Weekend Trip to Maha Lakshmi Golden Temple, Sripuram, Vellore

June 13, 2009 By:

For almost two months we were contemplating on visiting Maha Lakshmi Golden Temple at Sripuram near Vellore and finally the plans seemed to materialize during last week of May 2009. My brother-in-law Siva wanted to take his new Swift Dezire to Golden Temple Vellore and we decided to go there on a two day trip. We decided on taking two cars – My Santro and Siva’s Dezire as Siva’s friend Ravindran also joined in with his family.

Family 1 : PraveenKumar(Myself), Vathsalya Lakshmi (My Wife), Dad & Mom
Family 2 : Siva Subba Rao, Dr.Suman, Chaitanya & Narasimha Bai
Family 3 : Siva’s Friend Ravindran, his Wife and two kids Ranjit & Ranjan

As usual we did some research on the net and found two possible routes for Vellore.

Route–I : Bangalore > Hosur > Krishnagiri > Bargur > Natrampalli > Vaniyambadi > Ambur > Madhanur > Pallikondan > Vellore.
Total distance 225 Kms

Route–II : Bangalore > Kolar > Chittoor > Vellore. Total distance 215 Kms

Two months back we had visited Kotilingeshwara near Kolar and had travelled on route-II which was two lane with very average roads. So, we decided to take Route–I as the entire stretch is a 4 lane highway.

Our Route
1. Jagadish Nagar – 0 Kms
2. NAL Quarters on Jeevan Bhima Nagar Road – 3 Kms (Take Inner Ring Road via Old Airport Road)
3. Silk Board Flyover – 10 Kms (Go Straight till Krishnagiri on NH-7 via)
4. Electronics City – 20 Kms
5. Attibele – 35 Kms
6. Hosur – 45 Kms
7. Kamandoddi – 55 Kms
8. Shoolagiri – 63 Kms
9. Krishnagiri Toll Plaza – 95 Kms (Rs.25/-) (After Toll Plaza two flyovers are there within a span of 3 Kms. Take the first flyover, skip the second flyover and take the side lane. Take left near the signal below the flyover and you are on NH-46. Go Straight till Pallikondan on NH-46 via)
10. Bargur – 108 Kms
11. Natrampalli – 129 Kms
12. Toll Plaza – 140 Kms (Rs.35/-)
13. Vaniyambadi – 148 Kms
14. Ambur – 164 Kms
15. Pallikondan Toll Plaza – 191 Kms (Rs.45/-)
Two options from here
a. After 2 kms take the right turn towards Sripuram when you see the direction board. It is a single road which is really bad in some stretches. We took this route. Please avoid this route

b. Go straight ahead on NH-46 till Vellore and go towards Vellore Fort. Here take a right turn towards Sripuram

Have to go through Vellore traffic and an additional 5 kms, but still you will reach faster as the road is good all the way till Sripuram

16. Sripuram – 220 Kms

Saturday, 30 May 2009 (Bangalore to Vellore Golden Temple)

Woke up at 5:30 am, got ready and started from Jagadish Nagar in my Hyundai Santro, filled petrol (Rs.500/-) and reached NAL Quarters on Jeevan Bheema Nagar Road. Siva and his friend Ravindran’s family were loading their luggage in Maruti Swift Desize. After finalizing the places in the two cars we started at 8:00 am and reached Hotel Sukh Sagar in Koramangala at 8:15 am. Got the breakfast packed and resumed our journey at 8:45 am. The road after Silk Board was ok but with lot of diversions and bad to worse stretches in between. We crossed Electronics City at 9:05 am and within 5 minutes we reached the real NH-7 two lanes on each side of the road. The separators are maintained well with colourful flower plants. At 9:10 am Vathsalya took over the wheel and started driving cautiously till we took our first break for breakfast at 9:30 am (40 Kms). We resumed again at 9:55 am and crossed Hosur at 10:10 am and from here the traffic was thin. Vathsalya opened up and started driving with the speedometer constantly between 70 and 80 kmph (As I was not allowing her to go beyond 80 Kmph). 5 Kms before Krishnagiri, we took another break of 10 minutes at 11:00 am allowing Siva to catch up with us.

nh-7-towards-vellore

nh-7-towards-vellore

Reached Krishnagiri Toll Plaza at 11:15 am, crossed the first flyover and after reaching the second flyover, took the side road. Below the flyover, we took left and we were surprised to find one of the best highways in the country NH-46. The drive from here was silky smooth (The co-passengers have to be alert and ensure the driver doesn’t doze off). On this highway, occasionally Vathsalya almost touched 100 Kmph. We reached the second Toll Plaza between Natrampalli and Vaniyambadi at 12:05 pm (140 Kms) and took another break for 10 mins. At 1:05 pm we reached Pallikondan Toll Plaza. We lost 10 mins as Siva had missed the right turn for Sripuram and gone ahead. We took a U turn and took the road towards Sripuram. It was a single road with dirt road for more than half of the stretch and it took almost one hour for reaching Sripuram Golden Temple.

cloudy-weather-at-sripuram

It took us 6 Hrs to reach Golden Temple Sripuram. We had our lunch in Temple Canteen and decided to take rest as the climate was too hot for comfort. We took rooms with uninterrupted A/c in SRM Guest house, which was 1 km from the temple. The rooms were good as the guest house was newly constructed.

maha-lakshmi-golden-temple-entrance

maha-lakshmi-golden-temple-entrance

Finally the golden moment arrived. At 6:15 pm we reached the temple gates. Parked our cars at Temple’s Pay-n-Park Area (Rs.20/-). Purchased Rs.100/- tickets and entered the queue at 6:30 pm. The temple is constructed with beautiful landscapes and beautiful sculptures were erected in between. As it was getting dark the Temple Gopura was glowing brightly, making the scene a feast for our eyes. The path towards the Temple is in star shape. The royal path with the top covered is for free darshan visitors and just beside this path there is another path which is originally for draining rain water. This path is for Donation Pass visitors who are required to pay Rs.2508/1508/1004/500/250 (On Saturdays and Sundays it is only Rs.100/-).

maha-lakshmi-golden-temple

We walked through the star shaped side path cursing the authorities for taking money and making us walk on this drain. Even though we cursed, we could enjoy the beauty of the Temple as the same will not be visible for the free darshan visitors. We reached a point from where the queue hardly moved. To our dismay the free visitors did not have any queue and they were constantly moving ahead. By the time we reached the main temple it was more than an hour. The sight here was astounding. The temple is completely covered with gold and except the front it is totally surrounded by water. The corridor is circular in shape separated from the temple on all three sides by water. Both the queues (Free Darshan and Donation Pass Visitors) go towards the temple in this circular corridor. Free Darshan visitors cannot view the Temple Gopura completely as the ceiling obstructs the view as their queue is on the outer side. We could see the Gopura completely as we were on the inner side. Some visitors have thrown coins, notes and visiting cards in the water. We followed suite and threw few coins in the water. Even though the queue was moving very slowly, we were happy as we were enjoying the scene. After reaching the front side, only donation visitors are allowed to go near and have a good view of Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. We really felt bad for Free Darshan visitors who were allowed to have darshan of Goddess Maha Lakshmi from almost 25 feet away. After the darshan we took Prasadam which includes a rectangle shaped laddu, a small packet of kumkum and a pocket photo of the guru.

While coming out I purchased some more prasadam (Rs.10/- each) for distributing to my colleagues (After reaching home I found that it is not the same laddu what we got after the darshan). By the time we came out it was 9:00 pm.

We headed back to the Temple Canteen. Myself & Vathsalya had juice and ice cream as we were not hungry. Others had light snacks like Dosa, Chapathi, Sabji, etc. We reached the guest house at 10:15 pm and slept peacefully without worrying about the plan for next day.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

We woke up the next day leisurely, got ready and checked out from the guest house at 10:00 am and went to the Temple Canteen for breakfast. We found that we were late so did not have many options. We had Masala dosa, Upma and Coffee. At 11:00 am we headed towards Vellore after filling petrol for another Rs.500/-.

vathsalya-lakshmi-hebbare-at-jalakanteshwara-temple-1

Our next stop was Jalakanteshwara Temple which is situated inside the Vellore Fort. The temple is renowned for its sculptures and exquisite craftsmanship of that period. Many consider the sculptures, in the Mantapa (porch) on the left of the entrance, a masterpiece.

rukmani-rama-mohan-rao-at-jalakanteshwara-temple

rukmani-rama-mohan-rao-at-jalakanteshwara-temple

By the time we came out it was 12:45 pm. We had two options – have food in Vellore or in a dhaba. As the kids were hungry we decided to have food in Vellore. After asking around we went to Hotel Surabhi (Please avoid at all costs) which is supposed to be good for both Veg and Non-veg food. We realized that we made a big mistake by coming here. The food was pathetic, service was one of the worst, did not give drinking water till we demanded. Some of the items we ordered were not given irrespective of our repeated reminders, brought one chicken item after we finished our food and waiting for the bill. One of the items we ordered was mutton biryani and after almost one hour he brought chicken biryani which was stale and we returned it. The items which were not brought were also billed. We wanted to complain regarding the food and service but the Manager did not turn-up. On a scale of 1-10 I can give 2 with great difficulty.

We resumed our journey at 2:35 pm after wasting almost two hours for the useless lunch. Within 10 minutes we reached NH-46 and immediately Vathsalya took over the reins and started driving.

We took a ten minutes break at 3:05 pm immediately after Pallikondan Toll Plaza and had fruits as some of us were still hungry. As we resumed it started raining very heavily and lasted for 20 minutes. I was little apprehensive but Vathsalya was confident and drove carefully.

We took another break after crossing the second Toll Plaza at 4:15 pm. We ordered Onion Pakoras which tasted like non-veg. We played there for some time with the basket ball we brought with us. When we resumed it was 4:50 pm. From here we did not stop anywhere except when I took over the wheel at 6:15 pm when we were 55 kms away from Bangalore. From here the traffic increased and the roads were bad. Finally, we reached NAL for dropping Siva’s mother at 7:40 pm. We packed food from Thunder Fried Chicken and reached home at 8:00 pm.

Maha Lakshmi Golden Temple with its beautiful landscape, scenery, atmosphere, greenish lawns and fine architecture all combined together makes it worth to pay a visit.

Cheerio till our next trip !!!

About prhebbare

PraveenKumar Hebbare has written 2 posts at Ghumakkar.

30 Responses to “Weekend Trip to Maha Lakshmi Golden Temple, Sripuram, Vellore”


  1. nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Praveen.

    Very detailed account, would be very useful for people driving that way. Some pics would add to the beauty of the log.

  2. Karthik says:

    If you could post pictures, it would be great. I have done Bangalore-chennai a lot of times by road, Seen the sign-boards, but never been to this place. Hopefully will make it sometime to Sripuram.

  3. Sundeep says:

    What are the good places to stay while visiting the Mahalakshmi temple?

  4. prhebbare says:

    Golden Temple Guest Houses are available in plenty. Only problem is they don’t allow you to check the room. You have to take it or leave it. the tariff is as given below :
    A/C - Rs.500/- (Double Occupancy) Extra Bed: Rs.150/-
    Non A/C - Rs.300/- (Double Occupancy) Extra Bed: Rs.100/-

    There are few Private Guest houses like the one I stayed “SRM Guest house”. The private Guest houses are fairly new in construction and are good but little expensive (Rs.1200/- for two Beds + 2 Mattresses on the floor & Rs.2000/- for Two Beds and 6 Matresses on floor) 24 Hrs uninterrupted A/c.

    • Velan says:

      Hi Prhebbare,

      Good day.
      I’m planning to visit Golden Temple on September this year.
      I would appreciate it if you could tell more on accommodation near Sripuram Golden Temple. How is the conditions of Golden Temple Guest House & SRM Guest house. Which one is more comfortable?

  5. Prashanth says:

    Hi,
    Excellent Article!!!
    Just wanted to find out if we could take pictures of the Temple. Is it allowed.
    Also, I would like to know the distance between The Golden Temple and the Vellore Fort..

    • prhebbare says:

      Hi Prashanth,
      It is really sad especially in India you are not allowed to capture the beauty. This useless rule applies to Sripuram Golden Temple. They frisk you before you get in the queue. Cameras & Mobiles are strictly prohibited.

      The distance between Golden Temple and Vellore Fort is hardly 7-8 kms.

  6. arvindpadmanabhan says:

    I have been here. I didn’t like it much. It looked like a money making enterprise and run like a business… but if you have enjoyed it, that’s all that matters.

  7. We can assist people from bangalore by offering attractive tour package from KSTDC. Please visit http://www.karnatakatourism.com or call 080- 41279744/ 55/ 66

  8. narmadha says:

    on december 27 we went to vellur .it is quite big .at 6.00 we reached there it was beautiful with lights on them.i just wanted to know whether it was real gold.

  9. mohan kumar says:

    hi your thaught excellent temple also excellent

  10. JANAKIRAM says:

    TRIP TO SRIPURAM GOLDEN TEMPLE AT VELLORE

    We started by car at 0830 hrs from old airport road, went over the flyover near Manipal Hospital and headed towards Koramangala. On second signal we turned left towards Sarjapur road. It is advisable to avoid Hosur road, Electronic city due to Metro work. After reaching Sarjapur we turned right on Attibele road. The roads are good. After reaching Attibele (NH 7) turn left on Chennai National Highway (NH 7). We reached Hosur by 0945 hrs. Had breakfast for 30 mts or so and then started towards Krishnagiri. At Krishnagiri take NH towards Chennai (NH 46). Enough boards are there to guide you. The road is beautiful. There are 3 toll gates. You will pass through Vaniyambadi and Ambur enroute.We purchased both way tickets valid for 24 hours, so that our return is also taken care of. After 3rd toll gate at Pallikonda (NH 46) set your trip meter to zero. Exactly at 2 kms there is turning to the right for Vellore Golden Temple. Before this turn you will find 2 boards indicating Sripuram Golden Temple one near the turning and the other a km behind. You need not go to Vellore unless you want to see Vellore fort or the city. The city roads are congested and better to avoid. Hence it is advisable to take right turn as indicated. This stretch is 13 kms and road is good. Enough boards to indicate Sripuram Golden Temple exist on the way. We reached the temple at 1245 hrs. There is place to park the vehicle. You have to deposit chappals, mobiles and cameras at the designated counter. Hence you can leave your mobile and camera in the vehicle itself. There Are 3 types of entries. Rs 250 ticket entry is special. You are allowed infront of the deity and Prasad is also given. You can sit down and pray in front of the deity. Rs. 100 ticket allows you little quicker and closer darshan than general and also allows you to take free Prasad. General darshan on any working day does not take more than one hour time. On holidays it will take two hours. Carry water bottle. Water, Milk etc are available only on General Darshan route and not on ticket route. We had Lunch at the temple restaurant inside located at the entrance. The restaurant is clean and food is reasonable. After lunch we purchased tickets for entry and finished Darshan by 1545 hrs. The temple is really beautiful and worth seeing. They have made barricaded pathway around the temple and you are not allowed to go outside the designated path. Hence you can only see good lawns and gardens around the temple. This had helped temple authorities to maintain the lawn and garden and there is no littering. Only problem is you cannot leisurely sit and relax. They have made the pathway in such a way that you are not allowed to touch the gold plated temple anytime. If you want to touch and feel the gold you have to purchase Rs 250 tickets. They are only allowed inside. This is really good considering the habit of our temple to dirty everything. Still they are able to show their ugly manners by throwing coins, notes in to the water surrounding the temple. The water is there to see the temple shadow inside the water and enjoy during the evening. The worst is hundreds of visiting cards are thrown in the water by people who want to ensure Shree Laxmi should not go to wrong address especially to their neighbours. The temple is best at night. Lights are switched on at 6 PM to 8 PM. The view of temple in the surrounding water is exceptionally beautiful. However for us it was difficult to spend time from 1545 hrs to 1830 hrs to see the temple at night. If you go out the road is full of vendors and small shops and you have to again purchase ticket. Outside temple the street is dirty as usual. Hence it is advisable to start from Bangalore at 1200 after lunch so that you reach temple at 1630 hrs and have Darshan at 1730 hrs. You can wait inside and again join the General queue at 1800 hrs and see the temple at night when the gold shines. Don’t forget to enjoy the beauty in the water below. Alternately you can combine other places such as Chikka Tirupati which is 13 kms from Sarjapur. You can visit Chikka Tirupati from 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs and from Sarjapur you can start to Sripuram Temple Vellore. You can also plan seeing Vellore fort instead. Yelagiri hill station also can be visited for one hour if you are youngster. For going to Yelagiri the road is near the second tollgate and you can query there. The hill has nothing except a lake and 14 hairpin bends to drive. If you want to see only golden temple, better to have early lunch and start at 1200 hrs from Bangalore, reach temple by 1630 hrs, have one Darshan in the daylight and enjoy the temple at night when it glitters and start back at 1930 hrs. Again it is better to avoid Vellore town and take the road as explained earlier. On the return journey after you travel 13 kms of interior road, you will reach Chennai – Bangalore highway and turn left for Bangalore. Just one km on the highway you will see Hotel Deepam close to Pallikonda Toll Gate. You can freshen up and have dinner. After dinner it is a good drive and you will reach by 2330 hrs home. It is advisable to take again Attibele-Sarjapur road unless you want to go towards JP nagar or Jayanagar side.

  11. shreya says:

    here i am good enjoyed seeing the veelur temple

  12. Neofury says:

    PraveenKumar Hebbare , thanks for the writeup and the snaps. Not to be forgotten is the writeup compiled by janakiraman in the comment section. Looking fwd to a trip to SOUTH INDIA’S Golden temple :)

  13. bheeshmar says:

    well, the Sripuram golden temple is a surely NO NO go for a true devotee.
    I think this place is a purely commercial place with 100′s of photos of the promoter in every 10 meters. not a good place for a real devotee.

    Please do not encourage false godman by visiting such places. This so called Sakthi Amma has invested in building a temple rather than a Shopping mall as he knew very well that in India, people visit more temples than any mall. Whether it is recession or happiness, people go to temple. this so called promoter has just done a good investment.

    what is so bad is, for every 10 meters, I could see a photo of this person – like someone washing his feet, someone doing pooja..all bakwas infact.

    Well, to me, this is not a spiritual place – a lalbagh or a cubbon park is a good place to enjoy. I could rate ISKCON 1000 times better than sripuram.

  14. Raaaaajesh says:

    Hi,

    Route–I : Bangalore > Hosur > Krishnagiri > Bargur > Natrampalli > Vaniyambadi > Ambur > Madhanur > Pallikondan > Vellore.

    before Vellore “Pallikondan” its not right. Right word is “Pallikonda” please try to change this…

  15. geetha says:

    on 27th july we were{ i mean my husband my daughter and myself }at golden temple vellore.we were exited and we experienced tremendous vibration of amma.we want to be at her feet. but one thing is that the entry fee is very high and some of the sevas are also bit high. i think it should be under the reach of middle class families. it is my feeling. amma please excuse me if my statement is wrong.at your feet all the time.senu geetha and yashaswini

  16. chennai tour says:

    Good Guidance. Thanks.

  17. Narendra Kumar says:

    Well I am From Vellore . . The Surabhi hotel is one of the worst you could have gone for Darling residency that is one of the best
    and apart from that you could have asked for hotel Saravana bhavan[The Same HSB one which is all over the world] which is pure veg. No one in vellore will recommend hotel surabhi.
    Right now to stay near golden temple u can go for the temple guesthouses which are good than private ones

  18. Kumar Mahtani says:

    Big Big mistake to visit this Temple. It was the last temple we visited on our 4 States Southern India pilgrimage. I was disgusted by the way the visitors were treated by the management and security, as if you were there to steal the gold and be insulted. First you have to compulsory go through the zig zag cage unnecessarily, which was not required as we could walk straight into the waiting hall. In the hall you have to wait for a long time, before you are allowed into the temple grounds. Now, you have to walk on the star path for 1.8 kms by force, and watch the pictures of the looters on the two sides. After going around and getting tired, you come to the front of the temple and than wait in another line, held by ropes as if we were not humans anymore for the guards. When allowed infront of the main murti, you are given only few seconds to view and pray, than you are literally driven away like animals by the guards. It was a disgusting, shameful experience. We were treated like animals by the animals on the temple premises. It is just a money making adventure for visitors to come and pay and get punished, insulted and treated like animals. Would suggest people to watch the pictures only on the website. Donot visit such an unholy place.

  19. Mathranan says:

    I had visited this temple twice and in my view this temple is for hindu religious and no doubt is money making, but as I think some new is created as touristatterction

  20. partha says:

    I visited after reading so many review and came to know that that are false…(though it is free they hav made us to walk more for the safety)..But this reviw is good and decent..Even without spending any paisa me and fmily njoyed a lot…See the creatures, fountains, sight seeing is amazing..he only thing is go by 5.come by 9..Spend as much as time three enjoying natural air…pollution free..if you want to spend less, stay 2-3 km away from temple…dont forget to tak annadhanam insise the temple(as many time you can).Spen half day entirly for the temple and rlax..

  21. krishna says:

    I am planing to go let me see the teple and tell you later.

  22. Karthik says:

    Thank you, it was a nice read and informative as well for me. I wanted to go to wallajapet for attending my friends Wedding reception so I thought I would stay in vellore for the weekend and visit some places there. I went to the Sripuram Golden temple and Jalagandeshwar Temple. It was a nice experience since I traveled by my bike.

    I found the the Golden temple is a nice place to visit as a tourist destination rather than a holy abode of Goddess Lakshmi. The reason being the guru “narayani amma” being advertised everywhere we turn inside the premises and the importance is being infused in the “guru” rather than the Goddess herself which I felt a bit on the downside. I took the 250 Seva because the 100 Seva is no longer available ( I was told by one of the saffron attire volunteers) and luckily it was a good thing and I was able to avoid the huge rush of people in the common line and had a fantastic view of the golden mandap and the blessings of Goddess herself (the only soothing part). The next minute you realise you get pushed out by the dudes and forced out with the prasad and picture of the “guru” again. gosh.

    The Jalagandeeswarar Temple on the other had depicts the work of an artistic excellence and wonderful piece of architecture from olden times.

  23. Mukesh Kumar says:

    I just came onto your post and found it quite interesting. I am also associated with hotels in amritsar, hotels near golden temple and enjoy to read the stuff on the same as it’s rarely found on hotels.

  24. Prashanth Patil says:

    Very detailed route for Sripuram, I had been to Golden Temple today and this route details helped me a lot

    Thanks for this info, this was helpful



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