April 13, 2007

Peace and Tranquility - Some call it Kodaikanal

This remains my most memorable trip from IIMB. Done after our Second Term on campus, it made me unwind completely for the first time after entering the campus.
It all started with a bracket message from Vicky. Jimmy and he were in his room deciding on a day long trip to Nandi Hills. I was bugged and bored to death at Blore. I was ready to go anywhere. Suddenly while I was having tea at the mess with didi, Vicky called up to ask if I were ready for a trip to Kodaikanal. I asked him who all were going. When he told me that it was just 5 of us including Jimmy, Ksheetij and Prasanth, there was no looking back.

We started at around 7:30 from IIM B; Vicky almost logically taking over the role of the cashier, or as Jimmy says ‘Uncle’ J The 5 of us had our seats in the same coupe and it was great. We started off with Dumb Cs, went into Antakshari. There was this foreigner who was travelling in the same compartment upto Dindigul. I have seen very few foreigners as cute as her. She was not beautiful. Just cute in some strange sort of way.

Anyway, we got down at Kodai Road and booked a taxi to take us to Kodaikanal. Our driver Madhan was a very nice person. Smiling and nice to talk to. He was well versed in English and Hindi and hence it was not a problem to communicate with him. The road till we were on the plains reminded me of the Haryana Highways on the way to BITS. The climb up the mountains was amazing. You could actually feel the freshness as you went up. Life seemed so simple and everything that was around seemed so pure.

We could actually see the mist rising up the mountains as we slowly moved up the hill on beautiful roads. Lucky that it was the off-season as the usual crowd of stupid and ignorant tourists were not to be found. The first stop was at a view spot where something like a watchtower had been erected. Vicky had managed to get a digicam from Pushkar and I went crazy clicking from there. This was what I wanted to all my life. Be in a beautiful place and click nature to your heart’s content. Next we stopped at a waterfall on the way and Vicky and Jimmy started shopping. Prasanth surprisingly was the one who was always hungry on the trip and he got himself a new type of tomato to suck on J

Once in kodai, we hunted for a nice place to stay in and finally found J H Residency, a perfect place for us. We booked two rooms and asked Madhan to come and pick us up in one hour as we had asked him to be with us for both the days that we’d be at kodai.

We decided that it was not worth going sight seeing like usual tourists. So first we went on a trek to Dolphin’s Nose and then onward to Echo Rock. The route was tough and while sitting in Bangalore it seems odd that I actually did all that trekking. But maybe it was the magic in the air, the melting taste of the home made chocolates of Kodai in my mouth that actually helped me savour the beauty of the trip. We took our own time, stopping at odd places; taking diversions that led nowhere save from a beautiful flowering tree that marked the beginning of a steep edge.

At Dolphin Rock, I realized how small the human existence was in the grand scheme of things, in front of nature how puny man was. The only thing that helped him go ahead in life was his indomitable free spirit. We went on to Echo Rock and it was lovely hearing your own voice answering you back. The sound of the splashing water far far below us did not bother us to the least. After all, at times you feel one with the nature; especially if you come from a city that has forgotten that it itself owes its existence to nature.

The climb back was more difficult than we imagined. I was in fact so tired that Ksheetij (he’s such a darling) offered to carry my bulky jerkin and actually did it for more than half the journey up.

On our way to the dumdum falls, we stopped to buy homemade chocolates of all flavours. The Falls were great fun. Constant warnings from Madhan were unheeded and we happily went ahead with the aid of branches to reach the top of the falls. Seeing our enthusiasm Madhan suggested that we look at the falls a little farther down. This was one of the most difficult parts of the trek. Very few ever went here. I felt like an explorer setting his feet for the first time on a virgin forest. The rocks were slippery to say the least. There was almost no place to place your feet steadily. It was only a matter of time before I fell down completely. The others saved themselves this time J on Jimmy’s insistence we took a road up which can best be described as a vertical climb.

Even after lunch we were not satiated and went ahead to have a look at Bear Shola Falls. Only we know how we crawled and pulled ourselves up to reach where we finally reached. I called up mom from one of the highest places at Kodai and felt so nice and so at unison with nature.

After returning to the hotel, we decided to take a trip round the city and got a cycle for each of us. Before that we had gone boating and it had started raining. The rains had not made our paths any easier but at least the weather was cool and we were not drained of energy. As soon as we parked our cycles at Caker’s Walk, the drizzle changed into a torrential downpour. But we just went ahead drenched but feeling very satisfied. Nothing could be seen around us as mist covered everything and at times we had to call each other to make sure that no one was left behind.

After dinner, Prasanth wanted to sit at some nice quite place at the lake side. So we cycled on to find such a place. Vicky and Jimmy suddenly saw the skating ring lights to be on and we roller skated till 9:30 in the night. Only Ksheetij knew some amount of skating. None of us did, but that or the continuous falls never stopped us. After that we cycled around the entire kodai lake. We never had any idea that it had a perimeter of more than 7 kms. We cycled to our heart’s content, came back to the hotel, saw Blade and then just plopped down on the bed.

Next day we went to Berijam Forest, St. Peter’s church, Pillar rock, a couple of other views and Bryant’s park. It was really upsetting to see how some tourists dirtied a natural beauty spot. Some shopping was also done and we returned back to the Kodai Road station, waiting for our train to Blore, happy and satisfied and ready for the next term.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice...

by
Travels in kanyakumari,Travels in munnar (Babu : +91-9791392717)

Anonymous said...

Friend, Can i have the Contact Number of that J H residency

Thanks
rajesh

Madhurjya Banerjee said...

Sorry Rajesh. tried Searching for it but must have misplaced it.

Anonymous said...

is j h residency a safe place for young couples to reside??
thanks
rakesh

Madhurjya Banerjee said...

Hi Rakesh,

it was a nice place in 2007. 4.5 years have passed since then. So I recommend you do check it out yourself before confirming