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Old 13th August 2010, 17:51   #31
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Originally Posted by Nutty Nair View Post
@KESriram - You went through this circuit at the right time, my friend. So much greenery in the snaps. When we went it was brown & dry apart from the tea estates. Nice snaps.
Ranjith, I've seen the trip you did in May on your Xylo and they were looking great, adding to my conviction that Valparai should be my next destination! Green or dry, this route never disappoints.

Originally Posted by ampere View Post
And the good photos keep coming!
Thanks Ampere!

Originally Posted by aargee View Post
I never felt like watching some place in TN, all these places remind me of KL. More of greens & water, more of KL. Take another 5* from me too
Thanks aargee

Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
Great pictures! Wow, I want to make another trip to Valparai!

I hope the place remains this way, and doesnt disappoint one with rampant development all around when one visits a few years from now..

And that Valparai-Chalakudy stretch is something to be experienced.
BigZero, another Thanks (from my family members too!) for that valparai travelogue of yours. Honestly, that's where my interest in Valparai started.

Seeing the place I don't think it'll be commercialized. Primarily coz most of the land out there are estates that are busy doing what they do - produce tea, maintain the estate and look after the workers. There's no real estate to explore/exploit and most importantly, there are no big parks/lakes/places of interest that would excite typical holiday makers.

Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
That is quite a OO Productions job, Sriram!

Something you forgot to mention to your folks is that the Athirapalli Falls is popularly known in TN as the "Punnagai Mannan" Falls, because that movie was picturised there, and that is how the Falls first came into the limelight in the 1980s - and that is how I also discovered the Valaparai-Athirapalli road on my mobike in 1987 one fine misty day ex-Coimbatore (I used to work/live there then)! I rode into Valparai, checked out with the locals what else is there to see and they said, "Saar, just a little more distance" to the Punnagai Mannan Falls, and that "little" distance turned out to be 70 kms or 2.5 hours of riding on these narrow roads!

BTW, you have not mentioned the racket the giant cicadas (crickets) make on the stretch after Malakkiparai, and the giant arched bamboos which are surely the most splendid flora of the route.

Another interesting piece of info is that Malakkiparai estate of Tata Tea (now Kannan Devan Tea) is the highest-yielding tea estate in the Tata Group!

Any elephant or bison sightings?
Thanks HVK! We did spot a couple of bisons on the estate roads. No luck with elephants though - could hear them in the thick of the forest.

This "saar, a little more distance" is actually something you come across most of India, right - you must be the best one to answer this question.

But I must share this Kerala experience - people there talk exact KMs. "They say go 4kms you'll find this bridge, take right, go another 23kms and you'll hit this jetty". And your ODO will read exactly those KMs - have you experienced this as well?

Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
It’s be 12 years that I been to Valparai, thanks for your pictures for reminding me the beauty of this is place.

I still remember I used to peddle to Balaji temple which is owned by the Peria Karamalai tea Industries. Situated in Karamalai. Very famous beautiful temple.
Thanks Ranjith. Nowadays, there are a lot of restrictions on this temple. Vechicles are not allowed beyond the estate checkpost, no cameras allowed etc.,

Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
KESriram: 4th snap, #6 post on this thread. Reminded me of our trip couple of months back on the same route. Same place, wifey left her slippers at the stream after our cleaning of the lunch plates. Did you find any pair lying around?
Jeev, I did this trip between 14th and 16th of June. When I came back I remember you asking for inputs - never saw a travelogue though?

Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Are you guys sure that its the lion-tailed-macaque or is it the Niligiri Langur? They look similar. I had seen one when through Silent Valley once - this biosphere is north of the Walayar.
Am no expert on this. But for the inputs here, I'd have just continued calling them monkeys .

Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Wow, good amount of water in Atthirampally. Guys visiting this weekend are lucky I guess.

Good macros. Cheers.
Thanks mjothi.

Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Fantastic snaps-very well done-mouth's watering to go there_ I hope I can make it this month??
Thanks. Don't hestitate - but give yourself atleast 3 days in Valparai and one whole day to explore the famed route.

Originally Posted by PRADEEP KUMAR View Post
I think these kerala cops there are quite strict.I travelled in may as well and they instructed that even the number of water bottles carried into the forest should remain when you check out at the other end-No discarding plastic there. i left valpaarai at 9 am and crossed out at 11.30 ish.

Yes, they asked all the questions about plastic bags etc., But they take whatever you give for an answer. Wouldn't hurt if they shake some fat by doing a random check on the vehicle. We could spot quite some tourist debris enroute.

Originally Posted by subs View Post
HI Sriram

I can imagine the funtastic time your folks must have had. Brilliant write and pics that make me wanting to be sat there on the middle of that road enjoying the rain.

Thanks Subs.
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Old 13th August 2010, 18:05   #32
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Default Cherai resort, Kochi

From the lush green environs of Valparai/Athirampally, we entered into the chaos of Ernakulam through Chalakudy. However, we didn't have to put up with the traffic and urban chaos much as we diverted towards Cherai beach. There's a resort here that goes by the same name - Cherai resorts. I didn't get much info/reviews on this resort, but the location was very tempting - nestled in between backwaters on one side and beach on the other. Since those 2 were what we wanted, decided to book this place. Didn't turn out to be a bad option. Resort was well maintained, staff were courteous/attentive, rooms were neat and clean, food was good, albeit a bit expensive. They were running off-season prices and the place was quite a VFM at those rates. Details here Welcome To Cherai Beach Resorts

Some pics of the resort:

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Old 13th August 2010, 18:42   #33
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Default Backwaters and beaches

Backwaters and beaches were the agenda for Kochi. Next morning, I went about looking for boat operators that would take us around the backwaters. The hotel offered 2 boats for the 8 of us at about 1300 in all for an hour. These were mechanized fishing boats. However, there was a board outside the resort, advertizing a house boat experience.

Called up the person - he has a mini house boat that has a large seating area, hand wash, loo etc., He quoted 1000/hr for the boat (which I think can seat even upto 15) and said that he'll take us around, serve food of our choice (Veg/Non-Veg) on board and get us back. I initially wanted it only for an hour, the guy said Ok but was dilly dallying. Later, I understood that you can do nothing in 1hr. His circuit takes atleast 3hrs for the round trip. Other than the fact that he didn't say it upfront, there were no regrets and this cruise was one of the highlights of the trip. We cruised along slowly and peacefully, ate one of the best veg kerala thalis we've ever had - an elaborate spread with all the cherans and the thorans and the kalans of the world with pradhaman at the end. All this for 65/- per meal. He had just started operations and has quite some trouble with the engine - stopped at quite a few places and the whole journey actually took 4hrs. He however charged only for 3hrs coz he didn't say this upfront and quite some time was lost waiting for the engine to come back to life.

His name is Jose and you can reach him at 9847074511.

Your truly in Red shirt

Valparai -> Famed route -> Kochi: Monsoon magic from ghats to beaches-boat2.jpg

BIL with his equipment that gave us such wonderful snaps

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We got stuck in a shallow place and so decided to step in. Stepping in the backwaters was wierd - the bottom was so sticky and slippery, it was standing on a thousand snails/eels!!

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Boat heading for the food station

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Ahh, the lip smacking food!!

Valparai -> Famed route -> Kochi: Monsoon magic from ghats to beaches-food-boat.jpg

We then headed to the beach in the evening. It started to drizzle and pour, so not much snaps. However, we had a blast soaking up the rain in beach - I've always loved this combo: beach and rains

BTW, Cherai beach doesnt have much beach left. It's only a narrow strip before the sea begins and the sea too is quite rough and deep.

Valparai -> Famed route -> Kochi: Monsoon magic from ghats to beaches-cherai-beach-1.jpg
Valparai -> Famed route -> Kochi: Monsoon magic from ghats to beaches-beach.jpg
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Old 13th August 2010, 18:57   #34
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KESriram, your thread title itself is enough (dont even need to notice that it is already a 5* one) to mean, that I NEED TO GO THROUGH this thread in detail at peace. Shall do so asap. Keep it up..
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Old 14th August 2010, 18:36   #35
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Mobike trip in late 80's at that route ........

Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Any update on the check post timings at Malakkiparai and Peringalkuthu Dam? I remember that driving on the Valparai-Athirapalli road was restricted between 8 pm and 5 am.
I don't think there are any restriction as I saw vehicles entry throughout the night in the log book at the chalakudy check post when I visited last time (private vehicles included)
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