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Old 11th March 2010, 20:30   #76
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Nutty, I have posted a link to this travelogue in another forum, with due credit to you, of course. Hope you don't mind.
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Old 12th March 2010, 22:11   #77
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@darklord - No problem, boss! The more, the merrier
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Old 15th March 2010, 23:50   #78
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Sweet pics Ranjith. The temple festival pictures truly bring back old memories. I say again - you are lucky to be able to travel and take snaps, and kudos to your friends who keep you company in these trips. Where next ?
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Old 16th March 2010, 11:19   #79
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Ranjith.. This is one thread I check regularly for updates.. Some day you can plan to get this printed with the snaps... Will serve as a guide for any one visiting our little paradise ..
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Old 16th March 2010, 12:35   #80
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Would you be uploading any pics of Kovalam? Had been there last week. Beautiful place.
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Old 16th March 2010, 13:20   #81
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@gadhadhar - Thank you for the appreciation.
@electricheart - How about Vagamon?
@redrage - your wish is my command, sir! Let me fish out some snaps from my files.
One day trip to Vagamon
With the 26th of February being a holiday, we friends were planning for a 3 day trip to Vagamon, Munnar & nearby places. But sadly due to personal problems for some, it had to be curtailed to a 1 day trip. The next doubt was whether Vagamon could be done in a 1 day trip from Trivandrum. As usual, I was responsible for co ordinating the trip but this time my friend Bijoy also helped me in fixing the itinerary. Lots of discussion between me & Bijoy ensued & finally we fixed a rough itinerary for the 1 day trip to Vagamon.

The route: Trivandrum - Kottarakkara - Adoor - Pathanamthitta - Ranny - Kanjirapally - Erattupetta - Vagamon

The return route: Vagamon - Kuttikaanam - Elappara - Parunthumpara - Erumely - Ranni - Pathanamthitta - Adoor - Kottarakkara - Trivandrum

Distance travelled:
Trivandrum - Vagamon: 211 kms
Vagamon - Parunthumpara: 38 kms
Parunthumpara - Trivandrum - 216 kms

Total distance covered - 465 kms

Vehicle: Mahindra Xylo E8 ABS

Camera: Sony DSC H5

The Tourers: Ranjith, Bijoy, Narayan, Aravind, Binil & Kiran.

The plan was to start early in the morning at 5.30 AM to avoid the morning rush. The rendezvous point was fixed to be my house at Ayurveda College & strict instructions were given to all to arrive 10 mts before 5.30 itself.

26th February morning 5.30 every one arrived sharply on time & we were on the road as per schedule. First stop was Pazhavangadi temple at East Fort. After the customary "narial" to Lord Vighneshwara, we were on our way. Early morning traffic being sparse & the MC Road in a superb condition ensured that we were in Kottarakkara in good time. We decided to have breakfast at Kottarakara. 25 mts later & with our stomachs full we were on our way. MC Road is a pretty picturesque route but after Ranny the scenery is too good. On the way we saw some awesome scenery forcing us to stop the vehicle for taking photos. We reached Vagamon at 11 AM. We had two places in our itinerary at Vagamon, the Vagamon Meadows & the Vagamon Pine Forest. First we went to the Meadows. By this time the sun was beating down on us with some force so we tried to stick to the shade as far as possible. The meadows was a sort of anti climax as it was pretty dry all around with patches of greenery. But I can imagine this place in the rainy season or just after the rainy season. It would be like some one has put yards & yards of green velvet across the meadows. Made a mental note to visit the place during the rains. I think the pictures will give you a better idea of how the place will be in the rains.
Country Roads..
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L-R: Aravind, Kiran, Binil, Bijoy, Narayan
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Xylo at one of the photo shoots
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Ghat roads
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Rocky wall on one side, sheer drop on the other side
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Smooth roads
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Vagamon meadows
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After spending some time in the meadows, we moved to our next destination the Pine Forest. There is an open space where we can park our vehicles & after that it is a 5 minute walk to the pine forest. But before that we decided to have lunch as all of us were beginning to feel the pangs of hunger. First we went to the restaurant in the resort there but we felt the food was over priced so we came out & went to a small hotel attached to a house. It turned out to be a good decision as the meals & the karimeen were superb. The icing on the cake was the bill which came to just Rs.247/ for the six of us. Fully satiated & grinning from ear to ear we proceeded to the pine forest. I have never been to a Pine forest in my life before, so the pine forest in Vagamon was an awesome experience for me. Pine trees planted in perfect rows as far as the eye can see, it was truly a sight which alone made our trip worth the money.
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We were reluctant to leave the place but we had one more destination, Parunthumpara to cover so we headed to our vehicle & started towards Parunthumpara. The route to Parunthumara is through Kuttikkanam & Elappara. This route is a very scenic route through tea estates.
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Soon we reached Parunthumpara. Parunthumpara is said to have strong winds, but that day the winds were not that strong. We asked one of the locals there & he said usually there are strong winds in the place. Parunthumpara is a sort of view point. The place has a sheer drop on one side which is fenced off by railings at some places.
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Contd in next post..

Last edited by Nutty Nair : 16th March 2010 at 13:26.
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Old 16th March 2010, 15:04   #82
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Parunthumpara photos contd..
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Our Xylo at the parking lot at Parunthumpara
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Started our return journey from Parunthumpara at 4 PM & reached Trivandrum at 10 PM with a 30 mt break at Kottarakara.
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Old 24th April 2010, 17:42   #83
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Default Trivandrum's own Hill Station, Ponmudi

Ponmudi

Location - Around 60 kms from Trivandrum

Route - Trivandrum - Peroorkada - Nedumangadu - Vithura - Kallaar - Ponmudi

Ride: Pulsar 150

Camera: Sony DSC650

One of the favourite haunts of people from Trivandrum, Ponmudi is a hill station situated around 60 kms from Trivandrum. Ponmudi literally means "the Golden Peak". The winding road from Kallaar to Ponmudi has 22 hairpin bends, perfect for peg scraping. The road has been relaid & it is a treat to travel on these smooth roads. The scenery enroute is also superb with rich vegetation, tea gardens & mountains as the backdrop. There are also state run bus services periodically from Thampanoor & Nedumangadu bus stands. One can also relax at Kallaar which is on the way to Ponmudi. Now for some photos of Ponmudi.
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Old 24th April 2010, 20:59   #84
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Quote:
The route: Trivandrum - Kottarakkara - Adoor - Pathanamthitta - Ranny - Kanjirapally - Erattupetta - Vagamon

The return route: Vagamon - Kuttikaanam - Elappara - Parunthumpara - Erumely - Ranni - Pathanamthitta - Adoor - Kottarakkara - Trivandrum
Ranjith, saw the Vagamon travelogue just now. Great discoveries, and wonderful you could do the return the same day. The places must be fabulous during the rains.
How was the Adoor-Ranni-Kanjirapalli road? Easy route, with clear markings, in case anyone who is unfamiliar with Kerala, can he manage?

Am a little confused with your routing details - how did you get from Vagamon to Kuttikanam without touching Elappara? I thought the route is Vagamon-Elappara-Kuttikanam?

And where exactly is Parunthumpara?
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Old 24th April 2010, 22:02   #85
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@Nutty_Nair: Every picture is good and the one that of the flower is the best of the lot (well, at least to me!).
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th April 2010, 23:41   #86
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Wonderful Thread Nutty,

If you dont mind I would like to share a few pics of ponmudi that I had taken during my last visit a few months back.

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Old 24th April 2010, 23:50   #87
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Some More Pics
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Old 25th April 2010, 05:57   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Ranjith, saw the Vagamon travelogue just now. Great discoveries, and wonderful you could do the return the same day. The places must be fabulous during the rains.
How was the Adoor-Ranni-Kanjirapalli road? Easy route, with clear markings, in case anyone who is unfamiliar with Kerala, can he manage?

Am a little confused with your routing details - how did you get from Vagamon to Kuttikanam without touching Elappara? I thought the route is Vagamon-Elappara-Kuttikanam?

And where exactly is Parunthumpara?
Happened to be based in Idukki district for 2 years from 96-98 and I remember visiting Parunthumpara often. It used to be almost an OTR experience in those days but now I see a fairly good road and railings have come up. Locally it is also known as Grampy kokka (after the Granby Estate nearby) and offers neat views of a very huge canyon which is heavily wooded. On MakaraVilakku days I have seen the Jyothi standing here. Have gone for trekking down the slope for a fair distance but one has to watch out for wild animals such as Elephants and Leopards. However a local guide is absolutely necessary for any such (ad)venture. It is on a detour on the right on the way from from Peermade to Pambanar (very close to the entry to Pamabanar Town)
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Old 27th April 2010, 17:14   #89
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Kumar Sir, It is Vagamon - Elappara - Kuttikkanam. My sincere apologies.
Adoor - Ranni - Kanjirapally route is good with markings in English also. So any one from outside the state also will have no problem in this route.
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Old 27th April 2010, 18:54   #90
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Ponmudi snaps brings in fond memories of my trip there with my wife in 2004.
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