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Old 13th February 2011, 09:34   #31
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Vow what photos.
Whats that animal in the 4th photo of post 30? Is that what the guide called a leapord? looks like a civet to me
Nelliampathy looks nice even without rain!! My trip even during the rains did not give such beautiful snaps
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Old 13th February 2011, 10:23   #32
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Wow awesome pics there Ananth! Please do post more.
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Old 13th February 2011, 14:06   #33
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Vow what photos.
Whats that animal in the 4th photo of post 30? Is that what the guide called a leapord? looks like a civet to me
Nelliampathy looks nice even without rain!! My trip even during the rains did not give such beautiful snaps
Thanks. Nelliampathy is indeed such a nice place. No crowd - Amazing Climate - No Bull Sit - Just raw nature!

And,I could not take a proper picture of leopard (Pith Dark) and I have no idea what is the animal. I took that snap as that animal came back to take back its pup lying on the road. They call it Keeripillai in Tamil, No idea what its called in English. Sorry about that


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Originally Posted by Jeeper1941 View Post
Wow awesome pics there Ananth! Please do post more.
Thanks. I would post the Day 4's log tonight. Thanks for reading.
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Old 13th February 2011, 15:25   #34
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Great snaps Madbiker! Reminded me of our Valparai trip a couple of years back. The place is really calm and green and you just keep clicking snaps coz its just beautiful.
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Old 14th February 2011, 17:43   #35
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

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Originally Posted by SuperSlick View Post
Great snaps Madbiker! Reminded me of our Valparai trip a couple of years back. The place is really calm and green and you just keep clicking snaps coz its just beautiful.
Thanks SuperSlick! Yeah the place is so awesome that makes you speedburst your camera all the time!
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Old 14th February 2011, 22:44   #36
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Default Day 4 : Parambikulam - Kodaikkanal

Day 4 : 24 January 2011 : Parambikulam - Kodaikkanal

For a change, I woke up by the sound of cheering birds moving from one place to another. Felt great to be a part of the 'forest' stay. The guide was at our door asking if i wanted to go for Bird Watching. Joined a couple of foreigners, but my bad - the guide hardly knew anything about birds. He took us on a stroll for about 2 kilometers into the forest, but i came back empty handed without any pictures of the birds. The lighting, position of birds somehow did not make it right for me, Or you can call me a poor photographer for missing out on taking pictures.


Not much greenery around.. Its all dried up in the HEAT!

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0155.jpg

We were guarded by an Electric Fence, Which would not work!

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0150.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0145.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0137.jpg

Whatcha looking at?

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0194.jpg

The Landscape?

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0171.jpg


Came back to the room, mom & dad were still asleep. Mom was not really liking the place and she wanted to get away ASAP. I had initially planned to stay one more night in Parambikulam. But cant argue with mom in the middle of a forest, we vacated the tent and i had to skip the trek into the forest. Now, where to go? Munnar? Thekkady? Ooty? Kodai? I had already been to Munnar - Ooty several times, so Kodai it was. It was only about 200 kilometers from here and the roads were supposed to be good. So we headed to the hills one more time in the trip.

We traversed back the same potholed road for another 15 kilometers. It was already around 11 AM when we reached the topslip forest check-post. Stopped for some tender coconut. The Sun was already out and it was humid. Stopped by Anaimalai again for breakfast. We were adviced to take the shorter route to palani via Dhali which will not be only shorter, but saves time also. After a quick breakfast, we were on the road again. The roads though not in one of the best shapes, but was calm, free of traffic and the greenery on both the sides were pleasing to the eyes. The paddy fields & Palm fruit gave us some relief on the way to cool down our tummies. The road conditions actually kept improving and we were doing speeds above 60 kmph for most of the time. So we were thankful enough to save up some time and also avoid the Mad local town buses.

Route Map:

Anaimalai, Tamil Nadu to Kodaikkanal- Google Maps

Roads towards Pollachi..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0210-2.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0223-2.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0286.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0233.jpg

Really loved the greenery around..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0232.jpg

The Village road finally joined the National Highway near Palani.. We took the bypass towards Kodaikkanal. We stopped by to have some refreshments, It was only then we saw some board stating the road to Kodai is closed!! We have to deviate towards Oddanchathiram - Sembatti - Vathalagundu which would be around 150 kilometers (almost 100 kms extra!) So the driver said, lets try it - If the Forest Officer allows we will go, else we would return back. He was so confident that the Indica can make it and the road affected is not a big concern. As per the locals, A hairpin bend was washed away in the last years floods (Diwali 2010 to be precise) and no proper action was taken.

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0308.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0321.jpg

Palani Hill..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0318.jpg


After driving for a few more kilometers, we were stopped at the Forest Checkpost. The officer in charge clearly said, No the roads are not in a proper shape to travel please go back. Tried to plead him, blah blah - He said.. OK, The Senior officer has gone up for inspection - You can go when he comes back for lunch. So we had to wait till he comes back. It was around 1 PM and we were just waiting for the Green colored Bolero to be seen.

Waited patiently for about 45 minutes, No clue of any cars coming down. Meanwhile, all other cars were deviated back. Few cars passed by giving excuse that they are visiting a en-route temple. So it was confirmed that the road is operational to some extent and we are not risking our lives! 2 PM and still no clue, so i decided to walk around a bit and see what i found!



The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0356.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0348.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0340.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-dsc00340.jpg

Checkpost

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0371.jpg

The Officer told me that the view was that of the Palar Dam reservoir and the associated fields. It was 2 30 PM, and we were getting impatient. Not only are we hungry but bored sitting in the same place. So, we kept asking him if we could move. And from no where another car driver joined us and he kept saying he just came from there and he is going back. The officer shouted saying, go - but dont come back to me if you meet with an accident. My parents were kinda upset, but anyway we rushed out. Haipin after the other, the views kept changing..and the climate was getting colder.

And finally., we came across the hairpin bend which was washed away in the rains. It was not scary, but the road is under construction, so a lot of loose sand and mud path is what they have given as a temporary fix. For a second, the wheel spinned but thankfully the car made it to the other side without any issues. The car being from the travels, the driver did not want to risk damaging the tyres / the car much. We hoped on back to the car and from here on the roads were amazing.

Wonder how only ONE Hairpin bend gets washed away and all others are in tact. Anyway, we kept moving on - we were getting delayed in time as Kodai almost crashes down after 6 PM. There was no network and so we could not communicate anything with the reservation we tried to make in Kodaikanal. After a series of hairpin bends and amazing curves, we reached Perumal malai post which it was a small ascend to Kodaikanal. Made a few calls from here and booked Investigation bunglow, owned by TNEB in Kodaikkanal.


Palar Dam Reservoir

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0383.jpg

The Damaged Road..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0385.jpg

The Vistas as said kept increasing beautifully, the sky was so clear and bright - that i had never seen such a beautiful sky like this in South India! Almost looked like a view from the Ladakh region, minus the snow. It took us almost a hour more to reach the outskirts of Kodaikanal due to heavy traffic between Perumal Malai and Kodaikanal. Stopped by Silver Cascade falls for a few customary pictures, bought some fresh fruits to quench our hunger.


The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0406.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0395.jpg

Silver-Cascade Falls..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0423.jpg

It was about 5 PM when we reached the IB, at Kodai. Dumped our luggage rested for some time and went out for some sightseeing. It was already cold and we did not get any warm clothing, as Kodai was never in our list. The Car somehow kept us comfortable enough. We roamed around the town, with no given plan - just for the sake of roaming around, we went through few places stopped by to eat something and kept moving. The Boat house, Coakers Walk was all closed by now. So we could not really see any place fully so we decided to come back again tomorrow.


The View from my Room..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0463.jpg

Kodaikanal Church..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0498-2.jpg

Kodai Lake..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0534.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0531.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0528.jpg

Kodai @ Night..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0538.jpg


The Night was cold, but the stomach was burning Hot with hunger still, so we decided to stop by somewhere for dinner. Had a heavy dinner, after a long time. Damn, somehow i'm addicted to South Indian parotta & Kurumas! Ate like i have never seen food, after a hour we reached back to the room, relaxed for a while and crashed for the night.
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Old 15th February 2011, 08:10   #37
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Random Images from Day 4 - In & Around Kodaikkanal

Oh, Thats Me!

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0174.jpg

Want some Corn?

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0245.jpg

Talent!

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0253.jpg

Lush Green Fields..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0294.jpg

Amazing Vista's

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0404.jpg

Silver Cascade Falls..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0443.jpg

Took a walk along the deserted road in Kodai..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0483.jpg

FM Tower, Kodai

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0506.jpg

Now, Who talks of Cleanliness!

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0515.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0517.jpg
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Old 15th February 2011, 15:16   #38
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Default Day 5 : Kodaikkanal - Pollachi - Chennai

Day 5 : 30 January 2011 : Kodaikkanal - Pollachi - Chennai

The last day in the trip, have already dealt with lots of nice vistas. Wanted to make sure the last day too runs fine. I woke up, All of a sudden in deep sleep. Our bus to Chennai starts by 6 PM, from Pollachi!! I hardly thought about it since the original plan was to come to pollachi from Parambikulam. Phew! I could not sleep much after that, lazed around the hotel and time was just about 6 AM. It was too cold to go out still. Opened the windows to see one of the beautiful Sunrise i have seen..


The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0546.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0560.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0569.jpg

Mom n Dad too woke up by now, the assistant was at the door informing the power supply would go down by 8 AM, so get refreshed & ready before 8 AM. The geysers didn't work properly and had a hard time running to every other room to see if it works. FYI, The house had 3 Bedrooms, Hall, Kitchen and Dining Room - Fully furnished. In all there were like 3 geysers and a immersion heater in the store room. It took us about another hour and half to get ready.

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0054.jpg

First up, We wanted to find a way to get back to chennai. Can't forego the tickets, It costed me like 1500 INR, I'm not so rich enough to let go that money. Tried my hand at cancelling them - No SETC Number would work and finally one number worked from Palani, he informs me to give a try by visiting the local Ticket Counter. So at 9 AM, we started from our room, stopped by Hotel Astoria, next to Bus Stand for Breakfast.

Walked up to the Ticket Counter to see if the tickets could be cancelled, but he says the bus stand belongs to TNSTC and not SETC. He asks me to goto Madurai or Pollachi to cancells the tickets! Phew, now i really dont know or cant think of any other alternative. Time was running by, Told dad we might have to go back to pollachi to board the bus. I got the numbers of Pollachi depot to see if the tickets can be cancelled over phone, nothing works. They did not even agree to let us board at Palani / Dindigul (near Kodai, enroute to chennai). Something was not right, so we agreed to go back to Pollachi.

It was around 10 AM now, we have 3 hours to spend in Kodai and another 4 hours to go back to Pollachi for our 6 PM bus. We have to drive the long way round as Kodai - Palani cannot be redone, driver & parents are not OK to do it. So thats again a time consuming journey. Decided to roam around some of the viewpoints / sightseeings in Kodaikkanal. Driver was kind enough to rush us through all of it.

Kodaikkanal..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0583.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0587.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0603.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0629.jpg

Took a walk along the pavements of Coackers Walk. It was indeed a refreshing place to visit. The Deep valley range was so awesome, the view was inviting and worth a visit.

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0656.jpg

Pick what you want..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0674.jpg

We stopped by for some coffee and did some last minute shopping. Bought loads of chocolates and Eucalyptus Oil . The view points alone took us close to couple of hours. Guna Caves was the worst hyped place ever! Wonder why we wasted time walking up the nasty hills. So with just one more hour to go, took the last stop at Kodaikkanal Lake. Rowing boat was a bit costly, but still went away with it.. some 150 bucks for 20 minutes. The water was not clean, it was just OK - It was just the climate which was so soothing - Not so cold, not so bright - The mist started playing games with covering up everything - We could hardly see the buildings and next moment it was gone. We came back from the boating, relaxed and took one final drive back.

Kodai lake..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0007.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0016.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0022-2.jpg

It started getting cold and we had to roll up the windows. The mist was spreading down nicely and we exit Kodai. Stopped by once again to buy some fruits back home. Loved the deserted roads and neatly packed houses in Kodai, felt like staying back - if not for the commitments back home.

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0076.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0079.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0072.jpg

The real drive started after this, the weather was nice & enjoyable - but the thoughts were still running around the trip. We had about 4 hours exactly for the bus to start now and we were 200 Kilometers away. The math of 50 kmph did not work as we had to drive on ghat roads for the most of it. Our driver definitely did drive carefully in the hills, only after reaching Vathalagundu, Our car did see better speeds. But the roads were covered by so many speed breakers and local buses driving crazy on those small roads. Added to all these, there were many people walking on the road as a pilgrimage to Palani. So it took a while and we were racing against time. The sun started coming down hard on us, we were left with 30 kilometers (Udumalaipettai) and 45 minutes to go. The traffic was worse after we passed through udumalai, lagging behind the trucks & also in time.



The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0096.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0111.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0152.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0161.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0185.jpg


The huge windmills were the only attraction for the time being. My parents were sort of worried, we had to take some aggressive overtakes - nothing so dangerous, but for my parents it was far too risky. With nothing else to do, nowhere else to go - we had to maintain faster speeds and finally reached outskirts of Pollachi - 5 minutes to go and 5 more kilometers and guess what? Traffic Signal. A minute went past and we slowly cruised ahead - we reached the Bus stand exactly at 6:00 PM! Incredible thing i would say, crazy to be here in this fashion. Now, we dont have much time to settle off things, sent mom & dad inside the bus stand to block the seats & settled off the car's bills. Ran inside with my huge back and boarded the bus, and surprisingly the bus starts at 06:05 PM.. The next 12 hours was spent travelling back to Chennai and i spent most of the time sleeping, dead tired. Overall a very impressive trip, and was different as i dont travel by car much. Hoping to do similar trips in the future & thank you for reading.

Cheers!
Ananth
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Old 15th February 2011, 22:58   #39
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

@MadBiker - I'm not taking anything away from your narration but what an amazing set of photos! Thanks for sharing.
PS: If you have more photos, pls. post them also.
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Old 15th February 2011, 23:01   #40
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

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Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
@MadBiker - I'm not taking anything away from your narration but what an amazing set of photos! Thanks for sharing.
PS: If you have more photos, pls. post them also.
Thank You so much! I have some more pictures, would post them sometime tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
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Old 16th February 2011, 11:07   #41
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Few more pictures as promised..

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-dsc00415.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0044.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0082.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0107.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0109.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0119.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0147.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0312.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0316.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0578.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0614.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0632.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0635.jpg

The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai-img_0684.jpg
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Old 16th February 2011, 16:43   #42
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

Agree with Nutty Nair. Amazing pictures and narrative. And an edge of the seat experience to end!! Great.
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Old 16th February 2011, 16:46   #43
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

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Agree with Nutty Nair. Amazing pictures and narrative. And an edge of the seat experience to end!! Great.
Thanks mallumowgli. Glad you liked my pics & narrations. Thanks for Reading.
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Old 16th February 2011, 19:18   #44
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

[COLOR=#777777]Ananth,
Excellent pictures and some of the pictures like "0123", the one with the boat deserves to be on the travel magazine covers. It's not by accident could someone take so many beautiful pictures.

If you don't mind me asking, how long you have been into photography and did you take any lessons?

Thanks for sharing and yes, here is my 5 * rating
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Old 16th February 2011, 21:04   #45
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Default Re: The South Western Drive : Valparai - Nelliampathi - Parambikulam - Kodai

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Originally Posted by live360 View Post
[Ananth,
Excellent pictures and some of the pictures like "0123", the one with the boat deserves to be on the travel magazine covers. It's not by accident could someone take so many beautiful pictures.

If you don't mind me asking, how long you have been into photography and did you take any lessons?

Thanks for sharing and yes, here is my 5 * rating
Thanks! I'm a newbie with regard to Photography - I'm using DSLRs for the last year or so. I'm still learning and there is so much to learn. I have not taken any classes or anything, but Thanks for your compliments. I'm honored.
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