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Old 17th May 2011, 15:50   #1
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Default Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

We live in Chennai where the nearest hill is 250 km away.
We need some natural AC.
Its the middle of the 4 week peak summer.
Kid has not gone on a trip during her summer vacation.
There are no train tickets available. We can drive (say upto 700 km from 3 am to 3 pm) but the expensive/arduous drive need to be compensated/rewarded with a budget stay. Ideally a little away from the hussle-bussle.
We can probably cook if we have a homestay.
We can get out of town Thu-Sun.

Help people! Help! Where?
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Old 17th May 2011, 16:53   #2
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
We live in Chennai where the nearest hill is 250 km away.
We need some natural AC.
Its the middle of the 4 week peak summer.
Kid has not gone on a trip during her summer vacation.
There are no train tickets available. We can drive (say upto 700 km from 3 am to 3 pm) but the expensive/arduous drive need to be compensated/rewarded with a budget stay. Ideally a little away from the hussle-bussle.
We can probably cook if we have a homestay.
We can get out of town Thu-Sun.

Help people! Help! Where?
jeev, even if you travel 250 kms, you would not get a proper hillstation in this peak summer.

With 700 Kms on target, you have 4 options.
1. Ooty
2. Kodai
3. Munnar
4. Valparai

Valparai will be less crowded but not as chill as Ooty and Kodai. Munnar will be less crowded than Ooty and Kodai and you will have lot of options to stay. I always keep out from Ooty and Kodai during peak season.
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Old 17th May 2011, 17:07   #3
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

I may not have the best options but I have heard of Yelagiri & Yercaud as less crowded options during my stay in Bangalore ages ago.

I am more intrigued why you used the term kathri; does it not denote a scissor? Is it a term to describe unbearable heat? Sorry this is a bit
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Old 17th May 2011, 17:18   #4
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

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I am more intrigued why you used the term kathri; does it not denote a scissor? Is it a term to describe unbearable heat? Sorry this is a bit
It's a Tamil tern used to denote 'dog days' or the hottest days of the year. It lasts around 27 days when the star Agni Natchatiram is on duty.

The kathri you guessed is also partially correct, it's actually "kathrikol" -scissors

Last edited by Daewood : 17th May 2011 at 17:23.
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Old 17th May 2011, 17:59   #5
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

Try Meghamalai

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...tation-tn.html (Meghamalai - A Would be Hill Station in TN)

Meghamalai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 17th May 2011, 23:58   #6
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

@ampere - Thanks Amp. This place is indeed a very good discovery. Thanks for sharing. But, stay would be a problem here. It can be done as a days trip from Theni.
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Old 18th May 2011, 00:36   #7
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

Thanks for the suggestions. Meghamalai is something we could try but going so close, might as well go to Munnar which is at around 2200m. Moreover staying in Theni! Flat hot land! We did Munnar 5 months back and the town is right in front of my eyes. Too early for a second visit. Its such a pity that just 3 hill stations above 2000m. Nuwara Eliya might be the cheapest and best option. I would have thought about it if I could get a rental car for cheap there. Delhi is the best metro for travelling with the Himalayas so close and its 44 deg in the capital today.

Coming back to my issue. Now I am getting to some compromise. Is there a good homestay within 700 km radius that you guys are aware of? Should be budget. Atleast should be a little cold during the nights. Ah! With the pre-monsoon rains on the west coast a drive there could be refreshing but the rains might not last long and we might miss it.

Or could I do lesser known one-day trips on the TN side of western ghats? Waterfalls - Ambasamudram?

Day 1: Go to Vaigai dam/Meghamalai and stay at Theni?
Day 2: Go to Ambasamudram/Tirunelvelli district in the areas bordering Kerala. Maancholai??? Or something.
Day 3: XYZ.

Are these private estates and do they need permits to enter? Suggestions please.

Last edited by jeevmenon : 18th May 2011 at 00:41.
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Old 18th May 2011, 12:54   #8
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

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Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. Meghamalai is something we could try but going so close, might as well go to Munnar which is at around 2200m. Moreover staying in Theni! Flat hot land! We did Munnar 5 months back and the town is right in front of my eyes. Too early for a second visit. Its such a pity that just 3 hill stations above 2000m. Nuwara Eliya might be the cheapest and best option. I would have thought about it if I could get a rental car for cheap there. Delhi is the best metro for travelling with the Himalayas so close and its 44 deg in the capital today.

Coming back to my issue. Now I am getting to some compromise. Is there a good homestay within 700 km radius that you guys are aware of? Should be budget. Atleast should be a little cold during the nights. Ah! With the pre-monsoon rains on the west coast a drive there could be refreshing but the rains might not last long and we might miss it.

Or could I do lesser known one-day trips on the TN side of western ghats? Waterfalls - Ambasamudram?

Day 1: Go to Vaigai dam/Meghamalai and stay at Theni?
Day 2: Go to Ambasamudram/Tirunelvelli district in the areas bordering Kerala. Maancholai??? Or something.
Day 3: XYZ.

Are these private estates and do they need permits to enter? Suggestions please.
There are no stay options in Megamalai except for the Woodbriar cottages which sets you off by about Rs.6000/- atleast or the Panchayat Guest House which is very basic. The entire place belongs to the Private Tea Estates. It does not make sense for you to stay at Theni and go to Megamalai as the access roads to Megamalai are bad that you would end up going through a lot of stress if you are planning a day visit. Another piece of information which I received from the Woodbriar team was the weather would be similar to Valparai which means in all probability afternoon might be warm.

With regard to Manjolai you need to get the Forest Department permission at Ambasamudram. Again the stay options are limited to the Forest Guest House at Kuthiraivetti or the EB Guest house at Kodayar unless you know of somebody in the BBTC group for a stay at their guest house in Oothu.

Both the above places are worth making a trip if you have the accomodation taken care. I have not had the luck with either of the places though I have been planning for almost a year now. The closest I came was staying at the "Singampatti Palace" near Ambasamudram, even the Raja was not able to manage me accommodation & permission for Manjolai though he promised me next time he will help me out.

What I suggest you could do is check out the Devashola Estates near Coonoor. Homestay at ooty near coonoor

The costliest one is Mango Tree Bungalow which is Rs.2900/- all inclusive for a couple. You would find it a bit tedious to visit the regular touristy places in Ooty & Coonoor because the place is quite away from the town. If you are fine with just lazing around the place is fabulous.
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Old 18th May 2011, 13:20   #9
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

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thanks Daewood; dont understand teh link between dog days and kathri but definitely useful to know!

According to our almanac, there is a specific period of 27 days during the month of May, designated as "Agni Nakshatram" when the heat will be at the maximum. It is colloquially called "Katri Veyil", meaning the sunlight will cut you like a "Katri Kol" (Scissors) if you venture out!

I have heard that in south TN in the days of yore, whenever a promissory note was written, the words "if I don't return the amount on the agreed date, I will be like a dog roaming about in Katri veyil" were included! Meaning even a dog will not venture out during that period, and this chap will be a lower life form compared to it!

Last edited by Gansan : 18th May 2011 at 13:25.
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Old 18th May 2011, 13:48   #10
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

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Coming back to my issue. Now I am getting to some compromise. Is there a good homestay within 700 km radius that you guys are aware of? Should be budget.
Jeev - You could also look at Madikeri; it's about 600 km from Chennai.

I was there a month back from Hyderabad; At a homestay called Kibbeil, it's a private coffee estate. (kibbeil Holiday Retreat)

Really nice homestay; wonderful warm people; amazing food. Contact details are mentioned in the link above.
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Old 18th May 2011, 14:41   #11
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Default Re: Its hot, its kathri we need to get out! Help!

Jeev, why not try Vagamon (lalu had an exhaustive travelogue on it) ? I would say drive down to Theni on Day 0, I did the same on my trip to Munnar. Left around 315pm from T.Nagar and reached Theni at 115am through Madurai (bypass actually), should mention I lost 2 hours in between in breaks. Stayed at Western Gatz (Courtesy: pypkmsrikanth), which costed 1300 odd for a standard room.

You could do Vagamon, Thekkadi, Suruli, Meghamalai.

Vaigai Dam would be hot too. No point escaping Madras veyyil(=summer) and end up fried in Madurai Dt veyyil . Though you can consider visiting it in the evening hours (its about 25 km from Theni).

Last edited by narayans80 : 18th May 2011 at 14:46.
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Old 18th May 2011, 16:43   #12
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Default Re: Its hot, its Kathri, we need to get out! Help!

Thanks. We were in Vagamon/Munnar during last Xmas/New Year. We maybe just tilting to Kodai. Wifey/Daughter dont like Ooty. So by elimination it has to be Kodai. Now for a budget place. Since we plan land up during a weekday I am thinking of taking phone numbers, checking out dynamically on the road. Should get one.
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