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Old 22nd April 2011, 11:52   #61
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Am I missing some thing or Google is not all that right.

Google maps show a difference of only 20-30 km .

Dindigul route: (575)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu to Munnar, Kerala - Google Maps

Madurai Route (606)

Chennai, Tamil Nadu to Munnar, Kerala - Google Maps

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Old 22nd April 2011, 13:09   #62
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Sorry for the late post. I did Chennai - Trichy - Madurai - Theni - Bodhi - Munnar last month and all the roads were excellent. I would definitely suggest this route.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 15:50   #63
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Srikanth,

I am not referring to the city route through No. 1 Tollgate, Thiruvanaikoil. That hasnt changed over the years apart from the fact that Kollidam is closed for heavy vehicles.

The old bypass that passes through Ponmalai is what i know and have travelled many years, mostly gone to Madurai and barely 1-2 times to Dindigul. If I remember correctly, to get to Dindigul road that way one has to go through Main Bus Stand !!

Now taking brand new 4-laned bypass which has a different alignment Samayapuram onwards (which I am planning to take) it is a piece of cake for Madurai, how to get to Dindigul that way is my question. NOTE: I've just travelled once in the 4-laned bypass so dont quite remember landmarks apart from a board that pointed 'Trichy 5 kms'.

And I did book a room in Western Gatz
~~~~~
SwiftD, What ampere said is right. The distance differential is just 20-30 kms max. Trichy-Dindigul is 98 kms, Trichy-Madurai is 130 kms. Both Madurai-Theni and Dindigul-Theni are almost similar distances (~ 70-80 kms). Things have changed a lot since you travelled in August. The stretch is almost done (with some smooth diversions) when i last saw on 28-Feb.
~~~~
The trip originally planned for Vagamon, Thekkady got moved to Munnar. So plan is to ascend on Bodi route and descend on Marayoor route.

One more question, how is the Palani-Udumalaipettai and Dindigul-Palani road ? In the past Dindigul-Palani has always been good 2-laner. Am bored of seeing the Krishnagiri NH7 bridge and Vaniyambadi 90 degree bridges. I want to do either NH45 or NH68 on return. If NH68 was done and dusted, I'd have taken that, but I dont its worth taking it in the late evening hours. So have been thinking of catching NH45 via Palani.

Any other ideas, this probably only opportunity to see how Kangeyam or Dharapuram looks like, but they are way out of any short routes back to Madras !

PS: NH45 (and 45B) to Madurai is my childhood favourite highway. I knew which signage was where on the 452 km long old alignment
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Old 22nd April 2011, 16:11   #64
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

The Trichy bye-pass continue to be on the same alignment as the old one especially from the Kollidam bridge onwards, what has happened is that all the Intersections have bridges which mean you need not wait at any of the intersection. You are right ins saying that you will have to go near the Main Bus Stand while going to Dindigul. You will have to continue to do the same even now. The only thing you need to check out is watch for the detour which says Trichy / Dindigul. This in all probability would be the last detour on the byepass. Incidentally when are you travelling, I will be driving down from Madurai on Wednesday if you can wait until then I will confirm you the exact status.

With regard to your query on alternate route to Chennai instead of the now boring NH46 you can look at this thread of mine where I had used a mixture of 209, 67 & 45 to come back to Chennai from Udumalaipettai. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...not-taken.html (Chennai - Thrissur & Back through the roads not taken)
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Old 22nd April 2011, 16:42   #65
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

I think NH209 is in good condition. So Udumalpet-Dindigul should be good via Palani. And then on its the same.
Its the Palani-Kodai route which was under repair.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 19:45   #66
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

I was thinking of coming via Karur too, but both routes to Trichy are pretty messed up !! Musiri-No.1 Tollgate atleast is in decent shape (even though it houses geniuses like Namakkal, Salem buses and sand lorries), but I dont think Karur-Kulithalai is anywhere close to that !

I did Rasipuram-Namakkal stretch couple of months back and was in great shape However, am not sure of the Rasipuram-Attur road condition, from the NH68 thread it looks Kallakurichi-Attur isnt complete either.
~~~~
Srikanth, I leave on Friday afternoon so will wait for your response
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Old 28th April 2011, 15:14   #67
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

@Narayans80

Couple of feedback for you after my trip over the last couple of days. Due to a change in plan I did not go to Madurai from here instead reached Madurai from Coimbatore. The incidental benefit is I can confirm that the road conditions are good except for at the level crossings all the way from Pollachi to Dindigul via Udumalaipettai & Dindigul.

With regard to the turn off at Trichy bye-pass for Dindigul since I reached Trichy at 7 in the evening yesterday I could not check out completely but can certainly confirm that for each turn off there are clear indications. What I can also confirm is that there is a turn off marked for Pudukottai - Rameswaram & Trichy town which will serve the purpose for you in terms of getting into the Dindigul road as its at this point you take a detour to Trichy Jn.

I did notice a few kms. before the Trichy bye-pass signs of a road interchange construction happening which in all probability could be the new alignment for reaching the Dindigul road bye-passing the town section after Jn. completely.

Hope this helps you in your travel.

Edit: Incidentally if you plan to go to Madurai and then onto Theni the Bye-pass' from Viralimalai and Dindigul side are not connected as far as I could see it, you might have to go through the city or take the Ring road and reach the bye pass from Dindigul side little before Tirumangalam.

Last edited by pypkmsrikanth : 28th April 2011 at 15:18.
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Old 28th April 2011, 16:18   #68
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Drove to Munnar the gone weekend. Drove both onward and return journey in night.

Took Chennai - Trichy - Dindugul - Theni - Bodi - Munnar route to reach Munnar

The roads were good througout but was very boring to drive. If you had already driven in this route to reach Kodai, I would suggest to take some other route to Munnar.

Came back through Munnar - Udumalpet - Palani - Dindugul - Trichy - Chennai route.

The sceneries encountered until reaching Udumalpet was mind blowing. But the roads have started detoriating. Encountered a couple of rough patches and guess the number will only increase unless patch up is done. Also, the roads at some stretches were narrow and had a lot of really sharp blind corners, driving on them in twilight and dark was tough. So would suggest to plan your travel for the day.

The Dindigul - Trichy route is almost done but driving through it in night is risky especially if you wish to keep the speeds above 90kmph.
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Old 28th April 2011, 16:23   #69
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Thanks Srikanth


Quote:
Incidentally if you plan to go to Madurai and then onto Theni the Bye-pass' from Viralimalai and Dindigul side are not connected as far as I could see it, you might have to go through the city or take the Ring road and reach the bye pass from Dindigul side little before Tirumangalam.
Yes to bypass Madurai I have to take 2 bypasses. The only thing I dont know about the Dindigul route is if there are good petrol bunks on the Trichy-Dindigul or Dinidigul-Theni route. On Madurai route, there is a BP Ghar near Melur am aware of.

Quote:
I can confirm that the road conditions are good except for at the level crossings all the way from Pollachi to Dindigul via Udumalaipettai & Dindigul
Those level crossings (Madurai-Coimbatore line under BG conversion) are lost in time, theyve been a pain even during our Ambassador days. Good thing is that they never close due to the gauge conversion.

Quote:
The roads were good througout but was very boring to drive. If you had already driven in this route to reach Kodai, I would suggest to take some other route to Munnar.

Came back through Munnar - Udumalpet - Palani - Dindugul - Trichy - Chennai route.
If Trichy-Karur NH67 and Salem-Ulundurpet NH68 were in good shape those will open up more options, until then there isnt much options other than using Madras-Krishnagiri-Salem or Madras-Trichy road (former will still use NH45 from Trichy, but can use state highways from Udumalpet to Kangeyam and NH67 to Trichy).

Last edited by narayans80 : 28th April 2011 at 16:32.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 15:45   #70
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

OK the trip is done and dusted

Onward: Madras-Trichy-Melur-Mattuthavani,Tirumangalam bypass-Kappalur,Samayanallur NH7 bypass-Theni-Bodi-Bodimettu-Poopara-Devikulam-Munnar

Return: Munnar-Marayoor-Udumalaipet-Palani bypass-Dindigul bypass-Trichy town-Madras

Road conditions:
NH45- Great! but is undulated quite a bit in Madras-Chengalpattu section. Left

home at 315pm
Kattangulathur 415pm (10 min break)
Ulundurpet GHar Dhaba 645pm (15 min to refuel)
No.1 Tollgate turnoff 815pm
Viralimalai toll 845pm (1 hr break)
Mattuthavani,Tirumangalam bypass 1110pm (10 min to refuel)
Theni 110am

The Mattuthavani,Tirumangalam bypass is where i lost time, those who say NICE is expensive. Try this one, they charge 40Rs for this narrow 20km 2-laned bypass which is pathetic considering the traffic that uses it. Signages are terrible to say the least, if you are passing by night you can miss qutie a few turnoffs. I took the NH45B to Tuticorin at one such junction. Knew i was on the wrong direction seeing the 4-laned road.

Madurai-Theni NH49 is in good condition. The road is broken at couple of places, but nothing serious. I was able to maintain 80+ all through. Very minimal traffic.

Theni-Bodi is also equally good, the turnoff was not marked but remembered from trips 20 yrs back. Luckily there was a milestone in spotting distance to confirm.

Bodi-5 km before Poopara was is great condition. The road deteriorates after that. Anyways nobody's gonna do racing speeds on a ghat. Encountered beautiful fog after crossing Periyakkanal There is a narrow stretch I had to reverse down the ramp to let some heavy vehicles through.

Amp, where is Siena Village. Couldnt spot any boards for it (maybe because I wasnt looking for it).

Took a leisurely 4.5 hrs to climb up.

The Munnar-Top station road was in mint condition compared all other ghat roads around Munnar. Was a delight to drive on, especially yesterday when we left around 630 to visit Mattupetty in peace.

The climb down Udumalpet route had a much lesser gradient, but scenic nevertheless. One thing was, this route is much hotter than the Bodi route, had to switch on AC after Marayoor. The road widens to a typical 2-laner after the third forest check post.

Some bridge work is going on Udumalpet, absolutely no signages pointing to the Dindigul road.

Udumalpet-Dindigul NH209 was a 2-lane wonder. Only gripe was the lack of signages at the Palani bypass.

Trichy-Dindigul: There are totally around 10-12 diversions on the entire stretch (mostly U turn to U turn section, some are 2 U-turn length). Manapparai bypass is in progress though it wont take long to clear it. Took me 5 mins for it. Vaiyampatti bypass bridge which was in progress in Feb, is done and dusted. Took me 80-90 mins in sedate 80-100 kmph.

Munnar: 950 am
Marayoor: 1230 pm (30 min for lunch)
Udumalpet: 230pm
Dindigul: 430 pm (10 min break near Oddanchatram)
Trichy: 550pm (dinner, getting lost)
Trichy No.1 Tollgate turnoff: 820pm
Ulundurpet Ghar Dhaba: 945pm
Mahindra City toll: 12am
Home: 1240 am

Saw a COCO 280-290 km from Madras towards Trichy, but there was hardly anyone who fuelled there. Many did in Ulundurpet Ghar.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 17:14   #71
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Amp, where is Siena Village. Couldnt spot any boards for it (maybe because I wasnt looking for it).
Great update! Looks like you had a ball all the way. Sienna is at Chinnakanal and is about 2-3 km further down the road where you will find Club Mahindra.

Great to know about the beautiful NH209 as well.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 14:48   #72
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

I have just returned from a drive to Munnar from Chennai.

Onward -
Chennai - Trichy (overnight halt) - Dindugal - Bodi - Poopara - Chinnakanal (Stay in Sterling, courtesy travelport vouchers)

Chennai - Trichy - 5 hours, no breaks.
Trichy - Munnar - 5 hours, no breaks.

Return -
I took a slight detour through a forest road that I saw on google maps. Chinnakanla-Suryanelli-Bodimetti. This road joins the bodi-munnar highway about one km from the kerala checkpost. If you are driving from bodi towards munnar, look for a right diversion one km after the kerala side checkpost. Take this road only if you have a SUV. Smaller cars may not climb the incline. You have really stunning views of the anerangal dam and its catchment area. This road reduces the bodimetti-chinnakanal distance by around 20km.
I started from Munnar at 12.15pm and reached chennai at 10.15pm. I drove without dinner breaks.

I stick to a 90-95kmph (2k rpm) on my bolero(crde), as I find the least driver stress and best fuel economy(15kmpl) at this speed.

Shyam
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Old 28th March 2012, 09:25   #73
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Hi Guys,

I'm planning to drive down to Munnar on the 5th of April. Can anyone share any updates on the Road conditions? The route I'm planning to take is Chennai- Trichy- Dindigul-Munnar. Plan is:-
1. Leave early morning by 330AM from home (Kilpauk)
2. Travel almost non-stop. Carrying food on board.

Any updates on road conditions will be helpful. Also can people suggest any Restaurants/ Petrol pumps enroute, which might have decent restrooms for the ladies.

Thanks!
Varun
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Old 31st March 2012, 12:28   #74
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by misguidedmisile View Post
Hi Guys,

I'm planning to drive down to Munnar on the 5th of April. Can anyone share any updates on the Road conditions? The route I'm planning to take is Chennai- Trichy- Dindigul-Munnar. Plan is:-
1. Leave early morning by 330AM from home (Kilpauk)
2. Travel almost non-stop. Carrying food on board.

Any updates on road conditions will be helpful. Also can people suggest any Restaurants/ Petrol pumps enroute, which might have decent restrooms for the ladies.

Thanks!
Varun
Take Dindigual - Udumalpet - Munnar, The route is good.
Chennai - Dindigul stretch is good, as usual.
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Old 1st April 2012, 07:03   #75
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Benny

We are also planning to goto Munnar from Chennai on April 4th evening 4:00 pm stay at Srirangam and next day leave to Munnar.

You had suggested Dindigual - Udumalpet - Munnar which is 50 kms more than Dindugal - Theni - Bodi - Munnar.

Any reason for this. I have traveled via Theni to Thekaddy last August and the roads were excellent. Not sure how Theni to Munnar is though.
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