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Old 26th April 2011, 18:17   #301
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Default Photographs at Dimbum

See the dew deposited on the stems and branches of the plants in this photograph shot at Dimbum.
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The road to Dimbum was silky smooth and continued like that all the way to Coimbatore. See the bamboo forest on both the sides of the road to Dimbum.
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The entire area was surrounded by fog and mist.
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Cara Mia Fiat Linea with fog and mist giving background support.
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The descend from Dimbum to Bannari comprised 27 hairpin bends.
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More photographs are waiting to get posted here.
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Old 27th April 2011, 11:40   #302
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Default Kerala Travelogue

My Kochi Travelogue continued.

Another snap taken while descending the Dimbum Ghat:
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We had stopped for about 30 minutes at Bannari Mariamman temple for darshan. Later, we breakfasted at Hotel Annapoorna, Ramakrishna Hospital, Coimbatore, my Linea had its tankful of petrol at HP COCO retail outlet at Avinashi Road and we continued our journey to Kochi. We lunched at another Hotel Annapoorna [nothing to do with the famous Coimbatore chain] at Areekal Jn., NH 47. We reached The Senate, Ernakulam, Kochi, by 2:30 pm. While we rested at our rooms, my Linea did so at the secured car parking.
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In the evening, we went for a walk to Marine Drive [Shanmugham Road] which is just a km away from The Senate. We enjoyed a nice boat ride.
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We returned to The Senate and had a sumptuous dinner, thanks to the free dinner offer for booking two nights through makemytrip.com, and called it a day.

Travelogue to continue.
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Old 27th April 2011, 17:44   #303
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Default Kochi Travelogue

We had a busy Saturday [23 April 2011]. We left The Senate at 9 am for Mattancherry after complimentary breakfast with a good spread of delicious dishes. My MMI navigator played a perfect guide. We visited Mattancherry Palace. Then, we had stroll at Jew Street. But, the synagogue was closed, so we couldn't visit it.
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We visited the nearby International Tourism Police Station and Police Museum, which was worth-seeing.
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We saw this painting at the Police Museum that depicted the old trading under barter system. It showed spices were bartered for chinaware.
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Later, we visited St. Francis Church at Fort Kochi. Vasco Da Gama, the first European navigator from Portugal to India, was laid to rest in this church in 1524 AD. Later, his mortal remains were removed and taken to Portugal in 1538 AD by his son.
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We returned to The Senate, parked my Linea there and walked to the nearby Abhirami pure veg restaurant at Banerji Road. We had hearty Kerala style veg full meal costing just Rs 40 each. The unpolished rice served in Kerala was not only tasty, but also healthy. The pink-coloured warm drinking water soaked with aromatic roots was also good. After such wonderful meal, it goes without saying that we returned to the hotel for siesta!
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In the evening, we drove to Subhash Bose Park as suggested by my friend and fellow Linea owner, Sunny. We enjoyed strolling on the walk-way. Later, Sunny joined us. Myself and Sunny discussed the matters relating to Linea. He clarified my doubts regarding the route to be taken for my return journey. He suggested BTH for our dinner and the nearby IOCL Civil Supplies pump for my Linea. He could not join us for dinner due to Easter festivities. After thanking him, I drove in to IOCL Civil Supplies pump for tankful of petrol for my Linea. Petrol costs Rs 61.49 per litre here.
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More to come.
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Old 27th April 2011, 19:55   #304
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Post Re: Kochi Travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post

The pink-coloured warm drinking water soaked with aromatic roots was also good.
It's called "Karingaali"; not sure if i spelt it right. I got to find a little tidbit about this hot water serving in hotels in Kerala - seems its a directive from the health dept that all hotels need to serve boiled purified drinking water.
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Old 28th April 2011, 09:55   #305
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

Thanks, AvinashKeezh, for enlightening me of Karingaali. My wife used to ask for boiled water for drinking in hotels. Only in Kerala, she got it without asking for it!

Now, continuing with the travelogue, after my Linea got tankful of petrol at IOCL Civil Supplies pump, it was our turn next to fill our bellies. So, we turned to the next gate, where Bharat Tourist Home [BTH] is located. BTH is a pure vegetarian hotel since 1964, which has lodging facility too. It is a famous landmark of Kochi. For more information on BTH, please visit BTH. BTH has ample car parking facility. We had our dinner there. We savoured Kerala delicacy Puttu Kadala. We also enjoyed the tidbits on food printed on the menu card. Here are some:
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We returned to our den for well-earned sleep so as to withstand the hectic next day.

More to come.
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Old 28th April 2011, 11:38   #306
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

Fantastic travelogue J.Ravi.

Those 27 hairpin bends look damn similar to the bends on the way down from Ooty towards Mysore? I remember counting those deadly hairpin bends coming down from Ooty. I wished I was driving on those bends, as they looked really interesting.

The last section of origins of various food items is very interesting. Never heard these facts(?) before. I especially liked the origin of Paneer.

I am following your TL completely. Both for the fabulous pics and performance of your Linea.

Something on the sidelines: Did the Linea bottom scrap anywhere during the journey?
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Old 28th April 2011, 13:54   #307
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Default Kochi-Kayamkulam-Mavelikkara-Kanjirappally-Kumily-Trichy-Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
Fantastic travelogue J.Ravi. I am following your TL completely. Both for the fabulous pics and performance of your Linea.
Thanks, ajay_satpute, for the compliments.
Quote:
Did the Linea bottom scrap anywhere during the journey?
Yes. Only once. Not in Kerala. But in Tamil Nadu, on NH 7 at Thoppur ghat road while returning to Bangalore.

Coming back to the penultimate part of this travelogue, Easter Sunday was celebrated on 24 April 2011. We were ready early in the morning after sumptuous breakfast and left the hotel by 8:30 am for Kayamkulam [about 100+ km from Ernakulam] located south on NH 47 to attend a marriage of my daughter's friend's sister. The 4-lane road existed only for a small distance from Kochi, and then, NH 47 became a 2-lane road. But, traffic was more than expected. I took 2 hours to reach the marriage venue. I saw more Lineas/Puntos/Palios on NH 47 on this stretch.

We reached the marriage venue by 10:30 am - one hour ahead of muhurtham. The marriage proceedings started by 11:30 am and completed by 12 noon! We liked the way the proceedings were conducted by the parents of bride and bridegroom and close relatives of both the families. There were no Purohit or Pujari. In fact, we were forewarned that if we turn up late, we would miss the marriage proceedings! When we enquired as to whether we could visit on the previous day for reception or vara puja, we were told that there would be no reception or puja performed on the previous day. Great.

Later, we enjoyed the marriage feast with vast spread of delicacies. The sweet Adapradhaman was simply superb.

We left the marriage venue at 1:30 pm. As proposed by my friend Sunny, I drove on this route: Kayamkulam-Mavelikkara-Chengannur-Kozhencherry-Ranni-Kanjirappally[NH220]-Mundakkayam-Kumily-Theni-Dindukkal-Trichy-Bangalore with the aid of my MMI navigator. The road from Mavelikkara to Kumily, comprising SH and NH 220, meandered through hills, many towns, rivers, tea estates, etc. We stopped for a while on NH 220 for a photo session and Vazhiyoram ['wayside'] eatery [sponsored by Kerala Tourism] for evening tea at Mundakkayam. Vazhiyoram was not as great as I expected it to be. Here are some photographs clicked on the picuresque ghat road:
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More to come.
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Old 28th April 2011, 15:10   #308
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Default Vital Statistics

From Mundakkayam, we went non-stop to Trichy where my Linea had its tankful at TVS BP pump, and then, we followed suit at Sangeetha's near Central Bus Stand with fluffy idlies, soft chapathies & parathas that were washed down with hot coffee, all at 11:30 pm! By the time we left Trichy for Bangalore, it was few minutes past midnight.

Heavy downpour that started when we crossed Musiri, continued lashing my Linea all along until we reached Salem.

We reached our home, sweet home, safely by 6:30 am after driving for 17 hours with one fuel break at Kozhencherry, one tea break at Mundakkayam and fuel/food break at Trichy.

Here are some vital statistics of the trip.

1. Kayamkulam-Mavelikkara-Chengannur-Kozhencherry-Ranni-Kanjirappally-Mundakkayam-Kumily-Theni-Dindukkal-Trichy-Bangalore:
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__________________________________________________ ____________

2. Whole trip Bangalore-Kochi-Kayamkulam-Trichy-Bangalore:
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Travelogue concluded.
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Old 28th April 2011, 16:51   #309
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

You continue to amaze me sir with your enthusiasm and passion for driving. Only Linea would suit a guy like you
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:55   #310
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Default My Linea Attends FIAT Summer Check Up Camp

Just one hour back, my Linea returned from Concorde Motors, Mysore Road, Bangalore, after a thorough check up. My Linea reported there at 9:30 am this morning. Total time taken for the check up and complimentary car wash was 1.5 hours. Coolant [200 ml] and brake fluid [200 ml] were added. My Linea's engine guard bar got bent at Thoppur Ghats on NH 7 while going over a hump when I was returning from Kochi. That was set right. The car accumulated a lot of muck during my 1400-km long Kerala trip. Now, after a complimentary car wash, my Linea is glittering now. The SA invited me to his desk and explained all the works done. I was given two complimentary scented tisse boxes. I gave excellent feedback [10/10]. Well done, Concorde Motors, Mysore Road, Bangalore!
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Old 5th May 2011, 17:35   #311
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Default FIAT India's Goodwill Gesture

Yesterday [4 May 2011], Cara Mia Fiat Linea got a pair of new alloy wheels at a discounted price of Rs 10,065 only. The balance amount, Rs 8,514, was borne by FIAT India as a token of goodwill.

Here is the flash-back: On 14 January 2011, my Linea had her wheel alignment and wheel balancing done at Madhus Enterprises, Langford Road, Bangalore. After the tests were done, I was informed that two of my Linea's alloy wheels were bent. I was shocked to the core. I didn't know, how, when and why did it happen. Later, those bent wheels were fitted at the rear and the good ones at the front. My Linea had covered 15,800 km by then.

From there, I went straight to Concorde Motors, Dairy Circle, and met Ratheesh, CRM, to ascertain the possibilities of getting them replaced under warranty. CRM said since the conditions for warranty claim were not satisfied, this could not be done under warranty.

I went home and dashed off mails to all top echelons of FIAT India from Rajeev Kapoor, Ravi Bhatia [whom I met during the FIAT plant visit on 3 December 2010] to Mangesh Kodalkar on the same day. Within two days, Ratheesh called me and informed me that FIAT India would bear 50% of the cost of replacement of 2 bent alloy wheels and the balance, myself. They would place order for new alloys if I agree for this. I agreed and the long process started.

Later, I visited Concorde Motors twice and met Ratheesh to remind the matter. But, the new alloys for my Linea were still not received by them. Every month, I used to remind Ratheesh on this subject. At last, I saw the light at the end of the dark tunnel a few days back, when Ratheesh informed me that they had received the alloys and I could come any day and get them fitted.

So, yesterday I drove in my Linea to Conorde Motors, Dairy Circle, and got her the new alloys in place of old bent ones. They did wheel balancing before fitting the new ones into my Linea. By now, my Linea had covered more than 22,000 km! Anyway, it is always better late than never. I decided not to claim insurance since the discounted cost of my share and the no claim bonus that I am enjoying now are more or less the same. I also got one old bent alloy as a souvenir, which I might either get it repaired or exchange for a new one for the spare wheel.

I am thankful to FIAT India/Concorde Motors, Dairy Circle, Bangalore [Ratheesh and Harish Pai] for this goodwill gesture and wonderful job.
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Last edited by J.Ravi : 5th May 2011 at 17:41.
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Old 5th May 2011, 19:29   #312
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

I really admire your passion for driving. For the amount of driving you do, maybe the MJD would have been a better choice.

Good to hear that Fiat absorbed half the cost of the alloys, but how did the alloys bend in the first place ? Can you post a pic of the bent alloys ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
Those 27 hairpin bends look damn similar to the bends on the way down from Ooty towards Mysore? I remember counting those deadly hairpin bends coming down from Ooty. I wished I was driving on those bends, as they looked really interesting.
I used to ride these ghats on my Pulsar, from Mysore to Sathyamangalam. These ghats are brilliant to ride/drive on, as there is not much traffic to worry about. Actually, the Tamil Nadu side of the road is brilliant, but the Karnataka side - the less said the better, although i think its been done up now.

The Ooty - Mysore one is much steeper and you have to be really cautious on that.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 5th May 2011 at 19:31.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:22   #313
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

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how did the alloys bend in the first place ? Can you post a pic of the bent alloys ?
I really don't know how the alloys got bent. The bend in the alloy could not be detected by visual examination [please see the photograph next to the tax invoice, looks very normal]. It was not felt even while driving. But, I saw it while doing the wheel balancing at Madhus Enerprises. The wheel was rotating in an eccentric fashion.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 5th May 2011 at 20:25.
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Old 7th May 2011, 10:24   #314
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

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Can you post a pic of the bent alloys ?
This is the bend I noticed in my Linea's old alloy wheel. I have decided to get it repaired and use it as spare wheel by retiring the steel rim.
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Old 5th June 2011, 17:58   #315
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Default Re: Cara Mia Fiat Linea!

Today, my Linea visited Hesarghatta grasslands [located 26 km from my home] for a get-together of like-minded friends. Here are some photographs of my Linea clicked by me.
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