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Old 4th October 2012, 17:57   #1
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Default Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Its just been over a month that I finished my travelogue http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...hangthang.html (Reflecting on Driving Addictions - Bangalore to Spiti and Changthang) and I am back again all so eager to share with you another of my travel stories to Valparai.

Shall start by posting a few pictures that show a little glympse of our trip.

The beautiful climb to Valparai
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"Sinna Dorai's Bunglow" our residence for the next four days.
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The Nilgiri Tahr
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The Lion tailed monkey
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Bison, like one never seen before
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The back waters
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Carpeted paths for our TFort.
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As Summer starts to slowly bake the Central and Northern parts of India, I desert my spouse, leaving him to his daily toil and escape to the cooler climes of Bangalore. This is a Annual ritual. By the time Summer peaks in Central regions we are having April showers in Bangalore ringing in the end of the Summer and the tentative beginnings of the Monsoons in the Southern Platue. Of course the tentativeness of the Monsoons is becoming tentative progressively each year.

Its also a ritual that after a few days of enjoying the temperature difference we start a family rant as how the City is heating up, how it used to rain the year round with temperatures rarely reaching the mid thirties. In the Summer months this is usually just a prelude to a few days of holidays in the Nilgiris. We have been going to Ooty/Coonoor/Mudhumalai now for decades. We never get bored or think of going elsewhere. Its like Comfort Food in Summer. Of course the rant at development all along the way, the traffic on the way on BM Road, the poor condition of the road after Nanjangud, the touts trying to commit suicide by jumping in front of all cars with out-of-state registrations at the entrance of Ooty, the crowds at Charring Cross, the lack of parking space all the way past the Municipal Market, the congestion on Coonoor road, Bah !!! Its the lament of old timers going back to the same place and finding everthing changed. So finally we decided lets go to a new place, that has the elevation for cooler climes, surrounding Forest lands and open rolling Hills, maybe a River near by and the laid back atmosphere of Ooty from a couple of decades back.

Where else would one look but at the Travelogue Section of this Forum and who best to guide us but the Masters. Having gone through Travelogues of Laluk's, Fauji, ... in the Valpirai Area and having seen that this was the lost paradise we had been looking for. We made our Booking at Chinna Dorai, a Commercial 'Home Stay' owned by the Parry's Group, over the phone and got instructions about our route from the Charismatic and Charming General Manager of the resort, Sujata.

We started the drive early at about 6 AM and drove all the way to Salem on NH 7, cutting there towards Tirupur by-passing Erode,on to Pollachi and reached Valpirai early in the evening.

Just as the plains end at Aliyar Dam the journey changes colour now tinged in the magic of the Western Ghats. The first Rains had waved the Magic Wand and the Hills were now dressed in shades of green of every hue with bouquets of colourfull flowers at every turn. It was after ages that I could see the 'Flame of Forest' in full bloom, I think we have eradicated this tree entirely from Bangalore. On a side note this area has more Coconut Trees than Kerala !!!
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Old 4th October 2012, 18:31   #2
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions "Valparai"

Since this is a well documented route and there have been superb Travelogues on the Forum laying bare all the aspects of the pleasures of trevelling here, I have decided to post only a Photolog of the Land and its Animals. So here goes......

The lovely road begins...
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My son for a change stays in the car for the fear of the monkeys.
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Pictures of the Aliyar Dam from a distance.
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There are monkeys all over the place and are very aggresive . The moment you stop the car they come running from all ends , scary to even go out to take pictures. Our tourist (my son) was terrified for once.
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MMI was pointing out the winding road ahead.
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Finally the road we were looking forward to.
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The pattern of the hairpin bends on the MMI looked amazing.
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Our Fortuner that has taken us to the most beautiful locations.
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The tea estates so well manicured and fenced.
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We were finally driving thru the quite and beautiful roads of the tea estates. They were such a refreshing change from the usual crowded tea estates of Coonoor and Ooty.
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Old 4th October 2012, 18:53   #3
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions "Valparai"

Continuing..
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The rearview too looked magical.
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Finally we see the directions to our Homestay, Can it get any better
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We were amazed by the place, these were our cottages for the next 4 days.
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The tourist unwinds..
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We were too happy to see our stay,
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Our tea arrives.
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Old 5th October 2012, 12:48   #4
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th October 2012, 13:12   #5
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Very nice travelogue there!!! Love the Bison and the calf.

The bunglaw seems to be nice, kindly post the cost and contact details as well for the benefit of other members
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Old 5th October 2012, 13:37   #6
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Thank You Coooolcat21, some nostalgic moments are back.
The 'Home Stay' looks too good, but I guess at a very 'Commercial' Price point.

Lion Tailed Macaques are plenty there, and surprisingly they are not too shy. They pose for your clicks

Amazing pictures. Waiting for more
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Old 5th October 2012, 17:06   #7
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Amazing place and pictures that do justice to it ! One of the places I must visit and on my 'to do' list. Do share some more details of the home stay and of course, some more lovely pics !
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Old 5th October 2012, 17:57   #8
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Very nice travelogue there!!! Love the Bison and the calf.

The bunglaw seems to be nice, kindly post the cost and contact details as well for the benefit of other members
Thank You so much. You could avail all details concerning the Bunglow here http://sinnadorai.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Thank You Coooolcat21, some nostalgic moments are back.
The 'Home Stay' looks too good, but I guess at a very 'Commercial' Price point.

Lion Tailed Macaques are plenty there, and surprisingly they are not too shy. They pose for your clicks

Amazing pictures. Waiting for more
Thank you so much Laluks, The homestay is like a calm destination by itself.
Lots more pictures coming ahead. Keep watching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kannan666 View Post
Amazing place and pictures that do justice to it ! One of the places I must visit and on my 'to do' list. Do share some more details of the home stay and of course, some more lovely pics !
Thanks a lot. I have mentioned the link above to all details of the Bunglow. Valparai sure should be on every travellers list who wants a calm and serene place to visit.

Regards
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Old 5th October 2012, 18:33   #9
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Continuing...
After a good nights sleep we woke up to a wonderfull morning . The view outside was breathtaking and having a cup of masala chai just completed the picture.
We went on to the dining room for breakfast and to explore the bunglow a bit.
The path to the dining hall from our cottages.
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The view from our cottage.
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The old charm of the bunglow makes it all so special.
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Breakfast, the fruit platter came every morning exactly the same way
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The management there organised a small trip to Lower Nirar dam in the first half of the day.

The beautiful Parry tea estate.
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The roads that we often dream of when stuck in the regular morning traffic to work
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Our first wildlife sighting in the estate.
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If only the surroundings they live in were managed neatly as thier place of work"The tea estates"
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Koolangal River.
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The typical scene by the riverside when closer to a town.
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Off to work..... where there are no closed cubicles with a monitor in front that shows us the beautiful locales travelled by other people
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We park our car a little distance before we approach the dam and Mr Murugan takes us on a little trek thru the tea estate to show us the beautiful Lower Nirar Dam from a distance.
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From far the color of the water changed hues from a deep blue to a jade green while the sun played among the cover clouds and fog.
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Old 5th October 2012, 19:29   #10
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Continuing..
The beautiful view of the Dam.
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Camouflage
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Finally at the dam.
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There was a big herd of Bisons grazing we could see at a distance, missed the opportunity as we decided not to carry the other lens with us.
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It was pretty warm that day and the long walk too was tiring, but then the tourist had to explore the place around as always.
Murugan from Sinna Dorai is the whole and soul of the place. he takes u to see dams, picnics, bird and wildlife watching, trip to tea manufacturing unit, will also serve you breakfast and dinner.
My son who speaks only English, Hindi and Punjabi made perfect conversation with Murugan who knows only "Tamil" He got his way with him all thru the trip to an extent of being with him in the kitchen , getting extra servings of Ice cream and the recipe of a date pudding he liked there.
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We started back to the bunglow and saw herbal pesticides being sprayed on the tea plantations.
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We proceeded back to the Homestay for lunch and planned to go bird watching in the evening hoping to catch a glimpse of the Great Indian Hornbill.
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We are obsessed with plants everywhere we go and try buying them and taking home, But our experience has been that they never grow back home as the way they do in these regions
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There were beautiful and colorful flowers everywhere,
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All these were flowers from the well maintained gardens of the Homestay.
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Old 5th October 2012, 20:11   #11
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Continuing with the beautiful flowers and gardens of Sinna Dorai Bunglow.
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The breath taking views from the bunglow.
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We walked around the guesthouse for a while and waited for the weather to clear up hoping to go bird watching in the evening.
Then went and checked the other cottages on the property , we were lucky to be the only guests then.
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The weather did not improve so we finally got back to our cottages and settled down for a nice cup of evening Chai.
While the tourist was getting well prepared for the weather.
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Pictures from here on are of our beautiful evening spent in front of our cottage. The clouds moved in closer and made the evening magical .
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Old 6th October 2012, 13:19   #12
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Beautiful Snaps!
Looks like a fun drive!
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Old 6th October 2012, 13:41   #13
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Mind blowing snaps... awesome awesome awesome..
You are making others too jealous to go and see Valparai right away
And i am recollecting my trip to valparai 10 years back.

-Ravi
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Old 6th October 2012, 15:39   #14
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Every Travelogue in Team-Bhp is unique in it's own way and this one is no different from it either.

The Snaps are real treat for eye's.

Can you share some details about the food and Home stay (Resort) for the benefits of others ?
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Old 8th October 2012, 09:30   #15
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Default Re: Reflections on Driving addictions - Valparai

Coooolcat21,

While on this trip, mostly the violet flowers decided to bloom. "Sinna Dorai's Bunglow" thoroughly captivated me, this is the kind of farmhouse I plan to build, with a luxurious front porch. The location, the height and the view here is spectacular.

The interiors are just beautiful and elegant, undoubtedly I feel the credit goes to "the Charismatic and Charming General Manager of the resort, Sujata".

The breakfast lounge and verandah are so colonial and period, makes your stay so memorable.

The place is very scenic and the weather seems awesome.
The Nilgri Thar and Lion tailed monkey are good captures, possibly a maiden appearance on T-BHP.

Rhesus monkeys are notoriously brazen at tourist destinations mostly they also raid the cars if windows are left open, imagine my open Jeep. This place is aptly named "MONKEYFALLS" as I can see the one that fell on your windshield. Thank god nothing like that happened at the "Tiger Valley". Should find out what "CHALAKUDI" means.

Looking forward to another beautifully narrated and photographed TL from you.
Regards,
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