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Old 24th August 2011, 09:46   #46
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Srikanth,

Any specific reason for that? My thought process was, that NH67 is very good and a smooth road.
Also, crossing Palladam and latching to Pollachi road is an easy job. (Just one turn).

(Just that at night it needs to be spotted).
The SH between Kangeyam and Dharapuram is in absolutely great condition as well and not much of small towns / big villages in the stretch between Dharapuram to Pollachi to get confused. Nevertheless going via Palladam would also make a lot of sense if he goes around early morning so that he can be guided in case of difficulty finding the right road.

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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
ampere, amolpol & pypkmsrikanth thanks a ton for the valuable inputs.

Now I have a minor issue here. A friend of mine has changed plans and now he intends to join us from Coimbatore. So what options do I have now? Hope I can somehow avoid that dreaded Avinashi section. It will be a mess, esp if it rains
May be you could think of doing Bangalore - Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Sathyamangalam - Coimbatore and then continue onto Pollachi. It would let you enjoy the Dhimbam ghats with the possibility of encountering wildlife as well in the night if you are lucky.
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Old 24th August 2011, 11:00   #47
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

Anyone who stayed at Banyan tree farmstay? It lies somewhere near Top Slip and has some good reviews. I might be heading out for a weekend drive with friends sometime in early september and I have almost booked this place.

Banyan Tree Farm Stay

The tea estate bungalows are out of reach of my budget at those astronomical prices - they are charging 6-8k per room per day excluding food
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Old 24th August 2011, 11:13   #48
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Anyone who stayed at Banyan tree farmstay? It lies somewhere near Top Slip and has some good reviews. I might be heading out for a weekend drive with friends sometime in early september and I have almost booked this place.

Banyan Tree Farm Stay

The tea estate bungalows are out of reach of my budget at those astronomical prices - they are charging 6-8k per room per day excluding food
Banyan Tree is near Sethumadai, so it is at the plains. Though I have not stayed there because am not a birder, it is a place which I am told is "Must Do" for birders.

There are couple of other options as well in Sethumadai. I stayed at this place last May during my trip to Valparai & Topslip Wild County Resort::.

Did you check NEPC for your requirement in Valparai?
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Old 24th August 2011, 11:43   #49
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Banyan Tree is near Sethumadai, so it is at the plains. Though I have not stayed there because am not a birder, it is a place which I am told is "Must Do" for birders.

There are couple of other options as well in Sethumadai. I stayed at this place last May during my trip to Valparai & Topslip Wild County Resort::.

Did you check NEPC for your requirement in Valparai?
Banyan tree farmstay seems to be some 10-15 km from top slip, according to google maps so I'd kept this as my main option

Now that you provided me a few more, I might change my decision
How is Wild county priced? I'd never seen that before. It looks good but their website doesn't seem to give much info on tariffs

Haven't checked NEPC also. Same reason - no info on tariffs anywhere on the net. Do you know in what range their tariffs are? Banyan tree charges somewhere around 2.7k per person per day (inclusive of everything). If no information is available, I can as well call their number or mail them, but would like to know if someone from t-bhp visited this place and how they found it

Last edited by KarthikK : 24th August 2011 at 11:50.
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Old 24th August 2011, 12:47   #50
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

With regard to NEPC speak with Sunil at 8903 214 160 he will be able to offer you the best possible rates and accommodation it should cost you about Rs.5000/- for a couple inclusive of food. I just checked the mail I received from Parameswari of Woodbriar group a couple of weeks back. The quoted rates were as follows.

Stanmore Bungalow - the costliest of the lot Rs.7300 per room per night (for 2 peope)
Villa Fair Winds - Rs.5220 per room per night
Monica Garden Bungalow - Rs.5220 per room per night

With regard to your other query regarding Wild Country I think I paid some Rs.2000/- or so per room inclusive of food.
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Old 25th August 2011, 12:16   #51
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
ampere, amolpol & pypkmsrikanth thanks a ton for the valuable inputs.

Now I have a minor issue here. A friend of mine has changed plans and now he intends to join us from Coimbatore. So what options do I have now? Hope I can somehow avoid that dreaded Avinashi section. It will be a mess, esp if it rains
Not sure about which dreaded section you're talking about. I did the Salem-Coimbatore road at an avg speed of 90kph or so.
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Old 25th August 2011, 12:32   #52
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Best then would be to ask him to report at Pollachi at a particular place for BF.
Two places that I can suggest:

1. Hotel Shakthi. Sakthi Hotels - Pollachi, Tamilnadu, India.
2. Nivetha Inn : Hotel Nivetha's Inn - Pollachi

He can easily come down there and you follow your regular course to hit Pollachi.
I have asked him to join us from Pollachi but there is a possibility that I might have to pick him from their factory at Kandanchavady. Hope he is able to make it till Pollachi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
The SH between Kangeyam and Dharapuram is in absolutely great condition as well and not much of small towns / big villages in the stretch between Dharapuram to Pollachi to get confused. Nevertheless going via Palladam would also make a lot of sense if he goes around early morning so that he can be guided in case of difficulty finding the right road.

May be you could think of doing Bangalore - Kanakapura - Kollegal - Chamrajnagar - Sathyamangalam - Coimbatore and then continue onto Pollachi. It would let you enjoy the Dhimbam ghats with the possibility of encountering wildlife as well in the night if you are lucky.
Even though the route via Kollegal is quite scenic since it is a night drive I would prefer the NH7-47 combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
Not sure about which dreaded section you're talking about. I did the Salem-Coimbatore road at an avg speed of 90kph or so.
I was referring to the Avinashi stretch where the 4 laning was progressing. The last time I traveled that route was in late May and it was quite frustrating to drive. It may be better now and after all you have a Safari to make your own road na
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Old 25th August 2011, 21:16   #53
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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I have asked him to join us from Pollachi but there is a possibility that I might have to pick him from their factory at Kandanchavady. Hope he is able to make it till Pollachi.
I think it should not be a problem. Its hardly 50km from CBE to Pollachi.
There would be umpteen buses available.

If he starts at 4:30AM he should be in by 5:30 max.
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Old 27th August 2011, 12:48   #54
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

I have another doubt for you guys. My Valaparai drive is planned for 16,17,18 September. Instead of leaving on 16th morning (and wasting half day in travel), I thought of leaving on thursday (15th) evening, reach Salem, halt for the night and continue from there to Valparai next morning. That would easily release another 4-5 hours of time for Valparai. And that brings me to my question - For an overnight stay at Salem, could anyone suggest some good hotels on / around NH7 in Salem? I don't need anything too flashy, since it is just for an overnight stop. Any clean place which has decent car parking, serves dinner and has AC rooms should do the job.

P.S - slightly OT, I googled for "NH7 hotels salem" and the search results showed me a lot of hotels in USA!! Looks like USA also has a 'Salem'

Last edited by KarthikK : 27th August 2011 at 12:54.
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Old 27th August 2011, 13:13   #55
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
I have another doubt for you guys. My Valaparai drive is planned for 16,17,18 September. Instead of leaving on 16th morning (and wasting half day in travel), I thought of leaving on thursday (15th) evening, reach Salem, halt for the night and continue from there to Valparai next morning.

Karthik that won't help much. You can cover Salem in 3 hours flat at the
max. For that 3 hours you don't want to stay over night at Salem.

Here is what you can do:
- You start at 4 from home.
- Salem at 7AM (200km)
- BF 1 hour max 8AM
- Perundurai crossing 85km 9:30 AM Max
- Kangeyam 35Km 10.15 AM
- Palladam 30km 11 AM
- Pollachi 50KM 12 AM

So you see, you would be in Pollachi for lunch.
After lunch, your sightseeing begins! You can visit Aliyar dam on the way at noon.
Pollachi-Valparai is 60km out which 30-40Km is the distance to the base of the ghats (which is the Aliyar dam).
This again can be finished fast. The ghat won't take more than an hour.

The above timings are very doable, as I have done it myself.
I am a sedate driver, who does not cross 3 digits even on the GQ!
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Old 27th August 2011, 13:46   #56
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Karthik that won't help much. You can cover Salem in 3 hours flat at the
max. For that 3 hours you don't want to stay over night at Salem.

Here is what you can do:
- You start at 4 from home.
- Salem at 7AM (200km)
- BF 1 hour max 8AM
- Perundurai crossing 85km 9:30 AM Max
- Kangeyam 35Km 10.15 AM
- Palladam 30km 11 AM
- Pollachi 50KM 12 AM

So you see, you would be in Pollachi for lunch.
After lunch, your sightseeing begins! You can visit Aliyar dam on the way at noon.
Pollachi-Valparai is 60km out which 30-40Km is the distance to the base of the ghats (which is the Aliyar dam).
This again can be finished fast. The ghat won't take more than an hour.

The above timings are very doable, as I have done it myself.
I am a sedate driver, who does not cross 3 digits even on the GQ!
I'm a sedate driver too, usually sticking to 80-90kmph constant speeds. Are you sure Salem, 220km is do-able in 3 hours? I was contempating night stay mainly because I'm going with my friends and some of them happen to be late-wakers. With pickups and delays, 4am would become 6am and day 1 itinerary will go down the drain Or perhaps I should ask them to be ready at 2am and with delays that gets adjusted to 4am That way, salem should be possible by 7am

My itinerary looks like this now (ignoring till pollachi):

Day 1 - visit Aliyar dam, monkey falls, loam's view point, reach Valparai


Day 2 - nallamudi poonjalai, number parai, sholayar dam, travel to farmstay near top slip (around 80km from valparai)

day 3 - timepass in farmstay, visit top slip + possible visit to sanctuary. Return to b'lore

Locations I want to include but not sure how to get them into the schedule - Athirapally falls
- Chinnakallar rainforest (supposed to be second highest rainfall region in india)
- Grass hills - want to visit this place but heard that it is out of bounds now in the monsoons, permission required from forest department. Need to check

Ampere, could you suggest any changes to the programme? It could be heavily flawed, since I haven't checked accurate positions of those sightseeing spots

Last edited by KarthikK : 27th August 2011 at 14:04. Reason: typo
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Old 27th August 2011, 16:52   #57
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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Ampere, could you suggest any changes to the programme? It could be heavily flawed, since I haven't checked accurate positions of those sightseeing spots
@Karthik,

- If not 4, start by 5/6 would also be fine. At the most you may not be able
to visit Aliyar on the first day. You can also visit this on the way back.

- The other thing I note, that in total 3 days, you are driving quite a lot,
which I think may not be worth it. The idea of staying in Valparai is actually
to relax and enjoy rather than driving to many places.

- If your are planning Valparai, get a book one of those tea estates and
enjoy the full 3 days there. You can drive to Sholayar/Athirapally one one of
these days.

- Do note that Athirapally falls is at Chalakudy side which is about 60km
away. Going and coming back means doing 100km the same day.

Last edited by ampere : 27th August 2011 at 17:05.
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Old 28th August 2011, 08:55   #58
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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@Karthik,

- If not 4, start by 5/6 would also be fine. At the most you may not be able
to visit Aliyar on the first day. You can also visit this on the way back.

- The other thing I note, that in total 3 days, you are driving quite a lot,
which I think may not be worth it. The idea of staying in Valparai is actually
to relax and enjoy rather than driving to many places.

- If your are planning Valparai, get a book one of those tea estates and
enjoy the full 3 days there. You can drive to Sholayar/Athirapally one one of
these days.

- Do note that Athirapally falls is at Chalakudy side which is about 60km
away. Going and coming back means doing 100km the same day.
I'll take your suggestion and make one main change in the itinerary - I'll knock off the Day 2 programme of going to top slip, altogether. That is the one which seems to be messing up the itinerary. I'll visit top slip some other time when I have more days at my disposal. So the programme now has 3 full days stationed at Valparai, day 2 can be used for a leisurely drive to Athirapally + sholayar dam.

For tea estate, I have an enquiry ongoing with NEPC guest house (thanks to an earlier suggestion in this thread ). I will ask for an additional day at Valparai for this new itinerary so I guess that should solve all the problems.

Itinerary with changes looks like this now (much better now, thanks to you ampere ) -

Day 1 - depart at 4am, breakfast at salem, lunch at Pollachi, visit Aliyar dam, monkey falls en route to Valparai, evening is free at the estate
Day 2 - visit sholayar dam / athirapallly falls and if possible one more place closeby. (Any info on grass hills?) else timepass at estate
Day 3 - timepass at estate, possible detour to visit some other place? and then return to bangalore by night

P.S - vehicle is my friend's ANHC. For the sake of its bad GC, any particular bad stretch of roads to avoid around Valparai?

Last edited by KarthikK : 28th August 2011 at 09:17. Reason: left out a few details
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Old 28th August 2011, 09:26   #59
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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I'll take your suggestion and make one main change in the itinerary - I'll knock off the Day 2 programme of going to top slip, altogether. That is the one which seems to be messing up the itinerary. I'll visit top slip some other time when I have more days at my disposal. So the programme now has 3 full days stationed at Valparai, day 2 can be used for a leisurely drive to Athirapally + sholayar dam.

Day 1 - depart at 4am, breakfast at salem, lunch at Pollachi, visit Aliyar dam, monkey falls en route to Valparai, evening is free at the estate
Day 2 - visit sholayar dam / athirapallly falls and if possible one more place closeby. (Any info on grass hills?) else timepass at estate
Day 3 - timepass at estate, possible detour to visit some other place? and then return to bangalore by night

P.S - vehicle is my friend's ANHC. For the sake of its bad GC, any particular bad stretch of roads to avoid around Valparai?
Tight schedule. IMO you should not give top slip a miss. As regards the car you may not have any issues but make sure that you do not drive after about 2 or 3 in the afternoon in those hair pin bends especially if it is cloudy.
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Old 28th August 2011, 09:39   #60
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Default Re: Valparai - Staying Options And Other General Info..

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P.S - vehicle is my friend's ANHC. For the sake of its bad GC, any particular bad stretch of roads to avoid around Valparai?
- No issues with GC on this stretch, except for those killer humps at
Thoppur ghats. Need to be very careful as they are really huge and can damage the underbody.
Many times folks don't realize and by the time they reach close its too late and they would at 40Kmph at least.

- BF at Salem: If you want to splurge: GRT on the highway just at the location, where roads breaks to the 5-roads junction.
The entrance to the hotel is through service road. They open at 7 and hence you will get steaming hot buffet BF (But @350 per person! )
But for a holiday, its well worth it.


PS: You will miss your T-Jet for sure!
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