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Old 5th November 2018, 13:31   #11761
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How is the road condition between Kothamangalam and Munnar?
I have done this route yesterday from Thrissur.

There were no problems till Kothamangalam. After that till Odakkali there were a few deep potholes. Neriamangalam to Munnar has some one-way sections (very short) due to road damages.

Overall the road conditions were good.
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Old 5th November 2018, 21:32   #11762
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Over the weekend, I did a circuit drive from Kochi to Munnar and back. Route- Kochi- Muvattupuzha- Kothamangalam- Adimali- Munnar- Marayoor- Kanthalloor- Chinnar- Pollachi- Alathur- Mannuthy- Kochi.

Road conditions are generally good. Crossing Pollachi still is a mess. The 12 km stretch between Kollengode- Alathur, though sparse in traffic had sufficient broken patches to keep us jumping. I guess Kollengode- Vadakkenchery would be a better option than going through Alathur.

Vadakkenchery till Mannuthy- four lane work is in progress. Despite the deviations, the road conditions are pretty nice.

For the whole distance from Chinnar till Kochi, one can easily average 60 kmph despite the mess at Pollachi.
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Old 6th November 2018, 08:54   #11763
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Some observations from Sunday's drive to Bangalore:
1. Kuthiran - It's patched up, and the surface though bumpy, won't be the reason for slowing us down. The tunnel is still work in progress - the company that's building it, will be going dead slow on the work because the company that's in charge of developing the Vadakkenchery-Mannuthy stretch has not settled any dues to the former. The tunnel is a sub-contracted work is what I came to understand.

2. Salem flyover - The last flyover is also open for traffic towards Dharmapuri, though the surface is not tarred. On a sunday evening, one can avoid a good deal of stress by not having to take the road underneath and battling the local traffic.
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Old 6th November 2018, 18:23   #11764
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Today Manorama has report on a 1 hour traffic jam in Kuthiran. Reason quoted is there were couple of heavy trucks that were moving slow and people trying to squeeze in between creating a pileup
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Old 7th November 2018, 09:44   #11765
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Today Manorama has report on a 1 hour traffic jam in Kuthiran. Reason quoted is there were couple of heavy trucks that were moving slow and people trying to squeeze in between creating a pileup
While driving to Bangalore, I saw 7 UP registered LPG tankers (all 7 belonging to the same company and having consecutive registration numbers) between Thoppur and the turn off towards Palacode. Despite being a 4-lane highway, these tankers caused quite a snarl and I was driving at 20-30kmph for a good 20 minutes before I managed to break loose. These long vehicles were driving as a convoy and they leave little gap between each other for another vehicle, even a small car, to squeeze in after overtaking one. Impatient rookies honking away to glory were duly ignored. These lorries always kept to the right lane (as usual), moving at a sedate pace, while the left lane saw all sorts of traffic - Deepavali revellers on bikes, tractor-trailers, auto rickshaws, etc apart from long distance motorists - bikers, cars, inter-city buses, lorries and the like.

The moot point is, with a 2-lane road, the Kuthiran stretch is bound to get jammed whenever more than one trailer lorry moves without leaving a sufficient gap behind the vehicle in front. Only last week, the cops made such a convoy of 4 (or 5) car carriers park their long vehicles at a wide enough stretch, to ease out the congestion and then allowed each one of them to leave only after the previous one had covered some distance.
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Old 7th November 2018, 09:50   #11766
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2. Salem flyover - The last flyover is also open for traffic towards Dharmapuri, though the surface is not tarred.
Oh wow that's good to hear!

Looks like they'll wrap up the work before the new year. Good news really. Crossing Salem would now be a breeze like Vellore.
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Old 7th November 2018, 10:06   #11767
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While driving to Bangalore, I saw 7 UP registered LPG tankers (all 7 belonging to the same company and having consecutive registration numbers) between Thoppur and the turn off towards Palacode. Despite being a 4-lane highway, these tankers caused quite a snarl and I was driving at 20-30kmph for a good 20 minutes before I managed to break loose. These long vehicles were driving as a convoy and they leave little gap between each other for another vehicle, even a small car, to squeeze in after overtaking one.
It is the same situation that happened in Kuthiran. I feel it is right move from the cops to enforce some control on convey moment of these type of vehicles. And the count of very long trucks are going up daily.
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Old 7th November 2018, 19:27   #11768
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Did an ITPL to Varapuzha and back in a Tjet.

Left on 1st November, a few mins past midnight. and reached Kochi at about 10:10 am. That was 10 hours. We got stuck in a traffic jam at thoppur. There was an accident involving atleast 2 trucks, which toppled and perfectly blocked both lanes of the thoppur ghat. There was about 4 km of bumper to bumper traffic on all up lanes, after which the traffic was diverted to the opp lane for about 1.5 odd kms.

Luckily, after about 500 meters or so in the traffic jam, we took a diversion to the right at Vellakal. We skipped about 3 kms of bumper to bumper traffic and joined back for the last 1.5 odd kms. Overall, we lost about 45 mins or so. It could definitely have been 2-3 hours, if not for the deviation we found on google maps. Kuthiraan decided to have mercy on us and was largely uneventful. There was heavy, regular city traffic in the (fake) highways at Palakkad, Thrissur and Alwaye.

Also, went through Coimbatore rather than using the bypass. It took me 30 mins to cross the city, just after sunrise. Roads are a bit broken towards the end.

The return journey was superb. We started at 3:30 am on 6th Nov. By 5.19 am, we were at Coimbatore bypass toll gate. We crossed the bypass in 22 minutes. As a side note, I would like to point out that this toll gate is getting ridiculous. You have to take a 45 rupee ticket, and there are 5 toll gates after the first one. In between each of these toll gates, there are major intersections. And the bypass doesn't have a divider so its irritating driving here at night. Earlier, after buying your toll ticket (no fastag option), you could just show it from inside the car at the subsequent tolls. However, they felt this was all too easy. Now, we need to hand over the ticket at EACH of the toll booths. They will scan and only then the boom barrier opens up!

Anyway, barring this, we had a great drive. Reached ITPL via Hosur, Bagalur, Hopefarm in 7.5 hours, which is our fastest drive to date. All thanks to very less traffic. I was driving at the same pace as the onward journey but managed to shave a cool 2.5 hours.

Now, if only Kuthiraan tunnel opens up, and the CBE bypass is replaced by something from this century.
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Old 7th November 2018, 20:21   #11769
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Luckily, after about 500 meters or so in the traffic jam, we took a diversion to the right at Vellakal. We skipped about 3 kms of bumper to bumper traffic and joined back for the last 1.5 odd kms.
This sounds like useful information to have. Could you please plot this in Google Maps and post here?
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Old 7th November 2018, 21:20   #11770
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This sounds like useful information to have. Could you please plot this in Google Maps and post here?
https://goo.gl/maps/o3KP18j32sT2

The road is broken in places, but generally good, considering its a narrow village road.
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Old 13th November 2018, 12:20   #11771
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Please help with route suggestions for a Kochi - Hassan drive.
A day time drive with morning start would be preferred. Can consider better options(if available).

Google primarily gives two options:

Option 1: Kochi - Kozhikode - Thamarassery - Kalpetta - Panamaram - Kattikulam - Kutta - (Gonikkuppa) - Thithimathi - Periyapatana - Ramanathapura - Hassan

Option 2: Kochi - Palakkad - Coimbatore - Annur - Chamarajanagar - T Narsipura - Mysore - Srirangapatana - Channarayapatana - Hassan

Coimbatore route is longer by 75 KMs, but time shown is similar to the option via Wayanad.

Please help with pointers including road conditions and choke-ups that can be expected. Can it be completed in about 13.5 hrs (including breaks)?
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Old 13th November 2018, 13:02   #11772
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Please help with route suggestions for a Kochi - Hassan drive.
A day time drive with morning start would be preferred. Can consider better options(if available).

Google primarily gives two options:

Option 1: Kochi - Kozhikode - Thamarassery - Kalpetta - Panamaram - Kattikulam - Kutta - (Gonikkuppa) - Thithimathi - Periyapatana - Ramanathapura - Hassan

Option 2: Kochi - Palakkad - Coimbatore - Annur - Chamarajanagar - T Narsipura - Mysore - Srirangapatana - Channarayapatana - Hassan

Coimbatore route is longer by 75 KMs, but time shown is similar to the option via Wayanad.

Please help with pointers including road conditions and choke-ups that can be expected. Can it be completed in about 13.5 hrs (including breaks)?
Traffic wise, I believe option 2 would be better. It should be a low traffic drive throughout since you have the advantage of the 4 lane in the Kerala stretch. The Dimbam ghat is the only stretch I can think off with a chance of blocks happening.

Option 1 would mean a long stretch in the Kerala traffic in day time. All the way from Kochi to at least Kalpetta. Would tire you out.
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Old 13th November 2018, 22:18   #11773
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On the Mannuthy/Vadakencherry sector a local Thrissur channel has reported that some sink hole type cave in have been observed on the highway, itís advisable to take care while driving along this sector. Some edited screenshots from the TV channel (TCV) while reporting.
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Old 14th November 2018, 10:08   #11774
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Please help with route suggestions for a Kochi - Hassan drive.

Option 1: Kochi - Kozhikode - Thamarassery - Kalpetta - Panamaram - Kattikulam - Kutta - (Gonikkuppa) - Thithimathi - Periyapatana - Ramanathapura - Hassan

Option 2: Kochi - Palakkad - Coimbatore - Annur - Chamarajanagar - T Narsipura - Mysore - Srirangapatana - Channarayapatana - Hassan

Coimbatore route is longer by 75 KMs, but time shown is similar to the option via Wayanad.
I'd keenly avoid driving within Kerala as much as possible, especially during the day. You would most likely have lesser traffic & better surfaces if yo go via Coimbatore.
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Old 14th November 2018, 13:06   #11775
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Originally Posted by MSAneesh View Post
Please help with route suggestions for a Kochi - Hassan drive.

Option 1: Kochi - Kozhikode - Thamarassery - Kalpetta - Panamaram - Kattikulam - Kutta - (Gonikkuppa) - Thithimathi - Periyapatana - Ramanathapura - Hassan

Option 2: Kochi - Palakkad - Coimbatore - Annur - Chamarajanagar - T Narsipura - Mysore - Srirangapatana - Channarayapatana - Hassan
Option 1 requires you to drive about 300 km in Kerala which would take about 8 hours of your available time. Not recommended.

Option 2 is a bit circuitous, but because of faster roads in TN you'll be able to catch up a bit; though there are three unknowns: traffic near Coimbatore and surrounding towns, the ghats between Annur and Ch. Nagar & the road between Ch. Nagar and Mysore (Google is showing Ch. Nagar-T. Narasipura-Mysore, but I think Ch. Nagar-Nanjangud-Mysore has better roads).

I'd consider a third option: Kochi-Nilambur-Gudalur-Mysore-Hassan. The distance to Kerala edge is about 200 km which you can cover in 4 hours if you start early in the morning. Road conditions are good throughout (except flood damages, if any).
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