Updated on Mahabalipuram Roadtrip: This route is the favorite and we undertook the exact route again in December 2019.
Route Update: The roads are of the same smooth run until Chennai with the Chennai traffic starting after Tada / Gummudipundi and depending on the time of the day, with the NH still under construction, you would find diversions and heavy to medium traffic. So plan for this extra time.
This was last year in 2018 that we did a road-trip to Mahabalipuram with family. Though a bit late, I wanted to pen my experience of this trip.
Originally called Mamalapuram, this is a small coastal town in Tamilnadu on the famous ECR Expressway that connects Chennai (Madras) with Pondicherry.
Our Journey – Mahabalipuram
We started at around 06:00 hours on the morning of Day One from Hyderabad. Catching ORR at Medchal, we were in no time at the LB Nagar exit.
You can opt for one of the three routes here:
One: Hyderabad – Suryapet – Vijayawada – Ongole – Sullurupeta – Chennai – Mahabalipuram
Two: Hyderabad – Chityal – Nalgonda Road (deviation here to NAM Expressway) – Narasaraopet – Ongole – Nellore – Sullurupeta – Chennai – Mahabalipuram
Three: Hyderabad – Kurnool – Kadapa – Tirupati – Kanchipuram – Perunagalathur – Mahabalipuram
The overall drive is smooth and we have used Route Two for our onward journey from Hyderabad.
Our Experience of the Onward Journey:
We started around 06:00 hours from Hyderabad and took the ORR entrance at Medchal / Kandlakoya. The route from there onto L. B. Nagar exit was smooth as we cruised at 100kmph.
You then join NH65 towards Vijayawada and you deviate towards NAM Expressway around Nalgonda (near Narketpally) to divert towards Addanki / Medarametla in Andhra Pradesh.
You then enter Tamil Nadu after Tada in Andhra Pradesh and cross the famous Pulicat Lake that is very well known for its bird sightings.
1. NGrill Restaurant, Nalgonda (near Chityal)
For our trip, we stopped at NGrill.
2. Hotel Vivera, Narketpally before diverting to Nalgonda
Your next stop would be after you merge onto the Vijayawada – Chennai Highway which is a beautiful 6 lane road until Gummidipundi.
3. Hotel N5 Restaurant above the toll plaza in Tangutur, the food here is good and the ambience is nice with ample parking and nice views of the highway.
The route from L B Nagar exit until Nalgonda is a 4 lane highway and as you merge towards the NAM Expressway which again is a four lane road albeit that you would have a few bumps and will pass through villages.
The moment you hit the Chennai Highway it is a beautiful six lane highway with little to less traffic until Nellore.
Once you cross into Tamilnadu, the road is still under construction and you would find heavy to very heavy traffic depending on which time of the day you are entering.
Overall time taken was a little under 12 hours as we started at 0600 hours and reached our destination (Four Points by Sheraton) by 17:45 hours (includes a breakfast break of 25 mins and lunch break of 30 mins).
We found traffic only after crossing Nellore / Sullurupeta stretch.
You may be interested in reading my blog post on Rameswaram and Danushkodi here
Return Journey to Hyderabad
We started our return journey back to Hyderabad from Mahabalipuram, the route we have taken was via Kanchipuram as we wanted to avoid the busy Chennai stretch.
The route we have taken is Mahabalipuram – Kanchipuram – Tirupati (outer) – Kadapa – Kurnool – Hyderabad.
You have a two lane road all the way until a bit before Tirupati and you pass through reserve forest after Tirupati.
You then merge onto Rayalaseema Expressway (part of which is under construction near Kadapa) before merging onto Bengaluru-Hyderabad highway.
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