2nd and 3rd of July, 2016: After the waterfall overdose at Courtallam, it was time for us to head towards another exotic place in Tamil Nadu – Kodaikanal! Kodaikanal was a little over 230 km from Courtallam and we decided to ride comfortably and reach there before sundown. We got fresh and had breakfast at one of the south Indian hotels on Courtallam main road and then started off. We had Ayyanar falls a small distance off the road near Rajapalayam, but decided to give it a miss then as we had already seen a lot of falls at Tirparappu and Courtallam and also it was a weekend which meant heavy rush. The road from Courtallam to Kodaikanal was good for most of the distance. Kodaikanal was about 50 km up the Western Ghats and we stopped for a break at the foot of the hills, which we had to ride up to reach Kodaikanal. The curves up the road looked scintillating and we were excited about the ride up the hill. As we were riding up to Kodaikanal, my friend Ganga started feeling very cold and we took another break to wrap ourselves better, not to mention the few other breaks we took to… you know why! We also clicked a lot of photos on the way up the hills and it was fantastic.
Finally we were welcomed into Kodaikanal by the Silver Cascade falls, which were very high but the flow was not much as it was not proper rainy season yet. Nevertheless, it was a relieving sight and we spent some time there clicking photos and having snacks before we went ahead and checked in to Snooze Inn, where we had booked a room on GoIbibo. It was the first time I saw a hotel room without a fan – and there was absolutely no need for one as it was already super cold. We immediately made arrangements for hot water and took some much needed rest after the long ride that day. Later in the evening, we walked up and down the Bazaar street window shopping and then had mutton biryani at an Irani hotel which was a small distance further up from Snooze Inn. We had little difficulty securing our bike as Snooze Inn had no parking facility but we managed to keep it safe for the night.
The next morning we got ready before sunup and headed out to explore Kodaikanal. The first and nearest attraction was the Kodaikanal lake. It was a beautiful lake with relatively clean water, boating facility and lush greenery all around it. And to our delight, there was also a road around the lake and we thought no further but just went ahead riding along the road. But the beauty of the lake wouldn’t let us ride without stopping by and admiring it, so we obliged and clicked loads of pictures. We also realized that we had seen that lake in a few movies, only that we never knew it was at Kodaikanal!
And who can miss the bright red beauty of a bike I was riding against the blue and green background scenery! A group of guys from Coimbatore and Tirupur who were walking and cycling around the lake stopped by and enquired about my bike and also took a short ride on it. We made friends with them and were also invited to a small double birthday treat they had planned for two of them. We were delighted and spent some time with the group talking about our travel and the bike.
How many ever strangers I met on my rides, all said the same thing – I’m doing something they’ve always wanted to do and I should do all of it before getting married 😛 . We had a good time with the group and then rode ahead to the next spot – Guna caves. On the way to Guna caves, we passed by large fields, cascading houses and a golf course! We were tired and hungry by the time we reached the caves and first had some bread omelette and mushroom soup at one of the many food stalls there. Mushroom varieties are famous at Kodaikanal and it was the first time I had mushroom and it was good. We then walked up a small hill which leads to Guna caves, but the cave was closed so we just took a few pictures and returned.
The roads in Kodaikanal were new laid that time and were fantastic for riding around. We next visited Bear Shola falls. There was no water fall at that time but the path that leads to Bear Shola falls was exciting as we had to walk through dense greenery on either side and also a few flowering plants. There were also several paths for trekking on the hill along the way to Bear Shola falls. We went to the place of the falls and returned. It was a lovely place for a picnic and would’ve been great fun if we had more friends with us then.
After spending some time at the location of Bear Shola falls, we next rode towards Bryant park. After Bryant park, we just wandered around for some time and found some school kids playing cricket at one of the grounds. We sat by the ground for sometime and watched the game and later proceeded to our room at Snooze Inn.
We took rest for a while and then headed to Fairy falls, which was also dry, but the location of the falls was beautiful with many flowering plants around and also a flower farm just beside the falls (or rocks with no falls). There was a small place where we could pay and play games but they only had archery and cricket so we tried cricket for a while and then rode to the pillar rocks – another fantastic attraction at Kodaikanal. The pillar rocks were two huge tall rocks standing adjacent to each other with greenery all around. We got a very good view of the rocks and then rode to the ‘suicide point’ of Kodaikanal (as it was earlier called), which is now called the green valley view point. The approach road to the view point is full of shops selling home made chocolates and spices (there were so many shops selling home made chocolates) and we had a funny time with the monkeys at the view point. The suicide point is now protected with a grille and railing. After visiting the view point, we just rode around Kodaikanal for some time, watched people playing gold for some time and then went back to our room and took rest for the day.
Kodaikanal was one of the most beautiful towns we had ever visited but we didn’t visit at the best time and I would love to be there again when the falls are in their full glory. Do get in touch if you ever plan to visit the place and have any queries or would like me to travel along 😉 . Have fun!