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Old 6th October 2008, 19:14   #16
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Convincing my wife for the drive on the Ghat section was not as difficult as I thought it would be.

Me: How about a trip to Munnar after going to Cumbum?
Wife: Wow, it would be a wonderful trip. I would love to do that.
Me: Good, we have 5 days holiday.
Wife: Yes, it will be good to be relaxing in those greeny environemnts.
Me: Ok, I will book the hotels for Munnar.
Wife: How about the to & fro tickets? Are you not booking?
Me: WHAT? Tickets? Why?
Wife: ?? How are we going there then?
Me: How? Obviously in our car.
Wife: WHAT? In our car?
Me: Yes, and I am driving.
Wife: No, no. Its not posisble. I am not for it.
Me: Why?
Wife: Its too windy and ghat section. Its neither a easy plain nor good roads.
Me: So what? I am driving.
Wife: Oh no, I need to rethink of this vacation.
Me: Come on, as a wife of T-BHPian you should not be scared of driving unless I do some stupid moves and reckless driving, which I wont.
Wife: But still,...
Me: Ok, we are not going then. We will drive somewhere around Bangy then.
Wife: Umm, if you promise that theres absolutly no risk in doing, then I am ok.
Me: Hehe, there you go.

I login to T-BHP and show here the travelogues from our friends and it took no second for her to accept whole heartedly to go for the drive through those ghats.

Ok. Call the hotel and almost all respond same answer. Sorry sir, no rooms. Its the start of the season and so I found it difficult to get a decent rooms. Then I managed to get one in Green View Munnar. Not sure of how it would be, infact no elevation of the hotel also in the website (www.greenviewmunnar.com). So reluctanly, I book that for 2 nights and start preparing for the trip.

I will put all those detials I collected for this trip in the end. May be useful for prospective visitors.

The current ODO in my machine was reading 4.7K. Since it would be more than 1K drive, I thought of giving it for 5K service. It was done (updates on ownership thread).

As usual, search T-BHP, take notes on routes, road conditions, call our guys get updates and all set before 1st October. The plan was to leave Bangalore by 4AM.

I should mention this here. When I google for the routes or plans in google, the top search results was always from team-bhp. So, why am I going to google in google.com? All the further search was inside team-bhp only.

October 1st 3:00AM

Set the alaram to 3:30AM. Went to sleep, but I could not sleep due to the excitement of driving to south. Woke up every 30min checking for the time. Finally woke up and turned off the Alarm. Woke up others too and we are all ready by 4:30AM with all luggages loaded in car. We loaded the car boot with my daughters stroller, Jackets, Raincoats, Umbrella etc.

October 1st 4:35AM

ODO - 4735kms
Exactly 4:35AM I left from my parking lot. Took the Varthur-Sarjapur Road and went to Hosur through Attibelle. Btw, I saw 2 new spead breakers in the Sarjapur Road. If I am right, it was not there during the previous visit (a month and a half back?). These things grow like anything. I wish they grew trees like this.
ODO - 4802Kms
As usual, filled petrol in the BP before Krishnagiri.
ODO - 4826Kms
Took the over bridge on the Krishnagiri and was surprised to see the number of diversions after that. I was hoping to have the road like the one going to Chennai. Umm, anyway, it was not of much traffic and I was doing 80-90kmph easy.
Early morning Sun following us!
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4051.jpg
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ODO - 4837Kms
Reached Kaveripattanam @ 6:45am.
The road was almost on one side only till we took the exit from NH7 to Theni after Salem. So many diversions, but good stretch.
ODO - 4868Kms
Reached Dharmapuri around 7:20am after which we had some Coffee break.
Then drove to Salem and the sad thing happened. Since there was too many diversions, some marked, and some not, I missed one diversion and went straight. I followed a TSTC bus and later figured out that I should not followed him.

When I followed the bus, I saw some stones put on the roads so as to avoid traffic from coming in. But the stones was also not big and gave a look like some how it has fallen from the lorry or something. Also, since there was no traffic I thought its good to follow the bus. When I decided to take on the stone, it hit my underbody and I could feel the hit. But I just kept going on the road. The road was very good but dont know why they closed it. Later it again diverts to join the other side.

The second incident was after Dalavaipatti I think. There was a truck which was coming in the opposite direction. I saw him and stopped. He showed me hands saying to take the other side of the road. I thought I missed the diversion and so reversed a little and tried to take the mud road that connects the other side of the road. It was so steep that it stratched the bottom of my Bumper and then I decided not to take it.

Initially I was thinking that since this is usual route for all vehicle, it should be ok to take it. But seeing this, I was puzzled and asked that truck guy again. He said "I showed hands like that, because I want to go that way" OMG, mis interpretation. Anyway, nothing happened to the bumber since I took it very slowly and backed it.

Then on I was double careful taking the diversions and started to check with guys if I have even a small element of doubt.

Some pictures on the way
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Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4070.jpg

Contd...
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Old 6th October 2008, 19:35   #17
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Keep them coming. I'am following this travelogue very closely. The discussions between you and your wifey is very meaningful. I had same discussions some time back with my wiefy. After couple of journeys, she is very comfortable now of my driving. After all we are petrol heads and are t-bhpians.
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Old 6th October 2008, 20:09   #18
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ODO - 4933Kms

Then comes the Salem junction. I was sure not to get into the Salem city and was following the NH7 junctions. I crossed 2 junctions and the board on 3rd junction indicated to go straight. I went to the 3rd and then saw some decent restaurant. Since it was 8:30am, I thought of stopping there for breakfast. Parked the car and went into the hotel. I waited for 15min and no one came for taking the order. I lost patience and left from the hotel. The scene I saw after coming out added to my angry and blood started boiling. Some stupid guys have parked the car behind mine and I have no way to take it out.

It was a parallel parking and all the guys parked one next to other. But this smart guy put it behind mine and here I am searching for the owner. It took 15min to get that guy in the hotel. After shouting at him which I dont want to, but he made me to. When I ask him to take his car, the response was "We are going to have breakfast". So I asked him if I need to wait for him to finish the breakfast. I just got him washing his hands and I already know how much time its going to take for the service guys to serve him.

Finally took the car and headed further straight. I wanted to stop somewhere and relax for a while before driving long. But I just continued making myself cool.
Saw this temple on the right hand side when going from Salem
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After like 25KMs, I see a board pointing direction towards Chennai. What? Where am I going? I check with the Petrol bunk guys over there and they tell me this roads goes to Chennai. Then asked me to go back in the same direction and take left in the first Junction. Ok, time to relax. I stopped the car for a while and relaxed with my kids. Then again came back to the Junction near that same restaurant and started towards Dindugal.

October 1st 10:00AM
ODO - 4991Kms
Reached Namakkal around 10AM. The roads allowed us to do more than 80kmph easily. In one hour I reached Karur. Then drove straight to Pallapatti. Then I know that there is a right turn (NH45) which leads to Theni, but not marked. I took the right just before the one that leads to Theni. Once I turned, I stopped and enquired with the guys. They pointed me to take the next right. I came to that right and found a board on the left hand side of the road. But the problem was its after you take the right turn.

May be they have a board on the left side of the bridge which are still closed for now. From there the route was 2 lanes and lots of trees. I reached Bathalagundu @around 1pm. Now its time for lunch. While driving along the Bathalagundu, I saw the Dindugal Thalapakattu restaurant and so went for lunch. Food was ok. We had Veg meals.

We left around 2pm and started towards Theni. My brother-in-law was suppose to wait in Theni. I told him I will pick him up from Theni to Cumbum. When I reached Theni it was 2:45pm. My BIL was still on the bus from Madurai. He came around 3:15pm. When I was waiting for my BIL, I tried to check out under the car to see what happened after hitting the rock before salem. What I saw is here.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4078.jpg

A big dent in the pipe from the engine. Not sure of what it is. But all I could confirm is, it did no harm to the drive or nothing was leaking. So, left it.

Also, I was not sure, if it was present before since this is the first time I see under the car.

Then started to Cumbum with my BIL and his daugther. Just before the Palayam, she started vomiting and we stopped for a while. Then again we started our Journey. The road was very good except for the traffic. The slow moving trucks and buses coming in the opposite direction, was making me go mad. You need to be double careful when over taking these guys.

October 1st 03:30PM

Atlast, @3:20pm I was in my sister's house in Cumbum. I did not feel any tiresome. Was as fresh as I started. But my people was almost forcing me into the bed to take rest. After all, they dont know the pleasure in driving

Contd...
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Old 6th October 2008, 20:40   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
OT: Congrats on completing 1000 man.....ummm no of posts. But you may have to wait for another couple of months for becoming a senior BHPian. Great going.
Thanks man. Btw, what is this couple of months concept? I see it Senior BHPian now itself.
Yes, it definetely feels good to see a promotion
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Old 6th October 2008, 20:58   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
...Yes, it definetely feels good to see a promotion
Congrats on the promotion, MJothi!

...


Enough of the celebration, get on with the report!

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Old 6th October 2008, 21:29   #21
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October 2nd,
The plan for the 2nd day was to be in Cumbum, visit Suruli falls and have my kids head tonsured.
Snap of my daughter before the tonsure.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4081.jpg

The Suruli waterfalls use to be so good before it was turned to a Tourist spot. Now it almost lost the charm, but still worth a visit during rainy seasons.

The route to Suruli falls are scenic, some snaps on the way
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We have a Narasimar temple in there. This is where we did the tonsure.
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Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4118.jpg

Once done we went to falls for the bath and it was lovely water. So clean and fresh. There are boards saying you are not suppose to use
* Shampoo or soaps
* Use the place for loo
* Take photos using mobile or any cam
* Separate Queue for male/females.
and usual etcs.
But 90% of points was voilated by our great vistors. I see people using shampoo left & right and using the falls as if its their own bathroom. Shampoo, Sikakai, oil bath, soaps and what not?


Anyway, we had good time in there, had packed our food but could not eat there. Left for my wife's relatives home in K.K.Patty and had lunch there. It was around 1:30pm and I just laid down myself thinking of next days plan. When I opened my eyes it was 4:30pm

I dont even know how I slept. People started commenting about the previous day trip and tired etc. Umm, thats fine.

Then I went for a casual walk in the village. I happen to visit one of the old house in that village. It was a duplex with ladder made of wooden to reach the upper portion. The pillars in the house was so nice that I blamed myself for not taking a camera. The woodwork looked so nice and infact they even had a Deer's Skin. It was used by the older generation to do Asanas it seems. I had a chance to touch and feel it. It was so soft and nice.

Then we returned to Cumbum. Some more scenic views of K.K.Patty,
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4120.jpg
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The place was so nice that we can stay there for some days to relax ourselves far away from civilization.

Then went for some shoping. I did not buy anything. But the bill was 2K+. Shocked and I had a view of the bill. Then comes the list from my better half and son. Ok, that is why I dont like Shopping. LoL.

My wife comments, "I took just 2 for me, rest is all for YOUR son only." Well, What can I say now.

Contd...
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Old 6th October 2008, 21:43   #22
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I take the Kumbum-Kumili route during my drives to Kerala. We have done the route many times, but we still stop to feel and enjoy the beauty of this route.

One pic which I had clicked.

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Old 6th October 2008, 22:11   #23
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October 3rd, 9:30AM
ODO - 5240Kms

I parked the car near my Sister's house in a open place. It was a dead end and hence I thought it to be a safe place. But, seems there were some kids playing with car toys on my car bonnet. I could see the marks of the wheels of the toy car on my car. I was so disappointed seeing that. Eventhough it was not so visible, it is still visible under sunlight.

I was cursing myself for not brining along the car cover with me to cover this in such situation. I started from Cumbum @ 9:30am and went straight to Petrol Bunk. Asked the guy to fill the tank till cut off. The person inserted the nozzle and talking with other guys. Suddenly I saw that the petrol was overflowing and shouted at the guy. After some discussion, he finally asked me to pay 10rs less than the bill. For sure it would have been like a litre of spill out. But I could not do anything. So, just paid him, cursed the star and left the place.

The mood was easily changed to a cool mood once I started to hit the roads. The roads was so scenic. Some snaps through Devaram (@10am), Pannapuram, Chinamanaoor, Bodi(@10:50am).
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4149.jpg
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Clean roads all through the villages too
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Farmers utilzing our servives!!!
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Can you spot the route to take? Yes, those lines on the mountains are the actual route to be taken to reach Bodi mettu.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4167.jpg

The actual climb starts from this board.
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ODO - 5285Kms
The start of the windy roads
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View from the climb
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This rock view was very interesting
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Road condition is not ok in some portion. Seems there was lands sliding in some stretches.
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Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4213.jpg

Contd...
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Old 6th October 2008, 22:21   #24
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Sokkanadar temple on the way to Bodi Mettu
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4215.jpg
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4218.jpg

Looking back the way we came!!!
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My Ride
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Atlast, I covered all the 17 hair pin bends on this ghat section. But to my surprise, there was still some more till I reached the top.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4232.jpg

The Tamilnadu Forest limit ends here, the board is too shy to show itself
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Jai Hind
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"Official" dress for the excise & custom officer. Lol.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4237.jpg
Hey, we reached the top!!! Sense of achivement.
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4238.jpg

ODO - 5310Kms

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Old 7th October 2008, 07:21   #25
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We crossed the checkpost in Bodi Mettu and was surprised to see the difference. The routes are so green and fresh when compared to the other side in TN.
Kerala scenerys
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There was a Tata Indica cab which over took me and suddenly stopped in front. I was wondering why but did not stop and continued slowly to go ahead. It was then the driver showed us a snake in the middle of the road.
Wild animal encounter!!
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It did not move, so we were doubting if it was hit by any other vehicle. Anyway we moved slowly not to pass on it and crossed it. We stopped for Chai before Poopara. The shop was a small one, but had good tea. Infact both my Kids also had Chai, which they usually never have.
I will drink myself!!! Po.
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I was talking with the shop keeper and he hinted that there is a very good view point from behind the street. So, we decided to walk down a bit and had a excellent views of the hills and lakes.

Some pics from the view point
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The roads on these ghats are laid very good except for very minimal pot holes here & there.

Clean roads on Ghats
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Kerala lands are very fertile and has water body everywhere you turn. Every rock has a small falls, and every valley has a river.

Trees welcoming you with open hands

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Lake on the way
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Lake next to Tata Tea Factory
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Small falls
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Oh, still 18 KMs to go
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4327.jpg

Contd...
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Old 7th October 2008, 12:09   #26
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We had just 18KMs to reach Munnar but since it was Ghat section driving was restricted within 30-40Kmph. Moreover, there was too many stopover for photo sessions. It was hard to pass by without appreciating those beauties.

Some more samples
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4328.jpg

Nature's Gift to Kerala - Waterfalls
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On the Edge
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Great Escape
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Green, Green & Green
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My Favorite one
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Boss, Mottai Boss
Yet another visit to God's Own Country - MUNNAR!!!-img_4262.jpg

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Old 7th October 2008, 12:34   #27
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MJ few calrifications: For becoming a Senior BHPian, you should have 1000 posts and should be 1 year in t-bhp according to board rules. But it is great to get promotion now itself. Who doesn't want it right?

Secondly, the board says not use the shampoos, soaps etc because IMO, the same water goes into the stream where people from village collect water for drinking purposes. God knows when our educated people will learn to heed the signages.

MJ: Continue your travelogue...
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Old 7th October 2008, 12:37   #28
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the board says not use the shampoos, soaps etc because IMO, the same water goes into the stream where people from village collect water for drinking purposes. God knows when our educated people will learn to heed the signages.
yes, and not only that. Its also not safe for the species. Umm, I tried my best to see that my Family members do NOT do that. But I FAILED

My father-in-law was one of them. by the time I convince him not to do, he was full of shampoo on this already white hair.
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Old 7th October 2008, 13:15   #29
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mJothi, great narration and in detail!! I can feel the excitement you had, from your words. Waiting for the rest..
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Old 7th October 2008, 13:19   #30
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Great pictures and writeup!!

Thanks for the willingness to share all the research you have done. It would be helpful for others.

You are on a picnic spree nowadays. You excitement is clearly visible. Waiting for the rest.
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