In the decades past, out of station travel on road, used to be an ordeal. You need to carry enough water pots, food to eat (there will hardly be any hygienic restaurants en route), floor mats to lay down under a tree for a picnic like setting to eat the food, and, paper maps – either from AASI (Automobile Association of South India) if you were a member with them, which I am, or, from Higginbothams bookshop. Nowadays, with Google Maps the difficulty with finding/asking routes is almost gone. Water pots are replaced with convenient plastic disposable water bottles. The other two have completely vanished, very few people now pack food to eat on travel and picnic mats, instead, they stop and eat in the restaurants on the way.
This week I had travelled on the road to Bangalore from Chennai and back. I didn’t carry any food with me. On the Mumbai Highway (National Highway 48, new number) for every 25-30 Kilometres, I found a decent looking restaurant to have food, near to bigger towns there were more choices. On either side of the highway, I spotted nearly a dozen restaurants with the name “Saravana Bhavan” (with all the spelling variations).
Hotel Aryaas near Vellore
For the onward journey (Chennai to Bangalore) I stopped for an evening snack of Aloo Bonda and a Coffee in Aryaas at Pallikonda (coming from Chennai it is after Vellore and before Ambur). I didn’t expect such a nice place on a highway – what they served was tasty, had clean washrooms, and the price was reasonable. Recommended!
Adyar Ananda Bhavan near Arcot
For the return journey (Bangalore to Chennai) I stopped for lunch, a plate of Kerala Parotta and a Muskmelon juice in Adyar Ananda Bhavan (A2B) Vegetarian Restaurant, Buransemedu, near Arcot. They too served tasty food, the Parotta appeared to have been made fresh, reasonably priced and had clean restrooms.
[Update: 24th April 2022]
Today evening, while driving to Bengaluru (Bangalore) from Chennai by Chennai-Bangalore Highway (National Highway 48, new number) after about two hours when I had covered about 90 km I was craving a snack and coffee. I spotted a Murugan Idli restaurant in Kaveripakkam and tried their Vadai (வடை in Tamil) and a coffee – the Vada (a fried snack made from black gram flour) was fresh, piping hot and tasty! The accompanying four chutneys (signature of Murugan Idli) in different colours were good too.