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Old 25th November 2010, 20:40   #1
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Default Bangalore - Nilambur - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Edapal - Guruvayur

Dear All,

This is my first travelogue and hope this provides all the details of the roads between Bangalore and Kerala , especially for those planning to drive to Guruvayur.
After a good vacation in Kerala over the Diwali, was looking forward to drive back to Bangalore through the Bandipur forests. We especially like this route as it is picturesque and less tiring as the tree laden roads offer much comfort while driving during day as opposed to the longer Coimbatore-Salem route. The Coimbatore route has better and straighter roads that could eventually take the same time.

Date : 07-Nov-2010
Car : Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI Automatic

Check the attachment for the road pics

Drive from Kanhiramukku( Edapal, Malappuram, Kerala) to Bangalore
Route : Edapal – Valanchery – Kottakkal – Malappuram – Mancheri – Nilambur – Nadukaani - Gudalur – Madhumulai – Bandipur – Gundlupete – Nanjangud – Mysore - Bangalore


Stretch :
Kanhiramukku – Edapal (~8km)
Start time : 5:39am from Kanhiramukku our home town (8 kms from Edapal ) and the weather was perfect , not raining but cloudy ,Trip meter : 0km
Road condition : Average 2-lane

Edapal – Kuttippuram (~10km)
Road Condition : Average 2-lane
Construction going on, mostly smooth, watchout for dips and bumps due to different layers of roads. Need to switch sides due to construction. On the whole I feel the construction could be completed in another month or so and this stretch could be finally ready. After Kuttippuram Bridge the road becomes excellent

Kuttippuram – Kottakkal (~ 25km)
Log:
Pass through : Valanchery , 6:15am ,Trip meter: 25km
Pass through : Kottakkal , 6:35am ,Trip meter: 43km
Road condition : Excellent 2-lane
Rubberized road, but hilly region , winding road and plenty of ups and downs, watchout for Vattapara region (between Kottakal and Valanchery) , there are plenty of sign boards on the accident spot. The road is tempting at this spot but do not go beyond 40km/hr at this stretch and be extremely careful especially when you are driving from Kottakkal to Valachery as it is downhill and steep unrecognizable gradient.
I recognized that the automatic Skoda does a great job on the hilly up and downs , but at times the auto shift fails to recognize when to shift to top gear and when to down to get more power. At times I found wanting for power on this stretch.

Kottakkal - Vazhikadavu (~ 71 km)
Log:
Pass through : Malappuram , 6:40 am ,Trip meter: 56km
Pass through : Manchery , 6:55 am ,Trip meter: 69km
Pass through : Edavanna, 7:12 am ,Trip meter: 79km
Pass through : Nilambur, 7:28 am, Trip meter: 95km
Pass through : Edakkara, 7:45 am, Trip meter: 108km
Stop at : Vazhikadavu, 7:50 am ,Trip meter: 114km
First Stop: Vazhikadavu 7:50 am – 8:22am for breakfast.
Road condition : Excellent 2-lane
Rubberized road, but hilly region , winding road and plenty of ups and downs. There are no signboards at Malappuram , so need to take the right turn at the first roundabout and then continue straight to Manchery. The road is narrow between Manchery and Edavanna.
This stretch could take time during day time due to traffic and people crossing. From Edavanna to Vazhikadavu road is almost straight and good. The Skoda was an absolute pleasure to drive in this stretch.
Note:
As it was Sunday the big problem was that most of the shops and restaurants were closed or opened late. Better to carry breakfast along.

Vazhikadavu – Nadukaani (~18km)
Log:
Pass through : TN border 8:35am,Trip meter: 125km
Pass through : Nadukaani , 8:47 am,Trip meter: 132km
Road condition : Good 2-lane Ghat road(1-2 hairpin bends) occasional pot holes.
Rubberized road and marked with yellow line on the Kerala side. Watch out for traffic coming down on the turns. One Maruti A-star guy coming from the opposite side looked a bit out of control on one of the turns and fortunately he could control the skid.
The road is winding, is enjoyable to drive offers excellent scenery. At the TN border there is a toll gate , and seems illegal, need to check out.
Immediately after the toll gate there is huge well hidden dip and I did not notice it and the Skoda’s underbelly scrapped slightly after swaying through it.


Nadukaani - Gudalur(~11km)
Log:
Pass through : Gudalur , 9:00 am,Trip meter: 143km
Road condition : Average 2-lane, bad near Gudalur.
At Nadukani take right, and continue to Gudalur, the road is ridden with minor potholes that become bad especially as we neared Gudalur. The route is picturesque with small tea estates around.
At Gudalur traffic is pathetic with plenty of autorikshaws and buses. Watchout for a huge unscientific divider on the road, this divider is quite huge and seems designed to prevent people also crossing the road. Wonder who was the engineer?
At the Gudalur signal turn left. Seemed like a good idea to fuel up at this place due to the price difference, since the benefit was for a quarter tank didn’t opt for it and continued through.
Unscientific divider at Gudalur (see word attachment for the pics)

Gudalur - Gundlapete(~52km)
Log:
Pass through : Tiger reserve checkpost entry , 9:14am
Trip meter: 150km
Pass through : Madhumulai , 9:31 am
Trip meter: 161km
Pass through : Enter Karnataka state , 9:38am
Trip meter: 167km
Pass through :Bandipur , 9:47am
Trip meter: 174km
Pass through :Hangala Village Hamlet, 9:59am
Trip meter: 184km
Stop at : Gundlapete , Coffee Day 10:07am
Trip meter : 195km

Road condition : Good 2-lane.
This stretch is through the forest primarily; need to watch out for animals. After entering the Tiger reserve the road gets a bit narrow. It is a rubberized road but quite old, so watch out for the sides and also few occasional pot holes. We were lucky to see a few peacocks and deers on the way. Better to roll the windows down and drive slowly or smoothly to reduce the engine noise to get a better chance to see animals. The TN side of the road through the reserve has well marked speed bumps, on the Karnataka side the speed bumps are unmarked. After the passing through the reserve the road became quite good to drive as it was straight and quite clear of traffic. I could maintain a constant speed of 90-100km on this stretch, after the reserve till Gundlapete.
Second Stop : Cafι Coffee Day 10:07 am -10:21am.

Gundlapete - Nanjangud(~34km)
Log:
Pass through : Nanjangud , 10:49am
Trip meter: 229km
Road condition: excellent 2-lane
This stretch was the favourite part to drive on. I could maintain a constant speed, less traffic and straight road with excellent visibility. Need to watch out for cattle and farmers.



Nanjangud - Mysore(~21km)
Log:
Pass through : Mysore Zoo , 11:22am
Trip meter: 251km
Road condition: Very bad 2-lane
This stretch seems to have a perennial problem and it has become worse over the years. The road is completely ridden with potholes and while nearing Mysore one will invariably get stuck behind a KSRTC bus. There are speed breakers on the way and I wonder why as the road is one big speed breaker anyway.

Mysore – Bangalore (~150km)
Log:
Pass through : Mandya , 12:10pm
Trip meter: 296km
Pass through : Maddur , 12:30pm
Trip meter: 318km
Lunch Stop at : Mcdonalds/ , 12:41 – 1:12pm
Trip meter: 329km
Pass through : Banerghatta road NICE road toll exit gate , 2:15pm
Trip meter: 400km
Pass through : BTM silk board , 2:45pm
Trip meter: 409km
Final destination stop : Whitefield PP , 3:30pm
Trip meter: 430km
Road condition : excellent 4 –lane road.
At Mysore took a wrong turn and landed up in a halli. Had to take a u-turn and get back at the outer by-pass road. The Mysore to Bangalore highway is excellent but lot of traffic and un expected speed bumps. The Mcdonalds eatery was on the other side had to take u-turn quite a distance away as the divider break was not in a suitable position. While reaching Bangalore it started pouring heavily and the visibility was quite poor on the NICE road stretch. Since it was Sunday traffic could easily reach Whitefield within in an hour from NICE road, Bannerghatta road junction.
On whole a nice journey and the Skoda Octavia automatic performed exceedingly well. Checking the trip meter it showed that the car gave a mileage of 14.70kmpl. Excellent considering that we were four adults+ 1 child and completely full luggage compartment with all the Kerala goodies.
Attached Files
File Type: docx travelogue_Pics.docx (2.91 MB, 1101 views)
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Old 25th November 2010, 21:36   #2
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Great update, sijesh.
Edapal-Kuttipuram - road is being widened?
The "illegal" toll both after NIlambur - did you have to pay?
Why not the Mysore Outer Ring Road, you preferred to go through the city?
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Old 25th November 2010, 21:50   #3
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so please upload the pictures.

Last edited by jeepster : 25th November 2010 at 21:54.
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Old 28th November 2010, 08:27   #4
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@hvkumar, the Edappal Kuttipuram road is widened, but the construction or making it rubbersied and smooth, My guess it will be complete in about a couple of months. But right now one has to e careful while driving here as the road suddenly dips as switch to the other side etc.

The illegal otll booth -I did not pay, or stop. But at time they start to put the gate down.

Using Mysore outer ring road vs going through the city: depends on what time of the day you and where you are staying. I took the NICE road from Mysore road to Bannerghatta road. Did not try to join back the NICe road from Bannerghatta to hosur road but that is an option while coming to Whitefield.

@jeepster: The Pics are in the document attached with my post. I cannot figure out easily how to embed the pics within the post (inline)
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Old 29th November 2010, 20:04   #5
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Can't believe this

Pass through : Kottakkal , 6:35am ,Trip meter: 43km

Pass through : Malappuram , 6:40 am ,Trip meter: 56km

Driver needs to be very alert on ghat roads between Nilambur and Gudalur and he/she is not previleged to the inviting scenery as the following is very common in this route:
Sijesh says: "Watch out for traffic coming down on the turns. One Maruti A-star guy coming from the opposite side looked a bit out of control on one of the turns and fortunately he could control the skid."
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Old 30th November 2010, 01:12   #6
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I travelled through the Nilambur-Gudalur-Gundlupet stretch yesterday evening on my way from Calicut to Bangalore, but I chose to go via Chamarajnagar - Kollegal - Malavalli - Kanakapura instead of the Nanjangud-Mysore-Bangalore route. My observations were similar, but I think I managed to the Gundlupet-Bangalore stretch slightly faster, thanks to the sparse traffic on the route that I took. I joined the route that you took at Edavanna, and the comparitive timings were :

Edavanna-Gundlupet : 4:02 PM to 6:26PM ( 2 hrs 24 minutes for 157 kms) - you took 2 hrs 55 minutes including a 30 minute break - which makes it 2 hrs 25 minutes

Gundlupet to NICE road-Kanakapura Rd crossing : 6:48PM to 9:44PM (2 hrs 56 minutes for 194 kms) - your timigs were 10:21AM to 2:15PM which is 3 hrs 54 minutes including a break of 31 minutes which makes it 3 hrs 23 minutes (Subtract may be 8 minutes for the NICE road stretch between Kanakapura road to Bannerghata road, still makes it 3 hrs 15 minutes)

So while we seem to drive at very similar speeds (as can be seen from the Nilambur-Gundlupet timings), I seem to have gained at least 15-20 minutes by avoiding the Nanjangud-Bangalore traffic !!!
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Old 30th November 2010, 01:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The "illegal" toll both after NIlambur - did you have to pay?
I travelled the same route yesterday and ended up paying Rs. 20, and even have an official looking receipt for it. Is there some way one can check if this is really legal (and if not raise some kind of a complaint about it ?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Why not the Mysore Outer Ring Road, you preferred to go through the city?
In my experience the Mysore Ring road is a big waste of fuel. If you take the eastern portion of the Ring road (via Bannur road / Lalith mahal palace), you drive only about 4-5 kms extra, but that route has fairly heavy traffic, so you end up taking almost the same amount of time. The western portion of the ring road is far too long - I think 10+ kms extra, and you generally end up taking at least 10 minutes more to cross the city if you choose to go that way. So after having tried out both a couple of times each, I find it much better to go through the city these days.

Note to mods : Sorry mods, By mistake I ended up making back-to-back posts, but couldn't find a way to delete the second message. Can you please help in merging the two ? (And by the way what's the procedure to delete a post ? The Edit button says "Edit / Delete post", but on entering the Edit screen you don't see any link to delete the post)

Last edited by kala : 30th November 2010 at 01:31.
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Old 30th November 2010, 15:35   #8
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Toll or Rs.20 on the Kerala-Tamilnadu border is official and you get receipt for the same. The "illegal" toll is on the Tamilnadu-Karnataka border just when you leave Mudumalai section and enter Bandipur section of the forest. If you are travelling with family, you may be blessed with a look and perhaps at times only one question asked, similar to "where going? mysore or bangalore?". But otherwise, you will be shown a beggarly hand and you need to grease the same with a decent amount like an empty car for Rs. 20/-, some amount of luggage will be Rs. 50/- to spare checking the same and lots of luggage will be sometimes Rs. 100/- (amounts are only indicative from what is heard from people who travel on this stretch, mainly to Ooty).

Regarding Mysore ring road, it is a big waste of time and fuel, esp. if you are stuck in the signal where KRS road crosses. Also, there are lots of unsafe crossings and big humps as well. So, when I drive towards Kerala, when I reach Ring Road junction, I continue straight till I think is Mohalla Circle (1 petrol pump on either side and straight road is towards St. Phelomina's Church), then take left mostly following a KSRTC bus going towards bus stand, then next T-junction, take left and continue till Mysore zoo, cross zoo on the left side and continue further to hit a T-junction again where I take right and drive in the road just near the base of Chamundi hill till I hit Nanjangud road just near the Outer Ring Road signal. From Bangalore side ring road signal to Nanjangud side ring road junction (no signal here), it takes about 15 minutes only and you need not stop anywhere, either for any signal or because of traffic. Same is the best choice of route while coming to Bangalore as well and it avoids the only busy parts of Mysore enroute like market, palace and KSRTC stand.
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Old 6th December 2010, 21:56   #9
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Thanks Ajith for pointing out the discrepency, seems I reached Kottayam probably at 6:30am as from Malappuram onwards wifey woke up to record to note the times.

@Kala, this is very useful information on the alternative route through Chamarajnagar-Kollegal. How is the road condition ? Is it good especially between Gundlupet and Chamarajnagar?

Should try this out as I feel the Nanjagud stretch is a pain and no one is repairing that road.

Regarding the Mysore Ring Road, I agree , it is a waste, I always try to avoid it and I usually drive through the city. Ajith your assessment is correct driving through the Mysore traffic it is best to the take road along the Zoo.
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Old 6th December 2010, 23:59   #10
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Never take the Mysore RR. For the traffic of Mysore, you can easily breeze through the city.
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Old 7th December 2010, 14:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sijesh View Post
this is very useful information on the alternative route through Chamarajnagar-Kollegal. How is the road condition ? Is it good especially between Gundlupet and Chamarajnagar?
Gundlupet to Chamarajanagar : First 3 kms at Gundlupet is being relaid, so some portions are untarred. After this the road is generally good, though narrow. One can drive at around 80kmph since traffic is very sparse.

Chamarajnagar to Kollegal : Generally good roads except for some very narrow sections when passing through 3 or 4 villages.

Kollegal-Malavalli : Very good roads except for one 3 km stretch midway between Kollegal and Shivanasamudra where the road is being relaid - so only 1 half is tarred. After you pass Shivanasamudra the road is excellent, you can easily do 120kmph+. Traffic sparse.

Malavalli-Kanakapura and Kanakapura-Bangalore : Again excellent roads except for the slow drive through Kanakapura town. Traffic density is slightly higher between Kanakapura and Bangalore, but nowhere near the SH-17 scale.

Not many eateries along the way, the only semi-decent one I found was one Hotel Annapoorneshwari at Kollegal. Even this is not directly on NH-209, you need to take a left just before the Kollegal bus stand and go about 300 metres.
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Old 12th December 2010, 21:06   #12
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Default Re: Bangalore - Nilambur - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Edapal - Guruvayur

Hi Kala,

This is very useful information thankyou. I will be again driving to Kerala along the same route in a few days. Do you think it is wise to take the Mysore road or Kanakpura road as starting early in the morning normally I do not find too much traffic on the SH-17.

Regards
Sijesh
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Old 13th December 2010, 10:10   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore - Nilambur - Malappuram - Kottakkal - Edapal - Guruvayur

@ sijesh Great log pretty useful.
@ kala when you take Chamarajnagar - Kollegal - Malavalli - Kanakapura
how is the road conditioned? it was very bad post Kollegal,

I too drive through MYS just as indicated by Kala its the most convenient route.
Please AVOID Mysore rode entry in to Bangalore, the metro construction activity near BEML has its toll all the way from Chamundi nagar / Bangalore University till TOTAL mall very close to Flyover entrance, especially in the evenings.

Cheers
Sunil
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Old 13th December 2010, 14:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sijesh View Post
Do you think it is wise to take the Mysore road or Kanakpura road as starting early in the morning normally I do not find too much traffic on the SH-17.
Yes - I too normally take SH-17 in the mornings when I go towards Wayanad - If you can reach Mysore before 7:30 AM or so, the traffic is quite OK, and the stoppages at towns on the way minimal.

However the stretch from Mysore to Nanjangud has become a mess now, you literally jump from one pothole to the next, hardly any place to even avoid them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hisunil View Post
@ sijesh Great log pretty useful.
@ kala when you take Chamarajnagar - Kollegal - Malavalli - Kanakapura
how is the road conditioned? it was very bad post Kollegal,

I too drive through MYS just as indicated by Kala its the most convenient route.
Please AVOID Mysore rode entry in to Bangalore, the metro construction activity near BEML has its toll all the way from Chamundi nagar / Bangalore University till TOTAL mall very close to Flyover entrance, especially in the evenings.
I travelled the same route last evening (Gundlupet-Bangalore via Chamarajnagar-Kollegal-Kanakapura) - Updated conditions :

The road tarring work at Gundlupet is making good progress. Of the 3kms or so, 2 to 2.5kms is already completed, only a short stretch is untarred.

Gundlupet to Chamarajanagar : Road has developed the odd pothole here and there. Safer to drive below 80 kms - especially if driving in the night.

Chamarajanagar - Kollegal : Not much of change, decent roads except near villages where you have to go slow anyway because it is narrow.

Kollegal-Malavalli : The initial 10 kms or so has some broken stretches now, so better to drive carefully. The half-tarred portion which I had mentioned in the previous post (a few kms before reaching Shivanasamudra) has been fully tarred now - so from that point on till Malavalli is now excellent.

Malavalli-Kanakapura : 4-5 kms of road after Halaguru village (about 20kms past Malavalli) has developed potholes. Otherwise excellent road surface.

Kanakapura - Bangalore : Excellent road, and the road through Kanakapura town is now taking shape finally, so no deviations required inside the town.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 19:52   #15
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Just yesterday did a Calicut->Nilambur->Mysore->Bangalore trip. The roads are much better in the ghat sections now after some repair works, esp. from the Kerala border till Gudalur town. Most of the rough patches around Nadugaani have been repaired and the potholes filled up. So, we could cover Vazhikkadavu (check post just before ghat section) to Gudalur (Hotel Harithagiri just before the forest entry) in about an hour with comfortable speed.

And seems Santa has already came with an "unexpected gift" as the long awaited repair works on Mysore->Nanjangud section has already began and is on full swing (I think about 60 to 70 % done already) after the accident of the marriage party (about 30 killed) in one of the lakes near Mysore airport on the same stretch and many protests by locals demanding an immediate repair. After a very very long time (probably, an year or so), was able to cover Nanjangud to Mysore in about 30 minutes. Crossed Nanjangud 1.05 PM sharp and was near Mysore Palace by 1.30 PM. Heard from the workers that they are asked to finish the repair works in about a week as there are some inspection before new year.
In fact, work is being done from both ends and some intermediate places where the damage is the most severe. And of course, all the patchworks near the 3 lakes enroute have already been finished.
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