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Old 3rd January 2014, 13:55   #1
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Default Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

This is a short photoblog of our visit to Kodaikanal duing the Christmas & New Year of 2013. As is customary with us, we have been vacationing during this period for several years now and my personal preference is always the mountains during peak winter season to enjoy the nip in air, brilliant mountain views and overall great feeling of being in the outdoors

I do not mind confessing that Iam a bit addicted to the mountains in the north and usually land up in Himachal or Uttarakhand each winter which serves as dual purpose of meeting family up north, as well as a short respite from work.

However, this year was bit different and we decided to holiday in south or west. Initially we were dabbling between Lonavala/Mahabaleshwar and my cousin was also supposed to join but, due to his work related situation, he couldnt join and we decided on Kodaikanal ( Hereafter referred to as "Kodai") in Tamil Nadu would be an apt destination as we have never been to this supposedly calm, serene and beautiful hill station.

Our decision got firmed up only on Dec 23rd and we decided to drive-out on Christmas morning towards Kodaikanal. I was bit apprehensive of getting accomodation but, somehow luck favoured and booked a hotel in haste which turned out to be one of our best experience (as you will see from the pictures in subsequent posts) and perfect setting for a laid back and chilled out holiday

Route Map of our Drive

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-kodairoute-map.jpg

Weapon used on the highway

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8288.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2014, 14:04   #2
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

As we had a distance of 1065kms to cover which seemed a bit daunting as i have never driven so many kms in one-shot. But, i was looking forward to it as I always beileve in doing things for the first time and we planned to head out by 4:00am which as we all know is good to plan but, in reality it hardly ever happens. We finally headed out at 5:00am

We drove through the dark and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise enroute and stopped on wayside for breakfast at about 8:30am and then drove on till we reached outskirts of Bangalore (Devenahalli) at about 10:00am and bypassed it towards Hosur and get back on to NH7 that takes us closer towards Kodai.

During the only bad phase of this entire drive, D-Bhpian, Ampere was of immense help and he was continously in touch with me through calls/texts to guide me till I actually reached Kodai. These kind of gestures further establishes the brotherhood of this fantastic forum, dont you agree??

After crossing Krishnagiri Toll (which had a 1km line of cars which gave us an impression that entire Bangalore is heading out on vacation), we drove through one of the most amazing highway in our country with beautiful curvy roads lined with moutainous terrain and really broad roads that made the entire drive a pleasure to say the least.

We stopped at Salem at 3:00pm to have our lunch which similar to breakfast was home-cooked and after this 45 minutes of much-needed break, we headed towards Dindigul which was 160kms away from Salem and finally reached around 5pm and searched for the exit towards Kodai which was further up after crossing theni then 50+kms of ghat section which is a really narrow stretch of road ( uneven at many places) with oncoming traffic and was bit of a nightmare to cover this distance at night with plenty of oncoming traffic barring down on us and sometimes these huge buses made us cower in the corner due to lack of space.

We finally reached the top at 7:00pm after a short 5-mins break to calm my tingling left leg which i think was suffering from "Long Haul Clutch Syndrome"

Adding to this misery, we spent a further 45 agonizing minutes trying to locate our hotel as the staff their couldnt speak any other language but, Tamil. I can understand the language a bit but, far from communicating back in same language. Finally, located the hotel, some 6kms away from the main town & lake. It was almost like a feeling of "Eureka"

Some figures of this epic drive ( epic for me as I have never done a single drive this far). Highest drive in a day in Cruze was Jaisalmer to Delhi which is wee bit higher than 900kms but, had company for driving

Route Taken : Hyderabad-Bangalore (Devenahalli Bypass)-Sarjapur-Belandur-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Salem-Dindigul-Batlagundu-Kodaikanal (1065 Kms)


Due to the glorious roads, we are able to reach Kodaikanal from Hyderabad in a span of 14 hours after taking sufficient breaks and rest.

Here are some pictures from the road taken with my P&S with some wrong settings that images have come out small with lesser pixel density.
Attached Images
          

Last edited by mobike008 : 6th January 2014 at 20:39.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 17:36   #3
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

In the night, we could barely figure out where we were staying except that we understood its an old property and has lovely contemprary interiors. Rooms were pretty large and also had a sitting area outside

Dinner used to close at daily 9:30pm at night and the service was so outstandingly impeccable that the waiters would come over to the cottage and remind us atleast thrice that the buffet is closing as we cuddle up in the warmth (actually there was none due to asbestos sheets for roof) of the room.

Some views of the property first thing in the morning. Will share lot more pictures of the property as we basically spent majority of the time here of the 4 nights we spent in Kodai and were languishing in their big area and playing indoor games etc.
Attached Thumbnails
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Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8296.jpg  

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8297.jpg  

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Old 3rd January 2014, 17:38   #4
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Thread Moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues Section. Hope you like the pictures
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Old 3rd January 2014, 17:55   #5
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Wow avi, need I say more.
The pictures are fantastic.
Which resort was this?
Where are the pictures of clouds?
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Old 3rd January 2014, 18:22   #6
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Nice pictures and good start, @mobike008. Do keep posting. We'd like to know the cost of the accommodation and exact location.

By the way, I don't think you need to cross Theni to go to Kodai. AFAIK, after crossing Dindigul, one needs to turn right at Batlakundu.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 21:11   #7
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

we headed towards Dindigul which was 160kms away from Salem and finally reached around 5pm and searched for the exit towards Kodai which was further up after crossing theni then 50+kms of ghat section......

Route Taken : Hyderabad-Bangalore (Devenahalli Bypass)-Sarjapur-Belandur-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Kodaikanal (1065 Kms)



Yes, vnabhi is right. Theni is not on this route. The route should have been Dindugul - Batlagundu - then turn right towards Kodai.

Nice drive... 1065 kms in 12 hours.

What is the name of this property? which area ?

Last edited by Ddrive : 3rd January 2014 at 21:13.
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Old 4th January 2014, 00:01   #8
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecosport rules View Post
Which resort was this?
Let me guess, Holiday Home

Last edited by Technocrat : 4th January 2014 at 05:04. Reason: fixed quotes + no dotty posts please
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Old 4th January 2014, 09:47   #9
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Default re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecosport rules View Post
Which resort was this?Where are the pictures of clouds?
Coming up in next set of posts Kumar, keep checking back

This place is known as :-

Holiday Home, it's about 6kms away and is close to a famous sight seeing place called " Suicide Point"

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
By the way, I don't think you need to cross Theni to go to Kodai. AFAIK, after crossing Dindigul, one needs to turn right at Batlakundu.
Thanks Venu Sir, Your right, I didnt go through Theni, it's just that saw sign boards so many times, the name kind of stuck on to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
What is the name of this property? which area ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSUDARSANAN View Post
Let me guess, Holiday Home
Sudarshan Sirji has already answered this query. Indeed its Holiday Home and iam given to understand apparently after Carlton, this is the only biggest property in Kodaikanal and is spread across a few acres as you can see from the pictures and was actually an old military guest house owned by the government and is now leased out to a private party for 99 years

Therefore, the current owners arent supposed to modify any exteriors but, they have done so for the interiors which is rather contemprary

We booked this hotel on Dec 23rd and travelled on Dec 25th, so it was fluke that we got to stay in such a nice quaint property with impeccable service even if there was some language issues.

In continuation, here are some more pictures of "Holiday Home" Kodaikanal

Below are some pictures taken at night. The place looked almost surreal in that cold weather and looked picture post card


Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8403_01.jpg

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8406_01.jpg

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Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8419.jpg

We spent a lot of time playing Table Tennis and Carroms. Now I can boast of being an expert in both games
Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8420.jpg

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8421.jpg

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Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8455.jpg

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8455_01.jpg
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Old 4th January 2014, 18:01   #10
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Nice pictures and good start, @mobike008. Do keep posting. We'd like to know the cost of the accommodation and exact location.

By the way, I don't think you need to cross Theni to go to Kodai. AFAIK, after crossing Dindigul, one needs to turn right at Batlakundu.
I had asked Avi not to venture into Sarjapur town. But some how that part got missed out and he ended on NH7 at Attibele. Else had he taken the Bagalur road, he should have directly reached Hosur. The road to Batlagundu is better known as Theni road. So its easy to ask anyone for this road on the Dindigul bypass. Increasingly I know realize we need to carry at least 2 GPS devices out of which one is a phone based GPS with Google maps.

As far as his drive part goes, I don't have any words. Its surely not munching miles. It is really hogging miles ! A sure form of gluttony !
The place looks awesome Avi.

Last edited by ampere : 4th January 2014 at 18:06.
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Old 4th January 2014, 20:05   #11
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Good start to the photo-blog Avi! I am impressed by the commitment you have that come what may, you will take an yearly off, every Christmas! Sigh - I could get to do that even once!
No wonder, with that 'weapon' of yours, you were able to much miles with aplomb! Do post the rest of the pics too!!
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Old 5th January 2014, 09:36   #12
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I had asked Avi not to venture into Sarjapur town. But some how that part got missed out and he ended on NH7 at Attibele. As far as his drive part goes, I don't have any words. Its surely not munching miles. It is really hogging miles ! A sure form of gluttony !
The place looks awesome Avi.
Yeah, When Iam driving I see only the horizon and unlike you highways lovers, I seem to ignore and drive past signboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by PVS View Post
Good start to the photo-blog Avi! I am impressed by the commitment you have that come what may, you will take an yearly off, No wonder, with that 'weapon' of yours, you were able to much miles with aplomb!
Thanks PVS. I somehow seemed to have named my car White Annhilator innocently and it's just lived up to its name in the long run. What can I say, except that "Iam Glad" !!!

Next day, we hired a lovely guide by the name of "Arun" who spoke good english and very good hindi which seemed like a boon. He hopped into our car and off we went to all the typical sight seeing points

We visited a place called "Mohariar View" thats what i understood from his explanation, could be wrong. We go on to of a viewing tower and from there we looked down to an unbeilevable sight

Clouds right outside the ridge where we were standing and it was an awesome feeling and something I have seen only when flying. We seemed so close, we could have reached out and touched them ( Hence, the title of this photoblog)

We were appraised by Arun that this is a rare phenomena and happens once a month kind of timeframe. Iam not sure if he was selling me stories or it was true. Regular Kodai visitors perhaps can confirm this statement.

From the Mohariar view, we moved to another sight seeing point which was closer and kind of extension as these clouds now were nestled with huge gigantic rocks known as " Pillar Rocks". Apparently, one is a single rock and stands a few hundred meters tall and only single rock above 7000 feet sea-level (something of that sort)

We spent a long time here and had to be practically dragged away from this spot
Attached Thumbnails
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Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-_dsc8356.jpg  

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Old 5th January 2014, 20:09   #13
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Fantastic pics of the clouds. Post some more pics of the weapon taken at scenic locations.
12Hrs is fantastic. Were you doing 120kmph + ?

I am wondering how long it would take to reach this place from Pune.
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Old 5th January 2014, 21:02   #14
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Very good pictures . I envy your ride; I had driven the petrol Cruze a lot while I was in US (Very common as the standard rental car), and I love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
We finally headed out at 5:00am
We drove through the dark and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise enroute and stopped on wayside for breakfast at about 8:30am and then drove on till we reached outskirts of Bangalore (Devenahalli) at about 10:00am
Thats a very fast drive. Cruze is capable to do average 110 kmph+, but how safe was that to average such fast speeds in NH7?
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Old 5th January 2014, 22:27   #15
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Default Re: Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length

Nice pictures of clouds near Pillar Rocks. When I went there in 1987 for my honeymoon, we were allowed to go real close to the valley below, but later they stopped access owing to many suicides. I think it is also called Suicide Point.

I remember then that if someone threw a hat into the valley, it would float back instead of falling down! Such was the updraft then!

By the way, did you spot this board at that spot? We saw it when we last visited in May 2011.

Kodaikanal, December 2013: A Trip to see the Clouds at arm's length-munnar-093.jpg
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