Monday, August 15, 2011

Trip to Munnar (Trek between Silent Valley - Meesapulimala–Kolukkumalai)

It is a hectic time and also became very lazy these days. Still I find time to pin this Blog because this is my first longest trek in whole of my life till date. One day I called up Murali and told him it is high time we need to have a break to office and other stuffs around us for at least two or three days. it struck our minds why not we make a trip during three days holidays during the independence day (a long week end) to make ourselves away from the regular routine work. There exactly the plan for going to Munnar began. Lee gave lot of options and only this plan it worked out. We formed the Gang (Murali, Kumar, Padbhanabhan, Lokesh, Suresh and Me). We were planning to reach Munnar. Finally we decided that I’ll leave to Bangalore and from there we can get a train to Coimbatore and from Coimbatore we can book a Taxi and Leave. Murali a week before the trip begins he called me and told me that we need to be there in the Hotel Before 7 pm so that it is better. So we had a change in plan that I’ll come to coimbatore directly and all others guys from bangalore join me at coimbatore. and the same plan from coimbatore continues. So I got into the Bus by 9:00 pm from chennai and all others started from bangalore by 10:45 pm. I heard from Murali that the baggage that kumar was taking is so so heavy and he is late for the bus. and lunckly he got an auto and he got into the bus.

Day 1 :

Around 7:30 am I reached coimbatore. Before that itself all these guys reached coimbatore. I called them up they asked me to come to the new bus stand. I really don’t know where the new bus stand is. I some how finds the bus which goes to new bus stand from gandhipuram. I told these guys to come to gandhipuram since the cab can start from there. but they insisted me to come there. I went to the new bus stand which was actually known to me but I don’t know that is the new bus stand. I reached there I could see kumar taking lot of photos around the busstand. We started from the new bus stand by 8 am in a bus and reached gandhipuram. We called the Cab guy which we have booked already and he came to pick up. we had a Nice breakfast at Gowri Shankar Hotel in Crosscut Road. I feel everyone enjoyed the breakfast.

We got into the cab and started the trip to Munnar from coimbatore. We stopped in lot of places where we have filled our bags with snacks and we hit the road from Coimbatore-Pollachi-Udumulpet-Munnar. The Udumulpet to Munnar road is very scenic. A drive from Udumalpet to Munnar gives one unforgettable views of the Western Ghats. Chinnar is 25 km from Udumalpet and is there is Indra Gandhi wildlife sanctuary. Chinnar is also the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. As you cross the Tamil Nadu border and enter Kerala, you can see a distinct change in the vegetation. While the Tamil Nadu areas have vegetation dominated by shrubs and thorny trees, the vegetation in Kerala is lush green with tall trees. Marayur is 20 km from Chinnar. As we drive past Marayur towards Munnar, you can see the glimpse of Huge mountains around us. We enjoyed the heavy drive. We could not able to find the hotel there. we called up the person who is organizing and we found the place. we reached the Hotel in Munnar which is Name as “ML Munnar”. The climate was awesome when we reached the place. it is drizzling and we enjoyed the climate. We got out of the cab and went into the Rooms. The Rooms were pretty decent.  when we went to room and settled the time is almost 3:00 pm. we called up that hotel guy and ordered the food for lunch to the room itlsef. we had heavy food with Parota, Chicken Kuruma and Chicken Birayani. The food which we tool was awesome and we had a nice feast. After having food we started playing cards in one room. We enjoyed that. The Organizer which Murali booked was KALYPSO ADVENTURES. Those guys came to our room and  explained the whole trek and other things about the trek and ask us to get ready by 7 am on the next day.

At 7:30 pm we were planning to have a good dinner. we just put on our jerkins and started going out in search of a good hotel. We could not find anything better we went into some hotel and we had a good Food. all these food are cooked with coconut oil and hence I could feel the difference. We started our sleep by 10:00 pm. Till that time we were enjoying a lot ‘cause of the Climate. I forgot the Hectic humidity weather which I used to have back home in Chennai.

Day 2:

Everyone of us was so energetic, we woke up very early and got ready fast and were waiting for the Jeep. The jeep came we just vacated the place where we were staying and took all our luggage's in jeep. The jeep started to Silent Valley in a the stony jeep track which is 20Km from Munnar where we have started our trek. On the way we had Poori for Breakfast and had Chai. The tea tasted so good. The best point is I was not so used to drink tea. We started again to Silent Valley. We reached the Silent valley around 9:30 am. The drive which we went was awesome and still I felt as if I wanted to drive that jeep. We got down and took only the things which we carry. We had to take only the minimum required luggage for Day 2 and the rest would be transported to the Day 2 camp site by the same jeep. Also we had leech Socks which is used to avoid leech. We started our trek. Vishnu, Dinesh and Muthu (the guide from Forest department) were Accompanying us in whole of the trip.

We starting the trek from an altitude of 1500 m gradually ascending to over 2600m, passing through sholas (high altitude rain forests) and grasslands which are typical to the higher areas of the Western Ghats . The area also has wildlife – notably elephants, sambar, sloth bear and the Nilgiri thar - the latter being endemic and endangered. After a small snacks we continued our trek through the undulating mountain grasslands and ascend Meeshapulimala - the second highest peak in the Western Ghats. The trek passed through sholas, grasslands and mountain streams which criss-cross the area. Soon you reach above cloud level and the place would offer a bird's eye view of Munnar and surroundings. we reach the top of MeeshaPulimala,  we relaxed for a short while and enjoy the panoramic views. After having a light Lunch of bread Sandwich we started again. The last climb up the Meesapulimala is a tough one, but once you are on top of the hill, all the difficulties will be forgotten. It is amazing to be on top of the world and one step away from the clouds! Meesapulimala is arguably the 2nd tallest peak in South India. we would start our descend from the other side of the peak. The descend is a bit steep. You found elephant dung during our descend. After about 40 minutes steep decend, we get inside a shola forest. The place is nothing short of a wild garden and plants of different colors, shape and sizes.

From the place We can see the world’s highest tea estate Kolukkumalai in the undulating hills below. All persons mind filled with Happiness when we see the estate and few houses while getting down. We heard from Guides that we are at Kolukkumalai. We are completely surrounded by tea estates on all sides. These tea estates are said to be the highest in the world at 2175m. If the sky is clear, the green carpet offered a magnificent landscape. We had a view of Kolukkumalai Tea Factory which is built by the british person and still the same process maintains there. One person explains the whole process of making tea from tea leaves. Got out of the factory we got few tea packets and had a nice green tea and Hit back in a bumpy road to Anaerangal Camp. All are heavily tired of trek around 16km In mountain and also the bad part is leech bite Murali’s Legs and blood was coming out for quite a long time. he would have lost quite a good “ml” of blood wasted. The camp was awesome to stay and we enjoyed our stay. We had camp fire and Food Made ready and we made fun and we enjoyed the food and hit the bed for next day Trek.

Day 3:

Covered by hills on all sides and far away from the civilization, it was a nice chilled out morning and another good meal to start the day - a mix of traditional mallu breakfast, fruits and bread. There are some things that money cant buy!!!. I and Murali didn’t go for next day trek, all others went for a small trek for around 4 hours and came back. We started packing our things and hit back to Munnar in a jeep. By about 11.30, we made it to the lake, which was again beautiful, like any other place in Munnar :) . We had our Lunch and  Our jeep was ready by this time and we headed back.The Ride was at most enjoyable with full of tea estate. Reached down to Munnar by 2:00 pm. Murali, Lokesh and Suresh had a Body Massage and came to bus stop by 4:00pm. I was very hard to get a bus to Coimbatore or to Bangalore since we have not booked. Finally we managed to Book a Cab to Coimbatore. .I was too tired ‘cause I was sick. We reached Pollachi and had nice Dinner and started to Coimbatore. We reached Coimbatore by 11:00 pm. We booked a Hotel for Murali and Guys and I started back to Home. When I reached home it was around 11:30 pm. I heard from sister that her kid Sarvesh is Still awake to meet me. Played with him for sometime and went to Sleep. Murali and Others Started to Bangalore by 8:00 am Train on the next day.

The trip was one of the memorable trip in my life.

The Trek Highlights :
Meesapulimala the second highest peak (2635 m) in South India
Highest grown tea in the world – Kolukkumala
Trek through villages of hill tribes
Beautiful view of Munnar and it’s Climate
A variety of plantations, vegetable and fruit farms

Hopefully will write my Next blog soon….



Monday, August 8, 2011

A Trip to Bangalore and Mysore.

It is quite a long time i pinned my blog. Let me take some time out to write this blog which was a trip to Bangalore and Mysore from Chennai. I was very much excited to see the old friends whom i have met them quite a long back. The main intention of this trip is to meet Samuel and see his new Born Kid. Planning is always lagging in all the trips i went. even this trip is not an exception.

We started our trip from Chennai to Bangalore in sadapthi. This is the first time I'm traveling to Bangalore in Sadapthi. I started a bit late and rushed to central station to pick up the train in 2B. I found that Subbu and others had already been there two hours before to station. it is quite a long time i traveled in Local train to central, i enjoyed the way from Thiruvanmayur to Part Station in Foot Board :) in Local train. I reached the station and went directly to central.
The train started by 5:30pm The seats which we have booked are not in order, but stanley and others somehow managed to make way to get the seats nearer except for Hacker Karthik. Subbu somehow talked and put mokkai with a person who is an MD in some company and managed to get his seat to Hacker. He might have put so much mokkai, might be planning to get a project to Hexaware from his company :). Finally we all settled down in our seats. I could find mostly all the persons in the train had a laptop in their lap and working. The only persons who made so much noise in the whole train is our group. The Food which was given in train is better. Somehow we put lot of mokkai and Fun to eat away the time and we finally reached Bangalore by 10:30 pm. I heard from friend Kumar that it is raining heavily there, But when we reached the station we found that the rain have stopped.

Karthik has booked the Hotel very near to Railway station, It was quite good and Bit cheaper when compared to lot more hotels. We reached the Hotel by 11:00 pm and we started talking the whole old gold stories in the room. we finally got Settled down in the room. We talked so much that we planned to sleep only my morning 5 am. stanley and Others managed to Get the Cab booked by 5 am when they went to have tea outside. I heard from stanley that the cab will come by 7 am and we will start by 7:30 am. But i could realize that even after 8:30 all the persons are sleeping. Somehow everyone managed to wake up and got ready by 9:30 am and went down. we started waiting for one more person for quite a long long time and he came by 10:00 am and we started to Samuel's place. We didn't had our breakfast. we were planning to have breakfast with Sam somewhere near his place. The traffic in Bangalore was so heavy that it took around 45 minutes to reach Sam's place which is around 4 Km from Majestic. We somehow found Sam's place. i would have called him at least 5 times to know the place. Sam was waiting in balcony and waiving hands at us like a politician. It was quite a happy moment that i have seen sam might be after an year or so .. after his marriage. We had a chat with Samuel and his wife and had tea and snacks and we said bye to him and head to Mysore in the Cab. We started from sam's place by 11:30 am. Everyone was so hungry since we didn't have the breakfast. We stopped in Some Sagar Hotel and Had a Heavy Breakfast and started the cab by 12:00 pm. I could hear from the driver that this time we should have been in Mysore to see most of the things, But we were still in bangalore. We somehow managed to Hit Bangalore Mysore road with quite a decent speed and we stopped in some hotel to have lunch. The lunch was not so good but still the price was heavy. After lunch we started again in cab. On the way we have played anthakshari and Guess the Person game. Some how managed to reach Mysore by 2:00 pm.We reached Mysore Place.

Mysore Palace or the Maharajah's Palace located in the heart of the Mysore city, is the most attractive monument in Mysore. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897 and was rebuilt by Wodeyar Raja in 1912. Designed in Indo-Saracenic style by the some British architect the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world.

The three storeyed building has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. There is big open space in the front and the open courtyard in the center is covered by a gold-plated dome.The entry to the palace is through the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. Halfway along is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance to the centre of the palace. The gate is decorated with floriated designs, and bears the Mysore royal symbol of a double headed eagle which is the Symbol of Karnataka Now. Inside there is an enclosed courtyard. To the north of the gate are dolls, dating from the earlier nineteenth century, a wooden carriage kept on top of the elephants to carry royalty decorated with 84 kilogram of 24 carat gold and other precious metals. It also have a golder flag in top of the doom weighed around 14 Kilograms of Pure Gold.

Then, the magnificent Kalyana Mantapam has a centre octagonal ceiling, covered by multi coloured glass arranged in geometrical patterns and beautiful chandeliers. Tall, slender cast iron pillars from Glasgow, Scotland are arranged in groups of three. The floor is laid with glittering glazed tiles imported from England, The walls which lead to the Mandapa are lined with oil paintings depicting Dusshera celebrations and the paintings of Kings, Queens and their Children. On the second floor, the Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling, a shining floor with many sculpture and pillars which are said to have been painted with gold. The wall is painted with 8 avathars of Goddess Shakthi, Scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata and an original painting of the painter Ravi Verma are kept here.In the same floor to there is a hall for private audience that has beautifully carved doors at the entrance with great art work. The hall has beautiful stained glass ceiling, supported by bow shaped beams and bars. The palace is illuminated with Bulbs on Saturday and Sunday nights, and during the festive season of Dussera.The palace now under the supervision of the Archaeology Department of the Karnataka Government.Heard that ancestor of the Wodeyar rulers continues to reside here.


Not for long though, as we had one last stop before heading back to Bangalore; Brindavan Gardens. We started from Mysore palace by 5:30pm.The sun was setting as we approached the Gardens.At Night By the time we reached the gardens, it was dark and we were just in time for the show. Brindavan Gardens is a man-made garden at the base of a giant dam. Luckily at night the dam fades into the darkness, and your attention is focused on the many multi-colored fountains and well-lit flowerbeds.The Musical Fountain! A multi-patterned fountain, complete with every color and the latest Old Bollywood hits :), all synced together in to one fantastic show!.Just as the show finished, I managed to find the group, where we jumped into the stream of people that worked their way back through the gardens, like a school of fish, trying their hardest to make it to the front and first to the parking lot.It was an unforgettable experience in many ways.After finding our driver and the cab, we loaded into the cab one last time and started on our journey back to Bangalore.It was a day filled with action-packed tourist attraction sight-seeing and fun!!. The Drive was so hectic that on getting down from the cab we felt as if we were at the midst of death and came back alive :) hahaha.

The Second day went very fast, Woke up very late and got ready. Others went to roam around Bangalore malls and I went to visit my friend Rajukumar's Home. Had a nice lunch and Nice dinner. Roamed with Raju in his car and Head back to Majestic in Bus. Reached the hotel exactly at 10:00 pm and Rushed to Bangalore Station to get the train to Chennai. Even we could not able to get all the seats near and we managed to Sleep in train and reached to Central station. Nice Trip and Nice Enjoyment after a quite long long time. Planning to GO to Munnar, Kerala This weekend. Hope I'll pen those moments :). Enjoyed writing this blog after long time :)... Back in Chennai.... At Office :(

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Time to Write Post :(

Have Lot to Write but doesn't get time to script those :(