Destinations South to beat the heat??? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com

Destinations South to beat the heat???

#1 May 4th, 2005, 06:43
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  • KariB is offline
#1
It's taken me over a year to do it but.......

Finally, I am able to plan my next trip to Ma India!!! Unfortunately(or perhaps not)I can only go in August. I'll have 3-4 weeks, and am looking for places, perhaps hill stations, where the weather is not stifling hot. I'm ok with rain, but the oppressive heat can really knock me out. It's not like California where you can get away with wearing minimal clothing!!

I fly into Mumbai, then will go out to Hampi for approx. 1 week or less (to see what I missed on the last trip). and then from there..........here's where I get a little lost. I've been looking at Kodaikkanal, Coonoor, Ooty etc. Something easily accessibile by train, not a 5 day train ride back to Mumbai to fly home, and also somewhere you can be on a tight budget!! Not too much to ask 'eh?

I don't have any major "interests" to search for. Just wanna go, and hang with the people, take walks, perhaps a bit of yoga, nothing too hectic. I learned from my last trip(also my first), not to plan too much. This time I want to take the time to "be in the moment".

Thank you to all for all of your help, both this time and last time. Special thanks to Steven Ber for the train schedules last time...he practically mapped my entire trip!!

Thanks Again...IM'ers are the BEST!!!

KariB
#2 May 4th, 2005, 06:51
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#2
I was here in Chennai last August. It was hot but bearable. When I went to Kerala for a weekend it felt almost cold by comparison! There will be some rain in Kerala, but otherwise OK in August.
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#3 May 4th, 2005, 21:05
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#3
Thanks Nick-H!!

I can't imagine EVER being cold in India(except in full blown A/C)!

My big question is though, are there any of the southern hill stations that are easily accessible with the train system? I know I can take an overnight train from Hopset/Hampi down to Bangalore and then out to Mysore. Did this last time, but from there I go fuzzy. Is there a train From Mysore to the local hill stations or do I have to take a (Ack!)bus????

I've also been looking at Madikeri, anyone have any experience with this area???

Steven Ber...I need your "train brain".....pretty please........ OR, how can I get a copy of the "Trains at a Glance" software that you use?!?!?!


KariB
#4 May 4th, 2005, 22:56
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by KariB I can't imagine EVER being cold in India(except in full blown A/C)!... ... ...
Travel from 37 in Chennai to 30 in Kerala and you'll feel cold. For a few hours I had to grab a blanket when the temperature here fell to 24 one night a few weeks ago.

Someone will be along to help with rest of your post soon...
#5 May 4th, 2005, 23:00
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Ooty is reachable by train. Kodai really isn't (nearest station is Palani, but you still have to get to Kodai). Both will be packed in the summer and the rates will be high, alas. But that's not to say that you won't be able to find what you're looking for. I just don't have suggestions, sorry . . .
#6 May 4th, 2005, 23:15
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I think you are already aware of the train from Hospet to Bangalore (then train to Mysore), there is also an overnight train from Hubli (20:15) to Mysore (06:00), though it would be a 3 hour + uncomfortable bus journey from Hospet to Hubli. (just mentioned the train in case you were visiting anywhere closer to Hubli).

Ooty/Coonoor are 120 Kms from Mysore, so is Madikkeri, both would take 3 hours by bus from Mysore.

There is a direct bus between Ooty and Kodaikanal, can't remember how long it takes, but minimum 8 hours (10 comes to mind).

Have you been on the Blue Mountain Railway?

If you want to avoid the bus to Kodaikanal, it's not easy. (hold on, I've just remembered a train that has been extended)
#7 May 4th, 2005, 23:24
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#7
Train 6732 departs Mysore daily at 18:00 (Bangalore at 21:15) and gets to Kodaikanal road at 06:48 (then Madurai at 08:00)

Fare for Mysore to Madurai: -

2A = Rs 1073
3A = Rs 690
SL = Rs 256


But just thinking, 3 hours by bus to Mysore, you could be in Coimbatore in less time, I'll look for more info.

Have you considered going from Coimbatore to Kerala then into the hills aroung Munnar (or Periyar further south)?
#8 May 5th, 2005, 00:07
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#8

Bangalore Mysore area a Must

Kari:

I just agree with what others are saying about Bangalore/Mysore area. The weather there is great. Hill stations mentioned are also superb for weather.

Just another recommendation. The best chilling out experience I had was visting wild life and bird sanctuaries. Went to Ranginathitu Bird Sanctuary on route from Bangalore to Mysore. We went by car and not train, by the way. In season that is great for birds. I won't give out much the wonderful things we saw and experienced here because one needs to experience it for themselves.

Then there was another great place near Mysore. Frankly I never relaxed and simply enjoyed the beauty of nature and wild life as much as I did there. Nagerhole National Park (now called Rajiv Ghandhi Preserve or National Park) was superb. There are two nice places, both listed here at IM, Hotel Listings, Karnataka. Kabini River Lodges and Jungle Inn. I have stayed at both places on different trips and recommend both. I do have a preference for Jungle Inn because I know the owner and he went out of his way to make our stay (we had five adults and two young children) such an enjoyable experience.

Happy travels in India.
Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
#9 May 5th, 2005, 03:17
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#9

Steven_Ber...I think I love you!!

You are truly my(our) night in shining armour!!

I have been staring at the "trains at a glance" website for so long I can barely see straight, trying to make sense of it all. Then along comes Steven and "Shazaam"!!! I would love to hear more about the Blue Mountain Railway.

I have no concrete plans of where to go this time, and no absolute date that I have to come back home...so.....suggest away!!! I do have an extremely tight budget this trip, and will be looking to explore the most economical choices. Other than that I'm open to any and all places, as long as it's comfortable, weatherwise...I'm good. I prefer to stay out of the big cities, so if I can go straight from Bangalore to a hill area, avoiding Mysore I'm good with that also.

I figure that I can book my train tickets for Mumbai/Hubli/Hospet online and then from there can book the rest of the trip. How packed are the trains in August???

Thank You all again for your help

KariB
#10 May 5th, 2005, 04:37
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#10
Quote:
How packed are the trains in August
There is never a time when Indian trains are not packed.
#11 May 5th, 2005, 21:05
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#11
Hmmmmm...Merchant......

Actually, with the exception of 1 or 2 of our train trips in March '04, my experience was that the trains weren't that packed. I travelled only by train this last time(Mumbai/Hubli/Hampi/Bangalore/Mysore/Goa/Mumbai), and with the exception of the Mysore/Goa/Mumbai legs, there were very few people in our immediate vicinity.

There was one instance however, when I woke up in the middle of the night, looked down from my upper berth, and saw a rifle on the berth below!!! Evidently the police were travelling also! At first I was scared, not something I was used to seeing, but then I felt a whole lot safer to have them so close by.

We did have one of those "passengers from hell" legs though. On the trip from Mysore to Goa, there was a large group of young couples that just jammed themselves into our berth area(thank God I took the IM'ers advice and got upper berths), and wouldn't shut up! We couldn't go to sleep because they were so loud, and we couldn't come down from our "perch" because there was nowhere to sit! That was one of the times that I was really happy to have purchased valium from the local druggist!

And then there was the other time that we woke to an impromptu "jam" session in the area between the cars(by the toilets) late at night. That was fun!

I could go on and on...........God I love India!!!

Thanks Everyone for the responses, keep 'em coming!

KariB
#12 May 5th, 2005, 21:18
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#12
The blue mountain railway is really a "toy train" with just sitting space. Mostly used by tourists for the views and the sheer novelty of riding it. It takes four hours from Mettupalayam (accessible by train from coimbatore), and is considerably slower than a bus. There are certain legs where you can actually get off the train and walk along with it !!!!!!
#13 May 5th, 2005, 22:21
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#13
Walking alongside the train!?!?!

Ok, that would probably drive me nuts! I'm from So. California, used to driving everywhere...quickly!! The trains were an exercise in patience for me on the last trip, but usually after an overnight train trip, I just want to get to my next destination quickly so I can take a shower! I felt so grimy, dusty and sweaty the entire time I was there last time, all I ever wanted was running water! I got used to it a few weeks in, but the "princess" in me was really challenged!!

Thanks

KariB
#14 May 6th, 2005, 00:34
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KariB Walking alongside the train!?!?!

Ok, that would probably drive me nuts!
Yes, it can be slow, but sadly it is over too quick.

Not a lot to see apart from this, or this, or this, or this, or this, you will also be there during or just after the rains, so the amount of waterfalls will be amazing, it is also a great way to see the hills, I can guarentee there is a place where you just want to get off the train and change your plans, I know I wanted to.
#15 May 6th, 2005, 01:18
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#15

Oh My!!! Beautiful!!!

Ok, I have to agree...that view beats any that I saw on my last trip!!!

So now, where do I pick up this train and where does it take me? How are the fares on this train? From what I've been reading lately, I want to avoid Ooty, too tourisy and polluted??? Is there somewhere in the vicinity that might be less touristy(read:expensive)? I'll be spending a week in a cheap guesthouse in Hampi, and then have up to 3 more weeks, or until the $$ runs out!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, all.

And Steven, I don't understand how someone could blame you, for a glitch in their trip after all the help you gave them. Ridiculous! Some people have REAL issues!!!

KariB

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