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Old 12th November 2014, 12:07   #16
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

The return drive of the above trip from Kodaikanal to Chennai was pleasant and I do have some photos but not posting here .


An update:

The weeks that followed (mid October 2014) saw heavy rains battering almost all the ghat sections in this part of the western ghats resulting in many landslides and road blocks. There were landslides on the Bodi-Bodimettu sector, and another one on the Lowercamp-Thekkady sector. The Vathalakundu-Kodaikanal sector also got badly damaged due to landslides and regular traffic was stopped for a few days.

We went to Kodaikanal once again during 7th-9th November (last week-end) and we noticed landslides in 6 or 7 places, all looking very bad.

Here are some pictures we clicked on 9.11.2014

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-b.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-c.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-d.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-e.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-f.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-g.jpg


Route update:

All the landslides are cleared off to the maximum and regular traffic is plying up the Vathalakundu-Kodaikanal route. No problems.

As on 9th Nov the day we drove back, only Cars and Bikes were allowed to go down through this route beyond Pannaikadu-deviation point. All buses and other heavy vehicles were getting diverted through the Pannaikadu-Thandikudi-Sitharevu route.

Take care .

Last edited by Ddrive : 12th November 2014 at 12:10. Reason: spell check
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Old 12th November 2014, 12:49   #17
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Splendid trip !!

You have covered Valparai-Athirappilly, Vagamon, Kumily and Kodaikkanal in a span of two days.!!!!Awesome.

Nice shots of the Valparai Ghat section.

Thanks for sharing.
regards,
bbhavan
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Old 2nd December 2014, 22:06   #18
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

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Originally Posted by bbhavan View Post
Splendid trip !! You have covered Valparai-Athirappilly, Vagamon, Kumily and Kodaikkanal in a span of two days.!!!!Awesome. . Nice shots of the Valparai Ghat section.
Thank you bbhavan, and thanks for the bump too

Would like to utilise this opportunity to post some pictures of Kodaikanal, shot during an earlier trip, thats just because of me mentioning about attending some church activities in Kodaikanal. The following few pictures are from our attendance at the Easter Dawn Service at St.Peters Church on 20th April 2014.

A lovely Easter morning.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-.jpg

The Congregation.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-b.jpg

Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-c.jpg

The Presbyter delivering the Easter message.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-e.jpg

There were some special performances.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-d.jpg

Easter Buns
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-f.jpg

And Hot Tea..
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-g.jpg

Its freezing yet feels good.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-h.jpg

A View of the Valley, from the Church.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-i.jpg

Thank for viewing.
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Old 15th October 2015, 00:19   #19
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Kodaikanal is my wife's home town and we use to go there at least once or twice an year. And whenever we go to Kodai or Madurai we use to drive around a few other scenic locations. So this time the drive-around was like this.

Been to Valparai and Kochi twice before but I've never been anytime on that Valparai-Athirapally Ghat sector despite this route being discussed as one among the scenic as well as one creepiest. So, for me this time the main attraction and prime target was just this.
Thanks Ddrive for the write up! We have plans to visit Valparai (Chennai to Valparai) during mid november. So I wish to re open the conversations on this thread. Looking forward for your help in stitching up the route plan.

We would have four days in hand, which includes the up and down travel. Google maps shows mainly 3 routes as follows.
  1. Chennai-Salem-Pollachi-Valparai (588 Km)
  2. Chennai-Trichy-Dharapuram-Pollachi-Valparai (578 Km)
  3. Chennai-Trichy-Dindigul-Palani-Udumalpet-Valparai (595 Km)

Salem route is one of the usual routes I used to take when I visit my hometown in Kerala. So nothing really special about it. Could you please give some info on the remaining two options, based on the latest road conditions and the scenery around?

I would really prefer green routes even if it takes some extra time rather than pushing my pedal all the way through some dry landscapes.
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Old 16th October 2015, 09:58   #20
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

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Originally Posted by Cruiser_D View Post
Thanks Ddrive for the write up! We have plans to visit Valparai (Chennai to Valparai) during mid november. So I wish to re open the conversations on this thread. Looking forward for your help in stitching up the route plan.

We would have four days in hand, which includes the up and down travel. Google maps shows mainly 3 routes as follows.
  1. Chennai-Salem-Pollachi-Valparai (588 Km)
  2. Chennai-Trichy-Dharapuram-Pollachi-Valparai (578 Km)
  3. Chennai-Trichy-Dindigul-Palani-Udumalpet-Valparai (595 Km)

Salem route is one of the usual routes I used to take when I visit my hometown in Kerala. So nothing really special about it. Could you please give some info on the remaining two options, based on the latest road conditions and the scenery around?

I would really prefer green routes even if it takes some extra time rather than pushing my pedal all the way through some dry landscapes.
Dear Cruiser_D, I haven't done these two other roads recently, however seen many recommending the Dharapuram route as a nice second choice. Im tagging [quote=denver85;3266570] who might help you out in this.
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Old 16th October 2015, 10:19   #21
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser_D View Post
We would have four days in hand, which includes the up and down travel. Google maps shows mainly 3 routes as follows.
  1. Chennai-Salem-Pollachi-Valparai (588 Km)
  2. Chennai-Trichy-Dharapuram-Pollachi-Valparai (578 Km)
  3. Chennai-Trichy-Dindigul-Palani-Udumalpet-Valparai (595 Km)
I would really prefer green routes even if it takes some extra time rather than pushing my pedal all the way through some dry landscapes.
Route 2 has good roads all the way, but if you don't mind taking 2-lane curvy roads then will recommend Chennai-Ulundrupet-Peramballur-Thuraiyur-Musiri-Kulithalai-Karur bypass-Aravakurichi-Dharapuram-Pollachi-Aliayr-Valparai route (https://goo.gl/maps/2yWato2dzCo)
The roads conditions are mostly good in this route. There are some speed breakers between Peramballur and Thuraiyur which will not be a big problem in the daytime. The Trichy-Karur road has heavy traffic in any time of the day, so this Peramballur-Musiri shortcut will be better and more greener. Roads from Arvakurichi to Dharapuram is really good, Dharapuram to Pollachi is excellent.
The route option 3 will not be better as the traffic between Dindigul-Oddanchatram-Palani-Udumalpet is high in the daytime
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Old 17th October 2015, 13:27   #22
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Dear Cruiser_D, I haven't done these two other roads recently, however seen many recommending the Dharapuram route as a nice second choice
Quote:
Originally Posted by denver85 View Post
who might help you out in this.
Thanks Ddrive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by denver85 View Post
Route 2 has good roads all the way, but if you don't mind taking 2-lane curvy roads then will recommend Chennai-Ulundrupet-Peramballur-Thuraiyur-Musiri-Kulithalai-Karur bypass-Aravakurichi-Dharapuram-Pollachi-Aliayr-Valparai route (https://goo.gl/maps/2yWato2dzCo)
The roads conditions are mostly good in this route. There are some speed breakers between Peramballur and Thuraiyur which will not be a big problem in the daytime. The Trichy-Karur road has heavy traffic in any time of the day, so this Peramballur-Musiri shortcut will be better and more greener. Roads from Arvakurichi to Dharapuram is really good, Dharapuram to Pollachi is excellent.
The route option 3 will not be better as the traffic between Dindigul-Oddanchatram-Palani-Udumalpet is high in the daytime
Thanks Denver. So I shall stick to option 2 and modify it as per your suggestions. I understand that bypassing a major town like Trichy would always be a good idea and hope it would save some considerable amount of time as well. I managed to break up the route details as per your suggestions.

Name:  route plans.png
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The drive is planned during Deepavali holidays!

Last edited by ampere : 11th November 2015 at 08:17. Reason: Fixed tags
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Old 11th November 2015, 00:00   #23
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

I just reached back after this Valparai trip. Special thanks to Denver and Ddrive for helping me out in route planning. The suggested route is in excellent condition except a few stretch in between Perambalur and Thuraiyur. I will try to post a travelogue describing the details soon.
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Old 18th April 2016, 17:39   #24
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Vathalakundu Bypass - An update.

Please let me use this thread to update with the following information. Comments, questions welcome.

On 17.4.2016, while we were driving back from Kodaikanal, noticed that some local bikes and lorries are taking the Vathalakundu by pass, i belive is still under construction. Tbhpians please confirm whether this road is officially open ?

When we enquired the locals, as to whether we can take this road across, they said yes, go ahead. And we drove through it for the first time in life

Here are some photos from my cellphone:

We enter the bypass from Theni side towards Dindugul.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-.jpg

At one place the work is still underway, we have to take diversion.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-b.jpg

As we proceed.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-d.jpg
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-c.jpg

The exit, some 2-3 kms beyond Vathalakundu.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-e.jpg
(Please note the entry point is still blocked with stones and bricks)

Our car., at the exit point.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-f.jpg
(View as one approaches from Dindugul side. The road on the left is the existing old one which goes towards Vathalakundu. On the right is the new bypass entrance.

If this route becomes fully open for traffic:

1.This saves a lot of time and agony of traffic jams/blocks inside the busy Vathalakundu town. Sad the good old Vathalakundu will be dumped and will loose its inevitablity to some extent.

2.And people coming from Madurai side can also can take a leap and dash through this bypass, and avoid driving through busy and congested towns like Nilakottai and Vathalakundu. The roads leading through Nilakottai and Vathalakundu are very narrow and dangerous for two way traffic.

------------

(Admins, if this post has to go to some other section, kindly move it )
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Old 21st April 2016, 18:05   #25
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

Our recent trip to Kodaikanal 15th - 17th April 2016.

This time instead of staying under a concrete roof we intended to stay a night in tent at a remote location.

The tent was provided by my nephew who lives in Kodaikanal.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_0147-copy.jpg

We were able to click some beautiful birds in Kodaikanal.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_5243.jpg
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_5277.jpg
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_0305.jpg
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_0369.jpg

And also a Squirrel.
Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon-dsc_0326.jpg
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Old 22nd April 2016, 07:57   #26
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

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Our recent trip to Kodaikanal 15th - 17th April 2016.
Good to note about the bypass. I was there last yearend and I think I faintly remembered the exit for the bypass (Cant say though). But yes, a Batlagundu bypass is very much needed.

On Berijam:
Must say though Berijam is beautiful, its bombarded by people all over. But I still enjoyed and had my moments of fun around that place.
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Old 22nd April 2016, 15:39   #27
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Default Re: Chennai to Kodaikanal - via Valparai, Athirappilly, Kochi & Vagamon

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Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Kodaikanal is my wife's home town and we use to go there at least once or twice an year. And whenever we go to Kodai or Madurai we use to drive around a few other scenic locations. So this time the drive-around was like this.
@Ddrive, any suggestions for a good place to stay?, planning to visit Kodai for a one night stay on the way back to Bangalore. (Home stays or budget resorts etc.)
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