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Diwali @ Munnar (My first Travelogue)

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by dhaya76, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. dhaya76

    dhaya76 Amatore

    Linea 1.3
    This is my first travelogue and please excuse me if I deviate from the topic. Your comments will help me to improve. We are not good in taking photograph, so please execuse me for the quality of the pictures.

    We were planning very long for a trip and the plan came to action last week. We have decided to spend the Diwali in a hill station. After checking couple of places, we have decided to go Munnar. We looked for resorts to book and we booked it through Grandeurs. We stayed in Windy Hills resort (next to Great Escape Resorts [G.E.R.]). A small note about the resort, it is well maintained resort with good food in reasonable rate. Enroute to the resort is not in good shape. The resort is located around a km from the main road (10 kms before Munnar in Theni to Munnar road). One section of the road is not motor able for cars, only 4x4 can do it. So we have to leave our car near the road and take the 4x4 they arrange. Security guard was available there, but you won't have a good night sleep when your car is parked in a road which is a km away :(. I will definitely recommend this resort for family and friends, but go there after couple of months when the road is ready. You will not even hear the sound of
    vehicle horn, it will be so peaceful.

    Next challenge was the route. Since we have decided not to do a drive from Chennai to Munnar in a single day, we stayed at our home in Trichy. Next day we started to Munnar via Theni and back to Chennai with overnight stay at Sankagiri. Thanks to everyone who helped me in finalizing the routes. Lots of planning were done and whether we have done according to the plan. Let us see.

    Day 1: 29-Oct-2013

    As per plan, my parents will join us from Trichy. The plan is to start 5 pm from Chennai and reach around 11 pm Trichy. I decided to work from home so that I don't get too much of tired. Wife plan was to back around 3 pm and complete the remaining packing (she don't allow me to pack things because I am very good in packing :) ). She was held up in a meeting and was able to reach home only around 4
    pm. So we decided not to rush things to catch up 5 pm target, let us do it as planned for 2 hrs and then start at 6 pm. We were able to do things and started at 6:15 pm. As usual we went to a nearby temple and then started the long journey. I know that it will take 6 hrs to reach Trichy for couple of reasons (done the same couple of weeks back and it took me exactly 6 hrs to reach home with 20 mins break for dinner)

    1. New vehicle and I don’t want to go beyond (90 kmph/2500 rpm)
    2. After office hours, the city traffic is bad and sometimes worse

    On the Irumbuliyur bridge (at Tambaram), I made a mistake. I saw the heavy traffic near Perungalatur bus stop, I have decided to take a left lane and go along with the bus and then join the main lane, by the time I decided to take a left, a bus came through the lane and I was almost hit him. It was completely my mistake not noticing the bus. The bus driver was pissed off and the moment I said sorry, he was cool. Told me to watch the road. Now I am more cautious on the road. After that incident, the drive was smooth and able to make steady speed 60 Kmph until I crossed Mamandur. After that increased the speed up to 90 Kmph. Reached Thindivanam around 8:45 pm and decided to have dinner in Vasantha Bhavan (hope I got the name right) which is next to Aaryas in the bye pass. We spent around 45 mins there and started our journey. The monitor that I have put in my car to watch movies, had issues with sound. It could not get the frequency right and my son was not happy with that. After dinner, my wife was able to connect and it started working. Kids and wife happy watching the songs (nursery rhymes), I was happy driving. By passed Vilupuram (10 pm) and Ulunthurpet (10:30 pm) and Perambalur (11:30 pm). I reached home by 12:15 am. It is a very smooth ride and since I done this drive many times, my parents were also okay for late night drive. My mom was busy preparing some snacks at that time and
    dad was helping her. The moment they saw us, they were happy we are also. We had our sweets and snacks that time and crashed to bed at 1 am. The plan is to start from Trichy at 7 am to reach Munnar by 2 pm. I wanted to reach there early, so that we can try to see some places if possible. Did we start at the planned time? Let us see.

    We didn't take any picture in this route,

    Total Distance Travelled: 316 kms
    Mileage: 20.8 Kmpl

    Day 2:30-Oct-2013

    As per plan, we have to start at 7 am, I convinced them to have a breakfast in hotel and then start. But lots of confusion, at the end we decided to have breakfast at home and start at 8 am. Hmm... plan change and we were able to start at 9 am. Went to nearby BP petrol bunk, and filled the tank. We hit the 4 lane Trichy - Dindigul highway around 10 am and after that the drive was smooth. 4 lane until Dindigul and then we have taken the Theni route. We had a tea at Dindigul and decided to have lunch in Theni. We reached Theni around 1:30 pm and we went to Meenakshi Bhavan and had our lunch. We decided to have lighter lunch since we have to start the ghat section. The two lane roads were very fine from Dindigul to Theni and from Theni to Bodi. Since the drive was under 90 kmph, I could control through speed rather than breaking. Everyone in the car were happy and comfortable which is the ultimate target for us. We started after 45 mins lunch break. From Bodi after 10 kms, the ghat
    section starts. Until reaching bodimettu, the roads were not good. During the last rain, lots of landslides happened in the route (there was one accident during the rain when the cranes were clearing the stones, one of them fell directly on top of the driver cabin and he died on the spot, we could see the mangled vehicle there). Since the road was not wide enough to accommodate two vehicles, we have to slow down and give way. The one thing I noticed was that, majority of the vehicle coming down hill, didn't gave way for the vehicles coming up. They should learn the basic principal.

    Back to the drive, at bodimettu we have to stop at the check post. The guy there did the checking and let us go in within no time. No one stopped at the Kerala check post. After we entered Kerala, we could see the lots of difference. You can see lots of tea plants and more importantly, the roads were quite well and maintained properly. Enough space to accommodate two vehicles to cross. We were able to maintain good speed. Reached Poopara around 3:30 pm and took the right turn to Munnar. We have to stop in between for a break for my daughter. We started after short 15 mins break and reached a waterfall enroute to Munnar. We stopped there for 20 mins for a small photo session. After that we called the resort guys and got the road and reached the resort at 5 pm. Two rooms were ready and after a chit chat, we ordered dinner. Had our dinner and crashed to bed. The plan is to start at 9 am after breakfast. Did we start at the planned time? Let us see

    Total Distance Travelled: 252 kms
    Mileage: 15.4 Kmpl

    Some Pictures taken enroute

    Landslides on the way to Munnar

    Landslide1.jpg Landslide2.jpg Obstract.jpg

    View of the road which we came

    Roads we crossed1.jpg

    View of a Lake on the way to Munnar

    View of a Lake.jpg

    Linea maiden trip to Munnar

    Linea in Munnar1.jpg Linea in Munnar2.jpg Wife posing with Linea.jpg

    Me and Linea

    My wife wants me to remove the glass before she take the picture and I removed it and placed near the wiper and I totally forgot about it. After we reach the nearby waterfalls, I realized that my glass is missing and remembered that I placed near the wiper. I went out and saw the glass was at the same place where I kept even though we were taking some U turns and short curves.

    Me and Linea1 (placing glass in the windshield).jpg Me and Linea2.jpg

    Waterfalls after Tata Tea Estate

    Falls before Chinna Kannal1.jpg Falls before Chinna Kannal2.jpg Falls before Chinna Kannal3.jpg

    Way to the resort

    Roads to WH1.jpg Roads to WH2.jpg

    In this picture I circled a specific location where the road is not good. Sedans and hatchback will not be able to cross because it is so deep. Thankfully the resort had a 4x4.

    Roads to WH4(marked in red).jpg

    Rooms @ resort

    Room1.jpg Room2.jpg Room3.jpg

    Many more to come...........
    8 people like this.
  2. pdash

    pdash Regolare

    Grande Punto 1.3
    waiting to see more pics..
  3. Nadeem Ahmed VR 46

    Nadeem Ahmed VR 46 Esperto

    Pics are Stunning Dhaya & Nice number of your Linea 5556:p,I Love it.Great Travelogue.
  4. dhaya76

    dhaya76 Amatore

    Linea 1.3
    Day 3: 31-Oct-2013

    As per plan, we have to start at 9 am. Had our breakfast at 8:30 am, but we were able to start only at 10:15 am. We have stopped in a view point.

    Family Photo1.jpg

    We went to Munnar and filled the tank and started the direction towards Top station. We stopped for 30 mins in photo point and taken some pictures and then we went to Caremelagiri (Elephant ride).

    At Photo Point1.jpg
    Son at Photo Point.jpg
    Son and Daugther at photo point.jpg
    Family photo at photo point.jpg

    We spend nearly 2 hrs there before we took the ride. My son and parents don't want to go for ride, we have decided to do it with my daughter. She too was scared when Elephant started walking, so we have to drop my daughter with my parents and then we completed the ride. It was a short and sweet ride. We have asked the guys to take some photos and we paid for it.

    I will share the photos taken at Caremelagiri later. Need to copy them from the CD given to us.

    The next stop was at Mattupatty dam. By the time we reached there, it started raining little bit. We were in double mind whether to go for the ride or not. The rain stopped a bit and we decided to go for the ride. It was a nice 15 mins ride in motor boat, kids were enjoying it. Before the start of the ride, my son don't want to join the ride, we spent 10 mins and convinced him. After the ride, he asked me whether we can go for another ride. We had our lunch in the veg restaurant.

    Mattupatty Dam.jpg

    If was first time my daughter was travelling in a boat and she showed mixed emotions.

    Daughter Enjoying boat ride at mattupatty.jpg
    Scarry look of my daugther at mattupatty boat ride.jpg

    By the time we finished lunch, it was around 3 pm and decided to skip the echo point and moved ahead to Kundala dam. Since we already went for a ride, no one is interested for another ride other than my son. Minutes before we get down from the car in the dam, my son changed his mind and said we go to the next stop since the ride might be same like the earlier one. Now we skipped ride at Kundala dam as well and went straight to Top Station. Until the Munnar boarder, the roads are good, after that bad roads with no patch.

    We slowly reached top station and the time was almost 4 pm. Many people told us that, mist is all around, so nothing we can see from here. But we decided to buy ticket and walk down there. My father decided to stay back and we all started going down. After few meters, I also decided to stop since my daughter was sleeping and I know that, it is difficult for me to come up if she continues sleeping. My son, wife and mom went down and by time they reach there, it is very clear. All mist were gone and they had a clear view. She took some photos for me to see the view. We spent around an hour there and started back to Munnar.

    Before and after mist at top station

    During Mist in Top Station.jpg
    After Mist at Top Station.jpg

    We reached Munnar and did small shopping and back to resort. We reached our resort around 7 pm and ordered our dinner. Before dinner, we were discussing at what time we start. The decision is at 8 am and also decided to back before 6 pm and skip places if we will not be able to make it 6 pm. After dinner, I spent some time copying all the photos into our laptop so that I get more space and take more photograph next day.

    Did we start at the planned time? Let us see

    Didn't check the Mileage because, I have decided to it after reaching Sankagiri.
    4 people like this.
  5. bharath

    bharath Regolare

    Awesome journey and Stunning HD pictures :up.But there is always a concern within us jumping out now and then to protect the new car :D
  6. the_crusader

    the_crusader Amatore

    Linea 1.4
    Nice Beginning dhaya76. I remember those landslides during my last Munnar trip on the way to Munnar from Thekkady. They seems to be a usual scene there. Road conditions were pathetic then. BTW your Linea is looking gorgeous in those HD clicks. :smile:
  7. dhaya76

    dhaya76 Amatore

    Linea 1.3
    Thank you all for the comments.

    Day 4: 1-Nov-2013

    As per plan, we have to start at 8 am, but we were able to start only at 9 am. The day started very good. When I opened the curtain in the room, saw a beautiful view.

    Sunrise view from resort


    We went to Munnar and roamed around the garden in the Matupatty enroute which we missed yesterday. We spent about an hour there taking some pictures. After that we were heading towards Eravikualam National Park to see Nilgiri Thar.

    Daughter enjoying her time in Garden

    Daughter at Flower Centre.jpg

    Some flowers taken in the garden





    Reached the ticket counter around 12 pm and got the tickets immediately. Wife got the tickets before I park the car and come back. We boarded the bus and reached Rajamalai. We have to walk for around a km to reach the hill top. The Nilgiri Thar can be seen from the bus stop until hill top. My father stayed back and we were all walking to hill top. We could see the Nilgiri Thar only at hill top. On our way back, we saw two more. When we reached the bus stop, my father told me that, those two were roaming near the bus stop and he saw them. He was lucky, on the way to the hill top we enjoyed walking through the mist. We spent about 2 hrs there. We had a snack and then joined the queue to come back.

    Nilgiri Thar

    Nilagiri Thar1.jpg

    Nilagiri Thar2.jpg

    Nilagiri Thar3.jpg

    By the time we reached our car, it was 2 pm and decided to go back to Munnar since the next place to visit Lakham falls was about 15 kms from there. The one thing we missed was the Tea Museum and we will cover it next visit. After reaching Munnar, we had our lunch at "Sujatha Inn" and the food was good. After lunch we decided to go back to the resort and spend some time there. By the time we reached there, wife and mom started packing the things since next day we have to start our journey to Sankagiri. We planned to reach Sankagiri around 7 pm and spend the rest of the day at our home celebrating Diwali. So we have decided to start at 9 am from Munnar so that we can see some places enroute to Udumalai.

    Did we start at the planned time? Let us see.
    1 person likes this.
  8. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Linea 1.3
    Nice.. You had a great sun rise :)
  9. dhaya76

    dhaya76 Amatore

    Linea 1.3
    Day 5: 2-Nov-2013

    We all got up around 7 am and greetings all over for Diwali. For my wife, this is the first time she is spending Diwali at a hill station. In the morning, we have noticed that my son developed cold and cough. It is always a challenge when you travel with your kids not feeling well. By the time we packed all the things in the car and start from resort, it was 11 am.

    Name Board.jpg

    Nice and clear Sunrise

    Sunrise on Diwali Day.jpg

    I should say that the car is fully loaded. You can see how much luggage we have accommodated in the boot.

    No space for additional Luggage.jpg

    We stopped some places on the enroute to Udumalai for small photo session. On the way, we encountered dense mist where the visibility is not more than 50 feet. We stopped for a minute and took some photo and then proceeded.



    Next stop was at Lakham falls, we enjoyed the beauty of the falls. We could see large size of trees were lying on the banks which showed the force of the river when the water level is more. We stopped for 30 mins and then started our journey.

    Flower at Lakham Falls.jpg

    Lakham Falls1.jpg

    Lakham Falls2.jpg

    We have also saw few water falls in other hills as well. We were able to click the below pictures, the sight was awesome and we could see through a light mist.

    Unknown Waterfalls.jpg

    Unknown Waterfalls2 (cloudy view).jpg

    After that we have crossed Sandalwood forest. The entire forest had a nice fencing (I believe it is electrified) to protect the trees. We reached Marayoor around 2:30 pm and had our lunch, the food was good. Initially we all decided to have light Tiffin since we have to travel for another 5 hrs, but mom and wife changed their mind and ordered for meals. By the time we reached Marayoor, my son was exhausted with cough even though he was given medicine (we always have the habit of carrying the medical history of our kids and in case they are not well, we know which medicine to buy and in any worst case to see a doctor, it will help us) and hence he had only horlicks. We saw the thoovanam water falls on the way. We reached the Kerala check post around 4:30 pm and signed in the register (which is a normal procedure and could see every one signing. Here they are neither check car documents nor driving license) and again in Tamilnadu check post as well. Before leaving the check post they asked me to pay 20/-. I checked with them whether it is an entry fee and any tickets will be given. They said, nothing will be provided and it is just a fees for them. In my opinion, these people definitely should learn from people sitting just 50 meters away.

    Don't want to spoil the trip mood and I paid 20 bucks and left the place. From there onward, the Chinnar wild life sanctuary starts and I was desperately looking for a glimpse of a wild animal, but to my luck nothing I could see.

    View of the sanctuary

    View of Chinnar Wildlife Santuary.jpg

    Headed towards Udumalai and reached around 5:30 pm. Before reaching Udumalai we stopped at Kumbakonam Degree Filter Coffee (KDFC) house for a short break.

    Not sure whether this picture is there in all the KDFC outlets. You can see a mustache is been drawn on the kid's face :)

    Interesting Photo.jpg

    Car taking a much needed rest before starting another 4 hrs journey

    Car parked at KDFC's.jpg

    From there the drive was fantastic. Since it was a Diwali day, people were busy watching movies and other things and not many on the roads. Good speed was maintained and reached home at Sankagiri around 9 pm. We have taken Udumalai - Dharapuram - Kangeyam - Perundurai - Sankagiri route and it is awesome. The two lanes have good reflectors and it is excellent to drive. The plan was to start at 7 am to visit nearby temple to do pooja for my car. After that we planned to start at 10 am from Sankagiri and reach Chennai by 4 pm.

    Did we start at the planned time? Let us see

    Total Distance Travelled: 401 kms
    Mileage: 17 Kmpl

    Day 6: 3-Nov-2013

    We started from home at 7:30 am and went to the temple. We came back home at 10 am after pooja and had our breakfast. The earlier plan was, my mom and dad will stay in Sankagiri and we proceed to Chennai. But my dad asked me to take mom if in case we need any assistance in the journey. Mainly to take care of my son since he was not yet fully recovered from cold and cough. So we started at 12 pm from Sankagiri. Until Ulunthurpet, not much traffic. After that too many cars were on the roads and the toll plaza's and restaurants are crowded. We had our lunch at Ulunthurpet and started to Chennai and reached home sweet home by 6:30 pm. On the way we saw two minor accidents, one near Mamandur bridge, and another one near Guduvanchery.

    Total Distance Travelled: 412 kms
    Mileage: 19.6 Kmpl

    Overall stats of the journey as follows

    Total Distance Travelled: 1381 kms
    Mileage: 18.1 Kmpl

    Expenses for this trip

    Room Rent (2 rooms and 1 additional bed) - Rs. 20100 /-
    Food Expenses - Rs. 6500 /-
    Toll Expenses - Rs. 700 /-
    Rides - Rs. 1500 /-
    Misc - Rs. 1000 /-
    Fuel Expenses - 4300/-

    Overall Expense (Approx) ~ Rs. 34300 /-

    Will meet you all in another travelogue... see you all soon...
    3 people like this.
  10. Shri1972

    Shri1972 Amatore


    Nice travelogue !!!
    TW Linea looks awesome.
    Very good snaps too !!

    Shrinivas Patil

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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