Pune - Ooty - Munnar - Pune


Thread Starter #1
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Location
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Caution: This is a lengthy travelogue / details of my recent trip to Ooty and Munnar.

A traveller is one who likes to keep travelling and explore different places. Initially, I was a petrol head where I was interested more in cars, their dynamics, their reviews and revving them. But from last couple of years I feel like I am transformed into traveller. Now I am more interested in getting knowledge of routes, travelling on roads, feeling the change in geography, planning itinerary and executing it.

This is the reason why the urge of travelling for long distance (especially cross state) keeps on firing inside me. Last summer I done Pune – Mysore, so now the question was “Where to go in this summer?”. Due to blazing sun, the beaches are out of question. Last time due to time consent I could not plan anything ahead of Mysore. After coming back from trip most of the peoples were asking me one question - “You gone to Mysore and didn’t gone to Ooty...Aww !!”. [frustration]

I had experienced that somehow the name “Ooty” was sending shivers down my spine, because there was some fear in corner of mind for travelling on 36 hairpin bends. I know there is some other route to escape these 36 bends but still other corner of my mind was tough insisting me to take hairpin route. Now, to go or not to go was the question!! [confused]

To know more about this route, I started reading lots of travelogues. The words in their travelogue like “Dreadful”, “Dangerous”, “Killing”, “Torture”, “Real Test” kept on revolving inside my mind for couple of days. Due to this I stopped reading travelogues and started viewing dashcam videos shot by vehicles traversing hairpin bend route. Somehow my fear started to vanish and my mind became ready for travelling to Ooty. I discussed this plan with family and as usual they given me green signal along with much needed confidence.

So, all in all we had got eight days in our hand. Just having Ooty for 8 days is an overkill hence started searching for some location which can be combined along with it. Ooty is the famous hill station in Tamilnadu so why not cover hill station in Kerala as well. The plan to combine Munnar along with it popped up. I started my homework by analysing maps and planning itinerary. After lots of lefts and rights I came with below plan.

Day 1: - Pune to Tumkur
Day 2: - Tumkur to Ooty
Day 3: - Ooty Sightsee
Day 4: - Coonoor Sightsee
Day 5: - Ooty – Kotagiri – Munnar
Day 6: - Munnar Sightsee
Day 7: - Munnar to Bangalore
Day 8: - Bangalore to Pune

The above plan was finalised and packing started. Along with us my car was also getting ready to touch another state of India. A day before drive everything was checked, alarms were set and we gone early to bed. As usual I could not sleep properly due to excitement which made me woke up half an hour before alarm.

The detailed road updates of this entire trip along with pictures are posted in this thread.

Day 1
In wee hours everyone got ready, I placed all the luggage in car, done small prayer and cranked engine. Early morning start helps you to touch highway without encountering any city traffic. We were zooming on NH48 within no time. We reached Tumkur in evening and rested for that day.


Day2
The next morning, we started from Tumkur towards Ooty. Last year we drove on same route towards Mysore hence the route was known till Mysore (Columbia Asia), this time as well we have tasted “Tatte Idli” and “Dosai” on Mangalore highway.

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Within no time we bypassed Mysore and entered Bandipur forest road. The sight of deer and monkeys were refreshing.





After crossing Bandipur I took left turn towards Masinagudi. I was knowing that after this the hairpin bend route will be going to start. The huge mountain of Nilgiri’s was standing right in front of me.

I took small break to relax myself and my car. There were so many peoples with their jeeps throughout Masinagudi who were insisting me to take safari ride in their jeeps. I came to know that they charge Rs.200 per person for 1 hour of Safari into Madumalai Forest. As per them, this is cheaper than Bandipur Safari which just lasts for 30 mins. I politely denied due to lack of time.

I cranked the engine and started my journey towards Ooty. Within no time I was in front of 1st hairpin bend marked at 36/36. Slowly I kept progressing and within in couple of minutes we crossed 26/36 hairpin bends. On 27th bend there came three cars descending back to back which made me to lose my momentum and I stalled my car right on the middle of bend. With a lot of patience, I restarted it and moved ahead. I kept on moving and within no time I crossed pin bend marked as 1/36. What a moment it was, a sigh of relief!! a sigh of achievement!! a sigh of conquers!! That day I came to know the meaning of below statement,

“It's better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

With great satisfaction I entered Ooty which welcomed us with its cool breeze having temperature of 10 degrees. At last we reached our hotel and relaxed. Now entire evening was free for us, so decided to visit main market of Ooty (Charring Cross). Instead of taking car I decided to take auto (Auto fares in Ooty are very costly). We reached famous Adams Fountain at Charring cross.

Adams fountain at Charring Cross
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Ooty is famous for its homemade chocolates, hence we purchased some from famous “Kingstar Chocolates”. There are many hotels in this area where you can have some delicious food. In evening the climate of Ooty became more chilled. We came back to hotel and rested for the day.


Day 3
This day as per my plan was for Ooty sightsee. We were ready and started from hotel around 8:30am towards Pykara (Gudalur) side.

The first spot on this road is Ooty Golf Club. The entry inside golf club is given strictly to the members. We saw this golf club from outside and move ahead towards Pine forest. The pine forest is located couple of kilometres ahead on left side of road.

1) Pine Forest and Kamarajar Sagar
There is no dedicated parking hence you need to park your vehicle beside road. There is entrance ticket for Pine Forest and Kamarajar Sagar which is Rs.5/head.(Children’s below 12 years are free). For reaching Kamarajar Sagar water you need to walk on sloping ground of pine forest. It may be difficult for few ladies and aged ones. The facility of washrooms and restaurant is not available here.
Horse riding is available on the banks of Kamarajar Sagar. After taking few pictures, we moved ahead.

Pine Forest Ticket Counter
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Pine Forest
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View of Kamarajar Sagar
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2) 6th Mile
After few kilometres from pine forest you will find 6th mile on right side of road. There is neither entry ticket nor dedicated parking place. You need to park your vehicle beside road. 6th mile also has some dense pine trees but the area is small. At the end you can see some meadows. There were few professional photographers available to click your photos. The facility of horse riding is available here. There are no washrooms and restaurant available in this spot.

View from 6th Mile
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3) Wenlock’s Down
This location is also known as 9th Mile or Shooting Spot. It is located on same road few kilometres ahead of 6th mile on left side. You can see trails of vehicle parked on both side of road because there is no dedicated parking for this spot. There is entry free of Rs.10 per head. Facility of clean washrooms and few food vendors are available. Horse riding is also available but at steeper price.

At Wenlock’s Down, for getting views you need to do small trek on hilly grassland to reach the top. Trekking is tiresome activity for ladies and aged peoples. There is no sitting facility, if you get tired you need to sit on grass. Carry a bottle of water, goggle and cap with you. The flow of wind is bit heavy on the top.

Trails of vehicles parked on both side of road
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Ticket rates of Wenlock’s Down
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Ticket counter representing Toda (Tribal community in Nilgiri) style hut
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View from Wenlock’s Down
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View from 9th Mile
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Horse ride rates at Shooting Spot
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4) Pykara Water Falls
As you move ahead of Wenlock’s Down in couple of kilometres you will see parking of Pykara Waterfalls on right side of the road. The falls are located at approximate 1 Km distance from parking spot. There are two battery operated golf cars with seating capacity of 8 peoples to take you up to the entrance of fall with charge of Rs.10/head. You may also opt for walk till the falls.

The entrance tickets for visiting falls is Rs.10/head. You need to step down approximate 50 steps to reach the falls. It might get taxing while coming up when you have ladies and aged peoples with you.

Entrance ticket counter of Pykara waterfall
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The Pykara Falls
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While coming back you should walk till entrance after which you have choice to either take golf car or walk till parking. There are few vendors selling eatables near parking.

5) Pykara Lake
For Pykara lake you need to keep going ahead from Pykara waterfalls till you see board stating “Pykara Boat House” on your left side. Here you need to exit Gudalur road. They take Rs.30 as car entrance fee. The lake is situated at least 1-2 Km ahead from the entrance. This road is in painful state, there are many off-roading patches of few meters. They have made some one-way facility in between as well. This road will take you near parking spot of Pykara Boathouse (forgot the parking charges). There are few eateries available near parking spot.

You need to descend few steps to reach ticket counter. This place felt less crowdy. They have speed boat as well as motor boat (8 people capacity). The motor boat costs Rs.100 per head, you need to wait until there are 8 peoples or else Rs.800 can be shared within whatever available peoples. The boat ride is good and they cover large circle. Pykara lake has clean waters and some forests on its shore.

Pykara Lake
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6) Doddabetta
This is the highest peak in Tamilnadu. You need to pay entrance of Rs.30 per car for visiting Doddabetta peak. The approach road is terrible and has some of the steep curves. There is one-way arrangement done while approaching Doddabetta peak. Ample parking space is available. You need to pay Rs.7/head as entry fee which also contains Telescope house visit. The view from top is good. There are few vendors outside selling eatables and knickknacks. Hardly 10-15 mins to view in all side, if time constraint then this can be skipped. (I felt it’s a hyped place)

Doddabetta Telescope House
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View from Telescope House
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Vertigo inside telescope house
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Interesting wall clocks at the seller outside Doddabetta peak
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7) Doddabetta Tea Factory.
This is famous and old tea factory in this area. The entrance to factory has one steepest curve where security whistles and make you stop before climb if there is another vehicle on opposite side. There is one more tea factory named “Benchmark tea factory” on the way, they have made too much advertisement about it, you will find one person standing on road who will direct you towards their parking. Just ignore him and continue straight into Doddabetta Tea Factory parking.

Entrance to factory is free, they tie wrist band to every visitor. They show you factory along with audio presentation of tea making process. At the end they provide a cup of tea for every visitor free of charge. There is sales counter where you can buy different varieties of tea produced in this factory.

After purchasing few varieties of tea we moved ahead to our next stop of Botanical Gardens. On the way we came across this Chocolate factory

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8) Botanical Gardens.
The parking is bit ahead from this garden. You need to pay entrance fee of Rs.30 / adult and Rs.15 / child (between 5 to 12 years). Food items are strictly prohibited inside garden. Washrooms are available here.

The garden is huge and nicely maintained. The landscape is green and have very old trees (some are million years old). You need to do good amount of walking inside to cover entire park. There is small flower garden as well inside this park.

The botanical gardens
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Panoramic view of Botanical Garden
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Some interesting trees (from past million years)
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9) Rose Garden
This is one of the famous garden in Ooty. This garden is huge where it showcases large varieties of rose from entire world. They have put the boards stating names of each variety of rose. There is entrance fee of Rs.30 / adult and Rs.15 / child (between 5 to 12 years).

Rose garden is designed on different levels hence you need to walk a lot to explore it. They have a good and green landscape along with lot of benches to sit and relax. The time I visited was not a blooming period hence found very less roses in entire garden.

The roses
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Some of the big roses I have seen for first time
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A board inside rose garden
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Panoramic view of Rose Garden
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We relaxed here a bit, took few pictures and moved towards our last sight see spot in Ooty. Yes !! It is Ooty Lake.

10) Ooty Lake
This place is so popular that if you don’t do boating here then you are disqualified from visiting Ooty. As expected, it is a bit crowdy place with lots of eateries and shops selling knickknacks nearby. There is entrance fee of Rs.13 per head. There is everything here, a boat house, horse riding, fun fair, mini train etc. Apart from this there is children’s park, horror house, 3D to 7D cinemas etc. As we have already done boating at Pykara hence skipped it here. Also, the ticket counters were over crowded.

Boathouse at Ooty Lake
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While coming back from lake towards Ooty town we came across one amusement park named “Thunder World”

11) Thunder World
This is newly created amusement park. The entry fee into their campus is Rs.10/head. They have full package Rs.350 (Includes Third Eye-60, Incredible India-60, Dinosaur-150, Haunted House-60, Rain Forest-60, Vortex-60, 5D theatre -100). We were tired after exploring Ooty for entire day hence did not explored this amusement park more.

We reached Ooty and had our dinner at charring cross. After this we straight away drove to our hotel. Ooty was chilling in night.

Day 4
According to my plan today we were setting out towards Coonoor. Initially, the famous Nilgiris Toy Train ride was not in my plan as reserved tickets were sold out. I checked it with hotel where they said they can arrange three tickets for my family in general quota. I agreed with them, they depicted their own person to station to buy tickets, we went to station where we met that person and took our tickets, it was 9:15am trains ticket from Ooty to Coonoor. The ticket rate was Rs.10 per head.

Ooty Station
Ooty station also known as Udagamandalam is still in its old grace. The station was crowdy with tourist. There were railway police who were checking the tickets, they don’t allow you to enter platform if you don’t have tickets. The train was already standing on platform packed with tourists. We also grabbed our tickets and swiftly entered train. It started at right time, the diesel engine gives long whistles prior to leaving Ooty.

You need to sit of right side of train while doing Ooty to Coonoor while you need to sit on left side of train while doing Coonoor to Ooty. This is because there is a mountain all along one side while valley view on other side. Tourist started to click pictures of whatever they were seeing on valley side. After some half an hour few of them were busy on their Whatsapp while others were sleepy. This train takes almost 1 hour to reach Coonoor.

If you have not sat in such trains then you should do it otherwise as per my opinion you can skip train ride and go by road to Coonoor.

Ticket counter at Ooty station
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Ooty (Udagamandalam) station
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Train Timings
Ooty to Coonoor
09:15(Reserved train towards Coonoor), 12:15 (Passenger train towards Coonoor), 14:00 (Reserved train towards Mettupalaym), 17:30(Passenger train towards Coonoor)

Coonoor to Ooty
07:45, 10:40(Reserved train towards Mettupalayam), 12:35, 16:00 (Reserved train towards Coonoor)

Once you step out of Coonoor station, lot of Taxis and Auto drivers will gather around you for taking you to local sightsee, they have fixed sightsee where they will do pickup and drop at Coonoor station.
 
Thread Starter #2
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
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Location
Pune
1) Sims Park
The parking spot for Sims Park is bit ahead of entrance. There is entrance ticket of Rs.30 / adult and Rs.15 / child (between 5 to 12 years). Facility of washrooms is available. The park is on a sloping hill which has been landscaped to make walkways and paths, hence much more enjoyable for the kids. They have lot of benches to sit and relax. The park is not too crowded, access to half area is blocked due to wild animals. Each tree is at least 150 years old, it is said to be a Botanical Garden of Coonoor.

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Panoramic view of different levels in Sims Park
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Different type of trees in park
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Blocked jungle side
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At the last level you can find small lake where pedal boating is available at Rs.25 per head for 10 mins. This is one of the crowd less boating spot.
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We relaxed for some time in this park and then started on our way towards Dolphines Nose. The road to Dolphine Nose has many Bunglaows, they look amazing inside forest and tea estates. In between we came across a spot named as “Lady Rock”

Lady rock is mountain view where the locals were saying that top side of mountain resembles the shape of sleeping lady (I doubt)

View from lady rock
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Sleeping lady rock decoded as per locals
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After clicking few pictures we started on our way. While moving ahead we came to the spot where famous song “Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hain” from hindi movie “Saajan” was shot.
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There were few beautiful tea estates here. You can get professional photographers on this road who will click your photos while plucking tea in traditional dress.

Beautiful Tea Estate.
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You can see glimpse of Catherine Waterfall on your way towards Dolphine Nose. There was less water in it in this season.
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2) Dolphine’s Nose
At last we reached Dolphine’s nose. There is parking fee of Rs.30. The parking is not very organised, it is extremely difficult because of narrow road. To reverse also you must go till the end of the road near the shops and then make a U-turn.

Entrance fee to Dolphine’s Nose is Rs.10 /head. There is telescope at Dolphine’s Nose where they show you 4-5 spots after paying Rs.10/head. There are ample amount of shops and eateries near parking. This place has lot of monkeys as well, so beware of them.

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Our next spot was to visit Lambs Rock. You need to take “Glenmorgan” route and turn left for Lambs Rock.

3) Lamb’s Rock
As soon as you enter here you will come across parking challenge (I forgot parking charges). There is a big mess created by few buses, tempo travellers and jay walkers. There are lots of shops and eateries near parking spot.

You need to pay entrance fee of Rs.10 per head. Lamb’s rock needs some amount of walking on rough and rocky path. Ladies and aged peoples need to be careful. So many monkeys on the way. There is suicide point on this way, the gorge is scary deep.

View from suicide point. Visitors are restricted beyond railing.
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View from Lamb’s Rock
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Elephant Head Rock
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We clicked few pictures at this spot and started our journey back towards Ooty. On the way we saw Madras Regiment and Ketty Valley. The Ketty Valley point has one steep gradient, they have telescope house (they show you three locations) to see the valley. The entrance is free but for telescope they charge Rs.10/adult (Children’s till 12 years are free).

View of Ketty Valley.
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We reached back in our hotel at Ooty early in evening and rested for the day.
In Ooty you will find availability of cabs for local sightseeing. I found below board at Taxi Stand near Charring Cross

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Typical Sightsee itinerary as per hotel desk

Local Ooty
Doddabetta Peak, Benchmark Tea Factory, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Ooty Boat house (lake)

Gudalur Side
Kamaraj Sagar Dam View, Golf Club (Outer View), Pine Forest, 6th mile, 9th Mile, Pykara Water Falls & Boat House

Coonoor Side
Madras Regimental Centre (Outer View), Sims Park, Dolphins Nose, Catherine Water Falls View, Lambs Rock

Kotagiri Side
Kodanad View Point, Rangaswamy Pillar Peak, Nehru Park

Mudumalai Side
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai Elephant Trip (On Availability), Masinagudi Tribal Village, Bison Valley Point

Avalanche Side
Avalanche Lake, Tribal Museum, Emerald Dam Outer View, Echo Awareness Centre

Day 5
Everything was getting executed as per plan. With heavy hearts we said, “Bye” to Ooty (promising to come back again) and started our journey towards Munnar. We took Kotagiri route to reach Mettupalayam. Early mornings in Ooty are bliss as you encounter good fog and pleasant atmosphere throughout. As soon as we came out of Ooty the winding roads welcomed us up till Kotagiri. I observed that Kotagiri has more tea estates as compared to Coonoor.

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While enjoying entire trip from Ooty we reached Munnar early in the evening. Munnar becomes misty in evening onwards. We reached our hotel and relaxed for the day.

Misty Munnar
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Tea Estates in Munnar
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Day 6
It was one of the wonderful morning with pleasant climate in Munnar.

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This was the day reserved for Munnar sightsee. We had our breakfast and were out for sightseeing.

1) Gap Road View
Absolutely no sole here. Parking on side of road. Neither any washroom nor eateries.

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2) Lockhart View
There is tea factory named LockHart nearby hence their tea plantation view is known as LockHart view. You need to park your vehicle beside road. No washrooms, no eateries, not a single soul in sight.

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You need to come to Munnar Town to take Top station road. Munnar town is bit messy with all sorts of vehicles criss-crossing each other. Once you take Top station road then the congestion decreases. On this road you will first come across flower garden.

3) Forticulture Garden
There is ascend on road where you need to park your car. The Entrance ticket is Rs.30/adult, Rs.15/child, Rs.20 for Still & Mobile Camera. Garden is made on three layers, out of which first two layers are very crowdy. There are lot of different flowers and cactus. You need to walk in queue for first two layers to watch them. Lot of groups and selfie syndrome crowd which makes queue stop while taking their pics. If one is short on time or if already visited Ooty gardens then this location can be skipped.

Ticket Counter of Flower Garden
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Forticulture Garden
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After coming out from this crowdy location we started moving ahead. Once you cross a small ghat section then you will see long trails of vehicles parked on both side of road.

4) Devikulam Tea garden
These are Kaanan Devan tea estates on side of road. The tea estates are very green and dense. Parking is free as it is beside road. There are few shops and eateries. If you want to take your photos in tea estates then professional photographers are available.

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We stopped here and had some corn. The road ahead takes you to famous Matupetty Dam.

5) Matupetty Dam
They have ample parking space for which they take Rs.50 per car. Clean washrooms are available. Entrance is Rs.30/adult and Rs.15/child. The facility of speed boating and shared motor boating is available. You will find few eateries as well. Beware of monkeys in this location, they are lot of them.

We skipped boating as there was long queue. Took few clicks and after getting freshen up left the place and moved ahead towards famous Echo Point.

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6) Echo Point
One of the crowdy spot on this road. Lot of sellers, shops and eateries along road. Parking is beside road where getting parking spot is very difficult. Echo point is just below the road but still they charge Rs.10/head as entrance. You can get fresh carrots and vegetables here.

Mind it but you need to shout in very high decibels to hear its faint echo.

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A couple of kilometres ahead of Echo point you will come across some trees beside road which are loaded with hives created by honey bees. The spot is known as “Honeybee tree”. There is no photo as we did not stop here.

7) Film Shooting Point
It is located right ahead of Echo Point on your left side. Film shooting point is none other than but the same extension of waters of Matupetty Dam, just creating different views. There is no dedicated parking stop. You need to park your vehicle beside road. Few shops and eateries across road.

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After clicking few pics, we moved ahead towards Top Station which is the last spot on this road. The road passes through lot of tea estates. You will find few “Elephant crossing zone” boards on this road.

There are lot of Nilgiri tree forest beside this road.
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8) Top Station
After some 10-12 Kms we came to Top Station. There is messy parking beside road near to Top station. The roads are terrible with broken tarmac and potholes. You need to do some walk within tea estates to reach down for view point of top station. The walk is very risky as there is no pathway, you need to be cautious as it is on sloping tea estates. There are no washrooms neither any shops or eateries here.

On the way to Top Station
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The valley below was filled with fog and nothing could be seen.
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It seems sunset happens a bit early in Munnar, because when we started back towards Munnar town it started to get dark.

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Slight rains welcomed us in Munnar Town. We did some shopping and purchased some tea. I came across one shop where they have displayed sweets in interesting packages. There we no rains apart from Munnar town, we reached back to our hotel and called it for the day.

Sweets in shop
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In Munnar town I came across few taxiwala’s who depict prepaid taxi from Munnar town for local sightsee. They have their predefined locations as below,

Day1 – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Periakanal Water Fall, Gap road view point, Rock cave, Lockhart Tea garden, Devikulam Tea Garden, Flower Garden, Photo Point, Honey Bee trees, Elephant Safari, Mattupetty Dam, Film shooting point, Echo Point

Day2 – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Kanan Devan Tea factory, Eravikulam National Park, Rajamallay, Munnar Shopping

3 hours trip
Hanging bridge, Orange Plantation, Anayirankal Dam, Spice Plantation

Day & Night Safari
Luckom Water Falls, Marayoor Sandal Wood Forest, Thoovanam Water Falls, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Alampetty Forest Trekking

Thekkady Sight See (7am to 7pm)
Boating and Periyar Lake, Spice plantation tour, Elephant Safari

Kolukkumallay Jeep Safari (4 Hours)
Lake view point, Highest Tea Garden, Kerala – Tamilnadu view point, Echo point, Tea factory visit


Day 7
We bided Bye to Munnar and started our journey towards Bangalore. This time we took Marayoor route towards Udumalpet which goes through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Somehow, we could not spot any animal throughout the sanctuary. We descended the ghats and touched plains at Udumalpet.

From Avinashi onwards we were right on six lane highway towards Bangalore. At Hosur slight shower of rains welcomed us and by evening we reached Electronics City – Phase 1 where we stayed for that day.


Day 8
After having breakfast, we started towards Pune. Enjoying the relax drive we reached our home by 10pm and crashed on beds.

That’s the end of my travelogue. Just to summarize I would say that most of the places in Ooty and Munnar felt similar to me. So, it’s good if you visit Ooty and Munnar separately rather than combining them in single trip.

That’s all from my end. If you have reached here then thanks for reading this lengthy travelogue.

Posting a pic of my car which is always eager to take us everywhere.

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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
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Location
Bengaluru
Fantastic travelogue! Amazing level of details. Not to mention, the detailed itinerary. Kudos for covering so many destinations in such a short time. I can cover just 1-2 locations a day, wherever I am (with family). Without family though, I never go anywhere (meaning stay put in the resort / homestay / hotel & sip b**r)!
 
Thread Starter #4
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
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Location
Pune
Fantastic travelogue! Amazing level of details. Not to mention, the detailed itinerary. Kudos for covering so many destinations in such a short time. I can cover just 1-2 locations a day, wherever I am (with family). Without family though, I never go anywhere (meaning stay put in the resort / homestay / hotel & sip b**r)!
Even i also visit everywhere mostly with family. Now a times we decide what is to be covered for that day prior to visit.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
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Location
mumbai
1) Sims Park
The parking spot for Sims Park is bit ahead of entrance. There is entrance ticket of Rs.30 / adult and Rs.15 / child (between 5 to 12 years). Facility of washrooms is available. The park is on a sloping hill which has been landscaped to make walkways and paths, hence much more enjoyable for the kids. They have lot of benches to sit and relax. The park is not too crowded, access to half area is blocked due to wild animals. Each tree is at least 150 years old, it is said to be a Botanical Garden of Coonoor.

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Panoramic view of different levels in Sims Park
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Different type of trees in park
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Blocked jungle side
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At the last level you can find small lake where pedal boating is available at Rs.25 per head for 10 mins. This is one of the crowd less boating spot.
View attachment 243443

We relaxed for some time in this park and then started on our way towards Dolphines Nose. The road to Dolphine Nose has many Bunglaows, they look amazing inside forest and tea estates. In between we came across a spot named as “Lady Rock”

Lady rock is mountain view where the locals were saying that top side of mountain resembles the shape of sleeping lady (I doubt)

View from lady rock
View attachment 243444

Sleeping lady rock decoded as per locals
View attachment 243445

After clicking few pictures we started on our way. While moving ahead we came to the spot where famous song “Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hain” from hindi movie “Saajan” was shot.
View attachment 243446

There were few beautiful tea estates here. You can get professional photographers on this road who will click your photos while plucking tea in traditional dress.

Beautiful Tea Estate.
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You can see glimpse of Catherine Waterfall on your way towards Dolphine Nose. There was less water in it in this season.
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2) Dolphine’s Nose
At last we reached Dolphine’s nose. There is parking fee of Rs.30. The parking is not very organised, it is extremely difficult because of narrow road. To reverse also you must go till the end of the road near the shops and then make a U-turn.

Entrance fee to Dolphine’s Nose is Rs.10 /head. There is telescope at Dolphine’s Nose where they show you 4-5 spots after paying Rs.10/head. There are ample amount of shops and eateries near parking. This place has lot of monkeys as well, so beware of them.

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Our next spot was to visit Lambs Rock. You need to take “Glenmorgan” route and turn left for Lambs Rock.

3) Lamb’s Rock
As soon as you enter here you will come across parking challenge (I forgot parking charges). There is a big mess created by few buses, tempo travellers and jay walkers. There are lots of shops and eateries near parking spot.

You need to pay entrance fee of Rs.10 per head. Lamb’s rock needs some amount of walking on rough and rocky path. Ladies and aged peoples need to be careful. So many monkeys on the way. There is suicide point on this way, the gorge is scary deep.

View from suicide point. Visitors are restricted beyond railing.
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View from Lamb’s Rock
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Elephant Head Rock
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We clicked few pictures at this spot and started our journey back towards Ooty. On the way we saw Madras Regiment and Ketty Valley. The Ketty Valley point has one steep gradient, they have telescope house (they show you three locations) to see the valley. The entrance is free but for telescope they charge Rs.10/adult (Children’s till 12 years are free).

View of Ketty Valley.
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We reached back in our hotel at Ooty early in evening and rested for the day.
In Ooty you will find availability of cabs for local sightseeing. I found below board at Taxi Stand near Charring Cross

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Typical Sightsee itinerary as per hotel desk

Local Ooty
Doddabetta Peak, Benchmark Tea Factory, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Ooty Boat house (lake)

Gudalur Side
Kamaraj Sagar Dam View, Golf Club (Outer View), Pine Forest, 6th mile, 9th Mile, Pykara Water Falls & Boat House

Coonoor Side
Madras Regimental Centre (Outer View), Sims Park, Dolphins Nose, Catherine Water Falls View, Lambs Rock

Kotagiri Side
Kodanad View Point, Rangaswamy Pillar Peak, Nehru Park

Mudumalai Side
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai Elephant Trip (On Availability), Masinagudi Tribal Village, Bison Valley Point

Avalanche Side
Avalanche Lake, Tribal Museum, Emerald Dam Outer View, Echo Awareness Centre

Day 5
Everything was getting executed as per plan. With heavy hearts we said, “Bye” to Ooty (promising to come back again) and started our journey towards Munnar. We took Kotagiri route to reach Mettupalayam. Early mornings in Ooty are bliss as you encounter good fog and pleasant atmosphere throughout. As soon as we came out of Ooty the winding roads welcomed us up till Kotagiri. I observed that Kotagiri has more tea estates as compared to Coonoor.

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While enjoying entire trip from Ooty we reached Munnar early in the evening. Munnar becomes misty in evening onwards. We reached our hotel and relaxed for the day.

Misty Munnar
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Tea Estates in Munnar
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Day 6
It was one of the wonderful morning with pleasant climate in Munnar.

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This was the day reserved for Munnar sightsee. We had our breakfast and were out for sightseeing.

1) Gap Road View
Absolutely no sole here. Parking on side of road. Neither any washroom nor eateries.

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2) Lockhart View
There is tea factory named LockHart nearby hence their tea plantation view is known as LockHart view. You need to park your vehicle beside road. No washrooms, no eateries, not a single soul in sight.

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You need to come to Munnar Town to take Top station road. Munnar town is bit messy with all sorts of vehicles criss-crossing each other. Once you take Top station road then the congestion decreases. On this road you will first come across flower garden.

3) Forticulture Garden
There is ascend on road where you need to park your car. The Entrance ticket is Rs.30/adult, Rs.15/child, Rs.20 for Still & Mobile Camera. Garden is made on three layers, out of which first two layers are very crowdy. There are lot of different flowers and cactus. You need to walk in queue for first two layers to watch them. Lot of groups and selfie syndrome crowd which makes queue stop while taking their pics. If one is short on time or if already visited Ooty gardens then this location can be skipped.

Ticket Counter of Flower Garden
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Forticulture Garden
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After coming out from this crowdy location we started moving ahead. Once you cross a small ghat section then you will see long trails of vehicles parked on both side of road.

4) Devikulam Tea garden
These are Kaanan Devan tea estates on side of road. The tea estates are very green and dense. Parking is free as it is beside road. There are few shops and eateries. If you want to take your photos in tea estates then professional photographers are available.

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We stopped here and had some corn. The road ahead takes you to famous Matupetty Dam.

5) Matupetty Dam
They have ample parking space for which they take Rs.50 per car. Clean washrooms are available. Entrance is Rs.30/adult and Rs.15/child. The facility of speed boating and shared motor boating is available. You will find few eateries as well. Beware of monkeys in this location, they are lot of them.

We skipped boating as there was long queue. Took few clicks and after getting freshen up left the place and moved ahead towards famous Echo Point.

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6) Echo Point
One of the crowdy spot on this road. Lot of sellers, shops and eateries along road. Parking is beside road where getting parking spot is very difficult. Echo point is just below the road but still they charge Rs.10/head as entrance. You can get fresh carrots and vegetables here.

Mind it but you need to shout in very high decibels to hear its faint echo.

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A couple of kilometres ahead of Echo point you will come across some trees beside road which are loaded with hives created by honey bees. The spot is known as “Honeybee tree”. There is no photo as we did not stop here.

7) Film Shooting Point
It is located right ahead of Echo Point on your left side. Film shooting point is none other than but the same extension of waters of Matupetty Dam, just creating different views. There is no dedicated parking stop. You need to park your vehicle beside road. Few shops and eateries across road.

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After clicking few pics, we moved ahead towards Top Station which is the last spot on this road. The road passes through lot of tea estates. You will find few “Elephant crossing zone” boards on this road.

There are lot of Nilgiri tree forest beside this road.
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8) Top Station
After some 10-12 Kms we came to Top Station. There is messy parking beside road near to Top station. The roads are terrible with broken tarmac and potholes. You need to do some walk within tea estates to reach down for view point of top station. The walk is very risky as there is no pathway, you need to be cautious as it is on sloping tea estates. There are no washrooms neither any shops or eateries here.

On the way to Top Station
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The valley below was filled with fog and nothing could be seen.
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It seems sunset happens a bit early in Munnar, because when we started back towards Munnar town it started to get dark.

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Slight rains welcomed us in Munnar Town. We did some shopping and purchased some tea. I came across one shop where they have displayed sweets in interesting packages. There we no rains apart from Munnar town, we reached back to our hotel and called it for the day.

Sweets in shop
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In Munnar town I came across few taxiwala’s who depict prepaid taxi from Munnar town for local sightsee. They have their predefined locations as below,

Day1 – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Periakanal Water Fall, Gap road view point, Rock cave, Lockhart Tea garden, Devikulam Tea Garden, Flower Garden, Photo Point, Honey Bee trees, Elephant Safari, Mattupetty Dam, Film shooting point, Echo Point

Day2 – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Kanan Devan Tea factory, Eravikulam National Park, Rajamallay, Munnar Shopping

3 hours trip
Hanging bridge, Orange Plantation, Anayirankal Dam, Spice Plantation

Day & Night Safari
Luckom Water Falls, Marayoor Sandal Wood Forest, Thoovanam Water Falls, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Alampetty Forest Trekking

Thekkady Sight See (7am to 7pm)
Boating and Periyar Lake, Spice plantation tour, Elephant Safari

Kolukkumallay Jeep Safari (4 Hours)
Lake view point, Highest Tea Garden, Kerala – Tamilnadu view point, Echo point, Tea factory visit


Day 7
We bided Bye to Munnar and started our journey towards Bangalore. This time we took Marayoor route towards Udumalpet which goes through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Somehow, we could not spot any animal throughout the sanctuary. We descended the ghats and touched plains at Udumalpet.

From Avinashi onwards we were right on six lane highway towards Bangalore. At Hosur slight shower of rains welcomed us and by evening we reached Electronics City – Phase 1 where we stayed for that day.


Day 8
After having breakfast, we started towards Pune. Enjoying the relax drive we reached our home by 10pm and crashed on beds.

That’s the end of my travelogue. Just to summarize I would say that most of the places in Ooty and Munnar felt similar to me. So, it’s good if you visit Ooty and Munnar separately rather than combining them in single trip.

That’s all from my end. If you have reached here then thanks for reading this lengthy travelogue.

Posting a pic of my car which is always eager to take us everywhere.

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Amazing Detailed travelogue GrandRK.
Your pre-planning of the trip is spot-on[thumbsup]
How much travel time did it take from Bangalore to Pune?
 
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Amazing Detailed travelogue GrandRK.
Your pre-planning of the trip is spot-on[thumbsup]
How much travel time did it take from Bangalore to Pune?
Thanks SilverEyez !!
Bangalore to Pune will take around 13 to 14 hours with few breaks. In this stretch some time gets wasted between,
1) Bangalore city to Tumkur (too much congestion)
2) Hubli to Dharwad (due to two lane road)
3) Kolhapur to Karad (two wheeler and local transport on highway)

Rest you can zoom comfortably.
 
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Beautiful trip you had. Nicely written T-logue as well.
Munnar is my second home. Whenever I visit Rajakkad, an early morning lazy drive to Top station is what i look forward to - all in search of those lovely birds
Looking forward to more of these family trips from you.
Do drive safe !

Update on the roads around Munnar:
  • Munnar-Poopara stretch has been closed- road widening work is on
  • If one is coming from Then -Bodimettu, one alternate route is Poopara - Rajakkad- Kunchithanni- Anachal-Munnar. The stretch Rajakkad-Thekkumkanam [around 5 kms] is in very bad state.
 
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Beautiful trip you had. Nicely written T-logue as well.
Munnar is my second home. Whenever I visit Rajakkad, an early morning lazy drive to Top station is what i look forward to - all in search of those lovely birds
Looking forward to more of these family trips from you.
Do drive safe !

Update on the roads around Munnar:
  • Munnar-Poopara stretch has been closed- road widening work is on
  • If one is coming from Then -Bodimettu, one alternate route is Poopara - Rajakkad- Kunchithanni- Anachal-Munnar. The stretch Rajakkad-Thekkumkanam [around 5 kms] is in very bad state.
Thanks Manoj for reading this travelogue !!
When is the good season to visit Top Station to see the valley filled with clouds? Is it post monsoon or in winters?

When i visited i took Pooppara to Munnar route. The boards of no entry were there but few jeep operators were using it hence i also followed them. As per locals the road widening work will take one month (i doubt).
 
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Thanks Manoj for reading this travelogue !!
When is the good season to visit Top Station to see the valley filled with clouds? Is it post monsoon or in winters?
It gets very cold in Winter, close to O C.
During peak Monsoon-June/July, it’s risky on roads around Munnar, especially if you are driving from Kochi. In any case, avoid night driving in this area in Monsoon. Having said that, Kerala Monsoon has its own charm and hence my favourite season.

Its September, according to me, the best time to visit Munnar. You have the slush green cover and the occasional rains give it that chilly and misty feel which is to be experienced. 4.00pm-5.00pm, if no rains, you get the best view at Top station.
 
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You have the slush green cover and the occasional rains give it that chilly and misty feel which is to be experienced. 4.00pm-5.00pm, if no rains, you get the best view at Top station
Sorry for the typos- I meant 'lush' and then 'has'. [:)]
Please find one of my posts on Top Station @Munnar from one of my T-logs here

Munnar in May (2016) !


@Rajakkad in July (2014) = Monsoon = dramatic sky !


Just to show the Nature at its very best during Monsoons !
 
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Wonderful travelogue GrandRk! Thoroughly enjoyed going through it. Your eye for route/itinerary details is also amazing.

We made a trip to Madikeri from Mumbai many years ago - 1998 - but at the time digicams were still a rarity. And to be honest, our steed at the time (Tata Sierra) was not of the most trouble-free variety & so we could not focus on photography too much! But I remember Coorg district very well, particularly our place of stay (The Hotel Raj Darshan) which was the only pet-friendly hostelry that we came across during the trip! And your travelogue reminded us of the landscape around Madikeri.

Thank you for a most enjoyable meander down nostalgia road.
 
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