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Old 4th March 2010, 09:03   #1
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Default Yercaud or Yelagiri? For first time hill driving

Hi bhpians! I want to try hill driving for the first time. I have done around 20 kms of city driving and a bit of highway driving.

Please suggest, which will be the better hill to try hill driving for the first time?
1. Yelagiri
2. Yercaud

which will be steeper and which will hve narrower roads?

I am from Chennai, will be driving an Indica with one passenger (my better half) and I have a chronic fear of heights.

Please give your suggestions. I will do the trip this weekend, and post a travelogue.
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Old 4th March 2010, 10:57   #2
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Hi rajushank84

Did you say only 20Kms in the city? Are you comfortable with steep inclines? eg. City Centre basement Parking or Spencers Parking on the higher floors.

These will give you an idea (Only an idea) on the hair pin bends you'll encounter in Yercaud.
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Old 4th March 2010, 11:15   #3
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I believe you should drive more in city before you try out any hill climbing. Some thing like high multi storied parking kind of thing.
Yelagiri is better choice before you try out Yercaud... It has less curve and easy to climb. But remember yercaud will be quite hot this time.
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Old 4th March 2010, 11:23   #4
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There is really nothing to do at yelagiri, I think yercaud would be a better destination
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Old 4th March 2010, 11:49   #5
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I think its 20 K kms ..as when he says "bit of highway " ...he would have to drive more than 20 kms in the city
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Old 4th March 2010, 11:49   #6
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@Raju:

when you say only 20kms, understand that you could be new to driving. Please have a considerable city driving experience and then move to highways followed by hill station driving.

Yelagiri/yercaud are all two way traffic and without considerable experience it is not advaisable to even try it.
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Old 4th March 2010, 13:26   #7
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Try Yelagiri first. I have not been there, but I guess its easier than Yercaud. Also its not that far from Chennai as compared to Yercaud.
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Old 4th March 2010, 14:32   #8
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Sorry for the typo, it is indeed 20k kms

I've been driving for 3 years now on both highway and city roads, but never on hills.

So, is Yelagiri better to start with, than Yercaud? I actually want to drive to Ooty next month, so just want to do Yelagiri or Yercaud as a trial before that, so that I can drive confidently to Ooty.
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Old 4th March 2010, 15:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Sorry for the typo, it is indeed 20k kms

I've been driving for 3 years now on both highway and city roads, but never on hills.

So, is Yelagiri better to start with, than Yercaud? I actually want to drive to Ooty next month, so just want to do Yelagiri or Yercaud as a trial before that, so that I can drive confidently to Ooty.
Yercaud is also not that bad. But yes, Yelagiri is good to start with.
Drive safe. All the best. I know there are a couple of places to stay.
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Old 4th March 2010, 15:10   #10
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If you drive carefully ,I dont think any of these roads should be a problem.With 20 K kms of driving behind you ,you should be fine on any road
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Old 4th March 2010, 15:10   #11
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Sorry for hijacking the thread but I have a similar query pertaining the drive to Ooty - so I thought I will post it here.

I have done around 5000 kms till date most of it in Bangalore but also a couple of highway drives to Mysore, Muthatti and Somnathpur. I was planning Ooty this summer but I am bit hesitant / less confident about doing the ghats there. Can I get a fair idea (like the one provided my Kiku007) about what are comparable inclines in Bangalore? I read Nandi hills in TBHP but I have not done it till now. Some inclines which I have driven on are Total mall (Old airport) basement, muncipal parking lot on JC Road and Bangalore Centre near Ragi Gudda temlpe in JP Nagar 3rd phase.

I did lose momentum when doing the steep incline in Melkote (going up towards temple) once but recovered using the handbrake / clutch operation.

Another query - What should I do if when going up a ghat section I stop / stall and have a vehicle close behind me. Is starting using the hand brake / clutch operation work recommended over half clutch using brake / clutch / accelerator ?
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Old 4th March 2010, 15:18   #12
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Drive safe and stay within speed limits.

For coming down use the same gear that you would use while climbing up.
i.e. use Engine braking.
DO NOT DRIVE IN NEUTRAL OR ENGINE OFF while coming downhill.

If you cannot see into a turn. tap your horn. No blasting just a polite beep I am here.
This will let other know you are there.

Vehicles climbing UP get priority over vehicles coming down.

Do not park near a turn.
If you must park find a place where you have visible to both traffic sides.

Do not play loud music in the car. You want to be able to hear others honking.

With change in altitude you may suffer dehydration. Drink lots of water.

Before venturing on a hilly terrain try a practice run on the nearest flyover.
Choose a time when there is little or no traffic.
Half way up the flyover. Stop. Now move the vehicle forward without it rolling back even a cm.
Now as its rolling forward using just the clutch and accelerator bring it to a halt without using the brakes.
i.e. the gravity pulling it down, you holding the cars position by giving just enough power to stay in the same place.

If such a flyover is not available practice on steep slope. Like what is found in cellar parking entrances.

Have a safe trip.
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Old 4th March 2010, 15:29   #13
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You should be able to do it quite safely. I would recommend Yercaud. Just keep in mind the following things:
  • Use the appropriate gear and to start with go with moderate speeds. Use the same gear that you used to climb, while coming down the hill to reduce the use of brakes
  • Always stay on your side of the lane on hairpin bends. Do no wander over to the opposite lane.
  • Horn liberally and expect vehicles at hairpin bends coming from the opposite side.
  • There are many buses plying on the Yercaud route. They tend to occupy the width of more than a lane on hairpin bends
  • Practise starting from standing still on steep inclines either using your handbrake and/or clutch-accelerator combination. You may have to come to a standstill to give way to bigger vehicles at hairpin bends.
  • Avoid tailing other vehicles and keeping close distances to them. Regular drivers on the route will tend to drive much faster.
  • Be extremely careful while overtaking on hill climbs - avoid this unless you can see very clearly ahead for quite a distance. And never tail another vehicle and overtake.
  • Stop only at places designated for stopping (you may want to take photographs or admire nature) or along areas where your car can easily be spotted by others coming down or going up.
I think there is some thread about this somewhere.

- Biju.

Last edited by pjbiju : 4th March 2010 at 15:32.
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Old 4th March 2010, 19:37   #14
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Yercaud is better tourist destination compared to Yelagiri.

There is nothing much one can do in Yelagiri except boating in a lake. That is it. If one wants to idle time without doing much, Yelagiri is the option.

Distance wise, Yelagiri is nearer to Chennai - approx. 220 KM. Yercaud is 350 KM.
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Old 4th March 2010, 23:52   #15
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Thanks, all! Initially I thought of doing a one-day trip, but I have booked a room @ Sterling, Yelagiri for Rs.1500 for Saturday night (it turns out its not Sterling's own property, but some kind of lease-out). My bro-in-law is joining too, so I am confident that I will have some male company in case I face any vehicular problems en route.

Probably will not do much sightseeing, as the purpose of the trip itself is to practice hill driving. My camera conked out today (dont know why!), but I will try to borrow from someone and take a few pics. Will post a travelogue after the trip. My other camera (Nikon L19) isn't that great. Will use that if left with no other option.

Quick question: What kind of air pressure is recommended for the hills? I normally keep 30 all around (Indica). I figure, slightly less pressure will mean more grip: but wont that affect the pickup and make it more difficult in steep stretches? Should I just stick to the normal pressure?
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