Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kodaikanal : A trip unplanned - part 2

... Continued from here

The next day was even more great. The previous night itself we booked a cabwala to take us around the hills. So, we got up early and what greeted us was a very thick cover of mist all over the place. The place where we stayed is just opposite the bus-stand, which is by far the busiest place in the town. Still, the presence of mist made the place look very beautiful. To add to it, there was a slight drizzle too. Had hot tea and stepped into the maruti omni to start the sight seeing trip. Soon, the cab got into the narrow steep and dwindling roads of kodai.

View of the bus terminus from our room
The first spot that we went is Coaker's walk, which is a walking track bordering the mountain, from where you can see the entire valley. If you are lucky, you can see that actually you are standing above the clouds. It will look like an ocean over which you are standing. A stunning sight to start your day with. Then, we went to an ancient church and then to a park nearby. The park was fully covered with the mist and the dew drops/raindrops were all over the plants. Spent sometime there and went to the usual places like Pillar Rock, Suicide Point, had the usual corn, hot tea, bhajji etc etc...

Standing over the clouds - Coaker's walk
It was close to noon when we went to the Guna Caves, the place where the movie 'Guna' was shot. This is a very steep, dangerous and slippery cluster of rocks, which is prohibited for the public to go through. Still, many guys have mend the fence and got in, only to lose their lives. We went to a place above this cave. Even this path was terrifying, narrow and slippery in some places. We somehow got to the top. Once you are in the top the view from there is absolutely stunning. This place is dangerous too, as there is 90degree fall here. The mountain seemed like cut out precisely. So, with utmost caution we walked through the slippery path covered with leaves and tree roots. With the wetness and the engulfed mist, the whole place looked haunted.

Haunted place - Guna caves
Then we came back to the cab and proceeded towards the pine forest, saw a big and healthy horse and went for a ride into the forest. Finished the usual ritual of buying the tea bags and finally reached the very famous lake. Took a boat and went for a ride. Once out of this lake, we hired the bicycle. Another famous thing about Kodai is the bicycle being let out for hire. The lake is bordered by well laid out road and you can go on a ride in this road with the hired cycle. You can even use it for your personal use and roam around kodai town. But, nobody can steal it and cross the limit, as these cycles have a distinct color and you would be caught easily.

By the time we finished the cycle ride, we realized that we were running late for the train. Came back rushing to the room, packed our things, reached the bus stand and after a lot of struggle got the seats. Reached Madurai around 10PM, finished our dinner and got into the train. Fortunately for us, our tickets got confirmed.

Thus ended a remarkable trip. Remarkable for the fact that everything went wrong for us in the beginning and the plan went for a toss. Still we had a memorable trip for the surprises it held for us. At that time, we didnt know whether we would have had such a good time even if we had gone by our original trip of Manjolai (which we did. Will be posted later)

Points to Note

* Kodaikanal is very close to Madurai. Buses and cabs are available from Madurai/Dindukkal.
* The closest rail head is 'Kodai Road'.
* If you are taking a cab from 'Madurai or Dindukkal, check with the driver whether he possesses any permission to enter the forest deparment's area. Some drivers may possess it and this place will be good.
* Once into Kodai, tourist cabs are available in plenty. Negotiate with the driver for the charge. Check with a couple of people before settling for one. Here too, check with the driver whether he has any permission to go into the forest department's area
* Staying options are available in plenty.
* You can spend upto 3-4 days in Kodai, if you plan to go for some adventurous trekking trips and forest camps. These has to be arranged in advance, as these require permission from the forest department

1 comment:

Shriya said...

Nice blog post
you can see some of my kodaikanal pictures at http://www.kodaikanalhotels.com/
Best regards