Deep down in India’s tropical south lies nature’s gem in the form of a serene hill station known as Kodaikanal. We were on a long South India tour, Kodaikanal being the last stop on our itinerary. As we were passing through the lush green farmlands of Tamil Nadu we saw a dark auburn colored mountain encircled by dense monsoon clouds. We were later told by our guide that on top of this mountain calmly rests Kodaikanal and that we are going to be on top of it in just over an hour.
During our ascent on a single lane tarmac road there were frequent twists and turns and plentiful hairpin bends. As we were continuing our ascent in our small minivan filled with honeymooning couples, the fog grew denser and denser. It reached a point where we were not able to spot anything out of our old minivan’s unpolished window.
After an exhilarating journey, we finally reached Kodaikanal by dark. We decided to rest for the night and explore the town the following morning. We woke up to a bright sun in a rather misty morning. First up we went to one of the highest parts of Kodaikanal from where we got an amazing view of the entire town and the surrounding lush green mountains. Following which our tour guide took us to a place known as Coakers Walk. Constructed by an English army officer Lt. Coaker in 1872, the Walk is a paved pedestrian path that runs along the edges of steep slopes on the southern side of the town. Winding around the tall Mount Nebo, it is known to provide unmatched panoramic views of the plains- however when we went the dense fog appeared and we weren’t able to spot much.
Our guide suggested a jungle trek, and everyone in our minivan raised their hands. It was only the second time in my life that I went jungle trekking, so I was a bit hesitant at first. Before starting our hike we came across a street vendor selling the most exotic of fruits such as passion fruit, butter fruit and sweet tomato. They all were extremely delicious and very reasonably priced.
We followed a river path that meandered through the dense jungle. The river path led us to numerous waterfalls, however most were pretty short in length. Some locals in fact use these waterfalls as a natural shower.