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Old 25th April 2011, 15:31   #1
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Default Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Hi Friends

A friend and me are planning a road trip from Mumbai to Kovalam (Kerala) around the 14th of May. Following are the current plans :
  1. Travelling with families (4 adults & 3 kids - aged between 5 and 8)
  2. Vehicle : Innova
  3. Route we want to take : Mumbai - Dharwad - Mangalore - Surathkal (REC engineering college is my friends Alma mater so a memorable stop!) and then later on to Kovalam
  4. Want to complete the Mumbai to Kovalam section in a total 3 days with primarily early starts in the morning and minimal night travel (say stop around 7 or 8 p.m)
  5. Both my friend and me plan to take turns driving
Need inputs on the following :
  1. Best possible route from Managlore to Kovalam. We are OK if we not on the highways all the time. Hopefully some decent roads is the only wish
  2. Hotels that are recommended for a night stay along the route, primary requirement is clean rooms and loos. Food can be local, no special requirements there except that one family is pure veg.
  3. Any areas of interest that are worth taking a detour but are recommended by members
  4. Any areas where caution needs to be taken in extra doses based on people's experience
  5. Any inputs that first timers with families (like us) should heed to is welcome
I have already taken note of the wonderful excelsheet posted as a checklist for long road trips!!

Look forward to some help from members

Thanks!!
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Old 26th April 2011, 02:23   #2
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

I visited Kovalam just at the start of this month. A few pointers that you might want to keep in mind when at the beach.

Avoid this restaurant called Garzia Seafood Point. It had horrible service.

Stick to the portion of the beach next to the lighthouse. It's cleaner and usually only has foreigners so there is a chance you get the occasional 'good' view. Besides, the view is insanely pretty. Watch the sun set into the sea while you're at the lighthouse. It's something you won't forget in a hurry. Make sure you get to the lighthouse before 5 so that you can go to the top and take in the view. I didn't manage to do this, so please take pics and post them here.

Once you're done with your tour of the lighthouse and find that you're locked into the lighthouse compound as the door to the beach is shut, don't do what me and 6 of my friends did. I broke open the door and we ran... and then we got chased by 4 life guards!!

If you're not staying at one of the beach side hotels, there is a public bathing place where you can rid yourself of the sand. Or there are one or two hotels that let you keep a room for a few hours. There is one Hotel Oyster that charges 500 for 3 hours so that you can bathe in a decent loo if you please.

The food is highly overpriced, so make sure you budget that into your trip. There are only a few good places to eat, make sure you take a good look around and go to the one where there is a good crowd so that you know the food is good.

If you're the adventurous type, then let me know.. I'll tell you about a path from the lighthouse which will lead you to a rocky beach that is really small and absolutely empty. Not one soul. But it's a rough walk.
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Old 26th April 2011, 09:52   #3
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
Hi Friends

A friend and me are planning a road trip from Mumbai to Kovalam (Kerala) around the 14th of May. Following are the current plans :Need inputs on the following :I have already taken note of the wonderful excelsheet posted as a checklist for long road trips!!
.............
Look forward to some help from members

Thanks!!
I guess your first stop would be Suratkal. That'd be a stretch. Approx 900+kms on either only NH17 or NH4 + NH17 combination. Since both of you would be driving, with an early morning start this could be done. First day enthu would be high

The second one can be Cochin, around 450+kms from Suratkal. You can also visit Bekal Fort (75km from suratkal) which is in kasargode near Mangalore.

The third stop at Kovalam, around 220km from Cochin. Cochin - Kovalam would be relatively easy drive considering the first two days, you can start by afternoon and reach Kovalam by late evening. Kovalam has two beaches. The one near the light house is the best. If you wish to stay in Leela, then it'd be the other beach.

Food joints are plenty at Kovalam, I find them average in taste and high in costs.
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Old 26th April 2011, 10:03   #4
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Grease, The fastest would be drive down to Bangalore (rather bypass it) and take the NH7. After Madurai, there are 2 ways:

- Either continue all the way to Nagercoil and NH47 thereon to Trivandrum (which is pure highway drive)
- Or take the 2-laned highway after Tirumangalam towards Rajapalayam, Tenkasi, Thenmala.

There are enough signages on the first, not sure of the second.

You can break in between at Salem, Hosur (if it is a late start)
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Old 26th April 2011, 12:38   #5
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Detailed route (as already summarised by laluks):

Bombay-Expressway-Pune-NH4-Satara-Karad-Kolhapur-Belgaum-Dharwad-Hubli-NH63-Kalhatagi-Yellapura-Ankola-NH17-Kumta-Honavar-Murudeshwar-Bhatkal-Baindur-Maravanthe Beach-Kundapura-Udupi-Suratkal-Mangalore-Kasargod-Kanhangad-Kannur-Talaserry-Mahe-Wadakara-Kozhikode-Feroke-Edapal-Kuttipuram-Kunnamkulam-Chavakad-Kodungallur-Edapalli/Kochi-NH47-Alpauzha-Kollam-TRivandrum-Kovalam

For return, you can take:
Kovalam-NH47-Nagercoil/Kanyakumari-NH7-Tirunelveli-Madurai-Dindigul-Karur-Namakkal-Salem-Dharmapuri-Krishnagiri-Hosur-Bangalore-NN4-Tumkur-Chitradurga-Davangere-Harihar-Hubli-Dharwad-Belgaum-Kolhapur-Karad-Satara-Pune-Expressway-Bombay

Onward journey:
Unless you leave very early in the morning (say, 4 am), and drive very fast with limited or no breaks, it will be very difficult to reach Suratkal the same day. Maybe, depending on your progress, you should consider halting at Kumta or Honavar.

Hotels:
Mahendra Executive, Satara
Sai Resort, before Kolhapur
Sankam Residency, Belgaum
Upachar Kamat, Ankola
Pandurang International, Kumta
Kamat, Honavar
RNS, Murudeshwar
Turtle Bay Resort, Maravanthe
HOtel Sharon, Kundapura
Kediyoor, Udupi
KTDC, Bekal Fort./Beach (near Kasargod)
KTDC, Parasinakadavu (before Kannur)
Several hotels in Kozhikode & Kochi

For onward journey, I would suggest Day 1 break in Kumta/Honavar (depending on pace, even Suratkal), or even Gokaran, a detour of 10 kms off NH17. Day 2 break could be in Kannur or Kozhikode, depending on how much time you spent in Suratkal.

Places of interest en route on onward journey:
Gokarna (temple & beach), 10 kms inside
Murudeshwar (temple)
Kollur (temple), 30 kms off NH17 from Baindur
Maravanthe Beach
Udupi (temple & Malpe Beach)
Bekal (Fort & Beach), 20 kms off NH17 from Kasargod
Muzhapilangad Beach, at Talaserry
Guruvayur (temple), 10 kms off NH17 from Chavakkad

Return journey:
Hotels in Salem & Hosur
Bypass Bangalore via NICE Road from NH17 (Hosur side) to NH4 (Tumkur side)
Lots of hotels between Bangalore & Bombay

Overnight halt can be at Hosur on Day 1
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Old 1st May 2011, 23:05   #6
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Thank a ton Kumar!! That's a hell of an input for first timers like us. Really appreciate all the inputs.
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Old 1st May 2011, 23:06   #7
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Default Re: Planning Road Trip - Mumbai to Kovalam (Need Inputs)

Laluks & Narayan, appreciate all the inputs , Many Thanks !
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