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  • Writer's pictureCND Engineering

A Memorable Road Trip from Kolkata to Tirupati and Chennai: A Journey of Rituals, Challenges and Discoveries



In the world of fulfilling family commitments and exploring off lands embarking on a memorable road trip from Kolkata to Tirupati and Chennai is truly a remarkable tale. For me it all started with a promise I made to my wife – to offer our sons hair as a ritual to Lord Balaji as per our customs. While this practice often takes place in temples I decided to honor this commitment at the Tirupati temple. In October 2015 I made a decision to undertake this journey myself opting for a 4000 kilometer drive which initially worried my wife.

 


Kolkata-chennai-highway
Kolkata chennai highway

I was aware of the issues that could disrupt our trip by choosing to travel alone. To minimize risks I took care in servicing my vehicle at Car Care, an authorized Maruti service center. Additionally I made sure to equip myself with a jack as a measure, against possible tire problems despite having tubeless tires.



Kolkata-Chennai-Highway-1
Kolkata Chennai Highway

 

Preparations began with enthusiasm as we packed our belongings and stocked up on snacks and dry food items to limit stops along the way. Given the journey of us maintaining a strict schedule became crucial.

 

So I started my journey at 4 AM, on November 6 2015 leaving from my home in Panihati. I drove along NH 6 to Kharagpur. Then followed NH 60 and NH 5 relying on the NavyMap GPS system on my Lenovo tablet.


Kolkata-Chennai-Highway-2
Kolkata Chennai Highway

Initially the roads were smooth. We made progress. However, 5 kilometers from Jaleswar we encountered a bottleneck at the entry gate between West Bengal and Odisha. It was a never-ending traffic jam. The locals suggested a village route that added about 15 kilometers to our journey but helped us avoid the gridlock.


Chilka-Road
Chilka Road

During our trip we made a few pit stops: a ten minute breakfast break after Jaleswar and a brief lunch break near Sinakhala. Our goal was to reach Vishakhapatnam before 6 PM. Miraculously we achieved it despite some traffic issues in Cuttack and Bhubneswar. When we finally arrived in Vishakhapatnam exhausted we found a hotel near the highway where we had dinner quickly and went to bed early to rest for the days journey.


The second day of our trip was filled with travel from Vishakhapatnam to Tirupati through terrains. The road conditions were mostly favorable, with toll stops every 50 to 60 kilometers. By evening I reached Tirupati where I checked into a hotel had a meal and retired for the night.


Tirupat-Tirtumala-Road
Tirupat Tirtumala Road

The following days were filled with experiences. On November 8 amidst rain, I had a visit, to the Lord Balaji temple in Tirumala. As promised, I donated my sons’ hair. Also bought the laddu to share back home.

 

However, when we reached Chennai we encountered some challenges due to heavy rain that flooded the roads. We quickly had lunch near the railway station. Managed to catch a glimpse of the lively Marina beach. It made us decide to leave the city the day.

 

We started our journey from Tirupati to Chennai on November 9 at 9 AM. Despite facing weather conditions and waterlogged streets along the 137 kilometer route we found shelter at Hotel Emarald. Braved through the cyclonic weather.



Vijaywada-Rail-Bridge
Vijaywada Rail Bridge

 

Continuing our travels from Chennai to Vijaywada on November 10 was more challenging with rains and almost zero visibility along the gruelling 428 kilometer path. Thankfully we found respite at Vijaywadas Hotel Manorama after battling through the storm.

 

On November 11 we departed at 7:30 AM with our sights set on reaching Gopalpur by days end. We made pit stops for lunch. Enjoyed some sightseeing along the way before settling for an accommodation that wasn't ideal at Hotel Song of the Sea. The fatigue, from our journey was evident.

 



On November 12th we embarked on the leg of our journey, from Berhampore covering 3605 kilometers. The route was diverse including places like Chilka lake. Ultimately bringing us back to Panihati in Kolkata by 8 PM.

 

As we approached the kilometer on our odometer we couldn't. Reflect on the tireless voyage. It was a testament, to our determination conquering challenges along the way while honoring rituals and making discoveries along the vast roads that connect Kolkata to the sacred destinations of Tirupati and Chennai.

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