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Old 20th September 2013, 00:00   #1
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Default From Bangalore to Ooty!

Note: This is my first ever travelogue, please give me suggestions on how to improve. Thank you.

Ooty Trip ( 2 days 1 night)- 9th and 10th September 2013.

Car -Hyundai i10 1.2
Co travelers - My wife Shazia, my friends Kundan and Jitender .
Total distance covered - 700 km.
Total fuel expense- 4000 Rs.
While going - Bangalore - Mysore ( SH-17) - Nanjangud - Gundlupet (SH-212) - Bandipur - Madumalai -Gudalur -Ooty (SH-66/67).
While coming - Ooty-Masinagudi-Madumalai-Bandipur-Mysore-Bangalore.

This was my second trip to Ooty. The first time I went to Ooty in 2009, then I had gone as a tourist in a package tour for three days. This time I wanted to be the traveler; mainly focused on the journey rather than the destination. After I bought a car ( Hyundai i10) in 2011, I have started travelling more than before, because there is a lot of difference when you drive to a place as compared to going there by a bus or a train. I, for instance get excited by the sheer thought of driving.

The route we took while going.

Bangalore - Mysore ( SH-17) - Nanjangud - Gundlupet (SH-212) - Bandipur - Madumalai -Gudalur -Ooty (SH-66/67).

I had read a lot on the Team-bhp forum that the stretch from Madumalai to Ooty via Gudalur is not great even though it is more scenic compared to the other regular option ( Madumalai - Masinagudi - Ooty). However, I had decided that I will take the route through Gudalur because I wanted to give some fresh update to fellow bhpians about the road conditions.

We started from Bangalore at 5am on the 9th and we drove nonstop to reach Mysore at 7:15am. We stopped in Mysore for breakfast. From Mysore we drove straight to Bandipur and reached there at 9 : 15 am. At Bandipur, we stopped at a spot which we thought was very beautiful and deserved a better look. We took some photographs there , however our enthusiasm was cut short because we were told by a forest guard on a patrolling jeep that we were not allowed to stop and take photographs. We continued our journey but on the way we couldn't resist taking some photographs from our car while on the go.

From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-1.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-2.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-3.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-4.jpg

After some time we bid adieu to Karnataka and entered the Madumalai Forest Reserve, Tamilnadu. Driving further, we reached the juncture where you have to decide which route you would like to take. One is short and oft taken while the other is longer and less preferred. For me both were equally new because this was my first self drive to Ooty. This situation reminded me of the iconic poem by Robert Frost -The road not taken (Two roads diverged in a wood, and II took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference).

Since , I had decided that I will take route through Gudalur , I trusted my instincts and went ahead with the plan. For almost a Km my plan seemed counterproductive as the road was really in a bad shape and we were almost on the verge of turning back , but I, somehow, didn't want to comply and hence persisted with my plan. Driving further the road improved and then from there on the road was just delightful, till Ooty. I must add that this route is in fact easier for new drivers as there are no sharp curves or steep inclines, this route is just magical.

(The initial bad stretch of road towards Gudalur)
From Bangalore to Ooty!-img_1081.jpg

( However, after a Km or so the road was excellent all the way to Ooty)

From Bangalore to Ooty!-madumalaigudalur-1.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-madumalaigudalur-3.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-madumalaigudalur-2.jpg

We were not in any hurry and hence we drove at a leisurely pace of 40-50km/hr , enjoying the scenic drive. We stopped at few places to take pictures and then after Gudalur we parked at a tea shop just because of its beautiful location. We had two cups of tea each and took some pictures and then carried on our journey till we reached Paykara lake in Ooty. While driving towards Ooty on this route you will see a board indicating that you should take right to go to the historical Paykara Boat house. The beautiful and enchanting Paykara Lake is just 1 km from this diversion. But the road is really torturous , at least for small cars like the i10.

From Bangalore to Ooty!-gudalurooty-1.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-gudalurooty-2.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-gudalurooty-3.jpg
We reached Paykara lake at around 12 Noon, the weather was cold and cloudy , we hired a boat for Rs 500/- and enjoyed the ride which was roughly of 20-25 mins. From Paykara the road to Ooty is very scenic, lined with beautiful red wood pine trees. We reached our destination , the Lake View Hotel, in Ooty at 1:15. I must mention that the Lake View Hotel is more of a resort than a hotel and it is awesome, It is so beautiful, located right in the lap of nature, that if you stay there and come back it still would be a great holiday.

From Bangalore to Ooty!-paykara-lake.jpg
(paykara lake ooty)

From Bangalore to Ooty!-hotel-lake-view-2.jpg
(Hotel lake view Ooty)
From Bangalore to Ooty!-hotel-lake-view-1.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-hotel-lake-view-3.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-hotel-lake-view-4.jpg

We freshened up , had our lunch and then started for the botanical gardens, the last time I went to Ooty I had missed it so I had kept it as our first spot. I personally didn't enjoy the garden for a variety of reasons apart from the fact that I was tired. The garden has some beautiful trees but its flower collection is not great.

We came back , had dinner and slept. Got up early next day , took some pictures of the resort, had breakfast and then we went to Coonoor. Coonoor is known for its tea plantations and we wanted to visit a tea factory. We went to High Field Tea Estate in Coonoor which also has a tea factory. The factory that day was closed because of Ganesh Festival, we still explored it , took some snaps , tasted and bought some masala tea and then came back to our hotel. While driving back from coonoor we came through Wellington ( a defense area ) , the road through Wellington is much better and is also scenic.

From Bangalore to Ooty!-botanical-garden-1.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-botanical-garden-2.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-botanical-garden-3.jpg
(Pics from Botanical Garden Ooty)

From Bangalore to Ooty!-coonoor-1.jpg
(High Field Tea Estate Coonoor)

We checked out from our hotel at 2pm , had lunch and left for Bangalore. While driving back we decided to take the other route i.e. Ooty- Masinagudi-Madumalai-Bandipur-Mysore-Bangalore.

When we reached the juncture where the road forks out - one towards Gudalur the other towards Masinagudi, this is just after you cross the bridge on the dried portion of the Sandynulla Lake, we asked some locals , just to verify, about the road towards Masinagudi . They warned us that the road is very dangerous because it's a plunging drive and it has 36 hair-pin bends. We still went through this route as I knew the locals were exaggerating. This route is plain fun, it was great driving through the 36 hair-pin bends. We stopped at a place called Bison Valley view just before the 34th bend , but it was useless. We kept on driving till we crossed Mandya, after which we stopped at a Coffee Day to get some energy ( caffeine) . Continuing the journey we reached Bangalore at 10:30.

From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-return-1.jpg
(National Bird , spotted in Bandipur during our return trip)

(Some more pics from our return journey)

From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-return-2.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-return-4.jpg
From Bangalore to Ooty!-bandipur-return-3.jpg

Thank you.
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Old 20th September 2013, 16:10   #2
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Good travelogue Tarique. Wonderful pictures.
Hotel Lakeview looks beautiful. Please give us some more info about this hotel. What is the type of Cottages you have taken & how much did you pay for it? What type of room you are recommended?
True to its name "Queen of Hill Stations", Ooty looks very beautiful. I am planning a trip to Ooty during pooja holidays. Planning to stay there atleast for 2 days.
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Old 20th September 2013, 16:28   #3
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Wonderful travelogue with beautiful pictures. How was the weather in Ooty?
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Old 20th September 2013, 16:41   #4
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Nice travelogue. We went to Ooty in May this year and it was very crowded. Was it crowded at this time?
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Old 20th September 2013, 21:28   #5
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Nice travelogue, short and sweet, its been a while we visited Ooty, so definitely on the cards for a short round. Nice pictures as well to go with the log.
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Old 20th September 2013, 21:37   #6
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarique2002i View Post
I, for instance get excited by the sheer thought of driving.
That is why we have Team-BHP ! And you thought you are the only one ?

Nice to see both green and blue colours in the same frame. Thats the best way to view Ooty. Nice and crisp log there.
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Old 20th September 2013, 23:20   #7
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The weather there was awesome!

The blue sky gives a lot of structure to the images..last time I went to Ooty it was always cloudy. This time though got a brief window of sunshine in the morning so captured some images in the resort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
Nice travelogue. We went to Ooty in May this year and it was very crowded. Was it crowded at this time?
Ooty is particularly crowded during the summer season and during major holidays. September, I think is the best time to visit as the hotel rates are low and there is less crowd. However, I didn't go to the regular tourist places like Shooting Point, Rose garden , Lambs rock etc...so cannot comment on the actual nature of crowd in Ooty!. I actually had planned to go to the avalanchi lake and the other lakes around it...but was short on time so am planning a revisit in November.

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Last edited by Eddy : 20th September 2013 at 23:59. Reason: Note inline.
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Old 21st September 2013, 08:41   #8
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

If your first travelogue is so good, then I can only imagine what it would be like when you have fully improved. Just kidding, you write well and most importantly, write keeping us folks in mind, giving us all the information we might need to follow in your footsteps!

Awesome, sewing Robert Frost into the travelogue - "The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep"

I think the best way to Ooty is going up through Gudalur and coming down through Masinagudi, that way, you won't get your vehicle to break a sweat climbing up the hairpin bends
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Old 21st September 2013, 15:09   #9
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Nice travelogue, it was interesting to read also since Coonoor is my favourite destination and never get bored of the place and the drive through 2 forests and the very cool fresh air of ooty/coonoor is enough reason to be there. The 36 hair pins is another thriller.

You had two close encounters with elephants on your journey to and fro as well. The Avalanche side is stunningly beautiful and sparse crowd, you would love them.

While coming down the 36 bends hope you were driving only in the lower gears and less stress on the brake pedals, its a very thrilling and equally dangerous for first timers. A friend of mine had driven down in his M 800 and was not aware of the braking, mid way through his brake pedal hit the floor, just managed to stop it and was stuck till help came from the next town, all the wheel disks were orange in color due to the heat. They had a narrow escape.

Nice write up and being your first, its even more good, cheers keep driving/ writing.
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Old 21st September 2013, 16:45   #10
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Default re: From Bangalore to Ooty!

Nice travelogue with beautiful pics to go with it, thanks for sharing ! Was there last in March and the weather then was quite hot during the days although there used to be a nip in the air and it would start cooling down by around 4pm. Was it cold now and did you hit any rains there ?
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Old 21st September 2013, 18:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majumon View Post
While coming down the 36 bends hope you were driving only in the lower gears and less stress on the brake pedals, its a very thrilling and equally dangerous for first timers. A friend of mine had driven down in his M 800 and was not aware of the braking, mid way through his brake pedal hit the floor, just managed to stop it and was stuck till help came from the next town, all the wheel disks were orange in color due to the heat. They had a narrow escape.
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.
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Old 21st September 2013, 18:53   #12
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@ivento, the 36 hairpin bends are not that difficult if you've done nandi hills with ease, the only concern is that the road here is very narrow & sometimes 2 vehicles may not be able to pass each other on the bends forcing you to reverse, which can be daunting task, owing to the lack of a parapet wall to keep you safe.
I always take this route & never had any issue till now. I'd say go for it.
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Old 21st September 2013, 19:23   #13
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Nice write up! And thanks for sharing, was planning a trip next month. This came just in time.

Still remember the first time I did the way down on a maruti 800, I got the same advise from locals to not go that path, but that part was the most fun to drive in the whole trip.
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Old 21st September 2013, 20:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raihan View Post
I always take this route & never had any issue till now. I'd say go for it.
@raihan, thanks for the info.

Yes, I did not have any issues driving up or down Nandi Hills. Infact that was my first ghat experience and I have managed it quite well.

Your advice give me enough confidence to take the hairpin route. Thanks.
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Old 21st September 2013, 21:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iVento View Post
@raihan, thanks for the info. Yes, I did not have any issues driving up or down Nandi Hills. Infact that was my first ghat experience and I have managed it quite well. Your advice give me enough confidence to take the hairpin route. Thanks.
Dear iVento

Climbing up this sigur ghat will not be as difficult as coming down this section. You should only be careful about the speed as you will be required to maintain it at second gear while keeping a tab on braking. Sometimes brakes fail or vehicles break down. But a careful driving will take you through the section without much of an ado. And try to do it during day time as this route is infested with elephants. I have done this route numerous times in my Alto and found to be an eerie experience. All the best.
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