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Old 8th June 2008, 20:55   #1
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Default Bangalore to Ooty Trip

I thought it will be helpful to write a travelouge for my trip to some of those who wish to plan a trip to Ooty from Bangalore by a self driven car. Before planning my trip, I tried to search the net for some experiences but all those could not give me a confidence and some of them even discouraged me to go ahead with the trip. The fear was due to descriptions of a dense forest , wild animals and hill driving especially with hair-pin bends. Yet we started this trip along with my wife and kid.

I had already booked a company provided guest house in advance at Ootty for 2 days , so could not face problems in locating a decent accomodation . I had to reach the guest house at 25th Morning , so I started to Mysore on 24th and stayed in a Hotel at Mysore. The journey from Bangalore to Mysore was cool as the road was very good and it took me 2 and a half hours with a moderate speed of 80-90 kmph through the slow lane. It is possible to go at higher speeds in this road but I prefered to stick to safe and responsible driving.

Started from Mysore early morning after a cup of hot coffee towards Mysore -Ooty road which pass through Nanjangud. On the way we took breakfast on a highway dhaba and proceeded to Gundlupet. The road was good and is a one-way state highway . It is possible to go at high speeds in these roads , but special care needs to be taken while overtaking and reaching small towns (humps without warning can shake your vehicle!).

After Gundlupet town , the road straight goes to Ooty and the road right goes to Calicult. From this point till you reach Bandipura Forest range the road is very bad. Big pathholes at every inch of the road forced me to drive slowly ,otherwise could have damaged my car. After struggling for half an hour we reached the entry point of Bandipur Forest. After driving a small Ghat section with hair-pin bends the jungle started to appear. Seen some Warning sign boards of "Animals may cross , go slow at xx km etc". Driving through the jungle was a pleasure , the road condition was good. We reached Mudumalai wild life Sanctury check post. Given Rs. 50 /- as entry fee and proceeded . The forest looked little dense from here and greeted with warning sign boards "Critical Elephant Zone , go slow" . We could locate some deer, monkeys and two tuskers gracing at a distance. After driving some distance we reached near a forest office and check post(forgot the placename at this point) . The sign board says there are two options to reach Ooty. A road left goes to Ooty via Masinagudy which is a short cut and the straight one goes via Gudalloor.

Before starting my trip I made up my mind that I will not select Masinagudy route , but I have seen many cars and mini buses and TT taking this route so decided to follow them. After passing a small bridge the road again entered into a jungle. We were slow and enjoying the ride again through elephant and Leopeard zones and reached a small check post where all non TN vechiles drivers has to write down the details of the vechile and driver in a register. We proceeded some distance through this one way road and greeted with a big mountain in front of us. The feeling was such that our road is going to end at the foot of that mountain. The sight of the valley at this point looked beautiful. Finally the road started climbing the hill as we too had to climb the hill.

Seen the haipin bend number 36/36 sign board , the count starts from the top to bottom. Though the road was narrow it was a good road. After first two three bends I got confidence . My WagonR could easily handle this in 2nd Gear, some places I need to change to 1st Gear as some vehicles in front of me are slowing down. And a few places my vehicle demanded 1st gear. But being slow and steady I could find the drive was not so bad and anybody with a good driving skill can handle this perfectly. Do not take the warning by some people "This road is only for expert drivers" as these seemed baseless.

After driving through this hill finally we reached the way to kalhatty waterfalls, but since we had to reach Ooty early we started climbing again and finally reached the top. Ooty town is just 2-3 KM from this point and we reached the Guest House without much delay.

The climate was very chilling , we took a hot bath and had our lunch and started towards Govt. Botanical Garden. The Botanical garden is very near to Ooty town. The Garden is very beatiful and is a must see place . We spent the whole afternoon walking every nook and corner of this beautiful place. By evening we came back to Guest House , had our dinner. The climate was very chilling we had to turn on the heater throughout the night. Luckly we took some good woolen bed sheets with us , this extra things kept us warm , we could get up late next day due to the cold climate.

26th May 2008 (Monday)

After having breakfast we decided to visit Sims Park at Coonoor. Coonoor is about 20 km from Ooty town. The drive to Coonor was exciting , the roads are good but with lot of bends and curves. Coonoor drive looked like a small downhil drive from Ooty. We reached Sims park , the park cannot be compared to Botanical Garden but still some trees and a small pond where you can enjoy a leg-operated boat ride. Good for Children to enjoy.
At noon 1 PM we have finished with Sims Park and start searching for some good hotel . This place we could not find any good hotels but by chance located a North Indian Style Kashmiri Hotel. But to our surprise we found the food very tasty. The hotel has counters with name boards like "Gujarati Thally", "Maharashtra Thally" etc. Being a south Indian this is the first time I tasted a real north Indian style . The dish was spicy and yummy!!


After lunch we started to see Dolphin's nose which is a near by attraction from Coonoor. The road was very narrow and someone needs to be very careful on these roads. The roads to Dolphin's nose is a treat to eyes as this passes through tea plantations and hill views . After visiting this spot we started back to Ooty and a heavy rain poured on the way. Way back to Ooty from Coonnor we visited Valley view , Wax world and Rose Garden. Wax World is near to Ooty town on Ooty -Coonoor road. From Wax world take a right this road goes to Rose Garden. We spent some time in this beatiful garden ,but rains ruined our plans to visit Doddapeta Peak on the same day. We came back to Guest house by evening and the day ends.

27th May 2008 ( Tuesday)

Our trip plan ends on this day so we have to be in Bangalore by end of this day. As usual finished breakfast and checkout from Guest house and planned to drive from Ooty to Bangalore through Gudalloor route instead of Masinagudi route. Way back from Ooty visited St. Stephen's Church , which is one of the oldest building . The Church's interior was very beatiful especially the wood works and glass paintings.

The Gudallor route , the road was extremely good except a few km with very bad roads. (The road work here is in progress ). But for the scenic experiance one must take this route , better on way back. The shooting point, Pykara falls , frog rock view are enroute. We reached Gudalloor which is a town and stopped for lunch. Though this place is TN which is bordering with Kerala the place shows a mixed culture between TN and Kerala. We stopped at a hotel and had a Malabari style of lunch. The taste of the food was very good.

From Gudaloor a 3 km drive lands us again into Mudumalai forest. The strech between Gudaloor and forest station where Masinagudi route junction starts is said to be a critical elephant zone , we could see a herd of elephants on the way. We drove through the forest again on way back home. This is an unforgetful expereince in life. I suggest one should drive though the forest in day time . Night driving through this jungle is dangerous and may not be scenic as in day time. Once I had to pass through Bandipura forest towards calicut during night time where I encounterd with a herd of elephants blocking the road. But it was not a problem as it was in groups. But I decided on that day I will not use jungle roads at night anymore.

We reached Gundlupet by evening , had some coffee and started to Mysore. On the way heavy rain started, it was a difficult drive as I could hardly see the road. Due to rain we reached Mysore late by 9 pm . Took our dinner at Mysore and drove non stop to Bangalore . Again due to heavy rains I have to be slow and took me 3 hours to reach Bangalore. Around Midnight we reached Yeshwanthpur. The Total trip clocked at 650 KMs.

We had nice weekend holiday at Oooty even though we missed some attractions. Attached are some of the photos for which I took more care not to personalize.
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Old 9th June 2008, 04:42   #2
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Nice writeup. But seems you tried to attach the photos, but we could not see any. Please repost.
I have taken this route when I visited to Wayanad. I wrongly happen to take the straight route in Bandipur and landed myself in Gudalur. Then took a round about and reached wayanad. But I dont remember paying any entry fees of 50. Although I paid 20rs to guys. Is it official now to pay those 50 bucks?
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Old 9th June 2008, 06:38   #3
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Am surprised about the your trip back via Gudalur. the road was awful and I averaged 30km/h till I reached the Karnataka border. This was last month
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Old 9th June 2008, 10:12   #4
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Hi kpkuruvilla,

As Ajmat has pointed out, has the Gudalur route really improved a lot? Ajmat suffered last month while I had a terrible time in March in my Aveo. It starts off deceptively well from the Ooty (Thandikulai or something?) checkpost but soon becomes a torture track!
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Old 9th June 2008, 13:27   #5
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Nice travelogue and welcome to TBhp.
What is a travelogue without pics? Post some of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
Before planning my trip, I tried to search the net for some experiences but all those could not give me a confidence and some of them even discouraged me to go ahead with the trip. The fear was due to descriptions of a dense forest , wild animals and hill driving especially with hair-pin bends.
It is really strange that you were discouraged to drive to Ooty from Bangy when it is the most sought after destination for driving. Nice that you didnt listen to them. Pls browse the travelogue section you will find some more Ooty travelogues as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
The journey from Bangalore to Mysore was cool as the road was very good and it took me 2 and a half hours with a moderate speed of 80-90 kmph through the slow lane. It is possible to go at higher speeds in this road but I prefered to stick to safe and responsible driving.
Why slow lane? You had enough speeds to do in fast lane. Suggest you to stick to fast lane always when you are driving your car on highways. Your drive will be a better one and less tiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
but special care needs to be taken while overtaking and reaching small towns (humps without warning can shake your vehicle!).
True ! Couple of them are axle breakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
After Gundlupet town , the road straight goes to Ooty and the road right goes to Calicult.
No, the NH212 itself goes to Calicut by curving to the right. You left NH and took left (straighter road ) for bandipur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
After driving a small Ghat section with hair-pin bends the jungle started to appear. Seen some Warning sign boards of "Animals may cross , go slow at xx km etc". Driving through the jungle was a pleasure , the road condition was good.
The following travelogue might interest you as well.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-bandipur.html (Weekend Travelogue: A night in Bandipur)

Try out Gopalaswamy Betta next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
Before starting my trip I made up my mind that I will not select Masinagudy route , but I have seen many cars and mini buses and TT taking this route so decided to follow them.
Good decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
Ooty town is just 2-3 KM from this point and we reached the Guest House without much delay.
It is actually 6-7 km from Ooty Bus station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpkuruvilla View Post
The Gudallor route , the road was extremely good except a few km with very bad roads. (The road work here is in progress ).
Now this is a pleasant surprise
Although the route is more scenic but was absolutely non motorable for cars atleast till 2 months ago. But I did hear that road was freshly laid till pine forest and work was on till Gudalur as well.
Can you pls confirm how many kms of bad road is there in Gudalur route?



Abhi
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Old 9th June 2008, 14:05   #6
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Nice Travelogue there buddy and do post pics too.
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Old 9th June 2008, 16:23   #7
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I hear that TN Police harasses (extorts) motorists wanting to go on Masinagudi-Kalhati route and forcing them to go via Gudalur unless they pay up. Did you have any bad experiences?

And are the roads in Ooty region (especially Kalhatti-Ooty-Conoor) in good shape now?
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Old 9th June 2008, 16:36   #8
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Nice travelogue and now out with some pics, please...
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Old 9th June 2008, 17:41   #9
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Nice travelogue. I see you mention that you attached some photos. They haven't showed up. I think you forgot to attach them
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Old 16th June 2008, 15:51   #10
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As am planning for a trip to Ooty soon from Bangy with my wife and kid, can someone throw some light on the condition of the road from Gudalur please.
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Old 16th June 2008, 16:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingshan View Post
As am planning for a trip to Ooty soon from Bangy with my wife and kid, can someone throw some light on the condition of the road from Gudalur please.
I can throw some "dark"

Avoid, go via masingudi assuming your car is in good shape. On return, leave early before the checkpoint does not allow you to go that way
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Old 16th June 2008, 18:10   #12
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first post and thats travelogue. good try. nice one.
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Old 17th June 2008, 04:32   #13
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kuruvilla,
Very good travelogue. Seems your first post in team-bhp is a travelogue. WagonR can be very comfortable climbing hilly areas provided that you should have min 155 tyres. Stock 145 tyre on Lxi version really sucks. I was very much scared while climbing down tirupathi ghat with those skinny tyres. Immediately I changed to 155 Michelin tyres, and the grip was amazing. I have done comfortably kodai-munnar trip in heavy rains. Never felt any anxious moments.

BTW, where are the pics.
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Old 17th June 2008, 13:04   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I can throw some "dark"

Avoid, go via masingudi assuming your car is in good shape. On return, leave early before the checkpoint does not allow you to go that way
Cool buddy thanks for the "dark" thrown to me
I will take the route as you mentioned, I heard there are some road works going on in Mysore Road, can someone throw some light or dark on this
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Old 17th June 2008, 13:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingshan View Post
I will take the route as you mentioned, I heard there are some road works going on in Mysore Road, can someone throw some light or dark on this
Buddy, there will be always something here n there going on but that should not stop your trip. For such a small distance between Blr - Ooty, you should not be bothered that much. Mysore Road is always fine.

Blr - Ooty is a chill drive in forest, hills, climbs etc etc. Have fun.

have a nice drive.

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