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Old 12th April 2010, 19:46   #31
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nice start lalu. good that you did valparai atlast
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Old 12th April 2010, 19:54   #32
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nice start lalu. good that you did valparai atlast
After all that questions I had asked you, I had to
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Old 12th April 2010, 20:08   #33
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Laluks,

Do you really need to go to CBE for Pollachi? I saw in another thread that you can divert at Avinashi and go via Tiruppur and Palladam to Pollachi.
I ask this as some time I will do Valprai.
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Old 12th April 2010, 20:15   #34
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Laluks,

Do you really need to go to CBE for Pollachi? I saw in another thread that you can divert at Avinashi and go via Tiruppur and Palladam to Pollachi.
I ask this as some time I will do Valprai.
Since I was driving early in the morning, this was quite easy. Go straight all the way to L&T byepass and after the 4th Toll gate / Second Signal turn left for 40Kms and you are in Pollachi. A simple affair.

You can do the Avinashi route if you are a bit late, since the roads from Avinashi till L&T Byepass can be crowded with Coimbatore traffic. Still you'll see some traffic near Tiruppur, but that' s a short while.

Depends on when you travel. I had been on that route once, roads are decent.
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Old 12th April 2010, 20:39   #35
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Day 1, April 2nd 2010 continued

Pollachi - Sethumadai (18 Kms)


I have heard a lot about Top Slip and Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary. But never got the full details of planning a stay there and lazing around. Hence the first on the fly decision was to go there and take the details in person for a trip later after the rains. So Top slip became the first destination for the day, though we were doubtful that due to summer the forest entry might be closed.

Time --- KM ----- Place
08:30 -- 415.2 -- Pollachi
09:00 -- 433.3 -- Sethumadai Check Post

Our doubts were true, Sethumadai checkpost was closed.
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It was closed since it was peak summer as a precaution to stop fire. The officer there was very helpful in giving all the details to us.

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The officer gave us this number - 04259-225356 of their Office in Pollachi. You can call to see if the route is open if you are visiting in March/April/May. If atleast it rains once they will open the route. This time it was already closed from March mid as per him, and the officer expects the same to be closed till end April or the first rains.

This information is crucial, since your entry to Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary is by this route.

Some cost details for entering the forest at Sethumadai
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Sethumadai Checkpost is open from 7AM till 4PM, the last entry is at 4PM and the last exit from the check post is at 6PM.
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The officer went on to tell us that Top slip is another 12 Km from there. You can get a Jeep safari at Topslip in the Tamilnadu side by paying Rs 30/- per head.

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From Topslip, immediately you enter Parambikulam Wild life Sanctuary. If you are visiting the sanctuary as a day trip, you'll have to park your car and take a bus safari for Rs 140/- head.

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If you are staying inside, then you can take your vehicle inside also. Also if you book a slot in advance you can take your vehicle inside too, but this is restricted to one vehicle every 20 minutes and you must be there before your time comes.

In Parambikulam WLS, there are several safaris and treks available, and the officer was of the opinion atleast 3 days you must stay in these areas to enjoy and feel all the place has to offer. He also hinted all these details must be available on the net too

So I did a search and got these two websites, which gives comprehensive details of the same.

Official website of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India

Welcome to Topslip

This place is in our list now. Will try to do after the rains.

Also once you are done visiting Parambikulam, this is the same route for exit as well. There is no further road from Parmabikulam to Chalakudi as shown in Google maps. That is a very misleading error .

After spending 30 informative minutes with the officer we turned back to Pollachi.

Some views enroute Pollachi Sethumadai

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We parked the Swift in some nice shade and was wondering where to for our next destination, which was yet not decided.
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Continued...
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Old 12th April 2010, 20:57   #36
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Nice start Laluks. Nice photographs and eagerly waiting for more.
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Old 12th April 2010, 21:03   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Nice start Laluks. Nice photographs and eagerly waiting for more.
Thanks Kaushik.
Please bear with me, I might be slow in updating this time as I find very difficult to put in some time for the log
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Old 13th April 2010, 11:38   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Day 1, April 2nd 2010 continued



From Topslip, immediately you enter Parambikulam Wild life Sanctuary. If you are visiting the sanctuary as a day trip, you'll have to park your car and take a bus safari for Rs 140/- head.

If you are staying inside, then you can take your vehicle inside also. Also if you book a slot in advance you can take your vehicle inside too, but this is restricted to one vehicle every 20 minutes and you must be there before your time comes.

In Parambikulam WLS, there are several safaris and treks available, and the officer was of the opinion atleast 3 days you must stay in these areas to enjoy and feel all the place has to offer. He also hinted all these details must be available on the net too

So I did a search and got these two websites, which gives comprehensive details of the same.

Official website of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India

Welcome to Topslip

This place is in our list now. Will try to do after the rains.

Also once you are done visiting Parambikulam, this is the same route for exit as well. There is no further road from Parmabikulam to Chalakudi as shown in Google maps. That is a very misleading error .

Continued...

Lovely destinations you have selected this time laluks. Even I had been to Parambikulam last December for a trek and it was a very good experience. The officer is right on saying you have to stay atleast 3 days to enjoy the place.

In fact there is a route from Parambikulam to Chalakudi, only forest dept jeeps are permitted as it is just a jeep trail. This was told to us by our guide on the trek.

Google maps shows roads where no one can enter while forgetting to display many roads which are important.
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Old 13th April 2010, 11:53   #39
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Nice. Not just a post card location, but very natural too !
Lauks,

Thanks for that info on CBE L&T bypass.
I definitely cannot start at 2:30. Maybe 5 in the morning.
So would rather prefer the Tirruppur route.
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Old 13th April 2010, 12:00   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
In fact there is a route from Parambikulam to Chalakudi, only forest dept jeeps are permitted as it is just a jeep trail. This was told to us by our guide on the trek.
Thanks addy.

Yes there are jeep trails which needs DFO's permission to access. In fact there is one from Parambikulam WLS to Nelliyampathy also via Anamada, as I inferred from ITL resort owner.

But since these any way does not help us with our poor cars, so took it only as an info. Further in these trials only a few such permitted jeeps ply. Heard that its nearly 3.5k to 4K for such a trip from somewhere near Vazhachal to Parambikulam. Could be an amazing experience, but definitely not with family
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Old 13th April 2010, 14:38   #41
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Checked out that Nelliyampathy is around 550 kms via NH-45 and 630 kms via NH-7 from my place. Iam tempted to make it there with my family upon seeing that beautiful open space behind that resort..my dream is to drive through the forest from Valparai to Athirapalli...eagerly waiting for remaining sections

Last edited by Surprise : 13th April 2010 at 14:40.
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Old 13th April 2010, 14:59   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
We parked the Swift in some nice shade and was wondering where to for our next destination, which was yet not decided.
That's the perfect way to travel!
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Old 13th April 2010, 16:09   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
Checked out that Nelliyampathy is around 550 kms via NH-45 and 630 kms via NH-7 from my place. Iam tempted to make it there with my family upon seeing that beautiful open space behind that resort..my dream is to drive through the forest from Valparai to Athirapalli...eagerly waiting for remaining sections
That drive is one hell of a drive, nice beautiful and hectic, with a mix of forest, hills, hairpins, highways, checkposts...

Quote:
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That's the perfect way to travel!
Day 1 was our discovery day
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Old 13th April 2010, 22:12   #44
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Day 1, April 2nd 2010 continued

Sethumadai - Udumalpet - Amaravathy - Udumalpet - Pollachi (112 Kms)


We started rolling thinking that we will get back to Pollachi and go to Valparai. But immediately we saw a right turn to Udumalpet. Suddenly it crossed my mind that we missed visiting the Crocodile Rearing Center near Amaravathy Dam when we visited Munnar. Further my Power Puff girls have not seen a Crocodile live other that the ones they saw in TV. So without thinking, we drove that side.

We were stopped by a protest led by Mr. Vaiko, a well know TN politician. But in 10 minutes Police arrested him and cleared the protestors from the streets. Issue I did not want to find out.

So finally we reached the Dam and Crocodile Rearing Center by 11:15AM.
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Anatomy of a Crocodile.
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Power Puff Girls were shocked and excited to see the Crocky's so near. Some where looking real mean, and some cute.

Some of the cute ones we saw.
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Amaravathy Dam was absolutely dry. It is not quite often one gets to see a completely filled or completely dried Dam. You can see the Dam bed.

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The Dam gates
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The other side of the Dam
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We spend about 45 minutes there and returned.
Thirumurthy falls is also nearby here - on the way to Chinnar.

We reached Pollachi By 13:00PM for a good hot vegetarian lunch at Saravana Bhavan near the bus stand.

Time --- KM ----- Place
09:30 -- 433.3 -- Sethumadai Check Post
09:40 -- 445.9 -- Right turn to Udumalpet
10:40 -- 488.0 -- Left turn to Amaravathy, Straight Check Post to Chinnar, Munnar
11:15 -- 494.4 -- Amaravathy Dam and Crocodile Rearing Center
12:00 -- 501.4 -- Left turn to Check Post to Chinnar, Munnar, Right turn to Udumalpet
12:10 -- 510.6 -- Left turn to Pollachi
13:00 -- 545.0 -- Pollachi



Still contemplating over lunch where to go next ?!

continued...

Last edited by laluks : 13th April 2010 at 22:14.
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Old 14th April 2010, 12:21   #45
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You are an outdoor travel person; really salute you mate!!

quite a large no. of travelogues that are well photographed and well written ; hope you will not mind good company from next time LOL!!
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