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My road trip to the wild- Chennai TN to Parambikulam KL

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by naveen2cool, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    It had been 7 months since I got my Punto and haven't really ventured for a long trip with her. The factory visit was an opportunity lost for her as I was held up with some work commitments at the last moment. The budget allocated for the factory visit was left to be used for Punto. I thought of getting a new head unit for her but later decided that I should go for a long drive for which the budget was allocated for which would make her happy. I got 7th and 8th of Jan Monday and Tuesday free and started discussing with fellow TFIans regarding the destination. As there were only 3-4 days for the travel everyone advised to keep the destination around 600 kms away. I haven't actually travelled to south Tamil Nadu hence thought I should make a visit to some good place. Destination was chosen as Vallparai. I start doing some research on the places around vaalparai and Parambikulam seemed to be interesting. I was planning for all of this on a Wednesday when I was supposed to leave for the trip on Friday. I gave a call to the number listed in their website and no one picked up. I give a call to my friend who will accompany me for the trip and tell him "Get me a accommodation in Parambikulam somehow or else I'm gonna cancel this trip" :p He gets some local contacts and fixes an accommodation in Parambikulam on Thursday evening. The accommodation was booked from Saturday noon to Sunday noon. Friday was the day. We started at 6 P.M from my office near Sholinganallur. All I know is that I have to reach Parambikulam by Saturday afternoon. With no prior highway experience and with no proper plan and not knowing where we will go after Sunday noon we took off for the trip. It was Me, My Punto and My Friend :D

    Route planned as per our cvanandh and dhans4all suggestions

    Kelambakkam-Vandalur-Chengalpet-Trichy-Dindugul-Udumalaipet-Anaimalai-Topslip-Parambikulam


    Excuse me for the quality of pics as I'm a complete noob in photography and all the photos were shot using this P&S camera

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    Friday 04-JAN-2013

    I took a print out of google maps route given by cvanandh. I had ordered for a tab windshield mount from ebay earlier that week but it didn't arrive till then. At around 5 P.M I got a call from office courier desk saying I got a parcel. I was jumping with joy when I got the mount as it arrived just before I was to start for the trip.
    We started at 6 P.M in the evening straight from office. Crossed Kelambakkam-Vandalur and reached Maraimalai Nagar at around 7:30 P.M. We stopped at Jeevan Cafe for Dinner. I go to the rest room and change from formals to tshirt and shorts :D Had a light dinner and also set up the route in the sygic installed in my Tab.
    I fixed the windshield mount, washed the windshield, cleaned the side glasses and mirrors and started to Trichy at 8:30 P.M from Maraimalai nagar. The roads were good with moderate traffic and once we crossed Chengalpet it was a breeze to drive. I hadn't pushed my Punto for more than 100 kmph but here driving at 130 - 160 kmph was like a cake walk. The buzzer was constantly buzzing at 130 kmph. That was the time I realized why people praise FIAT for its highway abilities.
    We reached Trichy at 12 P.M and decided to take rest as we had a safari planned at 3 P.M the next day and driving the entire night will spoil Saturday evening. We stayed at a lodge and retired for the day.



    Saturday 05-JAN-2013

    We started from Trichy at 5:30 A.M. We hit the Trichy-Dindigul highway by 6 A.M and man o man, the roads we really superb and that too in the dawn it was such a pleasant sight.
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    We reached Dindigul at 7:30 A.M. Had breakfast at hotel green park at Dindigul-Udumalaipet junction. The road from Dindigul to Udumalaipet was a two lane road. The road was good and there was very less traffic as it was in the morning. I filled up fuel at an IndianOil station just few kms before Udumailaipet. This is the only station in the surrounding which accepts card payment. Just when I got out from the fuel station I got a call from cvanandh to enquire about my status 
    We reached Anailmalai and the Topslip checkpost at the foot of the hill was conquered at 11:30 A.M.
    The road from the foot of the hill to top slip and kerala border was in a very bad shape. I had to shift constantly between 1st gear and 2nd gear. It was around 1:00 P.M when we reached kerala border.

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    6 people like this.
  2. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    We were provided a guide at the parambikulam check post. He got into the car and accompanied us to the place we were to stay. Road in Parambikulam was good when compared to TN side. We reached our honey comb room at 2:00 P.M . Lunch was ready and we filled up our hungry tummies to its brim :-D
    The room was good and the food served was just awesome. I did not expect such a service from a government maintained forest guest house. Hats off to you kerala forest department. The cost of the room is 3500 Rs which includes Buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast and it is worth the money paid for.
    We were very tired and went to take a nap. We had only half an hour time as we had to start for safari at 3 P.M.

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  3. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    THE SAFARI

    The guide came and woke us at exactly 3 P.M. Though I was tired I did not want to miss this safari hence got up and our safari to Kannimara teak began. It was complete off roading in the wild and was fun. Enjoy the visual treat and check out the animals we encountered.
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    5 people like this.
  4. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    Tunacadavu dam
    We came back to the road after a 2 hour safari and went to Tunacadavu dam. I got out from the car and saw the MJD emitting thick black smoke from the strained off road safari drive entirely in first gear. I assumed that the engine took too much of diesel and hence the incomplete combustion. Kept the car in idle and the black smoke vanished. The car was back to normal in a minute :)
    Here is the Tunacadavu dam
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    We came back to our honey comb and we were welcomed with evening Tea and biscuits at 7:00 P.M. Dinner was served at 8:30 P.M . It was a happy day spent in the wild and we hit the sack with a content heart :)
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
    6 people like this.
  5. dhans4all

    dhans4all Amatore

    Messages:
    156
    Chennai
    Wow, I was waiting for this travalogue for a long tkbeen waiting for your travalogue.... Planning for a trip in feb.. Not zeroed in the place bit might repeat yours.
    1 person likes this.
  6. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    SUNDAY 06-JAN-2013
    I woke up at 6:00 A.M and the guide took us for a trek in the woods.
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    We started our walk and within a few 100 meters we were greeted by
    WILD ELEPHANTS
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    They blocked our way of trek and few more were found inside the forest. The guide said that it is not advisable to go when the elephants are there. So we just had to make our trek in the road. Though we were not able to venture into the woods we were happy to have spotted the elephants.

    LANGURS
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    WILD SQUIRREL
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  7. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
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    We came back to our honeycomb and breakfast was ready. We finished our breakfast and the guide took us for boating. It was a small drive to the lake. The boat was not exactly a boat. It was a series of bamboo sticks tied beautifully together and made like a boat. It takes 4 people, one at each corner of the boat to row it. The oarsmen were telling stories of them spotting tigers and leopards.
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    The boating lasted for about an hour and we spotted
    A CROCODILE
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    After the boating we headed to
    Parambikulam dam

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    Parambikulam trip came to an end. We reached our room, packed our bags and started our journey to VALPARAI

    PARAMBIKULAM FACTS
    The best time to visit Parambikulam is during May-June. They guide said that the island has a cottage which can be booked If someone is really interested in spotting tigers and leopards. The cottage doesn’t have electricity and 4 guides will accompany you there. The cottage can accommodate 5 people and 4 guides. Anyone interested?
    http://www.parambikulam.org/bambooisland.php

    They also have another one cottage called Thellikalli. The place has to be reached after a 8 Km trek. The guide told us that one can surely spot at least a leopard if stayed at thellikalli. We met a group who stayed there and they said that they heard a loud roar and when ventured out they saw really big pug marks.
    http://www.parambikulam.org/thellikkalnights.php
    Parambikulam is really one good wild place to be. Kerala forest department takes utmost care to keep the place clean and the hospitality was great. Thumbs up to them :)
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    The one thing I sorely missed was a SLR cam
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  8. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    We headed to Valparai and visited Aliyar dam on the way. I did not book any accommodation for Sunday night and thought I will find some place in Valparai. The ghat road in valparai was fun to drive and in very good condition.
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    We reached Valparai at 6:00 P.M only to find that it is a very small village and the accommodations were not so good. I did some google search and gave a call to few resorts near Anaimalai. This one called Wild County seemed to be a good bet as they offered a 24 hours check in. As it was already late I knew it would take few more hours to reach the resort and 24 hrs check in means I have a roof over my head for the next 24 hours and so I head to Wild County Resorts Sethumedu.
    2 people like this.
  9. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    07-JAN-2013
    WILD COUNTY RESORTS


    wildcountyresorts.net

    We were given a wood house at wild county. The place was good and it was another wild experience over there. The resort is in a 70 acre coconut farm which has 12 cottages. As it was a Monday there was no one else except us.

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    We went for a walk in the farm and we found that they had a kennel and a wide variety of birds there. Being a great fan of pets I spent time in the kennel till afternoon

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  10. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
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    We decided to go back to Chennai in the night. The car was very dirty by then and I requested the care taker of the resort to give my car a wash and he was more than happy to do it. My punto got a wash in the farm and she was refreshed and ready for a ride back to Chennai
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    We started at 7 P.M and the return journey begins. Thanks lot members for the route suggestions which made my trip a hassle free one. I took the same route back home.
    The car returned an average of 18kmpl overall including really bad stretches in the jungle and constant driving at 150 kmph for many a kms. Total distance covered was 1323 kms.::T
    We reached Chennai on 8-Jan morning and thus the trip came to an end and ya as well as my really long travelogue :D
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