A soulful journey to Mahabalipuram and Pondi from Hyderabad

dinesh2001_13

New Member
A road trip to Pondi has been on my list for a very long time but could never materialize due to the distance of 826 kms from my home in Hyderabad. Finally after all these years of travelling I could muster the courage to take up this challenge. Got my Fiat Linea serviced and ready for this drive. I had to change the tyres as well as they were out of tread and couldn't take the risk of driving so long on the old ones.
Day 1:
We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 in the morning with my wife and 8 yr daughter. We decided to not stop for breakfast, owing to the fact that my daughter has a tendency to throw up after meal while travelling. We thought that N5 food plaza in Tangutur, Prakasham would be the best choice for our brunch, but fantastic roads and less traffic meant that we were there at 10:50 AM in just 5 and half hours. We had to skip it and stopped an hour and half later for lunch. There are several descent restaurants on the way. We took the Hyderabad->Miryalguda->Addanki->Ongole->Mahabalipuram route. The route is 4 lane till Addanki, 6 lane till Nellore and then 4 lane till Mahabalipuram. Till Addanki, there are no Fastag toll plazas but after that all the way to Chennai, we had a smooth ride thanks to Fastag plazas we spent minimum time waiting at the toll plazas.
There was lot of road closures due to constructions on the highway around 50 kms to Chennai and that slowed us down significantly. It took around 1.5 hrs to get out of Chennai onto the Kelambakkam - Vandalur Rd. After that again it was a smooth ride till Mammalapuram. We reached at 5:30 PM and stayed at the Mammala Heritage. Nice hotel with a swimming pool to unwind. It took us 12 hrs to cover 735 kms with a lunch break and few refuelling/bio breaks which gives an average speed of around 70 KMPH. We took a quick refreshment at the hotel and headed to the beach. Hotel is centrally located at walk-able from all the main attractions.
Day-2 :
Next morning daughter and me jumped into the swimming pool to have a refreshing swim and get ready for the long day ahead. We went to Krishna's butter ball after having the complementary breakfast. All the other attractions are situated close by within 100-200 meters. Took a local guide to walk us through the history about these places. It took us 2 hours to cover this stretch. Then visited the local market complex and the 5 rathas and the Shell Museum which is a must visit. Bought some exquisite pieces made from shells from the market attached to the shell museum. After lunch went to visit the Crocodile Bank which took around an hour to cover and then headed for Pondi at around 4 PM. The road from Mahabalipuram to Pondi is 2 way with some traffic. Took more than 2 hrs to cover this stretch of 100 kms. Reached Pondi at around 6 PM and headed straight to the Promenade beach to relax in the evening. Both Mahabalipuram and Pondi are quite clean with less traffic in comparison to our cities which made our travel and stay less taxing.
Day 3:
After having the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we went to Auroville . Came back to visit all the local attractions which were again at walk able distance. Post lunch went to Paradise beach. To reach there you have to take a boat ride from Chunnambar. The beach is very clean with fine sand. There are shower rooms, toilets, a rain dance facility and life guards. One of the best beaches in india i believe. Spent the eveing there and came back to hotel in the evening. Went for a walk on the promenade beach road which has lots of eating options and cool breeze to spend a relaxing evening.
Day 4:
After getting up, went for a walk in white town to get a feel of the local's life. The streets were very clean. People were busy doing there daily chores. It gave a village feel and the local vegetable market was brimming with activity. Most interesting was all the parts of banana plant was on sale. After Breakfast went to shop at the local handicrafts emporium. It has some exquisite collections of artifacts made from wood, leather and clay. Bought several decorative items from here. Post lunch went to the Serenity beach. This is in direct contrast to the Paradise beach. There were no toilets or shower rooms, however you could take a room from the adjoining resorts and hotels. The beach is mainly for fishermen and hence was not as clean and was quite smelly from all the rotting fishes and seafood. We had to find a good spot which was cleaner and were able to spend couple of hours relaxing and reflecting upon life. For dinner went to a rooftop restaurant (Sky Garden) to have some fine french cusine and drinks.
Day 5:
Started back to Hyderabd for our 826 kms return journey. Had Lunch at N5 Food Plaza this time around which we reached at 1:30 PM. Post lunch started at 2:20 PM, faced heavy rains on the way and reached home at 7:55 PM. Return journey took 13.5 hrs with breakfast, lunch and refuelling/bio breaks giving an average speed of 70 KMPH.

Another trip done and thanks to my Fiat for supporting us with another comfortable and trouble free ride.
 

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deepam

Super User
A road trip to Pondi has been on my list for a very long time but could never materialize due to the distance of 826 kms from my home in Hyderabad. Finally after all these years of travelling I could muster the courage to take up this challenge. Got my Fiat Linea serviced and ready for this drive. I had to change the tyres as well as they were out of tread and couldn't take the risk of driving so long on the old ones.
Day 1:
We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 in the morning with my wife and 8 yr daughter. We decided to not stop for breakfast, owing to the fact that my daughter has a tendency to throw up after meal while travelling. We thought that N5 food plaza in Tangutur, Prakasham would be the best choice for our brunch, but fantastic roads and less traffic meant that we were there at 10:50 AM in just 5 and half hours. We had to skip it and stopped an hour and half later for lunch. There are several descent restaurants on the way. We took the Hyderabad->Miryalguda->Addanki->Ongole->Mahabalipuram route. The route is 4 lane till Addanki, 6 lane till Nellore and then 4 lane till Mahabalipuram. Till Addanki, there are no Fastag toll plazas but after that all the way to Chennai, we had a smooth ride thanks to Fastag plazas we spent minimum time waiting at the toll plazas.
There was lot of road closures due to constructions on the highway around 50 kms to Chennai and that slowed us down significantly. It took around 1.5 hrs to get out of Chennai onto the Kelambakkam - Vandalur Rd. After that again it was a smooth ride till Mammalapuram. We reached at 5:30 PM and stayed at the Mammala Heritage. Nice hotel with a swimming pool to unwind. It took us 12 hrs to cover 735 kms with a lunch break and few refuelling/bio breaks which gives an average speed of around 70 KMPH. We took a quick refreshment at the hotel and headed to the beach. Hotel is centrally located at walk-able from all the main attractions.
Day-2 :
Next morning daughter and me jumped into the swimming pool to have a refreshing swim and get ready for the long day ahead. We went to Krishna's butter ball after having the complementary breakfast. All the other attractions are situated close by within 100-200 meters. Took a local guide to walk us through the history about these places. It took us 2 hours to cover this stretch. Then visited the local market complex and the 5 rathas and the Shell Museum which is a must visit. Bought some exquisite pieces made from shells from the market attached to the shell museum. After lunch went to visit the Crocodile Bank which took around an hour to cover and then headed for Pondi at around 4 PM. The road from Mahabalipuram to Pondi is 2 way with some traffic. Took more than 2 hrs to cover this stretch of 100 kms. Reached Pondi at around 6 PM and headed straight to the Promenade beach to relax in the evening. Both Mahabalipuram and Pondi are quite clean with less traffic in comparison to our cities which made our travel and stay less taxing.
Day 3:
After having the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we went to Auroville . Came back to visit all the local attractions which were again at walk able distance. Post lunch went to Paradise beach. To reach there you have to take a boat ride from Chunnambar. The beach is very clean with fine sand. There are shower rooms, toilets, a rain dance facility and life guards. One of the best beaches in india i believe. Spent the eveing there and came back to hotel in the evening. Went for a walk on the promenade beach road which has lots of eating options and cool breeze to spend a relaxing evening.
Day 4:
After getting up, went for a walk in white town to get a feel of the local's life. The streets were very clean. People were busy doing there daily chores. It gave a village feel and the local vegetable market was brimming with activity. Most interesting was all the parts of banana plant was on sale. After Breakfast went to shop at the local handicrafts emporium. It has some exquisite collections of artifacts made from wood, leather and clay. Bought several decorative items from here. Post lunch went to the Serenity beach. This is in direct contrast to the Paradise beach. There were no toilets or shower rooms, however you could take a room from the adjoining resorts and hotels. The beach is mainly for fishermen and hence was not as clean and was quite smelly from all the rotting fishes and seafood. We had to find a good spot which was cleaner and were able to spend couple of hours relaxing and reflecting upon life. For dinner went to a rooftop restaurant (Sky Garden) to have some fine french cusine and drinks.
Day 5:
Started back to Hyderabd for our 826 kms return journey. Had Lunch at N5 Food Plaza this time around which we reached at 1:30 PM. Post lunch started at 2:20 PM, faced heavy rains on the way and reached home at 7:55 PM. Return journey took 13.5 hrs with breakfast, lunch and refuelling/bio breaks giving an average speed of 70 KMPH.

Another trip done and thanks to my Fiat for supporting us with another comfortable and trouble free ride.
++++++++++++++++
Nice trip and blog.
Return you could have planned to return via Bangalore.
 
Nice write up. Long drive in a Fiat Linea is always a pleasure given the dynamics of the car. BTW did you plog in the morning at Mahabalipuram resort beach, write poem and tweet about it ;)?
 

travenix

New Member
Thank you for sharing this post! This descriptive post provides the necessary details. It would be of great help to anyone planning their road trip from Hyderabad to Pondicheery.
 

Ajeeth s

New Member
A road trip to Pondi has been on my list for a very long time but could never materialize due to the distance of 826 kms from my home in Hyderabad. Finally after all these years of travelling I could muster the courage to take up this challenge. Got my Fiat Linea serviced and ready for this drive. I had to change the tyres as well as they were out of tread and couldn't take the risk of driving so long on the old ones.
Day 1:
We started from Hyderabad at 5:30 in the morning with my wife and 8 yr daughter. We decided to not stop for breakfast, owing to the fact that my daughter has a tendency to throw up after meal while travelling. We thought that N5 food plaza in Tangutur, Prakasham would be the best choice for our brunch, but fantastic roads and less traffic meant that we were there at 10:50 AM in just 5 and half hours. We had to skip it and stopped an hour and half later for lunch. There are several descent restaurants on the way. We took the Hyderabad->Miryalguda->Addanki->Ongole->Mahabalipuram route. The route is 4 lane till Addanki, 6 lane till Nellore and then 4 lane till Mahabalipuram. Till Addanki, there are no Fastag toll plazas but after that all the way to Chennai, we had a smooth ride thanks to Fastag plazas we spent minimum time waiting at the toll plazas.
There was lot of road closures due to constructions on the highway around 50 kms to Chennai and that slowed us down significantly. It took around 1.5 hrs to get out of Chennai onto the Kelambakkam - Vandalur Rd. After that again it was a smooth ride till Mammalapuram. We reached at 5:30 PM and stayed at the Mammala Heritage. Nice hotel with a swimming pool to unwind. It took us 12 hrs to cover 735 kms with a lunch break and few refuelling/bio breaks which gives an average speed of around 70 KMPH. We took a quick refreshment at the hotel and headed to the beach. Hotel is centrally located at walk-able from all the main attractions.
Day-2 :
Next morning daughter and me jumped into the swimming pool to have a refreshing swim and get ready for the long day ahead. We went to Krishna's butter ball after having the complementary breakfast. All the other attractions are situated close by within 100-200 meters. Took a local guide to walk us through the history about these places. It took us 2 hours to cover this stretch. Then visited the local market complex and the 5 rathas and the Shell Museum which is a must visit. Bought some exquisite pieces made from shells from the market attached to the shell museum. After lunch went to visit the Crocodile Bank which took around an hour to cover and then headed for Pondi at around 4 PM. The road from Mahabalipuram to Pondi is 2 way with some traffic. Took more than 2 hrs to cover this stretch of 100 kms. Reached Pondi at around 6 PM and headed straight to the Promenade beach to relax in the evening. Both Mahabalipuram and Pondi are quite clean with less traffic in comparison to our cities which made our travel and stay less taxing.
Day 3:
After having the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we went to Auroville . Came back to visit all the local attractions which were again at walk able distance. Post lunch went to Paradise beach. To reach there you have to take a boat ride from Chunnambar. The beach is very clean with fine sand. There are shower rooms, toilets, a rain dance facility and life guards. One of the best beaches in india i believe. Spent the eveing there and came back to hotel in the evening. Went for a walk on the promenade beach road which has lots of eating options and cool breeze to spend a relaxing evening.
Day 4:
After getting up, went for a walk in white town to get a feel of the local's life. The streets were very clean. People were busy doing there daily chores. It gave a village feel and the local vegetable market was brimming with activity. Most interesting was all the parts of banana plant was on sale. After Breakfast went to shop at the local handicrafts emporium. It has some exquisite collections of artifacts made from wood, leather and clay. Bought several decorative items from here. Post lunch went to the Serenity beach. This is in direct contrast to the Paradise beach. There were no toilets or shower rooms, however you could take a room from the adjoining resorts and hotels. The beach is mainly for fishermen and hence was not as clean and was quite smelly from all the rotting fishes and seafood. We had to find a good spot which was cleaner and were able to spend couple of hours relaxing and reflecting upon life. For dinner went to a rooftop restaurant (Sky Garden) to have some fine french cusine and drinks.
Day 5:
Started back to Hyderabd for our 826 kms return journey. Had Lunch at N5 Food Plaza this time around which we reached at 1:30 PM. Post lunch started at 2:20 PM, faced heavy rains on the way and reached home at 7:55 PM. Return journey took 13.5 hrs with breakfast, lunch and refuelling/bio breaks giving an average speed of 70 KMPH.

Another trip done and thanks to my Fiat for supporting us with another comfortable and trouble free ride.
Super
 
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