July 22, 2006

Trip to Nilgiri Hills

It is one of my first outing with my colleagues( Ullas, Adarsh, Bharath and Guru ) from my new company. Until now I have been going to innumerous outings with my buddies from past 10 years, this outing was bit different. It all started when I told my colleagues about the my previous travel, trekking and my Motorsoprts adventures. I created much hype about it, which made my friends all the more excited and wanted go for an outing badly. The responsibility of conducing the whole trip was given to me, as this was my first outing with this group I wanted to select a place near by some where with in 300km from Bangalore. So I decided the Picturous route Bandipur, Madhumalai, Ooty and back, we had 2 and 1/2 days to spend.

The idea was to start form the office after the shift ends because we were all in the early morning 2am shift. so we had brought the backpack to the office. It was Friday all the guys were in week end mood, Just after logging out at 10:30 am we straight away headed to the elevator which took us down to the Basement where Adarsh had parked his Alto. We hopped into Alto and we said "Lets Go” as the Ad says. This was my first long trip in a Maruti Alto. The idea was to pick up Guru and Barry on the way, as Barry had a weekly off and had applied one day extra leave.

L To R, Barry, Guru, Ullas and Addy. Me behind camera always.

We were on the Bangalore-Mysore highway at noon after a brief stopover at shell petrol bunk at Mysore road entrance. The highway is very good as it is newly built. We stopped over for lunch at Kamath and headed towards Mysore, We reached Mysore at 3:30pm and it was raining cats and dogs at Mysore. I had warned my friends that it is going to rain so they had to be prepared for it. We waddled through a road which was flooded and the kids from the near by school had a hard time negotiating their way. We navigated towards Nanjangud road, which takes us to Bandipur. We reached Bandipur in the late evening after couple of stop over.

We drove slowly in anticipation of any Wild animals; Guru had been telling that "Last time when they came, They saw Elephants like Pigs". well Just after the Bandipur forest check post and before Madhumalai forest check post we saw a big tusker, we were all excited seeing it. Hoping that we will see more Elephants we proceeded to Madhumalai forest check post but there was a huge disappointment waiting for us. We were stopped at the check post and asked to pull over. Forest guard came along and said that they need to check our car. Now we are in a different State we were wondering what on earth does he want from us. He wanted to check if we are taking Liquor with us, but unfortunately we had picked up some Beer pints with us as the Tamilnadu drinks Sucks and here we go, the ordeal started. They said Karnataka booze is not allowed into TN.Forest guards with a lady came and confiscated the beer and took it away. Well guys had planned to chill out in the night after a long day, every thing went hay way. Upon that the forest guards informed that the driver will be booked and a case will be registered he has to appear in a court blah.. blah.. After much waiting and persuasion the forest guard informs they have to give 1500 Rupees in order to leave us plus a part of the booty. Well we knew it that ultimately it will result in this, they also know how to take advantage of us, Ultimately we had to shell 600 Rupees + couple of pints and he let us go.

It was pitch dark when we started from the Madhumalai check post and entered into madhumalai forest. After few kilometers we took a curve and suddenly slowed down as we saw a huge Elephant standing on the right side and a cub playing on the left side. We were all excited to see. For Addy this is the first time driving in the forest, that too in the Night and when he saw the elephant due to his driving reflexes he started Flashing the headlight's, Ho my god!! we all Screamed in low tone" Stop it". Our timing was perfect the herd was just crossing the road. We could not see anything except but front. we didn't want to take chances so we sped away.

We reached Gudalur, the idea was to stay at Gudalur and go for Ooty and cunnore the next day. We checked into Hotel ICH a new hotel beside the petrol bunk. Guys ordered food to the room and after gulping down whatever beer that was left and after a quick dinner we crashed on to the bed telling we will get up early 5am and get going and Barry even set his cell phone alarm at 5am..

Next day at 5am none of the guys were in no mood to wake up. Barry must have pressed the Snooze button a dozen.. times. Finally Me and Barry woke up and went out for a Morning walk and had nice tea. By the time we came back, guys had woken up and finishing the morning cores.

After getting ready at 8am we had breakfast at Hotel Saravana Bhavan just next to our Hotel. We had all kind's of dosa's in that hotel like paper rost, masala dosa, onion dosa and idli's the supplier got exhausted serving us, All of us except Guru were Voracious eaters. We took the Gudalur-Ooty road. The road was in a very bad state you can't go more that 40kmph but if it is an extra cautious driver like Addy you will be making 20kmph as what he did. We Stopped at a view point on the way and enjoyed the beauty of nature spent some time chatting and clicking photos.

L To R, Addy,Guru,Ullas and Barry . Me behind camera always. At View point

L To R, Guru,Ullas,Addy, and Me. At View point

It was as slow journey to ooty but thanks to Ullas and Addy they had brought some nice music to hear. When we were nearing ooty the weather changed it had started to rain, there was a chill factor in the air, fortunately all of us had warm clothing. We stopped near a beautiful lake to take some pictures . We avoided most of the crowded places is ooty and headed towards Cunnore.

On the way to Ooty

Cunnore is a bustling town with some wonderful Tea estates. The small train ply’s between ooty and cunnor. As addy was the only driver we didn't want to take the train because it would have taken half of the day. We went to a beautiful tea estate clicked some photos, we bought fresh tea just from the tea factory, you will get all kinds of flavors like Masala, cardamom and herbal. They also sell spices.

Tea plantation at Cunnor

After the lunch at Cunnore we left for Doddabetta highest point in Nilghiri Hills. You can see a wonderful panoramic view form Doddabetta, this place has some wonderful Flora and fauna, We also saw a Bison grazing near the fence. This will be very good place for bird photograph. We Left Doddabetta a 5:30 in the evening and our idea is to take the Masangudi road. This road Is newly laid and smooth and nearer compare to Gudalur road. On the way we stopped for dinner at a resort .

It was quit late in the evening when we entered the forest at Madhumalai side when we were stopped again at the forest check post, we were told that we were late and won't be allowed, so again negotiation started, we were informed at the resort that if you give some money they will leave you. After sorting out we entered the forest around 7:30 in the evening, we were hoping for some wild animals sightings, Volia we saw them by dozens, first a very rare porcupine it just crossed the road in front of us, We saw bison’s grazing and giving an occasional stare at us. All of us were excited, Addy had his sixth sense working and told "Maga nanna sixth sense haluthe namage Aaney siguthae". Just after a few kilometers we saw an elephant standing on the left side, We came almost to a stand still. Elephant was bit agitated by the sight of our car. It was a juvenile elephant, after seeing us it made a low tone noise and a hiss. We knew it was time for us to move. The journey from the Madhumalai forest office to Gudalur was quite and Eiree once in a while Addy used to switch off the car Headlight's just to feel the forest. Then we reached Gudalur and retaired for the day.

Next Day's plan was to leave early morning and catch up Jungle ride either in Madhumalai or Bandipur, but we were late for both the places the morning jungle rides were over and next jungle at Bandipur was at evening 4:30 we didn't wanted to wait so we decided to Gopalswamy Betta. There is a old Temple on the top of the hill, It is a fantastic place where you can see the thick jungle below. The road to the hill top is very steep and demanding for the vehicle. We reached the hill top quickly and after a brief puja at the temple we set or for a small trek behind the temple. The view was breath taking, we were told by some local's that you can see the elephant down below and we saw the elephant heard lazily grazing. Barry wanted to go further down to have a good view but we told not to. We took some pictures and left the place towards Mysore.

That's Addy, Guru,Barry and Ullas at GSM Betta

On the way to Mysore we stopped at a sunflower field and took some pictures. We started and reached the outskirts of Mysore , we didn't had lunch the idea was to have the lunch at Mysore. while entering into Mysore I saw Chamundi hills, As I am an Amateur Radio operator (Ham Radio) I was carrying my Walki Talki, I gave a general call through the chamundi repeater. Fortunately I was answered by a fellow ham "Sampath" we had a long chat and gave us the information that Hotel siddarth is good for lunch. We went in search of the hotel but in vain we lost the route so we stopped by the nearest hotel near the bus stand and we had lunch.

After lunch we were Bangalore bound very soon we were on the Mysore Bangalore highway zipping away. All of us were tired and also with the feeling that the trip was coming to an end. More over all of us was supposed to login for Monday morning 2am shift. We reached Bangalore at 7 in the evening and dispersed, at last a wonderful trip came to an end we had covered 725Kms in total.


  1. it does look like you guys had loads of fun, wow would love to join the gang for the bang the next time. keep hiking.


  2. its barry:
    but neo missed guru aka "nimaggi's" stereo effects ..
    actually looking forward to another one..

  3. hey dude! I am looking for info on HAM radio,

    Would be obliged if u can lemme know how to proceed in this regard.

    Tried to find ur contact info NO GO, so this write up..

    Please give me a Buzz at 9880802802 (do send an SMS before so that I can call U back)...

    any help will be much appreciated


  4. thats quite some hiking huh?
    keep up the work, n keep posting more.
    happy blogging.