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Old 30th January 2018, 09:42   #11101
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by KVNair View Post
Survived the post-weekend rush back to Bangalore yesterday. In all my trips back to Bangalore, this one was the most time consuming and tiring. I think going forward, it makes more sense to just avoid traveling by road when there is a longish public holiday or be ready to face all these unexpected events along the way.
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Originally Posted by sachinpk View Post
Earlier (as bachelors & young married couple) we also used to drive in the night. Then slowly that changed and we started driving down early mornings (at that time the entire stretch was not four lane highway). Return legs used to invariably start by around 12 noon or even 1 pm. Now thanks to the mad rush, we are forced to leave our home town early in the morning itself. So actual "vacation time" is going down.
I had overcome this issue by travelling one day earlier before the long weekend and returning one day after.
More than the time I save, I can stay away from the morons you see more on weekends. I have noticed more novice drivers or the folks who do all sort of stunts driving recklessly, will pass you at twice the normal speed only to be seen stuck few hundred metres away. There is an exponential hike of these category of drivers (mostly private cars) on any long weekend.
On any other day the traffic will be lean with more disciplined long timers, may be I'm wrong here but still I feel that way.

Cheers!
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Old 30th January 2018, 11:07   #11102
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ashwinsadeep View Post
This is a stretch of almost 150-160km with 2 toll booths collecting Rs. 125 between them - Shouldn't NHAI be constructing flyovers at the junctions?
In KL, land acquisition is the problem. In fact, I'd say it is mostly impossible today to acquire land between Thrissur and Kochi. Remember that NHAI wanted a 75m wide strip of land, the then KL government offered 30m and eventually they settled at 45m. One compromise as a result of this is the lack of flyovers in KL.

I don't even see the possibility of a different alignment of the NH between these two cities.

(Rs. 125 toll for 150 km is therefore low compared to the rest of the route till Bangalore; excluding Coimbatore bypass the total toll from Walayar to Attibele is Rs. 405 for approx. 360 km).
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Old 30th January 2018, 11:25   #11103
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
In KL, land acquisition is the problem. In fact, I'd say it is mostly impossible today to acquire land between Thrissur and Kochi. Remember that NHAI wanted a 75m wide strip of land, the then KL government offered 30m and eventually they settled at 45m. One compromise as a result of this is the lack of flyovers in KL.

I don't even see the possibility of a different alignment of the NH between these two cities.

(Rs. 125 toll for 150 km is therefore low compared to the rest of the route till Bangalore; excluding Coimbatore bypass the total toll from Walayar to Attibele is Rs. 405 for approx. 360 km).
I agree that 125 is comparatively lower. But it is not going to stay like that for long. I guess NHAI is waiting for Kuthiran tunnel to open before they start collecting toll at Vadakkenchery. The toll booth is already in place for that. Once that is operational, the total toll on that stretch will be comparable to other sections of the NH, and having to wait at multiple signals on a tolled road is just ridiculous, not to mention some of these signals are barely 2km apart.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with paying tolls as long as the infrastructure is there which is currently not the case in Kerala.

Also, about the 20s signals - Almost always there will be an overloaded articulated truck at the start of the queue which will take 10s to get going and then you get to wait for another minute or so. Can't they at least prioritise the - paying - traffic on the NH?
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Old 30th January 2018, 11:44   #11104
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by KVNair View Post
Survived the post-weekend rush back to Bangalore yesterday. In all my trips back to Bangalore, this one was the most time consuming and tiring.
Same situation here, except that we crossed Madukkarai at around 1:30PM and reached E-City toll at 8:45PM. Same story as yours - Jallikkattu mess, then the accident (a college bus appeared to have side-swiped a white i20, leaving a lot of yellow paint and a nasty dent on the RH fender) and over a kilometre long queue at Thoppur and Krishnagiri toll booths that easily added close to 1.5 hours of crawling time. The only saving grace was the (illegal) barricades on the main carriageway could be spotted from far ahead in day light and thanks to the traffic.

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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
...Morons should have planned and budgetted for flyovers when they anyway caused chaos during construction. I think the sheer number of flyovers needed would have been the detriment time-wise and budget wise. Still, they could have taken a middle approach - flyovers at extremely busy junctions at angamaly, chalakudi etc.
This is exactly what I have to say too:
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Originally Posted by binand View Post
In KL, land acquisition is the problem. In fact, I'd say it is mostly impossible today to acquire land between Thrissur and Kochi. Remember that NHAI wanted a 75m wide strip of land, the then KL government offered 30m and eventually they settled at 45m. One compromise as a result of this is the lack of flyovers in KL.

I don't even see the possibility of a different alignment of the NH between these two cities.
However, there are places where the road design is extremely dangerous, despite having the option to construct a flyover or to have the alignment done in a better way.

Now, the only way to improve capacity is to construct an elevated road on the highway - but this is just a dream and riddled with its own share of problems.

Quote:
Rs. 125 toll for 150 km is therefore low compared to the rest of the route till Bangalore; excluding Coimbatore bypass the total toll from Walayar to Attibele is Rs. 405 for approx. 360 km.
Compare the Coimbatore bypass - Rs.45 for 28km of 2-lane bumpy road and signals where a red for cross traffic is treated as mere recommendation (unlike the KL side where some sanity still remains) - I won't complain about the Rs. 125 toll amount for ~150km.
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Old 30th January 2018, 12:02   #11105
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ashwinsadeep View Post
I guess NHAI is waiting for Kuthiran tunnel to open before they start collecting toll at Vadakkenchery.
NHAI's tolling rules have the provision for separate toll for such major constructions (over and above the regular, one-toll-booth-every-50km system). In fact I believe the Thoppur toll is one such, specifically for the ghat road between Thoppur and Dharmapuri.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinsadeep View Post
having to wait at multiple signals on a tolled road is just ridiculous, not to mention some of these signals are barely 2km apart.[...] Can't they at least prioritise the - paying - traffic on the NH?
Mostly, due to compromises made by successive KL governments fearing local backlash (KL has a serious case of Nimby syndrome) we don't have flyovers and we have local traffic prioritized over long-distance traffic. Remember that signal operations is managed by local (traffic) police and not by NHAI.

In summary: signals exist - because of lack of land to build flyovers. Signals don't have enough time - because local police decided so.

Not that NHAI is full of angels in white. Far from it. :-)
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Old 30th January 2018, 12:50   #11106
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinsadeep View Post
I guess NHAI is waiting for Kuthiran tunnel to open before they start collecting toll at Vadakkenchery.
The contract already defines when you can start collecting the toll - I think after completion of 70% of the work. So right now, NHAI cannot decide the time, but rather the contractor who has to decide

Quote:
Also, about the 20s signals - Almost always there will be an overloaded articulated truck at the start of the queue which will take 10s to get going and then you get to wait for another minute or so. Can't they at least prioritise the - paying - traffic on the NH?
At least if they have synchronised the signals it would have been helpful. But as Binand says, they are operated by the local police, we cannot expect any relief any time soon
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Old 30th January 2018, 13:35   #11107
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by treadmark View Post
I had overcome this issue by travelling one day earlier before the long weekend and returning one day after.
More than the time I save, I can stay away from the morons you see more on weekends. I have noticed more novice drivers or the folks who do all sort of stunts driving recklessly, will pass you at twice the normal speed only to be seen stuck few hundred metres away. There is an exponential hike of these category of drivers (mostly private cars) on any long weekend.
On any other day the traffic will be lean with more disciplined long timers, may be I'm wrong here but still I feel that way.

Cheers!
I agree and think the same. Bangalore population has been on the rise since last few years. There are a lot of novice drivers out there driving between Kerala and Bangalore, and the situation is not how it used to be around say 10 years ago. Moreover, train tickets are not available, bus fares are steep, self-drive rental cars availability, and other such factors have added to this weekend rush. And nowadays I also see many hobby bikers' groups on the highway going out of Bangalore and coming back during the weekends. Nothing against them, but I was wondering whether they are really enjoying this ride in midst of all this melee.

I cherish those drives that I had done before 2011 along this stretch. Roads were still under construction, but the commute time and drive was more predictable and safe. The situation is just getting worse nowadays even with better roads and cars.
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Old 30th January 2018, 21:15   #11108
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by KVNair View Post
And nowadays I also see many hobby bikers' groups on the highway going out of Bangalore and coming back during the weekends. Nothing against them, but I was wondering whether they are really enjoying this ride in midst of all this melee.
Rightly said. It's more of a common sight now a days to see people riding bikes all the way from Kerala to Bangalore. Yesterday saw a guy in a Triumph bike with KA registration riding on NH544 near Palakkad. The guy was easily riding at over 150kmph. Can't imagine how he could keep control just in case some unscrupulous person suddenly jumps from the bushes in the divider onto the road.
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Old 30th January 2018, 23:37   #11109
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Hope you are aware of road closure at Bandipur forest at 09:00 PM. With 02:00 PM start you need not be worried about the same, still.

As others mentioned, Mint flower is good option for snacks.

Jubilee & Milton are two dinner options that you can consider. Milton is a newly opened restaurant, it is run by the same person who used to run Jubilee before it was taken by the building owner.


You may get more details of the same here.


Thanks Bejoy, NPV & Suhas for your suggestions. Had decided to take a chance and stick with my original travel plan of leaving BLR on 25th Jan- 2pm. Started on time, drive was a breeze with little or no traffic on the way, Thanks to the bandh. Took a break at CCD before turning towards Bandipur, entered the check post around 6:30pm and drove all the way to calicut to reach home by 9:45pm. Overall road conditions are good
Saw the restaurants you suggested, did not need to use either as it was early for a dinner break
For return- left calicut on 29th at 2:45am. Took the Mananthavady- kutta- Mysore road and reached BLR by 10:30am. Again a peaceful drive skipping most of the traffic. There were many rough patches on this route and is not a recommended option except that one does not need to wait for the forest check posts to open.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 31st January 2018 at 06:04. Reason: Added quote tags for quoted content.
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Old 31st January 2018, 06:59   #11110
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
kunnamangalam -> kuttikkattoor -> pantheeramkavu
This above route is good barring few rough patches (which are nothing to worry about)

Another option for the 2nd leg would be :

Thamarassery - Omassery - Mukkam - Nellikaparamba - Pannicode - Edasserikadavu - Edavannappara - Kondotty - Karippur - Kolappuram - NH17

All Roads to Kerala-screenshot_20180131062923_01.png

I took the above route while driving back from Davangere on January 14th. Took me 1.5 hours (with a 5 mins detour to drop my friend at Mukkam and a missed shortcut near Karippur) from White House Restaurant near Engapuzha to my home near Tirurangadi. Very less traffic and helped me bypass many bottlenecks along the usual route.

The downside to taking the above option is you'll miss many restaurants mentioned in the previous pages and the BP COCO outlet near Thalappara. Also the roads are bit narrow and more curvy (which adds to the fun element )

Quote:
thirunelli -> mananthavady -> kalpetta bypass -> vythiri -> adivaram ->
I bypassed Mananthavady town by taking Kattikulam - Koyileri - Kaithakkal route (okayish with broken patches and potholes) :

All Roads to Kerala-screenshot_20180131063320_01.png


There are few surprise potholes between Mananthavady and Kalpetta. Also, the speedbreakers along the Kalpetta Bypass are faintly marked

Heritage Restaurant near Thamarassery is a good option (not pure vegetarian though) :

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
Yes, kuttettans shop is in my bucket list, what time is the unniappam available from. Do they run out of stock ?
They start selling early in the morning till the stocks last. A pack of 10 unniappam costs ₹60. I usually buy two or three packs while driving to Davangere.

Their kattan chaya (black tea) and Idly with Sambar is also good.

Another Update
:

While driving back from Pollibetta last week, I was stuck behind few car drivers who were trying every antic to overtake a slow moving lengthy truck along the Thamarassery Ghat.

I've heard about a shortcut from the 4th hairpin bend to Adivaram. On seeing a taxi take that shortcut, I went ahead and followed him. The shortcut has sharp curves, speedbreakers and is narrow but it turned out to be wise decision :

All Roads to Kerala-screenshot_20180131063918.png
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Old 31st January 2018, 10:20   #11111
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THank you klub_class.
With the 3 alternates that you have suggested, its almost an entirely new route . Since my priority is smooth surface (parents + kid) and less traffic (for me), in that order; which one/two/all of the three would you recommend as "no brainer, really" (ignore the requirement for breakfast stop temporarily)
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Old 31st January 2018, 16:24   #11112
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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
My trip is sometime in feb, hence bouncing the ball back to you , please update this thread
I actually took Route 1 from your list as we did not want to get into Mysore (option 3)
1) mysore ring road -> hunsur -> nagarhole forest road (time restrictions?) -> kutta -> thirunelli

I am taking this route after a gap of almost 8 years. Then Kutta was in a really bad shape. Fortunately, that leg is very good now. There are some bad patches at Nagarhole entry and exit. Else the route is good

Quote:
Yes, kuttettans shop is in my bucket list, what time is the unniappam available from. Do they run out of stock ?
I purchased at around 5pm. There were still some 10-15 packs of 10 left at that time. But it may be better to try in the morning as you can get it hot
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Old 5th February 2018, 13:59   #11113
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Can someone share the condition of road from Muvatupuzha to Kottayam, the MC road was under repair not sure if it had been completed.
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Old 5th February 2018, 14:14   #11114
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So came back yesterday from my KL trip.

Onward journey (26-Jan): HSR > Krishnagiri > Dharmapuri > Salem > Coimbatore > Thrissur > Kochi > Alleppey > Thakazhy

Anticipating the long weekend rush, we started @ 02:00 AM (instead of the planned 03:30 AM). No issues/traffic whatsoever throughout. Crossed Attibelle/Krishnagiri in a breeze. Reached L&T bypass @ 06:00 AM, and it was completely empty. Reached m Thakazhy home @ 12:00 PM. Fastag really helped and worked at all tolls.

Total time: 10 hrs including 1 hr for breakfast/lunch breaks.

Return journey (04-Feb): Thakazhy > Alleppey > Kochi > Thrissur > Coimbatore > Salem > Dharmapuri > Krishnagiri > HSR

Started from my Thakazhy home @ 04:00 AM. Early start really helped, as I reached L&T bypass @ 7 AM, and there wasn't any traffic at all. Reached Krishnagiri @ 12:30 PM. There wasn't much rush, but the fastag lane had trucks lined up, but still I managed to pass through in 5 mins. Reached my HSR home @ 14:00. Fastag worked on all tolls.

Total time: 10 hrs including 45 mins for breakfast/lunch breaks.
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Old 5th February 2018, 16:39   #11115
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Originally Posted by Repsol View Post
Anticipating the long weekend rush, we started @ 02:00 AM (instead of the planned 03:30 AM). No issues/traffic whatsoever throughout. Crossed Attibelle/Krishnagiri in a breeze. Reached L&T bypass @ 06:00 AM, and it was completely empty. Reached m Thakazhy home @ 12:00 PM. Fastag really helped and worked at all tolls.
..
Started from my Thakazhy home @ 04:00 AM. Early start really helped, as I reached L&T bypass @ 7 AM, and there wasn't any traffic at all. Reached Krishnagiri @ 12:30 PM. There wasn't much rush, but the fastag lane had trucks lined up, but still I managed to pass through in 5 mins. Reached my HSR home @ 14:00. Fastag worked on all tolls.
The two statements clearly sum it up. You cannot avoid traffic in peak hours. But you can avoid peak hours itself! There is no other solution to this problem. Also I notice crossing Salem does not seem to be that big a problem. Hopefully everything gets completed fast.

Also I dont know if there is a capacity/traffic issue on the Bangalore - Kerala railway line. They can definitely offer 2-3 services per day (some via Bangarpet/Jolarpet and some via Hosur/Dharmapuri). That should really help the weekend rush. But its the same problem. What if for rest of the days these services dont yield revenue?

Last edited by ampere : 5th February 2018 at 16:43.
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