Thursday, October 10, 2013

Drive to Trichy from Bangalore

Road trip on our Suzuki Ritz 2013 Vxi Petrol - Bangalore - Tiruchengode - Trichy (Vayalur - Tiruvanaikovil - Samayapuram - Srirangam - Rockfort) - Namakkal - Bangalore - 850 kms - 3 days/2 nights 

After our road trip to Chennai last month, I really wanted to go on another long drive, and was looking to drive all the way to Kanyakumari on the NH7. But, with the limited budget, we decided to restrict to Trichy which is around 380 kms.

We started with an elaborate plan to cover a lot of places in and around Trichy with a 4-day halt at Trichy - mainly a temple tour with a few picnic spots here and there. However, the actual trip spanned only 3 days - we started on 6th October at 5AM and returned on 8th October by 4 PM - purely a temple tour.

The Trip...

Bangalore-Krishnagiri-Salem (200 kms - 3 hours)
We started from Horamavu, Bangalore (north-east corner of Bangalore) on Sunday, 6th October 2013 0500, and drove through the inner ring road to reach Hosur Road. Took the Electronic City Elevated Road, drove on the superb NH7 all the way to Salem. The 6-lane highway starts from Hosur till Krishnagiri. Since parts of this road are still under construction, there are a lot of diversions and jams. But it is not very bad though, and could drive mostly around 80-100kmph.

The Krishnagiri-Salem section was superb. Though it was a 4-lane highway, I could drive at speeds of 120-130 kmph consistently and also managed to touch 150 kmph twice. We reached Salem (200kms) at 0800 (3 hours). After Salem, we took the exit towards Erode.

Salem-Tiruchengode (40 kms - 40 minutes)
To go to Tiruchengode, we took the exit at Salem towards Erode/Coimbatore. The Salem-Erode road was also a good 4-lane highway, but we had to take the diversion towards Tiruchengode, and the great roads ended.

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The Tiruchengode road was still good - 2 lanes, traffic was not bad, and we covered around 40 kms in 40 minutes. We stopped in the Tiruchengode town for breakfast at a small restaurant "Mani's Cafe" near the bus stand (place was bad. food was ok). We then started on the hill road to the temple. This road is cut out of the rock, and the view was very good!
The Ardhanareeswarar temple was nice, not crowded at all. Spent about an hour there and started the drive to Trichy.

Tiruchengode - Trichy (122 kms - 3 hours)
The Tiruchengode - Trichy road is a 2-lane highway through Namakkal. We took the route through Musiri, Srirangam - Trichy which goes beside the Cauvery river. The road was generally fine, but lots of sand trucks and intercity buses.

So, a total of ~360 kms in ~6 hours of driving, and ~2 hours of breaks...

At Trichy, we stayed at the TTDC Tamil Nadu hotel. The hotel was basic, but for the rate of Rs. 1900 for the family room (for 5), it was comfortable. We also got a 20% senior citizen discount using my father-in-law's ID.

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Food at Trichy
Vegetarian food at Trichy was not as good as we expected, maybe we didn't go to the right places. We tried different restaurants, but only once or twice was our experience good.
- Kurinji restaurant (Hotel Guru) - we had lunch in the a/c restaurant - food was decent, but lighting could be better
- Vasantha Bhavan (opp Central bus stand) - Food was really bad here - Didn't try again
- Sree Krishna - This was good - we had food here multiple times in our stay
- Geethanjali (Hotel Mayas) - Best food in Trichy - on our way back to Bangalore.

Temples in and around Trichy
We visited the following temples in and near Trichy -
1. Vayalur Subrahmanya temple -
2. Tiruvanaikovil -
3. Samayapuram - - was very crowded / looked very commercialised to me
3. Srirangam - - We went here at 5.30PM. The temple was closed between 5.30 and 7 PM. We didn't wait and went on to the Rockfort temple
4. Rockfort hill temple - - This was a nice temple on a hill, however the entry and exit roads for the hill were very narrow and without any directions.

At Namakkal
On the 3rd day, we started our return drive to Bangalore at around 8AM after breakfast at Geethanjali. We used the same road on the return as we used while arriving (through Musiri). However, the road beside the river was pretty bad on this side because of the fully laden sand lorries freshly excavated from the Cauvery. It was a slow drive following the slow lorries and intercity buses from Trichy to Namakkal and Salem.

At Namakkal, we stopped for 2 temples -
Anjaneya Temple -
Narasimha Temple - - This is a nice temple, with the idols formed within the cave of the hill.

Return to Bangalore
We continued back to Bangalore on the NH7 - which was pretty good and comfortable. We had a quick lunch at Adyar Ananda Bhavan just before Dharmapuri. The major highlight of this road was the number of butterflies flying across the NH7 and getting smashed by each vehicle.

Overally a very good trip! The Ritz handled very well and I enjoyed the complete drive!