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Old 19th March 2008, 14:56   #46
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Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Agree with Rotorhead on all points. Between Kalhatti & Masinagudi I was forced off road by some nut cases driving like F1. I was in my Civic with 4 people. Except once when I had to go offroad on a pretty bad stretch, there was no other problem.

Given the Charing Cross road condition and the heavy traffic its better to take Kotagiri. Less hairpins, less traffic and better roads. Its just a few kms extra.
the stretch just before you reach masinagudi is also pretty scary since the jeep drivers of masinagud drive like maniacs and as if they own the entire highway. Thes Guys have major attitudes and there is no way they are going to get off the road..in all probablity you will be bullied into getting off the road shoulder...and pls be carefull that at certain places these are very steep and with lot of big stones..All you will need depending on the size of your car is to stick your ground..there will pbbly be a little bit of bickering from these guys but mostly they are harmless lot..unless you get into a prolonged arguments wid them.Its better to avoid any serious confrontation since most of these guys just want to prove they are the local heroes nothing more. Just dont let these get into you or else you will end up ruining your pleasant trip.
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Old 19th March 2008, 15:03   #47
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All you Ooty riders...please remember while inside Masinagudi forest reserve...dont Blare your way thru turns... stay slow and watch out left and right continously for the 20-30 min ride across... Elephants... very very reckless and wild type...!! dont flash ur headlights... dont honk @ them..they arent ur galli ka ghai... (street cow)... and please try some serious fast reversing at a nice khali (empty) strech near your home before starting the trip... sounds filmy style isnt it ...


no... ... we had to do this in a scorpio for at least half a kilometre..!! thnk god it got bored and ran away..!!
agree with santosh on this..guys remember that you will be in their territory and the animals have the right to way around the jungle. Elephants generally are harmless and unless you do something stupid like flashing your light or using your horn or intimidating them by getting off the vehicle or such..you should be pretty safe. But its better to be prepared for the freak lone elephant or elephants with new born calf's..they can be highly unpredicatable and will charge without initimidation. But mostly these are mock charges to scare you away..I am yet to hear of an elephant smashing a vehicle up in that stretch..At any cost avoid slowing down to take photos when u pass an elephant of the bison..you never know when things will turn nasty..they are all wild animals afterall..
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Old 19th March 2008, 15:09   #48
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Thanks for all the inputs, Team-BHPians. I'm hitting the Kochi-Coimbatore route in 15 min. After a stopover at Coimb I'll be heading out into the hills. Will post my gyan on getting back.
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Old 19th March 2008, 17:30   #49
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I wanted a bit of inside info from the Kalhatti Ghat experts: How often is this particular route abruptly closed? Why I ask is that about 2 weeks back, I was forced to take the Gudalur route while coming back from Ooty to Bangalore and I am still having nightmares about it!

The Gudalur route has comparatively gentle gradients and scenic viewpoints etc but is currently absolutely pathetic and unmotorable in some parts. Add the TN/Kerala and Karnataka SRTC & various private buses and it can be a hair-raising experience.

To come back to my original question, why & how often is the Kalhatti Ghats route closed? And if 'closed' from the Ooty side, can one get past the checkpoint somehow and rejoin the road later?

The day I was returning, it seemed to be closed to all vehicles.
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Old 19th March 2008, 21:10   #50
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Road is generally closed after 6 pm till morning 5 am or till dawn breaks. Other than that if some VIP decides to use that road, it can be closed. I remember quite a few years back the road was closed for all public except government/PWD/TNEB people.

Well if the big shots call the shots the road can get closed anytime !!

Hard luck itwasntme! Could be an accident or a VIP !!
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Old 19th March 2008, 22:59   #51
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Thanks Csentil for the info. We loved Ooty and the drive to and fro but marred by that hideous Gudalur road on the way down!

My 2 bits on the hairpin bends (way up only):

I was forced to take every hairpin quite slowly. Reasons were a very car-sick son and wife who would have definitely been copiously sick in our (beige interiors!) Aveo at higher speeds.

Further, this was my first time driving a bigger-than-a-hatch car in India on such sharp curves.

I had also been warned several times by colleagues and TBHPians to beware of the local maxicabs etc.

Lastly I was a bit apprehensive of the Aveo's front bumper scraping the sudden changes in the road gradient. If you study the Aveo's cab-forward side profile, it's obvious that the area most prone to scrape is the front; the rear bumper has a pretty good exit angle.

Net net was that I tended to slow down before each hairpin, smoothly engage first gear @ 10km/hr and tend progressively floor the pedal once I reached the apex and could see 'around' the corner. Experience was good except that I feel the Aveo's flat spot below 2000 RPM was rather irritating because even when I changed into 2nd beyond the curve, the engine RPMs would fall below the sweet spot and the car would hesitate a little. After the first few curves, I corrected my technique by staying in 1st slightly longer and till a higher RPM to ensure that my 2nd gear did not stray below the 2000 RPM mark. Then on it was fine!

Loved the climb and the views!

I personally did not face any road-hogging maxicabs/jeeps although I witnessed a near-miss between a Santro and a jeep just in front of me!

I also noticed a M800 parked well inside the Reserve Forest area with the owners having an impromptu biryani lunch on the bonnet. I mean, how dumb can one get? It's a protected area with clear road signs to not litter, not stop, honk or speed above 30 km/hr. And here was a doofus having biryani. What did he want? A sign saying 'Retards are reminded not to stop in this area and have aromatic lunches on their car bonnets'! :-)
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Old 20th March 2008, 01:06   #52
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Hee hee.. good that they neither became biriyani for the carnivores or chutney for the elephants !!

The Bandipur to Masinagudi sector is excellent wildlife spotting zone. You have to keep your eyes peeled and drive slowly. Helps to have a couple of more people. Extra eyes definitely help.

However nut cases who just want to reach the destination will spoil everything at times. We had a herd of deer very close to our car and this car went honking by at high speed frightening away all the deer. Wanted to go after them and give them a piece of what I thought about the whole darn thing !!
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Old 20th March 2008, 10:21   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
I wanted a bit of inside info from the Kalhatti Ghat experts: How often is this particular route abruptly closed? Why I ask is that about 2 weeks back, I was forced to take the Gudalur route while coming back from Ooty to Bangalore and I am still having nightmares about it!

The Gudalur route has comparatively gentle gradients and scenic viewpoints etc but is currently absolutely pathetic and unmotorable in some parts. Add the TN/Kerala and Karnataka SRTC & various private buses and it can be a hair-raising experience.

To come back to my original question, why & how often is the Kalhatti Ghats route closed? And if 'closed' from the Ooty side, can one get past the checkpoint somehow and rejoin the road later?

The day I was returning, it seemed to be closed to all vehicles.
Most often the roads are closed either during heavy monsoon season due to small landslides or tree falling down. Sometimes few buses or trucks also tend to get stuck in between. Other than that it may be due to VIP's but it tends to be only for 3-4 hrs. But its anytime better that going thru the gudalur route..which is absolutely pathetic and takes a toll on the passengers aswell as the cars..
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Old 20th March 2008, 11:00   #54
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Is there any way to find out if the Kalhatti road will be closed for a specified period of time? Say for a VIP, roadworks etc? Any contact number with maybe the police, forest department or whoever?

I would love to do Ooty/Kotagiri again but dread the Gudalur road!
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Old 20th March 2008, 11:12   #55
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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Is there any way to find out if the Kalhatti road will be closed for a specified period of time? Say for a VIP, roadworks etc? Any contact number with maybe the police, forest department or whoever?

I would love to do Ooty/Kotagiri again but dread the Gudalur road!
The best indication is if you do not notice any oncomming traffic at the beginning of this stretch..I am not sure if there is any particular number or such. If you dont observe any on coming traffic then you might want to check with any of the locals around there
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Old 29th March 2008, 00:04   #56
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Back after a trip to the Nilgiris from Kochi.
Onward, I took the Kochi-Coimbatore-Coonoor-Ooty route. I did not go to Masinagudi as initially planned as it was raining continuously - halted at Ooty for the night (so much for the Kalhatty ghat plan). Though the weather cleared on subsequent days, I stuck to Ooty-Coonoor as I had hotel bookings.
Local sightseeing - Coonoor-Lamb's Rock-Dolphin's Nose road is in bad shape at many places, as also Doddabetta Hill road (work has started on the latter). Ooty town itself had some sections of road washed away due to rain that slowed down traffic considerably. Ooty - Pykara route is nearly repaired and was drive was enjoyable. I suppose the road deteriorates further on the way to Gudalur.
The return from Ooty to Coimbatore was via Kotagiri. This route had far less traffic and more scenic (rolling hills, tea gardens - less jungle).
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Old 29th March 2008, 09:32   #57
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Many of us, who takes goes via the Bandipur forest to Ooty might be able to see herds of elephants on the road sides:

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Just one word of caution... never ever get out of your car and walk towards any of these calm looking animals. You never know when their mood changes. They can easily crush your bones and topple your car.

Once on our way to Ooty, I had seen this guy who stopped his car near a mother and baby elephant, Standing out on the roadside, he was video shooting the elephants so close. Then I saw his wife and ~1 year old kid also getting out of the car and walking towards these wild animals. It was a chilling sight. Two other car guys, as well as us warned this guy and his family to get into the car and continue driving, but he just laughed at us, with an expression on his face that read: "Been there, done that"
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Old 29th March 2008, 10:16   #58
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Default Kalhatti Ghats after the recent rains

Hi,
Please do share the experience if any of you have used the Kalhatti Ghat road to Ooty after the recent rains. Any thing we need to be aware of if we take
the route now ? I am planning to take this route from Bangalore to Ooty on 1st April.
thanks.
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Old 29th March 2008, 21:34   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexgv View Post
Hi,
Please do share the experience if any of you have used the Kalhatti Ghat road to Ooty after the recent rains. Any thing we need to be aware of if we take
the route now ? I am planning to take this route from Bangalore to Ooty on 1st April.
thanks.

Hi, I just drove up and down the Kalhatti ghats last weekend. Did a 45 min tour of ooty (shortest stay there ever). The ghats are pretty ok, no major rough patches, in fact much better than the Gundlupet-Bandipur stretch.
Happy driving.
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Old 30th March 2008, 03:26   #60
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friends, i am planning to visit Mysore/Ooty in April end. The route will be Mumbai-Bangalore-Mysore-Ooty-Madikeri-Manipal-Goa-Mumbai. Will be staying with relatives at Bangalore, so no problem there. What I am looking for is

1. Decent places to stay at Mysore and Ooty. Recommendations please? Budget is Rs. 800-1000 per day. Food choice is vegetarian and it would be good if there is some parking space available within the hotel premises.

2. Places to visit, specially from children's point of view. (my 2 kids are 7 and 4 year old). I guess we can skip the museums Planning to stay 1 day at Mysore, and 2 days at Ooty. [Day 1 leave Bangalore in the morning for Mysore, spend the remaining day at Mysore. Day 2 leave Mysore in the Morning, reach Ooty by afternoon. Spend remaining time of Day 2 and whole of Day 3 there. Day 4 leave Ooty at noon to reach Madikeri by evening.

3. Will be driving an NHC CVT. Need some tips on driving this automatic on the steep inclines of Kalhatti ghats

Thanks!
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