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Old 27th December 2010, 10:44   #1
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Default Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

A quick recent 3 day trip up and down the hills. The urge overtook us to get away for Christmas weekend plus it is my wife's birthday weekend as well.

All the ingredients were readily available and close at hand;
1. Superb place to stay (as far as we are concerned there is no better place than a private members club where one can keep the rest of the world an arm's length away.)
2. Plenty of things to do in the area and a great love of driving in the hills
3. Extreme familiarity with the area under consideration
4. The ideal diesel vehicle to leap into and hit the road in the form of my trusty beast the Scorp.
5. Assortment of paraphernalia such as Camera, Binocs, etc (Left the golf clubs behind this time by specific design).

With the above as the ideal mixture available, it catalysed into a quick set of reactions, which has resulted in this little note.

So the rest of this is going to be some of the photos from the bunch that we took (including a couple of pics of some wildlife which we were extremely lucky to spot en route - a mother and baby elephant and a fine example of the Great Indian Bison - the Gaur.)

Now, further commentary shall be dispensed with forthwith!

However, just a quick update before that on the Scorpio though;
  • Round trip 850 kms.
  • Diesel used - 66 litres total
  • FE - 12.88 kmpl including highways, hill driving, a bit of internal city use etc.
  • Performance of the Scorpio - excellent as always.
  • The vehicle has crossed 36000 kms and going wonderfully strong - been enjoying these last 2 years and 9 months thoroughly.
Take a look at the pics - the first lot of 11 were taken with my Sony Cybershot H10 - some with tripod, some without.

The second lot of were taken with my new Nokia N8 mobile phone camera.
Frankly I find myself quite hard-pressed to tell the difference in quality of results between the two devices.

So all those who may be interested to see these, do sit back and have fun!

Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-dodabetta1.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-tea.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-hills1.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-green.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-mum-baby-elephant.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-gaur.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-log-fire.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-baby-donkey.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-madonkey.jpg  

Attached Images
  

Last edited by shankar.balan : 27th December 2010 at 10:52.
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Old 27th December 2010, 11:00   #2
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Second load of snaps: taken with the N8.
saw a nice old citroen at Gem park - went there for a bite to eat the other day.
Attached Thumbnails
Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-distant-hills.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-old-citroen.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-evening-sky1.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-evening2.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-dianthus.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-geranium.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-panoramic-tea.jpg  


Last edited by shankar.balan : 27th December 2010 at 11:09.
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Old 27th December 2010, 11:03   #3
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

last few photos - again with the N8.
Scorp had just had a nice, richly deserved bath so it was gleaming.
Attached Thumbnails
Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-bus.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-rest.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-club-lawn.jpg  

Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.-evening-3.jpg  


Last edited by shankar.balan : 27th December 2010 at 11:10.
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Old 27th December 2010, 11:20   #4
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Nice pics.

I guess this thread should be moved to Travelouges. Mods?

-Ravi
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Old 27th December 2010, 11:27   #5
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Nice photos Shankar, Was the elephant and Gaur spotted in Mudhumalai? I remember it was closed for tourists till somedays back.
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Old 27th December 2010, 11:51   #6
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Lovely pics! Is it generally foggy at these times or is visibility good?

I mean no point going all the way there just to see fog.
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Old 27th December 2010, 13:10   #7
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

@ravi - sorry I didnt realize when I was posting it - yes it should be in travelogues and im glad the mods moved it.
@bulzire - the elephants - mother and baby, were spotted in Bandipur on the way towards ooty last Friday - the Gaur was spotted in Mudumalai yesterday on my way back. We got a superb view of one huge Gaur and one more which had already crossed the road and was disappearing in the bushes. But by the time my wife could focus the camera the Gaurs moved on. She just managed that one photo and it is not too clear. I never stop when in the Sanctuary because it is not permitted, nor sensible to do so, however tempting the photo op.
@ragul - it can be foggy in the early morning yes but for the most part that happens in the rainy season. Now it is dry, crisp and cold. Sometimes you may get mist in the early morning even now in case the humidity levels have risen in the night, but mostly the rest of the day is absolutely clear. Winter sunshine is at its brightest and sharpest. It also tends to burn you if you are not used to it but you will be ok if you use sunscreen while going out. The atmosphere is absolutely crystal clear, the sky is incredibly blue, with white cirrus clouds and the views are stupendous at this time of the year, right from December upto May-June.
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Old 27th December 2010, 16:23   #8
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

shankar.balan, there is some confusion in mind on the road closure timings after Gundulpet - is it closed between 9 pm & 6 am?
And the check posts for this are at Gundulpet, Kalhatti, Gudalur & Sultan's Battery?
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Old 27th December 2010, 16:27   #9
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Nice pictures! Do provide more information on place of stay. The Scorpio is definitely an awesome drive.
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Old 28th December 2010, 10:24   #10
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Hi Mr Kumar! How are you?

Well - there are checkposts at Gundlupet (where there is a turn off which you can take to go to Sultan's Batheri/ Nilgiri Wynaad Range, then at Bandipur, again at Mudumalai and then at Theppakadu (where you choose to use either the Masinagudi Road OR the Gudalur Road).
From Gudalur town you simply need to take a turn off towards Sultans Batheri OR go straight if you are going to Ooty.
If one has taken the Masinagudi route then there is one more forest check post that one needs to cross just before Chadapatti and then you reach Kalhatty falls a little further up where there is a view point and another minor check post.
None of these chaps generally stop you, except if they are suspicious OR if they are carrying out a random check.

Till date I have not been asked to open my car for them to check - possibly because I am a sort of semi-local and know most of them or at least they respond well to my normal way of greeting and banter.

The rule for sanctuary checkpost closure for general traffic is as far as I know from 6-7pm in the evening to 6am in the morning.

I do not use this road ever at night any more because these last 10-12 years all my driving is done in the day time only. Consequently I am never on the road or highway around twilight, late evening or at night-time.
I would suggest we both cross check with our friend in the hills - Mr Beejay - he will be able to shed better light on this bit.

Cheerio!
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Old 28th December 2010, 10:27   #11
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

@triedeverything - Ooty has many many options to stay - something to suit every budget possible. The quality of accommodation is not always directly proportionate to the prices charged though.
Off Season is usually better in terms of VFM. Season time is crazy with prices going through the roof and more than that, the Season is when there are scads of people visiting and in consequence the roads are choked with traffic.
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Old 28th December 2010, 12:11   #12
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Nice Pics, the first set look quite fresh From the Citroen, I guess you stayed at the Holiday Inn, nice place to stay . Any further pics?
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Old 28th December 2010, 12:20   #13
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

i liked the Citroen too. Im not sure of the model but it might be an old wartime traction avant do you think?
we went to Holiday Inn for lunch. Didnt stay there. Nice people and decent service though.

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Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Nice Pics, the first set look quite fresh From the Citroen, I guess you stayed at the Holiday Inn, nice place to stay . Any further pics?
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Old 28th December 2010, 20:08   #14
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
shankar.balan, there is some confusion in mind on the road closure timings after Gundulpet - is it closed between 9 pm & 6 am?
And the check posts for this are at Gundulpet, Kalhatti, Gudalur & Sultan's Battery?
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
The rule for sanctuary checkpost closure for general traffic is as far as I know from 6-7pm in the evening to 6am in the morning.
I'm certain the closure timings for the road between Gundlupet and Muthanga is 9 PM to 6 AM. Not cent percent sure about the Bandipur route timings, but I'd guess it could be the same since both areas would probably come under the jurisdiction of the Chamarajnagar DC who issued the closure order.

The checkposts they use for this are :

Wayanad route : The checkpost at the entrance of the WLS about 10-12 kms from Gundlupet to bathery, and on the other side the Muthanga checkpost.

Nilgiris route : When coming from Gundlupet the checkpost is about 5-6 kms before Bandipur (at entrance to the sanctuary), when coming from Kalhatty they use the one just after Masinagudi town (in about 1 to 2 kms) and from Gudalur side the checkpost is again within 3-4 kms of Gudalur town.
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Old 28th December 2010, 20:52   #15
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Default Re: Recent trip to the Nilgiris - in the Scorpio of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kala View Post

The checkposts they use for this are :

Wayanad route : The checkpost at the entrance of the WLS about 10-12 kms from Gundlupet to bathery, and on the other side the Muthanga checkpost.

Nilgiris route : When coming from Gundlupet the checkpost is about 5-6 kms before Bandipur (at entrance to the sanctuary), when coming from Kalhatty they use the one just after Masinagudi town (in about 1 to 2 kms) and from Gudalur side the checkpost is again within 3-4 kms of Gudalur town.
Thanks, Shankar & kala

I was stopped at the Kalhatti check post also when coming from Ooty. And again at the Masinagudi town one.

But what happened to the High Court order which lifted the restrictions on timings?
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