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Kerala Drive Plan - Queries

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by VahanPujari, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. vayfiat

    vayfiat Amatore

    Messages:
    220
    Bangalore
    Ooty is like a township these days and according to me very boring - lot of pollution. Wayanad will be superb this time around - Especially Banasura dam, the tea estates, Chembra peak and a drive to Thirunelly temple (deep inside forest) will be awesome.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  2. cliffhanger

    cliffhanger Amatore

    Messages:
    91
    madras
    Ooty in December end will see very few tourists and with mist all around and temperature hovering around 15 deg in a lot of days, it would be nothing less than magical.
    VahanPujari and ramjn like this.
  3. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Yes. That's why if I can cover good distance on Day 1, I've thought of proceeding beyond Bangalore to Krishnagiri atleast and halt there for the night.

    Also, Day 2 Bangalore to Cochin....actually the way I see it is that Cochin is not the destination on this day, the journey is the Destination ! (Would be going thro' Valaparai & Athirapilly falls route & I'm told that the route is beautiful).

    But I've a doubt. I think we'll have to reach Athirapilly Falls latest by 5 pm. If we spend one hour at Valaparai, then we'll have to reach Valaparai by 2 pm. What time should we need to start from Bangalore so as to reach Valaparai by 2 pm ?

    From Athirapilly, I might not go all the way to Cochin and may halt for the night just before Cochin at Angamaly.

    It's getting too tight. I might need to cover more on Day 1 which in itself is stretched (Mumbai to Bangalore/ Krishnagiri).

    I know. But the problem is fixed reservation at Munnar on Day 4 & 5. I tried to use all permutations/ combinations of coming by Wayanad/ Masinagudi etc but most permutations failed in the requirement of reaching Munnar on Day 4.

    I've almost decided to drop Masinagudi & increase one more day at Wayanad instead. And so also Mysore, which I may still do if there is a day spare in return journey (Mysore would be the last stop in return)

    Thanks. Almost decided to add one more day (total 2 days) at Wayanad and reduce it from Masinagudi/ Ooty.

    Thanks. Now I've one day (instead of 2 days planned earlier) to choose between Masinagudi & Ooty. Ooty then?
  4. vayfiat

    vayfiat Amatore

    Messages:
    220
    Bangalore
    "Ente Veedu" is an excellent homestay in Wayanadu - you can search in Google and get the website. You can call the host and get rooms booked. "Akash" is a good room to stay which has an open balcony opening to paddy fields. It has a private balcony towards coffee/pepper plantation as well. It will be Rs. 3000 per day. I had stayed there 3 times. The host Seetha will be able to help you with places to see or message me and I can help you.
    VahanPujari likes this.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,245
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    The route from Pollachi-Valparai-Athirapalli-Chalakkudi is beautiful. No doubt about it but will take lot of time driving as it is all ghat section. I once started from Guruvayur at 10 AM and reached Valparai at 5.30 PM with 2 hrs break at Athirapalli. The route was Guruvayur-Thrissur-Chalakudi-Athirapalli-Valparai.

    The forest dept will close the gates between Athirapalli and Valparai after 6 pm. You will have to plan accordingly. From Bangalore, I estimate the below time (Slightly on higher side).
    Bangalore-Salem-Perundurai (4 lane NH) = 4.5 hrs
    Perunduari-Kangayam-Palladam-Pollachi (awesome State highway) = 2.5 hrs
    Pollachi-Valparai (ghats) = 2.5 hrs
    Valparai-Athirapalli (ghats) = 2 hrs
    Athirapalli-Chalakudi-Angamali (ghats till Chalakudi and traffic thereafter) = 1.5 hrs
    Angamali-Cochin (insane traffic) = 1 hr

    You have nothing to see at Valparai. It is just the route that is beautiful. There is nothing for you to break at Valparai except for your refreshments. :)

    For me it is Ooty. :)
    VahanPujari likes this.
  6. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    ^^Superb info, Ramesh
    :)

    Such routes can be done only if you drive. That's why decided to stretch with a Drive Plan instead of Flight & then hire-a-cab there.
    But it'll be a stretched drive plan & will have to bear with following quote from you....
    Back calculations suggest that I'll have to leave Mumbai by 4.00 AM on Day 1 & stretch till Krishnagiri - almost 1100 kms, even if I reach by 8 - 9 PM, it'll do. As a single driver, this would turn out to be my longest drive at a stretch (there were longer drives during Leh trip, but I had my bro who shared the driving wheel).


    Again...the back calculations
    Athirapally - reach at 5 PM (and then move around for an hour?). If we leave Athirapally by 6-6.30 PM, we can reach Angamally by 7.30 - 8 PM & stay there.

    Valparai - reach by 2 PM & have Lunch (are food/ lunch outlets available at Valparai?)

    Krishnagiri - leave by 6 AM :(... only then we'll be able to reach Valparai by 2 PM

    Will stay at Angamally for the night to avoid driving further and in the morning will go to a Cherai hotel to check-in

    Are Lunch outlets available at Valparai?

    So as it is to me also.:)

    But another school of thought is that there are a couple of hill-stations we're already covering (Munnar, Wayanad....), hence why not Masinagudi for Wildlife (do a jungle safari there) - we're not covering any other wild life locations like Thekkady / Periyar

    EDIT:

    It is safe to travel with family (2 kids) thro' Valparai & Athirapilly route.....Right? or is there any safety concern?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  7. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,245
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    There are food options (may be average) available at Valparai around the bus station. Shouldn't be an issue.

    If you feel you have enough time after spending time at Athirapalli, you can head to Cochin itself instead of breaking at Angamali. Do not stretch your time beyond 6pm at Athirapalli. The route from Valparai to Athirapalli is safe. Anyway you will be driving during the day time only. :)

    Munnar/Wayanad are not proper high altitude hill-stations like Ooty and Kodaikanal. The weather will be too cold in Ooty during December. For wildlife, you can plan for safari around Tholpetty and Thirunelly forests in Wayanad. Just that you will have to plan your stay around this area. There are nice resorts available too. Thirunelly forests are just awesome and one of my favorite place. :)
    VahanPujari likes this.
  8. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    ^^
    Confirmed. Masinagudi is out. One more day added to Wayanand making it 2 days. And Ooty is confirmed. Club Mahindra Ooty booked (someone seems to have cancelled):)

    Now, I need help in places to visit at each location. Done some research but there are so many places at each locations and I've a limitation of time available (every location is either for 1 or 2 days) & got confused which ones to select and which ones to skip.

    Pls suggest Top places to visit at following places. I've also mentioned duration available for sight-seeing at each location. If you know, pls also do not hesitate to mention any speciality like a food joint (Veg) or a local speciality.:)

    Cochin - 1 day (previous day is travel thro Valparai & Athirapilly)
    Munnar - 2 days (1.5 day as 1st half day will get spent in reaching Munnar)
    Alleppey - 0.5 Day (May reach at noon)
    Wayanad - 1.5 day (1st half day in travel)
    Ooty - 1 day
    Mysore - 1 day
  9. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,245
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Cochin - Fort Cochin, Marine drive, Mattenchery palace and if you are interested can try the daily Kathikali shows at Cochin Cultural center (http://cochinculturalcentre.com/home.php)

    Munnar - Mattupetty dam, Echo point, Kundala Dam, Top station, Tata tea museum, Kathakali shows at Punarjani village, Pallivasal Falls

    Allepey - I guess you will spend in the house boat.

    Wayanad - Banasura Sagar Dam, Kuruva Island, Thirunelly temple and if time permits Tholpetty forest safari, Iruppu falls

    Ooty - Botanical Garden, Pykara lake, Pykara falls

    I seriously doubt if you can do Alleppey-Wayanad in half day unless you start very early from Alleppey. Kerala roads are small and have heavy traffic too and you have to drive 300+ kms from Alleppey to Wayanad. And do remember that Wayanad is not a place but a district in Kerala. Not all places in Wayanad are exotic. There are over crowded towns too like Kalpetta, Sunthan Bathery. Wayanad is best enjoyed only if you stay away from these places. I personally prefer to stay in the area of Thirunelly forests, Tholpetty or Kattikulam.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    VahanPujari likes this.
  10. vayfiat

    vayfiat Amatore

    Messages:
    220
    Bangalore
    Amit,

    Alappuzha(Alleppey) to Wayanad will take ~8hrs, according to me. May be you can try Alappuzha->Kochi->Thrissur->Kunnamkulam->Kuttippuram->Kottakkal->Ramanattukara->Kozhikkode->Wayanad. Kochi->Thrissur is four lane and traffic should be OK post Aluva. But you will have to watch your speed - you may be caught if you try beyond 80kmph.

    Also, climbing ghats section in between Kozhikkode and Wayanad (Thamarassery churam/ghats) will take ~1hr. If you stay in north Wayanad, advise you to take Kalpetta bypass.

    In Wayand though, I will recommend a trek to Chembra more than anything - that is the best experience you can get in Wayanad.
    A stay in Banasura Hill Resort will be best stay you can get in Wayanad - this resort is on a hill facing Dam's catchment area.
    Places to avoid - Kuruva Island, Edakkal Caves - highly crowded. As ramjn suggeted, a drive to Thirunelly temple at morning is highly recommended (drive around 6am-7am, you can spot elephants here).

    I'm from Palakkad, Kerala and I stay in the middle of greenery and I rarely get impressed by greenery. So, I will say that Wayanad has places to entertain you to the fullest - but obviously, stay away from towns. Ooty is my dearest hill station and I'm deeply pained about the pollution in Ooty. Choose places away from the town - you will enjoy.
    VahanPujari likes this.

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