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Old 17th February 2010, 00:10   #1
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Default Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!

Route : Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharmapuri – Salem – Namakkal – Karur – Dindigul – Batlagundu – Kodaikanal – Palani – Udumalaipettai – Pollachi – Coimbatore – Mettupalayam – Coonoor – Ooty – Gudalur – Gundlupet – Nanjangud – Mysore – Bangalore.


Places Visited: Silver Cascade Waterfalls, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, Kodaikanal Lake, Lutheran Church, Wax Museum, Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake, Emerald Dam, Botanical Garden, Thread Garden,Kodanadu View Point, Dolphins Nose, Shooting Medu, Deer park, Tribal Museum, Glennmorgan, Drive thorugh Mudumalai/Bandipur National Park.


My third travelogue on Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri and this time included Kodaikanal as well. To tell you guys frankly this time I was totally inspired to visit Ooty after going through laluks travelogue. Thank you my friend for taking me to scenic places in Ooty I had never been before. Also thanks to Chevy lover for the detailed travelogue on Kodaikanal and Ooty which helped me plot the route for the road trip this New Year.

The reason I visit Ooty so often, I really don’t know. I and my wife just love Ooty. I really am not concerned about what people say about Ooty getting commercialised. I always feel at home when I am at Ooty. A 10min drive from the center of the town in any of the directions will take you to beautiful places far away from the crowd amidst beautiful countryside. We also decided to include Kodiakanal in this trip so it’s going to be only hills road trip.


Preparation:

The car has done about 28000kms and is due for its service once I am back from the road trip. I also had picked up a new Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 Super Zoom during Christmas. My 4 year old 5MP Sony had served me well and it was high time to get a new camera. Bags packed the previous day and lots of wollen clothes too. I filled up regular diesel (Rs.1150/31 lts) from IOC on RV road. We plan to leave Bangalore by 6.30AM so that we are at Kodaikanal around 1:00PM for lunch.


Day 1 (4th Februaury, 2010) – Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharmapuri – Salem – Namakkal – Karur – Dindigul – Batlagundu – Kodaikanal

Trip Meter – 0kms to 500kms

I am up by 5:30AM and after a quick shower, load the bags into the car. A quick check of all the tyres and by 6:30AM, Swift D starts rolling from Jayanagar. Quickly make my way through BTM layout and I am pretty eager to drive on the newly opened Elevated Expressway on Hosur road. After Silk Board Junction I quickly make my way up the Elevated Expressway.

At this time of the day traffic was less and I was cruising at 90-100kmph. Found the lanes to be narrow for an expressway but it defenitely saves a huge chunk of time. We stopped at the lone lay bye midway for snaps. After about 5mins we continue the drive on NH7 out of Karnataka greeted by the rising sun, only delayed by slow moving trucks at deviations where flyovers are being completed. (I think at 2 different places!!).

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000091.jpg
Atop the Elevated Expressway on Hosur road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000092.jpg
Elevated Expressway on Hosur road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000093.jpg
Elevated Expressway on Hosur road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000101.jpg
The rising sun greeting us on the busy NH7

After Hosur the Swift D finally strecthes its legs and in no time we are at Krishnagiri Toll Plaza (Rs.25). We continue straight towards Dharmapuri on the super smooth NH7. Cross Dharmapuri, after the Thoppur Toll Plaza (Rs.48) enter Thoppur Ghats with road humps at blind corners. Takes time to get used to sudden braking now as I had the accelerator constanly pressed for sometime now. I actually screeched the tyres on 2 occasions trying to slow the vehicle down to negotiate the road humps. It happens all the time when I go downhill crossing Thoppur Ghats.

I had actually planned breakfast around 8:30AM at an A2B near Thoppur which I had noticed on one of my last road trips, but this time the A2B was nowhere to be seen. No, I am not talking about the A2B between the Hosur and Krishnagiri stretch but about the A2B between Dharmapuri and Thoppur. I am not sure how I missed this place. With my tummy complaining of hunger I decide to stop at the first decent restaurant once I enter Salem that another 30kms away. By 9:00AM, I enter Salem town amidst morning rush hour of countless 2 wheelers. Stop at Hotel Sangeetha for an average breakfast. By 9:30AM we continue our drive through the maddening traffic at Salem. Quickly take the flyover towards Namakkal which is another 55kms from Salem. Cross a Toll Plaza after Salem (Rs.34) and cross Namakkal around 10:00AM and all along keeping a constant 100-120kmph. Find a nice long stretch empty stretch after Namakkal Toll Plaza (Rs.29) and as I keep conversing with my wife, take the Swift D past the 160kmph mark on the speedo when wifey notices what I am upto and the speed is immediately back to a relaxing 100-120kmph. This was highest speed I have touched till date on my Swift D. I feel the car is capable of doing more speed as the engine still had some juice left in it with the rpm hovering around 4k. Stop near a long bridge over River Cauvery after Namakkal for about 10minutes and continue the drive towards Karur.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000106.jpg
The sunlight on the hills around - after Krishnagiri

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000112.jpg
Super smooth NH7 - Somewhere after Dharmapuri

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000124.jpg
Bridge over River Cauvery - After Namakkal

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000126.jpg
Swift D at NH7 - Before the bridge over River Cauvery

Another Toll Plaza at Karur (Rs.54) and take the huge elevated bypass at Dindigul towards Madurai. There is actually a turnoff towards Kodaikanal before this Bypass which takes you towards Batlagundu and further to Kodainakal. Somehow missed seeing the board and continued ahead towards Madurai past another Toll Plaza (Rs.37) and then took the right towards Batlagundu under the BG Railway Line then cross the road level BG Railway line and finally taking the 2 lane SH towards Batlagundu. Nice smooth 2 lane SH all the way till Batlagundu where we stop to pick up some soft drinks and fruits.

We then continue our drive and start the climb up the hills towards Kodaikanal by 12:20PM. As we start climbing higher and higher I can now switch off the AC as the temperature outside is much bearable now. Stop at a few places to take some photographs. The road up is very well done and painted but can get narrow at some places. We enter Kodaikanal (Toll of Rs.30) at 1:30PM and stop at the Silver Cascade Waterfalls for some photographs.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000132.jpg
We start the climb up Kodaikanal Hills - Smooth road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000140.jpg
Scenery around during the climb

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000144.jpg
Smooth ghat road

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000147.jpg
Manjalar Dam in the distance

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000149.jpg
18X zoom of the FZ35 in action of the previous picture of Manjalar Dam

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000150.jpg
Stopped to look at the views around

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000153.jpg
Rat Tail waterfalls

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000164.jpg
Views around during the drive

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000168.jpg
Kodaikanal ahead

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000174.jpg
Nearing Kodaikanal

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000175.jpg
Silver Cascade Waterfalls

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000176.jpg
Silver Cascade Waterfalls

Last time when we were at Kodiakanal we stayed at TTDC owned hotel and were happy with the stay. Make my way towards Fern Hill road and check into Hotel Tamilnadu Double Room Cottage (Rs.1300 + Taxes) by 2:00PM.

Continued....
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Old 17th February 2010, 00:17   #2
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Nice pics dreamdiesel, waiting for the other snaps... BTW where is that Manjalar Dam coming...
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Old 17th February 2010, 00:22   #3
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Great travelogue as always DD. Waiting for more.
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Old 17th February 2010, 00:32   #4
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Congrats on your new camera, my friend. Great choice and great pics.

When we went to Kodai, we did the ghat section in the middle of the night, both times. Your pics are very good and my wifey and I are seeing what we missed! I did not even notice Silver Cascade, as I drove past at 70 - 80 kmph!!

Great start to your travelogue! Keep the pics flowing!
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Old 17th February 2010, 00:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilchakola View Post
Nice pics dreamdiesel, waiting for the other snaps... BTW where is that Manjalar Dam coming...
Thank you sunil. Manjalar Dam is seen when you travel up the Kodaikanal Ghat road from Batlangundu. Last time I travelled to Kodaikanal did not notice the dam as it was dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Great travelogue as always DD. Waiting for more.
Thank you Gandhi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Congrats on your new camera, my friend. Great choice and great pics.

When we went to Kodai, we did the ghat section in the middle of the night, both times. Your pics are very good and my wifey and I are seeing what we missed! I did not even notice Silver Cascade, as I drove past at 70 - 80 kmph!!

Great start to your travelogue! Keep the pics flowing!
Thank you for your reply CL. Loved the Kodai and Ooty Travelogue of yours. Silver Cascade is right at the entrance of Kodaikanal. The outflow from the Kodaikanal Lake forms this waterfall. I usually dont do much of night driving especially ghat roads. Will be posting more pictures soon.
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Old 17th February 2010, 01:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
To tell you guys frankly this time I was totally inspired to visit Ooty after going through laluks travelogue.
Lalu, seems next dinner meet is ready

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
I had actually planned breakfast around 8:30AM at an A2B near Thoppur which I had noticed on one of my last road trips, but this time the A2B was nowhere to be seen. No, I am not talking about the A2B between the Hosur and Krishnagiri stretch but about the A2B between Dharmapuri and Thoppur. I am not sure how I missed this place.
Was it not on the right side when you go from Dharmapuri after the thoppur??

New camera? Great. 18x zoom
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Old 17th February 2010, 09:57   #7
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Nice start to the travelogue, nics pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
After Silk Board Junction I quickly make my way up the Elevated Expressway.

At this time of the day traffic was less and I was cruising at 90-100kmph.
(FYI, OT) Please note that speed limit is 80Kmph on the expressway Some people I know have been caught for overspeeding!
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Old 17th February 2010, 09:58   #8
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The only problem with that A2B near Thoppur is that its on the right side. Also there are no signboards 1-2Km back, that say that you are approaching this place. Since one is in top speed he/she does not notice this place.

Even if you notice, you need to go ahead, take a U and come back. Since you are closing in on Salem, you think you can as well give it a miss.

It has happened to me as well. Trust me its better to take that U you and go back, else you will get drowned in Salem.

There are two places in Salem, which one can go to: (which I know off)
  • Saravana Bhavan near the bus stand. (This is NOT the Chennai chain I guess). Good food on the go, but parking is a problem, as the traffic police keeps looking around. I got his stare once.
  • The second is Cenney's Gateway. Its more of a 3 Star Hotel. Folks may not like this for the price, but for the parking comfort, getting your kid to stroll, changing diapers, mini wash etc, this seems to be decent place. Couple it to the fact that its next to the 5 roads bus stand which is very close to the by-pass road, makes it a good choice. Stayed here once. But for the price, stay was very good. Good food as well.

@DD, Nice pictures. Reminds of my times long back, when I went by train. Feels like, I need to drive. 7AM to 2PM drive looks very good indeed!

(May be normal for others. But I do not do more than 100 even on silky smooth highways!)
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Old 17th February 2010, 10:16   #9
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DD nice pictures. That dam is little after rat tail falls in the plains?

@Mahesh - I dont mind
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Old 17th February 2010, 10:26   #10
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DD - well documented and presented! Do fill us in on the Kodai-Ooty section.
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Old 17th February 2010, 11:44   #11
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DD, really surprised with this trip and as usual good work..looking out for more of this in the coming years to come....
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Old 17th February 2010, 19:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Lalu, seems next dinner meet is ready
Was it not on the right side when you go from Dharmapuri after the thoppur??
New camera? Great. 18x zoom
I somehow missed the A2B after Dharmapuri. I was looking for it on the left of the road. Will keep in mind the location of it the next time.

Yes an 18X zoom. Badly wanted a superzoom camera. Still learning to make full use of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlJam View Post
Nice start to the travelogue, nics pics!
(FYI, OT) Please note that speed limit is 80Kmph on the expressway Some people I know have been caught for overspeeding!
Thank you PearlJam. Yes I did notice the speed limit on the expressway was 80kmph. Was a little excited about the first time drive on the newly opened Expressway. Will be cautious the next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The only problem with that A2B near Thoppur is that its on the right side. Also there are no signboards 1-2Km back, that say that you are approaching this place. Since one is in top speed he/she does not notice this place.

Even if you notice, you need to go ahead, take a U and come back. Since you are closing in on Salem, you think you can as well give it a miss.

It has happened to me as well. Trust me its better to take that U you and go back, else you will get drowned in Salem.

There are two places in Salem, which one can go to: (which I know off)
  • Saravana Bhavan near the bus stand. (This is NOT the Chennai chain I guess). Good food on the go, but parking is a problem, as the traffic police keeps looking around. I got his stare once.
  • The second is Cenney's Gateway. Its more of a 3 Star Hotel. Folks may not like this for the price, but for the parking comfort, getting your kid to stroll, changing diapers, mini wash etc, this seems to be decent place. Couple it to the fact that its next to the 5 roads bus stand which is very close to the by-pass road, makes it a good choice. Stayed here once. But for the price, stay was very good. Good food as well.
@DD, Nice pictures. Reminds of my times long back, when I went by train. Feels like, I need to drive. 7AM to 2PM drive looks very good indeed!

(May be normal for others. But I do not do more than 100 even on silky smooth highways!)
Nothin normal or abnormal sir. One should always limit to what speed one is comfortable with even on silky smooth highways.

Thanks for the comments ampere. Drive is indeed good. Road conditions have definitely improved when compared to last 4-5 years.

Yes that is what might have happened. All the while I was thinking the A2B is on the left side of the road and somehow missed seeing it. I did not notice any signboards too. Thank you for the list of good hotels at Salem. Will be really helpful..
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Old 17th February 2010, 19:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
DD nice pictures. That dam is little after rat tail falls in the plains?

@Mahesh - I dont mind
Thanks laluks. Yes the dam is after rat tail waterfalls when going downhill from Kodaikanal.

Whats with the dinner meet??

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper_711 View Post
DD - well documented and presented! Do fill us in on the Kodai-Ooty section.
Thank you viper. More coming up this evening..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majic View Post
DD, really surprised with this trip and as usual good work..looking out for more of this in the coming years to come....
Good to see you back Majic. Yes, the road trip was planned the day I went through lalu's travelogue. I hope and see it continues in the coming years too...

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 17th February 2010 at 19:26.
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Old 17th February 2010, 19:28   #14
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The title pulled me towards it.

would read at free time..thanks for sharing

Hey Mahesh, Laluks...when and where ?

Last edited by StarVegabond : 17th February 2010 at 19:29.
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Old 17th February 2010, 19:59   #15
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Default Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!

Day 1 Continued...

After relaxing in the room for sometime we head out for Lunch. We head towards Tava Vegetarian restaurant opposite to the Kodaikanal International School. When I eat outside, I rarely eat at a pure vegetarian restaurant but this restaurant here at Kodaikanal dishes out some of the tastiest veg stuff.

After a filling meal we head out towards Bryant Park on the eastern side of Kodaikanal Lake. The air is pretty chill but the warm sunlight keeps us warm. Bryant Park is a well maintained botanical garden with varies species of trees, shrubs and flowers. There is also a Bodhi Tree which adds a religious significance to the park. After spending a good 60mins at the not so crowded park we head out towards Coaker’s Walk by 4:00PM.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000191.jpg
Flowers at Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000194.jpg
Some macro photography at Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000196.jpg
Some macro photography at Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000208.jpg
Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000217.jpg
Warm sunlight on the lawns look so inviting in the cold - Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000221.jpg
At Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000222.jpg
Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000224.jpg
One for the album - At Bryant Park

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000226.jpg
Some info about the Bodhi Tree at Bryant Park

Coaker’s Walk is a 1km paved pedestrian path running along the edge of steep slopes of Kodaikanal. Being a weekday the place is empty. Along the path are some very beautiful bungalows. The lazy strolll along Coaker’s Walk is ideal for relaxing and unwinding from the stresses of everyday life.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000237.jpg
Coaker's Walk

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000239.jpg
Valley views along paved Coaker's Walk

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000262.jpg
View from Coaker's Walk

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000273.jpg
Row of houses on the slopes in the distance - Coaker's Walk

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000277.jpg
Coaker's Walk

By 5:30PM we are out of Coaker’s Walk and head over to Lutheran Church close to Kodaikanal International School which is a gothic-style stone building with stained glass windows and modern paintings that portray the life of Christ. By 6:30PM we are at the Kodaikanal Lake munching on hot Mirchi Bajjis with hot Masala tea from one of numeruous stalls on the banks of Kodaikanal Lake. After the small snack and hot tea perfect for the cold weather, we spend some time at the Lake and return back to the hotel when it’s dark.

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000287.jpg
Lutheran Church

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000284.jpg
Inside Lutheran Church

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000286.jpg
Painting portraying life of Christ inside the church

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000288.jpg
Kodaikanal Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000289.jpg
Kodaikanal Lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000291.jpg
Road around the lake

Bangalore - Kodaikanal/Ooty/Coonoor/Kotagiri again for the 3rd time in Swift D!!!-p1000293.jpg
Kodaikanal Lake at dusk

After watching some TV we head back to the same vegetarian restaurant where we had lunch. By the time we finish another lipsmacking meal it’s about 9:00PM and we are back to the cozy confines of our cottage as the temperature dips outside. Watch TV for sometime and off to sleep by 11:00PM. Tomorrow we leave Kodaikanal and drive over to Ooty.

Continued....
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