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Old 9th June 2012, 12:46   #1
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Thumbs up Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Let me first start with the credits - This trip would not have been possible without help from Team-BHPians @Fauji, @ranjitp1, @pypkmsrikanth, @ajithbr and @laluks - Thanks so much folks !

With my daughter's school vacation coming to an end soon we wanted to plan a short trip out of Bangalore. One of the places I had in mind was Valparai since I was inspired by some great travelogues by TBHPians Lalu, Srikanth, Fauji and others so I first looked up the threads here on Team-BHP to find some options to stay. Followed this up with a quick call to Fauji Sir and he recommended Sinnadorai's Bungalow where he'd stayed recently.

Our initial plan was to visit during May 21-22 but there was no availability at Sinnadorai (but was available after May 27) as well as other estate Bungalows at Stanmore, Waterfalls, etc. A trip to Calicut to visit relatives was also pending and I thought we could combine that with Valparai. At this time, the Calicut trip was flexible so even if we could not combine with Valparai it was fine or so it seemed ! Circumstances changed suddenly with some developments in the family circle that forced us to plan to be in Calicut the weekend of May 26-27 so I planned to take 4 days off from work during the week of May 28. That would give us time to complete the "Back to School" tasks for my daughter's school year that would begin the following week. I had to get back to work on Friday for some important commitments.
I called Sujatha for accomodation at Sinnadorai's Bungalow and confirmed for May 28-29.
I had thought of driving from Calicut Via Palakkad & Pollachi to the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary for a day trip and then reaching Valparai by afternoon/evening. After getting inputs from TBHPians including Fauji I decided to visit Athirapilly instead and take that route to Valparai.

So, the final plan was as follows:
Saturday May 26 -> Bangalore-Calicut, stay at Calicut
Monday May 28 -> Calicut-Athirapilly-Valparai
Wednesday May 30 -> Valparai-Bangalore

The best part of the trip was our stay at Sinnadorai's Bungalow which was simply an "out of the world experience". Some goof up's including my wrong estimate on driving time and a risk I took with our plan (Lesson learnt - I will not do this again !) we could only stay here from Tuesday morning till Wednesday morning and had to start our journey back to Bangalore. The location of Sinnadorai's Bungalow on top of a hill and the property itself is extremely beautiful and very well maintained.

To top it, the people here take extremely good care (read pampering) of the guests, it's really a family feeling being here and we loved every moment of it. Since this was the best part of our trip, I will start here with pictures from the Sinnadorai experience and later talk about the other travel days.

Finding Sinnadorai's Bungalow - We simply followed what Sujatha told us - drive up to Hair Pin Bend #40 and follow the sign boards for Sinnadorai's Bungalow.
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-1.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-2.jpg

From here we're in Parry Agro's Paralai Tea Estate and need to go up the hill on the Tea estate's private road. This is a very nice drive and offers amazing vistas of the forest on top of the surrounding hills and Tea estates all around
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-3.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-4.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-5.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-6.jpg

At the gate of Sinnadorai's Bungalow
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-7.jpg

At the Bungalow's porch
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8.jpg

Last edited by NPV : 9th June 2012 at 16:40. Reason: fixed typos, punctuation, etc
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Old 9th June 2012, 12:51   #2
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Default re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Ah! the much awaited treasure from you.
I could feel the freshness of the trip from your words.

Waiting eagerly for the experiences and wonderful pictures.
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Old 9th June 2012, 13:29   #3
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Old 9th June 2012, 15:19   #4
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Default re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Congrats! There's a nice report on Sinnadorai's Bungalow in last month's Outlook Traveller. The reviewer has given very nice feedback, praising the food and tranquility - one of those places where "time seems to stand still". Sinna Dorai means "junior manager". Was quite excited until I saw the rates. Is it really 8K per night???

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the travelogue and pics.
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Old 9th June 2012, 16:54   #5
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Default re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

We were welcomed by Sujatha and her staff with refreshing lemon tea and biscuits. The bungalow was awesome with a large sit out all along the front of the building. We went inside to the living room (lounge) where we spoke to Sujatha about the place, the bungalow, the estates, etc. for about 20 minutes and then went on a tour of the building. The bungalow was originally the Assistant Manager's residence (in the estates, Assistant Manager is known as Sinnadorai and Senior Manager is known as Periyadorai). The building is surrounded by a beautiful lawn and garden with roses and other flowers. Inside the building - ceilings panelled with polished wood and superb cement flooring with red oxide.
A few years ago when Parry Agro found that their hospitality business was doing well in other estate bungalows, they decided to renovate Sinnadorai as a flagship property. The building was renovated to restore it to it's original beauty keeping some key elements and materials intact which is a great achievement. The lounge got new wooden flooring but the rest of the wooden paneling on ceilings, the wooden pillars in the sit out, etc are original from the British era when the bungalow was built. The Bungalow also houses a huge kitchen, dining, a library and two Bed rooms that are given out. There is a conference room attached to the main building - we were told that it was earlier a large car garage !
There are two other buildings in the campus each with two adjacent Bed rooms accessibe separately from outside. These are also given out, so they have a total of 6 rooms. Each room is named after a famous planter of these estates - Col. Brock & Tyler in the main building, Maj. Wells & Sullivan in the second building and Marsh in the third building. These Bed rooms are huge with a fireplace, dressing room and large attached toilet ensuring that here is enough privacy for each family staying in the rooms. While we stayed, there were only three families including ours with one family using one bed room of the main bungalow and others using the rooms in the other buildings.

We went around looking at each room in the main building, the artifacts adorning the floors and walls of the rooms were beautiful including paintings, pictures, pots, mirrors, ceramic ware, etc and many of them were antiques like clocks, typewriter, wooden furniture, a Murphy radio, ceramic water filter and the Yezdi motorbike adorning the porch to name a few. The library is very well stocked with books about tea, planting, history of the planters, rainforests, Valparai, etc. The best part is that there are no TV's in the rooms ! We go to such places to enjoy the beauty and tranquility, connect back with nature and get much needed rest away from the humdrum of city life so this makes lot of sense. But they do have a TV and Tata Sky HD in the conference room. However, all the guests that day stayed away from the TV Also, there are board games like Ludo, Scrabble, Snakes & Ladders and Chess in the sit out area which my daughter enjoyed.

Overall, the place has been renovated and interiors done up very thoughtfully with a great eye for detail !
Time for the pictures again:

Views from the Sit Out
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8a.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8b.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8c.jpg

Wooden Panelling in Sit Out
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8cc.jpg

The Sit Out
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8d.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8e.jpg

Board games in Sit Out
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8g.jpg

The Verandah (has the Visitor Log and Comments/Feedback Log)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-9.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-10.jpg

The Lounge
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-11.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-12.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-13.jpg

Aisle to access the Bed Rooms
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-14.jpg

The Bed Rooms
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-15.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-16.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-17.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-17a.jpg

Beautiful furniture
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-17b.jpg

One of the Book cases in the Library
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-18.jpg

The Antique Radio
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-19.jpg

The Antique Typewriter
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-20.jpg

The Dining Room (check out the lovely Wood Panelled Ceilings)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-21.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-22.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-23.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-25.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-26.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-27.jpg

Antique Water Filter
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-28.jpg

Small Garden between the Main Building and Conference Room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-29.jpg

The Conference Room/Ex-Car Garage ! Dizzy is parked outside and partly visible )
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-30.jpg

Last edited by NPV : 10th June 2012 at 07:58.
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Old 10th June 2012, 07:40   #6
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Default re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Ah! the much awaited treasure from you.
I could feel the freshness of the trip from your words.

Waiting eagerly for the experiences and wonderful pictures.
Thanks Lalu - I hope I can live up to the expectations, TBHPians like yourself have set the bar very high indeed !

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Looks like you had a good trip. Keep it coming!
Thanks !

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Congrats! There's a nice report on Sinnadorai's Bungalow in last month's Outlook Traveller. The reviewer has given very nice feedback, praising the food and tranquility - one of those places where "time seems to stand still". Sinna Dorai means "junior manager". Was quite excited until I saw the rates. Is it really 8K per night???

Eagerly waiting for the rest of the travelogue and pics.
Thanks, I did not know/read Outlook Traveller's feature yet, will do sometime soon !
The rates have been dropped for 2 months from what Sujatha told us. Rates when I visited were Rs.6500/- for a couple per day including 3 meals. In addition to this, for an extra person/extra bed they charge Rs.1000/- per day and for the food (Sorry, I don't know how much). We did not take the additional bed and paid Rs.400/- for food as an additional charge for my daughter. In all, Rs.6900/- was what I paid and this was definitely worth every penny.
If you plan to go there, do talk to Sujatha to find out the current rates since they are subject to change and it may not be as high as 8 or 8.5K as published and as we experienced

Last edited by NPV : 10th June 2012 at 07:56.
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Old 10th June 2012, 09:33   #7
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Default re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

After the tour of the main bungalow, we were introduced to the staff who take care of the place. Most of these folks were earlier employed in the tea estates (the ladies were tea pickers) and have been re-trained for the hospitality business. As always, more than anything else that contributes to the success of an enterprise, it's the People and they make all the difference ! The staff here are very dedicated to their jobs and take care of the guests like their own family. This is a quality that comes down all the way from the Manager Sujatha, Assistant Manager Rajeev, the cook Asirvatham, Uma and Panchavarnam (known as Akkas here), Murugan/Periya Murugan (Senior Murugan) and the watchman Chinna Murugan (Junior Murugan) to name a few. We then spoke about the room where we would stay. Based on Fauji sir's recommendation I'd asked Sujtha for the Sullivan room but unfortunately that was occupied by another family who had extended their stay. As per the original plan we were supposed to check-in on Monday but we were here on Tuesday so I did not complain and Sujatha assured that our room named Maj. Wells was right next to Sullivan and equally good. We walked towards our room and stopped briefly at the conference room where my daughter wanted to watch TV (she was still in the IPL mood from 2 days ago). I told her to explore the place and outdoors for sometime and get back to watching TV later. She agreed and never went back to the TV during our stay ! Our room was huge and beautiful, here we were really experiencing what we'd seen in pictures only earlier. The room had a lovely fireplace, a dressing room and a toilet. The vistas outside were simply breathtaking and a treat to watch sitting on the cast iron park benches, each placed facing different directions for superlative views of the surroundings.
We also quickly discussed the plan for the day - I had such a long list from all the Valparai threads I'd read here on TBHP that it was simply impossible. And this place was so beautiful we really did not want to go out the whole day. We decided to go to the Sholayar Dam, Balaji Temple and Nerar Dam (this was also too ambitious as we learnt later). Sujatha insisted we take one of her staff along to guide us. She explained that they always do this to make sure we have a local guide to help us - this is a lovely gesture on their part and really helps. Since Periya Murugan was away accompanying the family staying at the Sullivan room (they were at Athirapilly falls), Chinna Murugan the watchman was assigned as our guide - after we return, he would continue on his shift to guard the property that night. We left our bags in the room and went around the property enjoying the beatiful vistas on offer all around. Around this time, another family checked-in to one of the rooms in the main bungalow. After an hour or so, we were told that Lunch was ready so we went to the Dining room for some excellent, extremely tasty food. Earlier, we were asked if we had any specific dish that we wanted and we'd simply said vegetarian food would do and the result was very tasty Salad, Chappatis, Kurma, Sambar, Rasam, Pulao, Curd Rice and Coconut Souffle for dessert, we could not ask for anything more. The cook is really a blessing, true to his name (Asirvatham means Blessing)! After lunch, we again went on rounds to explore the estate around the property and then got some rest.

Picture time folks...

Inside the Conference Room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-31.jpg

Dizzy having a sunbath in the bright sun
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-32.jpg

Vistas around the bungalow (loved the park benches around the place)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-32a.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-32b.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-33.jpg

The building housing our Room Maj. Wells and another called Sullivan
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-33b.jpg

View from outside our room - way to the other building below
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-34.jpg

Views of the estate from outside our room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-35.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-36.jpg

Front view of our building
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-36a.jpg

Our room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-37.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-37a.jpg

An Umbrella - nice way to promote the brand !
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-37b.jpg

View of our building from the park bench (notice 1942 - a love story ?)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-38.jpg

Intersting arrangement for rain water harvesting. The chains with little links guide the water from the downpipe into the
collection pit below on the ground from where it is led to the tea estate. This prevents the water from splashing all around, loved this idea !

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Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-38b.jpg

The park bench (notice the drain for the rain water leading to the tea estate)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-39.jpg

View from the bench
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-40.jpg

Our Room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-3.-our-room.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-3b.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-3c.jpg

The Fireplace (notice the wooden lid on the floor, it's the place to stow away the firewood)
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-4.-fireplace.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-5.-fireplace2.jpg

My daughter - enjoying a Video game for few minutes
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-6.video-game.jpg

Vistas all around
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-7.vistas.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-9.jpg

Clock & Fan in Dining
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-11.clock-fan.jpg

Lunch is Served !
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-10.lunch-served.jpg

Last edited by NPV : 11th June 2012 at 08:09.
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Old 11th June 2012, 11:40   #8
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th June 2012, 11:49   #9
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

What took you so long to bring this beauty live? What else did you do at Valparai? or is it that the Sinna Dorai Bungalow is such that one does not feel like getting out of it ?

Lovely pictures, would a weekend + 1 day trip good enough or do you reckon i would need more time than that? Also checked Bangalore Valparai is ~450Kms can be done in about 6-7 hours or is it gonna take longer because of ghat roads/bad roads etc?

Not only the Bungalow the web site (http://sinnadorai.com/) also looks very well laid out.

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Old 11th June 2012, 23:06   #10
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Wonderful Narayan. Nice to read your experience of long drive through Anaimalai ranges. Valparai is a little gem and Sinnadorai is just lovely. Your experience brought back the memories of our trip in April this year. Looking forward to your drive to Kerala and Athirapally falls. I will go with five stars as this will be nice long journey to hop on indeed!!
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Old 12th June 2012, 00:34   #11
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Quote:
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Wonderful Narayan. Nice to read your experience of long drive through Anaimalai ranges. Valparai is a little gem and Sinnadorai is just lovely. Your experience brought back the memories of our trip in April this year. Looking forward to your drive to Kerala and Athirapally falls. I will go with five stars as this will be nice long journey to hop on indeed!!
So very true.
My five stars too

Waiting for more and more of the wonderful picture of the greens.


I feel like picking up the phone and booking a day or two there.

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Old 12th June 2012, 00:51   #12
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Amazing pictures NPV. Thanks for sharing. I was actually eagerly waiting for your travelogue. From the pictures, it looks like the Chinnadorai stay is very good. The rate seems to be on a bit higher side though.
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Old 12th June 2012, 07:46   #13
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
What took you so long to bring this beauty live? What else did you do at Valparai? or is it that the Sinna Dorai Bungalow is such that one does not feel like getting out of it ?
Lovely pictures, would a weekend + 1 day trip good enough or do you reckon i would need more time than that? Also checked Bangalore Valparai is ~450Kms can be done in about 6-7 hours or is it gonna take longer because of ghat roads/bad roads etc?
Thanks Mayank. I'd posted initially on Saturday but had to have it moved to Assembly Line to complete the posts with pictures, etc
Valparai has several dams nearby to see, beautiful estates all around, some nice temples in some of the estates, a very good Church as well, I would give an estimate of 1.5 days for visits to all these places. Athirapilly from Valparai is a whole day trip by itself so I would suggest going there on your way out of Valparai and maybe stay that evening at Thrissur or Palakkad. Another guest at Sinnadorai started at 10am, visited Athirapilly and returned by 7pm that evening - this is an option too. Also, if you plan to stay at Sinnadorai try to just spend one whole day at this place itself without any other visits, it is worth it.
Bangalore-Valparai is about 450-470Km, can be done in about 8 hours driving time if you take Bangalore-Salem-Perundurai-Kangeyam-Palladam-Pollachi-Aliyar (ghats from here)-Valparai. With a 5am start, you can be there by 2pm with an hour for breaks. No bad roads on this stretch though there is widening work on the Krishnagiri stretch but you will cross this early morning without much trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Wonderful Narayan. Nice to read your experience of long drive through Anaimalai ranges. Valparai is a little gem and Sinnadorai is just lovely. Your experience brought back the memories of our trip in April this year. Looking forward to your drive to Kerala and Athirapally falls. I will go with five stars as this will be nice long journey to hop on indeed!!
Thank you sir !

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
So very true.
My five stars too
Waiting for more and more of the wonderful picture of the greens.
I feel like picking up the phone and booking a day or two there.
Thanks Lalu, yes it's a nice place for a good break away from city life and to reconnect with nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rameshnanda View Post
Amazing pictures NPV. Thanks for sharing. I was actually eagerly waiting for your travelogue. From the pictures, it looks like the Chinnadorai stay is very good. The rate seems to be on a bit higher side though.
Thanks Ramesh. I agree that prices are on higher side, ~5K would have been ideal. However, they do have concerns about the kind of people coming over especially boisterous, partying crowds which I was told was one of the reasons for the higher pricing. Fauji Sir also visited another estate bungalow owned and managed by the same group near Sakleshpura where the rates are around 5K which seems ideal - Sir, where's the travelogue ?

Last edited by NPV : 12th June 2012 at 07:48.
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Old 12th June 2012, 23:52   #14
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

After a power nap of 30 minutes (my daughter does not sleep in the afternoons so she used that as video game time) we were ready to go out. At 4pm we had tea and biscuits and left at 4.30 with Chinna Murugan to Sholayar Dam. This was a lovely
drive - I drove slowly to enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the place with trees and tea estates all around. Just before we reached the dam, we stopped to watch the catchment area of the Dam. The dam itself was a beautiful sight but we were not
allowed to walk on the top (the secutity guy said we need 'Permission'). Few minutes later we were ready for our next stop Balaji Temple. By now it was close to 6pm and Murugan said we may not be able to reach before the temple closes around 7pm. I was still optimistic and said let's try. Darkness descended very quickly slowing down the drive so we decided to visit the temple next day on our way back to Bangalore - with this the plan for Nerar Dam also vanished. As an alternative, we went in
to Valparai town to see the place and also to tank up Dizzy with Petrol. After this, we headed back to Sinnadorai. By now, there was a good breeze all around and the place was misty. The temperature was around 20ş C and was just superb, not too cold. The rest of the evening was spent just roaming around the property, talking to the staff and getting introduced to the other guests. One of the families had 2 small children almost my daughter's age so they got together for some cricket and football. We met Rajeev, the Assisant Manager who also showed us some birds nesting in the trees near the bungalow - this was wonderful. We then saw some small hares and rabbits that were darting around in the tea estates. Gaurs are also common here (apparently they're quite domesticated) and roam around the esates freely but we did not see them.
Around 9.30pm, we had dinner, another gastronomical extravaganza and this time it was Soup, Parathas, Chilly Gobi, Mixed Veg. Curry, Curd Rice, Chocolate Cake & Butter Scotch Ice Cream for Dessert !
After dinner, we'd planned for a night 'safari', rather a drive inside the estates to try and spot some wildlife. We started around 10:15pm accompanied by Senior Murugan who brought along a powerful torch. This was a very nice experience driving inside the estate's private roads at night with just the sounds of the forest, breathing good clean fresh air with a nice breeze blowing. We did not spot any Panthers, Leopards, Elephants or such (we were told these have been spotted by visitors earlier) but we did see some rabbits, hares and a Giant Porcupine which was a treat to watch. Murugan had the necessary equipment to open their estate's barricades and let our car into their private roads and I enjoyed every moment of the drive. After more than 50 minutes, we headed back to Sinnadorai and retired for the night.

Pictures again...

View from French Window in our room
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-1.jpg

Views of Sholayar Dam's catchment area. We stopped here just about a km or two before the dam. We were told that during monsoon the water goes up almost till the base of the trees covering up the brown portion completely!
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-2.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-3.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-4.jpg

The government Inspection Bungalow opposite the dam
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-5.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-5a.jpg

The Sholayar Dam
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-6.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-6a.jpg

Lovely Views all around the Dam
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-7.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-8.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-9.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-10.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-11.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-15.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-16.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-17.jpg

Bridge near the base of the dam. The road continues towards Malakkapara and then the Kerala side towards Athirapilly
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-12.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-13.jpg

Night fall begins - Mist filled Sinnadorai Vistas, transformed from what we saw in the morning & afternoon
Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-19.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-20.jpg

Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!-21.jpg

Last edited by NPV : 13th June 2012 at 00:02. Reason: added picture captions
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Old 14th June 2012, 16:12   #15
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Default Re: Dizzy DriveŽ : Wonderful Valparai (enchanted by Sinnadorai's Bungalow) and more!

NPV some great pics out there and the favourites among them for sure are those lush green tea gardens, the green grass covered back wall of the dam and of course the lawn perch outside the bungalow looking down the valley. Super effort in recording these sights!

Surely it is raining Valparai which was in the shadows for most of us till some of our BHPians brought it to light. With some great properties and warm hospitality, this place is sure to get many more fans especially the weary and worn out urbanites like us who wish to soak up some pristine natural beauty of places like these.
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