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Old 24th December 2017, 11:25   #10996
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Yesterday at 0900 hrs,Because of this jam,we were diverted from alathur to pazhanoor route.
My family traveled with my sister-in-law's family yesterday in their Creta. They started at 3 AM from Bangalore and avoided pretty much all the pile-ups that developed along the route afterwards (I am told that the one at Attibele/Hosur was particularly ferocious; one of our neighbours diverted to NICE/Mysore Road/Nadugani because of it) and after a 1-hour break at A2B Perundurai they cleared Pampampallam toll in Kerala at 10 AM. Since my b-i-l got a message that they are selling Fastags at that toll, he spent the next 1 hour trying to get one.

Beyond that it was a nightmare it seems. Heavy, sometimes stand-still traffic all the way till Perumbavur. My son, who was doing the Google Maps navigation, reported delays between 15-45 minutes at several locations in between. Finally, they reached my in-laws' place near Perumbavur (they diverted via Malayattoor) at 4 PM. It was a frustrating, tiring journey it seems once they entered Kerala.
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Old 24th December 2017, 12:19   #10997
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I have a suggestion to avoid the block due to bridge construction in Wadakkanchery in the Palghat - Thrissur section. Just turn left to the Wadakkanchery town, just after Mangalam bridge, go through the town, and enter back in NH in Thankam Jn.
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Old 24th December 2017, 19:22   #10998
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Left Bangalore at 4am today and reached Palakkad at 11am with couple of breaks.The drive was relaxed driving between 80 to 100kmph getting back FE of 19+ kmpl. Electronic city and Attibele tolls were empty while Krishnagiri and Thoppur had a decent crowd. Fastag lanes were empty all through.
Yesterday I heard some horror stories of families spending 12 hours on the road to cover 500km.
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Old 24th December 2017, 19:56   #10999
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To avoid the madness on regular route, we took sathyamangalam - dhimmam route to Coimbatore. Scenenic route, no tolls, relaxed drive! Got stuck at vadakkanchery mess, kuthiran wasn't that bad. But there are very few eateries in this route and it's two lane all throughout till coimbatore. The stretch from malavalli to kollegal is not that great.
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Old 24th December 2017, 20:09   #11000
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we took sathyamangalam - dhimmam route to Coimbatore.
How many hours did it take you from NICE Road exit till Satyamangalam? I'm driving on Thursday and might want to go this way.
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Old 24th December 2017, 23:27   #11001
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Drove to Palakkad on Saturday. Passed E-City area at around 00:45hrs and was home in Palakkad by 06:45hrs. Except for the almost standstill traffic jam at Zuzuwadi check post and a long queue at Krishnagiri toll booth, it was not as bad as we expected it to be. More than the slow moving traffic at toll booths, it was the barricades between Thoppur and Vaiguntham that slowed us down. Some overenthusiastic drivers just don't seem to notice the barricades until they're inches ahead, and then try to merge in, causing the long vehicles to brake hard. Otherwise, we were at a calm and steady pace all along.

Quite surprisingly, the Fastag lanes were slower than cash lanes at Omallur, Vijayamangalam and Walayar. Didn't find any advantage with regard to the timing this time. Except for the irritating L&T bypass in Coimbatore, it was cashless end to end.
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Old 24th December 2017, 23:50   #11002
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How many hours did it take you from NICE Road exit till Satyamangalam? I'm driving on Thursday and might want to go this way.
I travelled on this route in the reverse direction in the first week of December and it took me 4 hrs 5 minutes of actual driving time (excluding stops) for the 232 kms from Sathy to NICE Rd-Kanakapura Rd junction. I passed Dhimbum only by around 5:30PM, so the bulk of the drive after that was after sunset. Day time driving should be slightly faster.
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Old 25th December 2017, 10:42   #11003
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How many hours did it take you from NICE Road exit till Satyamangalam? I'm driving on Thursday and might want to go this way.
We took about 5 hours, i think. You can definitely consider this route. It's more scenic and quiet.
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Old 26th December 2017, 14:20   #11004
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Completed the X'Mas 2017 trip to Kerala and back.

1. Kuthiran tunnel may not be operational till another 6-8 months, from what I saw at the area on my return leg. Local news papers also mentioned about the workers going on strike due to non payment of wages for last two months. The tunnel did not seem to be any where near completion. So is the approach bridge from Palakkad Dt. side into the tunnel.

2. Started my journey at around 0400Hrs (original plan was 0300Hrs), but checked up Google Maps. Attibelle and Krishnagiri toll booths had a thick red line already. Did not take a chance and took the Palacode-Rayakottai route.

3. At Thoppur toll too there was a long line of vehicles, but the sentry manning the FasTag lane was strict. Due to which we managed to cross this toll booth in 3-4 mins. There was a scorpio ahead of us driven by an old gent; extremely rash which made me feel like he really was making a dash to a toilet. At Thoppur our man landed up in a long queue, while FasTag helped us.

4. Omalur toll booth was also another beauty. The FasTag lane had around 12-13 cars ahead of me, and I was not very pleased. But lo & behold, every single car had a working FastTag and within 2-3 mins, I was out of that queue as well. I used this incident to convince wifey of the devices like FasTag and automation.

5. We were at Saravana Bhavan @ Vaigundam by 0655Hrs. Which also meant that we were only going at the steady pace. The place was crowded, so finally had breakfast at the A2B some where near the Kumarapalayam toll booth.

6. At around 0915Hrs we approached the infamous L&T toll booth. I tuned my HAM radio VHF set to the Palakkad repeater. Got a HAM operator from Thrissur district, and he informed that another common HAM friend was on his way to Bangalore. Soon I got him "on air". Chap was some where near Alathur at that time. It was this person who gave me a really early warning; massive jam at Kuthiran and he lost two hours to get out of the mess. At Walayar we crossed each other, and by then I had rerouted Google Maps to take me via Pazhayannoor-Chelakkara route. Later came to know that Kilo 13 & Kilo 14 (of the Kerala's finest) have been diverting traffic at Wadakkanchery and Alathur onto the Chelakkara route.

7. Time was now around 1100Hrs, and I expected to reach my final destination Thrissur by around 12 noon. At Akamala ghats (on Thrissur-shornur route) a huge jam had formed up. It is a narrow road, and all vehicles diverted from the highway had landed up on this route. Add to this, the typical "Bangalore-ish driver behaviour" of many vehicles. They just cut into the opposite lane and went ahead making the sensible drivers who had neatly formed a single line on the left side look like fools. The usual pattern for the block was; a private bus leading the pack which would stop at every designated bus stop. Because of narrow road and oncoming traffic no other vehicles would get past them. If some one tried that, he may land up in front of another slow convoy led by a slow moving National Permit truck.

8. Finally it was around 1300Hrs that we reached the suburbs of Thrissur. Came to know the next day that the block at Kuthiran had started at around 2200Hrs on 22nd Dec night. It got cleared by 1500Hrs on 23rd Dec. Two huge container trucks had banged each other at the ghats.

Last edited by sachinpk : 26th December 2017 at 14:31.
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Old 26th December 2017, 19:07   #11005
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A safe bet would be 3:00 AM. 3:30 AM is not bad as well. 4:00-5:00 AM is like testing our luck and beyond that, the toll traffic plus crowd at hotels will be horrible. Last time my friend started around 5:45 and spend 1 hour at Attibele toll.

Kollegal - Sathy is a nice option. Peaceful and no tolls.
We started at 3am on 23rd, attibele toll was a breeze. However it took around 10 minutes each at Krishnagiri toll and Thoppur toll. Fastag lanes were dedicated to Fastag users but it was a challenge to find/enter the Fastag lane due to the traffic.

Also, the traffic till Salem was like driving on the Mysore road during a weekend.

At Krishnagiri toll,
All Roads to Kerala-img_20171223_040455556_ll.jpg

At Thoppur toll,
All Roads to Kerala-img_20171223_045943707_ll.jpg
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Old 27th December 2017, 15:14   #11006
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Has any of you drove from Kottayam to Chennai through Kumali? Please let me know how’s the road condition and traffic. Thanks in advance.
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Old 28th December 2017, 09:20   #11007
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All Roads to Kerala-img_20171228_091044.jpg

The construction of the twin tunnels at Kuthiran has now stopped completely, because of the lorry owners and drivers striking work as they are not paid their dues yet. The workers were promised payment by Christmas, but that has also not happened.

Gantry concreting on one tunnel and electrification in the other tunnel were in progress before the work lost steam and finally ground to a halt.

Last edited by silversteed : 28th December 2017 at 09:22.
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Old 29th December 2017, 15:28   #11008
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Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is the right forum- I'm heading beyond Salem tomorrow with a 4 AM start from HSR Layout.

Is it worth taking the Rayakottai - Palacode - Dharmapuri road to avoid the blocks at Attibele, Krishnagiri and Thoppur tolls?

Thanks in advance
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Old 30th December 2017, 19:29   #11009
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The construction of the twin tunnels at Kuthiran has now stopped completely
I drove to Perumbavur on 28th; started from Bangalore at around 5:15 PM. Got caught in a political rally in Hosur and lost about 30 minutes there, but once I went past Salem (around 9:30 PM) the local traffic died down and it was a very peaceful drive the rest of the way.

I reached Kuthiran at around 2 AM. Here are my observations:

1. There is a flyover under construction inside Vadakkancherry town. This seems to be a bottleneck here.
2. Beyond it there was 6-lane road for some time (occasional diversions are present).
3. There is a stretch of about 15 km that seems to be as-yet untouched by the widening crew. This is probably where the tunnels are too; I couldn't see them in the dark. In this stretch I got caught in a slow crawl/jam that cost me about 15 minutes.
4. Beyond that again, there were reasonably long brand new 6-lane stretches punctuated by occasional detours where maybe culverts or other reasons have resulted in loss of continuity.

Reached home at around 3:15 AM. Just one dinner break at A2B Vaiguntam.
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Old 30th December 2017, 22:16   #11010
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Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is the right forum- I'm heading beyond Salem tomorrow with a 4 AM start from HSR Layout.

Is it worth taking the Rayakottai - Palacode - Dharmapuri road to avoid the blocks at Attibele, Krishnagiri and Thoppur tolls?

Thanks in advance
Thoppur toll cannot be avoided even if you take the Rayakottai - Palacode route. Assuming you are starting from Bangalore going via TVS factory will help in avoiding Attibele toll
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