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Old 13th December 2012, 10:36   #1
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Default Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

We have to attend a social function in Thiruvananthapuram in January and my wife came up with a wild idea to take our Xylo along. I have done Hyd-Tvm way back in 2007, but that was before NHDP highways and GPS and excellent online maps that we have now. That time it took me two complete days of driving (I was the only driver and halted in Hosur for the night). We are confident about the route, taken many bus trips either way, it would be the standard Hyd-Blr-Madurai-Kavalkinaru-Nagarcoil-Tvm. We know it will be a breeze except for bypassing Bengaluru and the infamous Kavalkinaru-Tvm stretch.

Now my wife also drives well; though she believes in slow and steady wins the race . Our questions to the friends in the forum are:

i) Is this stretch doable without a night halt with 2 drivers? I usually don't prefer driving in the nights, but the quality of NH-7 all the way is prompting me to think of that option.

ii) If not, what would be a suitable break journey point which is affordable and safe and not deviate too much from the NH-7? I am hoping if we make an early start from Hyd we can reach at least till Madurai, let me know I am being very ambitious here. On the return I am hoping to cross Bangalore and stay either at Puttaparthi (plenty of accommodation available here) or if we are lucky break journey at Kurnool.

iii) Bypassing Bangalore, what is the best option?
a) NH7-Devanahalli-Budigere-Whitefield-Sarjapur-Attibele-NH7
b) NH7-Hebbal-TumkurRoad-NICERoad-NH7.

iv) What would be the total Toll we need to pay? I read from the Hyd-Blr thread that it is now Rs. 493/- in that stretch. Anyone can update about Blr-Tvm?

v) Safe, clean pitstops in this route for food, fuel and bio-breaks.

We have confirmed bus tickets for this journey anyway; will consider driving only if your responses boost our confidence.
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Old 13th December 2012, 11:59   #2
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post

i) Is this stretch doable without a night halt with 2 drivers? I usually don't prefer driving in the nights, but the quality of NH-7 all the way is prompting me to think of that option.
Not a good idea at all.Shamshabad-Devanahalli is a 6-6.5hr "sane" drive and then 1-1.5hr to bypass and connect to Hosur,from there another 11-13hr drive to TVM especially with 6 laning in progress in between Hosur and Krishnagiri and then widening in progress around Dindigul.Overall budget for a 22-23hr of drive time(traffic jams,breaks toll wait period extra)

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
ii) If not, what would be a suitable break journey point which is affordable and safe and not deviate too much from the NH-7? I am hoping if we make an early start from Hyd we can reach at least till Madurai, let me know I am being very ambitious here. On the return I am hoping to cross Bangalore and stay either at Puttaparthi (plenty of accommodation available here) or if we are lucky break journey at Kurnool.
We usually drive Hyd-Salem on day 1 and Salem-Thrissur on Day 2.We stay at GRT Estancia on the NH7 itself (2700-3k dbl).Else you can stay at Parsons Court at Dindigul(1700-2k).Madurai IMO would be too much of a stretch as you would have to negotiate the bad road widening stretches at the fag end of your drive-not a very pleasant thing to do.Sainikpuri to Salem usually takes us around 12-13hours of fast driving.7hours home to Blore outskirts,1.5hr to bypass(or 2hrs at times),3hrs to salem(this would increase now with the 6 laning in progress on NH7)and a net break time at various places for around 1-1.5hr(Breakfast,lunch,a break in between)

For your return,stopover at Kurnool makes no sense as Kurnool-Hyd is just 2.5hrs.Also assuming you know,Puttaparthi is a big deviation from NH7 for a halt(unless you are visiting the ashram).Else the ideal stopover would be Bangalore.Even a 9am departure from Bangalore would see you reaching Shamshabad by 330pm.

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
iii) Bypassing Bangalore, what is the best option?
a) NH7-Devanahalli-Budigere-Whitefield-Sarjapur-Attibele-NH7
b) NH7-Hebbal-TumkurRoad-NICERoad-NH7.
I personally dont find any difference in driving through the city and using these bypass options.I have tried all of these and no real great savings as such,one instance we saved 30mins.The best bypass option is the Budigere one.The NICE road is definitely not an option,it is way too long.The time you would take to reach the NICE Road entry would be equal to the same time you would take to reach NH7 @ KA-TN border via the bypass or via the city.https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr...a=1,2&t=m&z=14

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iv) What would be the total Toll we need to pay? I read from the Hyd-Blr thread that it is now Rs. 493/- in that stretch. Anyone can update about Blr-Tvm?
IIRC its around INR560

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
v) Safe, clean pitstops in this route for food, fuel and bio-breaks.
Nothing like mother earth!You wouldnt want to venture into any of the washrooms of the BP COCOs in between Hyd and Bangalore.Between Blr & Tvm plenty of options every 60-80kms.Theres Capsi on NH7 between Madurai and Tirunelveli.

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
We have confirmed bus tickets for this journey anyway; will consider driving only if your responses boost our confidence.
Nothing to beat the thrill and joy of driving.We havent taken a bus or a train or a flight to anywhere in India for a long long time.The little one also has been travelling with us from the time she came along!So IMO,bus is never an option

Should you need any more information,feel free to pm me.

PS:We are driving this month end.
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Old 13th December 2012, 12:20   #3
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Would it not be safer and more comfortable if you could go via Air, train or a Volvo?

I know it does not seem exciting enough for a BHPian, but it does look like you are pressed for time which is not an ideal mindset for a long long drive.

Still if you insist on driving, gobble up Redbull, I find it pretty effective.
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Old 13th December 2012, 13:12   #4
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

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Nothing like mother earth!You wouldnt want to venture into any of the washrooms of the BP COCOs in between Hyd and Bangalore.Between Blr & Tvm plenty of options every 60-80kms.Theres Capsi on NH7 between Madurai and Tirunelveli.
There's a CCD as well attached to a HP petrol bunk. I think its approx 60 kms from Madurai on the way to Tirunelveli. Its a nice place to take a break.
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Old 13th December 2012, 13:40   #5
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

No, it is a bad idea. Please break the journey, don't try setting a personal record.
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Old 13th December 2012, 14:11   #6
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

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Originally Posted by explorer09 View Post
There's a CCD as well attached to a HP petrol bunk. I think its approx 60 kms from Madurai on the way to Tirunelveli. Its a nice place to take a break.
Oh yes,you are right,I guess its at Sattur?Let me look for GM link to the place

https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr...=prev&t=m&z=11

Last edited by ranjitp1 : 13th December 2012 at 14:12. Reason: Capsi & CCD Locations added
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Old 13th December 2012, 15:12   #7
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
What would be the total Toll we need to pay? I read from the Hyd-Blr thread that it is now Rs. 493/- in that stretch. Anyone can update about Blr-Tvm?
This is the toll amount that I payed during my last trip(6 months back), Bangalore - Nagercoil. I think some toll has been increased now.

NICE Road 30 (From Bannerghatta Road)
Attibele 20
Krishnagiri 50
Thopur 73
Omalur 58
Rasampalayam 35
Velanchettiyur 66
Kodai Road 45
Eturvatm 40
Spudhur 40
Nangneri 65

Total 522

It would be better to take a break at Bangalore (OR) at Salem which is around 750 Kms.

Last edited by arun_josie : 13th December 2012 at 15:14.
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Old 13th December 2012, 15:46   #8
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

My colleague has been doing this for the last 2 years in his Fabia with family (until recently) and he always takes a break at Bangalore and stays with his friend there. The Hyd-BLR stretch is comfortable, but he drives at not more than 80-90kmph owing to the stupidity of our AP drivers. After BLR towards TVM, you can't do more than 80kmph owing to the roads but they have better road sense. If you need route details PM me and I'll give you his contact details. I think if you have two drivers, you could drive by night to BLR and continue journey in the morning with the second driver post-BLR.
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Old 13th December 2012, 16:11   #9
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Wink re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Overall budget for a 22-23hr of drive time(traffic jams,breaks toll wait period extra)
These days Kesineni Volvo takes only 20-21 hours to cover this route. I was hoping that I will be faster; the volvos stops almost at every major town once it reaches Tamil Nadu.

These guys also deviate from NH7 at Anantpur, go via Madanapalle and join back at Krishnagiri. See the route here. Do you think this is better, it means you can bypass Bangalore and the construction area between Hosur, Krishnagiri? The volvos cover this route in the middle of the night so there is absolutely no traffic in this route.

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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Else you can stay at Parsons Court at Dindigul(1700-2k).
Dindigul seems better than Salem since we want to cover as much on the first day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Also assuming you know,Puttaparthi is a big deviation from NH7 for a halt(unless you are visiting the ashram).Else the ideal stopover would be Bangalore.
I know that it will be a big deviation, I was thinking I could take the Puttaparthi road through Gorantla and join back NH7 via Dharmavaram. The extra distance I need to cover is not much this way. Don't know how the roads are now, but I have travelled that way some time back. Between Bangalore and Hyderabad there is no other place which I know of which provides good accommodation. Staying in Bangalore would be obscenely expensive for an overnight halt.

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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
The best bypass option is the Budigere one.The NICE road is definitely not an option,it is way too long.The time you would take to reach the NICE Road entry would be equal to the same time you would take to reach NH7 @ KA-TN border via the bypass or via the city.
Budigere was my first choice as well. I was thinking about NICE Road since it was an access control highway and no lights to stop you. I will take Budigere-Attibele then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Nothing to beat the thrill and joy of driving.
..
PS:We are driving this month end.
Agree. Hoping to hear updates from you after your trip.

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Originally Posted by revintup View Post
Would it not be safer and more comfortable if you could go via Air, train or a Volvo?
May be.. But as you said the urge is always there. I would avoid train since it takes 30 hours where as Volvo takes 20-21 hours. I am not really pressed for time on the onward leg though I would want to avoid an extra night's stay but on the way back would need to get back as quickly as possible. Red Bull, I have heard, but never tried before. I carry plenty of dates, Oranges and Glucose to keep me alert, I have done 13 hours at a stretch on this diet.
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Old 13th December 2012, 17:06   #10
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Default re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
These days Kesineni Volvo takes only 20-21 hours to cover this route. I was hoping that I will be faster; the volvos stops almost at every major town once it reaches Tamil Nadu.
IMHO a speeds and time taken to cover distances shouldnt be compared between a Volvo and a car or a bike!Volvo drivers have targets to meet,penalties for reaching late,forced to maintain FE on every trip.I dont think a car guy can quite drive like a volvo driver.Just my two cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
These guys also deviate from NH7 at Anantpur, go via Madanapalle and join back at Krishnagiri. See the route here. Do you think this is better, it means you can bypass Bangalore and the construction area between Hosur, Krishnagiri?The volvos cover this route in the middle of the night so there is absolutely no traffic in this route.
Plus they save on tolls,I havent gone on those roads so cant comment on the present condition,but there is a thread running on interstate bus travel and going by those reports,the roads seem to be bumpy, I doubt there would be any time saving on that sector as opposed to driving the excellent 4 laner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
Dindigul seems better than Salem since we want to cover as much on the first day.
Budget for a 14-16hr drive with breaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
Staying in Bangalore would be obscenely expensive for an overnight halt
Bangalore has an equal share of budget places

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Originally Posted by rknair View Post
Budigere was my first choice as well. I was thinking about NICE Road since it was an access control highway and no lights to stop you.
Getting to Nice Road would take you an hour or more,passing through traffic at Yeshwantpur,the railway gate in between and then trying to locate the NICE entry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
Red Bull, I have heard, but never tried before. I carry plenty of dates, Oranges and Glucose to keep me alert, I have done 13 hours at a stretch on this diet.
I dont think anything would substitute for sleep!

If at all you do intend on doing this one shot,then my reccomendation would be to depart Hyd at 3am and reach TVM by 11pm-12am.Ofcourse assuming you are used to night driving.

Last edited by ranjitp1 : 13th December 2012 at 17:26.
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Old 13th December 2012, 17:19   #11
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : doable in a day?

[quote=rknair;2989379]These days Kesineni Volvo takes only 20-21 hours to cover this route. I was hoping that I will be faster; the volvos stops almost at every major town once it reaches Tamil Nadu.

These guys also deviate from NH7 at Anantpur, go via Madanapalle and join back at Krishnagiri. See the route here. Do you think this is better, it means you can bypass Bangalore and the construction area between Hosur, Krishnagiri? The volvos cover this route in the middle of the night so there is absolutely no traffic in this route. ]

Oh.please avoid this route. You better drive through Bangalore/Devanahalli. Absolutely no facilities and incase you are covering this stretch between Anatapur - Krishnagiri in the night it is very scary and dangerous. Maximum accidents have occured in this stretch for the Volvos plying between HYD/CBE.
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Old 14th December 2012, 00:42   #12
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
These days Kesineni Volvo takes only 20-21 hours to cover this route. I was hoping that I will be faster; the volvos stops almost at every major town once it reaches Tamil Nadu.

These guys also deviate from NH7 at Anantpur, go via Madanapalle and join back at Krishnagiri. See the route here. Do you think this is better, it means you can bypass Bangalore and the construction area between Hosur, Krishnagiri? The volvos cover this route in the middle of the night so there is absolutely no traffic in this route.
Simply avoid. Not safe stretch and road is not that great between v.kote to krishnagiri. The mentioned route can't match the comfort and safety of divided 4 lanes. Valvo buses will have two professional drivers and lot more people. If you are so pressed for time, I suggest you to take bus or Valvo.
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Old 14th December 2012, 07:56   #13
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

May sense take over and you avoid doing this distance in a day. Believe it or not driving requires a lot of energy.

The faster you move the faster your brain needs to calculate millions of instructions per second. That in an AI world means tremendous amount of heat being generated and unbelievable amount of energy required to do the same.

In real world, is it dooable - Yes it is. Is it worth the effort - NO.

The max i would recommend is say chennai to TVM or Bangalore to TVM. So decide a route and take the break at Bangalore.
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Old 14th December 2012, 13:42   #14
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by revintup View Post
Would it not be safer and more comfortable if you could go via Air, train or a Volvo?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
No, it is a bad idea. Please break the journey, don't try setting a personal record.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
My colleague has been doing this for the last 2 years in his Fabia with family (until recently) and he always takes a break at Bangalore and stays with his friend there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
IMHO a speeds and time taken to cover distances shouldnt be compared between a Volvo and a car or a bike!
Quote:
Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
May sense take over and you avoid doing this distance in a day.
Thank you for your inputs and concern. Sorry I was not very clear earlier. I am not going to do anything crazy and put myself, my family and other road users in danger. I am used to driving long hours in the highway. For all my road trips, I typically start from home between 3 AM and 4 AM and close the day by 6 PM with plenty of breaks in between. All my road trips have been through mix of good and bad roads and in this route, I know I can encounter excellent road quality right through, so wanted to figure out how much typically people can cover in a day. Xylo is a comfortable vehicle for highway drives with plenty of space inside and never have felt fatigued at the end of a day's journey. If at all I feel tired, my wife is there to give me a break. Since Bangalore is just 6 hours away from Hyd, I feel I can easily pass by and reach till Salem or even Dindigul on the first day. May be on my return journey, Bangalore could be an ideal stop.


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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
Oh.please avoid this route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manjubp View Post
Simply avoid.
I was also not very keen on that stretch. It was more an afterthought when I heard about construction between Hosur & Krishnagiri. I will stick to the NH7, if we go ahead with this plan.

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Should you need any more information,feel free to pm me.
Thank you sir, will do.
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Old 14th December 2012, 14:39   #15
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Thiruvananthapuram : Doable in a day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rknair View Post
.... I am used to driving long hours in the highway. For all my road trips, I typically start from home between 3 AM and 4 AM and close the day by 6 PM with plenty of breaks in between. All my road trips have been through mix of good and bad roads and in this route, I know I can encounter excellent road quality right through, so wanted to figure out how much typically people can cover in a day. Xylo is a comfortable vehicle for highway drives with plenty of space inside and never have felt fatigued at the end of a day's journey. If at all I feel tired, my wife is there to give me a break. Since Bangalore is just 6 hours away from Hyd, I feel I can easily pass by and reach till Salem or even Dindigul on the first day. May be on my return journey, Bangalore could be an ideal stop.
Usually, Hyderabad-Bangalore is 6 to 7 hrs max. Bangalore-Trivandrum can be done in 10-12 hours. (8pm Kallada Merc sleeper from Trivandrum once dropped me at Madiwala at 6am sharp. Yes, they are used to those roads and were doing good speeds)

If you are doing this trip, start at early morning, target Salem or Dindigul. If you are comfortable, continue to Trivandrum, else break the journey at any point of time and continue next day.
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