Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bangalore Mysore Highway SH17

The Bangalore-Mysore highway, SH-17, connects the cities of Bangalore, capital of Karnataka, with Mysore, historical city and cultural capital of Karnataka.

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Till 2005 this was an undivided, two-laned road, with several blind curves, speedbreakers, and a magnet for frequent accidents. Work started in 2004 to widen the road, convert it into a divided, four-laned road, straightening of the curves, all of which vastly improved the safety and also reduced the length of the road by 10 km, and was completed by early 2006.

SH-17 near Srirangapatna.

Bangalore-Mysore state highway SH-17.

This below is a photo I took sometime in May 2003 of the highway, before the four-laning had commenced. I don't remember where I took this, but I think it is somewhere near Bidadi. As you can see, with the daily volume of vehicles on this road in excess of 20,000, this road was long overdue for an upgradation.
As of writing this post, there have been news reports that there are plans to upgrade this to a six lane highway.

With the upgradation of the highway, the driving time between Bangalore and Mysore has come down to 2.5 hours. Some claim to have covered the distance in under two hours, whereas earlier it could take 3.5-4 hours.
There are many speedbreakers near and in Mandya, but otherwise the highway is free of speedbreakers.
Where the traffic conditions allow, the road is good enough to allow for speeds of 100-120 kph. One has to be careful enough to not get carried away with the high speed driving since there is always the possibility of unexpected obstacles emerging, like a truck that decides to drive on the wrong of the highway to save on driving an extra 100 yards to make that legal u-turn. Or the farmer who decides to cross the road, with his 50 sheep, goats, and assorted cattle. Or the crazy driver who is going out on a joy ride in his new car, with friends egging him on, with enough liquor to feed an army of sailors in their bellies. Speeds much in excess of 100kph are not advisable in any condition of the road anyway, since these are not access controlled roads.