During my recent trip to Chennai, India, I had the opportunity to escape the Chennai’s merciless heat to travel to Kodaikanal Hills. Though I have been to Kodaikanal couple of times before, I didn’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the Kodai again, popularly knows as “Princess of Hill”.
Throughout my journey from Chennai to Kodai, I didn’t feel any difference in the temperature; it was just as hot on the highway as it was in the city. But once my car started climbing the hill, I instantly felt the cool, brisk wind whipping across my face. As I looked around the hills, I realized that it was very serene, with a lush collection of large green trees and plants, with dense fog hanging over it all. The late afternoon sun was peeking through the trees, and with the quiet cacophany of occasional brooks, curious monkeys, and buzzing insects, I lost myself in the Kodai’s tranquility.
You can find several sites that have information about various places to see in Kodai, but instead I am going to concentrate my experience in Coakers Walk. I went to the Kodai Lake around 11AM. Already it was crowded with people milling about for their boats, but I just looked at the lake, still retaining that fragile beauty it had held when I first saw it. I took some photos and resolved not to wait for the boat ride, and instead decided to go and explore the natural beauty of Kodai hills. My driver suggested Coakers Walk would be a ideal place for me to enjoy the flora.
From the lake it took us 10 minutes drive to Coakers Walk. Along the way my driver was enthusiastically talking about the beauty of Coakers Walk, telling everything about it.”Wow! You seem to know every thing about this place. You’re a human Wikipedia!” I said.
He did know about Wikipedia and proudly acknowledged that he visited various Wikipedia pages regularly..
We reached Coakers Walk around 12 PM, I took my camera and looked around the place and walked slowly to the Ticket Booth. The clerk at the Ticket Booth barely glanced at my camera. “You need to buy a separate ticket,” he drawled.
I paid, got my tickets, and gave it at the entrance. I slowly walked in, and looked at the hills. It was a spectacular view. The milky white clouds were ambling through the sky, the cloud covered sun was brightly reflecting on one side of the hill, the tall green trees were stretching towards the sky, and the smoky mist was slowly creeping towards me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and felt the pure air fill my lungs and soul. I was in perfect harmony with the nature.
I slowly started walking and taking pictures along my way, but wherever I turned all I saw was beautiful scenery. I found a perfect place and sat and looked around the vendors selling hot boiled peanuts, mango slices with salt and pepper, and grilled corn. In India, the vendors will aggressively clamor to get the customer to buy their food. But none of the vendors paid any attention to me. I sat there enjoying the scenery to myself, forgetting the world around me.
Time quickly flew by, but it was more than an hour I was sitting in that place. I slowly stood up again and started walking towards the exit looking at the hills. Suddenly from nowhere the mist swept and blanketed the entire hills. I couldn’t see the sun or the tall green trees. Standing in awe, I took some more photos. I didn’t want to leave Coakers Walk, but without a choice, I said one final goodbye to the hills and exited the place. With my busy life, it was a blessedly tranquil time to indulge myself with the beauty of God’s gift to this world.