Day 1: Chennai To Mahabalipuram

I landed at 1:30 am at Chennai airport. I decided to start the tour right from the airport except I had to wait at the airport until 7am, when my bike was scheduled to be picked up for delivery to goa. I slept royally (literally) at the baggage pickup area, woke up at 6:30am and then called the baggage guy to make sure his man was coming, well he said he will be there at 8. I took the opportunity to get ready, assemble the bike and saddle up.


Pic 1. Assembled bike at the Chennai airport departures (my home for the early am)

So my baggage guy, turned out to be flaky and it was 9:30am and he didn’t show up and kept saying “20 minute sir”. So I decided to ditch him and called a new service through amazing JustDial and the guy told me he will be there by 10:00am and eventually showed up at 11:30am. But I sort of liked the guy he was honest.


Pic 2. Shipping box to Goa from Chennai

Well, turned out that this this guy needs a bigger car to take the box and he offered me a ride until East coast ride so that I can start my tour easily. Well there was another hour of waiting for the car by the time the car showed up it started to rain and I had to take shelter.


Pic 3. Welcome at the airport with a torrential downpour and subsequent use of a shelter

I had already started to work because it was 12:30am and I hadnt started the 40 km journey to Mahabalipuram. Well another glitch happened when the guy with car showed up, he has no place for by cycle. So I immediately decided to take an auto to East coast road, this auto dude was linger around us when we were standing waiting for the vehicle. Infact a bunch of auto folks came and were checking out my bike and had all sorts of questions for the bike and the tour. Well this auto-walla wanted to take me to Mahabalipuram and was forcing his way, he made me pay Rs. 500 at the gas station and would take rest when I get to Mahabalipuram. I got really upset, I called the Traffic poilce hotline and  had him drop me at the east coast road. Infact we has a cop settle our dispute for Rs. 350.


Pic 4. Starting at East Coast Road

Well that was a rough start Smile.  But as soon as I got on the road all the hassles seemed worth it. The ride to Mahabalipuram was just amazing, with great views and a good road! I couldn’t ask any better now that the rain had stopped Smile.


Pic 5. Amazing views on east coast road.

In two hours I reach Mahabalipuram (arbout 35kms), and I checked in my hotel around 3:30pm! Well rest of the day I have been enjoying great food, and the famous Mahabalipuram sculputures.


Pic 6. South India Meal!


Pic 7. Five Rathas


Pic 8. Arjuna’s Penance

Mahabalipuram (Or Mamallapuram as its renamed) is a small tourist town with a lot of western tourist. Folks here indulge in sculpture, with very good sculpting schools.


Pic 9. Sculpting is big in Mamallapuram

I wish I could get more of the town, it seems a great hang out place with lots of friendly locals and tourist. But hey tomorrow its 100km to to Auroville (correction: Auroville is before Pondicherry), where I stay with Rishi’s parents.

Onward, I must say!

2 thoughts on “Day 1: Chennai To Mahabalipuram

  1. Hi Vaibhav,
    I am Srini Swaminathan, a friend of Milind and a TFI fellow as well. What you are doing now is just wonderful and I want to thank you for this initiative. Also, wishing you all the best for the rest of the trip ! I ll be following your journey, encouraging you !

    These pictures brought back fond memories of cycling on ECR. I am a cyclist as well and have regularly cycled on ECR and OMR in Chennai. The Mahabs-Pondy road is pretty good to cycle on – i love those stretches where the trees make a cave like canopy over the road !

    Wish you good luck !


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