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Old 20th November 2022, 17:02   #14206
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Re: Hyderabad-Kerala Route Queries

[quote=binand;5428818]If you are keen on the Dindigul-Theni-Kumaly route please go ahead. It is a lovely route to drive on (take the road that goes in front of Vaigai dam). But I would recommend Coimbatore-Thrissur-Muvattupuzha instead as a personal preference, for these reasons:

I would second binand and advise you to take NH44/544/MC Road.

1. Thoppur ghat is nothing compared to the Peereumedu section in Kerala.

2. I was recently searching for decent hotels in Dindigul and finding none, had to opt for Pollachi, as I had to travel in that sections. NH 544 offers better choices including around Coimbatore.

3. Christmas being on a Sunday, there will be heavier traffic along Kumily route especially with TN vehicles to Sabarimala opting this route.

4. Return trip can be planned through Kumily if in the short period when Sabarimala temple closes prior to Makaravilakku and with 1st halt at Salem.
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Old 21st November 2022, 19:58   #14207
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Bangalore - Bandipur - Nilambur - Guruvayur - Thrissur - Coimbatore - Bangalore

I did a Bangalore - Guruvayoor - Bangalore run this weekend & here is a short trip report

Onward:
Bangalore - Mysore: Roads are mix of excellent to pretty bad. The 3x3 lane stretch is open between Bidadi and Maddur with quite a few diversions. Beyond Maddur, it's pretty much the old highway which is not in so great a shape. I stopped for lunch at Hotel Amravati in Mandya. Good food and good parking.

Mysore - Bandipur: I took the outer ring road and reached the Mysore - Gundulpet highway. Roads are decent until you cross the Mysore airport. It gets pothole ridden beyond that point all the way till Bandipur

Bandipur - Gudalur: The roads are lovely and so is the scenery. The TN side of the roads have been laid new and are in better shape than the KA side. The wife was happy spotting lots of Deer and 3 elephants on the roadside. You have to pay a Rs 30 at the TN check post, not sure when this was introduced.

Gudalur - Nilambur: The roads are in pretty bad shape until you reach Nadugani where the road forks towards Vythri and Nilambur. Low rise sedans definitely need to be careful throughout this stretch. Beyond this fork, the roads get a bit better but still watch out for occasional potholes and broken stretches. However, it gets better on the Kerala side until you hit the plains in Vazhikadavu. Once I reached the plains around 7PM it was a nasty combination of narrow broken roads and traffic. Progress was quiet slow.

Nilambur - Guruvayoor: I did the mistake of skipping Manjeri and ended up doing the Pandikad-Patambi-Kunamkullam-Guruvayoor stretch. On hindsight it was a bad choice and at one point, google maps re-routed me through a single lane stretch that could not accommodate more than one car (barely) cause the main road was closed. It was a 15-minute nightmare though I followed another Swift with KA plates. The dude managed to disappear in the dark of the night and I kept praying no vehicles should come on the opposite side, not even a cycle. Its best to stick to the main roads in this part of the world, I suppose.

Door to door it took me 12 hours with 1 hour spent on pit stops with a toll of 50 in Mysore-Gundulpet stretch and 30 park fees in the Mudhumalai stretch.

Return
I did the more traditional Guruvayur - Thrissur - Pallakad - Coimbatore - Krishnagiri - Bangalore stretch with a detour in Coimbatore to savor food at Sree Annapoorna and an evening pitstop at Sai Sangeet, Dharmapuri. Its the same old nasty car drivers, even worse bus drivers and annoying 2 wheelers on the highway. The frequent barricades on the TN side of the road and the massive speed breakers beyond Attibelle continue to be the consistent pain the rear for this stretch. Door to door it took me 11 hours.

I never crossed 90 on both stretches with cruise control doing bulk of the duty on the return run. My take, these roads, despite getting better have started getting more fatigue prone due to the bad drivers. It's getting less and less fun doing the highway runs south of Bangalore where every other car driver thinks (s)he is driving a Ferrari on a closed track!

Last edited by SR-71 : 21st November 2022 at 20:00.
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Old 21st November 2022, 21:43   #14208
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by JayG View Post
More update. Drove to BLR today from TVM with a 650 AM start from Nalanchira.
Caution : Cattle and goats were grazing in the medians along Gangaikondan - Tirunelveli bypass stretch and crossed the roads untended. They can surprise or cause a shock especially along the curves where they may not be seen from far away.
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Old 22nd November 2022, 12:01   #14209
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

I am an avid but silent reader of TeamBHP for around 6 years now. Really appreciate the quality and relevance of the contents in this forum. This is my first post in the forum. Needed some guidance from BHPians on a trip that I am planning.

I am planning a drive to Mysore in December 2nd week, planning to start by around 4 PM from Cochin. Which route should I opt if I want to reach Mysore without a night halt. I am doing this route for the first time. Is it doable if I start at 4 PM. Not exactly sure about any night drive restrictions in this route. Appreciate any help on this.
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Old 22nd November 2022, 13:06   #14210
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by ThatSimpleGuy View Post
I am planning a drive to Mysore in December 2nd week, planning to start by around 4 PM from Cochin. Which route should I opt if I want to reach Mysore without a night halt.
4 PM start from Kochi going to Mysore, without a night halt will be very strenuous. Be very sure you can do it. The route with no night driving restrictions is Kochi-Calicut-Mananthavady-Gonikoppa-Mysore.

Approx driving times are: Kochi-Calicut 6 hours, Calicut-Mananthavady 2.5 hours, Mananthavady-Gonikoppa 1.5 hours, Gonikoppa-Mysore 2 hours for a total of 11 hours (give or take) drive time.

All other roads have night travel bans. If you are OK with an overnight halt at Coimbatore or nearby, then the shortest would be Kochi-Coimbatore-Bannari-Chamarajanagar-Nanjangud-Mysore.
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Old 22nd November 2022, 20:51   #14211
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post

All other roads have night travel bans. If you are OK with an overnight halt at Coimbatore or nearby, then the shortest would be Kochi-Coimbatore-Bannari-Chamarajanagar-Nanjangud-Mysore.
Thanks binand for the route and valuable suggestion. 11 hours straight drive in night will be strenuous for sure given the lengthy route. Think it's better to take Coimbatore-Chamrajnagar-Nanjangud route and take a halt at Coimbatore. Will go with your suggestion.
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Old 23rd November 2022, 17:56   #14212
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Planning to take the Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Kumily route to Thiruvalla on December 9th.
Any updates on the roads in recent time?

Normally take the Salem-Coimbatore-Thrissur route.

I plan to leave Bangalore at 1PM post lunch. Or should I leave earlier?
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Old 23rd November 2022, 20:15   #14213
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
Planning to take the Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Kumily route to Thiruvalla on December 9th.
Any updates on the roads in recent time?

Normally take the Salem-Coimbatore-Thrissur route.

I plan to leave Bangalore at 1PM post lunch. Or should I leave earlier?
I suggest you leave earlier, around 12, the Kumily - Thiruvalla part of the journey will be quite tiring after driving on highways for nearly 500 km in Tamil Nadu. The toll is lower and few more bypasses are getting ready, although Theni town was still a bottleneck when I drove last month.

The turnoff from the highway is not really well marked, so keep an eye on that.
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Old 23rd November 2022, 20:26   #14214
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
Planning to take the Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Kumily route to Thiruvalla on December 9th.
Any updates on the roads in recent time?

Normally take the Salem-Coimbatore-Thrissur route.

I plan to leave Bangalore at 1PM post lunch. Or should I leave earlier?
I travelled on this route in the reverse direction (Kottayam to Bangalore) about a week ago - road conditions are good almost all the way through. Almost all towns on the Dindigul - Kumily stretch are bypassed now with the exception of Theni bypass where there is still some work in progress and you therefore need to go through the town. Other than the traffic heavy Bangalore - Salem section which is a pain to drive through, the traffic on the rest of the route was sparse.

Starting around noon would mean that your journey from Dindigul onwards would be a night drive. While this would mean you won't encounter much of traffic on Kerala roads (which can be quite painful during daytime), make sure you are comfortable driving on Ghat roads at night. If you're unfamiliar with driving mountain roads, an early morning start from Bangalore may be a better choice.
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Old 24th November 2022, 09:46   #14215
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatSimpleGuy View Post
I am an avid but silent reader of TeamBHP for around 6 years now. Really appreciate the quality and relevance of the contents in this forum. This is my first post in the forum. Needed some guidance from BHPians on a trip that I am planning.

I am planning a drive to Mysore in December 2nd week, planning to start by around 4 PM from Cochin. Which route should I opt if I want to reach Mysore without a night halt. I am doing this route for the first time. Is it doable if I start at 4 PM. Not exactly sure about any night drive restrictions in this route. Appreciate any help on this.
You best option (if possible) is to start early morning from Kochi and you can easily reach Mysore by late afternoon by sticking to the standard Thrissur-Nilambur-Nadugani route.

If early morning start is not possible, stick to the option given by binand with an overnight stay at Coimbatore
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Old 24th November 2022, 10:29   #14216
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
I suggest you leave earlier, around 12, the Kumily - Thiruvalla part of the journey will be quite tiring after driving on highways for nearly 500 km in Tamil Nadu. The toll is lower and few more bypasses are getting ready, although Theni town was still a bottleneck when I drove last month.

The turnoff from the highway is not really well marked, so keep an eye on that.
Thank you. Do you mean the Turnoff from Theni? Is google map good for this route?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kala View Post
I travelled on this route in the reverse direction (Kottayam to Bangalore) about a week ago - road conditions are good almost all the way through. Almost all towns on the Dindigul - Kumily stretch are bypassed now with the exception of Theni bypass where there is still some work in progress and you therefore need to go through the town. Other than the traffic heavy Bangalore - Salem section which is a pain to drive through, the traffic on the rest of the route was sparse.

Starting around noon would mean that your journey from Dindigul onwards would be a night drive. While this would mean you won't encounter much of traffic on Kerala roads (which can be quite painful during daytime), make sure you are comfortable driving on Ghat roads at night. If you're unfamiliar with driving mountain roads, an early morning start from Bangalore may be a better choice.
Thank you. A part of the plan to leave late from Bangalore is to drive the ghats during the night and to avoid the traffic.
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Old 24th November 2022, 13:20   #14217
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by beejay View Post
Thank you. Do you mean the Turnoff from Theni? Is google map good for this route?
The exit from the highway on to the service road, watch for the kodai exit to NH183, at about 170km from Salem.

Batlagundu - Theni - Cumbum - Kumily is the route you'll take, the turn on the Theni route is towards Munnar side. Google maps is good, but it might not be up to date with the latest by passes that are ready.
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Old 24th November 2022, 21:51   #14218
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by DieselLover View Post
You best option (if possible) is to start early morning from Kochi and you can easily reach Mysore by late afternoon by sticking to the standard Thrissur-Nilambur-Nadugani route.

If early morning start is not possible, stick to the option given by binand with an overnight stay at Coimbatore
Thanks DieselLover. Unfortunately, will be able to start only after 4 due to some commitments. Will stick to binand's suggestion.
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Old 25th November 2022, 08:02   #14219
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quick update as on today morning on the Coimbatore Palakkad Stretch.

In the stretch between L&T Bypass and Walayar, they seem to have started work of scraping existing asphalt to relayer it. With the time it took for the 2 lane L&T bypass stretch. I estimate this work will continue for another 3 odd months. Plenty of service roads in this stretch so i do not estimate much of a delay to occur. However please do take note of this in your plans.

Within Palakkad. There is only a half a kilometre stretch where an old bridge section is being worked on and traffic is diverted in the oncoming lane in the meanwhile. This also is not much of a concern as far as travel time is considered.

Anybody planning these routes may plan accordingly.

Also i would appreciate if anybody has pointers on the route between Palakkad bypass to Guruvayoor. I used to follow NH all the way inside Thrissur and then turn right to the stretch to Guruvayoor. How bad would this stretch be during 8 AM Monday morning. If i have to reach Guruvayoor by 10 AM, would a 7:30 AM start be good enough?
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Old 27th November 2022, 10:35   #14220
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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For Mahabalipuram, yes. I don't recall seeing many "high-class" hotels between Salem and Ulundurupet though.
I drove Chennai-Calicut via Ulundurupet-Salem-Palakkad yesterday, and I must say this memory proved to be quite wrong. There are several restaurants along this route, incluing a food court featuring A2B and KFC. I was initially trying to map them mentally but then gave it up because there were too many.

Just remember that all of these seem to be in the Ulundurupet-Attur section. Usually located near the junctions where the various town bypasses start/end.

Talking of these bypasses - they have installed bollards along the medians of the town bypasses (which are the only single carriageway sections of this route - around 6 bypasses). With exactly one lane each way and hardly any shoulder space, if you are stuck behind a slow moving vehicle it will be excruciating. I saw depressingly many drivers crossing to the other side via the gaps in the bollard row and merging back dangerously. Please, don't do this. These bypasses add up to maybe 20 km in a 135-km road, surely that much patience we can manage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
In the stretch between L&T Bypass and Walayar, they seem to have started work of scraping existing asphalt to relayer it. Plenty of service roads in this stretch so i do not estimate much of a delay to occur. However please do take note of this in your plans.
Ha. It took me 35 minutes to clear this one yesterday. It starts as soon as the bypass ends and goes on for a couple of kilometres. The time (6.30pm-ish) didn't help, and neither did the RTO people doing their thing in the middle of this melee. Not to mention the idiots trying to go the other way in this mess.

That, plus a 15-minute delay caused by (what looked like a) serious accident on the bypass, meant that I lost about an hour clearing Coimbatore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
Also i would appreciate if anybody has pointers on the route between Palakkad bypass to Guruvayoor. I used to follow NH all the way inside Thrissur and then turn right to the stretch to Guruvayoor. How bad would this stretch be during 8 AM Monday morning. If i have to reach Guruvayoor by 10 AM, would a 7:30 AM start be good enough?
In the past I have taken Palakkad-Pattambi-Perumbilavu-Kunnamkulam-Guruvayur, but those trips were early morning drives (5am-ish) and I don't think this is the optimal route. Palakkad-Thrissur-Guruvayur sounds like the best bet, but I think your time estimate is a bit out of the whack. If we assume 75 minutes for Palakkad-Thrissur and 75-90 minutes for Thrissur-Guruvayur (this includes time taken to traverse the city), you are cutting it too fine to reach for a presumed 10 AM "muhurtham" imo.
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