India is no stranger to extravagant places. Be it the mighty Himalayan peaks, snow covered highways, magnificent oak forests, enthralling wildlife sanctuaries, splendid coral reefs, mystical palaces, haunted ruins or any other place in particular (you name it). Incredible India has it all. Its about time we appreciated the eternal beauties that Mother India has to offer.
Having said that, I am traveling all over the south. All alone. Exploring one place at a time. I know the core of man's spirit comes from the new experiences. I ride. Peacefully. The freedom and simple beauty is just too good to pass up. I've a constant smile on my face.
I'm in Kerala. No, I'm in Tamilnadu. Or am I?. I'm confused. I find out its a state border. The stars are out; they shimmer and shine. I stare, without uttering a word. And before I know; the camping tent comes out. I cuddle my sleeping bag on a truck lay by.
ZROYA RIDES TO THE PRINCESS OF HILL STATIONS.
I've never liked manmade structures, but structures like these are beyond beautiful. The Vaigai dam stands bold. I spend an hour at the dam and cruise towards Suruli Falls.
Suruli falls - A two stage cascading waterfalls is not much to see and do, if taking ridiculous selfies at junk food joints is your thing. Contrary, if you are a nature lover, then there's more sights and sounds here which makes you forget your ego.
12 pm. I bid adieu to Suruli.
I reach Kumily by 3 pm. Riding around on these picturesque boulevards seems to be a very welcoming change from the usual highway I encounter. The hairpin bends make it more interesting.
A quaint place which houses natural waterfalls and badass view points makes this place a must visit destination for any traveler. And yeah, how can I forget these elephants, spice estates, malabar biriyani and banana chips??. It is Kerala after all.
I explore. Find pleasure in some of the underrated pleasures of life. Like sipping on a hot cup of Kerala chai (as told by the locals). Or taking a stroll along the lush green forest. Or rejuvenating my sense of smell from the aroma secreted by freshly ground black pepper. I go all local.
6 pm. I start descending to head towards Kodaikanal. Kodaikanal is one of those most beautiful places to freeze your butt off. You can guarantee a white winter here (all year long).
Well, the main reason I choose to travel by night is to experience those freezing ghat sections at dusk. You may be the BADDEST THING around town, but I can guarantee you that the consequences of making mistakes on this stretch of road sends shivers down your spine. Trust me. Take my word for it. Riding at night is an adventure here.
52 kilometers of uphill ride. Curves. And some more curves. I'm almost at the top. The temperature decreases, and then, there's this exclusive view - "Kodaikanal by night".
Its cold, its freezing and its Awesome. A little Old Monk should be apt, but then I'm a responsible traveler. A big no to "Drunk Driving".
11 pm. I consider not having taken a shower for God knows how long. So, I check into a nice hotel and crash.
It's always good to be on top and even better if there's a view to boot. There are a whole host of hills, mountains and valleys filled with dense fog and Kodaikanal is one of them. Yes, the journey may be treacherous but once you are at the top, the experience can never be forgotten.
No wonder Kodaikanal is one of the best places for couples. It's so cold here, the weather makes cuddling a no brainer.
7 am - The view from the hotel looks surreal. I just sit here soaking in the morning mist, enjoying the unbelievable green surroundings. The sprawling hillsides buoyed by lilies and rhododendrons for leagues on end makes this place a stunning and pleasant locale.
I need to beat the pressures of putting up in a metro city; visiting Kodaikanal and doing nothing is the right thing to do. I just revel in the cool air, lush green surroundings and indulge in some locally grown delicious tea (not to mention the local grass *wink*). This is a perfect place to unwind. What makes it special ??, the Thick Fog.
Popularly known as "The Princess of Hill Stations", Kodaikanal has nothing more than Pristineness.
9 am - It is about time that Zroya wandered along these mysterious roads of Kodai. With Scenic destinations in a close proximity, this place gets a double thumbs up if you wanna stay close to mother nature.
Initially, its the Pine Forests, then comes the Pillar Rocks, followed by Green Valley View, Guna caves and many others, each with it's own Charisma. Words cannot describe these nature's wonders, but luckily pictures can.
If trekking is your thing, then Dolphin's Nose is a must place to visit while you are here. I'm not surprised to see a bunch of foreign backpackers in Dolphin's Nose minding their own business (Smoking Weed).
Couple of pictures along the waterfalls, lakes and scenic places; it's time I bid adieu to Kodaikanal. Well, I am a bit heartbroken to have completed this trip, but then, I could only wish that traveling was FREE.
The next day. I'm back at my pretty home. With a high sense of having completed the ride and have had many jaw dropping experiences, I just feel super happy. I hit the sack with the broadest smile I can ever have.