Friday, January 26, 2018

Day 2: Biking round trip to Pollachi - Valparai – Athirapally – Ooty – Bandipura – BR Hills – Bengaluru

Day - 2 Journey

Considering the trail, we all assumed that the 2nd day ride will be short and scenic. We got refreshed and get ready to venture on road. Finished early morning coffee with hot VADE nearby hotel, journey is continued towards Valparai.

Within few kilometer, reached the Aliyar Water Reservoir. It is very close to the city. Initially we thought to skip the location, the scenic view attracted us. Parked the vehicle, paid Rs.10/- entry fees, entered the premises.

The Aliyar Dam is built in very scenic place. It is surrounded by beautiful valley. Water level was less but it will not disappoint you by its beauty. One must visit this wonderful place on the way to Valparai.

We spent some good time on photography, relaxed for a while. There are couple of hotels opposite to the entrance gate of Dam. We thought to fill again with breakfast. Heavy breakfast made us comfort to push little more time for lunch.

Santosh mentioned about Vethatri Ashram, which is very close to Aliyar Dam. It also called as “Arivu Thirukovil”. We decided to visit this ashram. It is just on the highway of Valparai.

Paid Rs.50/- entrance fees and ventured the Ashram. Got to know that, they offer various meditation course for individual and corporate. The Ashram is in very decent place, covered by hills. We did some good photography inside the Ashram premises.

After visit to Ashram, the journey is continued towards Valparai. Popular Valparai 40 Nos. hairpin bend curves are visible from Aliyar Dam. Authority collect and issue the receipt for Rs.30/- per person. Finished the formalities continued our journey.

The ride is really amazing; slowly it takes you upper side. Road was busy with tourist vehicles; people were stopping and enjoying the valley. Alyar Dam backwater panorama view is amazing.

We also did not like to miss an opportunity; had interesting photography. There was no satisfaction to anyone, the mobile shutter was clicking and clicking.

After couple of curves, entered the top of the hill, relaxed for sometimes near check-post. Now the Annamalai Tiger Reserve Territory started. Against we were not lucky, not cited anything.

Now the landscape completely got changed, everywhere TEA estate. The road passes through beautiful estates. We totally confused where to stop for photography!!! There was endless joy to see the panorama. Pictures can speak more than my words.

We about to reach Valparai, it was just 6 KMs away. Noticed Sholyar Dam deviation board, which showing 15 KMs. Decided to visit the dam before Valparai. Descent curve trail took us close to the Dam. It was not attracted much compare to Aliyar. Spent some good time and headed back to Valparai.

Again, we have to comeback 15KMs of the deviation point to reach Valparai. We are feeling hungry badly, reached the Valparai around 3 pm. Not sure about getting the lunch at this time, local personnel guided “Sri Lakshmi Chettinadu” hotel. It is in the centre of the town, very close to bus stand.

The Valparai was crowded, very easily found the Lakshmi hotel. Hope we were the last batch of the lunch hour. The food was very tasty, filled our stomach.

Now the time to head towards Kerala border and find some decent place for night camp. Here is the surprise!!!!! Till the time I have not seen the google map. The Kerala border is pointing the same trail of Sholyar Dam. We did some extra KM ride.

Not worrying much, headed back to Sholyar Dam. Again we stopped for relaxation. The Kerala border is just 5 KMs away from the Dam. We had enough of time to retire for the day. Taking small breaks, photography crossed the Tamil Nadu and entered Kerala.

Our eyes got open little widely to locate some decent economy stay. After enquiring a guy, suggested us to ride further two KMs to find the homestay. After couple of meters, found a mini hotel at MALAKKAPPARA. Decided to take a break and continue to explore the stay.

The mini hotel is run by an old lady, ordered the tea. Meanwhile asked her about availability of any stay around this tiny village. She immediately called to her next home and enquired about availability. Initially we felt unlucky; owner said, ‘It is already booked over a phone; supposed to report by 3pm; give me sometime so that I can confirm you’.

Time was good, pre-booked guys did not turn back, offered the room. It is very decent on the roadside of Valparai – Athirapally way with two rooms. Easily can accommodate around 8 people. The location of the small village is really awesome. We not bothered to bargain much, occupied the homestay, dumped our luggage.

Joseph, the homestay proprietor suggested beautiful sunset point. The sunset point is just half a KM from our stay. After refreshment, headed towards viewpoint. 

The valley was looking so beautiful. Entire valley is filled with TEA. We had lot of fun during sunset, spent more time on different photography. 

Home-stay served hot delicious dinner, retired for the day after playing the CARD game.

Day -2 Highlights

Rode around 145 KMs

Covered Places: Aliyar Dam, Vethatri Ashram, Valparai 40 hairpin bend curves, Annamalai Tiger Reserve Forest, Valparai, Sholyar Dam