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Old 25th February 2009, 00:30   #16
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Default The journey begins...

21st Feb, 2009
The alarm went off at 3:30 am. Me being the driver, got an advantage of 15 minutes while Gargi got ready. Got up, and got ready. In the meanwhile, she made the tea and put it in the flusk. Checked with Soumili and Nabarun, they were also ready. With all the luggages ferried and loaded into the Safari, we rolled out finally at around 4:30, delayed by half an hour.

Safari ready to move on
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-004c.jpg

Tripmeter set to zero
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9718c.jpg

Being in the early morning, took the decision to go through the outer ring road instead of taking the NICE road from Kanakpura and the drive was ok, took 40 minute to reach the NICE junction on Mysore road (from Sarjapur ORR junction). Note that there are road work going on in the ORR, so in between Kanakpura road crossing and Devegowda petrol bunk, one has to take a diversion inside Padmanabhnagar (???). The turn to come back to main road is not well marked, I missed the turn (actually took one little early), but corrected it quickly. Advice is to avoid this road, if you are not familiar with this route, there are no markings and at those wee hours you will not find anyone to guide you as well.

Bangalore Mysore road (SH17) was done in quick time, the road markings made it comfortable to drive in speeds closer to 3 figure mark even in dark. The eastern sky started to get illuminated while we crossed Mysore.

Crossing St. Philomela's church in Mysore
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-001c.jpg

We caught the morning sun just after crossing Mysore, and we decided to stop over between Mysore and Nanjangud by the roadside to savor our homemade breakfast.

Glimpse of the morning sun
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-002c.jpg

After a 20 minute break and a hearty meal we continued our jouney passing Nanjangud and reached Gundlupet in no time. Just after crossing Gundlupet, there is a road which turns right - this road goes to Kozhikode/Calicut via Wayanad. The road continuing straight goes through Bandipur and Mudumalai to Ooty.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-007c.jpg

We took the right turn and this is the first time I am travelling in this road. The road is good with amazing scenic beauty.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-011c.jpg

After some time, the road passes through the forest region and is treat to watch.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-014c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9722c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-018c.jpg

Now in this stretch I was feeling sleepy, but as I can't park the vehicle in the WLS area and catch a power nap, moved on towards our first destination Muthanga WLS.

On our way we crossed Karnataka border and entered Kerala.
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-016c.jpg

Muthanga WLS gate is just 7 km ahead of the border on your LHS, we reached there at around 8:50. Excluding the 20 minute breakfast break, 260 km covered in 4 hours.

Coming up next Muthanga WLS...
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Old 25th February 2009, 00:32   #17
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Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Naada I aint posting any , if that was the case I would end up writing a travelogue about Wayanad every 2 weeks .
With that reassurance, started posting the travelogue .
Are you from Wayanad?
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Old 25th February 2009, 08:10   #18
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Nice start there Arindam coupled with some excellent Pics. Keep them coming. How is road condition between Nanjangud and Gundulpet? Road is generally good but I am talking of the unmarked/un-designed speed breakers which the villagers made when I last travelled through that road way back in 2007.

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Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
On our way we crossed Karnataka border and entered Kerala.
Attachment 104729

This is what I clicked 2.5 years back. same location, isnt it?
Wayanad in 45 hours-wynd.jpg

Last edited by akroy : 25th February 2009 at 08:13.
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Old 25th February 2009, 08:54   #19
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Nice pics.

Pics of the road with trees surrounding look amazingly similar to the ones I had taken last month on the Nilambur route - near Bandipur/Mudumalai.
Attached Thumbnails
Wayanad in 45 hours-nilambur_1.jpeg  

Wayanad in 45 hours-nilambur_2.jpg  

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Old 25th February 2009, 10:16   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice start there Arindam coupled with some excellent Pics. Keep them coming. How is road condition between Nanjangud and Gundulpet? Road is generally good but I am talking of the unmarked/un-designed speed breakers which the villagers made when I last travelled through that road way back in 2007.
Thanks Abhi. Don't recall any speed breaker, which was too bad. But then again it might not be noticable because of the vehicle.

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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
This is what I clicked 2.5 years back. same location, isnt it?
Yes, it's the same location. The blue board has changed, the middle green one has gone to oblivion, but the farther green one is still the same.

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Nice pics.

Pics of the road with trees surrounding look amazingly similar to the ones I had taken last month on the Nilambur route - near Bandipur/Mudumalai.
Thanks sbraj. Yes, the pictures are similar.

On a related note, you may experiment with the 2nd picture, I guess it will have a surreal effect in B/W or sepia. BTW, I do not know how to use photoshop, and I have changed the tone of one of the picture using picasa.
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Old 25th February 2009, 13:34   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Are you from Wayanad?
Aah yes me from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
How is road condition between Nanjangud and Gundulpet? Road is generally good but I am talking of the unmarked/un-designed speed breakers which the villagers made when I last travelled through that road way back in 2007.
Abhi the stretch between Gundlupet and Nanjangud does hold a few surprises in small villages. With a SUV you really needn't bother, but with a car you gotto be careful. However only a few of them could be bone jarring, else you are good to rip over them.


The best part about driving back from Wayanad

" Cross the Kerala border and enter Karnataka you are greeted with a lousie speed breaker and a gazillion potholes " .
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Old 25th February 2009, 21:02   #22
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Arrow Masinagudi...

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
OT: The one you are referring is the Mudumalai, that has been closed since the weekend. Mudumalai has seen a few forest fires already especially around Masinagudi area....
Oops! We just confirmed accomodation bookings in Masinagudi for the first week of March... hoping for the best.


Arindam, nice going ... eagerly awaiting for the continuation + pics.
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Old 25th February 2009, 23:12   #23
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Hi Arindam,

Nice start and great pics! Keep them coming!
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Old 25th February 2009, 23:16   #24
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Default Muthanga WLS

Stretched a bit after getting down in the Muthanga. The clerk managing the counter was awefully slow, we had only one person before us, and still it took almost 20 minutes to get the tickets.

Points to be noted: The sanctuary is open from 7:00 am to 10:00 am and again 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. One can take his/her own vehicle, but has to be accompanied by a forest guide. There is no vehicle from forest dept, so if you do not have a vehicle or you do not want to take it in, there are plenty of private jeeps waiting outside for hire.
The charges are:
Entry fee: Rs 10 for Indians, Rs 100 for Foreigners
Camera: Rs 25 for Still camera, Rs 150 for Video camera
Guide charge: Rs 100 (Rs 200 for foreigners)
Car entry fee: Rs 50

Though others were suggesting to hire a vehicle, I was feeling fresh after the 'forced' break, and decided to carry on. We crossed the gate of the WLS and rolled into a jeep track. You don't need an SUV, forget about 4x4, any car can do it, it's plain road without much modulation, only difference being not tarred.

Driving through the jungle
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-023c.jpg

The road ahead (post processed using Picasa)
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-026c.jpg

It was already pretty late in the day, and chance of sighting were rare. We could see some spotted dears, monkeys, malabar squirrel and few birds (my knowledge in ornithology does not go beyond the common crow, so don't ask the names).

First sighting, spotted dear
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-021c.jpg

Chance the P&S to capture birds, and obviously results were dismal.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9725c.jpg
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9727c.jpg

The jungle is all brown
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9726c.jpg

The guide allowed us to get down (actually he only suggested us to get down)
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9724c.jpg

We saw the foot marks of elephant and also its dung, but not the elephant :(
Wayanad in 45 hours-wayanadtrip-038c.jpg

One of the disadvantage of hired jeeps, is that the drivers are in hurry and try to finish the round fast, does not give you enough time to soak in the nature. This jeep went past me, and you can see cloud of dust he left behind.
Wayanad in 45 hours-img_9728c.jpg

We came out of the park, and while spending some time there saw two malabar squirrels playing with each other. Alas, I did not have the camera handy to capture it.

So after a 1:45 minute break (ok, not a perfect break, as I drove 14-15 km inside the forest in 1st/2nd gear), we started on NH212 again towards Edakkal caves.
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Old 25th February 2009, 23:20   #25
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Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
Oops! We just confirmed accomodation bookings in Masinagudi for the first week of March... hoping for the best.


Arindam, nice going ... eagerly awaiting for the continuation + pics.
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Hi Arindam,

Nice start and great pics! Keep them coming!
Thanks hotstuff and saleem_k. I find driving easier than penning it down. 45 hours I covered the whole staff and in next 3 days I could not even write beyond 6 hours of the trip
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Old 26th February 2009, 08:11   #26
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photos not so clear..anyway good trip. you lucky!!!
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Old 26th February 2009, 11:38   #27
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photos not so clear..anyway good trip. you lucky!!!
I know, as most of them are taken from moving vehicle (few through the windscreen glass) and also both the cameras were P&S. Should have tried with the 'action' mode though.
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Old 26th February 2009, 13:04   #28
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I know, as most of them are taken from moving vehicle (few through the windscreen glass) and also both the cameras were P&S. Should have tried with the 'action' mode though.
What does it take to pull over for a few secs and shoot some pics ? You have nothing to loose pal .
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Old 26th February 2009, 14:02   #29
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What does it take to pull over for a few secs and shoot some pics ? You have nothing to loose pal .
Time!!!
So many places to visit and so little time

Not talking about this trip, but about the life in general
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Old 26th February 2009, 14:59   #30
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Nice pictures Arindam and another good travelogue, though in the "to be contd" mode, would be waiting to read the rest.
Reminds me of my trip to wayand in Nov 2007, stayed in wynberg resort which was excellent. Did you miss Soochipara falls and Kuruwa deep islands? Quite nice places I would say, probably you can go some time later for those.
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