Day 1 – Beautiful Drive to a Beautiful Place
Our most anticipated day has come on April 11th, 2015. Both of us were excited about this trip. We packed everything the day before so that we could start early in the morning. We wanted to checkin to the hotel before 1 PM, so our plan to start from home was 3:00 AM. Getting up at 2.30 AM in the early morning is really the worst feeling but the thought of amazing journey made us feel better. We quickly got ready and started from home at 3.00 AM as planned. Our route for the day was Bangalore > Chamarajanagar > Sathyamangalam > Avinashi > Palani > Kodaikanal. Our first goal was to reach Chamarajanagar by 6.30 AM. Since traffic was very less in that early hours of the day, we could reach Chamarajanagar by 6.00 AM. No hotels were open by that time, so we decided to have breakfast later. The road from Chamarajanagar to Sathyamangalam ghat was amazingly beautiful. In that hot summer also, on both sides of the road there were lush green trees. The road was going through the dense forest of Sathyamangalam, where the famous bandit Veerappan once lived. Sathyamangalam ghat is one of the beautiful ghats. We could see huge mountains on one side of the road. The hair pin bends were steep, but the road was broad and very well maintained. The speed reduced drastically in the ghat section because there were many trucks travelling in that road. We were amused to see the skillful drivers driving their huge machines on that ghat section.
After Sathyamangalam ghat section, we entered the Sathyamangalam town which was fairly big. Most of the boards in the town were written in only Tamil, so we found it difficult to find a hotel for breakfast. After Sathyamangalam, we crossed few small villages and in one of the small hotels, we parceled dosas for our breakfast. Though the hotel was very small, the quality of dosa was too good. After breakfast we continued our journey through series of villages. We have heard from people that the state highways of Tamil Nadu are very well maintained. That’s true. Throughout the journey, we never came across a single bad stretch. But, as expected, the weather was extremely hot. When we reached Palani (at 11.30 AM), we could see the famous Palani temple on top of the Palani hill. Both of us did not know that we would be able to get such a view of the temple. Palani town was bit crowded. When we entered the town, two people stopped our car and asked us to pay 60 Rs though in the receipt it was mentioned 50 Rs. We told him that we would not be visiting the temple but he told us even if we want to go to Kodaikanal from that route, we have to pay 60 Rs. There came the language problem. We could not argue with them and gave them 60 Rs though we were doubtful that the money might be for visiting Palani temple. After crossing the town, we reached the Palani-Kodai ghat section. At the base of the hill, there was a check post and the police checked the car documents and asked us to pay 15 Rs. He did not give any receipt and the money went directly into his pocket. Again we could not argue with him.
This ghat section also was very beautiful and unlike Sathyamangalam ghat, this was very less crowded. As we were climbing up the hill, the place started becoming more and more scenic. We could see huge green mountains throughout. The temperature started to decrease and the weather became pleasant. We could see the patches of clouds on the mountains. The ghat section was never ending and we did not want it to end also because it was that beautiful.
Silver Cascade Falls
As the ghat section was about to end and when we were about to enter Kodaikanal, there is a toll gate (I dont remember exactly how much we paid 😦 ). Immediately after the toll gate, there is Silver Cascade Falls. There was not much water but was more than what we expected. People were not allowed below the falls, however, we could see a closer view from the road itself. We took some photos and continued our journey.
After about 15 minutes from Silver Cascade falls, we entered the Kodaikanal city. The city was beautiful and was looking similar to that of Manali. The cloudy weather made the city look even more beautiful. The place was bit crowded as this was the season time for hill stations. Google maps did not help us in finding our hotel, so we called the hotel and they send a person to guide us. The cottage was very beautiful and worth the money that we spent. View from the balcony of our room was amazing. The weather was very cold. Both of us never expected such weather and felt happy to experience it. We slept for an hour and at around 3 o’clock, we had our lunch. At 4 o’clock, our actual trip began. As per the plan, we were supposed to visit the nearby places, Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, and Coaker’s walk. All these places are very close to each other and are within 5-6 km from our cottage.
- Entrance fee – 30 Rs/person and 50 Rs for camera
We first visited Bryant park. The park was heavily crowded. The disappointing thing about this park was the entrance fee. It was 30 Rs/person and 50 Rs for camera. Though the park was beautifully maintained, we felt that the entry fees bit costly. We spent some time there clicking photos of the flowers and making a brisk walk. Just outside the park, we could see the huge Kodai Lake.
Kodai Lake is one of the main attractions of Kodaikanal. The lake is huge and is very neat. Boating is the main activity here. Since the crowd was more, we did not go for boating. We just had a nice walk around this beautiful lake and returned from there.
- Timings – 7 AM to 7 PM
- Entrance fee – 10 Rs/person and 20 Rs for camera
I personally was very much interested in this place after looking at the images on Google. I wanted to visit this place both in the evening and in the morning to get different views. The entry fee was 10 Rs/person and 20 Rs for camera. It is a 1 km paved pedestrian path, on one side of which you can get a view of huge mountains. The view was awesome in the evening. We could get clear picture of number of mountains. On this 1 km stretch people, there are many shops. We bought churmuri from one of the shops which was very tasty. When it started to become dark, we decided to return from the place.
After returning from Coaker’s walk, we had a nice dinner at Astoria veg. When we were returning to the place where we parked our car, we saw that the clouds were literally floating in the city. Because of the wind, they were moving very fast. For the first time, we were experiencing this and this was the moment of the day for us.
The day was super awesome. We can never forget the journey through the dense forests, huge Kodai Lake, crowded Bryant Park, lush green mountains seen from Coaker’s walk, tasty food of Kodaikanal, and the floating clouds in the city.
- Route Travelled: Onward: BTM Layout > Kanakpura > Malavalli > Chamarajanagar > Sathyamangalam > Avinashi > Palani > Silver Cascade Falls > Kodaikanal > Bryant Park >Kodai Lake > Coaker’s Walk
- Photos: Day 1 at Kodaikanal