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Old 8th January 2010, 10:43   #61
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hvkumar, you were enquiring about the Tuticorin - Rameswaram East coast road before. I did this route on 28-Dec-09. This road is pure pleasure to drive as of now. The tuticorin - Ramanathapuram stretch can be easily done in 2 hours flat. The old road used to take between 31/2 - 4 hours.

My brother in law traveled all the way to Chidambaram on this road and joined us at Rameswaram on the way back. He also said the road is too good as it is new. You can probably do a Chennai-Tuticorin drive on the coastal road next.
Great news, thanks for the feedback. I have done these roads (from Madras to Trivandrum) 3 years ago, and the road was a disaster from Vedaranyam onwards (so I did not go via Mimisal to Tondi, instead taking the Karaikudi and Tondi route), and was very bad from Ramnad to Tuticorin. So, now we have a true ECR all the way from Madras to Kanyakumari.

I agree, this is not a scenic road since it goes through marshy land between Vedaranyam and Ramnad and then arid landscapes from there on.

Any more feedback on the Nagapattinam-Ramnad stretch via Mimisal and Tondi from your b-i-l will be great to hear.
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:55   #62
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hvkumar, that was fast. Here is what my b-i-l told me. During onward journey from Tuticorin to Chidambaram, he went through the Madurai - Trichy regular route which had high traffic and longer too. For the return, he had inquired with a few locals who asked him to take the east coast road.

There are one or two bridges which are under construction + the Ramnathapuram bypass. Except this, it is a seamless drive all the way. So all the roads between Nagapattinam, Thondi etc are completed.

Now we have the coastal road almost fully complete between Tuticorin and Chennai. The coastal road from Tuticorin to Tiruchendur has not started yet. So this is the missing link to Kanyakumari. But again from Tiruchendur to Kanyakumari, the coastal road is complete. But I heard this road is pretty winding and curvy.
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:04   #63
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The coastal road from Tuticorin to Tiruchendur has not started yet. So this is the missing link to Kanyakumari. But again from Tiruchendur to Kanyakumari, the coastal road is complete. But I heard this road is pretty winding and curvy.
The road south of Tuticorin via Tiruchendur to Kanyakumari was always good and maybe they are not going to touch that road. It is quite a decent drive, have done it couple of times, and you can do the 140 kms in 2.30 hours.
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:16   #64
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Now we have the coastal road almost fully complete between Tuticorin and Chennai. The coastal road from Tuticorin to Tiruchendur has not started yet. So this is the missing link to Kanyakumari. But again from Tiruchendur to Kanyakumari, the coastal road is complete. But I heard this road is pretty winding and curvy.
But where is the ECR between Cuddalore and Nagapatinam? Is it the usual Chidambaram-Sirkali-Tranquebar road? I don't think it is in good condition.
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:23   #65
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But where is the ECR between Cuddalore and Nagapatinam? Is it the usual Chidambaram-Sirkali-Tranquebar road? I don't think it is in good condition.
Yes, it is the same road. The 5-year project was to get the stretch south of Nagapattinam done (it was a set of very bad village 1-lane roads earlier) and that is now done.
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:35   #66
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Thanks. I think this road, once entirely complete, will shave off at least 100 KM as compared to the usual Chennai-Tuticorin road distance. Do you have exact figures about this?
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:53   #67
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I had done some calculations before I did my Coast 2 Cape 2 Coast trip, will check my original plan and revert.

You can check out my actual trip route in this link for the Madras-Pondy-Chidambaram-Nagapattinam-Ramnad-Tuticorin-Kanyakumari sector
COAST to CAPE to COAST 2005 - hvkumar | Google Groups
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:05   #68
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Thanks. I think this road, once entirely complete, will shave off at least 100 KM as compared to the usual Chennai-Tuticorin road distance. Do you have exact figures about this?
Gansan, Nope. The coastal route is going to be longer I guess. The regular route via Madurai will be shorter by atleast by 50kms This is what mapmyindia shows. Looking at the geography of the map, I think it could be correct
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Old 10th January 2010, 10:17   #69
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Hi Gopi,

It is nice to hear that the road to ramnad and Tuticorin is good and as well as the time of travel is only 2 to 3 hours. Is there any good places to visit on the way. During my next trip I would like to visit this road soon.
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Old 10th January 2010, 11:06   #70
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Navan Sir, Thanks for your advice and we planned our trip to the temple before they closed in noon. But the crowd was huge probably due to the half yearly school holidays in Dec and we had to wait in tbe queue for 2 hours before getting the darshan of deity.

On the drive from Tuticorin to Rameswaram, it was just a free road and since our only target was Rameswaram, we really didnot stop on the way or look at any other places. I am not sure if any place between Tuticorin and Rameswaram are worth visiting at all. But if you plan to visit Tiruchendur from Rameswaram, then it is the best road to take
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Old 11th January 2010, 00:11   #71
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Thank you Gobi,

It is my regular trip to these areas. May be on 12th I might go to Madurai and return. Tomorrow's trip a short one to Vellore. In fact nothing important to visit between Ramnad and Tuticorin. The beach also away from the road.
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Old 12th January 2010, 12:34   #72
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I went to Tuticorn by train last Saturday. Due to some urgent work at Sivakasi, had to break journey at Virudhunagar. Proceeded from there by a hired Indica to Sivakasi and then to Tuticorin.

I could see most of the work on the NH is complete and the road is quite nice. Except for some local morons driving their Mahindra vans on the wrong side of the road in the fast lane - very close to the median, which is to their left side! This is a hazard one should watch out for while driving on this road. This was between Sattur and Kovilpatti.

Work is in progress on the road between Ettayapuram and tuticorin, so traffic is diverted from one side to the other from time to time. But we could travel quite fast though.
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Old 12th January 2010, 14:13   #73
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Red face Horrible roads near Tuticorin

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Work is in progress on the road between Ettayapuram and tuticorin, so traffic is diverted from one side to the other from time to time. But we could travel quite fast though.
There are a few 'gotchas' as you get near Tuticorin, deep pot-holes in the newly laid 2-lanes which are invisible. You may never see them and only know about them after you hit with a huge noise at high speeds. I could not sleep a whole night feeling very sad about my car after I hit some .
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Old 12th January 2010, 17:41   #74
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@Gansan/Navan Sir - I am planning for a trip to kanyakumari and back via Tiruchi-Viralimali-Madurai route. How is the road condition till trichy andy updates on the road from amdurai to Thirunelveli. In 2008 most of the roads were not compelte and I had to watch out for diversions. I am planning for a day trip this time.
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Old 12th January 2010, 18:38   #75
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Tiruchi-Viralimali-Madurai route. How is the road condition till trichy andy updates on the road from madurai to Thirunelveli.
Did Tuticorin-Chennai drive just this new year.
Tiruchi-Viralimali-Madurai is 99% complete. There are only a few places where minor work was going on.

Madurai to Thirunelveli: again 99% complete, Superb! A dream to drive.

Trichy bye-pass alone is the problem. I was stuck in a jam for 45 minutes and there are huge craters.
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