Saturday, October 2, 2010


Of major South Indian tourist places, Kodaikanal and Munnar were the places I had not yet visited but wanted to visit. So, after marriage, me and my wife decided to go to Kodaikanal on March 4th, 2010.

Kodaikanal is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India, situated on Palani Hills - Western Ghats Mountain Range. Similar to Ooty, Kodaikanal was developed by British for summer homes. Wherever one goes, he would only see mountains, valleys and pine forests.

As both of us didn't have any idea, we had booked a package tour through Travellers' Inn, with a delux cab for site seeing.

We arrived in Kodaikanl and put up at a cottage in Kodai Resort. After refresh, we started and La Salette church was the first place we visited. It's a centuries old church. We were not much interested in it, so quickly came out. Next place to visit was Bear Shola waterfall. It's, actually, a series of waterfalls amid hillock. Beyond third fall, there is a cave and people say there used to be a lion before 150 years! There was a pit-stop on our journey to next place to peek a tree beyond a metal fence, roughly 500 years old. It looks large enough for such an old tree. We went to Mountain Beauty after. We liked the foot-path to reach this place as much as the place itself. This place has a very beautiful view of the mountain range. From there we just trekked to Dolphin Nose. It's a shape formed by rock at the cliff's edge.

By the time we were back to hotel it was over 3 pm and we were starving. Day ended strolling in Kodaikanal. Except breakfast on the day of arrival, we had food all other times till leaving Kodaikanal in a veg hotel near Kodaikanal main bus stand. I don't remember the name but it's just opp to bus stand and 10 min walk from our hotel Kodai Resort. All along we used to see carrots sold on roads. These carrots were very fresh and sweet.

Day two started with Upper lake view. Here we were told the center lake of Kodaikanal - Kodai lake - was not natural but man-made lake. We then went to see pine forest. This is one of the most sought place for movie shooting. I thought I had seen the place many times in different movies! Moir's point was our next place of visit. It's a monument in respect of Sir Thomas Moir. I don't know much about him apart from "turned the first sod" which was carved in granite on the monument. We then went to Shanti Valley View. While coming to this point, we were thinking of places other than mountain views. But in Kodaikanal most of the tourist places are mountain views and one can't ask for something entirely different. This valley is also called suicide point and there is no doubt one who wants to commit suicide, dies. It is very steep. Further, we went to Guna Cave. I still do not know why it is called a cave as there was no cave of any sort. This was, again, a valley view but you need to trek a little in hillocks. Pillar Rocks was the next place of visit. Now this was quite different in the sense that the cliff is formed two rocky pillars.

We moved to Green Valley View after pillar rocks. This was very crowded and there were many shops selling locally crafted items and dry fruits along with various oils. There was a botanical park. My wife purchased some seeds for our gardening. Not many plants grew from it though! There were too many monkeys in Green Valley.

We did visit two temples - Jain Temple and Kurinji Andavar Temple. In Kurinji Andavar temple, one guy was selling flowers. He forced me to buy 6 small garlands, telling only Rs 10/-. He couldn't understand English or Hindi and I didn't know Tamil. I told him only 10 by showing my fingers for all the flowers. We went inside and the priest worshiped in our name and even before we started turning back, the priest took those flowers and gave to somebody. We thought same flowers might come outside to that seller again! When we came out, the seller started asking me 60/- as each costs 10/- I got angry and gave only 10/- and left the place. Everywhere in India, sellers cheat not only foreign nationals, but our countrymen also. Nothing wrong in Aamir Khan advertisement or Slumdog Millionaire.

After temple visits, we went to a botanical park called Chettiyar Park. We were told March was not the season. There were two many plants forming canopy and they were cut in various designs. Only lacking were flowers in large number. Next was Coaker's walk, which runs along the edge of a hillock facing Kodai Lake. Finally we went to Kodai lake and looking at the colour of the water, we decided against boating! I did a horse ride and it was awesome! There is a govt run botanical park near lake Bryant park. That was good to spend evening time.

We packed up and left Kodaikanal around 7pm.


Aravind GJ said...

Nice writeup!!

Brought back the memories of my Kodaikanal trip 5 years ago!!

Gowtham said...

Thanks Aravind! :-)