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Old 22nd January 2010, 21:54   #1
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Cool Trip to Highest point on nilgiris - My Weekend getaway 3

Hi everybody,Its been a very long time i had been on a weekend trip.My wife had never visited Ooty and she wanted me to plan the next trip to ooty.
So once the destination was decided , next i started with the planning.I though i can make it as a weekend trip since the distance was just 300 Km from bangalore and also since i had already been to ooty before i knew there is nothing much to visit in ooty itself and i was more or less going there to enjoy the cold weather.We thought we can cover coonoor too if we planned it correctly.
Hence we decided to explore ooty on saturday and coonoor on sunday.I was against staying in ooty since i knew how crowded the place had become.So after some searching around in google and tripadvisor we decided
to staty in a Homestay called " The nest ".More on the accomodation is covered at the last.So here goes my 4th Travellogue.

Route taken -->
Forward Journey -- >Electronic City-Kanakapura-Malavalli-Chamarajanagar- Bandipur-Masinagudi-Ooty
Return Journey --> Conoor-Gudalur-Bandipur-Nanjanagoodu-Mysore-Mandya-Bangalore
car --> 2003 maruti 800 DX
number of people --> 4
Distance --> 300 + 300 Kms
Money spent --> 800 Rs (Petrol) + 32 Rs (Toll) + 50 Rs (Fees for the falls)
duration --> 48 hours
Ideal Time --> Anytime , i guess
Ideal for -- > Family , Weekend Getaways , Romantic getaway
My rating of the destination --> Ooty - 3/5
Coonoor - 4/5

Forward Journey --> My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law joined us since they too had never visited Ooty.So it was total 4 of us , in a maruti 800 , fully packed with snacks and lot of energy.
I wanted to leave as early as possible as i wanted to reach ooty by 12:00 PM.I originally thought of taking Mysore route but later thought Kanakapura-chamarajanagar would be better , which i admit was a mistake.
We left the house at sharp 4:45 AM on a chilly saturday morning.I had already travelled on kankapura road for visiting Shivansamudra.But somehow i missed the turn and went till bannerghatta and waster 45 minutes in navigating back to Kanakapura road.The roads till bandipura is a mix of 50 % good road and 50 % not so good road.At several places they are doing some repair work.I siuncerely suggest others to avoid this route.we had our breakfast in malavalli and resumed our journey.We reached bandipura around 10:00 AM.I had never been through bandipura road and i enjoyed it along with mudumalai forest road.I had already decided that i will take the masinagudi route as i had gathered information from team-bhp that the route is very scenic.It turned out to be 100 % true !!.
If you are a driving enthusiast and enjoy climbing the ghats as much as i do , i can gurantee you you will be extremely pleased to take this route.I agree that the road condition itself is not so good ,but with 32 hair pin bends you will have one hell of a time navigating your car.I had to take my 800 at second gear in order to ascend the entire ghat section.My passengers were scared to death while i was smiling with each hair pin bend passing.I dont mind taking this route anytime !!.the road is very narrow but if you are carefull you can climb it without stopping anywhere for others to pass by.We stopeed at
2-3 places for photosession.middleway we already started feeling the cold weather of ooty.I reached ooty at 12:00 PM sharp as planned.Few photos to do the talking..

At Ooty --> We were all hungry and we wanted to have our lunch as soon as possible.I knew 2-3 hotels from my last visit and went to some Veg hotel.The food was not so great but good enough to fill our
stomach.Then we started our sight seeing by visiting the botanical garden first.Ooty is not what it was before.You can only see Shops,Hotels,Lot of traffic everwhere we look.I was little bit dissapointed but neverthless we went to famous botanical garden since it was first time
visit for my wife.Later we went to the rose garden.This was one hell of a waste of money since there are not even 3 roses in the same bush.I suggest all to avoid this.next on our list was the Tea-Factory.We saw the process of tea-powder making up front and my co-passengers were pleasantly surprised.As usual we purchased 1 KG worth of masala tea and some other crap and left the place.At around 4:00 PM we went to Doddabetta.The star attraction of ooty !!.True enough , it was very beautifull to watch the ooty city and the surrounding hills from doddabetta.The temperature started to fall down drastically and the wind was very chilly.I liek cold weather very much and did not mind it by my mother-in-law, Wife and sister-in-law ran away and sat inside the car :-). We waited till 6:00 PM , did not watch the compelete sunset as i had already seen plenty of sunsets in other hill station and my passengers were shivering !!
we thought we will do some shopping and went to charring cross.This is the main market area of ooty and you will find shops selling Home-made chocolates, Different types of oils , sweaters etc everywhere !!.
I left them for shopping and went to check my break fluid since i felt a top up was required.There are 2-3 good petrol bunks while coming on the mysore side.Filled up the petrol and went to the
market again.They had purchase all the usual things like sweaters, oils etc and it was dinner time.
As i mentioned above i had booked a homestay at Coonoor and it was 22 Km away from Ooty.The caretaker had given me the address and i was confident i could find it easily in the night.So we had dinner and left ooty at 8:30 PM.
The road to conoor is very nice and you will have a nice time descending the ghat section.there was not much traffic and i reached coonoor in 30 minutes.
Now i had to go to wellington war memorial and from there to a village ,Aniadah where the home stay was.It was 6 Km from Coonoor market.There was nobody to ask for direction and with some difficulty we ound the house.Since it was very dark i couldnt check out the surroundings.The temperature had dropped to 9 Deg and it was damn cold.We crashed in immediately !!

Ooty Pics :
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At Coonoor --> I got up at 5:30 AM since i wanted to watch the sunrise from a view point in coonoor.There are 3-4 places which are really worth visiting.
Lambs Rock, Dolphins Nose, Sims park etc.The homestay is smack in between the tea estates and it was very scenic !.I had to literaly drag my wife out of bed in the morning because it was very cold and she wanted to sleep till 8 !!.We both got dressed up and went for a morning car drive.We roamed around for 45 minutes till the sun was completely up.There was a beautifull stream on Kotagiri road and we made several pitstops for photo session against the rising sun.We also visited 3-4 tea estates and went inside them by jumping the fence.
Returned to the room to find the hot breakfast ready.Ate stomach full , gave order for afternoon lunch as well and started our coonoor sight seeing session.We first went to Sims park since i thought it would be ncie to have a walk in teh gardens early morning.Nothing much to mention here except that it is beautifully maintained , a small boat house and verry old tress.Some were as old as 150 years !!Next we went to lambs rock.Enoute to the lambs rock i saw a board where they had written " Lambs Rock View Point ".we stopped at one place where the fog / Clouds were cutting through the road and tea estates.Had a nice cup of masal tea there and went inside the
tea estate.This was the first time in my visit to Hill stations that i saw this phenomenon !! It was very beautifull and words will not do justification.Some pictures to show you what i mean.I think it would have been better if we had come there 1 hour earlier as i was told by the locals that it is very intense between 8:00 - 11:00 PM.Shouldve covered sims park at the last !!
anyways we proceeded to the actual lambs rock view point.Next we went to Dolphins nose and returned back to our home stay.the caretaker had preapared a delicious meal by that time and we left at 3:00 PM from coonoor.

Conoor Pics :
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Return Journey --> After a quick stop at ooty to purchase more chocolates , we were on our way to bangalore.I somehow missed the route to masinagudi and was forced to take the gudalur route.
IThe gudalur route is in excellent condition and it was a breeze climbing down the ghat !! M ymother-in-law was very relieved that i didnt take the masinagudi route since that would have meant
a dzpiral descent.The gudalur route adds extra 25 Km when compared to the masinagudi route but is worth if you dont like the ghats very much.This route was very similar to the yercaud route.We passed through
mudumalai , bandipur and this time i decided to take the mysore route since i knew how bad the kanakpura road was and also it was getting dark.Reached mysore at 7:30 PM , had a quick snack at ramanashri hotel and resumed journey to bangalore.
Mysore route needless to say was excellent except some freak speed bumps which the locals had built near their villages.This was very frustrating since it was very hard to make out the bumps and i took my car over one at 60 Kph !! My rearview mirror fell down from its place, Dashboard came off and dppr lock
mechanism got loosened up !! and ofcourse all the occupants were thrown off their seats.It was very scary and then afterwards i follwed the other cars to get an idea of the speed bumps which were ahead.We reached rajajinagar at 10:00 PM , dropped off my inlaws and by the time i came back to my house
in singasandra it was 12:00 PM.We both were very tired and went off to bed recalling out wonderfull trip in ooty.

About the home stay --> The home stay we stayed was called as " The nest " and true to its name it was a really nice nest of rus tourists !!the house was surrounded by tea estates everywhere and it was everything i had hoped for.They had little bird nest all over and i could see some birds nesting inside !!
The room rent was 1500 per day.The room itself was decent enough with neat bathroom , geyser and a sitout to enjoy the morning tea during sunrise.They even had a vaolley ball court, a bonfire place both of which we did not make use of.I guess they wouldve arranged for a bonfire if we had requested for.This is a really
good thing if you go in a large group.There are 2 approach rods, one via Wellington ear memorial and other through the kotagiris road.It is around 6-8 KM form Coonoor.The room rent did not include food and that was extra.Breakfast is 75 Rs and Lunch/Dinner 125 / person for Veg.
I felt the food was very much overpriced.We had breakfast and lunch and both were very delicious.You can ask them preapare whatever you like and the caretaker will take care of it.The caretaker was also very helpfull and he offered us to show the nearby palces if we requested.They couldve provided us with few extra blankets as we would not be used to the cold.We all slept wearing our sweaters since the temperature i think had dropped to around 8 Deg !!.I would definitely book this palce again considering its location and the calmness surrounding it.There was one more home stay adjacent to it, " Bison Country ".
There is also a nursery in fornt of the homestay and you may purchase tea plants if you want to show your friends how the teal saplings look like.

My rating of the place : Location - 5/5
Food - 3/5 ( Overpriced !!)
Amentities- 4/5
Would i come here again ?? - Hell yes !!!

Here are few photos of the homestay and area surrounding it :

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Freak incident --> While passing through Bandipur we saw 3 elephants , one male ,1 female and a small baby elephant ( I guess their own ;-) ) playing.
I thought we could take some nice pictures and stopped my car.Unfortunately i did not see other cars parked very far from where we standing.My wife took out the camera and aimed at them.I think the male elephant with huge tusker felt threatened and it charge at us suddenly !!My heart was in my mouth and luckily i was still in first gear even though i had come to stand still , i just pressed the accelerator to the floor and the car jumped ahead !!I just thought what if i had switched off my engine !!I am sure i would be writing this blog in a hospital !!I thanked my good stars and never bothered to stop at any elephant sighting.

Here is a video which my wife took by mistake ( She pressed the record mode instead of taking the snap ) and also some snaps from bandipur :

Video -->

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Old 23rd January 2010, 07:48   #2
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Lucky you got away from that mock chase by the elephant , or else it would not have been such a happy travelogue!

When you do such trip so take a look at all the information available ( do a search on TBHP for wildlife encounters) , look at the info available so that other people also get a chance to enjoy the wildlife . Such incident have already led to this road being closed at night time , its only a matter of time before the ban on day time traffic will also be effected..

Please try to be responsible and respect the wildlife when you're in their territory. I would do that !
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Old 23rd January 2010, 09:39   #3
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Very nice detailed travelogue mate !
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Old 23rd January 2010, 10:46   #4
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Nice travelogue, you are really lucky with the elephant incident. I think more planning could have been done by checking on this site. Well dont be disheartened there is always a next time!
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Old 23rd January 2010, 12:11   #5
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Nice, crisp and informative travelogue. Enjoyed reading it. About elephant incident others have already said what is right.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 12:23   #6
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Originally Posted by hellstar View Post
Please try to be responsible and respect the wildlife when you're in their territory. I would do that !
Well +1 to that.I was caught in the moment with my wife asking me to take her as close as possible.I guess i will be responsible next time not to mess with them
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Old 25th January 2010, 10:37   #7
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Originally Posted by @400Kph View Post
Well +1 to that.I was caught in the moment with my wife asking me to take her as close as possible.I guess i will be responsible next time not to mess with them
Some of my colleagues from work are ooty locals. If you wanted to explore the less explored areas of ooty please let me know. I hope I can help you with some pointers.
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