Bangalore Maduari Kodaikanal Road Trip Part 2
Next day, we started off with Masala dosas at the restaurant and I have to give it to the folks over here, they really know how to make the yummiest masala dosas! We take off for Kodaikanal from Madurai at 10:30, refuel our car and pump up the tyres. We followed the road towards Dindigual, on way we see a left signboard for Kodaikanal, we chase it, but fail to notice the final right turn, next to pertrol pump which directly leads to Kodaikanal and end up burning extra 15 km’s before we notice our folly.
We reached Kodaikanal at 1:00 and start calling up hotels. The trip meter stands at 577 KM’s. To our not-much-surprise, all the hotels either had zero availability or had posh rates associated with them. Hotel Tamilnadu then came to our rescue, we checked in one of their standard rooms which had Rs 1600 per day tariff. The staff here was extremely helpful and the manager at the reception answered just about all the queries I had and gave me a map and helped me fix up my itinerary completely. After getting all the info, we have our lunch at the restaurant and hop on to the bed our afternoon siesta.
We started our walk towards the lake at 5:10, and reach there at 5:35, but to our disappointment the ticket counter was closed right in front our eyes and were told that the counter is open till 5:30 only, sic. However, wherein lies disappointment, therein lies an opportunity. We decided to cycle around the lake and this was truly an amazing experience. And for a moment it felt like me and my wife were still dating! The traffic on the road did play a spoilsport couple of times. I strongly believe that all motor vehicle traffic should be stopped on this road.
An hour later, we started shopping around, Khyati found an amazing purse, chocolates and hair oil. After the exhilarating-empty-your-pocket shopping experience, we headed out for dinner. Tava was one place which was strongly recommended by people and we weren’t disappointed. The dal makhani here was truly lip-smacking. We reached back our room at 10. The cycle workout, had well, “worked out” and we doze off soon.
Next day after having the buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant, we head out for sightseeing. We start off towards Coakers walk and follow the road straight towards Pillars rock. Our first stop for the day is upper lake view, here you would get an incredible birds eye view of the lake, some one suggested it looks like map of India, though to me it looked more akin to amoeba. We drove next to pine forest, once you go in the forest, the shade brings in a 3 degree temperature drop, we met a group of enthusiastic guys over here, and they were more than willing to take pics for us, no matter how much time it took. Thank you guys! Next up was Berijam lake, but nobody was being allowed to go over there, we were later told that the public will be allowed to enter from next day only. Damn!
Our next stop was Guna caves, parking over here is a mess, a common thing just about every place we visited. There are roadside stalls which occupy half of the road and the other half is supposed to be used for two way traffic, not the best scenario especially when going uphill. Done with parking, once you walk to the top, you might be disappointed to find out that there is a huge fence which blocks your path towards the caves. But the moment you reach the fence and look down, you would surely appreciate the rationale behind that. The slope is quite steep from here on and full of peril. On the other hand, if you climb up to your right, you will surely find one of the most tranquil views of gigantic pillar rocks. From here, you would also get a view of Guna caves. With the cool halcyon breeze gently touching us, we just laid down over there for over an hour and have to really push ourselves to get up and move over to the next destination, which was the official view of the pillar rock. This wasn’t as amazing, considering the fact that we had already got a heavenly view already, and with just too many people at the “official” viewpoint, I decided to get out of this place at the earliest. Further up we went to Green Valley View, this one was more like nano commercial street, with several shops put up in a small compressed space. We didn’t find anything worth to see or buy over here, and left this place also pretty quickly.
Coakers walk was next, here we were greeted by crooks who wanted us to pay for a video camera when we only had still camera. Gash! We took the stand of not paying even a bit extra, and pretty soon they let us in. Coakers walk presents a great view of city for the complete walk. Done with Coakers walk, it was time to feed-the-stomach event, and without second thoughts, there was only one place we had to go to, Tava. We treated ourselves to Prathas this time around, but somehow the dal makhani we had here the other day was still had its taste in me and I couldn’t control the urge and ordered one dal makhani also.
Once the butterflies were made siletn, it was time do what we couldn’t do the other day, boating. We walked to the lake, got ourselves a ticket, and off we go. While boating, we notice one boat on the shore with a family being served with hot tea and snacks by the canteen guy who has his shop right on the shore. For all the opportunities life gives you, I wasn’t going to miss this one. By the time we reached over there, it had started to drizzle a bit, and soon we were boating while eating samosa and sipping hot tea with soft drizzle. It is that just this very moment, which is has made this trip one of the most memorable ones!
Done with boating, we went for another round of cycling, this time it was much better as there weren’t many folks driving and honking around the lake. We also tried our hands on double cycle, but weren’t much successful over there. After cycling we went back straight to our hotel and dozed off soon after having dinner.
We checked out next day at 10 and bid adieu to Kodaikanal at 10:15. Khyati took over driving from here on and she covered up the complete downhill impressing me again how quickly she has had picked up driving. Once we were down, I took over and we passed by Dindigul  at 12:30, Thoppur at 3:00. Here, my wife again took over driving and started clocking 120 K’s on her first highway outing itself!. She drove till Hosur where I took over again. We were at home at 5:30, much in advance of 7:00 PM target that we had set for us.which Khyati wanted to meet so that she could watch Roadies!
Here are the pics......