Since a couple of years I used to dread going to Srirangapatna. Invariably the travel was by road and the mere thought of it sent shivers down my spine. The widening and four-laning of the Mysore - Bangalore road was progressing at a snail's pace and all the ancient trees that flanked the picturesque road were sacrificed at the altar of progress. The road was dug up everywhere.
The Mysore - Bangalore Highway cuts through vast tracts of farm lands and lot of natural and manmade water bodies flow across it, at regular intervals, to quench these fields. So numerous small bridges have been built including a couple of huge bridges across river Cauvery. Redoing the entire road meant re-building these bridges too. So there were lot of traffic bottle necks at the bridges that were under construction.
Inspite of the dug up road, torned down bridges, the bottle necks, uprooted trees, huge potholes, littered boulders, maddening traffic, choking fuel fumes, etc., many a daredevils zipped through the pathetic thing that once used to be a shady, cool road, with least concern to themselves and their fellow road users.
But yesterday noon when I drove from Mysore to Srirangapatna, I felt like whistling all the way.
Yes, there are no more trees that once flanked a narrow road, but there is this beautiful four-lane road which has a central divider planted with bougainvillae, hibiscus, and other flowering plants. One need not stress himself thinking about the trucks and KSRTC buses hurtling towards from the opposite direction. The road is smooth and stylish (except at the couple of places where the major bridges across Cauvery are under construction). Feels good to drive. I agree that it is no match to the Delhi-Noida expressway that I got a chance to blaze through sitting at the back of the car a couple of years ago, but the new road certainly provides a faster connectivity to road users between Mysore and Bangalore.
Watch out Bangalore! Mysore has come closer to you...