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Old 2nd January 2014, 08:40   #6301
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by gk_fiesta View Post
I really don't think one needs to go via. Palakkad-Walayar-Madukkarai if one need to travel between Vadakkenchery-Avinashi/Palladam. You can skip the maddening traffic and bad road surface between Vadakkenchery-Palakkad-Walayar-Madukkarai if you take Pollachi route. Will surely take this route henceorth. Personally, I don't mind driving an 8-10% extra to avoid bad roads and traffic if the alternative road has good surface and even with same traffic.
Some points to add :

- Make sure you take the Palladam-Avinashi road. Its very probable that one may end up taking the Tiruppur road at Palladam instead of Avinashi. Do note, that Tirrupur road also will also eventually take you to Avinashi, but then you need to cross one more town. If in doubt ask for "Mangalam Road" which is how many refer the Palladam-Avnashi road as. (This road goes via Mangalam town; a small town which can be easily crossed)

- The Palladam-Avinashi road would take one to the Avinashi bypass which is now complete. However the Mangalam road access to the bypass in the last couple of km is bad, thanks to a railway over bridge construction. However this can be easily driven through.

- If one is driving at night through Pollachi/Palladam stretch, I think its better to take the Kangeyam/Perundurai road instead of Avinashi till this Railway over bridge gets completed. This alternative is fantastic as ever. Nice tar; some rough patches at few locations, but no botherations whatsoever.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 09:22   #6302
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Originally Posted by gk_fiesta

I have a query here - after the Dhimbam ghats I saw a diversion to Kollegal which does not require us to go through Chamrajanagar. Has anyone taken this. I can see this route in Google Maps as well. How good/bad is this route? Is it shorter?
IIRC, Binai posted about this road few pages back.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 10:05   #6303
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

I have booked a holiday in Kerala during first week of April at Cherai Beach, which I believe is near Cochin. Kindly let me know if the roads to Coimbatore are drive-able (from Bangalore), and then from Coimbatore to Thrissur, and from then on to Cochin. When I drove from Thrissur to Bangalore last time in Dec 2012, I almost gave up driving due to the frustrations accumulated. There was no road from Thrissur to Palakkad and there were innumerable diversions till 300 kms south of Bangalore. Maniacal drivers and traffic jams at toll booths drove me to the edge of insanity. Is it any better now?

Please let me know as I need to make a decision whether to drive or fly. Depending on your inputs, I will plan in advance.

Many thanks in advance, as always.

Last edited by bsdbsd : 2nd January 2014 at 10:11. Reason: had left out the starting point (Blore)
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Old 2nd January 2014, 10:15   #6304
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Please let me know as I need to make a decision whether to drive or fly. Depending on your inputs, I need to plan in advance.
Its not that bad. If you like to drive, you can easily make till Chalakudy 4-lane section without any issues. Beyond that to Cherai via Potta/Kodungallur and/or Paravoor, I am not sure, what are the best options and how are the road conditions.

Drive via Avinashi/Palladam/Pollachi/Vadakkecherry and traffic is quite easy if you start early. Hold speed under limits in Kerala. If you start by 4, I am sure you would in Pollachi for lunch by 11/12. It should be another 150 at max from Pollachi. And roads in general would be good Pollachi/Kollengode/Vadenkkencherry/Trichy-Bypass on 4-lane etc.

Last edited by ampere : 2nd January 2014 at 10:16.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 10:42   #6305
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

drove back to Bangalore from Thrissur on Dec 30th. started early in the morning at 5am and decided to take the Mannuthy > Vadakkencherry > Kollengode > Pollachi > Perundurai > Salem route. as soon as i crossed Mannuthy i realised i should have started a bit later. anyways, reached Bangalore in 8hrs (door to door), with a 15min breakfast stop at Pollachi.

this short video from my car's dashcam shows the stretch between Mannuthy and Vadakkencherry and the early morning traffic. since the roads are newly laid, there are no markings and hence making it difficult to drive with the oncoming vehicle's blinding headlights in your eyes. what makes it even more precarious is the fact that due to ongoing construction, in some places there is a 2ft drop on the left!

couple of times i was forced off the road on to the shoulder by a rogue Volo B9R or truck. just imagine if that had happened on the stretch with the 2ft drop on the left!



a word of caution for people who are not accustomed to night driving, please wait till dawn if you're planning to take this route.

ps: this is only between Mannuthy and Vadakkencherry. once you turn off from Vadakkencherry, you don't have this kind of traffic.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 10:47   #6306
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Did a round trip from Bangalore to Kerala via Wayanad-Tirur-Kozhikode-Kannur-Iritty-Virajpet-Mysore last week.

Bangalore to Tirur: Route taken: Mandya-Mysore-Batheri-Kenichira- Thazhamunda-Muttil-Kalpetta-Thamarassery- Omassery-Manjeri-Malappuram-Kottakkal-Vailathur-Tirur-Vattathani

Started from Yelahanka, Bangalore on 25th morning at 4.45. Traffic was sparse on Mysore road at that time of the day. Took Mysore ORR (left turn at Columbia Asia hospital Junction) to reach Ooty road. I usually prefer this road to bypass Mysore city as it is relatively less crowded and most of the stretch has beautiful 6 laned roads. There was unusually heavy traffic till Nanjangud. Beyond Nanjangud, roads were excellent all the way till Sultan Bathery (Beenachi) and traffic was sparse. Diverted to Kenichira from Beenachi for a break at my uncle’s home. Beenachi to Kenichira is rough and has lot of potholes, but patchwork is going on in full swing. Took the Kenichira – Meenangadi road till Karyambadi via Thazhamunda and turned towards Muttil/NH 212 from Karyambadi junction. This stretch has narrow roads with few bad stretches but took this option because from my uncle’s home, this is the shortest road to reach NH 212 if your destination is Kalpetta.
NH 212 was in pristine condition and being a holiday, there was sparse traffic in Kalpetta town. Ghat roads were also in good condition. Took the left turn towards Omassery from Thamarassery chungam as I had to meet someone in Omassery. From Omassery, proceeded ahead to Manjeri via Mukkam-Areekode to visit another relative’s home. Thamarasshery chungam to Mukkam has rough roads, but is relatively pothole free. Mukkam onwards till Manjeri, roads are very good but is like any other typical Kerala road – Narrow with lot of traffic and pedestrians who literally walk on the road. Missed a right turn after Areekode town and ended up going towards Edavanna for around 4 km till I realized the mistake. Had to backtrack and take the correct route.

Roads from Manjeri to Tirur via Malappuram – Kottakkal has been excellent since a few years now (courtesy PWD ministers from the district) and remains the same even now. But one has to be very careful on this stretch as there are some dangerous curves and some stretches are really narrow. You could encounter plenty of jaywalkers too. Crossing Malappuram town is easy as there is an excellent option to bypass the core part of the town but Kottakkal town remains a major bottle neck.

Vattathani (Tirur) to Kannur: Route taken was the following: Vattathani– Tanur-Parappanangadi-Chettipadi-Chelari-Calicut university-Ramanattukara- bypass-Atholi-Ullyeri-Koyilandy-Vadakara-Telicherry- Chala bypass-Kannur (Alavil)

Roads were excellent all the way except a small patch between Parappanangadi and Chettipadi. But traffic as usual was totally unforgiving! Took 5 hours to cover 156 km and I was drained out completely by the time I hit my home. There are just too many bottlenecks on this highway- Koyilandy town, Payyoli town, Mooryad bridge, Mahe town, Stretch between Mahe and Telicherry, Telicherry town, Moidu bridge, etc . With number of vehicles on the rise, the time required to cross these stretches seem to have increased exponentially–! Moreover, due to some unknown reason, police had blocked the left turn at Atholi junction towards NH and hence had to go all the way to Ulliyeri to turn towards Koyilandy NH17 which meant another 8km extra drive. The only bit of silver lining on this route is you could tank up at Mahe where diesel is cheaper by Rs. 3 per liter compared to Bangalore. Petrol I assume would be cheaper by around Rs. 10 or so.

Return to Bangalore from Kannur : route taken was Kannur- Iritty- Virajpet town-Siddapura-Maldare-Periyapatna-Hunsur-Mysore ORR- Bangalore.

Road Conditions remain the same as many have previously reported- Good roads most of the way except between Siddapura and Periyapatna
The monster craters on the ghat section before Perumpadi check post are getting repaired. Some of them have already been filled and work was going on. The last 14 km or so between Siddapura and Periyapatna seems to have worsened since September when I last took the route. Mysore ORR is all patched up except 2-3 huge potholes just before the Columbia asia hospital junction.

Had lunch this time from the rebranded Café coorg, Hunsur – now known as ‘Café County’. Management and staff seem to have changed. They have constructed new bathrooms and are neat. Food was average, but economical.

Total distance covered was 1092 kms.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 11:22   #6307
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Kottayam -> Kumily -> Cumbam -> Theni -> Periyakulam -> Dindigul -> Salem -> Hosur -> Bagalur -> Whitefield

Kottayam -> Kumily - is in excellent condition. Sabarimala traffic will slow you down a bit, but if you can overtake convoys aggressively, it not a big issue.

Kumily -> Cumbam -> Theni -> Periyakulam - 90% is newly laid and is in excellent condition. It is well marked with reflectors, so night driving was not an issue.
Most of the town areas have bad surface, but still doable.

Hosur -> Bagalur -> Whitefield - Excellent except Sarjapur town

585km in 9.5 Hrs with 1 hour break in between. Drove mostly at 100 kmph(in TN) or less. Started at 2:30PM and reached Whitefield at 1AM. Entire TN stretch had moderate to less traffic, so I could manage decent average at low speed.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 11:30   #6308
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Originally Posted by sj_koova View Post
Hosur -> Bagalur -> Whitefield - Excellent except Sarjapur town
EDIT : Corrected Baglur to Sarjapur
Dont go via Sarjapur town/Varthur road. Continue on NH207 via Chikka Tirupathi and enter directly at ITPL road. That should be much faster and easier and good roads as well. Of course it also depends on destination. In this case you dont enter Sarjapur town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sj_koova View Post
I live right next to forum value mall, so via Varthur works best for me.
As I said, it depends on the destination. As you rightly said in your case you have no other choice!

Last edited by ampere : 2nd January 2014 at 11:43.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 11:40   #6309
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Dont go via Baglur town/Varthur road. Continue on NH207 via Chikka Tirupathi and enter directly ITPL road. That should be much faster. Of course it also depends on destination.
I live right next to forum value mall, so via Varthur works best for me.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 12:33   #6310
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
I have booked a holiday in Kerala during first week of April at Cherai Beach, which I believe is near Cochin. Kindly let me know if the roads to Coimbatore are drive-able (from Bangalore), and then from Coimbatore to Thrissur, and from then on to Cochin. When I drove from Thrissur to Bangalore last time in Dec 2012, I almost gave up driving due to the frustrations accumulated. There was no road from Thrissur to Palakkad and there were innumerable diversions till 300 kms south of Bangalore. Maniacal drivers and traffic jams at toll booths drove me to the edge of insanity. Is it any better now?

Please let me know as I need to make a decision whether to drive or fly. Depending on your inputs, I will plan in advance.

Many thanks in advance, as always.
Roads are all in good condition,take the following route:

Salem-Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam-Pollachi-Kollengode-Alathur-Pazhayannur-Wadakancheri-Thrissur-Kodungallur-N.Paravur-Cherai.

Road widening is in progress between Vadakkencheri(NH47) and Mannuthy and I personally find the road too narrow to drive on,even though the potholes have disappeared,theres way too much of heavy truck and bus traffic and there is nil road shoulder at many places to get off the road.

http://goo.gl/maps/dxGxE
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Old 2nd January 2014, 12:48   #6311
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by IronH4WK View Post
What makes it even more precarious is the fact that due to ongoing construction, in some places there is a 2ft drop on the left!

Couple of times i was forced off the road on to the shoulder by a rogue Volo B9R or truck. just imagine if that had happened on the stretch with the 2ft drop on the left!

A word of caution for people who are not accustomed to night driving, please wait till dawn if you're planning to take this route.

ps: This is only between Mannuthy and Vadakkencherry. once you turn off from Vadakkencherry, you don't have this kind of traffic.
A very valid point.

Even I found it very difficult to give way to oncoming overtaking traffic on this stretch. The shoulders on this road are very deep and can easily damage hatchbacks & sedans if they have to go off the road suddenly. And if there is no daylight (night/early morning) it becomes all the more difficult to judge the depth when those monstrous Volvos keep pouncing on us.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 22:36   #6312
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Kochi-Chennai-Kochi

Kochi-NH47-Coimbatore: 70-80kmph till Mannuthy returned a decent mileage of 23.8kmph. Left Kaloor at 10:15pm and reached Coimbatore home (Sivaram Nagar) by 1.30am. One of the speed cams near Mannuthy flashed while returning from Bangalore last week at about 100kmph and I’m expecting the notice :(

Coimbatore-Salem-Ulundrupet-Chennai Egmore (31 Dec): There is a CCD coming up just after entering four lane road to Salem. Salem-Attur-Ulundrupet is very good surface with occasional two lane stretches. Sparse traffic till Ulundrupet and moderate till Tambaram. Tambaram-Egmore is crowded. Had lunch at Hotel Vasanth Bhavan, Tindivanam and food quality is average. Another Hotel Aaryas is there next door and both were crowded.

Egmore-Vellore-Krishnagiri-Salem-Coimbatore (1st Jan): Took Vellore-Krishnagiri route as I had to drop a person at Krishnagiri. Lot of patch works done on Chennai – Bangalore route ftill the toll before Vellore and ride is bumpy. Six track road is amazing and surface is very smooth. Work is still going on at some places.

Coimbatore-Kochi (1st Jan): Left Coimbatore home at 10.15pm on NH47 itself. Took two hours till Mannuthy and another 1 hour 10 mins for Kaloor.

Conculsion:
Ulundrupet route: Shorter with less traffic. I think, the toll also should be on the lower side. Its easy to beat Salem traffic while getting on to Chennai route.

Krishnagiri route: Longer by some 25kms, bumpy for initial few kms, flyover construction going on at places, excellent six lane. More time to beat Salem peak hour traffic. I think, the toll should be on higher side. Less fuel efficiency due to open roads/high speeds.

82 kmph moving average on Coimbatore- Ulundrupet-Chennai end to end while 85 kmph on Krishnagiri route till Coimbatore.

Last edited by coolclouds : 2nd January 2014 at 22:39.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 10:34   #6313
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Its not that bad. If you like to drive, you can easily make till Chalakudy 4-lane section without any issues. Beyond that to Cherai via Potta/Kodungallur and/or Paravoor, I am not sure, what are the best options and how are the road conditions.

Drive via Avinashi/Palladam/Pollachi/Vadakkecherry and traffic is quite easy if you start early. Hold speed under limits in Kerala. If you start by 4, I am sure you would in Pollachi for lunch by 11/12. It should be another 150 at max from Pollachi. And roads in general would be good Pollachi/Kollengode/Vadenkkencherry/Trichy-Bypass on 4-lane etc.
Thank you ampere and ranjitp1 for your lightning fast responses. I took some time in fully understanding your inputs, and thus the delay in responding.

ampere: When you said 'Its not that bad', you meant 'Its not that bad now'? The road between Coimbatore and Thrissur was a nightmare last time I drove (Dec 2012). Also, when you say 'you can easily make till Chalakudy 4-lane section', you are telling me that NH is a 4-lane road till Chalakudy? Sorry, I am really not aware of these details.

Would you concur with the map provided by ranjitp1? I am not sure how ranjitp1 spent so much time in preparing a custom itinerary . The inputs themselves are just awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Roads are all in good condition,take the following route:

Salem-Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam-Pollachi-Kollengode-Alathur-Pazhayannur-Wadakancheri-Thrissur-Kodungallur-N.Paravur-Cherai.

Road widening is in progress between Vadakkencheri(NH47) and Mannuthy and I personally find the road too narrow to drive on,even though the potholes have disappeared,theres way too much of heavy truck and bus traffic and there is nil road shoulder at many places to get off the road.

http://goo.gl/maps/dxGxE
ranjitp1: Perfect! Pictures speak a 1000 words (or more), and in your case you not only followed up on ampere's post, you also allowed me to fully visualize the route. Thanks a bunch. Please help me in understanding one thing. ampere suggested Avinashi-Palladam, whereas your route has Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam. Any reason for the difference here?

From Alathur, you have routed me through a certain 'Wadakanchery', whereas in the same map, Google is showing another 'Vadakkenchery'! Please see the attached picture. Are these two towns different? (I think they are). Going through 'Wadakanchery' is also taking me through Thrissur town, on whose traffic I don't have good memories. Please confirm. My apologies if I have overlooked anything in both your posts.
Attached Thumbnails
All Roads to Kerala-tocochin.png  

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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:24   #6314
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ampere: When you said 'Its not that bad', you meant 'Its not that bad now'? The road between Coimbatore and Thrissur was a nightmare last time I drove (Dec 2012). Also, when you say 'you can easily make till Chalakudy 4-lane section', you are telling me that NH is a 4-lane road till Chalakudy? Sorry, I am really not aware of these details.
Ranjit mentioned Wadakacherry with a "W" while I meant the one with a "V"
The "W" is on the railway route while the "V" falls in the GQ route.

Bangalore-Avinashi is 4-lane. And so is Trichur-Ernakulam. Hence my comment on Chalakudy 4-lane section which falls between Trichur and Ernakulam.


Quote:
Would you concur with the map provided by ranjitp1? I am not sure how ranjitp1 spent so much time in preparing a custom itinerary . The inputs themselves are just awesome.
I think to drive past Trichur on NH47, I would say its now good to go via Kollegode/Vadencherry rather Alathur (which Ranjit suggested). That section is now pretty decent for the need to take a diversion.


Quote:
ranjitp1: Perfect! Pictures speak a 1000 words (or more), and in your case you not only followed up on ampere's post, you also allowed me to fully visualize the route. Thanks a bunch. Please help me in understanding one thing. ampere suggested Avinashi-Palladam, whereas your route has Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam. Any reason for the difference here?
Earlier Avinashi bypass was not good. Hence people routed via Perundurai/Kangeyam/Palladam But now its set-up you can drive on the 4-lane all the way up to Avinashi and take the exit on the bypass to Palladam directly instead of going via Kangeyam. There are some caveats. There is a railway over bridge construction happening. So maybe a 1-2 km of bad roads near the exit. Check post #6301.


Quote:
From Alathur, you have routed me through a certain 'Wadakanchery', whereas in the same map, Google is showing another 'Vadakkenchery'! Please see the attached picture. Are these two towns different? (I think they are). Going through 'Wadakanchery' is also taking me through Thrissur town, on whose traffic I don't have good memories. Please confirm. My apologies if I have overlooked anything in both your posts.
This has been discussed earlier. The way to differentiate is that the one with W is near Guruvayur and is on the railway route. The one with V is on the GQ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
If you take the route I suggested,then you wouldnt go via the CBE-Thrissur highway.There is road widening in progress on the NH47(Vadakkencheri to Mannuthy) due to which there is no road shoulder on many stretches and hence no way to overtake resulting in increased traffic.

Ranjit, I read there was some patch up done here? Isn't it ? Because many reported this to be OK. Any news here?

Last edited by ampere : 3rd January 2014 at 11:30.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:25   #6315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post

ampere: When you said 'Its not that bad', you meant 'Its not that bad now'? The road between Coimbatore and Thrissur was a nightmare last time I drove (Dec 2012). Also, when you say 'you can easily make till Chalakudy 4-lane section', you are telling me that NH is a 4-lane road till Chalakudy? Sorry, I am really not aware of these details.
If you take the route I suggested,then you wouldnt go via the CBE-Thrissur highway.There is road widening in progress on the NH47(Vadakkencheri to Mannuthy) due to which there is no road shoulder on many stretches and hence no way to overtake resulting in increased traffic.

Mannuthy-Alwaye is 4 laned now on NH47.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
ampere suggested Avinashi-Palladam, whereas your route has Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam. Any reason for the difference here?
Yes Ampere's suggestion is a good one,however there is a railway overbridge being constructed at Mangalam Railway Stn between Palladam and Avinashi,and its a big mess there.Hence the suggestion to go via Kangayam.Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam would put any 4laned highway to shame-the surface and width of the road is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
From Alathur, you have routed me through a certain 'Wadakanchery', whereas in the same map, Google is showing another 'Vadakkenchery'! Please see the attached picture. Are these two towns different? (I think they are). Going through 'Wadakanchery' is also taking me through Thrissur town, on whose traffic I don't have good memories. Please confirm. My apologies if I have overlooked anything in both your posts.
Yes if going via the route I suggested,you would be avoiding the NH47 completely from Perundurai.Hence the town you would be passing through is Wadakancheri(Thrissur District) and not Vadakencheri(Palakkad Dist on NH47).

Thrissur town is not a major hassle and directions are decently marked out.
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