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Old 26th November 2013, 07:37   #16
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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21st Coonoor to Ooty toy train at 1630 hrs. Staying at Bougainvilla.
Its Dec. It would get dark soon. A morning train would give you a better view. Check that out.
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Old 26th November 2013, 12:22   #17
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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3) there are two roads from ooty that lead to muddumalai and bandipur. The first one is longer about 65kms to muddumalai, less hairpin bends and you can cover 2 shooting points and pykara lake on the way. The second one is shorter, about 36kms to muddumalai via masinagudi and has 36 hairpin bends. This road will put your driving skills to test and passes through muddumalai forest. Skip all safaris because this is the right season and you will have lot of sightings on the road itself.
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Hey man,
#3 -if we have time, we'll do both. I'm looking forward to the hill driving!


From Pykara lake, both routes are equal in terms of distance, if you want to reach Bandipur.
However, even if you have time, do not take the first route.

I would suggest come down via the 36 hair pin bends route, since there are no potholes. The first route is really bad. Since the trees cover the roads very well, you will not be able to see potholes while driving during day time.

I understand wild life is your priority, but a 2.5 year old kid will get bored after the first safari. So, keep plan B ready.
Remember, kids are kids!
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Old 26th November 2013, 13:33   #18
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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From Pykara lake, both routes are equal in terms of distance, if you want to reach Bandipur.
However, even if you have time, do not take the first route.

I would suggest come down via the 36 hair pin bends route, since there are no potholes. The first route is really bad. Since the trees cover the roads very well, you will not be able to see potholes while driving during day time.
There's a slight risk involved here. Sometimes the guys at the checkpost at the beginning of the Segur Ghat road do not allow vehicles going downhill to take that road and ask them to go via Gudalur. So be prepared to backtrack once again (Or try some excuse like you're going only upto Kalhatty falls for a visit and will be coming back to Ooty).

Also be very careful driving downhill on the Segur ghats because the incline is steeper than it appears. Drive slow, keep to low gears and use engine braking instead of riding your brakes or else you could end up with smoke coming out from the brakes

In my experience driving downhill on that road is much more of a challenge than driving uphill for people who aren't too familiar with hill driving. But nothing really to be worried about as long as you drive carefully and sensibly.
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Old 24th December 2013, 07:18   #19
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Add me to your list of friends who are suggesting not to go to sanctuaries. Enjoy creature comforts at a good cozy hotel in Ooty.
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I would recommend avoiding Mudumulai, Bandipur and Nagarhole on weekends and holidays. Heavy tourist crowds and you will be cursing yourself for being in a picnic party. I would suggest Tholpetty sanctuary which is on the other side of Nagarhole in Wayanad district of Kerala. The jeeps are on hire for Safari and you can have a quiet safari.

Wild life Resorts opp the Sanctuary is a decent place to stay.
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@phamilyman I have sent you a PM.
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I think you should take the route below keeping in mind that you are more of a nature lover...

1) Chennai to ooty via mettupalyam, you will drive through an amazing jungle stretch. Please time your travel in such a way that you cross this jungle during daylight as there are notorious elephants.

2) ooty lake, dodda betta(amazing mirchi bhajjis and carrot), botanical garden, tibetan market are some places worth seeing. If possible take the toy train from udhagamandalam to coonoor, visit the tea factory there and take the train back to udhagamandalam. The scenary from the train is breathtaking.

3) there are two roads from ooty that lead to muddumalai and bandipur. The first one is longer about 65kms to muddumalai, less hairpin bends and you can cover 2 shooting points and pykara lake on the way. The second one is shorter, about 36kms to muddumalai via masinagudi and has 36 hairpin bends. This road will put your driving skills to test and passes through muddumalai forest. Skip all safaris because this is the right season and you will have lot of sightings on the road itself.

4) proceed from muddumalai towards bandipur and thereon to gundlupet.

5) turning left at gundlupet will lead you to sultanbathery(wayanad) and going straight will lead you to mysore. Take a left and proceed to sultanbathery. You can visit edakkal caves (wouldnt suggest if you are travelling with a 2.5 year old as it is treacherous trekking), some lake dont remember the name though. If you are planning to stay overnight then the tree house at wynberg.in is highly recommended.

6) from sultanbathery take the road to muthanga sanctuary, again drivin through the forest and thereon to kutta, kuruva island, iruppu falls, nagarahole, hunsur, krs and mysore. This should quench your thirst for spending time with nature and also enjoy the drive.

I can share coordinates for various stay options in all of these places if need be.
Thanks everyone. We are enjoying our time here.

Quick query - we are going to Masinagudi today from Ooty. What is the best way back to chennai? I quite disliked the regular ooty routes due to the traffic.
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Old 24th December 2013, 17:50   #20
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Thanks everyone. We are enjoying our time here.

Quick query - we are going to Masinagudi today from Ooty. What is the best way back to chennai? I quite disliked the regular ooty routes due to the traffic.
Masinagudi Bandipur Gundlupet Chamarajanagar Dimbam Sathyamangalam Bhavani Salem Ulundurpet Chennai

That's the best option. Dimbam has 26 hairpins.
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Old 24th December 2013, 21:59   #21
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Masinagudi Bandipur Gundlupet Chamarajanagar Dimbam Sathyamangalam Bhavani Salem Ulundurpet Chennai

That's the best option. Dimbam has 26 hairpins.
If you dont want to hit ooty again, what ampere suggests is the best way back. Glad you people had a good time
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Old 25th December 2013, 14:07   #22
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Masinagudi Bandipur Gundlupet Chamarajanagar Dimbam Sathyamangalam Bhavani Salem Ulundurpet Chennai

That's the best option. Dimbam has 26 hairpins.
Thanks Ampere and AJ.

We'll indeed take the suggested route on the way back and report on the conditions.
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Old 26th December 2013, 06:27   #23
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Masinagudi Bandipur Gundlupet Chamarajanagar Dimbam Sathyamangalam Bhavani Salem Ulundurpet Chennai

That's the best option. Dimbam has 26 hairpins.
Where are the tried and tested petrol pumps on this route? Thanks in advance
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Old 26th December 2013, 06:41   #24
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Where are the tried and tested petrol pumps on this route? Thanks in advance
Tank up at Ooty,Charring Cross,else the two level pump on the way to Gudalur just after Taj,a full tank should easily see you to the NH7 at Bhavani,following which plenty of pumps on the highway.
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Old 26th December 2013, 06:55   #25
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Tank up at Ooty,Charring Cross,else the two level pump on the way to Gudalur just after Taj,a full tank should easily see you to the NH7 at Bhavani,following which plenty of pumps on the highway.
Hi

I've left from masinagudi not ooty
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Old 26th December 2013, 07:54   #26
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Where are the tried and tested petrol pumps on this route? Thanks in advance
You may have one at Chamarajanagar. Further at Bhavani and then later at Salem.
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Old 26th December 2013, 22:06   #27
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Masinagudi Bandipur Gundlupet Chamarajanagar Dimbam Sathyamangalam Bhavani Salem Ulundurpet Chennai

That's the best option. Dimbam has 26 hairpins.
Hi,

I would not recommend this route in hindsight. It took us 13 hours including 3 meal breaks - the total distance came to 625km (as opposed to ~580 via mysore/blr outskirts).

The bad patches:
a. Gundlupet-chamrajnagar. Simply useless village roads with regularly broken tarmac (no huge potholes but a rattling ride). To top it, every couple of kms, villagers had placed husk on the road.
b. The sections before Dhimbam and around it were good, but sathyamangalam -bhavani was through villages.

If I had driven via mysore, I would've been home 2 hours earlier (half an hour saved compared to tambaram which is always crap, 45 mins due to lesser distance and could've saved on the last coffee break which happened out of sheer boredom).

On a side note, for folks around south adyar/thiruvanmiyur, the fastest way home from tambaram is to the take SH109 - the GST-OMR connector road. For a well deserved toll of INR 20, I reach home in 20 mins, way faster than via the airport.
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Old 26th December 2013, 23:29   #28
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

In terms of fuel, I took a bit of fuel at the following bunks:
Mettupalayam BPCL
Gundulpet BPCL
Sathyamangalam HP (owned by the Lorry owners assoc, on the salem-ernakulam highway)
BPCL COCO about 10km before Ulunderpet (it has the adyar anandha bhavan as well).
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Old 27th December 2013, 00:02   #29
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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If I had driven via mysore, I would've been home 2 hours earlier (half an hour saved compared to tambaram which is always crap, 45 mins due to lesser distance and could've saved on the last coffee break which happened out of sheer boredom).
Not necessarily. Many a times NICE road to Hosur can be a choker. Mysore road has all the towns with signals. I thought the drive via Bhavani is much more relatively stress free. But if you are saying it goes via many villages with humps, then I think we need to re-consider that aspect. I thought the roads were quite open. And this way more peaceful on the GQ of NH47/NH68 rather than NH46/NH7. Sorry if you had more trouble. But somehow I still think going via Dimbam/Bhavani is more easier.

Last edited by ampere : 27th December 2013 at 00:03.
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Old 27th December 2013, 01:04   #30
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Not necessarily. Many a times NICE road to Hosur can be a choker. Mysore road has all the towns with signals. I thought the drive via Bhavani is much more relatively stress free. But if you are saying it goes via many villages with humps, then I think we need to re-consider that aspect. I thought the roads were quite open. And this way more peaceful on the GQ of NH47/NH68 rather than NH46/NH7. Sorry if you had more trouble. But somehow I still think going via Dimbam/Bhavani is more easier.
Hey,

That's okay- I'm sure you meant well. I'd earlier been advised this route by others for a kalpetta drive as well but then i took mysore & blr.

There weren't too many humps after chamarajnagar- it was just slow going and longer distance.

I am just comparing it with my kalpetta return (almost the same distance, ~630km - the return took me under 12 hours with as many breaks).

What surprised me totally was that the return was much longer than the onward route to ooty which was ~570km or so via Salem-bhavani bypass - avinashi bypass - annur - coonoor-ooty.

Last edited by phamilyman : 27th December 2013 at 01:11.
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