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Old 9th March 2010, 22:20   #1
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Default Yet another valparai trip to bore you!!

This has been on my itenary for a long time. Heard about this place from my cousing who went there who went there on a bike trip some 5 years back. never got the time and vehicle also to get there

Come last thursday and friend calls from kochi and asks can we go for a trip to valparai. I was in 2 mindsas vitamin m defiency is very serious this month. He said will bear the expenses for now and can repay him later.
He wanted to visit pollachi also which i said will not be worth it. He insisted and suffered for this. Some guys never learn .Anyways decided to pack my bags and leave. Left for Kochi by 3 pm from trivandrum and reached there by 7.30PM

We started off to valparai by 6.25 am on saturday. Decided for a tankful and started towards aluva from kakkanadu.Visted 2-3 pumps there but they said no diesel on stock which sounded suspicious . Anyway tried another and filled up from an IOC pump. Reached Ankamali by 7 am and decided to have breakfast from there. went on a search for a hotel and to ur utter disappointemnt nothing were open. Atlast found a small restaurant by the road side. Food was not worth any mention. Disappointing!!!!

After having appam + egg curry we started off to valparai. We turned right at karayamparambu junction and proceeded to vettilappara bridge where we will join the chalakkudy -athirappaly road. This saved around 21 kms compared to the ankamaly-chalakkudy route. Take this route while coming from Kochi.

Enroute you will come across the plantation corportaion check post which will just enquire where are you heading to? Going forward you can see oil palm plantations similar to the ones near Kulathupuzha, Kollam (Kerala).
Traffic is very less in this route so you can roll down the windows , turn off the ac and enjoy the fresh air. There are some turns to be taken here and there. Just ask around. By 8 am we reached vettilappara bridge and halted by the side of silver storm water theme park. Decided to buy some snacks and water and we proceeded from there. By 8.30 we reached athirappilly. Took the customary shot of water falls and we proceeded further as we plan to visit athirappaly another time.
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Since summer has already set in forests looked dry with most trees devoid of leaves. Fire lines were created by the road side so that m%#rons wont throw cigarettes and start a forest fire. There were lot of boards warning about forest fires. 2-3 kms after this and i came across one of the most beautiful scenery i have seen in my life. Cliff on one side and a canyon on the other side with a river in between. Nothing more you could ask for. Spend 15-20 mins there and we continued our journey . reached vazhachal check post .
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A thorough check of the car and we started to the unknown.....
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Old 9th March 2010, 22:46   #2
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what do they check for in those check posts?
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Old 9th March 2010, 23:18   #3
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Quote:
Yet another valparai trip to bore you!!
Says who?

Come on, eagerly waiting for the next part. Just don't forget to mention the distances and driving time as well.
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Old 9th March 2010, 23:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
what do they check for in those check posts?
liquor and other illegal stuffs if any
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Old 9th March 2010, 23:25   #5
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Valparai is never boring. And if you are adding a Punto to the mix - it can't get better than this.

Quote:
what do they check for in those check posts?
Liquor bottles I guess. This is TN - Kerala border.
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Old 10th March 2010, 07:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerfan View Post
We turned right at karayamparambu junction and proceeded to vettilappara bridge where we will join the chalakkudy -athirappaly road. This saved around 21 kms compared to the ankamaly-chalakkudy route. Take this route while coming from Kochi.
This is the road that takes you through the plantations rt?

Do they have a ferry even now or is it a new bridge in it's place? Howz the condition of this road?
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Old 10th March 2010, 09:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArunV View Post
This is the road that takes you through the plantations rt?

Do they have a ferry even now or is it a new bridge in it's place? Howz the condition of this road?
Yep, through the plantations only. Road condition is good with the occasional pot holes. There is a new bridge in place
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Old 10th March 2010, 09:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
what do they check for in those check posts?
MX6, the check is mainly for liquor bottles and nothing else. This thread brings back memories of the valparai trip that i did with friends around 7 yrs back on my RX-100.

As we get going the forest gets denser and i remember coming across a dam at some point. Also this route is taken by lots of Sabarimala devotees during the peak season and that too on foot.

The drive is really amazing and i plan to do it very soon, till then will be glued to the thread.

PS: how is the road condition now ?? can i take my i10 on these roads ??
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Old 10th March 2010, 09:22   #9
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Nice snaps, but yes the place is dry.

Which is the best route from Bangalore? Is it via Pollachi?
What are the options for stay? Safari Options?
Ideal time to visit ( I guess post rains)?
How long should one plan to stay?

In short a lonely planet account of Valparai please!
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Old 10th March 2010, 12:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jango View Post
PS: how is the road condition now ?? can i take my i10 on these roads ??
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice snaps, but yes the place is dry.

Which is the best route from Bangalore? Is it via Pollachi?
What are the options for stay? Safari Options?
Ideal time to visit ( I guess post rains)?
How long should one plan to stay?

In short a lonely planet account of Valparai please!
@jango - road condition is pretty good. work was going on when we went.

@ampere - Best route from bangalore is via Pollachi. But you will miss the drive from Valparai to Chlakudy. So come via pollachi and return via chalakkudi,palakkad.

For stay there are 2-3 lodges and 3-4 old bungalows. See the other travelogues on valparai for stay details. Post rains is the best time when the greenery is at max. Summer is also good when there are increased chances of wild life sightings
2-3 days you can spent in valparai

Last edited by Soccerfan : 10th March 2010 at 12:44.
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Old 10th March 2010, 19:22   #11
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Liquor bottles I guess. This is TN - Kerala border.
This is not the TN - Kerala border. This is the Vazhachal check post.

I don't remember them checking the car when I crossed it!

The TN Border would be at least 75 kms from here. You are on your own from here on as there are no mobile signals until you reach the Malakkappara check post.
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Old 10th March 2010, 19:36   #12
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They do check the car for liquor and other illegal stuff at the Vazhachal check post. Even if we just have to go for a km after the check post.

@soccerfan

Second Last punto shot is really superb.

Last edited by mithunkb : 10th March 2010 at 19:37.
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Old 10th March 2010, 20:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithunkb View Post
They do check the car for liquor and other illegal stuff at the Vazhachal check post. Even if we just have to go for a km after the check post.

@soccerfan

Second Last punto shot is really superb.
As mentioned by others its not the TN-Kerala border. Its just the forest checkpost .

thanks mithun for the kind words.
@trrk - thank you sir for your help on the route. Hope u had a nice weekend
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Old 10th March 2010, 21:56   #14
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Continuing from Vazhachal check post we proceeded slowly thoroughly enjoying the scenery around. The road is good for another 30kms after which it deteriorates considerably. On the way we came across a bridge where we took some snaps and continued
Yet another valparai trip to bore you!!-img_8862.jpg
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On the way the road maintenance was going at a place. I had a huge scare there. At a place the surface was being relaid completely. We could either wait for the work to complete or drive over the tar + chips which was not rolled. Obviously we chose to drive rather than wait and it started raining tar+chips on to the mud guards. Proceeded very slowly and after a km or so there came a screeching sound somewhere from the front right side. Sounded like some metal brushing another metal. Stopped the car and took a look. Couldnt find anything.Since we had just drove over tar we reassured ourselves that it should be some chips stuck in the brake assembly. So started slowly and continued in 1st gear braking in intervals to try and get rid of the piece. Sound started to increase. Thought we would proceed slowly till valparai and check the car @ some workshop if at all one is there. Suddenly to our great relief the sound disappeared. Punto (sump guard) scrapped at some more places and soon we reached sholayar reservoir catchment area. Water levels were low. The otherwise submerged hills was beautiful to watch. But still there are people who litter these pristine places with water bottles, eatery covers and other plastics.
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Reached malakkappara checkpost by 12PM. They noted down the details of vehicle and allowed us to Pass. Came across the TN checkpost where the officer asked us to pay Rs.20 as fees (fancy word for bribe). We asked "ethukku (why)??" to which he had no reply. sensing that we cannot be taken for a ride he allowed us to pass. The kerala check posts didnt ask for any money but TN did ask. Maybe all these state checkposts asks for money from vehicles from other states only.
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Tea is the only stuff grown in Valparai. Tea plantations all around. Took some photos on the way and we reached Valparai by 1PM. Since our tour was planned in a jiffy we hadnt made any reservation. So next was the search for a lodging. We found one Green hill hotel which quoted 950 for a Non AC room with extra bed. Room looked neat and clean . So we checked in to the hotel. They have a restaurant also which is more than average. Had a meals + scrambled egg and we returned to our room for an after lunch rest
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Old 10th March 2010, 22:01   #15
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The TN-Kerala border is at Malakkapara; The road from Chalakudy is very good rubberised road. The Vettilapara bridge has reduced the traffic on this road to some extend. The proposed highrange highway will use this bridge to cross the river.

By the way, waiting for more photos.

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