Best place for me to go in this summer was Ooty. The maximum temperature was 19C there. Me & a friend started in two bikes on Thursday morning by 7PM and reached Ooty by around 1.30PM. We took the Kanapura road instead of the busy (& boring) Mysoore road. Reached Gudalpet by noon and it was very hot by then. From there we crossed Bandipur forest, which is always one my favorite place to drive. This is the fifth time I am going through this forest. Thrice in car and twice in Bike. Twice to Ooty and thrice to Wayanad. Read about them here:
To Ooty there are two routes from Gudalpetu, one is the famous 36 hair-pin road and the other one is via Gudalur. We went uphill to Ooty via the 36 hair pin road and came back via Gudalur. Its really a pleasurable ride if you have a powerful bike and can really bend it to negotiate the hair pin corners.
Masinagudi Ooty road
Evening we went to Doddabetta. The usual mistake people going to Ooty make is they roam around within Ooty town – with the boating or the garden. Actually you have go outside town to places like Coonnor, Kotagiri etc. to discover wonderful places. Doddabetta is on Kotagiri road, 8KM from Ooty town and it is the highest peak in South India. You have to walk about 3km to reach the view point but there are some local bikes also available to carry you if you are lazy to walk. From the view point we can see Coimbatore town, Ooty town etc.
way to doddapetta
View from Doddapetta
Another must visit place is the Tea facorty which is also on the Doddabetta road. Here you will get to taste fresh chocolate and five different varieties of tea.
View from Ooty Tea factory
Next day, Friday morning we drove towards Kotagiri and then further to Kodanadu. On the way we saw the famous Kodanadu Estate which belong to Tamil Nadu CM. We were fortunate enough (don’t ask me how) to go inside and have a glimpse of the beautiful estate and bungalows. From there we proceeded till the road ends. The view from there was awesome. Click here for the Google map location. You could see a river in the map, same river can be seen in the picture below. Next to the river is the famous Sathyamangalam forest and then Karnataka border. This is where the notorious Veerappan was living or rather ruling. As you can see in the map there are no roads, its just the river and forest.
Kotagiri and Kodanad
View to Sathyamangalam & the river
Same day evening we went to Emerald Lake and Avalanche Lake. Unfortunately Avalanche lake closes by 3.30 PM and we were late. Emerald lake is also a must visit and a great place for camping with a tent. It was not very crowded and you could drive your car/bike close to the lake. This is a common film shooting location so chances are there you must have seen this place in many films.
On Ooty Emerald lake road
Saturday morning we started back from Ooty via Gudalur. The road was good & traffic was less. On the way back we made occasional stops at the Barren hills and Pykara waterfalls etc. Reached back in Bangalore by evening 5pm only.
Barren hills on Ooty Mysore road
Pykara Lake & Gudalur Mysore road
Click here for the complete route map.