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Old 19th July 2021, 20:14   #1
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Default Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Was exploring options of escaping to nearest getaway location with my Meteor. Just for the sake of ride, i am no birdwatcher, nor a nature enthusiast. All i wanted was to getaway. I was in that state of extreme need to put my riding gears on and go on a ride, but not far enough to put me in a spot of not returning.

In one of those exploration i found this place, Nelliampathy. The youtube video that i saw put me on awe that such a place is near to where i live. So, i decided to explore the place on my Meteor.

Few things i realized during and after the visit, which i reserve it till end. Now, lets get on with the ride.

Plan was to go to Nelliampathy via Pollachi with couple of pit stops. I had planned for Meenkara Dam, Nemmara and Nelliampathy.

Started as planned and took off with my gears on.

First stop - Meenkara Dam

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This place was as spooky as it can get as i realized after getting inside. All credits to me since i was in the middle of a lockdown.

I wanted to get to the side of water as i saw on the video, little did i realize that i had no idea where i wanted to go. Just took the outer cut road which was deserted and i just followed the path leading upwards around the dam. Then i reached a village, after crossing, i was about take a curve where i saw a small opening on the right leading to the water bank. I was able to reach near the water banks once inside the fence, though not right. very deserted which scared the hell out of me.

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Finished with some snaps of my bike and took off. It was only when i reached the main gate that i realized what i had just done. Getting in and out of a deserted place and that too with no humans around. Bit scary when i think about it.

Putting this along, continued with the ride. The lush greens of Nemmara greeted me. What a sight of Paddy fields simply loved it. I guess, Nemmara should be called as the Rice Bowl of Kerala, indeed. Looked wonderful all the way. Both side Lush paddy fields with road in the middle and no one to stop you, ideal setup for a solo bike rider.

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Right before the checkpost was the Pothundy dam. I had not planned for it though, but still Meenkara dam experience was still afresh in back of my mind. Since it was a weekend, i saw many tourist visiting the spot and there was considerable rush. Decided to get in and have a look.

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It resembled exactly Aliyar. I was definitely convinced that the people who build the Aliyar Dam, built this one as well. Not much of a difference in the way it looked. Continued with my journey. Just as i was about to climb the hill, checkpost officer asked me where i was coming from and where am i going to. Then enquired if i will return the same day or having a stay. I just said, i will return. He let me in with getting my details and noting my number, before letting me, he reminded me to be back by 4 PM.

Just as i crossed the checkpost, Hairpin started.

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The roads were smooth. The ride was good as i was beginning to think the more higher i go, the more pleasant climate i will encounter. Roads were shaded at places, completely open, curves, Hairpins, all excitement. I was enjoying the new ride.

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At some point i thought i had reached the top as i reached viewpoint-3. Only to realize that i still have to make it to another mountain. Now started the downward ride with some very blind curves and dark patches. Then i started to see some tea gardens. That feeling of being at Ooty/Kotagiri was running on my mind that i will get to experience cold climate, not Yet!!

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I was welcomed by AVT tea factory wherein i saw a board that i was entering a private property. The some of the people told me not to take pictures of people plucking the tea leaves and the weighing scale (Not sure why they told me, did not dare to ask).

Then crossing the Factory, led me to the open Tea Estate.

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Having realized that the climate is not going to get pleasant enough, i decided to call it a ride. The ride was good and thrilling indeed.

Some parting shots

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This is where you get to watch the Pothundi dam from above the hill. There is a small place where you can sit and the breeze just is awesome. This place brought back few memories from past watching the small waves on the water. Nostalgic, i went back straight to home and hugged my dad, as if to say sorry to him and love him as much.

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What i missed before deciding to ride here was, the video that i had viewed before my decision was taken during a winter/rainy season. I completely missed and was middle of a sunny day that brought down all water i had inside.

But, yet, this was a memorable ride and the lush greens of Nemmara is still fresh on my mind.

Hope you enjoyed this thread.
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Old 20th July 2021, 01:51   #2
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Default re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Your thread came at the right time. I had enquired on another thread whether this route along with two others are open right now. Seems like the traffic and folks too are less. Your right about things being spooky when alone, especially at places like a dam. Going for a solo ride/drive is more safe in areas where at least sufficient population is present. How was your experience riding the meteor along the route ? Do pen about that too.
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Old 20th July 2021, 12:53   #3
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Default re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

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Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
Your thread came at the right time. I had enquired on another thread whether this route along with two others are open right now. Seems like the traffic and folks too are less. Your right about things being spooky when alone, especially at places like a dam. Going for a solo ride/drive is more safe in areas where at least sufficient population is present. How was your experience riding the meteor along the route ? Do pen about that too.
Meteor is very comfortable, refined and smooth during ride. This is after 1st service. I felt the engine has become smoother. I would reserve my comment on the touring seat. Though its comfortable, still there were some discomfort during the ride. I have now purchased Air cushion, which solves my problem. We need to know from other riders on the touring seat. Currently, the bike has done 2300Kms. Nil issues (other than the fuel indicator issue). I am happy that i chose this bike over Classic/Thunderbird/KTM.

Hope this helps.
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Old 21st July 2021, 15:02   #4
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Default Re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Nice to see a log about Nemmara and Nelliyampathy. Nemmara is my hometown and Nelliyampathy is just like a place in our backyard where we used to drive to have tea on boring weekend afternoons. Nelliyampathy exhibits different shades of nature during each season. The hills become lively with monsoons. This would be the ideal time to visit the hills but lockdown restrictions are in force unfortunately.

Last edited by i20ian : 21st July 2021 at 15:06.
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Old 21st July 2021, 15:05   #5
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Default Re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
Your thread came at the right time. I had enquired on another thread whether this route along with two others are open right now.
Nelliyampathy is open right now to only those people who have booked overnight stay in Nelliyampathy. Also the tourists should have taken atleast one dose of covid vaccine or should have negative RTPCR result taken 72 hours prior to the trip. A day trip is not allowed. Also try to be at the checkpost at Pothundy before 3pm.
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Old 21st July 2021, 19:19   #6
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Default Re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverstreakcbe View Post

What i missed before deciding to ride here was, the video that i had viewed before my decision was taken during a winter/rainy season. I completely missed and was middle of a sunny day that brought down all water i had inside.

But, yet, this was a memorable ride and the lush greens of Nemmara is still fresh on my mind.

Hope you enjoyed this thread.
Nice to see a travelogue on Nelliampathi

I haven't been there for years now. Its always overlooked because its so close to home (around 75 kms). It used to be our go-to spot for a weekend ride and stay when we were still in college. You could hire jeeps for 500 rupees and they would take you on a couple of off-road trails.

It is absolutely beautiful after the monsoons and in December-January when the mist descends.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:11   #7
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Default Re: Lockdown getaway ride to Nelliampathi

Its a wonderful place. Its just 70km drive from my home. Its absolutely beautiful during the monsoon season. Just watch out for elephants and leeches . Best to avoid traveling here on public holidays because it gets extremely crowded and it just spoils the whole experience.The roads are in good shape for the most part. There are also forest bungalows deep inside where you can stay but you will not be able to drive there as there are no roads and only 4x4 taxis there can take you. It will cost around 4-5k per trip. Its around an hour and a half of offroading and best avoided if you are with kids or older folk.
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