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Old 5th August 2022, 13:36   #1
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Default Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Disclaimer: This travelogue was written for the sole purpose of informing about routes/food/accommodation and any other information in purely coincidental. Photos were taken using Samsung Galaxy M11/M12 so the quality may not be HD level.

The title “Roads less Travelled “is due to the routes taken for this trip. It has 3 roads for which no information is available anywhere (as far as I searched ).

1. On the way to Tirupati: Uththukkottai to Kalahasthi.
2. Tirupati to Srisailam : Via Rajampet, Badvel, Cumbum, and Dornala
3. Return from Srisailam: Srisailam to Ongole

Prologue:

I am a retired (Voluntarily) PSU Executive and my wife is employed in Central Govt in Pondicherry. Until 2019 March both were employed in Chennai and after her transfer to Pondicherry, I was alone (Only Son done IITM and MS in Princeton and employed in NYC.) in Chennai. Then Covid pandemic struck in March 2020 and we could not see each other as all the modes of transportation were stopped. I realised this may continue forever and decided to take VR (instead of resignation)as I don’t have any other commitments and moved to Pondicherry. Nowadays wife is fully religious and I am acting as driver (apart from working as house husband). Since I don’t have any faith in any rituals or prayers, I don’t normally go into the temples except in case there is no other option.

The Plan:

In June my SIL( wife’s elder sister) from Bengaluru suddenly announced the plan to join in Vishnu Sahasaranamam chanting group in Tirumala and my wife immediately jumped in and SIL herself booked tickets for 5 PM slot on 1.8.2022 (only for wife). Since the plan includes other temple visits also, car is must and I have to go. I need to drop her with the group before climbing and pick her down again. In between only rest for me. Then suddenly wife enquired about Srisailam. I heard the name only and not seen anybody visiting that shrine in my circle so far. From GMaps found out that it is 360 odd Kms from Tirupati and confirmed her that it is doable by car. (But never thought she would plan for that also)

Booking:

Tirupati: Since Tirupati ticket is already booked, we had to look for accommodation. They initially planned to walk from Tirupati to Tirumala and so we need to be in Tirupati from 31st July afternoon itself. Also, the plan was to visit other nearby temples on 2nd August after finishing Tirumala. So we needed accommodation from 31st July to Aug 3rd morning. Since wife is Central Govt employee, We booked through eSampada site (needed to register first, booked rooms with ID card and then got the admin of wife’s office to endorse the printout). The charges are only 180/- per day for A/C room with hot water and TV. Though the site informed vacancies on all 3 days, but refused for 3 continuous days. Then we tried to book 1st and 2nd Aug and it went through. On 31st seperate booking was done. Only the room was different now.

Srisailam: Ten days before the actual journey, the plan had taken into shape. Bengaluru group was coming by Innova and planned to go up by 31st evening only. So we would have more time to check other temples by 31st itself, decided to goto Kalahasthi directly ( Anyway the direct Pondicherry – Tirupati route was not good from Kanchi to Tiruttani). Finally decided to go to Srisailam on 2nd itself and booked accommodation at Hotel Haritha (AP tourism) Non-AC for Rs 900/-. (There are other options from the Devasthanam management but they are not cancellable.). For temple visit there are 3 types of booking (Seegra (quick Rs 150/-), AdhiSeegra (very quick- 300/-) and then VIP Break (Rs 500/-) other than free one. We booked 2 tickets of Rs 150/- at 8.00 pm slot (as wife wanted me to come with her being the first time in unknown place). Also she wanted to visit the temple again in the morning before leaving, so booked one more Rs 150/- for 6 AM slot for her only. Then suddenly she wanted information about Sparsa Darshanam in VIP ticket (allowed to touch the Jyotilingam). VIP slot is only at 7 AM, 12.30 PM and 9 PM. (in these slots other types of entries not allowed). So we booked for 9 PM slot on 2nd Aug for both. (Now we have for both: 8 PM Seegra and 9 PM VIP and for wife only: next day 6 AM Seegra).

The car:

Our car is Spresso VXi+ purchased in March 2022 with odo only 3000 Km. I always keep the tank full and in 2 months not checked the tire pressure. So previous night filled air in all 5 tires using my foot pump (meter calibration already done for accuracy). Both Pump and puncture kit were kept in the car.

Individual bottles were filled with RO water (around 7 litres) and 5 litre Water jar also was purchased and kept in the car (finally never used and brought back as without opening). Original car papers and DL was taken (though Govt allows Digi locker but who knows). Car was cleaned, All the glass areas are washed and dried (I don’t wash metal areas normally only cleaning as the water is the enemy of the gum used to fix accessories).

Actual Journey:

On 31st July:

(Pondicherry to Kalahasthi to Tirupati)
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-00route1.jpg

We started around 5.30 AM. from Pondicherry (I reset both tripmeters. A for total journey and B for between fuel refills). The route taken was Pondicherry>Tindivanam>Chengalpet>Singaperumalkoil >Oragadam>Thiruperumputhur>Thiruvallur>Uththukotta i>Kalahasthi. Early morning drive was breezy that too on Sunday. Upto Thiruperumputhur the road was wide and divided. Though from here 2 lane road starts but the road condition was good and without any pot holes. Had breakfast at Hotel Akshaya Bhavan at Thiruvallur and the food, parking & toilets were good. Filled up fuel again at Uththukkottai (last town before AP border crossing) due to price difference. Turned into Puttur road and after Nagalapuram turned right for Kalahasthi (Initially the road was small for few Kms and turned big for major part). This road is slightly lower in quality (irritating bumpers of course) compared to Thiruvallur road but easily manageable. Reached Kalahasthi temple around 11 AM after travelling 250 Kms. Since we were in hurry, contacted some agent type of person through security who took us inside (it seems there are 200/- and 500/- tickets available) and the whole visit was over within 30 minutes. Area around the temple was in shambles and the parking (paid) was not maintained properly. We made the mistake of leaving our slippers inside the car but the small distance from the temple entry (where we could have left these slippers) to car barefoot was like hell. Even though cell phone counter is available, not checked strictly.

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-01kalahasthi-road.jpg
Kalahasthi Road

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-02kalahasthi-temple.jpg
Kalahasthi Gopuram

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-03kalahasthi-parking.jpg
Parking Area with Swarnamukhi River nearby

(for temple information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srikalahasti )

Around 12 PM started for Thiruchanur (or Alamelumangapuram) and reached the Padmavathy (Alamelumanga) temple (read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padmavathi_Temple) at around 1 PM. Here wife took 100/- ticket and went inside the waiting hall which was full of people. She returned after one hr and by which time we heard the Bengaluru group started visiting temples and on the way to Thiruchanur. Now the waiting hall was almost empty. We decided not to wait for them and took lunch at Hotel Saravana Bhavan (not “THE Saravana Bhavan”) and the food was so chilli hot (as expected in AP) went directly to Tirupati and checked in at Holiday Homes at around 4 PM.

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-04holiday-homes.jpg

Towel/soap etc., were not provided but the canteen was available in the building.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-05room.jpg

At around 5 PM I went to the Alipiri entrance and handed over my wife to the Bengaluru group. Plenty of parking space available before the scanning booths.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-08alipiri-entrance.jpg

Entrance to Climbing up Road
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-09alipiri-scanning.jpg

Scanning Booths where plenty of parking space available. Then onwards I was all alone. As I had developed an ear infection the previous day night, I was in dull mood but fortunately I had eye drops which can be used for ear infections (but ear drops should not be used for eye infections) and also due to driving tiredness, I slept immediately but woke up for only dinner (already ordered).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-07food-price.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-06dinner.jpg

Dinner was typical South North mix and good quality also (unlimited).

1st August:
Overnight slept like hell and woke up around 7 30 am. Breakfast was stuffed parotta with curd which tasted good. As I needed to change the rooms (remember I booked in 2 lots), enquired about the procedure. First guy said that I need to checkout at 9 AM compulsorily and check in to next Room would be at 11 AM and need to pass 2 hrs in between in the hall. Then I had an idea about picking up wife in the evening. I could go for a walk to Alipiri entrance to check whether parking is available in the exit side. By the time when I brought the luggage down the new guy in reception told me to keep the luggage in new room (as the room was already vacant only cleaning is pending). So, I kept the luggage in new room, handed over the key (luggage had only dress) and went for the walk ( about 2 kms).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-10alipiri-exit.jpg

In Alipiri exit I found there was no parking space and need to park in the entrance side only. Then returned back occupied the new room and had lunch (similar to dinner) and slept again. Around 4 PM I had a call from wife who said their job at Tirumala was over and they are about to come down. It seems that they went in at 11.30 AM instead of 5 PM (as per ticket) and were allowed without seeing the time slot.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-11tirumala1.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-12tirumala2.jpg
pictures from tirumalai

It was blessing in disguise as 5 PM slot means they would be coming down in night at what time who knows which will make difficult for me to pick wife. Now happily went to Alipiri entrance, parked and waited some time at the exit gate, picked her and returned by 6 PM. (It seems they had rooms booked in Tirumala where they stayed, took food in annadhaanam hall (dinner and breakfast), joined the chanting from morning. Somebody in the group suggested to try to enter at 11.30 instead of 5 PM which was successful. But due the hot nature of the food, took lunch in a hotel in Tirumala). Took dinner and informed the reception that we would be vacating next day (2nd Aug instead of 3rd Aug) and settled all the food bills (they charge Rs 40/- as compulsory laundry for changed bedsheets etc.,). Filled up the water bottles before went for sleep.

2nd August:
( Tirupati to Srisailam)

Started around 5.30 AM towards Srisailam which is about 360 Km from Tirupati. Srisailam visits are infrequent in this site or anywhere in internet or YouTube and those too from Hyd or Bengaluru. Not one information from Chennai or South anywhere in recent times. It is understandable because Srisailam is located in Nallamalai Forest and Tiger reserve among hills near Krishna River. Only some crazy people like us might be thinking of going there from here. When I searched for the route from Tirupati, GMaps showed the shortest was Via Rajampet, Badvel, Cumbum, Markapur Junction and Dornala.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-13a-route2.jpg

The information regarding the road conditions was virtually NIL. This topic creation (instead of simple post) is to share the information so that if anybody searches for this route immediately information should be available. (The title also is named “road less travelled” mainly due to this route).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-13kadaparoad.jpg

Initial 100 Kms is through Tirupati Kadapa Road which was good (3 digits may not be possible but 90 km/h is possible). But it crosses all the small towns so one should be careful inside towns. The scenery was good as the road went through some forest like areas also. On the way I refilled fuel and turned right after Vontimitta. Crossed Penna (called Vada(north) Pennai in Tamil as there is one more Then( south)Pennai river in TamilNādu) river and then crossed a forest area and reached Badvel. My wife has a habit of going to a temple (other than the usual temple visits on Fridays, Tuesdays, Sundays, Pradhoshams etc.,) on my son’s birth star every month. This month it fell on 2nd August and searched for a temple in Badvel inside the town, found Vasavai Kanya Parameshwari temple, finished the visit and we returned to our main purpose of going to Srisailam.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-14badvel1.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-15badvel2.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-16badvel3.jpg

We crossed Porumamilla and from Potipalli, road became wider and more smoother (can reach 3 digit speed) which was tolled road up to Markapur Junction.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-17padilla-toll.jpg

Here took left turn under the bridge towards Dornala where the right turn takes to Srisailam.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-18dornala.jpg

Filled up again in Dornala (though pumps are available in Srisailam) and reached Srisailam at around 1 PM. Entry in Dornala ghat road fees collected and then inside Nallamala forest again collected. Overall, from Tirupati to Dornala the road condition was good to super good. Moreover, the surrounding scenery was keeping company enough to make the drive not boring. Most importantly the road went through many villages and towns but bumpers are very much limited. (Indications are there those bumpers were removed). Ghat section was beautiful itself. Road was very smooth and speed limit of 30 Km/h is impossible to maintain. Probably that why many bumpers are constructed. Has some climbs and some flat surface and some down slopes.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-19ghat-road1.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-20ghatroad1.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-21ghatroad2.jpg

Checked in at Hotel Haritha (Rs 500/- collected as deposit which was refunded) and immediately went to Canteen to finish lunch( as we skipped breakfast). For Rs 125/- food was good (buffet system and unlimited typical AP Chili Hot but fortunately curd rice is available with lunch and dinner). Room was ok (typical government hotel setup) for a night stay. Hot water available 24 Hrs (it was super-hot , burnt my skin).

PatalaGanga:

Though I was tired after long drive, wife was not. She wanted to visit Ropeway immediately. Originally, she wanted to go down in car which I refused. (Good thing we decided against it. The roads were horrible).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-22ropewayroad.jpg

I also needed a walk (I used to walk daily 5 kms in Pondicherry) so decided to walk to Ropeway point (let the car rest for tomorrow’s long journey). It was about 1.5 Km and there was no crowd in ticket counter (Rs 65/- per person). Rope cars ( 4 ) arrived and immediately were on the way to Patala Ganga on Krishna River. At the end after a few meters there is a location with steps where one can reach the water and get immersed. Wife wanted Krishna water in every place of our bodies. The name Ganga is very much suitable for this place as the water looked as dirty as original Ganga (Theists excuse) but due to her compulsion, I also immersed myself completely. Maybe this was not liked by Gods as it started to pour like anything for next one hr. We already were wet and tried dry clothes but they also became wet immediately. We decided to reach the Ropeway down station but went in different way by mistake (other than through rope car, one can use some 600 odd steps directly to come down) and climbed some 50 steps against pouring rain which brought all water from Srisailam town to that place. Then realised about wrong direction, retraced out steps and went to Ropeway station. Good thing they were operating in rain also. As we waited for cars to arrive, looked around the breathtaking view offered by the River and the dam and backwaters.
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-23krishna.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-24-krishna2.jpg

Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-25ropecars.jpg

As the rope car was open in all directions, got soaked in more rainwater during climbing. Soon reached the upper starting point and waited for the rains to stop. But seeing it is not going to happen anytime soon, came out and found an Auto driver who dropped us in the hotel for 100/-. (On the way purchased umbrellas also).

BhramarAmba Mallikarjuna Jyotilingam temple:

After reaching Hotel, wife did not stay for long as the rains stopped. She wanted to explore the inside of the temple before 9 PM VIP break ticket for the main entry. She left at 6 PM. We have Life360 app. in our phones and good thing the network was good in Srisailam. It seems she went in free entry route as crowd was less and seen the Mallikarjuna Jyotilingam first time, gave a flower garland (for which flowers purchased in Tirupati and converted into garland in the car). As per her instructions I finished dinner, took the umbrellas (as it was still drizzling) reached the luggage counter by 8.45 PM and met her. Handed over cell phones, bag and Umbrellas in the counter and reached the VIP entry Q (In front of the counters). In Security checking I was found wearing slippers (which I had forgotten to remove) so went back to footwear counter and returned barefoot. Again, I was found not wearing white lungi as VIP ticket holders are not allowed in pants. ( in their website nothing mentioned about dress code separately for only VIP break ticket) had to purchase the cloth (Rs 100\-) and wear it over the pant (it is similar to Guruvayoor) and hurried, once inside was asked to remove the shirt. After all these, the final entry to touch the Jyotilingam lasted only few seconds. The Jyotilingam was very small and very low even bending people found difficult to touch which seems to be the typical lingam establishment in North India ( In TN Sivalingams will have a tall base I think). Within few minutes it was over and we visited the BhramarAmba temple also and came out. From the exit to luggage counter, it was about half a km, so in rain we collected cell phones, bags and umbrella and returned to hotel. Though it was raining, humidity was high and regretted not booking AC room. But once reached the room (wife went for dinner) I slept well. (Information regarding Srisailam is available here:https://www.srisailadevasthanam.org/en-in/home)

3rd August: Srisailam to Pondicherry

Wife went next morning for 6 AM Slot (remember she already booked only for herself) and returned by 7.30. By the time I got ready with all luggage packed, collected breakfast coupon but found that she had developed infection and was feverish ( reason may be she always takes hot water bath and I always normal water shower so rain never affects me but she gets the effect immediately). Searched for medical shops for at least paracetamol but could not get (one shop was closed and the open one did not have paracetamol). We started at 9 AM after breakfast (Idly, Upma, Vada with Chutney and Sambar).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-26route3.jpg

Reached Dornala in 40 Minutes and here purchased Paracetamol which she took (2) and slept in the rear seat. I did not use AC due to her condition.

The journey back to Pondicherry is about 600 Km via Markapur, Podili, Ongole, Nellore and Chennai ORR. From Ongole up to Pondicherry it will be tolled 4 to 6 lane roads. From Markapur to Podili it was tolled road and could maintain the 90 Km/h easily.

From Podili to Ongole also nowhere the roads were bad (bad roads were only inside the towns not outside). Reached Ongole around 12.30 PM and filled up again (for the last time until Pondicherry) and reached Hotel Nellore Grand for lunch around 2 PM (This is only decent hotel I could find in GMaps). Though lunch was Rs 180/- , food was good and they have good parking and toilet facilities also. (Main thing is the hotel is near to main road and need not go in service road or under bridge).
Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled-27nelloregrand.jpg

Now wife started sweating and asked for AC to be on. Even though I slept well previous night, was feeling dull and yawning but after lunch I felt more alert and total mood changed and my ear problem also totally gone . Reached Chennai ORR by 4.45 PM and Vandalur by 5.20 PM (I wanted to cross Paranur toll before evening traffic sets in). Now From Vandalur up to Singaperumal Koil, it is almost 6 lanes so crossing this portion is no longer tedious and frustrating. Next hurdle is after Athur Toll, due to bridge repair one side road is closed and previous day there seems to be an accident also. But this hurdle also was passed without any problem. Finished dinner at Hotel Gowtham in Tindivanam (Idly and Dosai both were good). Reached Pondicherry and filled the car full tank again and reached home at 7.30 PM. After the final stretch (it was 450 Km near Ongole to Pondicherry) the fuel gauge still showed 2 bars left.

Did anything important happen on last day of return. Yes, 2 incidents I would mention here.

1. Markapur-Ongole road, in a heavily crowded area, I was following a SUV slowly. Suddenly there was a sound of the car hitting something in the passenger side and I saw one boy on bike falling down. I immediately stopped the car on the side, got down, apologized taking the blame on me (I still could not understand what happened whether I cut across left side without giving him space or he moved right side without seeing my car approaching) and enquired the boy about his condition. But the youngster by the time got up little bit shaken but not injured and when I offered any help or water he simply refused and asked us to continue our journey. At the time I didn’t check the condition of the car. Later When I filled up after Ongole, saw the left doors had a black colour mark like as if the top coat has come out and primer visible. Later when checked during lunch time, it was not primer but was rubber material probably from the handlebar of the bike which moved across the door and the rubber peeled off and got fixed on the door due to heat.

2.Second incident happened at Nellore toll. On approaching the toll, I followed one car which went into a particular lane which had the barrier rod in the entrance (instead of at the exist) and when I approached it was already in open position so the first car went in. Thinking that the rod is always open, I followed but after the first car went, the rod came down directly on my windshield and fell down. The attender simply removed the rod and asked me to reverse and go to other lane (in fact he stopped the other vehicles to help me). But in the other lane the rod did not open as the scanner got confused. Again, attender came and tried to do something in the system but as other people were waiting in my lane he simply took as the amount Rs 35/- and gave manual receipt. I had a doubt whether the scanning problem due to the rod hitting and damaged the Fastag. But it was not so. All the Toll booths further read the Fastag without any problem. Latter found out the Fastag also deducted Rs 35/- for Nellore toll.

Summary:
Total Kms: 1319; Petrol :73 L ; Average: 18 Km/l. (AC was used most of the times)
Seen various petrol Prices also. In Pondicherry: 96.16/-, In TN: 102.62/- In AP: 111/- to 112/-
Total expenditure in Rs.(approx..)
Fuel: 7700
accommodation: 1440
Food: 2000
tolls : 1000
Temple bookings: 3500
Donations /tips in temples/hotels: countless

Other Points:

1. After this trip and other trips to Wayanad and interior TN, My observation is overall in India the road surface quality has improved a lot, even in interiors (at least in South). But sometimes the tolled road is worser than the rural roads. (Like the Nellore bypass etc.,).

2. Out of all the roads, I enjoyed most was from Tirupati to Srisailam ( especially from Vontimitta to Markapur junction for minimum traffic and beautiful roads/surroundings and then the Ghats section also). Normally Srisailam is a crowded place but during our visit it was very low due to which all facilities (road traffic, accommodation, temple booking and rope car) were easily available

3. Gmaps worked well in many places showed the correct routes most of the times and without Gmaps this trip would not have been so successful.

4. Hotel Haritha has mostly negative reviews in the net but I found it was ok for a night stay( free breakfast) with buffet style unlimited food.

5. For any outstation trips like this some items need to be in the car.
• Umbrellas (nowadays there is no such thing as rainy season. Anytime it may rain)
• Always keep common medicines like paracetamal, Antacids, ear drops and may be an anitibiotic other than the regular medicines.
• Always carry a white lungi/Vetti/Veshti/Dhoti /Mundu or whaever name it is called during any temple visit . It will be handy whenever required and small enough to carry in cars.
All these Items I was planning to take but forgotten in last moment.

Note: This is the first travelogue ( big) post for me. Planning to post more whenever I have outstation trip ( if this post is successful).

Last edited by libranof1987 : 5th August 2022 at 18:50. Reason: Spacing
kvsneela is offline   (40) Thanks
Old 5th August 2022, 14:24   #2
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Default re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

I have done the Srisailam to Pondi route that you have chalked out, almost 7 years ago, and my assessment of the road quality was the same, internal roads in both AP and Tamil Nadu are far superior to the highways in both states.

You seem to have managed to spend far less on accommodation today than what I spent all that many years ago, and cudos to that.

All the best for your future road trips and do keep updating your travelogue with all your escapades especially down south...
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:02   #3
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvsneela View Post
:



The name Ganga is very much suitable for this place as the water looked as dirty as original Ganga (Theists excuse) .
Great journey. You were lucky to not have rush during Savan month at Srisailam. This is a Jyotirlinga and people want to visit atleast once in their lifetime. Surprising how you found no info on it. Visiting 12 Jyotirlingas and Benaras are life goals of many people before they die.

Visit Ganga at Haridwar and Rishikesh in non monsoon days. Will be an eye opener and may change your perceptions about dirt.

Great trip indeed. You are the lucky one who could visit a Jyotirlinga. Mine Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga is still pending and when I visit I might reach out to you for info.
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Old 7th August 2022, 11:11   #4
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Quote:
Originally Posted by steadfast View Post
Great journey. You were lucky to not have rush during Savan month at Srisailam. This is a Jyotirlinga and people want to visit atleast once in their lifetime. Surprising how you found no info on it. Visiting 12 Jyotirlingas and Benaras are life goals of many people before they die.

Visit Ganga at Haridwar and Rishikesh in non monsoon days. Will be an eye opener and may change your perceptions about dirt.

Great trip indeed. You are the lucky one who could visit a Jyotirlinga. Mine Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga is still pending and when I visit I might reach out to you for info.
Dear Steadfast,
Plenty of information available about Jyothirlingas in net nowadays. What I meant about no information was about the route details from South especially from Chennai or Pondy.( Not the temple information). Feel free to ask any queries which I will try to answer my level best.
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Old 7th August 2022, 13:27   #5
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Good writeup. Lot of details for people planning for the same destination.

By the way, a travalogue is never complete without the pictures of the machine. A few words about how the car performed will be great. Espresso is a great little companion for road trips due to its high GC and space. From what I see in the Kerala roads, it seems to be good at pulling quick overtakes in city too.
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Old 7th August 2022, 13:52   #6
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Very well written and explained sir. Thank you. I am from Kadapa and will be doing Hyd to Tirupati to Arunachalam at the end of the month. I have not been going back to my hometown at all, this info helps a lot. Appreciate your patience in sharing all details. Thumbs up!
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Old 7th August 2022, 16:29   #7
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Thanks for penning down your travelogue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it more so because I have done numerous trips to Tirumala and Srisailam and those trips are really close to my heart.

I am not sure if you managed to visit Rama temple situated at Vontimitta, since I did not find a mention of that in your travelogue. This is an ancient temple and now it has started to get lot of pilgrims.
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Old 7th August 2022, 18:52   #8
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

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Originally Posted by padmrajravi View Post
Good writeup. Lot of details for people planning for the same destination.

By the way, a travalogue is never complete without the pictures of the machine. A few words about how the car performed will be great. Espresso is a great little companion for road trips due to its high GC and space. From what I see in the Kerala roads, it seems to be good at pulling quick overtakes in city too.
Dear padmrajravi,
Sorry, I was thinking about writing a separate para regarding the car but forgotten ( as u know the post was already lengthy). Spresso is best suitable for a small family .Behaved very well in all kinds of roads ( I am happy I purchased a manual version). No problem at all in any type of roads. It has enough power with AC also. Reduce a gear and overtaking would be a breeze. Wife was complaining about bumpy ride ( she was sitting in the rear most times) occasionally but it was expected from high CG vehicle but not uncomfortable. AC was really a chiller as the temp. was very high during noon.( at times used fan in 4th position as there is no rear vents). Only glitch was smaller 27 L fuel tank.( even Alto has 35 L).

Last edited by kvsneela : 7th August 2022 at 19:16.
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Old 7th August 2022, 19:03   #9
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

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Originally Posted by nischaltopno View Post
Thanks for penning down your travelogue. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it more so because I have done numerous trips to Tirumala and Srisailam and those trips are really close to my heart.

I am not sure if you managed to visit Rama temple situated at Vontimitta, since I did not find a mention of that in your travelogue. This is an ancient temple and now it has started to get lot of pilgrims.
Dear Nichaltopno,
Our aim was only to visit Srisailam after Tirupati and I wanted to reach for lunch time as we were short of time. Actually when we were searching for a temple for visit ( due to my son's birth star which ends in the evening just before our visit to Srisailam temple), first temple we tried was this Rama temple only. But when we reached there , nobody was there around and wondered whether the temple was open or not. So we continued and found a temple in Badvel.Otherwise there is no dearth of temples in India( TN itself has 38615 as I heard)
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Old 7th August 2022, 22:30   #10
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

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Actually when we were searching for a temple for visit...
Got it
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Originally Posted by kvsneela View Post
But when we reached there , nobody was there around and wondered whether the temple was open or not.
If the temple was closed then there has to be some genuine reason for that, though I don't have any clue on that. I was just wondering if you guys missed that somehow.
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Old 7th August 2022, 23:12   #11
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

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Tirupati to Srisailam
Till Siddavattam it is Hyderabad route. I've heard from one more person that Siddavattam-Markapur is in excellent condition, haven't tried it though. Another delectable 2-laner which hardly gets patronised is Mydukur-Badvel-Nellore. I tried once while returning from Mantralayam.

Markapur-Podili-Ongole is now fully done?

I saw some construction on Renigunta-Rajampeta section when I drove 10 days back. How long is that? I had to exit for Tirupati, so didn't drive further.

A fun return route would have been Siddavattam-Kadapa-Rayachoty-Chittoor-Ranipet-Arcot-Vandavasi-Tindivanam-Pondy. Kadapa-Rayachoty-Chittoor has been relaid for sometime.
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Old 8th August 2022, 00:00   #12
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

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Till Siddavattam it is Hyderabad route. I've heard from one more person that Siddavattam-Markapur is in excellent condition, haven't tried it though. Another delectable 2-laner which hardly gets patronised is Mydukur-Badvel-Nellore. I tried once while returning from Mantralayam.

Markapur-Podili-Ongole is now fully done?

I saw some construction on Renigunta-Rajampeta section when I drove 10 days back. How long is that? I had to exit for Tirupati, so didn't drive further.

A fun return route would have been Siddavattam-Kadapa-Rayachoty-Chittoor-Ranipet-Arcot-Vandavasi-Tindivanam-Pondy. Kadapa-Rayachoty-Chittoor has been relaid for sometime.
Dear narayans80,

Probably the road widening project is going on from Kanchi to Renigunta. Widening of Kalahasthi to Renigunta road was going on . It seems both TN and AP side activites are going on in that area . ( One month back when we visited Sholingur and Tiruttani took returned journey via Tiruttani, Arakkonam and Kanchi found this route under construction. ). After Renigunta no construction activity going on atleast until we turned right after Vontimitta( Siddavattam) towards Badvel. Markapur to Podili is tolled road. Afterwards upto Ongole the road was good to drive. Since from Pondy upto Srisailam via Tirupati, we took mostly interior roads, didnot try that again during return as we needed to be back quickly.

Last edited by kvsneela : 8th August 2022 at 00:18.
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Old 8th August 2022, 21:50   #13
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Default Re: Drive from Pondicherry to Kalahasthi, Tirupati and Srisailam via the roads less travelled

Excellent write-up and helps a lot to plan road trips based on the passengers needs.
Thoroughly enjoyed your writing and subtle humor.
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