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Old 29th May 2018, 16:26   #11341
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
I would recommend against this; given that it is a weekday you will end up spending couple of hours extra on the road in miserable traffic (your average speed over a sizeable distance within Kerala would be 30-40 kmph).
Agreed. That is definitely a pain, but, have been getting immensely bored of the Salem-Cbe-Pgt highway especially with toll booth queues that are getting longer (even with FASTag). So with a 5:30 AM start and not much pressure on time, wanted to try and brave the Kerala traffic.

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Don't think water logging will be an issue. But during heavy rains, Nadugani ghat is prone to landslides. Again, unless the monsoon kicks off in full force tomorrow itself as predicted, it should not be a major cause for concern.
Good point. Hadn't thought of that. I heard from a couple of folks that heavy rains have started from last night.

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
There is a nice little cafe (I think it is called Cafe Cuppa-there in google maps) just after Nilambur Town on the right side. Some nice snacks and rest rooms were also neat.
Thanks. Noted.

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
The Alathur-Chelakkara-Wadakkanchery-Kechery route is good. Update from two weeks ago. But you may not find a huge advantage in terms of drive time because of the relatively narrow and winding roads. Through Thrissur, you will have to brave the city traffic but you get the advantage of 4-laned roads till Mannuthy (except Kuthiran).
Agreed. I have done both the routes and the last one was through Alathur-Chelakkara in October 2017. But this is the first time I am travelling during heavy monsoon (going by the forecast so far).

Looks like I'll mostly end up taking the regular highway and drive through Thrissur.
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Old 29th May 2018, 17:49   #11342
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by Mnjdnght View Post
have been getting immensely bored of the Salem-Cbe-Pgt highway especially with toll booth queues that are getting longer (even with FASTag). So with a 5:30 AM start and not much pressure on time, wanted to try and brave the Kerala traffic.
If variety is what you need, then try one of the Bangalore-Kochi toll avoidance routes.

For example: Attibele-Rayakottai-Pennagaram-Idappadi-Perundurai-Kangayam-Pollachi-Nenmara-Vadakkancheri-Thrissur. Not a single toll booth. The TN side has superb roads, which is where bulk of your drive is going to be.
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Old 29th May 2018, 21:47   #11343
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by bbhavan View Post
Dear all,

Planning to have a two day trip to Kanyakumari from Kottayam.

The google map shows a route through Kottarakkara-Venjarammoodu-Nedumangad-Thripparappu- Kanyakumari and another option is through Tvm-kovalam-Poovar-Colachel-Kanyakumari.

Any idea about the road conditions along these routes? Or is it better to stick to the old highway through Tvm- Nagercoil?
The first route is extremely circuitous route. Unless you are planning to visit a few dams on the way, this avoidable. No idea about the second one

There is a flyover work going on at Marthandam and there is a diversion because of that on the regular TVM-Nagercoil highway. May take some extra time
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Old 30th May 2018, 11:48   #11344
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I did during the last week. The tarmac is in excellent condition but no more scenic! Forest department staff give you 2 hours to complete this stretch of 55 km failing which threaten with fine of Rs.2000!
No more scenic? Is that because of the summer? But that stretch should have got more rain? Were you able to cover the stretch within 2 hrs? I hope yes.
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Old 30th May 2018, 12:42   #11345
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No more scenic? Is that because of the summer? But that stretch should have got more rain? Were you able to cover the stretch within 2 hrs? I hope yes.
Since 2 hoursí deadline was always running at the back of my mind, I was able to cover the distance just within the deadline given. But, I seriously donít know whether they strictly enforce it! Not scenic as it used to be during my last trip in 2000 and to my surprise, I found some shops inside the forest route!
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Old 1st June 2018, 11:54   #11346
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I drove back from Kerala yesterday. Unlike the speed cams in big boxes in the Angamaly - Thrissur stretch which are easier to spot, the newer ones on the Vadakencherry(?) - Walayar stretch are smaller. Moreover they cover both lanes now. These cams are installed at almost every 2-3 kms apart. These can be identified from the tall T structure in the median. The really tough ones to spot however, are the white coloured ones hiding in the median between the plants. The only giveaway for this are the twin (ropes?) over the tarred road. These are very small (almost like a CCTV camera).

The real surprise however, was the speed cameras installed in NH 45, a few kms after Hotel Aryas (towards Chennai) about 115 km before Chennai. These cameras are pointed towards you (front number plate) as opposed to the cameras in Kerala which are focussed towards the rear number plate.

Last edited by longhorn : 1st June 2018 at 11:58.
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Old 1st June 2018, 12:06   #11347
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
I drove back from Kerala yesterday. Unlike the speed cams in big boxes in the Angamaly - Thrissur stretch which are easier to spot, the newer ones on the Vadakencherry(?) - Walayar stretch are smaller. Moreover they cover both lanes now. These cams are installed at almost every 2-3 kms apart. These can be identified from the tall T structure in the median. The really tough ones to spot however, are the white coloured ones hiding in the median between the plants. The only giveaway for this are the twin (ropes?) over the tarred road. These are very small (almost like a CCTV camera).
They were not equipped to send challans to out of state vehicles earlier and spot fines were ther. I am not sure if that situation has changed now.
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Old 1st June 2018, 12:13   #11348
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
If variety is what you need, then try one of the Bangalore-Kochi toll avoidance routes.

For example: Attibele-Rayakottai-Pennagaram-Idappadi-Perundurai-Kangayam-Pollachi-Nenmara-Vadakkancheri-Thrissur. Not a single toll booth. The TN side has superb roads, which is where bulk of your drive is going to be.
I am yet to try the Attibele - Perundurai section in the route above. For some reason it just has not happened. I've done the Kangeyam - Thrissur section many times. Will try the whole route in one of my next trips.
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Old 1st June 2018, 12:53   #11349
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quick updates from my recent Bangalore - Guruvayoor - Bangalore trip:

After a brief thought about diversity and considering feedback received, I decided to stick to the regular route this time.

May 30: Bangalore - Salem (NH44/ 7) - Mannuthy (NH544/ 47) - Guruvayoor (via Choondal). Started at 5:30 AM from Arekere, Bannerghatta road and reached at 1:30 PM. About 1 hour 15 mins stop time for nourishments and bio breaks.

May 31: Return via same route with a small detour through Alathur town for a stop at SNR chips. Started at 12:30 PM from Guruvayoor and reached home at 9:30 PM. About 1 hour 15 mins stop time.

Notes:
- Lost 10 mins waiting in the FasTag lane at Vaikuntam toll booth due to a truck having issues. Had to finally pull out of the exclusive lane and pay cash.
- A lot of posts have already mentioned about new cameras being installed from Walayar towards Vadakkanchery. I wonder if these are radar equipped instead of being sensor driven (as in the Thrissur - Aluva section). They can be easily spotted from a distance and hence will allow people to adjust speed.
- No light at the end of Kuthiran tunnel yet
- Pot holes are forming fast and with monsoons on their way will start becoming hazardous soon
- For all my worry about Kerala monsoon and water logging, I got exactly 5 mins of rain in Kerala
- But, faced massive rain accompanied by thunder, lightning and heavy winds on the way back for about 2 hours after Thoppur till Hosur. Kept to 40 - 60 kph speeds. Lot of rivulets and water logged sections needed great caution.
- Salem flyover has started claiming its victims. Saw three cars stopped with couple of bikes in the midst and a small crowd gathered around. With barely any space to overtake, two wheelers are/ are at great risk.
- Nice road was a pain. It was an all-truck highway with cars zig zagging away even using the shoulders.
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Old 1st June 2018, 14:29   #11350
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
They were not equipped to send challans to out of state vehicles earlier and spot fines were ther. I am not sure if that situation has changed now.
I don't think it is even possible to do this now. Because the vehicle registration details are stored/maintained at a state level. But I am also sure that GoI has developed certain applications which would lead to a centralized database of all license holders & vehicle registrations. This is also getting piloted in Kerala (and a few other states).

So if with these cameras GoKerala starts sending notices to out-of-state vehicles, I would take it that the pilot project was a success . With the current technological advancement, this is NOT a problem at all.
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Old 1st June 2018, 19:33   #11351
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

in other words, between bangalore and Kerala, its impossible to do consistent 100-110 cruising :
1) cherthala to walayar has cameras (except kuthiran)
2) kuthiran is slow moving anyway
3) L&T bypass is a pain point since long (6 single gate opened booths + crossings)
4) from vaigundam till krishnagiri the "salem effect" is present - badly arranged speed barricades which encourage moron drivers to cause accidents, instead of preventing them (if someone is behind me and I slow down for the barricade, some people do the slingshot overtake and brake like crazy just in front of the barricade - saving what ? 10 seconds ? )
5) krishnagiri to bangalore is a mad racetrack for bangalore IT guys to showoff their racing skills, one is looking more at the I/O RVM than the windshield

The only slice of cruising stretch left, is from coimbatore bypass end to vaigundam toll - I expect even that to have the "salem effect" and be filled with barricades shortly.

Effectively, the smooth cruising that we could do, is now gone. Because of this, what I fear is people will speed up like crazy (140-150), once out of Kerala, and this will increase the accident risk.

Last edited by venkyhere : 1st June 2018 at 19:34.
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Old 3rd June 2018, 13:49   #11352
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

I am planning to drive down to Attingal from Bangalore on 10th June so wanted to check on the routes as normally I do Bangalore- Salem- Dindigul route entering Kerala around Kilmanoor. I head with the Nipah virus issues lot of checking on TN/Kerala border. Please advice as I have a KA registered vehicle. Any other advice on alternates or suggestions are welcome. Planning to start early 5.30 am and reach evening. I will also be carrying a lot of baggage noting overhead though for my kid and family
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Old 4th June 2018, 21:01   #11353
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Drove Guruvayur to Bangalore yesterday via Trichur-Palakkad-Salem-Hosur.
Started at 12.30 PM and reached my home in north Bangalore at 10.45 PM. Had to bear heavy to moderate rains for most of the stretch except between Palakkad and Erode.

Manuthy-Vadakanchery 6 laning is 90% complete except a few flyovers and a couple of stretches apart from the Kuthiran area. The Kuthiran stretch was a breeze. Lorry traffic was much lesser than what I anticipated.
Fastag worked in all toll booths. All booths except Krishnagiri had fastag lanes barricaded to allow only fastag vehicles. I could sail through most of them without even having to stop. Would have saved at least 45 minutes overall. The only pain is the L&T bypass toll booths.
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Old 4th June 2018, 21:26   #11354
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
The only pain is the L&T bypass toll booths.
On my last trip, I found a way to somewhat ease the pain of having to repeatedly lower the window glass and show the receipt at multiple booths en route the L&T bypass stretch.

Usually most drivers of cars show the receipt at each toll booth to the attendant standing outside the booth. This is actually not necessary since that chap basically tells the vehicle registration number to the attendant who is operating the computer inside the booth and validating if toll has been paid.

After paying the full toll amount at the first plaza, I placed the receipt on the top edge of the driver side window glass in such a way that it stayed pressed there. I did not have to roll down the glass anywhere alomg the way, just pointed to the receipt location

Last edited by NPV : 4th June 2018 at 21:32.
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Old 4th June 2018, 21:28   #11355
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
On my last trip, I found a way to somewhat ease the pain of having to repeatedly lower the window glass and show the receipt at multiple booths en route the L&T bypass stretch.

Usually most drivers of cars show the receipt at each toll booth to the attendant standing outside the booth. This is actually not necessary since that chap basically tells the vehicle registration number to the attendant who is operating the computer inside the booth who is validating if toll has been paid.

After paying the full toll amount at the first plaza, I placed the receipt on the top edge of the driver side window glass in such a way that it stayed pressed there. I did not have to roll down the glass anywhere alomg the way, just pointed to the receipt location
I normally do something similar, by just showing it without rolling down the windows.
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