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Old 12th March 2010, 09:40   #16
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Lightbulb Ooty

Walked around Doddabetta (Translates to 'Big mountain' in Kannada) for a while...

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
People were just clambering up and down wherever there was a pathway and we followed suit :-)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Deciding that we were done with the place, we started walking back towards the car. Came across this row of pedal boats near the ticket counter. I was curious to see if there was a lake of some sort on top of Doddabetta! Asked the ticket counter guy about the boats and he mentioned that someone had dragged all these defunct boats up here as show pieces. They look quite colorful!<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-3.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Stopped near some wooded area on the way down for a short walk and pics...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Next stop was the 'Tea Factory & Museum' on the way back towards Ooty. The place offers a good view of the entire Ooty town spread out below...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
In most of our trips we invariably run into a bus load of school kids!<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-6.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The Tea factory offers a snapshot of how tea is manufactured, from freshly cut leaves to the brown stuff we buy in boxes...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-11.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
There was even a mention of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the part it played in the development of the tea industry in the Nilgiris...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The souvenir shops were doing brisk business...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
And we bought some samples too...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
By the way, they had a shop selling the famous 'Ooty Chocolates' too. Bought samples of a few varieties for taste.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-14.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Next we headed down towards Ooty town, towards our next stop... the botanical gardens.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-15.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Stopped at a hotel enroute for lunch. Saw this cute little horse catching a quick nap.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-16.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A picturesque church...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-17.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A soccer match in progress...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-18.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A scene from the footpath close to the Botanical gardens...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-19.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Parked the car and headed to the gardens. (Atrocious parking fees!)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-30.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Some pics from inside the Botanical Gardens...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-20.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-21.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-22.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-23.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-24.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-25.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-26.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-27.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
There is a model 'Toda hut' near the entrance. The Toda tribe were one of the original inhabitants of the Nilgiri hills.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-28.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
These pics from the late 1800s show a Toda family and a Toda mund (village)...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-29.jpg</a><br />
(Pic Courtesy: British Library)<br /> <br />
Contd...</div>   <div style=
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Old 12th March 2010, 10:04   #17
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Lightbulb Ooty & Coonoor

By the time we were out of the Botanical gardens it was around 5.00pm. Our next stop was to be the 'Rose Garden', we asked a auto-driver for directions to the place and he informed us that this was not the season and there were no roses to be see.

Ok, so what next? asked Sangeetha...
Hmmm... let us go towards the Ooty lake boat-house then, we can see the 'thread garden' and a quick look at the Ooty lake before calling it a day.

Took a quick pic of this sign-board at the taxi stand, to give us an idea of the standard rates for hiring a cab; since we were planning to book one for the next day at Coonoor.

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The 'thread garden' is an exhibition of artificial flowers and plants, made with colored thread - wrapped around stiff canvas cloth. Steel or copper wires have been used for the stems and other parts. <br /> <br />
Apparently the entire garden took a team of artisans around 12 years to complete. The models were made somewhere in Kerala and brought to Ooty as a permanent exhibition.<br /> <br />
A good amount of effort has gone into making these and the place is definitely worth a quick visit. Especially since it right across the entrance to the Ooty boat house...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-3.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Last stop for the day was the Ooty boat house. We had no intentions of going anywhere near the water though!. The lake actually stinks due to the raw sewage from Ooty that flows into the lake. Nevertheless, it is still a popular tourist spot.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
There is a mini toy train that runs on a track about 200 meters long, we hopped onto the train for a small joyride alongside the lake!<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-6.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A group of college kids doing an impromptu dance...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The time was around 6.30pm and we were quite tired. It was time to find our hotel. Lo behold! our hotel was just about a 100 meters away :-)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Drove up to the hotel, checked in, called room service to order a simple dinner and settled down to watch 'Paa' on the telly.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The hotel is located almost right across the road from the Ooty lake boat-house and we had specifically asked for a room on the topmost floor since it offers a good view of the lake area.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-11.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
By around 10.00pm we decided to call it a night and shut down.<br /> <br />
Woke up by around 6.00am the next morning to catch a beautiful sunrise on the hills behind the lake.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Got ready, packed a small bag to carry along and set out towards Ooty railway station. Today we'll take the slow train to Coonoor baby!<br />
Walked past this 'Hercules Mountain bike park' near the lake road...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-14.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
One of the highlights of our trip was going to be the ride on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. As the plaque in the Coonoor railway station says, this railway system has been declared as a World heritage site by UNESCO since 2005.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-15.jpg</a><br />
Pic courtesy: Wikipedia<br /> <br />
More info: <a rel=Nilgiri Mountain Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Though the original stretch is from Mettupalyam to Ooty, the train is currently running only between Ooty & Coonoor - after last years landslides disrupted parts of the rail track. Full services are scheduled to start again from sometime in April 2010.

Nevertheless, the Ooty-Coonoor section is good enough to give a flavor of the train ride, without actually requiring the 4+ hours that is required for the full stretch. (Ooty to Coonoor is around 18kms and the ride is for around 1.5 hours.)

I had read somewhere that the best seats on the train are in the first-class compartment (True!). That is the one that is at the end of the train, away from the engine. From here, you get so see out of the side windows and also the rear windows. The tickets cost me around Rs.125 each and having blocked the tickets a couple of weeks in advance, we had seat numbers 1 & 2.

Breakfast for the day was at the Ooty railway canteen...

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-16.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Settled down to wait for our ride to arrive...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-17.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A set of pics found in the mens waiting room...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-18.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Finally the train chugged into station...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-19.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
One by one a number of passengers made a beeline for pics from the guard's station...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-20.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Settled down in our seats and waited for the train to move. Took some pics from around the station. Nice uniforms, probably inspired by the Kurinji flowers that bloom once in twelve years on these hills...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-21.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
At 9.15am sharp, we moved out of the station. The train would take us from Ooty through Lovedale, Ketti, Aruvankadu, Wellington and to Coonoor.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-22.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The tracks pass through some really scenic areas...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-23.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
And a couple of small tunnels along the route...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-24.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-26.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-27.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Lovedale...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-28.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-29.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-30.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Contd...</div>   <div style=
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Old 12th March 2010, 10:22   #18
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Lightbulb To Coonoor, by Nilgiri Mountain Railway - NMR !

The section from Ooty to Coonoor does not have any inclines, so you don't get to see the cog-gear system on this track...

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Ketti...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-3.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
What is a "Combined fruit and vegetarian tea stall???" I asked Sangeetha.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Aravankadu...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-6.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Wellington...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Finally we reached Coonoor!<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Passengers waiting for the train :-)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
As soon as we exited the station, we were mobbed by a small crowd of taxi-drivers offering to take us around Coonoor. We struck a deal with a Sumo guy for Rs.900/- to cover the main sight-seeing points in Coonoor and drop us back to Ooty by evening. <br /> <br />
Indicabs are cheaper and if you are visiting on a weekday, you can bargain for a discount on the standard rates. Nevertheless, I prefer paying a 100 or two extra to ensure that we have an enthusiastic cabby and not a grumpy one <img src=

If you head towards 'Dolphins nose' view point, most of the important tourist spots are almost along this route.

Stopped at a tea-garden for a couple of pics...

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-14.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A typical touristy thing to do... dress up like tea plantation folks and take get a 'in action' photo clicked.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Walked up to the Lambs rock view point...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-15.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-16.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-17.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-18.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-19.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-20.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Then proceeded towards the 'Dolphin's nose' view point, stopping at Lady Canning's seat(?)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-21.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-22.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The Catherine falls, as seen from Dolphin's nose view point...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-23.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-24.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-25.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Drove back into Coonoor to visit the 'Sims park' - which is a smaller version of the Ooty botanical gardens.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-26.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-27.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-28.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-29.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-30.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Contd...</div>   <div style=
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Old 12th March 2010, 10:37   #19
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Lightbulb Coonoor, Ooty , Mudumalai , Bandipur & Bangalore !

Since it was a Monday, the weekend crowds had disappeared and the park was quite empty...

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Though the driver was insisting on taking us to a restaurant with 'excellent' meals, we politely refused and instead proceeded towards the 'Mahalakshmi Bhojanalaya', which is just about a 100 mtrs from the park entrance. SImple, but decent food @ Rs.60 per meals...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Post lunch we headed back to Ooty, hanging on to dear life as the driver threw the Sumo around every curve in the road from Coonoor to Ooty. Settled our hotel bill, started the Xing and started our drive back towards Bangalore.<br /> <br />
Stopped for a couple of pics at the St.Stephen's church. The oldest church in Ooty. A painting of the church from 1851...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-3.jpg</a><br />
Pic courtesy: British Library.<br /> <br /> <br />
St.Stephen's church in 2010...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Stopped at the Govt Museum, only to be told that it was closed for renovation...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-6.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The HPF (Hindustan Photo Films) factory, which was once famous for their 'Indu' brand of BW films and X-ray films. I think they still manufacture X-ray films and some specialized photo-films.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Remember, the Bandipur road is shut for night traffic from around 9.00pm, so you need to aim at reaching the check-post by at least 8.00pm if it is a weekend. (Since there can be a long queue of vehicles at the check post.). <br /> <br />
The shorter Kalhatti ghat road is shut for downward traffic, so we took the longer Gudalur road, which adds around 30kms to the total distance.<br /> <br />
The Gudalur road is certainly more scenic and easier drive. The road has been newly laid all the way till Gudalur.<br /> <br />
Some sections of the Gudalur route remind you of a mountain route in the UK or Europe...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Stopped at the 'Shooting Medu' for a few pics. I could faintly see the Mukurthi peak, almost covered by clouds...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-11.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
From there I stepped on the gas, planning to drive through Mudumalai & Bandipur before sunset. <br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-14-.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
The 'needle rock' view point near Gudalur (?)<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-15.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-16.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Mudumalai!<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-17.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-18.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
More Elephants. A guy in a passing Swift warned us of some elephants that were chasing cars ahead of us. So we stopped for a couple of minutes and proceeded cautiously. Came across a herd that had a small calf in their midst, which explained their aggressive behavior. Did not linger around, just kept moving on...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-19.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
A peacock waiting to cross the road...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-20.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
And an Elephant crossing the road...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-21.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Sunset in Mudumalai...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-22.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-23.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
More birds...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-24.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-25.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Since most drivers are busy trying to spot wildlife alongside the road, he/she might not be looking straight ahead at all times. For a moment we thought this peacock was going to get hit... luckily the driver noticed it in time and avoided it.<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-26.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
More spotted deer...<br /> <br /> <a href='Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-27.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Soon it was too dark to spot anything; so pedal to the metal we crossed Mysore and reached Lokaruchi for a light dinner. Drove nonstop to BLR to reach home by 11.00pm.<br /> <br />
Spotted this double decker Ace along the way <img src=

'Xing'ing around ! - Masinagudi, Ooty and Coonoor.-28.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Overall a nice trip and a great drive!</div>   <div style=
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:33   #20
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Lightbulb Thanks !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Very nice pics and narration, hotstuff. Eagerly looking forward for the rest of the journey details!
Thanks @Chevy_lover. This Tlog has less than 200 pics in all... and I was already running out of patience in sorting and uploading them. I really admire your effort in uploading 1000s of pics across your Tlogs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
I was basically looking for hill driving to a good hill station. I know one night trip will be a bit hectic, but that is all the time I have. Though I have been ooty once in 2007, still would like to see the place. But if there are other places I don't mind. I would by all probability be driving down to blr from hyd.And belated Happy Anniversary to you!!
Thanks @Fordmanchau. Since you have already seen Ooty quite recently, do you want to try out Yercaud perhaps. Ooty too is definitely doable in two days. My only concern is that you will be starting your drive back to Hyd on the same evening as you return from Ooty / Yercaud, which will translate to a almost non-stop drive from Ooty to Hyd + you will be doing a night drive.

One more option (distances are almost similar.) would be to a trip to Kabini? (Not a hill drive though.) This seems to be the best time for some amazing wildlife spotting. Check out @vinay.pillai's Tlog : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...nd-kabini.html

You can also consider a drive towards Coorg (Madikeri & nearby places.). Hill driving will be included and good scenery too.

A small suggestion - see if you can get a friend or relative to drive on the way back for hire a driver / cab for your trip from BLR, so that you are fresh and relaxed for your almost 10 hour drive back to Hyd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Hey "xinging" is back. I like the effort you put in getting information. Wheather it is map, or history or anything. Hats off. After missing those "Lets go" Tlogs[yes, abhi!!!], seems Xing is in full swing. Lol.
Thanks @mjothi. Yes, looks like Mr.Roy is currently relaxing in the US. I too had requested him to chime in with some imported Tlogs from the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshurao View Post
Nice writeup hotstuff, very informative indeed. However i guess most of the resorts there will come under the axe of elephant corridor, not sure about the court order.
Thanks @anshurao, Looks like there is still some uncertainity about the action that will be taken on the basis of the court order. I remember reading somewhere about protests from the locals, about how some land will not be touched whereas others will be affected. Also read somewhere that several petitions have been filed against the order etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
A good travelogue very well captured in photographs.
Thank you @fazalaliadil Sir. Coming from an accomplished photographer and wildlife enthusiast like you, I greatly value the comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thalavoy View Post
The elephant looks 'too' clean. Most likely a camp elephant. Right? Nice photos though. Did you ask the resort, if they will be affected by the supreme court order that asks the resorts around Masinagudi to be cleared and 'levelled'?
Thanks @thalavoy, good point. There are Elephant camps in Bandipur and the animal might have been let into the forest for grazing. Or there are also a couple waterbodies quite close to the road, maybe the Elephant had been there earlier. There is another elephant pic that we took on the way back... and that does have dust and mud on it; so I think you are right in identifying this as possibly a camp animal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Crisp photos and lively description. Waiting for more. Where is resort? Is it very close to the deviation at the Masinagudi junction?
Thanks @ampere. All the resorts are located in more or less the same area, which is a right turn from the M'gudi - Ooty road, a little after crossing a small iron bridge. Don't worry, if you are headed that way, you cant miss the pole with all the resort names. After that there are plenty of boards indicating directions to each of the resorts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I have seen many folks don't prefer the buffet at Lokaruchi. Dont know why, that section is always empty. I love that breakfast though.
Same here! We get to try a wide variety of items and I can have double or triple helpings of any dish that I specifically like. It is a good deal for Rs.70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
wow! this is a very very structured t-log! and nice pics too! Will hang on to it as I have been planning for a trip to Masinagudi - Ooty!
Thanks @swiftnfurious. Hope you have a nice and enjoyable trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arin_12 View Post
Nice write up. Was planning for something like this but we was not able to decide the place... Now the place is fixed.I am adding the resorts name pic in the other thread. Looks like Abhi is completely absconding
Thanks @arin_12. Do check up on the other resorts too on HolidayIQ , Tripadvisor etc. before finalizing and have a nice trip!

BTW The Blue Valley resort has a Country Club affiliation and Casa Deep Woods (Not mentioned on the pole with the sign boards) is a Club Mahindra property, so you can try for any good deals through someone who is a member.

Last edited by hotstuff : 12th March 2010 at 11:37.
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:40   #21
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pictures are awesome!!! which camera do you use?
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Old 12th March 2010, 11:59   #22
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very nice coverage. The train ride is really awesome. Its still in my list and could not do the previous 2 times. Both the times, it was stopped when I went

Pictures of those tunnels are stunning.

So, seems you had a real blast. And belated wishes for your anniversary
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:07   #23
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WOW Enjoyed it a lot, the pictures were just awesome I could actually visualize myself there.
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:08   #24
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Hi hotstuff

I think, this is your 3rd or 4th travelogue i have read.
I like your Clinical Style with complete attention to details
As ususal you have fantastic pictures, what i like is the way you post the pictures interleaved with the info, links, photos in comparison with paintings etc.

we could not travel on nilgiri train when we were at Ooty during year end.
plan to go again.

i am yet to figure out how to post the pictures in between the text
i tried several times, but not successful, i went through the guidelines posted here, asked few friends on the forum. but still not successful.
i think, i am missing the forest while searching for the trees.
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Old 12th March 2010, 12:26   #25
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hotstuff, are you sure Ooty sewage goes into the Lake? Maybe I don't have a sharp nose, but I didn't smell anything funny at the Lake.
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Old 12th March 2010, 13:03   #26
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Beautiful travelogue with loads of information as usual. It is great to read your travelogues.

-Biju
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Old 12th March 2010, 14:48   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
Thanks @Fordmanchau. Since you have already seen Ooty quite recently, do you want to try out Yercaud perhaps. Ooty too is definitely doable in two days. My only concern is that you will be starting your drive back to Hyd on the same evening as you return from Ooty / Yercaud, which will translate to a almost non-stop drive from Ooty to Hyd + you will be doing a night drive.

One more option (distances are almost similar.) would be to a trip to Kabini? (Not a hill drive though.) This seems to be the best time for some amazing wildlife spotting. Check out @vinay.pillai's Tlog : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...nd-kabini.html

You can also consider a drive towards Coorg (Madikeri & nearby places.). Hill driving will be included and good scenery too.

A small suggestion - see if you can get a friend or relative to drive on the way back for hire a driver / cab for your trip from BLR, so that you are fresh and relaxed for your almost 10 hour drive back to Hyd.
I will not be driving back to hyd the same evening. My plan is to reach Blr by 2nd april afternoon. Stay for the night. Leave for Yercaud/ooty early morning on 3rd, return back by 4th evening to blr. Stay for night and then start for Hyd on 5th morning. So I will have the whole of 5th april to drive back to hyd.
And forgot to mention, have been enjoying your pictures since morning. Damn good pictures alongwith wonderful narration
Probably , if not ooty, we will tilt towards yercaud. lets see. BTW what date was your anniversary ?

Last edited by Fordmanchau : 12th March 2010 at 14:49.
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Old 12th March 2010, 15:35   #28
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photograph 12.jpg is mind blowing. And the brotherly love the horse showed to the other steed (bike) was very good. Good captures there hotstuff!
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Old 12th March 2010, 17:30   #29
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Hotstuff, nice travelogue as always. Yet to read all the pages.
But the pleasant surprise comes from lokaruchi, When did they start serving Buffet?

I very well know that till first half of 2009 it was not there and I didnt travel after that.

Abhi
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Old 12th March 2010, 23:21   #30
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Very good travelogue as always hotstuff. Yes, the parking fees near the Ooty Botanical Garden is pretty steep. I usually park the car on the road towards the Botanical Garden near the theatre.

Doddabetta can get really crowded in Weekends and really frustrating to find a parking place which is jampacked with tourist buses. Very nice photos, loved the photo of the kids at the railway station. Thanks for sharing!!!
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