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Old 18th February 2010, 10:57   #16
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YOu make me jealous. Waiting for the complete travelogue.
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Old 18th February 2010, 15:43   #17
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DD, nice start, where did you stay in Kodai, please mention it or PM...looking out for Ooty. I don't understand why i get attracted to any visit to Kodai and Ooty. Hey the photos are wonderful, congrats on your new camera
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Old 18th February 2010, 15:58   #18
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Originally Posted by Majic View Post
DD, nice start, where did you stay in Kodai, please mention it or PM...looking out for Ooty. I don't understand why i get attracted to any visit to Kodai and Ooty. Hey the photos are wonderful, congrats on your new camera
Even I was initially planning to buy the same. It still is a plan
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Old 18th February 2010, 20:53   #19
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DD, Great Travelogue, I envy you man. Hope you go to places and get us good travelogues. Your travelogue reminded me beautiful memories of my trip to Kodai which I can never forget (I went for my honeymoon)
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Old 18th February 2010, 21:04   #20
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Nice, waiting for the next part of the log. Post it soon.
So the road till Kodai is in great shape and all the road work is completed?
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Old 18th February 2010, 21:56   #21
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Nice pics DD. I did Kodai a few weeks ago via NH7 , drive was really good. And I walked all the way round the lake - it took around 1.5 hrs.

The only downside was the terrible cold that sets in the evening during winter .
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Old 18th February 2010, 22:50   #22
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Hi DD,

Great pics and narration in your style :-) ....Eagerly waiting for the rest

Thanks,
Srini..
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Old 18th February 2010, 22:57   #23
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Default Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!

Day 2 (5th February, 2010) - Kodaikanal – Palani – Udumalaipettai – Pollachi – Coimbatore – Mettupalayam – Coonoor – Ooty

Trip Meter – 500kms to 772kms

We are up by 8:30AM and after freshening up we head to the restaurant for the buffet breakfast that was included with the room tariff. Breakfast was about average which included about 6-7 items of South Indian breakfast. Once done with breakfast and after a quick bath we checkout by 10:30AM. We stop at Spencer’s mini supermarket which is located next to Club Astoria Multi Cuisine Restaurant very near to Kodaikanal Lake. Once done with shopping for some bottled water and snacks we leave Kodaikanal. On the way out of Kodaikanal we stop at a few shops selling fruits who quote astronomical prices. This not being the season for fruits and the ones for sale not too fresh, we decide not to buy any and make our way out of Kodaikanal by 11:15AM. Reach the junction and take the deviation towards Palani which is about 65kms from Kodaikanal.

The road towards Palani is scenic and at some places the roads get really narrow. We stop at a few places for photographs and just enjoy the views around. Take my own sweet time driving down Kodaikanal as todays plan is to just reach Ooty by evening. As we loose altitude, the heat is a little uncomfortable and back come the AC on again.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000318.jpg
We start our drive out of Kodaikanal

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000331.jpg
Valley views around the drive downhill (Sorry for little poor picture quality due to fog)

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000335.jpg
Road downhill towards Palani

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000343.jpg
We stopped at a few places to soak in the scenery. Wifey is all happy

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000346.jpg
Was foggy at a few places during the drive downhill

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000354.jpg
Views around

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000365.jpg
Smooth roads with awesome views around

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000370.jpg
View from the top. Palani hill visible in the distance.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000371.jpg
Some of the scenery enroute to Palani from Kodaikanal.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000374.jpg
Palar Dam during the climb downhill

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000375.jpg
Palar Dam close to Palani

By 12:30PM we leave the hills behind and are on the plains towards Palani. At Palani we take the NH209 going towards Udumalaipettai and then on to Coimbatore. Udumalaipettai is about 37kms from Palani. The road is a wide 2 lane road with plenty of heavy vehicles plying on this road. Close to Udumalaipettai, we encounter many windmills. We stop at a huge windmill very close to the highway for photographs. It’s amazing to see these huge windmills in action, the blades making the whoosh sound each time it rotates. After the encouter with the windmills we head into Udumalaipettai town by 1:30PM and stop at a big IOC outlet for diesel. I fill up full tank of diesel (Rs.1200/33 lts). The mileage I am getting is 19.20kmpl with about 60% AC usage. Pretty good as usual from the 1.3 multijet with all the hill climbing and high speed runs I did.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000381.jpg
Windmill at Udumalaipettai

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000383.jpg
Windmill at Udumalaipettai

By 2:30PM we enter Coimbatore to encounter a huge jam near a BG Railway crossing that was closed and traffic moving through a narrow underbridge. Once after the traffic jam we decide to stop for lunch. See a pretty crowded restaurant named Anandhas Restaurant on the highway towards Coimbatore. Have very good South Indian meals at this place and we leave the place after a leisure lunch by 3:15PM. I was stopped at the entrance of Coimbatore city for a Toll of Rs.8 being a Non TN registered vehicle. The problem if one is entering Coimbatore from South to head towards Mettupalayam/Ooty, one has to drive through the city to join NH67. It takes about an hour to cross Coimbatore City, making my way through all the traffic. The signages are terrible inside the city and I ask my way out of Coimbatore towards Mettupalayam at a couple of places. Mettupalayam is about 35kms from Coimbatore and we cross Mettupalayam and start the hill climb towards Ooty by 4:30PM.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000398.jpg
I see Ooty hills ahead

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000421.jpg
Greenery around during the climb up towards Ooty

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000423.jpg
Narrow and twisty roads

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000431.jpg
Roads were neatly done all the way till Ooty after the devastating rains which had blocked this highway due to landslides

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000434.jpg
Sunlight on the hilltops

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000439.jpg
Stopped near the Ketty Valley view before entering Ooty town

The climb up Ooty is a narrow 2 lane road with lots of heavy traffic which delays us. But the drivers are always helpful in helping fast vehicles to overtake them by giving them the overtake signal once the roads are empty. I find my Swift D performs better at cold climates and the turbo pull at 2K RPM becomes much scarier at cold temperatures. To overtake these slow moving heavy vehicles just make sure the RPM is just below the 2K and once given the go ahead signal, a slight dab on the accelerator and the car pulls you like crazy. Overtaking is easy with the 1.3 multijet. On the way we also see the scars of the landslides that happened in Dec 09, but the authorities have done a very good job in getting the roads back in very good condition at a very short time. By 5:20PM we are at Coonoor and drive towards Ooty. The weather is much colder than Kodaikanal as we climb towards Ooty. By 6:00PM we are at Ooty and decide to stay at the TTDC owned Hotel Tamilandu very close to Charring Cross. We checked-in by 6:15PM into Deluxe Double Room (Rs.800+taxes) with very clean and big rooms.

With nothing planned for today we just decide to visit the Wax-Museum at the Ooty-Coonoor Road and also do some shopping for chocolates. After resting for sometime in the room, we visit the Wax Museum by 8:00PM just when they were closing. I have been here before many times, the exhibits are all the same. No updated ones. We are out in about 20mins and head towards Charring Cross. Park the car and walk towards Kingstar bakery for chocolates. Find the bakery closing, but the guy there informes me that another branch of the Bakery has been opened further ahead on the Commercial Street. We walk to the new Kingstar Bakery and buy chocolates to last us for the next couple of days at Ooty. They had some new varities of cakes which we tried and bought some. Choco logs and Japanese cakes were divine.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000450.jpg
Adams Fountain at Charring Cross - Ooty

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000449.jpg
Night Shot of the hills around

By 9:30PM we head to Dhaba Express at the Ooty-Coonoor Road for dinner. It’s an open air restaurant and the temperature around kept dipping by the minute. Glad I was wearing a jacket and also a sweater was kept in the car. Combination of sleevless sweater and a full arm jacket over it kept me warm. After a good dinner we return back to the hotel and tell the staff to arrange a room heater for us. Watch TV for sometime, make some phonecalls and off to sleep by midnight. Glad we had the room heater running the entire night, or else we would have had a tough night sleeping even with 2 blankets each.

Continued....
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:10   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
The title pulled me towards it.

would read at free time..thanks for sharing

Hey Mahesh, Laluks...when and where ?
Thank You Star. More coming up..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinsid View Post
YOu make me jealous. Waiting for the complete travelogue.
Hey Ashwin.. More stuff coming up buddy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordy View Post
DD, Great Travelogue, I envy you man. Hope you go to places and get us good travelogues. Your travelogue reminded me beautiful memories of my trip to Kodai which I can never forget (I went for my honeymoon)
Thank you Fordy. Kodaikanal is a lovely place. Every hill station is special in its own way. Sorry for less number of pics of Kodai as we stayed only for a day. More on Ooty coming up Fordy..
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:13   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post

Whats with the dinner meet??
Hey DD, Star called me over for a dinner to discuss about Ooty after I put up the travelogue. Mahesh always joins me in the mini meets and hence the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
The title pulled me towards it.

would read at free time..thanks for sharing

Hey Mahesh, Laluks...when and where ?
Star any time sir. DD should be our honoured invitee this time. Lets make a plan
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:28   #26
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Originally Posted by Majic View Post
DD, nice start, where did you stay in Kodai, please mention it or PM...looking out for Ooty. I don't understand why i get attracted to any visit to Kodai and Ooty. Hey the photos are wonderful, congrats on your new camera
Hey Majic. I have mentioned the places I stayed with rates in the travelogue. Stayed at Hotel Tamilnadu which is a TTDC hotel. Same here majic. Any travelogues on hillstations is always special. I had to get a new camera as my old Sony is more than 4 years old. I had thought of going for a DSLR. But its sometimes a pain carrying all the heavy equipment around. So just decided to go for a superzoom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Even I was initially planning to buy the same. It still is a plan
It s a nice camera ampere. Bought it after going through various reviews from websites and also TBHPians in the digital camera thread. I am only using the Auto mode. Still learning the advanced features of this camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Nice, waiting for the next part of the log. Post it soon.
So the road till Kodai is in great shape and all the road work is completed?
Thank you kaushik. Day 2 just up today. I would say 95-98% of the work is completed. A small stretch at Karur is being completed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
Nice pics DD. I did Kodai a few weeks ago via NH7 , drive was really good. And I walked all the way round the lake - it took around 1.5 hrs.

The only downside was the terrible cold that sets in the evening during winter .
Thank you sdp. Yes, the drive is realy good. Kodaikanal from Bangalore is now doable in 6-7hrs which was a dream 4-5 years back.

A walk around Kodaikanal is one of the best things to do at Kodai. Evenings or Early morning is the best time. The road around the lake is pretty long. I once decided to cycle around the lake and I had to give up midway. I found Ooty much colder than Kodaikanal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriswe View Post
Hi DD,

Great pics and narration in your style :-) ....Eagerly waiting for the rest

Thanks,
Srini..
Hey Srini. Thank you. More coming up. Keep watching. Any road trips after Munnar??

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Hey DD, Star called me over for a dinner to discuss about Ooty after I put up the travelogue. Mahesh always joins me in the mini meets and hence the story.

Star any time sir. DD should be our honoured invitee this time. Lets make a plan
Definitely Lalu. Will plan for a mini meet.

Last edited by Technocrat : 19th February 2010 at 12:57.
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:53   #27
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Quote:

Hey Srini. Thank you. More coming up. Keep watching. Any road trips after Munnar??
DD, just finished reading day 2 .... Must say the pics came out well...
Staying in Bangalore has an advantage of doing these kind of trips .. ( I mean in short time)....

For me, no long drives for now...had a couple of short trips to Warangal (140 KMs - oneway from hyd) ...

Thanks,
Srini...
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Old 19th February 2010, 11:55   #28
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Great pics, friend. Brought back lots of memories of our trip last year.

I cycled around the lake twice in the year 2000. When I attempted to do it in 2009, I could hardly cycle from the Tibet market to the TTDC Boat Club. I had to turn back. This time, we were on a Tandem.

Earlier, we had completed a full round of the lake, walking. My wifey was really mad at me, as I kept on telling her that the end was 'just around the corner'! We took close to three hours to complete the circuit. We had to take rest on every milestone en-route. I also had to keep one arm distance from my beloved, for the rest of the day, since I did'nt want to sustain any serious injury!!!

And yes, Ooty is much more colder than Kodai. We were literally shivering @ 8 pm in Ooty.

I am a bit surprised that you guys spent just one day in Kodai. Wasn't it a bit hectic?

When we drove to Palani, visibility was just 5 metres, due to heavy fog. You have captured some great photos of the area. Keep up the good work.
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Old 19th February 2010, 21:32   #29
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Default Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!

Day 3 (6th February, 2010) – Ooty Sightseeing

Trip Meter – 772kms to 858kms

Wake up to a bright sunny morning by 9:00AM. Today I promise my wife of taking her to some of the most beautiful places in Ooty never seen by both of us. The geyser in the room takes a long time in getting the ice cold water heated. Slowly we get ready and out of the hotel by 10:30AM. We head over to Charring Cross and have breakfast at Hotel Durga. It’s either this or Sarvanas at Commercial Street the usual restaurants we have our breakfast at Ooty. After a nice heavy breakfast, we start the drive towards Avalanche (pronounced Avalancheee locally) Road by 11:00AM.

I take the road towards Ooty Lake, travel towards Hotel Lakeview and from there take the small single lane road just opposite to Good Shepard International School. A further drive on this narrow road through a small village takes you to Avalanche Road. A well paved 2 lane road with lots of twists and turns. About 5kms further you get the huge campus of Good Shepard International School and then Mel Palada village where the Tribal Research Center is located which houses the Tribal Museum. Further ahead we see hills all across where terrace farming is being done. I see at this time of the year there is not much growing in the fields and only see the fertile brown soil without the green cover.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000464.jpg
Terrace farming being done at the hills all around, after Mel Palada Village

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000465.jpg
Stopped at a few places for photographs

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000470.jpg
Villages in the distance on Avalanche road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000472.jpg
Views around during the drive

Close to Porthi I see the Emerald Lake far in the distance. Very excited to see this we stop for some photographs and then make our way on the Avalanche Road. I am not sure which turn to take to head towards the lake so I just keep driving towards Avalanche Dam.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000481.jpg
Emerald Lake spotted!!!

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000485.jpg
Picture postcard view

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000486.jpg
Kids waving back at us..

About 25kms from Ooty, after the township named Emerald I encouter some hairpin bends through a small village, I notice a deviation towards Avalanche Dam so I take the deviation and keep driving, the roads get horrible. The road is through thick vegetation with the lake to my right. There are no roads and after driving about 7-8kms I come across a checkpost with some vehicles parked and tourists waiting. This is the check-post towards Avalanche Dam where one has to get a permit from District Forest Officer (DFO) at Ooty near the Collectorate. We wait for some time and speak to some other tourists who have arrived without the permit. Not wanting to waste much time here I turn back and travel back to the main road a little past noon.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000492.jpg
Sunlight playing hide n seek on the hill tops

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000496.jpg
Avalanche lake on our right as we drive towards the checkpost near Avalanche Dam

After the drive through the horrible roads we head back towards Emerald Township, where there is a deviation towards Emerald Dam. Drive through the small EB housing colony towards Emerald Dam. Continue the drive on the same road past the gate towards Emerald Dam on the right and we come to an opening on the banks of Avalanche Lake. The place looked like a picture postcard. We are the only visitors here at this time. We spend about an hour walking along the banks of the lake, taking photographs.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000499.jpg
Swift D at Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000500.jpg
Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000501.jpg
View around Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000503.jpg
Crystal clear waters of Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000507.jpg
Me at the banks of Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000523.jpg
Took some shots using the pin-hole setting in the camera

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000524.jpg
Another one..

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000529.jpg
We were the only ones around this side of the lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000532.jpg
Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000534.jpg
So lovely and serene

Just opposite to this place is a narrow pathway through thick vegetation and a 2 minute walks leads you to the banks of Emerald Lake with the Emerald Dam visible in the distance. By 2:00PM we leave this beatiful place and drive back towards Ooty. On the way stop at Emerald Dam and spent about 20mins here. There was a lone policeman who let us through the gate onto the dam and also let us take some pictures. After the visit to the Emerald Dam we drive back to Ooty.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000538.jpg
We walk towards Emerald Lake..

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000539.jpg
Emerald Lake with the dam seen in the distance

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000541.jpg
Emerald Dam

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000558.jpg
Emerald Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000561.jpg
Some snaps of the Swift D at Avalanche Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000564.jpg
Another one..

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000565.jpg
Avalanche Lake (Blue Color) towards the right and Emerald Lake (Green Color) on the left of the picture

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000568.jpg
Emerald Dam

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000570.jpg
On Emerald Dam

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000574.jpg
View of Emerald Lake from the dam

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000575.jpg
Entrance to Emerald Dam

Continued....
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Old 19th February 2010, 21:47   #30
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@DD.

Does one need a permission to visit the two lakes. I thinks Laluks mentioned that. In my trip last time I did not go there, as we have an 8 month kid and could not carry her to all the places. Next time its on the menu.

Just wanted to check if you need permissions. If you do need one, how do you go about getting it.
The snaps of the lake are as usual amazing. I remembers snaps my Laluks as well.

Last edited by ampere : 19th February 2010 at 21:51.
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