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Old 8th March 2018, 15:23   #1
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Default S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

After a lot of Civving and Swifting around and Civved and Swifted Series of travelogues, it was time to get another car. A family car for the daily chores, with good support systems and cheaper maintenance took me back to Maruti to get a practical no nonsense no frills car. Face lifted SCross fitted the bill and just took it without much ado.

You can read the story of the same here.

But like the Civic, online experts started talking about inadequate power train of 2017 SCross and all that stuff. For me these online experts have advised not to go in for the Civic 10 years back in 2007, but then I went for it with my eyes closed. In my 160K Kms of ownership and 11 years, not even once, the topic that was blown out of proportion, the low ground clearance and unusable in Bangalore humps, posed an issue. So was the low end torque that was certified and discussed to glory as inadequate for any standards. All I could say was I took Civic, Civved all around without care nor concern and the car never failed me, nor these arm chair expert statements posed an issue. I loved Civving, while many of these experts went on to state opinions on other cars and confuse the hell out of the poor fellows out there. Many heeded, and lost the love affair they otherwise would have had with Civic. But thankfully, my real life experience helped me start a thread, helped a few to pick up a Civic and enjoy what it had to offer.

Same case in 2017, SCross is discussed and beaten to death terming it as a slouch. All I wanted was to check for myself in the use cases that I am going to push it in its stay with me. I am not going to carry heavy loads on a 30 degree incline, nor going to hit a 200kmph on Indian roads, so if it fails on such tests, it really do not bother much for me. So a plan to load the car adequately, take it on a highway, take it on a winding hill, and again take it on a winding hill with absolutely no roads to test the power train, mileage, handling and all that stuff that makes this car practical.

You can say I wanted a real life test, than mere hearsay and posing statements without real knowledge to anyone. I wanted to be sure of whatever it was!!

What spun off for my requirements was a drive to Yercaud, and then to Meghamalai. I had a team bonding workshop at Yercaud where our multi city colleagues would join and then the plan was to take off after the workshop to Meghamalai!


Well let us get on to the drive.

SCross, nick named as Kungfu Panda was all of some 500Kms on Odo, when it went on this drive.

SCross'd : A real life test of Kungfu Panda's capabilities, and some fun time with friends in a great environment

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Old 8th March 2018, 16:08   #2
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

The decision was taken pretty fast. The workshop dates fell on 16th and 17th of November 2017, Thursday and Friday. Once the workshop dates were known, it was quite easy. Extend it to the weekend and drive to Meghamalai for the tests and drive back home on Sunday.

Drive Plan (Approx 1300 Kms)
Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud
Day 02 : 17th November 2017 : Yercaud - Salem - Dindigul - Theni
Day 03 : 18th November 2017 : Theni - Meghamalai
Day 04 : 19th November 2017 : Meghamalai - Vellimalai - Vaigai - Dindigul - Salem - Bangalore

S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)-meghamalai-trip.jpg



Detailed Drive Plan
Day 01 : After reaching Yercaud did a loop road drive for a nostalgic memory of our previous drives there. Visited all the points like Shevaroy Temple, Pagoda Point, Lady's Seat, Gents Seat, Children's Seat, Manjakuttai view point, Karadiyoor View point and a drive around the lake.

Day 02 : Had an early morning bath at Kiliyoor falls, and by noon took off to Theni. At our hotel, we were received by OPS (Deputy CM, TN) himself
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Day 03 : After reaching Meghamalai, visited Highways, Manalar, Venniar Dams, Venniar tea estate, Vattapparai and Oothuparai falls

Day 04 : This day was the return, Meghamalai to Vellimalai, then back to Bangalore


Stay Details
Day 01 : Golden Nest Resorts, Yercaud
Day 02 : ABM Grande, Theni
Day 03 : Cloud Bungalow, Manalar
Day 04 : Home Sweet Home

Last edited by laluks : 8th March 2018 at 16:50.
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Old 8th March 2018, 16:47   #3
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Some pictures before I start with the daily logs to tease

A peep from Karadiyur view point

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A peep from Children's Seat
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A peep from Pagoda point
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Kungfu Panda on a test, historical
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Team building activities in full swing
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Kiliyur falls

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View from the resort at Yercaud
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Kungfu Panda enjoying the views and breeze
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SCross'd
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Kungfu Panda all alone at the resort

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Old 8th March 2018, 16:59   #4
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

400 plus Kms from home, Kungfu Panda reaches the first mile stone
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Getting ready for Meghamalai

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Mandatory check at the Check post to Meghamalai. We are good guys, we did not carry anything that breaks the law
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The road to Meghamalai
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View from the road
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Panchayat Guest House
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Highwavys Reservoir - At the time I clicked this picture there was a floating dead body of a tourist in this reservoir. The crowd at the bank is coming to terms with that
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Another view of Highwavys
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Old 8th March 2018, 17:08   #5
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Roads started deteriorating
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More and more bad stretch followed

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We reached Manalar
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Another view of Manalar
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We went as far as the roads existed and we were allowed

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We reached Venniar Reservoir

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Venniar Dam, beyond this we were not allowed. There was a check post.
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We visited Venniar tea factory
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More bad roads
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And finally we reached our Bungalow

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Old 8th March 2018, 17:19   #6
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

We saw a Hoopoe
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We visited Oothuparai Falls
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Malabar Giant Squirrel ogled at us

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Took a dip in the cool cool waters

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We went further into estate bordering the forest.
Kungfu panda gets a company
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We walked into the forest
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Shaken by a pug mark
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We reached an opening, which was all rocks

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This is Vattaparai
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We saw bisons
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We collected porcupine quills
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Old 8th March 2018, 17:38   #7
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Kungfu Panda gets its first water wash of its life
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While we explored Manalar reservoir and tea plantation near the Bungalow

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Tea estates at Manalar

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Manalar reservoir

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Abandoned tea factory at Manalar
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Tea plantation as far as you can see
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Tea leaf ready to be plucked

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Another look at Manalar
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Old 8th March 2018, 17:44   #8
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We waited patiently for our Dosa's
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Hot lunch at the middle of nowhere
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Dinner was even lean
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We cleared all these idlis for breakfast
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Kungfu Panda enjoying country roads
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We discussed about Vellimala at Checkpost
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Roads leading to Vellimala
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Vaigai Dam
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Kungfu Panda Crosses another milestone

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Sometimes we eat junk food too

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Old 8th March 2018, 18:35   #9
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Test Results

Before I go on with the daily log, let me sum up the test results of Kungfu Panda.

The drive to Yercaud and Theni, saw Kungfu Panda tackling super fast 4 lane roads and broken tarmac on an uphill climb from Kanavaipudur to Yercaud and some silky smooth hairpins down to Salem and more 4 lane roads to Theni.

The climb was chosen in such a way to take a steep broken road to check the torque and pulling capability of Kungfu Panda. The results were pretty much satisfying. The car did what was required, and never lost steam. I never felt the need for more juice than what the car was delivering. I did a comparison with Civic which is having at least 50 horses extra. Except the fact that I might have been faster on the curves purely for fun, there was nothing that I missed. Added to that the high clearance made me take the broken tarmac as nobody's business. Verdict - PASS.

The 4 lane roads saw the car doing good speeds and comfortably poised. The steering was good and heavy as a car of this stature requires. Very stable and planted and braking absolutely fine. Verdict - PASS

This stretch of 575 Kms saw Kungfu Panda giving a mileage of 17.18Kmpl after high speed runs, and hill climb. Verdict - PASS

The next test was at Meghamalai. With climbs and no roads and boulders and dust. There were no instances of a under body scrape and the car drove on the boulders perfectly as possible. The suspension setup is to die for. In bad roads, SCross really is at home. Absolutely delighted. Verdict - PASS.

The broken roads of Meghamalai, and high speed runs till Bangalore saw 677 Kms and a mileage of 15.6 Kmpl. Verdict - PASS, considering the torture it took on lower gears at Meghamalai for a lot of Kms.


Overall for all the use cases I would take SCross in its stay with me the verdict is PASS. Anyways Kungfu Panda had its baptism by fire

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I can safely say SCross is no slouch. Its an underdog. I am thoroughly enjoying the decision. Anyways at the end of the day, with any car, the driver makes a lot of difference


VERDICT : PASSED in flying colors.

I will shortly post the daily details of the drive with more pictures and videos.

Last edited by laluks : 8th March 2018 at 18:36.
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Old 8th March 2018, 20:22   #10
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

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Old 8th March 2018, 21:21   #11
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Thursday
Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud


Woke up around 4:30AM, stuffed all that I wanted into a bag, got ready by 5:30AM. Called up my colleague and friend who was to join me on my drive to Yercaud to attend the Team Workshop. Confirmed that I will pick him up at Silk board by 06:30AM.

Left home at 06:00AM.

Kungfu Panda just 2 weeks old and with 596Kms on Odo.
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Picked up my colleague and drove on towards Salem. Uneventful 4 lane highway driving. Kungfu Panda happily cruising around 2000 to 2400 rpms. MID at times started showing 22Kmpl efficiency. Left a smile on my face, unlike previous drives. Previous drives were pure exhilaration of the slingshots and speed, this time mileage and soberness. Make no mistake, Kungfu Panda reached some good speeds too, under watchful rpms.

I took the route via Danishpet to hit Kanavaipudur and then the broken tarmac and uphill climb to Yercaud, the only route that I have left in my previous drives to Yercaud. First one was in 2008, second drive in 2011. Almost 6 years since my last drive to Yercaud, previous two were in our Civvy. You can read about that trips here

Somewhere before Dhanishpet, we found a photo opportunity.

First Click of Kungfu Panda outside his home territory
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Seemed like a rail over bridge

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It was almost 9:00AM. We drove on towards Kanavaipudur and took the route to Yercaud.

Somewhere on Kanavaipudur Road
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Kungfu Panda quite happy that he was taken on a drive
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By 10:00 we reached a board saying Karadiyur view point
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There was a small path leading to the viewpoint. Though it looked like we could take the car in there, we decided to park here and walk
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Karadiyur view point, here we come

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Old 8th March 2018, 21:30   #12
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Thursday
Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud

The path was wide enough to take the car,
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There was a gazebo near the view point

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SCross or any high GC vehicle can reach all the way till here, just few 100m of walk otherwise
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Warning
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As seen from the view point, nothing spectacular though
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The path leading to the viewpoint
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Orange flower
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Kungfu Panda where we left him for our short trek to the viewpoint
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By 10:45 we started from there towards Yercaud.

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Old 8th March 2018, 21:38   #13
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Meghamalai (via Yercaud)

Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Thursday
Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud

From Karadiyur view point, when I reached Nagaloor instead of going on towards Yercaud, I decided to take the loop road and go to Shevaroys temple first. The open land there gives a pretty good area for some photo shoots of Kungfu Panda. We reached Shevaroys by 11:15AM

I was fascinated by this building in 2008, so clicked again in 2017
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Kungfu Panda Photo shoot
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By 11:30 we left the place


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Old 8th March 2018, 21:51   #14
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Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Thursday
Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud

We then drove towards Lady's seat, Gent's Seat and Children's Seat. Children's Seat has a garden and is a nice little place to take a stroll. All the three view points look to the same valley, so best bet is to go straight to Children's seat. We reached Children's seat by 12:00 hours

View from Children's seat
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Some Gazebos at Children's street
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Don't know if his bow was vandalized
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Nostalgic Guava trees from 2008

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We then drove towards Pagoda Point and reached there by 12:40hours

View from Pagoda Point
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After Pagoda Point, we drove on to the loop road to complete the loop before reaching the resort for the workshop.

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Old 8th March 2018, 21:57   #15
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Day 01 : 16th November 2017 : Thursday
Bangalore - Danishpet - Kanavaipudur - Nagaloor - Yercaud

In the loop road we decided to check out Manjukuttai viewpoint
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Views from Manjukuttai Viewpoint, nothing spectacular

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Kungfu Panda enjoying the attention
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History is being made

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By 1:30 we left Manjukuttai view point and drove on the loop road to complete the loop and reach the resort for the event

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