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Old 11th November 2015, 12:37   #1
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Default Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

It was the beginning of October. Wife and me were discussing plans for attending 2 family functions that were 5-6 days apart in different parts of Kerala. One was on 22nd October-A Temple puja in our ancestral temple in the town of Palakkad in Kerala. Next was on 29-30th October which was a wedding in the City of Calicut (Kozhikode), Kerala. 22-25 was the Dusserha period and the long weekend. So initial plan was to go on 21st, come back to Bangalore on 24th and then go again on 28th.

Then I came up with an idea. Why don't we just take the whole week off, attend one function, go somewhere for a couple of days and then head to Calicut. Wife was disbelieving at first- 'Really, that would mean almost 2 weeks off. What about office?'. I said lets give it a shot. To our surprise, both of us got leaves approved.

Next step was the itinerary. Some parts were fixed.
  • October 21st - Drive from Bangalore to Palakkad. Attend functions on 21st evening and 22nd. Leave from Palakkad on 23rd.
  • Target to be in Calicut latest by 27th. Wedding related stuff from 28th to 1st November.
  • Return to Bangalore on 2nd November.

So we had the time from 23 to 27th October. The idea was to just go somewhere to relax. No real plans of site seeing or any touristy activities. Preferred a hill station. Also needed to be relatively close to Palakkad/Coimbatore. Since there was a lot of travel planned, did not want to put too much strain on my kid. Put down a short list.
  • Ooty
  • Valparai
  • Munnar
  • Coonoor

Finally decided on Coonoor with a day trip to Ooty on the Mountain Train and an option of going to Valparai from Coonoor and then going to Calicut via the scenic Sholayar-Athirapally-Thrissur route (This last part was later dropped).

Then the next problem came up. Since it was a long weekend, expected all places to be full and crowded. Was not keening on going to Coonoor-Ooty side at the peak of the long weekend. I felt that going to Coonoor on Saturday-24th October and leaving on 26th or 27th would be suitable. Had narrowed down on 'Sunvalley Homestay' in Coonoor (details later) and they had availability for 24th. Confirmed that.

So one problem solved and a new problem came up. What to do from 23rd noon to 24th morning. Then the idea of staying a day in Coimbatore came up. Part of my education was in Coimbatore and it is a city that I really like. So thought some nostalgia was in order. There was also a dream of staying in 'The Residency' Hotel (A 4 Star Hotel in Coimbatore) from the college days (When it looked wow and unattainable)

So the final itinerary:

  • October 21st: Bangalore-Palakkad
  • 23rd: Palakkad-Coimbatore
  • 24th: Coimbatore-Conoor
  • 25th: Trip on the Mountain Train to Ooty (for my daughter)
  • 26/27: Either to Valparai and then to Calicut, or directly to Calicut via a scenic route
  • 1st November: Close the trip after the wedding with a visit to Kappad Beach

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 12th November 2015 at 21:39. Reason: Formatting
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Old 11th November 2015, 18:23   #2
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

October 21st-Day 1
  • Bangalore-Palakkad
  • Distance: ~420 km
  • Roads: Mostly 4/6 lane.
  • Conditions: Excellent. Good amount of traffic till Hosur.
  • Driving Time: ~6 hours

Since we were not in any hurry, we started leisurely after breakfast at 9.30 am. The Bangalore-Coimbatore-Palakkad NH is a nice drive. 6 Lane for about 100 km, 4 Lane for most of the remaining stretches. Being vacation time, expected delays at the toll booths. But most tolls were free and did not involve any waiting time. Arrived at Palakkad at 4.30pm with a 1 hr break for lunch.

A highway that I enjoy, have done this route several times, Eases out after you cross the town of Hosur, and further eases out after Krishnagiri, where the highway to Chennai splits off. During holiday times and long weekends, the tolls get really crowded. 2 notorious ones are the tolls at Krishnagiri and one on the outskirts of Bangalore (Attibelle). Couple of sample images.

The route is dotted with eateries and we stopped for a lunch at the Adayar Anadha Bhavan (A2B) just after Salem.


Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151021_105351.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151021_134920.jpg

Place of stay in Palakkad was Hotel Indraprastha. A relatively old establishment, recently renovated. Nothing to complain about.

Website: Hotel Indraprastha

The actual puja and ceremonies were in a temple around 20km from Palakkad. The Palakkad countryside is an area I love to visit and drive through. Places like below which have not changed as far as I can remember. We keep talking about how our cities and towns have changed so rapidly and have become unrecognizable. So it is kind of soothing to see places that have not changed at all. This countryside and temple is one such place.



Calm and Serene- Paddy fields, temple and a Banyan Tree.
Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2090.jpg

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Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2093.jpg

One of the typical small temples that dot the Kerala Countryside. What is seen below is an offering to light lamps all around the temple. Called Chuttuvilakku in Malayalam.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2105.jpg

This night and the next day went in several Puja's and ceremonies. Nothing that would interest the audience here. So restricting to the above photos


October 23rd-Day 3
  • Palakkad- Coimbatore
  • Distance: ~50km
  • Roads: Partly 4 Lane, Partly Work in Progress.
  • Conditions: Average in the Work in Progress sections.
  • Driving Time: ~1.5 hours
  • Destination: The Residency, Avinashi Road, Coimbatore.

After that tryst with tradition and spirituality, we were ready to get back to the more materialistic pleasures in life. Next on the agenda was a day in Coimbatore. After short drive from Palakkad, we checked in to the Residency Hotel in Coimbatore.

We did not have any specific plans for Coimbatore. Idea was to just relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. But then decided to find out something to do. My college education was in Coimbatore and hence had visited most of the usual places. So was wondering what to do and was casually browsing the 'Top places to Visit in Coimbatore' in TripAdvisor. At number 6 on the list was 'GeeDee Vintage Car Museum'. Looked interesting. Checked the location. Right across the road from where I was staying. This ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. I have already put up a detailed thread on this visit.

Detailed thread link (A hidden gem uncovered - The Gedee Car Museum, Coimbatore)

Just reproducing the summary and a couple of images here. Please refer to the above link for the detailed report on the visit.

What is it?
  • A Car Museum started by Late Sri G D Naidu.
  • 68 vintage cars neatly organized into sections like Unique Cars, French, British, German, Japanese.
  • Each car has a display next to it which has info about the model, production years, how many sold etc..Behind there are wall mounted boards with history of the car or the company itself. Very informative.
  • 5 Unique cars which cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
  • 50 of them are in running condition.
  • Most of the collection owned by Mr GD Naidu and family
  • Some have been donated by others. These have been specifically labelled.
  • There is a video show/presentation three times a day. But this is just a brief explanation about the history of Sri GD Naidu and his passion for cars followed by a video about some of the unique cars that was aired in Discovery Channel.
  • The presentation is done by a couple of young ladies who double up as security also. They spoke in Tamil which was ok for me since I understand it well. Not sure if they have someone to deliver the same content in English.
  • Entry Fee: Rs 50 per person. 9am to 5pm. Monday Holiday.


Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151023_160623.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151023_150736.jpg

An interesting tidbit. This car below belonged to Distinguished Bhpian Travancore's maternal grandfather. Spent most of its time in Aravankadu near Ooty, Thanks to him for sharing this info in the other thread.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151023_152112.jpg

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Old 11th November 2015, 18:43   #3
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

October 24th-Day 4
  • Coimbatore-Kotagiri-Coonoor
  • Distance: ~90 km
  • Roads: 2 Lane.
  • Conditions: Excellent.
  • Driving Time: ~3 hours
  • Destination: Sunvalley Home Stay-Coonoor

This was the actual 'Touristy' part of the trip. After a relaxing stay in Coimbatore, set off for Coonoor by ~10 am. Most folks will be familiar with The Nilgiris and the Hill Station of Ooty. Coonoor and Kotagiri are couple of the smaller sized, less known towns close to Ooty. With Ooty becoming crowded and more commercialized, Coonoor and Kotagiri are becoming popular destinations.

These Nilgiri towns are situated at a height of 7000-8000 feet above sea level. This means reaching there involves driving via reasonably steep ghats with a bunch of hair pin bends.

There are multiple approaches to Ooty and the surrounding areas from the plains. Listed below for reference
  • Coonoor or Kallar Ghat: This is the most travelled approach to Ooty and the default approach from most of Tamil Nadu. Route: Coimbatore-Mettupalayam-Kallar-Burliar-Coonoor-Ooty. This is also known as the Kallar Ghat, as it follows the valley of the Kallar and Coonoor rivers. It is by far the most traveled of all the Ghat Roads as it is the main access from the home state of Tamil Nadu. It has 14 Hairpin bends and is now owned and maintained by the National Highways Authority of India and is now part of National Highway 67. The route that sees the most traffic
  • Gudalur Ghat: Route: Gundlupet-Bandipur-Mudumalai-Gudalur-Ooty
  • This is also simply known as the Mysore Ghat or Mysore Road. It is the main access route from Karnataka and Kerala. Travellers from Karnataka reach Gundlupet via the Mysore-Gundlupet National Highway 212 and travellers from Kerala reach Gudalur via the continuation of National Highway 212 from Kozhikode-Sultan Bathery.
  • Kalhatti Ghat: Route: Mudumalai-Kalhatti-Ooty. This is also known as Kalhatti Ghat (or simply 'Steep Ghat'). It branches off from the Mysore-Gundlepet- Gudalur route at Theppakadu in Mudumalai. This route saves approx. 30-40,km and a couple of hours over the standard Gudalur route, though it is by far the steeper route and is generally limited to short wheel-base vehicles. It has 36 hairpin bends and is closed overnight. This is a preferred route for travelers from Bangalore, the 36 hair pin bends and steep ascent make it a challenging drive. Descent via this route is typically not allowed.
  • Kotagiri Ghat: Route: Coimbatore-Mettupalayam-Aravenu-Kotagiri-Ooty
  • The Kotagiri Ghat is the oldest known route into the Nilgiris. It approximately follows the route taken by John Sullivan on his discovery trips in 1819. The distance between Mettupalayam and Kotagiri on this road is 33 km and it has only 4 hair pin bends. This road is part of State Highway 15. It is slightly less travelled as it is a slightly longer route from Mettupalayam to Ooty than the route via Coonoor, The road condition is superior to the Coonoor Ghat road.
  • Manjoor Ghat: Route: Coimbatore-Karamadai-Athikadavu-Mulli-Geddai-Manjoor-Kundha Dam-Ooty: This is a the 5th and least know ghat. It is smaller ghat and the road is narrow with 44 hairpin bends below Manjoor. At Geddai, near the bottom of the ghat at 1,885 feet (575 m) there is are two hydroelectric power stations .From Manjoor, at the top of the ghat, the distance is equidistant to either Ooty or Coonoor via other district roads. I came to know of this route via a thread here in Team Bhp. I took this route on the return. Further details below.

Since I had done the regular Coonoor Ghat before, decided to take the Kotagiri route as I was keen on trying it and as per reports here, it had less traffic. It did mean 30-45 min extra driving time, but I was ok with that.


The stretch between Mettupalayam and the foothills. Lovely road and surface.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2170.jpg

Couple of pictures of the climb. Lovely scenery and roads. Traffic was almost nil. Was a very enjoyable climb.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2175.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2176.jpg



Sunvalley Homestay: Website Link

Some Details:
  • I chose this place based on the TripAdvisor reviews and met my expectations. It is a normal modern building with ~10 rooms of different types. Like a small hotel.
  • Started by a Singapore based couple from Kerala. They had initially bought the land for building a house. One thing led to the other and they established a full fledged home stay with focus on hospitality and food.
  • Place is very close to the Coonoor Railway station and town. Approach is through residential areas.
  • Average rates are ~3000-4000 per night for 2. Breakfast Included. Will be cheaper off season.
  • Also have some Ayurvedic Massage stuff and also help arrange any kind of site seeing.

What I liked
  • Nothing too fancy nor too basic.The right balance in my opinion.
  • Beautiful tea estate view from the balcony of each room.
  • Prompt responses and attention to detail during booking process. The email responses were quick and clear. Day prior to arrival they sent me an email detailing the last 3 days weather, type of clothes needed and the right route map (Google directions apparently directed through a road that was closed).
  • Great Hospitality and food. Really enjoyed the food. Felt fresh and healthy, Good variety of choice from the menu. Would go back there just for this.
  • Free pick and drop from the railway station area. Were also flexible to send a car to pick us up from a place farther away.

Things I did not like
  • Apart from the tea estate walk, not much space around. So not the place to to go to just relax like a resort or a bungalow kind of home stay.
  • Approach is through a normal residential area. They are working on a path through the tea estate.
  • The lesser space restricts the kid friendly activities.

Summary: It is a nice place to stay. Have breakfast and go out site seeing. Come back by night, have a great dinner and go to bed. If you are the kind who prefers not to go out and would like through soak in the ambiance of the place from the place of stay, this is not the place. They do encourage family get together and arrange stuff like bon-fires and Barbecues also.

The weather in the hills was pleasant. Just a hint of chill.


Approach to the Homestay. Passes through some residential areas and he road is not great. But this is specifically called out when booking.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151025_164409.jpg

The front view

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151025_164428.jpg

The side and rear tea garden views. All rooms look out into the tea garden. Nice views. We spent the rest of the day soaking in the surroundings and doing a Tea Garden walk.

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Next day morning set off after breakfast. One of the highlights was the fresh and homely food. Nothing like a breakfast as below

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151025_083750.jpg

Ready for the Coonoor-Ooty train ride. The folks at the home stay had asked us to be there atleast 45 min in advance. We were there 1 hour in advance but there was still a queue. Luckily managed to get tickets and a seat. But could not soak in the scenery like I wanted to. Daughter enjoyed it. Some random snaps.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img20151105wa0035.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2216.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2219.jpg

The train now runs with a Diesel Engine. Makes it lose some of the charm. The older coal engine was quite unique.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2227.jpg

Sample image of the old coal engine.

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Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2226.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2225.jpg

After we had spent some time walking around Ooty and buying some tea and stuff, we decided to return. I think we would have been the tourists who spent the least time in Ooty ever . It was lunch time and we had lunch at the 'Sidewalk Cafe' near Charing Cross.

The folks at the Home Stay had told us about the 'Wellington Lake'. Wellington is a small place between Ooty and Coonoor famous for a Defense Establishment and College. They had taken the initiative to rejuvenate a dead lake. This was completed in 2013. Decided to make a visit and it was a good decision. By virtue of being new, I think not many people know of it. It is a small lake with boating and a dancing fountain show at night. In spite of being a holiday, there was hardly anyone there and we were able to spend a peaceful couple of hours boating. There was small play area for kids which my daughter enjoyed. We also came back at night for the Dancing Fountain Show. It was decent, but more importantly it was nice to watch it from close by without any crowd around. Some pictures of the lake and the Dancing Fountain below.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2229.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151025_153830.jpg

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Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2253.jpg


In short, it was the kind of day we enjoyed. Apart from the initial crowding to get into the train, it was peaceful. Since it was Sunday, most of the crowd was starting to return, and walking around Ooty town at noon was pleasant. Got back to the Home Stay at night, had a sumptuous dinner, and called it a night.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 13th November 2015 at 07:02.
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Old 11th November 2015, 18:56   #4
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

We were in 2 minds whether to stay another day, try to head to Valparai and then to Calicut or just leave to Calicut on 26th. Finally, considering we had a wedding coming up which meant few hectic days, we decided to head back to Calicut from Coonoor

Ever since I saw this thread (Bangalore - Ooty - Manjur - Mulli - Mannarkkad Trip) (Bangalore - Ooty - Manjur - Mulli - Mannarkkad Trip) about the 5th option to descent from Ooty,had been keen on trying this. Considering that I was driving with my family and the fact that this route was supposed to be deserted, I was in two minds. In addition this increased the driving time by at least 2 hours. Finally decided to go ahead as this was the best option I had, weather was good and wife was also fine with it.

October 26th-Day 6
  • Coonoor-Manjoor-Mulli-Mannarkkad-Calicut
  • Distance: ~200 km
  • Roads: 2 Lane. ~5 hours of ghat roads, ~60 hair pin bends.
  • Conditions: Very good. Deserted, passing through forests.
  • Driving Time: ~7hours
  • Destination: Home at Calicut
Some details
  • The fifth route to access Ooty as described earlier.
  • This is not well known or used much.
  • Road is narrow and only suitable for smaller vehicles.
  • Between Coonoor and Manjoor, the road is beautiful, minimal traffic and has around 10 hairpin bends, Some go down and some go up. Nice to drive.
  • From Manjoor the actual descent starts. 44 Hairpin bends to reach below.
  • There are a couple of dams-Kundah, Gedhai on this route.
  • The Upper Bhavani reservoir is further up beyond Manjoor. Access is restricted.
  • On the whole descent, only 2 cars and a bike passed by me. Very deserted with no cell phone coverage




General Landscape pictures. Some are from Dashcam.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2292.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2296.jpg

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The Upper Kundah Reservoir.

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Typical view of the roads. A drivers delight

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A Tea Center in the Hills. They claim to be the highest Tea Estate in India. A quick stop with some best I have ever had Lime Tea.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-chtea.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-chtea1.jpg

The Typical roads when descending. Narrow with overgrowth from both sides.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-mullihairpin.jpg

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I had a few photos of the Hydroelectric Power Station area at Geddai and the Massive pipes that bring water from the top of the hills. Awesome view. But post taking pictures a little down the road, we saw the Photography strictly prohibited' Board. Respecting that, not posting those pictures here.

In summary it was a refreshing, partly scary experience. Kudos to my wife and kid who sat through 5 hours of ghat driving including ~60 hairpin bends (This was all the way to Calicut.After descending the ghat we still had to pass through the Attapadi Forest area in Kerala before we emerged into Civilization)

Will I do it again: Not with just family, maybe with a group. Too many things can go wrong and if you get stuck somewhere along this route, with minimal cell phone coverage, it would be a nightmare.

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Old 11th November 2015, 18:59   #5
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

The next few days were spent in Calicut. Post all the festivities, we decided to do a quick beach trip before heading back to Bangalore.
  • Beach Visited: Kappad beach- Around 20km from Calicut.
  • This is the place where Vascodagama landed on 20th May 1498.
  • This landing established the sea route from Europe to India and of course later led to our colonization.
  • The beach itself is not a crowded one, being a little away from the main Calicut beach.
  • It turned out to be a beautiful evening. Hence got some good snaps.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151102_171140pano.jpg

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151102_172017.jpg

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The travelogue would not be complete without pictures of the trusty steed that carried us through the journey. Over the 2 weeks, we drove ~1900 km and the TSI handled everything with no hassles. Be it the 4 lane highways, the winding ghats, the steep hair pin bends, some non existent roads. In addition it also did wedding duty and carried the bride and groom around.

Was also pleasantly surprised to note that post starting with a full tank from Bangalore, I needed to refuel only twice. Once in Coimbatore and once in Calicut and I reached Bangalore with half a tank to spare. Considering the driving conditions, the fact that it is an AT Petrol Sedan and the fact that I was in S mode pretty much throughout, felt that this is a good testament to the range and efficiency of the TSI +DSG combination.

Resting at the Chamraj Tea Center

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-dsc_2282.jpg

Washed and ready for wedding duty.

Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor-img_20151028_122525.jpg

Thank you for reading. Of course, this is not anything like some of the spectacular travelogues we see here. But this was a trip that had a little bit of everything. Some elements of tradition and spirituality in Palakkad, some pampering, luxury and a dose of learning with the car museum in Coimbatore, the clean fresh air and breathtaking views of the mountains in Ooty, a wonderful wedding celebration, a short tryst with the sea at the Kappad beach and last but not the least a lot of driving in a whole range of conditions.

So overall wanted to write it down and share. In the process hopefully some of the information will be useful to fellow readers and travelers.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 12th November 2015 at 21:48.
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Old 13th November 2015, 07:14   #6
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th November 2015, 09:28   #7
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Default re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Nice thread. One to be bookmarked.

"The Palakkad countryside is an area I love to visit and drive through. Places like below which have not changed as far as I can remember. "
Fast disappearing i must say sadly, with the contagion spreading out radially from town-center. In a decade or so, it would be nothing like how it is now, sadly.
Huge in-flow of riyals/dollars/pounds will ensure this.

"One of the typical small temples that dot the Kerala Countryside."
Beautiful quaint temple, where is this temple located? Curious since iam from Palakkad too and have fond childhood memories of kaavu / pooram / vela, etc.
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Old 13th November 2015, 14:33   #8
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Very beautiful thread. As WindRide said it, this has been bookmarked. Very beautiful pictures too!
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Old 13th November 2015, 14:36   #9
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

You have portrayed the journey so well through your words and photographs. While going through your thread various random images of your drive was coming to mind. I have never been to South India before but your thread has inspired me to start planning for a road trip down south.
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Old 13th November 2015, 14:57   #10
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Wonderful travelogue Rajeevraj. It's been a while since I travelled in that part of country. Your report brought back a lot memories - the tea gardens, Wellington Lake, etc.

The roads out there are truly a delight to drive on. I was lucky enough to have the right car for the occasion - Ford Fiesta. I hope they have improved the lighting on the Coonoor - Calicut section though.

The GeeDee Museum is a place I need to visit soon. Kappad Beach looks nice too. Hope it remains this way in the years to come.
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Old 13th November 2015, 16:22   #11
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Awesome travelogue Rajeev! Rating it 5 stars

Loved the photos. Nicely done - especially the Kappad beach ones. Love that place.

Quote:
The travelogue would not be complete without pictures of the trusty steed that carried us through the journey. Over the 2 weeks, we drove ~1900 km and the TSI handled everything with no hassles. Be it the 4 lane highways, the winding ghats, the steep hair pin bends, some non existent roads. In addition it also did wedding duty and carried the bride and groom around.

Was also pleasantly surprised to note that post starting with a full tank from Bangalore, I needed to refuel only twice. Once in Coimbatore and once in Calicut and I reached Bangalore with half a tank to spare. Considering the driving conditions, the fact that it is an AT Petrol Sedan and the fact that I was in S mode pretty much throughout, felt that this is a good testament to the range and efficiency of the TSI +DSG combination.
It's feedback like this that highlights what a gem the TSI-DSG combo is. Though I didn't buy it, I still am in love with it. I vividly remember the happiness that I felt while driving it. Three cheers to your faithful steed!
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Old 13th November 2015, 16:30   #12
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Post Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Nice thread with beautiful pictures, especially the "Kappad Beach" which has a great historic importance
Went through the "detailed thread on Gedee Car Museum". Great collection of cars! A must visit one.
Planning to visit Valparai in January. Was contemplating between Pollachi and Coimbatore to stay for a night. You helped me to decide where to stay and what to do there
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Old 13th November 2015, 16:57   #13
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Very nice Travelogue. And thanks for the listing various approaches to Ooty!

I also traveled to Kerala on 21st and left at 3AM. I think you got lucky by starting late. Folks who started by around 5 were stuck badly at toll booths.

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Ready for the Coonoor-Ooty train ride. The folks at the home stay had asked us to be there atleast 45 min in advance. We were there 1 hour in advance but there was still a queue. Luckily managed to get tickets and a seat. But could not soak in the scenery like I wanted to. Daughter enjoyed it. Some random snaps.
I actually booked the tickets through IRCTC the previous day. And you could get on to the First Class compartment and don't need to stand in the queue. Was worried if I had to show the ticket print out, but the the SMS booking details are sufficient.
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Old 13th November 2015, 17:59   #14
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Great thread. I had also stayed at the Sun valley home stay when I visited in 2013 and it looks to be still the same with the same awesome views from the balcony. Did you try the tea estate hiking? Nothing much but enjoyable none the less. And their food as you say is fantastic, with all special needs (my kids was 1.5 yrs then) taken care off with extreme efficiency and politeness.
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Old 14th November 2015, 11:39   #15
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Default Re: Driven: Bangalore to Calicut via Palakkad, Coimbatore, Coonoor, Ooty & Manjoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindRide View Post
Nice thread. One to be bookmarked.
Fast disappearing i must say sadly, with the contagion spreading out radially from town-center. In a decade or so, it would be nothing like how it is now, sadly.
Huge in-flow of riyals/dollars/pounds will ensure this.

"One of the typical small temples that dot the Kerala Countryside."
Beautiful quaint temple, where is this temple located? Curious since iam from Palakkad too and have fond childhood memories of kaavu / pooram / vela, etc.
This is a place called Kottayi on the Palakkad-Thiruvillamala route. It has been like this right from the late 80's and 90's. Hope it stays this way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
You have portrayed the journey so well through your words and photographs. While going through your thread various random images of your drive was coming to mind. I have never been to South India before but your thread has inspired me to start planning for a road trip down south.
Thank you. Read from your intro that you are in the Tea Business. Since these areas in the Western Ghat range in the South (ooty, coonoor, Munnar, Valparai, Coorg, Wayanad) are filled with tea gardens and estates, guess it would be not only a holiday trip but an opportunity to connect with the businesses here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Wonderful travelogue Rajeevraj. It's been a while since I travelled in that part of country. Your report brought back a lot memories - the tea gardens, Wellington Lake, etc.

The roads out there are truly a delight to drive on. I was lucky enough to have the right car for the occasion - Ford Fiesta. I hope they have improved the lighting on the Coonoor - Calicut section though.
Thanks Aditya. Yes, the roads are a joy to drive, and once you get on stretches that are not regular tourist circuits (Like Coonoor-Manjoor/Ooty-Manjoor) it becomes even more wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achyu View Post
It's feedback like this that highlights what a gem the TSI-DSG combo is. Though I didn't buy it, I still am in love with it. I vividly remember the happiness that I felt while driving it. Three cheers to your faithful steed!
Agree, Absolute joy to drive, the Polo TSI would be even better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaj* View Post
Planning to visit Valparai in January. Was contemplating between Pollachi and Coimbatore to stay for a night. You helped me to decide where to stay and what to do there
Thanks. Yes, the car museum was a very enlightening experience. Started following the Vintage car section on Team-Bhp more closely now

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
I actually booked the tickets through IRCTC the previous day. And you could get on to the First Class compartment and don't need to stand in the queue. Was worried if I had to show the ticket print out, but the the SMS booking details are sufficient.
Yes good point and thanks for pointing it out. This was a miss from my side. Somehow never struck me that this train had reservations.Learning for next time and for anyone who plans to visit. The reservation is for 'First Class', but it is only Rs 90 per ticket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvind71181 View Post
Great thread. I had also stayed at the Sun valley home stay when I visited in 2013 and it looks to be still the same with the same awesome views from the balcony. Did you try the tea estate hiking? Nothing much but enjoyable none the less. And their food as you say is fantastic, with all special needs (my kids was 1.5 yrs then) taken care off with extreme efficiency and politeness.
Yes, looks like they have maintained the consistency. Did do the tea estate walk. Loved it. But had to return soon as I started getting dark sooner than I expected.
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