A bike, few friends, exotic routes ...Nilgiris beckons you
Ooty is always an alluring place for everyone who wishes a break from routine schedules of work life. And it becomes the primary preference when it falls at a reachable distance in a reasonable time.
The trip planned as an escape from office days turned out to be an exciting bike trip to Ooty from Kozhikode.
The route chosen to reach the destination was exotic. It started from Kozhikode around 5 am to Gudalur via Wayanad ghat road. A bike trip brings joy only when it is fed with exotic routes.
Touring on the Wayanad ghat road early morning was relaxing. It felt like an early morning meditation. The view from each bend on the ghat road was different in the morning. Tea plantations started to appear on both sides of the road when we turned to Gudalur road.
The road through Madumalai National Park was an extension of what we saw on our way. On the way, we met few of the inhabitants of forest; a wild boar, deer and an elephant at a distance.
We were all pretty much excited about the whole journey. And to add more enthusiasm into it, we decided to ride through Masinagudi ghat road with 36 hairpin bends. Hilly, steep, less travelled route with lots of warning boards.
After crossing the national park on the Mysore road, we took a narrow road to the right through the forest that led to the 36 hairpin bends. Sun was brighter by then. Wooded forest without shrubs was grassy. The forest land followed by that had short trees on both sides of the road. But this part of forest was devoid of grass, plain and red. At a distance the mountain was visible which we were about to climb. Trenches were made at the both sides of the road to prevent vehicles entering into the forest land which appeared like motorable.
The narrow forest road rolled out unending. A board that stood on the lower base of the ghat road said 36 hairpin bends are waiting for us with scenic beauty and warned of danger.
As we climbed up, I felt like the world coming under me. On every bend, a sign board mentions the number of bend. As we climbed up, the weather changed to cool. After the 36th bend, we stopped at a roadside tea stall for a break. It was around 11 am then.
There after it didn’t take much to Ooty. It was afternoon when we reached Coonoor. After getting refreshed and having lunch, we again set off to Lamb’s Rock, a peak station in Nilgiris. It has a view of Mettupalayam town. However, rain forced us to leave quickly. On the way, we visited Dolphin’s Nose view point. With that we concluded for the day. Back to rooms.
Heritage train journey was next in our list. But take note, if you are planning a heritage train journey, you should book well in advance. Otherwise, it will ruin your plans. It happened to us. At the same time, we didn’t want to lose that, and we bought tickets for a premium special train from Ooty to Ketti. Special train that runs particularly for tourists goes only half way of rail route but covers the interesting stations. A second class ticket costs Rs 300.
We had many places in our list to visit. Since the train journey messed up the itinerary, we struck out all names from our list and promptly decided to go to the outskirts of Ooty city.
We rode on the road that happened to fall in front of us. As we moved forward, the number of shops decreased, gradually the number of houses too. Finally, it ended up only with farm lands, plain grounds and pine forests. The narrow road took us out of the busy noise of city, to the calmness of a village and farmlands. Some lands had carrots, cauliflower, cabbage … and some farmlands were being readied for seasonal cultivation. But we rode on and on. That road we travelled finally met with a main road that led to the city.
And, it was dusk. That was enough for the day. We bought some chocolates for friends and family and returned to room to wake up fresh to return home the next day morning.
Like the three biblical magi, we didn’t chose the same route we came to Ooty. We went to Gudalur through another way and reached Kozhikode via Nadukani ghat road which were more fascinating.