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Old 26th January 2015, 23:01   #1
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Default Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

PROLOGUE:

Weeks before this ride, on a fine sunday, I had a long thought. I pondered long to understand why I ride, and why I started riding in the first place. Yes, you read it right. I had indeed forgotten why I ride. I hadn't ridden very much in the last four months. Whenever I thought of riding somewhere, I couldn't find a reason. All that came to my mind was, "oh, come on! Why do I have to go out while I could enjoy waking up very late on Sunday, have a lazy meal, watch a movie or two and sleep again". One week lead to another, and before I could realize, I had become a couch potato!

One fine day, I was surfing through t-BHP, and stumbled upon this quote - "“If on earth there’s paradise, on horses' back it lies”". I took me some time to absorb this quote, and when I did, I had found answer to the question that had been lingering in my mind for long.

---

I had decided where I'm gonna ride to enroute home for pongal this year. I had planned to start from office @ 3 PM and start my ride @ 4.30 PM on 12th evening. Plan was to reach Pollachi by 8 or so, and stay put for night. And the next day's route would be Pollachi-Valparai-Athirapally-Chalakudi-Thrissur-Coimbatore-Erode. I was so in to doing the Valparai-Athirapally route that I had started seeing elephants in my dreams too! It remained a dream.

Alas! Then came the day, things got wrinkled, and ironing them out set me back by two hours @ office! Dilemma - Should I start that evening itself, reach Dindigul, and have a head start next day or start the following day very early from Trichy. Experience insisted that I reach Dindigul, and I obliged.

All packed up, and I left home at 6.45 PM. Waded out through the slow traffic of this small city - Trichy, and soon I was on the road to Dindigul. A relaxed ride of two hours in the early darkness of the day saw me through the way, and I was inside Dindigul town looking for a place to crash for the night. After a bit of asking around, I reached Dindigul bus stand where there were lodges aplenty. I found room in one Hotel Suganya for a cheap price. Checked in after ensuring that the bike had a secured parking. Doors locked, dresses changed, eyes closed, day over!

---

Woke up at 7 AM the next day, and got on to the road by 7.45. I decided to take breakfast in Palani on the way. This time around in the year, people from various parts of Tamilnadu and nearby states visit the Sri Subramaniya Swamy temple (Lord Murugan's) in great spirits; so tremendous spirit that they would undertake pilgrimage by walk from even more than a hundred kilometre. Dindigul to Palani route was full of them. All through the way, I couldn't help but to admire their spirit and devotion.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai13.jpg


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Reached Palani at around 9 AM, crossed the town. After a while, found a decent hotel which served a delicious breakfast.

The road to Udumalpet was so smooth, and offered a lot of sceneries. After crossing Udumalpet, I came across the first of so many windmills that I would be seeing for better part of the whole day!


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai14.jpg


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I'm not sure how many people might get the chance to stand up to one windmill really close and get to hear the whirring sound those huge blades make. Whirrr... whirrr...whirr... You have got to be there to believe it. I got a chance to walk around one, and I was at a complete loss to imbibe that feeling.


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After having a heartfull of windmill moments, I carried on. Pollachi soon came, and finding way to Valparai didn't really take long with all the people whom I asked directions nearly drew a detailed map everytime for me to understand the way.

The road to Valparai from Pollachi was, to say in a simple word, heavenly!

Oasis of coconut plantations with a back drop of hills, with a beautifully maintained tarmac going between them was indeed a heavenly sight.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai18.jpg


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Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai125.jpg


Before I could have enough of those scenaries, I hit Aazhiyar.


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My friend had insisted that I have my lunch in one particular "Arun mess" that would be present in the road side. I eventually found it. One couldn't miss it for it was right on the road. I stopped there only to find out that the food wasn't yet ready. Nonetheless, I decided to wait and eat there itself which I later realized that it was a wise decision. I had veg meals, and the food was very much homely.

I started after having a stomach-full. And the sceneries presented before me would put sceneries I experienced earlier before lunch to shame. I had a really hard time to choose between amazing roads and breath-taking scenaries.

Ghat road was thoroughly well maintained. Turns & twists, hair pin bends, blind curves, and beautiful sceneries all around... everything was a highlight; a biker won't ask more. And animal crossing markings were placed at many points along the way.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai112.jpg


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Weather got chiller by every kilometre; it was very pleasant - not too chilly, not too humid, not too dry. That 40 km took almost two hours with lot of photo-stops in between. When I reached the top, evening Sun was baking the ground and lighting the vistas beautifully. I'm literally running out of words to describe the picture. Let the photos give some ideas about it.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai117.jpg


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Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai121.jpg


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After spending close to an hour, roaming around here and there in the top, I started my descent. Since I had to reach home that day itself, I couldn't visit Sholayar Dam and the parts thereof. The descent had a thrill of its own; the brakes had to be used cautiously with generous amount of engine braking all along the way. By the time I reached Pollachi on the way back, it was around 5.30 PM.

It started getting dark, and a Figo, which was driven sensibly with all the right signals at right times, kept me company from Pollachi to Palladam. The sky was dotted with so many lights on the way to Palladam. Initially I was confused, only to later realize that they were all the top of windmills. My goodness! Such a vast windmill farm... and I missed seeing it in day-time. It was as if the stars had descended down all the way from sky to a touchable distance.

Reaching Tiruppur from Palladam didn't take more than half an hour. I stopped at Tiruppur at 7 PM, and did some stretching during a self imposed tea-break. From here, Erode was only an hour's ride's far. I am familiar with this route, although I had never ridden through.

After an uneventful ride from Tiruppur to Erode through a chilly early night's weather, I reached home in one piece to see my mother waiting at the door-step. After loving the ride all the way from dawn to dusk, it was time to get some motherly love (read butt beatings) from my mom!


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai123.jpg


Thanks for reading, up this far. Hope to entertain more with more logs in future. Until then...


--
Cheers,
Thirugnnanam
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Old 27th January 2015, 07:46   #2
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Default re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirugnnanam View Post
I'm not sure how many people might get the chance to stand up to one windmill really close and get to hear the whirring sound those huge blades make. Whirrr... whirrr...whirr... You have got to be there to believe it. I got a chance to walk around one, and I was at a complete loss to imbibe that feeling.
I have had such a chance, and agree with the feeling you experienced.
It surely is awe-inspiring.

Reported on my trip log here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post1505839 (Ramakkalmedu - A Walk in the Clouds along with a tree house visit)
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Old 27th January 2015, 10:15   #3
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Default re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

Superb photography at some excellent stops (locations), and very well documented indeed. A ride or drive across Pollachi-Valparai and further on Valparai-Athirapally sectors are sheer pleasure. All the best for more rides and more travelogues.
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Old 27th January 2015, 13:21   #4
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Default re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

Thanks for throwing this suggestion. Looking forward to ride to Ramakkalmedu soon. Can you suggest what would be the best time to visit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ddrive View Post
Superb photography at some excellent stops (locations), and very well documented indeed. A ride or drive across Pollachi-Valparai and further on Valparai-Athirapally sectors are sheer pleasure. All the best for more rides and more travelogues.
Thanks for the good words. I surely missed doing Valparai-Athirapally this time. Hopefully I will do this soon

I will attach some more pics this evening taken from my mobile.

--
Cheers,
Thirugnnanam.
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Old 27th January 2015, 23:46   #5
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Default Re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

Avatar-esque location at the start of ghat roads


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-vaalparai129.jpg


Pollachi welcomed me at around noon.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-img_20150113_115814.jpg


Yes, this hut was the mess.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-img_20150113_130336.jpg


Wish I was two hours earlier to this spot. If I had been, I would have done Valparai - Athirapally route.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-img_20150113_143527.jpg


And finally, the signature pic of Vaalparai ghat roads.


Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai-img_20150113_171050.jpg


--
Cheers,
Thirugnnanam
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Old 28th January 2015, 09:23   #6
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Default Re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

The route seems magical. I am getting goosebumps just by seeing those beautiful roads! Enjoy
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Old 30th January 2015, 17:01   #7
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Default Re: Killing kilometers softly: Episode Valparai

Hi Thirugnnanam

You are from my Alma mater place and even we use to travel this stretch during extended weekend.

I hardly find any familiar place in the photographs. But things change a lot over years. I am talking of 18 years back College days.

Thanks for bringing back my memories.
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