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Old 25th June 2010, 19:05   #31
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Everyone has parked their car in a pattern. But the nano sticks out like a sore thumb. Look at the angle the Nano has parked in!
Seems it's the first car of the Nano guy!
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Old 25th June 2010, 19:29   #32
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Excellent, excellent photos and narration. I have a mind to visit these temples soon. I have visited a lot of temples in Tanjore/Trichy/Madurai/T'veli areas, but nothing in west TN. Come to think of it, I have visited Coimbatore and Ooty only once in my life, and that was more than a decade ago!
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Old 25th June 2010, 22:35   #33
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Superb pics, Raja Ji! I love sunsets! I must say that your phone did a very good job!

Awaiting the rest of the pics and story!
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:10   #34
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^^ Yes. the BB didn't disappoint me. I have taken some pics in my old Pentax MZ-7 SLR of the sunset as well, but its gonna take time for processing, printing etc.
Keep watching, more pictures coming up.
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:19   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Everyone has parked their car in a pattern. But the nano sticks out like a sore thumb. Look at the angle the Nano has parked in!
Seems it's the first car of the Nano guy!
The car belongs to one of Ooty's biggest hoteliers. Even I wonder why its parked that way.
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:34   #36
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Default Thodas, Pykara Falls and Roses

Thodas, Pykara falls and Roses.

Day-5
We woke up early at around 6 am and peeked out of the window. Thick mist had descended on the Ooty town and the trees and the mountains and the lawns, waiting for Sunrise.
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We booked an Innova for the day’s site seeing. It included Pykara falls, Pykara lake, Rose Garden, Lunch in town and back to hotel at around 2 pm.

We took a heavy breakfast at the hotel, just to have enough energy for the day out. The car was there at 9 sharp. The driver, Mr. Gopi, a local born in Coonoor and lived in this area his entire life drove so gently and carefully the car downhill and we were heading towards Pykara. We drove through Ooty town, and at the outskirts, he took a de-tour uphill toward a original village of the Thodas. The road was ascending towards the peak, with both sides small farms with potatos, carrots, Cauli flowers etc. At the peak there was a small village, with just seven to eight huts.

They had one hut built in the same way they used to be hundreds of years ago, as an exhibit. See the picture. The entrance for this hut was just about two feet high and two feet wide. People are supposed to crawl into the hut. They wouldn’t be able to stand inside the hut. Gopi said that the people spent most of their time outside the hut, just under the Sun, at Mother nature’s lap. They worked in the farm, went to sell the produces and relaxed outside the hut, and the hut was only for the nights and during rains. What a healthy way to live. We even saw an old lady, a Granny age must be nearing 100, yet healthy, working in the farm.
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Few meters further, there stood this monolithic stone, supposed to have been worshipped by the people for time unknown. It was amazing to see this monolith, as I have read that such monolith worshipping is the most ancient and first religion that Homo Sapiens practiced since pre-historic times. There are still ruins of such monoliths in Sumerian, Mayan and Aztec civilizations. It stood there only to remind us that this part of the world has also seen some of man’s earliest civilizations.
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Further up there was the Thoda temple. I couldn’t go any near for a photo, as the driver advises us against it. He said this place was not for tourists, but since he belonged to this place, he knew these people and thus he took freedom to take us there. Otherwise, public are not allowed there, only to minimize disturbance to the people living there, besides to keep the place free from debris modern people are good in generating.

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After this unique visit, we proceeded towards Pykara falls.

On the way we passed the Golf course and a three year old future World Golf Champion making a perfect shot and here father proudly watching besides. I captured that in my Video camera. As I was not driving, I was capturing this trip in video as well.

We reached Pykara falls and Gopi said you would have to walk just few hundred meters and you would reach the falls. And we started walking and the walkway descended towards the falls.
The weather was dreamy, with temperature hovering around 15 to 17 Deg C., with heavy cloud overcast threatening to downpour any moment, but just welcoming us with a gentle drizzle. We reached the Falls and took many photos and video.
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Well the guy you see there is exhibiting ecstasy as he is at the top of the world and in the heaven.

I let the pictures talk.
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We returned to car, to notice a sign board in front saying “Pykara Falls-> 1km”. Gopi was clever enough to tell us it was just a few hundred meters else we wouldn’t have walked 2 kilometers to the falls, that too on a descend and elevation. I thanked him personally for that.

We continued towards Pykara lake, only to see the lake was closed for the approach road maintenance. Anyway, got a good portion of the forests in the video.

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 26th June 2010 at 09:35.
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Old 26th June 2010, 12:53   #37
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You still use a manual SLR? Cool. I've been planning to go to Udupi to fetch my Pentax MZ50 so that I can teach my wife photography the conventional way!
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Old 26th June 2010, 18:35   #38
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When we went in May there was hardly any water in Pykara.
Did you visit the Emerald and Avalanche lakes? If no, that is compelling enough reason to come again!
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Old 28th June 2010, 09:14   #39
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@MX6, The Pentax MZ-7 has both Manual and Auto Options. Set it in Auto, it does everything by itself and you have the 'luxury' of setting everything manual, when you select Manual Mode. Only disavantage is the film role use. It has no stick option.!

@ampere,
We didn't go to other lakes, as you said, its another reason for visiting her again.
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Old 28th June 2010, 12:44   #40
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On the way back we stopped at the famous Pine Forests. This location has featured at least a thousand movies of all Indian Languages. Couple running around trees singing duets originated from here. Also fight scenes, cow-boy style hide and shoot scenes were also made here. There would be no Indian hero who wouldn’t have walked this forest at least once. Fimli stuff eh.?

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Next stop was the Rose Garden. Gopi said the Rose plants were damaged due to the recent heavy rains past week, yet we wanted to visit whatever remained there.

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Here are few remaining roses.

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And me striking a pose with whatever remained there in the Rose garden.!

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After Rose gardens, we returned to Ooty town, for lunch at Nahar Hotel. After lunch, we took a stroll at the Charing cross area and the roads were completely blocked by police. There was a Marathon going on for the World Tamil Classic Conference to be held the week after. Thousands of school children were braving the drizzle and running along the main streets.

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One thing I was admiring when I came to Ooty was the sign-boards all over the place pleading the public to ‘make a plastic free Nilgiris’. And ironically, the kids who ran the marathon were all drinking water from plastic pouches and were throwing on the road. See the picture. I was only hoping the Municipality cleaned it up soon.

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Also clicked the famous fountain of Charing Cross center.

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Returned back to Ooty and bid farewell to Mr. Gopi. Here is he with his Innova.

Romancing the Blue hills and falls and flowers and...-img00602.jpg

... Coming up - Return from heaven.
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Old 28th June 2010, 15:02   #41
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Now what has a marathon got to do with world tamil congress? They make poor kids run. Then the kids throw plastic all around and I no longer feel for them, rather get angry with them.
Sad.
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Old 29th June 2010, 09:29   #42
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Default Descend from Heaven - Final Episode

Day-6.

Return from heaven.

Day-6 early rise and got ready for the descend. I was planning to go straight all the way to Chennai with lunch break at Salem. Nearly 600 kilometers. However, my wife had other plans and as usual she won. We stopped at Salem and spent the rest of the day at Salem. Next day morning we left Salem and reached our home at Chennai for Lunch.

Here is the car seen from the Lobby of the hotel.

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Here is my beauty standing majestically in the Parking Lot.

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Here my first wife all strapped up in my second wife, ready to set off.

Romancing the Blue hills and falls and flowers and...-img00604.jpg

We started from the hotel at exactly 8:50 am.
4kms to Ooty town descend when we crossed Ooty town, it was 9:00 am.
We took the Coonoor route for descend. While coming down just we realized that we took the safest route for mountain driving. When we took the Kotagiri route we ascended anti-clockwise around the hills and I was driving most of the time near-hill and oncoming vehicles were on the valley side. While descending, we took the Coonoor Route, again I was on the hill-side most of the time and up-coming vehicles were on the valley-side. It is not that driving on the valley side is dangerous. But, when you have such a choice why not you utilize it to your favor.

Very slow and steady descend and we were at the plains just before Mettupalayam at exactly 10:15 am.
Running hours: 1 hr 15 Minutes.

We took the Mettupalayam – Annur – Avinashi – Salem route and were at Salem town at exactly 12:30 pm.

Running Hours: 2 hrs 15 Minutes.
Total Distance Covered: 220 kms.
Total Running time: 3 hrs 30 minutes.

We checked in Hotel Salem Castle, as I did not have any booking nor did any research of good hotels in Salem. I never had the plan of staying in Salem in the first place. Not a good hotel to stay, but for one night manageable.

Took a quick nap, Went for a small shopping at nearby Murugalaya’s and Dinner at Adayar Ananda Bhavan. Retired for the day.

Next day morning started from Salem at around 8:30 am.
Salem-Dharmapuri-Krishnagiri-Ranipettai-Chennai.
Non-stop, reached Chennai at around 1:00 pm.
Running hours: 4 hrs 30 minutes.
Distance: 365 Kms.



Hope you all enjoyed the trip along with us.

Total Trip Summary:

Overall Distance: 640+585 = 1,225 kms
Total Gas: 74 Liters.
FE (Do you really need to know?) = 16.55

Near Misses: 2.
Near Miss-1: On the way from Salem to Coimbatore, after Avinashi, there were 2 Long car carrier trucks and a bus were going in front of me. I was behind them. Once I see no vehicles coming on, Tried to overtake all three long trucks and just after passing 2 trucks, another truck came in opposite direction, forcing me to squeeze between the first truck and the bus. The truck guy anticipated this and gave me space. Speeds weren't dangerous, but if the oncoming truck were at some insane speeds, he wouldn't have had time to slow down on time, resulting in a head-on.

Near Miss-2: On Return, after Krishnagiri towards Ranpettai, road was not that busy, an Eicher, empty was driving insane zig-zagging merrily on the wide road, caring the least of vehicles coming behind. I found space and was overtaking, at that moment he came a bit dangerously close to my car,but I thrust past him. A split second of Adrenalin rush.

Other than these, it was a safe drive, (As we say in the middle east, Humd-Ul-Lillah - Thank God.)

Signing off , with a few final pictures of the Betel-nut trees (Paakku Maram in Tamil), just at the foothills before Mettupalayam.
Romancing the Blue hills and falls and flowers and...-img00606.jpg
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Romancing the Blue hills and falls and flowers and...-img00608.jpg
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:23   #43
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^^
Folks, there was a mistake in the FE calculations above.
Corrected as follows:

Total Trip Summary:
Overall Distance: 640+585 = 1,225 kms
Total Gas: 86 Liters
FE = 14.24

Regret the error.
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:43   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
^^ Yes. the BB didn't disappoint me. I have taken some pics in my old Pentax MZ-7 SLR of the sunset as well, but its gonna take time for processing, printing etc.
Keep watching, more pictures coming up.
OT: what digital gear do you have? are you still continuing with Pentax? I am in dilemma whether to go for Pentax DSLR for the investments done in the lenses or buy full set of Nikon/Canon.
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:59   #45
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^^ Right now no digital gear for still camera. Only Sony handycam Digital-8. I am too in the same boat as you, looking for the best Digital camera options.
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