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Old 8th November 2013, 05:06   #1
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Default Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

Hi,

So we may be able to take as much as six days off during Christmas break. We will be traveling from Chennai. The high level route plan that currently is in my mind:
21st -Leave Chennai early morning, reach Ooty by afternoon. Visit ONE touristy point.
22nd - chill around Ooty. Stay recommendations like Sherlock (which is sold out? I have to check out Zest or Kings Cliff)
23rd - Masinagudi. Where to stay?
24th - Bandipur (is there enough for a day?) Where to stay?
25th - Nagarhole. Where to stay?
26th - drive back.

the other alternative (as suggested by friends) is to skip visiting the sanctuaries (too much xmas rush and jacked up safari rates), i.e drive through them and after two days in ooty, head to coorg and visit dubare / madikeri.

We are myself, wife and 2.5year old son so interest would be in nature (esp lakes/waterfalls) and animals.

What would be an ideal trip that doesnt break the bank and gives us enough to see as well?
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Old 8th November 2013, 09:46   #2
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Default re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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We are myself, wife and 2.5year old son so interest would be in nature (esp lakes/waterfalls) and animals.
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.

Hotels:
- Check out Red-Hills if they are open
- For regular good hotels check out Savoy and Gateway. There is one more about which I have heard a lot : Kurumba.


Route : Chennai-Ulundurpet-Salem-Avinashi-Annur-Mettupalayam-Conoor-Ooty

What you can do :
- Chill for a day
- Another day for Conoor. Take the train for Ooty to conoor. Kid would love it.
- You can book a first class ticker from Ooty to Conoor in IRCTC. If you plan to do that, I would suggest you book it early enough.
- Fix a cab guy to pick you up Conoor station. Go around Conoor that day and get back to your hotel in ooty by evening.
- One day to visit places outside Ooty. Emerald/Avalanche etc
- One day for Pykara.
- You have already done 4-days!
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Old 8th November 2013, 10:51   #3
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Default re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

Thanks sirjee.

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
What you can do :
- Chill for a day
- Another day for Conoor. Take the train for Ooty to conoor. Kid would love it.
- You can book a first class ticker from Ooty to Conoor in IRCTC. If you plan to do that, I would suggest you book it early enough.
- Fix a cab guy to pick you up Conoor station. Go around Conoor that day and get back to your hotel in ooty by evening.
- One day to visit places outside Ooty. Emerald/Avalanche etc
- One day for Pykara.
- You have already done 4-days!
a. There is no such thing as "chill for a day". We must do *something*, anything!
b. I like the train idea, as well as the lakes.
c. We must do some other place. It is heretical to hang around one place for that long in our book!
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Old 8th November 2013, 11:15   #4
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Default re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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a. There is no such thing as "chill for a day". We must do *something*, anything!
- You can do Ooty sight seeing/shopping
- Local cuisine

Or as you said drive down to Masinagudi. Its not that far.
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Old 8th November 2013, 11:49   #5
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Default re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Thanks sirjee.



c. We must do some other place. It is heretical to hang around one place for that long in our book!
I would suggest you take the Annur- Mettupalyam- Kotagiri route and reach a place called Aravenu and take a left to reach Kotagiri. The road from Aravenu to Kotagiri is narrow and few sharp hair pins just barely enough for 2 vehicles to pass at some points, do honk at blind turns, and then visit Kodanad view point, its a beautiful route and passing through many tea estates. The view point is magnificient provided its a sunny day, breath taking view and a splendid drive. ( Please carry food along, no great eating joints)

By taking the above route you escape the mad crowd on the regular mettupalyam-coonoor route and you get to see new places.

After Kodanad viewpoint you can return to kotagiri and then you can choose to visit coonoor , else if you want to go to ooty directly , you can bypass coonoor and take the less crowded route via doddabeta to ooty.

Ooty is expected to be super crowded, as suggested by ampere would be good if you visit the unspoilt beauty of Avalanche side of ooty , its very beautiful and not too commercial, but yes remember to carry your food.

Last edited by majumon : 8th November 2013 at 11:52.
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Old 9th November 2013, 09:48   #6
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Hi,


the other alternative (as suggested by friends) is to skip visiting the sanctuaries (too much xmas rush and jacked up safari rates), i.e drive through them and after two days in ooty, head to coorg and visit dubare / madikeri.

We are myself, wife and 2.5year old son so interest would be in nature (esp lakes/waterfalls) and anima

What would be an ideal trip that doesnt break the bank and gives us enough to see as well?
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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Old 9th November 2013, 10:03   #7
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Hi,

So we may be able to take as much as six days off during Christmas break. We will be traveling from Chennai. The high level route plan that currently is in my mind:
21st -Leave Chennai early morning, reach Ooty by afternoon. Visit ONE touristy point.
22nd - chill around Ooty. Stay recommendations like Sherlock (which is sold out? I have to check out Zest or Kings Cliff)
23rd - Masinagudi. Where to stay?
24th - Bandipur (is there enough for a day?) Where to stay?
25th - Nagarhole. Where to stay?
26th - drive back.

the other alternative (as suggested by friends) is to skip visiting the sanctuaries (too much xmas rush and jacked up safari rates), i.e drive through them and after two days in ooty, head to coorg and visit dubare / madikeri.

We are myself, wife and 2.5year old son so interest would be in nature (esp lakes/waterfalls) and animals.

What would be an ideal trip that doesnt break the bank and gives us enough to see as well?
Masinagudi is good, but you wont have anything to do there except safari either/both at dawn or/and dusk

like majumon suggested, the kothagiri route is amazing. But jus keep in mind there are no shops nothing on this route(atleast 3yrs ago ).

BTW how was Wayand trip?
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Old 25th November 2013, 14:40   #8
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Hi,

So we may be able to take as much as six days off during Christmas break. We will be traveling from Chennai. The high level route plan that currently is in my mind:
21st -Leave Chennai early morning, reach Ooty by afternoon. Visit ONE touristy point.
22nd - chill around Ooty. Stay recommendations like Sherlock (which is sold out? I have to check out Zest or Kings Cliff)
23rd - Masinagudi. Where to stay?
24th - Bandipur (is there enough for a day?) Where to stay?
25th - Nagarhole. Where to stay?
26th - drive back.

the other alternative (as suggested by friends) is to skip visiting the sanctuaries (too much xmas rush and jacked up safari rates), i.e drive through them and after two days in ooty, head to coorg and visit dubare / madikeri.

We are myself, wife and 2.5year old son so interest would be in nature (esp lakes/waterfalls) and animals.

What would be an ideal trip that doesnt break the bank and gives us enough to see as well?
@phamilyman: I am back from a similar trip:
Day 1) Pune - Shimoga (halt)

Day 2) Shimoga - Madikeri (halt at Club Mahindra)

Day 3) Local Sight seeing:
1. Dubare Elephant camp (elephant ride, boat ride, feed the elephant, bath the elephant),
2. Nisargdham (feed the deers there, Zip Line ride which my 4 year old did),
3. Abbey falls (avoid - not worth driving through those steep inclines - you can't go near the falls).
Buy chocolates, spices, and coffee if you like.

Day 4) Madikeri - Masinagudi
Wife wanted to stay in a tree house, so we went to this one: http://www.safarilandresorts.com/
Tariff: Rs. 5000. It is a different kind of experience to live inside a proper forest.
Took a jeep safari for around 2.5 hours, tariff: Rs. 1500. Spotted a few animals like elephants, bison, peacocks, deers, monkeys and a few more which I can't remember.

Day 5) Drove to Ooty via the 36 hair pin bend route. Visited
1. Botanical Garden (good),
2. Rose garden (absolutely not worth),
3. Doddabeta peak (best of Ooty, I would say),
4. Tea factory (only if you are interested in knowing how how it works). They sell tea and give you a cup of tea for free - I did not like the taste, btw.
Did some shopping for various types of oils, chocolates etc.

If you can, take a train ride from Conoor to Ooty.

Ooty as seen in films in the 80's and 90's is not the same as today. I had a feeling that this is a commercialized place and the local guys confirmed the same. If you want a hotel with a terrific view, then probably you have to go more than 5 KM away from the main Ooty town.
Decent rooms available at Rs. 1500 + tax (do not expect good view).
Since we just had a night, our local rickshaw fellow took us to a room at Rs. 750/ night. The room was strictly average, but the dinner was awesome at their restaurant.

Day 6) Pykara lake (reached too early, but you can do boating there after 10 AM) and then drove back towards Bangalore.
On the way, we stopped at Mysore zoo. It was awesome. I don't know if there is a better zoo than this one in India. If your little one is interested in animals, then do visit this (it is on the way, so you don't have to get too much inside the city).

We had plans to stop at Bandipur (you can do online reservation on their website), but since we had already seen elephants and deers we knew that the bus safari is not going to give us anything new.
Bandipur Govt. Bus safari: Rs. 135/ person.
Mudumalai: Govt. Van safari: approx. Rs. 130/ person (I cannot remember exact figure now)
Mudumalai Pvt. Jeep safari: Rs. 800-1200 per jeep (around 1-2 hours).

No guarantees that you will see tigers or even elephants.

Mysore zoo highlights:
Only place where you have a gorilla in South Asia.
African and Indian elephants
African and Asiatic Lions
5-6 giraffes (this was the main reason to go there)
They have one zebra too.
The birds section is awesome, birds fly right above your heads, since you are walking inside the cage (sort of).
Electric vehicle ride: Rs. 100 per person. Kid below 5 is free. Take that.

We reached Bangalore late in the night and halted there for a couple of days before coming back to Pune.

Last edited by S_U_N : 25th November 2013 at 14:56.
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Old 25th November 2013, 15:27   #9
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
3. Abbey falls (avoid - not worth driving through those steep inclines - you can't go near the falls).
Surprised to hear this. I had been there in July and then one could walk down right to within some 20-30 metres of the falls (and on the hanging bridge in front of it). I had posted a photo taken during my visit there in this post : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3192665 (Information on Coorg route)
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Old 25th November 2013, 17:25   #10
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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Surprised to hear this. I had been there in July and then one could walk down right to within some 20-30 metres of the falls (and on the hanging bridge in front of it). I had posted a photo taken during my visit there in this post : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3192665 (Information on Coorg route)
Perhaps I should have been somewhat less ambigious. You cannot go into the waters there - hence it is pointless to go there to just see the falls standing from the bridge.
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Old 25th November 2013, 22:26   #11
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

@phamilyman I have sent you a PM.
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Old 25th November 2013, 22:50   #12
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

@phamilyman, you can try Hotel Palve Sugavasam at Ooty. It is near Club Mahindra Derby Green and Ramakrishna Ashram.

The location is http://goo.gl/pFGOav
The hotel website is www.palvesugavasam.com/‎

I have stayed there on two occasions and found it good value for money.

Regards,

Samish
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Old 25th November 2013, 23:00   #13
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

Thanks everyone. Apologies. I should have updated my post earlier. We have finalized our plan - its Ooty and Bandipur/Mudumalai.

Here is our Trip plan:
● 21st – Coonoor to Ooty toy train at 1630 hrs. Staying at Bougainvilla.
● 22nd – local Ooty / tea gardens / local boating; Doddabetta
● 23rd : Glen Morgan / Pykara
● 24th: Emerald / Avalanche lakes / go to stay at Mudumalai (wildwoods haven).
● 25th: Bandipur - morning and evening bus safaris booked. Will try for mudumalai elephant safari (only for son, no other interest) during the day.
● 26th: Bandipur– Home

Thanks for the ideas - we will definitely visit Mysore zoo on the way back. he loves animals - even at Chokhi Dhani, he was enthralled by the animals.

YJ - thanks. I have some ideas on the route but it all depends on the timing - my diabetic mother would be with us (necessitating frequent loo breaks), and we have booked tickets for the toy train (another thing the son likes). Let's see how this pans out - the idea is to reach ooty early enough - take a cab down to coonoor, and then take the train up.
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Old 25th November 2013, 23:18   #14
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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.
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Old 26th November 2013, 00:14   #15
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Default Re: Planning a Christmas trip around Ooty / Coorg

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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.
Hey man,

Thanks for the note - we've booked the stays - that is done. We've done kalpetta/muthanga on diwali so that's off the agenda for now Ideas for sightseeing are welcome!

#1 is the plan.
#2 is in the plan as well.
#3 -if we have time, we'll do both. I'm looking forward to the hill driving!
#4 Yup - taking that route.
#5 is out with a diabetic 68 yo mother and a 2.5 yo monkey!
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