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Old 8th March 2010, 00:17   #1
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Smile Weekend in Yelagiri (Pics)

I just had an awesome weekend in Yelagiri, with my wife and brother-in-law. As I had mentioned in another thread (Yercaud or Yelagiri? For first time hill driving), I wanted to try hill driving with a small hill, so decided to drive over to Yelagiri and test myself on slightly hilly roads.

It was hot there. Climate was exactly the same as Chennai. But, in morning and evening it was awesome. The air has a mild smell of eucalyptus esp early in the morning. Not much to see in Yelagiri, as I already knew. Only a small garden and a lake with boating.

Highlights: Plenty of birds, a resort called Taj Zeenath Gardens suggested by bhpians, and a chance for me to try hill driving.

Started off at 7AM on Saturday in my Xeta 1.2. There was a lot of traffic till Sriperumbudur. Even after that, the GQ had a lot of truck traffic on Saturday.

10:30AM: Stopped at a motel after Velur, for breakfast. The idli and dosa were good. Sambar vadai was so-so.

By 11:30 we were in Yelagiri. BHPians had suggested an awesome resort called Taj Zeenath gardens and I had booked in advance. It is a very nice green place, with gardens spreading over acres. They serve very homely food, available only in buffet form. Most of the guests were families with kids, from Bangalore. Overall it was a very relaxed and homely atmosphere.

After checkin-in, we went into "town" for a bit of a drive and clicked random pics. Then came back in time for lunch at 1:30, relaxed till around 3PM and then went out.

Boating is about the only thing in Yelagiri. A fairly large lake with green water, and a long queue for boating. We patiently waited and took a rowing boat. My bro-in-law wanted to pedal, but neither my wife nor I wanted to pedal.

After boating we went to the Nature Park and lazily roamed around there for about an hour. We did not go there in the evening for the musical fountain. Then we visited the Murugan Temple on top of a rock.

Evening was very relaxed. I chilled out with a Signature, and we played some chess for some time, talked, and roamed about in the gardens. The hotel arranged buffet dinner by 8:30, and we had a nice long sleep.

The next day we were off by 10 AM. Traffic on the GQ was hectic. After reaching Chennai I got a bit confused where the bypass road (Tambaram) cuts the NH4. Thankfully I referred directions in my trusty iPhone and found the way. We had a slow, relaxed lunch at one "Bhavan" near Poonamallee. Reached home by 3PM.

F.E: 13 kmpl
Speeds: On GQ kept it at a constant 90kmph most of the time. Touched 120 just once and quickly came back to 90. In the hills I stayed in 2nd gear, around 20-30 kmph.

The Xeta was very balanced and composed both on the GQ and on the hills. After 100, the steering gets shaky. In the hills it is a pleasure to drive, because of all the low-end torque. Coming downhill, it is no problem at all because it is not a free-revving engine, so I had to dab the brakes only occassionally to keep the RPM under control in low gear. Did most of the descent in 2nd gear, as it is my first hill drive.

Remembered all the hill driving tips from bhpians (there is a long thread for that, read thru that meticulously before starting off). Only when climbing, I first forgot to keep my lane when taking the first hairpin bend. Then I quickly realized my mistake and made an effort to stick to the left when taking consequent hairpin bends. Kept low speed, low gear, sparing use of brakes and didn't ride the clutch at all. Overall I didnt find it challenging at all, maybe because there was no traffic.

The only problem I had was convincing my wife and bro-in-law to wear seatbelts . Lost my cool there. Other than that, I had a flat on the way back, near Tambaram railway gate.

I think I will stop the long text here, and let the pics speak for themselves.

There are 70+ pics to upload. I wish I could just pull them off picasa instead of having to upload everything separately again. Looks like only ten pictures can be attached at a time. I will wait for a moderator to approve this topic, and attach more pics tomorrow.
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Old 8th March 2010, 01:09   #2
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Congratulations on your first hill drive. Now that you've successfully accomplished your maiden hill drive, you can start planning on the dream of every T-BHPian - The trip to Leh.

By the way, your wife looks so traditional. How did she let you relax with a signature?

Last edited by MX6 : 8th March 2010 at 01:12.
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Old 8th March 2010, 09:32   #3
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Cheers.. congrats on trip 1 to hills, I am sure many more will follow..
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Old 8th March 2010, 09:48   #4
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Congrats on conquering the Yelagiri Hills. Wishing you for many more such trips.
Try Yercaud next time.
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:15   #5
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Congrats on your first hill driving. You could have also gone to Swamimalai for a small hike. You can see good view of surroundings from there.
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:17   #6
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Thanks, yes I am planning more hill trips, one coming up next month - Ooty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
By the way, your wife looks so traditional. How did she let you relax with a signature?
She looks 'traditional', but her thinking is quite modern. She doesn't mind as long as I keep it to rare occasions and keep myself under control.

Attaching more pics, looks like there is an upper limit of 30 pictures at a time. I will upload more after this post gets approved. Till then please bear with me.
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:32   #7
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Good to know that you had a great trip! Keep us posted on the pictures.
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:04   #8
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Sure, I am planning to do Yercaud sometime too. This time it was just Sat & Sun, so I thought 2 days (including driving) is not enough for Yercaud.

Did not feel like going trekking/hiking because of the climate. It was hot and sweaty in the afternoon. Evening was cool, though.

More pics:
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:18   #9
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congrats on your debut hill drive

Did the chief cook, an old man, make chicken biriyani for you guys ? During our stay at Zeenath we relished the biriyani that he made !

Last edited by s3va : 8th March 2010 at 11:19.
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3va View Post
Did the chief cook, an old man, make chicken biriyani for you guys ? During our stay at Zeenath we relished the biriyani that he made !
Wow, that biryani was mouth watering. It was a Sunday that he made the mutton variety. Mind blowing. In fact, that biryani is the most memorable event of my trip to Yelagiri.
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Old 8th March 2010, 11:33   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3va View Post
congrats on your debut hill drive

Did the chief cook, an old man, make chicken biriyani for you guys ? During our stay at Zeenath we relished the biriyani that he made !
Well, I am a vegetarian so did not try that. I did read in one of the topics about their biryani and recommended it to my wife & bro-in-law, who are non-vegetarians. But they weren't very hungry (too much of biscuits, chips and Pepsi on the way), so we decided to stick with the normal buffet they have. Yes, its a shame that being non-vegetarians they missed out on the biryani.
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Old 8th March 2010, 13:08   #12
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Seems like you are newly married. That might explain your wife being ok with the signature. It all starts that way

And also surprising to find a veg husband with a non veg wife. Most often I see it the other way round.
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Old 8th March 2010, 13:19   #13
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Hey Raju, congrats on your maiden safe trip, whats the cost of the place you stayed?

And Yercaud can definitely be done in a weekend. Though you should be ready to drive in the evenings, I did sometime back - Leave Friday evening and return late Sunday evening.
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Old 8th March 2010, 16:14   #14
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Nice snaps. Seems like a nice place for a weekend
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Old 8th March 2010, 16:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srikanthpotluri View Post
Hey Raju, congrats on your maiden safe trip, whats the cost of the place you stayed?
The cottage rental was Rs.1500 + Rs.200 for extra bed. Adding tax, it came to around Rs.1900.

For buffets they charged Rs.150 per head, so three peoples' meals twice (lunch and dinner) came to around Rs.900.
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