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Hyderabad to Ahmedabad, Little Rann of Kutch, Dholavira and Great Rann of Kutch.

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My friend and fellow moderator Sagar always wanted to explore Gujarat.


Personally, I had very less expectations on Rann of Kutch.
When he came up with Gujarat, our plan started to take its shape but I tried to skip it. I have initiated different plans and suggestions, but he did not budge.

 

On one fine day, he booked the tickets from Hyderabad to Ahmedabad.
We pulled in a few more friends and Now we are a group of 10 members ready to explore Gujarat.

 

Car booking:

Our next step was to book self drive cars, Only options available were Zoom and Myles.
All the 'Myles' cars were booked on our dates, So we have booked three cars from 'Zoom'.

 

Initial plan was to book 3 Eco-sports.

 

But due to unavailability and bad car conditions, we booked the following cars.

 

1. Ford Figo
2. Ford Ecosport
3. Mahindra Scorpio

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Day -1 Ahmedabad to Little Rann of Kutch.

 

We hired a cab from Ahmedabad airport to Zoom car pick up location.
We completed all the formalities and we are out by 10:30 AM

We started hunting for the breakfast, We couldn't find a proper restaurant for breakfast.:o

 

We searched for 15 kilometers with in the city and gave up.
Once on the Highway, we found a small Dhaba and had a heavy brunch, we resumed our journey by 1 PM.


Little Rann of Kutch Permissions:

 

  • Little Rann of Kutch requires permission to enter, Officially bikes are not allowed inside, but many people ride around without any issue.
  • It has many entry and exit points.
  • Many people don't take permission, when get they stuck or get caught, they end up paying fine which is very high.

 

How to get the permissions to explore Little Rann of Kutch?

 

  • Little Rann of Kutch Permission is available at Bajana.
  • Forest Guest house is located the entrance of the village.
  • If you miss it, not a problem, you can ask around, It is very well known to the locals.

 

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How much does the Little Rann of Kutch permit cost?
It costed us around 1800/- for 3 cars and 4 cameras.


Is the guide mandatory for Little Rann of Kutch?

Guide is not mandatory, but if you are not sure about trails,  and have no idea about routes, in a single vehicle, It is suggested to take a Guide.

We did not take a guide and have faced some issues. More on that later.


Is it easy to get the permission?

Permission is pretty straight forward, they even gave us some map.
They insisted us to hire a guide but we decided not to take.


Can we do Little Rann of Kutch in a Hatch back?

Yes can be easily done in any car.
We have done it in a Ford Figo, We did not face any issue.

 

Do we require GPS to cross Little Rann of Kutch?

It is better to take offline maps along with you, but you can easily manage without it.

Simple rule, follow the white stones and trails. Don't even try to make our own road which might lead you to end up in a no man's land at times.

What to do when we got lost in the Little Rann of kutch?

It is not completely isolated, you can get help from the other people, many locals roam around.
When in doubt always stop and ask around.

 

Best season to vist Little Rann of Kutch?

Post January is the best time to visit.

Entry Points at Little Rann of kutch?

You can get the latest information at the Bajana forest guest house.

  • Major entry point is at a village name Zinzuwada and entry is from Mandapol gate. Use this route to cross Little Rann of Kuch and exit at Palasava. Check with the forest department before finalising the route.
  • Bajana is the second point of entry.


Stay options at Little Rann of Kutch?

Stay options at Little Rann of kutch are very limited.
Accommodation options :

  • Rann Riders
  • Deseret coursers
  • Bhavan resort and farm
  • Royal Safari Camp
  • Flemingo Acropolis

 

Let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

We took the Bajana entry point due to time constraints, If we were early, we could have taken the Zinzuwada entrance.
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We soon realised that it is tough to navigate without any analysis.

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Fords Kicking some dust

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We stopped at many water bodies enroute and we spotted numerous variety of birds which were in large colonies.

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Ready for the takeoff

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We will either find a way or make one. We drove deep into the barren lands of Little Rann of Kutch.

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Visibility is poor for the cars driving behind, better to maintain space

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A look at ford said 'Keep calm and drive'

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Creativity is always a leap of faith, When we face waste empty lands, time analysis is needed

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Small dude joined the party late due to GC issues

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Some walks you love to take alone

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Birds have wind, they are free, they have mobility and still we envy them

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Scorpio: I wish to be as free as birds do

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Getting stuck and Falling out has been quite an adventure
 

It's not about the destination, it's all about where you end up, mishaps and memories you create will stay down the memory lane.

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Always follow the tracks, If you try to make your own road, get ready for this.

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Happiness is finding the rescue equipment in a no mans land, when you get struck.

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We managed to get the Scorpio and Figo out quite easily, but the EcoSport got royally struck.

 
We found a villager few miles away with some raw tools.
 
Though we have the tools, we are not able to get the vehicle out.
It is getting deeper and deeper.
 
He pointed out at our wrong techniques on how we were trying to get the car out.
 
Now it was his turn to guide, we followed his instructions/inputs.
 
We are able to pull out EcoSport in 20 minutes.
He proved to us that experience is superior to any theoretical knowledge.



Video-log of our trip.

 

Accommodation details:

Name : Holiday village resort, Gandhidham.

 

We had booked our stay at this resort through 'Make my trip' which costed us 8000 INR (after 50 % discount) per room for 3 nights. The resort was beautiful and royal with all the amenities available. 

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Rooms are neat and decent enough in area

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There was good amount of greenery all around the place

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Day-2  Great Rann of kutch, Dholavira.

 

Stay options at Dholavira?
Dholavira tourism Resort (Would suggest you to stay at 'Great Rann of Kutch')
 

Great Rann of Kutch is spread across a vast area where one can explore either sides of it.

  1. Dholavira
  2. Dhordo (White desert Rann of Kutch)

 

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We have decided to explore Dholavira on Day-2

We started from our hotel by 9 AM and stopped by for breakfast at a Dhaba on the highway.
Roads were excellent through out the journey. Some of the best roads in the country.

 

First glimpse of 'The Great Rann of Kutch' white desert, Dholavira.

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Black and White!

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What Gujarat roads say? Stop worrying about the potholes and enjoy the drive.

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We didn't bother about the burning hot climate as the view seemed breath taking!

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Quote

When he came up with Gujarat, our plan started to take its shape but I tried to skip it.

 

After this view, I felt that I would call myself an idiot, If I had skipped this trip

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Freedom of travel. We could go as far as we could sightIMG_8161-01.jpeg

 

After spending around 1 hour, we left the place to explore more

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Our next destination was towards the Dholavira excavation site - Ancient Harappan and Mohenjadaro sites

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En-route we found a 'Sambar' in the middle of the road, by the time got to her, she ran deep into the woods

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We finally reached the Indus valley civilisation and moved towards the the huge walls built of mud and stone to explore the ancient Harappan culture

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Hats-off to the Tourism department of Gujarat who is still working on cleaning the remains and spoilts post earthquake

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After the Harappan culture visit, we drove down towards the Fossil park which is end point of Dholavira

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The poetry of earth is endless, breath taking view.

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Even our cars are enjoying the view.

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Helipad at Dholavira

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Nature is cheaper than some random therapy in your city

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On our way back to the resort, we stopped by the white salty marshy land to enjoy the sunset

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Sunset from the place where we were was bliss to watch and we spent about 2 hours even after it got dark on the salt desert admiring the nature in peace. A beautiful end to the day

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Day - 3  It was planned to explore the 'Great Rann of Kutch' and we reached this salt desert by noon

 

Great Rann of Kutch accommodations (Decent resorts - would suggest you to stay here)

  • White Rann Resort
  • Gateway to Rann
  • Toran resort Kutch

 

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Took the necessary permits and reached the entry point from which private vehicles are not allowed beyond this post.

We are supposed to walk down for 2 kms or hire a camel cart to reach the White desert land of the Great Rann.

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We had paid 1000 INR to hire this camel cart for a journey up and down

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We were given an hour's time to explore 'The Great Rann of Kutch' by the cart owner to take us back to our start point

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On our way back from 'The Great Rann' we took an off road track to explore Dordo

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Having everything set for this drive, we tightened our rocker-arms to enjoy our drive further

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We made our own tracks driving deep into a place where we could find no human in the vicinity

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Thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this drive as we drove down and simultaneously, we were being very watchful after a crazy adventure on Day-1 at 'The Little Rann of Kutch'

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The Ford turned out to be an absolute performer on these tracks throwing out her brilliance in handling and dynamics

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The Mahindra also turned out to be quite a stunner apart from being bumpy at times

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And that's how it happened :D

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Surprisingly, The Figo showed up nothing less on an off road track

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Next destination?
Mandvi beach for sunset

 

Mandvi has many beach view resorts.

  • Serena beach resort
  • HV Beach hotel. (right on the beach)
     

After experiencing high temperatures, everyone decided to visit Mandvi beach

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Memories made at the beach will last for a lifetime

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Promise of a new tomorrow

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Cleanest sunset ever

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Superb pictures @gowtham. Thanks for sharing all the information which would help the fellow road-trippers.

I would like to share a few memories that I've carried back home from this amazing road trip. Cheers!

 

Day - 1 (Ahmedabad - Little Rann of Kutch - Gandhidham) 

 

We started our road-trip from Ahmedabad towards Bajana to explore the 'Little Rann of Kutch'   

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We have taken the necessary permits at Bajana village for our exploration drive and in no time, we made our tracks into the 'Dhrangdhara' wild ass sanctuary

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The scorpio fared really well with the off-road conditions out there 

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One needs to be really careful without getting lost during their exploration as the place looks almost deserted

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There already existed few tracks which were laid by the regulars, otherwise we need to pave our own paths at times 

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We passed by a huge lake whose area seemed absolutely dried out on a vast scale

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One needs to pay 25000 INR as fine or undergo 7 years of imprisonment if any rules are violated or skipping of permits

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We have arrived by a small lake which had numerous variety of birds such as swans, flamingos, cranes, herons etc.

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Having spent some time by the lake banks, we moved further towards the lake bed which was quite hard

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Another glimpse of the birds on the partially dried lake banks

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We hovered up in between to stretch ourselves and relax a bit while the sun was scorching on us

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We raced further deep into the woods to explore further and ended up in a no man's land

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What is a road trip without any adventure in the tale. All the 3 cars ended up getting stuck in a deserted land with no other human to spot at for help. A lesson learnt, we need to be a watchful while we trace our track here.

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A few miles away, we found a small shack where we could get some help with the equipment to dig the wet mud and clear the track and get out of the pit. The whole process of getting all our cars out of this wet land took us 4 hours

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We drove back to the highway and headed towards Gandhidham as the land beyond where we got stuck seemed even more wet which seemed impossible to explore

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Day - 2 (Gandhidham - Dholavira - Gandhidham)

 

Our day drive towards Dholavira started off post breakfast from Gandhidham

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The road towards Dholavira was quite decent with neatly laid roads even after you bifurcate into the villages after you cross Bhuj highway

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All the 3 cars lined up to halt at our first sight of the white salt desert of Dholavira

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We parked the cars on to the side and got down the bridge to walk into the salt desert

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Fabulous view of the vast salt desert of Dholavira which goes endless

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We paved our path a little deep into the marshy salt land which seemed a little loose on friction to hold our feet 

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All of us got involved in the photo sessions enjoying the magnificent view even though the sun was shining bright 

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Having spent ample time clicking pictures, we started to walk back towards our cars to explore the next destination

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There are absolutely no short-cuts to any place worth going!

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We paced up the track, towards our next destination

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Our next was the Harappan civilisation - The ancient genius

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Harappan or Indus valley civilisation was built in 48 acres land with tall walls to protect it's residents from outsiders

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A few glimpses of the Harappan civilisation

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We then drove down towards the Kutch fossil park road to reach the end point (Karni temple) of Dholavira. 

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The whole of day-2 turned out to be tiresome but eventful and we drove back to our residence in Gandhidham

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Day - 3 (Gandhidham - Dordo - Great Rann of Kutch - Mandvi - Gandhidham) 

 

View from my room - The Holiday Village Resort

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The resort were we had stayed is a beautiful place which offers all the amenities including sports like squash

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The Restaurant inside the resort serves continental food suitable for any person in the country

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Tried some authentic Gujarati food such as Dhokla, Fafda, Bhajiya goti, Dabeli etc. 

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Our drive towards the 'Great Rann of Kutch' was an eventful one 

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Fabulous view of 'The Great Rann of Kutch' - The place where 'The Rann Utsav' takes place every year

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We chose to hit this place post 'Rann Utsav' to avoid the crowd which could be best suitable for exploration

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We further explored the barren lands of Dordo and drove down to the Mandvi beach to enjoy the beautiful sunset 

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Mandvi is one of the best beaches in Kutch, Gujarat to enjoy the sunset and relax amidst nature

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We reached our resort late in the night to set everything for our drive back to Ahmedabad from Gandhidham on day-4

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I am seriously amazed by the beauty of that place, super intriguing stuff .. It reminds me of the Amitabh bachchan's Ad on Gujarat 'Katch nahi toh Kuch nahi' :D Brilliant stuff guys..

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A-1 drive & another scintillating report embellishing every bit of winsomeness. Kudos to the whole team for coming up with such a sterling story

Gujrat has always been an inviting territory with its elegant vista diffused all over.

Wish to go on an expedition with you guys soon.

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A-1 drive & another scintillating report embellishing every bit of winsomeness. Kudos to the whole team for coming up with such a sterling story

Gujrat has always been an inviting territory with its elegant vista diffused all over.

Wish to go on an expedition with you guys soon.

28214dbf40cfb58fb0f096fae4ab2e89.jpgbec945665a4433db710d835e7dbd92d1.jpg9e6a4bdb272912c048b6ebb4b1d05cfb.jpg

Ur comment described a lot abt this trip. For the next trip count me in
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First picture of the post itself moved me. Lovely way of explaining with mind blowing pictures. Definitely a 5 star thread :)

 

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This arid dry land is a beauty on earth. I had goosebumps all the way while I was going through this travelogue. Awesome pictures and very well narrated. It has all the information needed for a traveller.

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It has been one of my best trips so far, super adventurous.. Thanks for making it a memorable one guys.. And when is the next :D

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Awesome travelogue.. The beauty of this white desert is something which cannot be explained in words.. how hot was the temperature there when you had gone there :D

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The Rann is so mesmerizing and humbling when you are standing in the middle of it. Another super duper travel story in your chariot ,, Great going team :)

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      We Stopped at Kamath  for quick Lunch and then Started for Mysore .
      I have a friend who works in Travel agency in Bangalore , he generally takes care of hotel bookings or cab bookings if needed whenever we are around  he has booked a room for us in Mysore  at Hotel Vyshak Residency - Hotel was good and has Hot water Supply all the day  - This )hot water)  is one of the must for the Hotels around that place in Winters 
       
      -- Next Day Early Morning we went for Chamundi Temple  - Chamundeshwari Devi -One of the ShaktiPeeta ,We had good Darshan and had some prasadam at their kitchen.
       
      While returning, at the Parking Lot My mother overheard some one saying Ooty from Here is 160 kms - She immediatley said to me its 160 kms which means like Hyderabad - Nizamabad [Nizamabad being my Native]
      She asked me ,Shall we go to Ooty too.
      Who can deny an drive down to Ooty and I said immediately OK and haven't said anything about Road -,she was not aware of Ghat road and being traveled  on Butter smooth Roads from Hyderabad till Mysore she expected it to be same straight roads....but later she was scared to the max after Gudalur when it was pitch dark and raining and Ghat Road Started
       
      We had a quick visit to Shri Ganapathi Sachidanda Ashram and started for Ooty at 2:30 P:M  - if any one has this in bucket list when they visit Mysore and wants decent stay they can ask for room in Ashram campus and it is pretty less compared to outside while returning  to Hyderabad we have to stay in Mysore as it was night when we returned to Mysore from Ooty and we asked an room for accommodation as  it falls left while entering Mysore and they gave us a Big room was charged 500 Rs - all facilities were provided indeed 
       
      Took little while to cross Mysore , later we had took some time to find an ATM to get cash and has to look for ATMs in NanjanGud , the Route taken was Via :
      NanjanGud  - > Gundlupete ->Bandipur -> Gudalur -> Ooty
       
      ---- Took Right turn after GundluPete  and went 11+ kms to visit Gopalaswamy Betta ....But now cars are not allowed to be driven till the temple and one must Take Karnataka Tourism Buses ...and those will be plied till 4:000 P:M By the time we went there its was 4:00 and we dont has an Option and it started getting dark  and we started back , returned to Gundlupete and reached Bandipur
      Same friend of mine booked a Room for us in  3 Star Hotel - Hotel Preethi Classic http://www.hotelpreethiclassic.com   which was closer to city center and had quick tour of Tea Factory , Botanical gardens did shopping at Tibet Market - Finding Good food in Ooty is little tough and we had our breakFast at A2B and its pretty decent and good .
       
      Return Journey was Simple - Stopping here and there for few clicks and my car being Wagon R and people cautioned about clutch issues generally occur in that route and asked me to take some breaks and give some time for car and then start ...slowly reached Gudalur and it took sweet 4 hrs including photo breaks and tea breaks , Reached Mysore by 8:00 P:M  ,me being no mood to drive  wanted a break and i thought of starting next day early morning , and went to Ganapathi Sachithananda Aashram  -
       
      They allotted a room  , we went to near by restaurant and had dinner - Next Day Morning after a good nap and fresh-up started at 5:30 A:M to Bangaore- Hyderabad , Had Break fast at A2B Food Court after Mysore on Bangalore Highway [Excellent and Neat rest Rooms] 
      Crossed Bangalore in midst of heavy traffic and being Monday it was very very tedious to cross Bangalore - Had stop after Bangalore at Shell Bunk and topped up the fuel ,they have checked the car and i took their engine oil and they did the oil change in quick time and started for Hyderabad . Bangalore Highway is one of the best roads i have driven and being day time we can find less traffic on Roads and one can certainly get bored too ...went into Anantapur town in search of a good mess for Lunch but traffic made to change our plans and we stopped at Dhaba some where in between Anantapur and Kurnool  highway .
       
      After having Some Rotis started for Hyderabad which was Straight Road with speed breakers here and there 
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  • Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th

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