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Old 10th October 2012, 02:06   #1
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Post Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

This post is for people/couples who are travelling from/through Cochin to Chennai and have the whole weekend to get there and would like to see a lot of nature and hopefully not a lot of wild animals.

The route:
Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip-screen-shot-20121009-9.27.14-pm.png

I did this trip with my wife and we covered a lot of places, saw and did a lot of hikes and things in the shortest possible time. Hence this post if for people who have less time and want to fit in as much as possible.

The Stays:
Cybele Hill Resort, Muttil, Wayanad
I've a brief review of the resort (Reviewer Name: Raghu B)
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...ta_Kerala.html

Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip-img_1952.jpg
View from the porch of your cottage. Try to get the Lotus Cottage. Although all cottages have excellent views this is the one I stayed in and I can vouch has an excellent view.


You can park your car at their office site at the base of the hill and take their conveyance to the top to reach the resort. Don't worry they have dogs to watch the vehicle, it's safe. This you must do as the ride in the rusty old jeep is absolutely amazingly adventurous.

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The way to the resort.

Grange Resort, Yercaud, Salem
It's a pleasant and VFM resort built in-between coffee plantations and has beautiful cottages. They even have a ATV which you can rent and go across the plantation on a man made off-road path. The rental is Rs. 100 to go once around a track and Rs. 400 to go around a larger track which is more than a km.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...amil_Nadu.html

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The Trip:
Start the trip early to reach the resort in Wayanad at least by 5PM. The sunset view from the cottage is amazing. The next day you could see a whole load of stuff around Vythiri, a small town near the resort.

Before reaching Wayanad the trip would take you through the lush greenery of Kerala.
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Just before entering Wayanad district, you make the climb through mountainous roads. The roads of decent I should say with wide hair pin bends, hence even an average driver can easily navigate to the top.
Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip-img_1790.jpg

Just keep in mind to drive slow as it could get real misty and pretty soon too. Fog light would help and give way to upcoming traffic.
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At the resort you will find fauna you've not seen before. So keep an eye out so you don't hurt them.
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If you're not from Kerala I definitely would recommend you try some native delicacies.
Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip-img_1971.jpg

Places to see in Wayanad:
1. Soojipara Waterfalls
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2. Edakkal Caves
3. Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary
4. Karapuzha dam
5. Kuruva Islands
6. Meenmutty Waterfalls
7. Banasura Sagar Dam
8. Bird Sanctuary
There's stuff to do for every taste like trekking, walking around nature, waterfalls, wild life sanctuary, fauna lovers, etc.

The drive to Yercaud from Wayand, you would pass through Bandipur National Forest, which is simply an amazing wild life forest. There's a good chance that you would see a herd of wild elephants crossing the road, especially in the summer (thank god we did not see any ). There are boards around that stopping is illegal on the road side unless for an emergency. We did briefly stop when we saw some wildlife.

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And please, do not liter the park. It hurt's mother nature.

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As soon as you cross over to Karnataka you would recognize the change in the Fauna, the topography is totally different from that of Kerala's. Here we have mild forests, shrubs and bushes and acres of flower plantations and is a photographers delight.

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There are old temples with rich history behind it on the way. Worth a visit.
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Oh yeah, watch out for cattle on the road.
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You reach Gundulpet from where you head south through the famous Satyamangalam Forest. I'd recommend your cover both Bandipur and Satyamangalam forests when there is daylight if you're travelling with your family.

There are 27 hair pin bends to take to reach the town of Satyamangalam. Now these are tough ones so patience should be your virtue here. There's also a lot of truck traffic between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu through here.

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Travel from Satyamangalam to Bavani on a state highway and then you take the 4 lane express way up to Salem. The hair pin curve that takes you to Yercaud hill station starts where Salem town limit ends. The hair pins are moderate difficulty to navigate and you can do this in the night also. Reach before midnight as the signboards to the resort are confusing and you might want someone on the road to ask directions.

Places to See in Yercaud:
1. Pagoda View Point
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2. The Lake
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3. Lady's Seat
4. Gent's Seat

The drive all the way to Chennai from Salem is on the express way, although the tolls are costly and there's one every 40kms, it's worth it as it saves a lot of travel time.


Travel Times:
Cochin to Wayanad - 5 hours
Wayanad to Yercaud - 10 hours
Yercaud to Chennai - 6 hours


PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE, LOVE THE ROAD..!!
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Old 10th October 2012, 10:22   #2
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Default re: Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

I was planning to do Kodaikanal but it was becoming a oft visited place. Just saw your Wayanad pics and I'm sold out! Wayanad it is!
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Old 10th October 2012, 15:51   #3
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Default Re: Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

Hi Raghu,must be an amazing trip as evident from your snaps. I am planning Wayanad trip for quite some time now. This will strengthen the timeline
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Old 10th October 2012, 17:10   #4
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Default Re: Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

Hi
How is the road condition between Sathyamangalam to Wayanad (Via Chamrajnagara). Is it doable on sedans ?
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Old 10th October 2012, 22:49   #5
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Default Re: Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

Hello polopm, oh yeah definitely doable. I drove a Nissan Sunny on this trip. The roads between Gundulpet and Chamarajanagara is a bit bumpy but not bad. From Chamarajanagara to Satyamangalam, the roads are very good, never hit a single pothole.

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Old 11th October 2012, 17:09   #6
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Default Re: Cochin To Chennai : WildLife & Nature Road Trip

Nice trip and beautiful pictures!


Infact there are many routs in Kerala which are very enjoyable, Few of them are listed below:

1. Thrissure- Chalakkudy- Athirappally-Walparai -Palany in Tamilnadu.

One can feel the real calmness and solitude while travelling through this thick rain forest.


2. Kumily- Munnar route.

Though fthe orest cover is lesser, compared to the above, the route is through the high range mountains, with breathtaking hairpin bends and scenic beauty.


3. Mundakkayam- peermedu-Kumily.

Similar to the description as above

4. Kottayam- Ranni- Sabarimala.

Though it is a pilgrimage route to the famous temple, the sceneraies are mind blowing.

5. Vandipeeriyar -Gavi- Lower Pamba

Absoulutely exciting road, but doubtful whether it is open to public.

There are many more, will add to it later,

regards,

bbhavan
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