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Old 17th May 2012, 20:25   #46
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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There is slight change in plan and we will be able to leave only by 6:30AM. Keeping this in mind i feel taking the Kananakapura - Malavalli - Kollegala - Chamarajanagar - Gundlupet - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor would be ideal, correct? Are there good breakfast options in this route. Please advice.
If you leave at 6.30 the best place to have Breakfast is Kollegala. Hotel Annapurna is a good bet. If you can stretch another forty minutes, you can have it in Nijaguna Residency in Chamarajanagar. If you want to have early breakfast, try in Vasu Hotel - i haven't tried but have seen it while passing Kanakapura - which is in the city on the highway. I am not sure Gokul in Kanakapura will be open by 8 AM.
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Old 17th May 2012, 20:48   #47
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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If you leave at 6.30 the best place to have Breakfast is Kollegala. Hotel Annapurna is a good bet. If you can stretch another forty minutes, you can have it in Nijaguna Residency in Chamarajanagar. If you want to have early breakfast, try in Vasu Hotel - i haven't tried but have seen it while passing Kanakapura - which is in the city on the highway. I am not sure Gokul in Kanakapura will be open by 8 AM.
thanks, sir. I will have late breakfast at Chamrajanagar.
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Old 18th May 2012, 10:42   #48
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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thanks, sir. I will have late breakfast at Chamrajanagar.
Once I too left at 6:30 AM from Bangalore. Gokul at Kanakapura was yet not open. Couldn't find Annapoorna at Kollegala. Finally, reached Chamarajanagar by 10:00 AM and had breakfast at a local restaurant. Were too hungry to search for Nijaguna. On the way back, had lunch at Nijaguna and it was awesome. Try the Veg biryani, amazing it was!!!
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Old 18th May 2012, 20:51   #49
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Once I too left at 6:30 AM from Bangalore. Gokul at Kanakapura was yet not open. Couldn't find Annapoorna at Kollegala. Finally, reached Chamarajanagar by 10:00 AM and had breakfast at a local restaurant. Were too hungry to search for Nijaguna. On the way back, had lunch at Nijaguna and it was awesome. Try the Veg biryani, amazing it was!!!
Thanks floyd. I plan to have BF at Chamrajnagar. i plan to have a early lunch at ooty and enter bangalore late, after 8:30PM to avoid the peak weekday (tuesday) traffic. Veg biriyani? me? i am a carnivore
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Old 18th May 2012, 20:58   #50
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Thanks floyd. I plan to have BF at Chamrajnagar. i plan to have a early lunch at ooty and enter bangalore late, after 8:30PM to avoid the peak weekday (tuesday) traffic. Veg biriyani? me? i am a carnivore
If you can push it further, I would suggest Gundlupet CCD (coffee day) or the Bandipur Pugmarks restaurant (JLR).
Gundlupet is definitely doable.
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Old 18th May 2012, 21:16   #51
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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If you can push it further, I would suggest Gundlupet CCD (coffee day) or the Bandipur Pugmarks restaurant (JLR).
Gundlupet is definitely doable.
Is the CCD in Guldlupet a bit off the way? Or is Google maps not showing it correctly. Moreover, not sure what all items CCD will stock. Even in bangalore more than 50% of CCD does not stock all items on menu. Pugmarks may be stretching it quite a bit. If i leave at 6:15 - 6:30AM from Banaswadi and me doing 80-100 Kmhr, when do you think i can reach Pugmarks?
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Old 18th May 2012, 21:22   #52
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Is the CCD in Guldlupet a bit off the way? Or is Google maps not showing it correctly. Moreover, not sure what all items CCD will stock. Even in bangalore more than 50% of CCD does not stock all items on menu. Pugmarks may be stretching it quite a bit. If i leave at 6:15 - 6:30AM from Banaswadi and me doing 80-100 Kmhr, when do you think i can reach Pugmarks?

Google maps shows it correctly. Once you reach Gundlupet, you need to turn towards Nanjangud side for 2-3km where you would find this CCD.

Of the number of times I have been there, I was never disappointed. They used to stock most items.
Also the other important aspect is you get clean/well maintained toilets ! This really helps when there is family with you.

Yes Pugmarks may be pushing it. Hence I suggested the CCD.

Last edited by ampere : 18th May 2012 at 21:26.
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Old 18th May 2012, 21:24   #53
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Google maps shows it correctly. Once you reach Gundlupet, you need to towards Nanjangud side for 2-3km where you would find this CCD.

Of the numbers I have been there, I was never disappointed. They used to stock most items.
Also the other important aspect is you get clean/well maintained toilets ! This really helps when there is family with you.

Yes Pugmarks may be pushing it. Hence I suggested the CCD.
Yes i would have family with me. My wife. That was a good point. Thanks. I will try to make it to CCD.
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Old 18th May 2012, 22:34   #54
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Yes Pugmarks may be pushing it. Hence I suggested the CCD.
If Pugmarks is in JLR, I don't think it would make a big difference from CCD. Gundlupet to JLR would max take 20-30 mins.
I would suggest to have at Nijaguna in Chamarajanagar. They have their signage boards right from Kanakapura if I am not wrong which has their number. You can call them for directions once you approach Chamarajanagar.
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Old 18th May 2012, 22:40   #55
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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If Pugmarks is in JLR, I don't think it would make a big difference from CCD. Gundlupet to JLR would max take 20-30 mins.
If he starts by 6:30, then it would be at least 3-4 hours to hit Bandipur. I am not sure if Pugmarks JLR serves anything
at that time (10-10:30AM).
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Old 19th May 2012, 19:24   #56
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

Somehow i am not impressed with the food served in CCD. The frozen food items is just horrible. We once ate this in Dobaspet CCD and it was not worth its salt. They had advertised Masala Doas also in menu. I asked the guy in the counter whether they prepare Masala Dosa or it also comes frozen. The guy said " Frozen" . I understand they only prepare Bread - Omellette fresh. If you are a veggie, this won't help.

CCD is good for coffee and may be for sandwiches and brownies. Defnitely not for the "Frozen stuff" they serve. It is high time they looked into this.

Last edited by Fauji : 19th May 2012 at 19:28.
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Old 19th May 2012, 21:46   #57
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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CCD is good for coffee and may be for sandwiches and brownies. Defnitely not for the "Frozen stuff" they serve. It is high time they looked into this.
True. Even I faced this once at a CCD on Hassan highway a year back. After thats its only coffee/sandwiches for me there.
I use CCD as a breakpoint only when there are no good hotels in the vicinity (with clean toilets). Its only for that reason, why I enter CCD.
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Old 19th May 2012, 23:26   #58
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

Thanks to your encouragement, I had taken the Kanakpura Road route last weekend when I visited Kotagiri. If you remember, I had contacted you via email a few days ago to inquire about the road condition of this alternate route you had mentioned in your blog. Overall the road condition is fairly good. The traffic tapers off progressively from the Nice Road junction in Bangalore and after Kanakpura there is virtually none. A few places before Chamrajanagar, the road is quite narrow. At one place a bus coming in the opposite direction had to reverse quite a bit. I could not reverse as there was a long convoy behind me. I am a late starter, so I wanted to avoid the Mysore Road daytime traffic while going. While coming I did take Mysore Road as it would get dark and I felt it would get a bit lonely on that stretch plus it would be better to be driving on a dual carriageway in night. I avoided Mysore city via the ring road.

On a side note, saying that Ooty is crowded and has been overtaken by crass commercialization is a total understatement. Even though I had to pass through Ooty (and an overnight stay while going) for Kotagiri, I have been terribly shaken by the smoke, the crowd and the traffic of Ooty city. Last I went in Diwali time 2008 and it was still a nice place. But now, I just cannot even begin to explain the nightmare it has become. The only saving grace of the trip was the heavenly Kotagiri - seems the regular tourist junta is still not aware of this place.

Adding a pic of Kotagiri
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Old 20th May 2012, 09:10   #59
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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The drive from Teppakkadu to Kalhatti via Masinagudi is good except that it is a single lane and you have to go off road when a vehicle comes in front. The road condition otherwise is very good. Once the ghat starts, the road broadens up and the condition is excellent. The only irritating factor is some slow moving vehicles who does give you space.
.
I love that stretch, but major sections are dry/appear burnt out, saw half a dozen jungle fowls within a span of 20 mins running on the roads.

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The last two KMs is definitely not for low GC vehicles though i saw some guests in the resort having driven in Fiesta
.
And I did it on my swift, poor thing didn't complain much though although I felt sorry afterwards.

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I have not been to Acres Wild, the home stay of Mansoor khan. But i have had read good reviews on this.
Both the red hills resort and acres wild are amazing places to stay stayed there on successive days during my April drive. However, I find Red Hills resort a little too steeply priced.

We spotted bisons and barking deer at Acres wild. The homemade cheese and orange marmalade they served there was excellent. However, if you get one of those shared cottages ( 2 rooms per cottage ), you can only hope the other guests using the other toom are friendly and not the irritating/boisterous kind.

At red hills too, we spotted sambar deer and it's young ones. But the German Shepherd there, Moby, kept hounding us to play the "fetching the stone" with us and we're not exactly dog lovers..

Overall, both places are excellent, very different from the congested feel you might get by staying within Ooty/Coonoor towns.

I was trying for a triad of Acres Wild - Palaniappa Bungalow - Red hills resort during the 4 day vacation, but could only manage to get 2 of them.

Fauji : Did you get to try the drive from Avalanche, downwards to Kundha dam, from there to Karamadai -> Coimbatore ? It was on my agenda, but had to back off at the last minute and change plans :(
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Old 20th May 2012, 09:37   #60
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues:- Beat the heat - A quick escape to Red Hills, Ooty

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Even though I had to pass through Ooty (and an overnight stay while going) for Kotagiri, I have been terribly shaken by the smoke, the crowd and the traffic of Ooty city. Last I went in Diwali time 2008 and it was still a nice place
We're all responsible for that - Governments and private parties bent on squeezing out the last drop of money in the name of tourism, people with cars and disposable income[if not all, atleast mostly; demand and supply you know], irresponsible fun-seekers, everyone, everyone.

In due course, everything will be gone, Chikkamagalur, Kodagu, Sakleshpur, Thirthahalli, Ooty, Pollachi, Kodai etc etc. Some tomorrow, some in a few months and some, in a few years. And people will still travel to see those places that will be shadows of what they once used to be.

Forget those exotic places - think of Rural Bangalore districts : "sytlized luxury villas", "international schools that help build 'leadership' in students" ( whatever happened to learning basic skills before you dole out management jargon dung ),"a spa to unwind","the grandest mall to render your pocket empty" have replaced good old lung spaces and greenery.

Our kids and grand kids are going to be mad at us for all this in a few years from now.

Sorry. But that's what it is and we're all party to it.

Re the other thing on Pugmarks restaurant - it resembles an overcrowded "dharma chatra" these days esp weekends : people are willing to stand and eat and rush as there is no other place in the vicinity for good food. All services around the Bandipur-Ooty-Coonoor section are severly stretched.

Last edited by airguitar : 20th May 2012 at 09:48.
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