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Munnar – Day 2

It was a relaxed start the next day after a good night sleep. We had planned to visit idukki and matupetty dams. If thought of looking at the other attractions on the way if time permits.

After a leisure breakfast we headed to idukki dam which is around 50 kms from the resort. The roads were pretty good all the way and we were enjoying the drive. We had to stop at a few places to ask for directions.  Fuel was running dangerously low and luckily we found a bunk where we tanked up again.

An hour of driving and we reached the hill view view point where we could get a amazing view of the dam. There was a big garden where one can spend some time.

View of Idukki Arch Dam

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The sun was pretty harsh by the time we reached the viewpoint. However the fantastic scenary made us to ignore the sun for a while.  Couple of snaps there and I could get a good view point to try some different compositions.

Fantastic Scenery

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The ticket counter also sells tourism maps which we got one. Spending some time at the viewpoint we were discussing the next course of action. Checking the map we found echo point and devikulam hill station on the way to matupetty dam which we could cover. Bidding adeiu to the hillview we headed back to munnar for lunch.

Devikulam is on the other side of munnar town, however the road was blocked. We asked a so called guide and he told us it would be a waste of time going there as we needed to go via two roads and both are blocked. Since it was already evening we didnt want to take a risk hence we headed to matupetty dam which was on our to-cover list.

The road to matupetty dam which passes photo point is one of the finest that I had driven. With a slight drizzle the road with the twisty hairpin bends looks awesome to drive on. A brief stop at photo point for few snaps and we headed to matupetty dam.

Photo Point

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The dam was pretty crowded at the entrance as that was the only route to echo point and top station.  However I managed to find a good location to take some photos  before moving to echo point.

View of matupetty dam

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There was a speed boat ride on matupetty dam which was closed, hence we headed to echo point which was a short distance away. Dark clouds had gathered and it looked it it was about to rain. We reached echo point only to find a whole lot of cars parked there.

Echo point is given name to the place where one can hear their echo, however due to the rampant cutting of trees as per one local getting an echo is becoming increasingly difficult. We were still suprised to see the amount of people there.

View on the way back

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It soon began to drizzle and we rushed to the nearest chai shop for shelter and some hot tea. Once the drizzle stopped we looked around for some souvenirs before heading back to munnar thus concluding another eventful day of sightseeing

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Munnar – Day 1

Summer is a difficult time to plan for any trips or outings. The heat makes it difficult to plan not more than a day’s visit. With the summer vacation in full swing, one has to keep in mind about accomodation in popular tourist places.

After my trip to masinagudi I was itching for another long drive. My friend who had recently got married suggested we hit the road for a family trip.

We were debating about the places to visit and the summer heat made it difficult to choose a proper holiday location. Locations within karnataka was ruled out as there was little to be seen in summer. Checking on various forums we zeroed in on valparai in tamil nadu, however recent reports of man eating leopards made us to change our plans at the last minute. We finally decided to head to munnar, the popular hill station in Kerala. Accomodation was booked and we headed off from Bangalore on Sat early morning.

Checking on various forums and on the net, we decided to take the conventional route and while coming back if time permitted, come via satyamangalam navigating the dimbam ghats.

An early morning start and we were crusing along the NH 7 highway towards salem with a break in A2B for breakfast. C0uple of hours of driving with few breaks in between we were at udumalpet where the ghats for munnar would start.

Distance to munnar

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The road to munnar passes through chinar and anamalai tiger reserve. We were hoping to spot some wild animals on the way however the mid day sun made it difficult to spot any. Bad roads inside the sanctuary made the drive bumpy and soon we were at the foot hills of the ghats.

Roads inside Chinar

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As we drove higher tea estates came into picture. Couple of breaks for snaps and we were at munnar by 5.3o.

Munnar Tea Estates

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Lush greenary on the way to munnar

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Our stomachs were rumbling and it was time to find a place to eat. Saravana Bhavan was just round the corner and we polished off some nice dosas to cool our stomachs. With an early dinner done we headed to the resort which was 13 kms from the town. After couple of wrong deviations we reached the hotel and checked in to our rooms thus completing a long day of driving.

Masingudi

Nestled in the pristine jungles of  mudumalai tiger reserve is masinagudi a off beat weekend getaway. Hectic workload in office made me long for a good break and finally decided to head to masinagudi for a short trip to break the monotony. Accommodation was booked at Casa deep woods masinagudi and i left on Fri morning.

A uneventful journey through mysore with couple of breaks took me to bandipur tiger reserve and I was hoping for some sightings of animals or birds. A leisure drive through bandipur and madhumalai took me to Theppakadu where the road bifurcates. Left goes to masingudi and to ooty via kalhatty ghat and the right takes us to gudalur and to ooty which is a longer distance. We soon reached the resort and were shown our roooms. A well deserved break and it was time to head for the safari.

There are number of organizers at theppakadu asking people if they would like to go for safari’s. We managed to strike a deal with one guy and informed him we were interested in going for evening and morning safari. The forest department also runs safari’s within the reserve, however one would have to go in a bus with lots of other people for an hour. The chances of sighting wildlife would depend on one’s luck whether you would go  in a bus or in a jeep.

As per our agreement we went to masinagudi village and called up the operator who arrived promptly. We set out for the first safari for the day. The route would be via the river bed which according to the operator is a popular place for tiger and other wildlife sightings

Langurs at the start of safari

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The ride continued slowly and we could see plenty of peacocks and deers along the route but no tigers !!. Clicking photos of the wildlife available we continued towards the drive towards the dam. As the ride continued we spotted an eagle sitting on a tree. An hour of driving and we reached a hillock where we could see elephants and bisons at a distance.

Deers and Peacocks

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Jungle @karnataka side

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We spent some time at the hillock before heading to the dam which was very close. Even though the temperatures were soaring there was enough water. Spending sometime there we headed back.

The sun was setting and I could get some good photos of the sunset.

Sunset @ mudumalai forest

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Evening was spent playing games in the resort followed by dinner.

It was an early start to the next day as we had a morning safari to get to. We were hoping for some good wildlife sightings, however as luck would have had it, we could again see only deers, peacocks.

Sunrise

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The two hour ride gave us nothing except the same we say yesterday. The misty morning allowed to me take some nice photos of the roads inside the sanctuary .

Roads within Mudumalai

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With nothing much to do, we came back and headed back to the resort for some rest as the sun was climbing up and the temperature was increasing. Spending couple of hours in the resort we headed to  pykara lake on the way to ooty. The less water level made the place uninteresting. Spending sometime there we headed to botanical garden in ooty. Again the dry temperature made the place not uninteresting. Spending some more time in ooty roaming around, we headed back to the resort.

The resort had organized games in the evening along with bon fire and the evening was spent mingling with the guests and playing tambola.

Bon Fire

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A late dinner and it was time to hit the sack as we had a long drive back to bangalore.

Snaps can be found here

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