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Old 15th July 2010, 13:34   #1
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Default vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!

After the V-Tour and a trip to madurai on separate occasions last month.. (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ella-trip.html (Bangalore Kanyakumari Rameshwaram Trichy Bangalore - One Hella Trip !!!!!)) my toe started to yearn for more of the NH-7's glory. A quick chat with manager and 2 days before and after weekoffs to suffice my senses. 6 days in the basket to spend and now the question was where to ?
Options were ::

1. Kanchipuram - Mahabalipuram (possibly golden temple too)
2. Kodaikanal.


Went with family's decision on Kodai as we had an option to stay at BSNL holiday home. Started on the night of 9th by about 11 pm. With my Hella's aiding my GT40 tear through the darkness, I decided to stick to NH-7 for a smooth drive throughout. Mom and I used to be against night driving but I'd say with an extra step of precaution and NH-7 being a 2 lane (one side) highway it was worth the drive. I have been doing this stretch since the first time I owned my GT40 about 2007 Nov and I have been keeping a constant eye on the development on the NH-7. I can't even compare the road condition of what the NH-7 was before and what it has turned out to be now!! The worst stretch was between Salem and Namakkal which was potholed and pimply like a teenagers face. As aptly quoted in many newspapers and magazines the NH-7 has turned out to be a lifeline running from Varanasi all the way down to Kanyakumari.

I have been to Yercaud and Ooty both are commercialized. Kodai may have a similar plight but not as bad fast as the former two options. We reached Batlagundu by about 7AM with 1 hour of break time and waited for the next group to arrive from Trichy. (My grandparents, uncle and aunt). They had recently purchased a Tata Indigo LX and it was their first trip hence, this trip was all the more of a test of Indigo and Ford in the ghats. I'd say the Indigo fared well (considering it a 2004 make) and my ford did pretty good except for a clicking noise in the rear left wheel which occured only when making a right turn. I had the wheel bearings changed as the mechanic @ kodai determined and showed me the irregularity in the old bearing and that did no good whatsoever. Anyway I managed to tread along the different places of sightseeing.

Day 1 ::
Enroute, we stopped by the Silver Cascade falls. Serene and beautiful with a small park. After the first stop for half hour we left for kodai. Time to settle down and unpack. The holiday home was booked in advance and we had two 2BHK houses to use. So the two families unpacked the luggage and starting planning on places for sightseeing. The first day spent at the Kodai lake. I went boating with my brother (paddle boat) and the older folks on a row boat to get an experience of boating. Then they went shopping. Next it was time to visit the famed pillar rocks. Truly an enchanting image, we got to see just two of the three pillars due to excessive mist. The place in itself was magical. The lovely winding roads begs one to take on the curves by the sleeve and clip the apex with precision. ( this takes a lot of experience ) and understanding of what lies ahead and be prepared for any situation.

Some teasers ::

The two Boeings.... Or were they Boings !!

vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-indigo.ikon.jpg

Magnificence unravelled
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-first.glimpse.jpg

The first Waterfall
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-silver.cascade.jpg

Winding roads
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-winding.roads1.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-winding.roads2.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-winding.roads3.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-winding.roads4.jpg

Boating at Kodai Lake
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-kodai.lake.jpg

Pillar Rocks
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-pillar.rocks.jpg

Flower Garden at Pillar Rocks
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-flower.garden.pillar.rocks..jpg

Planning the next visit
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-deciding.nxt.spot.jpg

Day 2 and 3 to continue ______
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Old 15th July 2010, 15:04   #2
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Default Day 2 - More Sight-Seeing

Day - 2

How glued have we become to the luxury and comforts that the space age technology has to offer. Mechanical life in bangalore. Cellphones ringing. Login, logout, break, lunch dinner sleep. Time to get out of this pandora's box and get the healing touch of nature.
There is a lot of difference in Bangalore's cool weather and Kodai's chillness. Hit the bed early after a spicy supper of Veg Pulao made of Basmati rice. After a shivering cold night and a sound sleep, it was time to review the next day's iteniary. What do we have for today ::

1. Coakers Walk.
2. Pillar Rocks ( Second Round )
3. Flower Garden.
4. Provision Shopping.

First we headed to the Fabled Coakers Walk. At the first moment I thought it would be pretty much similar to the "Gents seat" view at Yercaud or the Doddabetta in Ooty. But the Coakers walk is one of a kind and the mightiness of the Kodai's hilly ranges can only be felt rather than putforth a statement about it. We walked along slowly capturing all the huts perched on the terraced landscape. The huts resembled tiny toys and the automobiles looked like bugs in a maze. My Brother went crazy and purchased a whistle that sounds like a Myna or a cuckoo one end to blow into and the other has a lever to adjust the tone of the whistle. Also the jackets and pullovers were pretty cheap.
Once we reached the end of the Coakers walk pathway, we decided to have Ice-Cream. All of my family went for the either the stick or the cup ice cream. I went for the cone with mixed flavor. Trust me it was a goodie good choice and I relished as i sat on the ledge with the clouds passing ever so gently. What a relief. It makes you feel lighter.

We headed back to pillar rocks but this time took a different route which passed by the Guna caves. But the problem now was it was Sunday and there were a lot of tourist buses all along and I somehow chugged along and reached Pillar Rocks. But Alas the mist had played its trick on me again. The valley was covered and everyone hung on to the grill as if they were expecting a visitor to shoo off the mist to catch a glimpse of the Gigantic Pillar Rocks. Anyway, better luck next time was all we could say and headed towards the shopping bazaar or Sandhai (a Sunday bazaar) as it s called in tamil. Purchased some vegetables for the next day and headed home. We thought we had seen the best of Kodaikanal but one had no idea what was in store for us the following day....

To be contd...

Coakers Walk

vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-coakers.walk1.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-coakers.walk2.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-coakers.walk3.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-coakers.walk4.jpg

Panoramic View (by a Samsung S5322 phone)
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-panoramic.view.coakers.walk.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-panoramic.view.2.coakers.walk.jpg

Tummy Treat - End of Coakers Walk
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-tummy.yummy.jpg

Flower Garden At Pillar Rocks
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-flower.garden.jpg
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-flower.garden.2.jpg

Back to Pillar Rocks
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-again..pillar.rocks.jpg
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Old 16th July 2010, 22:12   #3
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Default Mid-Year Monsoon Retreat ... Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills.

All of us were excited and happy with the memories of day 2. The third day of stay neared after a deep slumber and we didn't have any such places on the itineary. With grandparents in the convoy we had to visit a place where we could relax, so temple it was. We ( my uncle and I ) woke up late but the rest were already up by 6am. I wondered whats the point of waking up early in the morning even when you're at Kodai. The rebuttal looked like this " Whats the point of taking a vacation, being in kodai and continuing the tradition of waking up late ?". Well they had a valid point. Got refreshed soon and first was the task of changing the rear left wheel bearings which took the entire morning. We left by about 2pm and I hoped the fix was permanent and it wasn't the clicking noise continued. But my ford soldiered on and the distance to temple was just 2 km from the holiday home. The Diety is Lord Murugan ( similar to Palani) and we got to know from teh temple priest there the following ::

1. Palani hill is visible from the temple.
2. The Kurinji flower blooms once in 12 years and the next bloom at 2018.

We stayed till the mist cleared from the Valley and we got a glimpse of the Palani Hill. Took a few snaps using Cell camera as I had forgotten to get my digicam . Next it was time to visit Bear shola falls as that was also 2 kms from kodai lake. Little did I realise that the falls was right behind the holiday home where we stayed. I suggested that we go back to the junction where the display board says 2 km to bear shola falls, followed the route and navigated back to our
holiday home what a kicker !!

A 10 minute walk from the holiday home and we'd be at the water falls. Had I known this on teh first day. I'd have spent more time at this falls and visited almost everyday. Anyway, we spent the evening at the falls, dipped our feet in freezing waters but it was fun. There is also a narrow pathway to go up the falls for a bath. As it was late evening and it looked like it was about to shower we left for home. Time to have supper. Spicy hot "Upma" or "Khara Bath" (known in kannada.) After dinner we started packing up. We were lucky enough to get a heater for the third night of stay as my grandparents were yearning for one (as they were used to the other extreme only- Trichy heat). But my family are used to the chilly Bengaluru weather so it wasnt an overkill. Next morning all were ready to go by 9am and we had breakfast at Meenakshi Bhavan. Not great as compared to other branches of this hotel but this one would be a treat for south indian food lovers. Well time to get back in the loop of Bangalore tech-life. I hope to be back with a new travelogue sometime soon next mid-month, Until then Adios!!

Last set of pictures. Some of them clicked using a G-Five Mobile.

Valley views from the Kurinji Aandavar Temple
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The Palani temple can be seen in between two trees as a reference, in the following photo ::
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Bear Shola Falls
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Rat Tail Falls ( Yeli Vaal Arivi ) - Enroute Silver cascade falls
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-rat.tail.falls.jpg

Kodai Hills -Last shot as we were descending to Batlagundu
vMid-Year Monsoon Retreat ...Kodaikanal - Queen of the hills !!-hills.during.descent.jpg
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Old 16th July 2010, 22:26   #4
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Hey lancerfx

it seems you had a great time at Kodai., it seems another 4 days of activities, narration, pictures pending.
look forward to it.

thanks for sharing.
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Old 16th July 2010, 23:38   #5
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Default Trip Stats

Forgot to add the trip stats ::


*****************************
Trip Stats ::
*****************************

Total passengers :: 4 (including driver - myself)
Transport :: GT40 ( Ford Ikon 1.8D)
Destination :: Kodaikanal
Fuel consumed during the trip :: 45 lts
Total distance covered :: 1000 kms.
Average FE :: 22.3kmpl
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Old 17th July 2010, 18:37   #6
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You got to see water in Rat tail falls! I did not get see any! Nice log.
Was it raining? It would have been even better then.

Also did you climb up from Palani or from Dindigul?
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Old 17th July 2010, 18:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Also did you climb up from Palani or from Dindigul?
I think he must have taken Dindigul route as he spoke more about NH7..etc.

Yes, seems he (I mean they) had a fantastic fun trip. Looking for more pics.
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Old 20th July 2010, 12:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
You got to see water in Rat tail falls! I did not get see any! Nice log.
Was it raining? It would have been even better then.

Also did you climb up from Palani or from Dindigul?
Hello Amere :: I was able to spot the Rat Tail falls.

Long Drive lover :: I did take the NH7 all the way to Dindigul and then via Batlagundu toward Kodai.
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Old 20th July 2010, 13:44   #9
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Loved the picture named "Maginificence Unravelled".Good TL
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Old 21st July 2010, 10:44   #10
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Nice pictures and writeup.
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Old 21st July 2010, 13:24   #11
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Hey lancersfx few queries here

1) Is the BSNL holiday home of public or only BSNL employees ?
2) Cost on BSNL holiday home for 2BHK?

Coakers Walk - seems to be a sunny day when you visited, you should be luck. I been here almost like 6 to 7 times but was only lucky twice.

They day 2 photos are better that day 1 and 3, any reason or different cameras?
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