It was the annual drive to Aluva for Christmas vacations. This time we wanted to do it in one drive. So we started at 3 a.m. from Hyderabad. We carried snacks so we would not have to stop for breakfast. We started at a similar time on the return journey too.
Progress on the Hyd-Blr highway – NH7 – was very smooth. It took us about six-and-half hours to reach Bengaluru.
At Bengaluru, we took the outer ring road and followed the boards to Hosur. Expect to slow down on this stretch. The city traffic is a time killer. It took us two hours to cross Bengaluru. On the way back, we took the NICE road. It is a bit longer in terms of distance. But it was a lot less stressful.
After you cross the Electronic City, you get on the Bengaluru-Hosur road. Here too the progress is slow. Expect to lose time till you cross the Hosur toll booth.
On the Hosur – Salem road, the traffic opens out and traffic is free-flowing. There are a lot of South Indian eateries on this road. So we took our lunch break here. Closer to Salem, as we come down the western side of the ghats, traffic slows down because they are repaving the roads here. So it funnels down to a single track for about 4-5 km. The trucks on this road can be a problem, especially when you are doing the ghats as you often run into them driving abreast of each other with no way around them.
After Salem, you get on the Salem-Coimbatore road – NH47 – where traffic is free-flowing and you can make good time. There are quite a few junctions that do not have flyovers, so you need to watch out of traffic getting on to or crossing the highway.
At Coimbatore, you get on the Coimbatore-Palghat road – NH47 – which is a two-track, undivided road. We did this road in darkness and it took quite a bit of concentration to get through. On the way back, it was easier since we passed this in the daylight before the traffic really set in.
The NH47 is a bad road. Traffic is heavy and there is a lot of work going on here. So expect to be very slow on this road. Coimbatore to Aluva took us five hours to do. But it took us just three hours on the return journey, that must be because we did this in the wee hours of the morning.
The onward trip took us about 20 hours, and the return journey about 17 hours.
The car was the Ford Ecosport, diesel version. We got a mileage of 17+ km/ltr. The average speed on the journey was about 70 km/hr.