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Old 11th August 2010, 20:46   #1
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Default The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping

I did this trip some time back, almost a month back and was in 2 minds on posting a Travelogue here and finally decided to. So, my first Travelogue here

This trip took some time in coming. My mom wanted to go to this Navagraha temple and was asking to book the train tickets. I wanted to take the car and it took quite some time to convince them. But, finally I won them over. :-). We also planned to visit a few more temples nearby as we were going all the way.

The Plan was to goto Kumbakonam and have it as the base and then also visit Thanjavur. I was not going to miss Thanjavur going so close. Been wanting to visit that temple for so long.

So, I went with HVK's suggestion and took the Bangalore - Thiruvannamalai - Thirukovilur - Panrutti - Kumbakonam route.

Started from Bangalore only by 6:30AM after planning for a 5:30AM start. Weather was great and we soon found ourself at A2B just after Shoolagiri. Driving was very sedate with the speedo rarely touching even 90kph.

Pics on this route :

The Hole in the Wall - Infosys taken from Elevated Highway

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p1010001.jpg

NH7 between Hosur and Shoolagiri before A2B.
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p1010004.jpg

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p1010005.jpg

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p1010008.jpg
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Old 12th August 2010, 13:49   #2
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Good going Raj,

The teaser pics are good. Waiting for more.
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Old 12th August 2010, 14:02   #3
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Good start. Even I wanted to take that route, more from a Tranquebar point of view. Now I have a good pointer! Waiting for more.
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Old 12th August 2010, 20:09   #4
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@Ampere. You should have Kumbakonam as your base. The 9 graha temples are all around it.
KRRaj. We are waiting dude. Please continue with the story before the 9 grahas change houses.
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Old 12th August 2010, 21:27   #5
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I like the tricolour in the last snap! Please continue with the TL.
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Old 12th August 2010, 22:17   #6
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After a leisurely breakfast, coming out, we saw a black Innova parked right next to us with the LTD sticker. This intelligent driver will make an appearance later.

Coming out of A2B, we saw these windmills wings. They are so huge and each required one trailer truck.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p1010009.jpg

Snaps of my favourite road between Shoolagiri and Krishnagiri.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230011.jpg
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230012.jpg

We soon took the turn to Thiruvannamalai from Krishnagiri. From a nice 4 lane road, we entered a 2 lane road. When entering the road, it feels all nice and smooth road. But soon enough, we start hitting the potholes. The road all the way to Thiruvannamalai is patchy and pothole ridden, but smooth in patches. But the way is very beautiful though.

A sample pothole.. Check the middle of the road
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230014.jpg

Some Scenic Snaps from this route...

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230015.jpg
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230017.jpg
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230019.jpg
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Old 12th August 2010, 22:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
KRRaj. We are waiting dude. Please continue with the story before the 9 grahas change houses.
Bit busy with work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
I like the tricolour in the last snap! Please continue with the TL.
That Tricolour has been with us from the old car for 3 years now
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Old 12th August 2010, 23:43   #8
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@KRR I mean to go to Tranquebar. From Panruti I will drive to Chindambaram.
via Neyveli.


And the snap of the wings at A2B; Even I have seen it many a times near that area.
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Old 13th August 2010, 10:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
@KRR I mean to go to Tranquebar. From Panruti I will drive to Chindambaram.
via Neyveli.


And the snap of the wings at A2B; Even I have seen it many a times near that area.
Once you cross Thiruvannamalai, the roads are good. I will update the leg towards Kumbakonam by today.
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Old 13th August 2010, 13:26   #10
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WOW.. I wanted to do this few years ago but still today Navagraha Temples is in pending list.

Waiting for photos and more details about the trip.
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Old 13th August 2010, 13:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
WOW.. I wanted to do this few years ago but still today Navagraha Temples is in pending list.

Waiting for photos and more details about the trip.
Sorry OT.

Not just that is in your pending list. Your travelogue is also in pending list.
Are you going to roll it out or should I let Khoj loose on your back?

We are also waiting for photos and details about your trip
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Old 13th August 2010, 14:47   #12
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Great start to your first travelogue, my friend! Nice pics too! Do continue your story!
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Old 13th August 2010, 19:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Great start to your first travelogue, my friend! Nice pics too! Do continue your story!
KRRaj. Same as C_L said above . Keep the story coming. Liked pics of two-lane highway with greenery on both sides, lovely.
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Old 13th August 2010, 20:57   #14
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Thanks C_L and LDL. :-)

Just to note - This was not a Navagraha circuit. My mom wanted to visit the Rahu sthala and planned on a train journey. I wanted to drive down and soon added a few more temples to and thus this journey was planned.

So continuing from where we left;

Crossing that hill posted last post, we approached a slow moving auto. At the same I spied the Black Innova with the LTD sticker spotted earlier catching us very fast. Just as my bro who was at the wheel had a peep to see if he can pass, the Innova did not even slow down and moved to take the place. My bro hardly even moved much from the left lane and the Innova wanted to jump in. My bro just managed to come back as some vehicle was coming in opposite direction, else we would have been in some trouble. Stupid Driving by the LTD Innova. . He quickly passed us at the next chance. The sticker on my car's bumper probably got him to drive like that.

The Offender
The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230020.jpg

Anyway, we quickly forgot it and came across a large water body on our left. There was plenty of water and later checking the maps, think it was the Pambar Dam.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230022.jpg

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230023.jpg

Poor Cows on the way to becoming beef.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230025.jpg
A green hill just before Thiruvannamalai.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7230026.jpg
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Old 13th August 2010, 21:50   #15
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We entered Thiruvannamalai town at 10:20 AM, exactly 4 hours after we started. 200 odd KMs. Not bad considering we were not exactly speeding.

I took the wheel from here so no snaps from here onwards. :-(.

The Road inside the town is non-existent. Lots of work going on and its all muddy. No Boards anywhere, so we asked around and soon finally found ourselves on the Thirukovilur route. Ah! Paradise as soon as I saw the road. Super Smooth black tarmac was staring right back at me. Finally my right foot had some work to do and I easily maintained 120 at this stretch. Those who have been on the Hassan - Belur stretch would know.. This road is as good as that. Hardly any traffic.

Soon, we passed Thirukovilur and were on the way to Panrutti. Mixed road, patchy in parts and the sudden pothole, but definitely good enough for decent speeds. It is one straight route to Panrutti. You get milestones all the way, but no signboards anywhere. You pass NH45 on the way, it is the one major road you encounter, it goes as an overhead bridge. Soon, we reach Panrutti. The last 2 kms or so is on very narrow roads, like we are driving within a market. This road ends on NH45C which is the Chennai - Kumbakonam road. Take right here and again a 2 lane road all the way to Kumbakonam. Good Road with the occasional bump.

We stopped for Lunch at Hotel Archana which comes on the NH itself just before the Neyveli Township entrance. Looks good but Food is so-so and we stopped there as we were all hungry. We reached Kumbakonam at 3:20PM exactly 9 hours after we started.

The Roads are good throughout except the stretch between Krishnagiri and Thiruvannamalai. A feature of the roads are the lack of signboards. You get them after intersections, but never before. The roads are completely deviod of traffic especially after Thiruvannamali till Panrutti other than the odd 2 wheeler.

We checked in Hotel ARK International, booked in advance. The only hotel available, all booked. No Restaurant, but nearby there is a good hotel to eat. Car parking is in front for 2-3 vehicles and behind a very narrow one. Can stay if you dont find accomodation elsewhere. Good Service and no rude behaviour. 3/5 rating.
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Coming up next, the temple circuit.
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