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Old 14th May 2012, 15:26   #1
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Default Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

The feeling of driving to a far away beautiful land on a Monday morning instead of work is just awesome! Our following 5 day vacation-week turned out to be one great trip.

The itch began in April after about two months of no drive period. Hence decided to make another road trip asap. We decided to take a week's off in the first week of May and do a few hill stations.

We couldn't really zero in on a specific plan. All we could decide was that we would do Kodaikanal first. After that, it was just whatever we felt like. The options were to do Munnar and Ooty after Kodai.

We left from Bangalore on a Monday morning, 30th of April and headed to kodai. We took following the route suggested by Mr. hvkumar in another thread:

Bangalore-NH7-Hosur-salem-Namakkal-Karur-Dindigul-Turn off NH7-Vathalgundu-Kodai

Some pictures from the drive:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0113.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0114.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0115.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0117.jpg

We decided to take it easy with the drive. Stopped whenever we felt like and went at our own pace. After Vathalgundu, we were supposed to take a right turn to get to kodai. But there was some road work happening and we missed that turn and we went straight ahead for about 15 kms. We realized that we were not on the right track and checked with some people around and turned back. We came back about 15 kms and took a left to get to kodai ghats. We finally reached kodai in the evening at around 6.

We had not made any prior bookings for our stay. I had listed down a few phone numbers and had made phone calls on the way. We just chose to stay at hotel Shivapriya on convent road since it seemed convenient and close to the lake and all that. We didnt really have the energy to go looking around for better hotels at that time. The hotel as such was not great and I would not really suggest it. But in peak season, with everything being so expensive, and with the time we had on hand, I guess this was the best we could find.

A view from our hotel room when we reached:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0118.jpg

I had visited Kodai with some colleagues about 4 years ago. But for my husband, this was the first time. Hence we decided to get a bit touristy the next morning. We thought of going to some of the viewpoints and headed out in that direction. The viewpoints are all on the same road which takes you back to kodai after you are done seeing them all. Very soon, we were stuck in a traffic jam! It was quite bad. We had to wait for a long time for vehicles to be cleared at the parking lots to make way for more vehicles and so on. In such a peak season, with the kids having summer holidays and May 1st being a government holiday, Kodai was packed. We also did not get to see any "views" since it was covered in mist! But one thing that was fantastic in Kodai was the weather. It was so good, it left us wondering if its really summer. It felt very cold and there was a bit of rain too. It was all misty all along. Being in the clouds when they pass through is so exciting no mater how old one gets. It was just perfect.

Some more pictures:

Kodai lake:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0119.jpg

This fellow didn't seem to be too bothered by the madness around. He was calmly sitting amidst all the people going crazy clicking pictures with the kodai lake in the background:
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0120.jpg

The crowd there:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0122.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0123.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0121.jpg
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Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0126.jpg

The "views" that we did not get to see:
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-img_0299_ed.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0127.jpg

Lovely old church:
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0129.jpg

We took a walk in coaker's walk that evening. Visibility was just a few feet. It was full of mist. Perfect for a romantic walk! Had a couple of ice creams. Err.. Did a bit of balloon shooting too.

Some pictures from the walk:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0132.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0133.jpg
an old hospital:
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0134.jpg

After getting back to the hotel we started to plan the rest of our trip. We called up our kind friend back in bangalore and asked him to help us out with some information regrading the temperatures and elevations at munnar, ooty etc.. He helped us out with all the information, routes etc.. This is what he had to say about the temparatures at kodai and Ooty: kodai- actual 18 degrees C, feels like 12. Ooty- actual 16 degrees C, feels like 20 (or something close to that). We felt it will be better to go someplace and relax than hop from one hill station to another. After some dicussion, We ruled out munnar and decided to do it some other time. We decided to leave from kodai the next day and head to coonoor!

Some shots that we took after coming back to the hotel that evening. Love sunsets for this very reason. The way the colors transform is so amazing. Each time its a new experience:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0135.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0136.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0137.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0138.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0139.jpg

More on coonoor and the drives later.
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Old 15th May 2012, 19:20   #2
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Default Re: Summer? Really?

Excellent familiar pictures of Kodai, surprised to see so much fog even in summer when there is no signs of rains.

How was the day time temperature at Kodai, i am assuming the nights were cold and comfortable.

Awaiting the rest of the TL to unfold.
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Old 15th May 2012, 19:55   #3
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Default The drive to Coonoor

We left Kodai the next morning at around 11 am and headed towards coonoor. Like our previous drive, this too was completely laid back. We took the route via palani to coonoor. The views were brilliant. We stopped at many places to take pictures, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the lovely views.

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0140.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0141.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0142.jpg

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Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0149.jpg

We took the following route as suggested by our friend autocrat:

Kodai->Palani->Dharapuram->Tiruppur->Avinashi->Mettupalyam->Coonoor

We stopped for lunch at Dharapuram. We had some nice chettinad food at a place called Anjanappar if I remember it right. Although, we were quite disappointed when we could not find this really famous local chettinad hotel that the locals suggested around the same area since the board was in tamil and we just could not find it. We finally stopped outside anjanappar and when we were inquiring about this other local place we were in search of, the guy outside said "same taste, please come in". We just went in and ate there since we were really hungry. There were no road signs from a little before tirruppur till mettupalyam. We had to ask people to figure out this part.

Some more pictures from the drive:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0150.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0151.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0152.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0153.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0154.jpg

Are they talking to each other?
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0155.jpg

The hills welcome us:
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0156.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0157.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0158.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0159.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0160.jpg

More later.

Last edited by longdriveblusky : 15th May 2012 at 20:21.
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Old 15th May 2012, 20:01   #4
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Default Re: Summer? Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Excellent familiar pictures of Kodai, surprised to see so much fog even in summer when there is no signs of rains.

How was the day time temperature at Kodai, i am assuming the nights were cold and comfortable.

Awaiting the rest of the TL to unfold.
Yes mayankjha, we too were really surprised. The day time temperature must have been around 16 degrees. But it definitely felt much lesser. It felt like 10-12. We bought chocolates from a shop and when we asked the shop owner if he knew what the temperature was he also said "must be 12".

The nights were very cold. It was unbelievable. I woke up in the middle of the night to get an extra blanket. You can imagine how cold it would have been.
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Old 17th May 2012, 19:03   #5
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Wow. We did the same trip also during the same time.
Started on Sunday morning at around 7:45, took the same route, missed the right turn, went 15 Kms ahead, came back, took the left, reached the top at around 5:45. Had some difficulty in finding our hotel.
Next morning, had a walk around the lake. Bought some chocolates, had lunch and started towards Palani.
Palani route was relatively quiet. Stopped at a few places and took some photographs. And reached Palani at around 2PM. That was really hot in the afternoon. Climbed the Palani hill that night.
Next morning, we had a marriage to attend, and then we were about to leave the place towards Bangalore, and we packed our luggage.
And then I opened the boot, put all the bags in, left the keys on the parcel tray, banged the boot door. The next second I knew that I had left the keys inside, and the car doors were still locked. Now, I called the Ford service station and since it was May day, I could reach none. Then I peeped through the rear glass and got the 24 hour helpline number from the keys. Called them only to find that it was difficult to open the lock on my Ford and I had to break open the rear quarter panel.
Which I did, and had to drive back in hot sun without AC for almost 200 Kms before the sun went down :(

I am yet to fix my glass. The only positive is with the tint thing, that I will not have to apply tint onto the small new panel. Instead I will be removing from the rest
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Old 17th May 2012, 23:23   #6
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Oh my! That must have been one trip you would never forget. I am sure you would get paranoid every time you lock the car now . I have been so close to doing something like that a few times. Leave the key inside and close the door and then quickly realize that the windows are also rolled up. I guess you were going down on Monday while we were climbing up kodai! Palani route is indeed fantastic. We went down Palani on Wednesday and it was really pleasant. We didnt really stop at Palani though. How was the climb? is it safe to climb it at night?
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Old 18th May 2012, 00:24   #7
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Default Coonoor and back to Bangalore

We reached Coonoor on Wednesday evening 7 pm. We stayed at this lovely homestay called Bison country. We got a cottage for ourselves. The views were really good. Perfect place to just sit, drink tea, read and enjoy the weather.

Some pictures I managed to take the next morning:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0169.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0170.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0171.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0172.jpg

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Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0175.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0176.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0177.jpg

We went on a drive upto Raliah dam while in cunoor. Its so quiet and lovely. The trees were caressed by mist every now and then. There were mild showers to top it. The raindrops looked like pearls on water. We just sat there under an umbrella and enjoyed the whole scene.

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0178.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0180.jpg
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We left from the dam after a while and went to coonoor town. We had lunch at a hotel near the railway station. There aren't many hotels there I guess. The locals suggested two- hotel mahalakshmi near the bus stand and hotel venky's near the train station which is where we ended up having lunch. We came back to our cottage and went for a walk during sunset.

Some pictures from this walk:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0193.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0196.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0197.jpg
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Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0200.jpg
Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0201.jpg

We left coonoor the next morning and went to ooty. We bought some chocolates from King Star there. Even though they were the best ones in Ooty, I liked the chocolates from Kodai better. Since it was too early for lunch and we thought we might not be able to find a decent place when we want to have lunch, we decided to parcel some food and have it when we would be hungry. It helped and we had it somewhere on the way back from ooty to gundlupet.

We passed masinagudi and bandipur forests. While the TN part of the forest was good, we found that the KA part was not as green and had a hump every 100 mts and without any paint on it that would help us notice it. It was really hard to spot these humps even though we were going really slow. Not sure why they have done this. There was a tourist bus ahead of us with loud blaring music playing, honking loudly every now and then and people throwing plastic covers from the window. We were furious. But couldn't really catch up to tell him not to do so.

Some pictures from this area:

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0161.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0163.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0162.jpg

Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor-dpp_0167.jpg

We went via nanjangud to Mysore. We thought we were bypassing Mysore when we took the roads mentioned by locals. But it didnt really seem that way. We got out of Mysore, stopped for a break at Maddur Tiffanys as usual. Unfortunately no maddur vadas that evening. They had run out of them. Had coffee and dosa and left. reached home by 8:30 on a friday evening thinking "what a wonderful week it was!".

P.S. Our heartfelt thanks to all the people who have contributed to routes and shared driving experiences in all the different travelogues. We keep accessing this information so often. It makes life a lot easier.
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Old 18th May 2012, 16:45   #8
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Nice and well written TL. Thanks for sharing. Your photos are fantastic.
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Old 19th May 2012, 08:08   #9
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Yash. thanks for sharing a wonderful travelogue. Nothing refreshes the mind better than a relaxing holiday.
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Old 19th May 2012, 18:32   #10
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Wonderful to read your experience. Some of the pictures are outstanding! Enjoyed, thank you.
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Old 21st May 2012, 17:23   #11
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by classicselva View Post
Nice and well written TL. Thanks for sharing. Your photos are fantastic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Yash. thanks for sharing a wonderful travelogue. Nothing refreshes the mind better than a relaxing holiday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by slackyboy View Post
Wonderful to read your experience. Some of the pictures are outstanding! Enjoyed, thank you.
Thank you all! Glad you enjoyed reading.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 05:39   #12
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

All the pictures have come out really well, especially the morning close up shots of the birds. I am glued to the pictures, do post if you have more.

What equipment do you use? While i agree the place itself is very scenic but it takes skills and artist to spot right locations. Also there is a thread on Non Auto images, some of these pictures are worthy to be uploaded there, do take a look.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 23rd May 2012 at 05:41.
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Old 29th May 2012, 15:15   #13
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Thanks mayankjha. I use a pretty basic dslr kit which includes my canon 400D, 18-55 kit lens, 55-250 and a 50 mm prime. I'm quite a lazy traveler who doesn't like to be burdened by a tripod. The pictures of the birds were taken in RAW format so I could process them to adjust the contrast later since the background was too bright in some of these pictures. I will surely take a look at the non auto images section and post some pictures. I will also add some more pictures to this thread once I get some time.
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Old 29th May 2012, 17:28   #14
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

Wonderful narration and fabulous set of pics. We passed through Kodaikanal last weekend on our way to Kilavarai, http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...odaikanal.html (Eco Escape (Kilavarai) - The road not taken from Kodaikanal), while coming back we got caught in the traffic jam all the way from Pine Forest to the town took us an hour to cross a few kms. Chaos at each of the parking lots no help from the police, tourists unmindful of people waiting behind their vehicles.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 13:44   #15
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Default Re: Summer? Really? Bangalore to Kodai & Coonoor

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Wonderful narration and fabulous set of pics. We passed through Kodaikanal last weekend on our way to Kilavarai, http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...odaikanal.html (Eco Escape (Kilavarai) - The road not taken from Kodaikanal), while coming back we got caught in the traffic jam all the way from Pine Forest to the town took us an hour to cross a few kms. Chaos at each of the parking lots no help from the police, tourists unmindful of people waiting behind their vehicles.
Thanks Srikanth. Just read your travelogue. Great find indeed! Already have it in our must visit places. I guess it would be best to visit kodai during off season. I thought we were stuck in traffic jam since it was a govt. holiday and long weekend. But from what you say, looks like its the same on most weekends during peak season. Too bad.
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