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Old 22nd January 2009, 20:07   #1
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Smile Cochin-Bangalore Round Trip: All possible must-visit places please?

Hello,

We are driving down to cochin for a cruise to lakshadweep in a few weeks. I have the route planned out for the onward journey via Satyamangalam, Coimbatore, Trissur. However, on the way back, we would like to take a four day detour and visit as much of Kerala as possible.

One idea was to go to Mangalore but I don't see why we should go and see long beaches right after coming from a coral reef with only beaches!

So, after the backwater cruise in Cochin, where should we first head? What should we definitely see before leaving Kerala back to home?

Only one limitation - good roads please? or at least, preferably?

Thanks in advance! I'm all excited about this trip.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 20:31   #2
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Day 1: Cochin-Munnar, stay overnight
Day 2: Munnar
Day 3: Munnar-Thekkady, stay overnight
Day 4: More backwaters? Thekkady-Kumarakom-Cochin

All roads are good. Day 1 drive should be at most 4 hours.
Day 3 Drive should be at most 3 hours
Day 4 drive should be at most 5 hours till Kumarakom, 2 more from there to Cochin

Munnar will give you a taste of tea estates, mountain lakes
Thekkady will be elephant/ bison jungles.
And throughout drive, glimpses of rubber estates, spice gardens
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Old 22nd January 2009, 20:51   #3
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Hmm.. small outings/visiting places from Ernakulam(city itself got many tourist attractions)
1)ernakulam-perumbavvoor-kodanad Elephant kraal-Paniyeli Poru waterfalls.
2)ernakulam-kakkanad-veegaland(pallikkara)
3)Ernakulam-thrippunithura-hill palace-chottanikkara temple and then thiruvankulam-puthencruz for navanirman golf stadium(if interested?)
there are more options.
Rubber estate areas:
4)Kottayam and near by areas for meenachil river.thodupuzha town-Muttom-Thomman Kuthu waterfalls.
there are more to explore.you can find many europeans does the same.they uses homestay and explore themselves.

Last edited by deepclutch : 22nd January 2009 at 20:53.
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Old 26th January 2009, 10:52   #4
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Thanks deep and hvkumar.

Any thoughts about Sultan battery-Mysore-Bangalore route? How does sultan battery compare to munnar as a hill station for stay, exploration and weather? And the tarmac? How about the ghats? Safe with proper ledges and stuff?
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Old 26th January 2009, 11:01   #5
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Munnar all the way in my opinion.
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Old 26th January 2009, 11:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynx View Post
Any thoughts about Sultan battery-Mysore-Bangalore route? How does sultan battery compare to munnar as a hill station for stay, exploration and weather? And the tarmac? How about the ghats? Safe with proper ledges and stuff?
That takes you north from Cochin; nothing to spend 4 days there.

Here is an adaptation of HVK's advice.

(Option 1)

Day 1:- Stay and visit places around Cochin.

Day 2:- Cochin (start 7 am or earlier) - Kumarakom (2-3 hours boat ride) - (start from Kumarakom around 3ish) and Kottayam - Kanjirapally - Kumily - Thekkady. (try to reach Thekkady before sunset to enjoy the scenery on the way). Stay at Thekkady.

Can somebody finetune the timings here?

Day 3. Thekkady to Munnar. Go around Munnar stay overnight; and

Day 4. Exit Kerala via Marayoor - Pollachi - Coimby. (quiite a few threads on this scenic route in the travelouges section)

Option 2:- (If you want to go to B'lore via Mysore from Kerala,)

or cut out Cochin, adjust day 2 and 3 as day 1 and 2; and after spending night of day 3, at Munnar, on day 4, from Munnar, Angamaly - Trichur - Shornur - Perintalmanna - Nilambur - Mysore - Bl'ore. Search the "Current conditions of Roads to Kerala" thread for updates on this route (and alternative routes).
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Old 27th January 2009, 09:32   #7
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Some quick comments on BackSeatDriver's proposal:

Day 2 - Cochin-Kumarakom is at most a 2 hour drive, and Kumarakom-Thekkady 5 hours. I am a little sceptical about whether you can make it time for the sunset boat ride - if I am not mistaken, the last boats leave around 4 pm, and prior booking/ arrangement for boat seats through the hotel may be required to book your seats. Maybe, I would come over from Cochin in the evening of Day 1 itself, stay overnight at Kumarakom and proceed to Thekkady the next day morning ASAP.

Day 3: Thekkady to Munnar drive should take 3-4 hours at most.

Day 4: To reach Coimbatore from Munnar, it is over 150 kms and a 4-5 hour drive.
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Old 27th January 2009, 09:34   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynx View Post
Thanks deep and hvkumar.

Any thoughts about Sultan battery-Mysore-Bangalore route? How does sultan battery compare to munnar as a hill station for stay, exploration and weather? And the tarmac? How about the ghats? Safe with proper ledges and stuff?
Wayanadu is a nice place, with lot of interesting thing to do too. Roads are good. Closest to Bangalore. Safety of roads and road condition not an issue. Lot of choice of accommodation in Kalpetta, Vythiri.
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Old 27th January 2009, 10:24   #9
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There are quiet a few places in south kerala(trivandrum) to cover.like ponmudi,thenmala,kuttalam etc.
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Old 28th January 2009, 18:49   #10
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Wayanadu is a nice place, with lot of interesting thing to do too. Roads are good. Closest to Bangalore. Safety of roads and road condition not an issue. Lot of choice of accommodation in Kalpetta, Vythiri.
Thanks Kumar. While the Munaar, Kumarakom, Thekkady would surely be lovely places to visit, the others coming with me don't seem very excited cause they've heard munnar is just another hill station, thekkady just another forest ride.

I think we will choose the wayanad-sultan battery-mysore-gudalur-ooty route. Can you help me plan out a four day trip with the distance covered equally split between the places and a list of interesting things we can do there rather than just seeing. :-) I'm doing the same research right now parallelly also but direct information is better than anything else!

Thanks for confirming the good condition of the roads, that's a huge help. Also, are the ghats in sultan battery and the gudalur to ooty also quite safe with ledges and stuff? I have never driven on the ghats in my life before.

Thanks!
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Old 29th January 2009, 17:51   #11
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P.S.: If there are alternative no-ghat routes, I'd love to know them too. I'm getting a bit tensed and diffident about the munnar or the sultan battery ghats just thinking about driving on them in a new car with full load. Thanks!
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Old 29th January 2009, 17:58   #12
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Take NH17 from Cochin (Kochi) towards Calicut (Kozhikode).

Route is as follows:
Cochin-Paravur 20 kms-Kodungallur 12-Chavakkad 48-Kunnamkulam 10-Edappal 23-Kuttipuram 10-Valancherry 8-Kottakkal 20-Ramanattukara 32-Feroke 3-Calicut 10

From Calicut, take the Wayanad Road (well-known). You can turn off into the Calicut City Bypass and branch off from NH17 onto the Wayanadu Road without getting lost inside the city. The road till Calicut is dense traffic in some sectors especially till Kodungallur. At Kunnamkulam town, instead of taking NH17 via Ponnani till Valancherry, go straight to Edappal on state highway.

Route from Calicut is as follows:

Calicut-Thamaraserry 36-Adivaram 14-Vythiri 10-Kalpetta 13. This is a 2-lane road, has ghat roads. Wayanad hotels are either in Vythiri or Kalpetta.

You can go direct from Vythiri to Ooty via Cherambadi, Meppadi and Gudalur.
You can also go directly from Sultan's Battery to Ooty via Gudalur in case you do not wish to go to Mysore.


Kalpetta-Sultan's Battery 31-Gundulpet 58-Nanjangud 40-Mysore 25. You will cross wildlife sanctuaries en route to Gundulpet, and can expect elephant/ bison/ deer crossings.

Mysore-Nanjangud 25-Gundulpet 40-Bandipur 20-Mudumalai/Theppekadu 13-Masinagudi 7-Kalhatti 24-Ooty 5. Road from Bandipur to Kalhatti is wild life territory. From Mudumalai to Kalhatti, the road is closed to traffic from 6 pm - 6 am. The road from Masinagudi has sharp ghat roads (36 hairpin bends), but is a great drive.


Mudumalai/Theppekadu-Gudalur 18-Kalhatti 45-Ooty 5. Take this route in case you wish to go via Gudalur. This route is longer but has wider and less steep roads.
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Old 29th January 2009, 18:00   #13
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Quote:
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P.S.: If there are alternative no-ghat routes, I'd love to know them too. I'm getting a bit tensed and diffident about the munnar or the sultan battery ghats just thinking about driving on them in a new car with full load. Thanks!
The only real steep ghat sections are between Masinagudi and Kalhatti on the Mysore-Ooty road, which can test any car, and may be avoidable if your car is new. Yo8u can take the route via Gudalur (as advised in previous mail) - that road has less steep roads. The ghat roads are well-tarred and negotiable by any skilled driver.
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Old 29th January 2009, 18:17   #14
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Thanks a million Kumar for the detailed information and especially for the closed road timings. That would've been a huge factor missed if we had planned it otherwise.

So, the only ghat roads in the entire trip are the Mysore-Ooty and Vythiri-Kalpetta? I was under the impression that the road to Sultan Battery and the road out of it would also be ghat roads?

Wayanad would be a nice place to visit I guess too. I will look up each of the places in Lonely Planet guide now.

Also, one other question if you may. Sorry for so many... :(

Cochin-Paravur-Kodungallur-Chavakkad-Kunnamkulam-Edappal-Kuttipuram-Valancherry-Kottakkal-Ramanattukara-Feroke-Calicut-Wayanad Road-Calicut-Thamaraserry-Adivaram-Vythiri-Kalpetta-Sultan's Battery-Gundulpet-Nanjangud-Mysore-Nanjangud-Gundulpet-Bandipur-Mudumalai/Theppekadu-Masinagudi-Kalhatti-Ooty.

If from the above route you have mentioned, if ghat roads are removed, what would the route look like and which would be the places of interest then? We would still be able to cover Wayanad, Mysore, Bandipur, Mudumalai, and Coimbatore (and then Bangalore via Satyamangalam)? How much alterations would be there in the route that way?

I have never driven on ghat roads in my life before and nobody else in the five have more than a grand kilometers of driving together, so I am a bit apprehensive of trying to do it for the first time in a new car as well. Or if there are options of parking the car at the foothill and then going up to the hill station, visiting it and coming back to pick up the car and then drive to the next, it would be great too. Sorry again for asking so many questions. We would really like this first trip to go without hassles and none of the guides offline or online are helping me well with this research.

Thanks once again!
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Old 29th January 2009, 20:21   #15
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3)Ernakulam-thrippunithura-hill palace-chottanikkara temple and then thiruvankulam-puthencruz for navanirman golf stadium(if interested?)
Hey, where is this 'golf stadium' in Puthercruz? What is it?

Regards
Rex
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