Annual Family Tour Long Awaited – Post COVID-19 Pandemic

Thread Starter #1


Honoured Member
Jan 16, 2016
We lost a full 2 year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its after effects which means we have lost valuable 2 years which are not going to come back in our life. Finally, we decided to start our tour on 12th of October 2022. For some reasons, instead of our usual long time drives, we planned for a short drive and long stay. This time we were 12 people altogether, and yes all are senior citizens.

We rented a traveller at a fixed rate for 5 nights/6 days duration covering around 800/825kms to and fro for which we had to pay Rs.40, 000 lump sum (no one was willing to come for per km rate basis since the total distance is less but more days stay). The plan was 2 nights stay in Ooty and remaining days at Wayanad district (Kerala).

We left on 12th October early morning (5 AM) and reached at Ooty at around 4 PM. We left our place with 28/30 deg temperature and reached Ooty were it was 11deg and with that sudden change of weather, no one is interested to move for any outings instead preferred to stay in the hotel for the rest of the day.

We didn't have any advance booking for any hotels hence we stopped in front a premium hotel saw first on the Coonoor Road. The name of the Hotel was Glanton Manor (exact location is at Charing Cross, Coonoor Road, Ooty - 643001). The tariff rate of the rooms starts from Rs.2500 to 5000 per day depends on rooms. Since we needed 6 rooms for 2 nights we have negotiated the rate down to Rs.1600/per room per night which they finally agreed.

FireShot Capture 104 - Hotel Glanton Manor -

Glanton Manor - front view

FireShot Capture 103 - Hotel Glanton Manor -

The Room - spacioius enough for 2 people​

And after checking in, people wanted to have some hot tea and some of us didn't have jackets/sweater to counter the Ooty cold we all decided to go out for some short shopping. Again, at 8 Pm we all went out for dinner (as we found the hotel restaurant is very expensive - 4/5 star hotel rates). We experienced some sort of difficulty in getting proper sleep due to sudden drop in temperature (rooms didn't have heater facility)..

13th October - We left the rooms at 8:30AM, had breakfast and then proceeded towards Elk Hill Murugan Temple. As the name reads, the temple was on top of the hill (Elk Hill).The temple is situated 1 km from the Rose Garden and about 4 km from Ooty Railway Station. It is one of the revered temples in Ooty and one of the best places to visit in Ooty.

Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The highlight of the place is a 40 feet tall statue of Lord Murugan that stands tall outside the enclosures of the temple and attracts pilgrims and devotees from far and wide.The statue is a replica of the Murugan Statue in Batu caves, Kaulalampur Malaysia. In addition to that, the temple premises also have idols of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakthi, Nava Kanika, Navagrahas, etc.


There are two modes of entry to the temple, one to climb about 400 steps or further drive the vehicle up to the top and then can walk across to the temple (best suitable for older people or those who not able climb steps).

FireShot Capture 105 - Baladandayuthapani Temple _ Baladandayuthapani Temple Details - Balad_ ...png

Reach the top by climbing steps​


Steps - view from top​

When we were there, hardly any people around hence we could see the darshan conveniently. After spending around 10 minutes, we left the place and proceeded towards Botanical Garden


Entrance of Botanical garden​

You love plants and flowers, then you will love this place. The garden is maintained by the Horticultural Department of Tamil Nadu The entry fee is Rs.50 for adults and extra payment for camera.





After spending about one hour in the garden we further proceeded to the Boathouse. The entry fee is Rs.15/- for adults (Rs.10/- for kids). Inside the Boat house there are some games and amusement items other than the lake boating. There are different types of boats available and we hired a motor boat which can accommodate 14 people and the cost is Rs.1400 for the full boat (though we were 12 people, we had to pay the full amount Rs.1400), Duration of the boating is 20 minutes for a round trip on the lake.Nothing much to see in the lake other than few ducklings swimming in the sides of the lake.





The whole group​

Some sort of drizzling/light rain started after the boating and people were busy in some shopping. We then finished day 2 after the shopping headed towards out hotel.

14th October - Day:3

With that, we already spent 2 nights in Ooty, decided to check out the rooms in the morning itself as we don't want to come back to the hotel instead drive out of Ooty and reach anywhere in the District of Wayanad and stay there in the 3rd night.

En route to Wayanadu, our plans were to visit Doddabetta peak and Wenloc shooting garden/hill.

Doddabetta is the highest Peak in the Tamil Nadu and is about 10 kms. from Ooty bus stand. The name Doddabetta literally means 'Big mountain' in the Badugu Language, which is so in reality. It is at the junction of Western and Eastern Ghats and offer beautiful vistas of Nilgiri Hills range.




9th Mile Shooting Point also called as Wenlock Downs

Film shooting hill1.jpg

Wenlock Downs, 9th Mile Ooty is a scenic tourist spot, 15 km away from Ooty. The location boasts of vast meadows sprawling out to, what seems like infinity. The place appeared in many Indian movies like Deewana, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Raja Hindustani and others. And the locals, thus, nicknamed 9th Mile as Shooting Medu.

Shooting hill2.jpg

This shooting spot in Ooty is a part of the Wenlock Downs, and together with 6th Mile, 9th Mile Ooty adds up to the beauty of the town’s landscape. The entry fee for Ooty 9th Mile is ₹30 per person

9th mile.jpg

9th milr.jpg

With that we completed our Ooty plan and proceeded towards Sultan Battery (Wayanad District in Kerala). be continued.....
Thread Starter #2


Honoured Member
Jan 16, 2016
Day 3: Afternoon

After visiting Wenlock downs, we all proceeded towards Sultan Battery (Wayanad) our next stop. The moment we entered the Kerala border rain also started pouring and we had some difficulty in finding out a hotel for that night stay.. After some searching, we managed to get a property called ''Indraprastham Residency'' in Manikuni, Sultan Battery.

It's an ordinary hotel without any fancy, but they have a good restaurant attached to it which we felt very convenient hence decided to stay there. The room rent was Rs.980 for a double bedroom. It's an old hotel, but sufficient for a night's stay.



15th October - Day:4

Got up in the morning and proceeded to our next point - Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary

Located around 15 km away from Sulthan Bathery, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, popularly known as Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary is a rainforest wich connects Nagarhole and Bandipur parks in Karnataka and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu. Spread over an area of 345 sq km, the sanctuary is an abode of rich flora and fauna.

Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1973, the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary was brought under the Project Elephant in the year 1991-92. It is considered to be the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala and bio-geographically one of the richest tracts of peninsular India.

The authorities claim that there are many animals inside, however, sightings heavily depend on luck, and one cannot be guaranteed to have a successful spotting on the first safari itself. When we went for a safari we just managed to see few elephants, a bunch of deers and some monkeys. The guide cum driver of the safari informed us that the best timing for the safari is 7 AM, but still no guarantee that more animals will come to greet you.

There are two types of safari - Jeep Safari and Bus safari. The bus can accommodate 23 people and ticket cost is Rs.300 per person. The duration of the Safari is one hour.

Did we enjoy it - frankly NO, maybe better luck next time.!




From Muthanga, we proceeded to another place in Wayanad - Karapuzha Dam

Karapuzha Dam is considered to be the second-largest earth dam in India. A bouquet of nearly a dozen lakes merged together to form this reservoir in Karapuzha river, a small tributary of the Kabani river. Of late, there have been lots of developments and presently, it is named as Karapuzha Mega Tourism.

Unfortunately, some repair works are going on now, hence the Dam is closed for public. One can enter the premises and enjoy other activities/adventure games, etc. They recommend that the best time to visit the dam is in the evenings.




After Karapuzha dam, we further proceeded towards Kalpetta and reached Vythiri around 5Pm and started looking for a suitable hotel for that night's stay. We checked a few hotels and most of them are very expensive or none do not have 6 rooms to spare.Finally, we got into the Hotel Sahara Inn at Old Vythiri at Rs.1000 per double room. Somewhat better rooms than what we got in Sultan Battery.




October 16 - Day :5

We checked out of the hotel in the morning and proceeded towards Banasura Sagar Dam.

The Banasura Sagar dam was constructed in 1979, is built across the Karamanathodu tributary of the Kabani River. It is named after the Asura king Banasura, son of Mahabali, who is said to have observed a severe penance in the surrounding hills. The dam is made entirely of massive stacks of rocks and stones, and has become a popular tourist spot, known for its spectacular views and boating trips.

The entry fee to the dam is Rs.40/- per person. For older people and those who do not want to walk and climb around 200 steps can avail the services of internal transport, i.e. traveller's (15 seaters) riding between the entry point to dam top. They charge Rs.15 for one way (will drop you on the dam top and then you will have to walk back to the entrance) or Rs.25 for both ways. We preferred to walk, but later thought would have used the service of internal transport




From the Banasura Sagar Dam, we proceeded to Meanmutty Falls. This place is located 29 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad district. The three tired waterfall, at a height of 300m is the biggest waterfalls in Wayanad and the second largest in Kerala. The name ‘Meenmutty’ derived from the concept that the fishes are blocked here. ‘Meen’ means ‘fish’ and ‘Mutty’ means ‘blocked’ and thus ‘Meenmutty’.

Meenmutty waterfall is considered to be a dangerous spot. So, one should be more careful while playing with the water. The best time to visit Meenmutty is from October to May. Visiting during monsoon season is not recommended. You can hire buses or taxis from Kalpetta to reach Meenmutty.

The entry fee to thte water falls is Rs. 30/- per person.




Our next point of visit was the Pazhassi kuteeram Project Museum, Mananthavady (Wayanad).

Vira Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja "the Lion of Kerala" belongs to Kottayam (North Malabar) Royal family. The tomb of this celebrated warrior is an important historical site and a protected monument of the Department of Archaeology at Mananthavadi.

The Pazhassi Raja was killed in action at Mavilathode near Pulpalli on 30th November 1805. The body of the great patriot was taken to Mananthavady where he was given an honourable cremation by the company. The Department of Archaeology had set up a Museum in the same site which is called Pazhassi Kudeeram Museum.






The entry ticket to the museum is Rs.15/- per person

From the museum, we proceeded to Thirunelli (Thirunelli Mahavishnu Temple) and reached there around 4:30PM. We stayed in a homestay like hotel near the temple and the rent they charged was Rs.5000 for 6 rooms (no food included)..

There are not many hotels available near/around the temple. Ofcrouse, there is one belongs to Dewaswam Board, which is just opposite of the Temple, but most of the rooms were already booked by the time we reached there.


Devaswam Board Hotel >​

17th October - Day:6

In the morning, we all went to the temple for darshan and it all over within 30 minutes. Temple renovation work is undergoing hence some areas around the temple is closed.






We had breakfast in a hotel just down the Temple (Hotel Vishnupadham - good vegetarian hotel) and after some shopping we started from Thirunelly towards our place. By 4;30Pm we all reached our home safely with lots of memories of the tour in mind.

Thanks for your patience in reading this travelogue.

Top Bottom