic. There is one stretch just after Chitvel for about half a kilometre or so which is badly damaged with huge craters and needs to be negotiated in 1st and 2nd gear. Bad enough for me to to consider turning back to Chitvel and trying a side road I had noticed - then I decided to go ahead and managed. Not sure if it is the same stretch noticed by bblost as this is almost five months later.

After Rapur the road condition improves. The part through the ghats is good.

But after descending from the ghats it becomes bumpy almost all the way to Gudur. Very narrow as well and in most places cars need to go slightly off the road when meeting cars from the opposite direction.

If anyone's planning to try out this route, would suggest waiting for a few weeks. The recent rains wouldn't have helped any.
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Old 6th October 2009, 16:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightdrive View Post
Bad enough for me to to consider turning back to Chitvel and trying a side road I had noticed - then I decided to go ahead and managed. Not sure if it is the same stretch noticed by bblost as this is almost five months later.
If I remember correctly only one stretch about 1/2 km long needed me to drive at under 10 kmph.
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Old 7th October 2009, 12:57   #15
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Was the road upto Piduguralla ok.Next time want to plan via Narasaroapet and Chilakaluripet route.
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