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Chennai- Kollam/trivandrum Route Condition- Afternoon-Night-Midnight Drive

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by nixnarayanan, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. nixnarayanan

    nixnarayanan Timido

    Messages:
    15
    chennai
    Dear All,

    I am planning to drive down to Kollam/trivandrum(or somewhere in between :):)) this coming friday afternoon. We plan to start from Chennai by 12 Noon. There are two options in front of me

    Option-1:

    Stick on to the Chennai-Trichy-Madurai-Rajapalayam-Tenkasi-Thenmala-Kollam as suggested by Google Maps
    (https://maps.google.co.in/maps?sadd..._AmRBCkhxqndW_wFOzH3cnMmlTHwiw&mra=ls&t=m&z=8 )

    As we would be starting by around 12 Noon(or maybe later than this), we presume we will be entering the Ghat Sections in the Rajapalayam-Thenkasi-Thenmala-Kollam route by 8 PM or later. Can anyone update me about the road conditions in the last section and whether it is safe to drive during at that time. I haven't tried this route even once, but have good to strong experience in Ghat Roads elsewhere.


    Option-2:

    Go with the conventional Chennai-Trichy-Madurai-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil-Trivandrum. I have done this route couple of times at night last year, so am partially aware that this route is relatively safe to drive


    Is there any other options that one could suggest.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  2. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Since you are traveling in the night, I would suggest the Option 2 Chennai-Trichy-Madurai-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil-Trivandrum, though a little longer than route option 1 you will be able to travel faster.

    The Thenmala ghats in the Route 1 is nothing to write home about and a 4 lane highway take all the way to Nagercoil (in fact a just a few kms short). Nagercoil to Kollam during night should not pose much of an issue unless you are not comfortable with night drive as this is a 2 lane highway.
    1 person likes this.
  3. nixnarayanan

    nixnarayanan Timido

    Messages:
    15
    chennai

    Thanks. Could you please advise the least traffic route in the Trichy-Tirunelveli Section. I always get lost in the roads of Madurai and had lost considerable amount of time passing through Madurai last time.

    Is there any alternative to hop on without touching Madurai.
  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    The NH7 all along takes u straight to Thirunelveli. The highway has all bypasses and you will need to get off the highway to enter the city.

    Alternatively, you can consider coming via ECR-Trichy-Madurai-Thirumangalam-Tirunelveli-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-kollam

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,243
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    1 person likes this.
  6. nixnarayanan

    nixnarayanan Timido

    Messages:
    15
    chennai

    Thanks. Last time i had taken this route, there were some diversions on account of repair work and my GPS was finding it hard to search for an alternate route. Hope there is nothing like that this time.
  7. aruncep

    aruncep Amatore

    Messages:
    127
    Chennai
    Hello Friend,

    I have done the Option-1 route multiple times. I have done night trips with friends and also alone and with family only day trips. All throughout my trips I have never faced any security/safety problem. If you go alone or with friends then police might stop you on the way and also when you enter Kerala, police might check you.

    The only worry one can have is the check post at Aaryankaavu. Once I was stuck there for more than 2 hours (from 1 AM till 3AM) and didn't have mobile network, my family was worried since they were not able to contact me.

    The Ghats really start only at Aaryankavu which is after Senkottai and from AAryankavu the real curse of Kerala starts. Yes the roads are in real bad shape. During the Sabarimala season they had done some maintenance but ofcourse you will never get the comfort on TN roads. You hardly get two hair pins if you are looking for the fun part of driving in the ghats.

    Where exactly do you want to go? I take this route since its the shortest one to reach Kottarakara. If you are with family I always suggest a day trip as far as possible.

    Also if you want to hit NH-7 from NH-45B keep going straight on NH-45B and then you will reach a 2 lane road and that is from where the by-pass starts. You have to take a Rs.60 toll (you can use the same toll for the next 5 toll plazas) which will take you to NH-7. On the way before reaching NH-7 you can see Madhurai airport on to your right and after that you can see a junction where in you will see some restaurants on to your left and you will see some parked lorries on to your right. From that junction you need to take a right and going further straight you can see an IOC bottle plant/refinery and then you will climp a flyover and that flyover hits on NH-7 take a left pay a toll for Rs.55 and then continue your journey to Tirunelveli. The by-pass will be roughly around 25 to 30 Kms.

    After the second toll and if you travel further 5 - 10 KMs you can see signboards on your left for Kollam/ Tenkasi/Coutralam. Enter the service road from there and take a right from under the flyover and now your are on NH-208 which will take you to Tenkasi.

    Hope I didnt confuse you. You can reach out to me at any time when you feel you are lost. I have PMed my mobile number.

    Thanks
    Arun
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    2 people like this.
  8. nixnarayanan

    nixnarayanan Timido

    Messages:
    15
    chennai
    Thanks Bro! The thing is that, there are two of us- One has to reach Trivandrum and the other has to reach Kollam. So, we are ok if we halt at either Kollam or Trivandrum. Its neither the Police nor the Bad roads of Kerala that worries me(as they are quite common for the people in Kerala :D), its the Family Factor(being recently married, our families advised us to stay out of unknown route at late nights) who advised me to stick on to the Option-2. So, just thought of doing a detailed research before jumping into a conclusion.

    Your number would definately prove handy, if lost. Hope i wont be disturbing you at late hours.:)
  9. sandeep.12

    sandeep.12 Amatore

    Messages:
    142
    Bangalore
    Nix,
    Thenkasi-> Shenkottai-> Thenmala-> Kulathupuzha is good. I had done this road during December 2nd week.
    I frequently travel on this road and night driving was never an issue for me.
    Only thing is if you reach Aryankavu check post during night time, there would be some truck crowd there.

    I will never take the Srivilliputhur->Rajapalayam road, if you travel during day time the small villages en route will ensure that you will never cross 40 KMPH.
    Instead I continue straight on NH from Thirumangalam and take a right turn after kovilpatti, then cross Kalugumali and Sankarankoil to join Thenkasi road at Puliyangudi.
    The roads are good and you will encounter less traffic on this road.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. nixnarayanan

    nixnarayanan Timido

    Messages:
    15
    chennai
    Sandeep,

    Bang On! I was actually researching on the Kovilpatti-Thenkasi Route, and it was only then i saw your post (Someone had told me that Kovilpatti-Sankarankoil-Thenkasi route was under repair, hence suggested me to stick on to Rajapalayam route, so had ruled out this route earlier) Thanks for that. Well, how much time does it take from Madurai to Thenkasi and Further till Thenmala.

    We could be crossing Madurai at around 6-6.30 PM, as we plan to start by around 12 Noon from Guindy.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

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