Originally Posted by abhijeetp
Planning on doing Madurai-Kodaikanal-Parambikulam-Valparai.
Day1 (30/09)- Hyderabad-Kurnool (Starting after office hours on 30/09).
Day2 (01/10)- Kurnool-Madurai
Day6 (05/10)- Kodaikanal-Parambikulam
Day7 (06/10)- Parambikulam-TopSlip-Valparai
Day9 (08/10)- On the way back try Valparai-Shivanasamudra falls
Looking for your suggestions -
1. Is three nights at Kodaikanal too much?
2. How is the road from Kodaikanal to Parambikulam? How much time does it take on average ? I am thinking of taking the One night stay package at Parambikulam forest (Parambikulam Tiger Reserve...
3. On return from Valparai, how is the option of staying at Shivanasamudra? How is the road between Valparai to shivanasamudra ? Any other alternative for staying on the way back?
4. Are there any suggestions for better places that I might be missing?
Here are my views. Great plan!
1. Yes, 2 nights will probably do it. The day you save, you could probably have 1 more day stay @ K Gudi.
2. Kodaikanal - Parambikulam: The route will be through Palani - Udumalaipet. Not sure if you have to go all the way to Pollachi & then turn left for Parambikulam. Palani - Udumalaipet - Pollachi section: Roads are good. Easily 4-5 hrs. The standard route from Bangalore is Bangalore - Pollachi - Ambarampalayam - Vettaikaranpudur - Sethumadai - Parambikulam. You can try this route Kodaikanal - Palani - Udumalaipet - Mukkonam - Salaiyur - Pudur - Anamalai - Vettaikaranpudur - Sethumadai - Parambikulam. I don't know the road conditions post Mukkonam till Anamalai. Alternative is to go till Pollachi & follow the route from Bangalore, much easier & cleaner route. The difference is just 5+ kms overall.
3. Shivanasamudra is just a dam project. You can try Nijaguna Residency @ Chamarajnagar or better stay at K Gudi Wilderness Camp. The K Gudi safari is very good. I heard that a Black Panther was seen roaming on the road near Navamalai (around Valparai) 1-2 months ago.
4. Madurai: Light-sound show @ Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal (between 630-830pm, probably Day 2 night, if not too tired).
Parambikulam: Apart from the safari, Kanimara (teak tree) is probably one more thing to do. But it is just a tree!
Valparai: There is a nice flowing river just 4-5 kms from the Valparai town & it is adjoining to the road. Kids will love this. I can't recall the name of the place. It is not Monkey falls. Do an early morning bird watching visit to Korangumudi Tea Estate / Sholayar Dam (if you are staying in Valparai town itself). 2 weeks back, we saw 10-12 birds & 2-3 animals. Just turn around whenever you feel you have driven too much.
Shivanasamudra: At-least 3 places from which you can see these falls. When I had been there in June, there wasn't much water, but much better than April-May though. At Gaganchukki, they don't allow down the stairs for sometime now. Beware of the monkeys.
Apart from the above, you need to bypass Bangalore onward & return journeys.
Day 1: I know you might have already considered stretching the drive upto Bangalore. Day 2 drive (Kurnool - Madurai, although the roads are excellent all through with variety of options to stop over) will be ~800kms, 12-13 hrs drive. Assuming a 4am/6am start at Kurnool on 1st Oct, you will be in Devanahalli between 8am/10am, peak hours being a Saturday (and probably a long weekend, 3rd Oct is Muharram).
Day 2: Onward bypassing Bangalore: Are you planning to take the NH 207 (old numbering)? Devanahalli - Hoskote route? There are some not-so-good sections. But much better than traveling through the city. Do note that Google will suggest (sometimes) a small deviation to bypass Chikkatirupathi. Return bypassing Bangalore: Hope you are considering entering NICE Road in Kanakpura Road. You can exit NICE Road to go all the way upto to Doddabalapura - Devanahalli (recommended) or exit to Mysore Road - ORR - Yeswantpur - Hebbal (not recommended).
Day 7: Valparai climb is about 1.5 - 2 hrs minimum. I think there is a closure at 6pm at the checkpost.
Day 8: Athirapally is about 50-75kms (depending on where you stay in Valparai). Easily 1.5 - 2 hrs journey one way.
Day 9: Valparai - Shivanasamudra: Valparai - Pollachi - Palladam - Avinashi - Annur - Puliyampatti - Satyamangalam - Bannari - Hasanur - Punjanur - Chamarajnagar - Yelandur - Kollegal - Shivanasamudra. NH 948 (new numbering)
Option 2: Valparai - Pollachi - Kamanayakkanpalayam - Karanampettai - Somanur - Annur - Puliyampatti - Bhavani - Bannari - same route from here. I don't know the road conditions between Kamanayakkanpalayam - Annur.