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Old 21st April 2014, 12:24   #6736
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Originally Posted by binand View Post
Incidentally, I forgot to mention this irritating habit of KL drivers - they sneak up behind you to near-touching distance, honk like mad, and if you do not let them pass they'll overtake you from whichever side possible - even if it is the left side, and even if they have to drive on the shoulder. And then they'll cut in front of you in a dangerous fashion - usually you have to brake to ensure no damages.
I had several such experiences during my stay over this weekend. Vehicles rear to you come pretty close, flash their lights and honk relentlessly! Though I signed them to overtake they initially wouldn't. Once they overtake, they slow down right ahead of you and prevent you from moving or overtaking. They slow to crawling speeds. I had three such experiences.
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Old 21st April 2014, 18:19   #6737
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Hey folks - I just did the default route from Bangalore to Cochin and back. The roads are very good and the best they have ever been since 10 years. 4 laning after walayar is in progress and being completed quite fast. This is the fastest I have seen any roadwork being done in kerala!

I was wondering if anyone had a theory on why there are speedbreakers on the flyovers between Avinashi and Coimbatore. I am thinking it is because they want to reduce vibrations on the "boxes". I don't know the technical term but these boxes are the ones that are fixed in the center of the flyover so that traffic may pass from below the flyover. If that's the case, then it is simply one of poor engineering by NHAI.

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 22nd April 2014 at 10:02. Reason: Last line edited out. Please keep posts clean of any unrelated issues ("quota system").
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Old 21st April 2014, 20:07   #6738
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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I was wondering if anyone had a theory on why there are speedbreakers on the flyovers between Avinashi and Coimbatore. I am thinking it is because they want to reduce vibrations on the "boxes". I don't know the technical term but these boxes are the ones that are fixed in the center of the flyover so that traffic may pass from below the flyover.
The flyovers are not complete. The "boxes" that you see are there because of a part of the slab that's not made level with the rest of the road. And that slab lies exactly on top of passage/road below the flyover.

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Do you know if this is fixable? How would they level it out eventually?
They fill it with metal and asphalt, just like the road surface

Last edited by silversteed : 21st April 2014 at 20:29.
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Old 21st April 2014, 20:21   #6739
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The flyovers are not complete. The "boxes" that you see are there because of a part of the slab that's not made level with the rest of the road. And that slab lies exactly on top of passage/road below the flyover.
Do you know if this is fixable? How would they level it out eventually?
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Old 21st April 2014, 23:24   #6740
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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I suppose all those who earlier did this sort of pleasure trip to Karnataka are now opting for Tamil Nadu instead, since this menace has nearly stopped in the Gundlupet-Sultan Battery route at least.

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
I had several such experiences during my stay over this weekend. Vehicles rear to you come pretty close, flash their lights and honk relentlessly! Though I signed them to overtake they initially wouldn't. Once they overtake, they slow down right ahead of you and prevent you from moving or overtaking. They slow to crawling speeds. I had three such experiences.

They are very much there in both Gudallur and Gundlupet routes. I saw them in my Dec trip via Gudallur and last weeks trip to CLT. They normally get 'attracted' by something and try to provoke you. 'attraction' could be because of a simple overtake, a good/sporty vehicle you are in, some loud music you are playing, good looking ladies in the your car, a good piece of glasses you wear etc etc. The best approach is to spot them in advance and avoid. I mostly give them a smile and thumbs up and that has worked so far (even though I mean exactly the opposite !!!).

Most of the time they will be under the influence of alcohol.

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The flyovers are not complete. The "boxes" that you see are there because of a part of the slab that's not made level with the rest of the road. And that slab lies exactly on top of passage/road below the flyover.

They fill it with metal and asphalt, just like the road surface
Arent they the expansion joints?

Last edited by arjithin : 21st April 2014 at 23:34.
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Old 21st April 2014, 23:32   #6741
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Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
They are very much there in both Gudallur and Gundlupet routes. I saw them in my Dec trip via Gudallur and last weeks trip to CLT.
This was typically between Chalakudy and Ernakulam and within the city.
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Old 21st April 2014, 23:45   #6742
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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
This was typically between Chalakudy and Ernakulam and within the city.
These are a different type of maniacs.They dont have any patience and they think you are blocking their way. Typically seen in the 4 lane NH47.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 09:06   #6743
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
Arent they the expansion joints?
Expansion joints have a steel frame-sort of thing, but the slabs that I mentioned are clearly visible because of the greyish colour of concrete. There might be expansion joints also, but not conspicuous on this particular area. However, they are very much visible and felt on the properly asphalted surface of the flyovers.

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These are a different type of maniacs.They dont have any patience and they think you are blocking their way. Typically seen in the 4 lane NH47.
I'm sure you would've seen this: two trucks, one laden and the other unladen and going a little faster, moving parallel. You spot them from a distance, and change to the same lane as the unladen truck, since it's almost certain that the unladen truck can pass the slowpoke without much drama, though it's much slower than you. On your RVM, you find an impatient 'ricer boy' closing up. Seeing you behind the truck, cuts off into the other lane, behind the loaded truck and starts honking and flashing and sometimes hazards also. The unladen truck passes the loaded truck, so do you. The imbecile is left behind the slower truck. If you're lucky, a TT or a Sumo would've caught up on your tail, and Mr.Smart-alec will be left waiting for a much longer time. Call it entertainment for my other half and I during our long drives
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:41   #6744
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Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
1. Take the NH 7 - NH 47 all the way. Except for a few KMS between Coimbatore bypass and Walayar, road is generally good.

2 From Cherai to Kumarakom, you can go via Vaikom and that is the shortest route....
....
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- Pramod has already answered each question to the dot. You can take the regular NH7-NH47.
- The only reason you can try Pollachi is because of traffic at Walayar and not ....

Thanks to ampere, silversteed, coolclouds, pramodpk, ranjit, NPV, CliffHanger and other T-BHPians, I completed my Kerala trip last week without any issues. Without your suggestions, inputs and advises, I wouldn't have made it this far. Each and everyone of your posts hung in my head heavily througout the trip.

Quick summary on road conditions and other information for travelers.

1. Bangalore-Cherai:

a. Bangalore-Hosur - We all know what this is. No surprises here. You can keep moving until you hit Hosur at an average of 50-60 kmph.
b. Hosur-Salem- Lots of constructions and diversions. Quite manageable and the ground situation is changing everyday. Salem ghat section is not in a good shape.
c. Salem-Coimbatore- Few Kms before Coimbatore, construction related diversions. Quite manageable again. One needs to drive a bit slow (70kmph). Speed breakers are indicated by signs, but you need to have an watchful eye. In some cases, the signs are erected just before the breakers. Very poor planning and co-ordination by NHAI. Not at all professional.
d. Coimbatore-Palakkad: Worst stretch in terms of road and traffic, but you can keep moving at 40kmph. No issues at Walayar. Situation changing daily.
e. Palakkad-Thrissur: Road dramatically improves some 30kms before Thrissur. Until then, its an average road.
f. Thrissur-Cherai: Very nice roads all the way!

Total: 525 Kms, 10 Hrs, 52 Kmph average speed.

2. Cherai-Kalady: Google maps route through Cochin Intl Airport. Fantastic roads. 1 hr. 35 Kms.
3. Kalady-Cochin (Lulu): Nice roads, but Metro construction and heavy traffic. 1 hr. 25 Kms.
4. Cochin-Kumarakom: NH 47. Nice road, but lots of intersecting traffic. - 2 hrs - 80 Kms.
5. Kumarakom-Vaikom: Nice roads, except for diversion mentioned by Coolclouds. He was spot-on. His photos helped in navigating this diversion.
6. Kumarakom-TVM: The very nice MC Road. Heavy traffic at TVM - 4 Hrs. 165 Kms.
7. TVM-Kovalam-Kanyakumari: As pramod and coolclouds have mentioned, the worst stretch in the entire journey. Bad roads and bad traffic. You can keep moving at 30-60 kmph. Approx 80 Kms - 2 hrs.
8. Kanyakumari-Bangalore: 670 Kms : Reached Hosur in 6 hours (630 kms). Average 100+ kmph. 120 Kmph Cruise Control maintained during majority of the sections.

Summary:

1. All the roads in Kerala are fantastic. I became "desperate" to find potholes, as the going couldnt be this good. Great job by Kerala road authorities. Thrissur-Trivandrum feels like a drive in Florida (albeit a less sophisticated...and I have driven in Florida extensively).
2. Bangalore-Kanyakumari: 4 lane all the way (Will become 6 lane in some sections). Please engage in a day-time drive only on these roads.
3. Stayed at Vivanta by Taj at TVM. Highly recommended. The breakfast iteself pays off your stay. A very professional setup.
4. Padmanabha temple was a huge disappointment. A chaotic and disorganized setup, reeking of crass commercialization. Highly avoidable.
5. Avoid Club Mahindra Kumarakom at all costs. This resort is a disgrace to Club Mahindra. Strong words there, but appropriate given the ground situation. Great staff though.
6. Hotel Sea View at Kanyakumari is good for one night stay. Recently renovated and is in a good shape.
7. Padmanabhapuram Palace was an strictly OK diversion. May be that our expectation was sky high.
7. PM me if you need specific details.

Thanks all and drive safe.
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Old 25th April 2014, 08:57   #6745
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Crossed Kuthiran few mins back through heavy traffic. A trailer lorry with heavy load broke down in the middle of the road. Anyone travelling, expect high traffic.
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Old 25th April 2014, 09:52   #6746
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
d. Coimbatore-Palakkad: Worst stretch in terms of road and traffic, but you can keep moving at 40kmph. No issues at Walayar. Situation changing daily.
e. Palakkad-Thrissur: Road dramatically improves some 30kms before Thrissur. Until then, its an average road.
.
Thanks for your detailed update .Can we assume that you took the NH47 for this ~100km stretch? Are there alternate routes that may be faster? Would it be faster driving the extra 30km through Pollachi (route)
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Old 25th April 2014, 10:09   #6747
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Are there alternate routes that may be faster? Would it be faster driving the extra 30km through Pollachi (route)
You can also do:
Bangalore-Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam-Pollachi-Vadakkencherry-Thrissur-Cochin

Very good roads on this route as well and you avoid Avinashi-Walayar-Palakkad-Alathur stretch also.
Even if it's not faster than the regular route, it can be a more peaceful, scenic drive. But if you're planning on a night drive or with small kids and need more places for breaks, etc you can stick to the NH47 regular route.
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Old 25th April 2014, 10:53   #6748
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You can also do:
Bangalore-Perundurai-Kangayam-Palladam-Pollachi-Vadakkencherry-Thrissur-Cochin
Yes NPV. I did that route last time and it was good driving. I was wondering if it was still worth taking a diversion that diversion, given that number of BHPians are reporting that the road conditions have improved.
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Old 25th April 2014, 11:07   #6749
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by bdman View Post
Thanks for your detailed update .Can we assume that you took the NH47 for this ~100km stretch? Are there alternate routes that may be faster? Would it be faster driving the extra 30km through Pollachi (route)
You can try this detour also:
Pollachi - Kollenode - Alathur - Chelekkara - Wadakancherry - Thrissur. I have been on this stretch before. Very Good roads but narrow.
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Old 25th April 2014, 11:25   #6750
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Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Crossed Kuthiran few mins back through heavy traffic. A trailer lorry with heavy load broke down in the middle of the road. Anyone travelling, expect high traffic.

This is the only curse with Kuthiran. This stretch has two or three notorious points where trucks break down all the time. I am eagerly waiting for the 4 laning of this section to be completed at the earliest.
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