I never thought that visiting a place for a second time can be such a different experience. I have been to Kodaikanal two years back with a gang of 8 guys, which meant buffoonery galore. This time it was a little different as the ratio was 2 guys and 2 gals, which meant *RESPONSIBILITY* and no boys talks and watch your tongue and don’t stare at other girls. 🙂
For starters, Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill-station situated in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu in India. It is situated amongst the Palani Hills in the Western Ghats and is an ideal summer retreat.
So, Kodaikanal happened yet again because we panicked. There was news floating around that we might be transferred from Chennai anytime and thus we just wanted to visit the places which were left out ASAP. As I had already visited the hill station, so no one bothered to ask me whether I wanted to go or not. I HAD TO GO. PERIOD. 😐
The train left Chennai on 28 March, 2008. Everything was quite similar to the Vizag trip, except that this time Vidya made an extra dish for the dinner on wheels and we were nearly killed by the autorikshaw driver who was still under the hangover of Dhoom2. Just for the record, we just missed a head on collision with a local bus by inches.
Our night journey was quite uneventful as our fellow passengers were just dying to sleep as soon as the train left the Chennai Egmore station at 9.30 pm. So, we ate our lunch dinner hurriedly and the lights were switched off at 10.30 p.m. 😐
We landed on Kodaikanal Road Station at 5.30 am and started our 2 hours journey to the hillstation by road. The weather was upbeat and cold and several waterfalls and mist clad mountains made appearance as we steadily moved up towards the hillstation munching cheese balls. Our driver took himself to be a James Bond clone and was driving as if 5 cars were chasing us. He gave me this incredulous look when I offered him the cheese balls as if I have committed some unbelievable crime. We readied ourselves for the day ahead in our hotel and had hot tea before we started our endeavor. Our first stop was the famous Punjabi restaurant where we had Golith sized spicy, yummy, mouthwatering and unforgettable paranthas. Then followed a visit to the beautiful local Church followed by the Liril falls. Here we trekked a lot to reach accessible viewpoints of the falls which were quite breathtaking, to say the least. Spotless water gushing through the lush green grass and erratic boulders under the cover of a soft mist. Priceless!!!
Next we moved on to see the Bear Shola falls, the dolphin nose and the Echo Point. The fog was quite thick by now and all we could see around was “Tide jaisi safedi”, and a few scattered trees peeking out of the fog as if trying to show us the way ahead. At the Bear Shola falls, Vidya and myself witnessed the daredevil act by Atipriya and Lokesh who climbed up the rocks like monkeys to reach the top of the falls. Atipriya almost slipped at one point and I could not imagined what would have happened if she would have swooshed down with the running water and hit the couple from behind, who were standing at the foot of the falls and smiling into the camera(I can imagine the photograph. 😆 ). The Dolphin nose, which is a very dangerous point, is a rock protruding out of the mountain and hanging in midair. If you fall from there in the chasm below, your body won’t be found for sure. We found a newly wed couple sitting at the tip of the Dolphin nose munching Uncle chips. It just reminded me of a scene in Baazigar in which Shilpa Shetty is thrown off the terrace. I wondered if the guy is in the mood of doing something like that? We stared at them for a good 10 minutes before they realised that they are not sitting in the drawing room of their house and stood up. Before we could reach the Nose and take snaps, another gang of 40 people tumbled upon us and all we could manage was some snaps here and there with 10 people standing behind us. 😐
Echo Point is an equally dangerous spot as there is no fencing to buffer your fall. It was too engulfed in fog and we sat on the protruding rock for sometime before trekking back up through the tree roots filled pathway. The evening was spent by taking a boat ride in the Kodai lake for a good one hour and singing some forgotten, unmentionable hindi songs and later chatting on a bench besides the lake watching the swift sunset.
Next day, after taking the morning tea and a South Indian breakfast we landed in Coakers walk. The walkway gives a picturesque view of the valley and the clouds were so thick that day that it felt as if we were walking on them. The Kodai Lake view point and the Pine forest followed soon and we found ourselves singing “Jaan-e-jaan” in the forest and taking a lot of “Orkut” snaps, as we call them. After the Pine Forest we went to Silent Valley view (which according to me is the best viewpoint in Kodaikanal. Here we were fortunate enough to see the fog dissolve and to view the deep valley below), Guna Caves (Which was a waste of time as the caves are all fenced and you can’t go inside), Pillar Rocks ( Which were again engulfed in fog and made a very brief special appearance for a minute. Here we tried the combination of Lokesh’s cowboy hat and Atipriya’s goggles with disastrous results), the Chettiar Park and the Kurinji Andavar temple. Finally we reached back to the Kodai lake for a quick round of the 5 k.m. track around the lake on bicycles.
Soon it was time to call curtains to our two days trip and we packed our bags in the evening and left for the station leaving behind this mesmerising, beautifully cold hill station taking with us a truckload of home made Kodai special chocolates, marsh mellows and Gulkand. 🙂
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