Team-BHP > Shifting gears

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Old 28th May 2023, 18:38   #106
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Originally Posted by srvm View Post
Got to know about this heartbreaking news a few days ago from BHPian NPV.

I enjoyed reading suresh's posts particularly his posts on routes that are off-beat. May his soul rest in peace. May his loved ones find strength to overcome the tough and challenging times.

When this Coronavirus situation improves, I'm going to do the Alangayam-Jamunamaruthur-Polur route (that he suggested in one of his last posts) as a tribute to the memory of this fine BHPian.
I had written the above post on 22nd March 2020 (the day of Janata Curfew for Covid-19). Today, after nearly 3-and-half years later, I was able to fulfill the promise I made myself. As a tribute to Suresh, I did the Bangalore-Alangayam-Kavalur-Jamunamarathur-Polur route.

Suresh's penultimate post in TBHP (made in the Bangalore - Thiruvannamalai : Route Queries thread, in Jan-2020). He passed away on 6th Feb 2020 due to blood cancer . This was my motivation to do this circuit.


Had been on a short trip to Polur just to enjoy the drive through the forest. The route is shown below.
The route is simply AMAZING and the roads are BRILLIANT. This is an alternate route to Puducherry.

Route options would be via Hosur, Krishnagiri, Vaniyambadi, Alangayam, Kavalur, Jamunamarathur, Polur, T V Malai and Villupuram or via Hosur, Krishnagiri, Vaniyambadi, Alangayam, Kavalur, Jamunamarathur, Polur, Chetpet, Vandavasi and Tindivanam

The forest route from Alangayam is via KAVALUR AND JAMUNAMARATHUR. I will not say anything rather the roads will speak for themselves.

I did this solo trip today, 28th May 2023. Started from C V Raman Nagar at 5.55am. In true, Toll-free-Suresh legacy, I wanted to bypass some tolls on the way. So, I took HAL Airport Road - Marathahalli - Varthur Kodi - Varthur - Gunjur - Sarjapur - Bagalur - Hosur. This way I bypassed ECity elevated toll and Attibele toll plazas. Since it was early Sunday morning, sparse traffic helped. It was not about skipping toll fee, I wanted to know the latest status of this interior road, since I hadn't been on this route for more than 4 years.

I reached Shri Krishna Inn, Shoolagiri for breakfast at 7.25am. Started after filling up my Zest in the nearby COCO bunk at 8.10am. Crossed Vaniyambadi Toll plaza at 9.10am and got off NH and reached Alangayam at 9.45am.

Vaniyambadi-Alangayam section
Typical TN State highway with big tress on both sides & smooth tarmac

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-vaniyambadialangayam.jpg

My Zest (petrol) surprised me with amazing fuel efficiency (taken near Alangayam)
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-zestfe.jpg

Road narrow down a bit after Alangayam, towards Kavalur
But sparse traffic (but not desolate) makes up for it
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-alangayamkavalur.jpg

Amazing Mayflower trees (Gulmohar) along this route
1km before Kavalur Observatory (Vainu Bappu observatory)
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-nearkavalur.jpg

Reached Vainu Bappu Observatory at 10.10am
This is the entrance. Visitors allowed only on Saturdays. Related details are available online.
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-vainubappu.jpg

Road between Kavalur-Jamunamarathur
Awesome tarmac. 2-lanes at some places. 1.5 lanes at some others.
Mostly 2-wheeler traffic but sparse. Rare to find cars, buses or mini-trucks. Same observations made by suresh_gs in his post well.
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-afterkavalur.jpg

I planted a sapling (Neem) just off the road in memory of BHPian suresh_gs
I had carried necessary tools with me.
suresh_gs was here
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-sapling.jpg

Parked my steed while I got to work with my spade
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-nearsapling.jpg

Road from Jamunamarathur to Polur goes via the Jawadhu Reserve Forest
Roads are again smooth. Narrow (1.5 lanes at some places) but wide in some others. It is not desolate thanks to the occasional 2-wheeler riders.
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu1.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu2.jpg

Continued in next post.....
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Old 28th May 2023, 19:09   #107
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Continued from previous post....

The beautiful Jawadhu RF. It has 5 hairpin bends. Nothing bothersome. Mostly good tarmacs. Only animals I saw were monkeys.
I was pleasantly surprised that even in this hot summer, the forest and hills were green in TN. I was expecting it to be mostly brown. Probably some showers in the recent days/weeks led to this.

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu3.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu4.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu5.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-jawadhu6.jpg

Roads as I neared Polur
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-nearpolur.jpg

After crossing Polur, I took the Polur-Chengam road as I had never been on this road before.

Polur to Chengam
RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-polurchengam1.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-polurchengam2.jpg

RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)-polurchengam3.jpg

After Chengam, I took the usual Chengam - Singarapettai - Uthangarai - Mathur - Krishnagiri - NH - Silk Board route.
This road (NH77) is nearly 99% ready and should be the default route to Thiruvannamalai from Bangalore. Bad sections < 100m long only at 2 places between Chengam and Krishnagiri (one is near Samalpatti railway underpass).

Chengam bypass and Singarapettai bypass are not ready/open yet. Bypasses are ready and opened for Sonarapalli and Mathur.

Few things to note:
1. Suresh suggested this route as an alternative to Thiruvannamalai and Pondicherry. But given the latest status of NH77, this alternative does not make sense. Unless you want to take the road less travelled.

2. It was very hot even inside the forest area. If you go via this route, take enough water and snacks with you. No restaurants or cafe after Vaniyambadi until Polur.

3. I had downloaded offline maps before the trip. And this helped massively. Otherwise no mobile connection in many places along the route.

4. I can speak and read Tamil. Hence, signboards weren't a problem. Only some boards carry English. Else its mostly Tamil. Folks, who don't read Tamil should have offline maps handy.

Massive THANKS and gratitude to suresh_gs for attempting this route and posting about it. Since it was a solo trip, I was frequently wondering how I feel so many emotions about a person I've never met or spoke to. I have just read his posts which had a unique flavour and perspective. He was taken too soon from all of us.

I hope the sapling I planted grows into a tree someday. Something to remember suresh and his off-beat routes.

Last edited by srvm : 28th May 2023 at 19:14.
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Old 29th May 2023, 09:17   #108
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Dear srvm,
Thanks a lot for this post. It is a wonderful gesture. Any bhpian travelling through the same route will feel the presence of Suresh's soul. May his soul rest in peace.

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Old 29th May 2023, 11:42   #109
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Thank you srvm for undertaking this trip as a tribute to Suresh. Lovely gesture.
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Old 29th May 2023, 14:01   #110
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Very nice of you in making the effort to remember and further the memory of Suresh

Originally Posted by srvm View Post
I planted a sapling (Neem) just off the road in memory of BHPian suresh_gs
I had carried necessary tools with me.
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Old 29th May 2023, 14:14   #111
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

What an inspired and beautiful way of paying tribute. Doff my hat!
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Old 30th May 2023, 12:25   #112
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Really sad to hear this unfortunate news. Such a young age to leave this world. May his Soul Rest in Peace. May God give strength and will power to his family.
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Old 2nd June 2023, 17:06   #113
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Re: RIP Team-BHPian Suresh_gs (aka Toll-Free Suresh)

Thank you for the post and a wonderful gesture. I am from Polur and I have taken this route only once from Polur to Bangalore, but I have done many trips from Polur to Jamunamarathur during my college days. I usually take Polur-Pallikonda-Ambur-Krishnagiri route to commute between Bangalore and Polur. Few times I have tried Krishnagiri-Uthangarai-Chengam route it was bad, but thanks for your update I will try this route next time.

Last edited by skpprabhu : 2nd June 2023 at 17:08.
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