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Old 19th February 2008, 18:53   #1
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Default Bangalore – Munnar-kannur-bangalore -1500kms Round Trip

BANGALORE – MUNNAR-KANNUR-BANGALORE -1500KMS ROUND TRIP

This is my first attempt at writing a travelogue. Having read many of them here on team-bhp, thought of giving it a shot.

Well the plan for this trip came to my mind when I got a mail from our HR to submit tax saving proofs & to submit LTA claims(if any).to claim LTA, I had to take leave for 5 days continuously, which I had not taken this year. I applied for leave & my boss approved it. Considering the weekends I had 9 days at my disposal.

Shared the idea with wifey & she was all ready for the trip, we started thinking about locations. Goa & Munnar were the two locations which we had shortlisted. We chose munnar coz this way we could also visit my parents at kannur, as we had 9 days with us.

The route for the trip was finalized after few PMs to team-bhp travel expert hvkumar & ofcourse few threads in this forum also helped. Hvkumar was kind enough to mail across his trip log for blr-munnar & munnar –kannur.

PART 1

BANGALORE –MUNNAR

Route – Bangalore Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Toppur-Mettur-Bhavani-Perunthurai-Chennimalai-Kangayam-Dharapuram-Udumalpettai-Chinar-Marayur-Munnar 470 Kms

Me, wifey & 10 month old son
The car : Esteem
Time taken : 11.45hrs

Previous night, checked air all 5tyres,loaded most of the luggage & converted the whole rear seat area into a bed, with mattress & pillows for my son’s comfort.

We had planned to start early as we had not done any confirmed bookings at Munnar for stay& wanted time to search for the place. Had spoken to couple of hotels they all wanted advance money to confirm the booking. Didn’t want to pay advance as we won’t have any choice if we didn’t like the place.

Got up at 3am,freshen up. We started at 4.15 am from R.T Nagar, Bangalore. Tanked up between Hosur & krishnagiri,(petrol is cheaper there).the trip meter read 57kms then.
The travel till krishnagiri was a breeze. was constantly doing 100-110 kmph. My son was still asleep when we started & he woke up at the toll gate at krishnagiri.

The route from krishnagiri to dharmapuri was bad, the four lane work was in progress, lot of diversions, potholes & bad roads. to top it up was the Bangalore bound traffic, the buses etc. it took 1 &1/2 hrs to reach dharmapuri. we stopped at dharmapuri for breakfast. had masala dosas & coffee. started our onward journey.

We crossed thoppur & reached mettur, there was a bypass I guess (avoiding the dam),I missed it somehow, but was worth the extra time as we crossed mettur dam. was an awesome sight.


The route from bhavani to udumalpettai was good barring few bad patches & one diversion through muddy roads due to bridge construction.

Saw some windmills on the way

Once you cross uduamalpettai, the sanctuary starts, there are 5-6 check posts between udumalpettai & munnar. at each place you have to provide the vehicle no, owner name, vehicle make,private/taxi,coming from, going to etc & of course sign on their register. I think it was forest & police check posts of TN & kerala states. it was time consuming as we have to park the vehicle, go to the check posts & finish this work. the TN guy asked for Rs.10/- .there were few others who were asking for a receipt!!. kerala excise check post guy wanted to see the luggage in the boot & wanted to know if im carrying liquor.

From marayur, there was fog & slight drizzle. visibility was not more than 6-8 meters. Speed was around 20kmph.I had to switch on lights, the fog lamps were not working,(the switch had conked off).it was fun driving on those roads. Even in those low visibility conditions the maniac kerala jeep drivers were driving rash & fast with no regard for upcoming(climbing) traffic.

About 25 kms from munnar we stopped at a small tea stall had lime soda & omlette. strange combination, but that’s what was available, other than tea coffee & some bondas.


Reached munnar by 4pm.Went to a hotel called munnar inn. room was available but on the third floor, no parking, no lift inside the hotel. it was expensive for the amenities. located in the middle of the market.

Then went to westwood riverside garden resort, decent rooms, parking was available, slightly off the market. good location & located at the bank of river. One thing about munnar is that you should bargain hard at the hotels. I got a room @60% lower than the rack rates. Only problem with this hotel is that they don’t have room service for breakfast & dinner. only buffet is available. checked in, took bath, had some sandwiches & rest for 2hrs.evening went for a walk. had dinner & slept off.

We were worried about our 10 month old son, thinking the cold weather might be too much for him. but to our surprise he was quite happy & enjoyed every bit of the trip.

Next day went for sight seeing, top station,mattupetty dam, boating etc.the route to top station is superb except the last mile which was bad. it rained in the evening. We couldn’t see the tea museum as it was 4.15pm when we reached the place & they close by 4pm.they had a holiday on Monday.

The day after went to tekkadi road ( devikulam , some water falls(forgot the name).)
Back to town in the afternoon, did some shopping –spices,chocolates,tea etc.

We came back to the hotel, I dropped wifey & son at the hotel, went to check air & get the fog lamps repaired. changed the switch & it was working fine. came back. loaded the luggage into the car at night itself as we had planned to travel to kannur early morning.

I must say that Munnar is the hill station we liked most in southern part of the country, not too commercialized, endless tea estates & the greenery.
The pics dont do justice to the beauty of the place.A must visit for all.

End of Part 1.
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Old 19th February 2008, 22:47   #2
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Nice trip, hope you had a great time !
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Old 19th February 2008, 23:03   #3
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hey mate, great travelogue. nice photos! seems like you had a ball of a time!

waiting for second part! :-)
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Old 20th February 2008, 09:25   #4
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Since pictorial review... well done

Just curious.. how can you claim LTA, since you travelled on your own car..

As far as i know, my company accepts travel claims provided i travelled using public transportation such as train, bus or flight.
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Old 20th February 2008, 09:27   #5
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Hey, Nice Travelogue, Pls format it well before posting as the words are not wrapped.

Eager to see the Part II of the trip.

Abhi
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Old 20th February 2008, 09:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
Just curious.. how can you claim LTA, since you travelled on your own car..
You can claim petrol bills (or hired taxi bills) if you have travelled by car. You need to submit the hotel bills to confirm that you have indeed travelled in this time frame.

Abhi
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Old 20th February 2008, 09:35   #7
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Good travelogue there and certainly Munnar is a place to be visited as i heard about it many a time. So part 1 ended and waiting for part 2 .
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Old 20th February 2008, 10:12   #8
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Good writeup, Munnar is one of my destinations to visit, this gave some insight and motivation to plan early. Look forward to Part II.

btw, what are the good months to visit and months to avoid ??
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Old 20th February 2008, 11:00   #9
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Default Part 2 - MUNNAR-KANNUR

Part 2

MUNNAR-KANNUR

MUNNAR-ADIMALI-KOTHAMANGALAM-KURUPPUMPADY-PERUMBAVOOR-KALADY-ANGAMALY-CHALAKUDY-THRISSUR-KUNNAMKULAM-KUTTIPURAM-FEROKE-CALICUT-VADAKARA-MAHE-THALASSERY-KANNUR - 360KMS-9hrs

Though I have been to kerala many times, this was my longest drive through kerala.

We started at 4.40 am from munnar. was expecting a lot of fog,(with the fog lamp now working wast worried about it) on the way but to our surprise the route was clear. At adimali there was fog for about 5kms.

By 7.30am we were at perumbavoor. had a tea break.& had to switch on the ac as the climate was warm & humid.(typical kerala climate).

Angamaly to thrissur route was bad with lot of traffic. four laning work was going on. bad roads.

We were in thrissur by 9am.took the guruvayoor route to kunnamkulam. from here to calicut the road was good but the maniac buses were aplenty plying on calicut- kannur route.

One thing I learnt on this route is to keep a good gap between your car & the buses They would come to a halt without any indications. the brake lights on most of these buses don’t work.

They expect you to go off the road to give them way, else you will have continuous audio treat from them in the form of musical loud air horns. I always tried my best to give them way rather than risking my car & family. the way they change gears is also pretty strange, they would press the clutch without taking their feet off the accelerator.

Calicut to kannur, good roads but narrow on some stretches. we were stuck in a traffic jam near thalassery due to an accident for about an hour. Lost time.

At thalassery the heavy vehicle traffic was diverted through another route, bikes & light vehicles were allowed through Moidu bridge, which is under maintenance. We took this route reached home by 1.30 pm.

The travel through kerala was interesting but more tiresome than the Bangalore munnar trip, due to frequent braking, gear changes & overtaking.

Sorry did not take any pics,was busy driving & wifey was busy handling the kid.it was the usual kerala roads nothing great to take pics.The route from munnar till adimali might be good to take pictures, but we covered this area during darkness.

End of part 2
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Old 20th February 2008, 13:15   #10
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Default Part 3 KANNUR-BANGALORE

Part 3

KANNUR-BANGALORE

KANNUR-THALASSERY-MAHE-VADAKARA-QOUILANDY-THAMARASSERY-LAKKIDI-KALPETTA-SULTAN BATTERY-GUNDULPET-NANJANGUD-MYSORE-BANGALORE – 430KMS -10.5HRS

This is my usual route to & fro my parents place. the route is longer but the roads are too good except from Karnataka side of the wild life sanctuary to gundulpet. the roads are bad.

We started from kannur at 7.20 am. As usual the car was loaded with luggage the previous night. this time my parents had some the more stuff for us to carry to Bangalore for us & for my brother’s family. which included some home made goodies, coconuts, bakery items, bananas(two varieties).the boot was full to the brim. we were any way carrying lot of luggage. had a tough time closing the boot lid. somehow managed to stuff everything in & close it only to open it back in Bangalore. Only worrying thing was that if the car had a flat tyre, the whole luggage will have to be offloaded to take the spare wheel. fortunately, nothing happened.

We tanked up at MAHE. Extrapremium petrol is Rs.45/lt there. this is after Rs.2/lt increase.

At the ghats after tamarassery towards sultan battery there was a huge pile up of traffic. we were stuck there for an hour. one trailer broke down. which held up traffic. after some time cops came to clear the jam. Once the jam started clearing the cops were warning all not to overtake, but there were taxis who would overtake. at one turn the cops stopped the overtaking taxis & asked them to park & wait till the traffic cleared. Hope it was a lesson to them.
Traffic block pics

Random pics at ghats

After the forest check post at kerala border I was @60kmph , the roads were winding & suddenly at an inclined blind left turn, there was one truck overtaking the other at probably 5kmph due to the incline. I had to apply brakes too hard. the tyres locked, screeching sound & burnt tyre smell. the car stopped some 5 meters from the oncoming truck. I was shocked & was glad that we just escaped from a possible head on collision. The driver of the truck was smiling as if it was a joke. didnt want to react & waste time. We moved on.

Learning from this was to upgrade the tyres & my next car will surely be with ABS & ofcourse to drive slowly on winding roads. you can never trust the morons on Indian roads.

Few kms from there we stopped for lunch which mom had packed for us. We stopped near bamboo trees.
few pics

Between gundulpet & nanjangud, we saw a motorcade of firangs on bullets all bikes were looking new & were KL regd.there were some 50 of them. Saw a couple with the female in the side car. All the bikers were wearing protective gears like gloves, knee guards, chest guards, helmets. have taken few pics but the quality is bad as it was taken from the moving car.

Reached mysore by 3pm.was at kengeri at 5pm.there was a traffic pile up there also due to the bridge/flyover construction. it eased out in 15 mins.reached home by 6pm.

3kms from my home, at mekhri circle my car completed 10000 kms.
Pics

The total trip was 1507 kms the car drank 85 LTRS of petrol average 17.75 approx.
Out of 1507kms 247kms were sight seeing trips at munnar & local travel to relatives place in kannur.

Back to Bangalore, back to work, back to chaos…..
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Old 20th February 2008, 13:31   #11
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@msdivy - sure had great time.It was a break i was really wanting to take for a long time.

@happywheels - thanks mate

@rajshenoy - if you can do a "jugaad" of a bill from atravel agnecy showing taxi hiring charges & a package tour,that should suffice.atleast it dies in my company.

@akroy - thanks. i think i ll have to take mods help for this.i cant change it now.

@vjmavrick - thanks dude

@dadu - you can avoid rains,its quite heavy in kerala.a small drizzle & the whole place is engulfed in fog.summers would be expensive & warm during the day.
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Old 20th February 2008, 14:26   #12
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Nice travelogue with supporting pics.
Your travelogue is motivating me to plan a trip.
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Old 20th February 2008, 15:15   #13
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Well written. Enjoyed reading your travelogue.

Quote:
After the forest check post at kerala border I was @60kmph , the roads were winding & suddenly at an inclined blind left turn, there was one truck overtaking the other at probably 5kmph due to the incline. I had to apply brakes too hard. the tyres locked, screeching sound & burnt tyre smell. the car stopped some 5 meters from the oncoming truck. I was shocked & was glad that we just escaped from a possible head on collision. The driver of the truck was smiling as if it was a joke. didnt want to react & waste time. We moved on.
You had put this serious threat very simple and as you finished we need to move on. This is one reason, I always have a second thought before getting into long drives.

Is there any space on your left down the road or braking is the only option?

Last edited by Surprise : 20th February 2008 at 15:21.
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Old 20th February 2008, 15:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Well written. Enjoyed reading your travelogue.



You had put this serious threat very simple and as you finished we need to move on. This is one reason, I always have a second thought before getting into long drives.

Is there any space on your left down the road or braking is the only option?
It indeed was a serious situation.fortunately we are safe & fine.Risks are always there, whether on long drives or city drives.

the road was only wide enough to accomodate two trucks paralelly,both the sides had trees so couldnt go off the road also.braking was the only option. reaction time was too less.
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Old 20th February 2008, 16:20   #15
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Hi,

Nice review and pictures.

How much did you paid for the hotel and address of this hotel?
This would help people like me who are planning for a trip
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