Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thiruvananthapuram - Bangalore : The Fastest Route (Part 2)



The stopover at the BPCL Pump at Vadipatti was prolonged a little more since both of us decided to fill our tummies with the goodies brought from home. We swapped positions and again I was behind the only wheel inside the cabin.

The magnificient tarmac continued, driving a vehicle in this route was just similar to being a co-rider, only difference being the foot resting in the accelerator pedal and the hand resting in the steering wheels occasionally moving it. One has to be quite careful in this stretch for not going to sleep mode. The adreanlin rush of high speeds was the only factor keeping us concentrated. So doing too much of leisurely pace is dangerous owing to the possibility of dozing off. Doing too much of a high speed too is risky. One has to chose an optimum speed which he/she is comfortable and at the same time makes one feel some adrenalin rush.


From the google maps, we knew that the next destination is Dindigal, one of the major cities of Tamil Nadu. The place is called so because of a Pillow ("Dindi") shaped rock ("kal") and that this hill surronded town is famous for Iron locks and handloom sarees apart from really tasty Dindigal Biriyani. We could see lot of hills at a distance, a sign of approaching Dindigal, but couldn't recongnize the pillow shaped one.




Soon we zoomed past Dindigal, but thanks to this road, it doesn't seem to touch any of the cities and we could not sight any of the hotels or the manufacturing industries. Seems like we have to enter the city area leaving the NH to explore this place closely. But we were in no mood for exploration and doesn't want to move out of this dream road too.

Yours truly snapped up my brother.

When in this highway, we could identify that we are passing a city only by noticing the increase in density of dwellings and the flyovers through which we pass.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
8:57 am Petrol Pump Start9:24 am Dindigal 38km 84.44Km/hr
Total distance from source: 364 Km, AverageSpeed: 67.41 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 79.7)



Even after passing Dindigal the array of hills continued. The style quotient of the hills had a similarity and it was quite different from what we see in Kerala. 


The sky was getting more and more bluish, the sun shinging brighter, recent rains ensuring good cleaning up of the flora and fauna from dust and giving it a rich greenish appearance. We were in for a visual treat and whenever a new hill appeared we felt like photographing it and at times even felt like getting out of the moving machine and trek through one of them mixing up with the nature. Again our focus on the drive outlived the enthu for a nature trek and we kept moving.


This one seemed to be biggest of the hill chain bordering Dindigal and had a perfect shape tooo!!

Exactly 45 minutes after passing Dindigal, another town was in sight. It was Karur, the place where TNPL (Tamil Nadu Newsprint Limited) which is known for making environment friendly paper, is located. The raw material for making paper is some residue of sugar manufacturing.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
9:24 am Dindigal 10:10 am Karur 78 km 101 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 442 Km, AverageSpeed: 71.68 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.46)


A wiki on Karur pointed to a historical township which boasts of a golden past, be it on the trading front or in the arts front and it is a no brainer as to why this is currently one of the richest cities of Tamil Nadu. Needless to mention this is also one of the popular hunting ground for archeologists because of the long history dating back to thousands of years. This is the homeland of Karur Vysya Bank which many of us might have heard of.

After about a 10 minutes drive from Karur, came across another Dhaba.


This being a newly built NH, the number hotels / restaurants on the road side is less and one has to know well where each one of them are located, coz if we miss one, then the next one will be hours away or else we have to take a detour to one of the towns for finding a hotel, which will be time consuming.

The population density was increasing again and it signified the arrival of the next town - Velur.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
10:10 am Karur 10:27 am Velur 23 km 81 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 465 Km, AverageSpeed: 72.09 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.59)


Here there was a beautiful rock formation in the backdrop of the houses, atop which there was a temple too.


The beautiful Kolli hills is nearby Velur. A magnificient bridge suddenly appeared. The sign board at the end showed that we are still 178 km away from our destination, Bangalore.



Once the bridge ended the terrain was completely akin to my home state Kerala with lots of coconut trees and greenery around, a sure sign of this place being in the banks of a river.


The surrounding areas were completely devoid of any human dwellings. But all of a sudden a really beautiful campus appeared with a big gate and lot of palm trees.


We couldn't capture the real beauty of the gate and the well landscaped garden as we were moving fast, but got a glimpse of the building


It was the campus of PGP group of technical institutions. Eventhough I have not heard about this college the campus and the way it is maintained gives a feeling that it is one of the premium institutes in this part of the country.


Danger lurks even in such great roads, due to the lack of traffic awareness. A truck laden with some heavy tractors was going through the left lane and we were overtaking it without any fuss. But suddenly I was surprised to see a small motorcycle coming against us in the opposite side.


Seems like the guy is on a suicidal mission. Somehow, I could avoid hitting him. Till that point, I was travelling on the right lane of the road because I was travelling at good speeds. Armed with this experience, I began travelling through the left lane even if the speeds were high and also began to concetrate more, even though the roads were supposed to be one way, any time a maniac can appear on our way.

The blue sky was getting more and more attractive, thanks to the puff clouds which started to appear.


Nature has got something in store for keeping us entertained and we blissfully acknowledged the variations by making it the backgrounds for all our further photos.

The density of the puff clouds were increasing, which was perfectly blended to the blue skies. The vast field of vision owing to the plain lands enhanced the appearance further.


The hills which were seen at a distance were getting more and more closer and the size of puff clouds were increasing. The straight roads gave a feeling of an airport run way and at times I had a feeling that at any moment we will be taking off, flying high.


We soon got closer to the rocky hills, the rock pattern was similar to the hills which we earlier saw near Dindigal.


One of the biggest towns of TamilNadu was approaching and all my previous trips through this place had been very time taking ones.

This big sign board welcomed us to the Salem



Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
10:27 am Velur 11:15 am Salem 67km 84 Km/hr

Total distance from source: 532 Km, AverageSpeed: 78.59 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 79.21)


For the first time during our entire trip we were seeing some traffic around. I took a note of the time we entered Salem just to find out how long we have to be inside the town while travelling through NH7. It was no means a heavy traffic, but considering the way we progressed so far, it can be called quite hectic. 

We reached the junction where NH47 met NH7. Normally while coming from Kerala we takes the NH47 route and comes to Salem via Palakkad and it takes around 9 to 10 hours to reach Salem from Trivandrum. But through NH7 this journey took just six and half hours. Now I know which route to take to Salem for my impending trip to Yercaud (the poor man's Ooty).



Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
11:15 am Salem 11:25 am Salem town ends
8 km
48.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 540 Km, AverageSpeed: 72.81 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.41)



It took only 10 minutes to pass the Salem town.


Appreciate the efforts of those who built this route ensuring minimal effect of the busy traffic of Salem town on the highways.

I felt as if roads suddenly became more straighter and the terrific plain lands ensured a good field of vision.


Normally while driving I never look at the speedo, unless to note some distance landmarks. The terrific tarmac and wide roads makes the driver having an illusion of much less speed than what he/she is currently doing. I also did not feel I was doing this speed in this stretch.


After my brother snapped up the speedo, I checked and found how amazing the illusion is. Stepped up the gas a further more and could see that the machine is racing up quite comfortably and reached this speed.


But at this speed I was feeling the steering to be a lot lighter and it did not inspire too much confidence. Still the road being a straight I just stepped up further just to see how far it goes. But after it increased 10km/hr more I couldn't step up the gas, since I did not seem to have control and slowed the pace to my comfortable levels immediately.
Found out that optimum cruising speed for the 1.5Ltr ANHC (All new Honda city) is in the range of 100 to 120. It can do up 140 effortlessly and even can do above 170, but with a little strain. All this is possible only if we have roads like this. In normal two lane roads doing an 80km/hr safely is almost impossible.

By this time the road side scenes again reminded that this is a truly fertile land with lots of cultivation and greenery around and the place we are passing by was Thoppur.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
11:25 am Salem town ends 11:52 am Thoppur 36 km 80.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 576 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.22 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.55)


Another good thing about such high speed highways is that the geography change feels to be so fast. If the roads are straight at one moment


Then within two or three minutes, there was a ghat like stretch climbing our way up between the mountains.


Amidst all the speeding fun, we passed Dharmapuri and three hours had passed after our last break.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
11:52 am Thoppur 12:11 am Dharmapuri 26 km
82.11 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 602 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.56 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.69)


Just see for yourself how the stretch after Dharmapuri looks like. Didn't feel like stopping in this kind of a road.


Doesn't the road seem like extending to the horizon. A small break was long overdue to attend natures call as well as to a give a breather to the workhorse, but I was in search for a good location for a photo shoot too.

Soon we saw a beautiful farm land and the vehicle was brought to rest by its side.



So after a drive of about 290kms in 3 hours we were going to take a break, eventhough fatigue levels were really less.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
12:11 am Dharmapuri 12:20 pm Photo Break 12 km 80.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 614 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.68 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.72)

28 12:11 602 Dharmapuri 26 73.56 78.69
29 12:20 614 Photo Break 12 73.68 78.72

The stop over was really exciting for me as I found some real contrasting objects on my frame and I was trying to snap up the machine in all possible angles enjoying each and every moment.


In my opinion, black color is drop dead gorgeous for any car and if the car is having a sporty outlook then it will look more meaner.

A bright sunny day with beautiful sky, what more can the photographer in me can ask for.


And time for some posing of the men behind the wheels along with the machine



It was a ten minute break, but it quenched my camera's thirst to a certain extent.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
12:20 am Photo Break 12:30 am Photo break ends 0 km 0 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 614 Km, AverageSpeed: 72.24 Km/hr, (excluding breaks: 78.72)


Again swapped positions and I was busy checking up the timings and taking notes on the things we saw as my bro powered his vehicle through a row of beautiful hills.



The average speeds were pretty higher than what I had imagined at the start of this journey and it seemed like we are heading to our destination a good 2 to 3 hours earlier than what I have ever done through the NH47 route, which is supposed to be a more shorter one.

A windshield view of the great roads. You can view the Shoolagiri hill at a distance.


Lush greenery again appeared, this time at the foot of the beautiful hill, with each passing wind weaving a beautiful pattern akin to the tidal waves. It was a beautiful paddy field.


A sprawling lake signalled the arrival of next town - Krishnagiri.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
12:30 pm Photo break ends 12:50 pm Krishnagiri 32 km 48.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 646 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.13 (excluding breaks: 79.43)


Time for some more traffic and the sign board signalled that we are now under 100kms to Bangalore.

This town seems to be heavily populated as can be seen from the numerous houses with a rock clad hill in the backdrop


Once we passed Krishnagiri, the number of twists and turns increased and we seemed to be passing through a small ghat section. This route reminded me of the Lonavala range in the Mumbai Pune Express way. Even though roads were not straighter, it did not take away any of the average speeds and pretty quickly we reached the next town, Shoolagiri.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
12:50 pm Krishnagiri 13:15 pm Shoolagiri30 km 72.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 676 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.08 (excluding breaks: 79.06)


Shoolagiri has become a weekend get away for the Bangaloreans. The name of the hill is associated with the shape of the hill. The hill resembles "Shoola" a weapon of Lord Shiva. One has to turn eastward from the NH7 to reach Shoolagiri hills.


Shoolagiri soon disappeared and we neared the last city of TamilNadu in this route - Hosur. Once we reach Hosur, we feel as if we have almost reached Bangalore.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
13:15 pm Shoolagiri 13:33 pm Hosur 23 km 76.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 699 Km, AverageSpeed: 73.19 (excluding breaks: 78.98)


Of late there are a lot of developments in Hosur because of its good connectivity with major cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Salem. People who work in Bangalore have started to chose Hosur as their dwelling place too. Lot of industrial and IT parks are coming up too.

Watch the top of the Hosur Municipal bus stand. A view from the Hosur fly over.


Hosur also has a lake just like Krishnagiri.


Once Hosur is passed we are all set to pass the checkpost to Karnataka. Normally checkposts are associated with long queues of trucks waiting to get all the papers checked up the officials. Surprisingly it was missing here and I must say it is pretty impressive work done by the Karnataka Government for making the administrative delays in checkpost a part of history.

Once the check post is passed, the Welcome gate of Karnataka awaits us and we are really nearing to our destination


Enter Electronics City and normally we should expect heavy traffic.
Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
13:33 pm Hosur 13:55 pm Electronics City fly over 22 km 60.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 721 Km, AverageSpeed: 72.71 (excluding breaks: 78.23)


But watch out this board which signs for a left turn to take up the fly over. Don't miss this route, since if you miss you are going to miss atleast 1 hour of your time.

We paid the toll for this fly over and started travelling through it. The first impression is good. It is heavy traffic hour, but the fly over is practically empty.



The view of the buildings of IT major from this fly over gives a different perspective of what we have seen from the old road.

Even though wrongly termed as "chop shop" by some American senator, this one is surely a part of the IT revolution of India.


Each of the buildings of this company has got something unique and that uniqueness ensures that it will stay in the minds of those who have seen it.


Vehicles are not supposed to stop on top of the flyover and if one has to stop he has to make use of the lay bye.


There are traffic check points on top of the fly over itself to check for traffic violations.

Take a glimpse of the tightly packed bangalore homes.


The sky seemed to accord a warm welcome to us by creating a pattern akin to the "Namaste" pose


Another major IT giant's building was standing tall and it looked rather huge.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
13:55 pm Electronics City fly over 14:04 pm Fly over ends 9 km 60.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 730 Km, AverageSpeed: 72.513 (excluding breaks: 77.94)

The fly over ended abruptly and soon we realized the fact that we are into the maddening Bangalore traffic after the glide through the NH7. We were happy that we reached the destination, but deep inside my mind I was sure that I will miss this highway until my next sojourn.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
14:04 pm Fly over ends 14:14 pm Koramangala 5 km 42.00 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 735 Km, AverageSpeed: 71.82(excluding breaks: 77.10)


As we passed Madiwala Koramangala etc, I was flashing through the pics of the journey and was reliving every moment of it. The car soon got inside the parking lot of my brother's flat and came to a halt at exactly 1:15pm. We took around 9hours for the whole journey all this without much rash driving at all.

The total distance travelled was 735km at an average speed on 77.10Km/hr excluding breaks. The journey time was 9 hours 15 minutes(includes break of 50minutes). This route easily took out around 3 to 4 hours of travel time from the regular NH47 route (via Palakkad) and also offered better travel comfort. Wish the authorities maintained this road with the same enthusiasm as shown during its construction. A toll amount totalling around Rs 250 had to be paid during the entire journey, something for which I have no complaints because of the superb condition of the roads.

Roads like this has a long influence on building up the nation which our previous President and visionary Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam dreamed of building by the year 2020.

Hope you too enjoyed the trip along with me !!! Thanks for being with me in this trip and see you in the next virtual tour....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thiruvananthapuram - Bangalore : The Fastest Route

Trivandrum - Bangalore: Fastest Route

The cellphone alarm was ringing aloud, disturbing a sound sleep, but I was happy and excited to get up even though it was only 3.30 in the morning. A totally unexpected road trip is in the offing. By 4am, I found myself behind the wheels, enjoying the feel good fragrance of a new machine. The owner of this machine, my brother, was sitting beside me, discussing the route to take.

The 1500c petrol mill was pulling us ahead and the smooth power delivery and brilliant engineering of Honda ensuring that passengers are having a dream time inside.

The destination was Bangalore, a good 750 Kms away from where we cranked the machine in the morning. Last time when I did this road trip, it took more than 12 hours for this journey. The route taken then was the NH 47 route.

Thiruvananthapuram - Quilon - Alappuzha - Ernakulam - Thrissur - Palghat - Coimbatore - Salem - Hosur  - Bangalore (total distance: 730 km)

We had chosen a different route this time which was some distance more than the above route, just to experiment and also to experience the newly built NH7. The route was

Thiruvananthapuram - Nagercoil - Thirunelveli - Madurai - Salem - Hosur - Bangalore.

The roads were empty, but the recent rains had ensured that there are enough reservoirs on the road itself to store them. Empty roads means a smooth and relaxed drive. We were now travelling the southward direction. Soon we zoomed past Neyyatinkara, a normally busy junction.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
04:00 am Ulloor at Thiruvananthapuram 04:45am Neyyantinkara 35km 46.67Km/hr

Total distance: 35Km, Average Speed: 46.67Km/hr

The Thiruvananthapuram Nagercoil sretch of road is one of the busiest roads. Even at this hour, there was so much traffic that overtaking slow moving vehicles was a pain as every other moment a vehicle was coming in the opposite direction through the narrow two way lane. Wonder why successive governments are not taking any concrete steps to widen this stretch of road which is the main corridor to the state of Kerala.

Passed the check post at Amaravila without any major traffic block and soon all the sign boards and road side hoardings switched to another language - Tamil, signifying that we crossed over to another state of India - the TamilNadu. By the time we reached Nagercoil, traffic had picked up too.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
04:45 am Neyyantinkara 5:30 am Nagercoil 35km 46.67Km/hr

Total distance from source: 70 Km, AverageSpeed: 46.67Km/hr

The twisty curvy roads were being negotiated with considerable ease. Till Nagercoil we were South bound. From Nagercoil lot of signboards were there which correctly guided us. The huge windmills began to appear and to watch them in abundance close to the roads make us feel as if they are aliens.
It is still early in the morning, but there was enough light to click the first pic of the day's sojourn


Roads became more and more straighter and well maintained. Trucks formed majority of traffic, but most of them were well behaved, and we just need to follow what the truck driver's signal. The kind of maturity which truck drivers show on road in Tamil Nadu is something which Keralites also need to master. In such a sceneario horn is barely a necessity. The moment they saw a speeding car on there rear view mirror, they will give space for the speeding vehicle to pass when the conditions are conducive and we just need to wait for their signal. With such well mannered traffic and good roads average speeds increased and we soon touched the much awaited NH7.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
05:30 am Nagercoil6:00 am NH7 entry 30km 60Km/hr

Total distance from source: 100 Km, AverageSpeed: 50 Km/hr


One of the basic needs for sustained development is presence of quality infrastructure. Roads are indeed one of the major infrastructure and India seems to be catching up in this area much later. High quality highways were a rarity here. Once into NH7, the complete feel of the journey changed. It was like moving from a bed of thorns to a bed of roses. It is a 6 lane road.

Ambient light levels increased, the rising sun was painting the sky with lively colors and with each passing moment the attraction quotient of the sky was increasing and this quotient finally reached a level when we stopped the vehicle and got out to catch the action from outside the confines of the moving car.

Speed in this small drive session of 10 minutes was a steady 60, eventhough we could have travelled much faster, we were not able to, thanks to the superb roads which made us sit in awe and the beautiful sky.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
06:00 am NH7 entry 6:10 am Photo Stop 10km 60Km/hr

Total distance from source: 110 Km, AverageSpeed: 50.77 Km/hr


The place where we stopped was not bad at all, because towards the western side we could see someone being trapped.


On the eastern side, we could see the red ball of fire between those trees lined up in these plain lands.



Our steed also got in one of the frames in this exemplary environmental settings.


Sure, she deserves a more professional portfolio shoot. Made up my mind for a one more portfolio shoot of this mean machine later in the day, if time permits.

The red ball of fire was rising up really fast and within no time, it came up in full glory making everything around it red.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
06:10 am Photo Stop 6:20 am Photo Stop ends 0km 0Km/hr

Total distance from source: 110 Km, AverageSpeed: 47.14 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 50.77)


We swapped positions and my brother was in the drivers seat. The time consuming part of the journey was over and from now on it is NH7 all the way to Bangalore. Only doubt in our minds were how crowdy it will be in the peak hours and in major towns.
The gliding continued, yes it was a gliding kind of an experience. At times you forget that the vehicle is moving. These are the kind of roads where you could easily mistake a speed of 120Km/hr to be half of that. I was enjoying the scenary on my left side (the western side). The first rays of the sun falling on these lovely rocky hills was giving it a fresh appearance.


Just see that this pic was taken when the car was moving at speed of about 100Km/hr and I could zoom the camera and still manage to take shot of this mountain without a shake.
More hills were to follow and the plains ensured that we get a very very wide angle of whole scheme of things


At certain places the roads were made by cutting hills, just to keep them going on straight.


Within no time we could see sign boards pointing to take the service roads to Tirunelvelli, which meant that we already reached Tirunelvelli. The roads still were deserted and we were doing really good speeds and were covering distances faster than expected.


Time and Distance Stat
Start TimePlaceEnd timePlaceDistanceSpeed
06:20 am Photo Stop 6:50 am Tirunelveli 45km 90Km/hr

Total distance from source: 155 Km, AverageSpeed: 54.71 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 58.13)

The lack of intermittent braking, which is a necessity in two lane roads, ensures that the ride is comfortable and a ensures a very high average speed. Traffic till now was miniscule and only thing to be ensured was that the driver does not dose off, coz he don't have much of an activity.

A rocket like structure soon captured our attention. It was situated so far away that it was in our field of vision for a pretty long time eventhough we were travelling in rocket like speeds on the road. Finally when we passed the structure we understood it to be a cement factory.


The concept of service roads and road crossings via underpass has been implemented in this highway which ensures that the town traffic congestion does not have its impact on the highway and to prevent road crossings. Whenever a service road appears, we knew that some town is fast approaching.
The next town in sight was the Duraiyur, but again zero traffic ensued. This sector travel ensured that our average speed crossed over to the 60Km/hr territory.


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
06:50 am Tirunelveli 7:00 am Duraiyur19km 116Km/hr

Total distance from source: 174 Km, AverageSpeed: 58 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 61.41)

The gliding is continuing. If one needs to sleep in the vehicle, this is the perfect road to do that. But I never feel sleepy while on a road trip in the day time even if I am not driving. A little after 20 minutes from Duraiyur, saw a board towards the western side pointing to Sankarankovil.

People driving down from Bangaloare to Kollam can take this route to Sankarankovil and then proceed ahead to Thenkasi, Thenmala, Punalur and Kollam.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
07:00 am Duraiyur 7:21 am Sankarankovil Turning 35km Km/hr

Total distance from source: 209 Km, AverageSpeed: 62.39 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 65.65)

A distance of about 200 kilometers in 3 hours is pretty good considering the fact that the initial 70 kms took a whopping 1.5 hours. Roads continued to be superb and the travel was now completely through plain lands. We were getting more and more away from the Western ghats.

Time and Distance Stat
Start TimePlaceEnd timePlaceDistanceSpeed
07:21 am Sankarankovil Turning 7:37 am Sattur 27km 103 Km/hr
07:37 am Sattur 7:55 am Virudhnagar 25km 83Km/hr
Total distance from source: 261 Km, AverageSpeed: 66.64 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 69.60)

The constant speed driving ensured that the total average speed is going up. The next major town upcoming was Thirumangalam. This is another junction, where one can take a deviation to Thenkasi via Rajapalayam. 

While coming down from Bangalore if one wants to go to Thenkasi, then taking deviation from Thirumangalaam is shorter than taking deviation after Sattur.

Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
07:55 am Virudhnagar 8:15 am Thirumangalam 31km 93 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 292 Km, AverageSpeed: 68.71 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 71.51)

The next major town is Madurai. Post NH7, I have not travelled in this route, so I have memories of a heavy blockade in Madurai. Was eagerly waiting for the town to arrive for I was curious to know the impact of this super highway on one of the major towns.

The signboards showing service roads to Madurai was on display and we were travelling through some fly overs with a sight of denser buildings far away.


The GPS receiver of phone showed that we were travelling a little away from the heart of the town. A nice thought out design for there was not a single blockade during our crusade through this city.

Time and Distance Stat
Start TimePlaceEnd timePlaceDistanceSpeed
08:15 am Thirumangalam 8:20 am Madurai 10km 120 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 302 Km, AverageSpeed: 69.69 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 72.48)

The journey upto Madurai now took 4 hours, 10 minutes, without really hard pressing the accelarator or frantically driven to reach destination faster. It was a really relaxed drive, with the driver feeling no more fatique than his co traveller.


Once we passed Madurai,we decided to take a break in the next available hotel and some our steed also had to be fed with some fuel along with our tummies. A geography change was apparent as there were some beautiful rock formations


We also encountered the first occurence of a "Diversion" board, since some work was being done on the track in which we were travelling.


We were soon back on our track and the landscape got better since we seemed to be heading towards some mountains.



Exactly 24kms after Madurai, in a place called Vadipatti, we spotted a Petrol Pump which also housed a Dhaba.


There was no rethinking as to where we were heading to.

After 2 hours of cruising through NH7, the black beauty was again shut down to give some rest. We had a small breakfast, while our steed rested after gulping in loads fuel.


What a nice gesture to give credits to the workforce behind this beautiful Pump.

"The hands that built BP Vadipatti"


Time and Distance Stat
TimePlaceTimePlaceDistanceSpeed
08:20 am Madurai 8:35 am Vadipatti(BP Pump) 24km 95 Km/hr
Total distance from source: 326 Km, AverageSpeed: 71.13 Km/hr (excluding breaks: 73.81)



There ends part 1 of this post " Thiruvananthapuram - Bangalore : The fastest route"

Click here to read part 2 with more superb landscape and descriptions of this wonderful express way to Bangalore !!

Disclaimer: 
Please don't treat this as a benchmark time for travel between the destinations specified. The travel time depends solely on the time of travel, the trafic and road conditions.
Kindly avoid driving with an aim to reach the destination in a quicker time. Start early and do a relaxed drive. 
Practice defensive driving.
"Better late than never"

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