The only two metro cities that are so proximate, in India, that could be traversed to and fro by road the same day are Chennai and Bangalore. Both the cities are so different, that it is worth traveling as often as possible, just to savour the difference.
The road route from Chennai would be Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram, Ranipet/Arcot, Vellore, Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Krishnagiri, Hosur and Bangalore. This is if one wishes to travel availing of the NHAI(National Highways Authority of India) toll Road. The alternate route via Walajhapet, Chittoor, Kolar and Bangalore is not a two-carriage way and the road is not exactly a driver’s delight. The NHAI route is preferable on the count of driver’s comfort and also on the count that one gets to feel the variegated spread of the towns and cities of Tamil Nadu.
One of the most famous cases in the Environmental Law is the case popularly called the Vellore Citizen’s Forum case, wherein the rationale for clean environment for the citizens of a locality has been nicely balanced vis-a-vis growth. When one passes by Vellore, one is reminded of this case law. The towns of Ambur, Vaniyambadi etc are centres of leather processing units. In Ambur there is a Restaurant called Khaja, which serves decent Biryani. Beside this restaurant is another Restaurant called TAJ, a joint which is sparsely visited by the locals and therefore may not be of even the levels of Khaja Restaurant. For the vegetarians there is SHANKAR’S CAFE– which serves tiffin (a Tamil nomer for snacks!) till 11 in the morning and MEALS thereafter. But on the whole, the cleanliness in both these restaurants leave a lot to be desired.
Ambur, being the mid-way between the metros mentioned above, happens to be the stopping point of most of the travelers who do this stretch. So to be familiar with the eating joints at Ambur may be helpful. At noon, there is a place where good biryani is stated to be available on the bus station side viz. STAR BIRYANI. I was not in the least impressed with what they dish out.
May it be said as a word of caution that the Biryani available in Ambur is not a patch on the Biryani available at KARIM’S at Delhi or at Hyderabad. The aroma of the biryani from KARIM’S at Jumma Masjid lingers and wafts forever in one’s mind much after one has consumed. That is a class in itself and the food fit for Emperors, as claimed by them, is truly being served at KARIM’S.
The by-passes built by the NHAI allows one to side-step most of the towns except Ambur and that is one more reason why one can have a repast there.
Coming to the differences between Chennai and Bangalore, Chennai is the capital of the state that could legitimately boast itself of being the state which uses the only LIVE classical INTERNATIONAL language of India. Bangalore is likely to become the state HQ of the third classical language of India- Kannada.
People in Chennai are hard-working and the weather conditions make it difficult for persons to be in bed beyond sunrise. Whereas, Bangalore has a perennially clement weather which gives a greater latitude for persons to pursue their proclivities- therefore MAXIMIZING profits is the priority of the denizens. A plumbing, electrical, carpentry work for half-a-day could cost one a cool Rs.750/- and there are agencies which live off these semi-skilled labourers in Bangalore. So the Time of even the least of all the inhabitants of Bangalore is precious.
Chennai, during 11 months in a year, has steamy hot weather. The reprieve, if any, is felt only during the months of December and January. But it has its charms, like the Marina Beach on a drizzly evening is a delight incomparable. It brings wetness to the soil and moisture to the soul- which make men go on the hop and women the whole hog!!
Bangalore has many malls which open so early that it is not uncommon for young boys and girls to land up in the morning and laze till night fall. Bangalore is cosmopolitan and it is the least fanatical of its language or its culture/heritage. One can manage with Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and English. Every person is a polyglot- I sometimes wonder in which language these polyglots think!
There is not a single road like Brigade Road or MG road in Chennai to match the city of Bangalore. The goods are overpriced and tastefully displayed- yet it is a pleasant experience esp. for the youth.
More than anything else if u do anything differently in Bangalore, it runs the risk of becoming FASHION; but if u do anything differently in Chennai u are likely to get sniggers and scowls. In Bangalore WHAT WAS DONE is important,in Chennai WHO DID WHAT is important. Bangalore is not only less regulated than Chennai, but also less JUDGMENTAL.
The best combination is to shuttle between these two cities for work in Chennai and spend the weekends in Bangalore; but shuttle in a BMW VII series!
God help me.