Monday, 20 May 2013

Trip to Ooty

We take a trip in a SX4 Diesel to the less commercially exploited side of Ooty-Kothagiri.

We started our drive from Cochin, early in the morning and headed down the NH47 towards Thirssur. It’s a pretty straightforward route via NH47, passing Angamaly town. Well paved national highway till Thrissur was a delight to drive and the very low early morning traffic ensured that we reached in 50 Mins.From Thrissur we decided to take the Shornur-Palakkad road since the NH was pretty bad in the Thrissur-Palakkad stretch.It was a wise decision as we were able to reach Coimbatore pretty quickly.We took a break for a fantastic Sambar Idli Vada  in Annapoorna. The mettupalayam road was pretty OK and we were able to cross Mettupalayam without much hassles.We took the diversion to Kothagiri and headed towards our destination.We had booked a mid range resort for our stay and reached the place around 11 am.After refreshing we headed out immediately to the View point for some nice snaps and we were not disappointed.We roamed around relaxing in every possible location and capturing some good views on the way.Evening we headed back and had a good dinner prepared by our hosts.The next day we headed out to Ooty and had a good drive in the Kothagiri-Ooty road through some breathtaking views.But we were disappointed when we reached Ooty because of the huge crowd.We quickly changed our plan and drove down to Conoor.We had Lunch In Conoor and headed back to Cochin,The return drive also was smooth except a huge traffic jam near Vallayar check post which consumed one hour of our time.We reached Cochin in the night and retired after a relaxing holiday.

(P.Shanmugaraj works as Cluster Head with a leading pvt bank)

Bandhipur Visit

A group of friends decided one weekend to give the concrete jungle a break and head towards the wild jungle.
As several options flashed across our mind – we had to choose a place which is short enough to cover in two days but one that is definitely not short on adventure
One of our friend suggested Bandipur a forest reserve not as famous as Kabini or Mudumalai but one which is equally famous for sighting wildlife.
We came back from work freshened up and started at 10pm - Fri on a Scorpio.
The distance between Bandipur and Chennai – 585 kms.

The famous highway from Chennai to Bangalore is not so famous anymore with road widening work moving at a snail’s pace. The frequent deviations cut short our speed apart from testing our patience getting stuck behind a slow moving truck.
Just before you reach Bangalore city there is a deviation to Mysore Road.
Once we touched Mysore Road we were fortunate enough to follow another SUV as there are speed breakers every few kms and can take one travelling for the first time by Surprise.
As it was around 2 am there was not much of traffic, the road was terrific, the speed breakers to ensure you drive within the limits
The distance from Mysore to Bandipur is 60 kms.

As we reached Bandipur at 6.30am, we instantly knew this place matched what we expected, lush green forest, and terrific weather especially if you are from Chennai and more importantly hardly any people around.

 Ambuja Farms is not a 5 star accommodation, but one which reminds you that you are far far away from traffic jams, Corporate reviews or noisy neighbours.

Located in the heart of the forest the farm offers you homely food and peaceful stay.
You were in a different land, the land of the wild.

One could sight Deers and Peococks everywhere. The Deer sometimes came as close as 10 feet.

As we went trekking in the evening, we saw the gentle giants come as families to quench their thirst in a nearby dam.

The next day we arranged for a guide to take us around. We were fortunate to sight the Leapord, Bison and monkeys.

The elusive Tiger once again eluded us.That night we heard the cry of the Jackal, hyena and barking deer.
Our flashy gadgets and phones offered little solace, to the lurking danger outside our rooms
This was their country and they made the rules.
Overall Bandipur is an fantastic place to visit for nature Lovers and one we will love to visit again.

(Kiran.T works as Station Head with a leading Media entertainment company)