Me … A Geek … No way!

Fiction. Travel. Tech.

Whirlwind Trip to Chennai/Mahabalipuram

with 12 comments

Not a long while ago, the 15th century ruins at Hampi left me awestruck. Mesmerized by the splendor of the place and imagining the illustrious past piqued me no end. I wanted to sit down and read some history lessons but as all know, time flies and it has been more than a month since I was back from Hampi.

A short while after that, it was time to dig still deep into history. I took time travel further down the past – to the 7th century, to be exact.

It was a rather short trip which in the end left me wanting for more!

For someone like me who is always on the lookout to appease his wanderlust, it was an instant yes when Mani threw the proposal.

The plan was to reach Chennai early evening and be back to ‘namma Bengalooru’ by the following night. But the attraction of the trip was a visit to Mahabalipuram and driving on East Coast Road. Of course, the real intention was to carry a huge shipment* back to Bangalore πŸ™‚

For a change, I was sans Madonna. It was a cute white cage, popularly known as Maruti Swift, with Mani behind the wheel.


Day 1 – Nov 30th, ’07

1400: Left Lexington after sending a mail that personal commitments had forced me to not be able to fulfill professional commitments. Not the best thing to do πŸ˜›

1420: Tanked up at Shell near Silk Board.

[ What next ? NH-7 (Till Krishnagiri), NH-46 (Till Arcot) and then NH-4 (Till Ponnamalle High Road) was a straight rip. Extremely good roads with some scenic interludes. The toll paid totaled to ~160 bucks but was certainly worth it. The absence of good drive-in restaurants on this stretch was surprising. Spotted just a single Reliance A-1 near Hosur and that was it ]

1830: Vellore left us looking for a decent place to pit-stop but none was to be found. Finally, halted a good 10-15 kms outside Vellore.

(Total distance covered was ~230 kms till then) Had some local preparation called ‘adappam’. Coupled with chicken pakoras it made quite a dish!

2030: Was at the Poonamalle High Road

2100: Checked in at Hotel Ashoka (easily overpriced, try Hotel Kanchi instead) at Egmore

2200: Dinner / Ice -Cream and some chin wagging brought an end to the day.

Day 2 – Dec 1st, ’07

0700: Was all set for the day. Had a fulfilling breakfast at the Hotel which in the end was ruined by the Chennai Special Coffee (A tad too strong for my taste)

[ In the meantime, the obedient and dutiful Mani had woken up at the first sound of the alarm at … 0400 or so … and was off to Chennai Central to receive the shipment* ]

0800: Left the hotel with the shipment* loaded in the cage.

0840: On ECR.

0920: At the Shore temple at Mahabalipuram

1000: A beautiful beach greeted us. A little rock climbing and playing in the sand.

1100: Feasting on Crabs and Tuna πŸ˜€

1200: At the historical ‘5 Rathas’. The shipment* relaxes while Mani and me take a round of the rathas

1240: Fresh Coconut Milk and also cream for the parched throats.

1300: Towards Chennai. Ran back to click something that would look like Arjuna’s penance. We were running short of time!

1500: At ‘Shakes and Creams’. Amazing desi pizza and sinful indulgence in calorie-laden ice-cream. Yummy! As as matter of fact, the so called pizza here is actually a pizza look-alike. Mani’s favorite hangout and I believe also for so many other IIT Chennai folks.

1630: Beating the traffic at Poonamalee. We had missed the bypass and had to drive right across the town.

2000: Zipping … A look at the speedometer …. 110 errr slow down 100 .. is that ok ?

2130: Back home and ready to feast on ‘Fish Curry’. Was that not whirlwind ?

Afterthoughts: Although the East Coast Road(ECR) is not as scenic as I had imagined(the satellite images make it look amazing) nonetheless it offers numerous interesting stop-overs. The Crocodile Bank where one can actually hold a baby croc/python and get clicked is one such place. There’s a drive in theater – Prarthana and Dakshinchitra – a must visit for art/craft lovers and a few other locations which one would like to check out.

*shipment = Mrs. Mani and loads of luggage πŸ˜›

PS: Snaps can be found here. Will do the captions soon!

Written by Sangfroid

December 28, 2007 at 4:25 pm

12 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. you are competing with Chandu πŸ™‚

    and dude great shots!

    lol @ “Shipment” πŸ˜€


    December 28, 2007 at 5:33 pm

  2. :O :O :O :O :O

    SHIPMENT! Man! call that again and I will disfigure your nose πŸ˜‰

    nice one…but again as I have said this to numerous people, its IIT Madras and not IIT Chennai…


    December 29, 2007 at 8:53 am

  3. awwsum! n shipment! πŸ˜€ ur lucky u dint get creamed!


    January 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm

  4. Oh shit, having been in Chennai for three years I’ve seen ALL these places..
    -My college was at ECR.
    -My parents stayed at Ashoka too when they can to leave me for the first time.
    -Hotel Kanchi was adjoining the apartment I shared for the first six months.
    -Been to Mahabalipuram a zillion times, and this time me on a bike!! πŸ˜€
    -Shakes and Cream, a lot happened there!! πŸ™‚ and yeh, it IS a regular hang out for BOTH NIFT and the IIT gang!!

    My envy has no boundaries and am super nostalgic.. 😦


    January 2, 2008 at 9:42 am

  5. Btw, a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!! πŸ˜€


    January 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

  6. Kunal, thanks man! competition is inevitable πŸ˜›

    Mani, was a good trip buddy! Show this post to your better half as well πŸ˜›

    Ani, πŸ™‚

    Sam, πŸ™‚ coincidence … shall I call it!
    I should rather be envious that you had your college at a place like ECR
    otherwise surviving 3 years in Chennai is commendable πŸ˜› Shakes n Creams seemed just perfect for college junta πŸ˜‰
    Happy New Year to you too


    January 3, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  7. I had one of the best times of my life in Chennai so it wasn’t as if I was “surviving” there..
    And yeh, Shakes used be be fun.. πŸ˜‰


    January 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm

  8. now thats truly whirlwind!


    January 7, 2008 at 4:17 am

  9. Sam , dint mean it literally. i was referring to the climate πŸ˜›

    Sreejith, πŸ™‚


    January 7, 2008 at 11:09 am

  10. Ohh..sorry!! 😦


    January 7, 2008 at 11:42 am

  11. Chauffeur driver Four Passengers Capacity A/C Car Rs. 1650/-* All Inclusive

    Includes : Car Rentals, Driver Allowance, Toll, Entry fee
    Maxmium allowed usage for the roundtrip is upto 200Kms

    Duration: 1 days 12hr: – Starts at: 06.00 am – Finishes at: 11.00 pm
    Starting point: Chennai City
    Finishing point: Chennai City
    Payment Types: Cash

    We speak: English, Tamil, Hindi & Malayalam

    There are other site on the way to mamallapuram from Chennau that you may wish to stop by like the Boating house, Crocodile bank, dolphin city, tiger cars etc…

    The Additinol Parking charges outside Mamallapuram is not included.

    Contact : Agni Sharman / +91 98414 87666 (Chennai City, TamilNadu, India)

    August 31, 2008 at 6:24 pm

  12. Mahaballipuram is a beautiful rock scultures.


    May 3, 2012 at 7:50 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: