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Old 21st September 2013, 22:18   #16
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

This happened almost 1 and a half year ago


4 relatives of mine( all above 30), once took the shorter 36 hairpin bend route while descending in their Alto (the time being around late evening) and just about halfway down, the car lost its brakes and was quickly hurtling down the road to an oncoming bend. Sensing disaster, the co-passenger pulled the handbrake ( A ghastly mistake that shouldn't have been done), upon pulling the handbrake, the car did slow down but it's rear had drifted away from its front and had gone off the road forcing the car to topple down the edge. The car turned turtle a couple of times before finally coming to a halt against a tree.
Only 2 occupants (the driver and the rear passenger) suffered accountable injuries. The driver's finger had to be amputated and the other passenger suffered various rib fractures and spine injury (she is still unable to walk today). None of them were wearing seat belts.

I don't mean to scare anyone but I've heard multiple such incidents especially on that section of the road.
Please, drive safe and wear seat belts.

Sorry for going off-topic earlier, but wonderful travelogue, we have a photographer in the making. :-)
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Old 21st September 2013, 22:51   #17
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

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Originally Posted by createrkid View Post
This happened almost 1 and a half year ago


4 relatives of mine( all above 30), once took the shorter 36 hairpin bend route while descending in their Alto (the time being around late evening) and just about halfway down, the car lost its brakes and was quickly hurtling down the road to an oncoming bend.
Were they driving down in neutral gear?
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Old 21st September 2013, 23:28   #18
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This happened almost 1 and a half year ago 4 relatives of mine( all above 30), once took the shorter 36 hairpin bend route while descending in their Alto (the time being around late evening) and just about halfway down, the car lost its brakes and was quickly hurtling down the road to an oncoming bend...
When I had my Alto (2005 make) there was a time when I used to be at Ooty every weekend - driving from Bangalore on Saturday morning and back on Sunday night. Always took the 36 hairpin route.

Now for the above, looks like they were using the brake a lot when coming down. This is due to people either using a higher gear or coasting on neutral leading to speed and hence a high usage of brakes for control which finally leads to its failure. Fortunate that it lead to only physical injury.

Unfortunately, ignorance of driving on hills is the main reason why accidents happens, which is also why taxi drivers on hill stations hate 'city drivers'. Not honking on sharp curves and not giving way to traffic coming up, being on top on the list.

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Were they driving down in neutral gear?
Either that or higher gear - regardless, their speed was controlled a lot by the brakes hence the failure.
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Old 21st September 2013, 23:35   #19
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

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Were they driving down in neutral gear?
How could I have missed that! +1 to you. Yeah, they were driving down in neutral to save fuel. Such carelessness can indeed cause something so disastrous. Can someone tell me why exactly braking efficency decreases when the gear is in neutral?
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Old 21st September 2013, 23:47   #20
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How could I have missed that! +1 to you. Yeah, they were driving down in neutral to save fuel. Such carelessness can indeed cause something so disastrous. Can someone tell me why exactly braking efficency decreases when the gear is in neutral?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...save-fuel.html (Does coasting save fuel?)

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Old 21st September 2013, 23:53   #21
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. Can someone tell me why exactly braking efficency decreases when the gear is in neutral?
It doesn't (well. Unless you go technical about engine braking support, but for this to work the person should be using the clutch at the last moment).

The reason why the brake failed is due to heat generated and making the brakes ineffective. You will have a good surprise at the number of vehicles coming out of the hill section with glowing brake pads. It is beyond a certain heat point the brakes stop being of use and will remain so till they cool back down.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 16:19   #22
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Hey, good write up. My wife and I are off to Coonoor on Sep 28 and this definitely proved useful. I am planning to take the Gudalur route as well as we have four days to enjoy the trip and I want to take it easy.

Its been almost 18 years since I was there and am very excited. I think I will leave from Bangalore at the same time.

Cheers,

Parik
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Old 23rd September 2013, 18:18   #23
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

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I am planning to visit Ooty next month. I am confused which route to take.
How difficult are these 36 hairpins for a person who has driven to Yercaud, Nandi Hills & Devarayan Durga with ease?

There are numerous threads in T-BHP on the same subject, but the opinion differs.
iVento surely you can do it, the thumb rule here is use the same gears that you go up to come down.
I have done it several times in a Zen with five adults and luggage, then in a wagon r and in an Innova. While climbing anyways you will be able to drive only in your 1st and 2nd gears through the bends. You only have to stick to your left side of the road all the while to expect any reckless driveer who comes down the road. There are also mirrors placed on every bend for better visibility of oncoming vehicles which has made it much safer.

While driving down I used only the 1st and 2nd gears and its a wonderful feeling to have the seat belts tug at you while going down the slopes and you can feel the engine taking the load of the descent, allow the car to go slowly in the lower gears, you will hear the whine of the engine, its wonderful. Just before you reach the hair pin, brake, engage 1st gear and allow the gears to do the braking, as soon as you complete the turning, engage the second gear.

Go ahead and take this route both ways, you will be thrilled when you complete the climb and would love to go to Ooty/Coonoor just for this thrilling drive. The Kalhatti climb is considered as one of the best drives in South India. Have a safe winding drive.
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Old 24th September 2013, 11:41   #24
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Do they allow downhill on the Masinagudi route? When i was there 2 years ago they allowed only uphill.

For people with doubts, use this route uphill and the Gudalur route when coming back.
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Old 24th September 2013, 12:36   #25
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

tarique2002i, I'm a frequent travelor in this route up to Gudalur on my way home to Thrissur from Bnagalore. The good thing about Bandipur and Mudumalai is it can retain the charm of avergreen forest on all four seasons. One coincidence I noticed is even me and my wife had stayed in Hotel Lake view during a visit to Ooty in 2011 and then I rate it 3 out of 5, not sure their service is improved atleast in the restaurant now? But the view is tremendous and the location is ideal for cottage approxiamtely 10 minutes from the centre.

Cheers and thank you for sharing!
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Old 24th September 2013, 13:09   #26
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Originally Posted by majumon View Post
iVento surely you can do it, the thumb rule here is use the same gears that you go up to come down.
+1 to that statement. It applies to all forms of hill driving if you want to be in control of your car and save those brakes from heating like winter heaters.

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Originally Posted by m8002? View Post
Do they allow downhill on the Masinagudi route? When i was there 2 years ago they allowed only uphill.

For people with doubts, use this route uphill and the Gudalur route when coming back.
It has been two way since the first I went up there back in 2010. May be due to some incident you faced the one way enforcement. In fact the downhill traffic has to negotiate a few speed bumps on the straighter sections.

This is a much faster and safer route if you stick to sane driving
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Old 24th September 2013, 14:19   #27
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Congratulations on your first travelogue! And a short and sweet one at that...

This couldn't have come at a better time! I am myself planning a trip to Ooty (from Bangalore) towards the end of October. (Alas, I am not driving down, but will be renting a car). So your thread will come in handy for me. Thanks! I definitely look forward to passing through the verdant forests and hopefully spotting some of it's inmates on the way!

Since I will have with me, couple of family members with motion sickness, I guess the road through Masinagudi is ruled out!
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Old 24th September 2013, 16:38   #28
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Default Re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

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Originally Posted by raihan View Post
@ivento, the 36 hairpin bends are not that difficult if you've done nandi hills with ease, ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by majumon View Post
iVento surely you can do it, the thumb rule here is use the same gears that you go up to come down....

Go ahead and take this route both ways, you will be thrilled when you complete the climb and would love to go to Ooty/Coonoor just for this thrilling drive. The Kalhatti climb is considered as one of the best drives in South India. Have a safe winding drive.
Indeed, I am sure that I can cover that route with ease.
Only thing, it create some kind of an anxiety in mind when everyone is talking about it & sharing their "horrendous" experience.

Thanks Raihan & Majumon for your support & inspiration.
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Old 24th September 2013, 20:22   #29
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Indeed, I am sure that I can cover that route with ease.
Only thing, it create some kind of an anxiety in mind when everyone is talking about it & sharing their "horrendous" experience.

Thanks Raihan & Majumon for your support &inspiration.
Just go for it. Focus on safe momentum in the curves and maintaining distance from the vehicle in front (some idiots roll down when they are in the wrong gear for a curve) while going up. And rely on engine braking - gears 1 and 2 - while going down. Give way to crazy drivers. And anticipate.

I go up very fast (2nd/3rd gear) and come down very slow (mostly 1st gear), because of my vehicle's characteristics. I have done that route many times in my Indica, Sx4 and now my Fortuner. No big deal if you are careful and know your vehicle.

Besides, there is always a first time.
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Old 25th September 2013, 20:39   #30
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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Just go for it. Focus on safe momentum in the curves and maintaining distance from the vehicle in front (some idiots roll down when they are in the wrong gear for a curve) while going up. And rely on engine braking - gears 1 and 2 - while going down. Give way to crazy drivers. And anticipate.

Besides, there is always a first time.
Thanks Nilanjan for the useful tips.
Definitely I am gonna follow them.
Your last line inspires me like anything. Yes, there is always a first time!
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