This is an attempt to log a road trip along the South West coast on India, primarily about the roads and few places which I visited enroute. I wanted to get my car from home town Kottayam, Kerala to Hyderabad, where I am currently working. The shortest route will take one through Coimbatore -> Bangalore -> Hyderabad. I decided to take a longer alternate route, primarily to visit Kollur Mookambika temple. That takes the route through the western coast and ghats of India and then head North east after being well into Karnataka.
- The car : 2006 Maruti Suzuki Baleno Lxi.
- Route Assistance: Google Maps for Mobile + Voice navigation on Android.
Started from Kottayam around 0430 hrs. Entered National Highway 17 (New NH66) connecting Cochin and Mumbai from the starting point at Edapally, which is going to be the road for the whole day and covered a good distance to reach Ponnani in Malappuram district. After having breakfast started again and passed Calicut and stopped at Lokanarkavu Temple at Vadakara, a famous Durga temple supposedly established by Aryan migrants in 1600s and further made famous by the martial art folklores of Northern Kerala.
Reached Mahe in good time. Mahé is one of the four original French colonies currently under the Union territory of Puducherry. Hardly couple of kilometres to pass through, the signature bright red caps of policemen cannot be missed. Apart from that a line of liquor shops attracting customers due to the low price due to tax exemption also is noticeable as one drive through the street. Fuel prices are also far less and the three pumps beside the highway was crowded by drivers wanting to fill up the tanks. Got stuck in traffic after Mahe, almost till Thalassery. Upon reaching Thalassery, realised that the crowd had gathered to pay homage to the celebrated music composer, Raghavan Master, who passed away at the age of 98 leaving behind the everlasting gems of music he created.
Post Lunch from Thalassery renowned for it’s non vegetarian cuisine, continued on NH 17 to next destination, Bekal Fort, Kasaragod. The biggest fort in Kerala, with breath taking views from various points. Anyone who’s seen this song from the Maniratnam movie Bombay, would know the place. Pleasent but humid evening. Took few snaps of the beatiful place, very well maintained by Archeological Society of India and pushed off from there by around 1745 hrs.
NH 17 after Kasaragod didn’t feel like “National Highway” with all the broken roads. With the treacherous last lug of the day, halted for the day at Mangalore.
- Distance Covered: 515 kms.
- Travel time including stoppages and blocks : 15 hours.
- Next Destinations : Udupi -> Kollur Mookambika Temple -> Jog Falls -> Davengere