Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bangalore - Masingudi - Ooty - Gundlupet - Chamarajnagar - Kollegal - Bangalore Road Condition and Direction

I started from Bangalore towards Ooty Via Mysore at about 8:30AM on a sunday in April Month which is peak summer time in India. This is bad time of the day to start from Bangalore because of heavy traffic movement towards during weekend. Ideal time to start from Bangalore towards Mysore especially if you have to go past Mysore to places like Nanjangud, Chamarajnagar, Gundlupet, Ooty, Madikeri etc is by 5AM, unless, you have enough patience to sit in the vehicle for almost 4hrs just to commute between Bangalore and Mysore. By the time I reached Mysore it was already 12PM and I still had to drive 160kms to reach Ooty and I really wanted to reach there by afternoon but for the delayed start I could reach there only by 4PM.
On my way to ooty I took the route Bangalore - Kengeri - bidadi - Ramnagar - Channapatna - Maddur - Mandya - Srirangapatna - Mysore (Outer Ring Road by pass) - Nanjangud - Gundlupet - Theppakadu - Masingudi - Ooty (Total of 290kms).
It was very hot and humid until we crossed Masingudi and started climbing the narrow Ghat Section towards Ooty. Oh! what a drive it was. Really challenging and awesome and my new Ritz VDi never let me down and it was a very comfortable drive. We were half way through the Ghats climbing the hill and all of a sudden the temperature cooled down and the whether was very pleasant. The stretch within Bandipur in Karnataka and Theppakadu (Masingudi) in Tamilnadu has road humps every 1/2 kilometre. I was lucky to locate heard of Wild Elephants, Deer, 3bisons, a Peacock and lots of Monkeys of different breeds. Bandipur and Mudumalai are reserved forests in Karnataka and Tamilnadu respectively. Stopping Vehicles and feeding wild animals is strictly prohibited. Most importantly, please do not litter the place (Avoid plastics).
Road Condition between Theppakadu to the base of the hill from where we climb to Ooty Via Masingudi is not all that great. This stretch is about 18kms from Theppakadu junction. However, the road condition is good as you start climbing up the hill through the hairpin curves but the road is good enough only for one vehicle to pass. So please give way for vehicles moving up hill. Those driving down this hill need to be extremely careful as the road is too steep to easily handle.
Some places to visit while at Ooty - Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, Dodda Betta, Boating at Ooty Lake (Not all that Great), Boat ride at Pykara Boat Club, Mukurthi National Park, Kamaraj Dam,, Ooty Golf Course, Emerald Lake etc. Ride on the toy train from Ooty to Coonor is really wonderful.
Further ahead, some interesting sight seeing places at Coonoor is Sims Park, Dolphins Nose, Catherine Falls, Hidden Valley, Lambs Rock, Wellington Golf Course etc.
I got an opportunity to stay at the "Sherlock" resort. Its a beautiful place to stay and is a very high elevation which makes it possible to get a mesmarising view of the Ooty - Coonoor Valley. Has lot of open space with lawn in front of every room. Each and every room has been very neatly decorated including fire place. The restaurant in the resort offers variety of food, both Veg and Non-Veg.

On my way back from Ooty I reached Gundlupet Via Gudlur and Theppakadu. It is longer route but I did not want to take the risk of driving downhill from Ooty to Masinagudi. Road was not all that great but motorable with ease. From Gundlupet I reached Chamarajnagar. This is 33km drive and the road has been done with lot of patch work which earlier had potholes. Not much of traffic and one can drive at an average speed of 60km/ph.
I then Drove back to Bangalore from Chamarajnagar Via Sanhaemarahalli, Yelandur, Kollegal, Malavalli, Halagur Cross, Sathnur Cross, Kanakapura, Talagttapura, Nice Road Clover Reef Junction, BangaloreSouth. Road is excellent condition for it is the national highway No 209 which connects Bangalore to Dindigul Via Kanakapura, Kollegal, Chamarajnagar, Satyamangala, Coimbatore, Pollachi, udumalaipetti and Palani covering approximately 440Kms covering important town and cities of Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

Kukke Subrahmanya - Sullia - Sampaje Road Condition and Direction

 Currently the road between Kukke Subrahmanya and Sampaje Via Sullia is in a pathetic condition. I travelled on this route a week ago and had a hard time negotiating. There is road widening work going on between Subrahmanya and Sullia. You will also get to see small land slides that has happened during the heavy rains in this part of the geography 20days ago. it is still raining here as a result of which the reservoirs in and around coorg is filling up quite fast which is a good sign. But, for those of you travelling with kids, aged people, pregnant women and for people with lower back pain, I strongly recommend to avoid this stretch of road until such time that we get to know that the road has been redone/repaired. I shall keep this posted as and when I get some updates on repairs happening on this road.

Alternatively, for those of you travelling to Bangalore or Mangalore from Subrahmanya, I suggest please travel Via Gundiya and then proceed on NH48 which is also the nearest route.

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 For those travelling to Mysore From Subrahmanya have an alternate road to Sampaje Via Devachalla (On the road to Sullia) and left turn after Devachalla which is about 46kms. However, I do not have much information about the condition of road ween Devachalla and Sampaje Junction. You can also travel to Sakaleshpur Via Gundiya Cross. When you are about 4kms to  Sakaleshpur, you will reach Manjarabad Fort. There take a right U turn and move on the road to reach Mysore Via Kodlipet, Arkalgud, Ramnathpura and KR Nagara which is about 212kms.

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People who have 4X4 and like to be adventurous can also try a rugged route between Subrahmanya and Arkalgud Via Bisle Ghat and Shanivarasante. I was at Kukke Subrahmanya 10days ago and got to know from local jeep drivers that Subrahmanya to Bisle Ghat road is completely damanged and only SUV and Jeeps can go with some amount of risk and adventure - Not advised for people travelling with family. PS: There are Forest Department check posts at Subrahmanaya and Bisle. If you are interested to do adventurous drive on this stretch then make sure to cross the Check post atleast by 5PM and after 6AM. There is absolutely no help or support on this stretch and signals for your cell phones may not be available. Be completely prepared on what need to be done if your vehicles breaks down. Do not miss to spend some time at the Bisle Ghat View point which is close to the Bisle Check post and this place offers you the breath taking spectacular view of the pushpagiri valley. Happy journey. 

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If you happen to travel on this road, then please write updates to help others travelling on the same route...Thank you