Sunday, 6 September 2015

Kodaikanal, our anniversary trip



It was almost 15 years back when I visited Kodaikanal along with my parents.It was a long South India tour for almost 2 weeks out of which Kodaikanal was allotted just a day or half.What all I could recollect from that trip was Kodai was a quiet and sort of lonely place, with few shops and people selling eucalyptus oil to tourists. It also had a lake.I remember one lady demonstrating us by putting some oil in a cotton cloth and then burning it. The beautiful smell filled our nostrils and immediately us and also almost everyone from our tour group took a bottle each. The lady had her day.

The bottle was there in our Kolkata house for a long time. Since eucalyptus oil is meant for headaches, colds and body pains it had its use for a long time and everytime I used to smell the bottle it used to remind me of Kodai. So maybe because of this incident Kodai stood out from the remaining places.

I always wanted to go to Kodaikanal once again with my husband,so for our anniversary trip we decided on Kodaikanal. We took NH7 till Dindigul and the Kodaikanal road thereafter. We stayed at The Carlton for two nights and the stay was amazingly awesome.

The Road


But yes Kodaikanal has changed.It is no more quiet and lonely, there are zillions of hotels, shops, people but still the beauty is intact. The road leading to Kodai is also very scenic with hair pin curves,clouds,ranges and green. The first thing is the silver cascade falls just before entering Kodaikanal.

The first day was reserved for our anniversary celebration and boating on the Kodai lake.The amiable hotel staff bought for us a beautiful cake.After the celebration we hit the lake. The lake is really beautiful and we kept floating on the lake for an hour.Sorrounding the lake are beautiful homes guarded heavily by high walls, infact the whole of Kodaikanal has a lot of these highly guarded properties. The lake has its car parking.

A beautiful house

Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal Lake

Kodaikanal Lake

The next morning we requested for an early breakfast. After that we went for Coaker's Walk.It is a 1 km stretch that offers nice view of the plains and trees below. Sometimes the clouds come in between  and it looks even more beautiful. Best time to enjoy Coaker's Walk is as long as the sun is not strong.

Coaker's Walk

Coaker's Walk


Next we went to Pillar Rocks.Unless its a very clear day you will not get to see the rocks all the time.So when we arrived there was already a lot of people waiting.Since the wind was strong and the area was full with clouds we did not see anything, so we just sat patiently for half an hour and then luckily the clouds got clear for just 30 seconds and we had our view. While coming out from that place I noticed a lady selling seeds and also bulbs of various local flowers.One special thing I must mention about Kodai is, the place is always in blooms. There is so much of wild and vivid nature gifted blooms all around,much like any of the North Indian hill stations. Its beautiful.

Pillar Rocks

Us at Pillar Rocks :)

We also saw the golf course from outside and its pretty much like any other golf courses,nothing exceptional.Close to it is the Green valley view, but unfortunately because of cloud the valley was not visible.Also the place is too much crowded with shops.

Golf Course

Next we went till the entrance of Guna Cave also called devil's Kitchen, but did not went inside since we were really not interested into walking too much.Also the place is dangerous in the sense that the caves is slippery and steep so there can be chances of hurting oneself.

Our next spot was Liril Falls, yes where the famous Liril soap commercial advertisement was shot.Its a very small waterfall but a damn cute one.

Liril Falls

Liril Falls

We also passed by the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory but later came to know that during the off peak season, the observatory is open to public only on Fridays and that too only in morning.

From there we went to Dolphin's nose.The road is very narrow and no proper parking facility is available,so the place is really not too tourist friendly.To see the rock one needs to walk down 2 km, so we just dropped the plan.Interestingly we saw a shop that has something written all on it in some unknown language.We asked the shopkeeper and he told us that its Hebrew. So we were a little inquisitive and asked him why Hebrew ? He told us that during the winter months a lot of Israelis come to Dolphin's Nose and stay here for months. So he has written in Hebrew to facilitate them.

Fruit bearing orchard at Dolphin's Nose

Fruit bearing orchard at Dolphin's Nose


Next we went to Fairy Falls.The falls is inside the government horticulture department premises.Just like Liril Falls this one is also small but beautiful,nice place for selfie takers.We skipped Bear Shola Falls since there was no water this time of the year.

Wild flowers

Wild flowers

Wild flowers

We saw the pine forest on the way to Upper Lake view.Since we had already see pine forests before and all are pretty same we drove straight to Upper Lake view and then back to hotel.

Upper Lake View

We kept Berijam lake for the next day but then we dropped it. In case  you are interested in Berijam let me tell you the authorities allow only 25 private vehicles per day. The gate opens at 9:30 am but you need to be in queue from 7 am.The permit is issued from the entrance gate. The lake is 21 km inside from the gate and passes through the "Shola" or rain forests.If you are lucky you might see gaur,peacocks and deer.Its a part of the Silent Valley National Park.In one blog I saw someone had seen a sand boa.

But then what is so special about Berijam lake that only 25 vehicles are allowed ?It can't be because of the Shola Forest. 25 seems a very small and strict number.On asking locals we came to know the actual fact. The lake is the land of "Magic Mushrooms".So what are magic mushrooms? They are very rare mushrooms and is nature's reply to LSD! yes they are high hallucinating agents and are natural.They are only found in three places on Earth and Berijam is one of them.

It was a great trip, having a good mix of luxury and suspense. Incase you are also planning I am dotting down the places in and around Kodaikanal.

Silver Cascade Falls
Kodaikanal Lake (must)
Byrant's Park
Cloaker's Walk (must)
Pillar Rocks (must)
Golf Course
Green Valley View
Solar Observatory
Guna Cave
Dolphin's Nose
Liril Falls
Fairy Falls
Upper Lake View
Lower Lake View
Bear Shola Falls

Some more pictures of Kodai lake

Some more pictures of Kodai lake

Some more pictures of Kodai lake

Some more pictures of Kodai lake

Some more pictures of Kodai lake





2 comments:

  1. Happy marriage anniversary to both of you. Nice write up and lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much Darshan, it was such a pleasure to have your wishes :)

      Delete

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