Hyderabad to Chennai is a very busy route. These two megacities are the nerve centres of trade and entertainment in Southern India and the journey down south via the NH16 takes around 11 hours to cover. However, the route is also full of many surprises and offers people to discover the culture and heritage of the Telegu and Tamil hinterlands. With self drive cars easily available, one can take a trip down this iconic route and pause to explore some of the best enroute attractions. Here are some interesting stops on the Hyderabad to Chennai route.
Ongole – Beach Town of Andhra Pradesh
Ongole district and town is close to some of the most dramatic shorelines on the East Coast. There are many beaches here that are known outside the local circles. The azure waters and sandy beaches of Kothapatnam Beach provide a nice respite from the highway. One can relax in the beach shacks and dig into some seafood or other local delicacies. Vodaveru Beach is lined by coconut plantations and is known as a hub for water activities.
Ongole is also home to some very important cultural landmarks. Built in the 12th century, the Chennakesava Swamy Temple is one of the most prominent cultural sites of Ongole while the riverside Kashi Viswesara Temple is a scenic place to receive some blessings for the road. Another famous attraction in Ongole district is the temple complex at Bhairavakona Hills, a set of temples cut from the rock and dating back more than a thousand years.
Nellapattu Bird Sanctuary
Located in Nellore district as one approaches the Tamil Nadu border, the Nellapattu Bird Sanctuary is an oasis for many rare species. The area of the sanctuary is close to 500 hectares and the landscape is a mix of swamp forests and shrub vegetation. During the winter months, many migratory birds come and stop here. Some of the feathered residents of the sanctuary are spot-billed pelicans, common teals, white ibises, night herons, and open bill storks.
Closer to Chennai, the Pulicat Lake is a refreshing detour from the long route. It is one of the largest lagoons in India and an island on this lake is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Close to the lake, one will come across Fort Geldaria, a structure built by the Dutch in the early seventeenth century. The Pulicat Lake is a thriving ecosystem and one can sight many avian and water species here. The stars here during the migratory season are the greater flamingoes, especially around the Vendadu and Irrukkam islands.
More and more avid travellers are opting for self drive cars in Hyderabad as compared to traditional chauffeured cabs. Multiple rental plans allow cost control while app-based booking facilitates quick and simple booking. Platforms like Zoomcar offer the latest range of hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs so one can pick according to their group size. Rentals offer complete privacy and extra space along with the freedom to make detours and stops as one may wish. 24/7 on-road support is a much-appreciated service, especially for those long journeys.