Beyond Tourist locations at Kodai – Palani Hills a Panoramic Outdoor Paradise!

by Durai on May 13, 2014

Innumerable times, many of my knowledgeable friends had advised me that there is nothing in Kodai hills except for the pleasant weather. I heard them expressing boredom going to the same touristy spots like the famed and crowded “Kodai lake, bryant park, coaker’s walk, pillar rock, bear shola falls, pine forests, guna caves, dolphin nose etc., places”. We too planned a Kodai-spree scaling the enchanting Kodaikanal and Palani hills through foot (running) and pedal (cycle) across this mighty mountains crowning the Western Ghats for three days to beat the Chennai heat.

Marking our Trails on the Mountains:

Our legs ran and rode on the trails, which hitherto remain untouched by tourist crowd visiting the famous Kodai hills. I realized the best way to connect to the mountains is when you reach her on foot, when you navigate her through pedals, when you shun the hotels and camp on her laps. We ran and pedaled nearly about 200 kms spanning across various beautiful and remote villages and camped at exotic locations on her laps.

Puthuputhur - kodaikanal trekking

Sometime I ran along with the clouds, sometime I pedaled with the breeze, sometime I ran in the company of the sky-high trees, sometime it was the mountains which gave me the camaraderie, but at no moment I felt – I was alone. I ran and rode till my knees cried, till my thighs were hurt – listening to the pounding heart and relishing the sweat from my body. The peace found on the ghat roads mesmerized me, the dazzling views of the herculean mountains kept me booming, the chillness of water and in the breeze gave me the strength to run and pedal. In brief the beautiful mountains deceived and attracted my heart.

 Puthuputhur - camping and trekking

Friendly villagers and heart-warming hospitality:

The villagers of Palani hills are not only friendly but their helping tendency and hospitality marks an indelible impression in our minds. The free treatment offered for my bruises by the local medical shops, the garden fresh carrots offered free of cost, the delicious water, food, shelter offered without asking, are not only uncommon for a city dweller like me but also significantly conflicting from the touristy Kodai town where everything is tagged for a hefty price.

The farmer who offered us his garnered carrots for us to energize; the women who offered us water to quench our thirst; the man who offered his house veranda for us to take a nap; the para-medic who cleaned my bruise without expecting anything in return; and the cute little kids who welcomed us, ran with us whenever we crossed their villages made me realize that there is a beautiful living beyond the crowded Kodai town where men care and give respect to humanity, and where even helping a stranger is a way of life. Let these kinfolk of men and mountains remain unchanged and live in harmony forever here.

Kodai running

Harmony in the lonely ghat roads:

There is pleasure running and trotting on the lonely ghat roads surrounded with thick forests, the chirping of the birds, the aroma from the plants, running on the shade of the majestic trees, immersed in the beauty of magical mountains, it is for these reasons and for more much reasons for which I don’t have expressions to record, I keep visiting the mountains and enjoy trotting in the pathless woods.

Tree side running - kodaikanal running

Cold Nights and Camping in Tents – Finest Evenings of my Life:

The climax of every day would be the pleasing pain running through my body after arduous physical activity – pitching the tents, collecting woods for cooking and sharing the experiences of the adventurous we encountered sitting around the fire sipping the hot soup, underneath the bright moon relishing the cold weather will always remain green in my memory. After a nightlong peaceful slumber, my body and mind wake up to observe the amusing views of due drops perched on the grass and the misty clouds disappearing from the valley into the sky.

Kodaikanal camping

Beyond the crowded tourist spots at Kodai there are villages in Palani hills were the clouds come to caress the peaks, were the mists come to settle down on its valleys, and were people greet and value human relations beyond monetary rewards. These are the villages concealed in the Palani hills were the mighty natural beauty meets the tiny humanity and were I would like to grow old watching the sun gaze behind the misty mountains on a cold day.

Misty mountains - Kodaikanal trekking

Life is best lived in the outdoors,

Durai Murugan

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bala June 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

I recently went to a place called KOLAKAMBY and was running in the midst of tea planatations. my only company was nature, nature, nature with wild bisons, birds, monkeys and an EMPTY ROAD. so, i can relate easily to your solitary run with nature

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