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Old 16th April 2010, 12:07   #61
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Hey mallumowgli , your handle reminds me of Jungle book, and that too in mallu forests. Waiting for your episode with the Jaguar (Karimpuli) in Nelliyampathy forests
I would love to be mowgli of Jungle Book.
Have never seen any puli (panthers) let alone a karimpuli in the wild though have seen Tigers at BR Hills (no luck even at Sundarbans). I heard black panthers are there in Dandeli Forests.

Will make a trip to N'pathi in May if there are summer rains and the roads dont get washed away as usual and as you said, lets hope i see some karimpuli

Nelliyampathi is a Horn Bill Sanctuary - were you lucky to spot some?

And your photos are very good. Love your travelogues

Cheers
Praveen
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Old 16th April 2010, 12:26   #62
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Hi Lalu, sorry i am late, was out for a couple of week, just went through your travelogue, the quality of your photos are wonderful, also the narration,its got my attention will be looking forward to the rest of it... 5 stars from me
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Old 16th April 2010, 13:26   #63
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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
I would love to be mowgli of Jungle Book.
Have never seen any puli (panthers) let alone a karimpuli in the wild though have seen Tigers at BR Hills (no luck even at Sundarbans). I heard black panthers are there in Dandeli Forests.

Will make a trip to N'pathi in May if there are summer rains and the roads dont get washed away as usual and as you said, lets hope i see some karimpuli

Nelliyampathi is a Horn Bill Sanctuary - were you lucky to spot some?

And your photos are very good. Love your travelogues

Cheers
Praveen
Praveen, The resort owner showed me photos of 14 hornbills on a tree behind his resort. It seems there are around 40+ hornbills in Kerala. Was not lucky enough to spot one during my trip.

He has seen bear, jaguar and some leopords there as well. He showed me a video of a bear chasing his guests . And elephants often visit his place to eat the banana leaves, so he has cut all those ones.

Infact it rained heavily on the second day of our stay. have never seen or heard such lightning and thunders in my life.

Thanks for the compliments.


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Originally Posted by Majic View Post
Hi Lalu, sorry i am late, was out for a couple of week, just went through your travelogue, the quality of your photos are wonderful, also the narration,its got my attention will be looking forward to the rest of it... 5 stars from me
Thanks majic for the compliments and the 5 stars rating for the thread
2010 seems to be a busy year for you too.

Last edited by laluks : 16th April 2010 at 13:30.
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Old 16th April 2010, 19:09   #64
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Amazing log. One great place for us to go.

How was the stay? Clean? Looks very basic on their website. Probably because it is an ayurveda resort?

BH.
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Old 16th April 2010, 19:17   #65
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Amazing log. One great place for us to go.

How was the stay? Clean? Looks very basic on their website. Probably because it is an ayurveda resort?

BH.
Hey BH, Thanks
Stay is just basic. Don't go by Ayurvedic etc.. Nothing, just basic stay and average food. It cannot be called resort, can be called a stay rather

Clean? - Its adjustable.

Last edited by laluks : 16th April 2010 at 19:19.
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Old 16th April 2010, 20:23   #66
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Hi lalu. I am planning a trip from kochi-wayand-kodaikanal. Your travelogue has made me think about my return leg from Kodai. Earlier, I had plans to take NH49 from kodai and get back to Kochi. Now I feel it will be worthwhile to return via Kodai-Palani-Pollachi-Valparai-Athirampally-Kochi.

I will be driving a Linea and need to know condition of roads from Valparai to Athirampally. This accommodation to stay at Valparai, how is it, can you share the phone numbers etc please? Looking forward to hear from you.
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Old 16th April 2010, 21:58   #67
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Hi lalu. I am planning a trip from kochi-wayand-kodaikanal. Your travelogue has made me think about my return leg from Kodai. Earlier, I had plans to take NH49 from kodai and get back to Kochi. Now I feel it will be worthwhile to return via Kodai-Palani-Pollachi-Valparai-Athirampally-Kochi.

I will be driving a Linea and need to know condition of roads from Valparai to Athirampally. This accommodation to stay at Valparai, how is it, can you share the phone numbers etc please? Looking forward to hear from you.
Hi NutsNBolts,
That'd be an amazing drive. Kodai Palani itself is a nice route and add the rest as you mentioned, it'd be amazing. Either you can just do the drive through or stay at Valparai for the night if you want to hang around Valparai.

If you are driving without a halt at Valparai, then plan accordingly so that you exit the forest and see both Vazhachal and Athirapally falls in day light. So from Pollachi atleast you'll need 7 hours with all the small breaks that you take till Athirapally. Assuming you want to be at Athirapally by 17:30, you should atleast start from Pollachi by 10.00AM

The hotel I called at Valaparai is Green Hills. Did not stay there, so cannot comment on it. Deluxe room was told to be 935Rs, which can accomodate a family as I inferred, and rooms were also available in Rs650 range. Phone number is 04253 - 222 262. It's in State bank road at valaparai town.
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Old 17th April 2010, 16:03   #68
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The valparai-vazhachal-athirampalli Route is to be done in the daytime(for safety reasons), the elephants of this vazhachal forest zone are damn nasty, i heard this from the bus driver of a TN state bus(this bus starts at 9 am from valparai and reaches Chalakudi(at about 1 pm) via athirampalli). Expect quite a bit of truck traffic in the night times too. In rainy season(monsoons), this route is so dangerous- for there is a continuous downpour and trees falling on the road and you have to wait for the forest men. (actually this is a single lane road, vehicle needs proper GC to survive, so the one who is taking the linea dont load the car too much). At peak of the rainy season, even the TN bus service is stopped for some weeks.

Last edited by ramzsys : 17th April 2010 at 16:06.
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Old 17th April 2010, 16:36   #69
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The valparai-vazhachal-athirampalli Route is to be done in the daytime(for safety reasons), the elephants of this vazhachal forest zone are damn nasty, i heard this from the bus driver of a TN state bus(this bus starts at 9 am from valparai and reaches Chalakudi(at about 1 pm) via athirampalli). Expect quite a bit of truck traffic in the night times too. In rainy season(monsoons), this route is so dangerous- for there is a continuous downpour and trees falling on the road and you have to wait for the forest men. (actually this is a single lane road, vehicle needs proper GC to survive, so the one who is taking the linea dont load the car too much). At peak of the rainy season, even the TN bus service is stopped for some weeks.
The roads from Vazhachal till NH47 is decent 36Kms, and a little after Vazhachal it is rubberised and perfect till NH.

The roads through the Forest checkpost are normal single lane road, and condition as of last week is not an issue for a safely driven car. After rains it can deteriorate. Checkpost to checkpost is 50kms will take a minimum of 1.5 hours, that is what we took even after some breaks for photography.

The area is thickly vegetated and even during the day it looks dark, so all the more trouble in night.

But both Checkposts will not allow any vehicles after 7.30PM. The officer told me if there is an urgent need they sometimes relax this.
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Old 17th April 2010, 17:11   #70
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Day 1, April 2nd 2010 continued

Valparai - Sholayar Dam (22 Kms) - Malakkappara Checkpost (28 Kms)


We left Valparai by 16:30PM and passed the exit checkpost by 17:00PM

In another 6 kilometers we reached the Sholayar Dam. Spent some time there. Water was obviously less.

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Time --- KM ----- Place
16:30 -- 614.0
-- Valparai Town
17:00 -- 630.0 -- Exit Checkpost
17:15 -- 636.0 -- Sholayar Dam
17:30 -- 639.0 -- Last TN checkpost
17:35 -- 642.0 -- Malakkapara CP, entry to Kerala. Forest Starts.

In another 6 Km we reached the Malakkapara CP, and the entry to Kerala. Roads till here from Pollachi (97Km) has been good except for a Km between Valparai and the exit checkpost, where they are building some concrete drain. This is doable by any cars.

So by 17:35PM, after entering the licence details at the Malakkapara Checkpost we enter the forest range. The officer warned me about the drive, the forest, the turns and animals, and adviced that it will take atleast 4 hours by the time we reach Chalakudy.

My girls realised the predicament and was looking at me with a kind of inquisitive eyes...


Continued...
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Old 17th April 2010, 21:12   #71
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Thanks a ton for all the advice lalu. Since I will be starting by 9am from kodai, it will be better to take a night halt at valparai. So as I understand, from valparai to vazhachal, the roads are not in great condition but can be easily negotiated by a sedan.

As ramzys said, yes gc can be an issue, but I guess if the road is not hit by rains, it should be do-able.
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Old 17th April 2010, 22:11   #72
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Laluks,

Can you please post a Google Map snapshot of the route you took? Thats is because in google maps, I see the road from Pollachi to Valparai town shown as incomplete. In fact it shows the other road through Parambikolam going to Chalakudy.
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Old 17th April 2010, 22:23   #73
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Laluks,

Can you please post a Google Map snapshot of the route you took? Thats is because in google maps, I see the road from Pollachi to Valparai town shown as incomplete. In fact it shows the other road through Parambikolam going to Chalakudy.
Typically, Google Maps is wrong. As in many instances. The incomplete road that you mention is the same Chalakudy-Valparai road.
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Old 18th April 2010, 00:34   #74
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Typically, Google Maps is wrong. As in many instances. The incomplete road that you mention is the same Chalakudy-Valparai road.
Thanks sir! I also got confused because of this other SH (SH21), as shown in Google maps which hits Neliampathy first before its hits Chalakuddy. Then I started wondering why one should then go to Chalakuddy if he has to go to Neliampathy.

I have attached the map to illustrate the issue.

Swifted : Nelliyampathy via Valparai-route.jpg
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Old 18th April 2010, 05:11   #75
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Originally Posted by NutsNBolts View Post
Thanks a ton for all the advice lalu. Since I will be starting by 9am from kodai, it will be better to take a night halt at valparai. So as I understand, from valparai to vazhachal, the roads are not in great condition but can be easily negotiated by a sedan.

As ramzys said, yes gc can be an issue, but I guess if the road is not hit by rains, it should be do-able.
It is very much doable. Infact the roads are much better compared to certain horrendous diversions that we see in NH.

If you are staying at Valparai, then you can do a little bit of tour around the place. I'll be putting up the details I have collected for the place soon.
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