Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Road route update on NH7 between Bangalore and Madurai

This is a status update on the condition of NH7 between Bangalore and Madurai as on end of August 2009. This is an info that every one looks out for before setting out on travel (on their own).

When compared to my previous ride on the same route last year (Dec 2008), the road conditions have improved a lot ie., a longer stretch has now been upgraded to 4 lanes and partially complete work have now been fully done.

Bangalore -> Hosur ==> Well, I don't see any useful improvement on this route. There is lot of bridges being constructed until Electronic city and the traffic is a paid anyways. Not a big stretch, so acceptable.

Hosur -> Krishnagiri ==> Bliss. You will soon forget the kind of trouble that Bangalore->Hosur route gave you. But heavy vehicles occupying both the lanes and trying to overtake each other at 20kmph is unavoidable. Just sit on the horn for sometime until they leave way for you.

Krishnagiri -> Salem ==> Toll gate at Krishnagiri!! Pay the toll and enjoy the ride; the roads are still so good. 100-120kmph easily almost all the time. Dharmapuri enroute goes unnoticed in the quality of roads now. Note: Watch for few one ways/under construction lanes. Yes, I remember few, but are very few.

Salem -> Namakkal ==> Toll gate at Thoppur (just before Salem). Remember to take the Salem by-pass and remember that even the by-pass might look like a city; so never get into the city and think you are on the by-pass.. confused enough? This stretch has improved a lot since my previous ride. I didn't see any issue and was very pleasant. From this point, always be cautious about one ways; you might get redirected once in a while.

Namakkal -> Karur ==> I remember a toll gate somewhere around here. Not sure of the exact location. It was just opening on the day I traveled. I can't tell you the joy I had when I was stopped at the toll gate and was let go without paying anything, saying 'it is opening only from midnight Sir!' :) Good roads, but watch out for one/two redirections.

Karur -> Dindigul ==> This stretch isn't complete yet. The roads are coming up, so you get to ride on one side of the road most times. Specially when you are on the wrong lane (driving on the right side of the highway), make sure to switch on your head lights and put it on "high-beam". Some drivers on high-ways literally sleep!! There was one more toll gate coming up, but this isn't going to open up for now, given the condition of the roads. Use this stretch to relax and do not try to maintain the speeds you did sometime back.

Dindigul -> Madurai ==> This stretch is around 60kms. I am surprised to see that this stretch is gone from nothing to near complete in the last one year. This route is almost totally done till Cholavandhan (~15-20kms away from Madurai). After this point, there is literally no space to get a 4 lane highway into Madurai. I don't see any work happening towards Madurai. So, if you are going to the Madurai city (or not going via Virudhunagar), you need to bite this bullet. This is road is the same old road between Madurai and Dindigul; it's pretty narrow and on peek times, there is almost no way to overtake. Better be patient; dangerous curves.

That said, I think there is a by-pass from Madurai towards Virudhunagar,Trinelveli that starts right after Cholavandhan. There is no traffic allowed in, at the moment but that might be the idea. Coming on NH7, and going through Madurai towards Trinelveli, Kanyakumari would make no sense, given the traffic. And if you are going towards Trichy,Chennai from Dindigul via Madurai, may God save you!! (the ideal route is Dindigul->Trichy->Chennai). If you are reaching Rameshwaram via Madurai, you have a whole city to go through. There is not much that can be done here. The by-pass is way too long to consider.

All in all, Bangalore -> Madurai stretch on NH7 is becoming better and better !!

4 comments:

  1. Gerald,

    You got a time estimate for this time by any chance?

    Thanks
    Aravinth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aravinth,

    I was able to complete one-way in 7.5-8 hrs approx.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do we have dhabas From K'giri to Madurai. Iam planning my trip during end of dec-09.

    ReplyDelete
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