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Old 10th April 2013, 20:17   #1
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Default Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

We had booked a weekend getaway at Casa deep woods operated by Club Mahindra at Masinagudi. We decided to drive our Mitsubishi - Cedia sports; We left Bangalore from IIM, Bannerghata road around 12:15 pm. We filled up our tank at the Shell Petrol Bunk, Banngerghata Road, just before Gottigere. We got on to the NICE road towards Mysore road at about 12:45 pm. The section between Kanakapura road and Mysore road is being relaid by NICE, infact concretised, that delayed us reaching Mysore road by about 15 minutes, as a result of two-way traffic.

The SH-17 highway to Mysore is in the same state with lot of traffic, frequent humps especially between Madur and Mysore. It is a surprise even with the high density of traffic on this stretch the road is still a State highway. Some stretches have been re-laid which made the drive conditions fairly smooth but for the humps. We reached Mysore around 2:45 pm without any stops.

We decided not to take the ring road around mysore to reach the Nanjangud Road, as we believed the city would be free of traffic around that time of the day; it turned out to be so. The road to Nanjangud thereafter to Gundlupet and even thereafter up to the Tamil Nadu border was absolutely silky.

When we entered the Tiger Reserve on the karnataka side they had stopped us to brief about the safety of animals and need for driving slowly. This was good. The entry point to Tamil Nadu was also good.

We reached thepakadu around 4:50 pm; one has to take a deviation to Masinagudi which is about 7 kms from here. The road is a single lane so one has to get out off the road for passage of on-coming vehicles. Casa Deep woods is deviation of about 3 kms once you go past Masinagudi. One can easily find that point of deviation and is marked "Bokkapuram Temple". We were there in the deep woods by 5:15 pm.

Casa deep woods is good place but it was dry at this time of the year and were told that forest authorities are not giving permission to trek deep in to the jungle. Trekking was our main purpose of the break but that was looking impossible. The food was priced very high at Zest Casa deep woods which also made us eat outside. There are some tiny shacks in Masinagudi; one of them "Indira Mess" which doesnt look great from outside but great in taste and quality of food.

We decided to visit Ooty the next day for the sheer experience of driving the steep and curvy ghat road from Masinagudi. There are totally 36 hair pin bends, some of them very steep. The approach to the beginning of the ghat section is all single lane for most of the time but reasonably good condition of the road. We could spot lot of animals along the way. The experience of Ghat driving is a thrill with minimum change of gears. I drove most parts in the second gear due to the steep curves and uphill. However, we could the distance of about 30 kms in about 45 minutes. After going around Ooty, we returned the same way only to be stopped by a policeman at a RTO check point before Kalhatty and were directed to go to Masinaguidi via Gudalur. We found a short-cut through another village road to join kalhatty. Otherwise, the return drive was also good. The steep gradient also made us drive in 2 gear for safety reasons

We decided again to drive to Coonoor via Ooty the next day and took the same ghat road which was again very thrilling. The Road from Ooty to Coonoor has density traffic and takes about 20 mts for a distance of about 12 kms. On the return journey at the Kalhatty check post the forest official stopped to warn us that the wheels are too hot as we were driving faster on the hair pin bends; he advised us to break for 10 minutes and drive which we did so. He also told that we should drive only in first or second gear; not to stop and watch out for animals.

The next day we started driving back from Casa Deep woods back to Bangalore. We had stopped briefly to click photos of animals that we spotted during the jungle drive and then later at Fish Land, Srirangapatna for a mouth watering lunch. Fish land is about 4 kms after you cross Columbia Asia hospital when driving from Mysore

In all a great drive of 720 kms that included 120 kms in ghat section with lot of bends and curves that were steep
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Old 12th April 2013, 08:59   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Nice pictures of the Black Bears.
Poor creatures have been mis treated for generations. Thank god there are a few left in the wild.
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Old 12th April 2013, 12:04   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Hi Karan,

Congrats on your trip. Nice to see the bears, I never seen one though driven atleast 10 drives via this route. Please elaborate more and fun fill it with pics.
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Old 12th April 2013, 19:34   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

The route you mentioned made me nostalgic about my days spent at Bangalore. While I was at Bangalore i did this route so many time in my car and twice in my bike. You are really lucky to spot the black bears. I had been so many time but never spotted any black bear in this route. Once i spotted a black bear but that was at Nagerhole reserve forest. Thanks for sharing your experience loved reading this. While reading your post i could mentally visualize the route you have covered!
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Old 14th April 2013, 10:00   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by karanp23 View Post

The next day we started driving back from Casa Deep woods back to Bangalore. We had stopped briefly to click photos of animals that we spotted during the jungle drive and then later at Fish Land, Srirangapatna for a mouth watering lunch. Fish land is about 4 kms after you cross Columbia Asia hospital when driving from Mysore
WHere did you spot the bears ? You were quite lucky.
There used to be a stream flowing through Casa Deep Woods. Does it still have water ?


Deepak
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Old 17th April 2013, 17:45   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Casa Deep Woods was lovely before Mahindra took it over. I wonder how it was now? But even then, the food was a bit overpriced for the place. Although, overall a very good experience.

As for driving up & down the Ooty ghat roads... remember to drive down in the same gear you went up in. In other words, 1st & 2nd for most of the drive.
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Old 19th April 2013, 21:00   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Nice write up. I travelled to Kothagiri in the first week of April and had the similar problem of checkpost officials stopping to enter the Kalhatty ghats during return. I had to travel all the way via Gudalur. Can you elaborate the shortcut route You took so that it might be useful next time.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 00:21   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Ooty is like one of my own places. Nice to hear about Ooty and conoor again. I was a crazy guy, who took a hero honda splendor to the top of the ghats in Ooty from Coimbatore . Anyways I look forward to see more updates on this thread.

Cheers.....
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Old 22nd April 2013, 15:06   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepak_misra View Post
WHere did you spot the bears ? You were quite lucky.
There used to be a stream flowing through Casa Deep Woods. Does it still have water ?


Deepak
We spotted the bear just after we got down from the winding ghat section and just before masinagudi town.
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Old 22nd April 2013, 15:11   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore - Masinagudi - Ooty - Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabnawaz_b View Post
Nice write up. I travelled to Kothagiri in the first week of April and had the similar problem of checkpost officials stopping to enter the Kalhatty ghats during return. I had to travel all the way via Gudalur. Can you elaborate the shortcut route You took so that it might be useful next time.
One has to go hardly about 150 meters on the road to Gudalur and take a right; we did not note down the two villages we passed by but a short distance of about 8-10 kms in narrow winding path with occasional mud roads before it joined the regular ghat road. Take a left once you hit the ghat road. You save easily 50 kms or more than 90 minutes of travel time
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