Road Trip Mumbai – Bangalore – Munnar – Kochi – Bangalore – Mumbai!!!
Our Munnar and Lakshadweep holiday was already in place with confirmed bookings but we had not finalized our travelling options. Initially, we were thinking of travelling via train to Kochi and then taxi to Munnar and back but the desire for a long road trip crept up and we decided to cash on the opportunity. So all route set and travel plans finalized. Our car has already been serviced a month back and we did the basic necessity checks before the start of our trip. As we have already covered Mumbai to Delhi road trip so we were confident about this one. This time our friend was also accompanying us for the trip. We finalized the below route for our travel:
Navi Mumbai – Pune – Kolhapur – Belgaum – Hubli – Davangere – Tumkur – Bangalore – Salem – Karur – Dindigul – Theni – Munnar
As per our plan we wanted to cover the distance till Pune on Friday evening and we precisely did the same. We started our journey at around 10:30 p.m., delayed as per our original plan nevertheless it did not bother us as we were covering a short distance. We did re-fuelling (tank full) on Mumbai-Pune Expressway and reached Hinjewadi at 12:30 a.m. thereby covering 110 Kms and stayed at our friend’s place. The plan for next day was to leave early in the morning at 5 a.m. and cover the distance till Bangalore.
We left early in the morning at 5:45 a.m. from Hinjewadi and reached the highway at 6:00 a.m. We already had the comfort of covering 110 Kms and did not get any traffic while crossing Pune as anticipated by us. Everything was going as per our plan and we were steadily cruising on NH4 on a clear morning. We reached Satara at 8:15 a.m. and took half an hour break for breakfast. After completing breakfast we straight away hit the highway and started cruising at a comfortable speed. We were running as per our schedule time so we were not in a hurry to cross the speed limits that we had set for ourselves. Luckily we had a sunny day for the cruise with very clear visibility. Also, the whole route was blooming with greenery as monsoon has just completed its cycle. We crossed Kolhapur @ 10:30 a.m. thereby covering 380 Kms.
We entered Karnataka around 11:00 a.m. and reached Belgaum @ 12:00 p.m. thereby covering 490 Kms. After crossing over to Karnataka the road conditions were awesome and it’s delightful to drive. We re-fuelled the tank after Belgaum. As we were not feeling hungry we continued our cruise on the highway. We reached Dharwad @ 1:00 p.m. and here comes the only blemish on the Karnataka roads as the Dharwad – Hubli section of around 25 Kms is single lane only. While crossing this section we witnessed a traffic snarl due to head on collision between two trucks. We reached Hubli @ 1:30 p.m. thereby covering 590 Kms and were happy to see two lane roads again. We cruised for one more hour before taking a break for lunch. We had our first taste of south Indian delicacy during this tour and it was quite good. We took the wheels after lunch and reached Chitradurga @ 4:40 p.m. thereby covering 800 Kms. We did not intend to stop and continued our journey and reached Tumkur @ 6:30 p.m. and the meter was clocking 940 Kms. From Tumkur we followed on the NH4 and then took the turn to NICE road to reach our destination in Bangalore. We reached our friend’s place @ 8:30 p.m. (Distance covered 1075 Kms).
On day 1 we travelled 965 Kms with a running time of 13 hours thereby clocking an average speed of 74 Km/hr. There are lot of fee collection booth on the highway which took away some critical time. Anyways we were very satisfied with the road conditions in Karnataka. We were very happy to meet our old friend and his family after a long period of time. Spent some time with them and had dinner together. We re-fuelled the tank in Bangalore and set up our plan for next day morning to leave early.
We started our journey three hours late from our scheduled time and departed from Bangalore at 8:45 a.m. We took the elevated expressway in the heart of the city and were on our way to Munnar. The elevated expressway helped us to get out of the city without any hassles. If you are in Bangalore then you have to shed handsome amount of money for the toll ways within the city. Within half an hour we crossed over to Tamil Nadu and it’s time to test the road conditions there. We reached Hosur @ 9:45 a.m. (Distance covered 1135 Kms) and took a small coffee break. We carried on from there on the NH7/AH43 and crossed Krishnagiri @ 10:40 a.m. The road conditions in Tamil Nadu were also equally good as compared to Karnataka and we were cruising at a decent speed. We were enjoying the clear climate and comfortable drive. We reached Salem @ 12:15 p.m. and continued on to move ahead thereby reaching Karur @ 1:30 p.m. (Distance covered 1375 Kms).
The road conditions were so amazing that we got carried away and continued our onward journey without taking a break. On our way we crossed Dindigul and Theni. It was around 3:30 p.m. that we reached Theni thereby covering 1535 Kms. We could now see the western ghat range of mountains covered by clouds and were welcomed by quick downpour of 15 minutes. It was a beautiful sight and we were eagerly waiting for the uphill drive. We were on the NH49 and took half an hour break for lunch. The luxuries of two lanes had gone by and we started negotiating the two way traffic for rest of our journey on NH49. Sooner we reached the base of the mountain and started climbing up. The zig-zag narrow roads of the hills has started, with lot of S curves and blind spots. The drive was bit tough but we were enjoying the climate and the scenic beauty of the hills. At some places due to landslides the road became so narrower that only one vehicle can pass through it at a time. Even while crossing vehicles coming from the front, both vehicles need to slow down and give way to another one according to the best position available on the narrow roads. Slowly and steadily we climbed the hills and reached Pooppara where we took a wrong turn and came back after consulting a passerby. It was 6:00 p.m. and we have covered 1600 Kms by then.
We took the correct turn towards Munnar. The moment we entered the road we were greeted by the tea estates on both side of the roads and were spellbound by the beauty of it. We started enjoying our drive more with tea estates all around and valley and lake view adding additional flavours to it. We passed through the hilly terrains with some breathtaking views and reached Munnar town. We enquired for our resort “Olive Brook” in town to found that it is 5 Kms further from town in Pothamedu. Initially we got disappointed but headed towards our resort and again it was an adventurous 5 Kms through narrow roads but the moment we reached our destinations we were pleased to see a beautiful resort for our stay. We reached our resort @ 7:15 p.m. thereby covering a total distance of 1636 Kms.
Day 3 & 4
Our next one and half day was fully dedicated to Munnar and we visited quite a few places during our stay and covered 150 Kms in Munnar before heading towards Kochi. On Day 4 evening, we left from Munnar and straight away headed towards Kochi via NH49. Again we ran through the now familiar hilly terrains. Although the roads were narrow but it was well maintained. On our way to Kochi we crossed two beautiful waterfalls as well. The road runs through thick forest with mist and trees covering roads at few places. We reached the plains after a drive of two and half hours. We were just 8 Kms from our destination then we learnt that due to some unknown reason the bridge is closed and we have to re-route our plans. It took us additional 30 Kms to reach our friends place which was near Kochi International Airport. We reached our destination @ 8:30 p.m. and total distance covered was 1926 Kms. We slept with eagerness of our four day tour of Lakshdweep Island.
We were back in Kochi on our schedule time @ 1:30 p.m. and we had a good lunch at our friends place. Fresh from the tour of Lakshadweep Island; we decided to move ahead with our journey and packed our bags started our journey towards Bangalore @ 3:00 p.m. via NH47 and later on NH7 from Salem onwards. We decided to follow the below route for return journey:
Kochi – Thrissur – Palakkad – Coimbatore – Erode – Salem – Krishnagiri – Bangalore – Tumkur – Davangere – Hubli – Belgaum – Kolhapur – Satara – Pune – Navi Mumbai
We reached Thrissur @ 4:00 p.m., re-fuelled the tank and carried on our journey towards Palakkad. We reached Palakkad @ 5:50 p.m. thereby covering 112 Kms. The highway passes through the city with signals in between which took a toll on our movement. The movement from Pallakkad till the entry point of Tamil Nadu was very slow due to single lane highway and poor road conditions. We reached Coimbatore bypass @ 7:30 p.m. thereby covering only 150 Kms in four and half hours and were running behind schedule by 3 hours. We took half an hour coffee break as it was very much needed and then started our journey towards Bangalore. We crossed Erode @ 9:15 p.m. (Distance covered 265 Kms) and reached Salem @ 10:15 p.m. thereby covering 330 Kms. From Salem once again we are on the NH7 which is the route that we had travelled earlier while going to Munnar. We continued on NH7 and took a tea break and reached our friend’s place in Bangalore @ 1:30 a.m. (Distance covered 535 Kms).
We were not in hurry as we had one spare day to reach home so we left from Bangalore @ 10:50 a.m. after spending some time with our friend and his family. We travelled on the same route earlier and were well aware of the road conditions. We covered the distance as per the below schedule:
Tumkur @ 12:15 p.m. Distance – 620 Kms
Chitradurga @ 1:45 p.m. Distance – 756 Kms
Davangere @ 2:38 p.m. Distance – 821 Kms
Hubli @ 4:20 p.m. Distance – 970 Kms
Belgaon @ 5:40 p.m. Distance – 1075 Kms
Kolhapur @ 7:00 p.m. Distance – 1185 Kms
We took small refreshment breaks during our journey till Belgaum but decided to take a break at McDonald’s on highway at Kolhapur. After finishing our meal we carried on till Satara and decided to take an overnight rest and visit Kaas Plateau next day morning before heading back to home. We reached Satara @ 9:30 and distance covered was 1305 Kms. Luckily we got a room in the hotel we stayed last year and went for sleep after dinner.
We got ready on time and left for Kaas Plateau @ 8:00 a.m. after breakfast. Kaas Plateau was a disappointment this year as all flowers have vanished due to short life span. We would suggest to visit Kaas just after the monsoon is over to see the blossoming Kaas i.e. first three weeks of September. Only few flowers were there and we clicked some photos and headed back towards home. We travelled around 60 Kms before merging back to the highway. We reached home @ 3:00 p.m. via Mumbai-Pune Expressway by taking a break for lunch at the food joint.
In all we covered 1592 Kms during our return journey and overall 3518 Kms. We paid INR 3,100.00 towards toll across 40 toll boths in our full journey. The highway in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was very well maintained and it’s a delight to drive on such highways. We travelled through 4 states i.e. Maharashtra (800 Kms), Karnataka (1300 Kms), Tamil Nadu (700 Kms), & Kerala (500 Kms). It was an amazing experience and so far the longest road trip that we have covered. This trip has given us the confidence for further road expeditions.
Basic Necessity check before going for long road trip
We did the basic necessity checks and arrangements before starting our road trip and would suggest all to be very careful about the same.
- Did the mandatory checking of our car like when was the last servicing done, air pressure including the spare tyre, fuel, engine oil, coolants, etc.
- Carried all the valid documents like vehicle registration number, insurance, and driving license
- Searched the route map and finalized the trip schedule
- Have kept additional comfort for the back seat
- All necessary medicines were in place
- Since we were travelling with a kid we kept additional food stuffs, water, clothes, and medicine for child
For further details on necessary travel tips click here.
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