As I started the car & recalled the phrase of the wise man Lao-tzu & tried to modernise it - 'journey of a thousand kilometers begins by engaging first gear'! Thus begins the long journey from Bangaluru to Delhi via Kanyakumari. We started at 6 AM and comfortably got out of Bangaluru & headed for Madurai without facing much traffic.
NH-7 was comfortable to drive on except for a few patches where either construction was on for expansion or some repair work was in progress. As for trucks they are free to choose their lane & drive as they please. You just keep away from these unruly Kingkongs of the roads. By 09.15 we were in Salem covering 200 km.
In maps NH-7 is also shown as AH-43. Asian Highways project is a co op project of 32 countries of Asia, Europe & UN to improve upon Asian highways & they are designated as say AH-43 & so on. India has a share of 11152 km of roads.
Getting to Madurai nearly 450 km same day was tougher & against our laid down rule of 300 km a day. So almost mid way near Salem we took a diversion to hill town of Yercaud. This ride took us more than an hour because of traffic & because did not want to push 800 c/c Buggy hard on 20 hair-pin bends on way up. You can see the zigzag of 30 km road on the map below.
|Green hills, cool breeze & clouds keep you company. Can be visited any time during the year. Temprature ranges from 13 to max 30. Variety of hotels, resorts & guest houses are available.|
|Yercaud lake on the top of hills - cool & beautiful. Boat rides available.|
|Cross & Christian statues on the road to Yercaud|
|Hair pin bends add to the adventure. There are 20 such bends & in addition repairs & even cows add to the adventure. Drive carefully !|
|Road up the hill is well maintained & is full of greenery all around. Enjoyable ride.|
|This sign actually says ' no vehicle beyond this point '. We missed it & landed in trouble. Keen to have a look on the Killiyur Fall we pushed ahead with car.|
|Reached dead end. Ahead was nothing but free fall. U turn for the car was a nightmare for 45 minutes or so|
|I should have been careful|