The Thanjavur highway was wider and nicely laid out..Two lanes on either side of the median which can handle the heterogeneous traffic very well.  My daughter was astonished to see bulls and buffaloes casually loitering the highway and I was amazed at the dexterity with which the drivers go around them without disturbing them.  We went through BHEL, Kailasapuram Township and NIT. The BHEL has added more greenery and  Kailasapuram township had added quite a bit of Commercial establishments.  It was great to see the Joined Hands Statue in front of BHEL intact.

The road after NIT was under construction in some parts. We saw that there was work in progress to construct a toll booth. It was in its infancy now but Toll is coming soon on this road.  We saw Shanmuga Campus grown in leaps and bounds with so many buildings catering to so many disciplines. Amazing growth ….

But the sad part till Thanjavur is all the trees we had before lining the road from Trichy are gone. All the lush , thick trees that lined the road are gone. All we have is “Mullu Cheddis” on both sides of the road and barren land.

Romba Sogam!!!

We hit Thanjavur in about 45mins from Trichy.. Traffic from Vallam was slow due to narrow roads. Yep.. The highway gets over before Vallam.. Not sure when it will be constructed till Thanjavur town. But whenever it is, lots of homes on the side of the roads will be gone.

We took velankani road from Thanjavur and Boy!!! it was beautiful with so much Greenary.

The road from Thanjavur to Velankanni goes through some of the great Vazhai Thoppu and Thennai Thoppus.  The road, although narrow, ( Two lanes) was lined with tall , thick trees.  For most part they are Banyan Trees, Puliaya Maram( Tamarind Trees) and some Thennai Marams… There are lots of Valai Thoppus to look at, which showcase the pride of Thanjavur district.   It was magnificent to see those trees silently towering and looking over the increasing traffic and the carelessness with which people treat the sides of the road.. Lots of papers and plastic bags on the sides. ( Signs of Progress and advancement of lifestyle !!!!!!!!!!:(   ) Some people were taking rest from hot sun under those trees and some dogs too were sleeping there…

We hit Needamangalam after some driving. In Needamangalam, very close to railway station, we saw some food grain storage places.. They looked like giant greenhouses in first sight but then we realized they are grains stacked up high after harvest and waiting to be transported to various places. We saw some lorries loading them and transporting them to a Goods Train in the station.  Surprisingly there were hardly any people in the vicinity and nothing else there other than grains and lorries (with drivers!!!!!)

We stopped in Needamangalam Tea shop for a cup of tea before continuing.. We had an awesome tea in a small tea kadai.

Next stop for us is to find a place under a tree shade for lunch…..

Lunch Menu: Lemon Rice and Thayir Sadham prepared by my mom…Potato Chips on the side.



I took  a day trip to Velankanni from Trichy last week and it was quite a trip. I had some of my friends come down from Mysore who joined me in this trip. We hired a Toyota Innova and piled on to that in the morning at about 08:00 AM. Being a week day , trichy roads were busy and people were going somewhere ( schools, offices, shops, movies, Shopping etc..) .

Breakfast : What is trip without a great Breakfast !!  We decided to have our Breakfast in a small restaurant which really gives us the South Indian flavours and settings. My Mysore friends were really particluar in eating in a place where they serve hot brekfast in Banana Leaf.  My dad told us about this great small restaurant called Jayram Vilas, in Thillainagar 10th cross and said they will serve hot, delicious breakfast in banana leaf. True to the word, it was a best breakfast ( South Indian style) we had and I was very happy that my Friends loved it. We had Idli( malligai Poo), Vada ( Moru Moru Vadai) , Pongal and Ghee Roast Dosai.. Man …. It was awesome.  And Topped it off with Narsu’s Coffee..  What a way to start !!!!!

Drive: The route we took to Velankani passed through Thanjavoor, Needamangalam, Thiruvaroor, Sikkal and Nagapattinam.

From ThillaiNagar we caught the Thanjavoor highway, after driving close to Cauveri banks near ERHSS School, in ariyamangalam. We can see Trichy’s breadth of change in this route. We passed through Chattiram Busstand which is a mess with buses, people and animals but it had so many restaurants and general shops, you will get almost anything there. Reached Anna Silai watching dilapidated Ramba, Oorvasi theatres and passed ERHSS.. ( yeah .. My alma mater) to reach the banks of cauvery. There is no water ( or very little) in cauvery which I promptly pointed out to my friends showing how it is if we do not get water from KRS. Took the Bypass road / bridge to Ariyamangalam and noticed many cars going on wrong side of the highway in order to save some driving.. ( Asked my driver about this practice and he said “Petrol vikkira velaiyile ithalam sagajam Saar” . Eventhough most of the cars are using diesel !!!)

Will continue this journey details in my next post.

More details are emerging on the planned Trichy – Karur Highway ( Toll Road) enhancements.

  • It will strengthen and develop the present two-lane road with paved shoulders for 59 km and convert the remaining stretch into a four-lane road for the rest 21 km.
  • The new project takes off from Panjappur in Tiruchi district on the NH45 B and ends at Sukkaliyur in Karur district.
    • Three bypass sections – in Tiruchi between Panjappur and Andanallur, at Kulithalai between Marudur and Melakurapalayam and at Karur between Veerarakkiam and Sukkaliyur – will mark the project, according to the NHAI Project Director, M. Thangamani.
  • The Kulithalai bypass section will run parallel and proximate to the Cauvery’s left bank skirting the town and a retaining wall will be constructed all along the 10-km stretch.
  • The Karur bypass section, running to 15 km, will be constructed as a four-lane stretch and will have one ROB and a flyover rising above the State Highway 74 not far from the Karur Collectorate.
  • In the Tiruchi bypass section, two road over-bridges, one major bridge across the Kodingal river and two flyovers near Panjappur and Andanallur will be constructed. The special feature of the road over-bridge at Andanallur is that a portion of the “landing” would extend as a “trumpet type”’ onto the riverbed.
  • Work is expected to commence in another six months and a planned end date of 2010.

Source : The Hindu

Although we are going GaGa about the technology sector in India, farming is still the backbone of the economy. The farmers in Trichy are adept in growing bananas and Mangoes for a long time but now they are getting trained in changing their practices in such a way to produce mangoes and bananas using European Good Agricultural Practices (EurepGAP). This will pave the way to produce the fruits to export to US and Europe.

From the news report from The Hindu:

Talking to the media on the sidelines of a day-long seminar on ‘EurepGAP standards for mangoes’, organised jointly by the FICCI and the Directorate of Marketing and Agri Business here on Monday, he said that though farmers cultivated quality fibre-free mango varieties including the ‘Imampasanthu,’ and a wide range of bananas, their earnings were inadequate.

Young graduates from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University would be posted at each farm to guide the farmers on cultivation practices, fair utilisation of irrigation water and crop protection methods as per EurepGAP norms.

 Hopefully the academic knowledge gets transferred to the farmers and the practical knowledge to the students.

Trichy – Dindugal and Trichy – Karur roads are going to be toll roads soon. The Reliance Energy Limited has bagged a huge contract worth Rs2320 crore to construct the above mentioned roads and Salem – Udumalaipet road.  This will be a turnkey project and will have a concession agreement for 25 – 30 years. ( Does this mean that we have to pay to use these roads for that long ? )

These projects will be performed by  three special purpose vehicles (SPVs) — SU Tollways Pvt Limited, TU Tollways Pvt Limited and TK Tollways Pvt Limited and aims to ease high traffic density in these areas.

Estimated completion date is 2010.

The 80-km-long Trichy-Karur project (NH67) has its construction cost at Rs 516 crores, and will include four-lanes of two major bypasses and construction of two-lane highway. It will have Toll Plaza at two locations.

The 88-km Trichy-Dindigul project (NH 45)is to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 576 crores. It includes construction of 4-lane dual carriageway for the complete length and construction of 2-lane service roads in urban areas.

I agree that Trichy with its burgeoning potential requires such smooth roadway connection to their neighbouring cities. But I have only one request / reservation in this. Whenever we start constructing roads, we first cut down trees and make the land barren and flat. I have not seen any road that is constructed accomodating the greenery and I don’t expect this to be an exception. We have some pretty scenes on the way to karur along the banks of cauvery which I hate to miss.

Will REL listen to this plea and be a difference maker. ………….

Trichy Airport expansion has caused a lot of excitement and anxieties in many quarters depending on how one is affected. One of the concern for the people living near to the airport is how the land acquisition request by AAI be handled by Trichy Corporation. The Collector allayed some fears that there will be no land approval for expansion without public consent and land survey. But it does not say what is the timetable for such a survey and how the process will be work. This will just keep the people guessing.

AAI also wants to change the course of Uyyagundaan river. Not sure why but the farmers association is raising concerns to that.

Thamilagathin NerKazanjeeyum, Thanjai and Trichy are quietly playing the Free Markets efficiently. The Rice mills in the region are in modernisation efforts to increase their outputs from the average of 30 tons / day. Traditionally they were targeting the public distribution system. Now they have broadened their reach into Foreign and Out of State markets which is forcing them to upgarde in order to compete not only in price but also in quality.

Removal of Paddy Movement restrictions, raising of stockholding limits and large role of private trade after government’s stoppage of monopoly buying has fueled this growth. Now the rice mill owners confidently say that their non Basmati rice is cheaper from other state suppliers yet being high quality.

It is good that the Rice mills are upgrading and making money in open market but how it helped the local market is yet to be seen.

Are they neglecting the local trichy markets for highly priced other markets ? I am not sure..

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