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Kerala Drive Plan - Queries

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Finally, Kerala Drive is getting materialised :D

    Tentative period - 10-11 days total in Dec end

    Pls suggest which places to cover.
    I think 3-4 days will be in to & fro drive from Mumbai, hence I may end up with 6-7 days to be spent in Kerala & surroundings.

    Tentative locations that I've jotted down are as below:

    Cochin OR Cherai Beach
    Athirapilly Waterfalls

    Pls suggest the best locations in Kerala & surroundings
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
    nkrishnap likes this.
  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    With the available 11 days including 4 days of travel, covering all the places that you have mentioned itself would be hectic in my opinion. You have to note that highways in Kerala are not wide enough and very much crowded too. Expect low average speed in Kerala.

    Plan - 1
    Masinagudi, Cochin, Munnar, Kumarakom, Trivandrum, Kanyakumari

    Leg 1 - Mumbai-Masinagudi
    Leg 2 - Masinagudi-Cochin

    From Masinagudi, you can drive through Gudalur-Nilambur-Perinthalmanna-Pattambi-Thrissur-Cochin. You can cover Athirapilly falls on your way from Thrissur to Cochin. It is Thrissur-Chalakkudi-Athirapilly-Chalakkudi-Cochin)

    Leg 3 - Cochin - Munnar
    From Cochin, it should be Cochin-Kothamangalam-Adimali-Munnar-Chinnakanal. Club Mahindra is located at Chinnakanal. :)

    Leg 4 - Munnar-Kumarakom
    Leg 5 - Kumarakom-Trivandrum-Kanyakumari
    Leg 6 - Kanyakumari-Mumbai

    Plan - 2
    If I were to plan for a 11 day trip to Kerala from Mumbai, I would further restrict the places and will do the below route to take maximum advantage of 4 lane highways. :)

    I would do sightseeing at the highlighted places.
    Mumbai - Bangalore - Dindigul - Theni - Munnar - Cochin - Kumarakom - Trivandrum - Kanyakumari - Mumbai

    It is 4 lane till Dindigul and awesome 2 lane highway till Theni-Bodi. And ghat section from Bodi onwards. And another added advantage is Club mahindra is 25 kms before Munnar on this route. You can cover Athirapilly falls as well staying at Cochi.

    Plan - 2a
    Same as Plan 2 except that skip Trivandrum and Kanyakumari. Instead drive to Thekkady. From there hit Dindigul and again it is 4 lane for you till your home.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  3. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @ramjn, you seem to be a official living GPS for routes across India, way to go :)
    ramjn likes this.
  4. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Thanks Ramesh for elaborate options.

    I know it's hectic & tight schedule and I might need to leave 1-2 locations.

    Someone told me that Thekkady in Dec-end would be full of tourists. Getting boatride may also be tough & for wildlife sightings, early morning or late evening boatrides would be impossible to get. Too few a boats & too many tourists. This is what I'm told. Hence, left Thekkady which was there in the original plan.

    Between Alleppey & Kumarakom, which one is better (in terms of beauty & backwaters ride)? We might not stay overnight in a houseboat and instead might just ride in it for a couple of hours.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Till mid of Jan, it is Sabaramala season and expect more crowded highways in Kerala. The route through Dindigul-Thekkady is one of few decent roads that connects TN with Kerala and it will be crowded for sure. Being Sabarimala season, many who take this route may be breaking at Thekkady for the boat ride. Alternately, I recommend Gavi instead of Thekkady. It is more protected area and the number of people who visit Gavi is entirely controlled by the Kerala Forest Department. You don't get any private accommodation there. You have to book with KFDC only and they have only limited accommodation. Entire sightseeing in Gavi will be arranged by KFDC itself. Visit the below page for more information. But believe me, Gavi is worth it.


    And you can consider Parambikulam too instead of Masinagudi. See here - http://www.parambikulam.org/.

    Between Alleppey and Kumarakom, it is more of personal choice. Both are located at one end of the Vembanad Lake. At Alleppey you get narrow canals whereas at Kumarakom it is wide with Bird sanctuary. Both are good. But, spending for few hours in the houseboat may not be worth it. Usually their charge includes for Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast. Also, it is best enjoyed with the taste of local Cuisine. So again, I recommend to spend a night on the houseboat. :)

    That's a hyperbole, Prasanna. :)
    I may be good only in south for now. Haven't really driven in the north.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
    VahanPujari likes this.
  6. limraj

    limraj Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    Even if you stay at any of these places, a house boat ride will take you to the other place. They are very near. If I remember correctly, will reach in about 30-40 mins by house boat. Alleppy has a beach, abandoned pier too (don't be there on a weekend). Kumarakom has a number of established resorts. It is more of an interior place.
  7. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    How are tree houses? Should we stay 1 night at a tree house?

    There is one limitation which is making the itinerary planning tough :)

    On Day 4 & Day 5, I've a Club Mahindra booking confirmed at Munnar. This can't be changed due to non-availability on any other dates in our trip period.

    So, after struggling with Option - 1 & Option -2 (which are incomplete), finally arrived at Option - 3 as below.

    Is Option - 3 feasible? or does it still sound quite hectic?

    Kerala - Itinerary.jpg
  8. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    I didn't find tree houses to be that exciting. Your call again. :)

    Option 3 seems to be hectic but doable. You should be prepared for painful drive from Bangalore to Cochin (It is good till Coimbatore). Another painful drive would be from Allepey to Wayanad. Also, if you are staying at Masinagudi, no need to stay at Ooty. They are just 25-30 kms. in distance. You can drive to Ooty and comeback or vice-versa.

    I still feel Option 3 can be tweaked better because you are doing same circuit while returning as well. From Bangalore, you can hit Mysore/Masinagudi/Wayanad and then Cochin/Munnar followed by Alleppey. :)
    VahanPujari likes this.
  9. jumu

    jumu Superiore

    Tree houses- u will feel like a bird and may start chirping early morning!!:))

  10. cliffhanger

    cliffhanger Amatore

    Ramjn has already given some valuable information. Here is my bit:

    When you have decided Kerala, for once you can keep driving-pleasure as secondary and focus on immersing in the beauty of Kerala. Choose places first and then decide on route, since this is a very long trip you will definitely get a lot of stretches to satiate your driving urge. Ok, now coming to places to visit -

    - Give Masinagudi and Mysore amiss
    - Between Ooty and Wayanad. Ooty can bowl you over at this time of the year.
    - Athirapally falls - A must visit
    - Cochin
    - Munnar
    - Allepey or Kumarakom. Allepey has a beautfiful beach.
    - If you are a beach bum, then Varkala and Kovalam beach in Trivandrum. Both amazing beaches.
    - Kanyakumari and Padmanabaswamy palace(Closed on Mondays)

    At March this year, I and my mother did Munnar-Cochin-Allepey-Trivandrum-Kanyakumari circuit in about 5 days. You can check my pics(https://www.facebook.com/muthu.kuma...10153905736805371.1073741827.787050370&type=3) to get an idea of what to expect in this circuit.
    VahanPujari, Ravi and ramjn like this.

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