Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Planning a Hill Station Trip - Ooty & Munnar this Time & Yes On BIKES!! ;)

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Often, When i'm Bored/stressed/Free i like to dig up blogs to read about travelogues on places & journeys that interest me. One- I find that interesting. Two- helps me plan my trip to similar destinations. This way i've planned so many trips with my friends till date & most of these plans ve even got successfully executed. :) On the other hand, ve also been part of some trips that happened on the go, no prior plans.. just some instant decisions.

Planned & Unplanned Trips have their own advantages/disadvantages. Neverthless planning gives you some clarity and assures you have all the necessary information & to be used when needed, n then going by your instinct always assures you end up having a gr8 time :p

Now that touring/Biking has become a Passionate hobby, its time to head out to some nice destination for a Long Ride. By long ride, i mean quite long somethin  > 350 kms one way. Our numerous Short n Long Rides ve now given us the Confidence to Ride Safe & Ride Long. Thanks to some fellow riders, and a group called Bangalore Bikers, Our Passion got some much needed Inspiration & we decided to invest on some Basic Safety/Riding Gear (Helmet, Shoes, Gloves, Riding Jacket, Knee Gaurds, Saddle bags etc). P.S: If you are serious about Touring on Bikes, make sure you get all these sooner than later.

March 31st being a Holiday, and a Monday, we thought, if we take leave on Friday (March 28), we'll get FOUR Consecutive days. "WoW!! SupeR. Perfect for a Trip!"

March 28 (Fri), 29 (Sat), 30 (Sun), 31 (Mon). 'Four days are more than enuh man.. :p'

So..
Our initial plan was to ride to "GOA", through Hubli (where a friend of ours would join us or rather be forced to join :)

But, owing to weather & leave constraints, we had to postpone this plan.(read ruled out). When it comes to planning for a Trip, for me, its either 'Now' or 'I dont care when. Will see later.' After all, Things happen only when they are meant to happen, rite.. ;)

So as an Excuse, we thought if at all we go to Goa it should be with our Group of Friends or else "What's the use of going so far?? that too on Bikes.. alwa..?!"

But, we want a trip. we want to Ride. Staying in blore on the last weekend of March is not an option at all ;p

Few other places on the list were: MM Hills, Kolli Hills, BR Hills, Pondicherry (East Coast), Karwar (West Coast), Dharmasthala, Kukke Subramanya, Kodachadri (western ghats), Waynad, Valparai-Munnar, Ladakh, Kashmir-Kanyakumari :p etc.


Touring in India has lots to offer: Scenic Hill Stations, Beaches, Lakes, Waterfalls, ButterSmooth Roads, Awesome Weather, Tasty Food, Adventure Sports etc.


(having covered places like Dandeli, Mangalore-Udupi, Dharamasthala, Kateel, Badami-Aihole-Pattadkal, Sirsi-Yana- Gokarna-Murudeshwara, Kukke, Coorg, Yercaud, Ooty, Chick'magalur, Waynad, Mysore & some local places like Nandi Hills, Madhugiri, Ramadevara Betta, RevanaSiddeshwara, Devarayanadurga, SiddaraBetta, Siddagange, Shivagange, Savandurga, Skandagiri etc..)

we thought, how about a Hill Station Ride to Ooty-Waynad-Munnar?

would be a good option for 3 Reasons:
1. It would be our 1st Time to Munnar & its far. around 500 kms one way. ideal for us :p
2. Being a Hill Station, it'll be cooler compared to some coastal areas (GOA/Pondi)
3. Biking in hill Stations is always fun. (we had thoroughly enjoyed Coorg & Yercaud on previous bike trips)

But then.... "its quite far rite, Ooty-Waynad-Munnar is not like Blore-Goa where you'll get to drive fast on smooth tarmac (NH) most of the time & our longest so far is only: 250kms a day. might get difficult for us & our bikes :("
"in that Case, lets skip Munnar & do Ooty-Waynad instead. Been ther Before. Nice hill Stations, ood roads. Easily doable in 4 days.."

"Ok. So Ooty & Waynad for now. Next Goa, then Kolli hills, MM Hills, BR Hills, next Pondicherry, then Kashmir, Kanyakumari :p"

But then, while browsing BangaloreBikers.com, we read some travelogues of Bike trips to "Valparai-Munnar" from Bangalore. Those threads bowled us Over. Great trips by a gr8 Group of Bikers. Read some more, just felt - 'This place is MAST'. The pics we saw were Awesome, Mindblowing, Mesmerising etc etc.

"You know what??  Munnar!! Munnar!! Munnar!! Munnar!!
Its Jus Super :)"


"Ok then, lets skip Wayanad & do Ooty-Munnar?!"
Blore-Ooty: 260kms, Ooty-Munnar: 260kms, Munnar-Blore: 465Kms Perfect!!
"Fine. lets do it then."


So what do we do?-
Lets buy some Riding Gear.
Lets plan..
Lets Ride!!

Got a Spartan Helios Jacket just before the BB March Welcome Ride to Kendatii Lake, Kolar

after much hesitation, put up a post on BangaloreBikers.com
http://bangalorebikers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2757

Got some valuable inputs as expected :) n the plan became more clear. Its going to be just Ooty-Munnar in 4 days. No Valparai / Kodaikanal. Lets ve a relaxed trip & enjoy the Ride.

Confirmed Riders, as usual:
1. Vinay @vins (zmr)
2. Nithesh @nitheshnairy (200ns)

A Rough Plan/Itenary
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March 28: leave blore by 5am, reach Ooty by 12 or 1pm.
Check-in to some Hotel in Ooty. Rest, evening Sight Seeing- Rose Garden, Pykara Lake, Halt

March 29- Early Morning Ride to Doddabetta Peak, 
Other Places of Interest:  Avalanche, Emerald  Lake, Kodanad View Point, Tea Factory
(Dolphin's Nose, Lamb's Rock, Sim's Park) These are all near Coonoor.
Leave Ooty by 12pm, Ride to Munnar. Reach by 7pm. Halt

March 30- Early Morning Ride to Top Station ( Eco point- Mattupatti Dam- Kundala lake- Top Station )
visit some falls- Cheeyappara Waterfalls or Nayamakad Waterfalls, Eravikulam National Park

March 31- leave Munnar by 8am, reach Blore by 7pm
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ROUTES

Blore-Ooty
1.  Bangalore --> Ramnagara --> Mandya --> SriRangapattna --> Mysore --> Nanjangud --> Gundlupet --> Bandipur--> Masinagudi -- Ooty ( Approx 265 Kms)
10 kms after crossing Srirangapatna town (and around 5 kms before Mysore town), you will see a cross roads, where you will find both left and right going to Ooty (straight goes to Mysore). If you take the right turn, the bypass will last 26 kms, and lead you to teh Mysore-Ooty road, 6 kms after Mysore city and 16 kms after Nanjangud town. Signages are good at both ends. The bypass is a good road.
as of now, for me, Ooty ~ 36 hair pin Bends :p
So eagerly waiting for that stretch. Quite excited cos its my 1st time to Ooty by Bike.
Gotta Drive Safe.
 
Ooty-Munnar:

2. Ooty -> Kotagiri -> Mettupalayam -> Avinashi -> Palladam -> Udumalaipettai -> Chinnar -> Marayoor -> Munnar.

Aliter: Ooty - Kotagiri- Mettupalayam - Coimbatore - Pollachi - Udumalpet - Chinnar - Munnar.

Ooty- Coonoor - Mettupalayam better avoided (on acc. of traffic n road conditions)
same applies for the route thru Coimbatore


Munnar - Blore:

3. Divided into 3 parts: a, b, c


a) Munnar -> Marayoor -> Udumalaipettai

b) 4 Options to reach Thoppur from Udumalaipettai

1. Udumalaipettai->Dharapuram->Kangeyam->Perundurai->Bhavani->
Mettur->Thoppur

2. Udumalaipettai -> Palladam-> Avinashi-> Perundurai -> Bhavani -> Mettur-> Thoppur
  
3. Udumalaipettai -> Palladam-> Tiruppur-> Perundurai -> Bhavani -> Mettur -> Thoppur 

4. Udumalaipettai -> Palladam-> Avinashi-> Perundurai -> Bhavani -> Salem-> Thoppur

c) Thoppur -> Dharamapuri -> Krishnagiri -> Hosur -> Bangalore
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Ooty
where to stay: TTDC, KSTDC
http://www.karnatakaholidays.net/
www.ttdconline.com


Ooty-Doddabetta Highway: Hotel Highland
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Munnar town you can try Munnar INN (04865230736) and also the newly built C7(232124) has very good rooms.
Green Valley Views and S N Tourist Homes




http://www.chandanaresorts.com/munnar_tourist_places.html

http://munnar.in/php/places.php

http://munnar.in/php/waterfalls.php

http://www.keralatourpedia.com/munnar-waterfalls/ 


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Ooty Map




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Munnar Map













 
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Some links:

http://www.bcmtouring.com/forum/road-status-f90/bangalore-munnar-best-route-route-update-t50577/
http://travelkurkure.blogspot.in/2012/01/bangalore-to-munnar-moonar.html
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-travel-queries/38778-bangalore-ooty-munnar-route-other-information.html 

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travelogues/29620-weekend-travelogue-ooty-mysore.html
http://ooty-all-about-ooty.blogspot.in/2008/06/how-to-reach-ooty-ooty-route.html
 
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One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.