Google maps indicates this overland trip would take about 5.5 hours -- does this seem right? I'm not sure if Google is able to do a good job estimating drive times in rural areas of India. Any comments appreciated, as I'm attempting to plan a decent itinerary without spending too much time in a car. Thanks!
Or, if you have an idea of the drive time between Ft. Cochin and Kalpetta, please pass that along instead. Google maps shows that time as 4 hours, 45 minutes. Also it shows the distance as 269 km, so that would mean an average speed of about 55 km/hour. Seems reasonable to me -- but any second opinions would be appreciated.
Quote:The 4 hr 45 minutes estimate to Kalpetta as well as the 5.5 hr estimate to Mananthavadi seems highly optimistic. The road condition from Cochin till Calicut is very good, but it is very difficult to achieve an average speed of over 40 to 45 kmph with risk-free driving on Kerala roads mainly because of the heavy to very heavy traffic (And speed limits in most highways is 70kmph, and lots of speed checking going on these days).
So budget for approximately 5 hours for the 200 kms from Cochin to Calicut(byepass) and about 2 hours for the 70 kms from there to Kalpetta. (The latter could vary considerably since there is roadwork going on at the Thamarassery ghat section, so getting stuck in traffic jams that last half an hour to 1 hour is quite common these days). 45 minutes from Kalpetta to Mananthavady seems reasonable.
Also none of the 3 options that Google Maps shows seems to the optimum one. While the route through Malappuram-Manjeri-Areekode-Mukkam-Thamarassery is the shortest, it would certainly be slower because of narrower roads and heavy traffic that you'd see on that route. Also NH17 between Cochin and Chavakkad is quite narrow and slow, so NH47 between Cochin and Trichur would be preferable route. My recommendation would be :
Cochin-Alwaye-Trichur-Kecheri-Akkikkavu-Edappal-Kottakkal-Ramanattukara (Take Calicut byepass here)-Malapparambu-Thamarassery-Kalpetta-Mananthavadi.
Kecheri-Akkikkavu is a shortcut that allows you to avoid the traffic mess at Kunnamkulam town through which the regular Trichur-Calicut highway passes. If passing through during low traffic times you could go through Kunnamkulam itself, the roads are wider that way.