NH7 – Bangalore to Chennai Road Review (and back)

February 06, 2008 By:

Summary :

Distance : 340 km (Bangalore to Chennai by road)
Time : anywhere between 4.5 and 5 hr (using the formula time=distance/speed)
Ideal speed : 100-110 (I cud maintain 130 in my Fiesta)
Best time to start : 5.30 AM if possible (latest by 6.15)
Meal Stops : Krishnagiri or Vellore or Kanchipuram

I had been thinking of writing this review for a long time now. Not sure of how to go about it. Not that I did not have ideas. On the contrary , I had many ideas but was not able to make a choice.

So here I am , having made my choice, presenting a review of the a ”Road frequently traveled”.

The distance between Chennai and Bangalore is approx. 340 km (GPO to GPO, that’s how distances are measured, right?). There are 2 prominent routes between these 2 cities.

  1. Via Hosur and
  2. Via Chittoor

Route no 2, is supposedly shorter as compared to Route 1. However, its half the width of Route 1. If you had asked me around 3 yrs back, I would have suggested this route rather than the first one. So, what is it that has changed in the last 3 odd years?Here’s the answer.

Route 1 which is a national highway is a part of the Golden quadrilateral that connects the four metro cities. So???

So, the advantage that this got is that the roads are broad and well-maintained.

The journey begins from Hosur road at the Silk board junction in Madiwala,
Bangalore. Till the time you cross electronic city (15 odd km from Silk Board), the journey is all but fast, thanks to the traffic.

The traffic eases out once the EC junction is crossed. From here till the border of Karnataka/Tamilnadu takes only 20 minutes. Before you realize , you hit the industrial town of
Hosur. From here on , it’s a breeze. The stretch that I love the most in the Bangalore to Chennai route is from Hosur to Krishnagiri, which is a ghat section (not in the true sense, but relative). Its scenic and the best time to be driving on this stretch is in the early morning when the sun comes up in the horizon. From EC to Krishnagiri, it takes around an hour.( a distance of 70 km).

Remember this is a toll road and there are 4 toll booths that one needs to cross (pay) to get to Chennai. The first toll is at Krishnagiri. Once you cross Krishnagiri, there is a deviation you need to take for Chennai(Dont worry, there are sign-boards). From here on , it’s the plains and one can just zip across comfortably at high speeds (I remember touching 150 on my Fiesta,later came down to 130 thanks to the stares from my family folks). The best part is that you would not want to take your foot off the gas pedal (accelerator), but at the same time , the landscape is too inviting not to stop. I remember stopping here and there to get a picture or two (some this-happens-only-in-india stuff too)

A glimpse of Bangalore to Chennai road

A packed motorist driving along the Bangalore Chennai road

As you drive along , the small towns of Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Walajabad go past, until you reach the outskirts of
Vellore. If you are tired , and want to take a break , you would find decent restaurant here to cool your heels off until they are ready to take on again. You might need to veer off the main highway and get into the city to find a decent restaurant.

Once past Vellore, comes Ranipet, where route no 1 and 2 merge. From here till Kanchipuram , is where you can catch up on lost time. From Kanchipuran the going gets a little slow till you reach Sriperumbudur and slower as u get to Poonamallee. Then on , it’s the city traffic. Welcome to Chennai

In short, the NH7 , is a great road to drive on . If you are driving non stop at a constant speed of 100-110, you should be able to reach Chennai outskirts in less than 4.5 hr.

I can never forget the bus(Volvo) journey where the bus left Chennai at 12 and reached
Bangalore (Silk board) at 4.45 AM. This was with a break of 10 min (to wake up the backup driver).

Summary (re-iterarted):

Distance between Bangalore -Chennai : 340 km
Time it takes : anywhere between 4.5 and 5 hrs (using the formula time=distance/speed)
Ideal speed : 100-110 (I cud maintain 130 in my Fiesta)
Best time to start : 5.30 AM if possible (latest by 6.15)
Meal Stops : Krishnagiri or
Vellore or Kanchipuram

About Karthik

Karthik Rangamani has written 30 posts at Ghumakkar.

Karthik is an avid traveller. Dont remember exactly when “travelling” became a “second nature”, but as far as I can remember, it was very early, thanks to my parents :-). In a way,”travelling” is in the genes, something I love, to explore new places and the list goes on and on. On the non-travelpart of it ,I am happy-go-lucky person. Lives and loves to enjoy life as it comes. Other things that interest me are music (psst.. I learnt to play the violin for 7 years).

81 Responses to “NH7 – Bangalore to Chennai Road Review (and back)”


  1. Shivkumar says:

    Could any one who has travelled from Bangalore to Chennai on NH 4 recently inform the Toll Charges the road user has to pay for different Category of Vehicles like Car/Van,LCV,Truck/Bus,MAV and EMV/ HMV

  2. Jairaj says:

    I am travelling in nearfuture, i will give the rates

    • Swati Nitin Gupta says:

      Hi Jairaj,

      Have you travelled on this route? If yes can you please send me the rates for the toll plazas and where exactly they come on the route.

  3. Sara says:

    That was a clear cut info – its a fun to drive from Bangalore to Chennai!

  4. Swati Nitin Gupta says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Read your blog on Benagluru to Chennai route and have few queries.

    1. You have mentioned in your blog that there are four toll plazas on this route and have only written about one please let me know where are the other three located?

    2. What is the cost for a four wheel transport at these toll plazas?

    You may inbox me at swati1012 at gmail dot com or reply through this comment thread.

  5. Jairaj says:

    Started at Silkboard . the details are as below.
    1. Electronic city flyover @ 13KM @ INR35
    2. Attibele @ 27KM @ INR25
    3. Krishnagiri@82 KM @ INR 50
    4. Vaniyambadi@134 KM @INR65
    5. Pallikonda@185KM@INR65
    6. Chennasamudram @237KM @ INR25
    7.Nemili@304KM@INR40

  6. prasad says:

    Very informative and point to point description , thanks karthik

  7. Makesh says:

    Hi

    Can i leave at morning 10 am to chennai via this NH hosur road.as i have a small baby we have to make sure to pack everything and leave and also now it is quite snowy n the morning.your valuable comments pls as i am leaving this weekend

  8. shankar says:

    hi Karthik, how r u

    Thanx a lot for ur information its very helpful for first time traveler, and if somebady can update toll gate charges will great.

    Best Regards

    M Shankar Raju

  9. vishal says:

    Hello Friends,

    we are planning a trip to Chennai.. plan is to leave around 5:30 AM, I have 2 kids with me …Any suggestions for good hygienic place for breaks in between ?

    Regards
    Vishal

    • Karthik says:

      Hi Vishal,

      One of the decent break for food is just before the Krishnagiri toll (a place called Chinnar) , where you have McDonalds, Adyar Anand Bhavan etc. If you are starting at 5.30AM from BLR, you should hit this place around 6.45 AM or 7AM.

      Other places are close to Vellore and may need a detour. Also, as you approach closer to Chennai, there is a restaurant in Thirumazhisai (the restaurant is on the right side, you may have to take a U turn (which is a long one).

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Karthik

  10. vishal says:

    Hello Karthik,

    Thanks for your reply… we had planned to start tomorrow morning but not sure about how to situation will be in Chennai by tomorrow morning.
    if anyone is in chennai , please update if this it is safe to drive to Chennai tomorrow ?

    Regards
    Vishal

  11. Karthik says:

    Hi Vishal,

    Its advisable to stay away from Chennai for a while (a week) given the recent developments.

    Cheers
    Karthik

  12. Priyanka says:

    Hello Colleagues,

    I am planning to travel Chennai.. I have 2 plans either to leave early or else will leave in afternoon and will take a hault… What are nice places to visit on my way….. any suggestions..

    Regards
    Priyanka

  13. Karthik says:

    Hi priyanka,

    If you start in the afternoon, you can still reach chennai by 8pm. If you still want to halt, vellore is the best place.
    Lots of options to stay and eat. Also there are a few places you can visit like the vellore Fort and the golden temple

    Thanks
    Karthik



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