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Old 3rd October 2011, 17:33   #1
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Smile Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Hi Friends

Did a family trip recently to Kodaikanal - Thekkady - Munnar and Alleppy between 17th and 24th September and wish to share my experiences with all of you.[/FONT]

Initially this trip was planned in August and accordingly i had posted the query to take suggestions from the experts in the forum. The link to the same here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...own-south.html (Planning Vacation down south)

With things looking fine, we were all ready to go and couple of days before the travel date, my wife fell sick and needed to be hospitalized immediately. This forced me to postpone the journey to September. Accordingly booking at both Munnar and Alleppy were postponed and the final dates were from 20th – 24th September starting with Munnar. My daughter had to attend her exams at school in between too.

I was left with 3.5 days additional days in hand to plan again. So this time, I cancelled Madurai and included Kodai in the itinerary. My plan was to let the kids enjoy as much as possible at Kodai and if things are ok then will cover thekkady, else will drive to Munnar directly. Below is the plan finalized:

17th Sep - Leaving Bangalore for Kodai and check in
18th Sep - Kodai sightseeing
19th Sep - Leave Kodai for Thekkady and Check in
20th Sep - Leave Thekkady for Munnar and Check in
21st Sep - Munnar Sightseeing
22nd Sep - Leave Munnar for Alleppy and Check in
23rd Sep - Cover Alleppy and Kochi
24th Sep - Leave Alleppy and reach Bangalore

Now for the preparation:
Car:1st service done in August itself hence nothing much. Puncture kit included.
Food: I was aware that the drives will be long and if kids feel hungry, would find it difficult to cover. Hence shopped for breads, fruits, chocolates, butter, cheese, juices etc.
Camera and batteries: used 2 cameras here 1) Fuji FinePix S2590 & 2) Olympus µ 790 SW.( The pictures are combination of both these cameras)
Medicines: For the entire family


This holiday was happening after really long time hence we decided to let go of those places which we can’t cover in each of these locations, instead focused on enjoying and spending more time where kids would enjoy.

Bangalore to Kodai
One of my senior colleague at office suggested me to take, Bangalore – Karur- Vedasandur – Palani – Kodai route as he frequently takes this route to Palani.


We packed the car with the luggage on the previous night itself and left Bangalore exactly at 5:15 am on 17th September. I stay on Bannerghatta Road hence took the nice road to exit and had crossed Salem by 830 am.

Some of the pictures of the highway


Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9170002.jpg

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After crossing Salem, stopped at a place for Anand Bhavan for the breakfast and continued the journey.


Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0307.jpg
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Vedasandur is about 40+ kms from Salem and we need to take the deviation from NH to join Palani road. We reached Palani by 12 pm and started climbing the hills.


Mouth Watering Pineapples on the way to the market
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9170011.jpg

Palani Hills Cable Car
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-palani-cable-car.jpg
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-palani-temple.jpg


The climb was fairly ok and we were all excited to reach the altitude.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-way-kodai.jpg
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Attached Thumbnails
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Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9170019.jpg  


Last edited by Indian Ranger : 3rd October 2011 at 17:42.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 21:51   #2
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The roads became narrow as we climbed and it started raining. The pasture became greener and the weather colder.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0348.jpg
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And we reached Silver Cascade falls.There was hardly any water flowing there hence we just took couple of snaps and left for town center to find a hotel.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0351.jpg
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It was going to be 2 pm and by then we were feeling hungry and it was raining heavily. Initially had plan to go and check Hotel Bala but on the way found a hotel called Grand Paradise Inn which had good parking area and small park for children to play. We found the rooms to be quite good and also got a good bargain after assuring him of 2 nights stay. The only sad thing was that the restaurant attached to the hotel was under renovation hence had to eat outside.As it was raining, the hotel staff arranged to get food by order from outside and by the time we finished lunch it was 4 pm. By now the rain also subsided and it was time to go to the lake and enjoy the boating.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180043.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180047.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180050.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180051.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180040.jpg
Straight we went to the lake and after taking a ride around the lake, parked my vehicle near the rowing club. Took the tickets from the club and requested for a person to row us. This was one of the wonderful experience we had and needless to say we enjoyed a lot.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0356.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0359.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0371.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0372.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0373.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0374.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0376.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0377.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0383.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0395.jpg
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After the boating, we strolled around the lake for some more time and retired for the day. Dinner was from Woodlands.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 22:00   #3
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Default Re: Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Nice pics.Do post trip logs (distances, fuel consumption, tolls, etc).

Let the snaps keep coming.
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:34   #4
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Default Re: Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Good pictures, and lovely start i am hoping you will update the thread on the journey to Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy. Do post details around places of stay and route. I am planning to do these three soon (Maybe in end of December).

Also did you stay on the boat in Alleppy it seems there are very few which are good and well maintained.
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Old 4th October 2011, 11:08   #5
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Default Re: Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Wow thats a lot of places you covered in such a short span, was it not too hectic? But great pics, i remember doing the Palani - Kodai circuit way back in 2008 on my bike

Btw which car? i guess its a ford.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:40   #6
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Default Re: Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Good TL with pics. Looking forward to trip summary and ofcourse more pics and writeup of the rest of your outing.
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Nice pics.Do post trip logs (distances, fuel consumption, tolls, etc).

Let the snaps keep coming.
Thank you BackseatDriver. I haven't captured entire information but will update the ones available with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Good pictures, and lovely start i am hoping you will update the thread on the journey to Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy. Do post details around places of stay and route. I am planning to do these three soon (Maybe in end of December).

Also did you stay on the boat in Alleppy it seems there are very few which are good and well maintained.
Thank you Mayank. sure will post the same. December is the peak season hence you will have to shell more. I could get some good bargains due to rains.

I did not stay in the house boats at Alleppy since managing kids would be difficult. just went for 4 hour ride which was quite good given the time constraints i had. There are many house boats which were anchored due to less tourists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Wow thats a lot of places you covered in such a short span, was it not too hectic? But great pics, i remember doing the Palani - Kodai circuit way back in 2008 on my bike

Btw which car? i guess its a ford.
Thanks Motomaverick. It was bit hectic but was worth the effort. I drive Ford Fiesta Classic TDCI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirantp View Post
Good TL with pics. Looking forward to trip summary and ofcourse more pics and writeup of the rest of your outing.
Thanks Kiran. More pics on the way.
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:37   #8
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Day 2 - Sunday - Kodaikanal

We planned to see the following places:

Green valley View - Pillar Rocks - Guna Caves - Pine Forests - Moer's Point - Dolphin nose - Bear shola Falls - Coakers walk.

Breakfast was at Woodlands again and started the day. The day was bright and sun warm. We were lucky to have the sunshine today.

First was Green Valley view also called old suicide point. The area all fenced now hence pretty safe. The path has shops on both sides.

Pictures enroute
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0423.jpg
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Views from Green Valley view
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0432.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0433.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0434.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0435.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0436.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0438.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0439.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0440.jpg

Horse ride done at the same place. They had rates for all kids of service and are quite accommodating. Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0445.jpg

Next we moved on to Pillar Rocks and i could get some wonderful snaps there. Here they are:
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0453.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0454.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0455.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0456.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0459.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0462.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0463.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0464.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0465.jpg

Realising that the clouds may cover us again, we quickly moved on to Guna caves. The entry is any way restricted but there was lot of crowd and monkeys. Took some good family pictures and moved on to the Pine forest.

Pics at Guna Caves
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0473.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0479.jpg
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:36   #9
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Guna caves were quite muddy due to the rains and was becoming crowded due to the arrival of groups of tourists. We moved on to the next place of visit, Pine forest.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0477.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0478.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0482.jpg

Pine Forest
When we reached, there was only one family taking pictures and the rest some groups who were drinking at a distance. By the time we decided to leave, they started playing loud music and dancing. Did not wanted to take any risk hence we left the place with out taking lot of time, but did take some snaps.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0483.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0488.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0490.jpg

Moer's point

The last place on this route was Moer's point. By the time we reached this place, its was only fog and could not see a damn thing. Parking and turning was mess. From here to go further we need to take forest office permission and we did not had it. Hence decided to return back. The weather started changing fast now and the return journey was done in the fog conditions.

Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0508.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0510.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0511.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0512.jpg

We reached the junction from where we need to take right to Dolphin nose. I had visited kodai way back in 2005 and had walked all this stretch. Hence wanted to see the place again. Its a single stretch and difficult to manage when another vehicle comes from opposite side. Reversing is pain which is the main reasons many do not prefer going there. Unfortunately i realised it after reaching the spot.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180065.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180068.jpg

My little one
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9180071.jpg

With difficulty found a parking place and walked to the entrance. Realised that we have to climb down quite a bit to reach to the point and the steps were not even. Cant even call them as steps but were only rock. Decided to skip, had tea and returned back to the car.

Some of the pics taken from the parking area:
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0528.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0529.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0530.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0531.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0532.jpg

I had a bad experience while reversing the car. I took the help of a slope to reverse the car and it was going backwards down the slope and almost touched the gate opening to the grass area with shed in one of the pictures posted above. My earlier experience was with a petrol car and this was diesel hence could not rise enough to reach the rpm to get the power on time. Was really worried with family. Luckily some how managed and was back on the road. Need less to say had to hear the music from my better half.

Another incident almost ruined the plans for the holiday. Came back to the city and went to withdraw money from HDFC ATM near the city center. Had parked the car behind 108 ambulance. After coming back, i was getting back on the road, when a biker came and ripped off my front bumper. The entire right side was wide open and the electrics to fog lamps were cut off.

I must say a great thing happened here. The entire Jeep and auto drivers landed up, asked me to take car to side and started fixing the thing. I did not ask help since language was a problem and I did not want to loose my tempers in an area where i do not know any one, hence did not bother to catch the biker. He vanished in a minute though. With these taxi guys coming to help, i focused on fixing the issue and in flat 20 minutes my car was ready. They even brought a set of tools, nuts and bolts along with them.

Now comes the best part. I was not charged a single pie and when i offered to pay or buy them something, they politely refused. They even warned the guys who were trying to give an impression of help and scout for some money to stay way from us. Oh.. my ! this was God's way of blessing us in an unknown place and ensuring that our trip does not stop. It was also a way of him to show 1 scenario, 2 different sets of people, their choices and the outcomes. We are totally indebted to the wonderful people who helped us and may god bless them. ~~Incredible India it is~~.

Picture of Sunday Market.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0534.jpg

We came back to the hotel to freshen up and proceed for lunch. It was time for rain god to shower again. Post lunch, we went to Bear shola falls but could not find parking there and with rain we did not wanted to get drenched, hence skipped the place. From there we started going towards the observatory and got some rainy snaps of kodai lake.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0535.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0536.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0540.jpg

We were not in high spirits and decided to return back to the lake and spend more time around. Reached a spot where we could get snacks, parked the car and took photos of rain lashed lake.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0543.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0544.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0545.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0546.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0547.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0548.jpg

We were refreshed after some hot bread omelet and tea . We drove to the shopping area, did some purchasing for wife and went to Cockers walk. The next batch of photos are from this place.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0549.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0550.jpg

Last edited by Indian Ranger : 4th October 2011 at 15:39. Reason: missed some words
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Old 4th October 2011, 16:41   #10
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Default Re: Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy

Super pics, Ranger Bhai!

Kodaikanal looks awesome! How I wish we could go there leaving this concrete jungle behind!!!

Sad to know about your car! On second thoughts, you should have tried to nab the biker!
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Old 5th October 2011, 10:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Super pics, Ranger Bhai!

Kodaikanal looks awesome! How I wish we could go there leaving this concrete jungle behind!!!

Sad to know about your car! On second thoughts, you should have tried to nab the biker!
Thank you dear for the nice words. Kodai is really beautiful and has certain charm. I will surely make a leisure trip next year and cover all the missed places.

On the car front, My wife actually confronted that guy while i was managing the car to pull to a side, but not with so much pressure. We just wanted the thing to get fixed and i could not have asked for any thing better than the help we received. Later we criss-crossed that guys couple of times but chose not to confront.
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Old 5th October 2011, 11:34   #12
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Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0552.jpg

Day 3 - Monday

We decided to leave for Thekkady but it was a Kerala Bandh hence planned to have lunch and then leave. With the help of hotel manager we could get a contact at Kumily who will arrange a home stay for us. With this comfort, we ventured out to the lake again since kids wanted to ride the bicycles now.

couple of snaps near hotel
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0561.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0565.jpg

Cycling around the lake
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Returned back to hotel by 12:30, packed and check out, went straight to woodlands for lunch, and then left for Thekkady. Did not want to take chance hence filled the Diesel till brim and by the time we left it was 1:20 pm.

The route we were to take was Kodai - Theni - Cumbam - Kumily - Thekkady.

All the way till Kumily the roads are good and the ghats are narrow hence have to be careful. Overtaking is just not possible. Some of the snaps enroute

Downhill of Kodai
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190081.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190082.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190083.jpg[ATTACH]821452Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190086.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190087.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190088.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0584.jpg

Waterfalls. I really do not remember the place name but all the buses stop here for a break.
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0585.jpg[/ATTACH]Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190085.jpg

The Green fields on both sides of the road after Theni
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In between took break to feed the little one and we reached Kumily by 4:30 pm. Called the contact for the home stay and visited the place and we were not comfortable there. Hence we drove towards the Periyar house to check for lodging. There are quite number of hotels around the sanctuary but we wanted to first try Periyar hence moved towards the entrance. we were stopped by the security and informed that entrance to the park is restricted after 5 and when i checked the watch it was 5:10 pm :( . At the entrance itself there was a broker who took us to the hotel called Ranger Woods. (Incidentally my Brother on his honey moon had stayed in the same hotel and had informed him to check the accommodation if possible).

The hotel website : Rangerwood Thekkady -Resorts/Hotels in Thekkady|Premium/Luxury/Budget/Star Accommodation in Thekkady|Boating in Thekkady|

Since it was a lean period, i could get a good bargain and took the pavilion room. By then it was 5:45 pm. They also informed that there are back to back shows of Kalaripayattu and Kathakali between 6-7 pm and 7-8 pm. We chose to go to Kathakali and we were treated with some wonderful performances.

The hotel has a nice view from the balcony which they call it as wild view since it opens to the grass lands. Some of the pictures
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0587.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0588.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0590.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0591.jpgTrip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-dscf0593.jpg

I was very satisfied with the choice and was happy.
Attached Thumbnails
Trip to Kodai, Thekkady, Munnar and Alleppy-p9190084.jpg  


Last edited by Indian Ranger : 5th October 2011 at 11:37.
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Old 5th October 2011, 16:06   #13
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@Indian Ranger - Amazing travelogue! The photos of Kodai reminiscences my visit to this beautiful charming place with my family about two years ago. However I do have to mention that there is indeed a place here in Karnataka about 1 hour drive from Sakleshpur which can be compared to the picturesque nature and tranquility of Kodai and Ooty. This is where we have been camping every year but still do miss Kodai and Ooty after viewing your pics.

Looking forward for the rest of your travelogue and pics from Thekkady - Munnar - Alleppy.

Cheers!
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Old 5th October 2011, 17:50   #14
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Very nice pics and narration Indian Ranger. Keep them coming.

OT: Have to admire your younger daughter. She is very cute. How old is she and does she handle traveling such long distances easily?

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Originally Posted by si1ver0ne View Post
...However I do have to mention that there is indeed a place here in Karnataka about 1 hour drive from Sakleshpur which can be compared to the picturesque nature and tranquility of Kodai and Ooty. This is where we have been camping every year....
Could you please shed more light on this place. Will help others who cannot make it to far off places enjoy the beauty of nature close by. Or do you want to keep it a secret secluding it only for yourself
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Old 5th October 2011, 20:08   #15
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@abhinav.s - No secret as such, thought I'll write my travelogue describing this place from the last trip we took there early Sep'11, along with some photos. This is the Kadamane Tea Estate in Sakleshpur. Here is just a short description of that place:

"High above misty valleys and foaming rivers ensconced in swirling clouds and perched a top mountains, off the Bangalore-Mangalore highway in Karnataka, lies Kadamane estates spreading across 6392 acres. It was once the hunting ground of the Earl of Warwick.

The estate is situated at an elevation of about 1000 metres above sea level. Kadamane has a high rainfall period between June-September with annual rainfall recorded between 7500-9500 mm that sometimes surpasses the records set by Cherrapunji."

Sharing a panoramic view from one of the view points in the estate
Name:  Kadamane Panoramic.jpg
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