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Old 3rd July 2011, 21:49   #76
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Hvk sir, Ampere Bhai, NPV, how is the Munnar - Chinnar - Palani - Coimbatore stretch? I have read here that this stretch is very beautiful. How long is it? Do I have to come down to Pooppara to join this highway? Or is there any other way?

How far is Salem from Coimbatore? I guess I have to drive through Annur, Avinashi and Erode. Some stretch is still two laned and I read here that road work is in progress? Any idea on the road condition now?

I did this drive (Coimbatore - Erode)in 2010, when I returned from Ooty after meeting my sister and fly. Still remember the mouth watering, delicious food we had from Annapoorna! Idiappam and Kuruma!! Zimbly AWESOME! Isn't that restaurant your favourite, Hvk sir?

At that time, we stayed back at Erode and then drove to Velankanni, the next day. What are your suggestions now, dear friends?
Correction in route. It is Munnar-Marayoor-Chinnar - Udumalaipet (and not Palani)-Pollachi-Coimbatore.
Excellent roads. But watch out for wildlife crossings after Marayoor.

YOu do not have to go to Coimbatore, you can go directly to Perunthurai (NH47) from Udumaliapet via Dharapuram, Gangeyam, Chennimalai.

If you choose to go via Coimbatore - and have delicious Annapoorna food - then maybe you can also stay there. From Coimbatore, road is being widened till Avinashi (expect some jams during peak hour), but if you pass that area early, you will go through smoothly.
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Old 3rd July 2011, 21:59   #77
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

I think NPV has a point. On the way back from Velankanni you can goto Kodai first and then to Munnar. On the way back from MUnnar take the Udumalpet route and come back to Salem.

Munnar-Marayoor-Udumalpet-Dharapuram-Kangeyam-Perundurai-Salem-Bangalore.
Road from Udumalpet-Perundurai are very good. At Perundurai you latch GQ NH47 and in an hour you can reach Salem.

(This is one of the standard Bangalore-Munnar route. The Udumalpet-Munnar is a must drive to enjoy the beauty during the day time.)
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Old 4th July 2011, 07:04   #78
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
how is the Munnar - Chinnar - Palani - Coimbatore stretch? I have read here that this stretch is very beautiful. How long is it? Do I have to come down to Pooppara to join this highway? Or is there any other way?

How far is Salem from Coimbatore? I guess I have to drive through Annur, Avinashi and Erode. Some stretch is still two laned and I read here that road work is in progress? Any idea on the road condition now?
If you plan to return via Marayoor then I suggest you do this circuit:
1. Velankanni-Vathalagundu-Kodai
2. Kodai-Vathalagundu-Theni-Bodi-Poopara-Periakanal-Munnar. Roads were good in May end when I visited. Poopara onwards it's narrow in some places, would not suggest driving late evenings/nights.
3. For your return journey to Salem - I don't know about conditions on the Palani stretch but you can do either:
a)Munnar-Marayoor-Chinnar-Udumalaipet-Pollachi-Coimbatore-Salem

b)avoid Coimbatore by doing Udumalaippettai-Palladam-Tirupur-Perundurai-Salem (Tirupur may have bad roads, check latest conditions)

c)As Ampere suggested Udumalaipet-Dharapuram-Kangeyam-Perundurai-Salem

Note that Munnar-Marayoor-Chinnar has 5 forest checkposts (don't know if these have specific timings when they're open) and this is a scenic drive to be done in the day and enjoyed.

4 laning is in progress between Avinashi-Coimbatore. When I drove this stretch last, there were several diversions but I could do it in good time due to less traffic (Coimbatore - Salem distance is around 180km).

*If you plan to stay overnight/spend some time in Coimbatore I can suggest a few must-do places for good food/snacks

Last edited by NPV : 4th July 2011 at 07:11.
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Old 4th July 2011, 11:12   #79
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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Note that Munnar-Marayoor-Chinnar has 5 forest checkposts (don't know if these have specific timings when they're open) and this is a scenic drive to be done in the day and enjoyed.
AFAIK, they are open 24x7. I have myself driven that route in the night between 1030 pm - 100 am.
However, the Marayoor-Chinnar-TN border check post sector sees wild life - elephants & gaur - at all times of the day. Road is narrow and you must watch out on the curves. Happily, most of the wildlife is in the plains area closer to the TN check post and easily visible.
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Old 5th July 2011, 01:25   #80
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

Thank you, Hvk sir, Ampere and NPV. I got some very valuable advice from you guys. I am greatly relieved after getting the route descriptions so perfectly.

So now my plan is almost fixed. Here it is;

Phase 1. Pune - Bangalore - Salem - Madurai - Nagercoil - Trivandrum.

Phase 2. Trivandrum - Madurai bypass - Trichy - Tanjavur - Velankanni.

Phase 3. Velankanni - Tanjavur - Trichy - Vathalagundu - Kodai.

Phase 4. Kodai - Theni - Bodi - Pooppara - Devikulam - Munnar.

Phase 5. Munnar - Marayoor - Chinnar - Udumalaipettai - Dharapuram - Perundurai - Salem - Bangalore.

Phase 6. Bangalore - Hubli - Belgaum - Pune.

Kumar sir, can you tell me how many kilometres I will be covering in each phase? I need to calculate whether I should change my Chevy's engine oil somewhere during the trip. My Chevy has run more than a thousand kilometres after his last oil change! And I need to keep the oil change interval to less than 6000 kms.

How many kilometres will I be covering if I aim to reach Madurai on day 1? Will it be possible because of heavy traffic?
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Old 5th July 2011, 06:45   #81
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

CL At least Google maps shows by about 4000 odd. Here is what I managed in the maps.

http://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr=...,18,19,22&z=11



One section some how does not show in NH67.

Last edited by ampere : 5th July 2011 at 06:53.
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Old 5th July 2011, 07:58   #82
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

In the Tiruchy area in the NH, you may suddenly come across truckers coming through the wrong lane and straight against you. Take care.
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:54   #83
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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Phase 1. Pune - Bangalore - Salem - Madurai - Nagercoil - Trivandrum, 1550 kms


Phase 2. Trivandrum - Madurai bypass - Trichy - Tanjavur - Velankanni. 585 kms


Phase 3. Velankanni - Tanjavur - Trichy - Vathalagundu - Kodai. ,350 kms


Phase 4. Kodai - Theni - Bodi - Pooppara - Devikulam - Munnar. 175 kms


Phase 5. Munnar - Marayoor - Chinnar - Udumalaipettai - Dharapuram - Perundurai - Salem - Bangalore. 500 kms


Phase 6. Bangalore - Hubli - Belgaum - Pune. 850 kms

Kumar sir, can you tell me how many kilometres I will be covering in each phase?

How many kilometres will I be covering if I aim to reach Madurai on day 1? Will it be possible because of heavy traffic?
Please see distance calculations above.
1250 kms from Pune to Madurai, isn't that too much for a day?
No high traffic zone anywhere except Pune-Kolhapur.
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Old 5th July 2011, 18:02   #84
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

CL - As HVK mentioned, Phase 1 seems like a very long drive for 1 day. Why don't you do Pune-Bangalore and take a break overnight at Bangalore. You can do Bangalore-Trivandrum next day.
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Old 5th July 2011, 22:56   #85
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

Thank you Hvk sir, Ampere Bhai and NPV. Thanks for the distance calculations Hvk sir and thanks for the google map, Ampere.

I am planning to start from Pune by 11pm on 7th of July. I might even push the departure time to 10pm, if I am feeling fresh. I intend to do the first fuel refill from Ko'pur. With my Chevy's little tummy full, I expect to reach Hosur. I have done Pune - Ahmedabad with one tankful of diesel.

I am a night bird and can stay awake till 5am without any problems. So the drive should be fun! The only problem is that we won't be able to take many snaps.

I should be able to bypass Bangalore by 1pm or so. The drive to Salem is a delightful experience and I should be at Salem by 4pm after a long stop for lunch at Hosur. The Kerala restaurant at 5 Star pump is our regular fuel and food stop now!

From Salem, I can try and reach Madurai in another 3 hours? How far is Madurai from Salem? I want to drive as much as possible on day 1 and take it easy on day 2.

There is no point in stopping in Bangalore for the night, in the middle of the day. I will try my best to stretch our drive till Madurai. If I feel too tired, we can always wind up at Trichy or somewhere else.

Hvk sir, please suggest some hotels near to the bypasses.
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Old 5th July 2011, 23:21   #86
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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From Salem, I can try and reach Madurai in another 3 hours? How far is Madurai from Salem? I want to drive as much as possible on day 1 and take it easy on day 2.

There is no point in stopping in Bangalore for the night, in the middle of the day. I will try my best to stretch our drive till Madurai. If I feel too tired, we can always wind up at Trichy or somewhere else.

Hvk sir, please suggest some hotels near to the bypasses.
From Salem, Madurai is another 200 kms and can be easily reached in 2-3 hours.
You should easily do the Pune-Madurai drive.
To give you an example, last fortnight, we drove from Pune to Kanyakumari/Trivandrum non-stop - my friend was driving!
With sedate speeds not exceeding 100 kmph, we left Pune at 2 pm, crossed Bangalore at 130 am, Salem by 445 am, Madurai by 830 am and KK by 1130 am. We took 2 breaks, one for dinner at Hubli and another for breakfast/ toilet at Karur.

In Madurai, the Best Western Germanus is a convenient place on the "old" NH7 bypass, but this may be a little expensive. There are many hotels inside Madurai next to railway station.

But my best recommendation would be to stay at Hotel Fantasy, between Dindigul & Madurai, on NH7 itself, next to the TAFE Factory.
Exact location is - 30 kms after crossing Dindigul Bypass, approximately 25 kms before Madurai.
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Old 6th July 2011, 00:53   #87
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

Thanks a lot, HVK sir. I will try to reach Madurai on day 1.

Sir ji, we might go inside Madurai city. My wife certainly deserves a silky treat, if we manage to drive for so long, after so many years.

The longest duration my wife and I have been inside our Chevy, is for 30 hours, continuously, when we drove from Calangute to Trivandrum.

We started at 7 am from Calangute and drove till 4 am the next day. We just slept for 2 hours near Trichur, inside our Chevy and continued our drive till Tvm. We reached Tvm by 1 pm. We had driven for ~30 hours by then.

The same day, after lunch, we left for Velankanni by 5 pm with my family. I took the wheels again and managed to reach Trichy by 10 pm. I was dead tired then.

My brother-in-law took over the wheels after dinner and managed to reach Madurai by 2 am. We ended our drive there. By then, I had driven continuously for 35 hours with a couple of food breaks and a sleep break.

What makes this particular drive unbelievable is the fact that I was on stock headlights and it was raining cats and dogs in Kerala. The road widening work was going on in Tamil Nadu then. We were sitting in the third row and literally hit the roof, when my bro' decided to check the depth of a gutter!

This time, I do not want to attempt anything like that drive and tempt fate again! Sorry for the OT!

Kumar sir, if we decide to go inside Madurai city, we will try some hotel near the Railway Station. Is it too far away from the bypass?
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Old 6th July 2011, 09:16   #88
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

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Kumar sir, if we decide to go inside Madurai city, we will try some hotel near the Railway Station. Is it too far away from the bypass?
Take the first entry point into Madurai city - poor signage, hence watch out for the small signboard indicating left into Madurai city. I have not gone on this new road in the "new" bypass, but it cannot be more than 5-10 kms from this point to the railway station or "Junction". I am sure our friends here will have lots of suggestions for hotels there.
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Old 6th July 2011, 09:27   #89
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

Near the station : Supreme and Arthy.
Arthy has a parking but Supreme does not.
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Old 6th July 2011, 22:57   #90
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Default Re: Route query - Pune to Trivandrum

Thank you Hvk sir and Ampere bhai.

We will be leaving tomorrow night. We ran into a small trouble today. My wife saw some oil beneath Chevy and immediately alerted me. I checked the oil level and it had come down to the lowest level. We rushed to the Castrol pit stop and they swiftly swung into action.

The problem was diagnosed as a broken oil filter, which was from Bosch. They replaced the filter with a GM made original filter.

Chevy drank almost 2 and a half litres of new Shell Oil. I am so lucky that my wife has very sharp eyes. When I checked oil last sunday, everything was normal.

The filter was probably broken by a stone. The manager of Castrol told me that it is a One-in-a-Million case!! How the stone managed to sneak past the body guard is a mystery.

I purchased some spare fuses and some Shell oil also. We are ready to roll now!

Anything in particular I should watch out for?
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