My wish had always been to go on vacation to a hill station in the hot summer months of May and June. He had been to very few hill stations and Kodaikanal is one of them. The scenes of Kodaikanal or Kodai are still alive in my mind, since very recently I had the opportunity to take a trip to this exotic place. Kodai is a hill station located at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level in the Palani Hills in the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu in southern India. The description of the place is very dear to my heart, from the point of view of an ordinary man as opposed to a professional writer and is very personal with little exaggeration and more hypnotism. I got off at Coimbatore airport at 10:30 am and drove to my dream destination. When we entered the mountainous area, everything around us changed so suddenly and seemed very different. The eye of a traveler would not miss the changes so subtle but so real and exciting –
- The rapid fall of mercury from a very hot muggy temperature to a cool and pleasant climate.
- Green, green and green everywhere, like a hipster who painted everything green.
- The cool breeze that sends shivers down your spine and softens the strands on your forehead.
- The zigzag and winding roads that seem to never stop and trigger vertigo, until you reach your destination (hotel).
The green and panoramic views evoke many euphoric expressions on the traveler’s face. When I arrived at my hotel, the light drizzle and the calm atmosphere intrigued me. The beautiful and magnificent hills stood magnanimously among evergreen trees and plants that represented vitality and vigor. Flowering flowers and fruits were messengers of joy and enchantment. All the elements of nature converged in a unique priceless beauty. One has to witness the bounty of nature to believe it.
With few differences in pronunciation, the meaning of the word Kodaikanal in the Tamil language ranges from “gift of the forest”, “the summer forest”, “the forest of creepers” and “the end of the forest”. Whatever the meaning, it’s just forest everywhere: meadows, meadows, eucalyptus, pear trees, and more. The must-see places that made my heart skip a beat.
- Kodai Lake, An artificial lake that extends over an area of 5 to 6 km created in 1863, it is a popular landmark and the main tourist attraction. The Kodaikanal Yacht Club rents 2- and 4-seater pedal boats, which is the favorite pastime of most tourists. Walking, biking, and horseback riding on the trail that borders the lake are the other activities that tourists can do and that help them achieve two objectives: to be in good health and to enjoy the beautiful hills that surround them. A variety of shops surrounding the star-shaped lake sell woolen clothing, stuffed toys, medicinal herbs and oils, homemade chocolates, fruits, and a wide variety of other accessories.
- A botanical garden called Bryant park located east of Lake Kodai the tourist itinerary is never lost. It derives its name from the forestry officer, HDBryant, who built it in 1908. The park with its many species of flowering plants, dahlias, delphiniums, French Mary gold, antirrhinum, verbena, celosia and pansies is a feast for the eyes of all. flower lovers. . The park boasts of a picturesque landscape with different varieties of ornamental plants, cacti and shrubs. The nominal entrance fee attracts many tourists, as well as locals who celebrate the summer festival in the month of May. Various cultural programs and dance and song competitions are held which again is a great tourist attraction, since one enjoys these programs sitting in the lush green grass. Bryant Park is a great picnic spot, as buses that travel regularly from nearby locations draw crowds of locals who come there for a picnic or partake in these cultural activities.
- A paved road called Coaker walk Built by Lieutenant Coaker in 1872 it appears to be an endless uphill hike. It winds around Mount Nebo, offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills and the city below. An observatory with a telescope, located halfway along the hike, offers a view of the ancient village of Kodai. The vendors that line the promenade offer a great variety of exquisite products. The luscious bright orange carrots along with their green stalks stop the climb, demanding a short break.
- Pillar rocks they are huge masses of charconite stone and granite rocks at a height of 500 feet. A flower garden located at this point is fascinating. The caves beneath these rocks are a safe haven for many endangered species such as the crested serpent eagle, black eagle, and honey bazard.
- Devil’s kitchen goldguna caves They are giant rock cave formations. Tourists are now unable to get a view of these natural caves, due to previous tragic suicide incidents.
- Green tip of the valley or previously called suicide point provides an excellent view of the plains below. Past suicide incidents led to the construction of wire mesh around this point that serves as a barricade so that adventurous tourists will not venture further. The commercial stores that line the stairs are another great attraction.
- Enchanting waterfalls and cascading streams like the Waterfall Silver Falls, Bear Shola Falls and Pambar Falls There are other must see places in Kodai.
- Kurunji Andavar Temple which houses the deity Lord Murugan is one of the famous Hindu temples. A hundred years Church of La Salette It is another tourist spot, full of tourist activity and is a testament to the widely prevalent Christian culture.
- Pine forests which are largely depicted in many South Indian films are a symbol of height and breadth of growth in the words of a poet.
- Sai Shruti Ashram Overlooking Lake Kodai provides a calm and serene environment. Once a summer abode of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the entrance to this ashram puts the mind and body to rest. The shallow steps lead to the mandir where regular bhajans are performed.
- Kodai is a wonderful place for tourists interested in trekking. The rich flora and fauna makes Lake Berijam another exotic lake located deep in the forest in the upper Palani foothills and requires permission from the forest department. Due to the humid climate I had few opportunities to trek or visit this lake.
- The guides never fail to mention the 500 year tree, with its thick trunk.
- Homemade chocolates, eucalyptus oil, herbal oils, herbal teas, coffee, and a wide variety of fruits such as plums, pears, figs, avocados, peaches, grapes, etc. they occupied a definite place on the shopping list.
As my heart yearns for more, I decided to return soon.