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Old 21st October 2009, 11:29   #16
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Say guys, I am travelling in the South during Jan'10 for 8 days. I know that this is an ownership site and supports individual driver experience. Nevertheless. I am writing here inspite of the fact that I will be doing this travel in a private cab. I reckon that eventhough I will be driving myself, backside is as much a driving experience as the real thing. Anyway I plan on taking a train to Trivandrum and starting my journey from there. The trip will be Trivandrum to Kanyakumari to Rameswaram to Madurai to Thekkady to Munnar to Cochin and a flight back to Mumbai.
I am really keen on any member updating me on road conditions as they are on this stretch. Which stretch would have the worst roads to look out for and where would it be very smooth. There are no recent threads (post Sept '09) on this subject and even the threads I have gone through do not really spell out great details on the roads conditions. Whether the roads are broken or are smooth tarmac? Has any new work been done? Has the Coastal road been repaired and is now usable? All this alongwith information on great roadside eateries enroute would really help.

Last edited by Jaggu : 21st October 2009 at 12:02. Reason: Removing [Font] tags, please avoid copy paste from external font editors and use Preview before submitting post. Thanks
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Old 10th November 2009, 23:58   #17
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Hi Guys,

I will start for Rameshwaram on December 10th, I want to be there before 7PM so that I can receive my parents arriving there directly from Gujarat. We have a plan to go around some places in Rameshwaram next day and then want to plan another day or two for places around. I have Kanyakumari in my mind and Madurai on our return trip.

Can someone guide me with the exact route if I plan for Bangalore > Rameshwaram > Kanyakumar > Madurai > Bangalore!!!

Also, if someone can provide inputs on road conditions, that will help me choose the route. Interesting places around this route will be welcome, reading aobut a place Dhanushkodi, I've almost decided that I will go for it. If someone can provide me more details it will be great!!
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Old 11th November 2009, 01:07   #18
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Hi Ketan,

I have travelled to Ramashwaram and Kanyakumari in the month of Sept 2009. Although i had taken the following route

Bangalore > Kanyakumari (about 700kms) - appro time taken 7hrs 50min.
Kanyakumari > Tuticurin > Rameshwaram (about 340kms) - appro time taken 5hrs
Rameshwaram > Madhurai > Bangalore - appro time taken 9hrs.

NH7 from Bangalore to Kanyakumari was is breeze, "entire stretch". Bottle necks could be Salem and the stretch between Karur and Dindidal. I never ever imagined that roads in India would be that good. To byepass Madhurai, took a deviation at about 30kms away from Madhurai, which goes to Kodai and immediately followed the sign board to Tirumangalam and then on to Kanyakumari.

Kanyakumari to Rameshwaram was through Tuticurin. Kanyakumari > Tirunelvelli > Tuticurin > Ramanathapuram > Rameshwaram. Tirunelvelli to Tuticurin (about 40kms) is a single lane road and patched up though can maintain a good speed. There are hardly any signboards in this stretch. So enquire people while travelling. Next have to navigate through tuticurin city which was horrible. Once we found our way out of the city, we found a two lane road which was just magical. Absolutely no traffic. A 120+ road. After reaching Ramanathapuram need to take a right at a T junction which will take you to Rameshwaram and the roads here also are very good.

Since u r travelling to Rameshwaram first, check out with the fellow BHPians if Madhurai can be avoided to Rameshwaram, as i did to Kanyakumari. I am not sure about the road conditions now as we had a cyclone recently.

Hope this was helpful. I am sure you will love the drive down south now. Especially the windmills (thousands of them) on the way to Kanyakumari.

Dhanushkodi should not be missed at any cost. It was mesmerising though we were there in the afternoon. Went on a 4 wheel drive (50/- return) to the sangam of Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Will try to upload few snaps of that place here.

Thanks
Sachin
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Old 11th November 2009, 08:25   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachin131 View Post
Hi Ketan,

I have travelled to Ramashwaram and Kanyakumari in the month of Sept 2009. Although i had taken the following route

Bangalore > Kanyakumari (about 700kms) - appro time taken 7hrs 50min.
Wow that is fast. Shows the power of Toll roads

Btw. which car was that?
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Old 11th November 2009, 08:59   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Wow that is fast. Shows the power of Toll roads

Btw. which car was that?
We were in a Mahindra Logan. For your information the average i had got from logan was mind blowing 23km/L
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Old 11th November 2009, 09:26   #21
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Thank you for sharing that information Sachin,

It will definately be useful. Yes, I will be looking forward to BP Madurai and go straight to Rameshwaram. My second halt will be at Kanyakumari or if I can reach there early in the morning and complete places around Kanyakumari within a day. I'm yet to go thru quite a few details, let me see how it works out. I may probably use SatNav if required (probabilities that I may buy MMI with a PND since I'm tired of using my cell with SatNav - its not a clean solution).
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Old 11th November 2009, 10:13   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachin131 View Post
Hi Ketan,

I have travelled to Ramashwaram and Kanyakumari in the month of Sept 2009. Although i had taken the following route

Bangalore > Kanyakumari (about 700kms) - appro time taken 7hrs 50min.
Thanks
Sachin
Unbelievable man!! Awesome!! I know the roads are being four laned and last September I made this trip, took me around 11 hours. Painful parts being Namakkal stretch and Dindigul Madurai 2 laned stretches. Are these roads also four laned?

Nainar
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Old 12th November 2009, 06:59   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anainar View Post
Unbelievable man!! Awesome!! I know the roads are being four laned and last September I made this trip, took me around 11 hours. Painful parts being Namakkal stretch and Dindigul Madurai 2 laned stretches. Are these roads also four laned?

Nainar
Unbelievable indeed !! I still remember crossing Krishnagiri to Dharmapuri would take one hour for that 40km stretch with full of huge potholes .

The drive to Kodai from bangalore can be a weekend affair now.

Good going.
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Old 13th November 2009, 13:58   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachin131 View Post

NH7 from Bangalore to Kanyakumari was is breeze, "entire stretch". Bottle necks could be Salem and the stretch between Karur and Dindidal. I never ever imagined that roads in India would be that good. To byepass Madhurai, took a deviation at about 30kms away from Madhurai, which goes to Kodai and immediately followed the sign board to Tirumangalam and then on to Kanyakumari.
Hi Sachin, I guess you are talking about the two lane road which comes on the right almost immediately after the Kodai road deviation where you cross a railway track and continue to thirumangalam. There is another 4-lane Madurai bypass road which starts after Samayanallur and joins before Thirumangalam. This bypass road was under construction during April-09 when I drove last. Do you have any idea if this by pass road is completed now?
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Old 14th November 2009, 01:00   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopikb View Post
Hi Sachin, I guess you are talking about the two lane road which comes on the right almost immediately after the Kodai road deviation where you cross a railway track and continue to thirumangalam. There is another 4-lane Madurai bypass road which starts after Samayanallur and joins before Thirumangalam. This bypass road was under construction during April-09 when I drove last. Do you have any idea if this by pass road is completed now?
You are right Gopi. It is the same two road which crosses the railway track and then leads to either Kodaikanal or Thirumangalam (by passing Madhurai). I am sure about the 4 lone road you are talking about, as I have not gone through that road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anainar View Post
Unbelievable man!! Awesome!! I know the roads are being four laned and last September I made this trip, took me around 11 hours. Painful parts being Namakkal stretch and Dindigul Madurai 2 laned stretches. Are these roads also four laned?

Nainar
The road deviation is especially at the entry of villages and towns, where flyovers are been constructed. 4 laning was going on at few places but deviations are few and good sign boards are put up before the deviation.

Last edited by Eddy : 14th November 2009 at 01:18. Reason: Please avoid posting multiple back to back posts. Use the edit / multiquote option if posting within 20 min. Thanks
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Old 5th December 2009, 00:34   #26
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How safe is it to use a Honda City Zx (2006) that already drove 45K KM for this stretch.
It never had any issue except a couple of bumper changes. It would be myself, wife (non-driving) a 2 year old.

Prior long distance experiences: Max I drove in a single stretch was 13 hours with 4 rest-area breaks and covered 800 miles in the US. I consider myself a safe and conservative driver.
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Old 7th December 2009, 10:29   #27
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HI Cruisecontrol, Should not be an issue at all man. I did Bangalore - Sivakasi drive in my Santro during April this year with my wife, 6 year old daughter and 1 year old son. The 4-laning of road between Dindugal Salem was going on then. Now with the 4-laning complete in the entire stretch, the drive should be a breeze.
Having stayed in the US, I guess you would have a car seat for your baby. Take care of him and drive safely.
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Old 9th December 2009, 14:12   #28
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Thanks Gopikb.

Yes, I use a car seat and my son cooperates too.

My destination is Munnar (Via Madurai). I would like to drive on 4 lane roads as much as possible.
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Old 9th December 2009, 15:23   #29
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Cruisecontrol, if you are going to Munnar, driving through Madurai is longer. Considering you want to maximize 4-lane driving, the better option would be is to drive the following route

Blr-hosur-krishnagiri-salem-namakkal-karur-vedasandur-palani-udumalaipettai-munnar

You have 4 lane highway until Vedasandur. From here you need to take a right towards Palani in NH209 and continue to Udumalaipettai. The ghat section starts after Udumalaipettai.

The shorter route is

Blr-hosur-krishnagiri-thoppur-mettur-bhavani-kangeyam-dharapuram-udumalaipettai-munnar

But you will have to encounter 2 lane traffic after Thoppur. You said you are a safe and conservative driver. I guess you can try this route as it saves close to 70kms if you choose this route

Happy motoring
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Old 21st December 2009, 19:10   #30
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Okay, so my plan got postponed and I'll be leaving early morning on Dec 24. Following are the places I want to cover during next 4-5 days.

Madurai, Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari and kodaikanal (if possible-on low priority).

I understand that following will be the high level route - I'm trying to figure out the specific route to cover all the above places.

Bangalore > Madurai (day1 - If we start from Bangalore early morning around 3-4, can we finish madurai during the day and reach Rameshwaram by night?)
Madurai > Rameshwaram (Day 2)
Rameshwaram > Kanyakumari and reach kodai for night stay (day 3) (is this possible? not sure how much time we should spend in Kanyakumari and whether its possible to reach Kodai on the same day!!) - Spend a day at Kdodai (Day 4)
Kodai > Bangalore (Day 5)

Let me know if its a good idea to cover Kodai, we may drop it off the list and do Kanyakumari to Bangalore direct. Also if you can help me with specific routes for the above trip along with interesting places in and around above places will be a great help!
Thank you.
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