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Old 6th May 2013, 11:29   #1
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Default 1,100 kms in 30 hrs of Night driving. Tanjore <-> Trivandrum

An update on the roads till Madurai and to Trichy where I drove last weekend.

ONWARD (Trivandrum - Nagercoil - Madurai - Trichy)

Trivandrum - Nagercoil > Hell! The bypass till Vizhinjam and then through Poovar to Kaliyikkavila is in good shape, but beware of those who cross roads just like they step into their bathrooms in sleep! The roads past Kaliyikkavila to the Nagercoil - Tirunelveli toll road is in very bad shape. It spoilt the entire mood and drained my enthusiasm.

Log -

Start from Trivandrum - 18:18 (Poovar - Kaliyikkavila :: Crowded at this time, but could keep Jetta cruising on the 5th gear most of the time)

Marthandam - 57 Kms - 20:00 (Stretch from Kaliyikkavila to Marthandam will spoil your mood. People who drive fast are either unaware of the potholes that lay hidden and are quite deep to spoil your car or are least bothered about their cars)

Hotel Gowri Shankar (just on the outskirts of Nagercoil) - 80.6 Kms - 20:45 (Nice food. Sit in the air cooled room for better service and lots of chutneys! Hey, this restaurant, by the way, serves good food and has a decent approach to its customers!)

Hit the highway (Nagercoil - Tirunelveli toll highway) at 106.6 Kms from Trivandrum (From here, you take a deep breath and enjoy. I had two options - listen to the works of Craig Pruess and Rahul Sharma on the impressive audio in the Jetta or enjoy a better instrumental music in its pure form - the grunt of the engine when it cruises. I usually choose the latter after the family called it a day)

Madurai - 310 Kms - 12:40 AM (Take the right to the Airport road. Though its broken, it will take you to the Madurai highway without hitting the city traffic. There is a corporation toll in this area for the experience of driving over CRATERS. They are making that a four lane road, but I wonder what this toll is for - 55 INR one way! There are some huge potholes just when you shift to the top gear and try to gain speeds. Be careful in that stretch till the turn to Madurai city, i.e, just before the highway toll plaza. Give way for all those trucks and buses because they hate it when you go slow - those potholes don't affect them as much as it does to us.)

Trichy - Hotel Grand Gardenia - 458.8 kms - 2:50 AM (Used the cruise option 70% of the time and had a Chennai Super Deluxe Bus to give me company. I would show him my tail light and vanish, but the guy was consistent with his speeds. Doing such speeds and for long hours in that bus (nay, it aint a Volvo or Merc - kudos to whoever you are, driver! When I pulled over in the entrance to the service that takes me to Trichy City, he whizzed past but only after a honk and a flash! Our conversation had started from Tirunelveli when I overtook him.)
Hotel Grand Gardenia is a suprebly maintained hotel and I can give references (for discount) for anyone who wishes to stay there. Very close to the highway and city as well. Welll connected.

Total distance - 458.8 KMS.

Note - there are COCO fuel stations run by BP (towards BLR) and Indianoil (on the other side). I think its near Perumalpatti, after the 2nd toll plaza from Trichy.

Went to Tanjavoor - Papansam Road and had darsans at some temples. The road from Trichy to Nagapattanam is NH 67 and is an expressway a little after Vallam and then its broken roads. The temples are along the Papanasam road which passes through beautiful villages. Will post some pictures later.

Distance covered - 84 KMS.


Started at 20:30 PM and reached Trivandrum at 2:30AM the next day. Another 458.5 KMS and was on Cruise all the time. With speeds at 95 kmph, it was quite relaxed for me during the drive and it gulped the miles decently fast as well.

The worst stretch was after the turn from the Kanyakumari bypass to Nagercoil town, to Parvathipuram and Kaliyikkavila. During my drive last night to Trichy, I didnt find it as annoying as I did during the return. Reason - when you are in heavy traffic, you anyway go slow and these potholes are "taken care of with due respect" and when you come in the early hours, these roads are more or less empty, there are potholes - not everywhere, but almost 50-100 metres. You whizz past when the road is good and when you slow down during those bad patches, those trucks and buses get irriatated. Potholes aren't for them, they are for the low slung poor people like us.

My next is going to be a SUV - Indian roads (most of them) need to be tamed and sedans fall into the traps on those State highways. By the way, a word about Fuel Economy - the worst I saw was 18 on the toll roads and the best, 24.2!! Will post some pictures soon.

My next trip this summer (a friend asked me if my little one was having a summer vacation or I ) > Trivandrum > Yercaud > Kodai > Cochin > Trivandrum. When - this weekend!

Need a small help - I would start at 4AM from Trivandrum and want to escape the stretch to Nagercoil. Has someone taken the Ayur - Tenmala - Tenkasi route? Would someone recommend that?
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Old 6th May 2013, 11:46   #2
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Default re: 1,100 kms in 30 hrs of Night driving. Tanjore <-> Trivandrum

I traveled from Kulathupuzha - Madurai 2 months ago on my trip to Sabarimala.
The road conditions are good throughout.
If you are travelling in the late night then Tenkasi-Rajapalayam-Thirumangalam is better.
If you are travelling in the day then Puliyangudi-Sankarankovil-Kalugumalai-Kovilpatti-Thirumangalam
is a better option roads are good and minimal traffic and less stressful about 25kms more.
Hope this helps
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Old 8th May 2013, 07:14   #3
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Default Re: 1,100 kms in 30 hrs of Night driving. Tanjore <-> Trivandrum

Originally Posted by convivial View Post
An update on the roads till Madurai and to Trichy where I drove last weekend.
- Good log there. The hotel is a good find. Especially the fact that its on the highway! Not very far is the SRM hotel, around Bhrarathi Dasan campus. But this location is the best
- About the route you asked, I think @pramod had taken the route via Palode-Nedumangad. I remember he was saying its narrow and with one or two potholes. But he said it was manageable


However I would not suggest the same for a night drive. During the day it might be a good idea.
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