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Old 27th March 2008, 14:33   #1
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Default Chennai - Trivandrum : Route Queries

I am planning to drive down to Trivandrum from Chennai. I am familiar with the roads till Madurai, but I am confused about the route to be taken from Madurai. Should I use NH208 via Rajapalayam, Tenkasi? Or should I use NH7 to travel to Trivandrum via Tirunelveli, Nagercoil? Can anyone help me on this? Any feedback on the road the road conditions is also welcome.
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Old 27th March 2008, 16:57   #2
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Both options are viable.

From Madurai to Trivandrum via Tirunelveli and Nagercoil the distance is 310 kms.
Via Rajapalayam, Tyenkasi, Tenmala and Nedumangad, distance is 260 kms.

NH7 is being widened, there are some diversions, but the drive is by and large smooth even now. In good times, I have driven on this route in 5 hours. Depending on time of day, Nagercoil-Trivandrum is very high-traffic and can be slow. Night time, there is no traffic. One has to navigate through Nagercoil town (all other large towns bypassed).

I have taken 4 hours too on the Madurai-Tenkasi-Trivandrum route but at optimum times (Tenkasi-TVM was early in the morning). On this route, it is mountain road after Schencottah and can be slow during day time.

Between the two, I would prefer the Nagercoil route. If you leave early in the morning from Madurai (say, 5 am), you will have a smooth drive.
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Old 27th March 2008, 19:43   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Both options are viable.

From Madurai to Trivandrum via Tirunelveli and Nagercoil the distance is 310 kms.
I had done nagercoil to madurai in 3hrs in a verna. its a nice route even with the 4 laning going on. but its best not to do this section during night rush hour(gets better after 2200hrs) because the private buses are idiots and will ram you even if you stop your car on the extreme left completely to let them overtake from the opposite side.

I had 3 very near misses in one night. so do it during the day, you'll be able to judge distances better.



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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Via Rajapalayam, Tyenkasi, Tenmala and Nedumangad, distance is 260 kms.
this is a decent route too, but I have'nt been on it for the last 2 years. so I dont know the general condition of the surface. you'll enjoyit if you like ghat driving.

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Nagercoil-Trivandrum is very high-traffic and can be slow. Night time, there is no traffic. One has to navigate through Nagercoil town (all other large towns bypassed).
nagercoil town isnt very big, and you'll be able to clear it in 30-45 mins. nagercoil to TVM is frustrating during the day time. try and complete this section before 7AM.
watch out for the disproportinately high number of suicidal pedestrians and cyclists in nagercoil town.


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Between the two, I would prefer the Nagercoil route. If you leave early in the morning from Madurai (say, 5 am), you will have a smooth drive.
except maybe, leave madurai at 3AM,reach nagercoil by 6 or so, and tvm by 7AM.

I know its an ungodly hour to start, but I'm an atheist!
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Old 27th March 2008, 19:50   #4
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Here is the route via Virudhunagar, Thirunelveli, Kanyakumari from maps of india.

When are you planning to drive down?
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Old 27th March 2008, 19:53   #5
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One of our freinds went via Rajapalayam recently, and happily, that road is also good. But the disadvantage of this route is that there are no bypasses and you have to crawl through all the small towns (like Rajapalayam, Srivilliputtur, etc).

Earlier the better. I have left Trivandrum at 3 am and reached Madurai by 730 am.
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Old 27th March 2008, 20:26   #6
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Just a bit of caution. Earlier the better is only if you are really confident about night driving and you have someone to give you company. As hvkumar has said these are high density traffic routes and you have all sorts of vehicles even during night times.

Since there's four laning going on, diversions might not be very visible in the night. So please be very very careful if you are driving late in the night or early in the morning.

Villipuram onwards 4 laning is going on. So expect bad roads here too. Just in case you didn't know.
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Old 27th March 2008, 21:35   #7
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Nagercoil - Tvm is a pain to drive. Day time travel is guaranteed to take 3 to 4 hours.
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Old 27th March 2008, 21:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Here is the route via Virudhunagar, Thirunelveli, Kanyakumari from maps of india.

When are you planning to drive down?
As usual, mapsofindia is wrong/misleading.

To go from Tirunelveli to Nagercoil, you don't touch Kanyakumari as shown in the map. That would be the NH7-NH47 corridor (7 till Kanyakumari, 47 from there onwards). Instead, you turn off NH7 immediately after Panagudi town and take the next 18 kms to Nagercoil instead of 24 kms first to Kanyakumari and another 19 from there to Nagercoil! This means you save 25 kms. No one travels to nagercoil from Tirunelveli via Kanyakumari!!!

To travel from Trichy to Madurai, the popular route is not NH45 (till Dindigul)/NH7 (from Dindigul), but it is the direct road via Viralimalai. mapsofindia is asking you to go via Dindigul!
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Old 27th March 2008, 21:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Nagercoil - Tvm is a pain to drive. Day time travel is guaranteed to take 3 to 4 hours.
It is only 65-70 kms from Nagercoil to Trivandrum, fast speed would take 1.5 hours, especially if it is at night. Watch out for check post rascals in TN/Kerala - they sometimes stop you at night and demand to inspect your car (has happened to me a few times). Problem with this route is it is mountainous (not ghat) and has curvy roads, very thickly populated and has crowded towns (no bypasses) all over the place, with bus stops and citizens walking around. Try to reach Nagercoil before 7 am or after 9 pm, so that you can have a good fast drive.
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Old 28th March 2008, 13:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Just a bit of caution. Earlier the better is only if you are really confident about night driving and you have someone to give you company. As hvkumar has said these are high density traffic routes and you have all sorts of vehicles even during night times.

Since there's four laning going on, diversions might not be very visible in the night. So please be very very careful if you are driving late in the night or early in the morning.
I will be travelling alone and hence will be driving the entire distance myself. So I plan to drive mostly during the day and have an early start on both days.
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Old 28th March 2008, 14:04   #11
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Thanks everyone for your inputs. Looking at all the feedback, I feel like taking the Rajapalayam, Tenkashi route to Trivandrum. 60 kms less and probably a more peaceful drive!
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Old 28th March 2008, 15:28   #12
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Take care and drive safe. Get some pictures if possible on the Tenkasi route. Supposed to be picturesque.
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Old 28th March 2008, 16:28   #13
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dev- I hope you got the right idea, no one has really recommended the tenkasi route.
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Old 28th March 2008, 20:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Take care and drive safe. Get some pictures if possible on the Tenkasi route. Supposed to be picturesque.
If you take the Tenkasi route, you can drop in at the Eco-Resort at Tenmala. Plus some boating.
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Old 29th March 2008, 22:57   #15
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Quote:
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As usual, mapsofindia is wrong/misleading.

Thanks for the warning Mr.Kumar. I always refer the road dictionary (HV KUMAR) for details

Any other reliable website available
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