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Monsoon drive to the South

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by johnny, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. abk1980

    abk1980 Amatore

    Messages:
    246
    Mumbai
    That's a lovely trip you have planned sir! Wish you a safe and enjoyable journey.
    You could return via Jog Falls and Karwar - both would be beautiful at this time of the year.
  2. fiatlover

    fiatlover Esperto

    Messages:
    1,599
    Bangalore/Kasargod
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.4
    Wish you happy journey!

    "PLEASE CHEAK THE RICET" was too much :lol
  3. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Messages:
    1,245
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Truly enjoyed reading this write up and pics Sir! As rightly pointed out by others, you people are source of inspiration for many! Congrats for your grand daughter as well! Happy and safe journey!
  4. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Wow! I did not realise that this thread would generate so much interest. Before I say anything else, a great big thanks to all of you who have provided words of encouragement - there are far too many to thank personally.

    Also thanks to those of you who have made some great suggestions. Unfortunately, I have planned the itinerary in true military style. All hotel bookings have been done; some advances paid; so changes would not be possible. However, if I do another similar trip, I will definitely keep these great suggestions in mind.

    We will be in Trivandrum for two days. Arrival early afternoon on Monday 06 August, and departure on 08 August in the morning. We are staying in the Air Force Officers mess in Aakulam. If anyone has the time, we could meet. I can PM my mob number to anyone who is inclined.

    We left Tumkur for Mysore this morning at 0700 AM. It was good going till we approached Bangalore. Despite very comprehensive directions from JRavi, I missed the NICE ring road by pass. The sign said 'Mysore' & the road did not look very 'impressive'. So I continued straight, and while I was on the road to Bangalore, saw the sign showing the entry to the NICE road. But it was too late, and I had to continue through Bangalore, and finally hit the Mysore road. The part through Bangalore is quite messed up due to the Metro work. In the bargain we lost about 30 to 45 minutes. Once we were on the highway proper, it was good going.

    One interesting thing about this route is that it has a very large number of eating places catering for all types of tastes. We stuck with the Kamat chain which provides exceptional iddlys - my comfort food during long drives.

    We are staying in the Air Force mess here. After lunch, we decided to visit Brindavan gardens. It is not shown on MMI. So, we proceeded by asking directions. I think that we did a full Mysore darshan in the bargain.

    The road to Brindavan is a mixed bag - good and bad stretches. The garden itself is lovely. However, the state of maintenance was quite bad. It is still a must see place.

    I am enclosing some photos, including the Kamat hotel on the Mysore road, and a few of Brindavan Gardens.

    Kamat-interior.jpg
    Brindavan-01.jpg Brindavan-02.jpg

    Regards
    Johnny​
    10 people like this.
  5. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    Looking forward to meet you here in Trivandrum.
    I will be at Ernakulam on 4th evening and 5th morning. Any chance you would be nearby on 5th morning?
  6. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hi Roy,
    I will be in Alwaye on the 5th. Will be with my brother at Osa Lane in Thottakattukara area (near the bridge). You could call me up. Will leave for Trivandrum on 6th morning.
    Regards
    Johnny
  7. Excellent writing sir!!!
    Wish you a happy and safe journey!!
    Please keep us posted,looking forward to more updates from you...
  8. Srini

    Srini Regolare

    Messages:
    468
    Chennai
    Wow - Inspiring
  9. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Update from Alwaye

    On 03 Aug, we were in Mysore, and planned to first visit the Palace, and then do Chamundi hills in the afternoon. The Palace was close to where we were staying, and we reached the Palace by about 1030. The Palace is really something to see. To do full justice to the Palace, temples etc you need about two to three hours. Two points to keep in mind: Cameras are not allowed inside the Palace - they have a free facility where you can keep your camera in a locker. Also footwear is not allowed inside - once again a free facility is provided for keeping footwear. I am enclosing a few photos of the Palace from the outside. It is really amazing, and is a must see place.


    Mysore-palace-temple.jpg
    Palace-avenue.jpg

    After finishing the Palace, we decided to do a typical Mysorean lunch. One of the locals had informed us of a small place that serves excellent food. It is called "Hotel RRR" and is in Gandhi square. The Thali meal served in a banana leaf is really great, and very moderately priced. A photo of the restaurant is attached.

    Hotel-RRR.jpg

    After lunch we returned to the room, planning to do do Chamundi hills later in the afternoon. There I just happened to check my tyres, and realised that I had a nail on the left front tyre. I had no desire to drive through a reserved forest with a nail in my front tyre. So I pulled out the nail, and as expected the tyre deflated. The nail was over an inch long. Two of the wheel nuts were jammed, and luckily I could take some assistance from the Air Force chaps. They used a long pipe to give additional leverage to the spanner handle. In retrospect, if I had the problem on route, I would have been stumped. I got the tyre repaired, and refixed the same wheel back. As per the mechanic, it is good to run the wheel so that the repair plug melts, and gives a good seal - I think that he was right, since the wheel is OK so far. After the wheel repair, we decided to take a break in view of the long drive on the next day.

    We started from Mysore at 0600 AM. I was expecting this leg to be long in terms of time, because of the likely road conditions. It is a two lane road almost all the way through. The road condition in Karnataka was generally OK. The traffic density too was manageable, probably due to the time of day. At Gundlupet, you have to take the right fork towards Kozhikode - the other one goes to Ooty. This turn is not sign-posted. So, one has to be careful. Thereafter the road runs through the Bandhipur which is a Tiger sanctuary as per the signs on the ground. The road was good, but there are speedbreakers every 500 m or so - the speed limit is supposed to be 30 kmph to protect the wild animals. We managed to see some wild elephants. Photo taken 'from the car' is attached.

    Elephants.jpg

    As you cross into Kerala, the road condition takes a hit - perhaps a more effective method to enforce the speed limit!! There was a jam at the RTO checkpost, which took about 30 mins to clear. Then we were in Waynad . The roads are BAD. It was pothole dodging all the way. The GC upgrade paid for itself during this stretch - I did not scrape bottom even once. As you leave Waynad, you have the new road that goes to Kozhikode, probably to facilitate tourism in Waynad. On this road you have nine 'serious' hairpin bends. I found that the combination of good road surface, and good traffic discipline made if relatively easy to negotiate this stretch - as compared to Mohand (en-route to Dehra Dun)/Mussoorie. Of course the Punto's road manners also play an important part. A photo of the road is attached.

    Ghat-section.jpg

    Just short of Kozhikode, the bye-pass is well sign posted, and we took this road. My plan was to go via Trissur, and then hit the 4 lane stretch towards Alwaye. Here the MMI GPS was my downfall. At one non-signposted turn, I was told to turn right, and I finally ended up travelling via Chavakkad, Kodungallor, Parur. This is not an option that I will recommend. The last 60 kms took over 2 hrs!! It was a series of narrow winding roads with really heavy traffic which included trucks, buses, autos etc. In short it was a real mess. We finally reached Alwaye at 1630 PM. My brother was surprised - he was expecting us much much later!!

    Today, we are just relaxing, and catching up with news etc. Tomorrow's plan is to leave in the morning for Trivandrum.

    Regards
    Johnny
    9 people like this.
  10. varoon9999

    varoon9999 Superiore

    Messages:
    769
    New Delhi,HP 48
    New Delhi,HP 48
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Johhny sir,

    just woow.

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