Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Saturday, 12 October 2013


Google Maps: Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India
Trip: Bangalore > Ramnagaram > Srirangapatna >  Mysore >  Bandipur >  Mudumalai >  Ooty >  Coonoor >  Bangalore

At 8 we started afresh for Ooty. Road till Mysore was heavy on traffic possibly due to long weekend and the famous Dasara celebrations in this royal city. We hit Bandipur at 2. First 10 miles were the scenic National Park territory through which NH67 passes. At Masinagudi we took left for Ooty. Although it' a steep ghat road, it is still shorter than the alternate Gudalur route.

View from Dodda Betta peak

Another 10 miles of drive brought us to the foot of incline. Famously known as the '36 Hairpin Bend Road 'it was actually steep. All the way the car was on second gear. We stopped midway and again at a board indicating a part of Kalatti waterfalls nearby which was dried up. The twists were getting sharper as we reached higher altitudes.

4 Points @ Ooty Tourist Map

Entering Ooty was refreshing. The old British architecture mingling with new hotel & guest house construction gives Ooty a different look. We had booked a clean hotel on Ooty-Coonoor Road about one mile from the main market. We checked in, refreshed and then decided to take a walk to the main market.

View from Tea Museum@Ooty

We planned for next morning over a pint of beer and light dinner. Although there are several points to visit in Ooty  two no-to-be-missed are Doddabetta Peak and Ooty Lake boat ride. We started next morning with Doddabetta. The road was jam packed with vehicles and we had to park the car on roadside. We walked up a bit but a beautiful view of Ooty made up for our efforts. Ooty lake was planned next.

36 Hairpin Bend Mudumalai route to Ooty

Boat ride in Ooty lake was pleasent with drizzles and sun taking alternate turns while we were in the middle. We were hungry and hence moved back to market where a newly opened Subway fulfilled all our needs. It was time to exit Ooty through Gudalur road. We wanted to cross Bandipur before dark.

Church near Collector's residense@Ooty

Our first halt on this way was a lonely lake. It was so beautiful that we ended up spending close to an hour just relaxing. We checked on the map and learned that its not the famous Pykara lake but an almost unknown Sandynulla reservoir.

At the banks of Sandynulla Reservoir

Pykara came 10 miles later through an exit that takes 10 minutes one way. Speed boating here was fun although the view around the lake from the boat was equally fascinating.

Speed Boating@Pykara Lake

By the time we were done with speed boating, it was getting dark. We had to cover another 40 miles through hills and Bandipur Reserve before we would hit proper highway. Our plan was to drive quickly and reach Mysore to see the famous Dasara Mela before checking into a good hotel.