This is my second trip to Ooty. The first time I went was last year, just after I brought my car and also made it in a hurry to check my vehicle out 🙂
This time, wanted to take my parents there to show how an hill station feels. But, due to bad luck, Ooty has been hotter than Bangalore in the two days we were there. The nights were a bit chill with temperatures closing to around 10 Degrees Centigrade.
Now, getting into the journey…We left Bangalore at around 6:30 AM on 11 August (Saturday), filled in diesel and started getting out of the city by around 7 AM. Our first stop was at Kamat hotel on Bangalore-Mysore Highway at around 8:30 or so for breakfast. After breakfast, we started driving again at around 9. We could cover only close to 90 KM in the first two hours of leaving home (traffic and signals played a role in slowing us down). After Kamat, we did not stop anywhere until we reached Bandipur forest Cafe at the beginning of the forest reserves.
Tip: When you get to Mysore at the first signal, you wold see the direction board taking you to right towards Ooty. Try not taking this road. This is the outer ring road and it is time consuming and also a bit long to get to Ooty road. Instead, just drive straight into the city, follow directions towards Palace and at the junction where you would see Palace, you can see sign-boards directing you towards Ooty. If you have any confusion, don’t hesitate to ask anyone 🙂
We stopped for coffee at the Government Cafe which is just 5 Km before the official gate into the forest. We are now around 90 KM away from Ooty and it was 12 PM. We left after a short 30 minute break and drove through the forest. This is a fantastic and amazing drive. Last time when we went, it was drizzling and very cloudy. The breeze was cool and there were many animals on the road. This time, it was hot and sunny and probably all animals were sleeping 🙂 I could capture few snaps and you can see them on my Flickr Photos.
Request: When you drive through the forest, please do not stop your vehicle on the middle of the road and Please do not HONK. I have seen many white board drivers doing this…unfortuate and I pity these educated drivers.
Reached Ooty by 1:45 and went to the hotel I booked earlier – Sinclair. The hotel is a bit secluded from the heart of the city, but I was really disappointed. The hotel is under renovation and the sales office in Bangalore has not informed me when I was booking. When we saw the rooms and the work going on, we were really disappointed. The hotel staff understood our situation and promiced to refund our money if we chose to cancel our booking. After I came back to Bangalore, the sales office promptly sent me a SMS informing that my check is ready to be picked up. I appreciate their Customer Service 🙂
We immediately came back and went to Taj Savoy, a very nice place to stay. We stayed here last time and also came back this time too. It is a Taj Group hotel and I could only afford it because it is off-season…If you are going there, do check this place out, a very nice place to stay while in Ooty.
Relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and took parents out for a drive in the city and for small road site shopping. After dinner came back and watched a movie for sometime in the room with the fire place lit-up and a beer mug in my hand 🙂
The next day, we left after breakfast and went around the roads in Ooty and then drove down to Coonoor which is around 15 KM away from Ooty. On the way, we stooped at the Wax Museum recently set-up in Ooty-Coonor road. This is very good for the place. I have been to Madam Tussauds in London and there is no comparison to it, but for the works they have, I am really impressed. You can see picturess in my Flickr page.
Came back to Hotel in the evening around 6:30 PM and parents relaxed. Went to the bar to have a nice drink which could make me feel a bit warm 🙂
Next day, left Ooty around 11:30 AM and reached Bangalore back at 5:45 PM with only one stop in Mysore for lunch.
Total Distance from Bangalore – Ooty : 290 KM
Drive Time : 6 Hours.
Toll Gate : 1 (At Karnataka – TN border)
Ghat Distance : ~ 25 KM
No. of Hair Pin Bends : 36
In September, probably I might be going to Vizag for a holiday at home 🙂