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Old 28th January 2010, 08:27   #61
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Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Hi Bigzero.

Enjoyed your well written travelogue with nicely composed photographs of nature. Yes, Valparai truly looks a must see place, less crowded and untouched then Ooty, Kodai and Munnar.

Now my problem is that the beautiful Southern India has got so many places of interest the even if we manage a 1 month driving trip, we'll have to miss many of them. Now, I'd like your opinion that if we have to miss some of the hill stations from these 4 sectors 1. Ooty, Coconoor, Kotagiri; 2. Kodaikonal; 3. Munnar and 4. Valaparai, which one should be left out first? Off course, it is very subjective thing, yet some suggestions pl.

My guess is that including Valpari and Chalukudy is a must, in that case, leaving Munnar seems logical. Shouldn't we leave out Kodai too from iteneary?

We have to make choices whenever our proposed visit materialises, as we want to cover coastal Kerala and TN, alongwith routine Mysore, B'lore too in a 25 days family trip from Lucknow in June in Safari!
Hmm tough question! I am not an expert in hill stations, but as Cheeronwheels mentioned you may want to consider Coorg as well.

Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri are quite close by and you can cover all of them in one shot - you may need to take a call on where you want to stay though.

Though Munnar, Kodaikanal and Valparai are not too far away from each other as the crow flies, they require fairly long ( but interesting ) drives to touch, once you are at any of these places.

I havent been to Kodaikanal, so I cant commment on the place. Munnar is a nice place, but slowly becoming overcommercialized.

I think you may need to take a call once you attempt to draw out a detailed itinerary. If you are planning to do the Valparai-chalakudy drive then to go back to Munnar thats another interesting drive and I would do it if I have time.


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Hi folks,

It may not be that important, but the Vazhachal - Malakkappara stretch does not have mobile signals, at least in October 2008 when we went.

The traffic is sparse, so help if needed would be tough to get.
Yes you are right. How did I miss that! I completely forgot about my mobile phone during the drive though

There is an element of risk in that section, I agree. No cellphone signal + sparse traffic + possible wildlife encounters + narrow roads is a heady combination!
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Old 28th January 2010, 12:27   #62
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
There is an element of risk in that section, I agree. No cellphone signal + sparse traffic + possible wildlife encounters + narrow roads is a heady combination!
Add leeches to that. My friend had two of them on him when he was by the side of the road to take snaps.

We never knew about the 'risk' when attempting the journey. The way the roads are, a puncture is easy to get!

I must have come across about 5 vehicles in the up and down journey!
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Old 28th January 2010, 15:56   #63
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Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Hi folks,

It may not be that important, but the Vazhachal - Malakkappara stretch does not have mobile signals, at least in October 2008 when we went.

The traffic is sparse, so help if needed would be tough to get.
Now also the stretch is devoid of mobile signals. You have BSNL connectivity after you reach Malakkappara. My Airtel was dead till I reached close to Pollachi.

Last edited by Nutty Nair : 28th January 2010 at 16:02.
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Old 28th January 2010, 16:47   #64
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BigZero, Very nice pictures. TFS.
Valparai added to my short term travel plan now.
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Old 29th January 2010, 14:56   #65
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Hey BigZero, excellent write-up. as they say, your travelogue was "long enough to cover the subject and short enough to arouse interest" .

Nice work.
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Old 29th January 2010, 16:38   #66
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Excellent pics Bigzero !! Hope your nickname is all about your camera lens (big zero) ... Amazing...

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Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post

The road further down ( on the left of the sign ) goes to Chinnakallar.
Attachment 264045
I have been to chinnakallar and on our way back we say a huge bison standing in the roadside which was little scary.

But, I would not suggest to go to chinnakallar with kids as you find lots and lots of leeches on the way of your trek.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...bangalore.html (Liesure trip --- Bangalore - TopSlip - Parambikulam Forest - Valparai - Bangalore)
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Old 29th January 2010, 17:15   #67
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[quote=Bigzero;1703028]Hmm tough question! I am not an expert in hill stations, but as Cheeronwheels mentioned you may want to consider Coorg as well.

Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri are quite close by and you can cover all of them in one shot - you may need to take a call on where you want to stay though.

Though Munnar, Kodaikanal and Valparai are not too far away from each other as the crow flies, they require fairly long ( but interesting ) drives to touch, once you are at any of these places.

I havent been to Kodaikanal, so I cant commment on the place. Munnar is a nice place, but slowly becoming overcommercialized.

I think you may need to take a call once you attempt to draw out a detailed itinerary. If you are planning to do the Valparai-chalakudy drive then to go back to Munnar thats another interesting drive and I would do it if I have time.


Thanks. It'll be useful when we finally come down to details of the proposed trip.
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Old 29th January 2010, 17:21   #68
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
Now also the stretch is devoid of mobile signals. You have BSNL connectivity after you reach Malakkappara. My Airtel was dead till I reached close to Pollachi.
Even if mobile signals are an essential part of our lives, I hope they don't destroy the forests for putting up mobile towers.

My Reliance was active after Malakkappara, if I remember correctly.

At that time, the BSNL signal was of Tamil Nadu origin!
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Old 29th January 2010, 22:26   #69
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Thank you Bigzero! Your narration has cleared many of my doubts about this route. Nice pictures too - very good thread .
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Old 30th January 2010, 00:27   #70
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wonderful pics and equally nice narration. TFS.

Its so true that you do not care for things/places that are so near to you, that are so accessible to you till you move far away from them. Its a classic case of taking things for granted. I stayed in Coimbatore for 2 years but never visited there. Actually never thought Valparai could be so beautiful.

The pic of the bungalow is picture perfect/desktop wallpaper stuff. simply Super. Me and my wife read the complete log in one sitting and truly enjoyed it.

TFS again
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Old 30th January 2010, 02:18   #71
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Bigzero, when guys like you take the effort to post a travelogue of this quality, it gives immense pleasure to people like me. Will definitely make this trip. Waterfall estate was once managed by my cousin, silly me should have made this trip a long time back. 5 stars all the way!
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Old 14th May 2010, 10:46   #72
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Bigzero, an awesome travelogue there with mouth watering pics. So much so, that am completely smitten and have planned my next roadtrip to Valparai and Cochin via Athirampally/Vazhachal! Am from Hyd too and here's how my plan looks:

Day 1: Leave Hyd in the afternoon and reach Bangalore late evening/night
Day 2: Leave early morning (say 3am) for Valparai and reach CBE by 7am to meet my sis and family coming from Chennai by train. Post breakfast leave to Valparai and reach there leisurely by afternoon/evening
Day 3,4,5: Stay at Waterfall resorts (has to be!!) and explore Valparai and surroundings
Day 6: Leave to Cochin through the famed route and reach Cochin by evening
Day 7,8: Explore Cochin/surroundings
Day 8 evening: Leave for Bangalore
Day 9: Bangalore
Day 10: Leave to Hyd early in the morning

My wife and kid don't driving much, so I'll have them fly certain sections like Hyd-BLR and Cochin-BLR. Otherwise, they're not too keen to drive around - we'd like this to be a laid back vacation, exploring things at a slow pace.

I'd need some pointers from you/other experts on this forum on:
1. Valparai - can I do Topslip/Parambikulam one of these days - can be done in a day if I take a jeep etc., from the resort?
2. Cochin - 2 days; am thinking of spending one day along the backwaters. Take a boat and ride along, stop at some towns and spend second day sight seeing at Cochin - the forts etc., Can you suggest a good hotel or if there's some exotic resort, will be open to that as well.

Thanks and looking forward to all your responses.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:02   #73
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I hope you are going after the monsoons start, now it will be too dry and brown.

Topslip/Parambikulam is from Pollachi, which means you will have to come back down the ghats all the way to Pollachi and go there. There is another option though - there is a jeep safari from Sholayar into Parambikulam (Sholayar is halfway to Athirapalli/Chalakudy). Check out this forum, one of our friends is running it.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:16   #74
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oh yes HVK. Am planning this trip in the last wk of June. There's always the risk of rain playing spoil sport, but don't have other options - can't wait until later in the monsoon like Aug/Sep.

Do you think I should stay put at Pollachi on Day 1, explore Parambikulam/Top Slip and then move to Valparai? I've always been fascinated by Pollachi and it's surroundings (have seen it in ample Tamil movies!!) and was wondering if there are some hidden treasures and eco lodges there?
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:27   #75
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Pollachi itself is a seedy little small town like any other, but it does have some good hotels. Not a great idea!

Check out with Top Slip/Parambikulam guys if they are open at that time. 04259-225356 - that is the number of the Forest Office at Pollachi, where you can call to see if the route is open
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