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View Poll Results: When do we do the Western Ghats Expedition?
July first half 7 18.42%
July second half 13 34.21%
August first half 7 18.42%
August second half 3 7.89%
September first half 2 5.26%
September second half 6 15.79%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 1st February 2010, 13:59   #1
DKG
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Default Western Ghat Expedition

If once a year all us offroaders could do just one marathon cross country drive, ideally during the monsoon season, it would be something a lot of us could look forward to each year and perhaps we could do such events in different parts of the country.

May I suggest we put our heads together and create our first such expedition somewhere in the Western Ghats. Perhaps a cross country drive from Coorg to Goa, ending with a big party in Goa?

What say guys? I do realise logistically this would entail a great deal of planning and coordination and organising.

We have people from Coorg, other parts of the Western Ghats and some in Goa. Could we all get together and plan something for August this year?

It would be a riot and well worth the effort.

India has awesome potential to host many such marathon journeys. I can think of a desert crossing in Rajasthan, cross country in Leh/Ladakh, or across Arunachal Pradesh in future too

Last edited by DKG : 1st February 2010 at 14:05.
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:09   #2
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Western Ghats starts from south Kerala. You will be missing some of the best parts of WG if you start from Coorg.

Sectors for consideration:
Kollam-Schencottah
Theni-Thekkady-Kanjirapalli
Kattapana-Idukki-Thodupuzha
Thekkady-Munnar
Munnar-Kodaikanal (OTR)
Pollachi-Valparai-Chalakudy
Mannarkad-Anakatti-Coimbatore-Manjoor-Ooty
Gudalur-Cherambadi-Kalpetta
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:11   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Western Ghats starts from south Kerala. You will be missing some of the best parts of WG if you start from Coorg.

Sectors for consideration:
Kollam-Schencottah
Theni-Thekkady-Kanjirapalli
Kattapana-Idukki-Thodupuzha
Thekkady-Munnar
Munnar-Kodaikanal (OTR)
Pollachi-Valparai-Chalakudy
Mannarkad-Anakatti-Coimbatore-Manjoor-Ooty
Gudalur-Cherambadi-Kalpetta
HVK you are the right man to guide us. Thanks for setting the ball rolling with some sectors.

In your opinion could we come up with routes which are primarily offroad routes whereby the teams could stop for a day at towns along the way and keep crossing the country purely on offroad tracks? I feel even if the teams have to do say 30 odd kms of tarmac driving to catch the next trail it would be ok. Do you think this is possible?

Could you please indicate some kms for the sectors? Thanks

Last edited by DKG : 1st February 2010 at 14:14.
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:17   #4
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Default Expedition

Hi DKG,

Thanks for initiating this Programme.

An Example
The Expedition (i.e 5 Days Coorg to Goa) Monday - Friday

From my experience with the Great Arc 2008, these expeditions become a long road drive, with some OTR spots.

Another way to plan will be
(i.e 5 Days Coorg to Goa) Monday - Friday

Monday - OTR Coorg
Tuesday - OTR Mangalore
Wednesday - OTR Belgaum
Thursday - OTR Goa

And the road journey is done at night, Or to make is safer and less strenuous.

Monday - OTR Coorg
Tuesday - Road to Mangalore
Wednesday - OTR Mangalore
Thursday - Road to Belgaum
Friday - OTR Belgaum
Saturday - GOA.

We need to have Local JEEPers/Off-Roaders who will recce the 4x4 Trails and get the necessary permission and paperwork.

A Simpler method will be to select 3 pre-determined "Base Camps"
i.e Mangalore/Udupi, Belgaum & Goa and spend 2 Days in each place, 3 Days in Goa.

The drawbacks of a full-fledged expedition in this case will be
1) Lack of Pre-Determined OTR Spots.
2) Longer Line of communication & baggage train
3) If there are more than 10 Vehicles the expectations from the OTR will increase.
4) The Schedule will become very hectic.

I would suggest that every year from 2010, we organize a 2Day-3Day/4-6 half-day OTRs along the Western Ghats, moving up to Goa or Moving down to Gokarna.

Effectively in 5 Years we will know the OTR Trails in and out and then mount a full fledged expedition.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:20   #5
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OTR sectors in Kerala WG?:
Munnar-Kodai
Sholayar-Nelliyampathy-Kollengode (off the Valparai-Chalakudy and Palakkad-Nelliyampathy roads)
Needamnagalam-Thettekad-Munnar (the old Munnar road)
Munnar-Chinnakanal-Suryanelli-Bodi Medu (occasionally in bad shape)
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:22   #6
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Some of the approximate distances are indicated against each sector below:

Quote:
Kollam-Schencottah, < 100 kms
Theni-Thekkady-Kanjirapalli, <150 kms
Kattapana-Idukki-Thodupuzha, <100 kms
Thekkady-Munnar, 110 kms
Munnar-Kodaikanal (OTR), 90 kms
Pollachi-Valparai-Chalakudy, <150 kms
Mannarkad-Anakatti-Coimbatore-Manjoor-Ooty, <100 kms
Gudalur-Cherambadi-Kalpetta, <100 kms
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:26   #7
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Based on what Arka just suggested for our first cross country sojourn we could select base camps across the Western Ghats, do OTR's from the camp and keep moving up till we reach Goa.

HVK for the OTR's its pure non tarmac trails and I reckon given the hilly region and in monsoon these trails would be phenomenal fun for offroad enthusiasts

I think we are on the right track. Arka can we list the kind of logistic help we need so we can start scouting for volunteers at different locations.

HVK since you know better what sectors offer the most spectacular scenery

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Old 1st February 2010, 14:26   #8
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Here is one route from Coorg to Goa where even some of the tourist places also can be explored.

The route would be lush green in Monsoon and would have lots of excitment.

Madikeri - Sampage - Sullya - Subramanya - Gundya - Dharmastala - Charmadi - Kottighehara - Kalasa - Kudremukha - Sringeri - Agumbe - Kodachadri - Sagara - Jog Falls - Sirsi - Gokarna - Karwar - Goa

Last edited by kadri007 : 1st February 2010 at 14:28.
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Old 1st February 2010, 15:09   #9
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Something I have understood about a viable approach to trail exploration and something Arka also echoed is temple trails located in forest country.

Most often these trails cannot be done by car and usually require 4x4 Jeeps. During monsoon these trails would become more challenging and become ideal for offroad exploration.

Further visiting a temple doesn't raise too many alarm bells with forest officials and shouldn't be much of an issue. Unless someone can wangle out official permissions from the forest departments for non temple trails

May I request offroaders from the region to pitch in with suggestions on trails they have already explored and we'll try to evolve a event.

We need to gain consensus on:

Time of Event: July, August or September and dates

Duration of Event: For most out of towners it will be a 2/4 day journey up and down. How many days would people like to spend at Western ghats

Trails: Temple trails or trails with forest permission

Location: Around Goa? Goa being a major attraction itself it could very well turn into a holiday cum offroad adventure for many. Many could unwind for a few days at Goa after the event too. There's Mangalore or Chikmagalur or Coorg too. What's the number one preference for most people

Type of event: Exploring the western ghats by driving up or down while doing OTRs or making a town a base camp and doing a couple of OTRs around the town. What appeals to most people

Lets have some views of offroaders living in the region please as your inputs will alleviate the need for advance recce for trails you have already explored

.
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Old 1st February 2010, 16:11   #10
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Good initiative. I stopped making plans for OTR with you guys as I am never able to drag my miserable you know what to the OTR's I have missed out. I have just subscribed to this thread and can be of help in any ways I can.
There are some good trails here which would require permission from the DFO. If all things are concrete and planned I think its doable.

HVK, the Manjoor- Ooty stretch is just awesome for something like this. Again, we would need to get the DFO's permission.

Last edited by beejay : 1st February 2010 at 16:13. Reason: HVK
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Old 1st February 2010, 16:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beejay View Post
HVK, the Manjoor- Ooty stretch is just awesome for something like this. Again, we would need to get the DFO's permission.
I remember once earlier you guys had discussed how spectacular the Manjoor-Upper Bhavani sector was, not much tourist crowd etc. Do you think you could make some inroads with the local DFO?
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Old 1st February 2010, 17:07   #12
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One of the best drives is the Coimbatore-Anaikatti-Muli-Manjoor stretch which is the road less travelled and twists on the fringes of the Silent Valley WLS, an alternative to the conventional Coimbatore-Mettupalayam-Conoor road. Further, as beejay mentions, it is great driving in the Upper Bhavani area ex-Manjoor to places like Korakundah and Talaikundah. You will have to use some clout to get DFO's permission, nowadays even the Avalanchi-Upper Bhavani road is out of bounds.

I would suggest the Coimbatore-Muli-Manjoor-Upper Bhavani-Avalanchi-Emerald-Kundah-Ooty route, as one of the probables. I think there was a major cycling event recently in that region. http://www.tourofnilgiris.com/index.htm

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Old 1st February 2010, 17:17   #13
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These 2 links give you lots of food for thought, mobikers who did the alternative route to Upper Bhavani

South India with chariot and trailer: January 14,Agali-Annamalai Temple: On a secret road towards Ooty

Team Bikers: Ride to Gods own Country..... - - By Mohan, The Serial Tourist!
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Old 1st February 2010, 18:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
I remember once earlier you guys had discussed how spectacular the Manjoor-Upper Bhavani sector was, not much tourist crowd etc. Do you think you could make some inroads with the local DFO?
Now anyways since while we are at it. I would like to know if this whole exercise can be under a banner. Like a community, group or something like that. Also with a cause to moot.
Its always easier to convince if the whole thing is organized and they see a reason for them to allow us to do the same. This is just a suggestion.

Nevertheless, even if the above is not possible, we can surely convince them to let us do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Further, as beejay mentions, it is great driving in the Upper Bhavani area ex-Manjoor to places like Korakundah and Talaikundah. You will have to use some clout to get DFO's permission, nowadays even the Avalanchi-Upper Bhavani road is out of bounds.
Can ideally be called the road less traveled. The out of bounds is mostly a gimmick. Its always possible to venture there if you are alone and not in a convoy and in the worst cases say you just got lost.
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Old 1st February 2010, 18:20   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
If once a year all us offroaders could do just one marathon cross country drive, ideally during the monsoon season, it would be something a lot of us could look forward to each year and perhaps we could do such events in different parts of the country.

May I suggest we put our heads together and create our first such expedition somewhere in the Western Ghats. Perhaps a cross country drive from Coorg to Goa, ending with a big party in Goa?

What say guys? I do realise logistically this would entail a great deal of planning and coordination and organising.

We have people from Coorg, other parts of the Western Ghats and some in Goa. Could we all get together and plan something for August this year?

It would be a riot and well worth the effort.

India has awesome potential to host many such marathon journeys. I can think of a desert crossing in Rajasthan, cross country in Leh/Ladakh, or across Arunachal Pradesh in future too
do count me in , i can help plan out the Belgaum Goa route.
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