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Visit to Mahabalipuram

Discussion in 'Travel' started by satchitananda, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    [JUSTIFY]I guess a drive from Bangalore to Chennai may not be the most original or exotic drive in the world, but this was the first time I went by road to Chennai (no, am not kidding). Although I have visited Yercaud and Yelagiri by road in the past many years ago, when the highway was just built, this was a different experience altogether.

    We (BH and I) set off at a fairly reasonable hour - 8 in the morning (a good, sound sleep certainly enhances the experience of a long drive). We hit the office going traffic near the Madivala market. But that was not too bad. We were at the head of a traffic jam, so were not too badly hit. We drove quite uneventfully down to Shoolagiri where we stopped to fuel the car as well as ourselves :biggrin2:. The road was pretty good, the weather bracing and the sun not too hot.

    The road was dotted with boards warning drivers to drive slow. These boards on the road merit a separate blog by themselves. The warnings are very clear. Apart from warnings, they are a good source of amusement while driving along. (Unfortunately we did not stop to photograph them :-().

    "Truck lay-bye"

    "If you drive, don't drink. If you drink, don't drive" (no nonsense there - very clear)

    "Be careful, big pothole ahead (was imagining boards in Bangalore saying "Be careful, short stretch of road ahead"! :biglaugh:)

    "Fast drive is last drive":shock:

    But the winner was a board which said :

    "Safety gears are between the ears" :clap

    We must give it to whoever has put up these boards - the engineers????? In which case they must be a pretty gifted and creative lot.

    This reminded of the boards along the Jammu-Srinagar highway which I had seen in 1977. They were very catchy - so much so as to stay in my memory (which is siftier than the sand on a beach) after so many years. They read

    "This is not a race or rally, drive slow and enjoy Kashmir valley", "Drive slow, your family needs you".

    I remember dad and myself reading all these boards along the way and enjoying ourselves.

    From there on the highway was undergoing 6 laning right upto Krishnagiri, so we had to drive carefully.

    The drive was so beautiful, that we missed the turning to Chennai and went straight down along the Salem highway for about 30 kms with BH wondering why the road was so green - apparently after the turn near Krishnagiri, it is quite barren.

    Well, we had all the time in the world and the scenery was far too beautiful to regret the loss of time and extra drive. In fact seeing that the road led to Kanya Kumari, I secretly wished we could abandon the previous plan and drive down to KK. Anyway, neither of us is given to such sudden whims, nor did we have so much time to manage that. Anyway it was a great pleasure watching the green environs around - a real treat to the eye. Distant hills, coconut groves, a lake with birds dotted the way all along.

    Eventually we made our way back to the right turning leading to Chennai. What a drastic change in scenery. Amazing to think that just a few kilometers away and the scenery could be so markedly different.

    After that the drive was pretty routine. We stopped over at Vellore for refuelling (our own tanks that is :-D) and then carried on. I curled up on the back seat for a while to rest my petulant back and slept till we got to Sriperumbadur. (The road was pretty bad compared to the beautiful highway till Vellore). Got up in time to see the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial on the way. (Seems so unreal to think of him getting blown up so violently). Anyway, after that it was pretty slow going with huge Hyundai trucks trundling along one after the other. (One of them had "Garib Rath" written behind it as if to convince potential robbers that they did not have any precious cargo aboard" :rotfl It would be nice if all the Garibs in our country could have Hyundai cars.)

    Reached Chennai in the evening to find the weather very pleasant and bracing.

    Went two days later to Mahabalipuram. Personally was not so enamoured by the ECR - may be the heat and my travel sickness coloured my perspective in a deep shade of grey.

    However after reaching Mahabalipuram, had a wonderful time playing on the beach, walking through the water along the beach, gathering sea shells. There was a particular kind of long, conical shell which was plentiful, but unfortunately all of them seemed to be inhabited with some sea creature. So listened to BH (for a change) as well as to my conscience and returned to the sea what belonged to the sea. Was lucky however to find one single one which was abandoned.

    We did not go to the Shore Temple, but walked up close along the beach and got some nice pics. Was surprised to see so many people swimming in the sea and wished I had gone prepared for one myself. Well, good reason to go again. :-D

    Had a wonderful buffet lunch at the resort there (Continental, Mexican and Indian dishes). Then while the seniors (BH, my cousin and her husband :p relaxed post lunch, this not yet so senior went back to play in the water, messed around and eventually very reluctantly got out to go back home. [/JUSTIFY]

    Pics in my album:http://www.indusladies.com/forums/members/132899-albums3560.html
     
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  2. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    nice write up,enjoyed up,enjoyed about the funny signboards.
    True the scenery really changes when you approach Chennai.I had been to TRIVANDRUM AND K KUMARI,my it is really beautiful.
     
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  3. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Wow,thanks for those lovely pictures,I have always enjoyed visiting M puram.In fact our weekly drive was ECR during week ends when I was in Chennai.We used to enjoy it.
     
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  4. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Kanaks. Truly can't wait for another visit - a longer one this time. :)
     
  5. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl IL Hall of Fame

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    :rotfl:rotfl
    Lovely post and u had me cracking up (as usual) with those bill boards...OMG..
    The pics are amazing..glad u had a nice time satchi!

    Also saw ur profile pic on the dashboard of ur car...:)
     
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  6. mathangikkumar

    mathangikkumar Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Swati
    a nice travelogue and I have also not visited Mahabalipuram so far thinking of going in June with my daughter , and co .
     
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  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks JAG. Ganesha and I have a lot in common - the most obvious one being food!!! :-D, the second being the obvious effects of the same. :rotfl
     
  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Mathangi. It is definitely worth a visit and this is the best time of year to go. It can get pretty hot.
     
  9. aparnag

    aparnag Platinum IL'ite

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    Wonderfully written..
    Making me long for a visit to mahabs....
    Lovely narration.
     
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  10. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Aparna. Do visit. It is simply wonderful. Wish I had more time there.
     

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