Sunday, February 17, 2013

A walk from Ooty to Masinagudi Part II


In my last post of this series I wrote about Masinagudi area that in Madumalai wildlife sanctuary and is on the slopes of Niligiri’s. We took the bus from Masinagudi to Thalaikundah that is on the way to Ooty. From there we begun our walk.
Views from the road near Thalaikundah
Views from the road near Thalaikundah


We are now walking on this road and it is very steep, you can see the views of below you and views of above you. It is fun to walk, this area of the mountains get sunshine at most of the days.
Niligiris views from the road
Niligiris views from the road
Weather is like Air conditioned. We walk and walk and pass one after another hair pin bend. Village folks are busy in their farming activities. You can buy fresh carrots, turnips, beets or radish from farmers.
near Thalaikunda
Near Thalaikunda
In about one hour of luxurious stroll you will enter in the village of Kalhatti. Eat more pakodas and have another cup of tea. Probably this is the last place where you’d get something to eat but you may get tea only at a couple of more touristy places on the way till Check Post.
The way
The way
Last time I had this walk with my wife and she is a temple freak. She makes her business to visit just each and every temple or shrine. Several small colorful temples are scattered around the stepped farms in this village and while she visited to those temples I had tea while chatting with village folks.
Tea gardens on the way
Tea gardens on the way
Now we resume our walk and here we come a half kilometer of straight portion of road. It is amazing. Road is about 30 degree slope, utterly dangerous so they made speed bumps at each 10 meters.
The way
This segment of road is even hard on the legs so we walk zigzag to counter the steepness. View is very pretty from just everywhere and wildflowers are also at everywhere. You will see hundreds of pretty butterflies on this stretch.
First hairpin bend at the top
First hairpin bend at the top
We again stop for a cup of tea, actually we don’t want any more tea but it is an excuse to just stop. This tea stall is situated at very scenic venue and nice arrangement to sit midst wild flowers so what the heck. A lemon tree is growing with ripe lemons hanging at arm’s length so I break a lemon and ask for lemon tea. Moreover I break the leaves of some lemon grass for our tea.
Fog near Thalaikundah
Fog near Thalaikundah
We ask for 2 cups of lemon tea and drink some of it but we sit there for half hour. Owner of the stall is happy that we are sitting; in his opinion people attract more people. A mini bus arrives and several people come out of it, we climb down to the curb to continue our walk. After some more hair pin bends we arrive at the check post. This is the midway.
The way
The way
Tea gardens and cultivation are ending here and road is now entering in the jungle. A couple of tea shops are here so you can have your last fill if you wish. Here we have Thumbs-Up, there I put some lemon grass in the bottle and drink comes to an instant boil and taste becomes heavenly. I suggest you all to try this. Put some lemon grass in your cold-drink and taste the magic. This place is the last of the civilization you’d see till Masinagudi. You had enough of joy, and you’d remember this walk forever and you can return.
Just before Kalhatti
Just before Kalhatti
The reason I am mentioning you for return is because now is the jungle route. There are no written rules but at the check post security guards will suggest you not to walk further but they cannot stop you.
After Kalahatti
After Kalahatti
My wife freaks out and she wants to take bus but I drag her and that turned out a bad idea because I had to drag her for next 5 km for no bus stopped to take us. When I do this walk alone, I happily walk to the bottom of the Niligiris or as far as to Masinagudi all 20 kilometers. Now on this stretch there is no village or arable area. Just jungle and lemon grass on both sides of the road. You can see elephant poop all over. Some snakes and if you are lucky you may see a python or a porcupine.
Scenic outlook in the jungle.
Scenic outlook in the jungle.
There are bison in the valley below. You can watch them at a view point on the way. This view point is an excellent place to relax. From this view point after some more hairpin turns here comes the bottom of the road and near the river bridge some forest guards stop us because my wife is freaking out. They give me a big lecture about never to walk in this jungles again. Then they force stop a bus going towards Masinagudi and make sure that we board over in the very crowded bus.
Near Thalaikundah
Near Thalaikundah
Our walk on this route ended but there is one more post to describe more about Masinagudi area.
So:
To be continued.

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