| | Kerala (Kottayam) To Mumbai
AS WITH ANY JOURNEY, WHOM YOU TRAVEL WITH IS IMPORTANT THAN THE DESTINATION.
I have read many travelogues from Mumbai to Kerala, but none from Kerala to Mumbai. So I take this opportunity in writing one.
Started from Kottayam (Chingavanam) with two other friends at 5;10am. Passed Kottayam town in 10 minutes and tanked up at the HP pump next to Hotel Aida (in Kottayam).
The route we took was Kottayam, Ettumannur, Thalaolapaambu, Chottanikkara, Tripunithura, Airport Seaport road, Kalamassery, Aluwa, on to the NH 47. This road is in excellent shape even though it was during monsoon.
Being very early in the morning the drive was very fast and smooth. Reached Chottanikkara temple by 640am and had a very good darshan of the Devi. In 15 minutes back on the wheels.
Passed Aluva by 730am.
Starting very early from within anywhere in Kerala has its on advantage.
The road from Aluva was very good till around Pallakkad. From here some stretch was very bad owing to the widening work going on. Had breakfast at Saravanna Bhavan, before the Valayar check post. One tends to lose time while approaching the check post due to trucks piled up haphazardly on both sides.
Excellent roads from here onwards. Lots of options for fuel and food. Hit Hosur by around 4:15pm into a massive traffic jam caused by police checking. Reached Bangalore and as mentioned by many friends missed the NICE road. I didn't understand the logic of keeping this road under wraps. No mention of it anywhere, though it should have been very prominently done. Went over a very long flyover with out any exits before realizing the mistake. Drove back almost 15km to the same entry point of the city.
So, anybody driving and want to bypass Bangalore has to be alert and take the left toll gate to enter into the NICE roads.
Once on the NICE road the city just swept past and in no time we crossed Tumkur. With enough time in hand we drove further till Davanagere for the night halt. Hotel Sai International is a good one for a night halt with good parking space and huge rooms to accommodate 4 people with extra beds.
Up at 4;15 am and on to the wheels by 5am. Left Davanagere and onto the highway in no time. Very few vehicles on the road, the drive was very smooth till Belgaum. Got into Belgaum and had breakfast at Hotel Ramdev, by 9am.
One thing worth mentioning about my experience with Hotel Ramdev is any time you go there, one gets very fresh and hot food. Its worth taking the exit into Belgaum.
From Belgaum to Kolhapur was an hours drive. Once into Maharashtra and near Kolhapur the traffic density increases and one has to be very careful of two wheeler s till the Mumbai Pune expressway.
From Satara to Poona the drive had lot of deviations due to ongoing road widening.
Had little hiccups into Pune, but once on the Expressway, the drive till Vashi was very smooth.
Reached Santacruz by around 4pm.
Total distance traveled : First day from Kottayam to Davanagere 946km
Second day from Davanagere to Mumbai 773km.