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Old 7th October 2013, 19:50   #1
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Default Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

This is my first travelogue and I request to all to oversee the mistakes and guide me through for a better one next time.
It all began after my marriage during 1999, the desire to go to Ooty, the queen of hills. Somehow I missed the opportunities and always ended up with family matters. 2001 saw me get transferred to Jaipur and Ooty became an altogether a mission impossible, a distant dream. The free time saw me come down to Bangalore, Udupi/ Kumdapura/ Bhatkal and go back. A couple of years back I had an opportunity to come back to Bangalore and I grabbed it with open arms.
Since then I have been talking to my family to go to this place. Finally it all began to fall in place during the last week of August and through the HVK forum, I managed to book the rooms.
The ride started on 01/10/2013 at 0500hrs from my place. I will let the pics do the talking and stop this boring bak bak.

Start your engines and get set go.....
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Ooh aah ouch, the numerous humps of various standards on the Bangalore - Mysore stretch
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From Channapatana, we had this Airawata for company while all of my family slept like babies
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Breakfast was supposed to be quick but took an hour due to the lone waiter at Kamat Madhuvan in Mysore
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Then we managed to hit the road and crossed Mysore airport
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and the rickety railbus at the Saraswathipuram station
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Finally Bandipur arrived at 10:40
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On the way, we saw few deers
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And the Madhumalai beckoned us next
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This lone tusker had wandered close to road.
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Then the ride uphill started
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And then the heavens opened up
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Finally made to the Ooty at 12:30 and were greeted by this feathered fowl
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Had a fine lunch at Nahar, Chandan restaurant.
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The interiors
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After a hearty lunch, visited the famed Botanical garden.
The entrance
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And it was flowers all the way
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Due to the max limit of 30 photos, this post is halted, Will be continued in the next post
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Old 7th October 2013, 20:02   #2
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Default re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

And more flora and fauna flowed
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Bid farewell to the Botanical garden and with few inquiries with locals, set off for the Dodda betta.
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The view point with the telescope, however a permanent board has been put up saying the window is closed due to bad weather conditions
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The views
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While coming back found the cottage room booked were on the opposite side of the Ooty and was near from the Dodda Betta side. So cut short our visit and vroomed off towards Kothagiri for the much needed rest.
Saw this beautiful temple on the way back
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A teaser of the cottage where we stayed. The second days itenary will follow soon from the next post.
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Last edited by unk9ja : 7th October 2013 at 20:14. Reason: Adding more pics
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Old 8th October 2013, 10:11   #3
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Default re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Nice pictures. Does the entry to Bandipur and Mudumalai accompany with any fees? Are we allowed to get down from our vehicles once inside?
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Old 8th October 2013, 14:23   #4
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Wow it took you 14 years to realise the Ooty dream, you must have felt really thrilled then. The pictures of flowers are wonderful. Did you go in a Baleno, a picture of your car is missing in the travelogue.
Can you share the details of the cottage that you stayed please and the food options if any there.
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Old 8th October 2013, 16:33   #5
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Congratulations on realising your dream and also putting up your first TL!

I am planning a Bangalore-Ooty trip in Oct end. It would be great if you could recommend good places to eat on the way. Recommendations for breakfast as well as lunch. The place should have good veg options.

Thank you so much!

Keep revvin!
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Old 8th October 2013, 19:34   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Nice pictures. Does the entry to Bandipur and Mudumalai accompany with any fees? Are we allowed to get down from our vehicles once inside?
Joe, No fees to enter both the places, but if they find you suspicious, the guards at the gate will ask you a few questions and will open you boot and check.
Getting down is strict no-no in these areas. The patrolling team, will ask you to pack if they find you stopped in the reserve forest. There are regular patrols in both the areas. After these areas, you can stop wherever and get to take snaps or rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majumon View Post
Wow it took you 14 years to realise the Ooty dream, you must have felt really thrilled then. The pictures of flowers are wonderful. Did you go in a Baleno, a picture of your car is missing in the travelogue.
Can you share the details of the cottage that you stayed please and the food options if any there.
Hi Majumon, I booked the cottage through HVK forum Central hotel desk. The stay was about 20kms away from Ooty towards Mettupalyam. The link to the stay is here http://www.peakviewcottage.com/. We stayed in the Deluxe rooms. The food options are limited but great. Both Veg and Non veg are available. But prior information needs to be given for lunch/ dinner to allow them time to prepare. The drive to this place is great with curves all along and a stunning view.

Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2013 at 18:46. Reason: Posts merged. Please use QUOTE+ or "" (MULTI-QUOTE) when quoting multiple posts. Thanks!
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Old 8th October 2013, 22:20   #7
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

What is the possibility of spotting a Tiger in one of those areas?
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Old 9th October 2013, 10:08   #8
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
What is the possibility of spotting a Tiger in one of those areas?
Tiger spotting is purely a matter of luck. 99% of the time NO but guys have seen tigers crossing the bandipur highway without making any effort too. Probability is high in places like parambikulam sanctuary in specific places like kannemara teak route, etc, again it is luck. Don't have high hopes but visit forest just to enjoy the nature and tiger spotting is just a bonus

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Nice pictures. Does the entry to Bandipur and Mudumalai accompany with any fees? Are we allowed to get down from our vehicles once inside?
NOPE. No entry fee both at Bandipur and Mudumalai. However, GUESTS (I stress because we are guests in the forest area which belongs to animals) are not allowed to disembark from their vehicles while crossing these stretches. The only places where we can get down from our vehicles is at Bandipur forest office and Theppakadu forest office.
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Old 9th October 2013, 10:39   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokrish View Post
The only places where we can get down from our vehicles is at Bandipur forest office and Theppakadu forest office.
If that is the case, are two wheelers allowed to drive inside the forest reserve? They stand a greater risk of an attack should there be a Tiger around.
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:56   #10
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
If that is the case, are two wheelers allowed to drive inside the forest reserve? They stand a greater risk of an attack should there be a Tiger around.
The chances of seeing a tiger are next to nothing let alone being attacked by one. Elephants would be the dangerous ones for 2 wheelers and one needs abundant caution inside the forest if on a two wheeler.
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Old 9th October 2013, 12:10   #11
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Default Re: Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty

Congrats on living your dream bud. Can feel how super excited you must have felt when starting your engines. Great photos, but missing you and your ride. Waiting for the next set, eagerly.
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Old 9th October 2013, 18:33   #12
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Well the second day went through this way.
Had Madurai mallige idly at the cottage and left for seeing the rest of Ooty at 09:00.
The first stop was at the Tea Factory and Museum
Entrance is 5INR and 20INR for the camera
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The visitors are made to go through the tea making process along a small corridor overlooking the factory below.
Tea leaves being fed into the conveyor
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The leaves fall from a long Queen of the hills beckons - Ooty-img_1409.jpgpipe to the next process below from the first floor
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The leaves are then cut out in fine form
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And goes through heating process on a long belt conveyor
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And then the shape and density is moulded in a machine called Goggy
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The powder which comes out of the Goggy is laid on the fermenting floor. The tea powder assumes the colour and the smell at this point.
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The tea powder is then dried completely and packed.
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Some of the tea packed are sold at a counter in the tea factory itself.
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View of Ooty from the trea factory
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And then off we went to the Rose garden
Entrance is 30INR and 50INR for the camera. Parking charges is 40INR and has to be paid at the same counter
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Max limit of 30 photos reached, will continue in the second post
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Old 9th October 2013, 19:17   #13
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The saga continues
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After this, trying to find the boat house, we ventured onto a wrong road and ended up near the deer park
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Old 10th October 2013, 18:25   #14
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From the deer park, the path led us to the boat house, 2nd gate which was surprisingly vacant. We boarded a boat that took us round about 20 minutes ride and bought us back. Can take a choice between the 8 seater and 6 seater, Works put roughly 50INR/ head

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The path then led us to the Wax museum near the Gate 1 Boat house.
Entrance is 5INR and 10 INR for the camera. Parking 50INR
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Time for lunch and we hit the Nahar for a South Indian thali this time. After this a bit of shopping for famous Ooty Varkey, biscuits and Chocolates around the Charring cross. There was still some time left for the day and we decided to hit the Pykara falls. On the way, we stopped by a big mountain where a crowd was going up/ down. We entered paying 5INR only to return disappointed. This is the shooting spot and except for a couple of views, nothing to write about. This is about 7km before Pykara falls.
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Old 11th October 2013, 18:05   #15
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Back from Pykara, we hit the road to the cottage, had sumptuous dinner and hit the bed.
Day three began with crispy dosas with coco chutney, red chutney and a filter coffee. Left the cottage at 08:30 to Avalanchi. The drive was through some scenic routes in Ooty. The roads are quite decent except for a nasty hump in Emerald. The bottom scraped both ways even though I tried the 30 deg and 45 deg ride over it as told by some Gurus in this forum. Add to it, it was made of concrete.

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Reached the gates of the Eco biosphere where a sentry writes down your details in a log. Entry charge at this point is 30INR.
We were second in line when we reached Avalanchi ride. The entry is 150INR for the bus ride and 1200INR for max 8 persons on the jeep. Camera costs another 20INR.
The bus rumbled through very bad roads and made it to the backwaters of Bhawani sagar.
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The bus stopped at a waterfall for about 15 mins and then near the Bhavani temple for another photoshoot.
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