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Old 27th August 2016, 23:48   #1
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Default Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

My wife and I recently took a trip to Anachal, Munnar, Devikulam, Marayoor, Valparai, Chalakudy and Thrissur from Bangalore in my 1-year-old Tata Sumo Gold GX that’s run approximately 26k. The detailed ownership thread is in a separate thread. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...d-sumo-24.html (Tata Sumo Gold - Refreshed Sumo!)

There was a long weekend for the independence day and combined with Raksha Bandhan, I managed to get 5 days for the cost of 2 leaves. Seemed a decent enough time for an approximately 1500 km road trip. Got my music downloaded and synced to my phone and had about 8-9 hours of a weird concoction of 90s Bollywood hits, AR Rahman, Pearl Jam, Floyd, Mandolin Srinivas, ML Vasanthakumari and a few others.

Got the truck checked out about 10 days before the trip at Concorde Motors, Hosur Road. Really loved their service station. It’s very clean and old school. Love the countless number of Dicors and Arias parked on their driveway. Each car has a story. There are private Sumos, many of them Victas and Spacios with over 100-150k+ on the odo but still looking tough. Their SA was a good solid guy who was busy as all Tata SAs but with a nice handshake, he was totally upto the job. All fluids checked, spare wheel examined, brake liners replaced for about 2500 Rs. and a full inside out cleaning job done.

The plan was to start at 4 am, an obviously optimistic plan which atleast allowed us to leave right before 6 am after a nice giant mug of filter coffee. No traffic out of Bangalore, we practically live right behind Hosur Road, so by 630, we were beyond Hosur and well on our way. Quite a few diversions enroute Salem. We had tanked up from almost empty at about 730 AM.

Planned Route 1st Leg: Hosur Road- Hosur- Salem – Namakkal – Dindigul – Theni - Ananchal

Stopped at around 840 AM and close to 160 odd kms since we’d left at where we weren’t sure was a real Saravana Bhavan or not but the chaotic crowd told us it was a famous place. Struggled to get a table but ordered a whopper of a breakfast and gobbled it up in record time. Another coffee and we were once more on our way before 930 AM.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160813_080219_01.jpeg

The ride till Dindigul was awesome although there was quite a lot of chaos trying to get in and leave Salem. There should really be a bypass or flyover through that unnecessary bother for everyone. From Salem till Dindigul it was a dream ride through 2-3 lane highways nonstop and even for an Independence day long weekend, the traffic was quite low. Made me think of how awesomely fun it would be to drive on these roads on a public workday.

Felt a bit sad about leaving the Dindigul highway and exiting on to the Theni road where one can notice an immediate change in scenery. The roads were very much single-laned with no divider but even now, surprisingly the traffic was very interspersed. I was at a bit less than half tank so got in fuel for about 1500 rupees to be on the safer side.

The distant mountains were calling out to us, the weather was already turning milder and as we closed up on the ghats by about 3 PM, we could see from a distance, the thick black clouds envelop entire mountain tops and lush greenery already taking over the terrain. It looked like we were approaching Jurassic Park. The only things missing were giant Brontosauruses waving their necks out to greet us.

We finally reached the ghats quite hungry as we had skipped lunch after the massive breakfast but took our time going up the almost 60 km ghat section. The Sumo handled them with élan and never ran out of breath. I had to go up to Anachal as our homestay was booked quite a while in advance. The roads were beautiful and the scenery breathtaking.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0010.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0012.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0013.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0016.jpeg

Once we got up to about 40 kms on the stretch, we stopped at a sad little restaurant called Lotus and overpaid ourselves to a good couple of omelets and a masala dosa and were back at it in half an hour. Couple of checkpoints on the way but the cops just waved us on so we kept going. I had anticipated some resistance to an MH registered sumo but zilch.

After 11 hours of driving and about 560 kms later, we reached the really comfortable homestay in Anachal ( Lizmerry casa, highly recommended) after a couple of sudden inclines that caught me completely off guard after over 10 hours of driving. Can’t afford to relax even a tiny bit in Jurassic Park:P . Or anywhere on the road for that matter. Mental reminder, more careful next time.

Had some coffee, took a small walk, some brilliant homemade vegetarian dinner later, we were sound asleep.

Continued in the next post...
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Old 28th August 2016, 00:08   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore- Munnar- Marayoor- Valparai - Chalakduy- Trissur- Bangalore in a Tata Sumo: Jurassic P

Continued..

Day 2:

The next day was planned to be a ride to Thekkady. There are 2 routes from Anachal to Thekkady but the longer and more scenic one goes via Devikulam, Poopara( where we had stopped the previous evening for lunch enroute Anachal) , Udumbanchola to Periyar, Thekkady. https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Mu...9203!5i1?hl=en

We left after a nice breakfast at about 9 AM and completely lost our minds and with the breathtaking beauty around us.

The crowd was filling in on the long weekend. If I am not mistaken, this route from Devikulam onwards merges with the one that comes from Madurai for people travelling towards Munnar at about Club Mahindra (Chinnakanal). This is also where the world famous Lockhart Tea Estates are located https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Mu...2007!3e0?hl=en

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0019.jpeg

We came across a procession of women headed towards a social function I suppose or maybe even some Independence day related cultural event. Lots of colorful attire everywhere.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0034.jpeg

A shot of the Munnar Bus Depot. Seeped in nostalgia, absolutely beautiful to see.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0042.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0058.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0108.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0135.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0151.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0183.jpeg

Views of the magnificent Devikulam tea estates

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0189.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0198.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0201.jpeg

Sweeping asphalt of NH85. So blissful to drive on.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0292.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0342.jpeg

By the time we had crossed Devikulam and wanted to keep driving towards Thekkady, there was a massive traffic jam between the tourists moving towards and out of Devikulam and oncoming traffic from Madurai. As usual due to a few sad motorists wanting to break the line and get ahead before anyone else by overtaking in already jammed and perilously narrow roads, there were quite a few stalemates.

We hit Poopara and decided to turn back as we had lost over 2 hours in the various jams that needed cops to bail everyone out. The traffic cops were there in no time in police jeeps and immediately took control of the situation. With some civilian volunteers helping out, we crawled out of the jams with quite a lot of time lost. Fortunately, even during the jams, the scenery remained absolutely magnificent and kept us occupied.

A few times, oncoming traffic had Tamil Nadu buses that made me stop dead in my tracks and gave us quite a few mini heart attacks. Some of these guys drive like absolute psychopaths and cannot be persuaded to give a tiny rat’s behind. How they managed to not scrap or completely carry with them my Sumo’s entire right hand side panels, only god knows.

We headed back to the homestay by around 4 PM and chilled out in anticipation of our departure to Marayoor the following day. I had heard that the ride to Marayoor would be magnificent and boy didn’t that turn out to be true!

The homestay had some really strong wifi and allowed us to relax in peace. Dinner was a north indian fare with Paneer, something that the wife so dearly desired after the South Indian cuisine onslaught that it was very warmly welcomed. We were very grateful.

Continued in the next post...

Last edited by vasant.guru@gma : 28th August 2016 at 00:32.
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Old 28th August 2016, 00:31   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore- Munnar- Marayoor- Valparai - Chalakduy- Trissur- Bangalore in a Tata Sumo: Jurassic P

Day 3 – Independence day:

Once again, we were up early and went out for a walk into the local tea plantations. The weather was sweet and ideally set up for a nice drive.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160815_081602.jpg

On our return from the walk, our food was ready, we had a massive breakfast and bid adieu to our marvellous hosts.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160815_104416.jpg

The drive to Marayoor was on paper only 50-60 kms from Anachal and was supposed to take only 2 hours but that was for people who didn’t stop every turn of every curve to take pictures of the mesmerizing beauty around. We left our homestay at 11 AM and it took us till 3 PM to reach Marayoor. Absolutely stunning drive once again. https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/An....2761663?hl=en

Once again the KSRTC depot at Munnar, captured in a bit of a drizzle.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0357.jpeg

The traffic in and out of Munnar was once again heavy and Munnar town itself is extremely commercialized and we couldn’t even get a chance to stop at the official spice shop.

A shot of a flag hoisting ceremony and cultural event in full swing at a public school in Munnar.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0364.jpeg

Enroute Marayoor near Eravikulam National Park

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0388.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160814_101339.jpg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0442.jpeg

Attachment 1547903

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0488.jpeg

A gorgeous Ambassador sweeps down the ghats enroute Marayoor. Lovely to see.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0484.jpeg

A troop of wild Macaques had made this wall their own home and got quite territorial if passersby stopped. They are known to jump into cars and grab food or valuables.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0514.jpeg

This monkey made it amply clear on who the boss was in these areas.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0528.jpeg

We reached Marayoor and wolfed down a double meal at Hotel Variath which is right at the center of the town. We had an unimaginably awesome vegetarian all-you-can-eat fare for 50 rupees a person. This sort of thing was unheard of back from where I come from.

There was an auto and taxi driver felicitation ceremony planned for later in the day and this tug of war was one of the activities.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0535.jpeg

I had booked a place right opposite the government run Marayoor Sandal and Spice shop and got the whole place for ourselves because there were no on other bookings for the day. Most people had wrapped up after the long weekend and had headed home. We got this whole place for 1100 a night. Absolute steal.

The place looked straight out of a movie set.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160815_181906.jpg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160815_181947.jpg

The owner of the place was a very chilled guy who also accompanied us on a night safari for about 30 kms one way deep into the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary. We left at around 9 PM and the roads were national highways so there were not a lot of restrictions. A quick sign in at a check post and we were well into the jungle roads. I was quite on the edge at the darkness and steep declining ghats and was constantly on the lookout for wild animals. I was hurtling down the road at quite a high speed and the Sumo handled it so beautifully that I had to consciously slow down many times as traffic was very very sparse.

Although there were quite a few marked crossings, all we got was only left over elephant droppings on the road and no real animals.

We turned back from the Tamil Nadu forest checkpost and on the way back we went to the other side of the town into the sandalwood forests and found a very huge male spotted deer with giant antlers. It was gone before we could complete our gasp.

Continued in the next post...

Last edited by vasant.guru@gma : 28th August 2016 at 00:32.
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Old 28th August 2016, 00:47   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore- Munnar- Marayoor- Valparai - Chalakduy- Trissur- Bangalore in a Tata Sumo: Jurassic P

DAY 4

We were up early once again but chilled out with a lazy breakfast at Variath of Appams and Sambhar. After some purchases at the government shop consisting of Marayoor Jaggery and Honey along with a few tea packets, we were once again on our way at 11 AM.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160816_105654.jpg

The drive to Valparai after crossing the ghats is an absolute joy to drive on before really hitting the first of the famed 41 hairpin bends, there is a long stretch of land that’s enveloped with a thick cover of coconut trees on either side. https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Ma....3293324?hl=en

I’ve attached a video link here for you to enjoy:

The view from the beginning of the ascent to Valparai

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0541.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0542.jpeg

We also spotted a rare Mountain ram or Ibex on our ascent. Stunning beast.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160816_141417.jpeg

Since these ghats are on the eastern side of the valley, they are covered from rain and it gets quite hot out here. The scenery and the weather changes dramatically as you complete the last of the remaining hairpin bends which are easily manageable even for a first time driver.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0559.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0546.jpeg

We checked into Hotel Misty Creek for 1600 a night at about 3 PM, slightly expensive but the views from our balcony were to die for.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160816_154208.jpg

After a quick coffee, we were out gallivanting and taking in the town of Valparai. Words seriously cannot do justice to the beauty of this place.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0554.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0606.jpeg

A lonesome rooster trying to kill time until the next sunrise

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160816_164825.jpg

Magnificent Ambassador doesn’t betray the years of work put in by it in these ghats.

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-img_20160816_175129.jpg

After another quick tour of the town and a warm puff at the local bakery later, we were good to return to the hotel and prepare for what was as yet an unknown journey the following morning.

Last edited by vasant.guru@gma : 28th August 2016 at 01:05.
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Old 28th August 2016, 00:54   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore- Munnar- Marayoor- Valparai - Chalakduy- Trissur- Bangalore in a Tata Sumo: Jurassic P

Day 5:
Before calling it in the previous night, we had not yet entirely sure of our plans the following day and had two options to either head back home and enjoy the remaining day holiday on Thursday recovering from the trip or head out to Athirapally waterfalls, return to Valparai and leave the following day for Bangalore.

The hotel guy advised us that returning to Valparai didn’t make sense and we only later realized why he said that.He advised us to go to Bangalore via Athirapally, Chalakudy ,Thrissur, Coimbatore and Bangalore. The drive to Thrissur itself was quite long and so we decided to stay over at Thrissur.

I quickly fired up Bookings.com on my phone from the hotel wifi and found a wonderful homestay at Thrissur for 1100 a night. We decided to start at 10 am after breakfast, get some fuel in and drive leisurely to Athirapally, Chalakudy and Thrissur and stay over before heading to Bangalore the next day. https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Mi....5276416?hl=en


The drive has to be experienced to be believed. This was the peak of our Jurassic park trip and every day I am grateful that we decided to do this route and not skip it. Since it was a normal work day for the public, the traffic was at the rate of one car every 10 minutes with lush dense rainforests and it was pouring down in many sections rendering visibility to almost 10 meters.

A few snaps of the terrain before the rain gods unleashed hell

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0654.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0657.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0661.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0663.jpeg

Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo-dsc_0685.jpeg

Watch the videos to know exactly what I mean.

We were crossing Athirappaly waterfalls and saw a huge vonvoy of tourists with multiple tempo travelers. We decided to skip it and kept going on. Might have been a bad move but the drive itself was so overwhelmingly beautiful we just didn’t care anymore.

We had hit Chalakudy by about 2 PM and were touching Thrissur at 3 PM when it suddenly hit me that we might as well drive straight onwards to Bangalore which was still a good 480 kms away. I asked my wife if it sounded like a good idea and she's usually onboard with any adventure so said yeah why not? I quickly cancelled the planned stay at Thrissur and stopped for lunch at a shady dhaba where we had Malabar Parotha and Channa Dal and were once again hitting the road.

Google maps said 8.5 hours which meant a 1130 PM arrival in Bangalore considering absolutely minimal stops. The Ernakulam- Kochi- Coimbatore road is a nightmare with heavy construction going on and it took us forever to get through this stretch before encountering a Los Angeles level 3 laned superhighway a short while before Coimbatore. We were then back on single laned highways until we exited Coimbatore and then finally hit the Salem highway which was alright but by no means an equivalent of the Salem- Dindigul highway.

We drove on for 2 more hours before stopping about 100 kms before Salem at Hotel Annapurna for a nice masala dosa and coffee and then didn’t stop for quite a while past Salem and maybe just one more stop after that for a quick restroom break. I had driven about 550 kms since morning and there was still a good 100-120 odd more to go and my body was really starting to complain, especially my neck. Since a lot of the drive had been in the night time, I had to concentrate doubly hard and it was getting to be quite a stretch. https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Th....9715987?hl=en

Finally, after what seemed like ages, we reached home at about 1230 AM and slept immediately. Actually, I watched an episode of Silicon Valley and a giant mug of coffee before crashing at 2 AM. No office the following day so could get up leisurely.

Total drive: Approximately 1550 kms.
Fuel: 6500-7000 Rupees. Mileage – 12-13 kmpl which was awesome by Sumo’s standards.
Toll: The usual 1 rupee per kilometer on average.
Total cost of the trip for 2 including shopping stay, fuel and food: approximately 19-21,000 rupees for 4 nights, 5 days; borderline reasonable.
Word to the wise: Do it in the rains. You won't regret it. Avoid long public holidays.
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Old 29th August 2016, 06:43   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore- Munnar- Marayoor- Valparai - Chalakduy- Trissur- Bangalore in a Tata Sumo: Jurassic P

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th August 2016, 11:52   #7
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Amazing write up!! The places you visited are really picturesque. :-)
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Old 29th August 2016, 13:08   #8
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Amazing travelogue, superb pics. The Sumo looks butch with the decals removed. A pair of Hella Rally aux lights and a nice set of alloys would transform the truck .
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Old 29th August 2016, 17:26   #9
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

I am one of the diehard SUMO fans ever since it was launched. I used to love the sound of Sumo Spacio.

The current Sumo looks a toned down version of what made sumo look like a SUMO, and I dearly miss that Huge Crash guard at front.

I work in hinjewadi, hope to catch your truck someday to have a look personally.: thumbs up.
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Old 29th August 2016, 20:26   #10
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Amazing write-up with equally beautiful pictures. The Sumo Gold is a great car for the Ghats. I owned one and it felt at home on the steepest of the inclines.

And yes, anything above 10kmpl is great, by sumo standards.
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Old 29th August 2016, 21:14   #11
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Phew! Thanks all.. really thought for a while that I am going to end up spending a whole weekend putting this up and no ones going to read

Really got to find a better way to manage pictures uploads and attachments. Drag and drop directly into text box would make life really really easy.
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Old 30th August 2016, 00:36   #12
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Excellent write up! Can you please let us know what was the best part of this trip in Sumo and what was bad?
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Old 30th August 2016, 08:30   #13
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Awesome travelogue and great snaps. I am sure you must have had lots of fun. How come your Sumo is pristine White inspite of continuous drizzle? Unless you have been cleaning her before each snap.. My pearl white Storme gets muddy brown even in small puddles, especially the tailgate area
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Old 30th August 2016, 17:02   #14
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpadki View Post
Excellent write up! Can you please let us know what was the best part of this trip in Sumo and what was bad?
Thanks..I guess the good parts of the trip was being able to drive the Sumo about anywhere really including really bad roads, ghats and pooled water.

There was quite a lot of heat in areas that were shielded from clouds where we really needed AC.. like the drive between Marayoor and just before commencing on the ghats at Valparai.Obviously the national highways were scorched intermittently where we needed AC as well. Till date from purchase, I must have only operated the AC at level 3 or above maybe 2-3 times in burning Gujarat and very rarely needed the secondary vents on the roof for co-passengers. I have never experienced this sort of cooling in any vehicle I've driven in. Its absolutely fantastic.

I can't really think of any bad parts cuz I love driving more than anything and climbing any sort of steep incline with the Sumo is a joy that can only be experienced.

The one area that really unnerves me is that after about 100-150 km of constant running, the brakes become quite spongy and are absolutely not confidence inspiring. It has been a recurring nightmare for me that there will be a day I won't be able to stop in time so I maintain quite a distance from the vehicle in front of me. Other than that, its been spectacular.

A few months ago, I got an admit for an MS course in Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon. One of my major worries apart from arranging for the tuition fees was not being to drive my truck as often as I would have otherwise done. Felt quite happy deferring the admission to next year. Hopefully a few more trips and travelogues coming up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Awesome travelogue and great snaps. I am sure you must have had lots of fun. How come your Sumo is pristine White inspite of continuous drizzle? Unless you have been cleaning her before each snap.. My pearl white Storme gets muddy brown even in small puddles, especially the tailgate area
haha thanks sir.. it was raining quite often in patches and I guess every time the truck got dirty, it got a natural shower from the rain gods! You should have seen it once we got back to Bangalore! Also there's much less dust in the ghats than on highways which make it worse post a shower .. fewer trucks too.
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Old 31st August 2016, 12:34   #15
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Default Re: Jurassic Park: Bangalore - Munnar - Marayur - Valparai - Chalakudy - Thrissur in a Tata Sumo

Very well articulated travelogue Vasanth, nice snaps too. It is evident that you enjoyed the whole trip - the roads, the weather, the greenery and the food. You are lucky that you got good home-stays as well. Enjoyed reading it, expecting more to come.
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