Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore in Our #AllNewCreta

Yesterday, we went on a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, bought in June 2020.

Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore

We wanted to take our new Creta on a long drive since 2 months.

Since its a new car and that too an SUV, we were more than cautious all these days. All we did was to take our ‘Milo’ – that is the name our car :), on a short one day road trips in highways.

We did go once in Hassan road, and couple of times in Mysore road and several times to Kanakapura road to our regular cafe coffee day.

Well, its time we took the beast for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore.

Why We Chose Mysore for Our First Long Drive

The main reason being, we are very much familiar with just 2 roads / highways starting from Bangalore.

One is Hosur road, leading to Chennai and Salem, where we have been on multiple bike trips and road trips to Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Yercaud, Kumbakonam, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Madurai, etc.,

And Second, Mysore highways, leading to Mysore, further to places like Coorg, Wayanad, Bandhipur, Ooty, Chikmagalur, Mangalore etc.,

Due to pandemic – interstate highways lock-down, we were left with just one familiar road, that is Mysore highways.

Very soon we will be exploring many other roads such as Kunigal Highways and Hyderabad highways. We have covered Nandhi hills and Lepakshi in one day bike trip in Hyderabad highways, yet to explore further once this pandemic is over.

Our recent Hassan road trip in our #AllNewCreta

Many Other Good Reasons for Choosing Mysore Highways:

  • Well Paved Roads – A very popular highways (NH 275), now under construction for 6 ways road is a treat for anyone looking for long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, or Coorg or Wayanad.
  • Numerous Restaurant Choices – Throughout the highways, you have numerous choices of restaurants and coffee shops. Our new favorite is Drive thru McDonalds in Channapatna, where you get hot meals at all times. And the best part? It is a drive through. No time waste in dine – in.
  • Toll Fare of Just 65/- rupees – We all need a weekend getaway that doesn’t burn our pockets, isn’t it?. Trust me, Mysore highways doesn’t cost you much like Salem and Kunigal highways where you would be easily spending minimum of 250 rupees for a one way drive. Whereas, here, for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, you would be spending just 65 rupees. And if you choose Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey, you would be spending only half of that money. Very gooood.

Best Drive in Restaurant in Kunigal highways

From our recent short raod trip from Bangalore, the best drive -in restaurant in Kunkgal Highways is Swathi Delicacy. Here is google map link – https://goo.gl/maps/TLXDeUxjxEFF3M678.

Taste their coffee alteast, its the best :).

Travel Time from Bangalore to Mysore by Road

Bangalore to Mysore distance is 150 kms from each other. The travel time from Bangalore to Mysore by road, was just 3 hrs. Fair good time with just pit stop of 10 mins (that too at McD’s drive thru) in a moderate traffic.

Ideally it would take about 4 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in an ususal weekend traffic. Whereas, it would take just 3 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in a weekday traffic. The toughest one is from Nice road until Ramanagara, after that it is usually a smooth drive.

We started by 8 am on a Sunday morning, after having a cup of black coffee at home.

(This is how to make best coffee at home, my all time favorite drink).

McDonald’s Drive thru, Channapatna, Long drive from Bangalore

By the time we reached “the frosting” cafe, it was 11am. Strectched legs, quenched thirst, ate pizza, clicked pics and chilled out for some time. After all the chillax, roamed the city until 2.30pm.

Entrance view at the frosting cafe, Mysore

Meantime had coffee at Ashirvaad grand pure veg situated across Grand Mercure hotel.

If you are wondering, we came to know this restaurant when we stayed in ‘Grand Mercure‘, just a week before outburst of Covid-19. While we stayed there, we came to this veg restaurant for the evening meal. We liked this veg restaurant in Mysore since then. And their best mysuru coffee too.

Instead of “frosting cafe”, last time we went to “The Old House” cafe. Love both their ambiance and food.

In fact we wanted to go to our all time favorite Green hotel with Malgudi cafe. It is one of the best cafe in Mysore. Unfortunately it was temporarily closed for the pandemic. Otherwise we would never miss their coffee and dessert for anything in the world.

best cafe in mysuru
The green hotel, Malgudi cafe in Mysuru

Around 2.30, we had lunch at yet another famous restaurant in Mysore for Biryani, called Hanumanthu Mess. It is rated one of the best non veg restaurant in Mysuru. And it is true. A small mess serving delicious non veg and biryani could be your favorite too.

We then leisurely started our Milo, to return back to Bangalore.

Returning Back – Long Drive Via Malavalli / Kanakapura Road

It is our thing, we always choose Malavalli – Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey.

Ideally it is a parallel highways to Mysore highways, with less fancy road and far less traffic.

Not only that, we love that road for the greenery and agri land.

We were on this route couple of times when went on bike trip to Shivanasamudra falls, T Narasipura, Talakadu Tala Kaveri river and Somanathapura (Hoysala architecture) and Srirangapatna.

With our favorite music playing at the back, the return journey took us 4 hrs of time. Because, we stopped at many places to click pics, the most notable one was the thriving Kaveri river after monsoon.

We never had any interest to go sightseeing in Mysore. If you are travelling with kids, and planning to go sightseeing Mysore palace, zoo and botanical garden – then you need to be arriving Mysore at 10am. So that you would have sufficient time to look around places in Mysore in one day.

But, we always love to hangout in cafe’s instead of sightseeing in Mysore.

This time too, in our long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, we did nothing but chill out in cafes.

Glad we took our Milo for a long drive.

From Bangalore to Kanchipuram Road trip or Train trip?

We are frequent travelers from Bangalore to Kanchipuram since 2017. 

And we have experience of travelling by both car and train to this Famous Temple city in Tamil Nadu,

I am sharing our travel story here and giving you the best route with distances for you to choose.

Also suggestions on places to see in and around Kanchipuram

Since it is a temple city, I have given a list of famous temples in Kanchipuram to visit.

Distance From Bangalore To Kanchipuram

Distance from Bangalore to Kanchipuram via Vellore is 280 kms (which is the best route by car).

We traveled regularly to this famous temple city Kanchipuram (also called Kancheepuram). Just how we well know Tiruvannamalai and Kumbakonam, we know Kanchipuram city in and out.

The name “Kanchipuram silk sarees”, for the silk sarees weaved in this temple city, made it popular worldwide.

Many people travel exclusively for Temple trip and many for just shopping silk sarees in Kanchipuram.

Whichever are the reasons you are planning a trip to Kanchipuram, I have a best route for you.

And travel guide for both car and train.

Best Route – From Bangalore to Kanchipuram By Car

In July 2019, we went on a road trip from Bangalore to Kanchipuram, via Vellore.

Trust me if we had known this route earlier, we would have saved lots of pain going by train.

Bangalore to Chennai Highways is the route we took to reach our destination.

Bangalore to Kanchipuram Best route by Car

Home (Bangalore) – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Ambur – Vellore – Kanchipuram.

And this is the fastest route to reach your destination by road. Also it has many advantages, here is the list.

Advantages of Taking Chennai Highway For Kanchipuram Road trip

From our recent road trip from Bangalore to Kanchipuram, here are the major advantages of taking the Chennai highways.

Fastest and Best Road

Well paved route and seamless National Highways (Chennai / Mumbai Highway) connecting non stop from Bangalore to Kanchipuram with 280Kms.

If you compare the other alternate routes’ distance from Bangalore to Kanchipuram via Kolar and Chittoor, this route is the longest.

Yet the fastest route with well planned bridges, tunnels and fastest toll booths with Fast tag facilities.

Best Restaurants Choices

Many good restaurants with toilet facilities just like in Bangalore – Salem Highways.

You could reach your destination in 6hrs driving non – stop from Bangalore, provided you have started early to avoid the traffic.

But if you ask me, you could stop at these following places for refreshment.

Here is the list of best restaurant from Bangalore to Kanchiputam

Hotel Krishna Inn – Shoolagiri (Before Krishnagiri)

For the best South Indian breakfast. I have talked more about this place. This place is famous for awesome food and a pit stop for hundreds of bike riders. You could see hundreds of them at the same time between 6.30 am to 9 am.

We never miss stopping here for breakfast at Krishna and coffee from nearby CCD or McD.

Here I am sharing some of our favourite south Indian dishes we try regularly here.

This is the google map location – https://goo.gl/maps/PHZGkqpGUA7g6AVa6.

Best restaurant in Bangalore to salem highways -Krishna In. From bangalore to kanchipuram road trip
Ghee Dosa from Krishna Inn, Bangalore – Salem Highways restaurant
 Pongal and vada from Krishna Inn, Bangalore - Salem Highways restaurant
Pongal and vada from Krishna Inn, Bangalore – Salem Highways restaurant

I would not suggest any restaurants in Hosur, the most crowded place no good for any kinds of restaurants. 

Otherwise there are many other options in Bangalore – Chennai Highways.

List of other famous restaurants you could find in your Bangalore to Kanchipuram Road trip

restaurant in Bangalore to Chennai Highways
SaiSangeeth restaurant in Bangalore to Chennai Highways

Many good choices to Stay in Vellore

From our couple of trips to Kanchipuram by train and car, I suggest staying in Vellore for 2 main reasons – Food and Accomodation. In Kanchipuram, We had stayed once in GRT hotels and once in Pine tree hotels, those two were the only good choices in this crowded temple city. And for food, there were only Shree Saravana Bhavan hotels with a couple of branches in the city, a monopoly player with a very poor ambiance and service. Therefore we didn’t prefer that restaurant.

So, stay in Vellore where you will be spoilt for choices for boarding and lodging. And couples of famous sightseeing places that makes your stay even more memorable.

Bangalore to Kanchipuram By Train

Distance from Bangalore to Kanchipuram by train is the same as road trip distance. Certainly there are no direct interstate trains to Kanchipuram Railway Junction.

You need to get off at Arakkonam Junction, which is the nearest Kanchipuram Railway station. Furthermore, you need to take a local train or bus to Kanchipuram town.

Though you have plenty of choices for local trains and local buses,all are unnaturally crowded at those early hours.

If you are planning to travel by train, I suggest travelling by A/c compartment. Otherwise, the whole journey will be an upsetting experience. This is why.

When we went to Kanchipuram from Bangalore by train, we had the worst experience of life.

In the General Sleeper we have booked, the entire compartment was outnumbered by the illegal passengers. 

It was a total nightmare with illegal passengers occupying our berths. Not a teeny tiny guilt of disturbing the sleeping passengers with their loud voice. Adding more spice, they occupy the little space left at the end of the berths giving no room to stretch our legs.

Above all, some using their small babies as a sympathy image to pick pockets from the sleeping passengers.

Also, the big goons of locals adamantly blocking the way to the toilets and exit doors etc.,

Hence, We stayed alert every single minute safeguarding wallets and baggage.

How to Reach from Arakkkonam to Kanchipuram

The train reached Arakkonam station around 5am, we exited with a pounding headache and sleepy eyes.

We then hired a local auto to the nearest bus station. From there we took the local town bus to Kanchipuram.

Otherwise one could take local metro train from Arakkonam to reach Kanchipuram.

We traveled for about 1.15 hrs by bus to finally reach our Hotel room.

That was the very last trip from Bangalore to Kanchipuram by Train. 

Due to that we have decided to go only road trips to Kanchipuram.

List of Must See Kanchipuram Temples

These are the list of must see temples in Kanchipuram.

  1. Kanchi Kamakshi Temple: The temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi, one of the Sakthi Peedam temples in Tamil Nadu. It is important to first darshan Kamakshi Amman before any other temples in this holy city. Google map link – https://goo.gl/maps/vEr2RKARgG9Zj7C3A
  2. Ekambareswarar Temple:  Lord Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of Prithvi Lingam. This lingam represents one of the five elements “earth”. Since mother Kamakshi is the common Ambica for all the temples in Kanchipuram, hence Shiva temples in Kanchipuram does not have any goddess shrine. I mean most of the temples in and around Kanchipuram. Google map link – https://goo.gl/maps/Am3yv7WPpvPsmr9u8
  3. Click to read the entire list with google map links.

Places to Visit near Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram city is one of the best weekend getaways from Bangalore for temple visit or silk saree shopping.

Yet you cannot spend more than 2 days as Kanchipuram visiting places are limited.

If you have more time in your Bangalore to Kanchipuram road trip, you could rather go nearby places. The nearest, famous tourist places like Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram.

Or you could plan a round trip to Chennai. You could start from Bangalore to Kanchipuram, then Chennai before returning back home. 

Likewise, you could also make a round trip to vellore, stay in Vellore to look around the places.

Related – Two Day Trip From Bangalore to Vellore and Kanchipuram (Best 2 Day Trip by Car)

Hope our experience would help you plan the trip schedule from Bangalore to Kanchipuram. Plan on the places to stay and explore the holy silk city.

24 Temples in 3 Days in Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival 2017

During Kumbakonam Masi Magam festival we have visited 24 temples in 3 days by bike, thanks to my friend who rented out the bike to us. We reached Kumbakonam from Bangalore by train, stayed in Poppy’s SET Hotel for 3 days, roamed all around Kumbakonam mercilessly in motorbike for 3 days. 

Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival 2017

Here are the list of temples we did darshan in Kumbakonam Masi Magam festival 2017.

I am straight away giving the list of all the temples names under each day we spent in Kumbakonam. Not going into details of the temples, or too many pics nor its history.

Here goes the list of temples we visited in Kumbakonam Masi Magam in the year 2017 – one of the memorable trip in our travel history.

Day 1 : 11 Mar 2017 in Kumbakonam, Just before Masi Magam

  • Abhi Mukteswarar temple
  • Viyala Someswarar temple
  • Tirupandurai Shivanandeeswarar (lord Murugan spl) temple
  • Thirunalur meginanam Sivan temple
  • Thiruccherai saranathan perumal temple, Divya desam
  • Thiruccherai Saraparameswarar temple
  • Nachiyar Kovil (kalyana kolam perumal/srinivasa perumal)
  • Ramanathaswamy/Saneeswaran Temple

Day2 : 12 Mar 2017

  • Ramar Temple, Kumbakonam
  • Thiruvisainallur Yoganandheeswarar/Sivayoginathar Temple (Risabha Rasi)
  • Sakkottai Amirthakalasanathar Temple
  • Marudhanallur (Karukudi) Sarguna Lingeswarar (Karukudinathar) temple
  • Then Pon Parappi, Swarnapureeswarar temple
  • Nageswaram Temple, Kumbakonam
  • Thirunageswaram Temple (Raghu temple)
  • Oppiliyappar Temple, DivyaDesam
  • Thirupampuram Seshapureeswarar/ Pambureswarar(Raghu Kethu temple)

Day 3 : 13 Mar 2017

  •  Saranathaperumal Temple, Divadesam, Kumbakonam
  • Thiruvalanchuzi ThiruValanchuzhi Nathar Temple (and Swetha Vinayagar Temple –Vellai Pillaiyar)
  • Darasuram- UNESCO
  • Swamimalai Murugan Temple
  • Innambur Ezhuthari Nathar Temple
  • Kottaiyur Kodeeswarar Temple

About Masi Magam and its Importance

The Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in Kumbakonam in the Tamil month of Masi (February–March) in the star of Magam.

Vast crowds of Hindu devotees gather at Kumbakonam to have a dip in the tank a.k.a Mahamaham tank.

All the rivers of India are believed to meet at the tank on this day and a purificatory bath at this tank on this day is considered equal to the combined dips in all the holy rivers of India.

Festival deities from all the temples in Kumbakonam arrive at the tank and at noon, all the deities bathe along with the devotees – it is called “Theerthavari“.

The purificatory bath is believed to remove sins and after the dip, pilgrims offer charitable gifts in the hope of being rewarded in the current life and subsequent lives.

The temple cars of major temples in Kumbakonam come around the city on the festival night. During the Mahamaham of 1992, the number of devotees were estimated to be one million. (Source – Wikipedia).

Our Story -Travelduo From Bangalore

We were able to darshan 24 temples continuously for 3 days because we planned everything beforehand, and our energy level matched to roam the temples back to back, by bike non stop.

Otherwise would have not been possible travelling by car and with the group or with more family members. It was the most memorable trip where we did crazy riding to temples in Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival in the year 2017.

In the 3 days of roaming, we fell in Love with this beautiful temple town Kumbakonam, so in the same year and the next year we went road trip of 10+ days to Kumbakonam. Just for the love of most majestic and historically important temples in Kumbakonam.

https://www.travelduo.in/kumbakonam-famous-food-items/

https://www.travelduo.in/ulagalantha-perumal-temple-tirukoyilur/

https://www.travelduo.in/athi-varadar-darshan-kancheepuram-once-in-40-yrs/

https://www.travelduo.in/nandi-hills-temple-nearby-places-and-trekking/

How To Reach Thirunelli Temple – A Famous Vishnu Temple on The Hills of Wayanad

This is guide for people looking to travel from Bangalore to Wayanad by road and guide on how to reach Thirunelli temple.

On September 14th 2019, We went on 3 days road trip from Bangalore to Wayanad to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary. During our stay in Wayanad, We visited Thirunelli Mahavishnu temple on the hills, about 10 mins drive from our resort. Early morning pooja performed at 5.30 in this temple is said to be very special. Though we couldn’t make it so early, we went around 10am.

So, this how to reach Thirunelli temple, a famous Maha Vishnu temple on the hills of Wayanad.

How to Reach Thirunelli Temple Wayanad

Thirunelli Vishnu temple in Wayanad, Kerala is situated 32 kms from Mananthavady.  The Temple is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains and trees with good parking facilities. 

Thirunelli temple lies in the valley of Bhramagiri Hills, the name is connected to Lord Brahma and the ancient history of this temple.

We traveled from Bangalore to Wayanad in mid of September by car to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary. Thirunelly was our stay destination in Wayanad, we checked in at Jungle Retreat on our first day, and Visited Thirunelli Vishnu temple on the next day morning. 

There are 3 routes if you are travelling from Bangalore to Wayanad with almost same distances.

If you want to know the best route on how to reach Thirunelli temple from Bangalore, read here.

Of all the routes, If you are planning to take Nagarhole reserve forest route, call up their office to confirm the entry for visitors to save any unplanned deviation.

There are hardly few shops selling refreshments, pooja items and some ayurvedic products. 

Driving your own vehicle – Once you reach the temple, park your vehicle from the ample parking area, walk about 200 meters to reach the temple. There is no vehicle parking fee, nor any shoes counter fee.

Taking Bus or Auto or Taxi– You could take it from Kutta, the nearest public transport with bus and taxi facilities connecting Wayanad, including services to Nagarhole National park. 

Thirunelli temple images
Ambalam View, Thirunelli temple Wayanad, Kerala

How We Planned Our Wayanad Road trip

During our 3 stays in Tirunelly Kerala, we came to know that the restaurant choices are very limited. We found one in Kutta while we were on the way to Nagarhole Jungle safari,  called Safari Inn , an accommodation serving with veg and non – veg food choices. Food and price was satisfactory.

This was our travel itinerary –

Day 1 – Travel from Bangalore to Wayanad

Day 2 – Tirunelli Vishnu Temple and Nagarhole jungle safari

Day 3 – Travel From Wayanad to Bangalore

Another suggestion I have for restaurant while you are travelling via Gonikoppal, is Spice Rack Restaurant, click here for the location and review.

Wayanad to Bangalore distance is 250 to 300 kms depends on the location you start.

Definitely you would need 2 days for up and down travel to Tirunelly, visit temple, do jungle safari and return back to your home. You could plan one day trip if you are travelling from Coorg or Mysore or any other nearby places in Kerala district.

We skipped Thirunelli wildlife sanctuary since we had plan to go Nagarhole wildlife jungle safari.

Our Experience in the Famous Maha Vishnu Temple Wayanad

Second, despite all the crowd, you could only hear the noise of the surrounding nature, definitely a rare sight in a very famous temple I say. That’s how we listened to the Papanasini river nearby, otherwise we had no clue of its popularity and historic significance, since we didn’t do much research about this temple beforehand. 

When it is normal in pilgrimage places to get surrounded by the aggressive beggars before you even set foot inside the temple, worst even when you are pulled between the street vendors, this temple was offering a tranquil experience.

Third, People were offering prayers in silence, moving in disciplined pace inside the temple maintaining silence. Some were praying by lighting up the temple’s embossed brass lamp of different sizes kept exclusively for the purpose. Hundreds of the lamps are kept for devotees as personal belongings are not allowed inside except for the pooja items. 

Fourth, since it was maintained by a private trust, there was no unholy behavior of priests and administration are witnessed. Temple surroundings are including the parking area are beautifully maintained, even the stairs and the path leading to the holy river are maintained well.  

This was our very first trip to Wayanad and to the ancient MahaVishnu temple, unlike our frequent visits to Thirukovilur Vishnu Temple. 

First thing you notice here is the calm and serene location of the temple located in a valley surrounded by trees and mountains.

Fifth, Small Sivalingas about 10 to 15 cms are found in the couple of places inside the temple, around the main sanctum which I believe is connected to the temple history.

a sacred pond in thirunelli temple images
Panchatheertham with Sivalinga (almost invisible) and Lord Vishnu Foot carved on Rock stone.

Thirunelli Temple – How to Pray, Dress Code and Temple Timing

Before you know how to reach Thirunelli temple, I think it is essential to plan the trip according to the temple open timing and the temple procedures.

After parking the vehicle, we went straight to the temple to pray. But, ideally you will be carrying a change clothes after taking a dip in the nearby holy River called “Papanasini”. Then pray to the Sacred pond called Panchatheertham, a rock carved with miniature sivalinga with footprint of Lord Vishnu. There is a change room near this pond, but not sure of the tidiness. There are no restrictions if you want to enter the temple wearing wet clothes straight from the river.

The temple is open from  5.30 am to 12.30 and 5.30 to 8.00 pm. Early morning pooja is very special here, as devotees can perform poojas to their forefathers. 

If you are planning to attend the early morning pooja, it is better to book the Thirunelli agraharam resort at the foot of this temple stairs.

To know more about the temple, pooja timings and the contact number – visit this website http://thirunellitemple.org/index.php.

Temple dress code for ladies is to wear decent attire of sarees or salwars, and for gents, only dhoti is allowed. 

To know about the ancient history, check this website.

Thirunelli Temple wayanad images
The holy river called “Papanasini” where poojas performed for forefathers

The name “Papanasini”, a holy river name of this Thirunelli temple reminded us of the similar experience we had in our recent trip to Papanasam, another famous tourist location near Kerala border. Even there is similarity in the name you see. And it was also a beautiful temple location amidst hills, with Thamirabarani river and Agasthiyar Waterfalls to crown the place.

Here in Thirunelli temple, we did not visit the Lord Shiva temple / cave near to the Vishnu temple due to lack of time. We left temple as soon as clicking pics in river and panchatheertham.

Then after chilling out for some time in Kutta, had lunch and went for jungle safari by 3pm.

Thirunelli Wildlife Sanctuary images
Places to Visit Thirunelli Wayanad

Returing To Bangalore From Wayanad – Via Kabini River

Next day, we checked out of the resort and returned back to Bangalore.

We took the following route to return back to Bangalore.

Wayanad (resort) – Tholpatty – Bavali wild life forest road – Mysuru – Bangalore

This route is one of the best scenic route suited for a peaceful drive.

You could use the same route to reach Thirunelly Vishnu temple, that is Bangalore – Mysuru – Bavali wildlife road – Tholpatty road. Somewhere in the tholpatty road it is approx. 13 kms journey to the temple. Less traffic and no bumpy roads to reach the destination.

On the way back, we stopped in Mysore for a long break. We had lunch in one of the non veg restaurants called Nandhini. Then had evening coffee at Malgudi cafe house situated inside the green hotel.

(Malgudi cafe house in Mysore is the best for coffee, dessert and sandwiches).

This is guide for someone on how to reach Thirunelly Vishnu temple from Bangalore by road via Mysuru and Nagarhole. Hope it helps to plan your journey.

Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram (How to Visit in detail)

If you are looking for details about visiting and/or enrolling to Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, this article has detailed answers.

About Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram

Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram in Bangalore is the headquarters of Art of Living Foundation located in more than 156 countries. The interested individuals can learn the “Art of Living” programs (scroll down to know more details) under the certified professionals all over the world, or can learn the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram directly.

It is an international center open for all the national and international participants with the in-house accommodation with food for the entire duration.

AOL Bangalore ashram is open for the visitors to explore, learn, meditate and spend time on all days.

(Note: Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore Ashram, Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram, Art of Living International Center are all the same).

We always travel past the Sri Sri Ravishankar ashram in Bangalore on all our bike trips via Kanakapura road, but never have set foot inside. Today we decided to give a try as we trying to go past this ashram while coming after coffee from rasta cafe. Anyways we have half a day left to end the weekend. 

This is the guide for someone looking to just visit or learn the courses of Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram – International Centre, Kanakapura Road.

AOL Bangalore Ashram – Location

Bangalore ashram – the International Centre is located in Kanakapura road, closer to Bannerghatta road and Banashankari. 

Use this map location for navigation – https://goo.gl/maps/gUnQurDUB6oXmeX1A.

The Art of Living International Centre

21st Km Kanakapura Road

Bangalore-560082

Tel: +91-80-28427060

www.vvmvp.org

A guide to Art of Living- Entrance Fee, Parking, Help Desk and Bus tour

  • Paid parking facilities are available adjacent to the main gate
  • First of all, you need to know that AOL ashram is always crowded. And it is super crowded on the weekends and during festive seasons.
  • Also, no vehicles are allowed beyond the entry desk at the security
  • Park your vehicles, walk to the help desk for any assistance
  • Free entry for the visitors at all times, but prior online booking is a must for attending any events. Any kind of current bookings are not allowed
  • Bus tours are available at 11 to 12 and 2 to 3 pm everyday
  • There is a coffee shop available next to the help desk for a quick refreshmentAlso there is organic vegetable shop here
  • Also there is organic vegetable shop here

Note: If you are a AOL program participant you will be registering at the security gate with a valid id and an entry coupon. If you are a AOL course participant – national or international, you will be arriving one day before for the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, for check-in and accommodation.

Vishalakshi Mandap inside Art of Living Banglore Ashram

The main attraction of Ravishankar Ashram International centre Bangalore is the weekend satsang and yoga courses on time to time basis. It is open for all the local and international participants. All the major events and evening satsang takes place in this huge thousand petal lotus mandap located about 1 mile walk from the main gate.

How to Spend a day at Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram in Bangalore

You can walk straight to this Vishalakshi Mandap or take time to explore all other area before reaching here. Here is the list of other places you could explore in Art of Living ashram Bangalore.

  • Opposite to the help desk, a place called Nakshatra vanam. A bunch of trees planted corresponding to zodiac signs and the planets. A peaceful place to hangout or for a walk.
  • From the main gate, located in 200m is Guru Paduka Vanam / sumeru mandap. This is huge area can accommodate vast gatherings on special occasions like Navarathri Pooja, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s birthday celebration etc. A nice place to hangout with the view of ducks in the water pond in the centre. 
  • Cafe Vishala and Children Play area –  Try out some of the freshly baked breads with coffee here. You will also get good healthy satvik food for reasonable prices. We had cinnamon bread and coffee while we were there. Children play area is located right next to the cafe and also don’t miss out the organic garden view from the cafe.
  • Shop for adulteration free organic products and groceries in Sattva stores. 
  • Shop in Madhurya – for all the handcrafted products, pooja items, wall hangings, cotton weaves etc.,

How to Participate in the “Art of Living” program

There are lots of programs designed for the wellness of children and adults of all ages. If you are interested to attend any of the programs, you need to register first in the following link, then book the available seats. 

Visit for the Ravishankar ashram courses – https://programs.org.in/ekam/index.php/public/

Take a look at the following screenshot to understand the requirements.

If you want to know more about the courses in detail, visit this website  https://bangaloreashram.org/

Also, for the national and international guests, there are good accommodation facilities with laundry services. 

Walk Walk Walk

We walked about 3 kms in those 2 hrs spent looking only for the places mentioned above. For that reason, next time we are planning to take a guided bus tour to look at all the places. Because there are many places need to be explored. Like panchakarma ayurvedic centre, goshala, yagyashala with lake view, pathshala, guest accommodation facilities etc., And Sri ma annapoorna hall where more than 20000 meals served in a day. The best time to visit the bangalore ashram is around 1.30pm, take the guided tour by 2 to 3 pm, take a break at the cafe for some time before you attend an evening program in the lotus mandap. 

If you want to know more about learning the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, visit their Bangalore ashram website – https://bangaloreashram.org/

Hope you have got all the questions answere with respect to visiting the ashram and enrolling the courses.

Places to Visit in Papanasam with Distances (Rivers, Waterfalls, Dams and Temples)

If you are looking for places to visit in Papanasam, surprisingly there are so many picnic spots you could go to. Papanasam is a small village located 60 kms from Tirunelveli city, falls under Ambasamudram taluk.

Papanasam is a must visit place once in your life time because it is a house for waterfalls, rivers, dams, green fields and historical temples. And all the goodness is surrounded by hills and forests. 

(Note: there is another place called “Papanasam” near Kumbakonam, also a famous place in Tamilnadu, mostly for temples).

Places to Visit in Papanasam with Distances

Here is a quick look at the sightseeing places to visit in and around Papanasam, Tirunelveli district:

  • In Papanasam – Ancient LordShiva temple at the foot of Agasthiyar Falls
  • Papanasam to Manimuthar (waterfalls and dam) – 14 kms
  • Papanasam to Manjolai (Tea estates) – 65 kms (via Manimutharu)
  • Papanasam to Courtallam – 34 kms
  • Papanasam to Tirumalai kovil, Panpoli – 50 kms  (via Ilanji and Tenkasi)
  • Papanasam to Ilanji Kumarar Temple – 37 kms
  • Papanasam to Tenkasi Ancient Ulagamman and Kasi Vishwanathar temple- 34 kms
  • Tenkasi to Courtallam – 5.5 kms
  • Papanasam to Tirunelveli – 60 kms

Take a dip in Agasthiyar Waterfalls and Visit Papanasanathar Sivan Temple

  • This famous Hindu temple is located at the foot of Agasthiyar Forest and Waterfalls at the distance of 2.7kms. 
  • All the vehicles are allowed up to the foothill of waterfalls. There is toilet and dress change facilities near the parking.
  • No entry fee to enter the forest but a nominal fee for the waterfalls entry. No special fee for cameras.
  • Forest and waterfalls entry is restricted after 5 PM.
  • The famous Lord Siva temple is called as Papanasanathar or Mukkalanathar, lingam in the main sanctum is believed to be one of the 9 planetary deities – Lord Suriya.
  • This temple is one of the nava kailasam temples on the banks of Thamirabarani river and thus famously called Suriyan temple.
Best sighseeing places in Tirunelveli district - Papanasam agasthiyar falls
The best places to visit in Papanasam Tirunelveli – Agasthiyar falls
Famous Temples in Papanasam - travelduo images
The Best places to visit in Papanasam Tirunelveli – Sivan Temple entrance view

Places to Visit near Papanasam – Courtallam Main falls, Courtallam Five falls and Tenkasi

  • Courtallam ranks top in the places to visit in Papanasam Tirunelveli.
  • Not much intro is required for this famous place in Tirunelveli district, the locals call it as Kuttalam, otherwise called Courtallam, is house for many rivers and waterfalls. 
  • Since the Nickname “Spa of South India”.
  • Distance from Papanasam to Courtallam is 34 kms.
  • This place is said to be the origin of rivers namely – Chittar river, Manimuthar river, Pachaiyar river, Thamirabarani river.
  • Most people visit Courtallam mainly for taking a dip in the main falls and pray to lord Siva.
  • You have toilet and dress change facilities here near the car parking area.
  • You could also visit courtallam five falls – Series of 5 small river cascades above a shallow pond, with separate bathing areas for men & women.
  • June to September are the best months to visit courtallam, later the entry is closed to waterfalls due to heavy rain and floods.
  • The famous Lord Kutralanathar temple (Lord Siva) is located at the foot of the main falls – Peraruvi.
  • This temple is one of the Pancha Sabhai Sthalangal, refer to the places where Lord Nataraja performed his cosmic dance.
Famous places to visit near Papanasam - Courtallam falls
Courtallam Main falls (Periya aruvi) Travelduo images in January Month
Courtallam falls and Lord Siva temple travelduo images
Courtallam Sivan Temple – Entrance view
Courtallam falls and Lord Siva temple travelduo images
Courtallam Sivan Temple at the foot of Courtallam main falls

Tenkasi is just 5.5 kms From Courtallam- house for one of the biggest temples in Tamilnadu

  • Tenkasi is the 34th district in Tamilnadu since 2019. This small town is built around the very famous, majestic dravidian style of architecture – Kasi Vishwanathar Ulagamman temple.
  • It is firmly believed that worshipping lord Siva in this temple would bring in as much benefits to the devotees as praying in Kasi – Varanasi.
  • This temple is notably famous for the swayambhu murti of Lord Siva, 180 feet artistic – majestic gopuram and exquisite beauty of the temple sculptures are world known.
The Best places to visit near Papanasam Tirunelveli - Tenkasi
The majestic 180 feet Gopuram View of Tenkasi Kaasi VishwanatharTemple

Places to Visit Near Papanasam – Manimuthar Dam and Waterfalls

  • Another important places to visit in Papanasam is Manimuthar dam and waterfalls, about 14 kms from Papanasam.
  • If you are travelling from Tirunelveli to visit Papanasam, spend some time in Manimuthar dam before heading towards Papanasam.
  • Situated above 6kms from Manimuthar dam is Manimuthar waterfalls and river, with the entry fee of 25 rupees per person. Camera fees extra.
Thamirabarani river near manimuthar dam, travelduo images
Best places to visit in Papanasam Tirunelveli images – Tamirabarani river near Manimuthar dam

Places to visit Near Papanasam – Manjolai

  • If you are travelling from Tirunelveli, Manjolai is another tourist place to stop before heading to Manimuthar and Papanasam.
  • Located on top of the Manimuthar dam is Manjolai, about 23 kms from Manimuthar and about 63 km from Tirunelveli, is famous for tea plantations -Manjolai Estate, Manimutharu Estate & Oothu Estate.

Famous Temples in and around Papanasam with distances

  • Papanasanathar Sivan Temple, Papanasam
  • Kutralanathar Sivan Temple, Courtallam, 34 kms
  • Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Tenkasi, 34 kms
  • Shri Ilanji Kumarar Koil – Ilanji ,37 kms
  • Tirumala Koil -Panpoli, 50 kms
  • Thooranamalai Sri Murugan Koil – Perumpattu, 25 kms
  • Sri Nithya Kalyani Amman Temple, Kilakadayam, 19 kms
  • Ponmalai Murugan Temple, Pulavanoor, 20 kms

Summary

Here is how you can plan one day trip from Tirunelveli to Papanasam – 

  • Tirunelveli – Manjolai – Manimuthar dam (skip waterfalls) – Agasthiyar falls – Papanasam Sivan temple.

(or)

  • Tirunelveli – Papanasam – Courtallam.

See how we spent time  in Papanasam and Tirunelveli in our recent 5 days road trip from Bangalore.

If you have a plan to stay in Courtallam then you can plan for Courtallam waterfalls and trekking, visit to all other places mentioned above.

Got any suggestions on places to visit in Papanasam? Feel free to comment below.

The Only Reason We Chose Tirunelveli For Our 5 Days Road Trip from Bangalore

Last week, we went on a 5 days road trip from Bangalore. We choose this trip only for the love of Papanasam town near Tirunelveli.

We started from Bangalore on Aug 12th 2019, drove about 650 kms to reach Tirunelveli via Madurai.

This was the first time we set a new milestone of driving above 500 kms in one day by car.

We drove alternatively, smooth ride on the NH with good food choices on the Bangalore highways.

This time we had not pre-booked any accommodation in our planned destination – Tirunelveli, since we were not sure of driving 600+ kms in just one day. 

We had a plan B of staying in Madurai if we were too tired to drive any further.

Thankfully, we reached the destination as planned. 

This is how we spent our 5 days vacation in a road trip from Bangalore.

5 Days road trip from Bangalore for the love of Papansam

We have already been to Tirunelveli in Jan 2017, in our 3 days trip to Rameshwaram.

In this 5 days road trip from Bangalore, we have spent whole 2 days only to sight see the places around Tirunelveli. 

Since one cannot miss visiting courtallam falls, we also went to nearby Thenkasi and Papanasam.

Papanasam – we immediately fell in love with the drizzling weather with the spectacular view of greenery mountains and plains.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t enjoy the picturesque small town for long as we were in a hurry to return to the Tirunelveli town for return journey. 

So, this trip is all about going to Papanasam exclusively for its serene beauty, a place surrounded by mountains, reserve forests, waterfalls and dams. 

Hence, we decided to stay in Tirunelveli, a buzzing small city, 60 km distance from Papanasam, well connected to other cities by roads with good accommodation and restaurant choices.

The Itinerary of Our 5 days Road Trip from Bangalore

Day 1, 12th August 2019, Monday : Drive 650 Kms From Bangalore to Tirunelveli

Day 2, 13th August 2019, Tuesday : Drive to Tiruchendur beach and temple, on the way stop at Srivaikundam temple. Evening darshan in Nellaiappar temple in Tirunelveli.

Day 3, 14th August 2019, Wednesday : Drive to Papanasam via Manimuthar forest and dam and Agasthiyar falls. And darshan Papanasam Sivan temple. Evening return Tirunelveli via Ambasamudram.

Day 4, 15th August 2019, Thursday : Drive to Madurai via Sankaran Kovil and Srivilliputhur, darshan at both the temples. Check-in Madurai, evening roam around the city.

Day 5, 16th August 2019, Friday : Return to Bangalore from Madurai, 450 kms drive via Dindigul, Karur, Namakkal and Salem.

Wanderlust to Papanasam

Here we are, at Papanasam, the place behind our desire to plan 5 days road trip from Bangalore.

Papanasam, a small town located 56 kms from Tirunelveli, adorned with mountains and trees, river and dams, we fell in love with.

After a good night’s rest from previous day’s long car ride to Tirunelveli, we started to Papanasam around noon.

We stuffed our travel bags with some snacks and water bottles, before we headed towards Papanasam.

Decided to go by Pathamadai and Manimuthar forest, just like we always preferred to ride among scenic views. We skipped going to Manjolai, since we didn’t do much research on this place and also had a time constraint.

We spent some time in the Manimuthar dam (did not go to the waterfalls), before we headed towards Papnasam.

When I say Papanasam, the end destination is Papanasam Sivan temple, this is where all the local buses stop for tourists.

A little further Papanasam Sivan temple is Agasthiyar falls, almost 10 min drive uphill.

The drive was smooth since there was no dangerous hair-pin bends to worry about, like in Yercaud hill station.

By the time we reached Agasthiyar falls, it was almost closing time, so we spent only brief period clicking pics in the falls area.

Unlike a pretty long-haul we trekked to talakona falls in Andra Pradesh, Agasthiyar falls was just 1 min walk from the parking area.

Once after reaching Agasthiyar falls, we spent some time enjoying the view and the waterfalls. We then started our car towards Papanasam Sivan temple after clicking some pics.

Returning Back to Tirunelveli

We then took Ambasamudram (ambai) route in the evening to return back to Tirunelveli.

Like we wished, we spent every single minute enjoying the ride among the agri fields and woods accompanied by a pleasant weather. 

Desire fulfilled.

Overall it was an adventurous and fun-filled 5 days road trip from Bangalore. And, iIt was worth the pain and headache riding in the sun and the rains.

Drive from tirunelveli to papanasam road, drive among woods and mountains
Tirunelveli to Papansam road, scenic drive
Drive to Thamirabarani river near Manimuthar dam from tirunelveli
Thamirabarani river near Manimuthar dam, Papanasam
Manimuthar dam from tirunelveli in our 5 days road trip from bangalore
View From Top of Manimuthar dam, Towards Manimuthar Forest aand Waterfalls
2 mins walk to Agasthiyar falls from parking area, scenic view
Walk from parking towards Agasthiyar falls images
Drive to papanasam agasthiyar falls from tirunelveli in our 5 days road trip from bangalore
View of Agasthiyar falls, Papanasam

Places to Visit in Tirunelveli In One Day

We have been to Tirunelveli twice so far, including the recent road trip for 5 days from Bangalore. Tirunelveli, capital city of Tirunelveli District, a beautiful city adorned with the Thamirabarani river. Here listed are the places to visit in Tirunelveli in one day from our travel experiences.

Whether you are planning on a luxury trip with family or a holy trip, this guide will be of help to explore the tourist places in tirunelveli district.

Places to Visit in Tirunelveli In One day

There are not many places to visit inside the Tirunelveli City, except for the ancient Nellaiappar temple. The best tourist place in Tirunelveli district to spend time with family and friends, and to have fun are Manimuthar, Papanasam and Courtallam

Sightseeing places to see in Tirunelveli districts are given below in detail.

This list is a combination of tourist places like waterfalls and dams, and famous Hindu temples.

The Ancient Nellaiappar Temple – The Most famous tourist place in Tirunelveli

The main tourist attraction in Tirunelveli is the ancient Nellaiappar temple, a famous Lord Siva temple. This temple is one of the pancha sabhai sthalam, a must visit temple for its majestic build on a 14 acres land, with the unusual large mandap for goddess parvati. 

It will take a minimum of an hour to cover the entire temple, even more time on important occasions.

Must see / specialties inside this majestic temple:

  • The big ornamental mandap for Goddess Parvathi
  • Thamirachabai (Copper) mandap of Lord Natarajar
  • Lord Ranganatha near to the main sactum of the Lord Siva
  • Beautiful view of temple pond next to Goddess Parvathi mandap
  • Kubera Lingam
  • The temple Elephant

Note: You can find Iruttu Kadai halwa shop just opposite this temple’s main entrance. A small shop, open only in the evening for 2 hrs, popular for its renowned wheat halwa since 1900’s. You can only buy a maximum of 2kgs of halwa per person. 

Tiruchendur Beach and Temple

Another historical places in Tirunelveli district is Tiruchendur. With the distance of 53 km towards east of Tirunelveli, Tiruchendur is famous for Lord Murugan (Subhramanya swamy) temple. Devotees take a dip in the beach before going inside the temple. You could also travel to Kanyakumari for beach and sunrise view, since this post is about places to visit in Tirunelveli, I am suggesting Tiruchendur.

Places to Visit in Tirunelveli In One Day
Srivaikundam bridge on the way to Tiruchendur

Manimuthar Dam and Waterfalls, Manjolai Hills, Kalakad Tiger reserve

With the distance of 46 kms towards west of Tirunelveli, Manimuthar dam and forest waterfalls are one of the must see places in Tirunelveli district. 

You would need one whole day only to see these 3 places – Manimuthar dams and waterfalls, Majolai estate and Kalakad tiger reserve.

Here are the pics from our drive from Tirunelveli to Manimuthar dam.

famous places in Tirunelveli
Thamirabarani river view near Manimuthar dam
Manimuthar dam - sightseeing places in Tirunelveli
Manimuthar dam

Papanasam Agasthiyar falls

Papanasam is located 60 kms west of Tirunelveli, famous for Agastiyar falls and Lord shiva temple. Agastiyar falls is just 20 mins drive uphill from Lord Shiva temple, a beautiful small waterfalls with a scenic view.

There is no entry fee at the forest check point, but only at the waterfalls checkpoint. Agasthiyar Waterfalls is open for visitors from 9am to 5pm only.

places to visit in tirunelveli in one day
Papanasam Agasthiyar falls

Courtallam Falls and Thenkasi

About 35 kms from Papnasam and about 75 kms from Tirunelveli Via Alwarkurichi road, Courtallam is yet another famous tourist destination in Tirunelveli district.

Usually the tourists take a dip in the holy waterfalls before going to the nearby Kutralanathar temple, a Lord Shiva temple. 

Drive 6kms from Courtallam falls to reach Thenkasi, is famous for the Ulagamman temple, one of the temples with the largest Gopurams in Tamilnadu.

Tirunelveli to Courtallam road trip
Courtallam falls
Tenkasi temple pics
Tenkasi Kasi Vishwanathar temple Gopuram View

Sankaran Kovil

Sankarankovil, situated at 56 km away from Tirunelveli City. It was built by Ukkira Pandiyan AC 900. It houses the deity by the name Sankara Narayanan, which is half – Lord Shiva and the other half – Lord Vishnu. (Source – Wikipedia)

You could also visit Srivilliputhur Andal temple, one of the famous 108 divya desam temples, located 45 kms from this Sankaran Kovil. 

Places to visit from Tirunelveli in one day
Srivilliputhur Andal temple – Places to visit from Tirunelveli in one day

These are the top places to visit in Tirunelveli in one day, if you are planning for more than one day, you could combine with Madurai and Kanyakumari.

Where we ate – Restaurants in Tirunelveli

Best Veg Restaurants in Tirunelveli

Well, I have only 2 suggestions if you are looking for vegetarian places to eat in Tirunelveli.

For vegetarian food choices, we went to Hotel Aarya’s where we had all our breakfast during our stay in Tirunelveli. The best part is we just had to cross the road from the hotel where we stayed, and they were open until 11am with both alacote and buffet service. There were limited food choices for breakfast but variety of choices for dinner, including chinese.

Another good restaurant in Tirunelveli is Annapoorna Hotel and Sweets, with variety of organic food menus for tiffin and snacks. We liked their service and cleanliness. Food prices compared to Aarya’s was lesser but the quality was no lesser than them. Also a good place for evening snacks, tea, coffee and juices. You could even get Madurai famous jigarthanda and arabic grape puply juice.

We had snacks and tea here when we traveled to Papnasam, you can find the restaurant link below.

https://maps.app.goo.gl/z28FYBtrCchThWRT9

Read – Places to visit in Papanasam with Distances (Rivers, Waterfalls, Dams and Temples in Papanasam)

Those two are my top choices if you are roaming the tirunelveli city for one day. Feel free to comment below if you have any suggestions.

Best Non Veg Restaurants in Tirunelveli

The only restaurant we have ever been in both our trip was – Hotel Vairamaligai. It is one of the good non-veg restaurants in Tirunelveli with maximum number of reviews in google. We had dinner once here, food quality and quantity was good. We also loved their fast services. Even the parking area was huge given their location in the middle of the hot city. What we didn’t like here was the ambiance and very noisy atmosphere. Otherwise it is worth the try.

Where We Stayed in Tirunelveli

Of the 5 days road trip from Bangalore, we have stayed 3 days in Tirunelveli. We stayed in MNH Hotels, a decent stay with all the amenities in the main city. Also we were happy to get the good deal for the price way below our budget. Even though MNH hotels had inhouse restaurant with both veg and non-veg food choices, even room-services, but we preferred eating outside.

Sum- Up

Tirunelveli is well connected by roads, railways and air connecting the nearest cities. There are not many interesting places to visit in Tirunelveli in one day, so I have listed all the other famous places in Tirunelveli district. If you want to spice up your travel, you could extend your stay in Kanyakumari or Madurai, another interesting travel destinations to look around.

Note – Only in the recent times we started travelling places by Car. Otherwise we are hardcore bike riders, love to ride bike to far places.

The highest distance we traveled was 450 km from Bangalore to Kumbakonam in one day.

In the year end of 2017 and 2018, we took off from work only to ride bike for 11 days and 12 days respectively. Apart from those long bike rides, we have also been on numerous one day and two day bike trips to many places from Bangalore.

Two Day Trip From Bangalore to Vellore and Kanchipuram (Best 2 Day Trip by Car)

We went on Two day trip from Bangalore by Car to Vellore and Kanchipuram. This was our first road trip to Vellore. Otherwise, we have been to Kanchipuram once in 2017 and once in 2018.

Foremost, The ultimate destination of this trip was to go Kanchipuram for Lord Athi Varadar Darshan.

We chose to stay in Vellore because of 2 reasons. First, no good restaurants in Kancheepuram, and Second, we have never been to Vellore before.

Day 1 of Our Two Day Trip From Bangalore to Vellore and Kanchipuram

(a). Starting From Bangalore, Eating Breakfast In Soolagiri, Reaching Vellore

We were bike riders all these years. We recently started going by car to places, especially from the second quarter of 2019. 

I’m loving car driving for the comfort and luxury. But it is no match for the thrill and fun in riding the motorbike.

Rajesh too feels the same.

By 5.30 AM, on 21st July, we were all set to go with packed bags and swollen eyes.

Why Krishna Inn in Bangalore Highways is Our favorite?

We stopped for breakfast in our all time favorite restaurant in Bangalore – Salem Highways. Krishna Inn, at Shoolagiri, the best South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant in Bangalore highways.

It is a bliss to eat Pongal with Udin Vada (urad dal)  with freshly ground coconut chutney and freshly made sambar.

Another specialty of this restaurant is that its favorite pit-stop for all the motorbike riders.

It has become a ritual for those riders to stop here before they head on to the destination. Rajesh engaged a conversation with one of the riders to know whether they are part of some riders community group, where they are heading to. We came to know that those people are not part of any such community, its just happening for few years now.  Some are super-bikes, some are thunder-birds, some are regular bikes. Most of them are individual riders with full gear on, cool to watch them parade as early as 7.30 AM, that too on sunday. 

We watched them for half an hour over coffee from McDonalds.

best place to eat in bangalore salem highways, Shoolagiri Krishna Inn restaurant
Best Place to Eat in Bangalore Salem highways, Shoolagiri Krishna Inn restaurant
two day trip near bangalore, best place to eat in bangalore salem highways
The place where bikers meet in Bangalore – Salem highways to eat the best taste and quality south indian breakfast
Two day trip from bangalore by car, best place to eat in bangalore salem highways
Best Place to Eat in Bangalore Salem highways, Shoolagiri Krishna Inn restaurant menu list
bikers meet in Bangalore highways restaurant called Krishna Inn
Bikers meet in Bangalore highways restaurant called Krishna Inn
bikers meet in bangalore salem highways, at Krishna Inn restaurant
Bikers parked infront of McDonalds

Now it is my turn to drive the car. We took the Bangalore to Chennai Highway, arrived Vellore 11 AM.

Just before we stopped at Sai Sangeeth in Bangalore – Chennai highways, best place for toilet, bad choice for food and shopping.

saisangeeth restaurant in Bangalore chennai highways

We reached a little earlier than planned because it was a smooth, non-stop carefree ride in the National Highways.

(b). Visited Jalakandeswarar Temple  in Vellore Fort

We went straight to Jalakandeswarar temple inside Vellore fort. Parked the vehicle (fee 20/-) nearby temple, went inside walking in the piping hot sun. Spent about 45 mins, had good darshan, spent time in the ornamental mandap right before we left the place. 

The specialty of this temple is that it is built in the middle of the water tank of about 8000 sq.ft. (from wikipedia).

two day trip from bangalore to Vellore, Vellore Jalakandeswarar temple main gopuram view_travelduo images
Vellore Jalakandeswarar temple main gopuram view_travelduo images
Places to see in Vellore, Lord Jalakandeswarar Temple
Ornamental Mandap Inside Vellore Lord Siva Temple

(c). Check-in At the Hotel Khanna Fiesta

After a brief time in temple, we came to our pre-booked hotel, The Khanna Fiesta.

We took a rest for sometime, before we headed to Kanchipuram for Athi Varadar Darshan.

We knew it would be crowded from what we saw in the media, so we didn’t allow us to enjoy the luxury, but for a short period.

(d). Lord Athi Varadar Darshan In Kanchipuram

Soon after lunch from the same hotel, we reached Kanchipuram by 4pm.

Vellore to Kanchipuram distance is 70 Kms, again the road was good, lucky us.

Ater a walk of 8 kms in a slow moving que, it took us 3.5hrs to darshan Lord Athi Varadar in the sayana kolam (sleeping posture).

We returned the same evening to Vellore to our room with the rumbling stomach around 9.30pm with hardly any energy left from driving and walking alternatively. Had dinner at the hotel, thanks to the ground floor veg restaurant kept open at that time.

Day 2 at Vellore – Golden Temple, Shopping and Return to Bangalore

(a). Room Check-out, Wasting 2 hrs In Vellore Golden Temple at Sripuram

We had almost missed the complimentary breakfast sleeping in until 10 AM. Soon after breakfast we had to check-out, hit the road to return home. Since we had already planned to visit the Golden Temple, we headed straight there.

The facts you need to know about Vellore Golden temple

  1. The temple is located at the Sripuram village, about 8kms from the centre city Vellore
  2. You have bus and auto facilities to reach here
  3. Things like bags, shoes, mobile phones and cameras are not allowed inside.
  4. There is a paid counter to keep all of them safe (we kept all in the car)
  5. After submitting all your belongings, keep the best attitude with you all the time
  6. You enter the temple gate directly if you have 100/- ticket, otherwise go walk for 2 kms to reach this point. Abishegam tickets extra.
  7. After personal screening at the temple gate, you will be allowed inside.
  8. You would be walking for more than 1km from the security gate to darshan goddess Lakshmi, a small idol made of 10 kg of gold. (There are wheelchair access at this point available for disabled and elderly people). Everything is money here. I did not buy anything here, I did like anything particularly.
  9. That’s not it. The main attraction of this place is something else. That is a very big fantasy golden mandap of goddess Sri Lakshmi Narayani which is 1500 kg gold, adorning the majestic idol of goddess.
  10. Vsit Lord Balaji on the way back to the same gate, comparatively much shorter distance while coming out.

(b). Eating Mutton Biryani In one of the famous Non-veg hotel in Vellore

After coming out of the temple, we headed to have lunch in the same hotel Kanna fiesta. On the way we stopped for a short period in Pachayappa’s silk for some shopping experience. Not liked anything particularly. We changed our mind, had lunch in one of the most famous non-veg restaurants before we headed to Bangalore. This non-veg restaurant suggestion from one of the youtube page I follow, here is the link of the hotel review on youtube page. 

And sharing some pics from our experience. 

The specialty of this Hotel Jyothie is, they serve biryani with lots of pieces in it. We ordered half mutton biryani each and 1 natti chicken fry to go with it, it was sufficient for us. Biryani and fry was moderately spicy with good taste.

It is a small mess with limited seating capacity located right next to the Vellore bus stand. 

Sharing the price list in the pic below. 

two days trip to Vellore from Bangalore, best place to eat non veg in vellore
Mutton Briyani And Natti Koli Fry, Hotel Jyothie Vellore
two days trip to Vellore from Bangalore
Jyothie briyani menu and price, best Non veg restaurant in Vellore

(c). Best Snacks and Tea on Chennai – Bangalore Highways

Next stop after lunch was “Coffee Bistro” on Chennai Bangalore Highways.

We had no clue what a cool place it was until we stopped and tried their freshly made pakoras and bajjis. 

We sat under the neem tree, had snacks with tea, enjoying the view.

I strongly suggest this place for pit-stop with clean toilet facilities in Vaniyambadi, On Chennai – Bangalore Highways. Click the link for the location. 

https://maps.app.goo.gl/6bNrkptzCxDzAUSh6

This coffee shop is right next to the Vegetarian Restaurant “Sai Akshyam” , you cannot miss it.

A clean eatery with vehicle parking and a great view, the – best place I suggest.

We spent about good 45 mins before we continued our road trip.

best place to eat in bangalore chennai highways
Neem tree view in Coffee Bistro – Best Pit stop for freshly made bajji and pakoras.
Best place for snacks and tea, with toilet facility in bangalore chennai highways
Neem tree view in Coffee Bistro – Best Pit stop for freshly made bajji and pakoras.

When we have been to trekking to talakona – the highest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh, we had no hotels around that area. Though the waterfalls and trekking made the trip cherish-able only if I exclude the trouble we had finding good eateries around Talakona.

So good food equals good trip. Always.

Clearly this was a best trip.

Overall Road trip Experience From Bangalore to Vellore

The return journey was also smooth and comfortable. We reached home around 9.30 pm, had cooked dinner at home before we retired for the day.

The highlight of this two day trip from Bangalore to Vellore is – 

  • Lord Athi Varadar darshan in Kanchipuram, a moment of glory in our humble history
  • The silky smooth, non-stop, carefree drive from Bangalore to the Vellore and Kanchi city
  • Good food choices in the Vellore city and on the Bangalore highways.

Compared to Kanchipuram, Vellore is a sophisticated city with tall buildings, apartments, good transport and railways connectivity, and many good restaurant choices.

We fell in love with the Vellore immediately, we also planned to make a second trip in the same year soon.

Soon we will be making another Two day trip from Bangalore to Vellore.

Athi Varadar Perumal Raise Once in 40 yrs – We did Darshan on 21 July 2019

Athi Varadar – Lord Vishnu made of Fig tree, has raised from the temple pond on July 1st 2019 after 40 long years.

Athi Varada Perumal, 9 feet tall fig wooden idol is kept immersed in “Kanchipuram Varadaraja temple” Pushkarini (the temple’s pond) for 350 yrs, he raises out of pond once in 40 yrs. 

Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple’s pond water was cleared to bring out the idol and placed in the temple mandapam for 48 days for devotees darshan.

There were footfall of lakhs of devotees every single day since day 1, to darshan Lord in the Sayana Kolam / Ranganathar Kolam (Lying posture). News is that the Lord will be placed in Nindra Kolam (Sri Venkatesa Perumal Kolam) in the last 10 days.

We were blessed to see him on Sunday 21st July 2019 in Sayana kolam, around 7pm, after waiting in que for 3.30 hrs, walked about 8kms from car parking to darshan. 

We had planned for 2 days road trip from Bangalore to Vellore. On the first day we traveled from Bangalore, stayed in Vellore, traveled to Kanchipuram from Vellore for Athi Varadar Darshan. On the second day we visited Vellore Golden temple before we left to Bangalore.

Image Courtesy – Social Media

For Athi Varadar Darshan: How We Reached Kanchipuram From Bangalore

Bangalore to Vellore

  • We started on 21st July Sunday Morning by 5.45 am from our home by car. We had breakfast at our all time favourite Krishna Inn in Shoolagiri (Right next to McDonald’s in Bangalore to Salem highways).
  • Reached Vellore by 11am, had wonderful darshan in Vellore Shiva Temple – Jalakandeswarar Temple located inside the Vellore Fort.
  • We checked in at the hotel Khanna Fiesta around 12 noon, took a much needed break from long drive before we got ready to leave to Kanchipuram.
  • Then had a light lunch in the ground floor khanna Veg restaurant, before we started our travel to Kanchipuram.

Drive to Kancheepuram – Athi Varadar Darshan

  • We reached Kanchipuram before 4pm, parked our vehicle 1 km away from the Sri Varadaraja temple East gopuram. Left our footwears in the nearest shop, headed towards the gopuram entrance. We somehow had hope of getting special entrance for a fee, but we were told that there are no paid entrance, except for general que for all the devotees.
  • Joined the general que at 4.05 pm, walked among the flood of devotees, with the free biscuit pack and mini water bottle provided by the government service. There were lots of people running among the crowd testing our patience.
  • And some were pushing and elbowing the people for a quick getaway, some lost temper and got into fist fights. But we stood in queue calmly to save energy for a long walk.
  • We reached the darshan mandap in 3.5 hrs time, had wonderful darshan of Lord Athi Varadar in the Sayana Kolam
  • There was also a special que from the temple entrance for family with elders and kids. Also there was a special que for devotees with VIP tickets, god knows how we couldn’t get one. For all of them it only took 45 mins to reach Darshan mandap. 
  • There was a live telecast of the Lord and the pooja being performed to him. It kept the audience engaged for those long hrs of painful queue. 
  • There was also a team of doctors camp for first – aid just in case.

Returning back to Vellore – The Reason for stay in Vellore

After Lord Athi Varadar darshan, we got back energy all the energy we lost standing /slow walking in the que. We came out of the temple (don’t know exactly which side of temple), walked for about 3 kms to reach the east gopuram to collect our shoes. Then again walked for about 1km to reach our vehicle parking.

We have book marked the vehicle parking area in google maps, so it was no trouble getting to the vehicle in the pitch dark.

Started the car and headed straight to Vellore, reached the stay by 9.30, with the rumbling stomach. Soon after reaching the hotel, we had dinner in the in-house Veg restaurant Called Khanna Veg Restaurant.

We didn’t want to eat in Kancheepuram from our previous trip experience. Wonder where people eat in this most visited pilgrimage place with footfall of lakhs of devotees all year round. 

This was one of the reason for not choosing to book room in Kancheepuram, but even if we had tried we would not have got it in these 48 days.

Kanchipuram town is world wide famous for its unique traditional silk sarees. Kanchipuram is house for hundreds of handlooms for authentic and exquisite silk sarees manufacturing and retail sales.

Well, in both the visits in the past we have bought silk sarees from a famous shop. This time we didn’t plan for any shopping, our only intention was to get at least the glimpse of Lord Athi Varadar. 

We were more than blessed to visit him on 21st july 2019, Sunday 7pm, a moment of glory with Lord Athi Varada Perumal.