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Dashing to the Mystical Munnar in my Dynamite

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by N Kiran, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    January 2014, we made it to Kodaikanal, which was my first continuous drive for about 1000+ kms. The details of that trip can be found here.

    This January, we had an opportunity to have a long weekend, with Thursday 15th Jan being a holiday for Pongal. So we planned to take a leave on friday and get away to some nice place.
    We initially thought of going to Araku valley near Vizag and also visit Lambasingi (Andhra Kashmir) on our way back. But it turned out that there was nothing much to do over there and also that we have visited this place earlier. It is just like a backyard to us Hyderabadis, which can be visited on any weekend.

    So we wanted to visit a place where we can spend all the available time and also have great fun. One trip that changed my perception towards traveling was TFI Ooty meet and our extended holiday to Wayanad with fellow TFIans. The serene scenic beauty that you can witness while traveling in those winding roads is just out of this world. This led us to visit Kodaikanal last year and I was prepared to visit similar places again and again.

    With the help of our fellow mods, Ramesh, Krishna and Amit aka Vahanpujari, I zeroed-in Munnar as the place to visit this time.

    I bought an India 501 pack from HVK store, which lets me avail 5 nights of hotel booking through out India where HVK CHD has tie-ups. The process was quick and hassle free. I bought the pack, mailed the CHD team my itinerary and requirements. I got a quick response and the hotel was booked after I wired a token payment towards advance. I also received a route map in an excel which was quite detailed. Since I had previously drove to Kodaikanal and the route to Munnar is pretty much same except for a bit of extension, I knew I can do it by nightfall.

    My trip to Kodaikanal was messed up when I went into Bangalore and lost a lot of time trying to cross it. Thanks to Krishna, for his guidance that I made it out of Bangalore finally.
    This time we din't want to do that and here the route map provided by HVK helped us a lot to by-pass Bangalore.

    So we finally set out our journey to the Mystical Munnar on 15th January 2015.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
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  2. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    15th January 2015

    We left our home in Hyderabad at 4:20 AM. With minimal traffic being a festive season and able to start early in the morning, we could make it out of Hyderabad in 30mins.

    We then reached Kurnool around 6:20 AM and stopped over for a Coffee break.

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    Rejuvenated with the hot coffee we proceeded towards Munnar hoping to reach there late evening.
    We stopped by at some unknown place for a small photo shoot of the car along with the sunrise.

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    We made it to Ananthapur around 8:15 AM and drove on.

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    We reached Devanahalli at 9:40AM, where we had to get off the NH7 and take a diversion to Dobbaspet, inorder to by-pass Bangalore.

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    The road from Devanahalli to Dobbaspet was a 2 lane, undivided highway, with a railway level crossing where we had to wait for sometime as the gate was closed. We finally reached Dobbaspet at 10:30AM to get on to the Nice road.

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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
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  3. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    With the speed limit restricted to 80kmph, I kept following the rule and this slowed us down. We crossed Bangalore at 11:45 AM and drove-on.

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    We had a lunch break at Mc Donald's at Krishnagiri. The traffic now was slowly increasing, but determined to reach Munnar in time, I kept driving in my own style.
    We arrived at Dindigul at 3:20 PM, where we had to get off the NH and take the Bathlagundu - Theni road.
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    Topped up the fuel tank at Periakulam around 3:45 PM.
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    After about 2kms from Theni, we took another diversion to Bodi (Bodinaikanur) where the ghat section starts. The road towards Bodi was full of traffic and we reached there at 5:00 PM
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    The ghat road was newly laid, without any markings and there were still some unfinished roads. Finally we reached our destiation Chinnakanal, where our hotel Ayur County Resorts was situated.
    But then disaster struck. We asked coupled of people for the exact location of the resort and they were not much of a help. My wife started looking at Google maps and it showed us a route. We kept following it, until it took us to a place where no roads existed and it was pitch black. We passes through some woods and landed right into some tea garden. The GPS said that we have arrived at our destination. Luckily a nice gentleman who was local appeared from no-where in his little Eon. We asked for directions and he said he had no idea where Ayur County was. I told him that it was somewhere near Club Mahindra resorts. He informed us that we have drove 14kms further than our destination. He led us to the place where we finally found a board with direction to the resort. We thanked the gentleman and reached our resorts finally at 7:30PM.

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    We rested for the day and woke up a bit late next morning. After a late breakfast we set out for local site seeing.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
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  4. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    16th January 2015

    Gap Road View
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    The board says it all
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    Devikulam Tea Gardens

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    Honey Bee Tree

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    Mattupetty Dam & Speed Boat Ride


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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
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  5. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Carmelagiri Elephant Park

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    Photo Point
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    We reached back to the resort in the evening and thanks to Ramesh we decided to visit Kolukkumalai, second highest peak in South India for a Sunrise view the next day.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
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  6. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    17th January 2015

    We were all set to visit Kolukkumalai. The route was treacherous and normal cars wouldn't be able to go there. We hired a Jeep, woke up at 4:30AM and started at 5:00AM.

    The drive was back breaking and quite painful.

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    But it was all worth it as we could witness this ....

    Sunrise view from Kodukkumalai

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  7. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    Kolukkumalai Contd ......

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    After the most wonderful time at the exotic location, we went to Kolukkumalai Tea Factory where we were given a tour and were explained about the Tea manufacturing process.
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    The drive back was very scenic, which we couldnot notice while driving up hill due to darkness.
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  8. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    We reached our resort, had breakfast and freshened up to visit few more places which were on the other side of Munnar.

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    @ Spice Garden
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    We finally called it a day and reached back to the resorts in the evening.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  9. N Kiran

    N Kiran Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,518
    Hyderabad
    18th January 2015

    We took a different route while driving back to Hyderabad. This was highly recommended by Ramesh.

    We started at 5:30AM and drove through Eravikulam Wild Life Sanctuary, Marayoor, Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary and Udumulaipet.

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    The route was quite scenic but delayed us a lot.

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    We had to drive through State highways which was swarmed with Ayyappa Devotees walking in thousands. We finally made it to NH and tried to compensate the time lost. We hit Bangalore afternoon and were again slowed down due to speed restrictions and a huge traffic jam at Tumkur ORR railway crossing where a new flyover was being constructed. We stopped for lunch at Mc Donald's before Bangalore Airport and drove further.
    Could maintain good speeds until Kurnool, after which the traffic increased tremendously, which I guess was due to people returning from Pongal vacation. Finally we reached home at 9:30 PM.

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    Looking forward for many more similar trips in my ever trusting FIAT.

    Cheers,
    N Kiran
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  10. platinumshine

    platinumshine Regolare

    All the pictures are absolutely mesmerizing, especially Kolukkamalai :)

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