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Old 31st January 2015, 12:24   #1
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Default Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around

This is a short summary/photologue of the bike ride along with my better half to Pollachi and surrounding areas on Jan 25th. During the extended Republic Day weekend, I had planned a two day trip along with my wife and her sister's families to Madurai & Pillaiyarpatti temple, but the school in which my wife works, decided to combine Republic day with their Annual Sports day and being the sincere teacher she is, my wife had to compulsorily attend school on Jan 26th.

And since others had opted out, we decided to do a single day trip to some nearby place. The first spot which came to my mind was Pollachi. This was a place I frequented with friends during college days. But for some reason or other, I hadn't gone there for quite some years. My wife too readily agreed when I suggested Pollachi.

Usually, I start early(to avoid night rides)but this time we couldn't start before 9 AM. Since it was a Sunday, traffic was slim on the usually busy Tiruppur roads and I was able to reach Palladam quickly. We had our breakfast there at a new restaurant opp.the Bus stand. It was the standard South Indian fare of Idlis and Masala dosas. The food was good but the service was very slow(I am unable to recollect the name of the restaurant).

The roads from Palladam to Pollachi were as usual a delight to drive. Once we got past Sulthanpet, lush green coconut farms escorted us on both sides of the road right up to Pollachi. We reached Pollachi around 10.50 AM. My wife wanted to visit the famous Maasani Amman Temple in Aanamalai, 15 kms from Pollachi. Since, the Home Ministers's wish was as usual non-negotiable, I proceeded on the Meenkarai road towards Aanamalai.

On the Meenkarai road, just on the outskirts of Pollachi, there is a detour on the left, with a signboard reading "Singanallur". This village is the location of the famous Bungalow which has featured in many hit Tamil films like "Thevar Magan" and "Bombay". I decided to check out this place since it was just 4 kms off the main road. Crossing the railway line, we reached the village and there was this Bungalow right on the main road, standing apart from the rest of the houses. We took a few snaps and had a chat with the villagers about the latest movies that had been shot there. The pride in the voice of the locals was evident when they recollected the long list of celebrities who had visited their village.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-1-film-shooting-bungalow.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-2-front-face-bungalow.jpg

From Singanallur village, we rode a few kms to join the Pollachi-Meenakshipuram main road. From this main road, we have to take a left turn to reach Aanamalai town. There are well marked boards which lead you right up to the temple. As usual, there was a huge crowd waiting for Darshan. We got the 25 Rs. quick darshan tickets, but still had to wait 40 minutes because of the preparations for the mid-day Grand Puja. We completed darshan and came out of the temple around 1 PM.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-3-aanamalai-maasaniamman-temple.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-4.jpg

My next task was to find a restaurant tasty enough to satisfy our hungry tummies. I remembered having tasted Biriyanis at a small hut type hotel on a four-roads Junction on the Pollachi to Valparai road many years ago, during our visits to Aliyar Dam and Monkey falls. A little enquiry from the locals in Aanamalai and some Googling, got us all the details we wanted. The place was N.M.Sungam ie Nallu Mukku Sungam on the Pollachi-Valparai road. It was 10 kms from Aanamalai.

We reached N.M.Sungam and it wasn't difficult to find the restaurant. There were a lot of biriyani joints at the place, but the only place with huge crowds and a lot of cars lined up in front is the "Taj Biriyani Hotel". The place after all these years, was still a hut, albeit an extended one seating almost 30 people. It was a long wait before we could get a seat for two and an even longer one before we were served our Biriyanis(the rush for takeaways was huge, since many families were on their way to Aliyar Dam Park and Monkey Falls, just like us). The Mutton Biriyani was good both in Quantity and taste. But all other Non Veg side dishes were strictly average. A good eatery if you love Biriyanis, although the ambience may not be to everyone's liking.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-5we-had-our-lunch-here.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-6waiting-patiently-their-biriyanis.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-7.jpg

After our tryst with the Taj, we were off to Aliyar Dam. On the way, we had a chance to taste the delicious Pollachi Ezhanis. We didn't stop at the Dam and rode straight up to Monkey Falls, 5 kms uphill from the Dam. There is a check post at the start of the hills, which collects Rs.20 per person for a visit to the falls. The Officer at the check post informed that the flow in the falls was minimal and since already there was a huge crowd at the falls and so taking bath may not be pleasant. And this was only January. No wonder the falls remain closed for lack of water from February to June till the start of the monsoon rains.

The visuals on the hill ride from the Checkpost to Monkey falls were just fabulous. We stopped at many points to take pictures of the almost-full Aliyar Dam. This uphill ride with beautiful backdrops all along the route truly made our day.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-8-way-monkey-fallsaliyar-dam-backdrop.jpg
Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-9.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-10trying-out-hdr-mode.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-11panorama-view-aliyar-dam-route-monkey-falls.jpg
True to the words of the Officer, there were huge crowds of families and youth groups at the waterfalls. There were a lot of tourists from neighbouring Kerala. The flow in the falls was just enough to accommodate 6-7 persons max. too little for this big crowd. Still despite the rush, I couldn't resist myself from having a dip in the refreshing, cold waters for around half an hour.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-12monkey-falls.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-13.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-14after-refreshing-bath.jpg

Refreshed by the bath, we reached Aliyar Dam and had a taste of the Fish Fry from the Govt. Fish stall which is a must do when you visit Aliyar Dam. We also spent some time at the adjacent Fish museum.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-15-peep-into-aquarium-near-govt.fish-stall-aliyar-dam.jpg

It was already 4.45 PM and it was time start the return journey to Tiruppur, before it gets too cold on the highways. But on the way back we managed to visit my sister's house near Aanamalai. On the way there, we stopped at a stunningly beautiful check dam cum waterfalls, where the local kids were enjoying themselves. The place looked such a perfect setting for those song and dance routines in Tamil movies. I am sure this place must have featured in a lot of them.Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-16-beautiful-check-dam-near-aanamalai.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-17.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-18.jpgReliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around-19.jpg

The ride back on roads lined up with hundreds of massive windmills lighting up the clear, winter night sky was so thrilling. We reached Tirupur at 8.30 and had a light dinner at the newly opened Junior Kuppanna restaurant.

Trips like these done on the spur of the moment with very little planning invariably end up giving us the most pleasures. This was one of those rides. Hope, I have passed on some of those pleasures to the readers of this forum through this post and the pictures.

Last edited by venkatt1800 : 4th February 2015 at 11:16.
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Old 5th February 2015, 10:13   #2
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Default Re: Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th February 2015, 11:01   #3
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Default Re: Reliving the 90s bike rides: Tiruppur to Pollachi & around

The town of Pollachi and nearby areas surely still maintain the 90s aura and pull one to re-live it. Esp the nice 2-laned roads are beautiful to drive. The sight of windmills is to be experienced. I just wonder how would be in rains.
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