Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A macro perspective

"Perspective" a term very important for any social animal, the reason is known to all. Our eyes are one of the most important aid but at times, it doesn't show the real picture too. When we go to macro zoom, the things which we might not see normally starts to appear beautiful. It is a galore of nature's creativity and we tend to feel that we are seeing only very few things even if it is very close to us.

A visit to a peaceful hamlet at Pathanapuram, where farming is the still the main source of livelihood, made me look into the macro perspective and I will show you how this perspective makes us start appreciate the beauty of the small things. The travel to this place itself is an experience by itself (You can see the beautiful roads and the erst while British established factories here).

It's a pleasure to have one of my cousins reside at this place. This time after exchanging pleasantaries we decided to take a walk through one of their farms, a need aroused because of my kids enthusiasm to catch some live fish from the small stream running nearby. It is pleasure to walk through the narrow pathway, with the stream flowing on side and thick greenery around. The only sounds that we hear are from the birds around and the flowing background score created by the stream. Watch the farm here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Innovative Film City - An Innovative Day Out

A quick holiday in Bangalore, the IT capital of India, and by coincidence lot of relatives happened to be here too. Got a day to spend together and instead of water theme parks and resort's day out package, decided to check out the Innovative Film City. Called them to know their rates , timing route. The response was good and got all the information needed. 

This place is in the Bangalore - Mysore route, around 30 kms from Bangalore town. 

Thanks to the notorious Bangalore traffic we took around 2 hours to cover this distance. This is situated away from the hustle and bustle of busy city. The parking lot was huge and there were lot of cars already parked there. We were concerned on whether it will be real crowded. The person in the ticket counter explained that there is a minimum charge of around Rs.650 per person and this includes free entry to around 10 different innovative creations. Earlier they charged a minimum entrance fee of Rs. 50 and for visiting each stall we had to pay separately which allowed the visitors to chose what they want to visit. But this option was not available now. The entrance itself wore a different look.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Aranmula Vallasadya: Snake boats, Feast and a bunch of good people

Kerala, the small penisular state in the southern part of India, got its name from the abundant cocunut trees (Kera trees). But one of the most popular things about Kerala which stays in the minds of tourists is undoubtedly the beautiful Snake Boats. In local slang it is called "Chundan vallam" or the Beaked boat. The annual Nehru trophy boat race at Alappuzha and the annual Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat race draw a lot of crowds even from the western countries. Here I try to take you through another ritual based on the Snake boats - the Valla Sadya.

My journey to Aranmula temple on the weekend just before Onam was to attend a "Vallasadya", an offering to Aranmula temple.The ritual consists of rowing the snake boat to the temple, following all the traditions. On reaching the temple a pooja ensues, followed by a good feast for which the person who is offering the Vallasadya can invite guests. Since this vallasadya was been conducted by one of my relatives, we were invited for this function.

By the time I reached the starting point of the boat christened "Laka - Idayaranmula chundan" the rowers had already embarked on the boat dressed in traditional attire.

Believe me, this thing is really huge and can accommodate around 100 people, with the protruding back portion standing as tall as 15feet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where Sports matters more than Academics !! – A walk through the LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram

In Kerala, there is no doubt about the fact that physical education is given way low priority in schools, where teachers and parents alike are hell bound in spoon feeding kids with a plethora of unwanted information, which they have to simply recollect during exams. Eventually exams turn out to be a test of retention power of students. All this has resulted in making most of the students perceiving only the field of Medicine or Engineering as the career option.

This kind of high importance in academics has had its effect in Kerala’s performance in National Games. Kerala is indeed one of the states which had produced a number of great athletes. But of late the supremacy of Kerala has been questioned, if one goes through the standings in the National Games.

Under these circumstances, I was surprised to see a beautiful and well maintained infrastructure for sports training in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. It was the time of our annual cricket tourney and this time the venue was Lakshmi Bhai National Centre for Physical Education. The cricket enthusiast in me still not dying down, so naturally I was also part of one of the teams. Apart from playing cricket it turned out to be a fantastic day as I could walk around and find some of the finest grounds all in a sprawling campus.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some interesting guests in my house!!

Here comes a different journey. A journey through some of the interesting guests who happened to visit my house, with their activities caught live on my cam.

It was bright Saturday morning. The sun shining brightly and the mood was generally lethargic thanks to the holiday. I was about to begin a small walk around my house when something struck on my eyes. It was the anthorium plant and the leaf was kind of having a big coating around it. At first I thought it must be the flower, but on a closer look found out that it is made of soil.

Looked like tha handiwork of ants, but ants generally don't create such delicately balanced home hanging down from a leaf. I decided to wait with my camera to see if the house owner comes out any time. There were no visible holes in the structure anywhere too.

The wait lasted about 15 minutes when a beautiful miniscule helicopter began to circle the area. This red flying object soon landed in an area close to where I found the mud home.

It was a beautiful dragon fly. The color combo was something which we don't usually come across. I sat patiently to find out whether it is his home sweet home. The shape of this creature would have surely influenced the design of helicopters. In a flash the fly jumped to a branch closer to the muddy house.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rediscovering Ooty (Part 4): Kid's Park, Film Shooting Point & A Memorable Camp Fire Experience

Sleeping out in a cool chilly morning on a holiday, with no timelines/engagements planned is one of the best things in most people’s life. We are doing the same thing here in Ooty at the beautiful Brookdale resort. Flip open the window and we can see the beautiful valley sprite up by the morning sun. Just open it and real cold air came gushing in. Adjust the woolen blanket and go to sleep again. Simply fantastic !! Thank God for giving us this fantastic routine called sleeping, something which can be enjoyed by the rich and the poor, irrespective of their caste, creed or race.

This day we have plans to visit the Ooty town. Yesterday was wholly spent in this resort and it was truly enthralling. (Watch our exploration of this beautiful resort facilities here). We could stay here in the resort today also exploring their wide property. But somehow we cannot digest the thought of a visit to Ooty without roaming around the town to the regular picnic spots, a routine which we had practiced right from our school excursions.

Someone is knocking hard at the door. “Breakfast sir”, the room boy is coming here for the second time with breakfast.

By 11am our sojourn starts with no specific plans, no preconceived notions or expectations on how the destination will be, as we were already satisfied with the place of our stay.

The day is really bright. The roads are stunning, the scenery alongside the valleys even more stunning. Gliding slowly through these beautiful ghat roads is pure fun and all the approaching vehicles seems to pose as models for a vehicle ad.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Confident Cascade, Bangalore: A fun filled day Guaranteed

The fight was between Confident Cascade and Guhanthara both of which had good day packages for a good gettogether. We could hear our siblings discussing on the pros and cons of these places as they were hell bound on entertaining us. We had made a visit to Bangalore with no previous planning. It was the last weekend of the summer vacation, my better half and myself wanted to see the new little kid in the family, my brother's cute little gem who just makes anyone drool over him, my son badly needed atleast one visit to Bangy in every vacation, thanks to the numerous malls with umpteen game options for him, something which is badly missed in Thiruvananthapuram our dwelling place.

An added incentive of the bangalore visit is the 750 km drive through the highways. This time we had come through the Wayanad route eventhough the fastest is the Nagercoil, Madurai, Salem, Hosur, Bangalore route (To know why this is fastest Click here). The drive had almost all the ingredients and we could taste all kinds of roads, the beautiful NH 47 till Thrissur, (now the four lane work between Ernakulam and Thrissur is almost complete, so driving times have drastically reduced), the fun to drive NH 17 stretch upto Calicut, the beautiful ghat section at Wayanad (Watch the twisty trails of Wayanad here) with some bad roads but spellbinding scenary, the plain but twisty roads through Bandipur which is a class of its own and the fast highway from Mysore to Bangalore with horrible speed breakers at every town intersection.

After calling these resorts a number of times, to know the options available both of them came to us for a final decision. Guhanthara is a cave resort and their website shows some interesting 3D views of the ambience inside the cave with pools and artificial waterfalls around. But their outdoor space doesn't seem truly inviting. The confident cascade had almost all kinds of sport activity at their perusal. Finally the matter was put to vote and based on the count of hands the final decision was confident cascade and it was easy on pocket too when compared with Guhanthara @ Rs 550 per pax.

The 18 km drive from Domlur to Bannarghata took around 90 minutes. This is the beauty of Bangalore where at times we feel as if pedestrians tend to reach faster than the motorists whose main job is to make his vehicle kiss the vehicle in front and wait endlessly at the not so tasty jams - the traffic jams.

We were a gang of 10 adults and 4 kids in two cars and it seemed a pretty long drive. It was almost noon when we entered the parking lot of Confident Cascade.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rediscovering Ooty (Part 3): Woodbrook Lake

(This is part 3 of multipart Ooty travelogue. Click here to read Part 1 or Part 2)

Dark clouds began engulfing the area and it felt as if rains will come pouring down any time from now on. But the sight of woodbrook lake during our journey up here in the morning was still afresh in our minds.

A little earlier, we had a glimpse of this lake from another perspective too, when we had a magnificient view of the panorama from the top of the hill during our trekking episode (Watch the trekking experience here).

Rain or no rain we are going to the lake. Instead of walking down we decide to go in car, just in case it rains we have some cover available. The beautiful exit path from the resort once again is right in front of us. The path is very steep, and their is one hair pin bend too, but the exemplary scenery on both sides is spellbinding.

Dark clouds seem to accept defeat against our determination to have a face off with them as they were seen running for cover behind the mountains. The wide open area is right in front of us and the vehicle comes to a halt amidst one of the exquisite ambience it has ever been.

This is not a regular picnic spot. It is one of the sleepy villages of Ooty which has the charm of not being commercialized. If this place was devoid of any activity in the morning, now it is not so. The local lads are having a good game of volleyball in their traditional attires.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rediscovering Ooty (Part 2): Brookdale Resorts - In a league of its own !!

"Sir, two types of cottages are made ready for you, Please come and choose one !!" The guy who came near us told this atleast two - three times. But none of us were giving any part of our ear to him.

Who will, when gazing with awe the wonderland we are in.

The shot of the cottages seems like a perfect lift from the shots of foreign countries, we have seen in the songs of million dollar budget tollywood movie songs where the hero and heroine indulge in a vigourous body shaking spree, to the tune of fast numbers whose lyrics are seldom understood even by the person who wrote them.

This place is quite unlike the present day Ooty which is cramped to the core by the hotels and resorts which sprang up with nanometer gaps between them. It was just by pure luck that I stumbled upon the link of this resort's website while shopping online for a place to stay in Ooty. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that this place will be so picturesque, calm, vast, green clad and so attractive.

The question is again raised by the poor guy on the cottage options. Seems like occupancy rate is less today.

"There are twenty cottages here sir, three types of them, single storied double bedroom, double storied double bedroom, double storied double bedroom delux. You can chose from the single storied one in the lower tier or the double storied one in the middle tier". I am now almost back to my normal senses and can see that the cottages are in three levels. So I have no doubt in mind on which one to chose, coz the double storied one in the middle tier ought to give a more wide angle of vision.

This view resembled that of a villa project in an exquisite ambience as we are moving towards our cottage. My little one already dashed towards the entrance.

The construction for sure is ecofriendly, the bricks used are interlocking, something which is completely of my liking as I also had chose the same one while I constructed my home 7 years back. This brick itself has good finishing and gives good color, if it is made from good colored soil something which rules out painting of the exteriors. A cost cutting measure without losing out on the finishing. Infact I had written a full blown article on interlocking bricks here (click to read).

Isn't this looking lovely? The color completely jells with the greenery around.

The door opens to a small lounge and nearby there is a bedroom with a family cot and an attached bathroom. Upstairs also it is not different. The only difference in the rooms being the view of the valley outside.

The view from ground floor

The view from first floor naturally ought to cover more area.

The panoramic view of the mountains at a distance, the beautiful sky deep blue in color with those milky white clouds is simply awesome. Here is a panorama shot of the set up, but frankly speaking I couldn't do justice what it looked in reality.

It has been a while since I started gazing out through the window. Now let us just get out of the cottage and browse the surroundings before having lunch, coz it is already half past one in the afternoon.

Walking down I can see the winding road to Ooty.

There is an open air restaurant just beside the road. Wonder how I missed this place, last time when I
zoomed past those roads on two wheels on my way back from "Rider Mania" - the annual meet of Royal Enfield Bullet riders.

There are some gadgets for the little ones and the little ones at heart. Some beautiful swings and a slider is on view. Naturally my kids quickly perched on top of that.

Roaming around I could see lot of flowers all them competing each other for the most beautiful crown and it is a real visual treat.

Why should kids have all the fun, off goes my camera into the hands of my better half and I found myself on top of the tree like slider.

The cool winds blowing across makes it really pleasant even though sun is at its scorching best. A light work out is ensuing with all the climbing and the cool climate sure has raised the metabolic levels and stomachs are making a hue and cry for some fuel.

The restaurant is another cottage and is a simple and neat one.

The staff, most of them malayalam speaking fellows are really courteous and food is turning out to be really good too. This place is truely unleashing its positives one by one. By the time lunch is over all of us unanimously decided that we are not going to the regular picnic spots of Ooty today, but going to trek around in the resort's vast property and if time permits venture out in the nearby places.

Not a single person is in the mood to take rest and we all are walking towards to the trekking board which we earlier saw between the top tier of the resorts. The delux resorts of the upper tier was looking really marvellous and it seems like whenever I am passing by I am clicking atleast 2 to 3 shots of the same place.

The aim of the trek is to climb the top of the mountain in the backdrop of the resorts and the trekking path starts here

Some 50 steps already behind and we are into a complete forest like ambience. The concrete steps gave way to natural rocky steps and occasional slippery soil. But there was no dearth of greenery.

The black color boulders, the greenery provided by the tea plantations, occasional big trees all seemed to be placed to perfection. The aim of reaching the top aided by the cool climate meant that we are not sweating at all.

Looking down I could see that we have gained some good altitude and we have an exemplary feel of joy and happiness.

What is in such places which makes us just stand and gaze into them with fervent vigor. What ever it may be, all of us right from my 3 year old daughter to eldest member of the touring gang is enjoying the real life landscape portrayal.

Each point of the above panorama if zoomed up and shot will make a perfect painting. Watch the top of the resort buildings which looked like small toys stacked in between those neatly arranged trees

A farm land also appeared in the above panorama in a valley. Watch the vivid colors provided by the cultivation of cabbage, cauliflower and paddy fields.

Now a little shed can be seen a little ahead of where we are standing. It looks like a resting place for the trekkers. Even the thatched shed looks so beautiful here.

Let us just sit inside, not because we are tired or so, but just to enjoy that feeling of being in such august company of nature with the cool winds still blowing across. It is almost 4pm now and there was a chillness on air. Something which we enjoy thoroughly owing the high mercury levels in our homeland Kerala.

Some rain clouds are gathering and there ought to have doubts on our minds on whether to proceed with the trek or return back. See some of those clouds gently brushing part the top of this hill.

But surprisingly none of us wanted to go back. If there is rain let us get wet, we are not going back, we are going to climb up further to top through these tea plantations

through these beautiful pathway feeling the greenery

enjoying this kind of view downhill

This is just getting better and better as we are moving up. All the boulders made way to tea,  tea and more tea plantations. From a distance it looks like a beautifully laid green foam bed.

The little waiting shed also is now in the frame when looking down.

Another 15 mins leisurely trekk and peak is now in front of us. If trekking up this small hill gives this much satisfaction then what will be the mood of those who conquer Mount everest.

It felt great to watch my daughter, wife and sister in law trekk there path up through the green veil.

Soon all the members are on top and joy knew no bounds as we are matching other mountains in height. We are really dwarfed by this magnificient natural creations.

Profile pic clickings are going on portrait shots in this kind of settings makes one look more good in photo and the facebooks, orkuts etc have increased the demand for the same. A research program seems to be on to find that perfect pose.

My eyes got fixed on a lake at a distance and on zooming I could find that it is the same lake which we saw on our journey here, the Woodbrook lake.

Time now is half past four, so if we could trek down in another hour, ample time will be left for a quick visit to the woodbrook lake.
Meanwhile my wife's niece weilding my camera shot down a beautiful little creature curiously looking at the encroachers of his kingdom.

None of us were willing to leave this august company of nature, but if for some reason it got darker soon then it will be difficult to trek down. Soon we started our journey down eventhough the resort wallahs had told that three more hills belong to them and we can trekk over them too. But such a trek demands atleast a day's time.

My daughter who walked up all the way soon perched on my top as we precariously tread our way down. Trekking down is little bit more dangerous than going up may be due to the fact that we are facing downhill.

The trek down seems to be really fast as we passed the waiting shed, the tea plantations and approached the boulders really fast.

As we touched down the resort's property all of us were ready for one more outing and the destination was decided from the top of the hill itself - Woodbrook lake.

This day seem to be quite eventful. First the journey through one of the most beautiful motorable roads in Kerala - "the Nilambur - Gudaloor" route all the time curious about how this place will be and once we landed on this resort found that this is Ooty like we have never seen before. The trek added another dimension to the journey. Little did we expect when we embarked on our trip that we will spend the entire day in the resort itself without going out to the regular spots of Ooty.

And to know that our time in Ooty has just begun made it even more exciting. Let us now go for a visit to the woodbrook lake which showed lot of promise from the shot which we took during the onward journey.

Click to read other parts of this story

Part 1 - Driver's dream roads, Calicut to Ooty via Nilambur, Gudaloor

Part 2 - Brookdale Resort - In a league of its own
Part 3 - Woodbrook Lake
Part 4 - Ooty Kids Park, Film shooting point and a memorable camp fire

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rediscovering Ooty (Part 1): Driver's Dream Roads - Calicut to Ooty

Ooty route

The adrenalin is rushing, not because of an adventurous ride, not because we are travelling at breath neck speeds, but due the prospect of the impending journey through one of the most beautiful and scenic roads of God's own country Kerala. A guy who is passionate about any road trips, be it his routine daily trips to office or through badly maintained roads, needs nothing more to feel excited.

Akin to the period of a blossoming love, everything around starts to look beautiful - the colorless cloudy sky brightened up by the rising sun and even the roads inside Kozhikkode city which has a deserted look. It is just ten minutes into the journey which started from Kozhikkode and Feroke Bridge, the southern exit to Kozhikkode city, is already in sight.

kozhikkode ooty route

The water underneath seemed to enjoying their stillness while we glided over them. Bridges, one of the major engineering feats, always has got a special charm and each one has got its own identity. Travelling through a bridge is sure a pleasant experience for all, coz it brings out a different experience from the tarmac laid on soil, add to it an unobstructed panoramic view of the surroundings too.

Feroke is always characterized by the umpteen number of lorries cris crossing the road, many of them parked in such a way that only a miniscule portion of the road is available for moving vehicles and the scenario is quite dangerous. It is just 15 minutes past 7 in the morning and the situation is no different. A level4 pass in the game of road rash is a must to qualify for driving in these roads.

The lorry dense Feroke is slowly giving way to the wide open roads of Ramanattukara. The junction roads are so wide that on a harthal day it is enough to set up a cricket match here. Even in this junction accidents are frequent, thanks to the maniac drivers who just cross the road to bus stand positioned in junction giving scant respect to the oncoming traffic without any signals whatsoever. All this happens with a traffic police as a witness, who never intereferes with the driving techniques of those who rule the road.

Immediately after the junction roads split into two and we have to take the straight one which is the Nilambur route. The road to the right takes us down south to Thrissur. Seems like Ramanattukara market has already started bustling with activity.


Another junction is coming up. This is the place where the road inside the city intersects with the bypass. To the right is Thrissur and to the left is Kannur. We have to go straight, eastwards carefully crossing the bypass, where a similar intersection just 5 kms away claimed the life of 5 people when a private bus coming from the city, ignoring the read light stormed into the bypass hitting sideways a car which was going through the bypass. Thankfully here there are no traffic signal lights to jump.

Goodbye to Kozhikkode city and we are now in buttersmooth roads with the occasional twisties and to give company there are lot of taxis and cars laden with luggage a mini lorry can carry and occupancy in these five seater vehicles will be atleast seven. It is an easy guess to find out that an airport is around and typically the density of such vehicles increase near airports. Interestingly only one among them will be travelling and the rest are going to see them off. The irony is that in the airport no one other than the passenger can get inside even the lounge due to security reasons.

The kozhikkode airport is just before Kondotty and once the diversion to the airport is passed trafic seems to be reduced drastically. Kondotty town is still sleeping. There is a diversion here and we have to take the left turn to Nilambur.

Some more big twisties and itz a pleasure to just guide the vehicle through the extreme left, with the slight press of accelerator keeping it in the turbo range and just zooming off once the turn is completed.

Another town is approaching fast, Manjeri, the commercial capital of Malappuram. Before we enter the heart of this town situated right in the foot of Western Ghats we have to make a left turn. Yes the turn is in sight and the sign board shows the direction to Ooty.

Some more of the town roads is passing by, which houses almost all the government establishments of Malappuram.

One more junction is approaching and thankfully there is no sign boards, no GPS in vehicle means the only way to confirm the route is the good old method, just open your mouth and ask.

The good fellow in his Malabar accent not only specified that it is a left turn here, but also reminded that we have to take the next right turn.

A little ahead there is a small road to the right, but my better half, based on her intelligent thought process announced that we have to take the straight road. A little into this road and I am growing suspicious. Another direction query properly answered and we have to turn our vehicle back and the road which we early saw. Just after the eastward turn the geography suddenly changed. The hill roads were still not in sight, but the road was completely engulfed by the lush greenery on both sides with really tall trees on both sides.

The density of these tree folks is beginning to increase and the feeling is like we are getting lost in a jungle, even though the place is by no means a jungle.

Roads continue to be smooth and the gliding is continuing. Another scene change is in the offing. The density of trees has not gone down, but surely more light is coming through it, thanks to the less densely packed leaves of these big teak trees.

The appearance of teak trees signifies the approach of another popular tourist destination Nilambur. One of the most beautiful hamlets of Kerala with umpteen number of beautiful tourist spots. I have made an exclusive coverage of Nilambur in one of my earlier travelogues. (You can read it by clicking here).

Breakfast time is approaching and right after Manjeri we were looking for a Hotel, Nilambur approached and still no hotels in sight, some of them were closed. We are now in the heart of Nilambur town and most of the shops are closed, seems like this city comes to life very late, thanks to the population who will be mostly business oriented. At last one hotel with ample parking lot is visible. This hotel is jampacked with tourists who came in two buses having their breakfast. So we have to move out and look out for another. Nilambur town is now history and still no hotels in sight.

A board pointing to Vazhiyoram restaurant is visible. Vazhiyoram project is an initiative of Govt of Kerala jointly with some private partnership to offer quality restaurant and rest room facilities to tourists. The Vazhiyoram board is pointing to take a right turn from the road and with anticipation we follow suite.

The vazhiyoram restaurant is in sight, a neat little building.

But their seems to be zero activity here too. I could spot a homosapien moving around and he promptly told me. "Food is not ready saar. Breakfast will be ready only by 10am". The term Government seems to bring a lethargy to all the people involved just like the way the most of the Government workers are.

Our breakfast dreams seems to be over as we are now again cruising through the brilliant roads with the beautiful trees on the sides giving us company. A big bridge is appearing. Once on top of the bridge the view is awesome. Oh I am going to stop right after the bridge just to walk back and enjoy the scenery around. We are in for another surprise here. Right after the bridge amidst the big teak trees stood a colorful building and the board read - "KTDC Tamarind Hotel"

Within a minute we are inside the tamarind hotel and luckily the response of the reception to the food query is positive.

Ample time for me to walk back to the bridge and to have view of the beautiful landscape around. Isn't this beautiful

The distant view provided a moutain too in the backdrop.

The other side of the bridge is not too bad either. This tamarind hotel also have rooms facing this side of the river.

For those who want to explore Nilambur can very well stay in this beautiful hotel where room rents are in the range of 1000 to 1500 INR per day for AC rooms. A great bargain indeed.

I am not alone here as can see some beautiful cranes around too. They color were so contrasting to the surroundings.

The food in Tamarind hotel is typical Kerala food and everything is served neatly. A good one hour zoomed past inside this restaurant.

We are again back on track and beautiful roads starts again. It is dream to drive through these roads maintaining just enough speeds to twist and turn without applying brakes and keeping the vehicle on track.

Most of the trees on both sides are teak, but wait now we are in between a coconut farm. Watch the beautiful biggies from whose name Kerala got its name.

A forest checkpost is in sight. If the roads till now was superb, then what should I call the roads we are in now. It is superbly superb !! The big bamboos with the light green color was adding another dimension to the already beautiful surroundings.

This is the stretch which I was waiting for, the roads from Nilambur to Nadakani. It is just twisties and more twisties.

beautiful roads in Kerala

nilambur gudalur route

There is a rhythm in the movement of vehicle. Never do stop and accelerate kinds of turns here, just glide at the right speed. Enjoy the surroundings, open the windows and feel the fresh air. Watch the rich and diverser fauna. Some trees have there roots crafted like a complex neural network.

Nadugani churam

Sun's heat will never be intense in this part of the world. These roads should be experienced by the real passionate drivers atleast once in a life time and here being in God's own country I keep on coming back again and again to experience these roads and each time the passion just aggravates.

Here comes the first glimpse of coffee plantations

Even though the roads till now were not steep there was a regular upward ascent, something which justifies the kind of altitude we have gained when look to one side of the road. Big mountains are on sight now.

After around one hour of drive through these prestine environment, the vehicle was brought to a halt since my little daughter complained that shez feeling a little dizzy. But once outside all her dizziness went away.

It was just 2 days back that we decided to make a trip to Ooty, making use of the long weekend owing to the Vishu festival. Eventhough Ooty was least preferred, thanks to the highly dense hotel population making it not an adorable location, we chose it coz through a websearch, I had found a new resort much too far away from the hustle and bustle of Ooty. The anticipation of the unknown destination also is keeping us enthralled throughtout this journey.

The checkpost at Nadugani is visible now. We have to take the right turn from here.

The next town is Gudalloor, but before that the terrain ought to be more scenic as we are now amidst the western ghats.

Roads continue to be the same way as we saw earlier before Nadugani.

Only difference being that there were some population here which was completely absent before Nadugani. The plane twisties through forests are now paving their way out for the some steep climb to mountains and the postcardish scenaries is appearing one and after another in front of us.

The tea plantations is making the hill appear to be covered with green fur.

Another distance boards signalling that we are just 2km away from Gudaloor.

After Gudaloor it is just another 20km drive to the not so famous resort about which we have lots of expectations. As we are nearing by the excitment even gave way to some anxiety for if the resort is not so good then we are in for a real loss as we had 3 days at our perusal.

More buildings, most of then showing signs of age appear as Gudaloor town in sight. The left road takes one to Mudumalai, while the right one is to Ooty.


Immediately after Gudalor, roads narrowed down, owing to the shops and some buildings which encroaches into the road.

The upward climb has started. The guy on the other end of the phone at Brookdale resort, confirmed that after 20km of travel through this road, we can see the sign board to the resort on the left side. The beautiful landscape is continuing. Watch how beautifully arranged these trees are.

The real twisties with upward climb is now on and I am completely turned on. The vehicle was surging ahead completely in agreement with the exhilaration and the excitement with which I am guiding it on. The enjoyement of keeping it in the turbo mode ensures that the upward climb is a cakewalk even with 7 passengers and their luggage on board.

As expected we are now in parallel with some mountain peaks.

Again we are descending and all of sudden we seem to be in the midst of a valley with really tall pine trees around. Oh boy this is some sight!!!

pine trees ooty

The sight of those trees seem to be etched in our minds, but the excitement of driving by the sidelines of high mountains is really special with deep trenches on one side and gigantic terrain on another side. This is hilly roads at its best.

Another sudden change in landscape. The tree covered mountains are history and ente the green veiled medows.

This journey is completely eventful for any nature enthusiast as the kind of scenery one gets to view keeps on changing. After each kind of terrain one begans to wonder what next. And here comes another change.
A beautiful lake is in sight, add to it the medows, the big moutains in the backdrop, the cattle's grazing, a location which brings out the artist in you.

woodbrook lake

This is the woodbrook lake and the resort guy had mentioned that their location is very near to the woodbrook lake. Naturally 14 eyes were on the prowl for that sign board showing - Brookdale and the search did not last long, just 1km after the woodbrook lake, the vehicle is swerving left to concrete laid tarmac, climbing really steeply into the resort's property

The first impression is really good as we could see some of the cottages facing the beautiful valleys. A sharp U turn followed suite and the parking lot is in sight. It was one of the most beautiful parking lots one could ever see, overlooking the beautiful moutains and paved with beautiful grass.


The excitement grew manifold, as we unload the luggage, surveying the surroundings of the property which is spread out large, quite unlike other Ooty hotels. We sure made the right choice.

The journey from Kozhikkode (erstwhile Calicut) to Ooty via one of the most scenic roads in India, has surely lived upto the expectation. Now its time to check out this beautiful resort and the activities we can indulge here.

Lets enjoy this resort too after a small break !!

Click here to read the rest of the story
Part 2 - Brookdale Resort 
Part 3 - Woodbrook Lake
Part 4 - Ooty Kids Park, Film shooting point and a memorable camp fire


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