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Old 2nd January 2008, 16:37   #1
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Default Travelogue - Bangalore - Mysore - Nagarhole - Kannur - Bangalore

Folks,

This is an update to the trip I made last week to these places. Here is a brief summary of the road situation. Unfortunately I dont have pictures of the road to share. As I was driving taking pictures means, me stopping the vehicle and when on such long drives short breaks eventually add up, especially with a 4.5 year onboard.. Anyway here is how it started.

We started from Bangalore on 23rd December 2007 morning at 8:45 pm from Koramangala. Had breakfast at one darshini in JP Nagar 24th main and headed to Kanakapura road. I avoided the approach to nice road from Bannerghatta road, because of the giant sized bumps and twice my Corolla bottomed. Entered the NICE road from Kanakapura and almost eventless drive to GRS Fantasy park for some water sports.

We checked into Young Island Resort by evening, freshened up.The resort is close to a tributory of Cauvery I guess and had flowing water. It is well maintained and at Rs.1500 a good deal I would say. It is in Srirangapatna. If you have your own transport, definitely a preferred place to stay. Went to Brindavan gardens that evening and nothing much to write about except the unending crowd and queues. The story is the same at the zoo next day.

Left Mysore at 12:45 PM on 24th December,for Nagarhole via Hunsur. The road from Mysore to Hunsur is extremely well laid, except for some small patches. Very less traffic as well in the afternoon. Was able to reach Hunsur by 1:30 and from there the ride got a little bad. To reach Jungle Inn, look for a fork when driving in the road to Nagarhole. The road was dug up for some pipe work at regular intervals and required a small deviation every kilometer then on. We reached Nagarhole by around 2:30 PM. Could not go for the safari, as Forest officials refused permission and elephants of the elephant camp were also moved to Tittimatti. So, could not do much in Jungle Inn. The accomodation at Jungle Inn is pretty basic, but functional.Had a campfire and nice dinner.

Left Nagarhole on 25th December by 10:15 AM for Kannur. The first target was Mannathavady, via Kutta. Kutta is on the other side of Nagarhole and has to drive through the Wilf Life Sanctuary. The road inside is not good at all and I could not go beyong 30KMPH. this is the story till you reach Kutta. Roads get much better once you reach Kutta. Then onwards you are in Wayanad area and the roads and drive is awesome. At Kutta, watch out for a sharp Hairpin bend before you enter the main Kutta business area for Mannathavady. I went straight and had to take a U- turn and head backwards. We drove through Mannathavady - Mattanur - and reached Kuthuparamba by 1:30 PM. Stopped for lunch at a restaurant and blown away. The meal costed Rs.15. For three of us it came to Rs.60, which is what I pay for a coffee at Barista in Bangalore. Reached Kannur by 3:30 PM. Checked into Mascot Beach Resort. The hotel is right on the cliff facing Arabian Sea and one can have a candle light dinner on the cliff, with sea by the side. Very nice place and unbelievable price of Rs.1200/day. Generally hung around the swimming pool and spent the evening.

Next day on 26th went to Thallassery, Muzapilangad beaches. By lunch we went to Mahe beach. There is a small water sports complex. Nothing big but they have a motor boat and few pedal boats which you can rent and ride in the backwaters. It was a nice time pass especially for the little one who wanted a boat ride desperately.

On 27th went to Bekal fort which is around 80 km from Kannur. This is the worst driving experience I ever had. The highway NH17 is a nightmare to drive. There is no concept of Right of Way and no driver seem to respeect that. I had two near crash experience with those bus drivers who have the scantest regard for their lives and others life as well. General rule of driving is if you cant see, presume the worst and dont over take. In NH 17 or drivers of Kerala believe otherwise. When you cant see, presume nobody is there, overtake happily. Twice I had to see count stars and pray that nothing happens. Imaging a Piaggio auto trying to overtake a bus, which in turn is being overtaken by another bus, and I am in the opposite direction driving at 70kmph. I had to apply all brakes, head out of the tarmac and the bus passed me at 70-80kmph and the gap was barely inches between our vehicles. My heart skipped a beat and hoped things will be fine.

Second instance was in a curve in the ghat section when a bus overtook a truck and I had to run helter skelter because neither the bus driver nor me could see each other. I am in the right lane and the bus guy was overtaking even when he has no visibility. But some how managed to escape by a whisker. In both the instances the drivers did not even have a feeling of sorry in their faces. They believe it is their right to overtake jeopardising every one else.

Left Kannur on 28th morning by 9:30 AM. Came upto Mannathavady at around 11:45 AM. Saw a board that said Mysore 109 KM, but thought it goes through HDKote I guess. was not sure about the road and hence hit the road to Sultan Bathery via Panamaram and Meenaangadi. It was longer by around 50-60 kiometers I guess. From Bathery is usual Nanjungad - Mysore. Reached Mysore by 4:00 and stopped at Mysore Palace, left Mysore by 6:00 and reached Bangalore by 8:30. Overall a very good vacation.. A gist if one wants to know the details..

Bangalore - Mysore - Nothing new.
Mysore - Hunsur - very well laid roads, could do that in 45 minutes.
Hunsur - Nagarhole - Again nice road ,except 5-6 deviations. Could do that in an hour
Nagarhole - Manathavady - Kuthuparamba- Bad road inside the WLS. Beyond Kutta nice road and awesome drive through Wayanad. Took around 3 hours
Kuthuparamba - Kannur - 45 minutes.

Return

Kannur - Kuthuparamba - Manthavady - Panamaram - Meenangadi - Sultan Bathery- Left Kannur at 9:30 AM and reached Bathery at 2:00 PM, after a stop for an hour at Manathavady for brunch. Beyond Bathery usual route.

I did not keep track of the individual distances, but intend to do henceforth in the long drives. Next drive is not too far.:-) :-)

Happy new year to everyone!!

Nainar
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Old 2nd January 2008, 18:39   #2
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Nice travelogue, please back that up with some pictures, it would make the reading even more interesting
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Old 2nd January 2008, 18:56   #3
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Great experience you had out there. Well yup elephants have been shifted to the timber yard in thithimati so i doubt you can get to ride them in nagarhole. Roads inside the wls has always been bad and your lucky that you didnt take the road which goes to balele. There is a deviation inside the WLS and this road can only be done using jeeps. Any car and you would be cursing youself. Only advantage is that you get to see elephants regularly on this route.
Well driving in kerala i guess has been like that. Thats why its gods own country. Only god can save you and no driver can.
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Old 2nd January 2008, 19:13   #4
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I wish I could have stopped to take photographs or delegated the job to wife. But she sits in the rear with the child and really could'nt take photos of the road without stopping.

The road NH 212 upto Muthanga WLS from Sultan bathery was awesome. But once inside as well as exit from the WLS, the craters were so monstrous that I had to crawl for a few kilometers. The bad part is, the road is nice for a stretch of 100 meters, when you accelerate you hit a monster crater!! But apart from that the ride is very pleasant.

Maddy, I was actually considering the road to Balele but decided against it. In fact I was considering a homestay in Balele.

Nainar
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Old 5th January 2008, 22:21   #5
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Good for you... you missed the worst road by not taking the Mananthavady ... H D Kote ... Mysore road.

I went on this road 2 weeks back and was quite surprised. The stretch from Mysore upto the National Park is damn smooth and drive is a pleasure. Once you reach the forest checkpost the fun starts... there are no roads at all. I was a bit adamant thinking that the road would smoothen shortly (and also was expecting to see few wild animals) so i drove on only to regret the decision. Few kilometers in there was a deviation to Kabini JLR took it fed up with the road (and no wildlife sightings). On the way back still with expectations of spotting some wildlife took the same road...

To my luck or rather to my badluck i spotted couple of deer (this was the only animals i saw...) i took my eyes off the road and drove right into a ditch... ... and BANG the front bottom of my Esteem hit the ditch hard and loosened the engine and exhaust joint... Me in the middle of the forest and with family on a sunday

Well fortunately i could still drive with a lot of noise though... Drove with all the racket to the nearest town: Antharsanthe... there a mechanic managed to tighten it a little bit. Drove all the way back to Mysore and got it rectified the next day.

The road repair had started then... i guess it will go on atleast for 2 months min. I think this road is a strict NO NO for cars.
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Old 5th January 2008, 23:49   #6
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good travelogue anainar.

no use talking about the driver of kerala - they have the same descendants as the cab drivers of Bangalore - brainless dumbo's!
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Old 6th January 2008, 00:30   #7
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Nice report Anainar, you had a good trip except for the bad roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anainar View Post
We checked into Young Island Resort by evening, freshened up.The resort is close to a tributory of Cauvery I guess and had flowing water. It is well maintained and at Rs.1500 a good deal I would say. It is in Srirangapatna. If you have your own transport, definitely a preferred place to stay.
Let me supply some snaps of this place.

Reception.


Gym and pool.


General rooms.


Cottages.
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Old 7th January 2008, 11:22   #8
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Well one piece of advice to people who want to see animals in Nagarhole.
There are too many spotted deers and you will get fed up by the continuous sightings of these. The number of elephants have reduced drastically and to see the elephants you can come to the estates in the border regions of the forest as they are always inside someones estate having a feast on jackfruit, coconut, banana. Well people may feel its because of the encroachments that this is happening but is not so. Our forest department has this approach to become rich. They have planted Teak wood throughout the forest as this wood is precious and expensive in pricing. So basically when you cut a tree after a 100 years you get a huge profit. But the problem lies here. The teak leaf is not eaten by the elephants.
There has been an increase in poaching cases and also close to 80 elephants have died under mysterious cases in nagarhole.
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Old 16th January 2008, 04:16   #9
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Hey guys! I had a hell of a time going through HD KOTE-Manathavady route. My Swift which has SKIRTS had a tough time. But i was lucky enough. Could see a lot elephants. I have been there twice. Second time was also by the same route.
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Old 16th January 2008, 12:11   #10
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Nice reports. Pls support his with some pics. It will help others a lot if they are planning for any trip after your travelogue. Apart from What samurai has posted the pics.

@Samurai: Nice pics (as usual).
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Old 16th January 2008, 18:56   #11
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Good Logue... Nice snaps too... well done
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