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Old 31st October 2022, 18:03   #14191
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Did my return trip from Cherai on the 29th of October. Following Gmaps I took the SH 51, which meant going through some narrow roads through the countryside in Kerala. The progress is slow but drive was peaceful, it's better not to speed here because one can see buses or cars jutting out of narrow alleys to the main road.
Once back on the NH544 the progress is only marginally faster because of the speed-cams and traffic lights you need to slow down frequently, but road conditions are good throughout.
Having started at around 11 am from Club Mahindra Cherai with couple of breaks could manage to reach Junior Kuppana for lunch by 1.30 pm.
Was back on the road by 2.15 pm made it to Salem by 4.45 pm, this is where encountered a lot of traffic, partly holiday traffic getting back to BLR and loads of trucks, the progress wasn't super quick. Made it to my place in BLR by 9 pm with a 30 mins coffee break after Krishnagiri.
Surprisingly traffic in Bangalore was lean as compared to its usual standards.
The road conditions are excellent throughout, nothing to worry about except the speed cams in Kerala. Food options are aplenty.
One observation : In the toll booths in Kerala, there has to be one cars distance. Couldn't figure out why though
Suggestion : When driving in KL, don't rush. Enjoy the vistas, relax and reach safe.
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Old 1st November 2022, 17:05   #14192
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Guys
I am planning a family vacation trip to Mahabalipuram from Kochi in December.


Google is showing below route as best option.

Kochi - Salem - Attur - Uludrupet - villupuram - Malalupettai - Tirukazhukundram-Mahabalipuram

is this the best route and have good hotels post Salem ?

Travelling with kids and may have to make multiple stops.

With a 5 30 AM start, is it possible to reach by 6PM with relaxed driving?
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Old 1st November 2022, 17:45   #14193
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by DieselLover View Post
Kochi - Salem - Attur - Uludrupet - villupuram - Malalupettai - Tirukazhukundram-Mahabalipuram
Is this one of those ultra-smart shortcuts from Google Maps?

Stick to NH45 through Chengalpattu and taken Chengalpattu-Thirukazhukundram-Mahabalipuram.

Under normal conditions Coimbatore-Mahabs will take 7-7.5 hours. This does not apply for 17th and 24th December when the mass exodus happens.

Between Salem and Ulundurpet, there is only Ramas Veg, A2B and Ungal Unavagam (Chennai - Coimbatore - Ooty : Route Queries) near Attur. After that nothing great till Sengurichi toll, where you'll see a flurry. Another dead zone till Villupuram bypass, after Villupuram you can pick and choose all the way till Chengalpattu.
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Old 1st November 2022, 18:02   #14194
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselLover View Post
Kochi - Salem - Attur - Uludrupet - villupuram - Malalupettai - Tirukazhukundram-Mahabalipuram

is this the best route and have good hotels post Salem ?

Travelling with kids and may have to make multiple stops.

With a 5 30 AM start, is it possible to reach by 6PM with relaxed driving?
For Mahabalipuram, yes. I don't recall seeing many "high-class" hotels between Salem and Ulundurupet though. But that is only about 150 km; after that you hit GST Road / Chennai-Trichy highway where you don't have to worry about rest spots.

I have driven Chennai (T Nagar)-Vaikuntam along this route in about 6 hours, non-stop; which would make Salem-Mahabalipuram to be doable in about 5 hours. Palakkad-Salem takes me about 4 hours so the big unknown in Kochi-Palakkad - I'd budget 3 hours for that. So your 6 PM arrival estimate might be a bit aggressive.
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Old 1st November 2022, 18:15   #14195
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
For Mahabalipuram, yes. I don't recall seeing many "high-class" hotels between Salem and Ulundurupet though. But that is only about 150 km; after that you hit GST Road / Chennai-Trichy highway where you don't have to worry about rest spots.

I have driven Chennai (T Nagar)-Vaikuntam along this route in about 6 hours, non-stop; which would make Salem-Mahabalipuram to be doable in about 5 hours. Palakkad-Salem takes me about 4 hours so the big unknown in Kochi-Palakkad - I'd budget 3 hours for that. So your 6 PM arrival estimate might be a bit aggressive.
thanks binand. I stay near Aluva and hence should be able to reach Palakkad in 2.5-3 hrs with a 5 30 AM Start. but still , 6 PM looks like an aggressive plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Is this one of those ultra-smart shortcuts from Google Maps?

Stick to NH45 through Chengalpattu and taken Chengalpattu-Thirukazhukundram-Mahabalipuram.

Under normal conditions Coimbatore-Mahabs will take 7-7.5 hours. This does not apply for 17th and 24th December when the mass exodus happens.
Thanks. I thought so, google does have this habit and hence I wanted to confirm. I was planning to travel on 15th or 16th from Kochi.
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Old 12th November 2022, 12:10   #14196
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Any update on the NH66 route towards Nagercoil from Trivandrum? Is it still a mix of mud roads, service roads and random diversions?
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Old 12th November 2022, 13:04   #14197
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
Any update on the NH66 route towards Nagercoil from Trivandrum? Is it still a mix of mud roads, service roads and random diversions?
Mud roads? Wasn't that about 4 years ago when Marthandam flyover was work in progress? Took NH66 to ozhuginassery last week and roads were all tarmac, but potholed at many places, after kaliyikavilai which is now normal since many years. Potholes on the new flyover is a relatively recent phenomenon, about one year iirc.

Edit: If you meant the new 4 lane work in progress NH66 to nagercoil, then its still a mix of service roads and mud roads.

Last edited by Sankar : 12th November 2022 at 13:24.
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Old 12th November 2022, 15:07   #14198
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
Any update on the NH66 route towards Nagercoil from Trivandrum? Is it still a mix of mud roads, service roads and random diversions?
Had an occasion to travel to Kaliyikkavila from Tvm today along the under-construction NH (cab). From Tiruvallom toll plaza, it took about 20 minutes to reach Cheruvarakonam. (Kíkavila- Poovar road). And another 10 min to cover the remaining 5 km to Kaliyikavilai. At 2 stretches one has to take the service road and near Vlathankara there is a surfaced mud top for about 1 km.
I could sense the feeling of liberation on the Cab driverís face !
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Old 13th November 2022, 11:32   #14199
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Hi All,
Planning to travel from Vythiri (Wayanad) to Kochi next month, I have never travelled through that side. searched through various threads, not much recent updates. google map shows two routes, one is NH66 (via Ramanatukara - Gurvayoour - Kochi) and the other is via Areekod - Manjeri - Thrisur - Kochi. Please let me know which route is better in terms of current road conditions and traffic. Planning to leave from Vythiri on a Sunday at about 10am. appreciate your help.
Thanks.
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Old 13th November 2022, 14:27   #14200
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by sknair View Post
Hi All,
Planning to travel from Vythiri (Wayanad) to Kochi next month, I have never travelled through that side. searched through various threads, not much recent updates. google map shows two routes, one is NH66 (via Ramanatukara - Gurvayoour - Kochi) and the other is via Areekod - Manjeri - Thrisur - Kochi. Please let me know which route is better in terms of current road conditions and traffic. Planning to leave from Vythiri on a Sunday at about 10am. appreciate your help.
Thanks.
The standard route would be Vythiri-Thamarassery-Calicut Bypass- University-Chelari-Valanchery-Kuttipuram- Kunnamkulam bypass-Thrissur-Kochi


Alternate 1: Kuttipuram-Ponnani-Chavakkad-Kochi

Traffic on both routes will be super high all through-No respite at all. Expect to travel on an average 25-30km/hr. In addition there is 6 laning work happening in a lot of sections from Calicut Bypass all the way to Kuttippuram. Road conditions as such should be good.

Alternate 2 that bypasses a lot of the construction activity would be: University-Chelari-Parappangadi-Tirur-Chamravattom-Chavakkad. Roads are good. Traffic will be high.

See which of these 3 google suggests and accordingly decide. My personal preference would be Alternate 2-Irrespective of what Google says.

Note: Not an expert on the stretch after Chavakkad/Kunnamkulam and have not traveled recently on those sections also.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 13th November 2022 at 14:28.
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Old 14th November 2022, 21:45   #14201
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
Any update on the NH66 route towards Nagercoil from Trivandrum? Is it still a mix of mud roads, service roads and random diversions?
More update. Drove to BLR today from TVM with a 650 AM start from Nalanchira.
Took the under-construction NH 66 and felt a lot better. The stretch between Kíkavilai and Marthandam have been patched and the ride quality is much improved than that was in July when I drove last and could reach the now-functional toll plaza at Thirupathisaram in about 2 hours.

Other updates : the real time speed displays along Virudhunagar sector and Madurai- Dindigul sector are functional and warns anything above 80kph.

NICE road (BLR): do not take the left lane during rains. Unsuspecting out-of town drivers can ram into two wheeler drivers taking shelter beneath the crossing bridges, waiting for the rains to abate. Beyond Bannerughata exit point they even caused traffic hold up. Unfortunately, there are no other shelters along this stretch for them.
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Old 18th November 2022, 09:07   #14202
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Driving to punalur from Thrissur to visit family. Being a Bangalore resident, not familiar with routes in Kerala except the NH. What is the best route in terms of distance, traffic and road quality?

1. Stick to NH till ambalapuzha- Thiruvalla- Kottarakkara- Punalur

2. Muvattupuzha- pathanamthitta- parakode- punalur

3. Muvattupuzha- Kottayam- Thiruvalla - Punalur

Will be starting off around 9:30 am in the morning. Cannot do an early start, due to arrival into Thrissur from Bangalore the previous midnight.

Any inputs will be appreciated!
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Old 18th November 2022, 12:52   #14203
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by vandemanw View Post
2. Muvattupuzha- pathanamthitta- parakode- punalur
I would suggest Muvattupuzha - Koothattukulam - Pala - Ponkunnam - Manimala - Ranni - Punalur.

There may be traffic jam around Kalady bridge. Barring that it is more peaceful drive when compared to other routes.
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Old 20th November 2022, 10:41   #14204
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by sknair View Post
Hi All,
Planning to travel from Vythiri (Wayanad) to Kochi next month, I have never travelled through that side. searched through various threads, not much recent updates. google map shows two routes, one is NH66 (via Ramanatukara - Gurvayoour - Kochi) and the other is via Areekod - Manjeri - Thrisur - Kochi. Please let me know which route is better in terms of current road conditions and traffic. Planning to leave from Vythiri on a Sunday at about 10am. appreciate your help.
Thanks.
This will be a difficult drive. Better to stick to the standard route as suggested by rajeevraj. Expect heavy traffic throughout and some maniac drivers. Avoid Christmas weekend if possible.. Last year I did the same trip on 25th December and it took me 8 hrs to reach vythiri with a 530am start from ekm
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Old 20th November 2022, 16:22   #14205
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by DieselLover View Post
This will be a difficult drive. Better to stick to the standard route as suggested by rajeevraj. Expect heavy traffic throughout and some maniac drivers. Avoid Christmas weekend if possible.. Last year I did the same trip on 25th December and it took me 8 hrs to reach vythiri with a 530am start from ekm
With due respects to Rajeevrajs and Diesellover' opinions, I would advise to take Alt 1 ie Kuttipuram- Ponnani-Chavakkad -Kochi, based on two to and fro recent trips I made on this route in Oct and Nov.

This advice is based on the not so good roads and heavy traffic in the Edappal-Kunnamkulam- Trichur section in the Standard route.

As for Alt 2, I would not prefer that due to the heavy two wheeler traffic on the narrow stretches from Thamravattom to Parappanangadi.

My opinion is based on the good, low traffic sections of the NH 66 from Kuttipuram to Chavakkad and in spite of the narrow stretches near Chavakkad and near Paravur. Having tried all the three, I found Alt 1 as more relaxing with more or less if not better time taken.
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