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Old 27th July 2009, 14:38   #1
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Default Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd

Disclaimer: I am not good with words nor with taking pics. I like to drive and see things and don't care much about the car specs and the figures it generates. So this is going to be a very humble travelogue and lack of time would force me to upload the pics in batches. Will try my best to put as much relevant details.

Background: Well, it all started on a lazy Saturday morning when both me and my wife woke up all dreary eyed frustrated with the constant drudgery of work. We had been thinking of some road trip for long but kept deferring it out of laziness blaming the weather, work, manager etc. But yet another lousy Saturday morning with no idea of what to do did us in. We decided to take a week's break driving to some places. Both of us had started our career in the beautiful campus of Infosys Mysore as fresh out-of-college trainees. That was more than 5 years back and both of us wanted to re-live those days. And visiting Mysore meant Bangalore was a must. But what else, what else? Now, monsoons would be at it's peak around this time. So why not take the risk and see the greenery of Kerala when it's at its greenest! So we added one more stop to our itenerary - Wayanad. Plan chalked out, got the bookings done, friends/relatives informed, car serviced, tank topped up, routes researched. 11th July, off we go!


Complete trip summary:
Start date - 11-Jul-2009
End date - 21-Jul-2009
Total distance covered - 2146 kms
Total time driven (excluding intra city drives) - roughly 36 hrs
Major stops and places driven through- Bangalore, Mysore, Wayanad, Muthunga Sanctuary, Mudamalai Reserve, Bandipur Forest.
The ride - Chevrolet Spark, LS, 2007
The "riders" - Me and my wife.

The oohs and aahs of the trip - 1) Just driving itself through the forests of South India in the monsoons...felt like heaven. 2) Getting rammed on the right by a speeding Scorpio only to later realize that the car bore not even an inch of scratch (I still donno how that happened). The Scorpio got a few scratches though. What more, the guys in the Scorpio (5 of them, all well built) actually came up to me and apologised profusely! 3) Chevrolet "Miss Chamko" Spark's performance - is still as smooth as ever after all the bumpy rides.

The awws and aarghs of the trip - 1) Spotted just some deer and cows for wildlife in spite of driving through 3 forests 2) Bangalore peak hour traffic

OK, the pics and tid-bits will follow up. Hope I do some justice amongst the various other fabulous travelogues by other T-BHP members.

Cheers.
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Old 27th July 2009, 14:40   #2
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Bring it on Rahul . Did have a quick look of the pics in your orkut.Awesome stuff!
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Old 27th July 2009, 15:16   #3
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Default Hyderabad to Bangalore and back.

The following pics are from the road trip between Hyderabad and Bangalore. Am posting pics from both the onwards and return trips as there are not many of them.

Key notes:-
End points - Madhapur, Hyderabad and Kodigehalli, Bangalore
Distance (door to door) - 571 kms.
Route - NH7; Hyd - ORR - Shadnagar - Jadcherla - Kurnool - Gooty - Anantpur - Devenhalli - Chikballapur - Bangalore
Time taken - 11 hours onwards, 9 hours return (stoppage time would be roughly 1.5 hrs in both trips)
Comments - NH7 is absolutely amazing at the Hyderabad side with four laned roads till Kurnool. Very well maintained, labeled roads. Two toll collections at Shadnagar(Rs. 40) and Kottakota (Rs. 38). Kurnool onwards, the diversions start and the road is really bad at Kurnool. After Kurnool till one enters KA, diversions continue but the roads are good except for a few patches. Last 100 kms to Bangalore is again heaven. It's a an absolute straight route from Hyderabad to Bangalore and goes through very barren lands with very few eating places. One should complete all the pet pooja by Kurnool after which you won't find much. Mandatory pic stop - ISKCON temple at Anantpur (well covered already at TBHP).

OK, the pics now.
Camera - Old, badly bruised Canon S2 IS.

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4024-large.jpg

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Old 27th July 2009, 16:53   #4
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Default Bangalore to Wayanad

Key notes:-
Start - Kodigehalli, Bangalore; 7:30 AM
End - Wynberg Resorts, Kakavayal, Wayanad; 2:20 PM
Distance (door to door) - 291.8 kms
Route - Bangalore - SH17- Mysore - Gundulpet - NH212 - Muthunga Santuary - Sultan Bathery - Wayanad
Comments -
  • Bangalore-Mysore expressway is quite good with lots of food stops including Mc Ds, CCDs etc.
  • Volvo buses are always a pain, but I found them worse on this stretch.
  • KA loves speed breakers. Bangalore is replete with them and even the expressway hasn't been spared. Watch out for them. Especially the ones at Maddur which would wanna kiss your car quite desperately.
  • Mysore to Gundulpet stretch is good except for one bad diversion patch in between. Gotta see a lot of sunflower fields in between.
  • After crossing Gundulpet, there is a sharp right one should take to go to Sultan Bathery. If you go straight, you'd go towards Bandipur-Mudamalai and the road in this direction is absolutely horrible for about 5 kms (I came back on this route).
  • Driving through Muthunga Sanctuary, Bathery was an awesome experience, especially because of the rains. One thing I noted, KL drivers give no heed to the "no horns" rule inside the forest while TN drivers follow that very obediently. Not sure if this observation could be generalised but that's what I saw from all the vehicles I passed.
  • Stretch between Sultan Bathery and Meenangadi is a little risky as the roads start winding a little and the autos and trucks drive quite rashly on that stretch.
OK, enough blabbering. Pics follow:-

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4222-large.jpg

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4227-large.jpg

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Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4309-large.jpg

More pics to follow. We haven't even entered Gundulpet so far :-).
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Old 27th July 2009, 18:11   #5
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Default Bangalore to Wayanad - Gundulpet onwards..

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4316-large.jpg

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Old 27th July 2009, 19:28   #6
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Nice one devnull. The drive to Kerala from BLR through WYN is a very refreshing one. I did almost same route(HYD-BLR-MYS-GDLR-NILAMBUR-MANJERI) couple of months back. While returning I used the Muthanga route. We did not halt at BLR. We drove flat-out, and I really liked it.
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Old 28th July 2009, 01:03   #7
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Default Some pics from Wayanad stay

Rajesh - Thanks for the kind words. I had posted the pics till Wayanad in my Orkut profile. But actually the pics after Wayanad are the best in my collection. So, hang on :-).

Matt - I too did both routes and actually found the Mudamalai one better (although more time taking).

The following pics are from our one day stay at Wayanad. Now, most of you might be knowing that Kerala and especially Wayanad, received record rainfalls this time and we were in Wayanad at the peak of the rainfalls. Our resort manager said that this kind of rainfall was last seen 10 years back and that we had arrived on the 10th day of continous rainfall. What more, the day that we had kept to do some site-seeing in Wayanad proved to be the day with the max rainfall which resulted in lots of landslides, roads being closed, trees getting uprooted etc. We could not visit two key tourist spots in Wayanad - Edakkal caves and Pookote lake - both closed due to the incessant rains. It did feel a little sad initially but I actually had prepared for such an eventuality - my biggest wish was to see Kerala in its full monsoon colours and I got exactly that. So overall, I was happy. They say the monsoons are the worst time to visit Wayanad (Oct onwards being the best). But if you love the rains and greenery, then I'd say this is the best time to visit it!

We took a cab from the resort for the day trip giving a much deserved break to our Sparky.

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4454.jpg

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Old 28th July 2009, 01:29   #8
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Default Wayanad pics continued

More pics from Wayanad. Will update the descriptions soon...

Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4512.jpg

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Roadtrip through South India : Hyd - Blr - Wyn - Mys - Blr - Hyd-img_4558.jpg  


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Old 28th July 2009, 10:27   #9
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Wayanad is terrific in the rains.. Good job to capture the lovel rain snaps, land slide etc etc.. Hope to see more soon
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:40   #10
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Devnull, you should be banned for doing this. . Not a single day has passed in my life thinking what I am doing in Hyderabad, and you just added salt to the wound. Now I just want to drive again to Kerala.
Beautiful Pics, you just made my day!
BTW, why did you go to Thamarassery Ghat Road?
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Old 28th July 2009, 11:39   #11
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Devnull, some of the pics are breathtaking, the mist and the dark clouds add a lot of beauty to them.Keep your travelogue updated, and btw nice to see a fellow Infoscion in T-bhp..

P.S:You have missed to mosaic your number plates, for safety reasons please do that in your future posts..
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Old 28th July 2009, 13:44   #12
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Great pics! How was the Spark on the drive? What was the F.E. like? I think it is one of the best hatchbacks below 4 lacs.

On a lighter vein, I wonder why the signboard says 'Welcome to Kerala state'---why do they need to suffix 'state' to Kerala---everyone knows it is a state in India!! I've never found a board like 'Welcome to Maharashtra state' or 'Karnataka state'.

Incidentally, I found most of my Mallu colleagues also say 'I am from Kerala state'-----isn't that a sorry state of affairs, Thad

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Old 28th July 2009, 13:54   #13
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Wow great pics! am sure you guys had a great time!
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Old 28th July 2009, 14:01   #14
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Great travelogue there devnull. Some great shots as well. The part of the country is great during monsoons and its quite a breathtaking site.

Interesting to know that you had small run up with tank and for a change, people in the tank did apologize to you, which is quite strange. No offenses to tank owners.

Will be interested to know about FE you got on highways and how was the handling and ride quality.

And I didn't see any pics of Mysore campus yet. Yeah, its one of the best campus and we did have a great stay there (while I was with Infy).
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Old 28th July 2009, 20:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Wayanad is terrific in the rains.. Good job to capture the lovel rain snaps, land slide etc etc.. Hope to see more soon
Thanks. Yes, more pics coming soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Devnull, you should be banned for doing this. . Not a single day has passed in my life thinking what I am doing in Hyderabad, and you just added salt to the wound. Now I just want to drive again to Kerala.
Beautiful Pics, you just made my day!
BTW, why did you go to Thamarassery Ghat Road?
Thanks, Matt. Your comment made my day! :-) I took the Thamarassery Ghat Road just to get to the view point from where one could have an awesome view of the Western Ghats. And clouds and light drizzle actually made it look like heaven. I mean I am not sure how much those pics could convey, but being there at time was a surreal experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Devnull, some of the pics are breathtaking, the mist and the dark clouds add a lot of beauty to them.Keep your travelogue updated, and btw nice to see a fellow Infoscion in T-bhp..
Thanks, CliffHanger. BTW, I am no longer with Infosys but had started my career there. Spent two great years there. My wife still works for Infosys.

Quote:
P.S:You have missed to mosaic your number plates, for safety reasons please do that in your future posts..
Yes, I know. Felt too lazy to do that since I had to upload so many pics. But yes, I should be doing that. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Great pics! How was the Spark on the drive? What was the F.E. like? I think it is one of the best hatchbacks below 4 lacs.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I am not much into the figures, but the one time I noted down the readings, the FE came to 16.639 kmpl. This is with about 70% AC on. That apart, the car ran smooth as butter throughout. I have to keep saying this - in terms of handling and driving quality, Spark does an awesome job. I touched 150 kmph at one point and the car was quite stable.

Quote:
On a lighter vein, I wonder why the signboard says 'Welcome to Kerala state'---why do they need to suffix 'state' to Kerala---everyone knows it is a state in India!! I've never found a board like 'Welcome to Maharashtra state' or 'Karnataka state'.

Incidentally, I found most of my Mallu colleagues also say 'I am from Kerala state'-----isn't that a sorry state of affairs, Thad
Great catch there, Venu. But am not sure on the Mallus also saying that. Maybe be an over-statement on your part :-).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Wow great pics! am sure you guys had a great time!
Thanks, Lohith. Yes, it was an awesome trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
Great travelogue there devnull. Some great shots as well. The part of the country is great during monsoons and its quite a breathtaking site.
Thanks, Murali.

Quote:
Interesting to know that you had small run up with tank and for a change, people in the tank did apologize to you, which is quite strange. No offenses to tank owners.
You spoke my thoughts there. I'm mean it man, those were some really well built and intimidating looking guys. And here I was, trying to step out of my puny Sparky while they seemed to be charging towards my car. Was quite an anticlimax when they started uttering "Sorry" so many times.

Quote:
And I didn't see any pics of Mysore campus yet. Yeah, its one of the best campus and we did have a great stay there (while I was with Infy).
Mysore pics coming up soon.
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