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Old 19th December 2009, 02:13   #1
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Default Blore - Vellore - Kancheepuram roadtrip!!

It was to be our first wedding anniversary and it had to be a special one. Since it was to be on a Monday, we quickly came to the conclusion that we could extend our weekend and spend the weekend in one of the hill stations around. We reside in Bangalore and thus we zeroed in on either Munnar or Kodaikanal. While we got down to plan the low level details, it so happened that we were invited to a ceremony on Sunday evening. Since we could not have possibly excused our way out of attending the ceremony, we had to drop the original Munnar/Kodaikanal plans. The weekend was now down to a day and half and it again didnt take us long to narrow down the options to Vellore. A quick look-up on the route conditions and its close proximity to Bangalore meant that it was an ideal destination for the time that we had available.

I quickly made the arrangements for the trip which also included getting my car serviced ( Indica Turbo and it had just crossed the 40K mark ). I booked ourselves a room in Hotel Palm Tree situated in the heart of Vellore. Just before the day of the journey, I got the route sorted out ( via Google Maps ), my wife got our bags packed and we were all set to go.

We had originally planned to start at 5am but as it so always happens we ended up waking up at 5 instead. We wasted no time though in getting all set and at 5:45 am, we started off. Being at Bannerghatta Road, didnt take me long to hit Hosur Road via Bommanahalli and at 6, we were already cruising towards Electronic City.

It was around 7 am when we had our first break. Unfortunately, I am writing this travelogue after more than a month of this particular travel and we also werent disciplined enough to note down the details of our stoppages. Thus, I dont remember the name of the restaurant where we stopped for breakfast. It was in a big complex that also housed a pretty big HP petrol bunk on the left side of the road. This was ofcourse after Hosur but before Krsihnagiri. The food was just about average and there wasnt to be any icing on the average cake either since the waiter mentioned they werent serving tea in that restuarant at all. It was then that I really realised we had crossed the Tamil Nadu border. The coffee was strictly ok but the bigger problem being that my wife doesnt drink coffee at all.

We then continued onwards on the beautiful NH7. By the way, this was my first long drive on this stretch ( infact I had never crossed Hosur before ) and I just simple loved it. At Krishnagiri, took the left towards Chennai on NH46 and this turned out to be even better. What was once a dream to see roads of this standard in India was slowly becoming a reality.

We had our second break on NH46 at around 8:45 am ( again dont remember the name of the place ) and fortunately, we got our much required cup of tea. We spent some time relaxing there since I didnt want to stretch too much on the drive due to lack of proper sleep. We again got going at 9:30 and we entered the town of Vellore at 10:30. I had the directions for the hotel already drawn in my mind and while i drove towards the heart of the town ( where our hotel was situated ), I realised how unbelievably helpful and accurate Google Maps actually is. Its not just mobile phones that has revolutionised our lives by making it much more easier but there's Google Maps as well in that list. We found our hotel that was situated on a painful narrow road ( the road just couldnt have been any more narrower ). The hotel was pretty decent though and the room ( with a LCD TV ) at Rs 950 a night turned out to be a steal indeed.

We took some rest and recharged our batteries for a potentially long day that laid in front of us. We enquired about the Golden temple and realised that not only the temple closes down in the afternoon but also the best time to visit the temple is in the evenings. COnsidering that there wasnt anything else to do in Vellore and an afternoon to spare, we decided to drive a further 60 Kms on the Chennai road to Kancheepuram. My wife was just thrilled to know we could actually drive to Kanchi. It took us about an hour to reach Kanchi and fortunately we quickly got a nice place to park our vehicle. We took an auto from there and asked him to take us to a place where we could find some authentic silk showrooms. It so turned out that if we had bothered asking anyone about silk showrooms before boarding an auto, we could have had just taken our car along since it was to be a street just littered with silk shops. It was very similar to those streets in Kerala that are just filled with Gold shops. We spent close to a couple of hours shopping and it was almost 6 by the time we started on our way back to Vellore.

We finally managed to reach the Golden temple at around 7:30. Just as any other large temple complexes in the country, even this one had the free and paid options to enter into the temple premises. The paid option actually meant shelling out a rather hefty Rs 250 per person. Being late in the day, we just thought there wouldnt be too many people and opted to take the free route. It ended up being a wise decision since we covered more than half of the distance without having to get into a queue. The final journey to the core temple was a star-shaped pathway ( which has really been well thought and planned out ) which took around 20 more mins. We finally could see the maginificient gold structure ( although to be honest, its hard to feel religious about the place where a ridiculous amount of money has been spent in getting the gold structure built ). Once inside, we also realised that the free option means to be in a continously moving queue resulting in a few milli-seconds of dharshan whereas the 250-Ruppee people get to spend a few minutes in front of the lord. We came out, had dinner at the temple cafeteria and were back at the hotel at around 11. We had a good night's sleep.

The good night's sleep meant i was completely recharged the following morning and this time while returning back to Bangalore, I continously hit the 100 Kmph mark and having started at 7am from Vellore, we were on the outskirts of Bangalore at 10 am where we had our breakfast. We eventually reached home at around 11:30 bring a memorable roadtrip to an end.

Here are some pics to get you a feel of the excellent roads :-
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Old 19th December 2009, 09:23   #2
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Nice detailed travelogue Explorer accompanied by great pics ! Wish You A Belated Happy Wedding Anniversary ! Even if it was more than a month ago ! The hotel looks good to for anybody planning a trip to Kanchipuram or to see the Golden Temple -

Last edited by kannan666 : 19th December 2009 at 09:32.
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Old 19th December 2009, 14:50   #3
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Good write up. It seems the hotel charge seems to be real steal. We will try that hotel some time.
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Old 20th December 2009, 10:01   #4
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Originally Posted by navan49 View Post
Good write up. It seems the hotel charge seems to be real steal. We will try that hotel some time.
Well, the website shows a rather exaggerated view of the interiors but nevertheless it serves the purpose.

By the way, this was apparently my first travelogue here on this forum and hope to come up with many more. Have already planned my next travel, which is going around North Karnataka starting with Jog going all the way upto Karwar and then venturing towards Dharad and nearby places.
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