Chennai to Bangalore Road trip

A month back, I traveled to Bangalore from Madras by road. I want to tell the readers of this forum my impressions about this road trip which some of you may find it informative and useful.

For those who are unfamiliar, there are 2 roads by which I can reach Bangalore. The one which goes via Mount, Sriperambudur, Arcot and then a detour to Vellore, onwards to Ambur, Krishnagiri, Hosur is little longer (approx. 30kms) has a distance of 350kms from Adyar in Chennai to Richmond road in Bangalore.

The other road to take is a deviation in Arcot towards Ranipet and then on to Chittur,Palamener , Kolar to Bangalore by National highway no.4.

Of the two roads, the first one via Vellore , though a little longer, is the best one to take because of good quality roads right through. The other one is still under construction in some stretches and definitely takes a longer time.

I left my home on a Sunday at 6.45am in Adyar ,took the first route. I faced a slowdown and delay at Poonamalee.This is one of the few bottlenecks which can delay the journey by atleast 15minutes. From there, I reached Sriperambudur which is national highway no.4, took me almost an hour from my home and immediately there after the first toll gate at Nemili. When you are at the toll gate, please carry enough Rs10/Rs20/Rs5 denominator notes/coins so that your exit from the toll gate is not delayed. Another point to note at the toll gates is that they will ask you whether it is a single journey or a return.

If you are not returning to this toll gate within 24hrs, then always take a single journey toll ticket. I paid Rs30 at this toll gate. Once we exit this toll gate, the traffic becomes thin and the high speed journey starts. From this point, I started looking for sign boards saying Vellore as that is the route I wanted to take. There is a toll bridge Samudram near Arcot ( Rs25 fee). Once I cross this, I followed the road to the right getting on to Vellore which is highway no.46..As I had no breakfast before I left, I decided to take it at Vellore in a roadside eatery called “Aryaas”.I reached Aryaas at 9am, a distance of 134 kms from my house at Adyar .If you are taking this road, if you do not eat at this point, then possibly there are no other eateries by the roadside till you reach near Hosur!! The eatery is just a small shack ( which has an A/C hall). The breakfast consisting of idlis/pongal and Vadas are acceptable.and the coffee also tasted good.One warning though. .This eatery adjoins a flyover and as you enter Vellore in the highway, lookout for the flyover. Before the flyover, there is a side road which you need to take. If you miss this and take the flyover, then it will be a while before you can get back to this point!!

I spent 30 minutes having my breakfast and then got back on the highway to the next toll bridge at Vaniyambadi ( Rs35 fee). Within 10kms of leaving this town, the vista opens into a beautiful scenary and the ride also starts getting enjoyable.After a distance of approx.35kms, I reached a long over bridge ahead. There is a road which takes a left turn to reach the over bridge which then proceeds to Tirupattur. Since my destination is different, I go under this over bridge and turn right to go towards krishnagiri. This is national highway no.7.Another toll gate( Rs25 fee) leads to Krishnagiri. Excellent scenery, slightly ghat roads with few change of gears leads to this town and an eatery by name Adyar Ananda Bhavan. This is well known eatery from Madras which my fellow Tamilians mostly favour. This is a crowded eatery where you need to walk over people’s heads to get your food. There is another one, better organized eatery at the outskirts of Hosur run by Kamat which of course the kannadigas prefer. The difference between the two eateries are stark. Kamat eatery like Bangalore is more pleasant, clean, less noisy and more friendly. These 2 eateries represent their states in the right manner!! Another notable difference is that the sambar in Kamat tastes sweeter. Anyway, it is your choice. As a guy who prefers order , peace and cleanliness and not totally minding sweeter sambar which of course I don’t taste, you can bet where I would have ended up eating my lunch!!

But then I decided to skip lunch because my friend in Bangalore is waiting with a carton of chilled beers. I can also let you on another secret. Bangalore unlike Madras is also the right place to sit and suck into few chilled beers.

Onwards I proceed towards Hosur, one more toll gate at Attibele ( Rs20 fee) and within 10kms of entering Karnataka/Bangalore another toll gate which actually is an option but I recommend everyone to take this because you then get on to a 9kms ( not sure the exact distance) elevated expressway which is a unique experience in these parts. This toll gate extracts Rs30 hard earned money which I think is worth it.With this joyful ride, I enter Madivala check point to take a right turn to get into old airport road at 12.15pm. heading towards the location of those chilled beers.

Barring 30 minutes stop at Aaryas and another 15minutes in various toll gates, the total time I took is approx. 5hours which I THINK WILL TAKE ANYONE SAFELY TO Bangalore barring unforeseen holdups.

This then are my final observations. Though the roads right through is conducive of high speed driving, there are few glitches one should note

1. There are many pedestrian crossings in this highway. It is highly advisable to slow down and not take unnecessary risks.
2. There are many “U” turns and right turns. Be wary of these crossings as at any time, a motorcycle or a lorry can cut across with least warning.
3. All the heavy trucks I saw were driving on the outer high speed lanes. These crude specimens are still living in the past which used to have only one serviceable lane/road and it is safer for them to stick on to middle lane. Someone needs to educate them that there are now 3 lanes and it will be wise on their part to stick to second lane. Who educates the morons in India?
4. There are no highway patrol. .If there are any, they must be hiding somewhere or sleeping during working hours which all of us irrespective in government or private do. All the highway users are at heir own peril.
5. The sign ages do not give you correct information. It will also contain some unnecessary information like some far off destinations which will make no sense. This is also the normal Indian habit of not following any international norm as we know everything!!
6. There are motor cycles / cycles and people who will jump from the median onto the fast lane. So beware.
7. I found driving at 80kms –100kms as a safe speed on these roads. Any speed higher than this risky because of the above mentioned characteristics.

Altogether, the driving was an enjoyable experience and gives you a good feeling that there is still some hope that this corrupt laden slothful country can move towards modernity at least by the end of this century. And give a better deal to the poor, handicapped , old and needy.

16 Comments

  • vidya says:

    I have done so many BLR to chennai trips, the view near the krishnagiri belt is amazing! That’s another highway road that I am proud of

  • nandanjha says:

    detailed road review Dinesh. I love them.

    I hope you had a good lunch over bubbly :-)

  • Sesh says:

    Did the same route last year in a tourist taxi. Your final description of the trip from chennai to bangalore is accurate to the tee. If you take tourist taxi, the toll at Hosur is about Rs. 1000!! The toll they collect should be used to build cross bridges at regular invervals so that the hwy is free of lorry (morons as you described) traffic coming directly at you. Best part of the hwy was around Krishnagiri…beautiful.

    • dinesh says:

      Thanks Sesh.Our highways are still very basic . There is all round crudity in our day to day existence which amazes me.This is 21st century and not 19th!!

  • Rajkumar says:

    good article buddy. . .your style of flow is unique. . . I enjoyed reading dis. . . I ‘ll do one soon….

  • Sundar says:

    Hi Dinesh,

    Its very useful info on toll fee. Hope the total toll fee is Rs.135 for one way from Chennai to Bangalore.
    And also interesting narration about the journey and experience.

    Thanks,
    Sundar

  • Shailesh Kadri says:

    Certainly the drive from Chennai to Bangalore via Krishnagiri/Hosur is great as we have a pay and use road. Alternately, (particularly on week ends during high traffic) I would recommend to take to road via Chittor (right deviation after Ranipet) and reach Bangalore at K.R. Puram. This road use better recommended for people going to North Bangalore (Manyata Tech Park, Devanahalli Airport area) because once you reach Bangalore via Hosur road, the traffic within the city is so hectic, one will forget the pleasure he enjoyed all the way and will start cursing.

    In addition, you will save some bucks avoiding the tolls. The drive is moderately good provided you have a good suspension. The roads are not wide enough. However, the traffic is pretty low compared to the farmer road. All the bests!!!

  • Ramachandran says:

    I request, Howmany toll plaza’s available between Chennai to Bangalore Via Chittoor

  • Manoj Kumar says:

    Liked your trip. I am also going to travel. It will be helpful
    Thanks Dude

  • Ajit Lakshmiratan says:

    Hi…it’s a wonderful write up…which will be useful when i take my bikers from Bangalore to Chennai and back next week

  • Sunil says:

    Hi Thanks,

    Am travelling tonight, i believe all the points will be useful for me on this travel.
    Will put my feedback once i come back.

    Thanks once again….

    • Venu says:

      Hi sunil,

      did you travel through this road? if Yes please let me know hwz your experience. i am planning to travel through this road this weekend..

      Thanks in advance:)

  • Marwan says:

    Very nice but you could have provided some google maps snapshots and also scenic beauties that you saw along the trip.

  • a says:

    Great detailed review.

    Thanks for the time and efforts in writing this.

  • Ram says:

    Dinesh, Thanks for sharing your experience …Very nice review and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

    Anyone interested in learning more about the toll plazas and toll rates in India can check them out here..http://www.nhtis.org/map.htm.

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