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Old 29th February 2008, 16:33   #1
A.R
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Smile Ooty & Silent Valley

After a long time, me & my friend decided to take some time off from work & spend the year end at a friend's place in Ooty.
As we started to book stay & get other things in place for our trip during the early part of the week, a 'Depression' is reported in the Bay of Bengal! Heck, who asked for it now? Result rains, cloudy dark sky, dull environment. But we still decide to go ahead.
Thursday evening, still raining, I called up my friend in Ooty to inform we would be there (Ooty) over the weekend & to arrange for stay etc. I had my packing done by evening. Being my last working day before holidays, I had a lot of stuff to be completed, so was awake till 2 am.

Friday morning I got up at 8.00 AM & to my surprise - no rains, bright clear sky, a blessing for us & our trip. I quickly get ready; inform my pal for the trip that I'll be there by 9.30 - 10.00 AM. I leave my place at 9 ish, navigate through Bangalore traffic & reach his place at around 10.30 AM. He is not at home, come back in some time, buting 8 packs of Ciggies. We start from there at around 11.30 AM.

We hit the Mysore road in 30 mins, nice empty stretch, clear sky, what more could we have asked for! We fill fuel at one of the
stations on the highway. With me driving at 100 average, we pass through some of the bridges built over river Cauvery & see that its hardly got any water. We stop at Maddur for lunch at a bus stand hotel, an OK place to feed two hungry hunks. We finish lunch & start again, reach Srirangapatna at around 2 ish. We enter the town, go around the tourist spots (patel points); we stop at a view point next to the river. Off season, no rains & hence very very little water. We thought of getting into the water BUT when we saw people washing clothes, taking bath, & doing other personal activities, we decided against. We sit there on the bank for some time, nice cool breeze, drank some coconut water & started.

We next head towards Ranganthittu - a bird sanctuary near Srirangapatna. We reach there in no time, head straight towards boating a 20-30 minute sail on Cauvery river. Not many birds seen since it was off season. The boat rover was explaining on what kind of birds come at what time & from where etc. He even knew the bird species names! The river is infested with Crocodiles! AT one point we were just a feet away from a couple of Crocs resting on a rock! Holy *$^& The Crocs were adults & decently built & certainly not like the huge built ones we see on NG or AP. We then get back to the bank, go out for a walk & this when my photo shoot started. I managed to take a few pics of the river, a pic from a small watch tower etc.

We then head to Mysore - my hometown, reach there by 4 ish, feels good. We stop at a restaurant where I used to go during my
college. And it's still the sameI We eat some food. We then decide to go to Ooty straight & visit Bandipur on our way back. So we call up my friend at Ooty & confirm. We leave Mysore around 5 PM take the Nanjangud road, go via Gundlepet, terrible roads for a while till we reach the ghats, awesome scene, greenery all the way. We drive through the Bandipur National Park, nice roads, No animals at all. It's already dark & we reach the Karnataka - Tamilnadu border. The folks out there don't do a thorough check but ask for a couple of ciggies ! My pal in the car isn't happy. We then reach a point where we have to take a diversion to go to Ooty. Called up the Ooty friend again & he advises to take a short cut since the main road is bad. We stop for a tea & take the short cut. Holy cow, this road is so narrow. Only one vehicle can pass through. If there's another vehicle coming in the opposite direction, you got to get your car down into the rough! It was quite a steep climb, pitch dark, very few vehicles, but enjoyed every moment of the drive.

We proceed into TN, take the road up to Ooty, curves, HP bends, roads were decent enough but misty; so view wasn't that great. Getting to Ooty is that tough? No, you will realize why later. We reach Ooty at around 8 ish, called my friend again & he says drive to a place called Kotagiri - that's where he stays. We take the road to Kotagiri, again climbing up, curves, bends & lots of mist. We take an hour & half to reach Kotagiri. Once reached, called him again & he directed us to a Cottage. Wow, beautiful place. He had booked this place already & was there with his Bro & cousin, doing what? Daroo! By now we had clocked 300kms. We get in, join them right away. Chat & booze till midnight. We were very tired, so decided to stop, eat dinner & ludkify. Myfriend & Co left to their house nearby. Man, the place was cold.

Next day morning (SAT) we woke up around 8ish (me late at 9), took bath, got ready, had coffee & breakfast, took a couple of snaps & called my friend who comes over & drives us to view points around Kotagiri; awesome points & nice scenic beauty. By noon we head to my friend's house, met his parents. His mom had prepared lunch - home food away from home, Hurray! Food was great. Post lunch, we take rest, check out some movies - he's got a nice home theatre. At around 4ish, we leave to check out his tea factory. Nice aroma of tea; we walk through the factory while he explains how tea is made from the leaves, different phases within etc. We then head back & the plan was to attend a party in the evening at the Conoor club.

Evening at around 7ish, we leave to Conoor, reach the Club, meet folks out there, get into the Pool room, got ourselves a drink. Its nice to see most of the people dwelling nearby meet up in such parties, chat, enjoy a drink; We go on till midnight, with music; have dinner & leave to a cottage in Conoor. Great place to stay, we reach & ludkify. Our plan next day was to go to Silent Valley. Why Silent Valley? Inspied from another friend of mine.

Next day morning (SUN) we wake up at 8, get ready to leave to Silent Valley. We had enquired about the route from Conoor to Silent valley from someone, so we had that handy. We drove through Mettupalayam, hit Coimbatore outskirts, went thru Thudilayam, Kotatheri (TN-Kerala border I believe) the Agali & Mukkali which is the base of Silent Valley. The drive till Silent Valley was beautiful with ghats on either side. We could literally see the eastern & western ghats joining hands!

We reached Silent valley at around 2 ish & enquired at the forest dept office, a person there says the entry time is btw 8 AM to 1 PM only & 10 vehicles per day; with slots booked for next day too. BUMP! We were disappointed. We drove all the way to see this place & now we can't do nothing for next two days. Office person suggested visiting a dam near Palakkad & another forest area near by. We weren't interested in all that. Not that Silent Valley is like Amazon which we couldn't miss, but wanted to see what's in there. Thought for a while & went again to the office to seek permission to walk inside. He agrees. We start walking, err trekking. The roads or path was muddy & very steep. We took the way to a water fall, nice view through the forest, could hear the water flowing initially & later could see the valley & literally got inside it. We explored till we can inside before we were burnt out, decided to return back.

We returned back at around 4.30 PM, enquired on our rote to Palakkad with localites & started driving. Our initial plan was to reach
Coimbatore, stay overnight & drive to Bangalore next day. But we were in no mood to stay anywhere & decided to drive back. We
reached Palakkad ata round 7 PM sh. We then took the route to Coimbatore- bad roads Damn! had to drive slowly at 40's, reach
Coimbatore outskirts at around 9 ish & then took the road to Salem. The Salem highway was a nice one but only for 30 kms & then
back to the dirty roads. The roads were being laid, that bad they were, which meant slow pace traffic. Reached Salem outskirts at
around 11 PM, broke for tea. We thought for a while on whether we should stay overnight or drive on, decided to drive on, hit the Salem- Hosur highway. This was a decent stretch & could drive at decent speed. We went through Dharmapuri & eventually reached Krishnagiri. My trip pal was sleepy by then & wanted a break, We stopped, had tea, started driving. We reached the Chennai expressway early morning. This was an awesome stretch, driving at 120's average, reached Hosur, Electronic City (My workplace!!!) & Bangalore. Dropped my pal at his place & drove back home. Reached home at around 6ish & ludkified. We were dead tired by now! This was quite a long drive, we had clocked 650 same day along with some trekking, in total 960 kms. Further, we had to skip Bandipur since we were taking a different route back home.

Managed to take some snaps, check out.
















































Last edited by Rehaan : 29th February 2008 at 23:42. Reason: Images fixed. Please follow the "Posting Images" instructions in the Announcements section properly.
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Old 29th February 2008, 17:30   #2
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Nice Travelogue.
Although went to Ooty 3 times but Somehow I missed Kotagiri, Avalanche etc, Hope to do it someday

How is the Coonor - Mettupalayam stretch? Which route did you take for Mettupalayam to Silent Valley?

Abhi

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th February 2008 at 23:42. Reason: Pics fixed. He had just posted the URLs wrong.
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Old 29th February 2008, 17:48   #3
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Dude what car? Feul effeciency.and total distance travelled.

A great write up and might be a great stress buster.

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th February 2008 at 23:43. Reason: Pics fixed. He had just posted the URLs wrong.
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Old 2nd March 2008, 01:10   #4
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@Abhi: From Conoor - Metupalayam drive down the hill, then to Coimbatore (you'll pass thru Black Thunder), take a right before entering city to Thudilayam, Kotatheri, Agali, Mukkali (all small villages) & Silent Valley. Going further will take you to Palakkad. Roads were good throughout, though narrow.

@PAVAN:
Car: Baleno
Total distance travelled: approx 950 kms
FE: filled fuel for Rs 4500 (combi of IndianOil, Shell & Reliance)
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Old 3rd March 2008, 15:03   #5
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please suggest a good place to stay at ooty, planning for a weekend with family.
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Old 3rd March 2008, 15:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice Travelogue.
Although went to Ooty 3 times but Somehow I missed Kotagiri, Avalanche etc, Hope to do it someday

How is the Coonor - Mettupalayam stretch? Which route did you take for Mettupalayam to Silent Valley?

Abhi
The coonoor mettupalayam route is pretty good now. Now that its going to be a national highway its being broadened up. The route via kotagiri is very picturesque. The main route from ooty to mysore via gudalur is pathetic but the shortcut via kalhatti ghats is good eventhough its very steep and narrow..You get some amazing scenaries enroute.
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Old 3rd March 2008, 15:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junky View Post
please suggest a good place to stay at ooty, planning for a weekend with family.
you could try nahar hotel at charing cross, but if u have the budget then kluney manor above the ooty bus stop is really good with superb view and heard they server good food aswell.. The monarch(mithun chakraborthy's) hotel is also good. In coonoor the velan ritz is a nice place..but well most of those i have mentioned here are a bit on the expensive side except for the nahar hotel. Hotel lakeview and ootygate are also good and not that expensive.
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Old 3rd March 2008, 16:03   #8
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thanks a lot Rotorhead, will take on from here.
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Old 7th March 2008, 14:47   #9
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Can you guys please suggest more places of accomodation???
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Old 7th March 2008, 15:01   #10
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Nice report A.R. I really enjoyed the way you use to have a tiring evening, have a couple of drinks and then Ludkify

I assume you meant, crashed to bed? if yes, we call it as "Ludkofy"
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Old 7th March 2008, 17:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junky View Post
Can you guys please suggest more places of accomodation???
Apart from the ones that i have already mentioned, hotel lakeview, Dasaprakash, there is one at elk hill(but i heard its spooky there), then there is the taj. There used to be one bluebird above the RTO(charing cross) but i guess the name is changed now. There are a lot of cottages also available. Just google and you will get quite a few. But my suggestion is try the kluney manor. The location is just amazing. And guys who are going to ooty, check out viveks home made ooty chocolates near charing cross, its pretty good.

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Old 8th March 2008, 13:47   #12
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thanks again rotorhead, finalising on the stay today.
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Old 14th March 2008, 10:02   #13
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So which place did u decide?
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Old 14th March 2008, 11:28   #14
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Junky,

Whatever you do don't take the Gudalur road to Ooty. I was forced to take it last weekend because Masinagudi (Kalhatti Ghats) route was inexplicably closed. The Gudalur road starts off with stunning curves from the Ooty side but bacomes a village track within about 10 km. Add the buses and trucks and it was a complete nightmare!
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Old 28th March 2008, 17:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotorhead View Post
So which place did u decide?
there was this place named preeti classic ...
nice stay, average food(no where in ooty did i get good food)
thanks again for all the help
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