Cycling in Ooty!

The Machines

I should have posted this a few days earlier atleast.

Me and Manohar D C (also from HP) had gone on a cycling tour last weekend (Feb 24, 25). The idea was to roam around Ooty.

My previous (and first) trip to Ooty happened roughly two years ago. I had gone there with my friends. We had gone on a car and a motorcycle. I was a bulky chap then and hadn't ridden much on my cycle. Times have changed since...

We wanted to maximise the fun in the trip. That's just a nice way to say "minimize cycling". Manohar is not a battle scarred veteran in the world of cycling, and I didn't want to scare away a potential partner 🙂 So we decided on transporting the cycles to Ooty, cycling in and around and then pedal till Gundlupet. Return back on bus with the cycles in the dikky. We deemed this a reasonable plan for two days. And so it turned out to be.

I had booked a Rajahamsa to Ooty. I could have booked an Air-conditioned variant also, but wasn't sure if they would agree to take the cycles. The driver made no fuss and even helped us push the cycles inside the luggage boot. After pushing in the cycles, the fun started. The driver wanted his "mamool". I was content to keep him waiting till the destination. We reached Oooty at 6:30 AM. The driver came back in the action, demanding his pound of flesh. We offered him 20 rupees. He wasn't satisfied and returned back the money, grumbling "people pay much more for small parcels". Half an hour later, when wisdom dawned on him, he came back. This time his demand had scaled down to thirty rupees. I didn't give him anything.

Less said about the cleanliness of the toilets at Ooty bus stand, the better. At last we were ready to start turning the gears at 7:30 AM.

We decided to visit Avalanche first. The locals had differing opinions on how far it was. Some said 35 kms, others said 28 (correct). Anyway, one thing was sure : we wouldn't return to Ooty till evening.

And so it turned out to be. We reached Avalanche at 10:30 or thereabouts. Avalanche has a beautiful lake (actually the backwaters of a reservoir?). It is also the starting point of a reserved forest. There is a guest house here, maintained by the forest department. As usual, trouble due to the forest department personnel is unavoidable. In the name of permission, the two guards successfully make us poorer by Rs 125. Finally, one of the guards takes us near the lake, to the place where film shooting takes place. Avalanche is a beautiful place. A must visit, if you ask me. It is 12:30 by the time we start back.

The return toward Ooty was uphill for the most part. However, it wasn't very steep. We climbed the hills slowly . Manohar needed to push his cycle only once - that too for less than a hundred meters. As for me, I have a strict rule not to push the cycle unless absolutely essential. That situation didn't arise, luckily.

We were in Ooty at 5:30, having rested for about twenty minutes just before Ooty. We quickly found a clean lodge near the bus stand, 250 rupees a day. The remainder of the day was spent eating and shopping. I purchased some "Hand Made Chocolates" and Masala Tea.

On Sunday morning, we woke up late. At 8:30, we were out of the lodge. By 9:00 AM, we had finished breakfast as well and were on our way towards Gundlupet. We had decided to travel over the Sigur ghat (route via Masinagudi). This route saves some 26 odd kilometers and is has a steep downward slope. It was great fun inspite of the need to keep the brakes "on" most of the time. We descended down the ghat cautiously, and maybe a bit slowly. By 10:30, we were at the base of the hills, having finished negotiating the 36 hair pin curves. What a ride!

From then on, it was slow pedalling. Gundlupet wasn't far away and there was no need to hurry anyway. Cycling inside the Mudumalai and Bandipur reserve forest was fun too, especially in Bandipur. We saw an elephant, many deer and monkeys...

We finally reached Gundlupet at 5:15. The entire two day journey had taken us through 125 kms.

From Gundlupet, coming back was not so fun. You know, the arguments with the drivers, conductors, etc. We took a "red board" to Mysore and a Rajahamsa to Bangalore. We finally reached Bangalore at 11:45 PM. End of a satisfactory trip.

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Comments (13) Trackbacks (0)
  1. hey shree…..great goin buddy…the pics are awesome n am still waitin for the chocolates thru email..hehehe!!!!!

  2. Hi, is it possible you also upload some video footage too, regards,ajaz.

  3. Manohar told me tht he had been to Ooty for cycling, but didn’t knew tht you ppl had so much of fun and adventure…

    gr8 going…

  4. what cycle are you using? i too plan to buy one… i was a big cycling fan in school & college days..used to cycle to school 8kms to & fro.. on regular atlas style ones.
    now gained lot of weight (since no cycling for 6yrs!)..

  5. Lovely, I was looking around for mountain ridges and uphill climbs when I bike tour India. I will certainly be following in your footsteps or rather in your pedals!!

  6. Hey Dude,

    Howz Ooty , Hope u guys really enjoyed . This is the place where i born & brought up , My schooling, my college, My entire life. Great to hear from u guys as well Ooty is awesome . Plan one more trip to ooty lot more to see & to take pics as well .


    Sheebu Rk

  7. Hi,
    I am planning to go to RedHill.
    please give the details of the same.
    i am going to Ooty by Bus.
    please guide me from there.

  8. Manoj : I have no clue about RedHill. Please check the maps.
    Karunakar: My bike for this tour was a Hero Thunder MTB. Manohar’s bike was the DTB.
    Anand: Good luck for your tour 🙂

  9. Shree,
    The lake in pic isnt the Avalanche lake.. it is the Porthi ada area.

    Avalanche lake is much further away.

    Btw, you guys had a fantastic time there I guess.

  10. @Prem: Thanks for the enlightenment ! So, going to the Avalanche lake needs forest department’s permission ?

  11. Shree,
    Right. You need their permission. Nilgiris South division forest office (near the firestation below the collectors office).

  12. Great adventure, I am organizing cycle trips in ooty. I have imported cycles ranging ranging from seven speed to 21 speed. We take care of transport to cycling spots with 4*4 jeep. Package has breakfast. lunch, high tea / cool drink, we provide gloves and helmets. Maximum in a group 6 members. Do contact me 9843248880 / nandhdev75@gmail.com

  13. hello, what cycle are you using?

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