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Old 17th February 2020, 11:22   #12436
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Thanks for sharing the update. I am waiting for first hand update from others who have travelled in private cars this weekend. Have a trip coming up next week, so need to take a call based on the current situation.
Any updates from this weekend? I postponed by trip by another 2 weeks. Don't want to take any chances.
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Old 17th February 2020, 13:04   #12437
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I drove to Bangalore from Calicut on 11/2. To avoid any false alarms I came via Palakkad-Salem.
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Old 17th February 2020, 23:32   #12438
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Any updates from this weekend? I postponed by trip by another 2 weeks. Don't want to take any chances.
Drove Bangalore-Palakkad on saturday. No screening anywhere.

If it helps, a friend who was on home quarantine for almost a month since he landed from China, was let free (isn't that the word?) the last week, and only one of the 3 people who had contracted the virus-caused disease are still in the hospital. Been to a couple of well known hospitals in Palakkad, the doctors and nurses were seen wearing masks, as per protocol.
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Old 18th February 2020, 00:03   #12439
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I am planning a drive from Pune to Kochi, and the route is as follows:

Pune - Mysore - Kochi (Cherai Beach) - Bangalore - Pune. The plan is as follows:

1. Pune to Belgaum
2. Belgaum to Mysore
3. Mysore to Kochi
4. Kochi to Bangalore
5. Bangalore to Pune

My queries as follows:

1. What would be the ideal route for Mysore to Kochi?
2. What would be the ideal route for Kochi to Bangalore? There is no work in Bangalore. The plan is to stay overnight and leave early the next morning for Pune. I am not particularly keen on entering Bangalore city and would prefer bypassing it.
3. Good stay option in Bangalore for the return journey? Something closer to the highway?

The car is Abarth.
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Old 18th February 2020, 08:25   #12440
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1. What would be the ideal route for Mysore to Kochi?
I would say, one of Mysore-Chamarajanagar-Bannari-Annur-NH 544 or Mysore-Gudalur-Nilambur-Perinthalmanna-Thrissur-NH 544. The latter is shorter but has road closures during nights.

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2. What would be the ideal route for Kochi to Bangalore? There is no work in Bangalore. The plan is to stay overnight and leave early the next morning for Pune. I am not particularly keen on entering Bangalore city and would prefer bypassing it.
This is a no-brainer. Just follow NH 544 connecting to NH 44 (Kochi-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore). Then take the NICE Road bypass to Bangalore and take the NH 48 towards Pune at its northern end (Nelamangala).

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3. Good stay option in Bangalore for the return journey? Something closer to the highway?
Kochi-Bangalore is approximately half a day's driving time (I do it routinely in 9 hours). You might want to push on a bit further. Generally timid drivers stop at Tumkur and adventurous ones press on till at least Chitradurga.
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Old 18th February 2020, 14:36   #12441
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

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I would say, one of Mysore-Chamarajanagar-Bannari-Annur-NH 544 or Mysore-Gudalur-Nilambur-Perinthalmanna-Thrissur-NH 544. The latter is shorter but has road closures during nights.
Assuming touching Mysore is a must. Also while driving south, considering a good alternative route of deviating from Tumkur, and going to Kunigal and then to Mysore via either Maddur or Bellur cross, the latter better alternative for peaceful driving with less traffic.

Heard Chamarajanagar to TN state border is totally damaged and better avoided. Also Dimbam ghats is better to be covered during daylight for someone not familiar with the area, or relatively inexperienced in ghat section drivings. Another disadvantage is that for atleast 3 hours after crossing Chamarajanagar, there is absolutely no facilities enroute.

In Nilambur route, heard that Karnataka border to Gudalur is not in good shapes. Recommend to please check other threads for the current situation.


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This is a no-brainer. Just follow NH 544 connecting to NH 44 (Kochi-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore). Then take the NICE Road bypass to Bangalore and take the NH 48 towards Pune at its northern end (Nelamangala).

Kochi-Bangalore is approximately half a day's driving time (I do it routinely in 9 hours). You might want to push on a bit further. Generally timid drivers stop at Tumkur and adventurous ones press on till at least Chitradurga.
If taking NICE Road which is actually highly preferred, not so many great recommended options worth a break. Better to drive till Tumkur which offers plenty of options for overnight stay, and which also avoids the initial heavy traffic when one starts fresh the next day for the longer leg drive to Pune.
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Old 21st February 2020, 04:40   #12442
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How is the road condition from Cochin to Udupi? Heard roads in KL are not that good. I have decided to take this route to Goa and Udupi (Samanvay Boutique Hotel) will be my pitstop. Hopefully, the early morning start will help us avoid the traffic in KL.

Thanks in advance.

Did you complete this trip? I am looking for road conditions between Mangalore and Cochin as my parents are planning to travel next week.
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Old 21st February 2020, 11:02   #12443
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Did you complete this trip? I am looking for road conditions between Mangalore and Cochin as my parents are planning to travel next week.
Nope. My drive is in April 1st week. But I decided to take this route. Since your parents are taking this route before me, do update on the road condition.
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Old 21st February 2020, 11:35   #12444
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Folks
what is the best route from Trivandrum to Coimbatore ? Haven't driven on Kerala roads for a long time. Is it the same Allepey Vs Kottayam route options or something else also exists ? Thanks for the tips
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Old 21st February 2020, 12:14   #12445
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TVM - Angamaly by MC road, especially during day times and week days. Google maps once took me through a place, IIRC, Kidangoor from Changanassery, and reached some place 2 - 3 km before Ettumanoor, thus avoiding Kottayam and most of Kottayam - Ettumanoorw_ apology of a road. May be that was due to some road closure. Best option will be to follow what Google says at a particular time.
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Old 21st February 2020, 13:32   #12446
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Google maps once took me through a place, IIRC, Kidangoor from Changanassery, and reached some place 2 - 3 km before Ettumanoor, thus avoiding Kottayam and most of Kottayam - Ettumanoor apology of a road.
This is good to know. Similarly a bypass exists if you were to quit MC Road at Keezhillam and go Kuruppampadi-Kodanad-Manjapra-Mookkannoor-Karukutty that avoids the jam-prone Perumbavur, Kaladi and Angamali towns.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 02:33   #12447
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
TVM - Angamaly by MC road, especially during day times and week days. Google maps once took me through a place, IIRC, Kidangoor from Changanassery, and reached some place 2 - 3 km before Ettumanoor, thus avoiding Kottayam and most of Kottayam - Ettumanoorw_ apology of a road. May be that was due to some road closure. Best option will be to follow what Google says at a particular time.
Are you sure you went via Kidangoor ? Asking because once you're in Kidangoor, the shortest route to rejoin MC road would take you to Ettumanoor Junction itself - not some place south of it. (Kidangoor falls on the Palai-Ettumanoor state highway which is generally in excellent shape).

The route I usually take bypasses Changanassery, Kottayam and Ettumanoor. I turn off from MC road few kms north of Tiruvalla at Perunthuruthy junction, and go via Thengana - Vakathanam - Puthuppally - Manarcadu- Kidangoor - Marangattupally - Uzhavoor to rejoin MC road at Koothattukulam. Good roads and very little traffic on that route, though the stretch immediately after Kidangoor is slightly narrow. Also you have a level crossing immediately after you turn off MC road north of Tiruvalla. (Can be avoided if you defer the MC road turn off a bit further north and take the Changanacherry bypass till you hit the Changanassery-Vazhoor road and then turning right at that junction to get to Thengana. A left turn at Thengana then puts you on the same route as above)
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Old 23rd February 2020, 17:04   #12448
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Back from a quick trip to Palakkad on Friday (onward) & Saturday (return).

Despite my apprehensions of traffic on a holiday/long weekend, it wasn't bad at all, in fact other than Attibele, Krishnagiri and L&T Coimbatore bypass tolls, all others were devoid of traffic.

Roads continue to be fine, but the zig zag barricades between Thoppur and Dharmapuri that one has to "snake" through are painful and can be dangerous when there is heavy traffic, can catch one by surprise.

There was some maintenance work in progress on the Thoppur ghats with one lane cut off in both directions and a portion of the median demolished, probably being rebuilt.

Here's the more interesting news that may play spoilsport for a few months or even a couple of years, new flyovers being constructed! All are work in progress (various stages) and diversions to service road are in place.

First one is before the Coimbatore turn off ramp in Salem. However, now the bigger bottlenecks in Salem are the 2 signals near Manipal Hospital and Radisson Blu hotel, wonder why no flyovers being constructed at these places!

Second one is after one takes the Coimbatore turn off and it is somewhere near where the Vinayaka colleges/institutions are located on either side of the highway.

Third one is after Vaigundam toll plaza.

Fourth one is before the Bhavani bridge.

Fifth one is just after the Kaniyur toll plaza (yes, this is on the 6 laned section).

*L&T bypass continues to be painful despite supporting Fastag now. It took almost 30 minutes to just cross the first and second toll plazas, the junctions near traffic signals en route are the worst.

Last edited by NPV : 23rd February 2020 at 17:10.
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Old 24th February 2020, 11:07   #12449
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I did a Kochi - Coimbatore - Kochi trip. Roads are the same as reported earlier.

While returning from Kochi, I just missed hitting the toll gate fastag <- or cash -> boards kept at paliyekkara. They have started separating the vehicles from at least 700 meters from the toll plaza. They have kept empty cans with pointers as above. You will get this as soon as you cross the signal at Ambaloor Junction while coming from Kochi.

There was peace at Kuthiran and powergrid works are still going on.

Walayar toll plaza as always failed to read my Fastag. Had to change lanes and finally the handheld scanner was used to scan.

No screening for nCoV was done at any place. Overall, it was a pleasant trip.
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Old 24th February 2020, 20:57   #12450
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Default Re: All Roads to Kerala

Did make a quick run to Kerala on the 20th of Feb. We started off a bit late, and it was only when we were at Shoolagiri that I started getting messages of the tragic road accident at Avanashi involving a Ke.SRTC bus and a trailer truck.

The FasTag operations seems to have smoothened out a bit, except at the usual trouble spots Attibele and L&T byepass. It may be my gut feeling, but looks like there is a large number of road users in the area who do NOT like to pay any tolls. They occupy all available lanes, try to dodge the toll and if in a mood to day pay it by cash. And as many Team-BHP-ians reported more flying overs are getting built and there are detours because of the same. And the new fly overs are in TN state. At KL it is still the signal light based traffic management. At Kuthiran ghats I did not see any signs of work, and the tunnels now remain a grim spectacle for the road users.

We had crossed the accident spot at Avanashi at around 1100AM but by then Tamil Naadu Kaaval had cleared up the entire area. The truck had been moved to the service line. The bus had been cleared and only thing remained where a few seats and curtain materials etc which were dumped in a gutter in between the main highway and the service road. A highway patrol vehicle and an angry head constable was there shooing away in road user who stopped there to take pictures etc.
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