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  1. 3 souls – 3 states – 3 treks – 5 days – 1700 km drive Rain, valley, fog, mountain, waterfall, river and full adventure. Trekker family Note: This is going to be a long travel blog as 3 treks were covered in it. So grab popcorn, fasten your seatbelt and get ready to witness trek. The Plan: Maharashtra is blessed to have the Sahyadri Range, home to many amazing hills, trekking trails & ancient forts. The Sahyadris offers some really great options for not just experienced trekkers, but complete beginners as well. If you are someone who loves hiking in the rain and exploring the outdoors, a day hike in the Sahyadris during the monsoons will be the perfect option to spend the day with friends and family. The rain makes everything look beautiful. There is greenery all around, with clean and fresh air. The vibrant colors of nature, add charm to the beautiful green valleys and hills of the Western ghats of the Deccan Plateau. Monsoon is my favorite time to drive around in Maharashtra, especially the coastal areas and the western ghats. I love the lush green landscapes, the incessant drizzles with an occasional sunshine, and of course the hot vada-pavs and chai Every monsoon, we typically drive to the western ghats of Maharashtra (our latest drive there, done a couple of months ago, read my blog ‘Heaven is myth, Devkund is real’ ). However, it had been a long time since I drove around in the areas near Pune. I have my friends & family in Pune. Therefore, I visit Pune quite frequently. Most of the time I drive from Hyderabad. So this time we decided to explore mulshi area (Tamnhi ghat). I spent my 4 years on engineering in Konkan. Tamnhi ghat is the area which connect Pune & Konkan. Hence this area has special place in my heart. The Car: The Baleno Zeta CVT (2018) is my companion in all my drives. I call it ‘Simba – a lion cub’. Simba never disappoints me. Whether it a highway, city, plain, muddy it drives like charm. Simba in mountains The Camera: - Smartphone Oneplus 9 - DSLR Canon 1300d with 18-55 mm lens Due to rainy season and to carry light, I took only smart phone with me during trek. All photos in this travelogue are taken using my mobile phone camera. Few photos were taken with DSLR. The Drives: We decided to do this trek with us only (myself, spouse & son). These treks were isolated one, hence decided to opt for a guide. We hired Deepak for this trek. He is local guide and knows area in depth. Very supportive and helpful sharing his contact number +919765476941. I recommend his guidance. I have my brother-in-law and my own brother house in Hadpsar & Wagholi area. As it was around 2 hours journey, we decided to start early from home. Hence, we started around 6 am. As there was no traffic we reached our first meeting point by 8 am. We meet Deepak there and had stomach full breakfast as advised by Deepak. Trek 1 to Kundlika Valley: It is very beautiful and mind blowing place. The Valley is created by erosion of the river Kundalika. Location - Near Tahmini Ghat. Distance from Pune - 60-70 km approx. How to Reach - 1. Pune - Mulshi-Tahmini-Nive- right turn to Bhamburde - next to MCKS Ashram. 2. Pune-Lonawla-Bhamburde-to MCKS ashram raod, near Pimpri Dam After driving a bit ahead of Tamhini Ghat, we found this lovely spot where the Simba could reach after driving down a small off-road track in the rain and mud Kundalika valley hold some of the amazing weekend gateways place around Mumbai & Pune Places like Andharban Trek (The Dark Forest), Devkund Water Fall, Kolad Water Rafting, Lohagad Fort, Rajmachi Point, Tamhini Ghat and it's a strange place with two huge mountain walls separated by a narrow valley. The valley is all hidden behind clouds. Clouds plays hide n seeks all the time. First glimpse Meditation in mountains Keep Calm & watch beauty The stunning view ahead after a short walk: Hills and waterfalls on the hills - another characteristic monsoon scene: The lush green fields and the typical refreshing green shade, which are characteristic to this region of Maharashtra in the monsoon months: Could not resist taking photos of such lovely green fields all around: A closer shot of the flowing water, which felt quite mesmerizing and very soothing as we just stood there watching this scene for some time: The simple but scenic rural roads: After Kundalika Valley we headed towards Plus Valley Trek 2 to Plus Valley: Type: Ghats/Valley/Jungle Range: Mulshi Taluka of Pune district Grade: Medium, Endurance level Medium History: Known for ‘+’ shaped valley, Dense Forest and river-source for Kundalika river Base Village: Nearest village from Pune side is Nive Best Time: Exact post monsoon. Avoid it during rain. Trek duration: Time to reach is around 2.5 hours to descend and 2 hours for back climbing Food n Water: Nothing available. Nearby Hotels: at Mulshi-Tahmini ghat, and Lonawla The place is quiet and isolated. So go in groups. Edges of the Valley are very risky, so take care of hyper personalities. Great photographic and scenic location. Ever been wandered into a forest so thick with green trees where the way looks same in all directions? when the actual odyssey is to find a pool hidden deep in a valley, that very few have dared to explore, even better very few have explored without being lost. The passion for exploring combined with the unending energy had finally given off the beauty of the pool that is hidden deep in the lap of nature. The hope of the possibility of finding the pool took us through an exhaustive retracing of 2 hrs. Finally, with the sound of the small water stream flowing took away the effort and exhaustion of the trip, as we followed the stream we found one of the most beautiful pools surrounded by Rocky Mountains in 4 directions. The lovely mountains and the water: We just walked around enjoying the fresh air and such views: In the midway you will find a large ghost tree Intersection point. Partner relaxing in natural swimming pool. Return journey Once on Mulshi Road, we had these views of Mulshi Dam backwaters on the side of the road (this road goes along the edge of the backwaters and you get some great views of the water all along the road): Back water Trek 3 to Andharban – dark forest Well after exhaustive trek 1 & 2. Home minister & leader of opposition (my son, they only rules house) decided to take rest. Plus valley trek was really tough one. I was having a spare day with me. I just requested my engineering friends to have a trek and they agreed to it. So we 3 different teams (total 7 members) started from 3 different corners of pune and decided to meet at first meeting point around 8 am. This time also we took help from Deepak. So as advised by Deepak we took heavy breakfast and headed towards Andharban. Some quick information about the Andharban Trek. Distance from Pune: Around 75 km Start Point: Pimpri Village End Point: Bhira Dam Trek Distance: Approx. 13 km Grade: Moderate Best time to do this trek: June to October The word ‘Andhar’ literally means ‘Darkness’ and ‘Ban’ means ‘Forest’. True to its name, the trail takes you through a dense dark forest. Andharban trek is a hike through a dense forest with thick overgrowth, beautiful views of waterfalls, streams and the Tamhini Ghat along the way. The trek begins at an elevation of 2,160 feet and descends down into the valley, to reach the backwaters of the Bhira Dam where the trek ends. After having breakfast, we reached trek start point around 10:00 am. We had also carried packed snacks as there are no facilities of restaurants or kitchens during the trek. The weather was pleasant and everyone was excited to hit the trail. We followed a trail passing through the paddy fields and soon entered into the forest. The entry inside the forest is based on a permit issued by the ‘Forest Department’. Deepak had local contacts and without any issues we entered into forest. The almost flat trail with occasional ascents took us inside a dense forest with lush green trees all around. Everything looked so fresh and green. The landscape reminded me of scenes from the movie ‘Avatar’. Though it is a defined trail, some parts were tricky to cross because of mud and puddles after the rain. Also, the trail had many small streams flowing down the hills. At some points, we had to use ropes to cross as the flow of the streams was strong. Deepak helped us throughout the way and made sure we negotiate the difficult stretches safely. We took breaks in between to rest and admire the mesmerizing views of the Kundalika Valley. The surrounding mountains were covered in mist and occasionally, the sun rays passing through the dark clouds created a surreal view. The walk was very refreshing with the soothing sounds of bird calls as well as streams & waterfalls in the distance. There were plenty of streams and natural ponds on the way. Some of us took a plunge in one of the ponds and enjoyed swimming under the gushing waterfall. We reached an open area which was covered with beautiful flowering water lilies on one side and a valley on the other, with a narrow trail passing through it. This was the most beautiful spot on the entire trail. We clicked a lot of pictures. This point is midpoint of the trek. Many of my friends decided to return from this point as next section was difficult one. The trek was tiring because of the long-distance, but it was a refreshing experience to spend some time in nature, away from the hustle & bustle of the city pollution. I met some really amazing people on the trek and it was great interacting with fellow trekkers. This was probably the cleanest trekking trail in the Sahyadris. I would definitely recommend Andharban trek to anyone who is looking for an easy day hike option in the Sahyadris. Some points to note: 1. Hiring a guide or Trek operator I would strongly recommend doing this trek with a good trek operator / guide. Though the trail is defined, it is always better to do this trek with a group and under the guidance of experienced trek leaders and guides. There were few sections where Adventure Pulse team set up ropes which made crossing the streams safely. 2. Transportation The start and endpoint for this trek are two different locations. The distance between the start point Pimpari village and endpoint Bhira dam is almost 22km and there isn’t any availability of taxi or shared vehicles. The network availability in the area is limited. 3. Food and Snacks during the trek There isn’t any food joint or facilities for lunch or snacks on the trail. I would recommend carrying some trail snack such as energy bars, chocolates and dry fruits. Make sure you carry at least 2l of water as it is a long walk of around 13 km. Feel free to contact me on Instagram page: nomadic_mit if you need any help or have queries regarding the trek. Or drop a line to lokhande.amit@gmail.com. Yours truly Cheers!
  2. The covid19 pandemic is not over. We request travelers to follow SMS ‘Sanitizer Mask Social distancing’ The weather in Hyderabad added charm in atmosphere. We decided to explore Gottam gutta which was there in my Bucket list and pending for long time. Planning done, day decided (Friday as being less crowed). My companion in travel: Car Baleno Zeta CVT – reliable partner. Smartphone Poco f1 – all the photos were taken with it. And most importantly Home minister and leader of opposition (son). They rule the house and without them trip is impossible. Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of travelling Things to carry: Own food and water to avoid contact with outsider. Sun cream, sunglasses & Hats. Umbrella (due to rainy season). Trekking shoes (useful for trekking). Difficulty level: No problem for elders and kids. Care to be taken while trekking at Chincholi wildlife sanctuary. People with difficulty in breathing should avoid it. Road condition: Roads are good till Zaheerabad. After that it is mixed of good and bad road but manageable by car and bikes. Best time to visit: The monsoon is the best season to visit the place with family and tourists will not regret having chosen the destination. If you hate crowed and wants to enjoy peacefully then plan trip on weekdays. Introduction to Gottam gutta: People looking for adventure and Nature lovers can relax at the picturesque Gottam Gutta located on the Telangana-Karnataka border. Surrounded by forests and eddies of the Chandrampally dam on the Bhima River in Karnataka. The government of Karnataka built the project in the village of Chandrampally in Chincholi Taluka of the district of Gulbarga. Gottam Gutta Route Map: To reach gottam gutta there are two routes. One is a regular route through the village where the dam is also present; the name of the dam is Chandrampalli dam. Another route is through few small villages and a forest. Hyderabad > Sangareddy > Zaheerabad > Govindapur > Mogudampalli > Chincholi wildlife sanctuary > Gottam Gutta We took first route to reach dam and second route for return journey. Best places to visit in this area: Chandrampalli dam. Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary. Ethipotala falls. 1. Details about Chandrampalli dam: Chandrampalli Dam is built across the Bhima River. The dam is located in Chandrampalli village of Chincholi taluq under the Gulbarga district of Karnataka. As one of the main dams in the district, dam is responsible for the irrigation of several villages in Chincholi taluka. Quick Facts Built on: River Bhima Type: Earthen Dam with Left Bank spillway Length: 926.54 meters Height: 28.65 meters above the foundation Full Reservoir Level (FRL): 493.16 feet Maximum Water Level (MWL): 496.21 meters Number of gates: 6 Purpose: the Irrigation project Travel. Because money returns. Time doesn’t. I travel so my life isn’t disrupted by routine 2. Details about Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary: Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a sanctuary in 2011 and extends over 134.88 Sq.kms. It is the first dry land Wildlife Sanctuary in South India. This is the only area in the Hyderabad Karnataka Region with rich floristic diversity. The forest hosts rich biodiversity. Apart from medicinal herbs and trees, species like Red Sanders and Sandalwood are found abundantly. Main highlights: Safe haven for Wolf and Hyena: Wolves and Hyenas are the primary attractions of Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread over five blocks: Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary consists of five blocks- Chincholi Forest, Sangapura Forest, Bhonsapur Forest, Magdumpur Forest and Shadipur forest. Rich Flora: Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary is home to dry and moist deciduous trees in its core zone and teak, acacia plantations in the outer area. Medicinal herbs, sandalwood and red sanders trees are also found in Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary. Local Tribes: Chincholi is also home to Lambani Tandas, a protected tribal community that lives in the forests in harmony with nature. Look at life through the windshield, not the rear view mirror Go find yourself Take memories, leave footprints We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us 3. Details about Ethipotala falls: Ethipothala Falls (Zadi Malkapur Falls) is a 20 feet & 40 Feet seasonal waterfall cascade, situated at Telangana-Karnatak Border 20 KM from Zaheerabad. This is a Seasonal waterfall starts from Kohir Mandal, Kohir in local slang means "red diamond". The "Pati Matti" once mixed with water turns into very strong material fit for construction of multistoried buildings. Over this journey you can experience the lush green fields on red soil. Let's wander where the wifi is weak Hey GPS, let’s take the scenic route today This guide is meant for beginner travellers who could use a little help with structuring their short trip. I aim to create travel Vlogs and guides to inspire others. And equip with useful + valuable insights for your next adventure. Most importantly to make genuine connections and new friends. Let’s explore the world together. follow me on Instagram :@nomadic_mit.
  3. Last weekend, We went a on a small drive from Hyderabad to Srisailam. Since, we have multiple logs on Srisailam drive. I don't want to share more information on it. I will concentrate more on Akka Mahadevi Caves (few people call it Akkamadevi devi Caves) There are two ways to visit Akka Mahadevi caves from Srisailam: AP Tourism boating Private boating Akka Mahadevi caves boating start point: Both the boats agencies start from same location : Pathala Ganga To reach Pathala Ganga, you need to either take rope-way or steps. If you have a bike you can ride down via steep path. Cars cant go down. Need to park them at rope way entrance. (designated parking is available) Location details Distance and time taken to visit Akka Mahadevi caves:(Applicable for both Private and Government operators) Boat ride takes around 90 minutes (one way) Distance is around 16 kilometers (one way) Boat speed is around 14 km/hr Total time for entire ride (including caves visit) : 4~5 hours Safety: Both government and private agencies provide life jackets. You may catch up cross winds at few locations but nothing to worry about them. Ride is smooth through out. AP Tourism boating: AP Tourism boating is managed by government. It is a big boat with 50 member capacity. Boat starts between 9AM~10AM from Pathala Ganga. (only one slot) You need to reach the point by 9AM and book the tickets for boating. Once you book the tickets, you need to wait till the boat is full (50 members) . Boat usually starts between 10AM~11AM. Price: 350/- (per head) Private Tourism boating: These are managed by private operators under government control. They have around ~15 member capacity boats which are small. Boats are basic as shown in the above image. These boats don't have any fixed timings, they are available from 6 AM, according to locals. (I feel that is the best time to visit) These guys close their operations before 2 PM. Food and Water Carry food and water, they are available just before boating point. Near the caves they charge x3, sometimes they may not be available. About Akka Mahadevi Caves: Once we get-down from the boat, we need to walk around 500 meters, path is neatly laid. No washrooms are available at the caves, plan accordingly. Caves are very small, don't expect them similar to Belum/Borra caves. But the stone formation outside the caves are amazing. Boat guys act as a guide, they will tell about the history of the place. Foot wear are not allowed into caves. Once you enter into caves:(approximate numbers) Walk : 100 meters Crawl: 50 meters Walk side ways : 20 meters Once you reach dead end you will find a Shiva lingam. Only one person can enter at a time (for Crawl/walk side way) Drawbacks Bats, it will stink inside the caves. Some people may feel suffocated inside the caves, due to narrow passages. Fine dust inside the caves, not a place for people with dust allergy Overall, I would say it is a must visit for nature lovers. Not an ideal place for Instagram crowd. Important note: Visit only during monsoon(Cloudy) and winter(December, low temperatures). Avoid this place, when the sun is out. Summer is completely ruled out. If you are taking AP tourism boat, try to occupy the last row. It has best view.
  4. Short monsoon drive to Gottam gotta As the climate outside is beautiful these days, we wanted to go to a peaceful and scenic destination by following all the safety measures. So, finalised Gottam gotta. As usual, our plan was to start early in the morning, but finally started by 10AM from our residence. Due to covid, we have prepared home made food and carried necessary items to have lunch somewhere in the nature. We have reached the place by 1PM, after few breaks at beautiful spots en-route. The most interesting part was to drive through the silent Chincholi wildlife sanctuary to reach the lake. There is a small village en-route, which is beautiful. At around 1PM, we hardly saw 5-7 people at the lake and after few minutes, we were the only one at the lake. Trek: The trek to the lake was normal (kids can do it as well). We spent sometime at the lake and returned back at 2:30PM or so. We have observed that crowd started gathering a little after 3PM but won't be more than 20-30 people.. Then we had our lunch under a tree near the chincholi wildlife sanctuary, collected the trash after our lunch and explored the place randomly. The views were really good and the place is definitely worth a visit. We started heading back home by 5:00PM and reached in 2 hours. Drive and Road condition Distance: ~240 kms. (to and fro). Road condition: Excellent until the NH65 ends, Good from then. You will see some rough patch once you enter chincholi wildlife sanctuary (doable for any car). Things to note: Carry everything you need and don't expect any stores nearby. It's completely remote place and group travel will be fun and secure during odd timings. By Aditay Ram More details: https://www.trifod.com/index.php?/topic/382-hyderabad-to-gottamgutta-road-trip/
  5. Hello trippers, Tell your top monsoon destinations from Hyderabad and why?
  6. Whoever has said – hills are green when they are far way – I so want to meet and dispute and take the character to Thekaddy on a free vacation with me! What you are looking for – Jungle Safari? waterfalls? meadows? cultural festivity in daily life? Let me give you few more – tea gardens, spice gardens, vineyard, meadows and valleys? Still you need more – Alright! Let me add it- Elephant Safari, Boating and how about off-road driving??? Ladies and Gentlemen…. Read the list again – give yourself this gift - Taste Thekkady!!! Airways to Thekkady Cochin, Madurai are two airports very close to Thekkady. I decided to opt Flight to Madurai and book a cab from the airport straight to the mountains. Early morning flight, not only gives you the entire day, it also gives you leisure, time to explore your way to Thekkady and luxury of nature. The distance between Thekkady and Madurai Airport is under 250 KMs and in four hours you can reach your destination. The road is beautiful, runs through small villages, towns, medical colleges, canopy of trees, hills, windmills and vineyards. Stopping at some great locations for a click will not be a mistake and should not be missed. Try out windmills at your back or the seasonal waterfalls on your way. Our cab driver was great as a local guide throughout our journey. We had our breakfast (Typical Tamil style and it was delicious) at Hotel Gowri Krishna and recommended for a definite try. The restaurant is quite decent and can accommodate over 60 to 70 people at a time if not more and the efficiency in serving the orders is just amazing. On your way at Periyakulam, do click photographs and images that thrills you and seek your attention. Our stay for the next three days was at a very decent and customer oriented Hotel. The stay was too perfect at this place. From the variety of food offerings to cleanliness, complimentary breakfast, evening tea/coffee, snacks …with view of mysterious mountains and valleys, floating cloud rom your hanging deck just gives you peace of mind and true sense of luxury and vacation together. The resort has a great garden, activity area, swimming pool, spa and of course three different option for residence! We requested for the top most floor to enjoy the scenic beauty of nature from our balcony and room. Activities at Thekkady Kathakali and Marshall Arts You should and must have two hours available for this show. You can do the bookings online or you can go and buy the tickets from the booking counter for the show. Both are really rich in their own way and reflects a strong fiber of our tradition and culture. Spice Gardens There are many spice gardens in Thekkady and Periyar. There is no harm learning half an hour the kind of medicinal plants cultured around and the variety of spice available in the region. A lot of medical company do research and purchase these ayurvedic medicinal plants in building their medicines and brand. Try yourself with some herbal soaps, fresh spice, some great medicinal powder for cleansing life and diet. Gavi Forest Drive The forest just thrills you from the time you enter the main gate and runs till the time off board the jeep. My trip was in monsoon so I did enjoy the beauty of greenery, the fun of sitting in a jeep, sightseeing elephants like humans everywhere, deer all around, bison of massive size, brown bears against trees and birds all around. The forest is thick and green, surrounded with valleys and mountains. The guide takes you around, stops every possible place where you can spot a wild life! Gavi Forest is almost all-day program. It starts from your hotel at 5.30 AM and continues all day. This includes beautiful boat riding, hiking over valleys and mountains to spice plantation (rubber and cardamom), a small visit to a museum and lunch. This trip was really a lucky trip for me. Every time I had a guide, they always tried to make it little different. During boating, the guide took us to a beautiful seasonal waterfall which appeared from nowhere and surprised us for quite sometimes. The waterfall was huge and strong, we anchored our boat in between two rocks and walked down the slippery water and rocks towards the waterfall. The hiking over to different parts of the mountain and seeing different scenic points are way too beautiful and fascinating. Enjoy the mist and clouds floating by, sip a bottle of water or two, click some pictures and enjoy the vacation like a vacation. Ayurvedic Spa No trip is complete in Kerala without Ayurvedic massage. However, you should be careful enough to review and select the right place for the massage. I did go for three hours package and ensured I used strong influence of the local network I made during my stay to ensure I get the best spa treatment. Local Sight Seeing Thekkady has a lot of local places to visit . Please make most use of it when you are in Thekkady. Murrikaddi spice garden, Chellarkovil, chellarkovil view point, Pandikuzhi, Idduki District, Kumlily, Mullaperiyar dam , Vagamom are some of them that I could finish during my stay. I am highly indebted to the guide and Periyar cab team to help me with my most demanding requests on planning my day. The owner did not only gave us the most helpful and knowledgeable guide, he ensured calling me every day , take feedback, suggest next day plan and stay in touch anytime. When you visit Chellarkovil waterfall, ensure you cross the waterfall and go to the other side and climb up for having a stunning beauty of the valley below and mountains around. I wish I had luxury of time in my hand to sit all day long and see the clouds and day light pass by. Periyar Lake and Boating Bamboo boating or boating on a launch both are quite exciting on Periyar lake. The boat takes you around the forest . The boating has fixed timing and you can book your slot either online or buy tickets from the counter. However it is recommended to do the bookings online. Nature Walk, Trekking, Overnight Camping Though I didn’t opt for this one however I would still recommend if you are going in summer or winter, go for nature walk , trekking down the forest for almost 10 kms , cloud train, jungle trail, tiger trail and experience the stay at camp spots overnight inside the Periyar tiger reserve park. The arrangements can be done by your guide or online websites or probably through your hotel. I do have some idea how thrilling and beautiful the camping can be because the view of thick jungle, view from the mountains and safari through the jungle already injected the feeling in me. Off tracking This is all day event and is a great trill for those who are crazy for off road tracking. Though I could not experience since it was monsoon and the road trips were closed but it’s going to be a whole of an experience for sure Elephant Rides Definitely a great experience to interact and spend two to three hours with such a humble life. There are many elephant safari and ride programs across Thekkady. You can go for half an hour ride through plantation, elephant bathing, elephant training session and take a moment to greet the elephant and feed with your own hands Vineyards On our way to Madurai airport, we did visit a waterfall and a vineyard at Uttapalaiyam. Though the waterfall was not that exciting and over crowded, the visit to the vineyard was short and nice. You can talk and have a look at the way things work, hear how grapes are fermented, picked from the plantation and processed. The story will remain incomplete if I dont speak of the Kerala Lunch! Highly recommended - Visit this restaurant incase you dont know anything better. We were stuffed with rice, Malabar Paratha, beef, prawns, chicken, mutton, fish, some awesome veg curries , salad and chutneys/pickles for INR 600 per head. If you dispute, I dont mind because I already had my share that afternoon and didnt eat anything for dinner. I realized one thing for sure - Happiness is portable! Just carry it with you wherever you go! Give this place a try, it wont be disappointing.
  7. Hyderabad to Dindi reservoir Distance : 140 kilometres Road condition : One of the best road to drive. Super good. Purpose : Monsoon drive Route: Hyderabad --> Kadthal --> Kalvakurthi --> Dindi reservoir This drive meet-up turned out to be more exciting than expected. Plan was decided at 8 a.m. in the morning and we started from Gachibowli at 10 a.m. This was the quickest 'India-Drive' meet so far. Event flow: 8:00 AM : Plan to drive, destination unknown. 9:30 AM : Meetup 10:00 AM : We were on the ORR.
  8. 'Drive to the Nilgiris to rejoice the pre-monsoon showers' (01-06-2016) After a splendid night camping & star gazing drive meet last month at Koilsagar, 'India-Drive' now invites you to camp between the Tea plantations on the hill top for those who believe in self exploration while allowing in-depth discovery of the destination. Let us drive in a union spirit to rejoice the pre-monsoon showers and continue this year on a cheerful note. So come out, join the convoy with 'India-Drive' and hunt down to our own piece of paradise. When: June 1st - June 4th 2017 Where: Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu Start point - Gachibowli (ORR) End point - Kotagiri Start time - 4:00 a.m. Total Distance - ~900 kms (one way) Objective - A short drive to enjoy the sudden drop in temperature and thank the pre-monsoon showers. Places to be covered: 1) Bandipur forest reserve 2) Ooty, Doddabetta (4th highest peak in South India) 3) Kotagiri 4) Coonoor Early morning drive into the Bandipur forest reserve Beautiful Avalanche Lake, Ooty Overlooking the picturesque sight of Ooty at Doddabetta peak. Beautiful country side of the Kotagiri tea plantations. Destination description: Bandipur National Park is a forested reserve in the southern Indian state of Karnataka which is known for its small population of tigers. This was once a private hunting ground of the Maharajas of Mysore, the park also harbors Indian elephants, spotted deer, gaurs (bison), antelopes and numerous other native species. Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri hills at 8,650 feet. There is a reserved forest area around the peak which is 9 kms from Ooty, on the Ooty-Kotagiri Road in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. It is a popular tourist attraction with road access to the summit. It is the fourth highest peak in South India. Coonoor is located at an altitude of 6,070 ft above sea level and is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills after Ooty. It is an ideal base for a number of trekking expeditions leading into the Nilgiris. Kotagiri is situated at an elevation of around 5,883 ft above sea level. It is supposed to have the best climate in Tamil Nadu. Route: Hyderabad (Gachibowli) --- Kurnool --- Bangalore --- Bandipur --- Ooty --- Kotagiri & Coonoor Meet-up point : Gachibowli ORR entrance Map location : https://goo.gl/maps/X5onups3Dxj POC : 9849021091 / 9989745688 Plan: Day 1 (June 01 - 2017): 4:00 AM - We start from off from the meet-up point towards Mysore. 8:00 AM - Stop by for breakfast at Kurnool. 1:00 PM - We stop by for lunch before we enter the Bangalore city. 6:00 PM - We reach Mysore to break down for the day. (We shall try to cover Nandi hills en-route as per the members interest) Day 2 (June 02 - 2017): 7:00 AM: We start from Mysore post breakfast towards Bandipur. 9:00 AM: Start exploring Bandipur National park and Do a forest safari. 1:00 PM: We stop by for Lunch while exploring the country side of Ooty. 4:00 PM: We reach our destination (Camp site on the hill top between the Tea plantations in Kotagiri). We settle down for the day and explore the Nilgiris at Kotagiri and close down for the night besides some fun at the Bonfire. Day 3 (June 03 - 2017): 9:00 AM: We explore the whole day around the Nilgiris i.e, Ooty, Conoor and Kotagiri (Off beat loacations) 8:00 PM: We close down early at the night for an early start the next day towards Hyderabad. Day 4 (June 04 - 2017): 4:00 AM: We start early to escape the Bangalore city traffic and proceed towards Hyderabad. Things to carry: Please do carry your own water bottles and snacks which could be sufficient for 3 days and 4 nights. Trekking shoes, track pants, T-shirts, winter wear and a rain coat. Toiletries, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Mosquito repellent cream and Glucose / Electrol (personal medical kit) Camera kits and Telescopes if any star gazing enthusiasts or night photography enthusiasts. Most importantly loads of energy and positive attitude. Cost per head: 3,500 INR (Accommodation for one night at Mysore, 2 nights at Ooty) We go dutch on the expenses at Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and misc. ***Note: Number of slots available are 16. Disclaimer: Accepting to participate in this Drive, is an agreement that you have joined us voluntarily and you accept that organisers do not hold any responsibility for loss or damage of property (vehicle etc.). Also, you are responsible for your own safety and any act of negligence that endangers the safety of fellow passengers, guests or others. Terms and Conditions: 1) Only cars are allowed. 2) No age/sex restrictions on joining the drive until the driver is licensed. 3) Your car must have all the necessary gear. (Spare tyre etc.). 4) You need to follow the designated convoy position and keep safe distance from the adjacent cars. 5) No compromise on safety at any time seat belts are a must!, always use indicators for lane change. 6) Kindly avoid 'free-play' and 'show-off' during the trip - follow the Marshal's instructions at all times. 7) Carry enough water / refreshments / drinks for self and passengers. 8) Driving members can bring up to 3 guests. We encourage families. 9) You are required to confirm compliance to the conditions for this trip before we can register your RSVP. 10) Acceptance of your RSVP is only notional, and the organizers reserve the right to select the final list of attendees. 11) The organizers do not hold any responsibility for loss or damage of property (vehicle, gear etc.). If you are a long-drive enthusiast and visiting new places give you a high, YES, this group is just the one for you! Come join us and share your experience. Let's Dream.. Drive.. Discover!
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