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|26th July 2010, 21:39||#46|
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 60 Times
Thanks for the additional useful information. I had forgotten to mention about the ozone beach, glad you have mentioned it.
We went little way up the beach, where I took the sunset pictures and then suddenly the whole place was empty - no people anywhere to be seen. My fear at that point was the tide - I thought it is possible that's why all the people vanished. Glad to know it is safe.
Thanks again for the info Majic!
|26th July 2010, 22:13||#47|
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 60 Times
and now the concluding part of this travelogue.
Day 3 Pondy and return to Bangalore
Monday morning and a leisurely breakfast that we have on the mezzanine.
Pic 3 Du Parc mezzanine
Now, my tyre! The hotel manager gave me exact directions to the bus stand where all the tyre shops are located. Reaching the bus stand, I straightaway found a Bridgestone dealer. Got my new tyre and tube fixed to the front along with the other new tyre.
Now a bit about Hotel Du Parc. We've been coming to Pondy on and off since 1995. (Our first trip was in my M800, and our boys were then 12 and 7. But we've always stayed at the outskirts in a beach resort. Couple of years back I had to come on work and a friend recommended Du Parc. I liked it very much and since then have stayed here as we like this area too. We get plenty of beach in our annual Goa visits.
As I've stayed a couple of times, I get a discount over the published tariff. (If any TBHP member wishes, I can get you the discount).
The hotel website : About Hotel du Parc, Pondicherry, A Heritage Hotel in Pondicherry, South India
I had to decide the return route now. I wanted to avoid the Tiruvanamalai - Krishnagiri part. The hotel manager put me on to their taxi driver. He advised me to stick to the same route I had come by as that was the best. I asked if I could take the ECR to Tambaram and then turn off to Kanchipuram. He said that would be too long and suggested I take the Tindivanam - Kanchipuram route instead. But he still advising TVMalai-Krishnagiri. Prophetic words. Always listen to a professional! I decided to take Tindivanam - Kanchipuram.
We left Pondy just after 12 noon and at an easy pace reached Tindivanam. I had wanted to reach Bangalore by afternoon for work reasons, but that problem had been resolved over phone in the morning and now there was no hurry.
Turned on to NH45 and headed towads Chennai. Shortly afterwards saw a restaurant and an IndianOil bunk and filled up gas. Place name Melpettai. (BTW, on the onward journey I had filled up in Chidambaram).
The restaurant was next door and had the usual meals. Good clean place, good food. Best part they have a mini forest in their compound. It was a hot day.
Pic 4 Melpettai - Ikon gets aired out in the hotel compound
Pic 5 Melpettai 1 - Mini forest in the hotel compound
I gave the wheel to my wife as the road was good so she could enjoy the drive. NH45 is very good, not much traffic.
Pic 6 NH 45
Pic 7 NH 45-1
This a typically good highway, and again typically, has to be spoiled by someone. Here this is spoiled by sand lorries dripping sand over the road and on anyone unfortunate enough to be behind. We were by the side of a dried up river bed and I presume this sand was being taken from this river bed. This may seem like a petty crib, but it isn't - these materials (sand, jelly, etc) on the road surface cause deterioration of the road surface. Moreover, sand, as every biker will confirm, can lead to skidding and losing control of the vehicle.
Pic 8 NH45-2 - Dry River bed
At the Kanchipuram turn off we left the NH and came down. But hardly anyone was about to ask for directions, and the person I asked was apparently an outsider himself and didn't know the way so we came back onto the NH and soon after came to a toll gate. At the toll gate, after paying, I asked the directions to Kanchipuram.
The toll supervisor was very helpful and told me that I had overshot the turning. It was in fact the very same road we gone down just few minutes ago. He told me to make a U turn and come back through the toll gate the other side which I did.
He let me through, gave me final instructions and then to my surprise, apologised for collecting the toll! He said if I had asked first before paying he would have let me through for the U turn without paying.
Nice of him, I was impressed by the politeness.
At the toll when I made the U turn I saw this car and quickly grabbed the camera.
Pic 9 Figo testing
On to Kanchipuram road now without hesitation. This is a SH, I think SH58. Decent road, happily devoid of the usual maniacal private bus drivers!
Easy to maintan steady 80 kph here. Chenglepet, Walajabad, and then Kanchipuram. Till here the toll supervisor had given correct advice, at this point I was to ask my way to Vellore.
In Kanchipuram and I now remembered something quite strange. The day we had left, Saturday, my wife had very casually told me "one day you must drive me to Kanchipuram to buy sarees". And now here we were two days later, without planning it earlier. So I asked if she'd like to buy some sarees but she said no, I hardly wear Conjeevaram sarees. I was quite willing to halt and pay for the sarees, but no, she just said, No. Maybe she'd had her fill of shopping in Pondy.
Now in Kanchipuram at a major junction we took a wrong turn. We asked the Inspector standing there and he gave us correct directions. Now how to turn back? We were on the wrong side of the road and it was a busy junction. No problem, my Inspector friend allowed me to make an illegal turn and take the right road! He gave me VIP treatment. I gave him a very sincere salute in return.
Soon we reached the NH Chennai - Bangalore. After this was a lousy drive through all the half a dozen towns; Vellore, Ambur, etc. School leaving time and plenty of children, school buses, and people crossing everywhere. This is supposed to be a toll NH. This is crazy, it is so dangerous.
In dozens of places, the locals have made gaps in the median railing and cross wherever they need to. The bent, mangled, or broken railings are clearly visible. Where there is a stone bordered median with shrubs, the stones have been dug out here and there and vehicles cross there. At one such place, I drove carefully past a bike and a bullock cart waiting to cross.
I don't blame the people, this is bad planning by NHAI. The road cuts through the center of busy towns, they should have bye-passed these towns or built underpasses.
I kept my speed at 80 kph and this was to prove my saviour. Some time later, from one of the shrubbed medians, a schoolboy shot out on a cycle and came across the highway! He was not visible before coming out as the shrubs had hidden him. I horned and braked and swerved and this young chap (who had by now reached the centre lane) now heard and saw me. Now he did an "about turn" right in the middle of the NH and went right back to the gap!
Had I been going fast, there would have been a tragedy. Thank God I was at 80 and was easily able to avoid him. I did not dare go any faster than 80 till we were clear of all these towns. Moreover I now kept to the centre lane and avoided the right lane.
As I said before, this is a toll NH. This is not acceptable, it is so dangerous.
Once clear of all these busy towns, it was fine.
Somewhere here I came up behind a Santro. I was behind him for some time and noticed he was driving very well. Steady at 100, giving the proper signals, etc. I stayed behind at a safe distance just observing. Even my wife suddenly remarked, "he's driving well, isn't he?" It's nice to come across someone who drives well. He must have been observing me in his mirrors too, because after some minutes, he pulled to the left lane and gave me way.
This particular section was really good and there are some good sweeping curves here perfect for the Ikon. I enjoyed myself keeping the Ikon at a constant 120 kph on the curves, what a beauty she is!
We came to A2B after Krishnagiri and had an early dinner. Pongal vada for me, my favourite.
My wife took over and I thoroughly cleaned the windshield with Bisleri and newspaper.
Back on the road, and soon I wished I hadn't given her the wheel. It was dark now and she had to drive against the lights. Moreover we soon reached Hosur and as all who use this road know, it's chaos with trucks all over the place trying to keep their respective momentum.
Added to this, it began to rain and visibility was reduced with the glare of oncoming lights making matters worse. Luckily I had cleaned the glass.
Once at Attibele matters improved vastly and it was a decent run to the BETL. As I remarked in part 1, this is the first time I'm using this stretch since the BETL was launched and we managed to miss the turn off by just a couple of feet. But no way we wanted to attempt reversing the two feet distance that would get us on the BETL. So down the road and a painful drive to Koramangala. Hope the flyovers at HSR and Sarjapur are completed soon.
We reached home at 2140, 9.5 hours from Pondy. Pondy Bangalore via this round about route was 441 kms, same as our onward Bangalore - Tranquebar trip. Not worth it at all, especially as the towns on the NH were so dangerous. The only pleasure was seeing the NH45 for the first time and the pleasure of driving on the SH58 and seeing new places - Chenglepet, Walajabad, and Kanchipuram.
If we had returned by TVMalai - Krishnagiri, we'd have had only that section to be careful and it would have been a better drive and much quicker, at least 2 hours and 100 kms less.
That was what the taxi driver in Pondy was telling me and I should have heeded his advice. Anyway, we got to see some new places, so no regrets, but a lesson learned.
Another wonderful trip to add to our memories. Now that I have my new Fiesta S, I am keen to get many more weekenders!
Thanks to all for being with me on my travel, and the encouragement you have given.
|27th July 2010, 11:51||#48|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
Damu, that was one good travelogue...i enjoyed every moment of it, i hope you had taken a walk in the beach in the morning. I go there every day in the morning....you can spot dolphins, two of them jumping in the morning. i have heard from the local fishermen that they are very friendly and that they keep nudging the boats, they are seen there only in the mornings...i am mentioning about the tranquebar beach, i forgot Pondi has its share of beaches
|27th July 2010, 16:30||#49|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 79 Times
@Damu, just back from Pondicherry yesterday. And I would say taking NH46 is not a bad decision at all. Most (if not all) of the NH66 has potholes/broken tarmacs. And it was really painful manuevoring them, and it becomes doubly so after sundown with the vehicles with their lights on coming from opposite in an undivided highway. I wish I had taken your route. From Pondicherry to Krishnagiri it took me 5 hours with altogether a break of half hour.
Thanks for your suggestion on Du Parc; but when I called, they were full - may be I should have tried through you. Our Hotel experience (Hotel MASS) in Pondicherry was very ordinary - and that was the low point in our entire trip.
|28th July 2010, 09:00||#50|
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 60 Times
I did not know about the dolphins. Usually I talk to fishermen if I get a chance but this time it was too short. I would have loved to see the dolphins!
Thanks for this info, it will be of use to all planning a visit there.
For those so inclined, it is worth clubbing the return via Kanchipuram by including a Conjeevaram saree purchase stop!
|9th August 2010, 00:23||#51|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2008
Thanked: 7,799 Times
|26th December 2014, 20:13||#52|
Join Date: Dec 2014
Thanked: 5 Times
Re: Bangalore Tranquebar - Weekend getaway.
Is this the right route for the destination "Tranquebar"...?
|26th December 2014, 22:10||#53|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thanked: 8,607 Times
Re: Bangalore Tranquebar - Weekend getaway.
To add detail to the last section:
Salem-Attur-V Koot Road - Veppur - Virudhachalam - Sethiyarthope - Sirkazhi - Tranquebaar
- Exit the Salem-Ulundurpet 4-lane at V Koot Road and take the road to Veppur.
- Here you cut the GST (NH45)
- Route Link
|The following BHPian Thanks ampere for this useful post:|
|8th January 2015, 01:37||#54|
Join Date: Dec 2014
Thanked: 5 Times
Re: Bangalore Tranquebar - Weekend getaway.
Thanks Ampere...I felt honoured to get your reply on my query...!
Had been planning for a road trip since long, from the day my Woodland Brown Dusty came to my home. But, due to one or the other reason were not able to take her for a long drive. Max going to Mysore and back. But, having annual leaves in my hand and inspired by Damu's travelogue, I sold the idea to my family, and surprisingly Wifey & Momma agreed without nagging
Though Damu has covered the chapter pretty well, would like to add-on a few pics(mostly taken by iPhone and Digicam) and anecdotes...being my first Travelogue.
Since it was a last minute plan, all the places to stay were pre-booked(wifey sticks to the Trip Advisor ratings for the stay). Finally after multiple calls to many such "starred" places we luckily got one nighter at The Gate House in Tranquebar and two nighter at Le Maison Tamoule at Pondicerry(both Neemrana’s heritage properties).
As mentioned on google maps, and dittoed by Ampere, we decided to take the route: Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem-Chidambaram-Sirkazhi-Tranquebar.
We started dot at 5:30am on 27th of Dec 2014, from our residence in Hennur, Bangalore, and with a breeze were able to snap past the city limits and were speeding on NH7. The weather was cloudy throughout till we reached Krishnagiri, and stopped for refreshments at Sarvana Bhawan at around 7:30am, and left within 30 minutes.
Driving through, till Salem was good and with elan and ease for my Dusty, keeping the needle on triple digits. But, after crossing Salem (close to 150 kms stretch till Tranquebar), road wasn't that good and to an extent from Sirkazhi to Tranquebar as well. Infact there were lot of 5 to 6 inches deep craters on the road, and careful driving was required, as rain had also started drizzling after crossing Salem and started pouring after crossing Attur. This is where our google maps, and Dusty Navi started giving different routes on the maps(which they always do). We might have been little bit waylaid here, but, I assume all was well since we reached Sirkazhi around 1:35pm. Just before Sirkazhi we took a 5-10 minutes bio-break at Aaharam, a road-side hotel. Drive from Sirkazhi to Tranquebar was painful, as it was a narrow road, thick traffic and due to many buses on this single lane and on top of that bad road with every now and then deep pot holes, overtaking big vehicles was a difficult for many, resulting in a very slow and irritating drive.
We finally reached Tranquebar, bang on Neemrana's The Bungalow on the Beach, where we got directions for The Gate House. We were in our rooms by 2:45pm.
Darasuram, was a big-big room with antique furniture and a fantastic balcony, with old charm and feeling. Took a quick shower and within couple of minutes were ready to go the restaurant, which was at The Bungalow on the Beach(Gate House doesn't have its own kitchen). We were greeted with over-friendly staff at the restaurant. Person at the reception ruled out any eatable rather than a few snacks available at that time, but, the kitchen guy Dina(a superb guy, going out of the way to serve), said we can order anything on the menu. Since lunch time was already over and we too, didn't want to indulge into something heavy, asked him to get Onion Pakoda and Chicken 65, with Coffee. Though the food was tasty, amount was a bit less, but, no complains keeping in mind the scrumptious food!
We went to look around since it was hardly 4:15pm or so. We first went to see the ancient temple, which got damaged during Tsunami, and took a little stroll on the beach. It was still drizzling little bit, and sea was rough, so we decided to cut it short and straight away moved towards the old Danish Fort cum Museum.(In the entire the trip sea was rough and hardly saw any fishing boat even in Pondicherry, due to some cyclone). Meanwhile my daughter who has just turned three demanded to sit on a horse(there were a couple of them). She selected a baby horse ride(the smaller ones are babies for her) for 5 minutes and suddenly changed her mind to walk instead
The fort is a good place and museum even better with lot of good stuff from that period of Danish. But, had it been maintained, could have been a very good heritage spot. Things are lying in dilapidated condition...good maintenance is utterly required!
We headed back to our room Darasuram at The Gate House as all of us wanted to take some rest. Here we explored little more. Ground floor had a small swing in the "aangan" I believe in typical Tamil style, with antique furniture, and an adequate swimming pool beside that(which we didn't want to jump into, due to little bit of cool breeze may be because of rainfall). Darasuram was on 1st floor, and it also had a sit-out and amazing antique furniture. For dinner we again went back to the restaurant(on Dusty, as it was raining). Had a local mutton cuisine, and parotha. Food again was good, and service equally good. Dina was attending us with the same infectious smile. Each time I saw him I could recall “Atithi Devo Bhava”..!
Next morning we checked out after having a continental buffet breakfast at the restaurant, around 10:30am. Dina packed us some fruits and toast for my daughter.
Route taken as per google maps: Tranquebar-Sirkazhi-Chidambaram-Cuddalore-Pondicherry. We reached around 1pm at our destination Neemrana's Le Maison Tamoule in Vaishali Street, very close to French Town. We straight away went to our suite Blue Sapphire. Decent room on the 2nd floor and immediate access to the terrace(good for smokers). Though immediately coming from the grand Darasuram, it didn't appeal that much. After freshening up, we headed to for their in-house restaurant Salle Manger, and ordered their delicacies Chicken Vindaloo, and Aloo Akbari. Food was okay types, not like Tranquebar's. It was still drizzling so we decide to take an auto and look around the narrow lanes of the city. We went to see the Ashram, then Manakula Vinayagar Temple, and then Gandhi beach and back to our room. In the dinner we went for the chef's special something...chicken breast in pesto sauce(was super yum).
Next morning still rain was pouring in, so we decided to stay indoors. Luckily it stopped little later, so we decided to take umbrellas and take a stroll in the nearby market, where after so many ifs n buts and juggling to different shops wifey finally bought some papier-mâché souvenir for home. By the time it again started drizzling so we caught an auto for the French Colony, and visited Celine’s Kitchen for the lunch. Ambience and food were equally good. Rain had stopped for a while, we took a walk around the lanes of the “French” colony. Building had typical architecture and overall gave a different feel…a good one. While strolling we found a place called Le Club, where we decided to come back in the evening. We all liked the colony very much.
All of us went back to Le Maison, as Momma and Kiddo needed rest. But after having evening tea we decided to go to the beach again. After inquiring at the hotel reception(for sandy beach) we were on way to Serenity Beach(though we were warned of the rough sea and safety concerns after dark). (Wifey was adamant not to lose a chance to go on the sandy beach, as we were supposed to check-out next morning). Beach didn’t appeal us much, and waves were too high, though some swashbucklers were braving the waves. We enjoyed for around half an hour and went back to hotel, on way touching the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where one marriage ceremony was going on.
At night as planned me and wifey headed for the Le Club, in French Colony, and enjoyed some authentic food and beverages there. In totality the ambience, cool breeze, drizzling in between, created a very nice atmosphere. We enjoyed the evening thoroughly.
Morning we checked-out sharp at 10:30am, and took the route as per google maps: Pondi-Tindivanam-Vandavasi-Cheyyar-Arcot-Vellore-Ambur-Krishnagiri-Hosur-Bangalore.
The road till Arcot were mostly single lane and mostly in average to good conditions. But Vellore onwards had kept Dusty mostly on three digits speed. Dusty 85bhp has just adequate powers on highway, that said, it doesn’t mean it struggles, it never ran out of steam(I pulled till 140-145 km/hr), but, after 130-140 it starts getting too noisy, and you feel its trying hard. I assume 110bhp would not be having similar feeling while pulling her on the highway in similar fashions(folks do you think, there is a way to overcome this in 85 bhp, by adding gadgets/enhancements…???).
Till Hosur the drive was super cool, but once reaching Hosur, we had to brave a thick traffic and we finally reached Bangalore at around 5pm(my parking). And I forgot to mention we took a small break just after Arcot in a road side hotel.
Note: Am unable to arrange the pics...can someone guide me how to...?
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