• Restaurant Review

    Tasty vada in Chennai-Bengaluru Highway

    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. From my previous trips, I like the Hotel Aryaas which was another 60 km (comes after Vellore and before Ambur when travelling from Madras), but today I will be missing it as I was planning to take the Chittor-Kolar road to Bengaluru instead of continuing on NH48. 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…

  • venkatarangan eating in A2B, Buransemedu, Arcot
    Restaurant Review

    Restaurants on Chennai-Bengaluru Highway

    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…

  • Chennai

    Arcot Nawab’s trail at Triplicane by Kombai S Anwar

    Kombai S Anwar organised a walk today, on The Nawabs of Arcot. The Nawabs ruled much of Tamil Nadu and adjacent regions in the 18th Century before moving to Madras in the 1760s and building their palace at Chepauk. The Nawabs belonged to three successive and different lineages: Zulfikar Khan and Daud Khan Panni, the original appointees of Aurangzeb, followed by the Nawayati Nawabs, prominent among them being Sadatullah Khan after whom Saidabad was named, which later became Saidapet. In the 1740s, the Wallajah line of Nawabs came into being. The walk began outside Madras University’s Senate hall, proceeding to Chepauk Palace (now inside PWD department’s campus), Walajah Big Mosque, Big street Mosque…

  • Faith

    Trip to Sholingur hill temple

    This Monday myself and my friend E.Ravi decided to take off the next day and go for a drive away from Chennai. That’s how we ended up going to Sholingur this Tuesday (15th March). Sholingur is a town in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, near to Arakonam and Thiruthani. The town is famous for its Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple on a big hilltop and Yoga Hanuman Temple on a smaller hilltop. From Chennai, you have two routes to go to Sholingur town. One is NH4 (Chennai-Bangalore Highway) going up to Walajapet and then proceeding to Sholingur, this is a longer route (131 Kms) and we were told by people who…

  • Faith,  Travel Review

    Sripuram Golden Temple

    Last month returning from a trip to Danvantri Temple, Walajapet went with my family to Sripuram Golden Temple near vellore. It is built by Sri Narayani Peetam and is situated some 5Kms from Vellore downtown. When we went thousands of people were in the temple, after locking you in cages (like in Tirupati) they send you in batches to control the crowd. I suppose most of the crowd visiting were curious and interested to see the new golden temple rather than the deity. The temple, covering 55,000 sq ft, has intricate carvings and sculptures in gold. Except for the pathway, the entire structure has been made of gold and copper.…

  • Chennai,  Travel Review

    A weekend away at Yelagiri

    Last weekend (28-30 July) I excused myself from work for a much wanted (long promised) short vacation with my wife (of course!) and our 3-year-old son. One of my colleagues at the office has been recommending Yelagiri to me for almost a year now (Thanks, Akhila Arun for the recommendation). Decided to go for it, I booked the room at Taj Gardens in advance – the resort I was told tends to get filled up during the weekends due to high bookings from IT folks from Bangalore and Chennai. Zeenat Taj Gardens is a family-run farmhouse owned by one Mr Rahman (who is a retired Leather Businessman). Fortunately, when we…