It all started when my desire to drive my own car to a hill station. I have not driven to any hill station on my own so far and also have not driven to longer distance. I and my wife were searching a nearby good location where we can spend our holiday peacefully with my children as well. When I will have a peaceful holiday is the next question as I am part of busy IT industry where we used work even on weekends and holidays. All it happened during December 2014 when I got the required holiday and immediately we were planning for a destination. Our plans were to make a trip to an affordable and nearby hill station and we narrowed down to Yelagiri, as it is around 230 kilometers from Chennai. Moreover it is a small hill station with only 14 hair pin bends and I thought it is an ideal location to test my driving skills. Since it was Christmas holidays, almost all the resorts and hotels were full and after a few extensive searches, my wife found out a resort which is affordable and within budget which includes food as well. Now all set and dates were confirmed.
December 26, 27 and 28 – 2014 – My first self-drive in my car to a hill station
December 26, 2014 – Friday
We started near Adayar on 26th December at around 6 AM and planned to take the following route:
Adayar – Porur – Poonamalle – Sriperumbudur – Kaveripakkam – Arcot – Vellore – Ambur – Vaniyambadi – Tirupattur – Yelagiri
I started in a leisure manner and I was driving bit slowly till Sriperumbudur as there was heavy traffic. After crossing Sriperumbudur, the roads were free from heavy traffic and tried to accelerate, but roads were full of potholes. So I was driving cautiously and almost at after 9 AM, we reached Arcot. From Arcot we found the roads were broad and it was wonderful to drive, so we decided to skip our breakfast and tried to manage with available biscuits and fruits. Our intention was to reach Yelagiri as quick as possible. So I increased my speed and we were cruising at around 100+ constantly due to fantastic roads. It was a delight to drive after Arcot and we crossed Vellore and Gudiyatham quite easily. After Gudiyatham, we had a small break and the time was around 10 AM. We took a few pictures in roadside and we started again. My enthusiasm increased due to excellent road and I was driving around 120 to 140 kilometers. I also heard that there is no fuel station available at Yelagiri, so I filled diesel in my car before climbing Yelagiri. One has to be careful to take a left before entering Tirupattur to climb Yelagiri. So I decreased my speed after reaching Vaniyambadi and I started searching for the route which takes me to Yelagiri. Once I take the planned left before Tirupattur, it was a small road which drives through villages and it was scenic. After around 15 minutes travel, we were right before the ghat roads where we saw the entry point to Yelagiri. Our excitement increased once we entered the hair pin bends and it is easy to drive as the roads are not steep. I switched off my car AC and opened the windows to enjoy fresh cool breeze. Anyone who is new to driving can do these ghat roads easily as there are around 14 hair pin bends which were named after famous tamil poets. We entered Punganur which is the entry point in Yelagiri at around 11 AM. I spoke with the resort owner for route and he asked me to cross Adhavanur and reach Nilavur where HR Resorts is situated. We finally reached resorts at around 11.30 AM. We had a good lunch at HR Resorts as part of our package and we headed for rest.
We again started around 5 PM in my car and headed towards the Punganur 12 acre nature park which is adjacent to lake. The park was spacious and wonderful with lot of flowers and green lush grass. My kids were enjoying thoroughly and they started dancing in the green lush grass. They also enjoyed artificial waterfalls, bamboo house which we need to walk on Bamboo Bridge and fish aquarium. As the sunset happened, the climate changed drastically and it became cold with chill breeze all round. We were enjoying the chill climate to maximum. At around 7 PM we entered water fountain park show which was fascinating for children. They thoroughly enjoyed and at around 8 PM we headed towards HR Resorts at Nilavur. We had heavy dinner and headed towards sleep.
December 27, 2014 – Saturday
We started freshly and after heavy breakfast, we headed towards Punganur lake and adjacent play area for children. We parked our car in the parking slot and it was literally free as we reached early. We first headed towards boating in the artificial lake and thoroughly enjoyed boating. After boating we headed towards the play area where my kids were happily playing. As it was December, the climate was cool and we were walking in the play area in a relaxed manner. We reached other side of the lake and we spend good amount of time and enjoyed the chill breeze. There are a few private adventure play areas available and rates were bit expensive. We skipped those as my kids were too small to play those. Around 1 PM we started to our resort for lunch and rest.
December 28, 2014 – Sunday
We got up around 7 AM and were roaming inside the resort and children were enjoying the morning mist and chill.
We played a few indoor games and after breakfast we vacated the resort at around 11 AM and started to Chennai as we had few priorities to look into. We started from Nilavur and headed towards Adhavanur and Punganur and driven down through ghat hair pin bends to reach Tirupattur. Once after reaching Tirupattur, it is good national highway. As we collected our lunch parcel from HR Resorts itself, we stopped near Kanchipuram at around 2.30 PM and completed our lunch. We reached home at round 5 PM with lot of good memories.
Overall it was a fascinating experience and a pleasant travel. This has boosted my confidence and I started planning my next travel destination which is Yercaud.