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Old 6th October 2019, 22:38   #12196
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I am travelling from Bangalore to Ashtamudi in the week of Oct 02.
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I would suggest you take Madurai bypass and go up to Kovilpatti (same route to Tirunelveli) - Take a right from there and head to Shankaran koil, Courtallam and Thenmala. Route is much better till Kovilpatti atleast compare to turing off from Madurai itself.
Thanks for the advice, Ram. This route worked out great for me. 13 hours onwards with breaks and 12.5 hours on the return. Kovilpatti to Courtallam, the 2 lane roads were in great condition and add to that some really beautiful countryside scenery. It was a relaxed drive between these two places as well.

The only thing I struggled with were the lack of good food options along NH744 till a little before Kollam.
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Old 7th October 2019, 14:22   #12197
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Avoid passing through Kayamkulam/Oachira tomorrow (8th Oct). Highway will be completely blocked due to _Ochira Kalakettu_ from afternoon onwards probably til next morning or so.
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Old 9th October 2019, 13:55   #12198
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Did a Bangalore - Kottayam round trip through Krishnagiri-Salem bye pass - Walayar - Angamaly route. Onwards was on 4th .Travel till Kuthiran was uneventful. Kuthiran was absolutely horrible. Was stuck for almost an hour (of which 30 minutes with engine turned off ) There are huge craters through out and vehicles with low ground clearance were struggling. Adding to the mess was trucks and buses squeezing in from all possible angles.

For return chose Wadakkencherry - Chelakkara - Alathur route though there were some bad patches is in my opinion a better option at present
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Old 9th October 2019, 14:08   #12199
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Did Coimbatore - Kochi - Coimbatore on 7th October. Started from home at 10.30AM and reached Ernakulam Kaloor by 3pm with a small tea break at Thrissur for 15-20 minutes.
Thanks that the KL notorious traffic was less that day and all toll plazas successfully read my FasTag (At times the Thrissur plaza does not read - not sure if anybody has faced this).

Kuthiran is completely broken. Literally there are no roads after the Kuthiran ayyappa temple towards Kochi.

While coming back, started at 5PM and reached Coimbatore at 10.45PM. Huge block at Kuthiran and it took me 45 - 60 minutes to cross this stretch. Lots of potholes. Saw a board placed by people representatives asking the government to re-tar the entire 4 km stretch.
Google maps showed me +30 minutes delay well ahead, but I took the Kuthiran route itself as I was not in a mood to drive thru the Thrissur - Shornur - Kullappully - Palakkad route.

This Kuthiran stretch is a night mare and during onam season people were stuck even for 5 to 6 hours. Very much unpredictable. Could see some road work going on, could not make out what exactly they are doing. Even the 6 lane highway from Vadakancherry to Thrissur has surprising potholes on the centre lane. So it is better to take the left most or the right most lanes. I also seriously don't think the Kuthiran twin barrel tunnel will be operational anytime soon.
Chalakudy bridge work is going on and as usual +10 minutes delay was there to cross this route.

The only route I like in KL is the Vadakkancherry - Walayar road. Can use Cruise in my car and relax a bit.

Overall, compared to other journeys to KL this time it was better may be owing to Navratri holidays.

Last edited by deemash : 9th October 2019 at 14:11.
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Old 9th October 2019, 14:35   #12200
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I am planning to travel to my hometown (Thakazhy) this weekend. Normally I take the below route:

Quote:
Walayar > Vadakkanchery > Thrissur > Chalakudi > Angamaly > Aluva > Ernakulam > Cherthala > Alappuzha > Ambalappuzha > Thakazhy
But you all know, this route is a royal pain, with all kinds of road conditions, lot of traffic, etc. So this time I was thinking may be to take the below route:

Quote:
Walayar > Vadakkanchery > Thrissur > Chalakudi > Angamaly > Perumbavoor > Ettumanoor > Manarcadu > Thiruvalla > Thakazhy
The difference between both the routes is around 30 odd kms (second one being longer). What do you all suggest? Is it worth taking the second route this time?
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Old 9th October 2019, 14:53   #12201
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The difference between both the routes is around 30 odd kms (second one being longer). What do you all suggest? Is it worth taking the second route this time?
Once you reach Angamaly, open Google Maps, and compare the traffic.

Either way you will have blocks, but I believe more on the National Highway than MC road. The blocks on the MC road are at 2 places only, one at Kalady and then at Perumbavoor, if these places are clear, then there's no issue further.

If you are going via NH, you will have to cross Aluva, Edappaly, Pallarivattom, Vytilla and Kundanoor which itself will take around 2 hours most of the days, unless you know the shortcuts.
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Old 9th October 2019, 15:45   #12202
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I am planning to travel to my hometown (Thakazhy) this weekend. Normally I take the below route:

The difference between both the routes is around 30 odd kms (second one being longer). What do you all suggest? Is it worth taking the second route this time?
What time you will be reaching Angamaly? If it is after 9p better take the cherthala route (aroor - cherthala fully patched with bandages ). if it is early morning (before 8.30a) also I suggest to take the cherthala route.
If it is day time, I suggest you take left after kalamassery onto seaport - airport road - thripunithura - kundanur - aroor - cherthala - alappuzha - thakazhy (beautiful place)

If I were you, I would stick to the cherthala NH 47 / 544 route.

PS: Instead of thinking about the alternate route between ctla or perumbavur I suggest you to think of alternate route to avoid Kuthiran.

Last edited by deemash : 9th October 2019 at 15:50.
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Old 10th October 2019, 10:58   #12203
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W.
PS: Instead of thinking about the alternate route between ctla or perumbavur I suggest you to think of alternate route to avoid Kuthiran.
+1 to that.
Thrissur - Wadakkancherry Railway station - Ottupara - Shornur - Ottapalam - Palakkad.

Thrissur - Wadakkancherry - Ottupara - Chelakkara - Pazayannur - Alathur (is there a Chelakkara - Alathur without touching Pazhayannur? ) This is a scenic route, passing through paddy fields.
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Thanks that the KL notorious traffic was less that day and all toll plazas successfully read my FasTag (At times the Thrissur plaza does not read - not sure if anybody has faced this).
The Thrissur toll plaza, the middle / rightmost one in Ernakulam direction failed me once. IIRC, This particular lane finds mention In the FastTag thread too.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 10th October 2019 at 11:01.
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Old 10th October 2019, 12:37   #12204
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The difference between both the routes is around 30 odd kms (second one being longer). What do you all suggest? Is it worth taking the second route this time?
This looks like the better option. As mentioned, there might be traffic at Kalady and Perumbavoor and also passing Ettumanoor town. It all depends on the time you travel. Off late blocks on MC Road at Ettumanoor are becoming common. But since you are heading to Manarcadu, it wont be an issue (Just take the temple road instead of going all the way to the main junction).

Another route I would suggest instead of MC road is Angamaly - Kakanad via Seaport Airport Road - Thiruvamkulam - Chottanikara - Kanjiramattom via Mulanthuruthy - Poothotta - Vaikom - Thannermukkam Bund - SH40 (Muhamma, Mannanchery, Kaichoondi) till Alapuzha - NH66 till Ambalapuzha - Thazakhy.

This should be around 15kms shorter than the MC road route. The roads are also good too.

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+1 to that.
Thrissur - Wadakkancherry Railway station - Ottupara - Shornur - Ottapalam - Palakkad.
Recommended only during non rush hours + if you know for sure Kuthiran is having a huge block. Otherwise keep to the NH. Infinite private and college buses on this route. The road is good save for a crudely patched Vazhakode - Wadakkancherry stretch. And we have to go through Thrissur town to get back on the NH which can be a headache.

Use the East Fort - Mannuthy road to get back on NH instead of Ollur route if you're taking this road. Should save you some time.

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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Thrissur - Wadakkancherry - Ottupara - Chelakkara - Pazayannur - Alathur (is there a Chelakkara - Alathur without touching Pazhayannur? ) This is a scenic route, passing through paddy fields.
Is this the road that joins the NH from the left after Kuthiran? (When travelling north)
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Old 10th October 2019, 14:01   #12205
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The Thrissur toll plaza, the middle / rightmost one in Ernakulam direction failed me once. IIRC, This particular lane finds mention In the FastTag thread too.
1. FasTag failed to read whenever I go on the dedicated FasTag lane at Paliyekkara. May be I used to a little faster. Now a days I go very slow until I see "Tag valid" on the display.

Other lanes if it does not read they open the gates due to traffic build up.

2. The Walayar (pampam pallam toll plaza) never fails to read. Just one honk they will open the dedicated FasTag lane and you can just cruise away. But there was problem with reader last time when I went. So they were using handheld device to scan the chip on the FasTag.

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Is this the road that joins the NH from the left after Kuthiran? (When travelling north)
Yes. but this has narrow roads with minimal illumination at night and is good only for day time drives.

Last edited by deemash : 10th October 2019 at 14:17.
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Old 14th October 2019, 12:02   #12206
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Any one has taken Avinashi - Pollachi - Kollengode route recently ? Planning to travel one of the coming weekends to Kochi.
Haven't taken the route for more than 2 years now , but tempted to try because of congested L&T stretch - Heavy traffic , too many toll plazas , suicidal two wheelers - definitely not worth Rs.45.
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Old 14th October 2019, 12:13   #12207
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1. FasTag failed to read whenever I go on the dedicated FasTag lane at Paliyekkara. May be I used to a little faster. Now a days I go very slow until I see "Tag valid" on the display.
All fastag lanes in KA and TN have their readers at the very end of the lane, where the cash counter is, but in Kerala, what I have noticed is the tag reader are much ahead of the counter, I mean almost at the middle of the lane. May be that could be the reason, as most of us may go a bit faster than required there? What do you think?
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Old 14th October 2019, 12:30   #12208
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All fastag lanes in KA and TN have their readers at the very end of the lane, where the cash counter is, but in Kerala, what I have noticed is the tag reader are much ahead of the counter, I mean almost at the middle of the lane. May be that could be the reason, as most of us may go a bit faster than required there? What do you think?
That's correct. The reader is placed somewhere in the middle of the lane. 99% it read when I went slow(est). Earlier I used to clean the windshield (by wiper + water spray) just before arriving the toll plaza thinking something is blocking the reader to read the chip on my tag, but that did not work . Only solution was reducing speed ~10 kmph. Thanks.


Does anyone went thru Kuthiran recently? Any updates on the Kuthiran? Have they started tarring the stretch? Last time when I visited I saw the pathetic state of the "iron bridge" / irumbu paalam that connects to Kuthiran. All irons are visible now, hope it does not fall down anytime soon.

Last edited by deemash : 14th October 2019 at 12:31.
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Old 14th October 2019, 14:14   #12209
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Does anyone went thru Kuthiran recently? Any updates on the Kuthiran? Have they started tarring the stretch? Last time when I visited I saw the pathetic state of the "iron bridge" / irumbu paalam that connects to Kuthiran. All irons are visible now, hope it does not fall down anytime soon.
I travelled through Kuthiran yesterday. It's motorable. There are occasional craters but manageable during daytime. Irumbu Palaam is bad. There are deep craters (especially at deviations) all along the Kuthiran to Mannuthy stretch.
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Old 14th October 2019, 16:51   #12210
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Does anyone went thru Kuthiran recently? Any updates on the Kuthiran? Have they started tarring the stretch? Last time when I visited I saw the pathetic state of the "iron bridge" / irumbu paalam that connects to Kuthiran. All irons are visible now, hope it does not fall down anytime soon.
I did this stretch 10 days back and it was nothing short of a nightmare. Roads (if you can call it that) is virtually non existent in many parts. It took me an hour to cover Alathur to Irumbupalam. People formed 6-8 lanes and I was in constant worry if I am going to end up with a scratch or dent. My drive is an ecosport , but I could see sedans and hatch backs with low ground clearance had to struggle a bit to keep the under body from scraping.

I would suggest Alathur - Chelakkara - Wadakkancherry route . It also has a couple of bad patches , but much better compared to Kuthiran
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