Best way to reach Banjara Hills... from Chennai?

#1 Feb 7th, 2013, 21:20
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#1
A friend's having an exam in Hyderabad in a few weeks. The exam center is located in Banjara Hills, Road No. 2. (On Google Maps, this road seems to be called LV Prasad Marg).

The thing is, the reporting time at the center is 7.30 AM. Considering this, what is the best way to plan the trip so there are no logistic problems. The exam is extremely important, and cannot be repeated.

I suggested an evening flight 2 days before so in the event of an unfortunate flight cancellation with no seat availability in any other flight, an alternative arrangement can be made on a Volvo that night which will reach Hyderabad one day before the exam.

Questions:
1). How sound is the above paragraph? Are domestic flight tickets at the last minute easy to obtain nowadays in the event of a cancelled flight? Are Volvo bus tickets easy to obtain from Chennai to Hyderabad at the last minute?

2). Is flying really the best way to go to Hyderabad? Would it be easier to just take a train? My defence for the flight was that this is an important exam so the tiredness from overnight train journey is worth avoiding. The negative with the flight seems to be that the domestic airport is ~30 km from Banjara Hills? If so, are there prepaid taxis available at the Airport and are they safe at night?

3). How good is the call taxi service in Hyderabad? Is it easy to get a taxi at, say 6.30 to 7 AM in the morning on the day of the exam?

4). Any suggestions on a good hotel close to the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park with easy access to the main roads and call taxi?

Thanks all in advance!
#2 Feb 8th, 2013, 10:40
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#2
There are two trains that connect Chennai to Hyderabad. You will have to arrive one day before for you to meet the 7:30 AM deadline.
Flying is possible, and the airport is outside town. It would take about 1 hour or so to get to the destination from airport, and there are metered taxis available from airport.
APSRTC runs only one bus from chennai to hyderabad. There are private buses, but I do not know much about them.
Best is to plan to arrive a day before.

There are two Taj group hotels in Banjara Hills area. There are many other expensive hotels in the same area. if that does not suit your budget, then you can stay anywhere near ParkLane in secunderabad. This would be about 40 minutes-1 hour travellling time by taxi. There are many budget hotels in the secunderabad area.
Taxi services are very reliable if you can get to them. Meru has had many problems with booking, you can book dot cabs without any problem. Some taxis may not have digital meters on them, they tell you the charges before hand, and measure distance by the odometer readings.

There are also ongoing political problems with telangana here, and there are a few general strikes etc scheduled in the month of February. Please make sure your date does not clash with any of those things.
#3 Feb 8th, 2013, 11:10
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#3
And yes, taxis are safe. you seemed to be worried about that, and I completely ignored that part of your message, hence the second message.
banjara hills is an expensive part of town, so finding budget hotels is a bit of a chore.
#4 Feb 8th, 2013, 17:16
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#4
Reach a day early. Scout the place, how to get there etc and you should be good. Early in the morning an auto may be more readily available (as in they are there on most main roads) or book a cab
#5 Feb 8th, 2013, 21:51
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#5
Thanks a lot Adam and Narendra!

Regarding taxi services, there is Meru and Dot Cabs, and Dot Cabs are better? Any idea if they can be booked the night before?

Also, how bad will the traffic be from Secunderabad to Banjara Hills at 7 AM? Are the roads good?

Thanks once again!
#6 Feb 8th, 2013, 22:24
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The roads at that time will be almost empty or with low traffic. Its after 8 that it become crowded. Evenings are a nightmare. The roads are good.
#7 Feb 8th, 2013, 23:15
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#7
Thanks once again. You mentioning the evening traffic makes me think about something else. My friend said the last train from Hyderabad he could find leaving to Chennai starts as early as 6.30 PM! So, is it possible to complete the exam at 5 PM at Banjara Hills, and take a cab / auto to the station (5 km away according to Google Maps), and reach in time to board that train?

[hotel checkout would be completed earlier so that wouldn't hog the time in the evening]
#8 Feb 9th, 2013, 06:20
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Should be doable as long as you don't have to then buy a ticket. If you intend to buy a general ticket, it can be bought upto 3 days in advance. You have to mention the travel date specifically.
#9 Feb 9th, 2013, 11:16
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#9
Morning travel is not a problem but afternoon-evening travel is generally a nightmare. You should ask your friend to board the train at nampally (hyderabad), that is a better option and closer to banjara hills. there is one or two choke points that can be avoided if you use this station instead of the secunderabad station.

You can book the taxi a day in advance. Dot cabs number is 040-24242424. They are not metered, but have a slab system that you will be told of.
they arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time. and you will be sent SMS messages at every step of the way.

Actually, you could even make nampally ( hyderabad) the alighting point, there are a couple of decent hotels as you come out of the station. You don't need to go the secunderabad area at all.
#10 Feb 11th, 2013, 10:17
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Thanks, yes, Nampally (Hyderabad Deccan) station is what we were thinking about. It is about 5 km from Banjara Hills according to Google Maps. We hadn't actually thought about the Secunderabad station actually. We thought since Secunderabad itself is too far (10 km per Google Maps), it wouldn't be feasible.

Thanks for the phone number for Dot cabs. It should be a big help. Hopefully the language would not be a problem though. Also, any hotels in Nampally you might recommend, and which can be booked online? I have been generally of the opinion that the area around the railway station in any city is generally congested, and also will have ill-maintained hotels (since they know they are going to be booked full no matter what). Is this not the case at Nampally?

Thanks Adam and Mr. Narendra once again!
#11 Feb 11th, 2013, 10:22
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Also, Mr. Adam, since you have mentioned the strikes, one disadvantage my friend thinks in booking a hotel that is not walkable distance from the exam center is that in case there is a strike / bandh on the day of the exam, it might not be possible to reach the exam center?

Any thoughts on this as well? Thanks!
#12 Feb 11th, 2013, 11:08
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CCC

It depends on your budget. There are a couple of Taj group hotels in banjara hills that cost over 5K per day. If that is your budget, then go for them.
There are other hotels in the same price range that belong to other groups in the same area...like sheraton.

Banjara hills area is a relatively posh area, so it might be difficult to find budget hotels.

http://www.ebonyhotel.in/ -> this might work for you, it is on road No 2, may be close to your destination..and may match your budget.

http://www.tajhotels.com/business/ta...ad/default.htm
http://www.daspallahyderabad.in/#!/contact

Language, if you can speak Hindi or English, you will get by. No need to speak Telugu.

There are a couple of decent hotels near Nampally station, and they are not budget. Here is a page with a list of hotels, hope this helps...

http://www.fullhyderabad.com/locatio...tion-16-r.html

Strikes : There are some road closures, general strikes planned for the last week of February. current strike schedule also has been announced for only February, so not sure what happens in March. Could you mention your specific travel dates?
#13 Feb 11th, 2013, 11:16
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These are the announced plans for this month. Seems like your plans will not be affected...

http://www.indianoon.com/news/city-h...daram-654.html

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