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Old 21st March 2012, 18:23   #391
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by flyingkolors View Post
I have a simple query. How is the Gudalur route to reach Ooty? One of my friend who has been to Ooty many times suggested that though it may take an hour more via this route, its much less stressful and very scenic. Is that true?

Also how is the road condition in this route?
Yes this option has no haipin bends. But adds 30km to the distance. That would add about 1-2 hours to drive as the whole section is winding roads and blind curves.

It is very scenic though. All buses and bigger vehicles take this route.

On this route you also go by Pykara lake and 8th/9th mile tourist spots.
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Old 21st March 2012, 19:10   #392
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Yes this option has no haipin bends. But adds 30km to the distance. That would add about 1-2 hours to drive as the whole section is winding roads and blind curves.

It is very scenic though. All buses and bigger vehicles take this route.

On this route you also go by Pykara lake and 8th/9th mile tourist spots.

Wonderful, thanks Ampere. I will probably take this route just to enjoy the scenery and pass through the Pykara and 8/9th milestone spots.

So the route would be Bangalore- Mysore- Nanjangud- Bandipur- Theppakadu- Gudalur Town- Pykara- Ooty
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Old 21st March 2012, 20:50   #393
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
It is 6 PM to 6 Am.

Night traffic ban at Bandipur extended from 9 to 12 hours

Difficult. You need to leave early to cross the check post. You may cutting too short.

I do not advise driving on the ghat section at night. It is no fun at all. This stretch has witnessed wild elephants at night and some time may be dangerous. This stretch has amazing views which you will miss out at night. Suggest go via gudalur and return via the ghat road.
Till a few weeks back the 12 hr ban hadn't been implemented. Not sure about now. Have you got any update on the ban? My evening dashes aimed at squeezing out an extra ' night in the jungle'- leaving at 4.30 or 5pm on Fri and reaching Bandipur gates before 9 pm - will have to stop then.

If one is familiar with night hill driving on steep roads the Kalhatti route will save at least an hour. Traffic is very less. But as you said one needs to watch out for elephants and gaurs. Almost impossible to reverse at night. Ultimately it is in one's hands. Get trampled by an elephant or fall into a deep valley trying to reverse in the dark on a narrow road, whichever gives one better pleasure.

The Gudalur route is also better for spotting leopards in the evening, especially around the Kargudi area in Mudumalai.
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Old 21st March 2012, 22:51   #394
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
If one is familiar with night hill driving on steep roads the Kalhatti route will save at least an hour. Traffic is very less. But as you said one needs to watch out for elephants and gaurs. Almost impossible to reverse at night. Ultimately it is in one's hands. Get trampled by an elephant or fall into a deep valley trying to reverse in the dark on a narrow road, whichever gives one better pleasure.
Are wildlife sightings that common on that Ghat section ? I've been driving those roads for almost 25 years+ now - and a lot of it at night - and have never sighted an elephant or a gaur after you pass that bridge that comes up about 5-10 kms after Masinagudi (after which the ghat section starts). Yes they are common in the plains, and one needs to be careful since the road is quite narrow at a lot of places. May be I was just lucky ?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 00:02   #395
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

I have seen a gaur but thankfully no elephant yet within the hairpin bends section in the evening. Have seen both elephant and leopard just before the Glanton Manor bridge you are referring to, and single male elephants plenty of times beside the road after Masinagudi.Hope things stay that way because after the 36th bend it is dfficult to bypass an elephant standing on the road, and dangerous to reverse fast in the dark while climbing up - our tail lights are too dim to see beyond a few feet. If you notice, elephant dung on the road can be seen till pretty high up in the mountains.

However, plenty of local vehicles keep climbing up till curfew time, so I believe odds are against encounters. While I do drive on that road in the night, when with family, I try to avoid doing that. For someone not used to steep roads, night hill driving or dealing with animals, I don't think tackling that road in the night is a good idea. Also, sometimes vehicles coming down drive rashly and might force you to go on the rocks beside the road for a few seconds - especially if you are driving a small vehicle and he is driving a Bolero pick up, say. Normal tires might get damaged then. If you are in a SUV with a/t tires, you need not worry so much.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 22nd March 2012 at 00:19.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:01   #396
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Till a few weeks back the 12 hr ban hadn't been implemented. Not sure about now.
No, it is not implemented as Kala - who is a regular traveller on this route - confirms in the prvious post.

As you rightly said in your posts, there are chances of spotting wild animals at night. But my another point is driving at night will take away the fun of viewing beautiful scenery.

We once drove on the ghat immediately aftre heavy rains on the previous day. It was still drizzling and could see beautiful water fall on the hills with a rainbow!!
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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:04   #397
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Yes this option has no haipin bends. But adds 30km to the distance. That would add about 1-2 hours to drive as the whole section is winding roads and blind curves.

It is very scenic though. All buses and bigger vehicles take this route.

On this route you also go by Pykara lake and 8th/9th mile tourist spots.
Any idea how the road condition would be? Has it improved lately? I've read in some posts posted a couple of years back on TBHP that the road condition is pathetic and is a real stress test for the suspensions.

Any pictures on this forum of this route?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:09   #398
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by kala View Post
Are wildlife sightings that common on that Ghat section ? I've been driving those roads for almost 25 years+ now - and a lot of it at night - and have never sighted an elephant or a gaur after you pass that bridge that comes up about 5-10 kms after Masinagudi (after which the ghat section starts). Yes they are common in the plains, and one needs to be careful since the road is quite narrow at a lot of places. May be I was just lucky ?
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
I have seen a gaur but thankfully no elephant yet within the hairpin bends section in the evening.
I guess I am one of the lucky few to have sighted both Gaur and Elephant on the ghat road. Both were on separate occasions though. The Gaur appeared on the road in broad daylight and I met a herd of elephants on one hairpin bend some time in the night. This was way before the night ban started.
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:20   #399
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

Just returned from long weekend trip to Ooty.

We took NH 209 - both ways -and the route was

Bangalore (E City junction of NICE road) - Kanakapura - Malavalli - Kollegala - Chamarajanagar - Gundlupet - Theppakadu - Masinagudi - Kalhatty ghat - Finger post (the junction where the road forks towards Kalhatty and Gudalur in Ooty).

Here is the latest update.

E City - Kanakapura :- Excellent

Kanakapura - Malavalli :- Excellent

Malavalli - Kollegala :- The stretch before and after Malavalli bye pass is relaid. Except for four-five KMs after Malavalli you encounter broken road and again for a KM before Kollegala. But no big deal. Relaying under progress. Except for this it is excellent road.

Kollegala - Chamarajanagar :- Excellent. The best stretch.

Chamarajanagar - Gundlupet :- Surprisingly very good. Patch work done and at some places relaid. For three - four KMs after Terakanambi, the road is bumpy. Need to be careful at culverts between Terakanambi and Gundlupet due to level differencence. Overall very good road.

Gundlupet - Theppakadu :- Excellent. The stretches in Bandipur is already relaid towards TN border. Relaying work in progress in the forest.

Theppakadu - Kalhatty ghat start point :- Single lane. Excellent condition.

Kalhatty ghat - Excellent condition. The best ghat road in South India with reflective mirrors, excellent signage at key hairpinbends. Should be an amazing sight in monsoons. Waiting for rains to arrive!!!

Time taken

Forward journey

Departure - Bangalore at E City junction on NICE road 11 AM
Arrival - Fingerpost, Ooty @ 4 PM
Break - 30 mins in CCD, Gundlupet and 10 mins for tender Coconut

Return Journey

Departure - Fingerpost in Ooty @ 12 noon
Arrival - Kanakapura Road junction of NICE road @ 5.50 PM
Break - Lunch at New Hotel in Chamarajanagar called Nijaguna Residency. Very good ambience and decent food. Recommended. http://www.nijagunaresidency.com//index.html

Time taken 1.15 Hrs

Tender Coconut break - 15 Mins

There was very less traffic between Kanakapura and Gundlupet which makes this stretch such a pleasure to drive on. On the way back there was less traffic between Kanakapura and Bangalore as well. May be due to exams.

With more and more people taking Kalhatty - many of them novices - it slows you down. We took one hour from Fingerpost to Teppakadu on the way back as it was almost like a convoy. We were faster while going up.

This is the best route to Ooty, Wayanad etc.

Last edited by Fauji : 26th March 2012 at 11:40.
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Old 26th March 2012, 12:25   #400
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

Those are very impressive timings Fauji. Driven like a bat out of hell :-)

The most time consuming stretch is Bangalore - Kanakpura. And every MUV driver becomes a F1 driver on that stretch, especially while entering Bangalore in the evenings.
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Old 26th March 2012, 12:44   #401
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Kalhatty ghat - Excellent condition. The best ghat road in South India with reflective mirrors, excellent signage at key hairpinbends. Should be an amazing sight in monsoons. Waiting for rains to arrive!!!
Agree with that. I enjoyed driving though it last November with all the fog and mist!! Rainy season will make it risky, I feel. Though the view will be something to behold!
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Old 26th March 2012, 13:22   #402
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

Came back from a quick Ooty drive!

Onward: 22nd March and left home @ 2PM via Nice Road - Kanakapura - Malavalli - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Gundlupet - Masinagudi and reached Ooty (Club Mahindra - Derby Green) @ 8:30PM with few breaks totaling about 30 mins.

The traffic restriction in Bandipur and Mudumali starts only at 9PM and not 6pm as mentioned by many.

Return: 24th March. Left Ooty @ 11:30 AM and came back via the same route and reached home near Sarjapur Road @ 5:30 PM with few breaks totaling about 25 mins. It was almost empty roads through out and the best section was Malavalli till Home.

BTW - Driving down from Ooty to Theppakadu via masinagudi is a one way and a clear "No Entry" board is placed in Ooty. Even a police man was diverting traffic towards Gudalur but when I said that I saw lot of traffic coming down, even in the night - he smiled and asked me to go but drive slowly. While it's good roads but it's narrow at many sections and some road work is happening as well.

Again - as mentioned by many - late evening drive in Bandipur/ Masinagudi stretch will allow you to spot wildlife though the green cover is almost missing in the entire section due to summer and forest fire. I spotted 2 elephants (one while going and 1 while coming) and even two deers crossed the masinagudi road + few peacocks. In 1 instance - a deer was standing in the road and I had to stop so that after few seconds it moved away. My 6 year old son was escastic seeing a deer in the middle of the road and was worried that Tiger will also show up like that!!

Since - we have been to Ooty, we did not visit any known places with a 8 month old girl. Hence - visited only wax museum.

On 23rd, we made a abrupt plan to visit Marudhamali Murugan Temple (near Coimbatore) and the distance was around 95 kms one way. But - the traffic was heavy through out and it took almost 4 hours to travel 95 kms while going and while returning to Ooty it was kind of ok and it took 3:30 hrs.

So - overall ~800 kms drive in 3 days and Pajero did very well. In fact - in both the uphill's/ downhills - I was in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear and used 1st gear only once in 16th HPB in masinagudi stretch since the the Honda CRV which was going in front stopped to allow a down hill vehicle to pass. I didn't even feel tired, no back aches or head aches despite driving it for almost 20 hours in 3 days.

It consumed a full tank (92 liters) for this 800 kms trip - which is 8.69 kmpl which is very good considering it went up & came down 3 hills (including Marudhamalai) with 100% ac ON

Top speed achieved was 150kmph in NICE road (section between Hosur and Bannerghatta Road) - just to test what it can achieve...otherwise - I maintained 90 to 100 during most of the stretches.
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Old 26th March 2012, 13:50   #403
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Those are very impressive timings Fauji. Driven like a bat out of hell :-)

The most time consuming stretch is Bangalore - Kanakpura. And every MUV driver becomes a F1 driver on that stretch, especially while entering Bangalore in the evenings.
You are right Nilanjan. I too was surprised with the timings. But the road is quite good and being exam time there was hardly any traffic. I could comfortably cruise between 100-110 on most of the stretches except in village limits where i normally slow down. I could easily avarage 75-80 per hour between Kanakapura and Teppakadu.

For example, we left Chamarajanagar at 3.30 PM and we were in Kanakapura road junction of NICE road at 5.50 PM!!! The stretch between Kanakpura - Bangalore also did not have usual Mekedatu - Shivanasamudram traffic.
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Old 26th March 2012, 14:41   #404
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
The most time consuming stretch is Bangalore - Kanakpura. And every MUV driver becomes a F1 driver on that stretch, especially while entering Bangalore in the evenings.
Yes, this is a worrying trend I've been also noticing in the recent past. The traffic between Kanakapura and Bangalore has increased considerably these days, especially on Sunday evenings. May be more and more people are discovering the advantages of NH209 over SH17, but unfortunately this also means that the drive on that stretch is slowly becoming more and more stressful :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
For example, we left Chamarajanagar at 3.30 PM and we were in Kanakapura road junction of NICE road at 5.50 PM!!! The stretch between Kanakpura - Bangalore also did not have usual Mekedatu - Shivanasamudram traffic.
My normal timing for the Kanakapura Rd-NICE road junction to Chamarajnagar is 2 hrs 10 minutes if it's early morning and about 15 to 30 minutes longer on the way back during evenings / early nights depending on how bad the traffic is between Kanakapura and Bangalore.

And this is with more or less steady driving at 80 to 110 kmph, with an absolute max of 130 kmph on very rare occasions.
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Old 26th March 2012, 15:36   #405
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Default re: Bangalore - Mysore - Ooty : Route Queries

Kalhatti Ghats is actually less stressful than Gudalur or Mettupalayam route. Too many slow moving large vehicle + too much traffic on these routes, and crazy drivers trying to overtake at curves without honking.

This is my personal opinion though. I try to do Kalhatti when the traffic is less so that I don't get stuck behind slow moving vehicles or inexperienced hill drivers. I take double the time to come down than I do to go up, since I do engine breaking throughout while coming down.
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