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Old 10th November 2014, 11:44   #7801
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Back from a Bangalore-Thrissur-Bangalore weekend trip.

Onward - Bangalore-Salem-Avinashi-Mangalam-Palldam-Pollachi-Kollengode-Alathur-Pazhayannur-Chelakara-Wadakancheri-Thrissur

Trip Milestones/Timings
0Km - Started at 4:05am from C V Raman Nagar
233Km - Breakfast stop 7:05am to 7:30am at Vaigundam (500m before Sankari Toll plaza)
263Km - Bhavani Bridge
325Km - Tiruppur turn off
327.5Km - Mangalam turn off to left (8.50am)
348Km - Palladam (9.05am)
399Km - Pollachi bus stand junction (10:15am)
401Km - Turn left from Palakkad Road at Forest Checkpost
403Km - Turn right towards Meenkara Road
439Km - Kollengode, turn right towards Alathur
456Km - SNR Chips, Alathur (11:25-11:45am)
515Km - Thrissur, Pooram International (1:10pm)

Road conditions/Landmarks
Bangalore-Salem-Avinashi - excellent
The Avinashi bypass is devoid of lane markings and signages. There are "humps" at the expansion joints on the flyovers/bridges. There are temporary Speed Limit 30 signs on the left, mostly mounted in sand filled bags/drums and some places have the speed breaker signs on the median as well - these are the places where there are expansion joints and you need to slow down.
Not wanting to take a chance with missing the Mangalam turn off, I got onto the service road at the place where there was a hand painted sign for Avinashi and about 4 bridges later found the turn off to Mangalam.
Once on the service road, for the Tiruppur and Mangalam turn off's there are small white banner signs, the Mangalam one has almost faded out.
Once you are on the Avinashi bypass, suggest you get onto the service lane to avoid missing the turn off.
The Mangalam turn off is below a bridge that curves to right on the NH47. Once on this road, keep straight at all junctions and you will reach Palladam (last 50-100m is quite narrow then widens and reaches a signal).
At the signal go straight (opposite side right side you can see Om Saravana Bhava hotel) towards Pollachi.
Nearing Pollachi, 3-5Km road is being relaid, one side is raised by more than a foot, but the remaining part of the road is still in driveable condition.
I went till the dead-end of Pollachi, road narrows down as you go. At the dead-end there is a T-junction where you turn right and you will see the bus stand to your left and a signal.
Turn left at this signal this is the (Palakkad Road) and proceed straight till forest check post.
Turn left at Forest checkpost and follow the road till it meets the Meenkara Road - turn right here. This road is butter smooth and newly laid out till the old railway gate junction.
Turn left at the railway line, the right side curve will again take you to Palakkad Road.
Kollengode - just past the town you reach a kind of Y/T junction and on the opposite side is a temple, turn left here for Vadakkenchery and right for Alathur.
This passes through areas with houses, green fields and several temples, enjoyed driving here.
At Alathur when you merge with NH47, there is an bridge under construction - proceed straight here and it takes you to Alathur town. I could not find parking near SNR, my favourite spot there was full of trucks and taxis so I kept going around trying to find a parking spot and in meantime my wife had completed the purchase at SNR so just continued from there.
Overall, from Pollachi onwards - several dams enroute, few Km diversion from the roads - Meenkara Dam, Chulliyar Dam, Vazhani Dam, etc. Maybe good for visits on a leisure trip if time permits, not sure if any restrictions on visitors.

Return - Thrissur-Vadakkenchery-Kollengode-Pollachi-Palladam-Mangalam-Avinashi-Salem-Bangalore

Trip Milestones/Timings
521Km - Started from Thrissur, Pooram International (9:30am)
529Km - Left onto NH47
557Km - Turn right to Vadakkenchery town
581Km - Kollengode (10:45am)
603Km - old Railway gate, Pollachi-Meenkara road, Turn right here towards Pollachi
610Km - turn off on right to Top Slip/Parambikulam
613Km - coffee stop at Kdfc Only Coffee (11:20-11:40am)
615Km - turn left (road ahead is blocked due to bridge construction)
618Km - Forest checkpost junction, turn right towards bus stand junction.
Instead of turning right at the Bus stand junction, we went straight and reached the Palladam road. This is much better and straight forward compared to the route we had taken in onward journey.
670Km - Signal at Palladam, go straight (12:50pm)
691Km - NH 47 junction, go below bridge and take service road to right. (I think going straight here will take you to Annur ?)
710Km - Lunch stop at Anandha Bhavan, left side on NH47 (1:20pm-2pm)
718Km - Quick stop at Aavin shop for Milk Pedha take home
865Km - Coffee stop at Raja Bhojanam, Omalur (4:15-4:30pm)
Reached Attibele toll at 6:20pm, then took Attibele-Sarjapur-Varthur-Kundalahalli-Marathahalli-C V Raman Nagar. Reached home at 7:45pm.

Landmarks/Miscellaneous
Right turn on NH47 towards Vadakkenchery - look for a bridge on right side, almost like a service lane. Bridge is called Mangalam Palam/Bridge. Also, 2 more landmarks here - you can see "Mango Hotel" and "Apple Bakery"

Being a Sunday, traffic was not bad at Salem.
At Omalur ghats it was a crawl with overloaded trucks in all lanes and impatient Bangalore bound drivers trying all possible tricks to get ahead.
Hosur is a pain on the return journey due to unfinished construction work on bridges and road widening.

Sarjapur-Varthur road is rough at some places, there are craters near the Sarjapur police station and Varthur market area is narrow, congested. Needless to say, Kundalahalli-Marathahalli stretch also had lot of traffic and going was slow.

**For Palladam-Pollachi you need not go till dead-end, turn right at the junction where there is a wide 4 lane road with median to the right and is concreted in one stretch too. This will get you to the bus stand junction signal where you continue going straight towards the forest check post/Palakkad.

*Glad I took the routes mentioned above.A relative who hired an Innova cab from Bangalore said the Madukkarai-Walayar-Palakkad-Alathur stretch was very uncomfortable.

@ranjitp1, @ampere - thanks for the perfect directions and guidance from you guys, did not lose my way anywhere!

@ranjitp1 - The Wadakancheri road took us straight into Thrissur and at Aswini circle, I turned left and took Palace Road to reach Swaraj Round but I think going straight at Aswini circle would also reach the Round ?

@amp - our lady (high command) did not accompany us on this trip and told us strictly no breakfast stop at Park Plaza without her!
For the first time we broke the breakfast jinx (always had breakfast before Salem) and this time we stopped 30 Km beyond Salem at Sankari - Saravana Inn

Last edited by NPV : 10th November 2014 at 12:12.
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Old 10th November 2014, 12:03   #7802
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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Overall, from Pollachi onwards - several dams enroute, few Km diversion from the roads - Meenkara Dam, Chulliyar Dam, Vazhani Dam, etc. Maybe good for visits on a leisure trip if time permits, not sure if any restrictions on visitors.
Yes from Pollachi one can visit Valparai, Top Slip and Parambikulam. If one is adventurous, he/she can proceed to Athirapally falls from Valparai.
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Old 10th November 2014, 12:10   #7803
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For the first time we broke the breakfast jinx (always had breakfast before Salem) and this time we stopped 30 Km beyond Salem at Sankari - Saravana Inn
See.. it helps a lot ! You started at 4 and were 30km past Salem by 7AM. And thats about 230km! You have covered a lot before anyone even wakes up. From breaking a journey in the first one hour at start, I have come to keep this 150-200km mark as almost a de-facto option for first break (esp when on a 400+ drive). Helps immensely.
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Old 10th November 2014, 18:01   #7804
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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
Yes from Pollachi one can visit Valparai, Top Slip and Parambikulam. If one is adventurous, he/she can proceed to Athirapally falls from Valparai.
I meant dams on the Pollachi-Kollengode-Alathur-Thrissur route.
Valparai, Athirapilly - Done, details here (Dizzy Drive® : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!)

Top Slip & Parambikulam still on my to-do list
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Old 11th November 2014, 07:57   #7805
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Suggestion for trip back from ooty to thiruvalla next monday! (17th Nov)

I know of two normal routes ie... via coimbatore and via Nilambur
The Thrissur to Coimbatore stretch was a nightmare on the way up,
Any updates on the road condition on the Gudalur, nilambur, Shornur route?
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Old 11th November 2014, 09:14   #7806
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by johnda View Post
Suggestion for trip back from ooty to thiruvalla next monday! (17th Nov)

I know of two normal routes ie... via coimbatore and via Nilambur
The Thrissur to Coimbatore stretch was a nightmare on the way up,
Any updates on the road condition on the Gudalur, nilambur, Shornur route?
Ooty-Gudalur was bad as per latest updates, rest fine.
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Old 11th November 2014, 09:18   #7807
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnda View Post
Suggestion for trip back from ooty to thiruvalla next monday! (17th Nov)

I know of two normal routes ie... via coimbatore and via Nilambur
The Thrissur to Coimbatore stretch was a nightmare on the way up,
Any updates on the road condition on the Gudalur, nilambur, Shornur route?
See my post above, an update from a Bangalore-Thrissur trip last weekend.
You can avoid Coimbatore bypass-Walayar-Palakkad-Alathur completely (it was very uncomfortable as per a relative who traveled on this stretch last weekend).

Some options for you are (much better roads):
1.Ooty-Annur-Avinashi-Mangalam-Palladam-Pollachi-Govindapuram-Kollengode-Nemmara-Vadakkenchery-Thrissur
2.Ooty-Annur-Avinashi-Mangalam-Palladam-Pollachi-Govindapuram-Kollengode-Alathur-Pazhayannur-Chelakara-Wadakancheri-Thrissur
3.Ooty-Annur-Avinashi-Mangalam-Palladam-Pollachi-Gopalapuram-Palakkad-Ottapalam-Shornur-Thrissur

Last edited by NPV : 11th November 2014 at 09:20.
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Old 11th November 2014, 09:25   #7808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV
The Wadakancheri road took us straight into Thrissur and at Aswini circle, I turned left and took Palace Road to reach Swaraj Round but I think going straight at Aswini circle would also reach the Round ?
Yes. If you take straight (when coming from Wadakancheri) at Ashwini Circle, you go through the Thrissur North Bus Stand, to reach Swaraj Round (near Bini Bar & restraunt on your right side). Thrissur Round is in that way like God; "all paths lead to him" .

Quote:
For the first time we broke the breakfast jinx (always had breakfast before Salem) and this time we stopped 30 Km beyond Salem at Sankari - Saravana Inn
You mean the Saravana Bhavan at around 20 kms after Salem, am I right? The one which has a huge parking lot and umpteen number of toilets. Then the place is Vaikuntam. Sankari is a bit more further ahead on the route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh_gs
Yes from Pollachi one can visit Valparai, Top Slip and Parambikulam. If one is adventurous, he/she can proceed to Athirapally falls from Valparai.
This is one fantastic route. I had done this stretch in reverse direction around six years back. At that time, the route was only gaining some popularity. Vaalparai was still a one street town, with a few lodges acting as hotels. For many tourists the road ends at Athirapally waterfalls, and they turn back. Me and my friend decided to go forward through the forest road. There are some mind-boggling scenaries on that road. Night halt at Valparai, and we returned via Pollachi the next day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere
From breaking a journey in the first one hour at start, I have come to keep this 150-200km mark as almost a de-facto option for first break (esp when on a 400+ drive). Helps immensely.
Totally agreed. Infact my idea in leaving at 0400Hrs (with a delay of 30mins at max) is mainly to clear the maximum distance before people start their regular activities. Taking a break just after an hour makes no sense as we would lose all our advantage. 0400-0600Hrs seems to be a good time to clear maximum part of the travel. Traffic would be minimum, and most people would still be indoors.
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Old 11th November 2014, 09:29   #7809
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Ooty-Gudalur was bad as per latest updates, rest fine.
have to go down to masanagudi on Thursday (and come back on sunday) one of our bigger vans will have to that route down..i think.
so will post an update on that.
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Old 11th November 2014, 20:17   #7810
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You mean the Saravana Bhavan at around 20 kms after Salem, am I right? The one which has a huge parking lot and umpteen number of toilets. Then the place is Vaikuntam. Sankari is a bit more further ahead on the route.
Yes, Vaigundam - this is on the Sankari bye-pass, that's what I meant.

More updates:
Tolls (one way single journey rates) on the Bangalore-Avinashi route:
Elevated Road (Silk Board to Electronics City) - Rs.45
Attibele - Rs.25
Krishnagiri - Rs.60
Thoppur - Rs.88
Omalur - Rs.71
Salem - Rs.55
Kumarapalayam - Rs.50

Food/breaks:
Sree Saravana Bhavan - Sankari bye-pass (500m before the Vaigundam/Kumarapalayam toll). Enjoyed the excellent piping hot south indian breakfast and coffee.
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Inside the same campus there is a small shopping area with few shops.
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Kdfc (Kumbakonam Degree Filter Coffee) "Only Coffee" - there are few outlets on the highway, we stopped at the one near Zamin Uthukuli on the Pollachi-Meenakarai Road.
I'm not a Coffee fan(atic) but the Coffee here was heavenly. They also had snacks like Masala Vada, Curd Vada, etc which we did not try. This outlet was run by a family, Very neat, there was a dust bin below each table, clean rest room.
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Anandha Bhavan on left side of NH47 near Chengapalli bypass. Stopped for lunch here - Excellent south indian meal on plantain leaf, Rs.75. Heard that the place just opened last sunday. Campus also has a wedding hall aptly named "Getti Melam"
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Last edited by NPV : 11th November 2014 at 20:18.
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:11   #7811
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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Yes, Vaigundam - this is on the Sankari bye-pass, that's what I meant.

More updates:
Tolls (one way single journey rates) on the Bangalore-Avinashi route:
Elevated Road (Silk Board to Electronics City) - Rs.45
Attibele - Rs.25
Krishnagiri - Rs.60
Thoppur - Rs.88
Omalur - Rs.71
Salem - Rs.55
Kumarapalayam - Rs.50
The toll fare details for single and return trip are in this post (# 708). Infact one more toll is supposed to come at Avinashi.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...batore-48.html
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Old 13th November 2014, 09:09   #7812
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Missed this in my earlier post..
Avinashi-Mangalam Road
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Pollachi-Meenkara-Kollengode Road (somewhere near Zamin Uthukuli newly laid butter smooth stretch)
All Roads to Kerala-pollachimeenakarai-road.jpg
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Old 13th November 2014, 21:58   #7813
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Planning a drive to Cherthala on Saturday, to start from Domlur by 4 - 4:30 am. Thanks to ranjitp1 for the maps in previous pages, ampere for guidance provided to many and NPV for the detailed post. Will use these as references since I used to travel only via NH47 or via Mysore in the past.
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Old 13th November 2014, 22:01   #7814
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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Missed this in my earlier post..
Avinashi-Mangalam Road
Attachment 1308200

Pollachi-Meenkara-Kollengode Road (somewhere near Zamin Uthukuli newly laid butter smooth stretch)
Attachment 1308201
Why isn't anyone considering the L&T bypass-Pollachi road?

By the way, the second photo looks like it is somewhere close to my farm!
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Old 14th November 2014, 09:19   #7815
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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Why isn't anyone considering the L&T bypass-Pollachi road?
I guess people already would have to pay some amount as toll to reach the L&T byepass-Pollachi road? Where as taking the deviation at Avanashi would ensure not a single paisa goes to toll to L&T.

I personally now dislike L&T byepass. One thing like a railway engine driver, I have to put my head & hand out and show the toll receipts multiple times (like the engine driver waving his green flag). Secondly, they just keep one toll booth open, and vehicles queue up. Now that I have better options, why take the pain?
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