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Old 29th March 2010, 23:39   #1
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Default Chasing the clouds-Valparai and Munnar

Hi driving legends!

I've been such a silent spectator for some time in Team BHP and now is the right time for me to ask your help. My itinerary:

Spark that initiated the plan
: My office colleague's marriage in Erode on April 25th,sunday morning 2010.

Where i'm living: Chennai

Total days for Tour: I've already got my leave approved by my boss for 3 working days-22nd to 26th April (Thursday, Friday and Monday-Sat and sunday are already off) That means i have 1 full night (21st night)followed by full 5 days for the tour.

Mode of Travel- Me alone on my Bike-Yamaha Fazer (2010 model). Though lot of forums are available for two wheeler route advices, i'm looking for quality advice and could only get it here in Team BHP. I really need freedom from all that office stuff and didn't wanted to team up with my office colleagues to attend the marriage. That's the reason i'm going on my bike and also i love to do solo adventure rides.

Precautions- I have almost all the available stuff to undertake long rides with full confidence including all the tools, saddle bag, back pack,puncture kit, foot pump etc.

The Plan:
Day 0 ( 21st April Wednesday):
Start from Chennai at 5.00 P.M and plan to reach valparai by 10.00 A.M next day with sufficient breaks. My average distance coverage will be 50 km/hr.
Day 1 (22nd April Thursday): Relax and roam around Valparai
Day 2 (23r April Friday): Early morning start to Munnar and spend rest of the day exploring the places in Munnar-Night stay in Munnar
Day 3 ( 24th April Saturday): Early Morning start to Erode via Udumalaipet. Night stay arranged by friend in Erode.
Day 4 (25th April Sunday): Attend friend's marriage. Take some rest and start to Chennai by 3 P.M from Erode.
Day 5 ( 26th April Monday): Reach Chennai by 5 A.M and take rest the whole day.

Route:
(Please help me here)

Chennai to Valparai Route: Chennai-Vellore-Vaniyambadi-Tirupattur-Dharmapuri-Thoppur-Mecheri-Bhavani-Perundurai-Tiruppur-Palladam-Pollachi-Valparai. (580-600 Kms)

Valparai to Munnar: I DONT KNOW (I really don't want to take the udumalaipet route coz i heard that there is a dense forest route from valparai to munnar via kalady. I'm up for adventure and i really need your help here. Please let me know the distance as well and that'll be really great

Munnar to Erode: Munnar-Marayoor-Udumalaipet-Dharapuram-Kangeyam-Erode (Approx. 220 kms)

Erode to Chennai
: Erode-Salem-Kallakuruchi-Villupuram-Chennai (Approx. 410 km)

Please let me know your suggestions. I really need to know about how to get to munnar from Valparai without taking Udumalaipet route)

Looking forward for your inputs.

Thanks a ton for helping me out!

-Senthil
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Old 29th March 2010, 23:56   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueband4u View Post
Valparai to Munnar: I DONT KNOW (I really don't want to take the udumalaipet route coz i heard that there is a dense forest route from valparai to munnar via kalady. I'm up for adventure and i really need your help here. Please let me know the distance as well and that'll be really great

Munnar to Erode: Munnar-Marayoor-Udumalaipet-Dharapuram-Kangeyam-Erode (Approx. 220 kms)
For the Valparai - Munnar trip, you have a recent travelogue by @Soccerfan for reference in the Travelogues section. The route would be - Valparai - Athirappilly - Chalakkudi - Kaladi - Perumbavoor - Kothamangalam - Adimali - Munnar.
Approx 120Km Chalakkudi - Munnar (3 to 4Hrs)
Approx 100Km Valparai - Chalakkudi

Munnar to Erode your selection is good.
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Old 30th March 2010, 06:13   #3
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Are you OK with night driving in a bike on National Highways?

Salem to Bangalore should be the way you came rather than NH45. That is NH7/NH46/NH4. Why do want to deviate?

Munnar to Erode is a standard trip on the route you mentioned.
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Old 30th March 2010, 08:56   #4
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Valparai to Munnar, you can take the following route:

Valparai-Malakkiparai (KL border)-Sholayar-Peringalkuthu Dam-Vazhachal-Athirapalli Falls ("Punnagai Mannan Falls")-Chalakudy-Angamali-Kalady-Perumbavur-Kothamangalam-Needemangalam-Adimali-Munnar.

Distance is Valparai-Chalakudy 110 kms-Angamali 10 kms-Munnar 120 kms.

The Malakkiparai-Peringalkuthu stretch is total forest road, narrow, not to be taken after dark and prone to wildlife (elephant) movements on the road. No facilities, no towns.
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:29   #5
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I'm quite used to night driving/riding. It has pros and cons but i think i get better mileage during night ride and also less tired compared to full day ride under hot sun on a fully open National Highway without much shades to take rest!

The time i reach the pollachi-valparai section,it will be early morning then and if lucky i might get a chance to spot wild life! please do let me know if night riding is allowed from valparai to Munnar section.

@ampere.. I just thought Erode to chennai via kallakuruchi and villupuram is shorter than Salem-Dharmapuri,vellore chennai. However if you suggest I'll stick to the route you've mentioned. Please confirm.

So finally Valparai to Munnar via challakudy comes to around 220 kms!! pure Ghat and forest section! Total expected Mileage will be 1500kms! Wow...i'm excited!

Thanks a lot gentlemen...You've been very helpful.


P.S: Requesting mods to keep this thread open as i'm planning to put my travellogue in this thread itself.
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:36   #6
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Night driving on the Valparai-Chalakudy section is a big no-no. Even the Check Posts guys will not let a biker through. Yes, early morning, chances of sighting wildlife are god. CP will let you through after 6 am. I have camped out for the night at Peringalkuthu (after being refused to go through the night in my bike at the CP), but unfortunately did not see any wildlife!

BTW, the jungles end after Athirapalli, and rest of the drive barring the last 30 kms from Adimali is on plain roads. You join NH47 at Chalakudy, travel on it till Angamali.

The Munnar-Marayoor-Chinnar route is also wildlife zone and you can sight elephants there, night driving may be disallowed at the 3 CPs (altough they have let me drive my car at night).
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:48   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueband4u View Post
@ampere.. I just thought Erode to chennai via kallakuruchi and villupuram is shorter than Salem-Dharmapuri,vellore chennai. However if you suggest I'll stick to the route you've mentioned. Please confirm.
I would say it would make a difference of 30-40 Km, but the drive through NH47/NH7/NH46/NH4 is much more comfortable than NH45. HVK sir can comment better.
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueband4u View Post
please do let me know if night riding is allowed from valparai to Munnar section.
There are no restrictions on this route. But, not recommended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueband4u View Post
So finally Valparai to Munnar via challakudy comes to around 220 kms!! pure Ghat and forest section!
It's not ghat/forest throughout. From Valparai - around 80 Kms would be dense forest. Once you cross Athirappilly, you would be out of forest and then till Neriamangalam (20kms from Kothamangalam) good highway roads. You can experience Kerala traffic there . You will be passing through many small towns.

After Neriamangalam, it is agian forest for next 20-25Kms which is refreshing with some waterfalls (not sure whether water will be there on April 23rd. Ghat section starts here.

Then, when you near Munnar, you would be welcomed by tea plantations.

Last edited by bijuks : 30th March 2010 at 10:59.
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:58   #9
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Thanks hvkumar. I'll dismiss my night riding dream in that section now itself. Did you get any chance to spot any wildlife during that night ride in your car? Can we pay the required FEES (!!) to allow night ride from Munnar to udumalaipet by the check post guards?
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Old 30th March 2010, 10:58   #10
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@Biju, @HVK,

In that case would it not be shorter to go via Pollachi/Udumalpet?
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Old 30th March 2010, 11:10   #11
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Still 80 kms of ride through dense forest is a dream for me!Oh i forgot to ask one more important thing. How'll be the climate in that region?

The dream picture that strikes my mind when i think abut my next month's ride is:
Valparai is fully lush green with green plantations and wild elephants roaming around and very less people. Slight drizzle now and then just to make the climate more cooler.
Munnar is full of mist and waterfalls. Eating Spicy Fresh boiled Corn in the middle of mists surrounding me and my bike!
Valparai to munnar calm roads and interaction with lot of wild animals in the middle of jungle with Zero Traffic around! (atleast for 50%of the travel time)

But i'm not sure about the climate conditions there as this is the first time i'm going to this seventh wonder in India.

Last edited by blueband4u : 30th March 2010 at 11:13.
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Old 30th March 2010, 11:15   #12
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Quote:
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@Biju, @HVK,

In that case would it not be shorter to go via Pollachi/Udumalpet?
Ampere...I've already mentioned that i didnt want to take the udumalaipet route. Distance is not at all a constraint for me. I just want to ride through dense forest. The only route i'm concerned on shorter route is the route from Erode to chennai.
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Old 30th March 2010, 11:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
@Biju, @HVK,

In that case would it not be shorter to go via Pollachi/Udumalpet?
Yes. That would be shorter. But, he wants to drive through dense forest - so, chalakkudi route.
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