Whether you are going home to Chennai or hitting the road to Mysuru for Dasara, here is a cheatsheet from frequent travelers.

Driving out of Bengaluru for a road trip this week We have 5 pro-tips for you
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 12:27


If you frequently drive out of Bengaluru to your home town or go on road trips, you will agree that the driving experience has only worsened over the years. There is just too much traffic now – especially when you leave or enter cities, toll gates are crowded with large trucks moving an inch a minute, and road quality is worsening. Be it the road to Chennai or Mysuru, some stretches are particularly bad and the resting-pitstop areas are terrible.

Now, you can’t stop traveling back home and you can't miss the Royal Dasara, but what you can do is follow some of the pro-tips on how to make that ride just a wee bit better.

1. Begin the journey at the right time

This is the most important tip. Start at the right time of the day, so you can beat the traffic both while leaving the city and reaching the other end.

The best time to start from either city is early in the morning, say 4am or 5am.

If you are leaving from Electronic City in Bengaluru, starting at 4am is better since you will beat the city traffic. If you are headed to Chennai, you will reach by 10am – including pitstop delays. If Mysuru is your destination, then you can start at 5am and you would reach the city to catch an awesome breakfast at 7am. Enjoy your Dasara!

Leaving Bengaluru really early in the morning makes sense, especially over the weekends because the entire city is trying to get out.

When you are returning to Bengaluru, time it such that you enter the city after the morning traffic rush in Bengaluru. 

But remember, don’t start driving too early if you have had a late night. It is imperative that you get enough sleep the previous night. Driving safely is the most important tip.

If you can’t drive early in the morning – especially on a weekday – then start either at 11am or after 8pm. In the latter case, you will reach your destination in the wee hours, but that is generally a bad idea because of the night-time freight traffic and darkness.

2. Zoom through highway tolls like a boss

Most frequent travelers would agree that it is at tollgates where the most time is wasted. There are way too many vehicles on each lane, and the queue moves really slow. What you need is a Fastag. One of the best ones right now is the EquitasFASTag, which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction, across all national highways in the country. You can finish the entire application process online in just ten minutes and get it home-delivered, and you get a 7.5% cashback on all toll payments when you use Equitas. Get your Fastag here right away, Equitas is the only bank in the country which has delivered at your doorstep.

3. Choose your routes correctly

If you are headed to Chennai, there are two routes between Bengaluru and Chennai – the Hosur-Krishnagiri route and the Hoskote-Chittoor route.

The Chittoor route is about 45kms shorter, but the roads are not as wide or as good as the Hosur route. There are sections of it which are single-lane, and that does not make for a good drive.

The Hosur route is mostly 4-lane, and is safer especially during the night. It has better pitstops as well.

If you stay near the Old Airport Road in Bengaluru, taking the Chittoor route is a good idea, but you still have to be mindful of the quality of the roads. If you start early, take the slightly longer but nicer one through Hosur. If you stay near Electronic City area in Bengaluru, Hosur route is better. The Hosur route, however, has more tolls. But the tolls aren’t a problem when you have EquitasFASTag, right?

If you are headed to Mysuru, then you can either take the Channapatna route or go via Bannur. If you go via Channapatna, you will find some blocks there and at Mandya, but on weekdays it's fine. The Bannur route is good for a weekend road trip in your car. 

4. Fuel fill-up tips

The best plan is to fill up your fuel tank a day before your journey. This way, you will not have to bother about it when you leave.

If you are not able to do that, then drive out of the city and find a less-crowded fuel station on the highway. The ones in the city are most likely to either be shut in the wee hours, or be too crowded. Most highway fuel stations are open 24/7.

5. Choose the right stops to relax and eat

Yes, the Ambur biriyani is the best thing in the world. But if you want to get to your destination faster, try and avoid the popular haunts like Star Biriyani on your way to Chennai. They are over-crowded and amidst traffic hold-ups.

When you are starting from Bengaluru to Chennai, a good idea is to pick up a few burgers at the McDonalds drive-through. Otherwise, there are some wonderful small tea-shops and restaurants which serve good food. You need to explore and experiment!

If you are headed to Mysuru, we would suggest just taking a small break and catching a meal at your destination. Why eat on the highway when you will get much better food there?

What you can do immediately to start making your drive better is register online for EquitasFASTag, and pass highway tolls like a boss!


This article has been produced by TNM Marquee in association with Equitas Small Finance Bank.