Thanks to my office hours, I have this habit of waking up at 4:30 AM. No matter where I am, how I am, with whom I am, my eyes will open around this time. I don’t actually need one, but put an alarm just in case any anomaly happens.
On this day also I woke up without an alarm, however it was cold (around 9 degrees) hence I had no intentions of leaving the comfort of my bed and blanket. It was still dark outside and I decided to wait till sunrise. Checked the calendar for the time of sunrise. It showed 6:10 AM. I wanted to take a time-lapse video of sunrise so had to wait till sun showed up. It was still a lot of time for that. Started checking Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc and unaware of myself, I drifted back to sleep.
When I woke up, I could see the light coming in through the curtains. Damn! I missed it. Ran outside with GoPro but it was too late. I was disappointed but not for long. The weather was awesome. The purest air you can ever breathe. The sun had gone behind clouds now but the rays were trying to escape from whatever gaps they could find. There was no sound but chirping of birds, occasional rustling of leave due to stray wind…and that’s it. It was calm and quite. Serene and peaceful. I wish I could stop the time and stay in that moment forever. But the grumbling in my stomach snapped me back to reality.
Went out for a walk, had coffee and breakfast and returned to hotel to get ready for the day.
The plan was to cover following places:
Pine tree forest
Poombarai village view pint
Elumpallam lake (near Mannavanur village)
I started with Bryant Park. I was the only person there at that time as most of the town was still asleep. The entire park belonged to me. There was absolutely no one in the park apart from two puppies who ran under the bushes when they saw me approaching. I was able to capture one of them in camera before they disappeared. Clicked pictures, shot some videos and sat for some time enjoying the nature around.
Pillar rocks and Moir point was a disappointment as nothing was visible due to fog.
Moved to Guna caves. Here you can walk till the entrance of the caves however, they have closed the caves now as few people had died there previously. Locals say that their bodies are still there somewhere inside and it is impossible to retrieve them. (FYI these caves go under the ground and not parallel to ground. As a result you ‘climb down’ into the cave and not ‘walk’ into it)
Highlight of this spot was a tree with massive roots spread across the ground. I imagined myself standing in Fangorn forest and hoped to catch a glimpse of Gandalf the white! Followed the routine of clicking pictures and moved on to the next point.
Pine tree forest was stunning. Parked my bike and entered the forest. Make sure you choose a spot where there is not much crowd and then truly you can enjoy the nature around.
Next stop was mahalaxmi temple. It is situated on top of a small hill. Sat here for some time and took a time-lapse video of the clouds moving around the mountain top.
Poombarai village view-point is officially the last viewpoint on this route. You get a stunning view of Poombarai village from this point. Most of the tourist vehicles and buses turn back from this point, however the icing on the cake lies some 12 kms ahead of this point.
Mannavanur lake or Elumpallam lake. The road takes you through dense forest, some narrow ditches and roughly half an hour later, you end up at the gates of this lovely spot. You have to park your vehicle and walk for some time to reach the lake. Here you can enjoy boating in those round boats. (I don’t know what they are called).
There is also a small trekking trail which you can take and walk around the lake.
When in Kodaikanal, make sure you give this place a visit. It is worth everything!
That was it!
Got back to the hotel and went to Kodaikanal lake again in the evening.
After a heavy Punjabi dinner, went back to room, crashed on the bed and closed my eyes while the entire day played like a movie in my head.