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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:26   #16
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hey Lalu

It appears, at last your MEGA vacation is over. 15 days long vacation is a dream. Indeed you have become "a European" for enjoying such a long vacation in Aug-Sept (European Summer)

now i forecast a 2 month long running blockbuster travelogue.
(Happenings & photographs of over 15 days x 4 days to write, upload, answer questions, debate etc = 60 days)

proof is already 15 posts over with just you uploading your iternary



i already rated this 5 star ( just raising the expectations)

Thanks Star.

Without a single picture posted, you guys have given me ratings. This makes me nervous now - to say the truth I am not satisfied with the pictures since it was raining and cloudy - which is a dreaded combination for failure for amateur photographers like me.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:28   #17
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Lalu, please tell me what you tell your manager (do you have one?) when you are taking leaves. I want to try with my manager.

I am also waiting for the photos..
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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:35   #18
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Without a single picture posted, you guys have given me ratings. This makes me nervous now - to say the truth I am not satisfied with the pictures since it was raining and cloudy - which is a dreaded combination for failure for amateur photographers like me.
Don't worry much, just start writing your usual self. You were on a vacation for relaxing and refreshing. just be the same relaxed self while writing as well.

you can not go wrong with your style, narration, details of road, resorts attractions, activities, Pictures, GPS logs etc.

come on.. start..

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd September 2010 at 22:42.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:42   #19
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Lalu, that's quite a vacation you had. Parambikulam, Gavi, Vagamon, Thekkady, Valparai - brilliant choice of places, as usual. Now start posting those pictures yaar. And I have some questions to ask you about Gavi. The rest of the places I have already done. But I will wait till your narration is over.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 22:53   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k149in View Post
Lalu, please tell me what you tell your manager (do you have one?) when you are taking leaves. I want to try with my manager.

I am also waiting for the photos..
Infact I have more than 1 . Mostly at the beginning of the year my vacation plan will be finalised and agreed. Hence no surprises and a long notice of the holidays. Mostly it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Don't worry much, just start writing your usual self. You were on a vacation for relaxing and refreshing. just be the same relaxed self while writing as well.

you can not go wrong with your style, narration, details of road, resorts attractions, activities, Pictures, GPS logs etc.

come on.. start..
Thanks Star. The delay is due to my PC acting up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
Lalu, that's quite a vacation you had. Parambikulam, Gavi, Vagamon, Thekkady, Valparai - brilliant choice of places, as usual. Now start posting those pictures yaar. And I have some questions to ask you about Gavi. The rest of the places I have already done. But I will wait till your narration is over.
Thanks Ranjith. I have now quite a know how of Gavi. Hope I can answer your queries as it comes.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 09:56   #21
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Day 01, 19.08.2010
Start from Bangalore

After a nice dinner and cakes (it was my birthday) we packed up and by 23:30, we started from our home in Bangalore for the longest (no. of days) road trip our family has undertaken till now. Our idea was to reach Sethumada Check Post by 07:00AM.

The route was Bangalore - Salem - Coimbatore BP - Pollachi -Sethumadai CP (434KM)

Day02, 20.08.2010
Sethumada CP - TopSlip - Parambikulam

We reached Sethumadai CP by 06:30AM.

Had a cup of tea from the only tea shop there. Felt refreshed and took tickets to enter the Reserved area. The Checkpost is open from 07:00 to 16:00.

Some views near the Check Post when we stopped for tea and tickets.

Sethumada Check Post
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Civvy resting after the nonstop night drive
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Beautiful Mountain
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Panoramas
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Picture perfect for a painting
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Beautiful. Felt like sleeping there for a while.
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Cow Boy
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Colours
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Young Indians? Any one has an idea who they are? Seems on a great Mission.
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continued...

Last edited by laluks : 3rd September 2010 at 09:57.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 10:22   #22
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Do they insist on advance resort bookings at the Sethumadai Check Post? Or are they OK with day trips also?

How was the road condition from Pollachi to Sethumadai?
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Old 3rd September 2010, 10:53   #23
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Do they insist on advance resort bookings at the Sethumadai Check Post? Or are they OK with day trips also?

How was the road condition from Pollachi to Sethumadai?
Day trips are possible. Check Post is open from 07:00 till 16:00.

There are govt. buses plying and I could infer there is one at 07:00AM, and another at 13:00PM from sethumadai CP. Some more are there.

Beauty is if you are in these buses you can go all the way till Parambikulam, but the flip side is you are not allowed to alight anywhere else other than Topslip and Parambikulam. Costs around 12Rs for a ride.

If you are on that bus, get a right side window seat, and go to Parmbikulam and click photos from the bus, and on return take the left side and repeat. It will not be possible to go any where other than the place where you alight from the bus. The place is an Eco Tourism area and the guides are localites. They love their job and the revenues, and hence the place has a very good control for unauthorised entries - though you can try your luck like this.


If you are on a day trip, you can only drive till Top Slip with the entry tickets. There you have to take Safari tickets to go around areas in Top Slip. Options you have are a Bus (swaraj mazda) safari and an elephant ride.


You can go to Parambikulam also from Top Slip on a Safari vehicle. KFDC counter is available at Top Slip. Tickets are priced at around 150per head. Minimum of 10 people required or if you pay that much amount, you can take their bus/tempo and do a drive to Parambikulam and back.


If you have booked an accomodation at Parambikulam you can take your vehicle from Top Slip further after getting the permission letter from the counter at Top Slip. Your name and details will be there already and you have to pay for the entry tickets and camera fee here.

4 Kms from Top Slip you reach the KFDC Reception Glass House. Once you are allotted a guide from the KFDC reception go anywhere you can drive and is allowed. Again you can be on these roads only till 18:00PM. After that you are not allowed to drive till day break though you are inside the reserved area. Guides lets it relaxed a bit 30 minutes plus minus, but they are scared of their jobs and the DFO is strict.

Pollachi to Sethumadai is good roads. 2 Kms before the Checkpost the road starts to become patchy, and is like that till Top Slip. Not an issue, just patched surfaces and some rubble.

Once you cross onto Kerala territory, 2Kms after Top Slip, the roads are good all the way till Parambikulam (around 22Kms)
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Old 3rd September 2010, 11:44   #24
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Looking forward to the Travelogue. It has been nearly 4 years since I been to Top Slip and Parambikulam and should plan to go again soon.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 12:46   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Day trips are possible. Check Post is open from 07:00 till 16:00.

There are govt. buses plying and I could infer there is one at 07:00AM, and another at 13:00PM from sethumadai CP. Some more are there.
I doubt you would get a place to sit on the bus, I saw both the buses during my visit, you will have to be a gymnast to get a seat of your choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
You can go to Parambikulam also from Top Slip on a Safari vehicle. KFDC counter is available at Top Slip. Tickets are priced at around 150per head. Minimum of 10 people required or if you pay that much amount, you can take their bus/tempo and do a drive to Parambikulam and back.
The tempo travellers take you to Parambikulam Dam, Kannimara Teak and back to the reception area. The day trips are only upto Topslip, earlier there was a restriction on the number of vehicles and the time gap between two vehicles, these days that restriction has been lifted creating havoc on the wildlife out there. I was told during my visit both the governments are exploring re-enforcing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
4 Kms from Top Slip you reach the KFDC Reception Glass House. Once you are allotted a guide from the KFDC reception go anywhere you can drive and is allowed. Again you can be on these roads only till 18:00PM. After that you are not allowed to drive till day break though you are inside the reserved area. Guides lets it relaxed a bit 30 minutes plus minus, but they are scared of their jobs and the DFO is strict.
Is the glass house ready, it was under construction when we went in May. Did you take your car to the Kannimara teak, I thought the road was pretty bad for cars.

What was your luck with the wildlife, though with the rains I doubt you would have managed to see anything beyond a few feet.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 12:53   #26
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Good startup to the TL. Looking forward to more pics.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 14:03   #27
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Nice start Lalu. Seems like you had a unique experience. Waiting to see the complete story
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Old 3rd September 2010, 14:08   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Looking forward to the Travelogue. It has been nearly 4 years since I been to Top Slip and Parambikulam and should plan to go again soon.
Thanks Raj.

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I doubt you would get a place to sit on the bus, I saw both the buses during my visit, you will have to be a gymnast to get a seat of your choice.
Oops. The afternoon one I saw was almost empty from Top Slip. Morning one I saw at Sethumadai was crowded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
The tempo travellers take you to Parambikulam Dam, Kannimara Teak and back to the reception area. The day trips are only upto Topslip, earlier there was a restriction on the number of vehicles and the time gap between two vehicles, these days that restriction has been lifted creating havoc on the wildlife out there. I was told during my visit both the governments are exploring re-enforcing it.
That rule was allowing private vehicles from Top Slip to Parambikulam, one in every 20 minutes, and you had to book your slot in advance to get a guide for you. But that restricted the revenues, since no one stayed back nor took the safari.

But their Safari vehicles always plied when ever it was full , even now, and also the vehicles of the people who stays inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Is the glass house ready, it was under construction when we went in May. Did you take your car to the Kannimara teak, I thought the road was pretty bad for cars.
Glass house is operational now, some more work pending I guess. It smells paint though!!

Since I booked a tent, a Jungle safari from 14:30 till 19:30 was a part of the package. The same vehicle took us to Kannimara teak. Roads are bad, but doable. Swift would have easily done it. Civic will need a little care. Saw indicas doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
What was your luck with the wildlife, though with the rains I doubt you would have managed to see anything beyond a few feet.
All normal sightings were there. Gaurs, Spotted Deer, Sambars, Jungle fowls, Peacocks, Elephants, Wild Boars, missed seeing a Leopord who had left its catch a sambar deer on the top of a tree. Most of these were sighted on the road from 18:30 to 19:30 on the Jungle Safari. I tried taking some videos, but there were some morons who took photographs with flash which annoyed most of those animals .

Birds too many. Did try a few stunts at birding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sami316 View Post
Good startup to the TL. Looking forward to more pics.
Thanks Sami. Will post more by evening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Nice start Lalu. Seems like you had a unique experience. Waiting to see the complete story
Thanks jacs.

Last edited by laluks : 3rd September 2010 at 14:11.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 14:11   #29
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Tell us more about the KFDC accommodation, how does one book it?
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Old 3rd September 2010, 14:53   #30
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Tell us more about the KFDC accommodation, how does one book it?
You'll get all information here about accomodation and activities here. Official website of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala, India

I had mentioned this earlier in my Nelliampathy travelogue too.

One word of excellence should be written to the DFO. The people there run it as if it is their own. With in the limited resources that they have, the service levels and enthusiasm is too good.

After all ECO Tourism is a golden egg, if not run properly it will break in no time. And Parambilulam initiative running successfully for over 10 years speaks about their committment loudly
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