Road Trip Itineraries Road trips from Bangalore

Road Trips from Bangalore 7 – God’s Own Country aka Kerala & more….

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Road trips from Bangalore 7 – This is the seventh in the series of Road trips from Bangalore – Exciting options with Itineraries! with all details like route map, places to see and stay, daily itineraries to help you explore heritage, mountains of western ghats, waterfalls, wild life, beaches etc…….  

These drives, cover not more than 300 KMs in a day. The plan is to cover for a week extendable for another two days. It also provide you an option to just plan for as many number of days you wish to.

Yes, as road trippers we love to drive to destinations. We love the freedom road trips provide us to stop, look and explore. 

This is the seventh in the series – Road Trips from Bangalore 7. We are inspiring you to explore Kerala, God’s own country! This road trip from Bangalore covers the lovely hills of Munnar, serene backwaters of Alleppey/Kumarakkom, pristine beaches at Varkala, the sights of Fort Kochi and temples in Kanyakumari and Madurai. 

 Take a look, plan and go!
We have been to this small little, lovely state many times and it continues to mesmerise us. We thought of making it easier for you to explore with this comfortable itinerary. Since this is a road trip, we strongly suggest that you should keep at least 5 days at your disposal to do justice. Though we have planned this road trip to cover ten days, you can always tweak it and plan to your needs.
Kerala or God’s own country. Winter is the best season to be here. It is time explore exotic Kerala! ( Please click on the pictures to see them in original size )
The Circuit
Bangalore – Munnar – Kochi – Kumarakkom/Alleppey – Varkala/Kollam – Trivandrum – Kanyakumari – Madurai – Bangalore
For detailed Google map Link, please click on this.
Here is the itinerary. Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size.
Day 1 – Bangalore – Munnar
Distance – 539 KMs
Road condition – Excellent except for few patches on the Ghat road
Route – Bangalore – Salem -Karur -Dindigul -Theni -Bodinayakkannur -MunnarRoute
Road Trips from Bangalore

Beautiful vistas on the Ghat section from Bodinayakannur

Leave early around 6 AM. This will help you to overcome traffic snarls at Hosur. You can have breakfast either in Salem city or in Adyar Anand Bhavan after Toppur on the right side of the road. Till Dindigul it is a fantastic four lane highway.
After Dindigul, the road becomes two lane. At Dindigul, you can pack the famous Biryani of Thalappakatti and eat it on the road side on the ghat section enjoying lovely scenery. After Bodinayakannur, you will climb the ghat. Not many hairpin bends. Easily manageable. Stop and enjoy Chinnakanal waterfalls on the way. You should reach Munnar by 4 PM after few photo sessions on the way! Check out these posts on this blog on Munnar
Rest and relax in your hotel/resort for the night.
Day 2 – Explore Munnar – Two Lakes and Top Station
Distance – 140 KMs ( Return journey)
Road Condition – Excellent
Road Trips from Bangalore

Kundala Lake, Munnar

After breakfast, drive towards top Station. It is a lovely drive. Click pictures for keeps sake at “Photo Point”, visit the floriculture centre, Echo point and Indo-Swiss dairy on the way. Enjoy boating in Mattupatty and Kundala lakes. Get mesmerised at the beauty of Top Station. You can either carry your packed lunch or have Maggi/egg in Top Station. On the way back stop over at Kannan Devan Tea Store in town to buy tea and spices. For more details check out this post on this blog.
Day 3 – Explore Munnar – Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor sandal wood farm and Chinar Wild Life Sanctuary
Distance – 100 KMs (Return journey)
Road Condition – Excellent
Google map of the Route – http://tinyurl.com/mk4q5n2
Road Trips from Bangalore
A Stream on the way to Eravikulam 
We would recommend you to leave early after an early breakfast to be there when the park opens at 8 AM. Else, one can also come back and have breakfast depending on how far is your hotel from the park. Go for the guided tour of the park. If you are keen on trekking, there are different trails in the park and need to contact the park authorities. After park, drive towards Marayoor and Chinar Wild life sanctuary. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery on the way. Visit the lovely tea museum run by Kannan Devan Plantations and also Chinar wild Life sanctuary.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort.
 
Day 4 – Munnar – Athirapally falls – Kochi 

Distance – 209 KMs (One way)
Road Condition – Excellent. Few KMs inside forest after Kalady is patchy.
Google map of the Route http://tinyurl.com/lrc5sav
Road Trips from Bangalore
Cheeyapara falls
Check out after breakfast and drive to Kochi. This is a beautiful drive. Especially during or immediately after monsoon. You will find numerous water falls on the way. Enjoy the lovely vistas of Cheeyyapara, Vallara waterfalls. The road is winding and need to drive safely. On the way visit Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya which has a lovely temple on the banks of Pampa. reach Athirapally falls by afternoon. Have lunch at many restaurants around the falls and visit falls after lunch.
Road Trips from Bangalore
Athirapally Falls
The place is very well maintained and plastic free zone. Enjoy the beauty of falls and drive to your hotel/resort in Kochi. Check out our detailed post on Athirapally Falls here.
If possible reach Kochi before sunset and enjoy the excellent sunset with Chinese fishing nests in foreground. In the evening, if you are not tired, explore mouth watering sea food in fort area.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort.
Day 5 – Kochi – Kumarakkom/Alleppey 
 
Distance – 58 KMs to Alleppey / 53 Kms to Kumarakkom ( One Way)
Road Condition – Excellent.
Road Trips from Bangalore
Sunset and Chinese fishing nets, Kochi
If you haven’t been able to catch the sunset on the previous day, then get up and drive to the fort area. park your car and go for a morning walk. Enjoy the lovely vistas of Chinese fishing nets against the backdrop of sea. Comeback, have your breakfast or have breakfast in numerous little cafes in fort area. Walk around and visit the Synagogue and explore the antique stores. Visit the restored palace and depart for Kumarakom/Alleppey.
Reach Kumarakkom/Alleppey by lunch. After lunch go for a Cruise on house boat. You need to arrange this in advance by talking to your hotel. Enjoy the sunset cruise.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort.
Day 6 – Explore Kumarakkom/Alleppey
 
Distance – Minimal
Road Condition – Not applicable
Route – Not Applicable
Road Trips from Bangalore
Houseboat on Vembanad lake, Kumarakkom
If staying in Kumarakkom, go for bird watching early in the morning. After breakfast go for a cruise on Vembanad lake.
If staying in Alleppey, enjoy the beach in the morning and go for a cruise after breakfast.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort.
Day 7 – Kumarakkom/Alleppey to Varkala 
 
Distance – 132 KMs from Kumarakkom / 118 KMs from Alleppey ( One Way)
Road Condition – Excellent.
Road Trips from Bangalore
Varkala beach
A lovely drive after breakfast will bring you to Varkala. Enjoy the beach. Just chill and relax. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort.
Day 8 – Varkala – Trivandrum – Kanyakumari 
 
Distance – 136 KMs (One way)
Road Condition – Excellent.
Google map of the Route http://tinyurl.com/lojp3jn
Road Trips from Bangalore
Vivekananda rock memorial
Leave early and reach Trivandrum. Have breakfast in any of the restaurants in city and head straight to Padmanabhaswamy temple. Make sure you carry a Dhoti along. Change into Dhoti and visit the temple. After spending an hour in the temple, drive towards Kanyakumari. On the way, visit marvellous wooden palace at Padmanabhapuram. Reach Kanayakumari by afternoon. Check into your hotel, have a bite in any of the restaurants in town and straight away head to Vivekananda Rock memorial. Spend an hour on the island and when you return back visit the temple of Kanyakumari. Go to the beach in the evening near Gandhi Manatap and enjoy the sunset.
Enjoy the evening in your hotel/resort. Or walk around the streets for shopping of local handicrafts.
Day 9 – Kanyakumari – Madurai 
Distance – 244 KMs (One way)
Road Condition – Excellent.
Google map of the Route http://tinyurl.com/ny9yl87
Road Trips from Bangalore
Meenakshi temple, Madurai
Get up early to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise. Have breakfast and drive to Madurai. Reach Madurai by lunch. After lunch and rest visit the mammoth temple of Goddess Meenakshi. If you still have time visit the palace of Tirumala Nayaka. In the evening, go around and enjoy the delicacies of Madurai. Check out details here.
Day 10 – Madurai – Bangalore
Distance – 435 KMs (One way)
Road Condition – Excellent.
Google map of the Route http://tinyurl.com/k2atrfv
Leave Madurai around 7 AM. Have breakfast and lunch on the way and reach Bangalore by 4 PM.
Stay Options
 
You will be spoilt by the choices in all the places. You have some gorgeous places to stay and also options suiting all budgets. You can check these options on on line through Tripadvisor or Cleartrip or Agoda or Bookings.com
Travel Tips
 
a) There are many extensions possible on this trip if you have more days to spare. Here are few
i) Extension to Thekkady from Munnar and then onwards to Kumarakkom
ii) Extension to Vagamon and then onwards to Kochi
iii) Extension to Kodaikanal from Madurai and then onwards to Bangalore.
b) The first day drive is little longer. But excellent road till Dindigul helps. If you feel the distance is long, then drive to Dindigul on day 1. Stay in any of the lovely homes stays on outskirts of Dindigul and then proceed to Munnar the next day.
c) If you can spare an additional day in Munnar, you will be able to drive up to Kollakkumalai tea Estate – the highest tea estate in the world.
d) If you are a trekker, keep few days for trekking in Eravikulam National park. Vagamon also has lovely trekking trails.
e) If you are a birder, then you should take some time out to visit lovely bird sanctuary at Tattekad. This is on the way to Kochi from Munnar.
f) Choose either Kumarakkom or Alleppey as both are known for backwater cruises.
g) There are options for staying overnight in your houseboat or just do a day trip.
h) We intentionally left out Kovalam which gets crowded. If you want to enjoy the beach at Kovalam, then skip Varkala.
i) If you are not a beach person then opt to stay on Ashtamudi lake near Kollam. You can enjoy serene landscape and also go for boat cruise on the lake.
i) Expect heavy crowds on holidays/long weekends.
j) If interested in exploring the history of Kochi, join Kochi heritage walk. For more details check this website.
k) Kochi has some nice antique shops. But you have to bargain hard.

For other Road Trips from Bangalore, Please click on this –  Road Trips from Bangalore – Exciting options with itineraries!

Few Useful External Links
 
a) Eravikulam National Park – http://eravikulam.org/eco-tourism/
b) Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, Traivandrum – http://sreepadmanabhaswamytemple.org/
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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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