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Old 14th December 2013, 12:49   #1
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Default Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

End November 2013 trip from Mumbai to Mysore (1050 km door to door) via Hiriyur and the next morning from Mysore to Coonoor taking the scenic 36-bend route to Ooty. I did take help from this forum about alternate routes and this travelogue is a way of sharing back some experiences and hopefully being of similar help to others. This is a really enjoyable, long drive - especially the Karnataka bit.

5:13 am [0 km]
Left Mumbai with my son Tejas early as advised in the forums at team-bhp. It sure made a difference. All city roads from Wadala through Chembur and Navi Mumbai were deserted. Reaching the Pune end of the Expressway was a breeze.
7:00 am [125 km]
Reached McDonald’s on the Expressway almost at the end of it. It is open 24 hours and at that time, nearly empty. Had McMuffin with Egg and also packed a couple more for the road. Left by 7:20 am.
9:30 am [250 km]
First change-over of driver after passing Anewadi toll booth just before Satara. Tejas took over from me. He would take us to Belgaum, which is roughly 500 km from home.

11:10 [380 km]
Passing Kohlapur without stopping
12:45 pm [510 km]
Reached Belgaum and changed drivers. Me at the wheel. This is roughly the half way point we were looking forward to as our first landmark. I expected to be here by 1 pm, even though Tejas thought 2 pm might itself be too early. We are making good time. Stopped and had lunch in the car itself - the extra food from McDonald’s, Pune.
3:20 pm [730 km]
Passing Davangere - excellent road in this stretch. We’ve made 220 km in two and a half hours. Tejas went to sleep.
4:00 pm [791 km]
Chitradurga passed and we changed drivers once again. Making good time - 60 km in the last 40 minutes.
4:35 pm [833 km]
Went off NH4 for the first time from Mumbai on, at Hiriyur. This is where we planned to turn South to make the trip to Mysore on state roads.
9:20 pm [1050 km]
The first and major leg of the journey is completed at JP Palace Hotel, Mysore. Over 1000 km in a day sure feels good. Hardly any risks taken, thanks to the overall smooth roads. Great day, great drive.
Note on Day One
The Hiriyur approach to Mysore is not a nice one. Perhaps of the fading light, we couldn’t see most speed breakers in time to slow down comfortably. Not much traffic and the roads are overall good, but speed breakers ARE an issue. We will return via the NICE road. Decision taken, we grab some food and fall asleep instantly.

DAY TWO

7:30 am [0 km]
Left for Coonoor via the Nanjangud-Gundlupet-Bandipur-Mudumalai-Ooty route. Scenic, to say the least. Caught the NH212 heading South. At Gundlupet, we moved over to NH67 which is the Ooty-Coimbatore highway. This passed through the Bandipur reserve forest and we saw a herd of deer almost right away within a few feet of the car. They posed for us and didn’t scamper away. Macaques were also in plenty. Hoped for elephants and tigers, but no, that didn’t happen.
9.30 am [92 km]
Passed the neighbouring Mudumalai forest reserve. Basically, you passed one arch that said thanks from Bandipur and within a few metres, you passed another that said welcome to Mudumalai. Bye, Karnataka. Hello, Tamil Nadu.
10:30 am [128 km]
Reached Ooty, after an enjoyable 36-hairpin bend drive up. The drive from Mudumalai to the bottom of the climb to Ooty is terrible, though. Narrow, potholed and cracked. Think it’s a 20 km stretch but could be more.
11:00 am [146 km]
Reached Coonoor to meet some friends at 11 am as planned, bang on time. To be that precise after a 1,100 km ride can be very satisfying.

Note on Day Two
Once you are on the highway heading South out of Mysore, it should be easy. The only major decision point is at a place called Theppakadu, after passing the two forest reserves. Turn right here to follow the regular route via Gudalur to Ooty (slightly longer but better roads). Or turn left towards Kalhatty, like we did, and take the road (terrible) towards the 36-bend way up. The climb up in itself is fantastic.
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Old 14th December 2013, 14:04   #2
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Default re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Some photos of the Pune-Belgaum stretch...
Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-satarakohlapur2.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-satarakohlapur6.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-satarakohlapur7.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-kohlapurbelgaum7.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-kohlapurbelgaum8.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-kohlapurbelgaum9.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-kohlapurbelgaum10.jpg  

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Old 14th December 2013, 16:34   #3
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Slow lorries overtaking even slower lorries in the fast lane are a constant feature
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-belgaumdavangere6.jpg

Adults in front, children at the back
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-belgaumdavangere2.jpg

Stopping for tea on the state highway at Hiriyur
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-hiriyurmysore2.jpg


A little over 200 km of state highway to reach Mysore
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-hiriyurmysore6.jpg


Light is dropping fast, so is the speed thanks to the ‘invisible’ speed breakers
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-hiriyurmysore8.jpg

Last edited by bblost : 14th December 2013 at 23:46.
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Old 16th December 2013, 18:32   #4
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

More photos… this time of the Mysore-Ooty leg

State highway 212 out of Mysore



Just off the highway as we entered Bandipur… what a surprise this was



Curious and alert they were for sure, but hardly scared



A macaque ponders life



The 36-hairpin route to Ooty



Scenic and lovely, this was a joyous drive

Attached Thumbnails
Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty3.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty4.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty6.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty9.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty13.jpg  

Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor-mysoreooty15.jpg  

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Old 17th December 2013, 18:11   #5
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Boss

Those are amazing road pictures. Pictures of never-ending roads with the sky and clouds in the background on a sunny day... what else can you ask for? Good travelogue.

Subs
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Old 17th December 2013, 20:14   #6
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Thanks Subs. At a personal level, this was my very first road trip over such a long distance (anything over 500 km one way). It was an exhilarating experience and most of the time I found myself thinking just what you've indicated so well - man, what blue skies and endless roads!

I've been reading up people's escapades here with sudden interest and alertness. The bug has bitten me now. I realise there are seriously crazy people here and I'm happy to join you all.
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Old 18th December 2013, 11:45   #7
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

I will be going to Mysore from Pune next week. Do you reckon it will be better to opt for NICE Road rather than Hiriyur exit?
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Old 18th December 2013, 12:04   #8
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Yes most certainly, rahul. When you start from the mumbai/pune side of things we reach the hiriyur-mysore road towards the end of day and rapidly fading light. There are quite a few 'invisible' speed breakers along that road which to the first time traveller are not easy to spot and therefore you end up being generally watchful and on edge. The road by itself is otherwise fine.

The NICE road exit onto the Bangalore-Mysore highway (skirting Bangalore completely) is the option we took on the way back and we made it to Hiriyur in a little less time than before even though we added an extra 50-60 km to the trip. Not to mention the comfort of the drive as well.

Short answer from my point of view: take the NICE road exit.
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Old 18th December 2013, 12:09   #9
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

It is better to take the NICE road rather than the Hiriyur exit. The distance maybe a bit longer but you will be able to cover distances faster and maintain a good speed. The Hiriyur road passes through some villages too if not mistaken and that really consumes a lot of time
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Old 19th December 2013, 20:30   #10
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Thanks For this wonderful travelogue.. I plan a trip in March next year.. Will take the liberty of troubling you for information.

Thanks again..

Regards
Shashi

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayankumar View Post
End November 2013 trip from Mumbai to Mysore (1050 km door to door) via Hiriyur and the next morning from Mysore to Coonoor taking the scenic 36-bend route to Ooty.
===============
Or turn left towards Kalhatty, like we did, and take the road (terrible) towards the 36-bend way up. The climb up in itself is fantastic.
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Old 21st December 2013, 13:24   #11
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Guys,

I am planning a Mumbai - Coonoor Trip in March 2014. Need help and info on the following

a) Plan Mumbai - Hubli as first day trip
b) hubli - Mysore - 2nd day
c) Mysore - Coonoor after spening a few days at Mysore sightseeing..

Need your suggestion on .. Is this ok or should we try to do Mumbai - Bangalore ?

Route conditions and Toll charges applicable on the route

Hotels to stay en-route from Hubli to Bangalore if we do Mumbai - Bangalore

I dont plan driving for more than 13 hours a day with planned breaks.. total of 2 hours.

Looking forward to suggestions..

Thanks!

Regards

Shashi
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Old 21st December 2013, 15:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashi63 View Post
Guys, I am planning a Mumbai - Coonoor Trip in March 2014. Need help and info on the following a) Plan Mumbai - Hubli as first day trip b) hubli - Mysore - 2nd day c) Mysore - Coonoor after spening a few days at Mysore sightseeing.. Need your suggestion on .. Is this ok or should we try to do Mumbai - Bangalore ? Route conditions and Toll charges applicable on the route Hotels to stay en-route from Hubli to Bangalore if we do Mumbai - Bangalore I dont plan driving for more than 13 hours a day with planned breaks.. total of 2 hours. Looking forward to suggestions.. Thanks! Regards Shashi
Unless you have an agenda at Bangalore, it should be better to do Mumbai - Mysore. I have travelled several years ago on Hubli - Mysore route but not aware of recent conditions.
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Old 21st December 2013, 19:21   #13
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Default Re: Mumbai -> Mysore -> Coonoor

Mumbai to Chitradurga may be a better bet if you intend driving for 12-13 hours. Hubli-Dharwad comes much before that. There is an earlier thread where someone talks of staying options in Chitradurga. As mvp says, there is also no real need to get in and get out of Bangalore, adding to traffic misery. The NICE road is handy for reaching B'lore outskirts and getting onto to the Mysore highway as has often been suggested here.

Tolls, one-way, up to Coonoor came to somewhere between 1000 and 1100 rupees - going by some stubs stashed and some memory.

On the Mysore-Coonoor bit, there are really only 2 options and that too after Theppakadu. Most people (unlike me) take the well worn national highway to the right through Gudalur. It is longer but, I believe, otherwise a 'normal' climb to Ooty. The left path (taken by me) is terrible for about 20 km or so but the 36-bend climb that follows is, in my opinion, worth it and spectacular. Many people take this path, I'm told, on their way back from Ooty because the climb up can be wearisome on the clutch.

Have a great journey!
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Old 21st December 2013, 19:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashi63 View Post
Guys, I am planning a Mumbai - Coonoor Trip in March 2014. Need help and info on the following a) Plan Mumbai - Hubli as first day trip b) hubli - Mysore - 2nd day c) Mysore - Coonoor after spening a few days at Mysore sightseeing.. Need your suggestion on .. Is this ok or should we try to do Mumbai - Bangalore ? Route conditions and Toll charges applicable on the route Hotels to stay en-route from Hubli to Bangalore if we do Mumbai - Bangalore I dont plan driving for more than 13 hours a day with planned breaks.. total of 2 hours. Looking forward to suggestions.. Thanks! Regards Shashi
You leave NH4 at Hiriyur and head straight to Mysore via Srirangapatna.Roads are very good.

Hubli-Mysore can easily be done in a day.

Going via Blore is going to be very tedious and time consuming and not to mention the horrible traffic on Blr-mysore road.
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