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Hyderabad to Ooty, Coonoor & Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu - Pre monsoon drive meet up - June 01 - 04 17'

 

Start point - Gachibowli (ORR)

End point - Ooty (Accommodation)

Start time - 04:15 a.m.

Total Distance - ~1900 kms

Objective - A drive meet to Ooty, Coonoor and Bandipur to rejoice the pre-monsoon showers.

 

Participants:

 

1) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno

2) Volks Wagen Polo (Red)

3)  Volks Wagen Polo (Red)

4) Ford Ecosport

5) Hyundai Creta (Red)

6) Hyundai Creta (White)

 

Route Taken:

Hyderabad (Gachibowli) --> Kurnool --> Bangalore --> Mysuru --> Bandipur --> Mudumalai --> Ooty

 

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Road Condition:

 

Hyderabad to Bangalore: 
4-lane and road condition is excellent, Kurnool bridge is finally completed. 
 

Bangalore to Mysuru routes:
Route 1:
Bangalore --> Visveshpura --> Herur --> Yadiru --> Nagamangala --> Srirangapatna --> Mysuru

Bangalore to Yadiru route  : 4-lane and excellent road.
Yadiru  to Srirangapatna route : single lane road, road condition is good but many speed bumps en-route. 

 

Route 2:

Bangalore --> Channapatna --> Mandya --> Mysuru

4-lane road but heavy traffic.

 

Mysuru to Bandhipur route:

Mysuru --> Najanagudu --> Begur --> Gundlupete --> Bandhipur

 

Bandhipur to Ooty route:

Route 1:
Bandhipur --> Theppakapadu --> Masinagundi --> 36 haripins --> Ooty

Non-commercial route, only for cars and small vehicles are allowed.

Route 2:

Bandhipur --> Gudalur -->  Ooty
Commercial route with truck traffic.

 

Places covered:

 

1) Bandipur forest safari

2) Coonoor - Highfield Tea factory

3) Avalanche & Emerald

4) Doddabetta peak

5) Kotagiri

6) Ooty - The Tea factory and Tea museum

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Day - 1 : Hyderabad to Mysuru

 

All the members attending the drive have assembled at the start point by 4:00 a.m. and the drive kicked-off by 4:15 a.m. after a brief introductory session about the rules and the convoy positions during the drive.

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Following the respective convoy positions, we raced on to the ORR towards Kurnool to take our stop for breakfast.

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The usual way of how we regroup at every Toll exit until all the cars line-up to continue the drive further.

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We had stopped by the Hotel Suraj Grand for breakfast. The food at this place was pretty good with decent ambience.

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After a sumptuous meal, our drive commenced towards the next stop at Bangalore.

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Running under the defined speed limit, we never missed to fall out of this convoy. Being a part of this group for my first long drive, this factor has amazed me to a certain extent.

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We had reached Bangalore to stop by for Lunch around 1:00 p.m. The ambience and food at this place was decent.

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Having taken quite a long break at lunch, we started our drive towards Mysuru around 3:00 p.m.

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We have reached Mysuru around 7:30 p.m. to halt for the night. The Dawn hotel in Mysuru was pretty good for a night stay with an exclusive restaurant attached which served us dinner for the night.

Day 1 has turned out to be an eventful fun drive where I happened to meet some amazing travel enthusiasts and true petrol heads.  

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Day - 2 : Mysuru - Bandipur - Mudumalai - Ooty - Coonoor

 

Our drive was scheduled to start by 5:30 a.m. towards Ooty with a stop at Bandipur for the forest safari.

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We had stopped by a deserted road en-route for a short photo session post breakfast.

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Everyone of us got involved in bagging some memories through clicks and poses for a while.

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And then, our drive towards Bandipur continues...

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Day - 2 : Continued..

 

The Bandipur forest reserve welcomed us  as we moved up the ghat.

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The drive through the forest over such neatly laid tracks has been an absolute bliss.

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Every bit of the drive through this section has been more than worthy while we had experienced the spotting of wildlife in frequent intervals throughout

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We have spotted a huge herd of deer en-route not just once but many a times throughout this track.

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Burning the rubber onto the smooth tarmac while clicking some scenic views until we finished the drive has been out-rightly eventful and a memory worth recollecting.

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One of those many herds we spotted.

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One from a herd of wild boars..

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The open forest road opens up to stock up for the monsoon coming ahead.

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One of the many peacocks we spotted.

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The winding forest road opened up to offer us a newer view of the ghat we were going to take.

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A super scenic view of the ghat we were heading at..

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Our timely delays at the breakfast point and stops for the photo sessions caused delay in being available for the safari on time and so we decided to do the forest safari on our way back from Ooty in the next 2 days from then. (Note: Timings for the morning safari is available only between 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. And price is 300 INR/head)

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We have taken a short break amidst the forest road to stretch ourselves and breathe in some fresh air.

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Splendid view of the ghat as we got closer.

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We had taken the 36 hairpin ghat to reach Ooty which was super scenic offering the views at its best

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We have reached Ooty before 12:00 p.m. and moved towards our stay which was engulfed amidst the tea plantations away from the town in an offbeat site.

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The route to reach our stay has been quite an off road track which has added more adventurous fun to the drive and Yes, the Polo has managed to do this track

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Beautiful vistas of the tea plantations from our stay

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After we got settled at our stay, we then moved towards exploring Coonoor which is about 25 kms from our stay. Monsoon hitting this place quite early this year added more beauty to our eyes.

We stopped by 'The Grange' hotel for lunch on our way to Coonoor. This is one place in Ooty which offered good food along with ample parking space which was observed to be quite rare in a place like Ooty.

 

Proceeding further, we have explored Coonoor and halted at the 'Highfields Tea Factory' which is 50 years old. We have had the opportunity know how the history of the Tea Factory and its process. We had also tasted the samples of all the variety of Tea they grow followed by some shopping :D

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While we have explored whole of this Tea estate

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A group pic of the whole crew before the day ended

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Getting back to Zero after our dinner, we had some great fun over the bonfire and some interactive games under the stars. This session was then followed by some night photography and star gazing. 

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A sight at the night sky was so splendid and we had no option but to get lost in the tranquillity of nature.

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Cool breeze, Night sky, Innumerable stars and the best people around.. Explains it all!

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Day - 3 : Ooty - Avalanche - Emerald - Doddabetta peak - Ooty

 

The next morning, After our breakfast at 'The Grange' hotel, we have started to pace up towards the Avalanche.

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The drive towards Avalanche was one of the best I've been to as it had offered some best roads having best of the scenic views throughout with Tea plantations and step farming all around.

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Road to Avalanche as we got closer deteriorated but the drive was still fun as the road led us into a forest.

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The entry at the Avalanche got closed by the time we reached as the slots were full for that day and this is the best view of the lake we could capture midway. 

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We then moved towards the Avalanche dam and the Emerald dam which still remained closed due to the construction and piping work at the Dam.

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We decided to Explore the place and drive down to Doddabetta.

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Every bit of this drive has offered some best sceneries.

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No wonder Ooty is called 'The Queen of hill stations'.

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We had stopped by one of the best view points on our way to admire and cherish the beauty nature was offering us.

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All of us got involved in clicking some pictures at this stop

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A small village engulfed between the beautiful Tea estates.

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We started to move towards Doddabetta peak which is known as the highest peak in the Southern part of India.

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Drive towards Doddabetta peak was awesome as we have experienced different types of climatic conditions right from sunny to rainy.

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This place turned out to be a true commercial spot which seemed very crowded at the top of the hill. As the fog got cleared, this is one beautiful vista of the Nilgiris form the hill top. 

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Last picture of the day at the top of the peak, we had set back to our stay early by 9:00 p.m. as we have got a hectic drive lined up for the next morning.

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We have started off by 4 in the morning from Ooty towards Bandipur for the safari.

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As we got on to the ghat, the sky has offered us a magnificent view of the sunrise. No morning can get better than this sight to me.

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We got stopped at the check point on the ghat, before we entered into the wild forest zone as was closed and we had to wait at the gate until we got a signal about the road being cleared. It got opened at 6:00 a.m.

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We have reached the Bandipur Forest safari gate by 7:00 a.m. and booked our safari slots for 7:30 a.m. The price per head for the forest safari in the bus was 300 INR.

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Standing tall on the head, the wild vulture was overlooking at the forest ground.

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We have also spotted a lot of these grey faced Langoors.

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A furry mongoose, I wonder if it was wandering in search of snakes.

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The female Sambar deers always look confused to me. They are undoubtedly huge when compared to the normal deers.

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Mother and the fawn.

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And a lot more of these deers.

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A group of peahens.

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A herd of 'Great Indian Elephants' taking a break at the lake amidst the forest.

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It was 9:00 a.m. by the time our forest safari got done and we then, started our drive back to Hyderabad taking breaks at regular intervals for food.

We have reached home by 11:00 p.m.

Over all, It wouldn't have been a lively trip without a great company!

I would like to thank @sagar for being so generous in offering me a ride and also my co-passengers @Kashyap @Sug @charan89 for putting up with me throughout the drive :P. Each and every member's actions & help will definitely have a profound effect on me for sure and I have got a lot to learn from everyone of you. Though we have parted ways in the end, our paths have aligned, memories are woven and crossed each other's minds. This is just the beginning and I am sure that I am in for one Hell'uva time with you all in more of such trips. Thanks to the admins for organising such a wonderful road trip and I am looking forward for more. May the 'Driving spirit' be with you all. Cheers!

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Lovely report with some amazing and brilliant pictures Omkar. Thanks a lot for sharing. It really took us quite some time to recover from the exhaustion & trauma and get back to our senses. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for making this a road trip to remember. Every bit of the drive starting from the highways into the forests and cruising on to the ghats and falling in love with nature has been really worth. More importantly, support from everyone of you, your enthusiasm and energy really did matter to us when a few things turned out aback at us. Thanks a lot for puling up your socks and keeping oneself so charged to explore more during the lows of this drive. Overall, it has been a commendable team work and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for being so active throughout and making this drive worth a memory in India-drive's sac. Cheers!

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@Omik, Amazing pictures and the report is very perfect.

What a meet it turned out to be.
Best way to spend a long weekend. A long drive along with road trip enthusiasts (India-Drive members).

 

We would like to thank all our members who were a part of this drive. 

Every member became more like an extended family in playing their parts, which also increased the fun quotient.

 

Ooty being very commercial, has landed us in facing few blocks.
It is amazing to see how our members kept up their spirits.


We feel very greatful to have you all as a part of the 'India-Drive' family.

Thank you.

 

Few clicks from my side.

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Neat,crisp and informative report. Brilliant images, and the pictures of the milky way galaxy stood out. Outstanding work omkar, here is to many more such trips to come!

Here are my additions to this travelogue
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Amaizing one guys. Pictures were breathing just the way they were in reality.
One heck of a ride it was. Cheers to all the drive buddies. A loud one for the organisers :D :D

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Amazing report @Omik.

 

Great captures @Omik , @Ranger & @Ravi . I could still feel those moments from these photos.

 

As @sagar mentioned it's the enthusiasm & energy of all the members which fueled this trip.

 

Kudos to Organizers for presenting us with such beautiful memories. Keep it up guys !

 

Happy Motoring & drive safe. :D

Edited by Asher
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Excellent write, even I had done a recent drive to Ooty from Hyderabad from June 12 to June 16 to avoid the crowd :)

On a side note can I ask who owns the polo TS07FN***
Can the owner pm pls :)
 

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On 7/12/2017 at 3:46 PM, suhas said:

Excellent write, even I had done a recent drive to Ooty from Hyderabad from June 12 to June 16 to avoid the crowd :)

On a side note can I ask who owns the polo TS07FN1223
Can the owner pm pls :)

sent from Mobile
 

Hi Suhas! That's my Polo there. Please check your inbox for my message.Thanks :D

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hi guys.. is this right time to visit Bandipur & Ooty..?  Thinking of a road trip this coming 30th, 31st & Jan 1st.
 

Ooty will be overcrowded during the new year you may want to avoid unless you have booking done already.

Try Kethi Valley should be relatively better n you would get Doddabetta peak views from there...


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On 28/12/2017 at 9:43 AM, sbhamidi said:


Ooty will be overcrowded during the new year you may want to avoid unless you have booking done already.
 

 

Spot on response @sbhamidi... Ooty and places around Ooty are definitely not worth a visit during any holiday seasons. I am eagerly waiting for your year end trip report :)

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Avoid Ooty during weekends/long weekends.
Place is completely spoiled by commercial tourists.

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Thank you guys for the feedback.. This coming weekend we r going to Pacherla jungle camp. and from there Srisailam.. any suggestions regarding must visit places..? 

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      The temple had very less number of people and we had our Darshan freely. After that, we retired back to our hotel rooms. Had dinner in the restaurant and dozed off in the cozy rooms.
       
      Got ready by 8AM the next morning, had breakfast and went to 1000 Pillar temple. We used google maps for the way to the temple but somehow google was directing us into a small lane behind the temple. Somehow we figured out the actual route and went inside. The temple was a bit busy being it a sunday. We could not actually visit the 1000 pillar mandapa because of some renovation work being carried out.
       
      After visiting the thousand pillar temple, we started off to Laknavarm lake. Here again, if we search for Laknavaram in google maps, it is taking us to a different place. We had to use Laknavaram lake and follow the maps. The route was very good and we cruised off on both the vehicles. There were no much food joints available on the way. Before we reach Mulugu village, google was directing us to a right lane. We took the lane and somehow suspected that it might not be the actual route. Spoke to few locals and got to know about the actual route which is near to Mulugu village. Once we neared the destination, there was a heavy rush and we were not allowed to go inside with our car and were asked to park in a nearby place. This was because of some traffic jam, the officials told. After waiting for about half an hour, we were allowed to start again. There was about 2,5KM of distance to be covered and that was a bit tricky drive because of the heavy traffic and we had to get off the road at regular intervals. The roads were also risky being them on the edge of a hill. Once we reached the destination, there was no proper parking available and people were parking wherever they find some empty area. It was a task for us to park our vehicle so that it will not block anybody else's path. It was already around 1PM in the afternoon. We went near the lake bridge and it was full of tourists. There is a lot of waiting time and we decided to go for a Jungle Safari in the meantime. They charged us Rs.50 per head and took us to the other end of the lake in typical forest kind of a road. The road was full of stoned and potholes. We enjoyed the safari ride. The driver dropped us at the location and went back. We were free to roam until he comes back with another batch. We started exploring the place. Basically the place had a Gate and locks mechanism for the lake. Any excess water in the lake will be allowed a free passage from the gates to the other side. They cleverly built few steps on the other side of the water flow to create a miniature waterfalls effect. It was a nice place and we enjoyed there until the driver came back after about 2 hrs. The views were very good on both sides of the lake.
       
      We had to return to hyderabad before midnight for the new years day celebrations and had very less time left now. So we decided to skip visiting the bridge and started back. Returned to our home in hyderabad exactly in the midnight (12:00 Am 31st Dec, 2017) 
       
      No Pictures available for this trip. We are planning to cover the same place again this weekend and will try to take few pics this time.

       
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