Wednesday 15 April 2015

Mahabalipuram Kanchipuram Vellore Travelogue

After my first ever long drive to Kodaikanal, the mind was still thinking on another long drive. This time we decided to go for a short trip with parents. This post is about 1 night 2 days trip to Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram and Vellore from Bangalore.

Route: Bangalore - Krishnagiri - Vellore - Kanchipuram - Chengalpattu - MahabalipuramKanchipuramVellore - Bangalore


Day 1:
We started from Bangalore at 6AM and reached A2B on NH7 at 7.20AM. After a tasty breakfast, it was a non stop drive to Mahabalipuram. At Krishnagiri, you have to take left turn towards Chennai (NH46). You have to cross Vellore, and at Arcot get into NH4. When you are nearing Kanchipuram, take right turn to get into SH58. This road leads to Chengalpattu and near a place called Thirukalukundram take left to SH49B which leads to Mahabalipuram.

RouteBangalore - Krishnagiri - Vellore - Kanchipuram - Chengalpattu - Mahabalipuram
Road ConditionExcellent till Kanchi, Good from Kanchi to Mahabalipuram
Distance Covered363 KMS
Time Taken6hrs 45mins with 35mins break for breakfast

Once we reached Mahabalipuram, we went to A2B for lunch. After a decent lunch, we went to hotel for 2 hrs rest.

Here are the places we visited at Mahabalipuram.

Pancha Ratha

Pancha Ratha
SthalaSayana Perumal Temple
Beach (Bay of Bengal)
After an eventful day, we had dinner at A2B and rested in the hotel.

Day 2:
As per the plan, we had to return to Bangalore, so it was very important to stick to the plan. And the execution was almost perfect and I'll share the plan now.

RouteMahabalipuram - Chengalpattu - Kanchipuram - Vellore - Krishnagiri Vellore Temple - Bangalore
Road ConditionSame as above
Distance Covered381 KMS
Time TakenMahabalipuram - Kanchi: 1hr 45mins with 15mins break for coffee
Kanchi - Vellore Temple: 2hrs non stop
Vellore Temple - Bangalore: 4hrs 45mins non stop (Night drive)

We had planned to cover three temples in Kanchipuram and also spend time for Kanchi Saree shopping.

We started from Mahabalipuram at 6.15AM. After reaching Kanchi at 8AM, we first went to Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple. This temple is on the state highway road which connects Kanchi and Chengalpattu and is open from 6AM to 11AM and 4PM to 8PM. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is a very big temple. One has to climb good number of steps to reach to sanctum sanctorum. However, the moorthi is very good and we had a good darshan.

Shri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

Kalyani at Shri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

After a breakfast at Saravana Bhavan at Gandhi road, we went to Sri Ekambareswara temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and this is also one of the oldest temples in Kanchi. This temple is open from 6AM to 11AM and 5PM to 8PM.

Sri Ekambareswara temple
After having darshan of Lord Shiva, we went to Kanchi Amman (Shri Kamakshi) temple. This temple is open from 5.30AM to 12.30PM and 4PM to 8.30PM.

Shri Kamakshi Temple

Kalyani at Shri Kamakshi Temple

Elephant at Shri Kamakshi Temple
We were able to complete the darshan in these three temples by 12.30PM. Then we headed for Saree shopping at Gandhi road. After the shopping, we had lunch at Saravana Bhavan on the same road. We left Kanchi at 3.20PM and reached Vellore Mahalakshmi temple (Golden temple) at 5.20PM.

After a quick refresh and coffee at a nearby Vegetarian hotel, we went to temple complex. Since elders and son were tired, we bought a seva ticket which will not only cut short the distance from entrance to the sanctum sanctorum but also allow us to have darshan for minimum 10mins.

Vellore Mahalakshmi temple is built on a huge campus. For people who cannot walk this distance, they can get wheelchairs. Since you can get all the information about this temple in websites, I will stick to a few things what I observed. When it gets dark and they put on the lights, it literally looks like out of the world. As if we are in a Lord Indra's palace. Very majestic, beautiful, stunning...But, somehow it didn't give me that temple atmosphere which I experienced in old temples in Kanchipuram. Camera and phone are not allowed inside, hence I could not take any picture.

It seems this is a newly built temple, however, there is another place where the original moorthi is installed. We missed it, so in case you are planning, do take this place also into account.

It was very crowded at temple and we were all exhausted. We had dinner at nearby Veg restaurant. I had two options - stay back in a hotel and drive to Bangalore next day morning or drive in the night. I felt I still have energy to drive and mind was wanting to take rest at home - the best place than any hotels!

We started from Vellore at 8.30PM and with a non stop drive, we reached Bangalore at 12.45PM. 15mins got wasted due to a slow moving traffic after Krishnagiri due to an accident. Otherwise, it was a very pleasant drive. This is the first time I drove in night covering this distance.

Total distance covered = 756 KMS.
Total Toll fees including NICE road = Rs.890.

It was yet another successful trip in my car. With two long drives within six months, there were many learning on highway driving and I'll reserve that for a separate post. Though the body rested on the bed, the mind was thinking - where to go next!!!

Further Reading:
Check these links to know more about the places mentioned in this post.

Pancha Rathas
Sthalasayana Perumal Temple
Varadaraja Perumal Temple
Ekambareswara Temple
Kamakshi Temple
Vellore Golden Temple


Unknown said...

Good information. Thanks for taking time and letting others know about your experiences. We are planning to head to the same destination as your blog has. Will post my experience once I am back.

Suresh said...

@Unknown, thanks for your comments. Wish you a wonderful journey. Do share your experiences.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suresh,
Thanks for nice info.
Do we have any Ghats in this route?
I am new to driving, Planning for Kanchi and Vellore temple for two days? Please help me.

Unknown said...

Hi Suresh,

Thank you for your Complete Travel Guide Details, I followed the Same and Executed.

Suresh Irukulla.

Suresh said...

@Anonymous, there is no ghat road. Go ahead and enjoy the drive. All the best!

Suresh said...

Hi Suresh, glad to know that it helped. Thanks for your kind words.

M Bharath said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Didn't say anything about your stay at Kanchipuram.

Suresh said...

@Bharath, thanks for your comments. We didn't stay at Kanchipuram. It was a 1 night 2 days trip and we stayed at Mahabalipuram.

rahulkavin said...