Last December, I had promised my wife a holiday trip in the month of January this year. As we had a public holiday on 14th Jan, on the occassion of Pongal, we planned a 4 day trip by taking a leave on 13th Jan to have a long weekend. But, there was uncertainity on my wife's part as she had some meeting scheduled in the same week and luckily the same got post-poned and her leave was sanctioned on 9th Jan. We din't know where exactly to go and I popped several suggestions which were promptly denied. I was betting on Valparai and I wanted to go there very badly. But since it is a family holiday, I left the decision to my wife and she came up with Kodaikanal. I searched for route informations and stuff over the internet and I found a travelogue by one of the moderators of TBHP, mobike (Avinash), who did a Hyderabad - Kodai trip during Christmas. That being the latest travelogue I could find, I took a lot of details from his thread. For accomodation, I had to search a lot and ask a lot of people for suggestions. Our member aruncep from Chennai, had also planned to visit Kodai during the same dates as I had planned and upon contacting, told me that he had already booked the accomodation at Hotel Jai, which I was considering aswell. After exchaging few PMs and some chat over whatsapp, I finally went ahead and booked our accomodation at Hotel Jai for 3 nights. Friday evening, I tried taking excerpts from Mobike's travelogue and few other suggestions over the internet and finally decided on the following route. Hyderabad - Bangalore (Devanahalli Bypass) - Hoskote - Jagadanahalli - Bagalur - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharmapuri - Salem - Dindugal - (Vathalagundu) Batlagundu (Turn Right) - Kodaikanal 11th January 2014, Saturday: 05:15 AM Started from home and after driving a km, I get the first shock as I entered the Habsiguda main road junction on which the Metro Rail works were on full swing. The opposite lane was completely closed and the on coming traffic was diverted to our side. This created a havoc and I lost a good 15 mins in the jam, crawling and snugging onto the side of the road. Somehow I crossed the bottle neck and reached the Hyderabad exit towards Bangalore for yet another shock. The roads till the exit are 6 lane marked ones and then immediately under the ORR the same turn to a 2 lane road for about 2kms until one reaches the actual Hyderabad - Bangalore highway(NH7). This stretch has been like this since the first time I got on it, in Sep 2012 for the South India Meet at Ooty. Usually the traffic is free flowing and one need not slow down much. But there was heavy traffic jam and I see people stopping getting out of their vehicles and standing wondering what the issue was. After several agonizing minutes the traffics starts moving ... errr ... crawling again at a snail's pace. I crawl for some more distance and could actually see the reason for this untimely jam. A DCM carrying a load full of fruits have toppled and there were some small trolley autos loading the fruits back into them. Another 15 mins gone in thin air. It was already 6:15 AM, taking an hour to reach the actual highway. Once I got on to the 4 laned Highway, there was no stopping, except for the tolls and once for fuel top up, till Bangalore. If there is one highway that I absolutely love, it is NH7. Darn the SC for banning the sunscreens !!! 10:45 AM We finally reached our first stop Devanahalli to take a detour to bypass Bangalore. Since the route till Bangalore was pretty straigh forward, I din't need any directions. But after reaching Devanahalli we struggled quite a bit with Sygic that was installed on my mobile for some time to plot a route as planned earlier. My mobile was behaving wierdly and was unable to get a GPS position, then it was showing vague routes. The place names were mis-spelt and was hard trying to locate them on the map. We then decided to navigate to each landmark and cross the bypass. The Sygic lead us to a road where I saw a huge board which read directions to Whitefiled and few other places, but I remebered that mobike had mistakenly took a detour and ended up in Bangalore again. Having read a lot about Whitefiled on this very forum, I thought that this route will lead me into the city again and I will be stuck. So instead took another road which said Hoskote. Another absolute bummer on my part. I ended up yet into another traffic jam. This was not a jam exactly, but a traffic signal which turned red and the effect was a 1 km traffic halt. Wow !!! I tried calling Ravi and the call din't go through. Then I called Krishna and explained him my situation. He guided me through a route which led to HSR layout, where he was at. Finally I reached 3M at HSR Layout where Krishna was with Karthik and few other friends of him. I also got to meet Siddu (owner of 3M), whom I have earlier met along with Ravi at the Fiat Factory meet in 2012. He din't recognise me until I reminded him the place and situation where we had met earlier. He was quite surprise with my memory I wanted to leave, but Siddu insited on having atleast a coffee which I obliged and left soon after taking some route instructions. Getting into Bangalore was never a part of my plan. My actual plan was to start on 14th early in the morning while returning from Kodai and stop over at Bangalore for lunch with fellow TFIans. But nothing went according to plan and I couldn't meet anyone while returning back. I will write the details in this very travelogue but in some other post. I was glad that I could meet Krishna, Karthik and Siddu in person. I really wish to meet all other members from Bangalore some other time. By the time I left Bangalore, it was 2:15 PM already. A good 3 hrs spent around Bangalore. We headed towards Kodaikanal, hoping to get there asap and probably cover the lost hours which we couldn't because of the bad road conditions due to the 4 lane work inprogress. I donot remember the exact time but it was between 3.00 and 3.30pm. We stopped after crossing Hosur at a COCO as suggested by Krishna and had a small meal at Mc D and got the fuel tank filled. The roads there after were awesome again. We then continued our journey but with a glitch as warned by Krishna again. We reached Dindugal and we are supposed to take a right turn under a bridge, but we got over the bridge and ended up the other side. Had to take a U turn and return under the bridge and make the actual turn. I din't want to take any chances and got the fuel filled again at Batlagundu, a 10kms before taking the turn towards the Kodai ghat road. Inspite of the darkness I was able to quickly climb the ghat within 1.5hr as there was very sparse traffic. Once we reached Kodai town we asked for directions and reached the hotel by 9.30 PM. Checked-in to the Hotel and Arun who had already reached Kodai that afternoon came down to meet me. Had a small talk and had some food brought from outside. Crashed into the bed for the much needed rest. ~1100 kms covered in one day and was it a heck of a drive? You bet.