Bangalore – Munnar.. Road review

Finally, after planning for almost 4 years, we made it to Munnar. One thing that I searched for before this trip was a description about the route (fast and best). Though I found the information in bits and pieces, it was not a holistic one. This is one of the major contributing factor for me to write about it.

Distance (Bangalore to Munnar by road) : approximately 500 km (10-12 hr drive)
Best option to get to Munnar would be to take a train till Coimbatore and hit the road from there on. There are 2 trains from Bangalore to Coimbatore. Planning in advance will be required to secure a confirmed berth in the train.


And there is the road for the “I-love-driving” category of people.
Quality of road overall is GOOD, save for patches at few places. It would be a good idea to take a break (overnight stay) when traveling with kids and elders.
Here’s the route map.
Part I (Bangalore to Coimbatore)
Route 1.(till Coimbatore)
Bangalore – Krishnagiri –Dharmapuri-Salem-Erode-Avinashi-Coimbatore
This is best suited when you are planning to take a break of journey anywhere before Coimbatore. Dharmapuri, Salem and Coimbatore have decent places to stay overnight. Other places may not offer much options.
Bangalore – Salem should take close to 3.5 hr (a total of 200 km). The stretch between Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem is undergoing widening, so there are quite a few”take diversion”boards. On these stretch you would find vehicles coming on the opposite side in the same lane. Not advisable after dark. Cover this stretch while there is still natural light left.

Salem – Sangagiri- Erode is 1.5 hr. Again , work is going on in this stretch and this goes through the rocky mountains of Sangagiri, so the going is slowed down a bit here
Erode – Perundurai-Avinashi – Coimbatore is a wide single road which is very decent and one should be able to cover in a time of 1.5 to 2 hr.
Coimbatore would be an ideal and logical break if planning to spend a night.
Route 2: ( fast and best route to Coimbatore)
This is by and far the best and fast route till Coimbatore. This route is advisable only if you are planning to go all the way till Coimbatore for stopover.
Take the NH7 till Krishnagiri. From Krishnagiri, take the Dharmapuri Bypass road and keep going till Thoppur. This road has been recently built and there are no signboards yet and no living soul to help with directions. It’s a good 30-40 min drive till you can see the board mentioning the diversion to Thoppur.(It’s a small board and chances of missing this is high, so ..watch out)
The road from this turn onwards is a single-road (but nice one).

Road to Mettur

Signboards of the forest

Windmills along the Bangalore to Munnar route

This road will take you through Thoppur-Mecheri-Mettur-Bhavani and will join the route 1 past Sangagiri. Route 2 is shorter and saves close to 20 odd km.
The best part of this route is that this involves crossing the Mettur dam . You will miss this if you take the Mettur bypass.. To cross the dam, one needs to climb the hillock and get down from the other side. This is a total of 4 km. In this process, one gets to see the Mettur Dam.
Accommodation in Coimbatore
There are a lot of good hotels near Gandhipuram bus stand (Hotel City Tower is a decent one)
Don’t miss to eat at the Annapurna hotel. A chain of restaurants with many branches all over Coimbatore.
Part II (Coimbatore to Munnar)
Route I (Preferred route)
Coimbatore – Pollachi –Udumalapet – Chinnar – Munnar
Coimbatore – Pollachi (45 km) can be covered within an hour. The road is a single wide road.
Pollachi – Udumalapet (35 km) again is a good stretch and should be doable in 35-40 mins. Soon after you leave Pollachi and head towards Udumalpet, the sight of lush green fields invite you. Miles and miles of green fields on either side occasionally broken by a building or two.
On this road , you would find a mini Holland (so to say) . You would find lines of Windmills as far as one can see.

The diversion to Munnar comes soon after crossing Udumalpet. The forest range starts from here and it’s a 70 km climb up the mountain till Munnar. The signboards of the forest invite you as the forest range starts

This is a preferred route because of the scenic beauty this offers. The road is good, narrow at places, very rare though. As the saying goes ” A picture is worth a thousand words”, I will let the pictures do the talking :-)

Better view of the route :)

Along this route there are a few places of attraction (I will talk abt these in the following posts)
Route II (Longer one)
Coimbatore–Dharapuram–Vathlagundu-Sembatti-Thekady-Munnar. I cannot comment much on this as I have not travelled this route.
Here’s another way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Udumalpet-Munnar stretch ;-) (happens only in india)

Stay tuned for more on Munnar in the coming posts.

52 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    Dont know when I would get a chance to drive down south. But after reading this and your other Road Reviews, I am beginning to get some idea on overall road landscape in/around Bangalore.

    Just back from Corbett on Sunday evening. Drove all by myself.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Munnar seems to be the flavour of the season.

    Well, I’m looking forward to my trip around Christmas. Your post adds to the excitement!

  • nandanjha says:

    ???? ?????? ???????. ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ? ??? ??. – For this I used the scrap-feature of Orkut.

    ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ??????? – For this text I used http://www.quillpad.in

  • Nice. Just took the same road to Coimbatore. It’s actually a lovely drive.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    We went from Bangalore to Kochin and then took the bus from there to Munnar. Any comment about this route

  • Karthik says:

    Manish,

    I havent travelled that route. Cant comment. I will try and find out from my friend .

  • Abhijit says:

    Karthik,

    Thanks for such a wonderful post on your travel experience.

    So – how much time did it totally take for you to reach Munnar from bangalore?

    is the distance b/w Coimbatore – Munnar too long?? How much time did it take? Are there regular buses available?

    And how did you manage with the local transport within Munnar??

    Thanks in advance.

  • Karthik says:

    Thanks Abhijit.

    Munnar – Coimbatore is approx 150 kms, 70 kms out of which is in the hills. If you are driving thru from Blr-Munnar, then it would take close to 13 hrs

    We had our own transport, so moving around in munnar was not an issue. Even otherwise, there are cabs available in Munnar town, in case you take bus to Munnar.

  • JP says:

    I would say the best route should be : B’lore-Hosur-Thoppur-Dharmapuri-Mettur-Bhavani-Perundurai-Perumanallur-Pollachi-Chinnar Munnar

    • Ravi says:

      Yeah, this is shorter than Coimbatore route. Take a diversion from Perumanallur to Pollachi via Tirupur. Decent lodges are there in Tirupur.

  • Yo Bangalore says:

    Hello mate, I want to thank you for this nice blog.
    Would you mind telling me some secrets for a succesful blog ?
    Which could attract some visitors than it normally does.

  • jana says:

    hey guys well said ,don’t go to coimbatore instead u can take diversion from perundurai to perumanallur to palladam to tiruppur to udumalpet to chinnar to munnar

  • Manish says:

    Guys, last weekend i went to yercaud via Salem from Bangalore and the road was just awsome..it took 3.5 hours to reach Salem non-stop. Can someone guide about the road condition from Salem to Coimbatore??

  • Karthik says:

    @Manish

    U dont need to go to Salem to go to coimbatore.
    The shorter route will be

    Bangalore-Krishnagiri-Thoppur-Mettur-Bhavani-Coimbatore. or
    Bangalore-Krishnagiri-Thoppur-Bannari-Sathy-Coimbatore

    Its not a NH, but very decent roads.

    Cheers
    Karthik

  • Manish says:

    Thanks Karthik!!!

  • steve says:

    ooooooooooooh very gud place

  • yash says:

    Please advise a good route from salem to Munnar.

    Thanks
    Yash

    • Karthik says:

      @Yash, the route from Salem is straight-forward. Salem-erode-avinashi-Pollachi-Chinnar-Munnar.

      The only patch is between Salem and erode when u take the Sangagiri route. I reckon the road widening is still on at places and that can slow u down.

  • Amit says:

    Hi Kartik,

    I am planning to go to Munnar fro Yercaud. Can u pls suggest the best and the shortest route to this place. Also tell how much time it will take to reach Munnar from Yercaud. How the road conditions are like?

    Thanks in advance,

    Regards
    Amit

    • Karthik says:

      Hi Amit,

      From Yercaud, you need to come down to Salem and then take the following route.

      erode-avinashi-Pollachi-Chinnar-Munnar.

      Roads are good till Pollachi after which the hill starts. Even in the hills the roads are motorable.

      Have a nice trip!!!

      Cheers

  • Vinu says:

    For those who go by train – its most advisable to take the overnight trains that reach Alwaye (AWY). prefer the once that leave bangalore before 19:30 as these would reach AWY when the sun is a little shy. At AWY railway station walkover to the KSRTC stand and take bus to Perumbavoor.
    From Perumbavoor you get buses to Munnar very frequently.

    And if by road from Bangalor / Salem use Udmalpettu to enter Munnar

    There are hotels in AWY which are of value and arrange cabs to take you back and forth. Hotel Surya – Angamaly arranges cabs & they do it well.

  • gaurav says:

    Hey kartik i am planning to go Munnar on 1st week of April , kindly advice me if i can take my own car??????????? it will be tiring? one of my friend told me from bangalore to Munnar by car its not worth taking a chance its to far…………

    I genrally a regular travelver to ooty , wyanand from bangalore through my car but Munnar????????????? kindly advice

    • Karthik says:

      Hey Gaurav,

      Thanks for the comment!!

      First of all, yes, it is a long drive. But having said that , I should say its not all that bad if you take breaks in between, If you are a regular traveller by road, it should not be much of a task.

      The roads are good overall.. Alternately , u cud drive in 2 parts. Bangalore to Coimbatore or Pollachi , Stay over for a night and next day resume the journey. This way it will not be tiring. If you have kids along, then it makes sense to take a train till Coimbatore and then hire a cab.

      I have detailed the route in my post. Maybe u would want to take a print out of it.

      Happy driving!!

  • gaurav says:

    Hi Kartik,

    Thanks for your kind reply!!!!

    RIghtly said i am trying making up my mind by travelling by own veihcle.

    Ok let me know better route would be Bangalore – Pollachi or Bangalore – Coimbatore?

    Regards

    Gaurav

    • Karthik says:

      Hi Gaurav,

      The route for both is same. To get to Pollachi, u need to go till Coimbatore, but thankfully you dont have to get into the city.

      On the Avinashi road, as you approach Coimbatore, on the left hand side you would see an Amusement park called “Maharaja”. Few yards ahead of this there is a signal from where a right turn would lead you into Coimbatore town. DONT TAKE THAT TURN.
      Continue on straight from the signal and this will lead you on to Pollachi road. You could ask anyone at that signal and they should be able to guide you.

      Pollachi is 1 hour drive from Coimbatore.

      Hope this helps

      Cheers
      K

      • velusamy says:

        hai karthik, i am a regular reader of your posts in ghumakkar..i think, this is the shortcut road than you mentioned.. from avinashi, there is a route to palladam, via mangalam,nice road,then to udumalapet, then munnar…so, you avoid another 50 kms i think..

  • Clarion says:

    How abt Udumalipet to Munar road?. How many hours it will take by car? Is it safe to drive in night?

    • Sathyan says:

      Munnar to Udumalipet will take about 2.5 to 3. hours. Roads are narrow. Avoid night travel now (May onwards) because of fog and mist

  • Louise says:

    My Name is Louise Bryant and I am a student at North Devon College.
    I am doing a Computing course and one of the Units on that course requires that I edit images for a given user need.
    I would like to use the image from the link below to edit for my unit.
    The images will be used for college work only and will not be used in anyway to gain money and will not be used for commercial purposes.
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  • Tintin says:

    We are planning for a trip to Munnar and places nearby to it from 18th to 24th June 2010. I know the monsoon would be at its peak. Moreover, I plan to travel with my 19 months old daugther. Just wanted to have an advice if the rains will play a total spoil sport? Would it be possible for us to travel to few key sight seeing spots if not all of them? Is it advisable to spend at least one night in House Boat given the rains and the baby? Do I need to book in advance for hotel and house boat stay in advance given its an off-season? Do let me know what you all think. Thanks a lot in advance.

  • Siva says:

    Hi

    I am eager visiting these places… but i dont have a gang to proceed… if any one plans for a trip .. please let me know if i can also join u….

    Thanks
    Siva

  • vijayanarasimhan says:

    i am planning to go by road from Bangalore to Munnar.Is it advisable to do continumous journey or should i break at Erode or pollachi.I would like to know if i stay in Erode or pollachi, is there any good hotel for stay.Please advice me on this.

    • Karthik says:

      Hi Vijay,

      The roads are very good now as compared to an year back. You could do it at a stretch , but I would suggest you take a break in Coimbatore rather than Erode or Pollachi.

      Thanks
      Karthik

  • vijayanarasimhan says:

    Thank you Karthik .I think I will try and do it at a stretch rather than taking a break

  • vijayanarasimhan says:

    As suggested by Mr.Nandan, I went straight to munnar by road in my car .It took me 10 hrs to reach from Bangalore to Munnar with little stop over for breakfast and lunch.It took almost the same time while returning from Munnar to Bangalore also.The road was good except some pot holes from udlampet to Munnar

  • vijayanarasimhan says:

    please read as Udumalpet and not udlampet as sated earlier

  • james says:

    hi, can you suggest me a good hotel or homestay there at munnar…

    • velusamy says:

      hai james, recently i had a trip to munnar..excellent..we have stayed @ ela eco land, some 20km from munnar, very natural life there..treehouse, cottage,river infront of the cottage..in their website, you find their details..try it and share your experience..

  • vijayanarasimhan says:

    In my experience it is better to travel directly to Munnar from Bangalore instead of break in between.The first time i went with my friends who are nearing 60 y and above in a car.One of my friend drove alone from Bangalore to Munnar without allowing any one to drive.With breaks we took almost 14 hours.Since my wife has not seen Munnar i decided and travelled during january 2011.It took 10 hours for me to travel from Bangalore to Munnar with two breaks for breakfast and lunch.In my opinion the roads are good except some pot holes hear and there

  • suprithbs says:

    guys plz help me out, me and my friends r planning to go to wayanad and munnar in bikes from bangalore on july 1st 2011,v r planning to start on friday that is july 1st, our plan is to visit IRRUPU FALLS near NAGARHOLE in KARNATAKA and then go to wayanad….our main aim is to enjoy the ghat section….this the 1st v r planning to go to wayanad, so is this route good for ghat section….

    BANG-MYSORE-HUNSUR-NAGARHOLE-KUTTA-WAYANAD

    OR

    BANG-MYSORE-GUNDLPET-MUNTHRANGA-SULTHANBATHERRY….

    WHICH ROUTE IS BEST MAINLY TO ENJOY GHAT SECTION WITH PIN CURVES……….

    PLZ REPLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  • Kris says:

    Karthik,

    Your write-up very much helpful and damn amazing compilation…Such an extensive and vivid explanation needs some patience and persevrance…Hats Off!….Thanks a lot , Kris

  • ravi says:

    i am planning to go to munnar from bangalore on this 22nd march 2012. can anyone tell me the best shortest path to take.? and also the road condition.? i am planning to leave late in the night around 2 am. will it be safe to drive in the night.?
    It will be very helpful if you can tell about the some good places on the way(bangalore to munnar).?

  • Niranjan says:

    HI ravi
    I hope you have not recieved any reply from anyone, if you had been there kindly share your exp against your query
    we are planning to go to munnar from bangalore on 24th in our own vehicle INNOVA , which is the good route, any good place in between

    and can i take drive non stop , i have two kids ( 6 yrs and 1.5 yrs), if break required where we can plan

    can any one answer in this blog, i have seen many answers related to my query but all are old reviews, i just want to get confirmed regarding travel time and an road condition kindly help

    the route no 1) Blore-Hosur-Thoppur-Dharmapuri-Mettur-Bhavani-Perundurai-Perumanallur-Pollachi-Chinnar Munnar: what is teh travel time and what is teh road condition
    or
    the route no 2)bagalore-hosur-krishnagiri-dhrampuri-coimbotre – udumalpet – chinnar – munnar : what is teh travel time and what is teh road condition

    Thanks in advance

  • Ravi sharma says:

    Hi Niranjan,

    Ya no one replied to my request and i went all alone by using gps. the path which i took was
    Bagalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dhrampuri-Erode-Kuduvai-Dharapuram Udumalpet Munnar . i think this route is shortest around 450 Km. the road condition was very good, except few patch in between. i didnt find any good place on the way till udmalpet, but after that its full green. The best time to leave bangalore is around 3-4 am. if you leave at this time than it will take around 7 hours.

    Note: 1. while taking this route dont go inside erode, you should take outer ring road.
    2. better to have 3g service and gps activated in your phone.
    3. language problem is big issue. so better if u know tamil and malayalam. but in munnar its not like that. people are very good and helpful there.
    4. please check the route which i have given on google maps before going for better understanding.

    I WENT TO OOTY 5 TIME. N THIS WAS FIRST TIME TO MUNNAR. BUT SERIOULY MUNNAR IS MUCH BETTER N BEAUTIFUL THAN OOTY FOR NATURE LOVERS.

    ***MPORTANT*** — ONCE YOU ARE BACK THAN PLEASE SHARE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE (ROAD, WHEATHER ETC) on this web site and my personal email. AS IM PLANING TO GO AGAIN IN JUNE. MY EMAIL ID IS ravi.mudgil83@gmail.com

    ENJOY MAADIIII ***********************

  • Brijesh says:

    Hi Ravi, could you please post the google map route which you had taken.

    I am driving to Munnar on 2nd June 2012.

    Thanks
    Brijesh

  • ravi says:

    http://g.co/maps/fqykn. check this for the exact route.

  • ravi says:

    http://g.co/maps/fqykn. this is the exact route.

  • Brijesh says:

    Thanks Ravi.

    Looks like you have avoided all the NH’s and preferred SH’s? Will this actually cause a delay in the journey time, as I will be driving alone. And how are these SH road conditions?

    What is your say on the route via Dindigul, i heard that even though it is ~50kms longer but you reach early ?

    Thanks
    Brijesh

  • ravi says:

    Roads were very good at that time. i was driving at around 120 km/hr.

  • arvind kumar says:

    hi i ad visited munnar very nice hill station.we are going for iv and visited beautiful place munnar forest i had seen many types of animal and plant

  • LOKESH says:

    THANKS KARTHIK FOR YOUR MUNNAR CAR ROUTE INFORMATION . I GOT SO MUCH INFORMATION REGARDING TRAVEL BREAK

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