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Old 3rd December 2023, 19:07   #14536
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by xotiq View Post
Is it worth the effort to drive from Kannur to Kottayam and back.
I second Rajeevrajís suggestion. The roadworks on NH66, combined with rashly driven buses and slow-moving trucks, will make the journey both mentally and physically exhausting. In my opinion, it is simply not worth it. I would suggest using a cab or a self-drive rental in Kottayam.

Even if you start at 3 AM, it is likely that a single truck could slow you down on the service roads, unless you perform some very risky overtakes off the narrow roads. This is based on my personal experience driving to Kannur from Trivandrum and back in early October. Also, there are a lot of make shift deviation boards every now and then, and I would say it is imperative to take this route when visibility is better. I even encountered some Darwin award nominees with non functioning lights driving on this unlit road in heavy rain.

Before the roadworks began, it was possible to cover this distance in roughly 13 hours, including three short breaks. On a partial lockdown day, we reached Trivandrum in 8.5 hours with relaxed driving.

This time, however, it took around 20+ hours each way, and we ended up booking hotels to stay overnight as we could not cover even half the expected distance and were severely exhausted. Finding a good hotel/accommodation near the NH that were available for immediate check-in proved to be another colossal task. I would avoid driving this route until the works are completed.
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Old 4th December 2023, 10:33   #14537
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by xotiq View Post
Was checking for threads on roads within Kerala. Couldn't find one, so posting this here.

Is it worth the effort to drive from Kannur to Kottayam and back. Preference to drive, as we would need a vehicle for small diversions enroute and at Kottayam. If yes, please let me know road conditions and time taken. I would prefer to start at say 3AM from Kannur.
Catch a train. If possible, Vande Bharat express. Travelling by road within Kerala should be a last option in my opinion
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Old 4th December 2023, 16:51   #14538
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Re: Revised speed limits in Kerala

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Originally Posted by Mnjdnght View Post
I remember reading that, Kerala published revised speed limits on its highways effective from August 1, 2023 which now allows 110 Kmph on 6 lane roads (e.g. Vadakkenchery to Mannuthy), 100 Kmph (was 90 earlier) on 4 lane NH, 90 Kmph (was 85 earlier) on other NH/ 4 lane SH etc.

Does any of you have experience driving at these speeds in Kerala since then? I have a trip coming up, so wanted to check if the speed cameras have been recalibrated as per these revised limits.
Saw this post and checked the net for information. Found the notification and on my recent trip last weekend, attempted speeds close to 110 kmph and 100 kmph on the aforementioned segments. A handful of other KL registered (mine is KA) were also clocking the same speeds and therefore the confidence.
Checked the relevant portals and no fines have been updated.
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Old 8th December 2023, 08:10   #14539
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Hi Fellow BHPians , I'm planning to do a trip next week from Kottayam to Kollur via Guruvayoor . Can you please suggest best routes to opt for ?
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Old 8th December 2023, 10:32   #14540
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by dupe View Post
Hi Fellow BHPians , I'm planning to do a trip next week from Kottayam to Kollur via Guruvayoor . Can you please suggest best routes to opt for ?
These are all major towns. Just put Google Maps nagivation on and let it guide you through the best route given the date/time of your journey.

Given the NH 66 redevelopment and generally frustrating long-distance driving experience in Kerala I would imagine Kottayam > Muvattupuzha > Angamaly > Thrissur > Guruvayur for the first leg and Guruvayur > Chamravattam > Kadalundi > Kozhikode > Kalpetta > Madikeri > Puttur > Mangalore > Kundapura > Kollur for the second leg make the most sense.

You could consider trains and locally hired cabs. Kottayam-Thrissur and Thrissur-Udupi should have dozens of train connections suitable for journeys beginning any time of the day.

Last edited by binand : 8th December 2023 at 10:34.
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Old 8th December 2023, 11:04   #14541
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Namaskara fellow TeamBHP members,

Planning a roadtrip through Kerala, in the last week of December, mainly for the beaches and local cuisine.

My wife would accompany me on this trip, in our own XUV3OO.

Our trip itinerary:

Day 1: Bengaluru -> Kannur
Day 2: Kannur and Bekal sightseeing
Day 3: Kannur to Kochi
Day 4: Kochi / Athirapally sightseeing
Day 5: Kochi to Thekkady
Day 6: Thekkady to Alappuzha
Day 7: Alappuzha to Varkala
Day 8: Varkala to Kanyakamuari via Kovalam
Day 9: Kanyakumari to Dindigul / Madurai
Day 10: Dindigul / Madurai to Bengaluru

Our main goal is to relax enjoying beaches and backwaters in Kerala.

Both me and my wife alternate while driving, and we make sure that none of us drives for longer than ~2 hrs at a stretch. We have done long road trips before, longest being ~12 hrs on the road.

Based on contributions from kind members in this thread, and similar threads on TeamBHP; we'd need to adjust our driving to suit Kerala MVD rules and narrow roads. We're thinking of taking a trial subscription of Radarbot, just for this trip.

Questions for the forum members:

- Does our itinerary look good?

Longest stretch of driving would be ~8-10 hrs of drive between Kannur to Kochi, on Day 3.

But other than that, is there anything else we should modify in the itinerary? Our goal is to stay relaxed, and not stretch ourselves, since we've to stay comfortable for ~10 days on the road, without falling sick or get tired or oversleep.

- Any hidden gem (such as local eatery, beach, backwater experience), that's under-appreciated by travel bloggers and most might miss it?

- On Day 10, we were thinking of going to Dhanuskodi from Madurai / Dindigul, before returning to Bengaluru.

Is it worth the (3 + 3 + 2) = 8 hours of detour?

- We haven't decided on any hotel or resort in Madurai / Dindigul for our stay.

Any tips on this would be of great help.
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Old 8th December 2023, 11:20   #14542
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by dupe View Post
Hi Fellow BHPians , I'm planning to do a trip next week from Kottayam to Kollur via Guruvayoor . Can you please suggest best routes to opt for ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
These are all major towns. Just put Google Maps nagivation on and let it guide you through the best route given the date/time of your journey.
You could consider trains and locally hired cabs. Kottayam-Thrissur and Thrissur-Udupi should have dozens of train connections suitable for journeys beginning any time of the day.
Second Binand's suggestion on looking at trains for the Thrissur Mookambika stretch at least. My family recently went from Calicut. Booked one of the long distance fast trains coming from Tvm/Kochuveli, got down at Mangalore and the hotel had arranged a nice Innova from the station.

You can board from Thrissur and get down at Mangalore/Baindoor/Udupi depending on the train and ask the hotel to arrange taxi. Train will only take 5-6 hours for the stretch.

If driving, then follow google.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hariharan09 View Post
Namaskara fellow TeamBHP members,
Planning a roadtrip through Kerala, in the last week of December, mainly for the beaches and local cuisine.
My wife would accompany me on this trip, in our own XUV3OO.
Our trip itinerary:

Day 1: Bengaluru -> Kannur
Day 2: Kannur and Bekal sightseeing
Day 3: Kannur to Kochi
Day 4: Kochi / Athirapally sightseeing
Day 5: Kochi to Thekkady
Day 6: Thekkady to Alappuzha
Day 7: Alappuzha to Varkala
Day 8: Varkala to Kanyakamuari via Kovalam
Day 9: Kanyakumari to Dindigul / Madurai
Day 10: Dindigul / Madurai to Bengaluru
Any tips on this would be of great help.
My first sense is that this is a lot of driving in Kerala considering you want a relaxed trip. All the driving will be hectic and tiresome and time consuming. Considering it is last week of December, expect traffic to be even higher. My suggestion is to drop Kannur and head directly to Athirapally and Kochi. Bekal you can anyway do as a weekend trip from Bangalore.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 8th December 2023 at 11:23.
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Old 8th December 2023, 12:04   #14543
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by Hariharan09 View Post
Day 3: Kannur to Kochi
Day 8: Varkala to Kanyakamuari via Kovalam

- Any hidden gem (such as local eatery, beach, backwater experience), that's under-appreciated by travel bloggers and most might miss it?
Given that out of your 8-day tour of Kerala days 3 through 8 are going to be spent in the utterly touristy Kochi-Thekkady-Alapuzha-Varkala areas, I would say you are missing practically everything in Kerala that is under-appreciated. :-)

Also, in your 10-day plan about 6 full days are being spent on driving. Some of these stretches might turn out to be extremely tiring and completely out of sync with your time estimates. For example I seriously doubt you can do Kannur-Kochi in 8-10 hours driving through Kerala during the day. Kochi-Athirappally would be 2.5-3 hours one-way, if you choose to do that you very likely won't have any time or energy for anything else on that day.

If you want to do Athirappalli then my suggestion would be Kannur > Thrissur or Chalakudi (base station for Athirapalli) > Thekkadi > Varkala - skip Kochi & Alapuzha altogether. But apart from the waterfall is there anything else in Athirapalli that makes it such a must-visit place?

Last edited by binand : 8th December 2023 at 12:06.
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Old 10th December 2023, 21:11   #14544
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by --gKrish-- View Post
This is based on my personal experience driving to Kannur from Trivandrum and back in early October.
How is the EKM - TVM stretch compared to Kannur - EKM?
I am familiar with the Kannur - Ernakulam drive, but no recent trips done in the EKM - TVM stretch after the NH66 expansion roadworks began.

Approximately how much time it would take from Aluva to Trivandrum, with a regular daytime drive on a weekend. My trip is in Jan, after the Christmas break.
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Old 10th December 2023, 22:34   #14545
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by MSAneesh View Post
Approximately how much time it would take from Aluva to Trivandrum, with a regular daytime drive on a weekend. My trip is in Jan, after the Christmas break.
My Google timeline shows around 6 hours from a trip done 2 months ago. The EKM-TVM section was in relatively better state than EKM-KNR when I drove last time. I'm not sure about the current state as road works would have progressed now.

An alternative that you can consider is MC route through Kottayam. You can avoid some chaotic 2 lane sections especially near Cherthala and also the surface is in far better state in most stretches. However this road has a lot of turns and curves unlike the NH, but still one can reach Trivandrum in 5 to 6 hours. I would ask fellow members to pitch in here if they have taken this route recently.

I took this route to Idukki in August, and really enjoyed the drive. Thanks to the low GC and sharp handling of Linea.
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Old 10th December 2023, 22:56   #14546
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSAneesh View Post
Approximately how much time it would take from Aluva to Trivandrum, with a regular daytime drive on a weekend. My trip is in Jan, after the Christmas break.
I covered Tirur - Trivandrum in 8 hours. So Aluva to TVM can be covered in 5 hours . This is via MC road - Sabarimala Bypass. That route avoids lot of traffic and is very scenic.
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Old 11th December 2023, 10:32   #14547
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

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Originally Posted by Hariharan09 View Post
Namaskara fellow TeamBHP members,

Planning a roadtrip through Kerala, in the last week of December, mainly for the beaches and local cuisine.

My wife would accompany me on this trip, in our own XUV3OO.

Our trip itinerary:
Wow. That is some itinerary. A quick look makes me think you are clubbing in way too much for a comfortable trip. You get to a destination and you are already thinking about tomorrow's drive.

Driving within Kerala is a tortuous drive mostly and can drain you pretty easily. Keep allowance for that and remember not to calculate time to destination based on distance.

Could drop Kannur/Bekal from list i suppose and use those days to spend more time in other places.

Good luck and happy tripping
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Old 15th December 2023, 08:09   #14548
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Hi folks

I am planning to travel from Bangalore to Ashtamudi between 20th and 26th. I will not do it at one stretch, prefer to break journey since family does not want to sit in the car for more than 6 hours at a stretch

Route 1 - Go via Coimbatore breaking journey at Coimbatore
Route 2 - Go via Dundigal and break journey there. We checked Madurai, but hotels are way too expensive

Given Sabarimala season was wondering which route to take. Also, have heard about supper gums etc in Kerala stretch as well

Can you folks suggest which route is best given my limitations
Thanks in advance
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Old 15th December 2023, 08:29   #14549
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hariharan09 View Post
Our trip itinerary:

Day 1: Bengaluru -> Kannur
Day 2: Kannur and Bekal sightseeing
Day 3: Kannur to Kochi
Day 4: Kochi / Athirapally sightseeing
Day 5: Kochi to Thekkady
Day 6: Thekkady to Alappuzha
Day 7: Alappuzha to Varkala
Day 8: Varkala to Kanyakamuari via Kovalam
Day 9: Kanyakumari to Dindigul / Madurai
Day 10: Dindigul / Madurai to Bengaluru

Our main goal is to relax enjoying beaches and backwaters in Kerala.
As members have already mentioned, this is not relaxing by any stretch of imagination. Most Malayalees will get a heart attack on seeing such an itinerary.

Here's my humble suggestion - please choose 1 or 2 destinations at the max and keep your schedules light if you want to relax. Driving in Kerala, unless it's rural areas, will be stressful. I'd suggest you to break down your trip to go Kerala into multiple smaller trips since I assume you are from Bangalore, which has easy access to Kerala anyway.
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Old 15th December 2023, 13:05   #14550
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Re: All Roads to Kerala

I am planning to do the sightseeing during Christmas Week at Parmbikulam Tiger Reserve, Valparai,Athirapally Waterfalls, and Guruvayur for 4 days with my family.We planned to stay in Valparai for 2 days.
On the 3rd morning, around 10:00 a.m., We are planning to start from Valparai to the Athirapally Waterfalls.

How are the road conditions from Athirapally Waterfalls to Guruvayur? first time I am driving this route,
Google Maps suggests that the below route!
Is this the correct route? How is the road condition?

All Roads to Kerala-valparai-athirappally.png

Athirapally Waterfalls - Chalakudy - Puthukkad - Puranattukara - Pavaratty - Guruvayur

All Roads to Kerala-athirappally-guruvayur.png

We planned to stay in Guruvayur on the third day. If possible, get Darshan in the evening.

On the 4th day, get an early Darshan at the temple and head back to Bangalore.
Google Maps suggests the below route to go from Guruvayur to Bangalore. I checked the Bangalore-Guruvayur thread, and there is no recent update on this thread. Hence, I posted here.Please suggest that this is the correct route, and how is the road traffic condition?Due to the Sabarimala session, this route may contain road traffic or congestion.

Guruvayur - Thrissur - Pattikkad - Vadakkencherry - Alathur - Kuzhalmannam - Palakkad - Walayar - Coimbatore - Salem - Bangalore

All Roads to Kerala-guruvayur-bangalore.png
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