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Old 22nd November 2010, 16:42   #1861
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I took the Salem- Avinashi-Palakkad route to Thrissur. The roads were not bad relative to the Palakkad-Thrissur stretch. There are about 5 diversions. However, I did it in the afternoon. It could be tiring with a lot of traffic.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 09:49   #1862
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Any status update at Avinashi?
I passed Avinashi at about 7.30pm and it was raining heavily with no visibility (Our white headlamps made it worse). I had to follow a TNSTC bus from Avinashi to L&T byepass at 35-40km/hr !!

Though I don't remember anything in detail, we took few small diversions on this stretch but nothing to worry compared to Kerala roads.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 10:04   #1863
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Reached Kochi from Bangalore today. Road near Kuthiran was in bad shape as expected. Between Puthukad and Angamaly, many places where ever the four lane is not compete, road was in very bad condition. Angamaly to Kochi is fine.
Did you take the Salem route or Sankari route or Mettur route? A pal of mine told that Mettur section is in a decent shape now.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 11:53   #1864
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Yesterday, drove to Nedumbasseri airport (from Payyannur/Kannur).
Thalassery town area, the roads are still potholes -bad.
Chalakudi / angamali stretch road widening/ flyover works are in progress hence the ride is not enjoyable and (mainly in the evening), there is heavy slow moving traffic!! (it took me 2.20hours from airport to Thrissur - left airport at 5.30pm and reached Thrissur at 7.50pm. the evening rain also made the drive very painfully)
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Old 23rd November 2010, 15:25   #1865
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Did you take the Salem route or Sankari route or Mettur route? A pal of mine told that Mettur section is in a decent shape now.
This time I took Salem route. I personally feel that Omallur route is not a bad option if you are traveling in peak hours at Salem.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 15:48   #1866
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Just back from Wayanad. The Mysore-Nanjangud stretch has become worse.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 19:57   #1867
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This time I took Salem route. I personally feel that Omallur route is not a bad option if you are traveling in peak hours at Salem.
Omalur route is anyday better that than salem route. It s around 20km shorter and can save a good amount on tolls.

I will be trying the Mettur route during my next trip, which saves another 20 odd kms.
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Old 24th November 2010, 01:06   #1868
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Just back from Wayanad. The Mysore-Nanjangud stretch has become worse.
I am planning a trip to Calicut via Wayandad next month. Was under the impression that Mysore-Nanjangud-S.Bathery-Kalpetta-Vythiri-Calicut...route is best. Do you think this route in its current condition is still better than Mysore-HDKote-Nagarhole-Bavali-Kattikkulam-Manathanvadi-Vythiri-Calicut route? And how would it compare to the Kutta-Gonikoppal-Hunsur-Mysore route? I will be doing this trip in a wagonR.

Thanks.

OT - is the Bandipur forest route more scenic than Nagarhole route en route to Calicut, irrespective of road condition?
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Old 24th November 2010, 09:42   #1869
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Originally Posted by TomRider View Post

I will be trying the Mettur route during my next trip, which saves another 20 odd kms.
Mettur road was in bad shape when my friend did this route few weeks back. Running time wise, its a pain.
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Old 24th November 2010, 12:18   #1870
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Originally Posted by dhuli View Post
I am planning a trip to Calicut via Wayandad next month. Was under the impression that Mysore-Nanjangud-S.Bathery-Kalpetta-Vythiri-Calicut...route is best. Do you think this route in its current condition is still better than Mysore-HDKote-Nagarhole-Bavali-Kattikkulam-Manathanvadi-Vythiri-Calicut route? And how would it compare to the Kutta-Gonikoppal-Hunsur-Mysore route? I will be doing this trip in a wagonR.

Thanks.

OT - is the Bandipur forest route more scenic than Nagarhole route en route to Calicut, irrespective of road condition?
Nagarhole route is more scenic. Also the second route option will take more time than the first one. I did the first route in October. The roads were bad between Mysore -- Nanjagud. Inside the forest the road has started chipping off in a big way. Also once you are in Kerala, there are patches where roads are bad. Also, many parts in ghat section is in bad condition. You have no choice but to cross the ghat even if you take the second option.
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Old 24th November 2010, 12:35   #1871
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Also, many parts in ghat section is in bad condition. You have no choice but to cross the ghat even if you take the second option.
Yes, the Thamaraserry ghat section is in utter shambles. You would be lucky if you dont get stuck in the traffic pile up there.
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Old 24th November 2010, 19:46   #1872
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You have no choice but to cross the ghat even if you take the second option.
Absolutely valid point. So might as well enjoy the scenery since the poor road condition is a common leveler (though literally unleveled ). Thanks Sarin.
BTW, I wonder if these roads are as bad as those nightmarish ones between Bangalore and Mangalore! It might be a good idea to take the worst road (originally tarred) as a base and rate all other bad roads against that. For the rating to work, we will of course require a very very poor road that suffers total government apathy, since the base should not change.
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Old 25th November 2010, 06:20   #1873
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Originally Posted by dhuli View Post
Absolutely valid point. So might as well enjoy the scenery since the poor road condition is a common leveler (though literally unleveled ). Thanks Sarin.
BTW, I wonder if these roads are as bad as those nightmarish ones between Bangalore and Mangalore! It might be a good idea to take the worst road (originally tarred) as a base and rate all other bad roads against that. For the rating to work, we will of course require a very very poor road that suffers total government apathy, since the base should not change.
Absolutely not. They are only bad, that too in some pockets. Bu Thamarassery ghat section is in very bad condition and road blocks are common scene there now.
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Old 25th November 2010, 12:36   #1874
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Hey Jeev,

nothing to worry about Avinashi, town had many potholes though. None of the diversions took me off the NH, it will be just a service road kinds stuff.

Only worry is Palakkad-Trissur stretch, rest all are fine. I have another trip on 16th evening but this time on Xylo .
Hi All,

Just reached back from a week vacation. This time drive was on my Xylo and you know what? I was pretty new to truck and decided to drive not above 100kmph! My travel time increased to 12 hours+ compared to 10 hours+ on Accent recently.

Palakkad - Trissur stretch is still bad (except for 20KMs approx which got repaired recently) and Muvattupuzha - Kottayam has lots of bad stretches. Deviations after L&T to Avinashi are easily manageable .
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Old 25th November 2010, 14:04   #1875
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Originally Posted by dhuli View Post
I am planning a trip to Calicut via Wayandad next month. Was under the impression that Mysore-Nanjangud-S.Bathery-Kalpetta-Vythiri-Calicut...route is best. Do you think this route in its current condition is still better than Mysore-HDKote-Nagarhole-Bavali-Kattikkulam-Manathanvadi-Vythiri-Calicut route? And how would it compare to the Kutta-Gonikoppal-Hunsur-Mysore route? I will be doing this trip in a wagonR.

Thanks.

OT - is the Bandipur forest route more scenic than Nagarhole route en route to Calicut, irrespective of road condition?
In the past 2 months or so, I travelled from Bangalore-Kalpetta and back over 4 different routes, and these were my impressions (Never went upto Calicut in any of these trips - so haven't experienced the real bad conditions of the ghat roads)

1) The regular SH17 to Mysore and then via Gundlupet, Muthanga, Batheri

Positives : Road conditions very good for most portions

Negatives : Bad road from Mysore to Nanjangud (20kms), some minor potholes between Gundlupet and Kerala border, and a few pretty bad ones between there and Batheri. From there to Kalpetta is decent.

Additional problems : Heavy traffic from Nanjangud till Bangalore especially when returning on a Sunday evening. Unmarked speedbreakers galore on Mysore road. Slow progress/signal lights when passing through Mandya, Channapatna and Ramanagaram (and of course Mysore)

2) NH-209 via Kanakapura-Kollegal-Chamarajnagar, and from there to Gundlupet-Batheri-Kalpetta.

Positives : Very good road till Chamarajanagar except for a small stretch between Kollegal and Chamarajnagar that is being resurfaced - Decent road from Chamarajnagar to Gundlupet. Very sparse traffic all through, so one can have a relaxed drive.

Negatives : Slow progress through towns (Kanakapura, Kollegal and Chamarajnagar), very narrow roads at 4 or 5 villages between Kollegal and Chamarajnagar. Not many eateries on the way. (Plus the same issues as above from Gundlupet to Batheri). Also may be somewhat longer for people who live in the northern part of Bangalore (though distance is almost the same for me since I live close to Kanakapura road)

3) SH-17 till Mysore (Ring road junction) - Hunsur - Nagarahole - Kutta - Tholpetty - Kattikkulam - mananthavadi - Kalpetta

Positives : Very good roads most of the way, very scenic drive through the Nagarahole sanctuary, plenty of wildlife spottings.

Negatives : About 5-10 kms of potholed roads after Hunsur, and pretty rough road surface inside Nagarahole WLS - so takes a while to get from Hunsur to Kutta (especially since the forest stretch is long - about 40 kms or so). some rough road between Mananthavadi and Panamaram. Heavy traffic on the Hunsur-Mysore sector. (Plus the Mysore-Bangalore woes mentiones in option 1)

4) SH17 till Mysore City, SH-33 through Hampapura-Handpost-Kabini-Bavali-Mananthavadi-Kalpetta :

Positives : Road conditions very good most of the way, very scenic forest drive with plenty of wildlife (though the forest stretch is quite short - may be about 10 kms or less)

Negatives : A 10 km deviation through villages near Kabini JLR (which is bad), and the rough road between Mananthavadi and Panamaram. Plus the SH17 issues of option 1 and 3.

A 5th option is the one that you mentioned (Mysore-Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Kutta-Mananthavadi). Though I've never taken that road in the recent past, reports here say the road between Hunsur and Kutta via Gonikoppal isn't in great shape, and it is longer as well. The only advantage is that this is the only route that is open 24 hours.

And the answer to your last question : I think the forest stretches in options (3) and (4) are much more scenic than the Bandipur forest road since there's not too much of traffic and so there's wildlife in abundance there.

P.S. I guess the option (4) that I described above must be the HDKote route that you were referring to. But that road doesn't touch either HDKote or Nagarahole - you come close to HDKote at Handpost junction (SH33 continues straight, you need to take a right to go to HDKote). And though you do pass through the southern edge of Nagarahole WLS, you don't go through Nagarahole village.

I'm going to Kalpetta again this weekend, and I plan to take option (4) on the onward journey (Saturday morning) and option (2) when returning on Sunday afternoon (Can't stand the F1 style driving on SH 17 on Sunday evenings !)
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