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Kerala Drive - Dec'14 - What a mesmerising beauty !!!

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
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    Nehru Pavilion - Boat Racing:

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    Day 7 - 26th Dec'14:

    The destination was Wayanad on this day. Left Alleppey late at about 10 am. Little did we know that this will trouble us at the fag end of the journey that day. The traffic was heavy and it took nus ages to reach Chalakudy itself. Crossed Thrissur, reached Palakkad BP & had "Lunch" at McDonalds. Most of the route now was 2-lane and overtaking was a big challenge. Big & slow-moving trucks often forms "comets" with a long queue of cars following them waiting a rare chance of overtaking.

    By the time we reached Chungathara/ Edakkara (after Nilambur), it was already dark ! :( Crossed Nadugani ghat in pitched darkness. Crossed Vaduvanchal, took right turn to Ambalwayal & finally reached Hotel at Kolagappara at about 9.30 pm :( Too much mental stress due to family being together on a night driving through ghat where traffic is very very sparse.

    Spotted this enroute somewhere after Palakkad IIRC. Saw a similar but bigger procession on the highway in front of our hotel at Kolagappara (Wayanad) next day late evening

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  2. krish1484

    krish1484 Novizio

    Messages:
    43
    Chennai
    Chennai
    Linea T-Jet
    Truly engaging travelogue. A visual delight to see all those snaps. Munnar is a great hill station. Sprawling tea estates. Lot of places to see though time consuming to cover them all.
    Eravikulam, Attukad waterfalls, KDHP tea factory/store being my favorite.
  3. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Day 8 - 27th Dec'14:

    In our plan we originally had 1.5 day / 2 nights at Wayanad. The plan was to reach early afternoon by about 3-4 pm and before going to hotel, visit a couple of points e.g. Sujippara falls and spend the next full day visiting Banasura circuit. However, reaching late previous day has forced to improvise on the plan.

    We decided to go "extremely" easy ! Had a nice breakfast at hotel. By the time we left hotel, it was 10.45 am !!! Went thro' Kolagappara - Ambalwayal - Vaduvanchal road. 1st way point came - Edakkal caves. We skipped it as it requires some tough trekking/ walking which kids would have found difficult. Next way point "Phantom Rock" came on the way. Though we knew that there is nothing much there, just went inside in the lane and came back without climbing to the rock.

    Decided to give Sujjipara falls a visit. Turned out to be not-so-good-decision!! Narrow road at the end, haphazardly parked cars on the sides and then enormous climb / walk / steps (more than almost 2-3 kms). Sapped every ounce of energy in the scorching heat. And most critically, it took much much longer to visit the fall and come back. By the time we came back to the car it was about 2 pm !! And we had to again revise our plan for the rest of the day !!


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    Since, we started from Sujjipara falls at about 2 - 2.30 pm, we thought we'll drive to Chembra Peak base and from there go to Banasura dam / park. The road to Chembra Peak base reminded me to Ladakh roads :). Full of inclines/ climbed, broken patches, extremely curvy. On the way we liked a spot so much that we stopped there while going up and also while coming back.

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    Reached the Parking spot. From there, it was more than 2 kms walk and hence didn't proceed ahead. Clicked a few pics there near the parking spot. The views were fabulous all around and I'm sure the view from the top would be even more majestic.

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  4. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    ....contd....Day 8 - 27th Dec'14:

    Few more pics at Chembra Peak base parking......




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    By the time we were thro' with pics at Chembra Peak base parking, it was few minutes past 4 pm. While discussing with few taxi drivers there, we came to know that Banasura dam / park would be closed at around 4.30 - 5 pm. We won't be able to reach there. So, dropped the idea of further expedition (since we were already tired - Sujjipara climb was showing its effect), we decided to head back. Reached hotel at about 6-6.30 pm. At about 8 pm, saw a long procession passing thro' the highway in front of the hotel with beautiful cultural dances & events.

    Day 9 - 28th Dec'14:


    Next day morning, we proceeded to Ooty & passed thro' Vaduvanchal & Nadugani (the ghat where I drove in the night while coming to Wayanad).

    Stopped at a couple of spots to capture the beauty in the lenses


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    Couldn't resist to stop here..... Nilgiri's....

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    We took a turn and saw colorful vista in the distant valley. It was risky stopping there as on both side, there were turns. But we had to stop looking at the colors. Found a spot from where the cars coming from both sides / turns can sight our parked car and quickly captured the colors.

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    Stopped at Pykkara dam for half an hour. Didn't do boating there as we wanted to reach Ooty fast (didn't have another day at Ooty). Further, we already did the boating at Mattukutty.

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  5. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    ....contd....Day 9 - 28th Dec'14:

    Reached Ooty & checked in Club Mahindr. Freshened up and left immediately to Doddabetta Peak.

    View from Doddabetta


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    We had snacks at Doddabetta peak and left for Botanical Garden.

    Few pics at Botanical Garden

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    There was a Grande Dinner at Club Mahindra, subscribed for that. Won a voucher for 3 days stay at Kumarakom ! Had this been earlier, we would have stayed at Kumarakom instead of Alleppey :)

    At Club Mahindra Ooty....

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  6. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Day 10 - 29th Dec'14:

    The return journey starts !

    We decided to drop Mysore sight-seeing and night halt as the last day journey from Mysore to Mumbai was long demanding an early morning start at about 4 am. Hence, we again left Ooty at leisure after having breakfast at hotel.

    One of the attraction of the drive was Ooty - Masinagudi route and I was eagerly looking forward to it. As we reached the junction there, the cops stopped us and prevented entry to that route. We were told that the Ooty to Masinagudi route is closed, only one way traffic from Masinagudi to Ooty is allowed. We were also told that that was due to an accident - an Indica fell 15 feet into the valley at 32nd hair pin bend. All our pleas to allow us to go were rejected :(

    This meant we had to take a detour and go via Gudalur which will take about one and half hour more :(


    On the way from Ooty to Gudalur.....

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    Loved driving thro' Mudumallai & Bandipur forest. Drove very slowly and sighted some wild elephants. Fabulous drive !! Took time as I drove very slow but every minute was worth it.


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    Reached Mysore BP Ring Road at about 4 pm and had Lunch. From here, I decided not to go thro' Bangalore route and went via Srirangapatna, Pandavpura, Bellur Cross, Turuvekere, Huliyar, Hiriyur to Chitradurga. Reached Chitradurga at 10 pm. Had dinner and crashed to bed.

    Day 11 - 30th Dec'14:

    Left next day from Chitradurga at about 9.30 am. Held up at Pune BP in traffic for more than an hour. Reached home at 11 pm.

    A mesmerising drive ended with lots of memories!

    At the end of the drive, the ODO was showing this.....



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  7. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,243
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Great Travelogue VP. Completely enjoyed your journey.

    You did miss some more stunning places which calls for another drive. :D
    Wayanad - You missed the Thirunelly, Nagarhole forests.
    Ooty - You should have done boating at Pykara. It is not just about boating there. The scenarios would be awesome when you take the boat there. And you missed Avalanche too - http://www.teamfiat.com/threads/che...ird-week-of-march.11808/page-5#post-841909073
    Munnar - Obviously you missed Kolukkumalai, Pallivasal Falls.

    Another drive this year?
    cassini and VahanPujari like this.
  8. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    ^^
    Thanks Ramesh.

    Another drive :D

    Would love to. But still North-East is pending :D. And "kida" of another drive to Ladakh has already started raising heads :D

    While planning, you didn't tell me about Kolukkumalai :(
    Kidding.

    I know the compromises I made due to family restrictions and tight schedule. For a drive, it requires 2-3 weeks (dunno how & when so many leaves . Else I could have still done better justice to all these places had I flown there (would have eliminated 3-4 days of to & fro journey).
    Forest safari was out for want of early morning rising which I saw my family struggling to do.
    In Wayanad, Sujjipara falls was a bad decision, took so much of time :(

    What I learnt from this trip is that such drive with family requires more no. of days (could have still managed if the drive was with our Ladakh gang (bro, nephew, BIL) instead of family).
  9. Nimish antony

    Nimish antony Regolare

    Messages:
    393
    Kochi
    Fantastic thread and i was glued to it. You have covered Kerala more than the people who stay here. Awesome narration and im planning my trip straight away :)
  10. abhishek643

    abhishek643 Timido

    Messages:
    19
    pune
    Excellent detailing carried out @VahanPujari. After reading this I am planning a road trip to kerala. I have been to Kerala once but it was packaged tour, now will surely plan road trip..
    By the way how is atmosphere during summer there?
    VahanPujari likes this.

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