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Thread: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

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    Default Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    My first Road trip happened to be a Solo trip...After years of planning,dreaming, convincing and preparing i could finally do my road trip in Dec 2014.
    This was actually planned with couple of other friends in 2 bikes, but as history says things don't work out that easily as we planned. Finally running out of patience i had to convince myself and my wife that i can do my first long drive SOLO. Yes, i had to convince my wife :-) believe me i did this trip 6 months after my marriage. I had always been dreaming on doing this for so many years. Special thanks to her for understanding my passion for long drives and approving it.

    Now i will wait for the moderators to approve my log....

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Travelogue Approved

    The first one is always special!
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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Thank you....

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    The distance was 1219 kms..

    Attaching the map of the exact trip..........

    Apart from being the first SOLO trip, i was particular of doing a round trip and try avoiding the same route. Based on this i ended in the below route and found few amazing rides and also the tough and rough ride. It was 50-50 :-)

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Pre travel story...

    Before i start with the details of the trip...i would like to share how this trip evolved over the time and finally accomplished in Dec'2014.

    It was more than a year that i had this passion for going long drives. Before that i have done quite a few short rides (Pondy, Thiruvannamalai...)
    But i always wanted to do 1000+ trip. At that time i had the Bajaj Discover 110 CC, i was not sure whether i would be able to go on long trips with this bike.

    Early 2014 it was time to change the bike. It was love at first sight on the Hero Hunk. Unfortunately i had to wait for 2 months before i can catch hold of my beast.
    I was so eager to do the trip immediately, but marriage and delays from my friends meant i postpone it towards the later part of the year.

    Once i had the approval from my wife, i literally made google maps cry by trying 100s of routes. Our plan was to do a 3 day trip and around 1000 kms.
    Soon we decided to do the ever reliable chennai Trichy highway and head to kodaikanal from there.

    We planned to do the trip towards the end of September 2014, then moved to October and then to the November end (during the thanks giving weekend). It was almost close to that date and at the last moment we had to postpone it again.
    I got the feel of every tourer who had to wait for their dream trip....
    I was losing patience and finally decided i will do this SOLO

    I know my other 2 friends are completely busy in December and they are not in a position to do it. I never discussed about the trip after November with them, but did all the plans for the december end solo trip behind their back .
    We had a kind of shutdown in the Christmas-New year holidays. I applied for additional holidays so that i can execute this trip somewhere in the middle.

    Leave approved from Dec 21 to around Jan 2nd. Now i carefully decided on the the travel dates which will not affect my wifey plans. She had holidays on the Christmas and New year weekends and not it the other weekdays.
    So the dates are finalized as 29th 30th and 31st of December.

    So as the date was getting close i ensured i had all the necessary things. Bike was serviced couple of days back. Filled the tummy of my beast full for the first time. The bike is ready as new.

    Returned back home after completing all the weekend activities on 28th Dec and did the packing and checked for all the necessary things. Finally hit the bed at midnight. Initial plan was to start around 4 am, so i can avoid any rush in the morning.
    But like any other tourer i couldn't sleep after 2 am

    The Day 1 story to continue..............Pictures to follow
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rajesh_Ravi; 1 Week Ago at 06:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    The Mandatory Pic at the start of the Journey....
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    shiv4747 likes this.

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Day 1 (Chennai to Kodaikanal via Trichy) 584 Kms

    So after a long 2 hour sleep did all my early morning activities and reached to my balcony to check the condition. It was raining. Seriously how did this happen. I was only prepared for the cold December days, but out of no where the rains are here.
    Around 2:30 am the rain stopped. Took my bike out and did the packing and got the blessings from my parents. Got the thumps up from Wifey.

    Started the journey with so much excitement in the middle of the night. I did ensured this excitement doesn't disturb my concentration. Initially went around 50 km/hr in the empty roads. Within few mins reached Puzhal and start of the bypass road all the way upto Trichy.
    Still maintained a low speed for another 5 kms and gradually increased it to 65 km/hr.
    There was literally no traffic and only few heavy vehicles. I had to zig zag them in the wet roads as they were not moving in one lane. Finally after the initial one hour the roads started to clear and i had comfortably crossed Urapakkam.
    Now the speed crossed 75 km/hr. From then on it was one straight road with slight drizzle all the way along. I did not carry a jerkin, rather had a sweat shirt expecting it to be only cold all the way along. This was the biggest mistake. Soon the Sweat shirt was wet and i was completely drenched in rain even though the down pour was not that heavy.


    Somewhere around Tindivanam i took my first break. It was the regular Kumbakonam Coffee shop. It was raining all the way. So wanted to rest a bit and clean myself. The coffee was more like a sweet milk, not my cup of coffee. Anyway i needed something hot, so it went well with some biscuits.
    After some 30 mins started again, but the rain is not ready leave me.

    Soon the day was about to break and i was maintaining some good speeds and crossing the tolls and reducing the kilometers to Trichy. Stopped over at few places and talking to myself on what is happening in the last few hours were my dream for a long time. Clearly it was only me my bike and the roads. I was completely out of the daily routines and enjoying myself. This trip was made especially for that feel.
    By around 7 am i was just 150 kms away from Trichy. The rain has followed me all the way through.

    I had another couple of stops for photos and nature calls. By 9 am i exited the trichy Bypass and went inside the city to find some place for breakfast.
    Being it a Monday morning it was little crowded and after 2-3 kms i found a Veg hotel. Went inside the hotel and took ownership of one complete table with all my luggage and accessories.

    Had a typical south breakfast and thinking on the next part of the ride. After doing close to 350 kms, i was still not satisfied. I know kodaikanal was another 200 kms but was thinking of extending it. Looked out for options, and there was another route via Madurai. Madurai is one another place i always enjoyed going back. So many things that drag you there (Food, people, temples and the famous Jigardhanda)
    So the first deviation was decided and all set to execute it. In the meantime called my family and updated them on my status. All this took away one hour and started again by 10 AM.

    I took direction from public and connected back to the bypass. It was around 120 kms to Madurai.
    Before taking the highways refueled my beast. It is now full and ready to do the next stage.
    For the first time after 7 hours there was no rain accompanying me. The road between Trichy to Madurai was too good. I could complete it in 2 hours without much fuss.
    The first thing i wanted to do after i entered into Madurai city was to visit the Meenakshi temple. Unfortunately it was closed just few mins back and it will only after 4 pm. Without no other options i just parked the bike on the road side near one of the entries to the temple and prayed. The next thing was either some yummy food or Jigardhanda. The breakfast was just couple of hours back, so opted for Jigardhanda. After crossing the temple stopped at some random shop and asked for it. As it was being prepared one guy asked me about my travel, he couldn't believe i was from Chennai and also SOLO. He checked the number plate and then only got convinced. After that the usual quetions followed. After answering all his questions the Jigardhanda was ready. It was nice and cold, exactly what i need after the 2 hours drive in the heat. Madurai was actually hotter at that time. Coming back to the Jigardhanda, it was not as good as it was the last time i had in Madurai.
    But was satisfying and it was time for me to leave.

    So the final stage of the day was to reach Kodaikanal. It was again another 120 Kms ride.
    For the next 20 kms it was a struggle as i had to cross through the madurai busy traffic and single laned state highway roads. Once i was in the outskirts it was quite easy to drive through those good state highways.

    As i was going towards Kodikanal, found a name board of village called "Silukuvarpatti". This village was part of a tamil comedy movie at that time. When i watched that movie my thinking was "how could a village have such a name, should have been named just for that movie", but here i am right in the middle of the same village which i thought never exist.
    After another hours drive i was near the foot of the kodaikanal hills. Stopped over for a pure coconut water drink. So refreshing and it was required to start the all important ghat ride which i had never done before.

    From then on it was swinging from left to right and right to left, at times couldn't control the excitement and i did over speed on the corners luckily it was all safe and no trouble. I stopped over at two three locations to capture few photos. During this travel i was accompanied by 3 KTM bikes who looked very professional with all the accessories from head to toe.

    At the entry to Kodaikanal there was a small waterfalls, the water flow was quite good. Took some more pictures and went towards the Lake. Finally at 4:30 PM i reach the planned destination. Got down from the bike and stood there for few minutes and just enjoyed the atmosphere around there.
    Now i went ahead and checked out for few accommodations. Initially it were all over 1000 Rupees. Finally decided to check one more and signoff. Found a good hotel near the lake (500 meters walkable distance). It cost me 750 rupees.
    Did all the formalities and checked in. Unpacked the luggage and placed all the clothing to dry. Called my family to provide the update.

    After few mins went out to roam around the lake. Took some pictures, had some ice cream and enjoyed the evening. By the time i returned it was time for dinner. Had a good non veg dinner. Returned back to the room to relax after a very long and successful day.

    After some rest i was planning for the next leg of the trip, an idea struck. It maybe because of the confidence from today's ride or the eagerness to spend one more day holiday with family and friends, reason being the 31st Dec the eve of new year. There were few other reasons that convinced me to convert this trip from 3 days to 2 days.

    After serious consideration, finally decided and start packing so that i can start as early as possible. Alarm set to 5 am and it was time to sleep.

    Pictures and Day 2 to follow....

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    First Pit stop...

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    Coffee shop

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    Rain all the way....

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    On the way to Madurai...

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    Silukuvarpatti

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    Some resting before the ghat roads...

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    Good road towards Kodaikanal

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    In the ghat road...

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    Waterfalls

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    Finally reached Kodaikanal

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    Reading for the day...

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    Some ice cream and walk around the lake in the evening....

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    By the time i head back to room...it was dark and cold

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    The Hotel and the room...

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    Last edited by Rajesh_Ravi; 1 Week Ago at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Nice to read your TL. I think, every bike rider should check for the weather forecast as part of their preparation and planning. Not only rain preparedness is very important for a comfortable ride experience but it can seriously disturb the plan and can endanger safety.

    I am curious to know what is Jigardhanda. I would test it when in Madurai.

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    Red face Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Quote Originally Posted by MukundRao View Post
    Nice to read your TL. I think, every bike rider should check for the weather forecast as part of their preparation and planning. Not only rain preparedness is very important for a comfortable ride experience but it can seriously disturb the plan and can endanger safety.

    I am curious to know what is Jigardhanda. I would test it when in Madurai.

    Thank you. On the lighter side You need to be in Chennai to understand this...When the forecast is rain it will bake you in hot sun...and when they say it's a sunny day, it pours. Yes, i was careful on the weather from my next ride.

    Jigardhanda - It is a famous cold beverage of Madurai. Ideal during the hot summer time. It is a mixture of quite a few ingredients (milk, ice cream, sugar, Badam Pisin and etc)

    Try it when you are in Madurai
    Ravikiran and MukundRao like this.

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Day 2 (Kodaikanal to Chennai via Yercaud) 635 kms

    So after deciding against halting in Yercaud and head directly to home and making it a 2 day SOLO drive means i would have to drive a longer distance than the first day. Even with the pain from the previous day i got up exactly at 5 AM. Today the initial drive should be excellent and picturesque considering i will be getting down from the ghat roads very early in the morning.
    I went to the reception to check on the availability of the hot water now. Unfortunately it will be available from 6 AM only. So without no other option i had to wait, tried to check if i can bath in the cold water, but it was toooo cold. So around 6 AM got an update from the reception the geyser is running and i should get the hot water anytime. After waiting for another 20 mins still no sign of hot water. Finally decided to get myself drenched in the December cold water. So after the initial delays, i was all set to start my second day drive.
    Packed the luggage carefully in the bike and bid goodbye to the people in the reception. Crossed by the lake one last time and it was a wonder view, covered by mist all over. As i was about to leave the place, realized that i did not buy chocolates the previous night. Didn't find any shops available at that time (nothing to be surprised). Slowly made up my mind and moving towards the return journey, found one shop just about opened a couple of minutes back. Stopped over and bought few packs of chocolate. The shop keeper was interested in knowing my journey, provided him the details. From our conservation understood he was also from Chennai and came over to Kodaikanal to help out his relative who owns this shop. He too was a traveller and was interested to join me on any future tours. Provided me the card with the contact details. Waved goodbye and finally after more than 2 hours delay started my bike and moved towards my next destination.

    Some picture......

    The Morning of Day 2

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    The overnight dew on the beast

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    Loaded and cleaned for the Perfect drive.....

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    The lake in the morning....

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    The route would be to go back the same road through which i came to kodaikanal for about 10 kms and there will be a U turn that will take me all the way to Palani. There are clear sign boards in that area to make that deviation. I noticed that even when i was climbing to Kodaikanal the previous day. After that i was pure bliss. I would say it was the most wonderful part of the ride that i have enjoyed till today. Time was around 8 am, valley on once side, no sun, mist all over the place, no vehicle or public around, twist and turns. Everything was perfect as i expected. Anyone one going to Kodaikanal via car or bike should try this route once. The condition of the roads was little bad at the start, but nothing to worry much as it was all good till we reach the ground in Palani. Couldn't resist stopping over for few photos and also to enjoy the mist passing over the road and hitting you the way you dream of. Took once small break in some village for Tea and completed the first stage by around 10 AM. It was around 65 kms of wonderful memory. I loved this part so much that i did it again with my friends in another trip.

    Bye bye to kodaikanal

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    The mist in the valley....

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    More mist....

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    It accompanied me all the way down....

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    Yeah its me...

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    So after getting down from the hills my next target was to Yercaud. The temperature was rising quickly and i didn't waste much time and started the next stage. Went to the entrance of the Palani temple, stood there for couple of minutes and continued my journey. I had to reach out to couple of auto drivers before i could connect back to highway. From now on it was all state highway and the roads were pretty decent. Except for places near any village/town the traffic was pretty much less. Slowly i started picking up speed and then i reached Dharapuram. Here i had trouble in identifying the way forward. There were couple of route. Finally decided on Perundurai/Bhavani route and went ahead. There were nothing exciting or to complain about. Moved at good pace and reached Bhavani around 1 PM. Decided against having lunch there and head towards Salem. This road was too good. I was able to maintain good speed all the time. While i was about to reach Salem there was a dilemma whether to go to Ulundurpet directly and go to Chennai or go to Yercaud as planned. I was determined to complete as planned and decided against any alternate plans. Once reaching Salem i got off from the highway and headed into the city. First i wanted to identify the route for Yercaud and then look out for lunch. Had to speak to few people before identify the route and decided to stop at some small hotel for lunch. It was already 3 pm, and stopped in some random small hotel come shop for non-veg meals. Again took control of one full table and settled for meals. It was basically fish curry with the regular sambar/rasam. They also had some fried fish. Took one piece and had one omelet. Filled my tummy to the core and finished off with some cold drinks. To my astonishment it all costed less than 100 rupees. Paid the money and started the drive up to Yercaud. In no time i reached the lake in Yercaud. The roads were quite wide and good. You will not have the feel of it being the ghat road. Yercaud was pretty much empty with very less tourists and considering the day time available for me i had no choice but to start immediately the drive down the hills.

    This is the proof i was there in Yercaud

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    I had opted for the Harur/Vaniyambadi route. This time when i was getting down from Yercaud on the other side it was a much better drive. It brought the feel of a ghat road. At one point there was a deviation, one road to the left and another to the right. I was not sure of which way i should go and there were no sign boards or people to ask for. Both the side of the roads are densely covered by trees. Stopped over there and was puzzled on what to do next........Suddenly out of no where one elderly person came walking from one side and before even i could ask for the route he just pointed at the road in which he came from. Without asking much i went the way he pointed and it was the correct route. Atlast i got down from the hills. IT is the last one for this memorable trip. When i thought it is going to be straight forward to drive all the way to Chennai in the State and National highways, i was wrong. I was very wrong.

    To be continued...........
    Last edited by Rajesh_Ravi; 1 Week Ago at 06:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Pretty amazing on how have you recollected your memories!
    Waiting for the next part!

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    Default Re: Solo ride - Chennai - Kodaikanal - Yercaud - Chennai

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Pretty amazing on how have you recollected your memories!
    Waiting for the next part!
    Thank you...The first one was always special and hence will be in my memory for a lifetime..
    Will post the final part in next couple of days.

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