Day trip from Chennai - Amirthi Forest

#1 Aug 18th, 2008, 19:12
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  • mprakas is offline
#1
I read about the Amirthi forest in all the websites mentioned as a spot to visit near Vellore. So when we planned a trip to Vellore for the Aug 15 weekend, I included it in our itinery. Though it is mentioned in many websites, no proper directions were available so I decided to get it from the locals as we drove on.
Started early on the 15th and hit the NH-4 towards Bangalore in a jiffy. Not much of traffic and a great road. After Kanchi, had breakfast (prepared by my wife early in the morning) and continued towards Vellore. Near Arcot, NH-4 diverges and becomes NH-46 towards Vellore. After driving for about 130Kms you are in Vellore (About 2.5-3 Hours).
We took the officer's line road in Vellore and checked in at the hotel there and proceede towards Amirthi. The road splits near the MGR statue in Officer's lane and you need to take the left and drive straight in this road. You will see the road splitting again near the Women;s special prison but keep driving straight. This road becomes Amirthi main road after a while. If you are lucky and can read tamil, you can see the sign in the way.
After about 20-22 Kms (1 hour at least as the roads are not in good shape) in the road(I mean, what is left of a road) you will reach Amirthi. The drive is very scenic with open spaces, corn fields, paddy fields and single lane driving with kids running behind cars (as seen in Tamil movies!).In between you will cross a river (shall I say ford it?). Watch out here as there are no bridges and you need to drive right on the river bed and crove across. There was no water on the Aug 15th and I cannot guarantee the same on other days.
Anyways, once you reach the entry point, there is a local food shop and a mini zoo (if you can call 4 porcupines, 10-15 pigeons, 4 peacocks, 1 crocodile a zoo at all!). But the fun lies in the trek to the Amirthi falls which is about 1.5Kms inside from the entry point. The trek is not difficult and the path is laid with red sand and slabs of stones and there is a view point to boost. The falls itself didn't had any water but through the trek it was drizzling and the forest views were fantastic. You can pack lunch and eat near the falls (monkeys abound so beware!) or near one of the fields in the Amirthi main road (which is what we did).
We drove back to the hotel in Vellore for a good rest before carry on towards our other destinations (Fort, the sripuram temple, Kanchipuram and Rajiv memorial etc). But Amirthi is a fantastic place for spending a day.
(Will post some pics soon!)
#2 Aug 18th, 2008, 22:27
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  • snonymous is offline
#2
Interesting description. Look forward to seeing your photos.

Incidentally is it a literal case of: "you need to drive right on the river bed "? Does that mean you require a Scorpio or jeep type vehicle?
#3 Aug 18th, 2008, 23:01
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  • Gametotravel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snonymous View Post Interesting description. Look forward to seeing your photos.

Incidentally is it a literal case of: "you need to drive right on the river bed "? Does that mean you require a Scorpio or jeep type vehicle?
I do not think so(taking the liberty to answer) as a bike will definely go through and nowadays cars are quite water tight.
Last edited by Gametotravel; Aug 19th, 2008 at 00:11..
#4 Aug 18th, 2008, 23:13
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Originally Posted by Gametotravel View Post nowadys cars are quite water tight.
Going off thread if I may, it reminds me of a few years ago when our then 'hero' driver did not heed our frantic warnings and drove our then new Indica straight through a waterfall that had breached the road, on a remote downhill section from Bhimashankar to Khed [Maharashtra] in the middle of the monsoons. Needless to say, the car just stopped, and to cut a long story short, had to be towed to Pune! Ever since then, I am extremely paranoid about driving through even shallow puddles, let alone rivers. We also have a different driver now. That particular driver reverted to being a milkman which was his original profession.

Apologies for going off on a tangent.
#5 Aug 19th, 2008, 00:02
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  • mazha is offline
#5
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Originally Posted by snonymous View Post That particular driver reverted to being a milkman which was his original profession.


Sort of makes sense, milkman and water!
#6 Aug 19th, 2008, 16:46
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Originally Posted by snonymous View Post Incidentally is it a literal case of: "you need to drive right on the river bed "? Does that mean you require a Scorpio or jeep type vehicle?
What I drove was a Santro AT and that was good enough to cross as the river bed is just sand and pebbles with some slush.

Actually, we took a differnt, circumtious route on our way to Amirthi. I didn't mention because it is longer than the one I gave earlier. But for those who dont like to 'ford the river', here is the alternate route.
Instead of going straight from the Women's special prison junction, take left and drive on till you hit another state highway. Take right here and drive till a village called 'Kaniambadi'. This is a small village and turn right at the bus stop once you reach Kaniambadi. Go straight on this road (again full of potholes and single lane driving with fields on both sides) till you meet up with the Amirthi main road and take a left towards Amirthi. No need to cross the river here but as you can see, instead of a straight road, you are taking a round-about route to the same road.

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