Bangalore to Ooty Trip
I thought it will be helpful to write a travelouge for my trip to some of those who wish to plan a trip to Ooty from Bangalore by a self driven car. Before planning my trip, I tried to search the net for some experiences but all those could not give me a confidence and some of them even discouraged me to go ahead with the trip. The fear was due to descriptions of a dense forest , wild animals and hill driving especially with hair-pin bends. Yet we started this trip along with my wife and kid.
I had already booked a company provided guest house in advance at Ootty for 2 days , so could not face problems in locating a decent accomodation . I had to reach the guest house at 25th Morning , so I started to Mysore on 24th and stayed in a Hotel at Mysore. The journey from Bangalore to Mysore was cool as the road was very good and it took me 2 and a half hours with a moderate speed of 80-90 kmph through the slow lane. It is possible to go at higher speeds in this road but I prefered to stick to safe and responsible driving.
Started from Mysore early morning after a cup of hot coffee towards Mysore -Ooty road which pass through Nanjangud. On the way we took breakfast on a highway dhaba and proceeded to Gundlupet. The road was good and is a one-way state highway . It is possible to go at high speeds in these roads , but special care needs to be taken while overtaking and reaching small towns (humps without warning can shake your vehicle!).
After Gundlupet town , the road straight goes to Ooty and the road right goes to Calicult. From this point till you reach Bandipura Forest range the road is very bad. Big pathholes at every inch of the road forced me to drive slowly ,otherwise could have damaged my car. After struggling for half an hour we reached the entry point of Bandipur Forest. After driving a small Ghat section with hair-pin bends the jungle started to appear. Seen some Warning sign boards of "Animals may cross , go slow at xx km etc". Driving through the jungle was a pleasure , the road condition was good. We reached Mudumalai wild life Sanctury check post. Given Rs. 50 /- as entry fee and proceeded . The forest looked little dense from here and greeted with warning sign boards "Critical Elephant Zone , go slow" . We could locate some deer, monkeys and two tuskers gracing at a distance. After driving some distance we reached near a forest office and check post(forgot the placename at this point) . The sign board says there are two options to reach Ooty. A road left goes to Ooty via Masinagudy which is a short cut and the straight one goes via Gudalloor.
Before starting my trip I made up my mind that I will not select Masinagudy route , but I have seen many cars and mini buses and TT taking this route so decided to follow them. After passing a small bridge the road again entered into a jungle. We were slow and enjoying the ride again through elephant and Leopeard zones and reached a small check post where all non TN vechiles drivers has to write down the details of the vechile and driver in a register. We proceeded some distance through this one way road and greeted with a big mountain in front of us. The feeling was such that our road is going to end at the foot of that mountain. The sight of the valley at this point looked beautiful. Finally the road started climbing the hill as we too had to climb the hill.
Seen the haipin bend number 36/36 sign board , the count starts from the top to bottom. Though the road was narrow it was a good road. After first two three bends I got confidence . My WagonR could easily handle this in 2nd Gear, some places I need to change to 1st Gear as some vehicles in front of me are slowing down. And a few places my vehicle demanded 1st gear. But being slow and steady I could find the drive was not so bad and anybody with a good driving skill can handle this perfectly. Do not take the warning by some people "This road is only for expert drivers" as these...
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