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Old 22nd October 2015, 05:30   #8986
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Enroute to Kerala. Left Bangalore at 0400Hrs. Very minimal traffic on the roads today. Attibele & Krishnagiri toll booths were a cake walk.
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Old 22nd October 2015, 07:08   #8987
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Drove Bangalore-Palakkad yesterday( 21st). Expected a good bit of traffic but was pleasantly surprised. Breezed through all the toll booths. After years of inactivity, was glad to the the quick progress on the L&T exit- Walayar stretch. Several stretches opened for 2 way traffic and one stretch before Walayar opened on one side. I think the only major stretch pending is the chavadi by-pass and couple of flyovers. Work seems to be progressing quickly.

Are there any plans to make cbe by-pass 4 lane?
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Old 22nd October 2015, 11:53   #8988
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Brief update on a few routes that I did with in south Kerala in the last few days. Drove from North Paravur to Changanassery via Edappally and Alappuzha. It was a smooth drive except for few potholes in Alappuzha town. Took about 2.5 hours with an 8:00 AM start. Drove from Changanassery to Trivandrum. The stretch till Adoor was horrible with very dangerous potholes and deviations for road widening work. I strongly recommend against driving this stretch in the night. Adoor - Trivandrum stretch was smooth. I took the bypass from Venjaramoodu via Pothencode and Sreekariyam.
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Old 22nd October 2015, 13:45   #8989
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planning a trip from EKM to thenkasi, this is what I have in mind :

a) EKM-NH47-alaphuzha-NH47-kayamkulam
b) kayamkulam-adoor-pathanapuram-punalur
c) punalur-thenmala dam (stop for 1/2 hr)
d) thenmala - aryankavu ayyappa temple - thenkasi

My only priority in route planning is "minimum potholes", since will be with family (child+elders). Members who are familiar with a)b)c)d) stretches, please update pothole conditions in each of above sectors. If there is a pothole free option, kindly suggest.
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Old 22nd October 2015, 19:22   #8990
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Enroute to Kerala. Left Bangalore at 0400Hrs. Very minimal traffic on the roads today. Attibele & Krishnagiri toll booths were a cake walk.
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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Drove Bangalore-Palakkad yesterday( 21st). Expected a good bit of traffic but was pleasantly surprised. Breezed through all the toll booths. After years of inactivity, was glad to the the quick progress on the L&T exit- Walayar stretch. Several stretches opened for 2 way traffic and one stretch before Walayar opened on one side. I think the only major stretch pending is the chavadi by-pass and couple of flyovers. Work seems to be progressing quickly.

Are there any plans to make cbe by-pass 4 lane?
I did the trip yesterday. Started at 3am and there was heavy truck traffic till Selam. After Walayar, there were hardly any trucks. May be due to the holidays at the checkpost? Kuthiran was covered in a record time, at 9:30AM. Zero trucks

Reached home in Kochi at 12:15. That too I took after taking the ICT road from Kalamassery. Aluva till Kalamassery was choked due to the Metro work.
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Old 22nd October 2015, 19:35   #8991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
planning a trip from EKM to thenkasi, this is what I have in mind :

a) EKM-NH47-alaphuzha-NH47-kayamkulam
b) kayamkulam-adoor-pathanapuram-punalur
c) punalur-thenmala dam (stop for 1/2 hr)
d) thenmala - aryankavu ayyappa temple - thenkasi

My only priority in route planning is "minimum potholes", since will be with family (child+elders). Members who are familiar with a)b)c)d) stretches, please update pothole conditions in each of above sectors. If there is a pothole free option, kindly suggest.
No idea about EKM - Kayamkulam stretch.
Kayamkulam - Adoor is in good shape.
Adoor - Pathanapuram is also in good shape. But Pathanapuram - Punalur is very bad. You can consider taking Adoor - Kottarakkara- Punalur. But I don't have updates on Kottarakkara- Punalur.
Look at this thread for updates on Punalur- Tenkasi.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-travel-queries/27690-all-roads-kerala-post3827884.html
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Old 23rd October 2015, 22:31   #8992
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Drove from Trivandrum to Bangalore today. Started at 6:00 AM and reached home on Maratahalli Outer Ring Road at 7:30 PM. Took breaks totaling about 2.5 hours and drove at moderate speeds. Traffic was very less because it is the middle of a long weekend I guess.

Noteworthy points on the drive
1. Road widening for few kilometers after Karamana is nearing completion. No major issues due to this.
2. The portion of the highway after the road widening stretch ( which is only a few kilometers) till the Tamilnadu border is excellent tarmac (although narrow). Road condition from Tamilnadu border till the four lane highway start at Kavalkinaru is also ok with no major potholes. With a 6:00 AM start, I was able to reach Kavalkinaru at 8:15. Hence there is no need to consider the Tenkasi route to avoid traffic if you are starting early enough from Trivandrum.
3. Saw several major accidents; a dozen or more may be during the drive. Everything from toppled trucks to severely mangled cars. Three or four of them were in the NH between Karamana and Kaliyikkavila itself. Excellent tarmac in this stretch may be tempting. However narrow and twisty sections, high traffic and overtaking moves by other drivers on blind turns means that one has to be at his defensive driving best to traverse this section carefully. Use horn liberally on blind curves. I advise keeping max speed in the sixties and slowing down to forties or even thirties on curves depending on the visibility.
4. Another safety issue that I noticed this time are people who appear to be mentally ill ( I mean literally from appearance and body language - no offense or pun intended) walking on the roads. One of them was walking towards oncoming traffic in the fast lane and not responding to honks. Another was lying down with head resting on the median and the rest of the body on the fast lane. Saw more than a dozen of them. The density was more around Tirunelveli. However saw one as far north as Salem. Anyone else noticed this?
5. Cattle and sheep brought by owners to feed on the grass on the median and the gap between the main lanes and service lanes wandering in to the road. I narrowly missed hitting one.
6. Considering the sheer number of accidents that I saw on a relatively low traffic day, I found it really unfortunate that many private cars being driven at really unsafe speeds (in my humble opinion). I tend to aim for a speed of 80 to 90 KPH. I would speed up when I get an empty stretch of road with good all round visibility. I would also slow down at blind corners, traffic as well as for pedestrians and live stock on road sides. Now I totally agree that for a different car or driver, the comfort zone may be a few KPH more or less than for me. However I saw several private cars such as swifts, other hatch backs ( even an alto 800) as well as other makes being driven at 120 to 140 KPH consistently. They never slow down for any of the obstacles I mentioned earlier. I sincerely request all fellow users of the forum to drive safely.
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Old 24th October 2015, 23:16   #8993
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Just reached Bangalore from Thrissur. Started from Thrissur around 1 PM and reached Whitefield, Bangalore around 9 PM. Good to excellent roads through out. The 4 lane work is not complete until Alathur. The potholes had been patched up though. Didn't have any issues driving except for the traffic. From Alathur its 4 lane until kerala border. The work between border and L&T toll road is still in progress. Most part is complete with few deviations here and there. Major work remaining on the Chavady junction stretch. Its still much better than few months back.
Heavy traffic all the way especially after Salem. Had to spent 15-20 min in most of the toll booths.
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Old 26th October 2015, 09:33   #8994
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Return leg from Thrissur to Bangalore was a partial disaster. Due to family and kids, multiple stops were required. So it was around 1600hrs we reached the Vaikuntam toll. Traffic was heavy here so we took the Omalur route. But Thoppur tolls did us in. Traffic block two kms before the toll booth. It took us one hour to get out from there. Then we had no doubts in deciding the route. It was via Palacode & Rayakottai. Reached Attibele by around 2200hrs, after a couple of more breaks.

Is there any way to bye pass the Thoppur toll as well??
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Old 26th October 2015, 10:21   #8995
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Return leg from Thrissur to Bangalore was a partial disaster.
Quite expected, as many people who'd started from Kerala in the afternoon, reported a minimum 30minutes wait time at almost all toll booths in TN.

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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Is there any way to bye pass the Thoppur toll as well??
There is, but I'm not sure of the condition now. Had taken the Palacode-Pennagaram-Mecheri-Omalur-Tharamangalam-Sankari route a year ago, and found it just average. Truck traffic, lack of any family-friendly rest areas, potholes and rough patches were the reasons that made me avoid that route.

The Sankari-Tharamangalam stretch which used to be in excellent shape has progressively deteriorated, with a lot of deep potholes. Looks like the rains have done a lot of damage this year.
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Old 26th October 2015, 10:34   #8996
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Originally Posted by silversteed
There is, but I'm not sure of the condition now. Had taken the Palacode-Pennagaram-Mecheri-Omalur-Tharamangalam-Sankari route a year ago, and found it just average. Truck traffic, lack of any family-friendly rest areas, potholes and rough patches were the reasons that made me avoid that route.
Hmm.. Yesterday when stuck up in the Thoppur pile up, multiple ideas were floating in my mind. One, I need to see if Thoppur can be bye-passed for good. Perhaps I need to have a solo (or fully men) trip on the route you mentioned. Or if things does not work out, at least the Palacode-Pennagaram-Mecheri-Omalur. From then on, I would stick to the Tharamangalam route, and land up very close to the Saravana Bhavan hotel at Vaikuntam.

Some time back, I had experimented with the Palacode-Rayakottai route (thanks Team-BHP), even during that trip I was not expecting any major stoppages. That recce I did (and that I recorded all points on GPS) really helped me yesterday. The entire set of passengers in the car had got exhausted after the wait at Thoppur. Expecting similar blocks at Krishnagiri and at Attibele would have caused heart attacks to many of them.

Quote:
The Sankari-Tharamangalam stretch which used to be in excellent shape has progressively deteriorated, with a lot of deep potholes. Looks like the rains have done a lot of damage this year.
That would be mainly due to the heavy truck traffic. One more thing I observed is that on this route trucks don't move to the sides to give way. This road has trees on both sides, which has some low hanging branhces as well. Trucks piled up with heavy load all piled up one on top of the other do not want to move close to the side and have their load hit by the tree branches.
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Old 26th October 2015, 10:49   #8997
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As regards to pile-ups on tolls: They follow a radial pattern of emanating out of Bangalore at start of the weekend and emanate in at the end of the weekend. Example, the queue should be higher at Krishnagiri as compared to Attibele at the start of peak traffic hours while returning. And this queue build-up will increase towards Attibele as we move beyond peak hours. The way I found this to resolve, is just to beat it. Make sure you are at Silk-board by 5:30. That seems to be my magic time to beat. Re-work calculation backwards to reach this milestone.

On long weekends it does make sense to use the 2-lane option, but at the caveat of having no hotels/break-points on the way.
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Old 26th October 2015, 11:05   #8998
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I did Calicut - Mysore in Karnataka Sarige yesterday afternoon. Thought of updating the current status of road widening works in Gundlupet - Nanjangud - Mysore sector

- Forest exit check post to Gundlupet : Excellent surface. Newly laid roads. Three barricades, few speedbreakers and broken patches after the fire station (LHS)

- Gundlupet to Nanjangud - in the first 12+ km, there are around 5 or 6 barricades, 2 broken patches (WIP sections). 10 + barricades. Then, the same old roads after CCD

- Bridge construction progressing.

- Nanjangud to Kadakola - mix of newly laid (only half the width) and WIP sections with diversions

- Kadakola to Mysore remains almost the same
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Old 26th October 2015, 11:08   #8999
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Quote:
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The way I found this to resolve, is just to beat it. Make sure you are at Silk-board by 5:30. That seems to be my magic time to beat. Re-work calculation backwards to reach this milestone
This works fine for a small family-happy family kind of set up. Infact when going onwards to Kerala, we earlier used to leave at 0400Hrs and now even moved it to 0300 or 0330hours. Have not faced any difficulties during long week ends as well. Return journeys also we used to start early in the morning (fully knowing that one day of your vacation is spent on the road, going back to work ). But the advantage was the peace of mind and adequate time to rest. But off late, things have become a bit unplanned, with multiple pick up points (to pick up friends/relatives), multiple breaks (food and bio-break) etc. etc.

Any ways, my next target is to do a reconnaissance of the Palacode-Mecheri sector, and also try the old Sathyamangalam route. But from what I saw in the Mysore-Ooty road thread, there seems to be traffic blocks at the narrow bridge between Kollegal and Malavalli etc. With more & more vehicles hitting the roads, the options of a relaxed travel is also coming down, I feel.
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Old 26th October 2015, 11:36   #9000
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Came back yesterday from Bangalore - Ernakulam- Bangaore trip.
We took the chamrajnagar - sathyamangalam road for the onward journey. Ride was awesome, apart from the kid getting sick on the hairpins. It was great to drive with all the greenery, we spotted lot of monkeys /langoors, and an elephant in the forest, which was great for kids. Also the break at Nijaguna residency provided a welcome break. Road conditions were good throughout, but the small towns were pretty busy, due to the Ayudhapooja festivities. I joined back NH after Annur (as suggested by gmaps), and had to immediately pay 80 rupees toll. I think there might be another entry point to NH, which could have saved me the toll !!

Return journey was through NH7 and was pretty bad with the horrible jams at all toll booths after Salem. Road condition is overall good, with some bad patches between Walayar and L&T bypass in CBE.
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