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Old 9th December 2010, 12:32   #1
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Default Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

Folks,

I am driving down to Thekkady, and Ashtamudi during Dec 2010 from Bangalore. As always, looking for you to help me out with routes, road conditions, must-visit places and other helpful things to make the trip a successful one. My hotels are booked, and GPS is ready to go....

Thanks in advance.
BSD.

PS: Please check out my Bangalore-Pondicherry travelogue during this November in team-bhp.
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Old 9th December 2010, 13:18   #2
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

Take the Bangallore - Hosur - Salem - Karur - Dindigul - Theni - Kumily (thekkady). The road till Dindigul is very good and four laned and beyond that till Kumily is decent though two laned but hardly any traffic. The stretch from Dindigul to Kumily is very secenic at this time so drive leisurely. When in thekkady, go for boat ride and night safaris. Also plan a visit to beautiful Idukki dam which is an hours drive from there.
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Old 9th December 2010, 14:02   #3
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

Thank you Fauji for the quick response. That was really helpful. From there I plan to drive to Ashtamudi lake and back. It seems that I need to take a different route while coming back via Punalur. Any comments on that?
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Old 9th December 2010, 14:44   #4
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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Thank you Fauji for the quick response. That was really helpful. From there I plan to drive to Ashtamudi lake and back. It seems that I need to take a different route while coming back via Punalur. Any comments on that?
The route back is via Nh208. Punalur-Thenkashi-Rajapalayam-Sriviliputtur-Madurai and then NH7.

208 is in decent condition.
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Old 9th December 2010, 15:42   #5
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

Caution - latest update is that the Theni-Kumili road is also affected by the recent heavy rains and not in prime condition.

Similarly, the Punalur-Tenmala road en route Tenkasi also has several bad sections, especially on the turnings in the ghat road.

From Kumili to go to Asthamudi, take the road via Kanjirapalli to Vazhoor (22 kms before Kottayam), connect with MC Road at Changanaserry and then via SH11 go to Alapuzha. Proceed south on NH47 via Kayamkulam to Kanjirapalli and Chavara from where you can go to Asthamudi (Club M?). You can also continue on MC Road from Changanaserry and take the turning to Asthamudi from Kottarakara or Adoor.
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Old 9th December 2010, 16:05   #6
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

@bsdbsd, which resort in Ashtamudi? Also, are you on a SUV/MUV?
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Old 9th December 2010, 17:14   #7
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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Caution - latest update is that the Theni-Kumili road is also affected by the recent heavy rains and not in prime condition.

Similarly, the Punalur-Tenmala road en route Tenkasi also has several bad sections, especially on the turnings in the ghat road.
Thanks HVK. I was not aware of this. Sorry for the previous post, where I thought it was in decent condition.
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:17   #8
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@bsdbsd, which resort in Ashtamudi? Also, are you on a SUV/MUV?
Club Mahindra Ashtamudi Lake Resort. I am on my Santro AT. Does it take an SUV to reach there?
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:20   #9
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Caution - latest update is that the Theni-Kumili road is also affected by the recent heavy rains and not in prime condition.

Similarly, the Punalur-Tenmala road en route Tenkasi also has several bad sections, especially on the turnings in the ghat road.

From Kumili to go to Asthamudi, take the road via Kanjirapalli to Vazhoor (22 kms before Kottayam), connect with MC Road at Changanaserry and then via SH11 go to Alapuzha. Proceed south on NH47 via Kayamkulam to Kanjirapalli and Chavara from where you can go to Asthamudi (Club M?). You can also continue on MC Road from Changanaserry and take the turning to Asthamudi from Kottarakara or Adoor.
@hvk, @ampere. Thanks for your responses. Absolutely helpful. What timings do you suggest from my return trip to Bangalore from Club M Ashtamudi? Should I touch Madurai? How many hours it may take (14?)
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:40   #10
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Caution - latest update is that the Theni-Kumili road is also affected by the recent heavy rains and not in prime condition.

Similarly, the Punalur-Tenmala road en route Tenkasi also has several bad sections, especially on the turnings in the ghat road.

From Kumili to go to Asthamudi, take the road via Kanjirapalli to Vazhoor (22 kms before Kottayam), connect with MC Road at Changanaserry and then via SH11 go to Alapuzha. Proceed south on NH47 via Kayamkulam to Kanjirapalli and Chavara from where you can go to Asthamudi (Club M?). You can also continue on MC Road from Changanaserry and take the turning to Asthamudi from Kottarakara or Adoor.
@hvk. Need help. I am trying to construct a route as per your advise. Please help me to tune my route:

1. From Club M Thekkady to Kanjirappally (NH220)
2. Kanjirappally to Vazhoor (NH220)
3. Here where I am stuck. Vazhoor-Kondungoor-Kanam-Pathanadu-Karukachal-Changanassery?
4. Changanassery-Alappuza via Changanassery Alappuza highway and meet NH47.?

Also,
When should I leave Thekkady to reach Ashtamudi so that I reach Ashtamudi resort by 12PM?
How are these roads?
I have no clue about these areas as I would be driving in this part of state first time.

Thanks in advance and much appreciated!
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:49   #11
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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Thanks HVK. I was not aware of this. Sorry for the previous post, where I thought it was in decent condition.
No problems. Looks like there are no better alternatives as well. I will stick with your suggestions and drive slowly. I am a slow driver after all...
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Old 10th December 2010, 12:09   #12
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

bsdbsd, the road to Club M Astamudi is a good road navigable by any car. I will brief you also on the exact coordinates.

The drive from Thekkady to Astamudi is a straightforward run on the Kumili-Kottayam road (or NH220), Roads have cracked up a little after the recent heavy rains till Kanjirapalli, but landscapes are lovely and you can go on it 24x7. Expect heavy fog in some stretches.

You do not have to go till Kottayam, on NH220 only till Vazhor.

From Vazhoor, it is very simple - you come to a small junction where the right fork is NH220 continuing 22 kms to Kottayam, and the left turn is for Changanaserry (with signages). That will lead you via Karukachal to Changanaserry.

At Changanaserry, you will join the MC Road (Kottayam-Trivandrum), turn south (left) towards Trivandrum, and 1 km out of town, you will see the right turn off to SH11 for Alapuzha (with signages).

SH11 will meet NH47 at Kalarcode, 3 kms south of Alapuzha town.

Instead of going to Alapuzha, turn left (south) towards Trivandrum and go to Chavara beyond Ambalapuzha, Kayamkulam & Karunagapalli to Chavara.

Precise instructions:
Kumili-Vandiperiyar 15 kms-Kuttikanam 20 kms-Mundakkayam 22-Kanjirapalli 14-Ponkunnam 5-Vazhoor 12-turn left-Karukachal 10-Changanaserry 15-Turn off to SH11 2 km-Ramankary 11-Monkompu 4-NH47 before Alapuzha 10-turn left onto NH47-Ambalapuzha 10-Haripad 20-Kayamkulam 5-Oachira 15-Karunagapalli 10-Kerala Minerals & Metals Factory gate 5-Turn LEFT here for Club M
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Old 10th December 2010, 12:14   #13
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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I am on my Santro AT. Does it take an SUV to reach there?
No no, nothing like that. Was just curious to know. Cars like Honda City may not be great due to GC. Otherwise no issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdbsd View Post
What timings do you suggest from my return trip to Bangalore from Club M Ashtamudi? Should I touch Madurai? How many hours it may take (14?)
Travel time would be roughly 14hours via NH208-NH7 I guess. Bad stretches between Punalur and Tenmala, as per updates by HVK Sir. Rajapalayam and beyond are decent two laned roads while from Tirumangalam till BLR are excellent 4 laned highway.

Route would be Ashtamudi-Kollam-Kundara-Kottarakkara-Punalur-Tenmala-Shencottah-Tenkasi-Rajapalayam-Tirumangalam-Madurai-Dindigul-Karur-Salem-BLR.

If you want to experiment, then you can bypass Kollam by going via Sasthamkottah to Kundara.

Last edited by sbraj : 10th December 2010 at 12:17.
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Old 10th December 2010, 13:57   #14
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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bsdbsd, the road to Club M Astamudi is a good road navigable by any car. I will brief you also on the exact coordinates.

The drive from Thekkady to Astamudi is a straightforward run on the Kumili-Kottayam road (or NH220), Roads have cracked up a little after the recent heavy rains till Kanjirapalli, but landscapes are lovely and you can go on it 24x7. Expect heavy fog in some stretches.

You do not have to go till Kottayam, on NH220 only till Vazhor.

From Vazhoor, it is very simple - you come to a small junction where the right fork is NH220 continuing 22 kms to Kottayam, and the left turn is for Changanaserry (with signages). That will lead you via Karukachal to Changanaserry.

At Changanaserry, you will join the MC Road (Kottayam-Trivandrum), turn south (left) towards Trivandrum, and 1 km out of town, you will see the right turn off to SH11 for Alapuzha (with signages).

SH11 will meet NH47 at Kalarcode, 3 kms south of Alapuzha town.

Instead of going to Alapuzha, turn left (south) towards Trivandrum and go to Chavara beyond Ambalapuzha, Kayamkulam & Karunagapalli to Chavara.

Precise instructions:
Kumili-Vandiperiyar 15 kms-Kuttikanam 20 kms-Mundakkayam 22-Kanjirapalli 14-Ponkunnam 5-Vazhoor 12-turn left-Karukachal 10-Changanaserry 15-Turn off to SH11 2 km-Ramankary 11-Monkompu 4-NH47 before Alapuzha 10-turn left onto NH47-Ambalapuzha 10-Haripad 20-Kayamkulam 5-Oachira 15-Karunagapalli 10-Kerala Minerals & Metals Factory gate 5-Turn LEFT here for Club M
@hvk, you are truly awesome. I fell of my chair after reading your "precise directions", which included the icing on the cake: "Turn LEFT here for Club M". . It was like you were waiting for me to ask you some questions.

I am now busy with Google maps generating the tracks. I think we should have one forum on "popular routes", wherein we can load all these tracks. Newbies can just download and open the tracks in Google earth / maps.

Team-BHP Mods to advise.

Thanks again!
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Old 10th December 2010, 13:59   #15
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Default Re: Help required to plan my Dec trip to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
No no, nothing like that. Was just curious to know. Cars like Honda City may not be great due to GC. Otherwise no issues.


Travel time would be roughly 14hours via NH208-NH7 I guess. Bad stretches between Punalur and Tenmala, as per updates by HVK Sir. Rajapalayam and beyond are decent two laned roads while from Tirumangalam till BLR are excellent 4 laned highway.

Route would be Ashtamudi-Kollam-Kundara-Kottarakkara-Punalur-Tenmala-Shencottah-Tenkasi-Rajapalayam-Tirumangalam-Madurai-Dindigul-Karur-Salem-BLR.

If you want to experiment, then you can bypass Kollam by going via Sasthamkottah to Kundara.
@sbraj: That was incredibly helpful. I am able to mind-map my trip entirely now. Thank you sir!
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