Road trip : Bangalore to Kumbakonam and back

Trip details:

  • Distance = 443 km (one-way)
  • Road until Namakkal is awesome (4-6 lane National Highway). I keep referring this to as Vajpayee Road – lest we forget the great man who kicked off the Golden Quadrilateral Highway project.
  • Speed will drop while approaching Salem though. Even though it is a bypass, several roundabouts and a lot of traffic will reduce your speed.
  • After Namakkal, it is 2 lane highway. Road quality is pretty decent though.
  • I was told that the last stretch to Musiri is really bad. So my brother-in-law had asked me to take the Kulithalai bridge just before reaching Musiri. The Kulithalai to Trichy road runs parallel to the Musiri Trichy road – just on the other side of the River Cauvery. The road however is decent.
  • Once inside Trichy, there are two ways to reach Kumbakonam.
  • First way is through Kallanai (Grand Anaicut) -> Thiruvaiyaar -> Kumbakonam.
  • I took this road on my onward journey. This is typical country road. Single lane. The road quality is OK, not spectacular. There are patches of good and bad roads. I am told however to avoid this road during rainy season, since the road quality invariably deteriorates.
  • Second way is through Tanjore -> Kumbakonam.
  • I took this road on the way back. From Trichy, take the road towards Samayapuram. You will see the road leading to Nagappitanam. This is a national highway connecting Nagappatinam->Coimbatore. Extremely good road. This road leads you to Tanjore outskirts. Take the Tanjore bypass toward Papanasam. You will hit Ammapettai, Papanasam, Swamimalai and then Kumbakonam.
  • Tanjore to Kumbakonam is typical of all Tanjore district (tanjavoor jilla roads :)) roads. Single lane. Winding roads with trees and fields on both sides. THe road will pass through every village/town on the road. Crazy bus drivers. Watch out for unmarked speed breakers too.