When our second daughter was due for her third tonsure at a temple in Vaharur, my husband and I decided to go by road. We had arranged for a chauffeur-driven Honda Civic for the trip. The plan was to drive to Trichy, stay there overnight and proceed to Varahur early morning the next day.
We left at 1 pm on 10 September 2016 from Chennai. In the process of making my daughter sleep on my shoulder, I fell asleep soon after she did and opened half an eye to see that we had crossed Vandalur close to 3 pm. I hung on to my sleep and finally forced myself to wake up by 3:30 pm. By that time, we were miles past Haritam and 99km, where we could have stopped for a cup of coffee and some light snacks. We told the driver to stop at a decent restaurant for coffee. We almost parked outside of ‘Padmma Vilasam’ but soon realized that we were closer to Aaryas and Vasantha Bhavan at Tindivanam, though both were on the right side of the road.
We made a stop at Aryas intending to have a cup of coffee each and use the restroom and be back on NH45 towards Trichy. AC restaurant did not have tables free so sat at a table in the non-AC space. We found ourselves ordering a plate of dosa and parotta kurma. The table had a tray of three kinds of chutneys, a type of pickle and chili powder mixed with oil. Two pieces of parotta were served with small portions of vegetable kurma and channa. Though the parottas were not even luke warm, they were reasonably soft and were served quickly. My husband’s dosa took a long time and we had to remind them to get the dosa. Dosa was hot, crisp and tasty. We had to remind them to bring sambar. Sambar arrived in a small bucket. When I tasted the sambar, I realized that I should have ordered dosa in order to enjoy more of the sambar. Coffee was strong, tasty and hot! We had spent about 20 to 25 minutes at Aaryas including the use of restroom (which was clean). By about 4:10 pm, we were on our way to Trichy when it started drizzling. We decided to stop there again on our way back the next day.
After enjoying some of my parotta and a cup of milk followed by youtube, our daughter became somewhat cranky. Luckily, I lulled her back to sleep for another 90 minutes while my husband and I enjoyed the scenery on both sides of the road. Light showers once in a while did not impede in any way in reaching our destination.
We reached Hotel Sangam at 7 pm. We were impressed by the tastefully decorated lounge. We were served with a glass of cool, fizzy panneer soda as we filled out the forms. Our room was overlooking the entrance and the parking. The room was well-furnished and comfortable. We had cream of mushroom soup, sangam special tomato soup, paneer butter masala, phulkas, Cannelloni Florentine, mango milkshake and chocolate milkshake. Nothing special about either of the soups or the milkshakes. Panner butter masala was good, but the Cannelloni Florentine was excellent! We never expected a restaurant in Trichy to make such a delicious continental dish. The next morning, we had a cup of coffee each and checked out. Check-out was quite quick and without any hassles.
A few things which would have the hotel unbeatable
- We had asked for the wifi password during check-in. The front office manager told us that he needs to generate a coupon for the password and would have it sent to our room. We waited for an hour and reminded them for the password for which we got the polite and assuring reply “We will send it right away”. We never got the wifi password.
- The light in the corridor outside our room was not working. We noticed it when we entered the room. The staff member who accompanied us assured that it will be looked into immediately. We reminded them again, but still it did not happen.
- There was no night lamp in the room so we opened the curtains by a few millimeters to let some light in.
We started for Varahur by 6:40 am from Hotel Sangam. After an early lunch, we left for Chennai from Thirukkattupalli by 11:45 am. Instead of stopping at Aaryas at Tindivanam as planned the previous day, we decided to try Haritam or 99km, which we reached by 3:30 pm. We chose 99km over Haritam which turned out to be a mistake. We ordered vazahaipoo vadai, milagai bajji and coffee. Neither the vadais nor the bajjis had any amount of salt in them. They were served hot but were not tasty. Coffee was tolerable. My husband wished that the men’s restroom could have been maintained better while I found the women’s restroom not so bad.
We spent about 15 minutes at 99km and continued our trip to Chennai. We reached home by 6 pm which was not bad for a Sunday evening.
When we go on another road trip in NH45, Haritam and Vasantha Bhavan will be need to tried and tested.