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Old 9th July 2009, 11:53   #16
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really superb pics. greenery all around and the view of water falls from the top of the mountain is simply rocking. speechless about the places around. Good pics and great travellogue.
planning to go someday.
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Old 9th July 2009, 12:25   #17
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Great travelogue and pics Sanjay ! Here is one more destination we got to make it too some day !
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Old 10th July 2009, 09:20   #18
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Quote:
@rex_varghese; Few questions:
1. Do we need to book the eco-center dormitory in advance?
- If you go to the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary, Western Ghats, Kerala, India website, there is a phone number of the Forest Information Center, you can call them and inform them of your arrival dates, number of people etc. They will pass on the details to the Chinnar check-post / Eco dev center via wireless. [The check-post / eco center do not have phones and there is no mobile signal unless you walk for a kilometer or so up a nearby hill]

Currently Chinnar does not see a lot of visitors, so the dormitory accomodation is normally empty. In any case, the place can accomodate upto 20+ people, so if you are in a smaller group, basic accomodation is not a problem.

There are folding cots + mattresses and they also provide some bedsheets... enough to get a good night's sleep.

Dorm acco rates are Rs.110/- per person, per day.


2. Do they provide food at the eco-center or we've to make our own arrangements?
- There is a dining hall at the eco-center and they will provide basic meals (Chappaties, Rice, Sambar, Rasam, Curry) + Black tea-coffee etc. But due to the low number of visitors, they do not stock normal rice, they use the Kerala style 'Boiled rice' and milk / milk products are not stored since there is no electricity there.

To summarize, food is not a problem, though it may be quite basic, light breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided there. [They charged us 30/- per plate for lunch and dinner]. If you need anything different, like milk for tea/coffee or normal rice, you can get them through some of the vans / trucks / buses that cross the check-post every day.] or carry some provisions with you.


3. How are the amenities like running water, rest rooms, etc at the eco-center?
- There is no electricity, so phone / camera charging is not possible. (They use Solar lamps / Candles during the night)

But all other facilities are quite good. There are clean 'pay-and-use' toilets (Both Indian and Western types) and showers. (Water is pumped from somewhere else).

4. Are there hotels around this place?
- As mentioned, the eco-center has a dining hall for basic food. No other hotels at the check post. The nearest town is 'Marayur'.


5. What is the Bangalore-Chinnar driving time?
- Chinnar is 60kms before Munnar, so drive time will be an hour or so less than the time required to reach Munnar. Budget around 8 to 9 hours for a comfortable drive to Chinnar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
...Chinnar is pretty much a dry cousin to its other siblings around the area and possibly used more as migratory path. The advantage of a dry forest is sightings becomes very easy, unlike say a Parambikulam where you could possibly not see beyond 5 feet. I had managed to sight an elephant herd in the Chinnar forests while driving down the ghats from Munnar which was possible only because of the dry scrub forests...
- Absolutely! If the group size is smaller, you can see a lot more wild-life at very close quarters. Every walk into the jungle here seems to invariably include some animal sightings. The forest guards also mentioned that if you are willing to walk around for a couple of hours extra, they can guarantee elephant sightings too.


Quote:
Am sure you guys would have missed out on visits from your friends from Parambikulam "leech"
- I went prepared with salt / dettol / tobacco... but there are absolutely no leeches here

Quote:
...I remember Thoovanam falls, I saw it the first time on my way to Chinnar from Munnar during my honey moon trip. It is an amazing view to see it high up from the Mountain, I was under the impression that you could possibly not reach it, may be gives me a reason to visit it again.
- Given that you have to buy a Rs.100 per head ticket to go to the falls and every group is invariably to be accompanied by a 'Guide', I think they have purposely not indicated the route to the falls clearly.

On one hand, the Rs.100/- ticket does seem to be quite unreasonable; but the scenic one hour trek + the absolutely clean falls makes it worthwhile.
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Old 10th July 2009, 10:02   #19
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Great going hotstuff. Wonderful travelogue/photos as always. What camera are you using? is it a regular point & shoot cam or an SLR?


OT: All the best for your Mitsubishi Cedia challenge. (I have voted for you)
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Old 10th July 2009, 10:26   #20
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Hotstuff,
I noticed your thread a little late and now have to run, a brief view showed me there's a lot to read and see on your thread. I am keeping it for this evening when I am more relaxed and free.
Will be interesting for sure.
Regards,
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Old 10th July 2009, 19:08   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Great going hotstuff. Wonderful travelogue/photos as always. What camera are you using? is it a regular point & shoot cam or an SLR?

OT: All the best for your Mitsubishi Cedia challenge. (I have voted for you)
- Thanks for the vote Addy, with the way we are slipping down in the rankings, we need every vote we can get!

About the camera, no SLR for me as yet... I did look at some DSLRs; but wasn't so sure if I wanted to lug around a camera that could'nt slip into my pockets.

All the pics from the older travelogues (and 90% of the pics from the Parambikulam & Chinnar treks) were taken on a Panasonic Lumix FX01 P&S.

During our Tirupati trip, I managed to drop the FX01 and had to do some impromptu repairs to get it working again. While it seems to be working fine, I see that the camera is a lot more noisier than earlier and I feel that it might conk sometime. So bought a second camera a few weeks ago, again a Panasonic P&S, the TZ6 model.

But when it comes to ease of use, picture clarity and amazing battery-life, the FX01 still gives me the best results. (It is around 3.5 years old now.)

It was like this when new...
Name:  3q_001.jpg
Views: 1258
Size:  27.8 KB

And now it is dented & bent around the lens after I repaired it... but still seems to be working fine.
'Xing'ing around ! - Trekking in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thoovanam Waterfalls-20.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Hotstuff,
I noticed your thread a little late and now have to run, a brief view showed me there's a lot to read and see on your thread. I am keeping it for this evening when I am more relaxed and free.
Will be interesting for sure.
Regards,
- Thanks Sir!

Last edited by hotstuff : 10th July 2009 at 19:12.
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Old 10th July 2009, 21:13   #22
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Man, you guys do lot of trekking wherever you go seems like it is only trekking. Looks like it is a hoby for you people just like driving for us. BTW, nice pics and narration.
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Old 13th July 2009, 14:15   #23
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Pictures talk louder than 1000 words. Its lovely. I drive down this road quite often, but had never bothered to look around, I am sure it will be different next time
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Old 13th July 2009, 14:44   #24
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Wonderful photologue! Gives one the total picture of how to reach and what to look for in a place.
Sad to note the forest guards in 'hawai chappals' and carrying lathis to catch sandalwood poachers who would be armed to their teeth. A very revealingly pathetic state of affairs, which if continues, we will not be left with any natural beauty to escape to from our urban stress.
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Old 13th July 2009, 14:57   #25
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Aha, found one more trekker in car savvy group.

Nice pics and trek.
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Old 15th July 2009, 13:05   #26
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A nice photograpic travelog.
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Old 17th July 2009, 22:46   #27
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@snaronikar;
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Thank you all for your comments!

Apologies for the delayed response, have been down with a viral fever... and Sangeetha's been locking up the modem before she goes to office to ensure I get some rest... Internet time is being rationed out to me for a few days...
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Old 18th July 2009, 17:04   #28
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Superb pics and narration ! Thanks for sharing. This place is on my list now
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Old 20th July 2009, 19:10   #29
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Originally Posted by NIP View Post
Superb pics and narration ! Thanks for sharing. This place is on my list now
Thanks NIP! I appreciate your comments & feedback.
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Old 15th September 2009, 15:23   #30
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Hotstuff, just as the handle suggests, man this is one awesome photologue, i hope that you have many more plans for trekking, do keep the good work going.looking forward to more posts from you.Cheers!
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