This is not simply a travel diary, but each word denotes the happiness in fulfilling a long cherished dream. Traveling has always been a passion. But the real stint of ‘life on two wheels’ actually began to thrill when the epic Malayalam movie NPCB was released. As a child, I would stand on the road, watch riders ride with glory on two wheels, wave at them and dream. The dream of being among them, the dream of being one of them, the dream of being a rider one day. The child in me grew and the dreams too grew with him.
The wait was over and finally, I could see my dream coming alive, the road trip was happening! I was ready along with my 10 friends for an epic trip from Bangalore to Kodaikanal by road.
Check Out Our Amazing 4 Days Tamil Nadu Road Trip
Day 1: Arrival in Thrissur
Day 2: Drive to Udumalpett and sightseeing
Day 3: Visit to Kodaikanal Lake, Guna Caves, and the Fairy Falls
Day 4: Drive to Ooty, sightseeing, and departure
Day One: Get Set Go!
After days of planning, discussions, route redirections, people coming in and going out of the group, reasons big and small, 11 men went to sleep on 13th August with the dream of kissing the roads, the following morning. Travelling thousands of kilometers wasn’t what mattered, waking up at 4 AM and getting ready was what troubled them.
With sleep yet to retrieve and the sun yet to wake up, they packed their bags, tightened their jackets and the 3 Enfields, 3 KTMs and a Honda left for the road trip. Engines roared, gears shifted and the trip was on!
The bikes sped past the college gates, onto the bypass and fixed their wheels straight on the highway to Thrissur. The first destination was Athirapally waterfalls. With the morning cold troubling us, getting over 70 kph was tough. The sun as still asleep, the bikes crossed the Calicut borders and entered Malappuram, two hours continuous ride from there and we reached the cultural capital, Thrissur.
With our stomachs yearning for food, we had to stop for a while to find something to eat. Hotel Bharat served us hot dosas and vadas and the sip of hot tea swept away the sleep that was still lingering in our eyes. Fresh, we set the wheels on the road again. Thrissur- Ernakulam highway was so tempting that the speed limit that we set was soon forgotten. The speedometer raced past the hundred mark with ease. Once the highway was over and we entered the lone road to the falls, the speed returned to its limits.
By noon, after a small lunch near the falls, we set out again for our next destination, Valparai. It was already 2 PM and we had 95 km to cover before sunset. We were on our way and it started raining. We were so helpless and there was no place to halt, we let the rain wash us all the way. With the roads so narrow and the rain reluctant to retreat, we reached the hilltop much later than we expected. A small tea break provided us the information that Munnar was having repeated showers. Irritated by the rains, we decided to drop Munnar from the plan.
Next was a visit to the Sholayar dam that gave time to enjoy some photography. After sunset, we decided to call it a day and rest. A small dormitory, comfortable enough for eleven of us was sheltering us for the night. It was a cold night, we ate what we got, alarms were set and tired after the journey we soon dozed off.
Day Two: Kodaikanal Here We Come
Sharp at 6 AM the alarms went off, we ditched it to enjoy another hour’s sleep. After grabbing a bite, we were back on track by 8.30 AM. We bid goodbye to the beautiful Valparai hills and slowly turned our wheels towards the 41 hair pin road that leads to Pazhani.
The bikes, just like the ants on a rope, started descending the hill, one following the other, twisting, turning, gears shifted all together, one behind the other. We stopped on the way for tea and photography sessions, and after a two-hour ride we reached the bottom.
The bottom of the hill greeted us with a small yet beautiful waterfall, monkey falls. It was very crowded, which shortened our halt there. Udumalpett was our next destination and we had the clock ticking so that our Muslim friends could make it in time for their Friday prayers.
Once we were out of the hills, the roads lost its beauty. Dry barren lands, scattered trees and the sun proudly shining straight above our heads spoiled the mood of the ride for a while. The road to Udumalpett was full of bullock and horse carts returning from some festival. We were careful, but they were reckless and one of our riders had a bad knock on his leg from a speeding horse cart, nothing serious though. It was the guard that saved the day, the footrest was broken. The trip was delayed a bit, but we reached Udumalpett by 1’o clock. We had our lunch, our friends did their prayers and after an hour of rest, we moved towards Pazhani. The ride was short and we soon reached Pazhani.
The view of the Pazhani hills and the temple were quite tempting, but the hot sun and the 100 steps to the hill top made us drop the plan of visiting it.
We turned our wheels to our next destination- Kodaikanal. On this bike ride to Kodaikanal we had 70 km to cover, but the hot sun made us take a halt. We took rest under the trees on the road and stayed there until the sun began its ride towards the west.
We again set off and started climbing the hills. The roads were narrow, with pits here and there and a deep valley on its side making it a risky ride up the hill. On the way, we halted at a place which appeared like a small market with few shops, we all had a cup of coffee.
We then continued our trip to the queen of hill stations, which was just 15 km away now. By the time we reached Kodaikanal, it was already dark hence we took shelter in a nice cottage near the lake. The tired hearts and engines, both wished for a night full of sleep. Stomach full of food, and an hour or more of useless talks, we retired for the day. Our Kodaikanal road trip had finally ended after a long day.
Day Three: Flat Tyre Leads To Change In Plans
Two days and 500 km, the ride had definitely slowed down a bit. A good night’s sleep in the cold mist filled hills of Kodaikanal refreshed the riding spirits in all of us. We were again ready for the freedom ride and it was a great day to get started as it was Independence Day.
We visited the Kodaikanal lake, Guna caves and the fairy falls. After a quick tea and snacks session from a small shop and we left for Ooty. The aim was to reach before the day ends. We followed the same road that we took to climb up the hills, till Pazhani. On our way down, we could see a number of riders proudly accelerating upwards. Though strangers, yet we shared the smiles that gave a feeling of brotherhood. After an hour or so, we were down the hills.
We travelled some distance more towards Pazhani and then we observed that one of our bullets had a flat tyre. There were no shops in the vicinity. We rested on the roadside, and few of us went in search of a mechanic. A while later they came back with two mechanics, who were clueless about repairing a Thunderbird.
Suggested Read: Off To Kodaikanal? Here’s A List Of 12 Places You Must Not Skip
Almost two and half hours, the issue was resolved and we again set our wheels on the road. Our plans altered, and we thought of finishing the day at Coimbatore. The roads were smooth, straight and were free from traffic. What more should the riders need! Hence for the first time in the journey, we ignored the speed limits and accelerated away to glory. We reached Coimbatore by 6 p.m.
After resting for an hour and hogging on to some food from the fun mall in Coimbatore, we continued our journey towards Ooty. The night ride was just beautiful and by 10 PM, we reached Mettupalayam. We were all so tired that we couldn’t even move another inch. It took us some time to find a place to stay, once we reached the rooms, we were all fast asleep.
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Day Four: When Dream Comes Alive
We started our final day by 8 AM and it was a three-hour ride to Ooty. The road to Ooty was full of fellow riders and the sight of a wild yak on the road, we realized that ditching Ooty the night before was a good decision. The train from Coonoor to Ooty, garden and lake all were responsible for making our trip to Ooty memorable.
The entire experience was mesmerizing and that is why we never wanted to come back. Since that was not possible, we chose the longest way possible to return. Instead of the Ooty- Gudalur road, we decided to take the Bandipur and return through Gundalpet. The ride through the Bandipur forests was exciting. The fear of wild animals crossing our path added thrill to our adventure. Talking of adventure, can’t really miss out on the life-threatening episode we experienced. One of our riders was foolish enough to sound blow the horn in front of an elephant group on the road side. The elephants came running towards us and for a second we thought we would all be dead.
Somehow we escaped and we dared not to stop again in the forest. Once we were out of the forests, the bikes slowed down and at the same time 60-70 bullets raced past us, everybody was enjoying their freedom. We tried but couldn’t match the speed of those experienced riders. We soon reached the Kerala borders.
A cup of coffee and we started our journey back to the hostel from Wayanad. We travelled down the Thamarassery Churam and the rain began pouring down. We were all silent, the dream was finally coming to end, we never wished for that.
Another hour and we were all back in the vicinity of our college. One last acceleration, gears shifted and we were all back in our hostels.
11 Friends- Abhijith, Shamil, Shereef, Sajid, James, Hemanth, Anupam, Aebel, Nizwi, Razack and Razik went to sleep with heads still wandering on the roads, a heart full of memories and dreams full of rides yet to come. The road trip that started from Athirpally to Kodaikanal will be cherished for life. This Kodaikanal bike trip got all 11 of us very close to each other and has given us some of the most beautiful memories for life. If you wish to have a similar experience and want to go on a Kodaikanal trip then plan your Tamil Nadu holiday with TravelTriangle right away. A lot of adventure and bliss awaits!
Frequently Asked Questions About Tamil Nadu Road Trip
A. It is a pretty smooth drive that can be covered in a matter of 8 to 11 hours hence Bangalore to Kodaikanal by road is a pretty good option for people.
A. Kodaikanal can be visited all year long. But the best time to visit it is in the month of October and March. Even peak summer months are a great time to visit Kodaikanal.
A. Kodaikanal is very famous for its landscape because of all the serene lakes, greenery and forests that can be found here. Kodaikanal is also known as the “Princess of hill stations”.
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