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Old 18th April 2013, 15:31   #1
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Default Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

This post is meant for all those who intend to travel in the coming days within Kerala and to Mangalore/Kollur and are wondering how its like driving along those stretches of Kannur-Kasargod-Mangalore which has always been a nightmare due to the poor condition of the roads. I am including the log of the Up and Down journey so that it helps someone plan their trips at different hours of the day.

I started from Trivandrum and went all the way up to Kasargode and therefore, this post will help all those who wish to know the condition of the roads along Kerala.

This was the first big trip I was doing on my Jetta and I wanted to make sure everything was in order. Did all I had to 2 days before the trip and despite the right fender being scraped by a bus driver when parked and leaving me aghast, I was waiting for the dawn of Day 1.

General Impression -
Excellent roads almost throughout. And that is a huge surprise even when I write this post because I was expecting the worst after Calicut.

Here is the log from TVM-Kollur

Place - Odo - Time - Remarks
Day 1

Trivandrum
- 0 - 4:55 AM (Obvious choice was MC Road since the bridge at Kollam is under repair and MC Road doesnt have speed sensors; NH is crowded with them)

Kottarakkara
- 70 - 6:03 AM

Pandalam
- 99

Kuttanad Restaurant, Mankompu
- 144 - 7:20 (This is a friend's restaurant and the food is pretty good. The owner is passionate about what he does and makes sure comments are well addressed. This is a great stretch to flex, but beware of Interceptors [limit - 70kmph] throughout)

Started at 7:55 AM (I usually allow long breaks for the family so that they don't ask me to stop when I am on a roll. The thought of having to overtake those dreaded lorries and some drivers who seem to be driving toy cars on their beds annoys me to no ends)

Cochin, Aroor - 204.6 - 9:10 AM
Cochin, Vytilla - 212.6 - 9:25 AM
Cochin, Kakkanad - 219.3 - 9:48 AM (I purposefully included these since people who plan their travel should know how much time it takes to cross Cochin. This is much much better compared to the time I would have taken around 10AM or 4/5 PM)

Chalakkudy - 256.5/10:30 AM

Hotel Mayura, Trichur
- 286 - 11:02 AM (Drove leisurely here barring a stretch where my eyes got glued on to a Yellow thing that looked anew. Something I wasn't seeing often. Wanted to see that close and when I came closer, it was an Eco Sport being tested along the highway, stress-tested I must say. I think it was an Ecoboost. I overtook them, asked my wife to capture the video of the car approaching - the guys notice and they back off. Hotel Mayura is on the Mannuthy Bypass and is a nice place to take breaks. Very clean toilets and excellent food.)

Started at 12:00 PM (A long break, wasn't it? The Gobi Manchurian took long and was worth the wait too)

Kecheri - 308 - 12:38 PM (Another place where you can get stuck up due to traffic. Roads have been properly laid at Trichur all the way until Valancherry and that brought a big smile on my face)

Kunnamkulam - 315 - 12:48 PM (There is a restaurant by name Village here. Good food and clean toilets. In between Kecheri and Kunnamkulam, there is another restaurant Olive that serves okay food)

Valancherry - 355 - 1:35 PM (Thank God! There wasnt much traffic here. Another place you can get stuck. There is a shortcut too, but condition of road isnt great)

Kadampuzha - 361.8/1:44 PM

Kottakkal - 372.9/1:58 PM

Hit our favorite hotel, Maharani - 418.1/3:08 PM. And retired for the day. I usually start late for the benefit of all, but my little one is an early starter and wants to hit bed by 7:30. Didn't want to make her cranky for any reason of mine. And it worked! Early to start and early to stop - I am going to make this a habit for I was also more than 50% energetic compared to the 10AM-7PM routine for reasons obvious to all.

Closing mileage - 418.1 KMS

Day 2
Odo Reset to 0

Started at 5:40 AM (Wanted to start at 4AM, but got delayed)

Vadakara - 49.7/6:35 AM (Roads are good from Calicut to Kannur. Beware of the 3/4 surprise pot holes on the way.)

Mahe - 63.3/6:49 AM (Jetta got some energy drink to gulp and from here itself since his owner knew the drink costs less there)

Kannur - 93 - 7:30 AM

Breakfast @ Vazhiyoram - 107.9 - 7:53 AM (Another regular place of ours. A KTDC run hotel in a vast area, decent food and lot of place to walk around and relax and clean toilets too)

Started at 8:42 AM

There is the famous Rajarajeswara temple a few kilometers right of the junction at 115.3 Kms. Near that is the famous Trichambaram temple, I guess. Been there many times before. Usually we do 17 temples excluding Kollur Mookambika temple on every visit. This time it was just Kollur and back.

Kanjangad - 164.8 - 9:57 AM

From here, I found the roads to be terribly bad and found out later that I had missed the bypass. There is a forked junction after Kanjangad from where I took the left. That takes you to the town. Take right and you will continue on the bypass. I didnt notice sign boards there. Same distance, same time taken (which I realized on return), but very bad roads.

Kasargode - 192 - 10:40 AM (Great roads, trust me! It was unbelievable to see good roads throughout)

Mangalore - 236.7 - 11:50 AM (Hit some traffic as usual on my approach to the Mangalore Circle - forgot its name)

Lunch @ Sadanand - 252.8 - 12:14 PM (Nice food and lot of options. You can park your car inside, something I was searching for on the Mangalore bypass given the amount of dust due to the road work)

Started at 1:05 PM (Roads aren't bad along the way. There are stretches of good, laid 1-way roads which end every 500m and then you enter a 2-way stretch. The entry and exit as usual are at different levels and you ought to be careful. This will be a cool drive after the road work completes. I am waiting, eagerly!)

Kundapura - 332 - 2:45 PM (You can reach faster than this. I was driving in a relaxed manner. That was the purpose of starting early. Start - Go all out - Breakfast - Drive at moderate speeds - Lunch - Relax on the last lap)

Kollur - 372.6 - 3:50 PM (Driving + photo shoots - this was like the last period on Friday at school - relaxed - singing et al)

I had to search lot of places and ask a lot of people to be convinced that the roads are navigable. When I drove the Elantra, I would ask 1 or 2. After grabbing the Jetta, I make doubly sure and then decide the route and time of travel. That is the reason I thought of penning a detailed travelogue so that anyone who travels this route will know how much time it will take for them to reach places, and when to take breaks etc. Hope it helps!

TOTAL MILEAGE AT THE END OF DAY 2 - 790.7 KMS

Jetta was an absolute delight. I was like coming back from office when I reached Kollur. More on that on my Long Term Ownership Thread of my Jetta.

12100 KMS in 7 months and more to come.

Will post the details of the return trip soon.

Last edited by convivial : 18th April 2013 at 15:32.
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Old 18th April 2013, 16:59   #2
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Excellent information convivial. I just now logged into the forum to do a search on Kollur routes and this is what I saw...Looks like time is getting ripe for me to visit the great temple for the first time!

Been wundering why on earth you decided to bypass Guruvayur, but when I scrolled down I saw your update on Rajarajeswara temple. Can you post the list of 17 temples that you normally visit?
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Old 18th April 2013, 17:23   #3
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
Excellent information convivial. I just now logged into the forum to do a search on Kollur routes and this is what I saw...Looks like time is getting ripe for me to visit the great temple for the first time!

Been wundering why on earth you decided to bypass Guruvayur, but when I scrolled down I saw your update on Rajarajeswara temple. Can you post the list of 17 temples that you normally visit?
Thanks Sandeep. I always keep a scribbling pad and note down the time and odo reading myself for every trip (even small) I make. I later take it to an excel and it helps me immensely when I plan my next trip. For instance, you may pass through a particular town at different times of the day and according to me, its the timing that decides if a town is good for a halt -

1. Good stop over options(some hotels give good Breakfast, but bad dinner options for veggies. Very few have toilets you can even look into)
2. Lack of gas stations
3. Traffic

So over different trips at different times, you can estimate the time you will take to go from Point A to Point B and more importantly, where to take the break. I like to plan trips well in advance.

Temples I visit (there are many more which I can provide later if you want) when I take the Kodungalloor route. Ever since the Trichur route became navigable, I take that. Kodungalloor route can wreck your mood if you travel late in the morning or evenings (I have done that stretch at all times and have had ENOUGH . But some of my favorite temples are on this route).

It's actually more than 17 -

1. Start Trivandrum
2. Kollam Ganapathy temple
3. Anandavalleeswaram
4. Ochira
5. Haripad Subramanya Temple
6. Mannarassala Temple
7. Ambalapuzha
8. Kodungalloor
9. Triprayar
10. Guruvayoor (I halt at Guruvayoor)
11. Kadampuzha
12. Tali (Calicut)
13. Rajarajeswara (Taliparamba)
14. Trichambaram
15. Lokanarkavu
16. Parassinikadavu
17. Mathur, Kasargode
18. Anantapura, Kasargode (Detour from route - but not far)
19. Muchilod Bhagavathy (Very close to Ananthapura)
20. Udupi
21. Kollur
22. Sringeri
23. Dhramasthala (I do one of 22/23)
24. Hattiangadi Ganesha
25. There is one more Ganesha temple near by - forgot the name
26. Murdeswar

I don't do all this in one stretch. I do half of it when I travel to Kollur and the other half when I return. But its a great experience.

I can give you any information you need to plan for your drive/acco; its a service to God.

And Kollur - is very powerful, trust me!

Thanks
Jay
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Old 18th April 2013, 17:39   #4
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Quote:
Originally Posted by convivial View Post
This post is meant for all those who intend to travel in the coming days within Kerala and to Mangalore/Kollur and are wondering how its like driving along those stretches of Kannur-Kasargod-Mangalore which has always been a nightmare due to the poor condition of the roads. I am including the log of the Up and Down journey so that it helps someone plan their trips at different hours of the day.
Hi Convivial, This is exactly what me and my family are planing to do come May. Your post has come at the right time for us, as we are in the middle of planning this trip. We too would be travelling by road, and the starting point would be Trivandrum as well :-).

I see that you took almost two full days to reach Kollur with an early start early stop strategy. We are planing to cover the distance (up and down) over a three day period. ie: start very early Friday morning (say around 1am) and reach Trivandrum late Sunday evening/night. Do you recommend taking an additional day to cover the whole trip? OR can this be done in the 3 days I have.

Your suggestions / inputs would be really helpful here.

Thanks once again for the post. I'm going to take a print out of this.

Regards
Bugs
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Old 18th April 2013, 18:07   #5
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhagathmp View Post
Hi Convivial, This is exactly what me and my family are planing to do come May. Your post has come at the right time for us, as we are in the middle of planning this trip. We too would be travelling by road, and the starting point would be Trivandrum as well :-).

I see that you took almost two full days to reach Kollur with an early start early stop strategy. We are planing to cover the distance (up and down) over a three day period. ie: start very early Friday morning (say around 1am) and reach Trivandrum late Sunday evening/night. Do you recommend taking an additional day to cover the whole trip? OR can this be done in the 3 days I have.

Your suggestions / inputs would be really helpful here.

Thanks once again for the post. I'm going to take a print out of this.

Regards
Bugs
Thanks Bugs and I am so happy my post helps you plan your trip.

I have done the entire Kollur-Trivandrum in a day also and I have a few strategies for this long distance trip. Sometimes I do just TVM-Kollur and back or I cover all these temples. Let me list them down -

1. TVM (5:00) - temples - Guruvayoor (halt)
Guruvayoor - temples - Kollur
Kollur halt one day for the Udayasthamana pooja which I always do
Kollur (start) - temples - Kannur/Calicut halt (depending on the progress) Travel to TVM
This takes 5 days.

2. TVM - Calicut (halt)
Calicut - Kollur
Kollur (pooja)
Kollur (start) - Calicut (halt)
Calicut (start) - TVM
This will be a relaxed drive in 5 days and you wont feel the heat of it the next day. You can visit a few temples too on the way. Worse if its a Monday.

3. TVM - Calicut (Halt)
Calicut (Start) - Kollur
Kollur (Pooja)
Kollur (Start at 4AM) - Halt for a break at Calicut in a budget hotel (sleep for 3 hours) - Resume journey to reach Cochin by around late eve - Stop over at a good hotel for a meal and spend an hour and half resting - Drive back to Trivandrum.
This will be a 4 day trip and the main purpose for 2 halts during return is to give myself some rest and be in a good and alert mood to drive the Calicut-Trichur stretch where roads are well laid, but narrow. You've got to be very cautious on this stretch. If I reach Cochin around 5, I dont immediately drive to TVM. I have a relatives house and I go there, nap for a while and start around 9 - Will reach home by 12. And I am more relaxed. A 5PM start to Trivandrum will be really exhaustive along Chertala - Alleppey and Changanassery-Adoor.

4. TVM (3AM) - Calicut (1PM) - Rest for lunch 1 hr - Mangalore (Halt)
Go to Kollur from Mangalore and come back by 3 PM
Drive to kannur and break for the day
Start from Kannur and drive to Trivandrum
Less tiring than #3.

I have done all these in the past years. Let me think how you can plan to complete in 3 days -

Day 1 - TVM - Start by 3 AM - Reach Cochin by 6:30 AM - Reach Calicut by 1 PM - Break for an hour - Reach Kannur by 4:30 PM - Kasargode by 6 PM - Mangalore by 7 PM
Day 2 - Start from Mangalore by 5 AM - Reach Kollur by 7 AM (You can do this stretch very fast if you do it very early; I will share that in my next post) - Darsan - Start from Kollur by 10 AM - Reach Mangalore by 1:30 PM - Checkout - Start by 2:30 PM - Reach Kasargode by 3:30 PM - Kannur by 5:30 PM and Calicut by 8 PM
Day 3 - Drive from Calicut to Trivandrum.

OR

Thu eve - travel to Guruvayoor
Fri - reach Kollur
Sat - Darsan and reach Calicut
Sun - reach Trivandrum

Better than earlier, I think.

Please Note - its very crowded on weekends.
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Old 19th April 2013, 11:05   #6
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Hi Jay,

Thanks for the detailed explanation. We are going to the temple for my 2 1/2 yr old son's initiation. So might want to spent time more than just darshan.

I guess there are couple of options I see from your list that we could consider. Also might want to spent time at Guruvayoor as well.

Regards
Bugs.
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Old 19th April 2013, 11:58   #7
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Your habit of scribling every now and then record od and timing is to be well appreciated. This not only helping yourself to understand the city or place condition but also helps to write such a detailed and informative update.

Thanks again.
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Old 20th April 2013, 02:58   #8
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Quote:
Originally Posted by convivial View Post
Trivandrum - 0 - 4:55 AM (Obvious choice was MC Road since the bridge at Kollam is under repair and MC Road doesnt have speed sensors; NH is crowded with them)
We (wife and me) used to take the MC road everytime for our Cochin <--> Tvm trips, when we had our M-800. With Ritz in hand, the speedbreakers have been a turn off. IMHO, the detour at Kollam for bridge construction is not something to worry about -- a well-organized signboard system takes you from Kollam bus stand back to the NH without much confusion (thanks to the authorities for the effort).
If you start at 3:00am (I know - It is difficult to achieve if you have kids in the family!!), you can comfortably reach Cochin at 6:30am, keeping max speeds 80-90kmph, thus crossing Cochin comfortably without the office-going traffic. This, I have done just once (waking up and staying awake at those early hours is difficult; so is the case for others sharing the road). Thought this info may be helpful to those in a hurry.
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Old 20th April 2013, 03:33   #9
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Being a regular on the tvm-ekm stretch, if you start from kazhakootam at 3 AM you can easily reach vytilla little before 6 (NH) and be can cross trichur little after 7. Always cross cochin in the early hours.
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Old 20th April 2013, 08:16   #10
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

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Originally Posted by govigov View Post
Being a regular on the tvm-ekm stretch, if you start from kazhakootam at 3 AM you can easily reach vytilla little before 6 (NH) and be can cross trichur little after 7. Always cross cochin in the early hours.
I always used to take the NH till the roads got spoilt. If roads are good then NH is a good option any day. Another reason for me to avoid NH was the presence of speed sensors at regular intervals. Are they all functional?

The big let down while taking the NH (with an exception of starting very early) are the stretches between Kottiyam-Chavara and Alleppey-Ambalapuzha. A drive during regular hours along this stretch can be quite boring.

Heard yesterday that the bridge work at Kollam isn't a blocker anymore.
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Old 20th April 2013, 09:06   #11
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

Correct, bridge at Kollam is not a blocker any more. Regarding the speed camera's they are all functional, but by now the places where speed cameras are placed are known and speed down accordingly. There are speed cameras in the usual cherthala - aroor stretch and beyond, but they are all fairly visible and the traffic moves accordingly. Alleppey - Ambalapuzha is not that great, but doable.

The problem with MC stretch is that even though the stretch is not longer by a huge margin, it just drags on and on, giving one a never ending feeling. NH by comparison feels much faster.

why did you chose to go via cochin, when you could have followed the MC road all the way to Angamali?
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Old 20th April 2013, 11:48   #12
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

@convivial, in your next trip try to add Madayi Kavu also (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madayi_Kavu http://www.madayikavu.com/how-to-reach ) to the list of temple to visit
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Old 20th April 2013, 20:47   #13
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

@convivial, where did you stay at Kollur? I can see two hotels nearby in Google maps: A. Beena Residency and B. Abimon Residency International Luxury Boutique Hotel

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=va...ra=ls&t=h&z=19
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Old 20th April 2013, 21:53   #14
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

I too did Kochi Kollur in February last year and roads were pretty good then too except for the stretches between Mangalore and Kundapura where four lan-ing work was on. And as you have pointed out, level differences between the interspersed new and old stretches are dangerous, especially with those private limited stop buses breathing fire down your neck.
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Old 20th April 2013, 22:15   #15
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Default Re: Trivandrum - Kasargode - Mangalore - Kollur :: Kerala Roads - An update

@sandeepmdas, our usual place of stay in beena residency. They do have pickups and drops to kundapura / udupi or mangalore as you may wish.
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