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Old 30th December 2018, 23:28   #11881
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Drove Palakkad Bangalore this afternoon. Started at 11:30 and reached E-City toll at 19:20hrs. Seeing deep red on all toll booths on the L&T bypass road, after getting into a crawl at the first toll booth, I turned around and entered Coimbatore city, took Avinashi road and merged the NH at Neelambur. I'm sure I did the right thing because many others, most of them with KA plates, who were in our vicinity at the Madukkarai and/or Walayar toll, were seen zipping by only after 15-20 minutes of us resuming after finishing our packed lunch. Traffic inside the city was moderate. But the wide roads with dividers were a bliss compared to the single lane joke of a highway that the bypass has become.

Traffic was crazy all throughout. I wanted to avoid the evening rush on a sunday but many others had the same plan too. It was chaotic end to end, with the sheer number of instances where impatience resulted in long queues. Also saw a couple of cars that met with accidents - rear-endings.

Took Palacode - Kelamangalam - Attibele route. Road surface in TN territory is good. There are a few unmarked speedbreakers, so it's always good to have a clear vision of the road ahead. After the TVS factory, the road is in a terrible state. The pipe laying has reduced the width of the already narrow road and the broken surface just adds to the woes.
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Old 31st December 2018, 08:42   #11882
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Bangalore - Cochin

1) Started at 8.30am from Cooke Town. Exiting the city was a breeze and this is something we don't get to say here .
2) FASTag was really helpful at Dharmapuri and Chengapalli where they had a "proper" dedicated FASTag lane.
3) Huge number of heavy trucks and 4 lane roads were a pain. High time they widen this stretch.
4) Took 45 mins to cover Coimbatore bypass.
5) The huge number of signals in Kerala are getting really crowded. And then there's this practice of people taking the service road and joining the highway. Completely slowed the traffic on the highway.
6) Tcr toll was packed and almost all drivers were continuously honking. The lane that I took was not charged. There was one Govt bus behind me honking continuously too. Maybe because of that? High time they get the FASTag ready.
6) Chalakudy signal had a block of almost 2 kms and the next one was almost a km long. Can't call this an highway and it was worse than Aroor-Edappally stretch.
7) Reached kadavanthara at 5pm.
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Old 31st December 2018, 08:53   #11883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
It was chaotic end to end, with the sheer number of instances where impatience resulted in long queues.
Any reason you did not branch off at Sankari and avoid the rest of the highway stretch? Its for this peak days like this, does Edappadi-Mecheri-Pennagaram-Palacode-Kelamangalam route work better.
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Old 31st December 2018, 09:40   #11884
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Originally Posted by B103 View Post
I am not sure if this is a proven and scientific method to reduce speed or it is some typical jugaad approach.
Ideally there should have been flyovers here. All these junctions have seen horrific accidents with multiple fatalities, which have come down lately. These barricades definitely pose threat to the vehicles and must be causing accidents on a daily basis, but may be considered "minor" by the NHAI authorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I turned around and entered Coimbatore city, took Avinashi road and merged the NH at Neelambur.
Could you please share the GMap link for this "detour". I am driving on 2nd and want to go through the city.

Last edited by bejoy : 31st December 2018 at 09:50.
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Old 31st December 2018, 16:18   #11885
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Found a new small restaurant in Yakkara (near Palakkad) that serves excellent fish fry and fish curry with rice and curry served on banana leaves. It is small 4 to 5 table hotel with no frills, but is frequented by celebrities and regulars and lot of fancy cars. I remember this place being covered by the malayalam travel magazine Yatra.

I had a late start from Kalady and it was 1ish noon while approaching Palakkad. One good Kerala meal before leaving the state was on our mindand the Yatra article stuck me. Fortunately, first search on Google for Yakkara Meen Kada (is popularly known that way though the name is Riyaz Meen Kadai).

If you are a fish lover (they serve sea and fresh water fish) and doesn't care about the ambiance, try the place and you will love it.

Some snaps below, sorry to the Vegie folks.

All Roads to Kerala-img20181229wa0022.jpg

All Roads to Kerala-img20181229wa0026.jpg

It is a 5 minutes detour from the Thrissur Palakkad NH at Yakkara.

https://goo.gl/maps/o9YU8fARCxF2

Last edited by gadadhar : 31st December 2018 at 16:26.
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Old 31st December 2018, 22:07   #11886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
Bangalore - Cochin

6) Tcr toll was packed and almost all drivers were continuously honking. The lane that I took was not charged. There was one Govt bus behind me honking continuously too. Maybe because of that? High time they get the FASTag ready.

Sir , has the FASTag service been discontinued recently ? I remember it being there a month or so before.

It has almost become a custom to horn continuously when you queue up at this toll. I think the general idea is to annoy the staff to their limits so that they hurry up with the process of letting the vehicles through.
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Old 1st January 2019, 08:36   #11887
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Originally Posted by jailbird_fynix View Post
Sir , has the FASTag service been discontinued recently ? I remember it being there a month or so before.
It does work in other lanes. The dedicated FASTag lane is under repair. No idea what's causing the delay and the need for repair when it was in superb condition.

How it was last year:



EDIT - From Binand's picture, it's clear that the work is just for barricades. Wonder why that needs couple of months.

Last edited by naveen.raju : 1st January 2019 at 08:49.
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Old 1st January 2019, 08:44   #11888
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Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
How it was last year
And how it was last Saturday.

All Roads to Kerala-whatsapp-image-20190101-08.43.00.jpeg
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Old 1st January 2019, 08:50   #11889
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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Any reason you did not branch off at Sankari and avoid the rest of the highway stretch? Its for this peak days like this, does Edappadi-Mecheri-Pennagaram-Palacode-Kelamangalam route work better.
There could be moderate to heavy traffic inside Sankari town, from experience. The state of the alternate route was a question, since it's been years since I'd been on that road which is quite narrow.

Edappadi - Mecheri - Pennagaram - Palacode - Kelamangalam is a good route, but save the relatively less traffic, it will not offer any advantage - winding roads will definitely slow us down, inconsequential savings in terms of distance, and the Edappadi - Mecheri - Pennagaram stretch doesn't have any decent places with restrooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
Could you please share the GMap link for this "detour". I am driving on 2nd and want to go through the city.
https://goo.gl/maps/HWjG5r3ehAr

PS: GMaps has gone bonkers here - there are no detours like how it shows up.

- Take the exit after the Chavadi bypass, on to the Palakkad road
- Pass Navakkarai, Kunimuthur and turn left at Athupalam (a right turn will lead you to the L&T bypass and then on to Pollachi)
- Pass Ukkadam bus stand (on the right) and continue on the same road - the road will fork into two and you will be on a one-way road called Oppanakara Street, which is really crowded on normal days and during business hours.
- Turn right at the second major signal - this road is also a one-way and continue on this road for about 2km
- Turn left after St. Michael's School, on to Goods Shed road
- After 2-3km, you will be on an elevated circle, the road to the right is the Avinashi road, which will lead you to Neelambur


Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
Ideally there should have been flyovers here. All these junctions have seen horrific accidents with multiple fatalities, which have come down lately. These barricades definitely pose threat to the vehicles and must be causing accidents on a daily basis, but may be considered "minor" by the NHAI authorities.
The NHAI or the State Govt might crack the whip on the local police only if/when a high profile politician or minister ends up in a critical state or worse, a morgue (remember, the vast majority of them don't wear seat belts) after the big SUV or luxury barge crashes into one of these metal barricades.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Found a new small restaurant in Yakkara (near Palakkad) that serves excellent fish fry and fish curry with rice and curry served on banana leaves.
This Riyaz Meen Kada had started really small, with really low prices. With the change in the clientele, the prices are jacked up at least by a factor of 2 or 3. Good food, yes. Worth the price, maybe, maybe not YMMV. There's a fish stall just before the Yakkara bridge (coming from Palakkad town) and on the left side. They usually have a good variety of fresh catch

Last edited by moralfibre : 1st January 2019 at 10:53. Reason: Fixing quote tags.
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:03   #11890
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Originally Posted by bejoy View Post



Could you please share the GMap link for this "detour". I am driving on 2nd and want to go through the city.

Watch out for an exit on the left past this location


https://goo.gl/maps/PZttvUfAn9F2


This will lead you into the city.
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:30   #11891
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I have tried different time slots to drive through Kerala and have come to realize that the best time is early mornings. Period.

Day time is the most horrible. I tried entering Walayar from Coimbatore at night 9:30 also but there were many long distance trucks and vehicles still in the road. It is a little better than the day journey though.

But mornings are the best. Yesterday, I started back from Vaikom at 4:45 am and reached Walayar by 7 am. The distance is not high but it takes forever to navigate. Statistically, it is hell of a difference if you can manage to drive in the early mornings.

I remember MC road used to be better once they widened and relaid it. But, it too is unable to cope up now. Unlike in neighboring Tamil Nadu or Karnataka, people tend to spread out to stay in Kerala. So much so that it is difficult to distinguish where a populated place starts or ends. Disastrous !!

Throughout India, another funny thing that prevails is that Governments build high speed roads (ring roads to cities or highways) and then allow shops to spring up on both sides of the road.

Last edited by B103 : 1st January 2019 at 09:32.
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Old 1st January 2019, 12:35   #11892
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I have tried different time slots to drive through Kerala and have come to realize that the best time is early mornings.
Well, not too sure about that. Early mornings along the main highways of Kerala have a steady stream of overnight, interstate buses whose drivers I imagine are sleep deprived and low on concentration which makes it very risky.

My strategy is to drive through Kerala between 9 PM and 6 AM via lesser roads (ie, roads not frequented by buses/trucks). This works just fine (pleasant and stress-free driving) but sometimes could be a little bit more time consuming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by B103 View Post
So much so that it is difficult to distinguish where a populated place starts or ends.
So for the above-mentioned strategy this is a good thing. Unlike KA, there are few isolated areas in Kerala where highway robbery gangs can thrive.
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Old 1st January 2019, 16:09   #11893
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I did Bangalore ~ Thrissur ~ Bangalore ~ Thrissur ~ Bangalore during last two weeks.

Bangalore to Thrissur on 19th Dec left Frazer Town at 3PM and took Belandur Sarjapur Attibele since EC elevated toll was crowded. It was a smooth sail all along except for unusual traffic at Kuthiran due to a truck breakdown. Even L&T bye-pass was good

Thrissur ~ Bangalore on 23rd Dec, left Wadakkancherry at 4:30PM took Chelakkara Alathur, it was free run and was able to reach Frazer town little before 11 PM

Bangalore ~ Thrissur on 26th Dec, left Frazer Town at 3AM, this was the best one with lean traffic and was at Wadakkancherry by 9AM with one break, this timing should be the sweet spot.

Thrissur ~ Bangalore on 31st Dec, left Wadakkancherry at 3PM, road was crowded till L&T, it took 50 minutes to cross L&T, from then it was breeze with lean traffic till Electronic City, city was crowded as expected for new year eve, was home at 11:30 PM.

Cheers!
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Old 2nd January 2019, 13:38   #11894
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From my recent trip during last week of December 2018, here are the current one way toll charges for Bangalore-Palakkad:

BETL (Electronics City Phase 1) - 45
Attibele - 30
Krishnagiri - 65
Thoppur - 95
Omalur - 75
Vaiguntham - 60
Vijayamangalam - 55
Chengapally - 90
L&T Bypass - 45 (No Fastag here)
PamPam Pallam - 60

Total is Rs.620 for about 410 Km
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Old 2nd January 2019, 16:36   #11895
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Tomorrow is a statewide hartal. So plan your travels accordingly.
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