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Old 28th April 2010, 11:50   #1
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Default Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai

The Prologue:

Folks its summer time! Come the scorching heat of upper 35s and we all have only one thing in mind - Escape to a hill station!

We had the same thing in mind too and that is how this MISSION BEAT the HEAT started! Since we will be based in Erode/Coimbatore for the whole summer, it would be a perfect positioning to make it to all hill stations of TamilNadu! My mind made some quick assessment of situations and my work schedule and I was similing BIG as I discovered that I can definitely make some good number of trips .

So the first one of Mission BEAT the HEAT was rather a surprise trip. We were at Erode last weekend and my In-Laws called and told us that they were planning to go to KODAI this weekend(May1,2,3) and invited us. Now why would I miss anything like that??!! But I did show some hesitation on the face of the idea just for the sake of it and then called them Monday to say that we will also join them! Obviously they were happy and I started to make plans!

The first one was the Dates. Since the objective of the whole trip is to escape the heat, we planned to stay there for atleast 4 days. So we decided to leave early Friday and return Monday. My FIL tried pushing to leave Thursday, but my MIL was not for it. Anyway, 4 days is a good time.

The second, Stay. As this was the plan of my In-laws they and their friend's family from Madurai were planning to stay at the house of their friend in Kodai. We too settled for the same as that would be an ideal environment for privacy and spending quality time together.

Next, the Mode of Travel. I had fortunately drove my Corolla to Erode from Chennai and hence had the option of choosing between Corolla and Swift. I was in two minds - Although the Corolla cant be questioned in its generous cabin room/boot capacity and comfort, the Swift was reigning in its driveability and fun! But I had to go with more room and comfort as we were four adults and with a kid of 10 months, her baby seat had to be accommodated. Now my Corolla was longing for it 60k service and hence I decided to get it to Coimbatore and get it serviced at Anamallais Toyota before the trip.

We reached Coimbatore yesterday(Apr 27th) at around 3pm. I called up Anamallais to check for service availability and the lady said that if I had to book an appointment it is available only on Friday. I explained her that I need the care before Friday positively and she said in that case you can drive-in(this should be the 'walk-in' equivalent for cars, right?!) the car to the Service center and they could take it in. I said I can do that and she reminded that they close at 4.30pm(Why so early?). I had to grab a quick lunch and left immediately. Now the service center was at Thudiyalur in Mettupalayam road, a good 16km from the city. I managed to reach there on time and the service advisor inspected my Corolla and booked it in as there wasnt any major issues/repairs, but just the regular 60k service. I stood there pondering my mode of return as it was a remote place and I could not arrange for alternate pickup as this happened too soon. The Service advisor courteously offered to book a 'Call Taxi' for me and I reached back home by 6.
He said he shall call me the next day and inform when I can take the delivery.

As I write it now, he just called and said I can take it today evening, but I told him I shall take it tomorrow as I have some plans today.

So thats it for now fellas, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and eagerly waiting for the trip! Although I would have been to Kodai for number of times that I have lost count of, the thrill of driving through the mountains and escaping the heat always brings the pleasure!
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Old 28th April 2010, 13:06   #2
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Good one. So, is this going to be a LiVE log?

Just curious. Please update on the Bill amount for the Corollas 60K service.
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Old 29th April 2010, 07:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Good one. So, is this going to be a LiVE log?

Just curious. Please update on the Bill amount for the Corollas 60K service.
I'm up early today(with lots of surprise looks from my family members!) as one of my friends has offered to drop me at Anamallais Toyota. I'll update the service details once I bring back the car.

I'll try to keep it live as much as possible. I'm not sure how I can do it during the trip, but definitely before and after the trips.
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Old 30th April 2010, 02:22   #4
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Looking at the thread title, I thought this is about a drive to Kodai on Chevy Beat. Title should have been "Beat the Heat but not on a BEAT"
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Old 30th April 2010, 03:02   #5
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Good One Sylvan

Sorry for not updating the whole of yesterday as I was out for the entire day.

I just had a God Sent ride in the form of my friend who just told me the day before night that he has to go to the RTO office in Thudiyalur for some work. I said pick me up in the morning. So there I was with him on the way to Anamallais to pick up my Corolla. As I got the news late in the night, I could not check up with the Service advisor if the vehicle was ready. So kind of hoping that it should be ready, I went.

I was there at 9.30 and they were already open. Actually, they were quite busy compared to the RTO office with lots of deliveries. In fact, there were atleast 3-4 Fortuners I could spot. I had been really curious to look closely on this additional mirror they fit in the left arm bonnet that provides visibilty of front and back clearance. So I had my moments looking at it closely.

The Service Advisor said the vehicle was ready and I could pick it up in about 15minutes. I told him you take your time as I can wait. So I had it delivered in the next 30 mts. Here is what they have done as part of 60k service:

1. engine oil change
2. oil filter
3. gasket
4. brake light bulb
5. Washer fluid
6. Complete inspection

Additionally, I had asked for the following to be done-

7. Wiper blade replacement(Left and Right)
8. Complete interior cleaning

The complete bill amount was Rs.6400 of which the interior cleaning about 1400 and the wiper blades about 2000.

I was thoroughly satisfied with the service and hence left the place smiling.

So thats it friends. We are all ready to leave tomorrow.
The route we'll be taking is:
Coimbatore-Pollachi-Udumalpet-Palani-Kodai

I will update as soon as I can.
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Old 30th April 2010, 16:07   #6
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Wiper blades for 2000? I didn't get that. Why 2000 for wiper blades?
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Old 30th April 2010, 16:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvurride View Post
Here is what they have done as part of 60k service:

1. engine oil change
2. oil filter
3. gasket
4. brake light bulb
5. Washer fluid
6. Complete inspection

Additionally, I had asked for the following to be done-

7. Wiper blade replacement(Left and Right)
8. Complete interior cleaning

The complete bill amount was Rs.6400 of which the interior cleaning about 1400 and the wiper blades about 2000.
Wow, 60K service @ just 3K? I guess engine oil itself will be almost that price. So, labour is very cheap?
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Old 4th May 2010, 22:27   #8
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Folks I was just back from KODAI to Coimbatore last night and drove to Erode today. Since had some chores to do, couldn't find time to update the blog. Neither could I do it in Kodai as it had to be strictly family time and my 10 month old kid kept us busy all the time! So PARDON ME for not updating the thread LIVE.

I'm off to MUNNAR tomorrow with my friend. It is a re-union of sorts as we were room-mates in US and now he has also moved back for good(like me). So it is time to catch up those good old times and also do some future business plans.
It was my choice to choose MUNNAR as that was the only cool place available with my Club Mahindra.

I'm taking my SWIFT this time. So it is time to have some real driving fun! as Corolla is not as peppy as Swift plus I had my kid on board in the Kodai trip.

Just got it fueled and the tires nitro-checked. The Swift has got brand new Michelin ones just a couple of months back, so am expecting a good ride!

I'll be back on Friday and will spend time over the weekend to write about both the trips, ofcourse with pictures!

Last edited by luvurride : 4th May 2010 at 22:29.
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Old 4th May 2010, 22:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Wow, 60K service @ just 3K? I guess engine oil itself will be almost that price. So, labour is very cheap?
yeah well the oil consumed most of it and the labor was in fact around 500. So yeah it did turn out very cheap and I was rather happily surprised you can say!

My previous ones with Lanson Toyota of Chennai has produced bills of nothing less than 6-7k just for the service.
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Old 4th May 2010, 22:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Wiper blades for 2000? I didn't get that. Why 2000 for wiper blades?
The RHS costed about 1400 and the LHS around 600. I did not probe into it as even Lanson of Chennai had quoted the same.
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Old 7th May 2010, 23:10   #11
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OK Friends, got back from Munnar this night. I'm too tired to write the travelogue. I shall first get the pics into my laptop and do it tomorrow.
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Old 7th June 2010, 23:19   #12
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My Dear Fellow BHPians:

My apologies to all for having not followed this thread with travelogues as promised. But look at the traveling that I have done in the last 1+month-

Apr24
Chennai-Erode
Total kms travelled: 415

Apr26
Erode-Coimbatore
Total kms travelled: 104

Apr30-May3
Coimbatore-Kodaikanal-Coimbatore
Total Kms travelled: 344

May4
Coimbatore-Erode
Total kms travelled: 104

May5-May7
Erode-Munnar-Erode
Total kms travelled: 585

May14-May20
Erode-Bangalore-Chennai-Erode
Total kms travelled: 1456

May22-May23
Erode-Bangalore-Erode
Total kms travelled: 633

Jun2-Jun6
Erode-Tirupathi(Tirumala)-Chennai-Erode
Total kms travelled: 1372

That makes a total of 5013 kms!!! driven only by me!

Although each and every bit of driving was enjoyable it has taken a toll on the body condition as I feel very tired!

I have one more trip to Bangalore to do this week and once I'm back from that will try to sit down and pen(sorry, type!) the travelogues and share my experiences. Thanks for being patient!
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Old 8th June 2010, 07:44   #13
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Looks like you are enjoying the Summer, and that's a lot of kms driven. Am eagerly waiting to see your travelogue.
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Old 18th June 2010, 02:27   #14
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OK friends, I’ve decided to write the travelogue before this thread suffers its natural death!

Let me start on my first trip of the Summer, the COIMBATORE-KODAI one.
So the plan was to start by Friday, the 30th of April early morning by 7am and reach Kodai for lunch.

Since I had my work demanding me to be up till about 2(infact I had updated this blog at around 1am or so) in the morning, I was not in any mood to be up before 7.30. So we actually left the house by 8.30am and headed straight for Annapoorna Gowrisankar near KG. After celebrating the start of our vacation with some delicious sambar vadas and pongal followed by a strong south Indian filter coffee, we left Coimbatore.

Not much of traffic and since I had already topped up my tank the previous night, I was in Pollachi road quickly and started to maintain it around 90. There was a Montero that kept us company for some time.

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06086.jpg

Fresh vegetables headed for the market

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06084.jpg

After passing Pollachi, there was this famous stretch of windmills until and after Udumalpet. It is a great sight watch these things by the countryside!

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06098.jpg

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06100.jpg

And there was this new one being erected!

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06104.jpg

Beautiful roads-

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06107.jpg

And let us have our share of it too!!

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00107201004301221.jpg

Inviting sight!

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06112.jpg


Do we get to see one in real up there?!!

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-dsc06088.jpg


We reached Palani by 11.30 and took the bye-pass to get on to the deviation to Kodaikanal.

From here on the roads are lined by trees forming arches and hence is a great drive until we reach the foothills(approx about 15kms). We had a small pitstop by the Saibaba temple to refresh ourselves with tender coconuts and proceeded uphill.

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00113201004301242.jpg

There was a slight drizzle that kept the windows up with AC until sometime. The climb was smooth as I have driven this stretch numerous times and probably my eyes are familiar with every bend enroute.

Last edited by luvurride : 18th June 2010 at 02:28. Reason: No room for more pics
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Old 18th June 2010, 02:38   #15
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The Kodai hills nestled in mist-view from Palani.

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00108201004301221.jpg

Palani temple-

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00111201004301223.jpg

The ascent starts from here-

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00115201004301250.jpg

What are these-Coniferous or Christmas trees?

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00127201004301400.jpg

We reached Perumal Malai by 1pm and then all hell broke loose!!

Guys, considering your future peace, I must say this!

If you are ever planning a trip to Kodai in the future, keep in mind that the MAY 1st weekend is the PEAK SEASON in KODAI and it is better to avoid it as you will feel like you have come to some carnival or something and whichever part of Kodai you go to you will see nothing but crowd, crowd, crowd!!!

Since we were staying in a house of my FILís friend, we were saved! And we made sure we do not get out of the house!

After some 40minutes of driving through traffic, we reached Kodai. But in this stretch I got a glimpse of my first VW POLO on the road and I was like a kid shown a brand new toy! My enthusiasm caught on to my wifey and she was on the mobile camera to get a few pics of this bright red baby! (Now remember guys, this was by the end of April during when probably only the first batch of Polos would have hit the roads!!)

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00132201004301419.jpg

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00134201004301420.jpg

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00135201004301423.jpg


The entry toll booth before Kodaikanal-

Mission BEAT the HEAT; Summer Dhamaka - Trip I to Kodai-img00130201004301413.jpg

It was already close to 2 so we went straight to Hilltop restaurant for lunch. After ordering food, I just went to check out the travel agent recommended by fellow BHPian sree70 to confirm my trip to Berijam for Saturday.

Just when I stepped into his office it started pouring down heavily and I had my own doubts for the trip for the next day. The travel agent was also skeptical and said that heíll call me tomorrow and if the weather seems ok, then heíll get the entry pass from the forest office. This seemed fair and I returned back to my waiting lunch.

After getting some great baked items from Hilltop cafť (This is a great place guys, donít miss it!! Everything here from fresh bread, biscuits, brownies, donuts to homemade chocolates are so good, this place is pretty close to 7 roads junction and next to Hilltop restaurant and opposite to Kodai International boarding school) closeby, we proceeded to the house near Naidupuram and settled down for the evening.
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