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Old 18th January 2007, 00:23   #1
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Default Kottayam to Anna Nagar, Chennai

All, Has anyone driven this stretch recently? Its about 650kms and I would appreciate first hand experiences:

1) Is this drivable in one day (5am departure arrival before 8pm?)
2) How is NH220 to NH49 (Kanjinapalli -> Vandiperiyar -> Periyar -> Kumili)?
3) Is the shortcut from Theni, Periyakulam, Vattalagundu to Dindigul any good?
4) Haven't recently been on NH45, but from where does the four lane highway start from south?

Appreciate all the suggestions and alternate routes.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 18th January 2007, 10:22   #2
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I have not driven on NH45 for more than a year but here goes:

1) Definitely driveable in one day, if you maintain good speeds on the good stretches.

2) Sorry, haven't done this one.

3) SH36: Theni - Periyakulam - Vattalgundu - Dindigul
Lovely road, single lane on each side but sparse traffic and nice winding roads, you can cruise comfortably at around 90 kmph. But watch out for people.

4) The 4 laning out of Chennai ends at Tindivanam. This is what you can expect:

Dindigul to Villupuram - very good roads, the stretch from Dindigul to Tiruchi is worth mentioning. Ulundurpettai has a railway crossing, the wait at which can be agonizing. A section of this road was badly damaged during last year's rains but I don't know exactly where.

Villupuram to Tindivanam - hopeless.
Tinidivanam to Perungalathur - fantastic, 4 laned.

At Perungulathur, remember to take the Chennai bypass which will get you to Maduravoyal in less than 15 minutes.

hvkumar will definitely be able to provide a much better update.

Out of curiosity, which vehicle?

Last edited by hrag : 18th January 2007 at 10:23.
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Old 18th January 2007, 20:00   #3
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hrag, thanks very much for the information. I was initially thinking of going north from Kottayam to Palakkad to Chennai that will add 100km to the trip, but it seems most of the light truckers take the NH220 route instead. I had done the NH220 part four years ago, and that time this stretch was not crowded at all. Kerala roads are usually good before the monsoon too.

But, I haven't done the SH38 stretch ever.

I will have to drive this route a couple of times in April/ May time frame and I am hoping to acquire a Tata Safari by then. I am waiting to see what Tata does with their 2.2L release. If I am forced wait beyond April, its going to be on a relative's Esteem. I like driving the Esteem since its quite nimble and its going to be only four of us in the car. I guess the Safari is going to be less tiring though.

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Old 2nd May 2007, 02:30   #4
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All, I am bumping this thread for some additional information as I will be driving this route next week. I am planning to start at about 4am (it will end up being 5am). From what I recall,

Kottayam to Kumily is about ~2+ hours

Assuming I can get north of Theni by 8+am, are there any good restaurants recommended along the way?

How easy it is to get on the Dindigul and Trichy bypasses? Are the signs clearly marked? I would rather go to Ulundurpettai TTDC restaurant for lunch (I guess it is still operating and as good as I remember it to be), but am not sure will be able to get there at a reasonable time.

Are there any reliance A1 plazas on the way on NH45? Will take the Chennai bypass and get to Poonamallee HR.

Also, how does one get to the East Coast Road from near Kilpauk Medical College? It seems like most roads are one way from looking at the map, much different than what I remember. Do I have to go all the way to Parry's corner to get to the Beach Road and to the ECR?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 09:53   #5
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The road from Kottayam to Kumili is good, but you are very ambitious in reaching in 2 hours - it is a climb all the way from Mundakayam to Vandiperiyar and I would take at least an hour more. After Kumili, once you come down (10-15 kms), it is a straight road - I would reschedule my arrival at Theni also accordingly. ideally, I would take a breakfast halt at Kumili since there are several restaurants there.

The route from Theni (NH49 turns off right to go towards Madurai via Andipatti) to Dindigul via Vathalagundu and Periakulam is good, and the shortest.

Dindigul is a clean bypass, you don't have to go into town at all. You will have to turn into NH45 just before town (signages are good) - town goes in straight, you have to turn left.

Trichy is also effficiently bypassed when you are on NH45 (Dindigul-Trichy-Chennai), and it is one straight drive (with good signages - all roads lead to Chennai!!!).

Maybe I would have my lunch somewhere in Tricy area itself - I don't recollect seeing any good restaurants in the bypass, but turn left into town and go towards the bus stand (not very far away) or railway station (Junction!!) and there are lots of restaurants in that vicinity - but that would mean town traffic disruptions. I also think there are soem good restaurants in the Dindigul area.

To go to ECR from Kilpauk is pretty easy. Turn off Poonamalle High Road near Ega Theatre, go via Chetput to Nungambakkam High Road (Uttamar Gandhi Salai?) and join Mount Road at Gemini/Anna Flyover. Take Mount Road all the way to Adyar via TTK Road/Raja Annamalaipuram. At the Adyar Main junctioin, turn left on the Tiruvanmiyur road and reach ECR - if you leave early in teh morning, you shoudl reach the ECR point in 30 minutes from Kilpauk.

Kumar
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Old 2nd May 2007, 09:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
To go to ECR from Kilpauk is pretty easy. Turn off Poonamalle High Road near Ega Theatre, go via Chetput to Nungambakkam High Road (Uttamar Gandhi Salai?) and join Mount Road at Gemini/Anna Flyover. Take Mount Road all the way to Adyar via TTK Road/Raja Annamalaipuram. At the Adyar Main junctioin, turn left on the Tiruvanmiyur road and reach ECR - if you leave early in teh morning, you shoudl reach the ECR point in 30 minutes from Kilpauk.

Kumar
Since you are in Annanagar, maybe you could also take the bypass and reach Guindy faster (I don't know this road, so please check locally). From Guindy, go via Raj Bhavan and reach Adyar to take the ECR - this could be the fastest.

Kumar
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Old 2nd May 2007, 17:46   #7
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Poonamallee High Road - Chetput - (L after Samsonite showroom) College Road - (R) Haddows Road - (R) Nungambakkam High Road (Uttamar Gandhi Salai) - (R at Anna flyover) Mount Road (Anna Salai) - (L) Cenotaph Road - Kotturpuram High Road - (L) Sardar Patel Road - (R at Madhya Kailash) Taramani High Road / IT Corridor - (L after TIDEL Park) Thiruvalluvar Salai - Turns right by itself onto the ECR

L - turn left onto
R - turn right onto

This is the shortest and quickest (non peak hours).
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Old 2nd May 2007, 21:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The road from Kottayam to Kumili is good, but you are very ambitious in reaching in 2 hours - it is a climb all the way from Mundakayam to Vandiperiyar and I would take at least an hour more. After Kumili, once you come down (10-15 kms), it is a straight road - I would reschedule my arrival at Theni also accordingly. ideally, I would take a breakfast halt at Kumili since there are several restaurants there.
Kumar, Thanks. I probably remembered wrongly how long it took me last time to do this segment. The Dindigul, Trichy bypass info is also very helpful. Is the following a good estimate of how long it will take? I am planning on stopping only once every 3 or 4 hours provided the traffic/ roads are letting me go at a good clip.

7am - Kumily depart 8am
1230pm - Trichy (I think there are some restaurants along NH45 before entering heart of Trichy, although it has been a long time now) 130pm depart.

I should be there at Anna Nagar at about 7pm with a stop somewhere near Tindivanam? Sounds a little ambitious but I have done better time (5 hours Trichy- Chennai, but in the wee hours) long ago. Hoping that the roads and the car are better this time .

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag
Poonamallee High Road - Chetput - (L after Samsonite showroom) College Road - (R) Haddows Road - (R) Nungambakkam High Road (Uttamar Gandhi
....
This is the shortest and quickest (non peak hours).
How're the roads going to Central etc. then to Marina Beach/ Santhome/ Adyar/ ECR? I vaguely remember that one doesn't have to go Parry's corner to get to the Beach Road. I would prefer not to go by Mount Road/ Kotturpuram because I may have to start this trip during peak/ rush hour traffic. It was a mess a few years ago, I can only imagine how this will be now.

Last edited by THE-U- : 2nd May 2007 at 21:23.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 23:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE-U- View Post
7am - Kumily depart 8am
1230pm - Trichy (I think there are some restaurants along NH45 before entering heart of Trichy, although it has been a long time now) 130pm depart.

I should be there at Anna Nagar at about 7pm with a stop somewhere near Tindivanam? Sounds a little ambitious but I have done better time (5 hours Trichy- Chennai, but in the wee hours) long ago. Hoping that the roads and the car are better this time .

.
I think reaching Trichy by 1230 will be a bit tricky because the drive from Kumili onwards is through well-populated areas and you can'tdrive at speeds beyond 100 kmph. But if you are very fast, doable.

Similarly, the Trichy-Villupuram stretch is in shambles in some parts thanks to the double-roading - I myself have done Trichy-Chennai in 3-4 hours - but now, keeping in view that you will hit peak-hour traffic heading into Chennai city (in the evening), I would look at not earlier than 900 pm arrival at Annanagar (including some bufffer for navigating city traffic).
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Old 3rd May 2007, 09:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE-U- View Post
I should be there at Anna Nagar at about 7pm with a stop somewhere near Tindivanam? Sounds a little ambitious but I have done better time (5 hours Trichy- Chennai, but in the wee hours) long ago. Hoping that the roads and the car are better this time .
If you start from Tiruchi at 13:30, with good speed, you'll reach Perungalathur by around 18:30. Please make sure you take the Chennai bypass and remember you'll hit rush hour traffic on the bypass as well as at Maduravoyal.

I'd estimate 20:00 at Anna Nagar but only if you take the bypass. Please don't make the mistake of entering the city through Tambaram - Chromepet - Pallavaram etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THE-U- View Post
How're the roads going to Central etc. then to Marina Beach/ Santhome/ Adyar/ ECR? I vaguely remember that one doesn't have to go Parry's corner to get to the Beach Road. I would prefer not to go by Mount Road/ Kotturpuram because I may have to start this trip during peak/ rush hour traffic. It was a mess a few years ago, I can only imagine how this will be now.
Anna Nagar to Central via Poonamallee High Road is a long process during rush hour. Central to Santhome will be nice but again lots of traffic. The road near the Santhome Cathedral is still narrow and is best avoided.

Mount Road / Kotturpuram is better these days - in any case the mess is only until you cross Thiruvanmiyur signal. A lot of IT companies are situated on the Old Mahabalipuram Road and there is lots of traffic on the ECR moving towards the OMR. You'll have hundreds of company buses for company on the ECR. Once you cross the Sholinganallur turn-off, its a breeze.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 13:04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE-U- View Post
How're the roads going to Central etc. then to Marina Beach/ Santhome/ Adyar/ ECR? I vaguely remember that one doesn't have to go Parry's corner to get to the Beach Road. I would prefer not to go by Mount Road/ Kotturpuram because I may have to start this trip during peak/ rush hour traffic. It was a mess a few years ago, I can only imagine how this will be now.
The route you refer to is worse & very long too. Central is wayyyy off the route that you need to go. Get on the P.H. Road, take the right turn before pachaiyappa's college which leads you to the Loyola college underpass, past Loyola, take a right before sterling road, reach mahalingapuram, North Usman road, Panagal Park, Venkatnarayana Road, Nandanam, Kotturpuram, Adyar.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 3rd May 2007 at 13:07.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 19:01   #12
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I think reaching Trichy by 1230 will be a bit tricky because the drive from Kumili onwards is through well-populated areas and you can'tdrive at speeds beyond 100 kmph. But if you are very fast, doable.
Thanks. The distance was something like 250kms so I figured I could average 55-60 kmph. So, we wouldn't be able to average that speed? That would definitely be not good. I may have to really start at 4am out of Kerala.

Thanks hrag and esteemlover. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I will be starting from somewhere near KMC that day. When does Madras peak hour/ rush hour end? May be I can wait till that time, although I would rather be driving at 70 kmph on the ECR enjoying the scenery before the sun comes way up.
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Old 4th May 2007, 16:09   #13
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A couple of pointers from my side.

1. There is a Reliance Petrol pump after Ulundurpet when you are coming, but am not sure if its A1 Plaza.
2. You have Hotel Rajesh just next to the Reliance Pump which is decent other wise the better option for you would be to have lunch at Trichy byepass.
3. Traffic would be heavy to very heavy from the Maduravayol Jn. (point where the Chennai Byepass joins the Poonamallee High Road) upto the Tirumangalam Jn. it could take you anywhere between half an hour to an hour to cross this section.
4. The condition between Villupuram and Tindivanam is not so great but still pretty much driveable espcially at the time you would be crossing

Cheers.
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Old 5th May 2007, 21:14   #14
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3. Traffic would be heavy to very heavy from the Maduravayol Jn. (point where the Chennai Byepass joins the Poonamallee High Road) upto the Tirumangalam Jn. it could take you anywhere between half an hour to an hour to cross this section.
Thanks for the advance warning. I'll schedule a break right after I get in to P.H. Road.
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Old 21st June 2007, 18:45   #15
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Having done this route, these are my observations.

Kottayam - Kumily - Starting around 430pm, I was in Kumily around 7am. Kumily to Kambam in Tamil Nadu went pretty quickly although I had to stop a couple of times during the descent. Unfortunately, couldn't easily locate a restaurant in Kumily so had to stop at a small restaurant in Kambam which wasn't great. I was told there is some construction going on in this segment from Kumily to Kambam, that might result in an hour or so delay occasionally, which I didn't have to suffer through. Hopefully its over now.

The SH38 - As pointed out by hrag, this is a decent road, but in the morning there was lots of Tractor traffic and bicyclists. I only had the OE horn on the Safari at the time so unless someone turned and looked they really didn't bother to move even a bit. Reached Dindigul shortly after 10 am or so and stopped for Tea.

The Dindigul bypass is marked somewhat clearly, but due to the construction going on one has to be a bit cautious.

Dindigul-Trichy road was below my expectation with many large potholes. Although I flew over some of them on the Safari, it wasn't very comfortable. Traffic got pretty tedious close to Trichy.

Probably someone had a political poster stuck on the sign, the Trichy by-pass sign wasn't clearly visible. Had to stop and ask for that. Although I was in the Trichy by-pass by 1215pm, the pathetic checkpost on the bypass caused a huge traffic jam where I lost about 30 minutes. I wished I had gone through the city and had my lunch there.

However, there was a Reliance A1 plaza on the right north of Trichy (Samayapuram?) so lunch wasn't too bad.

Trichy - Villupuram had reasonable traffic (four laning work in progress) but I got caught in a railway crossing near Villupuram shortly before 4pm. Had to fix a flat tyre there so got out after 5pm which turned out to be a mistake because they beat up my alloy wheel in the process. Its not easy to find shops that have the right equipment.

Tindivanam-Chennai turned out to be more treacherous then I had imagined. A couple of wrong way trucks on the fast lane made the trip more interesting and the toll plazas are absolute waste of time. The worst of it all (as pointed out by pypkmsrikanth), I got stuck for 2 hours on the P.H. Road from Maduravoyal Jn (I was there before 730pm) and got to my destination after 930pm. Unfortunately, the traffic was so heavy with buses encroaching on the left and everyone else everywhere, didn't take the planned stop on P.H. Road.
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