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Old 18th August 2014, 15:22   #406
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

I went to Calicut on 15/8 morning and returned on 17/8 morning. I usually go once every 2 months-ish, and this was a weekend trip in that series.

My plan was to start from home at Marathahalli at around 5:30 AM, but since my son was participating in some of the Independence Day activities in my complex I had to stay back for a while. Plus I had to visit an ATM, so all told my trip proper started only at around 6:30 AM. By then there was quite a lot of traffic from Silk Board till all the way to Kanakapura Road, but once I crossed Metro it thinned out and beyond the NICE Road interchange, there wasn't much traffic at all. I pretty much drove non-stop to Malavally where I had my first tea break; then I turned into the town from its south edge.

The roads inside Malavally town were broad with proper dividers, I was impressed. I took the left turn near the post office to Mysore Road. A couple of km down this road and I was out of town limits. Overall, clearing the town took less than 10 minutes.

The Mysore Road from Malavally (SH 33) is quite similar in surface quality and width to our friend Ch. Nagar-Gundlupet Road (SH 81) - with two additional points of consideration: (a) it has speedbreakers till about 10 km from Malavally at the entry and exit points of all villages, and (b) it has a bit more traffic. The main town in between - Bannur - has practically no road surface at all; just a mess of slush and gravel and dust. Once I was about 15 km shy of Mysore the surface smoothed and the road widened; then it was good to drive on. I passed through this stretch when the day's Independence Day activities were nearing completion; I stopped at two schools to watch the flag hoisting ceremony and sing Jana Gana Mana with the kids. :-)

At Mysore I continued towards the south side via the Zoo and the Mall of Mysore; joining the southbound NH 212 and almost immediately leaving it to turn into JLB Road. The road to HD Kote and Mananthavady (SH 33 continuation from Mysore) is a left turn about 2 km into JLB Road; it has a big roundabout at the junction. Go under the Mysore-Ch. Nagar railway line near Ashokapuram and cross the Mysore Ring Road and you are out of city limits on the way to Kerala.

Traffic on SH 33 in this stretch is minimal; once you are out of commuter country of Mysore the road is practically empty. There are a few speedbreakers here and there, but nothing to worry the alert driver. The road quality is awesome (8m wide, at a guess - comfortable for two buses to pass each other). I saw several KL-SRTC buses on their way to Mysore - probably from Thalassery etc.

Handpost Junction came after a while (I had stopped for breakfast in the meantime). It is a bit of a traffic mess but only for a short distance (maybe 300m). As we know, left is Begur (NH 212), right is Hunsur and straight is towards Kerala. A couple of km beyond the junction is another Y split - it is easy to take the wrong turn here, as the natural contour of the road is towards the left arm of the Y and the SH 33 continuation is the right arm.

The Y junction:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-01img_20140815_104229.jpg

Kabini River flows serenely - there are a number of resorts here:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-02img_20140817_092643.jpg

The Great Indian Pleasure Tripper was here:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-13img_20140817_092621.jpg

The next thing to look for is the arch across the road announcing the Tiger Reserve and WLS. Soon, you will find the permanently closed road into the forest, and the forest bypass road that turns left. The bypass road has been relaid recently and is a beautiful road; except for 2 stretches - 400m and 200m as per my odometer - which are still flat but jerky (no potholes). At the end of the bypass you go through a boom gate and then you merge with the true alignment of SH 33. Now you are inside the forest proper.

View of the bypass road immediately after the turn:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-03img_20140815_105850.jpg

Additional views of the bypass road:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-04img_20140815_110054.jpg
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-05img_20140815_110526.jpg

One of the stretches on the bypass that has not been relaid:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-06img_20140815_112743.jpg

The road within the forest is very narrow (4m-ish) - for long stretches, two cars can barely pass each other. I drove mostly with my driver-side ORVM folded in. The KeSRTC driver drive as though the brake is yet to be invented, so you need to take care of your own vehicle. The road quality is good (no bumpiness) but progress is slow due to near-infinite supply of marked and unmarked speedbreakers. If you are lucky you can spot some animals (I saw some deers and langurs). At the end of it, you will see the thank-you messages from KA government, a bridge that separates KA and KL and Bavali village. I stopped for tea again.

Road inside the forest:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-07img_20140815_113600.jpg
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-08img_20140815_113732.jpg
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-09img_20140815_114327.jpg
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-10img_20140815_115607.jpg

This sort of a traffic calming device is seen inside the forest, in addition to speed breakers:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-11img_20140817_085037.jpg

The KA-KL border, looking from the KL side:
Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries-12img_20140815_120633.jpg

Beyond Bavali it is KL-side forest road till Kattikulam, where the road from Gonikoppal merges. There was one local politician screaming into the microphone, "we will not allow anyone to meddle with India's secular fabric" - wanted to stop and ask him if he (or the party he represented) had any clue what secularism meant. Didn't, but proceed through somewhat thinner forests towards Mananthavady. This is where I made my only mistake.

A little bit before Mananthavady, I saw this board that said "left - Mananthavady Bypass (towards Kozhikode)". I stopped and asked someone too. But this was this road: https://goo.gl/maps/4xse0 which made me miss the turn to Tharuvana. It was quite an uneven road too - thankfully, it was only about 7 km long. It merged with the regular Mananthavady-Kalpetta road near Panamaram, and then it was quite good all the way till Kainatty and beyond.

A word on NH 212 status - beyond Kalpetta till Vythiri, NH 212 has developed large-ish potholes (1 ft in diameter, 2-9 inch depth). These are separated by quite some distance in most cases - which in itself is a bad thing, as they arrive when you are least prepared. Beyond Vythiri till maybe the 2nd hair pin bend, road quality is quite bad. Onwards till Calicut, it is bad only at certain spots which you need to be prepared for.

For me, the door-to-door distance was 365km which is about 10 km less than my usual route (via Ch. Nagar and S. Bathery). I was at Mysore around 9 AM, Vythiri at 2 PM and home at maybe 4 PM. The 5 hours for about 170 km in between (Mysore-Vythiri) is not because of any deficiencies in the route; it was caused by my own choices.

I took the same route on my return; but this time I didn't meander or slow down. I started from home at about 5:30 AM and was at the NICE Ring Road junction at around 1 PM (I took the regular Mysore-Bangalore Road this time) with a fuel break at Kalpetta and a breakfast break at Kattikulam. I didn't want to pay the toll on NICE Ring Road so went inside; then asked Google Maps to take me home. It took me via Uttarahally Road to somewhere near Khoday's on Kanakapura Road. Seems to me the distance was quite a bit less compared to what I usually take - NICE+BETL. This is the route: https://goo.gl/maps/Qlbhf. I was at home by 2 PM for a late-ish lunch.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 11:05   #407
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
I went to Calicut on 15/8 morning and returned on 17/8 morning. I usually go once every 2 months-ish, and this was a weekend trip in that series.
I was wondering why I did not see an update after your trip and today realized I had completely missed your post. Thanks for the detailed update.

I am driving down next week and was thinking whether to take this route. But from your description, looks like this route will take more time and is probably advisable only if one wants to try a different route for a change? Is that a right assumption?
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Old 22nd August 2014, 11:47   #408
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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I am driving down next week and was thinking whether to take this route. But from your description, looks like this route will take more time and is probably advisable only if one wants to try a different route for a change? Is that a right assumption?
I think I drive the same distance and took the same time driving (give or take maybe 10 km and 10-15 minutes) as I would have taken had I gone via Bathery. The extra time on my way out was due to some work related matters that necessitated I park on the wayside and make some phone calls.

The USP of the route is its pristine beauty and general lack of traffic. The downside is the general lack of wayside amenities. For example, from Handpost till Kattikulam, you will not find a fuel station or even a puncture-wala.

If you are going alone by all means give it a try. Words can only say so much.
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Old 22nd August 2014, 12:10   #409
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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I think I drive the same distance and took the same time driving (give or take maybe 10 km and 10-15 minutes) as I would have taken had I gone via Bathery. The extra time on my way out was due to some work related matters that necessitated I park on the wayside and make some phone calls.

The USP of the route is its pristine beauty and general lack of traffic. The downside is the general lack of wayside amenities. For example, from Handpost till Kattikulam, you will not find a fuel station or even a puncture-wala.

If you are going alone by all means give it a try. Words can only say so much.
Thank you. Traveling with family which includes my 3.5 year old kid. But still tempted to take this route. Will think about it and decide.

One question: I typically start by 5am and stop at CCD Gundlepet. Is there something equivalent of that 3-4 hours into the drive on this route? Clean rest room and basic food are the requirements?
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Old 22nd August 2014, 12:20   #410
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One question: I typically start by 5am and stop at CCD Gundlepet. Is there something equivalent of that 3-4 hours into the drive on this route? Clean rest room and basic food are the requirements?
Nothing for the discerning traveller, outside of Mysore city limits. The next reasonable town is Mananthavady, which is about 100 km away.

I did not go into HD Kote, so don't know what facilities exist there. There is a fuel station just before you reach Handpost where there might be bio break facilities (I didn't check).
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Old 26th August 2014, 21:41   #411
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

I am planning to travel to Calicut for the Onam weekend; planning to start very early from Bangalore, by 3.30 AM on 6th so that I can reach Calicut by ~12 pm with some breaks.

What is the best route to travel (considering the time) ?
Anyone else travelling on the same day ?
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Old 26th August 2014, 22:02   #412
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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I went to Calicut on 15/8 morning and returned on 17/8 morning. I usually go once every 2 months-ish, and this was a weekend trip in that series.
Nice summary Binand. If one can manage the Malavalli-Bannur-Mysore stretch easily, rest should hold. And yes the roads around Handpost are very good. I have not gone towards Mananthvady many time, but have heard quite a good deal about it.

And yes Handpost to Begur is a nice drive, but for some road repair around Beerawal.
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Old 26th August 2014, 22:03   #413
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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I am planning to travel to Calicut for the Onam weekend; planning to start very early from Bangalore, by 3.30 AM on 6th so that I can reach Calicut by ~12 pm with some breaks.

What is the best route to travel (considering the time) ?
Anyone else travelling on the same day ?
you can take Bangalore - Mysore - Gundlupet - Batheri - CLT since you are starting early;

else you can take Bangalore - Kanakapura - Chamarajnagar - Gundlupet - Batheri - CLT.

A 3.30AM start make you reach Gundlupet around 7-7.30 AM. Plan for your first break there if you are taking the Kanakapura route. No decent break options in between.

Regarding who else is travelling - I am tentative at this moment. Post a comment here 2 days before to get the best results.

Last edited by arjithin : 26th August 2014 at 22:11.
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Old 26th August 2014, 22:09   #414
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by singleton View Post
I am planning to travel to Calicut for the Onam weekend; planning to start very early from Bangalore, by 3.30 AM on 6th so that I can reach Calicut by ~12 pm with some breaks.

What is the best route to travel (considering the time) ?
Anyone else travelling on the same day ?
With a 3.30AM start, take the regular route. Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlepet-Bathery-Kalpetta-Calicut. Roads are generally in great condition throughout (apart from couple of small sections as mentioned in the post above)

If you start at 3.30am, you can reach Mysore by 6am- Gundlepet:6.45-7am, Bathery: 7.45-8am, Kalpetta: ~8.30, Adivaram: 9-9:15, Calicut 10:15-10.30

Factoring in breaks as you mentioned, you should be able to reach by 12PM comfortably.
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Old 27th August 2014, 10:30   #415
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

Hi, I am planning to drive to Calicut this Friday. 4:00am start. Was considering the Mysore-Bandipur-Nilambur route for a change from the usual Wayanad route (though we love the Muthaga stretch each and every time we drive through )

After reading Binand's detailed post, considering HD Kote route too.

Need to break by 7:30-8:00. Can start a little later too, we are not in a hurry.

Any idea on the road conditions?

Thank You

Vindy
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Old 27th August 2014, 10:37   #416
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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Handpost Junction came after a while (I had stopped for breakfast in the meantime). It is a bit of a traffic mess but only for a short distance (maybe 300m). As we know, left is Begur (NH 212), right is Hunsur and straight is towards Kerala. A couple of km beyond the junction is another Y split - it is easy to take the wrong turn here, as the natural contour of the road is towards the left arm of the Y and the SH 33 continuation is the right arm.
I was at Wayanad on the same weekend, the onward journey was through Kanakapura ~ Chamarajnagar ~ Gundlupet ~ Bathery ~ Kalpette and took Kalpetta ~ Manathavady ~ Handpost route on my return. Since it was Sunday evening I thought of avoiding Mysore, hence took a right after Handpost that was going to Gundlupet through Begur. To my surprise road was under construction without tarmac for close to 6 ~ 8 Kms. This stretch was filled with gravel and mud until we reach Nugu Reservoir and from there onwards it was newly laid roads with few villages.

Quote:
A word on NH 212 status - beyond Kalpetta till Vythiri, NH 212 has developed large-ish potholes (1 ft in diameter, 2-9 inch depth). These are separated by quite some distance in most cases - which in itself is a bad thing, as they arrive when you are least prepared. Beyond Vythiri till maybe the 2nd hair pin bend, road quality is quite bad. Onwards till Calicut, it is bad only at certain spots which you need to be prepared for.
During my visit I even visited Calicut from Wayand and during my return from Adivaram it was around 22:00, some where before Vythiri I missed the cluster of deep potholes and my vehicle was inside on every one of them

Apart from the above two all other routes during the entire trip were on good condition.

Cheers!
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Old 27th August 2014, 10:51   #417
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

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Hi, I am planning to drive to Calicut this Friday. 4:00am start. Was considering the Mysore-Bandipur-Nilambur route for a change from the usual Wayanad route (though we love the Muthaga stretch each and every time we drive through )

After reading Binand's detailed post, considering HD Kote route too.

Need to break by 7:30-8:00. Can start a little later too, we are not in a hurry.
1. I was in Bandipur end of July; there is no change in the road condition between Thepakkad and Gudalur - a distance of about 12 km is horrible. Gudalur town is also a bottleneck; but once you turn into the Calicut Road (there are multiple roads to Calicut in Gudalur/Nadugani; be careful you take the one you want) you are OK. Apart from the novelty factor I doubt if this road offers anything over the NH 212 route - even within Kerala it is rather narrow and congested state-maintained roads.

2. As it ought to be clear from my exchange with Rajeevraj, the Mysore-HD Kote-Mananthavady route is not very family friendly. The 100 km road is completely devoid of any roadside facilities you generally expect (toilets, restaurants...).

The best route, and the one you ought to take unless you have other compelling reasons, is Gundlupet-Bathery-Kalpetta-Calicut (NH 212). At your preferred start time (4 AM) you should be in Gundlupet by 8 AM where the CCD and a bunch of other restaurants are available. At that early hour there is no reason to skip Mysore Road either (unless you are allergic to speedbreakers).
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Old 27th August 2014, 11:17   #418
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

Thank you Binand.

I am OK with the 100km stretch as we can have our break at Mysore and then at Mananthavady. 2-3 hours drive without break is fine.

Can you give the route details once more. Bangalore-Mysore-HD Kote-Mananthavady-Kalpetta-Calicut. Is that right? Any forest checkpost timing issues for a 8:00am start from Mysore?

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1. I was in Bandipur end of July; there is no change in the road condition between Thepakkad and Gudalur - a distance of about 12 km is horrible. Gudalur town is also a bottleneck; but once you turn into the Calicut Road (there are multiple roads to Calicut in Gudalur/Nadugani; be careful you take the one you want) you are OK. Apart from the novelty factor I doubt if this road offers anything over the NH 212 route - even within Kerala it is rather narrow and congested state-maintained roads.

2. As it ought to be clear from my exchange with Rajeevraj, the Mysore-HD Kote-Mananthavady route is not very family friendly. The 100 km road is completely devoid of any roadside facilities you generally expect (toilets, restaurants...).

The best route, and the one you ought to take unless you have other compelling reasons, is Gundlupet-Bathery-Kalpetta-Calicut (NH 212). At your preferred start time (4 AM) you should be in Gundlupet by 8 AM where the CCD and a bunch of other restaurants are available. At that early hour there is no reason to skip Mysore Road either (unless you are allergic to speedbreakers).
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Old 27th August 2014, 11:39   #419
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Can you give the route details once more. Bangalore-Mysore-HD Kote-Mananthavady-Kalpetta-Calicut. Is that right? Any forest checkpost timing issues for a 8:00am start from Mysore?
You don't go into HD Kote. You reach a four-way junction at Handpost (about 40 km from Mysore), from where straight is to Mananthavady, right is to HD Kote and left is to Begur.

The forest road is closed for vehicles between 6 PM and 6 AM. Other times are fine.

Mananthavady town can be bypassed (and looking at the roads within the town, ought to be bypassed). A few km shy of Mananthavady, you will see a left turn marked "Bypass - to Calicut". You can take that road to Panamaram and onwards to Kainatty (where Kalpetta bypass starts). So technically you are doing Mysore-Handpost-Bavali-Kattikulam-Panamaram-Kainatty-Vythiri-Calicut. From Kainatty onwards the route is common with the regular NH 212.

If you take this route, then the family-friendly break points after Mysore are at Kalpetta (155 km from Mysore) and Vythiri (170 km from Mysore).

Last edited by binand : 27th August 2014 at 11:40.
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Old 27th August 2014, 20:03   #420
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Default re: Bangalore - Calicut : Route Queries

Thank you again. In the main post you had mentioned taking the bypass before Mananthavady was a mistake. Should I go via Mananthavady then?

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You don't go into HD Kote. You reach a four-way junction at Handpost (about 40 km from Mysore), from where straight is to Mananthavady, right is to HD Kote and left is to Begur.

The forest road is closed for vehicles between 6 PM and 6 AM. Other times are fine.

Mananthavady town can be bypassed (and looking at the roads within the town, ought to be bypassed). A few km shy of Mananthavady, you will see a left turn marked "Bypass - to Calicut". You can take that road to Panamaram and onwards to Kainatty (where Kalpetta bypass starts). So technically you are doing Mysore-Handpost-Bavali-Kattikulam-Panamaram-Kainatty-Vythiri-Calicut. From Kainatty onwards the route is common with the regular NH 212.

If you take this route, then the family-friendly break points after Mysore are at Kalpetta (155 km from Mysore) and Vythiri (170 km from Mysore).
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