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Old 24th January 2016, 20:51   #9301
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Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
The opening of pooladikunnu-Vengalam stretch is a huge boon for commuters on NH66. The bypass (till now) via Atholi-Purakkattiri had lot of narrow to very narrow stretches which used to get jammed frequently.
My understanding is that this new stretch on the byepass would only help Kannur bound traffic. People going towards Ulliyeri, Perambra etc. would still have to go through the "narrow lanes" at Atholi. Am I correct?
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Old 24th January 2016, 20:55   #9302
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My understanding is that this new stretch on the byepass would only help Kannur bound traffic. People going towards Ulliyeri, Perambra etc. would still have to go through the "narrow lanes" at Atholi. Am I correct?
Yes, but this is built for the benefit of commuters on the national highway! Bypasses Kozhikode town completely, is wide and relatively straight.
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Old 24th January 2016, 22:56   #9303
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
The opening of pooladikunnu-Vengalam stretch is a huge boon for commuters on NH66
The bypass, especially between Thondayad to Patheerankavu, sees heavy traffic during weekend nights. Thanks to the numerous restaurants and HiLite Mall. There are guys who park their cars along the bypass and dine out

There is a proposal to construct flyovers at Thondayad and Ramanattukara. But the last I heard, it's on hold

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There are speed cameras along the stretch though
...and Al Baik has placed warning signboards before every speed cam

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I am still not sure what is the speed limit
For, cars :

4 lane National Highway - 90 kmph
2 lane National Highway - 85 kmph
State Highway - 80 kmph

Last edited by Klub Class : 24th January 2016 at 22:59.
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Old 24th January 2016, 23:05   #9304
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
I am still not sure what is the speed limit. The sign boards still say 70kmph but as per the current rule in Kerala, it should be 85 KMPH as it is part of a national highway.
The Kerala NV Department site shows the allowable maximum speed limits for various categories of vehicles.
Link: http://www.mvd.kerala.gov.in/index.php/act-rules
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Old 25th January 2016, 14:41   #9305
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The Kerala NV Department site shows the allowable maximum speed limits for various categories of vehicles.
Two years back, I was caught over-speeding on this very same road . Yes, the "good samaritans" can place warning signs near speed cameras and "help" the drivers, but that does not assure 100% escape. For there are the interceptor squads of the Kozhikode City Police who are out there.

Once driving with wifey, entered the byepass at Malaparambu (near Kaumudi office). Went on for two kilometers, and there is this place where there is a slight curve. Had to over take a slow moving vehicle, and I just told wifey that if I was a Police SI, the best place for me to catch the speeders would be at the far end of the road. But for me, there was an actual police SI and party out there with the speed radar gun .

I was flagged down, and shown a still picture of my vehicle (yes coming round the curve, and at a higher speed to overtake the slow mover on my left). The speed shown was 88kmph. As per the SI, the speed limit was around 80kmph. They do give a tolerance of a few kilometers (80-84kmph), but I was way above that. Paid up Rs.400 as fine, and if I remember right it was Sec 184 MV Act. The SI said that if I had crossed the 90kmph limit, most likely he would have sent me to the court recommending a higher fine. Police it seems can only levy a fine of Rs.400 for this offence.
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Old 27th January 2016, 22:43   #9306
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

did BLR->EKM->BLR over the weekend.

only pain points are :

1) L&T bypass edge (ettimadai) - chavadi - walayar (12-15km)
even though many stretches are smooth tarmac, there are not enough signboards to warn you of a "diversion" esp in the night, so better to tailgate one of those decently fast but slow enough bharatbenz trucks. Also, smooth-to-rough transitions are cliffs not gradual.

2) vadakkanchery -kuthiran - mannuthi (30 km)
watch out for 2 newly dug out portions - only 1/2 lane ; plus always be ~70 kph since there are small-but-deep rain-dug potholes exactly where your left wheels will come, throughout this entire strech.

Started at 8pm (friday) from shell bommanahalli and reached jos jn ekm at 4am, with a 20 mins break at vijayamangalam toll.
Started at 7:30pm (sunday) from jos jn ekm and reached at 3am at shell bommanahalli with a 10mins break at vijayamangalam toll.
(this vijayamangalam toll - is roughly 4 hrs (middle) between BLR and EKM, and many tea shops / bakeries near the toll, so a very convenient point to break).

Overall it was a pleasant stress-free drive in my rapid (maintained 100 with spurts of 110) and guess what was the F.E ? 22 kmpl (there was still 7.5l left in the 55l tank after the round trip, very pleased with that)
Useful time saver tip - always follow the travels' buses / state RTC buses when lining up in toll booths - their vantage position can be trusted to evaluate the q status best.

Last edited by venkyhere : 27th January 2016 at 22:52.
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Old 27th January 2016, 23:01   #9307
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Useful time saver tip - always follow the travels' buses / state RTC buses when lining up in toll booths - their vantage position can be trusted to evaluate the q status best.
In addition, lines with these vehicles appear longer (for same number of vehicles to pay toll), so other drivers avoid them. :-)
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Old 27th January 2016, 23:23   #9308
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Did a round trip between Jan 23rd to Jan 25th and drove via below places in Kerala.

Bangalore - Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur - Vazhikkadavu -Nilambur - Edavanna - Manjeri - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Thirunavaya -Kuttipuram (Stayed overnight)- Pattambi - Shoranur - Wadakkanchery -Thrissur - Chalakudy - Angamaly - Aluva - Ernakulam - Cherthala - Alappuzha -Changanserry - Thiruvalla - Chengannur (Stayed overnight) - Kozenchery - Ranny - Erumeli - Kuttikanam- Periyar - Kumily - Theni - Dindigul - Bangalore.

Except for the below roads, i would say all other roads are very good or Excellent with negligible pot holes in other sections.

1) Gudalur - Vazhikkadavu ghat sections has lots of pot holes
2) Cherthala - Alappuzha stretch in NH47

Inspite of roads being very good, except for NH47 stretch till Cherthala, since all other roads are narrow and mostly without shoulders, the effort to drive is tremendously high and IMPO would need 200% attention. Otherwise, there is 99% probability that the opposite vehicles coming in high speed/rash driving will hit/rub at your sides unless you steer away to keep safe distance.

Some of the excellent roads that i was impressed were
1) Obviously NH47 between Thrissur - Ernakulam - Cherthala
2) Alappuzha - Changanaserry
3) Kozhenchery - Ranny

Whatever it is, the greenery all over in God's own Country is incomparable to enjoy the drive !

-Ravi

Last edited by ravib : 27th January 2016 at 23:30.
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Old 28th January 2016, 12:19   #9309
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ravib View Post
Did a round trip between Jan 23rd to Jan 25th and drove via below places in Kerala.

Bangalore - Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur - Vazhikkadavu -Nilambur - Edavanna - Manjeri - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Thirunavaya -Kuttipuram (Stayed overnight)- Pattambi - Shoranur - Wadakkanchery -Thrissur - Chalakudy - Angamaly - Aluva - Ernakulam - Cherthala - Alappuzha -Changanserry - Thiruvalla - Chengannur (Stayed overnight) - Kozenchery - Ranny - Erumeli - Kuttikanam- Periyar - Kumily - Theni - Dindigul - Bangalore.


-Ravi
Wow..thats a commendable trip!! what was your travel times? and hope you didn't drive all of it by yourself.
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Old 28th January 2016, 13:52   #9310
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Kumily - Theni - Dindigul
Thanks for the update ravi. How are the roads between Kumily to Dindigul?

When I took this route last October, road condition was bad between Cumbum and Batlagundu with road works in progress in many sections.
Is it all done now?
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Old 28th January 2016, 17:45   #9311
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Wow..thats a commendable trip!! what was your travel times? and hope you didn't drive all of it by yourself.
Thanks! I traveled and drove all alone for temples in all these routes. Its kinda time for myself. Travel times vary in different parts as the traffic was high. I was able to do high speeds only in NH47 between Thrissur to Cherthala.


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Thanks for the update ravi. How are the roads between Kumily to Dindigul?

When I took this route last October, road condition was bad between Cumbum and Batlagundu with road works in progress in many sections.
Is it all done now?

Yes, its all done now. Though negligible patches are there downhill from Kumily till gudalar (not the one near ooty, this one is before Uthamapalayam ), once we are on the plain roads, roads are all very good all throughout. Few metres of bad stretches are there inside the towns like Periyakulam and Vatlagundu. But overall, nothing to worry. However, the traffic is quite high !
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Old 30th January 2016, 10:53   #9312
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ravib View Post
Did a round trip between Jan 23rd to Jan 25th and drove via below places in Kerala.

Bangalore - Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur - Vazhikkadavu -Nilambur - Edavanna - Manjeri - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Thirunavaya -Kuttipuram (Stayed overnight)- Pattambi - Shoranur - Wadakkanchery -Thrissur - Chalakudy - Angamaly - Aluva - Ernakulam - Cherthala - Alappuzha -Changanserry - Thiruvalla - Chengannur (Stayed overnight) - Kozenchery - Ranny - Erumeli - Kuttikanam- Periyar - Kumily - Theni - Dindigul - Bangalore.

Except for the below roads, i would say all other roads are very good or Excellent with negligible pot holes in other sections.

1) Gudalur - Vazhikkadavu ghat sections has lots of pot holes

-Ravi
Thanks for the update. What is the road condition in the Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur stretch? I recall that the Bandipur - Gudalur stretch had been consistently reported as having bad roads previously. Curious to know if it is better now.
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Old 30th January 2016, 12:05   #9313
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Thanks for the update. What is the road condition in the Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur stretch? I recall that the Bandipur - Gudalur stretch had been consistently reported as having bad roads previously. Curious to know if it is better now.

The condition between Bandipur and Thepakaadu is good and the stretch between Thepakaadu and Gudalur should be avoided if one has an alternative. It has further deteriorated now.
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Old 30th January 2016, 20:31   #9314
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Thanks for the update. What is the road condition in the Gundlupet - Bandipur - Gudalur stretch? I recall that the Bandipur - Gudalur stretch had been consistently reported as having bad roads previously. Curious to know if it is better now.
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The condition between Bandipur and Thepakaadu is good and the stretch between Thepakaadu and Gudalur should be avoided if one has an alternative. It has further deteriorated now.
Sorry I slightly beg to differ from what @Gokrish said.

From Gundlupet-Bandipur till Theppakadu/Mudumalai, the road conditions are good to very good.
Between, Mudumalai/Theppakadu to Gudalur it is just 17 kms distance. Of which only in the first 7 kms , that too for few stretches for about 3 to 4 kms are of course bad in bits and pieces (not continuously). But i wouldn't say that warrants to take an alternative route altogether. The last 10 kms till Gudalur, the roads are excellent. I covered these 17 kms in 35 minutes which is reasonable time in a forest road.

So it is incorrect to say, the entire stretch of 17 kms is bad and needs to be avoided. If we slow down and drive, it is possible to tackle and manage the pot holes like taking the wrong side for a minute. After dark, you need to be little more careful. So the best thing is keep the speed to low in that 7 kms and you should be fine. Also, the road works are in progress in the forest roads, and hope they will fix these bad stretches too.

If we look at the other way, the time to slow down and drive this stretch is far lesser than taking an alternate route which is longer in distance and takes more time.

So my recommendation to those who are driving between Gudular to Theppakadu or the other way, just drive slowly and carefully to watch out for pot holes in those 7 kms.

-Ravi
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Old 31st January 2016, 09:31   #9315
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Of which only in the first 7 kms , that too for few stretches for about 3 to 4 kms are of course bad in bits and pieces (not continuously). But i wouldn't say that warrants to take an alternative route altogether.
Well, the bad stretch is so bad that every time I have taken my Civic (famous for its lowest in-class ground clearance) through this route, I have scraped its underbelly - irrespective of how careful I drive. I definitely think the non-SUV types "jo gaadi se karein pyar" are better off karein-ing inkaar to this route.
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