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Old 9th September 2014, 09:41   #136
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

Hi, I am planning a family trip to Kodaikanal on first week of October. I will be driving from Bangalore to my wife's house at Thrissur on 30th September, take a day rest and start to Kodaikanal with my in-laws on 2nd October. Meanwhile my brother will be driving to Kodaikanal from Thodupuzha with his family.

My worry is about the traffic conditions on the hill. It is a festive weekend with Gandhi Jayanthi, Dussehra, Bakrid all coming adjacent. I have heard that there can be long queue of vehicles up hill during vacation time.Is it advisable to visit the place during that time, or should I be looking for other options.
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Old 10th September 2014, 14:30   #137
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Hi, I am planning a family trip to Kodaikanal on first week of October. I will be driving from Bangalore to my wife's house at Thrissur on 30th September, take a day rest and start to Kodaikanal with my in-laws on 2nd October. Meanwhile my brother will be driving to Kodaikanal from Thodupuzha with his family.

My worry is about the traffic conditions on the hill. It is a festive weekend with Gandhi Jayanthi, Dussehra, Bakrid all coming adjacent. I have heard that there can be long queue of vehicles up hill during vacation time.Is it advisable to visit the place during that time, or should I be looking for other options.
Any tourist spot worth its name will be crowded during those times. Best is stick to your inlaws place. Or else travel with the crowd, ie climb with traffic in morning, climb down in the evening. If you are going towards Thrissur, I assume you would be using the palani kodai route. Liberal use of horn advised.
Best regards
Bala
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Old 10th September 2014, 15:36   #138
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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My worry is about the traffic conditions on the hill.
Kodaikanal or any hill station will be crowded and you can expect some B2B traffic even in normal weekends. Needless to say about long weekends It was reasonably crowded even in end of February when we last went.
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Old 18th March 2015, 10:59   #139
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

Hi Folks,


Need your advice on road condition from Bangalore Electronic City to Kodai, and which is the best route and travel time worth driving in an I20?

Most important question is it worth going to Kodai in March last week or Ooty or go to Hyderabad and stay home
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Old 18th March 2015, 19:08   #140
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Hi Folks,


Need your advice on road condition from Bangalore Electronic City to Kodai, and which is the best route and travel time worth driving in an I20?

Most important question is it worth going to Kodai in March last week or Ooty or go to Hyderabad and stay home
Ideally, via Hosur, Salem, Karur, Dindigul on NH7, and then turn off towards Kodai (clear sign boards in Dindigul bypass) and go via Vathalagundu to Kodai. Expect to take 8-10 hours, depending on breaks.
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Old 18th March 2015, 19:24   #141
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Ideally, via Hosur, Salem, Karur, Dindigul on NH7, and then turn off towards Kodai (clear sign boards in Dindigul bypass) and go via Vathalagundu to Kodai. Expect to take 8-10 hours, depending on breaks.
I will be going to Kodai in April and planning to take the route - Bangalore - Salem- Erode - Dharapuram - Palani - Kodai. How is the route via Palani? Is the road condition good - particularly Palani Ghat road?
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Old 18th March 2015, 19:40   #142
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by monster2 View Post
Need your advice on road condition from Bangalore Electronic City to Kodai, and which is the best route and travel time worth driving in an I20?
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Ideally, via Hosur, Salem, Karur, Dindigul on NH7, and then turn off towards Kodai (clear sign boards in Dindigul bypass) and go via Vathalagundu to Kodai. Expect to take 8-10 hours, depending on breaks.
The turnoff towards Kodaikanal from NH7 can be slightly confusing even with the very clear signboard on the Dindigul bypass showing the Kodaikanal exit. The problem is that once you take this exit and get on the service road, you first get to the NH209 junction and one should remember NOT to take a right turn there (that will take you to Palani instead).

To get to the road towards Vattalagundu/Kodai you have to cross NH209 and continue further on the service road itself for approximately 3 kms more (it is the next junction). Can't recall what the signboard says there - could be Kodaikanal or Theni. A right turn there will take you to the Dindigul-Theni highway and Vattalagundu is about 30 kms away. The road towards Kodaikanal is a right turn that comes up about 4-5 kms after you pass Vattalagundu town.

Road conditions excellent till Dindigul, and very decent till the Kodai Ghat Road turn off near Vattalagundu (A few rough patches notwithstanding - especially near towns/villages). Can't comment about the condition of the ghat road from thereon since I haven't been that way for quite a long time now.
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Old 18th March 2015, 19:46   #143
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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I will be going to Kodai in April and planning to take the route - Bangalore - Salem- Erode - Dharapuram - Palani - Kodai. How is the route via Palani? Is the road condition good - particularly Palani Ghat road?
The road via Palani is also good, except that you have to travel a longer way on 2-laned roads before the ghat starts
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Old 17th May 2015, 19:12   #144
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

Had been to kodaikanal last weekend with my wife and 1.5 yr old son in our new Octavia 1.8 tsi (the trip was mainly to stretch its legs on the highway). Both ways we did the same route which is Bangalore - Salem - Dindukal - Vathlagundu - Kodai. The route was outstanding to say the least except for very very minimal bad roads between Dindukal -> Vathlagundu.

While going from Bangalore, we started at 4 am and reached salem by 6:45 am and stopped over at Grand Estancia (which I presume is same as GRT since everyone pointed to grand estancia when we asked for GRT). The breakfast buffet was excellent and set us back by about Rs. 800 for two. The facilities and service were like any other 3 star place and so was worth the price. We took an hour's break here having a relaxing breakfast.

We left Salem around 8 am and reached Kodaikanal by around 11 45am. We stayed at a lovely homestay run by a couple who have moved from Mumbai to Kodai and built a home overlooking the valley called Serenita homestay. I can provide more details about the place if someone plans to visit.

On the way back, we left at 4 am because it was the day the Jaya verdict was to be announced so there was a bit of political turmoil in the state and I did not want to get stuck in TN with KA plates with a baby. Driving in absolute pitch darkness on ghat roads could have been unnerving but the Octi with cornering lights made it an absolute bliss with hardly any danger at all to speak of. It rained all the way till Salem as well so it had the potential to have been a big safety hazard but the car was too good in every aspect.

The roads were sans any speakable traffic and there were large stretches where there were no cars even so I was able to do good speeds while still being safe. We had to reach Bangalore before 11 am so we made no stops whatsoever. To cut a long story short, we were home by 10:30am even with the Bangalore office traffic on a Monday.

Hope this information is of some help to someone who is planning Kodaikanal. Here is a pic of our homestay. The race blue Octi is our ride.
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Old 17th May 2015, 21:37   #145
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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While going from Bangalore, we started at 4 am and reached salem by 6:45 am and stopped over at Grand Estancia (which I presume is same as GRT since everyone pointed to grand estancia when we asked for GRT). The breakfast buffet was excellent and set us back by about Rs. 800 for two. The facilities and service were like any other 3 star place and so was worth the price. We took an hour's break here having a relaxing breakfast.
Yes, the erstwhile GRT Grand is now Grand Estancia since couple of years or so. The breakfast buffet here always gets rave reviews, still on our list to try. We used to end up stopping much before Salem and now recently since we start earlier from Bangalore, we end up stopping just beyond Salem at the Sree Saravana Bhavan
Can you please share contact information for the Serenita Home stay at Kodaikanal ?

Last edited by NPV : 17th May 2015 at 21:38.
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Old 17th May 2015, 22:16   #146
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Yes, the erstwhile GRT Grand is now Grand Estancia since couple of years or so. The breakfast buffet here always gets rave reviews, still on our list to try. We used to end up stopping much before Salem and now recently since we start earlier from Bangalore, we end up stopping just beyond Salem at the Sree Saravana Bhavan
Can you please share contact information for the Serenita Home stay at Kodaikanal ?
Ah we thought we were at the wrong place at Grand Estancia. The breakfast buffet was pretty good with a dosa counter, 4 different types of eggs, idlies, pongal, glazed doughnuts, cakes, salad bar, variety of breads and so on and is totally worth a try since there is hardly any crowd and the restrooms are fabulous. It is better to have an hour's break though to make the most of the place. We did see quite a few saravana bhavans on the way prepended with a 'new' or a 'om' or a 'sree', so we weren't sure if they were the real deal.

You can contact Ravindran - 9442273234 for serenita homestay. Do look them up on tripadvisor as well. I just wrote them a review on tripadvisor but it is yet to be published (pending review), so pasting what I wrote here if it helps.

We were looking for a reasonably far place with very good connectivity from bangalore to stretch the legs of our new car. kodai was an instant choice and so we started looking for a place of stay on tripadvisor. We wanted a friendly, inexpensive place of stay that was away from the noise and bustle of civilisation. It had to be toddler friendly and reasonably equipped for our needs. Looking at some of the reviews here, serenita was a very easy choice to make. In retrospect, the decision was a pretty good one as the place was as serene as its name suggests and our hosts ravindran and preethi, warm, friendly and extremely accommodative.

Our 1.5 yr old son loved all the books and toys at serenita and had an extremely good time lolling about on the grass looking at the mountains. We stayed for 3 days and had a chance to experience a bit of sun and blue skies and green mountains across the valley on the first day followed by thunder clouds and rain on day two and an all devouring lovely mist on the third day. There was a bison which wandered into the property as well, much to our excitement.

We ate most of our meals at serenita, cooked by our excellent host and chef preethi. simple but tasty fares served to our taste and food preferences. The pork curry they made on our last day of stay is worth a special mention as they went out of their way to acquire and cook pork. My wife is a vegetarian and had pretty good vegetarian meals made for her as well. Our son got his own baby meals as well from ghee parathas to carrot idlies.

There isn't much to do at serenita, so be prepared for spending time the old fashioned way - reading books, playing board games and having conversations. Kodai town is about 5 kms or so away and we visited it only to find it highly crowded and dirty. Ravindran arranged for a cab with a very friendly driver, Kannan who took us around and was very polite and courteous. We lunched at cloud street, bought pottery from potluck cafe and yummy chocolates from abi's cafe - all recommendations from ravindran and preethi which were all spot on.

We had to rush back on our last day due to a possible political turmoil in TN due to jaya verdict and so had to leave at 4 am. Not only did they wake up at the godforsaken hour to send us off but they even packed us idlies for our journey home. We did not even have time to settle the payment and ravindran was courteous enough to take it through a wire transfer after we reached home. Such warmth and courteousness alone is worth a visit to serenita. The beautiful valley, mountains, birds, mist and the woods are just a bonus.
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Old 18th May 2015, 20:40   #147
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Ah we thought we were at the wrong place at Grand Estancia. The breakfast buffet was pretty good with a dosa counter, 4 different types of eggs, idlies, pongal, glazed doughnuts, cakes, salad bar, variety of breads and so on and is totally worth a try since there is hardly any crowd and the restrooms are fabulous. It is better to have an hour's break though to make the most of the place. We did see quite a few saravana bhavans on the way prepended with a 'new' or a 'om' or a 'sree', so we weren't sure if they were the real deal.
It was called GRT Grand Estancia. I think the hotel still runs with the same owners, but the connection with GRT is broken. Hence its just called Grand Estancia. Also I found the lunch menu to be no that great. Once I reached 2:15, and had a pathetic lunch. And this was going there for a third time (while the first experience one was absolutely fantastic). After that I have shifted to Park Plaza. Its just about a km before Grand Estancia while coming from Bangalore. You cannot miss the place for sure. Its a huge building.

Last edited by ampere : 18th May 2015 at 20:42.
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Old 10th October 2015, 21:27   #148
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

Hello BHPians, Needed a bit of advice for a BLR > Kodai trip (planned for Nov - 1st week). I want to reach Kodai by 11 AM, so should it be okay to start from Bangalore at around 2 AM (As per Gmaps, it should take 7-8 hours to reach Kodai, I am considering an hour more as buffer - so 9 hours)? Is a marathon drive advisable? Or should I take a break at Salem or Namakkal?

BTW, I will start from my residence at TC Palya and drive through Hoskote (instead of Hosur), join NH7 at Shoolagiri and continue towards Krishnagiri.
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Old 10th October 2015, 22:57   #149
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Hello BHPians, Needed a bit of advice for a BLR > Kodai trip (planned for Nov - 1st week). I want to reach Kodai by 11 AM, so should it be okay to start from Bangalore at around 2 AM (As per Gmaps, it should take 7-8 hours to reach Kodai, I am considering an hour more as buffer - so 9 hours)? Is a marathon drive advisable? Or should I take a break at Salem or Namakkal?

BTW, I will start from my residence at TC Palya and drive through Hoskote (instead of Hosur), join NH7 at Shoolagiri and continue towards Krishnagiri.
Including a 30-45 minute break you should be able to reach in 8.5 hours or less since you start early. If you don't have a specific reason to go to Hoskote, you can drive thru the city Indiranagar, Koramangala and elevated tollway to get to hosur.
If you do go via hoskote consider taking bagalur route and reach near hosur bus stand, better than shoolagiri road which may be desolate.

Last edited by NPV : 10th October 2015 at 22:59.
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Old 11th October 2015, 10:37   #150
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Default re: Bangalore - Kodaikanal - Velankanni : Route Queries

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Hello BHPians, Needed a bit of advice for a BLR > Kodai trip (planned for Nov - 1st week). I want to reach Kodai by 11 AM, so should it be okay to start from Bangalore at around 2 AM (As per Gmaps, it should take 7-8 hours to reach Kodai, I am considering an hour more as buffer - so 9 hours)? Is a marathon drive advisable? Or should I take a break at Salem or Namakkal?
Are you talking about taking a night halt ? I dont think it is necessary. The road till Dindigul is 4 lane and remaining section is also in good condition. So it wont be a tiring drive. Take short breaks for every 2 to 3 hrs.

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BTW, I will start from my residence at TC Palya and drive through Hoskote (instead of Hosur), join NH7 at Shoolagiri and continue towards Krishnagiri.
If you are starting at 2 am, you can comfortably take the ORR and Hosur Road to reach Hosur in less than an hour. Moreover the Hosur-Malur road is not in good condition. Lot of potholes and craters.
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