Road-trip report: Masinagudi, Ooty, Coonoor.

Writing this report hoping that parts of it would be useful for people making the same trip.

25th Dec Christmas morning 6:30AM:  Crisp december Bangalore weather. Roads were pretty much empty – except for the religious Christian crowd going to church. Reached the Bansankari pretty soon. I always hate the stretch between Bansankari and the Mysore road. There are road bumps at all the wrong places – infact my opinion, they dont even need to be there, the road is not that good, that you can pull any decent speed.

8:00AM: Kamat Loka ruchi, Ramanagara for some awesome Mangalorean breakfast of Dosa, Kadubu, Vada, and super coffee.

Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramanagara

Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramanagara

Right from the Raja rajeshwari arch, the road is just beautiful. 4 lane. Good road quality. I was on a comfortable 0-90kmph on my Zen Estilo.

Dodda Mallur - Navaneetha Krishna

Dodda Mallur - Navaneetha Krishna (doddamallurtemple.net)

10:00AM: Dodda mallur – Navaneetha Krishna Temple. Very nice temple with baby krishna crawling with butter in hand. Had a great dharshan here.

The highway is just awesome. You can cruise at a steady 90kmph – except for some very unexpected road bumps. No idea, why these are there in the first place. Each city also has a nice name given to it and an arch indicating the city. Silk city Ramanagara, Sugar city Mandya, Temple city Srirangapatna, Heritage city Mysore etc. Adds a nice touch. Gives a proud feeling to every Indian.

srirangapatna

Rangantha swamy temple, Srirangapatna

11:30 AM: Srirangapatna. Directions to the temple are very nicely marked. Temple was a bit crowded – an ITDC package tour bus had just landed. But had a great dharshan of Palli Konda Ranganathar (lying down Ranganathar). Left immediately after dharshan. For a more scenic route back to the highway, I recommend backtracing the way you came (dont take the exit route from the temple parking directly). While retracing back the way, the last stretch will be a one-way. Do not curse yourself. Go straight in that circle (ask anyone). This alternate route is not

Road through the fort

Road through the fort

frequented by anyone but locals. The road goes through the Tipu fort. Its awesome. Gives you a Jaipur feeling. You drive through ramparts, old stone arches etc.

12:30PM: We reach Mysore – good time considering, we had stopped for breakfast, and two temples. We have breakfast at Hotel Siddhartha, which has OK passable food – nothing spectacular.

1:15PM: Leave Mysore for Masinagudi. The route is through Nanjangud, Gundlupet, Bandipur (KA), Mudumalai (TN), Theppakaadu, Masinagudi. Road until Nanjangud is very good. There is no semblance of a road between

Bandipur national park

Bandipur national park

Gundlupet and Bandipur. Seriously, no road at all. The worst road I have ever seen. For about 45 mins, you drive on a dirt road ; and then all of a sudden, the beautiful asphalted forest road of Bandipur appears. And from then on, it is a pleasure. Almost gives you a feeling, that you are driving through some world-renowned national park (like Yellowstone, or Great Smoky Mountains). Beautiful. I dont have any more words to describe.

4:00PM: Reach Secret Ivory Resort. I highly recommend this place in Masinagudi. If you are planning to go, leave a comment, and I will give you the owners mobile number. The rooms are brilliantly spartan and clean. The cottage faces the forest. Food is good and homely, and cooked right there. Click on the photos below for a glimpse.

masinagudi-ooty-coonoor We took a night safari, which started at 7:30PM. A truly exciting experience. My wife and me in an open jeep in the dark dark jungle, with just the owner and an assistant in the front. The sounds of the jungle, the dense forest, makes the journey more like a scene out of the movie Kaal.We spotted a herd of wild elephants with 2 baby elephants. It was amazing to see how the bigger elephants protected their calves as soon as they

Wild elephants

Wild elephants

saw us. In all a truly memorable experience.

We did an early morning trek (6:30AM) the next day. We spotted a few groups of wild spotted deer  – some with huge antlers. Deer are probably one of the most graceful animals. We also some bones – remains of a feast of a cheetah – as per

Deer in morning trek

Deer in morning trek

our guide. I am not surprised, since Mudumali is a tiger sanctuary. The 2.5 hour trek was good exercise, to say none the least.

After the trek, we headed back to the resort, had a sumptous breakfast, and packed our bags to Ooty, our next destination. From Theppakaadu, you have two choices – (1) The long route through Gudalur. Great road. National highway. 60 km to Ooty. Most buses and heavy traffic take this route – and hence a very busy road. (2) The short route through Masinagudi – only 28 km – through desnse jungle. The road is pretty steep, and relatively narrow (one and half lane at most places). The hairpin bends are wide, so no issues there. There is almost no traffic in this road. The highlight of this road is the set of 36 hair pin bends in 18 km – thats right – one in every half km. 🙂 I took this route and decided, I will take only this route from now on. You reach Ooty in about 1 hour flat – slightly lesser in fact. We headed straight for Sterling Elk Hill.

To be continued … [part 2]

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29 Responses to Road-trip report: Masinagudi, Ooty, Coonoor.

  1. Lakshmi says:

    wow. u seem to have had a lot of fun! 🙂 OOh yes, i remember having eaten in that particular Kamat hotel…food there is delicious, isnt it?

  2. Bala says:

    Nice Post. How did you click a photo of the Dodda mallur Krishna deity? I thought photography is not allowed inside temple.

    you can see some of my bandipur mudumalai wildlife / bird pictures at http://www.wildlifesanctuaryindia.com/wildlife/
    Best regards
    Bala

  3. gcmouli says:

    Thanks Bala. And the picture of Navaneethakrishna, I did not click it. I took it from the web – I guess I missed to attribute it. Will do it right now. Thanks for pointing out.

  4. very good place in south india

  5. masnagudy to ooty night riding in the forest after midnight is i cant forget

  6. Vidooshak says:

    This was such a useful and beautiful post. Very well written and lovely pics. The details on the road condition will be a huge help when we plan out trip. Do you think this place is worth visiting even with a small 2 yr old kid? Would like more details on the resort if you can mail that to us. Thanks!

  7. gcmouli says:

    It might be a bit of a problem. I would not suggest taking the 2 yr old kid on either the night safari or the morning trek (which are the two must-do’s in masinagudi). The resort details are at http://www.secretivory.com

  8. Vidooshak says:

    Thanks, Mouli. God knows where the recession is, because almost every place in every getaway we spoke to is FULL. Right from Hassan to Yercaud to Masinagudi, everything!! Even Secret Ivory (thanks to your blog?)

    Finally getting a room at Blue Valley in Masinagudi. Let’s see how it goes, the tariff is skyhigh. Incidentally, one of the promoters of that resort is Mr.Mouli!! How uncanny is that? Maybe you’d have got a free stay 😉

    Check this out http://www.bluevalley.in/directors.html

    Thanks for the link and the information.

  9. Pallavi says:

    Hey good to read your blog.. will be back..
    Came here via google seacrching for route map to Sterling Resorts in Ooty.. ‘

    Good stuff.. 🙂

  10. gcmouli says:

    Welcome Pallavi. Hope you have an enjoyable time in Ooty.

  11. Vidooshak says:

    Just came back to thank you for the wonderful, informative and detailed travel blog. We had a wonderful weekend at Masinagudi and kept referring to the details in your post. The road between Gundlupet and Bandipur still does not exist and we have a severe backache to prove it!! 🙂

    Overall, a brilliant holiday destination. Rest all you have expressed already in the posts above.

  12. gcmouli says:

    Videoshak: I am glad you had a great time at Masinagudi.

  13. Jagdish says:

    Mate, nice post and thanks. Could u pls mail / sms the contact tel # for the Secret Ivory Resort. Thanks and looking forward. J, 9845078079 (Bangalore)

  14. badrakaran says:

    hmm can u give the name of the owner & ivory resorts number dude. we r plannin to go by 26 a 3 day trip ..
    hmm can u say me the exact location of cottage ,, & then the tariff too

  15. Madhusoodanan says:

    Hi

    extent trip details !

    I am planning a trip to ooty from blangalore may 1st week.
    appreciate the hotel phone at Masinagudi.
    how far is ooty from there

    Thanks and Regards
    MK

  16. Mouli says:

    You can find the hotel phone number at http://www.secretivory.com
    And if I remember right, it is about 2 hours to Ooty from there (through the Masinagudi ghats), and maybe an hour more, if you take the regular national highway through Bandipur.

  17. Nagendra, V.S. says:

    Now the road between Nanjangud and gundlupet is very fine. Road between Gundlupet and Hangala village is being widened. Rest is fine.

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  19. Your pictures are amazing,
    recently i made a visit to masingudi

  20. I recently visited Ooty and spent a short break for three days. Stayed at Sinclairs, which is on the way to Dodabetta peak. A beautiful place. Don’t miss out this hotel if you visit Ooty.

  21. Vamsi says:

    Hi,

    Seems you had a great time…:)..Iam Planning to take my family – 7 ppl :)..Could you please share the resort owners number ?

    Thank you So much in Advance ..

    Politely

    Vamsi

  22. anuradha says:

    Thanks for the ‘Secret Ivory’ farm stay suggestion and review. We loved it. The rustic feel and the personalised attention were both above expectations.

  23. raj says:

    Nice blog.Really such a nice and interesting blog information like it..
    Thanks for sharing such a significant information
    Masinagudi Resorts

  24. osamarobinzon says:

    gime five_/

  25. ramdinkhan says:

    Hey Nice Blog.Information of Masinagudi Resourtis very useful for every tourist.Thanks for sharing such a significant information.

  26. Robin says:

    I am travelling Mysore to Ooty in Toyota 1.8 L Petrol Altis, 4 adults, including driver. Driver is young and with me since 2010, but not driven in such steep mountain, only ghat experience is Mumbai Pune and Nipani Amboli Sawantwadi. I like to The short route through Masinagudi. Any advise?

  27. thanks for sharing your experience. ooty is a small heaven in south india. i have been there once only and fortunately got a chance to explore some of the best places to visit in ooty . it was totally amazing.

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