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Old 18th June 2013, 23:37   #1
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Thumbs up Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

We went there to do nothing. Just to soak in the rain. We came back energised!

Monsoons are there to go out and enjoy the rain. Thankfully, Bangalore is blessed. We can reach the hills within five hours and experience it.

Last time when we were in Kadamane estate in Sakleshpur, Cariappa, the young manager was mentioning about Mango Range Estate belonging to the same group near Gudalur on the way to Ooty. The estate is in a place called Pandalur on Gudalur - Wayanad highway. We had travelled on this road earlier when we went to Wayand last year. Instead of taking the regular route via Sultan Bathery, we took a detour and had come via Gudalur. And what a drive it was! This is one of the most picturesque roads in South India. So, when Carry told us about Mango Range, we were excited to do this trip next time.

On a lazy Friday morning we decided to try out this place. Got the telephone number from Carry and called up to check availability. "Yes, it is available" said Ms Meenu Mandanna Nair who manages it. "But be prepared for rains" she warned. We were well prepared as we knew it will be pouring in that area. The weather forecast was also suggesting the same.

Leaving Bangalore at 7 in the morning, we took our usual route via Kanakapura to reach Gundlupet. The sky was overcast. Rains in the past few days had turned the parched lands green. The farmers were busy in the fields. There was slight chill in the air.

The road through out is in excellent condition. Driving through the forests of Bandipur and Mudhumalai was a pleasant experience. The rains has converted the whole place green and lovely. Few weeks back the same forest was brown and dry.Turning right at Gudalur, we were now in tea country. It is green everywhere. The last few KMs from the Highway to the bungalow was just lovely. Winding roads inside the estate through expanse of green was eye candy. Give it to British to choose the best spot to have their residences. The Sinnadorai Bungalow in Mango range is on top of small hillock with lovely views. (We could not see them due to mist ).

This is a cute little British bungalow under the canopy of a huge pine tree. It is unlike Kadamane estate which is bigger. This makes the place charming and exclusive. It has only three rooms. Each room is large with its own sit out/veranda. There is a fireplace in each room as well. The anteroom is large and elegant. Lot of antique furniture spread out in all the rooms. The dining hall with antique furniture is apt. It did not take too much of time for us to fall in love with this place.

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We had plans to drive around after lunch. That was not to be as it started raining and whole place was enveloped with mist. It was lovely to sit in the veranda and hear the sound of the rain drops. The mist ensured that there was no point to driving and better spend time with a book in hand.

The rains stopped for a while and we took a walk in the estate. The whole estate was drowned in clouds. We could see the layers of clouds passing by us as we walked around the estate inhaling the cleanest air!

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It started raining and we rushed back to spend the evening with bubbly in hand listening to the sounds of cicada, frogs et al.....

We woke up to the calls of Malabar whistling trush. The rains continued, mist was everywhere. It was a lovely, lazy morning. Rain and mist meant no walking around. Sipping excellent tea sitting in the veranda listening to "whistling schoolboy" made our day.

A nice video on "Whistling schoolboy's bird song"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwwssnc...os/6119481845/

We bid good bye after a good breakfast. This time we drove via Sultan Bathery. The return drive was delightful. A lovely road. Excellent weather.......chilll, intermittent drizzle, misty. We switched off the AC, opened the windows and let the "atmosphere come in"!!

We will leave you with few pictures we had taken when we drove on this road. Look, how lovely the vistas are.

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We are sure we will come back again to explore it further.

Website of the estate - http://www.sinnadorai.com/estates_Mango_range.html

Travel Tips

Distance from

Bangalore - 285 KMs
Coimbatore - 200 KMs
Mysore - 134 KMs
Recommended Route from Bangalore (click on the links below)

Bangalore - Pandalur via Chamarajanagar/Sultan Bathery - https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr...mra=ls&t=m&z=9

Bangalore - Pandalur via Chamarajanagar/Gudalur - https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr...mra=ls&t=m&z=9

We would recommend you to go by one and return by other to get the best of both!

Getting there

By Road - The best option. Either to drive oneself of take a bus to Gudalur from where one can rent a jeep to go to Pandalur.

By Air - Nearest airport is Mysore.

By Train - Not a good option as the nearest station is Nanjangud which is 112 KMs away.

Best time to go - Any time of the year.

Other Information

a) A great place chill out and relax. Also to explore Nilgiris, Mudhumalai, Bandipur and Wayanad. Ooty is 70 KMs and Kalpetta (Wayanad) is 45 KM.

b) Ooty and Wayanad can be comfortably done as day trips. So is Bandipur/Mudhumalai.

c) The staff in bungalow will take you for a guided walk. Animal sighting is common. Elephants, barking deer are sighted often. If lucky, one can also see leopard.

d) A drive to needle peak is a fascinating experience where you get 360 degree view of Nilgiris.

e) You can also visit the tea factory to watch how tea is processed.

f) The staff can also arrange for a visit to "Gold Mines" - yes, gold mines - in the area. These are not regular mines but mined locally by tribals.

Last edited by Fauji : 18th June 2013 at 23:38.
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Old 19th June 2013, 08:10   #2
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Very nice discovery Sir and thanks for sharing, I was looking for a nice quite place for an extended weekend break, looks like a perfect spot with a lovely drive
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Old 19th June 2013, 11:51   #3
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Thanks for the travelogue boss. Me and my brother with family were looking for an option from bangalore for a near by place to enjoy the monsoon.
How's the road condition to the bungalow ? can I take my Polo there ?

Last edited by sajusherief : 19th June 2013 at 11:58. Reason: extra query.
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:20   #4
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Originally Posted by Motor Head View Post
Very nice discovery Sir and thanks for sharing, I was looking for a nice quite place for an extended weekend break, looks like a perfect spot with a lovely drive
Yes, it is a lovely place for a nice weekend break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajusherief View Post
Thanks for the travelogue boss. Me and my brother with family were looking for an option from bangalore for a near by place to enjoy the monsoon.
How's the road condition to the bungalow ? can I take my Polo there ?
Oh, Yes. You can comfortably take your Polo till the bungalow. Roads are good.
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:46   #5
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Wow! what a great find! thanks for the info and the pics.

One quick input - I believe the nearest Airport will be Calicut - google says distance to Calicut airport is 30 km less. Not sure about the travel time though.
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Old 19th June 2013, 13:17   #6
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Wow! what a great find! thanks for the info and the pics.

One quick input - I believe the nearest Airport will be Calicut - google says distance to Calicut airport is 30 km less. Not sure about the travel time though.
Yes, It should be Calicut which is 109 KMs. Mysore is 120 KMs. But it is quicker from Mysore.
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Old 19th June 2013, 13:20   #7
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Thanks Fauji.
Based on your old travelogue, we visited Sinnadorai's @ Valparai, it was awesome. That was back in Decemeber. Now in quick succession you have provided two other locations worth visiting.
How is the staff at these two locations, are they well trained?

Last edited by sansvk : 19th June 2013 at 13:21. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th June 2013, 13:21   #8
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Oh, Yes. You can comfortably take your Polo till the bungalow. Roads are good.
Thanks for the reply. One more thing, Why didn't you take the Blre-mandya-Mysore- nanjagund road, any particular reason ? Never traveled in the other route that you have mentioned.
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Old 19th June 2013, 13:34   #9
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Thanks for the reply. One more thing, Why didn't you take the Blre-mandya-Mysore- nanjagund road, any particular reason ? Never traveled in the other route that you have mentioned.
Who will dare to travel on Bangalore - Mysore highway sir? There is a separate thread on the misery of driving on this road. I always avoid it. The route via Kanakapura is lovely and less traffic. The only issue is eating joints which are not prolific like on Bangalore - Mysore highway. But we do have now "Ratna Upahara" in Kanakapura, "Nijaguna residency" in Chamarajanagr which are pretty decent. I havent seen the newly opened Karnataka tousrim resturanat in Shivana Samudram.
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Old 19th June 2013, 14:56   #10
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Great review Fauji. You just turned on that Nostalgia button for me - I am from Gudalur (Devarshola - 12KMs frm Gudalur to be exact), lived there for the first 25 years of my life but have been away from the place for more than a decade, apart from the occasional (rare) lightning quick visits.

We locals used to refer this place as 'mangorange' (mango & oranges - weird eh?) so often that when I saw the title as Mango Range, it didn't click for the first few moments and till I started reading through the log.

There are some wonderful secret locations in around Gudalur, which most of the travelers to that region don't know or don't bother about during their hasty drive-through via Gudalur in the rush to reach Ooty/Coonoor etc.

Thank you for making my day - The snaps just jolted the years old memory flooding back!
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Old 19th June 2013, 21:23   #11
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Originally Posted by Jeash.vk View Post
Great review Fauji. You just turned on that Nostalgia button for me - I am from Gudalur (Devarshola - 12KMs frm Gudalur to be exact), lived there for the first 25 years of my life but have been away from the place for more than a decade, apart from the occasional (rare) lightning quick visits.

We locals used to refer this place as 'mangorange' (mango & oranges - weird eh?) so often that when I saw the title as Mango Range, it didn't click for the first few moments and till I started reading through the log.

There are some wonderful secret locations in around Gudalur, which most of the travelers to that region don't know or don't bother about during their hasty drive-through via Gudalur in the rush to reach Ooty/Coonoor etc.



Thank you for making my day - The snaps just jolted the years old memory flooding back!
Jeash why dont you make some of those secret locations public so that fellow bhpians could have a welcome change instead of the same old ooty?
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Old 20th June 2013, 06:11   #12
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Originally Posted by Jeash.vk View Post
Great review Fauji. You just turned on that Nostalgia button for me - I am from Gudalur (Devarshola - 12KMs frm Gudalur to be exact), lived there for the first 25 years of my life but have been away from the place for more than a decade, apart from the occasional (rare) lightning quick visits.

We locals used to refer this place as 'mangorange' (mango & oranges - weird eh?) so often that when I saw the title as Mango Range, it didn't click for the first few moments and till I started reading through the log.

There are some wonderful secret locations in around Gudalur, which most of the travelers to that region don't know or don't bother about during their hasty drive-through via Gudalur in the rush to reach Ooty/Coonoor etc.

Thank you for making my day - The snaps just jolted the years old memory flooding back!
Thanks Jeash. You bet. There are many places in Nilgiris and Wayanad which are off beaten track. It is good that they remain like that!! But you can share it to us on Team BHP as Vindrider rightfully ask!!

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Jeash why dont you make some of those secret locations public so that fellow bhpians could have a welcome change instead of the same old ooty?
You said it!
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Old 20th June 2013, 10:18   #13
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Lovely writeup Fauji, when I smsed you about this place, little did I know you had just returned, I had to cancel my booking on the same weekend otherwise we'd have surprised each other there
Anyway, thanks to your feedback, we are off tomorrow and hope we have a good time too.
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Old 20th June 2013, 10:52   #14
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

Good place Fauji. Not so far and not so close. I hope that was a good drive for you.
I was planning after going through your travelogue, though my driving skill in hills is not that great hence that acts as a barrier to a lot of places :(

The photographs are very nice. The peaceful & quiet location is something all Bangloreans love as there are virtually none in the city.

Some questions:
1. Are the hills steep enough to challenge a newbie like me (Have been driving in Bangalore for 3 months, feel confident in the city) ?

2. How was the food?

3. Any specific suggestions?
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Old 20th June 2013, 12:36   #15
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Default Re: Fauji's Drivologues - Monsoon experience @ Mango Range, Nilgiris

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Good place Fauji. Not so far and not so close. I hope that was a good drive for you.
I was planning after going through your travelogue, though my driving skill in hills is not that great hence that acts as a barrier to a lot of places :(

The photographs are very nice. The peaceful & quiet location is something all Bangloreans love as there are virtually none in the city.

Some questions:
1. Are the hills steep enough to challenge a newbie like me (Have been driving in Bangalore for 3 months, feel confident in the city) ?

2. How was the food?

3. Any specific suggestions?
Hi Pratyush,

Thanks for your response.

Don't worry, you can comfortably drive. These are hill roads but there are no sharp curves. Hence, it will be a good training for you

At two places inside the estate, there are sharp curves which can be done easily in small cars. But for a Scorpio, i had reverse and turn again. But that is not a big deal.

Food was very good. You get both Veg and Non Veg.

Specific suggestions - Just chill out if you want. If you are adventurous type, you can go for guide walks etc. More than that, if you haven't been to Wayanad, i would recommend that you can make this as a base and do a day trip to places like Meenmutty falls, Edakkal caves, Pookat lake etc.

Also, you can do a day trip to Ooty as well. Road is good and not hard like Kalhatti ghat.

It all depends on how much time you have at hand!
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