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Old 17th November 2015, 22:22   #16
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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That was a nice Travelogue and very good pictures.

In one of your post, you mentioned about Sinnadorai resort. Did you stay there during this trip or you just paid it a visit?

I liked those pictures of Wildlife grazing close to the resort where you stayed!
No, we have not stayed at Sinna Dorai. We just paid an evening visit. Actually the property have got some connections with Paralai group, where my cousin works. Hence we got an opportunity for spending few hours there.
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:17   #17
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

Very nice Travelogue. Thanks for sharing. Valparai was the top destination on my list when I was on the look out for a relaxing weekend during the puja holidays. But could not get accommodation in our preferred places. So dropped it and went to Coonoor instead.

Even after that I had a plan to drive to Valparai from Coonoor and then go to Calicut via Sholayar, Athirapalli. But had to drop it.

Your report has rekindled the plan. Guess I know where i am headed for my next trip.
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Old 18th November 2015, 15:36   #18
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Post Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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"places like Malakkapara (if you have plans to visit Athirapally falls) where it is highly recommended to avoid driving during the night as these areas usually see a lot of elephant movements. "
Thank you For the guidance Cruiser_D. Ofcourse, Athirapally is a part of my plan along with Sholayar, Balaji temple & the Koolangal river. Will plan the visit before sunset
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Old 19th November 2015, 07:04   #19
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

Oh Man! So you had an amazing drive and stay. What more to expect than being "Roman in Rome". You stayed inside the estate which we picnic to see Guars. That too as a local guest

Sad to hear you had a narrow miss of the spotted cat. Leopards are known to stock their hunt and eat part by part in couple of days. Sometimes they hide it on tree tops too. Also there are very less chances it discard the hunt without finishing it. Hence the foul smell confirms its presence.
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Old 19th November 2015, 13:32   #20
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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And finally we were home at 9:00 PM.........List of Toll Plazas and fares en route (single way fare)
A splendid travelogue, Cruiser_D. And the photos do justice to the place. I particularly loved the ones of the antiques (typewriter, telephone) in side the bungalow, as well as the collection of old and obsolete plant equipment that was displayed in the open around the plantation. Old & antique bric-a-bracs are always fascinating!

Your account of the encounters with wild life made great reading too. All in all it brought back memories of our own road trip to Madikeri back in '98.

Thanks for a great read!
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Old 19th November 2015, 21:55   #21
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

I am sure you must have spotted and shot rare species like Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Squirrels, Hornbills etc. Kindly share those photos, if any. I have finalised a 4 day trip to Valparai in 3rd Week of December. Kindly let me know of any locations which are good for wildlife spotting and birding.
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Old 20th November 2015, 11:08   #22
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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I am sure you must have spotted and shot rare species like Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Squirrels, Hornbills etc. Kindly share those photos, if any. I have finalised a 4 day trip to Valparai in 3rd Week of December. Kindly let me know of any locations which are good for wildlife spotting and birding.
We have spotted few Macaques, but not any Tahrs or malabar squirrels. There are few places like Chinna Kalar where the chances of spotting animals are more. But accessing the location would require local Jeep transportation. But not sure about whether any prior permissions are required. We have not tried this place. Gaurs are quite common in and around plantation areas and spotting these would be easirer. Apart, there are many animal crossing zones around Valparai roads. And if you are lucky, you would be able to see few even during a casual ride. As I mentioned in the travelogue, we just nearly missed a cat.
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Old 20th November 2015, 11:15   #23
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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Post lunch we roamed inside the estate.
Thanks for the nice travelogue. Could you please give the details of the place where you stayed?
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Old 20th November 2015, 22:02   #24
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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Thanks for the nice travelogue. Could you please give the details of the place where you stayed?
Pramod, we stayed in a private property, Paralai industries estates.
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Old 20th November 2015, 22:37   #25
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

Very nice write-up with some superb pics. The place where you stayed looks awesome!!!

Any recommended good place that you are aware of for stay?
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Old 21st November 2015, 14:44   #26
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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Very nice write-up with some superb pics. The place where you stayed looks awesome!!!

Any recommended good place that you are aware of for stay?
Arun, There are few estate bungalows available for bookings. We paid a visit to Sinna Dorai bungalow and found to be a good option. This place is really tranquil, provides panoramic view of the surrounding plantation valleys and the hills. It is for sure that we will get detached to the urban life and sublimed to the nature.

Other options we noticed are, Waterfall estate bungalow and Monica bungalow. Do have a look into the thread from Jacs for the details on Monica bungalow.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...l-station.html (A rejuvenating long weekend at Valparai The young green hill station)
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Old 24th November 2015, 10:04   #27
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Default Re: A fascinating drive to the land of tea estates - Chennai to Valparai

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I am sure you must have spotted and shot rare species like Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Squirrels, Hornbills etc. Kindly share those photos, if any. I have finalised a 4 day trip to Valparai in 3rd Week of December. Kindly let me know of any locations which are good for wildlife spotting and birding.
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We have spotted few Macaques, but not any Tahrs or malabar squirrels. There are few places like Chinna Kalar where the chances of spotting animals are more. But accessing the location would require local Jeep transportation. But not sure about whether any prior permissions are required. We have not tried this place.
Anamalais being connected to Eravikulam, Nilgiri Tahrs are found but not in abundance as we find Barking deers or Guars. I tried hook and crook to spot them but not successful in both trips. Most of the reported spotting were around the Loams view point stretch where one side of the road is rock and cliffs. Rest of your list is very well there.

No prior permissions are needed for Chinna Kallar, one need to take pass from forest check-post and can cover Nirar dam as well. Roads are bad as of now. But as per the information acquired from locals, Elephant spotting is more in Chinna Kallar, rest of the list is not very different from what we saw in Valparai itself. If planning a trip, try to be there in the mornings or evenings but forest guards will insist you to return by 6PM which can be extended if you are on local vehicles.

For serious wildlife and birding, I believe Manampalli makes more sense but more risky as well. With prior permissions from DFO, one can offroad from Manampalli to Parambikulam through an infamous route where probability of big cats are more

Last edited by jacs : 24th November 2015 at 10:06.
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