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Old 2nd October 2017, 22:59   #10801
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Gents - did a Kerala (and back) trip during the week end. The trip was Bengaluru-Calicut Rural Dt.-Thrissur-Bengaluru.

Summary:
Onward....(28th Sep)

1. Started from Bengaluru by around 3:15PM (plan was 4PM). Did not want to take any risk (of forest gates closing) so took the Bengaluru-Srirangapatna-Yelawala-Gonikoppa-Kutta route. There was medium to heavy traffic on the route. It took around 15 mins to cross Mandya town.
2. The road connecting Srirangapatna and Yelwala is again in a bad shape. Pot holes+ speed breaker humps are a real pain. Either they should retain the pot holes, or the speed breakers. Both suit the purpose any ways (of reduced speed).
3. It was only 7PM when we hit the Hunsur-Gonikoppa-Kutta stretch, but the road was very much deserted. By the time we reached Kutta it was around 9PM, and even by then the roads were all empty. Yelawala-Hunsur-Gonikoppa was a smooth sail; the roads were good. Gonikoppa-Ponnampet-Kutta had some bad patches.
4. Crossed over to Kerala at around 9:15PM and decided to skip the usual place for dinner as I was travelling with family. A new restaurant & cottages - Rain Tree has come up right after Tholpetty. They had all the typical Kerala food menu, but said we were really their last customers for the evening (09:30PM was the time).
5. The road from this place till Kaatikulam was excellent. From then on the problem started. There are enough and more pot holes and rough patches all the way to Mananthavadi.
6. I had relied on Google Maps for this journey. My MapMyIndia device had stopped working, and I am (still) not in a mood to buy another one. The Rain Tree staff had clearly warned me that the rest of the journey was trouble some. From Mananthavadi upto 4th mile, the roads were good. But from 4th Mile, till Niravilpuzha the roads were really really bad. Even bus drivers were scared to to use that road; so big was the craters. Now Google Maps decides to take an alternate route, which seemed to be the better option. But this route was really an "unknown" one. Narrow roads, quite a number of twists and turns, cannot make any reference from the place names as I was travelling for the first time. Time was now well past 1015PM, and I had a lady and small kid for company. Not even a single person out there on the road.
7. Joined the familiar route at some where near Makkiyad. The roads even got worse. From then on, till Niravilpuzha, there was not even one good stretch of road which went beyond 750mts. I would strongly advice any one from taking this route, especially during late evening hours.
8. Journey towards Thrissur was okay (we started the next day at around 0800AM), the roads were in a better shape. But there were too many vehicles out there and the drive was not very comfortable.

Return... (1st Oct)
1. Left Thrissur at around 1000AM. I was getting mixed signals on the route condition at Kuthiran, so decided to take the Akamala-Chelakkara-Pazhayannur-Alathur route. The roads are good, but have more twists and turns. There are good route marks all through the way. This may be slightly longer than the route via Mannuthi-Kuthiran, but it was a comfortable drive.
2. Joined NH47 at Alathur, and then had a crew-change. FasTag at Walayar and then the one after Avanashi was not really fast. The scanning had to be done manually. Had lunch at one of the Saravana Bhavans @ Karumathamappti, and then decided to take the road towards Dhimbam & Chamrajnagar.
3. TN state highways seems to be the best state roads which I have traversed in South India. Google Maps again acted smart and took me through roads byepassing Sathyamangalam. These were through villages, where at times two vehicles cannot cross each other. But even there the roads were good.
4. Crossed Bannari Amman koil by around 2:30PM. The climb up the Dhimbam ghat was good, and also a welcome break for all the passengers. The usual routes were all getting boring. The ghat roads were also good. By around 4:30PM we had moved into Karnataka state. For me this route was in my TODO list, especially after reading the book on Veerappan, by Vijayakumar, IPS.
5. My plan was to halt at Chamrajanagar, and start the next leg of the journey on 2nd. Started this leg at around 11:30AM, and reached Bengaluru by around 04:30PM.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 10:16   #10802
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ece2k2 View Post
has there been any updates lately? Thanks in advance for your help.
Updates from my Vaikom - Bangalore (Whitefield) drive yesterday

Start time - 5:30 AM
End time - 2:10 PM

Break time - 40 mins

Worst stretch - Nadakkavu to Udayamperoor ( 2 -3 ) KMs and
Sarjapur - Dommasanda. Dommasandra junction is completely broken.

Mannuthy - Vadakkencherry is fine. Kuthiran has a new layer of tarmac. Only one side was done during my onward journey on Sep 23rd. No traffic jams.

Took the Sankari - Tharamangalam route.

Fastag helped to save 15 - 20 mins. Worked in all toll booths. Found very few trucks on the road. Is it GSt effect?
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Old 3rd October 2017, 10:29   #10803
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Did Kochi - Palakkad and back on my bike during the long weekend. And Yes, Mannuthy - Vadakkancherry is no longer a nightmare for any vehicles to drive.

There are some potholes around Pattikkad and Kuthiran but looks like they were filled once and shallow than it used to be.

There are some diversions and single lane stretches still.

And since tarring work is still in progress with different thickness in different areas, ride will be bumpy but nothing much to worry.
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:38   #10804
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Folks,

I am planning to drive from Bangalore to Kochi next week .I plan to start at 5PM from whitefield and stay overnight at erode and resume my journey next day
I observed that there is diversion of 19km to erode from NH544 by taking left at Sankari.
I would like to know the road status from NH544 to Erode as it would be around 10PM by the time i reach this area.My concern is on the road safety and condition as i would be travelling with family
But the net distance from Whitefield to Kochi remains the same after taking diversion to Erode.
Some of the hotels i have shortlisted in Erode:Kohinoor, Westland,Atrium

I donot find any decent hotel on the highway near to the above stretch and the other option is Avinashi road at Coimbatore which would take another 1 hr from sankari.
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Old 4th October 2017, 13:17   #10805
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Folks,

I am planning to drive from Bangalore to Kochi next week .I plan to start at 5PM from whitefield and stay overnight at erode and resume my journey next day
The Travellers Inn hotel attached to the Saravana Bhavan at Vaikundam is bang on the roadside and the perfect overnight halt for you. It's about 200km away from E-City toll, and can be covered in 3-4 hours depending on traffic and driving style.
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Old 4th October 2017, 16:56   #10806
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

I did a Bangalore-Pathanamthitta-Kozhikkode-Bangalore round trip during 23rd Sept to 2nd October. Started from Bannerghatta road at 3:15AM on 23rd morning and took the Hosur-Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Cumbum-Kumily-Mundakkayam-Erumely-Ranni route to Pathanamthitta. Reached my home at Pathanamthitta by 1:15PM (Travel time of 10h for 602km).
Roads, all the way to the foothills of Western ghats, is in good condition. Fastag worked seamlessly all through. From Kumily to Pathanamthitta, there are few places where the roads are bad and have big potholes due to the recent rains. But filling of potholes was being done just after Kuttikkanam.
Started for Kozhikkode on Friday, 29th of Sept, at 4:15AM and reached Calicut University by 10:15AM (Travel time of 6 hours for 296km) Took the Thriuvalla-Alapuzha-Ernakulam-Thrissur-Kuttippuram route. Fastag was accepted at the Aroor toll gate, but Paliyekkara was a mess. Lot of vehicles without Fastag had clogged the Fastag lane and it took more time than other lanes to clear. Alapuzha-Changanassery road has developed lots of potholes and it is better to drive sedately, as some of them are big and deep. NH was generally OK, but rough. There is some road work going on after Amala Institute of Medical Sciences and one side of the road was completely closed. Made a mistake of taking the Valanchery bypass. The road is in horrible condition and it was nothing short of off-roading for the XUV.
Started from Kozhikkode on 2nd October, at 4:15AM, took the usual Kalpetta- Bathery-Mysore route and reached Bangalore by 12:15PM (Travel time of 8h for 368km). The ghat sections have started to give way after the rains and most of the bends are in bad shape. I was able to avoid the mad rush after the festive season somehow and had an overall peaceful drive to Bangalore. There are couple of bad patches on the Mysore-Bangalore road and one needs to be careful. It is a combination of potholes and loose, dislodged tarmac, which can affect the braking; so it's better to keep distance from the vehicle in front.
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Old 4th October 2017, 21:24   #10807
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Did a Bangalore - Edappally via Salem, Coimbatore bypass, Kuthiran, Thrissur.

Some quick updates:

NICE road towards Hosur - Has potholes/ broken surface patches that I observed for the first time on this stretch. Need to be a bit careful.

The Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri section has deteriorated. It is still very much drivable but potholes have started forming at random places. So need to watch out.

Approach-to and Exit-from Salem is a big pain with countless speed check barriers that keep traffic piled up. Salem itself was not a big issue to get through.

Biggest surprise was Kuthiran. It was my best drive yet through Kuthiran - Fresh tarmac, no jams, the whole stretch was done so quick that I thought it took only a couple of minutes Other parts of the Vadakkenchery - Mannuthi stretch have also improved quite a lot but there are a few rough patches.
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Old 8th October 2017, 16:00   #10808
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Planning to drive from Mankara(near Shornur) to Ettumanoor. Came across below 2 options and got few queries. Would really appreciate it if you could share your comments/experience, if any.

Is it worth trying option 2 as there is not much difference in terms of distance?
If I take option 1, is there a way to avoid Paliyekkara toll ?

Option 1 https://goo.gl/maps/YRDXE48VJkT2

Option 2 https://goo.gl/maps/L1S74umjvJ32
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Old 8th October 2017, 17:22   #10809
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Originally Posted by vinucv View Post
Planning to drive from Mankara(near Shornur) to Ettumanoor. Came across below 2 options and got few queries. Would really appreciate it if you could share your comments/experience, if any.

Is it worth trying option 2 as there is not much difference in terms of distance?
If I take option 1, is there a way to avoid Paliyekkara toll ?

Option 1 https://goo.gl/maps/YRDXE48VJkT2

Option 2 https://goo.gl/maps/L1S74umjvJ32
In my opinion you should stick to option 2 for the sake of good roads. A part of the ettumanoor - ernakulam strech in option 1 is in utter ruins. Option 2 will get you there faster too..
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Old 8th October 2017, 20:34   #10810
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In my opinion you should stick to option 2 for the sake of good roads. A part of the ettumanoor - ernakulam strech in option 1 is in utter ruins. Option 2 will get you there faster too..
Thank you. If take option 2, I have to go through Paliyekkara toll isn't it ? Or is there any way I can avoid that
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Old 8th October 2017, 21:44   #10811
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Thank you. If take option 2, I have to go through Paliyekkara toll isn't it ? Or is there any way I can avoid that
Yea it will take you thorough the toll. There aren't any main roads I know that lets you bypass this toll. So you'll have to take this local road.

https://goo.gl/maps/VMuoWP9TAZH2

The whole detour is around 4kms and the road isn't very wide but it should be fine.

Also the route starts right after the bridge with a U-turn to the left which is really tricky to spot and easy to miss.
Cheers!
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:19   #10812
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Originally Posted by vinucv View Post
Planning to drive from Mankara(near Shornur) to Ettumanoor. Came across below 2 options and got few queries.
Why not this? This appears to be the fastest.

https://goo.gl/maps/1yhebCX3sRC2
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:45   #10813
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Originally Posted by TSIboy View Post
Yea it will take you thorough the toll. There aren't any main roads I know that lets you bypass this toll. So you'll have to take this local road.

https://goo.gl/maps/VMuoWP9TAZH2

The whole detour is around 4kms and the road isn't very wide but it should be fine.

Also the route starts right after the bridge with a U-turn to the left which is really tricky to spot and easy to miss.
Cheers!
Given map still shows through the toll. Could you please re-check ?
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Old 9th October 2017, 12:40   #10814
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Are you sure on Mysore ring road part? From previous year feedback, what I understood is that entire ringo road also gets bumper to bumper traffic during Dushera time. 1/3 of the crowd takes, left for Chamundi hills, another 1/3 goes to right for Brindavan garden side and remaining 1/3 enters palace side.

Anyway, I am planning an early start by 5:00 AM. Let us see based on traffic reports during that time. Thanks for the reply.
Here is the update from my drive.

I did Bangalore-Kanakapura- Malavalli- Kollegal- Chamaraj Nagar -Gundlupet route.

This road is amazingly good for 85% of it. There are few patches where road widening works are in progress. Other than that, the drive was so peaceful and no traffic at all.

The only concern is number of restaurants. We had plan to stop for breakfast at Nijaguna Resort ,at Chamraj Nagar. But due to late start, we did a short stop at Kanakapura and had a light breakfast. Then took a good break at that resort. There are a couple more new restaurants on each town. Not sure on their food quality.
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Old 9th October 2017, 21:32   #10815
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Given map still shows through the toll. Could you please re-check ?
Try checking the 'avoid toll roads' option in the route options. That should show you the shortcut. Hope it helps.
Cheers!
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