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Old 13th April 2019, 12:28   #12016
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Good idea! You should be able to reach Palakkad by 9am and then make your way through the usually dense and slow Kerala weekday traffic all the way to Ernakulam.
Good friday so expecting traffic to be thinner
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Old 13th April 2019, 13:16   #12017
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Good friday so expecting traffic to be thinner
Good Friday is actually quite a bad day to drive through Thrissur-Angamaly-Aluva-Ernakulam - every minor and major church along the route would have processions and stuff planned.
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Old 13th April 2019, 22:59   #12018
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Good Friday is actually quite a bad day to drive through Thrissur-Angamaly-Aluva-Ernakulam - every minor and major church along the route would have processions and stuff planned.
Didn't think about that. Thanks for pointing out
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Old 15th April 2019, 09:15   #12019
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We have to go upto Ernakulam so will start around 3:30 am
If you are prepared to start at 3:30 am (something routine for people like me, but absolutely cardinal for most others), why don't you make it an even earlier nightcap the previous day and start by 2:00am, since you are travelling on good friday. This will make sure you cross salem by 0430, finish L&T bypass by 0630, mannuthy 0800 and be in ernakulam by 0930. By the time the church processions start, you will be in ernakulam. Also, the traffic signals on the last stretch of NH after mannuthy, will be relatively less busy before 0900.

I have done this on saturday mornings of long weekends (twice done it) and I can assure you such an 'unearthly' start resulted in one of the least tiring and most traffic free drives on this belt. (by the time you encounter the manic L&T bypass, it would be daybreak)
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:06   #12020
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why don't you make it an even earlier nightcap the previous day and start by 2:00am, [...] and be in ernakulam by 0930.
My preference is to do this the other way - start afternoon/evening of the previous day (usually around 3 PM, but there have been times when I couldn't leave before 6 PM due to work). With such a start I arrive at my destination between midnight and 2-3 AM. All the problem stretches are covered during the night so very little to zero traffic (L&T bypass, Kuthiran, Chalakudy-Angamali etc.).
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:20   #12021
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Thanks binand and venky.

I like the suggestion of an even earlier start. Dont know if I can make that, but will definitely try.

For an afternoon start, well its election day on Thursday, so there could be multiple rounds of checking in both KA and TN. So, that could certainly slow one down.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:31   #12022
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For an afternoon start, well its election day on Thursday, so there could be multiple rounds of checking in both KA and TN. So, that could certainly slow one down.
Well, polling ends at 5 PM. Checking would end far earlier than that, and in any case with a 3 PM start you'd be only at Krishnagiri or so. I don't think this is a worry.

I am planning to drive towards Perumbavur (via Valparai-Malayattoor) on 18th, after I vote. Hoping to be able to start latest by 8 AM. Planning to be the first in the voting line. :-)
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Old 18th April 2019, 15:40   #12023
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Friends of mine planning to go to a homestay near Malom tomorrow. looking for advice on:
1. Route to take - Options seem to be Madikeri - Sulia OR Madikeri - Bagamandala
2. Election checking - do and donts

Thanks
Rj
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Old 20th April 2019, 10:06   #12024
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Did our vacation run (outbound) to Kerala on 18th. Because of election and a holiday on Friday I had 4 straight days, so we had decided to stay overnight at Valparai.

Started from Bangalore at 8 AM, after voting. For a polling day, traffic was quite heavy till we crossed Hosur. We stopped for breakfast at a restaurant a bit after Krishnagiri town limits (yet another Saravana Bhavan). At Salem chose the Karur-Udumalpet route despite the extra 30 km Google was showing. Entered Karur town in search of good biryani for lunch, eventually ended up at Velu's which none of us really liked. Turned off the highway at Aravakurichi probably at around 2.30 PM. Then it was a leisurely cruise through interior TN. Dharapuram and Udumalpet came, and eventually we merged with the main Pollachi-Valparai road a few km short of Aaliyar.

Beyond Aaliyar is the famous 40 hairpin climb to Valparai. Very enjoyable (we had to pay Rs. 120 for this privilege). We reached our destination by 5.30 PM.

Next day (Friday) started at 10 AM. Had to backtrack a bit to take the Iyerpadi-Sholayar road. The Sholayar dam looked practically empty; we still stopped for a while for photo-ops and stuff. Crossed into Kerala where the Forest officials took down our vehicle details and issued us a pass. Then it was a long twisty route till we exited the forest at Vazhachal (where we had to surrender the aforementioned pass).

Totally from Aaliyar till Vazhachal it was about 100 km; with 40 marked hairpin bends between Aaliyar and Valparai and several more (maybe about 30-35) from there till Vazhachal. This whole stretch is mostly single(+a little) lane road and be careful if a vehicle comes from the opposite side. The soft shoulder have pits, there are several unmarked culverts, cut tree logs jut onto the road and so on - many hazards for the unprepared traveller. The road quality is nothing to write home about - terrible at sections to passable elsewhere, especially on the Kerala side (TN side was between passable to good throughout).

At Vettilapara junction we turned off the SH to go through the palm tree plantation, eventually emerging at Kodanad via Manjapra-Neeleswaram.

Total distance was about 630 km which is 100 km more than the usual Salem-Coimbatore route, but this includes about 40 km local run in Valparai.

Last edited by binand : 20th April 2019 at 10:08.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 12:14   #12025
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Beyond Aaliyar is the famous 40 hairpin climb to Valparai. Very enjoyable (we had to pay Rs. 120 for this privilege). We reached our destination by 5.30 PM.
Was it at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve entry? Had taken this route almost a year ago and can't remember the fees exactly but it was not more than Rs.50 The gate was not kept closed too after 6.30AM and other private vehicals were passing without paying.

All Roads to Kerala-screenshot_20190422120912_gallery.jpg
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Old 22nd April 2019, 15:42   #12026
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Was it at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve entry? Had taken this route almost a year ago and can't remember the fees exactly but it was not more than Rs.50
Not sure; from the photo it looks like the same one. It comes soon after the Aaliyar dam zone as soon as you start the uphill climb. There is a boom gate where you have to stop and pay. I was driving; the wife handled the transaction. She just told me it was Rs. 120 and I assumed it is Rs. 30 per passenger.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 16:41   #12027
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Did Kottayam - Vellore yesterday (Easter Sunday) via Muvattupuzha - Angamali - Thrissur - Palakkad - Coimbatore - Salem.

Town traffic in Kerala was minimal in spite of it being the last day of election campaigning. Was pleasantly surprised by the quality of MC Road! Beautiful surface with excellent markings. Also spotted 2-3 new signals which weren't there last time I rode down in January.

Salem - Krishnagiri was mad with Bangalore bound trafffic. Lost 15-20 mins at at least 3 tolls. The last stint Krishnagiri - Vellore (120 km) was blissful! Superb 6 lane highway all the way (except at Ambur town) with minimal traffic!

Starter leisurely at 11 am and reached by 12 midnight (665 km).
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Old 25th April 2019, 09:06   #12028
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Update on my BLR-KL run on the 19th April. Super smooth roads all through particularly in TN. Some stretches in Kerala Alathoor area, just after Kuthiraan is road work in progress. So expect a few bumpy rides for about 10 km or so. Fastag worked on all toll booths except for Coimbatore. Hope this might help anyone taking the route in the near future.
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Old 27th April 2019, 13:54   #12029
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Hi everyone.

I am planning a Kolkata-Kerala trip in late June-early July. I wanted to understand if anyone has done it here and is it really a good idea considering the road conditions. I was in Munnar and Cochin this month for work and I absolutely loved Kerala. So I want a few tips:

1. Where do I enter Kerala from if I am coming from Kolkata?

2. I want to visit Munnar again so it has to be on my list. Which other places should I visit (e.g. Wayanad?)

3. Since this is more than 2000 Kms trip and I will be the only driver I want to stop and check a few more places out on the way (even if it is outside Kerala). So the drive will be enjoyable and I will get some rest.

4. Is July a good time to go?
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Old 27th April 2019, 21:46   #12030
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Hi everyone.

I am planning a Kolkata-Kerala trip in late June-early July...
How many days can you spare? You could include Mysore, Kabani, Ooty or even add Kodaikanal, Valparai and then enter into Kerala.
Expect rains in Kerala during July, but the places will be green and fresh.
I always visit Kerala during the onset of the monsoon, it quite unique feeling to sit at home at just watch the rains. As a tourist it would be difficult to plan visits especially with children and elderly folks.
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