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Old 19th March 2014, 13:16   #1
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Default Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

Folks

Here is the Thekkady trip update.

Due to urgent work back home, I had to cut short my trip to 1 day. Instead of returning back on Sunday, had to come back on saturday itself. Nevertheless had a good time there even if it was for 1 day.
For the onward journey, i left my home in bangalore by 7 AM and took the following route

Via Hosur bye pass, Kelamangalam, Rayakottai, Palacode bye pass, Thoppur, Omalur, Sankagiri, Tiruchengode, Paramathi,Karur, Palayam, Dindigul, Vathlagundu, Theni and Cumbum

Very good roads throughout. For a change i took the road to Rayakottai via Kelamangalam. After crossing TVS factory, if you proceed further, you will reach the check post. From there, the left road takes you to Hosur town, right road takes you to Thally and the straight road leads to a 4 road junction. From this junction, the left road leads to Hosur Railway station, while the right road leads to Denkanikottai. Took the straight road which leads to Kelamangalam. Compared to the regular Hosur Rayakottai road, this route via Kelamangalam is not that good. Bridge work was going on at 2 places for which I had to take a slight detour.

Once you reach Rayakottai, I took the usual road to Palacode. This stretch between Rayakottai and Palacode is awesome. Superb roads all the way.

Likewise from Palacode bye pass to NH near Thoppur, the tarmac was simply great.

Filled petrol near Salem. Prior to this i filled petrol in Bangalore for 700 Rs the previous night. Once i reached Karur after proceeding from Salem, I took the Road to Palayam which leads to Dindigul. It is very easy to locate the road. When in Karur, ask the locals for the Karur Bus stand. From there, one has to take the road to Trichy. After covering a small distance, you reach a junction where one road leads to Trichy while the other road leads to Dindigul. I took this road via Palayam. Very good 2L roads all the way till Dindigul. Of course there are speed breakers when u pass by villages that will slow you down. Nevertheless good roads all the way.

Reached Dindigul by 1 PM for lunch. Road widening on the Dindigul Vathlagundu stretch has been mostly completed but for some sections. But there are no lane markings on the road. Keep this in mind especially if one wants to travel in the night.

Till we reach the start of the Kumily ghat road, very good roads all the way from Dindigul. Of course when you reach Theni, Periyakulam and Cumbum, the roads are rough inside these towns. I also spotted a number of wind mills near Theni.

Filled petrol in Theni too.
Here are the petrol prices as on 09.05.2013

Bangalore - 69.40 / L
Salem - 65.96 / L
Theni - 66.16 / L

Drive through the Kumily ghat road is great. Spotted a water fall near by but not sure of the name.
Reached the hotel in Kumily by 4: 30 PM . Total distance covered as per odo - 495 kms (9.5 hrs journey time with 1/2 hr lunch break at Dindigul)

Rayakottai - Palacode Road

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Palacode By pass road

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Karur - Palayam Road

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Dindigul - Bathlagundu Road

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Cumbum - Theni Road

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Kumily Ghat Road

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Now the details on the places i visited in Thekkady. To begin with i booked entry tickets for boating in periyar lake in the morning. This ticket is valid for the entire day. We decided to go for boating in the last batch (3:10 PM) as there was more scope for seeing the animals coming out to quench their thirst. After booking the tickets, we returned back to Kumily to fill petrol.
Kindly note that near the kumily bus stand , a HP bunk is there. One of the guides in periyar sanctuary said that adulteration was more in this bunk and cautioned me not to fill here. On the kumily-kottayam road we have a BP bunk. I filled petrol here.Price of petrol in Kumily (10.05.2013) = 65.74 / L

First we visited the spice plantations. Entry fee per head is Rs 100. The staff out there took us around the plantations and explained in depth about the various plants being grown there along with their importance.

1. Sarvasugandhi - Can be mixed in veg and non veg food
2. Brahmi - To be given for kids from 1-14 yrs of age for brain development
3. Shatavari - For ladies with harmone imbalance
4. Stawberry
5. Aswagandha - To improve immunity
6. Nutmeg plant
7. Alovera plant
8. Cocoa plant for making choclates
9. Njavara - For asthama and allergy related problems
10. Black pepper
11. Coffee plant
12. Orange tree
13. Insulin plant
14. Serpentine leaf - For skin related problems
15. cardamom
16. Sarvanaga oil - For Arthritis
17. Pomogranate plant
18. candy flower
19. Karpoora Valli - For gastric problems
20. Steevia leaf - Induce sweetness for diabetic patients. (something like sugar free).
We purchased some ayurvedic medicines out there. The staff also said that they have to renew their license for making ayurvedic medicines every year from the kerala govt.

From the spice plantations, we saw pattumala church (a famous one out there). The spice plantations is on the kumily kottayam road.

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We then came back to the town , took the kumily -munnar road to visit vandiperiyar and parunthupara view point. Lots of tea estates enroute.

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Finally we reached parunthapara view point. One of the rocks out here resembles the head of an eagle. Hence the name Parunthapara.

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Truly spectacular sight.we spent considerable time out there to enjoy nature's beauty.

From there we then proceeded back to Periyar tiger reserve to purchase tickets for boating. The entry ticket that i purchsed in the morning is valid for the entire day as mentioned before. Now the advantage is , i need not wait in the queue behind vehicles to get the entry ticket. i showed the security the entry tickets sitting in the car and went inside the tiger reserve.
For the 3:10 PM boating, one has to stand in the queue 1 hr before itself. For the upper deck in the boat , they charge Rs 150 while for the lower deck, they charge Rs 75. For kids upto 5 yrs age, no ticket is required.
After buying the boating tickets, went back to the hotel to have lunch and again came back at the right time in the periyar tiger reserve.
Duration of boating is roughly 1.5 hrs and it is truly spectacular sight to behold.

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The staff in the tiger reserve said that there are about 42 tigers and 30 leopards in the forest. During boating , we were able to see only sambhar deer, wild boar, and a lot of birds especially the snake bird. Unfortunately could not see any elephants though.
Boating in Periyar lake is worth the money we shell out. Remember this is a man made lake.
We then returned back to the comforts of the hotel room after boating to take a well dereved rest. had some plans for the next day like visiting kuttikanam view point, Pandikuzhi and chellarkovil falls but as said before had to come back to bangalore.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd March 2014 at 13:16. Reason: Moving to separate thread
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Old 20th March 2014, 19:01   #2
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Default re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

Thats one too many diversion for the alternate roads! And in spite of that you could still make it to Dindigul by 1PM despite starting at 7AM. (~400km of 2-lane roads). Nice. (Esp choosing the Palayam road to Dindigul!)

Also did you lose any time in Tiruchengode? There is no bypass for the town right?
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Old 20th March 2014, 21:52   #3
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Default re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Thats one too many diversion for the alternate roads! And in spite of that you could still make it to Dindigul by 1PM despite starting at 7AM. (~400km of 2-lane roads). Nice. (Esp choosing the Palayam road to Dindigul!)

Also did you lose any time in Tiruchengode? There is no bypass for the town right?
You are right ampere. One has to pass through Tiruchengode. If one is able to tackle bangalore traffic, traffic at the above mentioned town(s) is peanuts.

Actually i did not encounter any traffic there. Near Tharamangalam village there was some traffic. Of course one has to be careful while driving on these 2 lane roads. Speed will always be a limiting factor.
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Old 20th March 2014, 22:05   #4
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Default re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Actually i did not encounter any traffic there. Near Tharamangalam village there was some traffic. Of course one has to be careful while driving on these 2 lane roads. Speed will always be a limiting factor.
As long as these 2-lane roads don't have humps, its fine. Its these humps around villages that rob away the fun of these otherwise beautiful 2-lanes.
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Old 21st March 2014, 09:29   #5
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Default re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
Here is the thekkady trip update.
...
Here are the petrol prices as on 09.05.2013

Bangalore - 69.40 / L
Salem - 65.96 / L
Theni - 66.16 / L
Thanks for the detailed update with photos!
Seems like you had a good time taking so many deviations and alternate (scenic too) routes.

Petrol prices just less than a year ago seems so much more cheaper compared to current prices
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Old 21st March 2014, 10:35   #6
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Default re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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As long as these 2-lane roads don't have humps, its fine. Its these humps around villages that rob away the fun of these otherwise beautiful 2-lanes.
No Ampere, the humps around the villages are pretty small unlike the monstrous ones on bangalore mysore stretch. Of course on tirukkoilur by pass road, i encountered a fairly big speed breaker that took me by surprise.
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Old 22nd March 2014, 13:18   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

What a lovely post, thanks for sharing Suresh.

Deserves its own thread. Done & moved out.
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Old 28th March 2014, 12:41   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
No Ampere, the humps around the villages are pretty small unlike the monstrous ones on bangalore mysore stretch. Of course on tirukkoilur by pass road, i encountered a fairly big speed breaker that took me by surprise.
Hi Suresh, very nice TL, enjoyed reading it!

Am planning a roadtrip to Kerala in April and plan to stay in Thekkady, can you pls share the name of the hotel you stayed in Kumily and other accomodation recommendations, if any?

thanks
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Old 28th March 2014, 13:11   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Hi Suresh, very nice TL, enjoyed reading it!

Am planning a roadtrip to Kerala in April and plan to stay in Thekkady, can you pls share the name of the hotel you stayed in Kumily and other accomodation recommendations, if any?

thanks
Thanks for your feedback. I stayed in Hotel Kumily gate very close to TN KL border. Frankly speaking not a very good place to stay in the sense that i did not see any families out there. Rooms are clean no doubt. I would not recommend this hotel to you. Instead go for Hotel Ambadi. Reviews are good about this hotel.
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Old 29th March 2014, 12:12   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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... and other accomodation recommendations, if any?
A visit to Thekkady is incomplete without doing a boat ride in Periyar reservoir, and the big question is whether we will get tickets for the boat ride by standing in long queues. A stay with any of the KTDC lodges located inside the sanctuary will get you assured tickets for the boat rides, at the times we prefer.

Last time when we were in Thekkady we stayed at the KTDC-Periyar House, Tariff Rs.2300 approx for double occupancy rooms, inclusive of Breakfast and Dinner.

Last edited by Ddrive : 29th March 2014 at 12:14. Reason: addins
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Old 25th July 2015, 13:45   #11
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

We visited Thekkady in Jan, and stayed in The Lake Palace, which is in an island in the reservoir. It was the hunting lodge of the maharaja, cozy rooms and nice food. The view is very good, you could see animals from the room itself, these animals would come down to the banks of the opposite island to graze. The other advantage is that you can take any number of boat rides, you just need to tell the manager and he'd call and arrange the seats, that too at no cost. The room rate incl all meals for a couple was around Rs 10K per night. Good place to stay, private and quiet.
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Old 29th July 2015, 11:41   #12
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Originally Posted by Jungle Retreat View Post
We visited Thekkady in Jan, and stayed in The Lake Palace, which is in an island in the reservoir. It was the hunting lodge of the maharaja, cozy rooms and nice food. The view is very good, you could see animals from the room itself, these animals would come down to the banks of the opposite island to graze. The other advantage is that you can take any number of boat rides, you just need to tell the manager and he'd call and arrange the seats, that too at no cost. The room rate incl all meals for a couple was around Rs 10K per night. Good place to stay, private and quiet.
Have heard a lot about the Lake palace. At 10K it is rather expensive. What all are included in the package? Also, would be great if you can put up a travelogue

OT : Jungle Retreat - interesting handle!
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Old 6th August 2015, 11:11   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore to Thekkady - Many alternate roads, still good timing

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Originally Posted by suresh_gs View Post
Via Hosur bye pass, Kelamangalam, Rayakottai, Palacode bye pass, Thoppur, Omalur, Sankagiri, Tiruchengode, Paramathi,Karur, Palayam, Dindigul, Vathlagundu, Theni and Cumbum
@suresh_gs: Could you kindly give the google map view of the route you took to Thekkady? You completely avoided the Blr-Salem highway, right? I've been keen on trying an alternate good route and have heard about this. But not sure since I did not have a clear map available.

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Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
A visit to Thekkady is incomplete without doing a boat ride in Periyar reservoir, and the big question is whether we will get tickets for the boat ride by standing in long queues. A stay with any of the KTDC lodges located inside the sanctuary will get you assured tickets for the boat rides, at the times we prefer.

Last time when we were in Thekkady we stayed at the KTDC-Periyar House, Tariff Rs.2300 approx for double occupancy rooms, inclusive of Breakfast and Dinner.
@Ddrive: Well, Thekkady itself is all about the boating in Periyar reservoir and you are right - if we are staying in the KTDC properties inside the sanctuary, they get you tickets for boat ride at times we prefer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Hi Suresh, very nice TL, enjoyed reading it!

Am planning a roadtrip to Kerala in April and plan to stay in Thekkady, can you pls share the name of the hotel you stayed in Kumily and other accomodation recommendations, if any?

thanks
In my opinion, if you are visiting Thekkady you should be staying inside the Periyar sanctuary, which has just 3 stay options - all owned by State run KTDC, at 3 price points based on the proximity to the lake. They are Periyar House (Budget, just as you enter the sanctuary), Aranya Nivas (Premium, closer to lake but in mainland), Lake Palace (Luxury, in an island in the lake). All the properties are well maintained and service is also good I guess (though it's sate-run).

All other stay options/resorts are around the town, just like any other hill station in western ghats of Kerala.

In my opinion, only unique part in Thekkady is the boat ride in the reservoir where you can spot some wildlife, and may be a stay at Lake Palace (though little pricey comparatively, but should be worth it). All other stuff like plantation visit, estate tour etc. are just centered around this boat ride and reservoir.

Few other things that people could try are trekking, raft ride etc which are organised by the forest department. I had seen the notice at their office in 2012 (somebody can validate this?). It seems if there is a group, they will organise a night/day trek inside the forest, or bamboo rafting etc. with their armed guards. This should be interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jungle Retreat View Post
We visited Thekkady in Jan, and stayed in The Lake Palace, which is in an island in the reservoir. It was the hunting lodge of the maharaja, cozy rooms and nice food. The view is very good, you could see animals from the room itself, these animals would come down to the banks of the opposite island to graze. The other advantage is that you can take any number of boat rides, you just need to tell the manager and he'd call and arrange the seats, that too at no cost. The room rate incl all meals for a couple was around Rs 10K per night. Good place to stay, private and quiet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Have heard a lot about the Lake palace. At 10K it is rather expensive. What all are included in the package? Also, would be great if you can put up a travelogue

OT : Jungle Retreat - interesting handle!
@mallumowgli: Jungle Retreat is indeed interesting. Just search for Jungle Retreat in the forum (travelogues) and you could be surprised
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