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Old 10th December 2010, 12:19   #1
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Default BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi-BLR


Had been to Kerala for a week's trip, this was organized around the GMC challenge in Munnar that unfortunately got canceled!!. I had in any case made bookings around the event so this turned in to a full fledged family tour

Myself Sunil, Wife Anu, Son Tejas & Mom in Sonata V6 AT

My Bro Shiva, his wife Archana (kid Dheeraj 1.5years left @ grandma's)
My Cousin Raju, his wife Savitha & kid Manish in Gurkha ST

Nov 30th by noon we left for Coimbatore, had food at A2B en-route & checked-in to Hotel TamilNadu AC rooms at 9:00 pm, had food at annaporna opposite to it. Roads are excellent except the last 10 kms near Coimbatore that under construction & 4 lanes now turns to single lane & hell on earth as rush bus drivers overtake each other with no respect of any kind, on couple on instances I just had to put on my parking lights & completely stop!!

1st Dec we leave by 6:30 am, have bfast @ Pollachi Yummy one. then visit MaSaniAmman temple (under renovation now) @ Annamalayas & head back to visit Valparai via Aliyar, en-route was tempted to see Top Slip so about 6 kms from Aliyar Dam turned towards parambikolam & visited Top slip, Very Nice roads & totally Fogged!! the tre house & the Pillar house was way too tempting to stay, just 2500 INR per night stay but needs to be booked @ Pollachi forest house (from 1st Dec 2010), later while returning down saw a fully moded bolero LWB that looked good & then an other Gurkha !! this whould be the first time 2 Gurkhas on top slip at the same time!! waved to the driver but he did not stop! :( it had a g wagen sticker KL reg & fully black. changed front gril too. then drove down to Valparai & got a shock to see the house we booked !! it was a home stay Welcome to ValparaiHills.com - The complete portal of Valparai. run by Mr Hari, the interiors are basic nice & clean, the exteriors Location & Parking will surely give you a shock!! beware. Food arranged is excellent both taste & quality, we stayed back that evening

2nd Dec in The morning walked around for some birding opportunities, later visited Baliji Temple, Tunnel & several Tea estates, post lunch we went to a small river nearby, followed by local shopping at a stationary stall for kids

3rd Dec we left Valiparai & heeded to Thattakad Via Sholayar Dam via Urilikull route. you can stay at Tea estate near Old Valparai or near Sholayar dam Tata Tea estate too, they are suppose to be good, although didn't try them. Later we arrived at Athirapply water falls, very very hungry & could not find good veg restaurants !!, didn't enter the falls as the ticket counter was bout a mile away & we were short of time, then we reached a silver storm water resort, you can take a deviation here & avoid Chalakudi saving about 18kms, you need to go via Muringioor EzhattuMugham Rd sign & pay rs 5 entrance to forest & head to KALADY, we did see the Shankaracharaya temple, very nice & very peaceful, the one in Sringari is so crowded !!, history is that Shankaracharaya deviated river about 3kms away to his home to help his aged mother bath easily by drawing a path with his leg that's why its call Kal-Ady meaning belwo foot, then had food at Lakshmi Bhavan very nice food. Heeded to Thattakad via Kothamangalam. night stay @ Thattakad.

4th Dec, went with Girish Our Sweet, energetic, enthusiastic guide & host for birding, lots of species spotted around 37 of them, some good pics taken too. then we returned for food took rest & by 4:30 in the evening we left for Idamalayar via Bhoothathankettu (named so as people believe Bhoot helped build this ketu or Dam by moving 2 HUGE rocks, that cannot be moved by human) , Girish herd the Pitta called for it from his phone tunes & got a great shot of it with flash on AF didnt work so them used Manuel focus @ dark night & with flash on got the Pic.

5th Dec We started for Masanagudi, via Chalakudi, Thrissur, Pattambi, Perinthalmanna, Wandoor, Nilambur, (we should have taken the Manjeri road thats a little longer but much smoother & better from Thrissur) From Vazikadav to Gudulare the Yellow lines made me BADLY miss my beloved GT-250 have been here twice on the bike & you just CANNOT complete the entire 25 kms strech in one go as your head will become DAISY due to constant right left left right and all sorts of curves!! lots of traffic this time tough. Stopped at an amazing Automobile shop in Gudulure & got some body line pads done there, wher the famly with Bro left in Sonata I stayed back with cousin to get the work done, very neet work with due diligence & care done at very reasonable costs by Mr Basha. then-we go to good old Nest Inn resort @ Masinagudi by 5:30 for Lunch!! later crashed to bed.

6th Dec had some fun at Moyar river offroading, some locals spotted us in the forest & warned us of huge fine if the forest offices found us in so we left the spot without spending much time !! no Munnar off road or Masinagudi too !!! me actually sad. post lunch we heeded to the nearby Murgan temple & did some off track climbe almost at 6:30 night, My cousin Raju had shock of his life & was screaming to the top of his pitch as the Gurkha negotiate a very steep climb at dark hours & due to lack of articulation it kind of bent to weird angles, No video as my bro ran for rescue too !!

7th Dec we left post Breakfast NO animals what so ever anywhere from Masinagudi to Bangalore, stopped at Masinagudi forest office to get permits, but the DF has gone to Ooty, the Bandipur DF has not yet come to office @ 10:30 so we just cruised on had food at Addagas near Maddur & home by 5:30 pm, sonata touched 180kmph on Mysore road, but the road is not straight & has lots of traffic so didn't push it beyond that.

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Old 10th December 2010, 13:56   #2
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Old 10th December 2010, 18:57   #3
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Nice pics too.

How was the trip from Valparai-Sholayar-Athirapally falls? How is the road condition now? Its one of the thickest forest route with almost no human habitation..

Yes @Athirapally, its not easy to find veg food. Always, its better pack it and go.

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Old 10th December 2010, 21:27   #4
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

2 years back I traveled in Valparai-Shalayar-Athirapally route, I was literally scared to drive in this route. The forest was very thick that you cannot drive without headlight in day time also for 50% of the route. Added to this, the Kerala check post constable threatened as before entering in to the route, he warned to us better back off as there are lot of elephants in between which will not allow you to reach your destination. However, we still want to give a try and finally made it. The road condition was very poor most of the stretch and for every 15 mins you would see a vehicle in the opposite side else it would be so very deserted. In between the road, all off the sudden you would deer and forest buffalo crossing.
It was very thrilling and amazing moment
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Old 10th December 2010, 22:04   #5
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Originally Posted by ravib View Post
Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Nice pics too.

How was the trip from Valparai-Sholayar-Athirapally falls? How is the road condition now? Its one of the thickest forest route with almost no human habitation..

Yes @Athirapally, its not easy to find veg food. Always, its better pack it and go.

I travelled the road a few days before hi sunil in the other direction. Road is fine. Broken in some places but nothing extraordinarily bad. Saw a lot of elephant dung and broken bamboos by the roadside, a deer crossed, lion tailed macaques and malabar squirrels. There is no habitation after the dam which comes next after vazachal. We saw elephants near Malakaparai but they were not on the road. After evening there are supposed to be a lot of elephants and I would believe that.

Pics here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2170363 (Misty Mountain Hop - A Tale Of Twists & Turns On The Road To Munnar)

@Sunil: I too made the most of the cancelled GMC
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Old 12th December 2010, 14:27   #6
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

@ genesis nice thread,
@ Ravib The rout is good, road condn is not great but easily doable, it reminded me of route between Baisal ghat route via Pushpagiri to Kumaraprva/ Kukkeye Subramanaya

@ camchennai didn't spot any wild life, very unlucky this time around!!

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Old 14th December 2010, 18:27   #7
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Sunil - Good to hear that you made the trip though you would have badly missed the GMC challenge..So you dropped Munnar and took the Nilambur route. Any reason for visiting Edamalayar, I remember your PM checking on option to reach there from Valaparai.
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Old 15th December 2010, 10:01   #8
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Hi gadadhar

I liked the remote location of Edamalayar / Idamalayar.
next time plan to visit the tribes across the dam via a 20kms boat ride

I got good shot of Himalayas Pitta or the Indian Pitta bird @ 7:00 pm.
that pic made all efforts to see Idamalayar worth wile.



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Old 16th December 2010, 11:44   #9
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Off roar Videos:
We took the Gurkha on the same hill that we sis last time, but it was evening now & the sun was setting with vivid colors.
@ one point in time the angle of climbe to meet the Jeep track was so bar that my cousin out spotting was screaming on top of his lungs
(that part not in video as my bro stopped shooting & came running too. )

Wanted to Wade through the river, but parts of it were too deep & very big boulders that made me lose my front left wheel cap

My Brother post spotting in the river

Auto crawl, kind of dangerous as if the people on bonnet fell, no one to stop the vehicle & it will crawl over!!,
even tough we tried it once with the driver & advised them to rollover or jump to side & not in front if need be.

With both diffs On it climes like no obstetrical

but we could not engage the front diff, that liver was so hard & did not pop up so had Issues climbing without front diff.
Like some one said earlier " Gurkha Diffs are worth their value in Gold"


Last edited by hisunil : 16th December 2010 at 11:53.
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:25   #10
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Just One word..WOW. Amazing pics of nature and esp birds. We really never knew India had such a beautiful wealth. Great travelogue.
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Old 20th December 2010, 10:35   #11
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Professional clicks of the birds!!!
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Old 22nd December 2010, 14:38   #12
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Default Re: BLR-coimbatore-Topslip-Valparai-Sholayar-Thattakad-Idamalayar-Nilambur-Masinagudi

Thanks Anandg & MohsinRoadster

More video's for you guys.

From Sholayar Dam twordes Athirapally Waterfalls is the Poringalkuthu Dam, we took a Jeep trac that had lots of leaches & a tree fallen too, the sonata ha to wait on the road, the jeep track took us all the way till the Pristine Dam water but the water looked Very Very steep & looked like you need a ship to waded it, did not venture in to water here.

Enrouter after Valparai in the Reserve forest, the climate was superb, just cool calm & NO traffic at all, we saw like 5 vehicles in total thats it. we were crawaling & all of us except Mom & my cousine were in Gurkha, rolled up the soft top & we were even sitting on the Role cage enjoying the fresh Air, Feeling the Rain forest that kind od decarbonised our lungs

Later for a short while Tejas too Joined us on top of the role cage he just loves our outings now.

Sholayar Dam Gates.

Tree house at Top Slip, I was determined to find it in Thick fog, had to do 3 rounds to the forest office & get directions to find the same. but it was all worth it, will SURLY go back some ie soon & stay here. both the pillar house & the Tree house are good, need to book them @ Pollachi no Spot booking a topslip.

My Brother & his wife on the bonnet, She almost broke my rear view trying to climb on :( !!

This was fun but the front plate got a Thud!! .


Last edited by hisunil : 22nd December 2010 at 14:48.
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