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Old 10th September 2014, 15:56   #1
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Default Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

We did this trip in the last week of August 2014. The route taken was Blore -> Salem -> Dindigul -> Batlagundu -> Kodaikanal. The distance is around 450 KMs and we took close to 9 hours to cover it.

On the Kodaikanal ghat road, we stopped at the Dum Dum Rock viewpoint to look at the Thalaiyar Falls, also known as Rat Tail Falls. Manjalar Dam is also visible from this view point.


Thalaiyar/Rat Tail Falls

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A closer view of the falls

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Manjalar Dam

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We drove further to reach the Silver Cascade

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We proceeded to Kodaikanal and had lunch at The Hill Top. We then checked in at Pine Borough Inn. This property is around 5KMs from the Lake. Rooms were clean, staff - polite and food - tasty. It is built on multiple levels along the slope/terrain. The only problem we faced was the supply of hot water. The water never really got hot 'hot' and we always had to let go of the first couple of buckets of water.


As seen from a lower level


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After getting fresh we then went to see the Kodai Lake

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We hired a row-boat for 20 mins

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As seen from the boat
ride

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Old 10th September 2014, 18:17   #2
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Wow! Nice and to the point TL with some good pics to boot! I guess there are more pics as Kodai has lots of viewpoints on offer and am sure you have visited most of them if not all of them at least.
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Old 10th September 2014, 20:38   #3
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

After the boat ride, we came back to the hotel. The dinner buffet spread was not very elaborate but everything served tasted good unlike the artificial flavors we get elsewhere.

Next day morning, the windshield looked like this

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Few clicks in the property


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Today's plan was to visit the Berijam lake. Getting permission from the forest department was a simple affair. It involved filling up of a form and a verification of the original Id proof mentioned in the form. No agents/bribes. Even though I saw printouts pasted in the office mentioning that only a fixed number of vehicles would be allowed per day, I seriously doubt if it is religiously followed.

Berijam lake is around 25 KMs from the Kodai lake. The roads were patchy at few places but generally good. The width of the road was barely enough for two vehicles and I had to step out of the road a few times. There were two check-posts on this road where the pass was validated and I had to sign the register.


Berijam lake as seen from a view point

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Berijam lake


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Old 11th September 2014, 16:19   #4
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

We spent an hour at the lake and started back to the main road. We stopped at the designated view points en-route.


Silent Valley view point

The view point was foggy and the valley was not visible. We walked along the sloping trail and reached a point where only the poles meant for the fence remained. We could see that not many had gone across. The trail was soggy and I could hear the sound of water. The land narrowed on both sides and a small stream was flowing into the valley. The rock appeared slippery and the valley itself was not visible in the fog. We spent some time near the stream watching the water flow into the void with the sound of water hitting the rocks. Serene!


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Pine Forest

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Guna Caves

I have been to the caves in the past when it was open. I remember climbing down into the caves through narrow paths and looking up at the gaps between huge rocks. That was fun. Now, the entry is blocked and there is no point in stopping here. Avoidable!

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Old 11th September 2014, 17:43   #5
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Pillar Rocks


When we reached here, the pillars/boulders were covered in fog


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But, the decision to wait was aptly rewarded

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Bryant Park

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Bear Shola Falls

It is a small waterfall at a distance of 3 KMs from the Kodai lake. The approach road was narrow and there was no proper parking space available. I was lucky to find a vacant spot in front of a house on the road leading to the waterfall.


The trail to the waterfall


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After this, we returned back to the hotel, had dinner and called it a day.
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Old 12th September 2014, 10:37   #6
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Next day, after breakfast, we started off with the Upper Lake view.

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Beautiful lake and surroundings


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We then proceeded to the Dolphin's Nose. The distance from the Kodai lake is around 8 KMs. The road was patchy at many places and parking was on the side of the road. It was very foggy when we reached there. The trail starts with rocks & roots and is sloped downward all the way.

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Charming


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The trail got progressively better

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First view of the Dolphin's Nose


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It was very foggy


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This flat rock projects over a breathtaking chasm of 6,600 feet

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Parting shot

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We took around 45 minutes to get down and 30 to climb up. It was a workout but worth the effort!


On our way back we stopped to see the Pambar Falls

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We crossed the waterfall and walked the trail along the stream. The stream further breaks into a fall at a couple of places below.


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Old 12th September 2014, 11:02   #7
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Quote:
Originally Posted by lipaul View Post
We did this trip in the last week of August 2014. The route taken was Blore -> Salem -> Dindigul -> Batlagundu -> Kodaikanal. The distance is around 450 KMs and we took close to 9 hours to cover it.
Nice travelogue! Could you please let me know how long it took to cover Bangalore-Salem, and what time did you start? On my upcoming trip, I'm not sure if I need to break my journey due to our child accompanying us. Thanks!
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:16   #8
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Could you please let me know how long it took to cover Bangalore-Salem, and what time did you start? On my upcoming trip, I'm not sure if I need to break my journey due to our child accompanying us. Thanks!
How old is your child?

I did this trip last year in Aug during the Independence day long weekend with our 2 year old. We managed to do the whole leg without breaking the journey anywhere from Bangalore to Kodai in about 10 hours which included ample breaks for food and some stretch breaks. The roads are very good through out.
Bangalore - Salem took us close to 5.5 hours on that particular day since it was a long weekend and all tolls were log jammed with the holiday rush traffic. On normal weekends, a 5am start from Bangalore sees us reach Salem by about 8:30am with a break near Shoolagiri for breakfast which lasts about 45 minutes. If its a relaxed 6am or 7am start, you will be bogged down till Hosur with traffic and after that it should be smooth sailing. A 5am start should ideally ensure you reach Kodai by 3 or 3:30 with ample breaks. Hope this helps!

Last edited by abhinav.s : 12th September 2014 at 12:18.
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Old 12th September 2014, 12:37   #9
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Nice travelogue! Could you please let me know how long it took to cover Bangalore-Salem, and what time did you start? On my upcoming trip, I'm not sure if I need to break my journey due to our child accompanying us. Thanks!

Thanks PearlJam! I started by 4:15 AM from Bangalore and took around 3.5 hours to reach Salem. As abhinav.s has mentioned, I also lost time at the toll booths and a traffic hold up near Hosur. The roads were good all the way till Kodaikanal.
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Old 12th September 2014, 15:16   #10
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Next we drove to see the Fairy Falls

A temple near the waterfall

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Fairy Falls

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Old 12th September 2014, 16:05   #11
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Drive to Mannavanur

Mannavanur is a village around 35 KMs from the town. The roads are OK and at-least 50% of the stretch was patchy.

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Step-farming


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Winding roads


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We spotted a pair of Indian Gaur

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Picturesque


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First view of the Mannavanur Lake

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Trail to the lake


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Mannavanur Lake

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After viewing the lake, I drove further passing a village. As the roads got worse, we decided to turn back. A saw a signboard to Berijam lake. Not sure about the road conditions & permissions involved. But it looked exciting.

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Old 12th September 2014, 16:40   #12
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Wow. Nice to see you have covered so many places in one single trip, I believe there is more yet to come, keeps me waiting.
All the photographs are aptly framed and clear. Berijam & Mannavanur pictures brings back memories.

Last edited by Ddrive : 12th September 2014 at 16:43.
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Old 12th September 2014, 16:56   #13
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We spotted him on our way back


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We saw this view tower and initially, we were skeptical about even stepping on it. With the assurance of the guard present there, we decided to try it.

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The view from the 'tower'

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My tour companion


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We bought food from the town, came back to the hotel, had dinner and retired for the day.


The restaurant as seen from the balcony


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Old 12th September 2014, 18:16   #14
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Next day morning after breakfast, we checked out and left for Coaker's Walk


The view from the paved pathway


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St.Peter's church

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Luthern Church

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Some building at the same compound

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A goodbye drive around the lake

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After the drive around the Kodai lake, we started our return journey. We stopped at Shembaganur Museum and the Rat Tail falls before proceeding to Bangalore. We had lunch en-route and reached home by 10PM.
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Old 12th September 2014, 20:23   #15
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Default Re: Road Trip : Bangalore - Kodaikanal

Wow, @lipaul detailed, excellent travelogue and superb pictures. You've covered a lot of places! Thanks for sharing
Did you cover only Kodaikanal on this trip ?
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