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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:49   #6316
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1

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.
Ranjith, the four lane work is going on till Vadakkancherry from Coimbatore. As you know, the work is stopped at Coimbatore end while Vadakkancherry-Palakkad is progressing real fast. The road is narrow here with temperory baricades.

There is no work happening between Vadakkancherry and Mannuthy. Recently they relaid completely from Mannuthy to Vadakkancherry and the shoulders not cleared yet. They are dangerously deep at some places. Anyone going past Trichur may join NH47 from Vadakkancherry as the Shornur route is a detour presently.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:23   #6317
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ampere and Ranjit, both your posts settle my questions once for all. I have decided to drive, instead of flying. I will be sticking to the route mentioned by Ranjit. The reason being, my family likes to be taken through back roads, rather than highways. This is a perfect setup. I just hope that there are no big silk saree shops on the way.

I am disappointed that NHAI is not providing the latest road conditions in a friendly manner. Its their responsibility to outline such things and assist motorists. Nevertheless, first lets have proper, motorable roads.

Slightly OT: What I should be doing at Cherai Beach area? What are the nearby attractions? I have 3 days to spend here.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:59   #6318
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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
ampere and Ranjit, both your posts settle my questions once for all. I have decided to drive, instead of flying. I will be sticking to the route mentioned by Ranjit. The reason being, my family likes to be taken through back roads, rather than highways. This is a perfect setup. I just hope that there are no big silk saree shops on the way.

I am disappointed that NHAI is not providing the latest road conditions in a friendly manner. Its their responsibility to outline such things and assist motorists. Nevertheless, first lets have proper, motorable roads.

Slightly OT: What I should be doing at Cherai Beach area? What are the nearby attractions? I have 3 days to spend here.
Frankly IMHO there is nothing to do for 3 days at Cherai,its just another "local" beach nothing of any great deal to do near it.Crowded by evenings.

I would suggest that you set your expectations correctly.Cherai is more of a one evening outing kinda place,not exactly a place that sees tourists or people coming and staying there.Club Mahindra has a place there now (formerly Indriya )but nothing to do as such.

There are some local restaurants near to the beach.

The things you could do are:

-paravur town(nearest town)
-drive along nh17 either to edappally or towards Guruvayur,
-if towards guruvayur,then you drive along the coast and numerous waterways,
-chettuva backwater (there are some cruises run by KTDC there)
-guruvayur temple,kodungallur temple
-snehatheeram (a garden kind of place along the seashore) :http://www.thrissurkerala.com/touris...alikkulam.html
-
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Old 3rd January 2014, 13:08   #6319
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I just hope that there are no big silk saree shops on the way.
Heh. Kerala's biggest silk saree retailer, Kalyan, is headquartered in Thrissur. I have heard about their massive showroom there.

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What I should be doing at Cherai Beach area? What are the nearby attractions? I have 3 days to spend here.
You could try all the usual touristy things - take a houseboat ride, spend some time in Fort Kochi, drive east to Munnar/Thekkadi, north to Nila shores, south to Alappuzha for the Venician feel... Vegaland/Wonderla are about 30 km away if you have kids. Otherwise there are many historical temples and churches in the vicinity.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 13:57   #6320
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Frankly IMHO there is nothing to do for 3 days at Cherai,its just another "local" beach nothing of any great deal to do near it.Crowded by evenings.

I would suggest that you set your expectations correctly...

The things you could do are:
Thanks for the factoids about Cherai Beach. I will resetting expectations at home as well. I will be holed up in Club Mahindra resort. You may be right...Club Mahindra have listed playing UNO cards, and checking emails as the list of 'fun activities' that can be performed while being there. I will take the opportunity to drive to Kalady and marvel at Adi Shankaracharyas birthplace, in addition to the pointers you have provided on other activities.

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Heh. Kerala's biggest silk saree retailer, Kalyan, is headquartered in Thrissur. I have heard about their massive showroom there.
Thanks for the heads-up about Kalyan. Will bug amp or Ranjit about bypassing this place as well. This will be the most important bypass for me - saving a few hours and several thousand rupees.

Very useful inputs on the touristy things. Will check them out. I hope Kumarakom wont be as boring...
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Old 3rd January 2014, 14:10   #6321
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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
ampere and Ranjit, both your posts settle my questions once for all. I have decided to drive, instead of flying. I will be sticking to the route mentioned by Ranjit. The reason being, my family likes to be taken through back roads, rather than highways. This is a perfect setup. I just hope that there are no big silk saree shops on the way. I am disappointed that NHAI is not providing the latest road conditions in a friendly manner. Its their responsibility to outline such things and assist motorists. Nevertheless, first lets have proper, motorable roads. Slightly OT: What I should be doing at Cherai Beach area? What are the nearby attractions? I have 3 days to spend here.
We were at Cherai CM. We visited Chottanikkara, Ernakulam (drove up to the ferry and took the ferry, it was fun). You can visit the Dutch Fort and the spice market around there. Kaladi the birth place of Adi Sankaracharya is not too far from Cherai. There
is big and ancient Shiva temple in Ernakulam. Nice eating places on MG Road and shopping. Cheers
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Old 7th January 2014, 15:05   #6322
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Came back to Bangalore from Kottayam yesterday through Kumily - Dindigul - Salem route. Roads are in very good condition overall, except for a few rough patches between Cumbum and Theni. Started at about 5AM from Kottayam and took about 10 hrs 30 mins for total trip including breaks for breakfast, fuel and lunch. Reached Hotel Aryaas in Theni by 9AM for breakfast. Took lunch from one of the many Saravanabhavans now appearing between Salem and Bangalore.
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Old 7th January 2014, 19:47   #6323
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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!

This even happened to me last week when I did Palakkad Thrissur at 4 AM in the morning. I had a tough time all along from Palakkad, but then I used a Kallada B9R as my pilot after Vadakkencherry till Mannuthy. I was surprised how these lengthy monsters could easily maintain 70~80 on two lane cutting the traffic closely almost on all overtaking maneuvers.
Also I would like to mention that if some one want to make use of any buses (private / KSRTC) as pilot in Kerala be extra cautious when you tailgate them while overtaking. After overtaking (read even before completing the overtake)they always squeeze to left pushing other vehicle to the shoulder. You will be caught behind in between at a wrong place .
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Old 8th January 2014, 22:11   #6324
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Thanks ampere. In fact I called up CM guys after posting this query here and they confirmed that the route is open now. Sorry for the late update here. I will actually be taking Chinnar route for my return as I don't want to miss the same and am a wild life enthusiast and hope to meet some on my return leg. Also planning to visit chola forest at Top station, Munnar to take a stroll on the ever green forest.
Thanks ampere and Gokrish....
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Old 9th January 2014, 14:35   #6325
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I just did BLR-Cochin-BLR via the Salem-Coimbatore-Palakad route. We did 8.5 hours on both journeys in the Tjet. There are some potholes near palakad town but otherwise it was pretty good. We left BLR at 11.30 PM. On our return, we left N Parur around 8.45 PM.

Does anyone here like overdosing on seafood at the fortkochi fishing nets or is it just us? ;-)

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Slightly OT: What I should be doing at Cherai Beach area? What are the nearby attractions? I have 3 days to spend here.
You can go to Njarakkal Matsyafed fish farm. It is about 30 minute drive towards Vypeen. You can have fish thali and do some boating, fishing etc. If you go further to Vypeen, you can take the ferry to Fort Kochi and there are many things to do there.
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Old 9th January 2014, 18:21   #6326
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Planning to drive to Kottayam from Bangalore tomorrow via Salem-Dindigal-Theni-Kumily. Will be 4.30 or 5am start. Any updates on road conditions, things to note and suggestion for a breakfast stop? This is my first drive via this route. Thanks in advance
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Old 9th January 2014, 20:22   #6327
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Planning to drive to Kottayam from Bangalore tomorrow via Salem-Dindigal-Theni-Kumily. Will be 4.30 or 5am start. Any updates on road conditions, things to note and suggestion for a breakfast stop? This is my first drive via this route. Thanks in advance

Watch out for diversions between the Karnataka border to Krishnagiri toll gate. The 4-lane to 6-lane conversion is going on. Till Dindigal, the roads are tolled and quite empty once you cross krishnagiri. I haven't used the route post dindigul towards Theni in a long time so perhaps someone else can help.

The A2B at shoolagiri opens for breakfast at 6.30 am. The MCD outlet just before shoolagiri is open 24 hours. There is another A2B on the right side, just before Thoppur. I prefer A2B as you can refuel/check air at the same time.
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Old 9th January 2014, 20:55   #6328
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The A2B at shoolagiri opens for breakfast at 6.30 am. The MCD outlet just before shoolagiri is open 24 hours. There is another A2B on the right side, just before Thoppur. I prefer A2B as you can refuel/check air at the same time.
+one: There is shri saravana bhavan just after krishnagiri junction. One more restaurant just before thoppur A2B and if I am not wrong, it is called 'Rajabhojanam'.
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Old 10th January 2014, 14:56   #6329
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Happy news for all those who travel frequently between Kozhikode and Bangalore via Kalpetta. After a long long wait, the Kalpetta town bypass will be finally opened today evening for traffic.
news link: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper...cle5556210.ece

This will be a huge relief as Kalpetta town used to be a major bottleneck.
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Old 10th January 2014, 15:22   #6330
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After a long long wait, the Kalpetta town bypass will be finally opened today evening for traffic.
Thanks for posting this. I am going that way tomorrow; will post my impressions.
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