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Old 16th January 2014, 15:38   #6376
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Thank You Kala!

Kumily looks like a good option. Now that has also given more ideas. Can we stay in a homestay in Thekkadi, do boating in the morning and reach Bangalore by 3:00pm?

If that's too tight any good place you can suggest for stay anywhere 4-6 hours away from Kollam in that route, could be even beyond Kumily. Since that entire stretch is beautiful I was just wondering if there are stay options beyond Kumily too...especially homestays.

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Since reaching Kumily itself could take 4.5 to 5 hours, may be you might want to consider a break in Kumily instead of Dindigul.
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Old 16th January 2014, 19:07   #6377
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Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Kumily looks like a good option. Now that has also given more ideas. Can we stay in a homestay in Thekkadi, do boating in the morning and reach Bangalore by 3:00pm?

If that's too tight any good place you can suggest for stay anywhere 4-6 hours away from Kollam in that route, could be even beyond Kumily. Since that entire stretch is beautiful I was just wondering if there are stay options beyond Kumily too...especially homestays.
Don't have much of an idea about stay options in Kumily, but I think the boat rides start only by 7:30 AM, so it would be past 9 when you can start after the boat trip. So a 3PM arrival in Bangalore would be too much to expect.

As for places after Kumily, the ghats last only for another 10 kms (the descent till lower camp) and after that it's just plains thereafter all the way, so nothing that you can call "beautiful places" further along on that route.

The only likely place between Kumily and Dindigul where you might find reasonable stay options would be Theni, but no idea about which would be a good one there since I've never stayed anywhere in that area.
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Old 16th January 2014, 20:36   #6378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
If that's too tight any good place you can suggest for stay anywhere 4-6 hours away from Kollam in that route, could be even beyond Kumily. Since that entire stretch is beautiful I was just wondering if there are stay options beyond Kumily too...especially homestays.
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Originally Posted by kala View Post
The only likely place between Kumily and Dindigul where you might find reasonable stay options would be Theni, but no idea about which would be a good one there since I've never stayed anywhere in that area.

The only place worth at Theni is Western Gatz

http://hotelwesterngatz.com

Heard decent reviews about this place.
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Old 16th January 2014, 21:18   #6379
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The only place worth at Theni is Western Gatz

http://hotelwesterngatz.com

Heard decent reviews about this place.
Hotel western gats is a three star hotel and another budget hotel is 'Hotel Theni'. Though personally not stayed there, looked like pretty decent one from outside. Good short trip outing from Theni is a place called Kurangani which is around 30 km from Theni on the way to Munnar but a deviation from start of munnar ghat section. In fact, a good place for trekkers.
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Old 16th January 2014, 22:26   #6380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokrish View Post
Hotel western gats is a three star hotel and another budget hotel is 'Hotel Theni'. Though personally not stayed there, looked like pretty decent one from outside. Good short trip outing from Theni is a place called Kurangani which is around 30 km from Theni on the way to Munnar but a deviation from start of munnar ghat section. In fact, a good place for trekkers.
Another nice place from Theni is Meghamalai. Its about 50km. You have estates and you can stay there too.
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Old 18th January 2014, 03:46   #6381
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It has been reported in the Malayala Manorama online edition that the central and state govts have entered into an agreement for the construction of Alappuzha and Kollam bypass on the NH. The decision is at least a decade late and both are still going to be only 2-lane roads. But I guess, something is better than nothing.
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Old 18th January 2014, 09:01   #6382
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The decision is at least a decade late and both are still going to be only 2-lane roads.
Well, NHAI-built 2-lane roads have 3.75m wide lanes plus 2m of shoulder space on both sides, for a total width of 11.5m. Given that the width of a lane in a multilane highway is 3.5m (width of driving space in a 4-lane road: 14m), most drivers in Kerala treat these roads as equivalent of a 4-lane highway, shoulder space and pedestrian space be damned.

Which means you will see vehicles overtaking other vehicles and still passing each other with barely a few inches of space between them (ie, 4 vehicles abreast) at high speeds, eventually making these roads the death traps they are.
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Old 19th January 2014, 17:36   #6383
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http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle5591448.ece

My guess is this is the Satyamangalam route to Coimbatore and beyond. If that is correct then it will give another option at
least till Coimbatore in stead of having to go thro' Hosur Salem etc. The current road is ok except for those who prefer 4 lane
roads. Cheers
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Old 19th January 2014, 18:25   #6384
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Originally Posted by Waxeloquent View Post
http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle5591448.ece

My guess is this is the Satyamangalam route to Coimbatore and beyond. If that is correct then it will give another option at
least till Coimbatore in stead of having to go thro' Hosur Salem etc. The current road is ok except for those who prefer 4 lane
roads. Cheers
Yes you are right and this article about NH 209. However, 4 laning is on Karnataka stretch and minutes of this meeting is awaited for further details.
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Old 19th January 2014, 22:36   #6385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waxeloquent View Post
http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle5591448.ece

My guess is this is the Satyamangalam route to Coimbatore and beyond. If that is correct then it will give another option at
least till Coimbatore in stead of having to go thro' Hosur Salem etc. The current road is ok except for those who prefer 4 lane
roads. Cheers


Sad.. Signals the end of the peaceful scenic alternative to get to Coimbatore / Wayanad if the project gets approved !! :(
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Old 19th January 2014, 23:06   #6386
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Questions :

Is there enough land from Bangalore-Kanakpura for a 4-lane? Highly uneven surface and lots of twists in that section.

Kanakpura-Kollegal is a wide 2-lane. Once in the hills again 4-lane does not make sense. And more importantly whats the rational in making it a 4-lane? Bring down the burden on NH7/NH47 ? (I highly doubt that).
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Old 20th January 2014, 06:29   #6387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Questions : Is there enough land from Bangalore-Kanakpura for a 4-lane? Highly uneven surface and lots of twists in that section. Kanakpura-Kollegal is a wide 2-lane. Once in the hills again 4-lane does not make sense. And more importantly whats the rational in making it a 4-lane? Bring down the burden on NH7/NH47 ? (I highly doubt that).
If a project does not make sense, one is sure it will be implemented At least that's what has been going on, like the plan to make an underpass near Koramangala on Sarjapura road for the signal free road to airport!

Cheers
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Old 20th January 2014, 09:56   #6388
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Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Guys,
Return journey is planned as Bangalore - Kanakpura - Malavalli - Kollegal - Chamrajanagara - Sathyamangalam - Annur - Karumathampatti - Palakkad - Trissur - Kochi.

Planning to start early like 3AM targeting to reach Karumathampatti by 9AM.
Had a safe journey. I believe this is the shortest route ever driven from Bangalore to Kochi. Tried most of the other routes by now. Total 512KMs travelled in 9 hours. Here are the updates.
  • NH 209 is good all through out.
  • Its as quick as Bangalore - Salem 4 lane in night as very sparse traffic is there
  • Driving in Kanakpura road needs good attention as roads are awesome for fast drive but some curves are really sharp and narrow and not easily predictable.
  • 27 hairpins of Sathyamangalam needs a careful watch as some of them are too sharp and narrow for large trucks to negotiate. Expect them to sudden brake and reverse etc. Keep sufficient gap. Also expect climbing trucks to come wrong side taking outer curves (nothing surprising in ghats), feel free to pass through right.
  • Proper signboards and directions all through out but need to memorize the major town names for easy understanding of boards.
  • NH209 will touch NH 47 under the flyover, take right and we join NH47 after Avinashi before L&T road. Some deviations are there due to widening. Hotel Saravana Bhavan Veg is there on both sides for a decent breakfast or lunch.
  • NH47 before L&T has bridge works and widening works. Watch out the bridges, final tarring is not complete and center slabs are like large dips.
  • I took Velanthavalam - Para Route rather than Walayar to avoid traffic. Good decision it was. Very good roads except the over-bridge works in progress immediately as you turn from Chavady.
  • Roads from Palakkad till you cross Vadakkencherry is rough but easily drivable. Work is still going on.
  • Roads gets again better as you approach Kuthiran and then on its very good all the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
You can also try :
Karumathampatti-Palladam-Pollachi-Kollengode-Vadakkencherry-Trichur.
Yeah! It was my preference but two gentlemen wanted to get down at Palakkad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
There are a couple of humps around the Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram which is a couple of KM after you exit the NICE Road. Other than that I don't recall there being any humps/potholes or even uneven roads all the way to Chamrajnagar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
There is a nasty hump at end of bridge over Cauvery between Malavalli & Kollegal, soon after the hump there is 'Stop & Proceed' barricade placed by police.
Thanks Rajeev and Suhas. Thankfully we did not ran over any humps as we watched out the spots you mentioned and there were many barricades for slowing down traffic before Chamrajanagar.
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Old 20th January 2014, 10:28   #6389
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Drove Bangalore to Vadakara (home) Saturday morning. It was entirely different from all my regular trips because of the below things:

* Started from Bangalore early Bangalore instead of my normal start afternoon (1-2 PM)
* My regular route is Bangalore-Mysore-Hunsur-Nagerhole-Kutta-Mananthavady-Kuttiuadi-Vadakara. This time I took the route Bangalore-Mysore-HD Kote-Bavali-Mananthavady-Kuttiyadi-Vadakara (http://goo.gl/maps/6hRqt) which is the shortest. I was avoided this route as HD Kote-Bavali road was horrible for last 3-4 years. Thanks to Sandeep (sandsun7) for the route update
* I was able to cover the 330 kms (home to home) in 6 hours with one break (15 mins for forest gate to open). I never was able to cover this distance in less than 7 hours.

Details and timings are given below:
Bangalore to Mysore - Started from home near Koramangala Sony World signal at 2.30 AM. I was planning to start at 3 AM and as usual I got up before the alarm and got ready 30 minutes early. Took the Silk board-ORR-Nayandahalli-Mysore road. Reached Mysore road by 2.52 AM. Mysore road was empty and was amazing(Not considering the infamous speed breakers). Reached in front of Mysore railway station by 4.48 AM.

Mysore to Handpost (HD Kote) Excellent and curvy roads and traffic was almost nil due to early morning. Reached Handpost by 5.30 AM.
Handpost to Dammanakatte forest gate Roads are good till the forest entry. Reached the forest gate by 5.44 AM. 2 trucks and 2 cars were waiting there. The gate got opened by 6 AM and after entering the register started from there by 6.01 AM.

Dammanakatte to Udbur check post For first 1.5 kms roads are good. There are frequent speed breakers which are so huge. Sedans/hatches, please be careful on these. Then the mud road starts. Even though there was no tar, the road surface was good. There are some frequent speed breakers in this stretch also. Not many bad section. I was able to maintain around 50-60 kmph on most of the part. A Wagon r was also following me in the same manner, so I hope this will not be a problem for hatches. I was lucky to be the first car in this stretch otherwise the dust kicked in by the vehicle going in the front may be a big problem(Sorry to the Wagon r driver). Reached the end of the bad section (Udbur check post) at 6.15 AM.

Udbur check post to Bavali The roads are good after that. There are frequent speed breakers. The road is narrow in some sections and you need to be careful if oncoming vehicle is coming. Reached Bavali at 6.42 AM.

Bavali to Mananthavady Excellent roads once you enter Kerala. Traffic was sparse and it was a breeze. Reached Mananthavady at 6.58 AM.

Mananthavady to Niravilpuzha Avoided the regular 4th mile-Tharuvana-Vellamunda-Korome(http://goo.gl/maps/dcpT7) and took the shorter Pannichal-Kallody-Thettemala(http://goo.gl/maps/R7v8b). This is route is in good condition and the traffic is minimal also. This also avoids the towns like 4th mile, Tharuvana and Vellamunda. Reached Niravilpuzha by 7.32 AM. The bridge work is still going on and you need to take the 1 km diversion from the main road which is really bad in condition.

Niravilpuzha to Kuttiyadi Excellent roads. Again repeating my old statement, the best ghat section in Wayanad area, traffic free also. Reached Kuttiyadi by 7.59 AM.

Kuttiyadi to Vadakara railway station Roads are excellent for first 10 kms(http://goo.gl/maps/Za9o4). After that the condition is average. All the potholes are patch worked so no need to slow down anywhere. Reached Vadakara railway station at 8.30 AM.

Why I went to Vadakara railway station directly??
I passed through the my home (7 kms before Vadakara Railway station) and did not stop there. My sister and BIL were coming from Chennai in Chennai-Mangalore superfast mail which is scheduled to reach Vadakara by 8.35 AM.
Starting from Bangalore itself I was racing with the Chennai-Mangalore Mail and I won the race by reaching the station 5 minutes earlier.
And later Indian Railways defeated me by delaying the train by 50 minutes. The train reached only by 9.25 AM.
The gps track is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B25KEq2Zwb9gUGhWNWx0RXNSOW8/edit?usp=sharing
I was not able to get more details about the village road (currently the forest road is open for public as the village road work is going on) repair work as it was too early. Hope the work will be completed in another 10 days so that we can avoid the bad/muddy 5-6 kms in the forest completely. Once the work got completed this is going to become the best route to reach North Wayand/Kozhikode (Mananthavady, Kuttiyadi, Vadakara and Mahe)
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Old 20th January 2014, 11:35   #6390
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An update on the Kangeyam-Palladam-Pollachi alternate route. There's a small patch of about 200 metres, between Kolathupalayam and Ingur (that's what I remember seeing on the signboards), where the road has been completely dug up. It's probably a very good Off-Road trail for that short stretch. Low-slung cars, watch out. This mess comes up without any indication and there were no warning signs on either side.
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