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|22nd October 2011, 15:05||#1|
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Bangalore-Kanyakumari-Trivandrum-Kodaikanal-Bangalore- An update
Here is an update on an 1800+ km round trip from Bangalore, from 4-Oct-11 thru 17-10-11. Drive was spread over NH7 and NH47/ NH47B, covering Madurai, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Tirunelveli, Kodaikanal, and Coimbatore.
Car: Hyundai i10, done some 26,000+ km to date.
Navigation: Garmin Nuvi with SATGUIDE (Aug '11).
Bangalore to Madurai.
Road condition excellent, can maintain 100+ throughout after Salem. Had a detour to Namakkal to visit the Narasimhar temple. Detour road also good, but gets slow for obvious reasons as you enter Namakkal town. Had to drive at night for some 80 km as we started late from Bangalore itself. Be very watchful for stray dogs at day/ night trying to cross the fast road, and stray goats during day. They can sure make you miss a heartbeat or two if not lead you to something worse by showing up suddenly.
Although tarred around for traffic, Madurai's Samayanallur bridge (where you get off the NH7 to enter Madurai) is still not ready today and is perhaps the sole true break on the NH7 between Bangalore and Kanyakumari.
Madurai to Kanyakumari.
Road condition excellent. Started from Madurai Ring road (MRR) as it was close to my hotel. The MRR is much faster than city, but the local corporation collects some 45 to 55 Rs. as toll for going on the MRR- over priced. No detour from NH7 till Kanyakumari. Jut some 8 km before Kanyakumari itself, there was a diversion to enter Kanyakumari, but the diversion was a fast road (although much narrower than NH7). It is nothing but cheating as a fat toll was collected just some 20 km before this diversion point.
Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, and Thiruvattaru (AdiKesava Perumal), a Divya Desham
NH47 and local roads
Road condition reasonably good on NH47, although can't do more than 50 to 60 max due to traffic. Off NH47, from Thuckalay, road was broken at places on way to Thiruvattaru, apart from being quite narrow. Nagercoil town roads were good.
Kanyakumari to Trivandrum.
NH47 via Thuckalay, Marthandam
Road condition largely good to excellent. Narrower than NH7 and no toll, except Rs. 15/- at Amaravilla bridge before entering Trivandrum city. Roads on Kerala side (after Marthandam) are much smoother than those on Tamil Nadu side (generally a patched road).
Trivandrum city to Puthenthope beach resort (30 km)
Good road within Trivandrum city and all the way to Puthenthope. Some road tarring work on before Veli.
Trivandrum (Puthenthope) to Tirunelveli.
NH47 up to Nagercoil and NH47B to NH7
Same conditions as mentioned earlier on NH47 and NH7. Took NH47B from Nagercoil to Kavalkinaru on NH7. The NH47B is in super condition now, and only place you need to slow down is at a handful of villages on the route. Had some confusion in trying to locate NH47B within Nagercoil town as I could not come across an NH47B sign board.
Tirunelveli to Madurai.
Road conditions excellent as mentioned above. Took the MRR to reach my hotel again. Toll slightly less as I said I was going to the city only.
Madurai to Kodaikanal.
NH7 and Kodai Ghat road (SH) via Bathlagundu, Perumal Malai
Road conditions largely good to excellent all along, except within Kodaikanal town where road was broken at places. Very scenic drive on Kodai Ghat road. Look for the sign that says Kodaikanal to exit the NH7. Here is a snap around a waterfall.
Kodaikanal to Coimbatore
NH209 via Palani, Udumalpettai, and Pollachi
Road condition good to fair. Good scenic road up to Palani, and then a fair road- what was a super road in Apr '11, NH209 is already patchy now at many places- fie on our NHAI for poor quality!
Coimbatore to Bangalore.
L&T Bypass, NH47, and NH7
Excellent bypass road (with Rs. 31/- as toll). NH47 is getting ready for 4- laning from Coimbatore to Avinashi, and this was a bore with endless diversions. NH7 excellent as mentioned from Avinashi to Bangalore. Some deterioration in NH7 around Hosur (greedy fellows still collect Rs. 20/- as toll there).
Will update with photos in Travelogue later.
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