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Old 5th March 2012, 13:01   #3451
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Thanks for the update. Is there any exemption for local vehicles at this gate? I have seen several vehicles just drive off without paying anything. I felt like the staff too are not that serious in collection.
Could be one of these: Pass holders, influential people, or return ticket (one day pass) holders.
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Old 5th March 2012, 13:32   #3452
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Kochi-(Thalayolaparambu)-Kottayam-Kumili-Maduri as mentioned by HVK should be the fastest one. Just curious to understand the road condition of following route:

National Highway No. 49 Route:
Cochin - Tripunithura - Thiruvankulam - Puthencruz - Kolenchery - Muvattupuzha - Kothamangalam - Neriamangalam - Rajakkad - Pooppara - Bodinayakkanur - Theni - Andipatti - Usilampatti - Madurai
I'm not sure if going via Kottayam would be the fastest. The Ernakulam-Kottayam stretch has a lot more traffic - especially after Ettumanur that can slow you down considerably and this route would be at least 30-40 kms longer.

As for which one is more scenic, both the routes you mentioned are equally nice, and so would be the one suggested by vu2pmc (Though I'm not sure of the current road conditions between Idukki and Cumbum via Kattappana).

I was told by a friend in Adimali that the Neriamangalam-Rajakkad-Pooppara route that Google maps suggests (via Kallarkutty and Ponmudi dams) is not really in great shape and it is better to take the Anachal - Kunjithanni - Rajakkad route to go from Adimali to Rajakkad. (You need to travel about 10-12 kms from Adimali towards Munnar on the NH itself and then take the turnoff at Iruttukaanam towards Anachal). But that road also is quite narrow and there are some portions which are very steep, so recommended only if you are comfortable driving in ghat sections.
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Old 5th March 2012, 14:27   #3453
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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post

95% of the roads are excellent and the Dhimbam ghat are in very good shape too.

I have decided that in future if I'm driving towards Coimbatore/Cochin I would take the Sathyamangalam route if it is a day drive and will stick to NH7 & 47 combo if it is a night drive.

The Sathyamangalam route does not have tolls and the biggest relief is that you don't get those Heart in mouth moments with the morons driving/riding on the wrong side of the road. FE would also be better since you tend to drive at a speed of 80-90 and don't get many straights where you can put pedal to metal like on the NH7 & 47.
The Kanakapura-Chamrajnagar-Sathy route is indeed very scenic and very comfortable to drive through! The only achilles heal in this entire stretch are a few stretches after chamarajnagar where the road suddenly turns into a village road with JUST ONE LANE! I had driven to sathy last month and at two spots, I had to move off into a side road after reversing for a few meters in order to give way for a bus and a truck! Rest of the route is scenic and smooth! BTW did you encounter any wildlife inside the forest?
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Old 5th March 2012, 14:43   #3454
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Thanks for the update. Is there any exemption for local vehicles at this gate? I have seen several vehicles just drive off without paying anything. I felt like the staff too are not that serious in collection.
I'm not sure about the same. We too saw lot of cars just driving off. They were not too enthusiastic about collecting the toll. We paid up since the vehicle ahead stopped and the boy flashed the ticket at me and I just paid it

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
The Kanakapura-Chamrajnagar-Sathy route is indeed very scenic and very comfortable to drive through! The only achilles heal in this entire stretch are a few stretches after chamarajnagar where the road suddenly turns into a village road with JUST ONE LANE! I had driven to sathy last month and at two spots, I had to move off into a side road after reversing for a few meters in order to give way for a bus and a truck! Rest of the route is scenic and smooth! BTW did you encounter any wildlife inside the forest?
Yes you are right about the narrow stretches but luckily we never had to reverse on any of those stretches. And regarding the Wildlife we had to be content with Monkeys only
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Old 5th March 2012, 17:09   #3455
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Hi BHPns, Another road to byepass tollgate at Paliyekkara. This road is better than the road I mentioned some page before due to no railway cross and better road surface.
GPS data is also uploaded. Addition KMs about 4.5KMs, additional time about 10 mnts but watchout for that Eicher tipper mini trucks.
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All Roads to Kerala-marathakaraamballur.jpg  

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Old 5th March 2012, 19:04   #3456
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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
The good news is that the only Toll we had to pay was Rs.8/- while leaving Coimbatore City limits
The toll period for this one at Ukkadam is over - L&T has stopped collecting it and people who know about this (mostly locals) do not pay anything. But if you stop or don't know about it, the unscrupulous elements who man that place do collect the Rs.8 and I'm sure they did not issue a receipt
There are other threads on TBHP like the one on toll plazas that mention this and I myself was conned during my trip to Munnar and only after that I learnt the truth !
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Old 5th March 2012, 20:03   #3457
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Kochi-(Thalayolaparambu)-Kottayam-Kumili-Maduri as mentioned by HVK should be the fastest one.

National Highway No. 49 Route:
Cochin - dinayakkanur - Theni - Andipatti - Usilampatti - Madurai

Which one is more scenic?
the second route is definitely more scenic although time consuming. Need to be careful from Poompara onwards keeping your vehicle to the left.

I can suggest one more exciting and safe & scenic route - Kochi, muvattupuzha,thodupuzha, @ thodupuzha drive towards Muttam juntion(6kms approx)(idukki corridor) and from Muttam junction turn left towards Moolamattam , exactly 4 kms from there just after the two major dips on the road for water to flow through from the hills during the rains, you can see a board on the left asking to take the immediate right. This takes you directly to wagamon & elappara past the ilavizhapunchira. From elappara take a U-turn to your right towards Kuttikkanam and from Kuttikkanam take the Vandiperiyar,Thekkady,Lower periyar,Gudalur,Cumbum,Palayam, Theni,Madurai route which can be covered in max 4 hours time.


The stretch from Moolamattam through Ilavizhapuchira till Kuttikkanam is real breath taking site and once you climb upto the top at an altitude around 4000 ft, you can see a stretch of mountains towards your right , and when the weather/fog is clear( a rare thing at this place), you can see kottayam at a distance.

I have done atleast 9 to-fro drives with my MM540,bro's ikon,wify's indigo GSX, scorpio. So I guess all kind of vehicles can do this stretch at ease. The last 6 kms while you reach Thekkady is a bit bumpy & sickening for hard suspension drives.

You like to make life more exciting, on your way towards Theni after palayam, you reach a place called Chinnamannur, where you can take a right and further on taking the left road at the fork after 1km that will take you to breathtaking ghats drive towards Madurai. the same route will take you to rajapalayam also. But the route is through a forest and not advisable for people travelling with family.

I hope I have confused you enough with the verbose.
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Old 5th March 2012, 20:30   #3458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
I have seen several vehicles just drive off without paying anything. I felt like the staff too are not that serious in collection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Could be one of these: Pass holders, influential people, or return ticket (one day pass) holders.
Only other state vehicles are asked to pay up. Local people just drive through.

OT: I heard that talks are going on between IVRCL & L&T for four-laning coimbatore bye-pass.
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Old 5th March 2012, 20:41   #3459
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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
Did a round trip to Palakkad over the weekend.

For onward journey we took the NH209. Started from BEML Gate -Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Dhimbam - Sathyamangalam - Annur - Coimbatore - Palakkad.
Is there a way to bye-pass Coimbatore city when taking this route? One reason why I avoid this route is the thought of passing through Coimbatore.

Even through the city, is there a faster route?

PS. I have never been to Coimbatore before.
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Old 5th March 2012, 21:24   #3460
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Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
Is there a way to bye-pass Coimbatore city when taking this route?
Even through the city, is there a faster route?
There is a work around to bye-pass the busy areas of Coimbatore city. As you come on Sathy main road towards Coimbatore, there is a diversion on your left side, marked as Coimbatore Airport/Kalapatti. This road will take you directly to Avinashi road, through kalapatti, byepassing the city. The markings for this road are prominent and will come at around the 16th km after Annur. This road meets avinashi main road where you have to take left towards Avinashi/Erode and keep proceeding for another 7 kms till neelampur. Here you will see the L & T Byepass road (NH 47) on your right side. Take that road and keep going towards Palakkad.
Mind you, this route is much longer than the one through the city, but the advantage is that you will be able to completely byepass the city.
BTW, finding your way towards Palakkad from Sathy through coimbatore city is also not very difficult!!
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Old 5th March 2012, 23:11   #3461
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I have reached back Bangalore today evening. Started from Trissur at 8.45am and reached at 4pm. The travel was fine..except those road stretch in between palakkad and trichur bypass, then from walayar to coimbatore bypass.....
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Old 6th March 2012, 01:02   #3462
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Originally Posted by dilipkumar7278 View Post
..Planning a trip to Madurai from cochin next week. Please suggest the best route.
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Cochin-Muvattupuzha-KOttayam-Kanjirapally-Kuttikanam-Peermede-Kumili-Kambam-Theni-Andipatti-Madurai
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilipkumar7278 View Post
Thanks hvkumar. ..but I can go to kottayam directly from cochin via thalayolaparambu rather than through muvattupuzha.
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Kochi-(Thalayolaparambu)-Kottayam-Kumili-Maduri as mentioned by HVK should be the fastest one.
Thats NOT the fastest! Going via Kottayam is going to take a fair share of time & extra distance.

1. Cochin-Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha-Pala-Ponkunnam-Kanjirapally-Kuttikanam-Peermede-Kumili-Kambam-Theni-Andipatti-Madurai

[Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha-Pala-Ponkunnam should be a total of 50-60 kms]

OR

2. Cochin-Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha-Pala-Erattupetta-Kanjirapally-Kuttikanam-Peermede-Kumili-Kambam-Theni-Andipatti-Madurai

Route 1 should be the shortest & fastest I guess. Route 2 will have lot of curves in Pala - Erattupetta - Kanjirappally stretch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kala View Post
I'm not sure if going via Kottayam would be the fastest. The Ernakulam-Kottayam stretch has a lot more traffic - especially after Ettumanur that can slow you down considerably and this route would be at least 30-40 kms longer.
+1

Edit:: Infact, from Cochin, you can come to Vyttila - Vaikom - Kaduthuruty [Take a left into a small road after the bridge; Kaduthuruthy police station is in this road] - Kozha [Take a right here after the junction to Pala] - Pala - Ponkunnam which has EXCELLENT roads till PALA and good roads from there. I believe the total distance is 120 kms or so!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 6th March 2012 at 01:14.
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Old 6th March 2012, 01:43   #3463
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Originally Posted by vu2pmc View Post
ernakulam, muvattupuzha, thodupuzha, idukki, kattappana, kumil, kambam, theni madurai seems better than going via kottayam.

Thodupuzha idukki kattappana kumily stretch is really nice
Ernakulam-Muvattupuzha-Thodupuzha-Muttom-Erattupetta-Kanjirappilly-Kumily-Madurai is the route I tried last time while going to Velankanni. the road was nice and scenic. the road from Thodupuzha to Muttom in Erattupetta road has Malankara dam, which is a tourist attraction.

another choice is Ernakulam-Piravom-Kuthattukulam-Pala-Kumily Road. the condition from Ernakulam to Pala is very good except for few isolated stretches in this route. 2 roads are now rubberised and widened. (Nadakkave-Oliyappuram and Kuthattukulam-Ramapuram-Pala highway)
in fact, I reached Pala town from Muvattupuzha in 50 minutes for a casual(sedate) drive through Kuthattukulam-Ramapuram route recently!.

Last edited by deepclutch : 6th March 2012 at 01:45.
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:22   #3464
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another choice is Ernakulam-Piravom-Kuthattukulam-Pala-Kumily Road. the condition from Ernakulam to Pala is very good except for few isolated stretches in this route. 2 roads are now rubberised and widened. (Nadakkave-Oliyappuram and Kuthattukulam-Ramapuram-Pala highway)
in fact, I reached Pala town from Muvattupuzha in 50 minutes for a casual(sedate) drive through Kuthattukulam-Ramapuram route recently!.
The road from Oliyappuram (Junction after Manimalakkunnu Govt college) to Koothattukulam was not in great shape. Also there were few bad stretches between Koothattukulam - Ramapuram - Pala. Don't know the latest condition.

Regarding Ernakulam - Pala, the shortest and less traffic route would be:
Ernakulam-Nadakkavu-Piravom-Namakuzhi-Elanji-Monippally-Uzhavoor-Palai. More than 90% of the road was in good condition and the distance should be 60 kms for Vyttila-Pala.
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Old 6th March 2012, 10:35   #3465
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Its the time of the year gain to start planing trips to Kerala. How are the road conditions on Mysore > Bandipur > Nilambur > Perinthalmanna route? I need to make a trip next weekend. I know that NH47 route is faster. But its quite boring as well...
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