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Blasting NH7 with my Dynamite - Hyderabad to Kodaikanal

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by N Kiran, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    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.

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    Darn the SC for banning the sunscreens !!!

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    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 :D
    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.
  2. vj_v1

    vj_v1 Superiore

    Messages:
    933
    Hyderabad
    Good start Anna. Btw nh7 is now nh44. Nh9 is nh 63 I think.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation Z710e using Tapatalk
    1 person likes this.
  3. aruncep

    aruncep Amatore

    Messages:
    127
    Chennai
    An excellent write up buddy. A good way to start 2014. Happy and Safe Motoring.
    1 person likes this.
  4. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    12th January 2014, Sunday:

    We woke-up leisurely and had breakfast. We enquired at the reception of the hotel about the places to visit in Kodaikanal and we were given a list of package tours. We informed them that we would not need transportation but only a guide and they called a guide for us for the day. We paid Rs.500/- for the guide at the hotel and got ready in the mean time.

    We planned to split the tour into 2 phases for 2 days. One of them needed a permission from the forest department to visit Berjim Lake. The permission had to be taken between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. We were already late for that and decided to do the local tour that day and take permission and visit Berjim Lake the next. The guide arrived and we left for the local tour.

    Pine Tree Forest

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  5. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Oh you called me, :shock:.
    Krishna did inform me that he met you.

    I can guess :).
    2 people like this.
  6. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Guna Caves

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    Pillar Rock

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    If you can notice on the left corner of the below pic, there is a monkey approaching calmly, which eventually snatched the piece of bread omlet while I was posing for a pic :D

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    Green Valley View

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    Upper Lake View

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    Dr. Fixated, Ganges, bharath and 8 others like this.
  7. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Coaker's Walk

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    3 people like this.
  8. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Kodai Lake

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    Spotted Arun's Linea at the Lake. Tried calling him, but din't receive an answer. Later he called me back and informed that they went to the Bryant park instead which was right next to the Lake. We never ventured into the park though.

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    Thats Arun's Linea yet again at the Hotel parking.

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    Dr. Fixated, jaggu916, Ganges and 3 others like this.
  9. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Berjim Lake

    13th January 2014, Monday:

    The next morning we planned to visit Berjim Lake. I met Arun while going for breakfast and he informed me that there isn't much to do at Berjim lake except for some view points and few hair pin bends that one can enjoy while driving. Apart from that we really had no clue what else to do that day.

    So, we first went to the Forest Department for getting the permission. Filled up a form with all the details and paid Rs.150/- and got the permission. This time however we din't hire a guide and headed towards Berjim Lake. Asked for routes and started our journey.
    The road leading to the Lake was awesome with some crazy hair pins on the way. Luckily none of us had a problem with ghats and no nausea what-so-ever. Enjoyed the drive a lot.

    Enroute to Berjim Lake

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    A group of guys who wanted a snap along with my daughter. See her confused/scared expression. :D

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  10. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    The Final Destination : Berjim Lake

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    We were done visiting Berjim Lake and returned to our Hotel after having lunch and with nothing to do, my wife suggested that we can leave to Hyderabad and take rest the next day which was a public holiday. I had to oblige and my actual plan to meet fellow members from TFI was still in the back of my mind. But, there wasn't enough time to inform, co-ordinate and meet and also wifey was quite tired from the trip and wanted to reach Hyderabad asap. Hence, I could not make it to meet our friends and was quite disappointed to be honest.

    There is always a next time and I am waiting for an excuse to get on to that awesome highway and drive down to Bangalore and meet some or all of our friends. Am I suggesting a Hyderabad - Bangalore meet? May be.

    I hope you guys will excuse the poor write-up and photography skills.

    That is all from my side folks !!!
    10 people like this.

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