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Old 31st March 2023, 10:44   #14356
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandsun7 View Post
How is the Kottakkal-Malappuram-Manjeri-Vazhikadav stretch now? Has the road widening project completed on this stretch?
Stretch is good. Some sections are not at the typical absolutely smooth, lane marked level, but surface is good throughout. There was no work anywhere, so I assume all the widening is done-Although does not seem to be significantly wider anywhere.

Kottakkal was bad as usual, Malappuram town area seems to have got some nice widened roads to bypass the core areas. Manjeri, Nilambur, Vazhikadavu were as before.

Google maps becoming less and less trustworthy. It randomly was directing me to the Wandoor Road somewhere after Manjeri and then joining back just to save 1 minute.
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Old 13th April 2023, 11:03   #14357
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Be aware:

https://www.onmanorama.com/news/kera...-on-roads.html

The Kerala cabinet has approved the usage of 726 AI cameras installed on the national and state highways. Starting 20/4/2023, these cameras will detect violations such as:
  1. Plying without helmets
  2. Not using seat belts
  3. Vehicles involved in hit-and-run cases
  4. Illegal parking
  5. Overspeeding
  6. Signal jumping
  7. Crossing the yellow line
  8. Overtaking in curves by crossing the boundary line
The vehicle owner will receive an SMS alert once the AI camera detects a traffic violation.

I also saw this user-created map on Google Maps. No clue about its accuracy or completeness:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/vi...MbM8hmuN7F0t41
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Old 15th April 2023, 08:33   #14358
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
[*]Overtaking in curves by crossing the boundary line
Going to be the biggest cash cow.
KL MVD is asked to behave as though KL is a state in US, not India. The reason is NOT the safety concern for road users, the sole reason is REVENUE.

Last edited by Aditya : 17th April 2023 at 04:54. Reason: Political bit deleted
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Old 16th April 2023, 19:04   #14359
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
A general update on the Gundlepet-Gudalur-Nadugani-Nilambur route. There were reports of it being bad on the TN section. This has all been fixed. The forest section is as good as always. Gudalur-Nadugani has been freshly relaid and Nadugani to TN Border is fully patched and partly relaid also. Smooth drive now. The Kerala section has been great for sometime now.

In the recent past from Bangalore to Tirur, I used to take the Salem-Palakkad route which took same or less time even being significantly longer.

With that route becoming more congested and the expressway knocking off at least 1-1.5 hrs from the travel time, no longer makes sense to take the Salem route to Tirur and surrounding areas.
Hi, thanks for the update. Is it safe to assume that Bangalore to Thrissur should be a smooth drive now with respect to the road conditions ? Leaving in a couple of days, and Google maps keeps showing 9 hours (checking at different times during the day - early morning, afternoon) which seems a bit too long, so not sure if it is because of any construction work happening in the stretch. Apple maps shows about 7.5 hours though.
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Old 16th April 2023, 20:47   #14360
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
Hi, thanks for the update. Is it safe to assume that Bangalore to Thrissur should be a smooth drive now with respect to the road conditions ? Leaving in a couple of days, and Google maps keeps showing 9 hours (checking at different times during the day - early morning, afternoon) which seems a bit too long, so not sure if it is because of any construction work happening in the stretch. Apple maps shows about 7.5 hours though.
It should be smooth. Although I don't know about the stretch from Wandoor to Thrissur, but atleast one of the routes should be good as in general all main Kerala roads are in great condition.

Google maps is still not accurate with the timings of the Bangalore Mysore stretch. So expect to save ~30 min there from what Google says. But overall 8-9 hrs sounds about right as progress from Nilambur will be slow due to the typical traffic filled Kerala roads unless you are hitting the stretch off peak hours.
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Old 16th April 2023, 22:02   #14361
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
Is it safe to assume that Bangalore to Thrissur should be a smooth drive now with respect to the road conditions? Leaving in a couple of days, and Google maps keeps showing 9 hours.
Unless you have a compelling reason, for Thrissur I'd suggest taking the Bangalore-Salem-Coimbatore-Thrissur route. About 475 km that you can drive in 7.5 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodrkn View Post
Apple maps shows about 7.5 hours though.

Probably showing the above route's timing.
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Old 22nd April 2023, 18:33   #14362
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Not sure when they started this. Through the Muthanga route, Karnataka checkpost is collecting ₹20 from all vehicles just like the Rajiv Gandhi National Park route. Lorry drivers and other daily drivers were refusing to pay and led to a huge pileup of vehicles at checkpost, today morning at 6.
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Old 24th April 2023, 14:17   #14363
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaos636 View Post
Not sure when they started this. Through the Muthanga route, Karnataka checkpost is collecting ₹20 from all vehicles just like the Rajiv Gandhi National Park route. Lorry drivers and other daily drivers were refusing to pay and led to a huge pileup of vehicles at checkpost, today morning at 6.
This article mentions about the toll - 'Green cess'

https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.c...w/99714033.cms

As per the article, this is only for non-KA vehicles.
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Old 24th April 2023, 15:54   #14364
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Given that the NH66's Mukkola - Karodu stretch is getting inaugurated tomorrow, can you please suggest a good entry point to NH66 from Kaliyikkavilai?

Idea is to see if we can take deviation from Kaliyikkavilai towards Poovar Kovalam road and enter the NH66 at Karodu for the onward journey towards Trivandrum.

The last known condition of NH66 suggests too many stretches of ongoing road works and heavy usage of service roads to the extend that its not possible to use this route as the alternative to Neyyatinkara - Balaramapuram NH yet. So wanted to know if there are any progress.

(Please note that the route highlighted just for reference, it might not be practical without knowing the road condition)

All Roads to Kerala-nh66.png
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Old 24th April 2023, 18:11   #14365
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Some Observations & A Query

I drove from Palakkad to Kottarakkara on the day of Eid. The original plan was to start early, take the NH till Vallikkavu and then turn off towards KTR. Since toddlers have other ideas, we ended up starting at an unearthly hour just after 10:29 AM.

The NH till Paliyekkara was smooth sailing with sparse traffic. Used cruise control for the most part. Beyond, the vehicle density increased progressively. And then I got a call saying that the NH is seeing heavy traffic and there's some road expansion happening (not sure where). So, decided to hit the MC Road at Angamaly.

Stopped for lunch at Abhiruchi Restaurant, around halfway between Muvattupuzha and Koothattukulam. The food was wholesome and tasty, and the place hygienic. Their Chatti Choru is a delight - there was crab, chicken and fish, apart from the usual dishes.

3 hours to cover 150km so far is decent speeds for Kerala roads.

At Koothattukulam, Google Maps suggested a 5 minute slower route via Pala. Since it was a really long time since I had driven that route, decided to take it. It was a driver's delight, considering the well-paved surface and signages.

Koothattukulam - Pala - Manimala - Ranni - Pathanamthitta - Adoor - KTR took us around 3.5 hours, for the ~150km. Again, decent average speed, considering the winding roads and sticking to the speed limits.

The (uncalled for) scaremongering by the Malayalam media over the AI-enabled cameras probably had some effect on the way people used public roads. Most of the two-wheeler riders had their helmets on, bigger vehicles sticking to their lanes, extremely low percentage of vehicle involved in rash driving, and overall a feeling of better safety.

*****

The query: For Kottarakkara to Bangalore, Google shows NH744 till Tirumangalam then NH44 and also NH744 till Chinthamani and merge onto NH44 at Kovilpatti - which one is the better route? I might do an overnighter, so the preference is for a highway with dividers and accessible amenity stops even if it means driving a few km extra.
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Old 24th April 2023, 18:34   #14366
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Drove from Chennai to Thrissur on Friday, the 21st of April. I was able to get off work by afternoon. Refilled diesel at the Maraimalai Nagar COCO and lost a good 15 mins there as I landed righ in the middle of a shift change. Had lunch from the adjacent McDonald's.

Since the temperatures are soaring, the traffic was much lesser than I expected on a Friday afternoon. Made steady progress till Salem after which there was some traffic till Chengapally bypass.

Started at 1430 Hrs and was home by 23 15Hrs. This run from Thrissur Chennai and back might become a regular feature since I have now shifted to Thrissur for good but still need to attend office 8 days a month.

By the time I was hungry I was past L&T bypass, most of the restaurants after were crowded, some were shut and the ones open did not even have parking spots.

Finally I stopped at the travelounge just before the Pampampallam toll after Walayar. I came across news/social media promotions mentioning that this was as good as an airport lounge and expected food (upon payment or with a lounge access credit card).

They only have a café inside for serving light bites like sandwiches, rolls, burgers, fries & coffee, nothing like regular breakfast/lunch/dinner. The place has free WiFi, a convenience store that sells basic toiletries and soft drinks, chocolates and other snacks.

The toilets are very clean as expected since it is paid, taking a leak costs 10 bucks and a dump is 30 bucks. There are sleeping pods too but did not ask about the cost. The staff are friendly, there are EV charging spots and a car wash as well.

Not really worth it if your destination is Palakkad, Thrissur or Cochin but if you are travelling far and need to rest a little bit this might be a good option.
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Old 26th April 2023, 12:17   #14367
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

I am planning to drive down with family in my Brezza from Navi Mumbai next weekend to my home town in Palakkad district. Plan is to drive till Hubli on day 1; do the Murudeshwar - Kollur Mookambika temple visits on day 2 and on day 3, early start from Kollur to reach home before nightfall. Is it better to avoid the kasargod - calicut - perinthalmanna NH66 due to the road works going on? Other option shown to me is the Madikeri - Mananthawadi - Kalpetta - Perinthalmanna route - anyone taken this route recently and how is the road condition?

For return trip, google is showing me 3 options to Davangere, where i plan to halt for the day:
1. Perinthalmanna - Kalpetta - Mananthawadi - hassan route
2. Nilambur - Gudalur - Mysore - tumkur route
3. NH544/44 Pkd - Cbe - Erode - Salem - tumkur route, which would be the default one

Anyone familiar with routes 1 and 2, please let me know abt the road conditions.
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Old 26th April 2023, 13:15   #14368
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by achats View Post
day 3, early start from Kollur to reach home before nightfall. Is it better to avoid the kasargod - calicut - perinthalmanna NH66 due to the road works going on? Other option shown to me is the Madikeri - Mananthawadi - Kalpetta - Perinthalmanna route - anyone taken this route recently and how is the road condition?
Yes, it is best to avoid NH 66 these days due to the redevelopment works.

The second route is fine. Be aware the peripheral bypass to Calicut-Malappuram is now redeveloped into a good road; don't miss that. It goes, after you come down the churam, Thamarassery-Mukkam-Areekode-Manjery (bypass)-Perinthalmanna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achats View Post
For return trip, google is showing me 3 options to Davangere, where i plan to halt for the day:
1. Perinthalmanna - Kalpetta - Mananthawadi - hassan route
2. Nilambur - Gudalur - Mysore - tumkur route
3. NH544/44 Pkd - Cbe - Erode - Salem - tumkur route, which would be the default one

I think #1 will slow you down; #3 the longest though it has the best roads - so a compromise would be #2. Be aware that the ~10-12 km section between KL-TN border till Nadugani junction is in pretty bad shape as per recent reports.
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Old 26th April 2023, 14:32   #14369
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by binand View Post
. Be aware that the ~10-12 km section between KL-TN border till Nadugani junction is in pretty bad shape as per recent reports.
This section is fully patched up as per someone who did the route recently!
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Old 26th April 2023, 23:37   #14370
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
First route is via Munnar and the latter is Kumili-Vandiperiyar-Pala



Depends on what you want to do? If you want to take it slow and stop at multiple places enroute or you are looking to reach your destination on time.
Sorry for late reply. Im starting in two days. Plan is to goto Cochin from Madurai. Please suggest the better route. Preferred to reach Cochin early and planning to cover few areas inside the city.
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