Ambur is a town along the highway between Bangalore and Chennai. Closer to Chennai. If you have not heard of Ambur then in all probability you would honk your way through the all trucks, bullock carts,hawkers, state buses and that solitary cop till the town limits. Once you see the ‘Thank you come again’ sign you will visibly relax and watch the needle on your odometer slowly rise.
But, if you have heard of Ambur then you will be confused while driving past the single main street of the town; confused where to eat.Do you eat at 5 Star, 7 Star, the original star( which the banner claims to have opened in 1913) or the ‘Real Star ( which the banner claims opened in 1870)? Regardless of which Star you choose the Ambur Star biriyani is well worth the stop.
Ambur is known for its biriyani and it’s leather factories. The former is ready by around 10 in the morning and sells like hot cakes even before the normal lunch hour. The mutton and the rice are cooked together in fat. The aroma and the flavour lingers on your senses long after your meal. The goodness of the fat prevails longer, residing on your waist.
The factories make leather of varying grades. Some of these are exported to the West and eventually find its way back to the country with a stamped name (sometimes Prada, sometimes Clarks) and a price tag with an astronomical number. Sometimes instead of going through all the hassles of shipping it out, making it someplace else, shipping it to the company and shipping it back to the country, the ever thoughtful workers of the factory take it upon themselves to supply you with the finished goods. They are so kind as to even do the ‘Made in Italy’ stamping for you. So the next time you hold something along the likes of Prada,Mulberry or Jimmy Choo in your hand just remember a nice road trip from Bangalore or Chennai could get you the same. The best part is that the entire cost of your trip would be cheaper than the price tag.
Ask me; I have a Jimmy Choo that had not seen anything outside of a leather factory in Ambur!